Star Trek 270: Parallels

270. Parallels

FORMULA: Mirror, Mirror x1000 (or, depending on your quantum state, Yesterday's Enterprise x1000)

WHY WE LIKE IT: Thousands of Enterprises. A dozen parallel worlds.

WHY WE DON'T: Geordi's lack of dignity.

REVIEW: Just a fun, fun, fun reality bender starring Worf, who's a one-man comedy team with his deadpan deliveries and uncomfortable double-takes. His cringing at a potential birthday party, "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" sung in Klingon, and his expression as he discovers slowly but alarmingly that Troi is his wife in another reality, are classic moments. In fact, I'd like to nominate Troi for most improved character in the past year or so. Since maybe the middle of the 6th season, she's had very few false notes and a lot of good ones. In Parallels, she gets to show real emotion and be quite funny. I love the "amused" Troi. I don't know if it's the uniform or what, but since then...

The other fun thing about Parallels, of course, is that we get to see a bunch of alternate realities, and to geeks, that's coooool. From small, "didja see" moments (like Data's eyes turning blue at one point, rather subtle), to big changes like Picard dying in the Borg incident, or the Bajorans having invaded Cardassia, there's plenty to fire the imagination. I can't help trying to imagine what events resulted in Ogawa becoming CMO, for example, or Wesley being a tactical. I think they should have gone wilder, like using TOS uniforms or making everyone a Klingon's slave or something, but I understand this would have been cost-prohibitive.

In the end, how cool is that scene with the thousands of Enterprises? Great humor comes from the absurdity of the number hails received by the Enterprise, or how long it will take to fill a sector with Enterprises. Note also that this is the true start of the Worf/Troi romance, which we unfortunately won't see enough of before Worf moves on. An unlikely couple, but the uniting factor that is Alexander gives it weight. And the alternate realities do not lie.

If I had to find a flaw in the story, it's that Geordi is a bit abused. Not only does he die in a couple of realities, but they only cover him up with a tiny little towel, and no one seems to grieve much for him. Sure, Worf's dilemma is mighty interesting, but that's your friend you just lost there. (Maybe he was hated and reviled in those parallels, who knows?) Still not fair to the character, and the sure sign that it's an "imaginary story". As in Marvel's What If? series, the body count is unreasonably high and no one bats an eye.

LESSON: When fighting the Borg, personal hygiene is secondary.

REWATCHABILITY - High: A Star Trek What If would be mighty cool, and this episode proves it. A lot of fun, and despite the reset button, manages to be important to a couple characters' arcs.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Siskoid:

You crack me up sometimes with the "rollover" humor.
Something I miss when I use Safari.

De said...

This is indeed a terrific episode. You can look forward to some Star Trek What If in novel form next summer with two volumes of Star Trek: Myriad Universes. No word yet on who will write what but this is a concept long in the making.

Andrew Gilbertson said...

"I think they should have gone wilder, like using TOS uniforms or making everyone a Klingon's slave or something, but I understand this would have been cost-prohibitive."

Wish granted- the Klingon slave part (along with Captain Wesley and his first officer Picard, a continuation of the 'Tapestry' AU in which botanist Picard received Conn duty as a farewell gift from the Titan-bound Riker, and a few others) are all presented when this situation is re-visited/hybrid-ed with All Good Things' anti-time anomaly in the excellent tie-it-all-together novel "Q&A." Maybe Keith R. A. DeCandido is a reader here? :-)

LiamKav said...

I do love the subtle changes, like Data's eyes, or the Engineering pool table being at 90 degrees to where it normally sits. I also believe that in the blue-eyed Data universe the warp core lights pulse in the opposite direction to normal, (ie, they go top to bottom rather than bottom to top). Or I've gotten confused about their normal direction...

 

Blog Archive

Category

5 Things to Like (21) Activities (23) Advice (72) Alien Nation (34) Aliens Say the Darndest Things (8) Alpha Flight (21) Amalgam (53) Ambush Bug (46) Animal Man (17) anime (50) Aquaman (70) Archetypes (14) Archie Heroes (10) Arrowed (20) Asterix (9) Atom (29) Avengers (57) Awards (33) Babylon 5 (140) Batman (675) Battle Shovel (13) Battlestar Galactica (131) Black Canary (22) BnB 2-in1 (40) Books (59) Booster Gold (16) Buck Rogers (2) Buffy (6) Canada (68) Captain America (69) Captain Marvel (54) Cat (156) CCGs (38) Charlton (12) Circles of Hell (6) Class (11) Comics (3922) Comics Code Approved (12) Conan (15) Contest (13) Cooking (15) Crisis (77) Daredevil (33) Dating Kara Zor-El (5) Dating Lois Lane (23) Dating Lucy Lane (13) Dating Princess Diana (11) DCAU (404) Deadman (9) Dial H (128) Dice (10) Dinosaur Island (16) Dinosaurs (66) Director Profiles (9) Doctor Who (1670) Doom Patrol (21) Down the Rabbit Hole (7) Dr. Strange (17) Encyclopedia (28) Fantastic Four (55) Fashion Nightmares (19) Fiasco (14) Films Within Films (6) Flash (80) Flushpoint (86) Foldees (12) French (49) Friday Night Fights (57) Fun with Covers (56) FW Team-Up (37) Galleries (9) Game design (26) Gaming (111) Geekly roundup (751) Geeks Anonymous (45) Geekwear (13) Gimme That Star Trek (58) Godzilla (52) Golden Age (420) Grant Morrison (75) Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction (8) Green Arrow (50) Green Lantern (85) Hawkman (38) Hero Points Podcast (13) Holidays (238) House of Mystery (15) Hulk (44) Human Target (8) Improv (32) Inspiration (45) Intersect (5) Invasion Podcast (44) Iron Man (49) Jack Kirby (85) Jimmy Olsen (74) JLA (93) JSA (24) K9 the Series (30) Kirby Motivationals (18) Krypto (202) Kung Fu (97) Learning to Fly (11) Legion (128) Letters pages (6) Liveblog (12) Lonely Hearts Podcast (21) Lord of the Rings (18) Machine Man Motivationals (10) Man-Thing (4) Marquee (89) Masters of the Universe (8) Memes (38) Memorable Moments (34) Metal Men (4) Metamorpho (64) Micronauts (1) Millennium (71) Mini-Comics (2) Monday Morning Macking (6) Movies (455) Mr. Terrific (3) Music (72) Nelvana of the Northern Lights (8) Nightmare Fuel (21) Number Ones (59) Obituaries (40) oHOTmu OR NOT? (73) Old52 (11) One Panel (279) Outsiders (165) Panels from Sheena (5) Paper Dolls (7) Play (75) Podcast (469) Polls (5) Questionable Fridays (13) Radio (18) Rants (20) Reaganocomics (8) Recollected (11) Red Bee (26) Red Tornado (10) Reign (563) Retro-Comics (3) Reviews (52) Rom (116) RPGs (537) Sandman (19) Sapphire & Steel (37) Sarah Jane Adventures (69) Saturday Morning Cartoons (5) SBG for Girls (4) Seasons of DWAITAS (100) Secret Origins Podcast (8) Secret Wars (25) SF (30) Shut Up Star Boy (1) Silver Age (365) Siskoid as Editor (33) Siskoid's Mailbox (10) Space 1999 (51) Spectre (20) Spider-Man (100) Spring Cleaning (15) ST non-fiction (19) ST novels: DS9 (8) ST novels: S.C.E. (19) ST novels: The Shat (2) ST novels: TNG (9) ST novels: TOS (11) Star Trek (1696) Streaky (2) Suicide Squad (36) Supergirl (89) Superman (1058) Supershill (11) Swamp Thing (23) Tales from Earth-Prime (7) Team Horrible (4) Teen Titans (81) That Franchise I Never Talk About (53) The Orville (29) The Prisoner (5) The Thing (54) Then and Now (4) Theory (51) Thor (52) Thursdays of Two Worlds (43) Time Capsule (8) Timeslip (7) Tintin (23) Torchwood (61) Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms (5) Toys (64) Turnarounds (7) TV (192) V (6) Waking Life (1) Warehouse 13 (9) Websites (102) What If? (103) Who's This? (192) Whoniverse-B (11) Wikileaked (3) Wonder Woman (82) X-Files (245) X-Men (100) Zero Hour Strikes (22) Zine (5)