Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Next Generation 6x25 "Timescape"

rating: *

the story: The crew experiences time distortions, including a Romulan ship that seems to have been completely frozen.

similar to: "Wink of an Eye" (original series), "Condundrum," "Cause and Effect" (Next Generation), "Blink of an Eye" (Voyager)

my thoughts: I'm once again fudging my criteria acknowledgments with "Timescape," as by my standards, it could easily be given both franchise- and series-relevant labels.  In the franchise, the original series episode "Wink of an Eye" is about a species that visits the ship at a different speed (think a whole species of superheroes like the Flash or Quicksilver) while in Voyager, the similarly-named "Blink of an Eye" features a whole world whose revolutions are quicker than average, and so civilization advances rapidly while Janeway's ship is lodged in orbit (the crew experiences time normally).

At any rate, real science fiction-heavy episodes like this are somewhat a dime a dozen, and as such are kind of the bread-and-butter of the franchise.  For my tastes, "Timescape" rings most true to Next Generation's fifth season contributions to this trend, "Conundrum" and "Cause and Effect," both of which I labeled classics.  As a late entry in the follow-up season, "Timescape" betrays a creative staff that's once again dragging its feet, which was something that plagued the staff at the beginning of the season, too. 

Which is to say, "Timescape" shares none of the brilliant spark of its predecessors.  It's a by-the-numbers affair, with the crew busy experiencing odd things (this is old hat for the series: see "Where No One Has Gone Before" from the first season, for instance).  By the time we get aboard the Romulan ship, and see that crew frozen in time, and play a cat-and-mouse game with the bad guy (unlike in "Conundrum," we don't get to hang out with him the whole episode), things pick up considerably, but by then it's too late.  Come to think of it, the odd chronal mechanics from Enterprise's "Future Tense" is a better example of this sort of story, too.

You can certainly enjoy "Timescape," but it's a distinctly minor affair.

criteria analysis: franchise - series - character - essential


  1. So, I guess this isn't the episode to watch for a first-timer...

    1. I mean, you could, but it'd give the barest sliver of what Star Trek is all about.


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