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In Star Trek 2009, we meet Montgomery Scott in exile on Delta Vega. Scotty says his exile happened because he caused Admiral Jonathan Archer's dog Porthos to disappear during a test of an early prototype of Scotty's transwarp transporter.

We all remember Porthos as the beagle that Archer cared for in Star Trek Enterprise. Dogs today tend not to live more than 15 or 20 years. This implies that Star Trek 2009 was set only a few years after Archer saved Earth from the Xindi in Star Trek Enterprise. Unless future medicine causes dogs to live 50 years.

Can someone connect the timeline elements together, so that we can see how old Porthos was when Scotty killed him?

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    There could be a line I'm not remembering, but doesn't he just say "Admiral Archer's prized beagle" or something like that? It's possible it was another dog if the time line doesn't match up. Though, the reference to Porthos is pretty heavily implied. – Alarion Jul 27 '15 at 4:34
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    It's revealed in the Paramount-licensed (and canon) Star Trek: Ongoing comics that Scotty was eventually able to rescue the dog, alive and well. – Valorum Jul 27 '15 at 10:17
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    Wow, my mind is blown. I had no idea that the Admiral Archer/beagle bit was a reference to Jonathan Archer from Enterprise. Guess I just never put two & two together on that before. – Omegacron Jul 27 '15 at 15:44
  • Who said that Porthos is dead? If he was successfully transwarped to a habitable planet or starship, why would he have to die... He may appear in future movies. – Captain Cold May 19 '17 at 3:31
  • People can have multiple dogs, and reuse their names. – OrangeDog Jul 11 at 12:50
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Is the dog Porthos?

I include this section because I didn't initially believe it could be the same dog, but research proved me wrong.

Robert Orci, one of the writers of Star Trek (2009), answered this question in a 2009 Q&A on TrekMovie.com1:

QUESTION: Forget with it was Admiral Jon Archer (as it obviously was!): is the beagle mentioned Porthos? Has veterinary science advanced so much? (Please say yes!)

Orci: YES!

So shut me up.

How old would Porthos be?

We don't know exactly when Archer first got Porthos, although we know he's had him from a puppy. "Broken Bow", the first episode of Enterprise, is established as taking place in 2151:

Archer: Enterprise starlog, Captain Jonathan Archer. April 16, 2151.

Star Trek Enterprise Season 1 Episode 1: "Broken Bow"

So Porthos has been around at least since April 2151.

Meanwhile, in Star Trek (2009), Spock gives the stardate after taking command of the Enterprise:

[T]he Enterprise BLASTS AWAY -- in the distance, THE ENTIRE PLANET OF VULCAN SWALLOWS INTO ITSELF -- A TERRIFYING, UNIMAGINABLE IMPLOSION -- UNTIL NOTHING IS THERE BUT DARKNESS. Over this, we HEAR:

SPOCK (V.O.): Acting Captain's log. Stardate 2256.42: I have assumed command of the Enterprise

Star Trek (2009) - 2007 draft

According to Izkata's answer to this question, that stardate corresponds to February 11, 2256.

Later dialogue from Scotty indicated that he made Porthos disappear six months prior:

Starfleet Officer (cont'd): Six months I've been living on nothing but Starfleet Protein Nibs and the promise of a real food delivery!

[...]

Scotty: I told my instructor I could not only beam a bird from one planet to an adjacent planet in the same system -- which is no big deal anyway -- but if I were so inclined I could actually do it with a lifeform! So I tested it on Admiral Archer's prize beagle. Which... was a mistake

Star Trek (2009) - 2007 draft

Six months before the above date puts us around August 2255.

So Porthos was at least 104 years old.


1 The questions are asked and answered in the comments under the blog post. I've tried to permalink to Orci's reply, but may not have succeeded

  • @CodeMed According to Memory Alpha, Archer was born in 2112. I haven't been able to corroborate that number, but it seems like a fair estimate (the first scene of "Broken Bow" takes place in 2121, and Archer is at least 10 in it). So he'd have been around 143 at the time – Jason Baker Jul 27 '15 at 4:51
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    I wonder why Scotty thinks a bird is not a lifeform. – Lightness Races in Orbit Jul 27 '15 at 10:07
  • @LightnessRacesinOrbit I'm pretty sure he said grapefruit in the movie, not bird. Still a lifeform, but at least it's not an animal :) – Luaan Jul 27 '15 at 12:12
  • @Luaan: Confirmed. Don't know how "bird" ended up here! In fact, the same source has "roast turkey" for the previous utterance of "grapefruit". Could be the wording was switched out during filming. Though I note much of the following dialogue doesn't match up, either. – Lightness Races in Orbit Jul 27 '15 at 12:15
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    Just a speculation, but maybe Porthos was put in suspended animation for a few decades? We know they had the technology, since Kahn was in suspended animation for even longer. Also: does the line clearly say that Archer was still alive (in which case he'd be very old himself!), or is it possible that someone else got mad at Scotty for disappearing the dog of such an important historical figure? – Hypnosifl Jul 28 '15 at 10:07
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There's another answer to this — that Archer, as the crazy man that he is demonstrated to be in the early seasons of Enterprise, decided to have him stuffed and just continue to pretend that he's still alive... So, Scotty didn't kill him as he was already dead.

My evidence for this hypothesis (which is mostly a joke...):

It can reasonably be assumed based on our current understanding of science that a dog living 105 years is impossible even with advances in vetinary medicine in the next 150 or so years.

Archer REALLY likes his dog. See the episode A Night in Sickbay. To recap, the plot of this episode basically revolves around Archer thinking that being around the guy caring for his sick dog is more important than a diplomatic mission, the completion of which will remove the significant risk they faced of the ship breaking and stranding them with no expectation of ever being rescued or able to return home. So Archer's dog is evidently more important to him than his ship or his crew. Given that this is a captain's most important duty, this dog must be bloody important to him! This same episode, along with other season 1 and 2 ones, also paints Archer as being just crazy enough to keep a stuffed dog for nearly 100 years.

Finally, in the script the dog being dead is not explicitly mentioned.

Scotty: So, I tested it out on Admiral Archer's prized beagle.

Kirk: Wait, I know that dog. What happened to it?

Scotty: I'll tell you when it reappears. Ahem. I don't know, I do feel guilty about that.

The main caveat is that in the previous sentence, the dog is effectively referred to as a life form. I don't know if canonically a life form can include dead (but taxidermied?) things.

  • Welcome to SFFSE! Do you have any evidence to support this? I don't know why Scotty would get into trouble for killing a dog that was already dead.. – Often Right Jul 27 '15 at 8:27
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    Apologies, it was mostly a joke. My evidence would be that it's unbelievable that even with advanced vetinary science a dog can live that long... that combined with the way Archer acts in A Night in Sickbay (if you've forgotten let me remind you - looking after his sick dog is more important to him than not risking breaking his ship and stranding his crew with no reasonable chance to get home) does bring it to mind as a possibility. And as for your last point, if Archer is crazy enough to keep a dead dog for likely nearly 100 years, he's certainly crazy enough to get angry if someone loses it. – Muzer Jul 27 '15 at 8:35
  • Apology accepted :D My last point still stands - Scotty couldn't get into trouble for killing a dog, or anything or anyone else for that matter, if they were already dead! – Often Right Jul 27 '15 at 8:43
  • But the dog dying isn't mentioned in the film. "Scotty: So, I tested it out on Admiral Archer's prized beagle. Kirk: Wait, I know that dog. What happened to it? Scotty: I'll tell you when it reappears. Ahem. I don't know, I do feel guilty about that." That seems consistent with this theory; the dog being alive is not mentioned! The main issue is him refering to Porthos in the previous sentence as a life form. I'm not sure if life forms canonically include dead things or not. – Muzer Jul 27 '15 at 8:51
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    Fair point - I retract my point. You might want to add that section from the script to your answer to improve its quality though ;) – Often Right Jul 27 '15 at 8:52
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Scotty didn't kill Porthos.

According to the (considered to be canon) IDW comic Star Trek: Ongoing #12, Porthos was eventually recovered by Scotty, alive and well.

enter image description here

  • @CodeMed - The question is invalid. He didn't kill him, so the answer is "he didn't kill him". – Valorum Jul 27 '15 at 19:33
  • Unless, since Scott seems to have been at a loss as for what happened, it is an exact copy. – Ellesedil Jul 27 '15 at 21:56
  • @Richard The question is obviously not about whether or not he was killed. The fact that CodeMed was unaware of a relatively recent retcon does not invalidate the core question at all. – Matthew Read Jul 28 '15 at 1:20
  • @matthewread - I disagree. The new info fundamentally invalidates the question as written – Valorum Jul 28 '15 at 7:29
  • I'd like to point out that we don't see the dog move, at least on that page. It could still be stuffed ;). – Muzer Jul 28 '15 at 10:27

protected by Community Oct 5 '17 at 11:52

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