[ABANDONED] Law & Order timeline

Tribble314

Active Member
Joined
May 6, 2018
Messages
32
There was a bit of interest in my attempt at Law & Order timeline. thecomicperson is interested in continuing it. Anyone else can do what they want with it too. Enjoy!

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1QMmdMFJufKL06tIn2mPPGoPCscyhbEnPTNg9iMKByIM/edit#gid=0

I used the dates listed on the L&O wiki to make preliminary placements for all season 1 episodes, and some key episodes from later seasons. Mostly episodes where there are cast changes.

Then I started watching the episodes to finalize my placements. I made it part-way through watching season 1 before I abandoned the project.

Overview
L&O's timeline is interesting because the episodes overlap by A LOT. Each episode spans months, and there are 20+ episodes in a season! We can see how they overlap because there are handy dates on the scene cards. (You know: DUN DUN!)

Most procedurals pretend that cases only take a week or two to resolve, but real life isn't so simple. Detectives and prosecutors have a bunch of cases open at the same time.

Placement
Here are some rules I followed, in order of importance:

1) Avoid major continuity issues. Accept minor ones. In a show with so many overlapping episodes, some contradictions are bound to crop up.
Most scenes from season 1 take place between October 27th, 1989 (when Robinette meets Greevey and Logan) and April 6th 1991 (when Greevey is murdered).
If I'd continued to later seasons, The cast changes would eventually have caused a problem. I would have been forced to have some character's tenures overlap, when there's no evidence that they do. It's unavoidable.

2) When a scene card says "May 8th," I placed it on May 8th. I did the same with dialog like "yesterday" or "tomorrow."

3) However, days of the week are guidelines. Treating "Monday, May 8th" as gospel would mean that season 1 spans seven years! The season 1 writers assigned days of the week based on a bunch of different years. Often, it looks like they used the calendar from year after the real-life events the story was based on.

4) I mostly ignored props, calendars, and other set decorations. Occasionally they're useful, but they contradict other clues really frequently.

5) Whenever a character has a different shirt or tie, that's a sign that it's a probably a different day.

6) I'll try to give the characters days off, preferably on Saturdays and Sundays. In particular, courtroom scenes shouldn't happen on weekends or holidays. (However, see rule 2)

Other notes
- Titles are color-coded by episode, to make it easier to see how they fit together.
- The timecodes are shaded, so you can see at a glance whether it's the beginning, middle, or end of an episode.
- Bold episode titles indicate the beginning or end of an episode, for emphasis.
- Many of the timecodes are slightly off. When I ripped my DVDs, somehow the episodes got slightly shorter.
- For some episodes, I wrote down which ties characters are wearing. It helped me track which scenes take place on different days. Color words are abbreviated. "K" means black.
- "***OFF***" means that a character might have that day off. I've confirmed that they don't appear in those scenes.
- Some dates are marked "***OFF***" too, when there are no scenes on that day. I've included those dates to give a sense of how time passes.
- Bold dates are the ones from the title cards. Underlined dates are solid dates, based on dialog or multiple costume changes. Other dates are guesses.

"Next Match" sheet
This is a separate, related project. The idea was to match the calendar each episode uses to the next time that variety of calendar will happen IRL. For example, "Jurisdiction" starts on Monday, January 4th. Later scene cards show that it's a non-leap year. 2021 is also a non-leap-year where January 4th is a Monday.

By contrast, "Silence" won't have a matching calendar until 2048!
 
Last edited:

ItzStitch626

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2020
Messages
99
There was a bit of interest in my attempt at Law & Order timeline. thecomicperson is interested in continuing it. Anyone else can do what they want with it too. Enjoy!

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1QMmdMFJufKL06tIn2mPPGoPCscyhbEnPTNg9iMKByIM/edit#gid=0

I used the dates listed on the L&O wiki to make preliminary placements for all season 1 episodes, and some key episodes from later seasons. Mostly episodes where there are cast changes.

Then I started watching the episodes to finalize my placements. I made it part-way through watching season 1 before I abandoned the project.

Overview
L&O's timeline is interesting because the episodes overlap by A LOT. Each episode spans months, and there are 20+ episodes in a season! We can see how they overlap because there are handy dates on the scene cards. (You know: DUN DUN!)

Most procedurals pretend that cases only take a week or two to resolve, but real life isn't so simple. Detectives and prosecutors have a bunch of cases open at the same time.

Placement
Here are some rules I followed, in order of importance:

1) Avoid major continuity issues. Accept minor ones. In a show with so many overlapping episodes, some contradictions are bound to crop up.
Most scenes from season 1 take place between October 27th, 1989 (when Robinette meets Greevey and Logan) and April 6th 1991 (when Greevey is murdered).
If I'd continued to later seasons, The cast changes would eventually have caused a problem. I would have been forced to have some character's tenures overlap, when there's no evidence that they do. It's unavoidable.

2) When a scene card says "May 8th," I placed it on May 8th. I did the same with dialog like "yesterday" or "tomorrow."

3) However, days of the week are guidelines. Treating "Monday, May 8th" as gospel would mean that season 1 spans seven years! The season 1 writers assigned days of the week based on a bunch of different years. Often, it looks like they used the calendar from year after the real-life events the story was based on.

4) I mostly ignored props, calendars, and other set decorations. Occasionally they're useful, but they contradict other clues really frequently.

5) Whenever a character has a different shirt or tie, that's a sign that it's a probably a different day.

6) I'll try to give the characters days off, preferably on Saturdays and Sundays. In particular, courtroom scenes shouldn't happen on weekends or holidays. (However, see rule 2)

Other notes
- Titles are color-coded by episode, to make it easier to see how they got together.
- The timecodes are shaded, so you can see at a glance whether you're talking about the beginning, middle, or end of an episode.
- Bold episode titles indicate the beginning or end of an episode, for emphasis.
- Many of the timecodes are slightly off. When I ripped my DVDs, somehow the episodes got slightly shorter.
- For some episodes, I wrote down which ties characters are wearing. It helped me track which scenes take place on different days. Color words are abbreviated. "K" means black.
- "***OFF***" means that a character might have that day off. I've confirmed that they don't appear in those scenes.
- Some dates are marked "***OFF***" too, when there are no scenes on that day. I've included those dates to give a sense of how time passes.
- Bold dates are directly from the title cards. Underlined dates are solid dates, based on dialog or costume changes. Other dates are guesses.

"Next Match" sheet
This is a separate, related project. The idea was to match the calendar each episode uses to the next time that variety of calendar will happen IRL. For example, "Jurisdiction" starts on Monday, January 4th. Later scene cards show that it's a non-leap year. 2021 is also a non-leap-year where January 4th is a Monday.

By contrast, "Silence" won't have a matching calendar until 2048!
I'd be into it
 

tabascoman77

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2019
Messages
63
Where would one get all the eps? I'd assume that Peacock has most, if not all.
 

Tribble314

Active Member
Joined
May 6, 2018
Messages
32
Peacock does have most of them, but not the early seasons. Right now, you'd have to buy them.

Google Play has them, but the DVD's might be cheaper.
 

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