Parallel Treks

Around the time the podcast Random Trek completed its first 30 episodes, a quantum fissure mysteriously appeared. Naturally, we investigated it using a subspace differential pulse and — to our surprise — we discovered 10,000 parallel timelines which all had their own versions of Random Trek.

After recalibrating the sensor array (as you do), we were able to determine which episodes have been watched so far in these parallel universes. We used these data to address some of the pressing questions from the Random Trek fanbase.

First, did our timeline's Random Trek really have an unusual number of Voyager episodes as it was starting out? For reference, ours had two of its first four episodes from Voyager, six out of its first 20, and seven out of its first 30. We can look at the distributions of the episode selections across all the timelines to see how unusual this was.

As Random Trek's host Scott McNulty might say, spoiler alert: it's not very unusual. About a quarter of the other timelines (2,420 to be precise) had two or more Voyager episodes in their first four episodes. Below, you can see the distributions of the first 20 episodes and first 30 episodes (our timeline's values are marked with red triangles). Our timeline is sitting close to the middle of the Voyager distributions. Perhaps the most unusual thing about ours here appears to be the relatively low number of Deep Space Nine episodes, as only 891 of the other 10,000 timelines had two or fewer DS9 episodes in the first 20, and 923 had four or fewer in the first 30 episodes.

Distributions by series of the first 20 episodes

Distributions by series of the first 30 episodes

One of the other timelines actually had 19 of its first 30 episodes from The Next Generation, which is the most from any one series. Interestingly, all of the 10,000 timelines had at least one TNG episode in the first 30; the same cannot be said for any other series.

Our timeline appears to have split off from the others early on. While 20 other timelines also had "Tapestry" as the first episode, none of them also had "By Any Other Name" as the second. And our timeline only shares at most 6 episodes with any of the other 10,000 timelines (and it does that with only 16 of them).

How many other timelines share some episodes with ours?

How many other timelines share some episodes with ours?

Another unusual aspect of our timeline is that we've already had both Ray Wise episodes ("Who Watches the Watchers" and "Hope and Fear") within the first 30 — only 23 of the parallel timelines have had that happen as well!

Looking at the others, we can also imagine what might have been. 447 of the other timelines have already had a "Wrath of Khan" episode by now, and 11 of those had it as their very first episode. What a start that would be. But still, we dodged a bullet that the six universes with a first episode of "Star Trek: Insurrection" did not. And, unlike ours, the fans in those 11 Khan universes probably don't believe that the random number generator is really random, either...