That Wacky Redhead

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

Loading...
  1. turkishproverb Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    He didn't, as such. At that point he was thinking that taking it off the air for a few years would save the show, get people looking forward to it again. Grade deliberately sabotaged it in an effort to destroy it. Important difference, and frankly the idea the queen wouldn't see that (or at least see Grade was the reason the show was so wounded the other man put it down) or have read the interviews he made that clear, is a bit odd.
     
  2. Dan1988 Vamos abrir a porta da esperança!

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Location:
    ATL Royaume du Canada
    Real life can be such a pain, eh?
     
  3. e of pi Layers on Top of Layers

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2008
    Location:
    Halfway to Anywhere
    'Tis the season to have finals, and fa-fa-fa-fa-family stuff. I'm sure Brainbin will be back with an update as soon as he has time to give it the attention it needs to keep to his usual standards, and I hope he doesn't feel the pressure to get it to us a moment before then.
     
  4. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Location:
    The British Empire
    Well. I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas. I must say that these last few days have been extremely hectic for me, and not at all in the way I expected. I was hoping to spend my holidays working on writing, but that became unfeasible this past weekend, and my best-laid plans of having an update ready for Christmas went awry. Assuming no further complications, I do want to have an update ready for all of you by the end of this year. Of course, I have to catch up on everything and with everyone else, first - you may have noticed that I was offline for about five days, the longest I've been offsite since before I started posting here. And that duration would have held true even if AH.com hadn't been down for a longer-than-expected period. I just want you all to know that I would never absent myself from this site or quit writing TWR voluntarily - I've been given so many wonderful gifts through them that leaving them behind would be horrendously ungracious. I hope that all of you enjoy the rest of your holidays :)

    Dan is quite correct - this is not a political timeline, and any political aspects will always be secondary to the popular culture aspects.

    Fair enough. Interesting that Star Trek enjoyed such a plum timeslot even after it fell out of first-run - consistent with the situation in the United States ITTL, with most NBC affiliates carrying the show at 7:00 PM for a number of years, though I still haven't decided how many years. I imagine it would have started tapering off by the time the miniseries was green-lit - in fact, that might be an impetus for such a thing - and the successful airing would spur wider syndication to close out the 1970s.

    I can't help but wonder if loopholes might be employed here - no set of regulations is airtight.

    I must say, British mores about that sort of thing certainly seem more... idiosyncratic than American ones.

    This is consistent with the Star Trek syndication package in the United States, and is therefore easily arranged.

    If this happens, it will be well-covered.
    If this happens, it will at least be mentioned.
    I've never really mentioned the Grammys before, and I don't intend to start now - this timeline hasn't focused on music to any significant degree.

    As for the Oscars? Perhaps, perhaps...

    Added to the Wiki! :cool:

    Remarkable detective work, Nigel!

    Perhaps it was revised into a script in some later iteration.

    Welcome aboard, turkishproverb, and thank you for helping to illuminate that for us :)

    And to think how much hairier things got after the two of you posted this :eek:

    I will say one thing: this stretch without updates, coupled with my time away, has inspired me to devise a certain resolution. More details will follow...
     
  5. THE OBSERVER Independent Progressive

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Location:
    New England
    Can't wait for new updates. Maybe you can give Heaven's Gate a happier ending. As for politics, maybe someone such as hcallega could devise the TL. Work with the info you have given, and write events and legislation based on that.
     
  6. NCW8 Being Analogue in a Digital World

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Location:
    Baselland
    Well, the problem isn't so much regulations as unions. At the time, unions were both very powerful and very protective about their members' jobs. As an example, Liz Sladen's auto-biography relates that once they couldn't film a scene for Doctor Who because a chair was in the wrong place. The scene shifters weren't there and if anyone else tried to move the chair, it could trigger a walk-out due to demarcation. In the end, Liz pretended to have a coughing fit, sat down in the chair and "accidentally" moved it to the correct position.

    I think, you're right that something can be worked out, but it's going to be a case of making a deal acceptable to the unions rather than just finding loopholes. Maybe something along the lines of committing to other series with an equal amount of special effects work. So we could see another series of Quatermass or an extra season of Moonbase 3 ITTL.


    From what I've seen, the British broadcasters in the Seventies seemed to be a bit more tolerant about sex and a bit less tolerant of violence than US ones.


    Aw, Shucks !

    I hope that things are going more smoothly for you now.

    Cheers,
    Nigel.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013
  7. Lindseyman Am I a Northerner? I think that I am!

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2013
    Location:
    Near Lactodorum
    Please NOT Mooonbase 3. More Blakes 7 please!

    Agree with this. It still applied in the 80s and 90s as there is that episodeof ST:TNG that the beeb never showed because of the line about the IRA.

    Have finally read the bits about Star Trek and the Doctor. Oh dear I'm really not worthy (but its not going to stop me trying!)
     
  8. NCW8 Being Analogue in a Digital World

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Location:
    Baselland
    I agree, but unfortunately Blakes 7 was made too late to benefit from such a deal.

    Moonbase 3 was a good attempt at making a Hard-SF TV series. Unfortunately it was made a bit too dark and gritty. Hopefully, ITTL, the Moonshot Madness will result in it having more of the wonder of space exploration.

    Cheers,
    Nigel.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013
  9. Lindseyman Am I a Northerner? I think that I am!

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2013
    Location:
    Near Lactodorum
    I'd forgotten how high the ideals for Moonbase 3 were set. It deserved better than to be remembered as a "failure". I just remembered a dark and dull series and wishing that they would show more Star Trek! Here's hoping in this timeline things go better for it.
    Shame that you're right about Blakes 7, I really enjoyed Avon and Vila and would have loved to see more of them (may still happen here of course).
     
  10. The Professor Pontifex Collegii Vexillographiariorum

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Location:
    Collegium Vexillarum
    Aaaaah, that goes down nicely as a postyule pickmeup.

    Cheers BB

    PS still not a full jeroboam yet tho ;)
     
  11. ryu238 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2012
    So Brainbin,happy holidays. Do you have any idea when we can expect an update here?
     
  12. nixonshead Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    Wow, I'd never heard of Moonbase 3, so thanks for the link! One thing that jumped out at me immediately is that the Moonbase commander, David Calder, shares his name with the actor who played Commander Nathan Spring on another BBC moonbase in Star Cops. Freaky!
     
  13. Orville_third Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    Location:
    Piedmont Socialist Republic
    I liked it when I saw it (in reruns on SciFi), though it was indeed dark. James Burke ("The Day the Universe Changed" "Connections") was the science adviser.

    Of course, if you want a REALLY dark SF show, check out Kit Pedler's "Doomwatch", which likely may not have been made.
     
  14. NCW8 Being Analogue in a Digital World

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Location:
    Baselland
    You're welcome ! There's some episodes (possibly all of them) available on YouTube.

    It is. I don't think that David Calder (the actor) was particularly well known at the time the series was made.

    I liked it as well when I saw it during its original run on the BBC. It had a lot of the right ingredients for a successful series, with Barry Letts and Terrance Dicks as the creators.

    It was made as a co-production with ABC and Fox. The BBC wiped the tapes (of course) but copies were preserved by Fox. It makes an interesting OTL parallel to the way that Desilu preserved the tapes of Doctor Who ITTL.

    Cheers,
    Nigel.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  15. Lindseyman Am I a Northerner? I think that I am!

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2013
    Location:
    Near Lactodorum
    Completely changed my mind about Moonbase3. Its amazing the different perspective another 40 years of life gives! Still want more Blakes 7 though!
     
  16. nixonshead Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    The Next Voyage

    Hi everyone. For quite a while Brainbin and I have been discussing what the refitted Enterprise from The Next Voyage might look like. After many PMs back and forth, we managed to dust off our old CED collection and we're now ready to present to you with a screen-grab from the show. I await the Puritan backlash ;):D

    Happy New Year!

    ent-composit_pass2.jpg
     
  17. nixonshead Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    For those wanting a closer look, here are a set of orthogonal shots.

    ortho-3.png
     
  18. THE OBSERVER Independent Progressive

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Location:
    New England
    Looks well by 1970s TV Standards. The beautiful Andrew Probert design for the Enterprise refit IOTL could only be achieved on film.
     
  19. Lindseyman Am I a Northerner? I think that I am!

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2013
    Location:
    Near Lactodorum
    Agree with the first part and its infinitely better than the Abramsverse version. However am I the only one who thinks the 1979 and onwards film version is a bit clunky. [Also it should really have been called the Enterprise class rather than the refit Constitution. That was like the LMS claiming that the first Patriots were rebuilt Claughtons when all they used were parts of the wheels. (sorry non railway fans of this amazing thread but its the best analogy that I can come up with at the moment)]
     
  20. Threadmarks: Appendix C, Part V: The Studio Strikes Back

    Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Location:
    The British Empire
    Appendix C, Part V: The Studio Strikes Back

    The surest way to head for the brim is starting at the dregs.

    Attributed to Ted Turner, but likely apocryphal

    Ted Turner was, at the beginning of the 1980s, a big – even burgeoning fish in the infinitesimal pond that was a local media market, even a fairly populous and strategically-located one such as Atlanta. To take his WTBS national, and to create a true media empire a superstation of superstations would require certain intangibles which would allow him to stand far above the competition. So he went to Hollywood, hoping to make the right kind of transaction to put his nascent network on the map.

    Desilu Productions was his first port of call the smallest of the Hollywood studios, but in practice a minor only because it didn’t have a dedicated movie-making arm, their television properties had already been a boon for his station. What was then known as WTCG had reaped the benefits of a very costly mistake by the programming manager at WSB-TV, the NBC affiliate in the Atlanta market, in declining to purchase the rights to Star Trek when it had first entered syndication in 1971. This marked the beginning of a very lucrative relationship, with Turner then buying Doctor Who from Desilu lock, stock, and barrel including even the adventures of the First and Second Doctors. Granted, these were shunted into late-night/early-morning timeslots, with the television reporter for the Atlanta Journal deriding this choice of scheduling as the Cure for Insomnia”. [1] Turner entered negotiations with Desilu expecting them to embrace this new business opportunity, but he had miscalculated. The was already overstretched due to their deal with RCA and their investment in Syzygy, and it declined to entertain Turner’s ideas about building his “superstation” on their shoulders.

    Turner had wanted a personal audience with Lucille Ball, counting on his personal charm to win her over, but he never got the chance; he instead dealt with her right-hand, the man in charge of day-to-day operations, Herbert F. Solow. [2] Turner had hoped to speak with Ball because, in his words, “She and I are of a kind
    using a famous line from Star Trek to express his belief in their shared entrepreneurial spirit. But Solow was unmoved, and certainly didn’t see the benefit in hitching the Desilu wagon to one horse in the free-for-all that was the syndication market. Turner, being an entrepreneur, was also a keen businessman. He eventually realized the disadvantages of negotiating from a position of weakness. In their dealings with RCA and Syzygy, Desilu had little ground to lose when agreeing to their requests, but Desilu had already staked out a formidable position in the second-run syndication market. And it was the market that Desilu itself had helped to create; Solow had famously said of his studio at an industry event that “We don’t re-invent things we just invent them.” Turner wasn’t pleased with having to fold so easily, but at least Desilu had a neighbour in far more dire straits.


    Paramount had suffered what might delicately be described as a series of unfortunate setbacks in the last few years. Their television division, which had (after a rough start) become known for providing a marque of quality through the 1970s, had seemingly collapsed; this was due in large part to the architect of the division, Grant Tinker, choosing to depart the studio for CBS once the time had come for belt-tightening, and (on a more personal note) during a difficult period in his life he and his wife, Mary Tyler Moore, had divorced. [3] Paramount wasn’t big enough for the both of them anymore, and in the end neither would remain, with Moore creating her own studio, Hat Toss Productions (named for the iconic shot in the opening credits of her sitcom) inspired by the successes enjoyed by Lucille Ball and Penny Marshall, among others. [4] Charles Bluhdorn had been unsatisfied with Paramount Television for quite some time and, ever aware of how valuable the Desilu properties had proven in syndication, cursed his failure to acquire the studio when he had the chance… not for the first time. His outlook was unfair to Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart, and Rhoda, all of which were performing very well, and this gave Ted Turner a valuable edge. Sure enough, when he approached Bluhdorn, the Austrian mogul was more eager to make a deal than he might have otherwise been.

    Television remained a sideshow as far as Paramount was concerned, despite the headaches it might have brought on for Bluhdorn; movies were still the big-ticket medium for all of the major studios, but Paramount had seen a major dearth of box-office hits since Journey of the Force in 1977. [5] In an era when “blockbusters” (as big-budget, high-grossing movies were becoming known) were re-defining success in the motion picture industry, Paramount was increasingly forced to relive their past glories by re-releasing their older films; this was a losing proposition as classic films grew increasingly ubiquitous on the networks, local stations, and even pay-television, not to mention that which would ultimately prove the death knell for theatrical re-releases: home video. Paramount had been a slow adopter of the format, backing the losing horse in Laserdisc before being lured (through mercenary means) over to CED. But it had a very large film library, the product of nearly 70 years [6] of continuous operation, and it was relatively underexposed. TBS, Turner had promised, would bring their old movies to the masses, and would pay top dollar for the opportunity to do so. In fact, Turner had ideas about the things he could do with those old movies, and he was sure to pay for the rights to modify all of the properties he was acquiring for broadcast, even beyond the customary permissions to re-format the picture for television viewing. This unusual request did not go without notice from Paramount executives. [7]

    But, in the end, they had little alternative. Paramount had debts to pay, thanks to certain legal proceedings. That said, despite winning the Billion-Dollar Verdict, Lucasfilm knew better than to demand such an exorbitant sum from Paramount, which would likely drive the studio into bankruptcy and render their damages unrecoverable. Both sides therefore arranged an accord which would see the value of the bond which was to be posted on the damages ($100 million, or ten cents on the dollar) placed in escrow, where it would remain until all potential appeals to the verdict were exhausted. In so doing, both sides expressed their willingness to fight to the bitter end and the Supreme Court. Therefore, the bulk of the $100 million payment on the bond would be financed by the sale of the exclusive broadcast rights of all shows produced by Paramount Television, and all films produced by Paramount Pictures and its antecedent companies up to 1977 Journey of the Force was excluded
    , given its importance as a bargaining chip in the ongoing legal proceedings – to TBS. In fact, Paramount Television even allowed TBS the exclusive syndication rights to their current productions, including the struggling WMTM in Cincinnati which provided an incentive for them to reach the “magic number” of 100 episodes, as very few shows had ever been successful in syndication otherwise. [8] Naturally, the syndication agreements which were already in place between Paramount and the various stations across the United States were allowed to continue until they expired.

    Lucasfilm v. Paramount, meanwhile, reached the Ninth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals, before which it was argued in early 1982, nearly two years after it had been decided by the California District Court. However, the verdict was not reached by a jury, but by a panel of three judges, who voted 2-1 to overturn that ruling. It was certainly a relief for Paramount, and for Charles Bluhdorn, who was now off the hook for $900 million – or so it seemed. Certainly, it seemed that the dispassionate judges, stubbornly unimpressed with provocateurs such as the “rogue accountant” C.A. Baxter, were far more willing to back the status quo, and the major studios, than the populist juries. The $100 million bond payment stubbornly remained in escrow, per the agreement previously reached by both sides, as George and Marcia Lucas (along with their lawyer, Andy Taylor) swiftly announced their intention to appeal the verdict reached by the Court of the Ninth Circuit.

    There was only one place to go from there: the Supreme Court of the United States


    ---

    [1] In many markets, the 1963-69 run of Doctor Who airs in the middle of the night, if it airs at all, because there’s nowhere else for it to go. For this reason, coupled with the… unfortunate quality of the visual effects and rather slow pace of the narrative, it does not have a reputation for fully engaging its audience.

    [2] Solow is definitely more conservative and risk-averse than Lucille Ball the perfect manager, as opposed to a leader. He also makes for a fine gatekeeper.

    [3] Moore and Tinker also divorced IOTL, in 1981. ITTL they do so a year earlier, the strain of the Trial of the Century proving too much.

    [4] Hat Toss was not formed IOTL, though Moore did continue acting in television and film after parting ways with MTM.


    [5] ITTL, Paramount is without the following blockbusters, which kept it afloat during a perilous time for the American motion picture industry: Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the #4 film of 1979, with an $82 million gross; The Empire Strikes Back, far and away the most successful film of 1980 (grossing $209 million on its original release, and a further $13 million in 1982); and Raiders of the Lost Ark, which was once again easily the most successful film of 1981, earning $212 million (and then $21 million in a re-release the following year, and $11 million in another re-release the year after that); and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, the #6 film of 1982, which received $80 million in grosses; not to mention the 1979 and 1981 re-releases of the original Star Wars. Granted, this was an exceptionally inflationary period IOTL, but all that still adds up to over $600 million in 1980 dollars enough revenues to cover their bond payment six times over (and indeed, more than half the Billion-Dollar Verdict in its entirety).

    [6] Paramount (as the Famous Players Film Company) was established in 1912, making it the second-oldest Hollywood film studio (Universal was founded earlier that same year).

    [7] Yes, Ted Turner has exactly the same big ideas which earned him no small amount of notoriety IOTL

    [8] Remember, Star Trek was one of the shows IOTL which really
    “proved” that audiences would accept fewer than 100 episodes in reruns.

    ---

    And thus, I give you the last update for 2013! As might be expected, it sets the scene for some major battles to be fought in the future. Thanks again to Andrew T for his legal advice. I would also like to take this opportunity to officially welcome nixonshead aboard as the official 3D model artist for That Wacky Redhead! Some of you may already be familiar with his exceptional work on Eyes Turned Skyward, where he is the artist in residence – and if not, I would strongly recommend that you become so; you won’t regret it. I feel extremely fortunate to have him working with me, and the Enterprise model he posted today is hopefully the very tip of the iceberg.

    Have a Happy New Year, everyone, and I’ll see you all in 2014! Perhaps, perhaps, the year in which That Wacky Redhead will come to an end…
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
    Electric Monk and Mackon like this.
Loading...