Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 4 Episode 8

Future Imperfect

6
Aired Unknown Nov 12, 1990 on CBS
8.3
out of 10
User Rating
216 votes
7

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Stardate: 44286.5 On an away mission, Riker passes out from some toxic gas, and when he awakens he is 16 years in the future. As the captain of the Enterprise he is about to sign a peace treaty with the Romulans, but he has no memories of the 16 years since that away mission. However, he soon senses that things are not as they seem.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Rip Van Riker?....

    8.0
    .... Few Season 4 episodes of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" are not worth a look and "Future Imperfect" is very enjoyable although not one of the greatest episodes of the season. In some ways, "Future Imperfect" is a preview to the far superior Riker-centered psychologically- angled plot "Frame of Mind" in Season 6: as (without giving anything away) Riker's world is turned upside down in a similar way. But there are a number of thrilling twists and turns that make "Future Imperfect" a very fun episode - but it is more interesting during the first viewing and does not hold up very well during subsequent viewings.moreless
  • Riker's a Dad, and his kid's more annoying than Wesley

    8.0
    The premise of this episode alone makes this one a must see, and the writers use this unique idea to let their hair down and have a bit of fun even including a twist. (The writers also introduce elements that really would be explored in the future of Star Trek: a Ferengi ensign, a female Klingon, and peace talks with the Romulans.) And while the episode is fun to watch in its own right, it's especially interesting watch "Future Imperfect" after seeing TNG age naturally through its remaining seasons and motion pictures allowing us to compare a future which could be with a future that is.moreless
  • This is a great episode that will keep you guessing throughout-and provides a great finish.

    10
    An away team, led by Riker, beams down to a planet, and things quickly start getting weird for Riker. It would be a shame to write a review riddled with details, as you would then read it, and that would take away from what makes this episode so great-the drama-the guessing-the suspense. The funny thing is you quickly become comfortable with Riker's new surroundings. Riker also seems to accept them as well. The events of the story do lead up to a conclusion that is extremely surprising, but satisfying. I believe that this was one of the best TNG episodes ever written.moreless
  • A clever story, with two twists at the end.

    8.5
    The basics of this plot have been used many times before – an individual wakes up from a coma to discover that what he considered to be "reality" has changed in some fundamental, unsettling and "wrong" way. Done well, it's always a winning theme. In this case, Commander Riker wakes up 17 years in the future to discover that he is now Captain – and in charge of completing peace negotiations with the Federation's former foes, the Romulans.



    The show had done a nice job of setting up the Romulans as the key villains on TNG during the 3rd season (they were more interesting than the Borg, in my opinion), which provides the perfect launching pad for a story like this. Given the way the episode is set up, it's pretty clear to most viewers from the outset that Riker is caught in some sort of cunning, devious Romulan plot. Riker, despite initial suspicions, begins to acclimatize himself to the new reality – just before himself catching onto the Romulans' machinations.



    But that's not the final wrinkle in this tale, which I won't spoil. Let's just say that while the twist at the end isn't bad, and that some sort of twist was absolutely necessary, I can't help thinking that the writers could have come up with something even better. Nevertheless, one of the better episodes from the 4th season.moreless
  • Riker suffers an accident that erases 16 years of his memory, and learns that the accident 16 years ago wasn't an accident.

    9.9
    I really like the episodes that answer that "What if?" questions. This one, 'Parallels', 'Yesterday's Enterprise', and 'All Good Things...' are four great episodes in the series. This episode answers the question, "What if Riker was in command and had a family?" and they answer it pretty well. It's not perfect, but definitely fantastic.



    One of my favorite moments, if not my favorite, is when Riker loses it and starts berating the bridge crew, which reveals what's really going on.



    They also brought out the alternate universe com badges, which are my personal favorite. The rank insignia behind the starfleet logo was a great idea and I wish Paramount had introduced that in a later series.moreless
Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart

Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Jonathan Frakes

Jonathan Frakes

Cmdr. William T. Riker

Brent Spiner

Brent Spiner

Lt. Cmdr. Data

Gates McFadden

Gates McFadden

Dr. Beverly Crusher

Marina Sirtis

Marina Sirtis

Counsellor/Lt. Cmdr. Deanna Troi

Michael Dorn

Michael Dorn

Lt./Lt. Cmdr. Worf

Chris Demetral

Chris Demetral

Jean-Luc/Ethan

Guest Star

Carolyn McCormick

Carolyn McCormick

Minuet

Guest Star

George O'Hanlon Jr.

George O'Hanlon Jr.

Transporter Chief

Guest Star

Andreas Katsulas

Andreas Katsulas

Ambassador Tomalak

Recurring Role

April Grace

April Grace

Transporter Chief

Recurring Role

Patti Yasutake

Patti Yasutake

Alyssa Ogawa

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (6)

    • When Will Riker is told he was in a coma for ten days, he doesn't find it curious that he is still in uniform, and that after 10 days in a coma, his hair is perfect.

    • When Captain Riker first goes to his quarters and meets his son, Jean-Luc says simply, "Hi Dad." However, Dr Crusher revealed at the beginning of the episode that Riker had been in a coma for 10 days. Seeing his father is okay after coming out of a coma, Riker wouldn't expect Jean-Luc's reaction to be so nonchalant, even in an illusion.

    • Trivia: In the simulation, the Enterprise has a Ferengi helm officer, and at least one Klingon officer in addition to Worf. This is one of two instances in Star Trek in which a simulation features a Ferengi officer in Starfleet. The other is in Voyager's Season 5 episode "In The Flesh."

    • This is the second episode in which Worf replaces Data as Operations officer. In this episode it's because Data had been promoted to first officer. In Season 3's "The Most Toys," it is because Data was presumed dead.

    • The computer's delay is originally explained as a problem with a "processing attenuator" - later, Riker yells at the simulated Geordi about a "processing accelerator."

    • Apparently there are bugs in space (or at least on the set). When Riker, Picard, and Troi are in one of the conference room scenes, and the camera is on Picard as he is talking, some kind of bug flies past Picard's face in the shot.

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Picard: I think it would be best if we were to..
      Riker: Shut up!
      Picard: I beg your pardon!?
      Riker: I said shut up! As in close your mouth and stop talking!

  • NOTES (3)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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