Friday, April 1, 2016



Hoping to catch the same plane to San Francisco as the KAOS agent they were trailing, Maxwell Smart and Agent 99 nearly missed the flight because Max objected to the in-flight movie.  Trans-State Airlines was showing "Brunch In Acapulco" - starring George Brent and Joan Bennett, co-starring Edward G. Robinson and Lynn Bari, with cameo appearances by Joan Blondell and Cab Calloway.  As far as Max was concerned, the movie was a bomb and not even Joan Blondell could save it.

(Using the word "bomb" at the ticket counter would have TAS down on Max in no time today.  And when they found all the spy contraband he would have been carrying.....?)

Back in February, TCM showed "Brunch In Acapulco" as part of their half-day celebration of Joan Bennett's birthday.  Being the trivia-seeking televisiologist that I am, I watched the movie and I gotta say... Max was right.  The movie stinks to high heaven.  It's no wonder that TCM skedded it deep in the overnight.

But the odd thing is, it is kind of hypnotic, this romantic lark about two naval officers on weekend leave in Acapulco and the women they meet that Sunday morning just as their leave is about to end.  Hijinks ensued as they tried to maneuver a way to spend at least one full night with the young ladies.

Ralph Bakshi must have thought it was fascinating as well, since he made an animated film short with the same title, rotoscoped from the big nightclub dance scene that was the frenetic high point of the movie.

Here are some of the actors from "Brunch In Acapulco" as they looked in the cartoon version:



Thursday, March 31, 2016



Another historical figure has finally been "immortalized" in the universe of Earth Prime-Time - Captain Joseph-Elzéar Bernier

From the 'Murdoch Mysteries' Wikia:

Someone is trying to sabotage Captain Bernier grand expedition to the North Pole. He accuses the Swedes.Bjorn Nordenskjold wants nothing more than to beat him to the North Pole. Before Murdoch investigates the sabotage, he must first determine the validity of murder accusations made at the exhibition.

The CGS Arctic, commanded by Captain Joseph-Elzear Bernier, was one of Canada's first Arctic patrol ships. A wooden vessel built of oak and pitch-pine by the German government, it was originally intended for service in the Antarctic. However in 1904 it was purchased by Canada and put to use in the Arctic.

Joseph-Elzéar Bernier (1852 - 1934) was a Quebec mariner who led expeditions into the Canadian Arctic in the early 20th century and was given the Royal Geographical Society Award for his work.

From Wikipedia:
Joseph-Elzéar Bernier (January 1, 1852 – December 26, 1934) was a Quebec mariner who led expeditions into the Canadian Arctic in the early 20th century.

He was born in L'Islet, Quebec, the son of Captain Thomas Bernier and Célinas Paradis. At the age of 14, he became a cabin boy on his father's ship. Three years later, he became captain of his own ship and commanded sailing ships for the next 25 years. Bernier was named governor for the jail at Quebec City in 1895. From 1904 to 1911, he explored the Arctic archipelago on annual voyages in his ship the CGS Arctic and officially claimed the islands for Canada. Bernier retrieved documents that had been stored in caches by earlier Arctic explorers. He also established Royal Canadian Mounted Police posts in the Canadian north. During World War I, Bernier commanded a ship which transported mail along the eastern coast and carried goods in convoys across the Atlantic. He returned to patrolling the arctic after the war's end, continuing until his retirement in 1925, when he was awarded the Royal Geographical Society's Back Award.

Bernier died of a heart attack in Lévis at the age of 82.

He published Master Mariner and Explorer: A Narrative of Sixty Years at Sea ... in 1939.

It's doubtful that Captain Bernier will be seen in any other TV show, especially outside of the Great White North, but stranger things hav happened. In the meantime, Remy Girard's portrayal of the explorer stands as the official televersion in Earth Prime-Time.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016


Good night and may God bless Patty Duke. In the Cineverse, she earned the Oscar for playing Helen Keller in "The MIracle Worker." Then in one of the dimensions of the TV Universe, she returned to that story... but this time playing Annie Sullivan, Keller's teacher.

So many characters she contributed to Earth Prime-Time, many of them one-shots or TV movie appearances (including both versions of 'Hawaii Five-O' and a continuation of the story of "Rosemary's Baby".)  Besides Annie Sullivan, another historical figure she played in the greater TV Universe was Martha Washington.

Patty Duke had starring roles in several TV series:
  • 'Captains And The Kings'
  • 'Amazing Grace'
  • 'It Takes Two'
  • 'Karen's Song'
And in an alternate dimension, she was Julia Mansfield, the President of the United States. (This was a TV dimension which is also home to 'Corey In The House', '1600 Penn', 'Nancy', and 'Mr. President'.)

Of course, first and foremost for fans of Classic TV, Patty Duke will always be remembered for playing Patty and Cathy Lane, identical cousins in 'The Patty Duke Show'. It wasn't such a long shot for two cousins to be nearly identical in this case, since their fathers were twins as well. (It's tele-genetics, don't question it!)

We were fortunate enough for the chance to revisit the cousins in a TV movie reunion, "Still Rockin' In Brooklyn Heights", which found that Cathy had married since the show's ending. (Her new last name was MacAllister.)

Unfortunately there never were - at least as far as I can tell - any crossovers with other sitcoms of the day, nor any return appearances in later sitcoms a la Alan Brady showing up on 'Mad About You'. Just off the top of my head, I would have loved to have seen a cameo by both Cathy and Patty as passengers in a Sunshine Cab for an episode of 'Taxi', for instance.

The closest we came was in her last TV appearance: Ms. Duke played Grandma Janice and Great Aunt Hillary last year in "Grandma-A-Rooney", an episode of 'Liv And Maddie'.

'The Patty Duke Show' is a major influence for the Toobworld Dynamic because of that concept of "Identical Cousins". I use it to splain how two characters played by the same actor but on different shows could be related. (Of course, cynic that I am, the usual reason behind identical cousins is that they are really half-brothers/half-sisters who had philandering fathers.)

In my first Toobworld novel, "Live From New York", I invoke 'The Patty Duke Show' because of my main characters - Toob and Thom Cooper. Toob is more carefree, the wild and crazy guy type like Patty was. (Although I don't think a hot dog would make him lose control.) Meanwhile, Thom was the more reserved half of that equation, but without the Scottish accent.

This is shaping up to be a horrible year for fans of Classic TV as we keep losing the actors and actresses who provided so much of the populace for Toobworld. Sadly, Time - and Prime-Time - marches on. As for Patty and Cathy's continued existence in Toobworld, I'm inclined to let them enjoy their later years as "golden girls". Eventually though, yes, both of them will pass away, but I don't think it should happen at the same time.....

I don't think there's any reason to fear that some network suit (May they be nibbled to death by ducks!) would do an exact remake, rebooting the same characters. And a major reason for that would probably be due to Patty Duke's name in the title. She is indelibly connected to those roles because of that. (However, the premise is viable for re-use and I have no problem with a new iteration of identical cousins in the new millenium. It would actually be a nice tip of the hat to what she gifted us.

My condolences to her family and to her friends, and to all of the many fans of her television and movie roles. She will live on in our memories and in syndication......

Tuesday, March 29, 2016



As he began his first prep check for the latest stitch after his near fatal heart attack, Cameron referred to Kirsten as "Agent Carter".
Again, the audience would know what he was talking about.  Peggy Carter is a member of the Television Crossover Hall of Fame, thanks to her own series plus appearances in episodes of 'Agents Of SHIELD' as well as in several of the cinematic branch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe which have been absorbed into Comix Toobworld 1.  But within the reality of 'Stitchers', this reference to 'Agent Carter' could play out three different ways.
1]  'Stitchers' is to be found in the Marvel Universe. 
And in that world, the modern day audience would assume that all the crazy events from the movies and TV shows (which includes 'Daredevil', 'Jessica Jones', and the upcoming 'Luke Cage' and 'Iron Fist', all from Netflix) and even that Coca-Cola Super Bowl commercial with Hulk and Ant-Man were happening just off-stage from the action in 'Stitchers'.

The reason I don't like this idea is that I would rather keep 'Stitchers' in Earth Prime-Time, the main playground for this televisiologist.  Comix Toobworld 1 is busy enough, especially when you consider it also contains 'Arrow', 'The Flash', and 'Legends Of Tomorrow'.  (It has now been established by the second coming of 'The Flash' that there are multiple Comix Toobworlds as off-shoots from Comix Toobworld 1.  Comix Toobworld 2 contained Jay Garrick as the Flash and Professor Zoom, while Comix Toobworld 3 is the world of 'Supergirl'.  'The Adventures Of Lois & Clark' and 'Superboy' are to be found in Comix Toobworld 4 and as for 'Smallville'?  That is in the same TV dimension as 'The West Wing' and 'Mr. Sterling'.)

2]  There is an Agent Carter doppelganger in the world of Earth Prime-Time.
This could work, but her life would be far different from that of Peggy Carter's over in Comix Toobworld.  First off, the Captain America for the main Toobworld is unfortunately the one to be found in two TV movies - "Captain America" & "Captain America II: Death Too Soon" with Reb Brown as Steve Rogers.  With this version, there is no Steve Rogers from World War II as the ultimate super-soldier.  Rogers gains his powers after being injected with "FLAG" to save his life due to a vicious beating.

It's likely (but never impossible - this is TV, after all, where coincidence reigns supreme!) that Agent Carter's path never crossed that of Captain America.  And she would have been a woman in her sixties by that point.

3]  For Earth Prime-Time, Agent Carter is just a character in the movies.
I'm afraid this would have to be the case due to the many Zonks that must have been generated by now with movies about Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, the Avengers, Hulk, and Ant-Man.  I'm fairly certain that the number of references to these films in other TV shows has become almost unmanageable.  So we'll leave Peggy Carter as a fictional character in Earth Prime-Time.

And dat's de name of dat tune....

Two for Tuesday!



'Stitchers' returned last week, but now their home network, formerly ABC Family, is now known as "Freeform".  And in that Season Two premiere episode, entitled "2.0", there were two pop culture references which were more than just in-jokes and could have an impact on the TV Universe.
The Stitchers program now has a chief of security from the NSA to make sure all the "squints" - oops, wrong show! - all the technicians on the project are safe.  After everything that happened last year, it was time for them to stop playing cerebral cowboys.  Not that it's likely to happen.

During his first experience watching a "stitch", the NSA Agent protecting them (seen above, to the far right) wanted to know if Kirsten had to eat brains in order to gain the information... information... information... out of the heads of the victims.

Maggie couldn't believe he asked that. "She's not a zombie. This is science."
On its surface, treating 'Stitchers' as just a TV show, this is a reference to the CW show 'iZombie'.  In that series, Liv Moore was a semi-zombie who needed to eat brains in order to survive but she wasn't a mindless "walker" as well.  Luckily for her, she worked in the morgue and was able to get a fresh supply of the cranial snacks.

Liv and her co-worker, Ravi Chakraburti, thought they were operating under the radar, but the government, more than likely one of the shadow agencies which were really in charge, probably had a complete dossier on her.  And as long as she could be considered "under control" for her zombie tendencies, then it must have been decided that she could continue fighting the good fight in solving those victims' murders....
And news of this zombie must have spread from one government agency to the other.
So much for that potential Zonk.  It's the second reference, however, that causes a bit of a problem for the integrity of the Toobworld Dynamic. And we'll be covering that in the second post for today.....


Monday, March 28, 2016


Starz is offering non-subscribers the chance to see the first season of 'Outlander' for free online. I'm two episodes in and I'm enjoying it, but I don't see myself taking on another premium network at this time.

Anyhoo, in the second episode ("Castle Leogh"), Claire found herself stuck at the castle as The Mackenzie's "guest" for five days until the tinker came around on his weekly travels.

We can see the tinker here as Claire thought she was making her goodbyes. He's on the left, standing next to his horse....

He doesn't really play much of a role in the events of Claire's life, trapped in 1743. No, his importance Earth Prime-Time will occur long after he is dead. And all because of the name he bears:

It will be the theory of "relateeveety" that Sean Petrie is the forefather of the family tree for several characters in Toobworld. First and foremost there are the Petries originally from Danville, Illinois: Sam Petrie, his sons Robert and Stacy, his grandson Richard ROSEBUD, and their great grand uncle, Hezekiah.

And there are two black men, more than likely cousins, both named Mark Petrie. One was a detective in New York City, while the other was an angry father seeking revenge against a faith healer in Toronto. It's my belief both of those men are descended from Hezekiah Petrie, who had a fondness for the ladies of color back at the turn of the 20th Century.

Between 1743 and 1863 - when Hezekiah shows up in the Toobworld timeline - that's an awful lot of generations that need to be filled in!

By the way, I hope you understand my choice of a heading for this post, considering this cast of characters, even though the action took place in Scotland.....