View Single Post
Old 05-02-2018, 01:18 PM
Nate the Great's Avatar
Nate the Great Nate the Great is offline
Knate airrant
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 3,880

May 2nd, 1988, "We'll Always Have Paris"

Fiver (by KJP)
Memory Alpha

The Episode

As a summary, this is another episode that abuses science (at least standard Trek science) but has good character work. Which I suppose is better than the other way around.

DATA: Sensors show nothing, sir, but it appears a moment in time repeated itself exactly for everyone.
LAFORGE: Just like a feeling of deja vu.

Even as a child I found it odd that even after using the term "deja vu" the characters kept using alternate terms, dancing around the slightly foreign word as if afraid that it'll confuse or discourage the viewers from continuing to watch.

DATA: Computers were also affected, which would indicate the phenomenon was not an illusion but occurred in real time.

Now that's an interesting question: how would a computer feel deja vu? Would it record a set of calculations twice? I'm reminded of the Department of Temporal Investigations story "God, Fate, and Fractals", which feature tricorders that are specifically designed to retain data even if timeline alterations change the memories of the DTI agents.

RIKER: Captain, you act as if there's a connection between the time distortion and the distress signal.
PICARD: There is. Paul Manheim. Fifteen years ago he went off to work on experiments relating to non-linear time. It appears he may have achieved some measure of success.

Another interesting question: how much of Picard's knowledge of Manheim is basic scientific interest and how much comes from his connection with Janice?

PICARD: Yes, what is it, Counsellor?
TROI: I think you would prefer to discuss this in private.
PICARD: That's not necessary. Go on.

I do wonder why this conversation had to take place on the bridge. Was the script running long and there wasn't time to move things to the ready room or conference lounge?

COMPUTER: Holodeck three is clear.
PICARD: Location, Paris, Cafe des Artistes, as it appeared twenty two years ago. April the ninth, fifteen hundred hours, three o'clock. Warm spring day.
COMPUTER: Programme complete.

A horrifying thought...sensors keep track of everything that happens in public spaces everywhere on Earth with this kind of precision and distribute the data to all Federation facilities that have holodecks. And somehow records at least basic psychological profiles of everyone at the time of recording, along with recent biographical information to make them seem real. I thought unauthorized holographic recreations of real people was illegal!

Furthermore, it must be remembered that holodeck technology at the time was limited. Maybe Jack Crusher and Noonien Soong could record versions of themselves to stand in one place and talk, but true interactivity was still years off.

DATA: Actually sir, that may be an incorrect analogy.
PICARD: How so, Data?
DATA: A hiccup is a spasmodic inhalation with closure of the glottis. accompanied by a peculiar sound. If we were to continue this analogy to a body function, what occurred would be best represented by a--

By a...what? At best I would equate the Manheim Effect to a form of seizure. If you loosened the definition, maybe amnesia that only goes back a very short amount of time.

PICARD: This is Captain... This is the Captain of the USS Enterprise responding to your signal for help.

I get that Picard is uncomfortable about meeting Jenice right now, but even so, this seems like cowardice. Starfleet captains shouldn't exhibit this kind of weenie behavior when on duty.

JENICE: Paul's always been interested in time. He's never believed that it was immutable, any more than space is immutable. Over the last decade, he came to believe that we reside in one of infinite dimensions, and what holds us here is the constancy of time. Change that and it would be what he called opening the window to those other dimensions.

So altering certain temporal variables would allow us to exist in physical dimensions other than the three we currently occupy. I'm not sure what the appeal would be.

PICARD: Did he anticipate that these experiments might be dangerous?
JENICE: I didn't think so. Now, in retrospect, he probably did. That would explain all the unusual precautions he began taking, even before the accident. The force field, the elaborate security system. Every time he started a new experiment, he insisted that I stay in what he called a protected room.

I'm not sure how you would shield a room to resist temporal effects. You'd probably need to infuse the forcefield with tachyons or somesuch.

(Jenice kisses Picard's cheek and leave)
PICARD: She's an old friend.
CRUSHER: I gathered that.

Understatement of the century. We'll be returning to Beverly later.

DATA: I cannot be sure, sir, but I believe Manheim has developed a method for harnessing energy from the pulsar.

What? I thought Manheim set up shop here because of the gravitational conditions. How do you tap the energy from a star from so far away?

MANHEIM: We were able to locate an energy source in the centre of this planetoid.

What? This brings to mind bad memories of the Icarus Base from Stargate that is on a planet that has a naquadria core that can somehow power a Stargate. Blech.

JENICE: I knew you wouldn't come to me.
PICARD: No, not under these circumstances.

This is good. It's not that Picard is scared that he'll be tempted to have an affair with Jenice, it's that he doesn't want to cause her unnecessary pain or distract her from her husband.

JENICE: I've thought a lot about this over the years, and perhaps you're leaving out your greatest fear. The real reason you left.
PICARD: Which was?
JENICE: That life with me would have somehow made you ordinary.
PICARD: You're wonderful. And am I that transparent?
JENICE: Only to me.

I suppose Picard would've had to give up Starfleet and return to archaeology. I suddenly wonder if Professor Galen would've liked her.

CRUSHER: I don't think I want to talk about what I think you mean.
TROI: Captain Picard
CRUSHER: I can't compete with a ghost from his past. No one could.

You know, if Gene didn't want this relationship to exist, why did it keep showing up? Scenes like this in the first season create questions relating to "Lessons". In that episode Beverly claims that at this point all that there was was vague chemistry. This scene implies more than that.

MANHEIM: She never would admit this, but she has had a terrible time these last years. Had we not been so isolated, she might have left me, and I never would have known. At least, not right away.

"Isolated." Right. The Hansens were isolated, the Manheims were just a little bit off the beaten path. There's a difference.

DATA: In both cases, the time distortions occurred along the same continuum as a preview or a reprise of a specific point in time.
PICARD: Where we are, where we were, and where we will be.

This makes it sound like the distortions aren't altering history (movement is only along the axis of the timeline), which is nonsense. When the loop places two versions of a person in the same place, both retain memories of the encounter, which I would call an alteration (movement goes "off the rails" of the prior timeline).

PICARD: I think it should be only you because you seem more able to control the effects of the time distortion.
DATA: Oh, I see, sir. That is quite true, sir. I see time as a constant, whereas humans perceive time as flexible.

What? It was said earlier that the Manheim Effect appeared on sensors. That means that it affects machines as well. And it will affect Data. And I think Picard should've used something like "cope with" rather than "control." If Data can emit a subspace field that he can tune like a radio to deal with temporal alterations, that's news to me.

mudshark: Nate's just being...Nate.
Zeke: It comes nateurally to him.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
Reply With Quote