Thursday, October 25, 2007

Six Objections to the Westphall Hypothesis

The argument for this claim, what I’ll call the Westphall Hypothesis, is based around a rather impressive bit of research about crossovers in TV-land. (The site seems to be based in Victoria, so I have some natural fondness for it.) The reasoning is as follows. The last episode of St. Elsewhere revealed that the entire storyline of that show hadn’t really (i.e. really in the fiction) happened but had all been a dream of Tommy Westphall. So by extension any story involving a character from St. Elsewhere is really (in the fiction) part of Tommy’s dream. And any story involving a character from one of those shows is also part of Tommy’s dream, etc. So all 164 shows that are connected to St. Elsewhere in virtue of character sharing are part of Tommy’s dream.

It’s a nice little idea, but there are half a dozen things wrong with it.