Image: Columbia Pictures
"Unbeknownst to the crew, the Enterprise is caught in a time loop where they are continually reliving the same day." Sound familiar? How about, "A weatherman finds himself inexplicably living the same day over and over again." Even more familiar? The first IMDb synopsis is from "Cause & Effect," episode 18 of Star Trek: The Next Generation season five. The second quote can be found in description of the 1993 Bill Murray classic Groundhog Day.
We like to note that "Cause & Effect" came out almost a year before Groundhog Day. The Enterprise gets stuck in a time loop after clipping a warp nacelle and is forced to relive the same day again and again. Bill Murray's weatherman character Phil Connors finds himself reliving the same day while reporting on Punxsutawney Phil. Both the Enterprise crew and Connors realize what is happening but are helpless.
Connors takes matters into his own hands, indulging in vices like drinking, wreckless driving and one-night stands. Picard's gang indulge in their own vices. Well, an endless game of poker.
Sure, the endings differ a bit. The down-and-out Connors must discover love to escape his loop, while the Enterprise crew puts their brains (and android brain) together to escape their strange purgatory. Other than that though, it's easy to say that the Starfleet members lived their own Groundhog Day without even knowing it.
Oh, yeah, and Kelsey Grammer makes an appearance in "Cause & Effect."
Catch Star Trek: The Next Generation again and again on Heroes and Icons, every weeknight and every Sunday at 9PM | 8C as part of our All Star Trek block.Love Star Trek? Discover where to watch on H&I