Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Don Drutherford, Jun 6, 2020.
Yuri Chekov would have fit the pattern...
I'm pretty sure James Kirk vs James Doohan was a coincidence. Jimmy wasn't that big a deal when Kirk was named. Had Doohan even been cast for WNMHGB yet when they wrote the James Kirk character name?
Hard to say without trying to dig through WNMHGB documentation. But I can tell you within a few days when Roddenberry settled on the name James Kirk, as covered in some Fact Trek tweets here (link).
I remember seeing some sort of type-writer documentation either on this site or maybe in the "Star Trek Lives" that had alternate list of names for characters. I thought I remember the captain's name being maybe something Forest or maybe it included Robert April. But it could have been for the original pilot. Sorry I'm so vague.
The captain's name in "The Cage" was James Winter, until it was changed to Christopher Pike very close to the filming.
IIRC, there's a list of possible captain's names among the production memos in The Making of Star Trek.
Just thought of another probable script blunder. In Mudd's Women, they burn out four crystals over the course of the episode, but then Kirk later says they only need to get six crystals. So why the discrepancy?
Kirk had his nose rumbed in the fact the ship really needs to carry spares.
He wants some reserve Crystals so they don't have this type of issue again?
I assume the Enterprise had more at the start of the original mission, but managed to burn those out prior to the episode. (Or maybe they are so valuable and rare that they didn't carry spares.) Similarly, in the Alternative Factor, the ship seems to have only four crystals; and Kirk seemed frantic to retrieve the crystals attesting to their importance. Later, Kirk only recovered two in the end, but it seemed enough for him to order the ship to leave the planet at Warp One.
While musing poetically . . . .
If you believe Harry Mudd, then "lithium crystals...are worth three hundred times their weight in diamonds, thousands of times their weight in gold. " Based on this chart, (and since Mudd says thousands), currently an ounce of gold is around 1200 USD so a one ounce crystal would have a 2,400,000+ USD price point. Six would be in excess of 14.4 million USD. Just to give a sort of modern POV on obtaining some.
If you go by the value of gold in 1966 (@35.40 oz) and coarsely adjust for inflation you'd get $280.13 per oz., so $3.36 mil per oz. now.
Each crystal might weigh two to three pounds, each. If three pounds, then 16x3x$3.36M= $161M/each crystal. If four crystals, then the total value = $645M per ship. In 1966, that's a fortune. For comparison, the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) was the first nuclear powered super carrier built for the United States Navy in the late 1950s. She cost about $451.3 million ($4.11 billion in 2019 dollars). In 2020 dollars, I estimate the dilithium crystal value at about $6B per ship ($1.5B per crystal) where new aircraft carriers are currently costing $12B each. The sale of six crystals to Kirk in Mudd's Women netted Ben Childress and buddies a $9B sale! (Then they get depressed to find out it was in Federation Credits. )
The simplistic methodology I used is as follows:
Mudd said "thousands" so the minimum cost per ounce should be derived at by multiplying 2000 by the price of gold. Using 2000 satisfies "thousands" but it could be more than that.
I used what amounted to a trend line on the previously link chart for the value of gold (2018 US dollars (USD) actually) to give an approximate value per ounce. Then multiplied by six.
In 1966, using the above method (and @Maurice 's numbers), an ounce of crystals would be 70,800 USD
and six would be 424,800 USD. For comparison, the median US yearly income for 1966 was 7400 USD.
Adjusted for inflation, that 35.40 USD is about 280.13 USD so that works out to 560,260 USD per crystal ounce and six 1 ounce crystals would cost 3,361,560 USD.
One thing else to consider is density. Salt for example has a density of 1.25 ounce per cubic inch but lithium only has a density of 0.309 ounce per cubic inch.
Using the 1966 number, for a 3 inch x 3 inch x 3 inch crystal (27 cu. in.):
Using the density of salt: 33.75 ounces x 70,800 USD = 2,389,500 USD per crystal
Using the density of lithuim: 8.343 ounces x 70,800 USD = 590,684.40 USD per crystal
I have three counter thoughts:
1. Harry Mudd is a good con man, but he might be terrible at citing financial values. He might be carried away with enthusiasm and hyperbole, and wildly over-estimating the price of lithium crystals, which he doesn't really know.
2. Harry might be lying about the crystals' value, to get the women enthused. He knows that they were rubes, if not hillbillies, when he recruited them, and he can tell them anything he likes.
3. The value of gold and diamonds may have fallen significantly in 23rd century. Between exo-planet mining and replicators, they might be plentiful.
As I stated initially, my efforts were predicated on Harry Mudd's truthfulness in regards to the prices. And I really wasn't trying to determine the 23rd century price actually as much as get a feel for the value disparity between gold and the crystals by using contemporary numbers.
edit: added the bolded part for clarity
Separate names with a comma.