The Enterprise is observing a celestial anomaly, something akin to a wormhole when a starship appears having traveled through it. To everyone's surprise, the ship is an earlier version of the Enterprise, the Enterprise-C commanded by Captain Rachel Garrett. The instant the Enterprise-C arrives however, history is changed. Captain Picard and his Enterprise are battle weary with the Federation having been at war with the Klingon Empire for 20 years. Lt. Tasha Yar is alive with Lt. Worf nowhere to be found. Guinan knows something is wrong and Picard realizes that the Enterprise-C must return to its own time and place if their time line is to be restored.Written by
Just before the Enterprise-C enters the rift to go back to their time 22 years previous, the Enterprise-D is taking fire from the Klingons. A dark bar indicative of a dolly arm shadow can be seen passing from port to starboard on the Enterprise's surface. See more »
Star Trek is no stranger to time travel stories (and I have to confess to a certain weariness towards the gimmick, at this point), but with 'Yesterday's Enterprise', they really hit on something special. The technical side of it involves a temporal rift, a Galaxy-class starship from the past, and an alternate universe (not to mention a more battle-oriented Enterprise-D, for which the color blue is very flattering); but it's the human drama that lends this episode its real emotional weight. Should Picard send the travelers back to their own time (and certain death) or keep them alive and hope the war with the Klingons will finally go their way? Mixed up in all of this is Tasha Yar - and I have to say, her presence isn't just a plot device, but an organic way for the writers to make up for her senseless exit in the first season. It just works, and it's really something to see it pulled off so well.
This is classic TNG all the way; big ethical issues, well-drawn characters and powerful storytelling; even Shooter McGavin gets to play a pretty solid character. And for me, one of the series' greatest moments is Picard's utterance of this line:
"Let's make sure history never forgets... the name... Enterprise."
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