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During the episode the Vaadwaur and Janeway keep saying they are 900 years out of date with technology.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.