**** (4 stars out of 5)
...was found under the Starfleet Academy. Some cadets were playing hacky-sack with it for an hour before they called the Enterprise. It's 500 years old, which isn't that bad when you consider that's the same age as most of Joan Rivers' head.
The only one who isn't disturbed by the spectre of Data's encroaching death is Data himself. He's actually gratified to discover he's as mortal as everyone else.
Personally, I think he's just enjoying the idea of carving his own tombstone with 'Here Lies Data' 2335-1893 just to mess with everybody.
San Francisco, 1893: Freaky-Deaky Soul-Sucking Demons from the Time Between Seconds are using a Snake to open Portals to Historical Plagues. This has so far failed to make the front page.
Data falls into the temporal Snake-Hole and wins a bow-tie in a poker game. Bow ties are cool.
Cocky Bellhop sidekick Jack helps the android fish-out-of-water make his first flops.
Data, consumate pooper of parties, becomes a crasher instead. Pompous Samuel Clemens is regaling hostess Madame Guinan with a story of man's insignificance, when in blunders the pasty time traveller. Data discovers Guinan is not a temporal anachronism, but merely an immortal. (Rumours persist that in the centuries to come she would go on to date Connor 'Highlander' MacLeod, and also star in 'Jumpin Jack Flash'.)
On the advice of THEIR Guinan, Picard and everybody who doesn't have a rubber tire for a forehead jumps down the Snake-Hole after their robot pal. Temporal Prime Directive, Shmemporal Shrime Shirshmective!
"Time's Arrow Part I" invents a great villain, never giving them a name or enough time to prove themselves. But that's one morbid scheme: harvesting the consciousness of the sick in past defenceless times? Dastardly! Will our heroes be able to stop them? Don't wait all summer... tune in tomorrow! Now go play hacky-sack with your robot head.