And thus the universe was doomed, for finally the dregs from Dimension 9 hath cometh. Or something like that, because today we’re going to be checking out our Top 10 Different Dimensions. To qualify as a dimension, the places simply have to be another plane of existence, meaning that it can literally be the exact same places as the real world, but so long as there’s an alternate group of people living there (even evil selves count). Sound good? Let’s go.
10) Alternate Universe – Fringe
Fringe seems to have been largely forgotten, a shame really, it was rather good. A late 00’s sci-fi of the like of Warehouse 13, the 4400, and a Town Called Eureka (wow I miss some of those), the show began as a case-a-week science fiction mystery following a secret division of the FBI, and while that may sound a little cliche, and a tired one at that, the series got particularly good when conflict began between our world, and the other one.
The differences begin fairly subtly, with the classic blimps dominating the skyline, monorails replacing the underground, a handful of changes to the makeup of the city, and a couple of technological alterations, but instability between the worlds drives the leadership – an tyrannical version of one of the main characters – starts encasing buildings in quick-setting amber resin. It’s not the weirdest thing that happens in the series, it’s just where they start to go particularly dark.
9) Quor’toth – Angel
The darkest of dark worlds, a dimension of hell in which you could only get to, if you tear the fabric of reality. Unlike most dimensions in the Buffy universe, Quor’toth is completely inaccessible via portals. But what exactly is so bad about a place about the darkest of dark worlds? I mean the nickname is a little unsettling, but more than that, a large plot point happened here.
Baby Connor was stolen and taken into Quor’toth, a place where times moves a lot faster than on Earth. For Connor, it would be sixteen years, where the child would be moulded and shaped into a demon hunter, in spite of his father Angel. Some of the most powerful magic users in the Buffy universe were unable to fully comprehend the power of the dimension… But after a close call, Connor escaped to the World Without Shrimp.
… What? It is literally just a world without shrimp. Not sure what you’re questioning here, really.
8) Him’s Underworld – Powerpuff Girls
Of all of the underworlds, I’d like to think of Him’s Underworld as one of the more fabulous. Complete with its own bathtub and rubber ducky, Him is a lavish demon of unimaginable power. As such, it’s no wonder that his underworld is that of luxury for Him, but also holding immense power. This is a world of suffering, pain, fear and pillows. At least it’s not all horrible then, what with them crab claws of his.
Nevertheless, Him is a great villain who excels at being cruel. He is a master manipulator, so they gave him a realm where he can reside and manipulate, punish and torture those within it. Ultimately, Him is the Powerpuff Girls most powerful enemy, so he had to have a realm that was a representation of hell itself.
7) Other Worlds – Sliders
File under the alternative-world jumping genre made particularly popular by Quantum Leap, but as Sliders was a late 90’s series it was the one that got me particularly interested in the concept. Quinn Mallory perfects a device that allows him to hop from world to world with ease, stumbles across himself in another world who’s almost finished the work, and helps him finish the job. That Mallory screws up his first Slide, and ends up dragging some friends from world to world aimlessly without the ability to get home, ever. Guess which one we end up following.
Along the way, each of his travelling companions find versions of themselves, each with variations, or just the same person adapted better for life in the strange new reality in which they find themself. Travelling blindly, seeking a way to help guide the slides, they do encounter a race that have managed to develop the sliding technology, but have been using it to ransack world after world.
6) LEGO Dimensions
Well, it depends how you look at this one, but LEGO Dimensions has been around for a while now. When you think about what LEGO is, it’s a bunch of building blocks which can be used in all of your builds. With LEGO Dimensions specifically, you have a video game, taking the worlds of other video games, allowing it to become one great big pool to tap into. LEGO Dimensions is your Heroes of the Storm… Of LEGO.
But yes, if you wanted to see Batman in the same world as Dorothy Gale and Homer Simpson, then uh, yeah. This is the game for you. It’s really about how well the game manages to blend all of the different worlds. There’s not too much more to say with this, except if you want to know how many worlds are blended together, 7 starter packs, 3 story packs, 10 level packs, 9 team packs and 21 fun packs. Yikes… That’s a lot of packs… With a lot of content… And a lot of dimensions.
5) Multiverse – Rick and Morty
Nothing says you matter less than nothing than encountering billions of yourself, all identical with only the minutest of differences, but if you pass through enough dimensions things start to get weird. During a brief montage of fleeing through other worlds from a government comprised entirely of Ricks, we get to see fart world, stupid bird world, a version of earth where pizzas ordering people, phones ordering chairs on people while sitting on people, chairs ordering phones on pizzas while sitting on people, and dumb camel-bird world.
The sheer volume of universes with minute differences becomes horribly apparent when we witness the Citadel of Ricks, and the massive hordes of the same two people with only the slightest differences between them. Remember, you are in infinite supply, you are not special, you can be replaced… by entirely theoretical quantum probability actualisation and a device allowing you to travel between them.
4) Bag of Holding – Dungeons & Dragons
Oh boy oh boy are there a lot of extra worlds to choose from in the D&D multiverse, not counting all of the extra campaign settings there are a host of outer and inner planes and the worlds in between, but we have a little pocket dimension that is… literally a pocket. The bag of holding is one of a few portable objects that grant a host of extra storage space for those who tend to be on the road a lot and bring a lot with them.
The portable hole, Heward’s Handy Haversack, Daern’s Instant Fortress, and of course the classic inversion, the bag of devouring, all lead into dimensions of their own for the sole purpose of expanding inventory space… yeah, the bag of devouring does that too, just in the worst possible way.
Oh, and sidenote, don’t get any ideas about filling a portable hole with bags of holding, just… don’t.
3) Wonderland – Alice
One of the more well documented dimensions in all of literature, Alice’s Wonderland is a curious place. Nothing is what it seems; a cat who speaks in riddles, a hatter who is utterly mad and a white rabbit who must be followed. Ruled over by a cruel queen of hearts, Alice goes through a lot in a short space of time. Also, Alice has had many different versions, from the classic literature, through to cartoon and video game.
The greatest part of Wonderland is the interpretation. In American McGee’s Alice, everything is macabre. It’s a dark, grotesque world, in which people are brutally murdered on a regular basis. In the Lewis Carroll version, all of Wonderland is some form of metaphor. There are deep philosophical questions posed as simple children’s literature. Tim Burton’s Wonderland digs deep into the bizarre and the absurd, giving a beautiful visual barrage.
No matter what, Wonderland is an incredible dimension, with a lot of versatility.
2) The Upside Down – Stranger Things
Science experiments gone wrong are pretty high on a list of 1980’s tropes and the crux of the conflict in Stranger Things, push psychic experiments too hard and you’ll have more to worry about than the Russians and their secret psychic experimentation programme. It didn’t work out too well for them, but it didn’t result in them ripping a hole into a twisted version of the Shadowfell.
A bleak mirror of our own world, the Upside Down has a corrupt and broken version of every building, every tree, every street and landmark, strange given the fact that the only population are all-devouring monsters and manipulative shadowbeasts. It’s also a channel through which psychics can send signals, but in doing so they risk entangling with the nightmares that wait on the other side.
Oh, and they’re about to release a Lego set for it!
1) TARDIS – Doctor Who
This had to be the number one pick. We could have picked one of the many places that The Doctor ends up on, however it really had to be the TARDIS that won our top spot on this list. After all, it’s fair to say that the TARDIS is an iconic piece of TV history. Taking the appearance of a Police Box, thanks to some fault with The First Doctor’s TARDIS, these vehicles of time and space manipulation are at least consistent.
TARDIS stands for Time And Relative Dimension In Space and it acts as a major plot device for Doctor Who. It’s a spaceship and it’s also a time travelling device. The interior and exterior exist in separate dimensions, making this one of the most useful storage devices possible… But coupled with the capabilities of travelling time and space, you have a really good car.
… No, really, we all keep random junk in our cars, don’t try and deny me this.
Now that we’ve gotten through the vast quantities of intergalactic travel, moving at speeds that only hyperdrive can get us through, we’re here at our Honourable Mentions. Another two entries are now to be mentioned, both of which are more about the overall effect of multiple dimensions in general.
Comic Book Multiverses
Comic books exist and are able to provide hugely different stories, thanks to the multiverses. When you consider that within just about every big superhero character has several versions of them, this is thanks to the possibilities of multiverses. This allows heroes to meet with other heroes, who they wouldn’t normally be able to meet. It also means multiple heroes can get together to defeat a big bad.
But just because this is a normal part of comic books doesn’t make it simple. Multiverses are complex and the stories they weave between are incredibly vast. You may be expecting entries such as Batman to fight Lex Luthor… But what about Batman and the Ninja Turtles? I mean sure, I’m not even talking about the game Injustice here. There is literally a comic book series of Batman and the Ninja Turtles.
The Twilight Zone
We’re about to mention a place to which you cannot travel by land, air, or sea, but is best reached by thinking really hard, or maybe turning on the television. There is no ground on which to stand, but maybe a comfy chair for you to watch as weird objects drift aimlessly in front of your eyes, or maybe they have an aim, you don’t know for sure.
This is a dimension of spooky science fiction stories that last for approximately half an hour, and end with some kind of moral lesson, or just crib off some other science fiction writers of the 20th century. You’re entering… The Scary Door.
No, hang on… Treehouse of Horror?
Another week, another Top 10 list and this week, I think there may be an alternate version of me ending this list in a different way. If we move, they probably go a different way, perhaps they are the opposite dimension so many people keep talking about? I’ll have to conduct more analysis of the possibility of this alternate GeekOut Media team. Nevertheless, let’s ignore the lesser us and let’s focus on voting for next week’s list.
With that, we close the portal to this week’s adventures. Thank you so much for joining us through another journey, but we do wonder what you thought of our list. Did we forget some of the best dimensions out there, or did we encapsulate the main ones? Did we get the order wrong, or are we on the same plane of understanding? As ever, share your thoughts in the comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter.