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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old November 24 2012, 03:13 AM   #31
SiddFinch1
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Re: TOS set during the 22nd Century!?

Khan used the Saka calendar common in India. It is 78 years behind the Gregorian. When He said 1996 he meant 2070 Gregorian. The second.time around in saka.calendar y2k really made.a mess of records and the Internet. Thus when spock looked.il the eugenics wars he didn't realize the sourse used the Sakai.calendar not.the Gregorian......
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Old November 24 2012, 06:58 PM   #32
Wingsley
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Re: TOS set during the 22nd Century!?

^ Good one!
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Old November 24 2012, 09:06 PM   #33
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Re: TOS set during the 22nd Century!?

"Space Seed" certainly muddies up the waters, doesn't it? Consider these scenes:

The first scene aboard the S.S. Botany Bay...

MCCOY: Heartbeat now thirty, dropping fast. It's a heart flutter. He's dying.

MARLA: Do something, Captain!

KIRK: Can we?

SCOTT: It'd take an hour to figure it out.

KIRK: What happens if we get him out of there?

MCCOY: He'll die in seconds if we don't.

(Kirk uses something metal in his hand to break the glass and open the compartment. The man is slid out on a trolley, gasping and awake. He tries to speak.)

KHAN: How long?

KIRK: How long have you been sleeping? Two centuries we estimate. Landing party to Enterprise. Come in.

And consider they are making their first encounter with Khan aboard a drifting sleeper ship with suitably warm breathable atmosphere, lighting and artificial gravity, (!!!) all of which works after (at least) 200 years.

Later in the "in bed with a knife at your doctor's throat" scene in Sickbay, Khan essentially repeats Kirk's guesstimate and McCoy confirms it. Of course, Kirk's statement was made in a very excited moment, so it wasn't supposed to be taken literally, and McCoy was simply confirming what Kirk said, not the veracity of Kirk's statement.

IIRC, Golstein & Golstein's "Star Trek Space Flight Chronology" from 1980 seemed rotted in the notion that TOS was set in the late 22nd century, so obviously the authors took their cues from the canon dialogue in the series. For quite a while in the late '70's, I subscribed to this view as well. TMP seemed to shatter this house of cards when Decker suggested that Voyager VI "was launched from Earth more than 300 years ago". (That's from my memory... anybody have an exact transcription? I suspect that's the first clear mention in canon that would set TMP in the late 23rd century)


Of course, these kinds of inconsistencies were part of TOS from the beginning. And it's not just the overall, series-wide continuity that had little fractures here and there, it was also fractures within a single script. Consider "Where No Man Has Gone Before":


Captain's log, Star date 1312.4. The impossible has happened. From directly ahead, we're picking up a recorded distress signal, the call letters of a vessel which has been missing for over two centuries. Did another Earth ship once probe out of the galaxy as we intend to do? What happened to it out there? Is this some warning they've left behind?

Note here that Captain Kirk seems to suggest that the Earth ship Valiant "has been missing for over two centuries". But later...

KELSO: Screen on, sir. Approaching galaxy edge, sir.

KIRK: Neutralize warp, Mister Mitchell. Hold this position.

MITCHELL: Neutraliae warp, sir.

KIRK: Address intercraft.

MITCHELL: Intercraft open.

KIRK: This is the Captain speaking. The object we encountered is a ship's disaster recorder, apparently ejected from the S.S. Valiant almost two hundred years ago...
( NOTE: The Chakotyea.net transcript for "Where No Man..." omitted the "almost" in Kirk's intercraft address. )
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Old November 24 2012, 09:27 PM   #34
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Re: TOS set during the 22nd Century!?

Wingsley wrote: View Post
And consider they are making their first encounter with Khan aboard a drifting sleeper ship with suitably warm breathable atmosphere, lighting and artificial gravity, (!!!) all of which works after (at least) 200 years.
I choose to believe that the cylindrical portion of the ship contained a 2001-style centrifuge which produced the gravity.


Another thing to consider: Kirk said at the end that their heading took them near Ceti Alpha, so presumably they were somewhere in that general vicinity already. Now, Alpha Ceti (as it's more properly called) is about 250 light-years away, give or take -- and the Botany Bay was a sublight ship. So assuming they were within, say, 20 ly of Alpha Ceti, then "Space Seed" couldn't have taken place any earlier than 2226 or so.

If we go with the currently accepted date of 2267 for the episode, that's 271 years to cover somewhere around 250 ly, which gives a velocity of somewhere around 93% of lightspeed. At that speed, the time dilation factor would be just about 2.7, so 270-ish years externally would only be 100 years aboard ship, which could help explain why the power was still working. Although it means that getting the Enterprise to match velocities with the BB would've been rather more involved than was shown.


IIRC, Golstein & Golstein's "Star Trek Space Flight Chronology" from 1980 seemed rotted in the notion that TOS was set in the late 22nd century, so obviously the authors took their cues from the canon dialogue in the series.
According to Memory Beta, the SFC timeline put TOS in 2207-10 -- early 23rd, not late 22nd. As I said above, they were trying to reconcile the "Space Seed" reference with the references to the 23rd century that some texts had previously made, so they put it as early in the 23rd century as they could.


For quite a while in the late '70's, I subscribed to this view as well. TMP seemed to shatter this house of cards when Decker suggested that Voyager VI "was launched from Earth more than 300 years ago". (That's from my memory... anybody have an exact transcription? I suspect that's the first clear mention in canon that would set TMP in the late 23rd century)
I must've overlooked that reference, because I clung to the SFC chronology (approximately) until TNG: "The Neutral Zone" gave a 2364 date onscreen.
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Old November 24 2012, 11:45 PM   #35
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Re: TOS set during the 22nd Century!?

Wingsley wrote: View Post
From directly ahead, we're picking up a recorded distress signal, the call letters of a vessel which has been missing for over two centuries. Did another Earth ship once probe out of the galaxy as we intend to do?
The object we encountered is a ship's disaster recorder, apparently ejected from the S.S. Valiant almost two hundred years ago...
Could be the difference between when the ship was last heard of and where it was at that time (over two), and when it reasonably might have reached the position the buoy was found (almost two).

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Old November 25 2012, 12:05 AM   #36
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Re: TOS set during the 22nd Century!?

"Space Seed" is also interesting in that it expressly establishes that Kirk and crew are speaking Engish aboard the Enterprise, not some future dialect.

KHAN: "I thought I heard . . . English?"
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Old November 25 2012, 12:32 AM   #37
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Re: TOS set during the 22nd Century!?

Another interesting thing about "Where No Man..." is that it seems to suggest that the S.S. Valiant is, conservatively, more than 200 years old at the time the Enterprise finds its battered recorder-marker in deep space near the galaxy's edge.

If Kirk's quip about being locked up for 200 years was "just about right" ("Tomorrow Is Yesterday"), that would suggest the faster-than-light Valiant would have to be launched during the Apollo moon missions, if not before.
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Old November 25 2012, 12:55 AM   #38
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Re: TOS set during the 22nd Century!?

If you think about it, the setup of "Where No Man" makes no damn sense. If the Enterprise was the first known ship to travel beyond the galaxy's edge, as the dialogue seems to imply, then how the heck did a ship get out there 200 years earlier? If there have been ships capable of making the journey for that long, why hasn't anyone done it in the interim?

It makes even less sense in the context of what's since been established about the Trek universe. Even if you go with the "almost 200 years" reference instead of the "over," it would still have had to be launched only a decade or two after Cochrane's first flight, and probably wouldn't have been capable of much more than warp 1. Since the nearest face of the galactic disk is maybe about 500 light-years away (we're roughly in the middle of the roughly 1000-ly-thick disk), it would've taken centuries to get there. Heck, the Enterprise might've beaten it there!
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Old November 25 2012, 01:37 AM   #39
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Re: TOS set during the 22nd Century!?

Christopher wrote: View Post
If there have been ships capable of making the journey for that long, why hasn't anyone done it in the interim?
Why haven't Humans gone back to the moon in forty years? Politics, money, other priorities.

Even if you go with the "almost 200 years" reference instead of the "over," it would still have had to be launched only a decade or two after Cochrane's first flight, and probably wouldn't have been capable of much more than warp 1.
This assumes that the Valiant, or at least it's engines, were indigenous to Earth's technology and not simply purchased from outside. While we don't know the exact timing, aliens (not just Vulcans) did travel to Earth following the first warp flight.

Or the Valiant might have traveled outward initially with Cochrane style engines, and at some point up-graded with extra-terrestrial technology. They journeyed "upwards," stopping to explore, periodically acquiring new technologies, then moved on again. Spending years or decades to reach the barrier.

Just because a ship is crewed by Humans and is a Earth ship, doesn't necessarily mean it was built here. Just "flagged" from here.

One of the things (besides the Vulcans) that prevented the construction of a ship like the NX-01 for the better part of a century, might have been Starfleet's (and it's predecessors) insistence that the ship be built of indigenous Human technology, and not foreign imported hardware.

Politics and cultural pride.

The operators of the Valiant may have felt differently.

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Old November 25 2012, 01:57 AM   #40
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Re: TOS set during the 22nd Century!?

I'll add another wrinkle: Even if we assume the S.S. Valiant was only capable of Warp 1.0 typical cruising speed, this does not mean she was limited to "lightspeed" (1c).

I'm a big fan of STAR TREK MAPS, whose INTRODUCTION TO NAVIGATION: STAR FLEET COMMAND booklet contained a detailed discussion of warp drive. The theory behind warp speed described therein is that faster-than-light velocity is affected by the spacecraft's environment, all the way from minor galactic "trade winds" up to dangers that represent fatal risks for travel ("there be dragons!"). So even a Warp 1 ship should be capable of reaching (at least some point along) the Galaxy's edge in weeks or months rather than years under what is called "Cochrane's formula".

I am fond of thinking that the Enterprise and the Valiant were stopped at the negative energy barrier because "Cochrane's variable", the effect that the environment has on warp speeds, was so great that it caused the engines to burn out. This is not discussed in the booklet, but it seems the phenomena of dark matter and dark energy would perfectly complement the "Cochrane's formula" concept.
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Old November 25 2012, 04:12 AM   #41
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Re: TOS set during the 22nd Century!?

^Yes, but my point is, if it's that easy to get to the edge, why hadn't others done it in the interim? Politics can't explain it, because it's not just one planet. Why hadn't the Vulcans or Andorians gone there?

It's just kind of a shoddy concept. I mean, why did they want to go past the edge of the galaxy anyway? What's out there aside from some globular clusters that would take a long time to reach? Not to mention that the galactic disk doesn't really have a definable edge anyway.
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Old November 25 2012, 04:33 AM   #42
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Re: TOS set during the 22nd Century!?

Well:

SPOCK: Decoding memory banks. I'll try to interpolate. The Valiant had encountered a magnetic space storm and was being swept in this direction.
KIRK: The old impulse engines weren't strong enough.
SPOCK: Swept past this point, about a half light year out of the galaxy, they were thrown clear, turned, and headed back into the galaxy here.
Looks like they had no intention of leaving the Galaxy or even exploring the region at the Galaxy edge. They just got swept in that direction by a "storm".
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Old November 25 2012, 04:40 AM   #43
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Re: TOS set during the 22nd Century!?

Kind of the way a sailing vessel could be driven hundreds of miles off course by a typhoon or hurricane. They never actually meant to come this way.
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Old November 25 2012, 04:59 AM   #44
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Re: TOS set during the 22nd Century!?

Oh, but come on, we're talking hundreds of light-years. The ship would've had to be near the edge to begin with in order to get blown across it. Again, you're missing the point, which is that if it were that easy for a more primitive ship 200 years earlier to get to the edge, then it doesn't make sense that nobody else got there before the Enterprise. The question is not just how the Valiant got there; the question is, if they got there so long before, why did nobody else?
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Old November 25 2012, 05:10 AM   #45
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Re: TOS set during the 22nd Century!?

Then again, it could be that the Valiant and the Enterprise were the only two ships that survived returning from the barrier intact. Just beyond and in the barrier there could be a whole ship's graveyard collecting thousands of years of destroyed ships...
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