Elements of TOS which contradict later series

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Voth commando1, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. Voth commando1

    Voth commando1 Commodore Commodore

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    So TOS is the odd man out when it comes to continuity, having come before the other series. And the framework established by the TNG-DS9-Voyager-Enterprise era, with its four quadrants, mostly peer alien powers, and other motifs common to that era.

    One main example I can think of is the timeframe.

    While TNG/VOY/DS9 is set in the late 24th century, TOS’s timeframe is never made explicitly clear, however in the Squire of Gothos it is stated to be “900 years” after Napoleon or something to that effect.

    Obviously this contradicts later Trek and established canon.

    But what other examples of TOS contradicting other Trek can everyone think of?

    Both lore, style/aesthetics, tropes and motifs and so on.

    Klingons and Romulans are portrayed generally different, with Klingons more space barbarians or soviets and the romulans as generally honorable but also cunning space romans(hence the name). As opposed to the latter portrayals of a more samurai/Viking honor obsessed portrayal of the Klingons with the Romulans being sneaky and devious.

    In theory, if you ignored all later Trek you could build off of TOS and have a very different Trekverse with psionic humans, earth like worlds that somehow emerge naturally, a different portrayal of Romulans and Klingons, and it being set in the 28th/29th centuries.

    But thoughts, examples, ruminations?
     
  2. BillJ

    BillJ History’s Greatest Monster Premium Member

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    Not for me. I keep TOS/TAS/TMP separate from what came later.
     
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  3. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

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    To be honest there really isn't much. Even that 900 year line doesn't make sense in the context of the episode. For the timeline probably the biggest issue would be the 200 years after 1990s lines that we get.

    There is that one line in TNG about never encountering a void of no stars before or something like that. I think the reason people feel like ST is the odd man out is not because of the universe building, but becasue of how the series looks. The flat walls and vivid colors make it stand out. But as Deep Space nine showed that's not enough to discount it.

    On the other hand if you want to include Enterprise and Discovery into the mix, then boy oh boy this thread will beat out the Axanar one in the fan productions forum.
     
  4. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    All the "Cage"/"Menagerie" references to lasers were retconned away by ENT and Disco all having phasers as the norm a decade before TOS. Previously novels, tie in manuals and fanon had said the Enterprise launched with lasers and was upgraded to phasers between Pike and Kirk's tenures on board.

    The journey to the galactic rim twice and galactic centre (twice, if you count TAS and the classic movies) as well as the Enterprise explicitly covering 1000 light years in 12 hours in "That Which Survivies" are completely incompatible with DS9 and Voyager's distance-based premises. In the TNG/DS9/VOY-verse, did those adventures not happen, or happen closer to home? Or are they considered outlandish tales by the likes of Kathryn "I met Amelia Earhart but doubt that Kirk met Da Vinci" Janeway?
     
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  5. Mysterion

    Mysterion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think you've got it backwards - it's how the later series contradict TOS which came before any of those other shows were even thought of.

    Besides which there is no Trek series that is completely internally consistent with itself much less with each other.
     
  6. Cutie McWhiskers

    Cutie McWhiskers Commodore Commodore

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    But doesn't that mean any prequel can scribble in any old fluff?

    Isn't that the real question?

    The same is true for any show that opts to throw in a "prequel" long after the original was made.

    Though what lets a sequel, even dated numerous centuries later, off the hook compared to the original from which it came? I leaver it to the individual viewer; nobody is going to agree 100% over any television show's style. But people will agree or disagree with whatever for whatever or whatever other reasons. :D
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    "All" the references means exactly two instances. And that's as easily handwaved away as James R. Kirk or lithium crystals or Vulcanians or UESPA.


    I don't think they have it backward, they're just choosing to define the question in a non-chronological way. I take their point -- there's far more Star Trek content in the modern, TNG-and-after vein than in the earlier TOS/TAS vein, so we can no longer really say that TOS is the template for everything else, especially when it lacks so much that's shared among the other series. At this point, it's more like it was the prototype for what followed. And there are many viewers these days who discover the later series before the earlier ones, so their view of Trek would be shaped by the later series and TOS would seem anomalous.
     
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  8. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

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    Even then, there is no reference stating that the ship has lasers. Only the hand weapons were referred to as lasers. So at that point in time phasers may have been more bulk and only practical when mounted to ships. While the more primitive lasers were well suited for hand held weapons.

    If by "handwave" you mean "explain them" then yes I agree. But I think these elements should be incorporated into the mythology rather than thought of as outliers. James Tiberius R. Kirk (people have more than one middle name). Based on dialogue power flows through lithium crystals, while dilithium crystals generate power so they were used concurrently. Vulcanians was just what they were called and we witnessed the shortening of that term in the 2260s. The Enterprise operated under UESPA for a time. I think stuff like this helps give diversity to the mythos and fights against small universe syndrome (lookin' at you Enterprise).

    I think it should be a template for shows that take place during that time period. Just as TNG was a template from DSN and VOY. Some of the problems with Enterpise is that it used TNG as a template instead of extrapolating a reasonable pre-ST template.
     
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  9. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Commander Red Shirt

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    The ESPers never appeared again, so that clearly stands out as very odd. The Romulans and Klingons could have switched attitudes over the centuries like the Dems and Reps did ;)
     
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  10. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Commodore Premium Member

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    Thank goodness Klingons as Space Biker Gang was not part of TOS. I liked Worf a lot, but when we just had to visit - AGAIN AND AGAIN - Klingon culture, oof, did that drag.
     
  11. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    The supposed 900-year thing in "Squire" is not a problem, it's just an error by the characters. Knowing they were 900 light years from Earth, but knowing nothing about what past-era decor should look like, Jaeger falsely assumed that Trelane's interior decorating was from 900 years in the past. He just made that assumption because it would line up with the known distance to Earth. But Trelane's decor is much more recent to Kirk's era.

    What our officers didn't know at that point, but would see later in the episode, is that Trelane can propel his planet like a starship, and it can even outrun the Enterprise. Thus, Trelane was nearer to the Earth when he made his cultural observations, probably long ago, and he now happens to be 900 light years from Earth because he wants to be, and can go anywhere he wants very quickly.

    The episode therefore says nothing reliable about when TOS is set. 300 years in the future (the now-official chronology) is entirely compatible with "Squire."
     
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  12. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yup:

    1) mobile planet
    2) the castle certainly is 900 years old from the 2260s vantage point!

    As for Klingons, TOS already set the pattern in stone: they always look different. Even between individual episodes of TOS. That is the one Klingon thing - and the one where they seriously one-up the humans, who are merely diverse but unchanging.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  13. Maurice

    Maurice ATARI CX5200 Premium Member

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    Actually, in BOT they are portrayed as pointy eared Kriegsmarine with a few Roman titles thrown around for color.
     
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  14. somebuddyx

    somebuddyx Captain Captain

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    -Ships going faster than Warp 10.
    -Romulans and Klingons with opposite (ish) personalities.
    -Space Central/Star Service.
    -Symbols for each ship (ish).
    -Wrong UFP flag.
    -No Borg.
     
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  15. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Funnily enough, the TOS red UFP banner endures throughout the spinoffs, appearing in the movies and DS9. So far, DSC has skipped that one, but I wouldn't put it past them to try it out at some point.

    I never got the "Romulans went from honorable to treacherous and Klingons the opposite" thing. Romulans in TOS did nothing but betray and backstab. Klingons in TOS waxed poetic about honor and duty. Nothing changed but their looks when the movies and spinoffs took over.

    As for the Borg, they are definitely one of those "you don't find them, they find you" type deals. Their absence is only to be expected, until they finally get revealed to the main body of heroes in the 2360s.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  16. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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  17. Amasov

    Amasov Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not sure I would call it a contradiction, but, I find it interesting that in Assignment: Earth, Kirk's log entry suggests that time travel is something that can easily be done and is done often for research purposes.

    "Captain's log. Using the light-speed breakaway factor, the Enterprise has moved back through time to the 20th century. We are now in extended orbit around Earth, using our ship's deflector shields to remain unobserved. Our mission – historical research. We are monitoring Earth communications to find out how our planet survived desperate problems in the year 1968."

    In almost every time travel instance afterward on the other series, it's by accident.
     
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  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I don't see it that way, since there's nothing to indicate that any other ship has done this or will do this. One example does not prove a pattern. If Kirk speaks of it as routine, it's because the Enterprise has done it before.

    In my novel Forgotten History, I interpreted "Assignment: Earth" and "Yesteryear" as preliminary attempts to use the time travel methods the Enterprise had discovered as a means of historical research -- with the Enterprise being the ship assigned to them because it was the only ship and crew that had experience with time travel and was cleared to know about it. And since both missions nearly went disastrously wrong, Starfleet abandoned any further uses of time travel for historical research.
     
  19. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It's sorta weird that an experimental time travel mission would be aimed at Earth's own past, and at a moment where things could have gone horribly wrong. Surely there would first be test missions to the past of Asteroid 39275638B, to see if moving one of its surface rocks two centimeters to the right would alter the course of history?

    A series of such missions, with gradually increasing audacity, could easily explain Kirk's confidence. And the series of experiments would end when something finally did go wrong, such as with the Gary Seven adventure. After this, it would hopefully still be possible to do one more time trip in which Kirk tells himself not to do the penultimate one...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  20. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    The TOS warp scale was apparently just a series of finite speeds on a linear scale. Warp 10 is just another number, and of course Warp 11 was reached in "The Changeling" and "By Any Other Name."

    The TNG Technical Manual by Sternbach and Okuda explains that the warp scale was reset in that show's era to accommodate much faster ships while still staying on a convenient "ten scale." They set Warp 10 at infinity, and if I recall, the new scale is logarithmic, such that getting closer and closer to Warp 10 puts you on an asymptotic curve that never touches the line. For instance, Warp 9.9 is now immensely faster than 9.8, and again Warp 10 doesn't really exist, because that's infinity.

    So the change was deliberate, and in-universe it was meant to be wholly consistent and organic. It's not a retcon, just new terminology for faster ships.
     
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