Favourite 'Deja Vu' Episode

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Too Much Fun, Oct 15, 2010.


Which episode did you like most?

Poll closed Oct 22, 2010.
  1. "Star Trek: The Next Generation" - "Cause and Effect" (1992)

  2. "Xena: Warrior Princess" - "Been There, Done That" (1997)

  3. "The X-Files" - "Monday" (1999)

  4. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" - "Life Serial" (2001)

    0 vote(s)
  1. Too Much Fun

    Too Much Fun Commodore Commodore

    Feb 19, 2009
    So I was watching the episode of "The X-Files" called "Monday" and remembered that several of my favourite genre shows have used its conceit of the same events happening over and over again until a character (or characters) can figure out what's happening and stop it. This may also be called the "Groundhog Day" effect (despite the fact that one of the episodes predates it).

    Anyway, one thing that helped me realize this was the fact that when "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" used the gimmick, a character actually mentioned some of the other shows that did the same. How very meta. So I was wondering if anyone else loved all of these series and episodes and if so, which they'd choose as a favourite. For years I would have picked the TNG episode, but after watching "Monday" again, I'm having trouble deciding my favourite between the two. How about the rest of you sci-fi/fantasy buffs?

    The choices -

    "Star Trek: The Next Generation" - "Cause and Effect" (1992): The Enterprise keeps exploding.

    "Xena: Warrior Princess" - "Been There, Done That" (1997): The same day will repeat and people will die until Xena can stop the rivalry between two villages.

    "The X-Files" - "Monday" (1999): A bank keeps exploding.

    "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" - "Life Serial" (2001): The Nerdy Trio (a.k.a The Troika) stage a series of challenges to test their magic and technology on Buffy (Andrew and Warren reference the aforementioned X-Files and TNG episodes while they watch her go through a looping retail problem).
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2010
  2. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

    Jun 4, 2000
    Ouch! Forgotten already? You were just down ther
    Tru Calling did an episode called "The Longest Day." Granted, the central premise of the series was Tru reliving days so she could save people from dying the 2nd time around. However, usually she only relived a day once. She relived the same day several times in "The Longest Day."

    7 Days also did an episode kinda like that where Frank Parker repeats the same sequence of events 3 times to try to rescue Talmadge from kidnappers.
  3. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Feb 19, 2001
    Birmingham, AL
    Love Monday. Supernatural had a good episode too.
  4. Sky

    Sky Captain Captain

    Feb 9, 2009
    The Monty Python one.
  5. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

    Dec 7, 1999
    I absolutely hate time loop stories. I hate seeing the same damn thing over and over again in the same episode.
  6. startrekwatcher

    startrekwatcher Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 9, 2007
    "Cause and Effect"--did it first and did it the best. I loved Brannon's boldness in daring to have the episode with essentially the same scenes over and over. It was a wonderful mystery with a Twilight Zone-worthy feel to it. Plus Beverly rocked. Brannon excelled at high concept stuff like this.

    The rest were not that good whether TXF's middling "Monday", Supernatural's poor "Mystery Spot", SG1's average version.
  7. Saga

    Saga Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 6, 2008
    Cause and Effect is good, but i think i like the episode of SG1 best.
  8. Flibble

    Flibble Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Aug 24, 2003
    The SG1 episode Window of Opportunity is my favourite Deja Vu episode. There are some great moments in that episode.
  9. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

    May 11, 2008
    San Francisco, CA
    The second episode of Weird Science ends with a third-act sequence in which the boys are caught in a very short (and painful) time loop. When Wyatt realizes that this means anything he does in that time frame won't last, he kisses his French teacher full on the lips. BUT, he then breaks the loop, meaning that that little stunt did last! But hey, it's a sitcom, no need to refer to it again. :p

    All told, it's a fun ep:
  10. Too Much Fun

    Too Much Fun Commodore Commodore

    Feb 19, 2009
    Wow, I didn't even know there were other sci-fi shows with the same premise. In retrospect, I guess I should have included an 'other' option, but I couldn't imagine more than four shows going to that well. So to those fans of the Stargate episode, what was it all about?

    I know the time loop idea is boring on paper since it's naturally dull to watch the same thing over and over again, but I think the four episodes I listed did a good job of keeping it interesting by subtle technical and content variations like different camera angles and different character reactions.

    Buffy becomes increasingly frustrated, to the point where she's crying (but it's funny), then gets angry (breaking Giles glasses!), Xena starts becoming playfully reckless because she knows there are no consequences to her actions (killing Joxer on purpose, for example) and it's played straight in "The X-Files" and TNG, with fascinating results. I love how Data and Mulder put everything together through repetition and the guest star on "Monday" was one of the most heartbreaking and sympathetic guest stars ever. I thought she gave a really powerful performance.
  11. The Evil Dead

    The Evil Dead Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 20, 2003
    1123, 6536, 5321
    I voted for Cause & Effect because I think it has one of the best opening teasers of any TV show ever. I also really enjoyed X-Files' Monday.
  12. Mysterion

    Mysterion Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jun 28, 2001
    Suburban Mos Eisley
    This. Not a big 'gate fan, but this one had me on the floor.
  13. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

    Jun 4, 2000
    Ouch! Forgotten already? You were just down ther
    Well, it's essentially the premise that you're talking about. A device left behind by the Ancients is reactivated and malfunctions, creating a time loop that only Col. O'Neill & Teal'c are aware of. The difference is that, whereas "Cause & Effect" and "Monday" were played as serious thrillers, "Window of Opportunity" was largely played for laughs. It's unquestionably the best comedy episode that Stargate SG-1 ever did, especially in the montage when Col. O'Neill & Teal'c start goofing off when they realize that nothing they do has consequences. (They hit golf balls through the Stargate. Col. O'Neill resigns so that he can kiss Samantha Carter. They ride bicycles through the hallways, learn pottery, learn to juggle, and eventually show up Daniel Jackson on one of his alien translations. Etc.) However, there's also a very poignant moment at the end.
    Col. O'Neill tries to convince the alien scientist to deactivate the time machine. The scientist is resistant because he thinks that, if he can get the time machine working properly, he can spend another day with his terminally ill wife. Col. O'Neill tells him that he understands how he feels. "I lost my son! I know. And as much as that hurts... I could never go through that again." It's one of the rare times that the show reminds us of Col. O'Neill's dead son from the movie.
    Like "Life Serial," "Window of Opportunity" makes a reference to this plotline in other contexts. Col. O'Neill asks the someone if he wants to "be the king of Groundhog Day?"
  14. auntiehill

    auntiehill The Blooness Premium Member

    Feb 7, 2006
    I voted Cause and Effect, but I too think that Window of Opportunity did better.
  15. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

    Jun 4, 2000
    Ouch! Forgotten already? You were just down ther
    BTW, I voted for "Cause & Effect." Ending each act with the Enterprise blowing up was just brilliant. And some of the mundane repetition at the beginning of each loop is intriguing in a very hypnotic way. When you think of Brannon Braga writing for Star Trek, it's best to think of his mind-bending Next Generation efforts like "Cause & Effect," "Frame of Mind," & "All Good Things..."

    I liked "Monday" a lot. It's a very close 2nd. However, "Cause & Effect" wins out because it predates even Groundhog Day.

    "Window of Opportunity" is a great episode, like I said. However, it's hard to compare it to the others since it's a comedy.

    I haven't seen any of the others except for "The Longest Day" and the 7 Days episode (which was less Groundhog Day and more Run Lola Run).
  16. Raxor

    Raxor Commander Red Shirt

    Dec 2, 2003
    United Kingdom
    I voted for the TNG one, i enjoyed the SG1 episode
    And the season 3 episode of Eureka, which ended sadly compared to the usual endings of the show.
  17. I am not Spock

    I am not Spock Commodore Commodore

    Dec 2, 2001
    I've seen Cause And Effect (TNG), Monday(TXF), Life Serial (Buffy), and Window of Opportunity (SG1) out of the above discussed episodes. All are good. As long as the writers do something different with the premise, I am OK with various SF series using it.

    Cause And Effect is my favourite of the above episodes, with Life Serial a close second. The latter isn't entirely a Groundhog Day episode, though, that comprises just one act of the ep.
  18. Jack Bauer

    Jack Bauer Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Jul 12, 1999
    Jack Bauer
    TNG's Cause and Effect and Supernatural's Mystery Spot.
  19. JanewayRulz!

    JanewayRulz! Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 23, 2009
    North America
    Star Trek: Voyager appeared to do the same thing with the first half of "Coda"... The nice thing about that "version" of this time loop conceit is that it was "only" the first half of the show, then it moved on.

    I'm afraid I can't choose "just one". :shrug:

    I remember loving the TNG ep, and being SURPRISED at the end when we meet the Captain of the other ship. :rommie:

    I really liked Coda, esp since it "didn't" turn out to be a time loop.

    And except for the Xena ep, I haven't seen the others on your list.

    I have to admit, though, Xena and the above description of SG1 sound the most faithful to the "Groundhog Day" concept.
  20. Vasquez Rocks

    Vasquez Rocks Commodore Commodore

    Feb 21, 2002
    Vasquez Rocks
    Those are my two favorites as well. Cause and Effect is the best. I'd never seen a storyline like that back then. Now of course it's been done to death, but I think it still holds up very well. Mystery Spot is great, because for the most part it's really funny. That Asia song got stuck in my head after watching it. :lol: