That Wacky Redhead

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

  1. RanulfC Well-Known Member

    Mar 11, 2014
  2. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

    Jul 26, 2009
    The British Empire
    I must apologize for being remiss in my replies on this thread lately. I always appreciate your responses to my updates and other posts, no matter how long ago I might have posted them :p As is customary, the More to Come which follows the end of each cycle will be the next content post, followed by the 1984-85 (and penultimate) Overview Update. We're in the home stretch now, folks! My goal is to finish this timeline before the end of 2015 - and if I play my cards right, before the fourth anniversary, which is November 18th (a Wednesday).

    For those of you wondering what Thande's own experiment might be, Nivek is referring to Cronus Invictus, one of the earliest TLs on this forum to focus primarily on popular culture - specifically video game culture. Though it's unfinished and long dormant, I highly recommend reading it - it was one of my own timeline's most obvious inspirations.

    I'll be honest, I hadn't plotted out where Miyamoto would wind up, which is why it wasn't included in the update proper. Since there seems to be some resistance to the notion, I'm more than fine with keeping Miyamoto at Nintendo, as a concept artist and character designer. Perhaps he can even design games - albeit tabletop games.

    I think it was a case of Gulf+Western not knowing what to do with Sega - give Bluhdorn a break, he was an old man who was far more interested in buying things than running them ;)

    I like to think he's putting his talents to work making innovative and sophisticated electronic toys for Nintendo, as opposed to handheld game consoles.

    A reasonable assumption!

    Just as IOTL, we'll probably see a divide in the design between "cute" and "awesome" pocket monsters - the Pikachu/Charizard dichotomy, if you will.

    The Seattle Mariners didn't begin playing until 1977 IOTL - the chain of events that led the short-lived Totems to depart the Emerald City in 1970, followed by the lawsuit that eventually won them the Mariners, will probably proceed roughly the same ITTL, but there's no guarantee the new team will have as... unfortunate a record in the early going.

    Thank you!

    I remind you that Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz were released in 1939, the year that Technicolor well and truly hit the mainstream. In the decades that followed, Citizen Kane, The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, Double Indemnity, It's A Wonderful Life, Hamlet, The Third Man, The Bicycle Thief, Sunset Boulevard, All About Eve, Rashomon, A Streetcar Named Desire, From Here to Eternity, Seven Samurai, On The Waterfront, Marty, Some Like it Hot, The 400 Blows, La Dolce Vita, Breathless, The Apartment, and Psycho were all deliberately filmed in black-and-white.

    Well, you can, assuming you own one of those suddenly-illegal VTRs. And that all your friends do.

    The very same foreign NTSC market where Joseph P. Kennedy made his family fortune bootlegging: Canada!

    Or perhaps if miniaturization technology reaches a point where the same amount of data that once barely fit inside whole banks of computers can be stored in something the size of one's fingernail...

    Certainly a distinct possibility.

    Excellent question. Absolutely, yes. Corporate culture thrives on (often unnecessary) change for the sake of change.

    Titles are a grey area. This is why different works have been able to use titles which have already been taken. I suppose Philip Morris could sue, but they're a tobacco company who would be suing the publisher of a book (and film) about the sitting President of the United States. The buzz wouldn't just be overwhelmingly negative, it would be positively toxic.

    Joint responsibility.

    Yes indeed! And nothing of value was lost :p (I kid. Canadian television, like all media, follows Sturgeon's Law, so about 10% of it has been worth watching.)

    Thanks for sharing! :)

    Let me know if you find a good one - I'm a big fan of any TLs where Britain sits out the Great War, or barring that, TLs where Britain and Germany are on the same side (nothing personal, France).

    I salute you, sir - there's an awful lot of chatter to work your way through. I must agree, though, that you aren't getting the complete TWR experience without it ;)

    Thank you so much for the wonderful compliments, DaiKiwi, and welcome aboard - not only to this thread but also to the forum as a whole! :)

    Thank you for sharing! Your data has been noted and logged. And it's always nice to have another Australasian reading along.

    No more honey crullers, though. Or Boston Cream. Or eclairs (if you want to count those as donuts), or old-fashioned style. Plenty of dutchies, though. I don't care for those.

    A very sound strategy! I approve wholeheartedly :cool:

    Welcome aboard, Randy! Thanks so much for the link. I'm not familiar with that story, but you reminded me how much I love that sketch :)


    More to Come... Coming Soon!
  3. Pyro Love the platypus, obey the platypus.

    Jun 20, 2006
    Neither here nor there
    Just some idle thoughts concerning the comic book medium after (re)reading the entry on superheroes in other media. Not much is said on them in the their native media, particularly in the Bronze Age where DC and Marvel had some watershed moments.

    Some examples:
    -The Death of Gwen Stacy, which some historians say ended the Silver Age and the medium's innocence with the death of a major supporting cast member.

    -"All-New, All-Different X-Men" Len Wein and Dave Cockrum (later replaced by Chris Claremont and John Byrne) bring back the X-Men from dormancy with an international flavored that includes Colossus, Wolverine, Storm, and Nightcrawler. The latter two were creations Cockrum brought over from a proposal he had for Legion of Super-Heroes. I consider "The Dark Phoenix Saga" the height of this run.

    -I would wager Marvel gets the license for "Journey of the Force."

    -The DC Implosion. DC floods the market with new titles, which leads to mass cancellations.

    -New Teen Titans by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. A fondly remembered era for the team with classic members like Robin, Wonder Girl, and Kid Flash with new faces like Raven, Cyborg, and Starfire with Changeling thrown in. Notable for the Judas Contract and Dick Grayson's retirement as Robin and becoming Nightwing.

    -The terminus of the timeline also coincides with the end of Crisis on Infinite Earths, which condensed the DC multiverse into a single universe.

    I wonder how many of these events happen. I'm betting on the Death of Gwen Stacy and ANAD X-Men.
  4. Mr.E The Man that Time Forgot

    Aug 2, 2012
    The Mountainous Democratic Republic of Colorado
    I asked the same thing earlier. Brainbin said that comics won't be looked at in depth. Although, since then, I had some ideas for comics in this TL, particularly in the mid 80's. You know, Crisis on Infinite Earths not destroying the entire multiverse, but just making major changes to its structure. Watchmen follows its original intention, and features MLJ/ Charleton characters in lieu of Moore's ersatz characters, (with the knowledge that the Peacemaker and Question's deaths could be retconned in Crisis), and Miller making a "Dark Knight Returns," story for Marvel. (DAv used that idea in his "Who's the Doctor" TL. I assume Daredevil or the Punisher could be a good candidate) That sort of stuff. Just some mental speculation on the topic.
  5. Pyro Love the platypus, obey the platypus.

    Jun 20, 2006
    Neither here nor there
    Ah, I must have missed that. Consider my question withdrawn.
  6. RanulfC Well-Known Member

    Mar 11, 2014
    Quick and dirty synopsis: Kirk and Kor are taken for a ride by a planet full of thespians and secretly vow the NO-ONE must ever know what REALLY happened!
    (As if the populace suddenly breaking into song-and-dance wasn't pushing the whole idea of a "planetary population can have some strange customs" past the breaking point :) )


    Can't wait, (have to, but can't) for more
  7. Ogrebear Well-Known Member

    Apr 14, 2012
    Nice ideas- though I'd prefer if Marvel licenced the DC characters as was offered to them, just to see the fallout!
  8. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

    Jul 26, 2009
    The British Empire
    More To Come... Right After These Messages

    The "present date" is August 12, 1984 (a Sunday). In Tehran, Iran, the closing ceremonies of the Games of the XXIII Olympiad are underway. Despite a suicide bombing having put a premature end to the Women's Fencing event (the first in modern Olympic history for which no medals were awarded), the organizers and athletes, not to mention officials from the Iranian government (up to and including Shah Reza II), do their best to put on a brave face in spite of withering international scrutiny and criticism. Global enthusiasm for future Olympics have been considerably muted as a result, though fortunately for the IOC, the United States is due to host the Games of the XXIV Olympiad (in Los Angeles) in 1988, and the Americans are (if nothing else) profoundly gifted marketers.

    Nowhere is that more evident than in the most iconic of American industries: the entertainment industry. Hollywood continues to slowly digest the seismic shifts in studio ownership, much as Lucasfilm itself continues to slowly digest the Paramount assets it had acquired the previous year. VTR players capable of time-shifting are suddenly an incredibly valuable commodity, with many audio/video adapters which had formerly been used to connect VTRs instead finding themselves in service of additional home video game consoles. Then again, people still have entertainment options of the non-electronic variety. Children's card games, for example, are more popular than ever before. Tabletop role-playing games - also known as the "theatre of the mind" - aren't far behind either.

    However, it remains telling that the television - the central nexus of home video players and video game consoles - continues to dominate home entertainment. Even with the proliferation of options available far beyond the original VHF or even UHF stations local to a particular market, the top-rated shows continue to drive the schedules of millions of Americans, just as all their living room furniture continues to be pointed toward their sets. However, the television industry isn't static - programming is gradually moving away from the general appeal of the Classic Era to specific - or niche - marketing to appeal to each individual member of the Nielsen household. After all, nearly all such households own more than one television set in this day and age.

    The array of changes both sudden and gradual within the entertainment industry are a microcosm for those within the United States at large. 1984 is, after all, an election year. By this time, the Republican Party, which controls both houses of Congress, has nominated their candidate for President, who will be facing the incumbent Democrat, John Glenn, in the autumn. Glenn is polling well, as his Invest in America initiatives are finally paying dividends, both literal and metaphorical, but anything can happen in the months ahead. Many pundits remain curious about the fate of the seemingly-moribund American Party, with every sign that George Wallace's return to the Democratic fold is a permanent one. However, although Wallace may have been the spiritual leader of the AIP, he was not the only person to have wielded substantial power and influence within that organization, and some of the men he left behind are more than willing to carry the torch without him...


    So, what can we expect next, and all on account of that wacky redhead?

    We'll be taking our usual general overview of the next production and broadcast season: 1984-85.

    There will be an in-depth look at the production of the continuing animated adventures of Star Trek, in the final (!) installment of Appendix A.

    The final Presidential election to be covered in this timeline will be the subject of the penultimate entry into Appendix B.

    We will once again cross the Pond in order to answer the pressing question of just what the British are watching.

    Speaking of which, we'll revisit the amazing stranger from the planet Gallifrey known as the Doctor, who will be making his final trip in the TARDIS through this timeline.

    And, finally, our exploration of pop culture will continue with the state of American cinema in the 1980s.

    All this and more, coming up on... That Wacky Redhead!


    Yes, it's finally coming back. I can't thank you all enough for your infinite, inexhaustible patience and understanding in awaiting my return... if, indeed, you haven't given up on me actually posting a new update (and if so, I don't blame you). Fortunately, I have some time on my hands as of late, and a lot of the writing is already done, I just have to organize it into proper updates as opposed to the nearly unreadable hodgepodge of plot ideas and fragments that can currently be found on my draft document. That will be done before the end of this week, so until then!
  9. Mr Teufel Active Member

    Mar 3, 2013
    Good to have you back, BB. Always knew this was a mammoth undertaking, and am happy to see it near conclusion, rather than fade away like so many other efforts out there.
  10. Yvonmukluk Well-Known Member

    Nov 23, 2009
    To be fair, a lot of the really interesting stuff in comics history (specifically the crash of the '90s) only really got rolling after the end of this timeline. It's fascinating stuff - SFDebris' nearly finished a webseries that looks at that era.
  11. Mr.E The Man that Time Forgot

    Aug 2, 2012
    The Mountainous Democratic Republic of Colorado
    I've been seeing those videos. Very interesting, given I know nothing about the Dark Age of Comics.
    Pyro, whom I was responding to, did a number of good guest posts on comics in Player Two Start. Perhaps, if he isn't busy, he could do a guest post on the subject here.

    Anyway, glad to see this back. I'm very much looking forward to seeing what's in store. Just out of curiosity: Is Indira Gandhi still Prime Minister of India at this time? If so, is she still assassinated?
  12. Roger Redux The Revisionist

    Feb 14, 2015
    The Mother of all ASBs (a.k.a. "The Real World")
    Welcome back Brainbin! I haven't given up, glad to see TWR back in action!
  13. Orville_third Banned

    Mar 3, 2009
    Piedmont Socialist Republic
    Glad to see this back again...
  14. Threadmarks: 1984-85: Virtue and Vice

    Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

    Jul 26, 2009
    The British Empire
    Virtue and Vice (1984-85)

    “I DON’T LOVE DESI” – Splitsville as Patty Duke Files for Divorce from Lucy’s Son
    – From the front cover of the National Enquirer

    “DESI DYING OF LIVER CANCER” – Lucy’s Heartbreaking Discovery!
    – From the front cover of Star magazine [1]


    May 4, 1984

    “Nice to see the supermarket tabloids getting it right for once,” Herb Solow joked, gamely attempting to inject some levity into the increasingly sombre atmosphere at Desilu’s head offices. It was in vain, however. He’d never seen his boss so down in the dumps. With some of the headlines in the supermarket tabloids strewn across her desk, it was no wonder. Ironically, she’d always hated her soon-to-be ex-daughter-in-law, having opposed the relationship between Patty Duke and her son from the very first.

    (The tabloids had reported on
    that, too – they’d always had a knack for getting things right when it came to her and her family’s disastrous love lives.)

    Ball could barely muster a gravelly groan in response to her right-hand man. She’d been letting her cigarette burn into ashes as it perched between her index and middle fingers, dangling over a charming ornamental crystal ashtray she’d received for her 70th birthday.

    There was a long pause after that. Solow hated the awkwardness of the situation, but his decades of working with Ball had taught him when not to say anything more until prompted.

    But Tartikoff played by his own rules.
    “Lucy, are you okay? How do you feel?”

    “Old,” she said quietly, barely loud enough to be heard over the din of the air conditioner. “I feel old.” Noticing the column of ash which had formed on the end of her cigarette, she flicked it into the ashtray and took a long drag on what remained – almost as if she could will all her troubles away if she sucked hard enough.

    She let loose with a hacking cough. The stress of the situation had led her to ramp up her daily cigarette consumption. Even she’d lost track of how many packs a day she went through. Philip Morris directly delivered shipments of cigarettes to Desilu’s loading dock on a weekly basis – one of the perks of a long and profitable association with the studio’s head honcho – and with each delivery, at least one carton would always find its way to her office.

    Various people in her life would occasionally try to talk her into quitting. It was the 1980s; smoking-related illnesses had already claimed the lives of several beloved celebrities, and they were worried she might be next. All that got them, though, was a promise that she, too, would participate in anti-smoking PSAs if ever she got lung cancer; she considered that a fair compromise.

    Having exhausted the consumable nicotine from this latest cigarette, she crushed the butt into the ashtray with, perhaps, a bit more force than was necessary. “At least now she won’t get any part of this,” she said, gesturing to her surroundings. “I can give Desi a share of the studio, and if he ever gets married again, I’m having him sign a pre-nup first.”

    Solow and Tartikoff silently exchanged glances at this. Desi was over 30 years old, and was clearly not as beholden to his mother as she would have liked to believe. After all, he had run off to Reno to elope with Patty Duke at the age of 17, shortly after he had, in Ball’s own characteristically blunt words, “knocked her up”. He was older now, wiser, more mature – which was one of the reasons he and Duke were divorcing in the first place, as a bid for her to confront her inner demons and for him to finally, successfully, beat his own addictions. But that also made him even more independent.

    Ball noticed Solow and Tartikoff’s skepticism. “Don’t worry, I’ve already talked with my lawyer. If he decides to run off to Reno again, that automatically revokes his claim to any share and residue in Desilu Productions, Incorporated. And I’ll have you know I’m jumping through an awful lot of loops to make the arrangements.”

    “You’re putting an awful lot of thought into your estate planning lately, Lucy,” Solow said.

    “In case you haven’t noticed, I’m no spring chicken,” she replied. “I’m 73 years old and running a studio. I should have retired a decade ago. I keep wondering why I haven’t already.”

    “Isn’t it because of that dream you had?” Tartikoff asked. “The one with… was it Claudette Colbert?”

    “Carole Lombard,” Ball and Solow corrected him in unison.

    “Claudette Colbert is still alive, I think,” Solow added.

    “She is,” Ball said. “She lives out east now, still does quite a bit of stage acting. She and Carole were both big in screwball. Between that and the similar names, I can see why you got them confused.”

    “Nice to see she’s still so active,” Tartikoff said. “See? You’re not the only one.”

    “A lot of us are still kicking around,” Ball replied. “But none of us are getting any younger.”

    They’d had conversations along these lines a thousand times, but somehow, Solow knew this time was different.

    Sure enough, Ball lit another cigarette, taking a long drag before she finally dropped the bombshell.

    “I think, after this next year, I’m finally going to pack it in.”


    The industry was abuzz – and in their view, vindicated – by the Supreme Court’s decision to rule against the legality of time-shifting. Critics of this decision never failed to note that it was handed down in 1984, the year in which the famous George Orwell novel of the same name was set; among its themes were repressive state control and censorship of the media. As a result, Orwell’s classic dystopia was the best-selling novel of the eponymous year in question, excluding new releases. Despite, or perhaps because of, the ruling, 1984 was a banner year for the home video industry.

    More CED releases – and players – sold than ever before. All remaining “recordable” VHS and Beta players on the market had to be returned to the manufacturer and scrapped, though many naturally slipped through the cracks, and a thriving black market was soon established. Critics naturally took to calling it “the new Prohibition” – political cartoonists would take to drawing people (illegally) recording television broadcasts as if they were bootlegging bathtub gin, and the resultant (clandestine) “viewing parties” were drawn to look as if they were taking place at speakeasies. The “old” VTR devices were still common enough that nearly everyone in a populated area knew
    someone who owned one – and very few had been returned. It didn’t help that the Supreme Court of Canada upheld time-shifting, and that the border between those two countries was the longest in the world, and also the freest; sojourners didn’t even require passports, and were rarely searched by border patrols.

    Thus, it was ludicrously easy to smuggle VTR devices from Windsor to Detroit, Toronto to Buffalo, Montreal to New York, Vancouver to Seattle, or Winnipeg to Minneapolis, among other, less-frequented routes. This created an additional incentive for governments on both sides to further develop their high-speed rail infrastructure – it was much easier to smuggle bulky VTRs across the border in a station wagon or minivan than it was onboard a train. VTRs and their continuing popularity despite their newfound illegality were, if nothing else, a microcosm for the human tendency toward nostalgia. After all, people taped current programs as a means of preserving them and being able to revisit them at will – perhaps not entirely necessary when most classic movies (and, increasingly, television series) were available for mass consumption on CED; not to mention the proliferation of pay-TV channels, many of which (known as “rerun farms”) broadcast exclusively second-run syndicated programming. Nostalgia allowed for the enduring popularity of all these old shows and movies from two decades before, up to and including a certain ubiquitous science-fiction program which, over a decade after it had ended production, was only now seeing development of a sequel series...

    On Saturday, September 8, 1984 (eighteen years to the day after Star Trek had first started airing in 1966) [2], the first episode of Star Trek: The Animated Adventures began airing, at 9 AM on NBC. It began life as a pilot movie (two hours long with commercials, capable of being edited into four episodes) which aired in August 11, 1984, as a special presentation for the network. It was part of the escalation of Star Trek that there had to be a pilot movie “event” – Star Trek had not aired a normal-length episode in first-run since March, 1971. The pilot movie (in a marked contrast to both pilots of Star Trek, which began in medias res) showed the assembly of the crew aboard the new starship (of a new class, the better to sell more merchandise) and their inaugural mission – which was a success. The show was otherwise planned to follow a largely episodic format, much as the original Star Trek had done – the heavy serialization of the miniseries had deeply divided Trekkies. The pacing had to be altered as well – Saturday morning cartoons were just 22 minutes long, in contrast to the 51-minute runtime of hourlong dramatic television in the 1960s.

    The popularity of The Journey of the Force in Japan – unsurprising, given the influence of the native jidaigeki period dramas on the film – was such that many Japanese animation studios clamoured for the opportunity to produce a Journey adaptation. It was eventually decided that an animated series would premiere shortly after the release of the second Journey film in the summer of 1986 – just in time for the beginning of the 1986-87 season, on Saturday mornings. It was given the working title Journeys to a Faraway Galaxy, alluding to the famous opening line of the original film (which would be reused in the sequel): “A long time ago, in a faraway galaxy…”. Lucasfilm’s close association with Desilu would pay dividends here as well; NBC would pick up the show for airing, and the show was planned to follow the already-running Star Trek back-to-back in a one-hour block, with Journey airing at 9:30 AM. This was part of NBC’s attempt at theming various hours in their Saturday morning schedule.

    The networks were also not those to resist giving into sensationalism. In time for May Sweeps, CBS had a telefilm ready dramatizing the terrorist attack on the Women’s Fencing event at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Tehran. (Rival network NBC had broadcast the Olympics.) It was a big hit, although not without its flaws – it was told from the perspective of the American woman, Carol Wilson, with her meeting the other victim, Israeli Tamar Dahan, only in the film’s closing minutes. It doubled as part of a general attempt by the media to raise awareness of the religious persecution of Baha’is, which had become a cause célèbre in the wake of Tehran, appearing in newsmagazine programs regularly throughout the 1984-85 season.

    Over at Desilu Productions, network-level strategies were important, but tended to take a backseat to studio-level political manoeuvring. When it came to the studio’s biggest hit, The Patriot, the challenge facing the producers was how to keep the Dave/Rebecca relationship intriguing despite the resolution of the sexual tension between them. This had driven the original showrunners, Glen and Les Charles, to quit. Surprisingly, fans continued to respond well to the relationship between them even despite many writers’ misgivings – the writers brought over from Paramount Television, many of whom had worked on Rhoda, had already noted this peculiar disconnect, and coined the phrase “Rhoda problem” to refer to it. Desilu’s corporate culture had always stressed the closeness of the studio with fans of its programs – and many of the writers who opposed keeping Dave and Rebecca together fought an uphill battle as a result. It didn’t help that many of them quite obviously wanted to write Dave and Rebecca as single because it was easier for them, and were not shy about saying so; this irked Brandon Tartikoff, in his capacity as the executive in charge of production.

    “My job is to hire the best writers in Hollywood,” Tartikoff was quoted as saying in an interview on the subject published in The Hollywood Reporter. “Their job is to do the best writing possible. If they think it’s too much of a challenge to write Dave and Rebecca as a couple, then it’s my job to fire them and hire writers who will embrace that challenge. That’s what I’m paying them for. Writing is a job, it’s not supposed to be easy. If it were so easy, if just anyone could do it, we wouldn’t be paying them for it.”

    Tartikoff had proven in his dealings with Gene Roddenberry that he was not afraid to play hardball with writers and producers, and Roddenberry’s long tenure and considerable success with the studio having been unable to sway Tartikoff did much to kowtow other writers and producers working at the studio in line. The studio chief, Lucille Ball, was increasingly aware of Tartikoff’s uncompromising resolve, which worried her somewhat. She had built her reputation on lionizing the efforts of her writers – though this adulation came after having laid off most of her writers from The Lucy Show, the very same writers who had worked on I Love Lucy – and she didn’t want Tartikoff to foil these efforts as she became increasingly conscious of leaving a legacy. (She had reconciled with her I Love Lucy writers in the interim.) [3] Her right-hand man (and the only other person superior to Tartikoff in the studio hierarchy), Herb Solow, had suggested providing writers and producers with additional perks and benefits, to soften the blow from any studio edicts. Desilu, which had always been a studio known for a soft touch in terms of content demands, would also have to pick their battles. Insisting that their producers not arbitrarily reverse course on their shifts in creative direction seemed fair and reasonable, but by the same token, it wasn’t the studio’s place to insist on new directions or plotlines, as long as the series was successful. In addition, Desilu would throw its weight around and go to bat for producers in any battles with the network. This would have a two-pronged “good cop, bad cop” effect: Tartikoff could be a taskmaster while Solow and Ball were more benevolent and giving; at the same time, the network could (and would) be blunt, harsh, and unyielding in their demands, whereas Desilu could be more accommodating, but at the same time, when the studio made demands, the producers would know that Desilu meant business. (Networks, by contrast, tended to be more fickle and ephemeral when it came to what they claimed to want from the shows they aired.)

    However, this arrangement had resulted in considerable friction during the production of Deep Space, and the network had tired of the headaches that came with mediating the battles between the studio and the crew – especially since the middling ratings that the show received were not nearly worth the trouble. As a result, the show was cancelled in 1983. Desilu was able to shrug off the negative buzz they had accrued within the industry as a result of the situation, but the same could not be said for Gene Roddenberry, who quickly emerged as the scapegoat. Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, thus ended his two-decade-long association with Desilu Productions, sought to sell his ideas elsewhere. He went back to the same well with another science-fiction series – his sixth attempt to market a show in the genre, following Star Trek, Assignment: Earth, Re-Genesis, The Questor Tapes, and Deep Space. Most of these shows had been more optimistic than his latest project, Battleground: Earth. [4]

    Apparently influenced by the classic Arthur C. Clarke novel Childhood’s End (Roddenberry was an acknowledged admirer of Clarke’s), the series depicted the arrival of seemingly benevolent aliens (deliberately evocative of Vulcans, advanced beyond human understanding and with inscrutable motives). The medical and environmental advances freely provided by the aliens (generally called “the Companions” within the show’s universe, with these Companions claiming that their proper name was unpronounceable by humans) allowed for the elimination of diseases and pollution, while their services as adjudicators and arbitrators allowed for the end of war. In this way, they evoked several alien races from Star Trek, including the Organians, who had ended the war between the Federation and the Klingons. However, over time, humans had become increasingly dependent on these aliens to meet their basic needs, and (as in many episodes of Star Trek) this complacency would have disastrous consequences for the vibrancy and ambitious nature of humanity – resulting in a rebellion against the presence of the Companions.

    The moral ambiguity of the situation – the desire for self-sufficiency and the obvious condescending nature and imperialist, colonialist allegory of the Companions was contrasted with many members of the Resistance having joined for less altruistic motives: xenophobia and nativism were so common as to be typical of its membership. However, in the grand tradition of (among other examples) To Serve Man, the aliens did indeed have a nefarious purpose: they intended to make humans totally dependent on them, only to then deprive them of their resources in exchanged for their continued services –ultimately bleeding the Earth dry and leaving its people helpless and doomed to a slow, painful death. Although this eliminated the prospect of moral ambiguity between the two sides, it did tick off a number of boxes on Roddenberry’s ideological checklist: the theme of the show was anti-capitalist as well as anti-imperialist (Roddenberry would cite both India and China as two examples of real-life sites of similar exploitation by “Companions”), environmentalist (Roddenberry never failed to stress that Man was doomed to deplete the Earth’s resources on his own), and encouraged humanity to focus on personal (and collective) self-improvement through innovation and ingenuity, as opposed to reliance on outside, seemingly-omnipotent forces (vaguely anti-religious, though this theme was difficult to reconcile with the more concrete anti-imperialist angle and was not overly emphasized).

    Meanwhile, Roddenberry’s nemesis Tartikoff continued to prove his worth as an “idea man” for Desilu, even as he clashed with the production-level creative types to whom he inevitably handed these ideas off for development. His hottest new idea even got him a co-creator credit on Desilu’s latest action-drama, even though said idea had allegedly consisted of merely two words: “MTV cops”. Tartikoff wanted a cop show that was the antithesis to Hill Avenue Beat, the yin to its yang. This new show would be the “style” to Hill Avenue Beat’s “substance”.

    Since it was a show that would borrow heavily from the MTV aesthetic, he wanted “sexy” crimes and criminals to be thwarted – something high-stakes. Hill Avenue Beat, by contrast, borrowed from Captain Miller’s precedent of depicting the mundane, everyday lives of the average beat cop (hence the name of the show). “MTV cops” needed to be more exciting, more glamorous. Tartikoff first approached Steven J. Cannell, who produced Hill Avenue Beat, to develop on a second series for Desilu. [5] Together, the two hit on the idea of vice cops – drug cartels were the prohibition-era gangsters of the 1980s, after all, a fact cemented by the recent – and highly-successful – remake of Scarface, directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Al Pacino as a Cuban refugee-turned-drug kingpin. That film had won Pacino his long-awaited first Academy Award for Best Actor. [6] It had been set – and shot – in Miami, the central hub of the Cuban-American community and still a fairly exotic locale up to that point – a seeming tropical paradise with a seedy underbelly. However, location shooting was an indulgence beyond Desilu, so the location was changed to San Diego, and the drug cartels changed from Cuban to Mexican in origin. (This actually reflected the shift from Miami to Mexican border cities taking place in the drug trade at that time, a happy coincidence.) San Diego was near enough – especially with the recent completion of the high-speed rail line between there and Los Angeles – that sojourns for location shooting would be feasible and relatively inexpensive. Ultimately, however, Tartikoff and Cannell would set the show in a fictional border city, which they named San Andreas (for the fault line which travelled along the California coast). The show would focus on a unit of the San Andreas Police Department Vice Squad – Vice Squad was the working title for the show, but it was ultimately dropped due to similarity with the parody cop show Police Squad!. After some deliberation, the show would ultimately be titled Neon City Vice, after the in-universe nickname for San Andreas. Although drugs would be the primary focus of the show’s attention, prostitution, gambling, and alcohol could also be included as topics of attention due to the scope of most real-life vice squads. Indeed, as a result, San Andreas was given an active nightlife, including casino resorts – San Diego by way of Atlantic City, a coastal gambling mecca – leading to the city’s famous nickname of “Neon City”, an allusion to Vegas and Reno, two desert gambling meccas like San Andreas.

    Casting for Neon City Vice was tricky – Scarface had faced considerable backlash from Cuban-Americans for their depiction in that film, and that (unsurprisingly) struck a chord with Lucille Ball, who after all had once been married to a Cuban, and had seen first-hand the discrimination he had faced (as well as what she herself had faced, being married to him). Any number of Mexican “baddies” would have to be countered by at least one unambiguous good guy of Mexican descent. This suggestion was supported by the actor who was first approached to play Senor Gutierrez, “the Al Capone of San Andreas”, the primary antagonist of the series (who would appear only intermittently, borrowing a convention from The Untouchables, an old Desilu show in which Al Capone and Frank Nitti were recurring characters). His name was Ricardo Montalban, and he was just finishing a lengthy tenure on Fantasy Island. Being a staunch advocate of positive depictions in the media, he would agree to appear only if – if – at least two Mexican actors be cast among the “good guys”, one of whom would be a co-lead and appear in most every episode. He offered the services of the Nosotros Foundation he had co-founded in finding and casting the right individuals, an offer that was accepted. Montalban relished the role of Gutierrez as it was written because the character was witty, suave, and charismatic – and unfailingly loyal to those who demonstrated loyalty to him in kind. It was very much a post-Godfather portrayal of a drug kingpin – but to compensate for this, and to better reflect the realities of the cutthroat cartels, he was unthinkably ruthless and brutal (as much as could be depicted on 1980s network television, at least) to his opponents, particularly those who betrayed him.

    Gutierrez quickly became the show’s breakout character, eclipsing T.R. Walsh as the villain television audiences loved to hate. Montalban was listed only as a “special guest star” for the episodes in which he appeared during the show’s first season, but his popularity ensured that he would be promoted to the opening titles (receiving the coveted “And” credit) for the second season in 1985-86. Likewise, the setting of San Andreas captured the popular imagination, being a composite of many attractive locales (Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Reno, and San Diego) and consistently depicted as glamorous and thrilling, dangerous and seductive. In a story widely believed to have been concocted by Desilu’s publicity department, Variety reported that the studio received letters (“by the truckload”) from viewers who sought directions to the fabled Neon City, unable to find it on road maps. The degree to which Neon City Vice had captured the popular imagination had been unknown to Desilu since their previous commercial peak, with Rock Around the Clock and Three’s Company in the late-1970s.

    Unfortunately, television was a zero-sum game, and the success enjoyed by the shiny and new Neon City Vice directly detracted from the old-school Three’s Company continuation, Robby’s Roadhouse, which also found itself mired in an awkward position within the Desilu roster. It was unique only in that it depicted the adventures of a young(-ish; John Ritter and Pam Dawber were both over 30) married couple with no children; the Barefoot in the Park formula. Barefoot had struck a chord with many Baby Boomers in the 1970s, but perhaps the time for such a show had passed. With the economy improving, and with Boomers aging, many of them were beginning to settle down with children and in comfortable middle management jobs. Two plucky kids trying to start a new business (the titular restaurant) didn’t capture the pulse of the era in which new ventures tended to be multi-million-dollar public-private enterprises involving infrastructure or industrial complexes. Small business certainly existed, and remained vital to the American economic recovery, but it didn’t capture the popular imagination as much as the big-money, high-stakes activities which served as window-dressing for shows like Texas, Wasps, and Vintages, not to mention popular movies of the time.

    Ultimately, Robby’s Roadhouse was cancelled after just one season. This was partly because Robby’s Roadhouse was a show not only at war with itself, but also with Desilu’s other offerings: focusing too much on the workplace elements, it was decided, made the show too much like The Patriot (it didn’t help that two Desilu sitcoms out of four were titled after a hospitality establishment workplace). Focusing too much on the domestic situation, on the other hand, made the show too closely resemble sister series The Ropers, whose primary setting was the Ropers’ homestead, with a never-ending stream of drop-in neighbours. Surprisingly, The Ropers scored something of a coup when it nabbed a recurring cast member in the role of Helen Roper’s mother: Bette Davis. She and the studio chief, Lucille Ball, were very old friends, who had attended drama school together in the 1920s, and she accepted the role upon Ball’s personal request (there was no audition or casting process). It was the silver screen legend’s first role on a sitcom, for which she would win the 1984 Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – a nomination which she was at first highly reluctant to accept, being from a generation of movie stars who, upon being elevated to lead, stayed leads for the rest of their career. Davis was only 11 years the senior of Betty Garrett, who played her daughter, but wryly remarked upon being so informed that she had always played older than she was for her entire career, and that this would be no exception. [7] Davis, who portrayed “Mother” with the same boldness which characterized all of her most famous roles, found herself popular with the post-Baby Boomer audience for the first time – for whatever reason, younger people loved The Ropers, despite that show focusing primarily on people beyond even the upper limit of the cherished 18-49 demographic. [8]

    Despite the success enjoyed by both The Patriot and The Ropers, Robby’s Roadhouse wasn’t the only Desilu sitcom that had to change creative direction to remain afloat; Eunice, which by 1984 had rather improbably become one of the longest-running shows on the studio’s current roster, also had to make changes. In general, primetime soap operas continued to perform very well indeed, despite Desilu’s curious disinclination to tackle the genre. The genre that studio had pioneered, the sitcom, continued to be in dire straits. The Patriot was the only sitcom in the 1984-85 season to finish within the Top 10, which added some leverage to Tartikoff’s stand against the producers not to change the show’s plotlines. Arguably, however, despite being to the benefit of The Patriot, it was perhaps to the detriment of the sitcom genre in general, which thrived on sticking to the status quo. Soap operas, by contrast, thrived on constant change. Although Desilu chose not to produce a bona fide soap opera, they did address the popularity of the genre by introducing parodic soap opera elements into their established Eunice sitcom, previously a relatively straight take on the kitchen sink realism style popularized by the Norman Lear sitcoms of the 1970s. Carol Burnett, the show’s star and producer, supported this shift in direction largely because she was a fan of soap operas, particularly All My Children. Longtime fans of the show, however, were more divided. Although never a ratings powerhouse (Eunice was Desilu’s lowest-rated show, though never too far behind critical darling Hill Avenue Beat), the show enjoyed a loyal – and vocal – cult audience, and this change brought about a deluge of protest letters to Desilu. But the studio couldn’t argue with results – ratings improved considerably, saving Eunice from a grisly fate, and leading Robby’s Roadhouse to get the ax – the only Desilu show cancelled at the end of the 1984-85 season.

    In addition to the soap opera genre, the anthology format continued to be very popular for dramatic series in this era, irrespective of genre. The creators of Columbo, William Link and Richard Levinson, re-teamed (along with that show’s producer, Peter S. Fischer) for an Agatha Christie-inspired series which told the story of a middle-aged widow living in a sleepy seaside town who becomes a mystery writer: essentially, a composite of Christie’s beloved Miss Marple character with Christie herself. This was their second attempt to strike gold with a mystery series featuring a novelist protagonist, following Ellery Queen in the 1970s, and they scored an impressive coup when Jean “Edith Bunker” Stapleton, late of Those Were the Days, agreed to star. [9] She had been severely typecast by her seven years on that iconic 1970s sitcom, despite the small collection of Emmy wins she had accumulated in the role. Stapleton was naturally drawn to the role of Jennifer “Jenny” Stoner (or J.B. Stoner, as she was known professionally) because the character was so intelligent – a breath of fresh air after playing the ditzy Edith Bunker for so many years. It was a chance for her to show her range as an actress, even if it did mean another weekly series, a prospect about which she had some misgivings. Nonetheless, she figured the benefits outweighed the risks and took the job – a decision she would never regret. Indeed, her typecasting was almost immediately a thing of the past, as the show became the second-highest-rated new drama of the season (behind only Neon City Vice).

    Other anthology series popular during this era were revival anthology series, kicked off initially by a big-screen version of The Twilight Zone, which in turn inspired CBS to revive the original series (which was produced in-house). The original show’s host, Rod Serling, obviously could not return to host the remake due to his intervening death in 1975. However, Serling had not only hosted The Twilight Zone, but also Night Gallery, which had been produced by Desilu; as a result, Fred Silverman at ABC inquired as to whether the studio would be willing to mount a revival of that show as well. The word was out that NBC was planning a revival of Alfred Hitchcock Presents – Hitchcock, like Serling, was deceased, but unlike Serling, his framing segments pertained little to the episodes to which they were attached, and could be reused with impunity. Naturally, given the trends of the time, these would be colourized. Silverman also made clear that if Desilu were not interested in producing The Night Gallery, then he would be happy to work on a remake of The Outer Limits instead; the rights to that show had fallen into the lap of Ted Turner’s conglomerate. (Lucille Ball sarcastically mused as to why Turner wasn’t behind the remake of Alfred Hitchcock Presents instead, the crass colourization being “more his bag”). Ultimately, Desilu declined Silverman’s offer, but surprisingly, a counter-proposal was made.

    Desilu, after all, was once the House that Paladin Built, so named not just for Gene Roddenberry’s contributions, but also for those of another Have Gun – Will Travel writer: Bruce Geller. Geller had created Mission: Impossible and then Mannix for the studio before setting his sights on the silver screen, where he enjoyed moderate success as a writer and producer of action-thriller pictures. Unlike Roddenberry, Geller was not an increasingly deluded egomaniac, and maintained good relations with the studio whose residuals cheques had enabled him to lead a very comfortable life – Tartikoff was eager to prove that he could maintain good relations with longstanding producers, making him to eager to support a continued working relationship. [10] Indeed, Mission: Impossible was the third-most popular Desilu production in syndication, behind only I Love Lucy and Star Trek themselves – and although the two towered over just about all others on that front, Mission: Impossible was no slouch. Unlike many other classic series (including Star Trek), the show did not receive any sort of continuation or revival during the miniseries craze of the late-1970s, as it had ended as recently as 1973.

    Much like Star Trek, however, the show’s later years were seen as distinctly weak: the mounting expense of keeping Martin Landau and Barbara Bain on the payroll resulted in the plots shifting from Cold War foreign adventures to gangland crime syndicates (due to the need for fewer purpose-built sets and less location shooting); the addition of Lynda Day as Dana, a protegée to Cinnamon, to add sex appeal with the younger male audience (which did not sit well with the aging Bain, nor did her more conventional damsel-in-distress character sit well with audiences); and the wholesale replacement of Willy Armitage (played by Peter Lupus) by Dr. Doug Robert (played by Sam Elliott). [11] Many fans – with a few quixotic exceptions, especially in the case of Dana – were happy to write off these developments in any would-be continuation project, and Bruce Geller (who had left the show long before such changes were introduced) was inclined to agree. That said, by the mid-1980s, many things had changed about the world. Japan and to a lesser extent Red China were major global players, detente with Russia had fully taken hold, and the stock enemy in international intrigue stories tended to be unreconstructed Backwards Bloc-type countries exemplified by junta-era Argentina. Satellite technology had widespread influence in industry and commerce; computers were a fact of life, common enough that the majority of households had a microcomputer (at its most broadly defined) by 1984. Thus, although the basic formula for the revival series would remain the same, specific plot nuances would change drastically. The plan was for the series to begin airing in the 1985-86 season, and this would allow for Lucille Ball’s effective reign as studio chief at Desilu to come full circle.

    In a shocking upset, NBC’s Wasps finished ahead of ABC’s Texas as the #1 rated series of the 1984-85 season; it was one of just two shows to place in the Top 10 for the Peacock Network that year. Texas itself finished at #2, heading the ABC roster in the ratings. The CBS soap opera Vintages finished at #4, a near-photo finish for the “Big Three” soap operas of the 1980s during their peak season, and (again along with 60 Minutes) one of the few smash-hits for the Eye in a lean period for that network. The highest-rated new entry of the season was Neon City Vice, cracking the Top 10 for ABC, maintaining the six shows in the highest echelon for the Alphabet Network. The Patriot and The Ropers also cracked the Top 10 for Desilu; Eunice, surprisingly, fell just short of that threshold, a marked improvement from the previous season. ABC managed a lucky 13 entries in the Top 30, and NBC had eleven; CBS had a lone six entries. Even those hits for that network which cracked the Top 30 tended to skew hopelessly older; it was the 1960s all over again. History really did tend to repeat itself; this was as true in the ratings as it would prove to be at the awards shows.

    Hill Avenue Beat repeated once again for Outstanding Drama Series at the 37th Emmy Awards, marking four total and consecutive wins, both of which broke Emmy records previously (and jointly) held by Playhouse 90 and The Defenders. [12] Hill Avenue Beat won against hot competition from Desilu stablemate Neon City Vice, which nonetheless won several technical awards, and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for Ricardo Montalban. The Ropers won for Outstanding Comedy Series, marking the third time in a row that Desilu claimed both top awards in the same night. Norman Fell and Betty Garrett also won for Outstanding Lead Actor and Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, to accompany the win by Bette Davis, a near-sweep of the acting awards in the comedy category. Lucille Ball, once again sitting in the front row at the awards ceremony with her husband, obligingly smiled for the cameras with each win for her studio, just as she did every year.

    But the smiles couldn’t quite mask her disillusion. The magic was gone. It was time to go out while she was still on top…


    [1] Desi Arnaz died of lung cancer IOTL, not liver cancer. However, given his heavy drinking and smoking, I feel that he was bound to be afflicted with one or the other.

    [2] Except in Canada, of course, where it aired two days earlier, on September 6, 1966 (a Tuesday).

    [3] And those I Love Lucy writers would work with her on what IOTL was her final starring vehicle, Life with Lucy, which began airing on September 20, 1986 (coincidence? I think not). This no doubt played a considerable part in that series, which was critically excoriated and unwatched and unloved by viewers, being derided as so aged and passé. Despite I Love Lucy’s enduring popularity in reruns, popular tastes had changed somewhat in the 35 years since its premiere.

    [4] Known IOTL as Earth: Final Conflict, and not developed until after Roddenberry’s death (by his widow, Majel Barrett-Roddenberry). The name was changed because of its resemblance to the L. Ron Hubbard novel Battlefield Earth, a film adaptation of which was in production by that time. In addition, ITTL, Assignment: Earth never saw production in any form, not even as a backdoor pilot episode of Star Trek, and therefore Roddenberry’s decision to use that title format is not a retread.

    [5] This concept, which IOTL was set in the same city as Scarface and was thus called Miami Vice, was indeed said to have originated from Tartikoff’s two-word pitch (which, it must be said, is a great pitch). IOTL, Anthony Yerkovich, a writer/producer for Hill Street Blues, was handed the pitch and developed it without further active involvement from Tartikoff (Yerkovich is credited as the sole creator). However, the show’s creative direction and tone are usually attributed to executive producer Michael Mann. ITTL, Tartikoff, being lower on the creative totem pole and with fewer connections, merely brainstorms the idea with Steven J. Cannell, leading to both being credited as co-creators. (Cannell receives the sole development credit.)

    [6] Of course, Al Pacino appeared in Scarface IOTL as well – though here the film was produced as a rather bombastic, exploitative picture by a known exhibitionist, Brian DePalma. ITTL, the film is directed as a spiritual sequel to Dog Day Afternoon; it is the third pairing of director Lumet – who was originally attached to Scarface IOTL – and actor Pacino following that film and Serpico (note that all three films are about crime and punishment, as were many of Pacino’s other early films, such as ...And Justice For All and – of course – The Godfather and its sequel). Given Lumet’s directorial style, the film is much more deliberate and intellectual than the OTL version – and more attractive to the Academy as a result. After all, even by 1982, it could be argued that Pacino has been robbed of several Oscars (he had been nominated for all five of the films I previously mentioned).

    [7] “Mother” on The Ropers was played IOTL by Lucille Benson, born on July 17, 1914. Mrs. Helen Roper was played by Audra Lindley, born on September 24, 1918, for a mere four-year age difference.

    [8] Much like the OTL show which inspires much of its tone, The Golden Girls. Also like The Golden Girls (and another reason why Davis’ inclusion has proven so successful), the show enjoys a large gay audience – many of whom identify with both Mrs. Roper and her mother.

    [9] I couldn’t resist tweaking one of television’s all-time greatest casting WIs in having Jean Stapleton (the first choice of the producers of Murder, She Wrote for the role of Jessica “J.B.” Fletcher IOTL) accept the role here. Why? Well, she was only on Those Were the Days for eight seasons (as opposed to the ten seasons she was on All in the Family and Archie Bunker’s Place IOTL), making her less weary of a long-time regular commitment. And yes, this means that IOTL, Angela Lansbury has yet to have that breakthrough which makes her a household name and national treasure. How many times have I said it now? I’m not writing a utopia!

    [10] Also unlike Roddenberry, Geller was dead by this point IOTL. However, his cause of death was an easily butterflied plane crash. Other butterflies which predate that one enabled him to enjoy a relatively successful film career, though he wasn’t exactly setting the world on fire.

    [11] Not to put to fine a point on it, but Barbara Bain turned 40 in 1971 (at the beginning of the show’s fifth season) and even the five Emmys she won for her role as Cinnamon would probably not stop producers from thinking that her sex appeal might be fading. As a result, Lynda Day (George), who was the final female lead during the last two seasons IOTL, was cast as a young ingenue type starting in the show’s sixth season. On-set tensions between Bain and Day became the stuff of legend around the Desilu lot, and (at Bain’s insistence) she was never added to the opening credits. However, Day’s vulnerable character (in contrast to her hyper-competent IMF teammates) did receive her share of praise from certain commentators (granted, many years down the line). Still, most people hate her, calling her pandering, demeaning, and distracting. However, perhaps Elliott’s character receives more audience hate, since Dana is at least not replacing Cinnamon outright. By the way, the character is named “Dana”, rather than “Casey”, as Lesley (Ann) Warren was never cast on the show ITTL, leaving the name of her character available for use.

    [12] Hill Street Blues won Outstanding Drama Series four years in a row IOTL, the first show in Emmy history to do so. (The West Wing and Mad Men would later share this distinction; L.A. Law would also win four times, though not consecutively).


    Thanks to e of pi, as always, for assisting with the editing of this update. Thanks also to Space Oddity for his input on a particular subject covered in some depth in this update (and to be covered further in a later update). Thus begins the penultimate cycle of the timeline! You may notice That Wacky Redhead is beginning to put her affairs in order. She’s been considering retirement for quite some time, as some of you might have suspected (even notwithstanding that this TL opens with her announcing her retirement), and the stars are finally aligned – but for how much longer?
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2015
    Electric Monk, Knightmare and Mackon like this.
  15. Mr.E The Man that Time Forgot

    Aug 2, 2012
    The Mountainous Democratic Republic of Colorado
    So, since there is still a Twilight Zone film, does Vic Morrow still die during the production of that film? Or does he not even star in it? Come to think of it, is it similar to the OTL film?
  16. NCW8 Being Analogue in a Digital World

    Feb 9, 2011
    Good to see this back again.

    There's scope there for an episode of Neon City Vice where they track down a new drug smuggling ring only to find that they're actually just smuggling VTRs.

  17. Richter10 Well-Known Member

    May 18, 2012
    Did TRON (1982) and Wargames (1983) get made ITTL? If so, how they differed or not of OTL's version and how they fared?
  18. Thande A special man who knows these things Donor

    Jan 22, 2005
    God's Own County
    Glad to see this still going, though as we approach my date of birth, so too the end of the TL looms.

    Does the VCR (or VTR) ban also apply to audio recordings or not? What about an audio-only recording of a TV show?
  19. Gordian Basileus

    May 6, 2015
    New Amsterdam
    Glad to see this continuing.
    Does The Day After exist TTL, or has it been butterflied away due to the failure of The China Syndrome?
  20. Roger Redux The Revisionist

    Feb 14, 2015
    The Mother of all ASBs (a.k.a. "The Real World")
    Cool update!
    So does Neon City Vice set in San Andreas mean that in the future-beyond-the-scope-of-this-TL the Grand Theft Auto III spin-offs get different subtitles?