TNG: “A Matter of Time” and “New Ground”

Date: April 27, 2020

Season 5, Episodes 9 and 10

Musical Accompaniment: A random assortment of instrumental songs on my iTunes, complete with various movie soundtracks, The Allman Brothers, Billy Joel, Daft Punk, and El Ten Eleven.

Interstellar News: The weather was beautiful again today, but my energy has been very limited. I was still able to complete five loads of laundry, however.

Favorite Quote from “A Matter of Time”:

Worf: Phasers.

Rasmussen: I beg your pardon?

Worf: There were no phasers in the 22nd century.

Rasmussen: Ah, you see, Doctor? Our Klingon friend is a perfect example of what I was trying to tell you. He views history through the eyes of a hunter, a warrior. His passion lies in the perfection of the tools of violence. How delightfully primitive.

Matt Frewer is delightful, even when he’s the bad guy.

Data’s Not Really An Android: “I assume your hand print will open the door whether you are conscious or not.”

“A Matter of Time” begins with the Enterprise en route to Penthara IV because an asteroid has hit their surface and is already causing some less-than-ideal weather, and it’s just going to get worse. There’s suddenly a temporal distortion and a Professor Berlinghoff Rasmussen beams aboard to the bridge, introducing himself as a 26th century historian just there to be a witness and to gather some reports.

Rasmussen and Picard
There’s just something about a man with a bald head…

On Penthara IV winter has set in early and La Forge believes they can poke some holes in the surface of the planet to allow for carbon dioxide to escape and help the planet heal itself. It works, for a bit, until things are too hot and there are earthquakes and volcanic eruptions abound. La Forge and Data come up with a new plan, but it’s got a high risk. A La Forge requests to stay on the planet while it’s enacted, you know it’s going to work… and it does.

A man in a tank top sits on a swing that is surrounded by snow and says "I think I'll enjoy this Spring weather today"
The poor Pentharans.

Rasmussen begins handing out his “homework” but pockets something in engineering and again in Data’s room, as well as asking Data for schematics. He flirts with Dr. Crusher, tries to get Troi to like him, and is the talk of the ship. Picard delivers an epic speech to try to get Rasmussen to divulge the future, but he will not be swayed. Rasmussen, who has been checking the time every time we see him, packs up to leave but is stopped by the bridge crew… Picard notices something is missing and of course everyone is just a bit skeptical at this point. Rasmussen only allows Data in and explains the ship is set to leave automatically, he’s really from the past and needed stuff to “invent” every year or so. Unfortunately for him everything on his ship was disabled and it leaves without him while he is detained in the future.

old Obi Wan with the words saying "New Jersey, you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy"
As a native of the great state of New Jersey, I have two words for you: bagels & pizza.
Oh, and Centeral Jersey does exist.

Rasmussen is played by Matt Frewer, whom I absolutely adore from Eureka and a Dr. Seuss special many moons ago. He gives New Jerseyans a bad name, however, so I am not so pleased with his character at the moment. This episode had great promise until I saw the con man poke through. There was no way he was a klepto historian and no way he was from the future with the things he was asking for. I hate that Picard’s speech was wasted on a man who was recycling something from a Back to the Future plot point. The look of complete and utter shock on his face as the ship leaves without him, however, and his fate in a future he doesn’t belong in is sealed, is… well it’s damn fine acting. You can really feel his pain and start to feel just a bit sad for him, especially because Worf is right behind him. It would have been a fun story if it was an actual historian, or if La Forge wasn’t on the planet and maybe Picard would have destroyed a whole planet, but I saw everything coming and it was very blah. With a plus one factored in for Frewer, this episode earns 5 egg bagels with vegetable cream cheese.

Favorite Quote from “New Ground”:

La Forge: Data! Data, isn’t this exciting? We are going to witness a moment in history.

Data: Every nanosecond in this continuum is a moment in history, once it has elapsed.

La Forge: No, no, no, no. I mean, we’re going to see something that people will talk about for years. I mean, think about it. No more bulky warp engines or nacelles. A ship just generates a Soliton wave and then rides it through space like a surfboard. This is going to be like being there to watch Chuck Yeager break the sound barrier, or Zephram Cochrane engage the first warp drive.

Data: It should be interesting.

Worf: Very exciting.

La Forge: I’m talking to the wrong crowd. Donaldson! Donaldson, you’re an engineer.

Data being literal, Worf being Klingon, and La Forge realizing two of his best friends have the emotional range of a teaspoon… poor Geordi.

Worf’s One-Two Punch: “He is a child. I informed him of my decision.”

“New Ground” is going to have the Enterprise test some new technology and Worf’s mom and son are also going to beam aboard, what an exciting time to be alive! Helena explains to Worf that her and his father can’t keep up with Alexander and that Worf’s going to have to figure out the whole dad thing, and off she goes. The wave test begins and it appears to be a success at first, but that is short-lived as the test ship blows up but the wave continues on, so they need to figure out how to stop it before it collides with the planet near it’s destination. La Forge comes up with a risky plan, I’m sensing a theme, and they (no pun intended) forge ahead.

Worf and his mother embrace while Alexander is in the background.
I love Worf with his parents.

Worf attempts to be a responsible parent and enrolls his child in school, but during a meeting with Picard he gets interrupted by all of the other things that happen when you become a parent, and Picard is very understanding. Troi insists that Worf attend the father/son field trip where Alexander is caught lying and Worf admits he would rather face a slew of enemies than his own child. They have “the talk”, you know… the one about honor, get your head out of the gutter! Alexander is caught lying again and training in the holodeck with Worf’s weapons, so of course Worf wants to send him to military school, I mean ummm… to Klingon school, is there a difference? I’m not sure.

They enact La Forge’s plan and the ship has some damage after going through the wave. They also need to evacuate some decks in order to prevent casualties. Of course Alexander runs off to the biolab, where there winds up being a fire, and Riker and Worf have only minutes to save him, and the gilvos. Worf pulls a “granny lifting a car” moment out of his ass and Riker saves the gilvos, even though there “wasn’t time”. Worf challenges Alexander to stay with him on the Enterprise as it will be much harder than Klingon school, to which Alexander accepts.

Worf holding Alexander and Riker holding the gilvos after a narrow escape.

Worf may not be “father of the year” but he sure as hell tries throughout this whole episode. I do, however, have some beef with this episode. Why, for the love of all that is good in this world, is there a father-son field trip in the 24th century? Just have it be a parent-child trip and be done with it. Didn’t we see how, in “The Bonding“, there was a male child with only a mother, or you know every damn episode Wesley Crusher was in. What about children that came from a home with two moms? Did you think about that in the 1990’s, no of course not /end rant/. All I’m saying is TNG could have done better, I promise I’m done… for now. Worf believes that “being Klingon” is always the answer, but by the end of the episode realizes that it might not be.

I will say Troi really is excellent at her job and whoever wrote her lines likely had some counseling training because it’s spot on. I also hated that this cool, awesome new technology was only there to cause a problem so that Alexander could get stuck and Worf had to save him, sigh. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t really like it either. Worf’s mom wasn’t in it enough to save it, so this only gets 3 gilvos.

TA Out!

Published by njdevil12

I'm just a big city girl living in a not so big city with my fur children and partner.

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