Chronometer

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by david_lexicon, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. david_lexicon

    david_lexicon Cadet Newbie

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    Today I watched the 2nd Episode of Season 1 of TNG. The date is 17/7/2315 (41209.2).

    I also watched the movie Star Trek: The First Contact. The date is 17/3/2364 (50893.5).

    I cannot understand.....39 years elapsed. Jean-Luc Pichard will be 65 years old in the movie.

    Am I missing something?
     
  2. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Respectfully yes you are. When we first see Picard in Encounter at Farpoint he is in his late fifties, by First Contact he is in his late sixties.

    According to Gene Roddenberry, in one of his university speeches from the mid-1970's, stardates aren't just a indication of time, but also a indication of your position in the galaxy (navigational position).

    Very unreliable for telling time.

    :)
     
  3. Dac

    Dac Commodore Commodore

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    Stardates are mostly bullshit. The show "started" in 2364, with First Contact taking place in 2373. At least according to memory alpha, and I'd take their definition of things over the arbitrary stardate numbering.
     
  4. indolover

    indolover Fleet Captain

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    Due to advanced medical technology in that setting, it's not implausible somebody of Picard's age could still serve capably.
     
  5. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I like the idea someone here came up with recently, that Picard started behaving like "Johnny Action Figure" in the movies because he was going through a mid-life crisis.


    :)
     
  6. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well the TOS stardates were just random numbers they didn't even bother keeping in order... hence Roddenberry making an apology excuse for that one. In the TNG era, they're still ambiguous... but chronological. 1000 units represents one year pretty much without fail. 41xxx was season one... 4 for the 24th century, 1 for season 1. 42xxx for season 2 and so forth. When DS9 and Voyager came in, they just kept adding 1 each season and TNG's movies stayed consistent with that.

    The smaller units... are wholly inconsistent save to say what order things happened in. Sometimes they'll go through a 100 units in a single episode with multiple log entries, sometimes it seems like it's over a month.
     
  7. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    No, it isn't. Where did you get that from?

    No, it isn't. Where did you get that from?

    On screen, we get a good correlation for that "41 is Season One" thing, plus we learn that one episode from that season takes place in 2364. We also get good evidence that the second digit out of the five increases by one per each season, and that each season is one year long. And that's basically all there is to modern stardates.

    The TOS ones were originally sprinkled onto the scripts more or less on random, but the fun thing is, they make a great deal of sense if viewed through the "1000 stardates equals a year" glasses. Ordering the TOS episodes by stardate gives a more logical progression of drama than any competing scheme, and the TOS stardates appear to span five years, just like the opening speech suggests.

    There are three major inconsistencies in using stardates as a timekeeping system:

    1) The stardates for the first season of TNG were made rather random in the final script revisions, and cause confusion - chiefly, there are a couple of episodes with stardates higher than that of "Skin of Evil", still featuring Tasha Yar, even though Yar died in that episode.

    2) The stardates for TAS make no observable sense; it seems even the TOS attempt at giving later episodes higher dates was completely dropped.

    3) The TOS movie stardates at least increase in an orderly fashion as time goes by, but they can't be shoehorned to the "1000 SD = 1 year" model the way TOS can, mainly because they have their own internal references to the passage of time where TOS had none.

    Apart from those three things, stardates are your friend, even when it comes to establishing the age of Jean-Luc Picard.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  8. Squiggy

    Squiggy FrozenToad Admiral

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    They aired out of production order.
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think so.

    The episodes "The Battle" (SD 41723), "The Big Goodbye" (SD 41997) and "Angel One" (SD 41636) were shown in production order, well before Tasha's death scene in "Skin of Evil", and all of them featured Tasha Yar but had stardates postdating her death.

    The only remarkable out-of-production-order airing is the very late showing of "Haven", about seven slots later than production order would imply. But that one creates no continuity problems at either slot, and doesn't pose obstacles to the use of stardate order for early TNG.

    You might be thinking of the fact that Tasha's death in "Skin of Evil" was in an episode produced before her final onscreen appearance in "Symbiosis". But when those two episodes were aired, death came later than life, just as it should. Moreover, "Symbiosis" had no stardates to complicate this reshuffling.

    Timo Saloniemi