In Enterprise, agent Daniels informs Captain Archer that the mysterious figure who aids and directs the Suliban is someone from the 28th century, when they haven't yet discovered how to physically travel through time and can only send back transmissions.

Yet, in the finale of Voyager Janeway uses a 25th century piece of Klingon technology to travel to the past. Was the mystery figure not aware of this 300 year old technology? Wouldn't it have been developed and perfected even more over 300 years?

(As for why he didn't use the slingshot effect, as noted here it is a very unsafe method, and may have even been forgotten, as it was a closely guarded secret and was only discovered accidentally)

  • 3
    define 'invented' - considering Spock calculated time jumps in both TOS and Voyage Home film, the ability to time travel existed pre-Janeway at the very least
    – NKCampbell
    Sep 15, 2016 at 3:12
  • @NKCampbell that's why I said 'time travel technology' - a technological device specifically meant for time travel
    – Jackman
    Sep 15, 2016 at 3:13
  • ...right, but even by that definition, the Starship Enterprise could fit the bill. I know I'm being a little pedantic ;)
    – NKCampbell
    Sep 15, 2016 at 3:29
  • 1
    this is no time to talk about time, we don't have the time!
    – NKCampbell
    Sep 15, 2016 at 3:32
  • 1
    @NKCampbell When discussing time travel, it’s also often necessary to spend several hours agreeing on the definition of “when”. Sep 15, 2016 at 9:34

3 Answers 3


In the TOS episode "The City on the Edge of Forever" a machine/being called itself the Guardian of Forever and claimed to have existed before Earth's sun became a star. If true, then the thing was created by parties unknown at least five billion years before Kirk's time. The Guardian's function was apparently to display history and enable time travel into the past.

  • Not sure that counts as technology. Even if it does, I'm asking about technology that would be well-known and could be duplicated and used by someone such as the figure in Enterprise
    – Jackman
    Sep 15, 2016 at 3:53

According to Brannon Braga (co-creator/writer/executive producer of ENT) on Twitter, future-shadow-guy was going to be revealed in Season 5 as Archer:

For those wondering, Archer as Future Guy was always the idea.Trying to repair a corrupt future by influencing his innocent past self.

RT @tronprogram2: thought future guy was supposed to be a Romulan?//There was talk of a Romulan red herring. But it's Archer.

This would have meant that Daniels was incorrect about the origin of Future Guy. Whether he was lying, misinformed, or had memories from a different timeline is unknown.

However, his statement about people of Future Guy's era being unable to travel back in time would have been totally correct, since time travel wasn't discovered by humans/the Federation until Kirk's Enterprise discovered the slingshot effect in TOS.

  • He also said that Archer may have been kept alive by Suliban genetics. So Daniels wasn't necessarily incorrect about him broadcasting from the 28th century. Anyway Rick Berman has contradicted Brannon about this, and Brannon has contradicted himself as well - see memory alpha
    – Jackman
    Sep 15, 2016 at 4:15
  • And Daniels narrative still doesn't make sense according to your answer - shouldn't Daniels know better than to think that someone from the 28th century can't time travel?
    – Jackman
    Sep 15, 2016 at 4:21
  • 2
    Future Guy is Scott Bakula? This is sounding very Quantum Leap!
    – Wallnut
    Sep 15, 2016 at 8:58
  • 1
    @Wallnut Ziggy says you need to help Archer save the future before you can leap again!
    – CBredlow
    Sep 15, 2016 at 19:28

Technically, humans never invented time travel on their own. The earliest example of humans using a technological device of their own making to purposely travel through time is in 2373 (or 2063 depending on how you look at it) after they stopped the Borg from interfering in Humanity's first contact with the Vulcans.

Really, I always just assumed either Daniels didn't pay attention in school, or that The Temporal Investigations Division classified everything and only told operatives explicitly what they needed to know and nothing more.

  • 1
    2266/2267 the Enterprise discovers the time warp effect when sling shotting a planet at high warp. They later used this effect to visit 1968.
    – user46509
    Sep 15, 2016 at 8:30
  • read the comments in the question, I dont consider the slingshot maneuver to be a device.
    – revenant
    Sep 15, 2016 at 8:56
  • 1
    I do. Given they actually use the warp engine to travel in time deliberately to the 1960s
    – user46509
    Sep 15, 2016 at 8:58
  • @revenant: did they actually use a device at the end of First Contact? I thought Geordie figured out how to do something with the Enterprise to re-create the temporal vortex that the Borg produced to travel back. Sep 15, 2016 at 9:39
  • 1
    @paul Geordie reconfigured the warp field to match the chronometric field of the borg sphere. Generally speaking perhaps theres no real differnce between using warp to slingshot and using a warp field to open a temporal vortex
    – revenant
    Sep 15, 2016 at 10:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.