All throughout London, every day at 11 o'clock in the morning, there were two minutes of hate. That was the way it was. Throughout every Ministry in the city, in every home for the mothers and small children; on every telescreen throughout Great Britain and Ireland, and, indeed, all of Oceania. That was the way it was. It was how it had been for almost 34 years.
Large, pyramidal buildings dominated the now decrepit London skyline. The London Eye was absent, as was 30 St Mary Axe, and almost every other structure that defines a view of London as we know it today.
Everywhere a person went, he or she was watched. Children informed on their parents, and their parents would not dare speak out against the government for fear of their children overhearing.
The government was in control. You know this story. But what you don't know is that this world could have become our reality; at least if you live in Britain, Ireland, or the Americas. George Orwell wrote about it with the fear that our world would become like this. In a way, his fear was rational. It never happened in the universe we know. It happened in another, however.
What George Orwell did not know was that when he penned his book, it would not serve as a warning in this alternate universe. It would serve as a model for society.
If you stood close to the site where 30 St Mary Axe would one day stand in the universe that we live in, you would hear a noise, a noise indistinguishable from the hustle and bustle of the city unless you knew what it was. If you stood on the street the building is named for and stared straight at the empty lot, you would see something. You might not be able to tell what it was at first, but as it slowly came into focus, you would see it:
A 1950s Police Box. And then, if you stuck around, you would see the door slowly open and a head peer out, followed by English words.
"Doctor, where the hell are we?"