Transporter Room 3: The Star Trek Podcast

Beam in to TR3 for fun, incisive, and sometimes deep (space nine) conversations about all things Star Trek -- from the Original Series to Discovery to the new movies... and beyond!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Episode 56: Is Star Trek: TNG’s "Parallels" the Most Underrated Episode Ever?

This week, we attempt to answer the question our headline asks -- using some pretay convincing arguments. Plus, Scott has a TNG theory that will blow your mind.

Transporter Room 3, Episode 56


Season 7 of Next Gen was full of hit-and-mostly-miss episodes, with "Parallels" falling under the former. Worf is Quantum Leap-ing across multiple realities, struggling to put right what once went wrong (his ninth place finish at the bat'leth tournament!), hoping that his next leap will be the leap home... or to a surprise party-free birthday. Either or is good.

Why is this episode worthy of all the love? And how is it that “Parallels” just might’ve changed all of Trek that followed, without anyone really noticing?! Listen to find out!


We also have one of the highest-ranking Red Shirt's on hand, along with a quick dissection of Star Trek Into Darkness deleted scenes and... *clutch the pearls* Miley Cyrus?

So stop twerking and listen to Transporter Room 3!

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Listen to Episode 56 of Transporter Room 3 right here:

Transporter Room 3, Episode 56



  1. Hi guys,
    Ok here is my counter theory ( i cannot live in a universe without "The Pegasus" ).
    Worf en route back to the Enterprise via shuttle, is brought on board with the aid of a tractor beam - he is a tactical officer and has never shown to have any special pilot skills, also in the ep "Time Squared" we see a shuttle being helped into the shuttle bay via mini tractor beams.
    Now in the Ep "The Masterpiece Society" we are told that Geordi's visor and the tractor beam work using a key piece of similar tech ( ".. isnt is ironic the solution to your problem lies in the aid to a blind man that never would have been born ..".)
    So, Worf is tractor-ed aboard, this causes quantum shift #1, very small hence the only change is a surprise party. While after the keyhole is fixed, Word comes aboard to our universe and all is good again and no party.

    Long winded, but hope you get the idea. Good show, keep up the good work.

  2. Good theory! But don't forget -- we're saying that everything that followed this ep happened in an alternate reality, including Pegasus. So if Worf did get back to his prime reality, then it could be that Pegasus might never happen *there*...

  3. I know I'm late to the game, but I like this theory. Because basically (you forgot while explaining), Geordi's visor triggers the parallel universe jump. Hence, any potential change to the timeline can't happen until Worf comes into contact with Geordi, and that doesn't happen until the surprise party. Hence all events from the shuttle ride to the surprise party should be the primary timeline, and since the episode ends with a change during this period, then Worf did not return to the primary timeline.

  4. Hey Christina -- thanks for listening. We like this theory too, even if it means no cake!

  5. I love this theory, and love listening to your star trek discussions! Does Worf remember all the events that have happened to him when he returns at the end of the episode? If so, maybe Deanna senses his strange mood and puts a kabosh on the party. She thinks he has mixed emotions from his tournament, but he is stressed due to all the timeline events. She has Riker stop the party at that point, and we are actually back in the right time?

  6. Thanks, Dave! That is a definite possibility... though, then again, isn't Worf always in a bad mood?!

  7. Just started to listen to your podcasts about 5 days ago and I have been bing listening to your podcasts, so I am sorry that I am late for this one. Scott, you mentioned that the first time jump happened after the surprise party (that the surprise party was in our quantum reality). I suggest and I think it states in the episode, that the first reality time jump happen once the shuttle hit the anomaly. The surprise party was in a different reality, and Geordi's visor just happen to trigger off the subsequent reality jumps. Hence in our reality the surprise party never happen, and everything afterwards did happen in our reality.

    If I remember correctly, the diagram used to explain the jumps showed that the first jump happen once word's shuttle first encountered the reality.

    Hope I made sense here.

    1. There must be a Quantum Reality that your theory is perfect, I think its 7.435. Never lose hope.

    2. You're right. That's the one with crazy-beard Riker!