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

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Old August 15 2013, 01:35 PM   #1
Noddy
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Use of time travel in "Assignment: Earth" and TAS "Yesteryear"

I don't know about anyone else here, but I feel that the Enterprise crew deliberately going back in time to 1968 in "A:E", just for some historical research as opposed to some dire emergency, is a bit irresponsible as they risk damaging history with their very presence. And in "Yesteryear" they use the Guardian of Forever to do the exact same thing, for pretty much the same reasons (well, at least they do until Spock has to go back in time to save his own life). How was this kind of activity approved, knowing how dangerous the consequences could be?
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Old August 15 2013, 02:06 PM   #2
Warped9
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Re: Use of time travel in "Assignment: Earth" and TAS "Yesteryear"

You're right on both counts.

In the case of "Assignment: Earth" the story was essentially a back door pilot episode for Roddenberry to pitch a new series idea. Beyond that it does indeed seem highly irresponsible for Starfleet to approve such a thing. The only neat little bit about it is them referring to the slingshot effect used in "Tomorrow Is Yesterday" which is a cute bit of tie-in continuity in an era when television wasn't really known for such things.

That said it is an interesting idea in itself that the Enterprise could be a silent and invisible observer because I don't think there was anything in orbit at the time that could possibly have detected the ship in orbit. Of course, it's just by chance they intercept Gary Seven's light years distant transport beam.

In "Yesteryear" I have a small nit. In "The City On The Edge Of Forever" I always thought they could only back to their own past, but here were researches able to access a history not of their own. You can rationalize that research and study had uncovered a way for them to finally access any past, but there's no dialog of reference to support that.

In both cases, though, it seems the time travel event was always part of the history (just don't try to think too much about it). The Enterprise was always meant to be there in 1968 and the older Spock was always meant to be there to save his younger self.
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Old August 15 2013, 02:10 PM   #3
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Re: Use of time travel in "Assignment: Earth" and TAS "Yesteryear"

I highly recommend Christopher's novel DTI: Forgotten History, which ties most of TOS' time travels (and "Yesteryear") into one big story involving the formation of the Department of Temporal Investigations.
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Old August 15 2013, 03:09 PM   #4
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Re: Use of time travel in "Assignment: Earth" and TAS "Yesteryear"

Agreed the time-travel justification was lacking - in reality(?) Starfleet would never allow it, much less order it.
However, here's a thought, and a nod to continuity; a research mission such as that in Assignment: Earth would have worked much better if it had occurred after the Enterprise Incident, just four episodes later. The creative staff could have used the cloaking device to prevent any chance of detection. But then it would have trashed the whole Christopher part of the plot, and Greg Cox would have had to replot several novels. Okay, I've talked myself all the way around this issue (in my mind anyway), and I'm thinking - all things considered - leave well-enough alone.
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Old August 15 2013, 09:16 PM   #5
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Re: Use of time travel in "Assignment: Earth" and TAS "Yesteryear"

I'd think that Starfleet would need to have reasonably effective starship stealth even without Romulan-style invisibility devices already - otherwise, the Prime Directive wouldn't make much sense to begin with.

I mean, even the pseudo-Romans were supposed to be covered by the PD, despite having technology equal to that of Earth in "Assignment: Earth". The Space Nazis weren't far behind. Surely the means of defeating observation by primitive radar should be routinely available to starships if any sort of observation missions were ever to be performed.

Being grey and staying out of sunlight should suffice for visual stealth against mid-20th century level telescopes. Shields have been quoted as protecting from radar, and probably plausibly so (they do deflect destructive energies, so why not sensing energies?). 21st century systems would bore through such defenses with ease, with better coordination of a larger number of telescopes and smarter signal analysis of radars, but then again, 21st century civilizations would be on the verge of being contacted anyway...

As for the time travel aspect, our heroes took it lightly back in "The Naked Time" already. Perhaps it happens by accident often enough that Starfleet has learned it never does any real harm? (Which only makes the events of "City on the Edge of Forever" more shocking to our heroes...)

However, here's a thought, and a nod to continuity; a research mission such as that in Assignment: Earth would have worked much better if it had occurred after the Enterprise Incident, just four episodes later.
Well, "Assignment" is a stardate-free episode where only our ever-present main heroes make an appearance (no Resurrected Redshirt issues), so there's no real harm in placing it after "Incident"...

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Old August 15 2013, 09:28 PM   #6
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Re: Use of time travel in "Assignment: Earth" and TAS "Yesteryear"

Noddy wrote: View Post
I don't know about anyone else here, but I feel that the Enterprise crew deliberately going back in time to 1968 in "A:E", just for some historical research as opposed to some dire emergency, is a bit irresponsible as they risk damaging history with their very presence.
I would think someone actually ordered them to go. I don't think any starship captain would have the authority to go time-traveling on a whim.
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Old August 15 2013, 09:38 PM   #7
Timo
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Re: Use of time travel in "Assignment: Earth" and TAS "Yesteryear"

Not that this would have stopped Kirk if he felt it mattered. Sure, in ST4, he no longer is a starship captain officially, but that's neither here nor there: he'd certainly have done the same if still in command of the Enterprise.

But yes, Kirk says they have a "mission". And from the sounds of it, this is not the first time Starfleet has conducted missions like this...

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Old August 16 2013, 01:58 AM   #8
Sir Rhosis
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Re: Use of time travel in "Assignment: Earth" and TAS "Yesteryear"

CaptPapa wrote: View Post
Agreed the time-travel justification was lacking - in reality(?) Starfleet would never allow it, much less order it.
However, here's a thought, and a nod to continuity; a research mission such as that in Assignment: Earth would have worked much better if it had occurred after the Enterprise Incident, just four episodes later. The creative staff could have used the cloaking device to prevent any chance of detection. But then it would have trashed the whole Christopher part of the plot, and Greg Cox would have had to replot several novels. Okay, I've talked myself all the way around this issue (in my mind anyway), and I'm thinking - all things considered - leave well-enough alone.
"Christopher part of the plot?" Are you sure you're not interjecting "Tomorrow Is Yesterday" into this? I'm confused.

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Old August 16 2013, 02:42 AM   #9
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Re: Use of time travel in "Assignment: Earth" and TAS "Yesteryear"

^^ I think he's talking about a book Christopher wrote.
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Old August 16 2013, 03:03 AM   #10
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Re: Use of time travel in "Assignment: Earth" and TAS "Yesteryear"

CaptPapa wrote: View Post
Agreed the time-travel justification was lacking - in reality(?) Starfleet would never allow it, much less order it.
However, here's a thought, and a nod to continuity; a research mission such as that in Assignment: Earth would have worked much better if it had occurred after the Enterprise Incident, just four episodes later. The creative staff could have used the cloaking device to prevent any chance of detection. But then it would have trashed the whole Christopher part of the plot, and Greg Cox would have had to replot several novels. Okay, I've talked myself all the way around this issue (in my mind anyway), and I'm thinking - all things considered - leave well-enough alone.
Was Greg Cox born by 1968?
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Old August 16 2013, 03:18 AM   #11
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Re: Use of time travel in "Assignment: Earth" and TAS "Yesteryear"

Timewalker wrote: View Post
CaptPapa wrote: View Post
Agreed the time-travel justification was lacking - in reality(?) Starfleet would never allow it, much less order it.
However, here's a thought, and a nod to continuity; a research mission such as that in Assignment: Earth would have worked much better if it had occurred after the Enterprise Incident, just four episodes later. The creative staff could have used the cloaking device to prevent any chance of detection. But then it would have trashed the whole Christopher part of the plot, and Greg Cox would have had to replot several novels. Okay, I've talked myself all the way around this issue (in my mind anyway), and I'm thinking - all things considered - leave well-enough alone.
Was Greg Cox born by 1968?
Hey, how young do you think I am?

Yes, I was definitely around (and watching STAR TREK) back in the sixties . . . .
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Old August 16 2013, 03:21 AM   #12
Timewalker
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Re: Use of time travel in "Assignment: Earth" and TAS "Yesteryear"

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Timewalker wrote: View Post
CaptPapa wrote: View Post
Agreed the time-travel justification was lacking - in reality(?) Starfleet would never allow it, much less order it.
However, here's a thought, and a nod to continuity; a research mission such as that in Assignment: Earth would have worked much better if it had occurred after the Enterprise Incident, just four episodes later. The creative staff could have used the cloaking device to prevent any chance of detection. But then it would have trashed the whole Christopher part of the plot, and Greg Cox would have had to replot several novels. Okay, I've talked myself all the way around this issue (in my mind anyway), and I'm thinking - all things considered - leave well-enough alone.
Was Greg Cox born by 1968?
Hey, how young do you think I am?

Yes, I was definitely around (and watching STAR TREK) back in the sixties . . . .
Well, I didn't know. And the post did seem to hint at a vaster time-travel conspiracy that might affect the career of a certain author 40 years hence...

(hey, I was around in the '60s, too, but limited to 2 channels - neither of which carried Star Trek)
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Old August 16 2013, 03:26 AM   #13
Greg Cox
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Re: Use of time travel in "Assignment: Earth" and TAS "Yesteryear"

Timewalker wrote: View Post
Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Timewalker wrote: View Post
Was Greg Cox born by 1968?
Hey, how young do you think I am?

Yes, I was definitely around (and watching STAR TREK) back in the sixties . . . .
Well, I didn't know. And the post did seem to hint at a vaster time-travel conspiracy that might affect the career of a certain author 40 years hence...

(hey, I was around in the '60s, too, but limited to 2 channels - neither of which carried Star Trek)
I had to stay up past my bedtime to watch STAR TREK on NBC. That was a big deal at the time . . ..

But I admit I wasn't working in conjunction with Gary Seven to write those novels umpteen years hence.
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Old August 16 2013, 04:13 AM   #14
The Old Building & Loan
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Re: Use of time travel in "Assignment: Earth" and TAS "Yesteryear"

The show was about boldly going....Humanity had recently discovered how to time travel, of course they were going to explore the possibilities.
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Old August 16 2013, 04:21 AM   #15
Ho Ho Homeier
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Re: Use of time travel in "Assignment: Earth" and TAS "Yesteryear"

Timewalker wrote: View Post
(hey, I was around in the '60s, too, but limited to 2 channels - neither of which carried Star Trek)
The small college town I attended in the early 70s only had 1 CBS station. But you could pick up the other two major networks from stations in two other states. The wonderful days before cable. Fortunately, I usually lived near cities with all 3 major networks and at least one independent station.
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