127 – Time’s Arrow, Part 2

Grade: C+

Time's Arrow, Part II (1992) on IMDb


Picard, Riker, Crusher, Troi, and LaForge use the alien technology to travel to San Francisco in 1893 to rescue Mr. Data and stop the aliens who are attacking cholera victims.


As is common in this series, the second half of a two-part storyline tends to be a major let-down compared to the first. In this particular episode, there just doesn’t seem to be very much to hold my attention. It’s always potentially interesting to see people from the past end up on the Enterprise. It can be even more fun to watch when it’s a famous person like Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) who makes the trip to the 24th Century. But it’s disappointing that this episode really doesn’t do anything with him once he’s on board the ship.

Ultimately, the only reason he’s on the ship at all is so that they can use him as a plot device later. I don’t want to give away the ending, so skip this paragraph if you don’t want to be spoiled. Honestly, though, I thought it was kinda boring anyway. It turns out that Dr. Crusher (not Data or LaForge – yeah, it’s weird) has created some kind of time portal thing that they can use to get the Captain back. There’s only one problem – it’s only big enough for one person. No explanation is given as to why she would be the one to create it or if LaForge could have come up with a more effective time portal. Well, thank goodness Clemens has a plan to save the Captain. But what was even more weird was that Riker didn’t think of that first. The ending was just too convenient for my taste.

There were lots of other plot holes, unexplained coincidences and other goofs all over the place, too. Like how convenient that Data suddenly comes around the corner on a horse-drawn carriage and pick up the rest of the crew at the hospital at the very last second. And the episode starts off with Picard and crew in an apartment and appropriate 1890s clothing without having any money in the first place. Plus, Data’s head has been sitting under ground for 500 years, and after LaForge attaches it to the rest of his body, he’s perfectly fine. Hmm.

Other than that, the acting seems to have taken about two or three steps back – with the strange exception of Marina Sirtis. Even though she didn’t have a terribly demanding role, she puts in a much better performance than usual.

So in short, this isn’t a great episode. Kind of fun in some places, but just not their best work. If it had been a mid-season episode, I probably would have rated it a bit higher. But they had a whole summer to get ready for this episode, and this is all they come up with. So it gets a C+.

Of Note

One idea that was kicked around before settling on this story was that Captain Picard and crew would spend a bit longer in 1893. Maybe I would have liked that storyline better than this one.