In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Trials and Tribble-ations," we meet the agency of Temporal Investigations. They mention that Captain Kirk has traveled through time on at least seventeen instances. What were those instances? I can think of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, possibly Generations, and "The City on the Edge of Forever". What are the other examples?

2 Answers 2


The actual line from the episode is:

LUCSLY: Seventeen separate temporal violations. The biggest file on record.

Importantly, a "violation" does not necessarily refer to an "instance of time travel"; indeed, Memory Alpha interprets this line to mean 17 specific actions taken in the course of time travel that violate temporal regulations (see the article on this episode, bottom on the "Trivia" section). Presumably, multiple violations could be incurred during a single time travel incident, just as multiple real-world laws could be broken during a single bank robbery.

These are all the occasions I know of on which Kirk traveled through time:

  • "The Naked Time": The Enterprise is accidentally sent a few days backwards in time by the gravity well of a collapsing planet. Unclear if any "violations" were committed.
  • "Tomorrow is Yesterday": The Enterprise passed too close to a "black star" and is thrown back to 1969 where they encounter the US air force. Many violations likely committed.
  • "The City On The Edge of Forever": The Guardian of Forever sends Kirk, Spock and Bones back to the 1930's where McCoy severely alters history. Kirk endeavors to "correct" history, but hits a few bumps along the way.
  • "Assignment: Earth": Kirk is sent back to 1969 by Starfleet to monitor Earth's history, but ends up interfering with history when he discovers that aliens are meddling in Earth's politics.
  • "All Our Yesterdays": Kirk, Spock and Bones are accidentally sent back into the history of the planet Sarpedion. Unclear if any violations are committed.
  • "Yesteryear": Kirk enters the Guardian of Forever to observe the birth of the Orion civilization. Unclear if any violations are committed. Spock goes back in time to save his own life, which sounds like interfering with the past to me, and he was under Kirk's command at the time.
  • "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home": despite saving the Federation in the process, taking creatures (including a human!) from the 20th century to the present probably constitute violations.
  • "Star Trek: Generations": Kirk travels 80 years into the future by entering the Nexus. Unlikely that any violations were committed considering that he traveled into the future, not the past.

Additionally, while it's a bit of a stretch, Kirk existed at an accelerated time rate in "Wink of an Eye", and in "The Counter Clock Incident" the Enterprise enters a universe where time runs backwards and the crew (including Kirk) are de-aged.

  • It should be noted that "Assignment: Earth" was a Starfleet sanctioned trip and that Kirk didn't travel into the past himself in "Yesteryear", only Spock. But you're right, probably multiple violations per instance. Feb 12, 2018 at 2:06
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    @EmsleyWyatt, At least per the description of Yesteryear on Memory Alpha, Kirk was traveling through time at the beginning of the episode. Thus, it does count as an episode where Kirk travels in time. However, as you mentioned, Kirk did not travel with Spock later in the episode when Spock additionally traveled back to his own childhood.
    – Makyen
    Feb 12, 2018 at 3:32
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    Also, we don't see every minute of his life. There are assuredly plenty of untelevised adventures. Feb 12, 2018 at 10:02
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    Re: The Voyage Home, they also introduce the science behind transparent aluminium to the 20th century, that's got to be a violation. Feb 12, 2018 at 18:03
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    @NickT Janeway is almost certainly a worse offender than Kirk based on what we see in screen, but she got 7 years of screen time while Kirk only got 3 (plus the movies). Would make for a good question! Feb 12, 2018 at 20:37

They must be including events of some of the Novels. In Yesterdays Son they travel back in time to the same world as in All Our Yesterdays. In the novel Time for Yesterday they one again go back to the past of the same planet. There is Killing Time, where Kirk from an alternate changed timeline go back with Spock and others to stop Romulans agents. Also one where a speciies similar to the one introduced in voyager went back to stop the asterroid from wiping out the dinosaurs.

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    The novels have umpteen instances of Kirk traveling through time. Probably a hundred or more
    – Valorum
    Feb 29 at 22:38

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