Friday, December 20, 2019


For today’s Friday Hall of Famer we’re adding another newspaper to the Media Room in the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.  We’ve already got the NY Chronicle and its sister publication, the L.A. Chronicle.  (Both published by one-shot character Arthur Kennicutt from ‘Columbo’.)  And the warhorse of the tabloids, the NY Ledger.

Joining them will be…


Sadly that’s the only picture I have so far for the newspaper.  But according to Wikipedia, the NY Sentinel appeared in the following TV series:

  • Law & Order
  • The Adventures of Hiram Holliday
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Murder, She Wrote
The Sentinel played a significant role in Jessica Fletcher’s life, beginning with the tenth season.  And if I’m not mistaken, Hiram Holliday worked for the Sentinel as a proofreader.

At any rate, the New York Sentinel has four TV series to its credit, one more than required for the TVXOHOF.  It may not be much, but hey – it’s the holidays.

What a great alibi!

Toobworld Central welcomes the New York Sentinel to the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.....

Wednesday, December 18, 2019



Personal disclaimer:
When I was a kid, “The Flash” was my favorite superhero comic book… for two reasons.  The main one was that it was always visually stimulating – that bright red suit, the depiction of speed and vibrational resonance, plus the use of speed in time travel, and then there were the colorful villains in Flash’s Rogue’s Gallery.  (I think Captain Boomerang was my favorite of the bunch.)

As for the second reason?  Well, even if they cost about a dime, I wasn’t only assured I’d be able to afford the next month’s issue.  At that time, Marvel was geared to story arcs while DC focused on single issue storylines.

And now, here be spoilers….

I liked the 1990 version of ‘The Flash’ and John Wesley Shipp perfectly exemplified the square-jawed hero.  But I had no delusions regarding his fate in the “Crisis On Multiple Earths” mega-crossover.  When it comes to that, I suppose I’m not the only one who had come to expect it.  Shipp originally played Barry Allen’s father, Henry, in the CW adaptation of “The Flash”.

Eventually, Henry Allen died.

Then we saw him as the Flash from Earth-3, Jay Garrick, later in the series.

It is assumed that with everybody else of Earth-3, Jay Garrick eventually retired, but is presumed as having perished with the dissolution of his home dimension.

And then we got the Barry Allen of Earth-90.  That designation was an in-joke reference to ‘The Flash’ having been broadcast in 1990.

So for Greg Berlanti and the showrunners for this crossover, Earth-90 was the world shown in that series.

But in this playground of Toobworld, it actually was an alternate dimension.  For Toobworld Central, the 1990s version of ‘The Flash’ took place on Earth Prime-Time.  Therefore, as far as the tribunal is concerned, Shipp’s version of the Scarlet Speedster still exists.

But I understand why they felt it necessary to kill off his Flash during the crossover.  In the comic book mega-crossover, the death of Barry Allen, sacrificing himself by using his super-speed, played out in such a memorable scene which was heart-breaking to a big fan like me.  It was illogical to expect Grant Gustin’s Flash make that sacrifice while the show is still running.

So maybe the Flash of Earth Prime-Time may never be seen on our TV screens again either way, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be seeing John Wesley Shipp on ‘The Flash’ ever again.  That particular DNA sequence is very strong and has shown up three times already.  I won’t be surprised if they find a way to use him again in some capacity.

And I’ve got a suggestion for how that might happen….

Earth-38 was able to rescue a good number of its citizens in spaceships which were able to pass through the dimension veil and arrive on Earth-1 (their designation, not mine.)

There should be some character from that world, looking like the older Barry Allen, Henry Allen, and Jay Garrick, who made it into one of the spaceships and is now on Earth-1.  He might even be another member of the Allen family.

Whether he’s another speedster or not, that’s not up to me.  I’m just giving them a way to bring Shipp back.


Tuesday, December 17, 2019



Within the main Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event, Earth-89 was the first of the alternate Earths in the Multiverse to be destroyed.  (Many episodes ago in ‘The Flash’, Earth-90 - home of the 1990 TV series of ‘The Flash’ [to them, at least; not me] - was the first to go, I think.)

Earth-89 was the homeworld for the 1989 “Batman” movie directed by Tim Burton with Michael Keaton as the Batman and Jack Nicholson as the Joker.  We didn’t see them in the quick scene of Earth-89, but it was established by the appearance of Robert Wuhl as his character of Alexander Knox, an investigative reporter along the lines of Mike McAlary or Pete Hamill.  Unlike the Huntress from her Earth, we didn’t see him evaporate with his world’s destruction, but it was a given.

It’s a shame we didn’t see the parallel Earths from the greater Cineverse dimensions for the Schumacher and Nolan “Batman” movies and even that 1940s serial.  But by the time the first three-fifths of the crossover were over, we were assured that they no longer existed. (From the CW’s perspective.)

As Earth-89 was from the movies, and an alternate Cineverse at that, since there was the 1966 “Batman” movie before it and the 1940s serial before that, it really has no effect on the concept of Toobworld.  (For the greater Toobworld Dynamic, the 1966 movie was absorbed into the dimension of Earth Prime-Time since it was really just an extension of the TV series.)

So there are two points from that quick clip I’d like to address; both of them come from the front page of that newspaper which Alexander Knox was reading.


I’ve seen a lot of tsuris over the fact that Knox was seen reading the Gazette when he had been a reporter for the Gotham Globe.  But hey!  That was thirty years ago!  There are so many things which could have happened in that time.
  • Knox could still be working for the Globe, but he’s checking up on the competition.
  • Knox is retired and just wants to read all the coverage of the news in Gotham.
  • Knox maybe got fired from the Globe and now reads the Gazette in public as a small form of revenge.
  • And whether he got fired or quit, Knox could now be working for the Gazette.  Perhaps he was lured away by the lure of a pay raise.  (Saw it all the time with the tabloids in NYC.)
  • So it’s no big deal about what newspaper he’s reading.

In the movie, the Joker most certainly died from that fall from that height.  But “the Joker” isn’t a name; it’s a job description.  In the ensuing years since the movie, somebody else must have picked up the mantle; perhaps there have been more than one Joker wannabe since 1989.

And the same holds true for the Batman.
Earth-89’s Batman was at his apex in fitness and ability, perhaps through the 1990s.  But it’s been thirty years and while Michael Keaton has pretty much stayed fit, he is showing his age.

So the cowl and cape may have been passed to a new torchbearer, and like the Joker, maybe to more than one.

As I said earlier, Earth-89 has no real effect on the Toobworld concept.  I just find it fascinating that its fate closes the door on any possibility of a sequel by Burton and Keaton if they wanted to examine the life of the Batman in his twilight years.

C’est la vie....


Sunday, December 15, 2019



There are still two episodes to go in the CW/DC crossover event “Crisis On Infinite Earths” – ‘Arrow’ and ‘Legends of Tomorrow’.  When the story first arrived in the DC comic books, the goal was to streamline their massive empire down to one manageable Earth for all of their characters.  One result was that many superheroes and villains and other characters were wiped out or combined into one character.

I don’t follow comics anymore, so I can’t say if there is still only the one universe… for them.  But at the time, it was mostly unspoken, but if those multiverses contained comic book versions of all of us, then we’re all dead in those various dimensions as well.

But it was only the fictional characters we saw get erased from existence.  (The most graphic were the deaths of the Huntress from Earth-203 and the Clark Kent/Superman from Earth-96.)   While televersions of real-world people have showed up in TV series on a regular basis, so far in the Crisis Crossover, that hasn’t happened.

Or has it?

In the first chapter, taking over the ‘Supergirl’ slot, the introduction to Earth-38 for newcomers was a “Doomsday Protester” played by Wil Wheaton (in a nod to the Christopher Reeve movie “Superman II”.  Supergirl – whom the protester was denouncing – saves him from the fiery breath of Spike the dragon, last seen in Season 4 of ‘Supergirl’.  (I’m assuming the poor big lug perished with the planet.)

It was only a minor cameo for Wheaton, but he notched another role in the major genre shows of the last twenty years.  (Eventually we might see him in an episode of ‘Doctor Who’ perhaps.)  Not bad for the guy who played Wesley Crusher.

But who was the Doomsday Protester?

O’Bviously he should be the Earth-38 version of some other character played by Wheaton.  It will be the ruling of Toobworld Central that he can’t be the actual, original depiction of such characters because for the most part they belong on Earth Prime-Time.  Yeah, I’m greedy that way.

These characters would especially include:
  • Isaac Parrish (‘Eureka’)
  • Colin Mason (‘Leverage’)
And plenty of one-shot guest roles on the following TV series:
  • ‘CSI’
  • ‘Criminal Minds’
  • ‘Numb3rs’
  • ‘Diagnosis Murder’
  • ‘Sirens’
  • ‘Love Boat: The Next Wave’
But there are at least three characters played by Wheaton who have to be in a different dimension than Earth Prime-Time:

  • Conrad Moody of ‘Powers’ as it’s a world where super-powers are natural to all.
  • Bryan (no last name known) in an episode of the anthology series ‘Perversions of Science’ (a lot of freedom from the rules with anthology shows.)
  • “Sharknado 2” – NO way could the “Sharknado” franchise could be happening in the main Toobworld.  I think the dimension of Disaster Toobworld would be a better fit.  But the main reason that Wheaton’s character has to be considered from some other Toobworld than Earth Prime-Time or Earth-38 can be summed up by his listing in the credits on the IMDb:
“Dead Passenger”.  (But he has to be the Wil Wheaton of Disaster Toobworld.)

Here’s who I’d like that protester to be – the Earth-38 televersion of Wil Wheaton himself, a member of the League of Themselves who will eventually be inducted into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.

Wheaton has a firmly established televersion in Earth Prime-Time, thanks to 17 episodes of ‘The Big Bang Theory’. I think there will more in time.

Even if Earth-38 Wil Wheaton survived the destruction of the planet by boarding one of those ships, he’ll only be making it to Earth-1 (their designation, not mine.)  So there would be no Zonk in having them exist on separate Toobworlds.

That same argument could apply to any of his other characters, but I just like the idea that on Earth-38, Wil Wheaton became a doomsday conspiracy nutjob.