Saturday, December 22, 2018


Walking through the cathode wonderland.....


Friday, December 21, 2018



From Variety:
Bill Daily, the affable TV actor who starred as Major Roger Healey in “I Dream of Jeannie” as well as on “The Bob Newhart Show,” died Sept. 4 in Santa Fe, N.M., his son J. Patrick Daily confirmed. He was 91.

“He loved every sunset, he loved every meal — he just decided to be happy about everything,” said his son.

The longtime New Mexico resident was a staple on series of the 1960s through 1980s, notably as Bob Newhart’s daffy neighbor, airline pilot Howard Borden, on CBS’ “The Bob Newhart Show” sitcom from 1972 to 1978. In the 1980s, he appeared as psychiatrist Dr. Larry Dykstra on NBC’s “ALF.”

For these last two Friday Hall of Famers in December, we’ll be saluting the two most famous characters played by Mr. Daily.  Today we’re saluting Major Healey….

From the “I Dream Of Jeannie” wiki
Roger Healey (also known as Major Roger Healey, USA) is the best friend of Major Anthony "Tony" Nelson, as well as a fellow astronaut and exploration partner in the NASA Space Exploration Program at Cape Kennedy, FL

Roger is Tony Nelson's best friend and a major at NASA. He is known to be overly interested in women and has maintained this personality for the duration of the show. When he met Jeannie and she disappeared from him, Roger became obsessed with finding her. After discovering Jeannie's true identity as a genie in the Season 1 episode titled "The Richest Astronaut in the Whole Wide World" (episode #17), Roger kinda "kidnaps" Jeannie and stole her from Tony to satisfy his own desires, as he starts to have unexplainable luck at the casino black jack and crap tables, winning a small fortune until he is suspected of cheating at the crap table when the two dice suddenly roll "13" (you can only roll two sixes!). As Roger acquiesces to Tony's urging, he hands Jeannie "back" to him! 

This backfires when the luxury he gained out of Jeannie led to too much suspicion, and Dr. Bellows to think the items were stolen. He was forced to return Jeannie to Tony and she blinked away all his fortunes as well as erasing the memory of Dr. Bellows and the police. Since then, Roger has been the only other character on the show to know about Jeannie's true identity and now completely respects that she is Tony's genie, although on some occasions he still tries to get her to grant wishes for him. 

Major Healey’s three qualifications for membership in the Television Crossover Hall of Fame:
One other item that is supplemental to the case that Roger Healey belongs in the TVXOHOF..... 

It is only one of my theories of relateeveety: I'm making the claim that Roger Healey is the first cousin, an identical cousin, of next week's candidate for membership, Howard Borden.

As I said, it's only supplemental since I can't prove it.  But what works for me is that you can't disprove it either.

Welcome to the Hall, Major Healey!

Thursday, December 20, 2018


On this date in 1982, Don Law died.  He had been the only one to ever produce the recordings of Robert Johnson, who - according to legend - made a deal with the Devil at "the crossroads".

From Wikipedia:
Donald Firth "Don" Law (February 24, 1902 – December 20, 1982) was an English-born American record producer and music business executive. He produced Robert Johnson's only recordings, and as head of Columbia Records' country music division later worked with many leading country musicians including Bob Wills, Carl Smith, Flatt and Scruggs, Lefty Frizzell, Ray Price, Johnny Horton, Marty Robbins and Johnny Cash.

But he never got to do any of that in the umpteenth dimension created by the interference by Rittenhouse and the Temporal Agents sworn to combat that organization....

From the Timeless Wikia:

In the Timeless Universe:

In the original timeline, Robert Johnson and Don Law record an album at the Gunter Hotel in Texas on November 23, 1936. This album contributes to such cultural revolutions such as rock and roll music and eventually the counte
r-culture of the 1960s, the civil rights movement, the fall of President Richard Nixon, and the end of the Vietnam War.

In the altered timeline, a Rittenhouse agent attempts to murder Johnson as he records the album. The Rittenhouse agent is killed by Garcia Flynn before this can happen, but it still causes Law and Johnson not to record the album, because Law thinks Johnson is cursed, and Johnson believes he is too, due to his deal with the devil.

While Rufus Carlin and Connor Mason go try to get Johnson back, Garcia Flynn and Lucy Preston stay with Law at the Gunter Hotel. Lucy pressures Law into recording the album with Johnson, saying all he'll be is a bookkeeper if he doesn't make it big with Johnson. Law recognizes the manipulation tactic she's using, but agrees regardless.

When Lucy and Flynn inform Law that they plan to record the album with Johnson at Carrie Thompson's bar, Law is shot and killed by Rittenhouse sleeper agent, Betty.

For the main Toobworld, Don Law lived out his life as was played out in the Trueniverse.  With each trip into the past, the "Lifeboat" agents altered the timeline to create a new Toobworld.  They are so far from the original template for Earth Prime-Time that whatever they did as episodes continued, they no longer had any effect on the people of the main Toobworld, both those fully fictional and those who were the televersions of real people.

I would think it unlikely that Don Law will ever show up in a Tobworld timeline again, but I could be wrong; I usually am.  At any rate, this was too drastic a change to his life in Toobworld.  His main televersion lived out his life as he did in the Trueniverse.

For more about the real Mr. Law, click here.


Wednesday, December 19, 2018




From the IMDb:
Food critic Paul Gerard, who has been extorting money from restaurant owners in exchange for good reviews, murders one when threatened with exposure.  

During his investigation, Lt. Columbo stopped by Gerard’s house while the critic was hosting a dinner for a special guest, a fellow food critic from Japan….

I'm Eve Plummer, Mr. Gerard's assistant.
Pleased to meet you, ma'am.
My distinguished colleague from Japan, Kanji Ousu.
How do you do, sir?
The two modest maidens are professional entertainers. Geishas.
Are you a lieutenant with the American Army?
No, sir. Los Angeles Police.
Homicide. Right, Lieutenant?
That's right, ma'am.
There was a murder movie on the plane. Brilliant! I'm afraid I bored Paul with the details all the way from the airport.

This episode was first broadcast on January 30, 1978.  It is standard practice to assume that the episode seen here in the Trueniverse is set in the same time period as when it actually happened in Toobworld unless otherwise specified by the dictates of the script (for instance – Westerns and other shows set in the past or sci-fi shows in the future.) 

So at some point in January 1978 is when the events of “Murder Under Glass” took place.  And just as Inner Toob did for “The Most Dangerous Match”, we’re now going to look for the movie that Mr. Ousu saw on that flight.

First off, I’d like to apologize to anyone who saw this post in the five hours it was originally up on the blog.  I had a whole different premise for my “wish-craft” due to my faulty vision.  I saw the broadcast date for “Murder Under Glass” as 1975 rather than 1978.  That led me to choose “Chinatown” for the in-flight movie and then fellow Columbo-phile Timothy Meier suggested that the movie could have been the 1974 adaptation of Agatha Christie’s “Murder On The Orient Express”.

I wish “Murder Under Glass” had been broadcast in 1975!

So instead I started my research again for “murder movies” released in 1977 which could have been seen on that flight.

Using the IMDb search features, I searched within the parameters of 1977.  And I was looking for movies in the mystery genre.  (The algorithm returned the category as “murder”.)

Three possibilities came up:

  • “The Late Show” starring Art Carney and Lily Tomlin
  • “Double Murder” an Italian movie starring Marcello Mastrionni, Ursula Andress, and Peter Ustinov
  • “Sweet Revenge” which was a Japanese movie based on a Japanese novel. 
None of them really excited me to explore further.  Of the three, I only saw “The Late Show” which I thought was sweet and funny, kind of a gentle mystery, but not what I thought Mr. Ousu would consider “brilliant”.  (Of course, Mr. Ousu’s tastes in movies might not have been as refined as his taste in cuisine, so who knows how accurate his opinion was?)

I expanded my search for the whole year and included thrillers to the categories of “mystery” and “drama”.  Of those movies which I found to be of interest and even “brilliant”, none of them I considered to be primarily “murder movies” as Mr. Ouso described the in-flight movie.

So rather than grasping at anything that might have stirred the imagination for writing this post, I decided to accept the O’Bvious choice instead.  And it’s the logical one as well.  Which in my slightly unhinged mind translates to “boring”.

As the flight began in Japan, probably Tokyo, I would think the majority of passengers would be Japanese citizens going to the United States on either vacation or, as was the case with Mr. Ouso, on business.  So the choice of an in-flight movie would be geared to a Japanese clientele.  Therefore, “Sweet Revenge” was probably the movie which Mr. Ouso saw.

Here’s the IMDb summary:

Masao is falsely accused and jailed for the murder of a loan shark to whom he owed a lot of money. His sister Kiriko makes the long trip to Tokyo, specifically to accost Otsuka, Japan's top criminal defense lawyer, and plead with him to take her brother's case. They live in Kita Kyushu which, though a city, she contends that the local lawyers are not up to the job. Otsuka contemptuously brushes her off. A year passes. Masao has suicided in jail, his appeal having failed due to the lack of interest and competence of the local defense lawyer. Kiriko returns to Tokyo, planning revenge on Otsuka for refusing the case and causing her brother's death. Meanwhile, through the actions of a crusading young journalist, Otsuka is informed of Masao's death. His curiosity piqued, he requests the file and reviews the evidence. Otsuka also has an adoring mistress who owns a bar. By coincidence (?), the real murderer is an associate of one of her employees. Kiriko, now working as a hostess in a different bar, is asked by a friend to tail her boyfriend, whom she suspects of cheating. The boyfriend is murdered in the bar owner's flat, and Kiriko grabs the chance to set her revenge plan into action. Kiriko rigs the crime scene to falsely incriminate the bar owner, who is subsequently jailed. Otsuka's mistress out of the way, Kiriko sets out to seduce and entrap Otsuka, against the advice of the crusading journalist.

If you'd like to read a review of it, click here.

Mr. Ouso may have read the original 1961 novel and if that was any good, then perhaps that played a role in his judgement of the movie.  He also appears to be a man who enjoyed some status in Japan; perhaps he knew the director or somebody in the cast.  He may have even invested in it. So it could have been to his advantage to chat it up as being brilliant whenever he was presented with the chance.  (Not that Columbo would probably ever see it.  He liked Westerns.)

I also considered keeping the choice of movie limited to a fictional film to be found only in some other TV show.  (‘Columbo’ had a few fictional movies mentioned in other episodes – “The Loves Of Frankenstein” in “Mind Over Mayhem” and “Walking My Baby Back Home” in “Forgotten Lady”, but neither of them fit Mr. Ouso’s description of a “murder movie”.  Nor were they timely – I’m sure airlines prefer to show recent movies.) 

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any TV show from that time period which might have mentioned a fictional movie.  If I do come up with one, I can always go back and do a rewrite of this post.

I’m getting to be good at that….

So I’ll stick with “Sweet Revenge” – it’s a Japanese movie, it was a recent release (December of 1977), and it involved murder.  It just doesn’t have the panache that “Chinatown” and “Murder On The Orient Express” had to inflame the imagination.

Oh.  Just one more thing….

Could that flight have been an Oceanic Airways route?


Tuesday, December 18, 2018


Sue me.  I've got Christmas stuff to get done....

Live long and nip it in the bud.  Brrrrappp!

Monday, December 17, 2018


I never understand when people see something in a TV show and get upset because it’s not the same way as it is in the real world.  I’ve seen this happen because of locations, job descriptions, and people.

But Earth Prime-Time is not the same as Earth Prime; there will. always be differences between the two.  If they were the same, we could never have plotlines like the many invasions of the planet.

And I have another example of how Toobworld is different from the Trueniverse.

From Wikipedia:
DOS is a family of disk operating systems, hence the name. DOS primarily consists of MS-DOS and a rebranded version under the name IBM PC DOS, both of which were introduced in 1981. Other later compatible systems from other manufacturers include DR-DOS(1988), ROM-DOS (1989), PTS-DOS (1993), and FreeDOS (1998). MS-DOS dominated the x86-based IBM PC compatible market between 1981 and 1995.

That’s how it is in Earth Prime.  But over in Earth Prime-Time, things are different…..


As a joke, this customer at work who has a crush on me, gave me a $20,000 tip. His number's on the check. He just did it so I'd call. Pete Becker.
Pete Is this him?
That's Bill Clinton. Who is he hugging? Oh, my God. That's Pete! Why is Bill hugging Pete?
This guy invented MOS 865. Every office in the world uses that program.
We use MOS!
There you go.

So in Toobworld, the computers use MOS instead of DOS.  It may be a trivial tidbit, but it helps establish the TV Universe as being a true fantasy realm.

O'Bservation - that exchange of dialogue will be included in Bill Clinton's tally for his eventual inclusion in the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.


* I'm only assuming that Chandler was using Google.  Bing could have been using Bing....

Sunday, December 16, 2018


We're wrapping up our look at the TV series 'Peyton Place' with the other reunion TV movie sequel: "Peyton Place: The Next Generation" from 1985.  (I think "Roots: The Next Generation" was the inspiration for that type of title.  'Star Trek: The Next Generation' was still two years away.)

One day the town of Peyton Place will be inducted into the Hall of Fame, perhaps during a special year in which all the entrants will be location, location, location.  (We did a dozen of them during the anniversary year of 2009 when we inducted one of four categories - League of Themselves, Locations, Historical Figures, and Cartoon Characters.)

There are plenty more to choose from!