Where Does ‘Tom Swift’ Fit Into the ‘Nancy Drew’ Timeline?

The Nancy Drew-niverse is taking a turn into science-fiction with Tom Swift, a spinoff of the CW’s detective show. Tom Swift follows the titular brilliant inventor on a quest to find his father after his mysterious disappearance, and he’ll uncover some dangerous secrets along the way. But when does Tom Swift take place in terms of the Nancy Drew timeline? Here’s what to know, including whether the detective and inventor could ever cross paths.

Kennedy McMann as Nancy Drew and Tian Richards as Tom Swift in Nancy Drew Season 2
Kennedy McMann as Nancy Drew and Tian Richards as Tom Swift in ‘Nancy Drew’ Season 2 | Colin Bentley/The CW

‘Nancy Drew’ introduced viewers to Tom Swift ahead of the spinoff

Nancy Drew fans already met Tom Swift (played by Tian Richards) in season 2 last year. Episode 15, “The Celestial Visitor,” featured an appearance from the billionaire as he ventured to Horseshoe Bay, Maine, in search of a meteorite. Nancy Drew (Kennedy McMann) and her friends had already been on the case, attempting to use rituals to stop the asteroid from destroying their town. However, they soon realized they needed Tom’s help.

Tom confided in Nancy about his relationship with his father, who didn’t approve of Tom as a gay man. He revealed that the meteorite contained a rare material that Tom could use to build a spaceship for his dad, which he hoped would make his father proud. However, after finding the meteorite, Tom decided to stand up to his father by posting a photo of himself kissing Nancy’s friend, Nick (Tunji Kasim).

The Nancy Drew episode served as a backdoor pilot for Tom Swift, which the CW later greenlit as a new spinoff series.

When does ‘Tom Swift’ take place in the ‘Nancy Drew’ timeline?

Tom’s visit to Horseshoe Bay happened in 2019, the year in which Nancy Drew still takes place. However, Tom Swift and Nancy Drew co-creator Noga Landay told Us Weekly that Tom’s spinoff show “has jumped forward” to the present day. So, they’re in the same timeline, but different years.

Meanwhile, Tian Richards revealed that Tom has changed quite a bit since Nancy Drew fans last saw him.

“Tom has definitely grown up a little more. When we first meet him, he’s still trying to get the meteorite to build the spaceship for his father,” Richards shared. “At the top of our series, we meet him when he has just completed that spaceship. So again, definitely further along his journey.”

Richards added that fans would see “grown-man energy” in Tom’s show.

“You get to see him with his family, with his friends, and you get to see him in his hometown. You really do open up the fullness of who this man was,” the Dumplin’ actor continued. “We got a prequel, like, an appetizer of Tom in Nancy Drew. But now, you get a full course. We’re not snacks, we’re meals.”

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’s still a chance the two could meet again in some way. After all, Nancy Drew has been renewed for season 4, so both shows have plenty of time.

“As far as the two shows speaking to each other, if they do, it’s gonna happen eventually, and it’s gonna happen in a really interesting way,” Landau said.

Still, Landau said it’s important for both shows to “stand on their own” because they’re so different. They’ll nod to each other via Easter eggs at times, but Nancy Drew and Tom Swift have to exist separately.

Nancy Drew is about a bunch of kids in a small town in Maine solving ghost stories in a crab shack,” Landau added. “This show is about billionaires and people who build rocket ships and go to space.”

Tom Swift premieres on Tuesday, May 31, at 9 p.m. ET on the CW.

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