Star Trek: The Next Generation


3 stars.

Air date: 6/14/1993
Written by Brannon Braga
Directed by Adam Nimoy

Review Text

When returning from a conference, Picard, Data, Geordi, and Troi attempt to rendezvous with the Enterprise, but before they do, they discover strange things happening in the space-time continuum. Troi experiences everyone else in the room freezing in time for a few seconds. Later, Picard reaches for a bowl of fruit that has suddenly gone rotten, and screams in pain as his hand suddenly ages several weeks in a few seconds. (In a nice touch, his fingernails have grown to an alarming length.) Time in this region is moving at different rates within variously sized pockets of space. When their Runabout finally reaches the rendezvous point, the Enterprise is frozen in time, apparently in the middle of a battle with a Romulan warbird.

"Timescape" takes the idea of time travel to its logical next step (note that I did not say "logical conclusion," as there is likely always room to go further) by having space-time shattered into multiple levels of backward, forward, accelerated, and decelerated. Geordi engineers a way to surround the bodies of the Runabout crew with a technobabble field so they can visit the Enterprise without becoming frozen in time. This allows them to walk around the decks of the frozen Enterprise (in scenes reminiscent of TOS's "Wink of an Eye") so they can try to figure out the mystery of what went wrong. Frozen Bad Things Happening include Crusher being phasered, the bridge apparently under siege by a Romulan boarding party (but things are not as they appear, as we learn), and a warp core breach in progress in engineering.

Like a lot of other conceptual sci-fi examples of what I like to call Good Brannon Braga (see also "Cause and Effect" and "Frame of Mind") the truth of "Timescape" is all in the details. Like the most entertaining of TNG tech adventures, this story knows that to keep us engaged it can't shy away from some fairly involved details that clearly explain what's going on. But at the same time, it has to walk a fine line so it doesn't drown in pure exposition. Data is always perfect for this task, as in the scene where he explains the Enterprise is not actually frozen in time, but moving forward extremely slowly. Apart from tech details, some zany humor sure doesn't hurt. Qualifying as a classic moment in my book is when Picard, experiencing a moment of "temporal psychosis," draws a smiley face in the gas cloud of the warp core explosion, and then laughs maniacally.

The story is honestly more fun as an unsolved puzzle than it is once all the reasons for the shattered space-time are made clear. (For the record, an alien race from another time continuum mistook the Romulan engine core for a black hole, which they attempted to use to incubate their young, which had a disastrous shattering effect on space-time after the Enterprise attempted to initiate a power transfer into the Romulans' engine. Feel free to go back and read that sentence again; I'll wait.)

The story's momentum flags somewhat in the last couple acts once all these answers come at us. And, of course, the complexities of shattered space-time ultimately become very easily manipulated, as, I suppose, they must. (You haven't seen anything until you've seen a tricorder essentially become a rewind button.) But then, this storyline also means that we get to see the Enterprise explode, and then unexplode when time rewinds. What more could you ask of the guy who blew up the ship four times in "Cause and Effect"? "Timescape" is a fun and well executed sci-fi yarn of space-time zaniness done in the TNG tradition of procedural investigation. It doesn't mean much of anything, but, hey, that's perfectly okay.

Previous episode: Second Chances
Next episode: Descent, Part I

Like this site? Support it by buying Jammer a coffee.

◄ Season Index

Comment Section

90 comments on this post

    I'd give this 4 stars. It is such a well crafted sci-fi mystery with a unique idea at its very foundation. Brannon did an extraordinary job with the pacing and the build up of suspense as to what is really going on.

    Brannon was always great at incorporating and remembering little details in all his episodes and this was no different(the rotting bowl of fruit, Picard's fingernails, the runabout running out of fuel, the dialog among the crew in the teaser, the idea of temporal narcosis leading to a plausible threat to the crew, contuinity touch by mentioning the Devidians and phase discriminators).

    I loved the misdirection with the Romulans and Brannon finding yet another way to blow up the Enterprise and bringing it back in one piece smartly. I also appreciated Brannon remembering Troi's time on the Romulan warbird earlier in the season and putting her front and center and to effective use again.

    A definite highlight of Season Six.

    A very enjoyable episode. Loved the humor, especially in the teaser (Picard impersonating someone and Data's reaction) and it was just a great idea.

    Also loved the continuity with the Devidians as well as the TNG crew using a runabout (never did get its name).

    It's also interesting to note that this was the only time we ever saw the aft section of a runabout.

    One little thing that I appreciated about this episode was that, for once, someone else got "possessed" and "impersonated" by non-corporeal aliens. It's always the Starfleet crew who get taken over every time this kind of thing happens (which is fairly often across the whole Trek 'verse). But this time we see that all the wacky high-concept stuff that goes on in the galaxy at large doesn't just affect Starfleet ships - it screws with other people too. And this time we're just there to help out.

    It's baffling to me why Troi gets so much plot in the final two seasons. Marina Sirtis is SUCH a bad actor, and making Troi an engineering expert -- a year after she admitted not knowing what a warp-core breach was? WTF?

    Also, why were they in a runabout? For the previous six seasons, crewmembers would have used standard shuttles. It's a weird decision -- especially considering the crew never uses a runabout again.

    Like David, I'd give this four. Every time I watch it I am on the edge of my seat because I can't quite remember how they resolve the supposed "attack" by the Romulans. And then seeing the friendly gestures evolve is really nice.

    It gets 4 if only for the wonderful opening sequence--that was some of the best of Trek-- combining humor, humanity, and mystery.

    And of course, thinking Bev might possibly die THIS time makes it all the more worthwhile. . .


    I'd imagine they used a runabout for this episode because for as much as they had to shoot not aboard the Enterprise, and with four characters, and considering the geography of the shattered time spheres within the runabout itself -- I just can't imagine a shuttle would've been enough room to do everything the story needed. Usually a shuttle scene is just a couple people talking (unless Beverly is karate kicking some alien in "Suspicions," but never mind). Here they used the whole aft room of the runabout, something never even shown on DS9, as Sxottlan pointed out.

    the reason they used the runabout was TNG had a bigger budget than DS9 at the time so they constructed the aft compartment so DS9 could have it available if or when they ever wanted it.

    I was always disappointed that we never saw more of the interior of the runabouts.

    Clearing away the transporter from the cockpit was a good idea to give it more space, but then we never saw where the transporters went. Just somewhere in the back.

    Supposedly the middle and aft were modular. Once years ago I found a website where someone designed all these different modules for the runabouts. There was one that functioned as a medical rescue ship, another was a transport and another had a balanced suite of quarters, medical bay, science lab and armory. Essentially since the runabouts were actual starships with a class and name designations, it only made sense.


    In DS9's second season episode "Paradise" O'Brien mentions that runabouts are a new class of vessel that had only been in service for two years. So of course we'd never seen the Enterprise crew use them since they didn't exist before. It seems believable that the flagship would be equipped with a few of them. I always liked that they had a runabout here because it helped build continuity between the two shows.

    That said it would have been cool if they'd used the NEVER SEEN Captain's Yacht that's docked on the underside of the saucer section.

    I really like this episode, thought it's rather absurd that this alien race would only just now make this goofy mistake for the first time with a Romulan engine...warp engines aren't exactly new

    @Yakko -- fair enough, but why didn't we see a runabout in season 7?


    Well I didn't mean to imply that runabouts made shuttles obsolete. They certainly stayed in service and there was no evidence that Voyager had anything but shuttles until Tom built the Delta Flyer. But why couldn't Picard and Data been flying a runabout back to the Enterprise in "Genesis" for example? I'd only be guessing but it could be that the runabout forward interior set was too often unavailable. Remember that during "TNG"'s seventh season "DS9" was concurrently in production on its second. The Defiant hadn't been introduced yet so the runabout set was in use a great deal.

    I only just saw this episode recently having somehow missed it in the original run and, being more of a DS9 fan, found it quite bizarre seeing Picard and co in a runabout..

    Anyway, as you say Jammer, this ep fits into the ‘Good Brannon Braga’ category.

    Though GBB is, for me, still usually pretty ordinary.

    About 2 stars imo (ie. about 4 times better than Frame of Mind).

    I still dont understand the hate some have for Braga and never will. He was absolutely one of the best and most creative/ambitious minds of Trek.{he had a few bad episodes out of hundreds written-WOW!} Anyway, this episode like many BB wrote have always endured and stuck out in my mind and are remembered and have something visually or conceptually thats just so sharp and unique and sticks out. 4 stars.

    Just in regard to the Runabout aft set not appearing in DS9, I did read a few interesting observations on a website (the name escapes me). So yeah these aren't my finds, credit where credit is due.

    The bunk beds that are to the left and right of the entrance to the aft pod appear to be same bunk beds used in the crew quarters on the Defiant, so it seems by the time the Defiant was introduced the aft set had been disassembled/cannabilised.

    It also pointed out the aft set may appear once, in a manner of speaking. During The Visitor as Jake leaves DS9, there's a shot of him looking out a Runabout window as DS9 disappears into the distance. Given the way the shot works, it would have to be one of the rearmost windows in the aft section (the ones that are on the model itself). Of course the shot is tight enough that they only needed a generic sloped Starfleet window to make it work, but there you go...technically that one shot in all of DS9 would appear to occur in the aft section!

    Just a quite comment to say that this is yet another "mystery" episode this season. It seems to have been very popular this season. Fistfull of Data's was a bit of a mystery (I consider it a mystery if both the characters and the audience are trying to figure out what's going on at the same time which is only revealed at the end of an episode)

    @Landon - I think the "hate" for BB came about during the course of Star Trek: Voyager. BB's episodes on Next Gen were fantastic, but many feel visions for Voyager were haphazardly executed. Perhaps national ratings pressure from UPN Executives screwed up his mojo, but it's almost like we saw a completely different person sharing the same name and writing duties.

    Regarding "Timescape," I thought this was a fanastic mystery episode. Mysteries is a sub-genre that TNG does quite well, in my opinion, and is golden BB material. Like Jammer mentioned, take a look at "Cause & Effect" and "Frame of Mind," where the mystery is what keeps the viewer engaged until the very end. THAT is successful television writing.

    Also, I enjoyed the twist where the viewer finds out that Romulans aren't the bad guys. It takes a second or two to fathom this notion since you a seemingly destructive beam between the Enterprise and the Romulan ship. And the viewer is accustomed to thinking that Romulans are always the bad guy. That's what makes the twist and entire episode so successful.

    The concept of aliens-from-another-dimension-nurturing-their-newborn-in-the-Romulan-warp-core-mistaken-to-be-a-black-hole IS very hokey and far-fetched. That's probably why I took away half a star in my own rating. However, to the story's credit, it does serve as a fantastic vehicle for a humorous and engaging episode. Can you think of any other instance where you see Picard insanely laughing while drawing a smiley face into a cloud of smoke? I certainly can't.

    My rating: 3.5 out of 4 stars

    Picard had his hand in the fruit bowl for about 2 seconds. Given that time was moving 50x faster in the fruit bowl, I guess we can conclude that Picard always keeps a set of nail clippers in his pocket. Maybe that's why we never see a shot of the floor behind his ready room desk... he's probably knee deep in finger nails back there.

    In some ways, this episode is most valuable for me to figure out exactly why "Cause and Effect" and "Frame of Mind" are thrilling, excellent episodes when, superficially at least, they don't seem to "mean" anything. Here's another Braga script, generally good and sensical albeit with some tech leaps, and I...enjoy it, but don't find it thrilling. I think maybe the solution is found in one of Braga's own scripts, "Schisms":

    DATA: Geordi, may I make a personal inquiry? It concerns my poetry reading.
    LAFORGE: Sure, Data. What is it?
    DATA: I noticed that many spectators seemed distracted during my presentation. Was my poetry uninteresting?
    LAFORGE: Well, it was very well constructed, a virtual tribute to form.
    DATA: Thank you. And?
    LAFORGE: And what?
    DATA: Did it evoke an emotional response?
    LAFORGE: Well.
    DATA: Your hesitation suggests you are trying to protect my feelings. However, since I have none, I would prefer you to be honest. An artist's growth depends upon accurate feedback.
    LAFORGE: Well, your poems were clever, Data, and your Haiku was clever, and your sonnet was clever. But did it evoke an emotional response? To be honest, no, I don't think so.
    DATA: Then I did not succeed in my efforts.
    LAFORGE: No, it's not that you didn't succeed. You accomplished a lot, but, if you want to touch people, don't concentrate so much on rhyme and metre. Think more about what you want to say instead of how you're saying it.

    Braga is not going for an emotional response, exactly, but in "Frame of Mind" and "Cause and Effect" he manages to be funny and frightening in equal measure (well, the balance changes between the episodes), and "Schisms" is another episode that I think manages to be unsettling in a deep way. This one, I find mostly clever but in a way that leaves me cold -- though I still think it's clever enough to warrant 3 stars.

    "Frame of Mind," at core, touches on on the fear of losing one's sanity, the difficulty in trusting oneself and one's own instincts over authority, and the question of how to discern what reality itself is. While I'm not sure how much these apply to Riker-the-character (though I think they are relevant to him; one of these days I will try to piece out why I think that's a good Riker show), they are universal human experiences. "Cause and Effect" superficially has less of a major theme, but it still bases an episode around (essentially) deja vu, existential dread about the inevitability of death (c.f. Beverly's broken glass), and grounds it all in the mundane reality of the ship's everyday operation.

    This one *does* have a real-life-inspired theme -- Troi, at the beginning of the episode, and Data at the end make a connection between the time distortions and the human (/Betazoid) experience of time seeming to slow down or stop or speed up depending on one's own experience. And some of the episode's impact does come from those moments; the uncanny, creepy scenes aboard the ship in which the Enterprise's destruction and Beverly's death and so on come down to a slowly mounting disaster that the episode's central characters feel helpless to avert. Like "Cause and Effect," I think this taps into fears about the inevitability of death, though I think here the catastrophe is one in which it's impossible to stop a disaster from affecting others. But the sense of dread that permeated "C&E" was maintained throughout the episode, partly because of the fact that the crew's awareness of what was going on reset at each act break; here, once it becomes clear that the tech tech tech tech it's just a matter of applying the tech to stop badness from happening and go on their way. The episode opens with discovering the crew had been at a space psychology conference, and so it's somewhat a shame that the episode's attempts to produce psychological horror are so arbitrary -- Troi's dizziness, Picard's sudden acute dementia. Though, I will say that Picard drawing a smiley face in a slowly spreading warp core breach is one of my single favourite images from the whole series.

    Anyway, I like that the episode's end reveals that the Romulans were not responsible for the problem, and reverses several of the apparently disastrous images (the Romulan was not aiming at Beverly in sickbay, but hit her by accident, e.g.), and in some ways this makes this the reverse of, e.g., "The Next Phase" in which the Enterprise crew looks rather stupid for not recognizing that the Romulans are evil to begin with. Here, the Romulans genuinely didn't do anything wrong, and the aliens themselves were acting in self-protection; I like the Trekkian optimism, not necessarily in every story, but in many of them.

    Anyway, I think the early scenes on the Runabout and on the Enterprise earn the episode 3 stars, but whereas other Braga scripts do, I think, get at some core idea about the human condition to propel their apparently meaningless stories forward and to get a real response, this one only touches on an interesting topic before moving on to a clever but arbitrary tech plot.

    With regards to Brannon Braga generally, I think the thing that sets him apart is that his penchant for wacky/conceptual episodes means that he avoids some of the things that make Trek Trek much of the time -- issue episodes, close character studies, etc. That's not bad, but it does mean that his episodes, for better or ill, have their own tone that is different from most of the rest of the series. (Not that he doesn't have episodes which blend in much better.) When they work very well, as in "C&E" and "Frame of Mind," I'm glad that he has the freedom to do whatever he wants; and when tied to a strong character idea his outside-the-box writing often works very well to the story's benefit, like in "Birthright, Part I" or in some of his RDM collaborations, "All Good Things" most obviously but also "Reunion" and First Contact. Of course, the Braga/Moore combination also yielded Generations, which has some good parts but overall doesn't work that great, and, uh, Aquiel, so. There is also a penchant in his scripts for stories that lose all sight of character or meaning and they live or die on the cleverness of the story -- in this case, the episode is clever enough to stay afloat, but, uh, in "Threshold" or "Genesis," not so much, to say nothing of totally nonsensical ostensibly character-based outings like "Sub Rosa." I think BB and RDM are the two most recognizable writers of late-era Trek, though, which is why they are the most frequently discussed; Behr and Echevarria and Jeri Taylor are probably the next tier down in terms of recurrent themes and tones in their work; Echevarria, I think, is my favourite character-writer, with work spanning from "The Offspring" to "Chimera," though the downside is that when he goes off the rails he does ponderous messes like "Birthright, Part II."

    This is a lot of fun. I like the fact that you solve the puzzle at the same time as the crew.

    Not a classic but 3/4 is a good score.

    Great episode. Just a little disappointed that we didn't get to see how Crusher made out with spot. It would have been interesting to see a cat get tased.
    The smiling explosion was a treat.
    Of course I get the greatest joy from altereed time episodes. Manipulating time provides a multitude of interesting opportunities.
    Excellent episode!
    4 stars

    One of my favorite episodes. Am shocked that this was written by Braga as I tend not to agree with his artistic vision from other trek projects.

    I like the episode, but the resolution seems rather simplistic. Having the termination of the power transfer beam solve everything seems absurd when the power transfer had only been initiated a few minutes earlier, long after the distortion calamity had happened. The root of the problem was the infestation of the Romulan drive. Merely severing the beam somehow made the Romulan ship vanish (or be destroyed?!?) exactly?

    I just want to echo what others have said: this is a great mystery episode. We really were brought along with Picard et al. Not only did we get a lot of contradictory information at first (were the Romulans really attacking the Enterprise or not?), but it was all resolved in a reasonably satisfactory matter. Excellent pacing in this episode overall.

    The only major plothole (and its a big one) is why the Romulans had disruptors on them in the Enterprise, especially in sickbay? One would expect better security, even during a mission of mercy. Security seemed tight in the transporter room, after all. OK, I also agree with Jack that the ending (with the Warbird mysteriously vanishing) was rushed. That actually seemed to be a pattern in Season 6, with very little in the way of an ending after the climax. See Frame of Mind or Schisms as other examples.

    But other than that, I don't have much to say, because this was just a really fun episode that was ultimately meaningless. And like Jammer said, that's perfectly ok.

    I also want to say that TNG seemed to have some really good time travel episodes. Instead of running through the typical time travel cliches, they seemed to be more inventive with them. Really, Time's Arrow is about the only "typical" storyline: conveniently ending up in Earth's past, having an easy to solve paradox, running into famous people, etc. But then you have creative episodes like Cause and Effect (which came out before Groundhog's Day) or Timescape, which played around with time rather than just had a simple travel. And, of course, two of TNG's most popular episodes (Yesterday's Enterprise and All Good Things) used time travel as a background, but the focus and energy was on greater matters. Time travel can be fairly trite or it can be very effective, and I think overall TNG was in the effective category. Only Time's Arrow and Time Squared were on the weak side. I guess you could include Matter of Time and Captain's Holiday as well, but the latter barely dealt with time and the former I thought was reasonably clever as well.

    Really enjoyed this episode. I haven't seen enough of DS9 or Voyager to judge the writers of those series, but if this is typical Brannon Braga I'd like to see a lot more of his work. I dislike Star Trek in soap opera - sorry, 'Mythos' - mode and much prefer the episodes that actually approach science fiction. I have no objection to 'technobabble'. Don't see the necessity for the aliens - surely large space ships moving through time distortions would be enough in itself to cause something to go boom? Re Paul's comment about Troi's technical knowledge: well, she's had a whole year to make up for her humiliating uncertainty in 'Disaster' and she has obviously made good use of the time :P Always happy to see Troi acting something like a Starfleet officer rather than a victim of various intergalactic perverts, and also happy to see the charming and talented Marina Sirtis given something interesting to do rather than struggling to make something of underwritten or poorly written parts.

    I'd give this 2-3/4 stars, as it is well done but doesn't quite rise to the top of my favorite episodes.
    The smiley face in the warp breach smoke was very cute. I also liked the multiple instances of misdirection. Everything is made to look like a Romulan attack when in fact it wasn't even them.
    The blow up and rewind didn't work as well as "Cause and Effect" and this is just a less enganging episode overall.

    The opening scene was kind of deep can a cut on the corner of your forehead be? The skull is less than a centimeter beneath...

    Now this is Brannon Braga producing quality Trek. Give the man the chance to do silly little adventures and he can deliver. Give him anything of more substance and you end up with some truly horrendous garbarge. "Timescape" is very similar to "Cause and Effect," in that they're ultimately the kind of simple tech adventures that are right up Braga's alley. But, "Timescape" is everything that "Cause and Effect" was not. I gave "Cause and Effect" a 6 out 10, but looking back on it now it just seems awfully repetitive and borderline dull. "Timescape," if anything, is not dull or repetitive.

    Jammer is absolutely right - it's nothing but a simply little TNG adventure yarn that hits all of its notes perfectly. It keeps the action flowing smoothly, it gives us the necessary information without getting bogged down in it, it's got some nice humor ("I thought it was a topic you were interested in." = LOL) and it gives us our only look at a runabout's aft interior.

    Really, what else is there to say about it? There really isn't any meat to sink your teeth into here. It's really just a candy-sweet diversion of an episode. But, like Jammer says, that's perfectly okay.

    I suppose I could point out that it makes no sense whatsoever for the alien impersonating a female Romulan to attack Data in Engineering. The aliens were trying to stop the power transfer so.... she adamantly wants them to stop the process of ending that transfer? Huh?! Obviously she only attacks him to keep the suspense/drama going a little longer in the final act. But, that's a truly minor nitpick and one I'm more than happy to overlook.


    Another high concept piece, that lays out its stall in a fast-paced manner. It builds nicely as new plot elements are introduced, and we get to see the Enterprise destroyed again, which is always good. But once the aliens are introduced it doesn't quite resolve satisfactorily, and the loose ends are tied up a little too easily.

    But still, it contains one moment of WTF lunacy when the maniacally laughing Picard draws a smiley face in the warp core breach. It's entirely tangential to the story, but what's not to like about that? 3 stars.

    I think the only reason I kept watching this one is because I got hooked on Picard's smiley face. It was FINE, but not great.

    Does anyone know how they achieved the effect of having people frozen still, yet other people able to move around them in the same shot?


    There's really nothing special, the actors are just standimg still. It's called a tableau. It's taught fairly early in acting class, though it can be difficult in some aspects, such as not looking like you're breathing.

    There's actually a game called moving statues where a group of people can't move while another roams through the crowd. If they see you move, you're out. It's really fun to sneak up on the guy while their back is turned only for them to freak out when they turn back around. Basically Weeping Angels, minus the time displacement, if you get that reference.

    One of my alltime favourites from TNG. I always enjoy Brannon Braga episodes. This is right up there with Cause and Effect, Parallels, and Phantasms. It was great to see the entire aft section of the runabout - I only wish DS9 had utilised it more, considering how heavily featured they are.

    Not too crazy about the aliens - I thought they were trying to stop the power transfer as well, which was what EVERYONE was trying to do, including Picard's team, so why attack Data and Laforge? I get that it makes for suspenseful viewing, but still a bit silly. Still though that's only a minor nitpick which I'm willing to forgive as the episode is so good. Troi's hair extensions were so obvious that I was distracted every time there was a close-up profile shoot of her, but considering that this was the 90s, I suppose I shouldn't be complaining too much.

    This one didn't do anything for me, and the aliens didn't even get blown up at the end after all the trouble they caused. Don't lay your eggs in someone else's engines, it's quite rude.

    Brilliant episode, both in conception and execution of time mechanics. Star Trek often dabbles in time travel, but this one's great for how the time alterations feel like a localized phenomenon. Such care was put into little details like rapidly moving time altering Picard's fingers as he touches rotting fruit.

    It was also fun to see a mystery unfold; at first it seems like a standard Romulan plot, only to be revealed that the Romulans are just as much victims as the Enterprise crew.

    One final thing I like about this episode is the unusual away team. Picard, Troi, Geordi, and Data is definitely not the normal complement but they work really well together.

    4 Stars

    This ep was a bit of a cross between The Next Phase and Cause and Effect, but different enough to be good on its own.

    The best part was the Romulans acting so unlikely the ones from Next Phase. Always good to see other races/species having different individuals - actually presented differently to us - rather than having them be monolithic.

    4 stars!!! Another brilliant Brannon Braga script

    Coming up with a fresh inventive sci fi mystery is no easy feat so when I see an episode as well done as this I must stand back in pure awe.

    The whole episode is so well crafted with the laid back runabout chit chat then carefully starting to unfold the main plot with little intriguing mysteries and moments from everyone but Troi frozen to Troi being frozen in time to ripened fruit to the runabout fuel depletion to the realization time has fractured into pockets where time moves at varying rates is perfectedly done. Brannon always gets the little details rught in those moments

    TNG didn't do a lot of callbacks so I enjoyed the reference to the devidiians , the Romulans using a quantum
    Singularity on their ships and troi's time on Romulan warbird. I also enjoyed the added complication to the plot with the idea of temporal narcosis or the neat wrinkle that time was moving so slowly initially that they mistakenly concluded time had totally stopped until the warp core breach clued Data. Neat touch Also another nice touch was removing Geordi's armband and integrating him into the much slower timeframe so crew could have better chance at saving him. Loved seeing Troi having more central role. Loved the idea of the solution to the crew's predicament by modulating time causing it to rewind then resume moving forward. The image of everything in motion including Data moving out of the way of the crewmen was a sight!

    The ending with data watching a pot never boils perfect! Tng great at these closing scenes that play nicely back to the episodes recent events

    I agree with many of the above: interesting, intelligent, terrific acting, fun, entertaining. Superb episode!!

    The beginning was quite annoying but seems to be employed more often than not.

    When Picard, Data, and La Forge are frozen, Deanna moves from her seat. Even if Geordi and Jean-Luc didn't notice her suddenly being standing from sitting (which I don't believe anyone sane could not notice), Data definitely would have.

    Making out like they had to prove Deanna right, instead of it being immediately apparent to everyone there was a problem, really bothered me in this episode.

    On the whole, I liked this episode a lot. I could suspend my disbelief for most of the technobabble and questionable science, but things like Deanna's sudden relocation, or Suspicions where a murder on a Federation ship isn't investigated with or without the family's consent, are not believable and ruin the whole premise of an episode.

    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.

    Pretty good sci-fi problem solving / mystery episode that made it look like the Romulans are attacking the Enterprise crew when that's not actually the case. The idea of non-corporeal aliens being attracted to the Romulan engine and then causing all the temporal disruptions is clever.

    I'm not a fan of Braga, but "Cause and Effect" and this episode are 2 that I like -- there's much more work he did that's not to like, for me.

    A couple of episodes I'd compare this one with are TOS' "Wink of an Eye" and also "The Next Phase" with Geordi and Ro. The latter is what comes to mind mostly due to the Romulans. All 3 are generally fun episodes with a bit of urgency required by our protagonists.

    This one requires a bit of handwaving and is heavy on the technobabble (I like how Jammer puts it: "a way to surround the bodies of the Runabout crew with a technobabble field").

    When Data explains the Enterprise is moving in a very slow time, that helped. (I didn't think you could transport into a field that time is frozen -- don't ask why I thought that.) So the episode does a decent job of explaining some things, which I liked.

    I must be mistaken but I thought Geordi (in the end) was on the Warbird when the Runabout crashed through the energy transfer beam. So at the end of the episode I was wondering what happened to Geordi.

    Pretty spooky atmosphere created when Picard etc. beamed on the Enterprise and it looked like the Romulan boarding party was taking over. I think there are inconsistencies in that -- why would Romulans be allowed on the bridge and why would some carry weapons with them?

    3 stars for "Timescape" -- good examination in the early part of the episode of the problem of the temporal fields. The effective creation of the WTF atmosphere in going on aboard the Enterprise -- Picard's smiley face and laughter only added to the weirdness. An enjoyable hour of TNG sci-fi.

    Good, the only thing that puzzled me was why the second "time alien" tried to prevent Data from fixing the situation. But everything else seemed to be very consistent.

    Though I missed the ten forward "get together" with their new Romulan friends.


    "Basically Weeping Angels, minus the time displacement, if you get that reference."

    Yes! I love that episode.

    Couldn't get into this one... watching actors hold their breath and stand realllllly still just felt silly, like a gimmick in a children's play. I couldn't take it seriously. And really the whole episode was one gimmick after another. Now time's standing still, but only for certain members of the crew! Now it's moving 50 times faster than normal! Now it's going backwards! And even though each of these concepts should be practically revolutionary in its implications, Geordi can simply configure an armband to immunize the crew from the effects, and precisely calibrate the reversal of time, as though these things had been done a thousand times.

    I also wasn't much sold on the "mystery" aspect, which only shifted into gear for 5 minutes at the end and felt tacked-on to me. However, I did like the opening banter on the runabout, Picard's maniacal laughing, and the concept of a warp coil incubating the young of another species.

    For my money, I'd have preferred that the episode be about the runabout going for 47 days without anyone on board being aware of it, running out of fuel, and then the crew having to find their way back home. That could have been interesting and it's where I thought it was going. Alas, no. 2 stars.

    When we first see the Enterprise bridge, it looks like Romulan attack because Romulans are present, Riker is on the floor and the semi circle behind Picard's seat had a massive disrupter or phaser blast. The first two are explained but was the damage to the bridge ever explained?

    I must have seen this episode 5 or 6 times, and it’s always been an enjoyable viewing... until now. Suddenly it’s all the little details they get wrong, even within the same scene

    For example, when Picard, Data, and Troi bean over the bridge, Data makes a comment that the equipment is no longer working, which makes sense given that time is “frozen” (or moving infinitesimally slowly as we later learn). However, Picard marches right up to the top of the arch and starts tapping away, complete with standard computer sound effects, and learns all of this information. They go to the transporter room and Picard happily types away. They go to engineering, Data happily types away.

    Crusher gets shot, time rewinds, and Troi is suddenly there to point a phaser at the romulan. Crusher is unphased by the sudden appearance of Troi: a) her apparent best friend on the ship, and b) a member of the senior staff who’s been away at a conference for a week. Then she goes on to say “oh, it’s ok, he wasn’t shooting at •me•, he was shooting at an alien.” How did she know he was shooting at all? How did she know there were fake romulans? Both Crusher and the romulan seemed to be aware of the time rewind.

    Geordi stresses that their armbands are only good for an hour or so. Picard asks Geordi to beam them to engineering, Geordi says “can’t, low power. Walk there instead.” Walking to engineering, through the Jeffries tubes, turbo lifts that don’t work, going around (in)conveniently placed crew members, would take most of their hour. Then, after Picard’s temporal psychosis, we are beaming back and forth every 10 minutes. What happened to the low power concerns?

    Why leave dying Geordi on the warbird?

    I appreciated the callbacks to previous episodes and the writers realizing that the crew should remember and go back to things they learned before. But the crew should also remember things they said or did earlier in this same episode.

    These simple errors were enough of a distraction for me that it seriously hampered the episode. 2 out of 4.

    Tim, in defence of the episode, we can presume that the computer processes information at such a high rate of speed that even at 1/1000 its normal speed (or whatever the rate of time in that area) its response time would still be essentially instantaneous from the point of view of anyone using it.

    Ah, but Data had literally just said the equipment wasn’t working. So, either Data forgot how the computer panels work, or we just have a glaring discrepancy.

    Does Data has a lynx instead of a cat?

    Btw... Riker wounds looked like more realistic if he had a brawl with the tail (used, for defence, as a whip) of a big iguana... Wait, Spot IS an iguana. "Genesis" rules :-)

    Very good episode, anyway

    I'm not sure I buy the cutsie scene at the beginning of the episode where Picard, Data, LaForge and Troi are discussing the conference. At this point in Data's character arc, I find it hard to believe he was taking everything Troi said literally. He may not understand the humor of the empirical Interspecies Mating Ritual joke, or the humor of a lecture being so boring as to practically put people to sleep, but I think he'd gather from Troi's tone, that she was being ironic.

    Speaking of callbacks did anyone else notice Deanna do the ear-tappy-make-it-feel-a-bit-better-thingy she showed Reg Barclay when he was scared of the transporter?

    Marina Sirtis lapsing utterly into her natural english accent and sounding exactly like an Essex girl defending her pissed-up-on-sambuca mate from a lairy geezer at the local nightclub. You tell 'im, dahlin!

    I recall seeing an interview with Sirtis where she said she basically bullied the writers into giving her decent lines, and she specifically recalled the "use a quantum singularity as their power source" line. Amazing it took them til season 6 to a_ put her in a uniform and b) make her a properly functioning starfleet ossifer!

    I liked this one. I like a mystery, the time going forwards and backwards and the fake Romulans (which we have seen before). It had the Captain and Data, two of the best characters and actors. Troi was okay as was Geordi (no pervy or harassing behaviour).

    It had a ton of technobabble which of course I notice more now thanks to you others on this board. Was there as much technobabble on DS9? I don't thnk so.

    9/10 since I am having a glass of wine while watching this.

    Almost Decent-ish.
    Timescape is the title of a seminal science fiction novel by Gregory Benford.
    This episode couldn't hold a candle to that novel but despite a dreadful start ( That darn cat) and the overdone Data as the ingenue
    unable ,even after six years, to pick up on the juvenile sexual dialogue about some lecherous creep of a scientist who was trying to get into Troi's knickers we are presented with a reasonable mystery which is let down by the lazy use of alien deus ex machina.
    I think the 'we laid our eggs in someone's artificial black hole ' plot element is unintentionally hilarious.

    Every time I watch this episode I think about what would actually happen to the objects if they were manipulated at something approaching the speed of light. The rotational force of the bridge console Picard manipulated would probably detach it. It might even spark or melt a little around the shaft from the friction, though these phenomena would take like a day or something to manifest. Picard--again!--would probably have shattered every bone in Worf's arm moving it from the transporter console, and this is minutes after he admonished Troi for wanting to touch Riker.

    I never understood why the warp core breach was the only thing visibly moving. The Warbird disruptor shots probably should have been and/or the shimmering of the power beam. I imagine the strobe of the lighting would have been detectable. Crusher's torso should have been gradually chewed up while we watched it. Why was she rubbing it after time reversed? And then there was the stuff mentioned earlier like the computer consoles still working, which should have been a dead giveway.

    The time reversal shot made it really, really obvious they simply overlayed an explosion animation over the Enterprise model.

    Anyway, these are nitpicks. I always liked this one. I used to fantasize about all the cool time traveling things you could do with the "time pockets" those armbands created.

    @Picard Maneuver
    "Every time I watch this episode I think about what would actually happen to the objects if they were manipulated at something approaching the speed of light."

    It would be far far more destructive then you can imagine.

    Check out this analysis of a baseball hitting a bat at 90% the speed light:

    Spoiler: It doesn't end well for batter. Or the pitcher. Or the audience. Or anybody who happens to live nearby.

    So yeah, that would be a pretty major nitpick. :-)

    Still one of my favorite TNG episodes, though. I just love time-related craziness.

    This one is a classic IMHO. Four stars all the way.


    So basically Picard and team successfully ward off the aliens and stop the warp core breach but leave a trail of fusion explosions in their wake.

    "The ball is going so fast that everything else is practically stationary. Even the molecules in the air are stationary."

    I thought about this before but not while I was posting: "How are they breathing?" There cannot possibly be enough oxygen inside the pocket and the carbon dioxide would build up. It's not like you can suck or blow air across a barrier where time basically does not move. I guess maybe the pocket is semi-permeable. We know it was for Picard but that seemed like an accident. Still, I'd imagine it'd be like sucking air through a straw. Maybe the armband doohickeys did life support, too.

    While we're at it, how can they even see? All the photons would be suspended. Or, moving very slowly. It seems like it would be the smallest unit of brightness above absolute darkness and visual perception would be absolutely nothing resembling normal. I guess if the pocket is permeable, you could suck in the photons but then you probably could see only while moving and then encounter darkness when standing still. If you occupied the same spot twice it'd be dark because you already "used" the once suspended photons and time is moving too slowly to put new ones there.

    I've just rechecked the episode's transcript.

    Apparently, Picard and Co aren't just "accelerated". They were carrying ""an artificial pocket of time" around them.

    So it actually kinda makes sense. They can breathe because the air from the outside gets inside as the pocket moves. When they touch things, the thing they touch is interacting with the pocket before it interacts with their bodies. When they actually move a console, the console itself is already in their time frame (or at least the time differential has gone down to something manageable).

    The iffy part is the initial interaction between the external objects and the pocket. But since these pockets are a fictional concept anyway, we could give them any attributes we want.

    Another interesting tidbit:

    The devices used to create these time pockets are called "subspace isolators". At first glance this might seem like just another example of random technobabble. But it is actually an aptly-chosen name: Subspace is the basis for warp drive. It is the "stuff" that allows ships to create a bubble of warped space, so why not use the same thing to create a bubble of warped time?

    This is one of the great high concept TNG pieces.

    And Picard drawing a smiley face in the warp core breach cloud may well be the most honestly earned crazy tripadelic scene in TNG history.

    This one didn't work for me. The idea of these bizarrely coherent frozen pockets in space-time, and body-snatching creatures from a different time continuum. And handy sub-space armband isolators. Just too implausible, even in a genre which admittedly relies on the implausible.

    I was quite interested by the "runabout", which - although it looks externally much like a shuttlecraft - seems unusually roomy. But that's pretty much the only thing that piqued my interest in this one.

    The spectacle of two ships apparently frozen in time could have been the basis of an interesting mystery, but here - it wasn't. The story underpinning it was just too dumb.

    @James G

    The runabout is the main shuttlecraft of Deep Space Nine, which started airing concurrently with Season 6 of TNG after the "Chain of Command" two-parter. By this point we'd recognize it. Interestingly, this rear interior runabout set only appeared as the runabout in this episode, though in DS9 it was used for other things. Thoe cockpit, howrver is a mainstay on DS9.

    Virtually a perfect episode in my view, and quintessential TNG. While most people prefer 'Cause and Effect' over this, I actually find 'Cause and Effect' (though brilliant) to be too repetitive and monotonous by comparison.

    The frozen time effects in 'Timescape' are extremely eerie and effective (however they were achieved), and the mystery, shock revelations and confusion are marvelously portrayed and played. The pacing is excellent too, as is the misdirection concerning what the Romulans are doing on the Enterprise in the first place.

    I particularly enjoyed the round table critique of the conference by each character on the runabout at the start (Troi's impression particularly), which very elegantly gives way to the frozen time set-up.

    All in all, 'Timescape' is just a wonderfully executed episode in almost all regards, and a very satisfying hour.

    Need help....

    I enjoyed this episode but I am confused about one point. As the runabout explodes both the second alien and the Romulan warbird disappear. Then Picard records in his log that they "successfully evacuated the crew of the Romulan ship. We're on course to the Neutral Zone to bring them home." I can't get my head around the fact the Romulan warbird disappeared, but then they evacuated the Romulan ship and were bringing them home. I don't really understand why it disappeared in the first place? When did it come back? Why did it disappear and then (apparently) come back? What am I missing?

    Heh, I just watched it to try to help, Pamellllaaa. Because our very special Mr. Braga wrote it, we can expect a certain amount of weirdness to mount and when the weirdo scenario is properly understood for the resolution to nearly instantaneous. In this case, we've seen some time going forward/backward, so somehow the alien entities not only require a gravity well to incubate, but apparently also have some serious effect on time through their presence. Because of this conceit (typical of Braga), we have to accept that once time is a moving variable that anything goes.

    I think the ending is supposed to portray that when the aliens were removed time was reset, i.e. moved backward at an extremely fast rate, probably to the point where the aliens went into the Romulan engine core maybe? That would explain why the Romulan ship disappears (that our perspective sees time going backward quickly to before the ship was there). But the script completely leaves out the fact that, presumably, the Enterprise went o seek out the Romulan ship, wherever it was, to see if it was ok, which it seems it wasn't! Why it wouldn't be ok, despite the aliens being gone, I don't know. It's almost as if Braga got confused about his facts...impossible!!!

    Now when handed a zany and sloppy script I would expect at minimum for the director to make some visual sense of it so that we have a concrete narrative to follow. I agree with you, Pamellllaaa, that the ending was not only rushed but practically hand-waved away by the director, Mr. Adam Nimor. Highly illogical.

    Illogical indeed!

    Thanks for trying, Peter G. I was surprised that I couldn't find any reference to this in the comment thread (of course it's possible I missed it and someone mentioned it at some point). It seems like such a glaring issue but perhaps it really was done on purpose. I guess we'll never know.

    Oh, I forgot to mention, but Data's reaction shots in the opening shuttlecraft scene are just masterful. He is increasingly disgruntled as it goes on, almost preposterously so. The faces are awesome.

    "I was surprised that I couldn't find any reference to this in the comment thread (of course it's possible I missed it and someone mentioned it at some point). It seems like such a glaring issue but perhaps it really was done on purpose."

    It seems to me that the Romulan ship vanishing is part of the timey-wimey conceit and isn't so out of place. But that epilogue about helping the Romulans off their ship is the wtf moment. Left out a few little details there, didn't you...

    @ Peter G Absolutely! I was fine with the storyline until Picard said they evacuated the Romulan ship. Huh, what ship? It disappeared!

    The Enterprise was already in the process of evacuating the Romulan ship when the runabout showed up. That's why there's so many Romulans running around in that "frozen" time period. Near the end when Picard "appears" on the bridge he says to Riker: "No time to explain, Number One. Continue the evacuation of the Romulan ship. You'll find LaForge in the Romulan engine room. Beam him directly to Sickbay." So I think we're to assume that most of the Romulans had already been beamed aboard the Enterprise and there was just a skeleton crew in their engineering section that were beamed away in that last minute or two. Of course this being Brannon Braga and a timey wimey episode, all bets are off.

    As for why the Romulan ship had to disappear at all, I think the aliens needed to take the ship away into their own realm to extract their young. Maybe they needed to do it to fix the time distortions, if they have that capability. I assume an alien that incubates their young in a black hole and has a semi-corporeal existence is likely quite powerful, if not Q-like. Ok they could've just taken the warp core itself and not the whole ship, but maybe their babies were getting into the nacelles or plasma conduits or whatever else feeds the energy around the rest of the ship. I assume the power transfer beam was a threat to their babies or otherwise preventing them from taking the ship away without destroying it.

    "As for why the Romulan ship had to disappear at all, I think the aliens needed to take the ship away into their own realm to extract their young."

    If that was what Braga intended in his script then it's even more slapdash than I thought. I still think it was meant to indicate time resetting and going back to how things were before (hence why the warp core breach is reversed as part of this process; it never got into the situation where it would breach in the first place. Likewise, there should be no Romulans on the Enterprise at all at this point, which is really too bad, since dialing back time on a friendly cooperative venture with the Romulans is sort of a big diplomatic loss.

    The timeline was only dialed back by a matter of seconds, and it was done by Geordi/Data (I think) messing with the Romulan warp core. The Enterprise warp core breach was only prevented by destroying the runabout to break off the power transfer beam. I never read the end of this episode as rolling back the clock, because then we get into paradox territory.

    Lol, I think we're well past paradox territory, never mind that it's a Braga script. But if the ship vanishing *wasn't* a result of dialing time back then Nimoy did an even worse job than I imagined, because he portrayed this as part of a series of things being undone and people vanishing.

    @ Jeffrey Jakucyk

    That makes sense but then why did the Romulan ship disappear? Option A - the Romulan ship should not have disappeared, was dead in space and the Enterprise was there to evacuate its personnel. In the meantime the aliens could rescue their young. Option B - the ship should disappear and evacuation was not necessary as there were no Romulans to evacuate. Instead we got a mix of both options that doesn't seem to work.

    I really like this episode even if - as Jammer says - it’s most fun when the central mystery is unexplained. The opening and closing acts are low key and amusing, which adds a nice touch.

    Not the only time in Trek that a shuttle returns to a frozen or dead ship, but I can’t remember the other, except that it was almost a Gothic horror!

    Not much to say. 3.5 stars.

    I don't know if I happened to be in a particularly observant and/or reflective mood on this watching of Timescape, or if I have always been in a particularly unobservant and/or mentally dull mood on previous ones, but for whatever reason, I noticed a few things this time that I don't recall picking up before:

    1) I realize that a conference on the long-term effects of deep space assignments could cover a lot of ground, but how could it possibly relate to touching a plasma field? Was there just nothing actually on topic for the engineers at the conference to do, so they came up with a session with some cool audiovisual aids? (As someone who has actually had to try to give talks on spirituality to gym teachers who had to fulfill their faith formation requirement for the Catholic schools where they happened to work, I know how hard it can be to come up with something to hold the attention of the people who don't know why they're at a specific conference in the first place.)

    2) Wouldn't Data have instantly noticed that the fake Romulan wasn't there before time reset? Why would Geordi be the first to notice?

    3) Even though this isn't solely a "Troi episode," Troi has a bigger role in this one than usual. I don't think she has a single "He's hiding something" line, and she both acts like an officer worthy of respect and seems to receive that respect from the other members of the away team. Not only does Picard recall that she knows her way around a Romulan ship better than any of them, when she suggests he stay behind and recover from his "temporal narcosis," he accepts her judgment as if he actually considered her (gasp!) an expert on mental health. (In many other contexts, he would simply have said "Agreed," turning it into HIS judgment.)

    @ Trish,

    Well one thing I like about this episode is that it treats the shuttlecraft members as actual professionals who do something other than save the ship each week. Sort of similar is Worf in Parallels, when he's participating in something for himself *gasp* exterior to the Enterprise. From that standpoint Troi is automatically given an upgrade since she's part of a regular conversation and can say what she likes (from the POV of the writer) rather than having to be a mouthpiece for her character bible all the time. The doctor says doctory things, the empath says stuff about emotion, etc.

    As far as plasma fields go, I guess it's a sci-fi show so any issue going on in space is going to involve technology one way or another. You could almost just assume by default that any topic can include engineering as a related topic. Want to talk about botany? Well that has to include how to establish botanical space. Want to talk about politics? Well it's going to include how different races relate to each space. You get the idea. Maybe one of the test subjects in a study on deep space depression was a plasma field specialist. I mean...why not?

    This was an excellent episode; loved every single minute of it.

    It's what SCIENCE FICTION is supposed to be.

    Four stars.

    When did Riker become afraid of Data's cat? That seemed like such a random concept at the end, unrelated to the story. Otherwise I agree with most commenters here: 4 stars.

    The "Riker afraid of Spot" thing is a reference to the comic opening scene, where Riker is in Sickbay getting healed from scratches given to him by Spot, as he was to feed him while Data was away.

    How fortunate that they had four armbands that are also highly sophisticated pieces of time manipulating technology..on a runabout.

    Almost as if they knew they'd run into this specific comedy-of-errors problem.

    @Paul It sounds like you have more of an issue with women acting than the storyline.

    The Romulan ship vanishes for reasons that aren't explained, and then right after that they say they've evacuated the rest of the Romulan crew. Evaculated them from where, their ship disappeared!

    If you're moving so much faster than everyone else that they appear frozen to you, wouldn't they notice something weird going on? Bridge displays suddenly moving on their own. Worf is standing their working the transporter and suddenly something moves his hand at lightning speed. Probably so fast it would injure him. If Picard stood in one place long enough would they be able to see him for a moment? I'm reminded of the TOS episode where Kirk is sped up and Bones can hear him buzzing around like a fly.

    Always enjoyed this one, but as others have pointed out, the more I watch, the more inconsistencies I notice.

    1) Why were there Romulans on the bridge? Even if they were being evacuated and the interaction between the two crews was always benevolent, Riker would never allow them that close to vital command functions. Maybe if it were one visiting representative with a couple of accompanying officers or bodyguards (e.g. like with the Cardassians in “The Wounded”) but definitely not while their entire crew is being brought aboard. And why did one of the Romulans take over the helm after the Enterprise crew member was injured in an explosion? It’s not your ship, dude!

    2) One of the aliens admitted he was the one that fired on the Enterprise in an attempt to stop the power transfer, but after he disappears and the final plan is put into action, the warbird still fires on the Enterprise. This is after time was reversed for several seconds from the point that we see the weapon blasts suspended between the two ships. Was the command input to fire still just queued in the Romulan weapon systems that whole time?

    3) This one is more about confusing dialogue, but after everything resolves, the alien and the warbird both vanish, and are mentioned by Picard and Data in the same conversation as though the same thing happened to both. Data mentions “they have returned to their own time continuum”, but it’s unclear whether he’s talking about just the alien or the alien and the warbird. But then, in the next scene, Picard mentions they successfully evacuated the Romulan crew and are bringing them home. We know there were still several on the ship running around while the power transfer was still occurring, so how did they manage to beam them off in such a short time? Better yet, why did the Romulan ship need to vanish at all?

    Despite all this, still a fun episode.

    Question can the ppl including JAMMER who thought the ending was too simple or simplistic say how what way and how would you have resolved it then to be more believable and less simplistic? Didn't it involve the aliens going back to their continuum a tricorder making time run backwards and then forwards AND moving a runabout to stop the beam..what else did you want or seriously tell me I want to know how could Braga have resolved it better..Im trying to think of a way..if there is one

    the joke works, but didnt riker just throw the equivalent of a handgun at crusher when he did the "you'll need this" and tosses her a phaser?

    Submit a comment

    ◄ Season Index