Stardate 45959.1: An excavation team on Earth summons the Enterprise to Earth, claiming to have found evidence of extraterrestrial visitors to the planet in the 19th century. Picard and Data are shown an astonishing artifact unearthed near Starfleet Academy: the head of Data, although he – with his head intact – is still serving on the Enterprise. As Data contemplates the news, Geordi traces a micro-organism discovered in fossilized form mear Data’s head to the planet Davidia II. The Enterprise heads for that world immediately, where an away team beams down without Data, who believes the others are overreacting to his impending fate. Troi sense life on the planet, although no beings are visible. Data, whose head contains a component that could allow him to see the invisible life forms, beams down and phases into the beings’ plane, reporting many large humanoid beings and an alien of some sort. Data is then snatched through time – to San Francisco in the late 1800s. He immediately begins making preparations to continue the exploration he was conducting on Davidia II after winning big in a local poker game. Elsewhere in the city, two humans – or at least aliens in the guise of humans – patrol the streets, finding a beggar and using a camouflaged device to steal the energy from his body, killing him. Meanwhile, Picard readies another away team when Guinan gives him cryptic advice, telling him he must join the away team. Data, in the 19th century, discovers that Guinan is on Earth in the same time period, though centuries before she met any of the Enterprise crew. Also present at the social function where Data finds Guinan is one Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, who overhears Data and Guinan discussing Data’s real origins. On Davidia II, the away team replicates Data’s experiment and they see the same life forms. Two beings arrive from an temporal rift, unloading more energy for their fellow aliens to feed on – energy taken from humans on Earth at the moment of death, according to Troi’s empathic sense. Picard, Riker, Troi, Geordi and Dr. Crusher enter the gateway, which closes behind them as they travel back in time to search for Data and find out why alien beings are interfering with human history.
teleplay by Joe Menosky and Michael Piller
story by Joe Menosky
directed by Les Landau
music by Dennis McCarthy
Guest Cast: Whoopi Goldberg (Guinan), Jerry Hardin (Samuel Clemens), Michael Aron (Jack the Bellboy), Barry Kivel (Doorman), Ken Thorley (Seaman), Sheldon Peters Wolfchild (Indian), Jack Murdock (Beggar), Marc Alaimo (Gambler), Milt Tarver (Scientist), Michael Hungerford (Roughneck)
LogBook entry by Earl Green