Lost in Forbidden Trek
Or, Setting the Historical Record Straight
One day a few years ago when I had nothing better to do, I posted a long screed attempting to boldly reconcile the "histories" of Star Trek and Lost in Space, with bits of Forbidden Planet and Total Recall thrown in for good measure. The original posting is lost, but most of it is preserved in Timo Saloniemi's reply below.
Timo noted a few possible cracks in the historical edifice thusly produced, to which I respond with further bluster^H^H^H^H^H^H^H background information below.
Mr Saloniemi, I am in your debt :)
To clear up any possible misconceptions, this site has nothing whatever
to do with the "other" kind of Forbidden Trek. The title is based
strictly on the Forbidden Planet connection!
firstname.lastname@example.org (Timo S Saloniemi)
Subject: Re: Lost in Forbidden Trek, or Setting the Record Straight
Date: 2 Sep 1997 07:14:10 GMT
Organization: Helsinki University of Technology
In article <email@example.com> firstname.lastname@example.org (Malcolm Carlock) writes:
> This report seeks to clarify some omissions from standard historical
> records (the best-known being the Okuda Historical Encyclopaedia, edition
> XXXIV) of two important events:
> -- The launch of the early Jupiter-class interstellar survey ships
> -- The second wave of early military and scientific missions, including
> the ill-fated Altair 6 scientific expedition and the rescue mission
> that followed sometime later
Oh, I love those! The LiS/BS Galactica cross-over was one of my favorites for a long time. But I'm afraid I have to throw some cold water over your ideas of crossing over Trek. Nothing personal, just business (and my business is nitpicking, or making observations you can't refuse...).
> OVERVIEW OF THE JUPITER-CLASS SURVEY AND PRECOLONIZATION MISSIONS
> Of the, two events mentioned in the introduction, the launch of the
> Jupiter-class ships is probably the more significant. Equipped with an
> early version of the Cochrane Warp drive, the Jupiter-class ships were
> able to travel at slightly better than warp 1, permitting interstellar
> travel for the first time, though at such speeds such voyages were
> still multi-year in nature. Hence, sleeper technology was used,
> similar to that used in earlier interplanetary ships (such as the
> infamous S.S. Botany Bay), both for provision of long-term suspended
> animation during the voyage, and to prevent the neural trauma during
> transition in and out of warp which was prevalent in those days of weak
> field compensators.
But, but... Marla McGivers in "Space Seed" claimed that sleeper technology was not used after the early 21st century. Perhaps she was referring to DY type ships only (since one of those inspired that discussion), but why would the Jupiters have equipment inferior to the DYs? Or perhaps she meant that cryosleep was abandoned in interplanetary travel, but still used in interstellar flights? I dunno... doesn't sound "canonically satisfying" to me.
> Part of the confusion surrounding the brief era of the Jupiter-class
> ships may be UESPA's changover to Multiverse Ephemeris Time (MET) in
> the mid 22nd century, involving a backward shift in numbering of
> approximately 70 Earth years. As with the change to the Gregorian
> Calendar centuries before, much confusion as to proper historical dates
> ensued, in this case, regarding dates in the 21st century. The
> potential for such confusion is, of course, greatly exacerbated by the
> 21st century's extensive wars and general chaos.
So when did we revert back to OC, which seems to be used by current Trek characters when speaking of those centuries?
> The first launch of a Jupiter-class ship has been reported in some
> surprisingly recent accounts to have occurred in the late 1990's,
> according to the old calendar (OC.) This is, of course, absurd, since
> in that year (OC), the warp drive and even early fast sublight drives
> were decades in the future. Earth at that time had not yet even
> mounted a single manned mission to the nearest Solar planets.
Oh, but Earth was supposed to have the DY ships in the 1990s (not MET but OC). We see one (in tabletop model form) in Rain Robinson's room in Voyager "Future's End pt. I", complete with launch boosters. This makes the MET/OC attempt a bit futile, although I don't mean to claim it *couldn't* work.
Also, Geoffrey Shaun Cristopher is supposed to have flown to Saturn in the early decades of the 21st century, OC, if we choose to believe Kirk in "Tomorrow is Yesterday". Earth apparently developed impressive sublight technology in the 1990s or perhaps even 1980s, and mounted several interplanetary missions. For some reason, the colonization of Mars did not succeed before the 22nd century, though...
> The first Jupiter-class mission was launched in 1998 MET, 2068 OC,
> approximately two years after the overthrow of the Eugenics tyrants and
> the end of the Eugenics wars (though not, for some time, the general
> terror and chaos of that time period.) The second, best known Jupiter
> mission was launched a year later.
At that time, the Charybdis had already departed for parts unknown, apparently by impulse drive. It was Earth's third (and unsuccessful) attempt at flying a manned mission out of the solar system, suggesting that planetary missions were comonplace already at that time (2030s, be it OC or MET). That's one further data point to be inserted to this timeline.
> A question that is sometimes raised in this context is why the
> surviving Eugenics tyrants who had fled Earth in 1995 MET (2065 OC)
> used a sublight ship, the S.S. Botany Bay, for their escape. It should
> be recalled that at that time, warp technology, apart from still being
> largely experimental (having been first demonstrated only in 1991 MET
> (2061 OC), was a well-kept secret within the Northern Alliance, under
> whose auspices it had been developed.
A tiny correction from ST:FC - warp was developed in 2063 and not in 2061 as speculated earlier.
Also, Khan was a pretty smart guy. He could probably have developed interstellar sublight flight, cryogenics and artificial gravity already in 1995 OC, not having to wait until 1995 MET. He would then have kept those technologies secret...
> Having no conceivable direct applicability to the warfare currently
> being conducted on Earth's surface and in its near orbit, and the
> already well-understood extreme danger of using the warp within a
> solar system, helped keep the warp a secret for a number of years.
I rather prefer the idea put forth in the Reeves-Stevens novel "Federation", in which Cochrane puts the blueprints of warp drive to worldwide scot-free distribution out of sheer altruism. This would help explain the very fast emergence of SS Valiant, which had a warp drive a year or so after Cochrane's first flight.
> A second question that is sometime raised regards the mission of the
> first S.S. Valiant, the UESPA ship which was first to reach the
> galactic energy barrier. A number of reports indicate a launch date of
> 1995 MET (2065 OC) for this mission. That date is in error. The
> launch date of the Valiant mission was 2015 MET (2085 OC). By that
> time, warp engines capable of much greater speeds than those of the
> Jupiter-class ships had been developed.
i don't think this is a fruitful line of reasoning. No matter how advanced the drive of the Valiant, it should *not* have been able to reach an area of space that was being explored for the first time in the TOS era. It is more profitable to speculate that the Valiant simply got a boost from a wormhole, an alien (those were toying with Earthships in "The Royale", so why not here, too?) or a black hole (a la ST:TMP and STV:TFF where Earth sublight probes are shown crossing hige interstellar distances).
> In 1995 MET, The Northern Alliance (the most intact and technologically
> advanced political entity of the time) could not possibly have afforded
> to launch a ship the size of the Valiant, nor been able to keep the
> launch a secret if it had.
No need to keep it a secret. If it was a secret, then Kirk and pals would not have known of it in the first place (secrets like that do not survive the chaotic times of nuclear winters, or so I'd surmise). More likely, the Valiant mission was a foolhardy attempt to try find the limitations of humanity's reach with the new FTL drive.
> Nor would the Valiant have been able to reach the energy barrier for
> centuries, had it not been equipped with the must faster engines of its
> own time, two decades later.
Would those engines be significantly faster? "The Cage" has references to the breaking of the time barrier, referring to an event that took place in the early 23rd century. This suggest that advances before that had been rather gradual. And we do know that nobody met the Romulans or the Klingons in the 21st century, even though they supposedly reside (and resided back then) close to us. Or perhaps nobody survived to tell of an encounter?
> After the launch of the second Jupiter mission, several more such
> launches followed, with plans for much larger ships to follow, if the
> Jupiter surveys reported habitable planets orbiting stars sufficiently
> nearby. The first, third and fourth Jupiter missions returned with a
> mixture of positive and negative reports regarding habitable planets,
> though in all cases there was no shortage of suitable raw materials for
> building habitats in the case of the non-habitable worlds.
I'd think the Robinson family would have no shortage of class M worlds if they really stumbled onto the Trek universe...
> Naturally, the public was told only that the ship had been found
> drifting in space and its crew in long-term suspended animation, and
> certainly not that a voyage back in time had been mounted for the
> ship's recovery. As you are aware, the existence of time travel
> continues to be a well-kept secret per UFP.CID.SP section 40.
I really, REALLY wonder what the UFP officials told the public when Kirk brought forward those whales. "Uh, ah, well, the ongoing cloning efforts of UFP scientists have succeeded in creating two adult humpback whales for, um, natural history research purposes. And, er, in a COMPLETELY unrelated event, Admiral Kirk has been credited with rescuing the planet through, hmm, eh, yes, through talking nicely to the big probe in orbit..."; "Capt. Kirk, Jane Bane from the FNS: Could you give us a sample of the alien speech? And how were you able to decipher it?" "Well, uhm, all right: I said something like 'aaauurrrrrgssmmmm, nnnniiiigggggggghhhhhh, irrrrrrrrkkkkkkkk', which kinda settled the matter. And as for the technical details, you better ask my science officer who's currently trying to make his bank manager open the accounts closed at his death - might take a while, though."
> OVERVIEW OF THE NEPTUNE-CLASS SURVEY AND EXPLORATION MISSIONS
> The later exploration and survey missions conducted by Neptune-class
> ships (such as the two missions to Altair 6, which involved the
> spectacular incidents relating to artifacts left behind by the extinct
> Krell civilization) are noteworthy due to the many habitable planets
> they discovered. The Neptune-class ships were similar in form and size
> to those of the Jupiter class (though slightly larger), but equipped
> with engines capable of speeds up to warp 3, and in particular the
> ability, for the first time, to communicate by what became known later
> as "subspace radio". Admittedly, the warp engines needed to be
> temporarily modified to provide the capability of generating the
> necessary signals, but this was a sufficiently important capability
> that such operations were conducted on many occasions.
> Field compensators in the Neptune-class ships remained relatively weak,
> and so sleeper capsules continued to be standard equipment on these
> ships, used only during the brief transition period between sublight and
> warp speeds, and vice versa.
Of course, here we run into the twin problems of "subspace radio too early" and "cryosleep too late" again...
> The S.S. Valiant, a contemporary of the first Neptune-class ships, was
> an anomaly in terms of both its size and design. Equipped with both
> large external chemical engines and dual external warp pods, and built
> to carry a much larger crew than the Neptune-class ships, it was designed
> for much longer missions. UESPA's ship-building economy of that time
> was not well-optimized for the building of ships of that size, and after
> Valiant's loss, no UESPA military ships that large were built again
> until shortly before the Romulan War of 2086 MET (2156 OC.)
The UESPA stuff does have its problems as well. After all, Earth was NOT united before the early 22nd century. Perhaps "UE" meant "United Europe" or "Universal Euphenism" or something like that at the time?
Anyway, I greatly enjoyed reading (and bashing!) this post! Thanks! (and sorry :-) )
From: Malcolm Carlock (email@example.com)
Subject: Re: Lost in Forbidden Trek, or Setting the Record Straight
Newsgroups: rec.arts.sf.misc, alt.startrek.vs.lost-in-space, rec.arts.startrek.misc, rec.arts.startrek.tech, alt.tv.lost-in-sp
Yes, the latter is what she meant. Trust me on this :)
of the confusion
era of the Jupiter-class
historical dates prior to ~2000 OC continued to be referred to by their
OC dates, due to their longstanding associations in popular culture
(1945 = end of WWII, 1969 = first moon landing etc.) Confusion
tends to reign a bit when talking about dates occurring during the
Eugenics wars etc., due partly to the chaos of those times (hence
chaotically remembered historical dates), and partly due to general
knowledge among future folk about the "real" dates of certain events,
thus making explicit reference to OC or MET for famous events
unnecessary most of the time.
first lauch of a
been reported in some
As I recall, that episode used MET exclusively. Any late 20th-century (OC) artifacts observed were clearly antiques.
is supposed to have flown to
Again, Kirk was referring to MET. You appear to be unaware that Captain Christopher the Elder lived to the ripe old age of 110, siring G. Shaun in the late autumn of his life, the latter portion of which was spent as a polygamous (and dutiful to the end) Mormon patriarch.
Martian dates don't begin using MET until much later than Earth. The original Martian colonists, following the original mutant-originated revolt and subsequent regeneration of the Martian atmosphere by the alien permafrost heater, remained independent of Earth (and UESPA), fiercely resisting further colonization until the 22nd century OC.
first Jupiter-class mission
in 1998 MET, 2068 OC,
Indeed. No slighting of the Charybdis mission was intended.
ST:FC - warp was developed in 2063 and not in
Unfortunately, he wasn't born until approximately 1950 MET (2020 OC.) Of course, given that he originated in or near the Indian subcontinent, he might have worked out the details in a previous life :)
no conceivable direct
to the warfare currently
Yeah, but he did it AFTER testing was complete (and the general safety to humans, the universe etc. of the drive was confirmed), and AFTER the Northern Alliance (his home team) had pretty much whipped the Infidels.
the very fast emergence of SS Valiant,
Don't forget that the Valiant in question had a launch date of 20 years after what has been commonly accepted in some quarters. I think there may have been an experimental ship of the same name in 1995 MET, hence the source of the confusion. Yeah, yeah, that's the ticket...
the Valiant, it should *not* have been able to reach
*Ahem*, yes, you're correct, of course. Wormholes were predicted by Cochrane's warp theory, and indeed small ones could be produced locally by imbalanced warp engines (as seen in ST:TMP.) An existing wormhole was, as you suggested, used by the Valiant during part of its journey.
a foolhardy attempt to try find the limitations
Yes, this is, *ahem*, indeed correct.
significantly faster? "The Cage" has references to
The popularly-referred-to"Time Barrier" was a speed threshold in terms of "convenience" in crossing an "average" system-to-system distance.
>And we do know
met the Romulans or the
<I'd think the
family would have no shortage of class M
They went through a wormhole or two as well. Otherwise they would certainly have been able to find Earth again sooner than that. That damned astrogator was never any good...
what the UFP officials told the public
Why, YES, that is exactly what was done! May I commend you, sir, on your exceptional insight! Would you be interested in a post with the UFP CID? Scholarships are available to current students, and you will have the opportunity to attend up to temporal security conferences per year!
here we run
into the twin problems of "subspace radio
The latter was addressed above. The former is another case of MET vs. OC confusion. Those darned Pascal's Wagerers really put their stamp on UFP culture, much as the Puritans put theirs onto that of the U.S.
its problems as well. After all, Earth
United? Ehhh! Space Probes Anyway.
reading (and bashing!) this post!
Thank you for your time in reviewing it. Without peer review, there's no telling what sort of crackpot material might start making the rounds.
Malcolm L. Carlock
"We're on a mission from Star Fleet"
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