Star Trek Discovery Spoilers: Where Does TV Series Fit In Star Trek Timeline / Stardates? Original TV Series Vs. Movie Reboot Starting Point? Plus KHAN?!

Star Trek Discovery banner

Spoilers follow.

New Star Trek Discovery, debuting in January 2017, appears to take place in the original Star Trek timeline, based on the first 15 things revealed about the show, which kicked off on TV in 1966; it’s the timeline all the TV series to date were set in prior to the 2009 Star Trek Reboot film. Since those original 15 reveals, we’ve also learned 5 more things about the show that make it even more compelling.

With that, notable Star Trek Stardates below to help you compare where / when Star Trek Discovery fits into Star Trek lore. I cover both the orginal series and the Star Trek film reboot timelines below.

  • 2161 – 2005 TV Episode: “These Are the Voyages” – Season 4 and series finale in 2005 for TV’s Enterprise, captained by Captain Jonathan Archer, prequel series. This is only TV series considered official Star Trek canon in both the Original Series TV spawned universe and the rebooted movie universe.
  • Star Trek Enterprise Season 4 DVD

    Interesting tidbit:

    • The U.S.S. Franklin was a ship that vanished in 2164 and is from the Enterprise TV era of spaceship. It is featured in 2016’s Star Trek Beyond movie in a predominant way. It was the first spaceship to achieve Warp 4.
    • USS Franklin from Star Trek Beyond

    • 2233 – 2009 Film: “Star Trek” – The movie’s past when Captain James T. Kirk is born and when his father dies aboard the U.S.S. Kelvin in the 2009 reboot film that sees original timeline Spock travel back in time with Romulan villain Nero. This incident creates new Star Trek timeline called the Kelvin timeline after the ship of James T. Kirk’s father.
    • Star Trek 2009 poster 1

      Interesting additional context from this stardate:

      • The Original Series (TOS) – James T. Kirk was born on March 22, 2233 on an Iowa farm.
      • Reboot Movie series (Kelvin) – James T. Kirk is born on January 4, 2233 in space prematurely during the U.S.S. Kelvin incident.

      Chris Pine and William Shatner actors in Star Trek portraying Enterprise Captain James T. Kirk

    • 2254 – 1964 TV Episode: “The Cage” – First pilot for Star Trek filmed in 1964, but not broadcast, with Christopher Pike as Captain of the Starship Enterprise. It has been reported that this was not seen by viewers in full until 1988, likely on a VHS cassette, but was partially shown in Star Trek Season 1 Episodes 11 and 12 on a two-part episode called the Menagerie on November 17 and November 24, 1966.
    • Star Trek The Cage

    • 2255 – 2017 TV Episode: Star Trek Discovery series debut – This appears to be where Star Trek Discovery takes place since showrunner has said that the new series is “set 10 years before [James T.] Kirk, and will bridge the gap between Enterprise and the original series.
    • Below is a photo if the new U.S.S. Discovery.

      Star Trek USS Discovery

    • 2258/59 – 2009 Film: “Star Trek” – The movie’s “present” with the Enterprise captained by Christopher Pike and at the end of which James T. Kirk becomes Captain of the Enterprise. Kirk is a younger Captain in reboot film series as are the rest of the main crew. The Planet Vulcan is destroyed in the movie timeline, but still exists in the original series spawned timeline.
    • Star Trek 2009 poster 2

    • 2259/60 – 2013 Film: “Star Trek: Into Darkness” – featuring a very different Khan Noonian Singh than we saw in the original series Star Trek TV show and later movie. Changed due to events flowing out of the timeline change related to the U.S.S. Kelvin incident. His ship the Botany Bay was thawed earlier, I believe due to the impact of Vulcan’s destruction, in the movie reboot timeline. I hadn’t planned on covering Khan further in this piece, but because his engagements with the U.S.S. Enterprise were different in each timeine, I will.
    • Star Trek Into Darkness 2013 poster

      Interesting tidbit:

      • In both the original TV series spawned timeline and in the movie reboot timeline, Khan’s origins during the Eugenics Wars remains the same as these events pre-date the U.S.S. Kelvin time altering incident. The Eugenic Wars can be summarized as follows: “The Eugenics Wars (or the Great Wars) were a series of conflicts fought on Earth between 1992 and 1996. The result of a scientific attempt to improve the Human race through selective breeding and genetic engineering, the wars devastated parts of Earth, by some estimates officially causing some thirty million deaths, and nearly plunging the planet into a new Dark Age.” These Great Wars were novelized by Greg Cox in 2003.
      • Star Trek the Eugenics Wars Part 1

        Star Trek the Eugenics Wars Part 2

      • 2263 – 2016 Film: “Star Beyond” – Among other plot-lines we also learn what happened to the U.S.S. Franklin and her captain and crew who went missing in 2164.
      • Star Trek Beyond poster dos

      • 2265 – 1966 TV Episode: “Where No Man Has Gone Before” – Second pilot for Star Trek filmed in 1965, and broadcast on September 22, 1966, with Captain Kirk as Captain of the Starship Enterprise.
      • Star Trek Where No Man Has Gone Before

      • 2267 – 1967 TV Episode: “Space Seed” – The Botany Bay is found and its inhabitants, including Khan Noonian Singh, are thawed and havok erupts. They are eventually defeated and put back on their ship into exile.
      • Star Trek Space Seed

        Interesting tidbit:

        • In addition to chronicling the Rise and Fall of Khan in the 2 part Eugenics Wars novelization, writer Greg Cox also novelized what happened to Khan between the 1967 Space Seed TV episode and Khan’s return in the second Star Trek film from 1982 of the original series. That novelization covered the exile of Khan and was called To Reign in Hell. Now you really know why Khan had such a beef with Captain Kirk and crew in the second Star Trek film.

        Star Trek To Reign in Hell

      • 2285 – 1982 Film: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – Khan Noonian Singh exacts his revenge on the original series Star Trek U.S.S. Enterprise crew.
      • Star Trek 1982 Wrath of Khan poster

      Interesting and, while I’m not a Star Trek theologian, was a fair bit to wrap my head around when doing the research for this piece.

      Star Trek 50th Anniversary banner

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