"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%
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Part I: "Where Are We Going This Time" (1983-1987)
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part I: "Where Are We Going This Time"

    “Grade had made it no secret that he disliked Doctor Who. At first, when we heard about what was going to happen after Season 21, we all thought it was the end. Looking back, that was clearly the intention. But now, I think must be seen, by the fans at least, as the greatest form of irony in that by trying to kill Doctor Who, he only made it bigger, and ushered in this Golden Age of Science Fiction.”​

    - John Nathan-Turner, speaking on The Late Show With David Letterman in 2005. [1]

    “It really was a perfect storm for the films to be made at that point. I had been a fan of the show for a few years at this point, so I was sad to hear of its cancellation. But when the film rights were being sold, I knew I had struck gold. Understandably, the big companies were less than keen. It was just some British show that had been cancelled! How successful could that ever be? No, they preferred to make their own IPs. Of course, if they had known at the time how big it would be, they would have been fighting tooth and nail for the rights, but then, of course, the end product would have been unrecognisable.”​

    - Steven Spielberg on making the Amblin Doctor Who films, taken from An Adventure in Space and Time, a documentary created for the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who

    “People often ask me what it was like to be at the very front of the start of the ‘Golden Age of Sci-Fi’, and I tell them that I don’t know. I didn’t know that that was what it was at the time. The show was big, but we had no idea at the time the roads we were paving.”​

    - Patrick Stewart on his role as Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation

    “The continued presence of people making versions of the Amblin films in their pop-culture timelines, while not inherently bad, is, I think, one of the worst cases of confirmation biases in all of allohistory. I think that you really need to see just how unlikely it all was, the show getting cancelled, Spielberg leasing the rights from the BBC, and them Zemeckis and Gale coming to him with that script. Not to mention the casting!”​

    - allohistory.com user GallifreyHands on a thread “What are your biggest pet peeves in allohistory?” [2][3]

    [1] He lives longer, and will be a major player in the early stuff.
    [2] Yes, this is me in this timeline. This opinion really has no equivalent IOTL, and this isn't a dig at anyone or anything, though I'm aware that that makes it sound exactly like a dig. I love all of you here.
    [3] Allohistory is the commonly accepted name for alternate history ITTL, and it's slightly less niche.

    Supplemental: See if you can guess what the POD is from the title and this update. I don't have a reward, but I'll tell you if you've got it right.
    Chapter I: The End of Classic Who
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part I, Chapter I: "Making the Grade"

    “A lot of younger fans ask me if I would have stayed on if I had known the success that Doctor Who would go on to have. My answer is that it is precisely because I left that the show got so big. I think I left at the right time, and I continue to enjoy the show in its modern incarnation, as many of my fellow Doctor actors do. I was never asked to be star in the films because I had already left. It was only because of the BBC's intervention that I was even in them at all.”​

    - Peter Davison on leaving Doctor Who

    Peter Davison had announced his intention to leave Doctor Who following the 21st season. The reason surprised no-one. Davison was acting on the advice of Patrick Troughton, with whom he was working, leaving after three seasons to avoid being typecast. This would become one of the most notable instances of the so-called "Troughton Rule" [1]. With the twentieth season airing, that put a large time constraint on finding a new actor to play the part.

    John Nathan-Turner, the head writer at the time, had his choice set out clearly in his mind. The man he wanted was Colin Baker, most notable for his part in drama series The Brothers. Baker had appeared on the show already, as Maxil, a character that would return in the special that they were filming, The Five Doctors [2]. The role was offered to Baker without an audtion, though he declined due to commintments to appear in the upcoming BBC television adaptation of Swallows and Amazons [3]. Many have joked that if he had been able to take the role, he would have gained it by "shooting the imcumbent".

    With the first choice of Nathan-Turner out of the question, it suddenly became abundantly clear to the production team that none of them had any idea as to who they wanted to be the next Doctor. It would take almost four months before the shortlist was compiled [4], and the team was quickly running out of time to find a replacement before Season 21 would need to be filmed.

    The shortlist was comprised of five actors. Dermot Crowley, Andrew Sachs, Dawn French, Joanna Lumley and Frances de la Tour [5]. Notably, it seemed that the BBC was open to the idea of the Doctor becoming female. All five were offered the role, and all five declined, for varying reasons.

    By this time, the stories had been selected for Peter Davison's final season, though an out was needed if an actor to play the Doctor could not be signed in time. As a result, the story The Twin Dilemma was moved before the now finale The Caves of Androzani. The Twin Dilemma would require some rather extensive rewrites, as it had originally been conceived as the introduction to the new Doctor. Instead, the erratic behaivour on the Doctor's part was written off as interference in the time vortex, which resulted in them landing where they did.

    Higher up, Michael Grade was rather enjoying the panic that was setting in to the Doctor Who production team. With no new Doctor, the future was looking increasingly ambiguous, especially with the declining ratings. This was an opportunity that he could not pass up.

    The writers had come up with a plan, to fatally injure the Doctor in the last episode, but have him regenerate at the very start of the next season. This would allow time for a new actor to be found to replace the Doctor, though it may result in a delayed Season 22. To allow for the character of Peri Brown to be potentially written out, after she was cured, the Doctor would deposit her back on Earth, promising to return, before collapsing in the TARDIS as it departed, leaving the Doctor's fate uncertain.

    But the writer's fears of a delayed season were soon to be worsened. Grade had what he had always wanted. A reason to cancel Doctor Who. Well, technically, he wasn’t cancelling it, but rather putting it on an “indefinite hiatus”. But the damage was done, and it looked like Doctor Who was to be no more.

    Help, however, would come from an unlikely source… [6]

    [1] This is an actual thing, and refers to the tendency of people playing the Doctor to leave after three seasons. This rule won't always be followed strictly here, but it will be common enough for it to be a good average.
    [2] Maxil was supposed to appear in this story, but Baker had scheduling conflicts. I've just removed them here, so he's in The Five Doctors as intended, which acts as another nail in the coffin for him as the Doctor.
    [3] Colin Baker was in this, though it was produced as two TV movies. I've had them made as a TV series, so Baker doesn't have the time to be the Doctor.
    [4] Yeah, this is a bit implausible, though planning for S21 and finishing The Five Doctors would obviously take precedence. Baker was the only choice at the time, so his not taking the role would throw a spanner in the works.
    [5] All five of these people were considered for the role of the Seventh Doctor. Most of them were established by this point, but I just don't see any of them in the role.
    [6] Things are about to get really big, and I'm sorry in advance for the franchise that I sort of kill with this move.
    Chapter II: The Start of the Amblin Era
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part I, Chapter II: "Amblin On"

    “When he put the rights out there, we were almost certain that it was just for show. Nobody would buy them, and even still, getting a film produced was something else entirely. So, when Steven Spielberg of all people expresses serious interest, you start to wonder if everything is over after all...”​

    - John Nathan-Turner on the Amblin Films, taken from An Adventure in Space and Time

    Grade was no idiot. He had spent two years in the US, two good years. He knew that if there was any market for Doctor Who in Britain, there was an even bigger one waiting state-side. Sure, it may not have the same fanbase as it did in the UK yet, but one could be established. In his opinion, the best way to establish it as a franchise in the US would be to get an American company to produce a film adaptation. [1]

    In early 1984, the rights to produce Doctor Who films and television shows were offered to various companies. There was little interest from the major companies, such as Paramount or CBS. Some smaller studios had expressed some interest, though it was clear that many of these would not be able to produce a film.

    Grade actually had little interest in seeing Doctor Who survive, though he saw that it could bring in some money for the BBC to use on other projects. On the recommendation of the old production team, the actual rights to the characters would not be sold, only the rights to produce media featuring them. So if a film or television series was successful, it could be quite beneficial for the BBC.

    For a couple of months it seemed as if there would be no takers for the rights, but soon, big changes would be coming.

    “I called up Robert (Zemeckis), and asked him if he still had that script for the time travel movie he was trying to get off the ground. He said ‘Yeah’ so I told him ‘I might have just found the golden opportunity to actually get that produced’.”​

    - Steven Spielberg, taken from An Adventure in Space and Time. [2]

    Steven Spielberg had been a fan of Doctor Who for a few years by this point. Few networks in the US syndicated it, but enough for it to have a small following. Shortly after he saw that the rights to produce Doctor Who media were for sale, he had purchased them for his production company, Amblin Entertainment.

    Robert Zemeckis had worked with Spielberg in the past, though their joint ventures had had relatively little success. Since then though, both had had much more luck, with Spielberg becoming a well-respected producer, and Zemeckis having directed Romancing the Stone.

    That being said, he and Bob Gale had a script that they were having difficulty in selling to the major film studios. When Spielberg called him up, he was quick to take up the offer to actually get his film produced, albeit with some fairly large changes from what he had originally planned. Story-wise, the film would remain practically identical, though there would be major character changes. In addition, someone would be sent from the BBC to ensure that the script was in keeping with the canon of the TV show thus far, and to act as an advisor. Zemeckis disliked this on paper, but he soon found that the man they had sent, ex-showrunner John Nathan-Turner, had very few issues, only making minor changes here and there. [3]

    At the time, in the UK, Season 21 of Doctor Who was airing. When it had become clear that this would be the last season for the foreseeable future, it was decided that all of the companions would be written out, even the newest one, Peri Brown, though the option of her return in the future would be left open. However, with Zemeckis and Gale's script being approved by the BBC, it seemed as though Doctor
    was going in a new direction, and was headed for a sort of "soft reboot". [4]

    At the end of the final story, The Caves of Androzani, the Doctor cures Peri, and returns her to Earth, promising that he will be back for her. The Doctor then leaves, on his own in the TARDIS, and begins to regenerate…

    Production of the film Doctor Who: Back to the Future began in May 1984, and was originally planned for a May 1985 release. Very quickly, the majority of the casting would be done, although both of the main characters would later be recast.

    To many fans, it had seemed that and end had come to Doctor Who with the conclusion of Season 21. The announcement of the film continuation was met with jubilation by most, though some fans were none too pleased to see their beloved franchise in the hands of Americans. Some felt that the franchise should be kept British, while others simply decided to reserve judgement until they had seen the film.

    And so Doctor Who moved to the US...

    [1] While he didn't make this move IOTL, there were proposals along those lines. Personally, I think that the market is a little more open to it at this point, especially with the TV series going out on a high compared to how it did for us.
    [2] Spielberg is actually a fan IOTL, though when he started watching I'm not entirely sure. I think I've read somewhere that he wanted to do a film in the 90s, though I can't verify this.
    [3] Yeah, so as many of you have guessed, this is what Back to the Future becomes. It's adapted into a companion focussed story, and is ultimately not too far gone from what we got. Further films however, will be much changed.
    [4] By "soft reboot", I mean that the Doctor in the film is the Sixth Doctor, but references to the TV show are few and far between, so as to not alienate the new audience. Think of how the new TNG was with the events of TOS, not dependent, but occasional references and familiar faces.
    Chapter III: Casting the Amblin Era
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part I, Chapter III: "Great Scott!"

    “As a producer, I was really looking forward to getting Back to the Future done and released. I thought it would be a success, everything had gone well on our end, barring the two casting issues, which worked themselves out in the end. As a fan though, man, I was dreading it. What if it flopped? I couldn’t let myself be known as the man who killed Doctor Who. But by the same token, I couldn’t just have this chance and not take it.”
    - Steven Spielberg on the production of Doctor Who: Back to the Future

    With the television series now over, the hungry eyes of the fans turned to America, in anticipation of the promised film to come in just a year.

    For Zemeckis, things were going very well. While some major character changes had been required, for example, turning Emmett Brown into the Sixth Doctor, the story had been left pretty much intact. Spielberg and the man who had been sent by the BBC did note that the story wasn’t overly in line with what had come before, but they enjoyed it, and ultimately, that was what mattered to Zemeckis. [1]

    By August 1984, the majority of casting had been done, now they just had to film the thing. But soon two spanners would be thrown in the works.

    For the part of the Sixth Doctor, the team had wanted John Lithgow. The Americans insisted on having some well known people as the leads, so as to bring in a wider audience. Lithgow was well known enough to the American audiences, and he fit in with the grandfatherly attributes that came with the Doctor.

    But such things were not meant to be. When contacted, Lithgow expressed interest, and had been ready to sign on when a scheduling conflict became apparent. Zemeckis later noted that "had we known what would happen with the character of Marty, we probably would have make things work out with John Lithgow".

    Lithgow, while the first choice, had not been the only option. Feelers had been sent out to Star Trek veteran Christopher Lloyd early on, though he declined the role. However, upon being shown the script, Lloyd signed on to play the Sixth Doctor. [2]

    But it was not just the role of the Doctor that there was difficulty in casting. The role of the companion Martin “Marty” McFly was intended to go to Michael J Fox, but his Family Ties commitments meant that he was unable to accept the role.

    As a result, the producers had cast Eric Stoltz in the role instead. They had chosen him based on his performance in Mask, which had not actually been released yet. However, it soon became clear that he would not work in the role, something that Stoltz actually agreed with. And so it was, that four weeks after being cast, Stoltz left the role.

    The producers were left with no viable person for the role, so they took a chance. Fox's co-star, Meredith Baxter, returned to Family Ties following her maternity leave. As a result, they believed that the producers of that show would be more open to letting Fox film Back to the Future. They were correct, though the actual deal would require some negotiation. [3]

    Eventually, a deal was reached, Fox would film Family Ties in the morning, and Doctor Who in the evening. Given the packed day that this would give Fox, the pressure was on Zemeckis and Gale to film Fox’s scenes quickly.

    It had taken until late January 1985 to get the deal finished, and it quickly became apparent to the producers that the May release date was no longer possible. In order to deal with this, the release was pushed back to July 3rd. While this would mean that it faced slightly stiffer competition from other large films at the time, it would prevent the film having to be rushed through post-production.

    As Doctor Who had not yet made much of a name for itself abroad, it was decided that it would be marketed as more of a stand-alone film, especially as the story was separate from anything that came prior. However, the BBC did insist that continuity be kept, and that this was a continuation, not a reboot. Therefore, many of the executives at the BBC recommended that Peter Davison be invited back to film a regeneration scene, so that the change from the Fifth to Sixth Doctors was shown, to give closure for fans who were still wondering about the Fifth Doctor’s fate, and lending more legitimacy to Lloyd's portrayal. [4]

    Davison agreed to film the scene, and his regeneration was one of the final scenes filmed. He and Lloyd actually had very little interaction on set, though he passed on the advice given to him by Troughton, simply urging “Don’t stay too long”. [5]

    All of the movie had been filmed by the end of April of 1985, and soon, post-production began. For most involved with the film, their work was now done, and the wait for release began... [6]

    [1] I'll be the first to admit that the story of Back to the Future doesn't exactly lend itself to being a Doctor Who story. However, I think that a straight Doctor Who story won't sell well in the US at this point, so Zemeckis and Gale's script isn't changed much beyond the characters.
    [2] There's a lot of "in spite of a nail" in this chapter. Lithgow was wanted for Emmett Brown, but was unavailable. What happens with Christopher Lloyd here is pterry mich what happened to him IOTL.
    [3] This is more "in spite of a nail". The two actors so completely nailed their parts that I wanted them to stay.
    [4] I toyed with the idea of just rebooting, but decided against it, to prevent conflicting canons.
    [5] Davison passing on the advice of Troughton. Lloyd will follow a variation of the Troughton rule, and the franchise will change again when he leaves.
    [6] Next update will include a synopsis of the film, and a look into where the studio will go after this film. It will be accompanied by a profile of the Sixth Doctor.
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    Chapter IV: Back to the Future
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part I, Chapter IV: "Tell Me Doctor, Where Are We Going This Time?"

    “Personally, I think that it is better to see the film as a stand-alone soft reboot rather than a straight continuation. The story is very good, and it was the first experience of Doctor Who for much of the fandom. The level of gatekeeping surrounding it and people enjoying it being ‘not true fans’ is simply ridiculous [1]. Is it the best Doctor Who story? No, but it is a good story.”​

    - tipple [2] user MasterWho on a thread titled “What are your opinions on the first Amblin Doctor Who film.”

    Doctor Who: Back to the Future was released on July 3 1985, and was met with critical acclaim. While critics noted that it was radically different from anything else in the Doctor Who franchise up until that point, they also praised it for its enjoyable story. Reviewers also had much praise for the music in the film, composed by Alan Silvestri, drawing attention to his revision of the Doctor Who theme [3], and "Marty's Theme" [4]. In addition, the contributions of Huey Lewis and the News were praised, and even got them their first Number 1 single, with "The Power of Love", "Back in Time" also charted, but did not perform as well [5].

    Plot Synopsis for Doctor Who: Back to the Future:

    In 1985 Hill Valley, California, teenager Martin “Marty” McFly and his girlfriend Elyse Parker are chastised by the school’s principal for lateness. Marty is an aspiring musician, and auditions for the Battle of the Bands, but is rejected for being “too loud”. At home, Marty’s father George is bullied by his supervisor Biff Tannen, while his mother Lorraine is overweight, depressed and alcoholic. At dinner, Lorraine reminisces over how she met George when her father nearly ran him over.

    Marty is invited by his eccentric friend the Doctor, going by the name of Dr Emmett Brown, to meet him in a parking lot in the early hours. The Doctor unveils his time machine, revealing to Marty that he is not from his time. It had been damaged when he crashed in 1952 [6], and it had taken him until now to find a source of energy to jump start the device, which he calls the TARDIS, standing for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space. Preparing to demonstrate the time machine, the Doctor sets the destination date to November 5 1955, the day he figured out how to fix the TARDIS. The TARDIS is being jump-started by a small nuclear reactor powered by plutonium, stolen from terrorists. Just as the Doctor is about to set off, the terrorists arrive and shoot the Doctor, seemingly killed permanently. Marty attempts to hide in the TARDIS, discovering that it is larger on the inside than the outside, and in doing so, accidentally activates it.

    Marty soon discovers that he is in 1955, with no plutonium with which to kick start the TARDIS again. He soon encounters the teenaged George, who is bullied by his classmate Biff. After Marty saves George from an oncoming car, he is rendered unconscious, and wakes up to find himself being tended to by Lorraine, who is infatuated with him.

    Marty tracks down the younger Doctor for help. With no plutonium, the Doctor explains that the only power source capable of producing the 1.21 gigawatts required to jump-start the reaction would be a bolt of lightning. Marty shows the Doctor a flyer from the future that recounts a lightning strike at the town’s courthouse due to a storm on Saturday night. The Doctor instructs Marty not to leave the house, or to interact with anyone, as he could alter the future; because of this, he refuses to listen to Marty’s warnings about the Doctor’s death.

    It soon becomes apparent that Marty has already altered the timeline, by inadvertently preventing his parents from meeting. The Doctor warns Marty that he must find a way to get George and Lorraine to meet, or he may be erased from existence. The Doctor begins plans on how to harness the lightning, while Marty sets about getting his parents to meet.

    After Lorraine asks Marty to the school dance, Marty comes up with a plan: he will feign inappropriate advances on Lorraine, providing an opportunity for Geroge to “rescue” her. The plan goes awry, however, when a drunken Biff attempts to force himself on Lorraine. George, enrages, knocks out Biff, and Lorraine follows him to the dance floor, where they kiss as Marty plays with the band.

    As the storm arrives, Marty returns to the clock tower, and the lightning strikes, sending Marty back to 1985. The Doctor has survived the shooting, having worn a bullet-proof vest, as he heeded Marty’s warnings. The Doctor takes Marty home, and departs to the future. Marty awakens the next day to find that his father is a successful author, Lorraine is fit and happy, and Biff is a more timid auto valet. As Marty reunites with Elyse, the Doctor returns in the TARDIS, insisting that they accompany him to 2045, where the future of humanity is at stake. The trio board the TARDIS, which has now been fully repaired, and dematerialise to the future. [7]

    Cast List for Doctor Who: Back to the Future:
    • The Sixth Doctor – Christopher Lloyd
    • Marty McFly – Michael J. Fox
    • Lorraine Baines-McFly – Lea Thompson
    • George McFly – Crispin Glover
    • Biff Tannen – J. J. Cohen [8]
    • Elyse Parker – Melora Hardin [9]
    • The Fifth Doctor - Peter Davison

    Following the success of Doctor Who: Back to the Future, it felt only natural that a sequel follow. Immediately, most of the main cast signed on to film two further sequels, to be released in late 1986 and 1987 respectively.

    One notable exception was Crispin Glover, who left due to a contract disagreement. It was decided that rather than recast, the character would be written out, as his future part would likely be small anyway.

    The BBC decided that any future film had to have a more “Doctor Who” story, as many fans had been disappointed by the disparity between the TV show and the film. With a large fan base accumulated from the film, it was felt that by transitioning to a more “Classic Who” approach, syndications of the TV series would become more popular.

    The race was now on to produce the two follow up films. [10]

    [1] Pop culture may be changed a lot by the end of this, but there will always be those people.
    [2] tipple is TTL's version of reddit. The name is nonsensical, and not related to the verb of the same name.
    [3] I don't have an actual idea as to what this sounds like, but my best guess would be Hardwire's redo of the 1996 TV Movie theme. Seriously check out his stuff, it's great.
    [4] OTL's Back to the Future theme.
    [5] I couldn't leave them out with two incredible songs like that. The name for this timeline, part and even update are taken from "Back in Time", which also gave me the inspiration for the big POD.
    [6] This is where Davison's regeneration scene is. He crashes in Hill Valley after the events of The Caves of Androzani, and the TARDIS is damaged. By 1985, he's sort of given up hope on returning to Peri, especially with how different he looks.
    [7] I've done the best I can with the plot. It feels okay, and probably isn't quite as much fun as OTL's BTTF, but should still be a good laugh, even as a stand alone film.
    [8] He was originally going to be Biff, but he was too small to intimidate Stoltz. He is kept on for this.
    [9] She was originally going to be Jennifer, but producers though she was too tall to be against Fox. Here, the producers don't care about that.
    [10] Part I will go to the start of 1988. The remainder of Part I will focus mostly on the production of the two films, with the start of ST:TNG covered, as well as a slight musical interlude before we really get going.
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    Chapter V: Production of The Cyber Invasion
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part I, Chapter V: "Lightning Never Strikes Twice"

    “I mean, the films sold well and all, but I don’t think anybody came out of the production of those feeling that we’d made an instant classic like we had with the first part. Plenty of people involved with the making of those two films have thrown blame around, but I don’t think that it was any one thing really. How could we really have followed that up?”​

    - Steven Spielberg on the production of the second and final Amblin Doctor Who films, taken from An Adventure in Space and Time.

    The production of the second Doctor Who film got off to a rough start. It seemed that nobody had a clear idea as to what the story should be. Zemeckis and Gale had pitched a few ideas, but most had been shot down by Spielberg and the BBC, who wished for a return to a more classic feel. [1]

    Over time, more rifts would appear between those who wished for a film more akin to an episode of Doctor Who with a much higher budget, and those who wanted to go in a new direction. Eventually, the so-called “classicists” would win out, and the scripts would be chosen soon after.

    For the first film, the script would be written by Doctor Who veteran Robert Holmes. Holmes had written the final episode of the television series, and had gained a reputation amongst the producers for being one of the better writers to grace the franchise. [2]

    The first draft of the script was liked by most, though it was requested that more humour be put in, to ensure that family audiences would get more enjoyment out of it. Zemeckis and Gale were asked to do the rewrite, but were encouraged to leave the story as intact as possible. The result was a script both camps were happy with, the story was more in line with the television series, but it had much the same humour that had given the previous film its charm. Following this, all three of Holmes, Zemeckis and Gale would be credited as writers for the film.

    The script involved The Doctor, Marty and Elyse going to the future, where they find that the Cybermen are launching an invasion, attempting to take control of the Earth. Their base of operations is at Hill Valley, which is situated on top of a “rift”, a weak point in space and time that can be harnessed as a source of power. [3]

    It soon became apparent that the release would mean that Doctor Who: The Cyber Invasion was up against stiff competition. Its main competitor would be Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. This clash would prove to be only the first in what would become known as one of popular culture’s greatest rivalries. The release of Doctor Who would also push back An American Tail to late 1987, rather than November 1986 as planned. [4]

    The third film would also be up against some other contenders, this time, another British franchise in The Living Daylights, which was to be Timothy Dalton’s first outing as James Bond. [5]

    Both 1986 and 1987 would prove to be big years in film, and perhaps even more important for Doctor Who.

    Production of Doctor Who: The Cyber Invasion began in April of 1986. The schedule would once again mean that filming needed to be done quickly, but this time, casting and locations had been arranged beforehand, meaning that there was little chance of delays in production. In addition, the BBC producers, who were becoming a more and more frequent sight on set, had much experience with producing effects with lower budgets and time.

    Production would go smoothly, for the most part. It soon became apparent however, that Lloyd was increasingly not enjoying his role, and was just in it to fulfil his contract. While Lloyd had enjoyed the making of the first film, the rising tension between the Zemeckis and the BBC executives made for a more stressful workplace.

    One notable thing about the making of the second Amblin Doctor Who film was the involvement of The Jim Henson Company, which would produce the costumes and puppets for the Cybermen to be used in the film. Originally, a greater involvement had been planned, but The Jim Henson Company was heavily involved with the making of Labyrinth, a film that was to be released around the same time as the second Doctor Who film. This would prove to be just the first of many collaborations between the two franchises. [6]

    But soon, developments would come that would result in Doctor Who changing drastically once more... [7]

    [1] The BBC is going to want more creative control now that it sees that Doctor Who can work with an American audience.
    [2] He lives for a bit longer here, allowing him to work on the films.
    [3] A more classic style epsiode. This isn't based on anything, so in the next part, which will detail the release of the second film and the drastic change, you'll get to see how bad I am at actually writing a story.
    [4] The Cyber Invasion gets An American Tail's release date here. At this point, Doctor Who is the bigger franchise, so it wins. Also, this will be the first of many appearances of another certain franchise to come. As previously stated, things will be a bit more broad when Part II hits.
    [5] We'll see increasing collaborations "across the pond", and while we're a ways off with Bond yet, the franchise will change.
    [6] The Jim Henson Company was involved with a proposed special for Doctor Who IOTL, but it never saw the light of day. That's not what this story is, but it will make an appearance down the line.
    [7] The change won't be quite as drastic as the initial television to film move, but it's going to be perhaps the next most important thing for the franchise ITTL
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    Chapter VI: The Cyber Invasion
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part I, Chapter VI: "Neon Lights"

    “It was scary back then, not just as a producer, but as a fan. We had come back so strong with Back to the Future, and for all that to be thrown up in the air once again, but this time to be in the middle of it, it really made you wonder if this was going to be the end after all.”​

    - Steven Spielberg, on the release of Doctor Who: The Cyber Invasion, taken from An Adventure in Space and Time.

    Doctor Who: The Cyber Invasion was released on November 21 1986, and was met with mixed reviews. While many fans of the classic series enjoyed the return to a more familiar story, yet still with much of the comedy that had given Back to the Future its charm, for general audiences, the change was too drastic. [1]

    Plot Synopsis of Doctor Who: The Cyber Invasion:

    The Doctor, Marty and Elyse arrive in 2045, immediately after the events of Doctor Who: Back to the Future. While Elyse comes to terms with the dimensions of the TARDIS, the Doctor warns that the world they are about to enter is far more dangerous that of their 1985, but that the mission that they are about to embark on is to save the human race.

    Upon exiting the TARDIS, it is revealed that the Hill Valley of 2045 is a war torn landscape, with a large complex visible in the near distance. The Doctor explains that in late 2044 a race of beings known as the “Cybermen” invade, and set about conquering Earth, and “upgrading” humanity to become like them. [2]

    While exploring, the group are discovered by a Cyberman patrol, who apprehend them, intending to take them back to the facility to be upgraded. En route, the patrol is attacked by a group of humans stylising themselves as “The Resistance”. Some of the Cybermen escape, still holding the Doctor captive.

    The members of the Resistance take Marty and Jennifer back to their base of operations, an underground facility. They enlist Marty and Jennifer, and tell them of their plan to take out the Cybermen by hacking into their systems and breaking the communications network they have established, allowing for the humans to rise up and take the Cybermen down.

    Meanwhile, the Doctor is taken to the Cybermen’s facility. They soon recognise him, after scanning him and seeing that he is a Time Lord. Their plan of taking over Earth was in fact a plan to lure the Doctor in, so that they could capture him, and take the TARDIS. With the TARDIS, they would be able to conquer many more planets, and expand to be able to upgrade other races than humanoids. The base at Hill Valley is situated on top of a “rift” in space-time, which is how the Cybermen arrived. Since their arrival, they have been harnessing it as a source of near-unlimited energy to fuel their invasion.

    The leader of the Resistance, Barnes, prepares a group to raid the Cyberman base. Both Elyse and Marty volunteer, hoping to find and rescue the Doctor. They are joined by a few others, including a young woman called Eve, and begin the journey to the Cyberman base of operations.

    The group travels through a set of secret tunnels underneath Hill Valley in order to avoid the Cyberman patrols. They emerge close to the Cyberman base, and break their way in, utilising makeshift weapons that capitalise on the weaknesses of the Cybermen, namely their aversion to gold. They make their way in, reaching a terminal, though they trigger an alarm, resulting in their capture.

    The group are taken to be converted, with the exception of Marty and Elyse, who the Cybermen realise are the Doctor’s companions. The Cybermen hold them hostage in order to get the Doctor to co-operate and tell the Cybermen where the TARDIS is located, as their numbers are too few at the base to launch a full search.

    While being interrogated, the Doctor is able to activate his sonic screwdriver, and frees himself. He evades the Cybermen, managing to free Marty and Jennifer as well. They tell the Doctor of the Resistance’s plan, which he approves of. They rush to the conversion chambers to rescue the resistance members, but all but Barnes and Eve have already been converted.

    The group rushes to a terminal, pursued by a group of Cybermen. They manage to disrupt the network in time, which results in the Cybermen becoming unorganized, with some beginning to remember their pasts. In the confusion, the Doctor, Marty, Elyse, Barnes and Eve are able to escape.

    The Doctor remarks that the world will likely recover from “the Cyber Invasion”, and that if not he will “be back”. He offers Barnes and Eve the chance to travel with him, though they turn it down, preferring to stay behind to rebuild.

    The Doctor, Marty and Elyse return to the TARDIS, the Doctor thanking them for their help. He asks them if there was anywhere they had ever wanted to visit. Marty simply says “I’ve always wanted to see what the West was really like back in the frontier days”. The Doctor replies with “say no more”, and they depart.

    Main Cast of Doctor Who: The Cyber Invasion:
    • The Sixth Doctor – Christopher Lloyd
    • Marty McFly – Michael J Fox
    • Elyse Parker – Melora Hardin
    • Barnes – Thomas F Wilson [3]
    • Eve – Jill Schoelen [4]
    The reception of Doctor Who: The Cyber Invasion was lukewarm. Most who went to see the film enjoyed it, but many came out disappointed, having expected a film much more like Back to the Future. It ended up making its budget back, though it did not produce large profits.

    This, combined with the tense atmosphere on set, resulted in Christopher Lloyd deciding to leave the role of the Doctor. He had previously enjoyed the role, but found that it was increasingly becoming a burden. He would stay on for the third film that was to begin shooting shortly after the release of The Cyber Invasion, as his contract demanded, though he wished for little involvement in the franchise afterwards.

    The loss of Christopher Lloyd would have large scale repercussions. Shortly after deciding to retire from the role, Universal would decide that it did not want to distribute any films beyond the upcoming third. When no other studios expressed interest, Amblin would decide to sell the rights to produce Doctor Who media after the third film. [5]

    Things were looking grim for Doctor Who once more, but help would soon come... [6]

    [1] To clarify, it will be seen as a decent story by most of the fan base, but even with Zemeckis and Gale's rewrite, the story is just too different to the previous film for most audiences to really get into it.
    [2] The Cybermen of this story look like those of Davison's era but with a bit more "Hollywood shine" on top.
    [3] I cast him because I could really see him as a gruff freedom fighter. Plus, with him having been considered for Biff, he'll be in the minds of the producers already.
    [4] Another actress originally considered for the role of Jennifer.
    [5] It's not that they don't want to make more, they just don't think they'll turn a profit. So Spielberg sadly lets the rights go.
    [6] Help will come in a couple of updates. Next update is an overview of pop-culture from the POD until now (November 1986), pretty much everything I've wanted to put in, but wasn't important enough for its own update. Pretty soon, we'll see the subjects of the updates diversifying somewhat.
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    Chapter VII: 1983-1986 Elsewhere
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part I, Chapter VII: "Getting Up to Speed"

    “When looking at the lead up to the ‘Golden Age of Sci-Fi’, it’s easy to get lost in everything that happened with Doctor Who in the early days. In reality, there was so much more happening in the world of popular culture.”​

    - Joss Whedon on the events that began the “Golden Age of Sci-Fi”, taken from Where None Had Gone Before, a documentary on the prevalence of science fiction in popular culture. [1]


    1983 saw the end of one large science fiction story, and the seeming beginning of the end for another. In May 1983, Revenge of the Jedi was released, seemingly finishing the saga. There was hope among many fans that this would not be the end, especially as the opening crawl had titled it as “Episode VI”. They would however, remain empty handed for a long while.

    1983 saw Doctor Who’s 20th anniversary, and with it, the special The Five Doctors. It followed the penultimate season of the “classic” series, and saw all of the previous Doctors making an appearance, though the First Doctor was portrayed by Richard Hurndall, as William Hartnell had passed away. Tom Baker, who did not want to come back to film new scenes, was shown through footage taken from the unproduced story Shada.

    In 1983, the Eurovision Song Contest was held in Munich, West Germany. The contest was won by Corrine Hermes, representing Luxembourg, with the song “Si la vie est cadeau”. [2]


    For Doctor Who, 1984 is one of the most pivotal years. With the departure of Peter Davison, the classic series came to an end, and the future was mostly uncertain. While the rights would soon be bought up by Amblin Entertainment, it seemed to most fans at the time that it would be the end for their beloved franchise.

    Star Trek III: The Search For Spock was released in 1984, and was met with mostly positive reviews, though less so than the previous entry.

    The Eurovision Song Contest was held in Luxembourg. It was won by The Herreys, representing Sweden, with their song “Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley”.


    1985 was a year of firsts and lasts. It saw the first American produced Doctor Who film, with Doctor Who: Back to the Future. It also saw the release of Norwegian group a-ha’s debut album, Hunting High and Low.

    Roger Moore retired from the role of James Bond with A View to a Kill, citing age. Moore was 58 at the time of the film’s release, and holds the joint record of most films as James Bond, with Sean Connery.

    In 1985, the Eurovision Song Contest was held in Gothenburg, Sweden. It marked a rare occasion in the contest, where the hosting country won. The winner was Kikki Danielson, representing Sweden, with the song “Bra vibrationer”. Despite their win, Sweden would pull out of hosting the following contest, citing financial concerns. As a result, the hosts would be the United Kingdom, who had, by this point, become the go-to host when the winning country pulled out. [3]


    In 1986, the Electric Light Orchestra released their final studio album, Balance of Power. Balance of Power received mixed reviews, with many seeing it as too much of a deviation from their earlier works. Following this, ELO would disband, though Jeff Lynne would soon find work in producing. [4]

    Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home was released in 1986, and soon after, Paramount would announce their intent to produce a new Star Trek television series, set after the events of the films, following a new crew. The cast would not be announced until May 1987.

    Doctor Who: The Cyber Invasion was also released in late 1986, marking the first time that Doctor Who and Star Trek had gone “head to head” with releases. Following the poor reception to the film, Amblin sold the rights to produce Doctor Who media, and it seemed as though the franchise was in jeopardy once more.

    Also in 1986, Timothy Dalton was announced as the new actor to portray James Bond. He was to debut in 1987’s The Living Daylights, with the theme to be produced by A-ha.

    In 1986, the Eurovision Song Contest was held in Brighton, United Kingdom. Belgium would initially win the contest, with the song “J’aime la vie”, performed by Sandra Kim. At the time, it was believed that she was 15, but after the win, it was revealed that she was 13. In response, multiple countries appealed for her to be disqualified. The appeals were successful, and the win was given to Switzerland, who finished second with the song “Pas pour moi”, performed by Daniela Simmons. Following this, Belgium would not participate in protest for the next five years. [5]

    [1] We'll start to see some more familiar names as the series goes on. I'll try not to give too much away in advance, but some things are inevitable without just lying to you in these updates, and I won't do that.
    [2] I'm a big Eurovision fan. I won't give it its own updates, at least not for a while, but I figured that I might as well have a bit of fun it. No actual change in 1983, just establishing the format.
    [3] First real change to Eurovision. It was a close one in 1985, so I've changed it a bit to make things interesting.
    [4] As I've said before, Jeff Lynne will have a part to play in all of this, albeit a peripheral one. Also, I can't help but to include my favourite band ever, even if it is ending them here, with no reunion.
    [5] Nearly happened in OTL. Switzerland appealed, but was rejected. Here, more counties feel that Belgium has circumvented the rules, even if it gave them no advantage. Belgium, understandably, are none too happy with this outcome.
    Chapter VIII: Production of The Mad Dog Gang
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part I, Chapter VIII: "Third Time's the Charm"

    “There was a real sense of melancholy on the set of the third film. I mean, all of us were holding out hope that we’d be saved by some other studio, and that we could keep making these films, but I think we all knew that this was the end in some way. Some have accused Christopher of ‘phoning it in’ during that last film, and maybe they’re right. The simple fact of the matter is that he knew this was going to be his last film, the rest of us, we hoped it wasn’t. And though it was, what it led to made it all worth it, at least in my opinion.”​

    - Michael J Fox speaking on his role as Marty McFly, taken from An Adventure in Space And Time. [1]

    As production began on the third of the Amblin Doctor Who films, a shadow of doubt would be cast over the future of the franchise. With Christopher Lloyd having announced his departure from the role, it became clear to the producers that a new actor needed to be found for films after the third. But soon after, citing reduced interest in the franchise and unrest on the set, Universal announced that they would not be involved with any production following the third film.

    At this point, it was the opinion of Steven Spielberg and the rest of Amblin that if no other distributor could be found soon, that their best option was to sell the rights. As it transpired, no other distributor could be found, and so the rights were once again made available for purchase.

    Pre-production for the third Amblin Doctor Who film had been completed by the time the second film had wrapped, this was done in part to ensure that the film would have plenty of time for post-production and reshoots if required, without needing to push the release date back, as had been the case for the first film.

    The script would be written by Bob Gale, with help from Robert Zemeckis, as part of a compromise with the ‘Classicists’ on the set that allowed Robert Holmes to write Doctor Who: The Cyber Invasion. Much as they had done re-writes to ensure a semi-comedic tone for the second film, the BBC producers would have a say on the story, to ensure that it did not conflict with pre-existing canon. [2]

    As a result, the original idea, to set the story around “The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral” was dismissed, as the third season story The Gunfighters already concerned those events. Gale still wanted to do a story set in the Old West, so he decided to set it in the Hill Valley of 1885.

    The story would see the Doctor, Marty and Elyse arrive in 1885 Hill Valley, only for the TARDIS to be damaged in a gunfight between Native Americans and settlers. Much like the first film, there would be no alien element, beyond the Doctor himself.

    As Christopher Lloyd was leaving the role after the film, the decision was made to mortally wound the Doctor and the end of the film, after returning Marty and Jennifer to 1985. As the future was left uncertain, the Seventh Doctor would not be cast unless it was made clear that Doctor Who would continue. [3]

    Filming would occur primarily in California, in various smaller towns, so as to give an authentic feel. Much of The Cyber Invasion had been filmed in studios, and the producers generally agreed that the story felt less convincing for it.

    Filming of the third movie began almost immediately after the second film wrapped, in part to ensure that actors schedules were still free, and also to ensure that all of the studio filming could be done while the studios were still booked. As a result, what the response to the second film would be was not known until approximately half way into filming. [4]

    Drawing on criticism directed at the second part, the actors would be encouraged to ad-lib their lines somewhat, to provide a more genuine feel to the film, and lend a comedic tone that many felt was somewhat absent from The Cyber Invasion.

    The situation on the set was a great deal less tense than it had been for the second film, in part due to the agreement on the scripts. In addition, having continued filming from the second outing, there was now more time available than there had been for either of the previous two films. Consequently, there was much less pressure to “just get the scenes filmed” than there had been previously.

    Filming wrapped and post-production began in January 1987, leaving plenty of time for the May release. As a result, marketing would be much larger for the final part, to be titled; Doctor Who: The Mad Dog Gang. [5]

    But before the release, news would come that would change Doctor Who for many years to come… [6]

    [1] I thought it was about time we heard from some of the actors involved.
    [2] This is part of the compromise between the two camps on the set. Expect this to be more like Back to the Future Part III in many ways.
    [3] The producers at the BBC, however, have written a shortlist.
    [4] Not dissimilar to BTTF parts 2 and 3, but here the stories are more separate, one merely leads into the other.
    [5] Many thanks to user The Jovian, who came up with this title.
    [6] I keep teasing what this might be. The actual change won't be for another two updates, but I can't reveal it without delving into another franchise first. So, just a heads up: next update will be the first proper look at Star Trek in this world.
    Last edited:
    Chapter IX: Star Trek TNG Season 1 Casting/Production
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part I, Chapter IX: "To Boldly Go"

    “The time I spent on the set of The Next Generation has to have been some of the best years of my life. Of course, at the time we had no idea what we were paving the way for, it was just so much fun. Those of us who worked on it have become such good friends from it. I hardly think it’s surprising that we take the opportunities to reprise the roles we played when offered.”​

    - Jonathan Frakes on his role as Commander William Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation, taken from Where None Had Gone Before, a documentary about Star Trek, produced for its 50th anniversary.

    There had long been talks of bringing Star Trek back to the small screen. The film franchise had proved profitable, and syndication of the Original Series provided a stable and loyal fan base. There had been many proposals, most notably Phase II in 1977, dating back to shortly after cancellation.

    None of these plans would come to fruition until 1986 however, when Paramount greenlit a series to be produced following the exploits of another crew of the Enterprise, many years in the future, so as to allow the film series to continue unimpeded.

    Paramount rather enjoyed the idea of the show, and so decided to pitch it to the various television networks, in the hopes that one of them would pick it up for a season, hopefully leading on to further seasons, and an overall re-invigoration of the franchise.

    None of the major networks were interested in producing an entire season without a pilot episode, and so Paramount decided that they would release the show, to be titled Star Trek: The Next Generation, to first-run syndication, striking deals with many smaller networks that would allow them to broadcast the show for free if they continued to purchase re-runs from Paramount. [1]

    The gamble would prove to be a good choice, as it allowed for a wider audience to watch the show, whilst still garnering Paramount profits from re-runs of the Original Series.

    For casting, Paramount had decided that they wanted to cast relative unknowns in the roles. This would prevent any of the cast “stealing the spotlight” over the others, unless the characters’ positions demanded this.

    The Captain, “Julien Picard” was to be played by British thespian Patrick Stewart, and would be played with a British accent, despite the character’s French origins. Some audiences may have recognised him from the film Dune, though he was unknown enough that the producers felt comfortable that he would not be seen as the “main character” with the rest of the cast supporting him. [2]

    Stewart, along with the majority of the cast, were certain that the show would not last past the first season, and so were happy with signing six year contracts. Stewart for one, was uninterested in science fiction, and hoped to return to the stage in London after the show “crashed and burned”. [3]

    The majority of the cast would stay after the first season, though Denise Crosby, who played Chief of Secuity Tasha Yar, left part way through, and Gates McFadden, Chief Medical Officer Beverly Crusher, was fired from the show at the end of the season.

    Denise Crosby had left citing “underdevelopment” of her character. Though Crosby would later return as Tasha Yar in multiple guest appearances, Crosby would soon find work elsewhere that she was far more comfortable with. [4]

    The cast was not announced until May 1987, shortly after the release of Doctor Who: The Mad Dog Gang, in part to distract from its release. Filming began shortly after, and the series would begin airing in late September 1987, continuing until May 1988.

    Though the show would receive mixed reviews, it was successful enough that it would be renewed by Paramount for more seasons. [5]

    While things seemed to be looking up for Star Trek, soon a competitor would arrive on the scene...

    [1] Very little in this update is different to OTL. Much as butterflies have their effects, I don't think the presence of Doctor Who in film is really going to change much for TNG for a little bit.
    [2] The whole cast will be shown in two update's time, though I'll warn you, there's not much in the way of change. A couple of names change a bit though.
    [3] Almost nobody actually though the show would work, but they were wrong. Star Trek will be just one of many cogs in the Golden Age of Sci-Fi.
    [4] There is a lot of stuff in this update that will be important for the future. This is one of those things.
    [5] As OTL. While the gamble of a new show may not have paid off brilliantly yet, it's made them a good bit of money.
    Chapter X: The Mad Dog Gang
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part I, Chapter X: "Rebirth"

    “We could hardly believe our luck as we were wrapping. Even those who weren’t going to be involved, like Spielberg, were excited, of course many of them were fans. Of course, we decided we weren’t going to waste any time with the casting, especially if there was a chance that we could get a regeneration scene filmed.”​

    - John Nathan-Turner, taken from An Adventure in Space and Time.

    Shortly before Doctor Who: The Mad Dog Gang entered post-production, there was a major development. NBC was expressing interest in producing a new Doctor Who TV show with the BBC. Having had their fingers burned by not getting Star Trek: The Next Generation, they were interested in making a show to get much of the audience that would also go for that show. [1]

    Negotiations proceeded at a good pace, and it was agreed that NBC would produce a pilot series of 26 episodes, each approximately 45 minutes in length. This meant that while the number of episodes stayed roughly the same, each would now be nearly twice as long. As a result, many new writers would be brought in from “both sides of the pond”. [2]

    In addition, as Christopher Lloyd had already announced his intention to leave the role, a new actor to play the Doctor would be needed. The BBC recommended that the actor be British, to give a greater sense of continuity between the new series and the old “Classic” one. NBC agreed, though requested that the companions be American to give the audience an “everyman” that they could identify with. [3]

    The producers and writers from the BBC would lead the search for the new Doctor, while NBC would look for actors to play the two companions to the Seventh Doctor. By April 1987, all three would be cast.

    This would leave just enough time for two additional scenes to be filmed, the regeneration from the Sixth to Seventh Doctor, and a final scene giving closure on Marty and Jennifer’s story, wherein they meet the newly regenerated Seventh Doctor, and he departs. [4]

    The scenes would be added hastily in before release, and would end the film on an upbeat note, giving the characters closure, and hopefully building some hype for the upcoming Doctor Who series, that was to be released in May 1988. [5]

    Doctor Who: The Mad Dog Gang was released on May 6 1987 to generally positive reviews. In tone, it was much more similar to Back to the Future, and much of the audience that had felt alienated by the second film returned. It performed better at the box office, with many fans eager to see how the story would be closed off for the trio.

    Plot Synopsis of Doctor Who: The Mad Dog Gang:

    The Doctor, Marty and Elyse arrive in Hill Valley of 1885, shortly after its foundation. They explore the town, being viewed with suspicion by the locals who comment on how out of place they appear. While visiting the saloon, the town is attacked by local Native Americans, who are trying to drive the settlers away.

    During the ensuing gunfight, the Doctor, Marty and Elyse attempt to escape to the TARDIS. However, some stray bullets hit the TARDIS console, causing it to malfunction, and begin emitting a gas that is toxic to the trio. As a result, they are effectively stranded in 1885 until the Doctor can find materials to repair the TARDIS with. [6]

    Following the gunfight, the trio are interrogated by the townsfolk, who are suspicious of their true intentions. The town is revealed to be controlled by Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen, an ancestor of Biff’s, and his “Mad Dog Gang”. The trio are released, but still seen with suspicion by the rest of the townsfolk.

    Marty soon runs afoul of the Mad Dog Gang, and as a result, Buford attempts to hang Marty, though he is rescued by the Doctor and Jennifer who have taken a horse. They return to the TARDIS, where they find that the smoke has cleared, and the Doctor assesses what will be required to fix it. They surmise that the parts could be taken from a train.

    A train line is nearby, with a siding that leads to a gorge. Stealing a gun from one of Biff’s men, the trio make their way to the train line, with the intention of hijacking the next freight train, taking it to the siding, stopping it, then taking the parts they need. They are followed by the Mad Dog Gang however, who give chase.

    While the Doctor, Marty and Elyse enact the plan, they are shot at by the Mad Dog Gang, who, at one point, hit the Doctor. The trio are able to take the part, but in their panic, are unable to slow the train, having to jump off of it shortly before it plummets into the gorge. The Mad Dog Gang, having not seen the group escape, believe the trio to have died in the crash.

    Marty and Elyse carry the Doctor back to the TARDIS, where he is able to perform the repairs, while succumbing to his wounds. He reminds them that this is not the end for him, as he can “regenerate”, though it will mean that his appearance changes. The Doctor returns Marty and Jennifer to 1985, and urges them to live their lives without him. After they leave, the TARDIS departs for destinations unknown as the Doctor collapses inside, the change beginning.

    Two months later, Marty and Elyse are together near the location where the Doctor left them, when they hear the familiar noise of the TARDIS materialising. The Seventh Doctor steps out, and assures them that he is still the Doctor, even though he appears younger and is seemingly now British, and that they are free to continue their travels with him should they wish. They decline, though Elyse points out that she brought a piece of paper from the future with her, that has now gone blank. The Doctor explains that this is due to the future now being in flux thanks to their actions. The Doctor wishes them well, and departs.

    Main Cast of Doctor Who: The Mad Dog Gang:
    • The Sixth Doctor – Christopher Lloyd
    • Marty McFly – Michael J. Fox
    • Elyse Parker – Melora Hardin
    • Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen – J. J. Cohen
    The majority of critics saw The Mad Dog Gang as a clear improvement over The Cyber Invasion, the writing team having seemingly found the right balance between ‘old’ and ‘new’. Some did draw attention to how the final scene with the Seventh Doctor seemed out of place, serving as a teaser for the forthcoming Doctor Who TV series on NBC.

    Fan reaction to the third film was also generally positive. Following the announcement of the new Doctor Who TV series, many fans had been sceptical of the casting of the Seventh Doctor, as the actor was known mostly for comedic roles. The final scene however, showed that he was truly able to capture the role, and is cited by many fans who saw the film as “the moment they knew things were going to be okay”. [7]

    And so one chapter of the Doctor Who story closed, but another opened. [8]

    [1] NBC are none too pleased that they didn't get the TNG, so they settle for the next biggest sci-fi franchise going. Due to the films, there is a lot of Doctor Who in syndication in the US now as well.
    [2] More in line with other shows of this type in the US at the time. The actual production of the show will be covered in a couple of updates time.
    [3] Keeping both groups of fans happy here. The Doctor will be played mostly by British actors, but of course, there are exceptions to every rule.
    [4] While Universal may not be too happy with effectively giving a different company publicity, it is included at the behest of the BBC who still ultimately own the characters.
    [5] This may seem a bit of a quick turnaround on getting the Seventh Doctor cast, but the writers already had a shortlist. They knew who they wanted to ask, and one of them said yes.
    [6] Partial inspiration from Let's Kill Hitler here. I needed a reason for the trio to be stuck in 1885, and this seemed to be the best option.
    [7] I'll reveal who will be in the TV series, and most importantly, who the Seventh Doctor is in two updates. I'm interested to see who tou all think it will be though.
    [8] Next update will cover the release of the first season of TNG, and the one after that will go into the development of "revival" Who, and close off Part I.
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    Chapter XI: Star Trek TNG Season 1 Release
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part I, Chapter XI: "A New Generation"

    “At the start, they hated us. Well, not so much that they stopped watching, but it was clear to the production team that serious changes needed to be made going forward. Many writers left after that first season, as well as Denise and Gates. Most of us had actually enjoyed working on the show, so we were worried that it would be cancelled after the second season.”

    - Marina Sirtis, taken from Where None Had Gone Before.

    New Star Trek was coming to television for the first time since 1974, and fans were excited. Less excited were the majority of the cast of what was now being coined “The Original Series”. Many of them, Kelley and Shatner in particular, felt that the new show would draw attention away from their films.

    In addition, the high profile exits of both McFadden and Crosby would cast some negative light on the season, and many fans would criticise how the death of Crosby’s character, Tasha Yar, was dealt with.

    In general, fan reaction was lukewarm. Many commented on how it just seemed to be a rehash of The Original Series, with seemingly few additions to the canon of the series. In fact, many of the scripts were recycled from the unsuccessful Phase II project some ten years prior.

    The new “big bad” race, the Ferengi, were widely mocked as being unintimidating, and nowhere near as threatening as the Klingons or other races had been in earlier instalments of the franchise. As a result of this, they were to be reduced to more of a comic relief role for future seasons, with new recurring enemies to be created. [1]

    Many writers would depart over the course of the season, citing issues in working with Roddenberry. Notably, this would include Star Trek veteran David Gerrold, who would soon find work in writing for the new season of Doctor Who. Other writers would follow suit. [2]

    Despite the lukewarm reception, the show would be renewed for another season, as it soon became the most popular program in syndication.

    List of Episodes of Season 1 of Star Trek: The Next Generation: [3]
    1. Encounter at Farpoint (Part 1)
    2. Encounter at Farpoint (Part 2)
    3. The Naked Now
    4. Code of Honor
    5. The Last Outpost
    6. Where No-One Has Gone Before
    7. Lonely Among Us
    8. Justice
    9. The Battle
    10. Hide and Q
    11. Haven
    12. The Big Goodbye
    13. Datalore
    14. Angel One
    15. 11001001
    16. Too Short a Season
    17. When the Bough Breaks
    18. Home Soil
    19. Coming of Age
    20. Heart of Glory
    21. The Arsenal of Freedom
    22. Symbiosis
    23. Skin of Evil
    24. We’ll Always Have Paris
    25. Conspiracy
    26. The Neutral Zone
    Main Cast of Season 1 of Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • Captain Julien Picard – Patrick Stewart
    • Commander William Riker – Jonathan Frakes
    • Lt. (j.g.) Geordi La Forge – LeVar Burton
    • Lt. Tasha Yar – Denise Crosby
    • Lt. (j.g.) Worf – Michael Dorn
    • Dr. Beverly Crusher – Gates McFadden
    • Counsellor (Lt. Cmdr.) Deanna Troi – Marina Sirtis
    • Lt. Cmdr. Data – Brent Spiner
    • Leslie Crusher – Carla Gugino [4][5]
    Work soon began on the second season, and in finding a replacement for McFadden. At Roddenberry’s request, the character of Beverly Crusher was written out of the show, rather than killed off, to allow for a return in the future.

    The future would hold many surprises for Star Trek, and there were to be trials ahead… [6]

    [1] Very little change from OTL here. From a writer's standpoint, it's just because I couldn't find much stuff to change without changing the series drastically. From an in universe standpoint, Roddenberry shoots down anything he doesn't think would happen in the 24th century he imagines.
    [2] Is this a cliché? I feel like it is, though I don't think I've seen it done before. Regardless, I think it would be plausible.
    [3] No changes to the episodes here, meaning the season is just as weak as OTL. For future seasons, there will be an update covering the release, and giving the episode title, and another supplemental one giving rough summaries of the plot of each epsiode. Haven't done that here as there are no changes.
    [4] Wesley was originally going to be female, so I just stopped the change from happening here.
    [5] She enters acting a year(?) earlier ITTL. Jack Crusher is shown to be of Italian descent in future stories.
    [6] That's it for Trek in Part I now. Next update will cover the planning stages of Season 22 of Doctor Who.
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    Chapter XII: Casting the Seventh Doctor/The Start of the NBC Era
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part I, Chapter XII: "The Old and The New"

    “We were incredibly lucky with the casting for Season 22 of Doctor Who. That whole season was just luck really. All the people we have had on the show have been brilliant, but it’s no surprise that the first team from the ‘revival’ show are often seen as one of the strongest. Three incredibly talented actors, all working together and having fun.”​

    - John Nathan-Turner on the casting of Season 22 of Doctor Who.

    The first question that was clear for the producers when making the new Doctor Who series with NBC was where it was to be in the canon. The BBC were adamant that any show needed to be a continuation, but there were those at NBC who wanted to do a more American reboot. Eventually, a compromise was reached, the show would be a continuation, and the Doctor was to be played by a British actor, but any companions were to be played by Americans, at least to start.

    It was decided that two companions would be best, a dynamic not uncommon in the Classic series. One would be male, and the other female. The male companion, Jim, would act as an ‘everyman’ similar to Marty McFly from the films. He would, however, be older, to appeal to a slightly wider audience.

    The female character, Ace, was the brainchild of British producer John Nathan-Turner, who was to take the reins as head writer once more. Ace was a more action-oriented companion, with something of a rebellious and adventurous streak. She would act as a subversion of the ‘damsel-in-distress’ companion that was more common in the earlier series. [1]

    As casting began, focus was placed on finding the actor to play the Seventh Doctor. The BBC already had a shortlist of actors who they felt would fit the part, so they reached out to those on the list. The list included primarily actors known for comedy in the UK, but who had shown promise of being able to handle the darker side of the Doctor. Names on the list included Stephen Fry, Rowan Atkinson, Hugh Laurie and Anthony Head. [2]

    Most on the list expressed interest, and many were invited to BBC studios to give an audition. From this, the BBC were able narrow down the field, and invited Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie in to screen test with stand-ins for the companions. Fry’s performance was judged as “good, but clearly acting”, whereas Laurie’s was “impressive, just fitting into the role perfectly”. Hugh Laurie was offered the role as the Seventh Doctor, which he accepted. [3]

    The Seventh Doctor was the first major character to be cast, and the timing allowed for two scenes to be filmed for Doctor Who: The Mad Dog Gang, one showing the regeneration from the Sixth to the Seventh Doctor, and another to give closure to the characters of Marty and Elsye, also showing the Seventh Doctor off for the first time.

    For the character of Ace, the producers at NBC had an idea as to the sort of actress they wanted. They wanted a Sigourney Weaver-type, a woman who was strong in her own right, and could fend for herself without relying on the Doctor for protection. However, the actresses who came in to audition rarely fit that bill, and producers were left worried that they may need to rewrite the character.

    However, in partway through the production of the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Denise Crosby left the show, citing lack of character development. She was offered the part of Ace, and told that she would have a large say in how the character changed over the season(s). Whilst initially hesitant to join another science fiction franchise after her experience with Star Trek, she did eventually sign on. [4]

    Tom Hanks was having a string of bad luck at the box office. While he was a relatively well known actor, having had moderate success with films like Splash and Dragnet, he was unable to secure the “big break” he had been hoping for. Hanks was also an avid fan of Doctor Who, having watched the Classic series in syndication on various networks in his childhood. [5]

    When he was made aware of the casting call for the new male companion, he was eager to audition. Hanks’ name was recognised by the producers, with many feeling that he would fit the ‘everyman’ role very well. Upon auditioning, Hanks was offered the part of Jim, which he accepted.

    The 22nd Season would also see the 25th anniversary of the show, and the writers came up with an idea to bring one of the old Doctors back to commemorate the occasion, and establish continuity with the classic series. The writers agreed that the best to bring back would be Patrick Troughton, though following his heart attack in early 1987, he would have to sit out much of the action scenes for the story, which was to be titled “The Two Doctors”. [6]

    Troughton, who had much enjoyed his return for The Five Doctors some four years prior, was eager to reprise his role. The story would also see the return of Fraiser Hines as companion Jamie McCrimmon, a fan favourite.

    At 26 45-minute episodes, the BBC were hesitant to air the entire season in one run, as British seasons tended to be half of that length. It was decided to air the season in two halves, known as 22A and 22B, with a break of at least a month in between. This would result in America getting half of the episodes earlier than in Britain. [7]

    The budget for the new season was much greater than the BBC producers had enjoyed previously. The new season had a budget of approximately $1 million per episode, similar to that of Star Trek: The Next Generation. However, this was a budget for the entire season, unlike TNG’s “use it or lose it” budget for each episode. With a much increased budget, many of the special effects and wild story ideas that had hitherto been undreamed of by the BBC staff were now possible. [8]

    Things were looking bright for the future.


    The first "TARDIS Team" of the revival series. Left: Hugh Laurie (The Seventh Doctor). Centre: Denise Crosby (Dorothy "Ace" Gale). Right: Tom Hanks (James "Jim" Baines). [9]


    [1] A really well though out companion in my opinion. While I'm going to try and do mainly original stuff with Doctor Who, there will be some things that do still happen in spite of a nail.
    [2] All actors I considered while planning this update. And yes, Anthony Head isn't a comedic actor, he's one of the few that isn't under that primarily bracket. My inner pedant needs to make that distinction.
    [3] This has implications. There is no A Bit of Fry and Laurie, no Jeeves and Worcester and no Laurie in Blackadder Goes Forth. But Laurie won't be the only one of the Footlights lot be be seen in Doctor Who in the near future. Ah well, such is the curse of alternate history.
    [4] This will be just the first instance of actors appearing in both franchises. Corsby strikes me as the sort of person who could pull of an American Ace. While I think she would be reluctant to join "the enemy", her say over what happens with the character is what I beleive would sell her on the role.
    [5] Again, another OTL fan getting a job in Doctor Who. This butterflies Big, and most of Hanks' work in the near future. He'll be seen as a TV actor for a little while.
    [6] This is the heart attack that kills him IOTL. We haven't seen the last of Troughton. While the 25th anniversary was Silver Nemesis IOTL, I think The Two Doctors will be more fitting. The story will be different though, with Holmes not writing it.
    [7] The BBC will show the series in Britain, and 26 episodes in one run just isn't how we do things here. Therefore, this split is devised. Also, with no on-demmand services or VPNs at the time due to well, technology, this is no real issue. It will be in years to come though.
    [8] I think that this budget is reasonable. NBC really want to blow TNG out of the water with this show. For various reasons, I think that Doctor Who is going to look like it has a bigger budget to audiences though. But that's a story for another time.
    [9] Am I allowed to be proud of this? I've had this planned for a long while, and this is such a stellar crew that I can't wait to write the show. I've been waiting for so long to get this update out, and now I can really get to flexing my creative muscles with Part II. See you soon.
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    Part II: "Just On The Border of Your Waking Mind" (1988-1995)
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part II: "Just On The Border of Your Waking Mind"

    “Oh yes, the rivalry was real to start with, especially with Denise working on the show. But we soon found that we had much the same audience, and before we knew it, people were starring in one show, then appearing in the other. There’s a real sense of camaraderie between our two franchises now.”​

    - Marina Sirtis, taken from a 1993 interview.

    “I’m not sure what anybody thought was going to happen going into the nineties, with the fall of the Iron Curtain, but there seemed to be a real feeling of hope in America at least. In the end, we got a decade full of camp fun with serious drama.”​

    - allohistory.com user GallifreyHands on a thread titled “AHC: Change the culture of the 1990s significantly’”. [1]

    “The musical looked like it was going to be mainly an animated thing going into the 1990s, but we managed to change that. Not that there weren’t live action musicals before, they were just less common. Now, it seems like every summer there are two or three blockbuster films based on some concept album or a musical.”​

    - Andrew Lloyd-Webber, taken from a 2008 interview. [2]

    “I loved working on that show. Admittedly, I was somewhat typecast for a while afterwards, but it really helped me go from a pure comedic actor to more serious work that I do today. Comedy is really a young man’s game.”​

    - Hugh Laurie, taken from An Adventure in Space and Time. [3]

    [1] Part II will cover 1988-1995(-ish). Many thing will happen as OTL, but many will not.
    [2] You'll come to see that this is hardly due to his influence alone, but he would probably say this.
    [3] The last part is paraphrasing an actual Hugh Laurie quote. Given the time frame, I hardly think its a spoiler to reveal he won't be around forever, but he will stay for a while.
    Chapter I: "Handle With Care"
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part II, Chapter I: "Handle With Care"

    “George and I had this wild idea of making a rock group out of us and a few mates. Bob and Roy were obvious picks, but it was really just sheer luck that we got Tom on board with it. We started as a bunch of guys jamming, and ended up with a really successful group.”​

    - Jeff Lynne on the foundation of “The Traveling Wilburys”.

    Beginning as an idea from George Harrison during the production of his album Cloud Nine, the Traveling Wilburys were a supergroup comprised of George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty.

    In contrast to many of the supergroups that preceded them, there was little ego in the supergroup, as the five were friends before the project. According to Petty, the criteria for inclusion in the group was being someone “who you could hang out with”.

    The group first convened to record a B-side for the single “This Is Love” from his album Cloud Nine, which was produced by Lynne. To be titled “Handle With Care” after a label on a box in Harrison’s garage, the track was deemed to be too good for a B-side. This proved to be the catalyst for formalising the group and producing a full album.

    The first Traveling Wilburys album, The Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 was released on 18 October 1988. A critical and commercial success, the album would inspire a short skiffle renaissance in the music industry, and would revitalise the careers of Dylan, Orbison and Petty. Another side effect would be a renewed interest in the works of Lynne’s earlier group, the Electric Light Orchestra. While none of their singles would chart from this success, it would lead to later projects.

    Shortly after the release of the album, Orbison would suffer a heart attack, which would result in the delay in the release of second single “End of the Line” until he was in a state to record the music video. [1]

    Following on from their successes, the Wilburys would begin work on another album, and would begin many other collaborative projects.


    The Traveling Wilburys in 1988​

    [1] This is the only change from OTL in this update. Orbison's December '88 heart attack doesn't kill him, meaning that we get to see more of him. We haven't seen the last of the Wilburys. I wanted to make the first update a shorter one. Next update will cover the production of Season 22 of Doctor Who.
    Chapter II: "Across the Pond"
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part II, Chapter II: "Across the Pond"

    “I only really stuck around because nobody else wanted the job. Everyone who had worked on the show before saw how stressful it was, and the new guys didn’t want to take the reins as the producer. I wasn’t about to leave Doctor Who with no producer, so I stayed. That might have been one of the best decisions of my life.”​

    - John Nathan-Turner on why he chose to remain as head writer for Season 22 of Doctor Who. [1]

    John Nathan-Turner, Doctor Who veteran, was to be the hproducer for the new season, and instantly started planning out a way to keep the older fans entertained, while not overwhelming the newer fans. He chose to allow the writers to come up with many new ideas for “monster of the week”, while also encouraging them to incorporate some villains from the Classic era. [2]

    Of note was that while the Cybermen had appeared in the Amblin films, so were well known to the newer American fanbase, those who had not seen the Classic series in syndication would be unfamiliar with perhaps the most iconic enemy of the Doctor, namely the Daleks.

    Nathan-Turner was also eager to get ex-Star Trek writer David Gerrold on board, as he not only had far more experience with writing American television than most of the writers, but that he also wished to see LGB representation in the science fiction world. He had written a script for The Next Generation, titled “Blood and Fire”, which was to incorporate an allegory for the AIDS epidemic. While the script had been purchased, it had not been produced, and so when he came to work on Doctor Who, Gerrold pitched the idea again, where it was accepted. [3]

    Most Classic Doctor Who stories consisted of two to four (occasionally more) 25 minute episodes per story. With the move to 45 minute episodes, and 26 episodes per season, the writers were encouraged to write for two episodes per story. Many stories that had been floated for the planned BBC Season 22 were pitched once more, and adapted to fit the larger budget.

    In addition, by having encouraging multi-episode stories, the cost to produce each episode would tend to be reduced. This allowed the producers to invest in better practical effects and special effects that they had not been able to before. Many of the British crew commented that working on the show seemed to feel more like being on a film set than the television sets that they were used to.

    While most stories would be multi-episode, there would also be more so-called “bottle episodes”, named for the “ship in a bottle” episodes that occasionally took place in Star Trek: The Original Series. These stories primarily used sets and props that had been used in other stories, and often saw the lead characters in a reduced role. Doctor Who had played about with this idea before, though not often. [4]

    As the season began filming, producers quickly noted the dynamic that had formed between Laurie, Crosby and Hanks. The three seemed to be getting on very well, and often met up off set. During interviews where all three were present, there was often much joking around, something that was often commented upon by the reporters. [5]

    The writers were, while encouraged to write stories involving old villains, would be discouraged from using Cybermen in their stories, as it was feared that their reputation had been sulliev by The Cyber Invasion.

    The Daleks were to return in the 25th Anniversary story The Two Doctors, which would also feature the return of Patrick Troughton and Frazer Hines as the Second Doctor and Jamie McCrimmon respectively. [6]

    The Master would be reintroduced, alongside a new Time Lady, known as the Rani. After much negotiation, it was decided than Anthony Ainley would retain his role as the Master, and Madeline Kahn was cast as the Rani. While neither had much, if any, experience with American television, their performances on set removed any doubts in the producers’ minds. [7][8]

    Doctor Who was to be broadcast on Sundays on both NBC and the BBC, though the BBC would air the latter half of the season a month later. This was done in part to avoid too much competition with rival show Star Trek: The Next Generation, which was airing during the production of Season 22. As Star Trek had been part of American popular culture for much longer than Doctor Who, it was felt that in a “one on one” battle, Star Trek would likely win out. [9]

    As May 1988 approached, all that now remained was to wait to see what the audience would think of the new series. [10]

    [1] Nathan-Turner has a gread deal of say in how the series is made at this point. He's basically the showrunner.
    [2] A bit of old and a bit of new. That'll be Doctor Who for a while. Some older ideas recycled as writers have stayed on, others repurposed, and some pretty much completely original.
    [3] LGB (what the LGBT community was known as at the time) representation will be much better in Doctor Who and Star Trek ITTL. This is sort of the catalyst.
    [4] Most notably, Mission to the Unknown (sort-of). The BBC crew will be very good at shaving dollars off of the budgets of episodes, as they're used to far more limiting circumstances.
    [5] I don't know if any of these three have actually worked together, but it strikes me that they would be friends off of the set as well as on screen.
    [6] This won't be written by Robert Holmes. While he's still alive ITTL, he won't be given the 25th anniversary episode (also the season finale)
    [7] Very nearly recast the Master. But for now, I can't think of an actor to portray the master as a good foil to Laurie, who will be quite similar to Davison, at least outwardly.
    [8] I'm not sure what I think of Kahn as the Rani, as she's a more comedic actress. But given the slightly campy edge that will inevitably hit Doctor Who, I think it might just work. I really just don't think that O'Mara, as brilliant an actress as she was, would be cast in such a recurring villain role for an American production, given that she wasn't even that well known in Britain.
    [9] Something is Out There doesn't happen ITTL. While Doctor Who is a strong franchise in the US here, I still see NBC, and especially the BBC playing it safe.
    [10] Next update will cover the release of S22, and reveal the titles. Next two updates after that will be supplemental ones giving summaries of each story, and a profile of the Seventh Doctor, as I did with the Sixth. I'll try not to make the wait four days this time.
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    Chapter III: "Are You Sitting Comfortably?"
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part II, Chapter III: "Are You Sitting Comfortably?"

    “For me, the experience was very strange. I’ve been a fan for all of my life, so when on that Sunday, we were all gathered around the television the moment we heard that familiar theme start. We all knew it would be different now though, well, it was being made by us Americans now, things were going to change of course. But most importantly, I would be on it.”​

    - Tom Hanks, taken from An Adventure in Space and Time.

    The return of Doctor Who to the television had been greatly anticipated by its fans. Of those who were planning on watching the show, almost all would recognise one of the three principal cast members. In particular, the presence of Denise Crosby would bring many fans over from Star Trek, which had featured her until very recently.

    In contrast to The Next Generation, Doctor Who had a small main cast, only three to The Next Generation’s nine for Season 1. In addition, the majority of aliens in Doctor Who were portrayed in suits of some sort, which were more reusable, and often cheaper in the long run, than the prosthetics and make-up used on shows like Star Trek. [1]

    These factors, along with many others, would result in Doctor Who having a noticeably greater budget per episode than its main rival. In some cases this would be spent on better effects or more convincing sets, but the majority of the time, it would be used to attract guest stars, as Doctor Who had done during its original run with the BBC. Despite this, most small parts would be played by relative unknowns, as was common. Many actors and actresses would cite Doctor Who as the place that they “got started”. [2]

    Season 22 was to contain the 25th Anniversary special, titled The Two Doctors, and would feature the return of the Second Doctor and Jaime McCrimmon. The first episode of the story would become notable among fan circles for featuring the song “Blowin in the Wind”, released by Bob Dylan in 1963, as the story is set in that year. Bob Dylan was reportedly a fan of the show, and allowed the song to be featured royalty-free. [3]

    Season 22 of Doctor Who first aired on Sunday May 15th 1988, and was the first season of the “revival series”, as well as the first to be broadcast by a network other than the BBC.

    List of Episodes of Season 22 of Doctor Who: [4]
    1. New Beginnings (Part 1)
    2. New Beginnings (Part 2)
    3. Straight on Until Morning (Part 1)
    4. Straight on Until Morning (Part 2)
    5. Behind the Times (Part 1)
    6. Behind the Times (Part 2)
    7. The Mark of the Rani (Part 1)
    8. The Mark of the Rani (Part 2)
    9. That Sinking Feeling (Part 1)
    10. That Sinking Feeling (Part 2)
    11. Phobos (Part 1)
    12. Phobos (Part 2)
    13. Revelation of the Daleks (Part 1)
    14. Revelation of the Daleks (Part 2)
    15. The Rotan Game (Part 1)
    16. The Rotan Game (Part 2)
    17. Blood and Fire (Part 1)
    18. Blood and Fire (Part 2)
    19. Entropy (Part 1)
    20. Entropy (Part 2)
    21. Echoes
    22. The Blood of the Zygons (Part 1)
    23. The Blood of the Zygons (Part 2)
    24. The Two Doctors (Part 1)
    25. The Two Doctors (Part 2)
    26. The Two Doctors (Part 3)
    Cast of Season 22 of Doctor Who:
    • The Seventh Doctor – Hugh Laurie
    • Ace – Denise Crosby
    • Jim Baines – Tom Hanks
    • The Master – Anthony Ainley
    • The Rani- Madeline Kahn
    Season 22 would be generally well received by fans and critics alike. While the writing of certain episodes would be met with criticism, there was little aimed at the actors themselves. Some critics felt that the longer season detracted from the quality somewhat, though most fans were happy to be receiving twice as much Doctor Who per season than before.

    Most episodes would be judged as “good, but not outstanding”. An exception to this would be Blood and Fire, which would prove to divide fans, though not for its quality. Blood and Fire featured the first homosexual relationship in Doctor Who, and main stream science fiction. The episode was accompanied by a message urging viewers to become a blood donor, with the story being a thinly veiled allegory for the ongoing AIDS epidemic, in particular, the public stigma surrounding the disease. Blood donorship would increase slightly in response to the episode, and it was cited as being the first example of “the science fiction community opening itself up as a place where LGB people were welcome”. [5]

    Season 22 proved to be a resounding success, with average viewing figures on par with that of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The warm reception, coupled with the strength of the show, would see two further seasons be commissioned, with all three principal cast members signing on for the two further seasons. [6]

    [1] As previously stated, while Doctor Who has seemingly always had a smaller budget, it seems to be a less expensive show to produce. Many reasons, most already given.
    [2] Keep your eyes on the guest stars in updates like the next, some of them aren't big names yet, but some will become that. As in OTL, many people will appear on Doctor Who before they're big, you'd be really surprised at the people to have been on.
    [3] This story may be apocryphal, but I like it regardless. A little bit of fan-content interaction that I really like.
    [4] Next update will have the plot summaries as well as synopses for New Beginnings, Blood and Fire, and The Two Doctors. It's difficult enough coming up with the names for the episodes, so I'll need a day to do them, plus I don't want to clutter this update.
    [5] I don't see the episode as having a huge effect on the world, but it's going to be a very important episode. Put simply, it shows Trek that they can have these sort of characters, and that it won't kill the show, even though some fans bay be pushed away.
    [6] While this is a longer stay than most companions, especially given the longer seasons, this is American television now. It will still see a faster cast turnaround than something like Star Trek though. Doctor Who survives through the fact that every actor can be replaced. This will keep salaries for the main cast down too, so we probably won't see wages like those earned by the cast of TNG in the last couple seasons, for a while at least.
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    Overview of Season 22 of Doctor Who
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Overview of Season 22 of Doctor Who

    New Beginnings

    In 1988 San Francisco, a young girl going by the name of ‘Ace’ is arrested after experimenting with ‘Nitro-9’, an explosive of her own devising. Upon being brought in, she asks to see a lawyer before asking any questions. The lawyer, Jim Baines, quickly takes a liking to her, despite her clear guilt. While they discuss a potential strategy of ‘getting her off lightly’, there is a commotion outside. A man breaks in to the room, ranting about a Doctor. He collapses on the floor, and is taken to a cell.

    Following this, Jim leaves, and is followed on his way home. Upon arriving at his apartment, he is assailed by an unknown attacker. At the police station, Ace and the mysterious man are placed in adjacent cells, but the guards are soon overcome by people dressed similarly to the man who attacked Jim. The men render Ace and the mysterious man unconscious, and take their bodies with them.

    Jim, Ace and the strange man wake up, bound, in an unknown room. When asked for his identity, the strange man mutters only something about being a Doctor. The man makes little sense when he talks and seems to be radiating some form of energy.

    The unknown assailants return, and begin interrogating the trio. They quickly grow frustrated with the man who describes himself as “the Doctor”, as he refuses to give coherent answers. The men explain that they are the Valor, and followed the energy signal of the Doctor’s ship. Their own ship was heavily damaged in a battle with their enemy, and intend to use the Doctors ship to return to their space.

    Jim and Ace are, understandably, shaken by this sudden revelation of extraterrestrial life, and begin planning an escape once the Valor leave. The Doctor, who has been slipping in and out of consciousness, seems to be making more sense now, and he explains that he is indeed, alien, and has a ship that travels in space and time. He joins in on their plan to escape.

    The Doctor is able to slip out of his restraints, and reaches into his coat pocket to retrieve a device he calls the “sonic screwdriver”. He uses this device to free Jim and Ace, and they escape together. The Valor quickly notice, and pursue. The trio take refuge in Ace’s apartment, where she gathers the materials to make Nitro-9, which they plan to use to trap the Valor on Earth.

    Pursued once more by the Valor, the trio hurry to the location that the Doctor claims his ship is. It is located inside an abandoned building on the outskirts of the city. Ace booby-traps the building with Nitro-9 in case the Valor follow them in. Upon reaching the ship, that he calls the “TARDIS”, Ace and Jim initially comment on its apparent “snugness” and how it appears to be a phone box.

    Upon entering, Jim and Ace are struck by the internal dimensions of the TARDIS, while the Doctor explains that the Valor will almost certainly be unable to break in. Should the booby traps be set off, they will be perfectly safe in the TARDIS. The Valor arrive, and set off the booby traps. While they are not seriously injured, they believe the Doctor’s ship to have been destroyed. The Valor run off, and their fates are left unknown.

    Ace and Jim emerge from the TARDIS. The Doctor joins them, and explains that he would be happy to let them travel with him as he “likes company”. Ace agrees, as she is wanted by the police, so would enjoy the adventure. Jim decides to tag along as well, as he is becoming unsatisfied with his work, and strives for “something more”. The Doctor invites them back in. When they ask how they will deal with their apparent disappearance, the Doctor simply replies “It’s a time machine, I can get you back for last week.” The Doctor asks the two where they would like to go.

    Straight on Until Morning

    Ace and Jim are brought to a space station by the Doctor. While they explore, the station is attacked by a force known as the Julk, and are separated, and the TARDIS rendered unreachable. Jim and the Doctor are trapped with the majority of the civilian population, while Ace organises a push back with the military force that remains on the station. As the Julk continue the attack, will the three be able to save the station in time?

    Behind the Times

    The three arrive in Earth in the year 200,000. The Doctor quickly notes that the humans seem to be far behind technologically in comparison to what he recalls from his earlier travels. As the trio explore, they start to notice that this world seems to be controlled by an unknown force, the nobody seems to talk about. What lies on Floor 500 of the Citadel, and who is controlling the Earth?

    The Mark of the Rani

    The trio arrive in Lancaster of the 1800s. There they meet two members of the Doctor’s race, the Master (Anthony Ainsley) and the Rani (Madeline Kahn). The Rani is intending to use chemicals from human brains in her experiments, while the Master intends to use the city as a base of operations for him to build a base of power to begin conquest anew.

    That Sinking Feeling

    The Doctor, Ace and Jim arrive in Oregon, where there are seismic troubles. When it becomes clear that the area is not quite as friendly as first appears, they begin to investigate. A large parasitic species of worm has burrowed, and is eating large mineral deposits present in the crust. The question soon becomes as to whether they should fins a way to remove the worms, potentially killing them, or to leave the area to its fate.


    The trio arrive on an outpost on Phobos, a moon of Mars, in the 25th century. A mysterious entity seems to be manifesting as the greatest fears of the crew, then killing them. As the crew dwindles, the Doctor tries to find a way to stop the entity, and determine where it came from. As the dark history of the outpost is revealed, will there be enough time for the Doctor to save the crew and his companions?

    Revelation of the Daleks

    The three arrive on the planet Necros, where they are attacked by mutated creatures. As they attempt to find the source of the mutated creatures, they discover that the inhabitants of the planet are being transformed into Daleks. It is revealed that Davros is behind the plan, and is intending to build up his own army, after a civil war erupted among the Daleks. As the Doctor comes face to face with his most fearsome enemies once more, will he have to pick a side in their internal conflict?

    The Rotan Game

    The trio awake in a white chamber, where they are informed that they have been chosen as contestants in “The Rotan Game”, a mysterious futuristic game show. It becomes apparent that the penalty for losing the game is death. When Jim is eliminated, the Doctor and Ace must find a way to escape, and recover Jim if at all possible.

    Blood and Fire

    The Doctor, Jim and Ace arrive on the UNS Valiant, where an outbreak of “Regulan Bloodworms” has taken hold. When a person is infected, the bloodworms live in their blood, dormant, until one day they wake up, and kill the host within days. While the worms are dormant, the host is virtually unaware of the presence of the worms.

    The people on the ship who are infected can be saved by a blood transfusion from a healthy donor, but the policy of the UN is to quarantine ships infected by bloodworms until all infected crewmembers have died. Given the scale of this outbreak, there are not enough healthy donors to save the crew before it becomes likely that the majority will die.

    The Doctor, Ace and Jim offer their assistance, and they attempt to convince nearby ships to dock, and donate blood. All decline, worried that they may contract bloodworms from the procedure, though the risk is negligible.

    Eventually, they find a ship with crew that are willing to donate blood, and they dock, and the procedure is underway. However, another UNS ship nearby threatens to fire on the ship to prevent potential further infection. The ship barely holds on while under fire, and Jim attempts to reason with the crew of the other UNS ship, explaining the facts of the matter. The other ship leaves.

    The crew of the Valiant is cured, and the trio depart. A subplot of the story involves the relationship between the captain of the Valiant, and one of its infected crewmembers, who are both male.

    The story ends with a message encouraging the viewers to donate blood.


    The TARDIS arrives on a planet in a pocket universe that is rapidly collapsing due to entropy. When the TARDIS is unable to leave, and finds its engines draining, the Doctor works with the scientists on the planet to prolong the life of the universe, with the knowledge he gained at the Logopolis complex. But as time runs out for the pocket universe, and the fabric of reality begins to break down, will the trio be able to save the universe and escape?


    The TARDIS arrives on a planet that is seemingly uninhabited. While there, they discover that the planet seems to be giving them visions of their own pasts, and giving them grim reminders of secrets that they would rather remain hidden.

    The Blood of the Zygons

    A sinister plot is underway in Los Angeles in 1988. People are going missing, then reappearing a few days later having had a complete change in personality. When the mayor begins acting strangely, the question arises of if he is who he claims to be after all? Or have an old enemy of the Doctor returned once more?

    The Two Doctors

    The TARDIS lands in Britain in 1963, and the Doctor soon gets the feeling that he had been here before. The Doctor gets the TARDIS to scan the area, and he detects a space station in orbit. The trio travel to the station, where the station’s computer attempts to kill them by depressurising the corridor.

    They return to Earth, following a teleport signal from the station. The Seventh Doctor has a vision of his second self being executed, and fears that he may now only exist as an anomaly in time, and has little time to save his own life. While exploring, Ace is attacked by a man in rags, who is revealed to be Jaime McCrimmon, a companion of the Second Doctor.

    Upon seeing Jaime, the Seventh Doctor is overjoyed to see a companion that he feared had forgotten about him completely. Jaime explains that he and the Second Doctor are on a mission from the Time Lord Celestial Intelligence Agency (CIA) to prevent the Sontarans from obtaining a method of time travel. In return for working with the CIA, Jaime’s memories of travelling with the Doctor will be preserved, and the Doctor’s sentence from the Time Lords will be postponed. The Seventh Doctor recalls this information, but only vaguely.

    The four allow themselves to be captured by a Sontaran patrol, that is going around an estate that they have commandeered. They are taken to a cell, where they meet the Second Doctor. Upon realising that the Doctor is there twice, the Sontarans remove them from the cell, and take them to a makeshift laboratory.

    There, they are forced to attempt to isolate the symbiotic nuclei that allow Time Lords to travel through time for extended periods. The Sontarans believe that they have created a time machine, but their tests have all resulted in the molecular breakdown of the pilots.

    The Two Doctors work on a plan to escape, and manage to find a way to remotely activate the space station’s self destruct sequence. They do this, and make a run to escape. They barely escape, and the Second Doctor contacts UNIT to deal with the remaining Sontaran forces on Earth.

    The Second Doctor summons his TARDIS with a Stattenheim remote, and the two Doctors go their separate ways. The Seventh Doctor explains to his companions why he was unable to remember the events, and as to how and why he can change his appearance. The trio then set off for more adventures through time and space.

    This is easily the longest update yet, and took me a few hours to write. It's just over 2000 words in all. As a result, as I write in a word processor then paste here, adding the footnotes as I review here, there won't be numbered footnotes for updates like these. They're just a little too long for it to be reasonable.

    I've used some elements from a few different seasons here, most notably Series 1 of NuWho. I was going to go with adding writers and the like, but something like this really takes the energy out of me. Where the writer is important, it will be mentioned in other updates. Similar thing with guest stars. To be completely honest, I don't know who was who in television at this time. Where the guest star is important, they'll be mentioned in the plot summary. Nobody too much for this update, but the next season will be very different. Of course, I can't give anything away, but there is always groundwork being lain down for the road ahead in almost every update. I've got the story planned out to the modern day, just need to get it all written down.

    So, a long update in all, too long for any footnotes to be honest. If any of you have questions about any of the stories, I'd be more than happy to answer them, but given the scope of this, I won't try to anticipate every question you may have. Until next time gentle reader.
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    Chapter IV: "Where None Had Gone Before"
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part II, Chapter IV: "Where None Had Gone Before"

    “Season 2 certainly a step in the right direction for the show. We got our hands burnt pretty badly with Season 1, and there were so many lessons to learn from it. We got in new writers, a couple of new cast members, and perhaps most importantly, I got a beard.”​

    - Jonathan Frakes, taken from Where None Had Gone Before. [1]

    The production of Season 2 of Star Trek: The Next Generation would begin during the airing of the first season. The mixed reaction to the first season would result in many changes to the show. Firstly, the departures of both Crosby and McFadden would result in replacements being needed.

    For Crosby’s character of Tasha Yar, it was decided that rather than to bring in a new cast member, the character of Lt. Worf would be made larger, and would retain his new role as chief of security. However, McFadden’s character, Dr Beverly Crusher, was a larger character in her own right, being the Chief Medical Officer.

    Her replacement would come in the form of Diana Mulduar, and the character of Dr Katherine Pulaski. While initially planned as a long term replacement for Dr Crusher, Mulduar had little intension of remaining beyond a season. Mulduar’s decision early on to depart after the season would result in a replacement for her being sought out. [2]

    Pulaski would be a character quite similar to that of Dr McCoy from the Original Series, and her interactions with Data would, in the eyes of many, be reminiscent of those between McCoy and Spock. [3]

    New writers would be brought on to replace the many who had left following the first season, but there would soon be more trouble. In early 1988, the Writers Guild of America would go on strike, their longest in history. While this would have little effect on The Next Generation’s main rival Doctor Who, this would have a great many effects on Season 2. [4]

    The main effect would be the reduction of the season by four episodes, with suggestions that the final episode of the season be made primarity of clips of previous ones, though ideas such as these were quickly shot down due to lack of originality. The strike would only serve to widen the growing rift between the writing staff and the main cast of the show, with one writer even going so far as to suggest that all of the cast be killed off, and replaced. [5]

    The second season would bring in two new long running enemies, the adaptable Borg and the mysterious Iconians. The Borg were written to be the reasoning behind the disappearances from the Season 1 story “The Neutral Zone”. Able to adapt to almost any situation, and wishing to assimilate all life in the galaxy, they would prove to be one of the most important enemies in the series.

    The Iconians, in contrast, were not even shown on screen. An ancient civilisation predating even the T’Kon Empire mentioned in the first season, they were hinted to still be alive, and manipulating events from behind the scenes, gathering intelligence on the powers of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, while plotting their own return to the galaxy. [6]

    A minor character, known as Guinan, was to be introduced in the second season, to be portrayed by Whoopi Goldberg. A long time fan of the franchise, Goldberg was given a role at her own request. The character of Guinan would run Ten Forward, the bar on the Enterprise-D, and would act as a confidante for the cast members. [7]

    The second season would also be the first to air after the return of Doctor Who to television, and Star Trek would take a great many lessons from it. Firstly, there were topics that had been suggested for episodes, but turned down due to Paramount’s fear of potential public backlash. Most notably, there was David Gerrold’s script “Blood and Fire”, which had been made for Doctor Who after his departure from Star Trek.

    While Doctor Who had suffered some backlash, the response was mainly positive, and had seemingly established the genre of Science Fiction as a safe environment for those who were so often discriminated against. While there would be no episodes tacking issues quite as important as those of Blood and Fire, other matters such as whether a machine can ever be judged as alive were dealt with, and there would be no shortage of “social issue stories” in the future. [8]

    And so, with many a lesson learned, a new doctor, and a beard, Star Trek: The Next Generation would boldly go into its second season. [9]

    [1] I had to mention "Growing the Beard" here. While the connotation of quality don't quite hit until season 3, the beard is here.
    [2] Mulduar had no intention of staying past Season 2. Who replaces her is a question for another time, presumably one where I have an answer.
    [3] The eyes of many, not me. Most of S2 is intact. I found her interactions with Data made her come across as rude and unlikable. I never really warmed to her, but then I did watch all of S2 in two days, and immediately went onto S3.
    [4] Doctor Who is a transatlantic production, ergo, half the writers aren't on strike. It will have an effect, one that will be explored later, but not a massive one like it does here.
    [5] Genuine suggestion from one of the writers. He felt that the cast's egos were too large. I won't do anything quite so bold/completely stupid as this, but suffice it to say that nobody is irreplaceable. This is Alternate History after all, we thrive off of replacement.
    [6] They won't appear on screen for quite some time, but the hints made during the show will be a little more overt. You'll find that I'm going to take some ideas from the books and Star Trek Online, but anything major for a little while (with one exception in Season 3).
    [7] Guinan will be potentially even more interesting as a character than in OTL. I shan't reveal my plans just yet, but suffice it to say that there is more to her than meets the eye.
    [8] What with the writers strike, there are few scrapped episodes for this season, not like there are for the others at least. As a result, the major story changes happen from Season 3 onwards.
    [9] Sorry, I appreciate that wasn't very funny, but I couldn't help myself. Apologies about the wait, I think my little sabattical is over for now.
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    Chapter V: "A Step in the Right Direction"
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part II, Chapter V: "A Step in the Right Direction"

    “Sure, the audience liked it more than the first season, and there are some episodes that are considered ‘classic’ by the fans, but it was clear, to me at least, that we still hadn’t quite found our footing yet. With how well Doctor Who’s first season had done, there was a real fear among the rest of the cast that we’d be cancelled. That, and the rift between ourselves and the writers, left many of us unsure of what was to come. We knew that drastic change was needed, I only hoped that didn’t mean killing off most of the cast like some were suggesting.”​

    - Marina Sirtis, taken from Where None Had Gone Before.

    Star Trek: The Next Generation was back for a second season, after what was described by many fans as a ‘rather lacklustre’ first season. Much of the ‘old guard’ that had accompanied Roddenberry to the new show had left, and that this show was going to be something different to the Original Series was becoming quickly apparent.

    Many fans that had been turned off by the first season however, did not return to watch the second, resulting in slightly lower viewing numbers to begin with. While numbers fluctuated throughout the season, they did hit a higher peak than the first season. It would not be until the episode “Q Who” that the show was the third most viewed in its time slow however.

    The character of Katherine Pulaski was not well received by the fans however. While Diana Muldaur was not staying past the season, it is likely that given the generally negative reception she got, her contract would not have been renewed past the one season it entailed. While her character was quite similar to Dr McCoy from The Orginial Series, a fan favourite, fans generally agreed that she did not seem to gel well with the rest of the crew.

    Better received were the two new “big bads” of the show, the Borg and the Iconians. The Borg, who had been hinted at during the first seaon, and the first half of the second season, were properly introduced in the episode “Q Who”, where they are established as a looming threat for the Federation and other powers of the Alpha Quadrant. The Iconians would not be seen on screen, as they were established as having gone extinct many thousands of years prior. Despite this, there were hints left throughout the season that the Iconians were still alive somewhere, orchestrating events from behind the scenes. [1]

    Overall, the season was better received than the first, and given the number of viewers that stayed to watch it, the executives at Paramount were eager to renew for a third season, considering a fourth. [2]

    List of Episodes of Season 2 of Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    1. Abductions [3]
    2. Where Silence Has Lease
    3. Elementary, Dear Data
    4. The Outrageous Okona
    5. Loud as a Whisper
    6. The Schizoid Man
    7. Unnatural Selection
    8. A Matter of Honor
    9. The Measure of a Man
    10. The Dauphin [4]
    11. Contagion
    12. The Royale
    13. Time Squared
    14. The Icarus Factor
    15. Derelict [5]
    16. Q Who
    17. The Dream Pool [6]
    18. Up The Long Ladder
    19. Manhunt
    20. The Emissary
    21. Peak Performance
    22. Icons [7]

    Main Cast of Season 2 of Star Trek: The Next Generation: [8]
    • Captain Julien Picard – Patrick Stewart
    • Commander William Riker – Jonathan Frakes
    • Lt. Geordi La Forge – LeVar Burton
    • Lt. Worf – Michael Dorn
    • Dr. Katherine Pulaski – Diana Muldaur
    • Counsellor (Lt. Cmdr.) Deanna Troi – Marina Sirtis
    • Lt. Cmdr. Data – Brent Spiner
    • Acting Ensign Leslie Crusher – Carla Gugino
    Season 2 marked the only time in The Next Generation where they won an Emmy. While most seasons would end up nominated for multiple Emmys, “Q Who” would be the only episode to win any. [9]

    With a more successful second season, the producers were eager to get working on the third, though much work was needed. Roddenberry was slowly being pushed out of the production, and the writers were finding it increasingly difficult to balance the vision that Roddenberry had with the stories that they wanted to tell. And once again, they needed a new Chief Medical Officer. [10]

    [1] As per OTL, the Ferengi aren't completely absent, but they take a back seat in this season. The Borg are hinted at more in "Abductions", which continues on from the Neutral Zone, I'll detail more in the next update.
    [2] Paramount really wants to knock Doctor Who out of the park, so thing will only get more bold from here on out.
    [3] Replaces "The Child", follows on from "The Neutral Zone"
    [4] As Wesley is Leslie ITTL, the gender of the alien is changed.
    [5] Unproduced TNG script from OTL, replaces "Pen Pals"
    [6] Unproduced TNG script from OTL, replaces "Samaritan Snare"
    [7] An original idea of mine, the plot to which will be in the next update. It replaces "Shades of Gray", possibly the worst TNG episode. Thanks to user 'unclepatrick' for convincing me to change this.
    [8] I'm only listing the main cast here for convenice's sake. The only change from OTL is that O'Brien is established as a Chief Petty Officer, an enlisted crewmember. Much less confusion about his rank ITTL.
    [9] As OTL, I might change this in the future, but I think that it shows that science fiction is still very much "nerd territory" at this time.
    [10] I'm still not sure what I'm going to do about this, one one hand I could just follow OTL as I liked Crusher, but I want to start putting in some real big changes. Anyway, we won't see S3 for a good few updates anyway. Next update is an overview of the epsodes themselves, like I did for Doctor Who. Due to the fact that there are more stories here, it will likely just be summaries unless there are large changes that need to be pointed out. I don't want to burn myself out. Sorry about the wait again.
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