Season Six, Episode 25
Written by Brannon Braga
Directed by Adam Nimoy
Main Cast:
Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes as Commander William Riker
LeVar Burton as Lt Geordi LaForge
Michael Dorn as Lt Worf
Gates McFadden as Dr Beverly Crusher
Marina Sirtis as Counsellor Deanna Troi
Brent Spiner as Lt Cmdr Data

Guest Cast:
Michael Bofshever as "Romulan" Alien
John DeMita as Sickbay Romulan
Joel Fredericks as Engineering Ensign

Returning to the Enterprise from a conference, Picard, Troi, Geordi and Data discover the ship frozen in time amid a battle with a Romulan Warbird. As they attempt to unravel the mystery and find a way to halt the immanent destruction of the Enterprise, Data discovers an alien energy vortex in the warp core of the Warbird. Tampering with the vortex causes time to race forward, then backward before freezing again. It transpires that aliens from another dimension had been attracted to the Romulan warp core where they laid their young in the artificial gravity well. With this knowledge, time is restored and Picard manages to halt the destruction of the Enterprise.


Ah, here we have one of Brannon Braga's notorious technobabble anomaly stories, for which Voyager has become famed. I'll be honest, I don't particularly like this kind of story. I much prefer the drama to be based on character rather than silly "science". I mean, the primary characters in this story could have been any of the crew. They were just plot devices, not characters and the story could have been told on any Trek show, for that matter (though obviously if it was Voyager it wouldn't have been the Romulans). Having said that, this is actually one of Braga's better attempts and for the most part Timescape remains a reasonably engaging episode which held my interest pretty much until its damp squib of an ending.

There are a few enjoyable moments scattered throughout the episode, particularly the first scene on the runabout which features some wonderful banter between the crew as they complain about how boring their conference was. Often the character interaction tends to be a little sterile and clinical on TNG, so it was great to see the characters open up and really behave like people would. Take a look at Picard's face when he does that impression, by the way -- he looks so funny! The rest of the episode tends to get bogged down in technobabble, but the special effects which "froze" the crew were convincing and Adam Nimoy acquits himself well with the directorial duties, successfully crafting an eerie atmosphere. Technobabble aside, things hold up reasonably well until a somewhat disappointing conclusion. The twist that aliens were using the warp core as a nest was fair enough, but the resolution itself felt decidedly routine and by-the-numbers. It wasn't horrible, but as pay-off goes, it wasn't fully satisfying by the same note. All things considered, a rather ordinary episode -- entertaining but unmemorable.   

Rating: 6

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