Saturday, December 13, 2014


Today marks the anniversary of the meteorite crash near Wold Newton in 1795.....


A group of passing witnesseses were bathed in the meteorite's radiation and that led to the creation of some of the greatest heroes (and villains) in the fictional universe.

Many of those same characters have televersions in Earth Prime-Time, but the Toobworld Dynamic should never be confused with the Wold Newton Universe.

This week, Inner Toob will be celebrating the TV version of Wonder Woman, so to put my yearly Toobworld spin on the WNU I looked through the "family tree" for a character who might have crossed paths with Princess Diana off-screen.

The first season of the series took place during WWII and I'm sure there are a few Wold Newton heroes from that era who could have teamed up with Wonder Woman. But she's far older than that, an Immortal from the Age of Legend. We might even suggest an encounter with some long-past character, perhaps even Hadon of ancient Opar. TV could always use a sword-flashing hero full of blood and thunder.

But there's one Wold Newton colossus whom I've always wanted to see get the TV treatment: Clark Savage, Jr. also known as Doc Savage.  And I think the Man of Bronze would have been the perfect candidate to work with Wonder Woman.

His globe-spanning adventures may very well have brought Doc to Themyscira - Paradise Island, the Amazon home in the Bermuda Triangle. But to make it more interesting, perhaps Wonder Woman could have met Clark at an earlier stage in his life, perhaps even before he was given to adepts for training at the age of fourteen months.

In 1901, most likely in November of that year, Clark Savage was born on the schooner Orion to Arronaxe Larsen and Clark Savage, Sr. This occurred off the coast of Andros Island, geographically not that far from Themyscira. Perhaps there is more to this story than had ever been revealed, which would be what the Amazons wanted in order to protect their hidden work. But I would think such a birth would almost invite some sort of calamity in which Wonder Woman could save the day.

Lester Dent, who wrote the original stories about Doc Savage, set up a scenario in which a grown-up Clark found himself back in the Bermuda Triangle.  Here's the synopsis of "The Sargasso Ogre" from Wikipedia:

"Trapped in the Bermuda Triangle, Doc and friends end up on a vast armada ofrotting ships battling a gang of vicious criminals."  Perhaps there's a period of time in that story in which Doc could have met Diana - together again for the first time, in a way.....
What if Doc Savage met Wonder Woman
(Adam & Eve as the stand-ins)
It would have to fall under fanfic since Lynda Carter, beautiful as she still is, no longer can match her earlier luminance for Diana's immortal features. And then there's the fact that Doc Savage - even as a baby - has yet to become a part of the Toobworld Dynamic.

And that's not likely to happen. He's already been in a movie and a new adaptation is in development. If it is made and is successful, that would probably put the kibosh on a TV version. Of course maybe an ancillary TV show could be made in which Doc Savage might guest star to kick off the series. We've seen it happen before with Nick Fury and 'Agents Of SHIELD' and Conner MacLeod on 'Highlander'.

I suppose it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, in the Comic Book Universe. Doc Savage has teamed up with the Batman and the Spirit in the past. And it was Doc who first had an Arctic Fortress of Solitude. So with such a DC connection, some sort of team-up with Wonder Woman could have happened.

At any rate, it's just "wish-craft" on my part as a tip of the hat to perhaps the greatest contribution made by Philip Jose Farmer to the shared universe of literature.

I hope you enjoyed Wold Newton Day, which fell on the numerical sequence of 12/13/14!


All this week we'll be taking a look at the Toobworldly aspects of one particular episode of 'Wonder Woman' - "The Fine Art Of Crime".  I saw the episode back in September, so why did I wait until now to give it a full week's showcase?

To make it a Winter Wonder Woman Land, of course!

If you've finished booing, we can continue.....

Here's the IMDb summary for "The Fine Art Of Crime":

Wonder Woman foils a ring of art thieves who use realistic-looking statues who are actually people in suspended animation to rob museums.

And from

When valuable artwork in a museum mysteriously begins to vanish, Wonder Woman discovers the museum statues may be more life-like than originally thought.

The full episode is available for viewing via Amazon for $1.99 (at least as of September 7th), but there are a few scenes available at YouTube which give you the basics of the villains' plot:

And one YouTube contributor had a different idea on what constitutes a happy ending:

I hope you enjoy the week's worth of articles about this episode!


Friday, December 12, 2014


The following tele-biography is mostly conjecture on my part, all in service to the dark gods of Toobworld.....

Back in the early 1960s, Porter Ricks and his wife were raising their two sons, Sandy and "Bud", in New York City while Porter worked as a park ranger on Liberty Island. He was also studying to become more specialized with the goal of becoming a park ranger with marine skills - it had always been the dream of Mrs. Ricks that they would live in sunny Florida in a place where their sons would have a more wholesome environment in which to grow up.

And she was right to worry about such things as Luke had fallen in with a gang of boys who were proving to be a bad influence on him.

In late 1962, that gang of boys cajoled a young, nearly-blind boy on his way home to Brooklyn to climb up on a stone rail overlooking a park plaza. They had no idea that he was practically blind, but their name-calling gave young Harold Denton any choice but to take up their challenge. And it nearly killed him.....

The next year, Mrs. Ricks died. It was most likely a form of cancer which quickly ravaged her body, leaving Porter Ricks to now raise Sandy and Bud by himself.

Once he earned his qualifications to be a park ranger in a marine-based locale, Ricks packed up his family and left New York City where there were too many memories of their wife and mother. He got a position as a park ranger at Coral Key Park and Marine Preserve in southern Florida where he quickly rose to the position of Chief Ranger once his superior retired.

And that's where the Ricks men first met Flipper, the dolphin who was faster than lightning......

Luke Halpin played both the young gang member in 'Naked City' and Sandy Ricks in 'Flipper'.  And since he played the role of Luke in the second "Flipper" movie*, he is eligible to be inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame as part of the fifteenth anniversary celebration.  (And we chose to do it in December since I'm sure many of Team Toobworld are already for the summer season to return!)

'Naked City' - "The Horse Has A Big Head - Let Him Worry!"
"Flipper's New Adventure"


* The first movie doesn't count as Chuck Conners played Porter Ricks, so that was the "Flipper" for the Cineverse......

Thursday, December 11, 2014


"The Computer Goes West"*

In 1964, Marcel St. Clair and his cousin Timmy St. Clair were able to end the stranglehold of power which Commissar Szigeti had over Budapest and in doing so removed a true rogue from the theater of international espionage.

The most notable thing about Commissar Szigeti to someone O'Bserving from the Trueniverse was his remarkable resemblance to an American spy, Noah Bain.  At this point in Toobworld's timeline - 1964 - Noah Bain would soon rise to a position of prominence in the SIA.  

We've dealt with look-a-likes many times in the past here at Toobworld Central.  The most common splainin is the "identical cousin", which in most cases is code for two characters who shared the same philandering father.  (This is not to cast any aspersions on Martin Lane, whose daughter Patty and niece Cathy were the inspiration for the term.  Martin actually had a twin brother, so in the TV Universe the odds were pretty good their daughters would resemble each other.)

But I think we have something different in this case.  I believe that at some point years before we first met Commissar Szigeti, he underwent plastic surgery in order to enhance his resemblance to another younger spy named Noah Bain.  Noah must have been assigned to a mission in Europe which the Communist agents hoped to either prevent, subvert, or take over for themselves.

The mission must have ended as a wash for both sides since it didn't seem to hurt the career paths for either Noah Bain or Commissar Szigeti.  

And dat's de name of dat tune.....

  • 'The Rogues'
  • 'It Takes A Thief'
  • 'The Patty Duke Show'

* I think the phrase "Little Elephant" from the episode would have made for a much better title than the one used.  That's even more boring than "Columbo Goes To College" and I didn't think that would be possible!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Sometimes I envy my counterparts who study the shared universe known as the Wold Newton Universe.  The concept was created by author Philip Jose Farmer, in which many works of literature (with perhaps an accent on pulp fiction) were connected through a shared genealogy stemming from a group of travelers and their chance encounter with a meteorite that had just crashed near the Wold Newton area in the late 18th Century.  They were bathed in the radiation of the meteorite which affected their genetic make-up, so that their descendants would be more than human - possessing talents physical, mental, and creative which surpassed the rest of the population.  Among the members of this "Wold Newton Family" are Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, Doc Savage, Fu Manchu, Bulldog Drummond, and many others.

As it is geared more towards the written word (although comics and movies and television have been enfolded into the greater universe), the "WNU" can easily conflate different characters into the same person and blend alternate stories into the same timeline.  It is a world of the mind in which the characters, based on descriptions provided by the original authors, can look differently to the individual reader.

The Toobworld Dynamic doesn't have that luxury.  Based on television, a few movies, and certain online content, the "TwD" is a fictional universe that is locked into those portrayals of characters.  For example, Clark Kent/Superman must always look like the actor George Reeves and any other portrayal on TV (Dean Cain, Tom Welling, etc.) must be relegated to an alternate TV dimension.

I bring this up because of the adaptation of P.D. James' book "Death Comes To Pemberley" which was recently seen on 'Masterpiece Mystery!'.  In just dealing with the book, which continues the story of Jane Austen's characters in "Pride And Prejudice" with a murder mystery theme, the reader can assume that these are the exact same characters to be found in Ms. Auten's tome.  (And many decades later, the same location would be found in a fun "WNU" novel written by Win Scott Eckert and Mr. Farmer himself, "The Evil Of Pemberley House".  Note to TV producers: that would make for a great TV movie itself!) 

However, that is not the case for Earth Prime-Time, the main TV dimension.  There have been several adaptations of "Pride And Prejudice" on TV over the years, and based on the rule of "First Come, First Served", only the first adaptation is eligible to be part of the main Toobworld.  All of the rest must be packed up and shipped to any number of alternate dimensions.  (And unfortunately that usually means a better, more elaborate later production suffers the same fate even if it is leagues ahead of that first one in production values.)

In this case, though, I may skip that rule.  The first production from 1938 in the UK was presented live and is lost to the ages.  It was also boiled down to a 55 minute episode and thus much of the meat of the story was already lost.  The same holds true for the American version in 1949 with John Baragrey and Madge Evans in the title roles.  Instead, a six part series (I always lean toward series) with Peter Cushing as Darcy is the official version for Earth Prime-Time.

And so with "Death Comes To Pemberley", it too must be sent off to its own dimension, one in which it has to be assumed that these same characters - looking like the actors who portray them - enacted the events of the original novel but which would never be seen by the audience in the Trueniverse.

Because the late P.D. James continued the story of Darcy and Elizabeth, seen six years after the events of Austen's novel, and wrapped it all up in a murder mystery, I think this would qualify it for inclusion into the TV dimension known as "Evil Toobworld".  "Evil Toobworld" is that TV dimension which is generally a mirror of Earth Prime-Time, but one in which the heroes are usually the bad guys and darkness of the spirit pervades everything.  ("Evil Toobworld" was probably first seen in the "Mirror, Mirror" episode of 'Star Trek' and was examined further in several episodes of the franchise sequel 'Deep Space Nine'.  It has also been seen in 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys' and characters from that world crossed over in shows like 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer'.)

As I write this, I haven't seen the production yet.  (It airs in four days but this article will be set up to post weeks afterward.)  But I will consider this theory to be fact if any of the male characters originally created by Jane Austen is sporting a goatee.  It's become a trope that the evil version of a character should be sporting a goatee.....


Tuesday, December 9, 2014



A funny thing happened between the release of a sneak peek copy of this episode to the critics and its actual broadcast:

The standard rule for the Toobworld Dynamic is that if its broadcast then it becomes part of the TV universe. So the finished product seen on November 11th is all that really matters.

Bleep those lousy critics for tipping off the network! It would have been cool to have the Tucson of Toobworld be spelled "Tuscon" as seen in the top picture. Just another divergence from the real world.


Monday, December 8, 2014



For Halloween, Jake and Annie dressed up as Zombie Ricky and Lucy from the "I Love Lucy" TV show. There is no Zonk in that, because "I Love Lucy" is a well-established TV show within many other TV shows. Ricky Ricardo was
a celebrity in the Television Universe and that was depicted within the TV show which we know. So it is not surprising that the Televersions of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz would find the Ricardos' life story to be worthy of a television treatment.

But what was a Zonk was Jake's inability to remember a single catchphrase from "I Love Lucy". Instead, he used catchphrases from "The Honeymooners", "Good Times", and "Diff'rent Strokes".

Eventually everyone in Toobworld gets their own TV show, but it's hard to comprehend that these basically ordinary lives would be of interest to an audience within Toobworld.

Plus, our versions were wholly created out of someone's imagination. But the televersions were based on "real"people's lives, and I wonder how were they sold to the television network executives as being something of interest?


Sunday, December 7, 2014


From my sister:

Thomas sent this pic to Scot Haney at CH 3 WFSB. Scot collects pics of food with faces in it. He mentioned Thomas' name on air at 5:45am today.

The mention of my nephew's name on TV in Connecticut establishes the presence of his televersion in Toobworld.  Maybe some day he'll be appearing as himself in fictional settings and join his uncle in the Television Crossover Hall Of Fame.

Hearing of this, it brought back memories.  My first "appearance" in Earth Prime-Time.  Must have been 1960 or thereabouts.  My name was read on 'The Hap Richards Show' as a new member of the town of Joyville because I helped my Mom around the house.  They even sent me a certificate of citizenship which I still have.  (As I entered my teen years, I kind of slacked off on helping around the house.  Luckily they didn't revoke my citizenship and send me back to mundane Meriden......)

But this is Thomas' moment to shine.  And as I mentioned earlier, today is his birthday.  (And it's his Mom's birthday as well.....)

Happy birthday, Kiddo!


It's aways fun to see "History" captured in old TV shows and movies, but this usually happens with locations - like the slums of "West Side Story", the scaffolding around the Statue of Liberty in the "Remo Williams" movie, and Vienna after war as seen in "The Third Man".
But this time, we get a bit of pop culture history...... 
That comic book in the background is "Amazing Fantasy #15", which came out n August 1962. This episode aired a few months later, so we can place the date of Duncan Kleist's death to happening within the sell-by dates for that comic book.
So why is that comic book historical?
From Wikipedia:
Amazing Adult Fantasy and its retitled final issue, Amazing Fantasy, is an American comic book anthology series published by Marvel Comics from 1961 through 1962, with the latter title revived with superhero features in 1995 and in the 2000s. The final 1960s issue, Amazing Fantasy #15 (cover-dated August 1962), is the title that introduced the popular superhero character Spider-Man. Amazing Adult Fantasy premiered with issue #7, taking over the numbering from Amazing Adventures.
I wonder if some grip on that production dropped the dime (or whatever the issue cost) to buy that comic so that he could have something to read on the subway ride home. And how many viewers to this day see that just hanging there in the background and wish they could reach through the TV screen to pluck it from its video memorial?
And even more enticing - Journey Into Mystery #83 was also on sale at that news stand. This is the comic book which introduced Thor, the Norse god of thunder!
But that's outside the box. Within the reality of Toobworld, that comic book is a headache causing Zonk.
Usually when a comic book about a superhero who is known to exist on Earth Prime-Time comes up in some other TV show, we can fudge the facts as to when it was first published. And the usual claim is that the comic book began after the superhero made his debut. (Preferably after the career of that superhero has finished - as is the case with Batman, Superman, and the Flash. When it comes to Mary Richards' mention of reading Wonder Woman comics as a young girl, this happened during the decades-long hiatus Wonder Woman took before she burst onto the scene again in the 1970s.)

In 1977, 'The Amazing Spiderman' made his debut in Toobworld, but Peter Parker had been operating as the web-slinger for a few years before that. Certainly not going back to 1962, however. Basing the age of Peter Parker on the actor who played him (Nicholas Hammond), Parker/Spiderman was 27 years old when we first saw him catching thieves just like flies. And that means he was only 12 years old when that comic book was published.
Peter was most likely no more than fifteen/sixteen when he first gained his powers as far as his life story in the comic books was concerned. But for Toobworld, we're going to have to say that he was still in grade school when he was bitten by that radioactive spider in order to make this comic book jibe with the rest of Spiderman's timeline.
Still, there is the content as previewed on that cover. Anybody with high-def TV could probably make out the details of that Jack Kirby illustration and the fact that Peter Parker is mentioned by name. And if not, it's easy enough to find it on the internet:
So I think we have to embellish the televised life of Crossover Hall of Fame member Stan Lee...... 
Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider when he was around 11, 12 years of age. Lee was a friend of the Parker family and while the little boy was fighting for his life, he collaborated with Steve Ditko on a short comic book story which imagined young Peter having pulled out of the crisis with new spider-based super-powers.
Perhaps in a way that inspired the boy to get better. And Stan Lee would have had no idea that "real" life would turn out to follow his script to the letter. (I think it would not be until Peter reached puberty that the change in his hormones would interact with the spider venom and give him his powers.)
Once he was about twenty, maybe twenty-one, Peter Parker decided to actually become the Spiderman of the comics. (By that point in time, the character had taken off in popularity.) He kept his identity a secret and even though the comic book existed and was based on a "true" story, no one thought to link one to the other - not even Stan Lee himself. Even close friends would never have believed their friend could be that costumed crime-fighter.
Perhaps in later years (at least after 1979 when 'The Amazing Spiderman' went off the air), Peter Parker did reveal his true identity to the world. I have a feeling his venom-based powers might have faded with time - otherwise, why hasn't he been seen in other TV shows and taking care of crises that arose in other NY-located TV shows? (Not that he could have prevented all of them - Alan Richards was still attacked by a lion in his Manhattan townhouse which was manifested due to an African curse.)
Peter Parker is in his sixties now, and maybe he might still be seen in the main Toobworld, albeit with an alias to protect himself.
So let me know if you think this splainin works to reconcile these two shows.
By the way, something else might be connecting 'The Amazing Spiderman' and 'Naked City': Peter Parker could be related to Lieutenant Mike Parker, who was in charge of the 65th Precinct seen in 'Naked City'......
  • 'Naked City'
  • 'The Amazing Spiderman'
  • 'The Twilight Zone'
 This post is going out to my nephew Thomas, who turns ten today.  Spiderman was his first favorite superhero, but I'm sure he's moved on to Guardians of the Galaxy or whoever is popular these days.....