``The Next Phase''
Stardate: 45892.4
Rating: ****

Edited Length: 45:29
U.S. Airdate: May 31, 1992
Nielsen Rating/Rank: [11.7/2]

This Episode was Nominated for Emmy(s)!

Guest Stars
Michelle Forbes: [Ensign Ro Laren]
Thomas Kopache: [Mirok]
Susanna Thompson: [Varel]
Shelby Leverington: [Transporter Chief Brossmer]
Brian Cousins: [Parem]

Co-Producer: Joe Menosky
Co-Producer: Ronald D. Moore
Co-Producer: Peter Lauritson
Producer: David Livingston
Supervising Producer: Jeri Taylor
Executive Producer: Michael Piller
Written by: Ronald D. Moore
Directed by: David Carson

[end credit]
Executive Producer: Gene Roddenberry
Executive Producer: Rick Berman

[closing credits]
Associate Producer: Wendy Neuss
Executive Script Consultant: Peter Allan Fields

Kenneth Meseroll: Ensign McDowell


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Extended Synopsis (by Tim Lynch) ------------------------------------

The Enterprise assists a critically damaged Romulan vessel, but when Geordi and Ro beam back with some damaged equipment, something strange happens in transit. They fail to rematerialize, and no sensors can locate them. The Romulan ship manages to save itself by ejecting its engine core (with some help from Riker, Worf and Data), but they continue to need power from the Enterprise while conducting repairs.

Meanwhile, Ro wakes up in a hallway and heads for sickbay. Oddly, however, no one seems to notice her, even when she arrives in sickbay and asks people for help. Then, to her shock, she hears Picard and Beverly talking, and Beverly expressing dislike for making out death certificates; namely, those of Ro and Geordi. As she tries to convince them both that not only is she not dead, but she's right there, Picard leaves-and walks right through her on the way out.

As repairs continue on the Romulan ship, and Data begins preparations for a memorial service, Ro finds Geordi in engineering, as confused as she. They're both in the same boat, but at least they seem solid enough to each other. Ro tells Geordi that she's concluded they're dead, but Geordi refuses to believe it. He leaves through a bulkhead for transporter room 3, leaving Ro to "make peace with her former life."

There, he finds Data examining the situation and theorizing that damage to the Romulan cloaking device may have caused the transporter malfunction, noting that there is a substantial chroniton field present on the Enterprise. Ro tries to say goodbye on the bridge, but gets drawn into following a discussion of the memorial service; at least, until Geordi arrives and convinces her to join him on the next shuttle to the Romulan ship to check the situation out.

They board that shuttle, which Data and Worf are piloting. After Geordi and Ro listen to Data and Worf plan their funerals (an eerie feeling, at best), they all arrive on the Romulan ship and investigate. Data and Worf find little, but Geordi and Ro discover two things of note. First, Geordi finds a molecular phase inverter, which quickly leads him to believe that he and Ro are both cloaked and "phased", a process which must somehow be reversible. Second, they hear two Romulans planning to rig a boobytrap via the energy beam supporting them, which will trigger and destroy the Enterprise when it goes into warp. They leave to attempt to warn the Enterprise somehow; and a spectral Romulan gets up and follows them every step of the way.

Data's inspection of all the chroniton fields turns out to correlate with every place Geordi or Ro have appeared, and Geordi quickly comes to believe that it's their interactions with normal matter such as the bulkheads that causes the fields. He begins walking through everything he can to get Data's attention, just as Ro, on the bridge, is accosted by the Romulan, who demands she take him to Geordi. Geordi discovers that the anyon beams Data uses to wipe out the chroniton fields help him to solidify-but at this setting, it's both slight and temporary. En route to Geordi, meanwhile, Ro double-crosses the Romulan and tries to get away. A long chase ensues, triggering a run of chroniton fields that Data (and Geordi close behind) follow. Eventually, Data is none the wiser, but Geordi arrives just in time to save Ro, accidentally knocking the Romulan out through a bulkhead and spinning off into space in the bargain.

The Romulan ship, repaired enough to get home, leaves, and only the decontamination procedures used on the chroniton fields prevent the Enterprise from going into warp. Frantic, Geordi and Ro realize they have to have a high- intensity anyon beam directed at them, and it'll be short duration enough that it had better be in front of a lot of people. They proceed to their own wake in Ten-Forward, where with a little judicious action (including setting the Romulan disruptor on overload, finally), they manage to induce a high enough anyon beam to allow Picard and Data to see them for a moment. Data orders a highest-power anyon beam to flood Ten- Forward, and Geordi and Ro return to normal. All is well, but Ro finds herself questioning her earlier skepticism about Bajoran beliefs in an afterlife.

Highlight Listing:
"The Next Phase" - Geordi and Ro are pronounced dead after a transporting maneuver from a distressed Romulan ship goes awry.
Advertising Headline:
DEAD OR ALIVE? A botched transport traps Geordi and Ro between two worlds!
TV log listing:
Geordi and Ro lost in transport mishap/STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION
Operation SNAFU
One of things overlooked is an explanation of why Geordi and Ro are able to breathe or not be able to go through the floors. Oops. There is even a scene where Geordi's hand goes through a table, but another where a phased Romulan can sit in a chair that rocks when he gets up. (UV) When the Romulan is fighting with Ro, and LaForge shoves him through the bulkhead, we see the Romulan exit the Enterprise facing us right-side up, butk when they show him drifting away into the icy cold of space, he is facing *away* from us right-side up -- he's facing the wrong way as he's rotating! (UV) Also, Riker starts playing the trombone before his lips reach the mouthpiece. (UV)

[ Mr. Video Productions ]

Andrew Tong

Technical design, graphic design, interactive features, HTML & CGI programming by Andrew Tong. || All materials Copyright © 1987-1995 by their respective authors. || Document created: January 28, 1995 || Last Modified: November 09, 2010