Saturday, February 18, 2017


In the Super Bowl this year, KFC introduced their new version of Colonel Sanders - the Colonel Sanders Gold.  He supplanted the previous NFL Colonel Sanders, making him the sixth successor of Colonel Harland Sanders, the original recipe as it were, who was established in Toobworld as a member of the League of Themselves.  (Among his appearances on talk shows and a couple of panel game shows, Colonel Sanders also did a cameo bit on 'Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In'.)

As for the six "Colonels" whom we've seen in the commercials, the Toobworld Dynamic is turning to Marvel Comics for a splainin about their origins.

From Wikipedia:
A Life Model Decoy (or LMD for short) is a S.H.I.E.L.D.-designed robot that duplicates all outward aspects of a living person. The owner can see through, speak through, and control everything the Life Model Decoy does. Nick Fury's Life Model Decoys are probably the most common in the Marvel Universe.

It is designed to function as an exact body double for VIPs. Their design is such that they mimic the subject's outer appearance (i.e., fingerprints, hair, all details of the skin), speech patterns, scent, iris and retina patterns, body language, thought patterns (to fool telepaths), and any other biological indicators. Aside from any invasive procedure and vulnerability to strong EMP, they are indistinguishable from the original.

LMDs first appeared in "Strange Tales" #135 (August 1965), in which the spy agency S.H.I.E.L.D. created LMDs of agent Nick Fury to use as decoys for an attack by HYDRA.

Currently, 'Agents of SHIELD' just reached the height of their story arc about LMDs replacing the original humans in charge of SHIELD.  So they do exist in the TV Universe now.  But that's in the dimension of Comix Toobworld which has absorbed the Marvel line of movies as well.  As a matter of fact, Nick Fury as played by Samuel Jackson is a member of the TV Crossover Hall of Fame because he has straddled both the many films and this TV show as well.

But Jackson is not the Nick Fury of the main Toobworld.  That "honor" goes to David Hasslehoff who played the role in a TV movie which also served as a pilot for a TV show that was never picked up.  (But the Hoff did have the blessing and praise of Stan Lee in the role.)  Marvel is represented in Earth Prime-Time with the TV series of 'Spiderman' and the one for 'The Incredible Hulk' with additional appearances by Daredevil and Captain America, among others.  (The Netflix shows are to be found in Comix Toobworld because they do have tangential connections to the various Marvel movie franchises.)

And androids have been in the main Toobworld for decades, like Hymie the Robot and the Fembots who were eventually defeated by Jamie Sommers.  Basically they were all LMDs as well, despite who created them.  (Although the TwD does assert that Dr. Franklin designed the original specifications for Hymie.)

But unlike their use in Comix Toobworld, androids have been absorbed into the mainstream of televised life in Toobworld.  And so now, in the Toobview, KFC is using LMDs to continue the tradition of Colonel Sanders' image in the main TV dimension.  And it only became apparent that they were androids with the introduction of this new golden Colonel Sanders, made of a malleable metal.

Actually Comix Toobworld in the end could be a better choice for the appearance of these KFC LMDs even though their existence should be considered a secret to the public at large.  Why?  Didn't you wonder why I'm talking about these Kentucky Fried blipverts on Saturday when I usually run blog posts about TV characters as comic book characters?

Well, check this out:

And compare that with this advertising confrontation which led up to Super Bowl XI:

The Flash* and Green Lantern would also be in Comix Toobworld; it's a TV dimension which houses DC Comics characters as well as the Marvel heroes and villains even if they don't interact.

So even though this promotional comic came out first, we can still say that it represents a visualization of TV characters in Comix Toobworld.

By the way, these are the actors who has played the Colonel in these KFC commercials:

Darrell Hammond

Norm McDonald

Jim Gaffigan

Rob Riggle

George Hamilton (Crispy version)

Billy Zane (Gold version)


* The main Toobworld does have its share of Marvel and DC superheroes as seen in such shows as 'The Adventures Of Superman', 'Batman', 'Wonder Woman', 'The Incredible Hulk', 'Swamp Thing', and 'Spider-Man'.  The Flash is in the main Toobworld thanks to the 1990 series, but it was the new version from Comix Toobworld which acknowledged the presence of Green Lantern.  This was due to a subtle reference with the use of the Ferris Airfield in the first episode of the new show.

Friday, February 17, 2017


Sgt. Phil Fish was rarely rattled by whatever situations were thrown his way.  He usually faced Life's roadblocks with aplomb and with a deadpan (and half-dead) delivery of self-deprecating observations.  About the only thing that could make him apoplectic were threats to his continued employment as a cop.  And those were coming more frequently as he was fast approaching the mandatory retirement age.

There was one time during the years in which Fish was seen by the audience of the Trueniverse in which he experienced a combination of his aplomb and his apoplexy, and it was all tied in to the first time he ever meet Detective Arthur Dietrich.

A look at Fish's home life results when he decides to go on restricted duty. Steve Landesberg steps in as Arthur Dietrich. (iMDb)

Florence Stanley played Bernice in six episodes of 'Barney Miller' and in 35 episodes of 'Fish', for a total of 41 episodes.  She could have done so for 42 - the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything - but she wasn't available for this one.  (She was probably tied down to filming the 'Joe And Sons' episode "Nick's Problem".)

Instead Doris Belack (memorial member of the TV Crossover Hall of Fame for her role as Judge Margaret Barry on 'Law & Order', 'Law & Order: SVU', and 'Undercover') played Bernice while Emily Levine was cast as their daughter Beverly Fish.

Nature abhors a vacuum, and Toobworld abhors a Recastaway.  They make extra work for this Handyman.  So it's time for a bit o' conjectural splainin!

Besides this new Bernice, the presence of Beverly in Fish's life causes problems as well.  She was never seen again on the show.  What happened to Beverly?  Moved away?  Death?  Fish mentioned Beverly a year later when Officer Frank Slater revealed that he had the hots for Bernice back before she ended up with Fish.  ("She's the mother of my daughter!" Fish protested.)  And that would mean they were talking about Bernice 2 and that would mean she had the last name of "Gruber" as mentioned by Slater.  

Here's what I'm thinking....

No, it's not a case of an alternate dimension, but something more... ordinary.

Fish was basically a bigamist.

Sure, I've come up with other theories for Recastaways in the past - plastic surgery, alien exchanges, android replicants, quantum leaps.  But I don't think any of those would work in this case.  

And it's not like I think 'Barney Miller' is a fully realistic series.  I know that thirty years ago or so cops were polled on what they thought was the most realistic police show ever broadcast and the winner was 'Barney Miller'.  Yet the show dealt with time travel, astral projection to other worlds, demonic possession.... And it amuses me to claim that all of those examples actually happened.

So why not something almost normal in comparison like bigamy?

At some point in the late 1940s, Phil Fish - already married to Bernice - met another woman who was also named Bernice, probably during an investigation.  And she looked remarkably like his wife at a younger age.   Surprisingly, his obvious interest in her was returned - to the point that she conceived a child, their daughter Beverly.

Fish loved her, but he also loved Bernice 1.  There was no way he was going to seek a divorce, but he wasn't going to abandon his love and their daughter.  Bernice 2 understood this.  Although she was upset that he wasn't going to marry her, at least she wanted to find a way to keep him in her life.

And so he set them up in another apartment, nowhere near where Bernice 1 might learn of their existence.  Fish and Bernice 2 also decided that Beverly should never learn the truth.  She was raised a Fish and went through Life believing that her parents were actually married.

Then came the day when Sgt. Arthur Dietrich surreptitiously followed him home during his lunch hour.

Fish had been angry because the closing of the 33rd Precinct and the transfer of Dietrich to the Ol' 1-2 was another sign to Fish that mandatory retirement was fast approaching.  And he needed to keep working so that he had enough money to support both of his Bernices.  He lashed out unfairly at Dietrich and then stormed out of the station, telling the others he was going home to have lunch.

And he did go home.  Only it was to the home that he shared with Bernice 2 and Beverly... not that Dietrich knew that.

During the whole time while Dietrich was visiting there, doing his impression of Gregory Peck, Fish played it cool, nonchalantly acting innocent about the situation.  He knew that Dietrich didn't know anything about him and he would make sure it stayed that way.  All the time he acted angrily towards Dietrich (while pitching day-old bread at the pigeons), he was plotting his game plan: to get Dietrich out of the apartment as quickly as possible without raising suspicion.  

Bernice 2 would have known that their secret was in danger of discovery, but she was acting cool because something else was occupying her mind: that her beloved daughter had been duped by a cheating boyfriend who was already married.  

I'm sure the irony wasn't lost on her when she had the chance to ruminate on it later.

Why would Bernice 2 have accepted such a demeaning position in Life as "the other woman"?  Especially when it was such a decrepit flatfoot like Phil Fish?  I can only assume it was because Fish was hung like Mr. Ed.

I've looked through the rest of the 'Barney Miller' episodes in which Florence Stanley returned as Bernice 1 and it wasn't until the end of Fish's time at the 12th Precinct when her path finally crossed with Dietrich.  But by that time, his one encounter with Bernice 2 was just a distant memory - if he remembered her at all.  (It has already been established that the detectives in the squad room dealt with so many people on the job that they just couldn't remember them all.*)

When Fish encountered an actual bigamist named Fred Clooney, who was about to be transported to Cleveland to face trial on that charge, everything he said could be interpreted as being spoken by a man with experience on the topic.  ("A man with two wives doesn't have an opinion.  He just nods.")  But as he wasn't married to Bernice 2 then he wasn't a bigamist by legal definition.  Only in his heart.

FISH:After I met Bernice, I didn't want anyone to know;
kept her a secret from anyone.

How long did you manage that?

Oh... until about three years ago....

But which Bernice?

There is one problem with this theory.  In the two-part episode "Contagion", Fish called Bernice to tell her that he was now quarantined at the precinct due to a possible outbreak of smallpox.  During that call, she reminded him that they had not spent a night apart in 44 years.  It would be tough to juggle two relationships - one a true marriage and the other more of a deep, loving bond in which a daughter resulted - without spending some nights with Bernice 2.  

Who knows?  Maybe he did pull it off.  Maybe Bernice 2 was willing to accept a relationship in which she only saw Fish during daylight hours.  Maybe all of those supposed doctor appointments were really an excuse to spend time with her and Beverly. Or maybe Fish would dope up Bernice 1 so that she slept through the night without ever realizing he was sneaking out to spend time with his other "wife".

Why not?  It's no less crazy a theory than saying that they were the same Bernice, but one day she was replaced by some quantum leaper from the Future.  

And I prefer it to just abandoning this pocket kingdom of fantasy of mine by just shrugging it off as a Recastaway.....


*  Otherwise, they would have remarked how much Dietrich looked like a former suspect who called himself "Father Paul".  (Theory of relateeveety: Father Paul was Paul Dietrich, Arthur's identical cousin.)

Thursday, February 16, 2017


Peter Marshall:
Paul, what is "The Great White Way"?
Paul Lynde:
Eating chicken with a fork.
'The Hollywood Squares'


In Toobworld, newspapers are usually fictional because they're going to showcase something that actually has import for the story in the episode.  But in this episode of 'That Girl', Don and Ann were reading an actual copy of the New York Times.  Even if the date of the production can be tracked down via the IMDb and other sources, we can determine approximately when this episode was filmed based on those ads for various Broadway plays.

With this showcase, these plays actually took place in Toobworld, but their "televersions" may have differences from the productions that were mounted on the Great White Way.  The length of their runs, for instance.  

Here's a quick summation of what these plays were about:


Ian McShane, Eileen Atkins and Ian McKellen play three young Russians whose dreams are interrupted by World War II. Older and wiser 16 years later, they still pursue their visions. The 'love story' by Aleksei Arbuzov opened on November 14, 1967 at Henry Miller's Theater in New York; it ran for 23 performances.


"Black Comedy" was first presented in New York with White Lies at the Ethel Barrymore Theater by Alexander H. Cohen directed by John Dexter.  The production featured the Broadway debut of both Michael Crawford and Lynn Redgrave. The production previewed from January 31, 1967 and opened on February 12, 1967. It closed on December 2, 1967 after a total of 14 previews and 337 performances.


Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, (10/09/1967 - 11/18/1967) 
SYNOPSIS: Legendary singer Marlene Dietrich performs a concert of German songs and other standards.  (I would not be surprised if Mel Brooks saw this theatrical concert and was inspired to create Lili Von Schtuppe of "Blazing Saddles".)

And this is the one which intrigues me the most....


"The Unknown Soldier and His Wife" is a 1967 play by Peter Ustinov.  The marvelously wry "two acts of war separated by a truce for refreshment" which was launched at Lincoln Center. The tale of the common soldier who is about to be buried with honors but who, on investigation, turns out to be the same fall-guy throughout the world's history, dragging his wife along with him. Over and over the same wars recur and the same common soldier is buried with honors after death.  The first preview was June 27, 1967 and it opened on July 6, closing November 12, 1967.*

[These synopses are from a combination of excerpts from Wikipedia, Playbill, the Hirschfeld estate, and the Samuel French company.]

Especially with New York-based TV shows, real plays have been cited just as often as fictional plays.  "Wicked" showed up in 'Ugly Betty' and 'Rules Of Engagement'; Alex of 'Gilmore Girls' saw "Moose Murders"; producer Maxwell Sheffield turned down the opportunities to mount "Hair", "Tommy", and most painfully, "Cats".  

And in the most crowded of references, the cops of the 53rd Precinct went on a search to find tickets to a Broadway show but were turned away at the box offices for  "How to Succeed in Business (Without Really Trying)", "Carnival!", "A Thousand Clowns", and "Milk and Honey", "The Sound Of Music", "Mary, Mary", "No Strings", "Camelot", and "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum".  (We saw the officers making their weary trek along Broadway as the marquees for each of those shows was seen.)


O'BSERVATION: I read a novel by Ustinov - "Krumnagle" - and saw two movies he wrote - "John Goldfarb, Please Come Home" and "Hot Millions".  He had a very trenchant wit, which sometimes took me a while to fully appreciate.  ("Krumnagle" especially.)  I'm keen now to read this play.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


From Wikipedia:

"Stargate: Continuum" is a 2008 Canadian-American military science fiction direct-to-video film in the 'Stargate' franchise. It is the second sequel to television series 'Stargate SG-1' following "The Ark of Truth". It is directed by Martin Wood, director and producer of many episodes of 'Stargate SG-1' and 'Stargate Atlantis', written by 'SG-1' and 'Atlantis' creator Brad Wright, and produced by Wright and "Ark of Truth" director Robert C. Cooper.

The film is a time-travel adventure in which Ba'al travels back to 1939 to create an alternate timeline in which Earth never establishes their Stargate program, and to take control of the Goa'uld Empire. The only people to remember the truth, the SG-1 team attempts to reinstate the original timeline. The film stars the main cast of the show's last season, with the return of Richard Dean Anderson as Jack O'Neill.

Near the end of this movie, there was this exchange of dialogue:

I was hoping that we could go over the plans for the new moonbase.
What moonbase?

Even though the timeline was disrupted by Ba'al until it was set right by the SG-1 team, it was basically happening in 2008, the year in which the video came out.  Nine years earlier, Moonbase Alpha suffered severe damage when the nuclear waste dump on the far side of the Moon exploded.  (As you probably know, this happened in the first episode of 'Space: 1999'.)

So when Sam mentioned "the new moonbase", that determiner suggests that there was at least one previous moonbase.  And a moratorium on building a new moonbase which lasted about nine years seems about right.

Now some of you might think that there shouldn't be any moonbase without a moon.  But that's because you must think everything that happened after that explosion as seen in 'Space: 1999' actually took place.  But in the grand scheme of things in the Toobworld Dynamic, Commander Koenig of Moonbase Alpha had been seriously injured in the explosion and everything we saw in the show was part of his coma dream.

So the Moon has always been up there and this relieves the Dynamic of such an astral Zonk.  Except for the beginning, 'Space: 1999' was a dream series like 'Newhart' which only had its reality in the ending.

And when Jack asked "What moonbase?", it was because he had been out of the loop when it came to the acceptance of the concept.  But now Sam wanted his input on its construction and command organization structure.  (She probably wanted his advice as to whether there should have been another CONTROL division based there as there had been at the first moonbase.)

So the way I heard that simple exchange, it made a theoretical reference to the history of Moonbase Alpha.....

This new moonbase would contain a weather station which will be attacked by the Cybermen in 2170.  Twenty years later, the moonbase was attacked by the Ice Warriors.  Both times the moonbase was saved by the second incarnation of the Doctor.  (As seen in the 'Doctor Who' adventures "The Moonbase" and "The Seeds Of Death".


Tuesday, February 14, 2017


(This is Inner Toob post #10,600!)

Monday, February 13, 2017


I announced earlier this year that rapid entry into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame would be limited to recently departed members of the League of Themselves who qualified with appearances in three different TV series instead of also applying that to any fictional characters who were played by recently deceased actors.  But they would be on the fast track for the next year on the regular monthly schedule.  And as you might have noticed with last year's memorial entries into the Hall, there were quite a few League of Themselves who sadly became eligible based on that.

From the Los Angeles Times:
Al Jarreau, the legendary jazz artist and seven-time Grammy winner, has died. He was 76.

The singer died about 6 a.m. Sunday at a Los Angeles hospital surrounded by family and friends, his agent said.

Dubbed the “Acrobat of Scat” for his vocal delivery and admired by fans for his imaginative and improvisational qualities, Jarreau had a career that spanned five decades and 20 albums. His biggest single was "We're in This Love Together" from 1981. He also sang the theme song for TV's "Moonlighting." 

He is the only Grammy vocalist to win in the jazz, pop and R&B categories.

I decided to check out Mr. Jarreau's credits in the IMDb before I added him to the Hat Squad list for 2017, expecting the only credit of note would be his rendition of the theme song for 'Moonlighting'.  So I was surprised to find out that he played himself in enough TV shows to qualify for membership in the TVXOHOF!

SCTV Network
- CCCP 1 (1981)

SCTV's regular programming is interrupted by a Soviet satellite.  The "SCTV Movie of the Week" is "The Jazz Singer" starring Al Jarreau as the son. Sid Dithers plays the father, a Jewish soul singer who can't understand why his adopted son wants to be a cantor. Al sings "We're in This Love Together," with Sid accompanying on the sax. Sid is disappointed in his son, and thinks he should have adopted Barry White instead. The Rabbi goes to ask Sid to come to the service where his son will debut as cantor. Sid attends, in silver disco boots, and all is well. 

New York Undercover
- High on the Hog (1995) 
Now physically recovered, Williams is awaiting approval to return to active duty. Torres and his new partner pose as bikers to solve the double homicide of an informant and her little girl.  Al Jarreau performs "We're In This Love Together"

Touched by an Angel
- Indigo Angel (1996)

An elderly man in ill health manages a blues club which he refuses to close for business even though it no longer makes money. He is waiting for a sign that he is supposed to close the club.

Jarreau used to babysit the young man in the middle of the above picture.

The Soul Man
- Oh My Goddy (2014)

Boyce feels the pressure when he's nominated for a big award. Lolli makes a sexy gesture to get Boyce's attention.

[Information comes from the IMDb save for the 'New York Undercover' episode which is courtesy of]

Mr. Jarreau had another shot at membership in the TVXOHOF with an actual character, but he only got 2/3s of the way there.  

'Touched By An Angel'
"Amazing Grace Part One"

'Promised Land'
"Amazing Grace Part One"

Once again he returned to 'Touched By An Angel', but this time Jarreau was Reverend Gentry Hall, the pastor of an inner-city church in Denver.  'Promised Land' was already the spin-off from 'Touched By An Angel' and this one of the other times when their characters would interact.  Unfortunately, neither of the shows had reason to return to that black parish in Denver so Reverend Hall never got that Hat Trick to qualify for membership in the Hall.  No Hall in the Hall this time, I'm afraid.

Still, Al Jarreau made it on his own merits and there are so many great actors, comedians, and singers who will never be inducted, so that's saying something

Good night and may God bless, Al Jarreau.  A beautiful voice stilled forever, but we have the recordings and videos of your performances so that you'll live on in memory.


Circa 1956, a son was born to the Caine family in New York City.  (He had a brother named Raymond.)  Mr. Caine was an admirer of a British captialist named Horatio Kane, who was generally considered to be the father of modern industry.  As such, he decided to name his son after "King" Kane, in the hopes that the boy would grow up to emulate his namesake in the world of business, high finance, and manufacturing.

Had he lived, Mr. Caine would have been disappointed by young Horatio's career path, but then he only had himself to blame.  Caine was an abusive man, prone to beating his wife and two sons.  In a drunken rage one night, he killed his wife and was then in turn killed by Horatio who was trying to protect his mother.  This influenced Horatio Kane to pursue his future in police methods, eventually becoming head of the day shift at the crime lab for the MIami Police Department.

As it turned out, Horatio "King" Kane was not the great man Mr. Caine believed him to be.  When young Horatio Caine was nine years old, Kane bought Pinter's Department Store in London and transformed the building into a nuclear bomb which he planned to use to hold the British government to ransom.  HIs desire was to take control of the entire country.  Luckily two agents of Her Majesty's Secret Service, John Steed and Mrs. Emma Knight Peel, were able to prevent this and bring an end to "King" Kane's mad plan for conquest.

In the many years during which the Trueniverse audience was able to witness Horatio Caine's career with the crime lab, he never once mentioned that he had something of a connection to the infamous Horatio Kane.  But honestly - is it something you'd want to share with the world?


"Death At Bargain Prices"

Entire series


Sunday, February 12, 2017


It's been a few weeks since my last "Crossing Zone" post and I figured today was as good a day as any to launch this next one.....

But first, if you haven't seen "The Passers-By" episode of 'The Twilight Zone', 'Life On Mars', or 'Ashes to Ashes', then I suggest you turn away as there will be plenty of SPOILERS!!!!


This road is the afterwards of the Civil War. 
It began at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, 
and ended at a place called Appomattox. 
It's littered with the residue of broken battles 
and shattered dreams.
In just a moment, you will enter a strange province
that knows neither North nor South, 
a place we call—The Twilight Zone."

While headed home a Confederate soldier meets an anguished woman at the end of the Civil War.  (IMDb)

The Confederate Sergeant realized long before it dawned on Lavinia Godwin that they were no longer on Earth.  Both of them were dead and transmuted to the personification of their souls.  They were no longer sitting by the road near her home; it was just a visualization of her heart's desire.  The road was in fact the road to the next stage for all of these souls passing by.  (I would not be surprised if there was a fork in the road ahead - pointing the direction toward Heaven & Hell.)

The episode takes place in Limbo, just as the British TV series 'Life On Mars' and 'Ashes To Ashes' do as well.  Limbo looks like whatever is needed for the soul that is occupying it.  So for Lavinia Godwin, it looked like the road running alongside her home.  Who knows how it looked from the perspective of the Sergeant or any of the other "soul-diers" traipsing along it?  

But by the time Abraham Lincoln came long the road, Lavinia knew that the Sergeant was right - this had to be the road to the afterlife.  Once she realized that, she accepted her fate and moved on to the next stage.  For Alex Drake, it was the same thing: once Hunt had determined that she was ready to move on, Alex went into the Railway Arms bar, albeit reluctantly, to move on to the next plane of existence.

I have other TV shows in mind to connect with 'Ashes To Ashes' because of the Limbo aspect - 'Sherlock', 'Madigan', a good part of the sixth season of 'Lost'.  This episode of 'The Twilight Zone' may have been the first, but who knows?