Star Trek 216: A Matter of Time

216. A Matter of Time

FORMULA: -1(Tomorrow Is Yesterday) + Déjà Q

WHY WE LIKE IT: The comedy stylings of Matt Frewer.

WHY WE DON'T: Another dull B-plot. Knowing the twist takes a lot of air out of the balloon.

REVIEW: I wonder what this episode would've been like had Robin Williams played the role of Berlingoff Rasmussen as was apparently originally planned. Possibly unbroadcastable. Matt Frewer does well in the role, drawing an occasional chuckle as he manically induces paranoia in the crew, but the writing isn't that funny to begin with. Was it underwritten with improvisation in mind? Frewer does get a couple of moments however: His unease showing through in spots, letting you know it's all an act; his attempted seduction of Beverly; and the perhaps too hopeful line "no less enjoyable when you know the outcome". See, the A-plot hinges on a final twist, and I find that once you know what it is, the episode just plods along until we get there.

Much of the plodding is accomplished by the B-plot about climate change. A worthy subject, perhaps, but aside from the very nice matte painting and some cool effects, it does little to recommend it. It's all tech-stuff, reasonably explained, but wholly ridiculous. The lesson really shouldn't be that there are instant solutions to this kind of problem, you know.

And then there's the ending. Picard's dilemma is an interesting one, though I wonder if he's being true to his character in harassing Rasmussen for future knowledge. In any case, characterization goes out the window in the final scene as the Federation turns fascist. Rasmussen's punishment is coldly delivered and extremely harsh. Maybe Picard could have been more sympathetic ("I'm sorry, but you did bring it on yourself, we have no choice...), but he's really not. Crusher's reaction is especially jarring since Rasmussen only flirted with her, it's not like they were engaged and he cheated on her. At the end there, it almost sounds like he's gonna get dissected.

LESSON: Crusher's been jilted one too many times. Keep away.

REWATCHABILITY - Medium: Reasonably amusing at time, Matt Frewer creates a sympathetic rogue, which makes the crew's reaction all the more extreme and disturbing. Has some charm, but fatally flawed.


Alain Degrace said...

I always enjoyed time travel stories, so this one is no different. However, the moment I heard Robin Williams was supposed to play the time traveler, I never could bring myself to look at this episode again without imagining it with him - comparing the two is just not fair, but I still do it and come out disappointed.

Siskoid said...

At the same time, I can't imagine Robin Williams following a Star Trek script.


Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Orville The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zero Hour Strikes Zine