Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Brainbin, Nov 18, 2011.
I would like to see wikiboxes made about this TL!
Are you volunteering?
Great to see another update, and interesting to see that certain types of show will turn up at certain times, even though the butterflies change the specifics - i.e. Neon City Vice. As the saying goes, you get railroads when its railroading time.
A couple of thoughts: Without Thatcher's Britain and without the Muppet Show being produced in the UK we will probably not see "Spitting Image", which was a HUGE phenomena in the UK (and Aus/NZ) for several years of its run. This will also have knock-on effects on satire, comedy and political commentary in the UK, and the careers of a few writers & comedians.
On comics: DC & Marvel (and the smaller 'independent' companies which formed as a result of the move away from newsstand distribution to 'direct sales') in the 1980s owe a lot to the writers and artists who came out of 2000AD - it wasn't called the British Invasion for nothing. Marvel set up a UK office because of it.
I can see something like 2000AD being created, but it might not have the same success with a generally healthier economy in the late 70s-early 80s, and as knock on from that we might not get 'Warrior', which gave us 'V for Vendetta'. Likewise, no British Invasion, no Alan Moore on Swamp Thing, or revisioning of the Charlton characters that became 'Watchman'. In fact, the whole dark & gritty era of comics that came out of Frank Miller & Alan Moore's work might not have happened. Edit: I would be very unhappy to see Jenette Kahn's appointment as DC's publisher at age 28 in 1976 butterflied away, given her progressive attitude to comics and the people working in the industry.
There is an awful lot of very good writing in UK comics and TV which came from the bleakness of the 1980s. Still, good writers will always write and be published, they'll just write something different.
Erm, yes and no. I still need to learn, but once I do learn this TL will be inspiration.
More generally, without Thatcher's breaking of the political consensus, you probably won't see the rise of OTL's alternative comedy - Ben Elton, Rik Mayall, Not the Nine O'Clock News etc. The older, music hall inspired comedians will probably be more prominent in the early Eighties - in particular Mike Yarwood.
Roddenberry's show might alter two other things. Hubbard's novel came out in 1982. Perhaps Hubbard might sue Roddenberry- or perhaps butterflies wiped Hubbard's book out.
Second, it sounds a lot similar to another idea from around the same time. A guy named Kenneth Johnson wrote a miniseries adaptation of Sinclair Lewis's "It Can't Happen Here" in 1982. NBC rejected it as "too cerebral" (something Roddenberry would understand), but Johnson was able to rewrite it into a different work..."V". Perhaps Roddenberry and Johnson could get together?
As for Neon City Vice, you have to cast Edward James Olmos as a hero. (Who knows? He might wind up with an Oscar for "Stand and Deliver".)
Here's one about the 1980 election. I'm not sure how to change the electoral map though.
Appendix A, Part XI: Persistence of Vision
The decision to produce an animated spinoff of Star Trek was, it could be argued, a long time in coming. Desilu had been receiving pitches from animation studios for over a decade before they finally decided to seek out a creative partner for the venture; their timing couldn’t be better, given the changes in the industry. Following a recent (and unsuccessful) strike action, the Animation Guild had lost their protections over runaway productions, which had up until then prevented subcontracting to overseas workshops.  As a result, the Japanese Studio Aurora was hired to work their talents on Star Trek, but Desilu didn’t have the logistical capability to work with them directly - an intermediary was needed. That intermediary was Hanna-Barbera, a studio which had worked with Desilu since the halcyon days of I Love Lucy. In collaboration with the producers and executives at Desilu, Hanna-Barbera designers would create the characters and settings, but all the actual animation would be handled by Aurora. Initial plans at Hanna-Barbera were to revisit their own early-1970s pitches for producing an animated Star Trek spinoff, but Brandon Tartikoff and Herb Solow would have none of it - the show’s concept was developed not only by Tartikoff but also by two key personnel from the making of the original series and the 1978 miniseries The Next Voyage: D.C. Fontana and David Gerrold.
The decision was made very early in development that the crew of the Enterprise (and her successor ships, the Excelsior and the Artemis) would not be the stars of this series, which would take place several years after the conclusion of Star Trek: The Next Voyage. Instead, the USS Hyperion, a Titan-class Starship, under the command of Captain George Probst, was the primary setting for the show’s adventures. Captain Probst, by design, was a very different Captain from the iconic James T. Kirk - although he admired Kirk enough to name his own son, Jimmy, after him.
The presence of the Captain’s son aboard the Hyperion was a remnant from the recently-cancelled Deep Space, also conceptualized by Tartikoff, who had felt that Gene Roddenberry had not taken this idea to its fullest potential. Indeed, Deep Space fans loathed the “tagalong kid” character, Wesley, believing that Roddenberry favoured him to the detriment of others; it didn’t help that “Wesley” was, in fact, Gene Roddenberry’s middle name. Deep Space fandom would come to use the term “Wesley” to describe any such character in any work of fiction; this usage proved infectious.  Jimmy Probst, by contrast, was less obnoxious, but would serve his intended purpose as a surrogate for the audience - curious and inquisitive, but far less reckless and resourceful that young Wesley had been. Like most young boys in cartoon shows, Jimmy was voiced by a grown woman. The fate of Jimmy’s mother - George’s wife - was deliberately left vague; D.C. Fontana favoured having her be divorced from George and willingly absent from Jimmy’s life. Other writers argued that a more potent narrative drive could be derived from her death - ultimately, all sides agreed to leave her fate uncertain.
The fandom immediately sought to deduce the identity of Mrs. George Probst - the one that caught on was perhaps the most tantalizing: that Jimmy Probst was not named in tribute to James T. Kirk but instead after his mother, who in turn was named directly after James T. Kirk, her own godfather. The woman in question was Jame Finney, daughter of Lt. Cdr. Ben Finney, and who had appeared in “Court Martial”. The explanation was distinctly non-canonical, but proved tenaciously popular.
Although none of the regulars from the original series returned in that continued capacity, there were strong connections between the two generations, most notably personified in the Chief Medical Officer - Dr. Joanna McCoy, daughter of Leonard McCoy. A single, thirtysomething woman married to her job, the obvious (but low-key) attraction between her and the Captain became a running plot point in many episodes, as did her relationship with Jimmy - ever in search of a surrogate mother. The romance between George and Joanna was not overt, this being a show where much of the audience was actively opposed to romance. But it was a romance for the 1980s, between a single parent and a working woman. D.C. Fontana had always been fond of romantic plotlines, and had always felt an affinity for Joanna, ever since introducing her in the eponymous Star Trek episode back in 1969, and it became clear as time went on that the character was something of a surrogate for her.
Another returning character was Freeman - the first gay character in Star Trek, as featured in The Next Voyage. This was David Gerrold’s idea. He saw the Ensign Freeman who appeared in several episodes of the original series (usually played by Shatner’s stunt double Paul Baxley), the Lieutenant Freeman who appeared in The Next Voyage, and the Commander Freeman who served as Security Chief and led all the landing parties (a long-held bugbear of Gerrold, who had grown to dislike when the Captain and First Officer beamed down to a hostile planet, putting themselves in mortal danger and potentially depriving their crew of strong and decisive leadership in a desperate situation) as all being one and the same, despite being played by three different actors. Commander Freeman’s sexuality was never explicitly mentioned in the cartoon, nor was he ever shown in a romantic relationship; the character was established as the same (to those in the know) fairly early on, given his mentions of having served aboard the Enterprise alongside James T. Kirk. All involved considered it an unsatisfying compromise, but even Star Trek had its limits.  As was the case with Joanna and Fontana, Freeman was obviously a surrogate for his creator, Gerrold (whose birth name was Jerrold David Friedman).
The First Officer and ship’s Helmsman was a more assertive, Kirk-like figure named Cdr. Msizi Khumalo, a Zulu. Just like Uhura, he was an African character - and just like Uhura, his specific ethnicity was meant to capture the zeitgeist. Uhura had been made Swahili because of the affinity many black activists of the 1960s (including Nichelle Nichols herself) held for that culture; Khumalo was made Zulu as a statement against the Apartheid regime of South Africa - the Zulus were one of the main ethnic groups in that country. Notably, background fluff had Khumalo hailing from the “United States of Africa”, the same polity from which Uhura originated, implying a substantial territorial extent.  Probst and Khumalo disagreed frequently over preferred courses of action - their relationship was meant to emphasize the importance of consensus-building and collaborative decision-making. However, one of Khumalo’s primary flaws as a character was his occasional reluctance to accept Probst’s decisions as Captain - and it was also important to impart obedience to trusted and responsible authority figures (and institutions, here personified by Probst). Khumalo’s hotheaded and impulsive assertiveness was influenced in part by the enduring legacy of Blaxploitation heroes, especially the later wave of “Motherland” movies in that genre - though obviously sanitized for young audiences - and this was not without controversy. Khumalo also allowed the writers to critique Kirk’s “cowboy” reputation and how it could be obstructive - the irony being that Commodore Kirk himself was, in turn, Probst’s direct superior.
Commodore James T. Kirk, for his part, was among the most frequently-appearing “legacy” characters, which was ironically achievable due to what the producers had initially feared would be a restriction: William Shatner did not return to play Kirk. Many of his co-stars did agree to reprise their roles, voicing their characters from Desilu’s studios in Los Angeles - voice recording for the regular cast was done in Toronto - but Shatner was the lone holdout. As a result, local talent had to be sought in the Toronto area, and a young impressionist comedian named Maurice LaMarche proved singularly able.  LaMarche’s skill and versatility would lead him to be hired to voice several characters for the series, and Star Trek would mark the beginning of his voice acting career in earnest. (Though he played the role fairly straight on the show, bootlegs from warm-ups and between takes of him goofing on the “Hammy Shatner” became hot commodities at Star Trek conventions ever after.)
During development, Kirk had been earmarked for an overdue promotion to Rear Admiral (or even Vice-Admiral, matching the rank of his most frequently-appearing superior, Admiral Komack), but the Under-Secretary of the Navy, made aware of these plans through one of his assistants, personally requested that Kirk remain a Commodore so as to increase the legitimacy of the newly-restored rank of Commodore in the actual US Navy, which had met with considerable resistance among senior Captains (many of whom had held the courtesy title of “Commodore” before that was eliminated so as to prevent confusion - indeed, it was replaced with “Fleet Captain”, itself borrowed from Star Trek). This request was almost immediately leaked to the press (many suspected Gerrold was responsible, though he denied it), and though certain corners tried to make political hay of the issue, it was ultimately consigned to the same set of anecdotes as the $600 toilet seat. In-universe, Kirk continuing to hold the rank of Commodore was justified as a deliberate decision on his part, as it was the highest rank that enabled him to remain on front-line duty - anything above that would require him to fly a desk back on Earth. Indeed, he had resumed command of the USS Excelsior.
And then there was the show’s most unique and inventive character: an android capable of directly interfacing with the Hyperion’s library computer itself. Named Internet (which was a reference to an obscure means of online information transmission used only by the military and research universities), the character stood in for Spock when it came time for the racial tolerance allegories. Internet also personified technology and artificial intelligence, two rather prominent fears in 1980s society. Although voiced by a woman, Internet was androgynous in appearance and had no gender in any meaningful sense of the word  - however, characters on the show (and the fandom at large) tended to use feminine pronouns for convenience’s sake, which she accepted. Her inquisitive questioning of gender roles additionally allowed the show to allegorize the changing realities of and expectations for men and women in modern society. (Characters who used dehumanizing pronouns such as “it” and “that” to refer to Internet were always depicted as being in the wrong for doing so - “she’s a valued member of our crew, not a thing or an object”).
The primary advantage to switching formats from live-action to animation was that the latter allowed for countless settings and character designs, located only by the imaginations of the artists and writers. By contrast, the original series had only been able to suggest locales more exotic than a well-dressed set or outdoor location through the judicious use (and, occasionally, reuse) of matte paintings for establishing background shots - characters, for their part, could only be as elaborate as the physical limitations of makeup, costuming, or props making technology allowed. The whole reason that Spock was depicted as half-Vulcan in the first place had been to imply that full Vulcans were more “alien” in appearance to ordinary humans - it was only as Spock became more integral as a character, and as the setting evolved from a relatively isolated “Wild West in space” to a more populated “Cold War in space” that the need to depict aliens on a regular basis emerged. Not only Vulcans but also Romulans were differentiated from regular humans only by their pointed ears and eyebrows, and the greenish tint to their skin (which was difficult to discern on television sets of the 1960s). Even Vulcans could not appear in large numbers (most members of crowds tended to wear helmets which obscured their ears); more elaborate aliens, such as the blue-skinned Andorians and the porcine Tellarites, were very scarce. Even simple alien designs such as the Tribbles could only be produced in limited quantities - “More Tribbles, More Troubles” was produced only because most of the original tribble props from “The Trouble with Tribbles” had been saved, allowing for most of the budget to be spent on the other alien life featured in the episode.
The animated series would change all that. Surprisingly, though, among the core characters, only Internet was non-human, and she was - if anything - easier to draw than most humans, given her androgynous and generically humanoid physique. However, among the supporting players, non-humans made their presence known. T’Pel, the female Vulcan Chief Engineer, was an attempt by D.C. Fontana to rehabilitate the reputation of the women of that species, generally remembered as either imperious and standoffish (like T’Pau) or shrewish and conniving (like T’Pring). T’Pel was also an Engineer (wearing operations red) to prove that not all Vulcans were theoreticians like Spock - though still (loosely speaking) a scientist (David Gerrold, discussing the cast of characters at the 1984 “Summer of Star Trek” convention, jokingly remarked that “all Vulcans work in the STEM fields”). Much as T’Pel was created to help defy stereotypes, so too was the Andorian Communications Officer, Ensign Thelos. Andorians were a notoriously warlike, cunning race - but Communications was by its very nature a passive, reactive position. Thelos was described internally as “the pacifist Andorian” - and he inherited the “forsaken his family legacy” plot point from Spock’s character, as his father was a typical Andorian martial officer who demanded that his son follow in his footsteps; instead, with the help of his Uncle, Captain Thelin of the USS Ares, he joined Starfleet. Despite not being a warrior, however, Thelos retained the Andorian mindset and had some difficulty adapting it to his new vocation (being a greenhorn fresh from the Academy). Rounding out the key officers of the Hyperion was the Navigator, Lt. Lora Quo  from China - the Chekov of the series, in that her role was intended to demonstrate a future in which Red China was harmoniously integrated with the rest of the world, similar to the role Chekov had played in the original series, representing the Soviet Union.
In addition to Commodore Kirk, the classic crew of the USS Enterprise appeared in various capacities. In contrast to William Shatner’s absence, most of the original cast did reprise their roles.
Leonard Nimoy returned as Spock, who continued to serve as the Vulcan Ambassador to the Federation, including in an episode loosely based on the original “Journey to Babel”, with the Hyperion serving much the same role that the Enterprise did (with the twist that Spock is not the suspected murderer but instead a would-be murder victim!). Likewise, Mark Lenard returned as his father, Sarek, informally “the President” but properly “President of the Federation Council”, though he rarely interacted with the main cast and existed primarily for expository purposes.
Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy, being the father of one of the main characters, also appeared; DeForest Kelley reprised his role as well. Bones, like his friend Jim Kirk, held the rank of Commodore, and served as Chief of the Medical Research Department at Starfleet Headquarters - a job that enabled him to continue working with patients and in the field, as necessary.
James Doohan voiced Commodore Montgomery “Scotty” Scott. Like Bones, he had returned to Earth to work at Starfleet Headquarters - specifically, the Research and Development Department. Scotty made it his mission to develop and test the necessary engine components to keep the Federation on the bleeding edge of Warp and Impulse propulsion technology. Functionally, this meant that Scotty appeared to introduce experimental engine equipment that needed to be “road-tested” on an active-duty Starfleet vessel - the Hyperion, being a modern front-line Starship, was often chosen for these tasks. Scotty often appeared in an episode only to brief the crew regarding the new engine component, leading many older fans to compare him with Q from the James Bond films.
Captain Penda Uhura remained the CO of the USS Enterprise, as she had been at the conclusion of The Next Voyage, and continued to be voiced by Nichelle Nichols. Meanwhile, Captain Pavel Chekov was placed in command of the USS Ares, a frigate and sister ship to the lost USS Artemis, doomed command of his onetime crewmate, the late Captain Walter Sulu. Chekov was voiced by Walter Koenig, who also contributed scripts to the new series.  (Other actors, including Rep. George Takei, the former Mr. Sulu, provided some story concepts, though obviously not all were used.)
The character of Dr. Christine Chapel, human wife of Ambassador Spock and former Head Nurse aboard the Enterprise, was deemed too important to exclude from the continuing universe, despite Chapel having previously been played by Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, who declined to participate in the new series out of solidarity with her husband. As a result, the same actress who portrayed Internet also portrayed the ship’s computer voice and Dr. Chapel herself. The key difference between the computer voice and Internet’s voice is that the former spoke in a harsh, clipped, and robotic monotone - Internet spoke with a more natural voice, though it was still overly formal and prosaic, in the best tradition of Mr. Spock.  Chapel spoke with a fully naturalistic cadence, and without the reverb effect applied to both the computer voice and Internet (along with other computers and robots) to differentiate them from “organics”.
Continuing on from the plotlines of the miniseries, relations between the three galactic Great Powers (the Federation, the Klingons, and the Romulans) remained tense. However, this remained in the background for the most part - Klingons and Romulans appeared infrequently. As befitted most cartoon series of the era, the adventures of the Hyperion were largely episodic, and educational. Like the original Star Trek, the animated series tended to quickly settle into formula. Usually, the Hyperion encountered an undiscovered planet, and the crew beamed down to initiate contact and open relations with the natives. Usually, these natives (who were rarely humanoid, and always inscrutable, taking fullest advantage of the animated format) were hostile, but oftentimes the two sides would be able to come to an agreement or compromise by the end. There were plenty of opportunities for conflict - senior bridge officers often disagreed on just how to handle the aliens. One of the staff writers, Mark Evanier, is credited with the idea - a fairly novel one in cartoons of the day - to give most opinions (with the exception of obviously “wrong” ones) a fair shot. Occasionally, dissenting characters were proven right by events, or after further debate- this spat in the face of the convention which Evanier described as “the complainer is always wrong”, and it found favour with Fontana and Gerrold as well.
Another of the show’s writers, Paul Dini, tended to focus on the mystery elements of Star Trek. The newly-discovered world or alien would inevitably be hiding secrets which would have to be divined by the crew of the Hyperion before they could solve their problems. Perhaps the most ambitious of the show’s writers was J. Michael Straczynski, who reminded both Fontana and Gerrold of the late, great Gene L. Coon, with his penchant for world-building and running storylines. Obviously, there were limitations on how far he could take his ideas, but he relished the opportunity to give characters on all sides complex motivations. For this reason, Straczynski was named the show’s Story Editor, a position once held by both Fontana and then Gerrold on the original series. Straczynski also took up Gerrold’s torch in communicating regularly and openly with the fandom. The only other female staff writer was Gerrold’s former assistant, and ardent Trekkie, Diane Duane. By this time, she had begun writing her own original novels, but relished the opportunity to write “canon” Star Trek material.
But all of the staff writers were acutely aware of the fandom, and how it would react to this new Star Trek series. The original Star Trek had certainly been accessible to children in its day, as most primetime shows in the 1960s were by design. However, it was not explicitly a “kids’ show” - it didn’t air on Saturday mornings, alongside Bugs Bunny and the myriad Westerns where the bad guys wore black hats and the good guys wore white ones. There was no getting around that this incarnation of Star Trek, by contrast,was primarily intended for a young audience, mostly the “Mini-Boomers” who had been born in the years following the end of Star Trek’s original run, the generation following the original Boomers who had watched Star Trek in such large numbers. To this end, the entire writing staff did their best to ensure that the new Star Trek could be enjoyed by the whole family - that parents who watched alongside their children could enjoy the show. The ample references to the original series, and vague hinting at political machinations (the classic Star Trek technique of making the galaxy seem much larger than it really was) both paid dividends here. The writers borrowed from shows like Sesame Street and The Electric Company and using humour and wordplay which appealed to both children and adults. In terms of character development, the dual appeal was achieved through a dual narrative focus: many episodes would focus on the plot from the perspective of both the father (Captain Probst) and his son (Jimmy). Other characters (such as Joanna or Khumalo) would mediate or allow for a compromise between these two perspectives. Sometimes Jimmy himself would serve as the mediator, most memorably in the holiday special.
When the show began airing in the autumn of 1984, critical reviews were very positive. The fandom, on the other hand, was more mixed. Unsurprisingly, the old battle lines re-emerged with remarkable swiftness, as though it were 1978 all over again. In one corner, of course, were the Puritans, many of whom had washed their hands of Desilu after Roddenberry left that studio. The animated series being such a radical departure gave them further resolve - first Star Trek had mutated into a soap opera, and now it was a Saturday morning cartoon. Many in particular resented the presence of both a cute kid and a robot in the cast - the two character types that were traditionally anathema to science-fiction. Surprisingly, this gave them some common ground with Straczynski, who was vocal about his distaste for cute kids and robots, but as a writer, appreciated the challenge of making them work within the context of the show. However, this did not sway the Puritans one iota. In their eyes, the two men who had made Star Trek great now had nothing to do with the franchise anymore - one was dead and buried, the other’s career was dead and buried.
Moderate fans tended to be more sanguine about the show. A consensus had emerged over time that the magic of the original, 1966-71 hourlong live-action series was lightning in a bottle and could not be replicated - and Desilu was wise not to try. One of the key objectives of this animated spinoff was to sell more toys based off the crew and ship designs featured, with object lessons (more educational and less philosophical than those of old) being a secondary concern, at best. Still, in their eyes, the new show was a continuation of Star Trek in every meaningful sense of the word. And, just as with the original series, the new show was a smash-hit with target audiences, quickly emerging as the #1 show on Saturday mornings with all demographics under the age of 18 - and, technically, with all audiences, though this was a lesser concern for advertisers; commercials for playsets and toys (including Star Trek playsets and toys!) dominated the timeslot.
On July 31, 1985 (a Wednesday), The Animated Adventures of Star Trek won the inaugural Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program, the first “series” win for the franchise since 1971. D.C. Fontana and David Gerrold, the two showrunners, accepted the award.  The Daytime Emmys were held in New York City, and therefore most of the Desilu brass did not attend, but the Emmy win remained a powerful vindication of the studio’s decision to branch out into animation - and to have waited until the time was right to do so.
 IOTL, the Animation Guild went on strike twice over runaway production: once in 1978 (they won), and again in 1983 (they lost).
 Yes, ITTL, “Wesley” is the term fandom culture uses instead of OTL’s “Scrappy”. Note that TV Tropes formerly used the term “Wesley” to describe a related trope, the Creator’s Pet; ITTL, the term “Wesley” refers to OTL’s “Scrappy” and “Wesley” types, in much the same way that IOTL the term “Mary Sue” specifically referred to what is now called the “Mary Sue Classic” but broadened over time to refer to other Sue-types as well. (Also, yes, Roddenberry was a big fan of the name “Wesley” - the Star Trek character you’re likely thinking of right now was not the first to be so named).
 And it’s still better than what the franchise ever managed IOTL!
 The implication in the 1960s and early 1970s (ITTL, at least) was that the “United States of Africa” covered only the Swahili-speaking regions of Africa (Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi) but subsequently the US of Africa was implied to also cover the minority-ruled territories which became a political cause celebre in the 1970s (Angola, Mozambique, Rhodesia, and of course, South Africa - including South-West Africa) - and, by extension, countries within their sphere of influence (Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, etc.). Thus, the United States of Africa, shown on a map of Earth in a Star Trek reference book printed in the early 1980s, covers all of Africa south of Zaire, Sudan (including South Sudan, obviously), Ethiopia, and Somalia - it also excludes the Angolan exclave of Cabinda, because that’s not very neatly space-filling, now is it? (The rest of Africa is deliberately left as a blank, undefined mass to avoid any unintended implications).
 Maurice LaMarche got his start as an impressionist comedian, and toured with Rodney Dangerfield as his opening act for a time (appearing in that capacity on the 9th Annual Young Comedians Special in 1984). By this time IOTL, he had already appeared in holiday specials for the Canadian animation studio Nelvana, impersonating various celebrities. His first “real” gig IOTL is generally accepted to be his role on Inspector Gadget, starting in 1985; a series of tragedies in his personal life would lead him to abandon stand-up comedy for voice acting full-time some years later. ITTL, his skilled Shatner impression (which can be heard most anywhere on the internet) wins him the part, but in contrast to his OTL oeuvre of comedic and parodic takes on the character, he plays the role very straight. He never really did that IOTL, but consider Orson Welles, another of his famous voices, which he did play straight exactly once in his career: for Ed Wood (yes, that’s Vincent D’Onofrio playing his body, but it is LaMarche’s voice). I think it’s reasonable to assume that he can do the same for Shatner ITTL what he did for Welles IOTL.
 This is a key difference from her OTL analogue, an android that was emphatically described as “fully functional” and engaged in sexual relations. That obviously wouldn’t fly on Saturday morning.
 Quo is the name of the character in the show’s bible and in written promotional materials. The Chinese character representing her surname is 郭, which in the Pinyin script officially sanctioned by the People’s Republic of China is transliterated as Guō; however, this script does not enjoy widespread recognition in the West ITTL. The transliteration Quo is chosen over the more standard Kuo in order to look more “exotic”, though the name is obviously not seen by much of the viewership, given the lack of nametags. Quo has an English given name (unlike Khumalo, though as with her surname it has an unusual spelling) due to their widespread usage among the Chinese diaspora in the Anglosphere, which is therefore (mistakenly) perceived as standard.
 Walter Koenig wrote a script for the animated series IOTL, “The Infinite Vulcan”. He was the only member of the original cast who ever wrote an episode of any series - Leonard Nimoy received story credits for The Voyage Home and The Undiscovered Country, and William Shatner received a story credit for The Final Frontier.
 Essentially, the computer voice speaks with its original cadence, whereas Internet speaks with the same cadence that the computer voice adopted in later OTL productions.
 The inaugural winner of the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program IOTL was Muppet Babies, in the first of four consecutive wins (yes, even at the Daytime Emmys, they love their repetition). As ITTL, the award was first handed out at the 12th Daytime Emmys in 1985, signifying the new generation of Saturday morning cartoons entering the mainstream (in addition to Muppet Babies, the other nominees were The Smurfs, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and “old guard” holdover Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids).
Thanks to e of pi for assisting in the editing of this update, as usual.
And there we have it! The Animated Adventures of Star Trek, for your viewing enjoyment! Might I suggest a bowl of sugar cereal and footy pyjamas in order to replicate the full experience?
Wow! I love it...and you worked in someone I like working into TLs! (The world's biggest fan of Zatanna...)
So, in terms of animation, what would be the closest OTL approximation to the Animated Adventures of Star Trek? More Castle of Cagliostro or Transformers
Great update! A very nice touch having JMS join the Trek team, and one that fits nicely with his OTL activities in that period. I wonder if he'll develop the idea he had IOTL (though admittedly much later, when pitching a Trek reboot in the noughties with Bryce Zabel) for developing the backstory of a mysterious elder race that populated the galaxy with humanoids.
I'm also curious at how the Animated Adventures will update the theme tune for its new, youthful audience. Could CBBC viewers ITTL catching the British broadcast of the Animated Adventures be treated to something along these lines? (skip to 0:55 for its full glory).
The look is probably closer to Castle of Cagliostro, but my idea of the voice cast is more in the Transformers/G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero range -- Arthur Burghardt as Commander Khumalo, either Michael Bell or Peter Cullen as Captain Probst, etc.
Mark Evanier, Paul Dini and Diane Duane? (And JMS too, I guess.) Working from a concept by Fontana and Gerrold? I thought you weren't writing a utopia!
Seriously, this show sounds brilliant and I lament that I can't buy the CEDs.
Wow! Cool update! That show sounds awesome!
Quick question: with Diane Duane working on actual productions, does that mean that her Rihannsu version of the Romulans becomes cannon (at some point)?
Interesting take on the concept. I like the irony that you effectively incorporated OTL Animated Series concepts into the later live action material, and OTL Next Generation concepts into the animated series--though that's understandable given that in OTL many TNG concepts first came about in either the Phase II planning or the Animated Series.
As someone who grew up watching the OTL Animated Series, I can only hope that the animation in this version is a little more sophisticated than 'Kirk flings himself at the camera moving his arms in a robotic way'
The ability to have genuinely alien-aliens is of course an advantage of animation; interesting that they did not decide to incorporate a truly nonhumanoid bridge crew member as the OTL animated series did.
On Wesley Crusher, one thing I find puzzling is that the Making of TNG book mentions that at one point the character was planned as a girl named Leslie, which doesn't seem to mesh with the idea that he was Roddenberry's self-insert boy genius from the start.
The other thing I find interesting is the relatively small timeskip involved here. I've pondered recently what TNG might have been like if they'd gone with a timeskip of 30-40 years rather than 100 with respect to the Original Series. I think TNG's setting suffered a bit from this because they had to reuse so much movie-era stuff whenever they wanted to show a past starship--it would have made a lot more sense if the Enterprise-D (perhaps call it the Enterprise-C instead) was represented as more of a great leap forward but we're still in the 2330s or something so that explains why there are still plenty of movie-era ships and no new uniform between the movies and the TNG era.
Thanks, everyone, for the warm welcome back and for the responses to my two latest posts. It feels nice to be back in the saddle again, even after all this time away
Before I get to my replies, however, I want to take this opportunity to plug my latest (and last!) guest post for Eyes Turned Skyward, the space exploration timeline by e of pi and Workable Goblin, two long-time friends of and consultants for That Wacky Redhead. That thread is in the midst of its final batch of updates, so if you'd like to be on the forefront of that, I'd suggest you check it out!
One of the reasons I started this timeline in the first place was to practice my writing - and one of my weaknesses as a writer is never finishing what I start.
Well, Indira Gandhi ran a whole big country; that isn't easy - even if you're a guy. (Although in 1972 it would have been "runs", not "ran".)
But in all seriousness, I haven't focused nearly enough on India to give you an answer that would satisfy me. Tentatively I'll say no, she isn't still PM. Either she never got back into power in 1980, or she was successfully assassinated after having gotten back into power, as she was IOTL. Consider it a Schrodinger's Cat situation, if you like.
Glad to be back! And thanks for sticking around, I appreciate your tenacity
And glad to see you're still here, Orville, having been a part of this wacky adventure ever since Page One!
Yes. No. No. Yes. As covered in some detail in the update that followed your query
I'm glad you caught that implication! And you can definitely consider that canon. Even if the show itself doesn't do it, SCTV (produced in Canada, where VTRs are legal) will.
Excellent question, and something I just might have to address in the movies update.
Amusingly enough (and this was not planned) but I was conceived shortly before the end of this TL. I'm not sure if that has any significance
Superb question! I think that's going to fall into a grey area, and of course someone will take the matter to court - but it won't reach the Supremes until well after 1986, (un)fortunately
The 1980s ITTL are not dominated by fears of a nuclear holocaust. Even nuclear power is much more widely accepted - and this has resulted in a schism in the environmentalist movement. Solar panel technology is more advanced ITTL thanks to work on the microwave power prototypes - but relatively speaking, nuclear reactors are even more advanced (we'll get into that a bit in the next update), and all but the most hysterical anti-nuclear activists (who are generally considered loons) have a "fission or bust" approach to transitioning away from reliance on fossil fuels.
Fun fact: I was going to give San Andreas the nickname of Vice City, but (this being the 1980s) it was decided to go with something more colourful, and what's more colourful than neon?
(That was a rhetorical question, Thande )
I've already made quite a few! You should check the attachments page
I like that expression, for more reasons than one! But yes, the prevailing trends in television seem to alternate with time. The 1950s, 1970s, 1990s, and 2010s are all "substance" decades, and the 1960s, 1980s, and 2000s are all "style" decades, and I suspect each shift is at least in part a reaction to the prevailing atmosphere that precedes it.
Including Chris Barrie! This is why I want to have him get into voice acting - we need to give him the chance to utilize those incredible talents of his!
Creativity always tends to flourish in the face of adversity or struggle. I think it says something about the nature of human ingenuity.
Good thing I'll be discussing British Telly in an upcoming post! Thanks for the input
Titles are one of the most easily butterflied aspects of any creative work, and such is the case with TTL's version of Battlefield: Earth.
Good eye - this is definitely intended to be TTL's version of "V". (I didn't say it in the post, but as far as I'm concerned, It Can't Happen Here was adapted by Johnson as a straight miniseries.)
Yes, Olmos is involved with the series, as IOTL (though from the outset). I actually like him for the co-lead on Neon City Vice, even though he was Da Chief on Miami Vice.
Thank you for the infobox! For comparison, here is the one I previously made covering that same election, and here is the map to go with it.
Thanks, Orville! Yes, Paul Dini was one of the many talented 1980s cartoon writers (he worked on He-Man) who achieved greatness later in his career (Batman, of course - though IMO his greatest creation in that milieu was the delightfully kooky Harley Quinn). I brought him onboard because he could make the basic mystery element common in many episodes of Star Trek work in an animated format.
The character designs and animation owe more to idiosyncratic shows like The Smurfs or Alvin and the Chipmunks. The action is definitely more in the Transformers or G.I. Joe vein. The backgrounds owe the most to the lavish Cogliostro style. I really can't say any one particular OTL animated series looks the most like Star Trek ITTL.
JMS was the Story Editor for The Real Ghostbusters, of course, which is why I gave him that same role ITTL. I'm leaning against him developing an idea like the one you describe, though - it feels too 1990s (and beyond) Myth Arc, especially for a 22-minute Saturday morning cartoon.
The kernel of your idea is a very good one, although the example you've provided gives me some pause...
What's interesting is that a lot of classic 1980s cartoon themes actually sound rather dated, even by the standards of their time. Listen to the He-Man theme, for example. Or the G.I. Joe theme. Even the Transformers theme (minus the vocal distortion effects, of course). However, I think I will go with your idea and have the Star Trek theme be a recognizably 1980s rearrangement.
After all, I think I found the perfect 1970s rearrangement to use as the theme song for The Next Voyage! (Just kidding!)
Peter Cullen as Probst? Well, he is Canadian, so I suppose it might be possible...
The actors we're looking at for most of these roles are members of the DiC and Nelvana repertory, for the most part. There's going to be substantial overlap with the cast of Care Bears, for example. However, Desilu will insist that an actual black actor is cast to play Khumalo, and that an actual Asian actress is cast to play Quo, and those are thin on the ground at this point, alas.
Thanks for your suggestions, though, and if you (or any others!) have more, I'd love to hear them.
Evanier, of course, was the showrunner for Garfield and Friends, and I brought him on specifically because of his vocal opposition to The Complainer Is Always Wrong trope - which I think meshes well with the message of Star Trek (ITTL, at least). And when I found out about Duane having worked on cartoon shows in the 1980s IOTL, well, how could I possibly resist?
Don't worry, they'll keep airing reruns into the new millennium. (Especially in Canada - I may have loosened CanCon restrictions, but they sure aren't gone entirely.)
Unfortunately not - it's been decided that, ITTL, canon was already too divergent by 1984 (when the first Rihannsu book was published IOTL).
Note that Gerrold (uncredited) co-wrote the show's bible, and Fontana is credited for co-writing the pilot. And they're the two people involved ITTL. Coincidence? I think not!
It's not movie quality, but it's very competent and flows nicely
A deliberate choice by the production team - each new alien the crew encounters seem even more alien than they would with a token Edosian, Caitian, Horta, or Tribble on the bridge.
Yes, I've heard that too, but I think the choice of name belies that. Leslie? A gender-flipped self-insert is still a self-insert, Gene
My impression (especially with the Bones cameo in the pilot - yes, he's under gobs of old-age makeup, but I doubt he's intended to be 140) is that the show was supposed to be set a bit earlier than where they eventually found themselves, but Gene (of course) wanted to distance the show from those awful movies which he hated so much because he wasn't in charge of them anymore.
It's a bit of a cheap suggestion, but Michael Dorn as Khumalo? I know he doesn't get involved in voicework until the nineties IOTL.
When I was a kid I remember hearing a radio interview with Duane where she talked about her cartoon work. That was where I learned that the first person the Scooby Doo gang meet is always the one in the monster suit.
I feel stupid now, I never noticed that. (of course I haven't actually seen the show in years)
Really? It's a major feature of the show.
I never noticed it myself when I was watching--it was pointed out by a friend who had, in turn, heard it from an oldr sibling. To be honest, though it's startlingly obvious in hindsight, I'd be really interested in a breakdown of who noticed it, didn't notice it, or only noticed it after having it pointed out.
Separate names with a comma.