Star Trek: The Next Generation - Cause and Effect
David Livingston, Herbert Wright, Rick Berman (executive), Michael Piller (executive), Gene Roddenberry (executive), Jeri Taylor (supervising) for Paramount/CBS
directed by Jonathan Frakes
starring Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner, Michelle Forbes, Patti Yasutake, Kelsey Grammer, Rachen Assapiomonwait, Michael Braveheart, Carl David Burks, Tracee Cocco
written by Brannon Braga, created by Gene Roddenberry, music by Dennis McCarthy
Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek
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It seems to be just another evening on the Enterprise: Data (Brent
Spiner), Riker (Jonathan Frakes), Worf (Michael Dorn) and Dr. Crusher
(Gates McFadden) are playing poker, where Data's slightly obnoxious, Worf
in it over his head, and Doc Crusher calls Riker's bluff - when she's
called to sick bay to check some irregularity on Geordi's (LeVar Burton)
visor. Later that night, she hears otherworldly voices - and is surprised
the next day that it was not just her imagination but ten other
crewmembers have apparently heard the voices as well. Then the Enterprise
approaches a time anomaly - and out of the anomaly appears another
spaceship on collision course. Evasive maneuvres don't work, nor does
hailing the ship so Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) asks for suggestions.
Riker suggests something, so does Data, and Picard goes with Data's
suggestion - but the Enterprise gets hit by the other ship and explodes
... and it's just another evening on the Enterprise with Data, Riker, Worf
and Doctor Crusher playing poker, the exact same game as before actually.
Only now, Riker, Worf and the doctor are able to predict their cards, and
Crusher also predicts she'll be called to sick bay to check Geordi's
visor. More deja vus happen all over the ship, but the Enterprise explodes
again - and then everything goes back to start. Eventually, our heroes
find out they're stuck in a time loop, and the only way to avoid collision
that happens every time is to send a message to Data in the next round of
the time loop - and the next time, they find the number three popping up
everywhere - which doesn't help much, as they soon are on collision course
with the other ship again, and Riker suggests something, Data something
else, and Picard goes with Data's suggestion, but then Data sees the three
stripes on Riker's uniform that signify his rank and goes with Riker's
suggestion - and collision is avoided. The Enterprise crew find out
they've been stuck in the loop for 17 days - but the other ship
(commandeered by Kelsey Grammer) has been hit much worse, being stuck for
81 years (!).
Despite the lack of combat situation or any
physical action (well, apart from the Enterprise exploding numerous
times), this is a rather awesome episode of Star Trek: The Next
Generation, thanks to clever writing, a directorial effort that
keeps things interesting despite endless repetitions of the same, and of
course great chemistry between all involved. Probably one of the best
episodes of the series.