Pre-TOS five year missions in the books

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Noddy, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. Noddy

    Noddy Captain

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    Okay, STID has it that as of 2260 in the new reality, there has never been a five year mission in the history of Starfleet. Just wondered, are there any books or whatever that posit missions of such lengths prior to the era shown in TOS?
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I've seen fan sources assuming that Spock's 11 years, 4 months, and 5 days under Pike's command encompassed two 5YMs and a bit more, but nothing in the tie-ins seems to support that.

    Although let's define our terms a bit more carefully. The phrase "five-year mission" by itself is pretty meaningless. Duration doesn't define a mission; purpose does. What's new as of STID is a dedicated deep-space exploration mission with a planned duration of five years. Which strikes me as a reflection of the particular state of affairs in the alternate reality, where Starfleet seems to have adopted more of a defense-oriented footing in the wake of the Kelvin's destruction. Perhaps it's only now that the pendulum has shifted back toward Starfleet's exploratory responsibilities. If so, that doesn't reveal anything about the state of affairs in the Prime reality.
     
  3. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I have a feeling by the time we get to STID there is probably very little that is the same between the two universes.
     
  4. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't know Kirk in TMP seemed to think the 5 year mission was a big deal seeing as that was part of his justification for taking back command of the Enterprise, so it kind of implies not everyone was doing those.

    Besides the Enterprise was still probably doing the usual TOS things judging by the star of Into Darkness, they just went back to Earth after finishing up instead of going to the next random planet.

    Honestly I'm starting to wonder if a 5 year mission just means running from planet to planet with occasional stops at starbases for 5 years where as regular missions are going to the planet conducting the mission and then returning to the ship's home port (which is kind of the impression I got of what the Enterprise was doing in the TOS films).
     
  5. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Commodore Commodore

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    I think I just took that as Kirk emphasizing that he'd faced the unknown "out there" as a captain for five years already, whereas Decker was a newly minted captain. I'm not sure one can really extrapolate that to determine whether a certain mission duration was common or uncommon.
     
  6. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There's been nothing in the 2009/2013 films to say that "Enterprise" did not occur as it did, so you'd have a two-year mission (as I recall, Enterprise, after "Broken Bow" never returned to Earth till "The Xindi"). From what I could tell, the NX-01 model in the 2013 film looked just like the NX-01 from the TV series.

    But I believe "Starfleet Year One" had the newly launched Dadelus heading out on a multi-year mission.
     
  7. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    IIRC, the TMP novelization says something about the Enterprise being the first of its class to return from a 5YM with the ship and its crew "relatively unscathed".

    The trilogy "My Brother's Keeper" has pre-TOS stuff with Kirk and Gary Mitchell. Not sure if it specifies the lengths of other vessel's missions.
     
  8. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise goes one further, and says Kirk's Enterprise was the only one of the original 13 Constitution-class ships to return at all. Shane Johnson uses this to justify the Enterprise's extensive refit (she and her crew are famous now) and the Enterprise emblem being adopted fleet-wide.
    Unless you read the comics, in which case a bunch of TOS' 5-year mission missions happened years earlier and before this new Enterprise's 5YM.:wtf:
     
  9. NightJim

    NightJim Captain Captain

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    Have we never had any sort of clarification on April or Pike, other than the assumption based on Spock's service level with the latter? I guess even stating how long TOS Enterprise was in service doesn't help because that doesn't specify the missions it was doing.
     
  10. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    I got the impression that 5 years was the duration of Kirk's captaincy, after which Starfleet would decide if he would continue as captain or assign him elsewhere.
     
  11. Jon P

    Jon P Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It might be worth looking at Best Destiny, which has Kirk as a teenager on the Enterprise with his dad and Robert April. I don't remember much about it, but it may address the 5-year mission question.
     
  12. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Someone went wild with this "stub" on Memory Beta, but I can't see it's based on many actual references.

    http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/Five-year_mission
     
  13. Leto_II

    Leto_II Commander Red Shirt

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    Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens later went against this in The Ashes of Eden, where it's mentioned that Androvar Drake managed to bring his Constitution-class starship back from its 5-year mission only a month after Kirk returned from his; Kirk being the first starship captain in history to do so.

    Of course, other sources would later contradict this account, with Captain Pike having commanded several successful 5-year missions before Kirk, but that's pretty much par for the ST-continuity course.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Which is ignoring the evidence from "Court-Martial" that other starships already used the arrowhead insignia. A lot of stuff in that book was not very credible, and it's no surprise that it hasn't been drawn on much as a reference. (I've referenced it a bit in my post-TMP novels, but only selectively.)
     
  15. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Well, whether that's really new as of STID depends largely upon whether one considers William Shatner's voiceover in TOS to function as words from the mouth of an omniscient narrator, speaking of the way things are in-universe. If you do (and I do), then it's reasonably explicit that the TOS Enterprise had been sent by Starfleet on a mission that had a planned duration of five years and that had the intended purpose to explore strange new worlds, seek out new life forms, etc. Perhaps you are arguing that the TOS Enterprise's flight path wasn't always dedicated to traveling in deep space, since she often returned to base, or that the mission was not one exclusively of exploration (both of which I'd concede)?
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    First: My point is that the Abramsverse is an alternate timeline. It diverged from the Prime history in 2233 and events unfolded differently there. So even if 5-year exploration tours are new as of 2259 in the Abramsverse, that does not prove that they were new as of 2259 in the Prime universe, because the histories are distinct.

    Second: The TOS narration about the mission that the Enterprise was on as of the time of TOS itself does not prove anything about whether earlier 5-year missions existed. A single example is not evidence of a pattern. So maybe the 5-year mission the Enterprise was on from 2266-70 was one of several in the ship's history, or maybe it was the first one it had ever been on. We just don't know, because one example in isolation proves nothing.

    And it's just not logical to assume that every single starship mission in the entirety of Starfleet is exactly 5 years long. There's no sense in that. Logically there would be many different kinds of mission of different durations. For instance -- the mission in the second pilot to probe the edge of the galaxy. It would've taken months of travel time just to get to the nearest face of the galactic disk and months to return, plus who knows how long on the survey in between. So it doesn't make sense to assume that a single dedicated months-long assignment would've been part of a "5-year mission" of general patrol and exploration. The mission profiles are too distinct. It makes more sense if, in 2265, Kirk was assigned a months-long mission the galactic rim, and then afterward, in 2266, he was assigned a 5-year general patrol/exploration tour.
     
  17. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Ah, gotya. I misunderstood what you meant by the phrase "new as of STID". For some reason, by that I thought you meant "depicted in the franchise explicitly and unambiguously first in the movie STID". I misunderstood you probably because people on the board have debated whether or not the TOS Enterprise was really on a five year mission of exploration during the events of TOS, since it was never said so inside an episode. I'm not sure, but perhaps STID is the first time in the franchise when such a thing was said about an Enterprise on screen (outside of the voiceover narration).
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    No; in ST:TMP, Kirk cited "my five years out there" as the reason why he was more qualified than Decker to command the mission, and in Voyager: "Q2," Icheb gave a report on what he described as Kirk's "historic five-year mission." So there are two canonical references to the TOS mission being 5 years long -- it's just that neither of them are in TOS (or TAS) proper, titles aside. And neither of them proves whether there were other 5-year missions before, simultaneous with, or after that one. If anything, the fact that Icheb specifically mentioned the mission's duration implies that five years may not have been the default, or at least that it was only one specific category of mission.

    But both those references, if you disregard the opening narration, could simply indicate that the mission was open-ended in its planned duration and just happened to end five years after it began. So STID is the first canonical, in-story reference to a starship mission being planned in advance to be five years long, or to "a five-year mission" being a specific category of starship assignment.
     
  19. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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  20. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    I said earlier "relatively unscathed", but in fact, it's "relatively intact". [Novelization of TMP, p. 6]

    Pike may have completed several 5YM, but was the "ship and crew relatively intact" each time?