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The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old April 22 2013, 01:05 PM   #1
Jeyl
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Episode of the Week: 2x13 "Time Squared"

Time Squared
Memory Alpha Entry
Chakoteya Transcript

Oh, Maurice. Your work in TNG is like a strange game of PONG. Every time a writer brings something to the table, you find a way to make it stupid. Every time you bring something to the table, Gene finds a way of making it stupid. Only once in this entire game have you scored a point, and unfortunately it's not this one. It's close, but not close enough.

Time Squared is another bottle episode for the second season and like "Where Silence has Lease", it's got some good moments going for it. Seeing our crew just going about their daily lives while not on the job is certainly something we don't see often and watching Worf enjoying his meal more than others always brings a smile to my face.

But where "Where Silence Has Lease" actually had a good story with a strong conclusion, this episode has a gimmicky story with a very weak conclusion. In many ways, this episode is a lot like WSHL in that the Enterprise finds itself in an inescapable situation with a space entity. Only instead of being in empty space, it is now about being trapped in time, per se. Having a double Picard is certainly interesting to watch, but I think the execution leaves a lot to be desired. All this Picard ever does is look confused, falls asleep, spouts nonsense and acts like a lemming from the games. Would it have been too much if the other Picard actually acted like Picard somewhere near the end so we could have both Picards try to work out how to escape the situation that they're in?

And like last week's episode "The Royale", our episode ends with...

PICARD: A lot of questions, Number One. Damn few answers.
...two episodes in a row? Even Maurice, who was probably responsible for this crap happening in "The Royale" hated this ending.

Maurice Hurley wrote:
"The way it was originally designed, is that three episodes later they're going through space and all of a sudden Picard finds himself stuck in a shuttlecraft in a flash, and he sees the ship falling in to the top of the vortex and exploding. He thinks he's lost his mind; he doesn't know what's going on. Q appears and says, 'Hey, how ya doing?' Picard says, 'You caused that and all these other things?' Q says, 'Ah, well, surprised you didn't put it together earlier. Oh well, you are slow. Just a kind of calling card, something to do. Interesting, wasn't it? Why would going into the vortex's center save you? It doesn't make sense. But it does if Q is pulling the strings.
I've got to admit, the idea of the present Picard going into the shuttle and doing something different that saves the Enterprise but leaves him stranded in outer space would have made for one heck of an ending. The Enterprise is saved, but Picard is lost on a shuttlecraft. This certainly would have made for a much more interesting appearance of Q that sticks to the "leaving the Enterprise alone" bit since Picard got himself trapped in this situation.

One last thing I'd like to note. Whenever an episode has Ron Jones doing the score, I usually like to make mention of that fact because a lot of his work in Star Trek is really quite remarkable when compared to other TNG works, especially in the latter part of the series. But for this episode, I've got to give a tip of my hat to Dennis McCarthy for his work on this episode. Whenever this episode goes for a dark and mysterious tone, his work excels at capturing it. Well done.

Conclusion: An ok episode. The music, the dilemma and some of the crew interactions does help give this episode an edge on being worth watching. It's just a pity that like the Royale, we have to end on a "We may never know" note where as originally that wasn't supposed to be the case. When it comes to bottle episodes, "Where Silence Has Lease" did it better. And don't worry Maurice. We'll get to your one point score very soon, as well as your game crashing final.

BONUS!: I don't know if anyone here is familiar with MajorGrins's TNG recut videos (Formally GeneralGrin), but this episode helped make possible one of the funniest running gags in his fan videos. Basically, whenever the Enterprise is about to be destroyed, Picard will immediately abandon ship and escape alone in a shuttlecraft. Here's one example.

Pilot Error

STINGER:

Last edited by Jeyl; April 22 2013 at 03:33 PM.
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Old April 22 2013, 09:02 PM   #2
Trek or Treat!
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x13 "Time Squared"

I wanted to like this one more than I did.

Time travel stories are popular, and as is often the case when writers go to the same well to many times, they tend to become repetitive. I respect this episode for a reasonably original take on the genre.

Unfortunately, the execution doesn't work. The central drama doesn't work because Picard's reaction to the other Picard doesn't ring true. It's not helped by Troi's explanation to Pulaski that it's because the "other Picard" represents failure. Also, the resolution of the crisis doesn't make much sense. There's a seed of an interesting story here, but the episode oveall doesn't leave much of an impression.
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Old April 22 2013, 10:06 PM   #3
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x13 "Time Squared"

Another one I liked. They had a nice string of "Twilight Zone"-esque episodes during the middle of season two.
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Old April 22 2013, 10:10 PM   #4
Creepy Critter
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x13 "Time Squared"

Agreed with Captrek. Time Squared contained the embryo of a good episode, but it was poorly developed.
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Old April 22 2013, 10:12 PM   #5
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x13 "Time Squared"

The second one is my favourite season of TNG so I am fairly biased but I like Time Squared very much. Wouldn't have hurt the guy who wrote Nemesis to remember this episode in order to prevent him from writing an inferior "Picard meets a different version himself" story.
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Old April 23 2013, 01:49 AM   #6
Captain McBain
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x13 "Time Squared"

I read somewhere that Q is supposed to be the one who was responsible for the space anomaly, but this never made it onscreen, of course.
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Old April 24 2013, 08:43 PM   #7
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x13 "Time Squared"

The ending makes no sense.

Why is the time-displaced Picard compelled to go back on the shuttle? The real Picard says "the cycle must stop" and shoots the other. What cycle? The real Picard didn't decide to leave the ship while Riker looked like the recording showed, so the cycle was broken. The time-displaced Picard tried to go instead, which would have been a "grandfather paradox." By trying to go, he broke the time loop himself.

And if it was this same Picard who went through the loop over and over, he would have aged into infinity if the loop continued.
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Old April 25 2013, 04:09 PM   #8
Jeyl
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x13 "Time Squared"

Captain McBain wrote: View Post
I read somewhere that Q is supposed to be the one who was responsible for the space anomaly, but this never made it onscreen, of course.
Grrr! In the very first post on this thread I actually quote the guy who wrote the darn episode saying exactly that.

*cries*

Nobody listens to me.
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Old April 25 2013, 04:44 PM   #9
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x13 "Time Squared"

Jeyl wrote: View Post
Captain McBain wrote: View Post
I read somewhere that Q is supposed to be the one who was responsible for the space anomaly, but this never made it onscreen, of course.
Grrr! In the very first post on this thread I actually quote the guy who wrote the darn episode saying exactly that.

*cries*

Nobody listens to me.
What they should have done is have someone like Q appear and say that he was responsible.
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Old April 25 2013, 08:22 PM   #10
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x13 "Time Squared"

Q being responsible for the events in this episode was the original ending. For some reason that I forget they changed it. too bad as it might've saved this one from it's lameness.
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Old April 25 2013, 08:40 PM   #11
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x13 "Time Squared"

I'd rather keep All Good Things than try to fix this episode by putting in Q, which would have eaten into the novelty of AGT (even more than it did already).
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Old April 25 2013, 08:42 PM   #12
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x13 "Time Squared"

I'm glad they didn't have Q in this. Q and a spacetime anomaly are central to the excellent series finale, which might have come across as something of a retread if Q had been in Time Squared.

ETA: D'oh! Beaten to it. What CorporalCaptain said. Great minds thinking alike?
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Old April 26 2013, 01:10 AM   #13
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x13 "Time Squared"

There are some very odd things about the logic behind this episode. What I like about the episode is that it happens before the writers figured out the standard pattern of a time travel episode, so it has nothing in common with them.

But yeah, there's no real reason everything should have the exact opposite effect of what it has. I do understand why flying forward saved them, my interpretation was that the vortex was some conscious being who was studying them (Because in early TNG, everything is) and flying forward was just surrendering to the study.
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Old April 27 2013, 01:02 AM   #14
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x13 "Time Squared"

Fun Fact: Originally Q was going to be behind the events of this episode.











I'm sorry Jeyl, don't trap me in a time loop.



This is an episode that just about gets by on a great atmosphere, there's something very unnerving about the ill and mumbling future Picard, that actually increases as he gets more coherent over the course of the show.

But yes, you think about it even slightly and the whole thing falls apart badly. I think, as is often the case with time twisty nut shows like this, the Trek need to try and explain what happened works against the mystery and intentional confusion of the episode because frankly there is no rational two paragraph explanation for what happened that won't make your eyes bleed (and of course, loosing the originally planned Q ending- has anyone mentioned that?- doesn't help the slightly desperate wrap up).

As an episode of a Twilight Zone style series that's more interested in posing questions and giving answers that could end with a wry raised "What reaaaaaally happened?" eyebrow this would probably work much better, as an episode of Star Trek it flounders.

Plus, and this is cruel nit picking, there are some shots where the double for Patrick Stewart laying on the bed is really unconvincing. Almost as if they got a completely bald guy and stapled some grey carpet round the sides of his head to replicate what hair Stewart had.
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Old April 29 2013, 01:40 PM   #15
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x13 "Time Squared"

I love the atmosphere in this episode. They did a great job making this a eerie at all the right places esp. when they're all watching the fragmented footage from the future, and when Picard is trying to wake 'himself' up.

I have no problem with the ending either. Picard was grasping at straws; he didn't know for sure that going into the vortex would save them. All he knew was what originally happened resulted in the ship's destruction, so any alternative must be the preferable one!
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