63 – Before and After

Grade: C+

Before and After (1997) on IMDb


It’s 6 years in the future, and Kes is nearing the end of her life. The Doctor is taking some desperate measures to try to extend her life when she suddenly moves back in time to an earlier time. Kes soon realizes that she is moving backward through time at random intervals. Will she be able to get help before she disappears forever?


This was the first decent episode I had seen in what seemed like a month. It’s also the first episode in a long time that I remember watching when it originally aired on TV. But in reality, I don’t really like this episode all that much. It was nice to see what could happen in the future, but this is Star Trek, and we know that things rarely turn out to be the way they are predicted. Whenever Star Trek has an episode in the future, it’s usually to show something really bad that the characters in the present time should work to avoid.

This storyline is commonly believed to be fairly original, and perhaps in some ways it is. But I also remember watching “All Good Things” in which future events have an effect on things that happened in the past. That was actually a pretty good episode. Another episode that was actually pretty decent was “Twilight” from Enterprise.

One thing I didn’t like about Before and After is that it’s just so weird. Those other two episodes I mentioned are actually good stories. The scenes flow from one to another, and the viewer easily gets pulled into the story. In Before and After, however, it seemed like we were watching a bunch of scenes which had just been glued together. Nothing seemed to flow from one into another. But maybe that’s the point. We’re supposed to feel off-kilter.

Finally, the scene when Kes goes all the way back to her own birth, and then on to her own conception was just really odd. And then for her to be pushed forward again into the future so abruptly was bizarre. Overall, it was not a great episode, though it was nice to have a decent one again after a long string of sub-par nonsense.

Well, I think they could have done a lot better, anyway. It was a decent idea, but maybe just not executed as well as it could have been.

Of Note

Harry Kim gets picked on again in this episode. He’s always so unlucky with the ladies, it seems. Here, he marries Tom Paris’ daughter – to Tom’s chagrin, no doubt.

Apparently, the writers believed the Year of Hell would be a 2-part episode that would end Season 3 and begin Season 4. That was changed later, however, and Year of Hell appeared in the 4th season. So at some point between when the story was filmed and when it actually aired, they decided to get rid of Kes (at one point they were going to get rid of Kim) and bring on Seven of Nine. When that happened, they made the season ending episode Scorpion instead and did Year of Hell two months later.