Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 5, Episode 18

Cause and Effect (21 Mar. 1992)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 8.9/10 from 1,017 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 6 critic

The Enterprise gets caught in a time loop which always has one result: total destruction of the ship, itself.



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Episode cast overview:


Unbeknownst to the crew, the Enterprise is caught in a time loop where they are continually reliving the same day. The Enterprise approaches a temporal distortion from which another Federation vessel is emerging. The evasive action action they take - using the tractor beam to push the oncoming vessel away from them - is unsuccessful and the Enterprise is destroyed, at which point the time loop brings them back to the beginning and they relive the sequence all over again. Several members of the crew however begin to have a serious case of deja vu and become convinced that they are reliving the same day, over and over. Data has an idea that might get them out of it. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

21 March 1992 (USA)  »

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Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Although never seen again, the USS Bozeman would be mentioned in Star Trek: The Next Generation: All Good Things... (1994), Star Trek: Generations (1994) and Star Trek: First Contact (1996), all co-written by Brannon Braga. Since the Bozeman in this episode is from an obsolete class of ship, it may be a different one. On the other hand, considering that all these stories involve time travel, it may be the same Bozeman after all. See more »


Once the crew determines that the ship's explosion has caused the temporal causality loop, they try to find a way to stop it. Worf suggests changing course to avoid the crash but Riker suggests that it was possible that changing course would be what leads them into the crash. However, Worf only suggested that they change course to avoid the explosion. This suggestion could not have been made before the first explosion, so there is no reason to believe that changing course could have led the Enterprise into the explosion. Therefore, the crew should have known this and changed course. See more »


[first lines]
Commander William T. Riker: Damage report!
Doctor Beverly Crusher: Casualty reports coming in from all over the ship!
Lt. Commander Data: The starboard nacelle has sustained a direct impact. We are venting drive plasma.
Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge: Initiating emergency core shutdown!
Ensign Ro Laren: Inertial dampers failing. We're losing attitude control.
Commander William T. Riker: This is the bridge. All hands to emergency escape pods!
Lt. Commander Data: Core shutdown was unsuccessful. We are losing antimatter containment.
Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge: We've got to eject the core!
Lt. Commander Data: Ejection systems offline. Core breach is imminent.
See more »


References 1941 (1979) See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation Main Title
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

One of the best
2 October 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I remember when this episode first aired... It was spooky, surreal, and suspenseful. Usually in Star Trek episodes you can spot the "solution" beforehand, or else a character reveals a plan that you know will work, although you assume that it will be a close call. Not so here. Because of the time warp, you know that somehow things will turn out okay, but you really don't know how, and the anxiety level ratchets up each time the crew fails to avert disaster. The show honestly leaves you hanging until the end. This was "Groundhog Day" in the year BEFORE Groundhog Day. (Connection????) The acting is amazing because even though the same scene is repeated several times, the viewer remains rapt in attention. Underrated, sublime episode.

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