‘A Matter of Time’ (TNG) (TV)



Please feel free to comment on my review.

This ‘TNG’ episode has the Enterprise visited by a historian from the 26th century. Or so he claims to be. This episode has the potential to be pretty exciting. Sadly it comes across as pretty average overall.

Don’t get me wrong, the concept for the episode is rather intriguing. A historian from the future comes to visit the Enterprise in the past. It’s a good idea. It’s just the execution of that concept is rather weak.

The episode doesn’t have enough action scenes to make it thrilling and exciting. Most of the episode has our regular characters interacting with this ‘future historian’ especially when moral debates occur.

In the episode, the Enterprise is on its way to help the population of Penthara Four. The planet has been suffering from these reduced temperatures created by dust cloud from a recent asteroid impact.

On the way, the Enterprise encounters a nearby temporal distortion as well as a small pod containing a single human occupant. The human inside asks Picard to move aside on board the Enterprise bridge.

Yeah. Worf tells this message to Picard that it’s not the Enterprise that’s been asked to move but him. Just as Picard moves aside in that moment, the human of that pod appears on the bridge before them.

This human happens to be Matt Frewer as Professor Berlingoff Rasmussen. He claims to be a research from the 26th century. Picard and the Enterprise crew are dubious over Professor Rasmussen’s claims.

Rasmussen says he has come to witness the Enterprise in saving the planet Penthara Four, which he claims is an historic event. But as the episode progresses, Rasmussen is not all that he turns out to be.

For me, Rasmussen reminds of a watered down version of Jim Carrey especially with that cocky, smug smile and attitude he always wears. It was intriguing how his true identity got unraveled in the TV story.

Rasmussen requests interviews from each of the Enterprise crew to obtain the full story of the Penthara Four event. The Enterprise crew are concerned and curious about the questions he is asking.

In the episode, Rasmussen reveals little about himself as you would expect a future historian to since he doesn’t want to alter history. But it doesn’t stop the Enterprise crew from asking about his identity.

As well as getting interviews/questionnaires from the Enterprise crew, Rasmussen also steals certain pieces of technology like a tricorder, a medical scanner, etc. It got me suspicious regarding his identity.

I like how each of the Enterprise crew members are curious about Rasmussen in the episode. Beverly’s curiosity is pretty vibrant according to Rasmussen and there is even a moment when he flirts with her.

Deanna Troi’s curiosity is out of instinct and distrust of Rasmussen. She knows he’s hiding something. There’s this tense conversation with them in sick bay where Deanna reveals his distrust of Rasmussen.

During the Penthara Four mission, things go from bad to worse as the Enterprise attempts to save the planet by increasing the greenhouse effect backfire on them. Picard soon has a dilemma on his hands.

Picard speaks to Rasmussen in his ready room to share his dilemma and talk about a risky decision he’s going to make. But Rasmussen casually refuses to share any ‘future information’ with the captain.

Now this would be a very effective scene in the episode if Rasmussen was a future historian and refused to let Picard know of any future events to occur. But that’s not what the case seems to be here.

Thankfully however, Picard takes the risky decision he was going to make and Penthara Four is saved without Rasmussen. This all seems to be done and dusted as Rasmussen makes to leave the Enterprise.

But as Rasmussen prepares to leave, he is caught by a security team who prevent him leaving. Picard wants the items that Rasmussen stole back. The professor allows only Data to join him inside the pod.

Once inside, it’s revealed Rasmussen is not a historian from the 26th century but an inventor from the 22nd. He stole the space pod which is from the 26th century and he gets taken into Enterprise custody.

‘A Matter of Time’ is one of those average ‘TNG’ episodes that could’ve been better. It had an intriguing concept that should’ve had an action-packed plot to it. Otherwise it’s decently presentable.

‘A Matter of Time’ (TNG) rating – 6/10

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