Northern Exposure Timeline
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NORTHERN EXPOSURE TIMELINE (a work in progress)
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compiled by juniperphoenix
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EPISODEINTERNAL DATEEVIDENCE OF DATEOTHER NOTES
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SEASON 1
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1.1 PilotJuly [or September] 1990Sept. date is based on the expiration of Joel's contract in 6.13. However, in 4.15 he borrows vacation time against the contract, which could push the pilot back to July. The occurrence of the Summer Wonderland Festival also seems to support the July date.The 9th Annual Summer Wonderland Festival occurs. Maurice says the town was founded 97 years ago (which would be 1893). Maurice says he first came to Cicely 20 years ago (this is probably a rough estimate; see 6.16) and founded KBHR and the newspaper shortly thereafter.
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1.2 Brains, Know-How and Native Intelligenceroughly 2 weeks after 1.1Maurice has known Joel for a "couple of weeks."Chris says he first encountered the works of Walt Whitman in 1976.
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1.3 Soapy Sanderson
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1.4 Dreams, Schemes and Putting GreensSalmon run is occurring at Shelly's dad's place in Saskatchewan. Shelly left home at 14; she is now 18 (according to Joel). She and Maurice broke up approx. 6 months or 1.5 years ago (or they met 1.5 years ago); they were only together for 2 weeks.
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1.5 Russian FluSeptember 1990It's been 2 months since Joel and Elaine have seen each other.
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1.6 Sex, Lies, and Ed's TapesEd writes that he's 18. Shelly hasn't seen her friend Cindy in about 18 months; this supports the theory that she and Maurice met 1.5 years ago (see 1.4).
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1.7 A Kodiak Momentstill September?Maurice says it's a "soft summer night" and that Joel has only been in Cicely "a couple of months."Jesse first arrived in the summer of 1984. Holling hasn't killed any game since 1988.
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1.8 Aurora BorealisChris and Bernard were born on July 3, 1963. Adam says he's been in Alaska for 15 years and was in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive (1968) and the fall of Saigon (1973) -- but he may be lying.
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SEASON 2
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2.1 Goodbye To All ThatMarch 1991Joel has been in town for 8 months.
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2.2 The Big Kiss
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2.3 All Is Vanity
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2.4 What I Did For LoveApril 1991Shelly refers to the month while greeting Ingrid. A sign in church says "Founders Day 1991."Founders Day occurs. Chris says Cicely & Roslyn arrived in 1932; this conflicts drastically with all other mentions of the town's founding date.
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2.5 Spring BreakMay 1991Joel says he's been in town for 10 months.Joel says he's 28.
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2.6 War And Peacestill May?Nikolai usually visits in July, but is months early this year. Still lots of snow on the ground.
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2.7 Slow DanceRick has been a pilot for 8 years. Ron and Erick met in 1983. Holling has known Anita for about 40 years, and they haven't seen each other for about 20 years. It's implied that Holling lived in Nome in 1959.
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SEASON 3
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3.1 The Bumpy Road To LoveRick met the other woman 2 summers ago. Adam and Eve have been married 9 years (according to Adam). Ruth-Anne and Bill got married a few months before Pearl Harbor.
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3.2 Only Yousummer, after July 3Chris says it's a midsummer night.Chris is 28. Holling has been "supporting" Shelly for 3 years.
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3.3 Oy, WildernessHolling says he's 63.
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3.4 Animals R Us
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3.5 Jules et JoelOctober 31 - November 1Halloween
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3.6 The Body In QuestionRuth-Anne came north in 1971 after her husband Bill's death. Maggie says Joel is 29. Pierre arrived in Alaska in 1815, according to his journal.
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3.7 RootsChris & Bernard's dad died 3 years ago.
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3.8 A-Hunting We Will GoRuth-Anne's 75th birthday.
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3.9 Get RealChris is 28.
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3.10 Seoul MatesDecember 24 (1991?)Christmas EveMaurice joined the Marines at age 16.
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3.11 Dateline: CicelyAdam says Maurice is 53, but he's probably lying (it conflicts with 5.20, and also conflicts with M's having joined the Marines at age 16 prior to fighting in Korea).
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3.12 Our Tribe
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3.13 Things Become Extinct
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3.14 Burning Down The House
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3.15 Democracy In AmericaNot necessarily November, as Cicely does not seem to have regularly scheduled elections.Chris cuts his hair in 3.15, but it's long again in 3.16, indicating that the order of these two episodes should probably be reversed. Holling has been mayor for 23 years. Edna has lived in Cicely for 25 years. Chris says he jumped parole in 1987. George the barber is in this episode (see 6.4 for significance).
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3.16 The Three AmigosSee above re: episode order. Chris says he was in prison in 1983. Holling and Maurice have known each other for 30 years. Holling recounts a trip to No-Name Point with Maurice and Bill that occurred in the winter of 1964.
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3.17 Lost And FoundMarch 1992Chris's newspaper is dated March 9, 1992.Joel says there are 3 years, 8 months, 22 days, and 15 hours remaining in his contract. Chris says there was a 4-point earthquake last month. Jack (former inhabitant of Joel's cabin) died in 1948. Maurice recounts a mission he flew in Korea in 1951. Maurice stated to be a Mercury astronaut. (An earlier episode noted that he was not one of the Mercury Seven; however, the New Nine did not participate in Mercury missions, so we may have to place a fictitious astronaut group between the two to accommodate Maurice.)
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3.18 My Mother, My SisterRuth-Anne is still 75.
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3.19 Wake-Up CallLeonard says he's been a practicing healer since he was 12: "almost 30 years."
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3.20 The Final FrontierMaurice's house was featured in "House and Garden" magazine in June 1989, before he'd added the porch.
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3.21 It Happened In Juneau
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3.22 Our WeddingLate April or early May 1992Ivory Springer's complaint was made on April 26.Bernard arrives back in town after having just visited in 3.21; assuming a five-day drive one way, there must be at least a 10-day gap (probably more) between the two episodes.
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3.23 Cicelyspring 1992Ned left town in 1909 at age 25; he's now 108.Ned says it's Cicely's 100th birthday. His departure in 1909 conflicts with the 1911 founding date for the town given in 6.06 and with the "97 years ago" given in 1.01; 6.16 corroborates the 1909 date. A possible explanation is that the settlement was established in 1893 (97 years ago), but was not named after Cicely until 1909 (and perhaps not formally incorporated until 1911). If we trust Ned's math and assume that he left town soon after Cicely's death, then Cicely was born in spring 1892 and was only 17 or 18 years old at the time of her death in 1909.
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SEASON 4
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4.1 Northwest Passages1991? (see 6.4) - but that would conflict with 3.23Maggie's 30th birthday. Shelly is not yet 21, Joel and Chris not yet 30. Joel skipped 2 grades in high school. Maurice was promoted to colonel at 30.
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4.2 Midnight Sunaround June 21summer solsticeRuth-Anne is still 75.
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4.3 Nothing's PerfectEd's camera has not worked since last March.
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4.4 Heroes
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4.5 Blowing BubblesMatthew recently turned 40; Mt. Pinatubo erupted 3 days ago.
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4.6 On Your Own
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4.7 The Bad Seed
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4.8 ThanksgivingNovember 26 (assuming this is 1992)Thanksgiving3 years, 9 months, 1 week, and 7 days remain in Joel's contract.
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4.9 Do The Right Thing
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4.10 Crime and Punishment
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4.11 Survival of the Species
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4.12 Revelations
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4.13 Duets
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4.14 Grosse Pointe 48230
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4.15 Learning Curve
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4.16 Ill Wind
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4.17 Love's Labour Mislaid
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4.18 Northern LightsDecember 21 (1992?)winter solstice
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4.19 Family Feud
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4.20 Homesick
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4.21 The Big Feast
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4.22 Kaddish for Uncle Manny
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4.23 Mud And BloodBlue highlighting = Shelly's pregnancy = approximately 9 months
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4.24 Sleeping With The Enemy
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4.25 Old Tree
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SEASON 5
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5.1 Three DoctorsJuly 14, 1993stated in 6.3
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5.2 The Mystery of the Old Curio Shop
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5.3 Jaws of Life
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5.4 Altered Egos
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5.5 A River Doesn't Run Through It
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5.6 Birds of a Feather
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5.7 Rosebud
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5.8 Heal Thyself
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5.9 Cup of Joe
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5.10 First Snow
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5.11 Baby Blues3 weeks before Shelly's due date
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5.12 Mr. SandmanFebruary, before the 22nd (1994?)Erick refers to January in the past tense, and it's not yet Presidents' DayWalt has been in Alaska since at least 1957 (the last time the Northern Lights went haywire).
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5.13 Mite Makes Right
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5.14 Bolt From the BlueFebruary 22 (1994?)Presidents' Day fireworks
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5.15 Hello, I Love Youapprox. 9 months after 4.23Randi is born 2 weeks late (so this must be approximately 5 weeks after 5.11).
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5.16 Northern Hospitality
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5.17 Una Volta in L'Inverno
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5.18 Fish Storyaround April 3, 1994Passover
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5.19 The Gift of the Maggie
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5.20 A Wing and a Prayernear "spring break"Maurice is 62.
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5.21 I Feel the Earth Move
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5.22 Grand Prix
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5.23 Blood Ties
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5.24 Lovers and Madmen
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