TOS' incorrect world war I/II dead

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by trekkist, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. trekkist

    trekkist Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    In "Bread & Circuses," Spock refers to 6 million having been killed in WWI, 11 million in WWII (and of course 37 in WWIII). A 1965 Almanac gives 8.5 million & 26.6 million respectively (those being troop dead, with no inclusion of civilians), which means the figures cited could easily have been checked and found wrong at the time.

    In-universe, this suggests an alternate timeline predating WWI…but has anyone speculation (or better) as to how the mistaken figures made it to the air? Fact-checking in Season One is on record, and lawyer-checking, at least, in Season Two (as in the Gerrold's flatcars, eh, tribbles). Was late Season Two so rushed as to explain these errors?
     
  2. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    Location:
    CommishSleer
    Spock may be counting just the Allied deaths.

    I mean who cares how many Germans or Russians or Chinese people died? :rolleyes:

    Well maybe in the 60s when the Cold War was in full swing. When no Chinese actors were actually allowed in TOS. I think nowadays after 60 years we can consider every death, even those of 'our' enemies.
     
  3. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Location:
    Melakon's grave
    According to Memory Alpha, Roddenberry was rewriting pages all through filming, so perhaps there wasn't time or money to get some of the details researched.
     
  4. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    A de Forest Research memo (dated September 15, 1967) actually covered this, but I believe the episode was being hastily rewritten by Roddenberry and Coon throughout filming, so they may not have been able to implement the change.

    Also, the dates I have indicate the episode was filmed September 12-20, 1967, so the scene may have already gone before the cameras by the time the de Forest memo arrived.

    The fact that the previous two de Forest memos (dated May 10, 1967 and September 7, 1967) didn't address this suggests that this dialogue was a last minute change. That's also supported by the fact that the episode brings up World War III, a topic which NBC had specifically asked Roddenberry to avoid previously (on May 17, 1966, in reference to a revision of 'The Corbomite Maneuver'):

     
  5. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Location:
    T'Girl
    Spock's figure for WW 1 is close to the number for allied military deaths of 5.7 million.

    It's possible that Spock was simply wrong in the figures that he recited, he's not infallible. And that neither Kirk nor McCoy choose to correct him at that time, assuming that either of them knew off hand the correct figures.

    It was later established that 600 million died in the Trek 3rd world war, and the 37 million dead could have been for the eugenics war. Spock confused the eugenic war with the 3rd world war once before in Space Seed, and might have been repeating the mistake.


    :)
     
  6. trekkist

    trekkist Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Thanks, Harvey. That's exactly what I was looking for. My GOD, I love this forum.

    David
     
  7. Romulan_spy

    Romulan_spy Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2000
    Location:
    Terre Haute, IN. USA
    In-universe, there is the possibility that the Enterprise records could be wrong. After all, it's several several centuries since these events took place. Perhaps, the information got lost or distorted in that time. After all, maybe some of our numbers about events 400 years old are wrong too?
     
  8. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Location:
    Melakon's grave
    And in one episode (Tomorrow is Yesterday? Assignment: Earth? City on the Edge of Forever?), Spock makes a comment, "Records from that period in your Earth's history are fragmentary."

    Lots of history might have been lost due to the hypothetical World War III.
     
  9. Shawnster

    Shawnster Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    Location:
    Clinton, OH
    China and Russia were part of the allied forces in both WWI and WWII. Allied deaths would include Chinese and Russian casualties.
     
  10. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Are you perhaps thinking of "Space Seed"?
     
  11. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Location:
    Melakon's grave
    That must be it. I overdosed on "Tomorrow" and "Space Seed" when the computer was down in September.

    The line does suggest details of the 20th century may be lacking by Kirk's day.
     
  12. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Location:
    T'Girl
    The first and second world wars were before "that period."

    Even with the later and larger third world war it is hard to imagine all historical records world wide disappearing.


    :)
     
  13. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    alt.nerd.obsessive.pic
    Depending on how badly the Eugenics and third World War went, I can easily see some information being lost or distorted.

    A Colonel Green or Khan Noonien Singh may have had records of certain events modified or even purged for some reason.
     
  14. drt

    drt Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Based on that quote, the issue seems to be more to avoid specific mention of the combatants in hypothetical future wars.
     
  15. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Location:
    T'Girl
    Exactly who were the combatants was still unspecified in First Contact, a government or group known as "econ" was mentioned, but what part they played in the war is unclear.

    Might just have be a eco terrorist group that was harassing Cochrane's effort to create a FTL engine.


    :)
     
  16. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Location:
    Melakon's grave
    ECON was the Eastern Coalition, which suggested it might have been made up of Asian countries. Braga indicated it was originally supposed to be China in an audio commentary, but changed to a less specific term for political correctness.
     
  17. Nebusj

    Nebusj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Um … are you kidding? Do you have any idea the scope of library and archive destruction that would be needed --- on top of the destruction of archeological artifacts, including population histories --- to make the number of World War I/II dead that poorly estimated? If one single solitary Barnes and Noble survives the war historians will have plenty of material to get a good estimate from. Heck, a single used bookstore surviving intact would be enough.

    At some point it really gets to be easier to suppose that Spock remembered the numbers wrong when he was talking off the top of his head about a subject not one of his primary interests or responsibilities in order to make a rhetorical point in which only the order of magnitude makes the slightest difference.
     
  18. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    alt.nerd.obsessive.pic
    With electronic media, by the time of World War III there may not have been a single Barnes and Noble still open. :p

    :lol:
     
  19. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Location:
    T'Girl
    Yes, Picard said as much.

    From what made it's way onto the screen, that is unclear, although possible.


    :)
     
  20. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

    Joined:
    May 22, 2001
    Location:
    The People's Republic of Austin
    Given the irritatingly pedantic nature of TOS era Spock, I think we simply need to attribute this to writer error, and that he did, in fact, state more accurate numbers instead.
     

Share This Page