TV Universe Collapses in on self

Many TV worlds collapsed under the weight of logic recently, as it became clear that 164 different different television shows were all figments in the imagination of an autistic child.

“Tommy Westphall’s Mind: A Universe Explored” examines the results of tv series crossover/intermingling.

Technically, in the material that follows there is a spoiler of sorts, so be warned that I mention the final episode of “St. Elsewhere.” Also note that being concerned over just how fictional a tv series is (a fiction within a fiction, perhaps) is probably not the best way to spend your time.

So what, exactly, is the deal with this? Ok, let’s say you have a character from one series do an in character cameo on another series. You are thereby committing those two fictions to the same fictional universe. This is all well and good for certain spin offs (Frasier obviously occurs in the same universe as Cheers), but can be problematic for others. Why? Well, lawyers in “Law and Order” were involved in a trial against a doctor from St. Elsewhere.

St. Elsewhere’s final episode reveals that the series, and all characters contained therein, were the dreams of one child, Tommy Westphall. But, if this dream character was tried on Law and Order, then, Law and Order must be part of the child’s dreams.

And, as the dominoes begin to fall, we realize that many many series are part of this boys dreams, organized into an excellent chart and explanation by Keith Gow.

I find this fascinating to contemplate, and there are many puzzles associated with fictional crossover, but I never anticipated that one small boy could be responsible for 164 different shows.

I spotted this story on Xoverboard, so thanks to August J. Pollack.

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