This post is more aptly titled “Time Travel is Freakin’ Awesome!” Because this episode has been thoroughly dissected by other fans many times anyway. Check out what Den of Geek had to say about it, not that I agree with everything. I love everything about this episode.
If there’s one story type I love almost as much as any with babies, it’s Time Travel. It combines two of my favorite kinds of stories, History and Science Fiction (or Fantasy.) “Yesterday’s Enterprise” is widely regarded as one of the best Star Trek Time Travel stories and with good reason.
The episode is made even more remarkable when you understand the process of taking this story from pitch to finished product. The show had a bugger of a time getting made. The Wikipedia article talks a lot about that. “Yesterday’s Enterprise” on Wikipedia
So everything’s hunky-dorey in the 24th century. Guinan is introducing Worf to the virtues of Prune Juice and he utters that fantastic line I used every single time I was pregnant and, brother, was I pregnant a lot, “A warrior’s drink.”
A spatial anomaly, or whatever you techno-geeks call it, opens up in the Ten-Forward window and Guinan starts to get the heebie-jeebies. If you know Guinan, that’s never a good thing.
On the bridge, the crew watches a starship appear on the viewscreen.
And suddenly everything changes.
The Enterprise-D becomes a ship of war, not exploration. Some crew disappear, others appear, or reappear.
Tasha Yar, killed in Season 2, reappears very much alive, and then…
The Enterprise-C emerges and we’re thrown into an alternate timeline.
I’ve said it many times before, Captain Picard and Guinan (Sir Patrick Stewart and Whoopie Goldberg) are magical together. And this is one of those episodes.
In fact, it’s Guinan who pulls the entire story together. If not for her extra-sensory perception of the Time Travel aspect, we would’ve gotten totally lost and left scratching our heads, having lost a painful amount of wonderful character development along the way.
In my opinion, this is what happened to Star Trek Voyager “Year of Hell.” Since no one on the ship remembered or had any sense of what had happened, it was equal to hitting the re-set button. Which is sad. Because that episode was otherwise freakin’ awesome. The viewer is left with the last scene of the dude who tampered with time in first place changing his mind, but…
…we live the story through the Voyager crew. Not him. No matter how much we like a guest star, we’re emotionally invested in the regular characters.
In Time Travel stories, there’s gotta be rules.
I seem to have a very non-linear imagination, which may explain my fondness for Star Trek Generations. The bad guy’s line, “time is the fire in which we all burn,” is set off by Captain Picard’s line, “…time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment…”
As a storyteller, I’m extremely challenged by structure and portraying the passage of time. I have learned how incredibly necessary those things are in order to share that journey.
What do you love about Time Travel stories? Which one is your favorite? Why?
Hope to see you again next week, as I continue to count down to the launch of the new series, STAR TREK PICARD, on January 23rd.
Live Long and Prosper.
P.S. I like the old VHS covers, like the one you see at the top. Besides that, our RV has an old VHS player in it. So we watch all our favorite old shows when we go camping in the summer. Just a family ritual to make it more special, I guess.