Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 5 Episode 9

A Matter of Time

Aired Unknown Nov 18, 1991 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

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out of 10
190 votes
  • Ho Hum

    Featuring guest star Matt Frewer (Max Headroom himself) who plays it over the top as the "professor of history" from a different time period, this offbeat episode awkwardly bounces back and forth between comedy and drama. Originally scripted with Star Trek fan Robin Williams in mind, the A story centers on the quirks of the time traveler, with Frewer coming off as a poor man's Jim Carey. His act, unfortunately, get old quickly. Meanwhile, the B story is more serious and concerns a planet that has been struck by an asteroid and is dealing the environmental fallout (a better idea than the more clich plot of trying to stop the asteroid from hitting a planet in the first place.) The two stories work well together in a way, but whereas a John de Lancie knows how to balance comedic and dramatic moments within an episode, Frewer is not up to the challenge.
  • Not a great episode, but better than I remembered.

    The first time I saw this episode, I found the plot to be underwhelming and Matt Frewer's Jim Carrey-esque historian to be extremely annoying. (In fact, I thought Frewer WAS Carrey until I went back and looked at the credits.)

    In retrospect, it's not nearly that bad. It's actually a clever concept that's not utilized to its full potential (I think the discussion in Picard's ready room is kind of tedious), but generates plenty of humor and tension. As long as you don't find Jim Carrey to be insufferable, you'll probably chuckle or at least smile a few times.

    Too bad Robin Williams couldn't play Rasmussen.
  • Sadly, the only appearance of a fairly interesting guest character.

    While rushing to save \"Penthara IV\", which has been struck by a large asteroid, ship\'s sensors have detected a temporal anomaly. A strange ship appears in the area of the anomaly and the Enterprise receives a message for \"Capt. Picard\" (Patrick Stewart) to move from the spot he is standing at. As soon as he moves, a \"Professor Berlinghoff Rasmussen\" (Matthew Frewer, who is best known as his cult classic role \"Max Headroom\") transports himself in that spot. The professor soon claims to be from the 26th century and has shown up to observe.

    \"Picard\" now has a moral delema; should he, or should he not use the knowledge of the future \"Rasmussen\" has. However, \"Rasmussen\" has his own plans -- which includes flirting with \"Dr. Crusher\" (Gates McFadden) to obtain various items the crew uses. It also appears that he will not aid \"Picard\" with the knowledge he allegedly obtains.

    Frewer makes the professor an enjoyable character, but he didn\'t make it a more memorable role as he did \"Max Headroom\" back in the 80\'s. Sadly, even the regular cast doesn\'t do an extraordinary performance, even when dealing with the problem on the planet. Frewer also doesn\'t do his performance in a way to make the viewer suspect that he has more devious plans than he really does.

    A lot of the episode focuses on \"Dr. Crusher\" and \"Picard\". \"Crusher\" explores her romantic side, with \"Rasmussen\'s\" charm it makes some interesting situations. \"Picard\" plans his dilema like any Starship captain would in his situation. The problem is quite unique, which we may one day deal with, and shows us what type of commanding officer he truely is.

    The episode attempts to be funny, and has some amusing scenes. Frewer does a good job in his performances and uses facial expressions and body language to enhance his performance. The editing of the two stories in this episode leaves an uncertain mood, and leaves the viewers wondering how to react to what is going on at certain points in the story. As a result, some scenes may get over as being a bit silly or more serious than it should be.

    This is not the best episode for new viewers to check out and familiarize themselves with the show, but it\'s still a pretty good episode to check out.
  • An interesting distraction

    I can remember watching this the first time round and thought it was a great episode. Sadly as time passes, this episode doesnt quite live up to the expectations I had at the time. Its well concieved, but nothing really happens until right at the end. Still cant fathom why most of the senior officers had to gather around the time machine when really it would have been an issue for one senior officer (Data)(plus the captain poss.), Worf and a security detail. Why the hell was Beverly there?!

    The disaster about to befall the planet only served as a foil for Picard to battle his conflicts of wanting to know what happened in the future in order to do the right thing in the present and therefore change the timetravellers apparent past. Something that ironically Picard discovers is what the timetraveller is doing!
  • The “Enterprise” is investigating the damage that has been done to Penthara IV. A asteroid has hit Penthara IV. Worf discovers a shuttlecraft in a space time distortion above the planet’s atmosphere.

    The “Enterprise” is investigating the damage that has been done to Penthara IV. A asteroid has hit Penthara IV. Worf discovers a shuttlecraft in a space time distortion above the planet’s atmosphere. A passenger aboard the unknown shuttlecraft request Picard to move aside so he can beam aboard. Picard does so. Rasmussen beams aboard. Rasmussen claims to be from the future, but Troi is unsure he is telling the truth. The “Enterprise” crew after numerous attempts finds a way to repair the damage done to Penthara IV. Rasmussen is actually a thief from the past.
  • A man who claims to be an historian from the future comes to visit the Enterprise. Also, a planet is dying from the “greenhouse” effect and Picard must make a life for death decision that could cost hundreds of lives (the crew) or millions on the surface

    This is one of my favorite episodes because it makes you wonder what would happen if one met a person from the future. Rasmussen (Matt Frewer) plays the part well. He claims that he is from the future to study the Enterprise and its crew. He is very ambiguous and seems to know to be valid. Although he seems authentic, he begins to steal various items from the ship.
    The part I love the most is when Picard asks him what he should do about the problem on the surface of a planet that is having a "greenhouse effect". They had already tried drilling holes to clear the sky but it caused earthquakes. Rasmussen seems a bit unfeeling in the fact that this was his past-that all of them were dead and have long been dead to him. Picard is a little disgusted with him and with himself for asking for his help. His reply is that he doesn’t care about his future because his future has not been written yet.
    I’m thankful that Picard didn’t make him give the answer-for it would have been on Rasmussen’s shoulders and that would have really been a bad thing because we find out that he is really from the past. One of my favorite lines from Data is when he tells him that he assumes the door will open whether is conscious or not.
    This episode is good because it makes one wonder if the future was a question away-would you continue to do the same thing or not?
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