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Rķu rķu, chķu August 31 2013 04:28 AM

West Wing timeline divergence?
 
I'm curious - at which point in the Presidential line of succession does The West Wing diverge from reality? Who's the last President to be in both timelines?

cardinal biggles August 31 2013 05:28 AM

Re: West Wing timeline divergence?
 
The timeline diverged when Nixon resigned; from that point on, the West Wing universe has fictional presidents. When the show launched in 1999, Gerald Ford was still alive, so the divergence makes sense: having fictional presidents allows your characters to make potentially critical references to past real-world events that would be mirrored on the show without being directly critical of the real-life men who'd been President at the time.

Rķu rķu, chķu August 31 2013 05:30 AM

Re: West Wing timeline divergence?
 
I just did a bit of google fu and found this:

http://westwing.wikia.com/wiki/Presi..._United_States

It says that the timeline doesn't diverge until after Reagan.

Or rather during, as in TWW apparently Reagan leaves office two years before he does it in the real world. I don't know how this happened (I have seen precisely one episode of the show and this wasn't it).

cardinal biggles August 31 2013 05:42 AM

Re: West Wing timeline divergence?
 
They never say.

Rķu rķu, chķu August 31 2013 05:44 AM

Re: West Wing timeline divergence?
 
IIRC, doesn't the series begin with Bartlet's election? And that wasn't an election year IRL so they must have been fudging the dates a bit because of that.

Sci August 31 2013 06:38 AM

Re: West Wing timeline divergence?
 
Quote:

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: (Post 8579851)
IIRC, doesn't the series begin with Bartlet's election? And that wasn't an election year IRL so they must have been fudging the dates a bit because of that.

The pilot episode is actually set about eight or nine months into Jed's first term -- so, in other words, in about September of 1999, which is when it aired in real life. So Jed would have been elected in 1998 and taken office in January 1999.

Basically, WWverse elections are held in what are in real life the midterms as a result of Nixon.

Rķu rķu, chķu August 31 2013 06:47 AM

Re: West Wing timeline divergence?
 
Quote:

Sci wrote: (Post 8579917)
Basically, WWverse elections are held in what are in real life the midterms as a result of Nixon.

Okay, now you lost me. :confused:

Is the Wikia article (that I linked to) wrong? If not, then what does Nixon have to do with Reagan leaving office in the WW_verse two years before he did it in real life?

(The WW Wikia's article on Reagan himself does not say anything about the latter, either, although it does confirm that Reagan was president at some point in the WW_verse)

Guy Gardener August 31 2013 07:05 AM

Re: West Wing timeline divergence?
 
From what's said in this thread...

Gerald Ford declined to finish off the disgraced Nixon's term.

The then speaker of the house must of as well.

Which forced a by-election.

So the duly elected 38th president (Not Gerald Ford) was sworn in 2 years earlier than Carter had been destined to be, throwing the 4 year cycle off tilt.

Rķu rķu, chķu August 31 2013 07:28 AM

Re: West Wing timeline divergence?
 
I see. So the only confirmed point of divergence is Nixon, and if any other presidents after him were common to both timelines, there's no proof of it? Just vague references, like the Reagan ones I mentioned?

Guy Gardener August 31 2013 08:00 AM

Re: West Wing timeline divergence?
 
Had a thought.

What if Gerry didn't decline the Presidency, but instead was implicated.

Their Watergate could have been a hell of a lot more interesting than our Watergate.

TheGodBen August 31 2013 01:11 PM

Re: West Wing timeline divergence?
 
Quote:

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: (Post 8579812)
I just did a bit of google fu and found this:

http://westwing.wikia.com/wiki/Presi..._United_States

It says that the timeline doesn't diverge until after Reagan.

I wouldn't trust that link, they seem to just be filling in the gaps we don't know about with real Presidents. I believe the last real President that was confirmed on TWW was JFK, but there are allusions to the Watergate scandal so that suggests Nixon was President. Ford, Carter, and Reagan are never mentioned. Newman and Lassiter are only mentioned in one episode of the fifth season and we don't get much backstory on their Presidencies.

The most common explanation is that the timeline diverged after Nixon's resignation, with an election held in 1974. How Nixon's resignation led to the creation of the states of Qumar and Equatorial Kundu is anyone's guess. ;)

Alidar Jarok August 31 2013 01:16 PM

Re: West Wing timeline divergence?
 
I was going to suggest that it was always different because elections were off by two years, but the Nixon resignation as an explanation could work.

We know Andrew Jackson was President, at least ;)

Ensign_Redshirt September 1 2013 12:27 PM

Re: West Wing timeline divergence?
 
It was never explained and all we'll ever have is fan speculation on the subject.

All we know is that Bartlet's direct predecessors were Lassiter and Newman and presidential elections were held in 1998, 2002 and so on.

The identity of Newman's predecessor was never canonically established as far as I recall. It could have been Reagan, it could have been Lyndon LaRouche, it could have been another ficitional president we never heard of.

the G-man September 1 2013 02:45 PM

Re: West Wing timeline divergence?
 
Quote:

Sci wrote: (Post 8579917)
Quote:

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: (Post 8579851)
IIRC, doesn't the series begin with Bartlet's election? And that wasn't an election year IRL so they must have been fudging the dates a bit because of that.

The pilot episode is actually set about eight or nine months into Jed's first term -- so, in other words, in about September of 1999, which is when it aired in real life. So Jed would have been elected in 1998 and taken office in January 1999.

Basically, WWverse elections are held in what are in real life the midterms as a result of Nixon.

If a US Preident resigns, his successor serves out the end of the term. There are no special elections. As such, Nixon's resignation should not have 'shifted' the election schedule, nor should anything that might have happened to Reagan.

bigdaddy September 1 2013 04:20 PM

Re: West Wing timeline divergence?
 
Yeah there is no time when it goes off on it's own, it's always in an AU. I wouldn't worry too much about it because the show plays lose in time and skipped a year.

However I swear they talked about Reagan in an episode. But in season 5 there was an episode where a president dies and the living ones go to the funeral. So Reagan would have had to be the last one because the feeling is the president before Bartlett left because of Term limits and not because Bartlett beat him.


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