A Matter of Time

Professor Berlinghoff Rasmussen is a blast from the future. He is here to study his history in its natural habitat: back in time. He has picked a boring mission to study though. It is just a run of the mill “save 20-million people from disaster” cake walk. Yet the presence of Rasmussen makes the crew of the Enterprise think there is more going on than they know. History happens now when we put A Matter of Time in the Mission Log.

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  1. JusenkyoGuide says:

    Pre-cast: Shoulda been Robin Williams!

    Also, Happy Birthday, Star Trek! Keep on trekking!

  2. Dave Steph Taylor says:

    Have not listened to the podcast yet, just watched the episode and all I can say is how easy it is to gain access to the Enterprise and VITAL system areas. “Professor” Berlinghoff Rasmussen is given free range of the ship with a barely passable story and the whole time Troi is saying he is up to something.

    • Earl Green says:

      Hey, Khan! Look at these schematics showing you every possible backdoor into ship’s security and vital systems. *Just look at them!* Also, here’s everybody’s birthdates and their mother’s maiden names…

      • Dave Steph Taylor says:

        Na, he seems like a nice man. Its all good.

        • Earl Green says:

          He has a kind face, almost as a man who would welcome one to an island paradise. Surely he means well.

          • Dave Steph Taylor says:

            Until you remember that he totally killed the owner of the time ship.

          • Earl Green says:

            Sorry, I was still talking about Khan! Ha! (Just talkin’ ’bout Shaft…) Yeah, I always envisioned Rasmussen as having perhaps accidentally killed the original owner of the timeship…buuuuuut ultimately being kind of okay with that as his greed got the better of him. He really doesn’t ooze “stone cold killer”. Then again, he doesn’t have a problem drawing a phaser on Data either…

          • Dave Steph Taylor says:

            Either one works. Both actors play them charming, but you can tell something is off.

          • deaddropsd says:

            I think the time pod is kinda like the One True Ring from Lord of the Rings…too powerful and corrupting….

          • Earl Green says:

            You can learn a lot about a person by asking what they’d do with a TARDIS. (I’d totally go back to 1978 and buy a boatload of Kenner Star Wars figures, leave them packaged, bring them to the present and cash the heck in. Oh, and I’d keep a set too…other folks wanna go kill [insert major historical figure] or something.)

          • deaddropsd says:

            I’d be focused on really good HD 1080p VIDEO RECORDING of historic events!! under camouflage/hidden of course…BooM! I remember reading Crichton’s “Timeline” which was great compared to movie (shocker) but the time travelling observers video’d Washington crossing the Delaware in dreary circumstances vs the majestic posing, and Lincoln’s Gettysburg address revealed a squeaky annoying voice…or something like that…great point!!

          • Stephen says:

            It seems to be left ambiguous, as to what happened to the owner of the time ship. There’s the novel, “Indistinguishable from Magic”, which states that Rassmusen didn’t kill him. Obviously, non-canon. But generally the novels don’t seem to generally contradict anything specifically stated in the episodes.

    • Lol, true! You think they’d have learned something from the Kirk era… Auxiliary Control; quite an asset to Khan, the Space Hippies, the Klingons, etc.

  3. mc900 says:

    It might be a bit early to start comparing a dvd player to a vcr. Dvd’s are still sold and rented but more importantly anyone with a blue ray player Has a dvd player. #justsaying

  4. CmdrR says:

    Happy 50th!!! Hey, if Trek is 50, that means we only have about 250 years left to go! I can’t wait!

  5. CmdrR says:

    Make it so!!!!

  6. Aaron says:

    Pardon me for jumping the timeline, but do you think Temporal Investigations paid the Enterprise a visit after this???

    • Earl Green says:

      Oh, more than that, more than that – is Rasmussen is from the 22nd century, how on Earth did the makers of Enterprise miss a golden opportunity to get Frewer to reprise his role on that show taking place in the 22nd century? He could’ve been that show’s Harry Mudd, minus the icky human trafficking angle and, hopefully, the buccaneer hat.

    • deaddropsd says:

      I’d say it’s a given…lol- I keep retconning in my mind that Section 31 is responsible for TNG’s shady/idiot admirals!

  7. Wildride says:

    Interesting credit for Matt Frewer was as the discount version of The Riddler in Fox’s attempted pilot of a GenX series, more or less playing off Jim Carrey’s portrayal in Batman Forever.

    There is “firm” speculation that Matt’s super annoying character, Rassmusen, was based on a particularly obsessive fan.

  8. deaddropsd says:

    HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY STAR TREK!!! Thanks to Mission Log/ Ken/ Ray / Rod for reigniting discussion, analysis on our great show!!! I really enjoy all the posts, insight and critiques!!!

  9. JalenJade says:

    The egg came first the egg always comes first because the chicken has to hatch from the animal that evolved into the chicken.

  10. Earl Green says:

    Kinda blew my mind with the trivia about Tom Baker being considered for the role of Rasmussen; I’m actually glad they didn’t. I had never heard this before. You could do that NOW (and indeed, the criminally underrated animated series Star Wars: Rebels is getting him on this season to voice a major character) and have people know who it was. I don’t think Doctor Who had really penetrated the American zeitgeist in ’91 the way that it seems to have retroactively done now. It was still very much a cult thing. Now, speaking of retroactive and Doctors Who, you wanna know who I could see knocking this role out of the park? Matt Smith.

    I’m perfectly happy with the Matt we got (the Matt we deserve?) though. I’m a huge Frewer fan, and met him once – completely by accident – because we both had vendor booths at a convention in Tulsa. I was far too nervous about making a total fool of myself to just walk across the room and talk to him, and I had my own table to man and my own wares to hawk anyway. And then right at the end of the show, my then-five-year-old son is dancing around in circles and just collides with Matt Frewer’s knees. I got out from behind my table, apologized profusely, and collected my kiddo, and you know that knowing smirk that Frewer does so well? He totally did that and said it was okay, and I did finally talk to him briefly. Heck of a nice guy considering that 40ish pounds of small human had just collided with his legs. (Coda: I introduced my son to Max Headroom later, and reminded him that he actually met this guy. “I did?!?” *facepalm*)

    I can’t imagine Robin Williams doing it, and I was an equally huge Robin Williams fan. Robin’s gift was taking bare bones and then doing an improv verbal ballet around them…I’m just not sure that would’ve played as well here.

    Rasmussen originating in the 22nd century = Enterprise missed an absolutely golden opportunity to have him show up in Archer’s time.

    As for where his pod goes…the Daleks probably reeled it in looking for you-know-who and blasted their way in. Good thing he wasn’t aboard. Also, good thing nobody handed him any Borg technology to take home. Nothing good could come from that.

  11. gizmochimp says:

    Fun episode, but I think Picard is out of character here asking for the answer from Rasmussen. Most weeks he would be the voice of reason on why we shouldn’t mess with the timeline, hand over our destiny to “fate”, or look for the “easy cheat” that gets you out of a tight spot.

  12. Troy Brooks says:

    One thing I think is be assumed here, do we know that Rassmusen purposely contacted the Enterprise. Did he ever say anything that proved he knew them or their mission? He could have just popped a couple hundred years forward and see who finds him

  13. Durakken says:

    Consider that we know as viewers that the future Federation has time agents and historians that monitor time and especially important events in time… If there isn’t an agent on Enterprise that tells us that it’s not important, but if we accept that it is then there must be Temporal Agents on Enterprise… That being the case it seems to me that they might have some contact with the Captain when needed and that is how his “credentials checked out” or rather, didn’t and that was a charade to capture him without alerting the rest of the crew of Temporal Agents existing on board…

  14. Dave Steph Taylor says:

    1- I highly recommend Eureka. A fun, campy show with all kinds of pop culture references.

    2- The Prime Directive does not exactly apply to the planet. I thought they were a Federation Colony.

    3- I too was confused as to Beverly’s intentions. the whole scene was a bit creepy.

    4- So either Rasmussen is the best B.S.er ever or the time ship had at least some basic knowledge of the Enterprise and its command crew. And by his reactions on the bridge during the atmosphere suck trick, I don’t think Rasmussen knew the exact outcome.

    5- And yes, that Prime Directive/Time Travel discussion covers just about all the entire time travel issues. What a mess time travel could create.

    6- I would add to Picard’s words about taking to much stuff. It might have been some of the important items that tipped them off as well.

    • deaddropsd says:

      nitpicking of course, but what a fool for Rasmussen to bother w an organized “military” ship, instead of going to a library/random city and swap meet or something….criminals he could just buy stuff off of…or collaborate w – lol, the critique from 30 years later…

    • Re #4: That’s one of my favorite moments, as he looks really scared, or is he just playing along? And even if you knew a past event was successful, you’d inevitably be nervous in the middle of the turbulence. I saw this shortly after the um-timely end of Max Headroom, and loved seeing Matt Frewer.

  15. deaddropsd says:

    Happy 50th Birthday Star Trek! Glad I have this podcast, forum, and cool people to discuss this great show…thanks Mission Log/Ken/Ray!! and all those who post/discuss our fave show!

  16. wchmara says:

    It’s possible that Penthara IV was named after the Pink Panther, a basically silent cartoon character who made headlines when he finally spoke…courtesy of Matt Frewer’s voice.
    It was cool to see Picard on the receiving end of the (temporal) prime directive lecture. How does it feel, Jean-Luc?
    Also, this tale was written by Rick Berman? Saints preserve us. The guy could write a good Trek story, if he wanted to. I guess by the time of “Enterprise,” he no longer felt any obligation to even try.

  17. Stephen says:

    In this episode, Geordi has more than one visor. Although in “Galaxy’s Child”, his conversation with Guinan seems to imply that he only has one visor, that he wears all the time.

    And Rassmusen somehow managed to know that Geordi has multiple visors, break into his quarters, presumably by needing to override the lockout and risk a security alert.

  18. deaddropsd says:

    One thing I liked about this episode is it put the TNG crew in the awkward position of being the inferior technology or culture. Like suddenly being the little brother in a relationship, not privy to the big picture, when usually Picard and crew are trying to help lesser developed little brother societies or educate planets who might have comparable tech, but are just “wrong headed” somehow. Great flip of perspective…sorta if Rasmussen really were a future historian. Would have been great if time travelers appeared in a season 6 or 7 episode and Picard showed great disdain and lack of respect thinking they were frauds and then boom, shock and awe ensues…lol

  19. Liam McMullin says:

    It looks like Rasmussen is an incompetent inventor because he doesn’t understand how technology is developed. It’s likely a misunderstanding shared by the writers, but it could have led to a funny conclusion if he had been able to get away with his loot. For some reason, revolutionary technology in Star Trek always seems to be developed by a single person instead of a team taking decades to build on the knowledge of others.

    He treats technology 200 years ahead of his own as though it’s something one could develop from reverse engineering a single sample. He probably wouldn’t be able to determine how a tricorder works, and even if he could, he wouldn’t have the technology to manufacture the parts. Rasmussen could go back to the 22nd century, still be awful at inventing things, and maybe fail to change anything about the timeline.

    If Data or Geordi went back in his time pod I’m sure they could influence things because they understand their technology, and I suspect they also have a solid grasp on what might be done with older technologies, like how a really good programmer now might do something with an 80s computer few in the 80s thought possible.

  20. John Anderton says:

    Couldn’t get past the fact that a total stranger comes aboard and everyone trusts him – even though he was acting like he was guilty as possible. And the serious discussion about the prime was really fascinating – but felt completely out of place.
    Overall, a nice, light episode – if annoying at times.