There has been a warp in the space-time continuum


I remember asking my parents to let me stay up late on a school night to watch Star Trek, when it first came out (Thursday at 10pm? What What rat-buggering monkey troll at CBS planned that bit of scheduling?). Now I am told that that was 50 years ago. Exactly 50 years ago today.

That’s impossible. I’d remember 50 years passing by. I’d feel different than that 9 year old boy right now, and I’m sure all of you would agree that I’m just a little kid. With a beard, sure, but still the same.

I consider this to be concrete evidence of a totally mysterious physical phenomenon, and I demand immediate research into this strange time warp, before I take a step to the left and become further unstuck in time, or fall further back into the future.


  1. Saganite, a haunter of demons says

    Might’ve been a transporter accident. Did you try beaming through the shields? Never try to beam through the shields.

  2. quotetheunquote says

    … and whatever you do, don’t cross the beams! (Whoops, wrong cultural reference…)

  3. Athywren - not the moon you're looking for says

    Have you tried reversing the polarity of the neutron flow?

    Dear god, man! Are you trying to get us all killed? That would override the quantum desiccator and turn our hull to paper!

  4. cartomancer says

    No no no you lot – that’s TNG problem-solving.

    We’re talking original series here. Clearly PZ just has to punch or sleep with something exotic to sort it all out.

  5. Athywren - not the moon you're looking for says

    @Tony Sidaway, 7
    Just so you know, you’ve pretty much killed me with that link. That’s murder.
    Kind of an amazing vox medicus there. For a while I actually thought it was entirely put together from audio of the Tennant himself.

  6. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    Where did that blue box come from
    when is it, now?
    welcome back Dokta, I know, nice scarf you got there…

  7. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    Oh man.
    speaking of “warps in the space time coninuum” gots me all bambuzled, warped over to BBC even.
    back out of the Tholian web we go.
    I too am so much a trekker that I avoid the “trekkie” moniker however it is quite appropriate.
    Trek presents plausible techno stuff that is quite a fun puzzle to imagine solutions to.
    Today, Im settling on summarizing Trek as “Warp Speed Optimism”. (tla: WSO ??huh??)

  8. KG says

    Have you tried reversing the polarity of the neutron flow? – gijoel@2

    If that doesn’t work, go to the next step in technical sophistication: try switching it off, and switching it on again.

  9. riverotter says

    I know that feeling. When Star Trek first aired, I was starting 10th grade and now I am on Medicare. I remember my first Star Trek convention with people in costumes and the excitement of meeting fellow Trekkies. Back then, conventions were the only meeting place unless you managed to find a local science fiction group.

  10. Silver Fox says

    50 years have passed? No problem. You just have to do what they always did in the Star Trek franchise when it came to time travel.
    1. Something soul crushingly bad happens — Blackjack playing aliens are pouring in from a parallel dimension, the universe is fracturing, Vulcan sanity is a stake, women no longer find Kirk’s pheromones a turn on (take your pick.)
    2. Scotty (or whoever is the engineer) finds a way to reverse the flow of time.
    3. Kirk-Picard-Sisko-Janeway-Archer goes back and changes everything. Lots of phaser action. Karate kicks.
    4. The crisis is negated. It’s as though nothing ever happened. The crew opens their eyes and say, I just had a strange feeling . . . No PTSD. No lifelong trauma. No scars.
    5. It’s as though the past 50 years never happened.

  11. Matrim says


    I recommend an inverse tachyon beam; it generally takes care of your basic predestination paradoxes, temporal anomalies, time-space inversions, and is capable of disrupting quantum singularities.

  12. robro says

    I wondered why Wikipedia was featuring so many Star Trek articles yesterday and today. Now everything is explained. Did you know that Gene Roddenberry was a bomber pilot in WWII, went into commercial aviation after the war, and was one of the few crew members to survive a crash in Syria in the early 50s.

    KG — “try switching it off, and…on again.” Actually, that’s a sophisticated technique requiring reams of instructions to locate the switch and flip it. The usual advice is “Try again later.” Surprising how often that works.

  13. porlob says

    Time for the most trivial of corrections: Star Trek originally aired on NBC, though CBS owns the television rights today.

  14. lesherb says

    Your best bet, PZ, is going back to bed. When you wake up, you’ll be back in bed in your Chicago apartment with “Emily”, describing the vivid dream you’d just had about being the owner of an Inn in Vermont or was it deep space? Those silly dreams never do make any sense. ?

  15. unclefrogy says

    I never heard of Star Trek at the time of it’s first airing, long story. I discovered it on re-runs a couple years afterwards it ended it was on every night while I made dinner how i came to there to “find it” is an even longer story. Suffice it to say it was an important event in my life. It reminded me that positive things are possible and that “life the universe and everything” whose answer is I was to learn later 42 is not a hierarchical stratified nightmare full of arbitrary rules and incomprehensible majic, controlled by a vindictive sky daemon.
    here is a song that only relates to how it feels 50 years later.

    uncle frogy

  16. says

    I definitely can’t help you. I recently got a convertible and I told my brother that it didn’t seem to have the same kind of aerodynamics as my first car also a convertible as the wind seemed to beat me up more. He was kind enough to point out that I got that car exactly 50 years ago so that I might have been able to deal better.

  17. Rich Woods says

    @gijoel #2:

    Have you tried reversing the polarity of the neutron flow?

    That was from Doctor Who and not Star Trek, so it won’t solve PZ’s temporal Trekker problem. Obviously.

  18. davidnangle says

    PZ’s issue with being thrust forward into the future could potentially be solved by thawing his supermen minions and taking over a Constitution-class starship… assuming any females he seduces into giving him that opening don’t change their minds.

    But only the most studly of opponents could possibly sway them back to their original loyalty.

  19. Menyambal says

    I was a kid back in the ’60s, and an avid reader of science fiction. The key word there is “reader”, as my parents didn’t own a TV. The piano teacher had a TV, but the closest thing to SF on Tuesdays after school was Batman. I still have never seen a complete episode of the original series of Star Trek.

    I watched the first Star Wars movie when it came out, so that was my first exposure to SF on screen. That was what, 40 years ago? (Or 13 parsecs?) How time does warp. And so do the Star Wars movies – to me, always, Han shot first.

  20. says

    I remember asking my parents to let me stay up late on a school night to watch Star Trek, when it first came out (Thursday at 10pm? What What rat-buggering monkey troll at CBS planned that bit of scheduling?).

    Yours weren’t the only parents facing that question.

    The problem with nostalgia isn’t that you remember the past. The problem is people too young to experience or appreciate the importance of the past. Try getting a kid with an ipad to understand the importance of a 16K 8bit computer in 1979.

  21. blf says

    A different franchise, but I think the same space-time principles apply. It’s just a jump to the left…

    Yesterday I was doing some related searching and came acrosss two brilliant related vidoes:

    ● Hillywood Doctor Who Parody side-by-side comparison, which shows how much effort was put into replicating iconic scenes from both sources;
    ● I cannot now re-find the second one. It was an obviously Scottish singer (Robert somebody, as I recall) at what seemed to be a folk club doing a (self-penned?) a cappella rendition of the opening song, “Science Fiction”, cleverly altered to refer exclusively to Doctor Who.