The Age ThingEdit

For those interested, I believe I've come up with an explanation to the "consistent age skew" which Molly has been subjected to. You can find it in the "discrepancy explanations" section on my user subpage. Keep in mind it's only my opinion (and therefore not canon) and you can choose whether or not to accept the explanation provided. Alternate explanations for this discrepancy or any other discrepancies are also welcomed and encouraged; just make sure to post them in the User Talk page. --Shran 12:23, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Something Ira Steven Behr said about the three actresses playing Ziyal comes to mind to be similar to this. It about something about reminding the audience that its just a TV show. Tough Little Ship 19:23, 15 Aug 2005 (UTC)
I hate when people associated with the production of a television show use "it's only tv" as an excuse for flaws in continuity, it indicates a weakness in the perception of this medium as an art form. No self respecting novelist would use the statement "it's only a book". Jaf 15:55, 18 Sep 2005 (UTC)jaf
It was TNG who cast Hana Hatae as Molly. At that point the actress was four years old when the character was only supposed to be one year old! Tough Little Ship 16:02, 18 Sep 2005 (UTC)
It's still production, now we are simply expanding the list of people who don't care enough. : ) Jaf 16:05, 18 Sep 2005 (UTC)Jaf
This article mentions Molly being shown as a baby during TNG's 5th Season, when she was born, and then says that less than a year later she was on DS9, looking almost 4 years old. Well, in TNG's "Rascals" (Season 6) she also appeared to be at least 2 years old, even though she was only a year old. So the discrepancy really started on TNG, not DS9.
Not that I'm trying to defend DS9 or anything. Goodness no...--Antodav 04:53, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
There are only two instances in DS9 where her age is explicitly given on screen, as far as I know. The first is in "Crossover", where Julian tells Miles (mirror) that Miles (standard) has a daughter who's five. Then in "Time's Orphan", she's explicitly referred to as eight by Kira.
This immediately shows a mathematical problem, because there would appear to be four years difference between the late season 2 episode ("Crossover") and the late season 6 episode ("Orphan"). Either a) DS9's production crew screwed things up as much as TNG's crew or b) we're falsely assuming that broadcast years are calendar years. I'm personally going for the latter, as almost all seasons end in a cliffhanger, meaning that the final episode of one season occurs moments before the first episode of the next season. Thing is, though, unlike TNG's very explict references to "seven years" having elapsed between pilot and finale, DS9 doesn't quite do that. You have to piece it together; e.g., A and B are X years apart, B and C are Y years apart, therefore, A and C are X+Y years apart. Our only real clue of Molly's final age is when Kira says to Damar in the finale that he's been living in Cardassian HQ for the "past two years". So seasons 6 and 7 happen within the span of 2 years, but there's no telling exactly how those two years pass. Is each episode neatly equidistant from each other, meaning you get about two episodes for each month of the year? No, that's clearly improbable. But it's hard to find the explicit "break points" between runs of episodes that are clearly meant to be happening within days of each other.
There's no doubt that if you go off of stardates, there's definitely a problem with Molly. But, c'mon: stardates? I think they're best viewed as they were originally intended in TOS: a way to avoid giving an explicit year. They're pretty ridiculous, since a) canon doesn't tell us how they actually work and b) they're working on an obviously different principle in the original series and the later ones. Yes, the intent of the Berman years is that they operate in an apparently standard way, and even that they would seem to suggest that seasons 1 and 2 of DS9 are happening in the same years as seasons 6 and 7 of TNG. But it's also clear that stardates became an increasing problem for a continuing drama like DS9. Each successive season had progressively fewer stardates, unlike TNG's almost maniacal dedication to them. And a few episodes of DS9 have even been broadcast out of stardate order—"Dax" and "Cardassians" spring to mind. By the time Season 7 rolled around, they were all but abandoned. Only four episodes during the entire year get them, and only two consecutive episodes, "The Dogs of War" and "Extreme Measures" have known stardates. Those dates, though, are ridiculously far apart, suggesting the passage of months between the two. In fact, the time difference between these two episodes is fully one-half the distance between the other two episodes with known stardates, "Shadows and Symbols" and "Penumbra". And it's about twice the distance between "Penumbra" and "Extreme Measures". The result is thus a season that doesn't handle dates in the same way as past seasons. Were the events of the first few seasons happening more rapidly than those towards the Dominion War arc? I'd go for that, personally, since many episodes of Seasons 6 and 7 seem to be happening in tight consecutive order. That seems a plausible explanation for how there can be 3 narrative years between season 2's "Crossover" (where she's 5) and season 6's "Time's Orphan" (where she's 8). Another explanation is that she's on the cusp of her ninth birthday in "Orphan".
I'd go so far to say that the narrative could be read to explain how stardates are not working as they would appear to be. "Sanctuary" puts the Cardassian overthrow at one year old. "Emissary" puts Dukat in charge "two weeks ago". In this instance, stardates seem to be right on the money. "Emissary" happened on 46379.1; "Sanctuary" on 47391.2. However, the previous Season 2 episode, "Second Sight" (47329.4), has Sisko marking the fourth anniversary of Wolf 359 (c. 44000). However, it would seem that "Second Sight" is a lot closer to being the 3 year anniversary. And so we have a problem. Both these dates are "big" for our respective leads. Surely neither would get them wrong, would they? Well, I dunno. Kira's making a rhetorical point when she claims the year anniversary; Sisko's narrating a somber, personal log. I'm trusting the guy who's mourning his wife's passage, more than the major who's trying to prove something. So let's assume Sisko's "right". Molly would appear to have been born around the first anniversary of the battle, at the top of TNG Season 5. If Season 2 of DS9 actually contained the fourth anniversary of Locutus, Molly "should" be 3. So how can she be 5?
To me, It comes down to a matter of trust by the viewer. Do we trust what people say on screen, or do we trust a dating system that has never been explained on screen? Do we believe our characters who are speaking in terms of what they perceive to be the passage of time, or do we trust our own perception of time passage? For me, there's no other choice but to try to make sense of what our characters say, and if no solution can be found, only then do we declare an error.
We start by throwing out stardates and broadcast dates. There's no reason to assume, for instance, that Molly actually was born a year after Locutus, just because that's what broadcast order and stardates seem to tell us. She could be born within the same year as Wolf 359, without too much of a stretch. Thus by the time of "Second Sight", she could have been 3, with as much as 6-8 months before her fourth birthday. So, somehow, between "Second Sight" and "Crossover", she has to pick up a year. This is pretty easy actually, as the majority of episodes between the two aren't dated (in fact, only one of the last nine episodes is). Also, two non-contiguous episodes, "Sanctuary" and "The Alternate" appear to be occurring on the same day, which would strongly suggest to me, at least, that stardates got realigned. Thus, there's a great deal of uncertainty, not error, about dates in the second year. I don't see it as a stretch at at all to think she's just settling in to her fifth year by the end of the season.
Another explanation for this whole thing is that Miles appears in both TNG Season 6 and DS9 season 1. This makes it possible to believe that somewhere between the beginning of Seaon 6 and "Rascals"—Miles' last contemporary appearance on TNG—a great deal of time elapses. Enough to justify Molly being recast with Hana Hatae. One could believe that the first part of Season 6 is a year unto itself. Furthermore, the exact moment of O'Brien's departure from the Big E is not specified by any script I can recall. Now, sure, DS9's original stardate only slightly postdates that assigned to "Rascal". But again, I think the unreliability of stardates has been proven. It is much more satisfactory for me to believe that the two shows are in fact asynchronous. Season 7 of TNG may not, in fact, be set in the same year as Season 2 of DS9. Molly's age at the beginning o DS9 might not be a mistake, but a positive indication that the two shows are supposed to be read as occurring in different narrative years, despite their year of broadcast and the so-called "evidence" of stardates. So with a year skipped at the top of Season 6, Miles on board the Enterprise, but never seen, throughout the remainder of Season 6, it's just possible to believe that the Picard we see in "Emissary" is older than the one who appeared on the episode of TNG that broadcast closest to it ("Chain of Command, Part II"). Molly could easily be well into her third year by the time DS9 starts for this reason, too.
The only other question about Molly's age is how she's only 8 by "Time's Orphan", when four years would apparently have elapsed since "Crossover". The easiest explanation here is that narrative time naturally slows once the big story arcs begin in Season 5. It's easy to believe that the top half of Season 6, for instance, happens in relatively quick succession, making Molly only close to her 9th birthday by "Orphan". Now, I would say that she has to be at least 10 by the last episode of DS9, because of Kira's statement about Damar's presence at Cardassian HQ. Since Molly's age is not commented upon after "Time's Orphan", and the actor was actually 10 at the time of recording, I'm prepared to believe it all worked out in the end. Even if it requires believing in a misfit between broadcast year and narrative year. CzechOut | 00:16, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Wow... you've definitely thought a lot about this whole thing, lol! I agree, though, there's not really any reason to believe the last few seasons of TNG and the first few seasons of DS9 take place at the same time, despite the stardates and broadcast order. In fact, evidence (as you pointed out) seems to suggest that they don't. If there are any holes in your argument, I can't find or think of any at the moment. Well done. :) Perhaps this will put a rest to the whole Molly age debate... though it's not very likely, since there are people out there who like their precious stardate/broadcast order chronology. :P --From Andoria with Love 21:16, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

What about TNG: "Birthright, Part I"? --OuroborosCobra talk 21:18, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
Not sure I see how "Birthright" makes any difference to the argument. The only two characters relevant to the DS9 timeline are Bashir and Worf. The only two events that have an impact are Picard's mission to help with the rebuilding of aqueducts damaged by Cardassian occupation, and (ambiguously) the USS Enterprise-D crew's switchover to DS9 uniforms.
Bashir's appearance is not, in itself, fixed in time, except that it must pre-date Worf's arrival on DS9. He doesn't say anything of relevance to DS9 whatsoever (except that DS9's computer is less advanced than the Enterprise's). His presence has little impact on the plot, except that it serves to get Data to push Worf into a recollection of his vision. The discovery of Kahless is, after all, what this rather meandering episode is about.
At the end of the day, the only thing that solidly fixes this thing in time, at least insofar as characters are concerned, is that it is prior to the time that Worf joined the DS9 crew. Thus, the episode has a rather large window in which it could take place.
As far as events, Picard's mission is only mentioned in passing, as it's just the pretext for Enterprise being at DS9. (In truth, it doesn't really even do this, though, because, really, the Big-E should've been in orbit of the planet, not docked at the non-orbital space station. But I digress . . . )
One could argue, I suppose, that the aqueduct repairs might've been a priority in the rebuilding of Bajor, and that the nature of the mission indicates they've arrived at a rather early time in the history of the Federation's involvement on Bajor. Now, maybe they have, and maybe that fixes the thing to the first season of DS9. But it doesn't seem likely, to me. Aqueducts can't be the main method for moving water on the planet. It's just too primitive a concept for the time period. I think it more likely that the Federation's help was needed because the Bajorans wanted an archeologically sensitive way to rebuild certain aqueducts that have an historical value. And, indeed, this is maybe why they assigned PIcard to the job, because of his known archaeological background. So I think this mission isn't one that was vital to Bajor. In fact, I think it's an indication that the episode happens later than the then-current episodes of Deep Space Nine; the Bajorans have begun to reassert themselves to the point that they're taking on non-essential rebuilding projects that attest to the unique characteristics of Bajoran society. How better for the Federation to show that it cares about the culture of Bajor to assist in a project that is more important symbolically than practically?
So then we have the uniform question. All we can say about the disparity between DS9 and TNG uniforms is . . . that there was one. It doesn't really establish dates to any degree of reliability. There just seems to have been a period of time where the two uniforms were equally "official"—the so-called "Class-A"s and "Class-B"s. Picard may have preferred the old-school formality of requiring Class-A's, whereas Sisko may have allowed the more functional Class-Bs. Who knows. About the only thing we can say is that the episode appears to have occured before Star Trek Generations, because that's the first point at which the TNG crew are seen to have more-or-less fully switched to Class-Bs. However, there are various episodes of later DS9 episodes in which "Starfleet extras" are seen to still be wearing old Class-As. And, Admirals don't seem to have been afforded the luxury of Class-Bs at any point. This makes things really confusing to me because the Admiral unforms, even into the latest stages of the DS9/TNG-post-First Contact era, still look like the old Class-As to me.
Thus, there's nothing at any level in "Birthright" that speaks to Molly's age, or indeed actively disproves the theory that DS9 and TNG were asynchronous. CzechOut | 03:24, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
In Birthright, the Enterprise visits a DS9 under Federation control, Worf walks around in it. We see more than just Bashir, we see the entire station. That means that the last seasons of TNG must have taken place during seasons of DS9, as before DS9 the station was under Cardassian control, not Federation control. Since we also know that O'Brien transfered onto the station at the start of Federation control, we know that Molly had to be on DS9 at the time of Birthright. Molly can be no younger in Birthright than she would have been in Emissary, or any other early episode of DS9. --OuroborosCobra talk 03:31, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, okay, I guess it is tied a little bit more tightly than I initially supposed. Picard's mission is probably closer to the beginning of the Fed's time on Bajor than not. Indeed, I'm not saying there's no overlap. I just don't think you can say that because the stardate of "Birthright" slides between "Q-Less" and "Dax" that the events are strictly chronological. The only "rule of time" that TNG has to obey from what's on screen is that everything has to fit within seven years (cause Picard says so in "All Good Things . . .") How you get to the seven year mark, though, that's the rub. It's entirely possible to believe that everything from "Birthright" to "All Good Things" (and possibly several episodes prior to "Birthright") happens within the same year, despite being split across two broadcast years. And there's no guarantee that we're seeing the episodes in the order that they actually occurred. The only thing we know about "Birthright" is that it happened sometime after the Fed took over DS9 and sometime before "Rightful Heir". That has only peripheral bearing on Molly's age. Molly still has the chance to have aged quite considerably between "Power Play" and "A Man Alone".
To put it more concretely, "Emissary" (and thus "Birthright") could have occurred in the seventh year of Enterprise-D's mission. CzechOut | 04:37, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
You are also forgetting about her appearance in "Rascals". My point here is that I feel a lot of information is being left out of your analysis, such as episodes Molly appeared, episodes proving concurrence between TNG and DS9, hints in episodes as to how long before previous episodes took place (there are references in various episodes to it being "one year" since something or other happened, for example). I think that a LOT is getting left out here, and a LOT more undue speculation being added (such as events not being in the order the episodes aired, that one is rather absurd level of speculation to me, unless we have reason to believe it is true why should we even consider it?). --OuroborosCobra talk 04:47, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
Haven't forgotten about "Rascals" at all; it's been covered further up. In fact, these latest comments on "Birthright" are a part of the earlier statements about "Rascals". And, while you're correct that some episodes do say that things happened "one year later", there's not an example in the late 6th-7th seasons of TNG, of which I'm aware. (Also, when someone says something happened "a year ago" or "last year", they almost never mean that literally.)
As for events not being in the order aired, this, too, has been covered above, in that there are episodes with later stardates broadcast before those with earlier ones, and episodes with the same stardates broadcast around an intervening episode with no stardate. While, sure, it's speculation, it's not "absurd" speculation. The absurd speculation, to me, is when stardates are used as "reliable" enough to translate to an actual year, and, moreover, when those years are effectively tied to broadcast years. There's just no reason to assume that what we see in a given broadcast year is covering events in a nice, neat, regular narrative year. That's problematic enough in the highly episodic TNG, but clearly ridiculous when it comes to the more serial DS9—especially since DS9 had a mid-season start.
I know this probably strikes at one of the underpinnings of the wiki. There's a detailed exercise going on here in trying to give some AD year to every event. Again, in that light, Molly's age is clearly screwed up. There's not really a way to defend the aging on that basis. In that line of thought, S6 of TNG is S1 of DS9 and each broadcast year adds a neat year onto the counter, such that the total time elapsed from "Encounter at Farpoint" and "What You Leave Behind" is 12 years (or possibly 11, since DS9 1 is a "short" broadcast year).
Thing is, though, narratively, that all depends on stardates, and stardates are plain silly. They have no canonical weight. RDM says they shouldn't be investigated closely. Roddenberry said they gave him headaches, or somesuch. They aren't reliable. So why are we trying to rely on them instead of offering plausible possibilities from the narrative.
I haven't offered a single theory here. One part of it is on the TNG side, but there are gaps on the DS9 side, too. Finding the "gap" is definitionally a matter of speculation. Maybe the first part of TNG 6 is a year unto itslef, explaining why Hannah Hatae was appropriate casting in "Rascals". Maybe narrative year 7 starts in the middle of broadcast year 6. Maybe there's a whole bunch of time between "Sanctuary" and "Second Sight", because of a "reset" button being thrown on the stardating system. Maybe narrative time moves more slowly in the last three seasons of DS9 because of all the big story arcs.
Point is the highest canonical source in the "Molly Quest" are TNG: "Disaster", DS9: "Crossover", DS9: "Time's Orphan"—during which her age is explicit—and DS9: "What You Leave Behind"—where it can be confidently extrapolated from dialogue. How we get between those explicit points is the rub. There's only an "error" if a non-canonical understanding of stardates is applied; I'm arguing Molly's age shows precisely why stardates aren't reliable. While finding the gaps might be a matter of uncomfortable speculation for some, the existence of gaps is the only thing which keeps canon chronology together. CzechOut | 05:57, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

Very good arguments all around. However, I have noticed that in "Cardassians" O'Brien mentions that Molly is four. This makes no sense, because four episodes later ("Second Sight") is the fourth anniversary of Wolf 359, which happened BEFORE Molly was born. The only in-universe explanations I can think of is that O'Brien 'Translated' her age into Cardassian years because he was talking to a Cardassian at the time, or he "rounded up" her age and she was actually three. Neither seems likely to me. In any case, we know at the very least that four years elapsed between "The Best of Both worlds" and "Second Sight" even though they are barely over three seasons apart. So TNG's fifth season could actually occur over the course of two years, which would explain Molly's older appearance in "Rascals." Finally, "Birthright, Part I" definitely happens AFTER Emissary, because of the way the station looks, and I assume at least a few months have passed since it's the enterprise-D's second visit to DS9. The rest should all fall into place.

I think the problem is that we assume the characters are using our same calendar system as a point of reference. Maybe it's not. I remember several episodes in the various Star Trek series where our (20th-21th century) calendar is described as "old". Not mentioning the stardates, it's possible that the Federation use a unique calendar that is quite different from the Gregorian one... This is logical, because the Federation is formed by many races and colonies, humans and not humans, etc. There could be an "UTC" system that is applied in all the Federation: then, every planet and colony can use its own time standard. So, when someone says "he's four years old" we cannot know which system is using (Federation calendar? Bajoran calendar? Earth calendar?). DS9, for example, operates on a 26 hour per day, not 24, because it's using the Bajoran system. I know this is not canon, but could be a reasonable explanation for the various inconsistencies.--Sid-Vicious (talk) 05:28, December 5, 2012 (UTC)

Age speculation deleted Edit

I just deleted the following from the article:

However, the error itself relies on a non-canonical (but widely believed) fact: that each broadcast year corresponds to a narrative Earth year. If one believes, as do writers Gene Roddenberry and Ronald D. Moore, that stardates are a means by which to avoid giving specific dates, then Molly's age presents less of a logical conundrum. However, trying to establish the exact passage of years without relying on stardates is one that involves non-canonical speculation of its own. Molly's age may be then seen as proof of the non-alignment of stardates to calendar years.

The text is trying to sort-of argue that "Disaster" was set three years before S1 of DS9, without mentioning just as prominent references to the DS9 pilot being set "three years" after Wolf 359 and the fourth anniversary of Jennifer Sisko's death in S2. No, the writers haven't always adhered to Mike Okuda's assumption that each season starts around January and ends around December, but if we look at all the dialogue references combined, the writers do seem to agree with that in general, except when they make mistakes or when it doesn't suit particular stories or character ages (Alexander's being another example). Stardates should not be used in service of such non-explanations: it is enough for a wiki to report all the facts about Molly's age and leave it at that. -- 08:20, August 12, 2014 (UTC)

Important point for establishing datesEdit

After reading the massive walls of text from 10 years ago (sorry for reopening this), I should point out that in Defiant, Odo & Sisko established that Thomas Riker had been created nine years before and discovered two years before the events of that episode. This would sync with the dates in TNG. Therefore, CzechOut is wrong and TNG and DS9 exist within exactly the same time frame. Just to clarify. 15:47, April 5, 2017 (UTC)

middle name Edit

Isn't her middle name Worf? I could swear that in the episode where she gets sent into that portal, Miles called her "Molly Worf O'Brien" when he was upset with her. -

Yeah, I think her full name is Molly Miyaki Worf O'Brien, but I can't remember where I read this...perhaps in the novelization of All Good Things or Unification? Makaristos 10:25, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
It's in the novelization of Unification. leandar 23:54, October 7, 2009 (UTC)