Saturday, August 1, 2015


Toobworld Central is throwing a British Invasion as the theme for 2015 in the Television Crossover Hall Of Fame.  However, August is traditionally the TV Western month, but that didn't stop me for a second.

Of course, I had to go to BookWorld first to find a Brit with a presence in the wild wild West.

From Wikipedia:


Phileas Fogg is the main protagonist in the 1873 Jules Verne novel Around the World in Eighty Days.

Fogg attempts to circumnavigate the late Victorian world in 80 days or fewer, for a wager of £20,000 with members of London'sReform Club. He is accompanied by his French servant Jean Passepartout and followed by a detective named Fix, who suspects Fogg of having robbed the Bank of England and in the second half of the book helps Fogg in order to get him back to England. While in India, Fogg saves a widowed princess, Aouda, from Sati during her husband's funeral and she accompanies Fogg for the rest of his journey. She and Fogg eventually fall in love and marry at the end of the book.

For more, click here.

Fogg is a multiversal, beginning "life" in BookWorld and then being adapted into other media.  He has appeared in several dimensions of the Cineverse, beginning in the era of silent movies.  But his most famous incarnation was portrayed by David Niven in the all-star extravaganza of the 1950s.

On TV, he is a multi-dimensional, beginning with a Belgian TV series back in the early 1950s.  Now usually, I'm one who advocates that the first portrayal on TV is the official televersion.  However, Fogg is an Englishman and the actor playing the role should be speaking English naturally, not dubbed in later.  

So the very first Fogg would be found in the alternate Toobworld in which the world was conquered by either the French, the Germans, or the Dutch.  (Those are the three official languages of the Belgies.)  There are two other French Phileas Foggs, and a German one as well, so I'm inclined to give this over to the Dutch Toobworld.  What helps this argument is that I've seen Senne Rouffaer, who played Fogg, listed online as being Flemish - the Dutch-speaking people of northern Belgium.

The wonderful 1989 mini-series starring Pierce Brosnan, Peter Ustinov, and Eric Idle, which also had an all-star cast, was pretty much a faithful adaptation of the novel by Jules Verne.  However, I'm inclined to enshrine it in a BookWorld Borderland in much the same way as was done with the recent production of 'Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell' and will be done with Neil Gaiman's 'American Gods'.

My preference for adaptations gives special treatment to those which can be seen as being part of the main TV Universe.  A series, no matter the length of its run or how dutiful it is to the source material, would take precedence over a faithful adaptation of a work.  And if the characters from a book crossed paths with a previously established TV character?  Even better!

And that's what we have for Earth Prime-Time in the case of Phileas Fogg: an English language series, even if it is fantastically, radically, different from the original Verne book, as well as a crossover with a famous TV character.

"The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne"
Played by Michael Praed

"Have Gun - Will Travel"
    - Fogg Bound (1960) TV episode, Played by Patric Knowles

Even though these two productions involve recastaways, they share the same dimension, the main Toobworld.  That Fogg was played by two different men and yet still be the same person can be splained away.  Over a decade separates Fogg in the TV series from himself as a guest star, plus we are seeing him from the perspective of Paladin.
And the fact that the TV series was a steam-punk wonder that had the most minimum of connections to the original story is not an impediment either. All of those adventures with their new friend Jules Verne happened after the events of the book (which Verne had yet to write, O'Bviously) but before the events of the "Fogg Bound" episode of 'Have Gun Will Travel'.  They both belong in the main Toobworld.
'The Secret Adventures Of Jules Verne' takes place during the American Civil War on the Toobworld timeline, with Jules Verne at least a decade younger than he was in the real world.  It's been a while since I've seen the series (which unfortunately is not available at present on DVD), but a very good website for the show suggests that Fogg's first trip around the world had already taken place by the time Verne met Fogg, Passepartout, and Fogg's loverly second cousin.  And that means that it happened at least before 1860. 
When we meet Fogg again, it is 1872 and he's now on his second voyage around the world.  This is the one Verne will end up writing about.  It is during this circumnavigation of the globe when Fogg will meet and rescue the Princess Aouda, whom he will marry by the time they reach England.  (Although he appeared to be enamored of his second cousin, she appeared to be out of the picture by 1872.  As she was the first female spy in the British Secret Service, it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that she died in the line of duty.  And that would provide a third reason for the difference in Fogg's appearance besides aging and Paladin's perspective - grief.
Let's do a quick rundown of the other Phieas Foggs in the Toobworld Dynamic:

"Around the World in 80 Days"
Played by Pierce Brosnan

"Around the World in Eighty Days" (1972) TV series
Played by Alistair Duncan

Jules Verne's Amazing Journeys - Around the World in 80 Days (2000) (
Played by Alex Taylor 
... aka "Les voyages extraordinaires de Jules Verne - Le tour du monde en 80 jours" - France


"Around the World with Willy Fog"
... aka "La vuelta al mundo de Willy Fog" - Spain (original title)
   Played by Banjô Ginga (as Fog)

"Willy Fog 2"
Played by Claudio Rodríguez (as Willy Fog) 

"Le tour du monde en 80 jours" (1980) TV series
Played by Jean Pellotier (as Philieas Fogg)

Le tour du monde en 80 jours (1979) (TV movie)
Played by Daniel Ceccaldi

Die Reise um die Erde in 80 Tagen (1963)
Played by Alfred Müller

"De reis om de wereld in 80 dagen" (1957)
Played by Senne Rouffaer
(The very first depiction of Phileas Fogg....)
And so there you have it - the many faces of Phileas Fogg in the TV Universe.  But it will be MIchael Praed as seen in the TV series 'The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne' and Patric Knowles in 'Have Gun Will Travel' who will serve as the official portrayals of the English gentleman and adventurer.

Welcome to the TV Crossover Hall of Fame, Mister Fogg!


Friday, July 31, 2015



Over the years, Toobworld Central has relaxed its rules on elected officials of real places in Toobworld - not all of them have to reflect exactly the people who hold their offices in the real world.  We'll never budge on the President and Vice President of the United States and the uneasy head that wears the crown in Great Britain.  But for senators, governors, mayors, etc.?  We'll take it on a case by case basis.

For example.....

Dwight Sinclair was a former mayor of San Francisco who came to Las Vegas at the request of Paul Bryan in order to persuade his daughter (Sarah Sinclair) to return home with him.  (Unfortunately, because of her abusive mobster boyfriend Cappi, that was not to be.)

Played by the great character actor Wendell Corey, Dwight Sinclair must have been out of office for at least a decade, maybe longer.  (Corey was 52 in 1966, but looked older, like most of the actors of the time; men who knew how to carry off the commanding air of maturity.)  To my way of thinking, his stern patrician air guaranteed that he followed the Republican party protocols of that period.  I bet his wife probably wore a respectable Republican cloth coat.  Hell, his first name was Dwight!

But to be the Mayor of San Francisco at any point in the Toobworld timeline, Dwight Sinclair would have had to displace somebody from the real world's list of San Francisco mayors.  And there was a sixteen year block, from 1948 to 1964, in which a segment could be donated to Sinclair's mayoralty without really having an adverse effect on Toobworld history.  
Elmer Robinson [Republican]
January 8, 1948 - January 7, 1956

George Christopher [Republican]
January 8, 1956 - January 7, 1964

Robinson and Christopher were the 33rd and 34th mayors respectively.  (So yeah, inserting Dwight Sinclair would have an effect on the numbering.)  I think carving out a block from the end of Robinson's term in office and from the beginning of Christopher's - let's say from 1954 to 1959 - probably wouldn't make much of a difference when it came to any Toobworld plotlines that might have had an impact on life in San Francisco.  

(Of course I could be wrong.  I usually am.)


Thursday, July 30, 2015


On this date in History, both the Real World and Toobworld......

From Wikipedia:
After major repairs and an overhaul, Indianapolis received orders to proceed to Tinian island, carrying parts and the enriched uranium (about half of the world's supply of Uranium-235 at the time) for the atomic bomb Little Boy, which would later be dropped on Hiroshima. Indianapolis departed San Francisco on 16 July 1945, within hours of the Trinity test. Arriving at Pearl Harbor on 19 July, she raced on unaccompanied, delivering the atomic weapon components to Tinian on 26 July.

Indianapolis was then sent to Guam where a number of the crew who had completed their tours of duty were replaced by other sailors. Leaving Guam on 28 July, she began sailing toward Leyte where her crew was to receive training before continuing on to Okinawa to join Vice Admiral Jesse B. Oldendorf's Task Force 95.

At 00:14 on 30 July, she was struck on her starboard bow by two Type 95 torpedoes from the Japanese submarine I-58, under the command of Mochitsura Hashimoto. The explosions caused massive damage. The Indianapolis took on a heavy list, and settled by the bow. Twelve minutes later, she rolled completely over, then her stern rose into the air, and she plunged down. Some 300 of the 1,196 crewmen went down with the ship. With few lifeboats and many without lifejackets, the remainder of the crew were set adrift.

Navy command had no knowledge of the ship's sinking until survivors were spotted three and a half days later. At 10:25 on 2 August aPV-1 Ventura flown by Lieutenant Wilbur "Chuck" Gwinn and copilot Lieutenant Warren Colwell spotted the men adrift while on a routine patrol flight. Of the 880 who survived the sinking, only 321 men came out of the water alive; 317 ultimately survived. They suffered from lack of food and water (some found rations such as Spam and crackers amongst the debris), exposure to the elements (hypothermia, dehydration, hypernatremia, photophobia, starvation and dementia), severe desquamation, and shark attacks, while some killed themselves or other survivors in various states of delirium and hallucinations. "Ocean of Fear", a 2007 episode of theDiscovery Channel TV documentary series Shark Week, states that the Indianapolis sinking resulted in the most shark attacks on humans in history, and attributes the attacks to the oceanic whitetip shark species. Tiger sharks might have also killed some sailors. The same show attributed most of the deaths on Indianapolis to exposure, salt poisoning and thirst, with the dead being dragged off by sharks.

Gwinn immediately dropped a life raft and a radio transmitter. All air and surface units capable of rescue operations were dispatched to the scene at once. A PBY Catalina seaplane under the command of Lieutenant R. Adrian Marks was dispatched to lend assistance and report. En route to the scene, Marks overflew USS Cecil J. Doyle and alerted her captain, future U.S. Secretary of the Navy W. Graham Claytor, Jr., of the emergency. On his own authority, Claytor decided to divert to the scene.

Arriving hours ahead of Doyle, Marks' crew began dropping rubber rafts and supplies. Having seen men being attacked by sharks, Marks disobeyed standing orders and landed on the open sea. He began taxiing to pick up the stragglers and lone swimmers who were at the greatest risk of shark attack. Learning the men were the crew of Indianapolis, he radioed the news, requesting immediate assistance. Doyle responded while en route. When Marks' plane was full, survivors were tied to the wings with parachute cord, damaging the wings so that the plane would never fly again and had to be sunk. Marks and his crew rescued 56 men that day.

The Doyle was the first vessel on the scene. Homing on Marks's Catalina in total darkness, Doyle halted to avoid killing or further injuring survivors, and began taking Marks' survivors aboard. Disregarding the safety of his own vessel, Captain Claytor pointed his largest searchlight into the night sky to serve as a beacon for other rescue vessels.  This beacon was the first indication to most survivors that rescuers had arrived.

The destroyers Helm, Madison, and Ralph Talbot were ordered to the rescue scene from Ulithi, along with destroyer escorts Dufilho, Bassett, and Ringness of the Philippine Sea Frontier. They continued their search for survivors until 8 August.

And those events happened in the Cineverse as well, but the account of them were off.....

From Wikipedia:
Arguably the most well known fictional reference to the events occurs in the 1975 thriller film Jaws in a monologue by actor Robert Shaw, whose character Quint is depicted as a survivor of the Indianapolis sinking. The monologue emphasizes the numerous deaths caused by shark attacks after the sinking. John Milius was specifically brought into the production to write lines for this scene and he based them on survivor stories. However, there are several historical inaccuracies in the monologue: the speech states the date of the sinking as 29 June 1945, when the ship was actually sunk on 30 July, that they were spotted at noon of the fifth day rather than the third day, that 1,100 men went into the water and 316 came out (nearer 900 went in and 321 came out, of whom 317 survived) and that because of the secrecy of the atom bomb mission no distress call was broadcast, while declassified Navy documents prove the contrary.

It occurred in Toobworld as well: The incident itself was the subject of the 1991 made-for-television movie "Mission of the Shark: The Saga of the USS Indianapolis", with Stacy Keach portraying Captain Charles Butler McVay III.

This scene is dubbed into Spanish but it doesn't lessen the power of the acting if you don't speak the language....

The full movie is available on YouTube but embedding has been disabled.  Click here to see it.

God bless the crew of the Indianapolis that fateful day 70 years ago today........




While investigating the murder of an Olympic skier at a snowed-in lodge, Jessica Fletcher called a phone number she found in the victim's room*.....

Man's Voice: Tartaglia residence.

Jessica Fletcher: Yes. Uh, may I speak to Vicki, please?

Man's Voice: Mrs. Tartaglia isn't here at the moment. Who's calling?

Jessica Fletcher: Could you tell me when she's expected?

Man's Voice:  I don't know! Who is this?

So close and yet so far!  For the want of a letter......

It turned out that the victim had been having an affair with the wife of a mobster in organized crime.  His name was Tartaglia and that letter "R" is purposefully accented whenever someone in the episode pronounces it.  

But if only that "R" had been a "T"......

From Wikipedia:
The Tattaglia family [is a] fictional Mafia family in Mario Puzo's 1969 novel "The Godfather" and its 1972 film adaptation. In theuniverse of the series, they are one of New York City's Five Families.

The family, founded as [the] Maranzano crime family, was founded by Salvatore Maranzano in 1920s. After his death in 1933, Philip Tattaglia took over the family, renaming it as Tattaglia crime family.

The Tattaglia family are known to be involved in prostitution run from the Tattaglia Hotel in Brooklyn. They are the first family to begin working with narcotics sometime in the 1930s. In the 1940s, the Tattaglias begin to gain power after being supported by drug kingpin Virgil Sollozzo, even managing to gain a vital toehold into Little Italy, Manhattan, crippling the Corleone family's empire. They are also behind the attempted assassination of Don Vito Corleone.

If only... then we could have made a definitive, if trivial, connection to a televersion of the Corleone Family....


* The picture is from a different episode.....

Wednesday, July 29, 2015



When a wino revealed that he had seen a car peal away from where a body was dumped in an alley, Lt. Timothy Hanratty pounced on the information.

Lt. Hanratty: Did you get the license plate number?

Wino: Who do I look like?  Dick Tracy?

Dick Tracy is a multiversal who exists in the TV Universe.  The comic strip detective was portrayed on TV back in the 1950s by Ralphy Byrd, who also played the role on the big screen.

If there are pop culture references to Dick Tracy in other TV shows, we could attribute those to the Warren Beatty movie.  And to have a movie made about him in Toobworld, then the televersion of Detective Tracy had to have been famous enough to guarantee box office returns on such an expensive venture.

So I do count the wino's retort as proof that Dick Tracy was real in the same world as Jessica Fletcher.  And that means 'Murder, She Wrote' can be linked to 'Dick Tracy'.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015


From Wikipedia:

"The Most Dangerous Game", also published as "The Hounds of Zaroff", is a short story by Richard Connell, first published in Collier's book on January 19, 1924. The story features a big-game hunter from New York who falls off a yacht and swims to an isolated island in the Caribbean, where he is hunted by a Cossack aristocrat. The story is inspired by the big-game hunting safaris in Africa and South America that were particularly fashionable among wealthy Americans in the 1920s.

Richard Connell was never portrayed on television like his contemporaries Dorothy Parker, Hemingway, Hammett, Lovecraft, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.  But as with everybody who ever lived in the Trueniverse, Connell had a televersion in Earth Prime-Time.  We just never got to see him on our TV screens.

"The Most Dangerous Game" is Connell's most famous story, but in Toobworld the entry in Wikipedia is wrong.  The story was not inspired by hunting safaris; it was inspired by a murder case in Toronto in 1902.


From the IMDb:
Detective Murdoch investigates a series of deaths in which the killer severs the victims' right thumb. The murders have all occurred in quick succession and are somehow related to the racing sheet for the 7th race at Woodbine - only there is no 7th race. There are very few clues for them to go on and Murdoch soon realizes that he has been added to the list of possible victims. Constable Crabtree meanwhile is crushed by the unexpected return of Edna's husband, who everyone thought was dead. His feelings aside, he is outraged when he realizes that the man has beaten her. When Edna's husband is found dead, all of the evidence points to Crabtree as the killer. 
[Written by garykmcd]

One of the participants in this "game" was only known by the Trueniverse audience as "Big Game Hunter".  And with his accent, there's no way he could have been Zaroff.  However, he may have been the inspiration for Connell's character in the short story.

Zaroff does exist in Toobworld as a family name.  The Doctor faced off against Professor Zaroff in the 'Doctor Who' episode "The Underwater Menace."


Monday, July 27, 2015


Hey, Team Toobworld, meet my "cousin-in-law" Denise Caliendo Hansen.

Her televersion was seen in the audience of "CT Style" on WTNH-8.  And even though she wasn't seen, she was also mentioned on NBC Connecticut News and just recently mentioned again on 'CT Style':

So those two mentions, per my usual Toobworld rules for more famous members of the League of Themselves, will count toward the tally of "appearances" for her televersion.

The televersion of Denise has so much potential.  Since there is no way we can see everything in the lives of other TV characters, the same holds true for TV-Denise.  So I'm going to suggest an addition to her onscreen "life" - Denise knows Hope Brady as seen in 'Days Of Our Lives'.  I think they met while Denise and Peter were on vacation in Salem and they keep in touch via YouFace.

That's my story and I'm sticking with it......

Happy birthday, Denise!  All the best from Toobworld!

Sunday, July 26, 2015


As I said at the beginning of the month, we're into the big blockbuster movie season.  So here's a look at the multiversal characters of the X-Men.  They started out as comic book characters, showed up in the Tooniverse and have already conquered the Cineverse.  So now they're to be found in Skitlandia as well.

But maybe not for long...

And here are some out-takes......