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"Star Trek: The Next Generation" Time Squared (1989)

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16 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

A nightmare in time.

Author: russem31 from United States
15 April 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

ST:TNG:39 - "Time Squared" (Stardate: 42679.2) - this is the 13th episode to air of the 2nd season of The Next Generation. Whenever Star Trek does an episode dealing with time effects, I am always intrigued. This episode is no different. In this episode, the Enterprise encounters a shuttlecraft drifting in space, all by itself. It turns out to be a shuttlecraft 6 hours from the future, with the mystery being the only survivor that of Captain Picard, unconscious, seemingly phased out of normal time. Intriguing to say the least.

Trivia: there are references to The Traveler (from "Where No One Has Gone Before" and Dr. Manheim from "We'll Always Have Paris"). Also, you get to see Riker making an omelet in the "old-fashioned way"!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Time sorta well spent?

Author: Mr-Fusion from United States
6 May 2016

'Time Squared' opens with a sweet hook when the Enterprise rescues a shuttle containing . . . another Captain Picard! Turns out it's the 6-hours-from-now version, leading to a lot of questions – and just as much hand-wringing. That's the drag of this episode, we never really stop talking about it. TNG has its share of time loop stories, but this isn't one of the best.

But I will say this: what Jean-Luc decides to do to fix all of this, I really can't say I saw that coming.

It's a ballsy ending.


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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Not great

Author: Qanqor from United States
30 August 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

While the basic premise is interesting enough, this episode just has too many flaws. Some of them are evidence of just sloppy writing; with a little more care, the story could have been much tighter.

1) At the opening, Picard announces that they're picked up an "automated signal" from a shuttlecraft. But just a minute later, Worf announces that communication with the shuttle is not possible because the shuttle is without power. Well, call me dumb, but it seems to me that sending out an automated signal suggests that communication IS possible and the shuttle is WITH power.

2) Polaski tries to revive Picard II and the result is that it virtually *kills* him. But then a short time later, Picard orders her to try again, and she does, and this time it works just fine. Huh?

3) The whole idea seems to be that Picard II is completely out of phase with this time, which is why his readings are all strange, why he reacts backwards to the stimulant, why he can't grasp the reality around him. But if he's so out of phase, how is it that Troy has no problem reading him at the very outset, so clearly as to be *certain* that he's really Picard? This in particular seems like a lazy means to establish plot to the audience, rather than something that makes sense within the framework of the story.

4) After an approximately one minute run of full warp power (roughly timed by my tivo), we are informed that the engines can't handle the strain and Geordi can't hold it, and they have to execute a full stop. However, at 0:46 into the episode, Geordi announces that they are again at maximum warp; at 0:47 he says "Captain, I can't hold it any longer, if we don't shut down *right now*, we are going--" and Picard cuts him off and tells him to hold position. And he does. All the way until 0:57. Now, to be fair, that included a 4-minute commercial break. But, at least *some* of that time counts, because Picard leaves the bridge as we go to commercial and arrives at sick bay as we return. So it's still roughly *10 minutes* that Geordi has no problem holding the full warp power after he protested that he couldn't. By that point, the engines should be a shambles, but he has no problem providing "all the power you can muster!" Now remember, it is well-established that Geordi doesn't exaggerate in his reports to the captain (in "Relics", he tells Mr. Scott this explicitly). So when he says he can't hold it any longer, we have every reason to believe him. Yet it's a completely lie, he holds it another 10 minutes, no problem, and still has power to spare. Again, sloppy writing.

5) Perhaps the most egregious: the whole vortex-being thing makes *no sense*. Where did it come from? Where did it go? What did it want? Why did it want Picard? Troy says the being is not thought but instinct, yet wanting one particular individual sure sounds like a thought, not an instinct. The whole point of the vortex was it was trying to pull the ship in, yet when the ship voluntarily flies in, absolutely nothing happens.

This flaw is so bad that the script even acknowledges it, having Picard muse at the end about how the whole thing doesn't make any sense. But having the characters acknowledge this flaw doesn't make it any less of a flaw.

At the end of my recent viewing of the episode, I was thinking to myself that the whole thing might have made sense if it was some kind of test by Q. Well, it turns out I was right! Apparently, this episode was originally intended to be a two-parter featuring Q. It's a pity they didn't follow through with that idea.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The Slingshot effect

Author: CCsito from United States
23 July 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This was one of the better Star Trek: The next generation episode. It deals with Captain Picard who is mysteriously found on a shuttle craft out in deep space. The problem is that this discovery is a duplicate of the Captain who is already on board the Enterprise. After the shuttle craft logs are broadcast, it appears that the Enterprise was destroyed six hours into the future with the sole survivor being the Captain. Since a captain always "goes down the ship", the "real" Picard cannot understand why the future Picard would do such a thing. What comes out of this is feelings of self-doubt and uncertainty as to what to do in the next several hours. As the time approaches with the current Picard coming to the same time reference as the future Picard, the future Picard starts to "phase back" and become more coherent. The current Picard realizes that the future Picard had made a deadly choice that resulted in the Enterprise destruction. The ship becomes enveloped in a time vortex that tries to drag it inside the vortex. Picard makes a last minute decision to stop the future Picard from repeating his previous actions and instead propels the ship using a slingshot effect. This changes the dynamics of the subsequent future time line. Picard essentially had a second chance to correct his "error".

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Time Squared

Author: Scarecrow-88 from United States
21 May 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"There is the theory of the Mobius—a twist in the fabric of space where time becomes a loop from which there is no escape."

I have always found that some of my favorite Trek episodes deal with time paradoxes and parallel universes where the characters of the show often meet themselves in the future or we are introduced to an alternate version of themselves. Imagine the horror of encountering the future version of yourself, returning on a shuttle craft, with footage recorded of the Enterprise's destruction, six hours the time for which you can prepare. Another Picard from six hours into the future, a warning to the present Picard that unless an alternate plan can be executed, diverting disaster, The Starship Enterprise will be destroyed. While no signs ahead show any danger, a "time vortex" appears, the Enterprise being sucked into it. Picard has anxiety and anger in equal measure, needing the future Picard to tell him the steps he took prior to the ship's destruction. The vortex seems to be a lifeform that is interested in Picard himself, but why? The "future" Picard might have the answer. I imagine "Time Squared" is one of those episodes that drive certain scientists crazy. I haven't the intellect to analyze and dissect the approach by those involved in the writing of this episode regarding whether or not the results are realistic/logical—could Picard and company actually avoid the Mobius for which Worf theorizes the Enterprise might be facing? I just understand that the show would have to go on and accept that we have the ability to alter fate…perhaps we have the opportunity to change course and direct a different path into the future, in essence, redirect a predetermined fate. This episode is food for thought and does a good job of conveying Picard's torment—no one would want to be in his position; this speaks volumes about what it takes to be a Starship Enterprise Captain. Picard's reliance on the opinions of his crew, like Riker and Troi, really says a lot about the Captain's interest in what they think and believe. What I love about The Next Gen is the wisdom of the crew and their willingness to look at a problem, seek a solution from various angles, and theorize a proper solution; sometimes, it might be LaForge, or Pulaski, who has the right solution, and Picard, to his credit, is a willing listener. Picard doubts himself and Pulaski speaks to Troi about possibly removing the Captain from his duty if he can no longer command properly; this episode is quite a roller-coaster, a mind-bender with a far-out premise that really pushes Picard to the brink. Because Picard is a thinker, someone who is not quick to rush to judgment without intellectualizing the possible consequences of rash action, episodes like "Time Squared" show why he was such a superior Captain.

Picard's decision to "kill himself" was not only surreal to me but rather look at yourself and be willing to use a phaser to alter the future by possibly killing you, there's this bit of loss I think Patrick Stewart illustrates when the "real Picard" must take drastic action to halt the destructive time anomaly from destroying his ship. That final scene as Picard looks forlornly out of a window, gazing at the stars with Riker stopping by to console him is actually rather heartbreaking to me...Picard is actually emotionally wounded, I believe.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Unstuck in Time/Great Episode

Author: Hitchcoc from United States
8 August 2014

Picard and the crew notice a Federation shuttlecraft careening through space. It is out of control. They use a tractor beam to pull it in. When they do, they realize it has the same designation as a shuttlecraft that rests in the bay. Not only that but aboard the thing is an unconscious Jean-Luc Picard. He is brought to sick bay and observed by the "actual" Captain. Various clues point to the fact that somehow the new Picard abandoned ship and the Enterprise was destroyed. It is also revealed that time is out of phase and the new Captain is surviving six hours into the future. How do they prevent the destruction of their ship? How do they change a future that has already taken place. While the whole thing is confusing, it brings out every nuance that Patrick Stewart can deliver. Are his decisions a change in the future, or are they just following that which will be? Everyone is affected by this but it will ultimately get back to Picard acting. There is a scene where he implores the new Picard to tell him what an alternate action would be. But there is no response, only panic. Watch this one a couple times. Very intelligent and very compelling.

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6 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Captain Picard is beside himself.

Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
14 November 2014

This was a terrible episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation". It was stagy, excessively cerebral and really didn't make a lot of sense. While the Enterprise is out on routine maneuvers, they come upon something VERY startling--a shuttlecraft floating in space. More startling is that it is from the Enterprise...yet they're not missing one. Most startling is that the passenger is the Captain...yet Picard is ALSO on the bridge!! This make no sense at all and eventually Geordi comes to realize that the Captain they just found is from six hours in the future! Although they have a lot of questions, the guy they discovered isn't able to answer, as he's out of phase, time-wise.

Does any of what I just said make sense? Well, no...but even less satisfying is the ending where Picard just KNOWS what to do even though there was really no indication what he SHOULD do and then, everything ends just fine. HUH!?! What did I just see?! A confusing and not at all interesting episode to day the least.

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