Think "strange new parallel worlds" - Change a story's plot

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Qonundrum, Oct 7, 2021.

  1. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    For no reason, I started wondering if Spock, in "The Enterprise Incident" really might go the other way? He's half-human and thus more prone to human foibles and would more likely be appreciated... or why he wouldn't try to conquer Vulcan, since he once opined their world had not been conquered as far back as their history claimed (paraphrasing from an episode whose title eludes me...)

    Or Khan (Ricardo Montalban) succeeds in taking over the ship in "Space Seed" and figures out how he and his pals can run the ship... and how far they go before the Federation shows up.

    Eden turned out to be free of snakes, the food was edible, the grass wasn't acid and nobody wanted to smoke it either way, and Apollo was there playing with his big flute and warmly telling them to enjoy life. Sheesh, who really wouldn't want to worship him? Even visiting Romulans would beam on down and realize there's no subterfuge.

    What other stories might be more fun, in some warped way, if they had a few nominal tweaks applied?
     
  2. Mr. Spook

    Mr. Spook Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So basically you want a "Star Trek" version of "What If...?"

    What if: The Doomsday Machine played out if Decker took command and wasn't doing off the deep end? Where he used his flag command status to take charge and distract the Planet Killer long enough to get the Constellation running and insists Kirk move out of range to warn Starfleet. How would that suit Kirk and what conflicts would arise? Would Kirk follow orders like a solider or would he be the lead of a TV series and force his way back in command so Decker can take the 1017 into the maw of the machine?

    Or What If...? Ben Finney WAS actually dead and Kirk had to still prove his innocence?
     
  3. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    Or What If...? In COTEOF, Kirk was run over by the truck and Edith Keeler survived. :crazy: That might just change history a little.
     
  4. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    Or What If?....Kirk, Spock and McCoy get infected by The Disco Virus :eek:

     
  5. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Commodore Premium Member

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    I just know that I always wanted a sequel to "Wink of an Eye." Apparently, none exists even in the non-canon universe.
     
  6. vandevere

    vandevere Commander Red Shirt

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    AU "What-ifs" are always fun to read...
     
  7. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think Miri could have been fun done more like a classic Dr Who story, where the disease progresses more slowly, a road trip to a proper scientific facility to find the answer, some Walking Dead style zombies, maybe some Beneath the Planet of the Apes style mutants, Chapel actually assisting with her bio-research skills, Kirk screaming on the beach when he sees a McDonalds arch buried in the sand, told over 4 episodes.
     
  8. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This would make a terrible episode, but I imagine being Gary Mitchell without the flagrant villainy. I'd play my cards close enough to the vest so Kirk and Spock don't become alarmed and want to get rid of me.

    With my powers grown enormous, I'd end up back on Earth where I could be large and in charge. Like Superman in a world without kryptonite, only more so. Invincible.
     
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  9. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Ah, the but the whole point behind this particular episode is not the plot, but the allegory of absolute power corrupting.

    Or, imagine "The City On The Edge Of Forever" written as a proper time travel story that does not invoke a paradox. The very existence of that glaring logical flaw prevents me from becoming emotionally invested in the story. Put simply, paradoxes cannot happen. The only way to explain TCOTEOF is to use a multiverse—alternate histories. In this scenario, the Enterprise would not have "vanished" and left the landing party stranded. That would eliminate the the most compelling reason to venture into the past, aside from recovering McCoy. (For that matter, why couldn't they have simply asked the Guardian to pluck McCoy out of the past and return him.) Thus, Spock's "millions would die who did not die 'before'" is also irrelevant. In the alternate history, they'd die just the same.

    The only thing McCoy did was "turn the steering wheel" up an alternate path. I'd assume the Guardian is so multiply connected that it could recover the travelers even from the alternate timeline. (By the way, the episode never tells us how the trio made their return. Did they signal the Guardian some way, mission accomplished? Or was simply meeting up with McCoy sufficient? If so, then intercepting McCoy on the sidewalk might have been the cue to return them all, leaving Keeler to step in front of the truck, but without Kirk and company to see it.)

    In short, Kirk was under no pressure to "correct" history. But staying with Keeler would mean abandoning his command—and numerous other stories have shown which way that contest would go. (I believe the "blonde lab technician" whom Kirk "almost married" was Carol Marcus.) Any number of reasons might be worked out why Kirk couldn't simply take Keeler with him to the future.

    There is a proper way to write TCOTEOF without invoking paradoxes.
     
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  10. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Trek has used too many different, incompatible versions of time travel. The one I like is the Prophets, as non-linear beings who can see that time happens everywhere all at once and use that to 'intervene' in their own interests.

    Most time travel stories in Trek are not that, they are Many Worlds Theory where we, the audience, jump tracks (sometimes with a handful of characters) and it is portrayed as, 'Oh no, time has been overwritten,' when the original timeline is carrying on just fine. It's so messy, it isn't even clear if any of the Trek shows are all in the same reality any more. The stakes feel lower but as in Mirror Mirror, the presence of the heroes can make a difference even in a Many Worlds scenario. Their mere presence 'creates' a reality only in the respect that they have turned up in the reality where they always turned up.

    So CotEoF doesn't lose its emotional resonance for me but it becomes a far more selfish story about 3 men getting back home at the expense of a woman. Obviously, as viewers, we know that these versions of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy will go on to save planets, including Earth, but from our perspective at this moment, their motives are entirely selfish. The reality in which only McCoy shows up and Edith lived, carries on as normal, as does the reality where Kirk, Spock, and McCoy decide to save her and stay, the reality where they bring her to the future etc.

    In their defence, it's pretty clear that none of the crew seem to understand temporal mechanics, so maybe their motives aren't subjectively selfish, even if their actions are self serving. I suppose one could also argue that they are doing it for Scotty, Uhura, and the security team, who are stranded but also have an escape route.

    A better option would have been to jump back to the point where McCoy arrived on the planet and just stun him. Or maybe switch the Guardian off and on again.

    What makes absolutely no sense in any universe is the Temporal Police. Time travellers exist, so timelines affected by time travellers exist. It seems futile to employ people to create timelines where time travellers interfere with other time travellers. Year of Hell is a weird example. Firstly, it's starts off in a different timeline because nobody remembers Kes' warning from Cause and Effect, which she couldn't give because she isn't here. Secondly, it ends in a different timeline to where it starts, since nothing the characters did in the preceding episodes has any impact on their decision to go around, not even Kes' warning. So people are right to question which reality Picard is set in but it certainly isn't the same one from the Cage.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2021
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  11. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What if “Day of the Dove” had gone on long enough and the Enterprise reached the Galactic Barrier, which caused one of Kang’s crew to start to mutate? Would that have forced Kang and Kirk to work together to cope with that issue? And how would the * alien affect the situation?
     
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  12. E-DUB

    E-DUB Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    What if the Botany Bay was found by the Enterprise-D?
     
  13. Kor

    Kor Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Or the Klingons.

    Kor
     
  14. vandevere

    vandevere Commander Red Shirt

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    That would, at least, explain where Khan heard the Klingon proverb about revenge...
     
  15. Kor

    Kor Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I wonder if the Klingons would have boarded the Botany Bay and tried to learn about it in the first place.
    They might have assumed it was derelict space junk and destroyed it. Or, seeing that it came from Federation space, they might have suspiciously thought it was some kind of weapon for "the annihilation of the Klingon people," and then boarded it, "attempting to possess its secrets."

    Kor
     
  16. dupersuper

    dupersuper Commodore Commodore

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    I mean, he seemed to be reading everything in the Enterprise library while he was in sickbay...
     
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  17. vandevere

    vandevere Commander Red Shirt

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    But imagine the havoc if Kruge found Khan, and then found out about Genesis. Instead of having the Reliant, Khan could have control of a Klingon BoP...
     
  18. IMC Headquarters

    IMC Headquarters Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    K'han Noon'Sing!
     
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  19. Neopeius

    Neopeius Admiral Admiral

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    What if the Enterprise had had a therapist on board when they took in Charlie X?

    What if Crater had come clean with Kirk from the beginning? (now that I think about it, that setup was very Forbidden Planet -- "Don't come down here! I'm not responsible for the consequences!" (of course, Leslie Nielsen was a moron and didn't ask why))
     
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  20. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Storytelling shorthand. Forbidden Planet could have wasted more screen time with Morbius being evasive, and Cmdr. Adams insisting (after a year+ flight) that he was under orders to survey the situation on Altair IV. We learn in a later scene that even Morbius was unclear about what exactly was going on. And the story was no more persuasive with Morbius in person than over the radio. What he did tell Adams only embedded the C-57D firmer, as Adams said he would have to consult Earth command for further instructions. Somebody paid for the Bellerophon expedition. Would they sit still for, "We're fine, go away"?

    In "The Man Trap," Kirk and company had already met "Nancy" before Crater got into the picture. He could have spilled the whole story, but why would he? He was sympathetic to the creature, despite it killing his wife, as it maintained the illusion of her for him. He wouldn't compromise that, however twisted it might look from the outside. And if he told Kirk outright that a creature killed his wife? What are Starfleet's orders regarding that? The same as Adams' orders—evacuate to safety? Crater had forgotten how long he'd been living the fantasy. ("A year, or was it two?")
     
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