I've been bugged about the "official" dates given for the timeframe in which TOS takes place. We'll have a (friendly) debate about how they are calculated here.
I once owned a book called "Star Trek Chronology: the History of the Future". It had (among LOADS of other information) conjectured dates for just about EVERY event in the Trek timeline up to the second season of VGR (before Braga and Berman absolutely DEMOLISHED this timeline).
I also have read all the "official" dates on StarTrek.com ( I assume they're official; it IS the Trek site, and all).
Both of these sources give the date of the first season of TOS as 2265 or 2266 (it varies; apparently, even the website isn't COMPLETELY consistent!).
I dispute these dates (I know, if they're "official", it means they're "indisputable", but I'm just saying for the sake of argument)!
I'm sure everyone remembers writing "proofs" for their Geometry classes. You take a number of "givens" (already proven facts), and use the relations between them to prove a conjectured item. I'll be using a slightly lobotomized version of one here, to illustrate my point.
Before we get going, I'll state what I'm basing this upon: I am going under the assumption that a character being portrayed on television SHOULD (somewhat) match the real-life age of the actor that is portraying the character. For instance: if George Takei, who is an Earthling, is 69 (thank you, lobomensch), then Sulu, who is also an Earthling, SHOULD be around 69, as well.
This seems VERY logical to me. Does it make sense to any of you to use this system? If not, what better system can you show us?
Alright, here we go. I'll be using DeForest Kelley, portraying Leonard McCoy, for this little experiment. I'll show you why in a moment.
Given #1: The ONLY episode in which the exact year is stated is TNG "The Neutral Zone" (if you find any others, let me know).
Given #2: In TNG "The Neutral Zone", the stated year is 2364.
Given #3: TNG "The Neutral Zone" takes place in the FIRST year of TNG.
1. Adding Givens #1 and 2, we can surmise that the ONLY date stated is 2364. No other episode can contradict this.
Conclusion 1. 2364 is the ONLY date from which we can extrapolate OTHER dates.
2. Adding Givens #2 and 3, we conclude that the stating of year 2364 takes place during the first year of TNG.
Conclusion 2. The FIRST year of TNG takes place in 2364.
Given #4: Leonard McCoy, Montgomery Scott, and Spock are the ONLY TOS crewmembers to appear in TNG ("Encounter At Farpoint", "Relics", and "Unification").
Given #5: Leonard McCoy is an Earthling (duh).
Given #6: Montgomery Scott is an Earthling.
Given #7: Spock is a Vulcan.
Given #7: In his appearance in TNG, McCoy has aged NATURALLY.
Given #8: In his appearance in TNG, Scott has NOT aged NATURALLY (he was in suspended animation in a transporter beam).
Given #8: In his appearance in TNG, Spock has aged NATURALLY.
Given #9: For this experiment to yield accurate findings, we need an EARTHLING who has aged NATURALLY, and has his age STATED on TNG ( if we don't have a stated age, where will our starting number come from? If he's not a naturally aged Earthling, we can't get an accurate representation of passed time).
Given #10: In his appearance on TNG, McCoy's age is STATED.
Given #11: In his appearance on TNG, Scott's age is NOT STATED.
Given # 12: In his appearance on TNG, Spock's age is NOT STATED.
3. Adding Givens #7 and #9, we find that Spock does NOT fit our qualifying criteria.
Conclusion 3. Spock is NOT a good character to use for our experiment.
4. Adding Givens #8, 9, and11, we find that Scotty does NOT fit our qualifying criteria.
Conclusion 4. Scotty is NOT the character we need.
5. Adding Givens #5,7,9,and 10, we find that McCoy DOES fit ALL of our criteria!
Conclusion 5. McCoy CAN be our man!
6. Adding Given #4 and Conclusions 3,4,and 5, we find that McCoy is the ONLY one we can use for our experiment.
Conclusion 6. McCoy MUST be the one we use to conjecture our dates.
Given #13: McCoy's STATED AGE in his TNG appearance is 137 (watch "Encounter At Farpoint", if you don't believe me).
Given #14: TNG "Encounter At Farpoint" takes place in the FIRST year of TNG.
7. Adding Givens #13 and 14, we find that McCoy's current age is stated during the first year of TNG.
Conclusion 7. McCoy is 137 years old in the FIRST year of TNG.
8. Adding Conclusions 2 and 7, we find that McCoy's age is stated in the year 2364.
Conclusion 8. Leonard McCoy is 137 years old in the year 2364.
Given #15: 2,364 minus 137 equals 2,227.
Given #16: Subtracting a person's age from the year in which he IS that age will yield the year of the person's birth (if you're 30 in 2006, subtracting 30 from 2,006 will tell you in which year you were born).
9. Adding Conclusion 8 and Givens #15 and 16, we find the year in which "Bones" was born.
Conclusion 9. Bones was BORN in the year 2227.*
*Oddly enough, this IS the "official" date used at StarTrek.com! THIS is where I get my problem.
Given #17: DeForest Kelley portrays Leonard McCoy.
Given #18: DeForest Kelley was born in the year 1920 (I looked it up!).
Given #20: The FIRST season of TOS aired in the year 1966.
Given #21: If we subtract the year of a person's birth from ANY GIVEN YEAR, we get the person's age ( if it's 2006, and you were born in 1976, we can subtract 1,976 from 2,006 and prove that you're 30).
10. Adding Givens # 19,20, and 21, we find Kelley's age during the first season of TOS.
Conclusion 10. DeForest Kelley was 46 years old during the FIRST season of TOS.
Given #22: A television character SHOULD be the same age as the actor who is portraying the character ( THIS is the "Given" that I laid out at the START of this whole ordeal).
11. Adding Conclusion 10 and Givens #17 and 22, we find the age McCoy SHOULD be.
Conclusion 11. Leonard McCoy SHOULD be 46 during the FIRST year of TOS.
Given #23: If we take a person's age, and add it to the year of the person's birth, we'll calculate the CURRENT year (if you were born in 1976, and you're 30, we add 1,976 to 30 and find out that it is now the year 2006).
Given #24: 2,227 plus 46 equals 2,273.
12. Adding Conclusions 9 and 11 and Givens #23 and 24, we calculate the year that the first season of TOS should take place.
Conclusion 12. The FIRST year of TOS SHOULD take place in the year 2273.
Whew, I'm done! Now, let's all laugh at "SRP, Mr. Math Degree"!
According to these findings, I conjecture that the first season of TOS should be the year 2273, NOT 2266!!!
Did ANY of this make logical sense to ANYONE?!
I don't know HOW they got their "official" dates. Did they base them on some established lore that I overlooked, or did they just arbitrarily "pick a year"? And WHO came up with the "official" dates, anyhow?
If anyone knows, please tell me; I don't have a CLUE how they came to be.
2273, not 2266.
Not "official", but it makes the most logical sense, to me!
Well, don't be shy, tear my theory apart!