Stardate: 47215.5
Rating: **

Edited Length: 45:01
U.S. Airdate: October 17, 1993
Nielsen Rating/Rank: [11.7/2]

Guest Stars
Madge Sinclair: [Captain Silva La Forge]
Warren Munson: [Admiral Holt]

Ben Vereen: "Doctor La Forge"

Co-Producer: Brannon Braga
Producer: Ronald D. Moore
Line Producer: Merri D. Howard
Producer: Peter Lauritson
Supervising Producer: David Livingston
Executive Producer: Jeri Taylor
Executive Producer: Michael Piller
Written By: Joe Menosky
Directed By: Robert Wiemer

[end credit]
Executive Producer: Rick Berman

[closing credits]

Co-Producer: Wendy Neuss
Executive Story Editor: René Echevarria
Story Editor: Naren Shankar


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

The USS Raman is in jeopardy, trapped inside a gas giant, and the Enterprise is naturally called in to rescue them. They plan to do so by using a new piece of technology, a probe that Geordi uses via a direct neural interface, letting him experience the probe's responses as if he were actually where the probe is. Although the gas giant's atmosphere is very turbulent, the probe should be able to transmit without problems. All is well - until Starfleet calls Picard with a message of bad news. The U.S.S. Hera disappeared four days ago, along with all of her crew - and her captain, Geordi's mother.

Geordi does not respond well to the news. Not having seen her for months or even communicated with her in weeks, he feels somewhat guilty for not having done so. However, he insists on carrying out the Raman rescue himself anyway, insisting to Riker that "the Hera is missing; that's all." As the interface is brought on-line, everything works like a charm, although the input levels need to be very high (75% of neural tolerance levels) to get through the atmosphere. Geordi finds the crew in a sealed cabin, but all are dead. He prepares to move to a new location, but a fire suddenly appears from nowhere - and not only does Geordi "feel" it, but the real Geordi is burned as well!

Fortunately, Beverly decides that a lower input level, while cruder, should be safe for Geordi to use, and in a few hours, Geordi will use the probe to bring the Raman out of the atmosphere. In the interim, however, he talks to his father, who is planning funeral arrangements, and suggests that everyone's jumping to conclusions about his mother actually being dead. He also talks to Data about it (after some helpful prodding by Data), but Data's recitation of the likelihood his mother is still alive doesn't help matters any.

Later, he works on the Raman at lower levels, and prepares to pilot the ship, but he suddenly stops dead - seeing an image of his mother in that very control room. She tells him that he needs to pilot the ship down - "we're dying." Geordi wants to know more, but his nervous system goes into shock and Beverly and Data quickly break the connection and help him.

He has no permanent damage - at least, not yet - but Picard forbids the use of the probe again, citing the danger and convinced that Geordi probably imagined it. Geordi, however, insists he wasn't hallucinating, and that the Hera is trapped on the planet's surface. Even after talking to Troi about his mother and about Troi's theory that he's invented this hallucination to stop himself from believing that she's really dead, he still believes - and won't back down.

In fact, in a few hours' time he invents a very plausible story for how the Hera could have gotten to the planet's surface in the first place, and insists that the Hera is down there and needs rescue. Data admits the idea is possible, but adds that it is extremely remote. Picard cites too great a risk, despite his sympathy for Geordi, and opts instead for a safer strategy to simply bring the Raman up. Geordi is most upset, and even a talk with Riker about the death of Riker's mother doesn't lessen his bitterness.

Geordi prepares to engage the probe himself, when Data enters to stop him. Data threatens to confine him to quarters, but when he realizes that Geordi won't stop without such an action, he turns to help, saying "I cannot confine you to quarters for something you have not yet done." Geordi "returns" to the Raman, where the image of his mother confirms his suspicions about what happened to the Hera.

Jubilant, he begins to descend - but the probe's signal begins to flicker as the atmospheric interference grows. Data slowly increases the input levels until they verge on near-tolerance limits. As the bridge detects the Raman's motion, and Picard, Riker and Beverly head to the lab, Geordi descends until the input goes past tolerance levels, refusing to stop - and Data cannot simply sever the interface without killing Geordi from the shock. Despite the pain and despite orders from Picard, Geordi descends until he should be able to detect the Hera - but it's not there. He is puzzled, as his "mother" suddenly attacks him. He repels it, only to find that "mom" is a subspace creature, one of many that was accidentally picked up by the Raman and mistakenly killed the crew by trying to read their thoughts. Geordi continues down just far enough to free the creatures, then prepares to ascend. The ship is destroyed, but Data and company manage to trick Geordi's nervous system into "thinking" it's still receiving high input levels and successfully break contact with the probe. Picard puts a stern reprimand on Geordi's record, which he accepts - and Geordi goes on to say that his experience felt so real that he had a chance to say goodbye to his mother.

Highlight Listing:
"Interface" - Geordi defies Picard's commands and risks his life in what appears to be a futile attempt to rescue his missing mother.
Advertising Headline:
DUTY OR FAMILY? Will Geordi defy Picard's orders and risks his life to save his mother?
TV log listing:
Geordi risks life to save his mother/STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION.

[ 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