Saturday, May 16, 2015


"I once sat in the original Batmobile."
Hank Muntak
'Parks & Recreation'

As far as Toobworld is concerned, Hank was talking about the actual Batmobile, used by the Batman in Gotham City back in the 1960s.

But he wasn't the only resident of Earth Prime-Time to do so.  Here we see that Thelma Evans Anderson got the chance to sit in the driver's seat at some point in the last few years.  (Back in happier days when her husband Keith was still alive.*)

Drew Carey and Mimi Bobeck were also in a Batmobile, but it was more than likely a prop from one of the movies that were produced and based on the "true" life of the original Batman.


* Sadly, Keith Anderson recently passed away.  It may have been due to injuries from his football career.....

Friday, May 15, 2015


Although it was never mentioned on 'Starsky And Hutch', Kenneth "Hutch" Hutchinson had a brother named Jerome.  (But everyone knew him as "Jerry".)
While his brother Hutch worked as a detective in Los Angeles, becoming famous enough to have a movie be made about him and his partner, Jerry lived farther north in San Francisco.  He also followed his brother into law enforcement, working as a court officer for the San Francisco judicial system.
Jerry Hutchinson became romantically involved with a woman named Virginia Ryan, whose stepson was a juror on a murder trial for which Jerry provided security for the jury members. 
Mrs. Ryan had complete control over Jerry, to the point where she easily convinced him to kill her step-son so that her ailing elderly husband would hopefully die of heartbreak, leaving her the sole heir to his fortune.
Jerry must have been an avid student of the "perfect murder" and in his research he found a scenario which would hopefully keep suspicion away from him since he was supposed to be guarding the sequestered jurors.

About ten years before, at a gathering of "super sleuths" in Los Angeles, Police Chief Gaynor was murdered at a closed gathering of the greatest detectives in the world - from London, Paris, Tokyo, and Budapest.  As it turned out it was Mr. Toto of Japan who killed Gaynor.
I'm about to tell you how he dunnit, so if you ever want to see that 'Burke's Law' episode, "Who Killed Supersleuth?", then avert your eyes and come back tomorrow!

When the assembled "super sleuths" had discovered Chief Gaynor's body at the writing desk, it was Toto who reached it first.  He instructed the others to get help and while he was alone with the body, he killed Gaynor.  See, he wasn't dead before, merely drugged by Toto and so the others just assumed he had already been murdered.
Being an avid reader of crime stories, Jerry Hutchinson read of this case and it percolated in the back of his mind for years.  When he finally had a chance to use the scheme, he drugged Mrs. Ryan's son-in-law so that it appeared that he was dead.  Jerry declared him as such and instructed the other guard to go get help.  While that guy was gone, Jerry killed Ryan.

Jerry and Ken Hutchinson were both played by David Soul......

  • 'Starsky & Hutch'
  • 'Burke's Law' - "Who Killed Super Sleuth?"
  • 'MacMillan & Wife' - "Guilt By Association"



David Letterman will be leaving late night all too soon - May 20th! - but isn't it nice he took the time to deliver some Toobworld news.....?

Top Ten New Fall Shows
Monday, May 11, 2015

10. Mob Dermatologist

9. Underwater Cowboy

8. So You Think You Can Whistle?

7. Micro Mountie

6. Albania's Next Top Albanian

5. Squat Squad

4. Haunted Mailbox

3. Tax Clown

2. Alice Cooper 360°

1. The Dentalist


Thursday, May 14, 2015


"You take the idea that a lawyer should be anonymous. 
Television killed that dead! 
Fellows like Perry Mason murdered it."
Ben Franklin Bristow
'The Name Of The Game'

This quote is perfect for splainin away why TV lawyers, especially Perry Mason, can be familiar to characters in other TV shows - because they have seen them on TV during the news, during TV specials about really notorious cases, perhaps even on talk shows.

And this is why it would never be a Zonk if a TV character mentions lawyers like Perry Mason.  It wouldn't even be a Zonk if they inferred that they saw them on TV.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015


I know I have a lot of members in Team Toobworld, many of you unofficial visitors to the blog.  So I'm hoping somebody out there in the aether can help me with this question......

Who's playing the father in this blipvert?  I've got it in mind that he's Eric Pierpoint, best known for playing Los Angeles police detective Sam George Francisco in the series 'Alien Nation'.

But as is often the case, I could be wrong.

Let me know.....


Tuesday, May 12, 2015


The second definition of "red light" from Google:

"A refusal, or an order to stop an action."

There's a reason I don't write more about news items for TV shows that have been optioned or  are being developed.  At any moment after I publish, some new network suit could come along and put the kibosh on the project.  All that effort wasted......

When I first came up with the idea of a shared universe for most television shows, I decided one of the main rules had to be that to qualify, a show had to be broadcast.  (Quaint term that, now that almost everything is sent out digitally and through cable rather than over the public airwaves.) I've since expanded that tenet to include produced pilots.  They might never be seen by the general public (and the networks don't tend to burn them off anymore, sadly, in one-off specials), but you know they exist and who knows?  Eventually they might find their way onto YouTube.

My blogmate Rob Buckley, upon whom I depend to do the heavy lifting in finding the good news stories (as seen in his blog "The Medium Is Not Enough" - check out the bloglist to the left), has been keeping track of all the shows that have been "green lighted" for production and those that have been "red lighted".  I'm sure there are some in the green-lit list that might yet never see the light of day and so never become part of Toobworld.  But I just wanted to share those which will now never be included in the Toobworld Dynamic, no matter which dimension might have been best for them.

All of the descriptions come courtesy of Deadline.....

ABC red lights: 

'Chev & Bev'
Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo as baby boomers who are fun, relevant and living a selfish retirement when their world is turned upside down and they suddenly are left to raise their grandchildren.

'The Kingmakers'
'Kingmakers, from ABC Studios, centers on Eli, a young man whose sister Julia is found dead during her freshman year at an elite Ivy League university. He adopts a new identity to infiltrate the school and its century-old secret society – consisting of privileged students, ambitious faculty and high-profile alums – in order to investigate her death.

'The Advocate' 
'The Advocate' was inspired by the real story of former talent agent Byrdie Lifson-Pompan, who teamed with Valerie Ulene, a medical doctor and a health education specialist, to launch a healthcare consulting company. It centers on Francis “Frankie” Reese, a tough, resourceful, type-A businesswoman at the top of her game who has a medical scare and experiences first-hand the hazards of our healthcare system.  Shocking her friends and family, she leaves her career behind, becoming instead a brilliant and relentless advocate for anyone caught in the chaotic and ever-changing maze that is modern medicine. Dr. Ryan Clarke, a brilliant doctor who meets Frankie by chance, helps her out of a tight spot and subsequently opens a patient advocacy firm with her hard-driving new friend. 

'Broad Squad'
A fictionalized account of the graduating class of Boston’s first female patrol officers in 1978, the project centers on four newly minted cops - Eileen, Molly, Lisa and Joanne - who arrived at a tumultuous time in the city’s history.

It centers on Lauren Marks, a wife and mother who had believed her husband had died in a plane crash, only to discover him alive, well and traveling with a mysterious woman who uses Lauren’s stolen identity. Thrown into a world of secrets and crime, Lauren finds herself running into Mexican cartels and people from her past she had hoped to forget.

The dramedy explores the realities of modern-day families - multi-cultural, multi-generational, built through divorces, affairs and adoptions - set against the backdrop of a revered family restaurant at a crossroads. 

'The 46 Percenters'
It’s described as an unromantic romantic comedy about the 46 percent of the population who have not gotten a divorce and choose to stay married.

'The King of 7B'
In this ensemble comedy, an agoraphobic recluse ventures outside for the first time in 20 years when he spies what could be his soul mate moving into the building across the street.

'Judah Miller'
The single-camera project centers on a Tony Award-winning mother and a risk-averse, cerebral father who are blessed with a son who is a natural-born competitive athlete. They are forced outside their parental comfort zones and into the high-octane world of youth sports. 

'Agents of SHIELD' spin-off
The project was supposed to be set up by events from this season of S.H.I.E.L.D. and toplined by Season 2 cast additions Adrianne Palicki and Nick Blood, revolving around their respective characters Lance Hunter and Barbara “Bobbi” Morse, aka Mockingbird.

'Delores & Jermaine'
Written by comedian Jermaine Fowler based on his life, it stars Fowler as a millennial with big ideas, but very little drive, who moves in with his estranged grandmother, a strict, football-loving, former D.C. cop who needs his youthful enthusiasm in her life as much as he needs her old-school parenting. 
CBS red lights: 

'Sneaky Pete'
It centers on Pete/Marius, a thirtysomething con man who, upon leaving prison, takes cover from his past by assuming the identity of a cellmate. “Sneaky Pete” then hides out from his debtors while working for his new “family’s” bail bond business. 

The CW red lights: 

'Tales From The Darkside'
Remake of the 1980s horror/fantasy/thriller anthology series, 'Tales From The Darkside', was considered a risky proposition because of its anthology format.

HBO red lights: 

'Mamma Dallas'
The half-hour project follows a conservative family in Texas who unwittingly hire a hard-living drag queen, Liberty, as their live-in nanny. Liberty appears to be an attractive woman with a flirty side — but she’s really a drag queen with an upbeat personality. On a path that leads to jail or prostitution or both, Liberty (also known as Albert) sees a future that will destroy his basically optimistic spirit and re-invents himself to get a job as a nanny to three children of a conservative, Texan family.

You may have noticed that NBC and FOX are not represented on this list.  As for NBC, I'm not sure if that means I didn't find any reference to their red-lit projects or that the Peacock Throne was so desperate for product that they accepted every pitch that was made to them.  And FOX?  Meh.  I only watched three of this series anyway.  And they cancelled the only one I was enjoying.  (The other two had become a chore, but I wanted to see their seasons out.....)

As far as I can tell, only two of these disqualified contenders could not have had a home in the main Tooobword.  Since 'Agents Of SHIELD' takes place in Comic Book Toobworld, then its spinoff would have to be there as well.  As for 'Tales From The Darkside', since it would have been an anthology series, some of the episodes could take place in the main Toobworld while others would probably have to be shuttle elsewhere.  The same situation existed for 'The Outer Limits', 'Tales From The Crypt', and of course 'The Twilight Zone'.

As I started putting this list together, it occurred to me that some of them did make it past the pilot stage before getting the red light.  (There's an IMDb page for 'Delores And Jermaine, but as with FOX News, that site is not always reliable.)  If their pilots do exist, then maybe they're gonna make it in Toobworld after all.  Just because the Trueniverse audience can't see them, that doesn't mean their lives don't continue.....


My thanks again to Rob Buckley!

Monday, May 11, 2015


There's a signpost up ahead.  Next stop... 'Warehouse 13'?

There were a lot of strange items to be found in 'The Twilight Zone', not just strange people (and aliens.)  And the agents of 'Warehouse 13' were in the business of collecting such "artifacts" for the collection.  (According to the 'Warehouse 13' wiki: Artifacts are mysterious relics, fantastical objects, and supernatural souvenirs that are packed with enough energy to somehow move and affect other objects [and people]).

So some of them may have been targeted by the agents once they pinged on the warehouse tech.

Several of the episodes would be disqualified from consideration even if they had artifacts that might be tempting.  This is because they take place either on other planets ("The Little People", "Elegy", "The Invaders") or because they take place on an alternate Earth ("Eye Of The Beholder", "Number 12 Looks Just Like You", "The Midnight Sun") or in an uncertain future ("Time Enough At Last", "Two", "The Old Man In The Cave".)

One that would have escaped notice would have been the tape recorder that belonged to playwright Gregory West.  The recorder was just a conduit through which West was able to focus his descriptions of people and things which would then come to life. ("A World Of His Own")

As for the slot machine that terrorized Franklin Gibbs in "The Fever", I'm thinking that was all in his mind.  Therefore there would be no one-armed bandit to be found in his hotel room where it had compelled Gibbs to leap to his death.

By the time the police arrived at Bentley Finch's mansion to investigate his death by drowning in his swimming pool, all of the electric machines that drove him to his death, including the electric razor and the typewriter, were long gone from the estate.  They probably all clambered into the car and hit the high road to escape.  How were they able to do this and still not be tracked by the Warehouse 13 equipment?  It's because those infernal machines did not possess the same type of powers exhibited by other artifacts. 

Actually these objects were transformed humanoids - former witches and warlocks who had metamorphed into these things in accordance with one of the tenets of warlock law established in 'Bewitched': Once a witch or warlock had reached an age where their powers were no longer viable, they had to transform into something that would continue to be of use. 

Somehow Finch had gained possession of these items for his own personal use, but it is unknown if he ever knew what - who! - they had been in the past.  Perhaps he had "A Thing About Machines" that had once been magical humanoids.

So here is my Super Six List of 'Twilight Zone' objects that could possibly be found in the general archives of the 'Warehouse 13' collection: 

"Every artifact in this Warehouse is an extension of a person.”
Mrs. Frederic
'Warehouse 13'

1]  Barbara Jean Trenton's movie reel ("The Sixteen Millimeter Shrine")

The former movie actress yearned to live in the past, surrounded by the fake trappings of a movie set which for her had more to offer than her current reality.  She was finally able to achieve this, piercing the dimensional veil and crossing over into... the Cineverse.  She was now living in the movie universe rather than Toobworld, which I suppose gave her some kind of celluloid immortality.  She would be surrounded by not only the character played by her former co-stars, but also by the characters she had once played as well.

That reel of film may have proven dangerous - how do we know it wouldn't entrap others who watched it?  Even after Miss Trenton had crossed over, she was still able to interact with her home dimension (as we saw when she threw her handkerchief back for her friend and agent Danny Weis.)  How could the country - all of Toobworld! - feel safe when an army of silver nitrate soldiers and warriors from hundreds of film battles might spill through in a suprise attack?  So the Warehouse agents would have felt it necessary to lock that reel of film away.

2]  Chester Dietrich's camera ("A Most Unusual Camera")

Miss Trenton's movie reel was imbued with its artifact properties when she stepped into the Cineverse.  But camera already had its magical powers when Dietrich acquired it.  Perhaps the box camera gained its properties from being in the possession of Alfred Fellig for so many decades.  (As seen in the "Tithonus" episode of 'The X-Files', Fellig was a man of note for having achieved unwanted immortality back during the Civil War.  Such a power would likely imbue anything he owned for a long period of time with some kind of power of its own.)

By the end of the episode, this most unusual camera would have been collected by the NYPD CSU and eventually returned to the curio shop from which it was stolen.  (Maybe the pawn shop run by Phobus in 'The Outer Limits' - "Controlled Experiment"?)  It would be simple enough for the Warehouse agents to just go in and purchase the camera from the disguised Martian.....

3]  Fitzgerald Fortune's piano ("A Piano In The House")

Many times the Warehouse agents used some of the artifacts in the course of their missions to retrieve even more artifacts.  So I would think that, especially in these perilous times, the Government might want to borrow this particular artifact to use in interrogations of terrorists.  As with the camera, the piano gained its abilities before the cruel-hearted critic picked it up; perhaps it had the power to affect people's emotions and compel them to reveal their true inner natures.

We got to see the previous owner of the player piano, a curio shop owner.  But it makes me smile to think that Fortune went window shopping at the pawnshop run by the Martian Phobos One.  Wouldn't that be a start for both of them if they saw how alike they resembled each other?  (Also, I think Fitzgerald Fortune wrote his critiques for the New York Ledger.  And it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that he was friends with sportswriter Oscar Madison.)

4]  Bunny Blake's ring ("The Ring-A-Ding Girl")

The ring was a gift from the fan club of the Hollywood star and apparently it was already imbued with its magic.  But I think it's more likely that its power was triggered by Bunny Blake's terror as the plane was making its final descent towards a fatal crash, killing everyone on board as well all of the people in Bunny's hometown who were gathered in that field for the annual picnic.  The ring then gained the power to send her spirit back in Time in order to warn the people of her town.  After her mission proved successful, the ghost of Bunny Blake was transported back to the future to meet its fate.

Whether the ring could have had that same effect for someone else is - like the origin of "Twilight Zone Day" - unknown.  It seems too specific an effect to ever happen again.  But the agents of the Warehouse couldn't risk that. 

5]  Nikita Kruschev's Model A ("The Whole Truth")

Purchased from used car salesman Harvey Hunnicutt, the Model A would have forced the Soviet Premier to always tell the truth.  After just a week of this threat to his hold on the top position in the USSR heirarchy.  So when the Warehouse 13 agents came calling for the car, Kruschev would sureof ly have been happy to part with it.  (You know what else could be in the Warehouse, thanks to Kruschev?  His shoe from his United Nations visit.)

The car already had this power to compel its owner to tell the truth when Hunnicutt bought it from an old man.  In the episode, the old man's name was not given so I plan to use this as an opportunity to make a theoretical connection to another TV show.  George Chandler, who played the old man, played a man named Clay Hunnicutt in an episode of 'The People's Choice'.  In searching for a used car lot where he could unload the burden of ownership, Clay Hunnicutt may have chosen this particular lot because of Harvey Hunnicutt's name.  Perhaps he thought he could claim family ties if necessary during negotiations.

6]  Charles Whitley's tin can  ("Kick The Can")

Imbued with so much longing on the part of Mr. Whitley to recapture his youth, blended in with similar feelings from other residents of his retirement home, that simple tin can could have easily have granted youth to anyone who just happened to hold it afterwards.  Such a power could have made a fortune to anyone who knew how to market it.  And what if it fel into the hands of terrorists who wanted to gain entry into the country?  Who would suspect a bus full of school children?

That battered old tin can would have been in safer hands archived in the warehouse.

There are two other artifacts from 'The Twilight Zone' that I think would have been archived down in the Dark Vault where the really dangerous artifacts would have been kept.  One would have been the homicidal doll known as Talky Tina.  ('Living Doll')  In fact, I would not be surprised if Artie Nielsen had the damn little homonculus bronzed to keep it from getting loose in the warehouse.

Another would be the pair of shoes that were possessed by the soul of a gangster still seeking revenge against those who had wronged him in life.  The mob boss who ordered his execution would surely have been dead by now, but the thirst for revenge may have been too overpowering for the spirit to ever voluntarily cross over to the other side.  ("Dead Man's Shoes")

I hope you enjoyed this Super Six List of theoretical links between 'Warehouse 13' and various episodes of 'The Twilight Zone'.  I posted it today because for some unknown reason May 11 is considered "Twilight Zone Day" and I am submitting this for your approval as this year's contribution to the celebration of one of the most intelligent shows - created by one of the great minds in Television, Rod Serling.

There are so many other objects to be found in 'The Twilight Zone' that could have made this list - the Kanamid cookbook, Somerset Frisby's harmonica, Ramon Clemente's mirror, the masks of the Harper family, Joey Crown's trumpet, Connie Miller's knife, and Marcia White herself!  (At least her thimble.)  And who knows?  Maybe they are to be found in 'Warehouse 13' as well.  But these six are the ones that intrigued me the most.