Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Factual error: According to "The Doomsday Machine", full impulse drive is one-quarter the speed of light. In the first two movies, Enterprise used thrusters as opposed to impulse drive to leave Spacedock, confirming the notion that impulse drive is far too fast to leave such a (comparatively) small structure. Styles, however, orders Excelsior to one-quarter impulse, which is 18,750 km/s. In one second, she will travel half again Earth's diameter. From the time he gives the order to the time we see Excelsior clear spacedock's doors is approximately 40 seconds. Even allowing 30 seconds to go from rest to one quarter impulse, spacedock must be 13-15 times bigger than Earth! That's some serious engineering. (00:23:45)

Grumpy Scot

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Suggested correction: I reckon the writers always refer to levels of "impulse power" precisely so they don't have to worry too much about particular speeds (personally I always thought of it as roughly analogous to gears on a vehicle, but your mileage may vary). They use impulse to leave dock in both Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (it's implied to be unusual in both cases, for what it's worth). If all of that contradicts an earlier episode, I think we're looking at more of a retcon situation than a mistake.

TonyPH Premium member

Suggested correction: The warp scale has been adjusted several times, so it is impossible to say precisely how fast this fictional technology is, and by extension, how fast impulse is.

Impulse drive speed on starships have been consistent. Although sometimes quarter impulse on a shuttle refers to quarter power and not speed. Even if the speed of quarter impulse is 10 times slower than suggested (and used in the series), spacedock would still be 1.3-1.5 times bigger than Earth, which it wasn't. "It's fictional technology" is usually only a valid correction if the technology isn't explained in-universe. However, when certain parameters regarding fictional technology are established (even if they set wide parameters such as warp speed velocities) violations or contradictions (through bad script writing or whatnot) are valid mistakes.

Bishop73

Continuity mistake: When Kirk checks the video logs to find the keeper of Spock's katra, the timestamp reveals that Spock melded with McCoy on stardate 8128.78. The Wrath of Khan begins on stardate 8130.3. (00:21:50)

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Suggested correction: The stardate system has never been precisely defined, so this is not a mistake.

While not precisely defined, it has been established in almost every episode that the numbers increase as time moves forward. (example in the Next Generation, the second number of the stardate corresponded with the season number, also in the episode The Best of Both Worlds, Picard gives a Stardate of 43992.6, then later 43996.2. So this mistake stands.

Revealing mistake: As the Enterprise nears the space dock doors there is an outline around the ends of the nacelles that precedes them as it moves. This shows that the ship was superimposed over the shot of the inside of the space dock.

Movie Nut

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Suggested correction: This isn't wrong, per se, but matte outlines are so inherent to this type of optical effect that it I think it would be like counting "makeup looks fake" or "unconvincing acting" as mistakes. There probably is a line where a special effect is so bad it can indeed be counted as a mistake, but this doesn't cross it, in my opinion.

TonyPH Premium member

Other mistake: On the backside of the DVD near the bottom is a series of six images purportedly from the movie. The second image shows the crew in uniform, including Mr. Spock, standing in the Federation Council chamber. This image comes from the movie Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (after the crew has returned to Earth and is waiting to hear the Council's judgment).

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Suggested correction: Amusing, but I don't think we're counting mistakes on the box art.

TonyPH Premium member

Factual error: According to "The Doomsday Machine", full impulse drive is one-quarter the speed of light. In the first two movies, Enterprise used thrusters as opposed to impulse drive to leave Spacedock, confirming the notion that impulse drive is far too fast to leave such a (comparatively) small structure. Styles, however, orders Excelsior to one-quarter impulse, which is 18,750 km/s. In one second, she will travel half again Earth's diameter. From the time he gives the order to the time we see Excelsior clear spacedock's doors is approximately 40 seconds. Even allowing 30 seconds to go from rest to one quarter impulse, spacedock must be 13-15 times bigger than Earth! That's some serious engineering. (00:23:45)

Grumpy Scot

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: I reckon the writers always refer to levels of "impulse power" precisely so they don't have to worry too much about particular speeds (personally I always thought of it as roughly analogous to gears on a vehicle, but your mileage may vary). They use impulse to leave dock in both Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (it's implied to be unusual in both cases, for what it's worth). If all of that contradicts an earlier episode, I think we're looking at more of a retcon situation than a mistake.

TonyPH Premium member

Suggested correction: The warp scale has been adjusted several times, so it is impossible to say precisely how fast this fictional technology is, and by extension, how fast impulse is.

Impulse drive speed on starships have been consistent. Although sometimes quarter impulse on a shuttle refers to quarter power and not speed. Even if the speed of quarter impulse is 10 times slower than suggested (and used in the series), spacedock would still be 1.3-1.5 times bigger than Earth, which it wasn't. "It's fictional technology" is usually only a valid correction if the technology isn't explained in-universe. However, when certain parameters regarding fictional technology are established (even if they set wide parameters such as warp speed velocities) violations or contradictions (through bad script writing or whatnot) are valid mistakes.

Bishop73

More mistakes in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Captain Spock: My father says that you have been my friend. You came back for me.
Kirk: You would have done the same for me.
Captain Spock: Why would you do this?
Kirk: Because the needs of the one... Outweigh the needs of the many.
Captain Spock: [begins to remember] I have been and ever shall be your friend.
Kirk: Yes. Yes, Spock.
Captain Spock: The ship... Out of danger?
Kirk: You saved the ship. You saved us all. Don't you remember?
Captain Spock: Jim... Your name is Jim.
Kirk: Yes.

More quotes from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Trivia: At the beginning of the movie Kirk rescues McCoy from a jail of some sort. Before leaving Kirk asks McCoy how many fingers he's holding up and does the Vulcan hand thing. However, Shatner had severe difficulties putting his fingers into place, they just wouldn't hold into position. So the crew wound up wrapping fishing line around Shatner's fingers, he would put them into position out of the camera and the shot quickly jumped while his fingers where still in place. If you look closely you see the line around his fingers. (Note that this problem occurred several times during Star Trek, actually, Nimoy and Leonard seem to be the only people doing this without a problem.)

More trivia for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Chosen answer: Scotty spent the best years of his career as the chief engineer of the flagship of the Federation: the Enterprise. His time has passed, however and the Federation is rumored to be planning on the Excelsior becoming the new flagship. It is a larger ship with a new, experimental warp drive. Scotty hates the Excelsior primarily due to his pride in the Enterprise but also because he is unimpressed by the design of the Excelsior. The trans-warp drive is easily sabotaged.

More questions & answers from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

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