In "Parallels", our Worf finds himself uncontrollably shifting into alternate "quantum" realities, one after the other. Eventually, the crew of various alt-Enterprises succeed in locating the prime "quantum" Universe, and hail "our" Enterprise to arrange for Worf to go home.

He's replaced the Worf in each quantum universe, and discussions with alt-Troi suggest a belief that when he leaves one, there is no Worf in that universe from that point on.

Notwithstanding that everything apparently reset to zero at the end of the episode (so those alternate Worfs presumably poofed back into existence), who was the Worf on the bridge of the prime Enterprise during the hail? Where did he come from?

If this was also "our" Worf, that's very confusing because now one consciousness is apparently being copied across Universes, which makes one wonder why you'd bother sending "traveller" Worf anywhere at all: he's a duplicate and, much like Thomas Riker, has no right to the life of the "prime" Worf.

On the other hand, if this was some alt-Worf, had he poofed into existence to fill the gap? Or did he come from an alternative "quantum" universe, too? Did he not notice the changes? Nobody on the bridge of the prime Enterprise seemed to think there was anything wrong with their Worf, though they were also suspiciously content to receive a new one.

What's going on?

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    Just a speculation, but perhaps if Worf-A jumped from universe A to universe B and then C and so on, then each time he would switch places with the Worf of the universe he jumped into, so all the other Worfs would only experience a single jump. So after the first jump you'd have Worf-B in universe A and Worf-A in universe B, after the second jump Worf-B would still be in universe A while Worf-C would be in universe B and Worf-A would be in universe C, and so on. If universes A and B differ only slightly, maybe neither Worf-B or the crew of universe A would notice anything amiss.
    – Hypnosifl
    Nov 23, 2015 at 14:23
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    Wibbly-Worfy, timey-wimey... Nov 24, 2015 at 20:45
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    @Hypnosifl -- Worf bubble-sort? Nov 24, 2015 at 20:45
  • "discussions with alt-Troi suggest a belief that when he leaves one, there is no Worf in that universe from that point on" - could you quote a few of the respective lines to clarify how concrete this was, please? By a quick look at the transcript, I only noticed the line "From what I understand, there's a good chance my Worf won't return.", but at that point, "our" Enterprise has not been found yet (thus it's not clear whether Worfs can be switchedback), and moreover, my Worf won't return is different from no Worf will return. Aug 6, 2016 at 23:16
  • @O.R.Mapper: True, I can't beat that. Though it seems unlikely that Deanna would care quite so much about saying goodbye to this Worf if she reckoned she were just about to get yet another one. Aug 6, 2016 at 23:34

1 Answer 1


I would think he came from another quantum reality. Take a look at this image near the end of the episode when they are trying to seal the quantum fissure:

enter image description here


My interpretation of this has always been that whilst the prime Worf was being sent to different quantum realities, so were the other Worfs from the other quantum realities.

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    I would guess any alternate Worfs who had also traveled through the same quantum fissure might be continually shifting around, but there may have been plenty of universes (maybe all the ones we saw) where Worf didn't happen to pass through that exact region in a shuttlecraft. And in the scene with all the Enterprises appearing at once, it appears that the Enterprise "our" Worf came from was somehow unique--Riker issued a general hail, and said "we need to find that ship which exhibits a certain quantum signature", which turned out to be "our" Enterprise.
    – Hypnosifl
    Nov 25, 2015 at 6:59
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    @Hypnosifl: That's where I feel it breaks down a bit. If our Enterprise was special, that's presumably because only our Worf went through this process. And if that weren't the case, then lots of Enterprises would be hailing looking for lots of specific other Enterprises. Well, hey, maybe they were. There was a lot of comm traffic after all. Aug 6, 2016 at 21:05
  • @LightnessRacesinOrbit: Our Enterprise wasn't inherently special. It was the only one that responded because each Enterprise has a unique quantum signature (each Enterprise having a unique quantum signature of its own). At the same time, it's possible the last parallel Enterprise Worf was on happened to end up being special in that it was the first one whose crew found out what was happening to Worf. While there was a lot of comm traffic going on that may have included countless hails for other specific Enterprises, there is also no guarantee any other universe's crew was equally fast. Aug 6, 2016 at 23:13
  • Unique ID's: It wouldn’t work. This has been diecussed on Worldbuilding.
    – JDługosz
    Aug 8, 2016 at 0:44
  • @JDługosz Don't you mean Worfbuilding? :P
    – Machavity
    Aug 8, 2016 at 13:51

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