Jan 3 2012 1:40pm

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch: “Yesterday’s Enterprise

Happy new year, everyone!

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch by Keith DeCandido: Yesterday’s Enterprise“Yesterday’s Enterprise
Written by Trent Christopher Ganino & Eric A. Stillwell and Ira Steven Behr & Richard Manning & Hans Beimler & Ronald D. Moore
Directed by David Carson
Season 3, Episode 15
Production episode 40273-163
Original air date: February 19, 1990
Stardate: 43625.2

Captain’s Log: Worf is drinking in Ten-Forward with Guinan when a strange phenomenon appears near the ship. Worf reports to the bridge as the Enterprise examines what appears to be a rift in space. A ship comes through the rift—

—and everything changes. The bridge becomes darker, the crew wearing much more militaristic uniforms with sidearms and sashes. The command center has only one chair, with the first officer’s position next to tactical behind the captain, and there are additional consoles all over the bridge. We also see that Ten-Forward is changed: brighter, everyone in uniform (nobody in civvies), and way more crowded. Captain’s logs and stardates are now military logs and combat dates. And instead of Worf at tactical, the station is staffed by none other than Tasha Yar. That last bit makes sense when it’s revealed that the Federation has been at war with the Klingons for two decades.

However, nobody notices that anything’s amiss — nobody, that is, except for Guinan.

Yar identifies the ship that came through the rift as NCC-1701-C, the previous starship to be called Enterprise, but it was believed lost with all hands twenty-two years before. Captain Rachel Garrett sends a distress call, and so, despite the risks to the timeline, Picard agrees to send a team over. He instructs Riker to avoid any mention of when and where they are.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch by Keith DeCandido: Yesterday’s Enterprise

Apparently, Riker forgot to share this with the rest of the team, since Crusher examines Garrett and immediately says she needs to get her back to the Enterprise, which rather confuses Garrett. However, once she’s in sickbay, Garrett — not being stupid — realizes that the uniforms are different, and sickbay is far more advanced. Picard goes ahead and tells her that she’s 22 years in the future, and that history has no record of their battle with the Romulans to save the Klingon outpost at Narendra III.

The only other survivor of the bridge crew is the helmsman, Lieutenant Richard Castillo. He works with Yar to get the Enterprise-C up and running. They only have nine hours to do so before Klingon battle cruisers arrive — if they can’t, the ship will have to be scuttled.

Guinan is convinced that everything is wrong, that the Federation shouldn’t be at war, that there should be children on the Enterprise-D, that the Enterprise-C shouldn’t be there and should go back. But if they do go back, they’ll be destroyed instantly by the four Romulan warbirds they were fighting.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch by Keith DeCandido: Yesterday’s Enterprise

Picard decides that it’s worth the risk and explains it to the bridge crew. They mostly all object, with Riker saying that Picard is condemning 125 people to a needless death. Data points out that it may not be meaningless, as the Klingons would consider the sacrifice of a Federation starship to be a significant act.

The final shoe drops when Picard quietly explains to Garrett that the war is going very badly, worse than is generally known. Starfleet Command predicts that they’ll have to surrender in six months. Garrett has a revelation of her own: a lot of her crew still wants to go back, even knowing the risks. And if they do go back, it might make a difference, for the reasons Data states; if they stay, they just face being one more ship in a losing cause.

Shortly after Garrett officially gives the order to return, a Klingon bird-of-prey attacks. The two ships drive it off, but Garrett is killed during the firefight. Castillo insists on returning to the past even without the captain — and Yar requests a transfer to go with them after Guinan reveals to Yar that she died a senseless death in the proper timeline. She wants her death to count for something.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch by Keith DeCandido: Yesterday’s Enterprise

This being television, the Klingons attack as the Enterprise-C is going into the rift. The Enterprise-D gets the crap pounded out of it, though they do destroy one of the three Klingon ships attacking them. But they’re hamstrung by their need to protect the Enterprise-C. Several bridge officers, including Riker, are killed, but when the Klingons demand the Enterprise-D surrender, Picard mutters, “That’ll be the day,” and operates the tactical console while the Enterprise-C goes through the rift —

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch by Keith DeCandido: Yesterday’s Enterprise

— and everything changes back. Picard asks Worf for a report. He says there was a sign of a ship, but then it disappeared, and the rift is now collapsing. The Enterprise-D moves on to its next assignment, after Guinan confuses everyone by calling the bridge to ask if all is well.

Can’t We Just Reverse the Polarity?: The rift that sends the Etnerprise-C forward does not have a noticeable mass or event horizon, and may or may not be a wormhole. After the ship comes through, Data theorizes that it’s a Kerr loop formed of superstring material.

Thank You, Counselor Obvious: Troi’s entire function in this episode is to sit in her chair during the opening and closing. Personally, I think they missed a bet — a battleship that had been fighting a twenty-year war would absolutely need a counselor. But she also wouldn’t have a bridge position, as she’d likely be booked solid with sessions all the live-long day.

There is No Honor in Being Pummeled: Worf is also only in the beginning and the end, but his bit in the teaser is simply brilliant. Guinan introduces him to prune juice, which he proudly and without (deliberate) irony proclaims to be “a warrior’s drink.” Worf’s love for prune juice would remain a running theme throughout not only TNG, but Deep Space Nine (there’s a scene in “The Way of the Warrior,” Worf’s first appearance on DS9, where Worf orders a prune juice, and Quark laughs hysterically, cutting it off when he sees the yes-I’m-serious-don’t-make-me-have-to-kill-you look on Worf’s face). Guinan also criticizes him for always drinking alone, and he repeats his comment, made to Riker on Edo, that humans are too fragile. Guinan respectfully disagrees, pointing out that you never know until you try, and Worf smiles and says, “Then I will never know.” It’s a great scene, beautifully played by Michael Dorn and Whoopi Goldberg, and is perhaps most notable for being the first time we see Worf laugh.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch by Keith DeCandido: Yesterday’s Enterprise

If I Only Had a Brain...: The script originally called for Data to be electrocuted during the climactic battle, but it was cut for time and budget.

The Boy!?: Surprisingly, Wes is part of the crew in the altered timeline — but he’s a full ensign in a red uniform (and in which he looked so good, they put him in one at the end of the season). The script also called for him to be decapitated during the battle, but it, too, was cut for time and budget.

Syntheholics Anonymous: Guinan is the only one who notices that the timeline has been altered, and she has impressions from the original timeline — to the point that she knows that Yar died and that it was “a meaningless death.” And she notices when it’s been changed back, after which she asks La Forge to tell her about Yar.

No Sex, Please, We’re Starfleet: Yar and Castillo hit it off immediately, making it all the way to first base before they go through the rift. After a day, and Yar calls him “Lieutenant” again, he asks to drop the ranks — “I won’t salute if you won’t.” He says that his friends call him “Castillo” and his mother calls him “Richard.” Yar calls him “Castillo,” and then he decides that he’d rather she called him Richard, which is probably not creepy.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch by Keith DeCandido: Yesterday’s Enterprise

I Believe I Said That: “Captain, if you want my opinion — ”

“I believe I’m aware of your opinion, Commander. This is a briefing, I’m not seeking your consent.”

Riker raising an objection, and Picard slapping him down, making it abundantly clear that this is not the happy-shiny Enterprise we’re used to.

Welcome Aboard: The biggest guest is supposed to be the return of Denise Crosby as Tasha Yar, but mostly this episode serves to remind us how little she’s been missed. The excellent character actor Christopher McDonald does a much better job as Castillo.

And Tricia O’Neil is superb as Captain Garrett. She only has a few scenes, but firmly establishes Garrett as a worthy addition to the pantheon of Enterprise captains. O’Neil will return as a Klingon scientist named Kurak in “Suspicions” and on DS9 as a Cardassian Obsidian Order agent named Korinas in “Defiant.”

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch by Keith DeCandido: Yesterday’s Enterprise

Trivial Matters: This is the last episode that features all of the original cast. While Crosby will return in “Redemption,” “Unification,” and “All Good Things...” Wil Wheaton was not in any of those episodes.

The episode was scripted over Thanksgiving weekend, based on a fusion of two different story pitches by Ganino and Stillwell. Each of the three sets of writers (Behr, Manning & Beimler, Moore) took a different plot thread. Michael Piller did an uncredited polish on the final draft.

Dr. Selar from “The Schizoid Man” is one of the people paged to sickbay.

Some details of the Enterprise-C’s return to Narendra III will be revealed in “Redemption Part 2” at the top of the fifth season, including the fact that Yar survived the attack, was taken prisoner, and had a daughter by a Romulan soldier, who would grow up to be a commander named Sela.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch by Keith DeCandido: Yesterday’s Enterprise

Garrett reappears several times in tie-in fiction. Her first mission as captain of the Enterprise-C is chronicled in “Hour of Fire” by Robert Greenberger in Enterprise Logs (an anthology of stories about captains of ships called Enterprise from the Revolutionary War all the way to Picard). The Lost Era novel Well of Souls by Ilsa J. Bick focuses on Garrett and the Enterprise-C. She also appears as a commander in the Stargazer novel Progenitor by Michael Jan Friedman. The battle at Narendra III and its aftermath is shown from different angles in the novels Vulcan’s Heart by Josepha Sherman & Susan Shwartz and your humble rewatcher’s own The Art of the Impossible. (The latter also features Garrett as first officer of the U.S.S. Carthage before taking on the captaincy of the Enterprise-C.)

The novel The Buried Age by Christopher L. Bennett establishes that Guinan’s ability to perceive time with more complexity is related to her experience in the Nexus, chronicled in Star Trek Generations.

Another version of this timeline appears in Q-Squared by Peter David, though it has several significant differences, not least being that Picard and Riker do not have the contentious relationship they have in this episode.

The sash/belt look on the altered timeline uniforms is very similar to the Mirror Universe Starfleet uniforms seen in “Mirror, Mirror” on the original series (and later in “In a Mirror, Darkly” on Enterprise).

Make it So: “Let’s make sure history never forgets the name Enterprise.” This episode has consistently been at the top of people’s lists of best episodes of TNG and best episodes of Star Trek in general as a franchise and it totally deserves it. It’s a wonderful look at the crew by putting them in an unfamiliar setting. This Picard is harder, nastier, and has an adversarial relationship with his first officer (at no point in the alternate timeline is Riker ever referred to as “Number One”). Crusher comes across as almost permanently fatigued and frustrated, while Wes is hyper-competent, a highly efficient officer.

In addition, we get a great look at the history between the shows, as it were, as we see the ship that preceded the one we follow every week, and a fine captain in Garrett. When I first watched the episode twenty years ago, I remember being thrilled that they established a woman Enterprise captain, and being devastated by her death. She’s a wonderful character, and it’s frustrating that she’s taken off the playing field just to give Yar a TV death.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch by Keith DeCandido: Yesterday’s Enterprise

Which brings us nicely to the episode’s primary flaw, made all the more annoying by the fact that it’s in many ways the episode’s purpose: it brings Yar back to give her a TV death. A clichéd-up-the-kazoo, tiresome, predictable, manipulative TV death. She gets to fall in love, she gets to help save the ship, and she steps in valiantly when Garrett is killed. It is, in short, a scripted death, and you can see the marionette strings.

As I said when we did “Skin of Evil,” Yar’s death was effective because it was pointless and sudden and frustrating and capricious. This just felt constructed, and it took away from what was otherwise a brilliant episode.

(The punchline, of course, is that after going to all the trouble to give her a TV death, they took it away by establishing in “Redemption” that she survived the battle at Narendra III long enough to sire a daughter. But we’ll get to that in due course.)

On top of that, all bringing Yar back does is show up how mediocre Denise Crosby is. Her line readings are stilted, her emotions unconvincing. Worf provides more depth of character in a single conversation with Guinan in the teaser than Yar can manage in the entire rest of the episode, making it abundantly clear that the show was better off with the direction it took.

Luckily, the rest of the cast takes up the slack. Whoopi Goldberg is magnificent here, as Guinan knows something is wrong and is frustrated by her inability to be more specific to Picard. Sir Patrick Stewart’s Picard is at once exactly the same and completely different (thanks to circumstance) than the Picard we know. And I can’t praise O’Neil’s turn as Garrett enough.

Despite its flaws, and a script that occasionally shows signs of being written over a long weekend, it’s one of the finest episodes of the entire franchise.


Warp factor rating: 9

Keith R.A. DeCandido set up the entire political backstory of the Klingons and Federation in The Art of the Impossible so that the Klingons and the Federation are indeed on the brink of what could be war if not for the Enterprise-C’s sacrifice. He also enjoyed writing Garrett, who remains a favorite character of his. Go to his web site for links to his blog, his Facebook page, his Twitter feed, not to mention ways in which you can buy his incredibly awesome books like the fantastical police procedurals SCPD: The Case of the Claw and Unicorn Precinct.

Michael Burstein
1. mabfan
Keith, I'm delighted that you finally reached "Yesterday's Enterprise," which I consider probably the best episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (although it sometimes gets edged out by "The Best of Both Worlds"). I've been waiting for this opportunity to tell you that "Yesterday's Enterprise" is the reason I started watching Star Trek again. I hope you will indulge me.

You might recall that I mentioned in one or two of my other responses to your re-watches that I missed much of the early Next Generation episodes and eventually had to catch up with them in reruns and the like. There's a reason for this. TNG premiered in syndication the same year I entered college, and given how busy I was, if I was going to make a point of watching any television show on schedule it had to captivate me. Not only would I have to give it my time because I was getting accustomed to a college workload (studying Physics, already a tough field that required a lot of study), but I would also have to find the show on a channel in an unfamiliar city.

The fact that there was a new Star Trek show on did interest me of course; how could it not? My memory tells me that I did manage to catch "Encounter at Farpoint," "The Naked Now," and one or two other episodes from season one when they were first broadcast, but I found them, well, lacking. In the end, I wrote off the new Star Trek series as not worthy of my time or attention. Ironically, channel 56 in the Boston area still showed the original series in syndication five nights a week, just before dinner time, and my roommates and I tended to watch it before traipsing off to the dining hall. The new show was there, but we were still much more interested in re-watching the original.

Flash forward to my junior year. I found myself at home in New York City during some break (perhaps it was spring break? I don't recall) and if I recall correctly, my brothers weren't at home, just my parents, so I had a lot of free time. Glancing through TV Guide, I noticed that Star Trek: The Next Generation was going to be on in the afternoon on channel 11, and since I did like science fiction and Star Trek and I had nothing better to do, I decided I might as well catch the episode. I went upstairs to my bedroom, where we had a small color television set, and I lay on my bed and watched the show.

The episode was "Yesterday's Enterprise."

The moment the teaser ended, my jaw hit the floor (metaphorically speaking). I said to myself, "Okay, this is interesting," and watched the entire episode, my eyes glued to the set (again, a metaphor). As the final credits rolled, I realized that the show had become good, possibly great, and I made a point of keeping up with it from then on.

I often think about the inflection points in life, the events that change our pathways and set us on certain courses. It's possible that had I missed that broadcast of the show, I might have come back to TNG anyway; but had channel 11 been showing an episode like the previous one, or a season one repeat, I might very well have simply given up on the show again. And while Trek is not necessarily the reason I became a science-fiction writer, as I did read and watch a lot of other SF, I can't deny that it has had a lot of influence on my path.

"Yesterday's Enterprise" was tailor-made to appeal to me. I love time-travel stories, and one in which an entire alternative timeline is posited and then erased, with no one the wiser, resonates with me more than almost any other type of science-fiction conceit. I'm still sometimes amazed that they managed to pull it off.

-- Michael A. Burstein
Keith DeCandido
2. krad
That's awesome. Thanks for sharing that, Michael, and sorry my internet troubles at home kept me from uploading this in time for it go live yesterday as planned...

---Keith R.A. DeCandido
Ian K
3. Ian K
The one thing I wish they'd done in this episode is have the lines from the Klingon commander in the final "altered timeline" scene delivered by Worf...
Ian K
4. Claude Parish
Just when I had decided to write off TNG, along came "Yesterday's Enterprise" to break my pencil.
This is not a safe, sweet episode. I liked the stretching of boundaries and the occasional >break
Ian K
5. RichF
This is just the nitpicker in me, but one thing that always stands out for me in Yesterday's Enterprise is the fact that the final scene in Ten Forward with Guinan and Geordi, Geordi is wearing a uniform from the altered history. (It has an extra black patch on the sleeve which doesn't exist on the regular uniform.)
Ian K
6. strongdreams
Too cutesy. In the altered time line, Worf's family would be killed at Khitomer (2 years after the battle at Narendra 3) and he probably die after being buried in rubble and not rescued by Starfleet. At best, he would be rescued but would be an orphan from a disgraced house, doubtful he would be accepted in the military, much less rise to command.

Bah. Continuity, shmontinuity.
Chris Long
7. radynski
Sometimes I think you're a little too critical of an episode for really minor flaws. You've already seen it so many times, I'm sure, so you have the opportunity to sit and judge even the smallest mistakes.

I'm guessing that at the time, you thought this episode was amazing and perfect. Sometimes you need to just let the story sweep you away and never mind that it's a little cliche.

There are perhaps only half a dozen episodes that I would be willing to rate a 10, but this is absolutely one of them. This episode is one of the best.
Ian K
8. Bob A
This and "Inner Light" are my favorites... my only regret is it took them three years to get here. I love the bit when Picard leaps the railing to take over at Tactical. (He's so non-plussed when Riker takes one for the ship).
Only thing it lacked was Q's gloating...
Evan Braun
9. gilbetron
Hmm, I must be the only person to have appreciated the appearance of Yar. Yeah, she's not the best actor ever, but there was a LOT of really cruddy acting back in Season 1-2. Everyone got better -- with the possible exception of Patrick Stewart, who was already at the top of his game. Denise Crosby would have grown, too, but instead her career languished. I always thought Yar was an interesting character, and perhaps the fact that we barely got to know her always made me more fascinated. For the same reason, I also really enjoyed Ezri Dax later, and Kes, both interesting characters who never quite reached their full potential. So, I loved getting a chance to get another glimpse of her here. And, as everyone else has pointed out, the rest of the episode is spectacular -- I'm also puzzled why this only gets a 9.
Ian K
10. Mike S.

Your rating of 9/10 is two points LESS then I would have given this episode. Very simply, this is one of my two favorite hours of TNG (the other being "Tapestry", for me). I love time-travel/alternate reality stories, and I believe that this one comes closest to capturing the spirit of "City on the Edge of Forever", which is the highest compliment I can pay it.

The teaser is great, rivals "Cause and Effect" for my favorite TNG teaser. The transition from our reality to the alternate one was expertly done, visually (they didn't repeat this greatness at the end of the show, but that's a minor complaint).

This episode is also exhibit A of the theory that Star Trek actors had a snowball's chance in hell of winning any Emmys for there performance. I believe Leonard Nimoy got 2 nominations for the Original Series, and Frank Gorshen got a nomination for his guest role (TNG got a best series nomination for the final season, which I think was Emmy's way of saluting the whole series). Now, I'm not going to go back and look up the 5 nominations for outstanding guest performance in a drama for the 1989-90 Emmys, but I have a tough time buying that there were 5 better guest performances that year, then the one by Whoopi Goldberg in this show. She was awesome. They way she told Tasha about her fate in the regular timeline, had me shivering along with Denise Crosby, because I certianly would not want to be told that, no matter how true it is. I'm also left wondering if Guinan knew/knows more then she let on, which adds a nice air of mystery to the show.

Incidentally, I had no problem with killing Tasha Yar in this way. I didn't mind her death in "Skin of Evil", and I didn't mind it here. You do not have to like one or the other, IMO. Now, what we find out in "Redemption part 2" is another story, but I'll save it for then.

I thought Denise Crosby was fine this episode, just the other 3 guest stars were so great, that she gets lost in the shuffle.

The line you quote in Make It So is probably my favorite TNG line ever. Stewart's great in this, a much different Picard then the one we are used to seeing, one that thinks that hesitation at all could mean the loss of the Federation. I also liked his side conversation with Garrett, which convinces her to go back.

Bottom line, one of my two favorite TNG episodes ever (please don't ask me to seperate them 1-2).
Ian K
11. Seryddwr

'I love the bit when Picard leaps the railing to take over at Tactical.'

Hell, yeah!

This episode blew my 10-year old mind. I thought about it for days and days afterward. The only part which lets it down for me (*nit picker alert*) is how passive the Enterprise is during the battle. There are three Klingon cruisers facing the ship down, and what do we see? A couple of bursts of desultory phaser fire, and (IIRC) one - that's one, count 'em - round of photon torpedoes. (I know how costly SFX are, but still. End of nitpicking.)
It is, however, still fabulous - one of the few episodes I never get tired of. The exchange between Picard and Guinan is absolutely riveting. We get to see Picard as an individual who is angry and frustrated after years of fighting a war he knows to be unwinnable, and on the other side is Guinan, unimpeachable in her certitude. Breathless stuff.
Michael Burstein
12. mabfan
Keith, in the end, it gave me more time to consider my comments.

My wife pointed out to me that someone is the wiser in this episode: Guinan obviously knows that something happened; otherwise, she wouldn't call the bridge at the end. (Later on, we know she knows a lot more when we meet Sela, but as far as this episode is concerned, that ought to be considered irrelevant.)

I too liked Crosby's performance as Yar in this episode, and having her appear and having the character get a meaningful death felt right to me. (This episode is also where I became a big fan of McDonald's; I'll watch him in almost anything.)

I also would rate this episode as a 10, not a mere 9, but I'm not Keith. :-) (The other episodes I would place there include "Best of Both Worlds" and "Inner Light." Maybe "Parallels" too.)

-- Michael A. Burstein
Keith DeCandido
13. krad
radynski: You would guess totally wrong. :) I felt the same way about this episode 20 years ago that I did now: that it gave Yar a stupid TV death. Seriously, ask any of my college buddies (one of whom is now producer of The Chronic Rift, the pop culture podcast that I'm part of). It was my one problem with the episode then, and it remains my problem with it now.

---Keith R.A. DeCandido
Ian K
14. Bob Ahrens
... and we have to give mad props to David Carson for this one as well. Everything is shot like it was "DAS BOOT"... i don't know who was the lighting director and cinematographer, but it set the proper tone. We see this again in Carson's direction of "Generations"... although not the best of all Trek films (still better than V, i'm sure), I was so impressed with the hard key lighting in the first part of the movie.Picard's ready room lit with only the light from his bay windows gave a stunning look.
Ian K
15. Christopher L. Bennett
"The novel The Buried Age by Christopher L. Bennett establishes that Guinan’s ability to perceive time with more complexity is related to her experience in the Nexus, chronicled in Star Trek Generations."

I can't take the credit for that. It's from the script of Generations, but it was cut from the final film. In the scripted scene, Guinan says, "I began to realize that my experience in the Nexus had changed me... I knew things about people... about events... about time..." And Picard replies, "Your 'sixth sense'... I've always wondered where it came from." In fact, at the time I wrote The Buried Age, I thought that exchange was actually in the movie. Maybe I read it in the novelization? Whatever the case, I was surprised as heck the first time someone attributed the idea to me.

Anyway, Guinan's magic timey-wimey sense has always struck me as a lame and contrived way of cluing the characters in to the temporal shift. I bet it would've been even better if instead, Garrett and her crew had decided on their own to go back in time and try to avert this awful future, and if she'd been the one to convince Picard that it had to be done. That would've been so much less stupid than Guinan saying "I feel our reality is wrong because the script says so."

And I agree about the wrongness of "correcting" Tasha's death to something more "noble." To repeat a comment I made in the Rewatch for "Skin of Evil": "I disagree completely that Tasha's death was meaningless. Armus's decision to kill her was meaningless, but Tasha's death was in the performance of her duty, the result of an effort to save her crewmates, and that is profoundly meaningful. Whether she succeeded or not doesn't matter; what matters is that she tried, that she acted selflessly and devoted her life to helping others. Bringing Tasha back later to give her a more conventionally 'heroic' sacrifice just cheapened her original death. It rejected the simple, realistic message of 'Skin of Evil' -- that exploring space is dangerous and any one of our heroes could be killed at any time -- in favor of a more romanticized, sanitized, grossly dishonest view of death and danger, where redshirts can be casually tossed aside without a thought but main characters get a special exemption and only die if it's glamorous and uplifting enough."

Still, the episode does have a lot going for it. It's a strong story aside from its glaring flaws, and Picard's climactic moments are impressive; I particularly love Dennis McCarthy's score, the way he uses his Picard leitmotif (which was rarely used anymore at this point as Berman pushed the composers further away from motif-driven music) as a stirring, heroic fanfare in those final moments.

And as I've said before, I loved it how the science actually made a modicum of sense at this point. A "Kerr loop" is a real thing, aside from the informal phrasing; a Kerr ring singularity could theoretically function as a time warp (though there are lots of practical problems with that). The "superstring material" was a bit less accurate, though. They probably meant cosmic string material, the sort of ultradense matter that could produce a Kerr-type ring. But "superstring" is short for "supersymmetric string theory" and has nothing to do with cosmic strings.
Ian K
16. Rootboy
Turns out of lot of us like the cliched TV death!
Ian K
17. Mike S.
@#16 Rootboy,

If it's plausable, and well-done, then whatever they decide is OK by me (though I admit, Picard granting her request for transfer might not be plausable - I think they should have had Tasha just stoeaway on the Enterprise-C). This one was well done enough to hook me in, and like I said above, it doesn't come at the expense of disliking her earlier, "non-cliched" death, at least not for me.
Ian K
18. dav
I never liked Yar in this episode either and really hate where that story goes from here in Redemption, etc. MacDonald is awesome though and if having Crosby back gave him a few more scenes than he would have received then it balances out. This is definitely a top five episode and I think about it all the time in real world terms. Like if I had not helped that old lady with her groceries when I was fourteen would I have a devious goatee now? Can't wait to get to the other four episodes in my top five.
Chin Bawambi
19. bawambi
I have to agree to disagree with most of you here. I have several TNG episodes on perma DVR and this is not one of them. I love several things about the episode but Denise Crosby is a terrible actress. I have a hard time giving any episode she is in a grade higher than a 7.
Ian K
20. gibson99
One of the things I really liked about this episode is the different perspectives on the characters. Here we have this warm, friendly crew in a posh, peaceful, utopian future we're used to and WHAM we see these gritty, war-hardened versions of them . The alternate versions serve to highlight what we like best about the originals by both contrasting them and showing their similarities.
Ian K
21. Brian Eberhardt
I didn't know about Data's death and Wesley's death getting cut out. They should have been left in. {Insert obligatory Die Wil Weaton Die joke here :)}. It would have been memorable, as it would be the only time Wes Crusher gets killed in the series(If I remember correctly); which would pleased his hate mongers to no end. Maybe that is the real reason it got cut. Don't make the hate mongers happy?

If, by chance this gets read by Mr Weaton. I consider myself a fan of yours, and I follow your twittering, and enjoy listening to you on Nerdist podcast, just to name a few.

Denis Crosby seemed rigid and uncomfortable, I don't know how else to descripe her acting.

I agree, one of the best episodes of all Star Trek.
Ian K
22. Mike S.

I believe Wesley "died" in "Hide and Q." One of the "animal things" stabbed him, and Worf, to death.
j p
23. sps49
Everything I thought has already been said. Bunch of geniuses here, apparently...

But a special thanks to Christopher L. Bennett for calling out Guinan's main purpose on the ship, and how (even) better writing could obviate the need for her special intuition. Blech.

I feel somebody must've really liked Denise Crosby to bring her back after her David Caruso pre-impersonation.
Steve Taylor
24. teapot7
> she survived the battle at Narendra III long enough to sire a daughter.

Was gender reassignment surgery involved? Perhaps they do things differently in Starfleet...

*Very* good point upthread that the decision to go back could have been made by the 'old' Enterprise crew based on the world they see around them, rather than Guinan's mysterious plot sense. That would have made an already good episode much better - first by getting rid of Guinan's New Age twaddle, and secondly by showing us the irony of the modern Enterprise trying to prevent the old Enterprise going back in time, trying to do what they thought was the right thing.
Ian K
25. strongdreams
I don't mind Guinan's "New Age twaddle". At the time this episode was broadcast, she was meant to be mysterious -- the stuff about the Nexus was retconned later. I would have been just as happy if it had never been explained -- her time sense, her antagonism with Q -- not every mystery needs to be explained.

And I'm not sure it would make sense for the Enterprise-C crew to voluntarily go to their deaths defending Klingons from Romulans. Even if the Federation had an honor culture, which it doesn't, from their point of view they didn't dishonorably desert the battle, they got caught in a temporal anomaly. I'm not sure it would have been reasonable for Garrett (with or without Picard) to decide that their disappearance was the cause of the war, without some external information. But YMMV of course.
Sara H
26. LadyBelaine
all I would say has allready been said except the following superficial comments.

1) I loved the simple segue from happy shiny Enterprise to darker, grimmer Enterprise without any signal to the audience - no flash or weird sound, it simply is, then it isn't.

2) the red tunic and black slack uniforms looked pretty sharp in the movies as long as they have the undershirt underneath. Without the turtleneck that picks up the colored accent on the jacket/tunic, they looked ridiculous and undignified. Kirstie Alley's Lt. Saavik uniform with it's deep orange turtleneck, for example, looks damned sharp and military These look like they have all been woken up and dressed hastily and forget the whole kit.

STNG would trot them out time and time again sans turtleneck (for flashback scenes, like Crusher's husband) and they look awful.

edit:typo - without the turtleneck, not with the turtleneck ;)
Nicole Lowery
27. hestia
@ strongdreams

I've been rewatching with my kids, and I'm really enjoying the early mysteriousness of Guinan; it feels like the writers are setting her up to be a great, if strange, power. I'm ignoring the stuff they did later.

I think she's a time lord.
Ian K
28. Christopher L. Bennett
@25: "I don't mind Guinan's "New Age twaddle". At the time this episode was broadcast, she was meant to be mysterious -- the stuff about the Nexus was retconned later. I would have been just as happy if it had never been explained -- her time sense, her antagonism with Q -- not every mystery needs to be explained. "

The problem isn't that it's mysterious, the problem is that her mysteriousness is used as a contrived, deus ex machina way of getting around a plot hole. They needed the characters to figure out that the timeline had been altered when they had no valid way of knowing that, so the writers just conveniently gave Guinan the random ability to sense when history had been altered. It's one of those cases where you can see the puppeteers pulling on the characters' strings, and that's weak writing.

"And I'm not sure it would make sense for the Enterprise-C crew to voluntarily go to their deaths defending Klingons from Romulans. Even if the Federation had an honor culture, which it doesn't, from their point of view they didn't dishonorably desert the battle, they got caught in a temporal anomaly. I'm not sure it would have been reasonable for Garrett (with or without Picard) to decide that their disappearance was the cause of the war, without some external information."

Why wouldn't they have external information? They're Starfleet officers. They're curious and skilled at finding things out. They'd want to know how things had degenerated to this point, and they'd do the research. And "honor" has nothing to do with it. Garrett could've realized that if they went back and fought to defend a Klingon colony 22 years earlier, it would change UFP-Klingon relations for the better and might avert the war. Heck, that was the argument Picard used to convince Garrett, so why wouldn't it have worked as the argument Garrett used to convince Picard?

@26: I agree about the movie jackets without turtlenecks. I think the reverse would make more sense. I find it ridiculous the way the fancy-schmancy, retro-Hornbloweresque TWOK uniforms were used as standard duty wear in the movies. I could buy them as formal dress uniforms, but for everyday fatigues they should've dropped the jackets and just gone with the turtlenecks with rank and insignia pins attached -- much like the TOS pilot-era uniforms.
Keith DeCandido
29. krad
LadyBelaine: Thank you for mentioning the weird turtleneck-free costumes, as I totally forgot to do so....

---Keith R.A. DeCandido
Ian K
30. strongdreams

Why wouldn't they have external information? They're Starfleet officers. They're curious and skilled at finding things out. They'd want to know how things had degenerated to this point, and they'd do the research.

I realize I'm in the position of trying to teach my grandmother to suck eggs, but if we really think this through...

The Enterprise-D wouldn't have a crew of 1000, living in spacious apartments, they'd have 2-3000, in small quarters with 4 or more to a room, so that there would be a full 24 hour staff to keep the ship repaired, maintained and battle ready. They wouldn't send 5 people to fix the Enterprise-C, they'd send 500. Capt. Garrett would almost be an afterthought. They might honor her command, in which case they would put her into intensive briefings on the current situation. Or they would simply relieve her of duty on the grounds that her skills, equipment and knowledge are 20 years out of date. (What do you think would happen if the USS Yorktown had disappeared from the battle of Midway and shown up in the Sea of Japan in 1965?) On top of that, we have an (artificial) 9 deadline to either restore the C's warp drive or scuttle her.

In any case, studying what to Picard would be ancient history, would be just about his lowest priority. (Going back to the Yorktown, do you think the captain would be able to persuade the captain of the Bon Homme Richard to drop everything else and give him a lesson on the Berlin blockade and the start of the cold war?)

And even if Garrett decided to do the research on her own, she can't access the E-D's computers without Picard's permission.

Then think about whose character do you want to develop. Alternate Picard, who will revert back to normal in 44 minutes? or Garrett, a one-shot guest star? Or Guinan, who at least is a recurring role. Plus, I'd say that the alternate hardcore Picard would wouldn't waste any time entertaining alternate history theories unless someone he'd known and trusted for more than 20 minutes, and if Garrett came to him with a plan to destroy a trillion-dollar warship in a suicide mission to try and make the Klingons like them, he'd relieve her of duty on the grounds of mental instability.

I get your basic point, but I'm not sure you don't create as many improbables as you solve if you try to have Garrett come up with the idea on her own.
jon meltzer
31. jmeltzer
@27: I thought at the time she was an Organian monitor.

"El -Aurian?" Oh, well.
Adrian J.
32. LightningStorm
I completely agree. Also the Enterprise episode was "In a Mirror, Darkly" not "Through the Glass, Darkly". :) I can't believe there are 31 posts and no one mentioned this yet.
Ian K
33. Ginomo
@28: "The problem isn't that it's mysterious, the problem is that her mysteriousness is used as a contrived, deus ex machina way of getting around a plot hole. They needed the characters to figure out that the timeline had been altered when they had no valid way of knowing that, so the writers just conveniently gave Guinan the random ability to sense when history had been altered. It's one of those cases where you can see the puppeteers pulling on the characters' strings, and that's weak writing."

Agree 100%. This keeps this from being a 10 episode for me. I just rewatched it a few weeks ago and I thought the very same thing. Guinan's "I can now feel changes in time even though I have never done that before" just seemed made up to make the plot work.

And I also agree with Krad- though I love this episode, it showed me how much I didn't miss Tasha.
Ian K
34. TheGunner
Rewatching this episode in recent years, I see a few traits of Garrett that got passed on to Kathryn Janeway.
Ian K
35. Anony
I'm not a fan of Yar, and especially not the dead end Sela plotline, but I didn't have a problem with her appearance here. It fit the alternate timeline theme and gave the character a chance to go out on top, without taking momentum away from the episode's main story. Guinan having a time sense isn't a violation of her mysterious background, either.

This episode is a great example of what Enterprise lacked. In one hour it manages to pay homage to older Trek, flesh out Federation history, and generate lots of tension and character moments, without drowning in exposition. And it doesn't have to throw away continuity or fill the episode with bland banter to get there. If Enterprise had taken even half as much care with its universe and stories from the beginning, it might have been worth watching.

Agreed that the final stand in this episode is curiously passive. Picard seems to wait for everyone around him to die before finally getting serious. It doesn't stand out on first viewing, though.

Wesley died on camera in the second Q episode. If you want more, these two clips are satisfying.

Ian K
36. Mike Kelm
Okay, I'm going to go into nitpick mode again. I know that the Enterprise-D is suppsed to be a craft of exploration, but it gets it's ass kicked very frequently. I can sort of live with that in the normal universe, but in the military universe, this should be a much stronger ship. I agree with the previous poster that the Enterprise is pretty passive... no repeated phaser bursts (either shown or ordered), only one round of photons- it only destroys one smaller ship and gets destroyed by the other two. I think this is some legacy of Gene Rodenbury's "Shiny Happy Starfleet" which gets corrected in later seasons and much more with DS9/Voyager- we realize later that the universe is still a dangerous place and that starships need to defend themselves. But in early DS9, the Galaxy class comes across as somewhat easy to attack.
Ian K
37. tigeraid
My fav TNG episode. No matter how many times I watch it, when Yar reads out the other Enterprise's registration, I get goosebumps. Just done really well.

Even as a kid watching this (the first couple of times) I remember being satisfied with how they gave Yar's character a "second chance" and make her mean a bit more.

And how about Shooter McGavin as Castillo!
Ian K
38. strongdreams
@28, @33,
I understand your side of the argument but I think you are too quick to dismiss the problems with your preferred scenario.

Guinan's "I can now feel changes in time even though I have never done that before" just seemed made up to make the plot work.

Exactly when would this have come up before? And at this point we do know that Guinan is mysterious, long-lived, and has a history with Q.

You would prefer that Capt Garrett spend time researching the history of the war and realize on her own that the Enterprise-C's disappearance could have sparked the war. Remember first that she has 9 hours to fix her ship or else scuttle it, is it reasonable that she would spend some of her time in the library? Then, she has to go to Picard and suggest a suicide mission -- not diplomat Picard, but battle Picard. Woud he be more likely to approve her suicide mission (125 people and a trillion-dollar starship) or would he relieve her of duty on the grounds of mental fatigue and give Riker the command? And don't forget that making Garrett a brilliant, insightful commander who sacrifices herself and her crew for an unverifiable theory wastes all that character work on a guest star who will never return to the show. At least having Guianan persuade Picard to take a chance based on her "feeling" does add something to the Guinan-Picard relationship.

I'm just suggesting that your alternative is not as clear-cut as you think.
Nate Shouse
39. MnemonicNate
I love the twists Trek takes when they delve off into another 'mirror' universe...and though this isn't that universe that we saw later in DS9, it makes me wonder if that's what they had in mind. I loved Picard's conversation with Guinan in the lounge, when he basically tells her Starfleet has a few months' worth of fighting left, and then it's obliteration. How cool! And set with that impressive map at Picard's back, showing fleet locations and strategic points...things like that really help set the tone.

I wish we could've seen more of this from TNG. I know the writers didn't often revisit ideas, but in the later episode (season 7?) when Worf is traveling through dimensions, it would've been cool to see this Enterprise appear.
Ian K
40. leandar
I'm actually surprised no one mentioned how the look of the military Enterprise is almost exactly how the Enterprise would eventually look in Star Trek Generations with the stations on the side of the bridge and the raised command area. Also as I recall, Diane Duane used this episode as the basic idea when she described the ISS Enterprise-D in her novel "Dark Mirror."
Ian K
41. John R. Ellis
Frankly, allowing the existence multiple omnipotent otherdimensional energy beings who can alter the nature of reality with a snap of their self-constructed "fingers" makes giving Guinan a "timeline sense" seem utterly tame in comparison.
Keith DeCandido
42. krad
leandar: Both "Yesterday's Enterprise" and Generations had the same director, David Carson, interestingly enough.

Of course, in the movie, the reason for killing the lights on the bridge was because the sets built for television would look incredibly chintzy on the big screen.....
Ian K
43. don3comp
I have to disagree with Keith about the "stupid tv death" bit. I happen to have found moving the idea of being able to choose when you die, and what you make of your life before then. (This is a development, after a fashion, of a theme introduced at the climax of "Where Silence Has Lease," when Picard asks, "how long to prepare to die?")

Why does the first screen shot make me think of either "PacMan" or "You sunk my battleship?"

Some trivia: Christopher McDonald was Thelma's unloving husband in "Thelma & Louise." Before this episode aired, I had this dream where I was discussing "Star Trek" with McDonald. Freaky or what?...at any rate, he got to play Mr. Sensitive Guy in this one.
Michael Burke
44. Ludon
43 comments and no one has made the connection to the movie The Final Countdown? A ship travels through time and changes/maintains the course of history? I thought it would have been obvious.
Ian K
45. Pendard
I've always wondered something. In "Redemption," it seemed like the Romulans had learned everything about Tasha Yar when they interrogated her -- that she came from the future, the name of her commanding officer, etc. Sela knew it all, which means that the Romulans have known it all for twenty years. Now, obviously, this timeline was averted, but did the Romulans' strategy of splitting the Federation-Klingon alliance come from their knowledge of this alternate timeline.
Justin Devlin
46. EnsignJayburd
It's always interesting with a big episode like this one what we choose to nitpick over and what makes us wilfully suspend our disbelief.

I agree with the 9 rating as the drama is just that good.

I have no problem with Guinan's "special" ability. I don't consider it a deus ex machina, as it was pointed out by strongdreams that she'd already been set up as being mysterious, long-lived, and having had an adversarial relationship with Q. That's enough for me to believe that her word would eventually be "good enough, dammit, good enough," for Picard, to paraphrase his outburst. Nor do I have a problem with Tasha "resetting" the conditions of her death. I thought it was a neat idea (provided that she actually died, which she did, but not re-oh never mind). I don't have a problem with Garrett's decision, relative crew complements, or anything much else (except Garrett's death).

No, the nit I'd like to pick is called the Tomed Incident. It was established in the season 1 episode The Neutral Zone that Starfleet had heard "almost nothing" from the Romulans since said incident occurred 53 years ago (55 by the time the events of Yesterday's Enterprise happened). I'm sorry, but I don't consider the Federation's flagship charging to the rescue of a Klingon outpost, being destroyed by 4 Romulan warbirds, and resulting in a lasting peace between the Federation and the Klingon Empire "almost nothing." I see no reason why, for continuity's sake, the Narendra III incident couldn't have taken place before the Tomed Incident. At this point in the established timeline, it can still be Enterprise-C, it can still be Klingons vs. Romulans, it can be everything the episode says it is except that it's not 22 years they jump forward, but somewhere around, say, 56-60 years.

Ian K
47. cityguy
Watching this episode again the other night, and then seeing Christopher McDonald on an episode of Harry's Law the next night, I was reminded of Castillo's line to Yar about keeping an eye out for a man in his late 50's looking at her (had she stayed and he survived).

I went to look up the original airdate of the episde (which is when I first saw it, barely into my teens) and was amused to realize it was February 1990 -- exactly 22 years now, just like the Enterprise C's time jump. No need to imagine now what Castillos hypothetical older self would look like!
Joseph Newton
48. crzydroid
@40, the extra stations on the side and the raised center chair bear similarity to the Generations bridge, but it is not almost identical. This bridge has a series of steps all the way across, replacing the ramps, with only Picard's chair in the center and raised so high as to go above the tactical station. The Generations bridge still has ramps, it's just that the sides of the ramps are raised for the sake of the side stations. There are only about two steps on a raised platform jutting out from the command section, and all three bridge chairs are present.

Also, in Generations the lighting is merely dimmed; here it's dimmed because the ceiling lights are blue.

Then of course, the two have a number of smaller differences.

I'm not trying to destroy your comment or rain on your parade--just saying.

Also, I have some comments on the Galaxy-class-should-not-be-this-wimpy discussion, but I think I will save that for "Rascals".
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
49. Lisamarie
Don't know if anybody will see this, but I do totally agree about Yar's death in Skin of Evil (and I believe I did comment on that in that post) - I never found her death sensless or empty and I think it highlighted the randomness and pointlessness that violence can have. But it wasn't meaningless for HER - she was doing her job. And even if was just a freak accident (like, for example, Lt. Aster in the Bonding)...sometimes life is like that.
50. jlpsquared
I agree with you Lisamarie, why was Yars death in "skin" meaningless? She was trying to rescue hostages...I can think of few more noble ways to die? I think people are saying that because they just don't like that episode. But yeah, it has always bothered me. Further on this point, since we don't see how Tasha died (not that she did anyways) when they went through the rift, how do we know she didn't have to go to the bathroom and have a bulkhead crush her? We don't, be we KNOW she was trying to rescue troi when an entity killed her. Yeah, I am mystified?

But YES, this episode is absolutley incredible. There is nothing I can say that hasn't been said already accept the music was great too. At this point McCarthy was already sounding boring and terrible, yet this was his last, great, episode soundtrack. Thank God this episode wasn't in season 6 or 7 when the music would have been dulled down to suicide level.
Ian K
51. Eben Brooks
Sire a daughter?!? No, sorry, women bear children. Men sire them.
Dante Hopkins
52. DanteHopkins
About the TV death: Technically its an entirely different Tasha who goes back in time aboard the Enterprise-C; the Tasha we know still dies at Vagra II, so this doesn't cheapen that realistic death by Armus at all. Its just a great story which gives us a chance to see what maybe Denise Crosby's Yar would have been like had Crosby stayed with the show. Just an awesome awesome story overall, a great oppurtunity for Crosby to come back and (finally) do an awesome episode where Yar actually matters to the story. To me. it was finally a chance for Yar to be in the foreground instead of reliably in the background at tactical. Definitely a 10.
Ian K
53. koinekid
@15 Christopher, you're thinking like a book writer, but this is a tv show. Would you really give the pivotal plot decision, on which the fate of the universe turns, to a one off character? In a book perhaps, where you have time and space to develop such a character, such a choice would be valid. Even in a book series you can devote entire POV sections to a previously unknown minor character which you are temporarily elevating to such a high status. But in a tv series, no, not without compelling reason. Garrett is a fine character (due as much to the guest star's talent as anything else, and poor casting could have derailed the episode), but Picard and his crew are the stars. Would the series be better served providing insight into her character, she who will be gone forever by the time the credits roll, or Picard's character, who, though he is a different version of his usual character, is still essentially him and will return time and again?
Ian K
54. drewatl
For me this episode has always been fanservice and a bore. Most of that is because of Tasha's return but I never found Garrett or Castillo noteworthy. The only element of interest that which was added to Guinin's mystery. Worst of all, we learned from "The Deadly Years" that Romulans don't take prisoners. Yet, Alternative Tasha becomes a mistress and her daughter a Romulan Commander? Ridiculous!
Ian K
55. JohnC
My favorite thing about this episode is the nuanced, precise performance by Patrick Stewart. He did an amazing job of portraying a Picard who has lived through 20 years of war instead of peace, without betraying the essence of the original character. He's a bit more aggressive and short-tempered, but underneath he's still that calculating, reasonable man. My least favorite thing about this episode is that I simply cannot take Castillo seriously - that's not a Starfleet lieutenant, that's Shooter McGavin!
Ian K
56. Jenny87
Just my two cents worth:

This is the very first episode of TNG I can actually remember watching. I would have been about 5 years old at the time.
I had no idea who Tasha Yar was, only that seeing her made my older brother and sister (10 and 12) very sad for some reason. So keep in mind that I saw "heroic TV death" Tasha first please :P

First, KRADeC - I love your recap of this episode, but I personally think this episode is perfect (ain't personal bias wonderful :P ) Well from a story perspective anyway... the reused CGI and somewhat yucky looking "old" uniforms did kind of bug me after a lot of rewatching this episode as I got older (we taped it on the VCR because there was no way in hell my parents would let any of us kids stay up till midnight to watch TV, even if it was Sci-Fi... we didn't record the earlier seasons because they actually showed them in a non-ridiculous time slot, but from season three onwards the approximately 60% that my father actually remembered to tape became some of our most prized possessions).
Anyway, I've now seen every episode of TNG and every other spin-off (working through TOS now) and I feel that this is in my top five favourite episodes of TNG, if not of all Trek I have watched. Massive statement I know, LOL.
Agree with everything you said about Troi in her section, however I'm not entirely convinced that if there was a counsellor on board it would necessarily be her. My logic for that statement is, that as an empath it would likely send HER crazy dealing with that much of everyone else's mental anguish and other issues (like anger and probably constantly wanting to kill shit - think Lon Suder from Voyager times a thousand or two in her head "all the live-long day" :P )
Actually, I agree with everything you said other than the bits about Denise Crosby. I like her and you obviously don't. Chalk it up to the ignorance of youth or something... But we can agree to disagree, right?
Ian K
57. Jenny87
MABfan - the last paragraph of your first post is exactly me too.
Oh, wow... I just realized most of my favourite episodes involve time travel ("City of the Edge of Forever", "Yesterday's Enterprise", "Cause and Effect" to name a few of my favourite TNG eps)... LOL
Agree with everything in your second post, except the bit about "The Inner Light" but that's more because I found it a bit boring and have never been able to sit through the whole thing in one sitting, rather than it being an inherrantly bad episode.

Ian K - That would have been an amazing touch, but I think it may have stretched credibility a little too far.

Strong dreams - I respectfully beg to differ on your interpretation of post-Narendra III events in the alternate timeline. In fact, I would go as far as saying that the Khitomer attack never occurred in the alternate timeline. Bear with me here.
At Narendra III the Klingon gets attacked by "someone". Enterprise-C gets a distress call and turns up there. They get attacked by Romulans and disappear... The Federation knows that the C went to Narendra III, and presumably the Klingon's do too. However, the only people who are aware of the Romulan's involvement are now 22 years elsewhere, err, else-when. So the Klingons would then assume one of two things; either the Feds are dishonorable cowards who ran from a fight, or they were the ones who did the deed and then high-tailed it out of there. In any case, not a good look for the Feds and the Klingons aren't exactly known to be the forgiving type about either behavior. Thus the Klingons and the Federation have a big bust-up... And the Romulans are happy, because if the UFP and the Klingon Empire are fighting, they pretty much get left to their own (nefarious) devices. Why attack an enemy that is effectively fighting your other enemy to the death? It would be stupid. Let them weaken each other while you bide your time and amass your forces to destroy the winner. The Romulans would be even more stupid/crazy to attack Khitomer, than Hitler was to invade the Soviet Union when he still hadn't technically defeated Europe. It would be like kicking a bee-hive, ie. asking for trouble.
So, theoretically, it could have been Worf they were fighting :P
Ian K
58. Jenny87
Wow, my comments are turning into quite an essay :P
(Also, I spelled inherently wrong last post... don't know if I can fix it or not)

Bob A - I agree with everything you said. I now have a vision of Q doing exactly that, LOL.

Gilbetron - Yes! Just yes.

Mike S. @10 - See my comment directly above for Gilbertron :P

Seryddwr - :D. I agree, that battle did feel stilted. It felt like a naval battle where huge ships lumber around because of their large mass, and the smaller ships turn quicker/better. In space, with inertial dampners (or whatever), I would have thought the difference in mass would be negated if they had enough energy (like DS9s "Emissary" when they move the station). Mind you, I think Babylon 5 spoilt me in my expectations for special effects when it came out.

CLB - I love your writing BTW, and though I haven't read the DTI stuff yet, I'm very much looking forward to it.

Due to my commentary becoming ridiculous in it's length, I'll do bullet points for the rest of my thoughts.

# I love Guinan's "timey-whimeyness". I can totally see her as a Timelord, LOL (maybe The Doctor compared to Q as The Master?). As an aside, it really doesn't take all that much from information given in "Generations", along with watching the series, to conclude that the Nexus was the source of her "time sense" after watching the movie. Obviously, that's why that dialogue ended up on the cutting room floor (I believe it was actually filmed but didn't make the final cut). It may have been better to leave her "mystique" intact, but whatever makes the Hollywood bucks, right? :P
# The Lost Era uniforms made me uncomfortable. It took many years, and many rewatches, to determine that: (a) it was TWoK uniform sans undershirt and (b) the lack of undershirt made them feel somewhat naked.
# The alternate timeline modern uniforms were amazing!
# The battle log and combat date thing were very nice touches.
# Every single time (including the first) that I have seen this episode, when Yar reads out the Cs details I get chills up my spine. Actually, it's right when she says C, and as she says USS Enterprise my blood runs cold. Every time! Creeps me out with the predictability of that response. No idea what it is about it that makes me react that way though. Maybe it's the "someone just walked over my grave" feeling people talk about.
# AMAZING teaser! Equal first with "Cause and Effect" IMHO. (But hey, I'm totally biased, and proud of it) :P
# In retrospect, Guinan's ability to sense the timeline being changed never seemed to be contrived to me. She's an alien who only appears human (and until "Generations" the only member of her species we'd seen). How are we to know that all her species can't do that? (At that point in the show's run I mean) Heck, let's not forget that Q, of all people, is afraid her for some inexplicable reason! That indicates to me she's pretty powerful, but she just doesn't like to show off like a certain aforementioned, so-called omnipotent being. Actually, the Nexus reveal made me feel they weakened the character by attempting to define aspects of her power. Mysterious characters are lame when they no longer have mysteries IMO.
# I am absolutely certain I'll get flamed for this, but to quote a sage from another universe "many of the truths we cling to, depend on our point of view". From a certain point of view, Tasha's death was meaningless. Her death helped no-one, saved no-one, and ultimately had very little influence on historical events (that we're shown, anyway). In part, Guinan telling alternate Yar of her counterpart's death and apparent meaninglessness of it's manner, could be a subtle manoeuvring of events to ensure the success of the C upon their return to Narendra III restoring the original timeline. (Note: My siblings and I have discussed at length whether this episode has two distinct timelines or three. There is an argument for the different parts of the episodes to be labelled timeline A, timeline B and timeline A', where A' is a imperceptibly slight variation of A. Or as my big brother would say, "Is this really an example of a self-causing, self-eliminating temporal paradox?". Yep, massive nerds my entire family :P ) By her being there at Narendra III, the battle is influenced for their better. Staying where she is almost certainly will doom both crews. By going to the C, Yar was making a difference. To me, I think the character herself would think that dying without making a difference would be a waste. The fact that she was ultimately fated to die an as equally unfulfilling death as her counterpart cements the tragedy her life really was. I think why Guinan said it was meaningless because from Tasha Yar's own perspective it was.

Finally finished now. Thank you for your time! :P
Ian K
59. Llama
I feel like the little love story between Tasha and that guy was really shallow and unnecessary. It would have been better, more powerful storytelling for her to make the decision simply because she felt it was what she had to do. Maybe have her interacting with multiple members of the C crew, but not forming any particular bond, because that's not what it's about. I feel like it reduces Tasha's character somewhat to toss in this half-baked 'love' story as her motivation.
Ian K
60. SethC
The two things I never got about this episode were the supposed militaristic elements of it. I know they wanted to differente this universe from ours, but substituing "military log" for "captain's log" and "combat date" for "stardate" seems contrived to me. Despite two decades of war, I don't think the Federation would become so militaristic to mark time with "combat dates" and "military logs". The other is the battle sequence itself. For being a Galaxy-class warship built to combat the Klingons during war, it made a pathetically weak showing. I know they were really just drawing cover for the Enterprise-C and being in a defensive position against moving targets puts a combatant at a disadvantage, but they waited for the Klingons to open fire before firing a volley of photon torpedoes that barely scratched the bird-of-prey (ordinarily one or two torpedo hits obliterate a bird-of-prey). Only after the Enterprise-C was converged on, the Enterprise-D was being outflanked and had damage to deck 14, the loss of the starboard power coupling and one of their containment generators was off-line, did they outleash a full phaser volley. If I was ever in command of a Federation battleship fighting against an enemy, I would try to cause A LOT more damage than Picard did.
MaGnUs von Tesla
61. lordmagnusen
@krad Again, I'm amazed at your guts for calling a TNG cast member "mediocre"; when you might meet them face to face. :)

I love this episode, and I love that Lt. Castillo is a white Hispanic; Holywood (until very recently) seems to forget that we exist. Yes, it's not as valid as a complain from other minorities, but it's always bugged me, as a white Hispanic (and my country, Uruguay, is full of those), that every time a Hispanic character appears he's a generic dark-skinned dark-haired dark-eyed guy. It'd be like making all US characters blonde and blue eyed.

On the Tasha subject, I never cared for her, but I did like this plot and the resulting Sela plot. Having the mysterious Romulan commander plotting against them be Tasha's daughter and look-alike makes it all the more poignant in the end.

About Guinan, I don't mind that she gets the ability to sense temporal shifts, it fits the mysterious character established thus far.

@cityguy: However, if TNG's make-up crew had aged 30s McDonald to play 50s Castillo, then he would have looked anything like 50s McDonald's. Star Trek has a horrible track record when it comes to aging actors with make-up. :)

@drewatl: Saying "Romulans don't take prisoners" because one episode says so is reducing them to "one planet, one race, one culture". Why couldn't ONE Romulan decide to keep an attractive human as a love slave? Plus, even if they don't "take prisoners", not keeping them captive for a while to interrogate them would be just stupid.

@JohnC: Sir Patrick Stewart's performance here is amaazing.

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