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

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Old June 13 2012, 11:13 AM   #1
SecretlyMrsKirk
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Questions of a Trekkie Noob

Firstly, I would like to introduce myself. I am SecretlyMrsKirk, the secret wife of Captain Kirk (is there any other kind? ) But you can call me Beth. I’m twenty years old, a student, a writer, a rambler. My first introduction to Star Trek was through my dad, the biggest nerd I have ever known, so I’d always been aware of it, pretty much since I was a toddler. We would watch Voyager together while I sat on his lap. I still have fond memories of admiring Captain Janeway and B’Elanna. But I was never a huge fan; it was one of the things that my dad and I did together as father/daughter. No, it wasn’t until February this year that I started watching The Next Generation on CBS Action channel in the UK, and then The Original Series in April. Not telling you why I was so suddenly compelled to, but let’s just say a guy was involved. Ugh. Anyway, enough of that. Although I enjoyed Next Gen, it was TOS that captivated me. As my username suggests Yyyyyyyeeeeeeeesssssssss……… I do enjoy spending a little bit of time with my honey every dinnertime. Those eyes…Those lips…Those cheeks…That body…Oh! *faints*


*wakes up* What just happened? … OK, whatever. At the moment, I am currently working on a fanfic and so far it’s going fine. Things are finally starting to unfold. I just completed Chapter 6 the day before yesterday and I’m slowly getting my head around Chapter 7. But, I’m going to sound like an idiot for saying this, if there’s any chance that I might write sequels (which I’m likely to do so, as I already have a few ideas) I will need help with understanding some of the technobabble and some general stuff about the Star Trek universe. Some might be a bit complicated to explain; some will be no-brainers. So I’m just gonna list my questions and I hope you guys will be able to help. Thank you loads in advance.

1. What do the different coloured uniforms mean? Why are some yellow, blue and red?

2. What exactly IS warp drive? How does it work?

3. Can a transporter work between different planets? Or other long distances?

4. What happened to Janice Rand? And why did she only come back for the movies?

5. Does Pon Farr affect female Vulcans?

6. If it does, do they have it at the same time as their partner?

7. Do they HAVE to conceive a child every time?

8. What is a stardate? How does it work? Why is it used instead of normal dates?

9. If there’s no money in the 23rd century, how did Uhura pay for the tribble in Trouble With Tribbles?

10. What are those cartridge thingies?

11. If Decker died in The Doomsday Machine, how the heck did he get to be in The Motion Picture?

12. Could you tell me about some medical-related gadgets and how they work? (This one is actually quite important for my fanfic)

13. Why do some planets have numbers after their names?

14. How exactly is the Federation related to Starfleet? (I feel SO bad for asking this!)

15. Why does the Romulan race have the same features as Vulcans? They’re not from the planet, are they?

16. How come Sulu’s daughter was never mentioned until Generations?

17. How come Kirk wears a green shirt sometimes? IS NOT GOOD LOOK ON MAH HONEY.

18. Is Kirk the only one who calls McCoy ‘Bones’?

19. If Saavik is a Vulcan, then why did she cry during Spock’s funeral? Is it really THAT sad? lol

20. What IS the deal with the red shirt joke? I don’t get that.



I know. I should pay more attention But it just goes straight over my head most of the time. I just watch it for the characters mainly. Especially my honey
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Old June 13 2012, 11:35 AM   #2
BoredShipCapt'n
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Re: Questions of a Trekkie Noob

11. Willard Decker is Matt Decker's son.

13. A planet with a number is generally the name of the star followed by the number of the planet-- as Earth would be Sol III.
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Old June 13 2012, 11:41 AM   #3
Maurice
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Re: Questions of a Trekkie Noob

http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Portal:Main

Try searching for things like stardates, warp drive, pon farr, etc. there.
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Old June 13 2012, 11:48 AM   #4
SecretlyMrsKirk
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Re: Questions of a Trekkie Noob

BoredShipCapt'n wrote: View Post
11. Willard Decker is Matt Decker's son.

13. A planet with a number is generally the name of the star followed by the number of the planet-- as Earth would be Sol III.
11. DOH! Why didn't I think of that?

13. Aah, right I think I understand.

Maurice wrote: View Post
http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Portal:Main

Try searching for things like stardates, warp drive, pon farr, etc. there.
Thanks, Maurice. I have looking at that site quite a bit, but there are a few things that I don't understand.
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Old June 13 2012, 11:48 AM   #5
Kelso
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Re: Questions of a Trekkie Noob

1. What do the different coloured uniforms mean? Why are some yellow, blue and red?

The colors signify the different divisions on the ship- gold for command, blue for the sciences, and red for operations.

2. What exactly IS warp drive? How does it work?

They travel faster than light by warping space.

3. Can a transporter work between different planets? Or other long distances?

Not normally, but it's possible.

4. What happened to Janice Rand? And why did she only come back for the movies?

Grace Lee Whitney had some problems to sort out.

5. Does Pon Farr affect female Vulcans?

Originally, Pon Farr only affected the male... but this has since been retconned.

6. If it does, do they have it at the same time as their partner?

Presumably.

7. Do they HAVE to conceive a child every time?

No.

8. What is a stardate? How does it work? Why is it used instead of normal dates?

In the original series the stardates were random. They were used to sound futuristic.

9. If there’s no money in the 23rd century, how did Uhura pay for the tribble in Trouble With Tribbles?

With space money.

10. What are those cartridge thingies?

What?

11. If Decker died in The Doomsday Machine, how the heck did he get to be in The Motion Picture?

Will Decker is Matt Decker's son.

12. Could you tell me about some medical-related gadgets and how they work? (This one is actually quite important for my fanfic)

They make weeble-weeble sounds.

13. Why do some planets have numbers after their names?

There is more than one planet in the system. Earth would be Sol III, for instance.

14. How exactly is the Federation related to Starfleet? (I feel SO bad for asking this!)

Starfleet is the Federation's military. It's like asking how America is related to the Navy.

15. Why does the Romulan race have the same features as Vulcans? They’re not from the planet, are they?

Yes, but Romulans left Vulcan a long time ago.

16. How come Sulu’s daughter was never mentioned until Generations?

They hadn't thought of her yet.

17. How come Kirk wears a green shirt sometimes? IS NOT GOOD LOOK ON MAH HONEY.

Because it is awesome.

18. Is Kirk the only one who calls McCoy ‘Bones’?

'Bones' is Kirk's nickname for McCoy.

19. If Saavik is a Vulcan, then why did she cry during Spock’s funeral? Is it really THAT sad? lol

Yes.

20. What IS the deal with the red shirt joke? I don’t get that.

Security guys in red shirts frequently die on landing party missions. "The Apple" is a good example of this.
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Old June 13 2012, 04:15 PM   #6
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Re: Questions of a Trekkie Noob

10. Okay, so you're fairly young. I'm assuming that you mean those big squarish things sticking out of consoles from time to time? Back in the day computer data was stored on reel-to-reel tape, then cassettes, then floppy discs, then optical disks and flash memory like we have now. Those cartridges were meant to be tapes with computer data. Basically flash drives.
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Old June 13 2012, 04:18 PM   #7
SecretlyMrsKirk
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Re: Questions of a Trekkie Noob

JRoss wrote: View Post
10. Okay, so you're fairly young. I'm assuming that you mean those big squarish things sticking out of consoles from time to time? Back in the day computer data was stored on reel-to-reel tape, then cassettes, then floppy discs, then optical disks and flash memory like we have now. Those cartridges were meant to be tapes with computer data. Basically flash drives.
Ah, right. I thought that was right, just wanted to make sure.
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Old June 13 2012, 04:34 PM   #8
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Re: Questions of a Trekkie Noob

SecretlyMrsKirk wrote: View Post



12. Could you tell me about some medical-related gadgets and how they work?
You shake them and salt and/or pepper comes out.
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Old June 13 2012, 04:41 PM   #9
Forbin
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Re: Questions of a Trekkie Noob

3. Can a transporter work between different planets? Or other long distances?

Sometime during the Next Generation, Ryker said the maximum range is about 40,000 miles.

8. What is a stardate? How does it work? Why is it used instead of normal dates?

Supposedly it was created to 1) keep the actual year from being revealed - they wanted to be vague about it at first. 2) come up with a system of dates that sounded like it took hyper-light time distortion into account.

12. Could you tell me about some medical-related gadgets and how they work? (This one is actually quite important for my fanfic)

Laser scalpels, tissue regenrating widgets ("anabolic protoplaser") ... again, they kept it fairly vague.

15. Why does the Romulan race have the same features as Vulcans? They’re not from the planet, are they?

The Vulcan people used to be violent and warlike. 2,000 years ago a philosopher named Surak developed the philosophy of Logic over emotion. Many Vulcans jumped on his bandwagon, creating a world of peace. But a faction disagreed, hopped into spaceships, and settled Romulus. Over the millenia, both peoples forgot about the other, until humans started dealing with them again during Kirk's time.

17. How come Kirk wears a green shirt sometimes? IS NOT GOOD LOOK ON MAH HONEY.

The gold shirts are actually, believe it or not, green velour. The green photographed gold under the studio lights, and they never bothered to fix it. His green wrap-around tunic is actually basically the same color as his regular shirt in reality, but it's not made of velour!

18. Is Kirk the only one who calls McCoy ‘Bones’?

Yes. "Bones" is short for "Sawbones," an old 18th century nickname for a doctor.

19. If Saavik is a Vulcan, then why did she cry during Spock’s funeral? Is it really THAT sad? lol

In the original script, Saavik was half-Vulcan, half-Romulan. Kirstie Alley acted the part as if she had learned the philosophy of logic, but didn't try to hide her emotions that came from her Romulan half. That explanation was edited out of the final movie, though, and ignored in later films.
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Old June 13 2012, 04:47 PM   #10
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Questions of a Trekkie Noob

8. What is a stardate? How does it work?
Why is it used instead of normal dates?
They were originally random numbers, to make the show seem futuristic without actually pinning down the era the show was set. Tidbits of evidence from the series points to anywhere between 200 - 700 years in our future. It was later decided Star Trek was set in the 23rd century, in the mid-to-late 2260's.
Next Gen-era shows had a complicated system for translating their 5-digit stardates, based on the current season and hundreths of a year.
The most recent Trek movie simplified things, by simply having the stardates be Earth years.
9. If there’s no money in the 23rd century,
how did Uhura pay for the tribble in
Trouble With Tribbles?
The "no money" idea came along later, around the time of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Gene Rodenberry was somewhat of a revisionist. A Voyager episode later said that money "went the way of the dinosaur" in the 22nd century, which ignored the references to money during The Original Series, which was subsequently ignored by the last film (where Kirk offers to pay for Uhura's drink in a bar on Earth in 2255)
So, revision after revision after revision (take a look at the video in my sig for a small sample of the countless similar rewrites and mistakes throughout Trek!)
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Old June 13 2012, 05:02 PM   #11
DavidGutierrez
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Re: Questions of a Trekkie Noob

You're in luck! I love answering Star Trek questions!

1. What do the different coloured uniforms mean? Why are some yellow, blue and red?
They denote the different divisions on board the ship - basically, what each wearer is trained to do. Gold is for command and is also worn by helmsmen and navigators. Blue is for sciences and medical. Red is for engineering, operations, communitcations, and security.

2. What exactly IS warp drive? How does it work?
If I had a real answer to this, I wouldn't have to work for a living. Warp drive warps space around the ship so that objects in front get closer quicker.

3. Can a transporter work between different planets? Or other long distances?
According to a TNG episode called "A Matter of Honor," transporters have a range of about 40,000 kilometers.

4. What happened to Janice Rand? And why did she only come back for the movies?
The actress who played her, Grace Lee Whitney, left the show for personal reasons and she was never referred to again in TOS. By the time of the movies, she had gotten her life together.

5. Does Pon Farr affect female Vulcans?
Up to you. TOS and the movies said it didn't, ENT said it did.

6. If it does, do they have it at the same time as their partner?
I would assume so, since the cycle of pon farr is triggered by the telepathic mating bond.

7. Do they HAVE to conceive a child every time?
No, but one doubts they use contraceptives during pon farr.

8. What is a stardate? How does it work? Why is it used instead of normal dates?
Stardates were invented by Gene Roddenberry to avoid tying TOS down to a specific year and to sound futuristic. In-universe, stardates were invented to compensate for the relativisitic effects of space travel and to standardize date-keeping for planets which might have different years, days, or hours.

9. If there’s no money in the 23rd century, how did Uhura pay for the tribble in Trouble With Tribbles?
The characters in the bar discussed "Federation credits." No one really knows what those are.

10. What are those cartridge thingies?
Information storage. They were the producers' interpretation of how far technology would be in the 23rd century. I believe they are called microtapes or data cards.

11. If Decker died in The Doomsday Machine, how the heck did he get to be in The Motion Picture?
TMP's Decker is TOS' Decker's son. TMP = Willard Decker. TOS = Matt Decker.

12. Could you tell me about some medical-related gadgets and how they work? (This one is actually quite important for my fanfic)
The spinny little black thing McCoy waves over people before declaring them dead, Jim, is a medical scanner. Basically, it's a way of taking a person's vitals quickly. It's also shown capabilities of an MRI, an EKG, an EEG, and a CAT scan. The silvery pen thing McCoy presses on people's shoulders and it hisses is a hypospray or hyposyringe. It dispenses medicine. Any other devices are probably plot-specific.

13. Why do some planets have numbers after their names?
The numbers denote the planet's order of distance from the star. Mercury would be Sol I, Venus Sol II, Earth Sol III, and so on.

14. How exactly is the Federation related to Starfleet? (I feel SO bad for asking this!)
Starfleet is the Federation's exploratory and peace-keeping organization. It's analogous to the relationship between the USA and the US Navy, except Starfleet's primary mission is not military; it's exploration.

15. Why does the Romulan race have the same features as Vulcans? They’re not from the planet, are they?
They are. Thousands of years prior, the Romulans left Vulcan after a great civil war. The Vulcans who remained on Vulcan become the devotees of logic we know and love today, while the Romulans embraced their passion and emotion and created a passionate, emotional empire bent on galactic conquest.

16. How come Sulu’s daughter was never mentioned until Generations?
Real-world: nobody thought of her till then. In-universe: who knows.

17. How come Kirk wears a green shirt sometimes? IS NOT GOOD LOOK ON MAH HONEY.
Green tunic is the captain's variant. Again, if you look at the US Navy, there are several different types of uniforms.

18. Is Kirk the only one who calls McCoy ‘Bones’?
I feel vaguely certain someone else calls him that at some point, but "Bones" is Kirk's nickname for McCoy. Kirk came up with it.

19. If Saavik is a Vulcan, then why did she cry during Spock’s funeral? Is it really THAT sad? lol
It was that sad. Actually, in the script for TWOK and expanded upon in several Trek books, Saavik is half Romulan.

20. What IS the deal with the red shirt joke? I don’t get that.
In lots of episodes, a random, sometimes namless background character in security red would be killed in the first act to illustrate how dangerous the situation was. The joke became, never wear a red shirt if you expect to live past act one.

Enjoy!
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Old June 13 2012, 05:51 PM   #12
Forbin
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Re: Questions of a Trekkie Noob

18. Is Kirk the only one who calls McCoy ‘Bones’?
I feel vaguely certain someone else calls him that at some point, but "Bones" is Kirk's nickname for McCoy. Kirk came up with it.
Nancy Crater used to call him "Plum."
The man is a nickname magnet!
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Old June 13 2012, 06:37 PM   #13
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Re: Questions of a Trekkie Noob

SecretlyMrsKirk wrote: View Post

18. Is Kirk the only one who calls McCoy ‘Bones’?
IIRC, Spock called McCoy 'Bones' in The Tholian Web.
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Old June 13 2012, 07:25 PM   #14
SecretlyMrsKirk
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Re: Questions of a Trekkie Noob

Right, I think I understand everything now. Thanks everyone!
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Old June 13 2012, 09:27 PM   #15
Forbin
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Re: Questions of a Trekkie Noob

SecretlyMrsKirk wrote: View Post
Right, I think I understand everything now.
Well, that puts you way ahead of the rest of us!
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