Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 3 Episode 15

Yesterday's Enterprise

Aired Unknown Feb 19, 1990 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
310 votes

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Episode Summary

Stardate: 43625.2 A rift in the space/time continuum brings the Enterprise-C 22 years into the future, and alters the timeline. In this altered reality, the Federation is at war with the Klingons, Tasha Yar is alive, and only Guinan's unique perception of reality may restore the true timeline.moreless

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  • One of Star Trek's best

    This Yar/Guinan episode uses a sci fi plot device somewhat reminiscent of "Mirror, Mirror", but more subtle, in depth, and powerful. The beauty of the episode is that it has such a good hook, it could coast off it for 20 minutes, but instead, the story punches forward with mounting tension, some great character development, and a unique moral dilemma. It's time travel used by the writers for a purpose, with broad universal implications and intimate, personal consequences, as opposed to being just another plot device. And there's a cinematic quality to everything (in some ways foreshadowing the eleventh Star Trek film) that makes "Yesterday's Enterprise" seem bigger than it really is. One of Star Trek's best.moreless
  • One of the bests of Trek - easily a (if not THE) TNG favorite of mine....

    "Yesterday's Enterprise" is easily one of the best episodes to appear in any of the Star Trek series' 5 shows and if it is not my absolute favorite TNG episode it is surely one of my very favorites. Directed by David Carson (who would go on to direct the Star Trek film "Generations" does an excellent job forming this thoughtful, thrilling, and stylish episode. It's really everything you could want in a Star Trek episode: action, depth of characters, great acting, striking photography, and thoughtful themes - "Yesterday's Enterprise" is one of those Trek productions that has the viewer fall in love with the Star Trek universe all over again after each viewing.moreless
  • Past enterprise enters a time-rift and alters the present. With a unique insight only Guinan can provide, the Captain realizes the only way to set things right is to return the ship and its crew, to what will surely be its demise.moreless

    Brilliantly conceived and executed. One gripe...why was Wesley part of the alternative Enterprise crew? Certainly he belonged on the real Enterprise (a ship of peace, with families)...but a ship at war? A teenage acting ensign? How did this get past the writers? Perhaps they could have explained his presence in other ways (hitching a ride with Mom, or something like that). But to place him in the pilot seat when he hasn't even gone through the Academy implies he's been part of the crew since the beginning. The writers obviously realized Worf couldn't be part of the alternative enterprise crew...same could have been said of Wesley. In fact, all Sci Fi dealing with alternative universes tend to ignore the law of average that specific circumstances tend to bring people together. So to believe that the same set of circumstances that brought the real Enterprise crew together would do the same in the alternative universe requires a complete suspension of belief. The episode would have been even more believable with some alternative characters.

    Otherwise, a fun episode with a unique twist on the old time-travel plot line. And nice to see Whoopie Goldberg's character explored in more depth...writers left just enough ambiguity to keep people interested as we learned more about her race in future episodes.moreless
  • Very cool styling in the alternate reality!

    I loved how Data's voice was a bit deeper in the alternate reality. It was nice seeing Tasha Yar, again. I am glad she got a more honorable send off in this episode. Even though I like Beverly much better, it would have been neat to see Dr. Pulaski in the alternate reality. Something else that could have been cool is if Worf was one of the Klingon enemies. I guess that wouldn't have worked out well, considering his human upbringing. It was kind of weird how Guinan was the only one who realized what was going on. I guess someone had to. I really liked the alternate reality uniforms and bridge.moreless
  • A classic episode, with a certain cinematic grandeur.

    Perhaps due to the hype surrounding this episode, it's never been one of my very favorites. But there is no doubt that it is a very strong one and among the highlights of the third season. One of the other reviewers is right on – the gritty, militaristic style of the episode clearly anticipates DS9.

    Like "The Best of Both Worlds", "Yesterday's Enterprise" plays more like a movie than a TV show episode. This has at least one drawback – the Tasha Yar romance may be appropriately cinematic, but it's not that interesting. And while it's kind of interesting plotwise to have Tasha back, it also reminds us why we never missed Denise Crosby in the first place.

    Her return notwithstanding, it's really Whoopi Goldberg that carries this episode. Watching her performances in the third season, you can't help thinking how fortunate the producers were to put her in this role. There are also several good Patrick Stewart moments.

    The teaser is noteworthy for both introducing Worf to prune juice and for featuring one of his few true laughs during the TNG and DS9 runs.

    Along with the next two episodes ("The Offspring" and "Sins of the Father"), "Yesterday's Enterprise" forms part of the strongest stretch of the solid third season.moreless
Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart

Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Jonathan Frakes

Jonathan Frakes

Cmdr. William T. Riker

Brent Spiner

Brent Spiner

Lt. Cmdr. Data

Gates McFadden

Gates McFadden

Dr. Beverly Crusher

Marina Sirtis

Marina Sirtis

Counsellor/Lt. Cmdr. Deanna Troi

LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton

Lt. Cmdr. Geordi LaForge

Tricia O'Neil

Tricia O'Neil

Captain Rachel Garrett

Guest Star

Denise Crosby

Denise Crosby

Tasha Yar

Guest Star

Christopher McDonald

Christopher McDonald

Lt. J.G. Richard Castillo

Guest Star

Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (14)

    • In the scene where Lt. Yar requests a transfer to the Enterprise-C from Captain Picard, watch the doors to the Ready Room very closely after Yar enters; they hit and bounce back just slightly.

    • When Lt. Yar is speaking to Lt. Castillo while walking through the ship, she states that the Enterprise-D is the first Galaxy-class warship built by the Federation. However, naval tradition dictates that the class is named after the first ship built of the type. Therefore, if this was the first ship built of its type then it should be an Enterprise-class warship unless they have developed a different naming tradition for starships.

    • In the alternate timeline Picard begins his log entries with "Military log", however his computer monitor uses the term "Captain's Log," which is from the regular timeline.

    • Despite not wearing one even after a uniform change and when everyone else on the Enterprise-C appeared to have one, Lt. Castillo only has a comm badge when he needs to use it.

    • During the first attack by the Klingons on the Enterprise, Riker orders "Fire phasers" and Data acknowledges the order. However operating the weapons systems is the job of the Tactical Officer, not Data the Operations Office. The Tactical Officer remains quiet throughout the engagement and doesn't seem to do anything.

    • As Garrett is arguing with Crusher about whether she can leave sickbay, Garrett's rank insignia on her shoulder tab is hanging loose and to one side.

    • While on the Enterprise-C bridge, Crusher taps her comm badge and calls to transport back to the Enterprise-D. If you watch Crusher after she's done talking, she goes to tap her Comm Badge again and then quickly pulls her hand back down realizing that she doesn't need to tap it again.

    • Trivia: It is in this episode that Guinan introduces Worf to prune juice. He likes it and calls it a "Warrior's Drink," and subsequently adopts it as one of his favorites throughout TNG and DS9.

    • In a slight goof, at one point, Lt. Yar mentions "Lt. LaForge," although Geordi is a Lt. Commander, and should therefore be referred to as "Commander LaForge.

    • Trivia: This episode creates a time paradox in which Tasha Yar is able to die twice. She previously died in Season 1's "Skin of Evil." However, in the alternate timeline, her death hasn't yet occured, and she is able to return to the past on the Enterprise C. The assumption at the end of this episode is that she died on the Enterprise C while defending a Klingon outpost years before she was supposed to be born. Then, due to the restoration of the timeline, presumably, the "real" Tasha once again suffered the same death as before.

    • In the battle scene, the red alert flashing lights on the bridge go out of sync many times, and at a certain point the beep is out of sync with the red light.

    • Crusher scans the Enterprise-C bridge with her tricorder, and declares everyone dead. Then she leaves and they hear a moan and pull off a few flimsy panels to find the still-living Castillo - there doesn't seem to be nearly enough debris to block a tricorder scan.

    • At the end, back in the "real" Enterprise reality, Geordi is still wearing the alternate-reality uniform as he converses with Guinan (look particularly at the wider cuffs).

    • Crusher never actually scans the bridge - she scans the individual crew members she sees injured on the bridge. Since Castillo was hidden under debris she just assumed that the entire bridge crew was dead.

  • QUOTES (6)

  • NOTES (7)

    • The episode won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series.

    • This episode provides a previously unseen glimpse into the development of the Starfleet comm badge. In TOS, communicators were handheld, with a Starfleet insignia embroidered onto the uniform. In the TOS movies, the Starfleet insignia became a badge pinned onto the uniform, while communicators remained handheld. Communicator badges were only first seen in TNG. However, as seen in this episode, although the TOS movie era uniforms (slightly modified) were still used in the time of the Enterprise-C, the Starfleet badge pinned to the uniform had become a communicator as well.

    • In the alternate timeline, although the senior officers wear modified versions of the newer TNG-style uniforms, many extras wear slightly modified versions of the early TNG uniforms.

    • This is the first of only two episodes of Star Trek to feature two different Enterprises. The second is the Star Trek: Enterprise series finale "These Are the Voyages..." in which both the Enterprise NX-01 and the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D appear.

    • This is the last episode of the series to feature all nine of the original cast members.

    • Captain's log is changed into military log, due to the fact that Federation is at war. (Stated by Jonathan Frakes during an introduction to the episode)

    • This is the first appearance of the Star Trek movie uniforms during a Star Trek series set in the 24th Century. The uniforms are minus their undershirts and belts.


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