King Daniel wrote:
The only thought I can offer is that continuity was not as important to people then as it is now.
I don't think it should be as important to people now as it seems to be. After all, these are stories meant for entertainment, not historical documents.
I agree. Fans DO take continuity far more seriously now than we used to. Using my own experience for example, I remember when Star Trek III was new and I first saw Spock's tube on the surface, I DID remember thinking, "hey, that looks different from what we saw in II.", but then, I also thought, "well, it probably took a few weeks for the GRISSOM to get to the planet, and what with weather and all...." The thought took about three seconds. Then I went on with watching the movie.
And let it go at that.