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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old July 20 2014, 12:21 PM   #1
at Quark's
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TNG parallels question

Just rewatched 'parallels', awesome ep imho.

Though I started wondering.... it seems that in the very first 'jumps', the differences were marginal, only progressively becoming more important (e.g. beginning with a different type of cake and ending with him being first officer, and married with children). And I was wondering if there 'd be a kind of 'rule' to this.

Of course, I understand it suits the storytelling this way, building suspense and such... had he jumped straight to the last universe, he would immediately have known that something was very wrong and that would have spoiled the story. However, I'm curious for the erm, between-universes-explanation.

The concept seems somewhat different from 'sliders', where each jump is essentially fairly random. So what makes the differences steadily 'worse'? Is it simply a matter of 'random walk', taking Worf generally 'further' from the prime timeline gradually? Or would there really be a mechanism involved that would be going back to earlier and earlier branching points (generally resulting in larger differences). Or something else still?

Also, I was wondering what the 'limits' would have been. Could he eventually have ended up in a universe where there never existed any federation or even klingons and humans at all ? Or would he simply be 'stuck' as soon as he reached a universe where Geordi's VISOR (or any devices generating a similar field) didn't exist ?

Last edited by at Quark's; July 20 2014 at 12:51 PM. Reason: slight rewording on two places
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Old July 20 2014, 12:42 PM   #2
Mojochi
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Re: TNG parallels question

As I gathered, the visor just agitated the condition, and wasn't the catalyst

But anyway, even though it was clearly for storytelling purposes, I like to think Worf was spiraling outward from his quantum reality and the changes were minimal at 1st because they were realities closest to his prime one, & had it gone on, Mogh would be alive, Worf would be on Qo'noS etc... And greater divergence as the effect developed

There's no canon mentioning of this, but it seems reasonable
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Old July 20 2014, 01:19 PM   #3
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Re: TNG parallels question

The story structure is similar to "Future Imperfect", though in that case the altered realities are holodeck simulations.

If Worf's condition continued indefinitely, with him being aware of each shift, it might have driven him mad.
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Old July 20 2014, 01:30 PM   #4
The Old Mixer
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Re: TNG parallels question

Season 2 Worf would have been a total loss in that situation. "ONE RIKER! ONE BRIDGE! GRRRRRRRRR!!!"
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Old July 20 2014, 04:29 PM   #5
E-DUB
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Re: TNG parallels question

Possibly the "leaps" were geometric in nature, the first one only one "dimensional unit" away, the second two, the third four, etc. Maybe one more leap and he could have ended up on the Enterprise where the Borg were everywhere or one where the Terran Empire never fell.

I always wondered what happened to the Worfs who were already there. Did they go into some kind of limbo waiting for him to leave or did he transpose with them leaving a trail of displaced Worfs in his wake?
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Old July 20 2014, 04:35 PM   #6
Lance
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Re: TNG parallels question

Mojochi wrote: View Post
As I gathered, the visor just agitated the condition, and wasn't the catalyst

But anyway, even though it was clearly for storytelling purposes, I like to think Worf was spiraling outward from his quantum reality and the changes were minimal at 1st because they were realities closest to his prime one, & had it gone on, Mogh would be alive, Worf would be on Qo'noS etc... And greater divergence as the effect developed

There's no canon mentioning of this, but it seems reasonable
I like this idea. It seems neat that even in these jumps there should be some kind of a recognisable causality to it. It's like an onion being peeled back, layer upon layer, until the universes are so drastically different as to be virtually unrecognisable as the unpeeled onion they began as.
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Old July 20 2014, 07:32 PM   #7
AirCommodore
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Re: TNG parallels question

One of those realities may be the one were the Narada destroys Vulcan and Spock goes back to the 23rd Century. I don't know what limit there were. I remember tens or hundreds of thousands of Enterprises showing up. So it at least seemed to include only those universes where a Worf was born, was taken in by human parents, joins Starfleet and where Galaxy Class ships exist, with one named Enterprise.
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Old July 20 2014, 08:10 PM   #8
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Re: TNG parallels question

E-DUB wrote: View Post
I always wondered what happened to the Worfs who were already there. Did they go into some kind of limbo waiting for him to leave or did he transpose with them leaving a trail of displaced Worfs in his wake?
I always assumed the more likely scenario is he began a chain reaction of Worf displacement, such that whenever he displaced a new one, that one might have taken the place he'd just vacated
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Old July 20 2014, 09:22 PM   #9
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Re: TNG parallels question

Maybe that also explains the scene in the shuttlecraft with a dozen Worfs there simultaneously. Perhaps these were all the Worfs that were displaced from their home realities?
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Old July 21 2014, 01:41 AM   #10
hayesc0
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Re: TNG parallels question

I still feel like this would have been the perfect time to have sisko in a crossover for one of the alternate realities
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Old July 21 2014, 08:46 PM   #11
Timo
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Re: TNG parallels question

Season 2 Worf would have been a total loss in that situation. "ONE RIKER! ONE BRIDGE! GRRRRRRRRR!!!"

I get the feeling that "Where Silence Has Lease" was catching Worf at a phenomenally bad moment, something like Klingon super-puberty-in-a-weekend. I mean, the whole crew knows he's off to the holodeck with Riker, and is worried to death about this, as if it were written down somewhere (besides the script) that Klingons will irrationally slay their superiors when displaying the following symptoms... He then indeed goes berserk in there, comes out and starts rambling about ghost ships and wanting to fire torpedoes at everything without a reason, and then has trouble coping with Weirdness of the Week.

He's feeling much better in the next episode, thank you.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old July 22 2014, 12:46 AM   #12
at Quark's
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Re: TNG parallels question

E-DUB wrote: View Post
Possibly the "leaps" were geometric in nature, the first one only one "dimensional unit" away, the second two, the third four, etc. Maybe one more leap and he could have ended up on the Enterprise where the Borg were everywhere or one where the Terran Empire never fell.

I always wondered what happened to the Worfs who were already there. Did they go into some kind of limbo waiting for him to leave or did he transpose with them leaving a trail of displaced Worfs in his wake?
I would love to know how to define such a 'dimensional unit' ...I think there's a strong possibility the concept could be related to the '(temporal) incursion factor' from VOY: relativity.

And yes, where all the 'indigenous Worfs' went also baffles me.... but perhaps the solution resembles the Hilbert hotel paradox indeed (but then there's the Worf that never visited the tournament and that went missing anyway. Would that imply that only one of all those Worfs needed to come into contact with the quantum fissure in order for all of them to jump? )
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Old July 22 2014, 12:54 AM   #13
E-DUB
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Re: TNG parallels question

I suppose that the smallest "dimensional unit" could be one where the only difference was that in one a certain radioactive particle decayed into lead and the other it did not.
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Old July 22 2014, 01:17 AM   #14
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Re: TNG parallels question

The assumption would be that all the Worfs went home and not all that many people remembered a thing about it. Though there may have been mistakes. Two Worfs in a universe maybe?
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Old July 22 2014, 01:19 AM   #15
SiddFinch1
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Re: TNG parallels question

Each jump was into a universe which branched off slightly further back each time. From hours earliernwhen a cake was chosen to years when picard was dead and he was married with kids
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