"Where Are We Going This Time": The Golden Age of Science Fiction

What should happen with the season summary updates?

  • Continue as is (might delay other updates)

    Votes: 6 75.0%
  • Release them later, as supplementary material

    Votes: 2 25.0%
  • Cut out the OTL bits, only say what you've changed (might only be a temporary solution)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Stop them completely

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    8
  • Poll closed .
I wonder if some fan dismiss any Doctor Who without an British actor in the lead role as 'non-canon'?

Seems a very American production now.
Some fans are unhappy with the increasing "Americanisation" of the show, in the way that a lot a fandoms can be a bit reactionary at times. With a new Doctor and companion, there is a bit of a worry among some fans that the show will stray from its roots, but the head writer being British alleviates a lot of the fears.

I'm so happy to see Winona Ryder here.


I can see her and Brooks being like the OTL Ace and 7 pairing.
I'll delve more into this when I actually do the updates for the next season of Doctor Who, but you're not too far from what I'm planning. Of course, we sort of got an equivalent to OTL's 7 and Ace with TTL's 7 and Ace, but there will be a mentor-mentee relationship with 9 and Jennifer.

What are Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, and Paul McGann up to?
Baker spent a few years on the children's TV show Swallows and Amazons, and since then has kept a low level of what I call "Brit-fame", that is to say, the British public would recognise his face, but most probably wouldn't know his name.

Sylvester McCoy is still working primarily in children's TV, as he was before Doctor Who in OTL. Aside from that, he's done a bit of work with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He might appear in an update a little while down the line. I do have some plans for him.

Paul McGann never suffers his injury during the filming of Sharpe, and is currently playing Sharpe, as Sean Bean never replaces him. I actually have plans for both of those actors, and you'll see them soon.
 
Chapter XL: "Bigger Than Ever"
Part II, Chapter XL: "Bigger Than Ever"

“I don’t think that anybody but Terry [Gilliam] could have directed that film. It was really out there, a musical based around a man seeking paradise through his dreams. I’m lucky that I know George. Without him, this film would never have been made.”​
- Jeff Lynne, speaking about the production of Eldorado. [1]


With the successes of the Traveling Wilburys, Jeff Lynne’s music was experiencing something of a renaissance. While his new music wasn’t topping any charts, sales of ELO albums had picked up. Lynne had, in fact, begun to focus more on production than actually releasing albums of his own, working with many of his bandmates on their solo albums.

He was, however, interested in revisiting some of his older work. Lynne had experimented with musicals and concept albums before, and was intrigued by the idea of adapting the 1974 album Eldorado into a musical film. Convincing a major studio to greenlight a film based on the album, however, would be difficult.

Thankfully for him, he was good friends with George Harrison, who owned HandMade films, a relatively successful smaller production company. Harrison contacted Terry Gilliam to ask him to direct the film, and Gilliam agreed.

The film would be released in 1993 to positive reviews, but made little over its budget at the box office. In later years, it would become a cult classic. [2]


Plot Synopsis of Eldorado: [3]

A man known only as “the Dreamer” spends his day in an office job, but is unsatisfied with his life. To cope, he spends much of his time asleep, dreaming of fantastic stories. In his first, we see him in love with a mystical character known as the “Ocean’s Daughter”, who bears a great resemblance to one of his female coworkers, Marian (Can’t Get It Out of My Head). The Dreamer is summoned to his boss’ office, and is confronted about his lack of productivity. His boss suggests that he take some time off to get his mental state in order.

The Dreamer experiences another dream, this time of him as a victorious crusader returning from a far-away land. While he denounces violence and war, the townspeople ignore this, simply praising his courage and chivalry. In the real world, he decides to seek therapy for his disconnect with the real world. Following his first therapy session, he has another dream, where he is a Native American in the Wild West. He is chased down by a cowboy, resembling his boss, eventually escaping thanks to a sudden tornado (Laredo Tornado).

The Dreamer returns to his therapist, Dr. Kingdom, who prescribes him with a new drug that should improve his concentration, at the cost of him no longer experiencing dreams. The Dreamer accepts the drugs, having one last dream before he takes them. Here, he dreams that he is one of Robin Hood’s Merry Men, and saves Maid Marian from the evil Sheriff of Nottingham (Poor Boy (The Greenwood)).

When he wakes, he finds that the drugs have not had the desired effect, and that his dreams are beginning to bleed into the real world. When he returns to work, he sees Marian and his boss as they had appeared in his previous dream. Scared, he returns to Dr. Kingdom, asking for help, who suggests that there may be some meaning to his dreams (Mister Kingdom). The Dreamer begins to obsess over his dreams even more, and his dreams continue to persist into the waking world even when he stops taking the medication.

During work one day, he finds that Marian is beginning to flirt with him, making sexual advances (Nobody’s Child). However, he soon finds that this was an illusion of his mind, and the dreams are becoming stronger in the waking world. The Dreamer sets about finding his “paradise” in the dream world, becoming obsessed with an “eternal dream”. His boss begins to worry about him as his work deteriorates once more, becoming incoherent. Marian follows the Dreamer home one day, finding him singing in the street, as he loses his sanity (Illusions in G Major).

Marian manages to snap him out of his illusion, but the Dreamer realises that he cannot have what he wants in this life, and runs back to his apartment. Marian continues following him, eventually finding him singing once more, standing on the edge of his apartment building’s roof (Eldorado). The Dreamer believes that by ending his life, he can access the eternal dream, and be in paradise forever. He jumps, suddenly finding himself flashing through his dreams, eventually finding himself on stage, before an audience giving a standing ovation. He bows, and the curtains close (Eldorado Finale).


Cast of Eldorado: [4]
  • The Dreamer – Jeff Bridges​
  • Marian/Maid Marian/various – Uma Thurman​
  • The Boss/various – Kenneth Branagh​
  • Dr. Kingdom/various – Jonathan Pryce​


While Eldorado had a somewhat disappointing box office run, the new re-recorded version of the album, released along with the film, was a hit. In addition, the positive critical response provided proof that concept albums could be adapted into a successful musical.

With Eldorado’s relative success, Jeff Lynne considered adapting ELO’s other concept album into a musical, one that would follow a much more traditional story than the more surreal one offered by Eldorado. [5]


[1] The title of this update was nearly a reference to the album, but I wanted to go for the obvious size pun.
[2] Regrettably, this is how a lot of Gilliam's films end up. Really good, but don't make a huge amount at the box office.
[3] Alright, I'm not going to put footnotes everywhere in the synopsis, so they're here. This isn't even my interpretation of the album, just a version that I think would work well on screen. It's quite surreal, but it's the sort of film I'd enjoy watching. The end takes inspiration from a few different places, one of them the TNG story State of Mind.
[4] Minimalist cast. Only four "main" roles. Marian, the Boss and Dr. Kingdom all appear in the dreams as various characters. Also, with the exception of Branagh, all people that Gilliam has worked with before.
[5] I'll asmit it. I only made Eldorado into a film ITTL so I could make Time into a film as well. That being said, I had a lot of fun writing this update, and listening to Eldorado while I did so. I highly recommend it if you haven't listened to it before. It doesn't have a story anywhere near as concrete as here.
 
[4] I'll make this clear in another update, but Heathers ITTL has two different leads to OTL. While in OTL we got Ryder and Slater, ITTL we have Brad Pitt and Jennifer Connelly. As a result, Ryder's film career hasn't taken off like it has in OTL, which has some other surprisingly major effects down the line.
I never care for the Movie Heather do in large part to Winona Ryder who never impressed me as a Actress.
So I love to see Jennifer Connelly in the Lead.
 
OTl 12 and Bill is another relationship I could see them echoing.

Very hyped to see more.
That's quite accurate. I'm actually taking some elements from that relationship and using them for 9 and Jennifer. You'll see more when Season 28 rolls around.


Well, first non-Big Two update is out. The second will be on Red Dwarf. Either tonight or tomorrow. Depends on how well I can keep the flow I have going. After that, we're back to Star Trek and Doctor Who for a little while.

I'll give you some idea as to my plans, as we're getting close (ish) to the end of Part II. Part II closes in 1995, when TNG ends. So, plan looks like this for now:
  1. Red Dwarf update (Season 5 and the beginning of Red Dwarf USA)
  2. Star Trek: The Next Generation updates (Season 7)
  3. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine updates (Season 1)
  4. Doctor Who updates (Season 28)
  5. Comics/Superhero films update (to 1994)
  6. Disney update (to 1994)
  7. Star Trek: The Next Generation updates (Season 8)
  8. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine updates (Season 2)
  9. Doctor Who updates (Season 29)
  10. "Where Are We Now"-style update (1993-1995)
  11. Music updates (1995)
  12. Part III

Assuming that I can keep my once/twice daily updates up, this should take anywhere between two weeks and a month, ending with a chapter somewhere between 50 and 60. This will finish up Part II of the timeline. After that, I may take a short break of a couple days to recharge my batteries.

Wow. I've got more work ahead of me than I thought. However, it is work I'm really looking forward to doing, so there's that. I can't wait to get to work on the DS9 stuff, as it's my favourite tv show ever.
 
Me again. Probably no update tonight, as I cannot find a good person to play Lister in Red Dwarf USA. If I don't have any good ideas by tomorrow morning, I'll push the Red Dwarf update back a bit, and use it to break up some of the bigger stuff. I'd spend more time, but my knowledge of US TV of the mid-90s is really limited, and Doctor Who is on in 10 minutes. Any suggestions that you have are appreciated.

In other news, I've also given myself the insane task of finding a good warp scale equation for the TNG era onwards, using a few known relationships and points. It's not the sort of thing that would go in a main update, but would give me a reference graph for speeds of ships and the like. If I find one, I'll share it.
 
I cannot find a good person to play Lister in Red Dwarf USA.
Ray Romano from Every One Loves Raymond would be a interesting choice for a Lester style Character.
If Red Dwarf airs before 1996, then he not doing Every One Love Raymond yet.
His Stand up had that nice mixture of always being cool and yet also the working man quality of Lister.
And Brad Garrett from the same show would be a good choice for Kryten .
 
If he weren't too big a star, I'd suggest Bruce Willis as Lister; he could play comedy pretty well, IMO (watch him in Moonlighting) and he played a similar character in The Fifth Element.

Or, here's another two suggestions (assuming you don't have other plans for them): J.K. Simmons or Dean Winters...
 
Ray Romano from Every One Loves Raymond would be a interesting choice for a Lester style Character.
If Red Dwarf airs before 1996, then he not doing Every One Love Raymond yet.
His Stand up had that nice mixture of always being cool and yet also the working man quality of Lister.
And Brad Garrett from the same show would be a good choice for Kryten .
Thank you for those suggestions! I plan on keeping Robert Llewellyn as Kryten, as was the case for both pilots, but I think I'll use Ray Romano for Lister. I could see him in that sort of a role.

If he weren't too big a star, I'd suggest Bruce Willis as Lister; he could play comedy pretty well, IMO (watch him in Moonlighting) and he played a similar character in The Fifth Element.

Or, here's another two suggestions (assuming you don't have other plans for them): J.K. Simmons or Dean Winters...
Thank you for your suggestions! I haven't really changed Bruce Willis' career, so he's too big of a name, and @unclepatrick's suggestion of Ray Romano is what I'll probably go for. I'll keep those other names in mind for roles down the line though.
 
Chapter XLI: "Back to Reality"
Part II, Chapter XLI: "Back to Reality"

“Much as it was criticised for being ‘White Dwarf’ by some of the fans, I think that the American Red Dwarf series is a lot better than many people give it credit. It really became its own thing by the end of our run, and it wasn’t necessarily any better or worse than the British show, just different.”​
- Robert Llewellyn speaking about Red Dwarf USA.


With 1992 came the fifth and final season of Red Dwarf. Many fans were disappointed by the lack of future seasons, but it was clear that with Chris Barrie busy with Brittas Empire and Robert Llewellyn in America to film Red Dwarf USA, the cast would not be able to convene to film further seasons within the immediate future.

The initial air date of the fifth season was given as 20th February 1992, and the first episode to air would be “Holoship”. It was Grant and Naylor’s hope that the story could help the series to ramp up towards the finale, as “Camille” had for the fourth season.


List of Episodes of Season 5 of Red Dwarf:
  • Holoship​
  • The Inquisitor​
  • Terrorform​
  • Quarantine​
  • Demons and Angels​
  • Back to Reality​


The final episode, “Back to Reality”, is often considered the show’s best, leaving the show on a high note.

But this would not be the end of Red Dwarf, as an American version was in development. With science fiction media at a high in the US, it was Grant and Naylor’s hope that the show could be adapted for an American audience.


The initial American pilot has done well with audiences, but bombed with producers, and they were forced to produce a second pilot with a smaller budget and new cast. Robert Llewellyn and Jane Leeves kept their roles as Kryten and Holly from the first pilot, but Lister, Rimmer and the Cat would need to be recast.

With a very short deadline and tiny budget, Grant and Naylor decided to reuse clips from the first pilot and the British show to reduce the need to film new scenes. Therefore, only those scenes involving Lister, Rimmer, or the Cat would need to be refilmed.

The new actors to fill out the main cast were Ray Romano, Anthony Fusco and Terry Farrell, playing Lister, Rimmer and the Cat respectively. The entirely Caucasian cast led Craig Charles to dub the new series “White Dwarf”, a term still used disparagingly by some fans. [1]

With the second pilot, NBC decided to pick up the show, setting a release date for the first season of September 1993. The first season of Red Dwarf USA would be shorter than the others, and consist entirely of reworked stories from Red Dwarf’s first three seasons.

One major change from the British series was that the hologrammatic characters would be rendered entirely in black and white, a technique that was deemed too costly for the BBC version.


List of Episodes of Season 1 of Red Dwarf USA:
  1. The End​
  2. Balance of Power​
  3. Waiting for God​
  4. Better Than Life​
  5. Future Echoes​
  6. Me^2​
  7. Stasis Leak​
  8. Confidence and Paranoia​
  9. Queeg​
  10. Backwards​


The first season of Red Dwarf USA would perform well with American audiences, and NBC decided to renew it for another season. [2]


[1] Thanks to @unclepatrick for this cast suggestion for Lister. Other than that, it's the same as the cast for the second American pilot of OTL.
[2] As I've hinted, the show will grow to be distinct from its British counterpart. Future seasons will involve episodes we got in OTL that were never made ITTL, and a few original ideas.
 
Good couple of chapters there @Timelordtoe

Does the 'success' of Eldorado open up opportunities for other musical to film adaptions such as Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds?

An all white Red Dwarf in 1993? That does sound somehow highly plausible for American TV. Hopefully they can diversify the cast in later seasons. Terry Farrell as Cat would be a joy to see. What does Craig Charles go onto do?

Given all the sci-fi doing well on American TV are any other network/company breaking out new/recycled sci-fi shows? Might we see a Star Wars show for example? Or an earlier Galactica reboot? Does X-Files launch on schedule in Sept 93?

Oh, did the Buffy, the Vampire Slayer movie still bomb?
 
Good couple of chapters there @Timelordtoe

Does the 'success' of Eldorado open up opportunities for other musical to film adaptions such as Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds?

An all white Red Dwarf in 1993? That does sound somehow highly plausible for American TV. Hopefully they can diversify the cast in later seasons. Terry Farrell as Cat would be a joy to see. What does Craig Charles go onto do?

Given all the sci-fi doing well on American TV are any other network/company breaking out new/recycled sci-fi shows? Might we see a Star Wars show for example? Or an earlier Galactica reboot? Does X-Files launch on schedule in Sept 93?

Oh, did the Buffy, the Vampire Slayer movie still bomb?
Firstly, thank you very much. I've been enjoying writing this even more as of late.

You've guessed correctly about Eldorado's impacts. I won't reveal exactly as to what will be adapted, but Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds is one of my favourite albums ever, and I do have plans involving it. (Also, unrelated, if you ever get a chance to see it in concert, take it. It's incredible.) Eldorado will act as something of a "proof-of-concept" for musical films making a return.

Craig Charles will probably go back to stand-up comedy a couple of years earlier, and keep with his radio work.

Thanks to Doctor Who and Star Trek, science fiction is very popular, and the other major networks are looking for a "Who/Trek-killer" to stake a claim on the genre. As with everything, this can't last forever. ABC has, in-universe, just cancelled The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and may be tempted to replace it with another LucasFilm property. As for Galactica, I'm less familiar with the franchise, but I do have some vague plans for it. X-Files launches in September 1993, but with a different cast. I've not entirely decided as to who yet. The "other sci-fi" will likely get an update soon-ish, probably early in Part III.

Buffy, the Vampire Slayer bombs as OTL. I have plans, but anything beyond that verges on major spoiler territory.
 
This is also going to affect Frasier (assuming that still launches)--given that Jane Leeves played Daphne Moon, Martin's nurse and Niles' eventual wife (the role she's most known for today--I saw her on a Murder, She Wrote episode made in 1988, and I swear that her character there is similar to Daphne); my selection for TTL's Daphne is Lisa Kudrow (yeah, the nationality would have to be changed, but Kudrow was considered for Roz IOTL, so it would make sense (1))...

(1) Peri Gilpin was the producers' first choice as Roz (according to Lisa Kudrow herself), but Lisa Kudrow had a strong audition, so they considered casting her as Roz, before deciding that her quirky humor didn't fit the part, so Gilpin was brought back. Kudrow, IMO, would be a good choice for Daphne; plus, it butterflies away her role on Friends...

Or, how about Rosie Perez--according to tvtropes.org, Grammer and the writers had another concept for the show. This involved Grammer playing a wealthy, reclusive publisher (similar to Howard Hughes), with him having a street-smart live-in Hispanic nurse (Perez was up for the role); Paramount disliked the concept and this led to the Frasier we know today (since they insisted on a spinoff for Frasier Crane). ITTL, maybe they keep Rosie Perez as the live-in nurse (they kept the concept when they went with Frasier)...

BTW, Niles wasn't mentioned in the original Cheers--as a matter of fact, he wasn't in the original concept for Frasier. The inspiration for the creation of Niles Crane came when the producers saw a headshot of actor David Hyde Pierce and noticed his brotherly resemblance to Grammer (that's the sort of thing that can be butterflied away ITTL)...
 
Comics/Superhero films update (to 1994)
I'm looking forward to this, which makes me wonder which adaptations we will see. It's probably a little early for Spider-Man if we want James Cameron involved, however, what are the chances we will see a major studio version of Fantastic Four? The infamous Roger Corman version of Fantastic Four was filmed in 1994 OTL in order for the production company (Constantin Film) to keep the rights. With an earlier X-Men film, that would likely prompt Constantin (and a studio partner) to film an F4 film. I would even suggest Bob Gale as a screenwriter because he is a comic fan that did work with the Big Two OTL.

Warner Bros. might also be feeling a bit of pressure to get their non-Batman properties to film, so I wonder if Superman could avoid the development hell it did OTL. It may be a long shot, but I think Brendan Fraser would be an ideal choice for one of their superhero films as Superman or Green Lantern (Hal Jordan.)
 
There is a lot of scope for avoiding the 90’s excess in comics and the Marvel bankruptcy by not have Perlman buy Marvel and skip or learn the right lesson as to why Dark Knight Returns worked (it wasn’t only cos it was gritty).

In movies if Stan Lee got involved then the Corman FF could have been much better. Plus with out Toybiz’s people around/no bankruptcy then Corman and his people don’t get screwed.
 
In movies if Stan Lee got involved then the Corman FF could have been much better. Plus with out Toybiz’s people around/no bankruptcy then Corman and his people don’t get screwed.
The Corman FF is not going to be much better then what we got. There was just no budget for the film. We got the best we were going to get, There nothing that Stan Lee could have done to improve the movie.
 
The Corman FF is not going to be much better then what we got. There was just no budget for the film. We got the best we were going to get, There nothing that Stan Lee could have done to improve the movie.
Actually Stan Lee could have provided funding or helped source funding.
Or made sure it was not given to Corman and given to another director with a bigger budget.

Lots of If about this period in Marvel history, in comics, film or cartoon. The Fox X-Men series was nearly a write off for example.
 
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