ST:TNG 5.09 A Matter of Time ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch

The Enterprise hosts a visitor from the 26th century in 5.09 A Matter of Time.

Images Source: TrekCore

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch continues with ...

A Matter of Time
Season 5, Episode 9

  • While The Enterprise is en route to help a planet to get out from under an ice age they encounter a space-time distortion and then Rasmussen appears, who claims to be a historian from the 26th century who says he is there to witness an event.
    Character Focus:
    • "Proffessor" Berlinghoff Rasmussen is the focus of this episode, as he visits the ship claiming to be from the 26th century to pay witness to a historic event, however it's revealed is an until-recently-dismal inventor from the 22nd century. I'm sure that many people recognize Rasmussen, played by Matt Frewer and who is very well know for his portrayal of Max Headroom and he also was fabulous on the Canadian crime drama 'Intelligence'.
    • Geordi also plays an important role here as he is on the planet helping with the environmental issues and even stays on the planet when they make the second attempt to fix the planet with The Enterprise firing on it.
    What I remembered about this episode:
    • I remember being totally reeled in by this one, and thinking it was a cool idea and not suspecting at all that Rasmussen was lying!
    What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
    • This actually isn't the first time we have the premise of time travellers from the future, it also happened to Picard in 3.19 Captain's Holiday where it also went pretty badly. Perhaps being more covert is a better way to go for folks when coming from the future.
    • I'm again noticing the power team of Data and Troi, even though they don't work together in this one it does feel like in these situations if anyone is going to be able to figure out the true it will be one of them. Ultimately in this episode it's Picard, but I'm still sticking by it as a theory!
    • The effects of the ship firing on the planet and then absorbing the energy and blasting it into space was pretty impressive! I rarely notice the effects, but the ones here were really good.

    Images Source: TrekCore

    What feels different now, than then:
    • I think the fact that Rasmussen hands out questionnaire and wants to see a lot of devices should have been a red flag. In fact, I'm shocked Data did not notice that he stole something from his quarters, especially after entering without a greeting or requesting permission.
    • You do see the crew express caution, but they do their own checks on Rasmussen's story which does appear to mostly check out.
    • With the planet on the story there is talk of a similar environmental occurrence on Earth in the 21st century, plus there is also talk about The Greenhouse Effect. It's amazing how many time things that were actually in effect, or looking like they would go into effect, at the time when the show aired. Oddly, it rarely feels like any kind of social or political commentary or maybe being in that time masks that feeling.
    What remained the same:
    • It is interesting to see each of the characters reaction to Rasmussen, will they be interested to know the future and if so about what? Will they suspect him, and if so why? Will his checks and balances impress, or annoy?
    What I see differently:
    • This one was not the most interesting to re-watch because eventually it's a reset with both the planet being saved and Rasmussen being detained in the present with no effect on The Enterprise. There are some great scenes, and I do love the powerful sentiment that Picard eventually nails home about the power of choice, that made it worth it, but getting there was a long ride.
    • I really loved the scene with Rasmussen and Troi, where she clearly indicates that she doesn't trust him.
    Great Quotes:
    • "By refusing to help me, you left me with the same choice I had to begin with, to try or not to try, to take a risk or to play it safe." - Picard
    • "I hate questionnaires." - Worf
    • "A person's life, their future, hinges on each of a thousand choices. Living is *making* choices!" - Picard
    • "I assume your hand print will open this door, whether you are conscious or not." - Data
    Left off at:
    Picard eventually becomes suspicious of Rasmussen and they ask to see inside his ship after several items go missing from the ship. Data checks it out and it's revealed his is a thief and has come from the 22nd century and The Enterprise detains him and The Time Pod ship whisks off to another time without him.

    Images Source: TrekCore


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