Where Were The TOS Crew During The Events of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’?

The intrepid crew of the USS Discovery will boldly go where no one has gone before… and they’ll do it 10 years before the intrepid crew of the USS Enterprise gets the chance.

We’ve known for some time now that the events of the CBS All Access Show Star Trek: Discovery will take place “about ten years before” the adventures of the Original Series crew. Now we know that the events of the first season of the new show will take place in the year 2256, exactly 10 years before the events of TOS.

10 years isn’t that much time, really. The crew were all alive, most of them were adults, and many of them were probably already serving in Starfleet or in Starfleet Academy, prepping for their first deep space mission. Some of the history of the TOS crew is established in canon — that is, their whereabouts are said or referenced on screen either on TV or in the (Prime universe) movies. So, what do we actually know about what the original crew were up to during the events of Discovery? And, perhaps more importantly, is there any chance our new heroes will run into our old ones?

Today, on the 51st anniversary of The Original Series, and just 249 years before Kirk would take command of the Enterprise, we take a look back at the TOS crew before they were cool.

James T. Kirk

Age in 2256: 23 years old (Born on March 22nd, 2233)
Location: In Starfleet Academy, serving as Lieutenant probably aboard the USS Republic NCC-1371

Kirk began his time at Starfleet Academy in 2252, and as a classic overachiever, he moved quickly up the ranks. He made ensign in less than three years and was assigned, while still in the Academy, to the USS Republic (TOS: “Court Martial”). By 2255, Kirk, still a student at the Academy, was promoted to Lieutenant and was simultaneously a student and an instructor at the Academy (TOS: “Where No Man Has Gone Before”). In 2257, Kirk graduated Starfleet Academy and began his first deep space assignment under Captain Garrovick on the USS Farragut.

While it’s not impossible that Kirk was reassigned to a ship other than the Republic before graduating in 2257, it seems unlikely. If true, that means that in 2256, Lt. Kirk was serving aboard the USS Republic, which would have been stationed very near to Earth, since Kirk was also teaching classes at the Academy in San Francisco, California (unless the Academy has an online degree program we don’t know about). So, is there any chance we could see Lt. Kirk in Star Trek: Discovery? Sure, there’s always a chance. But given that Kirk did not go on a deep space mission until his time on the Farragut, there is no reason to expect that the USS Discovery would encounter Kirk out on the frontier.

Captain James T. Kirk in 2265.

Spock

Age in 2256: 26 years old (Born on January 6, 2230)
Location: Serving as science officer aboard the Enterprise NCC-1701 under Captain Christopher Pike

Mr. Spock is one of the only characters whose whereabouts in 2256 are canonically established to such a high degree. Spock was assigned to the USS Enterprise in 2254, where he served for 39 years (excepting the 2-3 year period between The Original Series and The Motion Picture where he either resigned his commission or went into reserve status), until 2293 (TOS: “The Enterprise Incident,” “Court Martial,” “The Ultimate Computer,” “The Cage,” Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country). Spock served as a science officer under Captain Christopher Pike from 2254 and would have held the same position in 2256.

Of all the Original Series crew, Spock seems the most likely to have a chance encounter with the characters of Discovery. First, Spock was serving aboard the Enterprise, a ship that would have been undertaking missions similar to the USS Discovery, out on the edge of the final frontier. Second, Spock’s father Sarek and his adoptive sister Michael Burnham will both feature heavily in the events of Discovery. It would not be unusual for Spock to at least be mentioned by name.

It would not adhere to canon, however, if Spock and Sarek were to share a scene. When Spock was young, Sarek groomed him for a career in science and wanted Spock to complete his training at the Vulcan Science Academy. When Spock joined Starfleet in 2250, he did so against his father’s explicit desires, as it meant leaving behind the Vulcan Science Academy. This disagreement caused a rift between father and son that lasted 18 years, until 2268 (TOS: “Journey to Babel”).

Lt. Commander Spock in 2265

Leonard “Bones” McCoy

Age in 2256: 29 years old (Born 2227)
Location: Practicing medicine, possibly in Starfleet

Bones began studying medicine around 2245, but his graduation date from medical school was never established in canon. We know he spent at least some time at the University of Mississippi in the mid 2240’s, where he met joined Trill Emony Dax. Jadzia Dax recalled a meeting between the young med student and Emony Dax, who was visiting Earth to judge a gymnastics competition, saying, “he had the hands of a surgeon” (DS9: “Trials and Tribble-ations”).

McCoy got his medical license on or around 2253, the same year he developed a surgical procedure for the humanoid brain. This was described in VOY “Lifesigns” as a procedure whereby neural tissue is grafted to the cerebral cortex, followed by the creation of an axonal pathway between the tissue graft and the basal ganglia.

Not much is known about McCoy’s precise whereabouts during the time between 2253 and 2256. We do know that McCoy did not join the Enterprise until 2266. And, for a few months before that, Lieutenant Commander McCoy served as a sciences division officer on Capella IV.

McCoy in early 2266 or late 2265 on Capella IV, as seen on a monitor screen in TOS “Friday’s Child”

Montgomery “Scotty” Scott

Age in 2256: 34 years old (Born 2222)
Location: Serving in Starfleet as an engineer, deployment unknown

Scotty began his engineering career in starfleet in 2241, where he would remain for the next 51 years. Not much is known about Mr. Scott’s precise whereabouts before he joined the Enterprise crew, but we do know that he was serving in Starfleet as an engineer in 2256. We do not know if he was on a ship, space station, planet, etc. It is quite likely he was working as a ship’s engineer, as Mr. Scott worked on a total of 11 ships during his Starfleet career, including various freighters, cruisers, and starships. He also had a brief stint as engineering advisor to a freight line connecting Deneva Colony and outlying asteroids.

Montgomery Scott serving on the Enterprise in 2265.

Nyota Uhura

Age in 2256: Unknown, possibly 17 years old
Location: Unknown, possibly Earth

Uhura’s date and place of birth were never established in canon. Based on dates printed in the Star Trek Chronology and the Star Trek Encyclopedia, she was born in the year 2239, which would make her 17 years old in 2256.

Very little is known of Nyota’s life before her service aboard the Enterprise. The only real reference to Uhura’s past pre-TOS is a line of dialogue from Star Trek III: The Search For Spock where, in 2285, a Starfleet lieutenant junior grade known as “Mr. Adventure” calls Uhura “a twenty-year space veteran.” This has led to some speculation that Uhura did not join Starfleet until 2265.

In any event, if her birtdate in 2239 is to be believed, Uhura was definitely not serving aboard a starship and probably was not in the Academy in 2256. During the events of Discovery she was in all likelihood living her life as a 17 year old girl, probably attending school, on Earth.

Uhura serving aboard the USS Enterprise in the 2260’s.

Christine Chapel

Age in 2256: Unknown, approximately 20-30 years old
Location: Unknown, not in Starfleet

In The Original Series, Christine Chapel was serving as Nurse under Chief Medical Officer Leonard McCoy on the Enterprise, having been in Starfleet for five years by the beginning of TOS. While training to be a scientist, Chapel fell in love with one of her professors, Dr. Roger Korby. The two became engaged, but never got the chance to be married as Korby disappeared during an expedition to planet Exo III in 2261. After the loss of her fiancé, Chapel gave up on her research career and joined Starfleet in the hopes that she and Korby might one day be reunited. She joined the Enterprise crew in 2266.

Chapel’s age was never established in canon. Assuming she was a similar age to Majel Barrett, the actress who portrayed her, she would have been 34 in 2266. Conservatively, then, she was probably between 30-40 years old during the events of TOS, making her 20-30 years old during the events of Discovery.

Chapel’s precise status in 2256 is not known. She may or may not have been engaged to Dr. Korby at the time, as it is not clear how long the two were engaged before his disappearance. We do know that she was probably a bio-research student somewhere on Earth and that she was not yet in Starfleet.

Christine Chapel in 2266

Pavel Chekov

Age in 2256: 11 years old (Born 2245)
Location: Unknown, probably Russia

Pavel Chekov is the youngest of the TOS crew, and practically nothing is known about his life in 2256. He was born in Russia, and apparently lived there long enough to develop a Russian accent when speaking English. Although we don’t know how long he lived in Russia as a child, it is possible he was still there during the events of Discovery.

Pavel Chekov was the youngest of the main TOS crew.

Hikaru Sulu

Age in 2256: Unknown, approximately 15-25 years old
Location: Unknown

Probably the least is known about Hikaru Sulu before he was assigned to the USS Enterprise as head of the astrosciences department in 2265. We know that Sulu was born in San Francisco, California, but we do not know his birth year, so Sulu’s age has never been established canonically. He was likely between the ages of 15 and 25 years old in 2256 (making him 25-35 years old during TOS).

Hikaru Sulu on the Enterprise in 2265.

Editor’s note: A great deal of thanks go to the editors and contributors of Memory Alpha, without which this article would not be possible! And to the other TrekMovie editors, who helped me fact check Memory Alpha.

 

Star Trek: Discovery premieres on September 24th on CBS with all subsequent episodes on CBS All Access in the US.  In Canada Star Trek: Discovery will premiere  on Bell Media’s CTV and the Space Channel on the same night. Netflix will launch Star Trek: Discovery on Monday, September 25 to countries outside of the U.S. and Canada.

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83 Comments on "Where Were The TOS Crew During The Events of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’?"

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Good article and great speculations, but I don’t think that anybody from TOS has to be on this show.

I don’t see how the _Discovery_ producers DON’T conjure up an encounter with the USS _Enterprise_ at some point during the series… perhaps a special event two-parter episode. The ratings possibilities alone are too tempting to ignore. I for one would love to see another adventure with Captain Christopher Pike in his prime. And think of the joke possibilities with two capable women, both nicknamed “Number One”!

They should totally get Bruce Greenwood again for the role. He played an awesome captain.

It would be great if they had Burnham somehow assigned to the Enterprise for a few episodes. We could have a new Pike adventure.

Unless you have their likeness onscreen a la Trials and Tribble-ations, do not bother showing these characters. Do NOT recast. Not in this timeline.

When the series eventually winds down (many years from now, I suspect), I would expect an encounter between the two ships and JUST the ships.

“Enterprise, this is Discovery…”

Rikers I agree, other than mentions, please leave the TOS legacy alone. Let DSC stand on its own

@RikersMailbox — seriously? They’ve changed everything else about the look of this period, yet you can only still accept the original actors in these roles they established 50 years ago?

I mean I could understand what side of the coin you’re on if you are upset about the whole look of this series, and the new canon revolving around Sarek and Michael, which includes re-casting Sarek, but if you accept that, what’s wrong with recasting Spock and/or Pike?

I’m by no means encouraging this, but if it happens, that’s the way to do it, just as they have done with Sarek. Digital recreations, or lifted footage would be far worse, and avoiding it simply for this reason would be unnecessarily limiting their options, especially if there’s a good idea and reason to do it.

Curious Cadet, I’m not upset at all about the new look of the series. It had to change. Personally, I think people are blowing the visceral reboot way out of proportion. If newcomers get to TOS through the new show, they’ll understand that times change, productions change, and technology changes. For some reason, the strict constitutionalists can’t seem to get past this.

Lifted footage would NOT be far worse. If done right, it would be a respectful homage. The stories wouldn’t focus around the legacy characters, nor should they.

They cant lift original footage from what i have heard, they have to make everything look different for licensing issues between cbs and paramount so they couldnt grab old footage unless they changed everything to look different so then why bother and not just recast/reshoot. If klingons can look so totally different and we except them so can other things

@Tim, don;t know where you heard that but you’re wrong. Paramount has NOTHING to do with this series.

@RikersMailbox — Well I disagree. I don’t want to see lifted footage, particularly if it’s mostly unchanged. At some point, they have to re-cast the TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT characters if they ever want to incorporate them into new productions. I suppose when CGI is perfected to the point, that with advanced algorithms, and digital manipulations, the original actors can be recreated realistically as part of the new environment, then maybe. Who knows, that may be what they’re waiting for to re-introduce those characters. But, they’ve already re-cast Sarek, so I’d say that boat has already sailed. To use the original cast for anything meaningful, and other than a fan-pandering scene, a real actor performing with the other actors is always going to illicit a better performance than an actor reacting to a tennis ball standing in for the CGI character.

I agree. I don’t have a problem with a recast. They’ve already recast all the roles in the JJ films. The big ones are really Kirk, Spock and Bones anyway.

And Spock has been shown as different actors at various times.

With Nimoy and Kelley both having passed on the only real discussion point in using any of them is Kirk and the question of whether it’s more beneficial to craft a story that uses Shatner

But discovery meeting the enterprise? Sure. Sounds great. Captain Pike. Number One. Young Spock. What’s not to love about that potential?

In 100% agreement with you, Rikers. Leave the TOS legacy be. Let DISC stand on its own.

I agree. By including Sarek in Discovery, they’re already changing the meaning of Spock’s estrangement from his father in TOS, and that’s enough messing around the TOS characters. Let them be who they are, without trying to update them.

And please, no Spock! I adore Spock, too much to want to watch him played badly or to watch his character be changed. TOS Spock is such a wonderfully ethical character that he’s probably an angel in disguise (ironic, for a character who’s frequently compared to Satan), and I don’t want him made “gritty” and given gray areas. Let me continue to admire his wonderful ethics and amazing competence without updating him.

@Corylea — I’m not following … Spock was full of demons. Every time he came under some alien influence and couldn’t control his emotions, he was wreck as it all came pouring out. I’m not gonna say any more than that, but needless to say I don’t agree with your interpretation of the character I’m acquainted with …

I’m with you, but they’ve already done it to Harry Mudd and Sarek and thrown out the look of the Klingons so I wouldn’t be surprised to see recast TOS crew.

Discovery is mentioned by name in “The Squire of Gothos”:
“SPOCK: Inconceivable this body has gone unnoted on all our records.
KIRK: And yet, here it is. No time to investigate. Science stations, gather data for computer banks. Uhura, notify the Discovery on subspace radio.”

It seems likely to me that Shatner mis-spoke, and what he meant to say was “Notify Starfleet OF the discovery” on subspace radio.

yes it’s pretty clearly meant to be a way to say: “radio in the discovery of this ‘impossible’ planet.” Memory-Alpha thinks so too, as they don’t list a USS Discovery during the time of TOS.

Memory Alpha is just all of us, editing the wiki. It’s just as right — and just as wrong — as a collection of obsessed Trek fans. :-) I think they’re right in this particular instance, but Memory Alpha certainly isn’t — and can’t be — definitive, since it changes daily. :-)

My point being, a bunch of us agree to meaning of the line :-)

Okay!

@David Sturm — ha. Nice catch. I’m pretty sure that’s a lower case “discovery”. But it’s not the worst retcon if so … I hesitate to think that TSOG is the incident to which the creators of DISC refer … I want to get as far away from Q and Q-like beings as possible!! Thank God canon makes that mostly impossible since TNG is presumably the first recorded meeting of a “Q”. If nothing else that’s the chief argument for not setting a new series post TNG! haha

“and they’ll do it 10 years before the intrepid crew of the USS Enterprise gets the chance.”

Voyager was an Intrepid class starship. The Enterprise from TOS was a Constitution class starship.

Can’t tell if serious…

Saavik’s past was nearly revealed but never was. There are so many opportunities to do something interesting with Burnham and Saavik.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saavik

If the series runs a few years and they figure out how to transition the look and feel to more seamlessly blend with TOS, I could see them doing something with viewer footage of the original crew with some CGI embellishment…

@Drew Melbourne — there’s really no way short of lifting their heads out of TOS scenes and pasting them into the new aesthetic. No matter how much they transition to a TOS look, it will never blend with the original footage. I feel pretty confident saying there will never be a return to velour uniforms at a minimum. And even then, it creatively limits the producers so much that it effectively becomes a gimmick, rather than an essential story element. As a fan, I can say that it would be cool to see them try. As an impartial observer, I can say it would likely serve no essential purpose.

Saavik.
She is a natural for Discovery.

Saavik wasnt alive for another 20 years.

If Kirk was 50 Wrath of Khan, let’s say Saavik was at least 25 years old at that time, she was at least born. So they could write anything new about her they wanted.

However as I write this, I realize many non-canon stories have interesting relationships via Spock which would definitely be both similar to Michael Burnham, and curious.

Did Spock rescue Saavik from a deathworld wrent by war, or a refugee camp as a small child? Was she a product of a secret Romulan testing program? Did Spock think of himself as Saavik’s surrogate father? Or was Saavik also reared by Sarek? And then in lines that were cut from Star Trek 4 – was Saavik was to be pregnant with his child?

If any of these story lines are includedd, Michael Burnham could be Saavik’s step aunt. But then also, if she survives – maybe Saavik’s step-sister in law.

Or maybe they will just avoid all this — speculation!

In the first paragraph, I mean that by Discovery, Saavik was at least born.

Star Trek: Discovery taking place in the Prime Timeline? It doesn’t take place in the Prime Timeline. Knock it off with the Prime Timeline. It doesn’t take place in the Kelvin Timeline either. Discovery should take place in a different alternate timeline that was altered between 2235-2240. In this different alternate timeline, discovery is showing what Star Trek was supposed to be like in the 23rd Century.

It takes place in the Priceline time.

In the second-season TOS episode “Obsession,” we learn that Kirk was on the Farragut eleven years before the events of that episode. Eleven years before the second season of TOS would be ten years before the first season of TOS, and isn’t that when Discovery is supposed to take place? So shouldn’t Kirk be on the Farragut?

you’ve hit upon one of the biggest things we had to research and scrutinize and debate for this article. As you know they didn’t really nail down people’s histories in TOS and sometimes made slight contradictions.

Kirk says in Obsession: “He was my commanding officer from the day I left the Academy.” which somewhat conflicts with the 11 years ago, statement.

It’s not clear when Kirk left the academy. He was awarded a rank of Lieutenant while still finishing his academy work (and even teaching lower division classes). So he was likely still doing a tour on the Republic in 2256, maybe some point that year when he graduated he moved to Farragut? it’s not clear.

We only know for certain that once he’s out of the academy and on the Farragut under Captain Garrovick, he encounters the cloud creature. MA places this in 2257, which makes more sense, and is actually about 10 years before Season 2 of TOS. 11 years just seems too long ago to make work with other parts of his bio.

Thanks for explaining your thinking on the matter. I think the movies and subsequent series tried to revamp some of the things that were said in TOS, but since TOS was made first, I usually take IT to be true, not whatever rigamarole they made up later. :-)

Kirk says in “The Deadly Years” — during Season 2 — that he’s 34, so seven episodes later, during “Obsession,” he would still have been 34. This would make him 23 at the time of the events that took place eleven years earlier, on the Farragut.

If we assume that Starfleet Academy is like the US Naval Academy, and people enter it at the age of 18 and go to the academy instead of to university, then Kirk would have finished the academy at 22. Given that he says that Garrovick was his commanding officer from the time he left the academy, it would be completely consistent for him to be serving on the Farragut at the age of 23.

All of that seems to hang together perfectly to me and not to require any retconning or explanation, but then I take all of the movies with a huge grain of salt. :-)

I recall that Christine Chappell was serving on Enterprise under Christopher Pike as per pilot episode.

Majel Barrett played a character in the pilot episode, but it wasn’t Christine Chapel. She played Number One, who was Pike’s first officer, not a nurse.

@Corylea — yes, she did play Number One. However, we don’t know Number One’s name. Therefore it’s entirely possible that she was the same person. Number One could have had a serious dilemma in making a command decision, burned out and left Starfleet. After taking some time off, she set out on a career change, not wanting to be in a command position again, but eventually decided to get back into Starfleet. Her original training could have been in the sciences all along in much the same way Sulu started as the head of Astrophysics in WNMHGB. But her career initially took her into command positions, just as Sulu’s did, as both officers became Helm operators.

That’s pretty convoluted. I see no reason in canon to equate Number One with Nurse Christine Chapel. Very different characters, completely different professions.

And let’s not forget that Number One after becoming a nurse and later a doctor (TMP) she discovered that she was pregnant with Deanna Troi and left Starfleet and returned to Betazid. . . . Right, got it now.

Ha! Now that is a completely different character. Not to mention, unless Chapel was actually Betazoid, then it’s unlikely they could be the same character based solely on age — assuming Betazoids are extremely long-lived like Vulcans, or Guinan’s race, such that she only appeared to age 10 years over the 100 years between series.

@Mawazi — ha, I agree, however, there’s nothing in canon that prevents it from what I read above. As I pointed out, Sulu was a very different character, with a completely different profession in WNMHGB. So it’s not unprecedented. Moreover, Nurse Chapel was already pretty old (assuming her real age) by Starfleet standards when she first appeared in the series. So plenty of time for her to drop out and come back.

Curious Cadet,

Re: …nothing in canon that prevents it from what I read above.

Well, I would think that the Keeper’s probe of Number One’s mind didn’t spill that Pike had a competitor in Spock for her affections might twist canon somewhat.

Also what the heck happened to Number One that she went from commanding Spock to pining for him and taking orders from McCoy?

@Disinvited — not necessarily. There’s plenty of relationships, especially in the movies, where characters never thought of a friend or colleague romantically, until a pivotal moment in the story where one sees the other in a different light. if indeed Number One had a thing for Pike, there’s no reason to believe she had any feelings at that time for Spock. She might never have even developed feelings for Spock until he said something to her in the turbo lift while she was grieving over the loss of Roger Corby.

Again, as I alluded to, she went from training in sciences into command, just like Sulu. Perhaps there was a mission where she personally had to make the command decision that cost the lives of many of her friends and colleagues. Pike tried to console her, but it was too much for her to live with. So she took a leave of absence, and made the decision that science was her true love, she didn’t want to have to make life or death decisions, and decided she’d rather save lives than potentially order crew to their death. That perfectly explains her entry into medical. And it’s not like she wanted to serve Dr. McCoy, clearly she had greater aspirations of becoming a physician. So she studied with McCoy, learning from one of the most revered doctors in Starfleet.

Curious Cadet,

Ok but her not playing a significant role with Spock in liberating Pike in THE MENAGERIE seems very odd. And hard to imagine how Kirk, Knowing her history with his ship, avoided picking her brain in all the episodes they both appeared in?

Although I did see something somewhere indicating that Number One was Christine Chapel’s older sister. But it was not canon, of course, if one cares about that sort of thing.

The series looks really interesting. I do have one thing which is nagging me. That is how come the crew of the Discovery is wearing the “Enterprise” Emblem.
In TOS, the few encounters with other Star Fleet ships/ Officers. All wore different emblems ie not the “Enterprise” emblem. According to lore, Star Fleet adopted the “Enterprise” emblem service wide to Honor Kirk an Crew and all the Entrprise did on it’s 5yr mission.

Bob Justman — the invaluable (and hilarious) associate producer of TOS explains it in a memo. Italics below are a quote from Mr. Justman’s memo: TO: Bill Theiss FROM: Bob Justman SUBJECT: STARSHIP EMBLEMS TO: Bill Theiss FROM: Bob Justman SUBJECT: STARSHIP EMBLEMS DATE: December 18, 1967 Whilst sitting in Dailies today, it was noticed that a Starship Captain (from another Starship) was wearing an emblem unfamiliar to yours truly. I have checked the occurrences out with Mr. Roddenberry, who has reassured me that all Starship personnel wear the Starship emblem that we have established for our Enterprise Crew Members to wear. Doubtless this situation has arisen due to the fact that a different Starship emblem was used last season on “CHARLIE X”. However, the personnel of that other ship in that show were the equivalent of merchant marine or freighter personnel — and therefore not entitled to bear this proud insignia on their individual and collective breasts. Please do not do anything to correct this understandable mistake in the present episode. However, should we have Starfleet personnel in any other episodes, please make certain that they were the proper emblem. Under penalty of death! Signed this 18th day of December, in the year of our Lord, 1967, by ROBERT H. JUSTMAN Chief Inquisitor CC: Gene Roddenberry John M. Lucas D.C. Fontana Gregg Peters RHJ:sts P.S. A carven “I’m sorry!” will be sufficient. They didn’t stick to this 100% of the time, since Captain Tracy had a different insignia in… Read more »

Is there some way to sticky this to the top of the page as a FAQ? It seems to come up in every Discovery comment thread.

We’ve been planning on article on it for some time, since people keep bringing this “fanon” idea up again and again. As you can imagine, all influx of DSC news keeps delaying it. Our colleague Aaron even went to the Roddenberry archives at ULCA and got a real scan of the memo.

Thanks for replying with the memo :-) I got really tired of answering this same critique back in May when the first DSC trailer was released.

They didn’t stick to this 100% of the time, since Captain Tracy had a different insignia in “The Omega Glory”

Justman’s memo was in fact prompted by seeing the dailies from “The Omega Glory.” You can tell by the date of the memo and the known dates of filming for Omega Glory. It was too late to bother to go back and fix (TV production moves at a breakneck pace and it would be costly to go back). But as you noted, the next time we see a different starship which was in “The Tholian Web”, they use the standard delta.

Unfortunately in the old standard def copies of the episode, since the bodies were all slumped over, it wasn’t very clear what the insignia they wore, the low-def footage ended up misleading the production team of ENT (who also seemed to have missed Justman’s memo), so they mistakenly gave them their own insignia design in the ENT S4 “In a Mirror Darkly” two-parter.

Well, I originally got the memo from you, so I’m glad to return the favor. :-)

There may have been different insignias for different ships at that time. Some ships had the default Starfleet insignia, such as Enterprise. Then changed it to all ships use the default Starfleet insignia.
Or not.

@c d — and in the case of the Defiant, they used both! That’s the problem with applying canon to strict visual interpretation — we now have to account for things like why “In a Mirror Darkley” depicted a unique insignia, while the actual TOS episode clearly shows a ship full of the standard Delta shields, when it was clearly just a mistake, or even a deliberate choice by ENT producers.

I find an easy explanation for the uniforms. The Starfleet uniform division is fickle and likes to keep changing things. Plenty of changes during the pilots and production uniforms of TOS. They Got really nutty during the Vger incident era. They calmed down mostly during the rest of the TOS movie era. But during the TNG/DS9/VOY era was rather busy making adjustments quite often. So is it really surprising the uniforms 10 years before TOS look rather different??

I always like to think that the constant change in uniforms was a security measure: threat forces could not masquerade as Starfleet officers accurately because they could not keep up with the changes. Unfortunately, sometimes the actual Starfleet personnel couldn’t either.
>;>}

Of course, it is not really the Enterpise/Starfleet emblem, it has that little slice out of the right side.

c d,

What? You never heard of production defects from third party subcontractos?

Is Number One’s whereabouts Canon from IDW series?

@Joe — Nope.

So it’s great that we can zero in on the probably histories of the original TOS crew. But I have a question- – has anybody figured out the riddle Bryan Fuller posited when he said Discovery was based on a topic mentioned during a TOS episode? I’m aware of the rumors that “Balance of Terror” is a big influence on Discovery, but I didn’t read anything that identifies that TOS episode as the source for this new series.

“It would not adhere to canon, however, if Spock and Sarek were to share a scene.”

I disagree. In “Journey to Babel,” Amanda says that their rift has prevented them from speaking “as father and son” for 18 years, not that they haven’t spoken at all and certainly not that they haven’t been in each other’s presence. She also says that Spock hasn’t “come to see us” in four years, which implies Spock and Sarek were at least in each other’s presence on occasion during the 18 years. As long as any interaction between Spock and Sarek is suitably icy, it wouldn’t violate canon for the two characters to share a scene.

I read that Uhura was born in the “United States of Africa.” I believe I read that in “The Making of Star Trek” by Gene Roddenberry.

It’s also in the TOS Writer’s Guide.

How can I pass the question this article poses up? ;) As far as I’m concerned, my answer is that the TOS crew are in a totally seperate ‘alternative universe’ as far as the events of DISCOVERY and it’s characters are concerned…so will have have no bearing on it whatsoever in my own personal canon. To me, this DISCOVERY spin-off simply involves ‘alternative universe’ versions of ‘Starfleet’, ‘Klingons’, ‘Harry Mudd’ and an ‘alternate universe’ version of ‘Sarek’ who ended up with a foster daughter in this instance! And if the makers try and shoehorn in an appearance by any other TOS-inspired characters such as a young Kirk or Spock etc., or even the ‘Enterprise’…then these will merely be ‘alternate universe’ versions too, as far as I’m concerned when watching this show, and NOT the actual TOS ‘timeline’ versions. Personally, I use this ‘alternative universe’ scenario for the ‘Kirk’ and crew seen in the GENERATIONS movie too, just as I do with the whole NEXT GENERATION show itself – this way the actual TOS ‘Kirk’ wasn’t the one who died on the wrong bridge! And of course, I prefer to look on the start of J.J.’s 2009 reboot in the same way, so that the ‘elderly Spock’ featured in that is EITHER an ‘alternative universe’ version to begin with….OR just mistaken about Nero ‘altering the TOS timeline’, and has just followed him into an ‘alternate universe’ instead, leading him into contact with bizarre versions of himself and ‘Kirk’ etc. Anyway, it… Read more »

honestly, I don’t have a problem with your way of looking at things. The Discovery producers seem fairly adamant that it takes place in the Prime timeline, but I suppose we can interpret that to mean Prime-ish, as opposed to Kelvin-ish. No Nero, no old Spock, Vulcan won’t be destroyed…

It would be good to see them in an episode or as a reference, after all Pike was captain of one of twelve constitution class starships,which would make Discovery a secondary class ship. Even better maybe even see a version Captain Garth,who was the template of a starship captain according to Kirk,and a contemporary of Pike.

How long before they introduce the Borg?

Ugh.
Please.
No.

@Dean T Gardner — well I guess it’s technically possible. Certainly the ENT story about the first encounter with the Borg was definitely classified, and forgotten, considering nobody had any idea who the Borg were when Q flung the Enterprise into contact with them 200 years later. I’d imagine the DISCOVERY could encounter the Borg, and once again, the encounter would be classified, just as nobody knew what really went on at Talos IV, even after the events of “The Menagerie”. So it wouldn’t necessarily violate canon. That would still be over 100 years before TNG, and with no further encounters, entirely likely to be forgotten in the archives. Indeed DISCOVERY is ina unique place to seemingly violate general canon in a number of ways as an exploratory ship that encounters people, places, things previously thought unknown prior to later series, all covered under the cloak of top secret classification.

A hundred years, I hope. :-)

Excellent article. It’s fun to think of Discovery in terms of the Star Trek universe.

Good look at where the characters are in the Prime universe. But who knows where their counterparts are in this Discovery universe. Some of them may not even exist.

@c d — you’re free to view this any way you’d like, but it is set in the Prime universe, whatever that actually is when Prime Spock left it — presumably the original TOS universe audiences were first introduced to in 1966.

Not getting how it is the Prime universe when the ships, uniforms and even Klingons are different then that established in the Prime universe.

@c d — how are they different? Visually!? The Klingons in TNG are different than that established in TOS. Does that mean TNG takes place in another universe too?

Sybock\'s Other Brother

We reach Herbert.

it might look a bit hypocritical from Sarek’s part to be ok about Michael being in Starfleet, all the while his son choosing the same career caused a rift between them.

@Jemini — not really, especially since we don’t know his exact relationship. Spock is a Vulcan, if only half. And Spock is his flesh and blood raised from birth. It’s the difference of that versus becoming the ward of someone else’s alien child, who may have already been of an age to have already had due influence about their future by their own parents. And frankly, if I were given custody of my sisters children, I would seek to honor their hopes and dreams for their child rather than impose my own.

“He was born in Russia, and apparently lived there long enough to develop a Russian accent when speaking English.” Apparently!

Sybock\'s Other Brother

In another dimensional reality altogether. Despite what Marketing says.

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