"Time's Arrow" seems to exist in a continuum entirely of its own making. It ranks as one of the best TNG cliffhangers, and treats fans to canon-changing story lines and tons of in-jokes. There's just too much to absorb in one viewing! This satisfying conclusion answers many questions left hanging at the end of Part I--the least of which is exactly what happens when Picard and his bridge officers go undercover as a bad Shakespearean theatre company. Female fans will appreciate the fine acting of Gates McFadden (Dr. Crusher) and Marina Sirtis (Troi), who clutch at their corseted sides and look downright pained in Victorian garb. Jerry Hardin returns as the irrepressible Samuel Clemens who sticks his nose into everybody's business and has a whole lot of fun doing it. Not only does Hardin resemble the author physically, but he also gets the old man's mix of crankiness and charm just right. Everybody ignores the fact that the real 1890s San Francisco was anything but IDIC and has a good old time kicking temporal alien butt. And then there's that whole thing with Data's head going on...
Sharp viewers will catch a major blooper regarding precisely when Guinan met Jean-Luc Picard. In "The Child," Guinan told Wesley Crusher that she'd never met the captain before she came aboard the Enterprise-D, and yet in "Time's Arrow," this is definitely not the case. It's all left rather mysterious--much like the origins of the ophidian-toting aliens. --Kayla RiggneyFrom the Back Cover:
After disappearing into the time distortion portal, Data's (Brent Spiner) severed head is found buried among alien ruins in 19th century San Francisco. An Away Team, sent from the 24th century, learns that the Devidians, an alien race capable of assuming human form, are traveling back in time to steal human neural energy and transfer it back to their home planet.
With the help of author Mark Twain (Jerry Hardin), the Away Team concludes that the cavern where Data's head was found acts as a focusing device, enabling the aliens to put their life-sapping plan into action. As Picard (Patrick Stewart) prepares to destroy the cavern, an explosion seals him inside. Will he be forever trapped by time's arrow?
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