Star Trek: The Next Generation


3.5 stars.

Air date: 11/29/1993
Written by Brannon Braga
Directed by Robert Wiemer

Review Text

After returning in a shuttlecraft from a bat'leth competition where he won first place, Worf arrives on the Enterprise to a surprise birthday party that mostly makes him cringe. (It's always fun watching the curmudgeonly Worf suffer through the social kindness of his shipmates, and Riker sets him up perfectly with a misdirection of denial.) But Worf experiences dizziness and disorientation and a shifting of details at the party. (A yellow cake becomes chocolate, and the captain, initially unable to attend, is suddenly present.) Is Worf hallucinating, or experiencing some other strange sci-fi episode? This is Star Trek: TNG, so what do you think?

"Parallels" is unadulterated Brannon Braga in the vein of "Cause and Effect," "Frame of Mind," and "Timescape," where strange sci-fi mysteries are afoot and the storytelling's effectiveness lies in its examination of details. These sort of stories are not particularly deep in their meaning or plausible in the strict (or, I suppose, any) sense of the word, but damn if they aren't entertaining in their exploration of shifting realities. It's not immediately clear to Worf (or us) exactly what's happening or why, but slowly we learn that Worf is shifting between numerous versions of an infinite number of possible realities. The theory goes that all things that are possible are actually happening in an infinite number of parallel universes, and "our" version of Worf is moving between them while maintaining all of his original memories.

This puts Worf in various universes where (1) he placed ninth in the bat'leth tournament instead of first; (2) he causes a tactical delay at a key moment that leads to an attack on the Enterprise; (3) he discovers that the Cardassians have reprogrammed a sensor array to spy on the Federation; (4) he is married to Troi; (5) he does not have a son named Alexander; (6) he is first officer on an Enterprise where Riker has been captain since Picard was killed in the Borg incident; (7) Geordi is dead; (8) Wesley Crusher is the tactical officer; (9) the Bajorans are powerful enemies; and (10) in perhaps the most subtle detail, Data has blue eyes. (I love how this detail goes completely without comment; it's a visual clue that demonstrates the infinite possibilities theory without underlining it.) Okay, sure, there should technically be versions of the universe that look nothing like the familiar surroundings anchored to a life on the Enterprise, but to that I say: Who cares?

A story like this can either be incomprehensible chaos or organized chaos. "Parallels" is a workable example of the latter. The story never becomes so zany as to be unworkable but instead slows down long enough to show that these various possibilities are real enough to mean something to the people involved. In particular, Worf's relationship with Troi makes him consider a possibility that he had never pondered, while at the same time he must confront a reality where his son never existed.

"Parallels" has a rather brilliant ending that is great in its audacity, where the quantum barriers between all these universes break down, leading space to fill up with thousands of Enterprises from other realities. (At one point, Wesley says he is receiving hails from 285,000 different Enterprises, clearly all confused.) In an inspired notion, one Enterprise is captained by a desperate and crazed Riker from a universe where the Borg have destroyed nearly the entire Federation; Riker has to open fire on this ship when it attacks. And there's something odd about one Enterprise having a viewscreen conversation with another. (And just who is the Worf on that Enterprise if "our" Worf is on this alternate Enterprise? Did they swap places?)

By sending Worf back to his correct Enterprise, the barriers will be sealed and everyone will be returned to their proper realities — though I was confused at why Troi was so saddened to "lose" Worf when he left; wouldn't "her" Worf be returned to her by this repair of the breakdown of reality? Or are there a finite number of quantum Worfs, and hers was somehow erased?

No matter — "Parallels" is great a high-concept story executed with high entertainment value and the right modulated tone. For those reluctant about the possibility of a Worf/Troi relationship being spawned from this — what can I say? In a universe where anything is possible, much stranger things have happened.

Previous episode: Inheritance
Next episode: The Pegasus

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Comment Section

111 comments on this post

    Great episode, even if it was the start of the Worf/Troi nonsense. In this episode, it somewhat works.

    Oh, and Jammer -- no love for the Cardassian helmsman at the end? One of my favorite touches.

    The scene with the Borg beaten Enterprise is pretty chilling with Riker yelling 'We don't want to go back!'

    Sent a shiver up my spine.

    I concur with "These sort of stories are not particularly deep in their meaning or plausible in the strict (or, I suppose, any) sense of the word, but damn if they aren't entertaining in their exploration of shifting realities."

    What does bother me about this episode is the idea that everything is possible therefore nothing matters.

    Easily one of season 7's greatest and well remembered episodes.
    By the way it was nice finally seeing Deanna in that nice blue dress again the first time since season 4 ;-)

    This is a fun episode. However, it seems to have been made on the cheap. Every little parallel universe 'quirk' looks to have been recycled from previous episodes. In contrast, "Yesterday's Enterprise" and "Future Imperfect" seem to have a much bigger budget and the 'quirks' were made from scratch.

    In fact, TNG season 7 overall has a pretty chintzy look to it compared to its previous seasons. DS9 season 2 (which ran alongside TNG season 7) on the other hand, looks movie quality from beginning to end.

    I love this episode! Along with, as Jammer noted, the great line about "We are receiving 285,000 hails," which always makes me laugh, it has the great follow up line "The Bajorans are disengaging."

    I like the Worf/Troi pairing much better than the Riker/Troi pairing that the movies pursued--it always angered me they went in that direction after setting up Worf and Deanna so carefully. Their romance at the end of this season is carefully developed with both big and small moments--and I'd love it if only for the fun of Worf's "devolved" form beating the crap out of the ship to get at his mate.

    I've never understood the objection to this episode that, as alex said, if "everything is possible" then "nothing matters." Just because infinite universes of grumpy_otters go running around doing things THIS otter never dreamed of, that doesn't change my individual life. They have their own lives--I have mine. We can't normally communicate and their actions don't affect me. I might feel sad if I saw one eaten by a squid, or jealous if one scored some massive clams, but in general it's just like most of the quantum world--unnoticeable to us. If I die, I am not comforted that "I" will live on--THIS me will be dead and therefore irrelevant at that point.

    Multiple universes doesn't diminish individuality because it exists in each one's brain. Voyager did one like that where one ship died so the other could live--it was cool they saved the baby, but still, a whole crew of individuals had to die. The moment they had separated, they were their own people, and separate lives.

    And since I have to trash Beverly at least once every review cycle--little bitch. Acting all surprised, "DOCTOR Ogawa? How could my little assistant possibly be a doctor in another universe? I'm the only doctor on the Enterprise because I am super perfect." Snob.

    Deanna is sad, Jammer, because she notes that they have told her it is possible that her Worf won't return.

    This is up there with "Inner Light" for me.

    "...I was confused at why Troi was so saddened to 'lose' Worf when he left..."

    That's because Braga never bothered (or, under pressure to write weekly TV, didn't have time) to understand the premises of his own stories.

    Having watched TNG as a kid mostly via re-runs out of order, this was I believe the very last episode I ever saw, probably a good 10 years after it aired, and I have to say it's one of my favourites.

    Absolutely delightful episode! I guess I had forgotten that 2 of the 3 best episodes of season 7 were one after the other (pegasus being the other one, and the Finale being the 3rd).

    I agree, I loved the nice little touches like datas eyes. My favourite moment was actually that little one near the end when the Riker who hasn't seen Picard for 3 years, sees Picard on "our" enterprise and says "It's good to see you again, captain. It's been a long time." It was a touching little moment. I also loved seeing a cardassian in a starfleet uniform.

    I do however, agree with patrick that this felt way cheaper than "Yesterdays Enterprise". And of course the music sucked. And of course you can cound me as a hater of the Worf/Troi crappy romance.

    I gotta say though, without this episode and Pegasus, this season really would be a complete abortion.

    Great premise. Great episode. I especially liked how it put Worf in the center of a very un-Worf-like episode (nothing much on combat and honor etc.).

    I have never thought of the episode as cheap looking. I would say TNG was not going for spectacle in its final season. It seemed they were going for quieter character episodes. It must have worked because it netted them a Best Drama Emmy nod (I wonder what episodes were submitted to the academy?). They had started to work CGI into the show in its final season, but it seems they never felt the need to really go nuts. Yet the Maquis attack on the Cardassian ship in the penultimate episode was well done and of course AGT looked fantastic.

    This was one of those ridiculous but fun episodes.

    The premise was perfectly exploited.

    Did anyone else crack up when Worf states in his personal log that 'Several contestants were maimed.' ?

    For me parallels is an example of pure and mind-blowing science fiction! no social allegories here. Just an opening to other possibilities of existence!

    Worf isn't usually picked to star in weird concept episodes, but this one makes you wonder why. His outsider nature, his confusion and injured pride all make him the perfect hero for Parallels. And he's really funny, too.

    (And I don't see how Worf/Troi is any more forced or problematic than Worf/Dax or Riker/Troi...)

    In a way, this episode is my favorite appearance of Wesley Crusher, too, just because he's there and nothing big is made of it. The plot doesn't bend to make him the hero, he doesn't say anything silly... I do appreciate that they went a more daring direction with the character in-continuity, but I really like his understated appearance here.

    Best part for me was the moment where Troi realized that while Worf did not know their own children, he had a son who, in her universe, never existed. I mean, he could have just stayed put and done OK but that was the moment when it was clear he had to go "home".

    Actually, the best part was the famous "peeking Worf" but that was superfluous to the storyline.

    2 things

    1. Worf missed a trick after learning Troi was his wife. If that was me....

    2. No sighting of the Bajoran ship at all & it attacks & disengages for no reason- only to damage the quantum fissure because it had to be damaged somehow right?

    I do like this episode, but I think I enjoyed it more when I watched during it's original run and was too young to really think hard about it. Now, watching it, the fact that there's a Worf in the background of the "correct" Enterprise (which I'm glad Jammer didn't overlook) and that one of the Worf's may be lost (the one in the universe where the "correct" Worf tries to go home from) raises so many questions in my mind that I have a hard time appreciating the rest of this episode. I would have dropped a half a star or even a full one just because of those two things, which were quick and relatively unimportant, but to me extremely significant to my comprehension of this story.

    Adding to what I said above, since there was a Worf on the "correct" Enterprise and the Data on the "correct" Enterprise agreed with Captain Riker's decision, this says to me that at least some, if not the majority, of the Enterprises knew something was going on with Worf and were discussing and attempting to solve the matter (hence a lot of the comm traffic, guess). But it seems like there would have been thousands of other Enterprises, then, who were making similar decisions and broadcasting quantum states looking for Worf's Enterprise. I would have expected to see a lot more shuttle crafts flying around, or at least some other Enterprises "competing" to get a response from the correct one.

    I don't know. The more I think about this episode, the less I like it. This seems to be an episode that should just be enjoyed for its alternate reality fun, and not really thought about.

    "Or are there a finite number of quantum Worfs?"

    Starts like the premise of a kick-ass exam for admission into sci-fi.

    The main thing I didn't get about this episode was this: When Worf is moving from parallel universe to parallel universe, where were the Worfs who are actually indigenous to those universes? Like when they're in the chocolate-cake universe, where's the Worf who really belonged there?

    I also thought that Parallel Universe Troi, who knows only that she loves Worf and is married to him and is the mother of his children (i.e., she doesn't contemplate a hypothetical parallel reality where all this isn't the case), should have been all irate and challenging when she learned that Real Universe Worf has a son named Alexander, as in, "Who's Alexander's mother?"

    Nothing like an old fashioned multiverse saga to get those sci-fi juices flowing again. Great episode! I'd give it 4 stars if it didn't spark that unholy alliance. That definitely costs it a .5.
    Eleven episodes into season seven and for me at least, there have only been two dogs, Interface and Dark Page. Everything else has been at least a three, and now another 3.5. Some people would take season one over this. I'm certainly not among that group.
    As to the other Worfs, it seems a safe bet to me that Worfs were simply changing places. The story did not say that but it's only logical. I didn't understand why the possibility was even raised that an existing Worf wouldn't return to his rightful universe.
    As an aside I just noticed that when I google stng jammer, one of the results is 'The Next Generation Jammer Program', an electronic airborne warfare system.

    Terrific episode! Originally it was supposed to be Picard...but Worf was a better choice.

    Only qualm was with Troi/Worf. That should have been comedy only...and not a setup for things to come up.

    @Paul: The Bajorans obviously disengaged because all of a sudden they had 285,000 Enterprises in front of them to make it the most lopsided (and weird) space battle in all of sci-fi.

    One thing that often occurred to me about this episode in hindsight: Presumably there must have been Borg-assimilated Enterprises amongst them, as well as Mirror Universe ones, and maybe even one with a 300-year-old Captain Archer at the helm.* If we were to carry this through to its logical extreme, which is probably not a bright idea. *hic*

    * - OK, so I’m trolling a little there.

    The other Worfs weren't just swapping places with ours, they (or at least some of them) were sliding through various successive realities as well. With so many possibilities, surely some were having similar troubles. On the other hand, there's no reason to think they'd snap back perfectly to their originals. Something must go wrong with a few of them. Not all the *ships* survived, why should the Worfs fare better?

    I thought it was a continuity error that it turned out that Worf had already shifted into another universe when his birthday party took place. Where was Geordi at that point? He had not met him if only Troi was there.

    That said, I think it is a great episode, although the Worf/Troi romance did not make much sense to me (either Worf in those universes had mellowed or Troi was much tougher than we think...).

    It reminded me of the old 'Sliders' series. I was not surprised Troi was sad because they really did not know if her Worf would come back at that point, since they did not know at what time the universes would be merged. Since time did not change in the end we can assume he did come back, but Data mentioned that they could have merged three days later. If Worf died in another universe during that time, he would have been lost.

    The one thing that always stuck with me about this episode is the desperate Riker, coming onto the view screen - beard unkempt, uniform dirty, explosions in the background. that borg reality where they are one of the last ships left as the borg are everywhere must truly be hell and did lead me as a kid to have some truly terrifying borg nightmares.

    This is another one of those episodes that hearken back to Season 3/4: great performances (even by Troi), interesting alternate realities (I loved the post-BOBW Captain Riker(s)), and a genuinely fascinating concept. Even the musical score has some high points, VERY rare for a later episode.

    My only nitpicks:

    #1. No one mourns Geordi other than Dr. Ogawa (good acting on her part). Granted, in this alternate reality, he may just have transferred aboard ship or something, but still, no one seems that shook up.

    #2. How is it that in some of the slips, no one has previous knowledge of Mr. Worf's slipping between realities, but in others, the crew is fully aware of his problem, even though he just popped into their reality? A good example is dead Geordi . . . he should have been alive and kicking the second Worf slipped sideways.

    #3. I wish they'd gone with the idea to also have Tasha there in the final alternate reality. It would have been nice to see.

    *** ½ stars

    This reminds me a lot of Timescape and Cause and Effect (like Jammer already mentioned). Mostly meaningless fluff, but it's a great high concept episode that is executed almost flawlessly, and thus a mostly entertaining affair. But everyone pretty much knows that already. Thinking about the whole situation, I'm not sure why it had to be this specific Worf that had to go back through the fissure. Sure, some of the Worfs didn't go to the tournament, and thus couldn't hit the rift, but could others have gone through? Or was the rift only initially in our universe? And why would other Enterprises be visiting this area of space and thus go through the rift (particularly the Borg Enterprise)? Or did the fissure just happen to pull them out from wherever they were in space? And for that matter, out of an infinite number of Enterprises, what are the odds that the one they needed would show up so quickly?

    So it doesn't make much sense, but oh well. Another oddity: what defines what universes Worf travels to? One idea I heard a while back was that with each transfer, the universe diverged with his even further back in time. For example, his first shift may have been into a universe that diverged only a day or so before hitting the rift, hence why the only changes in the universe was the cake's flavor and Picard's presence at the party. The last two universes would be from 2-4 years ago. While that would be a reasonable theory, Dr. Ogawa's presence kinda hurts that idea (when would she have decided to become a doctor, and still managed to become CMO in such a short time?) Likewise, the Bajoran/Cardassian switcheroo is tough to swallow as having happened within the last four years.

    Not that it takes too much away from the story, because it doesn't matter much, but it is curious to see how this all works.

    John G: interesting idea, having a Borgified Enterprise appear. I guess seeing the desperate Enterprise instead offered more pathos, but how fun would it have been to have a Borg Enterprise appear, try to give the whole "We are the Borg" speech, and then get promptly smashed by 100 Enterprises... Also, I wonder if the Mirror Universe showed up?

    Dave in NC, to your #2, obviously in some 'verses people have noticed what's happening, had a chance to talk to Worf or each other about it. Others not. The various shifting Worfs must themselves have figured it out at different points too.

    @ Peremensoe

    If that's the case, wouldn't they have only known something was wrong once our Worf replaced theirs?

    My interpretation was that there was a wave of different Worfs sliding or fluctuating across many iterations of reality. Maybe some sets of his comrades have seen a succession of different Worfs pass through before ours gets there.

    @ Peremensoe

    That's a good idea: every Worf would indeed displace the previous Worf. Unfortunately, the dialogue made a point to say that there was a real possibility that Alt-Troi (Counselor Mogh haha) may never have gotten "her Worf" back.

    Eh, the reasoning confuses me, but who cares, it's a fun episode.

    Again, an all-time classic Trek. This episode here is one of the dozen or so that keep me loving ST.

    Check this out: We know some of the universe-slippages are subtle, not necessarily evident at the moment, or for some moments after. Maybe the first one is just as he enters his quarters at the beginning? (Maybe even as he adjusts his trophy display, noting a *slightly-off* perception...) Maybe it wasn't a set-up by Riker! There was no waiting surprise party... there!

    @ Permensoe

    What a clever idea!

    They should have had Geordi walk by in the background of the first Word/Riker scene.

    "The Bajorans are disengaging." - one of the funniest lines in TNG

    Well, I'll be. An episode with Wesley Crusher as a guest character and he didn't save the day or get idolized. I didn't think that was possible. :P

    What is there to say about "Parallels" that hasn't already been said? It's entertaining fluff. That's all it is and so be it. It is rather remarkable, however, that this is really becoming such a pattern here in late TNG - the best episodes being nothing more than entertaining diversions. In the last 25 episodes (almost exactly the length of a standard Trek season) there have only been four standout episodes that haven't been fluff - "Face of the Enemy," "Tapestry," "Rightful Heir" and "Dark Page". And of those four, "Rightful Heir" was the only one I considered a classic (a score of 9 or 10). Every other episode has either been fluff, slightly above average ("Second Chances" and "Interface") or average and below. This has been a pretty long stretch with little more than sugar-highs to keep us going. Numerous people say that TNG had run out of ideas by this point. While I still disagree (most episodes lately at least show some potential), I have to admit that that argument is starting to look more plausible.

    But, as for "Parallels" itself - it's nice to see Worf bouncing through all these different universes with their little oddities. And, this is Brannon Braga in his element after all, so he is capable of delivering. While it does give us the beginning of the rather odd Worf/Troi pairing (something that really shouldn't have been inflicted on us unless they were going to go all out with a "Beauty and the Beast" allegory), it has more than enough enjoyable tidbits to overcome that. Worf in a red command uniform, Data's blue eyes, the Enterprise from the Borg dominated universe, the aforementioned correct use of Wesley, the Bajorans as the powerhouse enemy, a Cardassian at the helm, the image of numerous Enterprises filling the scene.... all really memorable stuff.

    However, like even the best Braga stories, it really starts to unravel when you stop to think about it. Where did all the Worfs from those alternate universes go while "our" Worf was occupying their space? Did they just switch places? How does Worf manage to slip into these universes at almost precisely the right moments in each one (the only drastic change during the crossover is the one time he goes from his quarters to the Bridge)? Why are some alternate versions of everyone aware of Worf's predicament while others are not? Et cetera, Et cetera, Et cetera. But, that's not what episodes like this are about. Like "Timescape" or "Starship Mine," the point is to just enjoy the pretty sights and weird scenarios and have a fun, little popcorn-movie-type experience. In that, "Parallels" succeeds probably better than any of the others.

    If there's one point I'll criticize it's the surprise party shenanigans. It just grates on me. These people all know that Worf would hate such a party and yet they do it to him anyway. Even in the "normal" universe, they would have forced it on him if Troi hadn't talked them out of it. Ugh, it's not endearing. They all know that he probably would rather hit himself with a pain stick for his birthday, as Troi says. And hey, you know, I'm an open-minded guy - it that's what he wants to do, I say more power to him (as long as he doesn't force it on anybody who doesn't want it). And therein lies the rub - they force their beliefs about what a birthday should be on him. Poor Worf, even in alternate universes his friends love to give him grief.


    This is without doubt my favourite episode of the whole 7 seasons. I loved the premise of every decision setting up an alternate universe where the consequences of that decision are played out, this being the first time I had really encountered such a concept.

    It's the perfect slow burn high concept piece, and there are so many little details as we move through to enjoy. Worf is the perfect centrepiece for this - his befuddlement is plain to see and I don't think would have worked with any other character. It just builds and builds to the classic "We are receiving 285,000 hails. The Bajorans are disengaging" moment.

    But what knocks this completely out of the park is described far more eloquently than I could by Keith R.A. DeCandido over at the rewatch:

    "But the piece de resistance, the moment that cemented this as one of TNG’s top episodes, was the Enterprise that fired on the shuttle. Nineteen years later, I still remember how haunted I was by that one scene. The disheveled, deranged Riker plaintively screaming, “We won’t go back!” stuck in my head for weeks after I first saw the episode."

    That's it exactly. It's the single greatest moment in TNG, and it's a worthy 4 stars.

    This was one very interesting episode that showed an interesting side of Worf. He is confused and in need of help from the other crew members without having his usual tough attitude. Troi has been getting closer to Worf as a friend since Alexander was introduced. Seeing that Troi and Worf have a romantic relationship in an alternative reality was entertaining.

    Definitely one of my favorite episodes in season 7, and in my top 10 ST:TNG episodes.

    Unless I missed a 'jump', Worf's unfamiliarity with his weapons control panel led to the Enterprise taking significant damage from the Cardies, and to Geordi's death. Despite these events, Troi chose to visit Worf's quarters for sexy time, and then everyone stood around Geordi's corpse without a hint of sadness, or eulogy, or even acknowledgement? Seemed strange, unless of course it was a reality in which everyone was glad to see the back of him...

    I just noticed the reality around 22 min where Troi and Worf are married — why would Troi have moved into Worf's tiny, windowless LT-and-below quarters? Troi has a nice place with a window.

    And why don't Data and Geordi get nice quarters with windows? They're both LCDRs.

    But I love how Worf growls "Wife?!" at Troi in disbelief like an angry cat. That earns four out of four Spots! 😸😸😸😸

    Worf makes CMDR but Data is *still* just a LCDR?! Clearly there is a transparent aluminum ceiling for androids.

    This is probably one of my favourite episodes of the series, and definitely one of my favourite Worf episodes. I don't think we've ever had any other Worf episode where Worf was the central character and it wasn't some Klingon political drama. Here we have Worf with a totally sci-fi premise which is totally out there. I just loved it. All the little touches were fantastic. I still feel so horrible seeing dead Geordi naked on the biobed... why take his clothes of so that anyone can just come into sickbay and take a look?

    The scene with crazy Riker still chills me to the bone.

    another BS episode where Braga tries romance and turns women insipid. Plus his charlatan's understanding of quantum mechanics. No wonder Enterprise ended Star Trek forever.

    The part when a crazed Riker had pretty much given up hope and had come from a reality where the borg had won, really got to me. It was just somthing about it sort of depressed me.

    Also I found it funny how Worf was rushing between two consoles.

    The Borg universe enterprise really was depressing, I wonder, having been destroyed in the universe our Worf was in at the time, did it mean they weren't reset into their own when everything went back to normal? leaving an even more desperate federation.
    whenever Star Trek shows glimpses of universes where the federation is collapsing there is a sense that a very much darker series could be made, and made rather compellingly.

    Jesus... people don't even pay attention and then ask questions that have already been answered in the show. Jammer himself says, "...I was confused at why Troi was so saddened to 'lose' Worf when he left..." When they're in Warf's quarters waiting as the Enterprise to retrace the shuttle craft's route, Troi states unequivocally, "As I understand it, there's a good chance my Worf won't return... and I'm just having a hard time accepting there's a universe out there where you never loved." What more information are you looking for? Troi is not a quantum field theorist. She doesn't even really understand what's happening in anything other than a layman's pov. Her Worf might not return for any number of reasons, since this situation is completely unprecedented in warp field theory. However, the main reason is that something could've happened to him and he might be laying on a stretcher in the morgue right next to Geordie OR he could've been on that Borg universe Enterprise with the unhinged Riker, who obviously would refuse to let him take the shuttle!. The point is even the experts, one of who is dead as door nail, don't know fully what's going to happen. How the hell is a layman who's afraid of losing her husband supposed to react?

    "Everything is possible; nothing matters." Go read Deutsche's thoughts on free will and many worlds interpretation.

    @J "I would have expected to see a lot more shuttle crafts"
    Many Worf's flew through the fissure. They made either an artistic or production choice to demonstrate the other Worf's going back through the fissure by showing multiple Worf's inside the shuttle craft performing different tasks and wearing different uniforms. It was probably cheaper to do it that way and it illustrates exactly what you claim to want to see. So what's your point? Did you also count the number of Enterprises on screen and then complain that there weren't exactly 285k?

    Geordie was originally reported as having been sent to the sick bay with plasma burns. Even assuming she'd heard what happened as she did with Worf's mishap, that's all the information she had until Dr Ogowa called her to sickbay afterwards. Dr. Ogawa was upset when she told Data and Worf what happened and Data and Worf were visibly startled. Worf is liable to think Geordie died in combat and is fortunate. Data isn't going to break out in tears having no emotions. Both doctors are professionals. The only one liable to express anything is Troi. Were you expecting a eulogy?

    @Latex Zebra
    That was a classic Worf understatement! It wasn't quite up there with, "lol! Impossible." or "I am a Klingon! If you doubt it, a demonstration can be arranged!" It was more along the lines of, "However, the time will come when we will... convince them... to speak the truth." Not just what he said, but the way he said it, contained awesome subtext. When he says "maimed" he quickly moves on with his statement as if that was the most unimportant part of the log entry. It was hilarious.

    "I thought it was a continuity error that it turned out that Worf had already shifted into another universe when his birthday party took place. Where was Geordi at that point? He had not met him if only Troi was there."

    I noticed this too, and I thought I was seeing things at first! When he returned to his indigenous quantum universe (lol it's weird typing that out, like it's a real thing) and he returned to his quarters, only to find Troi there and no party, I was confused, because when his birthday party took place in the first scene he hadn't bumped into Geordi yet. The only person he'd met up to that point was Riker. Am I missing something here?

    Anyway, this is always an episode I enjoy returning to. I agreed that the Cardassian helmsman was a nice touch, though I have to say they look better in their own uniforms. Also liked the slightly different comm badge and bridge designs.

    I agree that it was great. I just want to mention that this was not a cheap episode as they built a unique bridge set, as well as unique uniforms. They also had an elaborate special effects sequence which must not have been cheap at the time.

    Blue-eyed Data weirds me out. I'm so used to the jaundiced contacts. And the alternate bridge was a great improvement over the usual, I wish it was the actual design, the normal one looks ridiculous.

    I'm all onboard for Doctor Ogawa. She looks pretty snazzy in that blue coat thing.

    Good to see Wes again. I miss him, it's a shame he got put on a bus after being one of the few characters to get actual character development. I'd even take his season 1 nonsense of being the only intelligent character over his mom's blank stare, malpractice, and discussions of her sex life with Troi.

    I suppose LaForge could have been there when Worf first docked or passed him in the halls. It's weird that we didn't see him during the first shift but maybe the initial one happened on its own?

    I find it hilarious that the present Troi gives Worf at the end is all pink and sparkly. Very befitting of a manly warrior.

    "I just noticed the reality around 22 min where Troi and Worf are married — why would Troi have moved into Worf's tiny, windowless LT-and-below quarters? Troi has a nice place with a window.

    And why don't Data and Geordi get nice quarters with windows? They're both LCDRs."

    Geordi is blind. Data is a robot. Neither probably get much out of looking out a window. Worf is from a proud patriarchal society and probably insisted on his wife moving in with him, rather than the other way around, sort of like how Peter Parker feels bad when his wife does stuff like buy furniture for their apartment even though she makes a lot more money than he does and doesn't have a problem with being the one paying for stuff. Men are traditionally the ones who provide, and a lot of them, especially in fiction, have had that role so ingrained in them they have trouble letting it go and feel guilty or inadequate if they're not the ones providing, even if it would be more logical to let the wife do some or even all of the providing. Or maybe it's just a convenience of the plot, but I like my rationalization better.

    Since the Borg beaten up Enterprise was destroyed, that universe would have not gotten that ship back, not in one piece anyway, once the rift was sealed and everything was put back into their proper universes, correct? If anything, the debris from the destroyed Enterprise would have simply been what was "returned" back to that Borg infested universe since the debris field would still contain the matching quantum signature of said universe.

    3 stars. A very solid sci fi mystery hour that was hurt slightly by not going all out at the end

    Liked idea in teaser with a bath'leth tournament and worf attending it as a way to launch episode and how it weaves in and out the story

    Lots of good mystery that had me curious--Whose using the array to spy, Pointing to concussion as cause of his disorientation fr
    Is what's happening tied to the array and Carfassians-who I enjoyed seeing on TNG, then paintings switched places then different painting altogether then Troi in one outfit and hairstyle then another then in middle of battle then. Ninth place in tournament then didn't attend etc etc etc

    I didn't catch originally Geordi being common to his dizziness so that was effective sleight of hand by Brannon
    Then more WTF?!? With Dr ogawa. No dr crusher, Worf in red uniform future imperfect commbadge and first officer

    I thought the quantum shifting was a good payoff to the mystery. And one thing I have to point out and give TNG credit for is when dealing with these complex sci fi notions they would effectively use graphics and analogies to make it very relateable and understandable something that later Trek series like Voyager got away from to their detriment. But here they did excellent Jon explaining clearly what a quantum fissure is and about multiple universes

    Worf finally has explanation as to what he's been experiencing. Now he wants to get Home so now was perfect chance to go crazy with the shifting and having more fun playing out all sorts of neat things while you have parallel universes at your disposal. Maybe bring in Yar or a Borgified TNG crew or the mirror universe version of the TNG crew even for just a few seconds or bring in Pulaski or have Sisko as enterprise captain etc. unfortunately they didn't embrace it nearly enough. Had they for me personally it would have been a classic 4 star episode

    I thought finding Worf's correct universe would be smooth sailing but thinking about it all those infinite universes would take time to scan them. Nice believable touch

    Then you have a Nice signature Brannon Braga plot complication where things don't go as simple as scanning the fissure--the Bajorans brought in earlier show up and destabilize fissure leading to a flood of universes pouring into this one

    Another very clever plot wrinkle was with a ship firing on shuttle and riker thinking it's Bajorans again but turning out to be an Enterprise where Borg assimilated the Federation and not wanting to return to that nightmare they fire on the shuttle to prevent Worf from sending them back. Plus I always love Borg namedropping even of they don't make an appearance

    Liked Troi" you probably want to spend your birthday alone hitting yourself with a pain stick". The one cast I could believably seeing carrying off humor is TNG if given good material

    I was lukewarm to a Worf/ Troi romance though

    Another universe that would have been cool would have been an Enterprise Worf comes to where the runner ups for the tng roles were the crew. Stephen Macht as Picard, billy Campbell as Riker, Eric Menyuk as Data, timRuss as Geordi, Jonathan Del Arco as Wesley, Marina Sirtis as Yar and Denise Crosby as Troi(before Sirtis and Crosby had their roles reversed

    Pretty good episode with a slow-building mystery and great ending. I liked that it was centered on Worf and not Picard or Riker and that it wasn't a "Klingon episode". Interesting to see Worf in a situation where he confronts doubts and how the character reacts to it -- so that part was well done including how he deals with finding out he was married to Troi.

    So it's a cool concept that Geordi's visor triggers a different reality for Worf after going through the rift. The downside is the technobabble and solution to fixing the rift -- sure we'll accept that what Data/Wesley say works perfectly (those 2 never get it wrong). The idea that parallel universes exist with all kinds of different realities and switching between them is good creative sci-fi.

    The ending is what made this episode for me. Seeing the rift get messed with and all those Enterprises popping up each living their own reality including 1 where an Enterprise with Riker in control is getting kicked by the Borg was awesome. I wish they had spent more time on that -- it was done too quickly. With all those Enterprises, locating the right one and then having to fire on the damaged Enterprise, it played out too quickly and conveniently for me.

    3 stars for "Parallels" -- the strongest episode of a crap TNG S7 so far. Braga has come up with a winner here. What's also well thought out is that as the episode wore on, when Worf would shift realities, the changes would become bigger and bigger -- he'd be further along the timeline so more realities have had time to unfold, just like a tree branching off. Entertaining ending after a somewhat typical mysterious TNG beginning.

    In regards to him not having a birthday party at the end I would guess that it is suppose to imply that his first shift actually took place when he first encountered the rift. Geordie just triggered subsequent shifts.

    Let us pause to contemplate this line:

    "It was Worf's shuttlecraft which traversed the fissure and weakened the barriers between quantum realities. If he re-enters the fissure in his original shuttle, and emits a broad spectrum warp field, it may be enough to seal the fissure and stop additional realities from emerging into our own."

    I love how audacious Braga's scripts are, and how, because of their mind-bending nature, they always require massively ridiculous levels of deus-ex-technobabble.

    TNG was famous for its deus-ex-technobabble, Picard's problems constantly being solved by:

    1. Running a level X diagnostic.
    2. Reversing the polarity on the X
    3. Rerouting power through the X buffer and/or warp coils
    4. Rotating the shield harmonics
    5. Rerouting/reversing power to the main sensor array
    6. Re-configuring the X subbuffer and/or the main sensor array

    But Braga, nah, he literally solves problems with lines like:

    "Placental barrier, maternal antibodies and amniotic fluids all serve as a filtration system. Maybe we could inhibit the intron virus by using the natural antibodies in Spot's amniotic fluid. Or locate a pregnant humanoid."

    Man, Kirk had a way easier problem solving flow-chart:

    1. Fight in arena.
    2. Sleep with female
    3. Talk into self-destruction
    4. Use Spock

    Good ... and romantic. I liked the Worf Troi combination. As he realises this possibility he opens up and removes his guard back in his own universe. Very romantic. Although I personally normally are not found of the alternate universe stories (to much reset button) this was well done , consistent and quite logical.

    Classic. I laughed at riker putting the birthday hat thing on worfs head and also at data discussing investigating troi and worfs mating. I had fun trying to notice all the differences from “normal” reality as well. This is a top ten episode IMO

    It's so much fun to see how weirdness leaves Worf all flustered. I don't think we every found out why Worf and Troi never ended up together. And it was never acknowledged. In fact, this whole "Parallels" episode was never referenced on DS9. I would have loved for Worf to tell the rest of the DS9 crew "I have had experience with parallel universes. The realities must have no bearing on choices in this reality." And I think that means... DS9 is a parallel universe! And so are all the movies! Parellels never happened in those universes! *Gasp!*

    This episode contains Worf wearing a cardboard birthday hat on his big manly ridged Klingon noggin. What more could anyone want?


    "I think Data's painting is making me feel dizzy." Ha!

    Geordi LOVES cake! Look at the size of that slice he’s horking

    Lots of potential in the alternate universes: universe with openly gay Riker? Check. What about a universe where Picard wears a really bad troupe? Yep. Feel free to add your own. Go nuts.

    "there should technically be versions of the universe that look nothing like the familiar surroundings anchored to a life on the Enterprise"

    I think of it as that he is moving further and further away from where he started.

    the main thing I don't understand is why there was no surprise party... doesn't that mean he *wasn't* returned to his own universe?

    (oh wait, I get it... he had already flipped at least once before getting to his quarters the first time, so this time was the real one. that's actually pretty cool!)


    I like Worf but ho hum. And I need a refresher on quantum physics and multiple realities

    A universe where Guinan is captain of the Enterprise, Geordi and Data are a couple, Tasha Yar lived thru Armus only to be killed by Nagilum, (sparing poor Mr. Innocent Redshirt) Picard married Beverly and had to *shudder* adopt Wesley, using a holoemitter like the Doctor's they brought Minuet off the holodeck and she and Riker are in their own jazz band, Data dyed his hair mint blue for a new look, Deanna is SUPER modest and always wears very heavy sweaters, Wesley had a *not so accidental* accident and now he's paralyzed in a wheelchair, Worf and K'ehleyr are married with eight children, ect, ect.

    Did worf return to the correct Enterprise though? At the beginning of the episode it starts out with worf receiving a surprise party but at the end of the episode troi said she knows how he hates surprises and talked riker out of throwing one for worf.

    If it was the same universe then shouldn't events unfolded the same?


    "Did worf return to the correct Enterprise though? At the beginning of the episode it starts out with worf receiving a surprise party but at the end of the episode troi said she knows how he hates surprises and talked riker out of throwing one for worf.

    If it was the same universe then shouldn't events unfolded the same?"

    DidWorf?, I think it was established that Worf started enterting parallel universes before he even returned to the Enterprise, during his shuttle trip. Therefore, the first time we see him on the Enterprise, having his surprise party that Riker threw despite telling him, "I hate surprise parties!" as a prank, he is already on a "wrong" Enterprise in terms of this story. So at the end, the intimate party he was with Troi is the "correct" universe.

    That being said, I'm a firm believer that every continuity error and "canon violation" in STAR TREK shows can be easily dismissed by assuming that the episode or film in question takes place in an alternate universe/timeline. This exact episode, "Parallels," defines this concept beautifully. It's an easy way to counter paltry arguments about STAR TREK continuity errors or altered character development (I.E., Captain Janeway's "bipolar" personality changes). And it's no more hard to believe than warp drive, transporters, or DNA "resequencing."

    Yes, it was initially triggered on his trip back from the tournament in the shuttle. This could be a convenient excuse as to why we DON'T see drastically different alt needs to be him on that shuttle passing through the fissure the same moment that the alt-Worfs were. So the differences he encounters are not waaay off of what his "correct" Universe is like, since they were all in a position to have been making the same trip.

    There's only one standout here, and that is the one trying to survive the Borg-ified Universe. Hard to believe that alt Worf would have been attending a tournament during such chaos, but he could have been doing something else at the time which demanded the use of a shuttle - which just happened to pass over the same fissure.

    One standout of thousands. I'll buy it.

    Well, looks like S7's hit a little run of good eps here!

    As much as I've loved how so many of the Worf episodes have built up their own arc -- both his own character arc with how he relates to Klingon society, and the civil war arc in some of the earlier seasons -- it really is refreshing to see him released from all those trappings and given a bizarro sci-fi plot episode.

    I have heard about Troi/Worf being a thing in this season, and am... reserving judgement. Not much to "accurately" judge here, given that they're both confused (but confused in very different stages of the relationship, which is always an interesting contrast). What a way for it to start though. "Hey, guess it worked out for a bunch of alt Worfs!" (On a serious note, though, trying it for the sake of that one Troi who felt heartbroken by a Worf who didn't love her? Actually pretty sweet. Let's just see how well it actually works.)

    And finally... when they had all those hundreds of thousands of Enterprises popping up all around them, I couldn't help but imagine them playing a game of 20 Questions to sort out which ship was our Worf's ship. Picture this: the captain of Enterprise-D number 4700 gets a hail instructing them to answer a list of questions, starting with...

    "Is Picard alive?"
    Ensign Picard? That guy is the first one they ask about??
    Well... yes. Still alive, still annoying, as always. What's the next one?

    Is Crusher the doctor?
    Well, Wesley does have six doctorates, and only two of those are honorary. We could answer "yes" to this one, right?

    Are Worf and Troi married?
    Ouch, bit of a loaded question for us right now. No one's gonna forget the aftermath of that divorce in a hurry. Oh well, Looks like we're the wrong Enterprise, folks!

    ... (seriously though. imagine a klingon-betazoid divorce. emotional fireworks to rival new year's)

    The most obvious point of comparison to this episode is "Cause and Effect" for its episode-length high concept wackiness. It's not quite as tightly scripted but it's more emotional and character-driven. It's an unusual story for Worf on TNG, since while there's some Klingon stuff in it, his behaviour in the episode isn't driven by his Klingonness. And is there a more touching low-key moment in the whole series than when Captain Riker tells Picard it's good to see him again?

    Also, I love the way that Dorn plays Worf realizing he'd be Lwaxana's stepson. He's really underrated as an actor.

    The continuity staff must have breathed easy with this one. "Hey wasn't Sirtis previously wearing boots and not heels? And didn't she have more rouge?"

    "Nah, that was in an alternate universe, boss."

    Speaking of Troi, I always felt there was more chemistry between Sirtis and Dorn in this episode than there was with the entirety of scenes with Frakes. I'm not saying it's the greatest thing ever, just that Sirtis X Frakes isn't just cold as ice; it's heat death of the universe. On Riker, glad to see a cameo of the version form "Genesis" on the Borg-beaten Enterprise.

    I forgot there was a Wil Wheaton episode left before he returned to being Perfect Boy and becoming Literal Space Jesus. Good thing Alexander was gone. The universe may have imploded having both of them on simultaneously.

    Regarding the other Worfs, it seemed obvious to me they were also sliding around. That's why Data and Picard of the "correct" universe knew exactly what was going on when they answered the "current" universe's hail 30 seconds after the fact. Also, we see two sickbays investigating the same thing, so we know there were at least two misplaced Worfs. Otherwise he would warped to a different location and would have to track down Geordi again. Of course, this also meant at least two Worfs dropped the ball at the tactical station. I think they never explained why the visor made him quantum leap.

    It'd be funny if in one of the parallel universes, Worf gets so startled by the surprise party he goes into fight-or-flight mode and bat'leths the party-goers. I guess he can't kill that lady helmsman who is in every episode, though. By virtue of not being paid to shout "Surprise!" she should be spared.

    This is such a fun romp you can just hold your nose at the technobabble nonsense at the end. Yes it would've been nice to see Tasha, Pulaski, and Guinan too, but that would require an episode with a bit more substance and significance.

    I think the people who are saying that the Borg world Enterprise would not return it that Worf are missing the point. Not only was Worf and the others returned to their universe but it was also back in time, so that ship would be intact and the Geordi from the other universes would not have been killed.

    Whole lot of weird Worf-Troi hate in the comments. Does it stem from deeper, creepier issues, or are they just mad that it was harder to jack off to Troi with the knowledge of Worf having been all up in there?

    I can tell you that I personally was annoyed that they felt the need to pair off Troi and Worf (who have no sexual chemistry) in the very last season instead of giving the audience some payoff with Troi and Riker.

    Since I'm admitting things, in retrospect I dislike how (over the course of TNG and DS9) the writers toned down Worf's different nature and portrayed him more like a prissy human samurai than a truly alien being. I personally prefer TNG Season 1-4 Worf over his later incarnation.

    @Dave in MN

    I've been wondering if anyone else thought this. Worf has a pretty limited range as a character, and he did that well in most of TNG. And as much as I loved DS9, I didn't think he fit in (he usurped Odo's part in the crew). His character just wasn't dynamic enough for the stories, and his 'character development' came off as melodramatic.

    As is so often the case, there's really a lot wrong with this one. But as is less often the case, it handsomely rewards the necessary suspension of disbelief.

    Firstly: the comedy is strong here. Worf's comment in his log that "several competitors were maimed". Data's offer to investigate his first "coupling" with Deanna. Worf's comment about the "acceptable risk" when Deanna points out to him that her mother would in effect become his stepmother. His reaction to Deana kissing his neck.

    What's wrong with it? Well the different universes are too similar. In many or most of them, the Enterprise won't exist at all, neither will Worf. And it's really his consciousness that's shifting between these alternative realities, not his constituent atoms. Otherwise his constituent atoms might find themselves in an empty region of space, and he'd die quite quickly.

    Anyway as I said there's no point obsessing the flaws. Best just to play along and if you do, it's quite a fascinating and compelling idea.

    I don't really see Worf and Deanna as a couple, though.

    Interesting to see that Wesley has put a bit of weight on in the other universe. I was amused to see Data getting the information he did from the Tricorder. It has a few flashing lights and a tiny screen. A Samsung phone looks considerably more sophisticated.

    The icing on the cake is the spectacle of the various Enterprises appearing in the same Universe. And the crazed Riker from the universe in which the galaxy has been overrun by Borg. Genius. The CGI looks surprisingly poor when his ship is destroyed, though.

    But - why would all of these Enterprises turn up? Did they all just happen to be in exactly the same region of space in their respective realities, or what? It makes no sense to me.

    Still - very, very good. Best one so far in the seventh series, I think.

    @ James G,

    I think most of your objections are answered - if they must be answered - by suggesting that these are all very similar quantum realities. If you think of it like DNA, they perhaps are extremely closely related. That is why Worf is sliding between them, because they have a sympathetic resonance of some kind. It would be obviously impossible for Worf to slide to a universe with no Enterprise, or no Klingons for that matter; there would be no continuity there.

    That being said, this is a high concept lark so I think as you suggest the point is to enjoy the fun.

    It's Worf/Dorn - he scowls, looks fed up, talks about inconseqential maiming - what's not to love ! And he's right about that painting. (OK the Troi/Worf mating seems unlikely to have any longevity - 'Worf smash').

    Couple of things I don't understand about this episode is - does the Worf that ends up as first officer on the Riker Enterprise just disappear?

    And who is the Worf on the bridge of the Enterprise that Worf travels back to? Where does he go?

    It's a great episode but there are a lot of questions unanswered.

    There's a fine line between high concept SciFi and BS. And this episode has crossed that line.

    The idea that an individual's "quantum signature" (yeah, right!) can cross into another quantum universe while everyone and everything else stays intact is the reason for all the humongous plot holes picked up in the thread.

    This is Braga bragging about his familiarity with trendy cosmology and physics jargon without having understood a bit of it.

    Pity, because Worf as a character has depth and layers here, and Michael Dorn puts in a stellar performance.

    And does 285,000 Enterprises mean 285,000 Picards? No wonder the universe is so out of whack!

    This is my favorite episode. It lets me decide that all the things I'd have done differently happened in one of those other universes Worf encountered.

    Very nice to have a Worf focused show not about Honor and Klingon Politics and the like.

    If O'Brien had still been around, it easily could have been a DS9 style "let's torture O'Brien" vehicle.

    The Borg war Enterprise with the crazed Riker was terrifically disturbing. Not only crazed Riker, but in the background Worf running frantically back and forth. They are both far out of character.

    Great Braga trip.

    Easily one of my favorite episodes if only for the GIGANTIC slice of cake Gordi's chowing down on during Worf's surprise party. Seriously, dude's holding a quarter of the cake on his plate.

    It would have been cool if Kira had appeared. Ah well.

    It's true this was conceived as a Picard vehicle, but they realized Picard was unlikely to be that much different in the slightly altered realities.

    I'm not sure I noticed Data's blue eyes the first couple of million times I watched this episode. I don't know who, they are glaringly obvious, and as much as I hate changes to characters, I did enjoy the subtlety of that being a change in the universe.... and Data looked better with blue eyes.

    Did I just say that? lol Anyway better than he does in Picard.

    Visor does not set Worf Leaping, it dies set him Sliding and that's because one of the bits they used to make the VISOR was once inside part of a mobile phone shoved inside a TV remote control in San Francisco.

    I was not a fan of the Worf / Tori relationship, although I liked both characters, and I did want to see a Riker Troi reunion, after all the build up, but I think it's one of the more adult bits of story telling that they both "moved on" only to end up together after the fact. Like way after the fact. That's how it goes sometimes.

    Crusher was stunned that Ogawa was a doctor because in her universe Ogawa is still whatever chimplike thing she devolved into in that other episode.

    A great ep, definitely one of the stronger ones. I think giving Worf more funny lines would have been good though, Dorn can do comedy, he has good timing and is immensely likeable.

    It seems exceedingly unlikely that the crew would wait seven years to pull the "surprise party" schtick, including the hokey translation of Happy Birthday.

    Also...why would the technology in Geordi's VISOR have anything to do with subspace? It's a visual apparatus.

    It was actually a Klingon version of "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow," a song that was not under copyright.

    At last! Series 7 redeems itself with a great episode. Despite its enormous plot flaws, I’m with Jammer - in this story it doesn’t really matter; the entertainment is what counts here. I love the way we are confused as much as Worf is, and that the changes he encounters range from the small (position of a picture, type of cake, and the best Easter Egg of them all - Data’s blue eyes), through the medium (people suddenly being in different places, change in uniform and rank, Wesley Crusher reappearing, a Cardassian as helm), to the big (Riker captain after Picard’s death, the Bajorans as a new enemy, and the most unlikely of all: a romantic relationship between Worf and Troi!)

    This is what TNG does best- high concept sci-fi, where you can happily ignore the plot holes and the sheer impossibility of it all, and just sit back for 45 minutes and be thoroughly entertained.

    I’m torn whether to give 4 stars, but it’s worth at least 3.5

    @James G

    “ The icing on the cake is the spectacle of the various Enterprises appearing in the same Universe”

    No, it was chocolate.

    “But - why would all of these Enterprises turn up? Did they all just happen to be in exactly the same region of space in their respective realities, or what? It makes no sense to me.”

    My take on it is this: in an infinite number of alternate realities, 285,000 is a tiny proportion. Assuming that we can consider similar realities as being ‘adjacent’ in some quantum kind of way, then a ‘rift’ would only extend a small way either side of the reality where it occurred (ours), and all those Enterprises would inhabit believable variations on ‘our’ universe. Yes, the fact they were all in the same place at the same time is a whopping stretch, but that is a plot hole I’m happy to blink and ignore.

    Last night I had a dream where I kept switching realities like Worf in this episode. It was very scary. I ended up in a mental institute diagnosed with dementia. At one point I was in a reality where the English language was different, some of the keys of the keyboard were foreign to me and I couldn't spell Jammer to get to this website. Each time I thought I'd woke up for real, I was back in another reality.

    >"We are receiving 285,000 hails,"
    Doesn't make sense, wouldn't the channels be jammed? Like what if 285,000 television stations all started broadcasting at once, wouldn't over lapping frequencies be jammed?

    Over all score for "Parallels" : 4/10

    Small nitpick the cake changed from chocolate to yellow not the other way around

    Oh yeah...

    Ooooooh yeah, baby...

    Right there...

    This episode scratched me right where I was itching.

    An excellent premiss, great execution, dynamic, fast-moving, engaging, some science, some fiction... - LOVED IT, FROM START TO FINISH!!!

    Incidentally, regarding parallel universes, etc. Surely for that hypothesis to make ANY sense, there needs to be a separate universe for each and every smallest particle (boson? fermion? something smaller? a string?) at each and every smallest measurable (Planck's length?) amount of time AND relative to each and every other particle at each and every smallest measurable amount of time. You do the math... - or don't.

    Anyway, four stars easy.

    I say, what a marvellous episode! But I did have to ask my parrot what was going on because it's a real hum dinger of a mindbender, what! He's called Captain Birdbrain, by the way. I did think about giving him the rank of Admiral, but then that would mean he would outrank that fine chap, James Tinkywinky Kirk. Can you imagine the mayhem that would occur if that were to happen? Squawk, Captain Kirk, Squawk, more power to phasers, squark.

    I do apologise, I seem to have forgotten what I was going to say about this episode. Carry on!

    The Bajorans just don't seem like the type of people to become villains.

    Just a crock? Not a cauldron or perhaps a barrel? Andrew - crocks are notorious ill-equipped to hold your dazzling analysis.

    Apparently the original idea was to have Tasha Yar appear in some of the alternate timelines but they felt it would be too similar to ‘Yesterday’s Enterprise’ so they opted to have Wesley appear instead.

    On the question of whether the progressive changes are logical. I analysed the changes in terms of how far back the divergence has to be, and (in my view) overall it's a quite logical progression, with the divergence point getting further back. I have a page about this, with a table, on my website: There are some changes that can't be dated. It's not perfect, and for Nurse/Dr Ogawa it works best if we assume that the medical professions are organized a bit differently in the 24th century.

    Data very briefly explains the basis of the episode at one point, but perhaps he could have mentioned "Many Worlds Interpretation" or "Hugh Everett" to make it easier to look up! The theory is actually quite respectable physics -- probably the most popular alternative to the Copenhagen Interpretation. However, it's generally agreed that even if it's true you couldn't really move to another reality like Worf, but the idea is so useful for science fiction we can't let that worry us.

    I love this episode. It's a SF adventure, a love story, and a reflection on "paths not taken." And one of the most unforgettable moments of TNG: "We won't go back! ... the Federation's gone, the Borg is everywhere!"

    I know the changes aren't supposed to go that far back, despite Data having blue eyes which means Soong did that decades ago? Or Data decided t change the color of his eyes?

    I would have liked to have seen Worf shift to a reality where he was an officer on a Klingon ship. Total missed opportunity there.

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