Do You Believe the Official Chronology?

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

  1. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    No, Trek was not always escapist. It used to be about the possibilities of the future. Our future.

    You're right that there's nothing wrong with entertaining escapist fantasy, but escapist fantasy takes you away to another world, whereas the best science fiction takes you deeper into what it means to be a human being in this world. And, in days past, Star Trek did just that. Not always well, mind you, but it at least tried. It doesn't have to have a moral or preach or predict anything, but it should use an SF setting to open us up to our own possibilities, to, as the myths of the past once did, pitch us out, not wrap us back in to where we've been all along.
     
  2. EliyahuQeoni

    EliyahuQeoni Commodore Commodore

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    And since when is an alternate history/parallel world not a SF setting?

    And yes, many times Trek has made social commentary and had some deeper meaning to its stories, but at its heart it is escapist scifi/fantasy meant for entertainment. It isn't a philosophy. It isn't a way of life. Its a TV/Movie franchise.
     
  3. sariel2005

    sariel2005 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Out of interest, with the placing of the TOS episodes, does anyone know how they decided on the time placements.

    I know they chose production order for the episodes, but does anyone know what criteria they used to decide which year each story took place in ( why place " Conscience of the King" in 2266, for example.
     
  4. Duncan MacLeod

    Duncan MacLeod Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Because it was filmed in 1966. Everything was moved forward exactly 300 years.
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...Although by the time the book went to print, this "300 years in the future of the airdate) was already supported by onscreen evidence. The age of Sarek in "Sarek" had been set at 202 by following this very doctrine: the dating of that TNG episode was carved in stone already (it was 2366 because it was the third season and the first season had already been mentioned as having taken place in 2364) and going 100+300 years back would bring us right to the airdate of "Journey to Babel" where Sarek was 102 years old. Had the writers not been following this doctrine already, they would have been quite unlikely to choose 202 as Sarek's age...

    The doctrine of airdate + 300 years for TOS dates long predated Okuda and the Chronology. It had been a fan favorite since before the first movie, and indeed even the movie appeared to follow that doctrine: aired in 1979, it referred to the Voyager VI launch as having taken place "over 300 years ago", while the Voyager program was started in 1977.

    That's one case where the Okudas and Sternbach didn't follow the doctrine, though, as they moved the movie to a date eight years earlier, apparently because they felt that the time elapsed from Kirk's last clocked star hour must have been the exact time between the movie and TOS. Rather than, say, the exact time between the movie and Kirk's latest post-TOS adventure...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. sariel2005

    sariel2005 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    So they looked no further than production date, and added three hundred, fair enough makes sense from their perspective despite some anomalies.

    Was interested in this point though
    .
    According to the official chronology Sarek occurs in 2366, fine but they place Journey to Babel in 2267 not 2266. a gap of 99 years.
     
  7. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...Basically, what is happening here is that for TOS, they took the airdates as is, which means a season was split between two years. For TNG, they assumed that a season mentioning 2364 in a late episode would completely take place in 2364. Hence the erroneous application of a doctrine here.

    Of course, we have many reasons to think that the TNG seasons would also be split between two Earth years: the very few Earth dates mentioned (such as that for First Contact, or the Hindu festival of lights) all systematically support a season that starts after the summer, not after Christmas.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  8. bbailey861

    bbailey861 Admiral Premium Member

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    Yup, nothing wrong at all.
     
  9. sariel2005

    sariel2005 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Thats interesting I had assumed that they sort of knew how it worked by the time of TNG and were just fudging with TOS.
    But TNG is ambigous as well?
     
  10. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    I must have missed the post in which someone argued Star Trek ever was or should be a "philosophy" or a "way of life."
    If you factor in DS9, it's all kinds of confusion. When Ben Sisko takes command of DS9, it's stardate 46xxx (the sixth season of TNG). We are told three years have passed since Wolf 359, but if the second digit in a stardate represents a year, only a little over two years have passed (and indeed, only two TV seasons passed between TNG's "Best of Both Worlds Part 2" and DS9's "Emissary"). You could say, okay, they're just rounding up. Fine. But then right at the beginning of the next season of DS9, when just three TV seasons have passed (and the stardate has advanced from 44xxx to 47xxx) we're told that four years have passed since Wolf 359.

    It bugged me back in the day. Now I couldn't care less. :)
     
  11. Irishman

    Irishman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The science in ST09 was definitely stupid. STiD was no better (communicator calls, and site-to-site beaming from Earth to Q'onoS? Riiiight!)

    Two things the JJTrek films get right:

    1. Pacing. The problem with films with an aging cast (Paramount has faced this twice, once with the TOS cast, and once with the TNG cast) is they get tired and slow. There are ways you can work around that - to a degree - but just having your geriatric main cast sit around and talk more doesn't solve that problem for a sci-fi film. It has to move, and move quickly. Either recasting or writing a totally new set of characters/events to build and explore.

    2. New writers. The second biggest albatross around the neck of Trek TV and films has been the recycled writing, carried out by the same same insular, incestuous group that did no favors to Paramount, the fans, the actors, etc. When you think about it, over as many decades as Trek TV and film has carried on, it was bound to happen. Why didn't it earlier, when it could have made a difference for Voyager and Enterprise? Inertia.

    My 2 cents.
     
  12. Irishman

    Irishman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Except for when it didn't.

    Spock's Brain, Miri, Turnabout Intruder, The Way to Eden, The Empath, The Paradise Syndrome, The Omega Glory, Patterns of Force, A Piece of the Action, The Apple, Catspaw, Operation: Aniihilate!, The Alternative Factor are examples of silly or stupid Trek writing.
     
  13. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Trek being about our future is a conceit I've never bought into.
     
  14. Irishman

    Irishman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Certainly it's an alternative universe anyway (where are the Cetacean Institute and the Millenium Gate on Google Maps?), but certainly by 1996. I don't remember missing the eugenics wars.
     
  15. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Wasn't that one of the points of the show? Demonstrating that we people, places and events that don't line up with reality. Especially when time catches up with them. but that's unavoidable. No one writing for the show, from Roddenberry down to the guy contributing a one off plot set out to create an alternate history or future. That it is an alternate history/future is fannish rationalization that allows everything on screen to "fit". It's a bit like hording, they can't throw anything away.
     
  16. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Thus the reboot.

    A journey into TOS primes past--being like what the folks in the 1950s-1960s would be our present--and a line about how--oh...I don't know...how a silly war with Iraq was avoided with money pumped into spaceflight instead...
     
  17. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    A film's pacing has nothing to do with the age of the actors. That is a truly blatant misconception.
     
  18. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Certainly the latest movie's pacing is effected by a leading man who moves through it like a coiled spring. You can't realistically have a fast paced movie, with a low energy cast. It does come across on screen.

    Give credit where credit is due. I'm not the biggest fan of the two Abrams movies, but youthful Chris Pine brings an energy to his movie (not just his role in it) that neither aging Shatner or Stewart ever could.

    Those particular examples do not match your description of them.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2013
  19. T'Bonz

    T'Bonz Romulan Curmudgeon Administrator

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    Aw hell, it was just a fun show; that sometimes amused, sometimes made me sad and sometimes made me think.

    But going nuts on canon and what's official and not is just daft and it's overthinking things anyhow.

    And if truth be told, that, and the nitpicking, takes away from the experience at times.
     
  20. EliyahuQeoni

    EliyahuQeoni Commodore Commodore

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    No, the only point to the show was to create an entertaining SciFi program every week. Some viewers found deeper meaning in it, which is great, but was far from being the point of the show (Unless you buy into the Roddenberry Hype).