195 Timey Wimey #20 Cause and Effect

This is the one where they establish that Data could stack the deck so that it wasn't a surprise when he did. And there's a glass that has no effect on the plot.

Live from Master Closet Studios, you’re listening to the only podcast on the internet with a new tattoo! It’s the Noobs and the Whovian! 

My name is Austin and I’m the Whovian and these are my sons Corbin and Tripp and we’re the noobs! 

This is the podcast that introduces a whole new generation to Doctor Who by watching an episode each week and discussing it from the perspective of a dad who’s seen it before, and two sons who haven’t. Except for when we don’t.

Welcome to Episode 195 covering Timey Wimey #20 Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Season 5 Episode 18, Cause & Effect.

Super-short Recap

This is the one where they establish that Data could stack the deck so that it wasn’t a surprise when he did. And there’s a glass that has no effect on the plot.

Who’s Responsible for this?!

  • Director: Jonathan Frakes
    • Riker!
  • Writer: Brannon Braga 
    • Wrote for TNG, Voyager, and Enterprise, Generations, & First Contact
      • He wrote Year of Hell!
    • Also appeared as a random character in First Contact.
    • He decided he wanted to do a time travel story and had never seen one involving someone stuck in a time loop
      • This episode aired in 1992, Groundhog Day released in 1993…

Where do I know that guy from?

  • Jean-luc Picard – Sir Patrick Stewart
    • Professor X
  • Geordi LaForge – LeVar Burton
    • Reading Rainbow!
  • Captain Bateson – Kelsey Grammer
    • Frasier Crane from Cheers and Frasier
  • Saavik – Kirstie Alley
    • They wanted to get her as the officer on the bridge of the Bozeman, but scheduling conflicts prevented her


  • Still no help for the Klingon…

Misc Trivia 

  • This was rated TV-PG for “fear & sex”
  • Apparently the poker game was a bit of a cliche used to pad out episodes that were running short. This episode is the exception.

Random stuff we noticed

  • Technobabble
    • Flux spectrometers are down for inspections
    • Use a gravitron polarimeter 
    • Distortions in the dechion field
  • Riker’s bizarre stance over Data’s shoulder
    • No Riker Maneuver! 
  • Shakycam!
    • Somewhere, someone has stabilized clips of Star Trek and it’s hilarious
  • Eject the engine core!
    • Corbin imagined ejecting your car engine!
    • Though it’s referenced a lot, it’s never seen onscreen until the Voyager episode Cathexis
  • Space flute!
    • They always have spacey wacey versions of dishes and stuff. My favorite is the space fork in Deja Q
    • The most important glass in the universe?
  • Rare appearance of Picard’s crushed velvet Captain’s jacket!

Time Travel Details


  • A temporal distortion


  • They reset each time, but there are lingering effects

General Discussion

  • In the original airing, each loop ended with the Enterprise exploding and cut to commercial
    • Which caused some confusion for viewers with local stations getting flooded with calls from unobservant viewers
    • Also confused Frakes!
  • Why didn’t they just shout the suggestion instead of doing the weird post-hypnotic suggestion on Data thing?
  • They shot each scene differently each time to keep it fresh
    • This also lead to some creative efforts like the home-video cam on Crusher and the ground-level view of Geordi and Crusher, overhead shot of the conference room
  • They were stuck for 17 days – each loop seemed to me to be a few hours
    • The Bozeman was stuck for 90 years
      • Maybe their loop was like YEARS long?
      • or were they?! Did they just come through a time-distortion instantaneously?

Things they got wrong

  • Sometimes there was some compression. Like in the second loop, the poker game got interrupted by Nurse Ogawa earlier than the first loop
  • Why was the Bozeman stuck?
    • And why didn’t they know? 
  • When did the loop restart? Geordi’s dizzy spell seems like it was longer ago than the beginning of the poker game
  • It was an unexplored region of space… except for the Bozeman!


Last week, in my off-the-cuff run-down explaining the Green Power Ranger saga to Jared (who is still wearing the 90’s kid cone of shame), I got ahead of myself and couldn’t think fast enough and ended up referring to Rita Repulsa as Ursula. Master Closet Studios would liket to apologize for this mistake and promises more mistakes of this kind WILL continue to happen on all its shows.

Was it good?

  • Was it a good story?
    • Austin – yes
    • Corbin – meh
    • Tripp – yes
    • Jared – 
  • Was it a good time travel story?
    • Austin – even more so
    • Corbin – yes
    • Tripp – no 
    • Jared – 

Wibbly Wobbly memories

  • We’re continuing with our Best of Series with The Best of Eleven. We’ll cover Series 5 Episode 10: Vincent and the Doctor.
  • Tripp
  • Corbin
  • Jared
  • Austin

The Game Plan 

Then we’re headed back to the Master Plan with Curse of the Fatal Death.


Noobs and the Whovian is a production of Master Closet Studios, where it’s always smaller on the inside. Your Senior Producer is Austin Reason. Our Audio Engineer is Thing One: Tripp Reason. Our Production Editor is the Other One: Corbin Reason. Special thanks to tardis.fandom.com for the trivia, and to Jared for the Classic Who Connection. Shout outs to Victor and Jared for their Patreon support.

You can find us at Facebook or Twitter or email us. Consider supporting us. Please subscribe and leave a rating wherever you found us, and share us with a friend not because we’re a great show but because we watch one.

Until next time, be safe if you can. But always. Be. Amazing.