Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Episode 141: Live Fast And Prosper

Alas no this isn’t part of the Fast And The Furious franchise and that’s the only time I’ll say “alas” at the start of that sentence.

On a mining planet, miners, funnily enough, meet with two people who have just beamed down, one of which has introduced themselves as Captain Janeway. It’s not her and unfortunately they haven’t recast Mulgrew, it’s people pretending to be from Voyager. I know! Why, right? The pretenders agree to a trade, only Fauxager takes the bolomite and warps away before they can give them the dilithium. On the real Voyager systems are going wrong and it leads back to a part that Neelix acquired from some monks. That they give Neelix anything to do still surprises me. It seems the monks and the Fauxager are connected whenever the miners get in touch with real Voyager. Despite looking nothing like each other they’re initially convinced Janeway did this, but then they did fall for the scam in the first place, so brightest pennies they are not. Not knowing when to quit, we find Fauxager, selling their Delta Flyer (Delta Fauxer? This is getting complicated) to an unsuspecting party who on finding out he’s been had is determined to kill them. I’m getting the impression the Delta Quadrant is full of idiots. Voyager arrives just in time to save them but despite Tuvok’s lies about the punishment fake Janeway or Dala faces she doesn’t give in. On meeting Janeway, Dala probably though “I should’ve used a deeper voice” though. She then manages to escape but this is all part of Janeway’s plan which leads them to the rest of the con artists. With the Doctor pretending to be Dala for the final part of the plan they’re all captured.

An actual okay episode in season six! I mean it wasn’t great but I’ll take whatever I can get right now.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Episode 140: The Good Shepherd

Yes, it’s Lower Deck’s Voyager style but it’s not the worst episode in the world. That was last week.

It’s the 24th century so of course at the start of the episode we have people walking from deck to deck to deliver electronic messages to one another. Seven has unsurprisingly decided that the ship isn’t efficient enough but instead of closing the holodeck she’s more concerned with the crew. There are three people who’s talents are being wasted. These are Harren, an irritating genius who is assigned a routine task to keep him out of the way, Telfer a hypochondriac, and Celes who is always making errors. Okay, what’s Celes “talent” precisely? Janeway is annoyed that three of her crew have “slipped through the cracks”. Only three? The serial killer was fine was he? She decides to take them all on an away mission on the Delta Flyer to examine a class-T cluster (spatial anomalies to you and me). Out in the cluster the three crew and Janeway find evidence of dark matter lifeforms, 400 years in the future you’d think they’d have found out what dark matter is but then they’ve forgotten emails so who knows. The lifeforms transport Telfer away before returning him without his hypochondria. Then after Harren kills one of them in defence, the creatures all advance on the Flyer and Janeway orders the rest to the escape pods. They disobey and stay with her apart from Harren, who uses the escape pod as a distraction so the Flyer can escape. He’s then beamed aboard and they all make it back to Voyager having learned a lesson and felt better about themselves. Apparently.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Episode 139: Child’s Play

It’s the ex-Borg children again!

Seven is chaperoning them at a science fair with Janeway being impressed with them. Well, when you captain Voyager, that’s not too hard. Seven is disappointed though to learn that Icheb’s parents have been found. Yay we’re getting rid of one. Icheb himself is not keen especially when he finds out the Brunali are farmers and is unable to continue his science studies. Icheb’s home is the Brunali homeworld which incidentally is next to a Borg conduit so it’s got that going for it. On the homeworld itself, I’m sure I saw a McDonalds. I’m sure the Borg are always assimilating burgers. Icheb meets his parents but still doesn’t want to go.

Mark W Shepherd’s your father and you still want to return to Voyager?! Seven and Janeway meet with the parents to see what they can do. Leave Icheb behind and warp away would be my suggestion but nobody brings it up. With Seven’s usual tact she manages to insult them by insinuating Icheb will be captured by Borg again. Eventually Icheb finds himself being won over and decides to stay much to Seven’s chagrin but she tries to hide it. One of the other children has difficulty regenerating in her alcove because she misses him and Seven said she does too. This would’ve been a good end but of course there’s more. It turns out the parents were less than honest and Icheb was genetically engineered with a pathogen to kill the Borg which is why the first cube that he was on was destroyed. So the parents had sent him into space again to get another one, pretty slow way to destroy the Borg but there you go. So needless to say Icheb comes back. Damnit, I feel like Cliff Huxtable when he would almost get rid of one of his children.

As an aside, if the Ready Room is being renovated is it still the Ready Room? That may be a tongue twister actually.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Episode 138: Ashes To Ashes

A shuttle is being chased by a larger ship until the alien woman inside disables it and hails Voyager. One of the ex-Borg children answers the hail because apparently no-one on the bridge can. Eventually the alien woman reveals herself to be Ensign Ballard who died three years earlier. She escaped and came back to Voyager?! She was reanimated by the Kobali as they salvage dead bodies to bring life, that’s taking recycling slightly too far isn’t it? Harry who was very close to her (nudge nudge wink wink) is emotional at her return and because she wasn’t at her funeral Harry bores her with his speech. She is made to look human by the Doctor complete with wig. In engineering she inexplicably speaks Kobari and at dinner with Janeway she talks to the captain about ordering her to her death before abruptly leaving. Though that may be to do with the jello sandwiches. Ballard dreams of her funeral and goes to Harry to tell of her bad day before they kiss. I like to think Harry’s slightly disappointed she didn’t turn into a cow. Then, a Kobali ship arrives wanting Ballard back with a man claiming to be her father. She doesn’t want to go, though after her face returns to Kobalin and she shouts at the Doctor in that language, she decides that she should leave Voyager as she’s more a Kobali now. Throughout the episode one of the ex-Borg children has been rebelling against Seven before they find common ground. She finds herself in the mess hall and because his girlfriend left, Harry goes with her to the holodeck. Yeah, that’s not creepy at all.

So in conclusion ashes to ashes, funk to funky, we all know Harry Kim’s a flunky, as David Bowie might’ve said.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Episode 137: Spirit Folk

There are a very few Voyager stories that could’ve done with a sequel. Fair Haven isn’t one of them. Indeed this a very probably the worst Voyager... the worst Star Trek episode I’ve ever seen.

Tom Paris is in the Irish village program on the holodeck and crashes his car. He gets the computer to repair the wheel and one of the villagers sees him. Of course it’s the obligatory drunk Irish man who believes Paris is a demon because... well, I don’t know. Janeway is doing more flirting with her fancy man in the village and Harry goes on a date with one of the girls in it. A date?! Just program the fucking holodeck for sex and be done with it. Tom makes the girl turn into a cow just as Harry’s kissing her because he’s a laugh riot apparently. I don’t think Harry would be fussed to be honest. Of course, Paris is seen, that together with the Doctor who is masquerading as the priest disappearing makes more people suspicious. Janeway’s fancy man confronts her about it all so she goes to Paris and Kim who bring Janeway’s fancyman up on an empty holodeck to fix him but it turns out he’s just pretending to be fixed. Um... Anyway, he tells all the other characters he was taken to another world. Paris and Kim sneak into the program to change things but are then captured and the characters shoot the control panel. I don’t want to even go into why that doesn’t make sense. The Doctor is captured too and Janeway’s fancy man takes his holoemitter. He’s beamed to the bridge as they think it’s the Doctor. God this has to be the end now. Another 7 minutes?! I’ll do this in a sentence then, the holodeck people and Voyager crew agree to be friends, the end.

Remember TNG Ship In A Bottle? NEVER WATCH THIS. Don’t remember it? NEVER WATCH THIS. Watch Ship In A Bottle.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Episode 136: Collective

Chakotay, Kim, Paris and Neelix are playing poker on the Delta Flyer. Neelix is trying to unsubtly hustle everyone but Paul Newman he’s not, if only there was a Borg cube to distract everyone. Hey, there’s one now. After a brief battle the Borg capture them apart from Harry who is still unconscious on the Flyer. Voyager finds the cube next and finds it very easy to defeat them, and then the Borg want to negotiate which is unusual behavior for the them. We know this because we’re told every ten seconds. The Borg want Voyager’s deflector technology to contact the other Borg, in return for the crew so Seven beams over and finds only five Borg children left on board. So it’s that kind of episode. After she returns to Voyager she has evidence that the Borg adults on the ship were killed by a virus that didn’t affect the children as they were in maturation chambers. The Doctor is horrified to find that they are considering using that on the children. I know, you could kill them so much more easily. Seven goes back to the cube and tries to convince them to join Voyager but the leader child is against this. Kim wakes up and goes to the shield generator to destroy it, but is captured by the children. Reason #5385 why Harry is rubbish. Seven reveals that because they are imperfect the Borg deem the children to be irrelevant. The shields in the room begin weakening and the Borg leader is destroyed by an explosion. They all go to Voyager where the four remaining children will join the crew. OH. JOY. Just what the show needs.

Wouldn’t Borg teenagers be more emo and writing Borg poetry? “I call this one Useless Resistance”

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Episode 135: Tsunkatse

I took a break over Christmas since I was quite far ahead and this is the first episode I came back to. I wish it was a good one.

It’s shore leave on Voyager, I’m not sure who’s going to keep the ship going, but let’s not worry about that. Janeway goes to another system so leaves Chakotay in command. There’s a Tsunkatse tournament (A kind of alien UFC) on the planet below and the crew want to see the fights. Seven and Tuvok don’t want to, of course, so agree to visit a nearby spatial anomaly. Obviously they don’t see enough of them normally but then their shuttle is attacked and they’re kidnapped by Penk (DS9’s Jeffrey Combs) who runs the Tsunkatse. Seven agrees to fight but only if Tuvok’s injuries are treated and he doesn’t tell anyone she was kidnapped by someone called Penk. In her first fight she has to best the champion. Chakotay, Kim and Paris are watching the fight live and try to get her beamed away but to no avail as the fighters are holograms being transmitted from another location. She is eventually beaten but a Hirogen fighter (DS9’s JG Hertzler) agrees to help her train, Burgess Meredith not being available. Meanwhile Voyager locates Penk’s ship from the transmissions and set a course, also giving the location to Janeway. The next fight for Seven is, in a shocking plot twist, against the Hirogen! It’s like the Twilight Zone. Voyager finds the ship in time and attempts to free Seven and Tuvok but before you can say “cavalry”, Janeway arrives in her tiny shuttle and somehow saves the day.

Fun Fact: This episode was the highest rated of the sixth season, I’d like to think this was because of Combs and Hertzler’s guest appearance but we both know it’s because of the Rock (who played the champion).

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Episode 134: Memorial

“Hi, I’m Memorial, you might remember me from such Voyager stories as Remember

Harry, Paris, Neelix and Chakotay are on a shuttle. No, this isn’t a joke, boy is it not a joke. They’ve been away looking at planets or something and everyone’s getting on Harry’s nerves.* Once back on Voyager they begin to get agitated and have memories being involved in an atrocity (Well...nah, too easy). Eventually Janeway realises that this is to do with the away team and get them together. It transpires that the team have memories of killing colonists on a planet which involves lots of shouting! SHOUTING at each other, SHOUTING at Janeway! Then Janeway has the memories and it’s somehow started to affect the entire crew. Cue more SHOUTING! Good thing no-one on board has a hangover. Somehow amidst all the shouting they figure out the planet that’s involved and travel there. Once they beam down it becomes clear that this atrocity happened three hundred years ago in the least surprising twist since Nemesis. Then comes more shouting as they argue whether to turn off the transmitter that puts the memories into people’s heads. Janeway decides no, quite right, I’m sure being agitated at the wrong moment won’t result in anything bad happening.

When Paris arrives back at his quarters at the start Torres has cartoons and beer ready for him. Good to see someone knows what’s what on that ship.

*Irony alert.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Episode 133: Virtuoso

Today’s episode is sponsored by music and smugness. Which wouldn’t have made a bad title for it really.

Janeway gives some medical help to the Komar and they’re completely condescending to the Doctor as they see him as beneath them (They’re an advanced race you see, not that they’re really tall.) Wait until they meet Neelix. Then the Doctor starts singing to himself in front of them and having inexplicably never heard of music before they fawn over him. Mind you they wouldn’t have heard of Justin Bieber either, so it’s not all bad. The Doctor performs recitals for them on Voyager with Harry also playing a saxophone solo but the Komar don’t care. See? Everybody likes Doctor. Nobody likes Harry. After the recital it’s onto the homeworld and appearing at concerts (after redesigning the lecture theatre). Voyager going to Earth? Nah, don’t think so. Needless to say the Doctor is loving all the adulation just like a reality show winner so when one of the Komar wants him to stay with her he jumps at it. Janeway isn’t too thrilled with having her only Doctor want to leave. They can’t make a copy? No wonder the Komar look down on them. Unsurprisingly the Komar eventually figure out that they can make their own singing hologram. The Doctor’s fame quickly disappears just like a reality show winner, making him look like an idiot, just like a.... Anyway, he comes back to Voyager and they set a course for Earth, probably.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Episode 132: Blink Of An Eye

So twelve episodes in there is a pretty good episode in this season after all. True, it isn’t exactly an original concept, in fact Star Trek’s already done it but you take what you can get.

Voyager comes across a planet that revolves at 58 revolutions per minute, so like Somalia? Ah, satire.  So time it seems passes on the planet much faster with a second their being a day on Voyager. I think I’ve experience that. Voyager is pulled in towards the planet and becomes trapped in orbit. Meanwhile on the planet, the inhabitants, who have been worshipping the new star as a god move to trying to contact them. Oh no, an entire civilisation based on Voyager. And to think I complained about Barclay. On Voyager a message from the planet comes through and the crew have a meeting to discuss it, despite the sender being dead for hundreds of years. Ah yes, the Prime Directive. The Doctor is sent down to the planet and comes back to Voyager moments later having been on the planet three years, having lived with a woman and looked after a son. Anyone else think he was a little annoyed to return? Eventually a capsule from the surface arrives but because they don’t return to the planet for years they join the rest of the Delta Quadrant and declare war on Voyager. The capsule eventually returns to the planet with the older astronaut watching the night sky as Voyager finally leaves.

The Doctor has some nice bits in this one, like a comical scene with the Doctor and the astronaut discussing the planet’s sports and then a touching part where he asks him if he knows anything of his son.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Episode 131: Fair Haven

This quite possibly most offensively boring episode was the first episode of Star Trek to air in 2000. Welcome to space year 2000!

So Voyager has a new holodeck programme, yes it’s a fictional town from 19th century Ireland, in fact knowing Star Trek this is probably Dublin in the 24th century. This can’t possibly get any worse. No, I’ve spoke too soon, now Harry does his Irish impression. This is so bad I’m actually praying for a spatial anomaly. And here’s one now. Today’s anomaly is a neutronic wavefront that means they can’t use their engines so they have to ride out the storm. Janeway has the idea for everyone to use the Fair Haven programme to keep entertained. So radiation and everyone’s going to the holodeck? Janeway, of course, wants to go back there because there was a holocharacter there that she liked but first she changes his program to make him more...um...‘accommodating’. Then after she’s done the deed she becomes moody because she realises he’s a hologram and the hologram starts smashing up Fair Haven to find her. Is this likely? Then the wavefront gets worse and the only way out is to channel all power to the deflector, including holodeck power (wasn’t the whole thing they couldn’t do this? Why don’t they do this all the time then?). This means they won’t be able to rescue all the holocharacters so Janeway goes to say goodbye to her holocrumpet. Ughhhh!

So following in the fine traditions of the previous Trek series Voyager takes Irish stereotyping to a whole new level with this one. It’d be okay if anything actually happened except that Janeway pretty much cheats on the 24th century version of Leisure Suit Larry.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Episode 130: Pathfinder

Hurrah, it’s Lieutenant Barclay and Counselor Deanna Troi. I guess it’s time for Star Trek The Next... Voyager?

So yeah. Troi arrives to counsel Barclay. Again. He’s stationed at the Pathfinder project who are looking at ways to communicate with Voyager. It seems Voyager is the latest thing he’s become obsessed with. Dear God why? Says me writing a blog about it. He’s created a holodeck programme about them and spends time living there with the crew and Janeway. Her? But he’s not obsessed with holocharacters again, so it’s okay. Anyway, shouldn’t his supervisor be checking his holologs? I mean, he knows the guy suffered from holoaddiction.
Apparently not. Barclay has had an idea to contact Voyager but his boss doesn’t want to hear as he isn’t doing his scheduled stuff. Admiral Paris (Tom’s father) arrives the next day and Barclay tries his idea with him but doesn’t go well until he scales back his plans with the Voyager “crew’s” help. Paris (the Admiral not the city) says he’ll initiate a review of his findings. This isn’t good enough for him so goes to the lab at night and does the plan anyway where he’s found and moves to the holodeck. He likes holodecks. It turns out the plan succeeds and they contact the real Voyager. Though I have to say the scene with daddy Paris talking to his son was quite touching. So in summary, if you don’t get your own way, do it anyway.

With the two TNG stars I did notice that there was a lot more tecnobabble. For instance Barclay’s idea about contacting Voyager involves “a tachyon beam at a class B itinerant pulsar, with enough gravimetric energy to create an artificial wormhole”.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Episode 129: The Voyager Conspiracy

And now the story that I remembered being good but it turns out wasn’t all that great after all. I must remember that sentence is here so I can copy and paste.

Seven decides to use Borg data nodes to download information into her so it can be processed quicker. This can’t possibly go wrong. She wakes the next day with having come to conclusion Space Fleas have made their home in the sensor nets. Yes, Seven has become Sherlock Holmes. Voyager has found in a graviton catapult nearby operated by a man named Tash, himself trying to get home and strikes up a bargain with Janeway. Seven using her new extrapolating powers comes to the conclusion that Tash isn’t exactly truthful about where he got his power from and is proved correct. But she doesn’t stop there and is then convinced Janeway is part of a Federation/Cardassian conspiracy that deliberately brought Voyager to the Delta Quadrant and tells Chakotay. Yes, now Seven has become Holmes if he’d had a bad trip taking drugs. Which itself would be fine but then she tells Janeway that Chakotay is doing the same but with a Maquis conspiracy. Cue hilarity, more finding of humanity and the Doctor discovering that the Borg data nodes shockingly sent her crazy.

After last time with Janeway having the last line, I think it should be Seven this time with this ironic sentence, “Quantity is less relevant than quality”.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Episode 128: One Small Step

2032: Lieutenant John Kelly looks out of his Ares module orbiting Mars and.... wait, Astronauts on Mars in the 21st century, that can’t be right. A large orange light appears.

Meanwhile 300 years later there’s the same spatial anomaly outside Voyager (#521 according to Seven). What’re the odds? Janeway complains that it better be worth it at 2am. Do anomalies normally keep to a strict 9 to 5 schedule? The crew soon discover this is the same anomaly that took Kelly and set about trying to get him back. Chakotay leads the mission and brings Seven along so she can become more human every day. They fly the Delta Flyer into the anomaly but come into difficulties and Janeway orders them back but Chakotay disobeys the order damaging the engines. Seven is outraged with him but manages to go across to the Ares wearing one of the Evosuits (they’re really getting their moneys worth with the First Contact suits) to use the equipment there. There she’s able to fix the Flyer and listens to Kelly’s log entries learning something about humanity this week. Once they’re back on Voyager they hold a small ceremony and launch Kelly’s remains into space.

What’s the deal in general on Star Trek with things being dark during Red Alerts? Surely Red Alerts are the one time when you want to be able to see things.

I’ll save the last line for Janeway “Space, literally it means nothing”. Well quite.