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Old December 12th, 2011, 01:00 AM
Brainbin Brainbin is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: The British Empire
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Wow! So many posts! I've been keeping an eye on this thread all day, waiting for them to die down before I respond, and every time I thought they did, well... But I think the tide has now ebbed, and I have a lot of responses to make, so I'd best get cracking!

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Originally Posted by phx1138 View Post
Not everybody is offended by "Trekkie", but you'll offend nobody with Trekker.
I'm afraid I would offend somebody with that term. Unfortunately for you, that somebody is me But I promise to only refer to you specifically as a "Star Trek fan". I think that's a fair compromise

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Originally Posted by phx1138
I've read a lot of threads here. I don't think I've enjoyed one more.
Well, thank you very much for that incredible compliment I've seen the extremely high caliber of some of the stories on this site, and for you to rank mine above all of them in any respect is very high praise, indeed.

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Originally Posted by phx1138
And changing the Presidential election was a nice touch, a butterfly I'd never have realized.
Well, 1968 was a real nail-biter, and to ensure Star Trek's survival I'd have to take care of George Schlatter... and when I read how convinced he (and, allegedly, both candidates!) was that having Nixon say "Sock it to me!" was Wot Won It, well... How could I resist? Not to mention, my casual reveal of Humphrey as President is still my own favourite moment in the whole timeline so far

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Originally Posted by phx1138
What was it with bad pilot episodes...? And overly-powerful aliens?
To be fair, I thoroughly enjoyed "The Cage". I think it still stands as Roddenberry's best-ever writing for Star Trek. "Where No Man Has Gone Before" wasn't bad, per se, but I think it suffers from a kind of "Uncanny Valley" effect. "The Cage" is dissimilar enough from the series we know and love that we can appreciate it on its own terms. "Where No Man Has Gone Before", on the other hand, is much more similar, which makes all the little differences much more glaring, and therefore more disquieting.

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Originally Posted by phx1138
Fair enough. Agreed, David's script is pretty priceless. (Needless to say, my fave episode.)
I would definitely put it in my Top 3. Anyone who thinks Star Trek can't do comedy has obviously never seen this episode.

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Originally Posted by phx1138
Not a "need", but a vehicle to keep/add to the "TOS" audience. Same deal as with "DS9", or "NCIS" or "NCIS:L.A." spun off "JAG", or "The Jeffersons" & "Maude" off "AITF". If Gene wanted to go with something entirely different, I see no reason TTL he couldn't get it approved.
The thing you're forgetting about OTL "Maude" and "The Jeffersons" (and "Good Times", for that matter) is that they were spinoffs based on established characters. Even Maude had previously appeared and only got her spinoff green-lit because of positive audience response. By contrast, "Assignment: Earth" was a bunch of characters we'd never seen before and never would again. The analogy you're making is more along the lines of a Harry Mudd spinoff. (Now wouldn't that be something? )

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Originally Posted by phx1138
If the butterflies hit at all, you wouldn't need big ones to avoid the Organians & a war. Even in the Cold War, there was a lot of shoving. Recce a/c were shot down, subs got "bumped" & harrassed on a routine basis... At Enterprise's level, there might even be some shooting, but it wouldn't have to escalate...
All true. And you'll note that the series did allegorically represent these situations in various episodes ("Friday's Child", "A Private Little War", "The Enterprise Incident", etc.) There may well be more of that in the coming season.

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Originally Posted by phx1138
I do recall "WNM" & a few of the early episodes having them all in gold (as rendered on my TV), so it could be they were supposed to be command qualified; I've never read what Gene had in mind, or if he even considered a different method. (The one in use is USN standard, or maybe USAF, which he served in. The one I have in mind is RN.) It could have weird effects for a U.S. audience, with a Lt. or Ens. telling a Cdr what to do...
Spock did indeed wear gold in "Where No Man Has Gone Before", but Scotty wore beige (replaced by red in the series proper) and Sulu wore blue (as he was the chief physicist). In "The Corbomite Maneuver" and "Mudd's Women", Uhura wore gold, but everyone else wore their normal colours. As to ranks, they did hold to that fairly well: Spock was the only full Commander, and then Scotty was one of only two Lieutenant Commanders (apart from one-shot characters like Giotto and Finney), the other being Bones, who as Chief Medical Officer would be outside the chain of command entirely. Then we move on to Sulu, and then Uhura, two bridge officers, and both full Lieutenants.

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Originally Posted by phx1138
It's past your '75 cutoff year, but I also really liked Moonbase Alpha as a setting.
Well, a number of people are asking after The Muppets, whose eponymous show technically did not begin airing until 1976, so I'll forgive your suggestion, and keep it in mind.

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Originally Posted by phx1138
Not a problem. I expect I'll like it just as much, so you can count on more from me.
And thank you again for this

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Originally Posted by phx1138
So, a question: did anybody ever consider just following "Laugh-In" with "TOS"? As popular as it was, that would've been an enormous boost to "ST" ratings... Or was the "carryover" not as well understood then?
Sorry, network executives have never been known for their creative thinking or problem-solving skills.

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Originally Posted by phx1138 View Post
They really thought that? I can just picture how they'd react to the lead for "Hill Street". ("You want to put how many in the titles?" Hmm...cut the "Where no man" speech & go right to the titles...?)
Remember, this era was far more lead-oriented. It wasn't until the 1980s that dramatic series became much more ensemble-oriented, which they remain to this day. I actually think this "Co-Starring in the beginning of Act I" compromise is one that would satisfy everyone. James Doohan really belonged in the opening with the Big Three, of course, but he doesn't strike me as the type who would quibble that much.

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Originally Posted by phx1138
Somebody likes Leonard, I take it...? (Not to say he didn't deserve it.)
As an actor? Absolutely. His performance of Spock is one of the most indelible in all of television, and certainly of this era.

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Originally Posted by phx1138
Gaining the same way "HSB" did. "MASH", too, IIRC. Or was that on the strength of the summer reruns?
Neither - it was from being moved to right after "All In The Family", which itself is an example of Emmy to the rescue.

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Originally Posted by phx1138
Are the changed conditions impacting the writing of "M:I" & "ST"? I imagine, with POTUS Humphrey, society will be affected noticeably compared to OTL (& not only no Watergate), which IMO would tend to change script selection & episode ratings & such. Maybe not enough to be visible except on a week-to-week basis, tho... Enough to change guest stars? To make careers? Or drastically change their direction? (Frex, you've effectively made Winston a bigger star; this could get him roles that went to somebody else OTL.)
Well, don't forget, I've given John Winston a memorable role on the show that single-handedly killed the careers of every actor who starred in it due to profound role association - granted, his career wasn't so hot IOTL, so who knows how he would compare the two situations? As for how the writing might change with the changing times - excellent question. Keep reading and you'll find out!

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Originally Posted by phx1138
So that was it... Harlan was right: the execs have the IQ of a turnip.
Doesn't Harlan Ellison say that about everybody who is not Harlan Ellison?

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Originally Posted by phx1138
I wonder if Congress might still not be hostile, & there still being a need.
Congress at this time is dominated by Great Society Democrats - you can hardly persuade them not to throw money at everything.

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Originally Posted by Emperor Norton I View Post
Ah yes, a classic! I've seen that many times, and though it was not an inspiration for this TL, I think it would make the perfect music video for it. So, in recognition, I hereby award Your Imperial Majesty, Norton I, the No-Prize for Official Theme Song and Video Selection!

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Originally Posted by stevep View Post
Sorry, typo on my part. I am learning a lot but I meant the studio was doing well.
Oh! Well, That Wacky Redhead thanks you for your warm regards.

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Originally Posted by stevep
Thanks for that. Very interesting and I see what you mean. I fear that nowadays, someone speaking rather hesitantly but from the heart would probably get very short shift nowadays without the same glib presentation people take for granted nowadays.
Believe it or not, he wasn't hesitant at all - just incredibly deliberate. He was one of those people who thought through every single word before he said it. But the rest of what you say is absolutely true. Sadly, the world can't really appreciate his kind any more.

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Originally Posted by Glen View Post
Just started readinig this, and I have to say, one of the best popular culture PODs and handlings of subsequent events I have seen thus far. Keep up the good work!
Thank you very much for that wonderful compliment, Glen That means an awful lot coming from you, considering just how many timelines you must have read! I hope you continue to enjoy the events that I have in store...

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Originally Posted by Emperor Norton I View Post
What becomes of Shatner's singing career?
Have no fear, The Transformed Man was released on schedule. How could I possibly deprive the world of that wretched, bloated masterpiece? Though, IMO, "It Was A Very Good Year" is actually pretty decent. Also the easiest of his "songs" to imitate the vocals on

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Originally Posted by Emperor Norton I
And is a Saturday Morning Star Trek cartoon for the 70s still possible? Certainly animated spin-offs are reasonably common.
It's certainly possible. But it depends on how long the series lasts; the window of opportunity may close. Also, the hunger for new Star Trek will take longer to emerge the longer it is first-run. But at any rate, is it desirable? Absolutely not. First of all, there will almost certainly be only 22 episodes, as that was the standard length for a Saturday morning cartoon at the time; and, as I've said before, it's a miracle that the OTL animated series turned out as well as it did.

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Originally Posted by Barbarossa Rotbart View Post
If they happen, they would never be part of the Trek canon.
Oh really? That's a little premature, don't you think? Don't forget, there have been a lot of butterflies in this timeline so far. There's no reason to assume there won't be a lot more in the future. And even if the Great Bird finds himself with the exact same, utterly arbitrary opinions on canon, the company that owns the Star Trek property is going to be different, with wacky, redheaded management to boot.

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Originally Posted by phx1138 View Post
I'm finding that really strange, 'cause we had it. I always thought it was a U.S. product.
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Originally Posted by stevep View Post
I remember enjoying the Muppets and since it came over from the US had presumed it was a success there but by the sound of it not? Seems a bit surprising.
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Originally Posted by Vulpine Fury View Post
Henson had to produce the Muppet Show in England via ITC. Nobody in the US would give him studio time, IIRC.
Vulpine Fury has it - Jim Henson and company attempted on multiple occasions to get an American studio to back his idea of an all-ages Muppet variety show off the ground, and pitched it to all of the American networks; ABC commissioned two pilots but wouldn't commit to a series, and George Schlatter attempted to get CBS on board, but they wouldn't bite. American executives just wouldn't accept the Muppets (pigeon-holed as children's characters thanks to "Sesame Street", something that Henson had dreaded would happen) as appealing to adult audiences. However, they did get the attention of a British executive, Lord Lew Grade, who offered to produce the series at his studios in England, offering them complete creative control. Through his company, it was broadcast there, and syndicated internationally, including (of course) in the United States, starting in 1976. It took a while to catch on, but by the late 1970s, it was a worldwide hit, one of the most widely-watched programs on the planet.

And welcome to the forums, Vulpine Fury! Thanks for making your very first post on my humble thread

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Originally Posted by phx1138 View Post
Too frequently, at times... Mostly they were good scripts, tho. And you're not going far enough to get to "STNG", are you? Presuming anything like it even would arise TTL... Or I'd ask why it is the "TOS" episodes are tighter & better-paced. Is that all in the directing?

True enough. That would disappoint me deeply. Of them all, I liked "DS9" best, except the explicit religious themes.

Do I take you to mean he held to the PD strongly? I got that sense, too. He busted Kirk pretty hard for violating it. I would, too, actually. Except, I think this is the same sort of thing you see in "TNG" OTL, too: a good officer has to know when to violate it. It would've been good, & David rightly points this out, if there'd been more debate. They could readily have sacrificed some fight scenes...
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Originally Posted by stevep View Post
I'll make clear that I agree with phx1138 about DS9. Found it a lot more interesting than either NG or Voyager. Possibly the long period in the same spot [most of the time] allowed characters and background to be better developed while in the latter ~2/3 the Dominion war gave some overall definition to the plot. If it wasn't for Bab5 it would have been clearly the best SF series on British TV in the 90's.
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Originally Posted by phx1138 View Post
I got the sense it was a different approach to the show, more drama or character-driven than adventure. The "Dominion War" was a crutch IMO, a way to boost ratings. (And the constant reference to "lines" in a naval war was a real irritant.)
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Originally Posted by Barbarossa Rotbart View Post
DS9 was (IMHO) the best Star Trek series because it was so very different from other Star Trek shows. But they've several mistakes (but less than Voyager, Enterprise and TNG):
- too many Ferengi episodes
- incomplete storylines (Bajor)
- wrong actors for some roles

In OTL DS9 was created after JMS tried to sell Babylon 5 to Paramount and the studio was not interested.
All right, I think it's very important that I clear a few things up right now, before we go any further. I wanted to remain elusive and ambiguous on the subject, but this discussion has forced my hand.

None of the four modern spinoff series of Star Trek (none of which I will name, as, like the "V"-word, they are verboten), and none of their associated movies, games, or any other material, and especially not the recent "reboot" film and its pending sequel... None of these will exist in any form in this timeline. They all came into being through a very precise chain of events that has already been broken with the mainstream recognition and ratings success of Star Trek before the end of the 1960s ITTL, if not from the original POD of Lucille Ball holding on to Desilu. The term Star Trek, in this timeline, refers only to the series airing from 1966 to a point yet to be revealed - much as it generally (especially with non-fans) is taken to refer to the original series of 1966-69 IOTL.

In the interest of full disclosure: I will reveal that I approached Star Trek as a fan of popular culture, and not of science fiction. In those terms, I naturally gravitated toward the series with the greatest influence and notoriety, which is obviously the original. I am aware of the later series, and have seen some episodes of them, but my knowledge of Star Trek is very firmly rooted in the years 1964-86. I love the original series, for all the same reasons that everybody else does, but I'm no more than a very casual viewer of the others, the same way you shrug and decide to watch a rerun of "Friends" or "Seinfeld", while channel-surfing. This is why I wouldn't call myself a Trekkie (or Trekker or Trekkist or any of those other terms). I hope everyone understands - I just don't want anyone following under false pretences.

Thank you all for your amazing comments! This was far and away the most I've ever gotten in so short a span of time, and it feels great to see them all, that people are really interested in this little idea of mine

The next update, which will be discussing the moon landings, should be ready tomorrow.
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Last edited by Brainbin; December 12th, 2011 at 01:30 AM..
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