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

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Old January 21 2014, 03:11 PM   #106
Robert Comsol
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Re: Could stardates make some sense?

I know that I seriously neglected this thread I started, but would just like to remind everyone that I posted it in the TOS section to specifically discuss stardates of the TOS series and TOS movies because I feel that for this particular era of Star Trek we can still get a good approximation how stardates worked (or were supposed to work).

Again, here is an excerpt what I wrote on page 6 of this thread:

The original episodes were broadcasted out of production order (and out of the modest chronological stardate order these had). Asked about the discrepancies Roddenberry referred to the manipulation of space and time (by the warp engines) and concluded “I’d just as soon forget the whole thing before I’m asked any further questions about it.” (The Making of Star Trek)

The creator didn’t know yet and the correct answer would have probably been “I’ll tell you when I’m finished telling my 5-year-story" (because only then can I calculate the elapsed time between the first and last stardate mentioned and give you an approximation).
But at the time of the Whitfield interview Gene Roddenberry couldn’t foresee, yet, when he was actually and terminally done telling his 5-year-story.

In this recent thread I presented the theory that Christmas always happened around Stardate X700.X

This would suggest that 1,000 stardate digits equal one year, but whether that was intentional or accidental is unknown.

Anyway, assuming that Roddenberry sat down during pre-production of TMP and considered giving us a better approximation of stardate values, he inevitably would have noticed that the difference between the earliest (1277.1 or 1312.4) and latest (5930.3) TOS stardate is rather close to 5,000 units (= 5 solar years).

The novelization states the launch stardate from drydock as Stardate 7412.3 and (novel only!) 2.7 hours later it's Stardate 7412.6 while the Enterprise is still cruising at sublight and doesn't warp/alter the fabric of space and time.

This perfectly matches the assumption that 1,000 stardate digits equal one solar year, 2.736 digits one day and 0.114 digits one hour, but - of course - only reflects in the novel and not the actual film's dialogue and figures.

The one thing that doesn't work is the TMP stardate in relation to the last known TOS stardate.

Assuming the last TOS stardate is around Stardate 6000.0 the difference to 7412.3 comes very close to 1,500 units or "eighteen months redesigning and refitting the Enterprise" but - unfortunately - fails to acknowledge that the actual time difference between TOS and TMP is closer to three years.

TMP summary: While Gene Roddenberry's novelization hints a stardate system where 1,000 digits equal one year, it doesn't reflect in the final film.

Next we have TWOK which takes place 15 years after events in "Space Seed" at Stardate 8130.4.

Before we jump to the premature conclusion that the system doesn't work, we should first answer the question what actually happened in the TOS era when a stardate reached 9999.9. Would the system have restarted with Stardate 10000.0 or simply [1]0000.0 ?!?

In the latter case the difference between "Space Seed" (Stardate 3143.3) and TWOK (Stardate [1]8130.4) is 14,987.1 digits which would be so close to 15 solar years (15,000) that it's actually too perfect to be written off as a mere coincidence

TWOK summary: Assuming events took actually place on Stardate 18130.4 emphasizes the 15 year difference mentioned both by Khan and Kirk and supports the theory that 1,000 digits should usually equal one year.

The next two films follow shortly after events in TWOK. At the beginning of TVH (ST IV) Kirk records Stardate 8390 "in the third month" of Vulcan exile. He stole the Enterprise after Stardate 8210.3, so the difference is 179.7 digits or 65.68 days. 61 or 62 days would equal two months, so indeed at the beginning of TVH the third (solar) month was just several days old.

TVH summary: Further evidence that 1,000 digits should usually equal one year.

Sulu's remark in TUC (ST VI) that he has been Captain of the Excelsior for at least three years at Stardate 9521.6 makes it clear that this is no longer the stardate cycle during which events of TWOK, TSFS and TVH took place but a new one and therefore and accordingly it would be Stardate [2]9521.6.

The time difference between TWOK (1982) and TUC (1991) would be approximately 11 years in the Star Trek universe, which doesn't seem too unrealistic considering that the time difference between both films in real life is 9 years and 6 months (and because humans in the 23rd Century have a longer lifespan it stands to reason that they may have aged 11 years but still look as if they had only aged 9).

Bob
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Old January 21 2014, 03:25 PM   #107
Christopher
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Re: Could stardates make some sense?

Boris Skrbic wrote: View Post
If stardates are arbitrary out-of-universe, they should at least be extremely complex in-universe, since those human(oid)s see what we see; they must need the ship's computer to help them out.
Except they don't always see what we see. They didn't see Saavik's face change between Spock's funeral and her assignment to the Grissom. They didn't see the visible wires manipulating the Sylvia and Korob puppets. The crews on the Enterprise-D and Deep Space 9 don't see the flat forced-perspective backdrops in the corridors and Jefferies tubes that are often obvious to us. And they probably don't see visible phaser beams or fiery, roiling explosions in the vacuum of space. And presumably they don't see aliens' mouths move in perfect lip sync with the English dialogue that's supposedly produced by the universal translator.

There's a ton of stuff we see and hear that isn't a perfectly accurate representation of what's supposed to be seen and heard in-universe. It is a dramatization, after all. So when they mention stardates, we can't know for sure that the numbers we hear are the ones they'd "actually" be saying if any of this were real.
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Old January 22 2014, 01:33 AM   #108
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Re: Could stardates make some sense?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Well, it is a cool idea, but it wouldn't explain the stardates in consecutive episodes being out of order, since then they'd have to be going back into dock every week.
Hm, I don't think so. Episodes were never meant to be in chronological order, the different dates would just reflect different points in the mission. (Perhaps "time on current mission" is a better way to put it than "time out of space dock.")

CorporalCaptain wrote:
If you're thinking of "That Which Survives", and I think you are, the problem there was traceable to just that one episode.
Yep, that's the one. (It is true that TOS was generally freer of such inconsistencies than, say, TNG was.)
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Old January 22 2014, 10:43 AM   #109
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Re: Could stardates make some sense?

Chemahkuu wrote: View Post
http://tos.trekcore.com/hd/albums/1x...part1hd180.jpg

No Stardate is given, but it also lists Talos as being in the Vernal Galaxy, so I'm not sure how trustworthy it is.
This sealed document portfolio makes another appearance in A Taste of Armageddon as the "book" that Ambassador Fox is carrying when he beams down to Eminiar Seven.
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Old January 22 2014, 11:08 AM   #110
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Could stardates make some sense?

Chemahkuu wrote: View Post
http://tos.trekcore.com/hd/albums/1x...part1hd180.jpg

No Stardate is given, but it also lists Talos as being in the Vernal Galaxy, so I'm not sure how trustworthy it is.
The direction of the vernal equinox is used to define some celestial coordinate systems used in astronomy, so I'd suggest that the term "vernal galaxy" (which, incidentally, is in lower case in a tersely-written passage) is just gobbledygook intended represent the Milky Way galaxy viewed under some celestial coordinate system that they use in the 23rd century. (Pay no attention to the fact that that suggests an Earth or Sol-centric coordinate system. It still sounds really technical and astronomical. ) The third quadrant is just the third of four parts indicated in that system. (Recall that in TOS, "quadrant" hadn't yet taken on the meaning that it did in later incarnations, as in Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta.)
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Old January 22 2014, 01:02 PM   #111
Robert Comsol
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Re: Could stardates make some sense?

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Recall that in TOS, "quadrant" hadn't yet taken on the meaning that it did in later incarnations, as in Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta.
Good reminder! A quadrant was a part of a sector.

From "The Squire of Gothos": "Moving on schedule into Quadrant 904. Beta Six is eight days distant." Spock

From "The Immunity Syndrome": "You will divert immediately to Sector 39-J." "Sir, the Enterprise just completed an exhausting mission. We're on our way in for R and R. There must be another starship in that sector." Kirk

From TWOK: "Reliant in our section, this quadrant, sir, and slowing." Sulu

Bob
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