Factual error: Towards the end of the show the Enterprise is leaving Earth orbit and heading towards the sun. We see the Earth diminish and the moon appear looking exactly as it does from Earth. From this angle we should be seeing the "dark side" of the moon, which looks completely different.
Factual error: When they are searching for Finney hidden somewhere in the ship, all ship noises are deadened, and the heartbeats of those on the bridge are muffled by McCoy. In order to locate Finney's heartbeat the ship's auditory sensors are magnified by "one to the fourth power". That's 1x1x1x1 = 1, ie no magnification.
Factual error: Edith Keeler says to McCoy, "My young man is taking me to see a Clark Gable movie." In 1930, Clark Gable was an uncredited bit player who had last made a film in 1926 - Edith, a New York charity worker, would not even have encountered his name.
Factual error: Spock presents himself to Dr. McCoy in sickbay to be relieved of duty for "killing" Captain Kirk. However, as a medical officer, Bones has no place in the ship's chain of command. Doctors have an officer's rank in recognition of their education and value to the service, but no authority over military matters. (For example should Kirk, Spock and Scotty be indisposed, command of the ship would fall to Sulu who is in the chain of command even though McCoy has a higher rank) If Spock believes he should be relieved for breaking regulations and committing murder, and thus confined until court-martial, Scotty would be the one to do it, as he is the next senior officer. And this is not a character mistake, Spock quotes regulations regularly, there is no way he'd ignore chain of command. Contrary to what viewers seem to think, militaries have regulations and officers don't get to ignore them and do what they feel like! The only reason Spock talks to McCoy is so Kirk can walk out of the back of sickbay and create a nice emotional moment.
Add timeGrumpy Scot
Factual error: The Enterprise accidentally travels a short distance outside the galaxy and can't find its way back. But they'd have to travel for months to get so far outside the Milky Way that they couldn't, well, just turn around in the void and see it. Our galaxy is huge. 100,000 light years across. Very huge. And that barrier may surround the galaxy, but even it is big, pink and visible.
Add timeJean G
Factual error: In the opening scene on the bridge, when Spock states the planet's properties, the circumference is given in US miles; the mass is given in metric tons; the density is given in metric grams per cubic centimeter; and the atmosphere is given as oxygen/nitrogen. No scientist of Spock’s standing would mix US and metric unit systems. The atmosphere composition should also be stated reversed as “nitrogen/oxygen” with the most abundant gas first.
Factual error: When Kirk is given the medicine badge, it's a stretchy elastic/Spandex headband. This is supposedly a completely pre-industrial culture paralleling the early Native American tribes. They have no fabric, no yarn, no spinning wheels - only hides and animal hair, neither of which can stretch a la Spandex.
Factual error: Kirk's line, "We're a doomed ship, traveling forever between galaxies" is the only time original "Trek" committed the scientific blunder of confusing galaxies and solar systems. The Enterprise wasn't capable of intergalactic travel (that's leaving one galaxy and reaching another). Yes, it strayed briefly out of our galaxy several times. But it did not - and could not - cross to another one. That would take a warp 100-plus drive and thousands of years.
Factual error: When the Enterprise is slingshotting its way back to the "present" it uses the computer to deposit the two men at different times, The Enterprise is traveling backwards in time, so will logically meet the time when the guard was beamed up first, not after Christopher is returned to his cockpit. So the order is wrong. Should be guard then Christopher, not Christopher then guard.
Factual error: If Miri's planet is a "duplicate" (meaning identical) Earth, it should have clouds. It doesn't. This remains a mistake because "duplicate" means "exactly the same," and thus the clouds should be there. The special effects crew forgot to put them in. Noteworthy: the very first thing fixed in the digitally enhanced version of this episode was the duplicate Earth. It has clouds now.
Factual error: In the opening sequence, Spock identifies the alien ship as possessing "ion propulsion" which he says is "unique technology." Scotty is similarly impressed and says, "They could teach us a thing or two!" Kirk later comments that "Advanced ion propulsion is beyond even our capabilities." However, even back in the 1960s, ion propulsion was physically feasible, while Warp propulsion was complete fantasy. Ion propulsion of any kind could never even reach lightspeed and would be incredibly primitive compared to Warp technology. In fact, we in the 21st Century have already developed ion propulsion, but it will probably take many hundreds or thousands of years to develop anything even close to Warp technology.
Add timeCharles Austin Miller
Factual error: When Kirk/Spock enter/leave the Council Chamber, the doors quietly open unaided (as though there were motion detectors in operation), yet the Organian culture - determined by Spock to be approximately Class D minus on Richter Scale of Cultures - would not have had such technology. A fact overlooked by Kirk and more importantly, Spock.