Welcome

Please note that the site is being updated just now!
Thank you for visiting Atavachron. I’m afraid I can’t offer quite the same immersive experience as the Atavachron in TOS “All Our Yesterdays,” but what’s here is the first really detailed “Star Trek” timeline based around a theory of stardates that I’m aware of (although it would be nice to be proved wrong). It’s as finished as it’s ever been, although I can’t rule out the possibility that I’ll be back to it again if something occurs to me. As far as I’ve been able to find, I don’t think the chronological outline of “Star Trek” has ever been presented in quite this way before. I hope it’s entertaining, even as a very long worked example of how stardates can’t work. And who knows, perhaps it might provide a starting point for someone else?

What’s This Site For?

“My own entertainment” is the short answer. The longer one is that it tries to develop a way of generating stardates for the period 2265-2380 that match up as well as I can manage with the “real” ones used in “Star Trek”, and then apply it to the whole run of live-action stories to create a detailed chronological timeline of the “Star Trek” future.

What Started This?

I’ve been interested in stardates for a long time. I was trying to reconcile the stardates in the “Star Trek Technical Manual” with the ones in the television stories when “Star Trek” was still a cancelled 60’s TV show and some cartoons. Most of my attempts at a system for stardates fell down either because I didn’t have enough detailed reference material, or (as time progressed) something new would come out and put me right back where I’d started.

What you see here is the culmination of many, many failed attempts. For all the shortcomings of this version, it is a stardated chronology that didn’t collapse under the weight of internal contradictions and my own dissatisfaction with the way it was working before I got anywhere near the end of it.

Stardates?

Absolutely. I know they don’t work, and were deliberately set up not to, but I just can’t accept that you can get a plausible version of the “Star Trek” future unless you do something with them. With a system of stardates, “Star Trek” is possibly the most time-indexed science-fiction series ever made. Saying that stardates are essentially random and meaningless is a cop-out. It might be true, but any timeline you can construct is always going to be handicapped by the lurking question: “What stardate is it?”

Does It Matter?

After nearly fifty years, “Star Trek” has self-evidently managed without a formal system for stardates. I cannot say that anyone who just thinks the whole issue is a waste of time is really wrong. There is even an “official” system of sorts, based on the “Star Trek Chronology” by Mike and Denise Okuda (the second edition was published by Pocket Books in 1995), and most people seem fairly happy with it. What I can say is that anyone who has ever wanted to assign a stardate to something is left with either “take a guess,” or “generate it using a stardate calculator and hope it’s not too out of sequence.” I’ve always thought that was a poor choice, and thought so even more after reading the sort of in-depth studies of “Doctor Who” chronology represented by the likes of “Ahistory” and “TimeLink”. Although I’ve never thought “I could do that!” it is true that the incredible amount of reference material compiled on sites like Chrissie’s Transcripts Site and TrekCore has meant that the more I tried to analyse stardates and their use, the more detail I had available for my timeline.

That isn’t to say that there haven’t been any detailed timelines of “Star Trek” before. In addition to the “official” “Star Trek Chronology” I mentioned above, there’s James Dixon’s “Fandom Star Trek Chronology” (I don’t have a specific link, but there are various versions out there on the web) it’s very detailed, including lots of things that I’ve missed out; there is also the timeline compiled by Pocket Books of their novels, the most recent version is in “Voyages of Imagination” (by Jeff Ayers, published in 2006). None of these are terribly up-to-date, and none of them are foolish enough to give stardates more than a passing mention.

The Problems

My timeline falls apart completely in two main places (and also innumerable, niggling smaller ones). The first is the placement of “Star Trek: The Motion Picture”. This is a feature of any attempt to get stardates to work to a continuing, regular cycle, and I’ve never been able to come up with a satisfactory solution to it.

The second is the three episodes of “Star Trek: Voyager” dealing with the Krenim (VOY “Before and After” and the two-part VOY “Year of Hell”). I cannot get any of this to work, partly because some assumptions were made about when particular parts of the story would fall in the conventional calendar (Kathryn Janeway’s birthday) and mainly because the internal timelines of these stories just don’t hold together that well. Adding specific dates and a method of calculating stardates is just taking things too far. I have a short and despairing analysis here.

Links to Specific Parts of the Site

A spreadsheet that calculates my various calendars is here: calendars.

My theory as to the operation of stardates is here.

The actual timeline starts here.

An overview of my timeline is available as a set of PDF “year to view” calendars at this link.
I have also made similar PDF “year to view” calendars for the “semi-official” system of stardate to standard date conversion, here.

I’ve also made some “base maps” of the stars near Earth here.

Important copyright notice

“Star Trek” is the copyrighted property of CBS Consumer Products, and there are a lot of other parties who have an interest. I’m not a legal expert, but I have tried to stay within the limits of “fair use.” This site is not intended to infringe copyright, or establish any kind of “rights” in regard to other people’s property. The site is provided free, and I have no expectation of ever making any money out of this.

Canon

This site is not canon. Even if I seriously wanted it to be, it wouldn’t. If it suits you, please feel free to make use of the information on it. (Without breaking the law, of course.)

Acknowledgements

Any “Star Trek” site owes huge debts of gratitude to the many, many people who have contributed to a single science fiction show over the years. Some of them were professionals who got paid, others fans who just did what they wanted to do. I have called out particular sources for ideas that aren’t mine where they occur. I’m also aware that there is very little about “Star Trek” that is genuinely and completely new after all these years. I would therefore like to say that even when I haven’t consciously taken an idea from elsewhere, it is by no means certain that someone else hasn’t been ahead of me. I was going to add some particular thanks to especially useful sources, but I’m not at all sure that people would like to be associated, even indirectly, with something as bizarre as a stardated chronology, so I’ll confine myself to a general “thank you” to the many sources of reference that have helped me in my task. Mistakes, omissions and misinterpretations are all my own work, and I’ll be happy to try and correct them. My contact details are accessible at the top of the page and here.


Stardates

by StrauchiusStrauchius on 26 Sep 2010 18:24, last updated on 14 Jun 2017 07:41