Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Episode 37: Deadlock

So Voyager ends up getting duplicated due to [INSERT TECHNOBABBLE HERE], can you guess who wrote this one?  Come on, sounds like Tannon Traga?  No?
Ah never mind.  So anyway, the two ships are both joined by the anti matter engines and one ends up more destroyed than the other.  Indeed Ensign Wildman gives birth to her baby which promptly dies, thus giving a massive clue to anyone watching that something’s going on since babies don’t just die on Star Trek.
Due to the two ships we’re treated to scenes of two Kes’ and two Janeways acting opposite each other.  I mean, who do they think they are?  Kirk?
After the episode with the Doctor’s love interest showing how not all Vidiians are faceless monsters (literally) here they are back to being rent a villain which could’ve been any alien race.  Mercifully we were spared the Kazon in this one.
I did like the twist that it wasn’t the beaten up ship that wouldn’t survive the episode but the pristine one.  Another interesting thing was that Kim and Ensign Wildman’s baby are now actually not from this universe but then they did that first on Deep Space Nine.  Though it does raise the question if you’d gotten rid of Kim why take on another one?!

Monday, 30 May 2011

Episode 36: Investigations

It’s a Neelix episode!  He starts his own TV show on Voyager, as if they haven’t suffered enough over the last two years and the crew can’t change the channel since there’s only him.  Suddenly those episodes of Two And A Half Men don’t seem so bad.
But his TV show isn’t all cooking and chat.  No, he decides to go into journalism after Kim tells him of his hard-hitting investigations when he on the Academy newspaper when he was younger.  I had to read that sentence a few times after writing it but yes that did happen apparently.  Strangely Kim and Neelix don’t remind me of Woodward and Bernstein but there you go.
Anyway, one of the things Neelix uncovers (well, stumbles upon) is that Paris is leaving the ship after his acting out behaviour (overacting behaviour?).  So it starts from there to a conspiracy to find a traitor.  Best part was Chakotay was kept in the dark over this and really didn’t seem to care.  Maybe he’s just given up now and only cares 9 to 5, you know, like the rest of us.
Pretty average episode all in all, would have been better I think if though the whole thing was done in the style of a news programme but then that would mean Neelix for the entire episode so maybe not.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Episode 35: Lifesigns

It’s a Doctor episode!  And it’s... not bad.  The Doctor falls in love, it has some good parts to it, but what can I say, maybe I’m not a romantic?
It was quite amusing watching the professional Doctor become like a teenager though when he fell in love with a Vidiian who was a hologram (don’t ask).  It did result in some nice scenes, like him asking her quite matter of factly if she was in love with him too and the Doctor checking his programming as he didn’t think he was functioning properly.  It did result in a good ending though which provided some symmetry to the rest of the episode which I always like but most of the story felt like stuff I’d already seen before, and sometimes on Star Trek.
This episode’s slightly out of place B story was Lt. Paris and his continuing delinquency.  This has actually been running for a few episodes now and still feels out of nowhere, especially when he pushes over Chakotay and ends up in the brig, that place is going to be more packed than Arkham Asylum really soon.  This whole storyline started around the same time as a traitor was detected on Voyager talking to the Kazon but there can’t POSSIBLY be a connection can there?!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Episode 34: Death Wish

No, the title of this episode doesn’t refer to the act of watching Voyager, in fact it couldn’t be further from it for this one.  For you see it stars The Next Generation’s favourite antagonist Q!  And it’s actually a very good story!  I guess that’s why I’m using all these exclamations!

Basically it involves a Q who wants to die, thus bringing the familiar Q to Voyager for a courtroom battle to decide on if he gets to live... or die.  No talking pies were involved unfortunately.  It was nice of the Q Continuum to agree to this but then there wouldn’t be a story otherwise.
Aside from Janeway and Tuvok there was very minimal involvement from the rest of the regular Q... sorry, crew in this as it really was driven by the necessity of the story.  The two of them plus the two Q’s had a good rapport and Janeway and Q’s relationship was sufficiently different from that of his and Picard’s, not so much though it didn’t come off like in Deep Space Nine.  I did feel though, the scene where Q brings people who’s lives were affected by the other Q (including TNG’s Commander Riker) wasn’t really needed.
Now to the fact that Q can send Voyager home, it was handled fine here but how often can they bring the character back without it being implausible?  Though again Janeway puts her conscious first and condemns her crew to life in the Delta Quadrant.  What is it with this crew and doing the right thing anyway?

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Episode 33: Dreadnought

Watching this episode I did wonder if there's an equivalent  Starship in the Alpha Quadrant that keeps running into flotsam and  jetsam from the Delta Quadrant.  Next episode I'd like Voyager to  run into a crumpled up piece of paper with the words "Quit  throwing garbeege into our Quadrant" on it.

Yes, it's another of the Alpha Quadrant episodes, this time the  crew encounter a Cardassian missile that was reprogrammed by  Torres back when she was in the Maquis.  The odds are 3,456,338 to  1 since you were wondering.  Not only that but the missile's gone  mad, just like the robots she found. 
Torres really has so much  luck with technology, good things she's not Chief Engi... oh.

The missile is voiced by Roxann Dawson and bizarrely the parts with her acting against herself aren't deathly dull.  They feel very Star Trekey with human versus computer, Kirk would be so proud.  In fact they're probably the best scenes in the episode.  But then the other scenes involve Janeway taking most of the episode to realise that approximately 160 people on Voyager is less than the two million on the planet the missile is headed for.

And what's with Janeway having sole command over the Self Destruct  Mechanism?  I'm not sure I'd be happy with that, before you know  it she'd be demanding worship and sacrifices... no?  Just me then?

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Episode 32: Meld

I seem to be liking far more episodes than I thought so far, we're still talking maybe two or three but even so.  Maybe it's the Star Trek equivalent of Stockholm syndrome?

In any case this is a pretty good episode, let down a touch by it's B Plot.  Why couldn't it just have had a main plot and that was it?  No bloody A, no bloody B.

So the main story basically concerns how a killer with no motive ends up nearly unravelling Tuvok's Vulcan disciplines after a mind meld goes wrong.  At the start of Trek whenever the meld was first introduced it was meant to be a rare, dangerous thing until they ended up doing it every other week.
Tim Russ is excellent in this and plays off Brad Dourif really well, especially in their latter scenes.  I'm also glad there was no "quick fix" to the character of Suder ensuring that he'll be dealt with in the future.

Oh and Tuvok kills Neelix!  Okay, it's just a holodeck programme but still, it was fun while it lasted.
In case you were wondering the B plot involved Paris running a gambling operation.  Yeagh, that’s as exciting as it got, I mean who cares?  I mean it’s not as if he was, oh I dunno, killing people.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Episode 31: Threshold

Have you ever wondered what an episode would be like if Tom Paris travelled faster than anyone had ever gone before, mutated into a new reptile and had lizard babies with Janeway?  You have?  Then it’s a pity Voyager’s been over now for ten years because you could’ve made a bloody fortune on the writing staff.  You might be lucky and they could have a spin off with their offspring, Star Trek: Lizard Babies.  If it could have Neelix shouting “Neelix go bye-bye!” then it might be worth it.

Speaking of Neelix, we have him giving advice on how to break the warp 10 barrier with transwarp travel with his glib analogies, inadvertently I’ll grant you, but does he have to be an expert in everything?

Also of all the people on the ship, Lizard Paris has to kidnap to have reptile children with, he chooses Janeway?  To paraphrase Blackadder if she was the only woman in the Delta Quadrant I’d be trying to have babies with Neelix.

All in all it’s a good thing the Doctor exists on this show because without his character there would literally be nothing in this entire episode to praise.  As it is, his response to Janeway’s request to wake up Paris while he’s in sickbay with “WAKE UP!” and not the usual hypospray was the only highlight.

Now let us never speak of this episode again.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Episode 30: Alliances

In this episode of Star Trek: Prime Directive, Captain Buzzkill finds herself forced to go into an alliance against her will.  You see the Federation isn't a series of alliances at all, what was I thinking.

Still it gives us a chance to see Cullah and Seska again and see what the Delta Quadrants Lucy and Ricky are up to today.  More scheming it seems.

The story started off well, straight into the action as Voyager us getting pounded by Kazon ships, again and again. It seems to be the equivalent of getting punched by a group of bullies and pretending they're not there.  Unsurprisingly this strategy doesn't come off and results in a crew members death which kicks everything off.

Voyager almost forms an alliance with the I Love Seska show but Ricky ruins that so naturally the Kazon's enemy the Trabe are the next best choice.  Aren't there more people in this Quadrant that just the Kazon and their enemies they could ally themselves with?  No?  No?

What wasn’t necessarily a bad episode was let down enormously at the end by Buzzkill’s “Ha, I told you so” speech to her senior staff.  I’m surprised Chakotay didn’t just get up and land a punch on her; mind you it would’ve probably reduced im to tears as he doesn’t like it when Mummy and Daddy fight.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Episode 29: Prototype

So Torres finds a robot in space and wants to help him reproduce, what could go wrong with that?  Well everything according to Captain “Buzzkill” Janeway and makes the series 837th mention of the Prime Directive.  It’s hard to believe other Star Trek series went whole episodes without talking about it.  Sometimes it’s almost as if she’s using it as an excuse when she doesn’t want to do something but... nah, that can’t be it.
Needless to say Torres has to form some kind of friendship with this unfeeling homicidal automaton, hey she did the same with Tuvok in the last episode why not here?  Of course this leads to more unsubtly from Voyager in the form of a metaphor for being a mother to this new prototype she’s forced to build.  Janeway doesn’t help mind you when she has her patented pep talk with Torres at the end of the episode.  It’s not killing your child, it’s destroying an insane robot!  Thankfully she didn’t order her to make any paintings or poems this time.
Unlike everyone else ever, including the people who made this episode, I quite liked this one.  True the robots were just people in suits but then I liked that, plus I like Doctor Who so that’s maybe where I get that from.  Plus you just can’t go wrong with crazy robots fighting a war long after their makers have died, by their hand.  Especially when the robots have a ship that has far more firepower than anything Voyager can withstand.  It’s about time, I was beginning to think everyone in the Delta Quadrant has only just progressed passed slings and arrows.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Episode 28: Resistance

Welcome to the Mokra homeworld where Joel Grey confuses Janeway with his daughter and she confuses herself with a prostitute.  For some reason though, the prison guard she’s trying to distract falls for it.  It must get very lonely in that prison, not too much soap on Mokra I’m guessing.

The episode started off well with the away team already in the middle of a tense mission.  Quite why there were four of them on a mission that could compromise security and the Prime Directive is anyone's guess.  Of course, it all goes wrong and Neelix, the only one who actually needs to be there, escapes.

So Tuvok and Torres are taken to the aforementioned prison and had some good scenes together but I seem to be saying that about Tuvok and most people.  

The scenes with Grey and Mulgrew were mostly played right even if they were heavy handed when it came to the sentimentality.  The scene with the melon hat (don't ask) comes to mind though as one where sublty went out the window, flew into space and travelled thousands of light years to a new quadrant. 

For some reason Kim seemed a lot more serious in this episode and as a result wasn’t as annoying. Maybe he got out of bed the wrong side or he’s sulking about not staying in the alternate universe.

It was also nice to see another reference to people in the Delta Quadrant being suspicious of Voyager and it’s crew before they’ve even seen the ship.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Episode 27: Maneuvers

It's the return of Seska and the Kazon.  Well one out of two isn't bad I suppose.  Seska is of course the ex-Voyager crew member who disappeared with the Kazon.  So why then are the crew completely surprised when she's the one behind the Federation beacon trap?

Next the Voyager crew has their nacelles completely handed to them and the Kazon steal transporter equipment, so Chakotay goes all Timothy Dalton to get back and not risk violating the Prime Directive.  I’d say the fact that there’s even a StarFleet ship called Voyager that’s currently crawling across the Delta Quadrant is violating it enough as it is, they are a Ship Of Death after all.  Anyway, this results in some interesting scenes between Seska and him (Chakotay not Dalton unfortunately).

I like Seska as a recurring villain in this series; she brings something to the Kazon.  Thinking about it, she’s probably bringing an extra dimension, at least now Maje Culluh seems almost like a real alien and not a 1950s comic book villain like the rest of the Kazon.

All in all, a quite good episode let down enormously though by the fact Janeway doesn’t discipline anyone, Chakotay gets away with it.  No wait, he’s put “on report”.  I’ll bet he’s scared stiff whenever StarFleet catches up with them.  While we’re at it is there any member of the Voyager crew who hasn’t mutinied against her so far.  Actually, Janeway’s probably disobeyed her own orders at some point, but who can blame her?

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Episode 26: Cold Fire

We’re not even into the middle of the second season yet and already in this episode Voyager meets up with the Caretaker’s mate again.  That’s after a ‘Previously on’ explaining what happened in the pilot ten months ago, which they mention was ten months ago.  Did I say it was ten months ago, I think they mentioned it.  Funny it seemed longer, so much longer.

Kes and Tuvok were pretty much the best things about this episode and I like Tuvok teaching her burgeoning psychic abilities.  Scene where Kes almost fries Tuvok alive was especially good between them except it was resolved far too quickly, in fact in the shot he was pretty much fine again.  I did think they should have spent more time on it, even an episode dealing with the characters afterwards.
Wish they hadn’t named the Caretaker’s mate Suspiria and have people say it so often.  I keep getting worried that the crew are going to break into Phil Collins’ Sussudio at any moment.  It’s Voyager, it could happen!

The Ocampan Tanis was played by Gary Graham who went onto play a Vulcan in Enterprise, and from this episode I can see why.  While his performance wasn’t bad there didn’t seem to any feeling behind it which would’ve helped me feel anything for him whenever he didn’t succeed.

Lastly I loved that the Ocampans called Voyager the “ship of death”.  Don’t they just know it.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Episode 25: Tattoo

This episode isn’t too bad, which surprised me, but then it’s helped by a Doctor ‘B story’.  In fact the part of the story that I was most disappointed was the crew back on the ship.

The main story deals with Chakotay, both the present 42 year old and flashbacks to his 15 year old self.  These deal with his and indeed all Indian heritages with the finding of the Sky Spirts, which they worshipped, in the Delta Quadrant (Is there any part of the Alpha Quadrant that isn’t 70,000 light years away?).  It was interesting though to get part of Chakotay’s back story and wasn’t as boring as I assumed it would be.

In the amusing co-main story of the evening the Doctor “infects” himself with the flu to show the humanoids how to cope.  I like the team of Kes and the Doctor and it’s a pity I haven’t seen them as much as I’d like so far.  Kes is far better with the Doctor than she is with Neelix and to be fair the opposite is true of Neelix.

At one point Chakotay becomes left behind on the planet as Tuvok and Torres escape and despite that fact storms seem to appear in response to their presence Janeway decides to rescue him, by landing the entire ship.  If there’s one thing that one man’s life is worth it’s approximately 160 other people.