Saturday, April 14, 2018


My introduction to each of the following songs was through a TV commercial....


(Used in the Bubly commercial)


(Used in the VW Cabrio commercial)


(Used in the "Let Google Do It' Campaign)


(Used for G.E. Commercial)


(Used in a Mini commercial)


Friday, April 13, 2018


Being the Curator of Ye Olde Toobworld, I can't do the job without your help.  I've only got two eyes and even the fact that they've got a touch of the "elam" about them, they still can't see everything.  So I'm thankful whenever you good folks of Team Toobworld write to me with theoretical crossovers you've seen.

This week, I was lucky to hear from author Brad Mengel

Hey Toby,

I was watching 'The Good Wife' spin-off 'The Good Fight' last night (Season 2 episode 5) - "Day 436".  They are dealing with a news story about the sexual improprieties of Kip Dunning, a big name movie star.  They show an image of Dunning in the movie “Storm Warning”.

There’s nothing to suggest that the movie is based on Richard Castle’s novel of the same name, but it’s possible.

Brad Mengel

I would say it's more than possible!

As I mentioned in yesterday's post about the newest fictional New York City mayor of new series 'Instinct' (Mayor Meyers), the NYC mayorship, as with the American presidency, can determine whether or not a TV series remains in Earth Prime-Time or if it must "slide" over to an alternate Toobworld.

In the case of 'Castle', author Richard Castle was a friend of the NYC mayor, which is how he was able to work with the homicide detectives in the 12th Precinct.  But that mayor was not the same as the one in the main Toobworld - that is, the real mayor of New York City.  So off it went to its own TV dimension.

But we know Richard Castle does exist in the main Toobworld and is still an author....

"Tell Me No Lies"

When Becca and Dax visit Martin Newman (Keith Carradine), Dax reads the back cover of one of Newman's novels. The camera focuses on a review of the book by "Richard Castle". Richard Castle is the title character of another of ABC's series. 

Rather than pulling the ten episodes of 'Missing' into the alternate dimension of 'Castle', I prefer to consider the Richard Castle who wrote that blurb as being the doppelganger from the main Toobworld.

We've seen that TV characters from the main Tooobworld have counterparts in other TV dimensions - especially in the Tooniverse and Skitlandia.  (Examples - 'Gilligan's Island' animated series & 'Star Trek' on 'Saturday Night Live' respectively.)  So it stands to reason that TV characters in alternate dimensions would have counterparts in the main Toobworld.

As Brad pointed out, the action movie "Storm Warning" could be based on Castle's book.

From the 'Castle' wiki:

["Storm Warning" is] One of Richard Castle's very successful Derrick Storm novels.

It is referenced in "Fool Me Once" (episode 2.4) when Castle and Beckett meet a CIA agent, Agent Gray, whom Castle interviewed for research on secret agents for the book. As the three talk, Gray uses the expression "Transparency gets you killed," a quote which Beckett recognizes as having been used in the book. 

I'm not exactly sure if this next section from the wiki had to do with the TV show or the actual novels that have been written in Castle's name here in the Real World:

When Derrick Storm’s close friend, Attorney Sam Strummel, is murdered in cold blood in a cemetery outside of NYC, Storm launches his own investigation to bring the murderer to justice. While investigating Strummel’s business dealings, Storm exposes a murder-for-hire syndicate that has just made him their next target.

So in the main Toobworld, a movie was made from that novel.  But it may not have been the first Derrick Storm film.  It could have been part of a franchise in which Kip Dunning had become a big name by playing Storm in those earlier flicks.

Here is a description of the episode of 'The Good Fight':

A beloved action star, Kip Dunning, is threatening to sue the network the firm represents if it runs an exposé on sexual assault allegations against him. The clock’s ticking as Diane and Adrian meet with the actor’s lawyer, Burl Preston (F. Murray Abraham, reprising his role from 
The Good Wife), and defend the story against the defamation charges. 

When Derrick Storm’s close friend, Attorney Sam Strummel, is murdered in cold blood in a cemetery outside of NYC, Storm launches his own investigation to bring the murderer to justice. While investigating Strummel’s business dealings, Storm exposes a murder-for-hire syndicate that has just made him their next target.

NAOMI NIVOLA: The list of prominent men accused of sexual harassment continues to grow, even six months after Harvey Weinstein.  Now the biggest and potentially most explosive name has been added to the list - Kip Dunning. Kip Dunning is an actor with a reputation rarely matched - in the Hollywood firmament.

BURL PRESTON: Pause.  You use a still from an action movie to suggest Kip is aggressive to women.

That would be the image mentioned by Brad.  Note: If anybody has CBS All-Access, I'd love to get a frame grab of Kip Dunning in "Storm Warning".  (Oops - see below.)

So in a way, since the official 'Castle' is in a different dimension, this isn't a full crossover.  But I'll take it.

Thanks, Brad!

I've known Brad online since the early days of 'Charmed'.  (We'd email about the ramifications of the Halliwell spells and storylines.)  Here's his bio from Down Under:

Brad Mengel works in Australia’s criminal justice system.  His book "Serial Vigilantes of Paperback Fiction: An Encyclopedia from Able Team to Z-Comm" (McFarland, 2009) was the first book to examine vigilante fiction of the 70s and 80s.  He has also contributed stories to "Tales of The Shadowmen" #3 & #7, "Pro Se Presents" Nov 2012, "Charles Boeckman Presents Johnny Nickle", "Pulp Obscura: Senorita Scorpion" and "Blood & Tacos" #4.  Brad has also worked for Pro Se in the past as an Editor. 

If you see a possible connection between shows, let me know!  I may already know about it, but why take the chance?  There's a manifest destiny to the expansion of Toobworld!


Unfortunately, all good things come to an end.  I asked for a copy of the pertinent screen shot and my IDD friend (We are known as "Iddiots".) George Reed obliged.  As you can see, the title of the movie was "Stern Warning" not "Storm Warning".  I assume it went by too quickly on the screen for Brad to fully grasp it. 

Oh well.  It was a nice televisiological theory while it lasted....

Thursday, April 12, 2018


"What if you could travel to parallel worlds?
The same year, the same Earth, only different dimensions."
Quinn Mallory

Every so often, I feel like I'm playing the Sorting Hat of Toobworld, determining which TV dimension should host a new series, TV movie, or even a commercial.  And with the "second season" having kicked off, we've got a new show to sort out....

From Wikipedia:
Openly gay author, university professor and former CIA paramilitary officer Dr. Dylan Reinhart (Alan Cumming) is lured back to his old life by New York police detective Elizabeth Needham (Bojana Novakovic) when she needs his help to stop a serial killer who is using Reinhart’s book as inspiration for murders.

From the IMDb:
Former CIA operative is lured back to his old life when the NYPD needs his help to stop a serial killer. Dr. Dylan Reinhart (Alan Cumming) is a gifted author and university professor living a quiet life teaching psychopathic behavior to packed classes of adoring students. But when top NYPD detective Lizzie Needham (Bojana Novakovic) appeals to him to help her catch a serial murderer who is using Dylan's first book as a tutorial, Dylan is compelled by the case, comes out of retirement and taps into his old skill set. Though Dylan and Lizzie initially clash, when it comes to catching killers, they realize they will make an ideal team if they both trust their instincts. Based on the James Patterson book.

Just about everything about this series feels right for it to exist in the world of Earth Prime-Time, the main Toobworld.  Nothing about New York in this show differs from the New York seen in other current TV series set in the Big Apple, like 'Empire', 'Blindspot', 'Suits', and 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit'... except for the Mayor.

Right from the 'Pilot', we were introduced to the Mayor of New York City, whom we only know as having the last name of "Meyers".  Mayor Meyers looks to be a woman of Indian descent (Her last name could be her married name.) as is the actress who plays her, Sarita Choudhury.  As of now, we don't know what her political affiliation is.

It has been said in the past that the mayor of New York is the second hardest job in the United States.  That could be why I feel the person holding the office in the main Toobworld should be the same person who actually serves in the job in the Real World, just as it is with the President of the United States.  This is to keep a sense of cohesiveness so that more shows can remain in the same dimension.  Because as we always see with the POTUS, many TV shows, especially sitcoms, will refer to the current President by name.  So those shows which have Presidents of the United States who are fictional have to be relegated to other dimensions.  

This same rule holds for the Pope and Queen Elizabeth, probably Putin as well.  But when it comes to senators, other world leaders, Congressmen, and other mayors - even those of Los Angeles and Chicago - it's a fluid case-by-case decision.  It has to be - otherwise, I'd be throwing out too many good shows from the premier TV dimension, like 'The Good Wife', and 'Major Crimes'.  I have to go on my own instincts with this - I couldn't tell you off-hand who the current mayor of Los Angeles is or who the governor was at the beginning of the run for 'The Good Wife'.

And because the City factors into world news events which could have an impact on NY-based TV shows, I feel that the same rule should hold true for the New York City mayors.  We've seen in the past that the Real World mayors have shown up in TV shows set in New York City. 
  • Michael Bloomberg played himself  in episodes of '30 Rock', 'The Good Wife', and 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'
  • Rudy Giuliani appeared in 'Seinfeld', 'Mad About You', and 'Cosby' and was mentioned on 'SportsNight'
  • David Dinkins visited 'Sesame Street' and was mentioned on 'Girls'
  • Bill De Blasio has shown up in the web series* 'Horace and Pete' and 'The Good Wife'.  But he also has been been mentioned as being the NYC Mayor in 'Constantine', 'Intelligence', and 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit'.  
Speaking of the 'Law & Order' franchise, all of them have appeared or been mentioned on either the parent show or one of its many spin-offs.

So... getting back to Mayor Meyers....

We may learn more about her in coming episodes of 'Instinct', which may have some bearing on which TV dimension the series is relocated.  And another factor?  I think Dr. Dylan Reinhart is the kind of guy who might make a snarky comment about Trump.  So if that happens, 'Instinct' would be set in an alternate dimension but one which still shares the same orange-tinted POTUS as Toobworld and the Real World.  (Four episodes in and it still hasn't happened.  We'll see.)

Therefore, as things stand now, I'm "sorting" 'Instinct' into House West Wing -#  I mean, I'm placing this show into the same dimension in which the following shows reside:

  • 'The West Wing'
  • 'Mr. Sterling'
  • 'Smallville'
  • 'Minority Report'
There may be a few more which I've added, but I can't remember them now.  I should do a better job keeping records!

But like I said, there's always the possibility that it would have to be moved again if Trump is ever mentioned on the show.  Or if there is a different monarch than Queen Elizabeth (for the time being.)  She was mentioned in at least one episode of 'The West Wing', so she remains a common real world figure.  (The second incarnation of 'The Human Target' had a different Queen Elizabeth and royal family, so that had to go off into some other dimension.)  But there would be no problem for the 'West Wing' Toobworld to have a fictional pope or Russian premier.

Welcome to the greater TV Universe, Mayor Meyers, no matter which dimension you wind up in.....


* Toobworld Central won't fight the future.  Web series - as long as they are not reboots like the new adventures of 'Star Trek' - have been accepted as part of the mosaic of Earth Prime-Time.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018



         "Mack Murdock was tired of paper cups and paper plates and bleary eyed broads with yellow teeth. This trip to Chinatown was like a ride on a neon horse: the hot sounds, the smell of grease crashing in on him. And he remembered Sam Ying and that night in Saigon when he and the A-Team huddled in the basement of Sam's house. And rocket fire blew holes in the walls. And it was scorched into his memory. "
- "Howling Mad" Murdock

Murdock had to find inspiration for that style of narration for his latest delusion - that he was a private eye.

I'd like to think he was mimicking the writing style of the late Alan Mallory, the author of lurid potboilers for Greenleaf Publications, but who was penning "Sixty Miles To Saigon" for Geoffrey Neal's publishing company (with an eye to a future movie starring Rock Hudson.)


Tuesday, April 10, 2018



At the scene of a murder, a radio was found blaring a radio adaptation of Euripedes' "Medea".  The actress heard playing the role is Claire Higgins, known for the "Hellraiser" movies and as the High Priestess Ohila in a small 'Doctor Who' online movie featuring Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor.

Later, while DCI Tom Barnaby is investigating, he turns the radio back on.  By this time, the programming is now a variety show where Barnaby hears this hoary old chestnut:

'I thought you said your dog didn't bite .' 
'Whose dog?' 
'Your dog.' 
'Yeah. But that's not my dog.'

I'm not sure what the genesis for this joke is, but I've found it in two novels:

"Quirkology: How We Discover the Big Truths in Small Things"
Richard Wiseman

"Eye Opener"
Michael Z. Lewin 

"Manitou Canyon: A Novel"
William Kent Krueger

Krista Procklw used the joke as the opening ice-breaker in an article about "Dog Liability in British Columbia".

A man walks into a bar and sits down
next to a woman with a dog at her feet.
“Does your dog bite?,” he asks. “No.”
A few minutes later, the dog takes a huge chunk
out of the man’s leg.
“I thought you said your dog didn’t bite!” he says indignantly.
“That’s not my dog” , replies the woman. 

And of course there is the most famous iteration of the joke from the movies:

So....  Does anybody know where the joke started?



At the scene of a murder, a radio was found blaring a radio adaptation of Euripedes' "Medea".

From the IMDb, regarding a 1988 adaptation made for television:
Medea is in Corinth with Jason and their two young sons. King Kreon wants to reward Jason for his exploits: he gives the hand of his daughter, Glauce, to Jason as well as the promise of the throne. In exchange, Medea and the boys are to be banished. Jason explains that his actions ensure a rich future for Medea and her sons. She asks that she be allowed to stay; Kreon refuses. She asks for one more day, and begs Jason to seek the king's permission to allow their sons to stay in Corinth. Jason agrees and Medea prepares a gift for her sons to give to Glauce. Will Medea leave peacefully? 

Here is the section of the play heard on the radio:

But I would never leave them to this scum of Corinth. No. They'll be my very own assassins. They'll take the princess a gown of silk. A golden crown. But these, I'll drench in poison so strong that anyone who touches them will die in agony. 

But the thing that tears my heart . . is what must happen next. I shall kill my children. Kill them both. No one shall save them. No-one shall own them. And when I've brought both Jason and his house to ruin, I shall leave this land.

Unnatural woman, flying from the death cries of my darlings. From their blood. Their blood. Their blood! How is it I can bear such guilt . . but not the laughter of my enemies?

From Wikipedia:
"Medea" is an ancient Greek tragedy written by Euripides, based upon the myth of Jason and Medea and first produced in 431 BC. The plot centers on the actions of Medea, a former princess of the "barbarian" kingdom of Colchis, and the wife of Jason; she finds her position in the Greek world threatened as Jason leaves her for a Greek princess of Corinth. Medea takes vengeance on Jason by killing Jason's new wife as well as her own children, after which she escapes to Athens to start a new life.

Considered shocking to Euripides' contemporaries, Medea and the suite of plays that it accompanied in the City Dionysia festival came last in the festival that year.  Nonetheless the play remained part of the tragedic repertoire, and experienced renewed interest with the emergence of the feminist movement, because of its nuanced and sympathetic portrayal of Medea's struggle to take charge of her own life in a male-dominated world. The play has remained the most frequently performed Greek tragedy through the 20th century, and it holds the American Tony award record for most wins for the same female lead character, with Judith Anderson winning in 1948, Zoe Caldwell in 1982, and Diana Rigg in 1994.

There have been almost a dozen international TV adaptations of Euripedes' play over the years with the aforementioned actresses Anderson and Caldwell playing the role of Medea.

The actress heard playing the role in this episode of 'Mdsomer Murders' is Claire Higgins, known for the "Hellraiser" movies and as the High Priestess Ohila in a small 'Doctor Who' online movie featuring Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor.

Does anybody out there know if Ms. Higgins ever played a contemporary actress in some TV production?  We might then claim that she was once again playing the role of that actress in this audio play.

Or we can just stick with her appearing as a member of the League of Themselves.  Perhaps someday, Ms. Higgins might appear as herself in some other TV show that is centered around the entertainment business.  She's missed her chance to do so with 'Extras' and 'Episodes', but who knows?  There could be one that comes along in the near future.....


Monday, April 9, 2018


"As Police Inspector Gerard always says, 

'First you have to know why.'" 
'McMillan & Wife'
"Two Dollars On Trouble To Win"

According to the McMillans' housekeeper Mildred, her favorite reading material had been all the mystery novels about Inspector Gerard.

The way Sally McMillan spoke about the books, it sounds like there were several novels in the series.  We know a few of those titles:
  • The Rooster Crowed Murder
  • The Rooster Cried Wolf (the sequel to that first book)
  • Paris Bloodbath
The episode was broadcast on April 1, 1973, so those three novels had to have been published at least a few years before.  If the author was prolific, then it could be he (or she) wrote a book a year.  

I'm thinking "Inspector Gerard" may have been inspired by Lt. Philip Gerard, the dogged police lieutenant who hunted for Dr. Richard Kimble who had escaped on the way to prison for execution in the murder of his wife.

But that inspiration may have been in name only.  The title "Paris Bloodbath" suggests that Gerard, a French name, may have been a police inspector in the Surete or for Interpol.

As for "The Rooster": even though Inspector Gerard was in both novels, The Rooster could have been another character among the author's recurring characters and in those two novels listed above, the author served up a crossover between The Rooster and Inspector Gerard.  (I don't see Inspector Gerard having such a nickname.)

"The Rooster" suggests an alias, a nickname, in the same vein as "The Saint", "The Falcon", and "The Puppy".  And it also makes me think that The Rooster could have been an anti-hero similar to AJ Raffles, the gentleman thief and Edward Hoch's Nick Velvet, the thief who never stole anything of value.  I like the idea that even though Inspector Gerard might have wanted to bring The Rooster to justice, for those two books they had to team up to work together to stop greater threats.

As for who the author is of the stories about Inspector Gerard and The Rooster, there weren't any clues in the small mention of the books in the episode.  Mystery writers are quite a popular subset of TV occupations.  Here are just a few of them:
  • Ellery Queen ('The Adventures of Ellery Queen')
  • Jessica B. Fletcher ('Murder, She Wrote')
  • Glynis Granville ('Glynis')
  • Maxwell Beckett ('Over My Dead Body')
  • Ernestine Mugford ('Ironside')
  • Eudora McVeigh Shipton ('Murder, She Wrote')
  • Sibella Stone ('Murder, She Wrote')
  • Hugo Dore ('Jonathan Creek')
  • Warren Barrow ('The Alfred Hitchcock Hour')
  • Ken Franklin and Jim Ferris ('Columbo')
  • Robin Daniels ('Aurora Teagarden')
  • Abigail Mitchell ('Columbo' - My favorite!)

From that list, we can eliminate a few of the writers.  Ellery Queen would have had plenty of time to write the novels from the 1940s onward.  However, I think - as is the case in the real world - the main character in Queen's novels was Ellery Queen himself.  JB Fletcher, Max Bennett, and especially Robin Daniels did not start writing mysteries until after the Inspector Gerard novels were established. 

The writing team of Franklin & Ferris focused on their main character of Mrs. Melville.  The same reason is why I'm disqualifying Hugo Dore, whose seuth was Ellison Starberth.  And it's always been a favored theory of mine that Abigail Mitchell wrote the stories about Inspector Lucerne which became the basis of a TV series starring Ward Fowler.

Right now I'm leaning toward Glynis Granville, a woman of English descent married to an American lawyer as being the author of the Inspector Gerard stories.  He would have the continental flair which I think she would be familiar with and she may have patterne either Gerard or (more likely) The Rooster after her husband Keith Granville,

But if not her, I'd champion Ernestine Mugford, if only because she was so much fun in a two-part story on 'Ironside'.

'Glynis' is a show I someday hope to be able to see.  For alls I know, the mysteries she wrote were already described within the series.....


Sunday, April 8, 2018


That was fifty years ago today.  It's quite a powerful song, especially since it was broadcast four days after the death of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.  But was there anything in that number that you found disturbing?  I really hope not.

But the sponsor did.......

From Wikipedia:
In 1968, NBC-TV invited Clark to host her own special in the U.S., and in doing so she inadvertently made television history. While singing a duet of "On the Path of Glory," an anti-war song that she had composed, with guest Harry Belafonte, she took hold of his arm, to the dismay of a representative from the Chrysler Corporation (the show's sponsor), who feared that the moment would incur racial backlash from Southern viewers. When he insisted that they substitute a different take, with Clark and Belafonte standing well away from each other, Clark and the executive producer of the show—her husband, Wolff—refused, destroyed all other takes of the song, and delivered the finished programme to NBC with the touch intact. The programme aired on 8 April 1968, four days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, with high ratings and critical acclaim, and became the first instance on American television of physical contact between a black man and a white woman. To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the original telecast, Clark and Wolff appeared at the Paley Center for Media in Manhattan on 22 September 2008, to discuss the broadcast and its impact, following a showing of the programme.

Here are some other references:

I saw mention of this cultural and political event this past Christmas Eve on 'CBS Sunday Morning'.  I wasn't aware of it before that.  (It was probably past my bedtime!)  I wrote this up that night to post it today.  I'm hoping both Ms. Clark and Mr. Belafonte are still with us by this point in time.....