A transporter malfunction, combined with a Romulan ship under stress and a damaged cloaking device, creates the illusion that Ensign Ro and Geordi are dead, but Geordi doesn't believe it to be so, and he acts accordingly.



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After successfully responding to a Romulan vessel's engine failure distress call, Riker's Enterprise rescue team looses all traces of Geordi and Ensign Ro Laren while they beam back aboard; Data ponders on an appropriate memorial service given their different cultural traditions. The two find they are transported aboard but immaterial, unnoticed by other Enterprise crew. Lo thinks they're dead, Geordi gradually works out, like Data aboard, they must be affected by a Klingon-type cloaking technology aboard the Romulan ship interfering with another damaged system. Lo discovers there's a Romulan beamed up with them, who is ready to protect the secret by killing them... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

16 May 1992 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This takes place in 2368. See more »


When Ro is running through the ship to escape the Romulan, she runs in a straight line even though this is the least likely strategy to succeed. As evidenced by her attempt to attack the Romulan in the Holodeck, neither phased being can see through walls, so Ro could have tried to attack again or simply have run in a different direction, and the Romulan would have had no way of knowing which way she went. See more »


Lt. Commander Data: Do you think the others will find this service appropriate?
Doctor Beverly Crusher: Look around you, Data. Everybody's sharing their memories of Geordi and Ro, laughing and talking. What could be more appropriate than that?
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Referenced in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Timescape (1993) See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation Main Title
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

Is there life after death?
28 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

ST:TNG:124 - "The Next Phase" (Stardate: 45854.2) - this is the 24th episode of the 5th season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

This episode is one of my very favorites of the entire TNG run, and of all Star Trek itself. It deals with the issue of "is there life after death?", "what is death?", "what does death really mean?" - and in my opinion, in a very scientifically plausible way.

After the Enterprise responds to a Romulan distress signal, Geordi and Ro Laren (another appearance by Michelle Forbes) are pronounced dead when they try to transport back to the ship but don't re-materialize (though they actually do).

When Geordi and Ro re-materialize on the Enterprise and realize no one can see/hear them, and they can go even through walls, they assume they are dead. But soon, they get hints - including slight changes to the "real" environment "alerting" others to their presence (as a "ghost" might do). And not only this, they soon realize that there's a "dead" Romulan among them too!

But are they really dead? If not, what happened to them and can they change back in time? Watch this exciting episode to see!

The visual effects in this episode are exemplary, especially during the chase "through" the Enterprise!

Trivia note: the Bajoran Death Chant is over 2 hours long. And we see Riker playing his trombone again.

Also, this episode stars Susanna Thompson as Inmate Jaya (she will later have a claim to fame as one of the Borg Queens in Star Trek: Voyager).

16 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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