Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 4, Episode 18

Identity Crisis (23 Mar. 1991)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 659 users  
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Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge and an old friend fight to defeat a parasite that is trying to transform them into another species.



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Title: Identity Crisis (23 Mar 1991)

Identity Crisis (23 Mar 1991) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Episode cast overview:
Counselor Deanna Troi (credit only)
Maryann Plunkett ...
Lt. Cmdr. Susanna Leijten
Dennis Madalone ...
Mona Grudt ...
Ensign Graham


Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge realizes that he, his friend Lt. Commander Susanna Leitjen and Lieutenant Hickman who deserted in a shuttle-craft and is now on a suicidal course to a planet were all in a mission made years ago by the USS Victory, the others are missing but more vessels are detected on the same planet. After investigations of the base on the planet it turns out they were affected by a yet unknown, parasitic alien race, which is already in both Gordi and Susanna, how is beyond Dr. Crusher's diagnosis, and starts transforming from a cellular level first her into a blue critter, later him too, while he continues researching Starfleet records and hologram simulation, while closely monitored... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

23 March 1991 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


47 Reference: The USS Victory's Away Team Sensor log shows that the Stardate is 40164.7 See more »


Data informs Riker that his modifications on the emergency beacon will take approximately another two minutes. Yet he completes them after only 40 seconds - for Data a rather huge miscalculation. See more »


[Leijten attempts to approach La Forge, who has turned into an instinct-driven alien]
Lt. Cmdr. Susanna Leijten: You know I'm not a threat. The others, Mendez, Brevelle, they don't exist as Humans anymore. But a part of you still does. You're not one of them yet, Geordi. I can help you if you'll just trust me. I know what's going on inside of you - the war you're fighting with yourself. Your Humanity slipping away. The instinct to run. It's overpowering. But they know how to beat it now, Geordi. Look at me! I've come back...
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Star Trek: The Next Generation Main Title
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

Awesome Visuals
16 October 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a great episode that is very memorable. The makeup for the "creatures" is just awesome, timeless. Even to this day 17 years later, I remembered all the key parts of this episode. There is one noticeable plot hole which I will save until the end.

(Despite the negative things I am going to point out, this series is one of the best ever made. This is more for critical/trivia purposes) The scene with the shuttle though was kind of a let down in ILM's department. But since they weren't paid movie prices for these visuals they frequently seem to provide special effects that aren't 100% following the script. For example a few episodes before this when they are being sucked into the black hole the Enterprise was shown just on the precipice about ready to go in, and then they come back to the crew and they say they have 15 minutes until event horizon. Later the ship is shown much farther away than the first shot. Then they just up and fly away like nothing was ever wrong - not even a struggle to pull from the insane gravity. I don't know if this was editing or what, but these inconsistent visuals happen more than a little bit.

But it's high time I pointed it out. I can't take it any more. Another person here on IMDb commented on the awesome uniforms and costumes in this episode but I beg to disagree. There is a condition related to Starfleet Uniforms(only for some reason) and it's a condition that has its own name.

It's the Dreaded Starfleet Uniform Pull.

They all do it. It's like their picking their nose and they don't want you to see it. The camera comes in close with a head and chest shot and out of the camera's range, the actor is doing the Dreaded Shirt Pull. In one particular scene in this episode Geordi is having a conversation with Data (time index 22:45-25:00ish) and every time he lifts his arms to gesture in his speech, or leans over to take the railings his uniform fails him and he does the Dreaded Shirt Pull 5-6 times (once off camera a close shot- but you can still tell).Could you imagine him really having to get work done in that suit, crawling thru Jeffries' Tubes and realigning warp coils, constantly battling his ever rising and bunching shirt? This is where there costume designers have completely failed them, despite doing such excellent work for the alien races. In fact having just watched DS9 in its entirety and seeing them go thru 3-4 different uniforms over the series and they still did the Deaded Shirt Pull. They may have looked like space douche bags in the beginning of the series, but at least when the uniforms were spandex they fit right and the Dreaded Shirt Pull was kept to a minimum.

Other times, these revealing uniforms show a little too much actor if you know what I mean. Poor Deanna has had a camel toe or two in that jumpsuit, not to mention anything about the upper half. Certain actors may or may not have had man boobs at certain points in the show. They must have really had to try and maintain their figures to pull of those old suits. At one point in the beginning of season 4 I swear Data was wearing a girdle(which resulted in weird folds in his suit) because he came back from the off-season a little chunky. This is further evidenced by his additional android chins which fade as the season progresses.

One last thing I will point out is that when they show footage of Geordi 5 years ago they did remember to bust out the old red spandex suit but they didn't put on his old gold banana clip visor which you can spot from a mile away. I think he's actually on his third visor by now and it has vastly improved his believability as a character. It's hard to take one seriously when they are looking at you thru a $2 banana clip wearing a Red Spandex Onesy. Oh well, at least they tried to keep it accurate. Levar Burton probably lit the thing on fire and smashed it into a thousand pieces when they finally invested the money in his character and gave him a new visor. So maybe that's why he couldn't wear it in the historical footage.

The plot hole is that when Geordi turns into the "creature" they find his uniform. What about those blinking lights on the side of his head, did those just fall away as he transformed? But yet they weren't discovered with his shredded uniform. He didn't sport them as the "creature". Meanwhile he is fully capable of sight without his visor as this new creature in less than a few hours? If they did come off are we to believe doctor crusher put his visor implants back on real quick (she's less than technical minded-leaving Data's medical care to Geordi). It's a plot hole that could have been easily worked around by making him wear the visor as the "creature". Even though Beverly explained that the parasite can happen fast or slow, it just all seemed a little TOO fast for Geordi. Another thing is, he seemed to have retained memories of his existence as this "creature" so why isn't he a little more excited about having seen with his own eyes without a visor for the first time?

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