Thursday, 29 March 2012

Episode 166: Friendship One

We start with Janeway on the space phone to StarFleet and telling them about the Distant Origins episode. Not surprising really if you think about it. “No really, we had some times we didn’t see spatial anomalies”. She’s given a mission to find a probe powered by antimatter that went missing in the area 300 years ago. The mission will take them slightly out of there way. Does StarFleet actually want them to come back? The human bridge crew all reminisce about how they had to learn about it in school. Even Neelix is getting bored by it. They eventually find the irradiated planet it’s on and have to send an away team in a shuttle. The away team consists of Chakotay, Harry, Neelix, Paris and Ensign Ricky. Sorry, I mean Carey. He might as well be two days away from retirement too. Which if you were, you’d be mightily annoyed you were in the Delta Quadrant. On the planet, they find pieces of the probe before everyone but Chakotay and Harry are captured. They make it back in the Flyer with a stowaway. On Voyager the Doctor uses Seven’s amazing fix all Nanoprobes (Order now and get this free pen!) to heal the stowaway’s radiation sickness. On the planet it transpires that when the probe crashed there people used the antimatter to fashion weapons and destroy each other, which is apparently the humans fault. They want transport off the planet to a more hospitable one, but that would take years. I’m sure StarFleet wouldn’t mind. Neelix tries to empathise with them by saying they’re better once you get to know them because he thought they were arrogant at first. He did? Don’t remember that at all. All the aliens on the planet seem to be warming to them except the leader because that’s how it works. Minority leaders is the in thing in the Delta Quadrant. Oh and Carey died. Eventually the hostages are freed by using the Doctor which I honestly didn’t see coming. Janeway modifies a few of the plentiful photon torpedoes on the atmosphere and shally me gally me zoop everything’s fine again! Thus ends their second StarFleet mission in seven years. The first they get thrown across the galaxy and this one a crewman dies, they don’t have much luck do they?

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Episode 165: Author, Author

So Voyager now has two way communication with the Alpha Quadrant with no delay but I can’t get internet on the train. Barclay is the first person they see and so he has now been in more Voyager than TNG episodes. The crew all get allotted time to call home for three minutes and Harry’s going to call his mum. He wants to know who everyone else is going to call. They’re going to call your mum too Harry *wink*. Anyway, all this is so that the Doctor can speak to his literary agent for he has written a holonovel which has the crew in it being evil dicks. Isn’t that just Living Witness? Nah, that was good. Well  I say the crew, there are subtle changes.  Lt Marseilles instead of Lt Paris, get it?!  The novel itself is about being an oppressed hologram but the crew are more annoyed about being portrayed in a bad light. Wait, until they hear about Paramount. Meanwhile, Torres talks to her father via the TransGalactic Super Highway despite the fact they both look the same age albeit one has 5 o’clock shadow to look older. The father has facial hair too. Ah, comedy. The Doctor eventually agrees to make the changes after he is shown a version where he is portrayed in a similar manner, well more so. His agent though, releases the old version anyway. Agents eh? Apparently the Doctor doesn’t have any rights as a person so a Federation Arbitrator is to decide. That’s right, it’s Star Trek Court Room TimeTM! During this Janeway compares the Doctor's struggle to the Civil Rights Movement and the Suffragettes of the 20th century. Good to see she's kept her perspective.  The Arbitrator rules that he’s not a person, though he is an artist. So like Prince?

Overall with this episode a couple of amusing performances and a tacked on sub TNG: Measure Of A Man ending do not a good episode make.  Also apparently the Doctor is a unique hologram.  Does that mean the holograms of Fair Haven and that battled the Hirogen didn't exist?  I can never unwatch them though.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Episode 164: Q2

Icheb bores Janeway by giving her a 35 chapter presentation on Kirk. Q then appears along with his son (played by John DeLancie’s son) and leaves him with Janeway to babysit him. Look, he’s chewing gum, see, he doesn’t play by the rules! Standby for madcap hilarity! *audience laughter* Q2 begins by asking Janeway when is Voyager going to do something interesting and then fuses Neelix’ jaw shut. Okay, I’m liking this guy. Disappear Harry from the space-time continuum and I’ll start a church based on him. Of course, he then brings the Borg to them. That’s so 2365. Q comes back to see how they’re all getting on and finds Janeway in a bubble bath. We’ll not dwell on that suffice to say, so much for water recycling on Voyager. To make Q2 more compliant the Q Continuum remove his powers. And that’s so 2366! What is this, Q’s Greatest Hits? He’ll be risking himself to save someone else’s life next. Chakotay oversees Q2 dealing with a diplomacy holodeck programme, but Q2 reprogrammes the HoloDiplomat’s personalities. Janeway’s not too happy at this, she doesn’t like it when she’s not the one doing it. Evidently thanks to the boring influence of Icheb, Q2 settles down and becomes a model citizen. Until that is, his daddy issues flare up again and he creates a wormhole to visit the Chokuzon and attack them. Icheb is injured by an unknown weapon so the Doctor can’t save him. Icheb goes back to Chokuzon space at risk to himself and find out, so Icheb can be saved. There we go! Shortly afterwards they visit the Q Continuum which is situated cheaply and conveniently enough in the mess hall. The Continuum decide against turning him into an amoeba but give him the next worst face, being on Voyager... or human, I forget which. Q himself gives concessions though, so everyone can get their powers back who should have them, including Clark Kent in Superman II. And that ladies and gentlemen is the final appearance of Q in Star Trek.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Episode 163: Human Error

If you think you’ve seen this story before with Barclay, it’s because you have. Many, many times. Also, if you think you’ve read that kind of thing by me before, it’s because you have. Many, many times.

To start Seven plays the piano and then the credits start. Next week she boils an egg in the teaser. Cut to the episode and it’s action from the start with Seven visiting Paris and Torres’ baby shower. Harry’s gift was a StarFleet diaper, of course it was. Twist ahoy though as it’s revealed to be a holodeck programme. What happened to people reenacting gangster and Sherlock Holmes or going to long dead worlds on the Holodeck? Nope, now we’re doing baby showers and moving into quarters. Which she does. HoloNeelix suggests she get curtains and HoloChakotay turns up to crank up the excitement by giving her a gift of a dreamcatcher because his people. He’s impressed she knows what it is too, it’s only her stupid programme of course she does. Meanwhile, not to be outdone, back in the real world, in new levels of interestingness, Seven and Torres discuss their hair. But anyway in the programme Seven is having a relationship with HoloChakotay. Him? It begins to affect her life on the ship and her implants so she actually breaks up with him. Wouldn’t turning off the programme be more effective and let’s face it easier? Real Chakotay then says she should socialise more with the crew. That’s the end of the episode. Seriously. Oh and while all that was going on, Voyager accidentally found a space firing range and space action ensued. Unfortunately no hilarity, space or otherwise.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Episode 162: Workforce Part II

Ever notice how the closer you get to the end of something tedious the slower time gets? Just a random observation.

Chakotay succeeds at escaping from the last episode’s cliffhanger by virtue of the security men being stupid. Meanwhile Voyager is under attack from the Quarren ships and eventually the Doctor and Harry decide to retreat, well the Doctor decides and Harry agrees. Chakotay bumps into Janeway again as she’s celebrating moving in with Jaffen after a couple of days. Chakotay denied! Yerid, an investigator, is funnily enough investigating the disappearance of Torres and Neelix so asks Paris and Seven about Chakotay. Back at her apartment, Janeway finds Chakotay injured there. He tells her about her actual life and she is unsure whether to believe him, to be fair, I don’t blame her. On Voyager, together with the Doctor’s treatment, Neelix is reminding Torres about her life. He starts, obviously enough, with her toaster. It must be the best toaster in science fiction since Red Dwarf’s Talkie Toaster. Janeway is almost about to believe when Jaffen sticks his oar in and she reports Chakotay to the security. Yerid arrives to take him before the neuropathology division claim Chakotay which Yerid finds suspicious. It’s okay though, Ralph Malph from Happy Days runs it so it can’t be all bad. Back on Voyager, Neelix prepares Torres her favourite food, as he puts it “Food is like time travel”. I knew they’d shove time travel in somehow. Gradually more people start to believe about their previous lives and Janeway gets in touch with Voyager and talks with Lt Torres. She agrees to shut down the shield at the main plant, which she does and all the members of Voyager are beamed off the planet. The Quarren authorities, probably relieved that they’ve got rid of Voyager, also agree to repatriate the other workers.

The conspiracy part of this episode with various people investigating and gradually coming to realise that the wool has been pulled over their eyes wasn’t too bad. Aside from that though, it was the usual stuff.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Episode 161: Workforce Part I

Ever wonder what the Voyager crew would be like if they actually had to work for a living? I’m betting the recession is their fault.

Janeway’s got a new job and a sassy new outfit on a new planet but she’s late. Her supervisor show’s her the computer she’ll be using before an alarm sounds from it.
She actually says “Shut off that damn alarm and I promise I’ll never violate you again” to the computer. Fortunately a man by the name Jaffen helps her and invites her to the bar but Seven, the Efficiency Monitor tells them to get on with their jobs. Later at the bar, Jaffen tells a joke and Tuvok’s can’t stop laughing about it. He also can’t stop explaining it. Janeway later shows up but doesn’t want to be disturbed as she’s busy. So she went to a busy bar, makes sense. Paris also has a job at the same bar and is trying to chat up a young single mother by the name of Torres. What’re the odds?! Meanwhile back out in space Chakotay, Neelix and Harry are returing to Voyager in a shuttle, makes sense that the rest of the crew would want rid of those three for a while. So wait, the rescue of the Voyager crew rests on that team? Excellent then, they’re all dead already. Team Useless gets to Voyager and finds the Doctor has become the Emergency Command Hologram. During their absence everyone got sick from radiation poisoning after hitting a mine and evacuated the ship leaving the ECH in command. Janeway agrees to move in with Jaffen, presumably they’ll have matching stationery. Tuvok keeps having flashbacks to being captured as his mental condition is breaking down. Meanwhile Team Useless and the Doctor find that the crew are now on the planet Quarra but the Quarrans aren’t being very helpful so Chakotay while disguised as another species beams down with Neelix to find them. He leaves Harry in charge with the Doctor annoyed at this. HE’S annoyed?! Neelix and Chakotay try to bring Torres back to the ship but she doesn’t want to go. Who can blame her? Chakotay is chased by security officers to a dead end and damnit it’s a two parter!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Episode 160: The Void

The bridge crew are having a slap up meal made by Seven to her exacting standards. It seems that it’s the only way for her to get a meal prepared right. Good idea, now when is she going to apply that to the captaincy? I say “the bridge crew”, Harry is still on the bridge steering the ship.... straight into a starless void. Wait, didn’t we just do this? Remember, there were no stars and everyone was depressed. Kind of like reality shows I guess. Anyway, back to now and Voyager is attacked by other ships who manage to steal some food and fuel. Shortly afterwards they’re contacted by General Valen (no relation) who offers a trade for some of Voyager’s photon torpedoes since there is nothing but void in this expanse. Janeway refuses despite the fact they seemingly have an inexhaustible supply. Valen leaves in a huff and Voyager makes one attempt to escape but since it’s not the episode end they fail. While the Doctor finds a stowaway who can’t speak, Janeway finds solace in the Federation Charter, well she would wouldn’t she? I’m surprised she doesn’t have the audiobook read by Zephrem Cochrane. Janeway decides to offer an alliance to people who want to get out as long as they abide by the same principles and don’t steal. After some hesitation some do unbelievably. Yes, today’s episode is sponsored by Sesame Street and co-operation. The Doctor has found a way to communicate with the stowaway through music and more of the stowaway’s species join. One of Janeway’s Alliance though is naughty and equipment he got to help in the escape bid was stolen. Cult leader Janeway doesn’t stand for this and banishes him to the wilderness... or void. He doesn’t take kindly to this and plots with Valen to attack them. They don’t succeed as the stowaways sabotage their ships leaving Voyager and the Alliance ships to take their opportunity to leave.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Episode 159: Prophecy

Exciting news! You get to finally mark off Klingons on your Alpha Quadrant Things In The Delta Quadrant (AQTITDQ) ticklist. They’re just above Klingons (holograms).

So Voyager is being attacked by a Klingon cruiser which by now is so run of the mill that Paris only finds it unusual because the ships have been retired for years. The Klingon captain, Kohlar, is eventually persuaded to come on board to see proof of the Federation/Klingon peace treaty. Diet Kohlar meets Torres and is intrigued by the fact she is pregnant before hightailing it back to the Klingon ship. It seems Torres might be giving birth to these Klingon’s Chosen OneTM  who they’re supposed to follow as their leader. Makes sense to choose her rather than anyone one Voyager. To get on Voyager they destroy their own ship which then means some crew with have to double up in their quarters. They couldn’t convert the cargo bay just like last episode? No? Harry’s not complaining though he’s got an actual living bipedal woman. Of course, Neelix and Tuvok have to share together (by the way you can cross “The Odd Couple” off your AQTITDQ list too). Neelix sings a Klingon drinking song whereupon Tuvok and the audience are probably thinking about trying to make a go of it on the destroyed cruiser. Extra security is posted everywhere due to the increased rambunctiousness which was probably replicated (the security, not the rambunctiousness). Some of the Klingons don’t feel the same as Cherry Kohlar so want proof Torres’ daughter is the Chosen OneTM . Paris takes offence at some of the Klingons colourful metaphors and ends up being challenged to combat. During the battle the Klingon becomes weak and Vanilla Kohlar takes him to the Doctor who identifies it as a retrovirus. Torres and her baby are also infected. The Klingons react in their usual way and try to beam the Voyager crew down to a deserted planet but fail. It’s alright though, the Doctor then makes a cure for everyone from Torres’ daughter’s stemcells so they believe she is the Chosen OneTM  again but move to the planet anyway. For some reason.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Episode 158: Repentance

It’s a good old traditional Star Trek morality tale. In that, it’s about as subtle as Seven’s outfit and the story’s about as thin.

Voyager responds to a distress call since apparently they’re the only ship in the Delta Quadrant that can receive them. They find a damaged ship and beam the survivors on board who are both prisoners and the guards. One of the prisoners has taken Seven hostage in sickbay but then makes a rookie error, swaps for the Doctor and is captured again. The prisoners are being taken to their homeworld to be executed. Janeway and company would interfere but step in Prime Directive and they can’t interfere. Let’s see how long that lasts. The first thing is they don’t have a prison but that’s no problem, just like the A-Team, Voyager makes use of tools around them and make up a functioning prison in the cargo bay. Iko, the prisoner who kidnapped Seven, is beaten up by the evil nasty guards until he’s repaired by Seven’s nanoprobes. Afterwards he begins to feel guilt and develop a conscience. Next week the nanoprobes go on to reenact Dickens’ Christmas Carol. Meanwhile the nice prisoner who Neelix befriends and plays games with, of course says he’s innocent. Seven and Janeway go to the prison’s warden about putting in an appeal for Iko since he’s fine now, see that didn’t take long. They refuse since their culture favours the victims and don’t want to cause them distress. Voyager is then attacked by relatives of the prisoners which sole purpose seems to be to affect the transporters and power in the prison. Neelix’s nice friend goes on a rampage but Iko stays in his cell. After they’re recaptured Neelix for some reason isn’t his friend anymore. The warden though convinces Iko’s victim’s family to hear his appeal. So much for not showing them distress. Seven suggests Iko becomes part of the crew but he says he’s not very useful. That’s okay, he’d fit right in then but the family eventually decide no and he is to be executed anyway.  It never rains but it pours.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Episode 157: Lineage

Torres is in an astonishingly good mood and Paris asks her what she had for breakfast. Cock by the looks of it. It turns out she's pregnant, see I was right. The Doctor tells her she can expect some mood swings, or as they're known, her character trait. Everyone finds out about it so Paris tries to find people who haven't just so he can tell them. Torres later shunted to Paris about people giving her advice despite Paris asking for advice from Tuvok. The Doctor then tells the couple that their child, a daughter, who will have a deviated spine. Torres is concerned that the child will still have Klingon ridges. We then flashback to a camp that Torres, her father and friends went on when she was twelve. She didn't think that the other children liked her, probably because she kept having flashbacks. During the procedure to have the spine cured she has another flashback to a kid at the camp putting a worm in her sandwich which is probably something Paris would still think is funny. Oh dear god, I'm wanting there to be science fiction in this so bad. Even a spatial anomaly! After the procedure she decides her child would be better with looking like a human and asks the Doctor to do that. Did Khan die for nothing?! The Doctor doesn't agree with it and neither does Paris so Torres takes it with humility and grace. Oh wait, no she doesn't and they have a massive argument. Torres has some more flashbacks before reconciling with Paris. The Doctor then says he's changed his mind and the genetic alteration needs to be done right away. While Torres is about to do that, Paris discovers she altered the Doctor's programme. Security is sent to sickbay buy leave to let Torres and Paris hug it out. It's not like she committed a crime is it?

So apparently its all Daddy issues and everything's all fine in the end so nothing is done about Torres' reprogramming. If it was anyone else Janeway would dish out justice. Oh wait, never mind.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Episode 156: Shattered

Chakotay goes to the cargo bay to get his Antarian Cider. He asks Icheb, who’s there, to keep it a secret. Chakotay takes the cider to his weekly dinner with Janeway, who somehow manages to burn a roast despite it being made with a replicator. They’re called away as Voyager finds a temporal anomaly. I wonder how many times I’ve typed that now. Chakotay is injured after the temporal energy hits him. Oh god, it’s a Chakotay episode. He wakes in the sickbay where the Doctor has given him an anti-temporal serum but Chakotay quickly realises that the Doctor is from the past. After visiting different areas of the ship they’re all in different time zones. Voyager, has if you will, become shattered. See what they did there? In engineering Seska and the Kazon are hanging out. Unfortunately it’s not a cover band. He tells her there’s a temporal anomaly and she hits him. At least she can. On the bridge Chakotay finds Janeway from before Voyager was in the Delta Quadrant. He eventually persuades her to both travel around the ship to try and fix it by using the serum on gelpack. In Astrometrics they find a grown-up Icheb and Naomi. Icheb tells Chakotay he never did tell anyone about his cider because after seventeen years that’s the only thing he can remember about it. Eventually they get to Seven as a Borg and the Captain Proton holodeck program. Is this a clip show? Finally in engineering again a fight ensues against Seska and the Kazon which the Borg Seven ends quite quickly. Chakotay initiates a pulse via the deflector dish or something. I don’t know, do you think they did? But anyway everything’s restored and the present day Janeway wants to know what happened. Don’t we all? Chakotay can’t tell her though because of the Temporal Prime Directive. Never mind that he’s been telling her all kinds of crap throughout the episode.

I’ll leave the last words to Robert Beltran: “I hated that episode!”

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Episode 155: Flesh And Blood

This was originally aired as a double episode telemovie so I’m reviewing it as such. Though I’ve no idea why, there’s barely enough story for one episode.

The Hirogen are hunting their prey, but the episode is at pains not to show enemy, so it’s got to be Voyager/StarFleet. Oh it is, but it’s the holotechnology that Janeway gave them, only the holograms are killing the Hirogen now. Voyager and shortly afterwards a Hirogen ship arrive at a Hirogen station and finds all but one of them dead. The lone Hirogen left alive, Donik, stays on Voyager as he’s never been much of a hunter and was responsible for the programming of the holograms. Just when you thought the episode couldn’t get any stupider, it does. The holograms on the station are of course sentient now and have escaped on a ship of their own. So the Hirogen have used Voyager’s holo tech to do what they want with after Janeway gave them it and still she whinges. She tells the Hirogen she knows about this but rather than saying “So? Who gives a fuck?” they seem to care. The Doctor is kidnapped by the holoship* and eventually comes round to their way of thinking thanks to their leader, Bajoran hologram, Iden. When the Doctor gets back to Voyager he’s unable to persuade the Voyager crew to help so defects to the holoship and oh god, there’s still another episode of this. The holoship disables Voyager and then beams Torres over to help them repair themselves. Back on Voyager, Janeway and Donik have a pity party as to whose fault this all is. Hey, you don’t need to fight! It’s all of your faults. The Hirogen ships go after the holoship and Voyager tags along to try and sort them all out. The holoship hides in a nebula, because there’s always one nearby in a universe of 96% void (Thanks to @simiboyz for that statistic). Eventually the holoship escapes to liberate more holograms from a random ship nearby. However these seem to be the hologram equivalent of a vending machine. They then defeat the Hirogen and beam them down to a planet (also conveniently nearby) where they hunt them. Oh the ironic irony. The Doctor kills Iden on the planet to save a Hirogen leaving the only thing left for Janeway to discuss his defection. Which is all she does, discuss it. So yet again, one of Janeway’s crew disobeys her orders and she does nothing.

*Copyright Red Dwarf. (Do yourself a favour and watch the Waxworld episode of Red Dwarf instead. It makes more sense too.)

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Episode 154: Nightingale

Harry becomes the captain of an alien shuttle. No prizes for guessing what I thought of this one. Do I even have to do this one? Oh alright then.

While Voyager’s landed on a planet having repairs done to it, Harry and Neelix are on the Delta Flyer II looking for dilithium. Let’s hope it crashes. Oh and Seven’s on it too because she’s everywhere. A random ship is being fired upon by another and Harry eventually decides to help despite it not being part of regulations. On board the not-supsicious-at-all ship they are told they’re delivering a vaccine, but as he’s Book from Firefly, Harry decides he can be trusted. When they all get back to Voyager, Book and Harry implore Janeway for help to get to their planet. Janeway agrees that she would’ve done the same and Harry tells her he “learns from the best”. Fuck. Right. Off. He’s then given command of the crappy alien ship which he names Nightingale. After he gives the orders on the ship he then carries them out himself, who does he think he is? Kirk? And then when he doesn’t he does his Riker impression by looking as smug as possible. Seven, who’s obviously finding this as irritating as I am, tells him in a subtle way to stop being a dick. Then it turns out that Book isn’t a Doctor at all! The ship is in fact smuggling a cloaking device, in plain sight, so to speak. Harry sulks about this until Seven talks to him again and he then decides to help the people out anyway and everyone lives happily ever after. Except me.

Also this week in a story that somehow manages to be just as bad, Icheb thinks that Torres fancies him. With hilarious consequences.