Monday, March 7, 2016

The Stepford Wives

IraLevin TheStepfordWives.jpgThe Stepford Wives Poster

Release Date: September 1972 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Stepford Wives
The Story: A family moves into a new neighborhood where all the wives seem extremely submissive.

Notes: This book is brought in via The Eugenics Wars, which implies that Seven and Lincoln were involved in this story, at least postscript. That crossover brings in this book, but not necessarily the film based on this book, its sequels, or the later remake. However, for the purposes of the TVCU, I think it may be safer to assume that the film, which was released just three years later, is likely the same events as the book. While the script emphasis is on gender conflict and the sterility of suburban living, and thus the science fiction elements are only lightly explored, the movie still makes it much clearer than the book that the women are being replaced by some form of robot. Goldman's treatment of the book differed from that of Forbes, with the robots closer to an idealized "Playboy Bunny"; it has been claimed that the look was scrapped when Forbes' actress wife Nanette Newman was cast as one of the town residents.  The term "Stepford wife," which is often used in popular culture, stems from the novel and is usually a reference to a submissive and docile wife. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, it was sometimes used in reference to any woman, even an accomplished professional woman, who had subordinated her life and/or career to her husband's interests and who affected submission and devotion to him even in the face of the husband's public problems and disgrace.  So there are many characters in fiction who use the term "Stepford Wife", and those don't count as crossovers because they are usually said sarcastically in using the slang term in reference to the film.  

The Eugenics Wars, Vol. 1

Release Date: 2001 (Setting is March 14, 1974 - November 9, 1989)
Series: Star Trek
Horror Crosses: Stepford Wives; Young Frankenstein; Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Frankenstein (novel)
Non-Horror Crosses: Avengers (TV), Six Million Dollar Man; The Pretender; Beauty and the Beast (80s TV); Bionic Woman; Star Trek: The Next Generation; Modesty Blaise; Knight Rider; The Equalizer
The Story: Gary Seven is a human agent of aliens with an interest in protecting Earth from itself and Roberta Lincoln is his human assistant. A secret project has been created to engineer supermen. One particular product, Khan Noonien Singh, rises above the rest, and makes an attempt at world conquest.
Notes: Gary Seven and Khan were both introduced in separate episodes of Star Trek, both having originated in the 20th century. Gary Seven’s appearance was meant to be a pilot for his own series which sadly never came to be. Khan was said to have conquered a quarter of the planet by the 1990s in the Eugenics Wars, an event that eventually of course never came to pass in the real world, so this is a wonderful story reconciling how it could have still happened without drastically altering the real world timeline from Star Trek’s history of our time period. In the story, Roberta refers to an encounter with robot housewives in Connecticut, a reference to the events of the Stepford Wives. One of the workers at the Eugenics Project is a sallow bug-eyed man called Mr. Eyegor. This is the same Igor (pronounced Eyegor) from Young Frankenstein. Another worker is Maggie Erickson, engaged to a man named Walsh, which means eventually she would take his name and become Maggie Walsh. In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Maggie Walsh is the head of a project that creates super soldiers to capture demons, which she uses to create her ultimate super-soldier, Adam. There is also a reference to Frankenstein, as in the original version. Other crossovers in the book bring in the above mentioned non-horror crosses. One final issue to bring up is regarding future stories. There are several stories linked to the Horror Universe that take place in the future. Doctor Who is in and this story brings in Star Trek. Alien is another linked future. Plus, there are plenty of others. But DW, ST, and Alien are the main three. And they are all pretty different in portraying how events of the future unfold. (Most of the other stories can easily fit in one of those main three timelines). I like to think of a timeline as one in which at any point, there is always a now. Looking backwards, there’s only one history. But looking forward, there is an infinite number of possibilities and thus an infinite number of future timelines, all that branch off of the present day Horror Universe.

The Dictionary of Imaginary Places: The Newly Updated and Expanded ...

Release Date: January 1, 1980 [expanded in 1999] (Setting is 1980 and 1999 in expansion)
Horror Crosses: King Kong; The Legend of Sleepy Hollow; The Siege of the Red House; The Stepford Wives; The Masque of the Red Death; Shadow: A Parable; Silence: A Parable; Jurassic Park; Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos
Non-Horror Crosses: The book has 730 entries, all crossovers. Buy the book.
The Story: This is a reference guide to places that people who live within this shared fictional reality could visit.
Notes: This list of fictional settings is written under the premise that they are all real places that people could visit. Considering the above crosses, it clearly fits in the Horror Universe. Note that this brings J. Sheridan le Fanu’s The Siege of the Red House, and three works of Poe (The Masque of the Red Death, Shadow: A Parable and Silence: A Parable) into the Horror Universe.


1980--REVENGE OF THE STEPFORD WIVES--Instead of being androids, the wives undergo a brainwashing procedure and then take pills that keep them hypnotized. As suggested by the title, in the end the wives are broken free of their conditioning and a mob of them kill the mastermind behind the conspiracy.

The Stepford Children Poster

1987--THE STEPFORD CHILDREN--Both the wives and the children of the male residents were replaced by drones. It again ends with the members of the conspiracy being killed.

The Stepford Husbands Poster

1996--THE STEPFORD HUSBANDS--The men in the town are being brainwashed by a female clinic director into being perfect husbands.

The Stepford Wives Poster

2004--THE STEPFORD WIVES--It is the powerful woman (played by Glenn Close) who is the evil mastermind of the injustice perpetrated on other women and featuring a Stepford-drone replacement for the male partner of a gay town resident.  Though I'd like to place this in the main timeline, this likely takes place in the TVCU2 because it features the same characters in a modernized retelling of the same story.

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