Pop Culture Timelines Go-To Thread

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by vultan, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. vultan Defying Gravity

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    So, with the rise of Brainbin's excellent "That Wacky Redhead" timeline, it seems that there has been a steady stream of popular culture-oriented timelines set in motion or in the planning stages on this board. Since the readership for the stories usually overlap, I figured I'd make a thread to document all of these projects and provide links, so access is generally easier.

    Timelines currently active include:

    That Wacky Redhead, by Brainbin

    -POD: In 1966, Lucille Ball, of I Love Lucy fame, has another dream of her late friend Carole Lombard, who convinces her to quit acting for good and focus on producing. As a result, Desilu Productions is not sold, leading to some interesting consequences...

    The Power and the Glitter!, by vultan (yours truly)

    -POD: A more politically and socially chaotic early 1990's leads to 20th Century Fox greenlighting production of a film based on the graphic novel Watchmen, slated for release in 1994...

    The Culture Club: Alternate Pop Culture, by Captain Joel

    -POD: A medley of different projects, the first one being an exploration on a different history of the Flash Gordon franchise (note: other members are encouraged to contribute short ideas)

    An Alternate Rise of the Blockbuster, by ColeMercury

    -POD: In 1974, George Lucas decides to delay production on Star Wars and take up his good friend Francis Ford Coppola's offer to direct Apocalypse Now...

    Let's Broaden Our Minds- Cultural mini-TLs, by MaskedPickle

    -POD: Like "The Culture Club", a collection of different ideas
    It should also be mentioned that his timeline "A Giant Sucking Sound: a President Perot TL", right here, includes some neat alternate pop culture ideas...

    For Want Of a Banister, by Peelitebkearns

    -POD: A rebirth of radio in the United Kingdom during the 1990's!

    Earthquake Weather: Pop Culture & Tech Goes Weirder, by Electric Monk

    -POD: An earthquake in 1986 Tokyo leads to major changes in pop culture, technology and videogames from James Bond to Star Trek to Nintendo….

    A Different Path Home, by statichaos

    -POD: Genevieve Bujold stays on Star Trek:Voyager for two more episodes...

    Dirty Laundry: An Alternate 1980s, by Andrew T

    -POD: Don Henley's solo career fails before it even starts in the early 1980's, leading to a radically different decade, from pop culture to politics...

    ...

    Timelines currently in planning include:

    Early Buffy The Vampire Slayer Project , by Kalvan

    -POD: Earlier Buffy television series.

    ...

    Timelines on hiatus include:

    Cronus Invictus: An Alternate Console Wars, by Thande (on hiatus)

    -POD: The deal Sony and Nintendo were working on regarding a CD-based console pans out in the late 1980's, leading to a very different video game landscape in the 1990's...

    ---

    So, yes. This is a collection of the TV/movie/other pop culture buffs on the board. This thread can also be used to ask questions on pop culture alternate history in general (for example, someone asks, "was it true Ronald Reagan was considered for the lead role in Casablanca?", to which I would reply "no, that's just a rumor).

    Also, if you have an idea for a popular culture timeline but want help, feel free to ask here. I would also encourage authors of more standard timelines (ie: focus on politics, military, etc) to ask the people here how they think the events of their timelines would affect pop culture.

    Now, ask/discuss away!:)
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
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  2. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

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    This directory thread is a great idea, and not just because it showers me with praise and calls me a pioneer, though that certainly helps :D

    No, seriously, thank you for that.

    A few suggestions: It's unfortunate that my timeline appears to be the earliest POD we've got so far. One of my readers claimed that he would love to see a Golden Age of Hollywood TL, and I agree. The possibilities are endless. A hook that immediately jumps to mind is the mythical Orson Welles Batman film, which I believe has been discussed in some detail in the past. Another, far more cruel and vindictive, possibility is the originally planned sequel to Casablanca, which was to be entitled Brazzaville, getting off the ground. Hey, why not? The "serious" timelines have plenty of dystopian scenarios; why can't we? ;)

    And now, vultan, for some helpful advice. Go into edit mode for the opening post. Make sure you "go advanced". Click and drag over each bolded title you've already typed, then go to the "insert link" button (a globe, with a chain in front of it). Enter the URL (you can copy, then paste, the existing links beforehand), and voila! :)

    I look forward to seeing how this thread develops!
     
  3. vultan Defying Gravity

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    Ok, done! Thanks!:)
     
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  4. ColeMercury is male, FYI

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  5. joea64 Unabashed Edwardian Era fanboy

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    Possible Golden Age of Hollywood (or thereabouts) POD's:

    - Jean Harlow recovers from her illness.
    - Irving Thalberg lives.
    - Carole Lombard (That Wacky Redhead's friend with the good advice :D) isn't killed in that plane crash.
    - Ann Miller accepts Louis B. Mayer's marriage proposal (yes, Mayer was seriously in love with her and proposed, but Miller got cold feet.)
    - Maria Montez lives.
    - Casablanca isn't made with the Bogart/Bergman team.
    - Italian movie superstar Isa Miranda actually does make it big in America circa 1938/1939.
    - Louis B. Mayer isn't ousted by Dore Schary at MGM.
    - The studios make decisions that enable them to handle the pressures of the postwar era better (in particular, they jump on the TV bandwagon instead of dissing it; OTL, several studios wouldn't even allow their talent to appear on TV talk shows in the early days).
    - Marilyn Monroe lives (duh).
    - Fox decides to cancel the Cleopatra project when it starts running into serious trouble. Relatedly, Elizabeth Taylor dies during the production.
    - Audrey Hepburn decides to stick with theater instead of going into the movies.
    - The legendary Mexican superstar Maria Felix isn't so standoffish toward Hollywood (OTL, she refused to learn English in part because she didn't want to get mixed up with Hollywood).
    - Howard Hughes makes better decisions with RKO, and as a result enjoys more success; one consequence is that Jane Russell becomes a lasting A-list star instead of simply being remembered as one of the sexier '50's bombshells.
    - Ingrid Bergman never meets Roberto Rossellini.
    - More people, both in talent and management, grow a backbone and a pair of balls in Hollywood in the face of the Red Scare.
    - Grace Kelly never meets Prince Rainier, or else declines his marriage proposal, and continues working in films, becoming Alfred Hitchock's favorite go-to "cool blonde".
    - Errol Flynn gets convicted of having sex with an underage girl, thus triggering another moral panic in Hollywood in the early 1940's.
    - Fatty Arbuckle isn't railroaded and persecuted over the death of Virginia Rappe.
    - Thomas Ince doesn't die under mysterious circumstances (the plot of the Peter Bogdanovich movie The Cat's Meow, which advances the theory that he was accidentally shot by William Randolph Hearst).
    - Thelma Todd, ditto.
    - James Dean lives.
    - Ronald Reagan breaks through into the A-list.
     
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  6. vultan Defying Gravity

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    Good list, man! And that doesn't even go into TV...
     
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  7. vultan Defying Gravity

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    Ok, the links are finally working, so check it out for yourself!
     
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  8. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

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    A few Star Trek-related PODs, somewhat more conventional than the rather convoluted approach in my own timeline:

    On or before March 11, 1964: No Star Trek. This one's simple: something happens to Roddenberry before he makes his pitch (one solution I've seen is his death on-duty with the LAPD in the 1950s); or he never even conceives of the pitch; or the pitch is rejected by Desilu (and presumably, every other production company in Hollywood). Alternatively, you could keep his prior series, The Lieutenant, on the air, which would have some interesting butterflies all by itself.

    Late 1964
    : CBS, instead of NBC, commissions the pilot, as Desilu's right-of-first-refusal agreement gave them that opportunity. This means no "Lost in Space" (which was chosen instead IOTL), and Star Trek on the CBS fall schedule in 1965.

    Some casting PODs for the original pilot: They go with Roddenberry's first choice for the Doctor character, DeForest Kelley; a woman who is not his mistress is cast as Number One; Kelley (who claimed to have been offered the role of Spock) takes it, leaving Nimoy to play the Doctor (or have no involvement with the pilot at all).

    Early 1965
    : NBC decides to buy the original pilot, starring Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Pike, though presumably they would demand heavy concessions (first and foremost, ditching Majel Barrett as the female lead). This would force Hunter to return for the series, which would air on NBC starting in the 1965-66 season, one year ahead of schedule.

    Alternatively, NBC rejects the show outright; no second pilot, and a stillborn Star Trek.

    Mid-1965
    : NBC commissions a second pilot, and one of several other actors are cast as the Captain. Assuming that Hunter (reluctantly) returns, then he remains as Pike and the situation strongly resembles that of the above scenario. Otherwise, either Jack Lord (who drops his ridiculous 50% ownership demand) or (more likely) Lloyd Bridges is instead cast as Captain Kirk.

    Late 1965
    : NBC rejects the second pilot; once again, stillborn Star Trek.

    Early-to-mid-1966
    : James Doohan is unable to convince Roddenberry of the need for an engineer character as part of the core cast; Doohan remains an occasional guest star or ends his involvement with the series entirely. Nichelle Nichols is not cast as Uhura. Grace Lee Whitney is not cast as Yeoman Rand.

    What would IOTL become "The Naked Time" and "Tomorrow is Yesterday" remain a two-parter, as they were in development.

    John D.F. Black remains as Story Editor after the initial batch of episodes are completed.

    Roddenberry does not write (unused) lyrics for the Theme from Star Trek, thus keeping composer Alexander Courage on his good side. Courage thus remains as the show's primary (perhaps exclusive!) composer. (IOTL, he scored both pilots and the first three regular episodes to air, before departing to work on Doctor Doolittle).

    September 8, 1966
    : Star Trek premieres with an episode other than "The Man Trap", considered by the cast and crew the weakest of their initial batch of episodes. "The Corbomite Maneuver" or "The Naked Time" seem the best bets here. Either one would receive more critical acclaim than the lukewarm OTL response to "The Man Trap", which might generate additional buzz for the series.

    Late 1966: Grace Lee Whitney is not fired and remains as Yeoman Rand, Captain Kirk's love interest. (This presumably eliminates her sexual abuse at the hands of a high-powered executive, a creepy fact-mirrors-fiction situation, given "The Enemy Within").

    Mid-1967: Leonard Nimoy leaves the cast of Star Trek after salary negotiations break down. Mark Lenard or Lawrence Montaigne is cast as his replacement.

    Late 1967/Early 1968: Star Trek is moved to a more favourable time-slot in mid-season; ratings improve.

    Gene Coon does not depart Star Trek for Universal, remaining as Producer.

    Early-to-mid-1968: NBC sides with Gene Roddenberry over George Schlatter of "Laugh-In" and gives Star Trek a plum time-slot for its third season. Roddenberry remains as showrunner; Schlatter's reaction can only be speculated upon ;)

    D.C. Fontana decides to remain as Story Editor for the third season.

    Early-to-mid-1969: Against all odds, Star Trek is renewed for a fourth season. Demographic analyses determine that even in the Friday Night Death Slot, the show still has one of the most valuable audiences on television. Hoping to exploit this, the network moves the show to a plum time-slot for its fourth season.

    I'm sure that there are many more. Obviously, some of the later PODs can instead be results of some of the earlier PODs.
     
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  9. vultan Defying Gravity

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    And that's just the original series.:D
     
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  10. vultan Defying Gravity

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    Updated to include MaskedPickle's new project!
     
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  11. Electric Monk Does Your Believing For You

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    I think For Want of a Banister would have to fall in this category.

    It's so nice to see a bunch of pop culture timelines, I think the only comparable boomlet I can think of for non-politics/war timelines was tech timelines a number of years ago.
     
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  12. Orville_third Banned

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    I really need to get research done on my cultural TL (Im Orerc), which involves HispanicWank of various levels, changes in politics as a result, a few more movies and TV shows starring stage magicians, DC Comics ditching the grim-and-gritty (no to mention DiDio), and a heroine of mine becoming more famous.
    A few things I need to do:
    -Find out the plot of the (OTL planned) Zatanna movie and make some changes.
    -Cast the Zatanna movie beyond the heroine.
    -Figure out casts for "Carter Beats the Devil" (beyond Tom Cruise), "The Escapists" (Based on "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay", starring Tobey Maguire and Natalie Portman, among others.), as well as "The Witch" (a remake of the 1980's CBS drama "The Wizard"- I have the star picked out...) the US remake of "Jonathan Creek", and the remake of "The Magician", plus some additional cast members for Disney's "Now You See It..." (Some of the originals may come back...plus I have one new member picked out to make up for his show not existing).
    -Figure out who will replace Dan DiDio at DC.
    -Cast people besides Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel, Billy Batson and Mary Bromfield in the movies of the Marvel Family. (I have those picked out- two of them I had to include-especially since one might get TWO projects of hers from OTL not done in this TL.)
    -Find some Hispanic Republicans. (I've got two who will fill key roles...)
    -Figure out which shows to dump and switch and change.
    -Find roles for Jennifer Stone and David DeLuise.
     
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  13. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

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    Still working on that one, eh? From your initial mention of it on my thread, you talked about changes going all the way to the White House. Is that still on the table? Because sometimes all you need to do is butterfly away the right campaign appearance ;)

    Some interesting developments you're planning, too. My question is, when exactly is the intended POD? If you don't want to reveal what it is, do you at least have a date? It doesn't have to be exact, but I think we'll be more able to help you if we know where to start.
     
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  14. Orville_third Banned

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    The PoD is the planned Zatanna movie announced in 2004-5 being made (though possibly different-I have to somehow find a copy to find out what to change), starring a young Selena Gomez as Zatanna. A few other changes take place in there too. (If Obama can be convinced to not only stay out of the race, but also to endorse someone who ran in 2008, but did not get far...)
     
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  15. vultan Defying Gravity

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    Added it in.
     
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  16. Electric Monk Does Your Believing For You

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    None of these are timelines, but in honour of my pop culture timeline being added to the list I dug through some earlier threads on the board if people need ideas:

    Just some music / pop culture WI's

    Pop culture icons not dead before their time

    Alternative pop culture in the 2000s

    Vultan's original attempt, Watchmen in 1994- A Pop-culture TL. Incidentally it's interesting to see the basic strands of your current timeline and how you fixed the problems you had in the first draft. Plus a bonus Watchman discussion and what the heck "You Get What You Give" which was the second draft. Again, it's very interesting to see the ways you've evolved it (oh, and the latest title wins :)).

    A double bill: Music & Youth/Pop Culture in a "No-9/11 World" along with American culture with no 9/11.

    Pop Culture WI: Galactica 1980 Isn't Terrible

    Challenge: Doctor Who popular in the United States

    No Disney

    AH challenge: Tinseltown, Arizona

    WI George Lucas had directed Flash Gordon instead of Star Wars? (Hmm :))

    What would you like to see in a 20th century cultural ATL?
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012
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  17. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

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    Thanks for digging these up, Electric Monk! It's interesting that, Flash Gordon (as well as, obviously, the development of vultan's timeline) aside, there's a lot of material there that, at least so far, none of us are really covering (my timeline touches on vintage Doctor Who being given a chance to become popular in the US, but even so, there are a lot of potential entry points other than the one I chose). There's a lot of fertile ground yet to be tilled and seeds left to be sown, obviously!

    Though your timeline reminds me, we can probably call Thande's Cronus Invictus (which, sadly, has been dormant for over two years now) a spiritual forerunner of our pop culture timelines. It was a personal favourite during my lurker days, and though I wouldn't call it an inspiration for That Wacky Redhead, it "proved" that a timeline that didn't have your typical war-and-politics focus could find an audience here. Granted, being written by arguably the most popular author on this forum probably helped, but then I came along and proved that even an anonymous nobody could attract readers with a sufficiently intriguing POD ;)
     
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  18. vultan Defying Gravity

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    Ah... that one right there... wasn't my best effort.:eek:
     
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  19. Electric Monk Does Your Believing For You

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    Well perhaps not. But it's always a learning process. I've done the tech elements of my timeline something like five times since 2007. And you certainly saved all the good stuff from the previous versions.

    Plenty of ground left.

    I've read it a couple times, it was very good. Of course I've read it several times because I keep forgetting about it, :)().
     
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  20. vultan Defying Gravity

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    Added it in- and since it was technically first, it goes first on the list (but don't worry, Brainbin, your effort is still mentioned as the one that started the flood of pop culture timelines recently).;):D
     
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