RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 139,764
Posts: 5,433,880
Members: 24,839
Currently online: 604
Newest member: mrcptuk

TrekToday headlines

The Art of John Alvin Book Review
By: T'Bonz on Sep 23

Episode Four of The Red Shirt Diaries
By: T'Bonz on Sep 22

Star Trek: The Compendium Review
By: T'Bonz on Sep 22

Orci Drops Rangers Project
By: T'Bonz on Sep 22

Retro Review: Image in the Sand
By: Michelle on Sep 20

Star Trek: Shadows Of Tyranny Casting Call
By: T'Bonz on Sep 19

USS Vengeance And More Starship Collection Ships
By: T'Bonz on Sep 19

Trek 3 To Being Shooting Next Year
By: T'Bonz on Sep 19

Trek Messenger Bag
By: T'Bonz on Sep 18

Star Trek Live In Concert In Australia
By: T'Bonz on Sep 18


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 > Entertainment & Interests > TV & Media

TV & Media Non-Trek television, movies, books, music, etc.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old January 11 2013, 07:11 AM   #1
DigificWriter
Rear Admiral
 
Location: West Haven, UT, USA
Best Alternate-Reality Episodes

Hi, all. I just finished watching the FRINGE episode "Brown Betty", which got me thinking about my favorite Alternate-Reality episodes from various TV shows, and I in turn thought I'd come here and start a discussion on the topic. I thought I'd start off by listing my Top 10 favorite Alternate-Reality TV episodes, and then inviting others to post their favorite episodes of this type. Here's my Top 10:
10. The Wild Wipeout (Power Rangers Ninja Storm) - I grew up watching Power Rangers and, despite being way too old for the series' target demographic, still enjoy it to this day, with The Wild Wipeout being one of my favorite episodes from the franchise. The thing that makes this episode one of my favorites is that it inverts the traditional PR formula by transplanting one of our heroes - the Ninja Storm Blue Ranger, Tori Hanson - into a universe where her and her teammates' traditional enemies are the good guys and her teammates are the bad guys.

9. Spin the Bottle (Felicity) - For most of its four seasons, Felicity was a fairly standard 'teen/young adult soap opera' in the vein of 90210, but J.J. Abrams and Co. took a major chance and literally shook up the series for its last four episodes by introducing the concept of time travel and sending Felicity back to the start of her Senior year of college. Of the final four episodes, my absolute favorite has to be Spin the Bottle, which sees the return of my favorite character from the series, Amy Jo Johnson's Julie.

8. Everything Old is You Again (Las Vegas) - Las Vegas is, for me, one of the most under-appreciated television shows in all of TV history, and Everything Old is You Again is the perfect example of why. The best parts of the episode are getting to see Sam as a call-girl and Ed Deline starting a fight with mob flunkies.

7. Lifetime Piling Up (One Tree Hill) - The thing that initially drew me to One Tree Hill was the polar opposites dynamic between Nathan and Lucas Scott, and, although OTH later featured other 'alternate-reality' episodes, the series' first, Lifetime Piling Up, remains my favorite because it completely inverted the aforementioned polar opposites dynamic, flip-flopping Nathan and Lucas' backgrounds and revisiting events from the first two seasons of the series from a new perspective.

6. The Wish (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) - I'm willing to bet that I'll get responses telling me that this episode should be ranked higher, but, as good as it is, I personally happen to think that both Tabula Rasa and Normal Again are better (for reasons I'll get to in a bit), although The Wish is notable in that it actually presents us with a universe that could have conceivably continued to exist beyond the confines of the events depicted in the episode itself, which neither TR or NA do.

5. The End in the Beginning (Bones) - Making the fourth season finale of Bones an alternate-reality tale was a heck of a gamble, and it ended up paying off in spades. The best thing about the episode is that, for the first half of the story, there's absolutely zero indication that you're watching an alternate-reality tale.

4. Tabula Rasa (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) - This is my absolute favorite episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 6, and the reason it's my favorite is that it delivers the perfect combination of humor and darkness, perfectly encapsulating the themes of S6 and serving as a rather neat foreshadowing of where the season's story arc ultimately ends up heading, at least in terms of characterization.

3. Birthday (Angel) - It took 3 seasons, but Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt finally gave us the Angel equivalent to The Wish, and ended up creating an episode that is actually BETTER than The Wish in nearly every regard, and would actually be the best Buffyverse alternate-reality episode if it weren't for the awesomeness that is Normal Again (more on that in a bit).

2. Brown Betty (Fringe) - I really can't figure out why this episode was panned by some people because it's Joss Whedon-level brilliance, perfectly encapsulating the thematic and mythology elements that were introduced in the previous 39 episodes - as well as delivering a bit of foreshadowing as far as certain characters and character relationships are concerned - while delivering a one-off, standalone story that new viewers can easily tune into without feeling exceptionally lost. It's also a treat to see/hear Anna Torv, John Noble, Jasika Nicole, and Lance Reddick burst into song.

1. Normal Again (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) - I absolutely LOVE this episode. Joss Whedon takes the 'character hallucinates that they're really in an asylum' story trope that's been explored in numerous other television series and does things with it that feel totally fresh and new, while also making it relevant to the ongoing narrative of the season in which it occurs, which is something that most other episodes of its type don't. It is for that reason that I think it's the best of the Buffyverse alternate-reality episodes.
__________________
Starbuck: We're all friendlies. So, let's just... be friendly.
"There is no 'supposed to be.' It's an adaptation, a word that literally means change. Why bother making a new version if it doesn't offer a fresh approach?" - Christopher L. Bennett
DigificWriter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11 2013, 07:41 AM   #2
DonIago
Rear Admiral
 
Location: Burlington, VT, USA
View DonIago's Twitter Profile Send a message via ICQ to DonIago Send a message via AIM to DonIago Send a message via Yahoo to DonIago
Re: Best Alternate-Reality Episodes

No "Yesterday's Enterprise" ?

I very much love "The Wish". In fact, I started paying attention to Buffy in early S3, and "The Wish" may have been the episode that cemented my interest in the show. The slo-mo sequence at the end is one of the finest sequences of the series IMO.

It's a shame Firefly never had a chance to do one.

While "Parallels" probably doesn't quite count, it remains one of my favorite episodes of TNG.

"Perfect Circles" from Six Feet Under has a sequence where one of the main characters jumps through several alternate timelines, and even after things settle down the show has jumped forward in time enough that for awhile you feel like you're still watching one of them.

SG-1 had a number of alternate timeline episodes and even a movie that may merit consideration as well.
__________________
--DonIago
It was the best of Trek, it was the worst of Trek...
"If I lean over, I leave myself open to wedgies, wet willies, or even the dreaded Rear Admiral!"
DonIago is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11 2013, 08:54 AM   #3
DigificWriter
Rear Admiral
 
Location: West Haven, UT, USA
Re: Best Alternate-Reality Episodes

I' d forgotten about Yesterday's Enterprise.

Re: Parallels, I personally wouldn't count it, nor would I count the Fringe episodes set in or dealing with the ' Red- verse' or anything from Fringe' s fourth and fifth seasons, but others might.

I know Smallville had a number of alternate-reality eps, but I haven't seen any of them, although I'm really intrigued by Noir and Apocalypse.

Edit: I also wouldn't count any of the SG1 episodes that dealt with alternate universes. SGA's Vegas definitely counts, though.
__________________
Starbuck: We're all friendlies. So, let's just... be friendly.
"There is no 'supposed to be.' It's an adaptation, a word that literally means change. Why bother making a new version if it doesn't offer a fresh approach?" - Christopher L. Bennett

Last edited by DigificWriter; January 11 2013 at 09:27 AM.
DigificWriter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11 2013, 10:59 AM   #4
TemporalFlux
Commodore
 
TemporalFlux's Avatar
 
Location: The End of Time
Re: Best Alternate-Reality Episodes

I could name some Sliders episodes, but I don't think that in the spirit of the original question here.
TemporalFlux is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11 2013, 11:24 AM   #5
Guy Gardener
Fleet Admiral
 
Guy Gardener's Avatar
 
Location: In the lap of squalor I assure you.
Re: Best Alternate-Reality Episodes

Quinn met a girl version of him self and frakked her.

"Sigh"

But then an evil version of the professor replaced the one they started off with and he just started acting like the regular professor after a awhile and the producers forgot about the switch... Where was I?

The last four episodes of Felicity were not a Gamble.

They were a fuck you.

JJ said "I'm finished! It's all been nice, but can I go home now?"

The suits countered "4 more episodes or we kill your puppy."

Seriously.

They just sprang four episodes on him after he had tied everything off and finalized all his story lines.

That's fucked up.

If he hadn't buckled with Felicity, they wouldn't have been able to prolong Lost so far past it's used by date.
__________________
"Glitter is the herpes of arts and craft."

Troy Yingst. My Life as Liz

Last edited by Guy Gardener; January 11 2013 at 11:59 AM.
Guy Gardener is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11 2013, 04:37 PM   #6
DigificWriter
Rear Admiral
 
Location: West Haven, UT, USA
Re: Best Alternate-Reality Episodes

Since I was hoping to get other people to talk about their favorite eps of this type, let's open the floodgates and say that any eps that involve alternate realities or 'what if' stories are fair game, even if I didn't put them on my list.

Edit: Guy Gardener, given that J.J. is immensely proud of Felicity and a bit of a control freak, I highly doubt that network execs forced him to do the final eps of Felicity the way that he did.
__________________
Starbuck: We're all friendlies. So, let's just... be friendly.
"There is no 'supposed to be.' It's an adaptation, a word that literally means change. Why bother making a new version if it doesn't offer a fresh approach?" - Christopher L. Bennett
DigificWriter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11 2013, 04:45 PM   #7
Gaith
Rear Admiral
 
Gaith's Avatar
 
Location: Washington, DC
Re: Best Alternate-Reality Episodes

No "Mirror, Mirror"?
Gaith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11 2013, 04:53 PM   #8
DigificWriter
Rear Admiral
 
Location: West Haven, UT, USA
Re: Best Alternate-Reality Episodes

^ It didn't qualify with the way I was looking at the topic.
__________________
Starbuck: We're all friendlies. So, let's just... be friendly.
"There is no 'supposed to be.' It's an adaptation, a word that literally means change. Why bother making a new version if it doesn't offer a fresh approach?" - Christopher L. Bennett
DigificWriter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11 2013, 05:02 PM   #9
MacLeod
Admiral
 
Location: Great Britain
Re: Best Alternate-Reality Episodes

Sliders was a show about alternate realties (what if the Soveits conquered America, the states reamianed British, what if you were a superstar etc..)
__________________
On the continent of wild endeavour in the mountains of solace and solitude there stood the citadel of the time lords, the oldest and most mighty race in the universe looking down on the galaxies below sworn never to interfere only to watch.
MacLeod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11 2013, 10:23 PM   #10
Mr. Laser Beam
Fleet Admiral
 
Mr. Laser Beam's Avatar
 
Location: The visitor's bullpen
View Mr. Laser Beam's Twitter Profile
Re: Best Alternate-Reality Episodes

My favorite alt-episodes all involve Trek:

ENT "In a Mirror, Darkly"
TNG "Yesterday's Enterprise"
VOY "Living Witness"
TOS "Mirror, Mirror"
DS9 "Crossover"

Except for one that doesn't:

SG-1 "There But For The Grace Of God"
__________________
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed, the hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning. It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
Mr. Laser Beam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12 2013, 01:00 AM   #11
DigificWriter
Rear Admiral
 
Location: West Haven, UT, USA
Re: Best Alternate-Reality Episodes

I don't think I've seen Living Witness but, based on the plot, it more than fits my original criteria for an ARE.

Fringe's Over There P1 does as well, at least structurally, belying what I said earlier about not counting any of the eps that dealt with or were set in the Alternate Universe/Redverse. The S3 premiere Olivia sounds, at least based on synopsis, like it might fit the criteria I was looking at re: AREs as well.
__________________
Starbuck: We're all friendlies. So, let's just... be friendly.
"There is no 'supposed to be.' It's an adaptation, a word that literally means change. Why bother making a new version if it doesn't offer a fresh approach?" - Christopher L. Bennett
DigificWriter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12 2013, 01:32 AM   #12
Guy Gardener
Fleet Admiral
 
Guy Gardener's Avatar
 
Location: In the lap of squalor I assure you.
Re: Best Alternate-Reality Episodes

Are we counting every sitcom parody of it's a wonderful life?

because I loved it when they did that on Benson.

Glee did a great It's a wonderful life last Christmas where we see how everything would have been frakked up if Artiie hadn't been in a chair.

There's this Episode of Mad About You were Jaimie and Paul defy the Greek and Roman gods (Who knew THEY were real?) saying that if they hadn't met when they did, their intense love would still over come every obstacle.

7 Days had a mirror universe episode and it was just a fricking cartoon.

I loved the Stargate Continuum Movie where Carter is saying "Blah, blah, yaddah yaddah, this is what we have to do to correct the time line" and Beau Bridges replies "I CAN NOT BELIEVE THE ARROGANCE OF YOU PEOPLE!"
__________________
"Glitter is the herpes of arts and craft."

Troy Yingst. My Life as Liz
Guy Gardener is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12 2013, 01:41 AM   #13
Trekker4747
Fleet Admiral
 
Trekker4747's Avatar
 
Location: Kansas City
Re: Best Alternate-Reality Episodes

In the realm of sitcoms I offer "The One That Could Have Been" from "Friends." In this one-hour episode we're shown what life would have been like for the main cast had they made different decisions throughout the series at that point. Ross isn't divorced from his lesbian wife, Carol (the divorce was finalized off-screen before the start of the very first episode) who's cold and inaffectionate due to her repressed lesbianism. Monica is fat (as she was in the show's pre-history) and still a virgin. Joey never got fired from Days of Our Lives and is a celebrity soap star living in his own apartment as he was in a Season 2 story arc. Chandler had the guts to quit his job (as he threatened to do in another early season episode) and works as a freelance writer trying to sell a story to Archie Comics. Phoebe has a job at Meryl-Lynch and is a hard-nailed investment broker (an opportunity she claimed to have at some point in the past, though it was never addressed on screen, part of the story of the episode revolves around her having a heart-attack.) And Rachel never left her groom at the altar (as she did in the series pilot) and is a rich house-wife with a philanderer husband causing her to contemplate an affair with soap-star Joey.

A sitcom, sure, but for fans of the series it's a fun episode. The end result being the gang pretty much ending up as friends hanging out at the coffee house at the end of the episode, more-or-less in the same place as they are in the regular series. (Phoebe has gotten fired from her job, prompting her to calm things down, Rachel seems to have left her husband and joined the gang, Ross has discovered the truth about her life, and Monica and Chandler have hooked up after Chandler offered to help Monica lose her virginity.) The only problem is that Phoebe's story line feels forced, probably because there was no real major character point to focus on with her as there was with the others.
__________________
Out of hope.
Trekker4747 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12 2013, 02:17 AM   #14
TemporalFlux
Commodore
 
TemporalFlux's Avatar
 
Location: The End of Time
Re: Best Alternate-Reality Episodes

It's a different take on the concept, but I've always liked the Voyager episode "Deadlock". It was a nice look at the Schroedinger's cat experiment with a twist on the outcome.
TemporalFlux is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12 2013, 04:18 AM   #15
SiddFinch1
Commander
 
SiddFinch1's Avatar
 
Location: State of Mind
Re: Best Alternate-Reality Episodes

DigificWriter wrote: View Post
^ It didn't qualify with the way I was looking at the topic.
How does mirror.mirror not qualify? Because of the real universe characters being in it?

The friends episode was a good one.

Farscape had the unrealized realities which was good but may not qualify the way you are defining it
__________________
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans: John Lennon
SiddFinch1 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 07:40 PM.

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