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Star Trek Voy - Season 1 - Episode 01

Star Trek Voy - 1x01 - Caretaker, Part I

Originally Aired: 1995-1-16

The crew of the U.S.S. Voyager is taken far from home. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 6.22

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- Tom Paris is an extremely similar character to Nicholas Locarno featured in TNG: The First Duty. They're played by the same actor and they have nearly identical storylines. Why didn't they just reuse the character? Oh, wait, I get it, because Tom Paris sounds cooler than Nicholas Locarno...
- Why did Janeway's first officer hold the rank of Lt. Commander? That must be why he died. ;)

- The uniforms the crew of Voyager wear are consistent with the "new style" DS9 uniforms. Interestingly, these uniforms will never change throughout the course of the show, even though DS9's get upgraded.
- Voyager is an intrepid class starship. It has a sustainable cruise velocity of warp 9.975. There are 15 decks, a crew compliment of 141, and the ship features bio-neural circuitry.
- This episode marks Quark as the first character to have appeared in all of the three series which run concurrently.

Remarkable Scenes
- Chakotay Torres and Tuvok in the Maquis ship in the opening scene.
- Voyager docked at DS9.
- Quark's scene trying to sell Harry Kim worthless junk. I love Harry's faux pas.
- Janeway: "Mr. Kim. At ease before you sprain something."
- The ship being thrown into the Delta quadrant.
- The doctor's introduction.
- Caretaker: "Oh! Well aren't you contentious for a minor bipedal species!"
- Torres to Kim: "I don't find this at all amusing, Starfleet."
- The final scene: Janeway and Tuvok in the ready room.
- Morn appearances; 1. Quark's bar during the scene where Quark tries to sell worthless junk to Harry Kim. Quark says that he acquired his very strange crystals from a creature called "Morn". ;)

My Review
This is probably the best of all the pilot episodes. Not only does it give a worthy introduction to every character, but it's a highly exciting episode. One thing that sets this pilot apart from the others is that the crew is thrown directly into some major action right at the beginning. Several high ranking officers are killed right at the beginning too, such as the first officer, the chief engineer, and the doctor. That's a considerable loss for any Starship. Imagine what Picard would do if he lost Riker, Geordi, and Beverly all at once! Another interesting thing, so far every Star Trek pilot episode has involved superior alien beings putting humans through some kind of test. First Captain Pike in TOS: The Cage being tested by the illusion aliens, then Picard in TNG: Encounter at Farpoint being tested by Q, then Sisko in DS9: Emissary being tested by the Prophets, and now the crew of Voyager, specifically Kim and Torres being tested by the Caretaker. A great first part to a two parter and a great pilot episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From endlessmug on 2006-10-07 at 1:25am:
    The first episode of Voyager was better than I thought it would be. After hearing so many people talk about how horrible the show was, it actually had a pretty good start.

    (And on your note about Locarno/Paris: I also hate when they don't reuse a character when it's played by the same actor and basically acts the same. Would it really hurt to put in some continuity into the show?)
  • From Avril on 2006-11-22 at 10:11am:
    In regaurds to Nicholas Locarno, they originally wanted to use the charactor but they would've had to pay royalties to the writer of the original episode everytime Paris was on screen. So instead they used the same idea but a different name to avoid this.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-10-22 at 7:06am:
    Dear Kethinov:

    Concerning DS9: Emissary, you state:

    "Probably the most remarkable first episode for a Star Trek series ever."

    Concerning this episode you state:

    "This is probably the best of all the pilot episodes."

    OK, you're up. Which is it? Which series has the better pilot: Voyager or DS9? I would readily admit that either is superior to the pilot for either TNG or TOS. TNG's pilot, TNG: Adventure at Farpoint was OK, but not great in my view. TOS's pilot (which I suppose would be "TOS: The Cage) was bad.
  • From Kethinov on 2011-10-22 at 1:04pm:
    Voyager's. But DS9's was my favorite until Voyager's aired.
  • From wes on 2012-01-13 at 12:36pm:
    It seems a problem of continuity that Tuvok is called "Lieutenant" and not "Commander," while his rank is Lt. Commander. This is a bit annoying to me for two reasons.

    1) Lieutenant seems to be the most overused rank on Voyager, especially among senior officers.

    2) Every other officer of any Star Trek season with the rank of Lt. Commander has been addressed as "Commander" and not "Lieutenant."

    This seems to demean Tuvok's rank more than anything. It's unfortunate.
  • From Brian on 2013-09-10 at 8:15pm:
    Actually, the reason they didn't use Nicholas Locarno as a name was to avoid paying royalties to the guy that came up with the character.
  • From Edwin on 2014-08-07 at 7:06pm:
    To correct one of your factoids, Quark is actually the second character to appear in all three 24th Century Trek series, the first is the Cardassian Gul Evek who is briefly seen in the pre-credits sequence of Caretaker. He had previously appeared in several episodes of TNG Season 7 and DS9 Season 2.
  • From Axel on 2015-06-06 at 11:59pm:
    Say what you want about Voyager, but I think they are the only Star Trek series to have a pretty solid first season. It took TOS and TNG quite a while to get it right. DS9 and ENT started out decently but really didn't get good until late first season. Voyager did a great job and I think this is without question the best pilot in Star Trek. Fantastic premise, fantastic two-parter and very well executed. I like Janeway's speech about the two crews working together and continuing the mission while also searching for a quicker way home. Sets up the series nicely.

    On a side note: Gul Evek has also appeared in all three Star Trek series during this time. He was in this, he was in DS9: The Maquis and Tribunal, and he was in both TNG: Preemptive Strike and TNG: Journey's End.
  • From Nightangel on 2017-02-14 at 3:47am:
    Just to let you know, the reason why they didn't use Nicholas Locarno is because then they would have to pay royalties to the writers of the episode of TNG that he was featured in. So... they created Tom Paris as a replacement... giving him the exact same backstory as Locarno, and even hiring the same actor.
  • From Ensign Obummer on 2022-02-02 at 3:43pm:
    So about the royalties thing, while it is true that writers back then got these royalties...from the various interviews and statements from the actor about his role Tom Paris it seems they wanted to make a similar character and only later decided to use the same actor.
    It is a fun rumor to say they changed the name to save what... 10 grand ? per season, but I think it is not true.

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