This is a stand-alone story, brought about by the many roles our favorite actors have played over the years.


What's on TV?

Sharon H




“Does this place have cable?” Chip Morton asked, collapsing onto his end of the couch with a slice of pizza in one hand and a can of soda in the other. On the other end of the couch Lee Crane sat, his long legs stretched out in front of him, bare feet propped up on the coffee table.


“Chip, I’m surprised this place has running water, much less cable.” Lee snagged another piece of pizza from the box on the table in front of them and promptly bit the end off.


*This place* was a tiny backwater town in the middle of nowhere. What was suppose to have been three hotel rooms turned out to be a small multi-person room, due to a *clerical error* the clerk had said. By the time Lee, Chip and Nelson had arrived, it was too late to find another hotel room, everything being booked up for some science fiction convention in town.


“Were you two planning on leaving some for me? After all, I paid for it.” Harry emerged from the small bathroom, his auburn hair still damp. He was dressed like Chip and Lee, in pajamas and a robe. As he walked by the table, he snagged a section of pizza and dropped into the room’s only reclining chair. He gave up his chance to be first at the shower in exchange for the chair and one of the two beds. Chip and Lee could fight over who won the right to the second bed and who got to camp out on the couch. Nelson propped his feet up on the end of the table. Glancing around he noticed a TV schedule lying on the table next to him. “I think this should answer your question Chip. I believe this place does indeed have cable. I wonder what’s on?” Harry started flipping through the pages. “ You two in the mood to watch a submarine movie? I see the Enemy Below[i] is on.”


“Too much like my day job.” Lee replied. He pulled a piece of pepperoni off his slice and plopped it in his mouth. Chip reached over and confiscated a second piece.


“Well how about this. . . you’ll like this one Lee, a double feature; two of those James Bond movies, Live and Let Die, and License to Kill[ii].”


Lee snorted, finishing off the crust. “Not really in the mood for all that shooting and those car chases.”


“Too much like your part time spy job?” teased Chip. Lee leaned over and gave his friend a shove on the shoulder. Chip reached over and shoved back. Harry spoke up, his eyes never leaving the magazine, “I’m not in the mood to baby-sit, so you two ease off,” he said.


Chip and Lee both grinned. “Aye, Sir,” they chorused. Lee got up to fetch himself a soda. On his way back to the couch he paused by Nelson’s chair. “Let me look through that,” he said.


Nelson handed the schedule over. “Good luck. I didn’t see anything.” 


Lee folded himself up on the couch and flipped through the book. “Anybody up for Buck Rogers? The episode’s called Planet of the Slave Girls[iii]. Looks like a two part episode.”


Chip scowled. “I’ve seen that episode. There's this one guy, blond with this scraggly mustache and this cheesy red leather suit, he gave me the creeps for some reason. I’ll pass.”


“Picky, picky. Okay, how about Moby Dick, the Gregory Peck version[iv].”


“Giant whales, Lee? I’ve had enough of giant whales to last a long time,” said Nelson, licking the cheese from his fingers.


“This is ridiculous,” complained Crane sourly.  “How many hundreds of channels are there in here? You’d think we could find something to watch.”  He tossed the book down on the couch between him and Morton and snatched up the remote. He switched the TV on and started running through channels. After a few seconds of searching he paused.


“Hey, is this the Twilight Zone?” he asked. Chip concentrated on the screen. “Yeah it is. Leave it here.”


Crane dropped the remote and looked down at the pizza box.  Three slices left. Nelson reached down and yoinked the biggest of the three. Meanwhile Chip had found a deck of cards from somewhere and was shuffling them with a mischievous gleam in his blue eyes. Lee settled back down on the couch. “What do you plan to do with those?” he asked Morton. 


Morton lifted one eyebrow. “We’re going to play. Winner gets the bed. Loser gets the couch,' he replied.


Crane groaned. The last person on the planet he wanted to play cards with was Chip. Everybody he had ever played had some kind of tell, something to give his opponent away. Chip had such a fine control over his emotions that it was hard to read him. The blond card shark started to deal.


Nelson meanwhile was watching the TV. Something about the actor was familiar. “Does this guy remind you of anyone?” he asked. Chip and Lee looked up from their card game and looked up at the TV.


“Yeah, he kinda reminds me of the chief a little[v].”




[i] Enemy Below (1957) starred Al (David) Hedison as Lieutenant Ware, the executive officer of the USS Haynes


[ii] David Hedison is the only actor to portray Felix Leiter twice.


[iii] Robert Dowdell played a villain by name of Galen in this episode.


[iv] One of Richard Basehart’s many distinguished roles, playing the part of Ishmael (1956)


[v] Terry Becker played a character named Jagger in the 1964 episode "I Am the Night-Color Me Black"