That Wacky Redhead

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Brainbin, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. Barbarossa Rotbart Well-Known Member

    Feb 1, 2011
    If they happen, they would never be part of the Trek canon.
  2. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

    Jul 26, 2009
    The British Empire
    Wow! :eek: 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!

    I'm afraid I would offend somebody with that term. Unfortunately for you, that somebody is me :cool: But I promise to only refer to you specifically as a "Star Trek fan". I think that's a fair compromise :)

    :eek: Well, thank you very much for that incredible compliment :eek: 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.

    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 :D

    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.

    I would definitely put it in my Top 3. Anyone who thinks Star Trek can't do comedy has obviously never seen this episode.

    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? :p)

    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.

    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.

    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.

    And thank you again for this :)

    Sorry, network executives have never been known for their creative thinking or problem-solving skills.

    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.

    As an actor? Absolutely. His performance of Spock is one of the most indelible in all of television, and certainly of this era.

    Neither - it was from being moved to right after "All In The Family", which itself is an example of Emmy to the rescue.

    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!

    Doesn't Harlan Ellison say that about everybody who is not Harlan Ellison? :p

    Congress at this time is dominated by Great Society Democrats - you can hardly persuade them not to throw money at everything.

    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!

    Oh! Well, That Wacky Redhead thanks you for your warm regards.

    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.

    Thank you very much for that wonderful compliment, Glen :eek: 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...

    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 :D

    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.

    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.

    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 :)

    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.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2011
  3. Orville_third Banned

    Mar 3, 2009
    Piedmont Socialist Republic
    So Patrick Stewart may never regret that comment he made to Lalla Ward*? (He mentioned that he didn't want to work in TV or do SF.)

    * The Second Romanadvoratrelundar on Doctor Who. Also Richard Dawkins's wife.
  4. Barbarossa Rotbart Well-Known Member

    Feb 1, 2011
    Only, if he does not accept a role in Dune.
  5. Falkenburg CMII

    Jan 9, 2011
    Your novel approach to a Pop Cultural ATL has me intrigued (There's that word again). ;)

    Curiosity piqued, I've been nosing around, trying to get a 'feel' for the era.

    Having done so, to a minor extent, there would seem to be enormous scope for divergence in the years ahead.

    Looking forward to where you decide to take this.

  6. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

    Jul 26, 2009
    The British Empire
    Don't worry, I'm familiar with the story - no need to mention the character's ridiculously long name - or the actress's present marital status. (Though you neglected to mention her prior marital status!) The thing about Patrick Stewart is that he really seems to have wanted to break into the mainstream, out of his Shakespearean shackles (he often claims to be doing this as an ambassador of Shakespeare, but I'm sure the gargantuan paychecks don't hurt either). It's the same affliction that stung Ian McKellen, Anthony Hopkins, and so many of that generation. Besides, it's an ironic statement, and I am writing fiction - writers love their irony :D

    If one is offered to him, of course. Assuming the film is made on schedule. And by the same people.

    Looks like we have the first entry in the That Wacky Redhead drinking game! Everybody, take a shot! :p

    I'm flattered that my TL would inspire anyone to do any research. It was a very creatively fertile period in all forms of mass media - not in the same way it is today, with technology allowing us to do whatever we can imagine - but in the way that people were genuinely willing to take chances, make mistakes, get messy!

    You better believe it :cool:

    Thank you! I look forward to your continued responses :)

    Thanks again to everyone for your comments!
  7. Emperor Norton I Calbear's Love Child

    Oct 27, 2008
    New Netherland
    There's always one desirability:

    There may not be the same hunger, and certainly I like that (Star Trek gets too cluttered. I love TNG, but could do without the rest, and I would be ok if Star Trek boiled down to one historic and loved series, maybe a few films, and little more than that. Books, action figures, games, and all of that too. But with a kagillion hours of film and tv, its too cluttered), but it is possible to have spin-offs. Especially with a hit show. There's always hunger for more. That's where spinoffs come from. That's also where animated incarnations come from. See Punky Brewster, Happy Days, and so on.
  8. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

    Jul 26, 2009
    The British Empire
    Appendix B, Part II: Moonlight Madness

    “Houston, this is Aquarius. We have landed.”
    “Message received and understood,
    Aquarius. Have there been any problems?”
    “No, Houston, we haven’t had a problem here.”
    “That’s a negative to problems?”
    “Affirmative, Houston.”
    “Good to hear. Say, Jim… would you say this is the dawning of the age of Aquarius?”
    “That’s amazing, Gene… we can actually hear the hundred million groans coming from Earth all the way up here.”

    - Jim Lovell
    , on the lunar surface (aboard the Lunar Module Aquarius), and Gene Kranz, at Mission Control in Houston, Texas, injecting some levity into the Apollo 13 mission; April 16, 1970

    The surge of popularity and public interest in the lunar landings – to the surprise of many – had legs beyond the fanfare of the initial moon shot in the summer of 1969. The men of Apollo 11 had safely returned home, having become worldwide heroes, and spent the rest of their lives in the shadow of their glorious achievement, for better and for worse.

    In the space of less than a year, two more Apollo missions followed: Apollo 12 and Apollo 13. [1] Both missions were successful, as the first had been, and were widely viewed throughout the world. The American audience responded to the moon landings as they would major sporting events; they were appointment television, never to be missed, despite occurring at fairly regular intervals. Worldwide, the moon landings also continued to be popular; in the First World, they were framed as the ultimate technological triumph of capitalist society; in the Third World, they were more simply, and apolitically, viewed as a marvel unto themselves.

    And in the Second World, the whole thing was viewed with defeated resignation. It had very much seemed that the Space Race had ended by default, rather than the by-the-nose victory everyone had expected some years earlier. After a long and painful series of setbacks, it would eventually become clear that the Soviet Union would never be able to follow the United States to the Moon. Though they had been able to end the nuclear monopoly in 1949, they could not end the lunar one.

    President Hubert H. Humphrey embraced the lunar legacy, and his relentless promotion thereof may have been the biggest contributor to its enduring popularity, and how it came to define the early 1970s. He did his best to take care of his predecessor’s unpopular foreign entanglements in advance of the moon landing, to allow the public to focus their undivided attention on them. [2] Humphrey, for his part, emphasized his connection to President John F. Kennedy, benefactor of the Apollo program, and stressed his own continued support for lunar and space exploration. He was not the only individual to see political benefits from his connection to the space program; astronaut John Glenn, the first American in space, launched his own political career, after several false starts, and was elected as a U.S. Senator for the state of Ohio in 1970. Glenn, running as a Democrat, narrowly defeated Republican Jim Rhodes, the sitting Governor of the state. [3]

    The Apollo missions were scheduled to continue until 1974, ending with Apollo 20. An order had been placed for an additional set of Saturn V rockets, which would carry out the next phase of NASA plans. [4] Some of the more far-flung objectives, both literally and figuratively speaking – a permanent moon base, a manned mission to Mars – were considered overly ambitious; but it was felt that, by its very nature, the space program should always see its reach exceed its grasp. Its legitimacy as an integral organ of the United States government was confirmed when the position of Administrator of NASA was recognized as being of cabinet level-rank in 1970. [5]

    The immense popularity of the space program with the general public, and particularly the younger generation, resulted in a phenomenon with many names: "Moonshot Lunacy" was a popular, pun-based title, with "adherents" becoming known as "Moonshot Lunatics". This term was then famously abbreviated to "Moonie Loonies". [6] Another popular term was "Spacemania", which was more vague but also more inclusive. Certainly it would more aptly describe the rise of science fiction in an outer space setting, not only in literature, but also on television and in the movies. [7] The established Star Trek, the most successful of these programs, saw a big boost during the height of this mania, landing in the Top 10 most-watched programs on the air in the 1969-70 season. Other science-fiction series were already in development at this time, thanks in part to Star Trek’s success, and would premiere before the end of 1970.

    Despite the conflicting motives on the part of all involved; despite the great expense of the program, and resistance within certain camps to the continued high spending in regards to it; despite continued social turmoil throughout the era; despite the very raw wounds on the American consciousness from the very tumultuous decade past... despite all of these things, the space program was a great unifier: a pure, undiluted shot of optimism and an enduring celebration of those giant leaps for mankind.


    [1] Obviously, ITTL, Apollo 13 goes off without a hitch. Why? Funding is higher, and given the even brighter spotlight on the Apollo program, scrutiny is a little tighter. Among the many things this butterflies away is the OTL 1995 film of the same name. Also, Ken Mattingly is orbiting the moon in the Command Module, as opposed to Jack Swigert, as the German measles scare is also butterflied away.

    [2] Yes, the overseas conflict that dare not speak its name will see the winding down of direct U.S. involvement by mid-1969 ITTL. Remember, the attempted sabotage by Nixon’s team failed, and all sides continued on with the peace conference through the election. It was a top priority for both the outgoing Johnson administration and the incoming Humphrey administration.

    [3] Glenn ran for his party’s nomination for this seat that year, but narrowly lost to Howard Metzenbaum; the two became lifelong rivals. IOTL, Glenn defeated him in a rematch for the state’s other seat in 1974, and went on to win the general election (Metzenbaum, meanwhile, would then win this seat in 1976). Meanwhile, on the Republican side of the ledger, Rhodes challenged for his party’s nomination but narrowly lost to political scion Robert Taft, Jr., who went on to win the seat IOTL; the Kent State Shootings (which obviously never happened ITTL) took place two days before the primary, which might have hampered Rhodes’ chances.

    [4] For various reasons, funding for NASA is much higher ITTL. Throughout the early 1970s, it gradually declines and levels off at 2% of the total federal budget by 1975. IOTL, it was more of a plummet, leveling off at half that, 1%, within the same timeframe. As a concrete example of what this changes, the order for a second batch of Saturns was cancelled IOTL; here, it wasn't.

    [5] This never happened IOTL.

    [6] The term "Moonie Loonie" (or "Moony Loony"; obviously, there's no standardized spelling) comes from a TTL episode of "Laugh-In", during a parody "news" report on the "moonshot lunatics" - interrupted by Goldie Hawn bursting in and interjecting this phrase whenever someone mentions the phenomenon. She would then continue to randomly shout "Moonie Loonie" throughout the rest of the episode.

    [7] Young people, influential celebrities, and intrepid journalists have to find something else to fixate on, given the lack of an overseas quagmire and, in particular, a certain politician who, IOTL, attracted their ire like a moth to a flame. The enduring success of the moon landings ITTL will draw them in for two reasons: they won't be ended prematurely, and they just happen to be in a feedback loop with a certain science-fiction series that's also entering the height of its popularity.


    So now I've given you some insight into one of the dominant strands of popular culture in the early 1970s, and the mood of the people living in that era ITTL. Obviously, it's a far more optimistic and forward-looking society than the one we're used to, and will contrast immeasurably with the gloom, cynicism, and rage of OTL. This will obviously affect popular culture in ways beyond imagining... but that won't stop me from trying! :D
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011
  9. Orville_third Banned

    Mar 3, 2009
    Piedmont Socialist Republic
    So will Swigert go up or run for Congress or both?
  10. Barbarossa Rotbart Well-Known Member

    Feb 1, 2011
    Does that mean that the space shuttle program will receive more money than in OTL? And that an additional shuttle could be ordered?
  11. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

    Jul 26, 2009
    The British Empire
    Ah, Spaceballs. There are so many valuable life lessons in that movie... And yes, merchandising for Star Trek will be huge. It's an obvious and incredibly easy way for Desilu (and Gene Roddenberry) to make money (remember, profit margins from their actual shows are very low). I would imagine miniature Enterprise models and crew action figures flying off the shelves by Christmas 1969.

    I like the way you think, Your Imperial Majesty. And I will reveal this: there will be a continuation of Star Trek once the original series wraps production. I obviously won't be saying when, or what form it will take, but it will happen. It'll just be radically different from OTL.

    Swigert, along with the other members of the backup crew, is scheduled to fly to the moon on Apollo 16, as they did (swapping Mattingly for Swigert) IOTL. That was the policy at the time; the backup crew for a mission got to fly themselves three missions later.

    I suspect the earlier electoral success of John Glenn might spur Swigert to consider running for Congress at an earlier juncture. Obviously, for him to have a long and fruitful career, I'd have to butterfly away his cancer, which took his life in 1982 IOTL.

    Yes, it most certainly will be receiving more money than IOTL. As for more shuttles? We'll have to cross that bridge when we get to it.

    Coming up next, the production appendix for the fourth season of Star Trek! It should be ready in the next few days.
  12. The Professor Pontif of the Guild

    Feb 22, 2006
    Republic of Beerhaven
    Enjoyable update.
    There will be some huge butterflies from the early lack of cynicism in US politics (there's bound to be some scandals...)

    So all set for that dire Star Trek Musical that everyone TTL wishes didn't exist? :D
  13. Barbarossa Rotbart Well-Known Member

    Feb 1, 2011
    According to Jesko von Puttkammer they really needed at least one additional shuttle to make the whole project work. With only four shuttles they will have the same problems that lead to the failure of the whole program.
  14. stevep Member

    Mar 21, 2006

    Very true. Plus there may be a danger that the feeling of optimism and confidence, which will suffer set-backs sooner or later, could see an even sharper fall. Or that the confidence in science and US ability to resolve problems mean they trip up somewhere. [However I doubt TTL is going to end in WWIII;)]. However, if the ongoing boom in optimism lasts a bit longer it could lead to a lasting legacy in terms of new achievements and resources.

    I think the next challenge OTL would be the energy crisis of 73 after the attack on Israel and the Arab oil boycott. Suspect that won't be butterflied but could be a more strenuous and lasting programme of developing alternative energy. Unless you get a backlash in the US and a Republican revival in 74, which is quite possible with 4 consecrative Democrat Presidential victories.

    Looking interesting and curious to see what happens in the 4th series. Possibly sometime one of the main characters leaves or some new central character is added? Might be that you get another regular non human member of the crew to supplement Spock? [OTL this didn't happen until the NG but the Federation is supposed to number several races and the extra funding success brings could make the idea of introducing a new character from one of the other races attractive].

  15. Falkenburg CMII

    Jan 9, 2011
    Intriguing. (Slainte! ;))

    With more enthusiastic support for NASA, will it be possible to accellerate sources of alternative energy ITTL?

    Combining political clout with the belief that "Science can save us" might ease the impact of the approaching Energy/Oil Crisis.

    Unless of course President Humphrey neutralises the Crisis, somehow.
    It would be a major divergence indeed if he were to refuse to resupply the Israelis and frankly implausible unless the Soviets show similar restraint viz a vis their Clients.

    If Humphrey has re-election sewn up he might feel a little less constrained.
    Given that he has seemingly extracted the United States from active front-line conflict in South East Asia, his record might be open to attack from a more hawkish, right-wing position.

    This would be unfortunate, IMO, as NASA would end up tainted by association and might well become the target for political ire that (for whatever reason) fails to 'connect' with the President.

    Having NASA become an institution with cross party support and a public perception that maintaining a lead in 'Big Science' is a matter of National Security (In addition to simple 'Prestige') would, IMO, reap enormous benefits in the years ahead.

    Sorry for wittering. :eek: You've got me thinking. It's all your fault. :p;)

    EDIT: Ninja-ed (to some extent) by Stevep. Great minds think alike and all that. :)

  16. Mal-3 Member

    Jan 29, 2010
    Which is, to be honest, unmitigated balderdash. The STS program was a bold experiment and the shuttles themselves are beautiful machines, I'm not disputing that. There'll always be a special place in my nerd heart for them, but in the end the STS program cannot work as advertised. The orbiters themselves are/were too expensive to build in the numbers you'd need to make them work. Building the fleet up to five won't cut it, you need to crank out orbiters like they're 737s in order to meet both the target flight rate and the real-world maintenance requirements. Without those numbers, STS will never manage to live up to the hype.
    Tangle likes this.
  17. Chipperback The World Is Coming to Kansas City 2016

    Jun 22, 2011
    Hartford, Connecticut UCNE/Omaha, Nebraska GPUR
    If that war we can't talk about is a relatively minor conflict...What is the state of the Civil Rights Movement in the backdrop of all this?

    Did the riots happen? Did the strife occure. Did it extend.

    Will a few more people who look like me end up on my television screen sooner OR is it worse than the OTL?
  18. Barbarossa Rotbart Well-Known Member

    Feb 1, 2011
    If I remember the interview correctly, von Puttkammer said, that not enough money in combination with only four shuttles made the whole program a failure. A fitfth shuttle would have allowed additional missions per year and more money would have prevented both the Challenger and the Columbia disaster.

    BTW if Gerald Ford is not President in the 1970s the space shuttle prototype will not called Enterprise but Constitution. The letters of the the Star Trek fans did not influenced NASA to change the name. Ford did after he heard of the campaign because he had served aboard the USS Monterey with served with the USS Enterprise during World War II.
  19. PW MAX Member

    May 6, 2011
    Mockingbird Heights
    As a fan of both Lucy and 'The Trek', I'm loving this timeline. Can't wait to see what the future holds in store. Really wish I could have seen that "Bondage and Freedom" episode.

  20. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

    Jul 26, 2009
    The British Empire
    Before I respond to all your lovely comments, I just want to re-iterate that this is a popular culture timeline. This last update is meant to set the scene for the rest of the early 1970s, and it's the last "political" update we'll be seeing for quite some time. You've all raised some intriguing and well-thought-out points, many of which I'll just be glossing over in the timeline proper, assuming I even mention them at all.

    Thank you :)

    Certain as the Sun rises in the east. Nothing Watergate-level, though, that I can pretty much guarantee. Like I said before, there will be no scandals with ubiquitous, ready-made suffixes ITTL. I consider that, in and of itself, to be a public service.

    Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of a dreadful variety show...

    Well, you know what they say: The bigger they are, the harder they fall! And the USA is the biggest game in town...

    There goes the big surprise for the 1983-84 season! :p

    That's a very thoughtful analysis. I should expect nothing less from an AH pundit of your experience. I won't confirm or deny any of it :cool:

    The thing about TV shows at this time is that they were very conservative when it came to taking risks. Chekov, after all, was added explicitly to appeal to a younger audience; their backs were against the wall and they were desperate. Another example is Cousin Oliver from "The Brady Bunch" IOTL; another blatant attempt to reach a younger audience, on a show that was on the brink of cancellation.

    Star Trek was a Top 30 show last season; it's a Top 10 show this season. I think even the tentative casting adjustments I'm making from OTL (a larger part for Transporter Chief Kyle; a stronger female presence with semi-regular roles for Mulhall and Martine) are pushing it.

    I will not stand for you using my timeline as an excuse to get yourself drunk, good sir :p

    Well, the whole "Science will be our Salvation" attitude is certainly nothing new, as it dates back to the 18th century, if not earlier. It seems to be cyclical; society goes through this phase, and then reality sets in and snaps them out of it.

    I think it's safe to say that Humphrey has expended all of his political capital on the foreign affairs front with the cut-and-run strategy in You-Know-Where. There are still influential war hawks in the Democratic Party. You better believe that Scoop Jackson and his ilk are frothing at the mouth over all this. He'll be one of many keeping a very close eye on Humphrey from here on out.

    That's a very "ivory tower" perspective. And if and when populism ever comes back in vogue, it'll fold like a deck of cards.

    Never, ever, apologize for that. It's something I couldn't be more guilty of myself, as at least one reader of this timeline can personally attest. That my timeline can inspire this behaviour in others is perhaps the greatest compliment of all.

    All excellent questions. Well, first off, the POD did not produce any significant societal butterflies until September, 1968. So everything that happened up until then IOTL also happened ITTL. This includes all the high-profile assassinations of that, to put it delicately, eventful year. So in short, all the "marquee" events of the Civil Rights Movement still happened. The after-effects... well, that's a different story. I suspect that Humphrey would more-or-less go along with Nixon's OTL policies on the matter, obviously without the veneer of his "southern strategy" and the lip service to... "potential voters". And if those reactionaries try any funny business, well, the military isn't embroiled in any foreign entanglements and can be dispatched to take care of business. There are also about 20,000 killed and 50,000 wounded IOTL who were not ITTL, many of whom are young men of colour. What will become of them specifically is beyond the scope of this timeline, but it's hard to imagine a worse future for them than the one they faced IOTL.

    As to your last question... Well, for the purposes of this timeline, that's the most important. Unfortunately, it's also too vague for me to be able to answer. What are you looking for, exactly? Are you looking for more shows where black people are part of the cast ("integrated", if you will), or more shows with a cast of entirely black people ("segregated")? Because both models face criticism. On "integrated" shows there's the complaint of tokenism, which few shows were able to dodge entirely (perhaps "All In The Family", which had an entire family of black people, just as complex and interesting as the white people they complemented - probably why they got their own spinoff); on "segregated" shows we have the problem of making the rare white characters too unsympathetic, or completely non-existent (commonly leveled against "Family Matters", among others). And, of course, the rise of "segregated" shows naturally resulted in "ghettos" for them (BET, UPN, etc.), and may have been seen as ballasts to lily-white shows like "Friends" and "Seinfeld" (despite their 1990s NYC settings).

    It's an extremely delicate balance to get right. I'm not sure I could do it (and it doesn't help that there are lots of people who look like me on TV in this and all other eras), and I certainly can't credit network executives with being so sensitive and insightful. All I can say to answer your question at this time is: there is one show on the air that has aggressively promoted racial equality and harmony from the beginning, one that's far more successful than it was IOTL, and will focus even more heavily on race relations, now that the overseas quagmire is behind them. How will this affect other portrayals in the coming years? We'll have to wait and see.

    Your continued input on the subject would be most helpful, and very much appreciated!

    Well, NASA isn't going to have loads of money. The 1960s are never going to happen again. So I think a "fleet" of space shuttles is out of the question. Off the top of my head (and this is subject to revision at a time of my choosing), I think they might go with, say, one more dedicated shuttle and refit of the prototype (for a "permanent" fleet of six). Or maybe bother to take up a two-for-one deal if it's offered to them ITTL (for seven). Where these shuttles will go and what they'll do there is another matter entirely; one that I will not yet divulge.

    As for the prototype not being named Enterprise... the butterflies have been flying since 1968! Who's to say that they'll still go with Constitution ITTL? Especially since Star Trek is much more famous and popular - everybody has heard of it. And Enterprise is a name with a long and storied naval history - this wouldn't only have occurred to Gerald Ford.

    It's one of those episodes everybody should see at least once - but only certain kinds of people have the disposition to see it twice ;)

    And thank you very much for the kind words! Welcome aboard, and I hope you enjoy Season 4! I'll do my best not to disappoint :)
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
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