“Caller I. D.”

13 December 1997
[Gertie is prepared for emergencies.] Written by Rupert Holmes.

Directed by Richard Shepard.
MAIN Season Three Episodes: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7
8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17

I remember when my concept of a radio station was formed by the "Little Rascals" short featuring the gang trying to win a talent contest. I thought the performers were actually at the radio station performing. An illusion Mackie tries to create with his 1000 voices during "Dreamland Dance Floor."

Eugenia asks C. J. if a phone call can be hooked into the studio and it turns out it's just a quick plug at the switchboard. Looks like C. J. has been doing some work with the wiring since "Klondike 9366." At that time, interfacing the telephone with the radio broadcast was pushing the edge. Now, thanks to C. J., it's just routine.

More of the odd Scott/Hilary friendship of which "I've given you the last two months to change" is just the beginning of the banter.

Maple's phone number seems to have been unchanged for a few years. I guess that means that Pittsburgh has been home to Scott before.

Alice Playten provides the voice for "Jane Smith." I remember her from appearances on National Lampoon albums, particularly "National Lampoon's Lemmings" where she played Goldie Oldie. (Now that's an album I'd like to see on compact disc.)

Interesting that the next-to-last episode brings up the point of using cliffhangers to maintain interest!

Merging all the stories together reminded me of great crossover epics such as DC Comics' "Crisis on Infinite Earths" or Robert Heinlein tying all his series together in his last few novels. Since this is set in the forties, perhaps a more apt comparison would be something like the Abbot & Costello film that tied in with the Dracula, Frankenstein and Wolfman series.

In the last few moments of Jane Smith's crisis, Rupert actually made it seem as if the WENN cast were listening to a radio. Normally, since this is a TV show, we see the actors as they do the scripts. Since Jane-on-the-ledge was outside of the studio, descriptive vocalizations and sound effects were used so we could visualize Sergeant O'Shea bringing Jane in from the ledge. And the cast themselves realized we were watching them listen to radio as Hilary pointed out that this time they were the "passionate listeners...glued to the radio."

Jane realizes that "it was as much me as it was you" creating the internal image she had of the worlds explored by the various shows. We could have told her that. We've created a mythology of multiple-universe WENNs, including Mike's where everyone at WENN is a covert agent!

I noticed that the voice of "Tim", O'Shea's partner, and perhaps another policeman, both heard as they were bringing Jane in from the ledge, had no listing(s) in the credits. Perhaps some behind the scenes "Remember WENN" personnel?

And now we wait for the season finale...

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