Zero Hour - Time Shift - Why did it take so long to notice?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by rhodeschroma, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. rhodeschroma

    rhodeschroma Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Dec 2, 2008
    Nowhere, VA
    Hello, everyone. This is the first thread I have started here, and as such, I want to apologize in advance if this question has been asked and answered, or if I'm just way off base in my logic, or if I'm making a mountain out of something that was just simply poorly written, but here goes:

    - In "E2", when we see the flashback of the Enterprise after having gone thru the wormhole/subspace corridor on its "first try" and ending up in the past, it's pretty clear, and observed quite quickly by Travis (he got to say something) that the stars weren't where they were supposed to be because they had moved into the past 150 or so years (don't remember the exact number.) Regardless - they knew quickly, the number of years was enough to affect navigation, and then they dealt with it as they saw fit after analyzing the consequences of multiple actions.

    Now - in "Zero Hour" - Enterprise is escorted home to the Sol system by the Xindi Aquatic ship. I thought the "time event" that put the events in motion that we saw at the end of "Zero Hour" happened the moment Daniels plucked Archer from the explosion on the Xindi weapon and set him down on Earth - in the middle of the alternate 'Germany focused on the west' timeline.

    We know that Archer was supposedly dead way before the landing party made it back to ENT, T'Pol bid farewell to the human Xindi, and off they went toward home under the superior power, and in the belly of, the Aquatic vessel. Archer had to be "somewhere" during those events. He was either getting himself hurt and burnt on Earth, or those burns were there from the explosion on the weapon, and the nazi's brought him to their medical camp as a curiosity/casualty, mainly because of his uniform and the insignia. He certainly wasn't hanging out with Daniels having party time. But, logic would say, he was in the nazi alternate timeline at this point.

    After repeated watching, I didn't see any other indicators to lead me to believe that Enterprise occurred at a different time than Archer's - Daniels made the change when he pulled Archer off the weapon at the last minute. Was there anything I missed? Was is subtle and flew over my head? What happened that could suggest that ENT dropped into the nazi timeline separately from Archer?

    So - IF they were already in 1940's when they were dropped off by the aquatics. Why - -

    1) Wouldn't the landing party/away team tasked with destroying the weapon (Reed, Hoshi, etc.) notice a change on the way back to meet up with the Xindi and the ENT after destroying the weapon?

    2) wouldn't the Aquatics notice a change during their travel from the now-cleaned Delphic Expanse to the Sol system and raise a red flag?

    3) would the Aquatics just leave ENT if they did notice, after ENT just saved them from the sphere builders?

    Beyond any of that - which "could" be explained by the time shift occuring later to ENT than to Archer, or ENT being affected by the change in the timeline after their return to Earth and after the Aquatics taking off for home, or the time change somehow being confined to Earth like a bubble at that point - with the Xindi not ever experiencing it because they didn't get close enough....

    4) Why wouldn't anyone on Enterprise notice the issue with the stars being out of whack - or changing on them mid-stream (if the change occured after the Aquatics left, in the bubble hypothesis) at some point. Why did they have to go thru hailing the orbital stations (which were also, obviously never built in that timeline, and therefore visually absent, even at their distance) as well as audio to starfleet ground facilities? SURELY we know by that point the time-shift HAD to have occurred - Tucker and Mayweather went right down there to San Francisco in a pod right after they got dead air on all the comm channels and got shot by 1940's military aircraft. It seems a critical detail to me, at least, and made the crew look pretty bad if they just "missed" such a huge change in the stars.
    I know the answer might be as simple as - there no drama in having the Aquatics find out and tell them back in the now cleaned up Delphic expanse. Or there's no drama in not having Hoshi call all around trying to make contact, etc. It "keeps us on the edge of our seat" waiting for the nazi's to arrive.

    Since we just saw something similar, time wise, with Enterprise landing 150 or so years in the past in E2 - we know they can figure it out pretty quickly. Why didn't they this time, and why didn't their new allies do so either if the shift had occured while they were still there. Regardless - the shift happened to ENT at somepoint, regardless of when. Why did they fail to see it and only learn of it by physically going down in a shuttle and getting shot at by people from the alternate timeline?

    It's been bugging me ever since I'd been reading a few other posts about 'Zero Hour' and those gems 'Storm Front I and II.' Why couldn't they have tied up the temporal cold war some other way - but that's a whole different (possibly already ongoing) discussion that I'd prefer to watch more than start...

    [Man... trying to write coherently when dealing with time travel/temporal mechanics/alternate realities is tough - I hope I made sense and that I just didn't make a mountain out of something that can be simply explained by "it was just bad writing." I know that much already - I watched Storm Front I and II :lol:, maybe some more just bled back into Zero Hour :confused: ] I was looking for/hoping for something either that I missed or that made the scenario posited at the end of "Zero Hour" make more sense to me logically and scientifically.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2009
  2. jongredic

    jongredic Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jul 10, 2008
    Hmm... I didn't think of them checking the stars' positions. The mystery deepens :p I'd always wondered why Enterprise hadn't noticed that there no stations, satellites, outposts or ships anywhere within sensor range.

    In fact, Mayweather and Trip are practically on the ground before they think "there's something wrong here" - and that's only when Nazi planes start shooting at them, not the fact that the massive Starfleet Headquarters is absent from the landscape.

    I gave up trying to come up with reasons for the inconsistencies for the end of the Xindi arc a long time ago - the timing between Azati Prime is way off. Just little mentions here and there like "the attack was two days ago", it's three days til the meeting with Degra, but more than a few days passes in the interim.

    Then you've got Zero Hour itself: the number of humans on the weapon is one more than Archer actually took on the mission - either there was a hidden MACO for the whole mission, or I suppose they could've picked up Daniels himself.

    T'Pol's log after the Spheres are destroyed has the wrong year - obviously a scripting error, but maybe a subtle sign that there's some temporal horseplay at work?

    Hmm... that doesn't answer any of your questions, it just adds my own into the mix. Sorry :alienblush:
  3. Hoshi's sis

    Hoshi's sis Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 11, 2002
    Daniels tells Archer and T'Pol in Carpenter Street that changes in the timeline occurs slowly, so it might take time to take affect or be noticed. So I always assumed that this is what happened in Zero Hour.

    Also in E2 they were thrown back in time 150 years into the past. They didn't really change the present timeline, just what would be their own future. Since they went back in time, their computer would be able to know or detect changes in the star patterns/charts because I would suspect it would already have that information in its database.

    In Zero Hour when Daniels plucked Archer from the weapon and put him on Earth, the present timeline had already been altered by the Alien Nazies. So in effect everything was different. Maybe changes to the stars take time to filter through like Daniels had said previously (long shot I know, but its all I can think of.) I think they did try to reach starfleet or their starbases by subspace communications but they were receiving no answer, so Travis and Tucker went down to take a look and see what was wrong.

    Grasping at straws I know, but then I always hated the Cold War storyline and was glad when it came to an end.
  4. rhodeschroma

    rhodeschroma Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Dec 2, 2008
    Nowhere, VA
    I remember that quote from Daniels now that you mention it. I hadn't considered it, because I forgot it until now, as a possible reason for the changes in Zero Hour popping up the way they did in the timeline. That's a good point.

    Yes, that's what they did. I had thought they were close enough to visually establish that the starbases were no longer there physically. Not sure if they'd be able to detect visually the absence of Starfleet HQ in SF (doubt they had that sort of resolution on a good day, but I thought the bases would be a pretty sure bet. (Then again - with the amount of damage NX-01 had on it by that point, who knows what it could or couldn't visually detect, i suppose.)
  5. HopefulRomantic

    HopefulRomantic hyperpolypyroferricist Moderator

    Aug 18, 2004
    cuddling my Grogu plushie
    In E2, as the ship emerged from the wormhole, they were focused on determining their location--thus Travis noticed that the stars were wrong immediately. At the end of Zero Hour, with the crew returning home weary and shell-shocked after a war, and with their commander and a third of their crew dead, their focus was different.

    Also, keep in mind that "reel life" isn't the same as "real life." Every drama takes dramatic license to some extent, directing the viewer's focus in a certain direction for (hopefully) maximum effect.

    There is probably always a way to pick apart a speculative fiction story. It depends on how emotionally involved you are in what's going on, and how willing you are to suspend your disbelief. When I was watching Zero Hour, I was all wrapped up in the reaction of the crew to losing Archer. That scene with T'Pol and Mallora, and the one in sickbay with T'Pol petting Porthos because the dog is grieving over his master being gone...I wasn't thinking about the position of the stars at all.

    As for time travel, I'm with Janeway: "Time travel gives me a headache." So I just go with the flow there. ;)
  6. JNG

    JNG Chief of Staff, Starfleet Command Rear Admiral

    Sep 29, 2001
    Certainly the answer is not lazy and manipulative writing by people who desperately wanted out of the Temporal Cold War BS at any cost. Any true fan would be able to figure out that the Xindi propulsion method, uh, leaves some sort of temporary charged particle remnant on the hull that obscured sensor readouts somehow and, um, maybe they at first suspected this was also causing the communications interference and that's why taking a shuttle trip down seemed like a good idea. Being jubilant and all, they didn't want to wait and scan, as might have seemed sensible. As you can see, it all holds together beautifully.
  7. gblews

    gblews Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Apr 13, 2004
    So. Cal.
    They actually didn't use a subspace transmission to communicate with Starfleet, there was no need. They used a regular channel. Also, Hoshi does note the absence of starbases and other solar system landmarks. This, coupled with Starfleet's lack of response, is what led to T'Pol ordering Trip and Travis to take a shutte down to Earth.

    If the question is, why didn't they check the star charts like they did in E2, I think that was adequately answered in HR's post.

    From what we actually see on screen, I believe it can be plausibly reasoned that the time shift for Enterprise came after they emerged from the Aquatics' ship. It can also be plausibly reasoned from what we saw, that the Aquatics' ship went to warp prior to ENT's disappearance.

    Which brings up another point, the only thing the Aquatics could or would have detected, was ENT's disappearance. This is assuming they, and their knowledge of ENT, weren't wiped from existence by the change in the timeline created by the alien Nazis in the 1940's.

    I think all of your questions are answered by what is seen on screen at the end of Zero Hour.
  8. rhodeschroma

    rhodeschroma Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Dec 2, 2008
    Nowhere, VA
    I appreciate those of you who gave their different perspectives on the question I posited. Sorry I got the techno wrong on subspace versus normal radio communication.

    I suppose, yes, ultimately, it comes down to suspension of disbelief for "reel life" versus "real life." I don't think, as sci-fi fans, we'd get to much storytelling and enjoyment if the goal was to pick apart every decision of the writers. That certainly was not my intention. While I didn't like the direction the writers ultimately took us, landing us in Alien nazi plot device (ugh.), my post was only concerned with when the "shift" hit Enterprise and why they didn't see it on their end, as many other time shifts in ST provoke pretty serious changes or at least instrument reactions. Yes, I'm sure in real life, the nav sensors would've been going nuts as soon as the event occured, but that would not have allowed for the additional exposition necessary to move the story where it needed to go.

    The question wasn't meant to dismiss any of the characters individual losses and damages over the course of their mission, nor their loss of Archer. "Zero Hour" had some touching moments that weren't intended to be minimized with what, at best, was a trivial question from a time travel nerd (who isn't a TCW fan :-))

    If I felt the event was adequately depicted onscreen - I certainly wouldn't have put myself in the "line of fire" by asking about it in the first place. And on the flipside, maybe I'm just dense and will shut up without further disruption of the space/time continuum.