"Star Trek: The Next Generation" Identity Crisis (TV Episode 1991) Poster

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Changing one's looks.
russem3123 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
ST:TNG:92 - "Identity Crisis" (Stardate: 44664.5) - this is the 18th episode of the 4th season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

While serving on the Victory 5 years before, Geordi was part of an Away Team sent to investigate the disappearance of Tarchannen III colonists, along with his friend Susanna. Now, the Away Team members start vanishing one by one until only Geordi and Susanna are left. Soon, Susanna's blood chemistry starts changing, changing her into another life form. . . and soon it starts happening to Geordi.

This is a great episode, especially in term of makeup effects/costume suits.

Trivia note: you see a recording of Geordi LaForge when he was the crew of the Victory 5 years before wearing the 1st season red uniform (even a visual representation on Holodeck 3 - Geordi's favorite Holodeck). And Data becomes "strongly motivated" (aka worried) to help Geordi before his "Identity Crisis". And, Nurse Ogawa makes another appearance.
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Awesome Visuals
ShogaNinja16 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
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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Worth seeing just for the make-up and prosthetics
MartinHafer19 November 2014
An odd coincidence is occurring. Several people who went down to a planet on an away team five years earlier all seem to be converging back on the same planet! One is killed trying to get there and two more took a shuttle craft and landed there. Now, the two last members of the team, LaForge and Susana Leitgen both go back to investigate. Howevrer, soon, Leitgen begins behaving oddly and begins transforming into SOMETHING! LaForge is worried he'll be next, so he gets to work on finding out why. But guess what happens to Geordi? Yep...he becomes one of these weird creatures as well. Is there any hope?

The concept is okay but what I really LOVED was the make-up and prosthetics they used to create the creature effects. Amazingly cool and worth seeing just to see this!
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Chickens Come Home to Roost
Hitchcoc28 August 2014
This is really quite well done. Five years previous to the events here, Geordi and an away team are on a seemingly benevolent planet doing research. As the story begins, a shuttle containing a friend of Geordi's burns up in the planet's atmosphere. This happens despite Picard's intense warnings. Something has happened that isn't explainable. Geordi's friend Susanna was with him on the planet and is now aboard the Enterprise. She is suddenly taken ill and convulsing. Soon her body begins to change. She is becoming another species. Geordi recognizes changes in his own body and realizes that the same thing will happen to him. The plot involves efforts to counteract this. Susanna feels helpless because in her condition she can't leave the ship, yet she is best equipped to assist in solving the mystery. This episode allows us to see an alien race that has a whole different being and it is quite fascinating.
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Those who have visited Tarchannen III are disappearing; will Geordi be next?
Tweekums4 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Five years after an away mission to discover why colonists on the planet Tarchannen III had disappeared members of that mission start to vanish. One of these has stolen a shuttle craft and attempts to return to Tarchannen III but burns up in the atmosphere; this leaves only two members of that mission; Lt. Cmdr. Susanna Leijten and Geordi La Forge. Further investigations take place but there is no sign of the missing people. Susanna starts behaving oddly and is brought back to the Enterprise however she feels a compulsion to return to the planet and it is noticed that her body is changing at a genetic level. Geordi is determined to discover what is happening so he can save his friend but it could be too late for him.

This enjoyably episode sees LeVar Burton take the lead as Geordi La Forge along with guest star Maryann Plunkett who played Susanna; both put in solid performances in a story that includes a good mystery… there is no obvious danger but clearly something is effected those who took part in the away mission five years ago. The special effects and makeup used as Susanna and Geordi start to transform is impressive. The final resolution is well handled; this series shows that one doesn't need a malicious antagonist to have good drama.
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An Excellent Mystery
weanedon200117 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The viewer is thrown into a mystery from the word go with this absorbing episode. One by one, the members of an away team to Tarchannen III, 5 years previously, are disappearing.They have returned to the planet individually and then vanished (one dies en route). What is luring them back?

Geordi and his former crew mate, Susannah, both members of that away team, must find out what happened to these officers. Will they, too, experience a similar fate?

My favourite scene is Geordi on the holodeck, desperately trying to 'find the clue in the picture'. If you are a film nerd like me, you will immediately think of the long, fascinating scene in the film Blow Up, when the main character painstakingly analyses a photo he took to try and solve a murder. It is that riveting a scene, and of course, the holodeck gives it a cool third dimension.

Excellent creature makeup, and a really good guest performance From Maryann Plunkett as Susannah, round out one of my favourite season 4 episodes!
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Plant the thought and they will come
bkoganbing12 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Several members of an Away team from several years ago are having some kind of compulsion to return to the planet they were on previously. The only two left are Maryann Plunkett and LeVar Burton. This Away mission happened before Geordi LaForge was assigned to the Enterprise.

What happens to them on this planet and atmospherics make it difficult to trace humanoids once they're down there. It turns out that people are transformed into something truly not human as a result of a parasite breeding and incubating their systems.

The good work of Dr. Crusher is able to save LeVar Burton for the next episode. Geordi is turned into a most frightening creature.
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