Everything’s in Tommy’s Mind

A comment on Alan Sepinwall’s blog led me to  “Tommy Westphall’s Mind — A Multiverse Explored” this evening.  Who is Tommy Westphall?

Tommy Westphall was an autistic child on the TV series St Elsewhere who, it was revealed in the closing moments of the final episode of that series, had dreamt the entire run of the show.

The site then goes on to say that any show that exists within the St. Elsewhere universe can, arguably, be said to exist in Tommy Westphall’s mind.  This includes any show that Tom Fontana wrote — so “St. Elsewhere,” but also “Homicide: Life on the Streets” and, thanks to Det. Munch’s move, the entire Law & Order series.

It just goes on from there, ending with a 15-page run down* (in .pdf)  and a total of 282 connected shows, including everything from “Angel” to “The John Laroquette Show” to “I Love Lucy.”  (I’m thinking there’s got to be a connection to “The Wire” via Baltimore and policing, but so far — nothing).

What I find fascinating is the amount of cross-over reference — not crossovers where people from one show turn up on another, but just minute references, like “Crossing Jordan” mentioning Fisher and Sons as a funeral home (thus connecting CJ with “Six Feet Under”).  That speaks of writerly admiration between shows, something I find strangely heartening, even after the warm fuzzies of the strike.

*I’m sort of ashamed to admit I scanned through (and read quite a bit of) all 15 pages of the key.

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