- Stereo - for use on loudspeakers. Ideal for watching on your TV or computer over speaker
- Spatial Stereo - 8.1 Spatial Surround Sound for use when listening to the episode over normal stereo headphones. This really gives you the feeling of being there - a fascinating audio experience. Does not work well or loudspeakers and noise reducing headphones.
- 5.1 Surround sound - If you are watching this with a 5.1 Surround sound system, this is the ideal way to hear it.
The Holiest Thing and Star Trek Canon
Star Trek New Voyages released "The Holiest Thing" in January 2016 and several fans have pointed out an apparent breach of canon in regard to the age of David Marcus, who is conceived during this story. In this article, we will look closely at this issue and explain why we believe our episode is not only correct, but provides a more plausible explanation than any contrived relationship at the academy. We will also briefly explain the appearance of a certain alien species seen in this episode.
SPOILER ALERT! If you have not yet seen the episode, please do so before reading this article.
What is Star Trek Canon?
Star Trek canon is defined as events that happened and shown on screen in any official CBS/Paramount Star Trek production. Unfortunately, even official productions sometimes get it wrong, as we will point out here. While various websites try to extrapolate when things happen from statements made in other productions, we will keep to what was actually said on screen.
Did James T. Kirk and Carol Marcus meet while at the academy?
It is commonly thought that James T. Kirk and Carol Marcus met in the academy years and that led to David’s birth in 2261. However, when we look at what was actually said in the movie, nothing about such a meeting at the academy was ever mentioned. Even David’s birth year is only assumed to be 2261, based on David’s apparent age in the movie “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.” If you watch the movie closely, none of these points are mentioned or referenced. Not a word is mentioned about their assumed liaison being in the academy, not even David’s age is mentioned.
Capt. Kirk: I wasn't THAT bad, was I?
Lt. Mitchell: If I hadn't aimed that little blond technician at you...
Capt. Kirk: You what? You... you PLANNED that?
Lt. Mitchell: Well, you wanted me to think, didn't you? I outlined her whole campaign for her!
Capt. Kirk: I almost MARRIED her!
While many take this reference to be referring to Carol Marcus, there is nothing to confirm this and there are at least two other candidates: Janet Wallace and Ruth. In fact it is Janet who is the best candidate as she was Kirk’s partner for a year at the academy (Turnabout Intruder). Gary could also be referring to some other woman never shown on-screen. Additionally, Carol Marcus was a research scientist and would have been studying in university, not training to be a crew member at Star Fleet Academy. In conclusion, there is no canon confirmation that Jim and Carol even knew each other during the academy years or that David was born in 2261. While his birth year is assumed to be 2261, we have a different answer.
In which year does “The Holiest Thing” take place?
The episode has a stardate of 7713.6 which translates to around 2270-2274 on Earth. However, TOS stardates are unreliable and according to the writers guide:
We invented "Stardate" to avoid continually mentioning Star Trek's century (actually, about two hundred years from now), and getting into arguments about whether this or that would have developed by then. Pick any combination of four numbers plus a percentage point, use it as your story's stardate. For example, 1313.5 is twelve o'clock noon of one day and 1314.5 would be noon of the next day. Each percentage point (sic) is roughly equivalent to one-tenth of one day. The progression of stardates in your script should remain constant but don't worry about whether or not there is a progression from other scripts. Stardates are a mathematical formula which varies depending on location in the galaxy, velocity of travel, and other factors, can vary widely from episode to episode.
The last episode of season 3 (Turnabout Intruder) takes place in 2269, so for the sake of argument, let us assume that our season 4 episode “The Holiest Thing” takes place in 2270.
- In Kirk’s apartment on Earth, McCoy visits him on his birthday and gives him a bottle of Romulan Ale of vintage 2283 with the comment: "It takes a while to ferment." This means the story must take place after 2283 and most people consider the film to take place in 2285 – even though this is NOT actually stated in the movie. Based purely on this reference, the film could take place later than 2285.
- When Khan is found on Ceti Alpha V, he mentions being marooned there for 15 years. In the episode “Space Seed,” where we originally met Khan, we are told his ship left Earth in 1996 and they were found 271 years later, which gives us the year 2267. Add 15 years to that and you have 2282 which is still 3 years too early for the movie. However, years could be longer on Ceti Alpha V than on Earth to explain this.
- Some fans have questioned if Kirk knew about David before he met him. This is easy to explain as when Kirk first meets David in the Genesis Cave, this is what was said:
Kirk: Where's Dr. Marcus
David: I'm Dr. Marcus
Kirk: Is that David?
- We learn that although Jim definitely knew about David, David knew very little about Kirk who had stayed away on Carol’s request. This agrees with the end of “The Holiest Thing” where Carol tells Jim she is going to have his son and he should leave them alone.
- When Kirk gets his first glimpse of the Genesis Cave, the following was said:
Kirk: You did all this in a day?
Carol: The matrix formed in a day. The life forms grew later at a substantially accelerated rate.
Our Explanation of David’s age:
If you assume that David is conceived in 2270 during “The Holiest Thing”, he would only be 14 at the time he reappears in the movie, yet he obviously appears to be at least 10 years older, so how can we possibly explain this?
Our answer is based on what we learn from the movie itself. It is well established that the Genesis device can make life forms, including Spock, grow at a substantially accelerated rate. As Carol and David have been working continuously on developing the Genesis device, it becomes obvious that the continued exposure to the Genesis-effect has also caused David to grow at a faster rate than normal, an unavoidable side-effect of using proto-matter with this technology. This could have been a gradual process or a freak accident, either way it is perfectly logical for this device to have aged him at a faster rate so that he appears to be 10 or more years older in the movie. This can also explain why Kirk was so surprised, when he first met David in the movie, as he would normally expect him to look much younger. Obviously, this premature aging will not have gone unnoticed. As Genesis was a top secret research project, David’s birth year was therefore officially “adjusted” back to the year 2261 by the authorities, in order to better match his physical appearance. We feel this answers all the canon issues regarding when Carol actually met Kirk making our story closer to canon than what has previously been believed.
Why are the Ferengi seen in this episode, when first contact was in TNG: The Last Outpost