I am fairly new to watching Star Trek and at the moment only got through Next Generation Season one and part of 2. While I got to Episode 13 "Time Squared' where a Picard from 6 hours in the future is found. Does this not mean that an alternate universe is occurring like what we are seeing in the new Star Trek Movies?

If I am madly wrong please forgive me guys and girls.

  • 16
    The Star Trek franchise rarely, if ever, handles time travel and multiverses with any form of real consistency. So, whatever time travel or multiverse action happens in one episode does not necessarily affect timelines or alternate universes in later episodes or series - unless they are specifically plot-bound to the earlier episode.
    – Iszi
    Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 20:39
  • Pure speculation, but at the time I first watched it, I had assumed that the future!Picard was a fake created by something living in the vortex. As to why, I can't remember my reasoning at the time. What can I say? That was a couple decades ago and I was a kid at the time. Commented Aug 13, 2017 at 14:03

1 Answer 1


What exactly are you asking? If there is an alternate reality in this episode?

Some may say that in every moment and with every decision/action you do a alternate universe or several alternate realities are created (or branches out) where the opposite or a different action was taken. Others will say that there is one reality, perhaps predefined.

Time loops are especially fun :) And I think this is what we have in this episode.

Here the future Picard is trapped in a time loop. What I think happened is the following: "Supposed" first time: The Vortex probed the ship, Troi said it wants only Picard, Picard eventually got into a shuttle and flew into the Vortex to save the ship only to be "thrown" back in time in the same reality. This is how the events of the episode came to pass.

Picard realizes that if the shuttle flies in to the Vortex the loop will continue and kills his future self in order to break the loop. Changing the time line and causing the looping Picard to vanish - since he never really existed.

I think they retained memory of him only because of some side-effect of the Vortex.

I hope that answers your question :)

  • Cheers, that does help. All still new to watching the Trek so trying to get a grasp on it all. Commented Feb 6, 2013 at 2:38

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.