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
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
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.