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Star Trek: The Next Generation: Time's Arrow, Part I

Stardate: 45959.1 The Enterprise is called back to Earth after an archeology team finds what appears to be Data’s head in an old excavation dating to 1890s San Francisco.

Episode Info

Episode number: 5x26
Production Number: 226
Airdate: Monday June 15th, 1992

Director: Les Landau
Writer: Joe Menosky
Teleplay: Michael Piller

Alternate Airdates:

CA (Télé-Québec) Jun 15, 1992
FR (BBC TWO) Jun 14, 1995
UK (BBC TWO) Jun 14, 1995

  • Currently 10/10
10/10 (4 Votes cast)
Special Guest Stars
Whoopi GoldbergWhoopi Goldberg
As Guinan

Guest Stars
Jerry HardinJerry Hardin
As Samuel Clemens
Ken ThorleyKen Thorley
As Seaman
Marc AlaimoMarc Alaimo
As Gambler/Frederick LaRouque
Michael AronMichael Aron
As Bellboy
Barry KivelBarry Kivel
As Doorman
Michael HungerfordMichael Hungerford
As Roughneck
Milt TarverMilt Tarver
As Scientist
Sheldon PetersSheldon Peters
As Falling Hawk
Main Cast
Patrick Stewart
As Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes
As Commander William T. Riker
LeVar Burton
As Lieutenant/Lt. Commander Geordi LaForge
Michael Dorn
As Lieutenant Worf
Gates McFadden
As Dr. Beverly Crusher
Marina Sirtis
As Counselor Deanna Troi
Brent Spiner
As Lt. Commander Data
Episode Notes
Log Entries:
*Captain's Log, Stardate 45959.1. The Enterprise has been recalled to Sector 001 on a priority mission. All we have been told is that evidence has been discovered indicating the presence of extraterrestrials on Earth five centuries ago.
*Captain's Log, Stardate 45960.2. We have transported the materials discovered in the cavern back to the ship for analysis. I wish I could be as dispassionate about the implications as my second officer.
"Captain's Log, supplemental. Close range sensor analysis has yielded no further trace of Commander Data. Despite the emotional repercussions of the crew, I must move this mission forward.
"Captain's Log, Stardate 45965.3. An away team has beamed to the surface with a device that may enable them to phase shift into the alien world.

Data (Brent Spiner) is sent back in time to August 13, 1893, according to the newspaper he picks up.

This is the first episode of the series to involve time travel.

This episode marks the final appearance of Marc Alaimo on the series. He would be taking a regular recurring role as Gul Dukat on Deep Space Nine, which would be running simultaneous with the final two season of ST:TNG, presumably complicating scheduling.

Episode Goofs
Data asks Jack London "What do you think it is gonna be?" However, it has been established in numerous previous episodes that Data cannot automatically use contractions such as "gonna." It is possible he can consciously elect to use them, or possibly he has corrected this problem, though he continues to avoid them for personal reasons.

In reality, Samuel Clemens was touring in Europe in 1893. He only returned to the United States briefly in order to move his family from New York City to Berlin, Germany. As a result, it is very unlikely he was in San Francisco in August 1893.

Although Samuel Clemens is portrayed as being an old man with white hair throughout this two-parter, he was only 58 in 1893 and, according to numerous photographs, his hair had not yet turned white at that time.

Cultural References
Title: Time's Arrow

The term Arrow of Time, or Time’s Arrow, was coined in 1927 by astronomer Arthur Eddington, and is used to distinguish a direction of time on a four-dimensional relativistic map of the world (three dimensions of space plus one dimension of time). According to Eddington, the direction is inherent in the organization of both sub/atomic particles and in the motion of bodies. There is a related concept of time symmetry, which involves processes which don't inherently reveal time's arrow, as opposed to time asymmetric events, which clearly reveal this direction. Hence, the Arrow of Time is any process which exhibits this time asymmetry.

The aliens in this storyline have a mild resemblance to the concept of vampires, but also, and perhaps even more so, to the Overlords of Delgon from E.E."Doc" Smith's Lensman series. They, too, evolved to directly feed off the life force of other living beings.

Warning: Star Trek: The Next Generation season 5 episode 26 guide may contain spoilers
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