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Time Squared
Stardate 42679.2
Star Trek: The Next Generation, episode 39 (2.13)

Last Modified: 28 Jun 2006 13:30:03

Patrick Stewart   IMDB   Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes   IMDB   Commander William T. Riker
Levar Burton   IMDB   Lieutenant Geordi La Forge
Michael Dorn   IMDB   Lieutenant Worf
Marina Sirtis   IMDB   Lt. Commander Deanna Troi
Brent Spiner   IMDB   Lt. Commander Data
Wil Wheaton   IMDB   Wesley Crusher
Guest Cast:
Diana Muldaur   IMDB   Chief Medical Officer Katherine Pulaski
Colm Meaney   IMDB   Miles Edward O'Brien
Dennis McCarthy   IMDB
Joseph L. Scanlan   IMDB
Maurice Hurley   IMDB
Kurt Michael Bensmiller   IMDB
Laser Disc   ST:TNG LaserDisc Volume 20
The Next Generation Teaser #039: Time Squared

The U.S.S. Enterprise discovers a Federation shuttle containing an exact double of Captain Picard from six hours in the future.
When the U.S.S. Enterprise encounters a Federation shuttlecraft cartwheeling out of control through space, the starship pulls it into the shuttle bay.

Riker discovers that the shuttlecraft belongs to the U.S.S. Enterprise, and Dr. Pulaski finds an unconscious double of Picard inside. Captain Picard accompanies his double to sickbay, where Troi explains that the double really is Picard, but from another time. Data tells Picard that the shuttle's on-board clock shows it to be just six hours ahead of the U.S.S. Enterprise.

Scenes taken by the shuttle camera as it departed show the U.S.S. Enterprise surrounded by a whirlpool of energy. The double, frightened and confused in a nightmare world of his own, is unable to convey any information about the impending danger, and a scan of the area reveals nothing similar to the force filmed by the shuttle camera. Picard begins to doubt himself and worries that the judgment he made, as his double in the future, may have left him and his crew in a never-ending cycle of torment.

Suddenly, the whirlpool is upon them. Picard orders Geordi to take the U.S.S. Enterprise away at warp speed, but when it is unable to move, the U.S.S. Enterprise is forced to shut down before it is torn apart by the strain. The whirlpool lashes a tongue of energy which strikes each Picard, leading Troi to explain to Picard that the energy only wants him. Learning of his double's resolve to again leave the ship, Picard decides that they will never be able to move forward until the cycle is broken. He orders the U.S.S. Enterprise to charge directly into the vortex. After a tense moment, the double, the shuttle and the whirlpool disappear, leaving the Enterprise alone and on course again.

By Dark Materia on 13 Dec 2002 20:19:38
Even if the story is simple ("Anomaly, Future Picard - what the heck?") it is effective. We just don't know what's going on, and seeing Picard "all messed up" adds to the tension. Sadly the anomaly is never explained. It was suggested the Q created it and that this show should be a prequel to "Q Who?". That would have made sense, but they dropped it.

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