Season 4 Episode 5
Original airdate: October 20, 1990
Dr. Crusher’s anxiety over losing loved ones is magnified when she becomes trapped in an alternate reality.
My Brief Review
I’m not sure I’d say this is my favorite episode of the show, but it’s definitely the one that’s stuck with me most vividly. I love these Twilight Zone-type episodes, and this one is a classic.
Wesley is conducting a warp field experiment in engineering, and shortly thereafter, Dr. Crusher starts to notice a strange phenomenon: people are vanishing from onboard the Enterprise, and no one but her seems to remember them ever existing.
Eventually, it comes to this… Beverly is alone on the bridge (and, in fact, alone on the ship), when she poses the question to the computer: “What is the nature of the universe?”
Computer: “The universe is a spheroid region 704 meters in diameter.”
Eventually the ship starts to break down due to what the computer calls a “design flaw”… namely, that parts of the ship’s design now fall outside the universe. But Beverly is smart, almost as smart as her son Wesley, who gets into serious Jedi mode with The Traveler, who comes back and works his metaphysical magic.
Of course everything works out fine in the end. But it’s quite a trip along the way.
When Dr. Crusher asks the computer to display a model of the universe and she recognizes the shape as Wesley’s warp field, that’s an image that’s burned into my brain. But I think the most memorable moment is when it’s down to just her and Picard left on board, and she’s sitting next to him. She has the computer giving a continual audible readout of Picard’s life functions. For a moment she glances away from him, the computer falls silent, and… he’s gone.
Uh, I mean, come on. There’s like nobody in this episode. So let’s go with Dr. Dalen Quaice, Beverly’s old (and I mean old) friend, who’s the first to disappear. He’s played by Bill Erwin, who according to IMDb is “known for” the unforgettable roles “Man on Plane,” “Man in Airport,” and “70-Year-Old Man.”
Distane Rating: 6K
IMDb score: 7.9/10