Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 5 Episode 24

The Next Phase

Aired Unknown May 18, 1992 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
200 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Stardate: 45092.4 While the Enterprise helps a Romulan science vessel, an accident occurs which forces Geordi LaForge and Ro Laren slightly out of "phase," causing them to become undetectable to everyone but each other. As a result, the crew thinks they are dead and make arrangements for their funerals, even though they are closer than the crew realise.moreless

Watch Full Episode

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
  • Romulans are pure evil

    If this episode does not make everyone hate the Romulans then I'm not sure what could. After helping them survive a near disaster the Romulans try to kill everyone on the Enterprise. Families and all. What kind of species does that? Obviously the Romulans have no redeeming side to them. But why do they always keep bringing up the cloaking device and how come Klingons and Romulans have it but the idiots at Starfleet can't figure it out!?moreless
  • "Are you saying I'm some sort of blind ghost with clothes?

    The Geordi/Ro episode features a fun concept that moves along well and is nicely paid off. Originally written as a money saving bottle show (but actually costing more money than usual because of time consuming blue screen work), the story is nonetheless never dull. The opening has a great hook, each act is interesting in its own right (due in part to the unexpected chemistry that the optimistic Geordi and the cynical Ro have together), and the conclusion is exciting and satisfying. That said, the premise does take the silly (but necessary) liberty of having our characters be able to walk through walls while simultaneously being able to walk on floors. There's no technobabble explanation for this, as writers probably thought it better not to draw attention to the fact. Of course, when the characters live in a universe where nearly everyone speaks English and artificial gravity hardly ever fails, even when a ship take a pounding, having solid floors for incorporeal states probably doesn't seem too unusual.moreless
  • When La Forge and Ro are lost in a transporter accident, the crew mourn. Little do they know, the duo has been knocked out of phase, unable to be seen, heard, or felt by anyone. And only they know of a Romulan plot to destroy the Enterprise...moreless

    A very enjoyable, if somewhat silly episode. I only say it's silly because it, as usual, suffers from every other "out of phase" story ever told in science fiction. The first one that probably comes to mind is, if they pass through regular matter, why can they walk on the floor? And that's just the first of many. If you can suspend your disbelief, however, it's a fun one to watch. It's nice to see Ro come to terms with being "dead" and learning a little humility, as La Forge later puts it. It's also quite telling to see how the crew reacts to their beliefs that their two fellow crewmates and friends are dead. Each individual has a different reaction and each suits the character well. Especially of note is the conversation between Data and Worf in the shuttle as they invisible Ro and Geordi listen in. It's also a bit entertaining to be in the same position as Ro in regards to just what it was Riker would have said about her. If I were to speculate, I would guess that it might have something to do with the events of "Conundrum". One wonders where their relationship might have gone had Michelle Forbes been on the show more often in the later years. Finally, I have to comment on the unique team-up we were able to see with this episode. Ro's had some extensive scenes with Picard, Riker, and Troi in the past. However, other than Geordi's critical comments about her in Ro's first episode and a brief scene in "Power Play", there hasn't been much interaction between the two characters. It's fun to see that here as they work together and while it doesn't get the depth that she displays with Picard and Riker, it still works well, which is actually a pretty good description for the episode itself.moreless
  • A well-done, exciting episode that exploits an unlikely chemistry between Levar Burton and Michelle Forbes.

    As another reviewer points out, the writers had rarely coupled Ro with Geordi, and so the excellent chemistry they develop in this episode is a very pleasant surprise. Their very different personalities complement each other nicely.

    The story itself provides plenty of fun, as one would expect from a story of Romulan treachery. Michelle Forbes gives her one of her best performances in the series. The chase with the Romulan is an exciting (and occasionally amusing) sequence. Ro's curiosity about Riker's intended eulogy, and Geordi's attempt to get Data's attention in engineering, are both great. And of course - the celebratory funeral is perfectly fitting.moreless
  • Probably the best Ensign Ro episode.

    Geordi is a character that continues to grow on me. His optimism and intelligence definitely come into play here, when he counteracts Ro's assertion that they're dead by coming up with a more rational explanation.

    The best parts of this episode to me are the scenes where Ro and Geordi eavesdrop on other characters talking about them. I'd still like to hear what Riker would've said. "Sorry for sleeping with you when we lost our memories," LOL. And the way Data talked about Geordi was very endearing.

    Speaking of Data, he really cracked me up this episode. I like when he's using that anion device to sweep away the Chronatoms, and Geordi keeps walking back and forth intentionally, to create more fields for Data to clean. Data furrows his brow each time and "vacuums" away the chronatoms. Haha. Also love how Geordi at the end is like "come on Data, figure it out..." while he is discussing what could be wrong.

    Good one. TNG is on a hot streak.moreless
Michael Dorn

Michael Dorn

Lt./Lt. Cmdr. Worf

LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton

Lt. Cmdr. Geordi LaForge

Jonathan Frakes

Jonathan Frakes

Cmdr. William T. Riker

Marina Sirtis

Marina Sirtis

Counsellor/Lt. Cmdr. Deanna Troi

Gates McFadden

Gates McFadden

Dr. Beverly Crusher

Brent Spiner

Brent Spiner

Lt. Cmdr. Data

Thomas Kopache

Thomas Kopache


Guest Star

Susanna Thompson

Susanna Thompson


Guest Star

Shelby Leverington

Shelby Leverington

Transporter Chief Brossmer

Guest Star

Michelle Forbes

Michelle Forbes

Ensign Ro Laren

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (10)

    • When Ro and Geordi are talking at the end, just after Ro says, "Now I don't know what to believe," an insect flies in from behind her right side and flies out of view on the left side of the screen. It then reenters the screen and circles in front of Ro before the shot changes.

    • When the phased Romulan gets off the chair, it rocks back and forth.

    • The large instrument being played by the band at Geordi & Ro's funeral is an Euphonium, yet the music we hear has a Tuba playing as the low instrument, not an Euphonium. Euphoniums are rarely used in an ensemble like that one.

    • The Romulan manning the manual control to eject the warp corp says "Five seconds until warp core implosion". Riker waits roughly two seconds before telling him to eject it. It's well over ten seconds before he tells the Enterprise to extend their shields.

    • Once alerted that the warp core on the Romulan ship may implode, Picard orders the officer at the conn to move away from the ship and prepare to go to Warp 1 at any sign of an implosion. Yet Riker casually says the Enterprise can extend her shields to protect both ships from the ejected core's implosion, and then they actually do so. If the Enterprise's shields can withstand a warp core implosion at close range, while extended greatly (the ship moved further away from the Romulan ship), why'd Picard bother with this command?

    • After Worf and the Romulan activate the manual controls for ejecting the warp core, they try to remove a large piece of rubble from the doorway so it can be shut. The two of them together can't budge it a bit. Yet when Riker comes over to help, he lifts up the bottom end (which is larger) on his own. Since when is Riker so much stronger than Worf?

    • Despite having just beamed on the ship minutes ago, Worf knows exactly where to find one of the two manual controls for ejecting the warp core of the Romulan ship.

    • Geordi and Ro can pass through consoles and bulkheads, yet when Ro is on the bridge, she clearly touches the Conn console and when we first discover that the Romulan is phased, he is sitting in a chair.

    • Why do the "out of phase" people reflect in the glass partitions in Engineering? You can see both Geordi and Ro reflected there when they meet up for the first time since the accident. You later see Ro when she runs through a woman in front of a mirror, reflected in the mirror.

    • Geordi, Ro, and a Romulan operative are all "out of phase" meaning they can pass through walls and people. However, they don't pass through the floor, and can breathe. However, it's not clear whether the ship's gravity generators and oxygen can present into the phased "dimension."

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Geordi: What's eating you?
      Ro Laren: (hesitates) I was raised with Bajoran beliefs, including the Pagh'ra's, the belief in our immortal spirits. But when I grew up, I dismissed them all as nonsense. Now, even though what happened to us turned out to be completely scientific, I still thought about how wrong I was to just turn my back on everything I was taught. How could I have been so arrogant? Now I don't know what to believe.
      Geordi: Well... maybe we should build our own interphase device. If it can teach Ro Laren humility, it can do anything.

    • Geordi: But... my uniform... my VISOR. Are you saying I'm some sort of blind ghost with clothes?
      Ro: I don't have all the answers! I've never been dead before!

  • NOTES (2)

    • Susannah Thompson went on to several appearances in both DS9 and Voyager, most notably as one of two actresses to play the Borg Queen, starting with the Voyager two-parter, "Dark Frontier."

    • Ken "aka" Kenneth Marshall later played Michael Eddington, Captain Sisko's rival on DS9.