Assignment Earth Blunders

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Spock's Barber, Nov 21, 2017.

  1. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2014
    Location:
    Standing Next To Kirk
    This episode leaves me wondering.....nevermind the pilot episode inside a TOS episode. The fact that Starfleet would order a Starship to go back in time to do "historical research" is silly enough, but then Kirk and Spock do their best to intefere with Gary 7. They have good intentions, but they don't seem to be the least concerned that they are causing more problems that Gary 7. Then at the end, Spock covers their asses by saying Starfleet records show that the Enterprise didn't interfere. Ay, carumba....
     
    Commander Luskeen likes this.
  2. SevenOfNiven

    SevenOfNiven Ensign Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2017
    In retrospect, it would have been kind of neat to see the Enterprise be able to travel in time as part of its mission profile after Assignment: Earth, but I get what you're saying.
     
  3. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2014
    Location:
    Standing Next To Kirk
    That sounds interesting....to see Kirk and crew check up on Gary 7 and Roberta. I guess Roddenberry hoped a network would buy AE as a series, but it just didn't happen.
     
  4. SevenOfNiven

    SevenOfNiven Ensign Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2017
    It's never too late...If CBS All Access is looking to do Trek spinoffs, an Assignment: Earth series would be an interesting choice...

    TC
     
  5. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2001
    Location:
    On the run.
    I've never liked the half-assed excuse of research for the time travel. I get it, they just wanted to jump into the story quickly, but jeez...we want to treat time travel that routinely? Plus, why do they need to study the past? Isn't that what records are for? And if the records are lost, you don't need to wonder if humanity made it okay...you exist, they did just fine. ;)

    That said, I love the ep and wish it got picked up for at least one season of its own. Would have been groovy.
     
  6. Push The Button

    Push The Button Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Smithfield, Rhode Island USA
    The third of four trips Kirk and crew would take back to the 20th century. Did Kirk feel strange, being back in old NYC so soon after losing Edith?

    Yes, "historical research" is a pretty flimsy reason to risk ship, crew, and history itself, but not if you're a TV producer trying to keep the paychecks rolling in.

    Gary Seven, America's version of Dr. Who?
     
  7. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2014
    Location:
    Standing Next To Kirk
    Interesting, since GR basically bailed on TOS in the 3rd season. I wonder if he would have devoted his full energy to producing a potential Assignment Earth television series, while his crew was still laboring away on TOS?
    :shrug:
     
  8. SevenOfNiven

    SevenOfNiven Ensign Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2017
    I had a classmate who wondered what an American Doctor Who would be like. I was like, have I got a random episode of a show for you...
     
    David cgc likes this.
  9. johnnybear

    johnnybear Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    If Trek had been cancelled at the end of season two, as Gene was obviously thinking, then he would have had a series to carry on with wouldn't he! Funny thing was Trek was returned for a third season and Assignment:Earth was ditched leaving Gene out in the cold anyway!
    JB
     
    Phaser Two and Spock's Barber like this.
  10. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    After Kirk and friends discovered time travel, Starfleet would naturally try and make use of the technique. A few test missions into "routine" environments and scenarios would seem to be the right way to do that. It's not as if there would be a lot of risk involved, either: if a mission fails, just send another with the single mission aim of stopping the first mission. Worked just fine in "Tomorrow is Yesterday", after all.

    Testing the ability of the ship to protect herself from 20th century sensors sounds like a logical step, too. This didn't work too well the first time around, so in order to apply the technique elsewhere, Starfleet would need to check if their improvements are working properly.

    Testing these things on Earth may be the low-risk approach as well. They know it worked in "Tomorrow is Yesterday", for one thing. They also pretty much already know what history is supposed to look like, so they spot any glitches more easily. And the risk of unwanted aliens stumbling in on the experiment is reduced, too.

    Or is it that out of known stars, only Sol is suitable for the slingshot maneuver?

    "Assignment: Earth" alone isn't reason enough for Starfleet to stop trying to time travel, as everything pans out just fine once again. Perhaps it's the next mission that puts a halt to the project, while leaving the Trek history drastically divergent from ours?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. Timewalker

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

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Location:
    In many different universes, simultaneously.
    How do you think records get created? Someone has to do the initial research. It's not like archaeologists can just look everything up on Wikipedia (or the Star Trek equivalent). Someone has to have done the original research.

    And sure, humanity is still here. But knowing what happened is key to making sure humanity stays "here" (in case something goes wrong).

    It was 30 years later...

    Oh, a different kind of "so soon." Kirk is a professional who does his mourning during his downtime, or at least that's how it was in in the TV series. He crosses the line a bit in the movies.

    Gah.

    It's too bad they can't make a TV series from Poul Anderson's Time Patrol series. I would absolutely watch the adventures of Manse Everard, Unattached Agent, whose job it is to preserve Earth's history from accidental changes in history and catch the villainous Exaltationists and others who want to change history for their own purposes.

    Why? There's nothing special about the Sun that other stars don't have. I wouldn't want to try slingshotting around really large stars or stars on the verge of supernova. That could get really messy.

    I read an essay many years ago in one of the "Best of Trek" books that speculates about the "disappearing bum" in "City on the Edge of Forever". If he hadn't accidentally vaporized himself with McCoy's phaser, history might have been completely different.
     
    Phaser Two likes this.
  12. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2001
    Location:
    On the run.
    By being written down as they happen. The way we usually do. Recorded history.

    They are from the future...whatever happened is already part of their history.
     
  13. Timewalker

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

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Location:
    In many different universes, simultaneously.
    Not all history gets written down as it happens. Some of it is reconstructed through archaeology.
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    And then somebody would need to lose that research between 1962 and "today" (2260-whatever). It's not as if Kirk and pals could add anything of note to whatever the contemporaries already wrote about 1962, considering they are dilettantes when it comes to history, and are just visiting anyway, unable to grab or comprehend any context.

    So, did Earth lose its history in a post-20th-century disaster? As per "Space Seed", interplanetary shipping records were a bit jumbled for 1996, but whether due to later loss or contemporary laxness in wartime bookkeeping, we don't know.

    When in doubt, "subspace". Sol could be different in many ways, some of them responsible for the fact that slingshotting only ever happens around Sol, others for the fact that heroes and villains in extreme hurry sometimes drop out of warp at Sol and proceed at impulse, even when everybody from Cochrane and Archer on jumps straight to warp from Earth orbit at other times without any particular hurry in evidence.

    And nobody in Trek does. But tellingly, nobody in Trek does it around nice and dull K stars, either. Except for Sol.

    Sometimes our heroes or their bosses balk at altered history. But generally, they can't tell the difference (nobody we know ever failed to have that bum vaporized, say). It's a bit difficult to see what sort of a "blunder" or "alteration" would make Starfleet distrust time travel, then. (Or Klingons or Romulans, who must have spies everywhere and be aware of slingshotting. Although if it can only be done around Sol, then they're screwed.)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2001
    Location:
    On the run.
    Yes. So we're to believe that between 1960 and TOS, humans just stopped bothering to keep records. And then Starfleet decided that the best use of resources is to just time travel and have a look around. Sounds fair. :)
     
  16. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    North Wales
    My feeling is that the Aegis (the organisation which Gary Seven worked for) reached out to Starfleet and asked them to send the Enterprise back in time, as they knew from their own records about Kirk's involvement in those proceedings.
    Starfleet didn't know the full details, but knew enough to know that when the Aegis advise a course of action, it is best to follow it!
    So, off goes the Enterprise to 1968
     
    SevenOfNiven likes this.
  17. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2001
    Location:
    On the run.
    That's okay so far as trying to reason it away, but it doesn't really gel with how blasé Kirk seems about the mission. "We're here to find out how humans survived far-out 1968 or whatever, it's cool, no biggie." until Gary shows up. Do they just listen to the radio and hope that someone says something like, "Man, it's a good thing we were able to ______, thus helping us to survive the ______!"? ;)
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Yes, the gist of Kirk's log is that this is routine stuff for Starfleet nowadays. But it turns out that Kirk and pals already know everything about the year they are "studying" (all they need to do is ask Spock), whilst they know nothing about Gary Seven.

    So, if Kirk is sent blindfolded to meet Gary Seven, what does he think he was sent to do? What sort of a gap could exist in the detailed records that Spock has access to? How could that gap be patched? Beaming down appeared out of the question, until Seven forced the issue. And we got no reference to sensor readings in process or anything like that.

    A proof-of-concept mission, one in a row of several successful ones, would fit the bill: go there, do nothing, report back, and then we will be ready to go back to 1,202 BC and assassinate Bruk the Ur-Klingon and the Galaxy will see peace.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
    DrCorby likes this.
  19. mb22

    mb22 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Kirk & Co. were doing "historical research" using the Guardian of Forever in "Yesteryear" as well.
     
  20. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2001
    Location:
    Dahar Master final exams
    I always wanted to see more of Gary Seven and Roberta Lincoln's adventures. I am quite content to include John Byrne's "Assignment: Earth" comics in my head canon.

    Kor
     
    JonnyQuest037 likes this.