9. Warp Restrictions
While the Next Generation’s seventh season is certainly not
its strongest, there are still many truly great episodes. One such episode is
The Pegasus. It opens with Captain Picard Day, a celebration on board the
Enterprise-D to honour Picard. This draws the amusement of the admiral tasked
with sending the Enterprise to meet with Pressman, Commander Riker’s former
Warp restrictions are lifted for the duration of this mission.
Ah, yes. There it is. The only other mention to there being any sort of restrictions on warp travel, outside of the episode Force of Nature.
The latter episode, arriving earlier in the season, saw the explanation that warp travel was doing damage to subspace, and an alternative was badly needed. The Soliton Wave was suggested instead, a method by which starships would ride the current of an artificial phenomenon, dragging them along at warp speed. It was an exciting, if a slightly impractical idea, but one sure to address this hugely important development that warp was harming the galaxy.
Then, outside of that single mention in the Pegasus, it was
never alluded to again. This feels less like Starfleet managed to fix the
problem and more as though the writers simply weren’t interested in continuing
to explore the idea. To this writer, it was less frustrating that the idea was
scrapped, and more so that it was such a massive deal with one episode, and
then it was gone.