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An Alternate History work by user "User:Brainbin" of Alternate History Dot Com, That Wacky Redhead explores the cultural side of the genre, showing how a different path taken in American television history could have altered not only popular culture, but also the wider world.
Lucille Ball, beloved comedienne, star of the classic 1950s sitcom I Love Lucy, and entrepreneur as the head of her television studio, Desilu, is visited in a dream by her late friend Carole Lombard. Once before, Lombard had persuaded Ball to “give [television] a whirl” and star in what would become I Love Lucy; Lombard's second visit, in late 1966, marks the Point of Divergence. Ball is on the verge of selling Desilu to media conglomerate Gulf+Western, but Lombard warns her away from it, assuring Ball that her destiny is to remain a studio chief.
The rest of the timeline chronicles what changes have been wrought, and all on account of That Wacky Redhead!
Read it here.
Contains examples of:
- Alternate History: Obviously.
- Butterfly of Doom: What seem like minor changes can have big effects down the line.
- Different World, Different Movies: Rather than being incidental, this is the entire focus of the timeline.
- Follow the Leader: Its popularity on Alternate History Dot Com has led to several other pop culture–focused timelines springing up.
- For Want of a Nail: In our timeline, Star Trek was Screwed by the Network in favour of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In. In this timeline, it's the other way around, and the creator of Laugh-In quits...butterflies from which means no Laugh-In appearance by Richard Nixon, and because the 1968 presidential election was so close, the lack of his television appearance is enough to change enough voters' minds relative to our timeline that Hubert H. Humphrey wins instead.
- Poorly-Disguised Pilot: A crossover between Star Trek and Doctor Who (Jon Pertwee as the Third Doctor), complete with a female American companion played by Connie Booth, intended to relaunch Doctor Who in a new format and introduce it to the American overseas market.
- Seasonal Rot: Naturally, this comes up a lot. This timeline's version of Star Trek suffers it in its fifth and final season, as opposed to our timeline's version, which suffered it (as well as underfunding) in its third and final one.
- Thirteen Is Unlucky: Defied Trope in this timeline, as (thanks to better funding and scrutiny by the Humphrey Administration), the Apollo 13 moonshot goes off without a hitch.
- T-Word Euphemism: The author never refers to "the V-word" explicitly, as part of an In Joke about how that topic tends to dominate American-penned Alternate History timelines set in this period.