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. Spock Riding

    Spock Riding Commodore Premium Member

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    In TOS, the Enterprise demonstrated ridiculous speeds with warp drive, so, why not the Valiant? Why must everyone assume that once warp technology was discovered, you must go at only warp one and warp one is only the speed of light? It's like inventing the car, and say it can only go 1 mph even though the first car could go much faster than 1 mph. The discovery opened up warp science, not just warp one. Don't let later retconning change what was done in TOS. Simply let the Valiant go 800c at low warp speeds, and then it reaches the edge of the galaxy in about a year which I consider a long time. The Enterprise gets there and back in days and I bet she never broke a sweat, but she probably started closer to edge than the Valiant:
    Captain's log, Star date 1312.9. Ship's condition, heading back on impulse power only. Main engines burned out. The ship's space warp ability gone. Earth bases which were only days away are now years in the distance.
    No where in WNMHGB does it say that the Enterprise was the first ship to get "that far" out there. Kirk was only surprised that another Earth ship 200 years ago was out there.
    Captain's log, Star date 1312.4. The impossible has happened. From directly ahead, we're picking up a recorded distress signal, the call letters of a vessel which has been missing for over two centuries. Did another Earth ship once probe out of the galaxy as we intend to do?
    Who do you suppose built the huge Lithium Cracking Station on Delta Vega that was only a few light days from the edge of the galaxy?
     
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  2. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Or Kirk is still assuming the Botany Bay is a DY-500, and his estimate of two centuries is based on that.
     
  3. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Indeed - the Delta Vega cracking station seems to have been right on the "edge" of explored space. Rice minerals, but too distant from civilisation to justify a permanent settlement there.
    Kirk's surprise in WNMHGB is that any other ship had "probed out of the galaxy" like they were intending to do, not that any ship had been in the area before.

    And does anyone really think it's a coincidence that Delta Vega just happened to be in the vicinity of their extra-galactic mission? Someone in Starfleet was planning ahead for the worst...

    I like that! Kirk does seem a little uncertain when he says the figure, and adds the caveat "estimate" to his statement too. Where's Spock when you need him? :wah:
    Unfortunately, McCoy also confirms the "sleeping for 2 centuries" statement to Khan in sickbay. Was he also thinking of the DY-500s?
     
  4. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Picard was unaware that a Earth ship interacted with the Borg centuries before, Kirk being unaware of a earlier ship might be the result of bad record keeping. Or no-one knew where the Valiant was going.
    Could have simply been repeating what he heard Kirk say.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It's not "assumption." It would've been 20 years ago, but now Enterprise has canonically established that Earth warp ships didn't break warp 2 or so until the 2150s.

    Plus it's just common sense. If the edge of the galaxy was that easy to visit 200 years ago, why wait so long to probe further? It's a contradiction inherent in the episode's premise, unless Samuel Peeples was assuming some sort of civilizational downturn in between that was only just being recovered from.


    Huh? That makes no sense. The Star Trek we know is the result of retconning, which is why we don't talk about the adventures of James R. Kirk and his part-Vulcanian science officer aboard the Earth ship Enterprise powered by lithium crystals. Sure, as an abstract exercise, we can explore the hypothetical of how this question would've been perceived 40 years ago before the subsequent series came along, but once you start talking as though it's somehow wrong for people today to make use of current knowledge, then you've crossed the line from hypothetical discussion into toxic gatekeeping.


    Which is a contradiction in terms. Even in the supposed warp factor cubed formula proposed for TOS, that's warp 9.3.


    Okay, now you're the one who's being unfaithful to the assumptions of TOS. It was important to Roddenberry that space travel should never be treated as a quick, casual commute, that the vast distances involved should be respected and interstellar journeys should be shown to take a fair amount of time. Even the presumably short journeys between major Federation worlds and neighbors were indicated in episodes like "Amok Time" and "Journey to Babel" to take days at least, and multiple episodes showed that it would take weeks for the Enterprise out on the frontier to get even a subspace message from Starfleet, implying that it would take a starship even longer (since if ships were faster than comms, they'd use warp courier vessels instead of subspace radio). So the farthest fringes of explored space would probably be at least a month or two from the core worlds.


    An uncrewed, automated station. I always kinda figured it was built by robots or something, put in place as an aid for future expansion. At most, it was built by a fairly recent expedition. It was obviously meant to be an exceedingly remote frontier outpost, far from civilized space, or it wouldn't have been safe to strand Mitchell there.


    Again: If ships had been that far out routinely for 200 years, why would nobody have tried going further? That's a contradiction in terms. Let's face it, the premise of the episode was flawed.
     
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  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...How so, with the premise being that the voyage of the Valiant was "impossible"? Which is not at odds with it being impossible without the quotation marks, too. A hiccup in history happened, is all. And when the very first story establishes that gods are for real, miracles really shouldn't concern us much. Beyond, you know, the lead character himself saying that the whole Valiant thing was one.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  7. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Very true: Khan's question was " I remember a voice. Did I hear it say I had been sleeping for two centuries?" McCoy answered the question precisely! :techman:

    Not that recent, since Kirk states that ore ships call once every 20 years. At least 1, preferably 2 such trips would have had to have happened for Kirk to toss out the statement so casually. I got the impression that Delta Vega was quite an old facility, since no-one really knew what useful equipment they would find there

    Routine ore trips might also indicate the presence of a subspace "highway" leading straight to Delta Vega, since if were not economical in terms of fuel, no-one would bother! :biggrin:

    Why would you want to? There's nothing out there but intergalactic void.
    I'm not even sure why Kirk was going there in WNMHGB. Perhaps Starfleet detected signs of a mysterious "something" (i.e. the barrier) and wanted more info? :shrug:
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, not really, since the idea of a sharp "edge" to the galaxy is nonsense, like defining an edge to a cloud of dust. Beyond the inner disk is the fatter, more diffuse outer disk, then the halo of globular clusters and scattered individual stars, not to mention the dark matter halo and the satellite galaxies.

    As for the reasons for the expedition, you might want to check out my new TOS novel The Captain's Oath, releasing tomorrow.
     
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  9. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Commodore Premium Member

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    A crack construction crew.
     
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  10. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    All of which are visible via (subspace) telescope and none of which seem to have generated enough interest previously.

    Not until Wednesday in my country, but I will certainly check it out!

    Brilliant shameless plug segue-way BTW :guffaw:
     
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  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Plenty of the stars in the galaxy are visible by telescope, but starships still went there.

    Still, yeah, that's another conceptual flaw in the episode. If its premise was that the galaxy had an edge in the first place, what did Samuel Peeples imagine was beyond that edge that was worth investigating? (The same question can be raised about his TAS episode "Beyond the Farthest Star.")

    But then, I'm not sure television writers at the time (or even many today) had all that good an idea of what "galaxy" even means. In Battlestar Galactica 13 years later, crossing from one "galaxy" to the next was portrayed as a continuous journey, more like crossing a state line than sailing across a wide expanse of empty ocean from one continent to another.
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well, if the premise is that the galaxy terminates in a "barrier", no doubt the beyond is hidden from the view. Yes, one can see the distant galaxies through conventional optics. But a "barrier" might stop meaningful observations of objects by other means, so peeking through it would be a huge deal.

    And indeed a later episode estalishes that the barrier stops subspace signals...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  13. MAGolding

    MAGolding Captain Captain

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    Perhaps I should repeat the quotes in the order they are spoken in the episode:

    So the first thing Kirk learns about the ship is that it is an Earth DY-100 class vessel, last made in the 1990s (from 1990.000 to 1999.999) of the dating system used in "Space Seed", and last in use an unspecified period later.

    So Spock claims that the era of the Botany Bay's construction and/or use vessel's appears to have been the mid 1990s SS, or sometime between 1993.333 SS and 1996.666 SS.

    So Kirk hear's Scott's opinion that the Botany Bay was constructed during the 20th Century SS, and thus sometime between 1901.00 SS and 2000.999 SS.

    Then McGivers tells Kirk when suspended animation was used in space flight:

    So Kirk knows that the suspended animation units would probably have been made before about 2016 SS to 2020 SS. But Kirk already knows that the Botany Bay is a DY-100 class ship last made during the 1990s SS.

    Later McGivers describes Khan as:

    Ricardo Montalban was born in 1920 and 46 years old when "Space seed" was filmed. And perhaps McGivers thought that Khan could have been as much as 50 years old and that he could have been born as late as the last year of the 20th century or in 2000 SS. Thus McGivers might have thought that Khan left Earth as late as 2050 SS.

    But it seems more likely that McGivers called Khan a 20th century man because she thought that Khan lived his whole life on Earth in the 20th century SS and left Earth sometime in the 1990s SS. And McGivers would have a lot more information to base that on than we viewers do.

    So when Khan asked how long:

    The evidence that had been given to Kirk onscreen indicated that Khan had left Earth in the mid 1990s.

    But later:

    So Kirk now thinks - not knows - that the Botany Bay left sometime in the early 1990s, but no evidence to support that was given on screen. Thus when Kirk earlier said "Two centuries we estimate" Kirk might have meant about two centuries after the mid 1990s or two centuries after the early 1990s.

    To be safe we should assume that Kirk might think the Botany Bay left some time in the early or in the mid 1990s, and thus some time between 1900.000 SS and 1996.666 SS. The "We estimate" part many be due to being certain what period the DY-100 class ships were being made and used, but not being certain how long after that a DY-100 class space ship might have been around and available.

    Kirk goes on to tell Khan:

    And say to Spock:

    So with the available information Kirk believes that Khan was born the 20th century, and possibly also that Khan left Earth in the 20th century, and certainly that DY-100 class ships date to the 1990s SS.

    So the two centuries or 200 years seems to be a maximum estimate on Kirk's part. Kirk seemed to believe that the Botany Bay was 200 years old and than Khan left Earth about when the Botany bay was constructed or just a few years later.

    So Kirk was estimating 200 years after the early to mid 1990s SS, thus putting "Space Seed" in the period of about 2190.001 SS to 2197.665 SS - if one accepts the assumption in Star Trek Chronology: The History of the Future that 200 years means 200.00 to 200.999 years.

    But if Kirk was speaking loosely enough that 200 years might mean a time span between 1000.001 and 299.999 years, then the possible date range of "Space Seed" would be between 2090.001 SS and 2296.665 SS.

    And it seems to me that one should assume as wide as possible an interpretation of all the time spans given, to increase the probability that all the time spans will overlap and there will be a time span for TOS that satisfies all of the evidence.

    Yes what McCoy told Khan is what Kirk said, so he could have been simply repeating it, or else telling Khan the most up to date information they had about how long Khan had been sleeping. But later Kirk told Khan that Khan had 200 years of catching up to do. Kirk and Co. weren't guessing about how long ago the 1990s SS were, they were just at little uncertain how long after the period when the Botany Bay would have been constructed Khan left.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    There's no need to rehash what we already know, that the writers of "Space Seed" intended the 200-year estimate to be accurate. That hasn't ever been in dispute. But there's a difference between what the writers of that episode intended 53 years ago and what rationalizations we choose to make today to reconcile it with what later canon established about Trek chronology. The proposition that Kirk's estimate was too low because he was thinking of DY-500 ships falls into the latter category, not the former.
     
  15. MAGolding

    MAGolding Captain Captain

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    The hypothesis that Kirk was still thinking about DY-500 ships when saying two centuries or two hundred years, and not being corrected by Spock, is unnecessary.

    The writers of Star Trek Chronology: The History of the Future in 1993 and 1996 made the assumption that all time spans spoken by characters were exact. But there is no evidence that the writers of "Space Seed" in 1966 used that assumption.

    More likely the writers of "Space Seed" believed that Kirk would say two hundred years if the actual time interval was within a certain amount of two hundred years. And since it is not specified how many years plus or minus that should be, we in the audience are free to interpret such variation as being as great as possible.

    I say that Kirk would never say 200 years if the interval was less than 100 years or if it was more than 300 years. Therefore I say it is possible to assume that when someone says 200 years they mean 200 years plus or minus 99.9999 years, or 100.001 to 299.999. years. Thus in my post number 693 above I state that Kirk's 200 years could mean that "Space Seed" happens sometime in the period between 2090.001 SS and 2296.665 SS.

    And it is my opinion that anyone trying to figure out Star Trek should always assume that when a character says five decades he means (five plus or minus one) decades, or forty to sixty years; and when a character says four centuries he means (four plus or minus one) centuries, or three hundred to five hundred years; and when a character says six millennia he means (six plus or minus one millennia) or 5,000 to 7,000 years. The character may know the interval more precisely than that but may be rounding a lot and those are the limits to his possible rounding.

    And if someone does that with every time interval, they will increase the probability that the date ranges he calculates will overlap a bit, and thus there will be a date which satisfies all the requirements. What if he comes up with a possible date range of fifty years for a Star Trek production, should he try assuming that three hubdred years is 300 years plus or minus 50 years, or 250 to 350 years? no, because someone might think of something to date that production that he has not thought of, and then that factor might put that production outside of the range he has overly narrowed down his date to.
     
  16. Spock Riding

    Spock Riding Commodore Premium Member

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    Thanks for bringing in modern science into the discussions. :techman: When I first heard of a possible dark matter halo/patches around the galaxy, I immediately thought about the Star Trek barrier at the edge of the galaxy! (I bet there was a lot of us that thought that, too.) Now compare dark matter to the Star Trek technobabble as the Enterprise goes into the barrier:
    First, is Spock's reporting on Density, Radiation and Energy as "negative" meant to say the reading were just that, a negative value as opposed to a positive value, or to report "none". I think it is the former, negative values which sound like dark matter properties to me.

    Second, the crew with high ESP rankings felt the effects as an electrical charge in their brains, with several crew dying due to burned out sections of their brains. The ship also took damage probably due to an electrical charge in their circuits. The warp drive seemed particularly sensitive to the negative energy field having been totally burned out, perhaps due to dark matter interacting with its matter-antimatter power system.

    From Any Other Name, we learn one more tidbit:
    The barrier interferes with subspace transmission. Could dark matter affect subspace, or maybe, does dark matter reside in subspace and project negative energy into our dimension?
     
  17. Ghouleddie74

    Ghouleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Humanity didn't break the Warp 2 barrier until 2143. The S.S. Valiant was launched nearly 80 years before that and at best Earth ships of that era could do Warp 1.8 in a pinch(I believe Trip said as much when talking about how fast Earth Cargo Authority freighters built in the late 21st and early 22nd centuries could travel with their engine technology).

    The Valiant likely created or fell into a wormhole. It's about the only explanation that doesn't stretch credulity to a breaking point that would be ridiculous even by lofty Trek standards.
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The writer probably intended the latter - but then along came another writer, and in "By Any Other Name", the barrier indeed "is composed of negative energy".

    It doesn't appear that the heroes would have figured out the nature of the damage, though, or else it would seem likely they would have taken care to check out those "points" that had "decayed to lead". Which suggests the damage was diverse, the impulse decay taking the heroes by surprise because it wasn't consistent with burned-out brains or twisted warp coils.

    Dark matter doesn't seem to be much of a thing in Trek outside DSC. Our options there would then be

    a) dark matter as currently perceived is a fallacy comparable to aether, and forgotten by the 23rd century already (perhaps the ENT "First Flight" observations were elemental there), freeing the name to be applied to other stuff such as magical rocks and scary nebulae, or
    b) dark matter as currently perceived is a decent conceptual approximation of a very true phenomenon, but has been carefully de-mystified and identified as a combination of subspace, tri-isoframmistatic spinning and boojums, again freeing the name to be applied to other stuff, or
    c) dark matter remains a mystery, bothering the eggheads a lot but having no practical effect on the adventures of our heroes and therefore only getting a mention when a particular variant for a rare once crosses paths with them - and those encounters indeed directly relate to the mystery of how our galaxy holds together and how our cosmos expands, even if nothing in the adventures suggests this.

    Would the nebulous sort of dark matter be acceptable as the thing being spoken about today? The nebulae are rare - but perhaps the high density is the rare thing, and the matter is spread out evenly in the galaxy otherwise, indeed explaining the gravitic observations we currently attribute to dark matter.

    OTOH, equating dark matter with transwarp, the catchall name for that-which-remains-to-be-explained/attained and the ultimate in the moving goalposts business, sounds attractive as well. Perhaps the cosmic dance is explained away more appropriately by subspace spin, but the universe nevertheless harbors dark secrets that warrant this name. That is, the dark matter rocks of DSC or the dark matter lifeforms of VOY are not related to the cosmic mystery of gravity, but are their own thing.

    ...I wonder what negative density and negative radiation are, if we have to drop the interpretation of lack-of-density and lack-of-radiation in analogy with negative energy. It would seem the barrier really sucks!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    No, that couldn't work. For one thing, the dark matter halo is far, far bigger in radius than the galaxy itself. Arguably it is the galaxy, its primary component, and the stellar disk is just a clump of baryonic matter in its core. (They've found some evidence of galaxies that are just dark matter and hardly any stars.)

    Also, dark matter isn't found only outside the galaxy; according to theory, it pervades every bit of the galaxy and there are billions of dark matter particles passing through our bodies right now. But it's non-interacting and thus utterly harmless, and certainly incapable of forming any kind of barrier to baryonic matter.


    No, he surely meant "negative" in the sense of "no reading." The concept of minus-valued density or radiation is meaningless, so the only thing he could've possibly meant was that there was a negative result, i.e. no reading on the sensors. Which is proven by the very previous sentence: "Sensors say there isn't" anything there.

    Unfortunately, the writers of "By Any Other Name" misunderstood this and claimed the barrier was made of negative energy.

    Also, dark matter doesn't have negative density (whatever that would be) or energy. It's mass, the same as baryonic mass, except not interacting by electromagnetic or nuclear forces. So it has good ol' positive density, and positive energy, because mass is a form of energy. It does have zero radiation that we can detect, otherwise it wouldn't be "dark."
     
  20. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Don't forget Friendship One, which would of had to of been making 200 plus the speed of light to have gotten where it was found. Probably faster if it was making frequent stops and not just making a bee line for the last planet it reached.

    Wormhole? Star Trek said they're actually pretty rare.

    Enterprise was at odds with the previous series in terms of the Trek back history. The explanation that doesn't stretch credulity to a breaking point is that Humanity achieved multiple hundreds time light speed propulsion fairly quickly after Cochrane's first flight.
     
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