Sunday, June 12, 2016


"She was born in 1898 in a barn.
She died on the thirty-seventh floor of a skyscraper.
She's an astronaut."
Bertram Cooper
'Mad Men'

That's basically all we knew about Ida Blankenship, the secretary whom Joan assigned to Don Draper as punishment for screwing around with most of his previous secretaries.  Oh!  And she took Roger Sterling's virginity when he was about fifteen years old.  (Not that she probably remembered that.)

A more complete look at Miss Blankenship can be found here.
But I'd like to add an additional detail.  It's not official, but accepted as such in the Toobworld Dynamic.  It's a theory of "relateeveety"....

Ida Blankenship was the younger sister of General Philip Blankenship, who worked in Army Intelligence during World War II.  

More can be learned about him here.

General Blankenship only exists in the TV Universe, not in the fictional universe of comic books.  However, there were two Philip Blankenships in the greater TV Universe.

The general rule in the Toobworld Dynamic is that the first incarnation of any character should be considered the official version for the main Toobworld, Earth Prime-Time.  However, this rule is put aside when a more complete portrayal of said character appears later in a new series.

For example: Ronald Howard, Peter Cushing, and Douglas Wilmer all played Sherlock Holmes on a regular basis before Jeremy Brett came along and crushed it as the Consulting Detective.  His appearances as Holmes covered nearly the entire canon by Dr. Watson (and edited by Conan Doyle.)  If I'm not mistaken, there were only four stories left unfilmed.  The same holds true for David Suchet as Hercule Poirot, who was able to complete filming on every Christie story about the little Belgian.  In just the English-speaking Toobworlds (including Skitlandia and one of the Borderlands), Francis L. Sullivan, Martin Gabel, and Peter Ustinov beat Suchet to the draw on television.  But Poirot was best served by David Suchet.

And so it is, in a lesser light, perhaps, for General Philip Blankenship.  In the pilot for 'Wonder Woman', he was portrayed by great character actor John Randolph.  But for the first season of the actual series, he was played by Richard Eastham.  Those fourteen episodes in which Eastham appeared outweighs the contribution by Randolph, even if he was first.

But there is an alternate TV dimension for the 'Wonder Woman' pilot, known as "Prequel Toobworld".  This covers not only the many TV pilots which would be recast when the series was sold, but also many earlier incarnations of TV characters that for one reason or another cannot be given "Primus inter pares" status due to a later recastaway.

General Blankenship was not the only character in the pilot for 'Wonder Woman' to be recast once it went to series.  The Queen of Paradise Island* also underwent a change in appearance as well.  In fact, by the second season the role had been recast again.  

Cloris Leachman to Carolyn Jones to Beatrice Straight

Had she been the only character to undergo recasting, we might have just shrugged it off to some magical technobabble among the Amazons, the power to transform one's appearance.  And that way the pilot could have been included in the dimension of the Main Toobworld.

At any rate, it is our contention that Philip and Ida Blankenship were siblings.


Princess Diana's mother, but never mentioned by name.  Leading opinion is that she is Hyppolita.

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