Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 7.03 Interface (October 4, 1993)
Redshirt Status: 7/7/64
Notable Guest Stars:
Madge Sinclair (Captain Silva La Forge) – Sinclar is a Jamaican actress who earned the country’s Order of Distinction. She was the voice of Sarabi, Simba’s mother in the Lion Kingm and was in the 1977 miniseries Roots (which earned her a nomination for an Emmy). She won an Emmy award for her role as Empress Josephine in Gabriel’s Fire (1991). . She also was in the Star Trek IV as the captain of the Saratoga, being the first Female captain to be aired in the series. She died in 1995, two years after this episode was made after a long battle with Leukemia.
Ben Vereen (Commander Edward M. La Forge)- Ben Vereen is a well-known singer, danger and performer. He has an admirable stage career, winning a Tony award for Pippin (1973). He played the grandson of LeVar Burton’s character on Roots(1977). Other recognizable rules include Will Smith’s father on Fresh Prince, and more recently as Sam Gibbs on How I met Your Mother. More personally, this kind man was nice enough to call my grandmother and wish her happy birthday when a close friend told him how big a fan of his she was.
Warren Munson (Admiral Marcus Holt)- This is his first role on Star Trek, but he played the early version of Owen Paris on Voyager.
This episode is a sad one – Geordi’s mother is declared missing and presumed dead. Geordi has trouble accepting that and his mission helping another crew goes astray in part because of that.Read more: The Rewatch 233: Interface
The brighter side of the episode is the introduction of the interface, which allows Geordi to go into the damaged and unsafe ship via a computer interface to a probe. We do have virtual reality today, but it would be interesting to see something like this in real action. It would be especially good for emergency services for things like fires and cave ins that would allow people to view the area without damaging themselves in the process. Perhaps less sensitive, because Geordi does get burned when he touches fire.
Apparently this was one of the issues that the production team had with this episode. They felt that we already had this kind of technology so it wasn’t scifi enough for the show. I do have to point out that VR is still in its early stages and not nearly as useful as the interface and its been 30 years since this episode aired (yes – let that sink in. Its been 30 years since 1993).
I do have issues with female characters who come onto a show and get killed off for “Man pain.” Which happens way too often. However, I think this episode does it well enough that it rises above that horrible troupe. Yes, this causes Geordi emotional pain, but there is a point to it. She’s not an after-note.
Its also good to now that just because something is successful doesn’t mean the rules don’t abide. Sometimes it seems like people can break the rules as long as it ends up sucessful. If it does, then there are no consequences. Geordi doesn’t get a severe punishment on this, but he does get a consequence for going against orders.
- Written by Joe Menosky (with some additional work by Jeri Taylor)
- Directed by Robert Wiemer
- Joe Menosky wrote this having to send bits and pieces of the script back via fax and Mail. Makes you glad for email doesn’t it?
- This book as a spin off novel called Indistinguishable from Magic by David A. McIntee. It also features Montgomery Scott and Guinan.
- Originally the pitch was with Riker, with his father dying.
- LeVar Barton was in a much-applauded miniseries called Roots with both Ben Vereen and Madge Sinclair.
- Apparently this episode made people in the production team think it might be time to hang up TNG’s hat and move on.
- Lack of a good use of Ben Vereen
- No happy ending for Captain La Forge.
Screencap via CygnusX1.net