Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-14-2019, 02:58 PM
Dale Sams is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 5,256

What happened to McCoy before Kirk and Spock reset the timeline? (CotEoF)


...in City on the Edge of Forever...

I'd say since he had no idea or reason to believe he was really back in time....he (maybe) died in a primitive insane asylum. Though he was well recovered when he saved Edith.

Or perhaps he did what Picard did in The Inner Light. Picard seemed to just give in to whatever was happening. and why not? If you're stuck in a simulation or have been transferred into someone elses body or whatever....just make the best of it. Perhaps he decided if this was a hallucination, just make the best of it and turn on the charm with Edith Keeler. Hell....he may have misremembered some of the events of WW2 and actually *encouraged* Edith's anti-war activities.

Like many of us who realize we're in a dream and just go wild....maybe McCoy threw the PD out the window and went full-bore in trying to improve medicine and science. maybe Nazi spies kidnapped him!!

Last edited by Dale Sams; 09-14-2019 at 02:59 PM.
  #2  
Old 09-14-2019, 03:24 PM
Bryan Ekers's Avatar
Bryan Ekers is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 59,468
The simplest least messy theory, I think, is to assume he shoved Edith Keeler out of the way of the car and was fatally struck himself, thus removing any chance of him personally affecting the timeline past that point.
__________________
Don't worry about the end of Inception. We have top men working on it right now. Top. Men.
  #3  
Old 09-14-2019, 04:39 PM
simster is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 11,393
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Ekers View Post
The simplest least messy theory, I think, is to assume he shoved Edith Keeler out of the way of the car and was fatally struck himself, thus removing any chance of him personally affecting the timeline past that point.
This is my bet.
  #4  
Old 09-14-2019, 04:58 PM
terentii's Avatar
terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 18,456
If he survived the accident, I think he'd pretty quickly figure out he'd been displaced in time somehow, even though he couldn't remember the circumstances. In a case like this, I'd do my best to blend in with the natives and hope for eventual rescue from the future. In the meantime, he could well have improved the level of medicine in 1930s America.

Then again, there's this nasty business with the Second World War. Knowing the alternative timeline, I'd kick myself for having saved Edith Keeler. No way would I encourage her pacifist tendencies.
__________________
"Makes you wonder why we bother, eh, Fawlty?"
"Didn't know you did, Major."
  #5  
Old 09-14-2019, 05:12 PM
TimeWinder is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Albany/Corvallis, OR
Posts: 4,792
Quote:
Originally Posted by terentii View Post
In a case like this, I'd do my best to blend in with the natives and hope for eventual rescue from the future.
Given that the Guardian was an unfamiliar technology with a high imprecision (jump in during a high-speed replay of events), that makes sense in this particular instance.

However, in almost any other time travel scenario, the whole point of time travel is that "eventually" isn't required. If rescue from the future is coming, it should come immediately from the standpoint of the displaced party. Even in the Guardian scenario, the longer it takes for rescue to come, the less likely it's coming at all.
  #6  
Old 09-14-2019, 05:22 PM
E-DUB's Avatar
E-DUB is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 4,892
This book answers your exact question far, far better than I ever could.

https://www.amazon.com/Star-Trek-Ori.../dp/B000JMKRG6

I read most Trek books, but would recommend this one to even casual fans.
  #7  
Old 09-14-2019, 05:28 PM
terentii's Avatar
terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 18,456
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimeWinder View Post
If rescue from the future is coming, it should come immediately from the standpoint of the displaced party. Even in the Guardian scenario, the longer it takes for rescue to come, the less likely it's coming at all.
If your coordinates are known with precision, yes. But as you note, precision was not the Guardian's strong point. It took Spock and Kirk weeks to bump into McCoy, even though they were in the same general vicinity.

If Spock had had access to the Enterprise's computers, he could have pinpointed McCoy's coordinates, but it's doubtful they could have been delivered there accurately.
__________________
"Makes you wonder why we bother, eh, Fawlty?"
"Didn't know you did, Major."
  #8  
Old 09-14-2019, 05:52 PM
Andy L is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6,849
Quote:
Originally Posted by terentii View Post
If your coordinates are known with precision, yes. But as you note, precision was not the Guardian's strong point. It took Spock and Kirk weeks to bump into McCoy, even though they were in the same general vicinity.

If Spock had had access to the Enterprise's computers, he could have pinpointed McCoy's coordinates, but it's doubtful they could have been delivered there accurately.
Guardian is messing with them, I suspect.
  #9  
Old 09-14-2019, 06:31 PM
terentii's Avatar
terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 18,456
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy L View Post
Guardian is messing with them, I suspect.
If what he said was true, he was made to offer the past in that fashion and could not change.
__________________
"Makes you wonder why we bother, eh, Fawlty?"
"Didn't know you did, Major."
  #10  
Old 09-14-2019, 07:03 PM
Just Asking Questions is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 7,646
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy L View Post
Guardian is messing with them, I suspect.
A good opportunity to tell my theory again.

The Guardian isn't a tool of science, designed by some highly-advanced scientists to study the past. No.

It's a shopping mall kiosk!

It shows time the way it does because it's a game. You pays you money and you go back in time and try and change the past. Your friends wait behind and watch the changes. That's why the landing party wasn't "unrealed" out of existence like the Enterprise was. When you've made your changes, the Guardian pulls you forward again. And then makes the correction and puts the timeline back, or lets you fix it, or something.

When the Guardian tells Spock how it works, and Spock thinks it is insulting him, it's not. That is literally all the machine knows about how it works. If you ask Zoltan the kiosk fortune teller how it works, you'll get the same nonsense answer.

When it says to the effect "I was made to show time in this manner", it's not lying. It was made to work only that way.

So what happened? One day, some smart ass went back and made a huge change and then died or went rogue or something. The timeline was changed to one where the species never evolved on that planet. The guys staying behind suddenly found themselves in a wasteland with just the Guardian. They either died of starvation, or went back in time. And no one ever came again, until the Enterprise.

In answer to the OP, I think McCoy either died or didn't know enough about WWII (I'm a doctor, not a historian! dammit!") to stop Edith from changing history. If he was alive when Hitler dropped his atomic bombs on America, he might have realized that something was wrong, but it was too late.
  #11  
Old 09-14-2019, 07:14 PM
Andy L is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6,849
Quote:
Originally Posted by terentii View Post
If what he said was true, he was made to offer the past in that fashion and could not change.
He was made to display the past in that way - but that doesn't mean that the Guardian doesn't have fine control of where people end up. Kirk and Spock ended up in the same location (within blocks) and same time (within days) of McCoy's location. Maybe Guardian wasn't being deliberately difficult, but Guardian certainly seems capable of understanding where K and S want to go, and get them there, in spite of a display that appears to give extremely poor precision (note that the Guardian displayed American history (or at least history familiar to Americans) to Kirk).

Last edited by Andy L; 09-14-2019 at 07:15 PM.
  #12  
Old 09-14-2019, 07:19 PM
terentii's Avatar
terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 18,456
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Asking Questions View Post
I think McCoy either died or didn't know enough about WWII (I'm a doctor, not a historian! dammit!") to stop Edith from changing history. If he was alive when Hitler dropped his atomic bombs on America, he might have realized that something was wrong, but it was too late.
Hitler, shmitler. It would take a pretty big gap in his historical education not to know the United States entered the war immediately after Pearl Harbor.

Edith presumably (a) encouraged Roosevelt to appease the Japanese, thereby averting the attack, or (b) persuaded Roosevelt (and the rest of the American public) not to retaliate for it.

IRL, Hitler solved Roosevelt's problem for him by declaring war on the US on 11 December 1941, after Pearl Harbor.
__________________
"Makes you wonder why we bother, eh, Fawlty?"
"Didn't know you did, Major."

Last edited by terentii; 09-14-2019 at 07:20 PM.
  #13  
Old 09-14-2019, 07:24 PM
terentii's Avatar
terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 18,456
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy L View Post
He was made to display the past in that way - but that doesn't mean that the Guardian doesn't have fine control of where people end up. Kirk and Spock ended up in the same location (within blocks) and same time (within days) of McCoy's location. Maybe Guardian wasn't being deliberately difficult, but Guardian certainly seems capable of understanding where K and S want to go, and get them there, in spite of a display that appears to give extremely poor precision (note that the Guardian displayed American history (or at least history familiar to Americans) to Kirk).
It was Spock's evaluation they were swept roughly to the same place and time because of currents and eddies in time's flow. If true, the Guardian had little to do with it.
__________________
"Makes you wonder why we bother, eh, Fawlty?"
"Didn't know you did, Major."
  #14  
Old 09-14-2019, 07:29 PM
Andy L is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6,849
Quote:
Originally Posted by terentii View Post
It was Spock's evaluation they were swept roughly to the same place and time because of currents and eddies in time's flow. If true, the Guardian had little to do with it.
True - but the Guardian told Spock that "Your science knowledge is obviously primitive. "
  #15  
Old 09-14-2019, 07:52 PM
Bryan Ekers's Avatar
Bryan Ekers is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 59,468
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Asking Questions View Post
In answer to the OP, I think McCoy either died or didn't know enough about WWII (I'm a doctor, not a historian! dammit!") to stop Edith from changing history. If he was alive when Hitler dropped his atomic bombs on America, he might have realized that something was wrong, but it was too late.
I dunno, even in a deep post-rampage-hangover state, he manged to accurately guess the year to within a decade. I don't know if this episode was before or after Patterns of Force, but I gather McCoy was not unfamiliar with historical Nazis and what they did.
__________________
Don't worry about the end of Inception. We have top men working on it right now. Top. Men.
  #16  
Old 09-14-2019, 08:00 PM
Voyager's Avatar
Voyager is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Deep Space
Posts: 46,768
Quote:
Originally Posted by terentii View Post
If your coordinates are known with precision, yes. But as you note, precision was not the Guardian's strong point. It took Spock and Kirk weeks to bump into McCoy, even though they were in the same general vicinity.
Kirk and Spock arrived weeks before McCoy did. McCoy had pretty much just recovered from the drug when they met. It couldn't have been too long, since Kirk knew what was going on at the mission.
We don't know if this was a plot contrivance or done by the Guardian, but it was a miracle that K & S came anywhere close given the speed of the playback. This Wayback machine couldn't be set to a specific time and place.
  #17  
Old 09-14-2019, 08:13 PM
terentii's Avatar
terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 18,456
Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
Kirk and Spock arrived weeks before McCoy did. McCoy had pretty much just recovered from the drug when they met. It couldn't have been too long, since Kirk knew what was going on at the mission.
We don't know if this was a plot contrivance or done by the Guardian, but it was a miracle that K & S came anywhere close given the speed of the playback. This Wayback machine couldn't be set to a specific time and place.
Yes, of course. What I meant was, it took weeks before they bumped into each other because McCoy arrived much later than Kirk and Spock.

Their time and place of arrival were based on Spock's estimate of when to jump through the portal. They all ended up in the vicinity of the mission because Edith Keeler was a "focal point in time" (Spock's words).
__________________
"Makes you wonder why we bother, eh, Fawlty?"
"Didn't know you did, Major."
  #18  
Old 09-14-2019, 08:20 PM
terentii's Avatar
terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 18,456
Quote:
Originally Posted by terentii View Post
Yes, of course. What I meant was, it took weeks before they bumped into each other because McCoy arrived much later than Kirk and Spock.

Their time and place of arrival were based on Spock's estimate of when to jump through the portal. They all ended up in the vicinity of the mission because Edith Keeler was a "focal point in time" (Spock's words).
Also, Spock's estimate was based on both the Guardian's playback and the tricorder readings he took just before McCoy jumped through the portal.
__________________
"Makes you wonder why we bother, eh, Fawlty?"
"Didn't know you did, Major."
  #19  
Old 09-14-2019, 08:23 PM
cochrane is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: The Nekkid Pueblo
Posts: 22,532
Quote:
Originally Posted by terentii View Post
It was Spock's evaluation they were swept roughly to the same place and time because of currents and eddies in time's flow. If true, the Guardian had little to do with it.
Err...who's Eddy then exactly?
  #20  
Old 09-14-2019, 09:47 PM
Dale Sams is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 5,256
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Ekers View Post
I dunno, even in a deep post-rampage-hangover state, he manged to accurately guess the year to within a decade. I don't know if this episode was before or after Patterns of Force, but I gather McCoy was not unfamiliar with historical Nazis and what they did.
Good point. So he does have some historical acumen it seems.


But as afar as quickly realizing he really is back in time, as someone else mentioned....I dunno. Unless he knew the ship was riding "temporal waves" (or whatever it was)...I just think a dozen other scenarios would jump forth related to the only fact he has. That he overdosed. Holodeck therapy on a starbase. Some kind of telepathic therapy. He's dreaming....he's dead!!*

* of course all this makes his reaction to Ediths death and bit of a teeeeeny plot hole.

Edit: Just watched it again. AS portrayed, McCoy actually doesn't have time to do anything but push her out of the way.

However, Spocks conclusions are illogical. We don't know McCoy literally pushed her out of the way from a car. More likely is he butterfly effected her out of the way. Which would mean Spock and Kirk themselves would have to kill her. Kirk himself would have saved her if Edith had stayed on that damn corner like Kirk told her too!
  #21  
Old 09-14-2019, 10:13 PM
terentii's Avatar
terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 18,456
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Sams View Post
However, Spocks conclusions are illogical. We don't know McCoy literally pushed her out of the way from a car.
At first, Spock doesn't know if McCoy kills Edith or saves her. All he knows from her obituary is that she dies in "some sort of traffic accident." It isn't until later, after they learn about the future pacifist movement, that Kirk and Spock realize she was meant to die in 1930, and McCoy must somehow have prevented this.
__________________
"Makes you wonder why we bother, eh, Fawlty?"
"Didn't know you did, Major."

Last edited by terentii; 09-14-2019 at 10:13 PM.
  #22  
Old 09-15-2019, 01:07 AM
Quimby is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: NJ
Posts: 8,506
Quote:
Originally Posted by E-DUB View Post
This book answers your exact question far, far better than I ever could.

https://www.amazon.com/Star-Trek-Ori.../dp/B000JMKRG6

I read most Trek books, but would recommend this one to even casual fans.
Yeah this book is one of their best and was designed to be accessible to people who only know the show and don't read the books. Highly recommended.
  #23  
Old 09-15-2019, 03:08 AM
Voyager's Avatar
Voyager is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Deep Space
Posts: 46,768
Quote:
Originally Posted by terentii View Post
Yes, of course. What I meant was, it took weeks before they bumped into each other because McCoy arrived much later than Kirk and Spock.

Their time and place of arrival were based on Spock's estimate of when to jump through the portal. They all ended up in the vicinity of the mission because Edith Keeler was a "focal point in time" (Spock's words).
Just checked Harlan's original script, and the focal point in time concept is in there. In fact, the guardian (actually there are multiple Guardians) say they can't go back to the exact time when the person who changed history (not McCoy in the original version) arrived, but they gave a choice of before or after that time.
  #24  
Old 09-15-2019, 07:27 AM
RitterSport's Avatar
RitterSport is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 3,589
Quote:
Originally Posted by cochrane View Post
Err...who's Eddy then exactly?
And this is his sofa, is it?

Back to the OP (sort of), is that episode considered the best one, pretty much universally?

He was still sort of out of it when Kirk and Spock showed up, right? He had just decided that everything else was an illusion, but Edith was real.
  #25  
Old 09-15-2019, 10:56 AM
terentii's Avatar
terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 18,456
Quote:
Originally Posted by RitterSport View Post
Back to the OP (sort of), is that episode considered the best one, pretty much universally?

He was still sort of out of it when Kirk and Spock showed up, right? He had just decided that everything else was an illusion, but Edith was real.
Yes, and it was Roddenberry's favorite episode.

McCoy had recovered by the time he was reunited with K&S, though he jokingly told Edith he thought his surroundings were an illusion (but she wasn't). I suspect that by the time of the accident, he'd figured out he'd been displaced somehow.
__________________
"Makes you wonder why we bother, eh, Fawlty?"
"Didn't know you did, Major."
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:57 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017