Star Trek: The Original Series

"Tomorrow Is Yesterday"

4 stars

Air date: 1/26/1967
Written by D.C. Fontana
Directed by Michael O'Herlihy

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

The Enterprise is hurled back through time to Earth of the 1960s, where they inadvertently become the subject of Air Force Captain John Christopher's (Roger Perry) UFO sighting. After beaming him aboard the ship following an accident that destroys his jet, Kirk is forced to prohibit him from returning to Earth and contaminating the timeline with knowledge from the future. The only problem: Removing Christopher from Earth would also contaminate the timeline, because his unborn son would not be able to make a vital contribution to Earth's history as the future knows it.

As Trek's first time-travel outing, "Tomorrow Is Yesterday" is a brilliantly fascinating story, beginning with its exciting opening shots of the Enterprise flying through Earth's sky, and continuing through an adventure where the crew must remove all traces of their presence in the past by breaking into an Air Force base and stealing video recordings of the Enterprise. All of this is a great deal of fun, but the subtext of "Tomorrow" is what really stands out here: Through Christopher, this becomes a story analyzing the significance of any random individual and how they can make a difference in the world. And putting Christopher in the center of the story allows us to see the Enterprise and the future through his eyes.

True, the ultimate solution to the story's problem has its share of inconsistencies and loopholes (why is it traveling back in time would only clear Christopher's memory and not the Enterprise crew's?), but who really cares? This was a pioneer time-travel outing for Trek, and a great one at that, beginning a tradition of storytelling open to limitless possibilities.

Previous episode: Arena
Next episode: Court Martial

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48 comments on this post

Thu, Mar 29, 2012, 12:43am (UTC -6)
I wouldn't give this 4 stars, but I loved this episode. The atypical opening scene, the more serious speculations/paradoxes involving Christopher, the action/suspense, the way the episode just leaves you thinking about all the possibilities, the fistfights (I looooove TOS-style fistfights) and the light humor scattered throughout--it's all very well balanced and very effective. Ang the guy playing Christopher did an excellent job of conveying a sense of awe and wonder at the future life he was experiencing.

The only problem that keeps it just short of 4 stars in my opinion is the ending- it gets a little confusing and Treknobabblish, to the point where I couldn't quite understand it and it kind of snapped me out of the moment. Also, you'd think the Enterprise would have better security, or keep a closer watch on Christopher after his multiple escape attempts. But those are just small nitpicks in an otherwise awesome episode. Jammer pretty much nails it.

3.5 stars (but it comes close to a 4)
Mon, Apr 30, 2012, 11:42am (UTC -6)
I also like when Kirk is temporarily in the custody of the military MP - they threaten him with putting him in the slammer for 200 years if he doesn't come clean, and he rather non-chalantly says that sounds about right. Definitely an entertaining, and seeing the enterprise in the atmosphere is a cool visual. Though one would think the enterprise would just drop like a rock, what's keeping it up, anti-gravity units?
Thu, May 24, 2012, 6:30pm (UTC -6)
3 or 4 stars? Light moments but ending was incorrect. I think we all know that there was no reason for the 1060s characters to forget what happened to them. Didn't really understand the ending. Noticed voyage home referenced this episode a lot. Especially 'what's what?' when his comm chirped.
Mon, Mar 11, 2013, 10:27pm (UTC -6)
In my view, one of the most underrated episodes in the Trek pantheon. Provides the perfect balance between drama and humour. My favourite moment is when Christopher walks on to the bridge and says "I don't believe in little green men", and then Spock replies "I don't either". The delivery of Nimoy is priceless!
Thu, Sep 26, 2013, 3:40pm (UTC -6)
I love this episode. I am a big fan of time travel plots and this was really well done. Apart from the obvious question - why doesn't the Enterprise crew forget what happened, while captain Christopher does?? But I find there are one or two (or more...) little slips like that in almost every Star Trek episode and by now I'e become perfectly willing to overlook them for the sake of the story. And this was a great story. One of my personal four-stars episodes.
Wed, Mar 5, 2014, 10:51pm (UTC -6)
I prefer GOOD science, in my science fiction.
this episode fails HORRIBLY in that regard.
(even for 1960-standards)

*WARP speed is supposed to be FASTER than light.
(the WARPING of space, thats why normal relativity does not count)

*the sling-shot effect of a star might give you fast speed, but NEVER faster than light, hence it would at best give you normal (aka impuls-speed)

*one can NOT travel back in time in normal impuls speed, only slow down time that effect at 0.5 impulsspeed (or halve the speed of light would be nearing a factor 6000 (or 1.7 hours passing relativily for ever second experienced while traveling at 0.5 impuls) The story that gravity would cause rime to go BACKWARDS is total bullshit.

*the kind of slingshot effect needed to even GET a proper time dialation effect would need something FAR more massive than our sun, like the black hole at the center of out galaxcy, one slingshot around that MIGHT give a ship 0.5 impuls.

*there IS no difference between speed and gravity, both are the same force, having the same effect on time.

*they are slingshot away from the sun, saying they travel at off the chart speeds, way faster than warp 8. given that warp-factor is compression factor. they should move out of the solar system in a blink, the distance they travel (sun to earth) should have taken them a lot shorter and at that speed they should have flows far out of the solar system in no second at all.

Here is the data :
(warp 1 = 1.00-9.99* speed of light)
(warp 2 = 10.00-99.99* speed of light)
(warp 3 = 100.00-999.99* speed of light)
(warp 4 = 1000.00-9999.99* speed of light)
(warp 5 = 10000.00-99999.99* speed of light)
(warp 6 = 100000.00-999999.99* speed of light)
(warp 7 = 1000000.00-9999999.99* speed of light)
(warp 8 = 10000000.00-99999999.99* speed of light)
(warp 9 = 100000000.00-99999999.99*speed of light)

Given that it's of the chart.. it must have been at least warp 9.0
thats at least 100 MILLION times faster than the speed of light.
the distance between the sun and earth is about 6 light-minutes.
It would have taken : 0,0000036 seconds to reach earth at warp 9.0

given that we have seen this speed activated for about 57 seconds (time between sulu saying of the chart, and the captain being beamed down)
the distance traveled would have been a little over 180 lightyears.

the only thing that MIGHT be possible is that black matter star, causing a distortion in the warp-field causing it to warp time too, into the negative.

-> getting back would just have needed them to travel a while at impuls speed. (one other common mistake in star trek, they travel WAY to much at impuls without showing any of the time-differiental problems that that would cause.
Andy's Friend
Wed, Mar 5, 2014, 11:52pm (UTC -6)
@DutchStudent82: What?! Do you mean that they don't really fly super super fast in Star Trek? Do you mean that... when Superman flew around and around the Earth so fast that time went backwards, that it... never really happened?!... Do you mean that... that... that Father Christmas doesn't exist at all?! Bwahaha, I want my mommy...!!! ;)
Sat, Apr 12, 2014, 10:23pm (UTC -6)
Too funny you two.

Never crazy about this one. Produced well and had its cute moments, but what really happened? What was the story? Beam pilot aboard, beam him back, go back to future. Yawn.

The whole time travel vehicle has been utilized very well in the trek universe, just not here, imho.
Thu, Oct 16, 2014, 7:53am (UTC -6)
Well RedShirt I believe the story was exactly what the review said it was... The impact one random individual can have on the world and the future. Or if you would prefer the ramifications of seemingly unimportant moments... Maybe by beaming that particular pilot aboard he took the hope and awe he saw in the future back home with him and gave his son a belief and not a dream. Or maybe it was just "beam a pilot aboard,beam him back and go back to the future.
Mon, Dec 1, 2014, 6:11am (UTC -6)
I enjoyed this episode. I would give it 3.5 stars out of 4. It was a very good ep., but not perfect. Especially with the goofy time-warp stuff that provided such a neat and tidy ending. I have to say that I wasn't really looking forward to re-watching it on Netflix, but it was more enjoyable than I remembered it being. And hey, it provided a basis for "A Voyage Home", goofy 'science' and all. :)

Also, I found it funny that the military people watching the skies immediately presumed, "UFO! Let's go look at it, and maybe blow it up!" Wouldn't they really have thought, "OMG, it's mysterious Russian technology sent to blow us sky high! We'd better blow it up NOW. Nuclear missiles at the ready!" In reality, the Enterprise probably wouldn't have stood a chance of survival.
Fri, Jul 10, 2015, 11:35am (UTC -6)
I remember this episode from when I was a kid and it was shown for the first time on TV. As always, I was front and center for my favorite show, only one of a few I was allowed to watch all week (straight-A student, strict parents). I felt such extreme disappointment that I'd missed it as I silently cursed (no cursing out loud!) how I could have gotten the time wrong... only to have my breath taken away literally in surprise, in joy, awestruck when I saw the Enterprise against a blue sky and clouds. Few things have stuck with me as much, perhaps, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn," which I didn't see coming, and maybe, "Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear" as another wide emotional swing from pure tension to giddy laughter.
Fri, Jul 10, 2015, 6:22pm (UTC -6)
Interesting that Jammer and most of the commenters gave this one such high ratings. I have to say that I found it to be the weakest episode until now (still haven't reached the end of season 1). As someone above said: Nothing really happened. Plus I thought the crew acted pretty stupid, especially Kirk. He beams past guy aboard, shows him aorund the whole ship (don't you just love how on all incarnations of Star Trek, every random doofus can just enter the command bridge?) and tells him everything about where they came from. I get that certain time travel tropes where not fully formed yet when this was written, but shouldn't the logical course of action be to have Christopher confined to a cell and isolated, or better yet: just stun him? Then they break into an army base, get captured by a generel or whatever (who would have thought that sensitive files in a military base would be guarded?) and end up beaming him aboard the Enterprise too. All remaining problems are solved by beating every soldier they meet senseless. Well, all that would simply make for a stupid episode, but what really made me hate it were the attempts at humor and how they were accentuated by the annoyingly obvious music. A woman on a spaceship? Cue some sexy sax! Spock raises his eyebrows? Time for a whimsical little theme! But of courße, the visuals were auite striking, so all in all there are about two minutes worth of watchable material here. :)
Sun, Aug 9, 2015, 4:39am (UTC -6)
I liked it. Also, when Kirk throws a punch, he really THROWS a punch.
Sat, Apr 16, 2016, 12:29pm (UTC -6)
I'm with CPUFP--is Kirk seriously such an idiot that he just starts telling Christopher EVERYTHING after beaming him aboard? He needed Spock to inform him that there might be consequences for messing with time? That made me so angry.

Then, they decide to hold Christopher prisoner because of their screw up? I don't think I have ever seen such a cruel suggestion. Christopher is a man of honor--how about they just stress to him how important it is that he not reveal what he knows?

That being said, I did find this an enjoyable outing. Unlike Pam above however, i did not enjoy the fighting. We are supposed to believe Kirk is the best fighter ever, able to take on three military men by himself? He's not Superman, just from the future.
Tue, Jul 5, 2016, 6:41am (UTC -6)
@Andy's Friend - Actually, in Superman, the intent was that Superman is flying faster than light, and that's why he's going back in time. IIRC, in an interview or DVD commentary I heard that they had him fly around the Earth, because they thought showing the Earth spinning backwards would indicate to the audience that time was flowing backwards.

Of course, we all read it the other way, that is, that superman is causing the Earth to spin backwards to reverse time. :)
Sat, Aug 6, 2016, 2:00pm (UTC -6)
Speed and gravity are not the same thing.
Acceleration and gravity are equivalent.
Thu, Sep 15, 2016, 3:41pm (UTC -6)
Good stuff, DutchStudent82. Perfect parody of nerd complaints!
Sat, Nov 26, 2016, 2:54pm (UTC -6)

True, acceleration and gravity are two words describing the same effect of force applied to an object over time, and how that changes the amount of weight we experience.

but I believe what DutchStudent82 was referring to was that Speed and Gravity have identical effects on time dilation. Extreme Increases in either and the time dilation effect is increased.

About this episode, while I am a huge fan of reading Hard Sci Fi, I am willing to give a lot of the bad Science in movies and TV shows a pass. My biggest pet peeves are when the motivations of the characters are so Out of Character, just to move the plot forward. As many here have noted, Kirk would never have just walked this pilot from the past around the Enterprise, describing all the future tech.

But as a kid, I thought this episode was fantastic.
Fri, Apr 7, 2017, 4:22pm (UTC -6)
Definitely an enjoyable episode but one that requires a lot of hand-waving to believe the time travel aspect. Time-travel episodes make for good episodes, but they really require a greater stretch of the imagination. Jammer makes a good point about the significance of a random individual, but is also generous with his rating.

What I liked about the episode is the unpredictability. One of the great things about TOS is the injection of humor -- its own brand of humor. What I didn't like -- aside from the treknobabble about slingshot effects etc. -- is how Kirk shows Christopher around, Uhura starts showing him stuff etc. Proper procedures with non-Enterprise personnel are simply ignored which compound Kirk's problem. Of course, then we wouldn't have a decent episode.

And then there is the loophole of returning Christopher back to before being beamed aboard the Enterprise and so he doesn't remember anything, but the Enterprise crew does.

I fully agree with the first comment (NCC-1701-Z's) although I'd give it 3/4 stars. The idea of an air base reacting to a UFO at the start of the episode is an original twist and well done with a shot of the Enterprise in the Earth's skies.
She Wolf
Fri, Jun 23, 2017, 1:31am (UTC -6)
It's a good thing Trump wasn't president when this happened, or we would be at war with North Korea! LOL

I am really bad at pointing out inconsistencies in any kind of show or drama or comedy, but I do realize that to enjoy entertainment, we do have to acknowledge the inconsistencies, suspend belief comma and move on. I find it really hard to do sometimes and I can accept that others do as well. If you look at time travel in the dust on a butterfly's wing theory, you would go absolutely crazy trying to deal with the impact of time travel. Sometimes you just have to enjoy!
Mon, Jul 31, 2017, 10:21am (UTC -6)
If your going to poke holes in the "science" of time travel than you're not a science fiction fan. The big word here is "fiction". Who knows how time travel would work or if it's even possible, but who cares. Is this a perfect episode? No. Is it 4 stars? Yes. I look at it in the sense that nothing is perfect, but if the story is enjoyable and the ideas it throws out there are interesting and the performances are good, the episode can eclipse its flaws and have a 4 star rating, easily.
Trek fan
Sat, Sep 30, 2017, 7:44pm (UTC -6)
Star Trek's first time travel episode, "Tomorrow is Yesterday" is a fun romp that blends drama and whimsical fish-out-of-water humor effortless. Here we get to view our main cast through the eyes of the present (circa 1966) and it's a lot of fun for the characters. I agree with Jammer's four star rating.

Most Star Trek films have their origin in an episode of the series: The Motion Picture clearly comes from The Changeling; Wrath of Khan comes from Space Seed; The Search for Spock has a lot of Amok Time in it; and The Voyage Home finds its inspiration in this episode Tomorrow is Yesterday, where the Enterprise crew has to complete a mission in present-day America and travel through time by slingshotting around the sun.

The episode is obviously a more modest and simple story than Star Trek IV, but it's still got some great gags and is a strong ensemble piece. The crew's scenes with Captain Christopher, the MP, and the airbase staff are fun. Spock (love the scene where he drily tells McCoy he's working on computations while standing next to him) has good bits with Christopher, whom he realizes will say or do anything to get home rather than follow Kirk; Sulu is fun on the landing party with his judo chop and little smirks at things like the bulletin board. And McCoy has a few choice moments with Christopher. Uhura and Scotty are more window dressing in this one, but it's nice to see Transporter Chief Kyle (John Winston) make his first appearance in the series, starting a semi-recurring role that will take him all the way from good moments in episodes like "Mirror Mirror" to a cameo as the Reliant comm officer in Star Trek II.

Jammer highlighted the episode's thoughtful notion of how one seemingly insignificant individual can make a bigger impact on the world than he or she realizes. But for me, "Tomorrow" is all about the picaresque visuals (the opening sequence with the fighter jet and limiting starship remains a great shock teaser) and sense of fun we have as the crew tries to tie up loose ends and get home. Yes, we know there's not much to the main plot other than recovering photographic evidence and repairing the ship for time travel. But it doesn't matter since the fish-out-of-water view of our heroes through 20th century eyes and the moral dilemma of Captain Christopher feel compelling enough on their own.
Trek fan
Sat, Sep 30, 2017, 9:26pm (UTC -6)
PS - I suppose we all excuse little things if we find a show entertaining overall, but I actually found the time travel gimmick in this one -- beaming a person back to their point of disappearance from the timeline, where they will lose their memories -- somewhat unique and fascinating. (Also, we don't really know if Christopher retained his memory or not at the end.) Time travel itself doesn't make any sense under any circumstances, so how it happens is really a matter of apples and oranges.

Voyager and Enterprise start to do some unusual things with time travel; the Abrams Trek reboots suggest "the timeline can be changed" insofar as a new stream is created without obliterating the "Prime" timeline. Arguing about it feels like a pleasant but useless waste of time (pun intended) since time travel is really a story device more than a serious scientific possibility; it works when we're entertained and doesn't work when we're not.

As for Kirk showing Captain Christopher around the Enterprise, it's easy to overthink it from the perspective of later Trek shows, but we don't get any sense in "Tomorrow" that anyone has ever traveled through time before or that there are any established rules for what to do. Spock offers a number of theories in this episode, but nobody ever cites Starfleet regulations on time travel, because I think this episode is really trying to present it happening for the first time in Starfleet history. And the writers themselves haven't figured it out yet. But just because Spock foresees time travel issues doesn't mean Kirk and the others would if nobody from Starfleet has ever done it before; they've just been stranded in the past and Kirk is trying to earn Christopher's trust (Kirk's usual instinct) by showing him around the ship. It's not inconceivable that Kirk wouldn't realize the import of his actions, as he's basically doing triage in this story to hold everyone together while figuring out how to get back to the future. And in TOS, the tendency is always to trust the outsider, unlike many shows on later Trek series which relish paranoia and fear of others.
Peter Swinkels
Sun, Nov 26, 2017, 3:32am (UTC -6)
Even though the logic during the last part was a bit questionable this was a pretty good episode. Some nice reactions from 20th century men to 23rd technology. :-)
Thu, Dec 14, 2017, 12:21am (UTC -6)
I really liked this episode, but I wish Captain Christopher's child that would change the future had been a daughter instead of a son. And that the thrilled comment from him had been "I'm going to have a daughter? Wow!"

I know, I know, this was 1967.
Tue, May 22, 2018, 7:55pm (UTC -6)
This ep is on right now - Heroes and Idols - I always found this ep filled with meanness and silliness. The first comment on this ep stated fist fights. That was because the CBS suits had to be happy and so did the viewing persons because that was the era of knock'em down cowboys and they had to knock each other around to make everyone happy.

That sassy mouthed from the past pilot would have sung a different tune if it was a few years later and "aliens" grabbed him. He made me angry even back then. >> Then there is Dr. McCoy with usual nastiness toward Spock and in front of a stranger. >> I have always failed to understand why every creature that gets aboard a Starfleet vehicle gets the run of it. Even in the 1960's in real life it would not have been done, nor would it be done today. >> I would never in the past nor now, give this episode anything but ten zeroes. AND, worse yet, the bridge crew did not have any idea how to solve their problem
because they stand there and let a prehistoric alien tell them what to do.
Sat, Nov 24, 2018, 1:16pm (UTC -6)
I will overlook the nitpicking and the caviling and the other negative stuff and say that this was a thoroughly enjoyable comic episode---all of it. I was never very fond of time-travel tales, but I liked this one---including the chicken-soup scene, where the security guard tasted it and found it good and orobably gobbled the whole thing up! And when Captain Kirk told Christopher "Take a good look---you were there ahead of all of them"---so were we. I remember one sci-fi writer, probably Asimov, who stated that "today's fiction may be tomorrow's fact", and as I watched I started thinking about some of the things that have become reality thanks to Star trek---like cellphones and the equipment in hospital exam rooms...and I wonder just how long it would be for warp drive to become a fact? Indeed, this is one of the many things I just love about this original series.
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 11:16pm (UTC -6)
Loved it.

Just pure fun.
Sun, Apr 28, 2019, 11:39pm (UTC -6)
Great episode as long as you dont take it seriously, time travel show are always a mess of science and logic.
Tue, May 21, 2019, 11:23pm (UTC -6)
A funny romp, but that ending … ugh. There’s just so many things wrong with it:

• How is Christopher’s memory wiped? They just hand-wave it away as “those things haven’t happened yet, so you won’t remember them”, but by that logic, the entire crew should be amnesiacs.
• How do they beam him back into his fighter jet? They destroyed the jet. They would have to radio the other Enterprise and tell them “hey beam this guy out, we’ll beam him back in, and for god’s sake don’t use the tractor beam”.
• The guard on the base — ditto. This one makes even less sense, since they beam the guard out/in at a point when he hadn’t yet found Kirk and Sulu. (In fact, this suggests that the poor guard is now caught in a time loop where he keeps finding Kirk and Sulu, getting beamed out, getting beamed back in a few minutes earlier, finding Kirk and Sulu again, etc.)
• The chronometers going backwards again. That’s not how chronometers work, damnit. (And I always wondered why people on Quora asked silly questions like “if I went backwards in time, what time would my watch say it was?”)
• Seriously, if time travel were this bloody easy, all wars would be time wars and things would just get very ridiculous very fast.

The entire ending of this episode made _no_ sense. I realise this is Trek, and Trek always puts the “fiction” in “science fiction”. But usually they at least try to have some basic consistency in their plots.

Even in that wacky episode with Alice and the White Rabbit and the samurai and the strafing WW2 planes, they wrapped it up nicely with “well your thoughts became real, so weird stuff happened”. This one just seems to give up and go “we’re out of time, let’s just handwave everything away”.
Mrs. Picard
Mon, Jul 29, 2019, 1:47pm (UTC -6)
I so enjoy reading everyone’s salient comments...thanks to you all! Great fun!
Sun, Sep 29, 2019, 6:34am (UTC -6)
I generally like the time-travel episodes in all of Trek - no matter how silli or illogical they are. This one, however, was one of the more clever ones. Quite enjoyable. I'm probably one of the few who has seen every Star Trek series except from TOS, but I finally started watching this as well. 4/4, indeed!
Wed, Nov 6, 2019, 9:40am (UTC -6)
"I'll put you in the slammer for 200 years."
"That sounds about right"
Wed, Jun 3, 2020, 5:26pm (UTC -6)
The Enterprise floating in blue cloud skies looked so wonderful to me—-many years later The Voyage Home’s brief similar shot of the Bird of Prey “Bounty”. Just looked fantastic.
Sat, Jun 6, 2020, 7:06am (UTC -6)
Kirk is very gay in this episode especially the way he looks at captain Christopher.
Thu, Jul 2, 2020, 1:19am (UTC -6)
I didn't understand the ending at all. How could you beam Christopher back into his cockpit without him running into his younger self? How could you beam the military soldier back to the Nebraska base without him also running into his younger self?

Why did the younger version of the Enterprise in the sky suddenly disappear at the end so that Christopher ended up seeing nothing? Why did that younger version of the Enterprise not lock on its tractor beam to the jet and beam him aboard again? Why did the Enterprise not beam up the Nebraska military base officer again after the older version of the Enterprise beam him back days earlier? I don't get it.
Sun, Aug 30, 2020, 8:11pm (UTC -6)
Some of you are trying too hard to act like the show was too hard to be believable. Its a science fiction show for goodness sake. Everything is not going to be logical. 200 years ago, people would have called us crazy for wanting a phone that was portable. They would say thats not possible. Enjoy it for what it is. Its not supposed to be totally predictable. Wow.
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 9:31am (UTC -6)
Tomorrow is Yesterday

Star Trek season 1 episode 19

"This is the five thirty news summary. Cape Kennedy. The first manned Moon shot is scheduled for Wednesday.”

- Wait, Star Trek predicted that Apollo 11 would take off on a Wednesday 2 1/2 years before it happened!?!?

3 1/2 stars (out of 4)

Pure, unadulterated fun. What more can you really ask from a TV show? Maybe inspiration too? “Tomorrow is Yesterday” aired 5 years after the Apollo space program was started, and more than 2 years before man ever set foot on the Moon. Talk about perfect timing.

Each trekkie takes something different away from the episode. But for me, this is record of the hopeful ambition of that age. Kirk’s reactions are not weighed down by artificial concepts like the Temporal Prime Directive or the Federation Charter.

Rather, as Kirk says,

KIRK: Our authority is the United Earth Space Probe Agency.

As I mentioned in my review of The Corbormite Maneuver, this Enterprise isn’t part of the Federation. It is part of a United Earth agency. And as I mentioned in my review of Galileo Seven, this is not a crew burdened with the Prime Directive.

So the way we see Kirk and team react is basically how a person in the 1960’s might think is the ideal way a person from an ideal future would react. And that is, with genuine openness, warmth, compassion, and friendship.

@Leanne thinks Kirk is gay for Captain Christopher. But its more platonic than that. Kirk sees a kindred spirit. A man of roughly the same age who has also dedicated his life to service. And Kirk is completely open with Captain Christopher in all phases of the episode. He treats Christopher with respect, as an equal. It is so revolutionary, I can almost see why @Leanne might have confused genuine warmth with romantic interest. We’re just so jaded after 55 years of Star Trek - the last few decades of which have included such abominations as Star Trek Picard. We almost can’t recognize basic human decency anymore.

It’s interesting that recent Star Trek shows like Discovery bare no real relationship to “Tomorrow is Yesterday.” In the first few minutes of the very first episode of Discovery, they discuss the implications of the Prime Directive for interacting with a native species. The next season, when Captain Pike joins the crew and they meet a group of humans from more than a hundred years ago, Pike is convinced that the Prime Directive applies, since these are pre-warp humans. But of course the Enterprise of Kirk takes place 10 years after Discovery, and Kirk was not part of any Federation in the episodes before “Tomorrow is Yesterday”, nor does the crew have any concern about the Prime Directive when dealing with pre-warp humans.

The truth is, Discovery and TOS just don’t take place in the same moral framework.

That might change. Discovery’s computer now has an AI. There is a possibility she might start calling Captain Saru “dear".

No red-SKIRT of the week here. Unless you count Uhura splayed out on the floor. “Are you all right, Lieutenant?"
Tue, Jan 26, 2021, 6:09am (UTC -6)
This time travel episode is pure fun, to be enjoyed.
Critiques should note when this was produced: in the last century.
We did get to see Mr Spock applying his unique neck pinch.
And his dry humour about "little green men" ( he is green-blooded, but taller than "little" green men.)
This is a rewatch, first seen in 1970's on tv, but still thoroughly enjoyed it.
Big fan of Nimoy's Spock
Thu, Mar 18, 2021, 3:16am (UTC -6)
ZITA CARNO says ***I remember one sci-fi writer, probably Asimov, who stated that "today's fiction may be tomorrow's fact"***. Indeed! The space shuttle Enterprise was named after the Trek starship— then in a subsequent Trek episode it’s revealed that the Enterprise was named after the space shuttle!

Anyhoo, this is a classic **** episode. So full of action, humour, and thought-provoking “time paradox “ moments. My only carps — like everyone else — are with the ending. They are travelling very fast through time yet are able to activate a slow transporter beam to place Captain Christopher back in the time and space of his fast moving jet without stopping! Well, you have to suspend belief sometimes , it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the show.
Sun, Jul 11, 2021, 12:13pm (UTC -6)
What was the point of stealing the documents if they reversed the timeline anyway?

Also the importance of a single man is a very fragile thing... what if he was supposed to conceive his son that particular evening, but because of the alleged UFO had to stay longer at work?

The episode is a great watch (though slightly above the average on sexism), but it's better not to think about it too much.

Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 1:26pm (UTC -6)
A really wonderful episode that made time travel a hot topic. The Cold War was in full swing then and it was interesting to see the old fighter jets and base from the 1960’s. I don’t know why it was so vital to beam into the base and get the film footage. Couldn’t all of that have just been dismissed as a ufo? The whole deal with Captain Christopher having to do with future events was a great touch as were his attempts to escape the Enterprise. You’d think he’d have had a red shirt or two stationed outside his quarters if his confinement was that important. Nice seeing the old computers and equipment. An A+ episode if I ever saw one, well done!!!
Wed, Sep 29, 2021, 4:16pm (UTC -6)
Beaming the two officers back into their own younger body was too weird. Doesn't it actually mean that they also needed to beam their younger selves OUT in order to replace them? and if so, did they just murder their data in the transporters' buffers to get rid of their younger versions?! Mmmm, actually I approve this episode
The Queen
Sat, Apr 2, 2022, 10:49pm (UTC -6)
My biggest problem with this episode was, why didn't they just put the captain in the brig? Why on earth show him the ship?

What I loved most about it was the acting for the captain - an absolutely perfect balance between humorous astonishment without making the guy ridiculous.

But honestly, why wasn't he blindfolded and taken to the brig with reassurance that he wouldn't be harmed?
Proud Capitalist Pig
Tue, Apr 26, 2022, 10:08pm (UTC -6)
A high-school science teacher of mine had a theory that alien abductions are actually people being studied not by extraterrestrials, but by humans from the future. “It's us, people,” he said emphatically. And who knows, maybe that’s more realistic. Is time travel somehow more feasible than traveling faster than light? We’ll probably never find out, but maybe our descendants will. Hell, maybe there are people from the future on our planet right now, and I’m sure they’re doing a much better job at keeping a low profile than Kirk and Sulu do here on the Air Force Base. But I digress.

I liked the depiction of Captain Christopher here. They took pains to paint him as just an unremarkable guy in an extraordinary situation. His banter with Kirk was just as believable as his actions of pulling a gun on the Future Guys once the opportunity presented itself. He’s an amiable but resourceful man, and I thought it was a nice touch how he would always start smiling whenever they mentioned his yet-to-be-born son.

Star Trek is a made-up science-fiction show, and while I’m no expert, I’m pretty sure it plays fast and loose with the “science” part of that. I would think that critiquing its lack of realism and accuracy, as several do above, would be ultimately self-defeating. This was just a fun romp (and nothing more, really). But when you consider that this was made in 1967, two years away from the moon landing, I’m sure there was a certain infectious optimism that many felt after watching this simple episode that is literally reaching for the stars. Every now and then it’s nice to take a pause from all-powerful beings, predictions of doom and Cold War allegories and just bring Star Trek down to its most basic level--a mostly entertaining show that makes you think and appeals to our better natures.

Best Line --
Spock: “Captain, our tractor beam caught and crushed an Air Force plane. It’ll be impossible to explain this as anything other than a genuine UFO.”

My Grade: B
Late to the Party
Thu, Sep 8, 2022, 3:47pm (UTC -6)
Only recently found this site. One thing that struck me years ago when I saw this episode was that the situation of a pilot chasing a "UFO" was based on the 1948 incident when Captain Mantell chased a UFO too high without oxygen and crashed after blacking out. It was one of the incidents that really sparked off the interest in UFOs as possible extra-terrestrial phenomena.
Thu, Sep 8, 2022, 10:47pm (UTC -6)
Hey Dutch student
Awesome parody

Kirk acting fast and loose with Starfleet secrets
Spock had to rein him in multiple times
Sun, Oct 23, 2022, 1:46pm (UTC -6)
This episode is not as thought-provoking and philosophical as others, but I’ll join the chorus of all those who praise its perfect balance between serious elements and comedy.

In the first half, the serious elements prevail: the threat of remaining trapped in the wrong time is imminent for both Christopher and the Enterprise crew. When McCoy asks: “Jim, what if we can't go back? What do we do, sit up here and wait for our supplies to run out, our power to die? (…)”, all Kirk can answer is: “Yes. But we're not in that position yet.” And he sounds more worried than dismissive.

In the second half, however, we see a brilliant comedy. The first outstanding scene is when Kirk and Sulu break into the airbase. For a minute or more, they don’t speak at all, but their interplay is amazing: just glances, gestures, facial expressions and silent team-work. Like long-time partners in crime, they understand each other without words – I particularly like the short bit when Kirk opens the door to the Statistical Services Division, then just raises his hand while still peering into the room, and Sulu gives him the torch. And besides their surprising skillfulness in this kind of activities, they also seem to enjoy it, like two naughty little boys playing a prank. My favorite scene is the interrogation – Kirk playing the innocent fool is a surprising deviation from his usual demeanor, and it’s fun to watch him trying to keep a straight face while the colonel is messing around with the phaser right under his nose (“If you don't stop being careless with that, you'll have one. A big one.”). But I also enjoy all the other funny little moments, like Sulu’s innocent “I didn’t hear anything”, Kirk’s baffled look when the sergeant is beamed up, and Spock deadpanning: “Our guest seems quite satisfied to remain where he is.” And, already in the first half, McCoy at Spock admitting a mistake: “Oh? This could be an historic occasion.”

Speaking of humour, I also admit that I find the “female personality” computer quite funny. The first point – which has nothing to do with the “female personality” – is that the computer registers and confirms Kirk’s instructions, but it doesn’t follow them until he threatens to scrap it, with a malicious grin on his face. The second point is that low, breathy voice constantly referring to him as “dear”, which I don’t think is meant to be seductive: combined with the first point, it’s meant to annoy him (every time he uses the computer) and embarrass him (when others witness it, like in the very last scene on the bridge: note Uhura’s amused grin and the angry look Kirk throws at her!). I always had the impression that the engineers on that female-dominated planet programmed this bug on purpose, with the intention to drive him up the wall… which, of course, leaves the question why. Heaven knows what he did to offend them… maybe just being his usual, skirt-chasing self…

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