Do You Believe the Official Chronology?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by ZapBrannigan, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Oxford, PA
    Honestly, I've never paid much attention to them either. Ditto registry numbers, rank insignia, deck numbers,and all that trivia. I mean, sure, I'll try to get them right when I working on a new book, because otherwise I'll hear about it, but I'm much more interested in the stories and characters than memorizing lots of imaginary facts and figures.

    Nimoy had it right the first time. Star Trek is not an encyclopedia; it's a backdrop for telling engaging stories.
     
  2. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2003
    Location:
    In Diefenbaker's Nightmares
    I dunno, I tend to agree with Mysterion that Trek's timeline/universe/whatever is not the same as ours.

    The most compelling argument for this in TOS itself is "Assignment: Earth". The Enterprise travels back in time to the same year that the episode aired in, and both superpowers were launching orbital nuclear weapons platforms in that period. This wasn't the writers speculating on the future; this was them setting a story in their present and having something happen that they knew wasn't happening in reality. That pretty much cements the fact that Star Trek's 1968 was not the same as ours, and deliberately so.
     
  3. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    Science fiction doesn't predict the future (except by chance). SF imagines a future.

    And I side with the view that TOS timeline isn't ours. Even TOS' past differs. Edith Keeler in TCOTEOF makes reference to wanting to see a Clark Gable movie in 1930. In 1930 Gable was little more than a bit player and certainly not yet recognized as a "star."
     
  4. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Disagree strongly. Despite the nuclear test ban treaty, lots of people then and since believed that nukes really were put in orbit. That general belief, fueled by the oft-stated willingness on both sides to retaliate in full to use of atomics and the general 'he who controls space controls the world' spiel that had been with us awhile at that point, all fed into this suspicion.

    Part of this was because of Project Icarus, which was the idea of using nukes to deflect or destroy big rocks headed our way (sounds as relevant as ever lately.) This whole notion formed the backstory for the insanely shitty movie METEOR.

    Also, if nukes had gotten put up there by both sides, it would cause one helluva panic if discovered. So it would behoove all parties to not inform on each other, and thus maintain a conspiracy of silence. That's the kind of thing which does happen on occasion in history, with the truth only coming out much later after most or all of the principals are dead, perhaps not until much closer to TREK's time if records were sealed and suppressed.

    With all that in mind, these hidden/secret aspects of 1968 referenced in A:E would fit right in with making the year important enough for them to timetravel to witness (although you'd also wonder if they looked in on Eugenicists & genetic scientist folk as well as a guy who would have been a teenager around that time named Khan Singh.)
     
  5. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Down in the tube station at midnight
    Nope, it's just a plot point to drive the action. Nothing I've read indicates they saw A:E or Star Trek as happening in an alternate reality. The whole idea of the show was to postulate on our future.

    That's just poor research and easily ignored.
     
  6. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    ^^ Works for you, doesn't for me.
     
  7. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    Per Ardua
    I'm also one that doesn't see Trek as our future.
     
  8. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Down in the tube station at midnight
    For me its all about the intent of the author(s). Star Trek loses something when its not our future.

    And I don't that much about making everything "fit". Alternate reality is a cop out.
     
  9. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Location:
    New York State
    How must Space: 1999 fans feel, then? :)

    This didn't used to be true, but vintage sci-fi is now full of TV shows and movies whose far-flung future settings have been passed by the real calendar. We just have to accept them as contained stories in their own unique time.

    It might even be fun to compile a list one of these days. Offhand I can think of:

    The Omega Man, set in 1977.
    Lost in Space, set in 1997.
    2001: A Space Odyssey.
     
  10. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    Then I don't see how you can enjoy much science fiction at all. I can easily accept it on its own terms knowing full well our reality isn't happening or going to happen as depicted onscreen or on the page.
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    It isn't even a science fiction thing. If fiction were just reality spelled out, it would be extremely unsatisfactory not to be able to verify from the news how Jack Bauer yesterday blew up two skyscrapers in order to prevent a terrorist strike...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Down in the tube station at midnight
    Again it goes back to author intent. When I first saw TOS back in the 60s it was supposed to be our future. That was how it was presented and intended. No one writing Trek in the 60's was creating an alternate reality. Same for other shows, films and prose. 2001 was our future too as was Space: 1999. That by 1999 or 2001 the technology and events depicted never came to pass doesn't change that. One of the driving forces of SF is postulating on our future. Thats was Star Trek was up to in the 60s and TNG/DS9/VOY were in the 80s and 90s. The "history" of the 20th Century, aside from a few minor tweaks, is our history.

    I get the fannish need to organize, categorize and rationalize Star Trek so that every second that was aired "counts, but the folks in charge have never taken that tack. For them Star Trek was a work in progress and things that didn't work or no longer fit were set aside. I simply follow that lead.

    That's a bit different, as Star Trek takes place in the future. There is no real reason it has to present a "past" significantly different than our reality.
     
  13. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    I never really got that feeling. I do think that those writing SF often likely try to project something of what they think or feel, but I doubt many absolutely believe they are being definitive or predictive. If one has lived long enough I think you realize that that becomes a fool's errand. There are too many variables you simply cannot foresee.

    From Star Trek I got the sense the creator's imagined that this could possibly be us, but in a greater sense rather than the definitive sense. Star Trek was a depiction of an idea rather than a prediction.

    That said I certainly don't mean to discount or dismiss what you're saying or how you perceive it.
     
  14. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Down in the tube station at midnight
    I don't think they were trying to predict the future, just postulating what the future might be like and building stories around that.
     
  15. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    Sure, but shouldn't any new Trek be about the possibilities of our own future? Otherwise, doesn't it just become escapist fantasy?
    I haven't seen the movie in a few years, but I don't believe the year is actually mentioned at any point in the film. It still seems to me a relevent view of our possible future. The most out-of-date aspect of the film probably isn't the year of the title, but the Cold War stuff with the Russians on that space station.
     
  16. 1001001

    1001001 I Like the Beats and Shouting Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2001
    Location:
    People's Gaypublic of Drugafornia
    Which was even more prevalent in 2010.

    Also, Pan Am was pretty big in 2001.

    Whoops.

    :lol:
     
  17. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    Please don't mention that abomination.

    That's right, I forgot about that one. :)
     
  18. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Oxford, PA
    H. G. Wells was smart. He put the Morlocks and the Eloi in 802,701 or so.

    We're not leaving that date in the dust anytime soon! ;)
     
  19. EliyahuQeoni

    EliyahuQeoni Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Location:
    Redmond, Oregon, United States of America
    Sure, the original intent may have been to portray our possible future, but there is nothing in Trek that requires that it be our actual future.

    Personally, I think its fun to create an alt-20th/21st century for Trek's past rather than just retconning things to fit reality, which is what Clarke did in later Space Odyssey books.

    Star Trek has always been escapist fantasy. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
     
  20. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    Per Ardua
    :techman: