Kathryn Janeway -
Tom Paris -
Robert Duncan McNiell
B'Elanna Torres -
Roxann Biggs Dawson
Harry Kim -
The Doctor -
OTHER STAR TREK SHOWS
The Next Generation
Deep Space Nine
OTHER TREKS THROUGH SPACE
The new Battlestar Galactica
The Voyager comes across a pick up truck in space and then discovers the frozen bodies of people abducted from Earth, including Amelia Earhardt. How did they get there? Why are they there? How will they react to being woken up so far into their future? Will we care?
Someone clearly came up with the vision of the ship coming across the pick up truck and then built a story around that. That's the only excuse I can think of for a plot that makes as little sense as this one does. The reaction to being transported into the future was already done on THE NEXT GENERATION and it didn't work very well then either.
Nothing else about he motivation of the aliens responsible makes much sense either.
Ah well, VOYAGER's back.Top
Commander Chakotay is travelling alone in a shuttle when he is attacked. A young Kazon warrior out to make a name for himself has apparently targeted the ship's number one. It's a case of kill or die trying.
Considering that Chakotay was the captain of his own ship before the events of the pilot of series 1, he has done little of any note in the series so far. It is, therefore, quite nice to find a plot revolving around him, even if it didn't make a whole lot of sense. In enemy space, one does not allow one's second in command to go jaunting off on his own out of reach of the ship's aid.
Still, it was better than The 37s so I suppose we shouldn't be complaining.Top
The Doctor comes to learn that he is, in fact, the only true human on the ship and that everything that has happened has been an elaborate simulation. Engineer Reg Barclay, seen in episodes from THE NEXT GENERATION is on hand in hologram form to explain everything, but could he, in fact, be the simulation?
Taking a character and overturning everything that they have ever known or believed to be real has always been a winner template for a show and here improves a lacklustre second series. The appearance of Dwight Schultz as the always worthwhile Reg Barclay could not fail to brighten events and building the show around the best character on the ship helps immensely. You can even forgive the shakiness of the logic.Top
The Voyager is caught by a strong force that pulls them into a mass of spaceborne lifeforms. Whilst the rest of the crew search for a way out, Kes finds her reproductive system accelerating to the point where she must have a child or lose the chance forever.
OK, there is silly and there is stupid and this is both. I'm not going to get started on the whole areas of sense that this episode didn't get involved with. Easily the worst episode that VOYAGER has managed to produce, and that's saying something.Top
Harry Kim wakes up to find that he's back in San Francisco, didn't board Voyager and is having a real hard time keeping up with events that didn't happen to him, or that he doesn't remember. Is it an illusion, a dream or someone tampering with his mind?
Considering that plots like these are ten a penny in the various incarnations of the franchise it seems only fair that Harry should be suffering from Deja vu because the audience sure is. Didn't we just have an episode where a major character was wondering what was going on around him and couldn't tell what was real any more? Come on VOYAGER what we want is original stories, not these recycled, prepackaged ones.Top
The Voyager encounters a distortion ring that starts messing about with the ship, reshaping it, trapping the crew all over the place and shutting down the systems at random. The misplaced crew have to fight to save the day.
Been there, done that. OK, so the idea of the ship being reshaped isn't that bad, but it's by the book plotting that really has been done to death and usually better than this. Please, please, come up with something to justify our watching this show.Top
Paris finds himself attracted to Kes, which shouldn't come as any surprise since he's attracted to anything that is female and has a pulse. Neelix is pretty put out by this and Kes is put out that they should be fighting over her. Before anyone has a chance to sort it all out, Paris and Neelix are put down on a planet where they can't be easily brought back and are slowly being poisoned. They also find a baby alien that they must work together to save.
Oh please, what is this. This is the kind of by the numbers STAR TREK plotting that gives the show a bad name amongst non fans. The whole plot creates an artificial conflict and then an even more artificial manner of resolving it. The trouble is that the characters are so bland that they can't pull it off on their own charisma. Where is the eccentricity that marked the next generation crew or the genuine antipathies of the Deep Space Nine lot? The only one with any true spark is the Doctor and that is why we love him so much. You can almost chart the interest waning as the episode continues.
It also contains one of the worst animatronic aliens that the franchise has ever come up with.Top
Persistence of Vision
Captain Janeway is suffering from overload as all of the crew problems land in her lap. The Doctor orders her to spend some time relaxing on the holodeck, but the story she is acting out there starts appearing in the rest of the ship. Kes can also see the hallucinations and, before long the rest of the crew starts to be affected. Soon, it is clear that the ship is under attack and only Kes and the Doctor seem immune, but can they mount an adequate defence?
At last, something to applaud about VOYAGER. This is an excellent episode. It starts off intriguingly with the hallucinations popping up outside of the holodeck and Janeway faced with the real possibility that she is buckling under the pressure. Slowly, the plot resolves itself into an attack on the crew's minds, but as all the major players slowly succumb a real sense emerges that this threat may be too much for them. Salvation comes from an unexpected source, but not before some surprising nastiness in engineering and an ending that proves to be no real resolution.
Persistence of Vision is something of a double-edged sword as it shows what the series is capable of, but also sets the bar a little higher.Top
When a planet promises to hold deposits of a vital material, the Voyager investigates. Freak weather means that the shuttle is the only way to land and, once down, the away team find signs that the planet is already inhabited. Chakotay finds signs and portents that take him back to a research trip that he once took unwillingly with his father.
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. The Voyager comes across the race that kickstarted our ancestors along the track towards language and civilisation, only for us to abandon it along the way except for a small tribe of 'rubber people', the ancestors of Chakotay's own tribe? Unbelievable. Not just unbelievable, but really rather tedious. I'm not averse to finding out more about the crew's past, but this kind of nonsensical mumbo jumbo mixed up with the technical side of the show just doesn't work.
It allows Robert Beltran to stretch his acting muscles a little, not to mention get butt naked, but the episode has nothing else going for it.Top
The Voyager follows traces of energy like that of the Caretaker that brought them to the delta quadrant in the first place, believing it to be that creature's mate. Instead, they find a space station peopled by Ocampa, Kes's people. Their leader agrees to a meeting with Suspiria (as the being is called) and uses the trip to teach Kes about some of her latent psychic abilities. Then matters turn nasty.
Though not in the same league as Persistence of Vision, there are some good things to like in this episode. It starts off unpromising enough, like many of the others, but as Kes learns about her abilities and it becomes clear that they are as capable of causing harm as good, things take a darker turn. Then the caretaker's mate shows up and things get seriously dark (crucified, bleeding crewmembers dark).
Once again, the ship comes up against an alien presence that they manage to contain as much by luck as by judgement and technology and again the matter is unresolved at the end. It's also clear that Kes's story has a long way to go and a lot of potential.
A Kazon ship attacks the Voyager and is surprisingly effective in bypassing the shields, getting a boarding party into the ship and stealing transporter technology. It turns out to be the handiwork of Seska, Chakotay's ex-lover and Cardassian spy, last seen in Season One's State of Flux. Chakotay steals a shuttle to take her on in a deadly game of cat and mouse with the Voyager as the ultimate prize.
Now, this episode is much better and it's all thanks to Seska. The duplicitous Cardassian is a wonderfully evil character and throws the blandness of the rest of the characters into stark relief. Even Chakotay is more interesting when she is around.
The plot has lots of action and a pretty good sequence involving the torture of Chakotay, which is a bit stronger than might have been expected and all the better for it. There is also the message that Seska leaves Chakotay at the very end which says that she's going to be back and is totally without morals.
This, we like.Top
Whilst getting hold of some vitally important material to restart Voyager's engines, the away team fall foul of the local law enforcement and Janeway is shot. Tuvok gets tortured and Torres looks for a way to escape, but the Captain wakes up in the home of a mentally scarred man who believes her to be his daughter, who was taken by the same security forces andis now back to help him reclaim his wife and right a wrong that he has done them both.
What starts as an ordinary episode, takes a welcome departure with the introduction of the disturbed man. Joel Grey (who also appeared in a creepy role in Buffy the Vampire Slayer makes this episode by giving a subtle and touching performance. When Janeway sheds tears at the man's inevitable end, it is because of his performance that we believe she might. Admittedly, she is a Starfleet Captain and this makes her look like a wuss, but what the heck.Top
In early sequences ripped straight off ROBOCOP the Voyager encounters an artificial lifeform that is floating in space and close to failure. Torres manages to bring him back to full operational capability and he asks that she build more to save his race. Janeway invokes the Prime Directive, so the robot kidnaps Torres and forces her to do so or he will destroy the Voyager.
Now there's a nice idea - two races build robots to fight their wars and then die out, leaving the robots in an unbreakable conflict that they are programmed to fight. Unfortunately, the rest of the plot that is hung upon it is pretty standard stuff, but the episode manages to be a solid, if unexceptional, one.Top
A Kazon attack leaves the Voyager only moments from destruction. Under pressure from the other officers, Janeway seeks out Seska to see if an alliance can be forged with one of the Kazon tribes to kick-start peace in the quadrant. Those talks fall through, but soon after they encounter the Traibe, the race that created the Kazon's troubles and who now only want to redeem themselves by bringing about peace. A conference is proposed with all the Kazon leaders present, but one of them is planning a trap.
It's amazing how quickly the Voyager can be repaired. At the end of the opening battle, nothing is working and yet two scenes later and it's still the most powerful ship in the quadrant. Not very believable, but then again neither is much else that happens in this episode. The sheer amount of plot that is packed in means that the story moves with a pace that undermines its intentions. It also doesn't help that the true originator of the plot to destroy the conference is obvious right from the first time they appear on screen.
There is also no excuse for an episode that allows Janeway to spout forth such a cringe-making speech at the end, just for the benefit of those who couldn't work out the moral of the story.Top
Harry, B'Elanna and Paris have been working together on a project to create a drive capable of Warp 10, long thought to be a theoretical impossibility. Warp 10 means that the ship is everywhere at the same time. If it works, it will be a big step towards getting home. Paris becomes a hero after the flight, but is soon turning into some alien lifeform that then takes Janeway hostage.
What's going on here? I ask because this episode has no idea what it wants to be. It's an examination of Paris's insecurity, true, but then it becomes a medical crisis show that then morphs into a kidnapped captain scenario. Talk about your split personality.
What kind of a captain is Janeway anyway. She tells Paris he can't go on the flight for good reasons, he spins her a sob story and she immediately recants, despite the fact that she is endangering their chances of getting home. I don't think Picard would be acting like that.
Still, we do get to see the scene of Paris coughing up his own tongue into his hand. Yummy.
And the ending where Paris and Janeway are found to be lizards with a young family is just too bizarre. Someone was on something ever so slightly illegal when they dreamed this one up.Top
A crewman is found murdered and suspicion falls upon one of the Maquis who always seemed to enjoy his killing too much. Tuvok initiates a mind meld to understand why the man did it. The result is a psycho killer who now has an icy grip on himself and a vulcan who can no longer keep his emotions in check.
This episode has one thing going for it and that is Tim Russ's performance as Tuvok, unravelling as the intense new emotions threaten to overwhelm him. The scene where he takes on Janeway and tells her exactly what he thinks of her is an effective moment and it is all thanks to his playing. His Leonard Nimoy impression also seems to be getting better.
There is also a scene where Tuvok strangles Neelix to death, much to the delight of everyone - only it turns out to be a holodeck fantasy. Shame.Top
The Voyager encounters wreckage of a ship destroyed by Cardassian technology. Torres identifies that it is the handiwork of a doomsday weapon that she reprogrammed back in the Alpha Quadrant that must have been brought there by the Caretaker just as they were and which has now identified a peaceful planet as its target. She beams aboard to try and talk the machine out of killing hundreds of thousands of innocent lives.
This is the VOYAGER version of the story originally told in John Carpenter's student film DARK STAR in which the crew have to talk a bomb out of exploding and killing them. A complete rip-off it might be, but there is actually quite a bit of fun to be had with the situation as the machine constantly refuses to be swayed by her arguments and gets ever nearer to its target. Janeway sets the self-destruct sequence on Voyager and puts herself on course to blow up right in front of the weapon.
It's a throwaway episode, and all the better for it.Top
Voyager encounters a comet that doesn't move like a comet, so it drills inside and releases a member of the Q continuum who asks for asylum. The Q who plagued the Enterprise (John De Lancie) turns up and demands his return to prison as he means to kill himself, which would have disastrous consequences for the continuum. Janeway holds a hearing that brings Will Riker from Earth and takes her into the Q continuum itself.
Some people run for cover screaming when they hear that there is going to be a Q episode, but we like him here at the Sci-Fi Freak Site. OK, his episodes can never be taken seriously, but they are rarely dull and usually funny. This one turns out to be closer to dull than funny, but still manages to stay on the right side of entertaining, not least the bit where the Qs take the Voyager to all kinds of places.
This, though, is a story about the right of people to die with dignity, to choose to end their own lives when the suffering becomes too much. For once, the sermonising is kept to the minimum and the plot carries the theme well rather than being overwhelmed by it. We could have done without Will Riker's appearance, but as Johnathan Frakes was directing the episode I suppose that it saved on the cost of hiring another actor for a new character.Top
A phage-wracked alien is brought aboard the ship and the Doctor downloads her mind into his own system, creating a holographic body for her, the body that could have been without the effects of the disease. It's a temporary solution and together they work on a way of saving her real body so that her mind can be put back. In the meantime, they discover feelings for each other, something that the Doctor's programming is not set up for.
We like the Doctor. He is the most fun character in the whole show and when the episodes revolve around him you just know you're going to have a good time and this episode does not disappoint. Watching him trying to come to terms with the illness of attraction and his attempts at romance are enormous fun. The ending is a bit heavy-handed, but then they so often are in VOYAGERTop
Tom Paris has had enough of trying to fit into Starfleet and chooses to leave the ship. He is immediately kidnapped by Seska, who has been alerted to the situation by Jonas, a spy in the Maquis. Neelix, playing at being a journalist, stumbles onto the story of a spy in the crew's midst and that Paris is, in fact, on a secret mission to unmask the spy. Jonas is made nervous by Neelix's attentions and accelerates his plans.
Tom Paris has been one of the big disappointments of VOYAGER. Introduced as a bad boy, he has been the model officer and paragon of blandness. That his recent behaviour was all a ruse comes as no great surprise. Nor does the fact that Neelix manages to be even more irritating in this episode because a lot of it revolves around him.
Other than that, it's an OK episode that puts to bed an attempt at a running plot strand. Story arcs need to be better than this if they are going to improve the series' reputation.Top
Whilst trying to avoid Vidians, the Voyager gets caught in a rift. Before they can initiate the pulses they think they need to survive, they are bombarded by similar pulses that come close to destroying them. Kes disappears and Harry is ripped out to die in space. Another Voyager is detected, this one under attack from the Vidians. One will have to destroy itself to save the other.
A baby is about to be born on the ship and so you just know that this is not going to be a good episode. Surprisingly, it is. Chances are taken with the plot like the baby dying, Harry getting killed and a lot of the crew being harvested by the Vigians. This is all tough stuff and the fact that it all gets sorted out by the end of the show doesn't alter that fact. Ok, there's way too much technobabble, but isn't there always and the self-destruct is used for the second time in five episodes, but it's still a good episode.Top
Tuvok's shuttle crashes on a moon where he discovers a group of children huddled against the knowledge that a monster is coming to kill them. Whilst he tries to fix his shuttle, Tuvok calms them, but as night falls several of them do indeed disappear. Tuvok determines to fight against whatever took them and their own kind if need be to protect the last of them.
This is an episode featuring children. Run, run away. When an episode of any of the STAR TREK franchises revolves around children it usually means bad things are going to happen. Tuvok is forced to try and deal with the kids, but it gets even worse - he sings! This is a VOYAGER low and that is really saying something.Top
A race protecting themselves from environmental catastrophe by entering into stasis attached to an artificial reality machine have seriously overslept. Entering the reality, B'Elanna and Harry come up against an evil clown who calls himself Fear and has the survivors in thrall to entertain him with their suffering. He has decided to add Harry to his collection, leaving Janeway with a choice to abandon Harry or kill them all by shutting down the system.
Out of nowhere comes an episode that really grabs the attention and has little to complain about. The set up is standard STAR TREK, but the world inside the AR machine is so wilfully bizarre that it works and the performance by Michael McKean as the mischeivous, dangerous and ultimately deadly Fear powers it along. All of the technological answers that the Voyager crew come up with fail miserably and it is down to a bit of good old fashioned psychology to work out the solution.
The Doctor plays an integral part in the plot and gets to play off against the extravagant McKean with some seriously mirthful results, but the tension is kept up by the beheading of survivors in the dream state.
Off the wall, and all the better for it.Top
Beaming back from a planet's surface, Tuvok and Neelix are combined into a single entity that decides to call itself Tuvix. Mourning the loss of their crewmates, the officers come to terms with the new arrival, but the discovery of a cure begs the question 'is the resurrection of two old crewmembers worth the death of one new one?'.
What an interesting dilemma for Janeway and what a shame that the rest of the show doesn't match up to it. The new Tuvix has all the annoying qualities of the two missing characters, but few of the redeeming ones. He is neither dislikeable enough to be hated, nor loveable enough to bond with. As a result we really don't care whether he lives or dies, knowing full well that the main characters are going to be returned anyway.
There are some nice moments for Jennifer Lien as Kes, though.Top
Janeway and Chakotay are infected by a mystery virus and have to be abandoned on a remote planet when no clue can be found. The Voyager continues on its way, but when it encounters a Vidian convoy the crew threaten to revolt against Tuvok's lead until he agrees to risk attack in attempt to find a cure.
Goodness, this is a dull episode. Janeway and Chakotay sit out in the country and swap stories about camping trips!? This I could do without. Somehow, you just want to leave them there. Tuvok's command has more in the way of interest, but only just.Top
Basics - Part 1
A distress call from Seska with Chakotay's son leads the Voyager into a trap. The Kazon take the ship and strand the crew on a primeval planet. Only the Doctor and Mr Sudor (the psycho from Meld) remain. To be continued.
Janeway gets left on a planet for the second week running. That could be considered careless. The season end cliffhanger is fine, but hardly spectacular and doesn't fill you with a burning desire for season three.Top
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