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Lists of Heads of Government and Heads of State

Kaiser Julius

Well-known member
Yes I know it was the setting but Ed also gave us a list of all Presidents up to 1940 so I went to the 80s IIRC.
I was hinting that a UK setting would indeed be fun.

Also here's my attempt at an ATLF for AGB that I wrote last year...

1940-47: William Graham (Labour)
1947-53: Rab Butler (Conservative)
1953-62: David Maxwell Fife (Conservative)
1962-64: Reggie Maudling (Conservative)
1964-73: George Brown (Labour)
1973-78: Enoch Powell (Conservative)
1978-83: Roy Jenkins (Labour)
1983- : Alan Clark (Labour)
 
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Callan

Racist name by the way,
Published by SLP
Location
Toronto
A Theoretical Look Forward: Capricorn One

In the spirit of what Japhy's working on, I started thinking about the archetypical seventies conspiracy thriller- Capricorn One, which in many ways perfectly shows why there aren't many films of that genre today. I ended up really overthinking this, and it became a wider exploration of that AH trope of "JFK Lives; Space Race forever!", which strikes me as the most obvious PoD for a Mars Mission by the late 70s/80s as well as a bunch of other related ideas.

1961-1965: John F. Kennedy / Lyndon B. Johnson (Democratic)
1960: Richard Nixon / Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. (Republican)
1965-1967: John F. Kennedy / George Smathers (Democratic)
1964: Richard Nixon / John J. Williams (Republican), George Wallace / Various (State's Rights)
1967-1969: George Smathers / Vacant (Democratic)
1969-1973: George Romney / John Tower (Republican)

1968: George Smathers / Terry Sanford (Democratic)
1973-1977: George Smathers / Fred Harris (Democratic)
1972: George Romney / John Tower (Republican), George Wallace / Ezra Taft Benson (Independent), Eugene McCarthy / Benjamin Spock (Independent)
1977-1982: Howard Baker / Donald Rumsfeld (Republican)
1976: Fred Harris / John Glenn (Democratic)
1980: Reubin Askew / Robert Morgenthau (Democratic)

1982: Donald Rumsfeld / Vacant (Republican)
1982-1986: Donald Rumsfeld / Marshall Coleman (Republican)

1984: Robert Kennedy / Neil Goldschmidt (Democratic)
1986: Marshall Coleman / Vacant (Republican)
1986-1989: Marshall Coleman / Charles Evers (Republican)
1989-1993: George McGovern / Leon Panetta (Democratic)

1988: Marshall Coleman / Anne Gorsuch (Republican), Jim Bakker / John K. Singlaub (Moral Majority)
1993-2001: Jim Webb / Larry McDonald (Republican)
1992: Leon Panetta / Mike Espy (Democratic), LaDonna Harris / Ralph Nader (Independent)
1996: Jim Mattox / Booth Gardner (Democratic), Jim Hightower / Karen Silkwood (Peace and Freedom)

2001-: Kathleen Kennedy Townsend / Max Baucus (Democratic)
2000: Carroll Campbell / Clarence Thomas (Republican), Rosie Castro / Karen Silkwood (Peace and Freedom)

Historians argue whether Kennedy's dropping of Lyndon Johnson in favour of an old friend is what nearly cost him the election or just about pushed him over the line in several key states. Either way, Governor Nixon's meltdown of a concession speech sealed the Republican's fate and set the tone for the next few years. Johnson was an asset Kennedy could've used in trying to push more of the Civil Rights and New Frontier Agenda through an increasingly truculent Congress with a Vice President who increasingly sided with those in congress who sought to water down such measures, watering down that only worsened following Kennedy's abrupt resignation, as his long-hidden illnesses became near-impossible to cover up.

Liberals would have to wait for a Republican to push through the more liberal civil rights measures and de-escalation in Vietnam. And while Romney is remembered positively today, at the time his tenure was marked by riots and civil strife. Famously, when attending a parade to commemorate Gus Grissom and the other recently returned heroes of Apollo 1, Romney was booed by the crowd. Robert Kennedy opted not to run against Smathers, instead deciding that going to Albany to challenge Governor Buckley was a better way to honour his late brother's legacy. The social strife of the Romney years forced Smathers to the left on many matters- it was in his second term that much of the ambitious welfare state proposals of the New Frontier came into being. Large investments in NASA (promising skylabs and Mars missions) and advisors like Henry Kissinger shepherding detente with Premier Kosygin, for whom the Space Race was less urgent.

Howard Baker functioned as a continuation of the Smathers consensus, barely touching the established welfare programmes and resisting calls from the right and left to go either way on Civil Rights measures. Early in his term were several scandals in the nuclear industry, including some terrifying near-misses in California; and while he was admired for the handling of the near-crisis few faced consequences for it. His assassination in 1982 set off a six month nationwide manhunt which was only resolved when John Paul Franklin, under arrest for an attempt on the life of the ailing Reverend King, confessed to Chattanooga shooting. He had come to view President Baker as a "race traitor" for appointing former Senator Charles Evers Attorney General.

Rumsfeld successfully brought the country together following the tragedy and resultant tragedy, and easily saw off Governor Kennedy as well. His term was dominated by re-escalating tensions with the East and Premier Suslov, of which a re-energised Space Race was just one proxy in an increasingly expensive fight. The increasing pressure from all the way up is what led to the Capricorn Affair. The appearance of one of the crew members of the Capricorn One at his own memorial service unwound the entire conspiracy very quickly, with much of the increasingly militarised and politicised leadership of NASA finding themselves facing criminal charges. While Rumsfeld wasn't personally responsible, he had created the culture that had led to the Capricorn Affair and had a greater hand in other mounting scandals and war crimes that were bubbling to the surface in the increasingly irreverent eighties. The sum total of this was to disgrace the United States on the world stage, and Rumsfeld resigned before he could be impeached.

The Democrats sailed to victory in 1988 on a platform of open government and general anti-establishment feeling, but not with the candidate they wanted. George McGovern's aggressive reformist bent, taking an axe to NASA and the Pentagon’s budget and establishing "truth commissions" to properly get to the bottom of the crimes of the Rumsfeld Administration and even earlier. This left much of Washington unsettled, and soon he found himself under attack from all sides: a tepid Congress, financial markets constantly betting against him and his commissions and allies stonewalled and marginalised. While Pyotr Masherov's grip was loosening on the Eastern Bloc, it felt very much like America was losing the Cold War. Arms reductions were standard policy, a re-unified Germany left NATO, and the Soviets landed their own moon mission in 1991. Much has been written and alleged about McGovern's abrupt declining of a second term- the most common allegation being some sort of blackmail, even though the recession would have likely sunk him had he ran. McGovern never publicly commented on the allegations beyond his vague statement of health and family reasons, and campaigned tepidly for his disloyal Vice President as many of his supporters rushed to the campaign of the former Second Lady.

Webb, elected on a "return to normalcy" after the chaotic eighties, accomplished just that, delivering pardons for many caught up in the Capricorn Affair and other scandals of that era, shutting down the truth commissions and once again turning on the taps to NASA and the Pentagon, even as the Cold War seemed less and less urgent of a concern. He was able to govern comfortably as the Democrats feuded amongst themselves and had their vote split by a left that had been irreversibly empowered by the McGovern Administration. Aggressive deregulation and free trade policies were pursued, as were sanctions against the regimes of Winnie Mandela and other nascent Marxist states. It was a time of division and dirty tricks, and there weren't many capable of uniting the country.

A Kennedy could do that job. And while the Peace and Freedom Party (now with a whole three Congressmen and a dusting of state legislators) hates the Governor's daughter and president's niece almost as much Webb, her administration maintains high approval ratings and several Webb appointees. Early into her term, she made a historic visit to Moscow to meet recently elected Soviet Premier Gorbachev Among the many topics discussed to bring the two superpowers together, a joint mission to Mars was formally proposed- "for real this time".
 
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Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
How 'bout Fight and be Right or A Greater Britain?
GENERAL SECRETARIES OF THE FEDERATION OF WORKERS REPUBLICS

1938 - 1951: Earnald Mosley (EngSynd) [1]
1951 - 1955: Earnald Mosley (Whites) [2]
1955 - 1956:
Tom Driberg (EngSynd) [3]
1957 - 1958:
Michael O'Riordan (EireSynd)
1959 - 1960:
Ezekias Papaioannou (CypSynd)
1961: Tom Driberg (EngSynd) [4]
1961 - 1968: Reggie Kray (BritSoc) [5]
1968 - 1971: Reggie Kray (Airstrip One) [6]
1971 - 1972:
General Máirin de Valéra (Lady Protector) [7]

[1] "EngSynd" is a retroactive term from the 1950s

[2] The term used by foreign observers of the 'Workers War', as the Indian Workers' Republic - too large and powerful to be held down under the federal system - asserted its might (the Browns).

[3] Driberg reformed the position into a two-year rotating job, to prevent further nationalist conflict. The line for the proles was "we had always been undermined by Asia"

[4] The position became dangerously close to going to the West Indian Workers Republic, so Driberg and allies pulled a fast one. Instability broke out.

[5] The Kray twins were Driberg's men in the Ministry of Public Safety ("MiniSafe" officially or "MiniLove" as people darkly joked), part of the generation who'd only ever known Syndicalism and who'd cut their teeth on the purges of Scottish dissidents. They'd decided they didn't need him, officially dissolved the Anglo-Irish republics into a single British Workers' Republic, and waged terror and low-level warfare to keep the Federation under the boot.

[6] Derogatory term for the rump federation after a series of revolts and foreign interventions had reduced it to merely Britain and Ireland. (Airstrip One was a white elephant military site for the Worker's Air Force new Frighteners bomber fleet, allegedly scaring off German, Chinese, and South African foes)

[7] Military governor following the South African/Chinese invasion of the British Isles, under temporary command until elections could be held. Due to the chaos in London at the time, General de Valéra established her command (and the residence of the returning monarch) in Dublin - this would remain the capital of the Second United Kingdom of Britain and Ireland due to intertia.
 
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BClick

The Coyote Has Crept into Our Language
Location
Little Beirut
Pronouns
He/him
The Jaws of Victory

1932-1946: Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democratic, then Liberal)
1946-1949: W. Lee O’Daniel (Democratic)
1949-1957: Pat Brown (Liberal)
1957-1961: Estes Kefauver (Democratic)
1961-1965: Ralph Yarborough (Liberal)
1965-1969: John F. Kennedy (Democratic [Coalition Ticket])
1969-1972: Ronald Reagan (Democratic-Republican)

1972-1973: John Paul Hammerschmidt (Democratic-Republican)
1973-1981: Richard Nixon (Democratic-Republican)
1981-1984: Lloyd Bentsen (Democratic-Republican)
1984-1985: Gerald Ford (Democratic-Republican)
1985: Frank White (Democratic-Republican)

1985-1987: Lester Maddox (Democratic-Republican [Citizens’ Councils])
1987: Adm. James Carter (leading Continental Congress)
1987-1989: Ronald Reagan (leading Continental Congress)

1989-1997: Bobby Rush (All-American People’s Revolutionary)
1997-2005: Bill Clinton (Continental)
2005-2009: Pat Buchanan (New Citizens)
2009-0000: Kent Hance (Continental)


Finally fed up by the intransigence of the party’s conservatives, who forced him to accept a second-rate right-winger as Vice President, FDR walks out of the Democratic Party as soon as World War II comes to an end to create the truly progressive ticket he and Wendell Willkie had long planned. Unfortunately, both Roosevelt and Willkie die before they can consolidate power. President Pappy retreats pell-mell from world affairs and pisses off so many New Dealers that not only does he lose the Presidential nomination in 1948, the Liberal Party actually wins despite its decapitation.

The left’s answer to Thomas Dewey, accomplished young Frisco DA Pat Brown, does his best to rebuild ties with the rapidly Finlandizing countries of Western Europe and to rebuild a new ruling coalition without the Southern reactionaries. To that end, he embraces the labor movement and encourages the CIO’s Project Dixie to break the rump Democrats’ power – leading to him being smeared as a Communist. Estes Kefauver rejects such disgraceful McCarranism, hammering union corruption instead of union radicalism, and nips the incipient New Majority in the bud. He leaves it to surrogates to spew misogynist bile at the Liberal candidate, Senator Gahagan. (Ironically so, as moralistic social conservatism and brutal policing becomes the order of the day under his administration.)

Ralph Yarborough is a new breed of anti-racist Southern populist, product of the brief ray of light that was Operation Dixie. Defeating Kefauver on a platform of peaceful internationalism, civil rights, and health care reform, he finds himself just as stymied by the Conservative Coalition as were Brown and Roosevelt before him. In 1964, that coalition becomes a formal body. The Republicans, who have not won a Presidential election in over thirty years and have drifted into permanent third place under the leadership of ideologues such as Barry Goldwater and Joe Shell, take Jack Kennedy’s vice-presidential slot with gratitude.

The sickly, privileged, red-baiter is the darling of the right, and his nail’s-edge victory over Yarborough is a calamity for the American left. Kennedy is widely understood to be a figurehead for a Congress now moving firmly to dismantle the New Deal. When his many illnesses force him to step aside in favor of his vice-president in 1969, nothing much changes, apart from the name on the ballot paper as the two conservative parties merge. Ronald Reagan is another grinning nonentity – at least until the explosive revelations of his contact with Soviet spies in Hollywood, which force him from office.

Richard Nixon draws up a deal with the USSR, ceding political control of the Old World to the Communists in return for free trading opportunities for American corporations and unquestioned US authority over the Americas. Domestically, he oversees superficial racial integration and then turns to the opposition: the Liberal Party and its affiliated unions. High-profile Liberals like Ellis Arnall and George McGovern are systematically destroyed through character assassination; for leaders of the militant black freedom movement, unsatisfied with his paper reforms, the assassination is literal.

Of course, not all D-Rs are happy with the authoritarian turn the ascendant conservatives have taken, and a reformist emerges from the 1980 convention. Lloyd Bentsen ends the Hemispheres of Influence policy, stirs up conflict with the Soviets, and uses the patriotic cover to free political prisoners and relax the Kefauver-era censorship laws. Who knows what would have happened if Bentsen had lived to see a second term – a return to multiparty democracy, or a thermonuclear war?

The President and Vice President are both killed in a magazine explosion while viewing new ships at the Washington Naval Yard, only months before the 1984 elections. Gerald Ford, the longtime House Speaker, attempts to keep America calm by insisting that it was only an accident and that the election will go ahead as scheduled. Ford is a well-known moderate and a member of the establishment, however, and the steadily radicalizing grassroots of the party insist he must be covering up the culpability of black radicals. Protests break out demanding a delay of the election and a full investigation. Eventually, Ford is forced out and replaced by a nonentity while the hard-right leadership in Congress gins up a witchhunt, looking for black nationalists in the Navy.

The belated 1985 elections see a D-R split and a victory for Maddox, a white-supremacist restaurateur who chairs the loosely party-affiliated National Citizens’ Councils. Maddox’s outsider status, his crassness, and his ties to extreme vigilante violence all make the party establishment uncomfortable, but they cooperate with him until the ever-widening military witchhunts start to destroy America’s defense capabilities. When Maddox is overthrown by his fellow Georgian – Jim Carter, the former chief of the submarine service, whose powerful criticism of government tyranny before the McDonald Committee stirred hearts across the country – it is the end both of D-R rule and of the Cold War.

Carter, for whom military rule is anathema, quickly hands over power to ex-President Reagan, whose long-ago Soviet sympathy is now an asset rather than a liability. The short rule of the Continental Congress remains controversial today: sweeping racial justice measures are enacted and political prisoners freed, but most state crimes are brushed under the carpet and little fundamental constitutional change is made.

Bobby Rush, one of those prisoners, is elected on a platform of red-white-and-blue socialism, having abandoned his black separatist politics in jail. During his first term, the federal government takes control of the commanding heights of the economy, develops a national health care system, and establishes reparations for African-Americans. During his second, it all starts to go wrong. The nationalized industries quickly become rife with cronyism and corruption, while Rush himself begins to exhibit grandiosity and a disdain for civil liberties. When he is dumped by his own party before his bid for a third term, Rush sneers that they don’t know what they’re doing: after him, the deluge.

Indeed, after his departure the country begins to veer between stagnant center-right and paranoid far-right. As our septuagenarian president gears up for his fourth term, the Soviet intelligentsia has begun to speculate breathlessly about a new cold war.
 
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Yokai Man

Well-known member
The Jaws of Victory

1932-1946: Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democratic, then Liberal)
1946-1949: W. Lee O’Daniel (Democratic)
1949-1957: Pat Brown (Liberal)
1957-1961: Estes Kefauver (Democratic)
1961-1965: Ralph Yarborough (Liberal)
1965-1969: John F. Kennedy (Democratic [Coalition Ticket])
1969-1972: Ronald Reagan (Democratic-Republican)

1972-1973: John Paul Hammerschmidt (Democratic-Republican)
1973-1981: Richard Nixon (Democratic-Republican)
1981-1984: Lloyd Bentsen (Democratic-Republican)
1984-1985: Gerald Ford (Democratic-Republican)
1985: Frank White (Democratic-Republican)

1985-1987: Lester Maddox (Democratic-Republican [Citizens’ Councils])
1987: Adm. James Carter (leading Continental Congress)
1987-1989: Ronald Reagan (leading Continental Congress)

1989-1997: Bobby Rush (All-American People’s Revolutionary)
1997-2005: Bill Clinton (Continental)
2005-2009: Pat Buchanan (New Citizens)
2009-0000: Kent Hance (Continental)


Finally fed up by the intransigence of the party’s conservatives, who forced him to accept a second-rate right-winger as Vice President, FDR walks out of the Democratic Party as soon as World War II comes to an end to create the truly progressive ticket he and Wendell Willkie had long planned. Unfortunately, both Roosevelt and Willkie die before they can consolidate power. President Pappy retreats pell-mell from world affairs and pisses off so many New Dealers that not only does he lose the Presidential nomination in 1948, the Liberal Party actually wins despite its decapitation.

The left’s answer to Thomas Dewey, accomplished young Frisco DA Pat Brown, does his best to rebuild ties with the rapidly Finlandizing countries of Western Europe and to rebuild a new ruling coalition without the Southern reactionaries. To that end, he embraces the labor movement and encourages the CIO’s Project Dixie to break the rump Democrats’ power – leading to him being smeared as a Communist. Estes Kefauver rejects such disgraceful McCarranism, hammering union corruption instead of union radicalism, and nips the incipient New Majority in the bud. He leaves it to surrogates to spew misogynist bile at the Liberal candidate, Senator Gahagan – ironically so, as moralistic social conservatism and brutal policing becomes the order of the day under his administration.

Ralph Yarborough is a new breed of anti-racist Southern populist, product of the brief ray of light that was Operation Dixie. Defeating Kefauver on a platform of peaceful internationalism, civil rights, and health care reform, he finds himself just as stymied by the Conservative Coalition as were Brown and Roosevelt before him. In 1964, that coalition becomes a formal body. The Republicans, who have not won a Presidential election in over thirty years and have drifted into permanent third place under the leadership of ideologues such as Barry Goldwater and Joe Shell, take Jack Kennedy’s vice-presidential slot with gratitude.

The sickly, privileged, red-baiter is the darling of the right, and his nail’s-edge victory over Yarborough is a calamity for the American left. Kennedy is widely understood to be a figurehead for a Congress now moving firmly to dismantle the New Deal. When his many illnesses force him to step aside in favor of his vice-president in 1969, nothing much changes, apart from the name on the ballot paper as the two conservative parties merge. Ronald Reagan is another grinning nonentity – at least until the explosive revelations of his contact with Soviet spies in Hollywood, which force him from office.

Richard Nixon draws up a deal with the USSR, ceding political control of the Old World to the Communists in return for free trading opportunities for American corporations and unquestioned US authority over the Americas. Domestically, he oversees superficial racial integration and then turns to the opposition: the Liberal Party and its affiliated unions. High-profile Liberals like Ellis Arnall and George McGovern are systematically destroyed through character assassination; for leaders of the militant black freedom movement, unsatisfied with his paper reforms, the assassination is literal.

Of course, not all D-Rs are happy with the authoritarian turn the ascendant conservatives have taken, and a reformist emerges from the 1980 convention. Lloyd Bentsen ends the Hemispheres of Influence policy, stirs up conflict with the Soviets, and uses the patriotic cover to free political prisoners and relax the Kefauver-era censorship laws. Who knows what would have happened if Bentsen had lived to see a second term – a return to multiparty democracy, or a thermonuclear war?

The President and Vice President are both killed in a magazine explosion while viewing new ships at the Washington Naval Yard, only months before the 1984 elections. Gerald Ford, the longtime House Speaker, attempts to keep America calm by insisting that it was only an accident and that the election will go ahead as scheduled. Ford is a well-known moderate and a member of the establishment, however, and the steadily radicalizing grassroots of the party insist he must be covering up the culpability of black radicals. Protests break out demanding a delay of the election and a full investigation. Eventually, Ford is forced out and replaced by a nonentity while the hard-right leadership in Congress gins up a witchhunt, looking for black nationalists in the Navy.

The belated 1985 elections see a D-R split and a victory for Maddox, a white-supremacist restaurateur who chairs the loosely party-affiliated National Citizens’ Councils. Maddox’s outsider status, his crassness, and his ties to extreme vigilante violence all make the party establishment uncomfortable, but they cooperate with him until the ever-widening military witchhunts start to destroy America’s defense capabilities. When Maddox is overthrown by his fellow Georgian – Jim Carter, the former chief of the submarine service, whose powerful criticism of government tyranny before the McDonald Committee stirred hearts across the country – it is the end both of D-R rule and of the Cold War.

Carter, for whom military rule is anathema, quickly hands over power to ex-President Reagan, whose long-ago Soviet sympathy is now an asset rather than a liability. The short rule of the Continental Congress remains controversial today: sweeping racial justice measures are enacted and political prisoners freed, but most state crimes are brushed under the carpet and little fundamental constitutional change is made.

Bobby Rush, one of those prisoners, is elected on a platform of red-white-and-blue socialism, having abandoned his black separatist politics in jail. During his first term, the federal government takes control of the commanding heights of the economy, develops a national health care system, and establishes reparations for African-Americans. During his second, it all starts to go wrong. The nationalized industries quickly become rife with cronyism and corruption, while Rush himself begins to exhibit grandiosity and a disdain for civil liberties. When he is dumped by his own party before his bid for a third term, Rush sneers that they don’t know what they’re doing: after him, the deluge.

Indeed, after his departure the country begins to veer between stagnant center-right and paranoid far-right. As our septuagenarian president gears up for his fourth term, the Soviet intelligentsia has begun to speculate breathlessly about a new cold war.
PRESIDENT PAPPY O’DANIEL

[LBJ IS ANGRY AS FUCK]

Great list.
 

BClick

The Coyote Has Crept into Our Language
Location
Little Beirut
Pronouns
He/him
is is that rush became a representative the day hammerschmidt ceased to be one
Everybody who beat an OTL president in an election or selection gets a turn.

Reagan gets two separate turns since he beat both Bush Sr. (1980 primaries) and Carter. Bush Sr. is bottom of the heap with four opponents on the list. Eisenhower never lost an election, so he's where I started.
 

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
LIST OF ACTORS IN DOCTOR WHO

1963 - 1964: Alec Douglas-Home

A bit-part actor who played authority figures and lords - due to the fact he was one, "dabbling" in the arts, as he put it. The role of Dr Who (as it was then) was his first and last major role. In this incarnation, the Doctor was a grand Victorian gentlement scientist, a deliberate anachronism wherever he went and apparent figure of fun who would bring sudden, expected flashes of firmness.

However, Douglas-Home retired the role to return to Lords full-time as Prime Minister Hartnell became increasingly erratic. Needing a way to keep the show going, the BBC decided to reveal the Doctor as an alien who could regenerate himself when wounded - and the Dalek Invasion Of Earth story gave them the opportunity, as a Dalek rose from the Thames and gunned the Doctor down...


1964 - 1970: Harold Wilson

Wilson was deliberately chosen to contrast with his predecessor: younger, a Yorkshire grammar-school lad with a raincoat and pipe (his own), and an engineer out of the modern Sixties. This Doctor would roll his sleeves up, talk 'common sense', and get to work fixing things, and his companions were increasingly younger, 'trendier' figures than the stuffier Ian and Barbara. (Susan, his granddaughter, was phased out in his first story and replaced with Anglo-Indian future rebel Saida)

Behind the scenes, Wilson suffered from depressive moods and this led to clashes with the crew; a few stories had to include moments where the Doctor was "captured" or "lost" to calm things down. This led to Wilson eventually being pushed out, the BBC wanting a more reliable actor around for their budget-saving "Exiled To Earth" stories.


1970 - 1974: Edward Heath

Another lower-middle-class actor, Heath enjoyed the spirit of internationalism from the UNIT setup and pushed for more of it, with his Doctor visiting the nascent EEC on several occasions. With his interests in football and boating, there was a very failed attempt to make him a 'sportsman Doctor' in the first year.

Ratings began to decline in Heath's time in the role, while the supporting cast became more and more prominent: he just wasn't a commanding presence and fellow actors like Nicholas Courtney could do it much better. His intense privacy made it harder for the cast to get to grips with him either. The BBC began to panic and, in 1974, did a thing that seemed sensible maybe if you squint while drunk: they noticed how high the ratings for The Three Doctors had been in early 1973...


1974 - 1976: Harold Wilson

The Doctor was degenerated back into his older form as a reward by the Time Lords. Ratings initially rebounded but then sank again, as by this point Wilson was lacking his old energy and no longer part of the zeitgeist. Ratings fell back down, and the attempt to recentre the show around the Doctor cost most of the Heath-era cast. Once again, the role was recast - as Wilson refused to do the regeneration scene, his successor had to wear his coat from behind and fall over.

Fans have had this Doctor reclassified as "the Fourth Doctor" since the show ended, due to a theory that this was a completely new persona and the Time Lords merely restored his looks.


1976 - 1979: James Callaghan

Initially a popular Doctor, marked with a sunny optimism and a habit of "great debates" about the situation of the episode with his companions - up until behind-the-scenes issues raised their heads again. The BBC was facing financial problems and clashes with the controversial Labour PM Tom Baker, and Callaghan dove in to help the show with suggestions and effort. The nascent fan press reported on this and so whenever anything bad happened, well, Callaghan must've done it.

The nadir was when pressure from Callaghan caused union workers to storm off the set for a week in winter 1978, losing an entire episode. Fanzines and tabloids both had a field day with that one. Wearying of it all, Callaghan agreed to hand in his notice.


1979 - 1990: Margaret Thatcher

Regenerating the Doctor into a woman was seen as a quick attention-getter, and it worked. After a rocky first year, Thatcher's "Auntie Maggie" approach to the role - a warm, maternal, calm figure with steel underneath - struck a chord with children across the nation and helped the show finally crack the American market. Thatcher had once trained as a chemist, and so for the first time the show had an actual scientist working in the role.

The real Thatcher was very much not "Auntie Maggie". The longer she stayed in the role, the more she dominated the show. As long as the ratings were good, the BBC tolerated this even as the writers grew tired of her and various companion actors left - and unlike Callaghan, she gave not a jot what the fanzines said. All this was fine until it wasn't: Thatcher became too settled in the role and forced the show to remain static even as television changed around it. Facing the real possibility that the show could be cancelled, the BBC cornered her in one night and were able to convince her through a mix of threatened resignations and cajoling that it was time to step down.

Unfortunately they didn't have time to get someone else.


1990: John Major

John Major had been part of the "New Comedy" wave, affecting a deliberate and powerful deadpan - his entire schtick was making himself absurdly boring. The BBC, desperate for a replacement, felt Major was popular with certain trendy demographics, he'd do well here, right?

Those demographics were not kiddies, hardcore sci-fi nerds, or Americans. Worse, the end of Thatcher meant the show's writers could go nuts, and did, which created some episodes beloved by fans now but seen as too esoteric for the mainstream at the time.

In the last episode, "Shadows Over Avalon", Major's Doctor finds himself dealing with messages and tricks left behind by his own future self, who will one day end up as 'Merlin' for King Arthur. At the end, this future Doctor is humourously revealed to be played by children's entertainer Alex Johnson - then BoJo the Clown, presenter of Get The Rotters Back! - in full-on court jester activity. "I'm not happy about this," Major says as he looks into the camera.
 
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