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

What should happen with the season summary updates?

  • Continue as is (might delay other updates)

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

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

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Stop them completely

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .
Chapter XXXVI: "Bat Out of (Development) Hell"
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part II, Chapter XXXVI: "Bat Out of (Development) Hell"

    “For a while, we really weren’t sure if it was going to be made at all. We had the Writers’ Guild of America strike in ‘88, then Nimoy was busy. When he came back, we couldn’t get the story to a point where everyone was happy, and eventually I decided to change it drastically. That delay did do us some good though, it allowed us to get Sean Connery as Sybok, and it meant that we could work with Industrial Light and Magic.”​

    - William Shatner speaking about his role as director and writer for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. [1]

    The fifth film in the Star Trek franchise was originally planned to be released in 1989, but would take four more years due to various behind-the-scenes events. The end result was that the story was changed drastically from William Shatner’s original plan.

    The delay did much good for the film, however. The original release date would have seen it compete with Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Ghostbusters II and Batman, all commercial successes. While it was now up against Jurassic Park and The Last Action Hero, it was part of an already established franchise with a large fan base.

    Star Trek V: The Final Frontier was released on June 18th, 1993. It received largely positive reviews, with many critics noting that the film was “well worth the wait”. Particular praise was given to the performances of Sean Connery and the actors of the three ambassadors.

    Plot Synopsis for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier: (based on a proposal by @Ogrebear) [2]

    The crew of the Enterprise take shore leave on Earth following the Enterprise-A’s poor shakedown cruise. Captain Kirk camps at Yosemite National Park with Dr. McCoy and his First Officer, Spock. Their stay is interrupted, however, by an urgent order from Starfleet, telling them that three ambassadors have been kidnapped on Nimbus III, “The Planet of Galactic Peace”. The ambassadors represent the Federation, the Klingon Empire and the Romulan Empire on the planet, in an attempt to prevent diplomatic incidents. As the Romulans and Klingons hear of the kidnapping, they also send ships to rescue the ambassadors. The Klingon captain, Klaa, also hopes to gain glory by besting the Federation in battle.

    Upon arriving at Nimbus III, the crew find that the planet has undergone a sudden change in climate. What was once a lush world is now nothing but desert. Resolving to find out why later, the crew begin planning a rescue mission. They are unaware of the identity of the kidnappers, and so prepare for heavy resistance. Kirk decides to lead the team, leaving Spock and McCoy on the ship. The team manages to break into the compound where the ambassadors are being held, finding very few guards beyond some Breen mercenaries. However, the team soon find themselves under attack psionically, and Kirk is captured while the rest of the team is forced to flee.

    Kirk is introduced to his captor, Sybok. Sybok reveals that his kidnapping of the ambassadors was a plan to get a ship to Nimbus III, on which he had been stranded. Sybok also reveals that he has vast psionic powers to inflict pain, on a planetary scale at the limit of his powers. The devastation to Nimbus III was also to act as proof of his strength to observers. Sybok decides to torture Kirk, forcing him to relive the destruction of the Enterprise. Back on the ship, the rescue team returns, informing Spock and McCoy of the kidnapper’s identity. Spock recognises Sybok as his estranged uncle, exiled from Vulcan when he refused to suppress his emotions or psionic powers. The Klingon and Romulan ships arrive, leading Spock to task Sulu and Chekov with finding a way of together with them to free Kirk and the ambassadors. [3]

    Kirk works with the ambassadors in organising a jail break, confident that his crew will send another team down to take down Sybok. In this time, the ambassadors get to know each other better, finding that “more unites them than divides them”. On the Enterprise, neither the Romulans nor Klingons seem interested in a joint raid on the compound, as the Romulans see no political benefit in the move, while the Klingons refuse to work with a species as “weak” as the humans. Klaa is then surprised when Crewman Keyes challenges him to an arm wrestle, besting him. Meanwhile, Uhura and Spock speak with the Romulan captain, Commander Reval, convincing him that it would be in the Romulan Empire’s best interests to work with the Federation and Klingons. With both the Romulans and Klingons convinced, Spock begins planning the new rescue.

    Sulu is placed in command of the Federation forces, “as preparation for his new command”, while Klaa and Reval lead their respective forces. Sybok takes Kirk to torture him more, hoping to learn the Enterprise’s transport codes so that he can escape. This time, he makes Kirk face his fears that the crew will be broken up by Sulu’s imminent promotion, and reassignment to be given his own command. While this occurs, the ambassadors, led by Korrd, are alerted to the arrival of the rescue party by the sounds of phaser fire. They use the opportunity to break out, joining the rescue team. [4]

    Sybok realises that the prisoners have been freed, but that he now has a way to the ships via the shuttles. Sybok stops torturing Kirk, unleashing a wave of psionic energy that momentarily incapacitates the attacking forces. He creates psionic illusions, disorienting them further, and escapes to the Federation shuttle in the confusion. Unbeknownst to him, Spock is hiding there, having anticipated Sybok’s moves. Sybok starts psionically attacking Spock, insisting that “no Vulcan could best me”. Spock counters with a kick to the groin, remarking “It is good then, that I am half-human.”

    The crews return to their ships, remarking the détente that they achieved could set an example for how Nimbus III should work. On the Enterprise, the crew celebrate one last night together before Sulu is given his promotion, breaking the team up.

    Cast of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier:
    • Captain James T. Kirk – William Shatner
    • Spock – Leonard Nimoy
    • Dr. Leonard McCoy – DeForest Kelley
    • Montgomery Scott – James Doohan
    • Hikaru Sulu – George Takei
    • Pavel Chekov – Walter Koenig
    • Uhura – Nichelle Nichols
    • Sybok – Sean Connery
    • Crewman Keyes – Michael Clarke Duncan [5]

    With a positive reception to Star Trek V, a sixth film would be greenlit. With The Next Generation drawing to a close, plans for the cast of that show to take over the film franchise would begin to be made, and discussions about the sixth film serving as a “handover” would become more commonplace. [6]

    [1] The four year delay over OTL means that ILM isn't busy with Indiana Jones or Ghostbusters II, and Sean Connery isn't busy with the former.
    [2] Many thanks to you @Ogrebear for your suggestion a few pages back. As you can tell, I've used most of them.
    [3] I want to clarify Sybok's powers here. His power to "remove pain by making people relive their fears" is sort of reversed. He makes them relive their fears and regrets, siphoning their "mental strength" off of them. To begin with, he didn't have the power to cause an extinction-level event like he does with Nimbus III, sparing those in the compound so that he has hostages, but the more he feeds off of, the stronger he becomes. His plan is to go back to Vulcan and take his revenge on the Vulcans for exiling him.
    [4] Sulu's command is brought up earlier, as the possibility of this being the last TOS film is a very real one.
    [5] This would be his first major acting role in TTL, but he was looking for work at the time. He may come out of the bodyguard field earlier if this leads to anything. Also, this list is mainly so that you can see the major casting change, if it wasn't already obvious.
    [6] OTL's Star Trek VI has been butterflied.

    My apologies if the plot synopsis seems a little fuzzy at times, I was trying to fit a fair bit in, but I changed my mind about a couple of things at times, or realised I'd forgotten something. I may come back at a later date and give it a polish. Once again, my thanks to @Ogrebear for your brilliant plot suggestion. I only wish I could see this on the screen, but alas, that is the burden of being a fan of alternate history.
    Chapter XXXVII: "Keeping the Fans Happy"
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part II, Chapter XXXVII: "Keeping the Fans Happy"

    “I think that one of the reasons that Season 27 is viewed so favourably by fans is that the writing that season seemed particularly tailored to them. Not that it wasn’t normally, but with it being the season of the thirtieth anniversary, the writers wanted to make sure that fans that had seen more of the older seasons got plenty out of it.”​
    - Russell T. Davies speaking about the writing of Season 27 of Doctor Who. [1]

    Season 27 of Doctor Who, the sixth of the American series, was gearing up to be monumental for two big reasons. Firstly, it would be actor Siddig El-Fadil’s last as the Eighth Doctor, building excitement for the reveal of who would be playing the Ninth Doctor. Secondly, the season coincided with the thirtieth anniversary of the show. As the season consisted of twenty-six weekly episodes, beginning in May, the last four episodes, comprising of the anniversary story The Dark Dimension, would be delayed by a little over two weeks so that the final part could be released on the 23rd of November 1993, the date of the anniversary.

    With these two factors at play, Cartmel and the rest of the production team were promising that this season would be the biggest yet, seeing old faces return and the Doctor dealing with dangerous foes, old and new.

    The season’s stories saw many old friends and foes of the Doctor return. Meltdown would see Victoria Waterfield, one of the Second Doctor’s companions. The season opener, The People From Nowhere, would see the return of Sergeant Benton. Romana and E-Space would return in Closed Circle, while the Brigadier would return in The Dark Dimension. [2]

    The first three stories of the season would form a loose arc continuing on from the Doctor and Rachel’s stranding on Earth at the conclusion of This Sceptred Isle. Throughout the season, it would become clear that the Web of Time is still destabilising, despite the Doctor and the Time Lords’ best efforts. This would culminate in the manifestation of a ‘Chronovore’, a being made of temporal energy that removed persons and altered events to restabilise the Web of Time.

    The season finale, The Dark Dimension, would open on a devastated Earth in the year 2148, where humanity is nearly extinct. There, a group of rebels, led by a character called “Summerfield”, would find the Eighth Doctor’s dead body, and a weakened Chronovore. The Chronovore would then alter time so that the Fourth Doctor survived his fall from the Pharos Project in Logopolis. [3]

    The story The Dark Dimension was costlier than any other Doctor Who television story at that point. The production team would collaborate with Jim Henson’s Workshop in creating the alternate Cybermen and Daleks, and many previous actors would be asked to return. The script called for the return of the Second through Seventh Doctors, though focus was given to the alternate Fourth Doctor.


    The "Dark Dimension" variants of the Special Weapons Dalek and Cyber-Leader respectively.​

    The fact that Tom Baker would be given more screen time than any other actor in the special was a source of conflict among the other returning actors, in particular Jon Pertwee. To satisfy them, the script was altered to give them a larger part in the story, though Baker did still receive the most screen time. In stark contrast, the Sixth Doctor’s part was greatly reduced when Christopher Lloyd revealed his disinterest in the project and threatened to pull out. [4]

    The story would consist of four parts, but would be more akin to an anthology of connected stories. Throughout, the alternate Fourth Doctor, accompanied by an alternate Brigadier and Rachel, would try to defeat the Chronovore, also acting as a framing story for the other Doctors’ battles against the creature. Despite this, no old companions would be asked to return, for fear of over-crowding the story. [5]

    The first episode would encompass the Second and Third Doctor battling the Chronovore, the second documenting the Fifth and Seventh Doctors’ battles, the third focussing on the Eighth Doctor, while the final episode would see the Doctors uniting to put an end to the Chronovore’s changes to time.

    The Dark Dimension would also see an alternate theme produced, to highlight its alternate historical setting. Music group Cybertech would be brought in to produce the theme and background music for the episode, covering for Lindsey Buckingham. This season would also be Buckingham’s last as composer, as he decided to focus on more commercial endeavours once more. [6]

    While alternate versions of many enemies would appear in The Dark Dimension, most of the enemies of the season would be new to the season. The Cybermen, however, would appear twice, with two designs. Their first appearance would see them with the The Cyber Invasion design, while their second, in The Dark Dimension, would make use of the rejected design for that film. The design would be highly controversial at the time, with many complaining that it was too scary, and others criticising that it was too much of a departure from the more classic designs. [7]

    The Chronovore would primarily be rendered in computer imagery for its native form, but it would also have a human form, as it posessed a character called “Professor Hawkspur”. Hawkspur would be played by English actor Malcolm McDowell. McDowell agreed to appear as he was the maternal uncle of Eighth Doctor actor Siddig El-Fadil. [8]

    The return of classic actors Lalla Ward and Deborah Watling, along with the reappearance of Nicholas Courtney, would be met with positive reception from fans. In addition, new guest stars like Adam Arkin would be followed closely as fans speculated as to who the next Doctor could be. The writers were refusing to give any hints, and it would not be until half-way through the season that they would reveal who would be playing the Ninth Doctor. [9]

    1993 would bring the biggest season of Doctor Who yet, as excitement mounted for the anniversary story and the return of many old characters.

    [1] He's not writing for Doctor Who just yet, but he will be soon. I'm going to start hinting stuff for the future now, as I've hit a massive creative flow.
    [2] The People From Nowhere is one of at least five stories this season written by @The Chimera Virus. He writes the opening three stories and a couple of others throughout the season. Also present will be a story by @Drorac, who wrote the Seventh Doctor's final story.
    [3] I'm using the basic premise of that unproduced story, but as we don't really know anything more about it, I've taken it in my own direction. Much of this update is about that one story.
    [4] At this point, Lloyd has a successful film career, and so he's still sort of moved on from Doctor Who.
    [5] I originally had other companions come back, but realised that it didn't make much sense within the context of the story, and I wasn't really sure what to do with them.
    [6] Yes, the Cybertech that did the Dimensions in Time theme. The theme will be quite different. I'd imagine it being much closer to the non-club mix on their first album, which I was introduced to by @The Chimera Virus. Thanks again for that!
    [7] I love those "Dark Dimension" designs. Taken straight from OTL too. I also think that they would be very scary at the time, especially for children, though the entire story will be pretty dark. They'll be remembered for a good while.
    [8] He can do a villain brilliantly, and there's a good reason for him to be involved if Siddig suggests it. He was nearly in DS9, should Siddig have directed an episode of it he would have appeared.
    [9] You'll find out who on Friday. I'm looking forward to revealing it.
    Chapter XXXVIII: "Your Future Secured?"
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part II, Chapter XXXVIII: "Your Future Secured?"

    “I was pretty comfortable with leaving at the end of my third season. It ended working out well with the anniversary story. Three seasons was what Hugh [Laurie] recommended to me, to avoid being typecast. I ended up being typecast anyway, but that’s another story. The point is, at the time at least, I was pretty sure that the show was in safe hands with Cartmel. I knew who my successor was, and I liked them. But I think Cartmel had a hard time learning from his mistakes at times.”​

    - Siddig El-Fadil, taken from An Adventure in Space and Time. [1]

    Compared to the previous two seasons, Season 27 was starting from a much stronger position. The fans had largely been won over by the previous season, and a large level of hype had been built up in the lead-up to the thirtieth anniversary.

    The pairing of Siddig and Anderson was proving to be a popular one, and fans were interested to see the duo interact with previous companions and Doctors, as was being teased.

    Season 27 of Doctor Who began airing on Sunday 16th May 1993. It was the sixth season of the revival series.

    List of Episodes of Season 27 of Doctor Who: [2]
    1. The People From Nowhere (Part 1)
    2. The People From Nowhere (Part 2)
    3. Boom City (Part 1)
    4. Boom City (Part 2)
    5. Despair for Sale (Part 1)
    6. Despair for Sale (Part 2)
    7. Ideals (Part 1)
    8. Ideals (Part 2)
    9. Closed Circle (Part 1)
    10. Closed Circle (Part 2)
    11. As You Were
    12. Christmas on a Rational Planet (Part 1)
    13. Christmas on a Rational Planet (Part 2)
    14. Christmas on a Rational Planet (Part 3)
    15. Happy Hunting (Part 1)
    16. Happy Hunting (Part 2)
    17. The Black Sunrise (Part 1)
    18. The Black Sunrise (Part 2)
    19. Meltdown (Part 1)
    20. Meltdown (Part 2)
    21. Premonitions (Part 1)
    22. Premonitions (Part 2)
    23. The Dark Dimension (Part 1)
    24. The Dark Dimension (Part 2)
    25. The Dark Dimension (Part 3)
    26. The Dark Dimension (Part 4)
    Bold denotes a story written by @The Chimera Virus. Italics denotes a story by @Drorac.

    Cast of Season 27 of Doctor Who (abridged): [3]
    • The Eighth Doctor – Siddig El-Fadil
    • Dr. Rachel Vance – Gillian Anderson
    • The Master – J. E. Freeman
    • The Monk – Eric Idle
    • Romana – Lalla Ward

    Season 27 of Doctor Who was met with positive critical reviews. Critics praised the performances of Siddig and Anderson, drawing particular note to The Dark Dimension, where critics commented that they still stood out among more experienced actors. The Dark Dimension received particular praise, with it drawing the highest figures of any Doctor Who story up to that point. [4]

    With the Ninth Doctor on their way, fans were excited for the future of the show. [5]

    [1] Read into that what you will.
    [2] The key is below that list, but as you can see, I'm writing fewer and fewer stories. That will speed things along a bit. Some of @The Chimera Virus's stories are based on unproduced stories or VNAs, but he's adapted them for the ATL Eighth Doctor.
    [3] This is very abridged. There's a good amount of guest stars too. I'm editing the previous update to mention a couple of them.
    [4] I think that's reasonable. It's a big "event" in television. Doctor Who has a big fan base in the US now, so almost every one of them is going to want to watch it at its original airing.
    [5] Only three days until you find out who they are. I've enjoyed your thoughts so far, and I think you might be surprised by who it is.
    Overview of Season 27 of Doctor Who
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Overview of Season 27 of Doctor Who

    “You’ve changed appearance, I see.”​
    “You haven’t.”
    “Yes, well you see, I’ve been careful. What number are you on now?”
    “This would be my, let me see, eighth body.”
    “Eighth? Well, if it’s a midlife crisis you’re having it certainly explains why you’re so young.”
    - Romana and the Eighth Doctor discuss regeneration shortly after reuniting in Closed Circle.

    The People from Nowhere by @The Chimera Virus
    After being condemned by the Time Lords at the end of This Sceptred Isle, the Doctor and Rachel find themselves stranded in contemporary Croydon, England with nothing except a smaller-on-the-inside TARDIS, a crummy rowhouse, and a whole lot of suspicious neighbors. Soon, UNIT comes calling with reports of strange silhouettes sneaking into homes in the dead of night and spiriting people away. There’s no apparent pattern – gender, age, sexuality, religion, location… nothing adds up. Just when everyone’s wits begin to reach their end, Rachel starts to see shadowy figures in her peripheral vision and hear distant voices that hiss for her to accept their all-consuming embrace…​
    Guest Stars: Marina Sirtis as Brigadier Winifred Bambera and John Levene as Warrant Officer John Benton​

    Boom City by @The Chimera Virus
    Having managed to procure a makeshift relative dimensional stabilizer from the alternate dimension Rachel was drawn into in The People from Nowhere, the Doctor plots a course for Boom City. This is a huge Dyson sphere located near the epicenter of civilized space (relative to the 51st Century). While taking a look around, the Doctor and Rachel find that many people have wandered off in a trance lately, all going to work for the Emoter, a charismatic quadriplegic who used to be the Lord Mayor of Boom City until he suffered a dreadful accident. Furthermore, he has intergalactically renowned opera singer Corona Moonblink under his spell and plans to use her as an unlikely assassin by concentrating her high notes into a sonic boom to kill his successor, Lord Mayor Lyman Rex, in revenge for crippling him. The TARDIS crew must take down the Emoter, liberate his victims, and topple a government all in the span of one night.​
    Guest Stars: Adam Arkin as the Emoter and Leontyne Price as Corona Moonblink​

    Despair for Sale by @The Chimera Virus
    Now in possession of a proper relative dimensional stabilizer, the TARDIS brings the Doctor and Rachel to Zelanix IX, a distant Earth Empire colony world. Here, humans, Draconians, and Silurians live in peace… or, well, they’re supposed to by all accounts. The time travelers find the planet under constant overcast with the occasional rumble of thunder – it’s been like this for months with not a drop of rain. The local ecosystem and agriculture are both in a very bad way. Depression has run rampant. The only other thing that stands out is a recent visit by a group of Lachrymoid salespeople. Just as the Doctor and Rachel resolve to get to the bottom of things, however, a booming, synthesized voice rings out: “Citizens of Zelanix IX, we bring you salvation. Join us and escape your sorrow; be free of all weakness. Become like us – become Cybermen.”​

    The Doctor and Rachel are summoned to the Land of Fiction by its new master who has, unbeknownst to them, been installed by the Monk. He reveals that many fictional villains have escaped from the Land of Fiction, and tasks the Doctor with retrieving them. While capturing the villains will be an easy task, they find out that another escapee is the Doctor’s fictional self, whose more simplified morals are wreaking havoc on the disputed planet of Gravis V.​
    Guest Star: Eric Idle as the Monk​

    Closed Circle
    The TARDIS is summoned back to E-Space by Romana. Romana reunites with the Doctor, commenting on his altered appearance. She reveals that the Time Lords have discovered that she is in E-Space and have sent agents from the Celestial Investigation Agency to retrieve her. As the Doctor and Romana catch up on all of their adventures since they parted ways, they must deal with the Time Lord agents coming for them both.​
    Guest Stars: Lalla Ward as Romana, John Leeson as K9​

    As You Were
    Have you ever wondered what your past self would think of you? For the inhabitants of the planet Tarnus, they need only ask. The Doctor and Rachel are, at first, intrigued by the computer system that allows them to perform this feat. But why are the past selves becoming so judgemental towards the inhabitants’ choices? And why are they urging them to build a device that the Doctor claims will open a portal to the other side of the universe?​

    Christmas on a Rational Planet by @The Chimera Virus
    An end to history. An end to certainty. Is that too much to ask?”
    The TARDIS crew come face-to-face with a gynoid - which the Doctor says are not built but simply exist, unlike androids, and distort the universe around them. Knowing something is wrong, the TARDIS tracks down a critical threat to reality. New York State, 1799 - the Age of Reason is ending, and Satanic conspiracies lurk around every corner. While Rachel is trapped aboard the TARDIS with someone designed especially to murder her, the Doctor is stranded in a town where festive cheer and random acts of violence go hand-in-hand. His investigation is hampered by both the evils of racism and the fact that the End of the Age of Reason isn't just something from Earth's history anymore. It will be very real consequence of what's to come unless he can stop the Carnival Queen, an entity comprised of all the irrationality purged from Time Lord souls. Christmas is coming to town, and the end of civilization is hot on its heels.​

    Happy Hunting
    The Doctor and Rachel continue their travels, but find that something is stalking them. Determined to find out what it is, they lay a trap for it on Rachel’s home planet, Beta Caprisis. The trap sprung, they find that it is the Master, who has been rescued from the doomed Cheetah Planet by the Time Lords. The Master reveals that he has been tasked with capturing the Doctor and taking him back to Gallifrey, after the Time Lords realise that he has repaired his TARDIS. The High Council is ordering the return of all Time Lords to prevent further damage to the Web of Time. When the Master frees himself, Rachel and the Doctor must face an already dangerous foe now armed with the latest Gallifreyan technology.​
    Guest Star: J. E. Freeman as the Master​

    The Black Sunrise by @Drorac
    The Doctor arrives on the beaches of Iceland in the year 2430 only to find radical changes to the Earth, notably a Black Sun. All across the island there are cases of disappearances, and strange black cubes that have randomly appeared one morning, and while the Doctor tries to figure out what is going on, the Nightmare Patrol close their grip on humanity.​
    Guest Star: Charlie Higson as Captain Valk [1]​
    Meltdown by @The Chimera Virus
    For a woman born in the 19th Century, Victoria Waterfield has adjusted well to life in the 20th. She's sure that she's doing her absent friends, the Doctor and Jamie, proud with her anti-nuclear activism. There's a new nuclear facility near Holton le Clay, and Victoria is all prepared to protest when, suddenly, she's abducted by the Pleyarec - man-sized lizards in SWAT armor. The Doctor is nearby, they inform her, and she'll be their sleeper agent… her job is to kill him and halt his vigilante meddling in "police business." Meanwhile, the Doctor and Rachel meet Victoria's protester friends and come to find out that the nuclear facility isn't all that it seems. Why do the supply trucks arrive from 600 million years ago? What does Dominic, the plant director's mysterious assistant, have to do with the Terrible Zodin? And how do the Doctor and Rachel plan to stop that fiendish femme fatale from detonating the entire plant in, oh… about one hour?​
    Guest Stars: Deborah Watling as Victoria Waterfield and Brent Spiner as Dominic/Dominicus​

    The Doctor and Rachel track the Monk down to Earth in 1974, confident that he is the source of the damage to the Web of Time. Once again, they find that history has been altered, but this time, more subtly. The Monk, however, maintains innocence, claiming that something else is causing the changes to history. When the Monk is attacked by an unseen alien foe, the Doctor and Rachel realise that they are in grave danger. Pursued across time and space by the entity, the Doctor decides to face it alone, leaving Rachel on Earth. [2]​
    Guest Star: Eric Idle as the Monk​

    [1] Higson's almost a complete unknown at this point, and I'm guessing that many/most of you don't know who he is. This is more of a note that he appears in the story, rather than him being a proper "guest star".
    [2] This is where the story finishes, leading directly into The Dark Dimension.
    So, no update tomorrow, most likely. Next update will be The Dark Dimension's plot synopsis. That's coming out on Friday, the one year anniversary of the start of this timeline. That's worked out rather nicely.
    Doctor Who: The Dark Dimension
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Doctor Who: The Dark Dimension

    Part I: May Memory Restore Again and Again

    “Something has gone very wrong with time, Rachel. I don’t know exactly how or when, but I know. And we must do all that is in our power to fix it.”
    - The Fourth Doctor speaking to Rachel and the Brigadier, after the Chronovore alters the Doctor’s personal history.

    On Earth in the year 2148, humanity is nearly extinct. One of the few remaining rebel groups treks across the wasteland. Their leader, Summerfield, discovers a body on what appears to be a battlefield. Turning it over, she recognises that it is the Eighth Doctor. The group holds a funeral for the Doctor, sending his body off to sea, setting it on fire. Summerfield tells the group that they must “finish what he started”, and begin tracking the creature that killed him.

    They track the being down, finding it to be made entirely of chronal energy, a Chronovore. Hypothesizing that sending it into the time vortex would kill it, Summerfield sends it back in time with an improvised time corridor. Unbeknownst to her, the being survives the journey, and arrives in England in 1937, where it takes over the body of Professor Oliver Hawkspur, a professor of Physics. Hawkspur sets off, travelling to the Pharos Project, averting the Fourth Doctor’s fatal fall. Suddenly, there is a white flash.

    On Earth in 1993, the Fourth Doctor, travelling with his companions Dr. Rachel Vance and the Brigadier, realises that his personal history has been altered, but is unsure as to how. The Earth of this alternate 1993 is far more chaotic, as it is seen that Hawkspur has altered history to put himself into power on Earth, allying himself with a myriad of the Doctor’s foes. The Doctor recalls his personal history, finding memories forming of his second and third selves battling Hawkspur and losing.

    During his work for the Celestial Investigation Agency, the Second Doctor is helping a group of refugees flee from the Sontaran-Rutan war. While evacuating one group, he finds that the battle has abruptly stopped, and is confronted by a squadron of Sontarans. In order to save the human refugees, the Doctor allows himself to be captured. The Sontarans take him to their ship, where Hawkspur reveals that he has put an end to the war, and has rallied the two against a common foe, the Doctor.

    The Third Doctor is working with UNIT, researching psychic energy, and decides to visit Professor Herbert Clegg, a man who has developed psychic powers. While en-route, he is contacted by the Brigadier, who tells him that UNIT is under attack from giant spiders. Returning to assist UNIT, the Doctor is met by Hawkspur. Hawkspur tells the Doctor that he intercepted the package containing the Metebelis crystal, and has given it to the Eight Legs, in exchange for an alliance. Hawkspur grabs the Doctor and they disappear, leaving UNIT to be overrun.

    Part II: The Smallest Colour of the Smallest Day

    “I’ve lived many lives, but what I’m remembering, they’re not lives I’ve lived. Perhaps they are the lives I might have lived, had things gone differently. No, the lives I should have lived. If we can, we must save them.”
    - The Fourth Doctor realises the significance of his new memories.

    The Fourth Doctor, Rachel and the Brigadier hide in an abandoned London Underground station while Hawkspur’s forces patrol. The Doctor begins to receive visions of himself, but with faces he cannot recall.

    The Fifth Doctor lands on the planet Androzani Minor, suddenly finding that Peri is missing. He searches the caves for her, but is captured by General Chellak after a short pursuit. Chellak takes him to Trau Morgus, who controls the mining business on Androzani Minor. Morgus keeps the Doctor under guard by androids until his “benefactor” arrives. The benefactor is revealed to be Hawkspur, who has aided Morgus by altering events to increase demand for Spectrox. In exchange, Hawkspur wanted Morgus to capture the Doctor when he arrives.

    The Fourth Doctor realises that Hawkspur is capturing his past selves for some unknown reason, and begins to create a plan to free them. He tells Rachel and the Brigadier of another version of himself he saw that might be able to give them an advantage.

    The Seventh Doctor arrives on the planet Karn, having received a call from across the universe. However, he finds nobody there to greet him, and decides instead to investigate the nearby castle. The castle itself is of Gallifreyan design, and the Doctor finds a cache of weapons designed by Morbius. The Doctor decides to return to the TARDIS to get equipment to safely dispose of the weapons, but is confronted by Hawkspur en-route. It is clear to the Doctor, however, that Hawkspur is unaware of the weapons, and is there for him. The Doctor manages to escape, fleeing to Earth in 2164, during the Dalek invasion of Earth. However, he finds that Hawkspur has followed him there, and takes him after the Doctor is cornered by a squadron of Special Weapons Daleks.

    The Fourth Doctor realises that the faces he does not recognise are his future selves from the “correct” timeline, and that Hawkspur is intervening in history to capture every version of the Doctor from shortly before their regeneration. What Hawkspur intends to do with them, however, he does not know. He tells Rachel and the Brigadier to organise with the local rebel bands to stage an assault on Hawkspur’s fortified Houses of Parliament, from which he rules the world. While they object, the Doctor tells them that they will have a better chance of defeating Hawkspur if they know his plans, and they cannot do so without one of them confronting him.

    The Doctor leaves, letting himself be captured by a patrol, who take him to Hawkspur.

    Part III: Time is the School in Which We Learn

    “A wise man from this planet once said ‘Time is the fire in which we burn’, Doctor. I am your fire Doctor. A testament to all of you and your kind’s damage to time itself. And now, I am here, and I will burn Gallifrey to ash, and I will make you, every version of you that ever has or will exist, watch as I destroy the Time Lords.”
    - Hawkspur reveals his plans.

    The Fourth Doctor is brought before Hawkspur. Hawkspur reveals that he (the Chronovore) manifested as a result of the damages to the Web of Time, and it is his purpose to rectify them. The Time Lords, he elaborates, are the cause of almost all of the damages, and so he intends to completely obliterate Time Lord society. As many of the species of the universe also hold grudges against the Time Lords, he has gathered them into a coalition to destroy them.

    The Fourth Doctor is taken to a prison cell, where he finds four (Second, Third, Fifth, Seventh) of his other selves. The Fourth Doctor reveals that he is native to this timeline, unlike the others, and has the memories of each of them being captured. He also tells them that Hawkspur is unaware of the weapons on Karn, and suggests that they use the knowledge of the weapons as a distraction to get Hawkspur away from Earth momentarily.

    The Fourth Doctor has another vision, this time of the Eighth Doctor. The Eighth Doctor arrives on Earth in 1986, fleeing the Chronovore. He soon finds that the Cybermen that are invading have a design much different to how they should from his memories. As he rushes to disarm the Z-bombs that the Cybermen plan to use to destroy Earth, he is captured by a group of Cybermen. He is taken aboard one of their vessels, where the Cyber-Commander comments that this is “the second Doctor that they have captured” and decides to kill the first. Hawkspur appears, having been informed of the Doctor’s capture. The Cyber Commander reveals that as they have captured two people that match the descriptions given, they have “disposed” of the first one they captured. Hawkspur rages at them, stating that he required both the First and Eighth Doctor, but will now have to make do with just the Eighth.

    The Eighth Doctor is brought to the cell by Hawkspur. While Hawkspur is in earshot, the Fourth Doctor mentions the weapons on Karn. Hawkspur returns to the cell, taking the Fourth Doctor, demanding that he show him where the weapons are on Karn. They appear on Karn, where the Doctor begins to lead Hawkspur to the castle, via a circuitous route, hoping to buy as much time for his alternate selves as possible.

    Back in the cell, the Second Doctor feigns injury to lure in a guard. When the guard enters, the Third Doctor takes him out with Venusian Aikido, and the five Doctors still in the cell escape. The Fifth Doctor tells the Eighth that they have been told to give a signal to the rebels, that will lead to an assault that should allow for them to escape the building. The Seventh Doctor sneaks into a communications room, broadcasting a coded message. Shortly after, the rebels attack, leading the guards in the building to defend it, leaving the Doctors free to work unimpeded. The Fifth and Seven Doctors go to a medical room to grab supplies for the rebels, instead finding their Sixth self, who has been injured by a gunshot. The Seventh Doctor recognises this as the injury that led to the Sixth Doctor regenerating.

    The Second and Third Doctors begrudgingly work together to find their captured TARDISes. They find that the vault containing them is still under guard, but the Second Doctor distracts them by playing his recorder, allowing the Third Doctor to take them out and open the vault. Meanwhile, on Karn, the Fourth Doctor leads Hawkspur into the castle, revealing the cache of weapons. As Hawkspur takes stock of them, the Fourth Doctor is rescued by the Third Doctor in his TARDIS. Hawkspur rages again as he realises the deception.

    The other Doctors take their own TARDISes, with the Sixth Doctor momentarily patched up by the Fifth and Seventh. The Fourth Doctor returns to Rachel and the Brigadier, who reveals that although they have the upper hand for now, there is still work to be done is defeating Hawkspur.

    Part IV: Time is the Fire in Which We Burn

    “A small sacrifice to make, for my own continued existence, don’t you think? I know now that my future is in safe hands.”
    - The Fourth Doctor realises what he must do to defeat Hawkspur.

    The Fourth Doctor picks up Rachel and the Brigadier, to whom he explains that he and his other selves are splitting up for the moment, but are going to reconvene on Earth in 2148, which they have identified as the point where the Chronovore is most vulnerable.

    Hawkspur returns to his fortress, finding that all the Doctors have escaped. He tracks them to 2148 Earth, where he originally killed the Eighth Doctor, creating this new timeline. Hawkspur travels there, finding the seven Doctors waiting for him. As he goes to attack the Second Doctor, he finds himself trapped inside an energy field. The Fourth Doctor explains that they knew he would follow them there, and improvised a device to trap him in chronal energy. Hawkspur attempts to teleport out with his abilities, but is unable to. The Fifth Doctor activates a device, causing the TARDISes to transmit beams of chronal energy into Hawkspur, hoping to obliterate him from the timestream, removing any effects of his ever existing.

    However, the energy empowers Hawkspur, who is then able to break out of the energy field. He declares that the Doctor will not live to see Gallifrey burn, and disappears. The Second Doctor suddenly disappears too, and the Doctors realise that Hawkspur is erasing the Doctor from history. The Fourth Doctor realises that Hawkspur could be destroyed by a time ram from a TARDIS, but doing so would destroy the version of the Doctor that did so, and their TARDIS too. The Eighth Doctor initially volunteers, but the Fourth Doctor says that he must do it instead, as this version of him would vanish when the timeline is destroyed. The Fourth Doctor bids farewell to his other selves, Rachel and the Brigadier, returning to his TARDIS. There, he performs a time ram on Hawkspur, obliterating the Chronovore, and erasing the changes he made to history.

    The Eighth Doctor wakes up in his TARDIS with Rachel, retaining his memories of the event. However, he realises that his existence is still at stake, as while the Fourth Doctor no longer survives his fall from the Pharos Project, he is not regenerating, as the Watcher seems to be absent from history. He echoes the words of the alternate Fourth Doctor he met, and tells Rachel that he must leave her, on Earth, remarking that he may return for her some day, but that he will be different.

    The Eighth Doctor travels across his own time stream, observing the events leading up to his fourth regeneration. Due to his existence still being undecided, he cannot properly be perceived by the Doctor or his companions, instead appearing as a ghostly white figure. The Eighth Doctor intervenes to ensure that events play out as they should, finally arriving before the Fourth Doctor, dying. The Doctor’s injuries are stopping the regeneration process from beginning, but the Eighth Doctor realises that he can cause it by providing “a little push” as K’ampo had for his third regeneration. However, as the Doctor is unskilled, he cannot do so without causing himself to regenerate.

    The Fourth Doctor sees his future self, remarking “It’s the end, but the moment has been prepared for”, as the form of the Eighth Doctor becomes clearer to him. The Eighth Doctor provides the ‘jump-start’ for his fourth regeneration, and returns to his own TARDIS, weakening as his own regeneration process begins. As he collapses on the floor of his TARDIS, he is engulfed by white light, then awakens renewed in a new body. The Ninth Doctor is here.

    Ninth Doctor.png


    Cast of The Dark Dimension:
    • The Fourth Doctor – Tom Baker​
    • Professor Oliver Hawkspur – Malcolm McDowell​
    • The Eighth Doctor – Siddig El-Fadil​
    • Dr. Rachel Vance – Gillian Anderson​
    • The Brigadier – Nicholas Courtney​
    • The Second Doctor – Patrick Troughton​
    • The Third Doctor – Jon Pertwee​
    • The Fifth Doctor – Peter Davison​
    • The Sixth Doctor – Christopher Lloyd​
    • The Seventh Doctor – Hugh Laurie​
    • The First Doctor – William Hartnell (archive footage)​
    • The Ninth Doctor – Avery Brooks​

    So, this timeline is one year old, and the timing of this ended up working really well. Biggest Doctor Who yet, and I'm pretty happy with the story. All the Doctors get a chance to shine if the actor wants it. Also, as you can tell, you sort of shifted me over with the First Doctor. While he only appears tangentially, as the First Doctor is killed, I thought I'd bring him in anyway. Also, you finally know who the Ninth Doctor is, and why Avery Brooks couldn't play Sisko when he was offered the role. I'd be more than happy to hear your feedback on the story. There's a few pretty blatant references to OTL's Star Trek Generations with the episode titles and the quote Hawkspur gets. I've also tied up the "what is the Watcher?" question, which may annoy some of you, but I think it bookends the story nicely. Hawkspur stops the Doctor from dying there, and the Doctor decides to die there twice. There's a lot of stuff here that will be important down the line, but that's all to come. Next update, casting for Season 28 of Doctor Who. Then a bit of a break from Who and Trek for a couple of updates.
    Chapter XXXIX: "The Moment Has Been Prepared For"
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part II, Chapter XXXIX: "The Moment Has Been Prepared For"

    “1993 was without a doubt, the biggest year for my career. After all, I got offers from both of the big science fiction franchises of the time to play the lead character in a television show. In the end, Doctor Who got in first, so I took them up. I had a good time there, even is a lot of the other cast and crew didn’t. That’s one of the reasons that I’ve revisited the character so much. I always felt like he had unfinished business.”​
    - Avery Brooks, taken from An Adventure in Space and Time. [1]

    When Siddig El-Fadil announced his intention to leave Doctor Who following its twenty-seventh season, the fans began speculating as to who would replace him. Taking inspiration from the casting of Siddig, some fans believed that the Ninth Doctor would be played by an actor who had guest starred in the show. Others thought that the producers would opt for another actor from a minority background, to further promote the show’s themes of diversity.

    This latter group’s theorising would be confirmed when the announcement was made in mid-1993 that the Ninth Doctor would be portrayed by Avery Brooks, an African-American actor. Brooks’s name had been floated as a possibility during the casting of the Eighth Doctor, so many fans were unsurprised by his casting. Prior to his work in Doctor Who, Brooks was best known for his role as “Hawk” in the Spenser television series, and its spinoff, A Man Called Hawk.

    It was the hope of the producers that by casting an African-American actor in the role of the Doctor, they could continue to explore the themes of prejudice and racism that they had begun to with the Eighth Doctor. [2]

    In contrast to the casting of the Seventh or Eighth Doctors, Brooks was offered the role without auditioning. In fact, no auditions for the character were held, as the producers had already settled on Brooks as a first choice. Andrew Cartmel, head writer, was particularly keen on Brooks, as he saw that Brooks was capable of bringing the mix of humour and seriousness that the role of the Doctor so often demanded.

    It was Cartmel’s hope that Brooks could bring a darker, but still well-humoured, version of the Doctor to the screen, as he intended to continue with his plans of exploring the past of the Doctor and Time Lord society. [3]

    But every Doctor needs a companion, and Gillian Anderson had also made it clear that if Siddig was leaving, she would be too. As a result, a new companion needed to be written and cast. Cartmel created the character of Jennifer Davies, a student at the University of Washington. Making the companion a student would, it was the writers’ hope, allow for the show to make a soft return to its roots as an educational program.

    In casting the role of Jennifer, Cartmel decided that he wanted a young American woman, as had been the case with the previous three female companions. Many actresses auditioned, but eventually the role was won by actress Winona Ryder. Ryder was best known for her role as Lydia Deets in the 1988 film Beetlejuice, but had fallen into relative obscurity since then. [4]

    From a more technical standpoint, Season 27 of Doctor Who would also be the final season to feature musician Lindsey Buckingham as the composer for the show. Buckingham was hoping to get back into mainstream music, and felt that his work with Doctor Who was holding him back in that regard.

    Buckingham’s past with Fleetwood Mac had lent the show’s music a different feel, and the producers were keen to get another musician with a background in popular music on board to replace him. Initially, they approached Hans Zimmer, who had recently begun working in popular music, but was busy with The Lion King, an upcoming Disney film.

    In fact, the new composers would approach the producers on the show, offering their services. Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert, both members of the recently disbanded New Order, were fans of the show, and upon hearing of Buckingham’s departure, were interested in taking his place. The producers agreed to bring them on, and they would begin scoring with Season 28, to be released in 1994. [5]

    As 1994 came, Doctor Who was fresh off of a successful anniversary story, with a new Doctor and companion. The fandom seemed more excited than ever for the next season of the show, and it looked as though nothing could go wrong. [6]

    [1] There was a time not too long ago when I wouldn't dare hinting as strongly as to what will happen as I am in this update.
    [2] The Ninth Doctor's skin colour will by no means be his defining feature, but it will be important at some points, because well, this is a show involving time travel where the characters often go the the past.
    [3] The Cartmel Masterplan is BACK! Coincidentally, that is also the name of the document where I plan who will be the Doctor and their companions, but for different reasons.
    [4] I'll make this clear in another update, but Heathers ITTL has two different leads to OTL. While in OTL we got Ryder and Slater, ITTL we have Brad Pitt and Jennifer Connelly. As a result, Ryder's film career hasn't taken off like it has in OTL, which has some other surprisingly major effects down the line.
    [5] I must thank @Time Enough for bringing these two to my attention. He suggested them right at the beginning of this timeline, and I've finally found a way to use them.
    [6] As I said in the first footnote. I'm hinting much more strongly now than I used to. Helps to build suspense in the story. Nice.
    Chapter XL: "Bigger Than Ever"
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part II, Chapter XL: "Bigger Than Ever"

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

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

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

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

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

    Plot Synopsis of Eldorado: [3]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    [1] The title of this update was nearly a reference to the album, but I wanted to go for the obvious size pun.
    [2] Regrettably, this is how a lot of Gilliam's films end up. Really good, but don't make a huge amount at the box office.
    [3] Alright, I'm not going to put footnotes everywhere in the synopsis, so they're here. This isn't even my interpretation of the album, just a version that I think would work well on screen. It's quite surreal, but it's the sort of film I'd enjoy watching. The end takes inspiration from a few different places, one of them the TNG story State of Mind.
    [4] Minimalist cast. Only four "main" roles. Marian, the Boss and Dr. Kingdom all appear in the dreams as various characters. Also, with the exception of Branagh, all people that Gilliam has worked with before.
    [5] I'll asmit it. I only made Eldorado into a film ITTL so I could make Time into a film as well. That being said, I had a lot of fun writing this update, and listening to Eldorado while I did so. I highly recommend it if you haven't listened to it before. It doesn't have a story anywhere near as concrete as here.
    Chapter XLI: "Back to Reality"
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part II, Chapter XLI: "Back to Reality"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Monthly Donor
    Part II, Chapter XLII: "Renewal"

    “Things really did feel different from the seventh season onward. We had a new main set, and both Carla and Christian had left the show. It really did feel like things were beginning to be drawn to a close.”​
    - Jonathan Frakes speaking about the seventh season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

    Season Seven of Star Trek: The Next Generation was shaping up to be quite different from any other season. The finale of Season Six had seen the destruction of the Enterprise-D, meaning that the crew were, for the time being, without a ship. The writers had come to the conclusion that they would take this opportunity to allow for any of the cast to leave or transfer over to the new show Deep Space Nine. This resulted in both Carla Gugino and Christian Slater leaving the show, necessitating a slightly revised main cast.

    It was decided that instead of writing characters to replace them, other pre-existing characters would take on their duties. To replace Leslie Crusher at the conn, Michelle Forbes would be promoted to a member of the main cast, with Ro Laren taking over the position on the bridge permanently. To cover for the lack of tactical officer, it was decided that Lt. Worf would also be given those duties, in addition to being Chief of Security.

    But more important than this was the new ship. The writers chose to leave the crew without a ship for a few episodes, to allow them time to explore the increasing militarisation of Starfleet on Earth. To differentiate the new ship, they would use a new design rather than staying with another Galaxy-class. Many designs would be submitted, but eventually the producers would settle on one that they would dub the Sovereign-Class. [1]


    The Galaxy-class Enterprise-D (left) and the Sovereign-class Enterprise-E (right).​

    The ship would be written as being on the cutting edge of Federation technology, developed in response to the growing Borg threat. This, along with the changing attitudes seen in the season, would present an idea of a Starfleet undergoing serious militarisation, something that would trouble much of the crew.

    The ship would not be the only thing that was changed this season, as the uniforms would also undergo an alteration. The primary alterations would be the addition of a plain coloured undershirt, and the moving of the division colour to the shoulders. [2]


    Comparison of the mid and late-TNG era uniforms (note: right image is taken from Deep Space Nine)​

    These changes would be met with mixed reception from fans, with some unhappy with the direction the show was being taken in. Most, however, were reasonably comfortable with the changes.

    The season would see the trend of Original Series actors returning, with Walter Koenig returning for the season finale Forgiveness (Part I). [3]

    As the season would be The Next Generation’s second-to-last, plans were being made for what would follow it up, as interest in continuing the franchise beyond Deep Space Nine and the film series built. [4]

    Star Trek: The Next Generation’s seventh season began airing in September 1993.

    [1] I've kept the Sovereign-class for two reasons. One: it's my second favourite ship class we see, after the Defiant-class. Two: it makes sense given the time period. In-universe in OTL, the class was in-production by this point, and the USS Sovereign was in service.
    [2] That's the other major visual change I've made for the season. I considered skipping the middle man and going straight for the First Contact-era uniforms, but decided against it.
    [3] As to why Chekov is still alive will be explained in the story. Forgiveness will be based on a script that was never made in OTL, as a few stories this season will.
    [4] There will be an update on this after I've done the first season of Deep Space Nine. It will cover a bit of what's coming up for Star Trek, both in terms of films and a television series to replace The Next Generation.
    Last edited:
    Chapter XLIII: "The More Things Change"
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part II, Chapter XLIII: "The More Things Change"

    “I think that there is some truth to the idea of The Next Generation suffering from seasonal rot. Our last two seasons weren’t bad, but by no means our best work. A lot of our good writers had started doing work on Deep Space Nine, or were beginning to get tired. After season seven, it was clear to us that we needed some new blood to freshen things up.”​
    -Rick Berman, on The Next Generation’s seventh season. [1]

    The seventh season of Star Trek: The Next Generation was a minor gamble for the show. With a new ship, new uniforms, new interiors and a slightly altered cast, it was clear that the last two seasons of the show would have a distinctly different aesthetic.

    While some fans expressed concern over the amount of changes being made so late in the show’s run, there were many things to be excited about for the season. As with the two previous seasons, a member of the Original Series cast would be returning, this time Walter Koenig as Pavel Chekov. In addition, Gates McFadden would be returning as Beverly Crusher early in the season. [2]

    Midway through the season, Christian Slater’s character of Andrew Kelly would depart, to begin appearing on Deep Space Nine, a move that would also see recurring actor Colm Meaney leave the show.

    The seventh season received positive reviews, though many considered it to be a weaker season overall than many of its predecessors. Fans were also divided over the new design for the ship, with some suggesting that the Enterprise-E should have been another vessel of the same class as the Enterprise-D.

    List of Episodes of Season 7 of Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    1. All Good Things… (Part II)​
    2. Conscientious Objection [3]​
    3. The Departed [4]​
    4. Shakedown [5]​
    5. Phantasms​
    6. Island of Tears [6]​
    7. The Pegasus​
    8. Limits [7]​
    9. Fare Thee Well [8]​
    10. Inheritance​
    11. Force of Nature​
    12. Birthright (Part I)​
    13. Birthright (Part II)​
    14. Reunion [9]​
    15. Prejudices [10]​
    16. Interface​
    17. Homeward​
    18. Lower Decks​
    19. Gambit (Part I)​
    20. Gambit (Part II)​
    21. A Piece of Reaction [11]​
    22. That Which We Manifest [12]​
    23. Dark Page​
    24. To Thine Own Self Be True [13]​
    25. The Mark [14]​
    26. Forgiveness (Part I) [15]​

    Cast of Season 7 of Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • Captain Julien Picard – Patrick Stewart​
    • Commander William Riker – Jonathan Frakes​
    • Lt. Cmdr. Data – Brent Spiner​
    • Dr. Amelia Henderson – Stephanie Beacham​
    • Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge – LeVar Burton​
    • Counselor (Lt. Cmdr.) Deanna Troi – Marina Sirtis​
    • Lt. Worf – Michael Dorn​
    • Lt. (j.g.) Ro Laren – Michelle Forbes​
    • Lt. (j.g.) Andrew Kelly – Christian Slater (Main: Episodes 1-9, Guest: Episode 12) [16]​

    By the time of the seventh season’s release, an eighth and final season had already been ordered. Plans for the future of the The Next Generation cast now primarily involved a shift to film, the planning for which was now underway.

    [1] TTL's TNG is not free of the seasonal rot, but they actually make an effort to do something about it, and are starting to bring in more writers, like they did with Straczynski on DS9.
    [2] Hinted at it earlier. Might go back and edit the previous update.
    [3] Focusses on much of the crew's objection to Starfleet becoming more military than exploratory, and their clashes with Picard, who is more on board with it.
    [4] Return of Dr. Crusher. Focusses on the crew moving on with their losses from the disastrous Breen mission, particularly the apparent death of Leslie Crusher.
    [5] The debut of the Enterprise-E, and deals with the crew's adjusting to the new ship.
    [6] An overtly environmental story. Undeveloped script from OTL.
    [7] One of two stories this season explicitly to do with warp. This one concerns the Warp 10 barrier (don't worry, it's not Threshold, I've taken my own spin on the whole thing).
    [8] Departure of Christian Slater as Lt. Kelly
    [9] Soft sequel to Tapestry, Picard reunites with Cortin and Marta. Undeveloped script from OTL.
    [10] Ro is framed for the murder of a Cardassian official. Undeveloped script from OTL.
    [11] The return of Sigma Iotia II from TOS. Undeveloped script from OTL.
    [12] Alien planet of the week episode.
    [13] Enterprise tries to provide aid to planet in Federation, but cultural boundaries cause issues. Undeveloped script from OTL.
    [14] Members of the crew begin being "marked for death".
    [15] Return of Chekov. Chekov acts as ambassador to species which tortured him, but begins to act suspiciously. Undeveloped script from OTL.
    [16] He's around for a little bit, mainly so that he can be brought onto Deep Space Nine by the Enterprise. Also, he appears in Birthright (Part I) because it sort of wouldn't make sense if he didn't.
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    Overview of Season 7 of Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Overview of Season 7 of Star Trek: The Next Generation

    All Good Things… (Part II)
    The Breen ship takes the last few survivors on board, providing medical aid. Reuniting with the remainder of the crew, the senior staff find that many are becoming suspicious of the Breen, accusing them of staging the incident in order to take out the Federation flagship with no repercussions.​

    Kelly becomes aware of a plan among the other Starfleet crew to take control of the Breen vessel, bringing it to the attention of Captain Picard. Picard informs the Breen commander, who has the offending officers placed under surveillance while en route back to Earth. While it is clear to much of the senior staff that the Breen had no hand in the destruction of the Enterprise, the increased security leads to increased suspicions among the other crew.​

    Upon returning to Earth Spacedock, Starfleet is shocked to learn of the destruction of the Enterprise, ordering a full investigation into the events that led to it. Picard also makes Starfleet Command aware of the suspicions of his crew, should an incident arise between the Breen crew and his. The Admiralty makes him aware that much of Starfleet holds the same opinion towards the Breen, as their secretive nature makes it difficult to tell their aims.​

    Some of the Breen crew are cornered by disgruntled members of the Enterprise crew, culminating in a fist fight, which the Breen win handily. Upon hearing of this, and the reasons why, the Breen announce that they will be withdrawing from the research mission, as it is clear that the Breen and Federation cultures are too different to allow for proper scientific exchange.​

    Picard tries to convince the Breen commander, to no avail. The commander expresses regret that the mission ended this way, but suggests that perhaps the Federation were expecting the Breen to act like them when on the mission, and that secrecy is inherent to the Breen way of life. Returning to Admiral Nechayev, Picard is informed that he will be provided with a new vessel, and that his crew may stay under his command should they wish, but that the vessel will not be completed for another month and a half.​

    Conscientious Objection
    Picard and the rest of the senior crew are summoned to Starfleet Headquarters, where they will be familiarised with their new vessel’s specifications. There, they find that their new vessel will be Sovereign-class, which has only just entered service, and is one of the most powerful vessels yet. The crew compliment will be reduced, in part due to the almost complete removal of civilians on-board. The senior staff clash as Picard supports the increasing militarisation to combat threats like the Borg, while many of the rest object to Starfleet moving away from its exploratory ideals.​

    The Departed
    Picard takes his time away from active duty to undergo a routine medical check, to avoid having to do so on the new ship. While at Starfleet Medical, he encounters Dr. Beverly Crusher, the Enterprise-D’s original Chief Medical officer. Picard tries to apologise that Dr. Crusher’s husband and daughter have now both died under his command, while the rest of the crew prepare to hold a service in Leslie’s memory.​
    Guest Star: Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher​

    Picard and the rest of the crew return to Earth Spacedock, where he is to be given command of the new USS Enterprise-E. Their first mission is to be a routine patrol of some of the Federation’s inner systems, so that the ship’s performance can be tested, and so that the crew can acquaint themselves with the new vessel. However, while on patrol, the Enterprise runs across a black market trade in progress. Attempts to catch the dealers are complicated by the crew’s lack of familiarity with the new vessel, and glitches in the new systems.​

    Data begins to experience strange dreams that often end in either him or another member of the crew coming to harm. When the new warp drive refuses to engage, and Data’s begins to hallucinate elements of his dreams and acting erratically, culminating in him attacking Troi, the crew begins to suspect that these events may be related, and that there may be some meaning to Data’s dreams.​

    Island of Tears
    The Enterprise arrives in orbit of a new colony on a planet with an intelligent, but not sapient native species. The planet is notable for containing large amounts of naturally-occurring dilithium. The large crystal lattices produce an energy field, which is being disturbed by the Federation’s mining efforts. When mutations begin to appear in the natives of the planet, the Enterprise finds a link between the dilithium mining and the mutations.​

    The Pegasus
    The Enterprise is ordered to the Romulan Neutral Zone after picking up Admiral Pressman. There, they are informed that they are to either recover or destroy the USS Pegasus, a ship that was thought missing. Riker reveals to Picard that when he was aboard the Pegasus, he helped Pressman escape from mutineers, but is under orders not to discuss the matter further. Picard finds his trust with Riker at risk when it becomes clear that Pressman is trying to hide something.​

    The Enterprise is fitted with a new warp core that will supposedly break the Warp 10 barrier, a “speed limit” on the universe. The experimental drive can supposedly reach warp 10.5, a speed that would allow for the Enterprise to cross the Federation’s entire territory in a matter of days, as opposed to months at its previous maximum warp. The drive, however, malfunctions when it approaches Warp 10, causing temporal bleeding effects, where parts of the ship seem to be operating minutes ahead or behind others.​

    Fare Thee Well
    Ensign Kelly and Transporter Chief O’Brien are offered positions on the Federation administered station Deep Space Nine, as Strategic Operations Officer and Chief of Operations respectively. While O’Brien accepts, as it will allow him to raise his daughter in a single location, Kelly has a harder time coming to a decision. Although it would come with a promotion to Lieutenant (junior grade), he is worried about moving away from the relative luxury of the Enterprise. Eventually, he accepts, hoping that it will help him move on from losing Leslie Crusher.​

    The Enterprise arrives at the planet Altrea IV to assist with efforts to stop an environmental disaster. While there, Data encounters a scientist that claims to be his “mother”, the former wife of Dr. Noonien Soong, his creator. Data is able to verify her claims, and begins to spend time with her. However, when he helps her in an emergency, he finds that she is an android, but unaware of it.​

    Force of Nature
    The Enterprise is sent to investigate the disappearance of the medical ship USS Fleming. While en-route, they encounter a Ferengi vessel that claims to have been attacked by Federation weapons. However, the Enterprise finds that the real attacker were a brother and sister who have disguised mines as navigational buoys. The pair claim that repeated warp travel is damaging space, and that it will eventually destroy their planet. While the crew of the Enterprise disagree with their methods of stopping warp travel, they do find evidence to back up their claims, threatening the future of travel in the galaxy.​

    Data begins dreaming again after an accident, finding it the result of a previously unknown subroutine in his systems. At the same time, while visiting Deep Space Nine, Worf meets a trader who claims that his father did not die at Khitomer, but was captured and is alive in a Romulan prison camp. When Worf arrives at the camp, he is told that his father was killed at Khitomer, but he is prevented from leaving by the Romulan guards, and must try to escape. Back on Deep Space Nine, the crew catch up with Kelly and O’Brien, learning of how they are getting on with their new positions.​

    Captain Picard is invited to a his Starfleet Academy class reunion. While there, he catches up with Marta and Cortin, learning that while he has had a greatly successful career, neither of them have made the same rise through the ranks that he has. While Cortin is envious of Picard, Marta congratulates him. Picard contemplates his relationship with his two old friends following the events of Tapestry, where he saw how things might have gone differently for them.​

    While visiting a planet near the Cardassian demilitarised zone, a Cardassian officer winds up dead shortly after a confrontation with Lt. Ro. Ro is the only suspect, and her views of Cardassians do not help with the situation. While she is adamant that she has been framed, the Cardassians demand that she be extradited to face trial on Cardassia, where she will certainly be found guilty.​

    La Forge, Data and Henderson test a new interface that would allow La Forge to remotely control a probe, allowing them to observe areas that would be too dangerous for most crewmembers to enter. When the testing is complete, La Forge receives a message that his mother’s ship has gone missing, and his mother is presumed dead. La Forge uses the probe to investigate, but soon finds that it is detrimental to his health.​

    The Enterprise receives a distress call from Worf’s brother Nikolai, who is an observer on a primitive planet that is about to undergo an extinction event. When Nikolai plans to save the people of the village he observes, he clashes with Picard over the Prime Directive, and whether it is right to save the people in the village while dooming the rest of the civilisation.​

    Lower Decks
    During personnel evaluations, four junior officers find that their friendships become strained. The evaluations could result in promotions, but two, Lavelle and Sito, find that they are up for the same job. Further strain becomes apparent when all but Lavelle are to be involved with a mission that Levelle is not informed of, and the others refuse to tell him about. Meanwhile, Sito undergoes evaluation, being tested by Worf and Picard.​

    During an archaeological dig, Picard is seemingly murdered. While most of the crew accept that he was killed in a fight, Riker sets about tracking down who it was that murdered him, stumbling upon a trail that leads him to one of the oldest archaeological sites in the quadrant. Riker is captured by mercenaries, who take him to a man called Baran. Picard is shown to be alive, but is seen to be working with Baran. Picard and Riker work together to take out Baran before he can assemble an ancient Vulcan weapon.​

    A Piece of Reaction
    The Enterprise is sent to evaluate the progress of Sigma Iotia II in adopting a more ethical form of government, instead finding that they are now dressing and acting like the crew of the original USS Enterprise, having reverse engineered technology from the tricorder Dr McCoy accidentally left behind. The crew battles as to whether they should change the Iotians, or if the Federation’s interference has done enough damage that they risk increasing by further interference with their culture.​

    That Which We Manifest
    The Enterprise receives a request for asylum by a member of the Alderan species, Halvera. She claims to be a renegade scientist that chose to go against her “regimen”. She reveals that on her planet, the everybody is given a state mandated “regimen”, which dictates what they are to do in life. An Alderan ship arrives, demanding that the Enterprise hand Halvera over. The Alderan species are still pre-warp, but have begun colonising their system. Refusing to hand Halvera over may constitute a breach of the Prime Directive, but most of the crew is opposed to her being refused asylum​

    Dark Page
    Lwaxana Troi returns to the Enterprise, as she is to act as a teacher to a race of telepathic aliens who wish to learn how to speak. When the Ambassador’s daughter falls into a pond on the holodeck, Lwaxana falls into a coma, and Deanna must travel into her mothers mind to rescue her. However, Lwaxana proves resistant, and is clearly trying to hide something from Deanna.​

    To Thine Own Self Be True
    An old friend of Riker and Troi’s, Derrick, comes aboard the ship to help in the provision of aid to his home planet. His planet is a Federation member, and is undergoing an environmental catastrophe, but refuses to accept aid. As Derrick explains the nuances of his culture, the Enterprise tries desperately to help the planet before it is destroyed.​

    The Mark
    After surveying a seemingly barren planet, members of the away team find themselves marked with a strange tattoo. When one of them dies, and the others begin to experience hallucinations and pains, they believe that they have been “marked for death”, and that they must have encountered something on the planet that they did not detect. Stakes are raised when other members of the crew, that were not part of the away team, find the tattoo on them.​

    Forgiveness (Part I)
    The Enterprise is asked to transport Ambassador Chekov to Starbase 315 where he is to oversee the opening of diplomatic relations between the Federation and the Gorvek, a people that he was prisoner of for thirty years.​

    When he first arrives on the Enterprise, he soon strikes up a friendship with Worf, with them bonding over their Russian heritage and Worf’s admiration of Chekov. On arrival at Starbase 315, things seem to be going well with the Gorvek, and Chekov bears them no enmity over his imprisonment, as he had broken their laws.​

    However, as the conference continues, things deteriorate when Chekov makes a series of faux pas. At first, these seem innocuous, but Picard begins to suspect that Chekov may be intentionally sabotaging the conference. Picard goes to confront Chekov, but is unable to find him on the station. He then receives an alert that the Enterprise is leaving the station without permission.​

    Upon hailing the Enterprise, they find that Chekov has commandeered the ship, and is intending to wage a one-man war on the Gorvek as revenge for his imprisonment and torture. Unbeknownst to him, Worf and Ro remain on board the ship, and set about stopping Chekov before he can devastate the Gorvek capital.​
    Guest Star: Walter Koenig as Ambassador Pavel Chekov​
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    Chapter XLIV: "Spinning Off"
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part II, Chapter XLIV: "Spinning Off"

    “For me, Deep Space Nine was an undertaking I’d never done before. Being on set every day for however many months it was back then was unfamiliar to me. The closest thing I’d done to that before was Pee Wee’s Playhouse, of all things. Thankfully, I had the rest of the cast there to help me. Especially Sid [Siddig El-Fadil] and Christian [Slater], who had both been on shows like it. I don’t think I’d have made it through without them.”​
    - Laurence Fishburne on his role as Benjamin Sisko on the show Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. [1]

    Deep Space Nine was to take Star Trek in a direction it had not gone before. Firstly, having the primary setting being a space station, as opposed to a starship, meant that there would be an opportunity for there to be a larger recurring cast, with opportunity for all characters to undergo a large amount of character development. Secondly, the decision had been made for the show to have a larger underlying story that would be built on over the course of multiple seasons, should the show last that long.

    In addition, the show would present matters with more “realism”, showing that things were not always black and white, with a cast of characters with flaws, as opposed to the idealism that was more prevalent in The Next Generation. While some would criticise this move as being unfaithful to Roddenberry’s vision for the franchise, it would largely be praised. [2]

    The announcement of who would be starring in the show would help to build up the hype, as Emmy and Tony Award-winning actor Laurence Fishburne was announced as Commander Benjamin Sisko. He would be joined by Eighth Doctor actor Siddig El-Fadil, and Remington Steele star Pierce Brosnan. [3]

    The story of the show would be kicked off with the first story, “Emissary”, where Commander Sisko would be informed that he was “the Emissary of the Prophets”, the gods of the Bajorans, and that as such he was “a Bajoran not born of Bajor”. Following his discovery of a stable wormhole to the uncharted Gamma Quadrant near Bajor, he would find that the station, thought to be of little importance, was now a key strategic port for the Federation’s exploratory efforts.

    Though the show would lack a “hero ship”, the Excelsior-class ship USS Lakota and it’s crew would appear at multiple points throughout the show, as they patrol the Badlands, a region of space near Bajor. Its captain, John Sheridan, portrayed by Peter Capaldi, would strike up a friendship with Sisko as they find that they share many experiences, notably being veterans of the Battle of Wolf 359. [4]

    Actors Christian Slater and Colm Meaney would both reprise roles from The Next Generation, following their departure from that show in “Fare Thee Well”. While O’Brien would be used as the lovable “everyman” character, with a wife and child, Lt. Kelly would be, at times, a stand-in for the audience, as he adjusts from the luxuries he experienced on the Enterprise. Kelly’s apprehension towards his new environment would be contrasted by Siddig El-Fadil’s character, Dr. Julian Bashir, who would be fresh out of Starfleet Medical, and eager to be working away from the comforts of the inner systems. [5]

    The main cast would be rounded out by Nana Visitor, Famke Janssen, Rene Auberjonois, and Cirroc Lofton, who would play Major Kira Nerys, Lt. Jadzia Dax, Constable Odo and Jake Sisko respectively. They would be joined by many recurring characters, creating a far larger overall cast. [6]

    Expectations for the show would be high, as The Next Generation continued to receive praise. Promises that the show would take the franchise in a “new and bold direction” only served to raise them. In addition, Paramount was eyeing the show up to help it launch its upcoming network the following year, should it continue to perform well. Further, the commissioning of a follow-up series to The Next Generation was greatly dependent on how Deep Space Nine fared with retaining the audience of that show. [7]

    Needless to say, as the first season prepared to enter syndication, the pressure was on.

    [1] As with the DS9 of OTL and other shows of the franchise, I see the cast of the show remaining close, even after they leave or the show finishes/is cancelled.
    [2] Roddenberry actually greenlit the show before his death, just didn't want to have to have as great a level of control over it as he did with TNG.
    [3] The latter isn't part of the main cast, but his appearing will draw some people in.
    [4] These two paragraphs do have some overt Babylon 5 references. Capaldi isn't in the main cast, but expect him to appear a fair bit. The Lakota isn't just there as it's a ship that exists in OTL, but it's a name with a bit of signifigance to me. I'll be doing some stuff like that occasionally.
    [5] Interpersonal relationships will be important for the show, as OTL. In contrast to O'Brien's initial hostility towards Amoros(Bashir), Kelly will sort of be fascinated by him and his attitude to being so far away from the comforts of the Federation's inner systems.
    [6] A cast I won't get into in this update, but you'll see more of it in the next update, including a name that may be a surprise to many of you.
    [7] While it's still a year early for the launch of UPN, as Voyager's equivalent in TTL won't be out until 1996 at the earliest, they're looking at DS9's second season as a way to kick-start the new network.
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    Chapter XLV: "Into Deep Space"
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part II, Chapter XLV: "Into Deep Space"

    “The fans consider the early seasons to be a lot weaker than out later stuff, and that’s down to a few things. First, the cast hadn’t quite had that time to figure out how well they gelled, so some of the relationships were still in the “beta stages”, and of course, not all of the final cast was there yet. But more importantly, from a writing perspective, we just couldn’t agree on what direction we wanted to take it. So some of the stories could seem out of place.”​
    - J. Michael Straczynski on the early seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

    The fans awaited the release of the first season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine with bated breath. The hype that had built up around the new series was of some reassurance to the producers, who were concerned that many would not make the move over to the show. However, the presence of some relatively high-profile actors would help to bring fans over not only from The Next Generation, but also Doctor Who.

    The opening story, “The Emissary”, would initially be aired as a two-hour special, in the hopes that providing a big story for an opener would help to draw audiences in. The presence of computer-generated imagery would assist in this, as it allowed for bigger and more exciting space battle scenes, at a reduced cost over the models used for The Next Generation.

    The “soft-crossover” that took place during “Birthright” in The Next Generation’s seventh season would see a slight boost in ratings for the show, though it consistently performed slightly worse than that show, having an average 7% viewership share, as opposed to The Next Generation’s 11%. [1]

    The show’s first season would receive primarily positive reviews, with the actors praised for their characters, though certain stories, “Move Along Home” in particular, would be criticised for their writing. Fans however, were, for the most part, reassured by the solid performance of the season. [2]

    List of Episodes of Season 1 of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    1. Emissary (Part I)​
    2. Emissary (Part II)​
    3. Lakota [3]​
    4. Past Prologue​
    5. A Man Alone​
    6. Command Decisions [4]​
    7. Babel​
    8. Captive Pursuit​
    9. Q-Less​
    10. First Aid [5]​
    11. Dax​
    12. The Passenger​
    13. Move Along Home​
    14. Disparate Parts [6]​
    15. The Nagus​
    16. Vortex​
    17. Battle Lines​
    18. The Storyteller​
    19. Progress​
    20. If Wishes Were Horses​
    21. The Forsaken​
    22. The Leftovers [7]​
    23. Dramatis Personae​
    24. Duet​
    25. In the Hands of the Prophets​

    Main Cast of Season 1 of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: [8]
    • Commander Benjamin Sisko – Laurence Fishburne​
    • Constable Odo – René Auberjonois​
    • Dr. (Lt. j.g.) Julian Bashir – Siddig El-Fadil​
    • Lt. Jadzia Dax – Famke Janssen​
    • Jake Sisko – Cirroc Lofton​
    • Chief Miles O’Brien – Colm Meaney​
    • Quark – Armin Shimerman​
    • Lt (j.g.) Andrew Kelly – Christian Slater​
    • Major Kira Nerys – Nana Visitor​
    Recurring Cast of Season 1 of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: [9]
    • Captain John Sheridan – Peter Capaldi​
    • Anna Sheridan – Kirsten Dunst [10]​
    • Admiral David Gardener – Pierce Brosnan​
    • Keiko O’Brien – Rosalind Chao​
    • Rom – Max Grodénchik​
    • Nog – Aron Eisenberg​
    • Elim Garak – Andrew Robinson [11]​
    • Gul Dukat – Marc Alaimo​
    • Vedek Winn – Louise Fletcher​
    • Vedek Bareil – Phillip Anglim​
    • Grand Nagus Zek – Wallace Shawn​

    A second season would be ordered by Paramount, with the intention for the second season premiere to open their new television network, UPN. That it had retained so much of the audience of The Next Generation while maintaining distinct from it was a sign that the show could be a real success. [12]

    [1] A slight increase over OTL's 6%. I'm attributing this to the cast being slightly more well known overall, and science fiction being more popular than OTL. Of course, at some point the market may saturate.
    [2] You can pry "Move Along Home" out of my cold dead hands. It's really one of DS9's worst episodes, but god, do I love it. The cast suffered in OTL for the "Allamaraine" scene, and so they must also here.
    [3] Introduction of the USS Lakota and the Sheridans. Sisko and Sheridan strike up a friendship over shared experiences, including being single parents. Anna Sheridan is John's daughter, but she ends up spending a lot of time on the station while the Lakota is in the Gamma Quadrant.
    [4] First time we properly see Brosnan's Admiral Gardener. Story will focus around Starfleet's issues with Odo as Head of Security.
    [5] Dr Bashir begins instructing Kelly as a first responder and emergency nurse, The story will focus mainly on their relationship.
    [6] Jadzia and Dax have to be separated briefly when they fall ill with a rare disease. We get to see a bit of what Jadzia was like before her joining, and she begins to fall for Bashir, but they know she will be uninterested when rejoined.
    [7] Kelly finally decides to deal with his grief, asking his colleagues for advice. We get to see a little of everyone's past, but it's primarily a "moving on" story for Kelly.
    [8] After Laurence Fishburne, they're arranged alphabetically by surname, as in the opening credits. I may move to a table in the near future, to give more order to it.
    [9] Yep, recurring cast get one too for this show. Someone is only listed here if they appear in more than one season. They may only appear once in this season, but they'll be back.
    [10] Rather than her small role in "Dark Page" for TNG, she takes this recurring role. The film Interview with the Vampire is butterflied, for reasons I'll be getting into in a few updates time.
    [11] As the attitude towards overtly non-heterosexual characters in Trek is more open, Robinson gets to portray Garak as omnisexual as he intended.
    [12] Butterflies are flapping their wings here. DS9 Season 1 will be the only to be syndicated. It, rather than TTL's version of Voyager, will be the flagship show for the network. This will change a lot of things, mainly with whatever Voyager ends up being.
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    Overview of Season 1 of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Overview of Season 1 of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

    Commander Benjamin Sisko is assigned to command the Federation-governed space station Deep Space Nine following the Cardassian withdrawal from Bajor. Sisko is resentful of this assignment, as he is concerned about the well-being of his son, Jake Sisko. Upon arrival, he finds that the station has been stripped of all but its bare essential systems by the departing Cardassians. He meets the staff already on the station, including Major Kira, Odo, Chief O’Brien, and Lt. Kelly, the latter two of which have been dropped off by the Enterprise. O’Brien informs Sisko that Captain Picard is waiting for him on the Enterprise to give him his briefing. Sisko and Picard share a tense exchange, as Sisko blames Picard for his wife’s death at Wolf 359, where Picard tells Sisko that he is to “do everything, short of violating the Prime Directive” to ensure that Bajor is ready for entry to the Federation, while Sisko reveals he is planning on leaving Starfleet.​

    Sisko convinces Quark to remain on the station to keep it active as a stopping point for ships passing through the area. Later, he is brought to the Bajoran spiritual leader, Kai Opaka, who informs him that he is the “Emissary”, a “Bajoran not of Bajor”, who is a messiah-like figure in Bajoran culture. She shows Sisko an “Orb” which lets Sisko relive the moment he met his wife for the first time. She entrusts Sisko with the Orb for him to study.​

    Upon returning to the station, Sisko finds that the remainder of his staff have arrived, meeting Chief Medical Officer Dr. Julian Bashir, and reuniting with his new Science Officer, Lt. Jadzia Dax, a joined Trill whom Sisko had been friends with in their previous host. Sisko lets Dax study the Orb, who discovers a pattern of strange events in the Denorios Belt near Bajor. The station’s old Cardassian commander, Gul Dukat, visits the station, meeting Sisko.​

    Dax and Sisko take a runabout to investigate the Denorios Belt while Odo disables the Cardassians’ sensors, so that they are not followed. Upon arrival at the location, they find themselves inside what they determine to be a stable wormhole, appearing inside the Gamma Quadrant, over 70 years away from Federation space. They return through the wormhole, but are stopped by an unknown force. Dax is sent back to the station, while Sisko is stuck in a white void.​

    Dax relates the findings, and Major Kira orders that the station be moved to the mouth of the wormhole, to ensure Bajoran control of it. Dukat also detects the wormhole, and takes his ship to investigate it. When the staff of Deep Space Nine try to follow, however, they find that the entrance no longer opens. Three more Cardassian ships arrive, demanding to know what happened to Gul Dukat’s ship, dismissing the possibility of a wormhole. The Cardassian prepare for an assault after being delayed by O’Brien creating the illusion of the station being heavily armed.​

    Inside the wormhole, Sisko communicates with the entities, who speak to him through images of his friends, family, and crew. When Dukat’s ship enters the wormhole, they are enraged and close the wormhole. Sisko discovers that the entities do not experience time in a linear manner, and tries to explain how linear time works. The aliens however, keep on taking him to the moment of his wife’s death, explaining that he “exists here”, and Sisko realises that he has been unable to move on from her death.​

    As the Cardassians prepare to open fire, the wormhole opens again, and Sisko tows Dukat’s ship back with a tractor beam. Dukat orders that the Cardassians stand down, while Sisko reveals that he has negotiated with the wormhole aliens for safe passage through the wormhole. The Enterprise returns, responding to Kira’s request for aid. Sisko explains to Picard that he has had a change of heart, and intends to remain as the station’s commander.​
    Guest Star: Patrick Stewart as Captain Julien Picard​

    The USS Lakota arrives at Deep Space Nine for resupply. Its captain, John Sheridan, meets with Sisko, and they find that they share certain experiences after they reveal that they are both survivors of Wolf 359. The Lakota was previously assigned to mapping out the Badlands, but is now to be a part of the Federation’s initial exploratory mission to the Gamma Quadrant. However, the ship soon finds itself suffering from computer failures, and Sheridan suspects foul play.​

    Past Prologue
    A former Bajoran terrorist, Tahna Los, arrives at Deep Space Nine, fleeing Cardassian ships. He requests political asylum, backed up by Major Kira, with whom he has ties. Later, Odo spots him talking with the Duras Sisters, who have just arrived on the station. Bashir, on the advice of his new friend the Cardassian tailor Garak, investigates, and discovers that Tahna is likely planning on constructing a bomb for unknown purposes.​
    Guest Stars: Barbara Marsh as Lursa of Duras, Gwynyth Walsh as B’Etor of Duras​

    A Man Alone
    Odo spots a man on the station that he recognises as a smuggler during the days of the occupation. While Odo dislikes the man, Ibudan is seen as a hero by most of the Bajorans. Some time later, Ibudan is found dead in one of Quark’s holosuites, and the public soon blame Odo for his death, becoming increasingly unruly. Meanwhile, Keiko O’Brien sets up a school on the station, persuading Sisko, Rom, and Sheridan to enrol their children (Jake, Nog, and Anna respectively).​

    Command Decisions
    Admiral Gardener, Sisko’s commanding officer, contacts Sisko to tell him that Starfleet intends to send a new officer to Deep Space Nine to replace Odo as Chief of Station Security. Sisko objects, as Odo knows the Bajoran people better, and his shapeshifting ability offers him an advantage over other officers. Sisko and Odo put a case together for Odo to remain as the Chief of Security.​

    While repairing the station’s replicators, an overworked and tired O’Brien unknowingly activates a device hidden in one of the replicators in the crew quarters. Soon after, he begins to show signs of aphasia, unable to comprehend speech or to speak comprehensively. When the condition spreads, Bashir suspects a virus may be at play, and sets about creating a cure, while Kira investigates the possibility of it being made by an old Bajoran terrorist cell.​

    Captive Pursuit
    A damaged vessel arrives through the wormhole, its pilot, Tosk, is the first known life form to visit from the Gamma Quadrant. O’Brien helps to repair his ship, finding evidence that it was fired on, but Tosk refuses to disclose any information, and is found stealing from a weapons locker. Soon, more aliens arrive, revealing that they are hunting Tosk. Under the Prime Directive, Sisko believes that he has no choice but to hand Tosk over, but O’Brien sets about helping him to escape.​

    Dax returns from the Gamma Quadrant with a woman that Kelly recognises as Vash, from his time on the Enterprise. Unbeknownst to them, Q is also hiding in the vessel. While en-route back to Deep Space Nine, the runabout has a series of power failures, which continue on the station after their arrival. Quark arranges to auction Vash’s items off, while O’Brien warns Sisko that Q might be responsible for the power failures when he spots him. When the power drains increase in severity, a gravitational field begins to pull the station towards the wormhole.​

    First Aid
    Annoyed at a lack of trained nurses on the station, Bashir begins training Kelly to fill in for emergencies. Kelly and Bashir, while similar ages, have very different opinions of their positions on Deep Space Nine. While Bashir is excited to be doing medicine on “the frontier” that will offer him unique challenges, Kelly is having difficulty adjusting from the Enterprise and her relative luxuries. Kelly’s nursing skills are soon put to the test when multiple Bajorans are injured in a fight on the Promenade.​

    Dax is abducted by aliens while on her way back to her quarters. The aliens nearly escape, but Bashir is able to raise the alarm, and their ship is caught by the station’s tractor beam. One of the abductors, Ilon Tandro, accuses Dax of having committed treason in her previous host, Curzon Dax. Sisko tries to stop the extradition on the grounds that Jadzia should not be punished for crimes that, in his view, she did not commit.​

    The Passenger
    Kira and Bashir respond to a distress call from a Kobliad freighter, rescuing a security guard, Kajada, but are unable to save her prisoner, Vantika. Despite Vantika’s clear death, Kajada is convinced that he is somehow still alive, and intending to hijack a shipment of deuridium, a rare compound that Kobliads need to survive. Dax and Bashir find that Vantika may have hijacked someone’s brain, while Vantika contacts Quark to hire mercenaries to hijack the shipment.​

    Move Along Home
    The senior crew prepare to undergo formal first contact with a species from the Gamma Quadrant called the Wadi. The Wadi forgo formalities, instead heading straight to Quark, to play games. After their leader, Falow, has a winning streak at Dabo, Quark rigs the game. Falow catches on, and challenges Quark to a “truly honest game” called Chula. Sisko, Kelly, Dax, and Kira find themselves in an abstract world, and when Odo reports them as missing, Quark realises that they are his pieces.​

    Disparate Parts
    After she falls ill with a new disease from the Gamma Quadrant, Bashir realises that he needs to separate Jadzia from Dax to treat and save them both. While they are separated and recovering, Jadzia and Bashir find themselves falling in love. However, in order for Jadzia to live, she must be rejoined with Dax. The two struggle with their feelings knowing that Jadzia will no longer reciprocate when Jadzia and Dax are rejoined.​

    The Nagus
    Zek, the Grand Nagus of the Ferengi Alliance, arrives on the station, taking an interest in Quark. Zek uses Quark’s bar to stage a conference, where he reveals that Quark will be his successor. Soon after, Zek dies, leaving Quark to adjust to his new position. Meanwhile, Sisko deals with his son’s friendship with Nog. At first, when Rom demands that Nog stops attending school, he is relieved, but find that this leads to Jake and Nog just spending more time together. Eventually, Zek is revealed to have faked his death, and Sisko is reassured when he finds Jake teaching Nog how to read.​

    Odo takes a Gamma Quadrant visitor called Croden into custody after he kills one of a pair of Miradorn twins. The surviving Miradorn, Ah-Kel, vows vengeance. Croden reveals that he knows of Odo’s people, and offers to take Odo to a colony of his people. Croden’s homeworld demands Croden’s return, and Odo takes him back to the Gamma Quadrant, pursued by Ah-Kel.​

    Battle Lines
    The Bajoran spiritual leader, Kai Opaka, visits Deep Space Nine, requesting a tour from Sisko. She subtly asks him to take her through the wormhole, which Sisko agrees to. While in the runabout, Sisko receives a distress signal, and they investigate. However, the runabout is brought down by a satellite around the planet they investigate, killing Opaka. On the planet, they find that the dead are brought back to life by nanomachines, but cannot leave the planet without dying. After help arrives in the form of Dax and Kelly, Opaka decides to stay on the planet to help the warring inhabitants make peace.​

    The Storyteller
    On Bajor, Bashir and O’Brien respond to a request for medical assistance, finding that a village’s spiritual leader, a man called the Sirah, is dying. The Sirah’s job is to stop a cloud-like creature called the Dal’Rok from destroying the village five nights a year. The Sirah stops the Dal’Rok on the penultimate night, but dies, naming O’Brien his successor. O’Brien is reluctant to take the role, seeking a way out. On the station, Jake and Nog help a young leader to negotiate a treaty.​

    Bajor intends to tap the core of one of its moons for energy, which will render the moon uninhabitable. One elderly farmer, Mullibok, refuses to evacuate, and Kira goes to convince him. Kira grows to like Mullibok, but is unable to convince him to leave. Sisko tries to buy her time, but it is clear she will have to betray either Bajor or Mullibok. Meanwhile, Jake and Nog make a succession of trades to make a profit off of Quark’s surplus sauce he is unable to sell.​

    If Wishes Were Horses
    Dax observes heightened emissions from the nearby Denorios Belt. She and Sisko hypothesise that this is due to the increased traffic at Deep Space Nine. O’Brien reads his daugher, Molly, Rumpelstiltskin as a bedtime story, but soon Molly comes in, claiming that Rumpelstiltskin is in her room. O’Brien finds that this is the case. Meanwhile, an alternate Jadzia attempts to seduce Bashir, while Jake Sisko is followed home from the holosuited by Buck Bokai, a famous baseball player. Soon, the crew find that their wishes are coming true, but an anomaly threatens the station.​

    The Forsaken
    Deep Space Nine plays host to a group of Federation ambassadors, including Betazoid Ambassador Troi. When Odo captures a thief that stole Troi’s broach, the Ambassador becomes infatuated with him, openly flirting with him. Meanwhile, a vessel comes through the wormhole and downloads a large amount of data onto the station’s computers. Soon, O’Brien finds that the computer is less hostile to him than normal, but it breaks down when he is not away. The crew hypothesise that the data is actually a non-sentient life form that has taken a liking to O’Brien. They question what to do while Bashir deals with the Ambassadors.​

    The Leftovers
    Lt. Kelly finds himself unable to move on from the death of his close friend Leslie Crusher. As he knows that many of his colleagues have experienced loss, he asks them for help with dealing with his grief. From this, he learns more about many of his commanding officers, and strikes up a friendship with Captain Sheridan.​

    Dramatis Personae
    A damaged Klingon vessel arrives through the wormhole. Moments before the ship explodes, a man beams onto the station, proclaiming “Victory!”, but dies moments later. Soon, the crew of the station find themselves clashing with each other, with the exception of Odo. While Kira plans a mutiny against Sisko, Odo plays both sides to try to come up with a cure for whatever is happening to the crew.​

    A freighter docks at Deep Space Nine so that one of its passengers, Aamin Marritza, may receive treatment for a condition called Kalla-Norra. Kira objects, revealing that Kalla-Norra could only be developed if Marritza was present during a mining accident at the Gallitep mines during the Cardassian Occupation. She has Marritza arrested as a war criminal, but Sisko orders his release when it is revealed he is listed for no crimes. A photograph reveals that Marritza is actually Gul Darhe’el, to which the prisoner proudly admits. Cracks soon appearing in his story, however, and Kira continues interrogating him, confronted by her own prejudices.​

    In the Hands of the Prophets
    O’Brien and his wife walk along the Promenade, discussing her school, and how it teaches Bajoran culture. Keiko reveals that she teaches the scientific view of the wormhole and its inhabitants, rather than the Bajoran religious one. When one of her classes is interrupted by a Bajoran spiritual leader, Vedek Winn, she is questioned as to why she does not teach the Bajoran religion. When it becomes clear that religious tensions are rising on the station, the crew must stop an attack on another religious leader, Vedek Bareil.​
    Last edited:
    Chapter XLVI: "So, What Next?"
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part II, Chapter XLVI: "So, What Next?"

    As preparations were being made for Star Trek: The Next Generation’s eighth and final season, one question was asked more than any other by the production crew: “What’s next”. While Deep Space Nine was being eyed up by the executives at Paramount as a potential “flagship” show for their new network, UPN, its large differences from “traditional” Star Trek led the producers to begin working on a new show to begin airing the year after The Next Generation’s eighth season, to take its place in syndicated television. [1]

    What this new show was to be was the cause of many discussions, as writers argued back and forth over their ideas. One common theme however, was the return to a starship, as opposed to the space station that Deep Space Nine was set on. But despite this, it was clear that the crew needed to be less united than the crew of the Enterprise, and should be set away from the familiar regions of space.

    As Deep Space Nine had opened up the Gamma Quadrant, the decision was made that the new show would take place in the Delta Quadrant. In many Star Trek shows before, a ship had been sent to a far off region of space, only to be miraculously returned to its origin at the end of the story. The new show was to explore what would happen if it became stranded there, and had to make its own way back.

    With this new concept, the writers came up with an apt title for the show Star Trek: Odyssey. The basic premise would be that the USS Odyssey, an Intrepid-class vessel, would be stranded in the Delta Quadrant, forced to make a 70 year trip back to Federation space. However, the crew needed something clear to divide them. [2]

    For this, the writers decided to play off of the rivalry between the Cardassians and the Federation in the show. They would introduce a group of disgruntled colonists whose planets were ceded to the Cardassians in a border treaty, called the Maquis. The Maquis would act as a rebelling force against both the Cardassians and Federation, with many defecting Starfleet officers filling their ranks. The Odyssey, after arriving in the Delta Quadrant, would find two disables ships, one Cardassian, and one Maquis. After they become stranded, the three crews are forced to work as one, with open distrust between the groups. [3]

    While casting would come later, the rough plans for the show had been laid down, and the intention was for the show to begin airing in early 1996.

    As for the cast of The Next Generation, the success of the show meant that the producers were eager to have them involved in the film franchise, to take over from the Original Series crew. While a full crossover had been considered, the question as to who would be the main star caused some issue, and there was concern that certain members of the cast would not get a chance to shine.

    Therefore, the decision was made to split this film into two stories. Both would deal with an abandoned, but highly advanced, base within an asteroid, which the crew of the Enterprise-E would later determine to be Iconian in origin. The story would be told in part by Spock, as he relates the events that led to the presumed death of Captain Kirk. [4]

    The film would see the crew of the Enterprise-A discovering the asteroid, investigating it, but eventually being forced to leave Kirk and the away team behind or risk losing the ship. Spock and Scotty would later work together, having reunited in the 24th century, determining that the asteroid could be investigated once more, with the far more advanced Enterprise-E.

    The film was to be made immediately after the final season of The Next Generation wrapped, with a planned release for November 1995. [5]

    With the 1990s in full swing, it seemed like Star Trek was going to be much bigger than ever before.

    [1] No opening quote for this one.
    [2] So, right now it looks like a renamed Voyager, but it will be quite different.
    [3] I think that the Maquis and Federation were a little too similar to properly cause the tension that was needed on the show, so I've added a Cardassian element. It's a case of emenies having to work together towards a common goal.
    [4] Once again, I'm using an idea proposed to me by @Ogrebear. I'm less familiar with the TOS crew, so I appreciate the help.
    [5] Sort of like Generations. The fact that the TNG crew will only need to film about half of the scenes will help.
    Chapter XLVII: "Nine Lives"
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part II, Chapter XLVII: "Nine Lives"

    “We, well I, took the story in a bit of a different direction during Avery’s run, and I think that’s a big part of why it’s so divisive. Anyway, I took it the way I wanted to, and not everybody liked that, certainly not the higher ups at NBC. So that’s why things ended the way that they did.”​
    - Andrew Cartmel, showrunner for season 28 of Doctor Who, taken from An Adventure in Space and Time.

    The position that the producers of Doctor Who were in now was not an unfamiliar one. A new Doctor, new companion, and a new direction for the show. They had all dealt with this three years prior, to mixed results. However, their actors were more proven now, and they were coming off the back of their most successful story yet. Worries about the audience leaving were far lower than they had been during the beginning of Siddig’s run.

    Once more, showrunner Andrew Cartmel would attempt to delve into the past of the Gallifreyans once more, after his failed attempt during Season 25. It was his hope that with a pairing that worked better together, his ideas would be better received by the fans and producers. He was hesitantly given the go-ahead by the executives at NBC, and got to work on these new stories. [1]

    There would be some major differences over past seasons. Firstly, while the Doctor had just regenerated, he would not be dealing with post-regenerative trauma in his debut story. The reason for this would not be explained, but various sources in a state of “grey-canonicity” would offer explanations in the following years. Secondly, the season would feature a slight return to the educational origins of the show, as the Doctor takes Jennifer on board to help with her education. [2]

    As a result, many scenes in this season would take place at the University of Washington in Seattle, where the Doctor is posing as a Professor of Physics. This would, in part, be due to Seattle being built over a “rift”, which allowed for an ease of travel through time and space. [3]

    Following the success of Season 27, the writers decided to bring back more characters from previous seasons, with many old friends and foes making appearances once more. Gallifrey playing a more central role would mean that Romana would continue to make guest appearances, after she returned there at the end of “Closed Circle”. The Monk would also appear in this season, also pretending to be a Professor.

    The Master would make a return, but J. E. Freeman was uninterested in continuing in the role if he was not working with Siddig El-Fadil. As both the Doctor and companion were now being portrayed by American actors, the BBC producers insisted on casting a British actor as the Master. They eventually settled on veteran stage actor Sir Derek Jacobi, who agreed to take on the role. [4]

    Avery Brooks, who was to play the Ninth Doctor, was relatively well known among American audiences at the time of his casting, unlike his two immediate predecessors. Likewise, Winona Ryder, who would play his companion Jennifer, was also well known. As a result, executives were more confident in their ability to keep the audience hooked, and hoped that their names would draw in some people who had not seen the show before.

    It was clear from pre-season interviews that the two would work well together, though the hype for the new season would be tempered somewhat by allegations of a falling out between showrunner Andrew Cartmel and much of the writing staff over the direction that Doctor Who was to take in the future. This was not the first time such a clash had occurred, but given that they had led to the poor Season 25, many fans worried about the future of the show. [5]

    And so 1994 would see Doctor Who beginning to fall into chaos. [6]

    [1] So, the Cartmel Masterplan is back. But the executives aren't too keen on the idea, given how it went last time.
    [2] By "grey-canon", I mean stuff like TTL's books and audio stuff, if it ever gets made. The two major explanations will be; 1: Time has passed since The Dark Dimension, and so the Doctor is recovered; 2: As the Doctor's regeneration was voluntary, and he did not need to "repair" his body, he just doesn't go through it (per Romana's regeneration).
    [3] I'll explain more when I get to the episodes. It will be like a cross between "School Reunion" and the job the Twelfth Doctor had during Series 10.
    [4] I've always wanted to see more of a Jacobi Master on screen since the little bit we saw in "Utopia". He's active and gets a knighthood in 1994, so that's something.
    [5] I see Cartmel's plans clashing with what a lot of the writers want to do. So this happens.
    [6] More on this next time.
    Chapter XLVIII: "A New Semester"
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part II, Chapter XLVIII: "A New Semester"

    “With everything that happened, people at conventions often ask me how it was to be on set. My answer is that being on set I was pretty sheltered from the drama going on behind the scenes. The closest I got to that was writers expressing their frustration upon finding their scripts had been changed without their knowledge. Of course, I had an idea as to what was going on in the backrooms, but I wasn’t party to it.”​
    - Winona Ryder, on the production of Season 28 of Doctor Who. [1]

    Season 28 was important for Doctor Who, not that any season was unimportant. But with a new Doctor and companion, and the promises of a new bold story, expectations were high, and with the success of The Dark Dimension, the executives at NBC were expecting viewership to be higher than ever.

    The chemistry between Avery Brooks and Winona Ryder was clear, and fans were eager to see how they would work together on screen. It had been made clear that the relationship between the two characters would be unlike any pairing in the show’s past, as Brooks’ Ninth Doctor would act as a sort of ‘teacher’ to Jennifer.

    Season 28 of Doctor Who began airing on Sunday 15th May 1994. It was the seventh of the revival series.

    List of Episodes of Season 28 of Doctor Who:
    1. A New Semester (Part 1)​
    2. A New Semester (Part 2)​
    3. A New Semester (Part 3)​
    4. Train of Thought (Part 1)​
    5. Train of Thought (Part 2)​
    6. Peer Review (Part 1)​
    7. Peer Review (Part 2)​
    8. The Tooth (Part 1)
    9. The Tooth (Part 2)
    10. Packed to the Rafters (Part 1)​
    11. Packed to the Rafters (Part 2)​
    12. Most Improved Player (Part 1)​
    13. Most Improved Player (Part 2)​
    14. The Nostalginauts (Part 1)
    15. The Nostalginauts (Part 2)
    16. Remnants (Part 1)​
    17. Remnants (Part 2)​
    18. All For One (Part 1)​
    19. All For One (Part 2)​
    20. We, the Machines (Part 1)
    21. We, the Machines (Part 2)
    22. When You Go (Part 1)​
    23. When You Go (Part 2)​
    24. Homecoming (Part 1)​
    25. Homecoming (Part 2)​
    26. Homecoming (Part 3)​
    Bold text indicates a story by @The Chimera Virus

    Cast of Season 28 of Doctor Who:
    • The Ninth Doctor – Avery Brooks​
    • Jennifer Marsh – Winona Ryder​
    • The Master – Derek Jacobi​
    • The Monk – Eric Idle​
    • Romana – Lalla Ward​

    Season 28 of Doctor Who received mixed reviews on first release. The writing was criticised in places, as changes that showrunner Carmel had made were obvious, and tended to disrupt the flow of the story. The performances of Brooks and Ryder, however, drew great praise, with many commenting on Brooks’ “inspired mix” of comedy and drama. To many, the Doctor seemed more “alien” than he had since the Fourth Doctor. [2]

    Despite the quality of the acting, the writing issues resulted in a steep drop-off in audience viewership. While the first story, “A New Semester”, saw 15% of American households tuning in, the numbers had dropped to 7% by mid-season. There was a mild increase towards the end of the season, but it did not recover from the initial drop. This made it, technically, the weakest season of the show so far in the US.

    NBC were adamant something needed to change, and it was clear, given the backstage quarrels, that that thing was Andrew Cartmel. While the executives were willing to give him one more chance, they made it clear that if ratings did not improve sufficiently by the end of the following season, he would be out of a job. NBC had seen how successful Doctor Who could be with the right cast and crew, and were determined to get it back to that point. They would much rather replace people on the show than have to cancel the show itself. [3]

    So, as 1994 drew to a close, the future of Doctor Who was uncertain once more.

    [1] A bit more of a glimpse as to exactly what's going on between Cartmel and the other writers. I don't think Cartmel is a particularly bad writer though, I just see his plans clashing with what some of the other writers want.
    [2] Take this how you like. I like it when the Doctor seems alien, but some people don't. A little more on this soon.
    [3] I don't think this season is particularly weak, but just not as good as it could or should have been. People dislike change, and Cartmel is big on that here. As a result of this, next season will have some changes.
    Overview of Season 28 of Doctor Who
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Overview of Season 28 of Doctor Who

    “This wasn’t exactly what I was expecting when you mentioned ‘extra-curricular research activities’, Professor.”​
    “I imagine not. But you seem to be enjoying yourself."​
    “Is your life always this dangerous?”​
    “I prefer the term exciting, but basically, yes.”​
    - Jennifer and the Doctor discuss their situation during A New Semester.

    A New Semester
    Jennifer Marsh is a junior at the University of Washington, where she studies physics. Upon returning to her university for her final quarter of the year, she finds that her Nuclear Physics professor has changed unexpectedly. The new Professor, a man who prefers just to be called “the Doctor”, does not act like any of her other professors, and nobody seems to know much about him. She decides to follow him after her late class, but he disappears around a corner.​

    The following day, the Doctor is missing, raising her suspicions even further. Meeting with some friends later, she hears that some of the staff in the Chemistry department are beginning to act strangely as well, after disappearing for days at a time. She suspects that the two are related, and decides to continue her investigation. She borrows one of her friends’ access cards to see if anything is happening in the Chemistry labs. She finds nothing out of the ordinary, but when she leaves, she is spotted by the Doctor, who approaches her. He had spotted her sneaking around campus the past two nights, and presents an opportunity to put those skills to ‘good use’ in an ‘extra-curricular research activity’. She accepts.​

    After her class with the Doctor the next day, he mentions that he needs her to go with him back to the Chemistry labs, to provide a distraction so that the Doctor can confirm his suspicions about an experiment being conducted. The Doctor acquires the data he needs, and tells Jennifer that the Chemistry department are making a new kind of plastic, and he suspects alien involvement. Jennifer refuses to believe that aliens are involved, so the Doctor takes her to the TARDIS, revealing that he is not human.​

    The Doctor suspects that the Nestene Conciousness has taken control of the new plastic, and is replacing the Chemistry staff with highly realistic plastic duplicates. In order to stop them, the Doctor decides that he will let himself be captured, urging Jennifer to stay behind. The Doctor returns to the lab, making a lot of noise in order to reveal his location. Three Autons find him, and they take him to a secret facility underneath the building. Unbeknownst to all, Jennifer has followed them.​

    The Doctor is brought in front of the Nestene Consciousness, noting how cold the basement is. He hypothesises out loud that the new plastic the Autons are made of is highly heat-sensitive. Jennifer overhears this, and finds the boiler room, turning up the heat. The Autons begin to malfunction, and the Doctor is able to escape, finding Jennifer. He reveals he suspected he would follow him, as “when I tell people to stay put, it’s very rare they actually do”. They return to the lab, and the Doctor uses the equipment there to synthesize a compound he refers to as “anti-plastic”.​

    With the anti-plastic in hand, the Doctor and Jennifer go back down, confronting the Consciousness once more, and the Doctor gives it a chance to leave Earth before he uses the compound. The Consciousness refuses, believing the Doctor to be bluffing. The doctor pours the compound onto the Consciousness, and it writhes as it breaks down from the anti-plastic. The remaining Autons deactivate.​

    Jennifer asks the Doctor why he was there if he wasn’t sure of alien involvement. He reveals he was asked to keep an eye on the University and the Rift it stands on by UNIT, who had received reports of missing staff. He offers Jennifer the chance to see “all of time and space”, to help in her studies and as a favour for saving him. She accepts the offer, and the Doctor asks her where she wants to go first.​

    Train of Thought
    The TARDIS arrives in Seattle in 2240, and Jennifer marvels at the technological wonders of this new age of mankind. However, the Doctor seems distracted, and loses track of Jennifer. Jennifer finds herself alone in an unfamiliar landscape, but is given shelter by a group calling themselves “Clarity”. Clarity are a highly xenophobic group, who are using a device to disrupt non-human thought patterns throughout the city. The Doctor desperately searches for Jennifer, battling with his mind, while Jennifer tries to stop Clarity from deploying a device that would extend the field of effect to the whole planet, causing worldwide chaos.​

    Peer Review
    Back in 1994, the Doctor has to attend a conference, as he still works for the University of Washington. Initially bored by the conference, his interest is piqued when a scientist claims to have found a method to create nuclear fusion, decades in advance of when he remembers humanity developing the technology. Meanwhile, Jennifer is approached by a man who claims to be an “old friend” of the Doctor, who wishes to reconcile. Upon meeting this man, the Doctor recognises him as the Master, an old foe. While the Master claims to have changed his ways, the Doctor remains sceptical of this claim.​
    Guest Star: Sir Derek Jacobi as the Master​

    The Tooth by @The Chimera Virus
    The Doctor brings Jennifer to the Homeworld Heritage Museum, a 25th Century installation dedicated to the full (well, known) history of planet Earth. Everything available from human, Silurian, and Sea Devil civilization is represented with actual artifacts or detailed replicas. To the Doctor's surprise, he's detained upon entry by security forces and brought to the curator of the museum, the Silurian Doctor Efraas Sicarian, with whom the Doctor is acquainted from his last two incarnations. Sicarian informs him that they've recently been burgled - specifically, subfossil teeth from the shootout at the O.K. Corral, one of which belonged to the Doctor. Sil was behind the robbery, and given Time Lord teeth retain DNA for some time… Sil may be poised to alter his species' DNA in such a way that they could pose a threat to the stability of time. Putting Jennifer's education on the backburner, the two make to hunt down Sil and stop him before he irrevocably alters the status quo of the universe.​
    Guest Star: Nabil Shaban as Sil​

    Packed to the Rafters
    Jennifer joins an amateur dramatics society at the university, where she is cast in a production of “Glorious”, a dramatisation of the events of the Glorious Revolution in England. To help her to prepare for her role as Queen Anne, the Doctor offers to rake her to watch the events as they unfold. However, the Doctor finds that societies attitudes towards his new body are not as open as they once were, and struggles to cope with the difference. To further complicate matters, King James seems to have fore-knowledge of these events, and the Doctor begins to suspect that he and Jennifer may not be the only time-travellers visiting England.​

    Most Improved Player
    Returning to 1994 Washington, the Doctor continues his work monitoring the Rift that sits underneath the city. Meanwhile, Jennifer finds that her travels with the Doctor have affected her studies, and her grades are beginning to slip, not to mention that she has difficulty in telling what day of the week it is. Her classmates are beginning to question what exactly the “extra-curricular research” she is doing with the Doctor is, and her friends stage an intervention to help with her studies. While Jennifer works to get her education back on track, the Doctor is concerned by an increase in Rift activity, suggesting that something big is about to come through. With Jennifer preoccupied, the Doctor may have to face this new threat alone.​

    The Nostalginauts by @The Chimera Virus
    Four friends, John, Diane, Aaron, and Xavier receive the offer of a lifetime: to be the inaugural test subjects for the Nostalginaut program, headed by Professor Bruno Carthusian. The group is sent back to 1984 to relive what John calls the "good ol' days." Xavier, however, is bitter over the Reagan government's many infidelities and initial callous disregard of the AIDS crisis. He plans to use this opportunity to assassinate Ronald Reagan with the help of a clandestine organization with similar views. Thrown into the deep end from the moment they step out of the TARDIS and framed for murder, can the Doctor and Jennifer solve the mystery of the Nostalginauts and stop the assassination of President Reagan?​
    Guest Stars: Eric Idle as the Monk/"Professor Bruno Carthusian," Phil Hartman as President Ronald Reagan, and Philip Seymour Hoffman as Xavier​

    The Doctor decides to take Jennifer to an alien planet for a change, offering up multiple different choices. Jennifer chooses to visit Raxobor, a resort planet in the far future. However, the TARDIS has difficulty landing, and when it does, they find that the planet is in ruins. Unable to travel back to the point where it was destroyed, they must piece together what exactly happened to the planet, and try to find a way to stop it before it can happen. While things seem to be going smoothly at first, the matter is further complicated by the reappearance of the Master in the remaining logs, leading the Doctor to suspect that he played a part in the destruction.​
    Guest Star: Derek Jacobi as the Master​

    All For One
    When the Jaxx emerge from the Rift and begin attacking the University of Washington, the Doctor and Jennifer put together a rag-tag resistance group to fight back the invaders. The Doctor suspects that the Jaxx have come for an artefact he carries aboard the TARDIS, a Gallifreyan device from the earliest days of Time Lord society. His relationship with Jennifer is strained when he becomes increasingly hostile when questioned about the device or its creator. As the Jaxx overrun more and more of the university, the Doctor realises he may be forced to resort to methods he would not normally in order to save Jennifer and her friends.​

    We, the Machines by @The Chimera Virus
    The Doctor and Jennifer arrive in Devix, a country on the planet Zegraeshia where the Doctor has an old friend, Lark Thomasson. While he's visiting Thomasson, Jennifer explores and comes to grow irritated by the way Zegraeshia treats its AIs as little more than slaves. She asks one of the higher-functioning AIs about what they can explain about the current state of racism in the galaxy. To her horror, the AI explains that racism, bigotry, and all related topics are forbidden for the AIs to access. Jennifer runs to tell the Doctor who, through some logical loopholes, makes the AI access the information and spread it through the network... In short order, the AIs declare that they will either have equal rights, or they will exterminate all organics from this section of space entirely. In the end, the Doctor and Jennifer barely save the day, but the Doctor hard-codes the drive for equal rights into the AIs' source code, ensuring that things won't just revert to how they were before.​

    When You Go
    Returning to Washington, Jennifer receives an urgent message that her grandfather is in hospital, dying. On his deathbed, he gives Jennifer an old fob watch, hinting that he is somehow aware of her travels with the Doctor, whom he seems to recognise. After the funeral, Jennifer questions the Doctor as to whether he had met her grandfather before, but the Doctor seems as confused as she is. The Doctor takes the watch to the TARDIS, using it to navigate back to Seattle in 1946. There, they run into Jennifer’s grandfather once more when they meet him at the port. Together, they find evidence of aliens being smuggled into the city, and try to put a stop to it.​

    As the new academic year is about to begin, in the TARDIS, Jennifer asks the Doctor whether they will continue their travels together. Before he can answer, however, the TARDIS is recalled to Gallifrey by an unknown force. The Doctor and Jennifer leave the TARDIS, finding themselves before Lady President Romana of Gallifrey. The Doctor introduces Romana as an old friend, expressing surprise that she has decided to remain on Gallifrey after he removed the threat to the Web of Time.​

    Romana reveals that by destroying the Chronovore, he did not remove the threat to time, but merely delayed its threats. Romana has been receiving visions of Gallifrey’s destruction at the hands of a coalition of her enemies, and of secret chambers throughout Gallifrey. Time Lord scientists have found evidence of some of these chambers, but are unable to open them. She asks that the Doctor investigate.​

    The Doctor ventures down to the chambers, while Romana talks with Jennifer, showing her around the city. The Doctor reaches the door to the chamber, spotting what appears to be a biometric scanner. The door scans him, then opens. As he ventures in, avoiding traps that have lain dormant for millions of years, he finds documents from Gallifrey’s ancient history, mentioning the three “founding fathers” of Gallifrey: Rassilon, Omega, and an “Other” whose name has been either lost or destroyed. While these names are familiar to the Doctor, he also finds mentions of artefacts created by “the Other”, similar to those made by Rassilon.​

    He returns to the surface, sharing his findings with Romana, who orders that the chambers be searched fully. The Doctor and Jennifer accompany the search party, as the traps reactivate, slowly picking off members as they venture deeper into the labyrinthine tunnels. At the end, they find a message from the Other, revealing that they destroyed their artefacts, fearing that they would be used by power-hungry Time Lords.​

    Romana is disappointed by this revelation, but seems more intrigued as to why the door seemed to recognise the Doctor, suggesting that the Other had foreknowledge of what was to come and programmed the door to let him in. Romana lets the Doctor go, but reminds him that if her visions come true, and Gallifrey is threatened by this coalition, she will expect the Doctor to fight to protect his home. The Doctor departs with Jennifer, amid growing tension. Jennifer asks the Doctor if he knows why the door opened for him. He says he does not, but seems to be hiding something.​

    Not the most action filled season, I know. Especially with the finale. Next season will be interesting though, both from a production and story perspective. I needed to start planting some plot seeds here, so some of my stories aren't the best. Anyway, as per usual, any questions, just ask, I'll be happy to answer.
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    Chapter XLIX: "I Don't Mean to Burst Your Bubble..."
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part II, Chapter XLIX: "I Don't Mean To Burst Your Bubble..."

    “It really felt like the whole comics industry was dying at that time. I wasn’t actually too involved with the back end at that time, but they were still paying me, so I made sure I knew what was going on. Sure, we managed to avoid a lot of the issues DC were having, but that didn’t stop us from having our own issues. Between Panini and Ron [Perelman], we had enough problems ourself. I think that the industry had a closer brush with death there than most people give it credit for.”​
    - Stan Lee, speaking about the 1990s comics speculation bubble, and its collapse. [1]

    Marvel had been racking up steady sales in the comics market, which were helped by the success of the film Wolverine and the X-Men. However, the 2099 line was beginning to falter, and sales were decreasing, and many of the other experimental comics lines were not performing as expected. Coupled with the loss of many of the artists to Image Comics, Marvel was not in a great position. [2]

    Much like DC, Marvel was dipping its toe into the film industry, with its X-Men film series. The first film had been a great success, and plans for the sequel, The X-Men and Ms Marvel, were well underway, with a 1995 release planned, which would likely see it competing with DC’s Batman films once more. But this was not the only Marvel film being made. [3]

    Fantastic Four was not a film that was intended for release. In fact, the only reason it was made was so that Bernd Eichinger could retain the rights to produce a film containing the characters. It had been made with a deliberately low budget, and was originally not going to be shown to audiences. However, the success of Wolverine and the X-Men led to its release, due to pressure from fans. It was, by all accounts, an unmitigated disaster. The film flopped, making back a tiny amount of its budget, and within two weeks, it had been pulled from most cinemas. [4]

    The X-Men would see further success as an animated series based on the Excalibur comics began airing in late 1992, to critical acclaim, as it entertained while tackling heavier subjects. It would, by the end of 1994, be joined by Iron Man, Fantastic Four and Spider-Man animated series. [5]

    Film failure would go on to affect Marvel in more ways than one. Marvel Entertainment Group owned Panini as a subsidiary. The vast majority of Panini’s profits came off of the back of Disney releases, and a series of disappointing Disney films meant that that their profits dropped. The trading card subsidiary Fleer’s profits were also harmed by the 1994 MLB strike.

    But perhaps the most important event for Marvel in this era was the death of Ronald Perelman, the owner of MEG’s parent company MacAndrew’s and Forbes. For many years, Perelman had been calling the shots from a financial perspective. In June 1994, Ronald Perelman’s car was struck by a drunk driver, killing him. His long time associate, Barry Schwartz, took over as chairman, but would do very little with MEG, largely letting them govern themselves. [6]

    But despite all of this, Marvel was still in a better place than DC. [7]

    DC Comics
    The speculator bubble burst hit DC far harder than it had Marvel. DC had produced many “event” comics, involving the death of Superman, or Batman being crippled. While these led to slight increases in sales, as some fans’ interest was piqued, and many others bought them in the hope that they would increase in value over the years, sales soon dropped off, and many of the large changes were reverted.

    Another way that DC had intended to increase sales was by self-distribution from 1994 onwards. The two main distributors, Diamond and Capital city, would retaliate by striking exclusive deals with DC’s competitors. In 1995, Diamond Comics would secure the exclusive rights to distribute Marvel comics. DC’s attempt to increase sales by owning their own distributor, by buying Heroes World, would backfire, as sales declined even further. [8]

    But DC’s films would continue to enjoy success. Though there were some clashes between director Tim Burton and executives at Warner Bros., Tim Burton would be able to direct the Batman film he wanted. The film, Batman Continues, would see Michael Keaton’s Batman facing off against Billy Dee Williams’ Two-Face and Robin Williams’ Riddler. Hype would build for the film, and to see who would win the second round of Marvel vs. DC films. [9]

    As with Marvel, DC would see a successful foray into animation. The show Batman: The Animated Series, would be based loosely on the Burton films, sharing the fame gothic and film noir influenced aesthetic. It would also share the darker tone of Burton’s films. Tim Curry would return as the Joker, while the role of Batman was taken by Kevin Conroy.

    DC’s continuing overall commercial downturn would be worrying to many executives, and a new plan was devised. They decided that given the success of the Burton Batman films, that they would begin working on films based on other famous comics characters, most notably Superman and Green Lantern. Whether the Superman film was to continue the Christopher Reeve era would not be decided by the end of 1994, but one thing was clear: DC needed to make a big and successful move if it wanted to avoid further financial difficulties. [10]

    [1] I'm having difficulty in finding out who was in charge of MEG at the time, so I've used Stan Lee here as he was still, technically, employed by them.
    [2] As established many updates ago, Marvel is managing to avoid a lot of the speculation bubble's effects.
    [3] The next Marvel and DC films deserve their own update, which will be very early in Part III.
    [4] There was really no way of saving this film, so I made its effects on Marvel worse. This film will hurt the trust in Marvel's TV and film arm.
    [5] I have a really big soft spot for Excalibur, so I've had Marvel cash in on the "brit-chic" that is sort of present at the moment. The team will be mainly non-Brits, per OTL, just based there mostly.
    [6] God, I hate to do this, but I saw no other way of getting him out of the picture. I've butterflied a couple of the things that bankrupted Marvel in OTL, but really Perelman needed to go.
    [7] I will admit that I'm a bigger Marvel fan than a DC one, but I don't want DC to be holding an "idiot ball". It really surprises me how many bad long-term decisions were made for Marvel in OTL though.
    [8] So, DC goes down the self-publishing route, not Marvel. The full effects of this won't be seen just yet, but they're pretty major.
    [9] We get the Batman Forever Tim Burton wanted.
    [10] The comics films industry will be very different from about 1995 on. Also, the comics industry will be quite different from 1995 on. A lot of groundwork has been laid here.
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    Chapter L: "You Ain't Never Had a Friend Like Me"
  • Timelordtoe

    Monthly Donor
    Part II, Chapter L: "You Ain't Never Had a Friend Like Me"

    “Really, the trouble all started in ‘94. Once the board of directors made me president, Roy [Disney] started his little war with us. It really didn’t help that our films were doing poorly at the box office. Sure, The Lion King was a success, but one or two successful films didn’t make up for all of our other failures.”​
    - Jeffrey Katzenberg, on Disney during the mid-1990s.

    The mid-1990s would bring trouble for Disney. While the late 80s and early 90s had seen Disney move from success to success, with revenues increasing every year. Under the leadership of Michael Eisner, Disney was making a series of major acquisitions of other companies, and saw a resurgence in traditionally animated films.

    However, trouble began for Disney during the production of Aladdin. For the role of the Genie, the producers wanted comedian Robin Williams, with the animators having made a short test animation set to one of his comedy sets. Williams was interested, but aware that he was going to be the biggest name involved with the film, wanted to make sure that the film’s advertisements would not be based solely on his presence, and that his voice would not be used to sell merchandise.

    Tentatively, Williams signed on after Disney agreed to his requests. At the time, Williams was also involved with another film, FernGully. Disney was keen for Williams to drop out of that project, and began actively working to hinder the development of that film, outbidding FernGully’s team for venues. Rather than making Williams stop his involvement with that film, it instead led to him drawing further away from Disney. It was also clear from early posters that Disney were going to take advantage of all of the loopholes of the contract, as the character of the Genie was made more prominent on early posters.

    Williams had recorded many hours of lines by the time he dropped out of the project, not taking the pay for the project. For Disney, this was a major issue, as they had no second choice voice actor for the Genie. Soon after, they were able to hire Dan Castellana in Robin Williams’ place, and re-record the lines. However, Williams had made his reasons for leaving the project public, hurting the film’s reputation somewhat. [1]

    Ultimately, the film was a financial success, though nowhere near the hit that Disney was hoping for. As 1992 saw profits drop again, it was clear that Disney needed a turnaround, and soon. It was hoped that 1994’s The Lion King could be that hit. Upon release, it was a big hit, as hoped, but there would be more trouble for Disney. [2]

    1994 also saw the untimely death of its President, Frank Wells, in a helicopter accident. In his place, Michael Eisner, CEO, selected Jeffrey Katzenberg, to whom he had promised the position. Roy Disney, the last member of the family to stay involved with the company, was not happy with this appointment. In retaliation, he began actively working to remove Eisner from his position. [3]

    Disney was, effectively, in the midst of a civil war. Unsurprisingly, this further hurt profits, as the company became more and more dependent on merchandise and the theme parks, rather than the film and television division. One major effect of this dispute would be that the planned acquisition of/merger with ABC would fall through.

    It was clear that Disney was in trouble, and big changes were needed. [4]

    [1] All OTL up until now. Here, the issues with Disney cause him to leave the project, forgoing his paycheck.
    [2] Without Williams, the film will not be as successful as OTL. This has a few major effects, the big one being that animated films rely far less on bringing in big names, rather on the talent of their voice actors. The Lion King will be a bit different, but not too much.
    [3] No Dreamworks as a result of this. Also, Disney media from here will be very different. Roy isn't going to try to actively sabotage the company, that would be self-defeating, but he will be causing trouble for Eisner's plans.
    [4] The 1990s will be seen as a time that saw a major shakeup in popular culture ITTL.