Star Trek Voyager (VOY) Season 5 Guest Reviews

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

 

Night

Synopsis

Stardate 52081.2: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

Captain Janeway meets Captain Planet in this environmental social commentary action piece. Surprisingly the episode opens with the crew travelling through 'the void', a region with no stars, how they seemed to have suddenly happened upon this region with no foreshadowing the episode before is annoying, after the teaser and opening intro we're supposed to believe nearly 2 months have passed. That's always the story with this show, these things suddenly happen, there's no anticipation and no satisfying conclusion, but I'm sure I'll talk about that for a while to come.

Anyway, taking advantage of the situation it finally gets around to addressing Janeway's stupid decision to strand the crew by destroying the array, and only now does she finally want to do something about the situation.

New evil recurring aliens, the Malon, are using the Void as a dumping ground for their garbage, travelling through a wormhole to get there, but a species already live in the region and are being killed by the pollution. So Janeway in a bold but highly unlikely plan offers to destroy the wormhole after Voyager enter it to leave the 'Void', but seriously, the proposition only last for a few seconds for consideration, before the clichéd scene where the crew disobey her orders plays out, and Voyager succeeds in destroying the wormhole and escaping with great ease anyway.

The only saving grace seems to be the social commentary, the Malon of course are reflected in our own human nature to destroy environments and to a further extent, lives by just disposing of something so trivial as garbage. And also on that note, the Malon's refusal to implement the recycling technology offered by Voyager would strike a chord with those who are wondering what happened to the electric car and who 'killed' the idea. There's some decent FX at all, but this hasn't been an episode that stood out too much for me. The Malon are predictable and Janeway's feigned guilt never for a second convinced me considering this is the first time in nearly 5 years she'd shown any remorse for her actions. On a lighter note this is the first time we see Captain Proton, another 20th century fascination for Tom Paris which we'll see again. I'm giving it 4, something I think may even be too generous.

Annotations

Rating: 4 (Cameron)

 

Night

Synopsis

Stardate 52081.2: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

Since this is the first installment of the new season I am willing to believe that considerable time has passed since we last saw Voyager. Therefore I can accept the fact that the ship flew into the Void and that crossing this empty region of space makes the crew a little uneasy. Janeway's remorse about her decision which stranded Voyager in the Delta Quadrant is overdue and realistic, afterall she never really had the time to think about it with all the hostile encounters. Janeway's decision to stay behind with a shuttle to destroy the vortex however does not make any sense, except as a cry for help, like an adolescent scoring his forearms. I liked the blackout sequence, but maybe Starfleet should apply self-luminous materials on ships interiors. I am also fond of the way the Void and its effect on Voyager's crew is shown here. This is what I would imagine how space travel is really like. You spend weeks without encountering another star system and there is not much to do on board than attending to your duties and playing cards or something. :)

Annotations

Rating: 5 (Apex)

 

Drone

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

Gee, another episode about Seven's feelings? Gee another one about the Borg? A little bit of technobabble and impressive effects, it at least is sincere in Seven's maternal nurturing of 'One' which is both touching and humorous at the same time.

I don't know, I'd seen this episode many, many times before that it's not something I feel I can review as it had become so predictable by this stage, so I'll just settle for it being a little above average as an episode. It's interesting to see a 29th century Borg of course, and there's the foreshadowing of the construction of the Delta Flyer. But that's it, Jeri Ryan leads the episode well and it was a chance for her to step out of the role a bit and take it in a new direction. I can't exactly explain why, but I just fail to see why it's so remarkable an episode.

Annotations

Rating: 6 (Cameron)

 

Drone

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

Basically Seven and a Voyager crewman have a baby and the Doctor's mobile emitter serves as a womb. There is a little too much randomness in the convergence of technologies for my taste, but I can live with it. I am glad the writers did not kill off another poor goldshirt, Ensign Mulcahey in this case. The episode consists of elements we have seen in TNG's "I, Borg" and "The Offspring" and also mirrors Seven's development on Voyager. Some of her crude attempts to instruct the new drone remind me of the actions of an inexperienced, first-time parent who struggles with teaching a child the most simple things. One's loss is very sad for her and Jeri Ryan, as always, did a terrific job playing Seven. I am displeased with One's costume; even more so than with regular Borg costumes, it is too obvious that his body armor is only rubber with metallic paint. I also noticed a rather irritating but also amusing side effect: J. Paul Boehmer, who played One, already starred as Nazi leader in the Season 4 installment "The Killing Game". Remembering his last role as a Nazi made some of One's early expressions and his awkward gait very funny because of certain similarities.

Annotations

Rating: 7 (Apex)

 

Extreme Risk

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

The season of mistimed character development continues, first we had Janeway mourning her choices as Captain four years after the fact in "Night", Seven mothering a Borg from the future, and now B'Elanna is suddenly depressed and is harming herself.

Once again though, just because you suddenly try to show a new angle of an established character, doesn't mean it will convince. B'Elanna may be very aggressive and could've masked these impulses for a while, true, however bringing it up without any serious foreshadowing is where this character development fails. She'd barely spent time on screen in Season 4 and up until this point and when she was it wasn't like we saw her on the holodeck, or there was any indication she was in mourning for her dead Maquis comrades.

It's a double edged sword really, on one hand you have to give the script writers credit for trying this, it's an issue that's personal to me and undoubtedly to many people, and Roxann Dawson delivers well enough, but on the other it's almost like they tried using the issue and depression to suddenly shoehorn this development in without any credible build up.

The story, the Malon are already back, trying to salvage a 'multi-spatial' probe, whatever, but the two vessels and crews are pitted in a battle to build a ship capable of retrieving it from a hostile planet. Already ill-conceived, as Bernd pointed out in his review this type or probe hadn't really been mentioned before and it's purpose hadn't been elaborated on either. In regards to this as well, it again points out Janeway's flip-flopping on the issue of sharing technology, when again she decides that keeping Starfleet technology from other races is paramount. And the concept of building the Delta Flyer in such a short space of time out of brand new materials is questionable, in an effort to have appeared credible, the crew should've at least built the Flyer out of some shuttles, just to keep it realistic.

Ha, speaking of realism catch the scene where B'Elanna MacGyvers a phaser and an EPS relay to make a perfectly shaped force field, yeah....

So again, another example of this show picking up characters and trying to do something with them on nothing more than a whim, without trying to foreshadow things to come. The B-Plot is stupid, and nothing but an excuse to show off the CGI department's new toy, the Delta Flyer. A pretty poor episode in the context of things.

Annotations

Rating: 4 (Cameron)

 

Extreme Risk

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

Of all the episodes I like to watch, this is actually one of the worst. Therefore I will be as impartial as I can. Many people are able to conceal their feelings. So it is reasonable to believe that B'Elanna was suffering from her depression for months without other people being aware of it. However I am not a psychologist and I simply can not relate to B'Elanna's behavior whatsoever. What disturbs me the most is her way of lying to her closest friends, to her commanding officer, to her boyfriend with a wave of the hand. Maybe it was nice for some people to see a character who is struggling with this kind of personal problem, but I expect more from a Starfleet officer - I mean she is practically behaving like a child.

I fully support the critical statements which have been made about the life-threatening space race for the weird probe and B'Elanna's 'MacGyver' maneuver.

This installment was intended to show a character development. Well, it did. The writers developed their own characters enough to understand that they can't make the Voyager crew crash a shuttle every few weeks and that it would be wise to build something bigger and better.

Behold the Delta Flyer!

Annotations

Rating: 3 (Apex)

 

In the Flesh

Synopsis

Stardate 52136.4: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

I'd almost go so far as to call this gimmick of an episode as pointless and at times confusing. Out of the blue, Species 8472 resurface far, far from Borg space where they were last seen in "Scorpion", to construct a recreation of Starfleet Academy, in preparation to infiltrate the real thing. Throughout the episode an 8472 posing as a female Commander (Archer), talks about humans being violent and etc. So to me, this whole plot just seemed nothing but a shameless rip off of the Founders. I'm sorry, but shape shifting xenophobic aliens far from Earth planning an attack due to a misunderstanding was done before in this series and to a much better degree. Fail. Janeway once more sways from principle to principle, in "Scorpion" she was quick to right off Species 8472 as a menace and the Borg would be 'doing the galaxy a favour' by destroying them. In "Prey" however she takes in a wounded 8472 with open arms and is willing to sacrifice the ship and her crew to the Hirogen to "protect" it, but here she is, bloodthirsty as ever, demanding every measure be taken to inflict as much damage as possible on the 'Training facility', even going so far as to demand the Doctor start siphoning nanoprobes from Seven's bloodstream.

However Janeway's sincerity in promoting peace with the 8472 is commendable, but it doesn't excuse this sudden change in attitude that she displayed earlier in the episode, even though by now she understood the 8472 were the victims in the Borg conflict. It seems it only took a simulation of a Human environment to get her truly vested in engaging this species, as if she couldn't care less that they were acting in self-defence last time the species met.

I just wasn't impressed really, there's a nice warm and fuzzy ending, Ray Walston is fantastic as the fake Boothby coining some great quotes, but I just found the entire story to be unnecessary and out of place. By this stage 8472 were long forgotten villains, especially after the recurrence of the Hirogen and the Malon since, and the depiction of 8472 seemed like nothing but an attempt to cash in on the popularity of the Founders.

I'm in two minds about rating this, it isn't "Threshold" terrible, it isn't "Sacred Ground" terrible, but to me it's not above average either. The concept I simply found to be too gimmicky, not credible and just another excuse to show places and things from the Alpha Quadrant in Star Trek: Voyager. I'll settle for giving it a 4. I maybe harsh for not giving it higher despite the very positive message it sends, but that's my opinion.

Annotations

Rating: 4 (Cameron)

 

In the Flesh

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

I have no idea what is the point of this episode except to resolve the issue over the contact with Species 8472 which then fizzles out.

Said race have disguised themselves as Federation members and plan to infiltrate Earth via a space station constructed with the details of the said world. By sheer chance, Voyager discovers the plot, and prepares nano-weapons.

Meantime on recce of the facility, Chuckles gets close to one of the officers, a woman, which he learns of their plans - he also discovers who they are; YET when she kisses him, he cannot help but give her tonsil hockey! Err, is anyone really that serious? Who would give a powerful kiss to a race like that?

In the process they capture Chakotay and threaten Voyager, who in turn threatens them; so they negotiate a peace and...That’s it.

We never hear from again (thank the stars) except in reference, how they got their info on Star Fleet is made of juxtaposition, and worse its not revealed how they could get there - after all, if they can, why not share the details with Voyager, since they are now friends?

Also there is a vain of smugness over this - Jinny has better firepower, the aliens can not adapt to their weapons and only "morality" of Star Fleet makes the peace. Would have been a nice touch or a sense of drama if the aliens became immune or adapted to the Nanoprobes, but no, Star Fleet has to win the day, and in all this, the Borg have NEVER figured out how to re-create these armaments?

So what was the point of this episode? - None.

2/10 for the SFX

Rating: 2 (Chris S)

 

In the Flesh

Synopsis

Stardate 52136.4: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

To those of you who don't like this episode I grant the following:

It is a poor rip-off of the much better storyline we have seen with the Founders on DS9. It was unnecessary to reintroduce Species 8472 [while Janeway was talking to them, couldn't she have asked how they call themselves] and to make them more 'human' in their behavior - I remind you how much I praised their initial, very alien portrayal in "Scorpion". In this regard it was strange to see them as humans even after the deception was over. I also find it hard to believe why they would not keep their telepathic powers, it would certainly be beneficial while infiltrating Starfleet Headquarters.

On the bright side there is the exciting spy plot with Chakotay, who was best suited anyway to start a dialog with a hostile species - he is inspiring confidence, more than any other member of Voyager's crew. I enjoyed the show's message about paranoia between enemies and the ways they come up with to gain an advantage. The preliminary peace talks are certainly more in the spirit of Star Trek than most of the things we have seen during the Dominion War.

Annotations

Rating: 6 (Apex)

 

Once Upon a Time

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

WTF is this shit? Honestly, that is about the best way to sum up this episode. Due to a glitch, I was unable to upload my review of this when I last watched this episode a few months back, so I’ve had to suffer through it once more and will be ensuring this review is copied so I won’t have to watch it again.

The plot goes like so, Paris, Tuvok and disposable B-crewperson Samantha Wildman are on the Flyer when it’s hit by an ion storm and is forced to crash land on a planetoid. Meanwhile, on Voyager, Neelix (oh the horror, it’s a Neelix episode) is tasked with ensuring Samantha’s daughter, Naomi, is kept in the dark regarding the uncertain fate about her mother, while the crew try and recover the Delta Flyer.

How incredible a premise is that? I have to commend the writing staff of Voyager, while they hit some massive highs, they also found new ways to sink lower and lower to the point where I was struggling to continue to watch this episode. I had a vague recollection of it from the last time I watched, and also of the first time I saw it, that I was tempted to hit ‘Stop’ and just write my review. But I wanted to persist and do this right, and what an abomination it is.

The routine crippled-shuttle plot is played out as usual, and, as usual, when there is a real chance of a crewmember dying (few and far between on Voyager in particular), that role is relegated to the position of someone who we’re not going to miss, in this case, Ensign Wildman. And considering how in future episodes Seven of Nine and Neelix, the self proclaimed ‘godfather’ are seen with Naomi more often than Naomi is seen with her mother herself, it’s a wonder Ensign Wildman wasn’t just killed off. But of course, this is Star Trek: Voyager, and this is a nauseating episode where a ‘happy ending’ is the order of the day, mirroring the holodeck program that takes up way too much time, of some asshole named Flotter, a douchebag made of water, and his brainless friend Treevis (because he’s a tree, go figure), and Naomi’s cavorting around with this pair for far too long in the 'Forest of Forever'.

But in between torturous bouts of saccharine 24th century children’s entertainment, we have to be treated with scenes of the senior staff feigning interest in Naomi’s wellbeing, and Neelix projecting his own insecurities on Naomi, as he reveals his own traumatic experience of losing his family at a young age, thus giving him the right to deny Naomi’s right to know the truth about her mother’s situation on the grounds that Naomi is ‘sensitive’, and that she shouldn't experience what he did. What a load of shit. It’s practically forced down our ears about what a talented, intelligent, bright, caring little bowl of fucking rainbows Naomi is (to the point where she is able to encode the holodeck after retreating there at the climax of the episode after she discovers her mother’s plight after days of deception), but she can’t take the news of her mother’s fate at all? I cringed. It’s hard to take this crew seriously when they feel that it is the best course of action to shield a child from the truth on a ship where she would have easy access to finding that out anyway, like, say, walking onto the bridge when the rescue mission is underway, WHICH IS WHAT SHE DOES ANYWAY! Janeway though had the good sense at one stage to suggest that it would be time to reveal the truth to Naomi, but before Neelix can man up (to a small child), Naomi finds out what’s happening anyway and runs off.

But the episode does reach its all too predictable conclusion, under the threat of another ion storm, the rescue teams manage to find the Flyer and rescue the crew at the last second. There’s a tearful reunion (tears of pain from me at this stage of watching) between mother and child, and another awful sequence on the holodeck where Janeway muses on her own times playing with the appallingly named Flotter.

A hideous episode, I’m glad I’m going to keep a record of this review, because it is not worth anyone’s time. A total waste of an episode too I might add, again secondary characters take the focus away from others, like Kim or Chuckles who could have used something to do at this stage of the series.

Annotations

Rating: 0 (Cameron)

 

Once Upon a Time

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

Yuck!

Paramount may consider Star Trek a kind of familiy show and I am sure there are isolated incidents where children actually watch a show, but the majority of the audience can not be pleased to watch this installment more than watching Barney & Friends. Well, what did the writers do after introducing the Delta Flyer as the brand-new shuttle? Crashing it! Neelix is insufferable, like most of the time. The lurid holodeck program is pain for my eyes and the two holograms are among the stupidest characters ever to appear on screen. I wonder how the producers were able to find someone to play those guys. Naomi Wildman is actually only three years old, but due to her half-Ktarian genom she is more of a seven-year-old. Even if we believe that she is some kind of intellectually gifted child it is exaggerated to let her have lessons in cellular biology and so on at this young age.

My only praise is for the brave decision to center the episode on the young girl, who was played well by Scarlett Pomers and for Tuvok's statement to Ensign Wildman about the fate of her daughter.

Annotations

Rating: 2 (Apex)

 

Timeless

Synopsis

Stardate 52143.6: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

"Timeless" is a crowning achievement of an episode and fittingly the 100th episode of Star Trek: Voyager. Again, we witness another 'what if' future scenario, with Voyager destroyed and a bitter, cynical, older Harry Kim determined to save the past and correct the mistake he made which lead to Voyager's destruction.

A couple of remarkable scenes of note below, a great performance by Garrett Wang, it's a simple story, but very effective in how it's told, visually and emotionally, the opening sequence of Voyager trapped under ice, the scene where we see its destruction. Witnessing Chakotay and Kim's pain at the loss of their crew mates and accepting the price they, and Chakotay's girlfriend Tessa, are willing to pay to carry out their objective. Great episode.

Annotations

Rating: 8 (Cameron)

 

Timeless

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

The teaser of this is rather ironic - Voyager buried deep and unrecoverable.

We discover that Voyager tried to use that quantum slipstream technology they got from Arturis back in "Hope and Fear" to get home. Considering that they just installed the thing WITHOUT testing and such, and it was strong enough to Voyager into Borg space and get Jinny and Seven out of it, they decide to make it normal WITH testing - or course something goes wrong and Voyager crashed.

The only survivors are Harry and Chuckles (as always) who were spearheading the flight in the Delta flyer. They make it home but have to live with the grief that all their friends are dead.

So in typical Star Trekiness, the pair discovers a time travelling way to 'reset' the past and save all concerned. By using a Borg temporal transmitter, they discover the carcass of Seven aboard the crashed Voyager - preserved because said ship crashed on an ice planet - install the device into the literal chopped out skull of the dead Borg and send a message back into the past to "save the day" through her in the past. Think of it as a "Time Walkie Talkie".

Of course by doing that - and succeeding, fifteen years of future time is gone.

Despite a few bits of excellent SFX and some good acting from Garrett Wang, this is a horrid episode. Why? Because it does three things I feel that fed the death knell for the franchise.

First - the Borg temporal device - another reset switch, another 'what if' story comes to pass. What is the point of this? I feel that this is trying to be like the classic TNG episode "Yesterday's Enterprise" but that was altered by unexpected events AND we see that the change in time is unnoticed. Plus the choice made there was "damn if we do, damn if we don't". This is a deliberate attempt to do a dramatic story without risk.

On that it comes the second part of my criticism of this episode; the crew of Voyager have the right - no belief - to rewrite time to save all concerned - so damn all whose lives have evolved for fifteen years, sod those whose futures are either rewritten or worse erased. Voyager and its crew WILL get home, F*** the universe, time, and fate. This will be repeated with great furore in the finale "Endgame".

The third and final point is this - you now know that they will make it home - no matter who they encounter, no matter what threat they face, they will always find a way to succeed and with the main cast all alive. The chances of them being say killed trying, or marooned, or not succeeding are not gone but not even considered. They will get home because there are ways to guarantee it.

To me this does not just kill any plausible drama, it also mocks storytelling - begging the question why bother. Why drag out the series to the obvious ending.

The reason they do this is to keep the Trek Core happy - when favourite characters, ships, or scenarios come to pass where they will die or something untrek, the furore they cause is immense - look at the stink the Death of Tasha Yar caused, Spock's funeral, the destruction of the Original Enterprise, Data's death/B4 reserve, and Patrick's Stewart's attempt to leave Trek many a time. They are so afraid to rock the boat, but by doing it, it creates bland stories where the crew would be killed ONLY to find out it was a temporal anomaly, clone, or alternate line of a kind and everything is peachy!

Is that brave creative writing? No, its cowardice.

This is the problem with protective writing pandering to fans; you have a far greater risk in alienating potential new ones. In addition, it kills creativity - look to the future episodes to see my point. Prior to this and having Seven of Nine in the cast, we had the excellent "Distant Origin" and "Deadlock".

Playing safe, and repeating the same old same old creates recycyled rubbish. This is the ultimate stuck in the rut. 2/10

Annotations

Rating: 2 (Chris S)

 

Timeless

Synopsis

Stardate 52143.6: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

I do not often watch Voyager, having basically given up after about half way through the third season. However, sometimes some episodes peak my interest, so here we have "Timeless".

First off the CGI is great and well used. Voyager under the ice is a fantastic shot as is the crash sequence in general. Lovely. Then comes the story. Oh... once again I am reminded why I lost interest in the series. Another time travel techno babble story which alters the future by changing the past. Again violating the laws of the Federation. Chuckles and Kimmy get spotlighted. Chuckles love interest seems to have no problem giving up her life. Kim has no problem changing the timeline. The Doctor has no scruples either... yeah, lets change history or I'll be very bored! Ginny just can't wait to try new tech no matter how reckless or dangerous it seems.... and all the answers seem to just fall in to place as usual resulting in the status quo remaining.

The characters in Voyager are also incredibly dull and bland. There is really no improvement even by season 5. They all seem to be sleep walking though it. The bland run of the mill scripts with plot holes everywhere or plot devices that are just so contrived make you think that the writers just don't give a monkeys about the audience let alone the poor actors having to parrot this nonsense.

Its a mildly entertaining piece that you come away with having no real feeling about. It's just mediocre and a way to switch your brain off for an hour. Pretty much like the whole 7 year saga I'm afraid...

Rating: 4 (Simon)

 

Timeless

Synopsis

Stardate 52164.3: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

It is curious that the producers decided to make the 100th anniversary episode of Voyager a Harry Kim show. Garret Wang has already given proof of his ability to carry an entire episode. And he certainly carried a heavy burden here. Failing in his attempt to bring Voyager home he feels responsible for their deaths and his only remaining goal is to nullify his mistake. He is bitter, he is cynical, he has a bad temper - I think the writers hit the mark with this prospect of his character. Voyager buried under kilotons of ice was a spectacular idea for the teaser and the production design did well with designing the L class environment and the frosted interiors of the ship. Looking at the frozen bodies of the crew my blood literally ran cold. Normally I don't like it, if the climaxes of two different plots are alternately shown during the conclusion of an episode, however the similarities between the Delta Flyer in front of Voyager in the slipstream and the Flyer running from a Galaxy class ship are a nice idea. The love interest of Chakotay, Tessa, was probably unnecessary and a little distracting. It was inevitable to show the quantum slipstream drive once more since it had been introduced in "Hope and Fear", where Voyager was already equipped with it for a while. Although the crew was able to construct such a sophisticated propulsion system it is much more realistic that it almost tears the ship apart during his maiden flight. I do not understand Janeway's hurry and why she is sticking to their scheduled flight when they discover the problem with the phase variance. It seems they didn't make simulations whether Harry's plan could work, although the latter and Tom did that 23 times while working on the phase variance problem. Showing the doctor working the whole time on Seven's skull was inappropriate, maybe even a little crude.

Annotations

Rating: 8 (Apex)

 

Infinite Regress

Synopsis

Stardate 52356.2: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

Oh dear, Seven's implants are causing her troubles again, this time her 'sins from the past' catch up with her through what I actually thought was a legitimate piece of technology in the Borg Vinculum, which harmonised all the personalities of drones, considering Seven's still somewhat of a drone though, the vinculum reawakens all these personalities which manifest in her head leading her to act like different people who were assimilated.

It's largely routine an episode, but it's a remarkable performance by the oh so beautiful Jeri Ryan, and a turning point in Seven's development from drone to human, so even if it's very predictable, it still is an important episode for Seven of Nine.

Annotations

Rating: 5 (Cameron)

 

Infinite Regress

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

Another episode about Seven of Nine - another plot where her Borg implants are giving her grief or her being "stubborn", again Jinny to the rescue, and more Borg revelations.

This time Seven goes bonkers because her implants intercept info coming from a vinculum, a sort of giant hard-drive to capture and oppress individuality. However it’s faulty and Seven being the nearest Borg, picks up the leaking "individualities" and starts to go nuts - a literal case of multiple personalities on the warpath. 

At best it shows the talent of Jeri Ryan as an actress - her playing a little girl to Naomi is a real joy of acting, her manner is spot on, funny, and well done. Her other acts are cookie cutter, but seeing a lass in a cat suit doing Ferengi trade attempts is mildly bemusing. On that is the negative - her in her cat suit thrashing about on the bed, all her "physique" wobbling generously - and VERY gratuitous. It's utter sexism here. I know she is supposed to be having an episode, but there are too many shots of her "jiggling" if you get me. If I was a woman I would find these scenes damn offensive.

The cause of all this is a deadly "cyber pathogen" planted in the device by another race who has a number designation - 6339. They want to kill Borg, typically Jinny wants their expertise to help Seven, they don't give it and a fight ensues. Considering how well armed 6339 are, they do not give Voyager a clobbering. In the end a convenient mind meld by Tuvok solves the problem - as it always does - think TOS "Spectre of the Gun", Katra rituals, you get the idea. To be honest is there nothing Vulcan mind melds cannot do? It ends typically; the aliens get their device, Voyager carries on and Seven recovers, but does set up another strand in the Voyager storyline - the Seven of Nine/Naomi Wildman partnership.

I would give it more points but the gratuitous way Seven shakes about downgrades it. Might score high on many a fan boy's list - but that is sexism to me. Shame.

2/10 for the Naomi/Seven partnership and Jeri's acting.

Annotations

Rating: 2 (Chris S)

 

Infinite Regress

Synopsis

Stardate 52356.2: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

Even though I enjoy every episode centered on Seven of Nine, the producers should do a little more diversity. Since we already know from Picard's experiences after his assimilation, being severed from the collective is an enormous impact on a freed drone, so Seven's continous problems are not hokey, yet. When Jeri Ryan began her tenure on Voyager she wasn't familiar with the Star Trek universe and had to watch tapes from DS9 to learn about Ferengi and Klingon behavior. Seeing her interpretation of other species was quite amusing. The episode also commences the (very unusual) friendship between Seven and Naomi Wildman ("Ensign Wildman's subunit"). There are a couple of inconsistencies which have already been mentioned in other reviews, so I won't go into that.

Annotations

Rating: 5 (Apex)

 

Nothing Human

Synopsis

Stardate not given: An alien organism rescued by Voyager attaches itself to B'Elanna, intertwining its tendrils around her vital organs. To assist in removing the creature, the Doctor and Kim construct a holographic assistant specialising in exo-biology; Cardassian scientist, Crell Moset who performed experiments on Bajorans during the occupation of Bajor. Despite the ethical issues at hand, Janeway greenlights the operation, which is a success. The Doctor decides that Moset's and his knowledge has no place in a medical database to later draw upon and deletes his program.

Commentary

This is a frustrating episode that tried to shield itself behind the wall of human (or in this case, Bajoran) experimentation and the ramifications it has when it comes to using the gathered information on B'Elanna to remove the 'alien pest' of the week to cover up the blandness of the episode, but in the end makes the crew look really bad and I wanted to slap them all except Paris. The crew take the high road too in order to make themselves feel better by condemning the holographic Moset, perhaps I relate to Tom most of all in his frustrations over the senior staff busy having a debate over morals while B'Elanna's life was slipping away. They all seem to act as if THE Crell Moset on their ship was the real one and it were up to them to judge him. B'Elanna herself of course objecting to Moset operating on her, and all but forbids it happen.

The random Maquis officer we haven't seen before nor since (Tabor) is embarrassing in his 'attack' on the holographic representation of Moset, did he seriously think that the Cardassian scientist had 'Wizard of Oz-ed' his way onto Voyager from Cardassia Prime and that throwing a swing at him would achieve anything? Could this goldshirt not discern from a real person and an autonomous representation? And his threats to resign his commission are hollow, as we never knew of this character before and he only appears once more in the series in 'Repression'.

It's really pathetic to see the crew acting thick to treat a few beams of light and photons with a voice box dressed up like a Cardassian as a war criminal and the ending is unsatisfactory, with the Doctor conveniently washing his hands of the situation by deleting Moset's program. It doesn't help of course when yet another sentient hologram is brought into the series, of course, this was only done to try and make the viewer detest Moset even more, a more realistic hologram (compared to the ones in say, the Hawaiian resort program) wouldn't have made for an easier target for the crew's vitriol ;)

Anyway, the episode is nothing special, the commentary takes the spotlight and the B-Plot is largely routine, the Alien is removed, mainly due to the Doctor's compassionate tactics just to show up Crell's torturous methods, and is returned to its ship. Seven of Nine takes over engineering while B'Elanna's KO'd, not like it matters though. B'Elanna snaps at Janeway for allowing the surgery to go ahead, Janeway, in her hypocritical fashion brushes off Torres' protests and berates her for it with her usual 'I'm the Captain, therefore God' rationalisation, even if it's a true rationalisation.

Annotations

Rating: 3 (Cameron)

 

Nothing Human

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

The teaser promised us something special after the mild humour of the holographic lecture by the Doctor. A chat in the mess hall that is rudely shaken by a shockwave of sorts. This could have had the promise of something epic.

However, it transcends into another stupid unconvincing morality play.

In a nutshell, an alien ship sent out their equivalent of a distress call in the form of said shockwave and Voyager comes to its aid. I will admit the alien 'pilot' was that for once - not another human with dodgy make up. However as they are trying to treat it, it breaks through a force field and attaches itself to Torres. Strangely/conveniently it cannot be transported off her, and she is nothing but a host to it.

Since it's such an exotic piece of life, the Doctor (considering his 'vast database') does not know how to separate her but by chance knows a man on file who can - one Crell Moset - a Cardassian.

Rather than just pull his file, they turn him into a hologram. By chance a never seen before Bajoran, one Ensign Tabor, sees this holographic representative and goes bananas - because this Dr Moset is an infamous war criminal who tortured his family.

On this the crew learn of the real Moset's atrocities, and have a debate should they use his knowledge to save Torres or let morality win the day; cue a well made but feeble scene where the senior officers have a major rant about it all. In the end Katy takes charge and orders the go ahead.

I am in total agreement with Cameron and Bernd on this. Its a bland and frustrating episode but there is more to this that is way wrong.

First, the idea of creating another holo-character. In the past it has been claimed that the computers cannot handle two holo-beings, a point well emphasised in "Message in a Bottle" when they tried to make a replacement EMH. Yet here they whip up Mr Moset with no sweat or detriment to the ship's systems. Hell they even re-create his abode! One can say that its temporary or that they have improved such systems. Okay, so why not whip up an EMH nurse? I mean they have all the ’variables’ of said specialist, a nurse would be no problem. In addition, considering how long they had Mr Moset waltzing about with no visible detriment to the ship, the excuses for not doing the above are BS. Of course the real reason is that would have to pay an extra actor.

On the subject of extra people, the sudden and unexpected appearance of Ensign Tabor who attacks the fake Crell and exposes all to his atrocities. In one brave scene, he tells Chuckles bluntly of what he thinks. However like with most 'guests of the week', we never hear from him again except to pop up in "Repression"; nor is the issue resolved over the use of Dr Moset‘s knowledge.

On the subject of Crell Moset, why make a holographic character? surely they could have just removed a few routines from the Doctor and added these in? No of course not, that would be easy. They had to engineer him this way, bollock-kicking the previous rules on two holographics. In addition, he is the ONLY experienced xenobiologist - err, the mighty exploring Federation has no one of such skill? What about the things the captains of previous Enterprises have encountered - and saved?

Then there is the way they 'operate' on the alien; obvious torturous delight from Moset because he is of a villainous race, and when the Doctor takes over (he who has NO EXPERIENCE in this field remember) he does it with calm and succeeds thus begging the question again, why have a holo-Moset? More to the point, why operate? If its hanging onto her for life, the arrival of the rescue ship would have caused it to leave, right?

This Moset is a character they whipped up; for him to act allegedly like the real bloke is rubbish. Look to the TNG episode "Galaxy's Child" to see the difference between holographic perception compared to real person.

The final act where the Doctor erases him and all relevant material is what, suppose to make us cheer? Tell us that the good guys have won by washing the stain away from their morality? Please, that is so cheap. This is a pseudo-morality tail presented in the most ill-conceived and poorly planned narrative afloat. It shows Moset a ‘nasty’ piece of work but designed to do nothing more but create moral brisling to the "moral superior" crew. He is nothing more than a bogeyman.

Its also smug, cowardly and patronising; we never hear a peep out of Tabor again, probably threatened to stay quiet about Moset, a fact further emphasised when Torres complained about it to Katy only for her imperial highness to basically makes Torres put up and shut up. Nor does another similar incident ever occur.

So what happens if they encounter another situation like this? Or worse? Deleting the details does what? Clean their souls? There could have been some great follow ups on this - like something similar happens to another person and may have to resurrect Crell, and who knows where that could have gone.

Of course it will never happen in the cartoon world of Star Trek. The good guys win, have clean hands, and waltz away into space, saints. And they wondered why Trek was going down the pan...

2/10 for alien originality, and a good idea - but loses points for the BS pseudo morality issue.

Rating: 2 (Chris S)

 

Nothing Human

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

This episode deals with the moral dilemma of possibly harming one alien life-form to save one of the crew and with medical ethics in general: the consequences of using data, which had been aquired by experimenting on humanoids, to treat a patient. If you are able to suppress all of the other issues of this installment, which are distracting or just stupid (please read the other reviews), the medical ethics debate is quite interesting, the Cardassian Dr Mengele and our Doctor have many nice scenes together. I am annoyed by the frequently used plot of a person refusing medical treatment, here out of moral concerns. It seems as if the people in the 24th century have a much lower regard for their own life. Since the senior stuff already had a heated debate about allowing Crell Moset to proceed it was not necessary to let B'Elanna have a voice about it too, especially since she was unconscious most of the time. I point out how much her mind could have been impaired, while having a giant centipede fused to her body (Tom Paris thought so too). It all came down to Janeway making the decision. This is captain's prerogative. Her job his to safeguard the welfare of the ship's crew and she has to weigh the interest of many against the interest of few. She is the captain, she can not always be their friend.

I still think the moral debate was way out of line here. I couldn't help but to think about nuclear power. The 'dilemma' seemed to be similar to someone who would refuse to supply his house with electricity which is produced by a nuclear power plant, because he thinks it would impair the memories of the people who died during the Chernobyl disaster.

I also want to indicate the fact that all the information about Crell Moset and his findings, which were used to create the hologram and to save B'Elanna's life were extracted from the Federation's medical database in the ship's computer. You can conclude that Starfleet didn't put in this data only for political education on the Occupation of Bajor.

Annotations

Rating: 4 (Apex)

 

Thirty Days

Synopsis

Stardate 52179.4: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

Another near failure at character development on Voyager. For a while now one wonders what had happened to the supposed 'bad boy' Tom Paris' reputation labelled him as before joining the Voyager crew, he ran a betting ring for an episode? He made quips? "Thirty Days" just attempts to capitalise on that supposed reputation and for me, doesn't convince.

Telling the story in flashback for a start, yet another example of how any sense of continuity and ongoing arcs for characters was completely overlooked by the writers of the series, much the same as Chakotay's 'vision quests', B'Elanna's problems with her Klingon heritage, or the Doctors forays into non-medical areas were plot lines only very sporadically through out the journey. Never could the story be told over long periods to make us a little more interested in what was happening with these people's lives on the way home.

In the end though, Tom isn't any less off for it, he spends thirty days growing a 5-o'clock shadow and loses a pip off his collar, but why did he need one anyway for CONN? Wesley manned CONN and was an ACTING ENSIGN, Ro Laren was an ensign, Miles was Lt. Junior Grade if I recall. So the consequences of his demotion are little and of no major concern for the viewers.

His ongoing commentary in the letter to his father only loosely maintains the references towards the pair's differences, something other than a surreal dream experience would've better conveyed their problems though, say a flashback to Tom in his Cadet days on Earth being berated by his father for say, his penchant for not following the rules at the Academy. Dream sequences are just used far too often to try and carry a point across, probably to save money on new sets or location shooting, but I think in this instance a different approach would've only helped, something so simple as putting the two characters in the same frame together, communicating, really carries more weight than what was presented this episode, a child-Tom, playing with a sailboat, hearing the lecturing voices of his father and of Janeway.

Now onto homicidal maniac Janeway. Her efforts to uphold the Prime Directive again changes for a start, her stance on the Directive changes like usual, giving the Moneans schematics of the Delta Flyer and oxygen replication systems doesn't seem to be a problem. And she openly admits that she'd have had Tom killed just to stop him in his mission, I don't know about you, but I would be very, VERY nervous serving under this individual. Tom broke the rules, and in the Captain's shoes every step should've been taken to stop him from carrying out his objective, but I was disturbed by the climax of the episode in which Janeway talks about Tom losing protection as a member of the crew once he left the ship, and how his lack of regard for the rules was unbecoming. But we had seen Janeway do the same before in the show and will do again, all but patting herself on the back in the process. Simply, I was troubled by Janeway's lack of reluctance in not wanting to kill a member of her crew, attempts should've been made by Voyager to have stopped Tom, but not to a point where those attempts would lead to his death. Her position on how strictly members of her crew follow the Prime Directive seems to change whether their rank is either 'Captain' or 'not-Captain' ;)

So as I said, try as this show might at getting us interested in the characters, there's little success. We already knew Tom's father had little understanding of his son, the actions in "Thirty Days" don't help to convince he was some sort of criminal either, he admits it was a cause he believed in, and a cause the audience CAN sympathise with because as we follow his story we also understand the Monean bureaucrats were unlikely to act on the problem. So as far as the viewer is concerned, Tom is still not a bad guy, he's not someone whose actions we can thoroughly question because his heart was in the right place and his intent, however radical, was for the greater good.

If there's any positives out of this episode, it's just the concept behind the ocean planet, but that's the extent of it, maybe they had not explored this idea before in more recent Star Trek due to the show 'SeaQuest DSV' screening in the mid-90's. I am not in a merciful mood right now, so this gets a lowly three.

Annotations

Rating: 3 (Cameron)

 

Thirty Days

Synopsis

Stardate 52179.4: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

"Thirty Days" tells us about the more strict approach to the Prime Directive, which had been shown in TNG. Star Trek: Voyager and Captain Janeway in particular are more ambiguous about this issue, something which was undoubtedly introduced to appeal to a broader, more 'nineties' audience, instead of non-interventionists only.

The ocean planet has very impressive special effects, which were deservedly nominated for an Emmy. The fact that the ocean planet consists only of water instead of being a regular planet with water covering all of its surface should have been pointed out earlier in the episode. Tom's alleged fascination with seafaring is a surprise here. Of course we knew he has a fondness for 20th century stuff and his Captain Proton program or his grease monkeying fits right into it. But sailing and riding submarines? His other fondness for flying spaceships and shuttlecraft seems to contradict that. Even the dream of flying vintage propeller-driven airplanes would have been more realistic.

Can you imagine some Greenpeace activists fighting Japanese whalers with the Delta Flyer instead of a rusty old fishing cutter?

After so much teasing and referencing we finally get to see the Delaney sisters!

Annotations

Rating: 5 (Apex)

 

Counterpoint

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

"Counterpoint" certainly is unusual and is combining very different plot elements and storytelling techniques, just like a counterpoint would do in music. Speaking of music, as a fan of classical pieces I thoroughly enjoyed this episode's selection and the abstractness of Mahler and Tchaikovsky playing throughout Voyager while armed guards in black attire are searching every corner of the ship for telepaths - most likely a reference to similar scenes from "Schindler's List", where SS soldiers are clearing a Jewish ghetto. Kashyk and Janeway have a very interesting chemistry, but I thought Janeway's blooming feelings for him after only a few days are over the top, especially since she didn't trust him anyway. Their concerted efforts in manipulating the alien scientist for information about the wormhole was amusing.

I paid attention to some of the technobabble and there are few inconsistencies: when the computer analysis finds the probable location of the wormhole, Janeway states that it's less than 8 lightyears from Voyager's current position, but Kashyk warns her that there is a Devore sensor array on the way with a range of 10 lightyears, so the ship should have been detected by then already. Seven states that the exact position of the wormhole can't be determined to less than 200,000 kilometers (half the distance between Earth and the Moon) and that it will remain open for two minutes at most - I assume the audience is supposed to think it would be a close call, but Voyager would need less than three seconds to fly the distance in question while at full impulse.

While the telepath refugees escaped in shuttlecraft it is not clear what happened to Voyager's crew members who were hidden during the first inspection (the two Vulcans Tuvok and Vorik, as well as the Betazoid Ensign Jarot), we can even see Tuvok at his station when Prax hails Voyager.

Annotations

Rating: 7 (Apex)

 

Latent Image

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

Yet another hamfisted attempt at mistimed character development. I'm getting quite tired of Voyager beating me over the head with these episodes about characters so late in the series trying to give us excuses to care about these people when it's too late. They're nearly nothing more than caricatures at this stage, but this isn't quite the case yet for the Doc, he's not quite the charlatan he'll become, and his role hear is fairly sombre, but the situation isn't convincing.

With all the times that the Doc was treating patients, and the rare occasions they had been lost, I doubt he faced this situation before. Certainly "The Killing Game" may have had a similar scenario, with Hirogen asking him to operate not on injured Starfleet personnel, but on the Hirogen themselves. Not seen on screen of course, but I can't dismiss the possibility of it happening.

And his handling of the situation leads this episode to go into the territory of "The Measure of a Man", where Data's rights as an individual were questioned, and he was touted as being property. Janeway essentially does the exact same thing here, equating the Doctor to nothing more than a replicator. My goodness, what an amazingly bizarre view considering the Doctor had done nearly anything and everything that any sentient being was capable of. Relationships, friendships, intuition, a desire to grow beyond his programming, sound familiar? Of course, a parallel to Data, but while it was only the second season where Data's rights were questioned, the fact that 5 years after Voyager's journey begun, and all the experiences the Doctor had, was he suddenly again treated like a piece of property to be tampered with just because he was causing a perceived inconvenience to the crew. His outburst in the Mess Hall wasn't acceptable, but as Janeway later muses, perhaps it wasn't the right decision to just try and delete their way out of the problem.

But for me, the fact that they saw a deletion to parts of his program as some sort of "solution" was the worst part of it all.

And what a surprise, once more they dig out some random gold-shirt we never knew before to play the part of the patient the Doctor had to let die. And of course, this episode once more tries to turn the focus back to Seven of Nine at every opportunity, with Seven visiting Janeway to express her disagreement at the treatment of the Doctor, only to whine that Janeway may treat her the same way some how in the future.

'I guess I should be grateful they're trying this sort of story telling' you may ask, well I'm not, it's all too little too late. They could've tried NOT doing another story about the Doctor which doesn't make much sense, they could've done a boring character story on Harry, or Chakotay, or Tuvok. The story could've been about Voyager's technical troubles and an effort to try and start the ship by getting some supplies, anything but trying to tell a miscued story about an overworked character, making the Captain nearly looking like a villain in the end.

Yet another unsatisfying episode.

Rating: 4 (Cameron)

 

Latent Image

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

This episode is full of strong stuff and it makes a point successfully, though it does give a sour taste in our throats over a few issues.

Here's what I liked.

  1. The issues, which patient gets priority? Is it right to change a sentient piece of technology because it's a machine? Is a hologram a person or a piece of technology? And so on, my main gripe with this however is "can you fit this many questions into 50 minutes?" And yes it does but not quite. They are real deep, the first issue is shown well in this episode but I feel it was done slightly better in VOY "Critical Care". I like how it's done.
    • The second question is a lot more general and I extremely liked Seven's involvement, obviously showing how much she has changed although her reference to her being similar to the Doctor made little sense. It may have been better if she complained a lot more or put up a bit of a mutiny (not an actually killing type of mutiny, btw).
    • The third question fails to make a point, there have been so many attempts at whether machine are sentient beings or not but every episode fails to make a point, we had TNG: "Measure of a Man" which was perfect and the only one that handled it correctly, DS9: "Dax" which wasn't about machines but had similar issues, this episode and VOY: "Author, Author" which failed to make a point. All of these episode involved courtrooms but "Latent Image" doesn't but this never expands enough to fill up the story. Janeway's quote about him being like a replicator was an awful example and turned Janeway from the "I'm the Captain, do as I say" person into the "what I say goes and if I say a clever hologram is just a piece of junk, then it is" person, it was so awful.
  2. I liked Robert Picardo's acting and I think his scenes of madness was excellent. Kate Mulgrew proved she could act, just not very well. Now, maybe that's a bit harsh but I'm in a harsh mood.
  3. The ending was nice, it didn't answer everything but it left room to imagine and did it in a unique way, although I would have liked mentions of this treatment in the next few episodes. There isn't really much to say about it to be honest.

Now, for the things I hate.

  1. Janeway becomes pure evil, she never seems to be a nice person in this episode, she deletes a lot of the Doctor's program, ignores a lot of crew's complaints and says stuff that make no sense.
  2. The ensign, we never saw her, we never met her and all she did was annoy me drastically. She was a nice female character who could have easily fitted into Voyager but she's dead. The way the episode sounds, it makes it seem like she was a key character, having a huge birthday party and a grand sending off involving a special speech by Janeway, why? It's pointless, all the Voyager writers ever do is create characters, develop one step then kill them or never mention them again. Here is a suggestion, they could have used Lt Carey or Vorik? That would explain their disappearances but hey, this is Star Trek, it doesn't matter if every character appears once and disappears with 150 people aboard, no one will notice a few disappearing, yeah right.
  3. The aliens, like usual they have no background just powerful weapons and liking to attack. That was disappointing, they didn't even need aliens in this story, it could have been a dangerous anomaly or something, but no, they have to have dangerous aliens, how un-original.

Altogether I liked much of this episode but it had too much to explain and never managed to say them. So a good episode, just too many issues to make it exceptional.

Annotations

Rating: 7 (Darren Carver - Balsiger)

 

Latent Image

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

"Latent Image" deals with the dilemma of medical decisions which have fatal consequences and command decisions which have a bitter taste. The first part with the Doctor discovering a mystery about an anonymous person tampering with his memories is thrilling, but it turns into a debate about sentience and moral obligations. Janeway's initial decision to delete the Doctor's memories about the fatal incident is one of the most debatable issues in Star Trek's history. Her conversation with Seven and her comparing the Doctor to the replicator was quite revealing: she still doesn't consider him to be a sentient being and regards his breakdown as a mere inconvenience which can be resolved by tipping on a console. It is poetic justice that it is Seven of Nine who gives Janeway a dressing-down about the nature of individuality - the teacher has accomplished her goal, when the student is smater than her! Robert Picardo again acted with distinction.

By the time the death of Ensign Jetal occured, Kes was still the Doctor's assistant, Tom Paris actually began his tenure in sickbay months later.

Annotations

Rating: 6 (Apex)

 

Bride of Chaotica!

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

This is a highly enjoyable episode which if handled incorrectly could've ended up really bad, but this just hits all the right notes in the most appropriate fashion and is such a success as a result. The old-timey music, scripting, the famous 'wipes' to transition between scenes, the nostalgia of the Captain Proton program brought even further to life thanks to a memorable performance by Martin Rayner as Chaotica.

And the cast ham it up well too, Robert Duncan McNeill revels in the role of Paris as Proton, and Kate Mulgrew is absolutely beautiful and delightful as Arachnia. The Doctor also has a few well delivered lines while masquerading as the 'President of Earth'

Just an immensely fun episode full of laughs, a welcome change for the so-far disappointing Season 5.

Annotations

Rating: 8 (Cameron)

 

Bride of Chaotica!

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

Star Trek series have always produced episodes which are purely made for fun. The inherent style however is very different and doesn't always capture the viewer's taste, which is evident, if you only look at the different ratings these episodes are getting here. "Bride of Chaotica!" is one that I didn't enjoy very much, because it just wasn't my kind of humor. An installment like this is not to be taken very seriously, you have to accept that before you watch it. The main issue I have to criticize is the recycled plot of Starfleet officers having to play a character on the holodeck to finish the story, because the holodeck can't be shut down otherwise. Here it is Janeway who reluctantly plays Queen Arachnia. This alone prooves a certain amount of silliness, because if the Voyager crew really wanted to shut down Chaotica's lightshield they could probably assault his Fortress of Doom with a security team, instead of sending the captain in disguise.

The show probably makes more in-jokes on Star Trek clichés than any other episode during the carefully designed Captain Proton program: Tom and Harry make references to cliffhangers to draw viewers, to inconsistencies among the different Captain Proton chapters, to the reuse of expensive studio sets, their rocketship even crashes on a godforsaken planet. Furthermore Tom is very familiar with the fictitious technology of the program, much to Tuvok's surprise. Think of it this way: If there was something like a holodeck nowadays - which Star Trek fan would hesitate to participate in his own Trek series with oneself as ship's captain? ;)

Annotations

Rating: 6 (Apex)

 

Gravity

Synopsis

Stardate 52438.9: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

Tuvok in love again, sorta. Some appropriate flashbacks to his youth when he was wrestling with his emotions compliments his story on the alien planet, dealing with a woman, stranded for many 'seasons', who falls in love with him. Of course, Tuvok can't reciprocate his feelings, and once more he seems slightly worse off for it, though he would never admit that of course.

The B-plot, Voyager trapped on the other side of the anomaly that the shuttle Tuvok, Paris and the Doctor was on fell into, races against time to rescue the away team, however due to the anomaly, time accelerates faster on the planet, which adds a neat little twist which is well played out over the course of the episode, much more so than 'One', where a great deal of time passed but it wasn't conveyed so well.

So a pretty well conceived, well acted episode, nothing special though.

Rating: 5 (Cameron)

 

Gravity

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

Here we go again - another shuttle crash, another situation that tests Tuvok's logic (VOY: "Alter Ego"), another what appears to be a no-win situation but by luck and very good timing all are saved (VOY: "Once Upon a Time"), another planet full of rival savage beings and they find convenient refuge with good survivors of said world (VOY: "Unity"), another alien race doing what they are told but conflicts with Voyager's attempt to save/rescue a crewmember (err, did we not JUST see this in "Infinite Regress" with the vinculum and Species 6339?), another temporal/spatial anomaly, and it all wraps up with the ubiquitous hint of sadness/thoughtful type ending.

Considering that they have a team of writers - a TEAM - all they ever do is recycle past and even just finished episodes doing the same thing as before with mild tweaks so one hopes you do not notice. This is not even sloppy - this is rot - no wonder people were getting bored.

I have no real qualms about recycling plot points but this is so blatant to the point of lazy. In addition, the "tweaks" to make it appear different are just as poor - one person instead of a colony - and said person is just there; a wrecked ship instead of a habitat, a different anomaly, and some member of the main cast getting emotional for a different reason; here its Tuvok suppose to fall for Noss - but we have seen him confront temptation (VOY: "Alter Ego") and we know his metal - he doesn't. Why not something different?

No effort!

Many would say that soaps and other dramas do the same thing - trust me I do not refute that, but they are neither immune of the criticisms of repetition and tedium - and many have died the death they deserve. For something as prestigious as Star Trek, one expects better. It’s a sad disgrace. A waste of actors, time, and franchise.

Dire.

Rating: 0 (Chris S)

 

Gravity

Synopsis

Stardate 52438.9: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

Concerning the shuttle crash I refer to my earlier statement from the review of Season 3's "Coda" about the writing team pulling balls out of a sack with one of them labeled "Shuttlecraft crash".

This time the culprit is a subspace sinkhole which swallows spaceships. The only intersting thing about it was the time differential between the interior of the sinkhole and the space surrounding it. As a result the away team is stranded on a desert planet for months while only two days are passing on Voyager. It seems as if survival on barely hospitable planets is prioritized during Starfleet training (a wise precaution considering the frequent robinsonades), since the members of the away team obviously have no lasting sufferings like malnutrition (e.g. from eating arachnids the size of a football - yuck!) or psychological traumas from their experience whatsoever. At the beginning of the episode there is a shot of the desert landscape where you can see several crashed spacecraft which are distributed over a few kilometers. It is highly unlikely that all the vessels which were pulled in by the distortion would go down on practically the same spot. The multispatial probe which had been salvaged with great efforts during the events of "Extreme Risk" is used here as a transporter relay and is obviously left behind, but it probably was destroyed anyway by the implosion of the subspace sinkhole.

Tuvok's youth experience with a Vulcan master and how he learned to control his emotions would have made an interesting episode in itself, but it wasn't given enough time here to play a significant role. I am very puzzled by Paris's attempt to persuade Tuvok of pursueing a relationship with Noss. I want to take this opportunity to take up the cudgels on behalf of fidelity during a romantic relationship. Members of the Voyager crew have argued about this issue with the same reason they state for not following Starfleet regulations to the last: the sheer distance to the Alpha Quadrant. Harry Kim had been engaged in numerous romances so far, while his girlfriend Libby is sitting at home and Tom is suggesting Tuvok should forget about his wife and children...

Annotations

Rating: 4 (Apex)

 

Bliss

Synopsis

Stardate 52542.3: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

I actually didn't mind this episode much, yes it's a bit contrived that once again the crew be rendered unconscious and it's up to Seven and the Doc to almost single handedly save the day again much like "One". But the addition of the very cool Qatai and the 'beast' manipulating the thoughts, making the crew believe they've reached home make it a little more interesting. Seven and Naomi also share a nice couple of moments, once again showing how her (Seven's) humanity is still growing.

So even though it's been done before it's a slightly exciting episode with a cool premise and some great visual effects to go with it. Not great, but enjoyable.

Annotations

Rating: 6 (Cameron)

 

Bliss

Synopsis

Stardate 52542.3: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

Although the basic idea of alien influence has been overdone in Trek, this one adds several new aspects of it and overall I believe is one of the better written stories of Season 5. For starters, the apparent wormhole and seeing the crew's reaction to it, combined with the actions "Starfleet" had Voyager do (shut the EMH off, put Seven into stasis, etc.) leave for an extremely entertaining piece of television. I actually found this part of the episode better than the escape part, or the second half. Add onto all of that, Seven of Nine's obvious error at the end seemed like a perfect character building moment, without being too obvious.

Annotations

Rating: 7 (Norm)

 

Bliss

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

The actual premise of this episode reminds me of a Judge Dredd plot called the "Hungry Planet" where the beast in question is a world that devours starships.

Sci-fi wise, it’s good, again it shows the dangers of interstellar travel. Like with TOS: "The Immunity Syndrome" a gigantic threatening lifeform is the main antagonist. It also reminds me of the X-File's episode "Field Trip" about a fungus using halogens to induce...bliss, and to render the victims inactive allowing no resistance to take place as it devours.

I do agree that it’s similar to TNG: "The Game" and that once again the usual suspects of immune folk are Seven of Nine, The Doctor, and Naomi, and the OVERUSE of the Astrometrics lab. However, the concentrating on interstellar phenomenon compensates this episode to me. The crusty Qatai I also liked because I felt it was done with a hint of overacting in a Captain Ahab sort of way. The obvious but I can tolerate it because it's a true sci-fi story.

Not bad.

Annotations

Rating: 6 (Chris S)

 

Bliss

Synopsis

Stardate 52542.3: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

In contrast to the many overdone Star Trek clichés - you know them well, so I will spare naming them - I like the concept of giant space-dwelling life-forms. This one is not only big and ugly, but it is also driven by the most basic instinct...hunger! Seven's initial attempts to stop Voyager from entering the biest have been compared to Wesley Crusher's experience during "The Game", although it reminded me more of "Scientific Method", when Seven and the Doctor were the only ones who could detect the alien scienists. Qatai, who was referred to as Ahab already during the episode, is a nice addition and helps to lighten the mood, but his stylized appearance as old, mad monster expert is admittedly a little too fictional. The Doctor and Qatai argued about the sentience and the degree of intelligence of the biest. Personally I could believe that it was capable of reading the wish for a wormhole or a paradisiac planet, but the specific desires of every single person on Voyager? That was very elaborate and maybe unrealistic. I also wonder why the biest didn't bother to create a fitting deception for Naomi Wildman, since it eventually did it for Seven when it fooled her to think the ship had already escaped. I loved the part with the dream sequences and the sudden cut to the unpleasant sight of the biest's stomach on the viewscreen and the bridge crew being unconscious, possibly a reference to the horror classic "Village of the Damned". I would have liked for the dream scenes to include more specific pictures with other crew member's desires, like Harry embracing his folks, Janeway meeting Mark and her dog or Paris flying new spacecraft, but that would have been to expensive of course.

Rating: 6 (Apex)

 

Dark Frontier, Part I

Synopsis

Stardate 52619.2: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

Yep, Captain crazy strikes again, openly pursuing hostilities with the Borg for a start. Just such a convenience a Borg probe was the ship they encountered. And she's again willing to brush off Chakotay's point that 'sending a message' as she put it could only invite more Borg to come after them. And she's back to her usual self from the earlier seasons where she wants to invite danger upon the crew just for a shortcut. She complains about 2 years added to their journey avoiding the Borg, but they had already cut off at least 15 years from the events of "The Gift" and "Hope and Fear" already. So her reasons weren't justified I thought.

Then there's Seven's story, learning more about her past through her father's logs, of course there's nitpicks about the rumours of the Borg (probably passed on from the El-Aurians from 'Generations', and in hindsight, the events of Enterprise episode "Regeneration"), and the time frame and whatever. My only complaint though is the utter disregard for the original look of the Borg that we first saw in "Q Who". It would've been nice to see that, somewhat scary, white, sterilised environment again, instead of seeing the 'new' look of the Borg in 2353, 12 years before the events of the 'Next Generation' episode cited.

Through this knowledge though we see Seven's human side continue to emerge, as she blames her parents curiosity for letting her become assimilated.

But that's really as far as I can elaborate without seeing the second part. Good build up, but I can never quite agree with Janeway on these issues, constantly putting her crew at risk to keep finding shortcuts when they've covered so much ground. It may have been fine for her to have targeted say, the Hirogen or the Malon if they had something like a transwarp coil, but the Borg are unilateral in their thinking, attack one and you attack them all, and they ALL know the second it happened. Just crazy tactics if you ask me.

So, a 'good' episode, a worthy build up and I like the character development of Seven, the flashbacks coinciding with the events in the 'present' time.

Rating: 7 (Cameron)

 

Dark Frontier, Part II

Synopsis

Stardate 52619.2: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

Here we go again, another decent build-up ruined by stupid screenplay and character motivations, plot holes and plausibility (or lack of in this case). After 'rejoining' the Collective we find out Seven was planted on Voyager to begin with, crap. You're telling me the Borg Queen, with all the distraction of the war with Species 8472, found the time or inclination to put Seven on Voyager, let alone manipulating events or 'allowing' the cube to be destroyed by the bio-ship in "Scorpion Part II" and beaming Seven aboard, placing faith in the humanity in the Voyager crew not to kill her or toss her off board at the first opportunity (such a humanity still yet to be understood by the Borg at that stage, hence the reason for the ruse? Chicken or the egg?)? Ridiculous.

Janeway, again putting her ship on the line to rescue a single member of the crew, who at first glance left voluntarily, and some resistance put up by Chakotay, simply pointing out that the technology devised by the Hansens would only serve Voyager for so long, never mind the entire plan to get Seven back only puts the ship at further risk of a Borg attack and is risking the lives of the crew and so on and so on. The scenario's happened so many times before now I should be used to it, but I will never find her tactics sound or convincing.

And then there's the Borg Queen, Susana Thompson though is very credible with the role and a worthy successor to Alice Krige's original depiction. In all that though, the depiction is so 'human'. The charm of the Borg, from when we first saw them, was the artificiality. The lack of humanity, the lack of ANYTHING resembling any other species seen on Star Trek till then. They weren't a society driven by any emotions at all. Unlike the devious Romulans, the bloodthirsty Klingons, the treacherous Cardassians, each species with their own citizens who were unique, had their own leaders, the individuals we saw in their society, the Borg were nothing like that at all.

But that all changed. In "First Contact" we were given the Borg Queen, and saw a hierarchy. In "The Omega Directive" they were suddenly religious (as Seven would have put it), and now, again, we see the Queen acting with such personal interest to extract Seven. The Queen is sometimes emotional, not the face most appropriate for what the Borg used to be, because it took away the most compelling part of their identity in the first place: the lack of identity.

And in the end, everyone's home safe and sound, there was little gained from the events of this 2-parter, and everything to lose. The Borg lost more credibility as an interesting villain, the crew of Voyager again lost to the personal interests of their insane captain, who luckily has always got the most impervious of ships and technology at her disposal (explaining how the Flyer could survive the battle, how she and Tuvok could sneak into the Queens doorstep with no drones batting an eye (or ocular implant in their case surely;-D).

To be frank, that sort of stuff ruins an episode for me, there's just way too much suspension of disbelief needed to take this episode seriously. Yes, of course you need suspension of disbelief for Star Trek of all things, but come on, there are still in-universe rules and things that have been established, things that work, but this episode did its best to discredit what worked best for the Borg, especially in relation to Star Trek: Voyager. So for me, if there's any time the Borg became weak, it was here, and it gets worse from here. Gets a generous 5 because of the effects and Susana Thompson's performance. It just wasn't satisfactory, an excuse to blow a big budget on big effects, a silly script which threw common sense out the window to justify Janeway's mad quest to get Seven back from the toothless Borg, with all the big speeches that went along with it.

Rating: 5 (Cameron)

 

Dark Frontier

Synopsis

Stardate 52619.2: Bang! A Borg scout ship is destroyed, followed by some strange objects and a suicide mission by Janeway which leads to Seven's betrayal and some more Borg weaknesses and the Queen actually isn't Borgish which is nothing new before a few more explosions and all is forgiven.

Commentary

If Dark Frontier does one thing, it starts the decline of the Borg which continues through VOY: "Collective", VOY: "Unimatrix Zero", VOY: "Endgame" and finally ENT: "Regeneration". It definitely has bright-sides, the Borg Queen being the highlight but it still fails.

The very scene is exceptional with the Borg Scout being destroyed but that's about it, some nice work there, especially viewing it like a Borg at first.

As a 14 year old, you may assume I'm going to love this episode's action side but I don't, a nice idea with an awful plot. The scenes on the sphere are nothing spectacular, although the scene with Seven abandoning Janeway is well done emotionally. My main concern with this part of the episode is how the crew send their Captain, their Chief of Security, in real life would you risk their deaths or assimilation. If they were killed, Chakotay would become Captain and Torres (I think), would become First Officer, imagine how that would be :-) .

This episode has perfect acting, from Susanna Thompson, Jeri Ryan and that's about it. Kate Mulgrew does no spectacular acting, well no more than usual (which isn't amazing).

So, back to the plot, the Borg separated 7 of 9 so they could re-capture her to help them learn about Humanity, what utter shit. What if Seven died? What if she abandoned Voyager before she learned about humanity? What if Voyager killed her? What if ...and on and on again, so I ignore this random rubbish the plot makes sense (just like Picard was just like Kirk :-D).

The final scenes made this episode even worse, they send their Captain, there of chief of security, their only decent medical officer as well as their best helmsman (who is also the only other person with any medical expertise). So that was a bit more crap to add to the list. It was far too easy for Janeway to get in although I liked the whole Seven telling Janeway what to do thing (although it really shouldn't be that simple), the escape was rubbish with the Borg chasing them, I quite liked that.

Bernd's reviews sums up the rest.

Annotations

Rating: 4 (Darren Carver - Balsiger)

 

Dark Frontier

Synopsis

Stardate 52619.2: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

"Dark Frontier" literally leads us to some of the darkest parts we have ever seen on Star Trek: some of the darkest characters, some of the darkest errors concerning plot logic and Trek continuity, some of the darkest scenes they ever dared to show on Star Trek, some of the darkest moments of decision-making the producers ever had...

There are a lot of issues about this feature-length episode which have been discussed already in other reviews. I want to make comments on the ones I particulary noticed.

The Hansen expedition represents a huge continuity problem (please also read Bernd's comment on that). The major issue for me is the amount of correct information the Hansens already possessed or theorized before even spotting a Borg vessel, for example the model of a cube or the Borg's command structure. And how could they develop special shielding that masked them from Borg sensors? When they encounter a Borg cube they have been on their way for 8 months - even at high warp that would be no more than 1000 lightyears, it seems very unlikely that a Borg vessel would be strolling so close to Federation space without neither Starfleet noticing it nor the Borg going for assimilation. From the MSD in the background you can tell that the USS Raven is about 120 meters in length, it seems to be a waste of space for only three people and way too big to maintain it properly. The overconfidence of the Hansens is unbearable. They are studying the Borg like a pack of wolves, tagging them, giving them names and they didn't know when to stop. The fact that they are frequently referred to as audacious pioneers offends me. Since they were assimilated and their ship was destroyed nobody in the Federation could benefit from their studies and they blindly ignored the fears of their young daughter. They are like explorers from the Victorian Era, taking their own child on an expedition to study a remote native tribe in the jungle, only to find out the natives are cannibals. I fully share the opinions stated by Seven and the Doctor - they deserve nothing but contempt.

When the crew of Voyager practices their heist they don't make it in time. Why don't they simply walk faster? There is also the issue with the successful use of stealth technology developed by the Hansens on Voyager's rescue mission. As the Borg Queen rightly says at the end the technologies in question were assimilated by the Borg 20 years earlier. The Borg should have been familiar with them, yet Janeway used them and it even worked! The Borg Queen's statements about her plans to assimilate humanity with Seven's help is also very odd. I never understood the Borg's assimilation policy. The Queen even mentions the inferior capabilities of humans, why do they bother to try assimilating them? Klingons would make more resilient drones, other species from the Alpha Quadrant have better qualities as well, not to mention that the Borg still have to assimilate large parts of the Delta Quadrant with many races which possess superior techology.

The eventual failure of the stolen transwarp coil was predictable of course.

The show heavily invested in special effects (and won an Emmy Award for that), the costumes, the set design and CGI sequences are of the highest quality - and the Borg Unicomplex... holy sh*t! Jeri Ryan as Seven outdid herself and special praise goes to Susanna Thompson, a worthy successor to Alice Krige as Borg Queen - her sparkling eyes had a maleficent appeal. I also liked the use of Naomi Wildman who suggests a rescue plan to the captain (btw I think Voyager should do more scenes with crew members talking to the captain in her ready room, as it was done on TNG). Naomi's Borg transformation during Seven's dream was very scary.

For all of its qualities this episode does one thing: it downgrades the Borg from an abominable menace to a second-rate inconvenience. However I chose to favor the efforts more than the mistakes this time.

Annotations

Rating: 8 (Apex)

 

The Disease

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

Ah, forbidden love, tragedy, revolutionary types in the face of another oppressive alien society, it's an ok plot which ties together nicely, and gives Harry another chance to play the lovesick fool, better than nothing I guess. So far he's been the foil for Tom and his pranks, played the lovesick fool so many times (as Tom points out in this episode, keeping with continuity, though I wonder what made 'that' Delany sister the wrong twin...), and got a one off role playing his future self, who ended up a changed man from the one we know.

The only difference here though from his other 'puppy love' roles is his romantic entanglement is supposed to be such a direct violation of protocol that he's made to look so bad for his actions, I'm sure Kirk never had this problem, I doubt Riker had this problem either. There's the ambiguous situation between Chakotay and Kellin in "Unforgettable" which could very well have led to romanticism. Who knows? Maybe even Janeway herself got 'involved' with Kashyk at some stage during "Counterpoint".

But no eyelids were batted to such a degree that it required reprimands, making Chakotay's point about the harshness of Janeway putting one on Kim's record as valid. He had served within the limited capacity of his character as a perennial button pusher/do-gooder. He hadn't set a foot wrong till this stage, so only when he does something admittedly ethically dubious by Starfleet standards, does Janeway find cause to tarnish his record.

What little good that would do one wonders, here she is asking Kim if he wants to put his reputation and career on the line for his feelings, um, had Janeway been in astrometrics lately? Voyager made great progress getting home as it was, but she admits to the Varro leader Jippeq that their ships share common traits and that even Voyager may become a 'generational' ship one day. I don't buy that for a second though, as I've said, Voyager made great progress to get home, and even when they started the trip would've been around 70 years, sounds like 2 generations to me, not like Kim would be too worried about his record when he's either dead or a grandfather...

In spite of that, I don't think it's an awful episode, but Janeway continues to punish those who break the rules: selectively. When the journey started she talked about being the leader of a community, the matriarch of a family, but I fear with her actions of lately, she's just abusing the little power she flaunts aboard her tiny ship, just to try and remind people about Starfleet's regulations, some of which mean little considering Voyager's situation.

The B-plot really wasn't well explored though, it's understandable the situation the 'dissidents' position was, but something more than Tal and the Varro stowaway's stating the obvious, and rhetoric might have worked in the plots favour a little more.

So it comes to rating, I didn't mind it actually, I was thinking a 6, but to be honest though, at least as another character study of Harry it works, but considering the circumstances about alien relationships seen before now, it just doesn't convince. So it gets a 5. Don't be fooled, it's not a terrible episode (at least I don't think so), but some consistency regarding the most pivotal issue behind Harry's behaviour would've helped, but it was disregarded just to make Harry look like a 'bad boy'.

Remarkable VFX/ship/sequences: All involve the Varro generational ship, the opening shot of the fly in from bow of the ship into Tal's quarters to the foot of her door. The ship itself, a mammoth structure easily dwarfing Voyager, to its breaking apart in the climax.

Annotations

Rating: 5 (Cameron)

 

The Disease

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

It is said that first impressions last - and when I saw the opening scene with Harry in bed with some woman, I knew I was in for a bad time - and boy was I right.

Basically Harry falls in love with some woman aboard a "Multi-Generation" ship - think Babylon Five with engines. Jinny is impressed with this giant multi-warp engine monstrosity and has dreams Voyager can be like this - despite the fact that Voyager's priority is to get home. The ship is not in the best of states and as a typical result, Voyager are helping the crew, the Varro (humans) repair it.

Meantime Harry has the hots for a native lass, Derran Tal, and before you could say "Contraception" he and her are in bed making whoopee. However, this breaks 'protocol', Harry starts to disobey orders because he is listening to his heart (if that is what you want to call it :P) and performs a lot of what I would say stupid things - all in the name of Love.

So this episode is to give Harry Kim more dimension is it? Show that he is a man, not a boy who pushes buttons and does his job, right? Whoever thought of this story is an idiot. Harry's character is too efficient to be this stupid, to straight laced to be so irresponsible, why now get horny? Why act recklessly? Its all of a sudden - some would say that this is love, this happens, and I cannot predict the human heart - nonsense - Harry acts a certain way like do Tom, B'Elanna, and Tuvok.

Okay, how would it be if Tom became a homosexual, or Tuvok gave up logic - just like that - for character building? One would ridicule the notion. Here with Harry they went ahead and did this - there was no build up, any previous tensions, desires, or notions - it’s just sudden. All his acts (secret transmissions, stealing a shuttle, sneaking off for sex) made me sympathise less and less. When he loses it with Janeway on the bridge, I stopped. To be honest Janeway was way too lenient. The impact of this forced character change is like watching the decent guy become a rapist all of a sudden. Yes, that unpleasant and unsympathetic.

Harry is a reliable person, and reliable people stick to the rules, just as reckless folk break them. Harry is not this - and the fact he says "I have served on this ship for five years and said, 'yes, ma'am' to every one of your orders. But not this time." is utter BS - it’s like a front line soldier telling his commander 'I will no longer obey you' in the midst of a firefight. Unless you know what you are doing, or experienced, or have doubt over the commander, err, YOU DON'T! In this case Harry has NO Sensible reason to abandon his principles - oh it’s for love - so does that mean he has the right to jeopardise others for his desire?

In addition, what about Chuckles with his flings? She did not haul him over the coals for that - oh yes, Harry has not earned the right to 'question her judgement' - considering that he has been stuck in the Delta Quadrant for five years with Jinny, and is basically the most experienced ensign afloat who has pulled the crew out of numerous scrapes, I think he has earned a lot more than right. Not to mention Chakotay is a higher rank which means higher responsibility and target. Thus would have to set a far better example!

Again BS.

The side plot of a rebellion on the Varro ship is also stupid = they try to destroy the vessel with bionic parasites that eat into the hull so they can be "free". No, sabotage aboard a ship gets EVERYONE killed - if they mean death, why don't they jump out the airlock? It's like opening the hatch of a submarine underwater because you want to get out.

The episode is just nasty to be honest, with no sympathy to Harry and his sudden "rebellious nature" just conjured up there for drama sake. In addition, all the rebels here are being literal irresponsible idiots jeopardising all concerned for their selfish motives, and we are meant to applaud them for it? No. Only lunatics celebrate lunacy.

Annotations

Rating: 0 (Chris S)

 

The Disease

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

Harry finally gets a girl and gets punished for it promptly. This episode introduces a Starfleet protocol which requires a medical clearance before engaging in intimate relations with an alien species. If you consider some of the arguments which are stated by Janeway, it actually makes much sense - without a medical examination you could contract an infectious disease (maybe even alien-AIDS) or you could infect your partner yourself. The problem is this: if you conclude that intimate contact with another species could be harmful, then where you to have draw the line? Kissing? Shaking hands? For all we know just beaming over an alien could kill the whole crew if that alien is releasing a vaporous poison from his skin instead of sweat. We have seen Starfleet officers having similar relationships on countless occasions and there has never been any reprimand. The most recent ones on Voyager: 1st Chakotay kissing an 8472 in a human body - remember what 8472 tissue did to Harry Kim during the events of "Scorpion"? 2nd Janeway passionately kissing Kashyk during "Counterpoint" - what if the Devore's saliva was lethal to humans?

Janeway's sympathy also suffers from her statement about Harry Kim being merely an ensign without the right to question anything. Too bad, since Harry is a member of the senior staff, the Operations Officer and with the same accomplishments in his record on any other ship he could be lieutenant commander by now. Chakotay questions Janeway's decision and knows very well what goes on in her mind - he shows us again why he would be the wiser and the better captain.

I disagree with any statement that Harry's actions here are uncharacteristic. Real people are not two-dimensional beings. They have many aspects defining them, making them what they are, but they do things that contradict their usual behavior now and then. It would be naive to believe that a person is always predictable.

Remember that Harry still has girlfriend waiting for him at home.

Annotations

Rating: 4 (Apex)

 

Course: Oblivion

Synopsis

Stardate 52586.3: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

A tragic and unique episode, cleverly involving the events of "Demon" to bring us the crew of Voyager 'copies' and their last mission. It's a nice setup with Tom and B'Elanna's marriage to start with, and continues with the crew getting ill. I like how Tuvok and Chakotay go over recent events involving the ship, and recount encounters with other races we hadn't seen, hinting that this wasn't the same crew otherwise surely we would've witnessed those events too. And everything's made clear when we discover their true origins.

But once again Janeway wants to make a scene and try to continue to live a life that isn't hers. Ordering that Earth be Voyager's ultimate destination was stupid and the argument brought forward in her quarters and later her ready room by Chakotay was correct, 'this' crew of Voyager's home, was never Earth. It is only by some strange development that they forgot who they were, and Janeway clings to that, and only after more deaths due to the ships condition does she accept their fate. A harsh lesson for her to learn.

And the ending, yes, heartbreaking. Great episode all the same. I certainly wouldn't have expected the 'Silver blood' crew to reappear, but this episode handled it really well. The drama and the human cost is perfectly illustrated, and the depiction of the ship coming apart too. Great effects, great acting.

Annotations

Rating: 7 (Cameron)

 

Course: Oblivion

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

"Course: Oblivion"! As impressive a title as "Assignment Earth"! Or "Operation: Anhiliate!" Giving visions of grandiose adventure and excitement.

That is until you see what this episode has in store. The clues are right there at the beginning; Banana and Slimey Paris' marriage and the rice leaking through the hull. It's another alternate reality - only it's not quite but nevertheless a duplicate. It's only later that it transpires that the ship and crew are those metallic blobs from the planet from the episode of "Demon".

Inspired to explore, they (god knows why) decide to take the form of Voyager and the crew and set off on the same mission with the same motives, and considering that the entire ship is made of this stuff I love to know how they made the warp core, and the drives!

Of course it goes all wrong and in the end the ship basically pops. In every sense of the word! In addition when the real Voyager arrives only to discover the mess, they have no idea what happened too.

I mean what is the point of a duplicate crew in a ship made of quicksilver dying for? What were the writers aiming at? What is the moral here? What purpose does it have in seeking out new life, exploration, and adventure? Or science fiction?

Answer - none. AT best it's a filler, at worse it's a waste of time and budget.

Nil Point

Annotations

Rating: 0 (Chris S)

 

Course: Oblivion

Synopsis

Stardate 52586.3: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

The problem with episodes like this is the writers tendency to wreak havoc on the characters, kill a lot of them or destroy the ship. Why do they do that? Because these kind of stories don't have any lasting effect on continuity whatsoever and it doesn't matter if they use time travel, parallel universes or duplicates.

Teleplay writer Nich Sagan said it himself: "One of the great things about 'Course: Oblivion' [was] that you could do whatever you wanted to do, because they're not the real crew."

We have seen enough of this stuff already, the only interesting part is the beginning when you see slight differences and you wonder what is going on when the ship begins to loose cohesion and the crew falls ill. After the truth is discovered it is predictable what is going to happen and you loose the ability to show compassion for them. Fortunately B'Elanna's tragic death happens before that.

It is interesting to see that apart from her memories even Janeway's stubbornness had been copied into the duplicate. This episode is a subtle lesson how dangerous this specific character trait of Janeway can be - not knowing when to quit.

I find it curious that mercury-B'Elanna appoints mercury-Seven to her substitute for the duration of the planned honeymoon. We could expect the same thing for the real Voyager. This incident illustrates the lack of knowledge the writers seem to have about procedures on real ships or anything which is remotely similar. B'Elanna's engineering staff should consist of at least two other assistant chief engineers with the rank of lieutenant who have the knowledge to take her place in an emergency and who take over engineering when the Chief Engineer is off duty. This would also apply to other positions on the ship, for example an offical Second Officer, lieutenant commander, command division.

The show also poses the question which of the episodes we have seen since "Demon" actually happened to the real crew or to the duplicates.

Rating: 4 (Apex)

 

The Fight

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Voyager is trapped in "Chaotic Space" and the way to getting out is with Chakotay.

Commentary

I hate this episode.

Okay, that's a bit strong, but I hate this episode. It's 45 minutes of nothing. When it first aired I fell asleep. I figured it was because I had gotten up early that morning. When I talked about it to a friend of mine, he told me that he also fell asleep.

When it was shown during the rerun, I again, fell asleep. I don't know why. When it went to weeknight rerun syndication I caught this episode and with enough coffee and Mountain Dew I managed not to fall asleep. I regret that.

This is the only Star Trek episode every to put me to sleep. I was awake through "11:59", I was awake during "Threshold", "Carpenter Street" and that episode of DS9 with the cross dressing Quark.

This episode goes nowhere. This episode does nothing. If it wasn't because it kept putting me and my friends to sleep, it would be an episode that I would have forgotten. If 'Voyager' was still being shown in reruns this would be one of those episodes that I would go out of my way not to watch.

Rating: 0 (Jason Feagans)

 

The Fight

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

What an awful Christmas present! I didn't get to see this episode at the time, but it did screen Christmas '08. Not that I was missing much, I've never actually managed to sit down and watch this episode, I'm content to let it run in the background while I do other things. Every time I've done so I did turn around every now and then to catch snippets of nothing interesting, just Chuckles running round the ship in boxing gear talking about... something being egged on by an image of Boothby, while having visions of aliens possessing the bodies of the crew.

Glad I didn't watch, maybe I'll come back and give a more thorough review, but considering the other two reviews on this site don't speak too highly of this episode, I don't think I'll bother.

Rating: 0 (Cameron)

 

The Fight

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

HAHAHHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAAHHOHOHOOHOHOHOOHOHOHO!!!

Sorry I do not mean to chuckle but man this is BAD!

I read the reviews of Cameron, Bernd, and Mr Feagans, and lord I thought it could not be that horrendous.

I put my hands up and admit I am wrong. I avoided most of Voyager because it went down the predictable paths that turned me off, and in a way did me a favour in missing this ghastly entry. I only watched this to see if it was - and boy, PEE-EWW!!

It's Voyager's answer to TNG "Night Terrors" but where that was done in a smart albeit laboured way, this is a real stupid affair. For reasons I cannot fathom without becoming a trekkie bore, Chuckles has to communicate with aliens whilst being a boxer; yes it's as stupid as it sounds.

Watching this I kept on thinking of Rocky; the delapidated poor lit gym with grime and battered lockers and worn posters (why not a true Star Fleet one?) with clichéd sparring scenes; Boothby acting like Buster Merediths' coach character in the same film - WITH all the mannerisms; The gowns marked "The Marquis Mauler" and "The Chaos Kid" made me wince. The only thing missing was Chuckles running up the steps all sweat drenched with both fists up in the air, and facing his opponent with "The Eye of the Tiger" tune being played. Oh and having slurred speech like Mr Stallone and the OTT black eyes.

In addition, we have some guff about chaotic space that once again traps the crew, and via a stupid way that involves Chuckles and some duff DNA that is the vital link to contact the aliens who (typically) inhabit this latest space phenomena. However Chuckles is worried about this approach because this duff DNA made his granpappy go nuts so when he is not in the boxing ring thinking he is Rocky Balboa, he's acting as a deranged nut afraid to lose his mind like his granddad.

When the means to communicate is made, it's done with punches, flashbacks, the ubiquitous crew/alien metaphor, and scenes cut from this episode put together like a stuck record.

Watching this made me laugh and wince. Here Chuckles is reduced to basically a loser who either gets battered or made to look like a babbling idiot. I have never liked this character and personally the abuse he gets makes my day. However, overall its a pointless episode that serves no purpose except as a bottle filler - one full of urine.

I wonder if it was made this bad on purpose. Robert Beltran has always been a big critic of the writers of the series and have vented his frustrations on the missed acting opportunities on many occasions. Well he got his wish, alas the writers made a real stinker with this - and him at its core.

1/10 for the knock out he gets!

Rating: 1 (Chris S)

 

The Fight

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

The wisdom of the common people is sometimes right. "The Fight" was a very unpopular episode among fans and is regarded as one of the worst Voyager shows. I have to agree completely. From all the Star Trek TV series Voyager maybe suffered the most by having so many seasons, because it forced the writers to come up with new ideas every week, yet often there were none and old plots had to be recycled. The concept of chaotic space is not very compelling but acceptable, although its visual effects could have been more elaborate. There are aliens living inside it and they communicate telepathically, Chakotay is the poor fellow who has to endure it. The boxing theme is lame, to say the least. Its obvious references to the 'Rocky' franchise are out of place. It is a disgrace to use Ray Walston in this manner in his last Trek role. And why would Boothby of all people at Starfleet Academy have any idea about boxing. Apparently he doesn't, otherwise he wouldn't tell Chakotay to take a beating. The holoprogram in which Chakotay does his sparring is another crude reminiscence of Rocky. Isn't this supposed to be a recreation of the boxing gym at the Academy? Ckakotay's visions and the frequent flashbacks are very confusing.

Since most actors enthuse about working on Star Trek it seems to be a great job and one envies them for going to work every day without feeling bad and unmotivated , but I can not possibly believe anyone of them enjoyed working on this rubbish.

The only point is for the Doctor's opinions about boxing and its medical consequences during the treatment in sickbay and during the vision.

Annotations

Rating: 1 (Apex)

 

Think Tank

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

Talk about shooting themselves in the foot with this one. In a way it was more like they took aim. The premise of the visitors of the week is exposed in the teaser - we know they are not to be trusted - the question is what happens when Jinny and her mob meet up with them?

Answer, Voyager is lured into a trap! Only the visitors can save them - but we and eventually Jinny know its a trap made by them - in return for their 'help', they want Seven of Nine because she is "unique" (again), cue pseudo clever banter combined with techno cobblers to try and better each other and in the end the visitors fall for a typical counter trap set by Jinny, and again, Voyager wins.

There are a few things I like about this episode - the visitors - the Think Tank crew - real alien beings - not all human lookers, humanoids, forehead aliens, or something as crap. They have an aquatic, a plasma being, and an artificial intellect. The CGI is not bad either.

However this does not compensate for an atrocious episode; once again the alien of the week has to have a sinister motive, once again their tech is utterly advanced, unbeatable, and beyond Voyager's understanding, yet at the last moment Jinny and crew find some 'perfect' techno babble way to beat them, once again they want Seven of F***ing Nine or else Voyager dies, and once again Janeway has the last hurrah as she and her smug crew escape. The difference here is that they shove in more CGI to compensate for a woe of a story and the fact they did not even try to hide the motives of the 'Think Tank', especially with the leader of this Think Tank, the overtly smarmy Kurros - this shows how much care they actually have about stories for this franchise.

No wonder Star Trek was dying. 3/10.

Annotations

Rating: 3 (Chris S)

 

Think Tank

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

The Think Tank reminds me of Bashir's genetically engineered friends who served in a similar position for Starfleet for some time. They are a nice mixture of different life-forms, only one of them a humanoid. The prop for their artificial entity was a dissapointment though, it looked like a robot from a bad TV series from the 60s. I wonder why the Think Tank didn't offer Janeway a solution the get Voyager home, instead of an escpae from the Hazari. I am glad that the issue of Seven joining them willingly out of curiosity isn't made a big deal here. It is a little bit odd that Janeway happily transfers the responsibily of solving her problem with the Hazari to the Think Tank without ordering her crew to work on it as well. Janeway also made a big leap of faith when she trusts the Hazari, who were strikingly willing to change their loyalties, especially since they have the reputation of honoring their agreements. Overall this was an average episode.

Rating: 5 (Apex)

 

Juggernaut

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

I'm on the fence here, it's an impressive looking episode with tense moments and action and great effects, but some parts of it were slightly boring and there's problems with the setup. Voyager's losing warp drive and it can't escape the blast radius of the Malon freighter at impulse, seems pretty convenient but oh well. And the mutated Malon crew member is hardly a sympathetic character. B'Elanna did the right thing trying to reason with him, but he was so made so bitter due to his condition it turned him into a remorseless killer. At least it looks like B'Elanna's message gets through to Fesek in the end to tell people about these forgotten core workers. I dunno, it's an average episode that looks to have drawn a lot from the atmosphere of the film 'Aliens', from the dark steamy alien environment, to B'Elanna getting hot and sweaty and sexy and dangerous in the end, and also the use of Astrometrics monitoring the away team and the creature approaching it in the command centre maybe another homage. It's enjoyable, but it seems pretty shallow and simple.

Annotations

Rating: 5 (Cameron)

 

Juggernaut

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

Here we go again.

The Malons are the villains of the episode, something goes wrong because they look like idiots, are ugly, inefficient, stupid, and are enemies of Jinny; Jinny threatens Malon survivors to help avert the disaster they escaped from, Banana Torres having anger issues AGAIN, Chakotay throwing his weight around like the prick he is AGAIN, and its the usual race against time plot set by an inferior unenlightened species that Voyager has to clean up the mess of.

I resent this episode for the above, but also for other factors; the consistent overuse of the second bridge that is Astrometrics with its titanic flashy graphics that can - with clichéd rerouting/adjusting/enhancing/modifying-with-ease bullshit can see/scan/detect something they just missed; the fact that the crew were inoculated against the lethal radiation (via the perpetual wonder medicines that the Doc can whip up(!)) aboard the runaway Malon Freighter, YET decided NOT to wear space suits or any protective clothing!!!!!! Infact it gets worse - B'Elanna then takes her top off and gets all hot, grimy, and sweaty to work in the conditions whilst Chuckles just glistens in full garbs - doesn't that strike one as a tad SEXIST?

It then slightly descends into Aliens territory but with no alien Queen or pulse rifles, but Banana does get sensor feeds that 'something bad is coming' and then having to confront a monster all by herself, and its here that is the metaphor for Banana - who realises that "anger is a blindness, that it makes one think irrationally, and one must calm down" via a cued entrance of some nutty over irradiated Malon crewmember come zombie murderer who wants to take revenge on the universe for being irradiated.

Of course Voyager saves the day - as they always do. The ending with Banana in the shower is too much.

This episode offers nothing revealing, distinctive, or new. Just rehashes of "Extreme Risk", "Night", and "Day of Honor". In addition the metaphor is just insulting and despite the enlightenment of Trek its still very sexist. 0/10.

Annotations

Rating: 0 (Chris S)

 

Juggernaut

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

Other reviewers already said it, this one is difficult. There are some nice elements like the set design for the battered freighter with its steam clouds and poor lighting or the arguments about the Malon's waste deposit policy. We gain some insights in the Malon culture, it is refreshing to hear that they are not on garbage missions all the time. But the fact that the Malon controller is a sculptor the other half of the year is still kind of clichéd. I also liked that the Vihaar was not an alien life-form of some sort or a ghost for a change, but a real person who became a mutant because of radiation exposure. It was nice to see Neelix on an away mission and this time they even made use of his past experiences, which didn't include cooking for once. B'Elanna's temper got her in trouble again, the writers never knew what to do with her, so stirring up something with her Klingon side ought to be enough. But they were wrong.

Annotations

Rating: 5 (Apex)

 

Someone To Watch Over Me

Synopsis

Stardate 52648.0: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

Amazingly it seems that with this episode Seven of Nine and the Doctor, a hologram, are the most real members of the crew. This is a touching episode which goes to great lengths to draw a couple of marvelous performances out of Robert Picardo and Jeri Ryan (and my god doesn't she look AMAZING in this episode?), where the Doctor, after instructing Seven on the techniques of dating and romance, discovers his own feeling's have grown for her as well. Of course, Seven is oblivious and makes it clear that friendship with the Doctor is the limit to their relationship.

It's not all so sad though, there's some wonderful moments in it, Seven and the Doctor singing a duet of 'You Are My Sunshine', the Doctor using a slideshow to demonstrate romantic proceedings leading to to procreation (featuring a giant image of an ovum, the hilarious quote accompanying is featured below). There's also the B-Plot, similar to TNG episode "Liasons" featuring an alien ambassador sampling human cuisines (and prostitutes of course), hilarity ensues after he gets drunk and tries to sweet talk Seven.

But yes, it is quite sad in the end that the Doctor is left with his feelings a secret, but despite Paris' claims to the contrary, I doubt it would've worked between the pair. Their relationship thus far had been similar to the one Kes had with the Doctor and Tuvok, that they had a mutual respect and friendship for each other, but it needn't have gone so far as a romance.

A very well written, well staged episode. An episode with heart, which I find welcome after the recent string of bland or depressing or unoriginal stories which have saturated Season 5 thus far.

Annotations

Rating: 7 (Cameron)

 

Someone To Watch Over Me

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

Bernd here refers to it as "Pygmalion", "My Fair Lady", or "Pretty Woman". Me I regard it more like "Carry on Voyager".

Well I can see the reference to "Pygmalion", "My Fair Lady", or "Pretty Woman", but there seems to be an obsession in making Seven 'find her humanity' like it’s a matter of life and death. It’s been done countless times in TOO many episodes since she came aboard, it’s almost like she is the ONLY reason Voyager kept going.

So the latest fad in this "quest to perfect her humanity" is the art of romance. All the clichés are here; Doctor the well tailored teacher, Seven the ignorant reluctant student, bumbling ahoy, transformations that turn Seven into "Hello SEVEN!", numerous witty banter, embarrassing moments for comedy effect, the final act of humiliation, and redemption - realising that the teacher has fallen in love with the student but such love can never be reciprocated.

Why they keep making the Doctor capable of love is beyond me - think someone is trying to be clever - as usual.

It has some fun moments but utterly I do not care - I have never liked Seven, I feel that Voyager became "The Seven Chronicles", virtually every story revolved around her and her bloody quest to be human - in a way it’s like Data but sexier and more naive.

The Carry On reference is to the visitor of the week - a monk, one Tomin, from a world they once again are in trade talks with, who has taken a vow of not falling for temptations of the ship (WFT!) but after sampling a nice pudding he goes on an epic BENDER to the point where he is intoxicated and dare I say it - Horny and wanting it! It’s trying to be comedy but is rather forced. Thankfully he fails to get Seven and she does not want it. Next day he is ashamed and hung over, but recovers just in time for the ceremony of Trade.

To think of it, it sounds more like the plot of a typical teen com - think "Porky's", "American Pie", "Van Wilder", and you have an idea - but very, very restrained. Passable but one I would not make time for.

Annotations

Rating: 2 (Chris S)

 

Someone to Watch Over Me

Synopsis

Stardate 52648.0: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

One remarkable thing about Star Trek and all the series and their characters is the fabulous potential for comedy. Although predominantly a science fiction show Star Trek always managed to include funny episodes, this episode belongs in this category.

The 'My Fair Lady' plot is a familiar yet successful concept for romantic comedy, it actually was not really necessary because the Doctor wanted to teach Seven anyway and it only gave us the unpleasant scene when Tom Paris (in an act of unbelievable indiscretion) admits his defeat in front of Seven. The Doctor's attempts of teaching Seven the aspects of Human romance provide a big amount of neat and funny scenes: the Doctor's 'Love Amid the Stars' show, the two of them singing, which was just wonderful, the disastrous date with Lt. Chapman (I am sorry for this poor fellow, he really tried) and the sad ending when The Doctor realizes Seven will never reciprocate his feelings. It is very ironic to observe a hologram and a former Borg drone exploring romance.

Neelix taking care of the Kadi ambassador, who is indulging in all the comforts Voyager has to offer is hilarious, although I could understand if some viewers would not like it. His actions resembled a plot from TNG's "Liasons" with another alien ambassador gorging himself on the Enterprise.

Annotations

Rating: 8 (Apex)

 

11:59

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Captain Janeway is inspired to tell the story of Shannon O'Donnell and the Millennium Gate to her senior officers.

Commentary

This episode has received extremely harsh and undeserved criticism from fans. I will admit it isn't the highlight of the season, but it does have a good plot, strong characters and above all it is light hearted. The episode is surrounded by others such as "Juggernaut", "Warhead" and "Equinox" which are much much darker. This is the only Star Trek episode of this nature and I believe it to be a suitable tribute to the dawn of the millennium, let's face it, Star Trek had to do something. It really annoys me when fans dismiss episodes just because they are different. What is important is that you have a good time watching them, and I did with "11:59". I know a lot of you will disagree with me, but I thought that this episode was better then most of season four of Enterprise, after "Storm Front". Granted, many of the other cast were not in the episode very much, but it isn't exactly a first for Star Trek episodes. (I am a massive Enterprise fan by the way just if you were wondering by my comment.)

Annotations

Rating: 6 (Craig Flint)

 

11:59

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Captain J wastes an entire episode with a centuries-old flashback

Commentary

Now I've been procrastinating, sitting on this episode for long enough. I believe that this is the last Star Trek: Voyager episode that I have left to review and I'm going to try and get through it quick.

In brief, this episode sucks. In fact, I haven't seen this episode in around a year and a half I'm guessing. It's barely a Star Trek episode at all, as such I'm going to go off memory as I have no desire to relive the pain much the same as "Once Upon a Time" all over again, where I needlessly re-watched an abysmal episode only to give it a very low score, which, needless to say, is what this episode will be receiving.

Through the usual dialogue flim-flam, Janeway ends up embarking on a long-winded and boring story about her ancestors Shannon O'Donnell (played by Mulgrew) and Thomas Janeway, and the latter's big, bold fight against the so-called Millennium Gate: a self-sustaining super-city to be built in a rural town in Indiana. Oh, except this wasn't some brave stand against an evil corporate entity, intent on stamping out the individuality of this small town like a TNG-era, pre-neutered Borg Collective, this was a project designed to help facilitate a living colony on Mars. And the town was FOR this! Through out this episode, Thomas Janeway, owner of a local book-store, opines away against progress, but the PEOPLE WHO LIVE THERE want this to happen! ONLY Janeway stands in the way of this development from going ahead, and he is even OFFERED the chance to continue running his business (which is floundering by the way) from inside the Millennium Gate! What the hell kind of protagonist is this? Are we supposed to be rooting for this guy? The town itself was all set up and ready to go, his was the last shop that needed to vacate for this project to go ahead, but he spends the majority of the episode bitching and whining about the future even though he has an opportunity to both join that future and continue to run his store. Fine it may not be the exact same one, but the point remains that this jerk was doing the town a disservice by refusing to give in to what the people want.

Very well that might seem like giving in to peer pressure of sorts, to joining the collective, to lose your individuality, but it makes no sense when you have nothing to gain from it.

Thankfully though this idiot is compelled to join in by the progressive thinking Shannon O'Flaherty Seamus Colm Meaney O'Brien O'Donnell (I think the writers wanted to hint at an Irish background), and exits his store to rousing applause just before the deadline is passed which would prevent the Millennium Gate project from going ahead.

Interspersed through this episode is just more musing's by Captain Janeway about her ancestor, she talks to Seven about *sigh* the importance of family and how O'Donnell (who was a NASA flunk that eventually got a consulting gig on the Millennium Gate) was such a HUGE inspiration to her (yeah right). The crew also join in like the brainless sheep they are by embracing this new fad and researching their own family histories. But I mean...where is the real story here??? What does this have to do pertaining to Voyager's current situation of being stranded in the Delta Quadrant? I understand they were probably scraping for ideas at this point of the show, but holy crap, couldn't they have outsourced to come up with something better than THIS??? According to Memory Alpha several writers praised this episode for its approach, its different take on Star Trek featuring minimal to no Sci-Fi elements. Ummm THIS IS STAR TREK. This IS a Sci-Fi show! There have been examples before of certain episodes almost abandoning the established formula ("Far Beyond the Stars" for example) but still retained its sci-fi heritage, and a credible link to the show on which is was a part of. But this was just a dull, boring, flashback to a bunch of characters we didn't know and 1 in particular who was just an unsympathetic jack-ass (Henry Janeway). And of course that vomit inducing ending with the 'family photo' of the senior staffing toasting....themselves? Yuk.

Anyway, this was an episode that did not need to be made. 0 stars.

Annotations

Rating: 0 (Cameron)

 

11:59

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

This episode is a premiere. It is the first episode I will rate with 0 points.

Janeway is not the first person on a Starfleet vessel to spend her duty hours doing something out of personal interest, well what else is there to do, right? Neelix who shows off with his incorrect knowledge about The Great Wall of China (actually it can not be seen from space) inspires the captain to dig up some personal history about her ancestor, Shannon O'Donnell (as if Miles O'Brien would not suffice as Star Trek's resident Irishman). She discovers that her renowned ancestor, who was THE inspiration for her to join Starfleet, was not a space explorer but a mere technical consultant on the construction of a shopping mall in Indiana. O'Donnell, who looks exactly like Kathryn Janeway, although she is removed fifteen generations and Janeway only possesses a small fraction of her genetic material as Seven correctly stated, gets involved with the stubborn bookstore owner Henry Janeway and eventually marries him; the name Janeway of course stayed in their family unaltered for almost four centuries. Henry Janeway is the only person in the small town of Portage Creek, Indiana who opposes a huge construction company who somehow chose to build their Millenium Gate right on the market square and successfully managed to persuade every other citizen to abandon their homes. It is curious that nobody seems to care that the town would have to be demolished to make room for the mile-wide mammoth project. O'Donnell eventually is able to change Henry's mind by offering to stay and to rebuild his bookstore inside the Gate. The show's questionable morale about the superiority of progress over history and tradition literally comes with the force of a bulldozer. The lowest moment of the episode and one lowest of all Star Trek is the preposterous scene in Janeway's quarters, when the members of the senior staff tell stories about their famous descendants who all played significant roles in Earth's early space exploration.

There are numerous inconsistencies and continuity errors. Harry Kim's uncle (!) Jack was the commander of a deep space mission in 2210, 165 years earlier and his crew spend their journey to a neighboring star in stasis, although Humanity had warp drive since 2063. Janeway gives several examples of the impressions Humans made on Alpha Quadrant species after First Contact. She states the Ferengi saw Wall Street as some kind of holy ground, but the Federation's first contact with the Ferengi was not until 2364. The family picture of an old Shannon O'Donnell taken in 2050 shows no signs of the effects of World War 3 or the Post-atomic Horror.

Rating: 0 (Apex)

 

Relativity

Synopsis

Stardate 52861.274: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

Time travel, always seems conducive to an enjoyable episode and this is no exception. A clever plot interwoven perfectly with scenes in the past, present and future, bringing back the Kazon and Joe Carey in the past, and showing the impressive ship 'Relativity' in the future.

Some problems though, Ducane arresting the 'present' Braxton for crimes he 'will' commit, sounds rather harsh don't you think? From the 'present' Braxton's point of view it certainly is, however considering it was certain he'd plant the explosive on Voyager as revenge for Janeway's meddling in "Future's End", Braxton's fate may have been sealed. He would've had his rank and ship taken off him anyway as a precaution. This does really though open a can of worms in terms of how future events can be depicted, this is an example of an unchanged future, as if 'temporal psycho' Braxton's arrest wasn't going to change 'present Braxton' from committing the crime's at all. Not to mention Braxton claiming to have experienced being stranded on Earth when he either was stranded there definitely at the conclusion of "Future's End", or was somehow retrieved.

Ugh, no wonder Janeway had a headache. Bringing me to my second problem of bringing Janeway into the mix to capture Braxton in the final act, I thought things were going fine till they decided to give Janeway a hero moment of her own in order to capture Braxton in the act of sabotage. A certain risk of a paradox for Janeway to be roaming Voyager with her past self on the bridge, getting some no-name Redshirts from the 29th century could've worked just as well with less risk of a paradox. Dumb, illogical move just to give Janeway some phaser time. And there's also the question of how Seven knew about the events of "First Contact". The Collective may have shared the plan to travel back in time, but there's no way she nor the Collective could've been privy to the events aboard the Enterprise, considering the Borg in 2063 were not in contact with the Borg of that period. A stupid scripting error shoved in just to justify the mention of the word 'Enterprise'. Oh, and 'past' Janeway's insistence on knowing Seven's mission despite the latter stating how it would be a violation of the Temporal Prime Directive, at least Janeway remains consistent in her contempt for the STARFLEET policy, as the final episode of the series will demonstrate. Another annoying character trait of hers.

Apart from that, an enjoyable episode, well put together.

Annotations

Rating: 7 (Cameron)

 

Relativity

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

It’s another time travel story, another plot where Jinny and the crew are 'killed' only to be resurrected and said death neatly erased. In short, another spin on VOY "Timeless", "Year of Hell", "Endgame" and "Shattered", plus numerous TNG, TOS, DS9 eps on the subject.

The 'clever' spin this time is that the Federation of the 29th Century is trying to prevent Voyager being destroyed by sending a 'clean' version of Seven to save the ship. Turns out that someone has planted a (here we go) temporal disruptor onboard - a device that makes various parts of the ship go out of sync with time causing it to be ripped apart by temporal forces.

Due to the fact that Seven (once again) has the ability to see in temporal sight thanks to her implants, she spots the device and is recruited by the Federations' temporal fleet to save the day; but numerous attempts to stop the sabotage makes Seven die at least twice. They poach her again from a certain part of Voyager's past to recruit her again.

To add more clever twists, its transpires that the saboteur is the one leading the mission to save Voyager - none other than Captain Braxton - he of VOY episode "Future's End"; and to twist the twist, it turns out it's a future version of Braxton! His motive was living/stranded on 20th century Earth for 30 years and literally losing the plot. He blames Jinny and wants revenge.

Considering that Star Fleet is smart and way ahead of everyone else, why on earth let a man whose trauma involved Janeway to command a rescue mission involving her? Did they really believe that he would behave? Did they just take a risk? In the end, Jinny is sent back to alter the time line - in a convenient manner.

This episode tried to be clever, tried to show numerous 'unexpected' twists and surprises, but the way it is done is so complicated, convoluted, and clumsy to such an extent you no longer cared. Also the episode is so pointless and contradicts itself - the greatest example is the references to the 'three temporal transgressions' Voyager performs - no doubt hinted at VOY "Timeless", "Year of Hell", and "Endgame" - yet allow the crew to alter history for their own ends? More to the point, it transpires that the Borg may have helped the Federation come to pass in trying to kill Zef Cochrane back in "Star Trek: First Contact", and the final insult is that the crew arrest Captain Braxton for crimes he has yet to commit? By doing that does that mean the poor bloke becomes the criminal?

After watching this, I too had the same headache as Jinny.

Only a few nice SFX moments and the interesting tour of the Voyager before its flight make this just palatable, but not high on the score front. 4/10.

Annotations

Rating: 4 (Chris S)

 

Relativity

Synopsis

Stardate 52861.274: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

I have not much to say about this one. We have very good CGI effects of Utopia Planitia with many ships under construction, among them Voyager, the 29th century timeship is another impressive sight. This episode has the pace of a 100-meter sprint and gives the viewer no time to think or completely catch up with the story and the changing timeframes, which makes it a bit unenjoyable to watch. The production crew made good efforts the recreate the appearances of the past Voyager and crew, correct hairstyles for example. The show is a good sci-fi adventure and certainly a candidate for the best time travel episode of Voyager.

The arrest of Braxton (the one who commanded the mission and didn't plant the bomb yet) was kind of strange. What kind of justice system forces the apprehension of people, who haven't committed their crimes yet?

It is ironic that Seven is put into a science division uniform as a disguise, because her duties on Voyager fall in that very category.

Annotations

Rating: 7 (Apex)

 

Warhead

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

For the first time there is something happening during the night shift! They pick up a distress call from a cruise missile who commandeers the ship to reach its target. For a long time all attempts to stop the weapon or to convince it to listen to reason and to salvage its broken memory files fail. It reminded me very much of the classic Sidney Lumet movie "Fail-Safe" and the attempts to stop the rogue bomber pilot. The episode, just like the movie, is a lesson about the almost surreal developments which can come from creating a fail-safe weapon (or strategy) out of warmongering paranoia. The movie though had a much more tragic ending. The Doctor once again is very adamant in his protection of a fellow artificial being, which annoys me every time because his usual picks are dangerous or lunatic. I didn't like the idea of Robert Picardo playing the weapon, it was a common practise to safe money, instead of hiring an additional actor who could have played a holographic projection or do a voice-over. Harry in command of the night shift is a nice little plot and his efforts to undo the damage he 'caused' by bringing the weapon on board give Garret Wang a couple of good scenes. I do not understand why he initially hesitated to change course to investigate the distress call and to wake Chakotay, he should have had more confidence in his decisions in the first place and since when does a Starfleet officer any pondering whether to answer a call for help?

Annotations

Rating: 6 (Apex)

 

Equinox I/II

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

Out of all the episodes of Voyager this is without doubt the only story that went to such dark lengths to show those 'shades of grey' that humanity can be capable of. However the only ones who suffer for it in this episode are members of the Equinox crew. Ransom was a man driven to the edge, not equipped to deal with the situation as incredibly well Voyager did (for the fact that Voyager was nothing more than a science vessel either, not some cruiser prepared for long term space travel unlike say, the Enterprise), and in the process he was offered a chance to get his crew home quicker.

This is the essential difference between the 2 Captains, Janeway's cruise was fraught with danger, but never, never to such an extent, while not condoning Ransom's actions, one wonders if Janeway would've preferred Ransom just sit back and die rather than break a Directive she had no problem 'bending' (which is still no justification for her actions many a time), that seems to have been the only other option we could discern from Ransom's situation, so without anything like, mention of a planet they could've settled on, or just staying with friendly aliens, we can't accurately judge Ransom's actions. But in the end he predictably redeems himself, his final quiet moments of solitude 'on the beach' are quite poignant and with his death he becomes a tragic figure.

Now Janeway's actions we can judge though, her vendetta pushes her to breaking point, this sort of behaviour would've of course have enamoured the fanboys and girls alike, but it's none the less still as criminal as Ransom's. Torture? Even today the argument is made that torture isn't a reliable way to extract information, so as mused by Picard in "Chain of Command" where he to was subject to torture by a Cardassian, why is it still practiced, by Janeway of all people? A woman who in the 1st part talked about principles being something that holds our humanity together. Hypocrite much? Considering Lessing's eventual co-operation, what was the point of the scene at all? To show how 'mad' Janeway was? By appealing to her blood lust in an effort to track down someone equally bloodthirsty? The logic is still a bit lost on me.

And yes, I am a fan of Enterprise, and are aware of Archer's actions in "Anomaly"' where he tortures an Osaarian pirate, however that WAS in an effort to stop Earth's destruction, and in a much less 'enlightened' time than the post-TNG era.

So that brings me to Chakotay, who finally 'mans up' and defies Janeway's orders, what does he get? Another speech from his Captain about how she appreciates his honesty? No. Getting relieved of rank. For years Chakotay towed Janeway's line, he when in command followed Starfleet's way in spite of his past, when serving Janeway he went along with all her insane risky plans that put the ship and crew in danger, even when he protested. Here for a change he follows through like perhaps he should've done before and is thrown in the brig for it. Poor chuckles. But that doesn't matter much, things still look rosey in the end, and surely will be next episode. Only in the final moments do we see the pair sort of mirror Janeway and Ransom as the episode started, Chakotay offering to put the plaque back on the wall, mending the damage the battle's, both on and off the ship, have done.

So that's it, the whole episodes about character. The Equinox crew, well, nearly beyond salvation, Burke of course pays for his crimes in blood, Lessing and Gilmore also are to be locked away (plus some goldshirts). The Doctor has a traumatic experience torturing Seven, but they do little more than laugh it off thanks to Seven's lack of comprehension.

So basically, the slate is wiped clean for Voyager and her crew. Everyone affected will have learnt once more the values of the Prime Directive as those who they've just witnessed commit such atrocities are either dead or swept under the rug.

There's clearly some superior effects work going on, the battle between Voyager and the Equinox is very impressive. The nucleogenic aliens aren't though and the technobabble about their conversion to matter thankfully isn't elaborated on much. Some dark sequences to, the Doctor torturing Seven, forcing her to sing 'Oh My Darling Clementine'. However I'm not too sure it was needed.

So it comes to rating, it's still a top couple of episodes, there's some things I didn't like about it though, but it's certainly above average considering the performances from the leading cast and the subject itself. It may have been corny to show another Federation starship in the show, but at least it was handled without dwelling on the weight of the situation too much, though it's a shame it's all so inconsequential.

Annotations

Rating: 7 (Cameron)

 

Equinox I/II

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

A 2 parter episode which brings in the complex moral choices that many trek episodes have used over the years. The story starts with a typical plot, the stranded crew of Voyager find the U.S.S Equinox heavily damaged in the Delta Quadrant. After rescuing the crew, baffled that another Federation ship is in this quadrant, Voyager starts being attacked by interdimensional aliens that have been attacking Equinox. It's soon discovered that the crew of Equinox has been performing sinister experiments on these aliens, turning them into fuel. After the crew escapes from Voyager, helped by a evil EMH, Equinox runs, stealing Voyager's shield generator, and part one ends.

In part 2, Voyager chases after Equinox, which has Seven of Nine and the Doc on her. After a fire fight, and a meeting with aliens responsible for allowing Equinox to meet these aliens, good old Captain Janeway turns sinister, almost getting a captured Equinox crewman killed. Eventually, after mutiny and a fierce battle, the Equinox is stopped, Voyager takes on some of her crew, and continues onto Earth.

A brilliant 2 parter episode, with strong acting and some cool scenes.

Annotations

Rating: 10 (craig)

 

Equinox I/II

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Commentary

The "Equinox" two-parter is an impressive piece of Star Trek regarding visual design, action and thrill. Yet it leaves us with a bitter taste.

The USS Equinox, a Nova class starship, which had been pulled into the Delta Quadrant just like Voyager, conceals a dark secret: its crew has been using the remains of interdimensional aliens as fuel. When the Voyager crew discovers this, the Equinox flees and Janeway is going for a hunt.

I want to praise the design of the Equinox / Nova class, a real beauty among Starfleet ships and most likely a replacement for the ailing Oberth class science vessels; the design is obviously derived from the Sovereign class. The space battles between Voyager and Equinox have stunning effects, the aliens however aren't very impressive in my opinion, neither their appearance nor their CGI effects. Their shrieking noices though were frightening and almost traumatic. B'Elannas plot with Burke lightened the mood a little, but was inconsequential and therefore possibly a missed opportunity to show a second sight to the Equinox incidents than just the argument between the two captains. Fortunately B'Elanna was already in a realationship with Tom by this time, otherwise I would have worried that the writers might have included a reboot of their romance. The two of them are surprinsingly amicable to each other. If I think about them breaking up ten years earlier and considering B'Elanna's violent temper it is hard to believe Burke hadn't been mutilated by her. I agree with Bernd's statement about the lack of Equinox crewmen opposing Ransom's actions in the first place. At least when they met Voyager a lot of them should have reconsidered their loyalties and their consciousnesses. Besides what were they planning to do? Reaching the Alpha Quadrant and hoping Starfleet wouldn't investigate how they made the journey so quickly? And what would have happened if Voyager also returned and peached on them? Turning the Doctor into Dr. Frankenstein by simply deleting his ethical subroutines seems to be a rather crude way to include him (like his Equinox counterpart before) in the atrocities of the show. After the previous installment "Warhead", which saw the Doctor being taken over by a weapon system, it was unsettling to see Robert Picardo again in two evil roles. His singing with Seven while he is trying to extract information from her is morbidly pleasent.

Voyager had its share of bad experiences and violent encounters and suffered substantial losses already. The Equinox however wasn't suited for long term space travel and lost more than half its crew. Their situation was far more desperate than anything Voyager had ever faced. We, the audience, know very well about the numerous occasions when Janeway breached protocol and made questionable decisions. Her proud statement that she never broke the Prime Directive is the lie of the 24th century. The episode poses the valid question what Janeway would have done in Ransom's place, and, in a way, already answers it much to many viewers dismay. Her personal vendetta against Ransom and the actions she takes are among the most controversial decisions a Starfleet captain ever did on screen. Her desire to stop Ransom from escaping and continuing his experiments are legitimate, but her methods almost brought her downfall, as well as the downfall of Star Trek's reputation. Her hypocricy becomes most evident when she threatens to leave the captured Crewman to the mercy of the aliens. Fortunately a shocked Chakotay prevents any harm. She eventually relieves him from his post, something of an all-time low, if you ask me. By the way, wouldn't it be possible to get the Crewman's cooperation by frightening him with an attacking alien on the holodeck? Janeway and Chakotay don't seem to hold their grudges for long when they discuss the recent events at the end of the episode though. "Equinox" is also one of many Voyager two-parters with controversial decisions by Janeway which seriously question her ability to command a Federation starship. I already advocated Chakotay's better suitability for the position in other reviews.

For all its disputable issues the episode would need a disclaimer, advising viewer's discretion. Nevertheless I decided to give a better rating because of good story elements, effects and for giving proof how easy it can me to turn into a barbarian even if you are an enlightened person from the 24th century.

Annotations

Rating: 7 (Apex)

 


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