As I made progress with the RL Sector Map Project, it occurred to me that some of the previous attempts at mapping had paid close attention to location events in particular episodes, but not to the overall “voyage”…the order of episodes in some semblance of chronological order and the rough time period in between those episodes once so ordered.
This takes us into a discussion of time, and more specifically: Star Dates.
The long and short of TOS-era Star Dates is that there were various retcons used by the production staff and no real guidelines…not like later during the TNG series when a more rigid and consistent Star Date system was introduced and continued through DS9 and VOY. On one hand this should make TOS/TAS Star Dates neigh unto useless, but they do follow a mostly linear pattern of accrual with a few exceptions. The second pilot episode “Where No Man Has Gone Before” has a Star Date of 1312.4 and the “Bem” episode of TAS has a Star Date of 7403.6.
Also not all episodes have Star Dates explicitly mentioned in the show, however some do have production notes that record the Star Date that was given by the writer but did not appear in the final script. For some of the remaining episodes and educated guess can be made by the content of the episode and referring to the larger gaps in the recorded known Star Dates. Luckily there are only two or three such of these to account for.
Finally there is the minor issue of TOS/TAS…there is some overlap in Star Dates between these two series. My choice was to not integrate the two time streams, although they are integrated in Memory Alpha’s data; it seemed to me that the linear continuity should be retained to each series.
The last bit of magic is to figure out a rough cruising speed in light years per Star Date. I calculated this by referring to an on screen TOS voyage between two very fixed known points and this came to be 0.36 LY per Star Date cruise speed. Now knowing that all things are not equal in the universe, I chose this first calculation as the “minimum distance”…and then multiplied that number by 12 for “maximum distance” to account for potential unknown variables.
Each plays an important part in helping direct the choice of real life star location for an episode location. For instance, when figuring the potential distance traveled since the last episode for #5 Man Trap…we see a minimum distance of zero and a maximum of six light years from the events of #4 Corbomite Maneuver…basically M-113 with the Salt Vampire can be no more than around six light years away from where the Enterprise encountered the Fesarius.
Using this table we can figure that from the time the Enterprise encounters the Valiant’s recorder buoy near Delta Vega (#1 Where No Man) to the point in time that they beam down to M-113 for their routine medical inspection(#5 Man Trap,) they’ve traveled a potential minimum of 71 light years and a potential maximum of 858 light years. As a general rule, the minimum distance is considered to be always true…that is to say if the calculations show that Rigel (where the events of #2 Mudd’s Women occur) is at least 6 light years from Delta Vega (where #1 Where No Man occurs) then that will be true on the maps…thus Delta Vega will be no closer than 6 light years to Rigel on the RL Sector Map.
I took the core chunk out of the Quadrant Block Map and used it to illustrate the rough positioning of places visited during TOS/TAS, marked with red (TOS) or orange (TAS) with the star date ordered episode number from the table below. Some clearly occur off this map and are illustrated with arrows pointing in the appropriate direction (TAS episodes 80 Magicks MegasTu and 85 Beyond Farthest Star.)
Additional Note: A single outlier — Arena (23) would indicate that either the Gorn are to the “north/up” of the Romulans *or* that an early transwarp conduit to the Gamma Orionis area must have been located in the Bolian or Devron Sectors. Since STO mapping “canon” to date draws from ST:Star Charts which erroneously places the Gamma Orionis area to the “south” along the Alpha/Beta Quadrant divide area (when it is more “south east” to the other side of Klingon space)…then the Gorn must be “southerly” and not on the Romulans north border (interestingly enough, I can recall previous games such as Star Fleet Battles which had the Gorn and Romulans sharing a border)…so the upshot of this is the retcon that there must have been some form of early transwarp/wormhole/ancient gate which the Federation was regularly using to access the Gamma Orionis region during the TOS/TAS era that was superseded for some reason by the current STO transwarp conduit to that region.
(The Azure Nebula contains reference to passages…i.e., wormholes…to other regions of space. If this is known during the TOS/TAS era then it is conceivable that some form of this connection goes to the Gamma Orionis area. If this were the case then that would make some form of sense…and in addition would be logical for the Federation to no longer be reliant on such an exposed open/connection with the advent of transwarp gates.)
It is also assumed that the Ferasans (Kzin, The Patriarchy) are located to the “south” …so that “The Patriarchy” of the ST:Star Charts (representing the Kzin for various intellectual property reasons) is actually not where ST:Star Charts shows it. Most likely I’m going to assume that the Ferasans (Kzin) are based to the “east” of the Hyades Cluster (Omega Aurigae, Omicron2 Orion) and extend towards Gamma Orionis from there. Assuming a split similar to Romulan/Vulcans between the Caitian/Ferasans…this would place Cait around Eta Eridani/Zeta Eridani/Epsilion Fornacis.
The Tholians within the Hyades Cluster.
The Klingon border in this area wound run roughly along the line of 59 Eridani to Iota Geminorum, and the Gorn in the sectors to the “east” of the Cestus Sector and “south” of Iota Gem.
Speaking of borders and expansion…it would seem that the Federations expansion from the time of ENT to TOS/TAS was focused in a pattern that would be familiar to those who play a lot of strategy games like Civilization/Sword of the Stars (or even the old Birth of the Federation)…that is what I’d call the “border searching” phenomena.
When two powers meet, they spend a lot of energy immediately establishing what is and isn’t theirs…so during the time frame of Federation expansion it would appear a lot of energy went into this activity along the Romulan and then Klingon borders…this then would explain why some powers in the Alpha Quadrant (Ferengi, Cardassians, to name two) were not really directly dealt with until the time of TNG or just before, because the Federations attention was mostly devoted to the Beta Quadrant before (expansion would have continued in the Alpha Quadrant, but at a far more sedate pace…the most active push for expansion being in the Beta Quadrant by the Federation up until closer to the TNG era…so even locations that were well known during ENT time were still very near the edge of Federation space during the early TNG era.)
In many ways this is the passive-aggressiveness of the Federation policy, to expand “peacefully” into an area first so as to deny it to the more aggressive Beta Quadrant powers…and if possible to surround those powers with the Federation to contain them until those powers awoke to the reality that they wanted to be Federation members all along, but were denying it. While either consciously or unconsciously pursuing this policy, the apparent lack of aggression from the Alpha Quadrant borders allowed for the more lax expansion in that area.
Also shown is the Romulan Border as I’ve defined it so far (thicker green line,) also I’ve only gotten as far out as starting to map the third ring of sectors (as you can tell I haven’t finished publishing the second ring of sectors yet)…but as things change I update the maps and when I get into areas I have yet to map, I’ll refer to this as a “guide” to help locate systems.
I’ll be repeating this exercise for ENT, TNG, and DS9 (as appropriate)…and (of course) appropriate “cruise/travel speeds” will be discovered for each.
The TOS/TAS Episode List
|#||Min Dist.||Max. Dist.||sd||name|
|1||1312.4||Where No Man|
|9||2||24||1709.1||Balance of Terro|
|11||147||1764||2534||Patterns of Force|
|12||64||768||2712.4||What Little Girls|
|14||1||12||2715.1||Dagger of Mind|
|18||12||144||2980||That Which Survives|
|30||1||12||3198.4||Errand of Mercy|
|33||4||48||3231.6||City Edge Forever|
|45||71||852||4040.7||Bread & Circuses|
|48||3||36||4211.4||Private Little War|
|54||27||324||4598||Piece of the Action|
|55||21||252||4657.5||By Any Other Name|
|63||64||768||5300||Day ofthe Dove|
|64||44||528||5423.4||Mark of Gideon|
|66||16||192||5476.3||World is Hollow|
|67||56||672||5630.7||No Truth Beauty|
|69||6||72||5710.5||Wink of Eye|
|70||3||36||5718.3||Whom Gods Destroy|
|71||3||36||5725.3||Lights of Zetar|
|75||5||60||5832.3||Way to Eden|
|76||4||48||5843.7||Requiem for Methuselah|
|79||5||60||5943.7||All Our Yesterdays|
|85||28||336||5221.3||Beyond Far Star|
|93||0||0||5501.2||Eye of Beholder|
|96||5||60||5591.2||Once Upon Planet|
|99||97||1164||6334.1||Pirates of Orion|