I watched the Star Trek episode titled ‘ The Alternative Factor’ recently. What the plot could be reduced down to is that Kirk had to stop a person from one universe from coming into contact with counterpart in another universe or the universe would be destroyed. This cliché recurs pretty often in many Sci-Fi shows movies and novels. I think it is poor writing…given how frequently such events seem to happen with the destruction of the universe only being diverted by the unlikely happenstance of the hero being aware of the problem before it’s too late. Given the apparent ease of which the universe can be destroyed it would seem such universe destroying events should be somewhat frequent. They don’t have to be, as it would only take one such event without a Hero to prevent it and then the universe would be…gone.
Given that the Universe has never been destroyed in real life or in fiction (well, probably in some fiction) then it seems likely that any universe destroying event would not actually destroy the universe, but simply affect some small subsection of it. The hero for whatever reason believes the destruction of the universe will result and so works to stop it, surely saving some lives or resolving a domestic conflict, but not averting the destruction of the universe as it was never actually a possibility.
It seems likely that with all the various ways the universe could be destroyed…crossing over into the anti-matter universe, screwing with the timeline ala Timecop…whatever else, that it is probably happening frequently. Yet, the universe seems more resilient than most people give it credit for. At the most it would seem like a small centralized destruction effect….probably even as big as a solar system and certainly nowhere near as big as the universe. Obviously using universe in place of galaxy or solar system is meant to be more epic, yet it just doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. What isn’t explained is why the people of the future aren’t smart enough to realize this.
You could say that perhaps only one universe destroying threat happens per show, so only once in each respect ‘universe’ is it encountered and so it is not actually that common a threat. Yet, given the easy access to the technology that causes the threat, why would it not be assumed to be common? Lazarus from the aforementioned Star Trek episode was surely not the only person in either universe to have access to craft to traverse both universes? In the end it just seems like lazy writing. Its one thing I appreciated about Stargate, as they were concerned enough with the galaxy and seemed smart enough to realize the universe was unlikely to get destroyed. If only more writers could realize the same.