Saturday, June 2, 2018


Fifty years ago yesterday, Helen Keller passed away at the age of 87.  On June 27 ("Helen Keller Day" nationally since 1980), she would have been 138 years old.  Her teacher and companion, Anne Sullivan, passed away in 1936 at the age of 70.

From Wikipedia:
Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deaf-blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree. The story of how Keller's teacher, Anne Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become widely known through the dramatic depictions of the play and film The Miracle Worker. Her birthplace in West Tuscumbia, Alabama, is now a museum and sponsors an annual "Helen Keller Day". Her birthday on June 27 is commemorated as Helen Keller Day in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania and was authorized at the federal level by presidential proclamation by President Jimmy Carter in 1980, the 100th anniversary of her birth.

A prolific author, Keller was well-traveled and outspoken in her convictions. A member of the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World, she campaigned for women's suffrage, labor rights, socialism, anti-militarism, and other similar causes. She was inducted into the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame in 1971 and was one of twelve inaugural inductees to the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame on June 8, 2015. Keller proved to the world that deaf people could all learn to communicate and that they could survive in the hearing world. She also taught that deaf people are capable of doing things that hearing people can do. One of the most famous deaf people in history, she is an idol to many deaf people in the world. 

Johanna Mansfield Sullivan Macy (April 14, 1866 – October 20, 1936), better known as Anne Sullivan, was an American teacher, best known for being the instructor and lifelong companion of Helen Keller.  At the age of five, she contracted trachoma, a highly contagious eye disease, which left her blind and without reading or writing skills.[2] She received her education as a student of the Perkins School for the Blind where upon graduation she became a teacher to Keller when she was 20.

The summer following Sullivan's graduation, the director of the Perkins Institution, Michael Anagnos, was contacted by Arthur Keller, who was in search of a teacher for his 7-year-old blind and deaf daughter, Helen. Anagnos immediately recommended Sullivan for this position and she began her work on March 3, 1887, at the Kellers' home in Tuscumbia, Alabama. As soon as she arrived there, she argued with Helen's parents about the Civil War and over the fact that they used to own slaves. However she also quickly connected with Helen. It was the beginning of a 49-year relationship: Sullivan evolved from teacher to governess and finally to companion and friend.

Sullivan's curriculum involved a strict schedule with constant introduction of new vocabulary words; however, Sullivan quickly changed her teachings after seeing they did not suit Keller. Instead, she began to teach her vocabulary based on her own interests, where she spelled each word out into Keller's palm; within six months this method proved to be working when Keller had learned 575 words, some multiplication tables, as well as the Braille system. Sullivan strongly encouraged Helen's parents to send her to the Perkins School where she could have an appropriate education. When they agreed, Sullivan took Keller to Boston in 1888 and stayed with her there. Sullivan continued to teach her bright protégé, who soon became famous for her remarkable progress. With the help of Anagnos, Keller became a public symbol for the school, helping to increase its funding and donations and making it the most famous and sought-after school for the blind in the country. However, an accusation of plagiarism against Keller greatly upset Sullivan: she left and never returned, but did remain influential to the school. Sullivan remained a close companion to Keller and continued to assist in her education, which ultimately included a degree from Radcliffe College.

Ms. Keller and Annie Sullivan are not being inducted as members of the League of Themselves.  As portrayed by others, they are a multidimensional.  Many of those portrayals were set in the alternate TV dimension known as Toobstage, that dimension in which theatrical plays are replayed over and over again.  This is thanks to the William Gibson play "The Miracle Worker" which began as a TV production.

From Wikipedia:

"The Miracle Worker" is a cycle of 20th-century dramatic works derived from Helen Keller's autobiography "The Story of My Life". Each of the various dramas describes the relationship between Helen, a deaf,blind and initially almost feral child, and Anne Sullivan, the teacher who introduced her to education, activism, and international stardom.

Its first realization was a 1957 'Playhouse 90' broadcast written by William Gibson and starring Teresa Wright as Sullivan and Patricia McCormack as Keller. Gibson adapted his teleplay for a 1959 Broadway production with Anne Bancroft as Sullivan. The first movie, also starring Bancroft, was released in 1962. Subsequent made-for-television movies were released in 1979 and 2000.


'Playhouse 90'
"The Miracle Worker"
(1957 episode) 
Teresa Wright as Annie Sullivan 
Patricia McCormack as Helen Keller

Anna dei Miracoli (1990 TV movie)
Anna Proclemer as Anne Sullivan
Cinzia de Carolis as Helen Keller

'Estudio 1'
"El Milagro de Ana Sullivan" (1978 episode)
Tina Sainz as Ana Sullivan
Nuria Gallardo as Helen Keller

The Miracle Worker (1979 TV movie) 
Patty Duke as Annie Sullivan 
Melissa Gilbert as Helen Keller

Anna dei Miracoli (1990 TV movie)
Mariangela Melato as Annie Sullivan

The Miracle Worker (2000 TV movie) 
Alison Elliott as Annie Sullivan 
Hallie Kate Eisenberg as Helen Keller

(The portrayals by Anne Bancroft as Annie Sullivan and Patty Duke as Helen Keller, perhaps the best-known versions, are excluded because the Broadway play belongs in some theatrical metaverse and the movie belongs in the Cineverse.)

There are other portrayals of Keller and Sullivan in other TV dimensions.

"Helen Keller: The Miracle Continues" (1984 TV movie)
Blythe Danner as Annie Sullivan
Mare Winningham as Helen Keller

"Monday After The Miracle" (1998 TV movie)

Roma Downey as Annie Sullivan

Moira Kelly as Helen Keller

And then there are her depictions in the Tooniverse, which is a "Borderland" of all forms of animation.

'Wonderful Story'
"Annie Sullivan & Helen Keller"

'American Hero Classics'
"Helen Keller"

'Muffin Stories'
"Helen Keller"

It is in that dimension where animation from the movies as well as TV are blended together.  And the inhabitants don't normally recognize the difference in their animation styles.

But it is her portrayal in an episode of 'Murdoch Mysteries' which is the official portrait for Earth Prime-Time.


'Murdoch Mysteries' (2017 episode)
"8 Footsteps"

From the CBC program description:
A recording device made by Alexander Graham Bell assists in the investigation of a murder at a dinner honoring Helen Keller.

From the "Murdoch Mysteries" Wiki:
A recording device made by Alexander Graham Bell helps Murdoch's investigation into a murder at a dinner honouring Helen Keller.

There is a charity event at the Windsor House Hotel, where William Murdoch and Julia Ogden live. The guest of honour is Helen Keller. The guests dine in total darkness so that they can experience what it’s like being blind, but not everyone makes it through dinner.

Severn Thompson as Annie Sullivan Macy
Amanda Richer as Helen Keller

As herself, she does show up in Docu-Toobworld, thanks to documentaries and appearances in episodes of 'Biography'.

Technically all of these portrayals are considered one-shots, despite most of them being based on the same script.  But the Toobworld portrayal gets preference because both televersions interact with previously established fictional characters.  (For example, Dr. Ogden has been corresponding with Anne Sullivan prior to their meeting.)

Welcome to the Hall of Fame, Ladies.....

Friday, June 1, 2018


This gentleman is from out of town.
He says he knows you.

Mike Lally:
How are you? 
Glad to see you again.

The Great Santini:
Michael Lally.
The greatest wire act, he and his brother.
You should have seen them.
How is he? 

Mike Lally:
Well, he's still working.
I gave the act up.
I got a little bit too old Mr. Santini. 


Actor Mike Lally was like a lucky charm for the TV show 'Columbo', appearing in 24 episodes of the series.  Usually he played small roles in the background; some of them could be assumed to be the same man, especially his police detective/photographers.

His biggest role on the show was actually as himself, but the televersion.  Lally might have been an actor in the Real World, but in Toobworld, Mike Lally had been a member of a high-wire act in his younger years.

By the time we met his "televersion", Lally was broken-down, living in a shabby SRO in Los Angeles.  And it looked like he spent most of his days on his bed in his bathrobe, drinking.  

(It was probably drink which led to the end of his career on the high-wire.  Some days he would hang out in Skid Row, drinking right out there on the street.  That's how he first met Columbo during the Galesko murder investigation, although neither one remembered the encounter.*) 

One night, he must have scraped together enough for a night on the town and went to the Magic Castle in order to see the magician known as The Great Santini.  Back in his salad days, Lally knew Santini when he was just starting out as a magician.  But Santini went by a different name back then, although Lally couldn't remember if his stage name was Arlington or Kensington.

(As it turned out, Santini was going by the name "Washington" in those days.  In response to Lt. Columbo's follow-up question, Santini sarcastically replied that his first name was "Martha.")

Lally probably told Santini that he was from out of town, because the truth about living in a Skid Row SRO was too depressing to bring up.

Unfortunately for Santini, Columbo was also in the Magic Caste audience that same night as Mike Lally.  The detective tracked down the former trapeze artist in order to get some information on Santini's background, learning enough to realize that his real identity was still shrouded in secrecy - and that it could be the key to the solution of his murder investigation.

Playing himself, and yet not himself, in Toobworld puts Mike Lally in a select group of "televersions"  Others who had different lives in the Television Universe would include:
  • DENNIS RODMAN - an extra-terrestrial ('3rd Rock From The Sun')
  • WILLY MAYS - a warlock ('Bewitched')
  • EMMA THOMPSON - born and raised in Akron, Ohio ('Ellen')
  • JULIANNE MOORE - shot in the stomach by an arrow ('Nightcap')
  • DICK VAN PATTEN - died years before he actually died ('Cybil')
  • BO DEREK - an evil spy ('Chuck')
Whaddya know?  We got ourselves a Super Six List!

At any rate, on the occasion of the 118th anniversary of his birth, I'm tipping my Toob topper to the memory of Mike Lally - not the actor, but the aerialist....


*Remember - this is the televersion of Mike Lally, not the actual man.  It's just a role he was playing.

Thursday, May 31, 2018


When the 'Warehouse 13' agents searched a fashion show in a case that revolved around the fast-acting premature aging of models, Pete Latimer said: "Nobody's got the picture of Dorian Gray hanging up for decoration."  To which Artie replied that the original portrait was hanging in the Warehouse.

From the IMDb:
The Picture of Dorian Gray in Warehouse
Pete: Nobody's got the picture of Dorian Gray hanging up for decoration.

Referencing Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray. (1890). The title character, a young hedonist who makes a wish that a portrait of himself will grow old while he remains young and untouched. His wish is granted and he lives a life of debauchery and vice while the portrait grows ever more aged and disfigured. In the end, Gray stabs his portrait, causing his own death and transferring the disfigurements back to himself. 

Oscar Wilde wrote a non-fictional account about Dorian Gray's picture back in 1890, so we know the "true" events in Toobworld occurred before then.  And in 1961 we saw those events played out in a TV movie.  So it is part of the TV Universe.  (And it can be found in the Wold Newton Universe as well although Dorian Gray is not a member of the Wold Newton Family itself, just part of the overall Wold Newton Universe.)

So 'Warehouse 13' has another link, this time to the TV movie.  By the way, there were two adaptations in 1961, and although I'm partial to John Fraser, I'll stick with my standard rule - First broadcast belongs in Earth Prime-Time.  That means Jeremy Brett is the face of Dorian Gray for the main Toobworld.  What I like about that is a theory of relateeveety could be made in which Dorian Gray might be related to the Sherlock Holmes of Toobworld, also portrayed by Jeremy Brett.

The Dorian Gray of 'Penny Dreadful', in fact the entire series, had to be moved to another TV dimension.  There were just too many Zonks to reconcile.

Here are the TV adaptations of Wilde's story over the years.

Armchair Theatre: The Picture of Dorian Gray (1961)

Starring Jeremy Brett as Dorian Gray
[As mentioned earlier, this is the official televersion of the story for Earth Prime-Time.]

Golden Showcase: The Picture of Dorian Gray (1961)
John Fraser as Dorian Gray

El Retrato de Dorian Gray (1969): 
Starring Enrique Álvarez Félix as Dorian Gray
[This took place in Spanish Toobworld.]

The Picture of Dorian Gray (1973)
Starring Shane Briant as Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray (1976) 
Starring Peter Firth as Dorian Gray

The Sins of Dorian Gray (1983)
Starring Belinda Bauer as a female Dorian Gray
[This took place in a TV dimension established in 'Sliders'.  In this case it was the world in which women held sway - they had Pope Jane Pauley, for example.]

Penny Dreadful (2014-2016)
Starring Reeve Carney as Dorian Gray
[The TV dimension for this series could be the same as that for the series 'Dickensian'.]

Each of them have been relegated to other TV dimensions.


My thanks to Win Scott Eckert for his help in this post.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018


Last week I wrote about the new version of 'Magnum PI' and how it has to be relegated to Toobworld2 along with current cathode compatriots 'Hawaii Five-0' and 'MacGyver'.

And now the CW is bringing back a relatively recent series - 'Charmed', the show about three sisters who discovered the power within themselves (individually and together) as their nascent powers in witchcraft came to fruition.

Here’s the CW’s official description for the new incarnation of 'Charmed':

“This fierce, funny, feminist reboot of the original series centers on three sisters in a college town who discover they are witches. Between vanquishing supernatural demons, tearing down the patriarchy, and maintaining familial bonds, a witch’s work is never done.”

“It’s a lot to take in, but ultimately the sisters accept their new destiny as The Charmed Ones … and their new duty to protect humankind from the demons that walk among us …one of whom killed their mother,” the network teased in a press release. “With the Power of Three, they are stronger together … even if they have no idea what they’re really up against.” 

Unlike the new 'Magnum P.I.', I'm inclined to leave this new series in Earth Prime-Time, sharing the same Toobworld as the original 'Charmed'.

Sure, the basic premise remains the same - three sisters discover they are actually witches with individual powers after the death of their mother.  But there are enough differences so that basic summary doesn't conflict.

1]  First off, the names of the characters have been changed.  This was a reason I couldn't let the American version of 'Shameless' remain in the main Toobworld along with its British inspiration.  So these are new characters despite any similarities, unlike the case with 'Magnum P.I.' (despite Perdita Weeks as a female Higgins.)

2]  'Charmed' won't be taking place in San Francisco, where the Halliwell Sisters lived and operated.  Instead, the Vera sisters will be situated in the college town of Hilltowne, which can only be found in Toobworld.

3]  The sisterly dynamic has been altered.  There were always three sisters with the Halliwells, with an previously unknown sister showing up after the death of one of the original trio.  But now two of the sisters think they are the only daughters of their Mom - until their older sister Macy shows up.

I'll have to see at least the first episode to see if my plans for its inclusion in the main Toobworld holds up.  If not, the new 'Magnum P.I.' won't be the only show joining Toobworld2.


Tuesday, May 29, 2018


From the Associated Press:
Former Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean, who was the fourth man to walk on the moon and later turned to painting to chronicle the moon landings on canvas, has died. He was 86.

Bean was the lunar module pilot for the second moon landing mission in November 1969. He spent 31 hours on the moon during two moonwalks, deploying surface experiments with Cmdr. Charles Conrad and collecting 75 pounds of rocks and lunar soil for study back on Earth, according to a statement from NASA and Bean's family that announced his death.

Bean died Saturday in Houston after a short illness, the statement said.

From Wikipedia:
Alan LaVern Bean (March 15, 1932 – May 26, 2018; CAPT, USN, Ret.) was an American former naval officer and Naval Aviator, aeronautical engineer, test pilot, and NASA astronaut; he was the fourth person to walk on the Moon.  He made his first flight into space aboard Apollo 12, the second manned mission to land on the Moon, at age 37 in November 1969. He made his second and final flight into space on the Skylab 3 mission in 1973, the second manned mission to the Skylab space station. After retiring from the United States Navy in 1975 and NASA in 1981, he pursued his interest in painting, depicting various space-related scenes and documenting his own experiences in space as well as that of his fellow Apollo program astronauts. He was the last living crew member of Apollo 12.  

Bean is being inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame as an honorary member - he is a member of the League of Themselves and as a Multidimensional as seen on TV.

Here are his qualifications:


In the 1998 HBO miniseries, Bean was portrayed by Dave Foley.

This could be relegated to an undetermined alternate TV dimension with so many recastaways in the mix.  But as a chronicle of Earth Prime's history, it does portray an important moment in the 20th Century.  It's just that there are no established fictional TV characters with whom we could claim the looks of these "televersions" were based on their perspectives.  So with no real anchor to Earth Prime-Time, it could occupy some other Toobworld.


From the IMDb:
In this episode, the super sleuths are called in to help out the Space Program and Mission Control with the help of Alan Bean of Apollo XII, the 4th astronaut on the moon. Unless they solve the mystery of the unknown ticking sounds and the grounded U.S. Space Shuttle, the Shuttle cannot lift off as scheduled!


From the IMDb:
A troubled 17-year-old Todd Baker restores a Mercury Redstone rocket as a science project with the help of his ex-astronaut grandfather. When a NASA emergency leaves a space shuttle and its crew in danger, Todd's rocket is the only one ready for immediate launch.

Bean may be standing in front of one of his paintings

Good night and may God bless Alan Bean.....


From the Los Angeles Times:
Author Philip Roth, who tackled self-perception, sexual freedom, his own Jewish identity and the conflict between modern and traditional morals through novels that he once described as "hypothetical autobiographies," has died. He was 85.

Roth was one of America's preeminent 20th century novelists in a career that began in the 1950s and continued up until nearly the end of his life, resulting in more than 30 novels and short-story collections over seven decades. His work persistently blurred the lines between fiction and memoir, and often left readers both smitten and outraged, particularly in his portrayal of Jewish American life in stories drawn from his boyhood in the predominately Jewish Weequahic neighborhood of Newark, N.J.

As a writer, Roth made contributions to various dimensions of the greater TV Universe:

'Alfred Hitchcock Presents' 
- The Contest for Aaron Gold
(1960) ... (story)

- Paul Loves Libby (1963) ... (novel "Letting Go")
- Eli, the Fanatic (1964) ... (based on short story 'Goodbye, Columbus')

'American Playhouse'
- The Ghost Writer
(1984) ... (adaptation) / (novel)

Good night and may God bless Philip Roth.

Monday, May 28, 2018



Near the end of the episode, Father Brown is sitting with Tommy Sinclair on a bench outside of the presbytery, overlooking the Kembleford countryside. It's a memorial bench, for on the back is carved: "1914 Ex. HMS LION".

As most of Team Toobworld (hopefully) knows, I see TV as a great teaching tool.  So I wanted to learn more about this reference.  It had significance to somebody on the production staff for them to make it (unless it already existed at the filming location?)  

When I was in high school, I was fascinated by the political machinations behind the First World War, but most of my general knowledge of the Great War came from the American perspective in our history classes.

I found this entry in the History of War website's Military Encyclopedia:

HMS Lion was the name-ship of the Lion class of battle cruisers and served as Admiral Beatty’s flagship at the three main North Sea naval battles of the First World War. At Dogger Bank her armour was pierced repeatedly by German shells, demonstrating the weakness of the British battle cruisers, while at Jutland she came close to destruction after one of her turrets was hit by a 12in shell. She was commissioned into the 1st Cruiser Squadron in June 1912. In January 1913 that squadron was renamed the 1st Battle Cruiser Squadron, under the command of Rear-Admiral Beatty.

The Lion was once again Beatty’s flagship at the battle of Jutland. She opened fire on the German battlecruisers at 3.45pm on 31 May, at what Beatty believed to be a range of 18,000 yards, but was probably significantly shorter. The German battlecruisers opened fire at the same time, and their somewhat shorter ranged guns had no problem hitting their targets. The Lion was hit by two shells that pierced her hull in the first ten minutes of the fight.

The most dangerous blow came at 4.03pm, when a heavy shell hit “Q” turret, entered the gun-house and exploded over the left gun. The explosion killed most of the gun crew and caused a fire that threatened to spread to the magazine, destroying the ship. The Lion was only saved by Major F. J. W. Harvey, the Marine officer in charge of the turret, who despite being mortally wounded ordered the magazine doors to be shut and the magazine flooded. He was awarded a posthumous V.C. for his actions, which probably saved the Lion from the same fate as the Indefatigable, which exploded at almost the exact same time.

At 4.30 Beatty sighted the German battleships and the run to the north began. During this phase of the battle the Lion was hit again around “Q” turret, and was only saved by the flooded magazine. During the battle the Lion was hit by thirteen 12in shells from the Lützow, suffering 99 dead and 44 wounded.

I believe that the Toobworld2 televersion of at least one of those 99 brave young men who gave their lives at the Battle of Jutland came from the Kembleford area.  And his family donated that bench in his memory to the church where he was baptized, confirmed, perhaps even married.  

It could be that at some point in the series we saw an elderly widow who could have been married to that sailor who gave his life on board the HMS Lion.  Somewhere there must be a registry of the sailors who gave their lives; they should never be forgotten after making such a sacrifice.  And a comparison of their surnames to the list of Kembleford characters might yield a match. That way it could be said no extra fictional character had to replace one of the true heroes among the roll call of the Dead.  This episode could serve as a remembrance of the sacrifice by a real sailor on the HMS Lion.  

This version of 'Father Brown' exists in Toobworld2, the Land O' Remakes (the Kenneth More series of the early 70s belongs in Earth Prime-Time), but I believe that the HMS Lion must exist in all dimensions of the Toobworld Dynamic.

And so Toobworld Central pays tribute this Memorial Day to all of those 99 HMS Lion sailors who gave their lives at the Battle of Jutland.....


Sunday, May 27, 2018


The third version of 'Lost In Space' is now on Netflix, with the William Hurt/Gary Oldman movie separating the series from the original show.

Despite how campy and childish the original devolved into, I still have a soft spot for the first series with Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Gordon, Bill Mumy, Angela Cartwright, Marta Kristen, and of course, Jonathan Harris.

As a kid, I would fantasize about stowing away on board the Jupiter 2 to become best friends with Will Robinson (and maybe date Penny!)  Years later as part of my televisiological studies, I was playing around with the supposed ages of characters in the Toobworld timeline and discovered that at the time of the Jupiter 2's lift-off, Maureen Robinson (and Sally Draper of 'Mad Men') were the same age as my televersion.


I figured for Video Sunday I would share the original pilot episode of 'Lost In Space' which was never aired.  For those of you familiar with the official pilot, you will see the differences in their storyline.