Does anyone have the script for Court Martial or The Ultimate Computer?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by ChallengerHK, May 6, 2021.

  1. ssosmcin

    ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And, if you wanna count the opening titles, there was no narration mentioning the 5 year mission. Not conclusive, but you can use that in support.
     
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  2. Henoch

    Henoch Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    By Stardates:
    Court Martial's stardate is 2947.3. Less exactly 19 months or 1583.3 stardates puts the start of the mission at stardate 1364 which is about 34 stardates (~12.4 days) after Mudd's Women stardate 1329.8. If we assume the 19 months is actually rounded down from 19.5 months, then Stone's comment could put the start of the five year mission just before Mudd's Women (which is the first non-pilot episode by Stardate. < I have WNMHGB using an older UE Stardate system.>) Perhaps there was a break-in cruise for the ship with a space dock visit before Mudd's Women which didn't count toward the five year mission. If so, then the series ended ~140 days short of the finish of the five year mission. YMMV :).
     
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  3. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    But for the small detail that during TOS Roddenberry said stardates don’t map like that because he knew the numbers were semi-random, so they’re effectively meaningless.
     
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  4. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In universe, the stardate could be one of two things:

    • The last four digits of a longer time code, because you don't announce the year every time you tell what day it is.

    • An index number, like the bar code on a can of peas, that merely points to the more detailed time stamp information stored in the system. Since this time stamp likely includes the ship's location in space as well as the time and date, and it accounts for any slight relativistic effects that were not prevented by warp fields, it contains a lot of mathematical info that Kirk can't be expected to recite aloud. Thus the stardate is not a date. It would be more like the page number in a navigational log.
     
  5. Mres_was_framed!

    Mres_was_framed! Commander Red Shirt

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    Why would the second pilot need a different Stardate system? Do you mean to allow for refit time?

    I don't usually like to take ideas from the Kelvin-timeline Movies, but perhaps Kirk could have been acting as relief Captain for Pike during the second pilot and then took over as Captain for the series. Kirk makes a few changes to the staff, like adding Mitchel, and some go better than others. Of course that creates a question of why Pike needed a relief captain in-universe, and why Kirk, apparently not a regular member of the crew, as opposed to Number One or Spock, was made relief captain. Sounds like a good idea for a licensed novel...

    I somewhat agree with both "sides" regarding the Stardate math used to try and get a date for some events, and the fact that we just don't know how to convert them to dates. To me it is kind of like putting ST:IV in 1986 or 1987: we just cannot know exactly. So in trying to analyze TOS , the best we can do is use the Stardate numbers as if they were dates and get as close as we can :)
     
  6. Henoch

    Henoch Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Exactly. WNMHGB (Stardate 1313.8) and Mudd's Women (Stardate 1329.2) are only ~15 stardates (~5.5 days) apart which I feel are too short of period to explain the changes. Since the Federation is still headquartered on Earth, they still use the convention that 1000 stardates is one solar year in both systems. I have WNMHGB using the Earth-based Stardate system where the last Stardate rollover of 0000 is January 01. So, WNMHGB ends 313.8 stardates or about 115 days after the New Year on April 25. Between the pilot and 1st episode, Starfleet was in "transition" from UESPA to Federation operations which was officially completed in the middle of season one. I have the start of series using the Federation-based Stardate system which Stardate 0000 is on May 11 to line up Thanksgiving in Charlie X, so that 535.8 stardates or ~196 days are before Earth date November 23. Perhaps May 11 is an important date for the Federation such as the anniversary date of the founding of the Federation or something like that.

    So, Mudd's Women is on September 10th, about 1 year 4.5 months after WNMHGB. YMMV :).
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2021
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  7. Mres_was_framed!

    Mres_was_framed! Commander Red Shirt

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    Interesting. 15 stardates would be a very short time, like about 5 days, unless some space/time war were involved.. How did you arrive at November 23rd for Thanksgiving, insomuch as it moves to whatever day is Thursday? In other words, did you have to assume a year for Charlie X in order to know the date of the 4th Thursday in November of that year?
     
  8. Henoch

    Henoch Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I assumed Charlie X is year 2266 which puts Thanksgiving on 11/23/2266. The theory puts WNMHGB around 4/22/2265. Since we don't know the real year for TOS, depending on what year you pick, the exact dates can vary + and - by a half of week. YMMV. :)
     
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  9. Poltargyst

    Poltargyst Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's possible nothing eventful happened and they spent the last 140 days charting gaseous anomalies.
     
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  10. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I still say the stardate number is not a date. It's just a page number in the ship's navigational log. And on that page, you would find extensive technical information about the ship's location and what time it was. This makes all the in-universe problems go away.
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Except they sorta work just fine in the end anyway.

    Apparently the memo got lost after the first season, which for its part deserves to get reshuffled and spread out to "proper" thousand-stardates-per-Earth-year order...

    Where stardates really fail us is TNG S1 and DSC S1, which are clusterfucks of production and writing, pretty much like the first season of anything. In TOS, there was no effort, so there's no failure, either - and it's fun to read success into it instead.

    (As for stardate rollover, in the 24th century it seems to be more like the start of the airing season at the end of summer... TOS has no such calibrating fixtures, but a stardate of X533 has a pretty good excuse for falling on November in the 24th century setup.)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. Henoch

    Henoch Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Stardate: date is in the word, so, on the surface, it's a date. Since they use minutes/hours/days in TOS, I also assume the stardate is still associated with Earth timekeeping. Since each season on TOS covers one-to-two thousand stardates, it is not to far fetched that 1000 stardates is one Earth year. KISS. :vulcan:

    I think the script editor tried to maintain a flow/spacing to the stardates during TOS, but wasn't successful in the effort. My fix was to assume "Captain Log Entries" were recorded realtime, close to realtime or hours/days later using the current stardate of the recording (not the event stardate) which allows a mechanism to fudge the "real" stardate of the events. After that, their are still six or seven four or five errors that can't be fixed unless we call them script errors and move along. By the way, those errors won't be fixed by any other theory on stardates like a time code adjusted by speed and location in the galaxy, etc... Also, if they are meaningless or nonsense then why use them in the first place and make them an important part of show...no, they must mean something, but all evidence points to the stardate concept poorly executed during the show. :weep:
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2021
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But why call it a stardate if it's Earth-based? The whole intention, the reason for calling it that, was to postulate some interstellar timekeeping system that was independent of the widely varying rotational and orbital periods of different planets and could be used universally. The use of hours and minutes was presumably meant to be an alternative timekeeping system used alongside stardates. After all, there are multiple different calendar systems used in different countries on Earth today, but hours, minutes, and seconds are a globally accepted norm. And the existence of a universal timekeeping system wouldn't erase each planet's local timekeeping systems, but would be used in parallel with them. When operating on a local basis, you use the local timekeeping system, and when operating on a more global basis, you use the universal system.


    Why did TNG, Voyager, etc. make up meaningless nonsense like "verteron" and "isolytic field" and other technobabble and make that important to the show? There are different kinds of meaning. What matters in fiction is not whether something has an objective, rational meaning, but whether it conveys the desired impression to the audience. Fiction is impressionistic, not literal. The creators of TOS wanted to convey the impression of a non-Earth-based timekeeping system that would feel futuristic and unfamiliar to the audience, but they wanted to keep it vague enough not to lock themselves into any specific dates, given that they couldn't control the order in which the network decided to air the episodes, and given that they didn't want to be too specific about how far in the future the show was lest their predictions of future advances turn out to be too conservative or too optimistic.

    So the only meaning that mattered was the unfamiliar format in which the numbers were presented and the impression that they represented something otherworldly and futuristic. The exact numbers were utterly irrelevant and were arbitrary by design.
     
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  14. ssosmcin

    ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    To give the captain a log like sea captains do but more “futuristic” and not tired ta specific year. Why does it have to be more than that? Fans make it more important than the series did, which would mix stardates so certain episodes take place in the wrong production seasons. Overall, it’s better than “mission 176” or whatever and since it all depends on what star system you’re in, the episodes don’t have to be in sequence. It doesn’t have to be any more important to the story than the “Moonbase Alpha Status Reports” were in the second year of Space:1999. Just something to add to the overall feel of being “in space in the future.”

    EDIT: or what @Christopher said.
     
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  15. Mres_was_framed!

    Mres_was_framed! Commander Red Shirt

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    To build (I hope) on what you are saying:

    We can't really know the exact day and time of an episode from exclusively the stardate if we accept the well-documented compensation for space travel explanation...HOWEVER, if we want to calculate something like Captain Picard's birthday, the best we can do is assume that, somehow, it works out to thousandth of a year properly in this case and then assume that Captain Picard's birthday is on that given date until otherwise noted.

    Your example with Charlie is X another implementation of this. We can't know the speed, time and location of the Enterprise at that moment, but we could do our best to work something out with the math we have if we want to.

    Kirk says "On Earth today it's Thanksgiving." Given the time zones we use now, even that statement means rounding to a number based one location, as the date might not be the same on all of earth at once. Is it Thanksgiving by Easter Standard Time, Zulu time, the time in Iowa (Central Time, I think) or some other timezone?

    I know that these estimations I've discussed are the best we can do for stardates, but it seems to be better than claiming they "mean nothing." If someone wrote a story that was to take place earlier than TOS's third season, but the stardate started with 5000, I'd feel that it did not seem right.

    I have thought that perhaps stardates may not move forward in even amounts (depending on speed, for example, three units might be a day or three days.) There is one episode where the stardate goes backwards, I think. Overall, though I think it is fair to assume that they rarely (but not never) go backwards. Even though it is not explained this way onscreen, I don't have a problem making these assumptions if I'm trying to make an educated guess about the earth date of some event in a given episode, using the stardate as a reference.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    For that matter Thanksgiving is a United States holiday, not an Earth holiday. Canada has a different Thanksgiving Day, the second Monday in October, and most of the world doesn't celebrate it at all. So "It's Thanksgiving on Earth" is a meaningless line, one example of Trek's unfortunate tendency to assume all human culture is American culture.


    Fiction is not always perfect at conveying its intended impression. Stardates in general were meant to convey the rough impression of increasing over time, but it's never held up to detailed analysis and it's always had inconsistencies on the fine scale. Series television is put together on the fly and sometimes has mistakes. For instance, TNG: "Darmok" showed phasers coming out of the torpedo tube instead of the phaser strips, but that doesn't mean the way phasers worked actually changed; it just means there was a glitch in that episode.

    Like I said before, fiction is impressionistic. You have to focus on the big picture, the overall pattern being suggested, and not worry too much about the granular details. Stardates in particular were intended to convey only a broad sense of meaning and defy finer analysis.
     
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  17. Poltargyst

    Poltargyst Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In what episode does a stardate go backwards?
     
  18. Henoch

    Henoch Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    One example (which is simply a script error), from And the Children Shall Lead. Starnes log dates are 5025.3-5038.3 before his death. Kirk's log later at 5029.5 conflicts; Kirk’s entry should be after Starnes last log at about 5039.5. (Or someone's clock is off...)

    Second example (looks like a typo), from Spock's Brain,
    Captain's log, stardate 5431.4. for fifteen hours and twenty minutes we have been following the ion trail of the spaceship that has Spock's brain. Time left to us, eight hours and forty minutes.​
    And later:
    Captain's log, stardate 4351.5. We are beaming down to a primitive glaciated planet in the Sigma Draconis star system. Time left to us to find Spock's brain, eight hours and twenty nine minutes.​
    And even later:
    Captain's Log, stardate 5431.6. Immediately after making contact with Spock's brain, Doctor McCoy, Engineer Scott, and myself were taken prisoner inside a highly complex civilisation hundreds of metres below the surface of planet Sigma Draconis Seven. The primitive creature we encountered above warned us about the givers of pain and delight and the frightening consequences of being captured by them.​
    I believe the middle stardate should have been 5431.5 but someone typing the script made a transposition error.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2021
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  19. Mres_was_framed!

    Mres_was_framed! Commander Red Shirt

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    A good choice of two examples.

    I would suggest the first (a log on a planet and a log on a ship, plus the fact that no numbers look out of order), might be used to suggest Stardate can go backward (a little).

    The second, based on the evidence of stardates around it in the episode, and the fact that the same numbers can be rearranged into a number that makes more sense, suggests this one is a simple error in typing or in reading aloud.
     
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  20. MAGolding

    MAGolding Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There are three common orders to put TOS episodes in. Production order, broadcast order, and stardate order. And "Ephrain and Dot" suggests the "Ephraim and Dot Order", which is no specific order at all.

    In stardate order, the stardates keep getting higher over the passage of time.

    In production and broadcast order, stardates get higher or lower betweeen successive episodes. Thus in either production or broadcast order stardates will sometimes go down between episodes.

    Any Star trek chronology which puts episodes in either production or broadcast order will sometimes have stardates going down between episodes instead of going up, and thus will have a stardate system where stardates usually go up but sometimes go down.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2021
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