The One Thing You Could Change, TOS Edition...

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Farscape One, May 14, 2020.

  1. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    My gut instinct is by the time Ellison delivered his first draft script their conception of the show and its characters had solidified from where they were when he pitched the thing, and then they flailed in figuring out how to fix it, by which point I suspect Ellison got his dander up. The memos I've seen and the various drafts by the staff indicate to me that no one seemed to "get" the fundamentals of the story and thus they were missing some really obvious structural fixes they might have suggested to Ellison. Of course, all we have access to are the extant memos and documents that still exist and are available and are not privy to what was discussed in person or on the phone.

    Steve Carabatsos' Oct. 1966 staff rewrite attempt illustrates this in spades, as he "fixes" things by breaking others (i.e. introducing Trooper as soon as they arrive in the past and then forgetting about him, as opposed to Ellison's draft which brings him in out of nowhere in the last act without any setup).
     
  2. plynch

    plynch Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Having read the comic version of his, it struck me as . . . unwieldy?
     
  3. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    Ellison's first draft takes too long to get going, what with the "renegades" sequence wasting a bunch of pages. The rest of the story is pretty straightforward, but makes some dramatic mistakes like plopping characters in late in the story.
     
  4. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Commodore Commodore

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    I think Ellison was entitled to complain. His vision was ruined. Was this the start of his complaining and threatening legal action. Did Star Trek put Ellison on his lifetime of litigation?
    However much Ellison was disappointed though, Star Trek belonged to GR and it was his baby. I much prefer that GR tried to keep everything on track rather than let writers reimage his characters as was done a bit in Season 3.
    Sounds like COTEOF should have been a 2 parter, with Trooper, a bit more fleshing out of Edith and her background, maybe a longer stay to have Kirk's sudden romance more realistic and poignant, replace Uhura's "I'm frightened" with Rand's gunfighting. I suppose you could have included the drug stuff but maybe you know have it be like that episode of TNG where they all get addicted to the game not crack heads all over the place.
    Still I'm a big fan of the episode as is. Its got great atmosphere and acting. Would it have been as good if it included everything Ellison had written in the fist place?

    Looks like they had no-one there who had the experience or ability to pack everything into one episode including Ellison himself
     
  5. mb22

    mb22 Captain Captain

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    The early advertising for TMP was "A 23rd Century Odyssey Now"
    Star Trek - The Motion Picture 1979 by trivto on DeviantArt
     
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  6. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Thanks for that! :)
     
  7. Lt. Tyler

    Lt. Tyler Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Definitely have TOS taking place in its own separate universe away from everything else even the movies!
     
  8. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If you could only have one Star Trek series on your isolated island wilderness it would be TOS no doubt! :techman:
    JB
     
  9. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    I don't agree that it needed to be a two-parter, because the story is really fairly simple. The main faults in Ellison's versions main are introducing Edith too late into the story, and introducing Trooper at the last minute and then immediately offing him. There's a characterization issue with Kirk and Spock, but in his Dec. 1966 rewrite that's largely fixed, probably because he'd had a chance to see episodes by then and was able to better write to the character voices. He still misreads Kirk, though, and this is the main issue. Kirk should not be paralyzed by indecision. He can make a foolish decision trying to set things right, but inaction is not his character.
     
  10. StarCruiser

    StarCruiser Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    As I understood it - the idea of leaving it vague was the original intent but...writers being writers...?
     
  11. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    Leaving what vague? The century?
     
  12. Lt. Tyler

    Lt. Tyler Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Most of the people here insist that TOS takes place in the 23rd century. Still not true. It’s definitely the late 22nd century.
     
  13. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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  14. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Sgt Pepper Premium Member

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    Sometimes
     
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  15. Serveaux

    Serveaux Boomer American Premium Member

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    Sorry, it's not definitely anything based on the internal evidence of the series.
     
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  16. Lt. Tyler

    Lt. Tyler Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    You think some of the episodes take place in the 22nd century and others in the 23rd century?
     
  17. StarCruiser

    StarCruiser Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Or is it in the early 28th century...? Or maybe the 24 1/2 century!

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Sgt Pepper Premium Member

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    Yep and one takes place in the 28th Century.
     
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  19. MAGolding

    MAGolding Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Actually there are possible interpretations of the data in TOS that would make it certain that TOS happens in the late 22nd century.

    The official Star Trek Chronology: The History of the Future second edition describes the proceedures used in writing the chronology:

    Actually, in "Encounter at Farpoint", the first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation Riker met Data:

    And it is certainly reasonable to deduce that Data graduated during the year 78 of an unspecified century.

    In a later episode, "Datalore", it it is revealed how many years have passed since Data was found on Omicraon Theta:

    So if Data took about four years to graduate from the Acadamy, he probably entered in year '74 of that century. If that was right after Data was discovered, the date of "Datalore" could be close to the year '99 or '00. Later it is confirmed that Data spent four years at the Academy:

    So Data was promoted to lieutenant commander about thirteen to fifteen years after graduating in the "class of '78".

    Those two facts put the date of "Datalore" somewhere in the period of about '91/'93 to '99/'00 in the calendar system used by Data in Encounter at Farpoint",

    In "The Neutral Zone", the last episode of the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Ralph Offenhouse, revived after centuries of death, asks:

    So Data tells Ralph Offenhouse that the year is 2364 by Ralph's calendar, not by Data's calendar, and not by the audience's calendar, but by the calendar used by Ralph Offenouse.

    It seems to be an unstated assumption of Star Trek Chronology: The History of the Future that all dates mentioned use the Anno Domini calendar era. But out of hundreds of dates given in various productions, only about half a dozen are specified as dates AD or BC. Thus it is quite possible than many of the dates which are mentioned without their calendar eras being specified use different calendar eras than the Anno Domini one.

    So if the year is about 2391 to 2399 in Data's calendar, and 2364 in Ralph Offenhouse's calendar, Data's calendar should count the years from a calendar era about 27 to 35 years before the calendar era of Ralph Offenhouse's calendar. Or if the year is 2300 in Data's calendar and 2364 in Ralph Offenhouse's calendar, Data's calendar would used a calendar era about 64 years after the calendar era in Ralph Offenhouse's calendar.

    In "The Neutral Zone" Dr. crusher tells Clare Raymond:

    So Clare Rayomd died about the year 1994 in Ralph Offenhouse's calendar. And space travel in Ralph Offenhouse's year 1994 seems to have been much more advanced than was reasonable to predict when "The Neutral Zone" was made about 6 years earlier than AD 1994. But "The Neutral Zone" doesn't give any hint that Earth already has ffaster than light warp drive in the year 1994.

    Earlier in the first season, in "Haven", a Tarellian ship is detected approaching:

    So Tarellian ships have such a distinctive design they can be identified on the viewscreen.

    So Tarellian ships can travel faster than light if their warp drives are not damaged.

    When Dr. Crusher tells how the Tarellians wiped themselves out with a bioweapon:

    So according to the calendar used by Dr. Crusher in that statement, Earth already had warp drive in the late 20th century. This implies that Crusher was using a calendar with a much later calendar era than Ralph Offenhouse's calendar, so that the same year would have a much lower number in Crusher's calendar.

    So I assumed that Data and Crusher used one or two calendars with later calendar eras than the calendar of Ralph Offenhouse. In later seasons I noted that various dates mentioned were more and more consistent with Ralph Offenhouse's calendar.

    So I assumed that when Raymond, Offenhouse, and Clemonds returned to Earth they became celebrities, and that was used by political pressure groups hoping to have the United Earth government make Ralph Offenhouse's calendar the official United Earth calendar. And they succeeded due to fame of the revived dead persons. I took that as an instance of the official United Earth calendar changing during the course of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

    And when I looked for possible examples of different calendar eras being used in TOS I found some examples which I had not previously noticed.

    So what "The Neutral Zone" establishes is that at least one episode of the first season of TNG happens in the year 2364 of Ralph Offenhouse's calendar, not that it happens in AD 2364.

    If an unconscious and unstated rule in tar Trek Chronology: The History of the Future eas that all dates are given using the Anno Domini calendar era, then according to that assumption "Wolf in the Fold" establishes an earliest possible date for TOS.

    So assuming that 2156 is AD 2156, the earliest possible date for "Wolf in the Fold" and TOS is AD 2156, in the late 22nd century in the Anno Domini calendar era.

    Among the other rules used in the official Star Trek Chronology: The History of the Future are:

    And:

    In "Where No Man Has Gone Before" Gary Mitchel shows off his memory of the book he was reading:

    So if Tarbolde wrote "Nightingale Woman" in English on the Canopius planet in 1996, that would imply that Earth had warp drive by 1996 and had reached distant stars by then.

    Mitchell also says that 1996 was a past year during "the past couple of centuries". A couple is a pair, two. So the date of "Where No Man Has Gone Before" should be sometime between 1997 and 2196.

    The first words of "Where No Man Has Gone Before" are:

    So the SS Valiant has been msising for over two centuries by 1997 to 2196. Thus Earth must have had warp drive and interstellar travel sometime before the SS Valiant left, which was over 200 years before sometime between 1997 and 2196. Thus Earth had warp drive by sometime in the period of about 1797 to 1996. Thus we might suppose that Mitchell was using a calendar with a calendar era similar to the one Dr. Crusher used in "Haven", when she implied that Earth had warp drive during the late 20th century of that calendar.

    But using the unconscious assumption that all dates are given using the Anno Domini calendar era, "Wolf in the Fold" and "Where No Man has Gone Before" would prove that TOS happens sometime between AD 2156 and AD 2196.

    Assuming that TOS could happen in an alternate universe where the first manned moon shot happened at a different date than in our universe, there would be no proof that "Tomorrow is Yesterday" has to happen in July, 1969:

    .

    So the late 1960s would be1965 to 1969. Later in the episode Colonel Fellini threatens Kirk:

    Someone who takes Kirk's quip seriously and follows the rule that two centuries equals exactly two hundred years should believe that the part of "Tommow is Yesterday" set in Kirk's era should be sometime between 2165 and 2169.

    In "The Savage Curtain" Scott argues that the image of Lincoln can't possibly be the real Abraham Lincoln.

    So Spock corrects Scott about the direction to Earth, not about the time since Lincoln died

    According to the rule that "three centuries ago" equals exactly 300 years ago, "The Savage Curtain" should happen in 2165.

    So "Wolf in the Fold" and "Where No Man Has Gone Before" put TOS between 2156 and 2196, and "Tomorrow is Yesterday" and "The Savage Curtain" seem to put TOs in 2165.

    Thus the only way to make TOS happen after the late 22nd century is to discard some of the assumptions made by Star Trek Chronology: The History of the Future. And if you do that, you might as well also discard the assumption in Star Trek Chronology: The History of the Future that TOS happens from 2266 to 2269, thus making it psosible for TOS to happen in the earlier 23rd century or even in the 22nd century.

    Thus, depending on the assumptions that someone makes, it is possible to prove that (using certain assumptions) TOS must happen in the late 22nd century.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
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  20. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Sgt Pepper Premium Member

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    Or maybe stop treating the franchise like the holy gospels, a thesis project or a jigsaw puzzle where all the pieces have to fit. :shrug: