Star Trek Voy - Season 4
- This episode establishes that there are 32 photon torpedoes left on Voyager. Unless they've found some way to manufacture them themselves, this number is WAY too high.
- How could Seven of Nine talk over the comm. whilst she was on a depressurized deck?
- This episode is a candidate for my "Best Episode of Voyager Award".
- The opening credits were altered for this episode. Jeri Ryan was credited for Seven of Nine and Jennifer Lien's name for Kes was removed. The Kes character is actually a guest star in this episode!
- The diagram Seven shows for the "multikinetic neutronic mine" is actually a picture of the Borg ship from TNG: Descent.
- We see Seven of Nine as a young girl and her parents in this episode very, very briefly during Chakotay's invasion of her mind during the "Scorpion" backup plan. Interestingly, all the same actors in the extremely brief flashbacks will be hired again for future episodes. That's some nice preplanning.
- This episode establishes that Seven of Nine's given name is Annika.
- Borg species designation: 8472, name unknown. The Borg fought a war against them which they almost, but Voyager allied themselves with the Borg to stop the 8472 threat.
- The teaser. Picks up right where part one left off brilliantly.
- Janeway and Tuvok aboard the Borg cube.
- Seven of Nine's introduction.
- Seven of Nine: "Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix Zero-One, but you may call me Seven of Nine."
- Seven of Nine: "Your torpedoes are inadequate. They lack the necessary range and dispersive force."
- Tuvok: "How did you obtain this information?" Seven: "We are Borg." Tuvok: "Naturally."
- Seven of Nine: "If we transport 500 drones onto your vessel, do you believe you could offer sufficient resistance?" Janeway: "We'd die trying."
- The Borg ship defending Voyager from species 8472, then sacrificing itself to protect Voyager.
- Seven of Nine: "You are erratic. Conflicted. Disorganized. Every decision is debated, every action questioned, every individual entitled to their own small opinion. You lack harmony, cohesion, greatness. It will be your undoing."
- Chakotay blowing all the Borg out into space.
- The revelation that the Borg started the war with species 8472.
- Chakotay to Seven regarding species 8472: "A species as malevolent as your own."
- Seven of Nine regarding species 8472: "They are the apex of biological evolution."
- The doctor being under appreciated after he healed Janeway.
- Janeway: "I won't be caught tinkering with the deflector when those aliens attack."
- Janeway: "We're going to war."
- Kes, in telepathic contact with species 8472: "They say our galaxy is impure. Its proximity is a threat to their genetic integrity. They said your galaxy will be purged."
- Voyager engaging species 8472.
- Seven of Nine attempting to take over the ship and Chakotay invading her mind, initiating the "Scorpion" backup plan.
The Chakotay vs. Janeway conflict comes to a head here. Interestingly, I think they're both right. I think Janeway's idea to form an alliance with the Borg was the correct decision and I think the judgment call Chakotay made to end the alliance when he did was correct also. It's something of an irony. The two needed each other. Voyager needed them both in command at certain times. Janeway's too aggressive and Chakotay is too passive. But their combined leadership saved the day. Personally, I thought species 8472 backed off way too quickly. They must have overestimated the Borg's ability to defend themselves with the modified nanoprobes. This isn't necessarily unrealistic, just annoying. I was looking forward to a long and drawn out conflict between the Borg and species 8472 with Voyager entangled in the middle. The writers, however, were not. And it's largely all wrapped up at the end of this episode. In the end, Voyager is still in Borg space, but the Borg are ignoring them. Probably because they have lost so many planets, ships, and drones that they're still rebuilding their society. A single ship in their space would seem inconsequential. Most importantly, Voyager has gained a new crewmember though. A human former Borg.
No fan commentary yet.
- According to Janeway, Tuvok's meditation lamp was purchased from a Vulcan master who doubled the price when he saw the Starfleet insignias. Well, the Federation does not use a currency driven economy. The Vulcans as Federation members wouldn't be selling things to other Federation members. Furthermore, the Vulcan master would have no reason to double his price upon noticing that his buyers were Starfleet officers, seeing as how Starfleet officers do not get paid. On the contrary, Janeway seemed to imply that Starfleet officers are very well paid and that the Vulcan master knew this which is why he doubled his price.
- Like the previous episode, the Kes character is actually a guest star in this episode.
- This episode establishes that Seven of Nine's given name is Annika Hansen.
- Species 259 was assimilated in galactic cluster 3. They contributed autonomous regeneration sequencers to the Borg. Galactic cluster 3 is supposedly beyond Ensign Kim's comprehension. Seven of Nine described it as being a "transmaterial energy plane intersecting 22 billion omnicordial life forms."
- Janeway claims to have met Borg who were freed from the Collective. Given her lines, it would seem she's talking about people other than Jean-Luc Picard.
- The opening scene showing Voyager still "augmented" with Borg systems everywhere.
- Kes beginning to display extraordinary powers.
- Janeway researching Seven of Nine's past.
- Kes saving Seven of Nine's life.
- Seven of Nine working in Engineering.
- Kes manipulating the flame in Tuvok's Vulcan mental exercises.
- Kes stopping Seven of Nine from contacting the Borg.
- Janeway: "I've got an Ocampan who wants to be something more and a Borg who's afraid of becoming something less. Here's to Vulcan stability."
- Janeway: "One voice can be stronger than a thousand voices."
- Kes blowing up the corridors as she walked through them.
- Kes throwing Voyager 9,500 light years closer to home.
This episode is more like Voy: Scorpion, Part III, as it directly deals with the events of the two parter. Never before has Voyager done a three part arc before. Interestingly, Seven of Nine says in this episode that Janeway won't be able to change her nature and that she will betray Voyager. When Seven said that, Chakotay's scorpion speech was ringing in my head. I'm not sure if the connection was intentional or not, but certainly interesting. In some ways I could have done without the scene depicting Janeway's private goodbye conversation with Kes. It was a little too feminine and tearful for my tastes. But I understand that it was necessary. It's just that I find it vaguely ridiculous trying to imagine a scene like that between Troi and Crusher, or Kira and Dax. In some ways it felt overacted. In the end, I suppose Kes was given a suitable amount of closure. Her scene with Neelix certainly could have been done better. The reason for their breakup is written off as a joke. And the suddenness of her leaving the ship is kind of annoying. I realize that behind the scenes, Jennifer Lien wanted to leave the show and all, but I would have expected a better farewell. To me, the loss of the Kes character really is a loss. I like Seven of Nine, but I liked Kes more. And I was really looking forward to seeing her grow old like was depicted in Voy: Before and After. Oh well. What's done is done. No more Kes. As a final comment, it's remarkable to note that this is the first of many times Voyager cuts substantial sum of time from its journey due to some extraordinary means. Thanks Kes!
The following are comments submitted by my readers.
- From Mike on 2008-07-07 at 11:05pm:
Jennifer Lien did not want to leave the show; she was forced out. This is well known in ST fandom.
- From JaM on 2009-06-01 at 8:32am:
"Janeway claims to have met Borg who were freed from the Collective. Given her lines, it would seem she's talking about people other than Jean-Luc Picard" Well, she met the Ex-Borg in 3rd seasons: "Unity"
- From Drac on 2010-05-04 at 1:07pm:
Not suprised Jennifer Lien had to leave the show her acting made them all look bad.She and the doctor are my favourite characters so far.Her character held so much potential and she had the talent to back it up thats what i call wasted opportunity.Not like Harry Kim who had his chance one too many times , he should be dead alredy that would make it easier to forget about Kes.About the borg they handled her poorly but i am willing to let this one go.I can tell alredy she will be a weak substitute for Kes.
- From blown on 2011-09-18 at 4:04am:
This episode blew me away. Up in my favorite Voyager episodes so far.
It had less action than the two-parter that sets it up, but much more heart, drama, and ethical dilemma to make up for it.
It was an absolute blast to watch Seven of Nine's transformation, and interesting to see the Doc and Janeway confront the ethical ambiguity of their actions - what Seven of Nine referred to as forced "assimilation" into humanity. Loved this role reversal.
The Seven-in-recovery was a very compelling mix of trapped animal, addict going through withdrawal, and desperate young woman in the midst of a severe emotional and existential crisis. I thought the performance was excellent.
Re: the Kes storyline, I liked this progression as well. Pretty bad ass to see her perform neurosurgery with her mind, see through the fabric of matter, energy, and thought, and ultimately go through some kind of mysterious ascension, saving Voyager from Borg-space (and cutting 10 years off their journey) in her final parting moments. Vaguely techno-spiritual, but nicely done.
The few things I took issue with were Tuvok saying, "there is nothing beyond the sub-atomic level" - granted he's not a science officer, but I'm sure he's still well educated. The comment just made no sense.
Another small point was Torres and Kim's (non)reaction to working with Seven of Nine. I mean, you would think they'd be a bit less casual about working side by side with someone so recently "de-Borged," and so recently trying to sabotage the ship. They were just unrealistically casual and nonchalant about it. Kim was practically hitting on her. I mean, all this is fine, just not so incredibly soon!
Another thing I didn't much like was how Kes unintentionally hurts Neelix physically in the mess hall (though I love how she succeeds in sparing most of his emotions in their "soft" break-up). This "Kes has powers beyond her control" thing was done pretty much to death in "Voyager: Cold Fire," and I was actually relieved when she was finally in control in this episode...so it was really annoying to see this kind of thing start to creep back in.
Likewise, the other slightly annoying thing was how Kes' transformation was destabilizing the molecular integrity of the ship or whatever. On the one hand, I like what this does for the plot and how it compels Kes to leave. Seeing her as a kind of walking time-bomb in the very last moments is also kind of interesting. But something about all that just doesn't sit quite right. It's probably because it's more of that same stuff from Cold Fire...Does *everything* cool that happens Kes have to simultaneously be dangerous and harmful? Why are her not-so-latent powers so irritatingly ironic?
Anyway, I complain about this but as I said, I also weirdly appreciate it. It reminds me a bit of Jean Gray from X-Men and her transformation into the Phoenix force (if you forgive the weird comparison).
So, overall a great episode and I suspect a slightly under-rated one.
- From Rick on 2013-03-30 at 11:34am:
""interesting to see the Doc and Janeway confront the ethical ambiguity of their actions - what Seven of Nine referred to as forced "assimilation" into humanity. Loved this role reversal.""
I thought this was a specious argument. I would counter by saying that sure, you can go join the collective because its your choice. But by the way, if you are willfully choosing to join the collective you are guilty about 100 billion counts of conspiracy to commit murder, so we are going to have to lock you up. The whole reason no one blames the drones is because they didnt have a choice, but if they willfully choose to be a borg then that kind of goes out the window. So of course Janeway is correct to point out that she has no rational capability to make this decision.
- From thaibites on 2014-05-25 at 12:12am:
Wow, 3 kick-ass episodes in a row! I'm shocked and quite happy. These all had action, drama, and suspense. I wish all the episodes could be this good. Is this a turning point for the series, or just an anomaly?
- From Dstyle on 2015-06-01 at 10:07am:
From the moment she was introduced I've had this fear for the Seven of Nine character, which is that she'll serve as the "I know everything the Borg Collective knows" character. I just don't think that's how the Borg are supposed to work.
To use an admittedly imperfect analogy, picture the Borg Collective as a gigantic supercomputer with each drone acting as a single microchip in that computer. Then remove and isolate one microchip and say, "Hey microchip, tell me everything the supercomputer knows." The microchip would be like, "Uh, I turn this switch on when I get the signal and turn it off when I get another signal. That's all I know." I just don't think each drone, when separated from the Collective, can retain all of the knowledge of the Collective.
To use another imperfect analogy, think of the Borg Collective as the Internet. We can all tap into the collected knowledge of the internet whenever we need it. If a situation arises where I need to access this knowledge, say the toilet lever breaks, I can tap into this massive repository of human knowledge and quickly and easily look up a video on YouTube on how to repair the toilet and make the repair myself. Take away the Internet and I'm left to my own devices. Maybe I remember how to fix the toilet, maybe I don't.
I've watched one or two episodes past this one and it's clear Seven seems to know and remember everything the Borg know, which just seems ridiculous to me. If anything, she should barely be able to function at all once severed from the Collective. The transition seems to be happening too easily for my tastes, but I guess I'm watching a late 90s show in 2015, when the nature and quality of television programming has changed dramatically, and I need to adjust my expectations accordingly.
- Paris says: "I've never navigated a transwarp conduit before." This would seem to contradict Voy: Threshold. Not that I care. Most fans, including myself, do not consider that episode canon.
- This is one of the only Torres-centric episodes in the season because the actress got pregnant and the writers didn't want to work it into the story.
- Torres' bad day in the teaser.
- Seven's response to when Torres asked her if she ever feels remorse for the things she did as a Borg: "No."
- Torres' decidedly negative experience on the holodeck, attempting to celebrate the Day of Honor.
- Seven to Paris regarding any advice she can give him regarding navigating a transwarp conduit: "You will have no idea what you're doing."
- Torres ejecting the warpcore.
- Tom: "How much worse could it get? Having to dump the warpcore has to be the low point of any day."
- Torres and Tom having to evacuate the shuttle.
- Tom: "Why is it that we have to get beamed into space in environmental suits before I can initiate first contact procedures?"
- Seven's solution.
- Torres declaring her love for Paris just before Voyager rescues them.
A multifaceted episode exploring both Seven of Nine's desire to integrate smoothly with Voyager's crew and the developing relationship between Torres and Paris. Additionally, the aliens of the week were interesting as well. While I found them personally annoying in execution, the idea for them was really cool. Voyager just leapt 9,500 light years closer to home, and they're still so close to Borg territory that they're still seeing the aftermath of the Borg Collective everywhere. Additionally, I thought it was very intelligent to use Seven of Nine's character to attempt to reproduce Borg transwarp technology. It seems Voyager's systems aren't capable of creating a transwarp conduit. Finally, Seven of Nine helping the Caatati was very much in the spirit of Star Trek, and is just the kind of thing I wanted to see from her character. All in all, a slightly above average Voyager episode.
The following are comments submitted by my readers.
- From L on 2013-12-23 at 3:48am:
Is this the first Star Trek to use a 'floating stranded in space with limited oxygen' plot device?
Was cool to see.
Torres is still incredibly unpleasant and angsty.
I love how Seven of Nine cannot be manipulated by her attempted guilt trips.
- From thaibites on 2014-05-27 at 8:56am:
Well, after three great episodes, it's back to crap. What a bummer! I knew we were in store for a "Seven needs to integrate into and be accepted by the crew" episode, but I was hoping it wouldn't be right away.
Actually, what I hated the most was this week's soap opera in space (literally) with Paris and the miserable one. I just can't stomach this relationship. To me, it's a slap in the face to any intelligent viewer. We're supposed to accept that the ship's pretty-boy is attracted to a miserable, bitchy, HOSTILE, hideous jerk? Kes, I could believe, but this relationship is worse than when TNG had Riker in love with a hermaphrodite! The whole crew needs to get together, hold her down, and have Tuvok use a cheese grater on those skull ridges.
- This episode is not to be confused with the film Star Trek X: Nemesis.
- Tom's over enthusiasm for wanting to go rescue Chakotay.
- The revelation that Janeway and Chakotay are on opposite sides.
- Tuvok encountering Chakotay.
- Chakotay: "I wish it were as easy to stop hating as it was to start."
There are nuggets of gold in this episode but you have to work hard to find them. Much of the basic premise is quite flawed, but there are nice things in the execution. I was especially fond of the alien slang. Unfortunately, the first entire 20 minutes of the episode is pointless fighting. We get a few decent scenes on Voyager concerning the plans to rescue Chakotay. I liked Tom's overly enthusiastic desire to rescue Chakotay. And I liked the fact that Janeway and Chakotay were siding with opposite sides. But again, the fighting took too much of the episode's time and served only to waste time. Additionally, the aliens Vori in this episode looked exactly like humans. Granted, we could justify this by saying there was a fair amount of illusionary tactics and mind control involved causing that, it still came off as kind of cheap.
The following are comments submitted by my readers.
- From Jawwad Riaz on 2010-09-21 at 8:36am:
The only redeeming quality of the episode is the "beauty is the beast" idea ... but the rest of it a re-hash and mash up of so much earlier sci fi that the science fiction aspect of it (the mind control) is its weakest link.
No explanation was given as to why a warring nation would go to so much difficulty just to recruit one person .. Not one of the worst of voyager .. but certainly the worst of the season so far.
- From Wes on 2012-02-09 at 3:47pm:
I do agree that while I watched the episode, I found the fighting at the beginning too long and quite boring. I wanted to see more of what was happening on Voyager and how Seven was interacting with the crew and helping in this situation. Then, by the end of the episode, you realize all the fighting is part of actually brainwashing you, the viewer.
(Just a side thought. Seven's knowledge of all these alien races could really end the need to ask Neelix about anything except recipes.)
I thought the overall idea of the episode was GREAT and something that usually happens to me in pretty good, mind bending movies. Wasn't it awesome how you were in the same boat as Chakotay by the end!? I totally felt the same thing as he did when looking at the ambassador. The point of the episode is a pretty good one and another great moral lesson from Star Trek-- it's so much easier to start hating than it is to stop hating.
- From L on 2013-12-23 at 4:48am:
A potentially powerful anti-war metaphor that was slightly spoiled by where it ended up.
It would have been better if the alien's appearance was all in his mind and they were actually the same as the rebels, but apparently they really do look like that. I guess that allows for a 'don't judge by appearances' moral.
The dialogue was fantastic and gave this episode more of a genuine science-fiction feel than is usual for Star Trek.
If the speech was 'normal' I may have liked this less.
Pretty decent as an 'issue' episode.
- From thaibites on 2014-05-28 at 10:00pm:
I thought this episode was pretty good. I knew all you soap opera lovers would hate it because all your "friends" and their relationships had limited screen time.
I loved how we didn't see Voyager or any crew members other than Chakotay for the first HALF - that's awesome! That's very unusual and helps to break up the monotony. I'll admit that it does start off a bit slow, but once it gets rolling, things start to happen. The scene where Tuvok talks to Chakotay, and we see him through Chakotay's eyes was really cool and disturbing. Poor Chakotay was the victim of one huge skull-fuck!
- From attractionmagnetical on 2015-03-20 at 1:40pm:
I thought it was strange that Neelix had anything to say about this particular planet and its situation (the war, the factions, what any one thought of the other). Didn't we establish that he didn't have any knowledge of the area once they got to the Nekrit Expanse? Isn't that why he did all that dumb stuff with the drug deals in "Fair Trade"? This area is more than just "beyond the trade station" in that episode -- it's thousands and thousands of lightyears beyond; Kes pushed them beyond Borg space, 10 years closer to home. Why does Neelix have any insight here except, as Wes put it, about recipes?
- From Dstyle on 2015-06-01 at 9:35am:
attractionmagnetical beat me to the punch: why does Neelix know anything here? We're waaaay outside Neelix's area of knowledge. I can only assume this script was written for an earlier season and tabled until now, and that continuity error was not corrected.
Also, is anyone else noticing how many shuttlecraft Voyager is losing? It's the third episode in a row where a shuttlecraft is destroyed. I really wish the show took these sort of things more seriously and that there were actually repercussions for losing shuttlecraft and firing photon torpedos and whatnot.
- The attraction between Tom and Torres has obviously been building up a while, but the fact that it would actually blossom into a real relationship was predicted by Voy: Before and After. This episode marks the coming true of that prediction.
- Tuvok's promotion ceremony.
- Torres and Tom finally getting together.
- The doctor enlisting Paris as his new nurse.
- Seven to Kim: "The last time we worked together I struck you at the base of your skull and attempted to contact the Collective." Kim: "These things happen." Seven: "I assure you it will not happen again." Kim: "That's good to know." Seven: "I've designed new navigational sensors. Some of the alphanumerics are Borg." Kim: "No problem. I always wanted to learn Borg!" Seven: "That is difficult to believe." Kim: "I was kidding. It was a joke. You know, humor." Seven: "I understand the concept of humor. It may not be apparent, but I am often amused by Human behavior."
- Kim trying to protect Seven from the electrical conduit, not realizing that her arm can withstand the charge because of Borg implants.
- The isomorph freaking out at Torres.
- Tom insinuating that Harry's attracted to Seven of Nine.
- The isomorph reaching into Torres' chest and squeezing her heart.
- Seven of Nine catching on to Harry's advances and becoming a bit... aggressive.
A decent, though rather average episode. In fact, the main plot was rather dull. It was pretty obvious from the beginning, especially because of the teaser scene that the isomorph was blatantly evil. So the plot turned into "watch as our unsuspecting heros get crossed trying to help evil hologram." More interestingly, it's the subplots that make the episode nicely watchable. Tuvok was promoted, Tom was enlisted as the doctor's new nurse, Tom and Torres finally started having a real relationship, and they're building a new astrometics array out of Borg technology. This could lead to a faster route home, and/or better sensors and maybe even some new sets aboard ship. I even liked the Harry pursues Seven of Nine subplot. Tom was right, the poor guy just has no luck with women!
The following are comments submitted by my readers.
- From Rob UK on 2015-03-17 at 12:47pm:
I think Seven offering to explore her sexuality might be the single funniest moment in any Star Trek, poor ensign Kim missed the opportunity of a lifetime and only Gordi la Forge could have squirmed out more efficiently
Seven "Sexuality is particularly complex, as Borg we had no need for seduction, no time for single celled fertilisation, we saw a species we wanted and we assimilated it, never the less i am willing to explore my humanity. Take off your clothes"
Harry "S Seven"
Seven "Don't be alarmed I won't hurt you"
Gotta love that Borg efficiency, reminded me of those old Sci-fi movies where the explorer lands on the planet Venus and it is solely populated by females and the classic line "Show me more of this Earth thing you call kissing, i wish to understand it better" and other such classic lines that Kirk used to often experience are thrown about
- The graphics for Seven of Nine's shuttle change from one model to a completely different type a few times in this episode.
- Borg species designation: Talaxian, 218. A relatively low number, indicating that the Borg first encountered Talaxians many thousands of years ago.
- Borg species designation: Vulcan, 3259. The Borg must have first encountered Vulcans in the battle of Wolf 359.
- We see Seven of Nine and her parents in her flashbacks in this episode. They're the same actors as we saw in Voy: Scorpion.
- Seven of Nine's negative reaction to Janeway's Leonardo Da Vinci program.
- Seven of Nine insisting that being a member of the Borg Collective was not a traumatic experience, that she was in fact raised by the Borg.
- Seven: "You are Talaxian." Neelix: "Guilty as charged." Seven: "Species 218. Your biological and technological distinctiveness was added to our own." Neelix: "I hadn't realized that." Seven: "A small freighter. Containing a crew of thirty nine. Taken in the Dolmine sector. They were easily assimilated. Their dense musculature made them excellent drones."
- Seven of Nine's first eating experience.
- Seven of Nine's Borg shielding starting to work again.
- Seven of Nine walking through the forcefields.
- Seven of Nine destroying the shuttlebay door.
- Chakotay suggesting that Janeway has failed to change the nature of the beast, citing one of her quotes: "I will betray you."
- Seven of Nine's tweaked out shuttle making quick work of the B'omar.
- Tuvok fighting Seven of Nine. She Vulcan neck pinches him!
- Seven: "Vulcan, species 3259. Your enlarged neocortex produces superior analytical abilities."
A good episode with good sprinklings of continuity. Nice continuity with the previous episode, with Torres poking at Harry for being in love with Seven. And nice continuity regarding Seven's personal logs. Seven of Nine finds Harry's behavior easy to predict. Great connection with previous episodes when Harry lamented about people saying that. Especially when he's in love. ;) Finally, good continuity with regards to Voy: Scorpion. We get to see more of Seven's parents and we get to see the wrecked ship on which she was assimilated. Unfortunately, we don't get her full biographical past. That'll have to wait for another episode.
The following are comments submitted by my readers.
- From Jeff on 2009-06-05 at 12:53am:
I was a little confused by this episode. Obviously, Seven's parents couldn't have gotten this deep into the Delta Quadrant on their own. Did the Borg capture the shuttle in the Alpha Quadrant somewhere and then after getting to the Delta Quadrant using transwarp, drop it off at that planet?
- From Alec on 2009-08-26 at 4:10am:
The flight path the B'omar would like Voyager to follow is shown only in two dimensions. One would believe both races would have methods of displaying courses in three dimensions with how much space travel they do.
- From Vincent on 2011-10-04 at 1:26am:
Are you sure Seven's shuttle changes? I thought for sure that the second shuttle type was piloted by Tom Paris, and that the differences in the shuttles was for the audience's benefit.
- From Peter on 2012-04-06 at 9:00pm:
A good story considering the continuity of 7o9 psychology. Strange enough, the alien race (of the week) was special and had some resilience to Borg assimilation, because they were technologically advanced. How they did that exactly was not explained. Thus, I think some waste of good ideas in the plot. However, 7o9 had to develop herself a bit further. It is a bit annoying that she has to wear this tight suit all the time, which is distracting to much. So to say, she is presented with a body too sexy: her big breasts are nice and very attractive, but honestly, too much for the rest of the story! Otherwise 7o9 has a lot of other potential for serious topics, action, even humour.
- From L on 2013-12-26 at 9:26pm:
One hopes the Federation has a version of 'Everybody Poops' so Seven of Nine can be sufficiently informed of the natural consequences of putting a newly-working digestive system into operation.
They made a big deal out of her being seemingly so mystified by the basics and even needing to be taught how to swallow, no doubt for the cheap 'so this is what it's like to be a human' and 'cuteness' effect, but taken to its logical conclusion, less cute and kind of icky.
- This episode establishes that there are 257 individual rooms on Voyager. I don't know if this counts the corridors.
- Tom's site to site transport.
- Janeway enduring the doctor's "therapy."
- Janeway picking on Torres and Paris for their lack of discretion.
- Chakotay losing his hair, and his rapid aging.
- Chakotay and Neelix competing with each other over their disabilities.
- The doctor hiding on the holodeck in the Leonardo Da Vinci simulation and Seven of Nine the tricorder.
- Janeway: "Don't 13 department heads report to you every day?" Tuvok: "Yes." Janeway: "Well, straighten them out." Tuvok: "Shall I flog them as well?"
- Tuvok getting in the way of Seven of Nine, then Seven exposing the aliens to prove her point.
- The aliens killing a Voyager crewmember. He blood pressure was 360 over 125!
- Janeway flying Voyager into a binary pulsar.
- Torres and Tom speculating that the aliens started the relationship between them.
An intelligently constructed episode that uses the full range of characters the show has to offer and features a satisfying climax. Janeway flying Voyager into the binary pulsar has to be one of my all time favorite Voyager moments. That's just the kind of "reckless" behavior I like about her. And despite what she might want others to think, she is pretty reckless! Hell, it's her recklessness that got them all stranded in the delta quadrant after all. I wouldn't want to serve under her command, but her behavior makes for some interesting episodes. That said, this episode's basic theme has been done before. We got to see aliens experimenting on the crew in TNG: Schisms already. But this episode is not just some blatant rip off of TNG: Schisms. There are elements from at least 3 other episodes incorporated into the plot as well, making this episode one of the best "rehashes" I've seen in a while. It felt mostly original, it was exciting, it didn't center on a single character too much, and the story flowed well. Overall, above average.
The following are comments submitted by my readers.
- From Tony on 2008-09-04 at 10:39pm:
Janeway: "I never realized you thought of me as reckless, Tuvok."
Tuvok: "A poor choice of words. It was clearly an understatement."
Tuvok is right, reckless is one thing, but flying into a binary pulsar is just stupid. It's better to have a few more deaths than risk killing everyone (and I don't think it was very likely that they would make it through, although they managed to do so). One could say that her headace and sleeplesness may have made her more reckless than her usual recklessness.
- From Dan on 2009-08-05 at 8:43am:
I disagree with the above comment.
The needs of the few, outweigh the needs of the many...
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- This episode is a candidate for my "Best Episode of Voyager Award."
- The doctor: "I told you eight minutes on that deck. Not eight and a half, not nine, and certainly not twelve!" Janeway: "Would you rather have an indoor nebula?"
- Annorax serving a dinner of "lost histories" to Chakotay and Paris, comprised of "artifacts" of extinct civilizations.
- Annorax: "Beyond study and instrumentation, there is instinct. Not everybody has the ability to truly perceive time. It's colors, it's moods."
- Seven regarding Neelix' new endurance drink: "It is offensive. Fortunately taste is irrelevant."
- Tuvok discussing with Seven her questioning the captain's orders.
- Chakotay's simulation, wiping out a comet and because of the comet's history, wiping out 8,000 civilizations.
- Janeway going into deflector control despite the fire.
- Janeway discovering the watch Chakotay replicated for her. He disobeyed orders by not recycling it.
- Chakotay: "You're trying to rationalize genocide! One species is significant! A single life is significant!"
- Annorax: "When I tell you that time has moods, a disposition to be intuited, I'm not speaking metaphorically." Chakotay: "What do you mean?" Annorax: "Anger is one of its moods. Anger and the desire for retribution. Vengeance. Time itself is trying to punish me for my arrogance. It has kept me from my wife; denied me my future!"
- Tom: "This guy thinks that time has a personal grudge against him! That's called paranoia, Chakotay, with a hint of megalomania!"
- Janeway's reason for staying on Voyager while everyone else leaves: "Captain goes down with the ship."
- Tuvok: "Curious. I have never understood the human compulsion to emotionally bond with inanimate objects. This vessel has done nothing. It is an assemblage of bulkheads. Conduits. Tritanium. Nothing more." Janeway: "Oh you're wrong. It's much more than that. This ship has been our home. It's kept us together. It's been part of our family. As illogical as this might sound, I feel as close to Voyager as any other member of my crew. It's carried us, Tuvok, even nurtured us. And right now it needs one of us."
- The final battle with Annorax' ship.
- The free view of space with the front portion of Voyager's bridge ripped off.
- Janeway: "If that ship is destroyed, all of history might be restored. And this is one year I'd like to forget... Time's up!"
- Voyager crashing into Annorax' ship.
Well, first let's talk about what I didn't like. Putting everyone off the ship except the main characters was a petty trick and I didn't see much point to it. Additionally, the coalition Janeway formed with the aliens seemed a little convenient. I realize a great deal of time has passed, but it would have been nice to see at least a little bit about how this coalition was formed, or even a few sets aboard the alien ships, or at least see a few of the aliens themselves! Finally, it was obvious from early on in the first episode that this was a reset button episode. That said, this has to be one of the best reset button episodes ever done. And now let's talk about Annorax. We learn the weapon ship was constructed by Annorax because he wanted to use it against his people's greatest enemy. When he did, the Krenim were instantly awesomely powerful again, but a rare disease broke out and devastated them. Annorax failed to consider a key antibody his enemy he erased from history had introduced into the Krenim genome. Additionally, every time he made a temporal incursion, he could never restore the colony on Kyana Prime, no matter how close he got to a complete restoration of the Krenim Imperium. And Annorax had no plans of stopping these incursions until his wife was restored. Ironically, the only way to restore 100% of what he had lost was to erase the timeship from history and undo all the changes he had done. The final scene is the best scene. Annorax is on Kyana Prime, with his wife, making temporal calculations, presumably building his weapon again. But his wife asks him to stop for a moment and enjoy the day. This signifies that Annorax will build his weapon again and repeat his mistakes, but his wife will delay him long enough for Voyager to make it past Krenim space... A brilliant ending.
The following are comments submitted by my readers.
- From gategod on 2011-07-04 at 12:34am:
You do relieze that at the very end we see Annorax reset back to where he would have been if the time ship never existed. Yay great, makes sense right? Oh wait he was on the time ship and time passed for nearly 200 YEARS! Time past outside the time ship 260 some odd days when they were looking for Voyager and inside it past 260 some days... THEREFORE if the time ship never existed he would go back in time 200 years. Therefore... he should be dead at the end of the episode and instead they've jumped the culture forward or backward or some strange thing to make him still alive so that we could have the unique ending... Why not just say "200 years ago" as a little title before that scene, otherwise it is pointless and wrong!
I don't know why you think that is a brilliant ending, can't you see the major plot hole. If they have been on the ship for 200 years or however long it was, then if time gets reset 200 years would pass once he was back on his homeworld so by the time voyager is there... he is already DEAD! The scene they showed of him is thus WRONG! ahhh lol anyways i just couldn't get past that and no one seems to mention it ever. Please let me know if you can agree with that?!
- From Kethinov on 2011-07-06 at 7:29pm:
I always just assumed the scenes with Annorax at the end were set 200 years ago, although I do agree with you that the lack of a caption indicating this leaves it rather annoyingly open to interpretation.
My interpretation is that the temporal incursion within the ship created an alternate timeline in which Annorax failed to achieve his breakthrough to create the weapon ship in the first place, because in this timeline he gave his wife the attention she deserved and began to neglect his work.
Fast forward 200 years, the Krenim's demeanor is all different now because Annorex never invented that weapon and the enemy they were fighting continued to exist.
Overall, I stand by the ending. I thought it was fantastic.
- From JR on 2012-06-12 at 1:02am:
I thought it was pretty good two-parter overall. I really did not like how there was seemingly no recollection by the Voyager crew of Kes' "Before and After" warning about the Krenim and the 1.47 variance.
Up until the very last scene I was expecting that the first meeting with the Krenim would somehow reset. In this last iteration we would witness the crew react quickly to the realization that these aliens were Krenim, and utilize the 1.47 variation that they know about via Kes. That is, I expected the last scene would have been Voyager taking no damage from the chroniton torpedo, disabling or destroying that Krenim warship, and then detouring around Krenim space.
It was set up so carefully and to not utilize it...looking back, it really seems the writers/producers did not want to mention Kes/Jennifer Lien ever again.
- From Rick on 2014-01-21 at 3:48pm:
I think the best way to view the ending is that the temporal incursion erased the temporal core from history. Therefore, Annorax never invented it and because he never invented it he spent more time with his wife. This is similar to what kethinov said above but I reversed the cause and effect because the temporal incursion erased the temporal core, it did not cause him to want to spend more time with his wife. I disagree, however, with what Kethinov wrote in his review about Annorax eventually building the weapon again. Annorax's temporal core has been permanently removed from history.
The temporal incursion only incurred within the temporal core though. If it occurred throughout the ship then none of the people on the ship would exist. Rather, the temporal shockwave hit the rest of the ship and the other ships, which allowed them to exist as if the temporal ship never existed. Took me quite a few years to figure this out and I probably still have a few things wrong, but Im getting damn close to a perfect solution.
- From pbench on 2015-09-03 at 11:26am:
was pretty amazing seeing voyager smash into the ship. i knew it was going to happen and it still made me say "daaaaamn" out loud.
however i was frustrated by the way chakotay and tom acted onboard annorax's ship. as i said in my comment on the previous episode, more rich character development/clever writing opportunities dropped for weird uncharacteristic banter.
chakotay, the way he has been portrayed throughout the series, is extremely loyal, or has become extremely loyal to captain janeway, and aboard this ship--with all his training, everything he's been through and seen--he basically immediately falls for annorax's siren song. it just seemed preposterous to me--i mean i get the plot device of him being persuaded and then disappointed but it was just inappropriate, completely. when tom & chakotay first had their little spat in front of annorax i thought for sure we would get a later scene of them conferring and agreeing to do a good cop/bad cop routine, one of them getting in annroax's graces and the other being the fall guy. i thought, what a brilliant way to mess with the viewers' expectations--because i was insantly cognizant of how chakotay, beyond being strategic, was being more sycophantic than usual. instead we get pithy lines about "you don't understand him", etc. are you serious? CHAKOTAY? with his life story, his experience of the world, hell as a supposedly earth-indigenous character (and that's its own can of worms obviously) who should have a very well-oiled and effective bullshit meter is suddenly waxing (shittly) philosophic about how this guy is misunderstood? when his entire mission is to return to the ship?
let's say he does buy some of annorax's story--the point is, chakotay never loses sight of the mission. he would never have sympathised with, and only have taken advantage of annorax's narcissism in a better story, in my opinion. have the morality play, fine, but this is not the way to do it, at all. if anything they could have shown tom & chakotay colluding at different ends of the tactical spectrum. but the idea of chakotay being whisked away by the concept of playing with time...it just seems so patently naive and against his morals and everything he's come to stand for, it felt cheapening for him to get enthusiastic about it like that.
was very disappointed, and felt like it left a taint on the whole episode, which i still enjoyed immensely but had me shaking my head and confirming yet again what i have come to believe about voyager: it has a lot of strong actors and some good writing, but just freely gives away their potential seemingly at random, which is why it can never be my favorite star trek.
oh yeah and the kes thing. *face palm*
- Torres under arrest for "aggravated violent thought resulting in grave bodily harm."
- Seven of Nine having no sympathy for Torres.
- Tuvok bluffing about wanting in on the dark thoughts black market.
- Tuvok sharing his dark thoughts with Guill.
- Tuvok and Torres talking after Voyager left the Mari planet.
- Seven of Nine expressing concerns regarding Voyager's exploratory nature.
- Janeway to Seven regarding their disagreement: "I dread the day when everyone on this ship agrees with me."
A fair episode with a meager premise but a decent set of details which make the episode quite pleasant. Beside the fact that the Mari look exactly like humans, the Mari are shown to think of themselves perfect; there's a certain arrogance and aristocracy in their behavior which is quite annoying. Fortunately, Tuvok wastes no time pointing out the imperfections in their legal system. In the end, the Mari are a much more complex race than they first appear, which peaked my interest. The idea of a black market for thoughts is analogous to the black market for drugs, or child pornography. This episode makes a point about how prohibiting certain things can have both positive and negative effects on a society. The idea of restricting what people can and cannot think in a race of telepaths has some merit, but it isn't sufficiently explored in this episode. Voyager just kind of packs up and leaves, leaving the reforms and decisions of what to do to the Mari. This is certainly consistent with the Prime Directive, but leaves the viewer somewhat unsatisfied, as if all Tuvok's work to point out the "dark side" of the Mari culture went partially to waste. Sure, he saved B'Elanna, but we'll never know what effect this incident has on Mari culture. Some details I really liked were Seven of Nine's few brief scenes. She may not have had much screen time, but her dialog was well crafted. The scenes at the end depicting Tuvok and Torres then Janeway and Seven both having their own small argument reminded me a lot of the scenes at the end of TOS episodes, usually between Spock and McCoy. The dialog in both scenes was interesting and funny, a suiting end to the episode.
The following are comments submitted by my readers.
- From TheAnt on 2013-10-11 at 12:11pm:
Snuff and stuff for telepathis
The idea of telepathy were almost phazed out of the ST universe in TNG after some early episodes with Riker and Troi.
But here the idea is investigated again and gets a full treatment.
(I am almost surprised that this episode have yielded no comments since it provided both a setting that provide for the hard core trekkie as well as one intelligent story that provide food for thoughts. Said in passing.)
For example we get another angle on why the Vulcans have to be so much in self control. Also one possible consequence of a society where certain thoughts are outlawed - creating a black market, even fetish which we can see in the Mari pusher, for forbidden thoughts and experiences.
There's one thing that make ST great, and that is the message of personal freedom and choice.
That contrast so well here with the Mari society that have developed into such an nightmare of an oppressive state, that they brainwash or 'lobotomise' their own citizens who do not comply with the 'purity' of thoughts.
- From pbench on 2015-09-03 at 5:57pm:
this episode is preposterous. voyager formula: interesting premise buried under mediocre writing, engage!
janeway's lack of real protest to the whole incident was absurd. again, we could have had a plot where the mari go hog wild on b'elanna in spite of janeway's protestations but we get instead a very weak and poorly thought-out version of the prime directive, misapplied. in fact, the only person who gets close to pointing this out is seven of nine: that the real fault here is ignorance of protocol. given that this is a contact between two alien cultures, the premise that b'elanna is de facto responsible is preposterous, since any diplomatic relationship would require the mari to prompt their new acquaintances with this fact of mari life: i.e., be careful with your thoughts. the mari have either never come into contact with anyone before (unlikely given the ease with which they stroll about w/ voyager crew), or they have, and presumably would have had to explain this at some point. what's the true answer? not something complex; the writer's just literally never thought of this stuff. the entire premise rests on them not explaining themselves but since they are so open to communication and *not* a race with esoteric rituals or a deep suspicion of outsiders, it isn't believable. the main investigator is 100% communicative and so this misunderstanding about a major aspect of their society falls flat.
so let's say they never communicated it anyway. okay. we could see the mari still stubbornly decide to try her, as has happened in trek before. you could run with this plotline as janeway pointed out their lack of procedure and the mari scream for blood. but instead we get a hint of a morality play that never really happens, as tom is made to seem impatient or too confrontational. given the situation they are in--lost in the delta quadrant--janeway's motivation to keep her crewmembers alive, especially crucial ones, is multiplied a thousandfold. even while trying to tow the federation line and submit to different cultures' laws, she could challenge the premise of the whole interaction or even threaten to break b'elanna free, after which i would've thought we'd see the clever plot device that the mari have developed to counter-act a full-on direct assault, necessitating the whole careful sting operation.
instead...milquetoast anger and weird acting. and then tuvok's insistence at the end that he would have let b'elanna be lobotomised had she been 'actually' guilty...horrible logic, as he should be able to deduce that the true fault was diplomatic and not merely one of personalities. and then, plot hole covering scene with seven & janeway at the end there...yeah. weaksauce.
voyager is a joy to behold and there are some awesome moments in here for sure, tim russ being a freaking god. love tuvok. but geeze why's it gotta be in such a painful wrapping??
- The aliens use a "translocator" to steal stuff from people's ships, the same type of technology used in Voy: Displaced. It is believed that this translocator is stolen. I wonder if they got it from the aliens in Voy: Displaced?
- Voyager's computer processor technical specifications: "Simultaneous access to 47,000,000 data channels. Transluminal processing at 575,000,000,000 calculations per nanosecond. Operational temperature margins from 10 degrees Kelvin to 1790 degrees Kelvin."
- Da Vinci in "America."
- Tuvok: "Vulcans do not make small talk."
- Da Vinci: "This fascinating conversation has left me as dry as Vulcan." Tuvok: "Vulcan?" Da Vinci: "An island off Sicili, have you been there?" Tuvok: "No."
- Tuvok objecting to leaving the Da Vinci program running on the mobile emitter.
- The doctor forcing Seven of Nine to recount the argument she had with Torres in the mess hall.
- Da Vinci: "These fortresses, I've been to half a dozen of them. All are similar but each is different."
- The glider flight and the beam up.
This episode was ill constructed. The idea to set Da Vinci loose in the "real world" for some comedy was a good idea and the idea to have Voyager pirated by an alien race was also a good idea, but the two good ideas are a mismatch in this episode. That said, there are some entertaining moments. I especially enjoyed getting technical specs regarding Voyager's computer processor. Other than that a big miss.
The following are comments submitted by my readers.
- From Ed Flinn on 2009-04-18 at 8:44pm:
I'd count addressing Leonoardo as Mr. Da Vinci as a problem: da Vinci was a desriptor, not the man's name.
- From pbench on 2015-09-04 at 4:34pm:
a fun enough romp for being such a messy episode. the big problem i see is setting this precedent of all hologram characters being potentially fully- or mostly-sentient--if this is the case, you would think this would cause the crew consternation and potentially make every reset of a holodeck scenario or deletion of characters a murder/genocide. there's obviously ways around this, but it would've been nice to explore some of that--the differing levels of consciousness that a hologram could experience. i believe tuvok referred to this when he said da vinci was 'limited', but in all behavior and action his only real limitation is his understanding of place/context; in all other ways he seems to be an autonomous being. just food for thought.
- Borg species designation: Kazon 329. They were declared unworthy of assimilation.
- The technique Seven of Nine used to resuscitate Neelix was assimilated from species 149.
- Seven: "The Kazon, Species 329." Neelix: "You're familiar with them?" Seven: "The Borg encountered a Kazon colony in the Gand Sector, Grid 6920" Neelix: "Were they assimilated?" Seven: "Their biological and technological distinctiveness was unremarkable. They were unworthy of assimilation." Neelix: "I didn't realize the Borg were so discriminating." Seven: "Why assimilate a species that would detract from perfection?" Neelix: "Good point."
- Seven of Nine resuscitating Neelix.
- The traditional Prixin salutation: "We do not stand alone. We are in the arms of family. Father, mother, sister, brother, father's father, father's mother, father's brother, mother's brother, fa--suffice it to say the list is extensive."
- The doctor: "The early stages of Ktarian development are astounding. Naomi has grown five centimeters since her last physical and that was only three weeks ago." Samantha Wildman: "It seems like every time I turn around I'm recycling her cloths back into the replicator." Seven: "Children assimilated by the Borg are placed in maturation chambers for seventeen cycles." Samantha Wildman: "... Interesting. Well if you'll excuse me, I need to go talk to Neelix." The doctor: "In these maturation chambers, the development of conversational skills I suppose is a low priority?"
- Neelix' vision quest.
The episode was pretty good up until the part where Neelix began to lose his faith in god (or at least the Talaxian version of it) because he didn't get to see heaven (or at least the Talaxian version of it) when he was dead for 18 hours. Frankly, Neelix' spiritual issues failed to peak my interest and as a result the episode largely flopped. There were some interesting tidbits though. Seven of Nine's resuscitation technique is fascinating and getting to see a walking, talking version of Naomi Wildman was a nice development. It seems Ktarian kids grow up faster. Overall though, another miss.
The following are comments submitted by my readers.
- From Pete Miller on 2006-10-23 at 11:40pm:
Another miss? Hardly. This episode not only provided a wonderful insight into Neelix's character, but also provided a refreshing counterbalance for Star Trek's usual cynical atheist episodes. Regardless of your personal beliefs, it gets a little tiring to see episode after episode painting religion as either evil (Distant Origin) or as a creation of ignorance and fools (Who watches the Watchers). I like that Star Trek gives religion a little credibility with a character like Chakotay, and now with Neelix. It makes the show as a whole seem less judgemental. Even the great Gene Roddenberry didn't know for sure what happens after death, and it's extremely arrogant to assert that anyone does.
I love to see that in the Star Trek world, there are still those who hold strictly scientific views of life and death, those that hold strictly religious views, and those who are struggling to find out where they stand.
This episode is a good 'Star Trekkish' episode in my opinion, and really provides excellent character development all around for the crew. Certainly not a 2.
- From David from California on 2007-10-31 at 1:08pm:
Prehaps interestingly, as an atheist I come from the complete opposite position as the previous commento philosophically--yet we both very much liked this episode, perhaps against the consensus of the large majority of Star Trek fans?
While watching, I supported Neelix's questioning of his supernatural beliefs, no matter what would have prompted it. Sure, I prefer for any story to come down more favorably on the side of rejecting religion, but I wasn't bothered here because the logic of the events of the story did not support religion necessarily. That just would not be Star Trek, thank god.
Rather, it was simply the character of Chakotay who endorses religion, and I wouldn't have it any other way because then it wouldn't be Chakotay! His religious mysticism is a key part of his character, and it doesn't offend this particulary atheist, even as I'd believe if he were real that he'd be misguided in those beliefs to the extent he takes them seriously rather than just respecting his cultural traditions. As written on the whole, he's a good and brave man no matter his beliefs, and that's why I like him and I'm not bothered by the religious aspect.
As to why I liked the episode enough to comment here--it was the central plot conflict of Neelix having to choose between embracing life's values or killing himself due to the widespread false choice in people's minds between believing in the supernatural vs. being some kind of amoral nihilist.
Neelix faced this false alternative--which apparently survives alive and well into the future according to Star Trek, unfortunately--and in the end doesn't really appear to be choosing to live out of some "strengthening of faith" as Chakotay admonishes, but rather by being reminded of the *secular* values he can enjoy in this life: the friendship and the respect of Seven and others, having a purpose on board Voyager, watching Naomi grow up, and so on.
Well, as he stood there on the transporter and started to see this way of valuing his own life for what it can offer him--no matter the questions of religion--rejecting the idea that nihilism is the only alternative to it as his subconscious had told him it was in his vision-quest, and choosing to live for those reasons--well I was just in tears over this emotional resolution to the story, frankly. I thought it was very moving.
So whether one's an atheist or religious viewer, I think this little character episode has a lot to offer people who like seeing these matters treated well in a drama. Ok, it's not a high-stakes, high-concept episode, but a very good quieter one, IMO. I rated it a 7/10.
- From Tony on 2008-09-22 at 11:13pm:
To provide more of a neutural between the last two comments. I actually felt that this episode attacked religion more than any other episode I've seen except "Distant Origin," in that Neelix didn't go to his heaven. Overall Star Trek makes it a point to neither support nor regect religion, just by watching this one, "Barge of the Dead," "Sacred Ground," or any other religion based episode, you can see that they never truely say whether it's real or not. This suports the very real fact that religion cannot be proven or disproven by science. I must add, however, that this particular episode in and of itself was mediocre.
- From Tony on 2008-09-26 at 12:04pm:
I feel the need to clarify part of what I said in my last comment. The sentence "I actually felt that this episode attacked religion more than any other episode I've seen except 'Distant Origin,' in that Neelix didn't go to his heaven," was poorly written in that while this episode attacks religion to some extent in a general sense, "Distant Origin" attacks only religious extremism, specifically that of creationism.
- From Scott on 2008-11-10 at 1:52pm:
Harsh review i have to say, I havent seen this sort of episode done before on Star Trek before, although im not saying there isnt one. I thought it was very refreshing to have someone die, come back to life and feel hollow because the death was not as it had been made up to be for all of Neelix's life. If anything spoiled it for me it was Chakotay's akoochemoya crap trying to help neelix find some answers using his vision quest. I was glad neelix wasnt swayed by chakotay initally but the ending was good and it was good to see the wildman child feeling safe with neelix around. Awesome neelix episode.
- From Tallifer on 2011-04-16 at 7:28am:
This episode almost gave us our long awaited opportunity to be rid of a character almost as annoying as Lwaxana Troi. Alas it was not to be.
- From onlinebroker on 2012-04-02 at 10:09am:
Talifer, how can you hate Lwaxana, she's awesome and the reactions of the crews to her are very funny. Plus her voice is in almost every star trek episode, does that ruin everything for you?
Anyway, I found this episode extremely puzzling. Why would Neelix try to kill himself when he discovers there's nothing after death? Discovering that should make him want to avoid death even more, since he now knows there is nothing else!
- From TheAnt on 2013-10-11 at 1:28pm:
Even though I have to agree that ST is best when it stay away from religion of any kind, it do not completely ruin this episode.
Remarkable scenes in my book is Sevens comment that the 'Cadaver have been sufficiently prepared.'
The doc replies: 'And some say I have a lousy bedside manner.'
And I just did love Seven as a party crasher. No I will not quote her, see it for yourself. :)
My personal reason for not giving it a higher score is the lack of continuity - seven present a means to resurrect a person from recent death - but we have other crew members die after this episode without any attempt to bring them back.
Neelix ancestor faith also happen to be a sympathic one IMO, and so it is a story on how to find a new meaning to life.
Here Neelix search for a new crutch is both sad and a bit scary, yet fully believable.
In reality it is a process that often take a person many years to rid themselves of the programming. (Though we here OFC get it presented in rather condensed form.)
Yet even despite the bad trip Neelix get in the vision quest which give him the final push to suicide, Chakotay and the message from Samatha Wildman provide the answer and meaning - that we're here for each other to help, support and make other people happy.
"It is the way you make people feel when you are around!"
And that is a reason much better than any false promise of heaven than all made up religions ever will be able to give us!
- From L on 2013-12-27 at 4:18am:
Quite a touching episode really, and a fine way to look at what can still be a taboo-ish subject - the obvious fantasy of afterlife beliefs and what it means to throw off a thing that has kept one in a comforting illusion. Never an easy thing.
Also it looked at, as pointed out above, the false-dichotomy that people think they have to succumb to - if no heaven (or god or religion), then life is meaningless. What an absurd, illogical conclusion! Glad he saw through that one.
I can't fathom how looking at a thing honestly to examine its true nature can be seen as an 'attack' on religion or something that Star Trek should not do.
Surely it's a self-evident truth.
It's an examination of the fairy tales we still allow ourselves to hold as adults and how that can leave us hurting even more when we need to deal with reality suddenly.
The little girl dreaming of Neelix's heaven was a way of affirming the true value of such beliefs - it's nice to imagine nice things. For her it was a story that took her mind to a nice place, not an expectation about reality that would inevitably fail her.
- This is the first episode to show Torres wearing an overcoat (which the actress called an "ugly smock") to hide her real life pregnancy.
- The opening scene of nightmares.
- Harry's reaction to Seven's request for assistance in the Jeffrey's tube when he woke up.
- Torres: "I wonder what a Vulcan nightmare would be like." Neelix: "Alone, exiled on a planet where the only form of communication is laughter."
- Seven of Nine's diversion.
- The doctor, regarding himself: "No rest for the never weary."
- Janeway: "Either I've become impervious to antimatter explosions, or we're still dreaming."
- Chakotay's solution.
- Chakotay, regarding everyone showing up the mess hall because they can't sleep: "Neelix, I think it's time for breakfast."
There are elements of TNG: Schisms (once again) in this episode with the crew all sharing similar bad dreams and attempting to mutually figure them out. This is an interesting twist to the "illusionary world" or "holodeck" plot, but it got rather annoying when everybody kept waking up, then realizing they were still dreaming, then waking up, and so on. I got tired of it at about the third time it happened. This trick is cheap in the first place and using it over and over again is a little insulting. I commented in DS9: Distance Voices about how much I hate "it was all a dream!" type plots, but this one is a bit less annoying. It isn't centered around one character, but the whole crew. And although the narrative misdirection gets annoying, the plot is overall effective. With a little tweaking the plot could have been worth a few more points.
The following are comments submitted by my readers.
- From Pete Miller on 2006-10-29 at 10:12pm:
This episode is too much like that horrid TNG episode where Riker keeps on waking up only to find that he's still dreaming. Still, a decent episode.
I think there's an unwritten rule in Star Trek that says that you have to fuck up the uniforms later on in the seasons somehow. TNG: Picard's god-awful coat and the extremely loose fitting uniforms. DS9: the even worse uniforms with the gray shoulders. VOY: Torres's overcoat/smock (why does she have little exacto-knife-like things in the pocket!?)
- From David in California on 2007-11-02 at 2:08pm:
I think this episode's plot was perfectly fine as it is, what makes it less-than-effective, IMO, is something I've noticed in the Star Trek franchise as a somewhat casual viewer of the show and not a really committed fan.
I can't really speak about Enterprise as I've only seen a few, but with TNG, DS9 and Voyager there's this chronic undercutting of the well-written plots by an overall directorial/editing style that seems to not go along with what's been written.
By that I mean the directing, editing, and even music just kind of chug along at more-or-less the same pacing and tone no matter if the scene is an added character moment, early setting up of the plot, a twist, a suspense element, some exposition, the climax/resolution, or the denouement. No matter what the scene's role in the overall story, it's all kind of on one "level" much of the time.
On occasion, there are exceptions to the "sameness" I'm describing, of course. There will be a welcome directorial flourish, a small change in editing pace, or whatever. But these seem to be done at almost random points in the stories--whenever, I suppose, the director and others feel there's something happening that interests them in that moment. Or, to their credit in some cases, if there needs to be a kind of "dramatic reveal" affected.
Otherwise, it comes off to me personally as if in particular the editing is done by a machine which doesn't have any human insight into the relative importance or feeling or suspense at different points in the narrative.
Where this most hurts the stories, IMO, is when it comes to the climax/resolution, and this episode was another example that jumped out at me and made the otherwise perfectly fine climax seem unsatisfying and far less effective than it would have been.
The climax/resolution as written, with Chakotay setting things up with the Doctor and then persuading the aliens that he will blow them (and himself) up if they don't withdraw, is perfectly sound, IMO. Problem is that because of what I described above, it almost rushes by the viewer at the same pace and intensity as any other moment in the story, and robs it of its impact significantly, and makes the climax come off as . . . well, anti-climactic when it really isn't as written.
The viewer isn't made to feel byway of the directing, editing, and music that this is what the episode has been building up to, and that this is indeed the climax where the main plot thread is being resolved. The rushed nature of it means there isn't time allowed for the viewer while experiencing the climax to be held in suspense about the outcome, to feel the tension-and-release, or in extreme cases to even necessarily know that this is the climax *intellectually until it's over, nevermind the issue of feeling that it is viscerally.
It's like when there's the sudden cut to the exterior of Voyager and the Doctor starts his log indicating he's woken up the crew, the viewer takes a few seconds at *that* point to say to himself: "Oh, so then the aliens must have backed down and allowed the crew to continue unharmed. Chakotay's gambit worked. Ok." No, that moment of realization that Chakotay's gambit worked should happen while you're watching that go on--not as an intellectual checkbox ticked in the mind after the scene is over, IMO. There should be a bit of tension built up while it's happening, the directing, editing, and even music should be upped in intensity from the rest of the story, and the viewer experiences both intellectually and viscerally the full *impact* of the crucial resolution of the plot's conflict while it's taking place.
In this case, annoyingly, I thought to myself in generosity to the production team: "Ok, they've got limited time to tell their story and there's more to come now, so maybe the pacing of the climax had to be a bit rushed in this case to get in something important here at the end." But then all we got was a kind of fluffy scene at the end where we see some of the crew alive and well in the messhall having a laugh. Was that really needed? Wouldn't it have been better to stretch out the suspense of the climax just prior and spend less time on the denouement when it really didn't add anything substantive? Argh!
Just to offer one more example of this that comes to mind, though I think it's a chronic problem with the show--"Dark Frontier" in Season Five. It's worse in that case 'cause you have a two-parter and then you get a rushed, anti-climactic climax to this otherwise "epic" story.
Other genre shows made around the same time don't seem to suffer from this that I've ever noticed. Off the top of my head I can't remember having these pacing issues for X-Files, Buffy, and other shows in the '90s.
Today, you have a show like the new Doctor Who, for example, where the opposite often takes place, which I think illustrates how important directing and editing the climax in an actually climactic manner is. In that show, often a very poorly written climax/resolution comes off much better while watching because the directing, editing, and music really come together to make it feel climactic. Now, that doesn't make up for a poorly written climax ultimately. You just have the opposite problem--while it's happening you think it's exciting and good and you "feel" it, but then when you think about it a few minutes later intellectually you realize it was lame.
But my point is I see no reason not to always go for a climactically-directed climax. The best case if of course to write a good climax/resolution that works intellectually *and* have the directing, pacing and so on make you feel the suspense *and* be able to experience it and give it justice, so to speak.
So for this episode and many, many others in the Star Trek franchise, I feel that when viewers respond with a "meh" to a well-written story and feel it could have been better, looking for how it could have been written differently misses the mark as far as what went wrong. The problem wasn't the writing, it was the realization of them, IMO.
Please don't get me wrong, I'm not here trying to bash the show. Obviously I think much of the Star Trek offerings are fantastic, and as a general sci-fi fan how can I not love Star Trek? Just focusing on how some of it could have been done so much better, IMO.
Ok, lengthy comments, so I hope that's ok. Probably I've said nothing new to actual Star Trek fans and some maybe feel the same, but I finally wanted to get this out on this site 'cause I'm enjoying having it as my sort of companion as I revisit Star Trek and this episode really suffered for it.
- From thaibites on 2014-08-04 at 10:41pm:
I thought this episode was pretty good, but they never explained WHY these aliens were doing this. They did address it when Chakotay first entered his lucid dream-state, BUT everything the alien said to him was a lie. Were they trying to take over Voyager? Were they just going to wait until all the crew member's bodies died and then all wake up and jump on board?
ST is usually pretty good at explaining why things are happening, unlike X-files where NOTHING is ever explained. They wasted precious time on gay, little vignettes with crew interaction, and the episode suffered because of it.
In answer to David in CA's lengthy comment, the ending was rushed. Why? Too much time spent on frivolous crew interaction. This is the biggest problem with Voyager. It's like they want to humanize the show way too much because they want sheeple to be able to relate to it, but all it does is alienate well-educated lovers of good sci-fi.
- When the doctor dematerializes, his mobile emitter seems to go with him, instead of dropping to the floor like it should.
- This is the first episode to feature the use of of the Hirogen subspace network.
- This is the first Voyager episode to mention the Dominion. The EMH Mark 2 Tells the EMH Mark 1 that the Romulans haven't gotten involved in the Federation's fight with the Dominion.
- EMH Mark 2 insinuates that the doctor's program must not be functioning correctly after having been active for four years. A good reference to Voy: The Swarm.
- Two Defiant class Federation ships and an Akira class ship fought against the Romulans to get the Prometheus back.
- Voyager was declared officially lost 14 months before this episode according to the doctor.
- Torres feuding with Seven of Nine again.
- Chakotay: "Astrometrics?" Janeway: "I've been summoned. Any guesses what this is about?" Chakotay: "None."
- Seven of Nine detecting a Starfleet ship.
- The sight of the USS Prometheus.
- The Nebula class starship attacking the Prometheus.
- The EMH Mark 2 insulting the EMH Mark 1.
- EMH Mark 2: "I'm a doctor, not a commando!" Count 21 for "I'm a doctor, not a (blah)" style lines, which McCoy was famous for.
- Paris: "I'm a pilot, harry! Not a doctor!" Not exact, but I'll count it. Count 22 for "I'm a doctor, not a (blah)" style lines, which McCoy was famous for.
- Torres arguing with Seven of Nine.
- The doctor's interrogation.
- EMH Mark 1 to EMH Mark 2: "You know, you should really keep a personal log. Why bore others needlessly?"
- EMH Mark 1: "Stop breathing down my neck." EMH Mark 2: "My breathing is merely a simulation." EMH Mark 1: "So is my neck! Stop it anyway!"
- The Hirogen on the viewscreen is electrocuted. Janeway: "What happened?" Seven: "I generated a feedback surge along our sensor link." Torres: "You killed him?" Seven: "It was a mild shock. He will recover." Janeway: "And when he does?" Seven: "He wasn't responding to diplomacy."
- The replacement doctor reciting Gray's Anatomy.
- The battle.
- EMH Mark 2: "The secondary gyrodyne relays in the propulsion field intermatrix have depolarized." EMH Mark 1: "In English!" EMH Mark 2: "I'm just reading what it says here!"
- The Prometheus attacking the Romulans.
It seems Dr. Louis Zimmerman finally finished his new EMH program he was working on in DS9: Doctor Bashir, I Presume? :) While this episode is probably too silly, it's still one of Voyager's best. Voyager finally makes a connection with the alpha quadrant and we get an enticing story as a result. This episode is actually one to watch if you're just a DS9 fan too, because it shows us what the Romulans are doing; for we haven't actually seen them do anything since they stepped in to defend DS9 from the false Dominion attack in DS9: By Inferno's Light. It seems they wanted to steal the Prometheus. Unfortunately, neither the Romulans' motives nor the Prometheus were elaborated sufficiently. Like my objections to TNG: Birthright, this episode screams "I'm a Voyager episode! Not a DS9 episode." But we didn't get to see any of the crew alive nor any Starfleet people whatsoever talk to the doctor for any substantial period of time. This is forgivable though, seeing as how this is just the first of many episodes in which Voyager talks to the alpha quadrant. Additionally, this episode introduces a new alien species, the proprietors of the alien network of relay stations. We'll surely see them again; I would imagine that the Hirogen was less than happy about what Seven of Nine did to him. ;)
The following are comments submitted by my readers.
- From Scott on 2008-11-10 at 3:56pm:
In my eyes this episode was a massive let down. Starts of well, get to see the hirogen, puts the doctor on another ship, see some romulans and the new starfleet ship that travels at warp 9.9. Thats where the good ends, and it becomes a joke. For one, why are the romulans acting like kason, there interregation of the doctor was laughable, says everythin bout the Tal Shiar. Comparing the vulcan cousins in this episode to Senator Vreenak in DS9 makes them seem shallow and stupid. Why did they kill everybody and yet leave some bodies in sickbay, one of them who was resuscitated only to die seconds later. good one doc. Lastly i hope to god these are rebel romulans, if not then why on earth do they have the ship instead of been camped in by the dominion or helping the feds in the dominion war. looks like this ship was too important for both factions than the alpha quadrent itself. And why do the fed ships go in all guns blazing against 3 warbirds and the most technologically advanced ship in their own fleet, just doesnt seem starfleet to me. Still none of the attack makes sense anyway. Imagine sisko when he finds out about this ship and that TWO defiant style ships went off to rescue it from romulans. He must be wondering why this information of new ship technology was not forthcoming when he's basically head of the station forefronting the war. Shockin continuity here in this episode, and you almost forget why the doctor was on the ship in the first place when they're gettin attacked. But its ok, this is just brushed aside in the last 3 minutes. You would be forgiven for thinking that the doctor went to an alternate universe alpha quadrant. In 7 seasons id say this was the biggest let down of all voyager episodes. Id even go as far as sayin its a disgrace but im obviously in a minority there. I just cant get over the lack of clever romulans, it just fails the episode in my opinion
- From Michael on 2011-10-23 at 5:44pm:
I don't get how the computer can program an artificially sentient Leonardo da Vinci, Moriarty, etc. on it's own, but creating a doctor holodeck character requires years of programming by top holodeck engineers.
- From Rick on 2013-01-04 at 4:16pm:
Problem: New EMH guy says that he is transferring all life support power to something else because they obviously dont need it. Good point, except for the fact that there were 27 unconscious Romulans that he killed by doing so.
- From Jadzia Guinan Smith on 2015-06-11 at 9:53am:
I wondered about that life support, too. Would they let the tranquilized Romulans die? Didn't they just recently treat wounded Romulans because, as doctors, they value the life and well-being of all species?
Also, the 2 Federation officers who boarded the ship near the end weren't wearing environment suits... how did they survive/function on a vessel without life support? They didn't seem to be gasping or suffering in any way.
I thought this episode had a lot of technical problems. But it was spirited, funny, hugely entertaining... as Doctor-centered episodes usually are! easily a 7 or 8.
- From Phil on 2015-09-01 at 9:48am:
Re: life support, I've always seen it as responsible for replenishing oxygen and keeping the ship warm enough for life. With only 27 unconscious humanoids onboard, it would take days to exhaust the oxygen in the ship's atmosphere, and the heat dissipation characteristics of these starships are never really explained in any detail.
I laughed out loud at the replacement holographic doctor scenes because I've seen those same conversations happen between programmers and less savvy managers with unrealistic expectations. For once the technology in Star Trek isn't just "push a button and then it's all just magic", which I greatly appreciated.
- Janeway: "We know the relay stations extend almost all the way into the alpha quadrant." Nope, from what Seven of Nine showed us in the previous episode, they would seem to extend well into the alpha quadrant. Not "almost."
- Why is everyone so impressed that there's a quantum singularity at the heart of the relay stations powering them? The Romulans use quantum singularities to power their warp drive.
- Borg species designation: 5174, unknown species name. The Borg encountered a small ship of species 5174. They were gutted by the Hirogen.
- Tuvok's son Sek went through the Pon Farr and had a daughter, whom he named T'Meni after Tuvok's mother.
- Chakotay: "It's over B'Elanna. There are no more Maquis." Torres: "What are you saying? There are thousands of us!" Chakotay: "All wiped out. It seems the Cardassians have an ally. A species from the gamma quadrant who've supplied them with ships and weapons."
- The Hirogen capturing Seven of Nine and Tuvok.
- Seven's reaction to being tied up on an alien ship: "This is most uncomfortable."
- The Hirogen confronting their captured prey.
- Tuvok: "I suggest you think carefully about your decision. If you kill us, our captain will hunt you down and show no mercy." Hirogen captain: "I'm not concerned."
- Hirogen captain: "A long, coiled intestine. An interesting trophy." Seven: "What possible use could you make of my intestines?" Hirogen captain: "Unusual relics are prized. Yours will make me envied by men and pursued by women." Seven: "You are a crude species. Only your size makes you formidable." Hirogen captain: "Your insults are as pitiful as your efforts to escape."
- Tuvok's feeble attempt to attack the Hirogen. He slits the neck of one with their own blade. He shrugs it off, picks Tuvok up, and throws him across the room.
- Janeway: "Open the antimatter injectors to 120%!" Harry: "Captain that could breach the core!" Janeway: "So will that black hole, now just do it!"
This episode is more like Voy: Message in a Bottle, Part II than a new stand alone episode, as its events directly tie in with the previous episode. We've seen the Hirogen before, in fact, in that episode. Personally, I like these kinds of arcs. Voyager's writers have shown a consistent improvement in the quality of their writing this season, and this episode is no exception. We get a close look at the Hirogen in this episode. They're a species of hunters. They hunt seemingly any other race but their own. Based off of the size of their relay network, they must be spread all through the galaxy in packs of ships, like wolves. They seek to collect "relics" or body parts from other species regarded as trophies. Based on their attitudes toward Tuvok and Seven of Nine, it would seem they regard other species as lower life forms. Additionally, their strength and size are both quite formidable, as Seven of Nine puts it. A very impressive and unique species. More importantly though, this episode destroyed the alien relay network. That's kind of a severe blow to the show in some ways. I was hoping more than the crew that Voyager would have regular contact with the alpha quadrant; maybe even return home early to join the war effort against the Dominion. In fact, news of the Dominion reaches Voyager in this episode. It's a shame that the writers seem to want to keep the two shows completely separate from one another. But I digress. This was a very successful action episode and the Hirogen were a very convincing villain.
No fan commentary yet.
- The Hirogen hunting species 8472. Awesome.
- Seven of Nine's "social skills" exercise.
- Tom's "look's like somebody lost their helmet" scene.
- Species 8472 crawling around on Voyager's hull.
- Hirogen: "I once tracked a silicon based life form through the neutronium mantle of a collapsed star." Tuvok: "I once tracked a mouse through Jeffries tube 32."
- Seven of Nine firing at a floating PADD as a result of her anxiety. Tuvok's response: "You missed."
- Janeway's story about fighting in the Cardassian border conflict.
- Seven of Nine: "A lesson in compassion will do me little good if I am dead."
- Seven of Nine beaming the Hirogen and species 8472 to the enemy ships.
And here we have Voy: Message in a Bottle, Part III. Kind of. Actually, I'm rather fond of the episode's actual name Voy: Prey as a reference to the previous episode Voy: Hunters. Kind of like DS9: In Purgatory's Shadow and DS9: By Inferno's Light. It shows intelligent writing to name episodes in such a manner. Similarly, this arc writing that Voyager's been using is very effective. Each episode leading into the next, DS9 style. This episode addresses both Voyager's new enemy and old enemy at the same time, the Hirogen and species 8472. Janeway the pacifist to the extreme is unwilling to take sides in the conflict between species 8472 and the Hirogen. She thinks she can use the situation to resolve her differences with both at the same time, but she was mistaken. Fortunately, Seven of Nine wasn't so stupid and saved the lives of the crew. Overall, another nice episode.
The following are comments submitted by my readers.
- From Raza on 2008-03-13 at 5:34pm:
I truly like this episode and enjoy reading your reviews. A point of clarification on this episode review. I just watched it and it was actually Paris who said the hilarious line about tracking a mouse and not Tuvok.
- From thaibites on 2014-08-21 at 10:55pm:
I liked this one, but I was hoping for something more dark and sinister. It turned into a morality play with Janeway giving a big speech about why people need to show compassion to hurt and vulnerable creatures even if they're your enemy. Thank goodness Seven wasn't buying any of it! Janeway's monolog reeks of hypocrisy. She talks about spending months trying to kill Cardassians years ago. Then, one day, they heard an injured one moaning, so they risked their lives to save him. What!?! That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard! So, it's OK to kill them if they're healthy, but if they're injured you have to save them? Just ridiculous....
The best part of this episode was Seven basically giving Janeway the finger. It was nice to see Voyager finally grow some testicles for once.
- From pbench on 2015-09-09 at 1:04am:
love the site and the format and the opportunity to bounce this stuff around. but i must say...
i find it funny that people are so staunchly in support of seven's decision...oh well, i suppose this is typical of the gung-ho american attitude about war and violence, which reeks of ignorance of the actual complexities, suffering, and cruelty of war and treats everything like a videogame. while every viewer has a right to side with any character, i think the show actually deliberately left it far more open-ended than folks are seeming to indicate (that she actually saved the lives of the crew--many times they have wiggled their way out of similar situations, there's no telling what would have happened, esp. deus ex machina wise).
anyway there are more than puerile moralistic reasons to have mercy on an "enemy", and if you can't understand them, i would fear to be around you in a moment of crisis indeed--mentalities such as these have led to some of the ugliest moments in human history. besides potentially serving to create a basis for future diplomacy, there are other reasons to be merciful to a combatant (as shown in the captain's decision to extract information from the hirogen they rescued in the first place).
and then there's, you know, the actual worth of life in and of itself--we recoil in horror at the enemy character who is heedless of a protagonist's whole lifeworld, their family, their connection to their community, their right to LIVE above all else...and for an enemy character we just drop it? scifi fail. this is not an abstract idealism: it is actually the opposite. it is actually the "24"-style argument--the ticking-time bomb that justifies our torture of the terrorist--that is the outlier. THAT is the scenario that is trotted out time and again to justify not defensive, but actually OFFensive and proactively violent systems of control in the real world. THAT is the argument that only 1% of the time is every actually used in earnest, while the rest of the time it couches situations of domiantion, colonialism, and obliteration as acts of 'defense', cleverly framed with that word we all grew so fond of back in 2003..."pre-emptive". pretty soon you forget where the enemy came from and you also forget that you helped CREATE them based on your own seemingly "uncompromising" and "flawless" military logic. woops, just like the downfall of every empire the world has ever known...
operating by a different logic is not naive, it is actually about survival: both in not making rash decisions as well as in not rotting out the core of our beings. if sci-fi is to mean anything it is to show us this, not to reinforce the jingoism that you can get anywhere else in any other media. when it does this it fails and we fail.
similarly, the commentator who said that it "makes no sense" that a person would be treated differently on the battlefield vs. in a recovery or medical situation has apparently never heard of the hippocratic oath, something which voyager itself has covered w/ the doctor in past episodes. again, there are reasons above the purely abstract to believe in a universal right to treatment and care, precisely because differentiating between 'kinds' of patients is a losing project: just like trying to argue that only "certain" workers should have rights, or that "certain" races should (both things that have actually happened historically). always doomed to failure not only because they are narrow-minded, but because they inherently create a premise for a concept of private selection and determination of what in actual fact is and should be a public, and unconditional right. just the kind of situation that's ripe for being abused and taken advantage of! and as ever, that very 'right to discern' ends up leading to...you guessed it, atrocities. we then give credence to the idea that not that we'll learn our history lesson here either...
it is this very dichotomy between the 'savage' enemy and the 'moral' protagonists that star trek, as a show, has almost always been about combating, even in its own, flawed way. i say flawed because it becomes clear over the series how much the federation and all of its flagship crews that we follow are much more the 'pseudo-benevolent empire' than actual protectors of the downtrodden: they frequently invoke the Prime Directive then "must" intervene, and ultimately are obsessed with their own higher morality as a species, something DS9 thankfully was an antidote to, showing that only Earth was a (fragile) paradise, while the rest of the galaxy remained cutthroat, even in Federation hands.
Further, many, many episodes in TNG, DS9, and indeed this Voyager episode itself, crawl towards the very fascinating and necessary conversation around violence, rights, sentience, etc., but many times (and I wish I could go through all the examples here...a project some day perhaps) the script all but falls short, setting up captains like Picard, Sisko, and Janeway to inevitably adopt a kind of arbitrary purist position: "even though this is ineffective/short-sighted/tactically wrong, we must do this." It sets up viewers for this no-win situation in which it appears that plot-wise, the logical choice would have been the less forgiving one. And while occasionally that ambiguity is warranted, in situations like these it is, once again, more than an abstract moral position: the script could have shown the captain's wisdom, that one must not qualitatively mimic that which you seek to fight (this is not a paean about nonviolence, it is about things larger than that, even in situations of combat. think of moments of conflict in world history and tell me this isn't true).
this way of thinking both internally transforms the way you conduct yourself as well as externally shapes your ultimate goals. for it is a continuum between Federation and Borg, Federation and Dominion, not parallel lines...and the slippery slope, as Star Trek and all good scifi is fond of reminding us, is steep indeed--all these communities came from somewhere and made their little compromises along the way that got them to that point.
anyway, once again, still enjoying the series and love the site. thanks for the opportunity to share. peace.
- The set for Kovin's craft was a reuse of the Federation time ship Aeon.
- The first scene depicting the test firing.
- Tom regarding the haggling session: "That guy's worse than a Ferengi."
- The experiment proving Kovin's innocence.
- The destruction of Kovin's ship.
Another episode depicting Seven of Nine having hallucinations and personal issues. Thanks to that, an innocent man dies and Voyager didn't get that really cool "isokinetic canon." And that's pretty much it. Seven of Nine and the doctor make a big mess, get someone killed, and Janeway forgives them. Aside from the remorseful ending, this episode is truly not in the spirit of Star Trek and I'm completely unfond of it.
The following are comments submitted by my readers.
- From Rick on 2013-07-16 at 6:36pm:
So Seven is Tawana Brawley and Doc is Al Sharpton except he eventually shows contrition and never does it again. I think that about sums up this episode.
- From Inga on 2013-10-09 at 4:06am:
I think the idea of this episode is an interesting concept to explore in a TV show. Sure the ending is unsettling, but it shows the subject of pre-judgement vs objectivity, which, in my opinion, fits in Star Trek quite well.
- From thaibites on 2014-08-23 at 6:56am:
"...this episode is truly not in the spirit of Star Trek and I'm completely unfond of it."
That's exactly why I liked it! This episode explores the darker side of our subconscious. It teaches the doctor a lesson in humbleness. And most importantly, it reinforces the previous episode where Seven is Janeway's counter balance - yin and yang. I don't know if this dynamic continues, but I hope it does. Seven is a kick-ass bitch, and Janeway needs her ass kicked sometimes. Chakotay is too nice and lame to really do it, even though he tries sometimes.
Seriously, who are you to judge what the "spirit of Star Trek" really is? TOS had a lot of dark episodes, like the one where Kirk is split into his good half and bad half. Try to think of Janeway/Seven in the same way.
- From Dstyle on 2015-06-14 at 2:46pm:
I wonder if Janeway was able to keep the cannon?
Seriously, though, I thought this episode was awful. Sure the whole thing about repressed memories not being reliable was kind of interesting, but it was overshadowed by a far more troubling problem: namely, Seven effectively made a false rape accusation. The takeaway of this episode was that women should not be believed when they claim they were assaulted, because even if they themselves truly believe it happened that's still not necessarily reliable. It's a very frustrating and troubling message, for sure.
- Torres' holopregnancy in this episode wasn't faked. She was actually that pregnant in the filming of the episode. The directors have just been hiding it when they filmed the other episodes recently.
- Janeway as a Klingon...
- The Hirogen leader discussing with his comrade how the Hirogen have lost their way.
- Seven of Nine being placed into the holodeck in an awkward situation.
- Janeway about to kill Seven of Nine, then she regains her control of her thoughts.
- The simulated explosion blowing up the Nazi building as well as causing severe damage to Voyager.
A slow paced but effective action episode. Only the "Nazis in space" repeat of the blunder that was the premise of TOS: Patterns of Force is annoying. In the positive side, we get to see the Hirogen again, and we get to learn even more about their culture besides the tidbits from Voy: Hunters and Voy: Prey. It seems some of them believe the Hirogen are dying race because they're too nomadic. Voyager was boarded and conquered in this episode, but the Hirogen found Voyager's holographic technology interesting, and wanted to replay select bloody conflicts in Federation history. So they took over the crew's minds and are forcing them to believe they are characters in the simulations. Interestingly, Harry is spared so he can maintain the ship's systems and expand the holodecks. It's remarkable to note that Harry has managed to expand the holodeck several decks to pacify the Hirogen, and the doctor now has free reign on much of the ship without his mobile emitter. It's also remarkable that without the safety systems on, the holographic explosion severely damaged the ship. A fascinating first part to the two parter.
No fan commentary yet.
- Torres' holopregnancy in this episode wasn't faked. She was actually that pregnant in the filming of the episode. The directors have just been hiding it when they filmed the other episodes recently.
- The drunk Klingon Neelix.
- Janeway warning the American soldier Chakotay about the "eccentric people" who live in the "caves."
- Tom: "Boy or girl?" Seven: "It's a holographic projection." Torres: "Unfortunately a very good projection. I feel 20 kilos heavier. It even kicks."
- Janeway's discussion with the Hirogen captain.
- Hirogen: "Sing." Seven: "I will not." Hirogen: "Sing, or you will die." Seven: "Then I'll die." Tuvok: "Seven, you're a valued member of this crew. The logical response would be to grant his request." Seven: "Logic is irrelevant. One day the Borg will assimilate your species, despite your arrogance. When that moment arrives, remember me."
- Neelix: "Pardon me, gentlemen. I wonder if I might have a word with you." The doctor: "They're Klingons. Not kittens."
- Seven of Nine and her photonic grenade.
- Janeway using the range limit of the holographic projectors to her advantage.
- The doctor and Neelix unleashing Klingons into World War II...
- Janeway killing her would-be hunter.
- The peaceful ending.
Why couldn't we get the Wolf 359 simulation mentioned in Part I instead of World War II? I was really, really looking forward to that. It would have made the episode loads less cliched and a lot more fun from a fanboy perspective; for we've not been able to see an unabridged version of the battle of Wolf 359. Also, the death of the Hirogen leader was somewhat cliche. It manufactured some new danger for the last few minutes. And I found it hard to believe Janeway could negotiate a peace so easily even after the two leading Hirogens were killed. Despite that, the peaceful ending was no less gratifying. While giving technology to the Hirogen may be borderline Prime Directive violation territory, I thought that it was truly in the spirit of Star Trek that Janeway cares about helping Hirogen society even after all she'd been through. Well done.
The following are comments submitted by my readers.
- From David in California on 2007-11-09 at 1:31pm:
This two-parter was very enjoyable. I had vague memories of it from when it was originally aired--in particular the surreal image from the end of Part I of the damage from the holo-explosion exposing parts of the ship.
As a fan of "space fantasy" like Dr. Who, Farscape and the like, I especially enjoy Star Trek episodes that find a plausible "hard SF" way of achieving the same kind of general esthetic, such as the juxtapositioning of the WWII setting and the space/future setting in this episode. It struck me as similar in feel to one of the new Dr. Who episodes featuring a spaceship filled with time portals to 17th Century France, but of course using the holodeck technology established in Star Trek to make it less "fantasy".
So my favorable memories of watching the episode 10 years ago were confirmed from this rewatching. Good stuff, IMO. I rated it 8/10.
- From adam on 2010-11-12 at 4:04am:
Are you kidding me? Klingons going into battle against the Nazis was one of the all-time funniest moments in all of Trek! I thought the guns would be problematic, but I underestimated the Klingon gifts of agility, determination, and the element of surprise!
- From gategod on 2011-07-06 at 1:16am:
Don't you think Naomi Wildman probably died 7 times during this episode... >.>
- From Bronn on 2013-08-30 at 5:49pm:
It's nice to see Neelix actually accomplish something useful. So many times he's an active obstacle the rest of the crew has to overcome in order to achieve their missions-like when he fell down while spelunking, or when he stupidly ignored orders and had his lungs stolen. Getting the Klingons to attack the Nazis, that's amusing.
I really like this episode, but I nearly have an aneurysm every time I watch Seven making that grenade. "This explosive will be harmless to organic tissue but will disrupt all holographic activity within twenty meters." WHAT!? It's a FRAGMENTATION grenade, Seven. How are you going to make that thing detonate without shooting shrapnel everywhere? I mean, I get that's she some sort of super genius with Borg technology, but fragmentation grenades are cannisters filled with TNT and black powder detonators-she's just as likely to get her shoes to emit a "photonic burst" as she is that grenade. And when we see it go of...it doesn't disrupt all holographic activity. It just makes a few holographic people disappear, but the buildings and the ground remain the same.
I'm so thrilled that this thing didn't end up saving the day because it's so ridiculous. It's actually kind of a nice subversion of typical expectations for Voyager that she spends almost half the episode working on this nonsense tech solution, and it end ups backfiring on them. It's probably why this ends up being a good episode in the end-they can't just spin some magic science nonsense to fix everything, they had to suffer and fight to finally agree to a truce.
- Dan Butler, who plays Steth in this episode, also played Bulldog on Frasier.
- The doctor complaining about Tom's delinquency.
- Steth becoming Tom and Tom becoming Steth.
- Steth as Paris trying to fit in.
- Tom as Steth confused about his new life.
- Seven: "I would like to know why you were reading the captain's personal logs." Steth and Paris: "I wasn't." Seven: "I saw the PADD. It was unmistakably the captain's logs." Steth as Paris: "You're wrong. You're confused. You couldn't possibly have seen anything." Seven: "You know I possess an eidetic memory. I require only seconds to commit what I see to memory. Would you like me to quote the passage you were reading?"
Body switch madness in an episode that is amusing but fails largely to convince. the alien's motivations are not made clear, nor does the "coaxial" warp drive play any kind of important role. All that's left, is the body switches which give the actors a chance to play different roles, which they do well, but it seemed like the plot hinged far too much on exploiting this plot device. A radical new engine technology was completely unnecessary; instead, a discussion regarding the alien's motivations would have been more suited to the plot. But we don't get it. And the episode suffers. Further annoying is the modification of one of Voyager's shuttles, they built a coaxial warp drive. All I can say to this is have the writers not learned from Voy: Threshold? Finally, Janeway must have been in Tom's body for a short time, seeing as how the alien in Tom switched with Janeway. It would have been nice to see her reaction to being in Tom's body...
No fan commentary yet.
- Seven claims the Stardate is 15781.2 when it should be 51781.2.
- The Borg managed to stabilize a molecule of Omega for one trillionth of a nanosecond before it destabilized and destroyed 29 vessels and 600,000 drones.
- A single Omega molecule contains the same energy as a warp core.
- Omega was discovered "over 100 years ago" by a Starfleet physicist named Cataract. He was trying to develop an inexhaustible power source.
- The Borg discovered Omega 229 years ago. They designated it particle 010. Their collective knowledge of it required the assimilation of 13 alien species.
- Borg species designation: 262, name unknown. A primitive species whose oral history referred to a substance which could "burn the sky." The Borg were intrigued.
- Borg species designation: 263, name unknown. A primitive species who believed Omega was a "drop of blood from their creator."
- Janeway states that some Federation scientists believe that Omega was the primary source of energy for the Big Bang, the explosion which created our universe.
- Seven: "Daily log, Seven of Nine, stardate 15781.2. Today, Ensign Kim and I will conduct a comprehensive diagnostic of the aft sensor array. I have allocated three hours, twenty minutes for the task and an additional seventeen minutes for Ensign Kim's usual conversational digressions. I am scheduled to take a nutritional supplement at 15:00 hours, engage in one hour of cardiovascular activity, then I intend to review a text the doctor recommended entitled A Christmas Carol. He believes it will have educational value. End log."
- Seven of Nine defeating Tuvok at Kalto.
- The doctor regarding Janeway's medical requests for her away mission: "What are you planning to do? Stroll through a supernova?" Janeway: "Something like that."
- Harry: "This looks like enough for a 50 isoton explosion." Tuvok: "54, to be exact." Harry: "What are we planning to do? Blow up a small planet?"
- Janeway: "The final frontier has some boundaries that shouldn't be crossed."
- Omega spontaneously stabilizing.
- Janeway: "Master Da Vinci doesn't like visitors past midnight." Seven: "He protested. I deactivated him."
- Seven: "For 3.2 seconds, I saw perfection."
This episode is a "holy grail" of factoids, tidbits, and general fanboyish trivia. Introducing Omega: the most powerful substance in the universe. Some of the technobabble surrounding its existence is shady, such as the repeated designation of Omega as being a "molecule." If Omega is the most potent source of energy in the universe and it must be synthesized, one would imagine the chemical reaction involved in the synthesis of that molecule would require just as much energy as is gained when the molecule is harnessed or is used in an Omega explosion. A literal interpretation of the technobabble suggests that Omega is merely an atomic structure that requires painstaking preparation, but incurs natural properties that can result in perpetual energy. Obviously this is impossible as per the law of conservation of energy, but when taken in context that Omega is the substance which supposedly gives birth to entire universes, it would seem to make sense. Ignoring the bad parts of the technobabble, the rest is pretty good and the episode is exciting. My only other complaint would then be the fear surrounding Omega. I find it a shame that Voyager has to destroy it. While this time I do mostly agree with Janeway's decisions, I think Omega would be an interesting concept for the Federation to further explore. As such, I found the "destroy it at all costs" policy somewhat distasteful. In the end, this episode opens the door for a possible distant-future series in which a more advanced Federation is better equipped to experiment with Omega, like the Borg have been attempting to. Who knows. Maybe one day the Borg and the Federation will have an Omega arms race? A Trek fan can dream...
The following are comments submitted by my readers.
- From EKH on 2007-12-05 at 2:32am:
So why did they rematerialize Omega?
- From Thomas on 2009-10-08 at 6:35pm:
Wasn't that a bit unfair to the species which is doomed after their meeting with Voyager?
- From packman_jon on 2012-07-06 at 12:32am:
Not the most entertaining, but this episode brings up a few thoughts, like the practical application of the Prime Directive. I don't get why the episode is getting a lot of low ratings - it's a fairly decent one
- From TheAnt on 2013-09-25 at 7:14pm:
If you who read this have a 101 on science, or do wish that a story should be made believable as the actors at least appear to talk about actual science.
Then ... stay clear of this episode and pretend it never happened.
To hear the recurring term 'molecule' is annoying, since what it is referred to either have to be one elementary particle - or a super heavy element.
Sp sadly it is one of the episodes where using the wrong term make me bite my nails up to my elbows.
A 'molecule' is a compound of two or several elements. As such it could provide chemical energy - which falls far short of nuclear energy.
This is completely inconsistent with the claims
of the Borg who are said to have studied one Omega for a trillionth of a nanosecond. The short lifetime suggest Omega is either a super heavy element or one rare elementary particle.
Then the storytelling make an even deeper plunge into pure nonsense when we get to learn that Omega were a primary source of energy for the Big bang. Matter in any form, elementary particles, super heavy element even less molecules cannot exist before the Big bang, so how the heck could Omega have been powering it?
Sadly it's just one example where the scriptwriters failed to come up with a believable story, and just a short reading on some wild speculations in theoretical physics could have provided some really good alternatives to use.
Such as 'quagma' which is a quark-gluon plasma which could have such dangerous properties as is described here.
- From L on 2013-12-28 at 8:54pm:
If it existed for a fraction of a second and then obliterated the research station where it was discovered, how do they know what was responsible, as surely all the data of the experiment would have been destroyed? There would have been absolutely nothing to indicate what was responsible, it may as well have been spontaneous combustion or act of god.
I suppose this means experimental data records are streamed live to remote servers, and they are capable of recording things that happen in fractions of fractions of a second.
And one trillionth of a nano-second is not 'stabilised' by any stretch of the imagination.
Unless they want us to believe its 'natural' existence is even less than that.
Really just an excuse for a cool line that shows how insane this 'molecule' is, nevermind the logic.
Whatever, I guess it's a fun premise for an episode, if implausible.
- From L on 2013-12-28 at 9:56pm:
This made me interested in how we detect short-lived particles, so my lack of knowledge about this subject may have led to misguided incredulity on some details.
"Almost all known particles are unstable, from the neutron with an average lifetime of fifteen minutes to the pi meson which lasts less than a tenth of a microsecond. There is strong experimental evidence, however, that there are many more particles that have lifetimes of less than ten to the minus twenty-third seconds. These particles are called resonance particles because of one of the methods used to detect their presence. Their average lifetimes are so short that normal methods, such as bubble chambers, can not be used to detect them.
Particles are usually detected by using some means of making them leave trails in some medium. Particles in bubble chambers leave bubbles in a superheated liquid, particles in cloud chambers leave trails of fog in supercooled gas, and particles in spark chambers leave a trail of sparks behind them between electrically charged plates. However, a particle lasting less than an attosecond will move less than a third of a nanometer, even when traveling at nearly the speed of light. Most resonance particles have lives much shorter than a whole attosecond. That distance is much too small to cause any trail or spark to form in any particle detector.
A resonance particle can be detected in particle decays when the sum of the energies of some of the resulting particles tend towards certain values. When the total energy (meaning kinetic energy as well as rest mass energy) of a group of resulting particles tends to be a certain value, it is said to be because the result of the decay producing those particles actually produced an ultra-short-lived particle, which then broke down into those more long-lived particles. Their total energy adds up to the energy of the intermediate particle, which is constant."
- Tuvok's "joking."
Filler, boring, and technically fuzzy. It would be zero material if the technical problems were actually important problems. Fortunately, I'm not that cruel. The writers seem to have a fetish for putting Chakotay in strange situations, especially strange situations with women. And because no one will remember the events of this episode at all and there are no consequences, it is not only a waste of time for the viewer but a waste of time for the crew as well. This is probably the biggest filler episode ever written!
The following are comments submitted by my readers.
- From Jim on 2010-12-15 at 11:03pm:
Could I care any less about Chakotay at this point in the show? 7 o' 9 has made half of the cast irrelevant and Beltram seems more wooden than ever. "Forgettable" is more apt.
- From Tallifer on 2011-04-16 at 9:21pm:
Truly horrible. Plodding and lifeless.
I kept watching, thinking that the alien would surprisingly turn out to be a fugitive criminal or something interesting, but the ending was exactly what we were told in the first ten minutes.
Plus Virgina Madsen looks nowhere as cute here as she did in the movie "Dune."
- From Rob UK on 2014-07-18 at 9:23am:
I only have one thing to say
This gets my vote for worst Star Trek episode ever
- From tigertooth on 2016-11-05 at 1:00am:
I loved the line as the alien tracker guy was leaving the ship with the woman: "Oh, by the way - I infected your computers with a virus that's going to wipe out a bunch of data. Trust me, it's cool."
This was garbage.
- At one point, Fake doctor has a comm badge in the simulation. In the next scene it is missing.
- Fake Janeway: "When diplomacy fails there's only one option, violence. Force must be applied without apology. It's the Starfleet way."
- The Fake Voyager simulation and all its hilarious differences and details.
- The doctor: "Granted, this looks like the briefing room, but these aren't the people I knew, no one behaved like this, well, aside from Mr. Paris."
- The doctor, prepared to die and stop attempting to clear Voyager's name to stop the race riots.
- The final scene, reviewing yet another simulation.
When I first saw this episode, I was convinced we were looking at the mirror universe Voyager. Fortunately, I was wrong. This episode is entirely original. The time in this episode is mostly consumed by the simulations. The fake crew was hilarious. Janeway, evil, impatient, and warlike. The crew with their black gloves. Chakotay, with his tattoo covering half of his face. Neelix, the operations officer. Tuvok, Paris, and Kim, sadistic and evil, just like Janeway. The doctor an android. Seven of Nine a full Borg with a Borg assault team. Torres, a lowly transporter chief, plus a Kazon security officer. Aside from the simulation humor, the episode presents a story that is almost epic. The setting is in the year 3000 and beyond! This conjures up all kinds of curiosities about the Federation. Does the Federation even exist in the year 3000? If so, how far has it expanded? A possible technical problem: at the rate of technological progression displayed between the 1900s and the 2300s, wouldn't the Federation extend well into the Delta quadrant by now? Wouldn't the Kyrians et al have heard of the Federation by now? I can see this becoming a problem as newer, further into the future Star Trek shows develop. That said, it's a minor deficiency. I'm personally in awe of the idea that a copy of the doctor has set out on a journey to return to the Federation in the year ~3000. Opens up all kinds of possibilities.
The following are comments submitted by my readers.
- From Pete Miller on 2006-11-05 at 12:18am:
Absolutely my favorite episode of Voyager so far. i too was convinced that it was a stupid mirror universe episode, but it turned out to be much more. Not only was it original and hilarious at times, but it also made huge statements about society and revisionist history, even dangerously skirting the whole issue of Holocaust denial. Overall, it was a true 'Star Trekkish' episode, and those are the best kind! Bravo to the writing team for this one. The only voyager episode so far that even comes close is distant origin.
- From David Chambers on 2010-09-09 at 5:22pm:
I was amused to notice that the actor who played the scientist Quaren (Henry Woronicz) also played the Voth scientist Gegen in 'Distant Origin'. He seems to have cornered the market for playing unconventional scientists!
- From Tallifer on 2011-04-17 at 2:33am:
This one rates 11 out of 10.
The revisionist re-creation of Voyager and her crew is exciting and darkly humourous. "Shut up, Hedgehog!" one shouts at Neelix during a meeting. Janeway ordering the use of biogenic weapons on a massive scale; Chakotay and Harry as psychotic interrogators.
The subsequent historical investigation and discussion was interesting and intelligent. One is reminded of the constant re-examination of the American civil war as well as the soul-searching by Germans about the two world wars.
- From packman_jon on 2012-07-09 at 11:23pm:
Brilliant episode. Tallifer touched on it a little, but I'll add more. This episode makes a nice portrayal on how people have twisted history to be used as propaganda for their own uses - not to mention how people can't accept reality.
On an unrelated note, dang! Janeway looks great with more black colors! ;)
- From Lee on 2012-07-29 at 8:44am:
I actually loved the ending scene with the doctor going on another journey to the alpha quadrant. I always thought a whole series of the doctor travelling through the delta quadrant in his little ship would have been awesome!
- From Rick on 2013-01-05 at 1:52pm:
Huge missed opportunity in this episode. When that female arbiter retorted, "It's always about race!" I was immediately disappointed that they didnt get jesse jackson or rev. sharpton to play the role. Wouldve been perfect.
- From Dstyle on 2015-06-16 at 10:54am:
In the doctor's version of the simulation the Kyrian rebels invade engineering, and after a brief confrontation Tuvok reports to Janeway that the raiding party has taken Seven of Nine and "one of the injured crew members" hostage. Seriously? I know this "injured crew member" is not one of the seven or eight characters we're supposed to care about on this show, but for the purposes of the story couldn't you at least give him a name? How about "Ensign Jones." There, see? That was easy. Or are we worried the audience might think, "Ensign Jones? Do we know him? Who is that?" If that's the problem, use a minor named character like Vorik or something. There are only 150 people on board Voyager anyway (well, 147 now, since three are dead)(oh just kidding, no one cares about them!) and I'm pretty sure after four year everyone knows each others' names.
I know the red shirts are a tried and true Trek tradition, but on Voyager I find the nameless extras to be frustrating. This isn't TNG's Enterprise, where crew members can come and go at each space station stop. I mean, I get it, I do: I understand that we, the idiot box viewing public, can't realistically be bothered to care about more than the core cast, but at least pretend the in-universe officers care about the entire crew!
It's a minor complaint, to be sure, and it doesn't seriously hinder my enjoyment of the show, but I do find it irritating each time it happens.
- Why did Janeway wait so long to deal with the fuel problem?
- Deuterium is extremely common. The writers must have mistaken it for dilithium. It's quite an oversight though.
- Class Y planets are referred to as "demon" class.
- This episode features another ship landing.
- The doctor complaining to Chakotay regarding Neelix and his "squatters" only to have Chakotay blow off his complaint.
- The ship landing.
- Torres: "Take Seven of Nine with you." Chakotay, surprised: "You're recommending her?" Torres: "You said you needed cool heads, didn't you? Nobody's head is cooler than hers."
- The doctor and Neelix fighting with one another.
- Chakotay: "Looks like they went this way." Seven: "My tricorder isn't picking up any life signs. How did you reach that conclusion?" Chakotay: "Footprints. I guess you never assimilated any Indian scouts."
This episode is full of logical and technical problems, but I won't waste my time pointing them all out, for its the premise itself which is flawed. It makes no sense that Voyager would suddenly develop severe power problems out of nowhere. Rather than waste so much time on pointless details that don't make any sense anyway, the writers could have created a situation which justified the sudden power loss. That said, the plot doesn't interest me much. Most of the episode's thrill value is supposed to come from the danger of the planet itself, a manufactured danger. The oddities produced by the sentient "silver blood" fail to enhance the plot, and the revelation regarding what exactly is going on is realized far too late. An interesting note, look at the StarTrek.com description of this episode and the previous one. An interesting coincidence?
The following are comments submitted by my readers.
- From Pete Miller on 2006-11-05 at 9:17pm:
How is a class Y planet the "most inhospitable planet for humanoids"? At least it has a SURFACE! I mean there are plenty of planets that are solely gas giants and don't even have a solid surface. I would think that is more inhospitable than this class Y planet that simply has a bad atmosphere.
The Enterprise has saucer separation; Voyager has landing sequences. Janeway lands the ship WAY too damn much. She is extremely reckless.
The 'backup systems' in the environmental suits was a really cheap deus ex machina
I think it would have been pretty cool if the 'silver blood' was a colony of shapeshifters that had been dispersed here by the founders (as alluded to in ds9) and had made their home in the delta quadrant. Can you imagine the possibilities if Voyager had allied with some of the shapeshifters here and brought them back with them, only to find that the Federation had been at war with the Gamma Quadrant shapeshifters when they got back? Oh well. Just the dreams of a ds9 fan...
- From TheAnt on 2013-10-12 at 2:19pm:
Harry gets a mudbath
Kethinov and Miller got it right, deuterium is not that horribly uncommon. And the planet itself only appear to be no worse than Venus.
Another detail I find unbelievable is that life support appear to take such an extreme amount of energy, we've heard it in other episodes also. As much as lasers, the warp drive and what's not.
In fact life support could only be a negligible amount compared to those systems - or to put it differently, several magnitudes less.
And so shutting down life support as here, and in a few other episodes should not make any significant contribution.
In short, you might skip this episode with extreme prejudice. Unless you're doing a study where ST loose track and derail completely.
- From L on 2013-12-29 at 1:23am:
The basic concept would have been interesting in TOS, less so here.
- From Alex on 2014-05-18 at 8:14pm:
So Pete you wish that Voyager had brought back evidence of shapeshifters back from the delta quadrant.Personally the less Voyager had to do with a certain pile of overrated dog mess like DS9 the better,You can keep that rubbish.
- From Dstyle on 2015-06-16 at 9:58am:
Woah ho! Some fighting words from Alex!
I don't see why we need to see the build up to the power problems: that seems too nitpicky of a complaint and would have made for boring television. Things happen off-screen and between episodes all the time. I'd much rather be dropped into the story right at the point of dramatic tension than watch all the buildup. And honestly, Voyager needs more episodes like this: it's too much like TNG v2.0, with the whole "limited resources" thing taking a backseat to holodecks and frivolous side-trips and whatnot. Voyager's hulls needs scars and dents. It was refreshing to see them running in "gray mode" for once.
No, the real problem with the episode is it is poorly written. Janeway doesn't want to risk losing Chakotay by sending him down to the surface in a shuttle... so she decided to land the ship? (Seriously, writers, if you want to land the ship so badly just make it so their orbit was deteriorating and they didn't have power to correct it so they had no option. No captain in their right mind would put their entire crew at risk like that, and no officer on the bridge would ever let them) Then when the ship starts sinking into a mystery fluid on the surface, Janeway... goes to sickbay to check on Harry and Tom? C'mon Captain, your ship and everyone on it is in mortal peril: maybe you should be on the bridge trying to save them, i.e. DOING YOUR JOB.
In the hands of a better writer this premise could have made for a better than average episode, but, like Voyager in a pool of silver blood, this episode sank quickly. I'd rate it a 3.
- Once when Seven of Nine was a drone, she was separated from the Collective for two hours. She experienced panic and apprehension.
- Seven of Nine interrogating the holographic crew.
- The false alarm.
- The glitchy computer.
- Seven of Nine sucking the air out of the bridge.
A respectable episode with a decent premise but a poor execution. I was looking forward to watching Seven of Nine and the doctor maintain the ship as it passed through the nebula, but the writers unfortunately had to lean on the illusions crutch again to spice up what they perceived as a dull plot. With a little more effort, the premise would have been all the plot we needed instead of relying on cliches. That said, even the premise can be attacked somewhat. I find Voyager's "the only way out is through" mentality annoying. Space is incredibly vast. If there's no way around something, it must extend in every direction for hundreds, probably thousands of light years, and Voyager must be approaching it from its center. This happens routinely; alien territories, spacial anomalies, and Voyager always seems to clear it by the end of the episode. It gets old. Based on the diagrams shown in astrometrics, I don't see why Voyager couldn't have flown above or below the nebula; it was clearly longer than it was tall. This episode does, however, contribute to Seven of Nine's personality development. After this experience, she understands the need for companionship and doesn't consider it as trivial as she did at the beginning of the episode.
The following are comments submitted by my readers.
- From Dstyle on 2015-06-16 at 8:59am:
Why does Seven (and sometimes Harry) seem to be the only person who ever does any work in the astrometrics lab? It's like that room was just empty space until Seven arrived. I mean, do the Delaney sisters EVER show up to their shifts?
- From Jadzia Guinan Smith on 2015-06-16 at 9:34am:
Lal + Hugh = One
- From Dstyle on 2015-06-16 at 11:52am:
Seven of Nine rushes to the bridge with a dermal re-generator after the ship flies into the nebula and the crew starts reeling from the effects. She flips over a nameless red shirt, face horribly burnt, and looks up as the camera zooms in on her face. "He's dead," she says. The music swells dramatically and the scene ends, unfortunately cutting off the rest of her speech. "He's dead," she says. "Fortunately I have already demonstrated that my superior Borg technology can bring him back from what you call 'death.' Hopefully he doesn't suffer a tedious crisis of faith, like Nelix did a dozen episodes ago, earlier this season. Hey, you guys remember I can bring people back from the dead, right? Guys? Seriously, it was just a couple of episodes ago. [looks down at the crew member again] Oh wait, this one isn't important. I don't even know his name. Never mind."
- Voyager remained in the slipstream for an hour before it collapsed and bridged 300 light years. Why can't they just continue to run it for hour-long bursts? They could be home in only 200 jumps! Maybe the damaging effect of the slipstream on Voyager is cumulative. This would seem to be supported by Seven of Nine's statement that she must design a "new method" by which to travel through slipstream.
- Was Voyager's slipstream faster than the Dauntless? The fake message from the admiral claimed a trip to Earth would take a full 3 months. But at a continuous 300 light years per hour, the trip would take only ~8 days. ~16 if they went at half that speed, and ~32 if they went at a quarter that speed. Certainly not three months!
- Borg species designation: 116, name unknown. Arturis' people. Assimilated by the Borg when species 8472 lost the war against the Borg. The assimilation of species 116 necessitated hundreds of cubes.
- The Dauntless' registry was NX-01A. This would indicate that the first Federation ship ever built was named Dauntless. Though it also could mean nothing seeing as how the ship is a fake.
- Quantum slipstream is similar to Borg transwarp, according to Seven of Nine.
- The fake message from the admiral said a slipstream trip back to earth would take a full three months.
- Janeway is shot during transport in this episode and is not affected.
- The opening scene with Seven of Nine and Janeway playing Velocity.
- Tom, upon boarding the Federation ship: "Wow." Tuvok: "Wow, indeed."
- Seven: "I will survive." Janeway: "On what? Borg perfection?" Seven: "Precisely."
- Arturis' betrayal.
- Janeway's innovative trick to use the Borg technology within Seven of Nine to let her pass through the forcefield.
- Janeway: "Understand?" Seven: "No. However if we are assimilated, our thoughts will become one and I'm sure I will understand you perfectly... A joke, captain. You yourself have encouraged me to use my sense of humor."
- Arturis' arrival in Borg space.
A fascinating episode introducing a new engine technology. "New warp drive of the week" is not an unfamiliar concept to Star Trek, as evidenced by episodes like TNG: New Ground (soliton wave), TNG: Descent (Borg transwarp), Voy: Caretaker (the Caretaker's array), Voy: Prime Factors (extreme long range transporter), Voy: Threshold (ugh), and Voy: Vis a Vis (coaxial warp); and then there's conventional means like wormholes, time travel, or supernatural entities like Q, but this is the first episode to introduce a new technology aside from Borg transwarp that has the prospect of being used again. The soliton wave in TNG was a flawed concept, the Caretaker's array was destroyed, the long range transporter in Voy: Prime Factors was dependent on natural phenomena, though the aliens could have sent Voyager home if they themselves were actually willing, Voy: Threshold... well let's just forget about Voy: Threshold, and we're not entirely sure what happened to the coaxial warp drive in Voy: Vis a Vis. As you can see, Voyager abuses "new drive of the week" more than any other show, thankfully not in this case. Unlike Voy: Vis a Vis, it is made clear at the end of this episode that Voyager has retained detailed specifications regarding the quantum slipstream drive and that they intend to hopefully use it again some day. Techno ranting aside, suffice it to say I liked the "new drive of the week" in both concept and execution in this episode quite a bit. The episode itself is memorable, fast paced, and action packed. Aturis was an interesting character who I believe was wasted. Then again, adding him to Voyager's crew would solve all their problems immediately, and we wouldn't want that, now would we? ;)
The following are comments submitted by my readers.
- From Wes on 2012-02-25 at 4:31pm:
I don't know about this for a last episode of the season, but I thought the ship was awesome. The outer hull design seems similar to how the crew ends up designing the delta flyer.
- From Rick on 2013-01-06 at 3:34am:
Wait, let me get this straight. They traveled all the way back to borg space and then only picked up 300 light years on the return trip? So the whole Kes thing is now irrelevant, and they are right back where they started before that?
I originally understood the situation to mean that they picked up 300 light years from where they were when they started using slipstream. This would imply that in an hour they traveled over 10k light years but who knows, the message about 3mos was fake. Either way, both ships traveled over 10k light years to get back to borg space. So what the heck is goin on here
- From SilverDragonRed on 2013-10-11 at 12:20pm:
The mystery that this episode fell apart as soon as you hear the 'recording' from admiral windbag in the magic meeting room. His stated speed of 240,000 c(60,000 lys in 3 months) doesn't gel with the actual demonstrated speed of the Dauntless: 15,768,000 c(15 lys in 30 seconds). So, the reveal that Arturis had planned a trap for him wasn't really shocking. It was neat to see a species that didn't view the Borg in the same way as the rest of the galaxy.
Kethinov, the return trip to Earth with quantum slipstream would take 2 days at most.
- From Jadzia Guinan Smith on 2015-06-14 at 1:22pm:
Somehow, I don’t think they went “back” to Borg space. I think writers were just sloppy in how they used the term “Borg Space.” It seems to refer simply to a region of space where all of the civilizations have been assimilated by Borg, rather than what we saw in Unity, Scorpion,etc., where it seemed they were talking about the Borg’s native space or headquarters, or something to that effect. So, I think it’s intended that Voyager is now 300 light years closer to the Alpha Quadrant since the beginning of the episode. Of course, my interpretation creates an equally large problem: encountering a region of space so deeply affected by the Borg and their conflict with Species 8472, after Kes threw them “safely out of Borg space” so many months ago. It’s all a confused mess, which makes it hard for me to give the episode quite the high marks that Kethinov gave it.
But, I must say, the quantum slipstream is super cool. And, I like the idea that in the conflict between Borg and Species 8472, there are those who would have struck a “bargain with the Devil” a la Janeway, but they would choose the opposite devil to bargain with! It reminds us of the moral and tactical messiness of war. The other thing I like is the development of Captain and Seven’s relationship. It’s a nice tension between mutual exasperation and respect; of conflict and harmony (or at least the aspiration to harmony).
- From Dstyle on 2015-07-01 at 11:38am:
Voyager fires photon torpedoes while they're in the slipstream! Those torpedoes must've been going awful fast!
- From tigertooth on 2016-11-10 at 9:34am:
Mostly good, though I didn't like when Janeway confronted Arturis. They surprise him with a full security detail, but still can't stop him from pulling off a panel, pulling a big lever, and then erecting forcefields. Geez, I guess when he said early in the episode that some species have physical strength and some have strong mental capabilities, he was talking about himself in both cases. Seems they could have gotten around this if he had just issued a voice command.
Also, I hope Seven never gets trapped by a forcefield again. If all it takes is a little tinkering with a filament to get through one, then she should always be prepared to repeat the trick.