or: the Little Drummer Toy
My brilliant career at Hanna-Barbera was pretty short, although I could do a mean Barney by the time I left. Daisy Mae, my old Volvo, had thrown a rod so I jumped at the chance to work at the hangar in North Hollywood rather than the main studio. This leads to the old, "what might have been," as I now know that the main studio had Alex Toth, Doug Widey, Mike Sekowsky, Dave Stevens, Rick Hoberg…
"The Seven Faces of Dr Lau" plays the other night. It's a turn on the ol' "stranger who came to town" scenario. Dr Lau is an ancient chinese mystic with a traveling circus in the final days of the wild west. As the townsfolk arrive for the first night's show, we open on a piano top adorned with three, wind up, drum dolls. They're at an oblique angle. The head of the last toy is twisted away from us. But it's features are so strong the profile is unmistakeable. It's Fred Flintstone ms office 2013 trial! In the 1890's!
I hope he'll forgive the horrible segue but I feel a desire to mention the passing of Leonard Nimoy. Along with guys like Mr Wizard, and Russell "the professor" Johnson, he made science cool to a generation of kids. Star Trek was a classic example of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. There was a magic there that can't be planned. I can't believe I'm alone in thinking without Nimoy's Spock, it just doesn't fly. Sail on Spock. Second star on the right and all that jazz.