Saturday, November 15, 2014


Because the virus at the center of the series 'The Strain' has become rampant and vampirism is on the rise, I've had to place the show into its own TV dimension.  But theoretically those characters have counterparts in Earth Prime-Time and Earth Prime-Time characters could have counterparts in the Strain world.  In the final episode of its first season, the heroes encountered a group of vampires in the sewers beneath New York City and dispatched them with dynamite.  Who knows?  Maybe one or two of them in the back of the crowd could have been recognizable characters from 'CSI: NY', 'Law & Order', or even 'Mulaney'.

At least we know there is one point of interface between the two worlds:

(Zach Goodweather found a pack of Morley cigarettes in a looted bodega.)

Morley cigarettes have been found in at least the following Earth Prime-Time TV shows:


  • 'American Horror Story'
  • 'Becker'
  • 'Breaking Bad'
  • 'Beverly Hills, 90210'
  • 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'
  • 'Burn Notice'
  • 'Californication'
  • 'Cold Case'
  • 'Criminal Minds'
  • 'CSI: NY'
  • 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'
  • 'ER'
  • 'Everybody Hates Chris'
  • 'Frasier'
  • 'Friends'
  • 'Jake 2.0'
  • 'Judging Amy'
  • 'Justified'
  • 'Killer Instinct'
  • 'Lost'
  • 'The L Word'
  • 'Malcolm in the Middle'
  • 'Mannix'
  • 'Medium'
  • 'The Middle'
  • 'Millennium'
  • 'Mission: Impossible'
  • 'Murder in the First'
  • 'Naked City'
  • 'Nash Bridges'
  • 'New Amsterdam'
  • 'Orange Is The New Black'
  • 'The Outer Limits'
  • 'Pushing Daisies'
  • 'Reaper'
  • 'Saving Grace'
  • 'Seinfeld'
  • 'Sordid Lives: The Series'
  • 'Space: Above and Beyond'
  • 'Special Unit 2'
  • 'That '70s Show'
  • 'The Twilight Zone'
  • 'Up All Night'
  • 'Warehouse 13'
  • 'Weeds'
  • 'The X-Files
The cancer sticks also made an appearance in several other TV dimensions, like the "Strain" world:
  • '24'
  • 'Shameless'
  • 'Prison Break'
  • 'The Walking Dead'
And then there was 'Heroes', which started out in Earth Prime-Time, but once Hiro altered the past, the viewpoint became that of a divergent timeline.

They've even been spotted in the Cineverse!

As you can see from the listing of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show', 'Naked City', and 'The Twilight Zone', Morley's have been around since at least the early sixties on Earth Prime-Time.  And with 'The Strain' we know they'll keep showing up no matter which TV dimension is being viewed by the Trueniverse audience.

So that's why we're inducting Morley Cigarettes into the Television Crossover Hall Of Fame in this 15th anniversary year.........

My thanks to my Little Buddy, Sean Cleary, for sending me these pics.  I didn't bother watching 'The Strain' since I knew I couldn't use it for Earth Prime-Time.....

Smoke 'em if you got 'em!

Friday, November 14, 2014


It's been a while since I did a "My Friends In Toobworld" feature.....

I was supposed to be doing this feature all year long - where I took pictures of my friends and applied a Toobworld sensibility to them.  But I fell behind and/or lost enthusiasm.

With the arrival of 'Batman' to the Cozi-TV line-up this Fourth of July weekend, and with my thoughts turned to the series with the recent death of Eli Wallach (the third of the Mr. Freeze characters), I saw this picture of my friend Jon Harris on Facebook and figured it was time to rev up the feature once again.  If only for a quick posting....

For Jon's televersion, that counterpart of his living in Earth Prime-Time rather than Earth Prime (our world), this is a picture of him with Anna Mykolaivna Nadolynna in Gotham City.  O'Bviously they're taking a selfie in front of the new and improved Batmobile.

(In the Trueniverse, they were at Six Flags Great Adventure.)

The original Batman, Bruce Wayne, is no longer active as a crime-fighter.  This Batmobile would belong to his latest successor, whoever that might be.  (If his name is again Bruce Wayne, he could be the original's grandson, named after him.) 

All of this would be kept off-screen of course.  DC and its visual media allies have moved on to doing variations on the original with no interest in continuing the original series history.

Who knows?  Maybe Jon & Anna's televersions got to see the current Batman in action against some new costumed foe.....?

By the way, Anna's name makes me wonder if her televersion is related in some way to Olga, Queen of the Cossacks.....?




This scene provided two points of televisiological interest, dealing with characters with roots in the fictional universe of BookWorld.

Sister Boniface is reading one of the Christie novels that showcases a recurring character from the Hercule Poirot stories - Colonel Race, former official in MI-5.

Dame Agatha Christie's position in Earth Prime-Time is similar to that of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - her televersion (seen in an episode of 'Doctor Who') does write those mystery novels, but they are fictionalized accounts of "actual" events.  As with Sherlock Holmes, her main subjects - Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple - are looked upon by the general public in Toobworld as being fictional when in fact they inhabit the same world as those people.  (Whether or not this is something promoted by my splainin group known as "UNReel" is unknown.)

Colonel Race does exist in Earth Prime-Time and was seen in the 'Hercule Poirot' episode "Death On The Nile".  (From the Trueniverse perspective, he was played by James Fox.  Over in the Cineverse, he was portrayed by David Niven.)

In BookWorld, he also appears in the story "Cards On The Table" with Poirot, but here's proof that the televersion of those books are fictionalized.  In Toobworld, it was Colonel Hughes who attended Mr. Shaitana's gathering, not Colonel Race.  Apparently, this had to be covered up (perhaps Hughes was working on a situation for MI-5 and couldn't afford to have his presence known at the fete.)  And so the televersion of Christie got permission from Colonel Race to use him as a substitute.

When Father Brown and Inspector Valentine meet Sister Boniface, she remarks on the similarity in their relationship to two other sleuths: Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey and his future brother-in-law, Inspector Charles Parker.

But they are not fictional characters out of Sayers' books.  Instead they were real people in the TV Universe.  However, Sister Boniface was not referring to the two sleuths from Earth Prime-Time......

This version of 'Father Brown' takes place in the alternate TV dimension currently referred to as The Land O' Remakes for want of a better name.  The Father Brown of Earth Prime-Time was played by Kenneth More back in the early 1970s.  And such is the case with Lord Peter Wimsey.  In Toobworld, he was played by Ian Carmichael and remains the official version for the main TV dimension.  In The Land O' Remakes, Edward Petherbridge played Lord Peter Wimsey, with David Quilter as Inspector Parker.  (Mark Eden played the role in Earth Prime-Time.)

Since Sister Boniface made no reference to the source books, we can take the usual Toobworld tactic of treating Lord Wimsey and Inspector Parker as being the actual people.

By the way, The Land O' Remakes is the same TV dimension in which one would find Geraldine McEwen playing Miss Jane Marple.  As for Sherlock Holmes?  I would think that to be in The Land O' Remakes, one has to play the role after the official version has been broadcast.  In Holmes' case, the official version is of course that played by Jeremy Brett.  Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller are both excluded for updating the milieu to modern times. 

I'm tempted to place the Holmes of Jonathan Pryce in this world, but that was in a stand-alone TV movie.  By tradition, those get their own dimensions.

As of right now, The Land O' Remakes does not have its own Hercule Poirot either.  Sir Peter Ustinov's portrayal is from the Borderlands and Alfred Molina's Poirot belongs in one of the MOTW dimensions (and not one of the more reputable ones, by my way of thinking.....)


Thursday, November 13, 2014


New York Police Detective Andy Sipowicz appeared in over 250 episodes of 'NYPD Blue', but the show's creators never saw fit to cross him over into other TV shows that might have benefited from the coat-tails ride.  And yet there are now three other TV series in which Sipowicz has been name-checked.  And I've come up with reasonable splainins for the first two and I'm ready with the third.

First there was the woman who wore a police uniform while having sex with NCIS Agent DiNozzo.  She would insist that he call her Sipowicz....


And when Henry Spencer threatened to go postal on some "skel", his son Shawn calmed him down by calling him Sipowicz.

Third time's the charm......

'Rizzoli & Isles'
"If You Can't Stand The Heat"

During this summer's heat wave in TV-Boston, Detective Vince Korsak found a Shi-Tzu wandering around the vicinity of a crime scene.  It was suffering from heat stroke distress and Korsak later learned that it responded to Spanish.  Eventually he was able to reunite the dog with its rightful owners.

But until then, he named it "Sipowicz".

There's no reference point, no mention of 'NYPD Blue'.  So it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that somehow Korsak knew Sipowicz and for some reason this little dustmop of a dog reminded him of the New York cop.

They couldn't have grown up together as Vince was a life-long Beantown boy and Andy grew up in Brooklyn.  There's a six year difference between the ages of Dennis Franz and Bruce McGill, but only a two year difference for their characters Andy Sipowicz and Vince Korsak respectively.  (Sipowicz is four years younger than Franz according to a 1995 episode.) 

They may have met through their professional lives.  Perhaps, as I speculated with the connection between Henry Spencer and Andy Sipowicz, they either teamed up on a case that roots in both their territories or they met at that same police convention I think must have been held in Santa Barbara.

But the skeevy side of me also likes the idea that the two of them became involved with the same woman, as I claimed happened with Sipowicz and Tony DiNozzo.  

We know that Vince Korsak has been married three times.  His first ex-wife was Dana, who left him for another man while Korsak was serving in Viet Nam.  Could Sipowicz have been that other man?

We know about Vince's third wife Melody and her son Josh, but we have no information on his second wife.  Maybe she was the woman that linked the two detectives together?  Either Vince stole her away from Andy, or vice versa.  

That theory of course could change once that particular back story is sketched out on the show.

At any rate, I think Vince Korsak knew Andy Sipowicz at some point earlier in his life.  And something about that little furball made the detective think about his counterpart in the NYPD.  Whether he named it Sipowicz in honor of the 15th Precinct cop or as an insult, we'll probably never know.....

Because his name was dropped three times in other shows as though he actually existed, I think Andy Sipowicz might find himself in the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame as a Birthday Honors inductee some day!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Terrence Rathbone, Sr. made his first million pounds by the time he was 21.  One secret to his accumulation of wealth was that he was a penny-pincher and not above filching even the little things - like cigarettes - to save himself a farthing.  Because of his acumen in business, Rathbone was awarded a life peerage. 

Once he was 21, Lord Rathbone had also become a father, giving his Christian name of Terrence to his son.  By his teens, young Master Terrence preferred to be known as Twiggy to give himself a separate identity from his father.  (Being the third Thomas O'Brien in my family tree, I know that feeling well.)

In 1967, Lord Rathbone was blackmailed with simulated death scenarios into surrendering £1,000,000 or the next time it would be the real thing.  Unlike some others faced with the same choice, Rathbone survived, but to lose that much money nearly killed him as he tossed it off the bridge as instructed.

As it was a life peerage, Twiggy Rathbone couldn't inherit his father's title.  However, he also had the drive to build his own empire, mostly in media outlets, And so Rathouse Ltd. was formed, which created a lot of revenue for the Crown.  And so Terrence "Twiggy" Rathbone, Jr.  was made a Lord as well.  

It was through Rathouse, Ltd. that the new Lord Rathbone bought the Crucible newspaper and then hired his identical cousin Russell Spam to be its managing editor.  Together they changed the Crucible overnight - from a sensible (albeit dull) newspaper into a radically conservative tabloid which asked the tough questions, like "Should rapists be castrated at birth?"

The first Lord Rathbone died just before the dawn of the new Millennium, but Lord Twiggy Rathbone yet lives....

  • 'Hot Metal'
  • 'The Avengers' - "You Have Just Been Murdered"

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


"Nothin' I like better than buryin' Germans in the rain."
Private William G. Kirby

Back in May, we saluted the late Gil Hanley, Second Lieutenant of King Company's second squad.  Now, for Veteran's Day, we salute one of the soldiers under his command: William G. Kirby.

Jo David Meyer sums up the rogue of King Company the best:

"Tough, quick-tempered, argumentative, and a skirt-chaser, Kirby is the show’s “bad boy.” He’s been AWOL more than any other man in the outfit and once broke up a French cafe in a brawl over a woman. Consequently, he gets most of the good lines. Though a wise-cracker and complainer, Kirby is a good man in a fight. Kirby is the squad’s B.A.R . man (Browning Automatic Rifle)."

Born in August of 1911, Kirby was the son of James Kirby who was originally from Iowa.  Since Mrs. Kirby was originally from Chicago, they raised their family in the Windy City.  Along with William, the Kirbys also had two other children - Ruth and George.

Kirby's maternal uncle owned a bowling alley in Chicago which was still in the family decades later and a popular spot for TV characters from other shows, like P.J. Franklin and her brother Andy and their friends.

It was never revealed in the show, but Kirby's middle name was pronounced as "Walter".  (The "G" was silent.)

Before he landed at Omaha Beach, Kirby had been a corporal but he was demoted to private, probably because he went AWOL (and often did.)  On August 7, 1944, he was court-martialed for desertion under fire.  (But he managed to avoid being drummed out of service.)

Somehow, Kirby got hold of two other dogtags with his name embossed on them so that he would give out the false information in case of emergency.

His serial numbers were:
  • 14327230 
  • 1302882 
  • 37428620
While he was in basic training, Kirby called Trenton, New Jersey, home.  

Considering his fondness for wine, women, cigarettes, and hard liquor, it would be hard to believe that Kirby could still be alive.  If he is, he's 103 years old this year.  

But he may have predicted reaching such a milestone.....

New recruit: "I'll be nineteen in August." 
Kirby: "I'll be 100 in August."
(From the episode "The First Day")

Not impossible, but certainly amazing.......

So on this Veteran's Day, we salute William G. Kirby, former private in the King Company Second Squadron.

Thank you for your service... when you weren't going AWOL, that is!

'My Boys'
'The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis'


Monday, November 10, 2014


I think we'd all like to see our favorite TV shows as being timeless, but Prime-Time marches on for them all.  

Mostly it's more to due with props and fashions to be seen in those shows, rather than being due to script restraints or directing styles.  

For instance, my fifth favorite TV show - 'Columbo'.  I never get tired of seeing the rumpled detective solving the various murders in each episode; the by-play with the suspects never gets old for me. 

But the technology often roots the cases in the past: 
  • the answering machine tapes in "An Exercise In Fatality"
  • the top-loading video player in "Fade In To Murder"
  • airport security measures lacking in "Prescription Murder"
  • the lack of basic CSI procedures in "Etude In Black"
Even a futuristic show like 'Star Trek' is now behind the times when it comes to hand-held communication devices.

Here's another way to get the approximate date of an episode if it contains a scene set in a government office - pictures of elected officials on the walls.


Here we can see the official portrait of John Lindsay in Chief Clifford's office at the Police Department.  Lindsay was the mayor of New York City from January 1, 1966 to December 31, 1973.  [He is not to be confused with Mayor Linseed of Gotham City!]

As it happens, this episode of 'McCloud' was broadcast in February of 1972, within the time frame of Lindsay's term as mayor.  [However, it must have taken place back in the early Autumn, as the outside scenes suggest that it wasn't the cold weather to be expected in deep Winter.]

Unfortunately, Mayor Lindsay didn't make Toob-worthy appearances in TV shows as himself.  There were quite a few guest spots on talk shows and a few variety shows, but how cool would it have been to see him playing himself in an episode of 'Kojak', 'All In The Family', 'The Odd Couple', or even in 'McCloud'?

John V. Lindsay was probably not the Mayor of New York City in the TV dimension which houses 'The West Wing'.  And he'd be a lot different in a world like Doofus Toobworld!


Sunday, November 9, 2014


During the early 1960s, when the Cold War was at its most intense, there was a nightclub in West Berlin called the Tangier Club. The club served as a nexus for intelligence agents working for the West, keeping tabs on Soviet activities beyond the Berlin Wall. An American OSS agent worked in the club as "Lumendorf" the stage magician and he served as the go-between for passing on information. (Among those he worked with were con-man cousins Tony Fleming and Timmy Sinclair.) 
Timmy Sinclair and Tony Fleming arrive at the Tangier

Although we only saw the Tangiers club in an episode of 'The Rogues', there have been other Cold War episodes set in West Berlin which may have had reason to set a scene in a nightclub. 'It Takes A Thief' for example, or 'Mission Impossible'. Should that nightclub go unnamed, then why not have it be the Tangier Club? 
A few years later the owner of the Tangier Club set his sights on establishing a similar concern in America, but as a much grander venue - a casino and hotel. And so he built the Tangiers in Las Vegas, which has often found itself the focus of investigations by the CSI unit of the LVPD since the 1990s.
  • 'The Rogues' - "Run For The Money"
  • 'CSI' - recurring