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Old 09-07-2010, 06:17 PM
Alzarian Alzarian is offline
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 299
What's the deal with Star Trek episode numbers?

I've been rewatching Star Trek: The Next Generation through Netflix, and it just occurred to me that the episodes are numbered oddly. It seems that the episodes are numbered from 101-278. Was this done in some bizarre attempt to avoid using the numbers 1-79 for the original series.

While we are on the subject... why was the Original Series two-part episode "The Menagerie" numbered as episode 16, when it is clearly two episodes. Shouldn't the original series really be 80 episodes 1-80? Then again, should the pilot episode "The Cage" really be episode 1? And what is with articles I have found calling "The Cage" episode 99?

As for TNG, it seems that they count episodes based on the assumption that every one of them is approx. 45 minutes long, neglecting the fact that some episodes were double-length, such as "Encounter at Farpoint" and "All Good Things..." In fact, there should be 176 episodes of The Next Generation, shouldn't there?

I have yet to delve into Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise, but do they also adhere to strange numbering rules? I vaguely remember reading an episode guide list to Deep Space Nine ages ago, in which I think the episodes were in the 400's, but I could be mistaken...
Old 09-07-2010, 10:12 PM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,477
I think they can number episodes any way they want , it does not have to make sense. The Sopranos seemed to have seasons 6 and 7 but they called it season 6 part 1 and season 6 part 2.
Old 09-07-2010, 10:30 PM
Bryan Ekers's Avatar
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 58,200
They do it that way to fuck with you and I mean you personally, Alzarian. A secret memo passed among Paramount executives in 1986 laid out the "Fuck With Alzarian" policy in detail, as one of the many preliminary steps to filming TNG.

"Holodecks, Holodecks, Holodecks" was another such memo.
Old 09-07-2010, 11:39 PM
The Tao's Revenge The Tao's Revenge is offline
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Posts: 5,194
They took numbering advice from these people.
Old 09-08-2010, 12:21 AM
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BigT BigT is online now
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: "Hicksville", Ark.
Posts: 35,509
My guess is that they were going to use the xyy system, where x is the season, and yy is the episode number in that season. But then someone went ahead and made 127 instead of 201, and so they were stuck using sequential numbers.

I do know these are the last three digits of the production code. Thus, following the numbers in sequence will lead to watching them in production order. See the episode list on Memory Alpha for the proper order. (I say proper, because following production order sometimes means you will not immediately see the next part of a two-parter.)

Also, I will point out that Deep Space Nine started with episode number 401, and that Voyager originally was going to start with number 721, so your hypothesis may well be correct. I've asked at the Memory Alpha reference desk.


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