Friday, October 22, 2021

Star Trek: A Matter of Time

Episode: "A Matter of Time"
Series: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 5, Episode 9
Original Air Date: November 18, 1991

Professor Berlinghoff Rasmussen (Matt Frewer) arrives on the Enterprise, claiming to be a time traveler from the 26th century.  He claims he is there to witness an historic moment as Picard and company race to save a doomed planet after an asteroid strike.  Not all is quite as it seems.

Interestingly, the Rasmussen part was originally written for comic genius Robin Williams, a huge fan of the show.  Unfortunately, Williams bowed out as his wife was 8 1/2 months pregnant.

The episode is a mixed bag for me.  I find Frewer annoying.  However, it's a good Picard as badass story (aren't they all?) and certainly philosophically interesting as the professor and the captain debate the ethics of time travel.

Acting Notes
Matt Frewer was born January 4, 1958 in Washington, D.C. though he grew up in Canada.  He graduated from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in England.

via Tenor

Frewer played the titular character in the iconic television show Max Headroom.  The program only ran for 14 episodes but no single image exemplifies pop culture weirdness of the late '80s like Max's herky-jerky, computer generated head.

Fortunately, Frewer has gotten plenty of work beyond his brief, career-defining gig.  Films include Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Dawn of the Dead and Watchmen.  He's had several other principal cast runs on television: Doctor Doctor, Shaky Ground, Psi Factor, Eureka and Orphan Black.  Not surprisingly, he's had plenty of voice work, too, including Hercules, The Magic School Bus and The Pink Panther.

Frewer has been married to actress Amanda Hillwood since 1984.


  1. I had no idea Robin Williams was supposed to playthis part. This is an OK episode but not a favorite. I know what you mean about Matt Frewer and liked him in Max Headroom

    1. It would have been such fun to have Williams on Trek. He deserves credit for deciding to be a good husband instead.

  2. I love this episode, and Frewer, for me, plays the part perfectly.

    1. You already know how I feel about Trek's time travel stories. At least with this one, the perils are discussed. And there's certainly satisfaction in Rasmussen's comeuppance in the end.

      But I still find Frewer annoying.

  3. Sounds an interesting episode.