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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Star Trek - Original Series

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

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Old June 3 2013, 08:33 PM   #16
ToddPence
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Re: Something about TOS I never realised before...

It is my belief that stardates work in a way similar to time zones. To wit, while those onboard a starship in one part of the galaxy might be experiencing stardate 2700, it might be stardate 3000 on another starship in a different part of the galaxy at the same moment of real time. This is so the dates can be related to one central focal point, maybe Earth or the center of the Federation.
This explains such oddities in TOS such as the "overlapping" of certain stardates, as stardate 1514.1 occurring in both "The Corbomite Manuever" and "The Man Trap". These two episodes happened very close to each other in real time, but the repition in stardates happened because the Enterprise was in a slightly different part of space in each episode. It's kind of like a person flying from the East Coast to the West Coast getting to relive the same hour twice in one day.
In the case of the odd stardate for the animated episode "The Magicks of Megas-Tu", the Enterprise in that episode was said to be investigating the center of the galaxy. This area may have been so far removed in distance from the center of Federation space that the stardate used to represent it had to be a much lower number than what it might have been had the Enterprise been closer to Earth.
This is just my explanation for certain oddities in the stardate timeline, anyway.
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Old June 5 2013, 01:13 AM   #17
Timelord Victorious
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Re: Something about TOS I never realised before...

Now has anybody a n episode list to watch them in stardate order and see if that makes a difference somehow in the experience?

This requires the experiment.

Another thought: would that mean, that the stardate system was only started more or less with the five year mission?

Edit: This would also explain the stardate system in the new movies, since they basically converted earth dates into a single number instead.
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Old June 5 2013, 03:14 AM   #18
Lance
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Re: Something about TOS I never realised before...

It is problematic if we include The Animated Series. "The Magicks of Megas-Tu" has got a stardate which predates the entire original series. I would be intrigued to try watching just TOS in stardate order sometime though just to see how it turns out.
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Old June 5 2013, 10:47 AM   #19
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Re: Something about TOS I never realised before...

Another thought: would that mean, that the stardate system was only started more or less with the five year mission?
Apparently not. After all, past events such as Kirk's birthdate in "Where No Man" or something relating to Kodos the Executioner in "Conscience of the King" are both given in the four-digit stardate format as well.

We do have to speculate that the four digits represent truncation, though. But that's a pretty natural assumption: we are comfortable with saying "Hitler invaded Poland in '39" or "My great-grandmother was born in '98" when the century and millennium are obvious to us anyway. And indeed TNG later shows people using five digits, adding an explicit "decade digit", while implying that a "century digit" and more are available if the need arises.

Edit: This would also explain the stardate system in the new movies, since they basically converted earth dates into a single number instead.
The same system is used in the 2230s on the Kelvin and in the 2250s on the Enterprise, though, so it's not mission-specific or ship-specific in any fashion.

I guess the smart thing to do is to decide that a system of giving Earth years plus a string of decimal points for Earth days was in use until the 2230s at least, after which the TOS timeline adopted a new system (and applied it retroactively to past dates) but the nuTrek timeline kept the old system...

It is problematic if we include The Animated Series. "The Magicks of Megas-Tu" has got a stardate which predates the entire original series.
Or then it's from the next decade, making it one of the very last Trek adventures before ST:TMP.

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Old June 5 2013, 11:02 AM   #20
Therin of Andor
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Re: Something about TOS I never realised before...

ToddPence wrote: View Post
In the case of the odd stardate for the animated episode "The Magicks of Megas-Tu"
Alan Dean Foster renumbered all the TAS stardates for his "Star Trek Log" adaptations, and reordered the episodes.
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Old June 5 2013, 11:04 AM   #21
Robert Comsol
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Re: Something about TOS I never realised before...

Well, as I mentioned before elsewhere, if we were to assume that TOS stardates were introduced prior to "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and after Stardate 9999.9 turned to (1)0000.0 (second log period) you'll get an almost exact and correct difference of 15 years between "Space Seed" and "Wrath of Khan".

Unfortunately, it's appears "Wrath of Khan" also nullifies the concept of different stardates at different locations due to various reasons.

The stardate in Saavik's bridge simulation is basically the same when Starship Reliant approaches Ceti Alpha V.

But if you ignore the TOS inaccuracies, the TAS stardates, and find a rationalization why there's 18 months of stardate time missing at the beginning of TMP (drydock stay?), there's a strong suggestion that 1.000 stardate digits equal one solar year.

Last but not least, Admiral Kirk's log entries in TMP, too, suggest 1.000 stardate digits for one solar year, if you do the math.

Bob
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Old June 5 2013, 11:20 AM   #22
Timo
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Re: Something about TOS I never realised before...

If we're to look for some sort of a "pseudo-physics" explanation for stardates not really proceeding by X digits per hour, we have to look at the small detail. The big numbers (the first three or later four digits) never pose major problems within TOS, or TNG/DS9/VOY, or even most of the movies. But what comes after the (decimal?) point, and sometimes just before it, is "wobbly" and e.g. responsible for all the cases of overlap in TOS.

Perhaps the 1000 sd/yr assumption is perfectly correct, but the assumption that the things after the dot are fractions of a stardate is incorrect? The new movies also have self-evident pre-dot digits, but nonsensical post-dot ones (say, Kirk is uncertain about the second digit after the dot, which means he doesn't know which day of the week it is, or even which week it is!). Dividing the Earth year in a thousand units already gives you perfectly good accuracy for a calendar, so the things after the dot might be devoted to something else altogether.

We then have to explain why on occasion they do look like fractions of a year (say, in ST:TMP, apparently by design) while on other occasions they do not... And there we can easily go for things like "time zones", i.e. the famous Federation Timebase Beacons ("Clues" et al.) giving instantaneous info on universal time at most locations but suffering from technological limitations and resulting delays at others.

Yet interestingly enough, nobody ever used stardates to establish the time of day or to count down remaining time, giving us yet another excuse to believe that the things after the dot are not timekeeping measurements as such. Hours, minutes and seconds are still used exclusively for such applications.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old June 5 2013, 11:43 AM   #23
Timelord Victorious
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Re: Something about TOS I never realised before...

Maybe the 1000 stardate units per earth year are just a coincidence and it doesn't match exactly.
I am curious what the reference frame for the system could be.

A day is one rotation around it's own axis of a Planet. Different planets, different day lenghts.
One month equals One moon cycle. Some planets don't have a moon or several, they might have different Systems entirely.
One year is lap around the Sun, etc...

So the logical reference for all spacefaring races in the neighborhood would be rotation of the galaxy?
So if 1000 units happen to be roughly one earth year, what part of a galactic "day" would that be?
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Old June 7 2013, 02:23 AM   #24
Praetor Baldric
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Re: Something about TOS I never realised before...

I don't mean to burst anyone's bubble here, but weren't they just cranked out arbitrarily as a means of preventing viewers from being able to place episodes in any chronological order? Also, don't you find that rather helped with creating the (forgive the pun) timelessness of the series?
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Old June 7 2013, 09:46 AM   #25
Timo
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Re: Something about TOS I never realised before...

I don't mean to burst anyone's bubble here, but weren't they just cranked out arbitrarily as a means of preventing viewers from being able to place episodes in any chronological order?
Umm, no. The stardates proceed almost exactly in the production order of the episodes - the arbitrary part about them is that nobody sat down to agree on what they meant, in terms of Earth years, months, weeks or hours.

Possibly the writers of the final script versions found it quite practical to use stardates as a marker of sorts for the production order, even...

Also, don't you find that rather helped with creating the (forgive the pun) timelessness of the series?
In the sense of distancing it from external or absolute time references, yes, certainly. But for whatever reason, they still ended up as milestones on a supposed five-year journey through stardates 1300-5900.

(Of course, the 1000 sd/yr thing can't have been the actual intent, or else they wouldn't have hurried up to SD 5900 in just three seasons - or at least there would have been a mad jump from SD 3900 to SD 5900 at the very end of the third season. But fate conspired to give us a five-year mission in the 1000 sd/yr terms nevertheless.)

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Old June 11 2013, 10:53 PM   #26
Robert Comsol
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Re: Something about TOS I never realised before...

Big Daddy wrote: View Post
I don't mean to burst anyone's bubble here, but weren't they just cranked out arbitrarily as a means of preventing viewers from being able to place episodes in any chronological order?
No, as Timo stated they hold up pretty well with the production order if you don't look to hard.

The problem was the original broadcast order which was erratic. Apparently, viewers wanted Gene Roddenberry to explain the obvious discrepancies (because of the chaotic broadcast order!) and Gene came up with an explanation (in The Making of Star Trek) and explicitly stated, that he never wanted to bothered again with the issue.

Had the networks stuck with the original production order (which was eventually respected by TV stations in the 1970's but not by CBS and its video discs...) I assume we might have gotten a different statement (which in my world is TMP where 0.114 digits = 60 minutes and 2.737 digits = 24 hours).

Big Daddy wrote: View Post
Also, don't you find that rather helped with creating the (forgive the pun) timelessness of the series?
That was the whole idea of stardates. While TOS appeared to be vaguely set 200 years in the future, this premise got changed with TMP (300 years) and in ST II we were given an Earth year as a reference.

While I might have lived with calendar years, the obvious ignorance of the explicitly stated "15 years" time gap between "Space Seed" and ST II has corrupted the entire timeline from a TOS point of view.

I for one since prefer the exclusive use of stardates, so I don't have to argue with other fans whether a certain event in TOS should be placed in year 22XX minus or plus 3 years.

Bob
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Old June 11 2013, 11:32 PM   #27
SchwEnt
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Re: Something about TOS I never realised before...

oops
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Old June 12 2013, 02:39 PM   #28
xvicente
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Re: Something about TOS I never realised before...

The stardate for the first episode was 1312.9 the and the last 5928.5.

If you take the two first numbers of each (13 and 59) and consider them as "months since the ship left port", so the first episode would be about one year in the mission, which makes sense, and 59 would mean the last month of the epic "five-year mission".

Then each ship/mission would have its own stardate.

Not my idea, I just read it somewhere and liked it. Probably because it acknowledeges the opening speech. I love the "it's five-year mission". Gave a sense of them being really, REALLY far away from Earth, even at FTL speeds (together with sporadic lines like "Starfleet's response will take weeks") wich make Kirk more "the guy in charge".

That was lost IMO in other versions.
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