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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).
One of my personal favourites. You may think why, well I just think
there's something special bout it. I mean sure the technical stuff
hardly make any sense, but who cares. Also it brings us slighter into
the mind of Ro Laren, a character we don't see to much of. Also it's
funny what a good duo her and Geordi can be, since he most of the time
is in "Data episodes".
The special effects also impressed me much the first time I saw this episode. I mean Star Ttrek have tried something similar before, but it has never looked so good. It looks incredibly real, and except for one slip off, the episodes effects are almost flawless, and pretty good even by todays standards.
I love the tension that is build up in this episode. With the Romilans plans, and the "you know who" guy ( I don't like to spoil thing) just makes this and incredible exiting episode. And since Tasha dies, we all feel that main characters dying aren't that unfeasible, so were always slightly worried about what will happen next.
It is just an exiting episode, with a great ending (I don't get Geordi's joke though)and great special effects. This is what Star Trek is for me, good character relations, and a weird problem to be solved within a time limit. It's just plane fun to watch. I give this episode a 9/10.
When this episode begins, the Enterprise is doing something VERY
unusual--it's providing assistance to a damaged Romulan ship! The crew
seem grateful but soon a serious problem becomes apparent when the
transporter malfunctions--making several folks disappear. They are
assumed to be dead but Ro and Geordi are actually 'out of phase'. In
other words, they are alive and no one can see them. Well, the crew
starts mourning for their lost comrades...during which time Ro and
Geordi can walk through walls and see and hear everyone. Surprisingly,
they learn that the Romulans have tampered with the Enterprise's
engines--and it will blow up when they engage the warp drive! Can they
possibly warn their crewmates and also return to normal?
The best thing about this episode are the cool special effects. Seeing folks running through things is pretty nifty and the story is exciting and weird (in a good way). Well worth seeing.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After responding to a distress call an away team beams over to a
Romulan ship and set about helping them fix their engines. One part
can't be fixed so Geordi and Ro are ordered to take it back to the
enterprise for replication. Something goes wrong with the teleportation
process and they fail to materialise; shortly afterwards they are
declared dead. We then see that they are indeed aboard the Enterprise
but nobody can see them and they can even walk through walls and
are they ghosts or is there a scientific reason? Ro believes
the former even though she didn't previously believe in an afterlife
but Geordi believes differently and thinks they should set about
investigating. Not surprisingly the latter proves to be true and they
learn that they have become cloaked due to an experimental Romulan
they also learn that the Romulans have sabotaged the Enterprise
so that it will explode if it goes to warp so they will have to find
out how to warm the others quickly. If that wasn't enough there is also
a cloaked Romulan and he can see them. While this is going on the rest
of the crew are making preparations for Ro and Geordi's funeral.
This is one of my favourite episodes of TNG; we get good villains in the form of Romulans who are pretending to be friendly, a technological malfunction that has put two crew members in an unusual situation and some enjoyable conversations as people dwell on beliefs concerning death. It was nice to see Ro (a personal favourite) and Geordi take centre stage; both Michelle Forbes and LeVar Burton are on great form here. The story provides multiple threats which are nicely resolved I especially liked how the cloaked Romulan meets his end. Surprisingly it is never mentioned that Geordi and Ro face starvation if they don't find a way to decloak; the creators clearly hadn't forgotten the possibility though as the prologue features Geordi eating a lot and commenting that he hadn't eaten for two days. Overall a top quality episode.
I don't understand the high rating of this episode. Why do the floors
support the phased/cloaked people? Why can Ro touch her control panel
and not put her hand through it? Why did it take so long to figure out
nobody could see her and why did she take on such a passive roll, at
first? How did the Romulan become phased and cloaked? How could he have
been sitting in his seat without passing through it?
Of course, the problem was solved by magic gobbledygook technology. The obligatory "5 seconds to total destruction" scenes ensue.
There are so many breakdowns in logic in the episode, so it is impossible to take the theological discussions seriously
This is a very good episode. It has those nasty Romulans who can't back off, even when kindness is given to them. Their ship has been severely damaged and the Enterprise comes to the rescue. They rebuild their engine and get their ship up and going. In the process, Ro and LaForge are beamed back to the ship with an engine part, but in the process they are shoved into some sort of netherworld, able to move around the ship but unseen by the crew. After a period of time with no trace of them, the crew jumps to the conclusion that they are dead. This is really fast, considering the thoroughness that they usually take. By the way, they are not dead! This is not a religious experience! It's a transporter malfunction, brought on by the Romulans who are experimenting with another of their evil devices. After the Enterprise has done everything to show good faith, the scientists on board have planted something in the Enterprise that will destroy it when it goes to warp drive. Data is the key because of his tireless analysis of the ship. Geordi and Ro are really cute as sort of combatants and friends as they try to figure a way to be seen on board the ship. The crew deals with the "deaths" of the two which is touching and shows another side of them. Ro and Riker don't really get along and there is a overt tension throughout. It's a really good episode.
'The Next Phase' is a solid ghost story; except Geordi and Ro aren't
dead, they're just de-phased. And how would that happen? A transporter
malfunction! That well-worn trope used to kill, clone or just scramble
someone's particles. How well the science holds here is anyone's guess
(certainly not mine), but it's a fun episode and these characters make
for an unlikely pairing. And the philosophical questions about death
and what people will say about afterward are a nice touch.
I loved this episode, it was very good and it also gets you thinking
how crazy this could end up really being if it had happened to you...
The only thing that wasn't mentioned in the goofs that I know I heard because I have DVR and replayed it was when ensign ro was fighting the romulan in the couples room and data trys to enter the room and when the lieutenant opens the door and is surprised to see data he goes Brent... which is actually data's first name outside the show....
This would have to be the only goof that is not mentioned and it was truthfully to me the easiest one to catch and is not hard to miss when the guy says out loud BRENT! and I am surprised they did not try to fix this or correct it...
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