Timeline: 1981

BEFORE

1981

  • January 4 (Sunday). The Spineless One Mojo (29) seizes control of his world.
  • January 10 (Saturday). Three men (Kenny, Frank, and "Tub") go out for a small hunting expedition in a snowy area in North America. A situation where Kenny shoots a dog escalates to Tub shooting him. Tub and Frank drive around pretending to search for a hospital, allowing Kenny to die from his injuries.1
  • January 20 (Tuesday). Ronald Reagan (69) is sworn in as fortieth President of the United States.2
  • January 31 (Saturday). The TARDIS, carrying the Doctor (fourth incarnation) and Adric (15) arrives in orbit of Traken. The Trakenite Union's leader, the Keeper of Traken, appears in the TARDIS, and directs them to the planet to aid in an upcoming crisis. The Master (thirteenth incarnation) manipulates himself into the role of the Keeper (after killing the previous Keeper and Kassia). With the help of Consul Tremas and his daughter Nyssa (20), the Master is defeated. Consul Luvic becomes the Keeper. After the Doctor and Adric leave, the Master takes over Tremas's body, killing Tremas, with his own personality being altered accordingly.3
  • February 1 (Sunday). Erik Lehnsherr (52) meets mutant illusionist Jason Wyngarde (35), called Mastermind.
  • February 21-23 (Saturday-Monday). A plane crashes into a building in Cairo, Egypt. In the building are N'Dare and David Munroe, who are killed, and their daughter Ororo (5) who survives many hours trapped. Eventually escaping, she is taken in by thief Achmed el-Gibar. She develops claustrophobia.
  • February 25 (Wednesday). Kimberly Drummond (15) practices for her part in a play (with the help of Eastland friends Natalie Green [14] and Blair Warner [16]), and a 25-year-old man asks her out, thinking her 20 years old. Her attempt to maintain the ruse results in wacky hijinks.4
  • February 28 (Saturday). The Doctor (fourth incarnation) and Adric arrive in the United Kingdom. Airline stewardess Tegan Jovanka (20) accidentally stows away on the TARDIS when it travels to the planet Logopolis. The Master (Tremas possession), having killed Tegan's aunt, follows them, and slays some of the Logopolitans, causing universal entropy to begin building up to destroy the universe. On Logopolis, the Doctor, Adric, and Tegan are joined by Nyssa. Logopolis is destroyed by the entropy. The Doctor and the Master travel back to Earth and jerry-rig a solution to the collapse of reality, but the Master double crosses the Doctor. The Doctor falls from a great height, and begins to die. He regenerates into his fifth incarnation.5
  • February 28. Adric is abducted by the Master. The recovering Doctor and companions Tegan Jovanka and Nyssa travel to the false resort Castrovalva. The Master's conjured people rebel against him. The Doctor recovers, and Adric is rescued.6
  • February 28. The Doctor (fifth incarnation), Adric, Nyssa, and Tegan Jovanka arrive aboard a starship, having missed Heathrow by quite a bit. They meet the Monarch, who attempts to turn all of life into artificial intelligence. He is defeated, though Adric briefly sides with him.7
  • March 6 (Friday). Genius girl Penny Brown (10) receives a newborn puppy as a gift from her uncle John (34). She decides to use a genetic retrovirus of her own design, increasing the dog's intelligence dramatically. She names the pup Brain.

March 9-16. The evil demonic essence of Freddy Krueger begins attacking the children of his killers through their dreams, causing them to die in real life. He kills teens Tina Grey, Rod Lane, and Glen Lantz, as well as Nancy Thompson's (16) mother Marge (one of his killers), before Nancy's considerable will banishes him for a time, though he gives her one final nightmare before departing.

March 18 (Wednesday). Los Angeles teacher Ralph Hinkley (30) takes his "special ed" class of much older high school students on a field trip into the California desert. Lingering in the area until the evening, the school bus breaks down, and Ralph walks away in search of help. He meets up with Bill Maxwell, and FBI agent investigating the disappearance of his partner. Mysterious aliens arrive, accompanied by the ghost of Bill's partner, and give Ralph a special super suit, and they entreat him and Bill to work to save Earth from future threats. Ralph returns to his students and finds the school bus working again. He loses the suit's instruction manual.[5]
March 19 (Thursday). Ralph Hinkley dons his super suit to get to a custody hearing in time, and instead gets himself arrested after flying and crashing into a wall. With the help of his lawyer Pam Davidson (whom he has yet to have begun a romance with, but they are already engaged) and Bill Maxwell, they stop a conspiracy to assassinate the president of the United States.[6]
March 20 (Friday). Returning to the Palmdale desert, Ralph Hinkley, Bill Maxwell, and Pam Davidson agree to work together as a makeshift team.[7]
March 31 (Tuesday). Makoto Hino dies. Akimasa Hino, her husband, leaves their daughter, Rei, in the care of his father, Takashi.
March 31. Forrest Gump (36), after receiving a letter from Jenny Curran (35), travels to Savannah, Georgia. He spends some time waiting for a bus and talking with strangers about his life. Upon his reunion with Jenny, he learns of the existence of his son, Forrest Jr. Later, he learns she is sick with a disease (unbeknownst to either of them, AIDS), and invites her and their son back home with him. She asks him to marry her, and he agrees.[8]

April 6 (Monday). Brothers Rick (33) and A.J. Simon (30) start a private detective agency in their hometown of San Diego.[9]
April 9 (Thursday). Howard Joel Wolowitz is born to Debbie and Sam Wolowitz in the United States.
April 12 (Sunday). The United States launches the first space shuttle, Columbia.
April 26 (Sunday). Forrest Gump and Jenny Curran are wed. Lt. Dan Taylor (47), sporting new prosthetic legs, attends.[10]
May. Arnold Dane takes his wife Susanna and daughter Lorna (3) aboard a plane after learning of Susanna having an affair. They have a confrontation, startling Lorna. Her latent mutant powers erupt in her fear, causing an electromagnetic pulse that causes the plane to crash. Erik Lehnsherr, sensing the pulse, rescues his daughter from the wreckage. Hoping to give her a normal life, he has his associate Mastermind place psionic blocks in her mind to prevent her from remembering she caused her parents' deaths. Erik brings the girl to her uncle and aunt to raise, who go on to adopt her.[11]
May 22 (Friday). Big Bird (18) has a foot race with his friend Aloysius Snuffleupagus (13), and asks Fred Rogers (53), who happens to be visiting Sesame Street, to judge the race. Big Bird wins the race, but Mr. Rogers leaves before Snuffy gets to the finish line. Snuffy does not believe Big Bird that Mr. Rogers was actually there, and the continuing disbelief of his grown-up friends to the existence of Snuffy causes great frustration for Big Bird. Later, Mr. Rogers returns and helps Big Bird differentiate between reality and fantasy as the avian begins to question his ability to distinguish the two.[12]
May 31 (Sunday). In Toronto, Ontario, department store Simpson's, an inept sorcerer, visiting the store after hours, animates a store mannequin, turning it into a human man. Jodie Virgin, an after-hours employee of the store, names him Jeff. Jeff learns that he is only animate when wearing his hat, and after special words are used in his presence. The magic is highly localized, so Jeff in unable to leave the building.[13]

June 7. Piper Elizabeth Chapman is born to Carol and Bill Chapman in Connecticut, United States.
George Devereaux dies. He is survived by his wife Blanche (48), and children Janet, Rebecca, Biff, Doug, and Matthew.
June 19-21 (Friday-Sunday). The Cannonball Run commences in the United States, an illegal race across the country from Connecticut to Los Angeles. This iteration is largely populated with extremely fringe people, some of whom are mentally ill, nihilistic, and/or sociopathic. Among the contestants are garage owner J.J. McClure (43) and his best friend and mechanic Victor Prinzim (47) (who suffers from a dissociative identity disorder that turns him into Captain Chaos) take an ambulance, hire a strange "doctor", and abduct a young photographer, Pamela Glover, drugging her until she starts to grow fond of them. A pair of older gentlemen, Morris Fenderbaum and Jamie Blake, dress as priests. A pair of young women, Jill Rivers and Marcie Thatcher, try to play up their sexiness to get past police along the way. A wealthy man, Seymour Goldfarb Jr., who looks like actor Roger Moore, acts as if he is Roger Moore to help himself get laid. Hong Kong actors Jackie Chan (27) and Michael Hui (38), pretending to be Japanese, use a rocket-powered Japanese car. A ridiculous Middle Eastern sheik, Abdul ben Falafel, also participates. Most of the drivers end up facing a motorcycle gang in southern California, and the large group acts heroically, especially Captain Chaos. Rivers and Thatcher ultimately win as the race descends into a mad run on foot, and Captain Chaos is called away to rescue a drowning doggy.[14]
July 5 (Sunday). In one of the earliest conflicts of the Trion civil war, revolutionary Roggatz Turlough is killed, and her husband and two sons are exiled. Boy soldier Vislor Turlough is exiled to Earth, where he is forced into attending the Brendon School in England. Meelov Turlough and the infant Malkon Turlough are sent to the lost Trion colony of Sarn. Their ship crashes, and Malkon is the only survivor. Marked as "The Chosen One”, he is raised by the Sarn elder Tiranov.
July 8 (Wednesday). Boone Carlysle is born to Sabrina Carlysle in Malibu, California, United States.
July 9 (Thursday). The gorilla Donkey Kong abducts Pauline Paulino, girlfriend of Mario Mario. The plumber scales various construction sites and rescues Pauline, capturing Donkey Kong.[15]

  • British Intelligence Agent 007 James Bond (fourth incarnation), on an infiltration mission to SPECTRE discovers his own clone (5), subconsciously sensing his Gallifreyan nature. He liberates the child, and MI6 has the boy placed with foster parents, who tell him that he is Bond's nephew, though Bond insists the boy be named James Bond Jr.8

August 13 (Thursday). The semi-Anthro cat Furrball is born in Acme Acres.
August 22 (Saturday). Takashi Hino takes his granddaughter Rei (3) with him to Tokyo, where he sets up a Buddhist temple.
September 15 (Tuesday). Debbie Allison Love is born in the United States.
September 21 (Monday). The British Honduras gains independence from the United Kingdom as Belize. Belize remains a member of the Commonwealth. The Tan Belize moves out of England's house.
September 23 (Wednesday). Charles Xavier visits Cairo, Egypt, and is pickpocketed by orphan girl Ororo Munroe (6). He telepathically stops her, and marks her for later. He then finds himself beckoned by Amahl Farouk (60) into a tavern. They do battle on the astral plane, where Xavier defeats Farouk, which results in the death of Farouk's body. Farouk becomes the Shadow King.
September 24 (Thursday). Kagome Higurashi is born in Tokyo, Japan.
September 30 (Wednesday). The humanoid Muppet Princeton Whitty is born in the United States.
October 4 (Sunday). Earl Hofert Jr. is born in Highland, Texas, United States.
October 6 (Tuesday). Rajesh Ramayan Koothrappali is born to V.M. Koothrappali and his wife in New Delhi, Delhi, India.
October 15 (Thursday). Despite the wishes of the Orkan supreme leader Orson, Mindy McConnell and Mork marry.
October 25 (Sunday). Seto Suzuki is born to Hikari and Satoshi Suzuki in Diamond City, Okinawa, Japan.
October 28 (Wednesday). Mike Beavis is born in Highland, Texas, United States.

  • November. Elaine Rockwell is murdered by powerful agents. Edward Rockwell is forced to enter the Witness Protection Program, and changes his and his son's surname to Raymond.

Lily Buffay commits suicide. Her twin daughters go their separate ways, with Ursula (14) going into the foster care system, and Phoebe (14) moving to New York City and living on the streets.
November 11 (Wednesday). Funky Kong is born on Kong Island on Mobius.
November 15 (Sunday). Mork lays an egg.
November 16 (Monday). A giant child that resembles comedian Jonathan Winters hatches from the egg to Mindy and Mork McConnell (25). They name him Mearth.

December 11 (Friday). Adric (17) steers the TARDIS to Ireland, and he, the Doctor (fifth incarnation), Nyssa (21), and Tegan Jovanka (21) face malevolent entities manifesting through the imaginary number i.[16]
December 18-24 (Friday-Thursday). Sarah Jane Smith comes to stay at her Aunt Lavinia Smith's house. She meets her aunt's ward, Brendan Richards, and unpacks K-9 Mark III. The three together stop a cult that has targeted them.[17]

AFTER

5^ Events of The Greatest American Hero pilot episode (1981).
6^ Ibid.
7^ Ibid.
8^ Events of film Forrest Gump (1994). Set shortly after the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan (March 30, 1981). Given Forrest's love for Jenny, I took it to be within a day.
9^ Premise of Simon & Simon television series (1981).
10^ Events of film Forrest Gump (1994).
11^ Events shown in flashback in X-Factor #243 (2012).
12^ Events of Sesame Street episode 1575 (1981).
13^ Premise of children's TV series Today's Special (1981).
14^ Events of film The Cannonball Run (1981).
15^ Events of arcade game Donkey Kong (1981).
16^ Events of Doctor Who audio play The Fifth Doctor: Iterations of i (2014). Explicitly set in December 1981.
17^ Events of K-9 and Company pilot episode "A Girl's Best Friend" (1981). Explicitly set on and about Christmas.

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