Hey, I never noticed that before....

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Warped9, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    No, you're the one missing the point. Because of the butterfly effect, any intervention in the past has catastrophic consequences. So you either ignore it and get stories like this or you apply it and as soon as anybody goes in the past the present is dramatically transformed. You can't have both.
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Agreed. It's utter nonsense that Kirk stepping on a cockroach or Kirk saving Keeler would differ in "failing to preserve the timeline". And as usual, you have to justify utter nonsense in scifi by making up a rule and handwaving around it. And "City" makes a halfhearted gesture to establish that certain people matter while others do not - which then means there is no butterfly effect involved in any sense of the term. If you want to flatten a continent, you have to use a boot the size of a continent; kicking over a molehill with your sandal a few centuries earlier won't work. Unless it's a Special Molehill.

    The door then is jammed open for defining Special. Some may say Keeler needs to be run over by a truck of a specific make that very night and the driver must be smoking a specific brand at the time. Others may say Keeler just needs to tone it down a bit when meeting Roosevelt. The episode itself has the heroes leaning more toward the former than the latter, but offers no support to the idea that they'd actually know their shit. It's basically just the inhuman Spock erring on the side of caution, and this caution then carrying the day, without allowing the audience to learn whether it was erroneous or not.

    It's in the greater Trek context where we know that the butterfly effect doesn't exist or matter. In "City", the heroes need not care, because they're just pawns in a game the Guardian is playing. Does it lay down the fancy rules to its amusement? To make all the pawns move the exact right way so that its desperate struggle to save the multiverse will succeed? Again, we don't learn, and we need not care. But we can write off certain ideas and interpretations.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  3. Henoch

    Henoch Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    GUARDIAN: Time has resumed its shape. All is as it was before.

    To me, "all" means that Kirk, Spock and McCoy never visited Keeler's mission and Rodent never got disintegrated in the "resumed" time stream. The Guardian returned Kirk, Spock and McCoy with all of their original clothing and equipment as he said he would. McCoy's type one phaser was just hidden under his shirt. ;)
     
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  4. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    The GOF is either grossly incompetent or some kind of prankster...
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Whatever it is, it's not a dumb time elevator that obeys verbal commands. If anything, it would seem to be user-unfriendly to the extreme, perhaps explaining why it never gets customers. Why, it has been waiting for "a question" for millions if not billions of years!

    (It's a different semantic issue whether it has not heard one in all that time, or whether it gets asked a question every fortnight or so. But it would seem evident that no customer ever returns, except perhaps with a complaint and a WMD.)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  6. Henoch

    Henoch Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I think the Guardian was built as an entertainment device gone wrong.
     
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  7. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    Yet, Kirk et al. did return and the second time they made Spock disappear.:D

    Some people are just gluttons for punishment.
     
  8. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    To me, it's not definitive, but there's at least some evidence that a predestination paradox is an essential component of the timeline they were tasked to restore. Upthread I said:

    There's more to ponder. Would Edith have turned back and walked across the street to get hit, were it not for the reunion between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy? The time we saw the event, Edith's attention was focused on the reunion, instead of the traffic. But what if the three of them had not been in the past there? Would something else have involved her in an accident there? Or would her fatal accident have occurred elsewhere, maybe at a slightly different time?

    The difficulty in postulating that Edith's death in traffic was meant to occur anyway without Kirk, Spock, and McCoy in the past is twofold. First, we are given an explicit reason for the accident, Edith being distracted by their reunion and going to join them instead of paying attention to the traffic. But second, which is only a minor issue, we are given no alternate circumstance that was to operate without the three of them in the past. We are given enough clues to surmise how she was saved, which would be that she did not part from McCoy to go to the movies with her "young man," but rather that she stayed with him for at least a little while, when he asked if there were something he could do around the mission.

    However, in consideration of the line "All is as it was before," I would have to say that the operative word is "is." Is the Guardian referring to the present? Does the Guardian mean that while differences exist in the past, they no longer matter? If that's what the Guardian is saying, yes, then that indeed implies that "originally" the timeline did not have Kirk, Spock, or McCoy going into the past. That would definitely mesh well with the interpretation of Rodent as someone who didn't matter. It's worth mentioning that, if this interpretation is the only valid one, then, from the perspective of Kirk's, Spock's, and McCoy's time, there is no difference between all three going back and none of them going back.

    There is, of course, another interpretation, which is reasonable in my opinion and which is that the Guardian is saying that the entire original timeline has been selected again. So, I don't think it's definitive either way.

    I'll buy that, but only if there is a screen grab supporting it. That would definitely qualify as something I never noticed before!
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021
  9. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    @CorporalCaptain: accidents need a fraction of a second synchronicity, one second too soon and the driver might have swerved to avoid her, one second too late and she would have seen the car peripherally. So it's unlikely that the same accident could happen with different people present.
     
  10. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Who knows what the GOF is really up to - after all, it seemed to do a pretty lousy job of fulfilling its own job description (guarding time) at all: In its first appearance, it let a crazy man leap through the portal and (seemingly) alter all of known history! After this apparent debacle is resolved, the malfunctioning mechanical monstrosity straight up invites Kirk and pals to take another stab at mangling the timeline!
    To be fair to the GOF thought, that is only how it seems at a first glance - or as the GOF would say:
    :devil:
    Indeed. In fact I would go so far as to suggest that rather than haphazardly creating and narrowly resolving crisis after temporal crisis, what the GOF actually "guards" are these predestination paradoxes that are essential to the makeup of this particular timeline.

    For example, we know (or are told by the GOF broadcast) that if Edith Keeler lived then Star Trek's history would have been radically altered. We also know that she was killed, crossing the street to see the joyful reunion of McCoy with his friends and distracted by the thought and sight of her beau. Specifically, it is only due to Kirk's presence in the 1930s in the first place that his own history is able to unfold in the way it does; a predestination paradox, seen here, in the TAS episode Yesteryear and TNG's Time's Arrow.

    Time trundles along from the 1930s until the 23rd century, when Crazy McCoy leaps into the past. The is the moment the GOF has been waiting for; the "appointed time" when Kirk, Spock & McCoy must play their part for history to unfold as it should. However, since only McCoy has gone through then history itself is in a sort of limbo - hence why they lose contact with the Enterprise. Of course, it might also be that the GOF is forcing them to perceive reality in a certain way, or bumping them into a neighbouring timestream, or doing whatever it takes to encourage Kirk and Spock to follow the good Doctor into the 1930s. The GOF knows that it MUST happen.

    The cryptic invite at the end of TCOTEOF might be to view certain "safe" areas of known history (like Orion at the dawn of its civilisation) , or else to fulfil certain other predestination paradoxes. After all, Spock is standing right there and still has a part to play in his own history. But the GOF is patient and can wait until the next "appointed time"...

    As a final thought, the GOF itself may owe its existence to a predestination paradox. After all, one of the first things it says to Kirk is:
    Sounds like a time loop to me... :whistle:
     
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  11. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    Plus the second attempt at using the GOF resulted in Spock's disappearance...


    Who knows where he sent Emperor Georgiou?
     
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  12. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

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    To be fair we never saw the GOF interact with the species/Civilization that created it. From our perspective all the interactions it had were with other species most of which weren't even in existence when it was first created or used.
     
  13. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    Perhaps the civilization that created the GoF is from an alternate timeline... by using the GoF they made their whole species never having existed...The GoF somehow survived the incident which is why in OUR timeline he has no beginning and no end...
     
  14. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I wonder if the Guardian of Forever is a library, like the one on Beta Niobe, and at one time had its own Mr. Atoz who has since died? That is the question, at least to me.

    And yes, I know Harlan Ellison had the Vortex watched over by the Guardians. That was changed in the aired episode.
     
  15. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    Ellison's original script is much better and less ambiguous in this regard. They don't know what will happen to Edith. Spock hypothesizes that, amongst other things, her philosophy could delay the entry into the war and Hitler atom bombs, but it's not certain. They just know Beckwith/McCoy will give life to that which must die, and at one point Kirk realizes Spock is ready to use the phaser to make sure it happens.
     
  16. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    That's definitely grimmer than what we got.
     
  17. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    Did the Mayberry backlot have a grassy knoll...?
     
  18. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    A grassy knoll? You mean like in JFK's assassination?
     
  19. MAGolding

    MAGolding Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You don't know that. It would certainly be a great coincidence if that happened.

    Anyway, that would not be the same thing for all the gazillions of microscopic lifeforms on and in the vagrent. If the vagrent was disintegrated so would be the microbes in him. If he just died, someof the microbes in him would survive and have descendants that would eventually live in other humans.

    And what are the lifeforms which have the most effiect in determining how long humans live? Microbes. Bacteria and viruses.

    The two methods of death for the vagrent would have different effects of the genetic diversity of the many different microscopic species he carried, and thus would effect the future evolution of deadly diseases from those mostly harmless forms of microbes. A different evolutin of different deadly diseases will mean that different humans will live or die. A few different indivudal humasns living or dying will men that a few thousand yers later, and for the rest of the existance of humans, there will be a totally different world population.

    I quote from my post number 257 at :

    https://www.trekbbs.com/threads/worst-character-assassination-episodes.307981/page-13#post-13799407

    I note that there are only three classes of humans sorted by reproductive results.

    1) Those who have no children.

    2) Those who have children but their descendants die out within a few generations.

    3) Those whose descendants continue until the end of their species. And after enough generations, each such ancestor will have so many descendants that every member of their species will be descended from them.

    Suppose that a time traveller visits a group of hunter-gatherers living several times farther in the past than the period for someone's descendants to become the entire human population. Suppose that he somehow wipes out the entire group. Unless they would have all died without descendants anyway, some of them should have become the ancestors of everyone living in his era, including himself. So the time travellor will never have been born.

    Suppose that a time traveller visits a group of hunter-gatherers living several times farther in the past than the period for someone's descendants to become the entire human population. Suppose that the entire little tribe is at the shore when the ocean suddenly recedes and they walk out on the seabed to gather stranded fish, but he warns them to run for high ground.and they do, and so survive the tsunamies which would have otherwise killed them all.

    So some of them will become the ancestors of all people living in the time traveler's era. And to do that they will have to marry and have children with people who would have otherwise married and had children with different people. So after thousnds of years their descendnts will completely replace the total population of humans. And thus the time traveller will never have been born.

    Think about mcrosopic life forms and how short their generations are and how many generations they have in one human generation. And which lifeforms have the greatest impact on how long humans live? Microscopic bacteria and viruses.

    So suppose that a time traveller travels thousands of years in the past and breathes once before returning to his own time. He will bring specimens of long extinct bacteria and viruses back to his own time. And he will take specimens of the bacteria and viruses of his own time into the past and relese them when he breathes.

    That will change the evolution of bacteria and virus species in the past. And that will change the evolution of new deadly diseases from previously harmless germs. Thus a number of diferent peole will live or die than would have. And so by the time the time travller came from, there will be a completely different set of living humans. And thus the time traveller will never have been born.
     
  20. DarrenTR1970

    DarrenTR1970 Captain Captain

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    In my forty plus years of watching Star Trek, I never noticed until watching 'The Trouble With Tribbles' tonight on MeTV, that ensign Chekov's uniform is missing braids on its sleeves.
    Was it like that throughout the two seasons he appeared, or did his uniform acquire braids in the third season?