This story originally appeared on the Total Drama Island Fanfiction wiki, where it won five awards in a 2012 vote:
* Best Reimagining
* Best Spelling/Grammar
* Best Portrayal of a Canon Character (for Sadie)
* Best Shocking Elimination
* Best Dramatic Scene (from the aftermath of said shocking elimination)
This story is a reimagining, not a remake, of the first Total Drama season, Total Drama Island. The difference is that "reimagining" implies a greater departure from the original than "remake" does. The premise of this reimagining is to play the Total Drama Island story arc for drama instead of laughs, resulting in something like and yet unlike the original. In other words, this reimagining is neither intended nor expected to "improve" the original, and readers who judge it against that standard may be disappointed.
The canonical challenges are mostly retained, as are several iconic incidents, but the elimination order is of course different. Character relationships (friendships, conflicts, and pairings) include a mix of canonical and not. The teams are initially the same as in the original.
The wiki version (link available on my profile page) includes numerous multimedia enhancements which this site supports only halfheartedly. Story pages on this site do not support external links, let alone embedded videos, so here I must provide those links on my profile page. The wiki version is therefore recommended for readers interested in these enhancements, although I no longer regard the wiki version as the primary.
The wiki version is also recommended for readers who wish to use the subheadings, because they will be easier to navigate there. Because the chapters completed to date are quite long, ranging from 7-12,000 words, subheadings are provided every 3-4,000 words for readers who prefer smaller bites.
This story has a TV Tropes page, a link to which is available on my profile page.
Brett Tomlinson was playing a video game when his mother came home from work. Normally, they would have greeted each other simply; but on this day, Brett had news.
"Guess what, mom?" he said excitedly. "I got accepted to that reality TV show I auditioned for!"
"Good for you!" his mother replied as cheerfully as she might. In truth, she had some reservations about what her son might be getting himself into, but she didn't want to seem a wet blanket. After all, she had once been young.
"So," she prompted, "Have they told you anything more about the show?" When Brett had made his audition tape three months before, the producers had revealed only that the show would be some type of elimination game, it would be produced the following summer, and only high school sophomores were eligible to apply. The producers hadn't even revealed what the show would be called.
"Not much," Brett admitted. "The acceptance letter did say that the show will be called Total Drama Island: the Next Generation—"
Brett's mother cocked her head at that name, but Brett did not notice.
"—and that the host will be some chick named Christin McLean," Brett added.
"Christin McLean," his mother repeated with a thoughtful look. "I wonder if she's any relation to Chris McLean."
"The letter mentioned that Chris McLean is Christin McLean's uncle, and that he was the original host. I guess that's where the 'Next Generation' part comes from."
Brett's mother nodded absently. She had heard that Total Drama Island was being revived after a seven-year run and a ten-year hiatus, but there were so many elimination game shows out there that she hadn't made the connection to Brett's audition.
"Lord, deliver us from the Chris McLeans of the world," she intoned in mock prayer. Noticing her son's quizzical expression, she explained, "He was so sadistic, you have no idea. It did boost ratings, though, I'll give him that."
"You watched the original?" Brett asked, noticing his mother's apparent familiarity with the show.
"I didn't just watch it," she explained, "I was there. In the very first season, when no one knew what to expect."
"Coolio," Brett exclaimed slowly. Recovering from his surprise, he asked, "Did you win?"
"No," she admitted. "I did pretty well, but I didn't win."
"What was it like?" Brett asked. He was more than normally curious, for he saw that he now had an unlooked-for chance to gain an advantage on his future rivals. He doubted that any of the other contestants would have personal access to someone with first-hand knowledge of what they were likely to encounter.
"It's a long story," his mother warned. "A lot longer than I can tell you in one night."
"Tell me," Brett pleaded. "Tell me everything!"
Brett hadn't been this excited to hear his mother tell stories since he was a toddler. It wasn't just that he stood to gain a competitive advantage on the show, either. The other—the greater—reason was that, although mother and son had always been close, this was an aspect of her past that she had never told him about, nor even mentioned in his presence. Brett was not going to let her wriggle out of this.
His mother had no intention of wriggling out of it. True, she had never told her son about her experience at Camp Wawanakwa, but now the time seemed right. "Go do your homework," she told him, "and I'll start after dinner."
After they had dined and Brett had finished his homework, he reminded his mother of her promise. Brett sat in his favorite chair, and his mother sat on the sofa. She took a few moments to collect her thoughts, and then she began to speak.
* This story's structural model is The 1,001 Nights, aka Arabian Nights and more formally titled The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night.
* Brett is named after the author's closest friend. The character was originally named Brendan, for no special reason.
* Naming the revived show Total Drama Island: the Next Generation is a reference to the 1987 revival of Star Trek as Star Trek: the Next Generation.
* Christin McLean was created by Sunshineandravioli on the Total Drama Island Fanfiction wiki. Used with permission.
* On the wiki where this story first appeared, it was somewhat customary among the better authors to assign theme music to the casts of their competition stories. The important characters in this story (including, by definition, all the contestants) therefore have or will eventually have theme songs/tunes, for which music video links will be available on the author's profile page. (The wiki version supports embedding.) The themes for Brett and his mother both come from Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's symphonic suite, Scheherazade. The opening chords, which represent the Sultan commanding Scheherazade to speak, comprise Brett's theme. Scheherazade's theme (a violin solo that first appears at about 0:50 of a typical performance) is the theme of the Storyteller, Brett's mother. The wiki version of this reimagining includes embedded music videos for the theme songs that have been selected.