Celebrate Groundhog Day With These Timeless Trek Classics!


As far as pointless holidays go, Groundhog Day is somewhere above modern day Arbor Day but somewhere below First Contact Day in the 24th Century. (Remember Captain Janeway said the only way she remembered the holiday was getting the day off from school.) So in our grand tradition of holiday-centric articles, we present you the first ever list of top Star Trek episodes to watch tomorrow on Groundhog Day.

Carbon Creek (ENT)
There’s no better place to celebrate the annual day of groundhog than Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania – and if you can’t make it there, then watch this above-average Enterprise episode which takes place mostly in the Keystone State – the only Trek episode that can say that.

Caretaker (VOY)
Surprised to see the Voyager pilot on this list? Well you might also be surprised to see one Angela Patton, who played both Aunt Adah in this episode and Mrs. Lancaster in the Groundhog Day movie.

(Yeah, I owe that one to a little help from Memory Alpha.)

Playing God (DS9)
While the A story to this Dax vehicle isn’t particularly holiday-appropriate, the B story follows the rest of the crew trying to capture an infestation of Cardassian voles – the closest we get in Trek to an actual groundhog.

The Aenar (ENT)
We don’t often get two Enterprise episodes on these lists, but this time we do. Should the groundhog see his shadow, it means we get 6 more weeks of winter – and what better place to celebrate winter than on the icy homeworld of the Andorians? In this episode, Archer and crew visit the oft mentioned planet. Note that this is the last of a three-parter, so you might want to watch the previous two episodes.

Cause and Effect (TNG)
Aw c’mon, you knew it had to be this one.

A year before the Bill Murray / Harold Ramis masterpiece hit theaters, the Enterprise-D crew were stuck in their own ever-repeating day. They don’t have a grandly cathartic experience like Murray’s Phil Connors, but they do get to blow up the Enterprise half a dozen times.


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

You scared me for a second — I thought I had 24 hours of “lost time”!

Cause & Effect is one of my favourite TNG episodes. Might have seen that one more than any other. My buddy probably likes it a lot less as I made him watch it with me so many times.

And so many people will say it wasnt that great considering it consisted of basically one act over and over again. I always wished they had revisited the Bozeman later or had made this a two partner. There was so much to explore there…. Could have made it the Excelsior and then you can dove tail to a Captain Sulu series…lol

The only thing that bugs me about ‘Cause & Effect’, and I’ll readily admit this is a bad nit pick, is that the Enterprise crew began to figure out something was amiss a relatively short time into the effect. The Bozeman crew was stuck in it for decades, and apparently were clueless that anything was wrong.

@3 Phil

Well, the Bozeman did have Kelsey Grammer for a captain. That might explain it… :-)

I’ll never forget watching that episode for the first time and seeing the Enterprise blow up. I remember jumping off the couch and shouting, “What just happened?” (and a few other words that I won’t type here!) It was a good episode and one of the reasons why TNG was such a good show.

Kelsey Grammer with the “Bozeman” would of made a great tv show, Ive often wondered why that never came about.

You could have included “Clues,” unless you are, as I am, trying to forget this later TNG turkey about the crew trying to fool itelf into losing a whole day… several times.

@4 Yep– that had to be the best episode opening ever!

Well, Grammer at least got the movie equivalent – Down Periscope.

What might have been…… :-0

Another interesting bit of fluff – someone figured out that Bill Murray was stuck in Punxsutawney, PA, about 35 years. No mention of a Vulcan hook up, though.

Phil… that’s actually a common misconception I’ve seen about this episode, that the Bozeman had been trapped for decades.

In actuality, the events occurred like this:

1) The Bozeman stumbles across the temporal rift, which throws it 90 years into the future.

2) Upon emerging into the future, the Bozeman collides with the Enterprise causing the destruction of the Enterprise.

3) The explosion of the Enterprise causes the formation of the causality loop, which throws both ships back to a point before the original events occurred.

Because the incident occurred after the Bozeman’s first intrusion into the rift and emersion into the Enterprise D’s timeframe, the Bozeman actually only experienced the causality loop the same number of times as the Enterprise itself. The ship traversed the 90-year time span first and, only after travelling those decades, did it collide with the Enterprise to start the repetitive nature of the events. So, in actuality, you have two separate, but conjoined events: the actual temporal rift which throws the Bozeman into the future, and the collision and explosion of the Enterprise, which then forms the causality loop.

One could even say that, had the Enterprise not been at that exact spot at that exact time, the Bozeman would have simply been sucked 90 years into the future where they would have survived the temporal rift and been stuck in the Enterprise’s era, much as what happened with the Enterprise C.

It’s also part of the “solution” that it took the empathic senses of Counsellor Troi and Data’s positronic brain to “notice” and “sense” the effects of the causality loop. Whether there was an empath on the Bozeman we’ll never know, but we can safely assume there were no Soong-type positronic androids to figure out what was going on. So odds are good that the crew of the Bozeman were totally unaware of what was happening, as they did not have the resources that were available to the crew of the Enterprise.

Just my two-cents!

That riffing on that ‘Cause and Effect’ clip was hysterical…….LMAO

“10. Phil – February 1, 2016
Another interesting bit of fluff – someone figured out that Bill Murray was stuck in Punxsutawney, PA, about 35 years”

I always read it was the same day for 10 years worth.

JamfoFL – that was a masterful explanation!!

(90 years pass)

JamfoFL – that was a masterful explanation!!

@11. One of the rare instances in Trek where a burp in time actually spit someone forward. It is disconcerting, though, that the Trek universe seems full of time sand traps, just waiting to pull some unsuspecting passer-by in.

@13. The writers were allowing about ten years for the mastery of three of the skills he acquired. Subjective, I know, maybe you can learn ice sculpting and jazz piano over the weekend.

If you can’t get enough of the crew of the Bozeman, read the book “Ship of the Line.”

Could be somewhat notable IF these were

in HD. It would of killed and own it IF they

were up converted to 4K. As is….its a fail.

These episodes are great, every scene is so dense and there’s so much going on.

Of course, now we have the recent Doctor Who episode “Hell Bent” to add to the recursive loop. I think the Doctor beats Phil by at least a few billion years, right?
On a nutty note, I recall a few years ago hearing someone state “Cause and Effect” was just a cheap ripoff of “Groundhog Day”. I asked them if he’d been caught in a temporal loop. I had to explain it to him. What a maroon.