(written from a Production point of view)
Captain Picard encounters a woman from his past after her scientist husband's experiments begin to unravel the fabric of time.
The USS Enterprise-D is on its way to Sarona VIII for shore leave. Captain Jean-Luc Picard is getting a head start by fencing with Lieutenant Dean. Although he loses the first point, he wins the second. As Dean congratulates him, time loops, and the moment is repeated. Picard hails Riker, who confirms that it also occurred on the bridge. Picard goes to the bridge, where Data reports a moment in time repeated itself. Worf receives an automated distress call from the Pegos Minor system from Paul Manheim, calling for help and directing them to a set of coordinates.
Picard remembers that Manheim left Earth fifteen years previously, along with a team of scientists, to perform experiments on non-linear time. It must be related, and he orders the helm to travel there immediately at warp 8.
Data explains that Manheim was highly respected, particularly because of his theories about the relationship of time and gravity, but his theories didn't find acceptance. Picard says that he knew of Manheim teaching at the university in Paris when Picard was there, but never met him. After he orders Riker to check how widespread the time distortion was, Deanna Troi approaches him. She tells him Manheim's name caused an emotional response in him, and advises him to try to analyze his feelings in this area. Picard brushes off her concerns and leaves the bridge.
Picard goes to the holodeck, where he recreates the Café des Artistes, Paris, 22 years previously on April 9th, "a warm spring day", as he recalls it. He enters and is greeted by the waiter. He admires the view, and tells the waiter he had a rendezvous with a woman there many years before, and he didn't show. He sits at a table, and overhears a conversation between two women. One of them, Gabrielle, is waiting for a man to show up. The other gets frustrated and leaves. Gabrielle asks Picard why her man didn't show. He answers that maybe he was afraid, but then gets annoyed with himself, declares "enough of this self-indulgence" and leaves for the bridge.
Riker tells him that the USS Lalo and the farming colony on Coltar IV both experienced the loop. Since Manheim was performing time-gravity experiments, it could be linked to him. They reach the given coordinates, but there is nothing there. Then new coordinates arrive, directing them to the Vandor system, a binary system of a red giant and a pulsar. When they reach Vandor, Data detects activity on Vandor IV, a planetoid in an elliptical orbit of the binary system. There is a small force field on the planet. Picard hails the planet, but doesn't mention his name. A woman answers, saying Manheim is having convulsions. She lowers the force field, and both are beamed directly to sickbay. Picard heads there with Data and Riker.
Picard introduces the woman as Jenice Manheim, and asks her what happened. She says a second lab was completely destroyed in an accident, killing everyone else. Manheim believed that there were infinite dimensions, and that by changing the constancy of time, a window could be opened to these dimensions as, according to him, time is no more immutable than space is. He had been trying to do this in his lab. She tells them the team spent two years searching for a location before settling on Vandor, a planetoid in a system with the pulsar's dense gravity, and that he thought he was very close to proving his theories. He had installed a security system and force fields, and he made her stay in a protected room whenever he performed an experiment. As he neared his goal, he became more and more obsessive, maybe causing his judgment to be clouded.
She also tells Picard he's done well, being the captain of a great starship. Then Dr. Crusher enters and asks to do some tests on Jenice, who kisses Picard on the cheek as she leaves. Crusher tells Picard that Manheim is dying, but she doesn't know why.
The three officers leave sickbay and enter a turbolift, for the bridge, but when the doors open they see themselves in the corridor before they got on the lift. As the doors close, the "past" Data supposes that the Manheim Effect is becoming more pronounced, before they enter the lift. In the captain's ready room, Data says there is immense energy emanating from the planetoid's core being focused at the lab. Riker says if they want to find out what's going on, they're going to have to beam down. Picard agrees, and an away team tries to beam down, but they can't materialize on the planet, as the signal is being bounced back up. Transporter chief Herbert is afraid he is losing them.
Fortunately, Herbert is able to bring all three back to the Enterprise, and Riker contemplates options.
In sickbay, Manheim wakes. He tells Jenice that it was all worth it, and that he has been on the other side, another dimension. His mind is still floating between two places. Picard and Data arrive, and Manheim tells them he was able to harness a dynamic energy source in center of the planetoid and open a crack, a window to another dimension, but when he learns how far the effect has spread, he tells them it must be shut down. He will give them the transporter coordinates and the security codes. In the observation lounge, Data says the closing of the window must be timed to match the occurrence of the effect, or the new dimension will rip further into the fabric of the galaxy and reality itself will be fundamentally changed and become unrecognizable. Jenice comes in as they are leaving, and Picard remains behind to talk to her.
She asks him why he didn't come. They joke about it, but he eventually tells her he was afraid of staying, of losing himself. She says the real reason was that he thought life with her would be ordinary.
Troi visits sickbay. She asks Crusher how Manheim is doing, but she really wants to talk about how Beverly feels. She says she can't compete with a ghost from the past, which is what Picard sees when he sees Jenice. On the bridge, Data is informing Picard that the next distortion will occur in 28 to 47 minutes. Picard then is called down to sickbay to talk to Manheim. He warns Picard he might have forgotten some of the security codes. Then he asks him to take care of Jenice if anything should happen. Picard agrees, and Manheim tells him she's had a terrible time the last few years. He gave her no attention, and he thinks she deserves better. Picard suggests he underestimates her, as he had done.
Picard tells Data he wants him to go down alone, since he is not affected as badly by the time distortion as the others, decreasing the risk of disorientation affecting the mission. Data agrees, and he beams down successfully. As he approaches the lab, he is fired on by phasers mounted on the wall, but manages to destroy them. He keeps an open comm channel as he goes into the lab.
The next distortion will occur in ninety seconds. Data explains he has to add antimatter to realign the system. He gets the antimatter and goes to the opening. Suddenly, there are three Datas, only one of whom is in the correct time continuum. They figure out which one it is and he releases the antimatter and seals the hole.
Manheim has returned to normal, but is unable to describe his experiences, only saying there is some kind of life there. As his lab is intact, he wants to go back and finish his experiments, telling Jenice he has learned too much, and that he owes it to his friends. She agrees. Later, Troi brings her to the holodeck, where Picard awaits in the Paris program. He tells her he wanted to say goodbye properly. She thanks him for Paris and Picard returns to the bridge, where he orders Geordi La Forge to set course for Sarona.
"You've done well. A great starship – on the far reaches of the galaxy. It's everything you'd hoped."
"Not exactly. Nothing works just as you hoped…"
- - Jenice Manheim and Jean-Luc Picard
"I've been away far too long."
- - Picard, upon viewing the holographic simulation of Paris, France
"Enough of this self indulgence."
- - Picard, exiting the Café des Artistes holosimulation
"Mr. Data, what's going on?"
"Dr. Manheim forgot to mention one of his security precautions, sir."
- - Picard and Data, after Data is attacked by Paul Manheim's security system
"Oh, we are us, sir. They are also us. So, indeed, we are both us."
- - Data, on duplicate versions of the crew
"Are you all right?"
"Why wouldn't I be? I've got one of the medical wonders of the galaxy dying in my sick bay!"
"That's not what I meant."
"I don't think I want to talk about what I think you mean!"
- - Deanna Troi and Beverly Crusher
- Final draft script: 22 February 1988 
- Four pages of research notes from de Forest Research, and Gene Roddenberry receives a four-page memo of script notes from Robert Justman: 25 February 1988 (memo mistakenly dated 19 February 1988)
- Score recorded at Paramount Stage M: 19 April 1988 (Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Ron Jones Project liner notes )
- Premiere airdate: 2 May 1988
- UK premiere airdate: 13 March 1991
Story and script
- This episode was affected by the Writer's Guild strike of 1988, with the result that filming had to be shut down while the show's ending was written. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion)
- Its title was a direct reference to the classic 1942 film Casablanca. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion) Indeed, Riker recalls a bar on Sarona VIII, and Picard recalls its name – the Blue Parrot Café. This is the name of Signor Ferrari's bar in Casablanca.
- In the original draft of "We'll Always Have Paris", writers Deborah Dean Davis and Hannah Louise Shearer wanted to create a romantic mood with the insistence that Picard do "the wild thing" – discreetly, during commercial – some time in the course of the episode. The idea was vetoed by a number of men involved in the production – most notably Patrick Stewart. (Trek: The Unauthorized Behind-The-Scenes Story of The Next Generation)
- The episode's score, composed and conducted by Ron Jones, was recorded on 19 April 1988 at Paramount Stage M. (Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Ron Jones Project liner notes ) The complete episode score, totaling 25 minutes 38 seconds, appears on Disc Four of the Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Ron Jones Project collection.
Cast and characters
- Michelle Phillips is best remembered as one of the four members of the '60s music group The Mamas & the Papas, which had such hits as "California Dreamin'" and "Monday, Monday". (Star Trek 30 Years)
- Jean-Paul Vignon, the actor playing Edouard, the waiter of the Café des Artistes, is the only actor (main actor or supporting actor) playing a French person in TNG who actually speaks French as a first language.
- Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher) does not appear in this episode.
- Dan Kern (Lieutenant Dean) later appeared as Kellan in VOY: "Dreadnought" and Lance Spellerberg reprised his role from this episode in the second season episode "The Icarus Factor".
- When Data attempts to determine which version of himself is in the correct time continuum to patch the time disparity, he uncharacteristically uses a contraction when he says "Me! It's me!"
- A scene filmed earlier including Patrick Stewart and Marina Sirtis on the bridge also includes the arm and shoulder of Denise Crosby's character Natasha Yar who died in "Skin of Evil".
- Jean-Luc Picard is the first character to use a terrestrial date when he has the holodeck recreate the Café des Artistes as it appeared 22 years earlier on April 9th.
- According to Janice Manheim, Paul Manheim's theory is that there are infinite dimensions, with the constancy of time holding individuals within one particular dimension."Parallels" would establish that there are in fact numerous alternate quantum realities, each with differences based on decisions made, and that a rupture in time could cause one to shift between those realities.
Sets, props, and costumes
- The diamond shaped chrome shelf unit in the Café des Artistes was originally part of James T. Kirk's apartment room furniture in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and was also used in the TNG pilot "Encounter at Farpoint" as well as Counselor Troi's quarters in "The Naked Now". 
- The continuity issues associated with door signage continue in this episode. The characters refer to this holodeck as "Holodeck Three" (a problem which also occurred in "The Big Goodbye") when the signage clearly indicates the holodeck is four (or more formally, holodeck area 4-J). And the turbolift, first seen in "The Big Goodbye", which is seen to the right of the main door into the holodeck shows signage which is more appropriate to a room.
- According to the Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion by Larry Nemecek, the menu at the Café des Artistes includes such delicacies as "Croissants D'ilithium", "Klingon Targ a la mode", "Tribbles dans les blankettes", and "L'Antimatter Flambé".
- Inspired by noticing that there was a fencing scene in this episode's script, illustrator Andrew Probert planned to design a scoreboard for the scene, which Production Designer Herman Zimmerman recommended he do, but to also meanwhile propose a costume idea. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 12, p. 42)
- Elements from Dr. Manheim's lab, including the ceiling, are reused in "Ethics" as part of the Operation Theatre.
- A mission report for this episode by John Sayers was published in The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine issue 6, pp. 61-63.
Two seconds of footage could not be located when CBS Digital remastered this episode as part of the TNG Season 1 Blu-ray collection. Occurring twelve minutes, twenty-five seconds into the episode, this brief shot of actor Jonathan Frakes was included as an upconverted image from the original standard-definition videotape. This shot constitutes the only bit of missing footage in the entire Season 1 Blu-Ray collection.
Video and DVD releases
- Original UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 12, catalog number VHR 2441, 7 May 1991
- UK re-release (three-episode tapes, Paramount Home Entertainment): Volume 1.8, catalog number VHR 4649, 5 October 1998
- As part of the TNG Season 1 DVD collection
- As part of the TNG Season 1 Blu-ray collection (see previous heading for missing film footage)
Links and references
- LeVar Burton as Lt. Geordi La Forge
- Michael Dorn as Lt. Worf
- Gates McFadden as Doctor Beverly Crusher
- Marina Sirtis as Counselor Deanna Troi
- Brent Spiner as Lt. Commander Data
- Isabel Lorca as Gabrielle
- Dan Kern as Lt. Dean
- Jean-Paul Vignon as Edourd
- Kelly Ashmore as Francine
- Lance Spellerberg as Transporter Chief
- Majel Barrett as USS Enterprise-D computer voice
- James G. Becker as Youngblood
- Darrell Burris as operations division officer
- Dexter Clay as operations division officer
- Jeffrey Deacon as command division officer
- Susan Duchow as operations division officer
- David Eum as Wright
- Nora Leonhardt as science division ensign
- Tim McCormack as Bennett
- Lorine Mendell as Diana Giddings
- Steve Reed as science division officer
- Guy Vardaman as Darien Wallace
- Unknown performers as
- Victor Paul as stunt double for Dan Kern
- Brian J. Williams as stunt double for Brent Spiner
- Unknown stunt performer as stunt double for Patrick Stewart
- James G. Becker – stand-in for Jonathan Frakes
- Darrell Burris – stand-in for LeVar Burton
- Dexter Clay – stand-in for Michael Dorn
- Jeffrey Deacon – stand-in for Patrick Stewart
- Nora Leonhardt – stand-in for Marina Sirtis
- Tim McCormack – stand-in for Brent Spiner
- Lorine Mendell – stand-in for Gates McFadden
2342; 2347; 2349; 2355; 2364; accident; "a head start"; aircar; "all right"; amount; analogy; android; antimatter; anxiety; April; aquarium; area; arrival; "at least"; "at the moment"; audio; automated signal; away team; bar; B class star; beard; binary star system (aka binary star, binary system); biobed; bird; blue concoction; Blue Parrot Café; body function; bridge; Café des Artistes; Café Moulin; calculation; chair; channel; cheese; choice; circulatory system; cloud; club; Coltar IV; "come in"; "come on"; computer; consciousness; Constellation-class; contact; convulsion; coordinates; countdown; course; crack; damage; danger; date; day; decade; deck; defense system; degree; déjà vu; desktop monitor; dimension; disorientation; distress signal; earring; Earth; effect; Eiffel Tower; elliptical orbit; emergency transmission; empath; emotion; energy; energy source; ensign; "excuse me": exit; experiment; expression; farming colony; fear; Federation; feeling; fencing; foil; fool; force field; freighter; French; French language; frequency; friend; Galaxy class decks; ghost; glottis; goal; "good luck"; "go on"; gravity; hailing frequency; hat; "hello"; hiccup; hole; Holodeck 3; homeostasis; hour; husband; ice; idea; Ilecom system; illusion; image; "in a moment"; information; inhalation; "in order to"; "in private"; "in reality"; "in real time"; "I see"; judgment; kindness; knowledge; laboratory; Lalo, USS; Lalo captain; landing point; latitude; leg; lie; light year; lionfish; Livingston; location; longitude; madame; main system; Manheim Effect; Manheim project; medical emergency; medical test; medical tricorder; menu; Milky Way Galaxy; mind; minute; minute (angle); mister; mmHg; model; monsieur; musician; name; nature; NCC-7100; neural scan; neurochemistry; night; north; note; number; number one; nurse; observation lounge; "of course"; "on my way"; PADD; pain; painting; Paris; path; Pegos Minor system; personal life; phenomenon; pigeon; place; planet; planetoid; pleasure; practical application; problem; professor; prognosis; program; protected room; pulsar; question; rain; range; ready room; reality; reason; record; red giant; relationship; relay signal; rendezvous; repercussion; report; research; rescue; respiration; sacrifice; Sarona VIII; scientist; second; security code; security system; self-indulgence; sensor; shore leave; sickbay; sky; solution; sound; space; speed; spring; square; standard orbit; star; Starfleet Headquarters; statue; "stitch in time saves nine"; success; sun; surface; table; taxicab; teaching; team; temperature; terminator; "thank God"; "thank you"; theory; thought; thousand; time; time continuum; time distortion; time distortion episode; time effect; time gravity experiment; "time flies when you're having fun"; toast; towel; transporter chief; transporter room; transporter system; truth; Tuesday; tunnel; turbolift; type I phaser; unnamed medical tool; unnamed musical instrument; unnamed plants; unnamed sector; Vandor IV; Vandor system; view; viewer; viewscreen; visionary; VISOR; vital signs; voice; volume; waiter; Wednesday; week; wife; window; wine; wing; "with pleasure"; word; work; year; Zanza Men's Dance Palace
Antimatter Flambé; Aquanaut; bateaux; beurre; cafe; cheveaux; Croissants D'ilithium; dessert; fleur; Francais; frittes; frommage; gateaux; Jean Cougar Mellencamp; Klingon; pain; poisson; targ; tomat; tribble; vanilla glace
Unused production references
- "We'll Always Have Paris" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "We'll Always Have Paris" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "We'll Always Have Paris" at Wikipedia
- "We'll Always Have Paris" at MissionLogPodcast.com, a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
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