when did TOS take place, 23rd century or 22nd century

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Gabriel, Jan 15, 2019.

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What century did TOS take place

  1. 23rd century

    95.2%
  2. 22nd century

    4.8%
  1. Gabriel

    Gabriel Captain Captain

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    I have seen this come up a lot and there is edvidence for both, but remember dialogue can wrong so I guess we could just be guessing but it would be nice to hear every ones opinion. I mean one episode of Star Trek had tos in 28 century I believe.
    So did the original series take place in the 23rd century or the 22nd century.

    By the way this question is not if Trek was a stand alone series. In this question retcons are supposed to applies
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Back at the time the show was being made, nobody knew and nobody cared. The dates were finally fixed by the end of the first season of ST: The Next Generation, though, when it was made clear this season ended in 2364 and TOS was one century in the season's past. (Okay, the "one century in the past" bit was carved in stone with the somewhat later episode "Sarek" only, but still.) So, 23rd century.

    The Great Makers had decided on TOS having happened in the 2260s a bit earlier already, and had inserted the words "in the 23rd century" to the opening of the second TOS movie, Wrath of Khan. But that still theoretically allowed for TOS to have happened in the late 22nd for those who wanted to argue. Nowadays, it's pretty clear-cut, and multiple episodes have made direct reference to TOS having happened exactly X years before known year Y, the end result being the 2260s.

    Lines suggesting some other dating must now be treated as mistakes. Although they can all be treated as mistakes made by the characters in-universe (expendable extra Jaeger sees Trelane's castle is from 900 years ago, even though the interior decoration is actually more recent, in "Squire of Gothos"), or jokes (such as Kirk accepting another character's approximate dating in "Tomorrow is Yesterday" rather than nitpicking), or scifi moments (Khan slept for 200 subjective years on an interstellar voyage that took closer to 300 years, thanks to relativistic time dilation). Yadda yadda.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. Gabriel

    Gabriel Captain Captain

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    Well even with all the mistakes it is still one helluva show that I loved the first time I saw it
     
  4. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Scifi usually benefits from its mistakes - anything that distances it from our reality is good by default!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  5. Maurice

    Maurice Admiral Premium Member

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    Thursday.
     
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  6. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Taking TOS on it's own? 22nd has the most evidence for it.

    Taking TOS as part of the greater Trek mythos? Has to be 23rd. Wrath of Khan's "In the 23rd century..." opening leaves little doubt:lol:
     
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  7. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Squire of Gothos is the episode in question that sort of dates the show in the 28th century but that was more the error of Trelane as he came from another dimension and misjudged the facts around him!
    Plus I've always been under the impression that the show was set in the twenty third century so to think otherwise now doesn't fit right somehow!
    JB
     
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  8. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Commodore Commodore

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    I;ve got to say 300 years ago.
    In Where No Man Has Gone Before, the flight recorder thingy had been put there 200 years prior.
    That gives us a 100 years to get it there.

    I know Kirk said 200 years in one episode. I suppose he could have been being funny.
     
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  9. urbandefault

    urbandefault Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The first mentions of the 23rd century in Star Trek lore were both in 1968 books: James Blish's adaptation of "Space Seed" (though he did keep the "200 years" references in dialogue intact, oddly) and The Making of Star Trek. The latter was considered the authoritative Trek reference book for a long while, and a number of concepts that we now take for granted were introduced or standardized there: Kirk being the youngest captain, the ship's forward dish being a navigational deflector, the Klingons and Romulans having an alliance, the default term for Vulcan telepathy being "mind meld" (a term used only twice in TOS)... and the show taking place in the 23rd century. Now, TMoST was written during the show's second season with extensive input from the show's production staff, so we can assume they'd settled on the 23rd century as the setting by then, despite the "200 years" references in season 1. (After all, in "Metamorphosis," Cochrane had disappeared 150 years before at the age of 85, so if he'd invented warp drive at 35, it would've been 200 years before the episode, and I doubt the makers intended warp drive to be invented in the 1970s.)

    Now, the question of when in the 23rd century was open for a long time. There were two main theories in fandom and in "technical" tie-in books. The Spaceflight Chronology scheme put TOS in the first decade of the 23rd century -- and thus about 210 years after the 1990s, thus reconciling the "Space Seed" reference with the 23rd-century references later on, though it would demand a very early date for the invention of warp drive to fit with "Metamorphosis" (I think the SFC ignored that). This scheme was fairly popular at the time (I favored it myself back then), but there was an alternate scheme in reference texts by Geoffrey Mandel and Doug Drexler (including the Medical Reference Manual and Star Trek Maps) which put TOS in the 2260s, just about exactly 300 years after its airdate.

    The debate was settled when TNG: "The Neutral Zone" established the current calendar date as 2364, the first explicit Gregorian date ever given for a Trek episode or film. Since McCoy had been 137 in "Encounter at Farpoint," that meant he was born in 2227, conclusively ruling out the SFC's dating scheme. The Mandel/Drexler scheme putting TOS in the 2260s thus became the "correct" scheme from then on, and was codified in the Star Trek Chronology some years later.
     
  11. 1001001

    1001001 Pull Up a Groove and Get Fabulous! Moderator

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  12. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If McCoy was born in 2227 then he looked much older than his forty years in 2268!!! :ack:
    JB
     
  13. Gabriel

    Gabriel Captain Captain

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    Well maybe space travel is like flying it makes you look older
     
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  14. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If Kirk was born in 2234 then he's only seven years younger than Bones? I don't think so! :wtf:
    JB
     
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  15. BillJ

    BillJ History’s Greatest Monster Premium Member

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    Since TWOK is fifteen years after TOS, TOS could technically take place late in the 22nd century. :p

    Honestly, the dating is something I never think about when watching the show.
     
  16. Gabriel

    Gabriel Captain Captain

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    Yeah and tng just about put it to bed with saying season 1 tng was in 2364 and having bones in the pilot episode
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
  17. BillJ

    BillJ History’s Greatest Monster Premium Member

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    Depends if one sees it as a whole? Or if we see each installment as its own thing.
     
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  18. Gabriel

    Gabriel Captain Captain

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    Ehh why divide when you stay together.
     
  19. BillJ

    BillJ History’s Greatest Monster Premium Member

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    Because they are different shows, made by different people. Decades apart. Things change.
     
  20. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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