Thursday, 29 December 2011

Episode 127: Dragon's Teeth

Unfortunately there are no dragons in this episode. With teeth or otherwise.

Inexplicably Voyager find themselves in a subspace corridor which another race, the Turei, get them out of. The corridor has moved Voyager hundreds of lightyears in a short time and are curious about it. However the Turei don’t want them to have any information on it and attack. They cunningly evade them by landing on a planet which obviously confuses the Turei. On the planet, Janeway and Seven investigating a life sign find a stasis pod and Seven awakens the inhabitant after 900 years. Janeway tells her off as this is not the Starfleet way but it would be a much shorter episode otherwise. Damn you Seven! The inhabitant is Gedrin, a Vaadwaur who has a weird face. But when 900 years old you reach, look as good you will not. Janeway and the crew do the StarFleet thing and set about helping him. This is despite him having no remorse for his wife having died, no respect for inferior people and spoiling movies before they’re out. The crew help him and other Vaadwaur to attack the Turei. Neelix does some research as it seems the Talaxians were aware of them and discovers that shockingly they were all dicks. Janeway now changes her mind and leave the two races to fight it out with each other having brought peace to another sector of the Delta Quadrant.

During the episode the Vaadwaur and Janeway keep saying they are 900 years out of date with technology. Surely this is only true if everyone has exactly the same amount of technology at all times. Besides, they’re sure to be more advanced than the Kazon.

Small mercies: Apparently this was originally planned as a two hour movie.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Episode 126: Riddles

Tuvok and Neelix (the worst travel companion) are together in one of the plentiful shuttles Voyager has  because we’ve never seen that before. Tuvok discovers a cloaked entity accessing the computer before he’s attacked and lapses into a coma. Neelix takes him back to Voyager and Janeway discovers this might be the mythical Ba’neth after a visit from a local diplomat, whom they go in search of. Neelix stays by Tuvok’s bedside to presumably drive him further into the coma but he awakes nonetheless and has lost his memory. Without his memory he is unable to help with locating the Ba’neth and can’t help at all when questioned. But he’s able to help Neelix in the kitchen and becomes his friend. His Wikki Fruit Sundae being a particular success, presumably he got the recipe from the internet. Janeway asks Tuvok again about what he saw on his tricorder and he puts the cloaking signal on a cake. Thus they are able to find the Ba’neth and save Tuvok. Neelix of course is sad and Tuvok is his usual self but gives him an answer to a riddle that he decided wasn’t logical at the start of the story. Hurrah for character growth.

My friend and I discussed for a minute the riddle that bookends the story (How is an ensign is able to survive on a planet for a year with only a calendar because he eats the “dates”) and how it is logical within the logic of the riddle. However then I realised we’d probably spent more time on it than the writers.

The best thing however about this entire story is Tim Russ and his acting when he’s lost his memory. He really is too good for this show.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Episode 125: Alice

Alice? Who the fuck is Alice? Well, I’ll tell you.

Voyager arrives at a collection of ships which is apparently a flea market run by a man called Abaddon. He and Neelix get on like a incredibly warm residential building while Paris sees a rundown shuttle in the debris and wants to acquire it. Chakotay points out they have a full complement of shuttles. How the hell do they still have all their shuttles? Anyway they get the second hand shuttle and Paris sets about fixing it up, naming it Alice. The shuttle’s computer begins to talk to Paris. He starts spending more and more time there, and becoming more and more irritable with everyone else. So much so that Torres goes whinging to Janeway, who instead of telling her she’s far too busy as she’s the Captain of a Starship thousands of light years from Earth, listens to her. The ship wants him to fly away from Voyager with her which he’s able to do as quite easily even though he's now dressed up as a Christmas Tree. Who needs security? Meanwhile Voyager is able to talk to Abaddon who also used to be under the ships spell. Alice and Paris have reached their destination, a Particle Fountain which is Alice’s home. No we don’t find out what it is or why it’s her home. Voyager arrives and they send Torres over in the same signal as the shuttles computer. Good thinking, if there’s one thing that’ll distract him it’s his argumentative wife. While she’s doing that Paris is beamed over before the ship disintegrates in the Fountain.

At the end Paris says he can still remember it all and he’s sorry. I feel the same way. Another bland by the numbers episode. I’ve a feeling this is going to be a looong season.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Episode 124: Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy

This episode is pretty much The Secret Life Of Doctor Mitty but it’s Doctor-centric so I’m not going to complain.

The Doctor gives a singing performance to the crew when Tuvok goes mad with Pon Farr. Using song the Doctor is able to save the day. Though this is all the Doctor’s daydream I wouldn’t have been surprised if it was real. He’s been turned down for an away mission and puts in formal letter to the Captain complaining and wanting to become an Emergency Command Hologram. Meanwhile hidden within a nearby nebula (because there’s always a nearby nebula) is a ship spying on Voyager. An alien, who looks like Mr Potato, has been able to tap into Voyager’s computer but he dodges a bullet and is only able to see the Doctor’s fantasies which of course he takes as real. In another fantasy the Doctor assumes command of his ship after Janeway is killed for about the billionth time in the series by the Borg. He destroys the Borg cube with his own invention, a “photonic cannon”. It gets so his fantasies begin happening all the time but who can blame him, so Torres fixes it. Meanwhile the order has been given by the aliens to attack Voyager as they discovered it’s by itself but Mr Potato, like everyone who watches the show, has grown to like the Doctor. He warns the Doctor who has to take command in real life to save the day with bluffing about the “photonic cannon”. Ah, the Kirk maneuver.

Janeway at the end awards the Doctor the Starfleet Metal of Commendation which just looks like a button she found down the back of the Captain’s chair one day. Hey, that’s probably where they get half their dilithium from too.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Episode 123: Barge Of The Dead

Today Torres imagines she’s in Klingon hell. Well it’s either that or Voyager, I know what I’d choose.

Returning from an away mission where she has lost control of the shuttle Torres just manages to make it back. She is found to have a concussion and in her quarters Chakotay brings her a metal with a Klingon symbol on it that was apparently stuck in the shuttle’s port nacelle. He tells her this like he’s informing her what he had for breakfast. But then once you’ve seen the Borg, Federation, Ferengi etc in the Delta Quadrant what’s another? After he leaves the metal begins bleeding and she can hear Klingon voices. She brings it to Harry to examine. Him? He can find nothing. Tuvok suggests it’s because she hates her Klingon half. Who doesn’t? She then attends a Klingon party that Neelix has organised. Which is a bit like the Amish organising a Viking raiding party. They all start singing Klingon songs apart from Torres. Wheres the Klingons to beat them to death? There she hallucinates that the entire crew has been killed by Klingons. Ah that’ll be them. She appears on a Klingon barge, of the dead, if you will, where she is being taken to the Klingon equivalent of hell. Her mother is also there because she has been dishonoured by Torres’ shunning of Klingon ways. After she wakes up in Sickbay she asks to be put back in the trance to free her mother and Janeway reluctantly agrees. Back on the barge, Torres takes on her mother’s dishonour. But being Klingons it’s never that easy. A version of the Voyager crew appear on the barge and they fight. Torres mother is freed before she herself returns to the sickbay.

No, I don’t really know either.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Episode 122: Survival Instinct

Hey, it’s a Seven episode, we haven’t had one of those in a while.

Voyager is docked at an outpost with the crew getting shore leave and people on the station allowed onto the ship. They should do tours, “This is where we saw a spatial anomaly”. One of the visitors who is not at all suspicious shows Seven some Borg implants from the old unimatrix to which she belonged but presumably from her reaction he didn’t get them from Space Ebay. She takes them to study while the visitor confers with two others by using his mind. Seven then goes to regenerate (No, not that kind of regeneration). While doing so the three visitors attempt to link (No, not that kind of link) with Seven before Tuvok comes in and phasers them. It turns out that it’s a small universe and they used to be part of the same unimatrix she was. I imagine they found her on Friends Reunited. Years before their Borg sphere crashed on a planet and with no contact to the Borg they became more linked to each other and less to the Borg. These people have now had their link to the Borg severed but are still linked to each other and want to become individuals. Trust me, it’s overrated. The Doctor says that without that they’ll only live for another month or longer in the Borg. Seven decides they should live as individuals and they all go their separate ways.

Quite an ordinary episode considering it was written by TNG and DS9 stalwart Ronald D Moore however I gather his brief time on the Voyager staff wasn’t a happy one.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Episode 121: Equinox Part II

So here we are at the start of season six, only two more to go...

After being attacked by the aliens, the Voyager crew eventually get their shields up again and the Doctor tends to the injured. Back on Equinox, Seven has been taken prisoner along with the Doctor meaning Voyager’s Doctor is secretly the evil Equinox one, well as evil as you can be without your ethical subroutines. Janeway contracts the Star Trek Moby Dick virus and sees Captain Batman as her white whale. Chakotay doesn’t fancy the role of Ishmael as it’s too interesting so disagrees with her. On the Equinox, the machine to convert aliens to fuel has stopped so Captain Batman removes the Doctor’s ethical subroutines so he can get the information to restore it from Seven. Voyager recovers some of the Equinox crew and Janeway is willing to use any means necessary to get Equinox’s location. Chakotay doesn’t see it that way and is relieved of duty. Hurrah! Captain Batman eventually has a change of heart after Voyager finds him and beams his crew over, himself going down with the ship. Finally the few remaining Equinox crew are stripped of rank and kept on board, so Harry can now order them about. How humiliating.

This episode while quite good just didn’t feel as good as the first part. It was let down somewhat with the quick and typical ‘everythings fine again’ ending. Chakotay even ends up back in the uniform without so much of a conversation. Also I would’ve liked something with Seven not really trusting the Doctor so much at first especially after the chilling Clementine scene between them.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Episode 120: Equinox Part I

Another federation starship is lost in the Delta Quadrant and Janeway deduces it’s the USS Equinox after the distress call has just said it was. Really, StarFleet to lose one starship may be regarded as a misfortune, to lose two looks like carelessness. The Equinox is a bit of a rough time of it though and their ship is falling apart thanks to attacks by aliens from another dimension. Pfft amateurs. Voyager extends it’s shields to help though. Captain Ransom, who seems to be doing his best Batman voice impression, and Janeway order repairs on the Equinox to begin. Everything isn’t all rosy with the Equinox crew though and it seems they started killing the dimensional aliens in the first place to make fuel to get them home quicker. Captain Batman orders his crew not to disclose any of this to the Voyager crew. However the Voyager crew discover it eventually and Janeway has the crew thrown in the brig. The Equinox EMH after swapping places with the Voyager one, frees them. Captain Batman and his crew escape to their ship and warp away leaving Voyager a sitting duck to the encroaching aliens....

One of the Equinox crewmembers tell Chakotay about the Ponea who are the “life and party of the Delta Quadrant”. They gave the Equinox crew basically a portable holodeck and saw everything as an excuse to party. “Never heard of them” replied Chakotay. Why doesn’t that surprise me.

Obviously there are a few annoying things with the episode, for example Naomi Wildman showing up randomly to tell an Equinox crewman she’s the Captain’s Assistant, but it is an excellently dark episode and is easily the best episode of season five. Janeway even has great moments standing up to Captain Batman.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Episode 119: Warhead

It’s night shift on Voyager, and Harry’s the captain, what can possibly go wrong?

As if to answer that, a distress call is received. It’s coming from a planet with no life, Harry and the Doctor beam down to find a metallic object that looks like a missile that’s imbedded in rock. The Doctor is able to communicate with it (it’s like a bad Eddie... well an Eddie Murphy movie) and Harry brings it aboard to repair it’s memory. Yes, let’s bring the missile aboard! After attempting to repair it they eventually discover that it’s a bomb. Because that wasn’t shocking, they then have it take over the Doctor. Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb. The BombDoctor takes control of the ship and announces that he will continue on his original mission to destroy Salina Prime. To defeat the warhead they contact a merchant, who is a friend of Neelix, but he just wants the bomb himself and ends up being killed by it. However, once it’s memory has been repaired it seems the war has ended and it destroys itself and the other missiles on route.

This is quite simply one of the worst episodes I have ever seen of Voyager, I even miss the time travel ones. Even the usually great Doctor is annoying in this, especially at the start when he’s all about human rights for weapons of mass destruction. After all warheads have feelings too.

Just to cap the whole thing off, one of the Ensigns on the bridge thanks Harry for saving the ship “on behalf of the junior officers”! What?! He was the one who beamed the bloody thing on the ship in the first place.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Episode 118: Relativity

Okay, let’s just save each other some time and pretend I complained that there’s time travel again here.

Janeway and Admiral Oftheweek are touring Voyager at Utopia Planitia as it’s being made only for shock! Horror! Seven is there and she’s looking for a bomb that affects time. Get it? It’s a time bomb! Oh those writers. She doesn’t find it and dies, guess she wasn’t *takes of sunglasses* in time. Switch to the Voyager of the present and the crew are finding temporal anomalies on the ship. They’re quite blase about it before that is, it affects the ship and it explodes. Seven though it saved by being taken out of time to appear on the 29th century timeship Relativity and it seems not for the first time. This time Captain Braxton sends her to when Voyager was under threat from Kazon. Not the Kazon! She captures the bomber and in a twist finds that it’s Braxton. Well, I think it’s a twist, the way the episodes going it may be a straight. Anyway, it seems Voyager’s travelling in time has driven him insane and I can sympathise. But hey, it’s not over yet. Now Janeway, for some reason, has to go back in time in a pointless 60 second scene to prevent any of this from happening in the first place. Too late, I saw it, it happened.

It seems that the people on the Relativity have a motto that “there’s no time like the past”. Well, I also have a motto, it’s “just shut up”.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Episode 117: 11:59

Okay, so they made the last one like a romantic comedy but obviously thought it was too Star Trek with the characters (who can blame them) and what with the pesky science fiction.

Neelix and Janeway chat, one thing leads to another and we get Tales of Janeway's Ancestor, Shannon O'Donnell. Shannon who after being fired from the space programme finds herself in the Indiana town of Portage Creek in the run up to new years eve 2000. I feel like I'm narrating a trailer for a romantic movie. She finds herself at a bookstore run by Henry Janeway and... oh no, I am narrating that. At least we know where our Captain Janeway gets her voice from. It turns out he’s the only of the stores in the town that has held out against being bought out by a company wanting to build the Millennium Gate (think a shopping mall mixed with the Eiffel Tower) as he doesn’t like the future apparently. Wait until he gets to the Eugenics Wars.... what do you mean they already happened? She eventually convinces him to, they fall in love and live happily ever after. Meanwhen in the, Janeway is disappointed her ancestor didn’t colonise Mars or something.

At the start Neelix has been looking up the Great Wall Of China on Space Wikipedia and tells Janeway the incorrect Neelixfact that it's the only man made object that can be seen from space.

For the most part this isn’t bad, it’s actually the 24th century parts that let it down and occur throughout the story rather than just framing it. I just don’t care that Janeway’s disappointed her ancestor wasn’t a space explorer.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Episode 116: Someone To Watch Over Me

No spatial anomalies, no time travel and no just out of reach wormholes. Are we even sure this is an episode of Voyager?

At the start of the episode Seven is doing a study on mating rituals by following Torres and Paris around. For some reason Torres doesn’t take kindly to this. You’d think she should just be thankful that someone can stand to be in the same room as her. The Doctor after hearing of this thinks that Seven should begin dating and that he should teach her. However before anyone can say My Fair Lady, Paris bets him he won’t succeed. Meanwhile a puritanical Kadi ambassador, Tomin (as played by Kids In The Hall’s Scott Thompson), comes aboard. One of the first things he does is ask for spicy food, kind of like me after a night out. The Doctor starts Seven off with a slideshow presentation and before she can remember how to assimilate people they move to the holodeck. By this point the Doctor realises that he’s fallen in love with her himself (well along with half the Delta Quadrant). Despite this he is able to get her ready for the reception for the ambassador. By this point however Tomin has moved onto hard liquor and makes a fool of himself. Which is a shame as I wanted him to start on meth next. The Doctor at the end decides never to tell Seven of his love as unrequited love is the best for stories.

I actually did find myself smiling and even laughing at the episode and not in a sneering way. I mean yes, it’s a romantic comedy but I guess because it’s the Doctor and Seven at the heart of it that helped. Even the B story with the ambassador was quite amusing.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Episode 115: Juggernaut

The Malon aliens are back. You’ll remember them, they’re the unsubtle allegory for 20th century over pollution. This time it’s different though, they’ve had an environmental accident on their freighter that’ll destroy everything in the surrounding area.... okay, not that different. Torres meanwhile has been having difficulty controlling her anger.... again. Since the pollution is affecting Voyager’s warp engines Torres, Neelix and two surviving Malon go across to the freighter to try and avert disaster. It turns out that they aren’t alone on the freighter. One of the crew thought dead had in fact been saturated with the radiation and was sabotaging the ship because he blamed all Malons. Wait, did he escape from a Batman comic? Torres uses her anger for good and knocks out the Batman villain thus saving the day and wrapping up everything with a neat little bow.

Regarding Torres’ anger, it seems we’re just told about it these days rather than being shown. When the episode starts she supposedly destroyed the Doctor’s camera. Also, how many stories about Torres and her uncontrollable anger are there? I’d have thought by near the end of the fifth season there would have been some character development.

The best part of the episode has to be the very start with Tuvok trying to teach Torres to meditate. Trying to be serious all she can do is laugh, now I liked that.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Episode 114: Think Tank

Voyager are under attack from some Hazari bounty hunters. They know this because Professor Seven Von Borg of course knows the species. Janeway attempts to find out who paid them but they aren’t saying and the bad news is there’s no Sarlaac monsters nearby to threaten them with. The good news for Janeway though is that an alien Jason Alexander turns up with his Team Think Tank of very intelligent alien problem solvers to help her, I guess they’re the A+ Team. They of course have a price, in this case it’s Seven, that’s Seven Of Nine not $7. Seven will go if it will save the ship but it transpires that the Think Tank as part of a convoluted plan paid the bounty hunters so they could get Seven in the first place. Janeway and Seven then trick the Think Tank into revealing themselves and warp away as they’re destroyed by the bounty hunters, which was nice of them.

There were a couple of Janeway lines that were they not written three years before it aired I’d have sworn they were by a someone wanting to do CSI Miami. I mean at the end Janeway says to the Think Tank, "I'm sure you'll find a solution. Just give it some … thought.". She couldn’t find her sunglasses though.

One thing I did like was the design of the aliens in Think Tank. It harkened back to the aliens of season one of TNG when it wasn’t just weird nose/forehead of the week. However then Jason Alexander’s character showed up and had a weird forehead.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Episode 113: The Fight

Ugh. Just ugh.

We start in the sickbay with Chakotay being delusional, which is the most interesting character trait he’s ever displayed, which really isn’t saying much. Then it flashes back to a holodeck program about his days when boxing in StarFleet Academy complete with TNG’s Boothby. The point of Boothby seems to be to say that Chakotay’s not letting the alien hit him enough, so that’ll be the Homer Simpson school of boxing. Voyager is then trapped in what is called Chaotic Space, they know this because the Borg have seen it before. Of course they have. It seems the aliens that live in this space are trying to tell Chakotay how Voyager can escape but the communication is confusing and making him doubt reality. So he has a vision quest to see what his people think! They eventually deciphered the messages and were able to get Voyager clear and Chakotay back to his boring self. At least I think that’s what happened, it really was quite confusing (and awful). Oh and the first thing Chakotay does after they’re back in normal space? Goes boxing.

The writer of this episode obviously would have rather written another Rocky movie since Boothby was just a late Burgess Meredith cipher (there wasn’t time now). I mean, they even had a montage in this, and unlike Team America we didn’t need one.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Episode 112: Course: Oblivion

So here’s one I remember being pretty good when I watched it years ago.

It’s a wedding on Voyager! Complete with comedy wedding ring moment! Paris and Torres are getting hitched and they even prepared their own vows. Oh goody. Before you can say tragic bride she’s struck down by a mysterious illness and dies. So I guess this isn’t the real Voyager crew but a sequel to Demon and the mimetic life form ones. “Harry” says this doesn’t make any sense but when has it? This naturally doesn’t stop him from kissing “Janeway’s” arse(ass) but he does end up as “Captain”. Mainly due to virtually everyone else “dying”. Then the real Voyager arrives but just too late as the faux Voyager (fauxager?) has dissolved into it’s constituent particles.

This wasn’t a bad episode, not as good as I remembered it but I like that the Fauxager had adventures that didn’t involve the real Voyager. Also the ending with the two ships not meeting was the right choice.

What’s the deal with with “Torres” and “Paris” planning a honeymoon on the holodeck for a week? What’s wrong with an actual planet? What would they eat? Where would they go to the toilet? Oh god, you can just imagine the mess on the holodeck floor when they finally say “Computer end program”. Now, that’s Course: Oblivion.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Episode 111: The Disease

We’ve just seen the Borg so I guess it’s time for another Voyager staple. No, not time travel, Harry Kim getting off with an alien. I guess they’d call it Planet Fever.

Voyager is helping repair a Varro ship. Now they didn’t ask to be helped, in fact they had to be harassed into it, but when you’ve got an annoying neighbour like Voyager that’s what’s going to happen. He’s got it bad this time, disobeying a direct order from Janeway to do it. Of course the crew find out because contrary to belief he’s not a criminal mastermind and Janeway’s so angry she puts a formal reprimand on his record, she should’ve demoted him to Ensign.... oh wait. Of course this doesn’t stop him, and Kim and Tal (for tis her name) even pretty much engage in webcam sex. Eventually they have to go their separate ways and he finds out it’s a cruel quadrant. Oh and there’s a subplot involving some of the Varrons wanting to split their ship up so they can go their own way. I’ll bet the Varrons just love Voyager.

Best line in the episode has to be Kim to Tal. “When you see a Class 3 nebula think of me” How romantic. Of course, if she thinks about him when she sees a Class 2 nebula he’ll know she’s a filthy pervert.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Episodes 109 & 110: Dark Frontier

And so we have two episodes as one, kind of like the Spice Girls... or the Borg and hey, look who it is.

Voyager is randomly attacked by a Borg rectangle, I’ll say this for them, they do like their geometry. Inexplicably Voyager wins and in amongst the cuboid’s wreckage they find schematics for Borg ships in the area. I presume Janeway had watched Ocean’s Eleven the night before because now she wants to launch a heist on one of the spheres to get a Transwarp Coil. However the Borg Queen being who she is (who is she?) is aware of this all the time (no really, who is she?). The heist goes to plan apart from Seven being captured by the Borg as they want to use her individuality to assimilate Earth.... ookay. Needless to say she’s rescued again and everyone lives happily ever after, even managing to get closer to Earth in the attempt. So that’s the Borg Queen on 0 for 2 in trying to get people to join the Borg, I mean even Tasha Yar managed to seduce Data.

Also shown in flashback throughout the episodes is Seven when she was... well, seven with her scientist parents chasing after the Borg to examine them. This is about the time that the Enterprise couldn’t defeat them and they’re bringing their child along? Of course now every person and their dog can kill the Borg.

(If I did captions for the photos it’d read “Stop hitting yourself”. If I did.)

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Episode 108: Bliss

Well it is Star Trek so I guess it’s time to make a tortuous reference to Moby Dick and I guess this is it.

Seven and Naomi Wildman return to Voyager after an away mission. Yes, it’s the Seven and Naomi show! No, don’t even bother to think about that one. It seems in their absence another wormhole has been discovered, oh no wait, it’s all an illusion, Michael. The crew don’t take kindly to being told this so Janeway dispatches Chakotay to deal with her. Yes, that’s right against the Borg. So what follows is another against the rest of the crew type episode. Eventually the ship goes into the wormhole which turns out to be a giant space creature which eats ships. Of course it does. So Naomi, Seven, the Doctor and a random alien they find in the creature team up to get out. Which they succeed (after a couple of false starts with seeing more illusions).

I love how they have those computer pads or PADD as I believe they’re called and that they seem to use them one at a time like paper. At one point Janeway had about five or six on her desk. What did she have on them? The complete literature of a different planet on each on?

One of the things I quite liked about the episode was that Naomi and Seven had complete apathy towards going to Earth. I can well imagine.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Episode 107: Gravity

You know you’re in for one of those episodes when the credits roll and they call Lori “I was in Karate Dog” Petty a Special Guest Star.

Tuvok, Paris and the Doctor on a mission on a shuttle crash lands on a desert planet. A woman wearing a head scarf and presumably fed up with telling people this isn’t Ceti Alpha V or VI arrives. After stealing the med kit and the contents of the shuttle she is rescued from aliens by Tuvok who she gradually falls in love with over the next couple of months. This obviously annoys Paris who diverts his anger into trying to get Tuvok to make out with her. Oh god, it’s turned into a seventies sitcom, without the laughs. I guess that’d be a sixties sitcom. The rest of the time on the planet is pretty much “Go on!” “No.” “Oh go on!” “No.”. Meanwhile on Voyager it transpires that only an hour has past because of.... say it with me... spatial anomalies. Oh and there’s aliens trying to close the rift to get to the shuttle crew plus flashbacks to young Tuvok because obviously there’s not enough happening. The line at the end of the episode pretty much summed up my feelings. “I am grateful”.

I just thought I should mention that Paris was annoying in this episode. Just in case this didn’t come across in the summary. At one point when he says to Tuvok “It’s just you, me and the rocks” I was willing Tuvok to beat him with them.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Episode 106: The Bride Of Chaotica

Here we have the Voyager cast’s equivalent of casual Friday.

Voyager runs into an anomaly or ‘subspace sandbank’, as Torres puts it, and can’t move causing problems on the ship. Some photonic aliens break through into Voyager and because they appear in the holodeck and are galactically stupid they think Paris’ Flash Gordon pastiche program is real. This leads them to start attacking the villain Chaotica despite the Tuvok and Paris’ protestations that it’s as real as Chakotay’s spirit animals. Naturally the holodeck can’t be switched off because well, it’s the the holodeck so the crew come up with a convoluted plan to convince the aliens to leave which involves Janeway becoming Queen Arachnia the Spider Queen, getting married to Chaotica and the Doctor being the President of Earth. Which of course succeeds and everyone lives happily ever after. Except the aliens who are mourning fifty of their dead.

When most of the replicators are down Janeway goes to the mess hall and asks Neelix to get her some coffee. This involves him walking to his replicator and asking for it. Get it your damn self, I thought slavery was abolished in the Federation.

I suppose I can’t really complain about this episode, I mean it’s purposely supposed to be camp and stupid and it did so admirably.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Episode 105: Latent Image

This is a strange episode, when it started I felt sure I wouldn’t like it. I mean, surgery done and no memory of it, just had been done often before.

The Doctor is taking pictures of the crew with his holoimager for their annual physicals. Tsk tsk, Doctor McCoy wouldn’t approve. He discovers that Kim was operated on before Seven came aboard and they have no memory of it. Janeway is no help and then Seven about this, she eventually discovers his program has been altered so he has no memory of the problem. Hey, I have this problem and I hope I’m not a hologram. Digging further they find some photos of an Ensign Jetal they again have no memory of and an away mission the Doctor supposedly went on with the Ensign and Harry. It turns out Janeway and the crew have been behind this. The away mission with Jetal turned bad with her and Kim being fatally injured and the Doctor having a heartbreaking decision to make about which Ensign lives ... or dies. Alas there was no talking pie. This eventually drives his program insane, probably the fact he saved Kim and not the other one. Janeway orders his program be altered again but after chatting to Seven decides to keep the Doctor running and have him talk to people about it.

So the episode turned out a lot better than I thought with the Doctor, Janeway and Seven all having to face interesting facts about themselves and the nature of individuality. Janeway and Seven’s scenes together were surprisingly good.

Meanwhile Ensign Paris still seems to be doing exactly the same things as Lieutenant Paris, so he’s obviously been really punished there. But then he’s Harry’s friend so...

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Episode 104: Counterpoint

I actually really liked this one from the start with it’s well directed teaser. But then it’s written by the same guy who wrote DS9’s In The Pale Moonlight so I shouldn’t be surprised.

Voyager is boarded by a Devore inspection team who are looking for telepaths. The leader is Kashyk who despite being too small to be inhabitable to wookies, transports directly into Janeways ready room where they flirt and she tells him Tuvok and Vorik died in a shuttle accident (She’ll admit anything to an interested guy). Eventually the team leave and Tuvok and Vorik, along with telepathic refugees who they’ve been in the transporter buffer with, are beamed into the cargo bay. They resume their course to find a wormhole for the refugees by searching for the scientist who knows the location (Why the Devore didn’t do this is anyones guess). Before they do, Kashyk turns up saying he wants to defect. Unsure if it’s a trap or not, Janeway grants Kashyk limited freedom of the ship and they embark on a cautious romance (A Cautious Romance does sound like a Young Adult novel). Eventually they find the wormhole and Kashyk says “Aha! It’s was a trap all the time” and Janeway says “Aha! Yeagh we knew.” fooling him with barrels of vegetables in the transporter buffer instead.

The scientist they find gives Janeway the location to the last four wormhole appearances and says that if she’s as good a scientist as she says it should be easy to find. I guess not then since we cut to the next scene where Janeway is in front of the computer as it calculates it.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Episode 103: Thirty Days

Thankfully that’s the title of the episode and not the duration.

We start with Paris being reduced in rank to ensign though he shouldn’t be worried Harry seems to have just as much authority on the bridge and he’s an ensign. From Paris in the brig we begin to find out how he got to this point and his daddy issues through a letter to his father. Not sure why he'd tell his father about his Captain Proton holodeck programme in which Kim is always tied up but he does. Eventually Voyager comes across a planet made entirely of water. Paris loves the ocean and always dreamed of being a sailing the seven seas, who says he hasn’t? Suddenly he speaks sailor talk every third word so Janeway sends him on a mission with the planet’s aliens to study the water (probably to get rid of him). It turns out their oxygen reclamation plants are destroying the stability of the planet but the government doesn’t want to do anything about it (ah satire). Janeway won’t force them to but Paris does because of all the years he’s had sea water in his veins, so sets about destroying the plants with one of the aliens. They don’t succeed and Janeway demotes Paris and puts him in the brig for thirty days (probably to get rid of him and his sailor talk again).

Chakotay’s sole contribution to the episode is his proud announcment that the amount of water bigger than the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans put together. Yes that’ll be because it’s a planet. Made of water.

The demoting of Paris was quite interesting, especially since it's not undone by the end of the episode.  It's just a pity it wasn't for something more believable than his sudden interest in being a nautical cove.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Episode 102: Nothing Human

So in this one, Tabor, a Bajoran, who we’ve never seen before does nothing but complain from the start. “Oh I hate Seven because Torres does, oh I hate that guy because he killed my family”. Jeez get over it.

Voyager pick up a distress signal and beams an alien to sickbay to find it’s like nothing they’ve never seen before, mainly because it’s a rubber bug with no forehead makeup. To show it’s gratitude it bites Torres (twice is careless, third time is just stupidity). The Doctor doesn’t know how to help because he doesn’t have all the computer’s medical data at his disposal because that’d make sense. So he makes a hologram of a Cardassian exobiologist. Who of course Torres hates (it’s a bloody hologram) because he’s a Cardassian (making generalisations based on race on Voyager? Well unless the other person is Vulcan). Naturally the Cardassian did experiments on Bajorans (can’t show any sympathetic Cardassians on this show) and there’s an ethical debate (you can tell they love them) whether they should use him to save Torres, who herself says they shouldn’t. Janeway orders they should and Torres is saved but is angry about it. So just the same as normal then.

As for the ethical debate, Seven says something that’s meant to be profound and make us think. “The Borg are accused of assimilating information with no regard for life. This Cardassian did the same and yet, his behavior is tolerated”. First thing, no it wasn’t. Just because you’re overcome by a stronger force doesn’t mean you tolerate something.

I did like the scene towards the end where Janeway explains to Torres that she ordered her life be saved. Basically the last line amounted to “Shut up bitch, I’m the Captain.”

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Episode 101: Infinite Regress

Remember the Seven who had barely concealed contempt for everyone on the ship? Well wave goodbye to her because now she’s playing board games with the child Wildman and now even one of the good games!

Seven wakes from her regeneration cycle and after searching for ages in Neelix’s kitchen eventually finds some meat to ravenously eat, oh she’s a Klingon now. She then bites Torres, wonder if Seven has Pon Farr now. But then her personality changes to others and she becomes a human child followed by a Vulcan and then a Ferengi. It seems the people she previously assimilated are resurfacing now and causing her chaos (how do they even resurface and why are they even in her mind in the first place?). This is due to a virus that an alien race have given to a Borg cube which then destroyed it and is affecting Seven. Hurrah, another species can destroy the Borg! They’re just rubbish these days aren’t they? But it’s okay Janeway “understands” what Seven is going through. How?! Anyway after the aliens fire on Voyager for ruining their plan and Tuvok mind melds with Seven everybody’s fine again. Well except Seven as I mentioned at the top.

Jeri Ryan’s performance was pretty good for the most part, I liked her Ferengi most of all though it did seem to be more via Groucho Marx. Despite that I did find it kind of hard to care about this episode, maybe after 101 episodes malaise is setting in. Hey if Nixon can go to China in Star Trek VI then Carter can go to the Delta Quadrant.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Episode 100: Timeless

It’s the hundredth episode! So what do they do? Time travel of course.  This time no-one actually travels in time, a message does.  Next time it'll be a feeling, if only they could spare one.

The teaser has Harry and Chakoay from the future finding Voyager underneath the ice of a planet. Turns out it’s been there for fifteen years, frozen corpses and all. Thanks to a new slipstream drive they had all hoped to get home but only Harry and Chakotay made it (imagine how disappointed StarFleet were). Now Harry’s trying to correct his mistake from all those years before (just that one?) by sending a message back to Seven’s Borg implant, which the Doctor and his holoemitter gets for him (presumably the holoemitter was pulled out of One’s corpse). They’re now fugitives from StarFleet who send Captain LaForge after them (woo!). Of course they succeed and once again another timeline is change, we’re on timeline 35 by now I’d say.

Before they use the slipstream drive they all celebrate with a party in engineering complete with champagne and drunk Seven. Surely the fact that they’ve had their hopes dashed of going to the Alpha Quadrant seven times before would mean they wouldn’t celebrate until they’re actually there?

I actually might’ve enjoyed this episode more if the main characters weren’t Harry (Seriously, I thought endlessly peppy Harry was annoying) and that other guy, you know second in command guy? Whatever his name is.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Episode 99: Once Upon A Time

There will come a time when I am on my deathbed and my life will flash before my eyes. This episode will consequently come up and dying won’t seem so bad.

So we’re introduced to the new Naomi Wildman in her holodeck programme featuring a water person called Flotter and a tree person called Trevis. Trevis is... oh god, why am I watching this? Seriously Naomi’s next to a pond, where is Frankenstein’s Monster? Right, I suppose I better tell you the story. Naomi’s mother is away on a mission which is put into danger when the Delta Flyer crashes in a planet. Rather than tell Naomi her mother might not come back , her godfather Neelix goes batshit insane and tries to keep her occupied with the holodeck so that she doesn’t suspect anything. This is something to do with his family being dead. In the end everyone confronts their feelings and lives happily ever after. Well everyone in the episode that is.

At one point Naomi finds out Neelix is on the bridge so she just decides to go there. Isn’t there any kind of security around? Oh wait he was in the Delta Flyer too.

Incidentally this episode was originally going to be almost a whole show of Neelix and Naomi in the holodeck programme with Flotter and Trevis but thanks to Rick Berman it was changed. No really, thank you Rick!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Episode 98: In The Flesh

So this story takes place on Earth. The reason I know this is because we’re shown humans at StarFleet Academy with the Golden Gate bridge in the background and an Admiral says “Welcome To Earth”. So obviously there’s no way it’s not.

Chakotay and Tuvok are walking about this Earth but it’s revealed to be set on a space station. Chakotay sets up a date with one of the cadets and before he leaves takes another one of them back to Voyager where it’s revealed that he’s really a member of Species 8472 in disguise. It seems they’re planning an invasion of Earth. Chakotay goes back for his date (while Harry Kim wonders what it’s like to date an alien. Yes, Harry we know, we know). Chakotay says it’s to learn intel but I think he’s just getting a little frisky. This is all very uninteresting so, skip to the end, and Voyager and Species 8472 make friends.

Remember when Species 8472 used to be cool? One of the few aliens to defeat the Borg and now they’re going on dates with Chakotay and saying non-fluidic space has “it’s charms”. Plus they’re inane plan recreated StarFleet Academy which I suppose is fine from a reconnaissance perspective so they can get people into the mindset of being on Earth. Do they really have to include the gardener (Boothby from TNG)?

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Episode 97: Extreme Risk

Today watching Voyager I learned of the word ‘thermalise’ which they thought meant being burned up on reentry but actually is the process in which neutrons lose energy in a moderator and become thermal neutrons. Quite close you’ll agree.

In this exciting installment Voyager’s probe is going to be scavenged by the Malon but it gets stuck in the upper atmosphere of a gas giant (NASA must have made it). Not being able to get it by transporter Voyager decides to build a new shuttle through replication and spare parts (So apparently the energy problem doesn’t matter now). But what’s this the Malon are building their own shuttle? Then I guess the race is on! Ugh. Meanwhile Torres is depressed and trying to harm herself using the holodeck. This is apparently because  all the Maquis are dead which she found out about fourteen episodes ago.  Guess it took time to sink in, but thanks to Chakotay (that scene in which he manipulates her into confessing the truth is one of the few good things that characters ever done) she’s fine at the end of the episode with no psychological hangups and even saves the day!

When Neelix tried to kill himself in Mortal Coil you’d have thought he’d have just gone to the holodeck and turned the safety protocols off. It would have been a much more fun way to die, you could even recreate the Simpsons thing of being force-fed donuts.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Episode 96: Drone

The Doctor’s 29th century holoemitter mixes with Seven’s Borg technology thanks to a... you guessed it, transporter malfunction. Runner up prizes for those of you who guessed time travel.

Thusly the Borgoemitter makes a maturation chamber and takes genetic information from Ensign Mulcahy (who astonishingly doesn’t die). When Seven and Janeway open the chamber they see a futuristic Borg Foetus and... Kill it! Kill it with fire! No? Well I guess they decide to do the compassionate thing then. Eventually the Borg is “born” and this being television ages to an adult Borg with a posh voice in minutes. He names himself One as he was presumably a fan of the Royal Family. So then we have the usual teach the Borg human things with Seven being his mother. I guess, this makes Janeway his Grandmother, though I don’t know if she had wheels. The Borg is alerted to One’s presence and sends a Borg Sphere. Which he promptly destroys and then to save the rest of Voyager let’s himself die so that no more Borg ships will come. Trust me, One, that’s not going to stop that.

Strangely we don’t see Ensign Mulcahy again in the episode. No wonder One was depressed after his father abandoned him at an early age and he was an accident. Of course the fact that his best friend was Neelix probably didn’t help matters either.

Decent enough episode but does feel a lot like a remix of I, Borg and The Offspring from TNG but it was a nice touch of Seven looking at her reflection in the very first and very last shots, smiling in one and not in the other.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Episode 95: Night

Well, this a strange and quite schizophrenic episode.

Voyager’s arrived at a void where there are no planets, stars or even time travel. Janeway copes by shutting herself off from the crew to deal with the guilt of stranding them in the Delta Quadrant in the first place and everyone else is at each others throats. Now this is good! Of course it can’t last so by the middle of the episode aliens fighting each other turn up, one with the location to a spatial vortex. Oh and there’s a musical interlude with Harry playing his saxomophone on a deserted bridge. I’m not even kidding on that last one.

The teaser opens with Paris and Kim playing a black and white 1940s style Holodeck programme. This confirmed two things for me. DS9 did this better with Bashir and O’Brien and also Kim is the damsel in distress. I also liked Chakotay’s response when it looked like the Holodeck may fail. “The last thing we need is a broken holodeck.” Um, no it isn’t.

As I mentioned the start is a cool concept which we’re told will take them two years. So naturally it’s a disappointment when Janeway and the crew’s back to normal by the end of the episode. So back to normal that Janeway uses the line “Time to take out the garbage.”. Welcome to season five everybody!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Episode 94: Hope And Fear

So here we are at another finale and unlike recent ones it’s a standalone episode.

This starts with Janeway and Seven playing a shoot the ball game in the holodeck, the ball resembling a Skittle™. Though Seven argues with Janeway when she doesn’t win, I guess she didn’t taste the rainbow. A random alien, Arturis (Ray Wise) arrives on board and, not suspiciously at all, can decipher a Star Fleet message the crew have been studying for months. It turns out that the Federation have sent a state of the art ship with slipstream drive to them so that it’ll take months to get home. Of course they didn’t, this is the same Federation who were almost defeated by a probe talking to whales. It’s all revealed to be a trick by Arturis (Ray Wise playing a villain? Who’d have thunk it.), angry at Janeway for her part in the Species 8472 debacle. Seven and Janeway then have to cooperate Sesame Street style to defeat him. Ah, closure.

Finally one of Janeway’s decision comes back to bite her on the proverbial arse/ass. Though given the rest of her command and the crew deaths she’s getting off pretty lightly really. So long as she tames Seven then everything will be fine. Won’t it? Never mind that Seven didn’t even want to go to Earth but who can blame her, it seems quite boring in the 24th century, no crime or hunger. What the hell are their television programmes about?

So that’s another season done. About two or three actual good episodes this time, depending if you include the first part of a disappointing two parter. Now, how does that old saying go? Ah yes, “End of season four, brace yourself for more.”

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Episode 93: One

Alas this isn’t a prequel to TNG’s episode 11001001, but more about Seven coping with monophobia. No, not a fear of that Simpsons episode.

Voyager comes across a vast nebula which gives everyone on board extreme headaches (Have these people never had a hangover before?). As it would take them over a year to go around it the crew get put into stasis, all but Seven and the Doctor. Of course, where they found over 100 stasis chambers on board is anyone’s guess. Anyway, Seven having been in the Borg finds it difficult to cope with suddenly being by herself. I’d have thought it’d be welcome relief but far be it from me to argue, and she begins to hallucinate while the ship systems are collapsing around her.

Another Doctor and Seven episode, which is never a bad thing, especially when they move into sitcom territory but this really is The Seven Show. It’s none the worse for it but unfortunately it looks like she’s warming to the crew at the end or maybe she got cabin fever. Which would certainly explain why she’d want to make conversation with these people.

Another crew member dies in this one, so that’s 25 confirmed deaths so far. Good thing they keep adding random people into the crew or by the time they get home there’d only be a handful left. And one of those would be Harry’s holographic girlfriend.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Episode 92: Demon

So this one starts off with Voyager running out of fuel (Deuterium for those who care) and having to go into Gray Mode. This seems to involve turning off lights if you’re not in the room and other things your parents told you when you were a teenager.

Anyway, Janeway orders research into synthesising an alternative fuel. Um, shouldn’t this have been done long ago when you still had fuel? Seven then finds a Demon Class Planet (with Astrometrics which she was ordered to turn off, well done Chakotay!) which has fuel but also is completely inhospitable to humans (kind of like Pizza Hut). When Harry and Paris travel to it and find they can only breathe the noxious fumes of the planet they realise things are a little weird. Unfortunately though they don’t leave them behind.

Obviously this plot wasn’t enough for the Voyager writers so they added a Doctor/Neelix Odd Couple bit where he moves into the sickbay with hilarious results! Did I say hilarious? Sorry, I meant predictable results.

Quite a bit of Harry and Paris chatting in this episode which is good, unfortunately most of it is more Vulcan racism. Remember kids, it’s not big and it’s not logical. Also so much for everyone getting along in the Roddenberry’s utopian future.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Episode 91: Living Witness

Another great episode in the SAME season?! Surely this has to some kind of mistake. Or perhaps it’s even the long sought after proof of chaos theory. And not just a great episode, I think this is probably the best episode of Voyager yet, which you’d expect from an episode that doesn’t actually feature anyone from the Voyager crew except the Doctor (well sort of).

Seven hundred years in the future, a backup of the Doctor’s programme is re-initiated on a Delta Quadrant planet in the Kyrian Museum of Heritage. Here they have the effects of Voyager’s encounter with the Kyrian and Vaskan races (and their continuing struggle with each other) played out on screens. Except this Voyager isn’t quite the one we know, it’s a ship of war filled with Borg assassins, biogenic weapons and briefing room brawls. In short it’s awesome.

Not that I’d want Voyager to be a ship of war or anything (well except when the Kazon were concerned) but it was fun seeing it briefly with the crew and Mulgrew in particular hamming it up as a psychotically evil captain. The best part of the episode though has to be the Doctor’s interaction with museum curator and how history is interrupted rather than being just facts. Robert Picardo’s acting was brilliant too, with him being a man(hologram) out of time, not being able to see his crewmates again as it was centuries ago despite it being days for him.

There is virtually nothing in this episode I didn’t like. I don’t know what to believe anymore.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Episode 90: Unforgettable

Boy goes to Delta Quadrant, boy meets girl, boy forgets girl, boy meets girl, boy forgets girl.  Ah, that old story.

Voyager comes upon two cloaked ships in the midst of a battle (Special Effects took that week off then). One of the ships is damaged and an alien woman specifically contacts Chakotay for help. This is surprising not because she knows his name, but really... him?  The alien woman is played by Virginia Madsen who, presumably being fed up with the Candyman, decides shows up on Voyager (doesn’t she know Tony Todd’s on Star Trek every other week?).  Anyway, turns out she’s from a planet that nobody is allowed to leave and who other species can only remember for a few hours. She’d been on the ship before to seek out an escapee from her planet and fell in love with Chakotay but no-one could remember. This time she’s the escapee. So... she meets Chakotay and he can’t remember her? Shouldn’t that be the other way round?

For some reason Neelix was in this being a zen master to Chakotay and telling him all about the mysteries of love. Should he really be taking advice from someone who’s only girlfriend left him?

At one point in the Astrometrics Lab (where Seven appears to live now), Voyager’s route to the Alpha Quadrant is shown, which has to be made up because it’s in a straight line. Since when do they not take a detour every few days for a distress signal, anomaly, space mall or Harry Kim wants a new species to fall in love with?

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Episode 89: The Omega Directive

Despite the title, this isn’t about a 1980’s hair metal band, although with Voyager it’s only a matter of time.

The Voyager controls lock out and nobody can access anything which I suppose is the yellow light of death for starships. Let’s hope they remembered to make a backup, but before they begin arguing over who’s turn that was, Janeway wanders onto the bridge and fixes everything. Turns out this is all due to the Omega Directive which is actually the most important order from Star Fleet, superceding even the Prime Directive (Not that anyone actually cares about that). Omega’s a incredibly dangerous substance that must be destroyed at all costs. Seven also knows of it from the Borg and thinks of it as perfection. I’ll not insult your intelligence by telling you who wins that argument.

The last time I watched this, lo those many years ago, I just thought the idea of the Omega Directive was kind of silly and not warranting the fanfare it has on the episode, but watching it now I can kind of see it. It’s by no means a great episode but it didn’t bore me like so many others (so many). Besides any episode where Seven calls Harry Kim “Six of Ten” isn’t bad in my book... or blog.

As a friend pointed out to me (go to his website here!), this one wouldn’t be out of place on TOS either, what with orders from Star Fleet and all. So that’s two in all now. I hope that doesn’t mean that Seven is the new Chekov?

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Episode 88: Vis à Vis

Not had a Paris episode in a while? Here, have one now, and one that felt to me that it wouldn't have been out of place in TOS.

Tom Paris is restless and shirking his responsibilities in Sick Bay to “repair” a “car” in the holodeck (guess it’s fixed after the last episode). Yes, it’s just like the previous three years of character development never happened! Anyway, a ship with a new type of warp drive shows up which needs repairs, Tom Paris is only too happy to help out which pleases everyone. Except the owner, Steth, is really an alien which swaps DNA (not like that) and appearances with other lifeforms, and you thought identity theft was a problem.

Dan Butler as Steth, or one of them anyway, was particularly good in this. Especially at being the different characters he has to play. I did notice he was even using Paris’ mannerisms later in the episode. Seven had about... wait for it.... seven lines in this but was still good and it was unintentionally hilarious when Paris/Steth threatened her.

With Roxann Dawson’s pregnancy, I think you can tell how far into the season we are with how far up her body they’re allowed to shoot. With this one, you can only about see her face so we must be towards the end.

Lastly I've just done a quick review of a Voyager comic, Planet Killer, at the Post Atomic Horror website (link also at the top of the page). Visit won't you?  And if you haven't heard their podcast give it a listen.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Episode 87: The Killing Game Part II

If we don’t learn from history we’re doomed to repeat it, apparently. On an unrelated note Star Trek: Enterprise premiered ten years ago today.

Anyway, since the Hirogen have put holo-emitters all throughout Voyager, there are holo-nazis (a word I never thought I’d type) everywhere. Seven and Janeway are the only ones to know who they are...well, I suspect all the others do but they’re pretending not to. Being in France during the second World War has to be preferable to being on Voyager. So to cut a long story short the Hirogen leader wants his people to use holo technology instead of hunting themselves into extinction (though if they’re hunting themselves they surely should win the Darwin award). Eventually the Voyager crew defeat them and the Hirogen leave. The end.

Oh before the Hirogen leave Janeway gives them holodeck technology. What’s with suddenly being fine to give other races Federation technology, like the isolinear chips in Retrospect? It’s funny how a few years in far off space and these “Federation values” go out the airlock faster than Paris when he achieved Warp 10. Fortunately these didn’t turn into lizards and try to copulate with Janeway. Small mercies and all that.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Episode 86: The Killing Game Part I

And the Hirogen are back after an episode off, just to fill the Seven/Hirogen rule I made up last time. This race who have been hunters and killers for thousands of years have decided to seemingly settle down and play on the holodecks because they’re always good episodes.

Voyager’s been taken over by the Hirogen and as I said they’re using the Holodecks to recreate battles from the past to hunt and kill the crew. Well, I say “kill” they just have the Doctor patch them up so they can do the same. All the crew think they’re the characters in the holodecks thanks to Technobabble Of The Week. For instance, Janeway’s a Paris cafe owner with a penchant for white tuxedos (if you know what I mean) and Seven is her singer while in their spare time they like knitting and resistance fighting. Well all except for Harry who is the only one to remain outside and fix everything. Take that Harry.

If all that sounds incredibly stupid, well it is. If I wanted to watch a World War II drama, I’d watch Colditz. I will give them points though for making Chakotay even more boring in his role as an Allied Forces Captain.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Episode 85: Retrospect

Shockingly the Hirogen aren’t in this one. But don’t worry Seven is. It’s gonna be either one or the other.

After Janeway barters some Federation isolinear chips, Seven has to cooperate with a Delta Quadrant Creepster to install more weapons for Voyager. So much for peace and exploration then. Seven is creeped out needless to say and punches him. With the help of the Doctor she remembers being held down and having her nanoprobes stolen. Yeah, I’m afraid there’s no way to say that without it sounding like a euphemism. Voyager initiates their usual investigation and lo and behold he’s innocent! Oh, he’s already killed himself.

The Doctor was probably about the best thing in this with his realisation that he was indirectly to do with a man’s death and his reaction. Even Seven didn’t have much to do considering she was the main character. She just acts angry, by which I mean she says “I am angry”, just to make sure there’s no ambiguity.

Incidentally the writers who came up with the initial idea for this episode also wrote for the game show Jeopardy! Which says a lot really. “What is the worst 24th century Star Trek series?” would be the answer I think.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Episode 84: Prey

So this is the third episode in a row with the Hirogen, I wonder if they’ll actually do anything in this one. Oh, Star Trek’s Tony Todd™ is playing one of them so I guess they must.

Voyager happens upon an injured Hirogen who’s been out hunting a Species 8472 (remember them? He did apparently.). So naturally Captain Compassion decides to treat him. The Species 8472 gets aboard and the hilarity starts. Janeway wants to send it back to it’s dimension but can’t without Seven who’s decided that’s a stupidest idea since... well, since Voyager, what with the approaching Hirogen ships and all.

Whoever decided to put the Doctor and Seven together as a double earned their money that day. I actually look forward to seeing their humourous scenes together. I’m still not convinced about the Hirogen though, since they’re just the standard Star Trek hunters which have been seen in any number of episodes (when there’s not time travel of course) but I guess they’ve only been in the three episodes!

Lastly, Seven disagreeing with and then disobeying the Captain is everthing that the Maquis should’ve been instead of Chakotay and crew just accepting everything after an episode or two. Seven’s parting lines to Janeway in the episode about individuality being quite apt with Janeway having nothing to respond with.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Episode 83: Hunters

So despite being told off by some giant threatening aliens the Voyager crew go ahead with using the array (which looked oddly like every other array we’ve ever seen on the show) to receive their letters from home. Which obviously pleases the giant aliens who run the array. But hey, that’s not going to turn into a problem is it?

Well who can blame them for wanting all that bad news? Janeways dumped by email, Chakotay and Torres find out all their friends are dead and Kim is still waiting for that activation email from that NotHuman porn site he joined. Happy times all round! Only Paris has any sense to not actually want one.

Also instead of sending these very personal letters to each crewmember individually they get Neelix to deliver them on pads as it he’s giving out Valentine cards. Probably just so he can read them as he goes, I’m sure there’ll be no problem with that. Apparently the Federation did away with Data Protection or it’s one of the Secondary Directives no-one bothers with.

This episode was a strange one. It was as if they didn’t have the confidence to do an entire episode just with the crew getting letters from home and it’s ramifications so they stuck some nasty aliens in as an afterthought, which it really didn’t need. Perhaps the aliens could have received some letters too?

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Episode 82: Message In A Bottle

Hooray! A good episode at last and wouldn’t you just know it features the Doctor? Oh and some comedian guy called Andy Dick.

Seven discovers a communications array which she uses to boost sensors and see just into the Alpha Quadrant. Well, it’s either that or chat to the crew. They send the Doctor through to the USS Prometheus which as luck would have it, has been taken over by Romulans. So the Doctor and the Prometheus’ EMH have to fight back against them. The Prometheus seems to have a top secret “multi vector assault mode”, in that it seperates and attacks things. The Enterprise D was doing that years before, so it’s hardly a secret.

Meanwhile back on Voyager, Torres and Seven can’t seem to get along. Well Torres can’t more specifically. Though that might be something to do with the large coat the actress has to wear to try and hide her pregnancy. So to recap, Torres is irritable. Are we sure she hasn’t been pregnant for four years?

The two EMH’s are actually excellent together, especially when they bicker of course. Their fast paced conversations and attempts to fly the ship are the episode highlights. Even the touching ending where the Doctor reveals that Star Fleet knows that they’re still out there. Well that’s that episode done, I’m sure the next one will be back to the usual dross.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Episode 81: Waking Moments

Today’s episode features a lot of sleeping. Now I could go for the easy joke and say I fell asleep watching, and I will. If they’re going for the easy show then I’m going for the easy joke.

Anyway, in this “exciting” installment the crew of Voyager all have nightmares, for example Janeway dreams of Neelix, oh and some dead bodies. In all their dreams there’s the same alien and because Harry Kim’s in a coma (he dreamt of Seven... yeah, dream on) they should probably do something about it. Captain Spirituality himself, Chakotay, decides to lucid dream but the alien tricks him and tries to take over the ship. Then there’s the usual are they dreaming or not. Of course they are, that’s ALWAYS the twist.

Oh and when the twist comes it takes the Voyager crew about five or ten minutes to actually get their heads around it. It’s not complicated! They’re travelling in time every other week, and dreaming is what confuses them?! *ahem*

Like a lot of episodes in this season I can’t help feel I’ve seen this before whether its from different parts of other Star Trek episodes or just the same one. I’m actually waiting for them to do something interesting, something that warrants the ship being across the galaxy and not just in the next solar system across.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Episode 80: Mortal Coil

When the very first two people to talk to each other in an episode are Neelix and Harry Kim it doesn’t bode well at all.

Neelix is killed (don’t get excited yet) when he tries to collect protomatter from a nebula. Didn’t he learn anything from Star Trek III? Luckily Seven (no pun intended) knows how to bring him back to life with nanoprobes. Unfortunately he didn’t see his afterlife and so comes to apparently question his entire faith and life. Though if he hasn’t questioned that after four years on Voyager something’s wrong.

This episode is almost good. I think when Neelix isn’t being an idiot and is played seriously he can actually turn out pretty well eg. Season 1’s Jetrel. However it’s a bit vague on it all. Plus it also gets minus points for being the episode that introduces Naomi Wildman. Just what Voyager needs a child. Although a high point has to be Seven trying to engage in party smalltalk with the Doctor and the child’s mother.

Lastly this might be the only time I’ve seen of the many times that the bridge finds out about a transport in progress that they’ve actually been able to stop it. Those aren’t good odds. So much for security.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Episode 79: Concerning Flight

So I’m looking down the list of names of the rest of Season Four desperately hoping there’s a good one there because the last few haven’t even been okay.

This episode, alien pirates steal Voyager’s Leonardo da Vinci holodeck programme (along with other equipment) and use him to come up with ideas that they can make and sell on. Then Janeway and Da Vinci team up to find the rest of the technology that was stolen. You know, when I’ve written down like that it sounds even stupider than when I watched the thing. I didn’t even think that was actually possible. John Rhys Davies is back as Leonardo da Vinci in this but don’t worry he was in movies again shortly afterwards, in case you’re thinking this killed the career of the Indiana Jones star.

Remember when Data was the only artificial lifeform that had been made and Star Fleet wanted to find out how he was put together so they could make more? I don’t know why they worried, a few years later and they seem to have the knack of doing it. First the Doctor and now Leonardo da Vinci. It seems if you just make a holographic character it’s like creating life. Isn’t it breaking some kind of Federation law every time you turn them off or erase them?

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Episode 78: Random Thoughts

And here we are once again, a good idea is ruined by a predictable pedestrian episode.

Torres and Janeway are visiting a planet so naturally go to the smallest marketplace they can find and put simply Torres has an angry thought which makes some of the inhabitants want to kill. I don’t know about you, but if the Voyager crew landed on my planet I’d feel about the same. Torres is arrested for her violent thought and is about to have a lobotomy when it’s discovered there’s an underground market for violent thoughts and they wanted to get Torres. Because ladies and gentlemen, they’re trying to tell you that censorship is wrong with this one and so it is. This episode shouldn’t be censored, they should have just made it better.

Of course while all this is going on Paris gets annoyed that we don’t just nuke the planet from orbit but Chakotay isn’t so sure. Neelix who obviously wants to get in on the machismo, befriends a girl for five seconds and goes off on an angry rant whenever she’s killed.

For this episode too, Tuvok cooperates with the local police detective, Nimira who’s better known as B’Etor in TNG et al. Yes, this one is so boring, I’m telling you who’s in it now.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Episode 77: Year Of Hell Part II

Once again after a good first part comes the disappointing second. I can’t think of a conclusion yet in Voyager which has lived up to the even low expectations some of them had.

After Janeway had given the order to abandon ship, seven of them remain and try to keep the increasingly embattled Voyager together. Get me 14ccs Duct Tape stat! Meanwhile Chakotay and Paris were captured by Annorax. Chakotay tries to appeal to his humanity as the only reason he’s wiping out civilisations is to bring back his beloved wife (I think she was buried on Ceti Alpha V or something).

So to the ending and the whole reset thing. I would’ve possibly gotten the whole reset thing if Annorax had been erased from time and the Voyager crew still remembered the events, maybe. That after all would’ve given it some irony but to have everything fine again and characters not to have lived through it seemed a tad pointless (Ensign Tad Pointless, who of course gave his life for the reset). A surprising thing I learned though was Brannon Braga actually wanted the ship to be wrecked for the whole season but the studio were against that. I would’ve definitely gone for it.

It is interesting though that Janeway’s attitude to first meeting the Krenim both before and after the reset are different. She’s perhaps nicer to them in the second.