RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 139,143
Posts: 5,401,941
Members: 24,748
Currently online: 411
Newest member: ChrisCrash

TrekToday headlines

Retro Review: Time’s Orphan
By: Michelle on Aug 30

September-October Trek Conventions And Appearances
By: T'Bonz on Aug 29

Lee Passes
By: T'Bonz on Aug 29

Trek Merchandise Sale
By: T'Bonz on Aug 28

Star Trek #39 Villain Revealed
By: T'Bonz on Aug 28

Trek Big Bang Figures
By: T'Bonz on Aug 28

Star Trek Seekers Cover Art
By: T'Bonz on Aug 27

Fan Film Axanar Kickstarter Success
By: T'Bonz on Aug 27

Two New Starship Collection Ships
By: T'Bonz on Aug 26

Trek Actor Wins Emmy
By: T'Bonz on Aug 26


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Star Trek - Original Series

Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old September 3 2013, 11:02 PM   #1
Melakon
Vice Admiral
 
Melakon's Avatar
 
Location: Unmarked grave, Ekos
Was TOS the first show to use the term 'parallel universe'?

This might require a science fiction historian to answer.

I'm watching "Mirror, Mirror" again and started wondering about the terminology of 'parallel universe' in regards to motion pictures and radio & television programs. I'm sure the term previously appeared in written fiction or scientific non-fiction, but what about in audio or visual presentation?

I usually pin down the time that I was turning into a science fiction fan as 1959, when I was 8. I'm sure I might have seen Adventures of Superman before then, as we first got a TV around 1955. And I had dreams about dinosaurs walking around, so I might have seen 1933's King Kong too. I remember having wind-up and battery powered toy robots.

I remember shows like Science Fiction Theater, Men Into Space, and The Twilight Zone by 1959. In 1963, Fireball XL5 and The Outer Limits appeared on two different networks in America.

The terminology in those shows seemed to usually refer to other dimensions, with dimensions as the key word. Was Star Trek the first radio/tv program or film to refer to these as a parallel universe, which seemed to culturally evolve into alternate universe?
__________________
Moe: I'll take the blonde!
Larry: I'll take the brunette!
Curly: I'll take the Black and Tan!
--Wee Wee Monsieur (1938)
Melakon is online now   Reply With Quote
Old September 3 2013, 11:13 PM   #2
Warped9
Admiral
 
Warped9's Avatar
 
Location: Brockville, Ontario, Canada
Re: Was TOS the first show to use the term 'parallel universe'?

I'd be surprised if TOS was the first. It probably was done in science fiction literature first and likely discussed in actual science before 1967. The idea of parallel universes or alternate worlds or alternate histories probably very old.
__________________
STAR TREK: 1964-1991, 2013-?
Warped9 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old September 4 2013, 12:04 AM   #3
Melakon
Vice Admiral
 
Melakon's Avatar
 
Location: Unmarked grave, Ekos
Re: Was TOS the first show to use the term 'parallel universe'?

I did see references to the concept at least as far as the Arabian Nights, and then there's ancient mythology with alternate planes of existence like Mount Olympus. It probably shows up in a Greek play or something too.
__________________
Moe: I'll take the blonde!
Larry: I'll take the brunette!
Curly: I'll take the Black and Tan!
--Wee Wee Monsieur (1938)
Melakon is online now   Reply With Quote
Old September 4 2013, 12:25 AM   #4
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Was TOS the first show to use the term 'parallel universe'?

http://www.jessesword.com/sf/view/87

Full record for parallel universe n.
Definition A universe in which physical laws or historical events are different to our own
OED requirements antedating 1923
Earliest cite H.G Wells, Men Like Gods
As for TV shows specifically, The Twilight Zone did a 1963 episode called "The Parallel" in which a character crossed into a parallel universe. I'm not sure if that exact phrase was spoken in the episode, though.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 4 2013, 01:09 AM   #5
Melakon
Vice Admiral
 
Melakon's Avatar
 
Location: Unmarked grave, Ekos
Re: Was TOS the first show to use the term 'parallel universe'?

It could be every show had its own conventional name for the concept. Though if Wells is getting the credit, that's a worthy origin.
__________________
Moe: I'll take the blonde!
Larry: I'll take the brunette!
Curly: I'll take the Black and Tan!
--Wee Wee Monsieur (1938)
Melakon is online now   Reply With Quote
Old September 4 2013, 01:35 AM   #6
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Was TOS the first show to use the term 'parallel universe'?

Melakon wrote: View Post
It could be every show had its own conventional name for the concept.
Nope, in my experience the terms tend to be used pretty interchangeably by any given series -- various mixes of "parallel/alternate" with "world/universe/dimension/reality." It's not like shows would have style guides for something like that. It'd just be whatever the screenwriter chooses to call it.

By the way, via a phrase search of Chakoteya's transcript site: TOS used "parallel universe" in "The Alternative Factor" first, "Mirror, Mirror" second. TAS use "alternate universe" in "The Time Trap," and DS9, VGR, and ENT used both phrases interchangeably. VGR used "parallel reality" once; DS9 used "alternate timeline" once. ST 2009 used "alternate reality." "Alternate dimension" showed up in VGR twice, but I don't think it was used to mean what we're talking about here. Doctor Who has used both "parallel world" and "parallel universe" multiple times. Surprisingly there are no hits for "alternate history."
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 4 2013, 02:31 AM   #7
plynch
Commodore
 
plynch's Avatar
 
Location: Outer Graceland
View plynch's Twitter Profile
Re: Was TOS the first show to use the term 'parallel universe'?

In the DC comics, they had Earth-1, Earth-2, Earth-S idea going before Trek.
__________________
Author of Live Like Louis! Inspirational Stories from the Life of Louis Armstrong, http://livelikelouis.com
plynch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 4 2013, 02:41 AM   #8
Greg Cox
Vice Admiral
 
Location: Oxford, PA
Re: Was TOS the first show to use the term 'parallel universe'?

plynch wrote: View Post
In the DC comics, they had Earth-1, Earth-2, Earth-S idea going before Trek.
Good call.

More specifically, DC had been milking the "parallel worlds" thing since "Flash of Two Worlds," which first appeared in September 1961.
__________________
www.gregcox-author.com
Greg Cox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 4 2013, 02:52 AM   #9
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Was TOS the first show to use the term 'parallel universe'?

There are very, very few terms that Trek actually coined, aside from species names and such. "Phaser" and "photon torpedo" and, I think, "impulse drive" are original to Trek, and I don't think teleporters had been called transporters before. "Warp drive" predates Trek, but it seems to have originated "warp speed" and "warp factor." And it debuted "Class M" to refer to Earthlike planets, as well as terms for telepathy like "mind meld." But a lot of terms we tend to associate most with Trek, like "subspace" and "deflector" and "tractor beam" and "Prime Directive," predate it by decades.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5 2013, 11:54 PM   #10
Noname Given
Vice Admiral
 
Location: None Given
Re: Was TOS the first show to use the term 'parallel universe'?

Melakon wrote: View Post
This might require a science fiction historian to answer.

I'm watching "Mirror, Mirror" again and started wondering about the terminology of 'parallel universe' in regards to motion pictures and radio & television programs. I'm sure the term previously appeared in written fiction or scientific non-fiction, but what about in audio or visual presentation?

I usually pin down the time that I was turning into a science fiction fan as 1959, when I was 8. I'm sure I might have seen Adventures of Superman before then, as we first got a TV around 1955. And I had dreams about dinosaurs walking around, so I might have seen 1933's King Kong too. I remember having wind-up and battery powered toy robots.

I remember shows like Science Fiction Theater, Men Into Space, and The Twilight Zone by 1959. In 1963, Fireball XL5 and The Outer Limits appeared on two different networks in America.

The terminology in those shows seemed to usually refer to other dimensions, with dimensions as the key word. Was Star Trek the first radio/tv program or film to refer to these as a parallel universe, which seemed to culturally evolve into alternate universe?
Nope - both the Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits (the original 1960ies run) had stories involving parallel universes and used the term.
Noname Given is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 6 2013, 03:26 AM   #11
E-DUB
Captain
 
Re: Was TOS the first show to use the term 'parallel universe'?

In addition to the TZ episode already cited, there was one called "Mirror Image", in which a young woman encounters strange events at a bus stop involving a look-alike. Don't know if the term was used then but maybe.
E-DUB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 6 2013, 09:52 PM   #12
Nerys Myk
Fleet Admiral
 
Nerys Myk's Avatar
 
Location: House of Kang, now with ridges
Re: Was TOS the first show to use the term 'parallel universe'?

There probably is a parallel universe where Star Trek is the first show to use the term 'parallel universe'
__________________
The boring one, the one with Khan, the one where Spock returns, the one with whales, the dumb one, the last one, the one with Kirk, the one with the Borg, the stupid one, the bad one, the new one, the other one with Khan.
Nerys Myk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 6 2013, 10:01 PM   #13
Melakon
Vice Admiral
 
Melakon's Avatar
 
Location: Unmarked grave, Ekos
Re: Was TOS the first show to use the term 'parallel universe'?

Gerry Anderson did a live action film that ran under different titles, The Doppelgangers aka Journey to the Far Side of the Sun. Don't remember what they called it then, thought it was supposed to be a physical world, not alternate universe I think.
__________________
Moe: I'll take the blonde!
Larry: I'll take the brunette!
Curly: I'll take the Black and Tan!
--Wee Wee Monsieur (1938)
Melakon is online now   Reply With Quote
Old September 6 2013, 10:10 PM   #14
Nerys Myk
Fleet Admiral
 
Nerys Myk's Avatar
 
Location: House of Kang, now with ridges
Re: Was TOS the first show to use the term 'parallel universe'?

I remember that film. I think "Counter-Earth" is a term I've heard used for that situation.
__________________
The boring one, the one with Khan, the one where Spock returns, the one with whales, the dumb one, the last one, the one with Kirk, the one with the Borg, the stupid one, the bad one, the new one, the other one with Khan.
Nerys Myk is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 10:06 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.