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Star Trek Voyager (VOY) Season 4 Guest Reviews

Season 1 - Season 2 - Season 3 - Season 4 - Season 5 - Season 6 - Season 7

 

Scorpion, Part II Stardate 51003.7 : Synopsis in main VOY listing

Watching Part II after a while it doesn't seem to match with the first part. A fair deal of tension and excitement seems absent in contrast to part I where we had the thrill of the initial threat of 8472 and the battle scene's. Part II is a bit of a letdown in my opinion but it's still quite good.
Picking up where left off Janeway is on a Borg cube following the destruction of one of their worlds by 8472, Voyager is tractored along and construction of a weapon to battle this new threat is started on. The Borg though don't feel chatting is practical and attempt to merge Janeway and Tuvok's consciousness into the Collectives. Janeway says no deal and the Borg choose a representative to speak for them in 7 of 9. A bioship attacks Voyager, but the cube sacrifices itself, ramming the ship and beaming Janeway, Tuvok, 7 of 9 and a few drones onto Voyager. After being rendered unconscious in the battle, Chuckles is placed in charge, but isn't happy with the alliance and terminates it, Seven messes with the deflector bringing into 8472's space (realm, whatever), where the nanoprobe torpedoes are used to great effect. Voyager escapes and Kes communicates with 8472 that Voyager will continue to use the weapons unless they retreat, which they do.
Seven then tries to commandeer Voyager, but using the Borg link he picked up in "Unity", Chuckles distracts her long enough for B'Elanna to overload something which severs her link, leaving the Voyager with one new crewmember.
As said, the initial threat of 8472 is played down here, replaced by the tension and mistrust between Janeway, Seven and Chakotay. Chakotay's doubt about the alliance is carried over here and he agrees it's too risky to cooperate with the Borg. When Janeway wakes up the pair argue though over his course of action but they agree to cooperate themselves.
The pretext of getting Chakotay in that position of power didn't have a great deal of weight to it either with Janeway unconscious and the Doctor unsure if she'll recover from the injuries sustained on the Cube during the 8472 attack. I don't know if this was another deliberate ploy to recreate much of the same ingredients which made "The Best of Both Worlds" so successful along with the Borg playing a key part in the 3rd season finale, but whereas there was genuine doubt over whether or not Picard would survive (due to uncertainty over Patrick Stewart continuing his role as Picard), I had no doubts Janeway would be cured with no problem resolving a situation Chuckles wasn't up to handling. The 8472 are a bit boring as well, and don't appear as much as in the first part, and when they do it's just to attack or spout bad guy dialogue (albeit through Kes).
Don't have much more to say, I suppose it all felt a little rushed as well, it didn't take long at all for the bioweapon to be developed and employed and before you know if 8472 are scurrying back to their realm. Janeway and Chuckles conflicted is hardly played upon but for the one conversation they have in sickbay, and you'll forget they ever had this disagreement from the end of that scene. Seven of Nine will prove to be a somewhat handy addition to the show, though when you think about it she is basically a clean slate that can be easily developed and her character will take a great prominence from here on in till the end of the show. No other character does much here beyond the norm. A satisfying, if not rushed conclusion.
Rating: 6 (Cameron)

The Gift Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

The Gift to Voyager's rating woes! Seven of Nine's addition to the cast of course, cause I would hardly classify the sudden emergence of Kes' powers as much of a gift, more of a burden as with the rushing of her abilities coming into play as an excuse to push Jennifer Lien off the show, where as if they handled the issue with a little more thought in the preceding season it may not have seemed so forced. Considering the depth of these powers, it's a shame they were never put to any use, only some dull meditation scenes with Tuvok, and one story about her abilities/potential abilities was all the exposition given, so poor showing.
But we see parallels in the episode, the issue of imprisonment and of breaking free of ones own physical constraints both from the points of view of Seven and Kes, with Kes 'breaking free' of her physical form transcending into something else on her own accord, even against the wishes of Janeway, with Seven's story being a bit more literal, having to be broken out of her Borg-shell and being imprisoned in the brig till being forced by Janeway to accept her fate.
The story is wrapped up neatly though, Kes is off to else-wheres and Seven is 'assimilated' into the crew, though it's not so clear cut yet and her story will unravel quite a bit in the season.
Remarkable catsuit: Seven's silver one, my favorite :P
Rating: 6 (Cameron)

The Gift Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

No title to a Star Trek episode is more ironic than this..........
Following their easy victory over Species 8472 (let's be honest, what did Voyager EXACTLY lose?) they have a left over drone in the cargo hold. Captain Janeway looks into its past and discovers that the drone is a lost human girl, one Anna Hansen, and in that mad moment of morality, she decides to save the girl from the cybernetic clutches of the Borg. The girl is frightened, rebellious etc but Jinny WILL succeed – after all, as Cameron well puts it, they do need her for the ratings.
Whilst this is happening, Kes is evolving faster than a Pokémon and her abilities are tearing the ship slowly apart. So in the end in a rather emotional and genuinely moving moment, Jinny gets her off ship – just then the poor lass transmutes to a higher life form and flings Voyager et al "clear" (and I say that with tremendous sarcasm due to the numerous times they keep RE-ENTERING it) of Borg space.
Despite their best efforts to hide the fact, it is utterly obvious what this is about – replacing Kes with a hopeful ratings winner in the form of the greatest sexist idea since Buck Rogers’ Princess Adala.
Seven of Nine to be fair is a great idea; a survivor from the Borg, who is not brought up in Star Fleet’s/Federation moral compass could create a very interesting character – someone who could be like Lily from "First Contact", or Hugh from "I, Borg"; a realist, someone who can give the crew some pointers, a different opinion, or a reality check.
Alas what we will get is a scientific Borg efficient bore who takes the form of a babe. Yes, a babe; Shapely, blonde, perfect in ways, wears figure hugging spandex, and more; she is Spock, she is Data, she is Torres, and Janeway all wrapped into one - but sexier. Her cultivation into a babe is designed blatantly to woo the lads (and prove to the girls why blokes who love sci-fi are sad losers) and the ratings. Has it ever occurred to those pricks in Hollywood that many other men watch Star Trek for science fiction, drama, and a good crew against great odds? Doing something this sexist can alienate many males too.
In addition, Seven’s arrival would be the core of virtually EVERY story to come – annihilating the very concept of what Voyager is suppose to be about – exploring UNKNOWN SPACE. Prior to this we had some interesting stories; afterwards it will be about "Comply this" and "said emotion is irrelevant". Well done lads!
As for getting rid of Kes and replacing her with this, is the point where Voyager finally lost it. Kes may not have a long life span, may not be in the league of Spock or Data as a great character, but she had a unique ability that has proven useful time and time again – psychic skills. Having a new character doing what all the cast can do is stupid. Kes had a valuable edge. In addition, Kes was also the Doctor’s assistant – since her departure, it’s the Doc on his own with occasional help from Mr Paris – their most senior helmsman!
And they wondered why the series went through the floor.
2/10 for the emotional loss of Kes.
Rating: 2 (Chris S)

Day of Honor Stardate not given: B'Elanna reluctantly faces the Klingon Day of Honor, and it turns out an awful day indeed. First she has to accept that her arrogant new crewmate Seven is going to work in engineering, then she has to drop the warp core after a failed experiment. Next, she and Paris take a shuttle to search for the core, but are attacked by the Caatati. An imminent hull breach forces them to leave the shuttle in spacesuits. Their oxygen having dropped to a minimum level, B'Elanna admits that she loves Tom. Most of the Caatati have been assimilated by the Borg, and besides the warp core they also demand the extradition of Seven of Nine. Seven succeeds in finding a solution for the energy shortage of the Caatati who agree to return the warp core.

I loved this episode for a few reasons. I like how they put B'Elanna on the holodeck for the Klingon day of honor ritual. I also liked how for the first time we see a species that was almost extinct by the Borg and Seven ends up greatly helping them. About the scene where B'Elanna tells Tom she loves him: It's about time, to any serious Voyager fan we figured that out like a month before.
Remarkable scene: The day of honor ritual includes eating the heart of a targ and the drinking from the grail of Kahless.
Remarkable quote: "We've dumped the core. Welcome to the worst day of my life." (Torres to Janeway)
Rating: 9 (Kyle)

Day of Honor Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

I was actually a tad bored by this episode but it built into a pretty decent analysis of B'Elanna. For a long time the only thing indicative of her being Klingon was just being a bit snappier at the crew than normal, but here she's actually far more human, acknowledging that her grating personality was just only pushing away those who cared, of course Tom Paris the prime example, who finally gets his reward when she admits to 'loving' him. So this episode really kick starts their relationship, and I actually respect how it was built up over the long period and the two actors hinted at it for a while before now.
The B-plot of course focuses on Seven's desire to function in some capacity as part of the crew, while the ship deals with a bunch of jerks in the Caatati, who after taking a wealth of supplies from Voyager, holds its ejected core to ransom in an effort to extort more supplies from the ship, however Seven conveniently possesses the knowledge needed to help the Caatati replenish their energy supply. Granted, I don't think she was immediately told that they used thorium isotopes, but it was still a deus ex machina and one delivered at the wrong time.
So, funnily an above average episode, started out with silliness involving B'Elanna wrestling with cliché Klingon rituals, but she's not at all like Worf who embraced these ideals, and here we see she's more human for it, and not just a cardboard cutout, conflicted hybrid character, like Worf.
Remarkable scene: Voyager being reflected in B'Elanna's helmet before the pair are beamed back into the ship with the credits rolling immediately after.
Rating: 7 (Cameron)

Nemesis Stardate 51082.4: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Chakotay in Vietnam fighting Predators! Yet another episode which isn't that great that happens to feature Chakotay in the leading role but I did like some things. The imagery of course, the soldiers being desecrated was kind of disturbing in a way, as well as the villagers being taken away to extermination camps. The language of the Vori, the unique way that different words are supplemented to still get the message across. Even though the Vori weren't a typical 'ridged forehead' or 'spotted' alien-humanoid of the week, their language was obviously some small attempt to differentiate them from Humans which I thought was a bit refreshing.
Also the twists the episode takes, Chakotay really experiencing an indoctrination simulation as evidenced by his return to the 'reset' village, the Kradin actually being the friendly aliens who help Voyager, but that's where the intelligence seems to end. The idea of the Vori capturing their own people and others to fight their war using this lengthy simulation seemed convoluted and confusing, if the Kradin were so brutal (and nothing was said to prove otherwise) surely the Vori government wouldn't need such a time consuming process to recruit "dozens" of soldiers at a time. And the message was too simple, Chuckles couldn't deal with accepting the thanks of a member of a people, he'd just been brainwashed into hating, of course he'll have trouble dealing for a short time (short time being till the start of the nest episode of course ;-D).
Remarkable omission: Shock, horror! Seven of Nine doesn't appear in this episode! Never fear, it is the only episode in which she doesn't make an appearance.
Rating: 4 (Cameron)

Nemesis Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

I have no idea what is the purpose of this episode.
Shuttle crasher Chuckles (thanks Cameron! ;)) crashes on a world in a civil war - despite his "Star Fleet" training, he is caught very easily by natives and over time is indoctrinated into their conflict.
The crew of Voyager figure out with the natives where he is and what is going on. Turns out that they warp the minds of aliens to recruit them into their fights. Cue some pseudo morality talk and another banal episode comes to an end.
Two things I do not like about this episode - first the ambush ploys - surely there would be a point that they may pick on the WRONG race and they come down on this planet like fire? It could have been an interesting plot twist, but no. This war carries on because its a plot point, and some pseudo moral BS to throe to the public.
Second, what I don't like about this is Chakotay - I have never been a fan of him at all - and the end where he storms out emphasises my point. He likes imposing himself on the likes of Tom, Banana, Harry, and other members of the crew, and expects all to jump at his word, yet when he cocks up he is "allowed" to get over it, cope, figure it out. Had this happened to Harry, Tom or Banana, Chakotay would have given them a dressing down. What BIAS!
Only thing I like about this episode is that Chuckles got a lot of abuse and suffered. More please! Hence the point.
Rating: 1 (Chris S)

Revulsion Stardate 51186.2: Synopsis in main VOY listing

I guess it's always difficult to combine comedy and a drama/thriller with positive results, and that might be why this episode doesn't take off the way it does, and along the way falls into the trap of many clichés seen before in the 'horror' genre as is repeated with Dejaren's story. All that creeping around corridors, chases with the killer stalking, advancing adding to the tension, the miraculous lethal weapon perfectly placed for B'Elanna to use. Of course, the obligatory foreshadowing of his psychotic nature with his constant rants about 'organics', you could see the out come coming a mile away really, and did it help that we knew what he had done beforehand? And what good would sending a distress call had done, if he had already been sick of dealing with organics. He probably just didn't think it all through and clearly wasn't operating on all 'sub-routines' at the time.
The B-story is a lot better though, of course because it has moments of hilarity, and of course, the ever-beautiful Jeri Ryan slinking around in that silver catsuit... anyway. Seven and Kim working on some seemingly generic technical stuff and Kim is, as expected, infatuated and he's doing his best not to make it known. The best part of course is in the mess hall, and that quote of Seven's is acknowledged below, and what a fool Harry was not to 'comply' ;-)
Some nice continuity points as well, Paris referencing B'Elanna's "Day of Honor" as occurring a few days before hand, Paris the replacement Doctor as per his duties as nurse, Paris again, referencing the episode "Alter Ego" how Harry had fallen for a hologram.
All that redeems this though are the funnier parts of the episode and Leland Orser's performance.
Remarkable dialogue: "All of these elaborate rituals of deception... I didn't realize becoming human again would be such a challenge. Sexuality is particularly complex. As Borg, we had no need for seduction, no time for single-cell fertilization. We saw a species we wanted, and we assimilated it. Nevertheless, I am willing to explore my humanity. Take off your clothes." - "Uh... Seven..." - "Don't be alarmed. I won't hurt you." -Seven of Nine and Ensign Kim
Remarkable quote: "I exist as pure energy, but you depend on food and water to survive. Frankly, I find it disgusting. Look at you. Look at you! Grinding up bits of plants and animals with your teeth. Secreting saliva to force it down your esophagus into a pit of digestive acids. You can't even stand to think about it yourself. What a repulsive creature you are, constantly shedding your skin and hair, leaving your oily sweat on everything you touch! You think that you are the height of intellect in the universe but you are no better than any filthy animal! And I am ashamed to be made in your image!" -Dejaren
Rating: 5 (Cameron)

Revulsion Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

The opener was trying to be a shocker - but to me the shock was how bad this episode is.
It starts interesting - a man cleaning blood from a wall and dragging a corpse away. The moment said man starts to flicker I knew it was going to be another safe/silly plot involving holopeople - and a start of a bad trend for future episodes.
So answering the distress call, Jinny sends her BEST engineer and the ONLY doctor to a ship way out of their way with no knowledge if it's a trap or some other danger. One can say that this is the case of ambulance men and roadside maintenance - but in somewhere hostile or unknown, would anyone sane send them alone? When they do arrive, Banana understands the tech with typical remarkable ease and the Doctor chats to the Nutty program. Little twig signals tell B'Elanna that this program is not alright, and learn that he does not want them to go to a certain place. Cue a distraction, the grizzly discovery and the limp resolution to it all.
Okay, it cannot be too heavy handed but it's been done before in VOY: "Darkling", and could have been done better considering the writing pool they had - it was too easily resolved, too rushed, almost to the point that the entire encounter was nothing more than a trivial inconvenience. Think of a cheque being cleared finally after a couple of minutes and you get the idea.
The second plot of Harry and Seven - F*** sake - again sexual tensions because she is in hot silver spandex, with added PPWWOOARRRR!!!!! And why Harry? He is that BRIGHT in getting the Astrometrics lab up and running? What do all the other people on Voyager do aside of engineering and security? Can't Harry be professional? Why MUST EVERYONE be looking or eager for a relationship or sex? This was handled with the finesse of a Carry On film.
Final insult again is by my personal irritant Chakotay; he expects all to do as he says, and get on with it - so listening to the crew's concerns results in what? Nothing - voiced your concerns carry on! So with that in mind what is the point but carry on when those concerned will not listen? And if you do not voice your opinion, you are blamed for bottling it up? If this is what Starfleet is suppose to be about - no thanks!
Remarkable scene: When B'Elanna enters the lower decks and activates the Matrix systems - and the panels light up - showing the dead crewmen hung!
Rating: 0 (Chris S)

The Raven Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

"The Raven" is much like TNG episode "Brothers". Data/Seven is minding his/her own business when suddenly a transponder/resonance frequency is detected. S/he then goes on a rampage and commandeers the ship/a shuttle to a planet/moon where s/he discovers the place of his/her origin.
Much like Data and the Doctor, Seven of Nine was a practically easy character to work with and develop during her time on Voyager as she is essentially a blank slate to do whatever with and the end result will be far more development and characterisation than started with. Jeri Ryan herself had not been a huge Star Trek fan and her only experiences with the Borg came from watching "First Contact" and a few Borg-centric episodes from TNG after she was cast in the role of Seven. Her uncertainty and unease in the role actually helped her performance and it's pretty evident in an episode like this where you can see Seven eating for the first time, experiencing fears, different sensations and so on.
He she discovers her 'birthplace' as a Borg. As said, a Borg device activates on her hand in response to a Borg resonance signal she is receiving. She proceeds to assault security teams and easily escapes in a shuttle by means of every technobabble trick under the sun.
Meanwhile Voyager are dealing with the B'omar who insist on tracking every move on their pre-arranged course for Voyager to fly through if they wish to navigate their space and avoid a three-month detour. They're a bunch of arseholes anyway so you don't care when Seven attacks them after hijacking a shuttle (though her human sensibilities must have been strong considering she destroyed none of them). Tuvok is also present here, beaming aboard Seven's shuttle to stop her, but offering a comforting presence to the uneasy ex-drone who had been suffering from hallucinations of Borg aboard a ship and a Raven flying to her (in some well filmed nightmare/flashback scenes).
The pair end up ! on a moon where the signal has been emanating to discover the wreckage of the Raven, a Federation ship which Seven of Nine's parents were aboard at the time of their assimilation.
The B'omar show up to destroy Seven and fire on the surface. Tuvok and Seven escape before the ship is destroyed and Voyager disables the B'omar ships and quickly hastens to leave their space, opting to take the long way round.
It's an easy episode, and an easy script, Jeri Ryan is pretty good recounting her experience of being assimilated as a young girl and it's already refreshing considering we wont really see her in a position like this where she actually has to ACT more than an ex-drone many more times in the show. Everything else is pretty paint by numbers, scene filler and so on. An average episode, but nothing outstanding.
Remarkable scenes: Seven of Nine's 'flashbacks/nightmares'. Pretty troubling imagery, especially the creepy Borg shrieking like a Raven!
Nitpicking: When Seven and Tuvok escape the Raven, the registry is NAR-32450. What could NAR stand for? And that registration number is clearly too advanced for a ship launched in the mid-2350's.
Remarkable fact: This episode was directed by LeVar Burton
Remarkable scene: Seven of Nine eating for the first time.
Rating: 6 (Cameron)

Scientific Method Stardate 51244.3: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Another creepy episode of Star Trek in the spirit of the equally disturbing TNG: "Schisms" in which aliens from another realm (of sorts) experiment with the crew. I like how the usage of Seven's implants gave us a chance to see the experiments taking place and it's quite uncomfortable to see all these devices strapped to the crews heads and the aliens playing around with them while the crew went about their duties unaware. And it was a good decision to have the Doctor hide in sickbay and Seven covertly monitor the aliens.
It's actually strange how the plot of Neelix and Chakotay was kind of abandoned, they were returned to their quarters, but to all but vanish half way through the story line was strange, they set up these dramatic changes for the pair but don't bother to follow through at all! And once more I must say how little a fan of those threats to kill the crew that seem to come about just for the sake of increasing tension I am. The alien scientist in the brig already got her skewed point across that what she was doing was the "right" thing, with Voyager's crew all but clueless as to how to stop them performing their experiments I didn't think the clichéd threat was needed. But at least Janeway had a legitimate reason to try and destroy the ship for once ;)
Some great visual effects, already seeing through Seven's 'eyes' was an effective technique, that beautiful binary system, Voyager itself rendered in CG, Season 4 is definitely where the show caught up with contemporary visual effects rather than simply relying on the models and sparingly used CGI.
Quite a clever episode.
Remarkable quote: "Sorry, these lab rats are fighting back." -Janeway, to Alzen
Remarkable fact: According to memory-alpha.org, it was during this episode that Kate Mulgrew quit smoking, perhaps that contributed to her irritable performance ;)
Rating: 7 (Cameron)

Year of Hell, Part I Stardate 51268.4: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Brilliant, an amazing introduction to 80+ minutes of the finest of Trek there is, my only gripe is that they didn't do this sort of story telling right from the start, however I am happy with what was achieved here as it was.
Amazing visual effects, dramatic story telling bringing out some of the better performances from the cast, the ship strewn with rubble like you'd expect after the constant battles, a compelling and tragic villain in Annorax (surely one of the best villains from all Star Trek's incarnations). The continuity with "Before and After" was well handled as well, of course there's the issue of how Voyager ended up in Krenim space without Kes pushing them there as she did in "The Gift", however this can be overlooked if one is willing to concede Voyager made some off-screen jump somehow... But it's nice how the effects and camera shots from "Before and After" were reincorporated into this episode. And we again witness more conflict with Chakotay and Janeway over her decision, but seriously, the performances all round were great. Seeing the crew in this desperate situation and fighting to survive (Tuvok going blind, Neelix becoming a security officer, Chakotay not shaving!), personally I expected this to have happened from Day 1 considering Voyager's plight of being alone, no allies, no supplies, hounded from Day 1 by Kazon, Vidiian, Borg, yet never had it taken a pounding like this, nor the consequences been so severe, so it's rather bittersweet to only place Voyager and her crew in this situation for 2 episodes.
Nevertheless, an amazing set up for part 2, an incredible episode.
Remarkable styling: Janeway sports yet another hairstyle in this episode, the shorter version which she'll keep for the rest of Season 4, and the remainder of the show.
Remarkable new toy: This episode premiers the impressive Astrometrics lab, which will make many more appearances over the series.
Remarkable visual effects: The opening sequence with Annorax's time-vessel erasing the civilisation. Deck 5's destruction.
Remarkable ship: Of course, Annorax's time-ship.
Rating: 10 (Cameron)

Year of Hell, Part II Stardate 51425.4: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Wow, wow, wow, the follow up to the first part delivers in every way except the reset button, however considering the time weapon was responsible for Voyager's predicament it is only logical that its own destruction would've restored Voyager to her original condition, however I wish another way would've been found to have destroyed it, the crew of Voyager had been through so much and bonded through their 'year of hell' that it all deserved to have been validated, in the end Seven's relationship with Tuvok is erased, the trials of the remainder of the crew are reset, and of course, the ship is back in pristine condition, ensuring that no scars from the experience were left on either crew or ship. So it does get a mark taken off it for that, it was a necessary step to take, but one only taken to ensure that Voyager's reputation for being so easily accessible and dare I say, 'sanitization', was maintained.
We learn more about Annorax as well, his motivations, however in that I believe we lost the sympathy first garnered for him in Part 1, in the second Part we see the true scale of his ambition to restore his wife and in that we see how big a god complex he has, more than once during the episode he talks himself up as how billions of lives exist at his mere whim unless they interfered with the Imperium and Kyana Prime. I think that made him a little too harsh of a character really, yes his crimes were obvious, but to go so far as to even gloat over the power his ship gave him, didn't think it was needed or wanted.
Never the less, great action, greater effects once more, brilliant conclusion to the "Year of Hell".
Remarkable quote #1: "Target Voyager. Put Janeway out of her misery." -Annorax
Remarkable quote #2: "Time's up!" -Janeway
Remarkable PUN: "It's a beautiful day. Spend it with me?" - "I suppose I can make the time." -Annorax's wife and Annorax
Remarkable scene: Voyager ramming the Weapon-ship
Remarkable fact: According to memory-alpha.org, after leaving Star Trek, Ronald D. Moore used this episode as an example of how Star Trek: Voyager should have proceeded all along.
Rating: 9 (Cameron)

Year of Hell I/II Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Well a lot have said WOW etc to this - but not me.
Why? It has SFX galore, the crew desperate, things going down the tubes and all hell seems to be breaking loose. I should embrace this with the warm hug of a poor man winning the Lottery.
However it's not that I don't - I can't.
The reason is this - it has time travel in it - and in Star Trek especially - time travel is seldom used for anything simple or sensible - its always used to plant a "what if?" idea, a redo, or the lack of imagination. Rare is the case where time travel makes an interesting story - the greatest example is "Yesterday's Enterprise" - one will argue it's a "what if" Story - but it's more about a theory than to make a story for story's sake. "The Year of Hell" alas is not that.
The problems stem a lot from the way the story is done - for a start the Voyager is attacked and takes a hellovabeating. It's smacked up far worse than the Enterprise in "The Wrath of Khan", "The Search for Spock", and "The Undiscovered Country". Yet still flies, still fights, and still kicks ass.
The enemy is not impressive or remarkable - the Borg in BOBW were, the Klingons have a reputation, but the Krenim could have been blokes taking their dog out for a walk. They have no characteristic or distinctiveness.
The Crew of Voyager are shown that they are suffering, losing but none are killed - well none of the main characters.
Then there is the attitude - Tuvok getting stroppy over Seven's attempt to get the chronoton torps' frequencies - so, how were they to find a way to countermeasure the weapon's effects when the sensor array is blown apart, big ears? More to the point, such deviations of duty the crew perform are accepted other times! So why at the their most desperate hour are they being so "by the book?"
On the subject of deviations of attitude, what irked me was Chakotay's attitude to Paris - I never liked Chakotay, I have always thought of him as a pompous bully and an utter creep = and in a way it was emphasised here! Chakotay always came across as the kind of man you know you would never get on. Yet so many times, he gets away with it. How and why? Had he been on Sisko's station, or on Picard's ship, he would have no chance - here....
Finally the heart of the problem - the Krenim time weapon - despite the SFX and the desperate situation of the story, I knew, I so KNEW that here was the redo button - I was just wondering when it was going to be activated. When it did with the Voyager ramming the time weapon I just winced.
I hoped that maybe, MAYBE this may have been a new direction of the crew - damaged and not as omnipotent as normal, being more fearful about the unknown, and maybe a few changes of attitude towards each other aboard ship. Something mature may have come out of it. But no - This is the typical style of Bed & Breakfast - skim the realm where things go wrong in the perfect world of Star Trek, but at the last moment redo it all to show the Ardent Trekkie massive that everything is alright.
What is the point in that? Its like being on a thrilling amusement ride only to wake up and discover it was all a dream!
Some will say that is the case with "Yesterday's Enterprise" - but why that worked is because you know that reality IS NOT SUPPOSE TO exist and that it will revert - hence the tension.
This - was here and now - but thanks to a convenient loophole - we are back where we started albeit a few minor changes. I felt cheated! After all the crash in the Krenim ship may have not done what was planned, but no, Bed and Breakfast made it work and as a result copped out ONCE AGAIN!
I give it 4 - because of the Special Effects ALONE.
Remarkable ship and theory: The Krenim Time weapon - the overall design reminds me of Babylon five the station! Was it coincidence or was it a way to do a covert two fingered salute to their biggest rival?
Rating: 4 (Chris S)

Random Thoughts Stardate 51367.2: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Oh we've seen it all before, Starfleet officer unwittingly commits a crime or is framed for committing one on an alien planet with some wholly undemocratic and unjustifiable laws in place, this time it's the familiar concept of thought crimes. One Starfleet officer digs around at his own peril, discovers the truth, exonerating the other officer accused.
Like I said we've seen this sort of scenario happen lots of times in other incarnations of Trek there's little point discussing the plot, it's a mediocre episode. Oh and of course it HAD to feature that out of place final scene in which Janeway once more dispenses her 'Captain Knows Best' attitude, telling Seven their involvement with other cultures during their journey home, as dangerous as it may be, is worth it for some sense of enlightenment. Show me what enlightenment was gained from interacting with the Mari, a race policing the thoughts of their citizens (and visiting aliens) to no benefit but to try and reinforce the idea that their technique had eliminated crime. Maybe if Janeway had done a quick reading over of the planets laws like we do in this day and age before visiting other countries with different cultures the problem may not have arisen in the first place.
Remarkable guest appearance: Switching bad teeth for bad hair, Gwyneth Walsh, better known as Duras sister B'Etor, stars in this episode as Chief Examiner Nimira.
Rating: 4 (Cameron)

Random Thoughts Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

I have no idea what this episode is about but my hunches are these - either to show the unexpected dangers and faux pas in encountering other cultures that are not laid down in obvious laws, or it's a show up that another society claiming to be better than Star Fleet/The Federation, is not.
Again telepaths, again human looking, again B'Elanna causes a problem, again Tuvok looks into it, again Jinny is willing to break the Prime Directive to rescue her crewman because "NO ONE EVER THREATENS ONE OF HER CREW" philosophy (but on this occasion has restraint and respect! -  Point 1), and again said society is found to have a dark underbelly - in this case the eradication of violent thoughts has led to some seeking them through black marketing means - in a literal way - its like Ecstasy! Think porn, drugs, dogfighting, you get the idea.
There seems to be a sense of glee in discovering that the Mari society is flawed - which is a bad attitude. The only plus point is that at least the security officer Nimira is not the usual arrogant/dark secret hiding visitor of the week, and listens (Point 2).
One more thing undermines this episode and it's a point Bernd has - if the slightest contact with races who are not telepathic and are not as enlightened, how comes more incidents have not occured? Somehow I think this was overlooked for this "story"; well pointed out Bernd.
This story created from a cradle of Emmy award winning writers.
Rating: 2 (Chris S)

Concerning Flight Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

I was going to write a really big rant on this but Bernd's review so hit this episode on the head, it has wittled down somewhat, but plenty to still say.
First off, again the obsession in preserving holographic characters, especially of ones who are long ago DEAD. As Bernd and Tuvok say, this is a reproduction, but Jinny treats him as an actual person! Why the hell does she justify he is real!?
Then he interferes like a bumbling idiot, yelling "Caterina" all the F***ing time. What a waste of John Rhys-Davies talent! In reality, she would have turned off the emitter, slipped it into her pocket, and carried on - BUT NO!! That would be too easy!
Then there is the "mugging" - the crew decide to be "sneaky" locating bits here and there, but with the enthusiasm of disgruntled workers. Why not seek, shoot, locate, deactivate dampening/spacial whatever field and get their gear back? Again too easy. More laughable is the fact that they leave a lot of stuff behind, like the portable transport emitter and tricorder!
The main thing they were after was the main processor - and MY GOD what a piece of crap prop design it is! Again a glowy piece of any nonsense - okay I may not have an idea what a processor from a starship in the 24th century will look like, but surely they could have come up with something better designed than THAT!
Finally the escape - in a glider that the Maestro made - the pair fly away, eluding the pirates who have beam weapons...and they could not shoot it down because....?
It is a stupid, over-priced, self smug, Star Fleet morals save the day, laboured episode with unnecessary bits shoved in for grandeur. Has they done it without Leo, had say the Pirates attacked someone who was a tad hacked off and was taking their "feelings" to them or something like that, it would be better. No, they came up with this.
One of too many crap episodes made that started to make Voyager unbearable.
Remarkable Thank God moment: This is the last time we will ever see Leonardo Da Vinci in Voyager!
Rating: 0 (Chris S)

Concerning Flight Stardate 51386.4 : Synopsis in main VOY listing

Well John Rhys-Davies was perfect as a holographic Leonardo Da Vinci, but that's all this episode had going for it. Totally forgettable and pointless otherwise.
Voyager gets attacked by some aliens and has their technology stolen, including the mobile emitter a a hologram of Da Vinci that was running at the time of the attack. Most of these items are found without a fuss but for the computer processor which remains missing. Tuvok returns to the ship from the away mission leaving Janeway and Da Vinci on the surface to continue looking. Why? I HAVE NO FRIGGIN IDEA. There was nothing to prevent Janeway going back up with Da Vinci, locating the warehouse where the computer was located and beaming down an armed security team to recover ALL the loot that was taken. Instead Janeway insists that she stay on the surface with this holographic representation to look for it the hard way.
A major problem with this episode is carried over in the infuriating "Nothing Human" in Season 5 where our crew seem oblivious that these holograms are nothing but synthetic representations of these historical figures. Instead in "Nothing Human" and here again, the crew treat these figures like REAL people. Janeway wants Da Vinci to come along to help recover the processor, but he would prefer to stay on this alien world, under the impression it's America, to pursue his creative means. Janeway though argues 'Europe needs him'. Umm, THIS IS A HOLOGRAM! He can easily but shut down and transported back into the emitter if causing a fuss. He's not even a real person, yet Janeway insists on speaking to him as if it was the REAL person, a point Tuvok makes all too clear which she brushes off as some supposed 'opportunity'.
But anyway, Janeway and Leo find the warehouse in which their stuff has been taken, they beam the processor back to Voyager. Leo is shot at but the beam passes through him, leading to way too much dialogue about him questioning if he's dead, blah blah blah. The pair then set up a site to site transport to the countryside where Leo's flying machine is set up, they fly off, Voyager beams them back, happy days for all.
But who cares in the end, this episode was poor.
Nitpicking: An alien from the planet who traded to get a Starfleet uniform, phaser rifle and other technology is interrogated by Chakotay, then let go, WITH Voyager's technology? Isn't this a violation of the Prime Directive?
Nitpicking #2: The amount of Voyagers technology left behind and no attempt made to recover more of it.
Rating: 1 (Cameron)

Mortal Coil Stardate 51449.2: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Neelix pondering whether he should continue living? Some may find that an oxymoron but Ethan Phillips actually delivers a convincing performance here and it's a surprisingly decent episode. 2 things bothered me, 1. Another of Chakotay's silly vision quests. Sure it had its place and it helped tell the story and better illustrate Neelix's inner turmoil (albeit in more of a DS9 sort of way), but it wasn't something explained well enough as to how it worked (how does the piece of technology really work?), and always seemed a little stereotypical considering Chakotay's heritage. But on the other hand it could just have shown that people can still have their own faith despite the times they live in. In either case, Chakotay gets a good scene convincing Neelix not to kill himself, and all in all, something other to do than say 'Yes Captain', so I'm happy. :)
2nd thing was how Neelix blocked out the transporter over-ride, enough said.
But at least due to the quality of acting on offer those issues seem rather insignificant and it's an episode carried well by an actor exploring a very real issue that may be dealt with by members of society, perhaps forever. And of course it's not something dealt with in Trek as I don't believe any other characters barring Spock had come this close to death. Picard's experience in TNG: "Tapestry" is of course questionable, Sisko's fate was left up in the air, and when they killed Jadzia and Tasha they killed them good, i.e. permanently.
This episode also deals with Seven to a small degree, but nothing so distracting from the original plot, and of course reintroduces Naomi Wildman, who was last seen as an infant only 2 seasons before in 'Deadlock', of course, Ktarian physiology explains why she seems to have doubled or tripled in age in that short space of time. Good episode.
Remarkable continuity: Seven mentions Neelix's solitary lung in this episode, as his original lungs were stolen by the Vidiians, with Kes donating one of hers as a supplement.
Remarkably awkward conversation point: "Children assimilated by the Borg are placed in maturation chambers for seventeen cycles." -Seven of Nine, to Samantha Wildman and the Doctor
Remarkably bad luck: Turns out Neelix chose the wrong faith, with the Talaxian Afterlife all but non-existent, we find out however in Season 6's "Barge of the Dead" the Klingon Afterlife is perhaps quite real.
Rating: 6 (Cameron)

Waking Moments Stardate 51471.3: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Another routine alien-takeover plot with a slight twist about dreams and reality and the crews fears which makes it at least not as boring and predictable as the others. Really nothing more to it than that though. Gets a 5 for originality's sake.
Remarkable quote: "I wonder what a Vulcan nightmare would be like." - "Alone, exiled on a planet, where the only form of communication is laughter." -B'Elanna and Neelix.
Rating: 5 (Cameron)

Waking Moments Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

The start of this episode should alert all that something daft was on its way - and low and behold it did not disappoint.
The crew have weird dreams, long sleep patterns, and experience the same alien in them - akin to TNG: "Night Terrors" and TNG: "Schisms".
In typical fashion it's Chuckles who comes up with the way to save the day. By doing "vivid dreaming" (only he knows how), he is partially asleep and 'in control of his dreams' and the first thing he does is a homage to Dancing with Wolves by going to his native ways and hunt a dear with a REAL Native American spear - must have been a joy to the thousands of "Native Americans" that Star Trek are not 'percieving them' as you-know-whats - despite said poor people are still on reservations in their native homeland! Makes all the difference eh!?
Anyway the deer turns into an alien - the alien in their dreams. Cue loads of macho bravado, numerous means of waking up ONLY to discover that its a dream AGAIN a few times with a clue to tell Chuckles he is asleep, akin to TNG: "Frame of Mind", and the entire crew falling for what is causing their sleep to be sooooooooo long. This only leaves Chakkers and the Doc to find the cause and learn its on an isolated planet. Chuckles again beams down and discovers the cause - A SLEEP MACHINE!!
I have never EVER heard of such a stupid plot to seize a ship! A machine that induces sleep to take control of a ship!? So the captures did not think they would fall under its spell? Anyway another example of why I do not like Chuckles is that he disobeys Doctor's orders, but expects the Doctor to obey his. Everyone knows that the Doctor has the final say on ANY ship! Had he reasoned with him or explained well enough okay, but Chuk's insistance bullied the Doctor to relinquish - sides if Chakotay fell asleep at the crucial moment - what then? The Alien may not have bothered or fell asleep too and all would be lost -"It's a RISK!" so why did the Doc not beam down another load of wake drug? No time? Please!
The ending makes no utter sense, and everything carries on as before! Just the threat of a missile on the dying aliens? WTF!! 
Coming from a team of writers, this is atrocious!! I mean what happened to the aliens who did this? Why? What is done about it? RUBBISH!!!
Remarkable scene: Chakotay finds all the aliens in the cavern - hundreds of them! All asleep. One point for that visual.
Rating: 1 (Chris S)

Message in a Bottle Stardate 51462: Synopsis in main VOY listing

This is a great episode, full of laughs and action and impressive effects and even a competent supporting role from the now universally loathed and aptly named Andy Dick. And in terms of the story it's a big turning plot in Voyager's journey, with the Doc transferred back to the Alpha Quadrant by way of a relay network operated by the Hirogen who we'll get more familiar with this and next season. There he's confronted by Romulans who have hijacked a sophisticated Starfleet prototype ship, an action I doubt highly considering the Romulans' history of non-aggression, maybe they could've used another species who you would have expected to have been so bold in commandeering such a vessel, but it's not so big an issue to worry about. Plenty of great quotes and a wonderful battle scene involving some well rendered Starfleet and Romulan vessels, one of the best episodes of the series, highly enjoyable episode.
Oh, and I'll echo Bernd's nitpicking about the Beta Quadrant, from the looks of the the astrometrics display, the Network looked to have not spread into the Alpha Quadrant at all but indeed the Beta Quadrant.
Remarkable dialogue #1: "I am as close to a sentient lifeform as any hologram could hope to be. I socialize with the crew, fraternize with aliens, I've even had sexual relations." - "SEX? How is that possible? We are not - equipped..." - "...Let's just say: I made an addition to my program..." - "Before you leave, maybe you could download those subroutines into my database?" - "We'll see..." -The Doctor and EMH Mark II
Remarkable dialogue #2: "Stop breathing down my neck!" - "My breathing is merely a simulation!" - "So is my neck, stop it anyway!" -The Doctor and EMH Mark II
Remarkable quote #1: "I'm a doctor, not a commando!" -EMH Mark II
Remarkable quote #2: "I'm a pilot, Harry, not a doctor!" -Tom Paris
Remarkable quote #3: "Beep beep beep, beep beep beep? I've never heard that one before." -EMH Mark II
Remarkable ship: The USS Prometheus
Rating: 9 (Cameron)

Hunters Stardate 51501.4: Synopsis in main VOY listing

This episode is a good enough follow up to "Message in a Bottle" in that it revisits the Hirogen relay network and formally introduces the Hirogen as the next villain species for the first time, whilst dealing with the crew's letters from home and the impact is has on them. Just randomly there's a nice bit of acting from Kate Mulgrew as Janeway's reading her letter from Mark, realising he had come to accept she was lost and had moved on and married someone else, I'd seen this episode a few times now and that bit always strikes me. So the episode for the first half plods along with character development from Janeway to Kim, to Paris, to B'Elanna and Tuvok, and becomes routine in the second half when the Hirogen emerge and all ships are nearly destroyed, in the process though the one relay station they're getting the letters from is destroyed, in effect collapsing the entire network, which was a fairly bold move story wise and rather tragic.
I'm pretty amicable about this episode, nothing remarkable happens, but it isn't a terrible episode for that though. The Hirogen's first major appearance though is memorable, we can already understand their way of life devoted to the 'hunt' and that will play a major part in the rest of their appearances.
Rating: 7 (Cameron)

Prey Stardate 51652.3 : Synopsis in main VOY listing

This is another episode displaying problems with Janeway's apparent moral code in the ever consistent way she presents herself and makes her decisions. This all became so apparent in this and the previous season where we see Janeway going from a Captain leading her crew to becoming more of a dictator unwilling to compromise.
'Prey' starts with a pair of Hirogen pursuing a lone 8472. We're under the assumption it's killed till Voyager finds the Hirogen ship adrift and all but one crew member killed. The 8472 breaks into Voyager from the outside and the hunt is on. Several Hirogen ships are on a course to intercept Voyager as the 8472 is cornered, pleading, telepathically through Tuvok, to be returned to its own realm. Janeway agrees to return it in spite of the warnings of retribution from the Hirogen hunter who warns Voyager's crew will take the place of the 8472 if they don't surrender it to them, and the disagreement of Seven of Nine who feels it's an unwise decision and refuses to open a singularity. Fuhrer Janeway sticks by her guns though and Voyager swiftly falls under attack. The ship is crippled (Janeway's own words, remember that) and the 8472 is agitated to the point of requiring sedation. The Hirogen hunter breaks free of confinement and Seven of Nine is sent to sedate the 8472 with nanoprobes. After the forcefield surrounding the 8472 fails, it attacks the Hirogen, Seven then beams the pair to one of the six Hirogen vessels attacking the ship and they leave.
Seven is then dressed down by Janeway, but the former makes the point that in encouraging Seven to be an individual and think for herself, Janeway should expect of her to make her own decisions and in this case, the decision was the RIGHT one.
Tree-huggers and bleeding hearts would disagree, and Roddenberry probably would as well, but I'm in the corner of Seven of Nine here. The Hirogen gave Janeway a reasonable offer to surrender the creature and they! would be left alone. This offer shouldn't even fall into question considering that when the 8472 is beamed to their ships, they break off their attack of Voyager and leave! Seven tells Janeway the ship would've been destroyed had she not given the creature up to them to which Janeway responds 'Maybe not'. 'MAYBE NOT'?! The Captain herself said the ship was crippled, their weapons were ineffective, warp engines were inoperable and the ships were still firing on the ship, how can she consider the ship would not have been destroyed? Seven of Nine saved the crew by making a tough call Janeway didn't have the balls to do, and she is correct when chastising Janeway for assuming that just because she had a feel good 'oh isn't humanity so perfect' experience one time means Seven should adopt her way of thinking, her beliefs, and her morals. Ha, her morals. In "Scorpion I" Janeway had no hesitation to side with the Borg and wanted to rally everything against 8472 without any consideration to how the conflict started, and in the next episode to involve 8472 "In the Flesh" Janeway goes wacko upon discovering the 8472's (ripped off of the Founders) plot to infiltrate Starfleet HQ using doppelgangers and again has no hesitation in wanting to stop their plans at all costs. And considering the 8472 in this episode was severed from the remainder of it's species, we can safely assume that the events of 'In The Flesh' had no connection to this episode, and Janeway's hopes for a compassionate solution would have been of no consequence.
My ramblings come down to this simple point. Janeway at times needs to know when to make the HARD choices and no everything is as cookie-cutter perfect in her view of the galaxy. She had the fortitude to do as much in "Tuvix" but in many episodes since then her character had evolved to one that would have her own agenda and discount the opinions of everyone else. In this situation she had a choice. Surrender one creature, or everyone on the ship dies. That was HER decision, with Seven! the only voice of dissent (the only HEARD voice, I'm sure others would! disagree with Janeway's morals), and the only one who had the guts to do what it took to save the crew.
Despite that this is still a pretty good episode, the special effects are great, Tony Todd is a wonderful guest star as the Hirogen, the acting is pretty good as well. Janeway's inconsistent attitude and wavering morals leave a bad taste, especially as she puts down Seven for saving the lives of the ship, showing Seven TRULY appreciates the collective she now belongs to.
Remarkable quote: "You made me into an individual. You encouraged me to stop thinking like a member of the collective... to cultivate my independence... my Humanity. But when I try to assert that independence, I am punished." - "Individuality has its limits. Especially on a starship, where there's a command structure." - "I believe that you are punishing me because I don't think the way that you do... because I'm not becoming more like you. You claim to respect my individuality... But in fact, you are frightened by it." -Seven of Nine to Janeway
Remarkable scene: the exterior shot of Voyager, with the 8472 crawling across its hull
Remarkable dialogue: "Is your body armor designed to handle rapid pressure fluctuations?" - "It can defeat most hostile environments. I once tracked a silicon-based lifeform through the neutronium mantle of a collapsed star." - "I once tracked a mouse through Jefferies tube thirty two." -Chakotay, Alpha Hirogen and Tom Paris
Rating: 6 (Cameron)

Retrospect Stardate 51658.2: Synopsis in main VOY listing

This is a fairly uninteresting episode about Seven and the Doctor and how their lack of experience with human emotions has ramifications. The Doc of course doesn't help egging her on as if her ordeal had actually happened, and in the end everyone pays for the mistakes made, Kovin kills himself, Seven is left feeling remorse and the Doctor contemplates having the sub-routines which led him to wanting to branch out beyond his programming, in this case to psychology which blinded his judgement, removed. But once more Overlord Janeway plays God with her crew and denies the Doctor's request, which, admittedly would've solved nothing and this is to help the Doctor understand the dilemma that other sentient beings go through with guilt and so forth.
Unremarkable lazy reuse: The timeship Aeon's cockpit returns as the cockpit for Kovin's ship, shockingly they couldn't even remove the Federation-like lighting on the inside in an effort to differentiate the too vessels.
Rating: 3 (Cameron)

The Killing Game, Part I Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Once again we're demonstrated that World War II was the only conflict in Earth history worth mentioning. EVER. That all aside I still think this is a great opening for the 2-parter, something that Voyager at least seems to do with great success consistently. The message about Nazi-ism and the overt implications of the Hirogen wearing their uniforms? I don't know, I think that one may have just gone over my head, I understand Bernd's point, but I don't think what happened in this episode is as bad as when it happened in TOS with the episode "Patterns of Force", at least in this scenario the Alpha Hirogen and many others of his race seem to belittle Nazi ideals, the Alpha is of course of the opinion that no one species is superior by blood or some deluded sense of entitlement. And the Beta is far too arrogant and dismissive of all the Alpha is trying to teach him to get caught up in Nazi ideals to care anyway. So in my opinion, this wasn't so much about trying to remind audiences about the German people's dark past (of course, they have no control over events that happened nearly 50 years ago nor should they be held accountable in anyway), but once more writers taking advantage of a dark chapter in HUMAN history and just costuming up the alien villains of the week accordingly.
Obviously the episode is sufficient in the action department, and story wise it's interesting that we are brought in mid-way during this story, well after the Hirogen had been able to board Voyager and forces its crew into the simulation. Jeri Ryan's got one hell of a voice too (and yes, that is HER singing). And we do gain a little bit more insight into Hirogen culture albeit from the point of view of one Hunter, as he tells of how the species had been pursuing this way of life for a long time, and that Voyager's technology had the potential to unite his people, so he at least isn't such a bland predictable character.
But the biggest problem is definitely plausibility. Until now the limits of the holodeck were well defined, and confined to what appeared to have been a small room, barely enough already for the Talaxian resort program from the earlier seasons. But this episode takes this all to a whole new level, already there is an entire French village, large enough to accommodate several members of the crew over a great distance, from the inside of the city to the outskirts where the "American Allies" Tom and Chakotay were, not too mention being possibly over 4 decks high as the final shot of the episode indicates. And which ever holodeck Harry expanded allowed if I'm not mistaken 5,000 square meters of space for the holodecks parameters. Unlikely.
But that all pales considering it's an entertaining enough episode.
Rating: 7 (Cameron)

The Killing Game, Part II Stardate 51715.2: Synopsis in main VOY listing

A satisfying conclusion, I think I'll keep this short. Once again like most follow up's in Voyager so far this one's much more focused on the action side of things, however this episode really promotes Roddenberry's ideals of cooperation and understanding greatly. Janeway and the Alpha Hirogen coming together and agreeing to calling a halt to the bloodshed, and a new leader steps up to fulfill his legacy in accepting Janeway's offer of the holodeck technology to create a new way of life for the Hirogen, so it's really well done how that message gets across. I however unlike Bernd do not take exception with the depiction of the holoprogram and so on, yes it is cheap and simplified, however it's still simply a holoprogram, nothing no more credible than an interactive "Saving Private Ryan", such technology is used for entertainment, not lecturing on the evils of humanity. And that's why I'm giving this a higher rating.
In doing so though, we see Janeway do a major back flip on her policies of sharing technology with aliens, perhaps seeing the Kazon didn't have the capability to post as great a threat to her crew as the Hirogen did, Janeway may have been all too happy to give up technology this instance just to get those killing her crew off the ship.
But that's beside the point, it's fun and action packed, the small input of the Doctor and Neelix as they deal with holographic Klingons is hilarious.
It's funny though how in the Captain's log summation Janeway mentions the damage to the ship as severe, will we see such ramifications next episode? Even more unlikely!
Remarkable quote #1: "They're Nazis, totalitarian fanatics, bent on world conquest. The Borg of their day. No offense." -Tom Paris, elaborating on the antagonists in the holoprogram to Seven of Nine
Remarkable quote #2: "Even half drunk, Klingons are among the best warriors in the galaxy." -The Doctor
Remarkable quote #3: "Accept this... trophy. You can use it to create a new future for your people. At the very least, you can hang it on your bulkhead." -Janeway giving the Hirogen holographic technology
Remarkable dialogue: "Sing or you will die." - "Then I'll die." - "Seven. You are a valued member of this crew. The logical response would be to grant his request." - "Logic is irrelevant. (to Hirogen) One day the Borg will assimilate your species; despite your arrogance. When that moment arrives, remember me." -Hirogen SS Officer, Seven of Nine, and Tuvok
Rating: 7 (Cameron)

The Killing Game I/II Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Ohhhh gawd. Here we go again.
I hated this episode, and after reading Bernd's side of the war - because he is a German, my resentment to the way the US numbskulls do Germans and that is only re-enforced.
So what do we have here? Once again the Voyager is seized by ales - this case the Hirogen - by means never clear - once again the holosuites are used to depict the only part of Human History that can be done without "offending anyone" and I say that with a HUGE SARCASTIC SMIRK, and once again some cod crap cop out.
Again the villain aliens play Nazis! Again the Nazis are Americans depicting naff OTT "Jerrman" accents, and again the US rescue the situation - with neither Russians, or Monty and the boys from Blighty nowhere in sight!
On top of this is Seven dressed like Marlene Dietrich with flowing locks! PLEASE!! >:(
This episode sucked and sucked - so it's three hundred years from now - and they refer to the Nazis all the time? No future villains? What about the Eugenics War? Or some ancient conflict in Star Fleet History? NO! It had to be Nazis to cause the right kind of controversy and talk to boost the ailing ratings of this dire spin off. It has no purpose, and is useless. The fact it's a two parter shows how desperate things were!
An episode I AM SO pleased I will never make time for - Horrendous!
Remarkable quote: "The Klingons are the Greatest Warriors in the Galaxy!" -Doctor. When I heard this I literally burst out laughing.
Rating: 0 (Chris S)

Vis à Vis Stardate 51762.4: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Oh well, what more can you expect to back up the impressive "Killing Game" 2-parter than a routine body-switching romp? It at least takes a small amount of time to talk about Tom and his role on the ship and how He's changed over that time, but I can't help but think they could've given this role to Kim to have given Garret Wang something else to do. His role on the show had been so limiting, in this bottle episode why not give him the chance to stretch his acting chops a bit, but I desist. And as a bottle show of course it's fairly predictable, plenty of unnecessary technobabble, the guest characters are barely examined, there's a few little twists and a good performance from Robert Duncan McNeill, nothing special though.
Remarkable vessel: The alien ship the 'real' Steth was aboard that came to Tom's aid.
Remarkable century: The 20th of course! It was perpetuated in TOS with many parallel Earth episodes and carried over into TNG, VOY and now Voyager that the 20th was pretty much the only century in human history to have piqued anyone's interest, Tom of course the resident 'Grease Monkey' as his fascination with the period will pop up here and there again.
Rating: 3 (Cameron)

The Omega Directive Stardate 51781.2: Synopsis in main VOY listing

I don't know why, but I didn't care! I wasn't worried at all about the possible ramifications of Voyager encountering this mysterious 'Omega Molecule' that no one had mentioned before despite being known to Starfleet for around a 100 years and all captains are briefed on it's existence. Perhaps if there were a TOS or TNG episode about this, the episode would've been a lot better considering Seven wanted to harness its power, but like all things with Voyager, these elements are introduced and discarded with such ease that there was little threat.
I found it boring despite the impressive effects. The chats between the defiant Seven and the of-late more militaristic Janeway are getting dull and contrived. All the other characters continue to play background roles but at least Chuckles had a good couple of lines of dialogue in which he questioned Janeway's reluctance to include the crew in on helping to destroy the Omega Particle despite the most RATIONAL fact they she stood a better chance of succeeding with the help of the crew.
That's another thing that annoyed me, Janeway totally excluding her so called 'family' in on this secret despite Starfleet orders. Like B'Elanna said in her one scene, Starfleet was 60,000 light years away and Janeway's still sticking to her protocol guns like a crazed fundamentalist. She talks at length about her crew being a family and has done for the past couple of seasons now, but again she flips from one personality to another from episode to episode, and here she's as rigid in obeying Starfleet to the letter where in any other episode if the crew were in danger she would do anything and everything to remedy the situation.
Frankly, I didn't care. Seven's "religious experience" would be practically laughable if Jeri Ryan's performance wasn't so sincere, either way we know that the events in this episode will fail to carry over. Seven may become more pleasant an individual, but that's nothing to do with this.
Boring, 2/10.
Nitpicking: The alien society experimenting with the Omega Molecule in this episode were said to be pre-warp, despite this though they have interstellar ships obviously capable of escaping the blast radius of the Omega at episodes end.
Rating: 2 (Cameron)

Unforgettable Stardate 51813.4: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Another mediocre romance episode, another unfair alien society, another runaway doomed not to be acquainted with her Starfleet lover, we've seen it all before. This episode just seems most implausible due to the convenient technology at the disposal of the Ramuran society who use pheromones and technology to make people forget them, which is just a set up for the situation Chakotay finds himself in, and then the tragedy later on about how Kellin is later shot with the technology by an officer ruthlessly concerned with enforcing his societies laws on not allowing people to leave their world, and forgets Chakotay. It's rather dull but the competent performances from Robert Beltran and Virginia Madsen make it slightly watchable. But once again, another dud.
Remarkable fact: This episode was directed by Andrew 'Garak' Robinson.
Remarkable dialogue: "Basically, she was a security operative for her people. She's a trained expert in weaponry, surveillance, fighting skills. Any idea where she might fit in?" - "Mr. Neelix could use an assistant in the Mess Hall." - "Tuvok, that was a joke. Don't deny it-- you were trying to be funny." - "If you choose to interpret my remark as humorous, that is your decision." - "I do and it was." - "It's perfectly logical. All the qualities you mentioned would help in defending Neelix against the periodic wrath of the crew." -Chakotay and Tuvok
Rating: 4 (Cameron)

Unforgettable Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Oh lord, another doomed romance, and surprise, surprise, it's one involving Chakotay!!
In a nutshell he and the crew have met a race who has the ability to make everyone forget them, but if one from said race is clever, they can escape and make people remember them. They however are tracked by their security people who make them and all forget!
So we have the ingredients for a doomed romance - and once again Chuckles here is immune to all the laws and consequences involved. Had this been Kim, Paris, or B'Elanna, he would be on them like a ton of bricks. Him, Jinny has NO OBJECTIONS!! Hell the way the episode is done it looks like Chakotay is in command, (and sometimes I feel that if certain people have their way it would be)!
We are also treated to the pointless spectacle of Seven of Nine not understanding the purpose of romantic ceremonies, trying to show her Borg roots. So? She detests everything others do because its not "efficient" - we got that AGES ago! And what is her point? Its like saying the sky is above us.
Of course it ends in tears, its so OBVIOUS! A race that makes folk forget. I do not feel sorry for Chuckles, aside of not liking the character, he should know better - romance gets in the way of command duties - but I note that this is a common sided issue for senior staff.
Aside of the obvious doomed romance, there is the society - I mean this tech is so fool proof? Always successful? More to the point, how does anyone in their society remember who they are? Because they are told? And this pheromone that makes all forget? What natural reason is there for that? Only their race is immune? Even to the Borg? If they really want no contact, and no escapees - why not stop the use of space travel? 
This episode was designed to make an emotional story - but fails because the overall plot is too obvious to failure of the relationship. Poor.
Remarkable fact 1: This is Robert Beltran's favorite episode of the series - this coming from a man who slated Voyager's writing talent on a regular basis!
Remarkable fact 2: This episode was inspired by Neil Gaiman's 1996 BBC miniseries entitled Neverwhere.
Remarkable scene: Seeing cloaked ships in a different vision on the viewscreen
Rating: 0 (Chris S)

Living Witness Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Another fascinating 'What If?' episode which at the same time is profoundly insightful into how we often choose to perceive history through our own biases. Another great chance to see the cast act out of character once more (and it was probably the ONLY way Kim was ever going to achieve a promotion too :-D), we see Chakotay with a larger tattoo, Neelix at OPS, the Doctor is an android, Tuvok is a bit of a sadist, and Seven is still a regular drone with a mini-collective at her disposal. But even the gimmicky joy about the first half of the episode is replaced with a great deal of relevant dialogue about how the Kyrians view history (i.e. VERY SYMPATHETICALLY), and how Quarren admits they may be entirely wrong.
The (backup) Doctor also brings up a good point that how after 700 years people fighting over this one event is pointless and that no matter who started the conflict, it had been ended and both sides needed to simply accept the sins of the past and move on. It's wisely concluded with the Kyrian and Vaskan people even further in the future, once more reviewing history, noting that due to the actions of the Doc and Quarren, their two cultures were brought together in harmony. An enjoyable, insightful and touching episode, and it gets a 9 from me.
Remarkable appearance: This episode marks the first time a Kazon had been seen on Star Trek: Voyager since "Basics Part II" (albeit one in a holodeck like creation).
Remarkable ship: Need I say it? The WARSHIP VOYAGER.
Remarkable character actor: Henry Woronicz (Quarren) previously played another alien attempting to learn his species' history though USS Voyager in "Distant Origin".
Rating: 9 (Cameron)

Living Witness Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

What an amazing episode.
At first it appears to be another "alternate" Star Trek crew story, but instead manifests into an interesting episode. The crew is perceived by a race they encountered and shows an interesting side to contact situations - that is the impact Star Fleet leaves behind. Here, it's the aftermath of an incident Voyager was involved, that has ramifications to the planet concerned, but told from a clever perspective - a museum dedicated to the incident. The chief curator, Quarren, explains a distorted version of events and this causes some resentment to the natives, especially the Kyrians who came off worse from this event; however he points out new discoveries are being made over the encounter - and one of them is the discover of a Back up Doctor EMH.
When the Doctor is told how long he was "offline" (700 years) even I was gobsmacked! Imagine that! What is more shocking is the fact that the Doctor discovers the "errors" and is determined to put the truth out. Quarren is initially sceptical, but unlike many "guests of the day" he is willing to listen because of his nature and his job. What follows is remarkable acting from the Doctor and Quarren - the discussion of the truth and the "truth" and this is so much in today's society - be it religion, history, or culture; there are those who will forever twist it to their advantage to gain strength or to show excessive horror in exchange for sympathy and brutal excuses to inflict cruelty in the name of freedom.
The highlight of all this is when the Doctor decides that he should be technically "destroyed" to preserve the society that alas his appearance and truthbringing has led to fresh fighting, but Quarren counterargues in excellent dialogue that the truth must be known or will it take another 700 years to come to some sort of peace. 
At the end of the day the truth must come to pass no matter the cost - further cover ups, misinformation, and deception never resolve things because once found out, it undoes everything and you are back to square one. The ending, albeit rushed, emphasises the point as both sides are now at peace.
Plaudits for a well crafted episode. 9/10.
Unbelievable make up: The Kyrians - two zits for alien appearance?!?!??! EWWW! That put me right off - sorry for the nitpicking but they could have come up with something far better than that! Minus one point for that.
Remarkable fact : This was Tim "Tuvok" Russ' directorial debut. And the only one.
Remarkable journey: The back-up EMH takes a small ship and "claiming to have a longing for home". We never know if he succeeds
Rating: 9 (Chris S)

Demon Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Voyager's running on empty for a change, ha, goes to show this episodes not really in tune with the rest as it's been since Season 1 where the ship was really low on power, so there's a nitpick down already, but they find fuel, deuterium on a 'Demon' class planet, oops, the Silver blood is sentient as it replicated Tom and Harry who act as messengers, still doesn't stop Janeway from TORTURING the sentient being into submission in an effort to release the grounded ship where a simple dialogue would have sufficed, good going Captain 'Ethics-may-vary'.
The Silver blood clones the crew in an effort to explore their new found sentience, little point dwelling on the biology of it all and how legitimate their thoughts and feelings are considering they're just copies after all, but that's irrelevant. The Doctor is smug and irritating as ever, even under the threat of deactivation by Chakotay if he didn't take in Neelix and some other crew members he still treats them with contempt, a little courtesy would've been nice as his behaviour was juvenile, petty and arrogant, a trait that will become all the more apparent in his behaviour later in the season.
For a change though this story will be picked up later in "Course: Oblivion".
Mediocre, forgettable episode.
Remarkable dialogue: "Lieutenant." - "Yes." - "We should have transporters back online within the hour." - "Well, that's great, but right now I'm more concerned with little things like, oh, I don't know, say, life support?" - "Indeed. According to my calculations, environmental systems will cease to function in two hours." - "You say that like you're giving me the weather report." -Vorik and Torres
Rating: 3 (Cameron)

Demon Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Maybe Bed and Breakfast never travelled in a car, maybe they have chauffeurs, or never gone on long range drives, but from my experience on long journeys you keep refuelling, have a reserve tank of gas, or know where the petrol stations are and stop off and top up!
Yet the idiots on Voyager somehow believed that their fuel supply will last all the way home - If I am right they have fuel for five years of flight but have to get home which will take 75 years to do at maximum warp. I am no mathematician, but it's like me having my car filled to the brim with a range of 400 miles, said tank sealed, and expected to traverse the entire US on that tank of petroleum - er, not plausible.
So considering all the planets they have passed, all the stations they have docked with and the gas giants they have encountered, why didn't Janeway top up the tank? What logic is this? Who in their right mind on a very long trip and decides not to refuel!? After all they always find somewhere to overhaul the warp coils, or the core, or engineering shuts down for maintenance.
When it's decided to refuel - they only need a cup of deuterium, that simple idea goes belly up and the real reason comes clear - to create drama but as a byproduct creates another clumsy episode. The planet is very very hostile but Kim and Paris go down in space suits always specially adapted but you know will be breached.
When it is, its typically by a race who ONCE again duplicate the crew, to "learn" humanity etc etc etc. Janeway has to torture one of these clones to let her ship and crew go, and so on and so forth.
By this time I just do not care. Its a stupid episode where Voyager is put in peril for drama sake - it has no reason, point, or need. Nothing new or clever comes to pass, and is a filler for nothing more but killing time, and the sanity of those who know better watching.
Blatant nitpicking: If the ship just needs a cup of deuterium, why do they not have bottles of the stuff in reserve? More to the point, how comes the Bussard scoops did not collect the stuff on Voyager's travels? If this is not the case, what are the purpose of the scoops? Also, why did they not scoop stuff up ages ago and place it in a bottle? If they cannot refine it, does that mean the trip was a waste of time?
Remarkable scene: Voyager landing in the swirling orange clouds - great SFX.
Rating: 1 (Chris S)

One Stardate 51929.3: Synopsis in main VOY listing

I was actually about to write this one off as another one of those silly 'lone crewmen gets a bad case of the space crazies' type stories, and even though it doesn't stray far from that formula, even employing hallucinations about the crew and a scary alien making it reminiscent of a DS9 episode, it at least addresses Seven of Nine's fears and insecurities to a degree by testing her ability to function on her own. There's a very tiny bit of continuity hidden away I like, the few wisecracks by a more assertive Kim continue on from 'Silver Blood' in which he berates Tom for being claustrophobic. And the increasing bickering between the Doc and Seven does it's best to lighten the atmosphere. Wish I could award decimals cause this would probably be a 5.5/10, but I'm leaning toward 5, the hallucinations began to get repetitive even though it complimented the anticipation of leaving the nebula well, and the idea of them being traveling for a month wasn't satisfactorily addressed, at the least Seven could've changed outfits every now and then!
Rating: 5 (Cameron)

One Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

"One" is an episode I feel designed to make seven more 'human'. The reason I say this is because of the nature of the beginning. She tries to interact with the crew at the mess hall and typically fails. It’s a hologram and its set up by the Doctor to make her "more understanding with others".
Meantime the crew encounter a nebula that emits a deadly form of radiation that is lethal to organic tissue. The only way to get them through the nebula is to put the crew into stasis. How this let alone stasis works in defeating this radiation is beyond me and is an obvious plot point to make Seven take control of the ship alone thus making the character bend for dramatic reasons to learn the value of company. To do this, they have her cybernetics go awry because of the nebula causing her to hallucinate and go a bit potty. After everything seems to doom the venture and her, she and the crew recover and they are on their merry way again, with seven learning the values of "human company".
I suppose it's part of character building but to make an episode dedicated to that? I think this is where Voyager went wrong on an epic level - so many stories involving Seven and her "path to make her human" consumed too much air time; were they that dry for stories? Of character?
Also the nebula, knowing the effects and the solution, what would they have done IF Seven or the Doctor had not been about? From the details this is not an isolated incident, so would they have to skirt the nebula? Something tells me they would have come up with new shields or made a trade or something. I mean it would be nice to see them come up with other ideas and not one made for drama's or character's sake. Sadly this plot idea of crossing lethal areas of space will be used in many other Star Trek stories with "convenient" ways around it.
5/10 for the beauty of space, the astrometrics lab, and no real silliness.
Nitpicking: Deep in the nebula, Seven has a drink in the mess hall - if I am right the mess hall is in front of the ship with open view. Yet the view is of black space! Not magenta clouds or light! WHOOPS!
Remarkable scene : the nebula - and the way Voyager flies through it - if only they did more of this!!
Remarkable chuckle moment: Chakotay with his face "burned" - it looks like they smeared jam on his cheeks!
Rating: 5 (Chris S)

Hope and Fear Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

It starts once again as a typical Voyager episode; Seven and Jinny having another clash over something trivial, Chuckles saying that things have progressed well between the pair despite what has occurred, another race makes a trade agreement (I have no idea what Voyager offers in payment since the Federation has no currency anymore, and refuse to part with technology), and the ubiquitous alien of the week appears wanting simple passage to the next star system, but you know there is something afoot with this character - why? It’s done to death in every other branch of this franchise.
However there are two major differences that save this episode. First it follows from "Hunters" and "Message in a Bottle", and concerns with Jinny trying to decipher the scrambled messages from home. By sheer coincidence, the alien passenger Arturis is a living universal translator and he sees patterns in chaos. Jinny lets him have a crack at the scrambled message and a portion is cleared.
The second point is this - it’s from a Star Fleet Admiral, a set of co-ordinates are given to a spot in space. The crew head there and discover a star fleet ship with a new method of propulsion - Quantum Slipstream. This drive can get the crew home in months!
For once, Jinny does not act the typical Star Fleet captain and is not so taken in, as she puts it "too many co-incidences", so she has the ship checked out - what also twigs her is that this ship has no shuttle bays, replicators, or any other 'home comforts'. Of course Arturis and the ship are one and the same so to speak, and is his plan to capture the crew of Voyager and have the lot assimilated for the devastation his world suffered at the hands of the Borg when Voyager defeated Species 8742. The plan is thwarted and the heroes escape whilst Arturis is let to be assimilated.
For the plot, it’s cleverly constructed, albeit a tad obvious but the final revelation is still a great twist. Janeway is great here, as she is optimistic but realistic to, and has to take the risk to prove if all is wrong despite the fact they can get home. It’s like hoping to be rescued from a desert island by a passing ship only to discover it’s full of murderers.
The battles between Seven and Janeway tends to grate me, but here it is useful - both have to face their fears and realities. When the truth is revealed, neither gloat, infact Seven wishes to pursue a way to get the crew home. Arturis' motive is well sound and Janeway does show grief and sympathy but his callous disregard for saving what is left of his society makes me not sympathise.
The weakness is the swiftness that Voyager is made to become slipstream capable. It's brand new technology. Yet they manage to get the drive not just adapted to Voyager, but also manage to fly it after the Dauntless AND rescue Jinny and Seven from Borg Space AND make mileage before it conks out! It’s too easy done to me. Its like turning a propeller plane into a jet. Voyager is not designed to slipstream yet it does...
Aside of that - not a bad episode.
Remarkable ship: The Dauntless - a good design of the Voyager era - so good that it ends up becoming a Starfleet vessel in the future ENT ep. "Azati Prime".
Remarkable prop: Arturis' gun - the design is very reminiscent of the weapons in the 1979 Disney film "The Black Hole"! The Actor of Arturis - Ray Wise - held it like this to make it look more alien.
Rating: 6 (Chris S)

Hope and Fear Stardate 51978.2 : Synopsis in main VOY listing

I agree with Bernd that this is a very good episode, and contrasting to previous ones not many of the Janeway/Seven dialogue scenes seemed forced or out of place for they aren't here. Seven becoming increasingly agitated and confrontational with Janeway hinting at her desire to leave the ship. The opportunity to serve both purposes appears with the discovery of the Dauntless. A ship supposedly sent by Starfleet following the decryption of a message by the 'alien with something to hide of the week' Arturis, whose species has a knack for communication.
Thankfully Janeway isn't so gullible as to lose her objectivity as in similar episodes regarding this premise, and is hesitant to believe that this ship is the salvation of her crew.
Turns out she's right, the ship and Arturis' presence is more than coincidence and Janeway and Seven are whisked away by him to Borg space. Arturis reveals his species were able to evade the Borg for centuries till Janeway's alliance with the Borg against 8472 allowed the Borg to eventually hunt down and assimilate all but a few thousand of his people.
This is good continuity and a good commentary on Janeway's initial decision to help the Borg. I've noted before that in "Scorpion I" Janeway was too quick to act against 8472 with no consideration as to who started the conflict and used the war to her own advantage. The sins of the past come back to haunt her and Arturis plans for her and Seven to be assimilated as a course is plot to Borg space using the Dauntless' advanced quantum slipstream drive.
Voyager pursues making modifications to enable a slipstream of its own and rescues Janeway and Seven. Thankfully Janeway isn't so rash as to not try and help Arturis, pleading with him to change his mind and turn from vengeance, but he's clearly too far gone and as Janeway's beamed off he still tries to kill her. Arturis is then left on his ship to be assimilated, whilst Seven proposes working on the quantum slipstream theory to assist in Voyager's return to the Alpha Quadrant.
It is a very well paced episode and felt longer than it's running time, there's adequate character moments but, as is the case with Seasons 4-7, it's all reserved for Janeway and Seven. The former not getting too wrapped up in the possibility of returning home, and the latter hesitant about what life on Earth may be like for an ex-drone. Ray Wise is one of the best guest stars Voyager had and Arturis is a tragic figure. The Dauntless is a great looking ship inside and out, though it's a shame it had to be labeled with such an odd registration.
Nitpicking: Yep, it's the Dauntless registry, NX-01A, and not even the crew find that number odd?
Remarkable scene: Arturis and his ship emerging from slipstream into Borg space at episodes end.
Remarkable quote: "Admiral Hayes; Good man, fine officer, bit of a windbag..." -Janeway
Remarkable fact: According the Janeway, 9 months have passed since the events of "The Gift".
Rating: 8 (Cameron)

 


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