Series: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 3, Episode 15
Original Air Date: February 19, 1990
|via Memory Alpha|
Our Enterprise - Enterprise D - encounters a temporal rift where they meet a ghost ship from the past: Enterprise C. The chance meeting has dire consequences, shifting D into an alternate history stream in which the Federation is mired in a long and brutal war with the Klingons. C must be sent back through the rift to its own time 22 years before in order to set things right, even though it probably means certain death for the crew of the C.
Not quite complicated enough? Tasha's back. In the alternate history, she's still alive.
This is my third time through The Next Generation. I feel there are five episodes that stand out above all the others, two from Season 3 and three from Season 5. "Yesterday's Enterprise" is the first. Yes, it's completely convoluted and it deals with time travel, something I usually can't stand in a Trek story, and there are holes in the plot and good grief, what is Wesley doing on the Enterprise in the middle of a war?!!! In the end, none of that matters. This one works. Beautifully. From the moment they enter the alternate stream to the moment they leave it, the narrative flow is outstanding.
Major kudos to the design team. The set and costumes for the alternate time stream are stunning, reflecting a darker reality, similar to what the original series accomplished with "Mirror, Mirror." The return of Tasha feels like an unnecessary additional contrivance initially until her confrontation with Guinan on Ten Forward. Guinan's "You're not supposed to be here" line is an absolute knockout, right up there with Mark Lenard's "In a different reality, I could have called you friend" from "Balance of Terror." This is why you have Whoopi Goldberg in your cast.
Question: is next week's episode even better?
This brutally serious story does get one moment of levity in the very beginning: the prune juice exchange.
Christopher McDonald plays the role of Lt. Richard Castillo, helmsman of the Enterprise C and Tasha's tragic love interest for this story. McDonald was born February 15, 1955 in New York City. He graduated from Hobart College.
McDonald has been a highly successful character actor, appearing in such films as Thelma & Louise, Happy Gilmore and 61*. In television, he was a regular on Family Law and a recurring character on North Shore, Veronica's Closet and Good Advice.