Spike's true age
The info here and places like IMDB.COM suggest that Spike was 14 when she became pregnant, and 15 when she gave birth. I have a serious problem with this.
Grade 8 students, as of the end of December, are all 13 years old, the last of them moving up from age 12. By the end of school in June, roughly half of them will be 14, the rest turning that age by the end of December when they're in Grade 9.
In order for Spike to be 14 as of September (the first month of Grade 8), she would have to have either been held back a year from starting school, or failed a year, and I can't see a reasonably intelligent girl like Spike (I think she's loads more intelligent and hard-working than Joey Jeremiah) failing a year, particularly when she was forced to do most of her Grade 8 studies at home, not in front of a teacher.
Also, if Spike really went into labour at the end of Grade 8, either Emma was born premature, or Shane and Spike had their intercourse in early October. Since that episode (#11 of 13) is probably close to the end of the "term" (one of three, so just before Christmas, or one of two terms, thus ending in January?), it suggests to me that they did it during November, and either the labour was a false alarm, or Emma was born premature.
A year older...
I further dispute that Spike was 15 when giving birth. If her birthday is already established as September, there is no September between when Shane got her pregnant and she gave birth at graduation. The only thing I can think of for the article making that assumption is that the Grade 8 year was depicted in two different television years: Jan-Apr 1987 (It's Late in March 1987, but set in late fall of 1988) and Jan-Mar 1988 (Pass Tense, airing in March, 1988 to represent the end of the normal school year in June 1989). Spike would have to be the same age at both conception and birth.
So, I think Spike was really 13 when she got pregnant, and since Spike's birthdate is in September (contrast to Amanda Stepto's July 31) - then Spike was a month or two past her 13th birthday, and I think Emma was born slightly prematurely, while Spike was still only 13. A premature birth would not surprise me if an almost-14-year-old girl was pregnant. Spike would turn 14, by all this thinking, in the September after Grade 8 ends.
Probably the whole age confusion (14 and 14, instead of 13 and 13, by my logic above regarding a September birthday) results from Next Generation retconning of the time setting of the old show to have Emma born in 1989 instead of 1988, and the old series establishing Spike's birth year as 1974. If Spike's birth year could be retconned to 1975, it would all clear up! Barring that, I am forced to believe that Spike's mother held her daughter back from starting school by one year, so Spike just turned 6 when she started kindergarten, or just turned 7 when she started Grade 1.
Amanda Stepto herself, portraying the part, would have been 16 during fall-1986 shooting of the first half of Grade 8 (set as per DNG in fall 1988), 17 during fall-1987 shooting of the second half of Grade 8 (set as per DNG in winter-spring 1989), 18 during fall 1988 shooting of the third season (which seems to represent all of Grade 9, set as per DNG in fall 1989-spring 1990), and 19 and 20 during the fall 1989 and fall 1990 shooting of DH which has the character in Grade 10 (as per DNG, fall 1990-spring 1991). GCapp1959 09:10, November 29, 2009 (UTC)
- As nobody has so far challenged the above logic, I have amended this and other articles that mention birth years or ages for the characters of the DJH and DH series, leaving the alleged ages and birth years, but marking an asterisk and inserting a note explaining the problem. GCapp1959 07:49, December 8, 2009 (UTC)