In the ST:TNG series finale, All Good Things, current-timeline Data indicates that the temporal anomaly is caused by three identical tachyon pulses from the different Enterprises: past, present, & future. However, the future tachyon pulse was actually initiated from Dr. (Crusher) Picard's USS Pasteur, not the future Enterprise, and it presumably wouldn't be identical to the Enterprise's.

How could the tachyon pulses be identical if sent from different ships, and is their being identical crucial to creating the anomaly?

  • 6
    The episode aired 22 years ago (wow), I think we are past the spoiler stage by now. Apr 17, 2016 at 13:53
  • 3
    Why wouldn't different ships be able to send the same signals?
    – OrangeDog
    Apr 17, 2016 at 14:48
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    @iMerchant: This point always confused me also. Apparently the Pasteur initially started the tachyon pulse and after the ship was destroyed, the future Enterprise continured the pulse after Picard's frenzied pleas.
    – sfhq_sf
    Apr 17, 2016 at 15:34
  • @sfhq_sf - This had bugged me for a long time too. I just watched this on TV and specifically looked for this thing specifically. After the Enterprise saved the crew of the Pasteur, they left the neural zone at warp 13. When they returned at Picard's incessant pleas, the spatial anomaly was already there.
    – iMerchant
    Apr 17, 2016 at 16:49

1 Answer 1


Data notes that all three pulses seem to be identical, stating that they have the same "amplitude modultation". This, we can assume, is something that the ship can control when determining what sort of pulse to emit.

Data: It appears that our tachyon pulse is converging with two other tachyon pulses at the center of the anomaly. The other two pulses have the exact same amplitude modulation as our own pulse. It is as if all three originated from the Enterprise.

There's a few reasons why they'd look so similar;

  • Data designed all three pulses in all three time periods. It's reasonable to assume that he would apply the same principles of engineering each time, down to the smallest detail.

  • The pulses are being emitted by Federation technology in all three time periods. There are likely to be deep technical similarities between the Enterprise and the Pasteur

  • The pulses have been intentionally tuned to breach the barrier created by the anomaly. Data would presumably have run the same scans (in all three time periods) before making the same decisions about which amplitude is best.

  • I agree, the tachyon pulses were the same for the reasons that you quoted above and that more over, they were initiated by Picard, his actions were what was important in this story.
    – sfhq_sf
    Apr 17, 2016 at 15:57
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    This. Put another way, read it as if Data'd said "It is as if all three originated from this Enterprise right now like literally the pulse I just started". They obviously didn't; he was drawing a parallel to underscore the fact that the other pulses were completely identical to his own. So whether they came from the future Enterprise, the past Enterprise, the Pasteur, Voyager, the Defiant, or Species 8472, the statement is not contradictory to the facts. :) Apr 17, 2016 at 16:53

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