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John Byrne
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Posted: 14 February 2018 at 8:30am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

In "Metamorphosis" (TOS.S2) McCoy declares that "Zefram Cochrane died 150 years ago!" This statement was made when, based on two references in the first season, TOS was set roughly two hundred years in the Future.

"Metamorphosis" also revealed that Cochrane was "an old man" when he was believed to have died. Allowing for future medical advances, can we guess Cochrane was in his nineties? Several of my own friends and family members have reached that range without effort.

This begins to introduce some questions, tho. If Cochrane died 150 years before "Metamorphosis", and developing warp drive was not one of the last things he did, the date of his invention gets pushed back closer to our own. Assume Cochrane was in his forties (there was no suggestion that he was a wunderkind like Richard Daystrom), and warp drive happens about fifty years before his death.

Which is sort of now-ish!

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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 14 February 2018 at 9:06am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

According to "First Contact", the Enterprise crew helped Cochrane complete his warp drive craft and launch it in April of 2063... vaguely sorta kinda now...

If my research is right, "Metamorphosis" takes place on stardate 3219.8... about 2267. His disappearance 150 years prior is at least 2117 (and very likely earlier... he didn't just disappear from Earth, travel instantly to Gamma Canaris N, and have the Enterprise crew show up ten minutes later (because he notes he was trapped there for a long time - years, likely.) Vaguely, maybe he disappeared around 2110. 

It might work, and I guess 2063 might be when warp drive was developed, tested, and successfully used. 

It sounds as if it fits into our time frame; I'll wager a lot of our friends on the board will still be around and kicking in 45 years. I won't... but hey, I'm not interested in meeting the Vulcans anyhow. Mr. Byrne might... I hear rumors that he's going to dance on my grave. :)
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John Byrne
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Posted: 14 February 2018 at 9:14am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

FIRST CONTACT falls in the Altered Timeline, created by uber-nerd Trekkies whose brains started to bleed when 1996 came and went with no sign of the Eugenics Wars. Everything had to be bumped ahead a century, and in a truly staggering example of giving fans what they think they want, everything was!

This makes Kirk an idiot, of course, since he twice identified TOS as being 200 years in the Future ("Tomorrow is Yesterday" and "Space Seed").

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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 14 February 2018 at 9:47am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

True enough - First Contact was literally an altered timeline story! 

And what happened, I wonder, when Riker, and LaForge went to school and were told that they had the same names and appearances as two of the three first contact astronauts?

You're absolutely right about the uber-nerd Trekkies. Why in the nine realms did the Star Trek universe have to match up to the real world? Lost in Space didn't... Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea didn't... I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched didn't... and here, I hope, I demonstrate the foolishness of insisting on such correlations to reality.

I still got my suspicions about Mr. Ed, though... ;)
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John Byrne
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Posted: 14 February 2018 at 11:17am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

A talking horse is a good deal more feasible than warp drive!

Old English Joke: A poacher was caught on the King's land, for which the penalty was death. As a last request he asked for an audience with the King. This was granted, and the poacher told the King that if he would stay his execution for one year, he would teach the King's favorite horse to talk.

The King was intigued, and granted this, and every day, under guard, the man would go go the stables and carry out very long -- and one-sided -- conversations with the horse.

After a few months of this, one of the guards asked if the man really expected the horse to talk. The man shrugged. "A year is a long time. In a year, the horse may die, or the King may die, or I may die. Or the horse may talk!"

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 14 February 2018 at 11:20am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

“Space Seed” told us that the need for suspended animation on interplanetary trips ended in...2018! I presume that was a reference to advances in Newtonian impulse technology rather than the invention of faster-than-light engines.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 14 February 2018 at 11:31am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

"Where No Man has Gone Before" told us the Valiant was using impulse engines 100 years before. "The Cage" told us "time warp" technology was "new".

So much to consider!!

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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 14 February 2018 at 6:50pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Do we even dare touch the Phoenix versus USS Bonaventure conundrum as the 'first warp capable Earth ship'?

In other words...  the timeline is completely fecked! 
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 14 February 2018 at 6:53pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Zefram Cochrane is seen addressing the workers of the Warp 5 Complex in the ENTERPRISE pilot which takes place I believe in 2151.

Mr. Cochrane was a very old man indeed!

edit: A miscalculation there -- the address is a recording of Cochrane taken 32 years prior to 2151 at the Warp 5 Complex dedication ceremony.  So... 2119.


Edited by Rob Ocelot on 14 February 2018 at 7:00pm
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 14 February 2018 at 10:42pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

In “The Counter-Clock Incident”, Sarah April said she was the first CMO on a ship with warp drive.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 15 February 2018 at 7:30am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

In “The Counter-Clock Incident”, Sarah April said she was the first CMO on a ship with warp drive.

••

If we take TAS as canon -- which most don't, I know -- this pushes Cochrane's development of warp drive deep into his old age.   Or, it means we were very, very slow in implementing the use of his invention.

"Metamorphosis" - Cochrane "died" 150 years earlier.

"The Cage" - Warp drive is "new" to people who have been out of the loop for 18 years.

"The Counter-Clock Incident" - Sarah April served on the first ship with warp drive.

That last raises questions as to how long ago that was. Just how "new" were the warp ships in "The Cage"?

Some Trekkies like to squeeze every possible use out of words, as we've seen in discussions of dialog from "Where No Man has Gone Before", twisting straightforward statements to try to wring other meaning from them.

And this is without even considering the Altered Timeline (distinct from Abramstrek's "alternative timeline".)

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John Byrne
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Posted: 15 February 2018 at 7:39am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

“Space Seed” told us that the need for suspended animation on interplanetary trips ended in...2018! I presume that was a reference to advances in Newtonian impulse technology rather than the invention of faster-than-light engines.

••

Further on this:

Based on what was said on the show, TOS took place in the latter half of the 22nd Century. Probably somewhere in the 2190s, based on what Kirk told Khan.*

If this is so, then Cochran's "death" would have been dated somewhere in the 2040s (150 years earlier), and his development of warp drive might have been in... 2018.

This would have been in the aftermath of WW3/Eugenics Wars, as seen in FIRST CONTACT, altho they got the dates wrong.

__________________________

* This also allows the movies to be set "In the 23rd Century" without massive overhauling of the established timeline.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 15 February 2018 at 8:30am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

An additional note: Watching TOS in production order, it is obvious that, while they started out with a Writer's Bible, they didn't add to it much, over the years. And, one suspects, as the show went on, writers were required less and less to refer to that bible.
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 15 February 2018 at 10:01am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

One thing that helps bridge some of these dates is the presumably long period of development between Cochrane building what amounted to a pod on the end of booster rockets that made a single warp jump and the construction (presumably in space, contra Abrams) of a starship ala the Enterprise capable of sustained warp travel on extended deep space expeditions.  You have the additional factor also of humanity itself needing to finish recovering organizationally from WW3 in order to build the things needed to build such a thing.

So, its possible for example that Cochrane made his jump in ship in 2018 or so, but the first starships capable of sustained warp speed interstellar missions were from the era of April's Enterprise, 150 years later.  This would also make sense of the general impression I got from TOS that the Enterprise and her ilk were 'top-of-the-line' and that many of the colonies they were visiting were not accustomed to frequent, or even any, visits.  If they were colonized during that 150 year lull, they would have journeyed out not expecting to ever see their fellows from the Federation again, only to have the development of warp starships lead to unexpected visits decades later.

Enterprise craps all over that, like everything else, of course. 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 15 February 2018 at 10:10am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

We should remember, too, that he was Zefram Cochrane of Alpha Centauri.

Clearly, the original intent was that he developed warp drive on what was probably Earth's first extra-Solar colony -- altho that also messes with the timeline, if Cochrane was born and grew up there. The colony would have to be well established by 2018. Possibly it was founded by humans who fled the ruins of WW3, to even that doesn't provide enough time!!

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Byron Graham
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Posted: 15 February 2018 at 10:23am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Perhaps Alpha Centauri claims Cochrane in much the same way Illinois claims Lincoln. He wasn't born there, but much of his important work was done there. Though since First Contact shows Cochrane developing warp drive on Earth, the question is what did he do of significance on Alpha Centauri?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 15 February 2018 at 11:00am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Though since First Contact shows Cochrane developing warp drive on Earth, the question is what did he do of significance on Alpha Centauri?

••

Again, FIRST CONTACT belongs to the Altered Timeline -- basically anything from the first movie on.

When I saw "Metamorphosis" in first broadcast, I had no doubt that Cochrane was a human born on a planet of Alpha Centauri.

(In high school, circa 1969, I wrote mountains of short stories, and even a novel, set in my own version of the Federation. These were not STAR TREK stories, but my crew bore a striking resemblance to Kirk & Co. In my backstory for the tales I replaced Zefram Cochrane with "Harrison Cord" (!), and in configuration my starship, the Endeavor looked surprising like the battlestar Galactica!)

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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 15 February 2018 at 11:13am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Purely as a tangent, I would recommend the Star Trek novel "Federation" by Garfield and Judith Reeves-Stevens. It has considerable focus on Zefram Cochrane, and deals with the origins of warp drive. I know it's non-canon, but it seems to be pretty faithfully attentive to existing facts.

It's a pseudo-crossover novel with TOS and TNG - released around the time of "Generations" I believe - and it's a fairly good TNG story, and a FANTASTIC TOS story! If you like Star Trek novels at all, it's a must have.

I didn't use any of that information in my discussion above, but it seems to coordinate pretty well.
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Byron Graham
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Posted: 15 February 2018 at 12:13pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Again, FIRST CONTACT belongs to the Altered Timeline...
-----

Or, perhaps, Captain Picard's Nexus dream.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 15 February 2018 at 1:33pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

I hadn't thought of Picard's dream as retroactive, but that WOULD solve a lot of problems!
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 15 February 2018 at 8:36pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

We should remember, too, that he was Zefram Cochrane of Alpha Centauri.
---
I always took that to mean he later divorced himself from Earth and chose to settle in/affiliate with Alpha Centauri.   FIRST CONTACT seems to take that line as well (yes, I'm aware that FC is technically retroactive revisionism).

Something not touched upon in any STAR TREK media is whether Earth was in any way a good source of dilithium deposits.   If not, you can make a good case for warp travel being developed by Cochrane much later in the timeline.

As an alternative, Earth could have developed warp technology the hard way first without dilithium and later discovered dilithium made the process easier and more efficient.  Currently we in the real world have the technology right now to make antimatter, magnetically contain it  and perform controlled annihilations with regular matter.   There's no way to make it fast enough or in quantities that would be useful though.



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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 15 February 2018 at 9:13pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

I always took that to mean he later divorced himself from Earth and chose to settle in/affiliate with Alpha Centauri.
++++++++++++

I never took that line to mean anything other than Cochrane being born and raised in Alpha Centauri. The writers of FIRST CONTACT either forgot or got it wrong on purpose in order to feature a story set on 21st century Earth.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 16 February 2018 at 5:27am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

I always took that to mean he later divorced himself from Earth and chose to settle in/affiliate with Alpha Centauri.

•••

Always?

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Steve De Young
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Posted: 16 February 2018 at 8:32am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

The only way I can think to reconcile that is that that's what Cochrane did with the rest of his life after the successful warp test.  He led the mission to colonize Alpha Centauri.  If he was considered the colony's founder, giving him that title would make sense.  
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John Byrne
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Posted: 16 February 2018 at 8:42am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

The only way I can think to reconcile that is that that's what Cochrane did with the rest of his life after the successful warp test. He led the mission to colonize Alpha Centauri. If he was considered the colony's founder, giving him that title would make sense.

••

But then we still have the problem of warp drive being "new" in Pike's time.

(Elements of "The Menagerie" further complicate the timeline. Commodore Mendez mentions that Pike is "about [Kirk's] age". Kirk is roughly 33 -- but the Talosian adventure takes place "thirteen years ago". Pike was 20??)

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