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-152: "Who Watches the Watchers?"
-157: "The Vengeance Factor"
-159: "The Hunted"
-160: "The High Ground"
-163: "Yesterday's Enterprise"
-167: "Captain's Holiday"
-173: "Transfigurations"
-174-175: "The Best of Both Worlds"

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Captain's Holiday

(Star Trek - The Next Generation episode production code 167)
  • written by Ira Steven Behr
  • directed by Chip Chalmers
  • music by Dennis McCarthy
  • 45 minutes

Captain's Holiday

This is basically a fun episode that gives Captain Picard a rare chance to get off the ship and indulge himself in a James Bond / Indiana Jones type of adventure. Good call. Although, Picard did also get good off-ship mileage in the previous two stories: "Sins of the Father" and "Allegiance".

Surprise, surprise, though. Two of the mysterious characters of this tale claim to be time-travelers from the future, which is the most plausible explanation for their spotty foreknowledge of what is to come. The opening scene, curiously devoid of any regulars, is excellent for triggering anticipation of the eventual adventure during all the more reflective, humorous character scenes aboard the Enterprise. Very good. And the Enterprise scenes show the crew at their best yet in terms of enjoyable familiarity in interacting with each other.

Picard does seem to trust these two time travelers all too easily at first, as though coming from the future has made them into holy figures that shouldn't be asked too many questions, lest "spoilers" from future history should pollute his mind and alter it. Bogus reasoning. Better would be to treat them as just another part of the here and now - two unknowns asking to have a phenomenal weapon handed over to them, begging for caution and likely rejection of the handover.

The conclusion remains a bit confusing. The only reason for "destroying" the artefact by using a transporter beam (instead of a phaser, or the nearest sledgehammer) would be to make it appear to be destroyed when in fact it was actually beamed up to the Enterprise. It's a great wonder that neither Vash nor the time-traveling morons suspect this. It's a greater wonder still that there is no scene on the Enterprise showing that Picard still has it. If indeed he had actually destroyed it... he should've used the Ferengi's phaser or something. Weird.

The biggest gaffe of time-travel theory occurs in Picard's and Vash's speculations in the adventure's aftermath, when they assume that the Vorgon time travelers will create a "rewind-effect" that could drag them back into several variant replays of recent events. Even if such an attempt was made, the variations are for Picard's and Vash's doubles in parallel/branching universes. They've each been through the events once, and without performing any time travel or "slides" themselves, they won't have to worry about going through the same adventure multiple times. They're just a couple of characters allowed to be wrong about time travel.

Thankfully, the episode's action itself does not violate any time travel laws, if time travel was actually involved, which is unclear but likely. The time travel aspect of this adventure is particularly uninteresting and unmemorable, and certainly didn't really do much to swing debate on the subject one way or another.

What was more memorable was Jennifer Hetrick's glowingly pleasant portrayal of an adventuresome romantic interest for Jean-Luc Picard. It seems that regardless of anything he did in the episode, she would always come back for more of him, smiling and eager and insinuating escalating relations. Even if it didn't fool him, it seems to have suckered the audience into declaring her a fan favourite, and I find myself surprised to see that she didn't have much more dimension in her debut episode here. Oh well, at least there's time to make up for that next season.....

But there is potentially a huge hole in her motivation, if indeed she is a human being and part of the Federation, which supposedly uses no money. How can petty profits continue to motivate her, when seeking to better oneself and following one's excitement have taken over? Surely those who are excited to provide transportation will give her a lift to Risa for free. One can see here that Roddenberry's visions for the future still aren't penetrating the imaginations of a very Earthly writing staff.

Also not to be overlooked is a Ferengi character played by Max Grodenchik, who manages to turn out substantially different to the Ferengi role that Grodenchik later became most famous for: Quark's brother Rom on Deep Space Nine. Nice work.

"Captain's Holiday" turns out to be a fun variation to Star Trek's usual fare, laying groundwork for some of the variety, as well as the anthropomorphization, that the spin-offs will later enjoy.

This Next Generation Season Three time travel story is available on DVD and Blu-ray:

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season Three (1989-1990):

Captain Jean-Luc Picard and crew hit their stride in this third season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and truly began to shine as only they could. Watch all 26 ground-breaking episodes, culminating in the season cliffhanger that many regard as the first half of the best Next Generation story of all time.

Includes 26 episodes @ 45 minutes each.
Click on the Amazon symbol for the desired disc format and location nearest you for more information:


DVD Canada

7-disc DVD set

DVD Canada


DVD Extras include 4 featurettes:

  • Season 3 "Mission Overview" (17 min.)
  • Crew Changes (14 min.)
  • Dept. Briefings: Production (20 min.)
  • Dept. Briefings: Memorable Missions (13 min.)
These extras feature interviews by cast and crew discussing favourite memories, cast input and response to character development, and new writer Michael Piller's insights into episodes' story mechanics.
Blu-ray U.S.

NEW for
April 30, 2013.
Blu-ray Canada

NEW for
April 30, 2013.
Blu-ray U.K.

NEW for
April 29, 2013.

6-disc Blu-ray box set

Additional Blu-ray Bonus Features include:

  • 5 Audio commentaries including:
    • "The Bonding" with writer Ronald D. Moore and scenic/graphic artists Mike and Denise Okuda.
    • "Yesterday's Enterprise" with Moore, the Okudas, and co-writer Ira Steven Behr.
    • "Yesterday's Enterprise" with director David Carson.
    • "The Offspring" with writer René Echevarria and the Okudas.
    • "Sins of the Father" with Moore, the Okudas, and visual effects technician Dan Curry.
  • "Assimilating the Next Gen." (HD) 3-part season three making-of documentary (90 min. total), with Moore, Behr, Echevarria, Patrick Stewart (Captain Picard), Jonathan Frakes (Riker), Brent Spiner (Data), Gates McFadden (Dr. Crusher), Michael Dorn (Worf).
  • "Inside the Writers' Room" (HD) roundtable interview (71 min.) with Moore, Echevarria, Brannon Braga, and Naren Shankar.
  • A Tribute to head writer Michael Piller (HD, 14 min.)
  • Gag Reel (HD, 9 min.)
  • In Memoriam: David Rappaport (5 min.)
  • Promos for each individual episode
  • plus, all featurettes from the DVD version.

Article & reviews written by Martin Izsak. Comments are welcome. You may contact the author from this page:

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Read the next Star Trek review: "Transfigurations"

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