Monday, September 3, 2012

Top 5 Trek: Geordi Episodes

Ah, Geordi. Unlucky at love, luckier with warp plasma manifolds. LeVar Burton was the closest thing to an A-list actor that TNG started out with, but he really didn't get a ton to do. Moving to engineering certainly helped his character's fortunes, but he was also saddled with lots of treknobabble and expository scenes. Burton did a great job with both thankless tasks, if you ask us.

But every once in a while, the writers threw him a bone. Here are my picks for his best outings in Trek.

Honorable Mention:

Timeless (VOY Season 5)

This alternate future episode features Geordi as captain of the USS Challenger. It was really cool to see LeVar Burton without any eye covering, in full captain's uniform, at he helm of a Galaxy Class starship. It's also cool that Burton got to direct the episode.

5. The Next Phase

People, here is another show where Geordi should have gotten the girl (see also: Q Who, Aquiel). He was literally the only other person she could have physical contact with. The writers should have gone there with it, if only to take her away at the end. Geordi could have had a fw laughs, taken a few holophotos, and moved on. Anyway, it was a fun episode, despite some obvious logic issues (e.g., if you can fall through a wall, why not a floor?)

4. The Enemy

A ripoff of "Enemy Mine?" Perhaps. But this was a good Geordi showcase, in which Burton both got to do some physical acting, as well as stretch the character a bit by overcoming his handicap through teamwork.

3. Elementary, Dear Data

Arguments for this episode: 1. It's got Geordi in a bowler. 2. Sherlock Holmes. 3. The bowler.

You can't really dispute this sort of logic. It was fun seeing Geordi creating a ship (and setting it up in the middle of Engineering for some reason) to give to his former captain. It's also fun seeing Geordi get annoyed with Data's holographicus interruptus personality. This episode doesn't really indicate Geordi's attraction to the holodeck just yet, but it's nice that they got it in here before the following two shows.

2. Galaxy's Child

Finally, the scene that likely plays out in holodecks across the Galaxy is shown on TV. And Geordi is the unfortunate recipient. It's awkward, horrifying, embarrassing, makes any guy in the room blush... but it's REAL. And that's what's great about Geordi's character in TNG. Sure, he's a whiz bang engineer and he has super-vision-powers. But he's a regular schmoe who jerks off while thinking about coworkers that he admires from afar. With the help of the ultimate fantasy machine in the universe, that is.

1. Booby Trap

Oh, no, Geordi. Oh, Cocoa No-No. You suck at dating SO BADLY! This episode plants all the seeds that bear fruit in Galaxy's Child. Geordi is so human here it is painful. What a great science fiction arc for a character - using technology to make up for a sorely lacking area of social adroitness. We also get to see Utopia Planitia, which is sweet. But mostly we see Geordi as the fumbling, awkward, brilliant, human being that he is. Here's hoping that anti-time future pans out for you, Geordi, before she gets old and saggy, anyway.


  1. I've always felt so terrible for Geordi. He got the short end of EVERY stick.

    Except the brains stick. And the feeling like a real person that I'd like to know stick. And that's why we still love him.

  2. The reason he never got the girl is because he was meant to be gay.