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Star Trek Voy - Season 1 - Episode 06

Star Trek Voy - 1x06 - The Cloud

Originally Aired: 1995-2-13

Synopsis:
Voyager encounters a living nebula. [DVD]

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 4.16

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 28 1 4 7 7 10 11 14 6 6 3

Problems
- This episode contributes heavily to the Voyager Torpedo Problem. Chakotay says Voyager has 38 torpedoes available and Janeway claims they have no way to replace them after they're gone. This can't be true, or at least it doesn't remain true for long. Voyager will use far more than 38 photon torpedoes in the course of its journey. We're forced to assume they find some way to manufacture them. Which, if you ask me, isn't really all that far fetched. It would have been nice if they told us at some point further down in the series though that they were doing this. One throw away line would have sufficed.
- What the hell are they doing running the holodeck when they don't even have enough energy to replicate coffee?
- When Paris ranks up the balls in his pool table, they're very much out of order. When he goes to break, all the balls are now in order. Did the holodeck reorder them for him?

Factoids
- This is the first episode to mention Dr. Louis Zimmerman, the creator of the EMH, and that he modeled the EMH's appearance after himself.
- At 7 AU, the space nebula creature is the largest living thing every shown on Star Trek.
- The living cloud in this episode is most similar to the one featured in TAS: One of Our Planets is Missing. Although this one does not devour planets...

Remarkable Scenes
- Janeway's opening log entry.
- Janeway: "There's coffee in that nebula!"
- Neelix criticizing Janeway's exploratory nature.
- The Doctor's appearance, startling Torres. I like how the Doctor bemoans about never being summoned for an important reason.
- The Doctor: "A nebula? What were we doing in a nebula? No wait, don't tell me. We were 'investigating.' That's all we do around here. Why pretend we're going home at all, all we're going to do is 'investigate' every cubic millimeter of this quadrant, aren't we?"
- Janeway's vision quest.
- Torres tried to kill her animal guide. Why does that not surprise me? :)
- Janeway muting the doctor and the doctor waving his hands across the viewscreen later to get attention. Hilarious!
- Janeway's handling of Neelix' objections.
- Voyager behind tossed about by the nebula creature.
- The Doctor's suture suggestion.
- Paris' holodeck characters offending the women.

My Review
This episode has a particular charm to it. There are many little details which illustrate how the crew is (or isn't) adapting to their new journey, and despite being low on resources, the episode is true to the spirit of Star Trek, for they have accidentally injured a space born alien and now they must do their moral duty and repair it. Beyond this there's not much particularly interesting about the episode, we've seen space born creatures before, though perhaps not as large, and perhaps not as well rendered in the VFX department, from strictly a conceptual standpoint the episode offers very little new material. A decent offering though.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-06-06 at 1:48am:
    Neelix is an annoying bastard. I never could get used to him. Picard would never tolerate having him on the bridge in the middle of a red alert. Therein lies another weakness of Janeaway. I'm sorry, I never grew fond of Janeaway either. Voyager has a very annoying crew, to be sure. Chakotay and his native american bs is highly irritating. Harry Kim is a nieve prick. The only characters I like are Tuvok and Paris.
  • From endlessmug on 2006-10-07 at 1:41pm:
    In this episode we have the classic backdrop of having to help an alien entity that the crew accidentally injured. More importantly we get to see the relationship between Chakotay and Janeway grow through the exploration of their “animal guides”. I thought that was fun. We also get into Tom Paris’ character a little more by seeing his holodeck creations. But the annoying fact that they didn’t have enough energy to replicate coffee and now they’re having fun on the holodeck is glaring.

    About Pete Miller’s comment: Yes, Picard would never have tolerated having Neelix on the bridge during a red alert. But Picard wasn’t stuck on the other side of the galaxy with a limited amount of resources and not much knowledge of where they are or where they are going. This crew has an entirely different chemistry. In TNG the crew didn’t have as much conflict as the Voyager crew does. It’s Janeway’s job to make sure that this conflict doesn’t grow so that there is the possibility of getting home. This means keeping a high moral and giving the crew hope. This is why Janeway let’s things like this go. This doesn’t mean Janeway lets Neelix get in the way of her work, however. Just watch the episode; it’s clear he is pushing her limits. :)
  • From Nicholas on 2007-12-30 at 10:58pm:
    Regarding the second "problem", it was mentioned in an earlier episode (perhaps the second?) when they were short on fuel that the holodeck systems used a different power source to the rest of the ship, and it was incompatible with other systems.

    It was perhaps mentioned more in the interest of future storylines than as something with genuine technical basis, but at least it was established.
  • From themadworld on 2013-12-10 at 4:35am:
    As a science fiction episode this largely fails. The plot is tried and tested, and doesn't provide much in the way of tension. The creature is just sort of there, providing no interest.

    Yet as a human study this is a good episode. The way the various characters react, even the oft hated (and oft hateable) Neelix, makes for entertaining and fun moments, and Janeway desperately trying to relate to the crew all make this a worthwhile experience.

    7/10
  • From edward on 2014-03-11 at 2:56pm:
    What I didn't understand is how quickly Janeway, supposedly a woman of science, accepts one of Chakotay's drug induced vision quests.
    I thought she would just roll her eyes, say something like 'Duly noted' and rethink the advisability of having him as second in command.

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