Star Trek: The Next Generation – Cause and Effect
The Enterprise is struck by another vessel and obliterated – only for time to reset itself to a few hours before the collision, the unwitting crew playing out the same sequence of events over and over…
The shortest and most effective pre-credits sequence in TNG’s run – the destruction of the Enterprise – gives way to a marvellous and concise exploration of the Time loop phenomenon. Cause and Effect succeeds by putting the devil in the detail; each act follows the same series of events through the eyes of Doctor Crusher, with only a growing sense of déjà vu alerting the crew to their predicament. Their efforts to blindly alter the course of events become more tense with each pass as they struggle to transmit themselves a clue through the loop.
Crusher knocking over a wineglass despite her best efforts to prevent it. Simple but very effective.
Babylon 5 – War Without End
Former commander of Babylon 5 Jeffrey Sinclair returns to the station on a most extraordinary mission: to travel back 1,000 years to fulfil prophecy and ‘close the circle’.
The incredibly convoluted underlying story of Babylon 5 that weaved in and out of episode after episode, season after season came to a stunning peak in this two-part story. We had continually heard about a war against the Shadows 1,000 years ago, and how the Minbari legend Valen led his people to victory. Now this story is linked to the Time-travelling Babylon 4 and some of the series’ major characters. Using the many plot opportunities of playing with Time, creator J Michael Straczynski offers new views on previous stories and shifts the whole underlying structure of the series.
The oldest Caretaker of the Great machine, Zathras, explains who ‘The One’ is – but, of course, it won’t make sense for a while yet…
by Taylor David and Jan Vincent-Rudzki