“Future Imperfect” on VHS at Amazon You can, of course, find this episode on Blu-Ray & DVD there, as well. I just like the VHS covers.
A Riker-centered episode of the highest order, this episode hails from Season Four. Check out the summary at Memory-Alpha’s Page for “Future Imperfect.”
Riker’s first name is William or ‘Will’ to his friends. Love that name. I actually wanted to name our only begotten son William (or Geordi) but my husband vetoed it. He said people would call us weird Trekkies. Well, we are, but I guess I’m more comfortable with ‘weird.’ It’s just that it’s so much more fun! ‘Normal’ is boring, if you ask me. Anyway, I got the last laugh. Years later, he accidentally named our last daughter after a Star Trek character (It was his turn to name the new baby) and all I needed to do was keep my mouth shut for six months while he got too emotionally attached to change it. One night we were watching Star Trek (of course) and his eyes bug out. “Oh, no! I named the baby after a Star Trek character!”
You can see Will Riker at the end of the newest STAR TREK PICARD Trailer at CBS All Access.
He’s washing dishes or something and you’ll hear a kid yell, “Dad!” Naturally, I’m terribly curious if that kid is a boy and if he’s name Jean-Luc, like in this episode. A girl would be wonderful too, of course, although I doubt she’s name Lwaxana. Heck, I’d name her Lwaxana. Oh, who knows, maybe at that point, Will has a fabulous relationship with his mother-in-law.
In “Future Imperfect,” Commander Riker leads an away team to investigate a possible secret base and is overcome with toxic fumes. He wakes in Sickbay some time later. He’s informed that he’s suffering from an illness contracted on that away mission and it has now robbed him of 16 years of memories. He has a weird com badge and gray in his hair.
This episode was well-written, either by design or default. I immediately picked up on two clues which Riker did not.
- In a real situation, Riker’s closest family member or friend would be there.
- If he’s been in a coma for ten days, he would wake up rather messy. Not in a neat, clean uniform.
Being confused from his experience and having never been informed of a lifelong, disabling illness before, it’s perfectly believable that he would not have picked up on these two things.
As Riker is led through the fantasy, the new viewer comes to suspect this is a Romulan trick. That would explain why Admiral Picard’s futuristic uniform is so ugly. Riker is also confused and then suspicious by different clues.
Finally, Riker realizes its all a game when the computer reveals his wife to be Minuet, because she was just a holographic character. He could not sired offspring with her! The fantasy shifts, but Riker figures it out even more quickly.
The power behind this episode lies in the very human need for love. The alien child can have anything he wants and needs, except a real, present parent who loves him deeply and unconditionally.
Riker is revealed to be an able parent, despite his less-than-ideal relationship with his own father. This is fantastic character-development, because parenthood defines a person in a phenomenal way.
True Love is when another person’s well-being is more important to you than getting what you want for yourself.
Riker pulls that off easily, a real credit to the actor.
Definitely watch this one before the premier of Star Trek Picard on January 23rd.
Live Long And Prosper.