Nancy Drew’s universe is turning into science fiction with Tom Swift, a spinoff of the CW detective show. Tom Swift follows a titled genius inventor in search of his father after his mysterious disappearance, and along the way he has to reveal several dangerous secrets. But when does Tom Swift happen in terms of Nancy Drew’s timeline? Here’s what you need to know, including whether a detective and an inventor can ever cross paths.
Kennedy McMann as Nancy Drew and Tian Richards as Tom Swift in season 2 of Nancy Drew | Colin Bentley/ The CW
“Nancy Drew” introduced Tom Swift to the audience before the spin-off
Fans of Nancy Drew have already met Tom Swift (played by Tian Richards) in the second season of last year. In the 15th episode of “Heavenly Guest”, the billionaire went to Horseshoe Bay, Maine, in search of a meteorite. Nancy Drew (Kennedy McMann) and her friends have already been doing this, trying to use rituals to prevent an asteroid from destroying their city. However, they soon realized that they needed Tom’s help.
Tom confessed to Nancy about his relationship with his father, who disapproved of Tom as gay. He said that the meteorite contains rare material that Tom could use to build a spaceship for his father, which he hoped his father would be proud of. However, after finding the meteorite, Tom decided to confront his father by posting a photo of him kissing Nancy’s friend, Nick (Tunji Kasim).
The Nancy Drew episode served as a backdoor pilot for Tom Swift, which the CW later gave the green light as a new spin-off series.
When does “Tom Swift” happen on the “Nancy Drew” timeline?
Tom’s visit to Horseshoe Bay took place in 2019, the year in which Nancy Drew still happens. However, Tom Swift and Nancy Drew’s co-creator, Leg Landay, told Us Weekly that Tom’s spin-off show has “jumped ahead” to the present day. So they are in the same timeline, but in different years.
Meanwhile, Tian Richards revealed that Tom has changed a lot since Nancy Drew fans last saw him.
“Tom has definitely grown up a bit more. When we first meet him, he is still trying to get a meteorite to build a spaceship for his father,” Richards shared. “At the beginning of our series, we meet him when he just built this spaceship. So, once again, definitely further along in his journey.”
Richards added that fans will see “adult energy” in Tom’s show.
“You can see him with his family, with his friends, and you will see him in his hometown. You really reveal the fullness of who this person was,” the Pollen actor continued. “We have a prequel, something like Tom’s appetizer in Nancy Drew. But now you get the full course. We are not snacks, we are food.”
Could “Tom Swift” have a crossover with “Nancy Drew”?
So if Tom Swift is a few years ahead of Nancy Drew, what does that mean for a potential crossover? According to Landau, there is a chance that they will somehow meet again. In the end, “Nancy Drew” was renewed for season 4, so there is plenty of time for both series.
“As for the two shows talking to each other, if they do, eventually it will happen, and it will happen in a really interesting way,” Landau said.
However, Landau said it’s important that both shows “stand on their own” because they’re so different. Sometimes they nod Easter eggs at each other, but Nancy Drew and Tom Swift should exist separately.
“Nancy Drew is a story about a group of kids from a small town in Maine who solve ghost stories in a crab hut,” Landau added. “This is a show about billionaires and people who build rockets and go into space.”
The premiere of Tom Swift will take place on Tuesday, May 31, at 21:00. ET on the CW.