Saturday, August 9, 2014


With the various connections I'm making to old TV Westerns via the various poker players in the movie "Maverick", I don't always want to take the easy path.  Sure, I'm going to claim Doug McClure was playing Trampas, and Henry Darrow was playing Manolito, But there were a few actors on board who had a variety of options from which to choose.  (And then there's Denver Pyle, who had a plethora of Western characters who could have been thrown off that riverboat.)

With this post, I'm taking a look at the role played by Robert Fuller.  His character made it to the penultimate round, the last to be trumped by Mrs. Annabelle Bransford.  He was magnanimous about the loss, unlike a few of his rival players, and was very courtly to the woman who vanquished him.  His only regret was that he played out his entire bank and thus had nothing left to tip the dealer.  

Now, the O'Bvious choices would have been to claim that Fuller was playing either Jess Harper of 'Laramie' or Cooper Smith from 'Wagon Train'.  Perhaps he might even have been Kenyon Drummond from two episodes of 'The Adventures Of Brisco County Jr.'.  (Drummond was certainly rich enough to have joined the Big Game.)

Some TV Western aficionados may not remember this, but Robert Fuller played two other roles on 'Wagon Train' before he joined the team as Coop.  And one of those two roles just might fit the bill....

From Wikipedia:

On May 6, 1959, just four months before he joined the new series 'Laramie' on NBC, later 'Wagon Train' costar Robert Fuller appears with Ruta Lee as a happily married young couple in the episode "The Kate Parker Story", with Virginia Grey in the starring role. Fuller as Chris Finley seeks to turn from gambling and become a responsible husband. Evvie, his wife, is seriously injured in a wagon accident. The Finleys contrast strikingly with an older couple on the wagon train, Kate Parker and her husband, Jonas, played by Warren Stevens, who have a loveless marriage. Trapped in snow in the mountains, presumably the Sierra Nevadas, the greedy Jonas leaves the Finleys behind to wait for reinforcements, and he forces the unwilling Kate to drive their wagon. Kate wrecks the wagon and Jonas leaves on foot with her money. Kate is given essential shelter by illiterate mountain man Boone Caulder, played by Royal Dano, whom she finds wise despite his lack of education.

So I'm going to claim that Fuller was playing Chris Finley in "Maverick".  And I don't think it violates the premise promised in the 'Wagon Train' episode.  While Evvie Finley lived, her husband Chris was a man of his word - he foreswore gambling and became a responsible husband, perhaps making his money in retail dry goods out West.

But after she died, Chris Finley had no reason not to resuscitate his old gambling skills, making enough to qualify for entry into the Big Game......

I have to admit, however, I don't really know how that episode of 'Wagon Train' ended for Mr. & Mrs. Finley......


Friday, August 8, 2014


As I mentioned in an ealier post, I believe the movie adaptation of "Maverick" belongs in the TV Universe.  It's not a remake; a continuation.  Mel Gibson was playing Bret Maverick Jr. and James Garner was back in the saddle again as the original Bret.

What would have helped sell this argument would have been the appearance of Jack Kelly as Bart Maverick at some point.  But of course, that might have undermined the big reveal at the end, because Garner was supposed to be playing Sheriff Zane Cooper.  (But honestly, I would think any true 'Maverick' fan would have figured out he had to be the one and only Bret Maverick, Sr.!)

The fact that Bart Maverick wasn't at that big poker competition, looking at it from within the reality of the main TV dimension, fills me with dread.  (And I have to look at it from that perspective because the answer is known to me if looking at it from the P.O.V. of the Trueniverse - Jack Kelly, who played Brother Bart, passed away in 1992.)

One would think Bart Maverick would have answered the siren call of that marathon riverboat game.  So the only conclusion would have to be that by that time in the Toobworld timeline, he was dead, sad to say.

Bret Maverick was born April 7, 1847.  I'm not sure it was ever established, but I've always believed Bart was his older brother. 

If Bret's age wsa in comparison to that of Garner's, then the movie "Maverick" must have taken place at some point between 1903 and 1913.  (I have no problem fudging a few years, but the actor has to look like he could pull it off.  In Garner's case, I think he could have.)

I'm going to say that the movie takes place after 1907.  (I'm favoring 1913.)  Why?  In 1906, Bart Maverick took part in a very high stakes poker game in San Francisco, playing with the likes of Brady Hawkes, Bat Masterson, the grandfather of John Steed, and even President Teddy Roosevelt.  Bart was one of the first who had to drop out, admittng that he wasn't the best poker player in the Maverick family.

After the game ended (with Brady Hawkes winning the pot, natch!), the Hotel Carlton was rocked by the massive earthquake that practically leveled San Francisco in April of 1906.  And even though he left the game early, I'm afraid that there was no way Bart Maverick could have left San Francisco before the earthquake struck.

Hellz!  I doubt he even left the Carlton Hotel!  He was probably still downstairs commisserating with the other losers in the hotel bar!

I'm afraid there's no other splainin that would work as well as to why Bart Maverick never made that poker game on the Commodore's riverboat.  I'm afraid he died in the San Francisco earthquake of 1906.


Thursday, August 7, 2014


The Mavericks were related to the Canaby family on their mother's side.  (This is not to say her maiden name was Canaby, just that she was related to them.)  The Canabys were an old Southern family who owned slaves before the Civil War.  Many of the descendents of those slaves carried the Canaby name after their emancipation and some of them were of the same bloodline as their owners.  

As some of their children migrated north after gaining their freedom, the family name was corrupted to becoming "Canby".  (This would make Archie Bunker's housekeeper Ellen Canby a distant relative to the tall dark strangers known as the Mavericks.)

One of Bart Maverick's older cousins on that side of the family was Fenton Canaby, who gained notoriety near the end of the Civil War for leading a disasterous wagon train in which everybody else died.  (Tired of his Captain Bligh-like rules, the families on that train knocked him out and left him behind.  Then they struck out in the direction he told them would lead to catastrophe.)  Although about a decade older than Bart, he could still be considered Bart's "identical cousin".  Had they been the same age, one would be hard-pressed to tell them apart.

Rescued from life as a near-savage desert rat by a wagon train led by Chris Hale in the early 1870s, Fenton fell in love with a passenger making the trip West, Lucy Garrison.  (Lucy's great-nephew, Patrick Garrison, would work as a reporter for the New York Daily Record during the "Roaring" 1920's.)

The family tree begun by Fenton and Lucy would lead to the birth of Cinnamon Carter in 1932.  And she would have a daughter given up for adoption named Helena.  (Helena would die in 1999 during an atomic fuel dump explosion at one of the secret lunar colonies.)

So through Fenton and Lucy Canaby, I'm declaring this a theory of relateeveety that links one episode of 'Wagon Train' to 'Maverick', 'Mission: Impossible', 'Space: 1999', 'The Roaring 20's', and 'Archie Bunker's Place'.

  • 'Wagon Train' - "The Fenton Canaby Story"
  • 'Maverick'
  • 'Mission: Impossible'
  • 'Space: 1999'
  • 'The Roaring 20's'
  • 'Archie Bunker's Place'

Wednesday, August 6, 2014



Fenton Canaby was an infamous wagon train master whose last party proved to be a disaster on a par with the Donner Party.  Thanks to a journal kept by the doomed Byron Lowe, Canaby's story was told in newspapers all across the country.

One of those newspapers was the New York Record, which was also featured in 'The Roaring Twenties' as the paper for which Scott Norris and Pat Garrison worked back in the 1920's.  By that time, the name of the paper was changed to The Daily Record.  

(Sorry about that imprint on the screencap, Chief!)


Tuesday, August 5, 2014



Turn co-star Angus Macfadyen is set for one of the lead roles in The Pinkertons, Canadian companies Rosetta Media and Buffalo Gal Pictures’ upcoming 22-episode action-adventure detective series that is set to premiere in first-run syndication in the U.S. this fall. It has been cleared in more than 85% of the country by Rohrs Media Group on station groups including Tribune, Weigel, Hearst, LIN, Meredith, Cox and the CW PLUS.
Drawing on the real cases of Pinkerton Detective Agency, The Pinkertons follows founder Allan Pinkerton (Macfadyen), his son, William, and America’s first female detective, Kate Warne, as they solve crimes throughout the “Wild West” of the 1860s (Pinkerton is known for revolutionizing detective work by developing use of surveillance, undercover work and the mug shot). In part because of his commitment to AMC drama Turn, on which he is a regular, Macfadyen is will be a recurring guest star on The Pinkertons, not appearing in all episodes. Turn was renewed in June for a 10-episode second season to air in the spring.

Monday, August 4, 2014


August 4, 1914 - Great Britain declares war on Germany. The declaration is binding on all Dominions within the British Empire including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa.

August 4, 1914 - The United States declares its neutrality.

August 4-16, 1914 - The Siege of Liege occurs as Germans attack the Belgian fortress city but meet resistance from Belgian troops inside the Liege Forts. The twelve forts surrounding the city are then bombarded into submission by German and Austrian howitzers using high explosive shells. Remaining Belgian troops then retreat northward toward Antwerp as the German westward advance continues.


1)  'Blackadder Goes Forth'
The fourth series in this sitcom about the Blackadders of History ended in a freeze-frame as Captain Blackadder led his men in a suicide charge into No Man's Land.

2)  'Downton Abbey'
Downton heir Matthew Crawley and two of the servants - Thomas Barrows and William Mason - serve in the trenches.  All three were wounded, but only William eventually succumbed to his.

3)  'M*A*S*H'
"Old Soldiers"
The last of Colonel Potter's friends from his WWI unit in France has died. They created a tontine--a pledge--involving a bottle of French wine, to be drunk by the last surviving member.

4)  'Tales From The Crypt'
A General must deal with his own son who fled during battle and now faces execution.

5)  'Warehouse 13'
"Secret Santa"
An artifact created from a shell casing present at the Christmas Truce of 1914 is imbued with the harmony of good will from that moment in time.

6)  "Pipes Of Peace"
Paul McCartney's music video about the Christmas truce of 1914.

Toobworld theory: Sweet the Demon was present during the truce.


'Monty Python's Flying Circus'
 "Ypres 1914"

I could also have cited 'Beacon Hill', 'Upstairs, Downstairs', 'James Garner As Nichols', and several others......



Bret Maverick became a member of the Television Crossover Hall of Fame in July of 2007 as the TV Western inductee for that year.  The funny thing was, even though he was the first Maverick we met in Toobworld, it was his brother Bart who beat him to the punch - Bart was inducted into the TVXOHOF in August of 2001!

Bart's "induction ceremony" took place on the old "Tubeworld Dynamic" web site which was forced into retirement by AOL getting rid of the easy-to-use service.  So that's lost to the aether.  
However, you can still read about Bret's induction here.

His qualifications as of seven years ago were:
'Young Maverick'
'Bret Maverick'
"The Maverick Movie"

But since that time, I've learned that Bret Maverick also showed up in an episode of 'Sugarfoot'.  So that should be added to his tally.

Bret also appeared in the TV dimension of Skitlandia in a Bob Hope special as seen below.

And he is a true multiversal besides his appearance in the Cineverse - there were also the comic books!

And let's not forget the Little Golden Book......

But most tempting all to include in the TVXOHOF exhibit?

Maybe I should hang that over the entrance to the Western Wing.....


Sunday, August 3, 2014


Toobnote: Since the overall theme this year is "Toobworld Goes To The Movies", I decided to leave this previously scheduled blog post as is instead of moving it to next year.  The "Maverick" salute will continue on Monday......

The August showcase is a movie starring Richard Harris entitled "A Man Called Horse".

From Scott Lane at the IMDb:
"In 1825 an English aristocrat is captured by Indians. He lives with them and begins to understand/accept their lifestyles. Eventually he is accepted as part of the tribe and becomes their leader."

As was the case with "Casablanca" at the beginning of the year, here's how it plays out in Earth Prime-Time:

The movie does exist in the main Toobworld, but we had to go to Cologne, Germany, and the sitcom 'Lukas' for validation:

"Hasch mich" 
Klaus-Dieter, better known as "Keile" mentioned the movie in this episode.

But the movie took liberties with the "historical event" which was seen in a 1957 episode of 'Wagon Train' by the same name.

First off, the story told by Horse took place in the three years before he met Major Adams, Flint McCullough, and Charlie Wooster.  This would make it the late 1860s, culminating with his arrival at the wagon train in the early 1870s.  This means Horse missed the Civil War by working as a clerk in the law offices of Lorimer & Forbes.  (Mr. Lorimer was the man he hoped would give consent to his marriage to Lorimer's daughter Lucinda.)

In Toobworld history, Horse was an American, found abandoned on the doorstep of a Boston orphanage when he was an infant.  In order to have an identity, he was given the name of the street on which the orphanage was located.

His name in those Boston years was never mentioned in the 'Wagon Train' episode, but in the movie Richard Harris played Lord John Morgan.  (Making him British was another liberty taken with the "facts".  But several American actors, many associated with Westerns, had turned down the role.  Once the English actor was offered the role, adjustments had to be made with the script.)

But perhaps the name itself wasn't altered.  Maybe he was "John Morgan" back in Boston.  If so, then the orphanage had to be located in the Boston suburb of Somers; that's where we'll find a Morgan Street in the Beantown area.

The Chief of the Crow who had captured him and who presented him as a gift to his mother was named Yellow Robe, but the movie changed it to Yellow Hand.  Yellow Hand's sister was Running Deer, but in Toobworld "reality" she was known as Bright Star.

The other major Native American character from Toobworld was the future mother-in-law of Horse, who "owned" him.  She was only known as "Old Mother" to the wagon train crew because Horse never offered up her name.  So I'm thinking the movie used her actual name based on research into the life story of Horse: Buffalo Cow Head.  

The fate of Horse in Toobworld is unknown.  By morning, once Old Mother had rested, Horse departed the wagon train with his mother-in-law to find a new life.

Old Mother was not long for the world, but Horse would have stayed with her until she died.  After that?  Maybe he made a second attempt to enter the "white man's world".  Perhaps he took on another name and started again in the wild, wild west.  (Although there doesn't seem to be any previously established TV Western characters from other shows who could have been Horse.  Either their back-stories and family relations would clash with those of Horse, or they're just too mean and ornery to have been the good-hearted "squaw-man".


  • 'Wagon Train' - "A Man Called Horse"
  • "A Man Called Horse"
  • 'Lukas'