Upon returning from a conference, Picard, Data, Geordi and Troi encounter an Enterprise frozen in time, seemingly locked in combat with a Romulan vessel. As they explore, they discover that time has been slowed down on the Enterprise – right before a warp core breach. Can they save the Enterprise and restore the normal flow of time?
There are two good moments in this episode. One is Picard laughing hysterically after he draws a smiley face in warp plasma. The other is Data investigating whether a watched pot really doesn’t boil. Other than that, this is a largely underwhelming episode. It begins with a painful scene in which Troi mimics a lecherous Irishman and Picard does likewise for a dull Russian, before dragging out all the old Star Trek tropes. The Enterprise is in danger, the Romulans are present, spacetime is fractured, aliens from another continuum are the true culprit– it’s all there, but none of it stands out.
Edit: I rewatched this episode (again!) in April 2017, and I think maybe this blog was a little too harsh. I still think the “point a tricorder at it and hope” resolution is silly, but I enjoyed the exploration of the frozen Enterprise a lot more, not to mention the whole “actually the Romulans weren’t the culprits here, don’t make assumptions” development.
The Enterprise explodes
- Riker dislikes cats – even more so after getting attacked by Spot. Crusher, on the other hand, is a self-confessed cat person.
- This is the first appearance of a runabout on TNG, as opposed to the usual shuttles. Runabouts are of course used extensively in DS9.
- As usual, even though time is moving slowly, the air molecules move aside easily. Of course, all the time stuff in this episode defies any attempt to explain it with the laws of physics or our current understanding, so I won’t go into it any further.
- Why did Worf let the Romulans bring disruptors on board in the first place?
Summary – Timescape: The Romulans aren’t the bad guys this time.