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Sehlat Vie

Interesting article from Inverse: Discovery’s timeline was ALWAYS a parallel universe...

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https://www.inverse.com/article/38478-star-trek-discovery-theory-prime-universe-mirror-kelvin-canon

Basically this article champions my long-standing theory I’ve been touting since the events of ENT.  :P

My pet theory was that the movie “First Contact” fundamentally changed the prime timeline and gave us a new version of it that now includes a 6th starship Enterprise (the NX-01; which wasn’t on Picard’s wall of ships).   The new NX-01 timeline managed to ‘heal’ itself (ENT’s 4th season) enough to eventually line up with the events of TOS and lead to the events of TNG and its sequels; that's a conceit you have to simply accept as poetic license, but hey...we’re talking about time travel and space fantasy here.  It’s not PBS’ Nova or Carl Sagan’s COSMOS.

This is the definitive paragraph from the article that pretty much sums up my belief: 

"But here’s the problem, in Star Trek time travel stories, things never get reset exactly the way they were before. Meaning, Star Trek has been fundamentally altering its own “Prime Universe” in every single incarnation for as long as it’s existed."

So any time ST uses time travel, it subtly alters the timeline, or even returns the crew to an alternate timeline each time.   Not just drastic changes, but sometimes very subtle ones (the article even half-jokingly suggests the recast Lt. Saavik from TWOK to TSFS could be chalked up to a subtle temporal change somewhere...).   It also gives Discovery a lot more wiggle room, IMO.

dsc-s01e03-rev-head.jpg

That’s my theory (and inverse.com’s) about DSC’s present timeline (and all of ST).  

What do you think?

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As I've said, while TNG, etc. reference themselves, themselves they, more than once contradict TOS, so there have always been parallel timelines going on.

The link is as good a theory as any other. 

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9 minutes ago, prometheus59650 said:

As I've said, while TNG, etc. reference themselves, themselves they, more than once contradict TOS, so there have always been parallel timelines going on.

The link is as good a theory as any other. 

It also serves to ‘relax’ the discontinuities between DSC and TOS; once again, it’s all part of an alternate timeline, probably created in the wake of FC and ENT.   It could never really line up with TOS.   How could we, the audience, seriously accept that this...

tactical.jpg

...would eventually ‘lead' into this:

thecage397.jpg

 

That’s a bit like TNG's Data leading to Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots...

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People are just going to have to accept the differences and it stuns me the number of people that won't. If you're saying it's a prequel to TOS it has to look like "The Cage."

And I'd bet money that if they did that, at LEAST a third of these people are going to complain about how cheap it looks. 

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15 minutes ago, prometheus59650 said:

People are just going to have to accept the differences and it stuns me the number of people that won't. If you're saying it's a prequel to TOS it has to look like "The Cage."

And I'd bet money that if they did that, at LEAST a third of these people are going to complain about how cheap it looks. 

Yep.

And it’s chances of attracting new fans not weaned on any of the previous ST series would be next to nil. 

Another advantage to the theory is that it essentially does for ST what Doctor Who does for that series; it suggests that all of that time traveling leaves the universe in a bit of a “timey-wimey” mess.   Some things will remain congruent (warp drive, transporters, etc) but others will be very different.  

I could easily accept that DSC’s timeline could also have a Kirk-captained Enterprise someday, but I’m guessing it’d look more like this...

Star+Trek+Beyond+Kirk+spot+torn+uniform.

...than this:

thumbnailImage

It also intrigues me that, despite the huge cosmetic differences, the similarities are just as startling.

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There have been so many temporal incursions that they can pretty much say whatever they want and no one's really in a position to dispute it.

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Hammer   
4 hours ago, Sehlat Vie said:

It also serves to ‘relax’ the discontinuities between DSC and TOS; once again, it’s all part of an alternate timeline, probably created in the wake of FC and ENT.   It could never really line up with TOS.   How could we, the audience, seriously accept that this...

tactical.jpg

...would eventually ‘lead' into this:

thecage397.jpg

 

That’s a bit like TNG's Data leading to Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots...

This, I am willing to accept. It's like watching a play, a certain amount of buy-in and suspension of disbelief is expected of the audience.

What I can't accept is new tech that is centuries into the future, even more advanced that TNG era, being available 10 years before the Enterprise launched. There has to be an explanation for it. Maybe it is a new timeline altogether started from the events in ST:ENT but that doesn't explain the Klingon's redesign either. ENT did episodes on the Klingon's mutations so it's not so easy to write that off as just copying the old style seen in TNG/Voy/DS9. If this was the ENT timeline why are they so radically different 100 years later? 

I think DSC might be in an entirely new parallel universe, and maybe they are just now entering the prime timeline with their last jump? Or perhaps they are in the mirror universe.

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Yorick   

Likely to be a space-timey-whimey thing, but you could write it:

Lorca: Constitution class? I can't breath on one of those things. Too cramped. And what's that old world charm...? (takes a drink) 

Cornwell: you say tomahto, I say streamlined. Command crew efficiency is eight to fifteen percent higher on a Constitution bridge than any other class in the fleet. Daystrom himself redesigned the computer interfaces so that you can do with a panel this big (indicates a small width with her hands) what it takes three screens to accomplish on Discovery. It's the way of the future, Gabriel...

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5 hours ago, Yorick said:

Likely to be a space-timey-whimey thing, but you could write it:

Lorca: Constitution class? I can't breath on one of those things. Too cramped. And what's that old world charm...? (takes a drink) 

Cornwell: you say tomahto, I say streamlined. Command crew efficiency is eight to fifteen percent higher on a Constitution bridge than any other class in the fleet. Daystrom himself redesigned the computer interfaces so that you can do with a panel this big (indicates a small width with her hands) what it takes three screens to accomplish on Discovery. It's the way of the future, Gabriel...

But bear in mind, the Enterprise is supposed to be the flagship; the pride of the fleet.   Even Burnham and Tilly were talking about what a prestigious assignment it would be to get a posting on her; yet their own ship seems much more spacious and luxurious.   It’s a lot easier to just assume that this reality’s Enterprise is probably more akin to something we see in the Kelvin timeline; bigger and much more advanced looking.   

For my money, this just looks...

ZEP61R6.png

... much more inline with this:

Star+Trek+Beyond+bridge+crew.jpg

 

So it’s easier for me to just accept that DSC is, much as I accepted ENT, a new separate universe; not necessarily the Kelvin timeline nor the prime timeline.  Some mutant offspring culmination from the events of FC and ENT and maybe some sideways effect of the Kelvinverse (?).  Something new that may (eventually) lead to certain commonalities with the other timelines (yes, I know... that’s against the laws of entropy; but whoever said time itself is governed by such laws?).

7 hours ago, Hammer said:

It's like watching a play, a certain amount of buy-in and suspension of disbelief is expected of the audience.

And that, of course, is the ‘real world’ explanation.

7 hours ago, Hammer said:

What I can't accept is new tech that is centuries into the future, even more advanced that TNG era, being available 10 years before the Enterprise launched.

It works if you accept DSC is an independent timeline.

7 hours ago, Hammer said:

ENT did episodes on the Klingon's mutations so it's not so easy to write that off as just copying the old style seen in TNG/Voy/DS9

Yes, but rememberer that explanation came some 26 years after the debut of ST-TMP; when the Klingons’ new look was simply unveiled with NO explanation.   Who’s to say they have to explain it right away, if at all?  If they don’t explain it, then I’ll simply take it as poetic licenses of a bigger makeup budget and 40 years of improved makeup techniques, just as I did when I was 13 and saw TMP for the first time...

 

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5 hours ago, Yorick said:

Likely to be a space-timey-whimey thing, but you could write it:

Lorca: Constitution class? I can't breath on one of those things. Too cramped. And what's that old world charm...? (takes a drink) 

Cornwell: you say tomahto, I say streamlined. Command crew efficiency is eight to fifteen percent higher on a Constitution bridge than any other class in the fleet. Daystrom himself redesigned the computer interfaces so that you can do with a panel this big (indicates a small width with her hands) what it takes three screens to accomplish on Discovery. It's the way of the future, Gabriel...

This is so.

 

But it's STILL going to look more like DSC than TOS. You can play with the color schemes and the lighting to pay homage to that 60s style, but that has to yield to modern production values, design aesthetics, and audience expectations.

Unless you grew up on TOS, you're really not looking to that as your baseline. No one who grew up watching Voyager looks to TOS for the design standard. They want to see what they find familiar. And Enterprise fans? "Why can't it look more "submarine-y" like that did. That was cool."

And, as I said upthread, even a lot of the people who are now crying for it to look like TOS would be openly bored with it in 6 episodes...tops.

It all boils down to these production people making their choices as to what the stage looks like, and you either like the play or you don't.

So far I like the play and the stage is pretty spiffy.

And, when all is said and done,  I think the moment Janeway DIDN'T beam smack dab into the middle of the Eugenics Wars and even remarked on it herself, all bets were off when it came to what timeline was what. Add little things like Harry Mudd being more Bond villain than bumbling oaf, this is all something else anyway.

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8 hours ago, prometheus59650 said:

And, as I said upthread, even a lot of the people who are now crying for it to look like TOS would be openly bored with it in 6 episodes...tops.

And even in the case of exceptions (like the lovingly made ST Continues, DS9s “Trials and Tribble-ations”, TNG’s “Relics" or ENT’s Mirror Universe two parter) you can get away with that ‘retro-look' as an one or two-off homage.  But even the Mirror ENT characters were having a chuckle at the costumes (“I found this is the captain’s wardrobe”).  As a weekly series, it’d be a laughing stock and, let’s face it, unattractive to new viewers...

8 hours ago, prometheus59650 said:

It all boils down to these production people making their choices as to what the stage looks like, and you either like the play or you don't.

So far I like the play and the stage is pretty spiffy.

^  This.

8 hours ago, prometheus59650 said:

And, when all is said and done,  I think the moment Janeway DIDN'T beam smack dab into the middle of the Eugenics Wars and even remarked on it herself, all bets were off when it came to what timeline was what. Add little things like Harry Mudd being more Bond villain than bumbling oaf, this is all something else anyway.

And that’s probably the way I’m going to accept DSC’s little anachronisms going forward.   ST has a long, complicated history of contradicting itself.  DSC won’t be any different.  

If it fits better as a slightly alternate timeline?  So be it.  

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I just can't buy that it's a direct prequel in the primeline and it's better not to try. I'm just too damn familiar with the source material for my own good.

So...it's something else and that's that.

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1 hour ago, prometheus59650 said:

I just can't buy that it's a direct prequel in the primeline and it's better not to try. I'm just too damn familiar with the source material for my own good.

So...it's something else and that's that.

Something else works for me too.   

Personally, each incarnation of ST is (as the article says) a ‘different’ interpretation of the overall ST universe.

I mean, can anyone really believe that TMP happened in the same universe as the Space Hippies? 

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35 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

Something else works for me too.   

Personally, each incarnation of ST is (as the article says) a ‘different’ interpretation of the overall ST universe.

I mean, can anyone really believe that TMP happened in the same universe as the Space Hippies? 

Yeah, V'ger would not have put up with that reaching business. :)

11 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

The showrunners seem determined to narrow their options:

https://trekmovie.com/2017/11/16/star-trek-discovery-showrunner-dismisses-post-voyager-setting-says-s2-will-reconcile-canon/

I’m always going to prefer multiple options and therefore Vie’s (and Inverse’s) multi-parallel timelines. 

Please don't.

I'm not even kidding.

There's no way it doesn't end up as anything but a bigger mess.

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18 minutes ago, prometheus59650 said:

Yeah, V'ger would not have put up with that reaching business. :)

Please don't.

I'm not even kidding.

There's no way it doesn't end up as anything but a bigger mess.

I know. :(

As long as they keep it opaque, the audience has the option to set it in a parallel timeline. If they try to definitely sew it up, it becomes something more akin to Lucas’ Star Wars prequels. 

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31 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

I know. :(

As long as they keep it opaque, the audience has the option to set it in a parallel timeline. If they try to definitely sew it up, it becomes something more akin to Lucas’ Star Wars prequels. 

The timeline is a Frankenstein's monster of stitched together bits as it is, There's no cleaning up every little continuity issue, so the fanbase just harps on the oversights and they literally do jack to resolve the problems the prequel creates so you're just left back where you started: deciding if it's an alternate timeline or not.

Just call it that to start with and move on.

Edited by prometheus59650

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On November 16, 2017 at 7:23 PM, Robin Bland said:

The showrunners seem determined to narrow their options:

https://trekmovie.com/2017/11/16/star-trek-discovery-showrunner-dismisses-post-voyager-setting-says-s2-will-reconcile-canon/

I’m always going to prefer multiple options and therefore Vie’s (and Inverse’s) multi-parallel timelines. 

Yeah, I remember Manny Coto saying the same exact thing about S4 of ENT, and while he made a valiant effort, it still didn’t quite line up.

So for my own head canon?  I’m keeping the light on in my ST-as-multiverse idea.   It’s a one-size-fits-all bandage that's gotten me through a lot of wasted head-scratching over continuity nits, and it allows me to enjoy each show better on their own respective merits.

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They’re really determined to set themselves up for an ENT-like failure, aren’t they? The ENT writers had the same “we’ll reconcile this with canon” obsessions but it didn’t work then and it won’t work now, no matter how good and well-versed your writers are. I don’t know when these show runners will get it into their heads that you CANNOT convincingly pull off a prequel to a show made in the 60s AND use modern technology and introduce characters and ships no one’s ever heard of on the other shows. I also don’t get their “We have no idea how to set things up in the future therefore we won’t write it” nonsense. Discovery would work excellently as a 25th century show already, all they would have to do would be to slightly tweak Burnham’s character into being a desecendant of some famous long-lived character and there you go, show works just nicely, the Klingons could easily be the bad guys again and they now look different because hey it’s the future, make an episode or write a few lines of dialog that explain it, done, moving on with the war and the latest thing, the spore drive, and make the communicators and phasers look new-ish, introduce a few new bridge sounds and there you go.

They have already WRITTEN a show set in the future. All they would have to do would be to change a few parameters, that’s all. It’s funny how they whine about not knowing what to do in a post Voyager show when they’ve actually been doing it all the time. The fans don’t believe the prequel setting already anyway, and their attempts at trying to push the show into prime timeline canon will not succeed - all they would have to do would be to look at ENT. I’ve always said it’s amazing how blindly they stumble into the same kind of trap, and it’s fascinatingly frustrating to see how they’re still on their way there, despite everything.

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3 hours ago, Mr.Picard said:

They’re really determined to set themselves up for an ENT-like failure, aren’t they? The ENT writers had the same “we’ll reconcile this with canon” obsessions but it didn’t work then and it won’t work now, no matter how good and well-versed your writers are. I don’t know when these show runners will get it into their heads that you CANNOT convincingly pull off a prequel to a show made in the 60s AND use modern technology and introduce characters and ships no one’s ever heard of on the other shows. I also don’t get their “We have no idea how to set things up in the future therefore we won’t write it” nonsense. Discovery would work excellently as a 25th century show already, all they would have to do would be to slightly tweak Burnham’s character into being a desecendant of some famous long-lived character and there you go, show works just nicely, the Klingons could easily be the bad guys again and they now look different because hey it’s the future, make an episode or write a few lines of dialog that explain it, done, moving on with the war and the latest thing, the spore drive, and make the communicators and phasers look new-ish, introduce a few new bridge sounds and there you go.

They have already WRITTEN a show set in the future. All they would have to do would be to change a few parameters, that’s all. It’s funny how they whine about not knowing what to do in a post Voyager show when they’ve actually been doing it all the time. The fans don’t believe the prequel setting already anyway, and their attempts at trying to push the show into prime timeline canon will not succeed - all they would have to do would be to look at ENT. I’ve always said it’s amazing how blindly they stumble into the same kind of trap, and it’s fascinatingly frustrating to see how they’re still on their way there, despite everything.

Maybe they've got 'faith of the heart'...:giggle:

I agree that the show wouldn't have been skating uphill as it is now if they'd simply made it a post-VGR sequel.  They'd unshackle themselves from the unnecessary burden of having to 'line up' with events & continuty that were written and filmed over 50 years ago.  The series is only 9 episodes in but they're already hitting a few of the same exact stumbling blocks that ENT hit back in 2001.  I love Star Trek, but the show seems to have a maddening inability to learn from their own history.

While I'm not as big a fan of prequels in general, they can work; if one is doing a prequel to an era past.   For example, if one is doing a prequel to "Gone With The Wind", they wouldn't have to worry about creating a 'too modern' looking pre-US Civil War, because that period is well-documented in American history.  There are books, paintings and even crude photographs. 

Star Trek's biggest problem is that it tries to set prequels in as as-yet-unconceived future; from the perspective of a real world that has technologically & socially EXPLODED since the days of its source series.   It's trying to run ahead of a future that has not only gained on it, but (in many ways) surpassed it.   TOS' Kirk and Spock would marvel at my iPhone.  

Yet we're meant to believe that a new, very modern-looking science fiction series such as DSC is somehow going to align with a brylcreem-laden, Mad Men sort of 'future' that was laid out over 50 years ago.  I can save anyone the expense of a crystal ball; it can't.  Nor should it try.  It's a bit of a fool's errand.

This is why I'm perfectly content to try to accept DSC for what it is, and not the shape it's trying to contort into; the show, on its own merits, is pretty good.  There are some interesting ideas that suggest it could lead to a future with SOME shared points of the Kirk-Spock era, but perhaps a Kirk-Spock era more inline with the Kelvin timeline.   In NO WAY can DSC properly line up with TOS.  It's not a lovingly recreated 'period piece' like the ST Continues fan films, and that's okay.  STC is made strictly for the faithful and is not a commercial enterprise (FTP) designed to lure in a new audience nor make a profit in doing so.  

DSC has those challenges (making money, acquiring a new audience) and for some reason, it has (like ENT before it) chosen to paint itself into the prequel corner right out of the gate.  With 50 plus years of ST already in the bag, it really had no reason to do this, and it's a shame.  It works (as you say, Mr Picard) much better as a sequel, with only minor modifications (the ships and tech look post-VGR as they are).

So while I very much enjoy DSC as yet another 'side universe' of ST (the way I eventually made peace with ENT), I know intellectually that we're not going to see an episode where Starfleet suddenly makes a fleet-wide decision to dress everyone in velour pajamas and redress all of their ships to look like clunky, analog 1960s space toys.

 

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So TOS and TAS are both considered canon (James R Kirk/James T Kirk-style discrepancies notwithstanding). It is generally accepted that TAS is one of infinite potential stylistic visual representations of the universe. The live-action look and feel of TOS is just another one of those infinite options. The look of the ship and crew in the Kelvin films is yet another.


I have no problem reconcilling that the bridge of the Discovery will "lead in", technologically and stylistically, to the bridge of the Enterprise as seen in TOS, for the same reason that I consider these two bridges to be the same thing:

5a16de7157c26_ScreenShot2017-11-23at6_42_24AM.png.a5d26b262d5b1f8095dcf7223ecdcd2f.png5a16de6c28039_ScreenShot2017-11-23at6_42_08AM.thumb.png.b1715f1bbe91bff17b84caa273b47157.png

My canon does not contain visuals, because the visuals aren't the heart of the show. TAS demonstrates this well.

Edit for clarity: I think the core events of the shows happened. But the minutiae, like actors, sets, special effects, are all fuzzy and interpretable.

Edited by doctor_odd
clarity

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36 minutes ago, doctor_odd said:

So TOS and TAS are both considered canon (James R Kirk/James T Kirk-style discrepancies notwithstanding).

ST Continues “To Boldly Go” Part 2 had an elegant solution to this; the ‘flawed god’ Gary Mitchell simply goofed.

38 minutes ago, doctor_odd said:

My canon does not contain visuals, because the visuals aren't the heart of the show. TAS demonstrates this well.

Edit for clarity: I think the core events of the shows happened. But the minutiae, like actors, sets, special effects, are all fuzzy and interpretable.

^
This is perhaps the best reconciliation of them all; it also explains why an older Spock in ST09 recognizes a blue-eyed, Brad Pitt-ish Captain Kirk, for example.  It’s like Shakespeare, or Sherlock Holmes; the specifics change, the underlying and overall mythology does not. 

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ENT did a much more phenomenal job at reconciling with TOS than DSC has so far. The small things that don't fit can be dismissed by the (admittedly over-used) "When we said so and so was the first to do this ... we meant during the Federation. Not Pre-Federation." DSC doesn't even have that much.

Hopping to the "It's an alternate time line...." is just an admission that this doesn't work with DSC. Again, the reason this is even an issue is before the show started we got a lot of "Don't worry. We'll explain how this all connects. Just give us a chance!" And now that a chance was given, it didn't really mesh well, the idea is to just give in to an alternate time line?

In other words - the very same idea I put forward months ago ala DC/Marvel's multiverse reboots? SIGH

Can we just never have Trek prequels in the "prime" time line anymore? Apparently, no one outside of fan films, can make that work.

 

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At this point they should just write what they want to write (prequel, post-Voyager, the gap between Captain Sulu and Picard, etc.) use whatever works for them and leave the reconciliation issues to the fanbase that will never be satisfied anyway.

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3 hours ago, The Founder said:

ENT did a much more phenomenal job at reconciling with TOS than DSC has so far. The small things that don't fit can be dismissed by the (admittedly over-used) "When we said so and so was the first to do this ... we meant during the Federation. Not Pre-Federation." DSC doesn't even have that much.

Hopping to the "It's an alternate time line...." is just an admission that this doesn't work with DSC. Again, the reason this is even an issue is before the show started we got a lot of "Don't worry. We'll explain how this all connects. Just give us a chance!" And now that a chance was given, it didn't really mesh well, the idea is to just give in to an alternate time line?

In other words - the very same idea I put forward months ago ala DC/Marvel's multiverse reboots? SIGH

Can we just never have Trek prequels in the "prime" time line anymore? Apparently, no one outside of fan films, can make that work.

 

But it's working just fine?

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