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Hollywood Dreamtime

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Just a few more minutes Mr. Dingo and we'll have that brain nice and washed for yah'.

A term coined by anthropologist Francis Gillen, the Dreamtime (alternatively known as "The Mystic Age") is blanket term used to describe the Aboriginal belief in Land Down Under. What exactly the Dreamtime is depends on which region you ask about it in, but the common consensus is that the Dreamtime is an early era in the world where the Earth was an Eldritch Location populated by monsters, gods and powerful spirits that would father humanity and the tenets that make up the natural laws of the universe. This Dreamtime continues to exist on some level, perhaps in all times simultaneously, and can still be accessed.

In fiction, it has been given the same treatment as voodoo and is looked upon as a source of magical power, with shamans acting like wizards casting spells and facing the likes of Yowies and Bunyips and Drop Bears, Oh My. Said shamans are often portrayed as Magical Aboriginals in a Fantasy Kitchen Sink, their presence followed by the distinct sound of didgeridoos.

See also Hollywood History, Hollywood Voodoo, Religion is Magic and Vision Quest. Not to be confused with Dream Land, though fiction tends to conflate the two.


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    Audio Plays 
  • The Big Finish Doctor Who episode "Dreamtime", the Dreamtime was taught to the Aboriginal humans by the Euterpians, an advanced humanoid race that naturally encompassed the three dimensions of time, space, and transcendentalism. It is described as being Another Dimension where one must focus on maintaining their sense of self or else become deprived of their senses and be left in an And I Must Scream state.

    Comic Books 
  • In the Marvel Universe, the Dreamtime is the collective unconsciousness of all sentient beings in the universe. From the Dreamtime, it is possible to access anywhere gods live by going to the fringe of a species' collective consciousness and through the Heart of the Dreamtime, and linking to the others, through the abstract region of pure sentience. It contains countless planetary objects, including Alchera, home of the Aboriginal gods, which cannot be comprehended through reason, as well as Nightmare's "Dream Dimension", which is linked to and shaped by humanity's collective unconscious and include Nightmare World (which Nightmare rule, and which was bordering the Astral Plane), the Skrull Dreamtime, and the infinite alien consciousnesses of all the races of the universe. The Realm of Madness both bordered Nightmare's realm and was beyond it and the Dream Dimension.
  • After the Second Coming occurred in God Is Dead and all of the gods of antiquity began to wage war on Earth at humanity's expense, the various Aboriginal Gods managed to turn Australia as the only safe-zone in the world by allowing passage into the Dreamtime. The Dreamtime is portrayed as a scenic landscape filled with magical beings where none of the humans there age and they cannot be killed permanently, Albert describing the state of death there as them simply "thinking" that they are dead.
  • Tank Girl has been known to dabble in this from time to time, usually in connection with Tank Girl's Indigenous ex-boyfriend, Stevie.

    Films - Animated 
  • Epic (1984) is built on this, since takes place in a distant past where monsters, elemental spirits and prehistoric creatures co-exist with Australian mammals and Aborigenes.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Old World of Darkness essentially modeled its entire spirit world, the Umbra, on Hollywood Dreamtime. The part of the Umbra that was supposed to be the actual Aboriginal version was covered in Rage Across Australia, a Werewolf: The Apocalypse supplement.

    Video Games 
  • The Chrono Trigger fan-made Interquel Crimson Echoes features the Dreamtime as an era between the planet's cooling after being made and the advent of organic life. Its plot relevance is that Gaspar came here to look at the energy emanations, and to set up both Crono getting possessed by the planet's spirit to stop King Zeal's plan cold, as well as his and Marle's continuing adventures post-story.
  • The Guru by Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves is an Aboriginal koala adept in the practices of the Dreamtime and is Murray's spiritual teacher. With his staff and moonstone, the dreamtime gives him the power to camouflage himself, control people's minds and use telekinesis.
  • In Ty the Tasmanian Tiger, the Dreaming/Dreamtime is an alternate universe inhabited by mystical beings known as the Bunyip, the title character's family sealed within the Dreaming by Boss Cass before the events of the first game, and in Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 3: Night of the Quinkan, Dreamtime becomes a warzone between the Bunyip and the Quinkan.

    Visual Novels 
  • Lands of Fire portrays the spirit world as mostly close to traditional Aboriginal perspectives, as located in the sky. However, the pop cultural Dreamtime notions are used in the sense that time and space do not exist within it, hence gods cannot die.

    Web Original 
  • The Wold-Newton Universe article Lost in the Realms of Madness portrays the Dreamtime as Another Dimension, made of pure chaos energy, and accessed through a spiral pattern on a rock in the outback. Local businessman Marvin Awickerman (descendent of Wilkin Micawber) uses the spiral to trade with one of the animal spirits that live there, who wants dynamite, animal traps, and similar items for reasons Awickerman doesn't care about as long as they pay in gold. Dr Jekyll uses the spiral to travel into the Dreamtime, and discovers that it's an Alternate Tooniverse, Marvin Awickerman is a counterpart of Marvin Acme, and his customer is, of course, Wile E. Coyote.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Gargoyles episode "Walkabout", the Dreamtime is presented as being similar to the astral plane. Dingo and Goliath entering the Dreamtime with the help of Dingo's spiritual adviser in order to communicate with an advanced AI that threatens to assimilate all of Australia. There they can conjure anything they can think of, but since this is based on cognition speed they're quickly outpaced by the AI once it figures out what's going on.
  • Ripley's Believe It or Not!: The episode "Follow Your Dreams" has it as a way to predict the future.


Video Example(s):


The Guru

The Guru is an Aboriginal koala adept in the practices of the Dreamtime and is Murray's spiritual teacher. With his staff and moonstone, the dreamtime gives him the power to camouflage himself, control people's minds and telekinesis.

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