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Star Trek Voyager (VOY) Season 6 Guest Reviews

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

 

Survival Instinct Stardate 53049.2: Synopsis in main VOY listing

I wasn't quite sure how to address this review so I just skimmed over Bernd's and largely agree with what he had to say. This episode is excellent indeed, largely thanks to the credible supporting cast from Trek regular Vaughn Armstrong, Bestila Damas and Tim Kelleher as the 3 drones re-assimilated by Seven, right down to their similar body language and completing of each other's sentences. The scenes on the planet were very well played out by all and Jeri Ryan of course rounds out the performances as a disconnected Seven afraid of the dark, and later accepting the responsibility for her actions, and setting things right even though freeing the drones from their link will kill them in weeks.
No wonder it's such a well written character episode, it was first of only two episodes of Voyager written by Ronald D. Moore, so through a great script, solid performances and a bittersweet ending, the end product is a highly enjoyable episode.
Rating: 8 (Cameron)

Barge of the Dead Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

This episode really let me down, it started slow and then got interesting when B'Elanna boards the Barge and then returns to reconcile things with her mother, but sadly it just takes a routine turn when she enters Gre'thor. The Klingon Hell (looking quite impressive too with all its fire and brimstone), just turns out to be Voyager for B'Elanna, surely a cost-cutting measure, but geez, I don't think it was quite true that she had found the place to be any type of hell. Nothing so far in the series really was indicative of that either. There's a couple of nods to B'Elanna's relationship with Janeway, presented by having her own mother dress in Janeway's uniform, but the choice of Voyager and the crew to represent hell and B'Elanna's inner turmoil really ruined the episode. It didn't really focus on the relationship with Torres and her mother as much as it should've, the pair just bicker and that's it. It again employs the same technique only recently used in last seasons "The Fight" (and as mentioned, a technique used often in DS9) of having the crew just act 'evil' in a way, it's just a bland approach which leaves little resonance for me.
Could've been a much better episode than it was.
Rating: 4 (Cameron)

Barge of the Dead Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Gawd...
I have never been a fan of Klingons since they have been reduced to drunken pub thugs who relish conquest, warfare, and anything involving death and knives. What anyone sees attractive about them is more bizarre, but some human bloke did and the net result is Banana Torres, another annoying character I cannot stand.
Here, for reasons only to keep the trek core and fans of anything Klingon happy (and no doubt to boost the ailing ratings), is B'Elanna "dying" and working out her heritage. In the process she also has to "die" to understand it more.
If I want to find my origins, I just use a website about my family tree ;-)
Its all Klingon pantomime here, all over the top rubbish, with a barge designed by Spinal Tap, where everything aboard is lethal. Where the Klingon afterlife is a cross between Hell, A Heavy metal gig, China's Forbidden City, and some dreadful Viking film! And once again the tired and annoying cliché of using the crew as metaphors for a character's weakness (VOY "One"; various episodes of DS9) and having near death experiences (VOY "Coda", "Flashback") to win the day.
Sorry this has no value of any kind to the overall story of Voyager - what is also very bad taste is that Chuckles and Banana can have afterlife experiences, but Neelix cannot!
The only good moment is when B'Elanna revives and hugs Jinny, and Jinny reciprocates. That moved me. Only one point for that.
Rating: 1 (Chris S)

Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Normally I'm not a fan of episodes featuring the Doctor and his increasing ego, especially in the latter parts of this series, but this episode is quite a lot of fun with lots of great lines and humour despite a few small flaws.
Voyager is (naturally) being spied upon by enemy vessels, one member of the crew has found a way to tunnel into the Doctor's program to observe his activities. Unknown to the alien however, he's been watching the Doctor's day dreams as he takes command of the ship, battles and defeats the Borg with ease and fights of lustings from Janeway, Torres and Seven.
The aliens decide the ship is worth raiding, and the alien of the week advises the Doctor to prepare, thus he has to take command of the ship and improvise a defense, which he, does, the aliens scurry away and the Doctors heroism is celebrated by all as he receives a fucking Starfleet Medal? Amazingly, other people on this ship have done more and received less so one wonders if the final scene WAS perhaps a dream in an "Inception"-like twist.
The Doctor's needs and wants are yet again explored here but the question over his right to sentience and so on is not heavily dwelled upon like "The Measure of a Man" or the appallingly handled" 'Latent Image". Instead this episode capitalises on the humour, from the hilarious opening daydream of the Doctor performing an opera for the crew then subduing an enraged Tuvok, whose been inflicted with the Pon Farr, trying to save the ship from a warp core breach, to painting a nude Seven of Nine.
I didn't like the Hierarchy aliens very much, something about sneaky, otherwise non-threatening villains annoy me, but regardless of them, the episode was still fun and enjoyable.
Remarkable quote #1: "Tuvok I understand, you are a Vulcan man. You have just gone without, for seven years, about." -The Doctor, melodically to the imagined Tuvok during his opera performance
Remarkable quote #2: "Warning: warp core breach, a lot sooner than you think!" - Computer in one of The Doctor's daydreams
Rating: 7 (Cameron)

Alice Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

This is a poor, poor episode, already made very predictable by the time Paris becomes charmed by Alice herself, but it gets even more problematic. Of course there's the distracting and I dare say bad performance from Claire Rankin. She utterly forces the character upon Paris and the audience. But I think a little more time devoted to her, in her manifested human form, seducing Paris into working on the ship. But all we're treated to is her bullying Tom at every corner and I found it annoying after a while. Had there been a more enticing, seductive aspect to her more heavily dwelled upon I think it would've been better for us as an audience to see. To give us a better understanding of why Tom was breaking into Voyager stealing components.
That brings us to Alice's unbelievable motivations, the particle fountain: its home??? What?!
And there's a few other bad examples of writing, of course another implausible shuttle escape, the use of ever-dependant technobabble to free Tom from the clutches of a tractor beam, the same being used for the Doc to tap into Tom's brain using the comlink and the neurogenic interface blah blah blah, yeah whatever. And yes, if Janeway knew the ship had a neural interface, why not see if it was dangerous???
And some cheesy lines at the end, what was it "It felt like I was sleepwalking" Tom says, B'Elanna replies "At least you woke up" then Tom delivers this witty reply "Thanks for being my alarm clock." And moments later he insists he and the Delta Flyer are "just friends".
I at least liked the trader and the moment in which we witness he has an 'Alice' of his own in his head too, of his own species too.
Yeah, a lousy episode. There isn't really a lot new learnt about Tom as it once more plays on his fascination for fast ships and being the 'bad boy'. I don't think this had anything to do with maintaining character consistency, this sort of plot could've been applied to Harry or Chakotay with ease, just cutting out B'Elanna's role. Further to that Alice was capable of tapping into anyone that stepped into the pilots seat, Tom's infatuation with ships was just the 'extra kick' Alice needed for a pilot, but it wasn't necessary, so Tom as pilot, Chuckles as pilot, wouldn't have made a difference. Predictable, boring, poorly written. Only just worth 3 out of 10 in my mind.
Rating: 3 (Cameron)

Alice Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Lord. Yet another plot involving an alien shuttle/ship/artifact, "purchased"/found/collected by the dim crew of the Voyager. 
Everytime such an event happens - guess what? It's discovered to have sinister motives!! ALWAYS!!
Alice is no different and as reviewed by Bernd and Cameron, it has technology EVERYONE IS AWARE OF, with risks EVERYONE KNOWS about yet there is a blatant attitude of "WTF carry on and let see what happens" with the obvious catastrophes that ensue.
For reasons beyond comprehension, VOY's crew consistently pick up robots (VOY: "Prototype"), missiles (VOY: "Warhead"), people (take yer pick) and other alien things to seem to inject some adventure into their lives! I mean by now they must realise that there is a pattern here - Alien mechanism/person = trouble.
I mean come on - are Starfleet crews born idiots, masochists, nihilists, or bored? Who in their right mind picks up something you know nothing about and take it home? It's like me finding a huge wad of cash in the street - tempting - but it could be drug money and one day the owners could pop around with a welcoming present of knuckle sarnies and a holiday in A&E as your reward. In addition to this once again, Tom Paris is the rebel without charisma who you know will offend the rest of the crew with his personal agendas, will get punished for it, yet carries on. He is the most boring rebel afloat!
Shove in crap technobabble to allow Tom to "escape the Tractor beam" and you have a really bloody awful episode of a series that emphasised how bad the writing Star Trek got.
I have no qualms about people picking or discovering alien stuff - the problems here are twofold - first EVERYTHING they ever pick up is either hostile, dangerous, or worse. Why cannot it be benign, broken, or useful? Answer - it creates no drama by the idiots at Star Trek. So serving rehashes of previous ideas does?
Second, what is so staggering is that they NEVER LEARN!!! I mean everytime - its puts either the ship or crew in danger but their approach is like kids playing with live grenades.
This episode just emphasise how dire things were - no wonder Paramount rebooted the franchise.
Remarkable scene: Tom's character shows his rebellious side by growing a "beard", however many times I look, I come to the same conclusion each time - ITS BUMFLUFF!!
Rating: 0 (Chris S)

Riddles Stardate 53263.2: Synopsis in main VOY listing

It may have been cliché to have a character suddenly lose their memory and act out of character, but personally I don't care when it comes to this episode. Such is the set up that it draws a great performance from Tim Russ, as a Tuvok exploring a new life and reminiscing what he used to be capable of, and and heartfelt performance from Ethan Philips as well. And that's the biggest strength of the episode, heart and character, and Tuvok is all but unrecognisable in his new role thanks to Tim's performance and it's so enjoyable seeing his character act this way, and it's also a good pay off for the eternal foil Neelix when Tuvok is the one finally expressing pleasure for his company.
The B-plot ties nicely into the main story, and it's refreshing that the Inspector from the Kesat world offers to trade the technology he possessed for detecting the Ba'neth, for the information needed to 'save' Tuvok, as is Neelix sacrificing the friendship he has with the new Tuvok for the sake of the crew, it's very much in the spirit of Star Trek that these sacrifices are made for the greater good.
Well it's just simple for me, it's a lovely, sweet episode well acted, I really enjoyed it.
Remarkable dialogue: "... If I stay here and try to talk to Tuvok, I may be able to provoke some sort of response?" - "If anyone can provoke Tuvok, Mr. Neelix, it's you." -Neelix and The Doctor
Remarkable dialogue #2: "The object of the game is to turn this jumble of rods into a perfect sphere. We take turns positioning our pieces. Whoever gets the shape to appear first, wins." - "I like the way it looks now." -Harry Kim and Tuvok, about playing kal-toh
Remarkable fact: Roxann Dawson did not appear in this episode as she directed it.
Rating: 7 (Cameron)

Dragon's Teeth Stardate 53167.9: Synopsis in main VOY listing

This is an impressive episode both in terms of its story and visually. The Vaadwaur are an interesting species, and it's such a shame that despite Janeway's warnings, they never appear again, pretty much making Seven's guilt meaningless. Anyway, Gedrin is a welcome guest character, charming in his own way and in spite of his people's past believes they have the opportunity to rebuild in a positive way. It was well constructed too the real history behind the Vaadwaur, between Neelix's little plot of his own and the activities of Gaul, and other hints in dialogue which culminate in the true nature of the Vaadwaur being revealed. It's perhaps enough to wish that even more of the flashback at the start of the episode was shown.
A great episode on it's own, and the potential was there to expand beyond just the one episode, but that's fine.
Nitpicking: When wondering whether to believe Gedrin or not, Janeway wishes they had a Betazoid on board... which they DID (Jarot).
Remarkable FX: The opening sequence of the Vaadwaur homeworld being bombed. The 'underspace corridor' (though just a slipstream corridor, repainted and littered with debris. The destroyed city, and the final battle between the Vaadwaur, Voyager and the Turei vessels.
Rating: 7 (Cameron)

Dragon's Teeth Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Another race of stroppy aliens; another situation where Kat and co vastly out numbered and outgunned yet find a way out of the situation with superficial damage to their ship; another boo-boo by Slapper of Nine; and another chance to get home but due to Jinny’s principles, is crushed.
This time, the crew land the Voyager on a planet running from one race of stupid looking humanoid aliens to encounter another load underground; in stasis pods. A tad reminiscent of "Space Seed" but nowhere as excellent.
Like with "Think Tank" the deception is unearthed way too early, mainly thanks to Neelix’ deductions in folk tales and the heavy hints via their attitude. Jinny is "shocked" that she has been lied to and that the Vaadwaur are possibly aggressive - err, considering the amount of hostile aliens she has met, I just winced galore on that! Sides, who is she to be a moral compass ("Equinox" anyone?). The way it was done was like a sausage factory - she moral, alien immoral and that is that. Black and white BS again. The fact that Chuckles (always because he is SUCH an expert on history) refered to the Vaadwaur fleet of ships as "Dragon's teeth" layed the already thick message more home.
Needless to say the Vaadwaur do the "betrayal" thing and like with "Think Tank", its crammed with loads of SFX to compensate again another limp episode.
There is no attempt to come up with a clever twist, or a genuine shock. The enemy are weak, Voyager takes the typical beatings akin to walking in the rain, and the heroes ALWAYS find a way to succeed. The so-called twist that 53 ships escape and the fact "we have not heard the last of them" made me roll my eyes rather than strike a sense of fear. Jinny beat them by miles and that is that.
I have no qualms with basic stories, nor predictable plots, but there are some that are enjoyable for relief, or silliness. Others show utter laziness, contempt for the viewers, or a clear case of 'I am doing this because I am being paid' and this episode like may to come emphasise that point; there is no heart, not even attempt at trying.
The bits where they have to "re-route power to disabled systems" is a line that is getting too convenient and old - and is a cop out way of creating tension yet not to the point where our heroes will fail. The fact they can always out-lick everyone they meet is beyond annoying.
Its no surprise that the ratings were still falling.
3/10 for the SFX moments.
Nitpicking 1: The ability of Voyager to fire torpedoes into orbit instantaneously, whilst on the ground - how when the tubes are fixed mounted forward and aft?
Nitpicking 2: When Tom reports they have lost port thrusters and are descending, Jinny orders emergency power - err, so were the thrusters shocked into working? Or did a new set materialise out of nowhere?
Remarkable WTF moment: Mr Gaul - Mr France?
Rating: 3 (Chris S)

One Small Step Stardate 53292.7: Synopsis in main VOY listing

I was initially very sceptical at the premise of this episode, I may not have gotten a review in (at the time) of 11:59, but my sentiments on that episode are shared by Bernd, I thought it to be an utterly useless episode and completely meaningless considering we we did not have the technological means at the time to construct something like the Millennium Gate and even then it was hardly an appropriate way for Star Trek to have addressed the Millennium issue. But that's another issue. So when it came to this one I found myself wondering if it would too be treading meaningless ground in the form of some all-American astronaut centuries ago who ended up dead anyway, and there would be some cheesy BS scene in the end with the crew all happy, smiling over what they've learnt thanks to this brave pioneer?
Well yes and no, first the performance of Phil Morris as the ill-fated astronaut really helps the episode, second it isn't so predictable to centre the episode entirely around him, what had happened to him on his Mars mission and the Voyager story is well tied together without being too trite. It is frustrating though that once again the focus is shone back on Seven of Nine, I swear if you like your drinking games and Star Trek Voyager, then one subject to 'take a shot' for would definitely be the amount of times a story is about Seven in some way.
And to a lesser extent, take 2 shots every time she begins a sentence with either "When I was a Borg...", "When I was a drone..." or "When I was in the Collective..."' Enough already, we KNOW Seven of Nine used to be a Borg, she'd been on the show for over 3 friggin' seasons by now, WE GET IT. At this stage in her character development her Borg heritage should have NOT been an issue instead focusing more on her development as a human and a person, surely considering her persona and characterisation, it was unnecessary for the writers to continually beat us over the head with this plainly obvious fact.
But back to the episode, yeah, like I said I was pleasantly surprised by the effectiveness it had, visually, it's not the best, there's been better FX used certainly. The stories nice, just another excuse to show up what a bitch Seven can be, and the cliched message that the human spirit for exploration will always endure, but it thankfully isn't so sickening as "11:59".
There's a couple of other nitpicks though, first I find it highly unlikely the piece of technobabble that the Delta Flyer needed, and some obsolete piece of 21st century technology would've been compatible, absolute nonsense considering NASA's technology would've all but been lost after WW3, only to be replaced by a combination of human/Vulcan technology in early Earth space travel, and then even furthered from NASA's original ideas come the 24th century. Umm, also didn't appreciate the pointless problems Chakotay had in his quarters, the whole sequence was just unnecessary. And it also seemed a waste to involve Chakotay so much in the Ares IV mission, only to have him spend the latter half of the episode on a biobed. In spite of that, I found it to be a slightly above average episode, not awful, but just worth a 6 though.
Nitpicking: 2032 NASA was still launching Mars missions, when by 2063, Earth would still be in the midst of a nuclear apocalypse? A slight problem but perhaps setting this episode any earlier in the 21st century would've made it even more incredible that we'd have manned Mars missions on full swing.
Remarkable fact: As a child, Seven of Nine/Annika Hansen wanted to be a ballerina.
Rating: 6 (Cameron)

One Small Step Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

This could have been a great episode, it had the potential.
In a nutshell, the crew discover, via another interstellar phenomenon, an old Earth star ship. In this case the Ares IV Mars probe.
It could have been an emotional rollercoaster, a chance for good acting, and may have even thrown in some surprises. If anyone saw the near ending of "Raise the Titanic" where the hero walks among the wreck of the raised ship and the scene standing in awe of the dining hall, and the ghostly overture of John Barry as he looks around, imagining the grandeur of the ship all those years ago, its a stirring moment. A chance to honour the brave who went forward into the unknown.
However this is Star Trek, and the above has no place in this perfect world.
First off, its discovery is treated like an inconvenience.
Then there is the attitude of the mission - there is no thought or care, or preparation; its done in a bumbling manner, and Chakotay here becomes "obsessed" in getting that probe back to Voyager - correct me if I am wrong, but where let alone how would they keep the thing aboard? Chuckles disobeys orders to get his prize and throws his weight around. Thankfully he gets electrocuted.
In the process, the mission is derailed and the crew are stranded in the anomaly. The only way out is to get a part from the Ares IV to get the engines working. Tom is busy, Chuckles is crippled - which leaves Slapper of Nine to do the recovery work.
So she beams aboard, gets a part that not only still works but is COMPATIBLE with 24th century technology (HOW CONVENIENT!! It's like getting a 1940's alternator to work on a 21st Century car), she also downloads the memory core of the ship, including the dying words of its captain; if that was meant to move me - it did not. It came across as forced and pointless. Seven is moved by his story - so much she beams his carcass over to the Delta Flyer.
It becomes YET ANOTHER LESSON FOR SEVEN OF F***ING NINE! This time its NOSTALGIA - something "she has no time for" yet she does the usual defiant rhetoric that wilts. That character REALLY gets up my nose.
Finally, in honour, the Voyager crew prepare a burial in space - say some nice emotional words, then fire him out into the vacuum that Seven rescued him from!!!! WTF!!?!?! He is a human hero! Why not return him to Earth? "No, it's custom to bury the dead in space and its a honourable funeral compared to his body in a wrecked ship". Its like discovering the body of say Nelson, dragged him out of the ocean, then re-burying him at sea! All in the name of dignity?
What a wasted opportunity! They could have gone over and seen how ships of that era worked, looked and be amazed. Even left some sort of marker so the anomaly could be tracked if ever it turned up. Show some sort of respect. Show what space exploration is all about! Instead we get another boring poor episode drenched in special effects, but void of emotion, idea, brilliance, and catered for the ineptness of Seven's journey to be human - Guess what? I DON'T CARE!!
1/10 for the story concept - ONLY!
Remarkable fact: Robert Beltran - Chakotay - is a notorious critic of the show's writing; on learning the premise of this episode, he hoped it would lead to good acting opportunities - instead his hopes turned to frustration as once again it became a Seven of Nine story. Really? I never would have guessed.
Utter BS moment: The torpedo on the Bridge - we know how it got there and how it would get to the torpedo room - so why not hold the ceremony in the Torpedo room? Or shuttlebay, or even a cargo hold? More to the point, why not just teleport the sodding thing into space?
Rating: 1 (Chris S)

The Voyager Conspiracy Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

It seems to have been the flavour of the Voyager series since "Scorpion", that by shoving in loads of special effects into an episode, it would compensate for a weak story. This one is a clear case in point.
Once again, Seven installs an upgrade that again screws her up and endangers the crew - this time coming up with a way to think "faster" when she is asleep and at first succeeds, but typically it gets out of hand and the result makes her deluded, thinking conspiracies galore.
What I find laughable is that they believe her so readily! Six years of travel, six years of knowing people gives one an idea how folk behave and what they are about. The ideas Seven comes up with are so convoluted, stupid, and utterly bizarre it borders on comedy - and Jeri Ryan's overacting with her pantomime berating did not help matters - actually it made me smirk rather than be impressed. The fact that Chuckles and Jinny were so ready to believe is just gobsmacking. Once again poor writing and directing.
The other fact that emphasises my point is the B-plot - the discovery of what I can only describe as a "Jump-Gate" - although the writers point out its a "Gravimetric Slingshot". The fact it bears a resemblance to a gate is ‘merely coincidental’ - yeah right - so not a nod to Babylon Five then eh? The B5 creators must have been laughing their heads off.
Least Tash was a nice alien for once.
2/10 for the SFX - and I am being VERY generous
Nitpicking 1: Although good CGI, I cannot buy the fact that the thing was built by a handful of aliens. I mean HOW!? More to the point the station is small yet Voyager manages to use it....
Nitpicking 2: Tash informs Janeway why he did not tell him of the Tetryon reactor because its very valuable technology and there are aliens out there who would steal it - YET when Tash then Voyager goes through, it's LEFT BEHIND!!!! Some would say "it was sabotaged" but where does it say that? Speculation is not fact.
Rating: 2 (Chris S)

The Voyager Conspiracy Stardate 53329: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Reading both Bernd and Chris S' reviews they both bring up good points about the flaws in this episode, which till now had been the only episode of Voyager I had never seen before, but I still enjoyed it.
Seven uses Borg technology to assimilate all the data Voyager has collected on its journey thus far into her brain, and unexpectedly, a malfunction arises and she begins to spin a web of conspiracies regarding Voyager's presence in the Delta Quadrant, whether it was due to the Maquis hoping to launch attacks on Starfleet and Cardassians using the Caretakers array, or if Janeway was ordered to purposefully strand Voyager to establish a military presence in the Delta Quadrant. Each theory is pretty outlandish though I did like the use of flashback footage and Seven citing stardates and the events of previous episodes to try and back up each theory which implicated Janeway and Chuckles.
In the B-Story Voyager encounters a subspace catapult used to transport ships over great distances, a (finally) friendly alien of the week admits to building the structure by himself hoping to get home after he fell into an unstable wormhole. Voyager agrees to assist him though it's discovered the same technology in his catapult was present in the Caretakers array.
Janeway and Chuckles both have a look at Seven's alcove and the Doctor informs them that she has assimilated too much data for her brain to handle. She flips and leaves on the Delta Flyer, but Janeway, as always, gives an impassioned speech about trust and individuality and blah, blah, blah, and Seven comes back home.
I will reiterate the problems in this episode. Yes, Chakotay and Janeway are all too ready to accept Seven's theories. Had this been a show more akin to the reimagined Battlestar Galactica, this would have made a much better episode, but within the context of this show, where everything is wrapped in cotton wool, where conflict was outlawed, where the Maquis "threat" was disposed of after 1 season, the fact that Chuckles and Janeway were suddenly so distrusting of one another to the point of carrying phasers on their persons does not make sense.
Bernd also legitimately points out that not even a malfunctioning ex-Borg drone would suffer from delusions of paranoia, Seven speaking of a third, cloaked ship present when Voyager destroyed the Caretaker's array when attacked by the Kazon, sounds similar to the infamous 'second shooter on the grassy knoll' theory behind the JFK assassination.
A bored goldshirt with too much time on their hands present since the start of their journey, and with a bias to Starfleet or the Maquis could've concocted this theory. Hell, that may have made a better episode, a Starfleet officer and an ex-Maquis both bringing forward their points of view to Chuckles and Janeway? May have made for a more interesting episode and we wouldn't have to have pinned Seven's theories on problems with her Borg implants. But oh well.
I still enjoyed the episode despite these problems, the shout outs to previous episodes was one of the rare instances of continuity on this show, and had the tone of this series been much different, this could've been a pivotal episode, unfortunately, it's not. It's just another 'Seven get the space crazies' episode, and besides the final leap using the space catapult, nothing is really gained at the episodes end. I give it a 4.
Nitpicking: I agree with Chris, the alien of the week was so concerned about not revealing what technology he used to create his subspace catapult, but has no contingency plan once he leaves the region using it?
Rating: 4 (Cameron)

Pathfinder Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

I struggle to find a point to episodes where we're treated to 90% of the screenplay devoted to guest characters and the main cast reduced to little more than holographic projections, one of these day's I may echo those criticisms if I review the atrocious Enterprise finale "These Are the Voyages..." But that's for another day.
Here things are little better and in my mind the desperation of the situation is made only more apparent due to the choice of the guest stars of which the episode, with it's gimmicky premise, revolves around: Barclay, and Deanna Troi. Right. So this is where I start to get even more annoyed, first our crew are nothing more than lights and photons (less than accurate ones by the way) who are created to pander to Barclay's woeful personality (I thought that whole issue was resolved in TNG, guess not, why? Because they needed it in the script of course!), but to further that we need Deanna to come by and visit Reg, whose working at Starfleet Communications on Earth surely just to really hammer it home this is still a legitimate part of the franchise.
And the story really does add little, all that's gained in the end, is the REAL Voyager (given only a minute or three of screentime), has the possibility of getting communication with Earth through some new technobabble employed specifically for this episode. All the while Barclay's personality faults are highlighted as again he's using technology to compensate for his character flaws. Like I said, this had already been addressed in TNG, in the episode "Hollow Pursuits", where at the conclusion he'd learned to let go of his dependence on the holodeck as a substitute for reality, but clearly he's 'relapsed' and somehow without anyone noticing, he spends copious amounts of time on the holodeck at Starfleet Communications fraternising with a recreation of the Voyager crew. His superiors notice, doubt his work, take him off the project to help find Voyager, and then he proves them all wrong when his theory to contact them works, hooray.
Nup, this doesn't fly as far as I'm concerned, I tune in to watch 'Star Trek: Voyager', not 'Star Trek: The Continuing Adventures of the Bumbling Reginald Barclay'. To me a script like this was nothing but a sign of laziness, or perhaps the main cast wanted a week off work, not impressed.
So it comes to rating, look, I'll be honest, I thought this was a waste of my time, but it certainly doesn't deserve a 0, so I snuck a peak at Bernds' review. He gives it a 7, I'm certainly not as generous though as it may have been made apparent before now...it's an episode lucky to get 4 from me.
Rating: 4 (Cameron)

Fair Haven Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Well needless to say I needed a couple of ales myself to get through this dreadful episode sorely lacking in story. There's little to it other than Janeway dealing with the ramifications of falling for a holographic character, it's little wonder though as the character had barely had allowed herself any other personal interactions with other characters on the show except for Chakotay and Kashyk, and neither relationships went anywhere or served much purpose, so even as the Doctor noted it was inevitable something like this would happen.
But even then it's not very interesting, we get treated to a minimal amount of scenes of the two interacting and then she dumps him and hides herself away in her ready room before confronting him once more to tell him she's 'leaving' Fair Haven but may be back (when the program is fixed). And the B-plot is terrible as well, for once through the usual interchangeable spatial phenomena Voyager can't outrun some neutrino wave-thing so they decide to try and 'ride it out', all the while giving the crew access to Fair Haven during this time of crisis.
Call me a cynic, but we all know what deathtraps holodecks have been, coupled with spatial phenomena (that end up damaging Fair Haven greatly), I doubt the holodeck would be the safest place to have stayed. So in my opinion this just comes off as a particularly dull episode, nothing important really happens, it's another affront to almost every other planet in the Star Trek galaxy as well, reinforcing the idea that only a western culture on Earth is worth visiting by anyone. The crew look dimwitted in their infatuation with this place too, especially the Doctor with his new role as a priest. It didn't make me care really, I wasn't overly concerned with Janeway's plight as she was predictable as ever, distancing herself from the possibility of ANY kind of relationship, this really does separate her from Kirk, Picard and Sisko and I'm wondering whether that in fact did have something to do with Janeway being a woman. Kirk of course was notorious for his way with the ladies, Picard whilst a conservative Captain still explored the possibilities of relationships with those both under his command and not, and Sisko ended up marrying. So why such a strict desire to keep Janeway fearful of being with anyone? I don't know. And as always the fate of the ship was never in doubt. The permeating 'Irish' melodies saturating almost every scene were not welcome either and got quite annoying too.
So this episode, served just to reinforce something about Janeway we already knew, Voyager escaped another dangerous anomaly like many times before, and there's yet another place of interest on the holodeck once again. There were only 2 things I liked, seeing Richard Riehl's holographic character Seamus hitting on Seven, and getting a few nice acting moments out of Kate Mulgrew.
But that aside, you WILL gain nothing from watching this episode. It isn't worth your time, as my rating indicates.
Remarkable quote: "...Delete the wife." -Janeway, regarding Michael Sullivan's holographic wife
Rating: 0 (Cameron)

Blink of an Eye Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Wow, this is a highly commendable, original episode. The plot is actually quite unique, whilst there have been temporal anomalies and strange spatial phenomena done to death, this is certainly a great achievement in combining both, and complimenting that are some great supporting performances, from people who you'd expect little contribution from considering such minor roles they play.
However this episode is all about how great something so seemingly insignificant as as light in the sky can play a great importance in the history of an entire planet, and as a result we see through the evolving eyes of the planets citizens their views on Voyager, and how it's shaping their culture. From naive superstition in primitive times, to scepticism in light of well, the arrogance that accompanies the development of civilisation, curiosity in light of technological advances, and finally, interaction. And yes, I too noticed the parallels with the game 'Civilisation', and it's actually really nice to see every member of the crew having some sort of role to play instead of relying on Seven or the Doctor for once.
Really, this episode has it all, an intriguing concept and story, fantastic visual effects, a provocative story, wonderful characters. Even the Doctor's little side plot was exciting in it's own small way, to think he lived 3 years on the planet, that would've been a great thing to have elaborated on, showing us his life, but it would've greatly harmed the tension of the moment.
But other than that it is an outstanding episode, the hell with it, I'm giving it the coveted 10/10 rating. Perhaps my judgements a bit clouded considering the amount of poor episodes that I've seen from Season 6 so far, but I think it's worthy. And I certainly wouldn't allow such pedantic errors as Bernd points out in playing a role in my rating, yes it was silly for the letter for the 'Ground Shaker' written in English and could've been handled better, but that was only on screen for a small amount of time and didn't bother me too much, neither did the primitive balloon, or the compatible docking port. The Doctor's son could've just not been mentioned, but they set it up that his 'room mate' was clearly something more and may have just wanted some kind of pay off. And further the that, the other fundamental problems behind the planet itself really don't bother me either, I'm certainly no scientist.
Remarkable description: 'The Weird Planet Displaced in Time', as coined by Seven of Nine.
Rating: 10 (Cameron)

Blink of an Eye Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Okay, Bernd and Cameron gave this positive spins and I've never seen it before until now.
Nutshell, they discover a planet spinning "out of time" and inadvertently get stuck in its gravity and become a "star" in the heavens. Due to the world’s temporal nature, the world is evolving a second per day, so by a day it would have passed 200 plus years so to speak - and the crew can watch in awe as a world evolves from primitive cavemen to advanced star travellers.
It's innovative seeing this occur, and there are some moments where we see the world evolve, from their renaissance era through their 1940’s to their space race days and eventually to their stellar evolution. Its also interesting that their entire society included Voyager into their culture, especially when an alien pilot comes aboard and tells the Captain about the cultural impact Voyager's arrival has had. The aliens then make the discovery of anti-matter technology that then becomes lethal.
It's an original spin on the planet/stellar phenomenon story but I am sorry, its just "so?". It's a time warp story again, over a planet where they are marooned again. The sad thing is now the inhabitants realise the reality of their situation, that they are spinning out of time with the universe, they cannot leave otherwise, they would be out of time with their home.
In addition by the time anyone came to them to say hi etc, they could be all too highly evolved to care, or dead, and that is the greatest flaw.
So to be honest the ending summed it all up - we got there and that’s it.
6/10 mainly for an innovative idea with some good special effects, but the deflated ending ruins it.
Remarkable ships: The evolution of the aliens' ship - from basic "Gemini" style space capsule to hi-tech temporal ships, that end up pulling Voyager out of their space. The interior of their Gemini type ship is reminiscent of such vehicles.
Rating: 6 (Chris S)

Virtuoso Stardate 53556.4: Synopsis in main VOY listing

This is a little ode to the celebrity cult and a love letter to Earth music too which actually surprised me in a way. First it does comment pretty accurately on how people feel about celebrities, and the infatuation the Qomari have with the Doctor is mirrored with the worship of celebrities happening today. To be honest I wasn't too sure I'd enjoy this story much considering it's been my impression latter Doctor episodes were of him just being a sever egomaniac. This episode does in a way pander to that side of him, as he gleefully hands out autographs and talks his abilities up to the advanced yet culturally deprived Qomarians. However through the experiences of people around him I found myself sympathising with him a great deal, through nothing of his own doing, his decision to leave Voyager was a tad selfish, however Janeway and Tincoo, who are extremely insensitive in how they deal with the situation, Tincoo less so but Janeway's behaviour however was just plain arrogant, I'll talk about Tincoo in a moment.
But Janeway though, of course, without the EMH Voyager would've been severely hampered, Tom was never seen as more competent a medical officer than a nurse, and we never saw any other crewmen regularly assisting the Doc in sickbay, but she goads him into staying on Voyager, threatening his ego, telling him his fame is only temporary, basically acting rude and childish, especially when he elaborates on his perceived relationship with Tincoo. Of course she smirks her way out of the situation at the end when the Doctor is back on board, gloating enthusiastically as he requests to have his rank reinstated, it was just petty behaviour.
And Tincoo, but this is just a commentary on the Qomarian race, their technology so superior it is the answer to all their problems, the look down on Voyager and its crew as inferior and the Doctor believes his requirements will be met, but in the end the Qomarians just settle for a new piece of technology that can do what the Doctor did but better.
So this episode is also about the Doctor's 'humanity', and how he's perceived as an individual. I didn't believe for a second Janeway was honest when she dismissed the Doctor's suspicions that he was nothing but a piece of technology to her, as this was already talked about recently in 'Latent Image'. And the Qomarians, Tincoo specifically, fail to grasp that he has somewhat of a soul of his own which fuels his desire to sing, but that is meaningless to these people, who can just settle for a new machine to perform superior to the 'inferior' model.
And yes, I too liked the small role Seven played in observing the Doctor's story as well, especially the final scene where she gives him a letter from a fan, the fan being Seven of Nine. ;)
A surprising episode, nothing fantastic however, but still worth a watch.
Remarkably lazy reuse: The Qomarian homeworld landscape is an exact replica of the Zahl homeworld eradicated by Annorax in the opening scene of "Year of Hell". At least when they re-used cityscapes in TNG, the matte paintings were altered slightly, not the case here.
Remarkable planet: On the other hand the view of the Qomari homeworld from orbit was quite remarkable with all the space stations and ships flying around.
Rating: 6 (Cameron)

Memorial Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Ugh, time for the whole crew to go crazy again, and Janeway makes another idiotic decision, willing to help to inflict suffering on who knows how many others due to her own moral dilemma, I don't care if she put a warning buoy in orbit, the justification is still unnecessary. We've witnessed many massacres in our own history, and I'd be willing to bet the same has happened in many other worlds in the Star Trek universe considering how closely many cultures resemble humanity, in appearance or otherwise. It shouldn't take a traumatising experience of another culture to teach others that murdering civilians is wrong. Besides, the power cells were dying anyway, had it not been for Voyager's involvement, it would've ceased to function eventually, sparing those from experiencing such horrific events.
So major story problem from an unoriginal script, bland performances from the main cast in which they do a lot of shouting, and a major screw up by Janeway means a very low rating from me.
Rating: 1 (Cameron)

Memorial Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

I was going to come up with a different spin on this episode, but after reading Bernd's and Cameron's review, they made me re-think this.
My premise was that I supported the decision of Janeway over restoring the power unit of the memorial, that the memories of a massacre should remain.
However looking now I agree with Bernd and Cameron, especially their points - making folk relive it could in ways make new enemies to those who have regretted the incident in the first place. Turning them into nut jobs trying to kill each other, and forcing them to relive it - what does that actually achieve? It could have the memorial actually shut down, or it could be a tool to recruit more "colonists".
On that, the actual nature of the incident the Memorial honours. I mean were these colonists killed? Or were they terrorists taken out? Who built the monument to the fallen and why? Is this truth or propaganda? Considering that the planet is barren, and no one is there to vindicate or refute the "facts", it could be anything; this further emphasised by the scribbles on said monument - "Words alone cannot convey the suffering. Words alone can not prevent what happened here from happening again. Beyond words lies experience; beyond experience lies truth. Make this truth your own".
The best thing is to let the device die - a case of leave well alone.
Other gripes - the usual suspects feel violated - how can they when it's discovered that they are not responsible? It's like a bad dream and once you realise that, one is pleased its over and not true. There was no intelligent discussion, no thought, Jinny went with her heart, and everyone jump to. The usual suspects also ignoring the Doctor's advice for check ups - and his lack of authority to make them get to sickbay.
I can see what the writers tried to do, by showing that we must never forget murder on a mass scale but in the process blundered it all, especially with the contradictory line from the memorial and no in-depth analysis. They thought reading the script that this would make a story that would make you think. Alas for all the wrong reasons.
2/10 for a noble idea poorly done.
Nitpicking : They detected the monument via its power source, so why did they have to walk to it? Why not beam near it?
Remarkable prop: The Memorial - that is some whopper of a prop!
Rating: 2 (Chris S)

Tsunkatse Stardate 53447.2: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Well, well it's 'Hunters Part II'... well, sort of, predictably Tuvok and Seven are again incapacitated on an away mission, and Seven's forced to compete in some pseudo-wrestling, kickboxing, karate fight for the amusement of spectators. I suppose the ONLY interesting aspects of the episode are that the fights are held aboard a travelling ship that broadcasts the matches, and that Voyager has to track it down, Jeffrey Combs and J.G. Hertzler (Penk and the Hirogen respectively) providing a competent but brief supporting roles in their only appearances on Star Trek: Voyager. Janeway's absence for a change, AND, of course, Seven of Nine in an even more revealing outfit, but it's utterly transparent otherwise. We have another Hirogen (remember them?) training Seven like a Mr. Miyaki/Karate Kid relationship all the while spouting the usual Hirogen rhetoric about the 'hunt', he and Seven are paired together to fight but Voyager whisks them away before she can land the killing blow, and everything's all fine in the end. Seven only learns once more that her growing emotions as a result of being forced to fight are helping her on her journey to becoming more human.
A rather bland episode, just a lot of noise, flashing lights, violence and sex appeal, all the things Trek stand for, right? No I didn't think so either... One thing I'll add, I do like it when they pair Tuvok and Seven, the characters are quite similar yet not duplicates, and have quite a good chemistry and the actors do a good job portraying that camaraderie.
Remarkable dialogue: "An away mission during shore leave?" - "Commander Tuvok and I don't require recreational activities." - "The Borg wouldn't know fun if they assimilated an amusement park." -Neelix, Seven of Nine and B'Elanna Torres
Rating: 3 (Cameron)

Tsunkatse Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

So, the gamble with Seven of Nine did not pay off as they have hoped, so to try and pull in more ratings, the idiots at be decide to go for a way to get one of the most popular American stars into their show with a rather BS story. YET again, Seven is the centre of this story, again its another group of aliens who kidnap an away team via shuttle, and again said aliens have a powerful ship at their disposal but as always Jinny and the crew figure out a way to beat them and win the day with nothing but bruises to show their venture.
This time its about aliens kidnapping people for fighting - and it reminds me of the superb Babylon Five episode "All Alone in the Night" which is similar but half the budget and twice the story.
Like I said, they realise that Seven is not pulling in the ratings as they have hoped so they have dragged in someone more potent - 'The Rock' from WWF to play an alien wrestler to get extra folk tuned in and combine this with Seven in more tight fitting, more revealing spandex, loose hair and getting a kicking.
The worse part of all of this is the lead villain - Penk - this is blatant racism, and considering that Star Trek is about racial tolerance, this blows that out of the water - his whip like moustache makes him look life Fucking Fu Man Chu! Hell even the symbols in his ship are of Japanese origin! Only thing he was missing was a rolling Dickey and him going "ME SO SOLLY!! ME SO SOLLY!!" If they did Penk with an OTT west-Indian accent, dreadlocks, and a bone through his nose, would people keep quiet? What you think?
Then as Bernd and Cameron have pointed out, the crew love the kick up until they see one of their own get involved - then all their morality BS rises to the surface like the odour of ordure. It's so like America.
The final scene where Seven tells Tuvok that she was weak because she was losing her humanity made me scoff - we humans are great in many ways but the way Star Trek portrays us is that we are the ONLY species who is good and everyone else is not. Had say Tuvok, Chuckles, or Jinny had to fight, and show them taking a beating, I would be more forgiving and the humanity bit at the end would be more convincing. No, it has to be her, always again.
Another dull, dull episode in the hands of people who have the risk taking skills of the dead and as much taste as a dictator. 0/10.
Remarkable fact: According from Star Trek Monthly, this episode achieved a Nielsen rating of 4.1 million homes, and a 6% share, making it the highest rated episode of the season in the US at the time; need I say anymore...
Rating: 0 (Chris S)

Collective Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Yawn, as if the Borg couldn't get any more pathetic, same goes for the show, as we've been 'gifted' these precocious Borg brats who'll make many appearances in the series from here on in, but do little to add to the quality of the show, and neither does this episode. In fact the premise of the episode can probably be summed up with simple dialogue like so:
Seven: "You are damaged. Come to Voyager."
First: "No. Irrelevant. Cease delays. Threats."
[First dies]
Seven: "You are damaged. Come to Voyager."
Remainder of the Borg children: "Ok."
Yeah, certainly insightful is it not? No not really. I didn't like this episode a great deal, nor did I appreciate what it contributed to the series, some new guest characters when the remainder of the entire crew of Voyager for nearly 6 years were nothing more than window dressing, certainly a misplaced sense of prioritisation in terms of character development, oh excepting Seven of Nine of course cause the only thing to come out of this episode is her skills as a mother figure to the drones... even though this had been done in a better episode: "Drone". The performances of the children as well didn't hold up to the characterisation of the trio of Borg, which were once members of Seven's Unimatrix struggling to regain their identities either in "Survival Instinct", regardless of the age and sever talent differential. As a result we only have two takes on the same kind of character, the angry, order loving domineering personality of First, and the submissive, reminiscent of their former lives of Second and Imzadi, the twins had zip in the personality department.
And the endless use of technobabble was just a testament to how predictable these stories have become, got a problem? Use a feedback pulse/rotate the shield harmonics or phaser frequencies! And the initial attack on the Cube where the Flyer, in a scene briefly reminiscent of the attack on the Death Star from "Star Wars: A New Hope" manages to knock out vital systems conveniently located on the exterior hull of the ship... yeah. And of course, the new pronunciation of 'futile' by the Borg to fit in with Jeri Ryan's initial pronunciation is extremely annoying.
Another dismal Borg episode, how far the mighty have fallen, as the Doctor ironically noted in the episode. I'm really tempted to give this a 1, it's necessary if you REALLY care so much about Icheb and Imzadi and the other two losers who they obviously didn't want to give too much character to and want the pay off surrounding the pathogen found in the dead drones, but they're not important characters really, and the latter subplot isn't THAT original, so it gets a lowly 1, certainly not an episode I want to watch again.
Remarkable quote: "They are contemptuous of authority, convinced that they are superior. Typical adolescent behavior for any species. " -Tuvok, describing the Borg adolescents
Remarkable disappearance: The writers obviously forgot about the Borg baby whose life was saved by the Doctor, as the dialogue in the end of the episode ignores the fact it's still on board. It's also never seen again.
Rating: 1 (Cameron)

Spirit Folk Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

I can't believe I managed to stomach this garbage in its entirety, for the majority of the episode I did wonder why the hell I should be caring about a group of paranoid, stereotyped holographic characters who shouldn't possibly be made aware of their environments to such a degree. I wondered 'what possible consequence could this have to the ACTUAL plot of Voyager? What does this episode truly offer that I could think about, or enjoy' and I drew a blank with both questions.
Well that's not entirely true, once more Janeway's ridiculous decisions meant for her to keep the program active with all characters knowledgeable of the situation. What stupidity. As soon as I saw the look of horror on Seamus' face as he saw Tom fix his primitive car using holodeck technology, I remembered "Ship in a Bottle" and the problems that arose from Moriarty's knowledge of the real situation concerning him and his existence, and how problematic that turned out to be. But considering the most obvious lack of talent and consideration these writers have, that problem is alleviated through the use of an absurd plot development, with the Doctor being 'hypnotised' into telling Sullivan how to escape the holodeck, Sullivan's doing so, receiving a tour of the ship by Janeway, and giving a cheesy speech to the remainder of the inhabitants (who were ready to incinerate Tom and Harry and the Doc by the way) about how they can all get along despite their differences.
The characters all in unison smile and nod like the obedient little sheep they are and everything seems resolved in the end, the only difference being that now the people of Fair Haven are well aware of the origin of the visitors.
What a borefest, I hated this episode, I hate episodes with ignorant people kidnapping and threatening Starfleet personnel as it is. The ease in which it is done here thanks to all these convenient plot points about the yet another inability to shut down the holodeck, coupled with Janeway's insistence on maintaining the situation to her liking, the case being Fair Haven here, despite the obvious threat to 2 of her crewmen, was almost infuriating. It's times like that I wish I could reach in the computer and slap her and wipe that smug sense of superiority off her face. Sorry 'Katey' but not everything deserves the chance for preservation just because of your personal feelings which seem to cloud every decision you make in spite of the gravity of the situation, especially when it's the well being of your own people on the line. Another case of her abusing her power. I'm sick of it.
I'm also sick of not looking forward to almost every episode of the remainder of the series, thanks to the last few duds this and last season, there seems to be this impending feeling of dread every time I sit down to watch an episode, the quality of this series certainly waned following the excellent season 4.
And yes, this is another lousy episode there is no reason for anyone to put themselves through this cringeworthy ordeal unless you like pain.
Rating: 0 (Cameron)

Spirit Folk Stardate not given: The holographic characters of Fair Haven, a small Irish village created on the holodeck develop an awareness of events outside the constraints of the holoprogram. Witnessing the use of "magic" by the Voyager crew, they become convinced they are dealing with supernatural creatures, and hold Tom and Harry hostage until Janeway and Michael Sullivan, one of the holocharacters, manage to convince them of the truth.

I cannot BELIEVE how some people are sorely lacking in a sense of humour!!! This episode of Voyager has received undeserved abysmal ratings on this site, for reasons UTTERLY BEYOND MY COMPREHENSION, except to prove that some people desperately need to move beyond their pig-headed outlook that every episode needs to be reasonable, logical and grounded in reality. Well, I really like this episode, and it is past time that I try to rectify its undeserved reputation on this site! Yes, it has very little to do with the actual journey of Voyager. Yes, it has several inconsistencies which I will address later. Yes, it is at times immature, even childish. But it doesn't matter. Why not? Because it is SO MUCH FUN TO WATCH! To start with the scene when Tom repairs the wheel on the car and Seamus witnesses it. Well, at that point I knew what this episode would be about, and I knew I would be doubling over in laughter before half of the episode is finished. I was VERY right! And in addition, not all of it is
And so, my final judgement is this: Amusement factor - 10. Remarkable error (-2). Lack of seriousness (-2). Michael Sullivan's cunning (+1). Seamus and Milo's hilarious pig-headedness (+1). The Doctor as a self-satisfied cleric (+1). Final tally: 9/10
Remarkable error: Milo fires two shots from a long double-barrel shotgun at the holodeck control panel WHILE THE SAFETY PROTOCOLS WERE STILL ONLINE (the computer announced they were disabled only AFTER the damage to the panel). Well, if they were online, how did the holographic 12 gauge shells damage the panel in the first place? Hmm?
Remarkable scene 1: Tom Paris transforming Maggie into a cow! I almost choked laughing!
Remarkable scene 2: Seamus, reading from a "spellbook", in a vain attempt to banish Tom and Harry to the "other world". I have done a lot of research into satanic rituals, the occult and black magic, even making a few attempts to dabble in some, and I have learned that banishment of the soul is possible, though it can only be accomplished through long term deep meditation, psychic energy, help of one's guardian Demon, and enormous strength of will, something only a few extremely adept and gifted individuals have managed throughout history, not by reading a few lines from some ridiculous grimoire which probably comes from "right hand" sources to begin with! Still, it was a fun scene to see, if only for its ridiculousness and the stupidity of Seamus and Milo!
Remarkable sermon: The cleric Doctor: "...just as the heathen did of old! After all, one spiteful act deserves another, right?" - Congregation: "Mhmhh." - The cleric Doctor: "WRONG! What thee sinners have forgotten, is that there are MANY purposes..." --Woman: "He's in love with the sound of his own voice..." - The cleric Doctor: "...man or woman, parent or child, flesh and blood, or photons and forcefields. Eh, it has been said..." - Woman: "...on the other hand, perhaps he's been nipping at the sacramental wine..." - The cleric Doctor: "...and as such, our COMMUNITY is everything! It is our world, and we are a part of it, just as a branch...is part of a tree. Do you see...branches...tearing leaves off one another?! NO! Do you see roots hoarding water from the trunk?!? NO!!! DO YOU SEE...(that is where he is interrupted by Seamus and Milo leading Maggie The Cow into the church, hehe)...did you make a wrong turn"  
Remarkable vulnerability: The Doctor can be hypnotized if his program is integrated into the matrix of a holodeck program which allows such functions.
Rating: 9 (Darko)

Ashes to Ashes Stardate 53679.4: Synopsis in main VOY listing

I was surprisingly pleased by both stories this episode brought forward, of course I made my feelings regarding the 'Borg brats' well known in the review for "Collective", but here at least they are sympathetic and Seven certainly was in the wrong with her approach to taking care of the children, and thankfully the performances aren't quite as dull as what we saw when they were introduced.
And the main plot, focusing on death and loss, and a second chance was really helped by the performance of Kim Rhodes as Lyndsay, who is absolutely gorgeous I may add, Kobali or otherwise, but unlike other wooden 'Goldshirts of the week', she really brings a strong sense of depth to the role, already lacking considering this is the first time we had heard of the character. And as we see her story unfold, it is made painfully clear that she cannot remain on Voyager. With her taste buds, initial appearance and dialect still rooted in a culture she'd known for 2 years, all that she had left was her humanity, and without the ability to remain human and perform as a Starfleet officer, there was nothing human left in her. So a typical 'Star Trek' compromise is made that despite the Kobali attacking Voyager, Lyndsay endeavours to return to her life with her 'new' people. Harry's sad, I cannot blame him, but I think the important point was made that Lyndsay wasn't happy, and that she wasn't forced to either stay or leave, and acted on her own accord despite the feeling's of those around her.
So it's sad in a way, but it worked out for the best for everyone, Harry will get over it of course, and I liked the final scene with Harry and Mezoti, it seemed quite fitting for the two, who both stories were centered around join together in unison, poetic justice perhaps, only in a good way. Very good episode.
Remarkable dialogue: "Commander Tuvok finished his analysis of your shuttle and presented me with 37 different ways of repelling a Kobali attack."- "Did he include your pot roast?" -Kathryn Janeway and Lyndsay Ballard
Remarkable quote: "Fun will now commence." -Seven of Nine
Rating: 7 (Cameron)

Childs Play Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

While I've accused certain episodes of 'going nowhere and doing nothing', this one is more like a U-turn and starting again from Season 4.
I've not been a fan of the Borg children's inclusion to the show anymore than I enjoyed an episode like "Once Upon A Time" or other situations where Naomi Wildman's relationship with Seven is dwelled upon. For episodes on such a subject seek to not just continue to dedicate FAR too much time an energy on Seven of Nine, who by far had received more character development and storylines based on her, on par with Janeway or the Doctor, but for the attention given to Naomi, or Icheb, or the other Borg brats. It's a total slap in the face to people like Robert Beltran, Robert Duncan McNeill, Tim Russ, Roxann Dawson and Garrett Wang, who never had the opportunity to show much more of their acting ability, nor did their characters receive more treatment beyond the norm of pressing buttons, or smiling, non-chalantly during situations like the ridiculous 'Science Fair' that opens this episode.
Typically, this episode focuses on Icheb, Seven and Janeway. The former's homeworld is detected and a course is set, Icheb is given the opportunity to return to live with his parents or stay on Voyager. He quickly chooses to stay despite the poor living conditions he'll be subject to given the Brunali homeworld is on the doorstep of a Borg transwarp conduit. As usual, not is all as it seems and Icheb is sedated by his parents and sent on a ship bearing a false warp reading, luring a Borg Sphere into the area. Icheb is saved and Voyager warps off.
Turns out Icheb's genetic structure was altered to produce a technobabble which messes with Borg drones, much the same as the proposed bio-weapon Hugh was to be infected with upon returning to the Borg in "I, Borg", but for pithy human compassion to prevail, but I'll save that rant for another review.
In Icheb I come back to my original point about starting again from Season 4. We have, again, another young Borg liberated from the Collective. Again, it finds itself on Voyager, again struggling to adapt to it's new lifestyle whilst, again, having to cope with dealing with this non-Borg crew, leading to the usual misunderstandings and "lessons" about human ideals, compassion and so on.
Just like Seven of Nine, similar to the Doctor, both characters who took HEAVY inspiration from Data and Spock, otherwise non-emotionless beings striving to understand their role in the universe, the 'seeking to discover one's humanity' is a cliché that at this point in the franchise has become tired and contrived. And once again we have to suffer through another almost pointless episode to get to the same point we have with a character like Seven of Nine, who after so much time, discovered a true appreciation for the crew of Voyager, and the unrivalled joys of being a human, or like a human, not like a Klingon, or Vulcan, or Bolian, heaven forbid anything other than a homo-sapiesn or a species virtually identical to one.
Back to this episode, yeah, who cares, we could see from the look on Icheb's parents faces that something was off, Seven of course pounds her heels into the bulkhead into protest over sending him back into the veritable lions den of the Brunali homeworld, concerned over his wellbeing and future. Janeway as always takes the high ground, dismissing all of Sevens legitimate concerns, and later washing her hands of the situation, pawning off the responsibility of revealing the deception of Icheb's parents on Seven's shoulders.
And meanwhile, no one else has anything important to add beyond the norm, one really sympathises with the secondary cast members in situations like this. At least in other Star Trek series, in fact, ALL other Star Trek series, the main cast didn't have to play second fiddle to recurring guest characters (despite the lack of development for Sato and Mayweather on 'Enterprise').
I just wasn't interested, I DON'T CARE about characters like Icheb, their presence on this show is nothing more than ! a distraction from the rest of the cast who truly deserved to have this sort of attention paid to them, so I don't rate this highly at all.
Rating: 2 (Cameron)

Good Shepherd Stardate 53753.2: Synopsis in main VOY listing

This episode had the potential to be so much more. Of course there's clearly the most obvious parallel with TNG episodes "'Lower Decks", where we see the daily lives of four young officers aboard the Enterprise and how they deal with their duties and responsibilities under the guidance of their commanding officers (Crusher, Worf, Geordi and Riker), here a similar scenario unfolds. This is most evident in the impressive opening sequence where the camera pans in from far outside Voyager into the Captains quarters, following proceedings from the bridge to deck 15 where one such low ranked officer is stationed, and the camera pans back out the window into space.
With the premise, it didn't live up to its potential I felt, I wasn't truly believing the set up, as we hadn't seen these people before, but that didn't worry me too much, and was enjoying these new personalities right up until after the Flyer was proceeding on its away mission. However it really lost its way soon after and fell into the traps of a conventional episode where an unseen entity threatens the lives of the crew, they battle to survive and through ingenuity and the odds against them (of course, a willingness to stare death in the face, yawn), they succeed, the Captain believes with this near death experience these young officers may have found a greater purpose on the ship.
Really, that's where the whole story fell apart for me. "Lower Decks" and "Good Shepherd" may only be comparable due to the simple idea alone, but the former episode was much better executed because it stayed true to the idea. Here we just have the Doctor, Harry Kim and B'Elanna substituted for lesser characters on an ordinary Delta Flyer mission gone awry. And the conclusion at the end wasn't satisfactory, the Captain summarises the mission served its purpose, next shot Voyager's flying off with the credits rolling, there's absolutely no payoff in the end, no reasonable conclusion. We wont see much more of these characters as the show goes on, so the meaning is even further lost.
The characters, with the exception of the cute Bajoran aren't the most endearing characters either, and sadly, only Crewman Harren is kind of interesting despite the fact that he is highly unlikeable, but his predicament is understandable despite his arrogance, that had Voyager not ended up in the Delta Quadrant he may have had a better life. The other characters are more like caricatures, Telfer is a hypochondriac, Harren is arrogant and Tal is uncertainty defined. Without a better understanding of how they function onboard Voyager despite the small roles given in the beginning of the episode like we saw in "Lower Decks" (Ogawa on sickbay, Lavelle on the bridge, Sito serving at Tactical and Taurik in Engineering), there roles played on the Flyer and in this episode just don't compare.
So I was disappointed, considering the premise I thought it had a lot to offer but ended up offering nothing at all besides a story that could've been played out by the major cast with little to no difference. The fact that the hidden aliens plot isn't really elaborated on, not even some off hand remark by Chakotay is annoying, as if these aliens didn't exist, something would've been nice to have justified either Janeway or Harren's actions towards the creature that got inside Telfer. Were they really trying to communicate? Was it something more sinister? Well I guess we'll never know then.
Rating: 5 (Cameron)

Live Fast and Prosper Stardate 53849.2: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Another surprisingly intelligent script helps out this episode, its unusual and unheard of premise with con-aliens impersonating Starfleet officers and in turn conning other aliens out of their goods. It all takes these twists and turns when the real Voyager encounters these aliens, and an ingenious plan unravels there scheme, there's not much more to it than that, but that's not such a bad thing. Funny, clever, the guest performances aren't so bad, enjoyable episode.
Rating: 6 (Cameron)

Muse Stardate 53896.0 : Synopsis in main VOY listing

I never really cared much for this episode, despite the themes for me it's still a bunch of wooden characters emulating the same bunch of wooden characters we'd gotten used to for a long while now. I don't find it very provocative or entertaining with the exception of B'Elanna's 'ascending' in the end, I didn't like the character of Kelis and his constant ignorance to things he shouldn't nor can't understand, simply another case of yet another alien species totally ignorant.
Oh, and what a surprise to again hear the Borg and Species 8472 being name dropped once more, come on, enough already, 8472 hadn't appeared for a long time and even when they had they weren't in some kind of direct confrontation with Voyager that the crew now feel justified about boasting about like Neelix did in the previous episode "Live Fast and Prosper", and B'Elanna just did a moment ago.
Anyway, back to the main story, after crashing on an alien planet B'Elanna is discovered by playwright Kelis who blackmails her into providing inspiration for his plays, she uses the crew of Voyager and its tale of being far from home for him, eventually his playwrighting skills are necessary to prevent some war, so he uses his tale of Voyager, and a cameo by B'Elanna to somehow convince some chief or whoever not to start the war, B'Elanna then beams back to Voyager, sealing the deal making the play a success.
I was quite bored with it the first time round and when I saw it on I decided to leave it running while I got through this review going on what I already knew, that's how little interest it held for me. We can see our crew acting like the caricatures they are any other episode, for a group of primitives to do it just seems to be overkill, unnecessary overkill at that.
Remarkable guest appearance: Tony Amendola, better known as Bra'tac from Stargate SG-1, appears as a member of the chorus.
Rating: 3 (Cameron)

Fury Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Having only seen this episode once before and that was a long time ago, I had nothing but reputation to go on when viewing it the second time. Of course, it wasn't well received and for good reason, did it leave me so disappointed? In actuality, no. I was quite surprised, the story, whilst immensely flawed and I will address that, was still interesting and executed very well, the scenes in Voyager's past were presented fairly credibly (with the exception of CGI rendered Voyager and the nebulae, I would've expected the model to have been used to keep with the 'look' of the early seasons but oh well).
However the major fault is definitely this 'old' Kes' storyline, it's completely ridiculous to believe this bitter version of herself was convinced she was originally 'forced' by the Voyager crew (not just Tuvok, her mentor, but the WHOLE DAMN SHIP was responsible) into the development of her mental powers and deserved the be punished.
Essentially, because the very reasoning for her time travel and hopeful incursion is incredibly flawed, this episode had no chance to be any good, when Kes left, she wasn't 'forced', her powers developed did quicken faster than expected in "The Gift", but really, that's no fault of Kes' character, but of lazy writing. But even then I can't think of a legitimate reason as to why she would seek vengeance on the Voyager crew, her character in the earlier seasons was, for all her qualities, very one-dimensional in her devotion to Voyager and her passion for serving on the ship, living far from Ocampa, and using her powers to become something more, why would she take exception with all Voyager offered her to turn her back on them a few years later and want to deliver them to their deaths?
Further to the plot hole behind older Kes' motivations, why did she not consider going to the second array that was populated by Tanis and the other Ocampa who had honed their mental abilities? She didn't feel like she belonged in the realm that she ascended to in "The Gift" you would think at least being among people of her own kind who knew about the potential Ocampa had in terms of their abilities would make alot more sense than a contrived plan for time-travel and destruction (from what it looked Kes probably could've just destroyed Voyager with her mind once she boarded, using her mental powers to initiate a warp core breach perhaps?).
And worst of all, the episode really does ruin Kes as a character, it's not like other scenarios where we can simply wash our hands of the situation because some reset button has occurred, because NOW we know that Kes, the same one who loved the Voyager crew, but her powers forced her into evolving into something greater, in the end couldn't handle that, returned to seek revenge, and later returned to Ocampa, making her entire story for the first 3 years of Voyagers journey: MEANINGLESS.
In hindsight that's why this episode deserves a lower rating than what I was initially going to give it. It isn't as low as one would think, but I did enjoy the concept and thought it was pulled off well in regards to the time travel, but the writing and the poor execution of Kes' motivations just destroyed of being better received than what it was. I could understand if this was some alien of the week returning to seek revenge on Voyager, because then we have less emotional investment in the alien in question, but here people knew and loved Kes for the sweet, innocent warm character she was, this episode robbed the audience of that person.
Remarkable effects: Many, Kes, walking through Voyager destroying hallways in her wake, the Vidiian ships attack on Voyager, Voyager breaking free of the Vidiian ship.
Remarkable quote: "It was a fire hazard." -Tuvok after reluctantly blowing out his birthday candle
Remarkable fact: This episode is the third and final episode to include the complete cast of the show from all seasons.
Rating: 1 (Cameron)

Life Line Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Certainly being another 'Reg' episode at first glance one was very sceptical about the execution of the episode, I already made clear my feelings around using Reg as a character on Voyager for the episode "Pathfinder", however here is a much, much better episode.
With a transmission received from Starfleet making monthly communication possible, it's discovered Dr Zimmerman is dying and the Doctor is sent back to treat him. It's a great dual-performance by Robert Picardo how he makes both characters so different yet similar in many ways, and that's where this episode is superior to its predecessor "Pathfinder". In "Pathfinder" we had a character who I particularly cared little about displaying his severe personality problems while the crew of Voyager, the real one were far away and had little to do with the story. Here though it's a well driven character piece quite touching thanks to Picardo's performances, especially as Zimmerman, his dilemma about the fate of the EMH Mark 1 credibly presented, the Doctor's determination to save his patient is also as realistically depicted.
And thanks to good supporting roles by Barclay (whose usage was thankfully minimal), Troi who had a couple of good lines, and Haley, Zimmerman's holographic 'receptionist' of sorts. And even the holographic talking iguana and 'spy-fly' add to the comparisons Zimmerman's character can be made to Dr Soong, he wasn't a particularly social person either whose initial work was deemed a failure by the wider community and took solace in his creations of Data, Lore (obviously not with great success though) and his wife, Juliana.
So props go to Picardo certainly, this is HIS episode to command and was such, writing it and having the 2 most prominent roles.
The B-story, back on Voyager really wasn't explored further, this may not have been such a bad thing but I don't think bringing up Starfleet Command's inquiries about the Maquis was wise, it may have become a non-issue early in the show, but to bring it up here does really make it seem an issue again, but wasn't brought up again in the episode, but that's not too problematic.
Great episode, and a bucketload of wonderful quotes and dialogues too.
Remarkable quote #1: "I'm a doctor, not a zoo-keeper." -The Doctor
Remarkable quote #2: "You're both jerks!" -Counselor Troi to The Doctor and Dr Zimmerman.
Remarkable quote #3: "Do you know how humiliating it is to have 675 Mark Ones out there, scrubbing plasma conduits... all with my face?" -Doctor Zimmerman
Remarkable dialogue #1: "YOU!" - "Remain calm. Emotional outbursts will only aggravate your condition." - "I'll tell you what's aggravating my condition: YOU!" -Doctor Zimmerman and The Doctor
Remarkable dialogue #2: "I can assure you I'm quite real." - "Oh, well, the last beautiful woman to walk in here turned out to be him." - "I'll take that as a compliment." -Deanna Troi, Doctor Zimmerman and The Doctor
Remarkable dialogue #3: "What were your symptoms?" - (Sarcastically) "Radical hair loss." -The Doctor and Dr Zimmerman.
Rating: 8 (Cameron)

The Haunting of Deck Twelve Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

This episode had its few interesting moments and may have even been better had it been a standalone episode, having it told in flashback really robs it of the great amount of tension built up, from the impressive opening sequence where all systems shut down, to the systems gradually being taken over, the ship being evacuated and the banter between Janeway and the lifeform (talking through the computer) as they battle wits to stay alive. But it's still a decent enough thriller that has its light hearted moments as well to keep it from being too grim, it's a slightly different take on the typical non-corporeal alien-take over story. It may have been silly to resort to in essence a ghost story to tell it, but the end result was still satisfactory. The ambiguity is quite annoying though regarding the end of the episode, some pay off would've been nice to have made it certain that the events of this episode truly happened, it seemed too good of a situation to have simply been pure fiction.
Remarkable effect: This probably features one of the rarer moments where we can see the ship jumping to warp from the perspective of the bridge.
Remarkable dialogue #1: "Now, there's a creepy image; reminds me of something out of Edgar Allan Poe." - "Looks like a vampire bat. You can make out the wings, even the ears. What do you see, Tuvok?" - "Two Starfleet officers with juvenile imaginations." -Tom Paris, Harry Kim and Tuvok
Remarkable dialogue #2: "Did I ever tell you about the Salvoxia?" - "If I say yes, will it prevent you from telling the story?" -Neelix and Tuvok
Remarkable dialogue #3: "I won't be your prisoner. You'll have to kill me!" - "Acknowledged." -Janeway and the inhabited computer
Remarkable quote: "Snacks are irrelevant!" -Mezoti
Rating: 6 (Cameron)

Unimatrix Zero, Part I Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Now first I'll get into the opening segment after the teaser and my beef with Paris' reinstatement of rank, it's nonsense. Whatever compelled them to give him back his rank of Lt. jg, still wasn't justified by Janeway's vague comment about his 'exemplary' service aboard the ship since being demoted in "Thirty Days". 'Exemplary' performance? Seriously? Since his demotion he was trapped on a planet with Tuvok for a while in "Gravity", broke a hell of a lot of rules while under the influence of an alien vessel in "Alice", got traumatised by memories of genocide on an alien planet in "Memorial", and did the usual fly boy routine, managing to fly the Delta Flyer out of an anomaly of the week in "One Small Step".
It's actually quite hilarious that after his reinstatement Harry pipes up complaining about a lack of a second pip sitting at his station, only for him to be totally ignored by everyone, really a telling moment that. Tom Paris can have his rank reinstated after a few episodes which seem to contradict 'exemplary' performances, while Harry who's saved and died for the ship many times, gets nothing.
But anyway, that's not really the issue here, the issue is about a semi-forgettable Borg arc which all but shamelessly rips off movies like "The Matrix" or "The Thirteenth Floor", or "eXistenZ", you know, following that popular trend in the late 90's about dealing with virtual realities, so the plot is nothing at all original here.
Some Borg have a mutation which allows them to all visit this place when they regenerate known as Unimatrix Zero where they can be themselves and possibly launch a counter-offensive against the Collective in an effort to retain what little individuality they have left. Seven is called upon (why she wasn't until NOW is a mystery they didn't bother to elaborate on, how convenient) to help them as these Borg don't remember their experiences in Unimatrix Zero after regenerating.
Of course, in telling all about Unimatrix Zero and its denizens, Captain Hypocrisy uses it as an excuse to encourage an all out civil war within the Borg, using the people who have asked for her help as soldiers in essence. That's simply what it boils down to, these 'special' drones only wanted freedom from the Collective, their haven made safe, but that's not enough for Janeway, she openly acknowledges that in perpetuating a conflict DOES in fact violate Starfleet orders, but does Chakotay, or indeed anyone put up a fight? Of course not, Janeway even expected Chakotay to disagree with her on this issue much the same he would've done in "Scorpion" where Janeway put the ship between the Borg and Species 8472 to get the ship home a few months quicker, here she does the same, but not for any gain for Voyager, only to see more damage is done to the Borg.
This is just sheer callousness from a Captain who should be lucky she wasn't in the Alpha Quadrant when in command cause that would've meant actually answering to someone higher up in the chain of command for her actions. Here in the Delta Quadrant, she's a law unto herself and acts as such. Her decisions are final, be damned are the consequences.
The final act involves her, B'Elanna and Tuvok sneaking aboard a Tactical Cube, a behemoth of a vessel, without doubt one of the most impressive looking ships Star Trek has offered up (which Voyager, non-surprisingly holds its own against, yawn), to 'infect' the Collective with some thingy that can unite all the mutated drones into retaining their individuality, to do this though, the trio must be assimilated.
Now that may have actually have been a good plot twist: If they didn't make it so obvious it was part of the plan damnit! The Borg approaching them through the forcefields and injecting them with nanoprobes would've been so completely shocking for many people watching for the first time, it certainly wasn't the best choice for Chakotay to acknowledge that this was meant to be happening.
I suppose I'll quickly talk about the story from the Borg Queen's point of view, she didn't particularly irritate me as much as she did in 'Dark Frontier' with her over-emotional performance, the scenes with her talking to dismembered heads was so over the top though.
And as for those in "Unimatrix Zero", predictably, Axum is the only interesting one, his former relationship with Seven adds another dynamic and after Seven makes it clear nothing like that will happen I think he responded rather realistically, no one else really matters, there's two other stereotypes, a battle hungry Klingon, and yet another human who had been assimilated at Wolf 359 (when will they realise that cube never returned to the Delta Quadrant though? IDIOTS!), they only had some throwaway lines though, and may be a little more important in the second act, maybe.
So rating it, it's average to me, maybe a little above but I can't let things like Janeway's actions and the bland premise which was just following a trend at the time, character motivations and other things go so easily, so it gets 4/10 from me. Perhaps Part 2 might help in redeem things a bit though.
Remarkable ship: The Borg Tactical Cube
Remarkable ship destruction: Bye-by Delta Flyer, it's destroyed in the attack on the Tactical Cube.
Remarkable quote: "I wish you were alive to experience disembodiment. It is the epitome of perfection." -The Borg Queen (clearly referring to herself ;D)
Rating: 4 (Cameron)

Unimatrix Zero, Part II Stardate 54014.4 : Synopsis in main VOY listing

Being a second part nothing really intricate happens but to wrap up what's been established already, malfunctioned drones have their 'Matrix' oasis, Janeway wants to use that to start a civil war, to do so they need to infect the Collective and to do that Janeway, Tuvok and B'Elanna had to be assimilated.
Course the underlying problems from the concept still linger here, the Borg Queen even explicitly explains to Janeway and the audience that she's using these innocent bystanders as cannon fodder to fuel her own vendetta against the Collective, (and it's so justifying for her hypocrisy to be revealed as she later has to order Unimatrix Zero be 'destroyed' to prevent the deaths she is pretty much responsible for) and what's the end result? Instead of their sanctuary remaining hidden, like they wanted, the inhabitants of Unimatrix Zero now have no paradise as it's eradicated in the end, and are now at the mercy of being alone, with their individuality intact and possibly made known to other Borg in the ships they're serving on.
Korok's situation where after being severed from the hive mind yet still having enough influence on the presumably 11,000 drones serving on that sphere to do his bidding as they attack the Tactical Cube is utterly ridiculous. Unless he was somehow able to tamper with the link ALL those drones had with the Collective, and convince them they were attacking an enemy, or were now under Korok's command, it's just so stupid and clearly an afterthought by the writer's to have him be able to do as such. And the same remains with the other drones at the end of the episode, Seven dutifully reports to Janeway that other drones are now in command of renegade Borg ships, but this isn't a situation like "Descent" where hoards of Borg rebelled, this was only a few individuals, so it's highly unlikely such a thing could be credibly pulled off.
That's what makes this episode so pointless, well that and other things, we'll never hear from this resistance again for a start. But as I've pointed out, it's hardly a resistance, simply not a realistic one anyway given the nature of the Borg and the predicament these few renegades would find themselves in. On their own, trapped in a vessel with thousands of drones still in the service of the Collective.
Anyway, this whole situation really doesn't seem to damage the Borg that much in the long run either, I'm not willing to look up the episodes of Season 7 to come as I'd rather not spoil it for myself, but I can only think of one more episode to heavily feature the Borg and that's the finale, where little to no mention was made of the resistance. So that really hurts the whole concept this episode had, it suffered from the same problem as "Descent", it went to pains to stress the importance of Hugh and the renegade Borg then and what effect they could have on the Collective but were never mentioned again, the same rings true for this. Axum really plays less of a role here but to serve Seven's developing feelings, and the remainder of the Unimatrix Zero populace don't do a great deal either.
Tuvok, ahh Tuvok, and the assimilation of the Starfleet officer's angle of this episode is also entirely unsatisfactory, with a simple generic neural suppressant, the overwhelming might of the Hive Mind is rendered useless, but for Tuvok, who should really be the most strong minded of the trio, but that matters little. In fact the whole shock of the three being assimilated doesn't matter at all, at the end of the episode all three of them are back on Voyager, Borg implants removed, every hair follicle restored to pristine accuracy, and further to that, and even worse, the entire ordeal will be completely forgotten by all three. Please, Captain Picard, whose mentally tough in his own right, was left physically and emotionally scarred after his ordeal in "The Best of Both Worlds". It was an experience that haunted and enraged him for years to come, but this is just dust on the shoulders of Janeway's uniform to be dusted off like it was a minor inconvenience, at the end, all she needed was a cup of coffee and a quip about her sore back to erase all her troubles. And even Tuvok, who surrendered to the Collective in the end, this was something he didn't have to struggle with either.
So that brings me to my usual gripe about the quality of Voyager as a series, using this episode as a prime example. This was a show not concerned with well, ANYTHING in the long term, those multiple hull breaches sustained in this episode will be patched up in no time to the same quality as when the ship was launched, as has happened many times before, the psychological effects on these characters will only last a short while, they'll be nothing to justify these experiences for them in the long run. Tuvok won't have to contend with the Collective in his head, the trauma of having such an invasive procedure as assimilation won't bother the crew as it did Picard, it won't give them nightmares that's for sure. Again, nothing in the long run mattered, and that's a great con for this show, they go to the trouble to place these characters in these difficult and challenging positions, and do nothing to make the trials they went through worth it, it's like if you watch "Caretaker", "Endgame" and any episode in between, there's little discern able difference between the people.
Anyway, that's a really personal pet peeve of mine with this show, I'll get back on track.
Well, looking at it purely from a point of view from a silly action spectacle, it works, there's lots of nice shiny effects and explosions, the Borg cube is impressive with the interior shots we're treated too, even on a less action-related level the scene where the Queen visits Unimatrix Zero and talks to the young boy is immensely enjoyable, especially when she talks about how she was assimilated young, and can still hear the thoughts of her parents, weather there's truth to this is debatable though considering the nature of Borg Queen's and how they seem to be cloned or replicated as needed or something.
And to plotholes, yeah, Neelix on the bridge, sure he had experience piloting his own ship, but really, Moral Officer manning a post on the bridge? Please, he was really only there just to ensure EVERY member of the main cast was deeply involved in the events of the episode no matter how illogical it looked. I did like the small scene with Paris and Chakotay where Tom rationalises himself as First Officer in the absence of Tuvok and Janeway, I liked that interesting little dynamic presented, yeah it's not original, but to see Tom question Chakotay in a professional manner was refreshing.
Yeah, so that's really all that can be summed up, it was an unoriginal idea, pulled off with little creativity, poorly executed with zero follow up, the makings of a particularly pointless arc. But I'm not going to write it off so easily, it's still watchable if not extremely flawed, 5/10.
Remarkable analogy: "Assimilation turns us all into friends." -Borg Queen (it's also 'fun' apparently ;D)
Remarkable dialogue: "Lieutenant. A First Officer could get in a lot of trouble for talking to his Captain that way." - "Well, I've learned from the best." -Chakotay and Tom Paris (Tom acting as First Officer)
Rating: 5 (Cameron)

 


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