15 user 9 critic

Cause and Effect 

The Enterprise gets caught in a time loop which always has one result: total destruction of the ship, itself.


Jonathan Frakes


Gene Roddenberry (created by), Brannon Braga

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Episode complete credited cast:
Patrick Stewart ... Capt. Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes ... Cmdr. William Riker
LeVar Burton ... Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge
Michael Dorn ... Lt. Worf
Gates McFadden ... Dr. Beverly Crusher
Marina Sirtis ... Counselor Deanna Troi
Brent Spiner ... Lt. Commander Data
Michelle Forbes ... Ensign Ro Laren
Patti Yasutake ... Nurse Alyssa Ogawa
Kelsey Grammer ... Captain Morgan Bateson


Unbeknownst to the crew, the Enterprise is caught in a time loop where they are continually reliving the same day. The Enterprise approaches a temporal distortion from which another Federation vessel is emerging. The evasive action action they take - using the tractor beam to push the oncoming vessel away from them - is unsuccessful and the Enterprise is destroyed, at which point the time loop brings them back to the beginning and they relive the sequence all over again. Several members of the crew however begin to have a serious case of deja vu and become convinced that they are reliving the same day, over and over. Data has an idea that might get them out of it. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

21 March 1992 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This was the one and only episode where the otherwise never utilized Galaxy-class main shuttlebay was featured. See more »


When the crew discovers that the Enterprise crashes and that the crash causes the causality loop, Worf suggests that the Enterprise change course. Riker, however, suggests that changing course is what caused the causality loop in the first place. However, this makes no sense because the change in course was only prompted by the crew's knowledge of the crash and the causality loop and therefore changing courses could not caused either. The crew should have realized this and changed course. See more »


[first lines]
Commander William T. Riker: Damage report!
Doctor Beverly Crusher: Casualty reports coming in from all over the ship!
Lt. Commander Data: The starboard nacelle has sustained a direct impact. We are venting drive plasma.
Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge: Initiating emergency core shutdown!
Ensign Ro Laren: Inertial dampers failing. We're losing attitude control.
Commander William T. Riker: This is the bridge. All hands to emergency escape pods!
Lt. Commander Data: Core shutdown was unsuccessful. We are losing antimatter containment.
Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge: We've got to eject the core!
Lt. Commander Data: Ejection systems offline. Core breach is imminent.
See more »


Referenced in DC's Legends of Tomorrow: Here I Go Again (2018) See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

One of the best Trek episodes; wonderful!
30 June 2009 | by pdelamoreSee all my reviews

Cause and Effect not only successfully manages to balance excitement, action and logic - it also manages to uphold this while repeating the same incident over and over.

The opening will have you hooked as the Enterprise suffers in the hands of a time loop, forced to replay the same event, with the crew failing to remember past events of the previous cycle.

While the episode does have questionable flaws, one cannot deny the technical mastery employed here. This is everything a Star Trek fan wants in one episode!

*head explodes*

Cause and Effect not only successfully manages to balance excitement, action and logic - it also manages to uphold this while repeating the same incident over and over...?

43 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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