Episode #126: Time's Arrow, part one

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Episode #126: Time's Arrow, part one

Post  BoG on Sun Aug 08, 2010 6:41 pm

TIME'S ARROW, part one - episode #26 of 5th season / Air Date: 6/15/92

The first part of yet another 2-part episode and another so-called cliffhanger to the end of a season goes for a time travel adventure vibe. Artifacts from the 19th century have been uncovered underneath San Francisco; Picard is wondering why he and his ship have been summoned back to Earth to view this stuff when one final artifact is unveiled: Data's head! What a Face Sheesh - this doesn't go over well with the crew; the head is proof that Data will be destroyed (as in, die) on some mission to Earth's past...
(by this point, time travel is not unusual in the Trek universe).
Most of the crew, especially Riker, get a little unhinged over this and tippy-toe around Data. Riker is astounded that Data seems unperturbed, that the android is unemotional about it. It's scenes such as this that weaken TNG episodes - it has been established over the past 5 years that Data is unemotional - that's his gimmick. Why is Riker allovasudden shocked by Data's attitude...? Rolling Eyes Data, logically, sees all this as a better connection for himself to common humanity: he is now mortal, in a sense, just like any human.
Anyway, there's residue - a clue - that leads the Enterprise-D crew to a planet and some cave where there are indications of life but a fraction of a second out of synch with them. Picard is, as everyone, leery about sending Data into possible danger but agrees that a 'Data-gizmo' must be used to also go out of synch; sure enuff, Data disappears and ends up in 19th century San Francisco, where he meets Samuel Clemens (Jerry Hardin) a.k.a. Mark Twain and (surprise) Guinan (who, we must remember, is about 500 years old in the 24th century so this is feasible).
There is something of a lame quality to this one, very average material, as if it was rushed out to provide another 2-parter with a cliffhanger; it's not very exciting and there's not much of a cliffhanger (some of the crew follow Data through an aperture). Also, the actor playing Clemens really overdoes it with the accent and attitude, coming across as plain annoying. And, as another sample of weak writing, the infallibly logical Data is surprised that Guinan of the past doesn't recognize him - maybe the time travel messed up his circuits. Right tongue BoG's Score: 5 out of 10
TNG Trivia: actor Marc Alaimo has a small part here as a 19th century gambler; he would soon be playing Gul Dukat on the DS9 series.
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