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Aleksandar Petrovic
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Posted: 04 July 2017 at 11:25am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I remember reading about the Five-Year Mission concept in The Star Trek Universe: Franchising the Final Frontier. 

The authors claim the idea originated with Gene Roddenberry, as a ploy to keep the series going for five seasons. It was aimed at studio executives, in hope that they would honor the voice-over introduction during each episode's opening credits. 

Needless to say, it did not prevent them from cancelling the series two years before that target.      
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John Byrne
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Posted: 05 July 2017 at 9:23am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

It seems unlikely that someone as immersed in Hollywood bullsh*t as Roddenberry would convince himself that he could "trick" the bean counters into a five season commitment just by saying it in the opening credits narration!

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Aleksandar Petrovic
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Posted: 05 July 2017 at 9:44am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Oh I have no doubt that it was just a witty component of a much larger (and, I would imagine, fairly standard) behind-the-scenes effort to keep the series going. 

It is interesting from a production history point of view, because it shows that Roddenberry wanted TOS to run for five seasons. 

He was probably very amused later on, seeing how the five-year thing refused to die, how it kept coming back to haunt Star Trek. 
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Rod Collins
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Posted: 09 July 2017 at 2:10am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Finally got around to reading New Visions: Time Out Of Joint.

Some of the little touches that I enjoyed were the way JB "introduced" his back-up story, involving a certain former Yeoman, in the main story and the blending of sound effects into the images themselves. The balance of large scale action scenes and personal moments in the main story are spot on, as is Kirk's solution to his predicament. Nicely done JB.
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Jonathan A. Dowdell
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Posted: 09 July 2017 at 9:21am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I don't know why Roddenberry put 5-Year mission (Aleksandar may be correct). What I can tell you is that most series actor contracts were 5 years with a 2 year option. He may have been figuring that he'd have the actors for at least 5 seasons. 

Edited by Jonathan A. Dowdell on 09 July 2017 at 9:42am
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Jason Scott
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Posted: 09 July 2017 at 1:11pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I'm often bemused by people wanting to add a couple of years onto what we saw on the show. I mean 'Where no Man has gone before' still has a lot of the Cage's look in both uniforms and the set designs. So to me it always felt like there was a little bit of a time jump betwen it and the rest of Season 1. And then in Season 3 for whatever reason William Shatner looks a bit older. So it was not unreasonable for me to assume that this might have been towards the end of the mission.

I mean let's face it, the stardates were not given much thought in terms of consistency, so is there any other reason to assume that the adventures we saw weren't distributed more evenly throughout a 5 year mission? I mean correct me if I'm wrong but are there many, (or indeed any) mentions throughout the show of a time period elapsing since a previous episode? As I certainly don't recall any Captain's logs that said something like.."It's been a week since our encounter with the Botany Bay.." etc.
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Jason Scott
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Posted: 09 July 2017 at 1:18pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

"What I can tell you is that most series actor contracts were 5 years with a 2 year option. He may have been figuring that he'd have the actors for at least 5 seasons. "
------------------------------------------------------------ -----------------------

And Jonathan, that to me would be the most likely explanation for it too. I suppose it might have even been a good in story reason for a shaking up of any cast that got too big for their boots at the end of 5 years on the air. Like perhaps 'We're starting a new mission, and so we have some new crew members. Mr (Insert character here)has been promoted to such and such a ship/base.'

Maybe that was how Gene Roddenberry saw it? But I guess we'll never know for sure.


Edited by Jason Scott on 09 July 2017 at 1:19pm
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John Byrne
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Posted: 09 July 2017 at 6:46pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Now, to steer away from the thread drift a bit. . .

Today I had an interesting (to me) lesson in how different the construction of each of these pages can be. I spent the better part of the day working on a seven panel page that ended up having no less than 7 layers in each panel, not counting balloons and dialog. Then, about an hour and a half ago, I wandered down to the Studio in the hopes of regaining some of that time with what I expected to be a pretty simple page. It was. A briefing room scene, five panels, with each one lifted whole, four of them from the same original scene!

Sometimes it IS "just cut and paste," and on those occasions things go MUCH faster!

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John Byrne
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Posted: 09 July 2017 at 6:49pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I'm often bemused by people wanting to add a couple of years onto what we saw on the show. I mean 'Where no Man has gone before' still has a lot of the Cage's look in both uniforms and the set designs. So to me it always felt like there was a little bit of a time jump betwen it and the rest of Season 1.

Try arguing that with the numbskulls who think the broadcast order was the "real" order -- despite the fact that things look so different in the second episode!

I am about 80% content that the adventures happened in the order in which we saw them, but allowances must be made for "Where No Man Has Gone Before"!

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 09 July 2017 at 7:37pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I am about 80% content that the adventures happened in the order in which we saw them, but allowances must be made for "Where No Man Has Gone Before"!
+++++++

Yep. 

It's easy to understand he predicament they were in. Unlike the first pilot, most of the cast was in place for the second, and the other differences were pretty easy to overlook. So, the second pilot was definitely air-worthy, but they really needed a regular series episode--with the full main cast (particularly Grace Lee Whitney, who'd essentially been publicized as an eye-candy co-lead, early on, before De Kelley took so much prominence)--to kick the show off for its "sneak preview" premiere. 

Thus, "The Man Trap", which includes the entire main cast, with a balance of action and character. "Charlie X" is a better episode, but it's a "bottle show", with little real action. "The Naked Time" didn't show our heroes as their usual selves. Ditto "The Enemy Within". "Mudd's Women" would have been a bit too scandalous for a series premiere. "The Corbomite Maneuver" would have been an excellent choice (aside from being entirely shipbound), but the complex visual effects weren't done until nearly halfway into the season.

It may have been a "monster of the week" episode, but, of the first few filmed, "The Man Trap" was probably the best overall choice for the premiere. 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 10 July 2017 at 6:48am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

It may have been a "monster of the week" episode, but, of the first few filmed, "The Man Trap" was probably the best overall choice for the premiere.

Well, it certainly caught my attention!

I've pointed out many times before that "WNMHGB" presents all the strongest arguments against any suggestion that we joined the crew on Day One of the Five Year Mission. All the visual evidence, and a whole lot of the dialog, point to it's position between "The Cage" and the first aired episode. Anyone who wants to construct and accurate timeline -- at least as much as is possible give the peicemeal assembly of the series -- must pay attention to what is shown and said in the second pilot.

As I have noted, the script was written to introduce the concept and characters, and there is nothing there that should be excavated in search of what was "really meant".

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Paul Newland
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Posted: 10 July 2017 at 1:41pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I'm sure I've seen someone produce a list of episodes in stardate order.   Best guess is that the pilot takes place 3-6 months into the mission and the series proper 6 Months after that but Denher would have nothing to study if the crew was fresh so they could be as much as a year into the mission for all we know. 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 10 July 2017 at 3:06pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

I'm sure I've seen someone produce a list of episodes in stardate order.

Yeah, me! Can't recall in which thread I posted it, but I doesn't help matters a whole lot. For instance, the TAS episode "The Magicks of Megas-Tu" has a stardate about 60 lower than "Where No Man Has Gone Before". "Catspaw" drops into roughly the middle of the First Season. TAS episode "The Practical Joker" also lands in the First Season, as do "The Gamesters of Triskelion".

And just to make matters worst, on the episode of VOYAGER I watched last night, Seven of Nine's human birth date was given as a stardate!

+++

Best guess is that the pilot takes place 3-6 months into the mission...

You're imagining that a fairly extensive refit AND a complete change of crew uniforms took place AFTER the Five Year Mission started??

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 10 July 2017 at 8:07pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

The one thing set in stone is that the first pilot takes place 13 years prior to the two-part "Menagerie". Beyond that, the second pilot makes reference to Spock and Mitchell having served together "for years".

Personally, my impression is that Kirk and Spock first met when Kirk took command of the Enterprise, although there's really nothing contextual to support that. My take is also that Kirk and McCoy possibly knew each other before McCoy was posted to the ship. Maybe not. There just seems to be a certain level of friendship between them which would likely take awhile to develop, and, since McCoy wasn't there in the second pilot, that makes me think the two had previously crossed paths.

In "Amok Time", Kirk says "In all the years that I've known you..." to Spock.

In "The Deadly Years", Sulu says he's served under Kirk for two years.

This all kinda indicates that the second pilot takes place during a previous mission, with the bulk of the series taking place during the five-year mission we're familiar with. Perhaps Sulu came in at the tail end of that first mission, with "The Deadly Years" occurring two years into the ship's next, five-year mission.The changes in uniforms, crew, and equipment certainly indicate a resupply and upgrade for the ship prior to launching on her next assignment. Or, maybe the damage from the barrier at the edge of the galaxy prompted headquarters to recall and resupply the ship for a new mission.

At the very least, that second pilot is most definitely a case of in media res, given the characters' familiarity with each other. Either they were already well into the five-year mission, at that point, or this was prior to that mission.

There's a general fan perception that these ships all went out on multiple/consecutive five-year missions, but there's really nothing to support that. The official/Okuda timeline conjectures one five-year mission for Robert April, two for Chris Pike, then Kirk's as seen in TOS, with the ship putting in to drydock for its TMP rebuild at the end of the latter mission.

Edited by Greg Kirkman on 10 July 2017 at 8:11pm
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John Byrne
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Posted: 10 July 2017 at 9:41pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

There's a general fan perception that these ships all went out on multiple/consecutive five-year missions, but there's really nothing to support that. The official/Okuda timeline conjectures one five-year mission for Robert April, two for Chris Pike, then Kirk's as seen in TOS, with the ship putting in to drydock for its TMP rebuild at the end of the latter mission.

Yuck

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John Byrne
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Posted: 10 July 2017 at 9:51pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

I'll touch for a moment on an aspect of fanboy craziness that makes me, well, crazy. They accept (as do I) that the adventure seen in "The Menagerie" took place more than a decade before the episode was broadcast even tho it was filmed only a year before the second pilot, yet heads will explode at any suggestion that said second pilot took place quite some time before the five year mission began. (And it should be noted that the opening of WNMHGB makes no reference to the five year mission.)
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 11 July 2017 at 12:19am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Taking it a step further, the opening log narration to the original, unaired version of the second pilot states that the ship's mission had been, prior to the barrier probe, one of "space law regulation, contact with Earth colonies, and investigation of alien life".

So, maybe the ship had been on that afforementioned mission, was reassigned to investigate the barrier, and then recalled, refitted, and redeployed on a new, five-year mission to seek out and contact alien life.

There are a heck of a lot of differences between the second pilot and "The Corbomite Maneuver" (first regular episode filmed), or "The Man Trap" (first episode aired). Too many changes to have occurred overnight. Heck, there's even been some debate as to whether or not Spock was First Officer, during the second pilot. Some believe that was Mitchell's position, and that Spock took over after his death. I don't really subscribe to that idea, although I don't believe there's ever been a definitive answer to the matter.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 11 July 2017 at 5:49am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Well, all I can say is that in NEW VISIONS I have been basing all my timeline references on data from TOS, and so far nobody from Paramount or CBS has grumbled.
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Aleksandar Petrovic
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Posted: 11 July 2017 at 7:44am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

John, I am glad to see that this whole five-year thing with TOS is not influencing your own New Visions production run in any way, that it is not limiting the series you are creating by imposing some mental brackets you have to adhere to. Introducing individual issues, Zeus forbid, chronologically as "Year 4" or "Year 5" would have pleased some of the fandom for sure, but it would also limit the series - open end is far better. New Visions will reach its own 5-year (publishing) anniversary on December 11, 2018, but I hope that will mean nothing (except, perhaps, as a good excuse for the first omnibus).
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John Byrne
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Posted: 11 July 2017 at 9:32am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

I am glad to see that this whole five-year thing with TOS is not influencing your own New Visions production run in any way, that it is not limiting the series you are creating by imposing some mental brackets you have to adhere to. Introducing individual issues, Zeus forbid, chronologically as "Year 4" or "Year 5" would have pleased some of the fandom for sure, but it would also limit the series - open end is far better. New Visions will reach its own 5-year (publishing) anniversary on December 11, 2018, but I hope that will mean nothing (except, perhaps, as a good excuse for the first omnibus).

But I HAVE lately come to think of myself as working in "Year Four" -- at least when I am not doing the occasional flashback issue.

My greater point, I suppose, is that there is no reason to assume each year of TOS represents a year of the "mission". After all, like I said, I'm sure the crew didn't get five months off every summer!

It is more logical to think of each episode in terms of the time it occupies in the lives of the characters. How much real time is represented by screen time? Some episodes take hours, some days. And the nature of the mission is such that adventures might very well crowd together, as suggested by their stardates.

Worth noting, for instance, that "Operation: Annihilate:, the last episode of the first season, gives a stardate of 3287.2, while "Amok Time", the first broadcast episode of S2, gives 3372.7. Taking this, plus the way the stardates seemed to accelerate as the series went on, and we may be able to deduce that the three years we saw represented considerably less time for the crew.

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Aleksandar Petrovic
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Posted: 11 July 2017 at 9:50am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Perhaps of interest, I just discovered that someone definitely tried to do additional TOS "seasons" via comics.    

I haven't had a chance to read any of what I am linking (I might check it out eventually), but a quick search for "Year 4" revealed this and this

Maybe the sales were not that great since it was a short run and it did not lead to potential "Year 5" series (as far as I can see). 
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Marten van Wier
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Posted: 11 July 2017 at 1:31pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Those were two mini series, they were never intended as on going series.
Enterprise Experiment conflicted rather with Romulans Hollow Crown and Schism regarding the Klingon-Romulan alliance.

I did not find them that good.

As for "additional" TOS seasons in comics, DC did some stories set during the five year mission in their second ongoing run, Marvel did so in Star Trek Unlimited, and Wildstorm also had a one shot set during it called "All of Me"


Edited by Marten van Wier on 11 July 2017 at 1:33pm
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Aleksandar Petrovic
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Posted: 11 July 2017 at 2:21pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

I am sitting on the fence about the whole media shift idea - continuing on by switching from one medium to the next - especially when it is directly applied in some formal, official way.

Dark Horse Comics has been playing with this idea for a while now. For example, they directly continued Buffy the Vampire Slayer series (which run on TV for seven seasons) through comics, releasing new books titled Season Eight, Nine, and Ten, all of which are written and/or supervised by the series creator Joss Whedon, and all of which are officially recognized as canon. 

However, is that something that really works? For example, would you like to see official TOS seasons 4 and 5 in such a way? 
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 11 July 2017 at 6:37pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Not too likely that you'll see them in any other way, though, Aleksandar.
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 12 July 2017 at 3:41am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Regarding timing... I haven't seen "The Paradise Syndrome" for a while, but don't I recall that mission taking several weeks? Didn't the Enterprise spend a couple of months retreating in front of that asteroid?

I don't think applying strict timing to TOS works so well, just because it wasn't done in the first place. So trying to make it fit that framework now might be tricky... I suspect it could be done, but with a LOT of "wink wink" events going on to make it all get into the right chronological sequence:
"Keptin... someting is wrong vit the chronometers. Ve are using de wrong stardate."
"Understood, Mr. Chekov. Make a log entry and we'll get it ordered out at the end of this mission."
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