Blogging in E minor
Usually just a bunch of silly crap.

Perhaps They Are Timelords

I have always derived great amusement from the soaps. Aside from the cheesy dialogue, the bad acting and the laughable twists of plot, it is the relative absence of casting continuity that takes the genre to the bottom of the entertainment food chain.

          Any character, on any given episode, may inexplicably morph into an altogether different entity. It would add more enjoyment to the experience if the other actors would simply acknowledge the obvious: “Wow, Brendan, I didn’t recognize you! You changed your hair color, grew a mustache and gained 20 lbs overnight.”

           Perhaps they are Timelords.

          The phenomenon is not limited to the soaps. This occurred in prime time in 1969 on the Bewitched series when Darren Stevens changed from Dick York to Dick Sargent mid-season, and he wasn’t even a witch! Apparently, Dicks are interchangeable.

Sarah Chalke. . . and she even speaks German!

            Roseanne Barr had the right idea in a dream-sequence conversation with 80’s soap icons Luke and Laura: “For a few years, it was as if Becky was a completely different person” referring to how her daughter was played by Sarah Chalke (triple yum!) for a few seasons before the original Becky, Lacey Goranson, returned to the role.

           And let’s not forget Chuck from Happy Days. Remember Chuck, Ritchie’s older brother? Perhaps not. He apparently fell off the face of the Earth early in the first season never to be seen or heard from again. It was as if his own family forgot he ever existed. Poor Chuck.

           An even more over-the-edge insult to the viewers’ intelligence is when a former cast member returns as a different character. We wish somebody would proclaim: “Hey, you’re not a doctor! You’re the pizza delivery guy from yesterday’s episode!”

            All at once folks, throw toilet paper at the screen and shout “Asshole!” and then “Slut!”

           Casting continuity issues extend beyond the scope of living, breathing actors. In the first issue of The Incredible Hulk, Dr. Robert Banner absorbs high doses of gamma radiation and transforms into the Ultimate Anger Management Problem. He cools off and changes back into Dr. Bruce Banner by the second issue. Marvel Comics addressed the inconsistency by later naming him Robert “Bruce” Banner. The 1970’s television series would later dub the behemoth’s alter-ego David Bruce Banner and Bill Bixby’s character answered to David.

           Wholesome educational public television mainstay Sesame Street is not without fault either. It is a little known fact that Oscar the Grouch was originally orange. He was switched to green early in the show’s run because orange just seemed too cheery of a color for a grouch.

           So the question remains: What has happened to all the discarded, killed off and replaced characters and the actors who play them? Is there a special graveyard in – perhaps – France, where unwanted personalities go when their time is through?

           If Superman were to fly around the world backwards, really, really fast, could he bring them back to life one last time for a music video? Picture Dick York flanked by Chuck Cunningham, Orange Oscar, seven or more Doctors, Ted Williams’ thawed head inside of a Plexiglas cube, and an array of washed up soap stars singing in harmony to promote World Peace and Universal Understanding. Rassilon would be proud!


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