20 user 7 critic
When Captain Picard's artificial heart fails, he is offered the rare opportunity to go back in time and set right the mistake that led to his demise.


Les Landau


Gene Roddenberry (created by), Ronald D. Moore | 2 more credits »




Episode complete credited cast:
Patrick Stewart ... Capt. Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes ... Cmdr. William Riker
LeVar Burton ... Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge (voice)
Michael Dorn ... Lt. Worf
Gates McFadden ... Dr. Beverly Crusher
Marina Sirtis ... Counselor Deanna Troi
Brent Spiner ... Lt. Cmdr. Data
Ned Vaughn ... Ensign Cortan 'Corey' Zweller
J.C. Brandy ... Ensign Marta Batanides
Clint Carmichael ... Nausicaan #1
Rende Rae Norman ... Penny Muroc (as Rae Norman)
John de Lancie ... Q
Clive Church Clive Church ... Maurice Picard
Marcus Nash ... Young Jean-Luc Picard
Majel Barrett ... Enterprise Computer (voice)


Captain Picard incurs serious wounds in a fight, even his artificial heart is gravely damaged. While Dr. Crusher wrestles with the medical consequences, his mind meets Q, who presents him to a parade of people who fell victim to Picard's actions and neglects, from his father and fellow cadets to himself, and offers him the possibility to have a 'second chance' without causing disaster by upsetting time. After Picard's initial refusal claim to have no regrets, Q forces him to acknowledge he made stupid mistakes and fix at least the adolescent one that got him stabbed and slapped in the face as an Academy graduate, or die and be stuck with Q for eternity. His error had been to help fellow Ensign Corey return the cheating at a pool game to a Naussicaan, a strong, badly tempered race, while ruining a friendship by having an affair. This time he stops Corey fighting and dying, but is deemed a coward, losing both friendships, and returned to the Enterprise an an inconspicuous Junior Grade ... Written by KGF Vissers

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TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


In the brief scene where Picard is seen as an ensign as he originally appeared, he is not bald. However, in Star Trek: Nemesis (2002) he is seen in a photograph as bald nonetheless, and as he was wearing the NCO uniform at the time, this is presumably before the fight with the Nausicaans. See more »


Taking place in 2369, Picard is 64 years old, having been born in 2305 and being 21 (or 22) in 2327. This doesn't match the statement that he went back only 30 years in time. See more »


Lt. J.G. Jean-Luc Picard: You having a good laugh now, Q? Does it amuse you to think of me living out the rest of my life as a dreary man in a tedious job?
Q: I gave you something most mortals never experience: a second chance at life. And now all you can do is complain?
Lt. J.G. Jean-Luc Picard: I can't live out my days as that person. That man is bereft of passion... and imagination! That is not who I am!
Q: Au contraire. He's the person you wanted to be: one who was less arrogant and undisciplined in his youth, one who was less like me... The Jean-Luc...
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Spoofs It's a Wonderful Life (1946) See more »


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

This episode changed my life several times over.
1 March 2020 | by mozillameisterSee all my reviews

I have been a Trekkie since I was 5 years old watching TNG with my dad in theaters. I remember taking this episode out of the library when I was around 8 years old. I really enjoyed it, but I didn't quite understand the meaning.

When I was 15 I started rewatching some Trek and came across this episode. At the time I wasn't really very ambitious. Was completely fine with staying home for college and perhaps going for a degree in teaching or similar. Low stress, easy lifestyle.

Then I saw this episode. Something inside clicked, like a flame that ignites on a pilot burner. I immediately started thinking about how I could have impact on society and what kind of path I want to choose. What would be the most rewarding?

So I decided to attend university away from home and take a big risk. Start my career in business. Fast forward another 7 years and I quit my lucrative job for that ambitious pursuit of wanting something grand in life, pursuing a full time MBA at a top university. Hoping to eventually have a role where I can have impact in society on a massive scale, even if it's only in 1 area. I can leave this planet better than I came. At least I would have a strong hand in it.

This episode is the reason I've become such an ambitious asshole, and I have no regrets so far. That quest for challenge and knowledge is so important to find young if that's something you want in life, especially if you come from a family of immigrants that was happy to simply survive.

If you are teacher or professor, I highly recommend showing this to students before graduating either high school or college. I don't think enough young people truly think about their careers and regret not thinking about their ambitions until much later in life.

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Release Date:

13 February 1993 (USA) See more »

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Paramount Television See more »
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1.33 : 1
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