ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The apocryphal show Schrodinger's Heroes  first aired as a replacement for a cancelled show. Only a handful of episodes were initially broadcast. More had been produced but were not broadcast during the first run, and only emerged later in the boxed set. A number of episodes were scripted but never produced, and a few more brainstormed but not scripted. This layered configuration of the canon material contributes to the different branches of fanon.


Aired Episodes

This five-hour block of material made up the core of the canon. It was all the fans had to go on, in the beginning. Therefore, plenty of the fanfic starts from here without incorporating later episodes. The aired episodes managed to attract a devoted following right away, especially among women, people of color, and folks into hard science. The first release of Schrodinger's Heroes in home-viewable format contained only these five episodes.

"Earth to Alex, Come in Please" (pilot part 1) -- Alex buys an abandoned superconducting supercollider to house her experimental physics project. She assembles a team of folks with scientific and practical skills to set up the facilities. Plans go awry when her cat Schrodinger chases a mouse across the control console during the first big experiment ... and reality makes a sharp right turn into the weird zone. The episode ends with everyone staring at the unfamiliar terrain transposed into the middle of the Ring.

Introduces all main characters: Alex, Ash, Bailey, Kay, and Pat. Alex first appears in a t-shirt that says, "Stand back -- I'm going to try science." Ash's t-shirt has the line-and-circle 'power' symbol on it. Later scenes show them in more formal white lab coats as the big experiment draws near. The strongest opening relationships are Alex and Bailey, then Alex and Ash. A conversation between Ash and Pat reveals canonical aspects of their sexuality: Ash is asexual while Pat is pansexual and poly. Kay first appears in the background as an ordinary security guard, in a khaki uniform with an atom symbol on the breast pocket. An Easter reference sets the time in March or April.

"Refolding the Map" (pilot part 2) -- With an unfamiliar landscape in the middle of the Ring, everyone focuses on figuring out what just happened and what to do next. Alex brings in her friend Quinn, who can handle any amount of weirdness with aplomb. She also sends for Morgan, a Hawaiian astronomer, in hopes of identifying the transposed sky. Alex and Ash have a sprawling discussion of quantum theory during which Ash repeatedly lapses into Dinè (Navajo) because she thinks English does a poor job of expressing quantum concepts. Alex coins the term "Teflon Tesseract" (quickly shortened to "Teferact" and then "Tef") to describe the dimensional apparatus. Kay distinguishes herself in action, and Alex promotes her from security guard to team member. The most dramatic scenes feature several people suddenly coming through the Teferact in hot pursuit of a fugitive (who ultimately escapes, never to be heard from again in canon). Despite their best efforts to shut down the Tef, the heroes discover they can't put the genie back in the bottle after all. The best they can do is try to control when the portal opens, where it connects, and what passes through it.

Introduces Quinn and Morgan (without mention of their sexuality). Quinn first appears wearing a patchwork vest with a maple-leaf pattern; his hair is crimson and gelled into short, touseled spikes. Morgan is still in her work clothes and hasn't even bothered to take off her "Mauna Kea Observatories" ID. Quinn tries hitting on Kay, with no success. His only real tie in the beginning is with Alex. Morgan quickly meshes with Alex and Ash on the science aspects.

"Axis of Evolution" -- Studying data from the Teferact, Alex puts forth the premise that there are lines through the dimensions along which certain traits change in consistent ways. Ash dubs these andervectors   in contrast to the quantum concept of eigenvectors. Morgan is another major influence on this discovery, discussing aspects of astrophysics and the influence of base parameters on what types of life might develop. Quinn does a good job of handling multiple versions of reality and spotting data clusters, thus helping to plot the vectors. Midge provides a complicating subplot as she tries to uncover what's going on. (Morgan: "If you find out, be sure to tell us.") The scientists tentatively identify andervectors for readily visible features such as skin tone and hair color. Unfortunately they blow out the power grid again while trying to crunch all the numbers.

Introduces Midge, implying her lesbian identity as she attempts to seduce her way out of trouble by hitting on first Kay and then Alex. Midge and Quinn recognize each other as kindred spirits, both in terms of being queer and being mischief magnets.

"Harnessing Power" -- Attempts to find an alternative power source lead to dimensions where erotic energy or BDSM power can be used as fuel. As Alex explains, "It's all energy; there's no logical reason why it can't be used as fuel." They start out trying to use plain sex, but when that doesn't generate as much energy as expected, Kay suggests that they consider the kind of activity that is all about  power exchange. Bailey is fascinated by this aspect of Kay. Ash and Alex are not keen on having sex to raise power, but are intrigued by the idea of using kink. Quinn has no trouble raising power with sex or kink, but throws a fit over the dimension where everyone is expected to declare a BDSM polarity.

Major appearance of Kay, who procures some BDSM power and successfully jumpstarts the Teferact. Quinn's hair is deep blue in this episode, straight and cut at chin length. Dom!Pat is bald with striking black-and-gold tattoos on his head, quite popular. Introduces Vic as canonically homosexual and kinky. This episode also features the first presentation of what becomes a tagline for the series. Bailey: "No  means off, Alex. Turn. The switch. Off." Alex is brilliant but excitable, and doesn't always remember to check feasibility before rushing forward.

"Landing the Eagle" -- The authorities find out about the Teferact and attempt to take control of it. The heroes thwart this by fast talking, sizable donations, and a demonstration that nobody else is better equipped to handle the weirdness that keeps pouring out of the Tef. Ignorant fingers fooling around with the controls for the Tef cause a malfunction that shuffles everyone through different dimensions; only Alex remains Core, and has to find a way to get everyone home.

Alex's leadership and problem-solving skills, Bailey's practicality, and Pat's social skills all stand out vividly. Quinn and Morgan don't appear in this episode. Introduces Jayden, who has this memorable exchange. Alex: "You people can't run the Teferact. Do you even know what this button does?" Jayden: "No." Alex: "How about this one?" Jayden: "No." Alex: "This one?" Jayden: "Let's find out." That's when the interdimensional shuffling starts. A Memorial Day reference places this episode near the end of May.


You can read more about the show and its characters, along with scripts for four advance advertisements, under the Schrodinger's Heroes  tag.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-15 12:04 pm (UTC)
davv: The bluegreen quadruped. (Default)
From: [personal profile] davv
I'm not sure that something this... adventurous could be aired in the real world :)

(But hey, they managed to get Lexx on air, so I could be wrong!)

Re: Yes...

Date: 2011-05-23 02:05 pm (UTC)
davv: The bluegreen quadruped. (Default)
From: [personal profile] davv
That's the nice thing about fiction: one doesn't have to be constrained by what would or would not really exist :)

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