Star Trek Continuity

Steve Ahlquist has been writing his Mythographical Meanderings over at for two years now. If you haven’t been reading his column you’re missing out. We’ll be posting excerpts from his best essays with links back to FOB where you can read the rest. This essay was originally published February 23, 2009.

Most people don’t worry about this stuff. I do.

The continuity of a television show like Star Trek is, at first glance, a relatively simple affair. The show aired on the NBC television network starting on Thursday, September 8, 1966 and continued for three years. From a continuity standpoint then, we can simply state that everything happened in the order that we would have seen it had we been watching the show from the beginning.

Unfortunately, we run into problems almost right away. It turns out that the third episode aired was the first episode filmed. (And the first episode was actually the second pilot.) For the episode entitled “Where No Man Has Gone Before” the cast had yet to be solidified. From a viewer’s standpoint, there would odd discrepancies. Doctor McCoy is nowhere to be seen, instead we have Doctor Mark Piper as the ship’s chief medical officer. Uhura is gone. Sulu is an astrophysicist.

Read the rest …

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