Saturday, August 12, 2017


We looked at the life of Butch Cassidy as seen in 'Death Valley Days' yesterday.  Here's the actual episode:


Friday, August 11, 2017



From Wikipedia:
Robert Leroy Parker (April 13, 1866 – November 7, 1908), better known as Butch Cassidy, was a notorious American train robber and bank robber, and the leader of a gang of criminal outlaws known as the "Wild Bunch" in the American Old West.

After participating in criminal activity in the United States for more than a decade at the end of the 19th century, the pressures of being pursued by law enforcement, notably by the Pinkerton detective agency, forced Parker to flee the country with an accomplice, Harry Alonzo Longabaugh, known as the "Sundance Kid", and Longabaugh's girlfriend Etta Place. The trio traveled first to Argentina and then to Bolivia, where Parker and Longabaugh were supposedly killed in a shootout with Bolivian police in November 1908; the exact circumstances of their fate continue to be disputed.

Parker's life and death have been extensively dramatized in film, television, and literature, and he remains one of the most well-known icons of the "Wild West" mythos in modern times.

For more, click here.

I think the impact from the movie "Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid" made the prospect of a TV show with them as the regular characters too daunting.  How could you compare to Newman and Redford?  (Although Tom Berenger and William Katt did a pretty good job in depicting their early years.)  Roy Huggins got around that by creating two new characters that could be seen as being inspired by Butch and Sundance: Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry, 'Alias Smith And Jones'.

But here are the televersions of Butch Cassidy compiled by Wikipedia:


  • 1958: In the Tales of Wells Fargo (October 13) episode "Butch Cassidy," Butch Cassidy is played by Charles Bronson.
  • 1969: In the Death Valley Days episode "Drop Out," a young Butch Cassidy is played by Michael Margotta.
  • 1994: The Gambler V: Playing for Keeps is a film about a fictionalized adventure where the main character finds out his son is running with the Wild Bunch. Butch Cassidy is played by Scott Paulin [pictured right].
  • 2006: The Legend of Butch & Sundance is a film that has David Clayton Rogers as Butch, Ryan Browning as Sundance, and Rachelle Lefevre as Etta Place.
  • 2013: Goodnight for Justice: Queen of Hearts is a film that has a fictionalized version of Butch, played by Kerry James.
  • 2014: In the PBS: American Experience episode "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid".  (This should be shipped off to the realm of documentaries if there is one.  I think this episode can exist as a documentary in the real world and all of the Toobworlds.)
There are plenty of TV dimensions out there, and they all need a Butch Cassidy.  So I would first off relegate all but one of the various TV movies to other Toobworlds in order to share the wealth.  (This would include the TV movie "Mrs. Sundance" in which Butch and Sundance don't appear but it is about Etta Place, the Kid's girlfriend.)

Butch Cassidy, as played by Joe Sawyer, can be found in two TV shows which are not included in that list above and I disavow this portrayal as well:

Frontier Doctor
- The Outlaw Legion 
(1958) ... Butch Cassidy

Stories of the Century
- The Wild Bunch of Wyoming
 (1954) ... Butch Cassidy

(O'BSERVATION: 'Frontier Doctor' was broadcast four years after that episode of 'Stories Of The Century' but took place before it on the Toobworld timeline.)

I pay no attention to any of the stories depicted in 'Stories Of The Century' because it's O'Bvious that railroad detective Matt Clark is as bad a liar as the Orange One.  There's no way he could have been involved in all of the captures or killings of so many of the legendary bad men in the wild wild West.  (In a perfect Toobworld, Clark would have taken credit for defeating Dr. Miguelito Loveless time and again.)  Matt Clark is just a teller of tall tales on a par with Somerset Frisby.

But we'll have more about that Butch Cassidy impostor later this month.

In the meantime, there are three recastaways of Butch Cassidy in that list above who belong in the main Toobworld - as played by Charles Bronson, by Michael Margotta, and by Scott Paulin.  Even though there are marked differences between the three actors, there are certain rules and loopholes that allow them all to stay within the world of Earth Prime-Time.

Allowances for Aging - Toobworld Central accepts recastaways in order to show a previously established character at a younger age, or when they are far older.  (Sometimes it's preferable to seeing the original actor in bad makeup.)

So Michael Margotta portrayed Robert Leroy Parker as a young man of twenty in 1886, whereas Scott Paulin was Parker - now known as Butch Cassidy at some point after 1906.  ("The Gambler V: Playing For Keeps" takes place after "The Gambler Returns: Luck Of The Draw" and that ended with the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.)

Point of View by Other Characters - Sometimes the appearance of a character is affected by the perspective of some other character, whose viewpoint is the one shared by the Trueniverse audience.  (I usually reserve this for only the historical characters rather than tossing out every historical recastaway that comes down the tube.)

So with Butch Cassidy as seen in the 'Tales of Wells Fargo' episode, his rough-hewn look was the image that Jim Hardie saw whenever he looked at the outlaw.  (I get the feeling he didn't like Butch very much.)  And so that's what we in the real world saw as well.

We're early days in our celebration of 'Death Valley Days' this month, so I can't say for certain, but this is going to be one of those rare episodes of the show about an oft-portrayed historical figure which can remain in the main Toobworld.  Had they portrayed Butch Cassidy at an older age, without benefit of an established character's P.O.V., it might have been a different story.

And since it was Michael Margotta's televersion of Butch Cassidy on which we focused, here's one last picture of him in the role:


Thursday, August 10, 2017




From Wikipedia:
Marie Dolores Eliza Rosanna Gilbert, Countess of Landsfeld (17 February 1821 – 17 January 1861), better known by the stage name Lola Montez, was an Irish dancer and actress who became famous as a "Spanish dancer", courtesan, and mistress of King Ludwig I of Bavaria, who made her Countess of Landsfeld. She used her influence to institute liberal reforms. At the start of the Revolutions of 1848 in the German states, she was forced to flee. She proceeded to the United States via Switzerland, France and London, returning to her work as an entertainer and lecturer.

From 1851 to 1853, she performed as a dancer and actress in the eastern United States, one of her offerings being a play called "Lola Montez in Bavaria". In May 1853, she arrived at San Francisco. Her performances there created a sensation, but soon inspired a popular satire, "Who's Got the Countess?". She married Patrick Hull, a local newspaperman, in July and moved to Grass Valley, California, in August. Her marriage soon failed; a doctor named as co-respondent in the divorce suit brought against her was shortly after murdered.

Montez remained in Grass Valley at her little house for nearly two years. The restored Home of Lola Montez went on to become California Historical Landmark No. 292. Montez served as an inspiration to another aspiring young entertainer, Lotta Crabtree, to whom she provided dancing lessons. Lotta's parents ran a boarding house in Grass Valley, and Lotta soon attracted the attention of her neighbor Montez, who encouraged Lotta's enthusiasm for performance.

Rapidly aging, Lola failed in attempts at a theatrical comeback in various American cities.

She arranged in 1857 to deliver a series of moral lectures in Britain and America written by Rev. Charles Chauncy Burr.

She spent her last days in rescue work among women. In November 1859, the Philadelphia Press reported that Lola Montez was:

"living very quietly up town, and doesn't have much to do with the world's people. Some of her old friends, the Bohemians, now and then drop in to have a little chat with her, and though she talks beautifully of her present feelings and way of life, she generally, by way of parenthesis, takes out her little tobacco pouch and makes a cigarette or two for self and friend, and then falls back upon old times with decided gusto and effect. But she doesn't tell anybody what she's going to do."

By then she was showing the tertiary effects of syphilis and her body began to waste away. She died at the age of 39 on 17 January 1861. She is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York, where her tombstone states: "Mrs. Eliza Gilbert / Died 17 January 1861".

For the full Wikipedia story on Lola Montez, click here.

Wikipedia also mentions Montez as an inspiration in the Sherlock Holmes canon:
Lola Montez has been mentioned by several writers as a possible source of inspiration for the character Irene Adler in Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes story, "A Scandal in Bohemia". The character bears certain similarities to Montez, as a popular performer who influences national politics through her relationship with a powerful individual.

That's all well and good for the Trueniverse, but we can't use it for Toobword.  Irene Adler was a real woman in Earth Prime-Time (played by Gayle Hunnicutt) and she could be found in several other TV dimensions like Toobworld2, Russian Toobworld, Prequel Toobworld, Litless Toobworld, and Skitlandia.  Her soul still resides in Limbo. ('Sherlock')  

However, I will concede that perhaps Dr. Watson's literary agent Sir Arthur Conan Doyle persuaded the author to enhance his description of Miss Adler in his passages to better evoke the suggestion of Miss Montez.

Lola Montez has made four appearances in the TV Universe and I have determined that they can all stay in the main Toobworld even though each of them was a recastaway:

'Tales of Wells Fargo'
    - "Lola Montez" (1959) 
Played by Rita Moreno

'The Californians'
    - "Lola Montez" (1958) 
Played by Patricia Medina

'Death Valley Days'
    - "Lola Montez" (1955) 
Played by Paula Morgan
    - "Lotta Crabtree" (1954) 
Played by Yvonne Cross

The 'Death Valley Days' portrayal by Paula Morgan is considered her official portrayal as she calls upon her serlinguistic skills to relate her life story.  With each of the other three, they are still Lola but as seen by other characters.  We see her from the perspectives of Lotta Crabtree, Wells Fargo agent Jim Hardie, and Marshall Matthew Wayne.

Therefore, Lola Montez is eligible for eventual induction into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame as an historical Western character.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017


Sorry, not that kind of grass.....

Here's another historical figure whose life was partially dramatized for television.....

From Wikipedia:
David Douglas (25 June 1799 – 12 July 1834) was a Scottish botanist, best known as the namesake of the Douglas fir. He worked as a gardener, and explored the Scottish Highlands, North America, and Hawaii, where he died.

Douglas made three separate trips from England to North America. His first trip, to eastern North America, began on 3 June 1823, with a return in the late autumn of 1823. The second was to the Pacific Northwest, from July 1824 returning October 1827. His third and final trip started in England in October 1829. On that last journey he went first to the Columbia River, then to San Francisco, then in August 1832, to Hawaii. October 1832, found him back in the Columbia River region. A year later, in October 1833, he returned to Hawaii arriving on 2 January 1834.

The second expedition starting in 1824 was his most successful. The Royal Horticultural Society sent him back on a plant-hunting expedition in the Pacific Northwest that ranks among the great botanical explorations. In the Spring of 1826, David Douglas was compelled to climb a peak (Mount Brown, of the mythical pair Hooker and Brown) near Athabasca Pass to take in the view. In so doing, he became the first mountaineer in North America. He introduced the Douglas-fir into cultivation in 1827. Other notable introductions include Sitka Spruce, Sugar Pine, Western White Pine, Ponderosa Pine, Lodgepole Pine, Monterey Pine, Grand Fir, Noble Fir and several other conifers that transformed the British landscape and timber industry, as well as numerous garden shrubs and herbs such as the Flowering currant, Salal, Lupin, Penstemon and California poppy. His success was well beyond expectations; in one of his letters to Hooker, he wrote "you will begin to think I manufacture pines at my pleasure". Altogether he introduced about 240 species of plants to Britain.

He first briefly visited Hawaii in 1830 on his way to the Pacific Northwest. He returned again in December 1833 intending to spend three months of winter there. He was only the second European to reach the summit of the Mauna Loa volcano. He died under mysterious circumstances while climbing Mauna Kea in Hawaiʻi at the age of 35 in 1834. He apparently fell into a pit trap and was possibly crushed by a bull that fell into the same trap. He was last seen at the hut of Englishman Edward "Ned" Gurney, a bullock hunter and escaped convict. Gurney was also suspected in Douglas's death, as Douglas was said to have been carrying more money than Gurney subsequently delivered with the body. However, most investigators have concluded that Gurney's account was true. Douglas was buried in an unmarked common grave near Mission House in Honolulu, Hawaii. Later, in 1856, a marker was erected on an outside wall at Kawaiahaʻo Church (Kawaiahao Church Cemetery). A monument was built at the spot where Douglas died by members of the Hilo Burns Society including David McHattie Forbes. It is called Ka lua kauka ("Doctor's Pit" in the Hawaiian language), off Mānā Road on the Island of Hawaiʻi19°53′17″N 155°20′17″W. A small stand of Douglas-fir trees has been planted there.

A horticulturist heads out west to identify new plants and encounters challenges.

Douglas was played by Alvy Moore, so there goes the English aspect out the window.  But as he was the only televersion for Douglas, then he can stay in the main Toobworld.

Fictional TV characters are related to historical figures and real life celebrities, so there could be a theory of relateeveety in David Douglas being the ancestor to Hank Kimball of 'Green Acres'.  Crossing the continent during his botanical odyssey, I'm sure he found time to plant a few seeds in the area Hooterville......


Tuesday, August 8, 2017


Here is the second post for our Two For Tuesday celebration of Earl Cameron's 100th birthday.....

Earl Cameron appeared four times in the TV series 'Secret Agent'.  We dealt with one of them in the earlier post for today's celebration.  These two roles figure in this next theory of "relateeveety":

'Secret Agent'
The Galloping Major (1964) ... Kassawari
Loyalty Always Pays (1965) ... Prime Minister

With both of those episodes, the African country was not named.  Because the two were broadcast so closely to each other, and with different prime ministers in each, I hesitate to claim they were the same country.  And I don't want to say that either one of them was the Nyamba Protectorate, which appeared in an earlier 'Danger Man' episode.  (I have yet to see that particular episode and for alls I know, there might be some Zonks in making such a claim.)

Here are the African nations found in Toobworld which I have collected so far:

African East Victoria ("Mission: Impossible")
Bahari ('Scorpion')
Bocamo ("Mission: Impossible")
Kalunga ("Man In A Suitcase")
Katara ("The Six Million Dollar Man")
Kembu ("Jake 2.0")
Ghalea ("Mission: Impossible")
Limbawe ("Airwolf")
Mamuno ("Law & Order")
N'Shoba ("Capitol")
Naranga ("Rumpole Of The Bailey")
The Nyamba Protectorate ("Danger Man")
Topango ("The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.")
Watada ("Leverage")
Western Natumba/Natsumba ("The Man From U.N.C.L.E.")
Zembutiko ("It Takes A Thief")

Usually I would choose Naranga, mainly because of my love for Horace Rumpole.  But it's not the only reason I'm going to choose it again as the nation from "Loyalty Always Pays".  It's because it had a pronounced British influence from its years as part of the Empire.  The Prime Minister himself called in the assistance of M9 who sent John Drake.

As for the country where Kassawari was the security chief, I used the same reasoning.  From its very name, African East Victoria summons the colonial era in the latter part of the 19th Century.

So with the two nations established - at least as far as my vision of Toobworld is concerned - let's take a look at the Prime Minister and Security Chief Kassawari.

In the Africa of Toobworld, tribal membership supersedes national allegiance. Members of the same tribe could be found in several of the fictional countries which can only be found on the maps of Earth Prime-Time.  And that would especially be true with twin brothers.

While his brother was intent on his path to political power, Kassawari sought his fortunes in the military.  He enlisted in the army where he rose through the ranks until he became a general at an earlier age than expected.  He specialized in intelligence gathering and when he retired for the armed forces, his services were widely sought and not just within the borders of Naranga.  After consulting with his brother, who was pursuing the position of Prime Minister of Naranga, Kassawari accepted the offer to head the security forces of neighboring nation African East Victoria.  

Kassawari not only was working for that nation and in conjunction with the United Kingdom, but in a way he was also a double agent, reporting to his twin brother back in Naranga.

Unfortunately, the dangerous nature of his profession proved to be his undoing.....

This has all been conjecture, of course.  But it's considered valid for my own private realm of Toobworld.

Happy birthday, Earl Cameron.  All the best as you celebrate your century!



How come all the astronauts are white? 

Because they're picked by lily-white Americans like you 
Who only pick other lily-white Americans.

Today we are abandoning the TV Western showcase in order to celebrate the 100th birthday of Earl Cameron, an actor who already holds the record for being the oldest living alumnus of 'Doctor Who'.

Cameron appeared in two episodes of "The Tenth Planet", the series' last adventure to star William Hartnell, the First Incarnation of the Doctor.  Cameron was an astronaut named Williams who died during his mission due to the attack by the Mondasians.

From the TARDIS Data Core Wiki:
Glyn Williams and Dan Schultz were the two astronauts on the Zeus IV when it conducted an orbital atmosphere survey mission. Their craft was pulled into Mondas' gravity in December 1986 and when they tried to break free, it exploded, killing them both. 
(TV: The Tenth Planet)

Glyn Williams was not the first astronaut of African ancestry in space, even in Toobworld.  Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez of Cuba went into space in 1980 and the first African American in space was Guion Bluford in 1983.  I would assume that by 1986 it was a commonplace occurrence.  

However, back in 1966 when the serial was written and filmed, it had to be seen as a landmark moment that there would one day be a black astronaut.  I would think it should rank up there with the inter-racial kiss between Kirk and Uhura as being ground-breaking in race relations on TV - and that was depicted as being forced.

Here is the theory of relateeveety for the astronaut Glyn Williams:

In Haiti, an MI-5 agent was working undercover as a travel agent named Darcy and as such served as the contact for John Drake when he came to the island nation in 1966, searching for a missing married couple who were nuclear scientists.

Darcy was hiding in plain sight, using his first name as his alias.  His true name was Darcy Williams and he was the father of Glyn Williams who was born in 1940 when Darcy was 23 years old.  

By 1967, Darcy Williams was recruited by a shadowy and long-running black ops experimental project known as "The Village".  This was a secluded place, perhaps one of many, which became home - actually a prison - to people of various nationalities who knew too much and thus became desirable to others seeking such information... information... information.

It was accepted that one side or the other in the Cold War ran the Village - one of the temporary bureaucrats in charge of the Village admitted as much.  But the outside world never learned exactly who was in charge.  In other words, who was Number One?    

So it could be that Darcy Williams had become a traitor when he took a job as a security supervisor in the Village.  But it also could have been a request from his superiors in the British Government to take on the assignment.

The sins of the father should not be visited upon the son and Glyn Williams wasn't interested in politics anyway.  He had been a test pilot in the military which led to his career in Space Command.  At some point, Williams may have also worked in one of the secret lunar bases, like Moonbase Alpha.

Glyn Williams was 46 years old when he perished in space.  I'm sure there are memorial tributes to him in Geneva, headquarters of Space Command, and perhaps even at Moonbase Alpha.

But his father Darcy may yet be alive and about to turn 100 years old this year as well as Earl Cameron.

Happy birthday, Sir!

'SPACE: 1999'  - "

[This was all conjecture and the characters Glyn Williams, Darcy, and the Supervisor were all played by Earl Cameron.]

Monday, August 7, 2017


We continue this month-long look at the historical portrayals from 'Death Valley Days' with the stagecoach robber who called himself "the Po8".....


From Wikipedia:
Charles Earl Boles (b. 1829; d. after 1888), also known as Black Bart, was an English-born outlaw noted for the poetic messages he left behind after two of his robberies. Often called Charley by his friends, he was also known as Charles Bolton, C.E. Bolton and Black Bart the Poet.  Considered a gentleman bandit with a reputation for style and sophistication, he was one of the most notorious stagecoach robbers to operate in and around Northern California and southern Oregon during the 1870s and 1880s.

Don Beddoe was a yeoman character actor, always dependable but not always given at least a moment to shine in support.  But here he was the center of attention and made good use of it playing this colorful outlaw.  I would not be surprised to find that the televersion of Black Bart was an inspiration to many in Batman's Rogue's Gallery back in the 1960s.

As a big fan of such character actors, I'm glad to note that Mr. Beddoe can claim to be THE Black Bart for the main Toobworld (despite a few historical inaccuracies).  There have been plenty of portrayals of the poetic outlaw in the Cineverse, (not counting the Sheriff of Rock Ridge - see "Snatch"), but in the greater TV Universe there were only two other actors to assay the role:

Played by Peter J. Brown

But that's the type of program better suited for the alternate dimension of Docu-Toobworld.  And the actor was far too young to be an accurate depiction (or even as close to possible.)

This Black Bart looks like he spent more time watching Spaghetti Westerns than he did writing poetry.....

As for the other one he was to be found in the main Toobworld, not that it helped him much....


He may have claimed to be Black Bart, but just as it was with all of the other members of that gang - Belle Starr, Sam Bass, Billy the Kid and the others - he was an escapee from a local asylum with delusions of ill-gotten grandeur.  (I covered all of this in "The Bubbly Springs Gang".)

So here's to Black Bart, Charles Bolton, also known as "The Po8".

And a tip of the bowler to Don Beddoe as well!

Happy trails to you......

Sunday, August 6, 2017


Tomorrow we'll be running a post about the Western outlaw Black Bart, as he was seen in this episode of 'Death Valley Days'.