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October 13, 2015

Tommy Westphall: over 200 shows in one kid's mind

by Adam Finley, posted Feb 25th 2007 4:01PM

Tommy Westphall gridThe name Tommy Westphall might not sound immediately familiar to you, but TV fans will remember the character from St. Elsewhere: he was the autistic boy played by Chad Allen who, as it was revealed in the series finale, actually dreamed the entire show.

But here's something you might not have considered: St. Elsewhere has connections to other TV shows through character crossovers, and those shows in turn connect to other shows through spin-offs and subtle references. What this means, according to the site Tommy Westphall's Mind: A Multiverse Explored, is that there are currently 282 television series that are merely a figment of little Tommy's imagination.

The maintainers of the site appear to have taken great care in making sure all the connections make sense, but if you think I'm going to go through over 200 shows to make sure they didn't cheat, then you're wrong. Hey, I like you guys, but I don't like you that much. Nevertheless, it's an interesting and somewhat controversial theory.

Oh yeah, a big shout out to my pal Nate for telling me about this site. He's a good man, Nate.

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Aside from concluding who is "God" in the scripted TV series universe, it's very cool to see how so many of these shows are connected with one another. I had no idea the connections were so far-reaching.

February 26 2007 at 11:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike Davis

Spoken like someone who exists only in Tommy Westphall's mind, Z.

February 26 2007 at 9:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It sounds nice, but it doesn't really work. Characters appearing on St. Elsewhere are not inherently dream characters, only those shows which have St. Elsewhere characters on them can qualify as part of the dream, and even then it's only certain if those characters were explicitly made part of the "real world" in the show's final moments.

I had a dream and my parents were in it, does that mean I'm an orphan?

February 26 2007 at 1:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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