Exactly WHEN in 1930 does "City on the Edge of Forever" take place?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by JonnyQuest037, Sep 4, 2017.

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What month in 1930 does COTEOF take place?

  1. January

    1 vote(s)
    11.1%
  2. February

    2 vote(s)
    22.2%
  3. March

    3 vote(s)
    33.3%
  4. April

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. May

    2 vote(s)
    22.2%
  6. June

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. July

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. August

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. September

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  10. October

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  11. November

    1 vote(s)
    11.1%
  12. December

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
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  1. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I was working on my Star Trek Timeline a bit tonight, and I was wanting to nail down the date of the 1930s sequences of "The City on the Edge of Forever" a little more precisely.

    We know that the year is definitely 1930, as Spock says that the newspaper article he saw about Edith Keeler's death was dated 1930. When viewing the newspaper article from the alternate timeline about Keeler consulting with FDR, Kirk reads the date and says, "February 23rd, 1936 -- Six years from now," so it's presumably early in the year. A February date would also jibe with the winter coats seen throughout the episode.

    There is a calendar seen on the wall at the 21st Street Mission, but unfortunately, it doesn't conform to any month in 1930:

    http://tos.trekcore.com/hd/albums/1x28hd/thecityontheedgeofforeverhd478.jpg

    As we can see, the month starts on a Thursday and has a holiday on the 14th. It also has at least 30 days. According to Memory Alpha, the year and month were taped over on the page, which seems uncommon foresight for a pre-VCR age. The only holidays I can think of that fall on the 14th are Valentine's Day (Feb. 14th) and Flag Day (June 14th), and neither one is a national holiday that people would miss work for. And the only month in 1930 that started on a Thursday was May, which seems much too warm of a season for COTEOF.

    Also mucking things up is Edith's reference to seeing a Clark Gable movie before he was a known star. Gable was only an extra in his only movie release in 1930. Apparently the final draft script originally referenced the more era-appropriate Richard Dix (who had movies released in late 1929 and 1930), but it was thought that Dix wouldn't be remembered by mid-60s audiences, so it was changed to Gable.

    I suppose February is the best overall fit, but I'd love to hear if anyone else here has any theories about it. How about it, folks? Any ideas?
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
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  2. alensatemybuick1

    alensatemybuick1 Captain Captain

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    When Edith first confronts Kirk and Spock in the basement and Kirk tells her it's cold outside, she says it's not that cold. If it were February in NewYork, it would likely be quite cold on just about any day of the month, certainly cold enough to want to get indoors without warm clothes. I'd guess more towards the beginning or end of winter. Not that it matters much or can possibly be concluded definitively.

    Allan Asherman theorized as I recall that Keeler's insight to the future extended to her thinking of Gable as a leading man as early as 1930. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
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  3. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The thirteenth hour, of the thirteenth day, of the thirteenth month.

    It's clearly that lousy Smarch weather.
     
  4. jimcat

    jimcat Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    [SIZE=4]Hi, JonnyQuest037,[/SIZE]

    My own timeline is idiosyncratic, but I did have a go at this:

    http://atavachron.wikidot.com/timeline:was-it-1930

    My conclusions are just a personal preference. I went for early in November (the first week, if you want to be that detailed). It gives a slight excuse for the “Clark Gable” reference, but including “Goodnight Sweetheart” (depending on which version of the show you’re looking at; it was replaced for copyright reasons in some of them) really should push everything back into 1931. Except everyone says quite clearly that it isn’t.

    The new “Star Trek Adventures” RPG manual suggests Edith Keeler was killed on the evening of March 5th 1930.

    I personally think the clothes are the deciding factor, so it should be spring or autumn (that’s fall in North America), but there’s nothing more precise than that. None of the answers make complete sense as far as I can see, so I’d just pick something that works for you.

    Best wishes,
    Timon
     
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  5. BK613

    BK613 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If the calendar in @JonnyQuest037 's linked screenshot is following normal conventions, then by the bottom. left-hand corner, the month preceding the month shown has 31 days in it. This would limit the choices to February (if you ignore the start of the 3 in 30), April, June , August, September, and November. And I think that June, August, and November can be eliminated from those; the first two because of the season (too warm) and the last because there is no Thanksgiving marked. That of course, assumes that the calendar is current. It does look a bit dilapidated.
     
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  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    As for Clark Gable, we know the Trek timeline is subtly different in the Civil War era already (okay, from the Big Bang on, really, but anyway). Perhaps Gable's face was a good likeness for that alt-19th century hero Thaddeus "Iron Boots" Riker, and this propelled him to Western fame early on? :devil:

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  7. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm fine disregarding the "Goodnight Sweetheart" stuff. It's only played over scenes and never commented upon by the characters, so it's not diegetic music within the show. So many period shows use songs that are a year or two off but just evoke the general era, I just consider this another example of that.
     
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  8. scotpens

    scotpens Professional Geek Premium Member

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    In the scene where Kirk and Edith are walking past a radio repair shop, it's pretty clear that the song "Goodnight Sweetheart" is meant to be emanating from a radio in the shop window.
     
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  9. 1001001

    1001001 Serial Canon Violator Moderator

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    February 21st.
     
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  10. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Those shots were basically only inserted to cover up the continuity error of Kirk & Edith being on opposite sides from the next shot.
     
  11. Ar-Pharazon

    Ar-Pharazon Admiral Premium Member

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    If it was an older calendar from around the start of production (Feb.1 1967), it could've been Dec.66, Sep.66, Jul.65, Apr.65, Oct.64.

    If it was a 1967 calendar, only June starts on a Thursday which makes the 14th Flag Day. So probably a 1967 calendar.

    Only May 1930 started on a Thursday, if they were going for accuracy.
     
  12. BillJ

    BillJ The King of Kings Admiral

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    Either mid-March, or mid-October. But there's little in the way of conclusive evidence
     
  13. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    http://tos.trekcore.com/hd/albums/1x28hd/thecityontheedgeofforeverhd478.jpg

    The calendar looks very old and ragged, suggesting an actual, period item that the studio dug up. And that isn't quite right, because in 1930, a 1930 wall calendar would look new.

    Today they'd just design the perfect, mint-condition calendar on a computer and run it off on a laser printer. And it would conform to the desired month in 1930, no problem:

    https://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/?year=1930&country=1

    This would have been a controversial thing for TOS-R to re-do wth CGI, because a lot of us want to see the original set details, including mistakes.

    I'd never heard of Richard Dix before now. I wonder if his friends knew him as Dick Dix.
     
  14. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, maybe not. In the first place, we don't know when during the year this takes place. It could just be brown because that's the color it always was. And people do rip paper. It it's on cheap pulps or newsprint, it would rip easily.

    Also, it looks like it's a calendar ON TOP of a calendar. It's a charity Mission. It could have been donated or fished out of the trash. :)

    My dad was a fan, so I was aware of him. His friends probably did call him DIck, unless they were childhood friends and called him by is birth name. Or maybe a nickname. Dick Dix would have gotten a laugh but probably because "you sound like a double detective."
     
  15. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Perhaps the Guardian of Forever didn't actually send Kirk et al. into the past at all, but rather simply made everyone present think such had occurred. Consequently, anachronisms. :p
     
  16. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Whooboy. And I thought the "Kirk & co. didn't actually go to a Mirror Universe" theory was bad. :rolleyes:
     
  17. scotpens

    scotpens Professional Geek Premium Member

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    But it would probably be set in an anachronistic modern type font!

    Or a group of small African antelopes.
     
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  18. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Hey, I saw a challenge; I accepted it!
     
  19. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd go for March but what do I know!!
    JB
     
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  20. jimcat

    jimcat Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Hello everyone,

    I’m not sure that Edith wouldn’t have known about Clark Gable in 1930. He was in Broadway productions in March-April 1930 (“Love, Honor and Betray”), September-October 1929 (“Hawk Island”) and September-November 1928 (“Machinal”). She does find it odd that Kirk and McCoy have never heard of him, but it’s difficult to guess how famous he already was in New York at the time. I do think that she’d have been disappointed in “Du Barry: Woman of Passion” because Clark Gable was apparently a very minor member of the cast, but it was why I guessed at early November - it’s when the film was playing in New York, and it’s the only film he appeared in that was released in 1930.

    @JonnyQuest037: It’s no real help, but have you considered that the festival on the 14th shown on the calendar is a religious one? My guess would be The Exaltation of the Holy Cross, in September. The calendar would then probably be for 1927. Why it’s still up on the wall is anyone’s guess.

    As far as the weather goes, I’ve not been able to find anything really detailed. Thanksgiving Day 1930 was apparently the coldest on record in New York, with the temperature dropping as low as 15F (-3C). Early November doesn’t seem to have been anything like as bad, with the average temperature about 50F (10C). The average temperature at Central Park for the whole of the month of November 1930 was 45.5F (7.5C). That’s well above freezing, but I admit I don’t live in New York (or even in the same hemisphere) so I’m guessing. Certainly there were high winds and the temperature dropped to freezing on the 7th November, but I’d place events before that.

    If you think all this is going a bit far, it’s nothing compared to the lengths Sherlock Holmes fans go to pin down the details in the stories.

    Best wishes,

    Timon
     
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