‘Interface’ (TNG) (TV)

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Please feel free to comment on my review.

This ‘Star Trek: TNG’ episode focuses on Geordi’s character. We get to see him use a brand new state-of-the-art interface and we get to learn more of his family background including his mother and father.

The episode begins with Geordi testing a new interface that utilises the visor-compatible circuity in his brain. He has Data and Beverly helping and monitoring him whilst Commander Riker is observing in the room.

Essentially it’s a virtual reality suit that’s being handled by remote control using a probe. When I first saw that, I thought Geordi was crawling through Jeffries’ tubes with his eyesight restored all to normal.

It was surreal to see LeVar Burton not having to use the visor in those scenes when using the interface as we usually see him with the visor. But as I discovered, Geordi is only there in the tubes via the probe.

This is confirmed when Geordi looks himself in a reflective surface in engineering and we see the probe reflected back at him. It’s a brain sensory connection I believe and it’s very impressive to watch in this.

Geordi and the others are using this new interface in order to go into areas via the probe that would be too dangerous for crew members to enter. The inference has its hiccups as we discover in the story.

After testing the device, the Enterprise goes to use to find out what happened to a certain starship and its crew that crashed into a gas giant of a planet. All are convinced using the interface will be good.

However, Geordi receives the sad news that his mother, Captain La Forge, disappeared along with her starship and her crew. They’re presumed dead. Geordi finds it difficult in accepting his mother is dead.

One of the themes of Season 7 of ‘TNG’ in order to wrap up the series is the family connections for our main characters. This is especially the case with Geordi since we have never seen his family before.

Madge Sinclair guest stars as Captain Silva La Forge in the episode. It was sad to think Geordi’s mother is dead and I can easily sympathise with him not wanting to accept her death as he loved her so much.

The episode also features Ben Vereen as Dr. Edward La Forge, Geordi’s father. It seems Ben Vereen gets a special billings in the episode guest cast, since he is a known American actor, dancer and singer.

I’ve never heard of Ben Vereen before and quite honestly I don’t think he provides much to the episode itself. He has one scene with Geordi and that’s when they talk about his mother via intercom.

It’s also revealed that Geordi has a sister, although we don’t get to see her in this episode at all. I’m not sure whether she is in Starfleet like her mother; father and brother. This seems to be likely or not.

Geordi uses the interface to gain access to the ship that’s trapped inside the gas giant planet’s atmosphere. No one is left alive on the ship, but Geordi believes he has encountered his mother there.

This is impossible since surely when Geordi’s mother’s ship was lost, it was far away from where the Enterprise is around the gas giant. Geordi is determined to discover whether his mother is really alive.

But Geordi’s use of the interface exposes him to unhealthy levels of neural stimulation. Beverly and Picard are against Geordi using the interface again, but Geordi is so determined and risks his own life.

It was interesting to see those scenes where people like Picard; Riker and Deanna try to persuade Geordi out of his obsession with looking for his mom. But Geordi isn’t swayed here and won’t give up.

Eventually, Geordi decides to use the suit anyway. Data helps him, though the two are in violation of Picard’s orders. When using the interface again, Geordi encounters what he believes is his mom again.

But as the episode draws to its conclusion, it turns out she’s not his mother at all. She is actually a lifeform that is native to the gas giant. The being is wanting Geordi to take the ship closer to the planet.

It seems the aliens native to the gas giant are trapped on the ship and want to go home. They used the image of Geordi’s mother in order to persuade him to help, as it was a person he most thought about.

‘Interface’ is a good episode of character development for Geordi and introducing his family members. I was disappointed Geordi’s mother was not really alive by the episode’s end as I hoped she would be.

‘Interface’ (TNG) rating – 8/10

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