By this point, Star Trek the Next Generation was firing on all cylinders. It was at the height of its creative output, with a lot of great episodes that are memorable for all the right reasons. And then Jimmy and Tom get to this perfectly fine episode and end up having a long digression on Doctor Who, a show Jimmy has never seen.
Still, they had a lot to say about this episode as a whole, guest starring Matt Frewer.
“A Matter of Time”
Picard deals with an obnoxious archaeologist from the future while trying to repair a planetary ecosystem.
tomk: I always knew that guy was up to no good.
jimmy: But he looks like he’s from the future…
tomk: Does Jenny?
jimmy: I haven’t seen her around the office in awhile, but I’ll say no.
And why would you have your time travel ship set to auto depart? Unless that was the only way he could get it to work. Seems like that’s just asking for exactly what happened.
tomk: Well, if you need to slip away suddenly, you may not want to waste time programming it on the fly.
jimmy: Better to set it for an exact time and risk not being there and missing it completely.
tomk: Maybe if he hadn’t imagined Crusher being into him.
jimmy: He really couldn’t take a hint.
And so what happens to the ship? Does it just return to the 22nd century, and just sit somewhere, never to be used again?
tomk: Maybe the original archaeologist found it.
jimmy: I can’t remember what Max said he did with him.
tomk: He didn’t.
jimmy: Then maybe he comes back and finds his ship has returned seconds after it left and he goes on his way.
tomk: Maybe wondering where his spare clothes went.
And who messed with his radio settings.
jimmy: That’s just the worst!
So, how come the best Troi can do is “he’s holding back something” and not “his pants are on fire”?
tomk: Well, she actually isn’t very good at her job.
Also not good at their jobs: anyone who doesn’t see Max blatantly pocketing small gizmos and gadgets.
jimmy: It must have been easy to put that Klingon dagger in his pocket.
tomk: His pockets are bigger on the inside.
jimmy: Magic pockets from the 26th century.
tomk: Jimmy, it is a well established fact that time travelers use technology that is bigger on the inside.
jimmy: Doctor Who. Is there anything he can’t do?
tomk: Say his own name?
jimmy: Is he Mister Mxyzptlk?
tomk: No. He’s the Doctor. That’s the only name he gives.
jimmy: He’s never called Doctor Who?
tomk: Nope. Not to his face.
jimmy: But not to his face?
tomk: Sometimes he’s listed that way in the closing credits.
jimmy: I feel like there’s an Abbott and Costello joke here somewhere.
tomk: I don’t know.
tomk: In reality, he’s called the Doctor. He’s never given any other name, so the title of the show is more of a question than anything else. And he steals less stuff than Max.
jimmy: So the show made it very clear to the audience that he was up to something. Though I think the whole “I’m from the past and I stole the time ship from someone who actually did come from the future” was a different twist.
tomk: But it did explain quite a bit. He couldn’t help Picard because he didn’t know squat.
jimmy: Didn’t he? I feel like he must have read the time traveler’s logs because he sure did seem to know plenty about the ship and crew.
tomk: Well, they kept telling him stuff.
jimmy: I’m sure some of it was pure con man stuff. But he must have had some idea about the ship and what it was doing there at that time.
tomk: You mean people don’t just know who MVP Worf is?
jimmy: Not people from the 22nd century.
tomk: Then how do we know about him in the 21st?
jimmy: But there’s no particular reason for Max to pick that point in time to return to. Unless he was hoping the planetary distraction would allow him to go undetected. Or it was completely random.
tomk: Does he seem like he’s smart enough to plan that far ahead?
jimmy: …good point. Completely random it is!
tomk: I mean, he decided to steal high tech stuff to invent, including that Klingon dagger because apparently they don’t have sharp stuff in the 22nd century.
jimmy: Heh. Good point. And he could, I dunno, use the high tech gadgetry in his time travel ship from 400 years into his future.
tomk: I am sure he could have easily explained how he invested Data too.
jimmy: It was a foolproof plan to be sure. And obviously he could reverse engineer and know how to build and have the technology and materials to “create” all those things. Well…maybe the dagger.
tomk: It’s like the best part of him got blown up at the end of The Stand when he brought back technology he didn’t understand.
jimmy: Tick tock.
tomk: Well, then it’s probably a good thing he didn’t give Picard any advice.
“Sure, just hit the doodad on the control panel and that’ll clean up the atmosphere for that guy who keeps thanking you.”
jimmy: And surprising that Picard, who usually sees through any deceit and gets to the bottom of everything, trusted him so quickly and completely.
tomk: He did time travel. Probably fooled a whole lot of people.
I mean, Picard has met other time travelers.
jimmy: Plus he took the time to make up all those personalized questionnaires.
tomk: He probably found ’em on Buzzfeed.
But this is all well and good, Jimmy, so would you like to see something Worf isn’t good at?
jimmy: Ballroom dancing?
He dances divinely.
jimmy: Yeah. I can see the parenting not being so good.
tomk: Ready to move on and find out?
tomk: OK, then.