Saturday, December 12, 2015


Bette Midler isn't the only non-Brit who's getting the special invite into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame this month.  Thirty years before the Divine Ms. M was born, Ol' Blue Eyes came into the world.  And eventually Frank Sinatra was retro-fitted into the life during prime-time of Toobworld.  Enough so that he was eligible for membership in the TVXOHOF.  

And what better day to do this than on the milestone of his 100th birthday?

I wrote about all of Sinatra's League of Themselves appearances in a previous post that dealt with the celebrity trash collection belonging to Mr. Tanaka, a janitor at a Colorado TV station.

Here's what I wrote about the Sinatra entry:

The second item was a salami wrapper encased in a lucite block which belonged to Frank Sinatra. Ol' Blue Eyes has been mentioned in plenty of other TV shows, mostly when the regular characters have tickets to his shows. (Or, in the case of the 'Here's Lucy' episode "Lucy Gives Eddie Albert The Old Song And Dance", Lucy read about Sinatra coming out of retirement in a 1973 Joyce Haber column.)

But Sinatra did make appearances as himself on quite a few shows and one TV movie:

"Young at Heart"

'Daddy Dearest'
- You Bet Your Life

'Who's the Boss'
- Party Double

'The Name of the Game'
- I Love You, Billy Baker: Part 1
- I Love You, Billy Baker: Part 2

'Make Room for Granddaddy'
- A Hamburger for Frank

[Not from the episode, unfortunately]

'The Thin Man'
- Scene of the Crime

Sure, that last one isn't necessarily supposed to be Frank, but he's in that league with Sammy Davis Jr., Bob Hope, George Burns, and Milton Berle where they are more convincing as themselves rather than as fictional characters. So why couldn't Frank Sinatra have been that neighbor?

Here's another mention of Sinatra that shows he exists as his own televersion, from 'The Golden Girls':

Dorothy Petrillo-Zbornak:
Ma! How in the world did you get these?

Sophia Petrillo:
Easy. I called Frank. I told you I had connections.

Rose Nylund:
You know Frank Sinatra?

Sophia Petrillo:
No, Frank Caravicci! From the fish market.
He's always been good to me, never a bad piece of cod.
He knows Frank.

Blanche Devereaux:

Sophia Petrillo:
No, Frank Tortoni, the dry cleaner.
Tina's third cousin once removed.

Dorothy Petrillo-Zbornak:
Tina Tortoni?

Sophia Petrillo:
Tina Sinatra!

This may be in honor of Frank Sinatra's birthday, but I'm posting it in memory of my Mom.  Her second favorite singer was Ol' Blue Eyes.  (Nat King Cole held the top spot.)

Once a League of Themselves candidate has enough credits from fictional shows, as Frank accomplished, then it's fine to add in appearances from talk shows, game shows, variety programs, and the like.  So because we're so close to Christmas and they were my Mom's favorite singers, here are Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole with "The Christmas Song"......

And so now the Television Crossover Hall Of Fame has the Chairman of the Board.....


Friday, December 11, 2015



'The Librarians' don't make it easy to keep the series in Earth Prime-Time when it is creating so many Zonks in the quest to collect magical artifacts from around the world.  For instance, I had to come up with a splainin as to how the Library could have Excalibur when it was collected by the agents of Warehouse 13.  

Real Excalibur - a win for the Warehouse.  Until it sacrificed its "life", the Excalibur of the Library was an ancient warlock who had transformed himself into a replica of the sword when his powers were on the wane in order to continue being useful.  It's my contention his name was Exeter Caliburn and that he was an old friend of the warlock Maurice. (He was played by Kendrick Huxham in the 'Bewitched' episode "My Grandson The Warlock".)

So the series presented me as the Cathode Caretaker a challenge when they faced off against the legendary Dorian Gray.

From Wikipedia:

Dorian Gray is the subject of a full-length portrait in oil by Basil Hallward, an artist who is impressed and infatuated by Dorian's beauty; he believes that Dorian’s beauty is responsible for the new mode in his art as a painter. Through Basil, Dorian meets Lord Henry Wotton, and he soon is enthralled by the aristocrat's hedonistic worldview: that beauty and sensual fulfilment are the only things worth pursuing in life.

Newly understanding that his beauty will fade, Dorian expresses the desire to sell his soul, to ensure that the picture, rather than he, will age and fade. The wish is granted, and Dorian pursues a libertine life of varied and amoral experiences; all the while his portrait ages and records every soul-corrupting sin.

Based on information supplied in the plot, this has to be the real Dorian Gray of Earth Prime-Time.  Jenkins knew him as the best friend of Oscar Wilde (sometimes more than friend, nudge nudge wink wink.)  And Dorian recognized him as well.  I was hoping to make the claim that he was actually a Fictional who stepped out of BookWorld, but the fact that he and Jenkins knew each other back in 1890 throws that theory out the window.

So I have to accept this portrayal by Luke Cook is the one true Dorian Gray, a fully self-contained role since he dies at the end of the episode.  And that means all the other televersions from Oscar Wilde's only novel have to be relegated to alternate TV dimensions.

For the most part?  Piece of cake.

The world dominated by women as seen in:
  • 'All That Glitters'
  • 'Sliders' - "The Weaker Sex"
For this world, we have:

"The Sins of Dorian Gray" (1983)
In which Dorian is played by Belinda Bauer and the story is updated to the 1980s.

Just because a TV show is produced in Russia and the characters speak in Russian, this does not mean that they must exist in a Russian TV dimension.  Russian Toobworld could house them, of course, but its main claim to fame would be the Russian versions of famous characters from English based literature, like Sherlock Holmes.

For this world we have the TV movie "Portret Doriana Greya" from 1968, in which Valeri Babyatinsky assayed the role of Dorian.  It still took place in England, but in a world where Russia had conquered the planet.

As with Russian Toobworld, this is a TV dimension where Spain had conquered the world.  More than likely, the Spanish Armada beat the English fleet in July of 1588 and expanded its power from that point on.  What fills out this dimension to nearly SRO capacity is that it includes all of the English language TV shows that were dubbed into Spanish.  

In 1969, Mexican television saw Enrique Álvarez Félix as Dorian Gray in "El retrato de Dorian Gray".  Although Mexico was the country in which the TV movie was produced, it would still be absorbed into Spanish Toobworld as it is the language that matters, not the country of origin.

And then we have the one-shot adaptations that crop up every so often.....

"Armchair Theatre" 
    - The Picture of Dorian Gray (1961) 
Played by Jeremy Brett*

"Golden Showcase" 
    - The Picture of Dorian Gray (1961) 
Played by John Fraser

"The Picture of Dorian Gray" (1973) 
Played by Shane Briant

"BBC Play of the Month"
    - The Picture of Dorian Gray
Played by Peter Firth

It doesn't matter that they all came before 'The Librarians' episode in production; the rule of "First Come, First Served" can't apply here.  As they are all stand-alone versions of Wilde's tale, there are so many alternate dimensions in which to scatter them.  

"Gothica" (2013) 

This is an interesting case.  It appears that "Gothica" served as a pilot for an ABC TV series that might have been intended to be the horror version of the network's hit series 'Once Upon A Time'.  The IMDb, never 100% reliable, lists a release date for this pilot movie as 2013, but I'm not sure it was actually broadcast.  It may have never been able to escape the Limbo in which such TV pilots are left to languish.

But the premise is what makes "Gothica" intriguing:

Modern day show that weaves together a mythology that incorporates the legends of Dracula, Jekyll and Hyde, Frankenstein and Dorian Gray among others.

(From the IMDb)

Those "others" included twins Roderick and Madeline Usher, John and Mina Harker, and two members of the Van Helsing family.  Christopher Egan played Dorian Gray.

This premise brings me to the Showtime series 'Penny Dreadful', which has been running since 2014.  (Its third season premieres New Year's Day.)   Reeve Carney is Dorian Gray in the show which also features versions of Dr. Frankenstein, his Creature, Professor Abraham Van Helsing, Mina Murray, and perhaps the first of several members of the Talbot family to be cursed as a Wolfman.

As I don't have Showtime, I have only seen the one free preview of the first episode.  But now that it's on Amazon Prime Video, I can rectify that situation.  So further research needs to be done.  However, I'd like to find some way to keep the show in Earth Prime-Time and to do so, with so many recastaways of previously (or better) established characters, I may have to fall back on borrowing concepts from other TV shows... not uncommon in my branch of televisiology studies.  All of these characters could be Fictionals ('The Librarians') and the bulk of their adventures could be taking place in various "trap streets" of London.  ('Doctor Who')

We shall see what we shall view......

But in the meantime, Dorian Gray, as seen in one episode of 'The Librarians', had been the official televersion for the main Toobworld.  And unless the producers of 'The Librarians' can come up with a way to resurrect him, we shall not see his like, nor his likeness, again.....


* Jeremy Brett would play a supporting role in the next production that same year, for the 'Golden Showcase' anthology series.

Thursday, December 10, 2015


I always enjoy when someone out of the left field of the real world is shown to have a televersion in Toobworld...

I'll have you know 
that Snakehips Tucker and I danced together at the Cotton Club. 
And I performed naked onstage with the Magic Tramps at CBGB's.

'The Librarians'

The immortal Mr. Jenkins of the Library, formerly Sir Galahad, had quite the social life in the past.....

I didn't know who Snakehips or the Magic Tramps were, so... off to Wikipedia!


Earl "Snakehips" Tucker (1905–1937) was an American dancer and entertainer. Also known as the "Human Boa Constrictor", he acquired the nickname "snakehips" via the dance he popularized in Harlem in the 1920s called the "snakehips (dance)".

Tucker frequented Harlem music clubs and was a regular at the Savoy Ballroom. He built his reputation by exhibiting his odd style of dance, which involved a great deal of hip motion. Tucker would make it appear that he was as flexible as a snake, and eventually the dance became his calling card. He became popular enough to eventually perform at Connie's Inn and the Cotton Club. The snakehips dates back to southern plantations before emancipation.

Riding this wave of popularity, in 1930 he appeared in Benny Rubin's 16 minute short film "Crazy House", a comedic introduction to residents at the fictitious "Lame Brain Sanitarium". Tucker's 2 minute dance number, performed in a shiny white shirt and shiny, baggy gold pants, displays his amazing dance innovations, his style a precursor to modern street and stage dance. His name appears in the opening credits only as "Snake Hips". In 1935, Tucker appeared in a short film called "Symphony in Black: A Rhapsody of Negro Life". The film was inspired by a Duke Ellington composition, and included clips of Ellington composing, as well as Billie Holiday singing and Tucker doing the snakehips.


There was no entry for the Magic Tramps at Wikipedia, save for a mention in the biography of Eric Emerson:

Eric Emerson (June 23, 1945 – May 28, 1975) was an American musician, dancer, and actor. Emerson is best known for his roles in films by pop artist Andy Warhol, and as a member of the seminal glam punk group, the Magic Tramps.

But there is a site dedicated to the Magic Tramps where I picked up this nugget of info:

The Tramps were technically the first act to play CBGB (back when it opened as Hilly's on the Bowery.)

Immortals meet the most innnnnteresting people.....


Wednesday, December 9, 2015


"I think coffee is the one constant in the multiverse."

Jay Garrick
'The Flash'

"They are called Swedish meatballs. 
It's a strange thing, 
but every sentient race has its own version of these Swedish meatballs! 
I suspect it's one of those great universal mysteries 
which will either never be explained, 
or which would drive you mad if you ever learned the truth."
'Babylon 5'

It's a dream of mine that one day, Swedish meatballs will be mentioned in some way on 'Doctor Who'.  No big deal has to made of the reference, but it would be enough to show that both series has this trivial connection.....


Monday, December 7, 2015


Today is my nephew's 11th birthday.  And he's reached an aged where he reminds me of 'Jonny Quest'.

Not just because he kind of resembles a live-action recasting of that great cartoon character from my youth, but because he is just as fearless, reckless, and ready for adventure as Jonny ever was.

Unfortunately he doesn't have a white bulldog named Bandit.  But he grew up with a black Labrador named Paddle as his guardian and "big brother".  (Sadly, Paddle left us late last year.)

At any rate, I wanted to celebrate my nephew's birthday by sharing these interesting videos about Hanna-Barbera's best cartoon series, 'Jonny Quest.'

Happy birthday, TRM......

Sunday, December 6, 2015


Only nineteen shopping days until Christmas.....

Ho Ho Ho!