Saturday, November 7, 2015



Once again, the marvelous mash-up blog for comic book covers, "SUPER TEAM FAMILY: THE LOST ISSUES" has come up with a cover which could well have been a tie-in to a TV show that never was:

This entirely works as a TV show concept since both 'Batman' and 'The Partridge Family' were on the ABC schedule.  A true crossover was not possible - 'Batman' went off the air in 1968, and 'The Partridge Family' didn't debut until 1970.  But Batman (and the Boy Wonder) could have made a guest appearance in an episode of the musical sitcom if ABC still retained rights to the series. 

Seems like a fairly easy story to construct, despite the difference in the two shows.  The cover supplies the basics - the Partridge Family has to help Batman survive the bombs planted by the Joker by continuing to play.

But the details would fall into place as well.  Their paths probably crossed because the Partridge Family were scheduled to play a gig in Gotham City.  (I think a charity dance sponsored by the Wayne Foundation would be the way to go.)  Perhaps Laurie went out on a date with Bruce Wayne's ward Dick Grayson while they were there.  And maybe even Bruce Wayne had the chance to flirt with Shirley Partridge.  

For good measure, I think Danny might have fallen under the spell of the Joker who thought he found a kindred spirit whom he could mentor.  Only Danny would have been playing the Joker for a fool the whole time and would have turned the tables in the big fight scene.  And Keith might have toyed with the idea of becoming a costumed super-hero himself, only to be embarrassingly rescued by his youngest siblings, Tracy and Chris.

And I know I would have liked to have seen a sub-plot involving that pun of "Batman & Reuben" played out.  It would be a must!

Every day "Super Team Family: The Lost Issues" has a new cover.  For a one-man operation, his output is incredible!  Click on that link above and check it out.....


Friday, November 6, 2015


'The Librarians' is a fun successor to such shows as 'Warehouse 13' and 'Torchwood' in general theme, and as could be expected for a show about magical items, it is full of whimsy.

There is a danger that one day they'll introduce something that is so... "Zonkish", that I can no longer advocate for its placement in Earth Prime-Time.  But so far, I can splain away any discrepancies that have popped up in the series.  Then again, with the second season premiere, 'The Librarians' have supplied a new facet to the Toobworld Dynamic which can splain away a plot situation that has always been around but which has become more prominent in the last few years - the problem of recastaways adapted from books.


Here's what we learned about the Fictionals:

Flynn Carsen: You're a Fictional!  You're a fictional character brought to life from this world, [holds up book] your world, to this world.

Jenkins: Fictionals.  They stay to themselves; pulled from books into a world they do not understand and they tend not to adjust well.

Jenkins: There are two types of Fictionals.  Someone summoned him from this book; they called him into this world.
Fynn: And the other kind?
Jenkins: Much older....  Much more powerful.  Iconic characters whose stories are so well-told, so famous, so well-written, that they emerge into this reality under their own power.  They walk among us!  Mostly hidden... not very many of those....

Jenkins:  Fictionals are bound, but also empowered, by their source.  You can trap them within the rules of their own tales, but they can be extremely powerful if their narrative matches the real world.

Flynn summed up Jenkins' more detailed information thusly: Fictional characters come to life out of special editions of books and are very powerful beings.


This definitively puts 'The Librarians' into the "Essentials" category for the Toobworld Dynamic because it not only can splain away how it was possible for the characters in various books to escape their own world and come to Storybrooke, Maine, as seen in 'Once Upon A Time', but perhaps even be the "logic" behind Captain Justice and Gumshoe, the characters who crossed over from the comic book world in the 1980s series 'Once A Hero'.


It's not a recent occurrence, and we've only just seen proof of this in the last week or so with the latest Geico blipvert:

For alls I know, this could be the "true" Peter Pan for Toobworld - a quick glance through the IMDb list for the character doesn't seem to have any other real candidates popping up in TV series.  (As played by Mary Martin, Mia Farrow, and Allison Williams, Pan is traipsing about in variations of ToobStage.)

But let's say for the moment that this Peter Pan was a Fictional.  He must have been summoned to Earth Prime-Time back in 1961 and then spent four years in Toobworld attending that high school.  (The banner does mark the reunion to be for the class of 1965.)

Here's another Blipvert of Fictionals in which Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson investigate a home's heating system in the early 1990s.  Holmes is probably one of those Elementals who was able to bring himself and Watson through the vortex into Earth Prime-Time - not through magic as many of the others did, like Prospero, but use of his highly honed intellect and logic.


Getting back to Peter Pan, he was one of the more powerful fictionals "whose stories are so well-told, so famous, so well-written, that they emerge into this reality under their own power."  But I can see him being summoned by someone like Aunt Clara back then; that addled old witch would not have been able to remember the counter-spell and so that's why Peter Pan was trapped for so long on the main Toobworld.  And while he was trapped, he decided to spend his time finally getting a high school education.  

('Bewitched' has been a great source of Fictionals summoned to Toobworld by witches and warlocks: Hansel & Gretel, Prince Charming, Sleeping Beauty, the Artful Dodger, and Jack of the Beanstalk.  (The Giant from that episode - and the Witch from "Hansel & Gretel In Samanthaland" - remained within their stories.)


I believe the Fictionals resemble the image to be found in the mind of the one who summoned them.  In the two part season opener for 'The Librarians', Professor James Moriarty looked nothing like the illustrations by Sidney Paget.  Prospero must have summoned him from an edition of Sherlock Holmes stories which didn't include those drawings.  And he certainly didn't look like the televersion of the Napoleon of Crime from the Jeremy Brett TV series either.  (Prospero may have met him since he told Flynn that he had been living on Toobworld for centuries.)  Perhaps Prospero had in mind some other Moriarty whom he once knew which influenced the template for his visage.

This will also serve as the splainin as to why so many of the storybook Storybrookers don't resemble the traditional look for their characters.  (I think whoever summoned them was influenced by Disney movies.)


Not all characters adapted from books who interact with TV characters are Fictionals.  There could be other reasons for them being recastaways.  Take Dracula for example.  Buffy Summers fought the true Dracula, but he looked nothing like any of the other TV incarnations of the Vampire Lord, especially Sam Dracula AKA Grampa.  My splainin for all of those other Draculas (Draculae?) - any vampire sired by Dracul would then carry that surname as a mark of their "parentage".


Speaking of Dracula, let's turn our attention to the Frankenstein Monsters.  The only one who should be considered a Fictional would be the Creature who appeared in these episodes of 'The Librarians', and his appearance again was dictated by the mind of Prospero (as was also the case for the Queen of Hearts.  I think in that case, ol' Prospy was feeling a stirring in his loins.....)  But with all of the other Monsters, including Herman Munster and Frank from Maine, they were all created by the Dr. Frankenstein of Toobworld... or one of his relatives.





Fictionals can also be based on real people summoned out of history books and the like.  Again we turn to 'Bewitched' for four good examples - George Washington, Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Queen Victoria.  Having them summoned out of books and looking as they were illustrated in those books removes any Zonks that might clash with other recastaways.  (The only exception would be Benjamin Franklin, who was actually transported out of Time.)

One final thought - Jenkins, the Caretaker of the Annex, is actually Sir Galahad from the legends of King Arthur and the Round Table.  And I should put the accent on legends - there is no proof that Galahad actually existed.  


So what if Jenkins/Galahad is actually a Fictional himself, pulled from a magical edition of "Le Morte D'Arthur" by Thomas Mallory?  It could be the reason why he knew so much about the Fictional race (although granted, Jenkins is a warehouse of information... information... information about almost every topic imaginable.)  

And if he was a Fictional, then it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that Lancelot du Lac and Morgan Le Fay escaped through the same portal from BookWorld many centuries ago.

Just sayin', is all........

  • 'The Librarians'
  • 'Bewitched'
  • 'Peter Pan' (three productions)
  • 'Sherlock Holmes'
  • 'Once Upon A Time'
  • 'Once A Hero'
  • 'Voyagers!'
  • 'Dracula'
  • 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer'
  • 'The Munsters'
  • 'Struck By Lightning'
  • Geico

Thursday, November 5, 2015


We've lost another member of the Television Crossover Hall Of Fame with the passing of Fred Dalton Thompson, the former Senator from Tennessee.  He was 73 and the cause was lymphoma.

Thompson was one of those actors with whom I disagreed politically but I was able to separate the actor from the characters he played.  And his roster of roles in movies and TV shows were always good.  For me, it started with his role as Knox Pooley on 'Wiseguy', even though I had seen him in the movie "No Way Out".  I don't remember him in that, but Knox Pooley jumped off the screen for me.

It was his role as NYC District Attorney Arthur Branch In the 'Law & Order' franchise for which he has been immortalized in the Television Crossover Hall Of Fame.  Because of the death of Jerry Orbach in 2004, I dedicated the entire year of inductions into the TVXOHOF for 2006 to the 'Law & Order' series.  And as November is always dedicated to politics and newsmakers, D.A. Branch got the nod that month.

And it was well deserved!
  • 'Law & Order' - 121 episodes
  • 'Conviction' - Pilot episode
  • 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' - 16 episodes
  • 'Law & Order: Trial By Jury' - 18 episodes
  • 'Law & Order :Criminal Intent' - 1 episode
I think it's only right that we should consider D.A. Branch as having passed away as well.  But we'll have to see if it comes up with any mention in 'Law & Order: SVU' later in the season to see how to play it officially.....

Earlier when I said that I first started taking notice of Thompson with his role in 'Wiseguy', I should have specified that it was as an actor.  Because he had a major role in my first true immersion into reality programming as the lead counsel for the Republican senators on the Watergate committee hearings.  (Of course I was looking more at the work done by the Democrats, but also Senators Lowell Weicker - from my home state - and Howard Baker, who was Thompson's mentor.

Here are two reports on Thompson's role in the hearings.......

Good night and may God bless, Senator Thompson.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Here's something scary for you, kids!

'Franklin & Bash'
"Kershaw vs. Lincecum"

At one point, Jared Bash warned the new intern (Anita Haskins) that she should not look directly into the eyes of Damien Karp. He would suck out her soul like a dementor. 

(Yeah.....  He might have said just "steal", but "suck out" is more in keeping with the lads......)

This is not a reference to "real life" in Toobworld.  Nor does it place 'Franklin & Bash' in one of the Borderlands that is created like a Venn Diagram when Toobworld "collides" with either BookWorld or the Cineverse.  This is nothing more than a reference to the J.K. Rowling book series which became a highly successful movie franchise.

And when there is no specific mention of anything connected to the movies (participation by Daniel Radcliffe - 'Extras' - and Warwick Davis - 'Life Is Short' - for example), we will always defer to that series of novels by Ms. Rowling.

Here are two good example where the books take precedence:

Martha Jones: 
So magic and stuff. That's a surprise. It's all a bit Harry Potter.

The Doctor: 
Wait 'til you read book seven. Whoa. I cried.
'Doctor Who'
("The Shakespeare Code")

"Yeah, Mom, I'm not going to Hogwarts.
Jeez, crack a book sometime."

'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'
("Real Me") 

But references to the world of Hogwarts tend to lean more towards the movies than the books:

'Monarch of the Glen': 
The poster of the movie "Harry Potter And The Sorceror's Stone" is seen

'Parks and Recreation':
Ann says that Leslie "made me watch all eight Harry Potter movies."

'My Family':
Ben finds a 'Madame Hooch' toy in his cereal. (The in-joke there is that Madame Hooch was played by Zoƫ Wanamaker, who played the matriarch of 'My Family'.)

And any time something is compared to Hogwarts, that's most likely a visual reference from the movies.  (Raj Koothrapalli ['The Big Bang Theory'] compared Oxford to Hogwarts; Andy Dwyer ['Parks & Recreation'] made that same comparison about Buckingham Palace.

So even though the source material, book or movie, was not mentioned, we can't just claim that dementors exist in Earth Prime-Time.....


Tuesday, November 3, 2015


As I've mentioned quite a bit lately, I've relaxed my rules about ALL elected officials in the United States of Toobworld reflecting exactly the office-holder in the Real World.  The President and Vice President, as well as the heads of state in other countries should remain the same, as mirror televersions.  But beyond that?  It's a case by case basis.

Thanks to many shows taking place in New York City, and the active participation of the City's mayors, there has not been any Zonk to worry about since the days of Rudy Giuliani.  (Currently several shows have marked Bill DeBlasio as the mayor - 'Constantine', 'The Mindy Project', and 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit'.)

Especially when Rudy was mayor, any show which deviated from that basic truth had to be banished to an alternate TV dimension.  This was easy enough with 'Spin City' - they had Randall Winston as the mayor at the same time when 'Seinfeld' and 'Mad About You' showed Giuliani was mayor.  No contest!  And at least we had a Toobworld in which to place 'Spin City' - the same sitcom world in which the POTUS could be found in such shows as 'Nancy', 'Mr. President', 'Hail To The Chief', 'Corey In The House', and 'The First Family'.  (The suggested crossover with 'Family Ties' in the last episode with Michael J. Fox is no deterrent.  'Family Ties' could have taken place in more than one TV dimension.)

It gets trickier when we head to the Midwest, to that toddling town of Chicago......

'Chicago Fire' snared Rahm Emanuel to play himself in the pilot episode, but that happened at the same time as Kelsey Grammer's Tom Kane was supposed to be the 'Boss' of Chicago.  Easy enough to deal with - for Toobworld only, Emanuel won election over Kane; the overlapping episodes were at different points on the Toobworld timeline.

So that was easy enough to handle.

The problem for Chicago mayors in Earth Prime-Time happens at the end of the turbulent 1960s.....


From the IMDb:

Mayor John Adrian has a squeaky-clean image and has been endorsed by Howard Publications. Might he be too good to be true? Publisher Glenn Howard investigates.

It was bad enough that Adrian was the mayor at a time when Richard J. Daley held sway over Chicago.  But the episode also featured John Adrian's predecessor in office, Mayor Edward Brock known to all as Ed Brock. 

Brock was a Daley type - knew all the "little people" in all facets of the city government.  (We saw that Brock still remembered the name and details of a matron at the jail.)  He was gruff and not afraid to get his hands dirty in order to get what he wanted done.

John Adrian on the other hand was a young idealist and former prosecutor who epitomized the image left behind by John and Bobby Kennedy, with whom Adrian must have been friends.  (Their portraits were displayed prominently in Adrian's office.)

I could have easily altered the historical timeline for Toobworld so that Mayor Daley's reign ended in 1964 rather than in 1976 (when he died in office.)  I've changed such timelines in the past, most recently to accomodate Dwight Sinclair, the former mayor of San Francisco.

But there's a problem with that.  The true history of Chicago blends with television, the basic reality of Toobworld, with Richard Daley at the heart of it: the 1968 Democratic convention.

From Wikipedia:
While trying to interview a Georgia delegate being escorted out of the building, CBS News correspondent Dan Rather was grabbed by security guards and was roughed up. While Rather was reporting from the convention floor, CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite turned his attention towards the area where Rather was reporting from.

Rather was grabbed by security guards after he walked towards a delegate who was being hauled out, and asked him, "What is your name, sir?" Rather, who was wearing a microphone headset, was then heard on national television repeatedly saying to the guards, "Don't push me" and "Take your hands off me unless you plan to arrest me" to the guards.

After the guards let go of Rather, he then told Cronkite, "Walter... we tried to talk to the man and we got violently pushed out of the way. This is the kind of thing that has been going on outside the hall, this is the first time we've had it happen inside the hall. We... I'm sorry to be out of breath, but somebody belted me in the stomach during that. What happened is a Georgia delegate, at least he had a Georgia delegate sign on, was being hauled out of the hall. We tried to talk to him to see why, who he was, what the situation was, and at that instant the security people, well as you can see, put me on the deck. I didn't do very well." Cronkite then replied by saying, "I think we've got a bunch of thugs here, Dan."

It was gripping television, to be sure, but it epitomized the problems that tolled the death knell for the Democratic party's chances that year.  And Daley, along with the "police riot", was featured prominently in the coverage, with plenty of signs reminding the delegates that he was the mayor of the host city.

As that all played out in August of 1968, 47 years ago, it doesn't leave much time for Ed Brock to be the mayor before Adrian assumed office.  And since Toobworld is such a fictional universe that depends so heavily on visuals, we can't play it as if "Ed Brock" was a roman a clef name to hide the identity of Mayor Daley, as Doctor Watson was able to do with the "King of Bohemia" being a stand-in for the future Edward VII.

As a matter of fact, if anybody back then wanted an actor to play Mayor Daley in Toobworld, my suggestion would have been Kermit Murdock.....  (The ghost of Richard J. Daley showed up in Skitlandia, played by future ghost John Belushi in a 'Saturday Night Live' sketch.)

So here's what I'll have to propose.....

After the debacle of the Democratic convention, Daley resigned from office.  One of his inner circle, Ed Brock became the interim mayor due to a special appointment (but everybody knew Daley was still pulling the strings.)  Such an interim set-up isn't entirely impozz'ble - David Duvall Orr served as the mayor of Chicago in 1987 - for only eight days!

However, Brock only lasted a few months, until a special election could be held in February, at which time John Adrian swept in with his promise for a new direction in Chicago politics.

Brock liked his much-too-short taste of being the mayor of Chicago and so he teamed up with a convicted mobster named Vince Leonard (identical twin to a Vegas casino owner named Carl Cappi) to bring about the downfall of John Adrian through  political scandal and a smear campaign.

Vince Leonard must have really hated Adrian to go to such troubles.  Adrian wasn't going to be tied down too long to the mayor's job in Chicago; he was being groomed for loftier ambitions awaiting him in Washington D.C.  He honored his commitment to the people of Chicago and served out his term, but he did not seek re-election.

Ed Brock may have seen this as his chance to regain the office for himself, but he didn't count on Richard J. Daley rising like a phoenix to seek another term as the Boss of Chicago.

And that brings the timeline Earth Prime-Time back around to mirror the events of Earth Prime.  We needed Daley to be mayor at the time of his death in 1976 since it would be heavily covered on television - making it, as the Doctor might say, a fixed point in Prime-Time.....

And that's our election day blog post.

Monday, November 2, 2015



And now, ladies and gentlemen, The Cabaret of Magic is proud to present The Great Santini! 

Ladies and gentlemen, each evening here at The Cabaret of Magic, we like to ask a member of our audience, a volunteer, to step forward on the stage to be Santini's attendant or assistant, if you would.
Perhaps a beautiful young woman......

[Lt. Columbo jumps up to the stage.]

We have a beautiful young man instead.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are honored because this gentleman who stands before you is none other than Lieutenant Columbo of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Welcome, Lieutenant.
Lieutenant, you look like a man who enjoys a game of chance.  You play cards? 

Yes, sir.

Down at the station? 

Yes, sir.

Does the Chief know about that, Lieutenant?
No, sir.

Although it most likely was never meant to be a reference by the writer of the episode, "The Chief" would be Amos Burke who had recently been elevated to be a deputy chief in the Homicide Division.  This is the position he held from the end of 1975 until his retirement twenty years later due to the onset of Alzheimer's*.

For the main Toobworld, there was no interregnum in which Amos Burke left the Los Angeles Police Department to become a spy working for a secret government agency and answering to "The Man".  That occurred in an alternate TV dimension but was forced on the audience in the Trueniverse by the View Continuum.

This is a picture of actors Peter Falk and Gene Barry in the first pilot for the 'Columbo' TV series.  Falk is portraying Lt. Columbo (as you would expect) and Barry is Dr. Ray Flemming, the murderer.  (Relax - if you've never seen the show, you should know that the identity of the murderer was a mystery only three times in the series.)  I've often stated that photos from other TV series can't be used to represent the action in another show.  And that means I can't use this to say it's a picture of Columbo with Chief Burke.  The same is true of any picture of the two of them in the 'Name Of The Game' episode "A Sister From Napoli", in which Gene Barry starred as publisher Glenn Howard while Peter Falk made a guest star appearance as reporter Lewis Corbett.

However, I do use informal, off-screen pictures and screencaps from movies.  So if one of those shows up of Falk and Barry between shots, then I can use it to be Columbo and Burke.

At any rate, I'm marking this mention of "the Chief" to be a link back to 'Burke's Law'......


Sunday, November 1, 2015


Here's another example of food in Toobworld being alive.  But this is one time when that food doesn't want to be consumed.....

But this is the one everybody wants to see......

Unless there's been a sweep, the World Series should still be going on.  What better series of videos for the occasion than dealing with a walking, talking hot dog?