Time loops, distortions, exploding starships and more in the episode that originally aired on March 23,1992.   This is Cause and Effect.

The Episode:

Stardate 45652.1,  45652.1,  45652.1,  45652.1 Cause and Effect

The Enterprise experiences a causality loop that results in the destruction of the Enterprise and the death of her crew over and over.  They must find a way out of this loop or forever be doomed to repeat their deaths over and over for eternity.

The Breakdown:

cause 1

In the opening moments The Enterprise is destroyed.  The entire crew have been killed and the ship is no more.

We find Riker and the senior staff playing poker.  Crusher is called away just after winning the hand and, as she is treating Geordi, she suddenly has a distinct moment of deja vu.  Later that night she experiences strange voices that prevent her sleep.

The next morning, at the staff meeting, Crusher reports the issues and indicates that several other crew members indicated the same thing occurring to them.   Just as they begin discussing the situation, Worf reports detecting a strange distortion of the space-time continuum.  The field begins to affect the ship and soon another Starship appears heading directly toward them.   As they use a tractor beam to deflect the ship, it strikes the aft warp nacelle and the Enterprise is ultimately destroyed.

cause 3

We find Riker and the senior staff playing poker. As Data deals out the cards, Doctor Crusher and the others begin to have moments of Deja Vu.  Crusher is called away again to treat LaForge of his injuries. They both realize that these events have occurred before but there is nothing in the medical logs. Later that night she finds herself reliving the same night as before.  Then the voices return. She contacts Picard and they enjoy a cup of tea together. As they talk, Picard indicates that he too has had moments of deja vu as well and, to be safe, he recommends that Data and Geordi run an analysis to see if there are any anomalies.

The next morning, at the staff meeting, Crusher reports the issues and indicates that several other crew members indicated the same thing occurring to them.   Just as they begin discussing the situation, Worf reports detecting a strange distortion of the space-time continuum.  The field begins to affect the ship and soon another Starship appears heading directly toward them.   As they use a tractor beam to deflect the ship, it strikes the aft warp nacelle and the Enterprise is ultimately destroyed…again.

cause 2

We find Riker and the senior staff playing poker. Worf begins to have feelings of Deja Vu and Crusher counters with being able to identify the cards Data is dealing before he deals them.  Riker and Worf also discover they can as well and Crusher calls sick bay about LaForge before he arrives.   Crusher discusses the matter with Picard and it soon becomes apparent that something is wrong. That evening everything Crusher does is evoking Deja Vu and it is beginning to frighten her. When the voices return, she records them and presents them to Data and Geordi.   They analyse the voices only to find  it is comprised of the voices of the entire crew.

cause 4

The next morning, at the staff meeting, Crusher reports their findings and show that they have been repeating themselves many times over.  They identify that the Enterprise exploded at some point that caused this time loop.  They find a way to send a signal into the next loop should they encounter the event again. Just as they prepare data for the message, Worf reports detecting a strange distortion of the space-time continuum.  The field begins to affect the ship and soon another Starship appears heading directly toward them.   As they use a tractor beam to deflect the ship, it strikes the aft warp nacelle and the Enterprise is ultimately destroyed…yet again.

We find Riker and the senior staff playing poker. As Data deals out the cards, Doctor Crusher and the others begin to have moments of Deja Vu. They go through the same moments again and soon Data deals all threes and then three of a kind.  The number three keeps popping up all over the ship and this is soon identified as the message sent back to the beginning of the time loop.  The previous event begins to play out as it has many times before when, instead of using the tractor beam as they had before, Data uses Riker’s suggestion of decompressing the shuttlebay in order to knock them off the course of the strange Federation ship.  This works and, as it turns out the ship that appeared is the USS Bozeman, a ship that had disappeared more than 80 years prior.  They contact the Captain of the Bozeman and welcome them to the 24th century.

Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:

This is a clever episode that deals with time travel in a very unique way.  Jonathan Frakes got a chance to really show his directorial chop by filming the same scenes in unique ways making them feel the same yet different every time.  The idea of a causality loop isn’t a new one in science fiction but this episode does a great job with the concept and plays it out very well.

While the solution of the causality loop was a little contrived,  the three’s referencing Riker’s rank,  the episode itself was a solid stand alone story that is a nice entry point for any new or casual viewers.

Gleanings and Cool Bits:

cause 6

The Ongoing poker game is featured prominently in this one as it is a reoccurring event in many of the episodes.

This episode marks the first time the option of ejecting the Warp Core is proposed as an option.  It will be again…and again…

Although mentioned again, we never see The USS Bozeman or it’s crew and that is a shame as the Captain of the Bozeman was none other than Kelsey Grammer, of Frasier fame, in his first ever cameo . I would have loved to have seen a series featuring a crew from the past fitting into the future.


Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review,  I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday!  Next Review: The First Duty

If you would like to read more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Wednesday and also a complete review of Star Trek Discovery.

For more retro TV goodness check out the rest of the Retro TV Reviews here.

As always, please feel free to comment below and share your experiences with these episodes as well. If you just happened by, tell me what you think! Don’t Forget To Follow me if you like the blog!

Late To The Game 9/28/18

cause 7
This is Captain Frasier Crane, reporting for duty.

Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available.  Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.

Star Trek and all related marks, logos and characters are solely owned by CBS Studios Inc. This fan production is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with CBS, Paramount Pictures, or any other Star Trek franchise, and is a non-commercial fan-made production intended for recreational use.  No commercial exhibition or distribution is permitted. No alleged independent rights will be asserted against CBS or Paramount Pictures.”

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