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Yesterday's Enterprise

Review

Series : The Next Generation Rating : 5
Disc No : 3.3 Episode : 62
First Aired : 19 Feb 1990 Stardate : 43625.2
Director : David Carson Year : 2366
Writers : Eric A. Stillwell, Trent Christopher Ganino Season : 3
Guest Cast :
Christopher McDonald as Lieutenant Richard Castillo
Denise Crosby as Lieutenant Natasha Yar (Alternate)
Guy Vardaman as Darien Wallace
Tricia O'Neil as Captain Rachel Garrett
Moral :
Surrender : That'll be the day...
YATI : Yar tells Castillo that the Enterprise-D was the first Galaxy class warship built for the alternate Federation. If that is so, then why aren't they called Enterprise class warships?

Look at the final scene with Geordi and Guinan on the Enterprise-D after the timeline has been restored; Geordi's uniform still has the modified cuffs of the other timeline on.

Great Moment : I love almost everything about this episode, but the Enterprise going down in flames has to be the best moment.
Body Count : The entire crew of the battleship Enterprise-D and most of the crew of the starship Enterprise-C, although most of these deaths occur off screen.
Factoid : The creators originally thought this episode would be a flop, as the final version was written in only three days.

Due to time constraints some planned elements were never filmed; most notably, Data was to have been electrocuted and Wesley blown up in the final battle.
Quote : "A warriors drink!" - Worf to Guinan about prune juice.

"Guinan says I died a senseless death in the other time line. I didn't like the sound of that, Captain. I've always known the risks that come with a Starfleet uniform. If I'm to die in one, I'd like my death to count for something." - Yar to Picard.

"Let's make sure history never forgets the name... Enterprise." - Picard to crew.

"That'll be the day..." - Picard muttering to himself when the Klingons demand his surrender.

Plotline

The Enterprise-D encounters an anomaly in space, what appears to be a wormhole-like time displacement. As they scan it, a ship emerges - and instantly the Enterprise undergoes a radical change. Worf and Troi are all missing, whilst the deceased Tasha Yar is suddenly alive and at tactical, reporting that the ship they are detecting is the USS Enterprise, NCC-1701-C. The Enterprise-C had been believed destroyed 22 years earlier in a battle to defend a Klingon colony from a Romulan attack.

Whilst none of the crew seem to be aware of the changes, in ten forward Guinan appears to sense that something is wrong. The crew board the Enterprise-C and find it badly damaged from combat with the Romulans, but there are survivors and the ship is potentially salvageable - important since the Federation is at war with the Klingon Empire, and Starfleet needs every ship it can get.

Captain Garrett of the Enterprise-C explains that they had detected four Romulan Warbirds attacking the Klingon Narendra III outpost. They had responded and defended the outpost, but with four to one odds they had no hope of survival.

Guinan meets with Captain Picard. She tells him that she senses that there is something terribly wrong - the Enterprise is not "supposed" to be at war with the Klingons, the Enterprise-D is not supposed to be a warship, but rather a ship of peave and exploration. She suggests that the Enterprise-C is not supposed to be here, and must be returned through the time displacement back to where it came. When Picard notes that this would send it back into the middle of the battle where it would be quickly destroyed, Guinan remains adamant that this is what must happen.

Meanwhile the Enterprise-D crew begin to assist the Enterprise-C in making some repairs and looking after the crew. Yar finds herself attracted to Lieutenant Castillo, the tactical officer of the Enterprise-C, as she helps him with tips on increasing combat performance.

At a briefing the Enterprise-D crew discuss the situation. Riker argues that sending the Enterprise-C back to a hopeless battle is pointless, but Data notes that the act of sacrificing themselves in defence of a Klingon outpost would be seen as a highly honourable act by the Klingons, which could improve relations considerably, and perhaps even prevent the war from happening in the first place. Geordi notes that if the past truly has changed there could be all sorts of effects, including any one of them being dead or alive. Yar, hearing this, starts to have a feeling that she doesn't truly belong on the Enterprise-D...

Picard talks to Garrett, and she tells him her crew will serve the Federation in the war against the Klingons. However, he quietly informs her that the war is going very badly for the Federation, much worse than most people believe. Starfleet believes it will be forced to surrender in months, and one Starship more will not make any real difference. However, 22 years ago the Enterprise-C could have prevented the entire war before it ever happened. Garrett informs her crew that she is going to take the ship back into the past.

A Klingon ship arrives and attacks. Although they are able to drive it off, Captain Garrett is killed in the attack. As the senior surviving officer, Lietuenant Castillo takes command. Riker claims that the loss of Garrett just proves that returning the ship is a bad idea, as history never intended it to be without its captain. Castillo simply says he is taking the ship back regardless.

Yar talks to Guinan, saying that she senses Guinan knows something about her. After some resistance Guinan relents and tells Tasha that in the original timeline she is supposed to be dead, having died a meaningless death. Yar asks Captain Picard for a transfer to the Enterprise-C, saying that she would prefer to die a meaningful death with them rather than simply blinking back into nothingness as the timeline is corrected. Picard reluctantly agrees.

Three Klingon battlecruisers arrive and attack as the Enterprise-C prepares to return. The Enterprise-D covers its sister ship, taking on all three of the Klingon ships and destroying one. However, the ship is overwhelmed by enemy fire and suffers catastrophic damage. The Klingons demand surrender but Picard flatly refuses, continuing to fire as the bridge crew are killed and the bridge goes up in flames around him.

As the Enterprise-D is destroyed the Enterprise-C passes through the time distortion - and instantly everything returns to the way it was before, with Worf noting that he thought he scanned a ship for a moment but it vanished.

Back in ten forward Guinan sits with Geordi and asks him to tell her about Tasha Yar.

Analysis

By far the best time travel episode that The Next Generation ever did. It's a great premise, and there's fun to be had from noting all the little differences between the battleship Enterprise-D and the one we know. Combat Date instead of Stardate, military log instead of Captain's log, etc. And of course, we get to see Yar return.

Guinan is well used, and it's nice to see that even with all the differences in this timeline, her relationship with Picard is much the same - although with a degree of friction that you never see in the main timeline. And it's nice to see Riker flat out opposing Picard - these guys are a bit more antagonistic to one another, although not in an over the top kind of way.

And the resolution is wonderful, with the Enterprise-D going down in flames. "That'll be the day" indeed.


Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 2,741 Last updated : 6 Jul 2014