Monday, August 27, 2012

STARDATES used in Star Trek: TOS

The Original release cover design for both the VHS & LVD
My personal take on the Stardates used in Trek:TOS

Now, according to both Phil Farrand, author of "The Nitpicker's Guides" and my very own deductive reasoning skill's, I have come to accept that every 1000 StarDate Units is equal to one "Star Year". Each StarDate is an 8 hour shift at work.  Three shifts is equal to a 24 hour "day".  

Yes, I know there are certain episodes where the StarDate given during Kirk's voiced over Log entry does not allow for enough passage of time for those events during some of the episode to occur. However, I think this is due to a post production problems that occurred in the timing of the ADR.
They would later come to change it so that a "Stardate" would equal "one day" later  during movie series.

Point of Interest: StarDates had yet to be introduce when Pike had command of the ship.

 After further research and study, I believe that one must not look at the episodes in production order, and or by broadcast order, but rather by "Star Date Order" in order to get the correct intended order of the episodes.  This also may why Columbia House released the 1st Trek "sell through" VHS series in  "Star Date order."

Season1 - episodes 1-6, 10, and 14, take place in year 1 of the 5 year mission .   Episode 17, "The Squire of Gothos" , Star Date 2124.5 begins the second year of the mission, and
Season1 - episodes 7-9, 13, and 16, ( by air date order) take place during end of year 2 based on  Star Date's given of 2712 - 2947.  
The rest of "season 1" takes place at the beginning of year 3 of the mission through Star Date:3417

I'll give you one example:
I'd like to point out that the Star Date given at for the Season 1 Episode of "The Menagerie Parts One & Two"  is 3012.4, which would put those events at the very end of the crew's 2nd year together, ( just beginning their 3rd year together, and that means this episode takes place after the events seen in ""The Galileo Seven" and "Court Martial" ) and that would be about right based upon the fact that Kirk stated that he took over Command of the Enterprise from Capt. Pike and then Spock states he served with Pike for "11 years, 4 months, and 5 days" and during the hearing Spock states that the events from "The Cage" took place 13 years ago. ( Did Pike command 2 - Five year missions with a year between them in order for the ship to get a refit? Could Spock have been under Pike's command for 4 months before the Enterprise 1st launched for it's 1st 5 year mission under Pike? Sure, why not? We know that Pike took over the Enterprise from Capt. Robert April ( the 1st to Captain the Enterprise) after April's Original Shakedown cruise and the ship's very 1st 5 year mission under him that followed.  This all works. 13 years less 11 years equals 2 full years that Kirk has been in Command! Which is why Kirk and McCoy know and trust  Spock so well at this point in the show.  Even though this is only the 11th and 12th episodes to air,  (the 16th produced) what is more important here are the Stardates. 

I think Gene knew that there would be production delays and that episodes would be aired out of production order as well. So here was a way to allow us to figure out the correct episode order. When there were problems, like with  "Assignment: Earth", "they" would simply not assign a StarDate to that episode, that way. that episode could fit in anywhere, since all of the episodes are "stand alone" episodes that don't really depend on one another.

If  "Where No Man" takes place in 2265, ( Stardate: 1312)  then this Episode takes place at the beginning of 2267. Subtract 13 years and "The Cage" takes place near the very end of  2254.
( By then the ship was almost ten years old, since she was built in 2245.)

Season 2 begins during year 3, and contains some 9 episodes from year 4 of the 5 year mission starting with "Bread and Circuses" . Star Date 4040.7, and should end with "Return to Tomorrow"   Stardate 4768 (highest Stardate listed in Season2)

Finally, season 3 really takes place through the end of year 5.  ending Stardate of 5943.7 for "All our Yesterdays", the "Zarabeth" episode, which I believe was The main Reason WHY Spock went to the planet "Vulcan" to purge all of those emotions when Enterprise was being refit through Stardate  7411 during "The Motion Picture".

Note: Trek's last Episode to be produce and that aired, "Turnabout" had a Star Date of 5928.5.

 I think this helps explain how we can have an episode like "Elaan of Troyius" (Star Date 4372.5) between two episodes like "Wink of an Eye" (Star Date 5710) and "Whom Gods Destroy" (Star Date 5718.3) It means that those events in "Elann" took place during the 4th year of the Mission, while the event in the other two episodes took place during the 5th year of the ship's mission.
And that is my take. The 4th and 5th year are not really "missing". The stories that were not told really would have taken place during a large chunk of year 2 (stardates 2130-2700) and some during year 3 (3800-4400).

What do you think?