Monday, November 20, 2017

THE HAT SQUAD - "REMEMBERING" KEITH BARRON



From the Euro Weekly News:
British TV star Keith Barron has died, aged 83, after a short illness. [November 15, 2017]

Barron’s agent confirmed the news in a statement which read, “He had a long and varied career." 

“He is survived by his wife Mary to whom he was married for 58 years and his son, Jamie, also an actor.”

Barron made regular appearances on British TV since the 1960s with roles in 'Coronation Street', 'Duty Free', 'Doctor Who', 'Z Cars',  'Casualty' and 'Where the Heart Is'.

He also guest-starred in the hit ITV comedy series 'Benidorm' in 2009.

His most memorable role came as a leading man in the 1980s sitcom 'Duty Free', where he starred as Yorkshireman David Pearce.

(Kari Smallman)

Barron also played Dennis Potter's altar-ego Nigel Barton in two of his TV plays and almost made it into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame for his character of Detective Sgt. John Swift.  Swift came on board 'The Odd Man' in the last couple of seasons and then was spun off to 'It's Dark Outside'.  But unfortunately he never got the chance to play Sgt. Swift in any other series to get that third requirement for TVXOHOF induction.  (As much as I like John Fraser and was happy to see him all too briefly in the London-based 'Columbo' episode "Dagger of the Mind", I would have traded him in for a chance to see Barron bring Sgt. Swift into the investigation.  As long as Swift was a copper in London, of course.)



Far too few of the TV shows produced over in the UK ever made it here to the United States unless they could fit into the sometimes snobbish showcases like 'Masterpiece Theatre' and even in 'Mystery!'.  So I don't think there was ever a chance I was going to see any of these other long-running roles of Mr. Barron:
  • 'Duty Free'
  • 'Coronation Street'
  • 'The Good Guys'
  • 'Haggard'
  • 'DCI Banks'
  • 'Holby City'
  • 'Doctors'
  • 'Dead Man Weds'
  • 'The Chase'
  • 'Where The Heart Is'
  • 'NCS Manhunt'
  • 'Take Me'
  • 'All Night Long'
  • 'Leaving'
  • 'Room At The Bottom'
  • 'The Adventures of Lucky Jim'
But here's the sad thing (for me): I have seen him in plenty of one-shot roles, mostly in crime dramas imported from the UK:
  • 'The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes' (The one true Holmes for the main Toobworld!)
  • 'Pie In The Sky'
  • 'New Tricks'
  • 'Hustle'
  • 'Law & Order: UK'
  • 'Foyle's War'
  • 'Hetty Wainthrop Investigates'
  • 'Dalziel and Pascoe'
  •  'The New Avengers'
And yet, of those, the only one I remember him in is the episode he did of 'Midsomer Murders'.  But there are two reasons for that: I did see it recently again, and - let's face it - the murders on that show have become memorable.

I'm surprised I can't remember Mr. Barron in the Sherlock Holmes story, "The Last Vampyre"!  I remember the story well enough; I'm a big fan of the Holmes canon.  But as to its dramatization.....  Yeah, I have to watch the box set again.

Along with those light mysteries, I can't remember seeing him in his one-shot roles in 'Upstairs, Downstairs' and 'My Family', either.


The one role that does stand out in my memory was that of Captain Striker the Eternal in the 'Doctor Who' episode "Enlightenment".  One day I have to delve further into the Eternals in the grand mosaic of Toobworld.  Could there be a connection to the Prophets of the wormholes or the Q Coninuum?

For more on his career, click here.


I will have to go back and revisit those episodes of 'New Tricks', 'Pie In The Sky', 'Hustle' and especially the 'Sherlock Holmes' adventure.  I'm thinking I need to familiarize myself with more of Mr. Barron's contributions to Toobworld.

BCnU!


Sunday, November 19, 2017

THE VIDEO SUNDAY MYSTERY MOVIE


"THE GOLDEN GATE MURDERS"


BCnU!


Saturday, November 18, 2017

SATURDAY SOUNDTRACK


The Factory
('Gomer Pyle')


The Bed Bugs
('F Troop')

The Sacred Cows
('Get Smart')

The Mosquitoes
('Gilligan's Island')

The Honeybees
('Gilligan's Island')

The Brady Bunch

Dawn Wells
Sugar, Sugar

Sifting Sands




Friday, November 17, 2017

SUPER SIX LIST - COLUMBO KILLERS WHO COULD HAVE KILLED AGAIN



SUPER SIX LIST
SIX "COLUMBO" KILLERS WHO WOULD HAVE KILLED AGAIN
IF COLUMBO NEVER CAUGHT THEM.


There were several murderers in the run of the show who originally killed more than one victim - Tommy Brown, Roger Stanford, and Ruth Lytton come to mind.  And there were others who later killed a second time as part of their plan to get away with the first murder - Paul Galesko, Graham McVeigh, and technically Riley Greenleaf.

But there were far too many others who had to keep killing in order to evade suspicion - Viveca Scott, Dale Kingston, Ken Franklin, Dr. Mark Collier, Dr. Bart Kepple, Max Barsini, the Paris twins, and the acting team of Frame and Stanhope and so on.  Of course, it didn't help them at all, not with the Lieutenant on the case.

And even among those who only killed one victim, there are indications that they would have done it again in a heartbeat.  (Preferably somebody else's.)  Not that they were blood-thirsty maniacs, but having committed this most heinous of crimes once, they might have found it easier to get what they wanted by disposing of somebody in their way.

My list is of those killers who didn't come right out and claim that they would kill again.  So I'm dismissing the very first killer, Dr. Ray Flemming in the pilot movie "Prescription Murder".  When he thought that Joan Hudson had committed suicide, he reveled in his hypothetical bragging to Columbo that had she not died then, surely something might have happened to her in the future.

And I'm not counting Dr. Barry Mayfield whose original victim, Dr. Edmund Hidemann, never ended up dying.  But if Columbo didn't get so close to the truth, it might still have happened.

So here are six of the 'Columbo' murderers who might have killed again if Lt. Columbo hadn't stopped them.....


1] ADRIAN CARSINI,
"ANY OLD PORT IN A STORM"

Potential victim: Karen Fielding

Carsini's personal secretary had been with him for at least a dozen years and had been in love with him for almost that long.  When he learned from Columbo that she had lied for him to provide an alibi, Carsini chafed under the suggestion from Karen that they should get married even if he didn't love her back.  You can see he was almost physically repulsed from her advance to kiss him.  (It could be that he was a closeted homosexual, not that there's anything wrong with that.)  So if he played it cool and didn't start destroying all of those wine bottles, Columbo would have not been able to charge him... unless Karen spilled the beans....

2] HAROLD VAN WYCK
'PLAYBACK"

Potential victim: Elizabeth Van Wyck

I never considered this one before, but the last time I watched the episode, I saw how feral Harold got when his wife suggested that she would take a stronger position in the running of the company.  Harold did not kill her mother just to see his power grab be lost to Elizabeth and her dim bulb brother Arthur.  If Columbo never noticed that evidence in the frame of the video and Van Wyck got away with the murder of Margaret Meadis, Harold might have engineered an electronics method to do away with his wife if she did try to take control of the company.

3] SENATOR NELSON HAYWARD
"CANDIDATE FOR CRIME"

Potential victim: Victoria Hayward

Hayward was disgusted with his wife and her drinking abuses and he was bored with their marriage.  Lithe and lovely Linda Johnson wanted to replace her "boss" Vicky in Hayward's marriage bed.  But it was apparent that Vicky would not go quietly with a quiet divorce.  It would have been acrimonious and she could have dredged up the suspicions behind Harry Stone's murder again.  (I'm assuming that if Hayward never set up that second "assassination attempt" to strengthen his alibi, he could have evaded Columbo.)  And yes, I believe he did win the election, so if Vicky wanted to cause him trouble, it would have had an adverse effect on his try for a second term in the Senate.  Plus, there was that community property that I'm sure he would have much rather kept.  So when he either got too bored in the arrangement or she was hinting that she was going to start throwing the mud, Hayward might have resurrected the same plot that helped him get rid of Harry.  Perhaps he would have blown up the beach house with her inside and blamed it on the same underworld figures who he claimed killed Harry.

4] LEON LAMARR
"DEATH HITS THE JACKPOT"

Potential victim: Martha Lamarr

We tap into the Rogues' Gallery of the ABC era of 'Columbo' with this selection.  If the Lieutenant had never been able to figure out the clue supplied by the chimp, and Leon had been able to evade arrest for the murder of his nephew, Leon would have begun thinking of disposing of his wife Martha in order to live openly with Freddy's widow.  And who knows?  An accident might have been arranged for Nancy Brower as well should she come to realize she was the true heir of that lottery money without the prompting from Columbo.

5]  MARK HALPERIN
"A FRIEND IN DEED"

Potential victim: Lt. Frank Columbo!
When Columbo was getting dangerously close to identifying Halperin as the killer of his wife and as an accomplice in the murder of his friend's wife, the Police Commissioner could have called on the resources at his disposal to find a contract killer, a "disposal man", to put a hit on the rumpled investigator.  (Sid Nylund, a future member of the TVXOHOF based on only one 'McCloud' appearance, could have been consulted by the Commissioner for suggestions.)  Odds were in Columbo's favor, but Halperin was one of the most dangerous killers he ever had to face!  (There had been attempts on Columbo's life in the past, at least four I can think of; and I believe there's another killer who might have been in the same situation and with the same available options that Halperin had.  I'll leave that for you to figure out.)

6]  ABIGAIL MITCHELL
"TRY AND CATCH ME"

Potential victim: Veronica

It pains me to list the great mystery novelist, but I can't accept that claim she made to the Lieutenant once he nailed her guilt: 

"I don't suppose you would consider making an exception in my case? 

An old woman, quite harmless, all in all."

If Columbo had never discovered Edward's dying clue (although eventually somebody would have), and Abigail had been able to continue with her ocean voyage, I think she would have committed her next murder during the trip.  What better opportunity for getting rid of her assistant Veronica?  The younger woman made it clear that she knew Abigail had murdered her late niece's husband - it was the reason she got to go on the cruise!  So getting her drunk would make Veronica more pliant and easier to push over the railing for an old lady like Abigail.

So that's my list, limited as always to my "Super Six".  But maybe I've forgotten somebody whom you think should be considered as well.

Tell me, Team Toobworld - who do you think would have killed again if Columbo had never caught them?

BCnU!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

THURSDAY'S THEORY OF RELATEEVEETY - FREE-WHEELIN' VELIE



‘ELLERY QUEEN’
“THE ADVENTURE OF AULD LANG SYNE”

Whenever I think of ‘Ellery Queen’, it’s Ellery and his father who first come to mind.  But soon they’re followed by Sgt. Thomas Velie, the detective right-hand man for Inspector Richard Queen.  


He could always be counted on when muscle was needed (especially since the Inspector was getting on in years and Ellery was practically pure intellect and too clumsy to boot.)

We also got to meet Velie’s wife, Madge, in “The Adventure of Auld Lang Syne”, which took place at the end of December, 1946. 


It never came up, but I believe they did have children, possibly in their late teens at the time of that murder investigation.  And I think their son grew up to indulge in his wanderlust by becoming a trucker.  And he might have also had a yen for the sun, which is why he moved to California. 

‘THE ROCKFORD FILES’
“GEARJAMMERS PART ONE”



We saw young Velie in 1975 when he was hijacked for his rig by his mob-connected boss in a plot to steal millions of dollars worth of sable furs.  Velie Junior was the first of six drivers who had their rigs hijacked and they were stripped down and relieved of their clothing to impede their making contact with the police.


I don’t know who played that first trucker in this episode, but I thought it might be Tom Reese.  I don’t mean to be rude, but it was his beezer that gave me that idea….


However, I ran the idea by my fellow T-Zoners in an FB page for ‘The Twilight Zone’ where I’m a member.  (Mr. Reese played the intruder in the episode "The Midnight Sun".)  And most of them who offered an opinion said it’s not him.

But that’s… okay.  I don’t need to have EVERY theory of relateeveety be played by the same actor, even if it is a standard practice of stunt casting to have the actor playing the main character also play their father or grandfather, sometimes even farther back with their ancestors, or jumping ahead to their descendants.

Among such examples:
  • ‘The Odd Couple’
  • ‘F Troop’
  • ‘The Brady Bunch’
  • ‘Simon & Simon’
  • ‘Doctor Who’
But on the whole, those are the exceptions and not the rule.  And we don’t have to look any farther than the show which gave us Junior Velie – take a gander at Jim Rockford and his father Joseph, “Rocky”. 


So even if this wasn’t Tom Reese, that doesn’t mean the trucker can’t be the son of Tom Velie.  And since it doesn’t cause any Zonks to make that claim, I’m going to stand by it.

BCnU!


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

THE GAME OF THE NAME - PAGING CAPTAIN CALIMO



Wait a minute .....
Captain Calimo was supposed to be here
!“
CAPTAIN AUGUST
'Columbo'

'COLUMBO'
"A CASE OF IMMUNITY"

'COLUMBO'
"NO TIME TO DIE"

The premise of that above quote was that there had been a miscommunication regarding the Police Department's security meeting with the Ambassador from Suaria.  Captain Calimo was supposed to be there, but the message was sent to Lieutenant Columbo in error. 

Calimo, Columbo, let's call the whole thing off.

When Dan Carey shared that quote on the "Columbo TV" Facebook page, I added a comment about how it was a shame that Captain Calimo never showed up later in that episode or even in the series.  And then I began to wonder....  What if he did show up and we never knew it?


It was easy enough to research. I opened the full cast & crew page for 'Columbo' at IMDb and ran the search feature.  Sure enough, among the characters listed there was Lance LeGault as a "Police Captain" with no name attributed to him.  


This police captain was in the later ABC run of the series, in an episode based on an Ed McBain book: "No Time To Die".  The three other cops working with Columbo to rescue the bride had names - his nephew Andy Parma, Dennis Mulrooney, and Sgt. Goodman, but not so for the Police Captain.

Unlike my personal life, I like to keep Toobworld tidy.  So why can't we assume he was Captain Calimo?




As played by Lance LeGault, this police captain was a no-nonsense commander, probably a carryover from a previous military career.  But most importantly, he had a bearing which would have been a boon to any security detail assembled to provide protection for the royal visit of the King of Suaria to Los Angeles.

But what they got there was a failure to communicate and so it was Lt. Columbo who was called to the meeting instead of Captain Calimo.  Fortuitous in a way because it gave the homicide detective the opportunity to get a first impression of the diplomat before Sallah felt the need to put his guard up. (He had already committed the first of two murders.)

BCnU!

Thanks to Dan Carey of the "Columbo TV" Facebook page for inspiring this post when he shared the quote about Captain Calimo.  The "Columbo TV" members are a talented and imaginative group of fans for 'Columbo'.  Many of them have led me to "think inside the box" when it comes to this show, one of my Top Five faves.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

MISSING LINKS - "COLUMBO" & "NASHVILLE"



'COLUMBO'
"SWAN SONG"

Country-Western singer Tommy Brown wanted to regain control of his life (and the fortune he was making but which he was forced to give totally to his wife.  (Edna had the proof that Tommy had raped a sixteen year old member of his backup choir.)  So Tommy arranged to murder them both by drugging their coffee during a flight in his small plane.  After they passed out, he jumped out of the plane and let it crash.  Edna's brother Luke complained to the LAPD that Tommy had killed his sister, so Lt. Columbo went to the funeral home to talk to him.....


LT. COLUMBO:
I'm here to see Mr. Luke Baskett. 
MR. GRINDELL:
Yes. He's paying his last respects 
before the bodies are shipped out to Nashville.

Both Edna Baskett Brown and Mary Ann Cobb were interred in a cemetery in Nashville.  A few days later, they were exhumed and forensic tests showed that there were barbiturates in their systems.  But then they were re-buried there in Nashville.

This happened in March of 1974.  Forty-three years later, almost to the day, country singer Rayna Jaymes was laid to rest in the same cemetery.


I can't prove this of course.  But the television universe is built on coincidence.  There's probably a Greek demi-god of coincidence, it's so prevalent.  TV shows like 'Columbo' and 'Murder, She Wrote' depend on coincidences.  

And since we didn't see any of the names on those surrounding tombstones, who's to say one of them didn't at least have the name of Mary Ann Cobb on it?  (None of those graves look grand enough to have been the final resting place of a rich woman like Edna Brown.)


Maybe one of those country western performers and members of  Rayna's family at her graveside service might have noticed their graves and remembered their significance to their business.  But if so, they kept it to themselves.  And besides - they had bigger things to worry about.


Like the fact that there was a weeping angel in the cemetery.  (It was quantum-locked and facing away from the people who could have been looking at them.)

BCnU!

Monday, November 13, 2017

MINUTIAE MONDAY - SHOOTING FOR GOLD


'IRONSIDE'
"PERFECT CRIME"
From the IMDb:
In an informal talk at a local college, Ironside says all criminal plots are flawed. An anonymous student challenges that statement by wounding several people - including Eve - with long-range rifle shots.


Peggy Fortune is a member of the Bay College shooting team and is determined to be the star shooter so that she could eclipse her mom.  Mrs. Fortune won the 1948 Olympic Gold Medal in target shooting. 

This probably happened before Mrs. Fortune was married.  Peggy might have even changed her family name, anglicizing it from "Fortuna".

But there's no point in looking for Peggy's mother under any possible surnames in the 1948 Olympics.  The gender categories in the Olympics are a major divergence from the Trueniverse, as apparently are many specific sports events depicted in TV.  

Here are the Gold Medal winners in shooting for the 1948 Olympics:


From Wikipedia:
Women made their shooting debut at the Games of the XIX Olympiad in Mexico City in 1968, competing in men’s events. The first purely women’s events appeared in 1984, and it was only in 1996 that the men’s and women’s programs were completely separated.

So 'Ironside' would be responsible for a difference between the real world and Toobworld, but in a way that doesn't appear to have created any major Zonks.

BCnU!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

THE VIDEO SUNDAY MYSTERY MOVIE


"MURDER BY NATURAL CAUSES"


This was another TV movie by Levinson & Link, the creators of 'Columbo' and 'Murder, She Wrote'.  I always wanted Hal Holbrook to appear in an episode of 'Columbo', but this will have to serve as the next best thing.

BCnU!




Saturday, November 11, 2017

VETERANS' DAY - REMEMBERING MY DAD II




A few days ago I celebrated the memory of my Dad on his birthday with the remembrance of how he had his three oldest kids (AJ & Leah weren't around yet) become involved in playing along with the panel of 'To Tell The Truth'.

Here's the link.

Today is Veterans' Day.  My Dad was a vet - he served as a sailor during the Korean Conflict on board the Leyte.  (Not the Leyte Gulf which is in service now.)  One of my prized possessions is a framed photo of Dad standing behind Pope Pius at the Vatican with all of his shipmates.  (Dad's two back on the Pope's right.  Dad's looking at him rather than the camera.  I think it's making Pius nervous.  LOL)


So usually I salute a fictional member of the Armed Forces o this day, but to tell the truth, I just don't feel like I'm done with my memories of my father.

See what I did there?

So having told you all about how Dad got me interested in the game show "To Tell The Truth", and since this is a Saturday, sometimes presented here as part of the Video Weekend category, I'm going a different route this year.  So with that in mind, here are some episodes of 'To Tell The Truth' from back in those glory days when my Dad and my brothers and I were audience playing along at home......



























Thanks for the memories, Dad......