Saturday, March 24, 2018


When an American TV show is dubbed into a foreign language for broadcast in another country, it becomes a whole new animal.  It belongs in the TV Universe as individual from the original version, but it can't remain in Earth Prime-Time.  It needs to be placed into the appropriate TV dimension based on the language used to replace the characters' voices.

In this case, there is the Italian Toobworld.  I don't know when that world became dominated so totally by the Italians that everybody spoke the language, but 'Columbo' is not the only inhabitant of that dimension.

But here's where it gets interesting and worthy of special attention in this blog post.  As seen in this promo, there are scenes which were never seen in the original American broadcasts.  And that means that although the investigations by the Lieutenant play out as they did in the main Toobworld, it wasn't an exact copy of the original timeline.

A big thanks to fellow 'Columbo' enthusiast Debbie Greenfield for finding this video treasure!


Friday, March 23, 2018


A couple of selections of dialogue from the "Gag Order" episode of 'Bull':

I'm meeting with Chloe Tomlin
Chloe Tomlin. I know that name.
Maybe you've read her. 
She's an investigative journalist
for the New York Ledger. 
She's also an adjunct professor here, 
and she's the one who recommended me
for the scholarship

Ms. Tomlin had been arrested for breaking into a computer dating service to get information for a newspaper story which had been approved by her editor three days before.  But during the trial, her editor perjured himself and claimed that Ms. Tomlin was acting as a lone wolf with no authorization from him.

He tried to defend his actions later....

I had no choice. 
It came down from the masthead. 
They threatened to lay off half the department.
Wait a minute. 
You're saying that the publishers of the New York Ledger 
told you to perjure yourself
I'm not saying anything of the kind
As I recall, one of the owners of the Ledger
made his fortune in tech startups and apps
I have no idea. I just work there.

The Ledger is best known as the tabloid newspaper of choice in the 'Law & Order' corner of Toobworld, seen throughout the various shows of that franchise.  I would not be surprised if it had been mentioned, if not seen, in episodes of the 'Chicago' farm team of Dick Wolf shows.

But it has also popped up in other shows like 'White Collar' and 'Castle' (although that takes place in an alternate TV dimension.)  And Dick Wolf even gave the newspaper its own show....

From Wikipedia:

'Deadline' is an American drama which was shown on NBC from October 2, 2000 to April 7, 2001. It was aired during the 2000–2001 season. It starred Oliver Platt as Wallace Benton, who worked for the fictional New York Ledger. This was a daily newspaper which was seen in many episodes of 'Law & Order' and modeled after the real-life New York Post.

The series established Si Beekman (played by Tom Conti) as the owner of the New York Ledger.

From the Post-Gazette:
Tom Conti is Si Beekman, the eccentric owner who barks out orders and battles with the liberal newsroom staff when they hedge about pursuing an investigation of a Democrat in the second episode.

"If this was a Republican we were discussing here, you'd all be bouncing up and down with glee like a bunch of monks in a whore house," Beekman says.

He's not tactful or classy, but the lines that come out of Beekman's mouth are, at the least, unpredictable.

- Rob Owen

In 'Deadline', Beekman was depicted as being the sole owner of the paper.  But as it's common Toobworld practice to make a character the same age as the actor playing the role unless otherwise stated, Beekman was just approaching his seventies (now reaching the tail end of that decade.)  He was probably feeling the need to guarantee his legacy and to ease the burden on himself. 

So eighteen years later, it appears he has taken on partners in the paper's ownership.  (I'd like to think Si Beekman is still the principle owner with the most shares of stock in the company.  He could have sold it off to a consortium, but where's the sport in that?)

Watching the 'Game of Thrones'-style distribution of power in the Trump family here in the Trueniverse, and knowing how Rupert Murdoch has been keeping his media empire in the family, I think it's more than likely that Si Beekman co-owns the Ledger with his own family - children, siblings, cousins....  Whoever it is, I think it likely that one of them (a male by the dialogue) is the owner mentioned by Dr. Bull as being the one who made his fortune in tech stock and apps.  By the turn of the millennium, Si Beekman was already established in his wealth and I think it happened long before the digital age got into gear.  (He may have even inherited his fortunes.)

So the ruling council of the Toobworld Central has voted and accepted my claim that Si Beekman is still one of the owners of the Ledger, and as such he is the man behind the curtain for the paper.  The New York Ledger is already inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame but now I can make the case that Si Beekman is also eligible for membership.  Every time you see the Ledger in a TV show, it's taken for granted that Beekman is the publisher. 

The Toobworld Central ruling council has mandated that this will only last for as long as Tom Conti is alive, however.  It is standard practice for the curators of Toobworld to declare certain characters as having died once the actor who played them has died as well. 

I would say inclusion in the Hall is already written in stone for Si Beekman, probably as a Birthday Honors inductee or maybe during the 20th anniversary of the TVXOHOF next year.  But it would be great if I can find mention of the paper's owner, most likely without his name, in one of the shows that are outside the Dick Wolf bailiwick. Then 'Deadline', 'Bull', and that show would serve as the triumvirate base for Si Beekman's membership in the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.

That same consideration couldn't be offered to the other cast members of 'Deadline'.  Some of them might have been there for years, but who knows what happened to their employee status after that show was canceled?  

So take care of your health, Mr. Conti!  The longer you're around, the more credits we could add to your tally.

Uh oh.  Looks like a sick day for Si Beekman....


Thursday, March 22, 2018


We have a simple theory of relateeveety for this Thursday.....

From Wikipedia:

A tube man, also known as a skydancer, air dancer, or Wacky Inflatable Arm Waving Tube Man and originally called the Tall Boy, is an inflatable moving advertising product comprising a long fabric tube (with two or more outlets), which is attached to and powered by an electrical fan. As the electrical fan blows air through the fabric tube, this causes the tube to move about in a dynamic dancing or flailing motion.

The design of the tube man was invented by Peter Minshall, an artist from Trinidad and Tobago, along with a team that included Israeli artist Doron Gazit, for the 1996 Summer Olympics. Minshall originally called his invention the "Tall Boy". Gazit eventually patented the concept of an inflatable, dancing human-shaped balloon and licensed the patent to various companies that manufacture and sell the devices.

Everything has the capability of being alive in Toobworld - food, appliances, toilets, cars.  And now we know that the Tube Man in this Carvana commercial is a living being as well.  He's not a prop at that car dealership; he's an employee.  he punches a time clock; drives a car; lives in a beautiful house with his beautiful wife; and they have a beautiful child.

I can't speak for Mrs. Tubeman being faithful to their marriage vows all the time, but I'm certain that their child must be the offspring of Mr. Tubeman.  And there is no need for a blood test - even if they had blood!  All you have to do is look at their kid and remember this basic rule:

To create the secondary color green, one evenly mixes the primary colors of yellow and blue.

But the balloon gods help them if Mrs. Tubeman gives birth to a purple baby or a little orange boy runs up to Mr. Tubeman at the mall and shouts "Daddy!"


Wednesday, March 21, 2018



From IMDb:
A spate of murders staged as suicides leads Murdoch to suspect a sequential killer targeting the elderly.

Plenty of historical figures have appeared on this series over the years, some not as famous as your typical turn of the century characters like Teddy Roosevelt, Mark Twain, Harry Houdini, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who have also visited Station 4 in Toronto.

And that's all to the good, because it brings them to the attention of the general public today so that they might learn more about them if they wish.

With this episode, we learned about Dr. William Osler.....

From Wikipedia:
Sir William Osler, 1st Baronet, FRS FRCP (/ˈɒz.lər/; July 12, 1849 – December 29, 1919) was a Canadian physician and one of the four founding professors of Johns Hopkins Hospital. Osler created the first residency program for specialty training of physicians, and he was the first to bring medical students out of the lecture hall for bedside clinical training. He has frequently been described as the Father of Modern Medicine and one of the "greatest diagnosticians ever to wield a stethoscope". 

Osler was a person of many interests, who in addition to being a physician, was a bibliophile, historian, author, and renowned practical joker. One of his achievements was the founding of the History of Medicine Society (previously section) of the Royal Society of Medicine, London.

Osler is well known in the field of gerontology for the speech he gave when leaving Hopkins to become the Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford. "The Fixed Period", given on February 22, 1905, included some controversial words about old age. Osler, who had a well-developed humorous side to his character, was in his mid-fifties when he gave the speech and in it he mentioned Anthony Trollope's "The Fixed Period" (1882), which envisaged a college where men retired at 67 and after being given a year to settle their affairs, would be "peacefully extinguished by chloroform". He claimed that, "the effective, moving, vitalizing work of the world is done between the ages of twenty-five and forty" and it was downhill from then on. 

This was the background for the 'Murdoch Mysteries' episode.

Back to Wikipedia:
Osler's speech was covered by the popular press which headlined their reports with "Osler recommends chloroform at sixty". The concept of mandatory euthanasia for humans after a "fixed period" (often 60 years) became a recurring theme in 20th century imaginative literature—for example, Isaac Asimov's 1950 novel "Pebble in the Sky". In the 3rd edition of his Textbook, he also coined the description of pneumonia as "the old man's friend" since it allowed elderly individuals a quick, comparatively painless death. 

Coincidentally, Osler himself died of pneumonia.

In 1994 Osler was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.

From the Murdoch Mysteries Wiki:

While William Osler is well-known as the 'Father of Modern Medicine', he is also known as an inveterate prankster who wrote several humorous pieces under the pseudonym Egerton Yorrick Davishe. Apparently these often bizarre (and fictitious) medical writings were an expression of the mischievous sense of humor lurking behind the respectable façade of the famous doctor.


Tuesday, March 20, 2018


We've got a little something different for Two for Tuesday....
Because Earth Prime-Time is the Television Universe, certain tropes of TV hold true in that world.  For instance, if you get on the elevator with a pregnant lady, the elevator will break down as she goes into labor.  But there are certain elements of television that are reflected in Toobworld which are not plot elements.  On Sunday afternoons in the Fall, certain actions of note reoccur almost immediately, influenced by instant replays during football games.  

And the lives of people in one country could play out on a delayed basis by somewhat different people in another country.  You should know where that one came from - think of all the foreign TV shows that have been remade in the United States, from 'All In The Family' to 'Worst Week'.  Usually enough changed so that even though the plots were similar (i.e. the first two seasons of 'The Office' before they ran out of the original story lines) both shows - or in the case of 'Ugly Betty', as many as a dozen! - can remain in the same TV dimension.

And then there are the individual episode plots that repeat as well.  I've found several that were done earlier (and most times, better) in episodes of 'Columbo'.  For most of those I splained it away as the murderers were inspired by the book Lieutenant Frank Columbo finally got around to writing, which he talked about in "Publish or Perish".  (I like to think that Jeffrey Neal from that same episode published Columbo's memoirs of his past cases.)

But here's another one which played out yet again in Toobworld nearly a century later.  And before we proceed, a word of warning....



Murdoch investigates a car accident and uncovers sinister motives.


A man is pinned by a train in a subway station, producing a mortal wound that is temporarily suppressed by his situation, the Homicide detectives must determine if the incident was an accident or deliberate.


As you might have noticed, the episodes are out of sequence.  But that's based on the order of broadcast.  I have them listed by their placement in the Toobworld timeline.  "Subway"  happened in 1997, around the same time as broadcast.  But "The Accident" took place circa 1905.

Dilbert Dilton was an efficiency expert for the City of Toronto who was crushed against a trolley car.  Although he wasn't feeling any pain, his pelvic area had been crushed.  There was plenty of internal bleeding which was being clamped off by the vehicles - as soon as the car was separated, Mr. Dilton would more than likely die.

Ninety-two years later in Baltimore, the same situation happened in a subway station.  Pushed into the path of an oncoming subway train, John Lange was crushed between the train and the platform with his lower extremities twisted all the way around.  Just as was the case with Mr. Dilton, as soon as the train was leveraged to provide the space to get Mr. Lange out, the damage to his body caused a traumatic shock which killed him.

I sometimes promote "Born to Rerun" - reincarnation.  It would be easy to claim that the soul of Dilton returned as John Lange.  But I think it more likely that one of the cosmic Fates thought it might be fun to replay the previous method of dispatch. 

For those of you who are religious members of Team Toobworld, I'm sorry.  The Judeo-Christian God created Earth Prime-Time's twin planet Mondas; Earth Prime-Time showed up later and is a super-computer created by the engineers of Magrathea for pan-dimensional philosophers to provide the question to the answer supplied by their first super-computer Deep Thought.  God may take a hand in the proceedings of this big blue marble, but there are other religious beliefs at play as well.

If you want to read more about "Subway", click here.

And to check out more about "The Accident", give this hyperlink a shot.


Monday, March 19, 2018


At the end of the March 18th broadcast of 'CBS Sunday Morning', the end credits began with this:

From Deadline:
William M. “Bill” Brady, a CBS News Director for over 30 years and Directors Guild of America Network Negotiating Committee chairman, has died at age 65. No cause of death was given in the announcement by DGA president Thomas Schlamme and national executive director Russell Hollander.

From CBS News:
A graduate of Queens College in New York, Brady rose from a mailroom job at CBS to become one of the network's most accomplished news directors. For more than 30 years Brady directed such CBS News programs as "America Tonight," "The Early Show," "Eye to Eye," "48 Hours," "Public Eye," "Street Stories," and many special reports, as well as episodes of the series "Survivor." 

From 1998-2011, Brady directed broadcasts of "Sunday Morning." 

"In the universe of television, Bill Brady was, well, a cowboy," said "Sunday Morning" executive producer Rand Morrison. "He made live television an adventure. Sometimes brilliant, sometimes scary ... oftentimes fun.

"He was invaluable in helping us turn the corner from the early days and create a more mainstream 'Sunday Morning' broadcast."

Good night and may God bless.....

Sunday, March 18, 2018


I just felt like a little Lou today.....