That Wacky Redhead

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

  1. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Location:
    The British Empire
    Fun fact: nixonshead produced that image originally, and was kind enough to use the assets he created to render a "stripped-down" version of the station in its embryonic form.

    Thank you, Ogrebear! Superb. One of my favourite words, especially when applied to the fruits of my labour :cool:

    I'll get more into this in a subsequent reply, but suffice it to say that e of pi is in charge of the design; fitting, given that he is an aerospace engineer :)

    Indeed they are; I'm very, very lucky to have nixonshead on board, and willing to volunteer his increasingly precious free time!

    Thank you, Daibhid! :)

    First of all, welcome aboard, TheBatafour! You've said some very lovely things about TWR elsewhere on this forum, and it's really nice to see you now saying them here as well ;) Kudos to you for remembering my consultants, without whom I like to think this timeline would be incalculably poorer.

    Well, you know, not everything has to be changed from OTL :p

    Indeed it does! And don't worry, I never object to speculation and conjecture about the possibilities of TTL, however passionately they may be delivered ;)

    Thank you very much for this profuse praise, but you know what they say: always leave the audience wanting more :)

    Thank you!

    Excellent question! Allow me to guide you through my thought process.

    I felt that the upset 1970 victory IOTL of Edward Heath's Tories over the incumbent Wilson Labour government was likely subject to the butterflies which would be spreading worldwide by this time, and honestly I was intrigued by the possibilities of having Wilson hold onto power instead - primarily because, as you note, such a happenstance would likely change the fate of Britain's relationship with the EEC. Heath was a staunch eurofederalist - the most europhile PM the UK has ever had. And even he had a great deal of difficulty bringing the UK into the EEC. Someone more ambivalent, like Wilson, probably would not have been able to do so, especially since much of his Labour Party opposed joining the EEC.

    I knew that Britain joining the EEC nullified its existing trade agreements with outside parties, including the reciprocity with Australia and New Zealand which was the remnant of the old Imperial Preference system, and that this crippled their economies (between that and the Overseas Quagmire, Australia was hobbled in the 1970s IOTL - they did a lot better ITTL). This reciprocity would remain in place ITTL, and shut out from the EEC, Wilson (and then Whitelaw) would be forced to build on those instead - and the obvious place to start would be the other member states of the Commonwealth, particularly Canada. Thus, the Commonwealth Trade Agreement was born. Obviously that would breed cooperation elsewhere, and when e of pi and I got to discussing the ESA without Britain, and what Britain (still a Great Power) would do outside the ESA, we eventually unearthed an OTL shadow project for an all-British rocket to replace Europa, which involved swapping in Black Arrow for Coralie and Astris. There was also an OTL concept for a Blue Streak-Centaur multi-stage rocket, so we essentially combined the two ideas to arrive at a workable rocket capable of launching substantial payload to orbit. It wouldn't be feasible for the UK to build Centaurs themselves, and the country in the Commonwealth best placed to build the Centaur stage after the UK (to thus share the burden of costs) was obviously Canada. That led to us deciding that Australia would be just about capable of building the tiny third stage by itself; thus, the CSA was born.

    Our process in arriving at this was basically that I had a very broad vision for what I wanted, and I entrusted e of pi to find the material necessary to make it happen, which we would cobble together in a collaborative fashion. This is basically how almost all conceptual work we've done with regards to space exploration for TWR has developed.

    Well, you know, it's like poetry.

    I figured you might get a kick out of it, Andrew :D (In my head, the lyric "I Want It Yesterday" weirdly has the same melody as "I Can Do Anything!" (note: not an actual lyric in that song.)

    Don't forget, before Madonna really hit it big, Cyndi Lauper played up the "sexy" angle of her persona a lot more, before Madonna's "sex kitten" phase basically made her efforts redundant, to the point where she's not even remembered as a sex symbol anymore; just a kooky, fun-loving weirdo (despite being the woman who wrote and performed "She Bop", which, well... speaks for itself).
     
  2. TheBatafour Complete Anarchy

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    Stop making me remember that documentary! It's like a crash investigation almost, the way it shows Lucas having no real idea of what he's doing...

    But hey, you are hinting at THE Star Wars Update, so let me just dump some information on what I think it might entail. First off, the matter of director. With Marcia and George staying together, she'll probably stay on to edit the next episode, but as I discovered thanks to a quick google, she did the same IOTL, though uncredited. If they do separate though, you'll see some interesting effects. I've heard the OTL darkness of Temple of Doom attributed to their divorce, so we would see this second film being quite dark as hell, darker perhaps that Empire Strikes Back. I'm also not sure that with the emotional turmoil, Lucas would have the courage to direct it, which opens all kinds of interesting options. David Lynch anyone? Actually, I'm not sure I've heard Lynch mentioned in TWR, and that level of oddness is a very Brainbin thing, going by TTL:p

    Of course, a sad Lucas can easily be averted, given the amount of creative freedom (and cash) he now has thanks to that 'Trial of the Century'. What I suspect is that this might trigger his Prequel Hubris early. After all, even the first drafts for Star Wars itself were infused with the nigh-incomprehensible mess of lore and fantasy vistas that made the prequels infamous. It would be interesting to see Marcia limit him here, because I sure hope she can.

    Thus, taken together, I see about three or four possibilities:
    1) Lucas feels empowered by the trial, but Marcia and others edit it down into something that works (so OTL New Hope, but with a bigger budget)
    2) Lucas, either out of personal turmoil or insecurity, lets someone else take the directing job. I'm putting my money on David Lynch here.
    3) Lucas, out of the aforementioned turmoil, goes full 'AUTEUR THEORY' and produces the 80s equivalent of Phantom Menace. This would prove at last that you, Brainbin, are writing anything but a utopia! Therefore I could see you do this as well:p

    So, that's looking at the man in charge, but there's more going on of course. One of the most important technical spinoffs off the Star Wars franchise (and Lucas in general) is of course ILM, and George is not moving out of special effects work anytime soon. Seeing as how computer animation is tied up in ILM in the form of Pixar, I could see an animated Journey of the Force movie ten years from TTLs end as a possibility, as long as George doesn't crash the franchise.

    Going back to your post on the first one, I think this film will do well. Lucas is in a seemingly good place ITTL. The problem with OTL is the prequel trilogy poisoning the well. I find myself looking at happy puppet Yoda quite differently after all the nonsense he spouts and sabers he swings in those new films. But hey, George Lucas is not a demon, and he's not on trial (anymore). I'm looking forward to a great update!
     
  3. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Location:
    The British Empire
    Appendix B, Part XI: As the World Turns
    Appendix B, Part XI: As the World Turns

    At the dawn of the twentieth century, the very height of British imperial power, a small but vocal and enthusiastic minority of the chattering classes at Westminster, led by the quixotic Liberal Unionist Joseph Chamberlain, were agitating for an evolution of the Empire from its traditional form into a cooperative Imperial Federation which would return legislators representing not only the UK but also her Dominions beyond the Seas - initially only the “civilized” pre-WWI White Dominions (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland, and South Africa), but eventually all of the territories spanning the length and breadth of the Empire. This did not happen before World War I, which would prove nearly as devastating to the relationship between Britain and her Dominions as the conflict itself had been in terms of lives lost. From that point forward, the Empire - having reached its territorial zenith as the result of gains made in that war - began to drift apart, until it was forced apart after World War II, due to a variety of internal and external factors. An increasing number of Britons believed that their future lie across the channel, with the continent that had for so long been the object of their vexations, as opposed to beyond the seas with their former countrymen.

    Certain political forces on the continent, however thrilled and grateful they might have been at the part which the British had played in their liberation from Nazi oppression, were not quite so willing to embrace them as partners in peacetime. Once bitten, twice shy, so the expression went, though in the case of the United Kingdom it took three rejections (two from French President Charles de Gaulle, and a third as the result of protracted negotiations between the EEC leadership and British PM Harold Wilson) before Perfidious Albion finally sought friends elsewhere, and even then, their decision to remain a part of the EFTA and seek closer trade relations with the Commonwealth Realms in the meantime was perceived on all sides as a stopgap measure. What the British government had not expected was that a number of key geopolitical realignments would be taking place in the 1970s which would have dramatic repercussions on the ultimate destinies of not only the UK, but all of the continental powers as well…

    With the collapse of the Backwards Bloc in the 1970s, its three European members (Spain, Portugal, and Greece) floated the idea of seeking membership in the common market, also known as the EEC, so as to have greater access to foreign goods, services, capital, and people. The three countries had already reduced trade barriers amongst themselves during the Backwards Bloc years, with Spain and Portugal in particular forging what had become known as the “Iberian Compact”, essentially a common market in miniature (albeit, and unlike the EEC, without erecting trade barriers with the rest of the world). As Portugal was already a member state of the looser EFTA, this in effect made Spain an indirect member of that bloc as well. As a result of the Iberian Sunrise, both countries agreed to pursue a joint destiny for themselves: they would jointly seek admittance to the EEC, or failing that, Portugal would lobby for Spain’s entry into the EFTA. At first the EEC easily seemed the more logical destination for the two Iberian monarchies, with a much greater upside, but gradually the EFTA came to look more and more attractive, as a result of the changes transforming both the EEC and the EFTA beginning in the 1970s, and into the 1980s.

    Both blocs first enlarged from their charter rosters in the 1970s: the EEC admitted Denmark in 1973; the EFTA admitted Iceland in 1970, Ireland at British behest in 1974 - as the Celtic republic had originally sought to join the EEC alongside the UK, but effectively could not do so without them - and Finland, an associate member of the EFTA since 1961, joined as a full member shortly thereafter; both moves were in response to the oil crisis and the Humphrey shock, amongst other economic uncertainties in the mid-1970s. This brought EFTA membership to ten states, though the UK remained the only economic Great Power within the bloc, with the world’s sixth-largest economy in 1975. [1]

    The EEC, by contrast, though it was willing to admit the very large British economy in 1973, eventually changed direction, choosing to focus on economic, social, and political integration of her existing members, the Inner Six plus Denmark. These included three of the world’s ten largest economies: West Germany (#4), France (#5), and Italy (#7). [2] Ironically, Denmark, which arguably stood the most to gain from stronger ties with her more prosperous partners in the EEC, would consistently prove a thorn in the side of integration, its population seeming to prefer that the EEC retain what had up until that point been its primary function as a common market, despite the lofty (and vague) ambitions for “ever closer union” that had been a part of the vision for the bloc since its inception. Many EEC bureaucrats would ruefully remark in the years to come that admitting Denmark in the first place was probably a mistake, but there was no going back now. EEC politicians and economists began to float the idea - which, in various forms, had dated back to the nineteenth century - of a common currency for all EEC states. This began in earnest with the development of the European Unit of Account in 1974, in direct response to the collapse of the Bretton Woods system. Politicians in the EEC were enthusiastic about monetary union, and were eager to make lemonade out of the lemons that the Humphrey shock had handed them, despite the fact that monetary union was made more, not less, difficult with the severe fluctuations brought about with the switch to a pure fiat system. However, when US President Reagan once again tied the value of the US dollar to the Gold Standard in 1977, policymakers within the EEC suddenly found themselves facing a golden opportunity of their own, and monetary union became the driving force of economic and political policy within the EEC from that point forward. Though the EEC continued to invite new applications for membership, expansion had become a definite sideshow to integration. Danish trepidation over having joined the European project, meanwhile, continued to rise.

    Spain, Portugal, and Greece all had reservations about joining a trade bloc where monetary union was on the cards - EEC bureaucrats had gone so far as to insert clauses into draft treaties with these countries making “eventual membership within a European Monetary Union and exclusive usage of its monetary unit for currency” a pre-condition of further negotiation. That gave all these countries pause, and in the end, they joined the EFTA - Spain in 1979, and Greece in 1980 - for the time being. Spain in particular was a boon to the EFTA as the world’s 11th-largest economy in 1980, more prosperous than any other EFTA country save the UK. Greece was no slouch either, with an economy comparable in size to existing members Portugal and Finland. The microstate of Liechtenstein, whose only borders were with two EFTA members (Switzerland and Austria), also joined the bloc at this time, giving the EFTA proper a membership of thirteen states.

    The UK was in a unique situation - as the EFTA, unlike the EEC, did not preclude independent trade agreements with states outside of the bloc, the UK retained trade reciprocity with many of her former colonies, a legacy of the old Imperial Preference system. Nowhere was this more to British benefit than in Australia - one of the world’s ten largest economies in 1975. The two countries had always shared very close cultural ties, although Australia’s population had diversified from its predominantly Anglo-Celtic ancestry after World War II (90% of Australians were of British and/or Irish heritage in 1947) to include settlers from elsewhere in Europe (most notably Italians) and, increasingly, Asians. In joining the EEC, the UK would be required to abandon her trade links with Australia, and British politicians were very much aware of this at the time, but gave it little thought, even though it would have devastated the Australian economy. It was only after the fact, once it was clear that Britain would not be joining the EEC, that commentators sought to make political capital out of existing trade links to the Commonwealth - “our brothers and sisters beyond the Seas”, who had fought in the same wars, spoke the same language, and shared the same culture - and how these would have been jeopardized by EEC membership. Gradually, this helped turn the tide of public opinion against joining the EEC, especially once the Commonwealth Trade Agreement began to take shape.

    The largest economy in the CTA other than the UK itself was Canada, the world’s eighth-largest economy in 1975. Had Canada remained under the leadership of Liberal PM Pierre Trudeau, who disdained Canada’s British heritage and did his best to de-emphasize or even eliminate it from the workings of the Canadian government (a trend kickstarted by his predecessor, Lester Pearson, in the 1960s), it would have been unlikely that Canada would have taken so dominant a role in the emergence of the “New Commonwealth”, as it was sometimes called, in the 1970s. However, Tory PM Robert Stanfield was from Nova Scotia, culturally far more British than Trudeau’s Francophone province of Quebec, and he recognized that the best way to reduce the influence of the American economy and culture over that of Canada was to find ballast to it - Trudeau had favoured Red China to this end, but Stanfield realized that the Commonwealth in general and the UK in particular would be much better partners. The Commonwealth Trade Agreement turned out - much like the European Coal and Steel Community of the 1950s had been for the EEC - to be the first step in something altogether grander and more all-encompassing than a mere trade treaty.

    Many economists and even some politicians in Canada favoured trade reciprocity with the United States, but others feared that their much stronger industrial base would cripple the Canadian manufacturing sector, putting hundreds of thousands - if not millions - of jobs at risk, which would easily subvert the benefits from cheaper and more accessible goods and services. The UK and particularly Australia seemed far less remote a threat to Canadian manufacturing interests. Canada was particularly interested in including the various Caribbean island nations that were part of the Commonwealth in the CTA, as crops were grown there which were impractical in the colder Canadian climate - even after the Turks and Caicos had joined Canada as its third territory in 1981, the economy of that small island chain was based largely on tourism and (as increasing numbers of well-off Canadians made their homes there in the winter) the service industry. Canada also had a large Caribbean diaspora population who favoured closer economic ties with their homelands. Jamaica was the most populous Commonwealth Realm in the Caribbean, with nearly 2.2 million people in 1981; Trinidad and Tobago followed with a population of 1.1 million. No other Commonwealth Realm in the Caribbean had a population of over 500,000. Jamaica had a particularly important role in the formation of the CTA as the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 1975 - the event considered the “birth” of the trade bloc - was held in its capital of Kingston. The host of the event, Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley, opposed protectionism and favoured closer trade links with the mature, much larger economies who formed the core of the CTA, and most other Commonwealth organizations. These were the “Big Three” of the UK, Canada, and Australia. In 1975, they were three of the world’s ten largest economies, providing their bloc with an important distinction which was, appropriately enough, shared with the EEC.

    As was the case with the EEC, the CTA evolved over time. Initially, the organization committed itself solely to the reduction of trade barriers, but there was also some discussion of possible regulatory functions for the distribution of goods across the “Commonwealth Market”, as commentators, particularly in the UK, came to refer to it. Free movement of people, an important pillar of the EEC, was also discussed, and this suggestion was met with the most enthusiastic response - the problem was that the Big Three were all eager to have their citizens freely live and work amongst their countries, but all feared the problem of opening their borders to the citizens of impoverished Caribbean countries. This was a barrier to a number of moves toward integration - the notion suited the Big Three, and perhaps a select few others, but only when it was limited to just them. As a result, the Big Three began to meet privately amongst themselves to discuss economic and political matters. The first meeting was held in 1977, shortly after the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting that year in London, and ostensibly to discuss the particulars of the Commonwealth Space Agency; however, the CTA and how it could serve as a springboard for further economic integration was also a topic of discussion.

    New Zealand, despite its much smaller population than the big three (just over 3 million in 1981; the UK had over 56 million, Canada had 25 million, and Australia had 15 million), was a similarly mature economy, and usually shared similar objectives and goals with the Big Three, as well as from possible expansion of the CTA into other competencies. However, it was excluded from the “brain trust” meetings for reasons of optics; if New Zealand, one of the old “White Dominions”, were excluded from the meetings, they would look less like a conspiracy of the oppressors against the oppressed of the former Empire, although many did indeed make this argument regardless; New Zealand’s exclusion merely served to annoy the Kiwis.

    What eventually became known as the Commonwealth Free Movement Area, or CFMA, emerged as the result of discussions beginning at the first formal Big Three Meeting in 1978, held shortly after Canadian PM Robert Stanfield won re-election, at his official retreat in Harrington Lake, in the Gatineau Hills across the Ottawa River from the nation’s capital. [3] All three PMs in attendance agreed that all citizens of all three countries should in principle have freedom to live and work in any of the three, which would supersede the existing paradigm of emigrants from (usually) the UK merely having the right of return. By 1978, all three countries had net immigration, and there was little fear of a flood of emigrants from one or two of them to the others as the result of such an arrangement. All three agreed that New Zealand should also become a charter member of the CFMA, but had strong reservations with regards to the Caribbean Commonwealth Realms; emigration from the region to all of the Big Three countries was already very high in the 1970s, and that was without full freedom of movement. It was, therefore, decided at that meeting that developing the Commonwealth into a more elaborate organization with further-reaching competencies should be a “layered” process: membership of the CTA should not automatically confer membership of the CFMA, but, by contrast, membership of the CFMA was contingent on existing membership of the CTA. Another mechanism agreed upon at this meeting was the right of any and all existing members of any Commonwealth organization to veto further enlargement. After the meeting concluded, New Zealand was informed of plans for the CFMA and showed an interest in becoming a member.

    However, it was during the early-1980s that plans for integration of the core Commonwealth Realms into a multi-layered, quasi-confederal organization had to clear some important ideological roadblocks. The Commonwealth of Nations could not be depicted as a true brotherhood of equals so long as the UK Parliament at Westminster retained the ability to amend the constitutions of other Commonwealth Realms at will, and without recourse on the part of those Realms. It was important to the UK - and to politicians in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand - that the New Commonwealth could not be compared to the Empire of old. To this end, the concept of patriation - the Commonwealth Realms, former Dominions, bringing the ability to amend their own constitutions home from Westminster - entered the public consciousness. Nowhere more than in Canada did this concept catch on with the chattering classes.

    PM Stanfield’s recently-deceased predecessor, John Diefenbaker, had in 1960 introduced what he considered the crowning legislation of his career, the Canadian Bill of Rights, the first codified human rights law in Canadian history. However, as a mere piece of federal legislation, it was no more sacrosanct than any other; it could easily be repealed by any subsequent government. Although this was an accepted fact under the Westminster system (and indeed, the UK Parliament had made parliamentary supremacy a cornerstone of the British political system), Canadians, who were influenced by Americans and their inviolable, supreme, and enduring Constitution - which was far more difficult to amend than by simply ramming a bill through Congress - were disquieted by this notion. The Quebec referendum of 1980 gave those who favoured constitutional reform a once-in-a-generation opportunity to forward their cause, and many seized it. The ensuing 1982 federal election (fought after the Quebec provincial election of 1981 had returned a federalist government to the National Assembly, ensuring their likely cooperation with plans for constitutional reform) was premised largely on differing visions for a Canadian constitution. The Liberals favoured vesting additional powers in the federal government at the expense of provincial governments, enshrining affirmative action and other redistributive programs, mandating official bilingualism, and vesting the power of judicial review upon the Supreme Court of Canada [4]; the Conservatives already had a “blueprint for a Constitution” in Diefenbaker’s Bill of Rights. Stanfield’s personal popularity, his record of solid stewardship, his willingness to work with politicians across the ideological spectrum, and his more developed constitutional platform (PC campaign materials included free copies of the Canadian Bill of Rights, and Tory attack ads focused on the vagueness of what a Liberal Constitution might look like) resulted in his third consecutive majority government, the first (and only) for a Tory PM since Sir John A. Macdonald himself in 1887.

    After the 1982 election, Stanfield immediately set to work drafting the Constitution. Ultimately, the process would take two years. The Canadian Bill of Rights, the centerpiece of the new constitution, was indeed modeled heavily on Diefenbaker’s 1960 legislation, though with some modifications. Official Bilingualism was codified, with the famous “Stanfield Compromise” (French-language services must be provided by the federal government in all regions where the French-language population exceeds the national average) formally enshrined:

    “The official languages of Canada are English and French. The federal government must provide services to its citizens in at least one of these languages, whichever is the language spoken by the larger proportion of native speakers in a given census division. In census divisions where the proportion of native speakers of one of these two languages is in minority, but exceeds the national average, services must also be provided for speakers of this language. Services provided by all of the provinces for their citizens must meet these same criteria, with the exception that the proportion of native speakers of the minority language must exceed the provincial average. If the provinces lack the capacity to provide minority language services for their citizens, the appropriate resources will be made available by the federal government, the other provinces, or private enterprise, where appropriate. Separate funds or surcharges may be raised by these governments to provide for these services if necessary.” [5]

    This provision provided for the rights of French-speakers throughout Canada, and for those of English-speakers in Quebec, albeit only within select regions. The final clauses were inserted at the insistence of Quebec’s Premier, who was only willing to agree to provide English-language services for Anglo-Quebecers if the provincial government did not have to pay for them, or if these Anglo-Quebecers were willing to pay what quickly became known as the “Anglo tax”, which passed in 1985, after he had won re-election; the constitution was interpreted by the Supreme Court as meaning that the tax could only be used to fund providing minority-language services, and this alarmed many activists who feared that this was promoting a form of segregation (and indeed, the equality section of the Bill of Rights had to be revised to specifically permit this form of discrimination, again at the behest of the Quebec delegation).

    One of Stanfield’s more minor alterations, which (in typical Canadian fashion) was the most widely reported and the most widely disputed despite its complete lack of relevance to the everyday lives of the Canadian people, was a name change for the nation-state. The name Dominion of Canada naturally implied that it was a British Dominion, and indeed the group of former colonies granted home rule in the late-19th and early-20th centuries (Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and Newfoundland) were formally known as the “British Dominions Beyond the Seas”. Therefore, Stanfield decided to give Canada the title it had originally sought at Confederation in 1867: Kingdom of Canada, a title which was ultimately rejected at that time for fear of provoking the United States. By 1984, the United States, though still a staunchly republican nation, was secure enough in its own station that it was nothing more than mildly bemused at Canada deciding to call itself a Kingdom. After all, it was a monarchy, and Elizabeth II had explicitly reigned as Queen of Canada since her coronation in 1953. Stanfield presented Canada’s formal name change to Kingdom of Canada as a reflection of Canada’s status as a mature, fully independent constitutional monarchy. This was met with opposition among republicans - predominantly Québecois - and indeed, the Quebec Premier had originally opposed this name change (the draft constitution referred to the Kingdom of Canada in long form, though “hereafter Canada” in most of the document), but Stanfield insisted on it in exchange for several other concessions. Monarchists, needless to say, were delighted, and some even proposed creating a parallel Canadian peerage, though only granting such titles to the Royal Family (for example, something along the lines of creating Charles, Prince of Wales, as Prince of Ontario, and referring to him in that context as heir apparent to the Canadian throne); however, this was never seriously entertained by the government. The name of the national holiday, Dominion Day, was changed to Canada Day, effective July 1, 1984 (a Friday).

    The Kingdom of Canada Act 1984 passed through the British Parliament in that year, which among its other provisions formally relinquished any further right by that Parliament to amend or otherwise alter the Canadian constitution. Two other acts, the Commonwealth of Australia Act 1984 and the Kingdom of New Zealand Act 1984, passed immediately thereafter, in sequence; Australia, being formally titled a Commonwealth instead of a Dominion, declined to change its name to Kingdom as Canada and New Zealand had done. Stanfield’s crowning legislative achievement finally having come to pass, he retired from politics at the age of 70, and after 12 years as Prime Minister (pending the selection of his replacement), leaving a wide-open leadership race for his successor. The frontrunner from the very beginning was the young, charismatic, and urbane Finance Minister, Brian Mulroney. Mulroney was in many ways Stanfield’s opposite: he was a member of the “Blue Tory” wing of the party, which represented Toronto and Montreal business elites, as opposed to the “One Nation” Red Tory wing. Stanfield was, especially by the standards of a politician, straightforward and genuine, whereas Mulroney was very slick and polished. However, that sheen - and the massive financial edge he had over his rivals with the support of those business elites - enabled him to win the PC leadership convention, and with it, the office of Prime Minister. Mulroney was a strong advocate of free trade, having been a staunch supporter of not only the CTA but also the CFMA, and he also spoke frequently of increased trade reciprocity with the United States, although there was a great deal more resistance to lowering trade barriers with an overbearing southern neighbour than there was lowering them with more distant countries whose exports were far less of a threat to Canadian farmers and manufacturers.

    It was early in Mulroney’s tenure as PM that the CFMA finally came into force. The four charter members were the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. All member states of the CFMA would retain full border controls, but could not refuse to admit a citizen of any other CFMA member state to reside and work in their own state for an indefinite duration - in effect, full freedom of movement between the four countries. There was some discussion of broadening the CFMA’s powers further - for example, allowing citizens of all member states to vote in local elections, a right already enjoyed in most capacities by Commonwealth citizens in the UK - but this would come later. For the time being, the CFMA had already enshrined itself as the “Core” of the Commonwealth. In essence, it allowed New Zealand to join the Big Three without actually enlarging the Big Three - indeed, once the CFMA came into existence, formal Big Three meetings ceased altogether, as further discussions could continue within the context of CFMA policy meetings instead. Enlargement of the CFMA was an issue which would face considerable debate in the years to come: most of the Commonwealth Realms, and even many Commonwealth republics, were for obvious reasons very eager to join the CFMA - India, in particular, despite having spent the last several decades drifting away from the UK with regards to foreign policy, showed considerable interest in joining both the CTA and the CFMA. India had a massive population base - on track to lap China in the coming decades, given the higher birthrate - and a seemingly endless supply of cheap labour. For this reason alone, the CFMA states were tremendously cautious of admitting India to either organization, even though business interests in the CFMA and the CTA at large were in favour.

    The United Kingdom, the largest economy and - despite all of the political and constitutional changes throughout the Commonwealth in the 1970s and 1980s - still the effective head of the association, had the benefit of also being part of the EFTA, as it had been since 1960. The UK, uniquely, represented the intersection between these two treaty zones, being the only state which was a member of both. The resulting free trade area to which the United Kingdom had exclusive access was 75% the size of the archrival EEC, roughly half that of the United States, and approximately the same size as that of Japan, the world’s third-largest economy. Unsurprisingly, many of the countries within each trade bloc flanking the UK wanted in to their overlapping free trade zone, although there was surprising resistance in certain corners, particularly the Republic of Ireland.

    Many Irish - particularly those who retained their ancestral disdain for their one-time imperialist oppressors - continued to resent the UK for effectively blocking their entry into the EEC. The Irish national identity was built largely on what it was not - British - as on what it was in and of itself, a value it shared with another Anglosphere country with a much larger and more overwhelming neighbour, Canada. Ireland had become a republic in 1949, at which time the British Commonwealth and the Commonwealth Realms (those which recognized the British sovereign as their head of state) were synonymous, resulting in their expulsion from the organization; ironically, this would be the impetus toward relaxing these rules, allowing the modern Commonwealth of Nations to become an organization of states with a common cultural heritage, and not necessarily a common head of state. Nevertheless, Ireland had never rejoined the Commonwealth despite this change in membership criteria, and being a member state of the Commonwealth was a precondition to joining the Commonwealth Trade Agreement (indeed, all existing members were Commonwealth Realms). Ireland nevertheless was in many regards - cultural, ethnic, historical - far more similar to the member states of the CTA than any of the actual other member states of the Commonwealth. Irish politicians put out feelers towards entering into some kind of trade agreement with the CTA as early as the late-1970s, but the mere suggestion of rejoining the Commonwealth in order to do so would be touching a third rail in Irish politics. The eventual solution was a bilateral treaty between every member state of the CTA and the Republic of Ireland, which had the side benefit of proving to the Irish the benefits of being part of a looser, less restrictive trade association. Had Ireland joined the EEC, it would have been unable to conclude a trade agreement with the CTA on its own - now it stood alongside the UK at the CTA-EFTA intersection. Ireland then signed another bilateral treaty, this time with the CFMA, allowing its citizens to live and work anywhere within not only the United Kingdom, but also Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and vice-versa. This set of bilateral treaties enabled both sides to have their cake and eat it too: Ireland became a de facto member of the “core” Commonwealth without formally re-joining the organization, whereas the CTA and CFMA membership did not have to worry about having “snubbed” countries within the Commonwealth by passing them over to admit Ireland, as Ireland hadn’t technically “jumped the queue” and been admitted to either organization.

    Nevertheless, the CTA and the CFMA became campaign issues in the elections held in the two largest economies belonging to that bloc: Canada and the United Kingdom. Mulroney’s government had enjoyed a bump in the polls following his taking office in early 1985, and as he was a new PM, there was some pressure for him to win a mandate of his own rather than coast on Stanfield’s 1982 mandate, even though the Canadian constitution allowed him to stay in office without calling an election until 1987. To this end, he called an election in the spring of 1986. John Turner, who had been Leader of the Opposition since 1975, retired after losing the “Constitutional Election” in 1982, becoming the first Liberal leader in a century to have never served as Prime Minister. [6] In the leadership convention that followed, which maintained the Liberal Party tradition of alternating Anglophone and Francophone leaders, Jean Chretien, the MP for Saint-Maurice, Quebec, was chosen as leader. [7] He benefitted from his contrasts to Mulroney, and indeed to Turner; he had humble origins and a folksy image (embodied in his nickname, “the little guy from Shawinigan”), and enjoyed tremendous personal popularity. Although he had only enjoyed a relatively minor role in Cabinet in Trudeau’s government (as Minister of Indian Affairs), he had become one of leading figures in the Shadow Cabinet, also playing a key role in the “Constitutional Election” of 1982, where his passionate, if inarticulate (his childhood bout with Bell’s palsy famously, as comedians joked, rendered him “unable to speak in either of Canada’s official languages”) vision for Canada’s future earned him plaudits. [8] From then on, his future leadership of the party seemed inevitable. Slightly older than Mulroney, he was 52 when the election campaign began. The two smaller parties, the NDP and Social Credit, retained at the helm the men who had led them into the 1978 and 1982 campaigns, Lorne Nystrom and Andre-Gilles Fortin, respectively.

    Still, Chretien couldn’t compete with the very strong economy and Mulroney’s charisma - Mulroney was also a fierce debater, demolishing Chretien in both the English- and French-language debates. As a result, Mulroney won the election easily; most of the new seats created through redistricting by the 1981 census went PC, allowing his party to increase its majority in the House of Commons without actually poaching a great number of ridings from the other parties. Nonetheless, Mulroney’s popularity with Quebec voters enabled his party to do better in Quebec than Stanfield had ever done - Chretien himself came perilously close to losing his seat, surviving only because he was able to come up the middle between the Tory and Socred candidates in his riding. The Anglo elite in Montreal completed their decisive shift towards the PCs in this election, the Tories sweeping the West Island (which included Mulroney’s riding of Dorval), and - in a definite wound to Liberal pride - Trudeau’s old riding of Mount Royal, not won by the Tories in over a half-century.

    The UK, on the other hand, was a very different story. The Tories at Westminster had been in power since 1974 - nearly as long as the Tories in Ottawa, who had formed government since 1972, but unlike their Canadian brethren, the UK Conservatives went into the election with the same old leader - Willie Whitelaw. Although 1986 was a rematch of 1982 - Leader of the Opposition David Owen, for Labour, had held on to power despite the left-wing schism in his party - Owen still managed to carry the impression of being a fresh face, and an antidote to the staleness in the upper echelons of British politics. The British economy had been slower to recover from the late-1970s recession than Canada or much of the rest of the world, despite her ambitious trading and migratory agreements. Whitelaw remained personally popular, but his party machine wasn’t so fortunate.

    A number of Cabinet reshuffles would eventually result in John Major, an MP since 1974, being named to one of the Great Offices of State as Chancellor of the Exchequer. [9] His relative youth despite his prominence in Government - aged just 40 when he became Chancellor - and his reputation for competence and for being a dull, steady pair of hands - meant that he was being groomed as Whitelaw’s successor by the power brokers at the Conservative Central Office almost immediately. Whitelaw had been PM for over a decade by this point; his tenure had exceeded the length of that of his immediate predecessor, Harold Wilson, in late 1983, making him the longest-serving Prime Minister of the twentieth century. [10] However, Major’s reputation for extreme dullness (as the son of a circus performer, he was often said to have been the only child who ran away from the circus to become an accountant) was completely shattered by the revelation of a shocking affair with a Tory backbench MP, Edwina Currie; both parties were married with children. Overnight, this destroyed Major’s prospects for moving next-door to No. 10, Downing Street, from No. 11, although in the end he did vacate No. 11, as he resigned his position; neither Major nor Currie would seek re-election in 1986.

    The Major-Currie sex scandal was merely the culmination of a number of monocle-popping incidents which shook public faith in the Conservatives - being the party which had always placed placed greater stock on family values and upholding the social contract. The British Board of Film Censors (BBFC) found themselves mired in controversy when one of the films they had certified for release was discovered to contain several frames of what appeared to be an erect penis in one scene, in clear violation of the informal (and unacknowledged) “Mull of Kintyre rule”. [11] This was brought to the general public’s attention through the relentless campaigning of social activist Mary Whitehouse, known for her staunch conservatism. There was considerable controversy over whether the object (for lack of a better word) being referred to actually was an erect penis - it was depicted only in silhouette, and not in such detail as to settle all doubt, as it was out of focus. Some commentators suggested that the offending object could merely be something phallic in shape, such as a candlestick; however, critics dismissed this possibility as far-fetched, and indeed, polls showed that many who were shown the offending images did believe that they depicted an erection. Whitehouse’s influence with Conservative voters could not be understated: her lobbying was instrumental in the passage of the Protection of Children Act 1978, which had banned child pornography. [12] As a result, between the BBFC fiasco and the Major Affair, the Tories began to fall far enough in the polls that Labour consistently placed ahead of them.

    Once it became clear that Owen could win the next election, what support remained for the splinter Democratic Socialist Party continued to evaporate - especially as that party (as is so often the case for parties on the far-left) began to splinter. The Labour Party thus won a small but workable majority in the general election of 1986, with the Tories remaining a fairly robust opposition; Whitelaw resigned as leader of the party shortly thereafter, his successor due to be chosen in the autumn. The Liberal Party, in the end, performed about as well in 1986 as they had in 1982; the collapse of the DSP saw Labour regaining many of their left-wing strongholds, but the Liberals also gained seats at the expense of the Tories, in constituencies where the electorate was not demographically predisposed to vote Labour, but where outrage at the perceived immorality of the Conservative Party was deemed sufficient to turf their MP in protest. David Owen thus became the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; unlike the last changeover between Labour and the Tories, this one would see the new government pursuing a consistent foreign policy with the old one. Owen was eager to strengthen trade links with the CTA and the EFTA, even floating the idea of a fully amalgamated CTA-EFTA “super-bloc”, with London serving as its financial and economic centre. However, despite having once been a proponent of joining the EEC, he did not favour the direction that integration was now taking in that bloc, and despite the Whitelaw government continuing to pay lip-service to the notion of someday re-opening negotiations to join, Owen formally dropped this pretence, making clear in a speech on a state visit to Paris - in the presence of the President of France, no less - that “the economic and political future of the UK lies firmly outside of the EEC”.

    Despite their divergent destinies, both blocs seemed to be evolving in lockstep with each other. As the CFMA came into force, so too did the European Currency Unit, or the ECU (₠) - popularly spelled and pronounced écu, particularly in French, as it shared its name with several French coins. Only member states of the EEC were allowed to mint écu coins and print écu banknotes, and not even all of these chose to do so; Denmark had negotiated an exemption for itself, and continued to use the Danish krone, albeit at an exchange rate pegged to the écu. [13] The EEC quickly negotiated agreements with the microstates of Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican City, allowing each of them to mint and print their own écus and use them as legal tender - these countries were far too small to ever meet the criteria for EEC admission under normal circumstances, and thus special ones were deemed to apply. The Glenn Administration in the United States informed the EEC of their plans to once again eliminate the gold standard and convert the US dollar to a pure fiat currency, giving the écu a deadline for when it could come into force before more turbulence would close the window of opportunity, which was January 1, 1982. Later that year, the “Glenn shock” once again destabilized world currencies, but the EEC countries stuck it out.

    The surprising success of the single currency inspired those who dreamed of a United Europe to push for further integration, or “more Europe”, as the notion was sometimes described. This included a central bank - which became the primary objective, so as to better organize and control the new currency - and a common defence policy. France pushed hard for the common defence policy, having left the NATO command structure and wanting to head a purely European military alliance. However, all of the other member states of the EEC - including West Germany - were already NATO members, and there were concerns that an additional military and defensive alliance between them would be superfluous.

    However, and as it happened, co-operation and co-ordination with regards to military technology often took place beyond the borders and auspices of the EEC or any other, similar, supranational organization. The greatest example of this was the ongoing relationship between Britain and France, dating back to the Entente Cordiale of 1904, eighty years earlier. The two used their combined influence and might to force through a carrier-friendly Eurofighter Typhoon, which would eventually serve as the primary fixed-wing vessel for many of Western Europe’s (ground-based) air forces, in addition to the air arm of the Royal Navy and the Marine Nationale.

    The 1980s were also a productive time for aircraft carriers. The Invincible-class light carriers (Invincible, Illustrious, and Indomitable) were commissioned, one after the other, in this decade; all three were in active service by 1986. However, these shiny new carriers, though they were by this point the only carriers serving in the Royal Navy, were considered a mere appetizer to the main course which was yet to follow: the two Entente-class supercarriers.

    Truly these ships were worthy of the term supercarrier - they would be larger than any other carrier ever built by any navy other than that of the United States, although this distinction - which was originally unique to the Entente-class - would be shared with the first Soviet supercarrier, also under construction, originally named Riga but renamed for the recently deceased Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev when she was launched in 1985 (as the General Secretary had died in 1982, after her keel had been laid down). [14] Both ships had very similar dimensions in all respects: displacement at maximum load (roughly 60,000 metric tonnes), length overall (about 300 metres), beam (about 75 metres overall, and half that at the waterline), and draught (over ten metres deep). However, the Entente-class carriers had two decisive advantages over the Leonid Brezhnev: their nuclear propulsion (necessary for Britain and France, both of whom maintained far-flung colonial possessions, as opposed to the Soviet Union, which effectively had no overseas territories), and their surfaces being fitted with catapults, which allowed them to launch heavier, more traditional aircraft; the Leonid Brezhnev was limited to a cheaper, lighter ski-jump design. The nuclear propulsion for the Entente-class vessels was truly worth noting: it marked a first for any vessel in any navy other than that of the United States. Construction would probably take close to a decade, but naval enthusiasts and nationalists alike were thrilled: the Entente-class carriers were truly great ships fit for Great Powers, capable of meaningful power projection.

    [​IMG]

    The UK was far from the only Commonwealth Realm to enlarge her fleet in the 1980s. The two Commonwealth-subclass vessels built by the United States for Canada and Australia were completed in 1986. In Canada, one of Brian Mulroney’s first acts as PM was to change the planned name of the new carrier from Diefenbaker - which remained controversial - to Macdonald, after Canada’s first Prime Minister and Father of Confederation; Macdonald, like Mulroney, had been a Tory, but unlike other long-serving Tory PMs (apart from the still-popular - and still-living - Stanfield), such as Borden, Bennett, and Diefenbaker, Macdonald retained a mostly positive legacy and continued to be widely liked by Canadians. HMCS John A. Macdonald, as she was properly known (though she quickly acquired the informal nickname “the John A.”) was commissioned with great fanfare in the summer of 1986, departing from CFB Halifax for a tour of the Arctic. Her motto, officially in Latin and a variant of the national motto, translated to English as “from sea to sea to sea”, emphasizing her role in protecting Canada’s coastline along the three oceans - the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Arctic - that it bordered.

    Australia received HMAS Australia shortly after the Macdonald had arrived in Halifax; the two sister ships set sail from where they had been built simultaneously in Pascagoula, Mississippi, but the voyage to Sydney was a much longer one from the US Gulf Coast, though fortunately the ships were capable of traversing the Panama Canal by design. Naturally, it was winter in the Southern Hemisphere when the Australia arrived there, and thus the Australian government could not send Australia on the equivalent prestige mission (to the Australian territorial claim on the continent of Antarctica) until the new year, after enough of the relentless ice floes had melted away. Instead, Australia went on a tour of every major city as she circumnavigated the country - and the continent - for which she was named. She met with enthusiasm wherever she went - it helped that she had the undivided attention of naval enthusiasts Down Under, as her predecessor, HMAS Melbourne, had been retired in 1982.

    Outside the Commonwealth, the two Iberia-class carriers built by the Spanish shipbuilding firm Bazan for the two Iberian countries - Principe de Asturias for Spain and Infante D. Henrique for Portugal - had both been launched by 1986, built one after another on the same slip. They were still being fitted out, but would be serving their respective navies in active roles before the end of the decade. Spain - which had lost her last far-flung overseas possessions with the coming of democracy as a result of the Iberian Sunrise in the 1970s - planned for the maiden voyage of the Principe de Asturias to be a modest Australian-style coast-to-coast tour, followed by a sojourn to the Canaries. Portugal, on the other hand, planned to send the Infante D. Henrique (already referred to by her inevitable nickname O Navegador - the Navigator) on an ambitious tour of all her far-flung insular possessions, from the Azores through the Panama Canal to Macau and Portuguese Timor, and back again - albeit by travelling in the opposite direction from whence she came, allowing for a circumnavigation of the globe, which was after all a long-established tradition of Portuguese mariners. [15] Given the long stretches of ocean that such a tour would entail, O Navegador would have to make several detours at friendly ports along the way, including Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and Perth in Australia. Controversially, she would also have to stop in South Africa, a state with which Portugal continued to maintain good relations despite the increasingly tight economic sanctions being imposed upon the apartheid regime by the rest of the free world.

    The free world was changing in many ways, and at trajectories which had been completely unanticipated a quarter-century earlier, at the height of the Cold War. The United Kingdom had shifted from a tentative Continental orientation back to the overseas orientation which had defined the British Empire, but the New Commonwealth was a very different beast, one which promoted cooperation and consensus-building between equal partners. The EEC was not able to enlarge itself to consume all of Europe, despite multiple attempts, but focusing on integration was showing great promise for the future. Britain and France, despite being leading members of opposing economic blocs, were able to continue working together on projects which were in their mutual interest, the fruits of an alliance which had lasted for over 80 years, and showed no signs of ending anytime soon. Canada, which had spent so many years distancing itself from its Imperial heritage, now embraced its status as a core member nation of the Commonwealth. Canada and Australia continued to enjoy a very good working relationship with the United States despite their increasing ties with the United Kingdom. Spain, Portugal, and Greece were all taking important steps toward democracy and economic diversification despite having been charter members of the authoritarian Backwards Bloc in the not-too-distant past. Long-term plans, ironically, had a funny, funny way of changing course in an instant, and it behooved the leaders of world governments to maintain the flexibility and the strong working relationships needed to take advantage of the unexpected.

    ---

    [1] Among the other member states of the EFTA, Sweden (at #16), Switzerland (#18), and Austria (#23), were all in the top 25 world economies, with Norway (#26) just below this threshold. New member Finland was the world’s 30th-largest economy in 1975; Ireland, by contrast, was not within the Top 50. (Portugal, which remained a member of the EFTA despite forming the Backwards Bloc, was the world’s 34th-largest economy in 1975.)

    [2] Among the other EEC countries, The Netherlands (#14) and Belgium (#17) were no slouches either, and thus allowed the EEC to claim a full quarter of the world’s twenty largest economies; even newcomer Denmark (#24), though the weakest economy in the EEC outside tiny Luxembourg, was only a laggard in relative terms, not absolute ones.

    [3] The Harrington Lake retreat, quite conveniently, has two guest cottages in addition to the main cottage (and one for the staff), and therefore the British PM stays in the upper guest cottage, and the Australian PM stays in the lower guest cottage.

    [4] The Liberal policy is extremely similar to their OTL plans under PM Trudeau in the early-1980s, which resulted in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. ITTL, Trudeau plays a key advisory role in the development of the Liberal platform for constitutional reform, and actively campaigns in support of it, much as he continued to meddle in constitutional affairs after his retirement from federal politics IOTL.

    [5] You may be wondering where this convoluted formula stands in comparison to OTL. IOTL, Canada was enshrined as a fully bilingual country, where services must be provided in English and French nationwide, which put many Anglophone civil servants who lived in largely Anglophone regions of the country (particularly the West, where it was a contributing factor in the “Western alienation” which rose as a political force in the 1980s) out of work. Quebec, on the other hand, discriminated against its Anglophone minority with increasing severity in the 1970s IOTL, starting with Bill 22 (passed in 1974 by the federalist Liberals, who ironically enjoyed - and still enjoy - broad support from Anglophone voters), and culminating in Bill 101, passed by the separatist Parti Quebecois in 1977. This resulted in a mass exodus by many of the province’s Anglophones, who resettled in the Greater Toronto Area; most of Montreal’s financial interests moved to Toronto as well, providing that city (which would likely otherwise meet much the same fate as many American Great Lakes cities of the 1970s) with a critical boost which has allowed it to overtake Montreal as the country’s economic hub. ITTL, the “Stanfield Compromise” is both convoluted and prone to loopholes, but it does represent a compromise (or rapprochement, if you prefer) of a sort, and sometimes optics can mean everything in politics.

    [6] IOTL, Edward Blake, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada (and, therefore, Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition) from 1880 to 1887, was the last (non-interim) leader of that party not to become Prime Minister until Stephane Dion stepped down from the leadership after his defeat in 2008. (Dion was followed by Michael Ignatieff, who lost his seat in the 2011 election and returned to academia - and, eventually, to the United States, from whence he came.) Turner, for his part, briefly served as PM when he replaced the retiring Pierre Trudeau in 1984 - only to lose to Mulroney in that year’s federal election, one of the largest landslides in Canadian history.

    [7] The Liberal tradition for alternating between Anglophone and Francophone leaders is one which is almost as old as the party itself. After Edward Blake (Anglophone) succeeded Alexander Mackenzie (Anglophone) in the 1880s, every subsequent succession has adhered to this formula:
    • Laurier (Francophone)
    • Mackenzie King (Anglophone)
    • St. Laurent (Francophone)
    • Pearson (Anglophone)
    • P.E. Trudeau (Francophone)
    • Turner (Anglophone)
    • Chretien (Francophone)
    Notably, this chain is identical IOTL and ITTL, though the dates of succession vary in the case of Turner and Chretien. IOTL, it has endured to the present day:
    • Martin (Anglophone)
    • Dion (Francophone)
    • Ignatieff (Anglophone)
    • J. Trudeau (Francophone)
    [8] Chretien’s Bell’s palsy paralyzed one side of his face, and thus when he speaks, it is out of only one side of his mouth. This is immediately obvious visually. Some good-natured ribbing about this (the “fluent in neither of Canada’s official languages” crack is borrowed from a common joke IOTL) is considered acceptable (Canadian political humour can be surprisingly mean-spirited), but a famous PC attack ad against Chretien in the 1993 campaign which drew attention to his disability was widely considered to have crossed the line. Not coincidentally, the PCs (who were the incumbent majority government going into the election) were subsequently reduced to two seats (no, that isn’t a typo) and only 16% of the vote (they had won 43% in 1988 - Canada uses FPTP and thus a majority of the popular vote is not needed to win a majority of the seats). It should be noted that Mulroney, the PM in the 1980s IOTL who had resigned before that election, will not make the same mistake his successor did in this regard.

    [9] John Major was, IOTL, elected to Lambeth Borough Council in 1968, but was defeated in 1971. ITTL, he holds on in 1971 - and then runs for the vacant Streatham seat in 1974, which he wins. (Bill Shelton, the Tory MP who won the seat IOTL, here loses Clapham in 1970, thus depriving him of the springboard needed to contest this seat). This gives Major a decade’s experience in the Commons before he becomes Chancellor - the same amount as he had IOTL before he was appointed to the position (in the twilight years of his predecessor’s tenure).

    [10] Recall that Wilson served ITTL from October, 1964, to February, 1974, without a break: approximately nine-and-a-half years. ITTL, the last PM to serve a longer term than Whitelaw (and Wilson before him) was the Marquess of Salisbury, who held three non-consecutive administrations (1885-86, 1886-92, 1895-1902) for a total of thirteen years in government, a record which no subsequent Prime Minister has bettered even IOTL. (The last Prime Minister with a longer unbroken term was the Earl of Liverpool, who governed uninterrupted for nearly 15 years, 1812-27, which is also the third-longest Premiership ever in its own right (behind Walpole and Pitt the Younger).

    [11] The “Mull of Kintyre” rule, which for the record the BBFC formally denies ever actually existed, essentially states that no penis depicted onscreen shall have an angle from the vertical in excess of the Kintyre peninsula. Much like the informal “one F-word” rule for the MPAA, it is extremely arbitrary but is nevertheless an unusual example of a clear guideline from an agency otherwise renowned for its vagueness.

    [12] The Protection of Children Act 1978 began life IOTL as a private member’s bill proposed by a Conservative MP after a petition in support of it started by Whitehouse’s organization received well over a million signatures. Her advocacy for the bill, and support of its passage, is generally considered the greatest positive to result from her extremely controversial and polarizing career in social activism. ITTL, the bill is put forward by the Home Secretary, becoming law shortly before the 1978 general election.

    [13] Similar to IOTL, where Denmark has negotiated a permanent exemption from the Euro but remains a member of the Exchange Rate Mechanism, or ERM.

    [14] Unlike the Entente-class, the Leonid Brezhnev is based on an OTL design, which (like most Soviet military projects) has a long and convoluted history: the lead ship was renamed four times over the course of her development. Ordered as the Riga, she was renamed for Brezhnev after his death in 1982; after Gorbachev, who denounced Brezhnev’s legacy, took over in 1985, she was renamed Tbilisi; by 1990, when she was commissioned, the writing for Georgia’s long-term membership in the Soviet Union was no doubt on the wall, and she was renamed one last time, following the Nimitz-class paradigm, for a WWII Fleet Admiral, Nikolay Kuznetsov. Today, she serves as flagship for the Russian Navy. It should be noted that, IOTL, the Kuznetsov is not considered a supercarrier - at least, not by Wikipedia. [CITATION NEEDED]

    [15] The intended route of circumnavigation is approximately as follows:
    • Lisbon
    • Azores
    • Panama Canal
    • Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
    • Okinawa, Japan
    • Hong Kong and Macau
    • Port Hera, Dili, Portuguese Timor
    • Perth, Australia
    • Durban, South Africa
    • Sao Tome and Principe
    • Cape Verde
    • Madeira
    • Lisbon
    ---

    Thus concludes this ante-penultimate update of That Wacky Redhead, the final instalment of Appendix B, and the first update on this third iteration of the forum (or as I like to call it, the “New New Forum”). Thanks, as always, are due to e of pi for assisting with the editing of this update, as well as to Dan1988, Thande, and Electric Monk for their additional input! This update was a lot of fun for me to write, and not only because the material being covered is extremely topical at the moment! I want to say that this will be the last long update, since there are only two left and I plan for both of them to be more direct and focused, but you never know. In the interim, you can expect a guest post from longtime friend to the thread Dan1988, covering some of the material featured in this update from a radically different perspective. Until then, thank you all so much for reading!

    (Fun fact, for those of you who appreciate this sort of thing: this update is one of the very few to mention neither TWR nor her studio.)
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2016
    Thande, Indicus, Coiler and 13 others like this.
  4. Danderns Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2015
    Location:
    People's Republic of Sealand
    Nice and interesting update.

    Prime Minister David Owen isn't something you usually see in most timelines.

    If you don't mind, what is Peter Shore up to ITTL?
     
  5. Roger Redux The Revisionist

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2015
    Location:
    The Mother of all ASBs (a.k.a. "The Real World")
    Not knowing much (ok anything really) about Commonwealth/Anglo-European politics, these updates are always more educational than anything else for me. Interesting though.:)
     
  6. Andrew T Kick 'em when they're up!

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Location:
    Maryland
    I always love TWR's infrequent (but amazing) forays into politics, and it's interesting to see multipolarity hitting the world before the end of the Cold War. That, of course, can have feedback effects on pop culture; I wonder what TTL's equivalent of, say, Chris Crawford's Balance of Power might look like. :)

    I've already mentioned how bittersweet I feel about the drawing close of this TL. When it's done, I do think Brainbin ought to compile the whole thing into a single document and self-publish it on Amazon.
     
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  7. Ogrebear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    Although this timeline is NOT a Utopia, I would really like to live here!

    More Star Trek, no UK in the EEC, positive Commonwealth (the Games must second only to the Olympics ITTL), No Thatcher... And all because of that Wacky Redhead!
     
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  8. Archangel Battery-powered Bureaucrat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    Portugal
    Good update, Brainbin! :)
     
  9. The Professor Pontif of the Guild

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Location:
    Republic of Beerhaven
    Indeed. I expect the next update will remind us that "this is not a utopia" (tm) ;)
     
  10. nixonshead Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    Another great update! Interesting to see how the Commonwealth is developing into a real economic (and political?) block in its own right. One question: You've used the term "New Commonwealth" here to describe the integrating 'advanced' economies... but IOTL "New Commonwealth" has been used to refer to those nations which gained their independence from Britain after the war, whereas the pre-1945 Dominions are referred to as the "Old Commonwealth" - the exact opposite of their label ITTL! Is there an alternative term used for the non-CTA/CFMA members? Also, how are those (mostly poor, non-white) members taking to the formation of a core of rich nations within the Commonwealth? I could see this undermining the rest of the Commonwealth as non-core members leave in protest over being excluded from a new, elitist club.

    Last question: Will the Royal Navy's new Entente-class carrier actually carry any planes? ;):rolleyes:
     
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  11. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Location:
    The British Empire
    Thank you all for your replies to my latest update! This one was a lot of fun to write, and I'm glad it does appear that the enthusiasm was somewhat infectious. Apologies for the delayed response to your replies, but my real life has been tremendously busy as of late (more so than usual!) and it's only now finally calming back down again. Which, of course, means that I have more time to devote to wrap-up of This Wacky Timeline!
    Thank you! :)

    Good point. It was, after all, Roy Jenkins who was leader of the SDP-Liberal Alliance during the period when it was far more likely that it would form government (the Alliance famously topped 50% against an almost-evenly split opposition in a late 1981 poll IOTL), although to be fair despite that being a common AH cliche I don't know of any TLs offhand that cover the mythical "SDP-Liberal Alliance wins in 1982-3" scenario. I'm certainly open to any recommendations!

    Shore helped to form the splinter DSP (the left-wing counterpart to the SDP of OTL) after Owen became Leader of the Labour Party in the early-1980s, winning re-election to his East London seat (alongside a handful of other DSP MPs) in the 1982 general. He was defeated (alongside every other DSP incumbent) in 1986.

    Thank you, I always appreciate the opportunity to educate my readers, almost as much as I hope to entertain them :)

    If I ever do a Mark II of That Wacky Redhead, I would certainly include more political content. I was very timid when I started writing way back when, and (it should be noted) before I began interacting with my crack team of legal and political consultants (yourself included!) to add some much-needed depth in that arena, beyond my initial pretty good idea of having Humphrey win 1968 as a result of Nixon not appearing on Laugh-In because George Schlatter wasn't there to invite him due to having left the show in a fit of pique and all on account of That Wacky Redhead!

    I'm immensely flattered that you think so, although it would probably have to be published in multiple volumes (my master document is over 430,000 words long, or nearly 1,100 pages).

    I have to admit, as far as many of this TL's readers are concerned, there's probably a lot of upside ITTL.

    Thank you, Archangel! I had a feeling you might like this one ;)

    Well, the next update is about the sequel to Journey of the Force, so... :angel:

    Thank you, nixonshead, and great questions, all! Excellent point about the "New Commonwealth", which I will (to be even more on-the-nose than I was before) change to "Reformed Commonwealth" ;) The non-CTA/CFMA members are usually called the "outer Commonwealth" or the "Greater Commonwealth", to differentiate from the "Core Commonwealth". You're absolutely right that there is a great deal of resentment amongst the poorer nations with regards to the rich seeking out new ways to get richer and shut out the poorer countries in one fell swoop, but I probably didn't put enough emphasis on the fact that by 1986, pretty much all of the Caribbean Commonwealth Realms are members of the CTA (because they produce goods which do not compete with native industries in the UK, Canada, or Australia for the most part) and indeed (with the de facto accession of Ireland to the CTA) there have been talks with many smaller countries which are not Realms, usually (once again) in tropical regions. There are also talks to enlarge the CFMA to cover countries with such small populations that immigration from them would pose no threat to the other member states - in the Caribbean, Barbados and the Bahamas are frequently mentioned. Granted, these are still relatively rich countries, but at least they aren't mostly white. In short, it's a racket, as pretty much all international organizations are, but there's a lot of goodwill and at least some optimism that things might improve in future. Whether things will improve is a question for the ages...

    ITTL, of course, the Buccaneers were grounded aboard the Ark Royal despite being physically presence, so many would remark that they might as well not have been there at all, an intriguing case of life imitating art :D
     
  12. Danderns Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2015
    Location:
    People's Republic of Sealand
    If you're interested, there was a TLIAD written by iainbhx entitled Election' 84, which results in a SDP-Liberal victory in an alternate 1984 election stemming from no Thatcher and an alternate Falklands War.
     
  13. Roger Redux The Revisionist

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2015
    Location:
    The Mother of all ASBs (a.k.a. "The Real World")
    Mission accomplished! :biggrin:
    So about the same size as Once and Future King, one volume of Lord of the Rings, or the Star Trek Encyclopedia?
    Not bad company to be in. :D Also all bestsellers BTW. ;)
     
  14. Indicus Raius Indicorum

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2014
    Location:
    Iammus, India Minor, Imperium Romanum
    This TL is really something. I've only read part of it, but you've done a really good job with maximizing the butterfly effect. Who would've thought a popular culture TL would get Humphrey elected president? You're a boss.

    That's simply not true. It is coincidence that it has fit in with the tradition for so long. For instance, Pierre Trudeau scored an upset victory in the 1967 leadership election over Winters and a bunch of other guys. No one thought of the tradition, and Trudeau shocked the hell out of everyone and scared the leadership of the Liberal Party by winning the leadership election. Even after that, Jean Chretien had a real chance of beating Turner after Trudeau, and it was with that the tradition emerged.
     
  15. Dan1988 Thinks he's going off his nut

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Location:
    ATL Royaume du Canada
    Guest Update: The True North Strong and Free

    «Mesdames et messieurs, bonsoir. Nous commençons cette édition du téléjournal avec la fin d’une époque des politiques canadiennes. En la Chambre des Communes aujourd’hui, le premier ministre, Robert Stanfield, a annoncé sa retraite de la vie politique. Expliquant son envie de passer du temps avec sa famille et l'opportunité pour une nouvelle génération de diriger le pays qu’il a mené pendant 14 ans, et . . . »
    [“Ladies and gentlemen, good evening. We begin this edition of the news with the end of an era in Canadian politics. Prime Minister Robert Stanfield announced in the House of Commons today he will be retiring from politics. Citing the need to spend more time with his family and to allow new blood a chance at running the country he led for 14 years, . . .”]
    -- Bernard Derome, 11/18/1985 edition of Le téléjournal de Radio-Canada

    When Prime Minister Robert L. Stanfield announced his retirement from politics, it sent shock waves throughout Canada. Having headed Her Majesty’s Canadian Government since 1972, he was the very definition of “Prime Minister” for a whole generation of Canadians - indeed, it was widely believed that Stanfield would remain Prime Minister until the day he died, much like Sir John A. Macdonald. With his gentlemanly demeanour, and his cooperative political style that allowed every section of society to feel a personal stake in the success of his Ministry, Stanfield was also one of Canada’s most popular Prime Ministers to date, refreshing after the divisiveness fostered by bombastic personalities such as Diefenbaker and Trudeau. Even members of the Opposition had nothing but good things to say about the man. One thing was certain - anyone who would dare to follow in Stanfield’s footsteps would find it difficult to measure up to his long period in government.

    Stanfield was born in 1914 in Truro, Nova Scotia, the scion of a wealthy and prominent family of textile manufacturers. However, he declined to enter the family business, graduating from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Arts degree and then attending Harvard Law School, where he became the first Canadian to edit the Harvard Law Review. His years of higher education taking place against the backdrop of the Great Depression no doubt informed the development of his political and economic views, as did his upbringing in Nova Scotia, which despite his family’s own wealth was - along with the rest of the Maritimes - among the poorest of the Canadian provinces. Therefore, after World War II (in which he did not serve, instead playing a role on the home front by managing war bonds) ended, he decided to go into politics as a means of finding a way to solve the problems facing society. His political views were very much in line with the Red Tory tradition started by Sir John A. Macdonald, and thus Stanfield became the leader of the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Party in 1948. At the time, the Liberals were the dominant political party in the province, enjoying a decades-long political dynasty which would be the envy of any party elsewhere in the country, even in notoriously dynastic Alberta. The Tories, by contrast, had no seats in the House of Assembly at the time of Stanfield’s election as party leader.

    Liberal dominance of the province dated back to the province’s entry into Confederation, which was very unpopular in Nova Scotia. The Liberals were formed from the ashes of the anti-Confederates, whereas the Tories descended from the pro-Confederates who had supported Macdonald and Canada. The anti-Confederate movement had been dominant because, as it was argued, Confederation would be a disaster for Nova Scotia, since it disrupted its traditional economic and trade patterns. [1] Even when such arguments lost their bite and the anti-Confederate movement dissipated in the 1870s, this continued tribalist thinking led to many Nova Scotians supporting the successor Liberals as the only viable governing party.

    Stanfield sought to change that and refashioned the Tories into a modern party which could effectively challenge the Liberals. His strategy bore fruit with the 1956 general election, the results of which allowed him to form the first Tory majority Government in the 20th century. As a result of that win - and three subsequent re-elections - he was able to transform Nova Scotia into a Tory powerhouse, based on his moderate governing style and reforming policies which finally allowed the province to not only modernize and diversify its economy, but also ensure a brighter future for successive generations. Inspired by the Antigonish movement of the 1920s, Stanfield’s vision was in many ways a parallel to the economic and social transformations which were to sweep the much larger province of Quebec in the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s, albeit within the political, economic, and cultural context of the Maritimes. [2] His trenchant Red Toryism - the ideal philosophy for a party with the oxymoronic name of “Progressive Conservative” - won him many admirers nationwide. So successful was his tenure in Nova Scotia that in 1967 he became the leader of the federal PCs. At that time, the Tories in Ottawa were heavily divided between supporters and opponents of John Diefenbaker, party leader since 1956 and Prime Minister from 1957 to 1963; Stanfield’s election allowed the rivalry to be put to rest (though Diefenbaker himself - who remained an MP until his death in 1979 - never forgave him for usurping his position). Unlike other party leaders and operatives who would prefer immediate results after taking power, Stanfield preferred thinking in the longer term. Even when the Liberals won a landslide majority (dubbed “Trudeaumania”, after popular new leader and PM Pierre Trudeau) in 1968, all Stanfield could do was be patient and wait; after all, soon it would be his turn. This, combined with economic mismanagement and Trudeau’s personality issues, allowed Stanfield to return the Tories to power in 1972, and remain there.

    The ensuing federal Stanfield Ministry of the 1970s and 1980s thus strongly resembled the earlier, provincial Stanfield Ministry of the 1950s and 1960s, albeit on a much larger scale. He was surprisingly successful in adapting his governing style to suit his new environment - even when faced with having to make compromises that were typical of Ottawa but alien in Halifax, or when dealing with the blinding scrutiny of such high profile awarded major events such as the Olympic Games. Much of his legacy in the popular consciousness revolved in some way around sports or the military, but with the cooperation of the provinces and territories Stanfield’s Government also saw the transformation of the country in such a way as to allow it to survive well into the future. This can be best seen in the many ways Ottawa paved the way for infrastructure renewal, such as promotion of high-speed rail in the Québec City-Windsor Corridor, an increase in funding for the CBC, and providing the myriad of resources needed for the ANIK communications satellite programme and its contributions to the exploration of space. The economy also remained more or less strong throughout his Government, and thus earned the Tories a reputation as good economic stewards - a marked contrast to the Trudeau era. Even in terms of political and Constitutional questions, the Government worked in Stanfield’s typical style, which was one of cooperation rather than confrontation.

    The co-operative style of Stanfield’s politics found a further application when handling the final frontier of Canadian television - the 2-3% of the viewing population, primarily Aboriginal, who lived throughout the far-flung, sparsely-populated North. Broadcasting policy here had always been schizophrenic long before Stanfield came into office, based at least in theory upon the long-standing principles of Arctic sovereignty and the defence of its national territory - which extended, by the reckoning of the Canadian government, to the geographic North Pole. Until the formation of the CBC Northern Service in 1958, broadcasting was largely the purview of individual, small-scale community stations, many of which were owned by the military’s Royal Canadian Signal Corps. [3] The CBC finally introduced television service to the region in 1967, with a station in Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories. Up until then, radio (cheaper and easier to access and operate than television) remained the dominant medium of broadcasting in the North, allowing Northerners some control over their cultural and technological development. Their initial high hopes for the new television service, informed by their good experiences with local radio, were crushed as the 1970s wore on.

    From the launch of the Frontier Coverage Package to the commencement of live broadcasting via ANIK, television was primarily a means of transmitting Southern Canadian programming to remote communities populated mainly by Southerners - even though most of the CBC’s audience were Northerners. Already on heightened alert after both Trudeau’s disastrous plan in 1969 to equalize Native Canadians as part of the drive towards a “just society” and the Québec government’s apparent refusal to address Aboriginal concerns with regards to the James Bay hydroelectric project [4], the CBC’s actions vis-à-vis television spurred community groups and Native Canadian organizations into action, deploring the public broadcaster for its cultural insensitivity to Northern needs and thus formed alternate broadcasting organizations which spoke to Native and Northern realities. Further evidence for cultural insensitivity towards the North and Aboriginal peoples came with the launch of CBC-2/Radio-Canada Télé-2, and this was the last straw. Because the North was made up entirely of territories, the region lacked the provincial educational broadcasting infrastructure required to participate in the channel, and was thus (once again) excluded from actively participating in a channel that included it as part of its coverage area. Overall, Northerners believed that the broadcaster did not fulfill its obligations towards their region, and thus the launch of the second channel accentuated the calls for change.

    After Stanfield took office, some steps were taken towards making that change. Throughout the 1970s, the National Film Board of Canada ran a Northern animation studio and trained a generation of Northern filmmakers in their craft. Around the same time as the first ANIK satellites launched, Robert Stanfield’s Government initiated the Native Communications Program, which funded the creation and maintenance of Aboriginal community radio stations and, with the full participation and cooperation of activist groups, the formation of Native Communications Societies in the North. In the run up to the 1978 election, Stanfield promised Northern Canada that if the Tories won reelection, the Government would be open towards fashioning a new Northern broadcasting policy, including the possibility of a television channel of its own. Indeed, outside of communications, the Government tried - though not without facing a few stumbling blocks along the way - to address the problems Native Canadians faced, particularly over the questions of Indian Status; apart from persistent federal non-compliance with the treaties, a major issue pertained to marriage and enfranchisement. Particularly with women, if a Native Canadian married a non-Aboriginal person, s/he would lose their Indian Status and were thus banned from staying on the reserve with all the consequences, such as loss of social services. Also, Indian Status could also be lost if one decided to “enfranchise” - that is, decide to participate in voting at Canadian general elections. As far as the North was concerned, the question of decentralizing governance to the Territories themselves was a long-standing issue, and the new Northern television channel could help Northerners take control over their own development. As a result after the election, the Government announced the formation of the Royal Commission on Telecommunications Policy in Northern and Remote Communities. Chaired by former CRTC Chairman Pierre Juneau (and hence also known as the Juneau Commission), it was given the mandate of investigating the present situation of broadcasting in the North and making recommendations as to its future development. [5]

    Throughout the lifespan of the Juneau Commission, its members heard from various witnesses from all elements of Canadian society who had a stake in Northern and Native Canadian affairs. Many Aboriginal rights activist groups turned their time testifying to the Commission into an all-out re-examination of Canadian policy towards Aboriginal affairs, but it was the Native Communications Societies, the Northern activists and cultural associations, and those directly involved with the NFB’s and CBC’s efforts towards Northern cultural production who steered it back towards the heart of the issue. The heads of the CRTC and the CBC were also taken to task - uncomfortably, in the case of the former - for their failure to address Northern issues and concerns. In addition to their sessions in Ottawa, the Commissioners also held public consultation sessions throughout Northern Canada, gauging the opinions of Northern Canadians, Native and non-Native, over their satisfaction with existing service. In 1980, its work concluded with the publication of its findings and recommendations in its Report; while the Juneau Commission’s report had a broad general outlook for recommendations in all aspects of telecommunications policy as it pertained to the North, everyone was closely watching the broadcasting policy recommendations. The Commissioners recommended more support for the Native Communications Societies and other Aboriginal peoples wishing to get involved with broadcasting, as well as increased funding for Northern filmmakers and programme producers, the formalization of the NFB’s efforts in the North as a permanent part of the Board’s work, and the creation of a training institute for technicians and support staff. To link all these disparate elements together, the Commissioners envisioned a system of community radio stations and a dedicated television channel exclusively for Northern Canada, all linked by satellite. Interestingly, the recommendations of the Juneau Commission partially mirrored those from well in the early 1970s by the Arctic Institute of North America and their research series known as the Man in the North Project, well before the first ANIK satellites launched. Where the Project focuses mainly on satellite television, since domestic transmission had not been tried before, the Commission envisioned satellite distribution for all forms of broadcasting. What was true then certainly looked feasible now, particularly with the accumulated experience from the domestic satellite communications programme.

    Based on the recommendations of the Juneau Commission, Stanfield’s Government soon tabled in Parliament a bill pertaining to Northern broadcasting, including the formation of Television Northern Canada (TVNC), a public-service television channel made up of programming from the NFB and Native Communications Societies no different from its provincial counterparts, such as TVOntario. This formed part of what the Government called the Northern Broadcasting Policy. This new initiative partly followed the recommendations of the Juneau Commission, but since broadcasting policy was part of an overall holistic reorientation of federal responsibilities towards Northern and Aboriginal affairs, the Policy took on a more comprehensive outlook in the development not only of Aboriginal-produced programming, but also distributing and broadcasting programming that would allow Native cultures to develop and allow for the preservation and development of Aboriginal languages. Therefore, Native Canadians should be able to have access to services which reflected their worldview, thus influencing CRTC policy. As a result, the Government began subsidizing the Native Communications Societies and production companies, as well as assisting the Societies in the construction of production centres, community television stations, and transmission networks - both satellite and terrestrial - for Aboriginal programming. After a couple of years, TVNC launched in 1983 as the first television network in Canada run almost entirely by Aboriginal people, with Stanfield among the dignitaries welcoming the new channel. It launched with an ambitious programming schedule, primarily cultural and educational in orientation, yet TVNC managed to gain popularity within the North. Among its popular offerings were its dramatic programming, including a children’s programme clearly based on Star Trek called HMCS Borealis which taught children about the North through exploration and how to understand common cultural values among its Aboriginal people. [6]

    Not surprisingly, the CBC felt left behind by the pursuit of the Northern Broadcasting Policy. They were the oldest broadcasting organization in the North and was one of the few with connections throughout Northern communities and the federal government. Therefore, there were some people in CBC management who felt TVNC was competition for the same viewers and Parliamentary appropriations. However, there were some in the CBC’s television division who saw an opportunity with TVNC. In an attempt to atone for their faults as exposed by the Juneau Commission, as well as being clearly within the patterns set elsewhere with provincial educational broadcasters, in 1981 CBC Television announced that the CBC’s television services in the North would be undergoing a change. While retaining the regionalized East Coast and West Coast feeds they had been using for CBC-1 service since 1973, the channel would see an increase in regionally-produced programming, particularly in news and current affairs. This increase in programming would be more pronounced with CBC-2, which now operated in the North as a dedicated television service, with both CBC-produced regional programming and programming from the Native Communications Societies and other production companies; regular CBC-2 service became a secondary programming feed, used to fill airtime when no other programming aired. The CBC even allowed its programming, and any other shows which could not fit on CBC-2, to air on TVNC.

    It was not just the CBC that tried to attract Northern audiences - CanWest Paramount also saw opportunities north of the 60th parallel. Although they followed the same model as CBC-1 for their plans for Northern service, CanWest executives additionally promised pride of place for Northern programming, both CanWest-produced and independently commissioned - they even offered to donate surplus equipment and train staff. Finally, to ensure maximum flexibility, PGTV slightly altered the regionalization of their service. Whereas CBC-1 only had two feeds, an East Coast feed (from their St. John’s, Nfld. station) and a West Coast feed (from their Vancouver station), PGTV could boast three regional service feeds, serving the Eastern Arctic (from their Toronto station, CKGN), the Central Arctic (from their Winnipeg station, CKND), and the Yukon and Western NWT (from their Vancouver station, CKVU). That final regional service feed even received waivers from both the FCC and CRTC to service Alaska and its affiliates there, allowing America’s Last Frontier to receive live television service simultaneously with the rest of the continent.

    For the CBC, in fact, the North played just one part in their service expansions during the 1980s. In the case of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Canada’s newest territories, at the time they joined Confederation, the only local broadcaster was a community radio station owned by the territorial government; all other service came from the neighbouring Bahamas. So the CBC decided to boldly go where no other Canadian broadcaster had gone before, expanding both radio and television service to the territory. Canada’s national public broadcaster also began embracing satellite and Pay-TV more often in other ways, such as the gradual replacement of old microwave transmission systems with direct satellite transmission, and the launch of two new channels dedicated to live public affairs programming. Initially, the CBC started transmitting live public affairs programming in 1975 with the Parliamentary Television Network, which broadcast sessions of the House of Commons. Since then, however, the business of public affairs television changed with the launch of the Cable News Network, or CNN, by Ted Turner in 1980. The launch of a television channel focused solely on the news, coming as it did barely a couple of years after the near-saturation coverage of the Argentine War, meant that any time during its 24-hour operation the latest news could be broadcast live as it happened. The widespread use of VTR equipment and the transition towards electronic and digital news gathering (rather than the conventional film-based and analog news reporting) aided news organizations in general, including CNN, with the production of news stories since it reduced the amount of lead time between capturing a news story and broadcasting it on-air. CNN’s success inspired competitors within the US, including ABC’s ill-fated Satellite News Channel, building on the Alphabet Network’s experience with all-news radio formats. In Canada, too, there was some interest in a similar channel focused on Canadian news. Building on its success with the Parliamentary Television Network and its experience with ANIK, after the 1982 general election the CBC applied to the CRTC for two additional public affairs channel licences (one in English, one in French) devoted to live 24-hour Canadian and international news. These licences were granted without hesitation, so in 1983 the CBC News and Information Service (CBC NIS) and La chaîne de l’information de Radio-Canada (LCI) signed on for the first time. [7]

    The arrival of CBC NIS and LCI came at an opportune time in Canadian history. The 1982 general election had largely been fought on patriation; accordingly, much news coverage was devoted to this important Constitutional issue. Thanks to the trans-continental setup of both channels, including newsrooms throughout the country (to counter accusations of Toronto/Montreal-centricism), the issues surrounding patriation as it affected their regions received full attention on both channels. There were plenty of issues that were covered, from Senate reform to the role of the provinces and territories in the process patriation. Quebec also became an issue, coming as it did after the failed sovereignty referendum; in the case of Francophone audiences, LCI allowed the broadcast of the concerns of French-Canadians living outside the “heartland” of Quebec and northern/eastern Ontario, making their concerns as important as Québécois concerns over their shared linguistic, cultural, and political struggle. Then there was the whole notion of enshrining new and existing rights, which courted all sorts of controversy throughout the political spectrum. Overall, both channels were majorly successful in keeping people informed and enlightened about patriation. All the work put forward for the Parliamentary Television Network, the coverage of the 1980 Olympics and launch of CBC-2, and the service expansions for the North and the Turks and Caicos - not to mention the continuing work of one of Canada’s largest broadcast journalism organizations - finally paid off with the two news channels.

    To outsiders, it was Aboriginal and Northern Canada which received quite a bit of attention in the coverage on CBC’s news channels, in part due to over-compensating for past neglect of Northern issues and concerns and its brow-beating by the Juneau Commission. There was another, often overlooked, factor to the 1982 election - the Tories received heavy support from Aboriginal peoples and particularly in Northern Canada, since the Government was perceived to finally be addressing their problems. Even with that staunch support, however, Aboriginal Canadians felt that patriation would sever their special relationship with the Crown - which court decisions throughout the 1970s and 1980s had reinforced - and thus coverage of Aboriginal issues on CBC NIS and LCI tried to showcase Native concerns to the general public. For LCI in particular, coverage of Aboriginal issues came about as Quebec City was trying to come up with an integration strategy for the various minority communities, within a single cultural framework that stressed French-Canadian heritage. Claims by Québec, throughout the debates, that French Canada in general and Québec in particular formed a “distinct society” sparked massive outrage among Native Canadians, arguing that Aboriginal Canada also formed a “distinct society”, with all the privileges coming from that assertion. In a sense, television helped Aboriginal and Métis Canadians form an overarching federation of Native peoples and their advocacy organizations, the Native Canadian Brotherhood (NCB), as a single source through which Aboriginal concerns could be channeled to the federal government. As for the North, both CBC North and TVNC created a platform which Northern Aboriginal peoples, particularly the Inuit, could share their views on the debates and the patriation issue, with some of their concerns even reaching the national conversation on CBC NIS. For once, it seemed, the CBC was finally paying attention to Aboriginal and Northern concerns, though there was still a long way to go.

    Throughout the debates, many commentators noted the determined and driven pace the march towards patriation took. Even during the 1982 election campaign, commentators noticed that something was amiss in with Stanfield and the Tory campaign - even though Stanfield, as stoic as he was, remained tight-lipped and refused to divulge anything pertaining to his personal life. Not until his retirement did the truth reveal itself. As it turned out, as the devoted family man he was, Robert was devastated when he found out about his wife’s cancer diagnosis back in 1977. At the time, a cancer diagnosis was a virtual death sentence; as a result, he and their doctors tried the best they could, hoping she would recover and the cancer go into remission. Throughout much of his Premiership, he kept this secret firmly under wraps, letting only a few close friends know what was really going on. Yet his wife remained in the shadows of all his achievements up to the 1982 general election. To Stanfield, the election was a sour one because after the campaign, his beloved wife passed on. He was not celebrating Canadians’ reaffirmation in the Conservatives, but was in a period of mourning. “That one last thing”, as he privately called patriation, thus took on a new, personal dimension for him. If he managed to achieve just that, he could retire and go back to being with his family. Therefore, although some would view patriation as enshrining Stanfield’s legacy, he himself basically saw it as one last thing to do before he moved out of 24 Sussex Drive. Although the Prime Minister’s residence seemed lonely without his wife, he never remarried and was resigned to his newfound existence. After he achieved patriation in 1984, there was basically nothing else for him to do - which was why, the week after Remembrance Day, in 1985 Stanfield announced his retirement, to be effective from February 3, 1986 - when Parliament would reconvene after adjourning for Christmas and New Year’s.

    At the time, retirement sounded unusual to Canadians, since no politician really “retired” from Canadian politics. Former politicians would still be called upon to give opinions for such-and-such a policy or such-a-such a colleague, and their word would be taken as gospel by party faithful. Not so with Stanfield, which left many people wondering what he meant by retirement when a simple resignation would have sufficed. In his case, however, the usual “spending more time with the family” reason would be very genuine on his part - particularly once news of his wife’s death from cancer reached the media. Therefore, the remaining four weeks in Stanfield’s term was effectively a victory lap and farewell tour for one of Canada’s few long-serving Tory Prime Ministers. Not much business would be conducted, except to tie up loose ends so that when his successor occupied 24 Sussex and the Prime Minister’s Office in Centre Block, he could start with a clean slate. His last day in the Commons was an emotional day for everyone; with all major broadcasters suspending normal programming and focusing instead on covering Parliament, not much business apart from a motion to adjourn took place, with the session filled instead with tributes from both the Government and the Opposition. Afterwards, he moved back to Nova Scotia, remaining quiet over the question of his successor and refusing to discuss his successor’s Ministry and policies. As a result, with Stanfield retiring for good, the 1986 Progressive Conservative leadership convention, held in late January, gained renewed attention, particularly over who would succeed him and his legacy. This gave CBC NIS and LCI plenty to cover from the leadership convention to the general election in August which saw the Tories retain their majority in Parliament, and therefore allow their new leader, Brian Mulroney, to form a Government. The coverage of both patriation and the convention introduced Canadians to the concept of having the news whenever they wanted it, almost instantaneously and as it was taking place; this was a major change from other past news events, particularly compared with events like Hurricane Hazel back in the 1950s or the October Crisis, and this new conception of the news, particularly when it came to the workings of Parliament and the Government, would require a major adjustment from everyone.

    Meanwhile, with patriation and Stanfield’s retirement taking centre stage, it would have been easy to forget an important anniversary in Canadian history. On Sunday, 2 November, 1936, Mackenzie King’s Government transformed the former state broadcaster, the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission, or CRBC, into the modern CBC. As 1986 marked the Corporation’s 50th anniversary, the broadcaster would naturally take advantage of it as both a celebration and as a reflection. Despite all the challenges it endured over the years, both domestic and international, it managed to grow into one of Canada’s most respected institutions, as Canadian as maple syrup and hockey. Starting with the launch of the 1985-86 season, the CBC’s 50th anniversary celebrations began with a newer, more modern look and identification campaign for all its television services. [8] After New Year’s, special gold-coloured IDs with either the English-language slogan “CBC: 50 years of telling your story” or the French-language slogan “Ici Radio-Canada: 50 ans à votre image” would make their first appearance. Radio-Canada, however, took the new branding campaign one step further - not only did its television services have a new look, but its television services also underwent a rebranding. Modelled on its LCI news channel, its other existing television services - Télé-1, Télé-2, and the French-language feed of the Parliamentary Television Network - changed names, respectively, to La première chaîne, La chaîne culturelle, and La chaîne d’affaires publiques (LCAP). After the season concluded, the CBC programmed the CBC-1, CBC-2, Première chaîne, and Chaîne culturelle networks with a mix of nostalgia and classic TV programming throughout the summer and fall. The highlight was a history programme of the broadcaster itself, with its title based on the long-standing identifications “This is CBC” in English and “Ici Radio-Canada” in French. [9] A fitting tribute to Canadian ingenuity, and an excellent way to mark the end of one era and the beginning of another.

    ---

    [1] Indeed, this type of thinking was partly why Prince Edward Island, or PEI, delayed acceding to Confederation until the 1870s. This also formed, in part, the basis of Newfoundland’s attitude towards Canada until 1949, although in that case the discussion over Confederation had sectarian overtones which lasted well after The Rock joined Canada.

    [2] This is an important distinction that needs to be made. Québec’s transformation during the 1960s, including its state-centric economic development agenda, was an outgrowth of a social-democratic nationalism that took root during the opposition to Duplessis. As I heard it from one of my former professors, Québec shifted focus from national survival to national development during this period. The Maritimes, retaining much of its traditional conservatism (and, one could argue, cultural similarities with the neighbouring US region of New England), had none of those qualms; as a result, conservatism and (semi) state-centric economic development could be in fact complementary. It is, in fact, part and parcel of traditional Canadian Toryism.

    [3] Indeed, part of the reason why the CBC got involved with broadcasting to the North in the first place was because it was apparently easier for Northerners to listen to stations from the Soviet Union then Canadian stations. In a Cold War context, that could not be allowed by Ottawa.

    [4] IOTL, this impasse eventually led to a landmark agreement, called the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement. ITTL, this does not happen.

    [5] IOTL, this was actually a commission of enquiry within the CRTC, with the final analysis unofficially called the Therrien Report.

    [6] Believe it or not, but something similar actually happened IOTL, only it was superheroes instead of space travel. The name of the programme? Super Shamou. It even launched a popular comic-book series! Unfortunately very few examples of the programme exist on the Internet (and the few clips that exist don’t do it justice thanks to MST3K-like commentary).

    [7] Unfortunately, IOTL, things were not that simple. CBC Newsworld’s launch was delayed to the late ’80s, and RDI (its French-language counterpart) did not even exist until New Year’s Day, 1995.

    [8] If you are familiar with the CBC’s ID package during the late 1980s and early 1990s, it should be no different here. For those who are not familiar: the CBC used a series of idents, very appropriate in an age of CGI and gloss, with a transparent version of the logo, with the background a different colour depending on the time of day and the announcer saying either “This is CBC Television” in English or “Ici Radio-Canada” in French. The ID variation was largely as follows (and edited from Closing Logos Wiki, under the section “3rd logo”, for accuracy based on actual YT evidence):

    *Early Morning (0500/0600-0900): The background is coloured purple/tan/blue gradient, and the CBC logo is coloured cyan/tan/pink.
    *Daytime (0900-1700)
    >Late Morning (0900-1200): The background is coloured turquoise, and the CBC logo is coloured cyan.
    >Afternoon (1200-1700): The background is coloured cyan, and the CBC logo is coloured cerulean.
    *Early Evening (1700-2000): The background is coloured purple/tan/blue gradient, and the CBC logo is coloured cyan/tan/pink - just like the Early Morning ID.
    *Primetime (2000-2300) and Late Night (2300-Sign off [OTA channels]; 2300-0500/0600 [satellite]): The background is coloured black, and the CBC logo is coloured purple. In some cases, the background is colored with a white gradient.

    Examples of this are found all over the Internet, and even to this day it is one of my favourite IDs. They still look pretty modern; pity the CBC doesn’t use them anymore.

    [9] And here’s a version of it in French; the English version in TTL reverses it, with CBC in the background and “THIS · IS” in the centre.


    ---

    Special thanks to Brainbin for allowing me to type this update, as well as him and e of pi for their editing work. Also very special thanks to Bytewave for his help with the opening quote (and ensuring my French is not rusty), to RogueBeaver for his help vis-à-vis the PC Party, to Talwar and DValdron for their help on Aboriginal issues, and many others for their support, help, and encouragement. In particular, a very special thanks to Brainbin for allowing me to help him shape several aspects of this TL as a contributor.

    (For anyone else who also follows my current TL, The Fallen Madonna - I apologize for the delays in getting the next update up. The next update will come up soon, I promise!)

    And with this, we conclude those areas of TWR that deal with The Great White North. We are also ever closer to the end, as you and I unfortunately know. Having followed this TL in an on-again/off-again manner, this was really one of the few TLs that I actually followed with great interest, and so I’ll miss it terribly once it’s done. It’s hard enough to write closing notes for posts in one’s own TL - it’s harder still to write closing notes for a TL written by someone one considers a friend. In fact, I credit this TL for giving me the courage to actually go ahead with a TL of my own in the shape of the Fallen Madonna, as well as another one in the works I’m researching ATM. And all on account of That Wacky Redhead! :D So, from all of us, good night and good luck. And I’ll close with this, which might be familiar to many Canadians (from the ’90s IOTL):
     
  16. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Location:
    The British Empire
    First of all, special thanks to Dan1988 for writing another illuminating interlude! He and I have been brainstorming many of the elements featured in this update for years, and we decided it would be a shame to see them go to waste, so we hope you enjoyed reading about them!

    Thank you for sharing, Danderns! :)

    That's certainly some august company, although I'm sure there are plenty of doorstoppers which are not bestsellers as well ;)

    Thank you, fjihr, and welcome aboard! Exploiting the "six seconds that changed history" remains my proudest moment, so I'm very glad that you enjoyed it as well!

    Most traditions tend to get started by happenstance rather than by any deliberate effort, and the pattern of alternation is no exception, which is why I (and most others) backdate it to Laurier.

    In other news, the next, and penultimate, update for That Wacky Redhead will be presented for your reading pleasure tomorrow! Until then :)
     
    AndyF and Dan1988 like this.
  17. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Location:
    The British Empire
    Appendix C, Part VII: Smaller, More Personal Pictures
    Appendix C, Part VII: Smaller, More Personal Pictures

    1986. The day of reckoning had finally arrived. The millions of voices that had been crying out for a sequel were suddenly silenced. People lined up outside the theatres, and those lines went around the block. It had been a long and arduous road from the original release of Journey of the Force in 1977; although Paramount had green-lit a sequel almost immediately, the Trial of the Century had constituted an almost decade-long detour, along which anticipation gradually swelled into desperation. But nobody could make a Journey sequel until it was clear who would profit from doing so, and it had not been clear until the Supreme Court of the United States of America made its final, eagerly-awaited ruling in early 1983. Tens of thousands of die-hard fans had gathered on the plaza just outside, and cheered in excitement when it became clear that the creative forces which had brought Journey to life would have sole responsibility for its sequel.

    However highly anticipated that sequel might have been for the average filmgoer, in many ways those who were most eager for the film were the studio executives. Not that they - unlike the massive Journey fandom - necessarily had any interest in seeing the movie itself, but instead they were intent on finding out how it would perform at the box-office. George Lucas, who had written and directed the original film, would function for the sequel as its executive producer, representing his role as the man in complete control of the studio’s coffers. He knew he had a lot riding on the success of Journey sequel - the first original, big-budget tentpole film to be released by the Lucasfilm studio since the acquisition of the former Paramount Pictures. Lucas had invited his dear friend Steven Spielberg to direct the film as his first Lucasfilm picture, as Lucas had no desire to ever direct a film again after the hectic and nightmarish experience that making the first Journey film had been. In exchange, Lucasfilm made a three-picture deal with Spielberg, agreeing to back any of his chosen projects and allow him substantive creative control - though retaining their budgetary veto.

    Marcia Lucas, who had won two Academy Awards for Best Film Editing - one for a film directed by Spielberg, and the other for a film directed by her husband - had been true to her much-publicized declaration that if she ever laid a finger on another Moviola again, it would be too soon. Although she had offices at the Lucasfilm studio space (rented out from the Desilu Gower-Melrose complex) in her capacity as Chief Creative Officer, she spent most of her time on that lot visiting with her old friends, including her friend and mentor Lucille Ball, the head of Desilu Productions. However, most of the time she held court at the Lucas family mansion in the Hollywood Hills, trying to get in as many hours of quality time as she possibly could with her family. She had toiled for many years working unglamourous editing jobs, and she felt she had earned the right to live it up now that she and her husband were obscenely wealthy. A stable home life being something she had lacked as a girl was all the more incentive for her to provide it for her own children. George was more actively involved in Lucasfilm’s operations, but even he left much of the day-to-day accounting to their third partner, Andy Taylor, who had enjoyed the change of pace from his former law practice.

    Still, Lucas had a public image to preserve. He and Spielberg had built their reputation as blockbuster filmmakers, which was one of many reasons that the Journey sequel needed to be a smash success; the reputation and future of not only the studio but also its key players hinged on it. Running a studio necessitated an entirely different skillset than making a movie, and Lucas, it turned out, had a much better knack at big-picture strategizing (a role which suited him as a CEO) than detail-oriented minutiae (a role which suited auteur filmmakers). His three-picture deal with Spielberg was an example of his desire to promote the works of his many filmmaker cohorts - such as Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, and John Milius, among others - and allow them the creative freedom they needed. Mindful of the mistakes which had ended the New Hollywood era, however, he made sure to keep both hands on the studio purse-strings at all times. Because allowing his friends to make the smaller, more personal pictures which would satisfy their creative urges was not a lucrative strategy, he would need to balance such projects with proven moneymakers such as the long-awaited sequel to his blockbuster, Journey of the Force. To this end, George had begun work on the story outline for the Journey sequel almost immediately upon the rendering of the Supreme Court’s verdict, but he largely stepped back from the ensuing pre-production process, trusting the Academy Award-winning team fresh off Prepare for War! to get it right: John Sayles was hired, on Spielberg’s recommendation, as screenwriter.

    All sides were in agreement that the general tone of this sequel needed to be darker, more mature than the first one had been, given the nine-year gap between them; the Echo Boomer children who had watched the first film upon its initial theatrical release were now young adults. The long gap between the two films also raised the question of whether the original trio of stars - William Katt as Annikin, Kurt Russell as Han, and Karen Allen as Princess Leia - ought to return, and if so, in what capacity. Should they be the stars of the sequel? Or should the sequel focus on new characters - after all, the previous film had made clear that the Civil War between the Rebellion and the Empire was a galaxy-spanning conflict. It would be justifiable to tell a story featuring new characters on another front.

    The climax of Journey of the Force was inspired in part by a historical event - Operation Chastise in World War II - indirectly through its depiction in the film The Dam Busters, as well as a fictional film, 633 Squadron, which depicted a similar event; Lucas had other ideas based on similar raids of Axis territory by Allied forces, as there was certainly no shortage of them. The idea he liked best was a Rebel Alliance raid on Imperial supply lines, and the raid going south and forcing the main character (Annikin Skywalker in the original outline) to crash-land his starfighter on a remote planet far behind enemy lines and try to find his way back out. In his original outline, Lucas had dwelled heavily on the logistics of Imperial troops and fleets and the impact it had on the strategic objectives of both sides; everyone who read this outline, starting with his wife Marcia, told him to put much more emphasis on the action-adventure elements of the story. After all, even the notoriously meticulous Stanley Kubrick had rightly decided to centre his epic masterpiece Napoleon mostly on le petit corporal’s relationships, as opposed to his logistical mastery, and George was no Kubrick.

    Even in the earliest outlines for the sequel, there was no obvious role for Kurt Russell’s character, the roguish scoundrel Han Solo. In the near-decade since his star-making role as an adult actor, Russell had become one of Hollywood’s biggest action heroes, known for taking on projects which allowed his charm and comedic chops to shine through in otherwise subpar material. His price tag had also risen considerably: for his last film before he entered into contract negotiations for the Journey sequel, he had received a record $10 million payday, becoming the first actor to receive an eight-figure salary. Unsurprisingly, his agent demanded that much for his return to the role of Han Solo, even though the film was budgeted at $30 million total - already a fairly high figure for the era, and a number that Lucas was determined not to exceed any further. In renegotiations, Russell’s agent agreed to take a smaller upfront salary (perhaps as little as $1 million) against a whopping 10% of future box-office grosses. Lucas would have none of this, and informed Russell’s agent that contract negotiations would not continue. The film would go on without him, and with Han gone, there was less of a perceived need for Annikin or Leia to return in starring roles either.


    The decision to focus on new protagonists was crystallized one Saturday morning when George and Marcia were watching cartoons with their children. Unsurprisingly, all the members of the Lucas household enjoyed watching The Animated Adventures of Star Trek, and George couldn’t help but notice that the change in cast - and even setting, as the lead ship of the series was not the Enterprise,but the Hyperion - had resulted in new storytelling opportunities, even though many of the new characters filled much the same roles as the ones in the original, live-action Star Trek. That got George to thinking: what would a new hotshot starfighter pilot look like? Or a new smuggler? What about these characters could be different from their original counterparts? How would they relate to each other? In addition, it occurred to him that making a film with new leads also gave the title of his saga an even greater meaning: the main “character” of the films was not any human, but instead the Force itself. That night, after the kids had gone to bed, he immediately started brainstorming ideas with Marcia, and it was she who made a suggestion which changed the entire track of the film development: making the new smuggler character a woman.

    In light of his revelation about the Force itself being the main character of the franchise, the overarching title was tweaked to Journeys of the Force. The original film was given the retroactive subtitle The Death Star, which was first seen in the opening credits of the long-awaited home video release in 1984 (since sequels had finally been confirmed), but notably, the packaging for the film itself retained the original title, and almost everyone continued to refer to the film as such. The sequel was given the subtitle Behind Enemy Lines, as it would focus on the new starfighter pilot lead crash-landing on a remote planet after a failed Rebel Alliance raid on Imperial supply lines. Steven Spielberg and John Sayles, once they received the final outline from Lucas, immediately began to reshape it into a workable shooting script. Sayles focused mainly on the plotting, characterization, and dialogue; as had been the case with their previous collaborations, he left most of the detail for the action set pieces to Spielberg.

    The film opened with an audacious raid upon a key supply line for the Imperial forces, only for the alliance strike force to suffer a painful setback when their forces were overwhelmed. Colonel Annikin Skywalker, who led the spaceborne raid, was downed and captured by the Empire, where he was kept prisoner by his old foe from the previous film, Darth Vader, preventing him from using his “Jedi-bending” to affect an easy escape.

    Meanwhile, one pilot, Lt. Wedge Darklighter, though his starfighter was damaged, was able to evade capture, making an emergency landing on a remote planet on the outskirts of the sector. Fending his way to a port town, he attempted to discreetly seek passage back to neutral territory, but the only person able to help him was a young smuggler woman, Pathe Amidala, who instantly saw through his attempts to conceal his identity. She asked him why she shouldn’t just turn him into the Imperials, but he promised that the Rebellion would pay her double whatever the Empire had to offer.

    Pathe was someone whom most would describe as a collaborator; she gained handsomely from trade with Imperial agents, and agreed to provide services to them - for a hefty price. From the point of view of the Imperials, she was a profiteer - thus, nobody liked her and fewer still trusted her. She did have a contact within the underground resistance in the region - affiliated with the Rebellion - but had never met him. However, cooperating with him was the only way the pilot could be sure of securing the large sum of payment the smuggler expected, so he insisted upon a face-to-face meeting.

    The underground agent, Arn Riclo, turned out to be nothing like either of them had expected. Optimistic and idealistic, his passion for the cause and hope for a better future for the galaxy was inspiring. He and the smuggler were oil and water - but he shook her with his absolute faith in the potential for her redemption.

    He informed Wedge that Skywalker had been captured and that Resistance agents were attempting to effect a rescue through their mole working in the Imperial base. However, they had a critical shortage of good pilots and good ships - drafting Wedge and Pathe would go a long way toward alleviating both problems. Pathe balked - but relented when Arn promised her a fortune - enough for her to become the Boss of her own syndicate. She accepted gleefully, though Arn was crushed - he had hoped it wouldn’t take all that to win her over, and told her so. Pathe at least had the decency to look ashamed afterward.

    Pathe was particularly concerned that Skywalker was being held on the prison planet as a trap. Nevertheless, the promise of money beyond her wildest dreams won her over. The three escaped to neutral space, where Princess Leia and Kenobi finally appeared at the briefing mission. It was here that Kenobi confirmed what many in the audience had suspected: that the Force was strong with one of the three. Wedge naturally assumed it was him, but to his (and everyone’s) surprise, it turned out to be Pathe!

    Pathe was skeptical, and Kenobi seemed willing to drop the matter, but then in a cunning bit of misdirection, he tricked her into realizing her powers, and she then accepted that the Force was strong with her. Meanwhile, Princess Leia revealed how the rescue operation would succeed: through a two-pronged attack. The Resistance would create a diversion through an armed uprising, distracting the bulk of the Imperial forces and allowing the Rebel Alliance fighters to stage an effective rescue.

    The final act branched off along two paths: the space battle featuring Wedge and the attempt led by Pathe to effect a rescue of Skywalker. It was Wedge’s job to do well enough to divert enough Imperials to allow them through. The scene at them leaving the Rebel hideout, with Arn and Pathe getting on her ship together, was shot in such a way so as to allude to the famous ending scene of Casablanca, a nod to how that film had influenced both their characters: Pathe as Rick Blaine, and Arn as Victor Laszlo, with the two of them sharing the role of Ilsa between them. Kenobi also joined them on their flight to the enemy base, but stayed behind on the ship when they arrived. Arn and Pathe went in to rescue Annikin, but of course they encountered Vader first. Pathe finally proved her virtue once and for all when Vader threatened Arn and she stepped in between them to intervene, saving his life while risking hers. But of course she was fine, because Vader being distracted had allowed for Skywalker to serve as the cavalry in his own rescue operation. Skywalker thus killed Vader, ending the story arc of their antagonism, and effected their escape alongside Arn, Pathe, and Kenobi - thus uniting three Jedi-Bendu in one ship. Pathe pledged to study the ways of the Jedi-Bendu, right after she got her money; but only because she felt the need to make an honest man out of Arn, and treat him right - because he was joining the Rebellion too. The makeup raid was a smash success, throwing Imperial control of the sector into disarray, and promising to have key strategic effects on other fronts, and in future sequels.

    In a snub which became the talk of Hollywood, the character of Han Solo was never mentioned in the film, even though four other major characters from The Death Star - Annikin, Leia, Kenobi, and Vader - all returned, and each of them discussed their previous adventure, in which Han had played a key part. When asked about Han Solo’s whereabouts, George Lucas simply remarked that “he went back to smuggling”. Kurt Russell declined interviews regarding his failure to make even a cameo appearance in Behind Enemy Lines, and tersely refused to comment when asked about the question directly, with his new agent informing interviewers that his client would much rather discuss his newest project, which was also scheduled for release in the summer of 1986.

    Russell’s film, Human Target, performed very well at the box-office, as his movies often did, but nonetheless, its tally was dwarfed by the boffo returns managed by Behind Enemy Lines, which had received over $300 million at the box-office by the weekend of September 13-14, 1986; returns even months into release showed no real signs of slowing, making it likely that the film would outgross the original, and become the highest-grossing film of all-time (not adjusted for inflation). Despite these massive revenues, critical responses were more muted, the film tending to get more thoroughly mixed responses than the general acclaim which had met the release of the original - and the fond remembrances associated with it ever since. Many hardcore Journey fans were vehement in their fury at the switch to new leads, disliking the franchise shift to an anthology format. The absence of Han - a longtime fan favourite - was a particular sore spot for these fans, who shared many resemblances with the notorious “Puritans” of Star Trek fandom. Other fans, particularly younger ones, disliked the darker tone of the film and the more muted victory achieved at its conclusion. The contrast of the destruction of a major military installation with merely opening up a supply line for some future military action left a sour taste in many of their mouths - even though, in real-world warfare, the latter was often more important than the former.

    On the other hand, the world of film criticism was a very different beast. Sayles’ dialogue was praised as far more literate and memorable than the workmanlike dialogue written by Lucas for the original film, as was Spielberg’s kinetic and taut direction. The actors were singled out for praise as well: Tom Cruise as Wedge, Holly Hunter as Pathe, and British-born Cary Elwes as Arn. Hunter and Elwes were praised for their oil-and-water chemistry, with Hunter additionally receiving plaudits for being believable as a seasoned smuggler despite her relative youth - she was born in 1958, and was 27 during principal photography - and inexperience, as Behind Enemy Lines was her breakthrough role on the big-screen. Most importantly, the smash success of Behind Enemy Lines would vindicate Lucasfilm’s financial strategy as well as its creative strategy. Already, George began outlining a third Journeys film, to feature a whole new set of protagonists, in keeping with the anthology format. The film was already doing well enough that he was able to approve budget increases for the projects his friends Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola were working on, allowing them greater flexibility to weather the inevitable cost overruns he knew would be coming. After all, nobody knew better than George that filmmaking was fraught with unforeseen circumstances…

    ---

    “Miss Ball? Mrs. Lucas is here to see you.”

    “Thank you, Doris, please send her in.”

    Not a moment later, two-time Academy Award-winner and one-third-part owner of a major Hollywood studio, Marcia Lucas, walked into Lucille Ball’s office, carrying a plastic bag filled with fast-food packaging.

    “I brought lunch!” she said, lifting the bag for emphasis.

    “My hero,” said Lucy, a smile playing across her face. “What is it?”

    “Chinese. From a new place down the block. George and I tried it last week, and we both thought it was real good.”

    “And how is George? Still in his office, counting his money? Don’t think I didn’t notice your little movie is #1 at the box-office again this weekend.”

    Marcia grinned. “Actually, he’s on the phone with our travel agent. Booking us a family vacation to the South Seas.”

    Lucy whistled at this - or rather, she tried to whistle. She settled for a variation on her familiar I Love Lucy wail, but with the pitch shifted in such a way as to express approval. Marcia tried not to giggle.

    “I say you’ve earned it. Andthen some. And you’ve certainly got the money for it now.”

    “And I’m making real sure George doesn’t pour it all back into the company. I love Marty and Francis like brothers, but if they were as good with managing money as they were at making movies, they wouldn’t be in this situation in the first place.”

    Ball nodded as she and Marcia retrieved the Chinese food from the bag and began to help themselves.

    “We’ve already declared a real big cash dividend,” Marcia continued. “Don’t know how I talked George into paying out so much, but it’s a good thing with all the money the movie’s making. Andy says he’s going to put his share into real estate back in Baltimore.”

    “And what else are you and George doing with your share?”

    “We’re putting a lot of it towards education for the kids. Private school isn’t cheap and neither is a good college. George is hoping one of them will want to go into filmmaking, but I don’t think that’s a possibility. And we’re looking at buying a retreat in Aspen. Not a lot of snow here in Hollywood and I’d love to expose the kids to it. And skiing would be a real fun family activity for all of us. And we’re probably going to adopt again.”

    Ball was floored. “Sounds like you’ve got a lot of your time planned out already. You spend so much time away, I hardly see you anymore. This is the first time we’ve seen each other in person for weeks.”

    Marcia smiled softly. “Lucy, I’m real grateful for our friendship, and all you’ve done for me and George these last few years.”

    Lucy stopped moving her fork midway to her mouth as Marcia said this. “Oh boy, this sounds serious. Good thing I’m already sitting down.” She lowered her fork and reached into her desk drawer for her beloved cancer sticks. “Better take something to calm my nerves before you go on.” She lit one and took a long drag.

    “I think you’ve earned your retirement, Lucy. No woman - no person - in Hollywood has worked as hard as you for as long as you have. And… and I think your leaving is what finally convinced me I should leave, too.”

    “You’re finally leaving showbiz, Marcie?”

    “I’ll be staying on with Lucasfilm as CCO and keeping my seat on the Board, but I’m vacating my office space. I want to spend every spare moment I can with my kids. I don’t want to miss out on a single thing they do.”

    “And Georgie?”

    “He’s cutting his hours back, too. Only going in part-time. He was real hands-off with Behind Enemy Lines, and it turned out so well, I think it finally convinced him he doesn’t have to micromanage everything. I think he’s picking up a real knack for fatherhood, too.” Marcia couldn’t hide the beam of pride that had come over her face. “Andy’s real good with the day-to-day stuff, like he was born to do it. Lucasfilm is in safe hands.”

    “Do you think he’ll ever direct again?”

    Marcia nodded. “Someday. But something completely different. I think he wants to make a real smaller, more personal film. He’s showed me a lot of his story ideas. Some of them are real good.”

    The two of them ate in silence for a moment.

    “I’m really going to miss this, Marcie,” Lucy said, finally.

    Marcia felt tears welling up in her eyes. “Me too.” With that, she suddenly rose from her seat, dashed around the desk, and threw her arms around Lucy. “You know I love you, don’t you?”

    Lucy laughed, before letting out with her increasingly familiar hacking cough. “As long as you know I love you too, kiddo,” she said, gingerly returning the embrace. As she did, she glanced wistfully around her office. There were a lot of things she was really going to miss.

    ---

    Thus concludes the penultimate update of this timeline! Special thanks to e of pi for co-writing this update with me, including helping to develop the plot of Behind Enemy Lines, the sequel to the original Journey of the Force which is actually described in much greater detail! We hope you enjoyed our take on the sequel’s development and production.
     
    Zaffre, Mackon, Thande and 11 others like this.
  18. THE OBSERVER Independent Progressive

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Location:
    New England
    To quote the 10th Doctor in "The End of Time" (Which doesn't exist ITTL):

    "It's Started."
     
  19. The Professor Pontif of the Guild

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Location:
    Republic of Beerhaven
    Damn this NotaUtopia for making me sad it's ending :teary:
     
  20. Ogrebear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    Lovely updates there- Canada sounds like its got its stuff together fair more than in OTL.

    The anthology idea for Journey 2 is brilliant! Vader dead! Now we just need the 3rd to be about giant, furry beast-like aliens driving the Imperials from their forest world...!