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Star Trek Voy - Season 4 - Episode 08

Star Trek Voy - 4x08 - Year of Hell, Part I

Originally Aired: 1997-11-5

Synopsis:
A temporal weapon threatens Voyager and the timeline. [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 7.85

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Problems
- Why didn't Janeway change course as soon as she heard the species name "Krenim"? Did she forget her warnings about the Krenim from Kes in Voy: Before and After? Maybe, and perhaps interestingly, one of Annorax' temporal incursions erased the warning from history?

Factoids
- This episode is a candidate for my "Best Episode of Voyager Award."
- Thanks to the astrometrics lab, Seven of Nine plotted a more efficient route to the alpha quadrant. This eliminates 5 years from Voyager's journey. This means Voyager has traveled the equivalent of 18 years. (10 years [Kes boost] + 5 years [Seven of Nine boost] + 3 seasons = 18 years.)
- The temporal variance of the chronoton torpedo is 1.47 microseconds. This is exactly what Kes determined in Voy: Before and After.
- Janeway's birthday is May 20th.

Remarkable Scenes
- The doctor: "Who would have thought that this eclectic group of voyagers could actually become a family? Starfleet, Maquis, Klingon, Talaxian, hologram, Borg, even Mr. Paris."
- The temporal shockwave changing everything.
- Chakotay: "I still don't understand why these torpedoes are ripping right through our shields." Tuvok: "Their weapons are chronoton based. They're penetrating our shields because they are in a state of temporal flux." I love how the dialog is exactly like Voy: Before and After.
- Janeway deploying torpedoes like mines.
- The conduits on deck 5 exploding.
- The doctor unable to keep the hatch open long enough for two of the crewmembers who couldn't make it in time.
- Janeway: "Abandon ship? The answer's no. I'm not breaking up the family, Chakotay."
- Seven: "The Phoenix." Harry: "What?" Seven: "The correct response to your query. The vessel Ensign Kim was describing. It was designated the Phoenix." Harry: "Not bad. I didn't realize you knew so much about Earth history." Seven: "I don't. But the Borg were present during those events." Harry: "Really?" Seven: "It's a complicated story. Perhaps another time."
- Tom, regarding his transverse bulkheads: "I was inspired by an ancient steam ship, the Titanic. The engineers of the day constructed a series of special bulkheads, sort of like a honeycomb, that would lower into place if they suffered a major hull breach. In theory, they could stay afloat even with half the ship filled with water." Janeway: "The Titanic? As I recall, it sank."
- Seven of Nine examining the undetonated chronoton torpedo exactly the way Kes did in Voy: Before and After.
- Paris: "Physician heal thyself."
- Tuvok shielding Seven of Nine from the chronoton torpedo explosion.
- A blind Tuvok, being assisted by Seven of Nine.
- Seven of Nine and Tuvok discussing the "less than meticulous" domestic habits of most humanoids.
- Janeway: "Seven, we could use a little bit of that Borg efficiency right about now."
- Voyager protected from Annorax' temporal incursion because of their temporal shielding. I love how confused everyone got when they witnessed the incursion without being affected themselves.
- Janeway to Annorax: "It seems your Imperium never existed. Perhaps you could shed some light on this?"
- Voyager losing its outer hull.

My Review
This is an amazing episode. While the cliffhanger isn't particularly compelling, the basic story is. It seems that the Krenim Imperium built a temporal weapon and something went wrong. Annorax is on a quest to "restore" his Imperium. To what end, we don't know. But surely the second part reveals this information. Besides the already downright thrilling story and the wonderfully intelligent construction of this episode, there's oodles of trivia, tidbits, and fascinating details. One of my favorites of which is the connection between this episode and Voy: Before and After. Everything is nearly exactly what that episode said it would be in chilling detail. Even the lines of the characters regarding the chronoton torpedoes are exact, as is the timing; Kes said Voyager would encounter the Krenim in six to eleven months. Sure enough, she was right. Another nice detail is the new astrometrics lab. It ties up the loose end left by Voy: Revulsion a few episodes ago. Supposedly Harry and Seven of Nine have been working on that lab since that episode. Additionally, there's the episode's marvelous eye candy to redeem it. Everything from deck five blowing apart, to the space battles, to the outer hull ripping off were all well done. I liked the detail regarding Seven of Nine mentioning that the Borg were present during Star Trek VIII: First Contact, and I loved her interaction with Tuvok in this episode. The friendship they had seemed to me to be a very natural and logical (pun intended) development. Overall, some of the finest quality writing ever shown on Star Trek and it's only the first half!

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Jeff on 2009-06-04 at 8:20pm:
    I remember seeing a big continuity error in this episode way back when it aired. How could they encounter the Krenim in 6-11 months? In Voy: Before and After, Kes' prediction was under the assumption that she would still be with the crew and hadn't flung them so far closer to home. Her boost would have flung them 9.5 years of travel past the Krenim.
  • From Kirk 377 on 2010-05-21 at 9:22am:
    @ Jeff-- Good catch man, I dunno why but that never occurred to me. Is it just me, or do they sometimes seem like they want us to forget all about Kes? I never heard her name much after she left(Not that I expect them to, maybe in this episode I would). But I've still not finished the series.
  • From pbench on 2015-09-03 at 3:13am:
    i just can't believe the snafu with the chronoton torpedo thing. even if the entire crew's apparent amnesia about this was a thing, a 5 second scene that showed someone about to say something about it followed by a sudden shudder/wave from one of the 'incursions' would be enough justification to move forward. as it stands it just feels weird.

    more examples of voyager dropping the ball amidst otherwise amazing things.
  • From McCoy on 2017-08-17 at 2:01pm:
    I agree - there ara major continuity problems here. Even if we assume, that Krenim-amnesia among the crew is caused by Annorax' time changes, we still have a problem. Because there is no way to reach Krenim space without "farewell gift" from Kes. And in "Before and After" such thing didn't happened yet. Answer is simple - it's just careless writing. During third season they didn't plan to kick out Kes, so she was present when Voyager encountered Krenim. But they kicked her evetually, so I really don't understand, why "Year of Hell" was ever written. I imagine something more like this - Paris: "We're entering Krenim space". Janeway: "So what are you waiting for? Change the course now!"
    PS - Don't know if it's just my opinion, but Janeway looks 10 yers older in this haircut. Speaking of which... In "Before and After" she still had prevoius hairs, so it's another continuity problem:D

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