In Star Trek: Beyond movie, we saw this photo which Spock had carried from the original timeline:

Publicity shot of the primary cast from Star Trek V gathered on the bridge around Kirk's chair.  From the left are Spock, Sulu, Chekov, Scotty, McCoy, and Uhura, with Kirk seated in the centre

Can you deduce the capture date of the photo by using only clues in the photo itself (i.e. in-universe items such as background, dress, actors' ages, etc.)?

  • I find it interesting that the question specifically asks about Spock yet none of the otherwise good and valid answers make the slightest mention of him and focus on dating the image by the other characters/uniforms.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Mar 31, 2023 at 18:53

2 Answers 2



If you look at the rank insignia, Kirk has reverted to the Captain's insignia, rather than the Admirals insignia. This places it after the events of Star Trek IV, as Kirk had not been demoted yet. Combine this with Uhura's distinctive hair (As noted by @NKCampbell in comments and excellent answer), and you can place it after IV and before VI (as seen with Uhura's hair in this photo).

Cast publicity photo for Star Trek IV. Nichelle Nichols has all-black hair.

You can also look at the design of the bridge screens. As seen in this photo for the bridge for the Enterprise at the time of Star Trek IV, it is much more bulkhead and "TV" type screens:

Shot of the bridge from Star Trek IV, with Spock standing to Kirk's right, McCoy to his left with Scotty behind him towards the entrance.  Uhura is at her station to the right rear and Chekov and Sulu are looking at one another from their stations, front left and right.

Compare this with an image from the bridge during Star Trek V:

Uhura and Scotty are in conversation in the centre of the frame with the port side of the bridge behind them.  Scotty is in working, not dress, attire and Uhura is holding something wrapped in foil

This image shows the captains chair with arms and angled controls at the end:

Various people stand on the left/port side bridge, looking toward the viewer and off-camera left.  On the left is Sybok; behind the rail are the Klingon ambassador, Uhura, the Romulan ambassador, the Human ambassador and two Enterprise crew.  In the foreground are Sulu and Chekov looking backward from their stations.  The empty captain's chair is prominent in the foreground: square, dark, and with lighter tablets at the ends of the arms

As compared to the captain's chair from ST III/IV:

Kirk, in a uniform jacket open to the waist showing a fancy white shirt, stands facing the viewscreen between Scotty, in uniform and sitting at Chekov's station and Sulu, out of uniform in a teal jacket.  McCoy, also out of uniform stands behind, to the right of the captain's chair.  The chair is a light green with an upside-down triangular shape.


This is a publicity photo from Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

The timeline for Star Trek at Memory Alpha gives the stardate as 8454.1, or Earth Date 2287.

So presumably, even though this is an out of universe publicity still, it is intended to be a voyage/mission photo from the shakedown cruise of the NCC-1701-A. (Much as NASA has been doing for decades) with a stardate as noted above.

  • 2
    Any citation of the first sentence? Googling "publicity photo from Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" doesn't help.
    – user931
    Commented Oct 9, 2017 at 17:03
  • @ChristieRomanowski - Apologies, you need to know some of the theater lingo. Search for "Star Trek Final Frontier Publicity Still" or substitute "Lobby Card" for the publicity still. Or you can drag/drop it into the google images site search bar.
    – JohnP
    Commented Oct 9, 2017 at 17:27
  • Googling "Star Trek Final Frontier Publicity Still" also didn't help. Reverse image search also fails. It only says about Star Trek: Beyond thing..
    – user931
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 21:53
  • 1
    @ChristieRomanowski - third row center image
    – JohnP
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 21:56
  • Yes, "Star Trek Final Frontier Lobby Card" worked: 68.media.tumblr.com/52358eb51cb9588e6cde314387e3d3da/… Thanks!
    – user931
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 21:57

As JohnP's answer states, the image in question is from an out-of-universe cast photo from Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

The question is asking though, what clues in the image itself can be used to determine what time period the image was taken?

I propose that we can use Uhura's hairstyle as the primary clue. Specifically, the amount and particular style of gray hair she has.

For example - in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home - she has little to no gray at all:

Uhura, in uniform left, looks down as Chekov, in a brown leather jacket, takes a reading with a handheld sensor.  Her hair is uniformly black.

In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, her hair color is essentially the same as that in Star Trek IV:

Headshot of Uhura looking forward just below the camera; there are just a few silver hairs visible.

Yet, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier is the only time we see Uhura with this particular style and amount of grey hair:

Another headshot of Uhura looking to the right; her hair has prominent silver streaks, notably in the curl at the top of her forehead.

So - from an in-universe perspective only, we can assume that this image was taken sometime after the events of Star Trek IV and before the events of Star Trek VI (in other words: roughly around the tine of Star Trek V)

Additionally, Sulu has white undergarments in Star Trek VI, so the image can be assumed to be prior to his captaincy of Excelsior

Headshot of Sulu looking over his right shoulder; the white-collared shirt is visible above his uniform jacket

  • 2
    You can also use Kirk's rank insignia on his uniform, as I noted in my answer. +1 on the Hair comparison.
    – JohnP
    Commented Oct 9, 2017 at 17:47
  • 1
    and Sulu's uniform @JohnP (which I've updated)
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Oct 9, 2017 at 17:49
  • Nice. I was just about to look at that as well. Another +1 for you. :)
    – JohnP
    Commented Oct 9, 2017 at 17:49

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