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Season One:
-101: "Encounter at Farpoint"
-104: "Code of Honor"
-106: "Where No One Has Gone Before"
-109: "Justice"
-110: "The Battle"
-112: "Too Short a Season"
-115: "Angel One"
-116: "11001001"
-117: "Home Soil"
-123: "Symbiosis"
-124: "We'll Always Have Paris"

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We'll Always Have Paris

(Star Trek - The Next Generation story no. 23)
(episode production code 124)
  • written by Deborah Dean Davis and Hannah Louise Shearer
  • directed by Robert Becker
  • music by Ron Jones

(The episodes "Where No One Has Gone Before" and "The Battle" have moved to their own separate pages at

We'll Always Have Paris

Perhaps because of the episode's title, it is unfortunately best known for its rather lacklustre relationship situation for Picard which makes terribly uninspiring viewing. "Why did he fail to show up for his café meeting with the main guest star 20 odd years ago?" the narrative asks. Perhaps because he realized they had no chemistry! Patrick Stewart and his love interest guest actress both seem fine enough on their own, but really don't spark well together in the ways the script seems to want them to, making it seem that the story and dialogue spends way too much time stirring hot porridge without eating and ignoring the obvious, when the writers probably envisioned something quite different.

What is perhaps sadly less well remembered is that this is the Next Generation's first actual time travel story, which is a great pity since this section of the story works quite well and is quite interesting. Even if it did only come up with this angle because the guest star's husband needed some obsessive and remote sci-fi occupation, it really turns out to be one of Star Trek's better and more respectful forays into this arena.

Part of the success here is that these short time loops are always a surprise and never take the characters back further than about a minute, which doesn't really give them a chance to start uttering any remarks about not changing what happened. Thankfully, that never seems to cross their minds anyway, and they stay focused on other things.

Another part of the success stems from most of the "temporal talk" in the episode being experiential and coming from characters who admit they are way out of their depth. This allows great space for audience members to fill in the gaps in ways that they feel they can accept. I can watch the characters' doubles crop up and think to myself "parallel universes", without there being any contradictions. Thus the episode successfully explores the concepts while keeping possibilities open. Full marks.

If you haven't seen this one in a while, and didn't remember the time travel aspect, haul it out and have another look. This is an enjoyable episode. If only its title had emphasized its better half.....

This Next Generation Season One story is available on DVD and Blu-ray:

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season One (1987-1988):

Includes the double-length 92 minute pilot plus 24 episodes @ 46 minutes each.
Click on the Amazon symbol for the desired disc format and location nearest you for more information:

DVD Canada

7-disc DVD set

DVD Canada


DVD Extras include:

  • "The Beginning" origins Featurette
  • "Selected Crew Analysis" cast Featurette
  • "Making of a Legend" production featurette
  • "Memorable Missions" key episode featurette
Blu-ray U.S.

Blu-ray Canada

Blu-ray U.K.


6-disc Blu-ray box set

Blu-ray features add:

  • Energized! Taking TNG to the Next Level (HD, 23 min.) detailing the high-definition restoration for Blu-ray.
  • Stardate Revisited: The Origin of TNG (HD, 93 min.) with
    Patrick Stewart (Picard), Jonathan Frakes (Riker),
    Brent Spiner (Data), LeVar Burton (Geordi), and
    producers Gene Roddenberry, Rick Berman,
    Robert Justman, and D.C. Fontana.
    • Part 1: Inception
    • Part 2: Launch
    • Part 3: The Continuing Mission
  • Gag Reel (8 min., standard definition)
  • Star Trek: TNG Archives: The Launch
  • Promos for each individual episode
  • plus, all featurettes from the DVD version.

Article & reviews written by Martin Izsak. Comments are welcome. You may contact the author from this page:

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Read the next Star Trek review: "The Child"

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