The Great Star Trek TNG Rewatch: Future Imperfect

When Riker is overcome by noxious gases whlst on an away mission, he wakes up in sickbay sixteen years later. Dr Crusher tells him that a virus has erased his memory of the last sixteen years – a time in which he assumed command of the Enterprise, got married and even had a son. Riker tries to adjust to his new reality, but is everything really as it seems?

Season four is still going strong not only with its family theme, but also with misdirection, as this episode outdoes both Legacy and Remember Me by having not one, but two twists. I enjoyed the look into a possible future, and would have even been happy with the apparent Romulan plot being the final outcome.

The Future?

  • Picard is an admiral and is now sporting some facial fuzz.
  • Riker is captain of the Enterprise, and is leading negotiations for a peace treaty with the Romulans. He married ship’s counsellor “Min” – the imperfection being that she is the hologram Minuet – but she has since passed away. He has one son, Jean-Luc.
  • Data is now first officer of the Enterprise.
  • Worf is at Ops, and is presumably second officer.
  • Wesley has been replaced at the helm with a Ferengi ensign.
  • Worf is no longer the only Klingon in Starfleet, or even on the Enterprise.
  • Crusher is still chief medical officer.
  • Troi now works with Picard at Starfleet Command, and has switched to a standard Starfleet uniform.
  • Geordi is still chief engineer, but has swapped his VISOR for cloned eyes – something which could surely have been done any time he wanted to.
  • Tomalak, Romulan officer and nemesis of the Enterprise crew, is now an ambassador.

So basically, most of the crew have let their careers stagnate in favour of staying aboard the Enterprise, and Riker likes to bone counsellors.

Imagine if…

  • Barash/Ethan/Jean Luc had remained aboard the Enterprise, perhaps as Riker’s ward or adoptive son.
  • The series had continued on from the “sixteen years later” timeline.
  • The Romulan holodeck was called the Rolodex.

Other points

  • The kind and enlightened people of the 24th century mock Riker for his trombone playing – and he isn’t even that bad.

Summary – Future Imperfect: “You’re incapable of that level of incompetence, Mr. La Forge!”

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