That Wacky Redhead

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

  1. Roger Redux The Revisionist

    Feb 14, 2015
    The Mother of all ASBs (a.k.a. "The Real World")
    Yeah, I guess that's a fair point.

    Kinda makes more inclined to have the [PG] split (or at least the first of two) happen in the late '30s-early 40s as a concession to the LoD.
    A way of saying "You're going a bridge too far, but we'll work with you here."
  2. Electric Monk Does Your Believing For You

    Jun 16, 2005
    Capital Regional District
    As I know this thread loves Mr. Rogers, here’s something neat:

    The film, Won’t You Be My Neighbor, is out now in limited release.

    Mr. Neighbors House 2 is also on June 24th, the first Special was great—it’s David Lynch / Mr Rogers.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
    ANARCHY_4_ALL likes this.
  3. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

    Jul 26, 2009
    The British Empire
    Well, that certainly has my attention. I think between this and other suggestions I've received, I have my outline.

    Same-sex marriage activism was also ongoing in the early-1990s, as shown by Baehr v. Miike. The subsequent (and ultimately successful) movement beginning in the mid-2000s was actually a second round; but of course today the first round is not as well-remembered, even though many classic moments of 1990s pop culture (i.e. the lesbian wedding on Friends) are informed by it. It's certainly something I could work with for this TL idea. One other possibility is the compromise of civil unions actually getting some traction rather than being rejected by both sides, more similar to the state of affairs in several European countries.

    The challenge there is to avoid falling into the "-punk" trap, no matter how awesome a steampunk or dieselpunk or atompunk internet might be.

    I like a lot of what you're suggesting here. So between your suggestions and the Re-Boot the Universe suggestion, I think I have a Star Trek that I can live with, although I'm not sure how plausible it is. Nevertheless, here's a sketch:

    Full disclosure, I've also written about a quasi-Starfleet Academy film series for Eyes Turned Skyward as well. (Basically a lot of the ideas I had for Star Trek that I didn't or couldn't use for TWR I used there. Which makes sense, considering that's why I started writing for Eyes in the first place.)

    The presumption is that The Subsequent Incarnation has been cancelled and so when Paramount enters into discussions with Bennett they're willing to give Starfleet Academy a try since they don't have a new cast waiting in the wings. However, they'd like the original cast to get a proper finale. (Or, more accurately, the original cast would like a proper finale.) So they get one in Star Trek VI. As @Indicus rightly points out, this film might look quite different from the OTL version as perhaps more than any other Star Trek film it is very much a product of its time (yes, The Voyage Home is set in 1986 explicitly but a time-travel fish-out-of-water movie would have worked regardless of when it was made). Depending on how early my POD is it might predate Chernobyl (April 26, 1986) although probably not Chernenko's death and Gorbachev taking over for him (March 10, 1985). (How many people have done TLs or PODs about someone other than Gorbachev succeeding Chernenko anyway? Or someone other than Chernenko succeeding Antropov, or someone other than Antropov succeeding Brezhnev?) Since Bennett senses that Paramount is legitimately willing to give his Starfleet Academy idea a fair shake, he gives Star Trek VI his all, and considering that I'd say he batted .750 as a producer of Star Trek films IOTL, his all is good enough for a good send-off.

    We'll also assume that Captain Sulu (which had been in the works as early as Star Trek II) goes through for the sixth movie and is as well-received as it was IOTL, which means that UPN launches in 1995 with Star Trek: Excelsior as its flagship series, and the continuation of the original series continuity. We'll also assume that the production staff from The Subsequent Incarnation (including such undesirables as Berman and Okuda) cease their involvement with the franchise after its cancellation ITTL, thus preventing their toxic influence from continuing into future instalments.

    The article you link to does indeed suggest that Bennett liked John Cusack for Spock (hard to imagine, but then again I cast Keanu Reeves as Spock in Eyes Turned Skyward, so who am I to talk?), and far more alarmingly, Ethan Hawke for Kirk. Reboot continuity or not, James T. Kirk is not a Generation-Xer. (He was Kiefer Sutherland in Eyes - I find that you need to be able to have the right combination of swagger and ego to play Kirk. Even the actors who have played him in OTL fan films have well-developed egos.) As far as I'm concerned Kirk and Spock are wide open, with the proviso that both have to be played by "name" actors not above a certain age (let's say 30).

    On the other hand, surely we can agree that any rebooted cast in the early 1990s is going to include Gary Sinise as Bones, am I right? The man is a lock.

    Scotty I'm less sure about. There will be a push for an authentic Scot, although I suspect they'll be willing to "settle" for a Brit who can do a Scottish accent, as they did with Simon Pegg IOTL. He'd have to be a comic actor in his 30s. If we are going with authentic Scotsmen, I note that Peter Capaldi (b. 1958) is the right age (and certainly enough of a genre fan), as is John Hannah (b. 1962, who I'd say even looks the part, and has had a mostly comedic career IOTL), and (since we've mentioned one of his films earlier) Robert Carlyle (b. 1961), a noted Method-type actor. A lot of you are probably going to push for Capaldi but I think I like Hannah the best. Assuming this film is released in 1994 he had his OTL breakthrough that same year, in the mega-hit Four Weddings and a Funeral. No, I really think this might be the right guy. I feel it in my fingers; I feel it in my toes.

    Then there's Sulu. A lot of you are probably going to suggest Garrett Wang, who... well, there could be worse choices. Although George Takei is Japanese, he has often said that Sulu represents all of Asia (as Uhura represents all of Africa despite her obvious Swahili culture), and so would not protest the casting of a Taiwanese-American actor, as he did not protest a Korean-American actor IOTL. I'm certainly open to other suggestions. But not Brandon Lee, because I suspect someone might mention him.

    Uhura might be fun. Lots of intriguing possibilities. Tichina Arnold and Tisha Campbell (both of Little Shop of Horrors and, IOTL, Martin, which would have to be butterflied), Garcelle Beauvais, possibly Gabrielle Union, Lark "Lisa Turtle" Voorhies (I'd watch that movie!), Jada Pinkett (yikes!), Nia Long, Tempestt Bledsoe, and oh yes, an obscure up-and-coming actress by the name of Halle Berry.

    Assuming Chekov appears at all in this first film it's as a kid. Assuming the Iron Curtain falls I think they'd also want to cast authentic. The problem is that there aren't many Russian-born, American-raised young men in the early-1990s. Ironically, even though Anton Yelchin, cast as Chekov for the reboot films IOTL, decided to use the "Chekov" voice in tribute to Walter Koenig, I don't think whomever plays Chekov would do so ITTL. Doesn't fit the 1990s nearly as well.

    So on the heels of our first reboot film we have the Excelsior series. Which runs for... who knows. Five years? Seven? Long enough for several of the original series cast members (Kelley in 1999, and possibly Doohan in 2005) to pass on, for the reboot films to peter out and for Straczynski to come along with his "Reboot the Universe" pitch. Which means we get the original series era back on the small screen where it belongs. In the 2000s, a reboot-happy decade. In the hands of a capable showrunner in Straczynski, where the show becomes known for remaking old episodes with new twists.

    How long does that run? Five years, of course. Then by the mid-to-late-2000s we enter into a new cycle.

    They wouldn't scrap them, they'd just repurpose them, as they did IOTL. I expect that Star Trek VI would be able to make use of more sets than usual as a result.

    I like the sound of all this very much - so you can consider it canon! Thank you for taking the time to do this research.

    Honestly, I would say that is the logical end result of a ratings system. I personally think it's more internally consistent than the MPAA refusing to assign a rating to a film - but there's no way the MPAA would award a rating to a film they perceive as pornography, especially not with Valenti in charge.

    This is another excellent point. Many horror filmmakers - especially in the slasher-heavy 1990s (at least before post-modernism became popular with Scream in 1997, albeit those films were also mostly slashers) - would be dismayed that their movie did not get an NC-17. Looking at the many NC-17 films in my earlier rundown, I'd say the one quality shared by all of them (especially once you remove lighter films like The Full Monty from the equation) is the capacity to disturb - through man's inhumanity to man (Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, American Beauty), ludicrously over-the-top violence (Tarantino and sometimes the Coens, along with their copycats), or a twisted view on human sexuality (most of the "erotic thrillers") and if horror as a genre has one motivation it is to disturb its audiences. Another reason why Silence of the Lambs should have an NC-17 ITTL. In fact, it'll probably be the classic "how is this only rated R"-movie ITTL, with the obvious explanation being that the dust hadn't settled yet.

    Hmmm. I have... mixed feelings. I mean, lest we forget, these are the same tactics practiced by one Mr. George Lucas, and I certainly can't endorse it when he does it... (Not to mention Okuda. But we've already discussed him.)
  4. Roger Redux The Revisionist

    Feb 14, 2015
    The Mother of all ASBs (a.k.a. "The Real World")
    Yes! ...Very yes!
    I recognize Capaldi's name, but I haven't actually seen any of his run on Doctor Who yet.
    Actually if he hadn't already been your pick, I would've brought up John Hannah!

    Just to toss another name out about Jason Scott Lee? (no relation, but he did play Bruce in OTL's Dragon: the Bruce Lee Story)
    Hmmm...well if they can't find find an actual Russian....Karl Urban played the FSB guy in The Bourne Supremacy, and *Starfleet Academy could his big break ITTL...
    Sounds like a plan to me!

    I'd like to PM you my (finally) completed version of an Alt. Star Trek franchise (for my TL) for some feedback.
  5. vultan Defying Gravity

    Dec 12, 2008
    Somewhere Only We Know
    I assume that this would preclude Michael Dorn's cameo in Star Trek VI?

    More generally, I wonder what this means for the careers of the TNG cast, especially Patrick Stewart. It would almost certainly butterfly his casting as Professor X in the at-this-point-inevitable X-Men movie.

    Before going any further, it should be noted that at lot of this may depend on who gets the directing job here. Paramount's going in a more explicitly commercial, blockbuster direction with this movie, and when they went that way IOTL (albeit over a decade later), they chose JJ Abrams. The folks most directly equivalent to him at this point in time would be guys like, say, Joe Dante, Joe Johnston, George Miller, and Sam Raimi, all of whom were getting steady work in Hollywood, oftentimes with genre movies, in the late 80s and throughout the 90s. Maaaaaybe Peter Jackson. (Speaking of, another action-adventure space opera film series in the 1990s is surely going to somehow mean something for the development of the Star Wars prequels.)

    Anyway, re Spock, he might be a little old, but perhaps James Spader?

    And do you buy Robert Downey, Jr., Rob Lowe, Brad Pitt, Charlie Sheen, or Christian Slater for Kirk? Just randomly naming guys who had buzz at around this time.

    River Phoenix could potentially play either role if his untimely death is butterflied.

    You could probably go for an actor older than 39 if he brought a certain degree of prestige to the project. Doohan was noticeably older than most of the rest of the TOS cast, after all. Just skimming the supporting cast of Braveheart, you have James Cosmo, Brian Cox, and (not Scottish, but Celtic) Brendan Gleeson, all of whom seem plausible.

    B. D. Wong seems like he'd be a perfect choice.

    I especially like the choices of Union and Berry.

    If you're willing to look broader than just Russians and considers European actors in general, why not Vincent Perez of Switzerland? He's around the right age, had arthouse cred at around this time (he was in the cast of 1990's Cyrano de Bergerac), and Hollywood did cast him several genre movies in the late 90s/early 2000s, including The Crow: City of Angels and Queen of the Damned.
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  6. Time slip Snake Person

    Feb 4, 2013
    A Hundred Yards Over the Rim
    Given how much of the movie-going audience are young adults, that might not be a bad direction for the studios to tailor much of their horror movies toward, and the PG-13 and R ratings would still be there for films that they're hoping for a larger teen audience at the box office.
    It would be interesting to see which slasher franchises go NC-17 ITTL. Friday the 13th is one that might be able to get a lot of mileage with fans by going NC-17, since they could advertise new films as being Friday the 13th without the MPAA's interference, while the more comedic Nightmare on Elm Street series might stick with the R. IOTL, Scream's original screenplay was apparently pretty graphic in terms of violence, and poor screen tests led to more violence being added to Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (the first of the Weinstein owned Dimension Films Halloween movies, incidentally) via re-shoots. The TTL equivalents of these two movies might end up following the NC-17 trend by being more violent. Another film to consider would be I Know What You Did Last Summer, which was relatively light on violence due to the director not wanting to make the movie too bloody. I wonder if that might lead to the director being replaced ITTL if the studio insists on more graphic content.
  7. Mr_Fanboy Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2016
    One specific POD to this end could be the butterflying of Andrew Sullivan's 1989 essay in The New Republic calling for legalized same-sex marriage.

    On the topic of timely events for such a movie to address... you could have it be the case that the Tiananmen protests, or some equivalent event, successfully spark a movement that brings the communist regime in China to a (mostly) peaceful end. I know the franchise at this time liked to treat the Klingons more as an analogue for the Soviet Union than communist China, but I'm sure the writers would be happy to fudge things a bit and write a story where protests by the Klingon people take down the empire, as opposed to some freak Chernobyl-like accident bringing them to the negotiating table.

    Or... I could shamelessly offer up this thread for basic starting point ideas for a much messier collapse of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact. Maybe an earlier and more successful hardline coup against Gorbachev installs a hardline communist or ultranationalist regime that militarily crushes the Solidarity protests in Poland, perhaps leaning heavily on East Germany for support, sparking outcry in the West that dwarfs that of the equivalent Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. This becomes a movie about the Klingons crushing protests on some peaceful planet under their yoke with the help of their Gorn and/or Kzinti and/or Tholian allies, with the crew of the Enterprise assisting these freedom fighters. Depending on how cerebral the final film is, this could play out like a science fiction version of Charlie Wilson's War or Rambo III.

    Or have the Soviet Union completely messily collapse into civil war like Yugoslavia, fighting and failing to keep hold of the Ukraine, the Caucasus republics, etc, and ending up losing even more territory than OTL, (Bashkiria, Chechnya, Tatarstan, etc), which could lead to an interesting movie. Perhaps the ridgeless Klingons of the original series era are the Ukrainian analogues, while the ridged Klingons are the ethnic Russians.

    Or you could easily have some combination of the above events take place, which would lead to a very interesting movie. And obviously any of these real-world scenarios, alone or in tandem with each other, would have big implications to the Captain Sulu series as well.


    Also, if you're dealing with 80s/90s poly culture, you'll need to address superhero movies and the comic book scene generally. There are lots of interesting places you could take Superman, and the other DC characters on screen, but I'm focusing on Marvel for a minute. Sony was offered the chance to buy the rights to the balance of the Marvel Universe (aside from characters who had been licensed out to other studios already, like Blade and the X-Men) in 1998, but turned Marvel down and solely went for Spider-Man. Here, perhaps a prescient exec takes Marvel up on that sort of offer (though likely in a different context, due to the butterflies), and we could get the MCU ten or so years early, though this seems more likely if the DC movies were doing better at the time, which could be easily arranged.

    And don't get me started on Image Comics, Valiant Comics and all the rest...

    EDIT: Okay, my links were screwed up, but I think that I have them fixed now.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
  8. Roger Redux The Revisionist

    Feb 14, 2015
    The Mother of all ASBs (a.k.a. "The Real World")
    It could also possibly lead to him being cast in an earlier X-Men movie (or possibly as Mr. Freeze in a Batman movie) since he won't be committed to Trek projects.
    I think Sheen and Downey might be too wild for Kirk (though I don't doubt they'd do an excellent job); Slater I don't really see as Kirk, but if he still cameos in Star Trek VI he could be a recurring character on Excelsior; Pitt and Lowe would be interesting choices. Just to add another suggestion to the list, how about Sheen's less...controversial brother Emilio Estevez?
    Good choice! Though between Father of the Bride, Jurassic Park, and The Ref he might be busy.
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  9. Pyro Love the platypus, obey the platypus.

    Jun 20, 2006
    Neither here nor there
    Having spent half my childhood and adolescence in the 1990s, I would say it's a mixed bag when it comes to pop culture that mostly 90s kids would be nostalgic for. By that I mean children's entertainment--notably animation--was a bit more sophisticated compared to the previous decade as many 80s cartoons were 22 minute commercials for a toy line with very little in the way of plots. For example, I cannot watch Transformers (G1) without thick rose-tinted shades whereas I would have an easier time watching Beast Wars. Similarly, could anyone honestly tell me that Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends is a better show than X-Men: The Animated Series or even the 90s Spider-Man series? Similarly there is a healthy market for retro video games because of nostalgic millennials so I don't write the decade off as a complete loss in a cultural sense.

    It's a pity that the 90s were not kind to my preferred medium, comic books. That was the decade Marvel went bankrupt and the collectors bubble popped to to corporate greed and shortsightedness.
  10. Ogrebear Well-Known Member

    Apr 14, 2012
    Would my Excelsior idea - space station etc fit into the Sulu series?

    Agree with other posters about an older Scotty.

    Regarding the Reboot though- would you go for a B5/NBSG style set design or more Movie Trek since the TOS sets wouldn’t work?
  11. GJohn902 Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2016
    Thanks @Brainbin! For reference, below are the CBS affiliates that will be switching to ABC in this timeline in the cities I mentioned:

    Atlanta, GA: WAGA (in OTL, switched to - and later bought by - Fox as a result of the New World deal)
    Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN: WCCO (ironically, it ended up owned by CBS in OTL)
    San Diego, CA: KFMB
    Charlotte, NC: WBTV
    Jacksonville, FL: WJXT (in OTL, now an independent station - it dumped the CBS affilation in 2002 after a reverse-compensation dispute with the network)
    Indianapolis, IN (a OTL ABC/NBC switch city I inadvertently skipped in my original post): WISH, replacing WTHR. (In OTL, the ABC affiliation moved to WRTV, while WISH also dropped CBS a few years ago due to the same reverse-compensation issues)
  12. Mr_Fanboy Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2016
    Also, regarding which actress should play Uhura... she's mostly known for her right-wing commentary nowadays, but Stacey Dash was at the right age in the nineties to play the role.
    USS Triumphant likes this.
  13. Mr_Fanboy Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2016
    It should also be noted that the Michael Eisner era was a very interesting time for Disney creatively and on the corporate side, with the launch of the Disney Renaissance and the beginning of the company's relationship with Pixar (which would also link up to interesting possibilities with Apple and Lucasfilm) and Miramax. Surely it's a time rich in PODs, but the one that most immediately comes to mind is Disney's hunt for a broadcast television network. IOTL this led to the purchase of ABC, but only after they had pursued NBC. General Electric ultimately didn't agree to terms for any sort of sale that Disney found suitable, but perhaps butterflies create conditions more conducive to a deal. Or maybe any number of PODs in the incredibly complicated Sumner Redstone/National Amusements/Viacom/CBS corporate drama of the 1980s and 1990s create a situation where CBS is a softer target for a potential Disney acquisition.

    Sticking with CBS for a minute... tying this back to Star Trek, it's not entirely inconceivable that byzantine legal wrangling could create a situation where the Star Trek rights are split between Paramount and Disney/CBS, not dissimilar from the current Trek rights mess with Viacom and CBS IOTL. Maybe then Disney responds to the success of the Starfleet Academy movies and/or the Captain Sulu series by launching its own entirely unrelated, competing Trek series, set in a different continuity. So instead of DS9 and Voyager running mostly coterminous with each other, you have two completely unrelated shows.
  14. vultan Defying Gravity

    Dec 12, 2008
    Somewhere Only We Know
    One more thing on... being a Fight Club fan, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that if you chose Brad Pitt as Kirk, you could naturally slot in Edward Norton as Spock, as we know that the two actors have chemistry. It'd require spotting Norton his career break a few years beforehand, but that seems doable.
  15. The Lone Centurion Banned

    Mar 10, 2018
    Deloraine, Tasmania, Australia
    @Brainbin Reading through this, I see you couldn't save Anissa Jones, If fellow child actress Pamelyn Ferdin is right, and Anissa did engage in bad behaviour on-set, no one's perfect. I won't say "Anissa's not here to defend herself" because being dead doesn't change anything bad that you did in life. Anissa paid for her mistakes with her life and she's beyond Earthly punishment now.