That Wacky Redhead

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

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  1. NCW8 Being Analogue in a Digital World

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    You mean The Return of the Saint (The Saint Returns was a 1950s film) ? The original idea of the tv series was "The Son of the Saint" and Ian Ogilvy was cast on that basis. This idea was dropped early in production, however if the series were made about the son of Simon Templar, then I wouldn't be surprised if Roger Moore made a guest appearance as the original Saint.

    Cheers,
    Nigel.
     
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  2. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

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    The "present date" is July 1, 1975 (a Tuesday). In the Dominion of Canada, the people are celebrating Dominion Day, the 108th Anniversary of Confederation, when the British North America Act, giving the United Province of Canada and several nearby colonies home rule as part of a federated state. IOTL, this event would become known as Canada Day from 1982, as July 1st of that year marked the date that the constitution was repatriated from the United Kingdom. Happy Dominion/Canada Day, everyone!

    A lot of you are responding to each other and answering your own questions, so I'll try to summarize my response to these conversations so as to avoid repeating myself :)

    This is very fascinating, because the BBC - at least, speaking from the perspective of someone who does not live in the British Isles and has never watched the BBC (no, I am not paying for BBC Canada, thank you very much) - seems very much a channel with plenty of room for the proles, alongside the highbrow bourgeois material for which it has been so well-known in the past. If this trend began in the 1980s, and as a direct result of political pressures which I have butterflied away, it might produce some positively intriguing socioeconomic dynamics, with regards to who watches what channel...

    Oh, there will be a recurring science-fiction sketch of some sort, however, for one thing, it will probably be more... "multiethnic". Both as a direct homage to Star Trek, and to the sketch on the Shatner episode (in which a wide variety of Muppets fill in for the rest of the crew). The title, at least, is definitely out.

    Pertwee is a possibility, because of the Desilu connection, which also bolsters the odds that Doctor Who elements will be included in these sketches.

    I toyed with including That Wacky Redhead as one of the first season's guests, but decided against it primarily because I don't think she'd be willing to go out on a limb like that for an untested show. She would still have considerable reservations about it, and won't be won over until it becomes a bona fide hit. Maybe in Season 2.

    This is where I would agree with you. Having actually seen Coronation Street (it airs on the CBC every weeknight - somehow, and despite valiant efforts to close the gap, we remain several months behind the BBC), what really stood out to me even as a child was the impressive, and vividly realistic backlot. (I'm relying on the testimony of an English expatriate relative on that score.) This is part of the reason that Desilu holding on to its backlot is a very good thing ITTL.

    Translated as "People of the Valley". Just doesn't seem folksy or flowery enough to be a soap opera title. Sounds more like a science-fiction or horror movie, actually :p Cymrophones (do I have any Cymrophone readers?), does it capture the same twee-ness as a title like "EastEnders" or "Emmerdale"?

    I'm not sure why it's such a crime to funny and even a little goofy anyway. There's a place where people can get all the grittiness they want, for free. It's called real life.

    Hmmm. Why do I suspect that you're referencing certain films in particular here? ;)

    Thanks for sharing that story! That's a fun tidbit, and an excellent way to make Bond seem like a part of a larger universe.

    Welcome aboard, Dathi THorfinnsson! Though I would be very much obliged to know your thoughts on the timeline :)

    Well, nobody pushed for Billington. Everybody just disparaged Moore, alas :(

    We'll see ;)

    With regards to all of your many suggestions about what Elvis would sing, a few parameters: he'll have three numbers (which appears to be the standard for musical guests), along with his token backstage scene. One of those will be the "Teddy Bear" number with Fozzie; another will be a duet with Miss Piggy (with her dressed as a stereotypical 1950s teenybopper, with the bouffant hair and the poodle skirt); and the third will be an "ensemble" number featuring the band. For Piggy, whichever love song he sang that you all find the most hilariously inappropriate will do; for the ensemble number, something upbeat and anarchic (I was thinking "Jailhouse Rock").

    :D

    Thanks for commenting again, Unknown. And thank you also for some of the very nice things you've said about That Wacky Redhead elsewhere on this forum. I did notice :)

    In response to your request: I can't promise anything. And what must be noted is that, at this time, Hagman was known as Maj. Tony Nelson from I Dream of Jeannie, and breaking such typecasting will be challenging (though he did manage it IOTL). And, of course, we'll have to see if the climate of the late 1970s ITTL will be conducive to a sumptuous primetime soap opera like Dallas. But I'll be sure to keep it in mind going forward :)

    IOTL? After. The song hit the charts in 1971; the episode itself premiered in 1973. ITTL? Well, the cat wouldn't be named "Bobby McGee", but we will assume for narrative purposes that Fontana is a cat person, and that she had a very similar cat prior to Bobby McGee. (Cat lovers tend to think highly of their feline friends.)
     
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  3. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    Okay, that makes sense. No Pigs in Space, but some sort of Star Trek/Sci-Fi running skit.

    Those would be fun to hear about.

    Totally agree - she would not show up until a later season - maybe not even until the series finale.

    I look forward to seeing....

    Elvis will probably do something recent rather than just another golden oldie.
     
  4. NCW8 Being Analogue in a Digital World

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    Because it's not a commercial channel, the BBC could produce innovative programmes without worrying too much about how popular they might be. Strangely, many of these programmes turned out to be very popular. Dr Who is a good example of this.

    More multiethnic eh ? They probably won't include a Rastafarian Mouse.

    When it first started, Emmerdale was called Emmerdale Farm, which is probably a bit more twee.

    For the duet with Piggy, I guess that something from the seventies might be appropriate. How about Burning Love ?

    Cheers,
    Nigel.
     
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  5. Thande A special man who knows these things Donor

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    I forgot you have to pay for BBC Canada. Do you still have those weird idents with the Union Jack butterfly landing on the creepy woman's face? I only see it myself when I visit my uncle in Windsor every few years, you see.

    Anyway, the character of the BBC has changed over time; I perhaps overstated the case, there was always some proletarian flavour, but it's more a culture change in the 80s that "it's okay to make things because they're popular"--in the words of the Corporation's motto, they don't have to be informative and educational as well as entertaining. You mileage may vary on whether that was a good thing, of course. Nowadays the populism is dominant but sometimes you get the purer Reithians dragging things the other way--not least because the BBC often simply doesn't do populism as well as ITV, it can come across as sort of church-newsletter-y, patronising towards teenagers. But this is quite the can of worms of course.

    One oddity I should mention is that the relative characters of BBC and ITV have changed over time. Nowadays we expect to see lowbrow stuff on ITV due to it scraping the bottom of the barrel a lot, and expect the BBC to set more of a moral tone, but in the 70s it was the other way around: the BBC tended to be more deliberately controversial in an artsy way (a role Channel 4 has largely inherited since its founding in the early 80s), while ITV had the same sort of moral populism as the Daily Mail, appealing to houswives who write strongly worded letters (stereotypically).

    You can see this cited in the Goodies episode "Sex and Violence" which is well worth a watch: famous British moral guardian Mary Whitehouse had praised the show's morals and they were outraged by this, :D so wrote an episode parodying her crusade. It's also worth watching for the excellent special effects at the end where they blow up the BBC Television Centre, a clip which apparently used to be showed, to cheers, at BBC staff Christmas parties ;) I've linked to it on Youtube if you want to take a look, don't worry about copyright as the creators have pretty much given their tacit consent to this--hardly any episodes have ever been released on video or DVD because a succession of BBC controllers hated the show and tried to get it cancelled despite its high ratings.
     
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  6. NCW8 Being Analogue in a Digital World

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    As an example of that, the makers of Robin's Nest had to apply to the IBA for permission to depict a couple living together in unmarried bliss. Meanwhile, Morcambe and Wise often had scenes where Eric and Ernie were in bed together and no-one remarked on it. Admittedly, they were consiously copying similar scenes by Laurel and Hardy. Eric always insisted on smoking a pipe in these scenes to appear more macho.

    Though that particular episode has been released on dvd - the collection deliberately given the title "The Goodies ... At Last" because it took so long to get it released.

    Part of the reason The Goodies might have been unpopular with the Controllers was that the episodes were surprisingly expensive to produce. However that doesn't really explain why it took so long before they were released on dvd.

    Dr Who was one of the series that was attacked by Mary Whitehouse - particularly the darker episodes from the first half of the Tom Baker era.

    Cheers,
    Nigel.
     
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  7. unclepatrick Well-Known Member

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    I never knew that. Thank you for the information, Nigel
     
  8. Thande A special man who knows these things Donor

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    It's interesting reading about that--people don't realise that it was Eddie Braben's idea and Eric and Ernie were initially sceptical about it (well, a lot of people don't realise Eddie Braben was their writer anyway, many people seem to think they wrote for themselves). As you say, the way he convinced them was to say "if it's good enough for Laurel and Hardy (two of their heroes) it's good enough for you" and then Eric insisted on keeping the pipe. It's funny that in retrospect a lot of people act as though it wouldn't have occurred to anyone at the time that there could be innuendo, but of course nobody was ever that innocent, and they used it sometimes in the sketches themselves:

    Eric (getting into bed alongside Ernie): Got time for a quick rehearsal?
    Ernie: What?
     
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  9. Falkenburg CMII & Bar Monthly Donor

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  10. Thande A special man who knows these things Donor

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    It's amazing how hilarious that one joke is. According to Eddie Braben in his book, Eric immediately realised its potential and practiced it all week to get the delivery just right.

    The only other short gag I can think of that gets near its heights of hilarity-to-length ratio is from Ken Dodd (probably because Eddie Braben also wrote for him): "What a wonderful day for going into a German newsagent and shouting 'VHERE ARE YOUR PAPERS?!'"
     
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  11. Orville_third Banned

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    I actually have a semi-scholarly book on Doctor Who that had one of her complaints quoted. She didn't like strangulation "by hand...or obscene vegetable matter". Another comment, which I now find funny, "And, just for variety, show the children how to make a molotov cocktail."
     
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  12. phx1138 Bocagiste troll

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    I take it as Word of God there will be no "Pigs in Space" by that name. However, let me suggest they might still use the slogan. As noted, the writers wouldn't be unaware of "Lost in Space" (whence the phrase to begin with, if you don't know), & with Piggy aboard... So, the sketch might be called "Swinetrek" (IIRC, the name of the ship OTL), but there might still be the famous VO. (If the sketch is "Swinetrek" TTL, I suggest the ship be Twinpork 12, per the "LiS" pilot using Gemini 12).
     
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  13. The Professor Pontifex Collegii Vexillographiariorum

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    3001 A Space Muppetry? :p
     
  14. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

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    After Moonraker and in the wake of *Adama's Ark (along with the continuing success, in syndication, of Star Trek and Doctor Who), I think such a sketch is basically inevitable.

    I'm glad we understand each other :)

    He'll do "Burning Love" with Piggy - that's one recent song. If he and Colonel Tom Parker insist on another, why not "Promised Land" for the uptempo number?

    (For the record, on the wave of a more forceful retro nostalgia, Elvis was able to hit the Top 10 with "Promised Land" in 1974 ITTL - his last Top 10 hit IOTL was "Burning Love" in 1972, kept from #1 only by another Golden Oldie rock-and-roller, Chuck Berry with "My Ding-a-Ling". Yes, really.)

    Well, it's not that surprising, considering that British television was effectively heads-or-tails until the 1980s IOTL.

    Not while Ras Tafari himself is still alive, at least ;)

    No kidding. I couldn't come up with a better parody title! (Then again, I've never been good with titles anyway.)

    You'll note above that I went with this suggestion. I'm still on the fence between "Jailhouse Rock" and "Promised Land" for the uptempo number.

    I have no idea. I've never seen it, Thande :p

    Well, notoriously, even married couples couldn't be shown sleeping in the same bed in the 1950s, stateside; overblown reactions like that can only be borne of dirty minds (almost always on the part of the would-be censors, that is; it tends to go over the heads of those who would be sullied, of course).

    Well done, indeed! (applauds)

    Reminds me of someone else who constantly rehearsed gags to perfection, with proven results - none other than That Wacky Redhead!

    Everything offends someone, it seems, and everyone is offended by something.

    Once again, the ship will be crewed with a far wider variety of Muppets than just the pigs, so any porcine puns you propose would prove problematic.

    Now that's just silly :p
     
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  15. Venusian Si Well-Known Member

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    Excellent TL!

    Out of curiosity though, will the movie Carrie still be produced in this TL? Admittedly, it would be awesome if the film could actually have the meteor shower sequence it was suppose to have IOTL ITTL instead. ;)
     
  16. NCW8 Being Analogue in a Digital World

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    It's great to see the King's career lasting a bit longer in the seventies. Please don't butterfly away Chuck Berry's song though.

    There was a third option, you know. The BBC even had a programme called Why Don't You ? that told children about it.

    There was also a ten week period in 1979 where there was even less choice as a strike shut down ITV completely (except for the Channel Islands). Here's a clip of the restart of ITV after the strike. If you watch past the annoying "Welcome Home to ITV" jingle, it gives the line-up of the evening's programmes - first on (after the news) is The Muppets.

    True, but Mary Whitehouse seemed to go out of her way to be offended by Everything. Her campaign often back-fired - particularly among comedians who considered criticism from her to be a badge of honour (as Thande described with the Goodies). Spitting Image (of course) had a puppet of her. There was also The Mary Whitehouse Experience.

    Cheers,
    Nigel.
     
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  17. stevep Member

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    Guys

    To slightly change the subject I have to report another underhand operation by the Daleks, or other evil aliens attacking the Doctor's companions.

    According to my weekly TV mag it reports the death of Caroline John on 5th June, who played Liz Shaw, Jon Pertree's 1st companion.:(:( Strangely enough her husband Geoffrey Beevers, who survived her, was one of the actors who played the Master.

    Steve
     
  18. phx1138 Bocagiste troll

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    In Memoriam ...
     
  19. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

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    Thank you very much, Venusian Si, and welcome aboard!

    Stephen King's entire professional writing career came after the POD. He graduated from the University of Maine in 1970, and sought a teaching position; only when one was not forthcoming did he decide to sell his short stories to magazines. We'll assume that he began writing ITTL as well, if only because it somehow seems wrong to not have him write. But Carrie could likely emerge in a substantially different form from OTL. Assuming that it's published post-1973, it should be a success and will likely result in a film adaptation, but it's highly unlikely that De Palma would direct, or that Spacek would star. But I'll do my best to keep your request in mind :)

    Are you claiming to be a fan of "My Ding-a-Ling"? I have no intention of butterflying it away, but... well, to each his own.

    It always amuses me how often TV shows tell us to just turn it off. Here's a particularly literal-minded version that I grew up with.

    "Welcome home, welcome home... Welcome home, welcome home..." Catchy. Then again, I'm an avowed fan of 1970s-era Muzak :D

    Odd that they call it The Muppets when it is constantly described in the opening titles as The Muppet Show.

    May she rest in peace. And remember: she's really not dead. As long as we remember her.
     
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  20. Thande A special man who knows these things Donor

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    I just remembered something I wanted to ask earlier...we've had a lot about the alt Bond films, but what about different choices of artist to do the theme songs? Can anyone think of any good possibilities? I'm put in mind of something Mitch Benn once put together (possibly on Jammin' on Radio 2, but can't remember) which was a "what if the Beatles had done the soundtrack for a James Bond film in 1966" or something like that. Obviously that's not on the cards for TTL given the different timescale, but what other interesting choices of artist can we think of?
     
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