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Star Trek - The Next Generation, Episode 163: Parallels [VHS]
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Product Description

This intriguing episode from the seventh and last season of the series focuses on Worf (Michael Dorn), who has become trapped in a quantum fissure where numerous, alternate universes intersect. Bouncing uncontrollably from one reality to another, Worf variously finds himself married to Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), promoted to First Officer under the command of Captain Riker (Jonathan Frakes), and working with Cardassian crewmates while fending off warlike Bajorans. There's also a version of the Enterprise that did not survive being picked apart by the Borg--for that matter, neither did Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) make it through the Borg experience alive. The whole show is a field day of what-ifs, and Dorn is excellent at conveying a sense of helplessness, albeit Klingon-style. The Trek faithful had lots of mixed feelings about the suggested Worf-Troi romance--a response the show's producers clearly anticipated by tweaking the relationship all the more just before closing credits. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews:

  • Better Than I Gave It Credit For...
    When this episode was first shown on television and when I first watched it on video, I was rather disappointed at the fact that the writers of the episode could have done a lot more with the parallel universe idea than they actually did. After all, in episodes like "Mirror, Mirror" in the Original Series and its (first) sequel "Crossover" in Deep Space Nine, they were able to put together some very creative ideas for how single events can change the course of history. In "Parallels", I was hoping for an all-out whirlwind tour through some of the strangest parallel worlds that the writers of Star Trek could come up with. Back then, I was disappointed.

    However, having gone back and watched it a few days after the Voyager episode "Shattered" aired - a story basically designed to give a quick look back at the history of the series - I put in "Parallels" again to see how it had aged. I realized that the episode was less about parallel worlds than it was about examining the historical dynamic of The Next Generation and what made it such a wonderful series.

    In retrospect, the episode was put together quite well. The episode moves from mystery to psychological thriller to science fiction with well-written ease and slows along the way to highlight the decisions that took the Enterprise to where it was at the end of the TV series.

    I found the episode to be a wonderful example of Star Trek: The Next Generation in its full maturity as a series. It exemplified the best ideas of Star Trek and told a compelling story with interesting science at the same time. If you haven't seen it already and are a fan of Star Trek - or even just science fiction - I most definitely recommend owning this tape....more info

  • A great "what if?" episode!
    Two things make "Parallels" great:

    1. It's a Worf episode. You can't go wrong there.

    2. It features parallel (or alternate) realities. Trek has almost always been successful with this type of episode. Remember classic Trek's "Mirror, Mirror"? Or TNG's "Yesterday's Enterprise"? You get the idea.

    It's fun to see our favorite characters in new roles. As Worf bounces around from reality to reality (he hit one of those time warp/quantum flux space anomalies that seem so common in Trek), we see an Enterprise where Captain Picard was lost to the Borg, Riker is now the Captain and Worf is Riker's first officer. We see a reality where Wesley Crusher is the chief security/tactical officer. Another reality has a Cardassian flight control officer and the Federation is at war with the Bajorans! And in yet another reality, Worf is married to Troi! Fun all around!

    Usually, this type of episode would feature Riker or Picard or Data as the central character bouncing through parallel universe to parallel universe. But this time it is Worf. It isn't that Worf doesn't get his own stories (only Picard and Data had more in TNG's seven year run), it's just that Worf stories are generally tied into Klingon politics or raising his son Alexander. It's nice that we get to see Worf as the central character in an episode dealing with time and space rather than the interworkings of Klingon politics.

    Strong episode and one of TNG's best. It is a darn, fun episode, too. Worf as first officer...what could have been......more info

  • One problem with this plot
    Although it is an excellent story, what happemed to the Worfs in the other realities? You know, the ones that he replaced. Where did they go? Did they get bumped when he came in? The story is without resolution there. Nothing is perfect. ...more info
  • The only TNG episode worth buying.
    I'm not a THG fan, but this episode is as good as best from any of the shows. Worf keeps shifting from parallel universe to universe. The differences are at first subtle, then more and more pronounced. The only way it could have been better is if Worf had stayed in a universe where Riker was captain....more info
  • Definately worth watching
    This episode is a very good illustration of quantum physics, and shows the science of Star Trek at its best. Imagination is sparked as the viewer sees various ways Worf's life could have been (or really, how his life is in different worlds) when he made different decisions at crucial moments. "Parallels" is thought-provoking and definately one of Star Trek's finest....more info
  • Life, the universe, and everything in them.
    TNG rocks, as far as I'm concerned. There is no truth to the rumor that I have been spotted with wealthy Ferengi at the bar on Deep Space 9. But I was pumped for this episode when it was broadcast. I have since recommended that everyone try to see Parallels, because I really do think it explains alot about our planet and the universe in general. If you haven't seen it, in brief, Worf comes back from a gaming tournement only to find that reallity is changing for him about every 3 seconds, just not for everyone else. So for example, Picard's there, then he's not, then Worf's married to Troi (he's the last to know this) then he's not (and gets in trouble), yadda, yadda, yadda.....

    Now, who among us has not worked somewhere like this? Or married into a family like this? "But Sir, I did this because you told me---" "I never told you to do that! I would never tell you to do that at all!" Well, once you watch this, my friend, you will be able to know why your neighbors, or your boss, or Howard Dean act, you know, that way.

    Unfortunately I'm afraid I just bought out all the used VHSs, but there might be more... in a parallel Amazon....more info
  • Parallel Universes
    Spoiler Warning:

    "Parallels" was an exmple of what Next Generation did best. Action/adventure stories and speculative "what if" sceneros. Worf is on his way home from a Klingon Olympics type game on his home world. He crosses a space anomoly that allows him to shift from one reality to another. In one he is married to Troi! In another Riker is captain; while Picard was forever a victim of the Borg encounter! In one universe he couldn't be rescued from them.

    This one is worth the price of the video. The scene of thousands of Enterprises appearing in Worf's true reality is worth it. The interaction between a "married" Worf and Deanna in his room are priceless....more info