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Sam Karns
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Posted: 16 June 2019 at 3:12pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Mr. Byrne, I've learned a lot from your perspective of Star Trek, dealing with its proper timeline which was the 22nd Century, and the USS Enterprise extended history which dismisses TMP's only five year mission claim and the ridiculous notion the ship was only 20 years old in the terrible Star Trek III.  In the pilot episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before" The crew of the Enterprise were wearing updated uniforms from "The Cage" : Avocado green tunic for Kirk, & Spock, and Blue for Dehner, Dr. Piper, Sulu, & Alden, while Gary Mitchell and Lee Kelso wore Peach.  During this episode it didn't appear this crew was fresh on the ship, but appeared to have had valued time on board.

With an alluded history of the ship, how long do you believe Mitchell, Kelso, Piper, Alden and company's tenure was aboard the Enterprise?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 16 June 2019 at 4:07pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Kirk is supposed to be one of the youngest people ever to command a starship. Season 2 established him as 34 years old in “present day”. That puts a bit of a limitation on how long he could have been Captain.

However, Roddenberry wanted a ship with a history. In “The Cage” the crew has clearly been together for quite some time. In “Where No Man has Gone Before” there are plenty of references to how long that crew had been serving on the same ship.

In NEW VISIONS I set up a few overlaps, with Scotty, Kelso and Dr. Piper being shown as serving under Pike.

Which is a long way of saying there’s no way to be sure. The best we can come up with, based on what we saw, was that Kirk, Spock and Mitchell had served “for years” on the ship before WNMHGB.

Anyone who thinks otherwise is just being obtuse. Harumph!!

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 17 June 2019 at 3:50pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

There’s also that weird reference from Mendez in “The Menagerie”, where he describes the crippled Pike as being “about your age” to Kirk. About Kirk’s age at the time of the first pilot (13 years prior to “The Menagerie”), yes, since Jeff Hunter was only a few years older than Shatner. If Mendez was indeed referring to Pike being around Kirk’s age at the time he was crippled, that would put him in his mid-20s during “The Cage”, and would put the lie to Kirk being the youngest ever to make Captain in the service.

Ah, TOS and its wonky chronology! That’s why it’s best not to dig too deeply, at least outside of casual discussion!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 17 June 2019 at 4:38pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I long ago gave up any hope of sussing out what Roddenberry meant with that “about your age” line. There is no context in which it makes any sense.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 17 June 2019 at 5:44pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Exactly. I think it had to be a simple lapse on his part. He was probably thinking about Pike as he appeared in the stock pilot footage, and forgot that the “envelope” took place 13 years later, as the same script later makes a point of.

And, after all, the whole point of reusing the pilot footage was because they were getting dangerously close to missing an airdate. The show had proved to be a total meat-grinder of a production, and so there were any number of instances where errors and/or production shortcuts creeped in.


Edited by Greg Kirkman on 17 June 2019 at 5:45pm
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