Hello all you editors out there, we need to talk about grammar. Specifically, we need to talk about use of present and past tense in our articles.
Long ago in late 2017/early 2018, grammar rules were established through a community consensus that articles would be written in the following tenses:
Past tense for all events that happen before what occurs in an episode.
Present tense for all events in an episode.
Future tense for all events in and outside an episode that occur in the future.
For Season 1, that worked fairly well, albeit with a few minor hiccups. Nearly all the episodes brought up events in an easily consumable fashion. The only tricky periods were from Pria, in the 29th century, and Mad Idolatry, which involves a world in a universe that ages 700 years to our 11 days. Regardless, The Orville Wiki got through it and things looked good.
I believe that is no longer the case.
Now, to be clear, I'm not saying that our standards are grammatically incorrect. There's nothing wrong with that. I'm also not saying the system is totally broken. No, we are still able to write our articles and present information.
What I'm saying is that the order of events introduced in Season 2 and Season 1.5 now convolute the timeline to the point where writers and editors here no longer can use our writing standards to figure out which tense to use. That raises a bigger problem where people are writing in multiple tenses that are "correct" by our standards but do not agree with each other, and it makes the articles confusing for readers.
For example: s02e05 All the World is Birthday Cake has a cold opening set in the year 2415, four years before the show begins, but the rest of the episode is set in 2420. When we write about that episode's cold opening in the present tense, we run into a problem. When other episodes bring up facts set in 2415, we have to use past tense (because it happened before the episode). So now we are using present and past tense for the same year.
The quick fix for this has been that I've edited articles where I find them to make everything addressing the year 2415 in past tense. That's not found in our community writing standards, but it's a little bit of duct tape that work.
Now, once we get into Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow and The Road Not Taken, which introduce multiple, complex, and alternative timelines over a span of seven years (!) the present-past-future tense guidelines become so muddled that it's a Gordian knot for the reader. Completely confusing, even if grammatically perfect.
My proposal: Let's make everything past tense except episode pages will use present tense in the synopsis (at the top of the article) and in Plot.