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

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Old January 11 2015, 10:02 PM   #1
Mark 2000
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How do we know TOS is in the 23rd century?

The more I look into this the more I can't find solid evidence that TOS takes place in the 23rd century. Khan is told in Space Seed and states in TWOK that he was in power 200 years prior. In Savage Curtain Lincoln is said to have died 300 years prior. When Kirk is threated with being locked up for 200 years in Tomorrow is Yesterday he considers that enough time to get back to his own era. This all points to TOS being in the 22nd century. The only time I can think of where "23rd Century" is said in TOS is in TVH. Is there any other proof of this within TOS (not the later series)?
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Old January 11 2015, 10:17 PM   #2
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Re: How do we know TOS is in the 23rd century?

There's already a thread about this:

To sum up, TOS never specified the 23rd century; the first reference to that was in James Blish's "Space Seed" adaptation, followed by a reference in The Making of Star Trek. However, "Metamorphosis" strongly implies a 23rd-century setting based on Cochrane's age. The first onscreen mention was in the trailers for ST:TMP, followed by the opening caption of TWOK.
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Old January 11 2015, 10:19 PM   #3
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Re: How do we know TOS is in the 23rd century?

When the show was made in the 60's no specific time frame was given. In 1979, however, when TMP was released, the promotional material, including the Marvel comics adaption, specifically mention the 23rd century.

The first onscreen reference (that I remember) was just after the credits in Star Trek II, a card comes on and says, "In the 23rd century....".
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Old January 11 2015, 11:29 PM   #4
Re: How do we know TOS is in the 23rd century?

It also very much seems that the makers of ST:TMP bought the party line of all Trek being exactly 300 years after the airdate... In the movie, the Voyager series, apparently 1970s style probe has disappeared "over" 300 years prior, which is great for a 2279 adventure (but debunks the parallel fan/RPG ideas of an early 23rd century event).

That party line was born only after TOS, but was supposedly popular enough among the fans. Modern Trek basically still swears by it, when it comes to TOS or TOS movie events, even if the TNG era explicitly launched with a different dating concept. (Okay, settled on a different concept by the end of the first season.)

I doubt a memo would ever surface proving the makers of TOS already supported this 300-years-after idea. But the references we get in TOS can be shoehorned to the mold after the fact. Khan would have slept for about 200 years on a 270-year journey if his ship didn't have warp drive! Kirk is joking to the Air Force personnel, not personally choosing the 200 year reference. Trelane was on a mobile planet, not one fixed 900 ly from Earth. And so forth. It takes some doing, but not too much.

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Old January 12 2015, 12:32 AM   #5
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Re: How do we know TOS is in the 23rd century?

I experimented with the idea for trying to nudge Kirk's mission a few decades earlier but Voyager puts the nail in the coffin by specifically stated the end year of Kirk's mission as 2270.
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