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Star Trek Voy - Season 1

Star Trek Voy - 1x01 - Caretaker, Part I

Originally Aired: 1995-1-16

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

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 6.2

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 24 4 2 4 10 3 9 27 40 19 19

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

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

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

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

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From endlessmug on 2006-10-07 at 5:25am:
    The first episode of Voyager was better than I thought it would be. After hearing so many people talk about how horrible the show was, it actually had a pretty good start.

    (And on your note about Locarno/Paris: I also hate when they don't reuse a character when it's played by the same actor and basically acts the same. Would it really hurt to put in some continuity into the show?)
  • From Avril on 2006-11-22 at 3:11pm:
    In regaurds to Nicholas Locarno, they originally wanted to use the charactor but they would've had to pay royalties to the writer of the original episode everytime Paris was on screen. So instead they used the same idea but a different name to avoid this.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-10-22 at 11:06am:
    Dear Kethinov:

    Concerning DS9: Emissary, you state:

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

    Concerning this episode you state:

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

    OK, you're up. Which is it? Which series has the better pilot: Voyager or DS9? I would readily admit that either is superior to the pilot for either TNG or TOS. TNG's pilot, TNG: Adventure at Farpoint was OK, but not great in my view. TOS's pilot (which I suppose would be "TOS: The Cage) was bad.
  • From Kethinov on 2011-10-22 at 5:04pm:
    Voyager's. But DS9's was my favorite until Voyager's aired.
  • From wes on 2012-01-13 at 5:36pm:
    It seems a problem of continuity that Tuvok is called "Lieutenant" and not "Commander," while his rank is Lt. Commander. This is a bit annoying to me for two reasons.

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

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

    This seems to demean Tuvok's rank more than anything. It's unfortunate.
  • From Brian on 2013-09-11 at 12:15am:
    Actually, the reason they didn't use Nicholas Locarno as a name was to avoid paying royalties to the guy that came up with the character.
  • From Edwin on 2014-08-07 at 11:06pm:
    To correct one of your factoids, Quark is actually the second character to appear in all three 24th Century Trek series, the first is the Cardassian Gul Evek who is briefly seen in the pre-credits sequence of Caretaker. He had previously appeared in several episodes of TNG Season 7 and DS9 Season 2.
  • From Axel on 2015-06-07 at 3:59am:
    Say what you want about Voyager, but I think they are the only Star Trek series to have a pretty solid first season. It took TOS and TNG quite a while to get it right. DS9 and ENT started out decently but really didn't get good until late first season. Voyager did a great job and I think this is without question the best pilot in Star Trek. Fantastic premise, fantastic two-parter and very well executed. I like Janeway's speech about the two crews working together and continuing the mission while also searching for a quicker way home. Sets up the series nicely.

    On a side note: Gul Evek has also appeared in all three Star Trek series during this time. He was in this, he was in DS9: The Maquis and Tribunal, and he was in both TNG: Preemptive Strike and TNG: Journey's End.
  • From Nightangel on 2017-02-14 at 8:47am:
    Just to let you know, the reason why they didn't use Nicholas Locarno is because then they would have to pay royalties to the writers of the episode of TNG that he was featured in. So... they created Tom Paris as a replacement... giving him the exact same backstory as Locarno, and even hiring the same actor.
  • From Ensign Obummer on 2022-02-02 at 8:43pm:
    So about the royalties thing, while it is true that writers back then got these royalties...from the various interviews and statements from the actor about his role Tom Paris it seems they wanted to make a similar character and only later decided to use the same actor.
    It is a fun rumor to say they changed the name to save what... 10 grand ? per season, but I think it is not true.

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Star Trek Voy - 1x02 - Caretaker, Part II

Originally Aired: 1995-1-16

The crew races to save Torres and Kim. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 5.02

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 32 1 29 4 16 5 16 17 31 14 16


- Voyager's transporter system seems to be more advanced than that employed by TNG, as noted by the new visual effect.
- This episode establishes that the Ocampa live only nine years.
- Janeway claims it would take 75 years to reach Earth from their current position. An accurate approximation.

Remarkable Scenes
- Neelix' introduction.
- Neelix' reaction to the transporter.
- Tuvok suggesting to Neelix that he take a bath.
- Neelix indulging himself in his quarters.
- Neelix annoying Tuvok.
- Neelix' successful manipulation of the events to save Kes.
- Janeway pulling the plug on the doctor.
- Tuvok discovering that the caretaker is dying.
- Paris saving Chakotay.
- The huge Kazon ship.
- Chakotay: "Tell one of your crackerjack Starfleet transporter chiefs to keep a lock on me!"
- Chakotay crashing his ship into the huge Kazon vessel.
- The Kazon ship crashing into the array.
- The Caretaker's final words.
- Janeway destroying the array.

My Review
Following in the tradition of the first part, Neelix and Kes are introduced very nicely in this episode. I like how Chakotay and Tom have settled their differences in this episode. When Tom saves Chakotay's life and asks about the Native American tradition which would dictate Chakotay's life belonging to Tom, Chakotay says "wrong tribe." But at the end of the episode, Janeway tells Tom that Chokotay mentioned something to her about his life belonging to Tom and that he'd be responsible for Tom's safety. He lied! Very funny. The Caretaker's complete motives are finally revealed in this episode, which brings up the moral dilemma regarding whether to use the array to get home or to destroy it to protect the Ocampa. Many fans call Janeway stupid for deciding to stay in the Delta Quadrant to protect the Ocampa, even Tuvok questions the decision in this episode, as does Torres. Janeway herself will question it a few times later in the series. Personally, I wish they had handled the decision in this episode a little differently. Think about it. The Kazon are all over that array like flies on garbage and Tuvok said it would take hours to configure it to send them back. Do you really think the Kazon are going to just sit there while Janeway and Tuvok are tinkering with the array for two hours? No, I don't think so. And for this reason, I say Janeway was forced into her decision, despite the fact that it seems she would have anyway. A fantastic pilot, probably the best pilot episode of any of the series.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Jim on 2008-09-19 at 2:49pm:
    Stranding a few hundred people to save an entire species? I think this is a no-brainer, and it boggles my mind that people question it. 'oh, let's kill off an entire species so we don't have to make a long voyage' Amazing.
  • From JRPoole on 2009-01-07 at 10:38pm:
    I've decided to make my slow progress through Voyager as it originally aired in tandem with DS9. Though I'm familiar with the concept and the characters, I haven't seen very much of Voyager, so this is a little bit of a blind run.

    The pilot is much better than I thought it would be based on my perceptions of the series. Like DS9, this is a new, grittier Trek. While I still think DS9 has the best set of characters in all of Trek, the crew of the Voyager is interesting and, for the most part, well-done in this first episode. I think this may be the best premise for a series in the franchise as well: a crew thrown together 75 years from home in the most truly alien part of the galaxy we've seen yet.

    While I still give the nod to the inaugural episode of DS9 as the best pilot in the franchise, this is a close second, and I'm looking forward to the series much more than I expected.

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Star Trek Voy - 1x03 - Parallax

Originally Aired: 1995-1-23

Tensions rise between the merged Starfleet and Maquis crews. [DVD]

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 4.63

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 17 4 16 7 9 18 27 10 12 4 5

- The science regarding the black hole in this episode is a bit absurd. An event horizon is not some kind of barrier around a black hole. It is the dividing line drawn around the black hole at the point where the escape velocity exceeds the speed of light. Well, warp drive lets ships very easily exceed the speed of light. So the event horizon of a black hole is a completely worthless designation in Star Trek as a ship could easily escape its grasp.

- Tom calls Voyager "the Voyager" in this episode. This is a trend that will soon disappear. I guess people just got tired of hearing "The shipname." "The Voyager" becomes "Voyager". And eventually, "the Enterprise" becomes just "Enterprise."

Remarkable Scenes
- The first scene, with Carey bemoaning about Torres having broken his nose.
- Torres throwing something at Chakotay as he enters.
- Chakotay and Torres arguing.
- Janeway's reaction to Chakotay suggesting Torres as the new Chief Engineer.
- Neelix referring to the doctor as an "electronic man", enunciating as he speaks it.
- The captain designating Tom a field medic, much to his displeasure.
- Chakotay arguing with Janeway about the Maquis.
- The doctor bemoaning about his new job.
- Kes' first scene with the doctor.
- The shrinking doctor calling Janeway.
- Tuvok: "I will never cease to be amazed by the human capacity for hyperbole."
- The doctor's grudging report.
- Janeway and Torres finally beginning to hit it off and Carey making an ass of himself at the briefing.
- Tom: "Wait a minute, wait, wait a minute. Let me get this straight. We were cruising along at warp seven, then we pick up a distress call and moved in to investigate. But now, you're saying that the other ship is just a reflection of us and that the distress call is actually just the captain's opening hail. But we picked up the distress call before she sent the hail. How could he have been seeing a reflection of something we haven't even done yet? Am I making an sense here?" Janeway: "No. But that's okay. One of the more difficult concepts to grasp in temporal mechanics is that sometimes effect can precede cause. A reaction can be observed before the action which initiated it."
- Torres to Janeway regarding the decision to pick the real ship: "If you're wrong, we're going to have a long time to debate it."
- Carey and Torres making up.
- The shrunken doctor.

My Review
This episode was ill constructed, but still highly entertaining. The primary plot about the black hole ended up becoming secondary to the Federation vs. Maquis conflict. This is mostly a good thing, frankly the Federation vs. Maquis conflict is far more interesting anyway. The major problem with the episode is that the science surrounding this black hole is utter nonsense, among other annoying bits of technobabble. See the problems section regarding the black hole. Beyond that, it's a great episode. I loved seeing the doctor get more and more annoyed with being ignored, and I enjoyed seeing Torres and Janeway beginning to hit it off. The final scenes where Torres and Carey make up are gratifying as well. The whole episode just came off "correctly" with regards to the Federation and Maquis people integrating. Of course we will be seeing more conflict, but I'm glad that they're wrapping most of it up right away instead of letting it dominate the stories. That said, if the science were better in this episode, I'd have given it a much higher rating.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Rob on 2008-04-25 at 12:09am:
    The one thing I've always hated about Voyager, the series not the ship, is that they introduce these great secondary characters and then they disappear so that a bunch of anonymous characters can show up for one episode and then disappear. Carey is one of them: he vanishes soon and then only appears in S7 so he can be killed... why didn't we see him FAR more often in Engineering? Vorik is another one we could have seen a lot more of as a "passing character" or the one to hand in a report and give a few lines during the "disaster of the week".


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Star Trek Voy - 1x04 - Time and Again

Originally Aired: 1995-1-30

Paris and Janeway are sent back in time. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 4.65

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 26 3 13 9 16 13 11 18 20 6 7


- This is the first episode to mention the Delaney sister of Stellar Cartography.
- According to Tuvok, in 2268 an experiment with polaric energy almost destroyed a Romulan colony. The technology was later outlawed.

Remarkable Scenes
- Paris having shifted through time briefly.
- Janeway and Paris shifting back in time just as she orders the beam up.
- The Doctor bemoaning about Kes' brain not being on file, not realizing the Federation has had no contact with her species.
- The Doctor, after hearing about the captain being missing: "Seems I've found myself on the voyage of the damned."
- Tom scaring away the kid.
- The doomed civilization foolishly suspecting Tom and Janeway as spies.
- Janeway breaking the temporal prime directive.
- Janeway telling the guard she's a hostage. She's got some balls!
- Janeway "fixing and resetting" time.

My Review
I don't think it was a very good idea to show two predestination time travel stories back to back, especially this early in the series. Another annoying detail was that the doomed civilization in this episode looked *gasp* exactly like humans! You'd figure the writers would be able to sort out these kinds of cliches by now, what with three television series behind them and two in progress. Guess not. That said, this "version" of the predestination plot is far more intelligently constructed. I like how Voyager was in fact the cause of the explosion and how Janeway realizes this and breaks the cycle. As a result, nothing in this episode actually happens. In the ending, Kes retains a memory of the events. Her intuitions make her kind of a combination of TNG's Troi and Guinan, which is both amusing and kind of cool. Overall, a decent episode, I largely forgive the reset button.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From pg on 2015-05-30 at 1:20am:
    A balanced story of time travel, in which several of the characters contribute with their abilities. The predestination stuff does not get too tragic, because as always in such stories, there is a choice to change the timeline. The good intention to break through subspace and save Janeway and Paris was the ultimate cause of desaster ... Not bad. Since this part was not predictable and because of the otherwise well written story, I rate this episode as good: 8 points, including 1 point for the doctor!

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Star Trek Voy - 1x05 - Phage

Originally Aired: 1995-2-6

An alien race harvests Neelix's lungs. [DVD]

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 5.04

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 27 4 5 4 7 12 17 24 21 7 6


- This episode is the first to feature the Vidiians.

Remarkable Scenes
- Neelix having taken over Janeway's private dining room and turning it into a galley.
- Neelix attacked by the Vidiian.
- The Doctor coming up with the idea of holographic lungs for Neelix.
- The Doctor demonstrating how real holograms can be by slapping Paris. :)
- The Doctor: "I'm a doctor, Mr. Neelix, not a decorator." Count 10 for "I'm a doctor, not a (blah)" style lines, which McCoy was famous for.
- Tuvok: "Captain, may I suggest you consider carefully what you are about to do?" Janeway: "How do you know what I'm about to do?" Tuvok: "I could describe to you in detail the psychological observations I've made about you over the past four years which lead me to conclude you're about to take this ship inside the asteroid. But suffice it to say, I know you quite well." Janeway: "One of these days I'm gonna surprise you Tuvok. But not today."
- Tuvok's phaser locator beam trick.
- The Vidiians insulting the Doctor's "primitive" medical knowledge.

My Review
The first Vidiian episode is certainly interesting. It's easy to develop a certain sympathy for them; it's not their fault what's happening to them, and what else are they supposed to do to survive? This makes the episode far more serious than the similar one TOS: Spock's Brain, and much more enjoyable. Janeway's evaluation of her moral options regarding the Vidiians was quite correct and very well executed. And I like how the Vidiians were willing to help, to try and demonstrate in some small way their good faith. A pleasing episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Fenix on 2011-03-25 at 3:00pm:
    I'm a bit confused as to why an external donation was needed. Why didn't the Vidiian simply give Neelix one of his own lungs back?
  • From Rick on 2013-03-19 at 2:32am:
    I think the ethics of this episode are completely wrong. If it was Kirk, it wouldve been off with his head immediately, as it shouldve been.
  • From Inga on 2013-07-14 at 8:02pm:
    Kirk wouldn't murder anyone. He valued life just like any other Star trek captain and it's one of the things I like the most about the franchise.
  • From Rick on 2013-10-09 at 8:12pm:
    Not murder. Punishment for attempted murder. And if not that, then stick them on an abandoned planet like Kahn. Point is, no way Kirk would let a murderer go.

    What if they let them go and just before they leave they grab a phaser and kill a crewman. What them, still send them on their merry way? How many times to they have to try to commit murder before you stop letting them go? For me, 1.

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Star Trek Voy - 1x06 - The Cloud

Originally Aired: 1995-2-13

Voyager encounters a living nebula. [DVD]

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 4.27

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 28 1 4 7 7 13 12 15 7 6 3

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

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

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

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

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-06-06 at 5:48am:
    Neelix is an annoying bastard. I never could get used to him. Picard would never tolerate having him on the bridge in the middle of a red alert. Therein lies another weakness of Janeaway. I'm sorry, I never grew fond of Janeaway either. Voyager has a very annoying crew, to be sure. Chakotay and his native american bs is highly irritating. Harry Kim is a nieve prick. The only characters I like are Tuvok and Paris.
  • From endlessmug on 2006-10-07 at 5:41pm:
    In this episode we have the classic backdrop of having to help an alien entity that the crew accidentally injured. More importantly we get to see the relationship between Chakotay and Janeway grow through the exploration of their “animal guides”. I thought that was fun. We also get into Tom Paris’ character a little more by seeing his holodeck creations. But the annoying fact that they didn’t have enough energy to replicate coffee and now they’re having fun on the holodeck is glaring.

    About Pete Miller’s comment: Yes, Picard would never have tolerated having Neelix on the bridge during a red alert. But Picard wasn’t stuck on the other side of the galaxy with a limited amount of resources and not much knowledge of where they are or where they are going. This crew has an entirely different chemistry. In TNG the crew didn’t have as much conflict as the Voyager crew does. It’s Janeway’s job to make sure that this conflict doesn’t grow so that there is the possibility of getting home. This means keeping a high moral and giving the crew hope. This is why Janeway let’s things like this go. This doesn’t mean Janeway lets Neelix get in the way of her work, however. Just watch the episode; it’s clear he is pushing her limits. :)
  • From Nicholas on 2007-12-31 at 3:58am:
    Regarding the second "problem", it was mentioned in an earlier episode (perhaps the second?) when they were short on fuel that the holodeck systems used a different power source to the rest of the ship, and it was incompatible with other systems.

    It was perhaps mentioned more in the interest of future storylines than as something with genuine technical basis, but at least it was established.
  • From themadworld on 2013-12-10 at 9:35am:
    As a science fiction episode this largely fails. The plot is tried and tested, and doesn't provide much in the way of tension. The creature is just sort of there, providing no interest.

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

  • From edward on 2014-03-11 at 6:56pm:
    What I didn't understand is how quickly Janeway, supposedly a woman of science, accepts one of Chakotay's drug induced vision quests.
    I thought she would just roll her eyes, say something like 'Duly noted' and rethink the advisability of having him as second in command.

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Star Trek Voy - 1x07 - Eye of the Needle

Originally Aired: 1995-2-20

Voyager discovers a deep space wormhole. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 6.01

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 23 0 12 1 2 4 11 19 28 24 13


- This episode establishes that Torres is half human half Klingon. This was actually fairly obvious since the first episode, but it was never mentioned on screen until now.

Remarkable Scenes
- Crewman addressing Kes with his question: "Can this guy do everything a real doctor can do?" The Doctor referring to himself in the third person: "Yes, he can."
- Kes concerned with how rudely the doctor is being treated.
- The Doctor lamenting about people shutting him off, or forgetting to be turned off.
- Janeway's private chat with the Romulan, trying to convince him she is who she says she is.
- Torres discovering that it may be possible to beam through the wormhole.
- The Doctor discovering Kes' photographic memory.
- Voyager beaming the Romulan captain into the Delta Quadrant.
- Tuvok discovering that the wormhole leads to the Alpha Quadrant, yes, but twenty yeaes in the past.
- Tuvok revealing that he checked the history and that the Romulan captain died before he could have sent the crew's messages.
- The Doctor finally getting some respect.
- The Doctor: "I would like a name." He never gets one though...

My Review
Voyager is continuing in its tradition of jumping the gun. A story about getting home was far too premature. They should have saved this up for late in the season, possibly even the finale! The reason is that the audience was 100% certain this wormhole would NOT lead to the safe arrival home of our characters. It's just too early! Even if you don't make this assumption from the beginning, it becomes more and more clear that the wormhole is a lost cause. First it's too small, then there's Romulans on the other side, then they want to beam through the wormhole? Abandon Voyager? Sorry. Didn't have me fooled for a minute. That said, it's still a good episode and I enjoyed watching it, even if was predictable and premature. One high point is how the doctor is finally getting some respect. I like how it took a while for him to get it though. And it's nice that it took an outsider, Kes, to get everyone to realize that the Doctor and Data from TNG are the same concept. Artificial life is no less life, and the Doctor, just like Data, is a remarkable creation by man which should be respected as a person, not as a slave. A very good episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From siukong on 2010-06-08 at 6:38am:
    Actually, I'm pretty sure Torres mentions explicitly that she's half-human in the pilot episode.
  • From Krs321 on 2012-01-09 at 4:10pm:
    While not direct, I'm pretty sure Kim mentions Torres' Klingon ancestry in "Caretaker" when they're climbing the stairs, saying something to the effect of "I probably wouldn't be so tired if I were half Klingon, too" and Torres gives an affirmative response "It's almost more trouble than it's worth"
  • From Rick on 2013-03-19 at 3:24am:
    To me the doctor doesnt really make sense. When Data is activated he is essentially a blank slate. Of course, he grows considerably. The Doctor, on the other hand, is a smug jackass from Day 1. He was apparently programmed to be that way as well as overly emotional, sensitive, and imposing on everyone he meets. Basically, it is the most irrationally designed program I have ever heard of. The whole holographic rights movement in voyager is utterly ridiculous. You can take their arguments to so many incredibly illogical ends that they need not be stated.
  • From spline on 2013-10-19 at 10:06am:
    Belanna does say (in the pilot, 2nd half, right in the beginning, talking with Harry) that she's half Klingon, but doesnt mention the other half.
  • From Dstyle on 2013-12-18 at 2:48am:
    Wait a minute: aren't wormholes super unstable, prone to collapse at any moment? That's what made DS9's wormhole to the Gamma quadrant so special: it was stable and wasn't going anywhere. So where do they get off theorizing that this wormhole is deteriorating and is centuries old? Wouldn't that mean this wormhole is also (relatively) stable? I thought wormholes were supposed to appear and disappear without warning. I feel like there were several TNG episodes to that effect.
  • From Shani on 2014-12-22 at 1:41pm:
    I am very impressed with voyager so far. I find this first season to be very strong and it is quickly becoming my favourite Star Trek series. I've watched all other incarnations of Star Trek but have stirred away from this one due to warnings from friends.

    I do not understand why my friends and so many other Star Trek fans do not like voyager. The science is a bit weak sometimes but for me the character development and storylines makes up for it. I enjoyed the doctor in this episode in particular.
  • From Mike on 2017-05-25 at 3:11am:
    I can't believe no other reviews have pointed out that Torres explains she's half-Klingon in the pilot episode! OK, I'm joking...I take pride in being the fourth to do so :)

    Anyway, I thought this was quite an innovative episode. I didn't care much for The Doctor subplot, despite its advancement of his fantastic character. But on the plus side, they only spent as much time on it as they needed to. Most of the episode revolved around the rather unique concept of their first Alpha Quadrant contact being a Romulan...and one 20 years in the past to boot! Very creative.

    I do find myself agreeing with Shani. Voyager gets overly criticized despite its many awesome contributions to the Star Trek saga. Before people criticize it too much, let's not forget that TOS, despite its awesomeness, did give us such mind-numbing nonsense as Iotian gangsters, Greek gods, the Koms and Yangs, and an offworld Roman Empire. You can criticize VOY for having its characters be a bit flat at times, but it still captures the same Star Trek excitement and exposes us to an entirely new quadrant.

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Star Trek Voy - 1x08 - Ex Post Facto

Originally Aired: 1995-2-27

Paris is convicted of murder. [DVD]

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 5.31

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 14 6 4 7 8 15 11 12 21 5 9

- The judicial system of our aliens of the week is a little strange. Seems to me, forcing someone to relive their victim's death once every 14 hours will just further desensitize a murderer, making him more dangerous, rather than discourage further crime.


Remarkable Scenes
- The Doctor discussing the choosing of his name with Kes. One of the names the Doctor was considering was Spock. :)
- Paris: "Smoking is a bad habit. My species gave it up centuries ago when we finally got it into our heads it was killing us." Lidell: "You must be a very superior species." Paris: "That's not what I meant." Lidell: "Maybe I kill myself slowly because I don't have the courage to do it quickly."
- Chakotay's "play dead" trick.
- Neelix, regarding Tuvok's proposition of mind melding with Paris: "A, a what? What, what did he say? A mind what?"
- The Doctor's objections to Tuvok's mind meld idea. The Doctor: "Believe it or not, I know more about mind melds than you do!"
- Paris regarding taking another man's woman: "Some day it will be you Harry. You'll meet her and you'll know it's wrong from the first moment you see her. And you'll know there's nothing you can do about it.'"
- Tuvok uncovering the Numiri plot.
- Tom's way of expressing his gratitude to Tuvok.

My Review
This episode uses the classic "flashback" story template. Meaning, we see the effects of the story (Paris' sentence) before the cause (the story of the murder). Fortunately, it doesn't dominate the story, like certain other episodes do. So only parts of the story are wasted, which is mostly the beginning. So the episode gets off to a bad start, but eventually becomes interesting when Tuvok begins his criminal investigation. Tuvok is my favorite character on Voyager, and it's nice to see him shine here. As nice a job as Tuvok did though, the Numiri couldn't have done a worse one. Surely there would have been easier ways to transmit intelligence info than to encode military secrets in someone's mind, set this person up for a murder conviction, and then steal the prisoner? The episode has weak points, but overall comes off as pretty solid, so I don't take off too many points.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-06-14 at 8:21pm:
    I tend to enjoy the flashback story template. This one was good; however, none of the flashback episodes can compare to DS9 "Whispers", which is absolutely wonderful.
  • From JRPoole on 2009-01-08 at 3:33am:
    Okay, so the aliens of the week don't look (quite) exactly like humans, but they have DOGS?

    Here's my observation on Voyager up to this point: the character development B plots are almost always very good, while the alien or anomaly of the week A plots are generally lame.

    The one notable exception is the Romulan temporal plot in "Eye of the Needle," which is excellent. Other than that, we get re-hashed space entity cliches, an awful time travel episode, and this mess about Paris' troubles, which are strikingly similar to the trouble Riker managed to get himself into in "A Matter of Perspective."

    The characters, however, are all getting good treatment. I love the interaction between Neelix and Janeway when they lock horns, and the Doctor is proving to be pretty interesting.

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Star Trek Voy - 1x09 - Emanations

Originally Aired: 1995-3-13

Kim is held by an alien race. [DVD]

My Rating - 1

Fan Rating Average - 4.29

Rate episode?

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

- So there are class M "asteroids" orbiting a planet, with breathable atmospheres, and Earth-like gravity? What the hell are the cores of those moons made of that generates this much gravity? Black holes?

- The Federation has 246 elements on its periodic table at this time.

Remarkable Scenes
- Kim carefully handling his discussions with the aliens.

My Review
An episode which deals with an alien race's religion. The religious issues are largely handled well, but personally I wish there could have been more discussion of this new element they discovered. Much of the episode is scientific nonsense once the opening scenes are out of the way. The episode starts off giving you the impression that they will explore the rings around a planet, discover a new element, and being creating new technology from it. But it quickly deteriorates into a giant cross cultural religious debate. In the end, this new elemental discovery is largely forgotten; we never hear about it again. To me, this episode is a large missed opportunity and a severe waste of time. Only Harry Kim's performance redeems the episode, as he really does do a good job.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Fenix on 2011-03-25 at 7:04pm:
    I'm going to go ahead and suggest that your "factoid" solves your "problems." Perhaps the presence of one of these newly discovered elements explains the extra gravity on the asteroid.
  • From Annoyed on 2011-08-10 at 9:37pm:

    1) As mentioned, "the asteroids support a class M atmosphere" ?!

    2)Ok, pretty soon we learn that Ptera was "dying of a lesion to her mid-brain...but she didn't die until the [pod] was activated." Then how come she was diagnosed as having died from a tumor by the Voyager medical crew? No sense.

    And while we're on the subject of Ptera dying, how is it that they were able to revive her "minutes after she died" the first time, but not mere seconds after she died the second time, due to not fully unexplained circumstances (it's assumed to be some kind of transporter problem?).

    3) Why does it take more than half the episode to fully discuss the theoretical difference between corporeal death/transition and other possible interpretations? This is just frustrating. It's resolved eventually, but it should've really been addressed right away.

    4)How does Starfleet academy graduate Ensign Kim, who had his type 2 phaser with him (you can clearly see it holstered while on the asteroid), become completely helpless and at the mercy of the alien doctors? WTF? If he was disarmed, it would've made some sense to show this, but I suspect they didn't show it because it doesn't make sense. Here's the first person ever to come back from "the afterlife," a creature of a race you've never seen, wearing clothing and carrying technology you know nothing about, essentially some kind of angel, or prophet, or profoundly paranormal being, in any case, and the first thing you do is somehow disarm him (this without even knowing what's a weapon and what isn't) ? No sense.

    This is the first voyager episode, chronologically speaking, that pretty much just stinks.
  • From Mitchell O on 2023-01-01 at 11:47pm:
    The other problem on glaring display in this episode is Voyager’s amazing ability to jump huge distances in the blink of an eye.

    In this case, they travel 0.6 light years in mere moments. Janeway doesn’t even have time to stand up!

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Star Trek Voy - 1x10 - Prime Factors

Originally Aired: 1995-3-20

An alien leader refuses to share valuable technology with Voyager. [DVD]

My Rating - 2

Fan Rating Average - 4.77

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 15 3 14 5 13 19 12 14 9 7 6



Remarkable Scenes
- Harry discovering that he's traveled nearly 40,000 light years using this species' transporter.
- Tuvok walking in on Torres, Carey, and Seska, only to find out that Tuvok is on their side.
- Janeway's surprise and even disgust upon learning Tuvok had betrayed her trust.
- Tuvok: "My logic was not in error, but I was."

My Review
These "here's another way for Voyager to get home! Oops, sorry!" plots do get rather tiresome, especially in the first freakin' season, and this one is a pretty bad offender. Not only do our aliens of the week look exactly like humans, but with a little more effort, Voyager may have been able to get the literature underground to send Voyager 40,000 light years closer to home instead of going through the unresponsive official channels and leaving when asked. That said, it is credible that people make mistakes. Voyager could have maneuvered their way into a better deal with the literature underground, but that's just not how it went down. A disappointing episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From djb on 2009-06-23 at 4:42am:
    What the hell is wrong with Janeway? She acts absolutely devastated that (Oh my god!) some of her crew members would actually *gasp* violate the laws of a society to get a paltry 40 THOUSAND light years closer to home! As if she'd rather be marooned in the Detla Quadrant than break someone's rule.

    Uh, what? When you're stuck 70 years' worth distance from home, the rules change a little. The Prime Directive isn't quite so prime. I understand non-interference, of course; but harmlessly breaking one of this planet's laws, not hurting anyone and not causing any long-term damage, is worth even getting a thousand light years closer, what to speak of forty thousand. She seems to be worse than Picard in this way!

    Oh well.
  • From Jem Hadar on 2009-06-30 at 2:02am:
    I gotta go with djb on this one. This is a fairly good episode, but Janeway should have just gone with the literature in the first place.
  • From Keith WP on 2012-05-08 at 2:55pm:
    This episode is when I first noticed how inconsistent Janeway is with the Prime episode she is harping on it like a banshee, and the next she is completely wiping her ass with it.
  • From Peremensoe on 2012-07-19 at 1:37pm:
    There is no Prime Directive issue in this episode. It's just a matter of whether to violate the Sikarians' own law.
  • From Psycroptic on 2012-07-29 at 8:14pm:
    Not really impressed with the aliens in Voyager so far, they all seem to be exactly like humans or not very creative. The plots have been pretty repetitive as well but the first few seasons of most trek is pretty lackluster so I guess I'll wait and see.
  • From rpeh on 2015-01-18 at 6:50pm:
    "It looks like most of these asteroids support class M atmospheres".

    No they don't. For comparison, the planet Mars doesn't support a breathable atmosphere. There is absolutely no way an asteroid has such an atmosphere.
  • From Kethinov on 2015-01-18 at 8:17pm:
    It's not completely impossible. If the asteroids have a super dense core, they could possibly exert enough gravity to retain a significant atmosphere. Pretty far fetched, but definitely not in "absolutely no way" territory.
  • From Jens-Ivar seland on 2015-06-13 at 4:55pm:
    The platform uses the principle of folding space. Janeway says this has been theorized, but noone has been able to develop the technology. She must have forgotten that they use warp speed :)

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Star Trek Voy - 1x11 - State of Flux

Originally Aired: 1995-4-10

There's a traitor on board Voyager. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 6.07

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 13 1 0 2 12 5 11 17 22 12 7


- Chakotay is the first to taste the despicable leola root.

Remarkable Scenes
- Neelix describing the deadly qualities of the local fruit.
- Janeway: "How long will it take to set this up?" Torres: "We should be able to make an attempt by tomorrow." Janeway: "I want it ready by the end of the day." Torres: "No captain. When I say tomorrow, I mean tomorrow. I don't exaggerate. Tomorrow is the best I can do." Janeway: "Understood lieutenant."
- Chakotay to Tuvok: "You were were working for her, Seska was working for them. Was anyone onboard that ship working for me?"
- The revelation that the stolen technology was just a food replicator.
- Chakotay and Tuvok in the end.

My Review
Seska is up to no good again, she's developing a very nice reputation for being not-so-honest, well downright naughty. The only thing I don't like about this episode is how blatantly obvious it was that Seska was guilty and not Carey due to the nice bit of foreshadowing in both this episode and the previous one. Granted, I wouldn't trade the foreshadowing for anything, I rather liked it. But it contributes negatively to the mystery plot in this episode. That said, Seska did a pretty damn good job of "pulling the wool" over everyone's eyes. Even by the end of the episode, there remains still some doubt in your mind that she's really a spy because she's a damn good liar. I wonder if she knew Garak? ;)

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Psycroptic on 2012-07-29 at 9:06pm:
    I found Seska to be quite an annoying character, I definitely won't miss her.
  • From Shani on 2014-12-23 at 12:21pm:
    Why did they not interrogate everyone when they found out there was a traitor. They could have easily have used the technology that showed whether Paris was lying or not in "ex post facto".

    Im not sure why they don't use this technology more often. It would certainly come in useful for Odo on DS9 as well.

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Star Trek Voy - 1x12 - Heroes and Demons

Originally Aired: 1995-4-24

The Doctor goes on a holodeck away mission. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 4.69

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 16 17 4 5 5 12 12 19 11 8 5


- The Doctor chose a name in this episode, Schweitzer. This may be a reference to Albert Schweitzer. But he decided at the very end not to go through with this name because it would be too painful.

Remarkable Scenes
- Chakotay: "Every culture has its demons. They embody the darkest emotions of its people. Giving them physical form in heroic literature is a way of exploring those feelings."
- Tuvok: "There are no demons in Vulcan literature." Chakotay: "That might account for its popularity."
- The Doctor meeting with Freya.
- The Doctor declaring his name "Schweitzer".
- Freya: "All hail Schweitzer!"
- Doctor Diplomat in the end, returning Chakotay, Tuvok, and Kim to us.

My Review
Another episode where Voyager accidentally harms a sentient life form, another energy life form of the week. Cliches notwithstanding, this is an entertaining episode. The Doctor is finally given a chance to shine beyond his medical duties. It now seems very clear that he is in fact more than just a hologram. Dr. Louis Zimmerman is to holo programming as Dr. Soong was to android construction. The Doctor is the Data of Voyager. I would have loved to have been Garrett Wang in the production of this episode. The episode was more or less all about him and he had a grand total of one scene and one line! Talk about easy money! The ending of this episode is kind of sad, the Doctor gives up the name he chose, (Albert?) Schweitzer, because he lost a holographic loved one. Maybe a little trite, but I found it rather convincing. Poor doctor!

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From JRPoole on 2009-01-16 at 7:16am:
    This episode is a confluence of a lot of Trek cliches. The review above points out several: energy life form of the week, the ship accidentally harms a sentient form and ends up communicating with it/healing it, etc.

    It was also bound to happen that Voyager pulled out that most charming of TNG cliches, the holodeck malfunctions and someone gets trapped or hurt plot.

    That said, this one is fun just for the Beowulf stuff and the Doctor, who's quickly become my favorite character on Voyager.
  • From Docfan on 2011-08-15 at 8:05am:
    It's interesting how polarizing this episode is: seven reviewers pegged it at 7, and six people gave it a 1. It's a bit of a love it or hate it kind of thing I suppose, and I suspect the determining factor is "the Doctor" - specifically whether or not you are interested in the Doctor's character.

    Personally, I thought it was a great episode. I would give it an 8 or 9 even. I thought just about everything was well done, and it was great seeing the Doctor's evolving response to the responsibility of his first mission.

    Small things were great too - the Doctor gets to see the outside world for the first time, experience sensations, emotions, and even relationships that would've been impossible given both the technical constraints of his usual sickbay routine, and the social context in which it all operates. Within the holo-novel, no one knows that he is an emergency medical program, and no one treats him as such.

    What's more, it's almost as if he treats *himself* differently. In the novelty of it all, in a circumstance well outside the preparations and expectations of his programming, the Doctor explores what he's made of (code, energy, but also emotions, affections, desires, successes, etc...)

    The episode is also quite an epic development in terms of social status. This is the same character whose appearance (and for some reason voice?) shrank tenfold (episode 3), because there are more important things on Voyager than a glitch in the Doctor's imaging processor. "Eye of the Needle" (episode 7) sets up the transformation, and this once clinches it, as we see the captain awarding the Doctor her personal and official commendations at the end.

    In short, it's really quite a touching, fascinating, and humorous character exploration.
    And a great episode, so long as you like the character in question.
  • From Harrison on 2013-02-15 at 11:03am:
    This entertaining episode has some compelling performances, but the science is simply appalling. Suspension of disbelief is one thing, but one can at least expect a basic consistency in the laws of physics prevailing in the ST universe, and a little sophistication in interpreting them. Will any ST viewer be shocked, like Janeway was, to discover "photonic energy" on the holodeck?
  • From rpeh on 2015-01-20 at 7:30pm:
    Holodeck episodes almost always annoy me. It's a cop out. We have a sci-fi series but want to do a film-noir episode? Holodeck. We want a swords and sorcery story? Holodeck. And here... we want to do an olde English classic? Holodeck. I disagree with this. If you're doing a sci-fi series you do sci-fi. By all means add in romance and usual human tension (see Battlestar) but don't pretend to be something you're not.

    Having said that.

    This episode just about works. The doctor is one of the best characters in Voyager so an episode in which he plays a major role is always going to be a winner. But the acting by the residents of the mead hall is awful, and the non-explanation given about the communication with the entity/entities is too much of a hand-wave.

    I'll give this a 7 but only because most of the rest of Voyager is so bad.

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Star Trek Voy - 1x13 - Cathexis

Originally Aired: 1995-5-1

An encounter with a nebula leaves Chakotay brain-dead. [DVD]

My Rating - 1

Fan Rating Average - 3.89

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 22 14 6 8 15 12 8 10 12 4 2



Remarkable Scenes
- Harry Kim's mind wandering, and everyone suspecting he's possessed.
- The Doctor briefly describing his miracle cure.

My Review
Energy life form of the week attempts to take over the ship as food. Disembodied non-corporeal Chakotay saves the day. There's really not much else to this episode except for an introduction to Janeway's new holonovel, which serves absolutely no purpose for the plot in this episode seeing as how she's interrupted and she does not return to it. We will see it again though in future episodes. What we have here is an episode which utterly fails to make a point. There's really nothing wrong with the episode if you enjoy relative pointlessness. The original series did stories like this to death and I'm not eager to revisit them on Voyager.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From wes on 2012-01-14 at 5:04pm:
    Tuvok's rank insignia begins the episode as Lieutenant, which is wrong since he was never courtmartialed. Later, his rank is back to Lt. Commander. Then later still, it is back to Lieutenant. What's with this?
  • From Jadzia Guinan Smith on 2015-05-23 at 6:44am:
    "energy life form of the week" -- enough said! I was re-watching season one; I wished I skipped this one. Wasted hour of my life.

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Star Trek Voy - 1x14 - Faces

Originally Aired: 1995-5-8

Torres is split into two beings. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 5.82

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 14 3 1 3 3 7 16 19 23 10 3



Remarkable Scenes
- A fully Klingon Torres.
- The Vidiian scientist with Durst's face.
- Klingon and human Torres meeting each other.

My Review
A fantastic episode for Torres. Kind of like an extreme version of TOS: The Enemy Within, Torres' Klingon and human halves are at war with one another. We get to peek into her psyche and learn about her inner struggle. And then there's the antagonist of this episode. The Vidiian scientist's goals, to cure the phage, were certainly noble, but he had a wonderful tortured, downright sadistic quality to his character. I found it interesting that at first both human and Klingon Torres hated their human half after being separated, human Torres even hated both her halves! But toward the end they began to respect each other.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Remco on 2008-11-30 at 5:29pm:
    I really liked the episode, but I find the conclusion to be somewhat lacking. After Janeway's threat in the previous episode, I didn't expect Voyager to just fly away after this. They killed one of their crew after all! The episode wouldn't have ended like this if for example Paris was killed.

    I find the Vidiians and their problem intriguing. I would like to see more of them. After two episodes, we've only seen two "harvester scientists", which is slightly one-sided. ;) But there's surely enough characterization there for another episode.

    Another reviewer (Jammer) had a nice observation:

    "The scene where human-B'Elanna reveals all of this to Paris is very absorbing (until Paris' extremely stupid line, "I guess you finally got your wish," upon which B'Elanna should have promptly strangled him)."

  • From faced on 2011-08-19 at 8:28am:
    I don't know what was more of a remarkable scene, seeing a fully Klingon Torres, or seeing a fully human Torres, vulnerable and scared and conciliatory : ) This was a really fantastic idea for an episode and it was well-executed.
  • From Damien Bradley on 2016-12-28 at 12:43am:
    I'm not normally a Torres fan, for whatever reason, but I liked what they did with her here. I liked the concept of two conflicting aspects of a person being embodied and able to speak and argue with each other. Very existential. One of them died. Which is the real Torres? Good acting on Dawson's part.

    It occurred to me watching this that Klingons might not feel fear the way humans do. That's why they're so bold; they're literally fearless. So B'Elanna, at least to a degree, isn't used to feeling fear. When she finally does as a full human, she's incapacitated, and Tom has to point out that for humans, courage is feeling fear and acting despite it. To me this means humans almost have an advantage over Klingons in this way: They experience fear and learn to overcome it!

    I liked the consistency in Tom's character. I think despite his attempts at a bad boy persona, he actually cares. He tries to be comforting to people, sometimes succeeds, but often comes from a place of reasoning with them somehow rather than empathizing. There's a time for each of those, and he doesn't always know the difference.

    I wish they had thought to save that nice Talaxian who helped them. Or anyone else there, for that matter. The Vidiians were enslaving and murdering people. I feel for them, but the phage doesn't excuse their behavior. And the redshirt death was disappointing.

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Star Trek Voy - 1x15 - Jetrel

Originally Aired: 1995-5-15

Neelix confronts his painful past. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 5.66

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 11 3 2 15 21 4 4 15 26 12 9



Remarkable Scenes
- Tuvok's poor performance in the pool game with Neelix.
- Neelix describing returning to Rinax after the Metreon Cascade.
- The revelation that Jetrel is dying.
- Voyager arriving at Rinax.
- Neelix belittling himself for his failure to report for duty with the Talaxian defense forces. I like how Kes defended his decision because avoiding military service was just as dangerous as fighting; punishable by death.
- Jetrel caught in the transporter room.
- Jetrel pleading with Janeway for her to let him attempt his experiment to prove his theory.
- Janeway attempting Jetrel's plan and failing.
- Jetrel's death right after Neelix forgives him.

My Review
This one is a bit controversial. The parallels between the Metreon Cascade and the Earth atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are rather obvious. An episode like this makes you wonder what Albert Einstein must have thought about his work in nuclear fission. Granted the two wars are quite a bit different. I'd say the atomic bombings were much less destructive and much more appropriate than the Metreon Cascade described in this episode. Because of the severity of the event and Jetrel's importance to the project, now Jetrel is attempting to repent for his sins and makes a rather desperate attempt to save some of the people he killed. I really liked Jetrel in the end, he's not just some crazy scientist, he's not just another evil villain, he's a deeply tortured scientist who wants to do some good to make up for all the evil he's done. Neelix gets an equally good showing, naturally seeing as how the episode was designed to develop his character. I like that he's no longer a plot device for comic relief, but a serious character. Neelix never joined the Talaxian defense forces because he believed fighting in the war was wrong, but he also hated Jetrel's species for invading in the first place. This is a natural bit of hypocrisy, maybe Neelix was a coward. But the punishment for refusing to fight was death anyway, and as Kes pointed out, it takes quite a bit of courage to make either choice. Neelix refused to fight even though he ran the risk of a disgraceful death penalty. In the end, Neelix' hatred for Jetrel diminishes as he realizes what Jetrel was actually trying to do, which gives the episode a very emotional ending. Jetrel's death means something at this point, it resonates with the viewer. You truly feel sorry for Jetrel, and you feel sorry for Neelix too. I wonder how much of an ass Neelix felt like for bearing so much hatred toward Jetrel for no reason. I'm sure the events of this episode were very much a life changing experience for Neelix. The one thing I didn't like about this episode was all the pretense. Jetrel should have been upfront with his intentions. The only reason he wasn't was to create some manufactured emotional resonance with the audience. Despite this, the episode was certainly moving. I liked it.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From wartorn on 2011-08-18 at 2:40am:
    I want to explore a few interesting things mentioned in the review. To start with, were the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki "much less destructive and much more appropriate than the Metreon Cascade?" Were the two wars "quite a bit different?" Well, there really isn't enough information in this episode about the Talaxian conflict to determine for sure, but there may be more similarities than differences.

    There are a few things to consider here, the first being the raw numbers. Neelix mentions that more than 300,000 were killed by the Cascade. The combined total from both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were roughly 250,000. So, going by the numbers alone, the Cascade did more damage, but the atomic bombings were in the same order of magnitude. It's not like comparing apples to oranges... maybe like comparing oranges and tangerines.

    Of course one has to take into account the environmental damage. The Cascade completely changed the atmosphere and climate of the colonized moon, leaving a poisonous cloud that lingered for at least 15 years. The atomic bombings affected the quality of the air, impaired agriculture, and created a long-term drinking water problem in the area. Significant, but not quite the same as a full-out nuclear winter.

    So here is another interesting question: were the U.S. atomic bombings of Japanese cities "more appropriate" than the deployment of the Cascade? It is really quite impossible to determine, but perhaps not... Although Jetrel's side was described as the "invaders," we don't know what circumstances precipitated the occupation. Indeed, Neelix explains that he thought his side's reasons for going to war in the first place were unjust, "not worth dying for," which makes one wonder about the supposed "invasion" they suffered as a consequence. We learn also that the "invasion" was actually an unconditional surrender, precipitated by the deployment of the Metreonic Cascade.

    There is also the matter of Jetrel's explanation for targeting civilian populations as opposed to military or deserted targets - "the full force of the weapon had to be demonstrated." We're not told explicitly why, but presumably to cause surrender and immediately end hostilities.

    All of this is pretty much a point by point description of the circumstances around the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It's quite possible that the Talaxian side was an aggressor, as Japan was, (hence Neelix' noble/cowardly draft dodging), and it's quite possible that the subsequent "invasion" by Jetrel's people was more like the U.S. occupation of Japan.

    All of this makes the episode even more poignant and fascinating. It's my personal opinion that America has long since thoroughly wiped the entire unpleasant episode from its collective memory. There is really very little remorse felt about it. It was necessary, it happened, it stopped the war, it helped stop Hitler, end of story. Of course, Japan never forgot it, and there remain deep sensitivities about what happened. Perhaps the difference in perspective is best demonstrated by Japan's censoring of the American action rpg game Fallout 3. Their objections were about a side-quest in which you explode a nuclear bomb in the middle of a city, and also about one of the regular weapons available to the player: a tactical nuclear weapon called "Fat Boy" - the same name given to the plutonium bomb dropped on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.

    Perhaps we've put it all behind us a bit prematurely? This Voyager episode recalls our attention to those tragic events.

    - - -

    Most of the focus of the episode is actually on the question of the role of science, with Jetrel portraying a classic Ellulian technocratic scientist. At one point he presents an argument that usually goes unstated, but is very present in the modern world: "If it can be done, it must be done. Science is bigger than man, technological development is intricately tied with the search for truth and knowledge, and thus any scientific pursuit has a kind of intrinsic value. It is wrong, and in any case impossible, to try and control it."

    The way Jetrel states it, and the way Neelix responds to it, one is a bit torn and sees both sides of the picture. Good work on the part of the show's producers. The fact is, this is not a nutty, fringe mad scientist idea, and not something that is obviously true, but something humanity has been battling with for at least several hundred years. We've been wrestling with this question of science, technology, and its role and purpose internally, as individuals, in academia and in philosophic texts, and in various political arenas.

    Regrettably, I think Jetrel (and the Ellulian point of view he represents) is right about one thing: no matter what we think of it, no matter the moral arguments we bring to the table, no matter how guilty or righteous people feel about what they're doing, technological development is not really something we *do* - it's more like something that happens to us, more like an evolutionary process that we have little real direction over. "One discovery leads inevitably to the next." It's difficult to really argue with this reasoning, when you consider the history and sociology of science/technology.

    When scientific discoveries are made and technological innovations are born, no one can possibly foresee where they will lead eventually. It's really a much more complicated problem than the obvious questions of something like the Manhattan Project or human cloning. These things *seep* into society one tiny step at a time (linked with undeniable conveniences and amenities, outright improvements even, lifesaving advances in medicine, etc...) - by the time some kind of danger or threat or controversy is recognized, it is already here, it's already on the way down.

    There is some room for human agency, of course, but it has its limits. These things engender their own societal responses - for instance, 1) there are test ban treaties, 2) ozone depleting compounds are made illegal, and phased out, and so on. But we must admit to ourselves that our ability to truly understand and respond to what we ourselves create... is limited.

    To quote Jetrel, science is indeed much bigger than man, but this is something that should give us pause rather than glee. It would seem as if something has gone wrong, has gone quite thoroughly backwards. What started as a human project, something we do, engage in, for the sake of both our innate curiosity and our desire to improve our lives, has turned into something we really can't not do, something we serve, and worship, unknowingly, to ends and consequences we cannot possibly foresee.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-10-22 at 4:22pm:
    I enjoyed the comment bt wartorn on this episode, and I agree with much of it. I believe however that there is clear and convincing evidence that the attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was not justified, and was actually an atrocity and a war crime.

    I say this despite the fact that my father served in WWII, much to my pride. I admired my father's service and I do not say this to denigrate the honorable service our soldiers gave in WWII.

    However, on the subject of the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, history ie very clear. The Japanese emporer Hiro Hito had already transmitted his intention to unconditionally surrender to Allied forces prior to the American decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki, much to our shame.

    Unfortunately, he issued his decision through the Soviet ambassador. The Soviets intentionally failed to transmit the message on to the Americans because they wanted the nuclear bomb to be deployed in combat as a live test to the weapon. The Soviets had spies at Alamagordo and were watching the Americans with great interest. They certainly did not want the Japanese offer of surrender to succeed.

    Nonetheless, we had many advisors to Pres. Truman, including Oppemheimer himself, who urged the President to not drop the bomb on the Japanese people. We had all of the intelligence we needed to know that dropping the bomb on Japan would accomplish nothing militarily.

    In this respect the events of Americans dropping the nuclear bomb is hauntingly similar to the Metroen Cascade described in this episode.
  • From Rick on 2012-12-26 at 11:13pm:
    I urge people reading the above post not to take it as the factual information that it purports to be. The majority view is that there was no surrender. People like the above poster are certainly free to argue to the contrary but to present that argument as the clear truth is reckless at best and disingenuous at worst.

    Aside from that, do you really think that if Japan was close to surrendering before the first bomb, they would wait for a second?
  • From Mike on 2017-07-26 at 1:32am:
    Ethan Phillips said that he watched the first season of Voyager as it was airing and then didn't really watch it after that. He didn't say why (that I know of) but one wonders if he figured this was a good way to remember his character on screen. It's certainly one of the better, if not the best, Neelix episode in the series.

    James Sloyan, who plays Jetrel, is one of the better recurring guest stars in all of Star Trek. He plays Admiral Jarok in TNG: The Defector as well as future Alexander Rozhenko in TNG: Firstborn. He was also the Bajoran scientist Dr. Mora, who "discovered" and experimented with Odo, in a couple DS9 episodes.

    I agree the parallels with the atomic bomb dropping are a bit heavy handed. But, it raises that question people have discussed since the atomic bomb's invention, and even before with the invention of poison gas used in WW1: is it desirable, or even possible, to "cordon off" a branch of scientific knowledge because you're afraid of where it might lead? The implication that someone else would have invented the weapon eventually, and the reasoning that you do the research regardless of how some wish to apply it, were notions that added some depth to the issue.

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Star Trek Voy - 1x16 - Learning Curve

Originally Aired: 1995-5-22

Tuvok is put in charge of "boot camp" for the Maquis. [DVD]

My Rating - 2

Fan Rating Average - 3.63

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 31 19 6 8 7 13 12 12 7 6 4



Remarkable Scenes
- Janeway interrupted again in the holodeck. Funny. ;)
- Another talkative Bolian. :)
- Chakotay confronting Tuvok's students. I love how Chakotay makes his point.
- The Maquis students' war game simulation.
- Tuvok: "You're saying that the Maquis crew is rigid and inflexible, that they will never adjust to Starfleet rules?" Neelix: "No, Mr. Vulcan. I'm saying that you are rigid and inflexible. But maybe if you'd learn to bend a little, you might have better luck with your class."
- Tuvok discovering the source of the gelpack infection.
- Dalby telling his story.
- Tuvok bending the rules.

My Review
The episode opens with more from Janeway's holo novel debuted to us in Voy: Cathexis. It is remarkable that every time Janeway tries to enjoy herself on the holodeck, she gets interrupted. ;) The story of the gelpacks getting infected is interesting, I was kind of waiting for a story that involved the gelpacks since we first heard about them in the first episode. Unfortunately, the episode is plagued by American stereotypes, namely, that boot camp solves all problems. Drill instructor Tuvok is remarkably out of character; I refuse to believe this is how he taught at Starfleet academy. Maybe boot camp can create a nicely obedient military, but Starfleet is not a military organization. Furthermore, even if it was a military organization, Tuvok's "time honored" teaching techniques just weren't appropriate for the students of this episode, which to me seemed obvious from the very beginning. It kind of annoys me that it takes a life threatening situation before Tuvok and the Maquis can find any common ground, but I suppose it's not unrealistic.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Frogshortening on 2006-08-25 at 11:11pm:
    2?? I fail to see how an episode featuring the line "Get the cheese to sick bay", could be so low rated! That is my personal motto!!!
  • From Mark McC on 2009-05-22 at 7:41pm:
    I've just started watching Voyager and was surprised when the short first season ended here. I was expecting a grand cliffhanger, possibly with the Vidiians or the Kazon. Instead, Voyager comes under attack from ... cheese!? That premise could have made for an excellent Tribble-style comedy episode season one of a new Star Trek deserves something better.

    I actually had to check the DVDs to make sure I'd watched them in the right order. With the disgruntled Maquis and lack of any real main plot this seems better suited as an early filler episode than a season finale.

    The episode featuring the tiny wormhole with the excellently-acted Romulan on the other side would have been a much better closer than this.
  • From spline on 2013-10-30 at 8:34am:
    Hehe... I remember at the time, even JMS (the creator of Babylon 5) complaining in frustration (was on usenet, rast.b5.moderated), while trying to get B5 renewed for another year and seeing this episode about an "alien cheese virus" somehow get made...

    Thankfully things get better... eventually.

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