King Daniel wrote:
I find that a very unsatisfying way to look at it, since it's basically saying episode X didn't happen to the same crew we saw in episode Y or novel Z. I prefer to see all the episodes, movies and books (excepting the ones deliberately out-of-continuity) as windows into some "real" (for lack of a much-needed better word) Trek universe. Some windows are clear, others are fogged up to varying degrees, jumbling the details a bit.
Well, look at it this way: Maybe the same stories, the same events, happen in multiple parallel timelines, but with some of the details being different. So you are basically seeing an adventure that happened to the familiar crew, you're just seeing a slightly different version than the one they experienced. That's not so different from what you're proposing -- you are seeing a slightly off-kilter version of a story the Prime crew experienced, but because a slightly different timeline was selected rather than because the details were recorded wrong.
This is basically what the Voyager
depicts outright -- many different parallel versions of Voyager
arriving at the same planet at the same time and having essentially the same experiences for the most part (though with some major differences for some of them), but with subtle differences in the details, like one Voyager
having a two-person helm console instead of one-person, one Chakotay having a different tattoo, and so on. The book portrays its cross-timeline events from the perspectives of three main crews, but it's indicated that there are thousands of other parallel crews experiencing much the same adventure in much the same way. Similarly with TNG: "Parallels" -- the first few timelines Worf jumps to are essentially the same as his own, meaning the same events must have happened, but some details happened differently.
By George, I think he's got it!
Exactly right Christopher. Mirror, Mirror showed us a universe that is quite different from the one we were used to seeing but most of the same people were still there but with significant differences. There was even an identical acid stain on McCoy's work table even though McCoy was probably the most humanistic of the characters and thus most unlike his mirror counterpart.
TAS had differences for TOS in ship layout, shuttlecraft, etc but the characters were still basically the same. TNG had the Ent-D saying thatthe space beyond Deneb was unexplored and yet we had references to Denebian Slime Devils and Kirk spoke of being on Deneb IV in WNMHGB, Apparently Starfleet went as far as Deneb and no further for a century or the Deneb IV's are different. And ley's not forget the slug like Denebians from the novels. Groppler Zorn didn't look much like a slug but he could be considered as slimy at times.
The advantage to my way of looking at it is that it expands the number of universes, giving us lots of new places to fit stories as opposed to trying to fit everything into two or three universes.