Saturday, May 13, 2017


From Wikipedia:

Steve Sandor (born October 27, 1937 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is an actor who made his first television appearance on 'Star Trek', playing Lars in the second season episode "The Gamesters of Triskelion".

Having appeared in many television shows such as 'Gunsmoke', 'Ironside', 'The Streets of San Francisco', 'Starsky and Hutch', 'CHiPs', 'Charlie's Angels', 'Fantasy Island', 'Three's Company', 'The A-Team', 'Knight Rider', and 'Hardcastle and McCormick'.

Sandor also had a semi-regular role on the short-lived TV series 'The Yellow Rose', and was also part of the extensive cast of the epic 1978 TV mini-series 'Centennial'. 

Sandor died April 2, 2017 at the age of 79.


Lars was a drill thrall on the planet Triskelion. He was responsible for training the new thralls.

In 2268, he was chosen to train Lieutenant Uhura after she and her crewmates were kidnapped from the starship USS Enterprise by the Providers. He was eventually "selected" for Uhura where he attempted to rape her in her thrall cage. Uhura was able to fight him off at which time Lars informed her that it was "not allowed to refuse selection". Lars died in a match with Captain Kirk where victory for him would mean reuniting him with his crew, when the Andorian thrall threw a spear at Kirk, who ducked under it. The spear impaled Lars, who was standing behind Kirk at the time. (TOS: "The Gamesters of Triskelion")


Lars was one of the humanoid thralls of the Providers in the 23rd century. He was assigned to train Nyota Uhura in 2268 when her landing party was captured and taken to Triskelion. He attempted to rape her in her cage, but she fought him off, in which he alerted her that it was "not allowed to refuse selection." He died while fighting against James T. Kirk, when an Andorian thrall threw a spear at Kirk but missed and accidentally impaled Lars. (TOS episode: "The Gamesters of Triskelion")

It's the usual practice for me as the Monitaur of Toobworld Central to give a TV character the same life span as the actor portraying the role had, unless otherwise specified in the script.  And that is the case here.  Had Lars survived the adventure, we might have calculated that he lived comparatively for the same length of time as Sandor.  Lars died in the Terran year 2268, so if we assume that he was the same age as Steve Sandor, then he was born in 2237.  In Terran years, he was thirty/thirty-one years old when he died.  Had he lived as long as Sandor, then he might have lived until 2317.  But it was not to be.

I'm hoping readers of this post will contact me with their suggestions as to what planet Lars came from.  All we know of him is that he was a humanoid.  But where did he spend the first decades of his life?  

And feel free to suggest planets which are not found within the the TV galaxy that is bound by 'Star Trek' canon.  Any planet of humanoids from 'Babylon 5', 'Doctor Who', 'Lost In Space' or even 'Farscape' could be in play.

But not 'Space: 1999'!  After the explosion of the nuclear waste dumps, the rest of the series was a progression of coma dreams experienced by Commander John Koenig after he was injured by the blast.

Let me know!

Friday, May 12, 2017


Image result for "guardians of the galaxy 2" animated gif

I went to see "The Guardians Of The Galaxy: Volume 2" during the opening weekend with my brother.  And when we got back to my Toobworld Central, we popped the first movie into the DVD player and watched that again.

The two "Guardians Of The Galaxy" movies exist in the Borderland dimension between the Cineverse and Toobworld known as Comix Toobworld Marvel-1.  They share that dimension with all of the current Marvel Universe movies plus the TV shows 'Agents Of SHIELD', 'Daredevil', 'Jessica Jones', 'Luke Cage', 'Iron Fist' and 'The Defenders'.

It would be so cool to have the Guardians in Earth Prime-Time, but it's not to be.  Baby Groot did make an appearance, but that was in the Gekko's daydream in a Geico commercial.  Even for him those are movies.

Even so, I'm writing about the Guardians because there are a few TV issues which must be dealt with from these movies.

First off, here's the basic timeline for both Guardians movies:

1980 - Meredith Quill is impregnated by Ego
1988 - Meredith Quill dies.  Peter Quill kidnapped and raised by Yondu.
2014 - The events of both movies take place.

So 1988 is the absolute boundary for any pop culture references which Peter Quill might know, because he hasn't been back to Earth since he was first abducted.

Since we're only going to be dealing with the TV references.....

This was listed in the IMDb connections because of a similar line of dialogue in both his episode and the first movie.

From the episode:
Hit the light.
I'm gonna check for semen.
My God.
It's like a Jackson Pollock painting.

According to the IMDb:
Quill says the same line: 
Oh she has no idea. 
If I had a black light, 
this would look like a Jackson Pollock painting.

This is just coincidence since that particular episode didn't even air until twenty years after Peter left Earth.  But I am impressed, albeit somewhat dubious, that he knew who Jackson Pollock was by the time he was eight years old.  I'm going to assume that art appreciation was something his mother shared with him.

So here are the references that do matter....

Quill has an 'ALF' sticker on his spaceship.

'ALF' ran on NBC for just over 100 episodes from 1986 to 1990.  The show's third season didn't start until October 1988, so at best, young Peter only saw about 60 episodes of its complete run before he was taken.  But there was more than enough time for a rush of merchandise from the show to flood the market before Christmas, 1986.  At some point before he was abducted, Peter got himself an 'ALF' sticker, but apparently he never had any place worthy enough to stick it on.  At least, not until he got his spaceship.


A relationship between two characters is compared to the "will they/won't they" romance between Sam and Diane.

Although it stumbled when it first began, 'Cheers' went on to become a powerhouse sitcom with two spin-offs ('Frasier', another powerhouse, and 'The Tortellis', eh... not so much), and connections to several other TV shows ('Wings', 'St. Elsewhere', and through 'Frasier', 'Caroline In The City'.)  It aired on NBC from 1982 until 1993, and for the most part it held down the 9 PM timeslot on Thursdays as part of the Peacock Network's "Must See TV" prime-time block.  There were a few times it aired at 9:30 PM instead, and once even at 10 PM.

But it seems a bit too adult for a kid, and those timeslots were all past Peter's bedtime.  (I'm assuming Meredith was a loving mother but one who knew to establish guidelines for her son.)

However.... Meredith may have recorded the show regularly on her VCR and so Peter would have had access to that.

Shelley Long as Diane left the show in 1987, before Peter left Earth, so he would knew about the dynamics of her romance with Sam.....  And he never got the chance to see how the series ended.

Star-Lord references actor John Stamos as one of the many outlaws he's familiar with.

The IMDb contributor believes that it is because of the role played by Stamos in 'Full House' that Peter Quill identified with him as an "outlaw".  But it may be that role as Uncle Jesse was more a character he admired for his ability to rock out.  For a truly (well, nearly) outlaw character played by John Stamos, I think Peter was watching a lot of afternoon TV once he got home from school.  And by that I mean soap operas, back in their heyday of the 1980s.  And one of those would have been 'General Hospital' in which Stamos played a young punk kid with a heart o' gold, Blackie Parrish.

From Wikipedia:
Blackie Parrish was a fictional character on the ABC soap opera 'General Hospital'. He was the foster child of Rick and Lesley Webber. He was portrayed by actor John Stamos from 1982–84.

At the end of his run on the show, Blackie Parrish was sentenced to a correctional facility because he took the rap for the death of the girl that he loved.  Three years later, Stamos would begin his prime-time takeover on 'Full House'.

So I think when Quill was talking about Stamos, it was because of Blackie Parrish and not Uncle Jesse.

Ego briefly takes the form of Michael Knight.

But not just yet.....

There were four seasons of this show and not long after its debut, 'Knight Rider' was moved to Friday nights, so there would have been no problem for Peter, even at that young age to stay up late with no school on Saturdays.  But even if he did miss a few seasons because he was so young, by 1986 when the show was cancelled, it was offered up for syndication.  So Peter would eventually have caught up on the episodes he once missed and fully immersed himself in the adventures of the man he considered a father figure.

Peter Quill: I told Gamora how when I was a kid I used to pretend David Hasselhoff was my dad. He's a singer and actor from Earth, really famous guy. Yondu didn't have a talking car, but he did have a flying arrow. He didn't have a beautiful voice of an angel, but he did have the whistle of one. Both Yondu and David Hasselhoff went on kick-ass adventures and hooked up with hot women, and fought robots. I guess David Hasselhoff did kinda end up being my dad after all, only it was you, Yondu.

I don't blame you if you didn't notice, but I didn't speak of any of these references as Zonks.  That's because 'Alf', 'General Hospital', 'Full House', 'Cheers', and 'Knight Rider' must be only TV shows in Comix Toobworld Marvel-1.  It is in the dimension of Earth Prime-Time in which they are part and parcel of life on Toobworld.

I like to think that the creatives who come up with the TV shows which are a reflection of "real" life in Toobworld are somehow using their powerful imaginations to tap into the cosmic energies of that other world - that what they are dreaming up as fiction is actually factual in the main TV Universe.  

Not every TV dimension has to have a counterpart for every main TV character.....


Thursday, May 11, 2017



Jimmy hired Huell (another character originally seen on 'Breaking Bad') to slip a fully-charged cell phone battery onto his brother Chuck's person before he takes the stand to testify against Jimmy.  (Chuck is supposedly "allergic" to electro-magnetic energy and had demanded that all cell phones be not only disconnected but also handed in to the court while he was on the stand.)

When the ruse was discovered, Chuck laughed it off as an attempt to “split me apart at the seams, like a murderer confessing on an episode of 'Perry Mason'.” He believed that it was a drained battery, which was why he didn't pick up on it.

And that's when Jimmy loaded the batter back into the cell phone to show that it was fully functional.  Chuck proceeded to go boogatz on the stand, with a diatribe that is sure to snare an Emmy nomination at least for Michael McKean and probably for the scriptwriter, Gordon Smith, as well.

I had no problem with the mention of 'Perry Mason' as a TV show; I disabled that Zonk ages ago.  In a general sense, just about everybody in Toobworld is going to have a TV show made about them; at the very least, characters based on them will be making guest appearances in somebody else's show.  And with this famous lawyer from Los Angeles, the original "Mr. L.A. Law", he would not only have a TV show about him and his celebrated cases (which would star an actor who looked like him, one Raymond Burr), but he often appeared on the evening news broadcasts back then - not just the local news but nationwide as well for some of those trials.

I just wish Mr. Smith had trusted in his audience more and not been so specific that it was a TV show, especially concerning a series that is so ingrained into the consciousness of the audience.  Had Chuck said "like a murderer confessing TO Perry Mason", the audience back in the Trueniverse would have understood that it was still a reference to a TV show, but adherents to the "fictional reality" of a TV Universe could have seen it as just a reference to actual events in Toobworld.

But like I said, it's not insurmountable.  And it helps build the tally of non-Zonk references which will help carry Perry Mason into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame later this month.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017



In order to shake off Jerry Grimes from tailing him, and to gather information at the same time, Jim Rockford went into the Mayfair Music Hall (where he was known by the staff) and set up the club's bathroom for the inevitable fight with Grimes to give him the advantage.  Got rid of the guy already in there; spread the liquid soap all over the floor; and loaded his fist with a roll of nickels.

The shots of him entering and exiting the theater provided three points of televisual trivia to explore for me:


From Wikipedia:

The Mayfair Music Hall was an English music hall-styled vaudeville theater devised and created by entrepreneur Milt Larsen, located in Santa Monica, California.

This theater was designed by architect Henry C. Hollwedel, and built in 1913 as the Santa Monica Opera House.

Milt Larsen, John Shrum and Thomas Heric transformed the venue into a Victorian music hall in 1972 and produced British variety shows there for 8 years. The ornate boxes and staff work were rescued from the grand old Belmont Theater, a major movie palace adjacent to the famed Bimini Baths at 1st and Vermont in Los Angeles.

Entrepreneur Larsen's full traditional music hall productions featured noted actors and performers, such as Bernard Fox, Beatrice Kay, Larry "Seymour" Vincent, Mousie Garner, Ian Whitcomb, Eubie Blake, Gene Bell, English entertainer Joyce Howard, and other actors and musical stars of the day.

In later years it later became the home for Chicago's 'Second City Television' and 'The A-List'.

In 1974, the theater was used to film the famous "Puttin' on the Ritz" sequence in "Young Frankenstein".

The theatre was damaged in the 1994 Northridge earthquake, and the building was demolished in 2010.


From the IMDb:

Martyn Green was born on April 22, 1899 in London, England as William Martyn-Green. He was an actor, known for The Mikado (1939), The Iceman Cometh (1973) and Gilbert and Sullivan (1953). He was married to Joyce M. Fentem and Yvonne Chaveau. He died on February 8, 1975 in Hollywood, California, USA.

Lost a leg in an elevator accident.

Served with the Royal Fusiliers on the Western Front in World War I. Invalided out in 1918 with a severe leg injury. After recuperation for nearly a year, he went on to study at the Royal College of Music from 1919 to 1921. The following year, he got his first few bit parts on the musical stage and was then hired by the D'Oyly Carte Company.

The son of a concert tenor, he was best known for his interpretations of Gilbert & Sullivan, in particular as Major General Stanley in 'Pirates of Penzance'. Member of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company from 1922 to 1951.

From Wikipedia:

William Martyn-Green (22 April 1899 – 8 February 1975), better known as Martyn Green, was an English actor and singer. He is best known for his work as principal comedian in the Gilbert & Sullivan comic operas, which he performed and recorded with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company and other troupes.

For more on Martyn Green, click here.

Of particular interest to me was that he directed Groucho Marx in a production of "The Mikado" and appeared in episodes of the 1966 'The Jackie Gleason Show: The Honeymooners', 'The Hallmark Hall of Fame' production of "Alice In Wonderland" as the White Rabbit, as Bob Cratchit in the live-action "The Stingiest Man In Town" (with Vic Damone and Basil Rathbone as Scrooge, Younger and Older respectively) in anthology series like 'Studio One', 'The United States Steel Hour', 'Kraft Television Theatre', and in a couple episodes of dramatic fare - 'The Defenders' and 'The Trials of O'Brien'.  


From the IMDb:

Gene Bell was born on January 4, 1921 in Buffalo, New York, USA. He was an actor, known for Days of Heaven (1978), Minstrel Man (1977) and Doin' Time (1985). He died on June 2, 1995 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Literally - that's all he has listed at the IMDb.  He must have spent a lifetime in vaudeville and burlesque.  I have no idea.  And Wikipedia didn't even have an entry for him, preferring instead to focus on Larry Gene Bell, a serial killer....

Both men had TV credits (although just one TV movie for Bell), so they contributed citizens to various TV dimensions throughout the ages.  But this marquee confirms their existence as "televersions" in at least one Toobworld as well.  It's just that they're "Unseen On TV."

Now, this pilot episode, as is, only exists in Prequel Toobworld because of the casting of Robert Donley as Rocky.  He was replaced for the series by Noah Beery, Jr. and that is the version of Rockford's life which exists in the main Toobworld.

But since Lindsay Wagner returned in a later episode that first season as Sarah Butler, we know her original adventure took place in the main Toobworld as well.  The first BIG difference was that Rocky looked different in both worlds.  But as I mentioned in yesterday's post, it looks as though she didn't have a brother in the main Toobworld, adopted or otherwise.  Instead, that little boy who grew up as her brother in Prequel Toobworld was instead a street artist in the main Toobworld.

Nevertheless, the rest of that adventure played out the same.  So the Jim Rockford in the main Toobworld also tangled with Mrs. Mildred Elias and also ducked into that music hall.  So I might as well assume Toobworld's Green & Bell were on the bill in Earth Prime-Time as well.

O'Bservation: And in Earth Prime as well.  I get this feeling they filmed that marquee as it was with the original announcement about Martyn Green and Gene Rule.....

I guess that's about all the trivia I can squeeze out of that marquee.....


Tuesday, May 9, 2017



Recastaways.  They are always such a pain in the butt for your hard-working televisiologist such as myself, the self-styled Monitaur of Toobworld.  I've got plenty of splainins to choose from, but sometimes none of them really work.

Submitted for your approval, one Joseph "Rocky" Rockford of Los Angeles, California.  A simple man, a trucker by profession now semi-retired.  He had one son, his boy Jimmy, who had been locked away for five years for a crime he didn't commit and who was now a private eye.  (Two hundred dollars a day plus expenses.)

This is Rocky:

Doesn't look right, does it?

Rocky should look more like two of his great-grandfathers, Buffalo Baker, a frontier scout, and the man he was named after, Joey Rockford, a circus clown.

For the series, Rocky was played by Noah Beery, Jr.  But in the two-hour pilot, Robert Donley played the role.

The simpllest splainin of plastic surgery doesn't work - no matter how badly he may have needed it, as Stephen Carrington and George Shumway did, there was no way the Rockfords could have afforded it.  And the other splainins are too far out there to be realistic enough for this show.  (They include quantum leaping and alien impersonation - perhaps by Zygons.)

So there's only one path left open to us - as with many TV pilots before it, the "Backlash Of The Hunter" episode must be related to Prequel Toobworld.  It is because of a small quirk in the combinations of their DNA which caused the two iterations of Joseph Rockford to look different in the two TV dimensions.

But that wouldn't be the only difference between the two worlds as far as 'The Rockford Files' goes.  We did get to see Sarah Butler again during another investigation by Jim Rockford. ("Aura Lee, Farewell")  But that time, there was a man who looked just like her brother Nick, who had been working in a pharmacy and struggling to pay for medical school.  (The investigation into their father's death had screwed his chances to have his medical school bills paid for.)

Only now, this other man was a street artist named Trask who was of no relation to Sarah.

Here's my splainin for that: in both worlds, this young man had been adopted.  In Prequel Toobworld, he had been adopted by Harry Butler and his wife to be raised as the brother to their daughter Sarah.  (If the Butlers did adopt a baby boy in the main Toobworld, then they chose a different baby.  This same splainin was used as the reasoning for two different bank robbers named Hannibal Heyes in different TV dimensions.  Prequel Toobworld was not involved in that case; it was the main Toobworld {Pete Duel} and the Land o' Remakes {Roger Davis}.)

At any rate, we definitely have Jim Rockford looking like a movie star named James Garner in both of those TV dimensions.

  • 'Circus Boy'
  • 'Hondo'
  • 'Alias Smith And Jones'
  • 'Dynasty'
  • 'Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman'
  • 'Quantum Leap'
  • 'Doctor Who'



At the end of the episode, when Jim was bailed out - yet again! - by Beth Davenport, several arrested working girls were shepherded past him.  One of them took an interest in him and he picked up on her attention:

No dialogue was exchanged, so the actress got no credit for the appearance.  But I can't help thinking that I'm seeing Nita Talbot there.  And here is a good picture of this fun character actress:

Ms. Talbot is best known for so many guest appearances on shows like 'Hogan's Heroes', 'Columbo', 'Fantasy Island', 'Bewitched', 'McCloud', and regular or recurring roles in 'Starting From Scratch', 'Here We Go Again', 'The Jim Backus Show', 'Hogan's Heroes', 'Soap', 'General Hospital', and 'Bourbon Street Beat'.

One of my favorites of her roles was as Beatrice Collins, better known by the nickname of "Blondie", in four episodes of 'The Thin Man'.  Blondie was a really good bad girl.

Nita Talbot did appear in 'The Rockford Files', in the two-hour pilot movie "Backlash Of The Hunter".  (Still not exactly sure what that title was supposed to mean.)  She played Mrs. Mildred Elias [née Doyle] and she was a very naughty girl indeed!

So if this was Nita Talbot, Mrs. Elias could have still been in prison by the time of this episode.  But then why was she in regular clothes rather than in a prison uniform?  And why was she in the jail and not in prison?

Mrs. Elias - now back to her maiden name of Mildred Doyle - may have already been released from prison, even if she was charged in California on a felony fraud conviction. 

Felony false personation carries a potential fine of up to ten thousand dollars, and a potential sentence of sixteen months, two years or three years (which in most cases will be served in county jail under California's realignment program).

"The Trouble With Warren" was in the third season, and there's no guarantee of the time-span between it and the pilot episode.  It may have been over three years.  As for a charge of complicity in the murder of Harry Butler, a really good lawyer would have negotiated a lesser plea deal overall and perhaps immunity as an accomplice in the murder if she testified against the actual murderer, Jerry Grimes.  And considering how he treated her, I think Mildred would have been more than happy to testify.

So then maybe we don't have to worry about the timeline after all. Maybe she never saw the inside of a prison and instead was given a new identity and place to live in exchange for her testimony against Grimes.  And perhaps he had been able to swing a re-trial, so Mildred (under her new name) had to come back to Los Angeles to testify again.  That's why she was in the jail - for her own protection during the trial.

My go-to lawyer Perry Mason wouldn't take the case; he was too high-principled to handle it.  But hot-shot, jet-setting Texas lawyer Milton Porter (heir to the Porter Automobile family fortune) would have seen the lucrative value in the case even if he lost, just from the publicity alone.

One last theory:

She could have been out of prison, at least on parole.  And there's the splainin as to why she was back in jail again - somehow she violated her parole.  Struggling to earn a living now that she had been stripped of the Elias fortune, Mildred Doyle might have been caught dealing with unsavory types in violation of the terms of her parole.  She may even have been turning tricks to earn a few bucks.

So there she was - back in the slammer and she recognized Rockford right away as the man responsible for her predicament.  (At least, that would be her perspective.)  Jimbo, on the other hand, would have taken a little while longer to remember her.

I don't think I'll ever find out who the actress was in that scene if it wasn't Nita Talbot.  But it doesn't really matter anyhoo.  I like my splainin and I'm sticking to it.

So there.

  • 'Murder, She Wrote'
  • 'Perry Mason'
  • 'My Mother, The Car'

Monday, May 8, 2017



From the IMDb:
Dave (Joby Baker) and Larry (Ronnie Schell) become enamored by a pair of Laurel and Hardy salt and pepper shakers at an auction that they are serving as auctioneers. The girls, Linda (Julie Parrish) and Sandy (Goldie Hawn), come up with an idea for them to both have them. The guys aren't pleased with the outcome and try to find a way to solve the problem.

Linda and Sandy's solution was to give each of them one of the shakers.  So both of them had one but not the compete set.....

What good is one? It has to be Laurel and Hardy. 
Some things don’t mean anything unless they’re together. 
Did you ever hear of anybody buying a pong table? 
What good is lickety without split? Or hanky without panky?

Out of curiosity, I went looking around the Net but couldn't find that exact pair of Laurel & Hardy salt and pepper shakers in the real world.  But they have been the subject of other shakers in the past:

I prefer the Toobworld one over the real ones.  And that pair was the best looking version I saw online.  There was another design that - even if it had been in pristine shape - was really ugly.

Just an O'Bservation having recently visited the PEZ factory in Connecticut - If they weren't in the past (I didn't see them among the displays), then I think the Boys would make excellent PEZ dispensers.


Sunday, May 7, 2017


it's not Peter Falk's birth date, nor the anniversary of his death; and usually we save the TV Western videos for the annual August showcase.  

But I'm a big fan of both Falk and Westerns.  And of Inger Stevens, which is why I've added the first video.  

And I'll admit it.  I didn't have any inspiration for this week's Video Sunday......



A word of warning on this last one: It's really only an hour long.  The rest of the video is comprised of scenes regurgitated with no rhyme or reason.  But worst of all, that first hour cuts off with just a few minutes left to go.