Star Trek: The Next Generation (1988): S01E24 – We’ll Always Have Paris


Introduction

“We’ll Always Have Paris” is the twenty-fourth episode of the first season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, first aired on 02 May 1988, in broadcast syndication.

The story and script were both created by Deborah Dean Davis and Hannah Louise Shearer, and the episode was directed by Robert Becker.

Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures of the Starfleet crew of the Federation starship Enterprise-D.In this episode, the crew respond to a distress call from Dr. Paul Manheim (Rod Loomis). While the crew must deal with the results of Manheim’s haywire experiments with time, Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) must deal with his former love Jenice (Michelle Phillips), who is also Manheim’s wife.

The story of the episode was influenced by the film Casablanca, and was affected by the timing of the 1988 Writers Guild of America strike. Because of the strike, the script was written in five days and it was only when it was filmed that it was discovered to be incomplete. Shearer was not happy with the result and felt that the on-screen chemistry of Stewart and Phillips was lacking. Reviews of the episode have been mixed, with one reviewer summing it up by saying “there’s nothing I can point to at this episode and say is wrong, but it’s one of the more forgettable episodes.”

Outline

The Enterprise, along with other ships in the sector, experience a localised time-distortion, and soon after receive a distress-call from Dr. Paul Manheim in a nearby system. Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) recalls that Manheim was ejected from the Federation Science Institute for conducting unauthorised experiments. They find the distress signal coming from a facility on a planetoid surrounded by a force-field. When they make contact with the facility, a woman requests help to save her husband, Dr. Manheim, and lowers the shields.

The two are brought aboard and while Dr. Crusher (Gates McFadden) tends to Dr. Manheim, who is having convulsions, Picard discovers Manheim’s wife is Jenice, Picard’s former love. Jenice warns that her husband was working privately in his laboratory, but that she didn’t know what he was working on. She also alerts the crew to numerous security protocols that he has installed at the facilities. As the crew prepares to send an away-team to investigate the laboratory, they experience more time distortions, described by Data (Brent Spiner) as “Manheim effects”. In one instance Picard, Riker and Data enter a turbolift only to see their past selves conversing outside of the lift. The crew find that they cannot complete a transporter beam to the facility due to the security measures in place there.

Dr. Manheim recovers long enough to explain that he was doing experiments involving time, gravity, and funnels to other universes, and suspects his last experiment is running out of control. Manheim explains that he is trapped between two dimensions and Data determines that the experiment must be shut down during a time fluctuation or else it will simply grow larger. Manheim provides the crew with the correct coordinates to beam down to avoid the security fields. Picard admits to Jenice that he worried about losing her again after he left her in Paris, and vows to correct Dr. Manheim’s experiment.

As he is affected less by the distortions, Data is sent down alone and disables the remaining security measures before entering Manheim’s laboratory. He finds a column of energy emanating from a dimensional matrix, the source of the time distortions. Data, though briefly affected by the time distortions, is able to add anti-matter to the matrix, causing the matrix to stabilise and halt the time distortions. Dr. Manheim fully recovers, and he and Jenice thank Picard and the crew for their help. Picard and Jenice use the holodeck to recreate one more encounter at a Paris café, before she returns with her husband to the planet.

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Robert Becker.
  • Writer(s): Deborah Dean Davis and Hannah Louise Shearer.
  • Release Date: 02 May 1988.
  • Running Time: 50 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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