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Cogburn
Wed, Nov 8, 2017, 4:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Timescape

Timescape's not the worst or best example of a Braga episode but it's a pretty archetypal one with the usual shortfalls. It's definitely not a Frame of Mind (good Braga), more of a Schism.

Braga's worst habit is that episodes tend to not really be about anything but the central mystery. Here they aren't even about the characters. Replace the central quartet of Timescape with four other characters and would the episode have been any different? Maybe the script needs Geordi and Data's technical expertise to credibly spout off technobabble, but that's about as deep as its interest in these characters goes.

And the central mystery, while compelling, ends up being spread thin over an entire episode. This is why Trek episodes are often made up of an A and B plot. Without anything else going on and without much concern for these characters as people, Timescape's middle acts are a bit of a slog, using an excess of technobabble more as filler than to serve its ideas.

As far as the science fiction itself goes, this episode treats time travel much the same way that Braga's episodes on evolution treat biology. His primary concern is always the emotional resonance and visual interest of his ideas, not their science, internal logic, or larger implications. I think that's fine. But there are a few commenters implying that this episode is an example of the headier, more science fiction-y side of Star Trek. Not so much. It's certainly one of the more visually interesting episodes of season 6, though.

I give it a somewhat generous 2.5 stars mainly because I think it starts so strong and has such strong imagery.
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