So, I saw someone asking about the whole 47 thing on twitter yesterday, and it reminded me that I’ve been meaning to repost this for a while. I originally posted this as reblog response on someone else’s complaints about the fandom’s obsession with the number way back in July. It turns out, 47 is a real thing, and it has a story and history.
It began as an in joke in the Panoma College mathematics department in 1964. A student of the class of 1979 named Joe Menosky became a writer on Star Trek The Next Generation, and he shared his old college in joke in the writers room. It became a game of sorts to plant 47’s in episodes for their own amusement. This continued through the subsequent series, and even into the JJ Abrams films (and some of Abrams shows, after he was made aware of the practice, which appears to predate his work on Trek (see Alias), but is apparently connected to Panoma.) As writers, producers, and other crew have spread out through the industry, they have taken the practice with them.
Castle has several ST:TNG connections, with Rob Bowman, Rene Echevarria, Jonathan Frakes and others, and likely picked up the practice through one or more of those connections, assuming Marlowe or other writers in his room didn’t already know through other projects. When the fandom picked up on the seemingly random anomaly, it started to show up even more blatantly and frequently. Because they knew they were playing to an interested audience, perhaps. Or we became more aware as it was passed around. Either way, it’s a legitimate intentional thing that’s been quite literally going around for years