Interface (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
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|Star Trek: The Next Generation episode|
|Episode no.||Season 7|
|Directed by||Robert Wiemer|
|Written by||Joe Menosky|
|Featured music||Jay Chattaway|
|Cinematography by||Jonathan West|
|Original air date||October 4, 1993|
In this episode, Geordi La Forge uses an experimental interface to his VISOR to try to reach his missing mother, a Starfleet captain.
At the beginning of the episode, Chief Engineer Geordi La Forge, Commander Data, and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Crusher are testing an interface which allows La Forge to use the VISOR-compatible circuitry in his brain, along with a virtual reality suit to control a probe by remote control. This way La Forge can use the probe to go into areas that would be too dangerous for crew members to enter. When testing is complete, La Forge is informed that the ship his mother commanded has disappeared, and all aboard are presumed dead.
La Forge uses the interface to remotely control the probe and look for survivors on the USS Raman that is trapped in a gas giant's atmosphere. He finds that there is no one left alive on the ship, but believes that he encountered his mother on the ship. Continued use of the probe soon exposes La Forge to unhealthy levels of neural stimulation.
La Forge is convinced that his mother was on board the ship, and wants to use the probe to communicate with his mother. But Dr. Crusher and Captain Picard refuse to allow him to use the interface suit again. La Forge decides to use the suit anyway. While in contact with the probe, he encounters the being who appears to be his mother again, but learns that she is actually a lifeform native to the gas giant. This being talks La Forge into taking the ship closer to the planet, so that she and others like her trapped on the ship can go home.
After he is reprimanded by Picard for his disobedience, La Forge concludes that his mother is in fact dead, and that it had all seemed so real he had thought he had a chance to say goodbye to her.
Zack Handlen of The A.V. Club wrote in his review: "I got excited seeing Ben Vereen’s name in the opening credits for “Interface”. Vereen is a terrific actor—a little crazed if he doesn’t have strong direction, but brilliantly talented and unique—and I was curious to see what kind of energy he’d bring to the show. I was even more interested when I realized Vereen was going to be playing Geordi’s dad. [...] Maybe halfway through the episode, Geordi talks with his dad via Future Skype. It’s a bit awkward, as La Forge Sr. has already given Mom up for dead, and Geordi isn’t ready to let go. Not a terrible scene, but there isn’t much to it; and that’s the only appearance Vereen makes. In fact, it's his only appearance (so far as I can tell) in the entire franchise. I suppose he might not be quite as big a star to the rest of the world as he is to me (although surely everyone has seen him in All That Jazz?), but it seems like a waste. Much like everything else about this episode." Jamahl Epsicokhan of Jammer's Reviews wrote in his review: "Interface, while not great or groundbreaking, is a significant step up from the first two lackluster outings of season seven — much more focused, much less of a mess, and with true character motivation at its core. This is not a matter of Geordi indulging in an obsession of the imagination but rather being compelled to investigate the possibilities he's observed in front of him because he's additionally emotionally vested. As he puts it late in the episode, he can't ignore the possibilities, however remote, because if he doesn't at least try to rescue his mother and the Hera crew, he won't be able to live with himself."
- Star Trek The Next Generation DVD set, volume 7, disc 1, selection 3
- Handlen, Zack (September 22, 2011). "Star Trek: The Next Generation: "Interface"/"Gambit, Part 1"". The A.V. Club. Chicago: Onion, Inc. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
- Epsicokhan, Jamahl. "Star Trek: The Next Generation - "Interface"". Jammer's Reviews. United States: Blogger. Retrieved March 18, 2018.