It seems like at some point most of our favorite onscreen science fiction heroes end up within, or at least affecting, World War II. The storytelling appeal of this era seems obvious. It was a century-defining conflict that was long and varied, with clear heroes and villains. Inserting your own hero into this backdrop grants your story an epic scope, to say the least, but the most alluring aspect of World War II might be the focal point it became for all events that came after it. Insert your SF character into World War II and watch them spin out a whole series of events differing from how things really played out.
Whatever the case, a lot of our favorite characters seem to perpetually exist there, so we started wondering just how populated World War II would get if we considered it a shared universe.
We’ll start off with the most obvious World War II tourist: The Doctor.
We know the Doctor is returning to WWII in this Saturday’s forthcoming Doctor Who episode, “Let’s Kill Hitler.” But he could likely hang out with other versions of himself there too. The Ninth Doctor is present during the London Blitz in “The Empty Child” and the Eleventh Doctor was hanging out with British Daleks in “Victory of the Daleks,” again during the Blitz. That’s two different Doctors within a 10 month span of time of each other!
If the two Eleventh Doctors — the one in London and the one in Germany — wanted to shoot over to
Russia Northumbria, England [Thanks to the appropriately named Fenric25 for the correction!], they could probably meet up with the Seventh Doctor from “The Curse of Fenric.” There’s also ANOTHER random Eleventh Doctor in a prison camp depicted briefly in “The Impossible Astronaut,” which means if a Doctor pow-wow were to occur in some kind of central WWII country it would feature 3 Elevens, 1 Nine, and 1 Seven, and this is just what we’ve seen on screen!
It gets a little wilder if you throw Captain Jack Harkness into the mix. There’s at least four versions we’re aware of: the con-artist Jack with Nine and Rose, the Torchwood Jack with Tosh who meets the “real” Jack Harkness, the Jack who has to travel through the 20th century all over again after being ditched by Nine and Rose, and then the Jack who is buried underneath the ground in Cardiff somewhere.
But what about some of our other favorite characters? Could all these versions of the Doctor and Jack meet up with Indiana Jones? What would Torchwood have to say about the Ark of the Covenant? Would the Doctor be able to sort out the Holy Grail from The Last Crusade?
Actually, all of this might be directly related to the temporal cold war from Star Trek: Enterprise. Remember those ugly Nazi aliens who invaded WWII-era New York and the Enterprise had to come shoot them down? It seems to me those aliens probably are using technology from the Trickster’s Brigade in an attempt to stop Starfleet/The Federation from ever forming. If we keep extrapolating, that means that Indiana Jones is probably unwittingly an agent of either Torchwood sent to fight the Nazis and obtain specific alien artifacts for the institute. (Indy’s dad and Marcus Brody seem to have some U.K. ties.)
And if you look at him in a certain light, Red Skull kind of resembles a red version of one of those Enterprise aliens, meaning he is actually a time-traveling alien, too. Captain America could then be seen as probably a very early version of the genetically enhanced soldiers that end up causing the Eugenics Wars in the Star Trek universe.
Captain America is a good version of Khan. Because Indiana Jones is made immortal at some point by that potion he gets in The Last Crusade this means he’ll be able to advise Captain America in the future when the Cap gets unfrozen. I also think that it’s fair to say that all the various incursions from the Doctor are the reasons why there are so many contradictory Captain America and Star Trek timelines out there. In fact, because WWII is so pivotal, it’s possible numerous potential futures are all splintering out from that time period all the time. Every time someone like Jack or the Doctor shows up it gets even worse and more splintered.
Further, the idea of America never entering WWII seems to be a hot topic of conversation at these potential historical pop-character crossover parties. We met a little parasite in the last episode of Torchwood that lived in the 1920s. The plan with this one was to convince FDR not to enter the war. Just like Edith Keeler from classic Trek’s “City on the Edge of Forever!” Is it possible the Trickster’s Brigade stole this idea from Kirk, Spock and Bones after hanging around in that soup kitchen and checking out Spock in that sweet beanie? Until we go back in time ourselves, we may never know for sure.
We could extrapolate on this forever, and we haven’t even scratched the surface. What other onscreen heroes and villains are messing around in World War II? Chime in below!
Stubby the Rocket is the mascot of Tor.com and was originally built during World War II, with each rivet lovingly bolted by a cadre of Rosies.