Pop Culture Timelines Go-To Thread

This will be a repost of something I already wrote for another, "American IPs reimagined as British ones" thread. :)

*cue the Raider's March*

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

A 2004 independent British-American co-production, and a surprising sleeper hit of that year's (rather dry) cinematic summer, on both sides of the Atlantic.

The mid-to-late 1920s. A veteran of the First World War, Henry Jones Jr. is a British archaeologist in his 30s. He is still dealing with trauma from the war and the loss of his beloved fiancée Emma to the Spanish flu in 1919. Struggling at home to find a good enough research project for gainful employment, he receives an invitation from the American professor Ravenwood, one of the greatest experts in the oft-dismissed field of North American pre-Columbian archaeology. Ravenwood is an old friend of Henry's estranged father, Henry Sr., and offers Jr. work on a newly rediscovered pre-Columbian city in the US state of... Indiana.

Feeling he has nothing to lose and that the New World might yield new prospects and heal old wounds, Jones Jr. travels to the US. Here, he meets the avid professor Ravenwood, his talented and attractive daughter Marion, and an array of local allies and helpers. Chief among them is Robert, the descendant of a local tribe whose ancestors were forced off their lands by the US government in the 19th century, and now seek an apology and compensation. "Bob", as he's known, is good friends with Ravenwood. Even though he admits the local finds might not pertain directly to the ancestors of his own people, he's determined to protect any native heritage regardless, and favours the professionalism and respect of professor Ravenwood.

Not all is well, though. Enter the antagonists of the film, pampered East Coast millionaire and bored artefact-hoarder Walter Donovan, and the cynical sell-out archaeologist and unscrupulous treasure-hunter Alan "Alabama" Smith. Smith is an old rival of professor Ravenwood and is determined to force him off the digsite in favour of his and Donovan's hired goons. It's time for some senseless lootin' and sellin', if they find anything interesting... They plan to sell any of the looted finds as artefacts that supposedly belonged of an ancient culture of white foreigners, reasoning that "those primitive Injuns" could never have created anything sophisticated.

One night, a confrontation errupts between the Donovan/Smith group and professor Ravenwood's research team. Smith unintentionally shoots Ravenwood dead, after threatening to shoot Bob, and the professor jumping in front of him to defend him. Donovan and Smith are taken aback, and though their group retreats for the time being, they verbally threaten the researchers and activist to leave the site for good, otherwise they'll be next. A shocked Henry, quietly furious Bob, grief-stricken Marion and their co-workers try to contact the county authorities and local sheriff, but learn that Donovan and Smith had payed them off. No one wants to bother investigating the professor's murder or intimidation of researchers. Whether Henry Jones Jr. likes it or not, he's increasingly dragged into taking a stand against the crimes of Donovan and Smith.

Despite its focus on accurate portrayals of archaeology, drama and humour, the film also features a lot of action and stunts, including horseback chases and period car chases.

The titular "Temple of Doom" is figurative. Donovan and Smith are highly dismissive of the merit of ancient native cultures. They are prone to believing the natives couldn't have created all of this, but some other ancient (preferrably European-like) civilization did. At the same time, they show a degree of superstition, at least partly giving in to myths about a supposed native curse on all those who'd desecrate the works of their ancient ancestors. To them, the rediscovered sacred site is a potential temple of doom. Their arrogant-but-cowardly attitude is ultimately what leads to their downfall, Donovan meeting his fate in a climactic action sequence, while Smith narrowly escapes and swears revenge on Jones and Ravenwood.

The film ends with the federal government stepping in to investigate the events, arresting many of Donovan's and Smith's henchmen and associates and contemplating taking early measures to protect native archaeological heritage. In the epilogue Dr. Jones, now nicknamed "Indiana Jones", meets with Marion at a bar, and after some hesitation, proposes to her. As they lean in for a kiss, an older voice is heard from the entrance door: "Junior ! Why don't you introduce me to your bride-to-be ?" They turn their heads, surprised, and notice a smiling Jones Sr. standing at the entrance. This, and Smith's escape, were intended as a minor hook for a potential sequel.

The film had a number of creative influences, taking inspiration from pulp adventure novels of yore, old adventure film serials about adventurer-archaeologists, the epic films of David Lean, Sergio Leone's Spaghetti Westerns, and Sam Peckinpah's gritty neo-Westerns set in the early 20th century. However, the creators also wanted to challenge the stereotype present in the first two types of works, by creating characters of several enlightened-for-their-time archaeologist heroes who are far more appreciative of old Native American monuments and material culture. This was still something rare in the US of the period the film is set in. The film also challenges various popular misconceptions and pseudoarchaeological claims about British and North American archaeological finds, a long-term problem in the public's misinformed knowledge about archaeology. The villains of the piece, such as Donovan and Smith, embody the bigoted and unscientific approach to "digging up old stuff".

The music for the film was composed by American-born John Williams. Williams moved to the UK in the late 1980s, and after suffering a bit of a career stagnation in the latter half of the 1990s, was brought back to the fore by composing the soundtrack for the film. Though few gave the film any sort of hope at the box office, Williams liked the concept, and worked wonders on the very classical-sounding, upbeat score, with the occassional romantic leitmotif. Many credit the success of the film's captivating atmosphere on its use of music. Williams would go on to score the rest of the subsequent Indiana Jones franchise, though occassionally complemented by other British and European film and TV composers.


Some accolades for the original film by actual archaeologists:

"This is officially my favourite adventure film of all time ! No contest."
- professor Ken Feder

"A classic for a reason... Before 2004, I would never have hoped for a British adventure film that portrays real archaeology and respect for native material culture in such a favourable and informed light... and is really fun and funny to boot !"
- Marc Barkman-Astles


Indiana Jones sequels and spinoffs

Following the success of the first film, a sequel was inevitable. Though several ideas were planned by the creators, preparations took a while, but the continuation of Jones' travels eventually hit the big screens, with all their adventure, drama and comedic charm. The theatrical installments to date include:
  • Indiana Jones and the Mystery of the Yeti - Indy and Marion go research the yeti myth in the Himalayas, travelling India, Nepal, Tibet, having run-ins with local bandits, villagers and townsfolk, monks, and even stray Chinese warlords. The male-female duo are accompanied by the bickering Jones Sr. and Indy's old college mentor, Harold Oxley, known for his comical rivalry with Indy's father.
  • Indiana Jones and the Secrets of Nubia - a peculiar new find from ancient Egypt points to an interesting connection with Egypt's neighbouring cultures to the south. Indy and Marion can't resist to sink their teeth into this case ! Little do they know what ominous adventures lie ahead before they crack this latest archaeological mystery.
  • Indiana Jones and the Rainbow Serpent - involves a shady band of Australian prospectors harassing a group of natives trying to protect their sacred site. Indy's father retires in the epilogue of this installment, though he does make some cameos in later films. This is the first installment that features the post-WWI barnstormer and daredevil aerobat, biplane pilot Harry Cane. Harry would make repeat appearances in several of the theatrical films and television miniseries.
  • Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arks - a globe-trotting adventure from Africa to the Caucasus, pitting Indy's team against a group of unscrupulous "Bible archaeologists" (in reality, reckless Bible literalists). They are out to find the Ark of the Covenant (presuming it's the one in Ethiopia) and the remains of Noah's Ark (presuming it's on Ararat), wrecking havoc and disrespect on locals while on their way. Indy decides to teach them a lesson. To his surprise, he learns that Alabama Smith is in cahoots with the group !
  • Indiana Jones and the Riches of the Amazon - a bunch of nazi cultists want to find Atlantis in the Amazon. Indy, Marion, Oxley and a few helpers mount an expedition to stop these villains from destroying the newly discovered native cultures that once built great cities and practiced agriculture in the depths of the rainforest.
  • Indiana Jones and the Tomb of the Horsemen - Indy and Marion go explore the Pazyryk finds. They befriend a local native guide and fight a group of former Soviet soldiers led by a disgraced Soviet academician, the group intent on tomb-robbing. Alabama Smith resurfaces again.
  • Indiana Jones and the Golden Library of Mansa Musa - set in Mali and other parts of western and northern Africa, Indy goes all the way from home to Timbuctou to uncover a lost library of Islamic knowledge, gilded and intentionally burried during the reign of the famous medieval Malian king. The adversary is an early UFO-cultist who wants to prove the Dogon were mentored by aliens (spoiler: they weren't and the guy gets his just desserts).
  • Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Treasure Fleet - one of Zheng He's ships in the famous Chinese Treasure Fleet might not have sailed back home, sinking at a little known island in a rarely visited part of the Pacific or Indian Ocean. Indy, Marion and co. mount an investigation into the lost treasure junk, and when they expect it the least, Alabama Smith pops up again to thwart their efforts.
The theatrical films were supplemented by several television miniseries, focusing on various smaller adventures. Examples include:
  • Indiana Jones and the Doges' Last Crusade - set in Venice and Dubrovnik and involving the parts played by the cities in the history of the Crusades. One of the most urban-focused stories in the franchise, and considered one of its best television stories.
  • Indiana Jones and the Bog Mummies - set in Indy's native Britain, focusing on a seemingly supernatural (or is it ?) murder mystery involving bog mummies, in the style of interwar British crime mysteries.
  • Indiana Jones and the Songs of the North - set in Finland and northern Norway during WWII and the Winter War, with Indy saving Sámi archaeological artefacts from soldiers intent on looting and from a certain Kalevala-obsessed maniac.
  • Indiana Jones and the Curse of Port Royal - Indy, Marion and the team visit Jamaica in the Caribbean and start researching whether there's truth to a local legend. It speaks of coffers full of priceless artefacts, sunk during the earthquake that destroyed the former city of Port Royal. Is a recent string of strange crimes in Kingston part of a fabled curse put on the artefacts by the pirates hiding out in Port Royal ? Or is old nemesis Alabama Smith back, playing his nefarious games again ?
  • Indiana Jones and the Riddles of Great Zimbabwe - Indy and Marion discover there are a few more secrets among the ruins of the fortified African trade city than previously thought.
  • Indiana Jones and the Mayan Observatory - a group of Mayanists, aided by a group of nefarious hoaxers promoting the crystal skull myths, seek to uncover the supposed cosmic and alien mysteries the Maya knew of. Indy is skeptical as usual, and makes a resolution to stop the potential damage dealt to Mayan architecture and stone calendars. He also helps local Mayan farmers fend off abuse by criminals and the local corrupt government. Considered one of the best television miniseries of the franchise, though some have criticised it for being a slight thematic rehash of the very first theatrical film.
  • Indiana Jones and the Chieftain's Cache - Indy learns that Moric Benyovsky didn't only befriend the Malagasy and get elected as their chief at one point, but also hatched a plan to hide a secret cache of rescued native artefacts, period weapon stores, and so on.
  • Indiana Jones and the Eerie Ice Graves - Indy embarks on a journey through the Arctic, from natural ice graves of mummified Inuit in Greenland, to the sad story behind the rediscovery of the graves belonging to the Franklin Expedition in the Canadian Arctic.
In addition to the miniseries, the franchise also saw the creation of a surprisingly successful spinoff, The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones. It ran for four series (seasons) and gradually detailed Indy's lifestory before the events of the original film: His childhood in the Edwardian era, his growing interest in history and archaeology, Famous Five-style adventures with friends while thwarting pre-war rural grave-robbers, his complex and often ghastly experiences during World War I, his befriending of Emma and their romance until her premature demise in 1919, his later college years and becoming a struggling archaeologist. We learn in early series that he learned to use a whip when he had to fend off a group of Neolithic digsite robbers as a child, finding the whip at a farmhouse stable and using it for self-defence. We see his development from adventurous child, to hopeful pre-WWI nerd, to traumatised young man, to heartbroken young widower and increasingly brave and outspoken archaeologist, the determined protector of ancient artefacts and their sites.

The franchise also spawned various comic books, toys, tabletop games and even computer games. The latter example became a respected game series of its own, helmed by then-struggling British game publisher Eidos. The success of the series helped with keeping them in business and avoiding getting bought out by another publisher. The game series was successful enough that one of the installments was effectivelly a small spinoff focused specifically on the solo adventures of Marion Ravenwood (in the employ of a certain mysterious Lord Croft).


Addendum on casting

My British version of Indy looks like an interwar era nerd. He's also meant to be bilingual. An actual Welshman by birth, hence Jones ! :D You won't have Jones played by a Daniel Craig type. I think a more "Welsh-looking" guy, brunette, sort of "duskier", sort of more "everyman" than "tall athletic guy", is closer to my idea. More "salt of the earth", introverted type, even in appearance. For this ATL series scenario, I would like to choose some British actor with a Welsh background, born in the early 1980s or the late 1970s, at most. Marion should be around that same age range, and her and professor Ravenwood should be cast with Americans. Same with the baddie of the first movie (an ATL Donovan) and "Alabama" Smith (though you can also cast any actors who do convincing Americans).

Bear in mind that this is a bigger British production, so even the British and American actors cast won't be some superstars. A few recognisible, bigger names who've also done TV and smaller films, but a lot of up-and-coming talent at the time (early 2000s), and all of them younger than now.

Some casting ideas I've considered are below.

Henry "Indiana" Jones Jr. - Welshman, bilingual, son of Henry Sr. and Megan. I'd prefer casting an actor with Welsh roots and capable of speaking passable Welsh in addition to BrE. This is one role where I'm inclined to pick something out of left field, a lesser-known actor. Richard Harrington (no relation to Kit of GoT fame) has appeared in some Welsh-English series and films, including a noir crime drama. I could see him mesh well even with my idea for Henry Sr. (see below), and he also wouldn't look weird as an interwar era British intellectual/scientist. Of course, Ioan Gruffudd crossed my mind, but he's a bit ingrained to me as Hornblower, and he tends to play more aristocratic-seeming characters. Harrington has a lot more of that "slightly goofy everyman, but becomes a hero when needed" aura to him. He'd be below thirty if cast in the early 2000s.
prof. Henry Jones Sr. - loud and proud Welshman, a fairly tall and boisterous archaeology professor, with dark hair and bushy beard (which his son inherited). Now brace yourself. He's played by... John Rhys-Davies ! Yes, I know the association with Saleh in the OTL series, or the fact that R-D often seems to play short characters, makes this seem like an odd choice. But people forget R-D is actually some 6 feet, 1 inches tall ! He's a tall guy. After finishing up with Gimli in LOTR, he'd no doubt want a very different role, and this would be right up his alley. I imagine his version of Jones Sr. as typically R-D: Somewhat brash and talkative, but also very eloquently spoken and with a ferocious intelligence. Unlike Connery!Sr., he's less of a cranky snarker, and more of a dry-witted, energetic eccentric. Something closer to Conan Doyle's professor Challenger (whom R-D had actually played once, IIRC). He has a difficult relationship with Junior over unresolved past disagreements, and is somewhat disappointed his son is more of a stoic these days, but he dearly loves him. They gradually rekindle their sense of friendship as father and son.
Dr. Broadfield - recurring, somewhat comic relief character. Good-natured but slightly eccentric and absent-minded colleague of Dr. Jones Sr. and professor Oxley. He's an ATL, British version of Marcus Brody. I'd prefer Timothy Spall in the role, or if possible, none other than Stephen Fry ! :D I do vastly prefer Spall in the role, though. Despite the comic relief aspect, he does have dignity and is as smart and capable as his colleagues when it comes to research or finding certain clues.
prof. Harold "Ox" Oxley - as in OTL, played by John Hurt. Similar character, but has a lot more depth than what we got out of him in OTL's Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Introduced in the second film, where his character and Jones Sr. have a lot of back-and-forth arguments. There's something about the idea of Hurt and Rhys-Davies - both respected, but down-to-earth acting legends - having amusing arguments, that I find really compelling.
prof. Abner Ravenwood - this one is a tougher cookie for me, though an interesting one, as we never see Abner portrayed in the OTL films, and my ATL British concept has him at least in the first one, before the baddies off him. I've thought of older American actors who have a certain gravitas and wholesomeness to them, but also a degree of grit. Some names that came to mind were James Cromwell (slightly more of that grit and distance) and even John Lithgow (slightly more of that grandfatherly, more mellow touch).
Marion Ravenwood - I feel there's several good candidates in the early 2000s, but I've often thought of Anne Hathaway. She'd be in her early twenties and didn't do much in terms of interesting roles, being saddled with The Princess Diaries. Imagine if Marion becomes her breakthrough serious (well, semi-serious) role, rather than Brokeback Mountain or The Devil Wears Prada. I also rather like the fact this could lead to her showing up a lot more in other British productions, potentially even living on-and-off in the UK. It has happened to some US actors and actresses, and this relatively early in her acting career, a British Indy could make for a rather big divergence. Appearance-wise, I like to think of this version of Marion as somewhat Amelia Earhart-esque, just younger.
Bob (native activist) - I think Gary Farmer would be ideal. No question. :) Mr. Farmer has played some really good and memorable native characters over the years, virtually all believable, down-to-earth people, and playing an educated, 1920s early native activist, would be a great addition.
Walter Donovan - the ATL version is similar in broad strokes, but the story takes place earlier, in the Roaring Twenties, and he is a different, but similarly unscrupulous and vain nouveau riche type, as in OTL's The Last Crusade. I've thought of several actors, but I like two choices in particular, even if they're quite different: Robert Picardo (yes !) or Terry O'Quinn (oh, yesss). As with Abner, the portrayal would differ slightly depending on who'd get cast, but I think both of them could do a wonderful job with a bad guy like this. Picardo is my first choice, funnily enough, but if Terry O'Quinn gets cast instead, I wonder how this would affect Lost (if it still happens as in OTL).
Alan "Alabama" Smith - I keep thinking of Jeffrey Dean Morgan ! :D The guy's just really good at playing rough-and-tumble, but also fairly charismatic villains. The sort you fear will smash your face in while having a sadistic smirk on their's, but can also behave in a polite and civil manner, hiding their darker intentions.
Harry Cane - Aussie bush pilot, biplane flyer extraordinaire, and an associate of Jones and co. since The Rainbow Serpent film. This being the early 2000s and the script requiring an underrated Aussie actor, I propose Eric Bana. He might avoid being in Ang Lee's Hulk, so that would be a relief ! :p
Emma, Indy's ill-fated wife - seen only in flashbacks, since Indy's a very young widower by the time of the first film. Played by a then-basically-unknown Louise Brealey. It's the sort of role I can imagine her in easily. She's not a typically attractive actress and she'd fit the sweet and no-bullshit woman Jones Jr. grew fond of during WWI and afterward, only to lose her far too soon. Marion would be the first time Indy's gotten over Emma.
Jones' younger sister - no name for her yet (I like to think she'd be Tilda, short for Matilda). She'd be a recurring character, mostly back home in the UK. Claire Foy made her debut in the mid-to-late 2000s (I still remember when she was seen as a newcomer in an adaptation of Little Dorrit), so a young Foy as Indy's estranged sister or half-sister (from Sr.'s later marriage or some out of wedlock escapade) could be an interesting addition to the overall cast.

Daniel Craig I can actually imagine in one of the sequels, but as a slimy British villain. Come to think of it, he'd be a good potential English analogue to Belloq, or similar bad guys. I've also thought about other actors, mostly Brits, but also some Americans, as having potential roles. Mark Sheppard as some cunning, wisecracking cockney wheeler-dealer and informant to Indy while he's in Britain. Cumberbatch (not that well known at the time of his debut in one of the later sequels) as a creepy, threatening villain. Ron Perlman as some US character, but a friendly one, rather than a bad guy. Has Keira Knightley played any villain roles ? I don't remember any. Imagine her as some sort of "wounded gazelle English Rose" type, preying on Indy's sympathies and willingness to help in some British mystery case, only for him to end up in a trap and cursing that he shouldn't have trusted her. (Also, potential Marion jealousy subplot in there, and some happy resolution later.) And in the sequel set in Tibet, maybe you could have Gemma Chan as a one-off character, some Chinese lady who works as a smuggler between Tibet and one of the interwar warlord states of China.


Tone and some final notes

This is how I'd do a British Indy. :D Ironically enough, his origin story begins on an adventure in the US. :p Brit-Indy's development in the first film would take him from being a somewhat guarded, worldweary nerd, to a heroic adventurer and defender of the innocent and downtrodden (often helping local native people against various corrupt bastards or madmen enamoured with pseudoscience/racism). One of the big differences to the OTL franchise is that, though it's still goofy fun most of the time, they avoid bringing in explicit supernatural or science fiction-y elements into the series. Skepticism is repeatedly proven right, even though some of the locations and treasures are fictionalised or wholly fictional. There are a few mysterious, "magical realism" style moments throughout the franchise, but it's deliberately left vague whether they were real or just tricks of the mind. Also, while my British Indy is pulpy, it doesn't overdo it to the point of ridiculousness. (If you want an idea, think of a more adventurous/action-packed episode of Poirot in some exotic location, rather than total over-the-top pulp.) Aside from the whip, Brit-Indy also carries a classic Webley revolver. Obviously, I've kept Williams, it's just too hard to divorce him from this, though I've added some British composers into the mix too. Also, I've made loads of blatant little nods to media inspired by OTL Indiana Jones, itself a work based on earlier inspirations from various media.
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@Petike Very nice take on a British Indiana Jones!

Hope the Egyptian adventure kept the 'duel' scene in where Indy just shoots the sword wielder.

Behind the scenes segment in the DVD release of Indiana Jones and the Secrets of Nubia

Director of The Secrets of Nubia (jovial): "Later that afternoon, something happened that we weren't really expecting... Richard, well..." (laughs)
Richard Harrington: "Oh, bloody hell, that day of shooting ! Around noon, I had some locally made couscous for lunch, and it didn't taste that bad... But maybe it was out on the sun for too long by accident, or something else, I dunno... Long story short, I suffered a real stomachache that afternoon, was feeling miserable. The others see that I'm in no shape to continue that day and need to put myself back together. So, okay, I would get the day off, as I had hoped by that point. But... there was a further complication."
Director of The Secrets of Nubia: "There was this scene we still needed to shoot, with a brash native swordsman, from that group of local bandits hired to off Indy and the others... Well, even though Richard was adamant we need to continue the following day, I insisted that the scene is simple enough and we should just film it in a few minutes and be done with it. Richard agreed to, but told me and the crew (imitates voice) 'All right then, but I'll be allowed to incorporate...' "
Richard Harrington: "...some of my own stuff into that scene. Just to make it a little more straightforward, you know. It doesn't need to be some action extravaganza or anything, we don't need complicated action scenes all the time..."
Director: "Yeah, so I agreed to the changes, under the condition he doesn't overdo it with improvising."
RH (smile): "Ohhh, I hardly overdid it... Wasn't in the mood to..."
Director: "And then the guy starts attacking Indy. Richard throws himself back, away from the saif blade, he does this tumble backwards, gets quickly back on his feet, throws some dust towards the swordsman... The guy is doing all these wild numbers with his sword, trying to look intimidating as his fellow bandits look on."
RH: "Yes, I admit it. I took the stunt guy with the sword aside and we talked the choreography through, how we'd modify it... He... was a bit surprised when I told him how we're going to play it at the end."
Director: "I'm telling myself, 'Fine, fine, they're doing well, we've nearly got this...' But then I keep watching at what follows. Richard just stands up as Indy, watching the other guy carefully, straightens himself out, he's just looking on, not even glowering. This talented guy, the Egyptian stuntman we had with the sword, he just keeps doing these threats, swiping these dramatic drawing cuts forward, but not attacking, he throws the sword from one hand to the next, pretends he'll run Indy down any second now with that blade... I wanted to scream at them, to stop fooling around, to get on with it already ! And then... (sigh, and a laugh)

Footage from the scene is shown, full-screen. The swordsman is threatening Indy, like a cat would play with a mouse. Jones looks on, almost bored. He scratches his stubble, puzzled. Then he suddenly shrugs, pulls out the Webley from his holster and shoots the swordsman.

Director (laughing, resigned, rolling his eyes): "Then he just shot him ! He pulled out that damned prop revolver and just shot him." (cradles face in palms)
RH (slyly): "Like that. Bang."
Director: "For a short moment, I was f***ing furious. 'What the hell are they doing ?!' But the crew and cast loved it. They loved it ! So... (sighs, a smile) With a heavy heart, we kept the scene. And I wouldn't change it now, definitely not !"
RH (chuckles): "The moral is, do not bring a sword to a gun fight. And don't eat possibly faulty couscous." (smile)
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Have you noticed that almost every Disney animation TL is the same?

Most of them involve Walt quitting cigarettes early on and living longer, along with Don Bluth staying at Disney.

Thankfully, my TL, "An Alternate History of Animated Films", doesn't go that direction.
Have you noticed that almost every Disney animation TL is the same?

Most of them involve Walt quitting cigarettes early on and living longer, along with Don Bluth staying at Disney.

Thankfully, my TL, "An Alternate History of Animated Films", doesn't go that direction.
Disney fans don't want to 'ruin their childhood' of course i sinned the same with videogames but yeah.
Given their success with audiences at the time, I fear their absence could have rendered the series a mere footnote in British TV history.
I just thought about how Pop Culture TL's always have Dr Who, Star Trek and Star Wars existing in some form and I imagined a TL where they don't.
I just thought about how Pop Culture TL's always have Dr Who, Star Trek and Star Wars existing in some form and I imagined a TL where they don't.
Well, I do have this tongue-in-cheek Trek-like science fiction franchise in one of my timelines. Amusingly enough, though it is the closest thing to Trek in an otherwise rather different 20th century, it's made in a group of non-anglophone countries. :)

It is hard to imagine the history of television science fiction without some OTL series that are now considered classics.
One more repost from my "American IPs reimagined as British IPs" streak. This is for both the series and the original film (read on).

Westworld, series one opening titles

In the not-so-distant future, the United Kingdom is a highly urbanised country, with a continuously growing population. Private ownership of land has skyrocketed, with almost no part of the country still available to the general public for recreation. This inaccessibility of real countryside and real wilderness has made vacations in such environments a much sought-after luxury. Capitalising on the growing demand of people for experiences in a buccolic rural landscape, virtually inaccessible to all, the Delos Corporation (founded by Scottish billionaire James MacPherson, pseudonym "Jim Delos") created the Westworld theme park. The idle rich of the United Kingdom, whether bored aristocrats from the Home Counties or "new money" from the cities, can now satisfy their desires for relaxation and adventures in an unspoiled, romanticised English countryside. Set on the artificial island project codenamed "Wessex", just off the coast of west England, the Westworld park seeks to recreate the West Country of the late Victorian and early Edwardian period, with its enchanting vistas, twee splendour and rural melodrama. Populated by life-like robotic beings with broad West Country accents, Westworld is the place to indulge in one's romantic fantasies, live a life in a period gone by, or engage in solving murder mystery narratives, often with a chilling supernatural subtext (there are Hammer Horror-style narratives for more advanced "players"). Guests arrive by steamboat and heritage steam train to the hub town of Casterbridge, and from then on, the sky's the limit... As the slogans go, "What an enchanting vacation we have for you !" and "Live a carefree life, to its fullest.". But is Westworld all that it appears ? And what about the strange ritual murder cases and their connection to the local megalithic ruins and supposed "leylines" ?

A sci-fi/mystery detective series, with a tone somewhere in-between Midsomer Murders and Broadchurch, hints of updated Quatermass and of Thomas Hardy adaptations, Westworld is "a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness, our obsessions with Edwardian tweeness and the future of sin". Created by Neil Cross, Chris Chibnall and Catherine Tregenna, Westworld stars Lily James as Bathsheba (robot, feisty emancipated heroine), Thandie Newton as Maeve (robot, innkeeper at The Jamaica Inn), David Harewood as Bernard Lawson (robotics techie), Rupert Grint as Gabriel (robot, Batsheba's on-and-off love interest), Shaun Evans as DI William Fawley (young, morally ambiguous detective hero), Ben Barnes as Logan MacPherson (James' son and heir), Talulah Riley as Claire (robot guide), Toby Stephens as Alec (shady robot character), Charles Dance as the Mayor of Casterbridge (robot character), Orla Brady as Theresa Cullen (Irish-born PR/QA manager), Christopher Eccleston as Adam Stubbs (security chief), Simon Quarterman as Lee Sisterson (hacky head writer), Jenna Coleman as Elsie King (robotics techie), Peter Mullan as James MacPherson a.k.a. "Jim Delos" (head of Delos Inc.), and sir Anthony Hopkins as Welsh-born park director Robert Fulton. Recurring characters include Benedict Cumberbatch as The Great Detective (Holmes pastiche robot, investigating cases of mysterious poisonings and spectral hounds), John Nettles as a Barnaby-esque character and mysterious old friend of Fulton, and many others. Cameos by Ruth Goodman and her Edwardian Farm co-stars, and by Time Team veteran Phil Harding. Music by David Arnold. (To get a bit of an idea about the music, the first minute and 40 seconds of this comes to mind as the opening theme. Maybe with some elements from this, but modernised. Compare with OTL. The 'sinister robot theme' would be like a subtler version of this, representing an ATL equivalent of this.) Later series of the show gradually reveal the existence of further Delos parks, including Tudorworld (16th century Britain), Romanworld (British antiquity, Celts, Romans), Avalon (semi-fantastical, Arthurian Mythos), Saxonworld (early Middle Ages), Cavalierworld (17th-18th century Britain) and others.

Originally a late 70s film starring John Mills (as the park director), Martin Shaw (as Peter Martin) and Lewis Collins (as John Blaise), produced by the BBC and created by Quatermass veteran Nigel Kneale. After the BBC nixed his plans to create a fourth and final serial about Dr. Bernard Quatermass, Kneale returned some two weeks later and proposed the idea for a thriller set at a theme park populated by robots. Debuting in 2017 on BBC One, the series is a reboot and expansion of the film, with several tips-of-the-hat to the original work. The character of Bernard Lawson is one such to professor Bernard Quatermass, Kneale's most famous creation.

Reception has been positive, though some have been critical of the security teams' apparent inability to fire their guns properly at some of the secretly rebelling robots. This being a British series, though, guns are seldom seen in use, even by park staff.
If you like, I actually had an idea for a vignette I posted before.

"What were your reasons for demanding that production be completely in Los Angeles?"
"First, there was the obvious reason that I wanted to be closer to where actual production was. I was also thinking about the voice cast."
"How so?"
"Well if I'm being honest, their track record made me concerned it would negatively affect pre-conceptions regarding the show."
"Why? Was it because of most of them had been on things like Jonny Test?"
"That's just the tip of the Iceberg. Really, I'd have to say the resumes for most of them is an eyesore."
"To say the least."
Lauren Faust in an interview with Butch Hartman; October 6, 2013
In my idea for an alternate MLP, Hasbro never even CONSIDERED recording in Vancouver, so it would be weird seeing Faust say that.
Cybermen were more popular among adults that dalek IIRC.
Perhaps, but if Newman's "no bug-eyed monsters" edict successfully gets rid of the Daleks, there's no precedent for Cybermen. Just the Doctor and companions wandering around extremely sixties visions of the future and questionably authentic historic periods, reacting to stuff. And I say that as someone who likes the monster-free Hartnell stories.
- McQueen arrested for accidentally killing Charles until the Hinman Hostage situation (Atkins, Beausoleill and Share decide to rob Gary Hinman and take the family on the run following Manson's death.) Eventually the police raid the Spahn ranch but only find Spahns dead body.
- Mary Brunner takes baby Valentine on the run. The other girls disperse and "Girls with Guns" become a popular exploitation genre. Tex, Krenwinkel, Van Houten and Clem commit a separate robbery in Central but are caught when Kasabian bolts with their getaway vehicle. Frome and Goode move to Sacramento after killing George Spahn. Hoyt is undisturbed in Hawaii as is Watkins at Barker Ranch. Bernard Crowe lives before getting killed by the police years later.
- Spahn Ranch is used to film Little Big Man and other westerns. The OTL wildfire happens during the filming of Catlow and Yul Brynner dies of lung problems caused by the fire smoke and his longtime smoking habit. McQueen takes his Magnificent Seven co-star as OTL role in Westworld and Futureworld. CBS buys the OG Happy Days pilot (New Family in Town) instead of Anna and the King running untill the '76-'77 season. Mark Hamill is cast in American Graffiti instead of Ron Howard due to the laters schedule on NFIT.
- Polanski makes Day of the Dolphin instead of Macbeth, passes on Chinatown in favour of Tess (Wes Craven given the job instead) and finally torpedoes his relationship with Sharon Tate with Taming of the Shrew which causes a massive domestic dispute ending in Polanksis arrest and Sharon filing for a divorce.
- Russ Meyer becomes more successful which results in Roger Ebert breaking into Hollywood. The Reviers has a troubled production due to McQueen being in jail. McQueens attempted pivot fails as the man who killed a hippie cult leader and potential murderer. He decides to take the role of Dirty Harry and is able to buy the Bullit Mustang. Burt Reynolds stars in Le Mans.
- Sean Connery gets his version of Macbeth in return for coming back as James Bond. the Scottish fervour leads to a swelling of the SNP giving the Conservatives a 299-tie in 1974.
- Bruce Lee survives thanks to his friend Tate telling him to take time off. Polanski thinks he's one of the people his wife's seeing.