Friday, December 27, 2019


Today marks the 51st anniversary of the splashdown of Apollo 8, with crewmembers Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and William Anders.   But of them all, it’s Lovell who’s getting inducted into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame as a member of the League of Themselves.  And this being December, he’s being inducted as a multiversal character, which includes a different actor playing him.

From Wikipedia:
James Arthur Lovell Jr. (born March 25, 1928) is a former NASA astronaut, Naval Aviator, mechanical engineer, and retired Navy captain. In 1968, as command module pilot of Apollo 8, he became one of the first three humans to fly to and orbit the Moon. He then commanded the 1970 Apollo 13 lunar mission which, after a critical failure en route, circled around the Moon and returned safely to Earth through the efforts of the crew and mission control.

Lovell had previously flown on two Gemini missions, Gemini 7 in 1965 and Gemini 12 in 1966. He was the first person to fly into space four times.

One of 24 people to have flown to the Moon, Lovell was the first person to fly to it twice. He is a recipient of the Congressional Space Medal of Honor and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (in 1970, as one of 17 recipients in the Space Exploration group), and co-author of the 1994 book Lost Moon, on which the 1995 film Apollo 13 was based.

Apollo 8 was the first crewed spacecraft to leave low Earth orbit and the first to reach the Moon, orbit it, and return.[1][2][3] Its three-astronaut crew—Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders—were the first humans to fly to the Moon, to witness and photograph an Earthrise, and to escape the gravity of a celestial body.

Apollo 8 launched on December 21, 1968, and was the second crewed spaceflight mission flown in the United States Apollo space program after Apollo 7, which stayed in Earth orbit. Apollo 8 was the third flight and the first crewed launch of the Saturn V rocket, and was the first human spaceflight from the Kennedy Space Center, located adjacent to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Originally planned as the second crewed Apollo Lunar Module and command module test, to be flown in an elliptical medium Earth orbit in early 1969, the mission profile was changed in August 1968 to a more ambitious command-module-only lunar orbital flight to be flown in December, as the lunar module was not yet ready to make its first flight. Astronaut Jim McDivitt's crew, who were training to fly the first lunar module flight in low Earth orbit, became the crew for the Apollo 9 mission, and Borman's crew were moved to the Apollo 8 mission. This left Borman's crew with two to three months' less training and preparation time than originally planned, and replaced the planned lunar module training with translunar navigation training.

Apollo 8 took 68 hours (almost three days) to travel the distance to the Moon. The crew orbited the Moon ten times over the course of twenty hours, during which they made a Christmas Eve television broadcast in which they read the first ten verses from the Book of Genesis. At the time, the broadcast was the most watched TV program ever. Apollo 8's successful mission paved the way for Apollo 11 to fulfill U.S. president John F. Kennedy's goal of landing a man on the Moon before the end of the 1960s. The Apollo 8 astronauts returned to Earth on December 27, 1968, when their spacecraft splashed down in the northern Pacific Ocean. The crew members were named Time magazine's "Men of the Year" for 1968 upon their return.

Jim Lovell is being inducted as a member of the League of Themselves and a Multiversal.

These are the appearancces which qualify him for membership:

- Al Anonymous (1998)
... Himself

- Grounded (2016)
... Himself
O’Bservation: As this took place in the 2030s, Lovell was seen in archival footage.

In 1998, actor Tim Daly portrayed Lovell in portions of the HBO miniseries ‘From the Earth to the Moon’. The film depicts Lovell during his missions aboard Gemini 12, Apollo 8, and Apollo 13, though he is not seen on screen during the latter mission.
 -  Can We Do This? (1998) ... Jim Lovell
  - 1968 (199-8) ... Jim Lovell
  - For Miles and Miles (1998) ... Jim Lovell
  - The Original Wives Club (1998) ... Jim Lovell

And as flavoring for his tally, we could give this movie appearance consideration:

The Man Who Fell to Earth
Himself (Commander of Apollo 13)

Welcome to the Hall, Mr Lovell…..

Wednesday, December 25, 2019


Every year, the Television Crossover Hall of Fame inducts a new member into the Hall.  Usually it’s some TV character who has a connection to the “Reason for the Season”….

Even if it’s a bit of a stretch.

But this year?  No problem!  We’re inducting the guy in the red suit….


Oh.  You thought it was going to be Santa Claus?  Well as it stands now, there are three Santas in the Hall already:
  • Santa Claus of Earth Prime-Time (as played by Charles Durning)
  • Santa Claus of the Evil Mirror Universe (as played by Art Carney)
  • Santa Claus of the “Puppetoobworld” (as personified by Santa Claus from “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”)
  • Plus Mrs. Claus of Earth Prime-Time.
So it’s time to share the wealth!

Originally the plan was to induct the current Flash, the Barry Allen of the so-called Earth-1 (as played by Grant Gustin in the current incarnation of ‘The Flash’.)  But that was before the mega-crossover, “Crisis On Infinite Earths”; before John Wesley Shipp bolstered his tally with appearances on ‘Arrow’ and ‘Supergirl’.

And that was before the events of the first “half” of the “Crisis” crossover made it necessary for us to honor Mr. Shipp’’s contribution to the DC segment of the TV Universe.

From Wikipedia:
He played the lead Barry Allen on CBS's superhero series ‘The Flash’ from 1990 to 1991.    

He portrays both Barry Allen's father, Henry Allen, Jay Garrick/Flash and Earth-90 Barry Allen/Flash on the current ‘The Flash’ series on The CW network.  

‘The Flash’ is an American television series developed by the writing team of Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo that aired on CBS from September 20, 1990 to May 18, 1991. It is based on the DC Comics character Barry Allen / Flash, a costumed superhero crime-fighter with the power to move at superhuman speeds. The Flash starred John Wesley Shipp as Allen, along with Amanda Pays, and Alex D├ęsert.  

The 2014 television series, ‘The Flash’, features several references to the 1990 series. John Wesley Shipp plays the recurring role of Barry Allen's father, Henry Allen, and Amanda Pays once again portrays a character named Dr. Tina McGee.

Shipp eventually portrays the Earth-3 version of Henry Allen, Jay Garrick / Flash. Regarding the difference in his portrayal of Garrick over Allen, Shipp "figured Jay is my version of Barry" from the 1990 series, adding, "I went back and I watched a couple of episodes of the 1990/91 version to kind of remind myself what I did. [Jay] is much more reminiscent of my Barry Allen from 25 years ago than my Henry Allen. I went back and I was amazed how much attitude my Barry Allen had in some situations. I went back and I picked up that thread and I brought it forward 25 years, and tried to weave it in."

In "Welcome to Earth-2", as Barry, Cisco and Wells are traveling to Earth-2, glimpses of the multiverse are seen, including an image of Shipp as the Flash from the 1990 series, implying that the series was retroactively being added to the Arrowverse-multiverse.

Shipp reprises his role as Barry Allen from this series in the 2018 Arrowverse crossover, "Elseworlds". The crossover also links the 1990 series to the Arrowverse, designating its world as Earth-90. The character reappears in the next year's crossover "Crisis on Infinite Earths", having been captured by the Anti-Monitor and used to power his anti-matter cannon to destroy the multiverse.

He ultimately sacrifices himself to destroy the machine, seeing his life with Tina (whom he had married at some point) flash before his eyes in the form of a clip from the original series, ending it properly with The Flash's sacrifice.  After the filming of the scene, John Wesley Shipp told ‘The Flash’ show-runner Eric Wallace, ‘Thank you for giving me this opportunity to close a chapter.'

Here are the series which add up to qualify him for membership in the TVXOHOF:

The Flash
Barry Allen / The Flash / Pollux
22 episodes

The Flash
Henry Allen / Jay Garrick / The Flash /
23 episodes

- Bunker Hill
... The Flash (uncredited)

- Unmasked
... The Flash (uncredited)
- Elseworlds, Part 2 (2018)
... Earth-90 Barry Allen / The Flash

This post is also serving as my latest rumination, my O’Bservation, on “Crisis on Infinite Earths”.  As such I should point out that just as was the case with Dick Grayson of Earth-66, Barry Allen of Earth-2 is merely the doppelganger of his incarnation on Earth Prime-Time.

No matter what happens in the “Crisis” crossover by its end, DC and the CW have no control over the main Toobworld.  It will still exist, as will other alternate Toobworlds – not just the Evil Mirror Toobworld, Skitlandia, and the several Comix Toobworlds, but also Disaster Toobworld, Zombie Toobworld (Nosferatoob), and Black Toobworld, among many others.

So that first Flash - as played by John Wesley Shipp - will still exist.

But in the meantime, we’re taking this opportunity to honor the doppelganger of the first Barry Allen to appear in the greater Toobworld Telemosaic.

Welcome to the Hall, Mr. Allen.

Monday, December 23, 2019



According to the Arrowverse, the Multiverse designation for the world on which ‘Smallville’ took place was Earth-167.

From the Arrowverse Wiki:
Clark Kent lived in Smallville with Lois Lane and their daughters. While chopping wood, Clark was visited by Clark Kent and Lois Lane of Earth-38 and Iris West-Allen of Earth-1, who attempted to ask him to join them to stop the Anti-Monitor. However, Lex Luthor of Earth-38 appeared and sent them away, before attempting to kill Clark. He realized that Clark no longer had his powers, before Clark punched him and Lex disappeared.

This universe is (supposedly) home to the ‘Smallville’ television series. In addition, the number 167 is a nod to the show's producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar both being born in 1967.

However, this Earth being part of the Arrowverse multiverse stands in contrast to Season 10 and the comics continuity of ‘Smallville’, in which the prime earth is Earth-1, while there are others such as Earth-2 and Earth-Majestic. Also, in the comics continuity of ‘Smallville’, the heroes face a species named Monitors, dedicated to erase the multiverse using a form of anti-matter nicknamed "The Bleed".

In the DC Comics, Earth-167 is the universe where best friends Lex Luthor and Clark Kent are Superman and Batman respectively.

Earth Prime-Time, the main Toobworld, has nothing invested in ‘Smallville’.  It couldn’t take place on Toobworld because that had its own Superman already – to be found in the 1950s series ‘The Adventures Of Superman’.

So far, the “Crisis On Infinite Earths” mini-series hasn’t acknowledged the existence and/or the destruction of that Earth, except in the blanket announcement that only their concept of Earth-1 was left.

In the overall concept of the Toobworld Dynamic, not every TV show can exist on the same Earth.  If they did, ‘Bob ❤️ Abishola’ would have been overrun by ‘The Walking Dead.’  Showrunners who are focused on their own shows can’t afford to recognize the existence of other series unless they’re explicitly tied into their show with an official crossover.

But now, if the CW is going to stand by the events of the Crisis, then they’re basically saying that all the shows on their network take place on the same world as their superhero shows.  And I’m okay with that.  It just seems like a shame that we’re going to lose the possibility that they could theoretically interact with other TV series on other networks.

Getting back to ‘Smallville’, after seeing how filled out Tom Welling has become since his show went off the air (plus the fact that his Clark Kent no longer has his powers), it’s a shame to think that we’ll never get the chance to see him outfitted in the blue suit and the big red “S”.  By claiming that his world has been destroyed, they’ve robbed themselves of one day making some gelt off TV reunion movies.

I would think DC – with its own DC Universe establishing itself – might not like losing that option.  Just sayin’….

When we last saw the Clark and Lois of that world, they were happily walking off to be with their daughters.  Clark had to keep up the pretense of being in the moment even though he knew what was coming.  And I’m sure he had regrets as the sky turned red that he had given up his powers… not that there was much he could have done to save his family.

This has only been a Toobworld theory in the past, but ‘Smallville’ shared its dimension with three other TV series, as well as a movie:
  • ‘The West Wing’
  • ‘Mr. Sterling’
  • “Minority Report” – the movie
  • ‘Minority Report’ – the TV series
I got some splainin to do as to why…..

‘The West Wing’ – Both shows depicted a presidential election race in an off-year during the same TV season. That may not seem like much, but the possible connection led me to wonder why the world of ‘The West Wing’ – which can’t be Earth Prime-Time because the main Toobworld must have the same POTUS as the Real World – didn’t have its own Superman to come to the rescue whenever he was needed during ‘West Wing’ episodes (like when that Navy ship was going to be caught in the hurricane.)

Well, in ‘Smallville’ Clark Kent didn’t reveal himself to be wearing that big red “S” until the last few seconds of the series!  ‘Smallville’ ended in 2011; ‘The West Wing’ ended in 2006, long before “Superman” made his debut in that world.

Furthermore, as of 2019, Lex Luthor – as played by Michael Rosenberg – was the POTUS of the United State of America on Earth-167.  So President Matthew Santos could have served until 2015, and Lex Luthor either was elected as the next President, or was the Vice President and succeeded his POTUS.  Whether he engineered the President’s removal from office one way or the other….?

‘Mr. Sterling’ – This was loosely spun off from ‘The West Wing’ allegedly.  But there were no crossover characters and no real references to events from that series.

‘Minority Report’ (The TV Series) – This takes place in 2065, eleven years after the movie version.  In the pilot episode, a scene takes place in Bartlet Plaza, named after the President of that world at the turn of the Millennium.

“Minority Report" (The Movie) – With the TV series taking place eleven years after the movie, that’s plenty of time to flush out the characters of the movie and set it elsewhere.  No problem in absorbing it into the TV Universe.  Besides, with it taking place in 2054, after I’m gone, who cares?  LOL

So with the destruction of Earth-167, we lost not only all the characters from ‘Smallville’, but also Jed and Abby Bartlet, Josh Lyman, Toby Ziegler, Matthew Santos and CJ Cregg. (Sadly, we lost Leo McGarry before the series ended.)  And we lost characters who might not even be born yet since ‘Minority Report’ as just the movie wasn’t going to be happening for another 35 years from now.  Now it won’t.

But speaking of the future timeline for Earth-167, the past of that world’s timeline was altered.  As the Trueniverse audience, we might be left with our memories of what once happened on that world, but with its destruction some of those memories should be wiped out as well.

Clark Kent interacted with the Legion of Superheroes in at least one episode, “Legion”.  At least in the comic books and the CW, the Legion exist far in the future of Earth.  But with that far future now wiped out, the Legion of Superheroes doesn’t exist and ther interaction with Clark Kent never happened.  Who knows what ripple effects that might have triggered… to the point where Clark wasn’t on his Smallville farm to greet his visitors in those last moments of Earth-167.

Well, we shall see what we shall view when the Crisis crossover event returns in January.