Up front I have to admit that until earlier this year, I had never even heard of our Halloween inductee. As is the case with most of the Tuesday News Day stories I've posted this year, this post would not have been possible without so much help from Rob Buckley of "The Medium Is Not Enough", the fourth most popular TV blog in the United Kingdom. (As Rob once said, "Suck it, Number Five!")
There can't be many TV characters that have managed to endure for 15 years, on and off. There must be even fewer still who were villains and played by different actors. Even fewer of them must have appeared in children's TV shows and been set up for their own spin-off series. And even fewer have had children imitating them in playgrounds.
But to do all of that and to appear in no fewer than three unrelated TV shows? That surely must be unique.
So spare a thought for Estabes, an immortal member of 'the Brotherhood', servant of Beelzebub and prodigious user of 'hand magic', for his journey is indeed both unique and fascinating.
Mr. Stabs, played by Russell Hunter, is defeated by Ace of Wands's lead Tarot, yet returns, again played by Hunter, in an episode of the anthology series Shadows. The character's final appearance was in Dramarama, this time portrayed by David Jason. However, the Dramarama story was a prequel to the previous ones.
'Ace Of Wands'
Mr. Stabs was introduced in this series sophomore season premiere, "Seven Serpents, Sulphur And Salt". Unfortunately, ITV wiped away all copies of the first two seasons of 'Ace Of Wands'. So there's no way to see Russell Hunter playing the role.
"Dutch Schlitz' Shoes"
Russell Hunter returned to the role of Mr. Stabs for this story in which he was possessed by the ghost of Dutch Schlitz after he put on the dead gangster's shoes. (I would not be surprised if Warehouse 13 finally gained possession of those shoes.)
This actually serves as a prequel to Estabse's first episode on television. Hunter wasn't playing the role this time out, but that's okay within the reality of Toobworld. Being a magical immortal, Estabse had the power to transform his image to the world around him, much like "demi-gods" Zeus and Thor. It's a power used by witches and genies on human test cases like Gladys Kravitz, Darrin Stephens, and Major Tony Nelson.
Besides he was now played by David Jason and that ain't too shabby.
For the full story on Mr. Stabs by Rob Buckley, click here.
Welcome to the horror section of the Hall of Fame, Mr. Stabs.