It's 1976. Dr. Colin Sanford, a brilliant, ambitious obstetrician in the Pacific Northwest city of Emerald, has a plan to create the first in vitro baby. He recruits Dr. Giselle Hearn, an experienced laboratory geneticist/embryologist at the university who’s frustrated by the ultraconservative policies of her department chairman. Drs. Sanford and Hearn, working secretly, set out to put their names in the history books. Unfortunately, a secret that big is hard to keep....
It's 1951 in Sedalia, Missouri, and ragtime is making a comeback. When Brun Campbell, the old Ragtime Kid, learns of a journal kept by Scott Joplin, he hopes to acquire it and use it to convince Sedalia's movers and shakers to set up a ragtime museum. But plenty of other people also want that journal, including a historian who wants to publish it, an old friend of Joplin’s who wants to suppress it, and two Klansmen who don't care if they have to kill someone to get it.
It's 1916, and time's running out for Scott Joplin. Before he dies, he wants to provide for his wife and secure his place in musical history. He's written a musical drama, and his young piano student, Martin Niederhoffer, convinces him to try to get Irving Berlin to publish and produce the work. The next day, Niederhoffer walks into his office and finds Joplin crouched over the blood-soaked body of a young man. He hustles his teacher away, but the two are seen leaving the building.