Saturday, August 8, 2015


The DVR service supplied by Time Warner Cable is a wonderful option, one that I miss whenever I'm visiting my relatives who are not so lucky to have its digital information available at the click of the button. 

But every so often, they screw things up.  Luckily it has no bearing on the Toobworld Dynamic.

Back in January, COZI-TV showed an episode of 'Maverick', "Alias Bart Maverick".......

However, that's not what COZI-TV was promising:

I'm sure a research job like that is handled by a low-level team of employees and isn't considered worthy of the utmost diligence.  Besides, eventually the blame has to go to the people who originally supplied the information:

It's all just another example of why I discount paying any attention to the credits on the screen.  And that goes for the information blurbs as well.....

But it could have been worse.  I turned on the Ovation network as I got ready for work back in July and they were showing 'Lonesome Dove'.  However, their DVR digitial readout listed it as "Dune"........

Happy trails to you!

Friday, August 7, 2015


During the heyday of the Westerns in Toobworld, John Wesley Hardin was portrayed several times.  Maybe he didn't get the exposure that Jesse James or Billy the Kid did (He certainly never got his own series like they did!), but he kept his hand in the game......

Working backwards through time:

"Streets of Laredo"
    - Episode #1.1 (1999) TV episode, Played by Randy Quaid

Maverick (1994) Played by Max Perlich (as Johnny Hardin)

"The Virginian"
    - The Sins of the Fathers (1970) TV episode, Played by Tim McIntire

"Vacation Playhouse"
    - Luke and the Tenderfoot (1965) TV episode, Played by Charles Bronson

"Death Valley Days"
    - Preacher with a Past (1962) TV episode, Played by Neville Brand

"Zane Grey Theater"
    - Trouble at Tres Cruces (1959) TV episode, Played by Brad Johnson

    - Duel at Sundown (1959) TV episode, Played by James Griffith

"Tales of Wells Fargo"
    - The Gunfighter (1958) TV episode, Played by Lyle Bettger
    - John Wesley Hardin (1957) TV episode, Played by Lyle Bettger

    - The Turning Point (1958) TV episode, Played by Scott Marlowe

"The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp"
    - The Time for All Good Men (1957) TV episode, Played by Phillip Pine
    - John Wesley Hardin (1955) TV episode, Played by Phillip Pine

"Studio One in Hollywood"
    - Dead of Noon (1957) TV episode, Played by Richard Boone

"Judge Roy Bean"
    - Gunman's Bargain (1956) TV episode, Played by Lash La Rue

"Stories of the Century"
    - John Wesley Hardin (1954) TV episode, Played by Richard Webb

Hardin's presence in 'Maverick', both the TV series and the 1994 theatrical release, were already splained away in a previous post last August. 

As for the others....

Right off the bat I'm eliminating Richard Webb's portrayal of Hardin from consideration to be the official televersion.  'Stories Of The Century' - from the Toobworld Dynamic perspective - was nothing more than the tall tales spun by an old railroad detective named Matt Clark.  According to his whoppers, Clark was responsible for the capture or deaths of just about every  outlaw in the Old West.  So Webb's embodiment of John Wesley Hardin is just the personification of Clark's "stories" (in much the same way as was seen with every episode of 'Jack Of All Trades'.)

I even have my doubts Matt Clark was ever a railroad detective!

With Randy Quaid in the Larry McMurtry adaptation, I'm placing that in another TV dimension since several of the characters were recast from the original adaptation of 'Lonesome Dove'.  (And that's mostly due to the late James Garner as Woodrow Call.)  In fact, better or for worse when it comes to quality, the two TV series based on the original novel have a stronger hold on a place in Toobworld.  (As for the recasting of Newt?  Allowances due to aging perhaps; maybe because of the hardships of the wild wild West.....)

"Vacation Playhouse"
    - Luke and the Tenderfoot (1965) TV episode, Played by Charles Bronson

"Death Valley Days"
    - Preacher with a Past (1962) TV episode, Played by Neville Brand

"Zane Grey Theater"
    - Trouble at Tres Cruces (1959) TV episode, Played by Brad Johnson

"Studio One in Hollywood" 
    - Dead of Noon (1957) TV episode, Played by Richard Boone

These TV shows were anthology series with no regular cast each week.  We could easily spread the wealth by placing each of these Hardin stand-ins into separate TV dimensions so they could be the official versions in their own little fictional TV worlds.  If we keep them in Earth Prime-Time, then most of them might be the John Wesley Hardin impersonators I mentioned earlier.  And if so, the psychotic gunman who truly believed he was Hardin might have gone gunning for each of them.

I toyed with the idea that perhaps Paladin of 'Have Gun Will Travel' was impersonating Hardin in "Studio One In Hollywood", but I wouldn't want to make such a claim without having seen the episode.  For alls I know, as Stuart Best would say, "Dead of Noon" ends with the death of John Wesley Hardin at the hands of John Selman, Sr. in 1895, soon after Hardin's release from prison.  And we can't have such a fate for Paladin - not when we expect to resurface in Oklahoma as 'Hec Ramsey'!

"The Virginian"
    - The Sins of the Fathers (1970) TV episode, Played by Tim McIntire

"Tales of Wells Fargo" 
    - The Gunfighter (1958) TV episode, Played by Lyle Bettger
    - John Wesley Hardin (1957) TV episode, Played by Lyle Bettger

    - The Turning Point (1958) TV episode, Played by Scott Marlowe

"The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp"
    - The Time for All Good Men (1957) TV episode, Played by Phillip Pine
    - John Wesley Hardin (1955) TV episode, Played by Phillip Pine

In these four TV series with a combined six episodes, each of these John Wesley Hardins met with TV characters who are definitely card-carrying citizens of Toobworld:

'The Virginian' & Clay Grainger
Jim Hardie
Bronco Layne
Wyatt Earp

We can eliminate Tim McIntire's presence in Medicine Bow, Wyoming, as being John Wesley Hardin, even though he had the youthful appearance to have been the Gentleman Killer before he was incarcerated.  Unfortunately, 'The Virginian' takes place around 1898, with several timeline indicators spread throughout the series (gravestone markings, Oscar Wilde publications, etc.)  Since Hardin died in 1895 at the age of 42, it's O'Bvious to me that this outlaw was just another impersonator.  

Bronco Layne, like the actor who portrayed him, was about 28 years old when we first met him.  He was a veteran of the Civil War, so the 'Bronco' series could have been taking place at any time from 1865 to 1874.  I would lean towards the latter date so as to accommodate the crossovers with 'Sugarfoot', 'Cheyenne', and 'Maverick'.  

In fact, it's probably 1870 as Hardin was already "credited" with six killings.  (According to Wikipedia, he had killed four men by 1869.)

At that time it would be conceivable that Bronco Layne could have saved the life of John Wesley Hardin as a young man after he had been bitten by a rattlesnake.  (When they first met, Hardin introduced himself as Gary Williams.)  And Scott Marlowe does come closer than most actors hired to play the role in looking like the real gunfighter.

An added bonus to claiming him as Toobworld's John Wesley Hardin - Hardin's parents also show up in the episode.  (Here they are Reverend Leslie and Emma Hardin, while in real life they were Reverend James Gibson and Mary Elizabeth Hardin.)

The temptation would be to choose either Bettger's or Pine's portrayal of Hardin since both of them played the role twice in 'Tales Of Wells Fargo' and 'The Life And Legend Of Wyatt Earp' respectively.  But Bettger was too old to be the "real" Hardin on the Toobworld timeline.  (Hardin was put away in prison when he was 25 and wasn't released until the year of his death when he was 42.)

And 'Tales Of Wells Fargo' took place in the 1870s - 1880s, so Bettger's Hardin was definitely an impersonator.

Here's the Wikipedia description of Wyatt Earp's encounter with Hardin in Toobworld:

Hardin arrives in Wichita to avenge Earp for having run out of a town a friend of Hardin's. The Hardin character unveils tricks he has learned with his revolvers. Earp is suspicious when Hardin kills a man in the saloon who drew first according to witnesses, including the unnamed man played by Glenn Strange. Barbara Bestar portrays Hardin's wife, Jane Hardin, who encourages him to head north to Nebraska.

This would have occurred at some point after October of 1874 when Earp became a lawman in Wichita.  By May of 1876, he had accepted a lawman's position in Dodge City.  So that's nearly a two year window for this episode to take place.

Hardin would later ride to Earp's aid with Doc Holliday, Bat Masterson, and several other famous outlaws including Ben Thompson (who was also a lawman).

As with his appearance in the 'Bronco' episode, there was an added reason as to why this could be the true Hardin - the appearance of his wife Jane.  This would be Jane Bowen, Hardin's first wife.

On the Toobworld timeline, this would be about four years on from his appearance in 'Bronco'.  As a splainin for the change in physical appearance from Scott Marlowe to Philip Pine?  Hard years on the trail, drinking, and a matter of perspective from the viewpoints of Bronco Layne and Wyatt Earp.

And since we're not averse to mixing genres in the Toobworld Dynamic, perhaps there was a sci-fi reason for the change in appearance.  Perhaps the real John Wesley Hardin (from 'Bronco') had been dispatched in some way and this new interloper quantum leaped into his life and took his place.

Who could it have been?  I would suggest Colonel  Philip Greene, the tyrannical despot who caused the deaths of more than thirty-seven million inhabitants of Earth.  

There doesn't appear to be any record of what happened to Greene, so perhaps he used quantum leap technology to escape into the distant past and took over the life of Hardin.

Like I said... just an idea.

So of all the appearances by John Wesley Hardin in the greater TV Universe, I'm going to declare the portrayals by Marlowe and Pine to be the official televersions.

Happy Trails To You!

Thursday, August 6, 2015


'Wagon Train' is one of those shows which cannot be accepted as being in chronological order with each episode's broadcast.

Wikipedia has noted some of the discrepancies which make such a timeline impossible:

In a first-season episode Adams says the war has been over for five years (suggesting the first season takes place in 1870, although, in "The Major Adams Story", part 1, it is clear that Adams had taken trains west in previous years, commencing "as soon as the war was over"). 

In season two, reference is made to the war ending six years earlier (1871) and to the presidential nomination of Ulysses S. Grant (1868), a neighbor of Adams before the war and eventually his commanding officer. 

In season three (in "The Vincent Eaglewood Story") Grant and Colfax are identified as the current President and VP, which dates it as Grant's first term (March 1869 to March 1873); but also in season three (in "The Countess Baranof Story") the storyline involves the impending sale of Alaska by Russia, but that transaction actually took place in 1867 under Pres. Andrew Johnson. 

"The Bernal Sierra Story" (first season) made extensive reference to the ongoing revolution in Mexico pitting Benito Juarez against Maximillian I of Mexico (aka Emperor Maximilian)--but that uprising ended decisively with Maximillian's capture and execution in 1867. 

"The Cathy Eckhardt Story" (fourth season, broadcast November 9, 1960) clearly shows the year is 1870, but in "The Charlene Brenton Story" (late third season, broadcast June 8, 1960) reference is made to Bill Hawks' having read the novel Ben-Hur, which was not published until 1880. 

The First Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1869, following approximately the same route as a wagon train from St. Joseph to Sacramento. This would have made wagon trains obsolete by the time most episodes in the series take place; however, little reference is made to railroads in the West during the series.

As long as this is kept in mind, the placement of 'Wagon Train' on the Toobworld timeline should be done on an episode by episode basis.  And that would keep it Zonk-free.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Hank Worden played six roles on 'The Lone Ranger' over four years; two of them being stage coach drivers:

"Stage To Tishomingo" (1954) - Ike Beatty

"The Bait: Gold!" (1955) - Jud

In order to simplify matters and to cut down on the surplus populace of wild west Wordens, I'm going to claim that Ike and Jud are the same character.  Some of Mr. Beatty's associates knew him as "Ike", and others as "Jud".

Ike is a diminutive for "Isaac".  Jud could be a variant of "Jordan", "Jude", or "Judah".  Since having "J." as a middle initial is a Toobworld staple, I think his full name could have been:


Happy Trails!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


I think we'd all like to believe that we come from a long line of good men and that our descendents will be good men and women as well.

Many TV shows promote this belief when they show the ancestors and/or future generations of their TV characters. (Often played by the same actor.) But it's a lie and we all know it.

As an example, let's use Cyrus Whittaker.

In the 1890s, Cy Whittaker was a cantankerous old coot who was hired by Bret Maverick to be the foreman at the Lazy Ace Ranch. He wasn't a bad man, but he was no angel either.

Decades earlier, Cy abandoned his wife and children back in Oklahoma and headed further west to be free of his responsibilities to his family. And so he never saw his kids grow up and he never learned about any grandchildren they might have presented him.

We only met Cy Whittaker as an old man and never saw that family from Oklahoma... at least as far as the series 'Bret Maverick was concerned.

But I think we did meet his great grandson in the 1960s.

Philip Hames had been brought back to New York City after being extradited from his hometown in Oklahoma. But while he was awaiting trial for a previous crime, Hames tried to rob an armored car delivery in order to finance his escape from the country. However, Hames killed three police officers in the botched attempt before he was captured.

On November 19th, 1962, Philip Hames was executed at Sing Sing.

Who's to say what might have happened had Cy Whittaker had not abandoned his family in the 1860s?

(Richard Hamilton portrayed Cy Whittaker and Philip Hames......)

  • 'Bret Maverick'
  • 'Naked City' - "The Prime Of Life"
Happy trails to you!

Monday, August 3, 2015


"Josua Smith" and "Thaddeus Jones" met three different characters played by Paul Fix of 'The Rifleman' fame:

Two were to be found in Earth Prime-Time:
1] Tom Hansen ("The Day They Hanged Kid Curry")
2]  Clarence Bowles ("Night Of The Red Dog")

Hrmmm... Night and Day.....

The third Paul Fix appearance was as "Bronc" in "Only Three To A Bed".  But that was in the alternate TV dimension where Hannibal Heyes (alias Joshua Smith) looked markedly different (because he was being portrayed by Roger Davis by that point.)

"Bronc" is an O'Bvious nickname and so he could have been the alternate doppelganger to either Tom Hansen or Clarence Bowles.  But that keeps it all in the family of 'AS&J' and where's the sport in that?

What if "Bronc" was actually that Toobworld's Micah Torrance, as he was known in Earth Prime-Time?  But instead of becoming the Marshal of North Fork, New Mexico, he ended up as a grizzled old saddle tramp always looking for the next big score as a bronco buster.

It's pozz'ble... just pozz'ble.....

Sunday, August 2, 2015


Here are some video depictions of Phileas Fogg from various TV dimensions.....

First up, a Tooniverse entry:

These next two are from the 1989 mini-series starring Pierce Brosnan.....

The next five are celebrations of the official Phileas Fogg for the main Toobworld....

How about a few more from the Tooniverse?

Phileas Fogg meets Paladin.  Save for the intrusion by the TV Western hero, this is a fairly faithful depiction, especially because of the timeline mention......

This last one is a rarity - David Niven as Phileas Fogg doing a short film about the United Way.  You might recognize the little girl - Beverly Washburn, who played the doomed Lt. Galway in the 'Star Trek' episode "The Deadly Years".....