Saturday, February 21, 2015


With the second season premiere of 'Sirens' ("Superdick"), there was a lot of talk about comic book superheroes.  Among the mentions:
  • Lex Luthor
  • Kryptonite
  • Superman
  • Clark Kent
  • The Flash
  • Batman
  • Aquaman
  • The phone booth trope
Some of those mentioned exist(ed) in Earth Prime-Time as well, but at least one has yet to truly break free from the pages of that four-color world.....

On an emergency call, Johnny, Hank, and Brian found a woman tied to her bed with her boyfriend unconscious on the floor... dressed in a superhero costume. The EMTs wanted to know if she had been tied up by Lex Luthor and if her boyfriend had been struck by Kryptonite.

One of the failings of Toobworld's official version of the legend of Superman, "The Adventures Of Superman", was the lack of super villains from the comic books. Watching those old shows now, it's hard to believe it kept kids enthralled for so long when all he had as enemies were weaselly little gangsters and Joe Besser wannabes. Where was Brainiac? Mr. Mxzyptlyk? But most of all, where was Lex Luthor?

I've written about Superman of Toobworld's unseen super villains in the past, and character actor RG Armstrong has always been my first choice for playing Lex Luthor.  He would have been a real "get" for the role back in the fifties and may have opened the doors to other better known actors requesting the chance to appear on the series in much the same way would happen a decade later with 'Batman'.

So I'm citing the Khan-Chekov Principle in that although we never got to see Lex Luthor in action in Earth Prime-Time (as opposed to the TV dimensions of Land O' Remakes, Comic Book Toobworld, and the West Wing Dimension), we can accept that he was out there in the Vast Wasteland and that the joke/question reference to him in this episode is an acknowledgement of his existence.

Kryptonite did show up in the original series; at least six episodes focused on the deadly meteorite remnants of Superman's homeworld.  And although Superman is considered dead in Earth Prime-Time, actually killed by Kryptonite, the green glowing mineral is still out there, although basically harmless to Earthlings.  (No fear for the Kandorians, who were transported by Superman - perhaps with help from the Doctor? - to their own new planet as seen in "The Little People", an episode of 'The Twilight Zone'.  As for Supergirl, I get this feeling the new CBS series about Supergirl will have to be in its own TV dimension or that of Comic Book Toobworld.  And Power Girl?  I think she could be in Earth Prime-Time - I think she SHOULD  be in Toobworld! - but my thoughts on her are best not telecast.....)

As I said, Superman/Clark Kent is dead in Toobworld, but at one point the characters wonder where Superman changes "now" since there are really no telephone booths anymore with the advent of smart phones.  (One suggestion was "Port-O-Potties".)  But I think this would be a reference to the Superman depicted in the movies and whoever asked the question just hasn't seen any of them.....

Brian pointed out that the costume worn by "Super Jim" suggested Superman because of the red cape, but that there was a subtle nod to the Flash as well.

Barry Allen can be currently seen on the CW in a remake of 'The Flash' TV series, which means it belongs in the Land O' Remakes (but also in Comic Book Toobworld.)  The original Flash was active in 1990 for a few years, but he has not been seen on our TV screens for over two decades.  Oddly enough, the father of "Remake Barry", Henry Allen, looks EXACTLY like Barry Allen of Earth Prime-Time. 

I was intrigued by a theory put forth by master "crossovarchivist" Thom Holbrook in which Henry Allen actually was the Barry Allen of the main Toobworld.  As in the comic books, the TV Flash must have been able to manifest the power to vibrate himself (That sounds dirty - let's say "Phase himself") into another dimension.  Why?  Probably he was in pursuit of James Jesse, AKA The Trickster, who had found a way to go dimension-hopping himself and took a couple of hostages with him - Dr. Tina McGee from S.T.A.R. Labs and police officer Tony Nelson.

The Flash would have given chase, but the exertion through the dimensional veil proved to be too much.  It sapped him of his powers forever and left all four of them stranded in that new Toobworld, forced to make new lives for themselves.  (Barry didn't so much change his name to Henry, but more than likely "Barry" was a nickname and he reverted back to his true name.) 

Dr. Tina McGee has shown up in the new series so far, with James Jesse and Tony Bellows soon to follow.  And all of them are played by the original actors:
  • Barry/Henry Allen - John Wesley Shipp
  • Dr. Tina McGee - Amanda Pays
  • James Jesse/The Trickster - Mark Hamill
  • Tony Bellows - Vito D'Ambrosio
I don't know why the Trickster would have agreed, but I think they all swore to keep their secret from others in this new world.  Tony Bellows will have gone on to become the mayor of Central City.  And Dr. Tina McGee has become more cynical as the years passed - perhaps because Barry Allen fell in love with somebody else with whom he had a son, also known as Barry.

It's an intriguing theory and I may adopt it, giving credit to Thom, of course.  But I think the other reason why we haven't seen the Flash in the main Toobworld for all of these years is that his powers burned out in his metabolism through constant use.  As for the other characters, those are just their counterparts in the alternate dimension.  It's a much simpler splainin and for Toobworld, citing Occam's Razor is the way to go.

During a conversation about dating superheroes, Hank said he would rather date Batman - rich and mysterious.  (He gave a third reason, but my DVR recording kept cutting out during key lines for that one episode.)

Batman is an interesting superhero for Toobworld, in that theoretically there has been more than one since the early 1960s.  The first one was millionaire Bruce Wayne of Gotham City who established a good working relationship with the Gotham City Police Department and was well regarded by the general public.

But an unforeseen problem arose at the height of his crime-fighting career when his true identity as Bruce Wayne was revealed to the world.  The shadowy organization UNREEL stepped in, hoping to stem the damage by creating a TV show about Batman and Robin and even naming Wayne and his youthful ward Dick Grayson as the heroes.  This way, anybody who tried to perpetuate the allegation that Bruce Wayne was Batman could be laughed off as confusing the TV show for real life.  (For the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman, an actor named Adam West was hired because of his uncanny resemblance to the millionaire superhero.)

But the ruse could only work for so long and eventually Bruce Wayne retired as Batman.  However, the Dark Knight would not go quietly into that good night.  Over the decades there may have been a succession of men who donned the cowl to become the Batman, perhaps even starting with Dick Grayson.  And behind the scenes, Bruce Wayne continued to fund the campaign against evil with his fortune.  Further assistance from UNREEL began again in 1989 with the first of a string of theatrically released movies about Batman.....

If the public wanted to continue to believe these Batmen were Bruce Wayne, perhaps it was for the best to protect the Batman's real identity.  But here's the general rule of thumb for Toobworld Central - if Batman is referenced as Bruce Wayne, it is a call-back to the 1960s iteration of the hero.  If only Batman is mentioned and epecially in the present tense, than it is a reference to the current hero, whomever he may be under that mask.  And if Batman and Bruce Wayne are mentioned as being one and the same and still active, then that person is O'Bviously confused and blurring the line between fiction and "reality".

The girlfriend offered her suggestion for a superhero she would like to date - Aquaman.  When it was pointed out that he is one of the lamest superheroes ever, she reminded them that he would never have to come up for air.  Nudge nudge wink wink!

Of all the references so far in this episode, Aquaman is the only one who doesn't actually exist in the main Toobworld... yet.  So far he's only a comic book character who was transformed into a feature film role played by Vincent Chase ('Entourage').  Over in the TV dimension of 'Smallville' & 'The West Wing', Aquaman did show up, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he has a doppelganger in Earth Prime-Time.

One day this may change.  We'll see....


Friday, February 20, 2015


"The King Of Columbus Circle"

This week's case investigated by Dr. Henry Morgan, one of the medical examiners for the NYPD, was the murder of the deposed king of Urkesh.

From Wikipedia:
Urkesh or Urkish (modern Tell Mozan‎) is a tell, or settlement mound, located in the foothills of the Taurus Mountains in Al-Hasakah Governorate, northeastern Syria. It was founded during the fourth millennium BC possibly by the Hurrians on a site which appears to have been inhabited previously for a few centuries.

Urkesh was an ally of the Akkadian Empire through what is believed to have been a dynastic marriage tradition. Tar'am-Agade the daughter of the Akkadian king, Naram-Sin, is believed to have been married to the king of Urkesh. During the early second millennium BC the city passed into the hands of the rulers of Mari, a city a few hundred miles to the south. The king of Urkesh became a vassal (and apparently an appointed puppet) of Mari. The people of Urkesh evidently resented this, as the royal archives at Mari provide evidence of their strong resistance; in one letter, the king of Mari tells his Urkesh counterpart that "I did not know that the sons of your city hate you on my account. But you are mine, even if the city of Urkesh is not." 

In the middle of the millennium, Tell Mozan was the location of a Mitanni religious site. The city appears to have been largely abandoned circa 1350 BC, although the reason for this is unknown to archaeologists at this time.

But that's the real world.

Although the King of Urkesh and his entourage were on the Orient Express in Romania back in 1955, and their style of dress suggested Europe, I think Urkesh should still be located in that northern area of Syria, but the kingdom should be a larger territory carved out of the existing country.  

As to why the Royal Family of Urkesh was on the train from Bucharest to Istanbul, along with Dr. Morgan and his wife, the King was on his way to depositing his son elsewhere to keep him safe from the revolution that was soon to come.

Urkesh still exists in Earth Prime-Time but it's no longer a monarchy.  It's more like an old-style Stalinist state with totalitarian tactics.


Thursday, February 19, 2015


When it comes to Hall of Famer Lassie, there are two categories in which to find "her" in Toobworld: there is the movie character and there are those dogs throughout the world (and at least one pig) who were named after the movie character.

When the Stone family visited Hollywood, there were only two celebrities that they met on their trip: movie director George Sidney and movie star Lassie.  There was no Zonk involved with the appearance of Lassie.  What was especially fortuitous was that there was no mention of the popular TV show that was on the air at that time.



Wednesday, February 18, 2015


From the Hollywood Reporter:

Louis Jourdan, the debonair leading man who romanced Leslie Caron in "Gigi" and played a wealthy Afghan prince in the James Bond film "Octopussy," has died. He was 93.
The French actor, who brought his smooth, continental charm to such films as "Letters From an Unknown Woman" (1948), "The Happy Time" (1952) and "Three Coins in the Fountain" (1954), died Saturday [February 14, 2015] in his Beverly Hills home, according to French publication Le Point.
For Toobworld, I would think his best-known role would be that of Paul Gerard, the debonnair restaurant critic who murdered a restaurant owner in "Murder Under Glass", an episode of 'Columbo'.  But that could be only because 'Columbo' is one of my five favorite TV shows.  
He also starred in a very good suspense film for TV with Mary Tyler Moore and Wilfred Hyde-White called "Run A Crooked Mile".  If you can track it down, I highly recommend it.
It's too late now, but I think he would have been perfect for a theory of relateeveety in which he could have played the father of a character played by Burn Gorman.  Certainly not the father of Welshman Owen Harper who worked for Torchwood.  And if they were able to get him to play a relative to "Adam", the immortal adversary to Dr. Henry Morgan on 'Forever', then I think it might have been interesting if Jourdan played the elderly grandchild of Gorman's.

As I said, it's too late now.  But take a look at the pictures of those two actors.  I've seen far worse cases of "relateeveety" over the years.  

Who knows?  Maytbe one day Burn Gorman might play Louis Jourdan in a biopic, or a behind the scenes docu-drama about the making of "Gigi" or "Octopussy"........

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


Ash Williams, the character played by Bruce Campbell in the "Evil Dead" trilogy of movies is being adapted for the TV Universe by Starz.  And best of all?  "The Chin" will be reprising his role as the monster hunter who has a chainsaw for a hand.

You may have noticed that I said 'Ash vs. Evil Dead' is coming to the TV Universe; I didn't specify he would be found in Toobworld.

Ash's battles with the Deadites promise to be too conspicuous for Earth Prime-Time - a long-running series like 'Supernatural' has kept the Winchesters' demon-hunting under the radar all of these years, but how could you pull that off with hordes of Deadites?  So for the time being, 'Ash vs. Evil Dead' will be relegated to one of the Cinematic Borderlands where the Cineverse and Toobworld overlap.

There will be ten half-hour episodes produced by the same team who provided a lot of syndication gold out of New Zealand around the turn of the millennium like 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys' and 'Xena, Warrior Princess' as well as Campbell's earlier effort in the half-hour action adventure mold, 'Jack Of All Trades'.

Ash will have two companions in his battle against the Deadite plague - Pablo Bolivar and Kelly Maxwell, played by Ray Santiago and Dana DeLorenzo, respectively.


Monday, February 16, 2015


Well, that should bring Toobworld to the notice of Homeland Security. Hallooo, boys!

'Downton Abbey' viewers in the UK knew this since last Fall, but American viewers only learned of the latest death to strike the Crawley family last night.....

Isis was the second Yellow Labrador owned by Lord Grantham. Previously he had Pharaoh, who passed away at some point around 1914. He probably had Pharaoh since the Lab was a pup, probably around 1898. Isis may have been sired by Pharaoh so that it was a continuation of the bloodline at Downton Abbey. Lord Grantham would have liked that since he was wedded to the idea of tradition.

As with any TV show, we didn't see every moment in the lives of the Upstairs family and the Downstairs servants and that would include Pharaoh and Isis. So just as it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that Pharaoh sired a litter of pups which included Isis, perhaps Isis gave birth to her own litter at some point off-camera. I don't know if Lord Grantham will eventually get another Yellow Lab, but I think we saw a future descendant of Pharaoh and Isis in another show.

'Midsomer Murders'
"The Maid In Splendour"

In the village of Midsomer Worthy, a hunter owned a Yellow Lab female whom he addressed as "Jezzer". It could be that her name was "Jezebel" in full. I don't see why it couldn't be that in 2004, Jezzer was the great-plus granddaughter of Isis who lived from 1914 to 1924.

It never came up in the series, but there's a reason why Isis and her sire (maybe) Pharaoh are remarkable dogs.

They are Yellow Labradors, a breed that wasn't begun until the middle of the 20th Century. Before that time, the closest in color would have been the Golden Lab.

This isn't the first time that temporal anomalies have affected the world surrounding the town of Downton. Television antennae have been seen on the buildings in the village of Downton. Cars of a later vintage have rumbled down the streets. Even certain types of window glazing not available to that time period have been remarked upon. Plus there was that song to which Matthew and Mary danced to - it wasn't recorded until two years later.

Last year I inducted a character from 'Downton Abbey' who didn't even exist into the Television Crossover Hall Of Fame - Lavinia Swire's cousin Ellie Swire. And she must have been a Companion to the time-traveling Doctor, because she was the one who presented the phonograph and the record as a wedding gift for her cousin Lavinia and Matthew Crawley.

For whatever reason, she and the Doctor probably presented Pharaoh to the Crawley family at some point around 1898. And since that falls in the window during which the previous Lord Grantham may have still been alive, it might have been a gift to him directly. Why? Maybe he helped them in some adventure - but the conjecture as to what that might have been is best left to a real fanficcer.  (But I will  have a theory during the 2016 "Who's On First" blogAthon......)

So here's to you, Isis. I hope you enjoyed your time at the Toobworld Rainbow Bridge until you were reunited with Lord Grantham....


Sunday, February 15, 2015


Here's the Wikipedia entry about the new 'Daredevil' series on Netflix.

The Guardian broke down the trailer with some details......

This was my 9900th post since I started the blog back in 2004......