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Star Trek Voy - Season 6 - Episode 12

Star Trek Voy - 6x12 - Blink of an Eye

Originally Aired: 2000-1-19

Synopsis:
Voyager encounters a strange new world. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 5.84

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 54 0 5 3 1 17 3 8 16 35 49

Problems
- Why doesn't Voyager send sped up messages to the planet so that they can communicate with them?

Factoids
- This episode is quite similar in both name and plot to TOS: Wink of an Eye.
- Seven said: "For each second that goes by on Voyager, nearly a day goes by on the planet."

Remarkable Scenes
- Tom: "That's one planet that never showed up on the multiple choice exam."
- Chakotay: "A few hours? We might miss the rise and fall of a civilization." Torres: "So we'll watch the next one."
- The doctor: "What if they're big purple blobs of protoplasm?" Janeway: "Then you'll be the best looking blob on the planet."
- The doctor's three second away mission, the return failure, and the subsequent scramble to get him back before too much time had passed.
- Naomi regarding the name of her report: "How does this sound? The weird planet where time moves very fast and so do the people who live there, by Naomi Wildman." Seven: "Your title is... verbose. I suggest you try to condense it." Naomi: "The weird planet." Seven: "Better. But it lacks precision. The weird planet displaced in time?" Naomi: "Perfect."
- The first alien space vehicle approaching to and docking with Voyager.
- The aliens collapsing on the bridge and transitioning into Voyager's timeframe.
- The attack on Voyager.
- The aliens making first contact in advanced space ships, pulling Voyager out of orbit of their planet.

My Review
Add this species to the list I hope we see again, like the Voth. This episode was excellent in many ways. First, it's important to point out that the very premise of the episode is fascinating. An extremely fast rotating planet, affected by spatial anomalies on which time moves extremely fast. Truly science fiction at its best. Second, the idea to place a civilization on this planet may have been a little convenient, but it's exploited well. Chakotay's admittedly brief anthropological enthusiasm works much better in this episode than in Voy: One Small Step, and the implications of watching this entire civilization evolve are both enormous and fun to watch. Finally, another nice detail is that Voyager stays true to the Prime Directive all throughout. I enjoyed the fact that the interaction between Voyager and the planet was initiated by the aliens, not by Voyager. Overall the episode was well above average.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From TheAnt on 2013-10-09 at 5:54am:
    This is one of the very best Voyager episodes, and that on several levels.
    One good touch is that we get to experience the development and speculation of the alien race on the nature of Voyager.
    And we are presented with a good idea that provides a sense of wonder.

    (Though not completely original, the compressed time theme have been used in at least one novel about life on one neutron star, and this is also to some part reminiscent of "Mission of Gravity" by Harry 'Hal' Clement.)

    The problem I see is why the visiting astronauts would be slowed down as much as they are unable to communicate with their mission control. Yet get to see the crew of Voyager frozen to statues?
    But it provide with some cool scenes so I can let that detail pass.

    Full score and a must see IMO.
  • From Fic on 2014-02-16 at 5:41am:
    I absolutely loved this episode. However, I'm surprised that a rather sizable problem hasn't been picked up.

    I'm not sure if the time rate differential is quite consistent throughout the episode.

    If one second is nearly a day as Seven points out, then surely a few hours wouldn't represent the "rise and fall of a civilization" as Chakotay says... a few hours would be equal a similar number of decades! Above all: how much time in Earth years would have passed between the primitive civilization we encounter at the start of the episode, and the highly advanced civilization who tug Voyager free? 3000? 4000? Let's say the former - on Voyager, this would correspond to two weeks. Were they really stuck in orbit that long? I guess one could check stardates and all, but my impression was that they were there for a couple of days. The only way to explain this away is to state that the development of the civilization was hugely accelerated by Voyager's presence, such that they went through millennia of Earth's development in several centuries. Possible, but it would have been nice to clarify.

    Of course, this doesn't detract from the fact that the episode is one of the Voyager episodes that will stick with me - in fact, on my recent revisitation of the series, I was eagerly awaiting "The weird planet displaced in time"... ;-)

    To sum it up, it's a 9 for me.
  • From Mike on 2017-06-03 at 10:16pm:
    I agree this is fantastic science fiction. This is Voyager's Darmok: an encounter with a unique species (or rather, their unique world) that is difficult to make contact with but ultimately efforts are successful.

    The episode is fascinating on many levels. The rapidly rotating world was amazing to see. The progress of a civilization, and how Voyager was perceived at different stages of that progress, was also remarkably shown in such a short time. I also liked the episode's showing how cultural taboos are formed, in this case a taboo developed around the eating of "fire fruit" as a result of Voyager's arrival and the tremors coinciding with an offering containing fire fruits. And like you say the idea of having the inhabitants make contact with Voyager, initially out of sync, was a very nice twist.

    In response to Fic: if we assume Voyager is using Earth measurements of time in its conversion, then one "Earth day" seems to be approximately 250 years. That is enough time for a civilization to rise and fall as we've had many in our history that didn't last that long. So Chakotay's assessment is possible.

    As for the other point, I think the episode drops a few hints agreeing with your reasoning as to why the species goes from Stone Age to warp-capable in a few centuries. The desire to signal, contact, and eventually reach Voyager has been their collective focus for generations. It fueled their progress. When Voyager is under attack, Chakotay says that they've done enough damage to the inhabitants over the last thousand years. Even if he's using that figuratively, it implies that Voyager has been in orbit for 3 or 4 days. That seems about right.

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