In the beginning "A Matter of Time" episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, a person appears on board of Enterprise and claims that he is a time traveller coming from XXVI century. By the end of this episode it turns out,

that he was actually from XXII century.

He poses a wide area of knowledge. About Enterprise, about many crew members and about some events that was about to occur. If he is really from the time, he is, what is the source of his knowledge? How can he posses that much information about actually his future?

For me, he appeared in his future at a given point of galaxy and at a certain point in time. He was passed by some ship, having Federation signature. Period. That is all, in my opinion, what he could know, from the point of view, that was revealed by the end of episode.

He couldn't absolutely posses all the knowledge he had, because it was all the information from his true future, not yet written for his point of view of time. He couldn't know any names (planet or ship, crew etc.) and I'm pretty sure that XXII century's technology wouldn't allow him to scan this information out of Enterprise or planet.

What am I missing?

2 Answers 2


The time travel pod is from the 26th century, as was the explorer that was originally on the vessel when it traveled to the 22nd century and was commandeered by Berlinghoff Rasmussen. The vessel and the original pilot may have relayed some information to Rasmussen but for the most part he played a con-artist by using the technology of the ship itself and classic fortune teller techniques.

For example, he simply stated that something big was going to happen, and not the what, or the ending, because he likely did not know. Parts like Berlinhoff stating, "Five... six... seven meters! Ha, I was right!" while talking about Picard's ready room do not prove he knew this, but may appear as so to those watching him.

A fortune teller does not need to know your great aunt Edna died to pick up on your sadness and guilt and say something like, "I am sensing an elderly woman spirit here, who wishes to let you know that she forgives you." Berlinghoff was just stalling to get more time on the ship to steal more technology from the future.

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    absolutely, it was a cold read, he was very careful to say that he couldn't tell them what would happen, for fear that it would change it. They never quizzed him on the period of 2100-2300 ... but why would they, he was from the future! Dec 13, 2014 at 17:42

Rasmussen doesn't actually show he knows any information that a 22nd century man couldn't know (asking Data about Dr. Soong in his questionnaire, asking Riker about past enterprises) until after Rasmussen is given quarters. One could assume that since Rasmussen doesn't ask about anything classified, that he just asked the computer in his room for information, and then bluffed his way forward.

  • I've edited to fix what appeared to be a few typo mistakes, if any weren't actually typos feel free to edit to revert my changes.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Jun 24, 2019 at 12:36

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