That Wacky Redhead

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

  1. DTF955Baseballfan 12-time All-Star in some TL

    Oct 19, 2005
    10 miles north of 10 miles south
    I remember that book, too. Another excellent write-up. I loved the line about pet euthanasia bringing more protests than the Kirk-Uhura kiss; definitely great progress.

    I wonder if the butterfly effect becomes renamed after this episode, too; although jsut the idea of this impacting burgeoning AH is really neat.
  2. The Watcher Well-Known Member

    Jul 20, 2012
    Journey to the Force is the final Paramount Pictures movie to be made.
  3. Mr Teufel Active Member

    Mar 3, 2013

    I've seen the animated version, and read the story. It has some great moments, and is good Trek. You do it justice, and it's a shame it was never done live.
  4. The Professor Pontifex Collegii Vexillographiariorum

    Feb 22, 2006
    Collegium Vexillarum
    A most excellent update as always Mr Brainbin
  5. nixonshead Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2013
    Nope, a running joke about Shatner constantly mis-pronouncing Kyle's name.

    Great update. This fleshed-out Thelin certainly seems an interesting character, and I can see why fans would be pleased to see him return in The New Voyages. The time-travel aspects seem a bit... illogical. But no more so than the average Doctor Who episode (in either timeline!).

    I'd love to see that "Muppet fight to the death"! I guess there'd be a real danger of that scene dragging the whole episode down unless executed effectively. Given the episode's warm in-universe reception, I'm assuming Henson must have done a first-rate job with the muppets.
  6. Thande A special man who knows these things Donor

    Jan 22, 2005
    God's Own County
    Excellent writeup of Yesteryear - the original story is good enough that we can perceive that a live action episode would just consist of fleshing out characters and concepts given more time as you suggest, rather than any major changes compared to the OTL animated one.

    Remind me, does your version of Star Trek include the episodes where they planned to develop McCoy's backstory with his estranged daughter?
  7. Orville_third Banned

    Mar 3, 2009
    Piedmont Socialist Republic
  8. VariantAberrant Aeon Society data analyst

    Mar 9, 2014
    Chambersburg, PA, USA, Earth-1218
    It's possible, but given that the story from which the effect takes its OTL name (Bradbury's "A Sound of Thunder") had been published some years before the POD, not at all guaranteed.

    Let's turn to primary sources.

    Last edited: Dec 4, 2014
  9. e of pi Layers on Top of Layers

    Nov 27, 2008
    Halfway to Anywhere
    Not at all! JotF is released in the late 70s, and Paramount doesn't lose Lucas v Paramount until early 1983. The sequel, of course, will be a LucasFilm movie, and the Paramount name itself is sold.
  10. MatthewFirth Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2012
    Portsmouth, England
    Then what is the last Paramount movie made then?
  11. Daibhid C Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2013
    I haven't seen the animated episode but I'm aware of the story. This version sounds excellent; I could totally visualise Lenard and Wyatt in the scene of the family dinner.

    McCoy needling Thelin about his hunches reminds me of a novella based on this AU which makes the point that due to Thelin's strong Andorian emotions, McCoy's become Kirk's rational, pragmatic advisor.
  12. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

    Jul 26, 2009
    The British Empire
    I'm glad you liked the Episode Guide entry, Orville. Unfortunately, I can't say whether or not D.C. Fontana liked it, since I have no idea if she's even aware of this timeline.

    I always thought it would make a great live-action episode as well, though it would have needed a lavish budget to pull it off, which I was happy to provide for it here.

    Thank you!

    I can't say for certain, because I'm not polling on it, but I'm pretty sure it's most people's favourite episode of TAS. (Anyone care to claim otherwise?)

    Kirk and Uhura didn't kiss ITTL. Kirk and the Girl of the Week played by Madge Sinclair did.

    Welcome aboard, The Watcher! Although I'm afraid that's incorrect - Journey of the Force was released in 1977, and Paramount was not absorbed into Lucasfilm until 1983.

    More on that later...

    Thank you very much, Mr Teufel! :)

    And thank you, Dr Professor! ;)

    Indeed. This is actually per OTL, in what I believe is the only episode ("The Immunity Syndrome") where Kirk refers to Kyle by name (strewn amongst this cavalcade of names). And yes, I checked the credits - John Winston is explicitly credited as "Lt. Kyle". Apparently, the reason Shatner calls him "Cowell" is because that's the Northern English variant of the name "Kyle", and John Winston (despite affecting a fake RP accent, like so many actors of his generation) is from Leeds, Yorkshire. (My legion of Northern readers can feel free to vouch for the veracity of this supposed explanation.)

    Indeed, the time travel in "Yesteryear" seems to explicitly contradict how it was used in "City" even though D.C. Fontana wrote both episodes (the draft of "City" that was filmed was her handiwork). I like to imagine ITTL that Coon probably would have pointed this out but agreed to look the other way just because the story is such a strong one.

    Henson and Prohaska, yes ;) I'd say it's the most accomplished work either of them had ever done up to that point in their careers.

    Thank you, Thande! And yes, this definitely hits all the same action beats as the OTL episode, only the pacing is much, much better, and the story has so much more room to breathe.

    Indeed it does, as VariantAberrant was good enough to point out. In addition to her debut appearance in "Joanna" (considered one of the show's ten best ITTL, and an episode I really want to cover in the Episode Guide later on), she returns in the following season (unsurprisingly, since S4 is loaded with Continuity Porn) in "The Stars of Sargasso", which was an OTL outline for the never-produced fourth season, in which Fontana made a second attempt to introduce the character. Here, in her return appearance, she fully reconciles the generation gap with her father and follows him into medicine.

    That's an excellent clip, Orville - thank you for sharing it. A fun "missing link" in the development of the Muppets, and roughly contemporary with when "Yesteryear" would have aired ITTL.

    I'm willing to go on the record to say that "the butterfly effect" will remain known by its OTL term ITTL. Personally, I'm happy enough to have supplanted the term "POD" with "SP". Some might be inclined to refer to it as a "point of separation", but given that the acronym for that is "POS", I can see why there might be some resistance there :p

    The last film released by Paramount before the "interregnum" that preceded the sale to Lucasfilm (and the name transferring over to CanWest) was Cold Wings, a romantic comedy about Alaskan bush pilots, released for Valentine's Day 1983. Note the delightful parallel with their pioneering 1927 release Wings, the first movie to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.

    I'm really thrilled that you connected so strongly with that scene. e of pi and I worked hard to make sure the tone was just right. There was definitely some mischief to Amanda's character in "Journey to Babel", but unfortunately (and justifiably) she got swept up in histrionics when her husband fell ill and her son was being so difficult about it all. Fortunately, since there's less immediacy to the proceedings in "Yesteryear", we're able to see a more even-handed relationship between the two of them, and I think it would allow them both to shine.

    Are you referring to The Chimes at Midnight? If so, that did have an influence in the characterization of Thelin and his relationship to Kirk and McCoy ITTL.
  13. Emperor Norton I Calbear's Love Child

    Oct 27, 2008
    New Netherland
    I'm not sure if this was touched on in the timeline, but I have a question for any fellow TOS people:
    This video (below) purports to contain the pre-commercial bumper from the original airings, which was cut when the shows went into syndication. So does anyone know if, for all the TOS seasons, such a thing was done when the show went to each commercial break?
  14. The Walkman Rowdy before Rowdy was cool

    Jan 1, 2013
    Parts Unknown, USA
    As we near the holidays, I'd like to know the fate of the Rankin-Bass Christmas specials ITTL.
  15. Emperor Norton I Calbear's Love Child

    Oct 27, 2008
    New Netherland
    As a Holiday present for my fellow nerds as well as Brainbin, if I have not posted this before, I share an ongoing series of webcomics based on TOS flavor. It's that special type of Star Trek puritan (which is almost extinct) that came from the era before TNG, was raised on FASA material, and does not take anything outside of the Original Series as canon.
  16. Threadmarks: Cel-ing Abroad

    Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

    Jul 26, 2009
    The British Empire
    Cel-ing Abroad

    By the time Walt Disney died in the closing days of 1966, the American animation industry which he had personified had already been in decline for some time. The primary culprit was none other than the medium that Disney had so cannily embraced: television. Theatrical animated shorts had sustained the industry from its infancy, but these old cartoons – much like newsreels and film serials before them – were being supplanted by equivalents available on television. Thanks to another key innovation brought about by television, the rerun, some of these equivalents were in fact many of the animated shorts which had been produced as early as the 1930s – though largely from the 1940s and 1950s. Children, being the target demographic for these cartoons, had short memories and attention spans and, as it was soon discovered, didn’t need any more cartoons than were already available, or at the very least, not produced top-dollar by bloated studios whose animators were grossly overpaid. [1] If more animation were needed, it would be made on a budget, so as to allow its creators to generate a reasonable profit in a timely fashion. Corners would have to be cut as a matter of course; framerates were reduced, in-betweening was virtually eliminated, and character designs were simplified, among many other shortcuts. The “limited animation” technique that resulted was aptly named.

    Ironically, the pioneers of this method, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, had worked for MGM during the Golden Age of Animation, producing their beloved (and lavish) Tom and Jerry cartoons. Their greatest success following their move to television was The Flintstones, essentially a prehistoric animated version of The Honeymooners [2] – they would again ape live-action trends in the 1970s with Wait Till Your Father Gets Home, clearly inspired by Those Were The Days. In between, much like Disney and Warner Bros. before them, the studio created an entire stable of animal characters, including Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, and Scooby-Doo. What could be said for Hanna-Barbera was that their characters had personality, if perhaps to excess, and that (charitably speaking) this could compensate for the lack of animation in any of their cartoons. The studio that emerged as Hanna-Barbera’s great rival in first-run television animation could make no such lofty claims, however. Filmation Associates was founded in 1962 by Lou Scheimer, Hal Sutherland and Norm Prescott. Sutherland would serve as the primary animation director at the studio through most of its history, despite being colour-blind – perhaps no single fact was more emblematic of the overall lack of care with which Filmation treated their product. [3] But no studio could produce more cheaply, nor accomplish quicker turnaround – Saturday mornings of the 1970s were flooded with Filmation cartoons, always in 22-episode packages.

    This glut of limited animation spread beyond the small screen and onto the larger one, with lazy “efforts” such as Robin Hood and The Rescuers showing how far the studio that had once produced Snow White, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Bambi, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty had fallen, leaving the task of revitalizing the industry to outsiders. Even the Lord of the Rings trilogy which was eventually credited with spurring the 1980s animation “renaissance” was not without flaws and the cutting of corners, though one of that particular movement’s leading lights, Don Bluth, decried this practice and the moderate success his films enjoyed helped to lead to its decline. (By contrast, Ralph Bakshi was far more willing to hold back – with mixed results, as the Lord of the Rings films proved.)

    Granted, the situation had improved considerably from the days of television animation’s infancy. Clutch Cargo had made infamous the “synchro-vox” technique, in which static images were “animated” by overlaying a filmed image of a person’s mouth moving (as he or she read lines, providing lip-sync). This would supposedly compensate for what was otherwise a rather blatant presentation of a series of stills, more like a slideshow or comic book than an actual cartoon. Stop-motion animation, which enjoyed considerable cachet in the 1950s and 1960s with the works of George Pal, Art Clokey, and Rankin-Bass, also had a nefarious corner-cutting cousin in “chuckimation”, which was essentially the technique used by little kids when playing with their dolls and action figures: holding their toys (with their hands kept carefully out of frame) as they shook them for emphasis to indicate speech or reaction.

    Even as early as the 1960s, some of the best animation produced in this period was not made by American hands. Rankin-Bass produced their celebrated stop-motion animated Christmas specials, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman [4], Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, The Year Without a Santa Claus, and Jack Frost, starting in 1964, and continuing into the 1980s - the stop-motion animation itself was farmed out to studios in Japan, in one of the earliest examples of that country’s animation industry receiving contract work from American studios. Like many post-war Japanese industries, it emerged seemingly out of nowhere.

    Animators in the Land of the Rising Sun, however far-flung a locale it might have been, were also influenced by the Disney tradition, as part of a broader “Americanization” of Japanese culture which followed World War II. That Japanimation was already visually distinct from contemporary American animation by the 1960s was a powerful example of divergent artistic evolution, informed by the vast differences between American and Japanese cultural tropes and aesthetics. American audiences, however, regarded the few products of Japanimation to successfully cross the Pacific as mere curiosities, and often their origins were deliberately obscured from audiences (though to little effect, as Speed Racer so famously made clear).

    The growing number of productions filmed overseas, including in Japan, accompanied by the wholesale broadcast of foreign animated series, alarmed the cartoonists’ union, aware that their sub-par work (which, to be fair, came at the behest of their penny-pinching bosses) was being threatened by this competition. In 1978, the union went on strike specifically to head off “runaway” productions, as they were called; they were (temporarily) successful, though they were only granted a five-year reprieve, as the issue would surely come up again in subsequent renegotiations. In the meantime, Japan – with a sufficiently large native consumer base and a rapidly-growing economy, already in the global Top 5 by 1960 and displacing the “superpower” Soviet Union to become the #2 economic power in the world (behind the United States) by 1980 – could continue to develop their industry and refine their technique without American investment.

    Still, animated adaptations of popular Western media formed a bread-and-butter genre of Japanimation. The Japanese, in addition to their love for Disney – to the point of licencing the construction of a Disneyland theme park in Tokyo, which opened in 1983 – were notoriously fond of pastoral Americana (and Canadiana, if their Anne of Green Gables fandom was anything to go by). One of the properties this love extended to was L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz series – which, in the West, had been almost completely overshadowed by the iconic 1939 MGM film adaptation of the first book in that series. However, in the decades since that film’s release, the rights to many of the Oz books written by Baum had fallen into the public domain; creating a new adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz had fewer barriers to entry than ever before. Given that Oz was an institution in the United States, it wasn’t a surprise that it was ultimately the project to attract American backers.

    Chosen as director was the young, up-and-coming animator Hayao Miyazaki, in what career retrospectives would later mark as the last – and best – product from the “work-for-hire” phase of his career. Miyazaki had some fondness for the property, since it touched on a few pet themes of his, including a strong, assertive female protagonist in young Dorothy Gale, and the association of evil with exploitation of the environment and its people, and goodness with harmony and nature. He chose to emphasize these points in his adaptation. Japanese culture also had a pronounced fondness for witches, again due largely to an American influence (the classic 1960s sitcom Bewitched), and greater focus was placed on all four of the cardinal witches – the 1939 film had conflated the two Good Witches into a single character, and the Wicked Witch of the East had appeared only long enough to be crushed by Dorothy’s house. In one of the few nods to the MGM version, the Wicked Witch of the West was depicted with green skin – notably, an almost-cyan hue identical to that of the Emerald City, to emphasize the “evil” inherent in that particular colour. The Ruby Slippers (as opposed to the Silver Slippers of the book) also returned, again for reasons of colour theming: they were the only prominent objects to be crimson in hue, emphasizing their uniqueness and appeal.

    Miyazaki’s deliberate pace (his film would have an even longer runtime than the 1939 live-action movie) and the lack of songs would give the movie a very different tone from The Wizard of Oz which was best known to Western audiences. Nevertheless, the film was shown at the Cannes Film Festival and was released near-simultaneously on both sides of the Pacific: in October, 1982, stateside, and that December in Japan. [5] Surprisingly, it was fairly successful – enough so that MGM rushed out a re-release of The Wizard of Oz the following year, even though the film had already been released on home video. [6] It would be re-released on video in a “45th Anniversary Special Edition” in 1984, with new interviews from the two surviving cast members, Ray Bolger and Margaret Hamilton. The Japanese film was itself released on CED, Beta, and VHS that same year. It did even better business on home video than it did on the big screen, particularly in Japan; this gave Miyazaki the cachet he needed to buy out the Topcraft animation studio which had produced the film, renaming it Studio Aurora, where he would enjoy complete creative control as an animator, writer, and producer of Japanimation films. [7]

    The widespread release and moderate success of The Wizard of Oz was only the most visible sign of a sea change in how Japanese animation quality was perceived by gaijin. In fact, the difference in quality between the average overseas product and what could be produced stateside for roughly the same price was widening into a chasm. Several of the major Japanese animation studios, including Topcraft/Aurora, Toei, and Tokyo Movie Shinsha (TMS), caught the attention of American investors who were interested in further co-productions. They weren’t the only ones, either – even other countries in the Anglosphere were getting in on the act, such as Canada and the United Kingdom, as were countries in Western Europe such as France and Italy. However, the threat of Japan encroaching on American territory was most thoroughly emphasized in trade papers, reflecting the wider concerns of Japan’s economic boom and how that phenomenon was a modern take on the old “Yellow Peril”.

    American studios who held more firm to using homegrown animation than Rankin-Bass did – such as Hanna-Barbera, Filmation, and Ruby-Spears - all felt the threat, but upping their game would be difficult without facing down the animators’ unions. Their collective bargaining agreements were due for renegotiation in 1983, which was dreadful timing on their part. By this time, especially after the successful Wizard of Oz release worldwide, the writing was on the wall. The animators lost their protections in the new collective bargaining agreements, effectively marking the end of television animation made by American hands. (Animators continued to work stateside on major motion pictures which – fortunately for them – were not uncommon in the 1980s.) Many of them optioned adaptations of popular properties, such as the popular Franco-Belgian comic series The Smurfs, as well as the Conan the Barbarian film series (sanitized from the more brutal and explicitly violent film adaptation). [8]

    The Wizard of Oz itself would receive a television continuation – the movie, in what would become a tradition in 1980s animation, was itself divided into several episodes which formed the premiere arc of the series. Hayao Miyazaki had no direct involvement with the program, though he worked unofficially (and informally) as a consultant behind-the-scenes. It was followed by loose adaptations of the later Oz books, starting with the second, The Marvelous Land of Oz. That book infamously featured a story arc in which a girl (Princess Ozma of Oz) had been turned into a boy (Tippetarius, or “Tip” for short) through the nefarious powers of a Wicked Witch, Mombi, and this was faithfully depicted in the cartoon. Surprisingly, this cartoon was also brought over to the United States, though it aired in syndication as opposed to one of the three networks’ Saturday Morning lineups, and was largely uncensored – a stark contrast from the considerable re-working that earlier Japanimation went through upon reaching American shores. [9] Granted, the series was adapted from a beloved series of American children’s books, which had a vocal fanbase, and perhaps this stayed the hands of distributors – but it set a curious precedent for the years to come. One of a great many, in fact, in a medium and a period on the weekly schedule which had seemingly fallen into stagnation not so long ago[FONT=&quot]…[/FONT]


    After the tumult of the acquisition of what had once been Paramount Melrose, things finally seemed to be settling down at Desilu. Lucille Ball and her long-time lieutenant, Herbert F. Solow, continued to celebrate their good fortune. But another VP at Desilu, one much younger than either of them, was not one to rest on his laurels. Brandon Tartikoff wanted to let it ride, and luckily for him, he was always coming up with new ideas. They weren’t all winners, but enough of them were that even the most radical of them were given their due consideration. Star Trek overall merchandise sales are down slightly from last year,” he announced, as he entered Ball’s office with a bundle of file folders cradled under his arm. “I think we might want to do something about that.”

    “Aren’t sales for those little role-playing booklets up big from last year?” Solow asked.

    “Yes, but they’re a niche segment of the overall marketing mix. Most of our big-ticket segments like action figures and playsets are down. CED sales are still solid, but we don’t have any more to sell – the whole show and the miniseries is available on home video. Convention ticket sales are stagnant, there’s no fresh blood coming in. We have to consider the Mini-Boomers are getting old enough to be very attractive to advertisers.”

    Ball knew a pitch was coming. By now she had a sixth sense about it. “What’d you have in mind, Brandie?”

    “It’s been buried in the back pages of the trade papers lately, what with all the reporters hanging around here trying to get the latest scoop about what company belongs where now, but the Animator’s Strike? Went really bad for them. They lost their runaway protection – that means any studio can farm out their animation to any shop anywhere in the world.”

    “That’s very nice, but what does it have to with us?” Ball asked.

    “I’ve been reading through the studio archives. I know there was talk about a decade ago about making a Star Trek cartoon. But you didn’t like the animation style – if I can call it that – any of the cartoon houses had to offer. But times have changed since then.” With this, he reached into one of the folders and pulled out a collection of exemplar animation stills and storyboards from many of the foreign studios who were catching the eyes of American executives – now including those at Desilu. “The advantage to making a cartoon was always the money we would save on building the sets or paying the actors their salaries and dealing with their egos. Not to mention, with a science-fiction series like Star Trek, physical limitations means we can only do so much to create fantastic worlds and aliens and visuals in the first place. We’ve always prided ourselves on our quality product, and I think the opportunity exists for us to pursue something very special here.”

    Solow regarded the artwork carefully. “Any idiot can draw a picture – do you have anything from these guys in motion?”

    He hadn’t even finished his sentence before Tartikoff produced a videotape – it looked like VHS, which was just as well, because the TV in the corner was hooked up to a VTR player that played VHS tapes, a fairly rare commodity outside of the industry – and strode over to set it up. As he was doing so, Solow turned to Ball, who was also regarding the images.

    “What do you make of this?” he asked his boss.

    “The fellas at Hanna-Barbera drew some pretty pictures when we talked about ten years ago,” Ball recalled. “But didn’t they want a talking dog to join the crew or something like that?”

    “Right, with a speech impediment.”

    “That’s right. And then the people at Filmation sent us a tape with the same few frames of walking animation playing for 22 minutes straight.”

    “And everyone was wearing hot pink,” Solow remembered.

    “God, it’s no wonder these animators are losing their jobs.”

    “Here we are, this is from the new Aurora studio that produced the Wizard of Oz movie from last year. They’ve turned it into a regular cartoon series, I think one of the American networks is looking at picking it up and airing it over here.” As Tartikoff said this, the cartoon started playing in mid-scene, with loud Japanese dialogue nearly drowning him out. He turned down the volume.

    “What, are they gonna dub that over?” Ball asked.

    “Yes, last I heard, they wanted John Drew Barrymore’s daughter to do Dorothy’s voice.”

    “Here’s hoping she bothers to show up for work,” Solow groused. [10]

    “Notice the animation quality. Much more fluid and expressive, and less repetitive than what was on offer back in the ‘70s.”

    “It’s… very stylized,” Solow said, a puzzled expression on his face.

    “That’s the way they like it in Japan. Obviously, we could ask them to animate it differently. That’s the point – they can animate, and not just loop the same few frames over and over again.”

    “It’s head and shoulders above a lot of the stuff I’ve seen, Herbie,” Ball said. “You should see some of the stuff they’re passing off as cartoons nowadays. I’ve watched it with my grandkids – it ain’t pretty. This… this looks alright. I mean, it’s not Fantasia or anything, but it works.”

    “And they’re just one of several quality animation studios in Japan. I’ve sent out feelers to all of them – they’re all very interested in having a hand on projects for American properties like Star Trek. And Herb, if you think their style is too “out there”, we can always farm out the character designs to an American studio like Hanna-Barbera – Lucy, I know you’ve had close ties with them for a while.”

    “They did the opening animations for I Love Lucy,” she said. “Of course, nobody sees them anymore anyway, since they were shilling for Philip Morris, and that’s not allowed.” She did her best to hide the bitterness in her voice, but did not entirely succeed. “Now it’s just that valentine card.”

    After mentioning Philip Morris, she suddenly felt a craving and reached into her drawer for a cigarette, lighting it as Tartikoff continued.

    “If we have American writers sketching the plot outlines, and American artists designing the characters, and American actors doing the voices, I think bringing that together with Japanimation at cut-rate prices is a winning combination. We’re not the only people thinking about this, either. I heard one of the big toy companies wants to partner with the Japanese to make a cartoon to sell a line of robots they’re developing.”

    “The problem is getting all the actors back,” said Ball. “Even if they’re not showing up in the flesh and they don’t have to age anymore – wouldn’t that be great – it still took a miracle to get them all back for the miniseries.”

    “And George and John’s characters are dead anyway – they’re not coming back,” Solow added.

    “Well, maybe we might consider using different characters?” Tartikoff suggested. “This isn’t live-action, so a lot of people won’t consider it ‘real’ Star Trek anyway. Might as well take advantage of that.”

    Star Trek without Kirk and Spock? I can’t even imagine that,” Ball said.

    “Well, as you know, the fan community generates a lot of material regarding original characters and situations. I think they’d be more open to the idea than you’re giving them credit for.”

    “Those role-playing game sales prove it – Trekkies will eat up anything with the Star Trek name, even if it doesn’t have Kirk and Spock and all the other, familiar characters attached to it. They even wanted that God-forsaken Deep Space show to be a part of the Trek universe, for crying out loud!”

    Tartikoff, who’d played a key role in the development of Deep Space, shot Solow an annoyed glare. “You know, Herb, just because you weren’t a fan of Deep Space doesn’t mean – ”

    “All right, all right, boys, that’s enough,” Ball interrupted, before the argument could boil over any further. “That show’s dead and buried now, let’s not dig it up again, please.” She took a long drag on her cigarette, hacking rather violently as she exhaled. “Brandie, I gotta say, your idea sounds interesting. You have my blessing to start making official inquiries.”

    “Thank you, Lucy – you won’t regret it!”

    “Hell, I’m old enough I probably won’t even live to regret it.”

    She’d meant it as a joke, but wasn’t surprised when nobody laughed. She was never as funny when she worked off-script.


    [1] In the opinion of short-sighted, avaricious executives, not this editor. The adage that “you get what you pay for” is no less true with animation than it is with anything else.

    [2] A version made without the permission of that show’s creator, producer, and star, Jackie Gleason, who planned to sue Hanna-Barbera but backed down upon deciding that he’d rather not be known as “the man who killed Fred Flintstone”.

    [3] One of Filmation’s most acclaimed productions IOTL, of course, was the 1973-74 Star Trek animated series, which miraculously achieved some measure of success despite the aforementioned colour pallette problems, in addition to extremely limited animation (frames were constantly reused), egregious repetition of a miniscule library of stock music – two minutes total, not counting the minute-long theme song, mostly in the form of brief stings and constantly repeated over 22 episodes and tracked into other, later Filmation cartoons – and abysmally choppy pacing.

    [4] Frosty the Snowman was produced IOTL as a hand-drawn animated special, as opposed to most of Rankin-Bass’ other specials, which were indeed filmed in stop-motion. Frosty was in fact the first Rankin-Bass special to utilize hand-drawn animation IOTL, and largely the studio returned to the technique only to produce subsequent Frosty specials (and for serial productions, up to and including the beloved ThunderCats series of the 1980s).

    [5] IOTL, The Wizard of Oz did not receive a film release until 1986 in Japan, the same year an otherwise-unrelated serial adaptation of the books began to be broadcast (it was eventually dubbed and brought over as well, and is actually the very first anime this editor ever remembers watching).

    [6] The Wizard of Oz was among the earliest classic films to be released on home video (as it was IOTL: on VHS and Beta in 1980, and Laserdisc and CED in 1982), in time for the film’s 40th anniversary in 1979. (On two CED discs; later pressings – remember, CEDs have short lifespans – were released on a single disc, though otherwise unaltered, starting in 1981.) For the 45th Anniversary Special Edition IOTL, in the admitted highlight of the special features, Bolger and Hamilton are recruited for traditional “talking head” style interviews about the film, for which they sit separately – and together (as the two were close friends in real life).

    [7] As opposed to, of course, Studio Ghibli. Both names have Italian origins – Ghibli was the nickname for the Caproni Ca.309, a reconnaissance plane used by the Regia Aeronautica in WWII, in reference to the Arabic name (as the plane flew predominantly in Libya) for one of the prevailing Mediterranean winds, the Sirocco. The intention in using this name was to signal that the studio would “blow a new wind through the anime industry”. ITTL, the term aurora is used instead (a reference to the Italian – and, of course, the Latin – word for dawn), to represent a “new dawn” for the anime industry instead, a reference also to Japan’s status as the Land of the Rising Sun. Artistically, of course, the aurora representing light (and colour, and vision) is also more meaningful. Linguistically, an advantage is that the word aurora is more accurately phonetically translated into Japanese (as “orora”) than ghibli (as “jiburi” – in Italian, that’s a hard “g” sound).

    [8] It has long been a popular belief that the Masters of the Universe toy line began life as an adaptation of Conan, and were only changed at the last minute to an “original” line because of the adult content in the Conan franchise. ITTL, the Masters of the Universe line does not exist (because Mattel didn’t develop them as their latest desperate attempt to catch the lightning they’d missed out on in rejecting Star Wars in a bottle) and a straight, sanitized Conan adaptation airs instead. “Adult” properties being adapted into kids’ cartoons was certainly not uncommon in the 1980s.

    [9] By contrast, the 1986 Wizard of Oz anime IOTL was heavily censored by the Western studio which bought the distribution rights, pulling the classic Speed Racer technique of completely obfuscating the show’s origins and passing it off as American-made (with about as much success).

    [JDB] John Drew Barrymore – IOTL, the father of Drew, ITTL her identically-named “sister”, since she was born in 1975, well after the POD – was originally cast as Lazarus in the Star Trek episode “The Alternative Factor”, but failed to show up for work when filming began in mid-November, 1966 (shortly after the POD, but I’ve decided to keep the event intact ITTL – simply because we can’t butterfly every howler away to our advantage). As a result, Desilu filed a grievance and the SAG suspended Barrymore for six months.


    Thanks, as usual, to e of pi for assisting in the editing of the update, and for providing the horrendous pun of a title.

    And yes, you finally have to answer as to how Star Trek will continue ITTL – as an animated series! But one made in the 1980s instead of the 1970s, and therefore with a much, much better shot of being a quality (and long-running) show, even notwithstanding the absence of Kirk, Spock, Bones, Scotty, Uhura, and the rest (barring occasional guest appearances).

    And yes, Japan Takes Over The World is still very much a trope ITTL. The miraculous recovery of the Japanese economy was very much a reality even at the POD. It’s difficult for me to imagine a set of circumstances which would derail that growth before it happened IOTL. Fortunately for me, the rise of Japanimation (the term anime would not come into vogue in English-speaking countries until the 1990s) in the West is an excellent demonstration of how economic power and cultural power are closely intertwined (as are video games, for that matter).

    Go ahead, ask me why I bothered to discuss the plot points in The Wizard of Oz, the one film virtually everyone (in America, at least) has seen – but then I am nothing if not thorough :p

    For those of you who can
    ’t quite picture “Synchro-Vox” from my explanation, I implore you to watch this pitch-perfect parody of the “technique”. (I think it may be the best thing Pixar has ever made.)
    Electric Monk and Mackon like this.
  17. THE OBSERVER Independent Progressive

    Jul 22, 2010
    New England
    Well, you now have your answer. :)
  18. Richter10 Well-Known Member

    May 18, 2012
    It is interesting that the major exposition to anime is a Wizard of Oz adaptation... it will make the culture shock of Akira, Bubblegum Crisis and other cyberpunk anime to be more pronunced (sp?) :D (These titles are coming right???)

    The Wizard of Oz anime managed to be broadcast without much problems... would it allow to Carl Macek to bring Macross without the need to create Robotech to satify the syndications needs?
  19. nixonshead Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2013
    Cool update :cool: I look forward to seeing how the Alternate Animated Series does with improved animation and (hopefully) a higher hit-rate of decent stories than IOTL. Visually, I'm picturing something closer to Ulysses 31 (my runaway favourite of the '80s Western-Japanese cartoon collaborations) than TAS.

    I wonder also if this Japanimation collaboration will have a positive effect on Trek fandom in Japan. I'm given to understand it has very limited popularity there IOTL. Is that holding true ITTL as well?
  20. MatthewFirth Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2012
    Portsmouth, England
    Very good update. A few questions:

    1. What is happening with the Muppets?
    2. What happened to Lorne Michaels and the OTL SNL stars now that the show is cancelled?
    3. What is happening with foreign TV stations?