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Netflix is doing an Alt-History Series

BClick

Fully manual austere earth communism
#2

napoleon IV

The Spectre of Communism Is A Planet-Sized Ghost
#3
So this means that we have this, Black America, and Confederate (possibly). Is alternate history going to be the TV fad of the 2020s?
 

Thande

Brexit Out Now, Funk Soul Brother
Published by SLP
#4
So this means that we have this, Black America, and Confederate (possibly). Is alternate history going to be the TV fad of the 2020s?
To go with the non-Anglophone angle, there's also El Ministerio del Tiempo, which is more of a time-travel show but has briefly explored AH (albeit in the usual Hollywood way, similar to DC's Legends of Tomorrow). The main AH they've done was a two-parter season finale where Philip II gets access to time travel, uses it to make the Armada successful, and then in the present day is still running a conservative Spanish Empire across all time periods simultaneously. At one point the protagonists see football fans celebrating after a match between Spain and the Holy Roman Empire.
 

RyanF

Abbot of Unreason
Published by SLP
Location
Falkirk
#5
To go with the non-Anglophone angle, there's also El Ministerio del Tiempo, which is more of a time-travel show but has briefly explored AH (albeit in the usual Hollywood way, similar to DC's Legends of Tomorrow). The main AH they've done was a two-parter season finale where Philip II gets access to time travel, uses it to make the Armada successful, and then in the present day is still running a conservative Spanish Empire across all time periods simultaneously. At one point the protagonists see football fans celebrating after a match between Spain and the Holy Roman Empire.
ASB, the Holy Roman Empire would field hundreds of national sides.
 

Alex Richards

With his appurtenances
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Derbyshire
#7
ASB, the Holy Roman Empire would field hundreds of national sides.
Nah,

You'd have the HRE team which is officially the only national one.

But you'd also have a number of teams for the Austrians, Prussians, Bavarians etc. which aren't officially national teams but compete on the national level.

Then you'd have a number of smaller sides who compete at various levels, the top making it to the European league.

There would also be a number of official regional leagues, some of which would function very well, others of which would basically be non-existent due to all the competent players going to the Bavarians instead or what have you.
 

Elektronaut

Those Chosen by the Planet
#8
Depends on how far the HRE has collapsed from weak central government to international organisation analogous to the Commonwealth. If the former then the bigger states could have something analogous to the Catalonian national team, a sort of non-competitive pretend-y national side. Presumably they'd mostly play each other in a Kaiser's Kup, a sort of German equivalent of a home nations tournament.
 

Alex Richards

With his appurtenances
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Derbyshire
#9
Depends on how far the HRE has collapsed from weak central government to international organisation analogous to the Commonwealth. If the former then the bigger states could have something analogous to the Catalonian national team, a sort of non-competitive pretend-y national side. Presumably they'd mostly play each other in a Kaiser's Kup, a sort of German equivalent of a home nations tournament.
Die Kurfürstenliga
 

Coiler

Connoisseur of the Miscellaneous
Location
Nu Yawk
#10
The premise looks like a good balance between "something normies have heard of" and "not Confederates / Nazis again," so that's promising at least.
It is astonishingly rare to find something that isn't either "Nazi Confederates take over the world" or "Unlike OTL's two, the ATL Route 700 had three lanes... " so the very existence of this excites me.
 

Dom

Well-known member
Moderator
Patreon supporter
#11
Depends on how far the HRE has collapsed from weak central government to international organisation analogous to the Commonwealth. If the former then the bigger states could have something analogous to the Catalonian national team, a sort of non-competitive pretend-y national side. Presumably they'd mostly play each other in a Kaiser's Kup, a sort of German equivalent of a home nations tournament.
I'm quite pleased that we can talk about football AHes here. It is very comforting to me.
 

Thande

Brexit Out Now, Funk Soul Brother
Published by SLP
#16
I love that our main point of discussion about Philip II getting time travel is how it would impact football.
This is a British forum, sir.
Actually I would say the football thing is very on-brand for Spain - a running joke in that series is that all the various agents from different time periods are obsessed with following current Spanish football, and you can find people in 18th century costume and WW2 uniforms earnestly discussing Messi in the background.
 

BClick

Fully manual austere earth communism
#18
1983 is available now and I've watched the first episode, has anyone else?

It seems as though the POD is a series of unexplained terrorist bombings in 1983 that generated an outpouring of patriotism and enabled the government (and the whole Eastern Bloc, apparently?) to regain popular support. It's now 2003 and a series of entangled mystery-thriller plotlines are pointing towards who was responsible for the bombings. Good stuff.

One thing that's really caught my attention so far is the visual design of twenty-first-century Communism, which is very contemporary in its austere minimalism; I don't know if it's intentional convergence but it makes a lot of sense that a revitalized Warsaw Pact would be all plate glass, brushed concrete and polygonal computer monitors.
 

Roberto El Rey

Unelected bureaucrat
Location
Lincolnland
#19
1983 is available now and I've watched the first episode, has anyone else?

It seems as though the POD is a series of unexplained terrorist bombings in 1983 that generated an outpouring of patriotism and enabled the government (and the whole Eastern Bloc, apparently?) to regain popular support. It's now 2003 and a series of entangled mystery-thriller plotlines are pointing towards who was responsible for the bombings. Good stuff.

One thing that's really caught my attention so far is the visual design of twenty-first-century Communism, which is very contemporary in its austere minimalism; I don't know if it's intentional convergence but it makes a lot of sense that a revitalized Warsaw Pact would be all plate glass, brushed concrete and polygonal computer monitors.
I just finished Episode 4. The show’s made by actual Polish people, many of whom probably remember life under Communism, so some of the general conditions and states of mind are portrayed pretty well. Alt-hist elements reported so far:

  • The Eastern Bloc still exists, obviously. The 1983 bombings caused the failure of the Polish pro-democracy movement by galvanizing the country behind the government, apparently leading to the failure of democratic reform across the whole of the Eastern Bloc.
  • Vietnamese-Polish relations are extremely good, apparently because at some point, Vietnam was undergoing troubles and Poland swept to the rescue, welcoming Vietnamese people into the country. An intercontinental railway is being built to connect the two countries, there’s a “Little Saigon” in Warsaw, and Polish schoolchildren are being taught Vietnamese.
  • There’s a rebellion in Chechnya that the Soviets are having difficulty suppressing, to the point that the Polish government is being called upon for advice. There is also some sort of rebellion going on in Yugoslavia, though no details are given.
  • The President of the United States is Al Gore. He is building up arms in Kuwait (despite “objections from the international community”), threatening war with Iraq.
I actually think that this series’s take on AH is uniquely Polish because of the subtle, but present self-aggrandizement of the Polish nation as a whole. There’s a scene in which a Vietnamese-born character states his admiration for the fundamental Christian kindness present in every Pole’s heart, and one in which the Poles are implied to be both more competent than the Soviets and diplomatically independent of them. It reminds me of the description given on this TV Tropes page for “Atomic Roulette” by Andrzej Pilipiuk, or that infamously terrible Pole-wank on The Other Place which I refuse to link to: Whenever a Pole writes alternate history with anything less than academic level rigor, it seems, national pride dictates that Poland must always be given an elevated status as some sort of world power in the alternate world, and the Polish nation must be praised as having some sort of fundamental, uniquely virtuous characteristic.

That aside, the show seems pretty cool so far. I agree with your assessment of the style—it’s doing a good job of mixing 1984-esque imagery (which it’s clearly trying to allude to directly, because of the title of the show and the fact that the book itself is shown prominently in one scene), Matrix-like imagery and the typical architectural trappings of Communist Europe. The cars still look like slightly modernized Ladas and Volgas, which I think is funny. The exposition is handled kind of clumsily, but I’m willing to forgive it because this is a such a new genre for TV that these people are practically trailblazers.

WARNING: this show is NSFW. Strong language, plus quite a bit of graphic nudity in every episode so far.
 
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