I consider myself a Trekkie and I have seen pretty much every episode there is to watch at least once. That was a long time ago, and my memory is hazy but I seem to recall that in the first episode of the original Star Trek, they referred not to “Warp Travel,” but rather “Time Warp.” Was this concept elaborated upon at all?

I’m not talking about the motion pictures with the Borg or the whales. The idea I got in my head was they were altering the rate of time in order to travel vast distances without aging. This was some time ago. I may be recalling the episode improperly.

  • Which episode was that? (I THINK some countries had other order of showing episodes than others but not sure on that)
    – Thomas
    Mar 1, 2015 at 7:06
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    @Thomas I'm pretty sure it was the very first Star Trek episode. It may have even been a pilot.
    – motoku
    Mar 1, 2015 at 7:07
  • Can you go into a bit more details what happens there or the episodes title? (when I watched TOS here in my country each time they showed it I saw a different order of episodes same for tng)
    – Thomas
    Mar 1, 2015 at 7:08
  • Now that I think of it, it didn't have any of the actors in the next episode.
    – motoku
    Mar 1, 2015 at 7:10
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    Can it be that you are talking about the original pilot? The original pilot featured only spock who reoccured and had christopher pike as the captain of theenterprise
    – Thomas
    Mar 1, 2015 at 7:11

2 Answers 2


As you are talking about the original series and more specifically the original pilot I fear it is mostly another word used for warp speed which was later on dropped. That pilot had many concepts and things that were never seen again in the later series like lamps like appendages on the navigation controls, .... and from the whole cast only spock and the female who was the first officer in the pilot (the actress Majel Barrett who became the nurse Christine Chapel in the series) made it into the series itself.

Additionally to build onto that at least in the german translation warp speed was in some of the first episodes called sol speed instead. So I take it that the word warp speed was only developed later on during the series and evolved from the earlier words because it sounds cooler and more scifi like (so to say the word for warpspeed was "retconned" a few times inside the series by just using a new word for it from one episode to the other until "engage warp speed" was used [sry if the word is not 100% correct its a bit hard to translate correctly from german to english as I'm not exactly sure about the exact english phrase there]).

Also to add a bit onto "Time warp" I asked a few questions about the episode in question AS in a few episodes the enterprise itself really did a time warp (I know 2 episodes where it happens at least). Not sure if it is referenced as time warp there or not. This time warping happens when they slingshot around the sun / fly into a supernova like sun (in at least one of them they say they are traveling at sol speed thus this was one of the episodes where warp speed still was not fixated as the word for their FTL speed travels). That is why I asked to find out if you meant any of these 2 episodes or another one where just the word warp speed was not yet fixated as the word for their faster than light speed.

  • I guess it's been a retcon once they noticed that it is misleading since they're not time travelling (and they obviously thought about ideas on what might happen, e.g. time travelling).
    – Mario
    Mar 1, 2015 at 8:34
  • I'm pretty sure at least one other crew member (Majel as Number One) tagged along with Nimoy for the transition from original pilot to series.
    – user62584
    Feb 28, 2016 at 1:11
  • yepp looked it up on wikipedia seems like she really made the transition (in the series she was the nurse. good point. tnx updaing my answer
    – Thomas
    Feb 28, 2016 at 7:44
  • "at least in the german translation warp speed was in some of the first episodes called sol speed instead. So I take it that the word warp speed was only developed later on" - the word Sol appeared exclusively in the German dubbing, never in the English original. As surmised on EAS, back in those days, it was not yet fashionable to simply use English-sounding words (such as warp) when there was no suitable and concise German equivalent. Feb 28, 2016 at 11:23
  • I feared just that which is why I worded it cautiously there (seen it often enough that the names of films and also in film namings of things in english and german versions dont have anything to do with each other)
    – Thomas
    Feb 28, 2016 at 20:45

In "The Cage" and "Menagerie" Pike specifically tells the crew "Time Warp Factor" instead of "warp factor". Possibly it was shortened to plain warp factor by the series.

In "The Cage" and "Menagerie" Lt. Tyler also says that the "time barrier" has been broken and new ships are faster. Thus it would seem that the "space warp" discovered by Cochrane ("Metamorphosis") was used in the original warp drive but newer warp drive also has a "time Warp".

Thus in "Where NO Man Has Gone Before" the "space warp" engines of the Enterprise were disabled and the ship was traveling much slower, but it apparently was still traveling faster than light since it traveled several light days in less than one day of ship time, apparently still being able to use the "time warp".

I repeat that in "Where NO Man Has Gone Before" the "space Warp" was disabled but it seems certain that the Enterprise was still able to use the "time warp" generators to either ONE) travel several light days at faster than light speeds or to TWO) travel several light days at slower than light speeds but slow down the passage of time aboard so that less than a single day passed aboard.

This "time warp" ability explains how doing something new with the engines sent the Enterprise back in time in "The Naked Time".

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    The Naked Time was rather explicit about them having discovered a way to time travel, not something that they already had or knew about
    – Izkata
    Mar 25, 2015 at 23:03
  • Izkata - if the ship''s engines normally do things to time as well as space, instead of only warping space, it is much more likely an engine accident can send the ship back in time. I believe that the Enterprise engines can cause time to pass faster or slower in different parts of ship as compared to each other and to the outside universe. Mar 28, 2015 at 5:00

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