Somebody got paid to write this episode.
Voyager, what are you doing to me? It may not seem like it, but I try to give you the benefit of the doubt. I look for hidden nuances in your cardboard characters and try to get myself invested. I accept that you have zero interest in continuity and want each episode to speak for itself.
So, why do you make it so much harder by throwing episodes like this at me? I'm not at all sure what the point of it was. Some kind of character study of Captain Janeway by throwing her into an awkward romance? An exploration of her need to assert control over every situation until it fits her vision? Another look at her clear discrimination and dismissal of holograms as sentient beings? (By my count, this is the third time. The whole thing is muddied by the question of just how sentient and independent holgrams actually are, but this show has the Doctor so I don't know what further proof she needs.)
I don't begrudge this for being a romance episode. Star Trek has done them before and they are important for character development, even though they almost always end up being pretty crap. I do take issue with it for being trite, lacking creativity, incredibly clichéd and turning almost every main character into a cheesy joke parody of who they are.
And by all means, let's leave two holodecks running this ridiculous program 24 hours a day. It's not like you're stranded in unknown hostile territory, low on power or need the energy. Oh, that's right: holodecks have their own magic independent power source. Please.
It's a relief to finally have an episode that I can say really positive things about! It's become something of a joy in this show to see the main plot be moved along, as it's something that happens so rarely. In that regard, this is a real treat.
In many ways, the crossover elements turn this almost into more of an episode of The Next Generation, especially given how little we actually see of the Voyager crew. Lt. Barclay (great to see him again) takes up the main focus along with Counsellor Troi providing quite a bit of a supporting role. Most of the time when are with the Voyager crew it's not actually them, but rather a holographic simulation.
The set up of the episode is a little bit weird. Barclay announcing that he's become obsessed with Voyager feels a bit forced and unnatural, and the flashback format is rarely something I fall in love with. It's especially a bit trite that Barclay is unloading all this in the form of a counselling session. I can forgive that, though, because I like that it meant Marina Sirtis could get involved.
I really like the fact that Starfleet HAVE been searching for Voyager and putting in quite a bit of effort. We've had vague hints that they hadn't forgotten about them, but nothing to really say that there is a massive ongoing project. Once they establish direct contact and we switch back to the real Voyager crew, it all becomes surprisingly emotional. The show had strengths and a powerful hidden core as this clearly demonstrates, so why did it so rarely elect to use them?
A few little things I noticed:- The photo of Tom on his father's desk is actually from the actor's appearance as Locarno from the TNG episode he appeared in (a nice way of using it).- The Golden Gate bridge appears to have been completely rebuilt since it was destroyed by the Breen a few months earlier. Nice work (either that or Voyager forgets once again that continuity is a thing).- I was also a little confused that the Doctor didn't appear to recognise Barclay, since he had quite a memorable interaction with a version of him previously.
Almost a year after the US premiere, Future Man finally comes to the UK! And SyFy UK are showing it uncut, unlike other imports.
Would be a lot better without the low-brow humour (Seth Rogen's influence on the script is extremely apparent), but I really quite enjoyed this. It's silly and funny with a great cast, and I love the geeky premise. I'll stick with it for now, hopefully it's going to become a bit more refined in both dialogue and storytelling.
After a really promising set up it all got a bit silly, but I still found it quite enjoyable. The final scene on the shuttle with Janeway and Seven was quite lovely and heartfelt, although I would put that far more down to the performances rather than the script.
This episode may contain the first example in television history of two character resolving a serious misunderstanding based on false information by just having a quick conversation. Seriously, in most stories the Janeway/Chakotay standoff would have been the entire crux of an episode because fictional characters are usually incapable of talking to each other.
Did we ever get an explanation for the strange tractor beam in the image?
It's probably because I've just finished reading it, but I couldn't help but notice several little details that were shared between this episode and The Martian. This episode has some pretty cool concepts and I got wrapped up in it easily enough. It's yet another voyage of discovery for Seven which continues to be interesting but certainly gets repetitive. Chakotay almost had something to do in this one, and his interest in the history of early space exploration is one of the first character developments he's had in... well, maybe ever. Still, I did enjoy the stern reprimand that Seven gave him after he endangered the shuttle.
However, I think overall that the script just wasn't very good. It's all a bit dry, and I didn't entirely buy Seven's emotional responses towards the end. I really got taken out of the episode when the Delta Flyer took technology from the 350-year-old NASA ship to replace their own because "it's basically the same"? No chance, and pretty stupid.
The flashbacks to the Earth astronaut were kind of cheesy and it all got a bit too patriotic for my tastes.
With every episode, there were things about this that made me say, "wow!".
Sometimes I was saying that in regards to the incredible visuals on screen, which are truly top quality and show incredible creativity and imagination. Other times I was saying it in regards to the unbelievable plot, ridiculous characters and insane happenstances that plagued it from beginning to end.
This really is one of the worst written shows currently. The characters are endlessly bland and meaningless, the plot is completely contrived and each episode just flows from one disaster to the next which our characters manage to miraculously escape from every single time.
Then part of me remembers that this is a kid's show, or at least a family show, and I have to give it some leeway. It betrays that at times by including some moderately adult elements (violence, gore, language, punchable characters), but always snaps back to being "safe". The focus on the children as the main characters is very much to the detriment of things, as they are all quite annoying (despite being generally strong actors). Will in particular seems to be either emotional or on the verge or tears in every single one of his scenes. Reign it in a bit please, writers.
In the end, this show wasn't made for me. It's for older kids/young teens who still enjoy reading YA novels about heroic kids saving the world. I know it's somewhat constrained by following the parameters of the original TV show, but one of the kids here is a FULLY TRAINED DOCTOR. I don't know how I'm supposed to approach that.
Then we have the appalling Dr. Smith, who derails every scene she's in with pure nonsense. She exists purely to be a spanner in the works with no genuine reasoning behind it. The human colonists are a bunch of morons who are supposed to all be geniuses, but are far more interested in their selfish needs and egos and don't behave as any kind of highly trained group.
It certainly wasn't all bad, and most episodes did have moments that made me want to pay attention and know what's going to happen next but it's got no depth whatsoever, and I'm genuinely bummed about that because I was really excited about watching this.
An episode that changes tone quite a lot along the way. It started out fairly poor then evolved into something quite epic. I wasn't surprised to read that this was originally intended to be a double episode.
There is some creative stuff going on throughout this, although its execution left something to be desired. Maybe I'm now too familiar with '90s Star Trek, but it seemed obvious to me that the Vaaudwar were not going to be good guys from almost the moment Gedrin is revived. From there it just became a matter of waiting for my suspicions to come true.
But I was quite pleasantly surprised by how far the episode goes in increasing their threat. It feels like a lot is crammed in that needed to be expanded upon - for example, Neelix researching the Vaaudwar in his people's language history, and the random scene of a depressed Naomi Wildman hinting at more story to be told - but in some ways this worked in the episodes favour as it kept things pretty exciting all the way through.
I now also expect any opportunity for Voyager to get home faster to be rendered useless to them, so I really wish that episodes would stop dangling the possibility.
There was a really well done space battle towards the end, reminiscent of what we would see in Deep Space Nine. In general, it felt like the effects work (both digital and practical, for example in the alien makeup) were of a higher quality than usual. The episode's story itself doesn't do anything all that remarkable, but it kept all of the characters working together well and even Janeway didn't suddenly change her personality as she is wont to do in times of crisis.
However, Chakotay's dialogue that shoehorned in the "dragon's teeth" reference of the title was awkward as hell, and didn't fit at all. Also, the ending suggests that we'll see the Vaaudwar again, but I just don't believe that for a second.
An episode with a lot of heart that does flounder a bit, but manages to come out pretty good. Tim Russ is, of course, the main attraction here as he plays a very different version of Tuvok. It's quite a startling change, but also really charming. I'm sure I'm not alone in preferring the childlike, emotional Tuvok we meet here instead of the usual one.
This is also a strong Neelix episode, a character that I typically dislike. However, it's episodes like this which really let us see what's going on underneath his cheerful, over-exuberant exterior that make me warm to him more. Neelix cares deeply about his friends (or in the case of Tuvok, "colleague") and his affection and attention towards people is not an act. For once, I really enjoyed spending time with him.
There are things about this which I didn't really like, though. The nature of the show means that Tuvok was always going to revert to his former self by the end, and even though there's a tease that he may have retained some of the "fun" Tuvok, I feel quite sure that it will never be mentioned again. Nor will his secret affection towards Neelix. It's a shame, it could have made for a really interesting premise to keep Tuvok this way and have him relearn what it means to be Vulcan over the course of time. Or even reject that entirely.
There was also a real missed opportunity to refer back to the events of the episode 'Tuvix', which this episode mirrors in many ways. That was also a strong Neelix/Tuvok pairing (literally) and ended with an unwanted surgical procedure. I'm amazed that the two characters didn't bring that shared experience up at any point. But that's what Voyager is: past events have little bearing on each episode, no matter how important they were, and I think the writers were always happy to stick to the assumption that viewers had never watched the show before.
Anyway, this was sweet and charming. The subplot with the invisible aliens was quite boring, and the deputy investigator was a really irritating character.
And it was all going so well.This barely kept my attention and I ended up browsing Reddit while it was on. Really low effort Star Trek that fell back on the most obvious tropes it could. My main comment would be that Claire Rankin (Alice) is very good at doing crazy eyes.
I want to enjoy this so much more than I am. It's just one disaster after another with no sense of genuine danger, and the character writing is really weak. It's a shame, because there's potential here for something much better.
[7.5/10] I think we all went into this expecting a medieval fantasy version of Futurama, but this show is something quite different (and a million miles away from The Simpsons). It's attempting to tell a big story and it seems that it's decided to do some world building before getting into things.
It's fair to say that things start out a little uneven, maybe even rough. It feels directionless and we're thrown introductions to these characters that feel a bit forced. It's hard to know what to make of Bean, Elfo and Luci to begin with. Bean is the most interesting and feels like the most fully developed: a drunken princess dissatisfied with her place in the world and feeling a lack of respect from her father. She's also determined and brave through her bad attitude, and I found it easy to like her. Elfo and Luci are more difficult, partly because their voices don't quite fit with the character designs. Luci in particular seems to feel like forced comedy most of the time, with his comments rarely raising a chuckle. Elfo does better in this respect, and as the series went on I began to warm to him a lot more (and season end spoiler: I actually really missed him later when he wasn't around.)
Background characters like King Zog, Sorcerio and Pendergast also become much more fun to watch as episodes go by.
It's only the second half of this opening season that things really begin to come together. Stronger storytelling, better jokes and much more emotional moments. It starts to almost feel like this series is leaning towards being a drama with comedic elements rather than the other way round. There are a lot of moving parts here and I get the feeling that Matt Groening and his team are attempting something pretty epic; the show may indeed be a different experience when you go back and watch it a second time and understand everything that's going on.
I love the look of the show. The backgrounds are gorgeous, and while the characters lack detail in comparison they do mesh together pretty well. The animation is of a similar style to Futurama and modern Simpsons, with a lovely mix of 2D and 3D models and what has now become the trademark Groening look.
It's not quite great yet and sometimes it's not even good, but there's enough here to keep me coming back and have me very interested in where things are going. The writing is good but the jokes need to have a bit more quality over quantity. If you gave up after only a few episodes I'd encourage you to keep watching if you have the time (episodes 8 and 9 really cemented the season for me). The show is attempting to create a fascinating world, but is just struggling to give us the best introduction to it.
Quite entertaining, walking the line between funny and cringe worthy. The Doctor's daydreams feel like they become repetitive fairly quickly, but there's creativity in all of them (Paris waving from his lonely table was great). I'd imagine that the cast were able to have some fun with this one. The alien race also managed to feel both highly inventive and extremely familiar, and I think that sums up much of the episode.
In the end, it made me laugh and that counts for something. Robert Picardo shines on this show with whatever he's given, and here that's certainly a lot. I felt a bit put out at Janeway's initial reticence to give him any recognition for who he is because of what he is. By now the Doc has proven time and time again that he's more than just his programming, and Janeway has even dealt with this specific issue previously. Yeah, the Doc was probably asking for a bit too much in being granted emergency command of the ship, but it's true that the crew treats him without much respect.
Season 6 is doing pretty well so far (apart from the opener), it feels like all of these episodes are finally placing characters front and centre instead of plot. I wonder if it's going to keep this up...
Nice to see some proper Klingon stuff on this show, and a decent character-focused story for B'Elanna. It's feels like it needed to be a bit more ambitious than it was, and making Klingon hell just be the set of Voyager reeked of budget-saving and took me right out of the episode. The hallucination sequences were done pretty well.
Much like the previous episode, it feels like there was decent attention paid to character development here. There were certainly much worse ways the Ron Moore could have ended his Star Trek writing career. It's a shame that this isn't all that memorable, but it does its job.
I do have to wonder if seeing the credit "written by Ronald D. Moore" appear at the start of the episode is colouring my opinion, but I really quite enjoyed this. It felt epic and emotional, and the strong focus on characters was markedly different from what I'm getting used to seeing on Voyager.
It was helped no end by some good casting in the roles of the three ex-Borg, and along with Jeri Ryan they all had chemistry as a group. I found myself getting quite wrapped up in the tale unfolding. It all lead to a difficult decision with a somewhat bittersweet outcome, the mark of classic Star Trek. I found the dialogue to be a step up from usual with some much more natural and heartfelt discussions between characters - and again, I wonder if my mind is just attributing that to the fact that I know that Ron Moore wrote this, or if it actually is genuinely of a higher quality.
At the same time, it's another Borg episode and by this point it's a real struggle to make them at all interesting. Seven herself is so good purely for the fact that she isn't a Borg and is rediscovering her individuality, so when we go back to a previous time it feels like it falls into a certain predictable pattern. Fortunately, this remains separate from the entire Collective.
It's interesting to read the comments Ron Moore himself has made about his short time working on Voyager, and how upset he was with the whole experience which caused him to quit fairly soon after this. At any rate, I would be delighted for the show to go more in the direction suggested here with the focus on character development over action.
An enjoyable start. I like the characters quite a bit, especially Bean who comes off as the most interesting of the bunch. Elfo has potential but I feel like I need to warm to him a bit more. Luci is pretty great, but I have to say that I don't think the voice quite fits his appearance, it's just not quite what I was expecting. Right now that's throwing me off a bit. I was also surprised that Bean didn't ask him any basic questions, like why are you here/where did you come from?
I liked the story set up and the jokes were pretty good, with a couple of laugh out loud moments for me (notably with the names of the elves, and the racist antelope warning). Great voice cast, and Matt Berry appeared which I really wasn't expecting! A lot of recognisable voice talent from Futurama here.
In terms of tone, this is definitely steering more towards Futurama than The Simpsons for me and I think that's a good thing. Visually it's in the same realm as well, and quite nice to look at. Groening's style has a lot of personality. It's setting up a world and it needs to take some time to do it. I'm happy to give it that time and keep watching right now.
I'm trying to come up with some eloquent way of expressing myself, but all I keep coming back to is that this was just a pile of turgid shit.
It's a shining example of Voyager's absolute mediocrity, predictability and lack of meaning. Ooh, look, we've found another Starfleet crew stranded out here! Oh, it turns out they're bad, well who saw that coming? Hmm, seems like a couple of the crew members are actually kind of decent people really - oh, look at that, they're the ones who survive.
I could almost have handled that stuff, but the real thing which drags the episode down is yet another example of Janeway's inconsistent character. I think I have to admit I absolutely hate her by this point. She has a reckless disregard for her crew and her attitudes towards things seem to rely on the flip of a coin. Remember at the start of season 5 when she blamed herself entirely for stranding the crew here and decided that there was nothing more important than getting everyone home? Yeah, all that's forgotten here. Apparently Captain Ransom pushed her buttons enough that she's willing to let everyone die just as long as he understands how angry she is. WHY is she so angry? There is no personal stake for her. It's nonsense to add conflict where there is none.
Speaking of whom, Captain Ransom is a terrible bad guy. The actor never seemed to have his heart in the role and delivered his lines with apathy. The rest of the crew fared a bit better, but everyone of them fell into a cliched stereotype. It's nice to see a young Titus Welliver but he never got to actually do anything. After hinting at a past relationship with B'Elanna (I did like the BLT nickname), no further developments are given and at the end he just says "I guess you're gonna die, good luck with that!". There could have been some fun stuff with him and Tom at odds, not to mention some meaty stuff for B'Elanna herself, but no.
The aliens were threatening until they weren't. Even though we saw them attack and kill people instantly at the beginning, when they do the same thing on the bridge of Voyager then everyone is more or less fine. Why? Because they can't kill off the main cast, that's why. One of the worst resolutions to a cliffhanger between episodes that I've ever seen.
Deleting the Doctor's ethical subroutines seems like a very simple task. It seems like it's something that's all set up and ready to go just in case it's needed, with the only defence being the computer flashing up a window with "Are you sure you want to make your EMH evil? OK/Cancel".
Some good things were there. Nice to see Chakotay standing up to Janeway, even if it's kind of halfheartedly; Riker would have relieved her and assumed command pretty sharpish once he saw how she was endangering the ship - but it's ridiculous that there is no ending to their conflict, they just shrug it off. Seriously?
The moment where the evil Doc knocked out our Doctor's mobile emitter was a really nice surprise moment with great timing on the delivery. And I'm happy to see that some of the Equinox's crew join Voyager at the end (including sci-fi TV stalwart Rick Worthy), although I'm intrigued as to whether we'll actually see them again.
I do love time travel stories. This is an odd one, in that it doesn't seem to want to take itself too seriously. Of course, most time travel stories don't but this one in particular feels like it plunges ahead with abandon, not really caring too much about tidying things up.
It's good fun, though. I like that we revisit past events and there's a serious continuity nod by bringing back Captain Braxton (even if he's played by a completely different actor). The episode moves through different tones and ends in a very different place than it starts. Jeri Ryan is given a lot to do and - as usual - pulls it off very well. Once Janeway becomes involved in the time travel shenanigans it really begins to become great.
The ending is a let down, in that everything is wrapped up quickly and we're told not to worry, the timeline will now sort itself out and things were done off-screen to fix all the causality/paradox problems. And all the different versions of people will magically recombine into one. Somehow.
Slight continuity issue that really jumped out at me: the Doctor is activated for the first time at a completely different moment to what we've seen/been told before (everything previously has stated he was first activated in 'Caretaker' once they were stranded in the Delta Quadrant). What we see here does make more sense, of course, as you would think he would have been turned on previously for testing purposes if nothing else.
Well, that was awful. As a pure character-building exercise for Janeway it mostly fails, because the character it focuses on isn't even her. Sure, it's nice for Star Trek to sometimes do something different, but when it does it usually ties in to something important. This doesn't. This is the equivalent of a daydream with no bearing on anything.
It's like the writers wished they were making a completely different show. It could have worked if the story it told was original or interesting. The episode was meant to include Q and Guinan which would have improved it immeasurably.
There wasn't the slightest hint of chemistry between Shannon and Henry.
And again, Tom Paris' original character set up continues to be destroyed by making him an obscure history buff whose knowledge now expands to all Earth history, not just cars of the 1950s.
Whoa, whoa, hold up - was that image of the sperm fertilising an egg taken from Look Who's Talking?!?
While I'm fairly sure that the ambassador storyline here is a copy of something very similar from a TNG episode, the name of which escapes me, the rest of this is sweet and charming as hell. I could get behind Seven and The Doctor being together. Star Trek is fun when it's riffing on Shakespeare.
The 'You Are My Sunshine' scene was particularly lovely. A massive improvement over a similar singing scene over in the DS9 episode 'Chrysalis' from the same year.
I get emotional every time. Deep Space Nine ends with a beautiful farewell that manages to cover a lot of bases. It wraps up the Dominion War and gives - mostly - satisfying farewells for these characters. This show had by far the characters with the most depth and development in the franchise. There is no room for arguing that fact at all. They felt real. They had faults and they had arcs and evolved throughout the show.
So, it's a real shame that this is the final on-screen appearance for all of them bar Worf. If there was any Trek show that deserved a continuation in film format it was this one. The stories developed here were so rich, and even though this episode wraps things up it still leaves enough open questions and paths for exploration (with one MASSIVE cliffhanger in particular).
This episode itself is strong though certainly not without problems. The pacing is mostly good, but every time we cut to Kai Winn and Dukat on their pah-wraith search it really spoils the momentum. I've now learned (thanks to online forums that didn't exist for me back in the day) that a lot of people were not fans of any of this storyline. I can kind of understand why, even though it never bothered me too much. I really like the mythos that was slowly built up around the Bajoran religion, and certainly when I was younger I couldn't see the way elements became shoehorned in. The pah-wraiths amount to little more than hand-waving magic when you really look at them and they had the effect of turning both Winn and Dukat into pantomime villains.
I don't really accept the way that Winn changed her entire religious beliefs so readily, even though she tries to justify it. I also don't quite understand most of Dukat's motivations after he loses his daughter in season 6. If we are supposed to believe that he's just gone a bit insane then it could have been portrayed better. The whole showdown is over and done with far too quickly and it all gets a bit Star Wars (which I adore, but Star Wars is fantasy-based whereas Star Trek is science fiction/technology based). It doesn't fit. And we get a fast wrap up where Sisko and Dukat just fall into the fire which is... silly, to be polite.
The rest of the episode makes up for this, though. The final battle of the Dominion War is a visual feast and a gripping rollercoaster. The space battle is a tremendous accomplishment for 1990s television standards, but the best part is the Kira/Garak/Damar resistance storyline. Those three characters have such rich histories of conflict to mine that putting them together leads to nothing but joy on screen. The death of Damar does feel like a gut punch even though we've spent so much time hating him for his actions over the course of the past few seasons. It's a shame that his murder of Ziyal is never directly addressed by Kira or Garak. The love-to-hate-him character Weyoun gets a satisfying send off, and the war is ended with a moment of compassion and understanding when Odo offers to give himself up to save everyone.
The individual character bookends are also greatly satisfying, and often bittersweet. Odo leaves, O'Brien leaves, Worf leaves. Odo's decision feel natural even though he leaves hurt people in his wake, but Miles' is much more unexpected and actually the more emotional for me. The O'Brien/Bashir bromance was among my favourite parts of this show, so the video collage of their past moments is heartbreaking for me. Worf's departure is a bit stranger, since we will see him again in Star Trek: Nemesis and it doesn't acknowledge his decisions here at all. Additionally, I will be forever disappointed that there are no flashback to Jadzia due to licensing reasons.
In happier endings, Julian and Ezri are finally together and I like it. It was all a bit forced but I'm just happy at the thought of them together. Nog gets promoted to Lieutenant (take that, Harry Kim), Kira is in charge of the station and Quark gets to keep running the bar while Rom has become Grand Nagus!
That leaves the saddest ending of all: the Siskos. In particular, I think Jake gets the short straw. His dad is gone but just within reach. Benjamin has not only left his son behind, but his pregnant wife. It's a bold ending that leaves you wanting to know more, and extremely bittersweet. Ben and Jake were the heart and soul of this show from the very beginning and I think it's appropriate that it finishes on a shot of Jake thinking about his dad while being comforted.
I said in my review of 'Emissary' that DS9 was my favourite TV show of all time. This rewatch has solidified that statement for me. The characters here are mismatched, broken people who grow and evolve into true friends and take us on that journey with them. It has also really struck me how much DS9 continues to stand up to today's modern TV landscape, while the other Trek shows feel very much liked dated products of their time. Here we have a tale of terrorism, religion, war and through all that a thread of hope and idealism.
I absolutely can't leave it here, and I'm going to be delving into the "relaunch" novels that pick up where the show ended and continue the journey. It's not official canon and could easily be overwritten at any time (especially given the announcement of all the new Trek heading our way on TV), but that doesn't take away from these new stories at all, and given the "black sheep" nature of DS9 in the franchise I have a feeling that these stories are probably the best I can hope for. There's also the upcoming documentary What We Left Behind to look forward to, and maybe one day we'll get a nice HD upgrade for the show.
See you again down the road, DS9.
A clear money-saving episode needed to free up funds for the big finale. It's kind of frustrating in the way that it brings all the ongoing stories to a halt while we mess around in Sloan's head, but it manages to be entertaining because it's all about Bashir and O'Brien. I love these two together, and their friendship has been a massive part of the show from an early point. This is a last hurrah for them, and it's a shame that it's all a bit silly.
Having the crazy mind trip (which is pushing the realms of the believable in a franchise that's all about wondrous technology) just using the existing DS9 sets is noticeable as a means of preserving the budget, and makes the whole thing feel gimmicky and cheap. It's also a bit bizarre that Sloan, who is not a doctor in anyway, knows the intricacies of the cure they're looking for. A case of just needing to use the actor they'd already established as the Section 31 guy.
But I just like Miles and Julian, and they get some really good fun scenes here. It's a very dumb episode, but I find Section 31 super intriguing and entertaining as a plot line so I can get behind this one somewhat. There's also a gorgeous scene between Odo and Kira early on.
Still, I think Bashir/O'Brien deserved much better final outing than this.
This episode is a work of art.I'm trying to find an emoji that represents my facial expression during THAT Kira/Damar scene. "Yeah, Damar. What kind of people?"No luck so far.
If I ever have another pet I'm naming it Nerys. Or maybe my next guitar.
Garak was gold during this whole thing. And then, after a quite excellent scene with Ezri dropping some political wisdom, we get Worf killing a character we've been watching since TNG. Wow. My only complaint is that the fight is over a bit too quickly.
Julian and Miles' plan to lure a Section 31 agent to the station doesn't sound as smart to me as the two of them seem to think.
A fantastic juggling act of both separate and intersecting storylines, with intrigue and twists galore. This is mostly set up rather than anything really explosive, but it's all so gripping. Great to see Gowron back and as laughably egotistical as usual. I like that Bashir is given a lot to do as I find I tend to really enjoy his stories now.
Nana Visitor looks particularly great in a Starfleet uniform.
An episode with a little bit of everything. Big space battle, intrigue, marriage problems, murder, betrayal, and Julian and Miles playing games. Quite epic in its ambition, even if it has to suffer naturally by being a middle part in an ongoing story. But it somehow manages to remain focused even with all these different aspects. Also, RIP Defiant.
WEYOUN: "I'll order the destruction of all those escape pods immediately."FOUNDER: "No. The main characters are in them."
Damar has made an incredible character journey though this show: background soldier, to arrogant right-hand man, to leader of Cardassia, to an alcoholic in a downward spiral and now a rebel. He's become the most compelling character now.
I can't help but think that Kira's unwillingness to work with Kai Winn and find a way to help her despite her desires was a bit shortsighted. She's only pushed her further into hate and the consequences will be bad. Winn is a tragic character but it's so easy to just despise her, further testament to what Louise Fletcher brought to the role. Still, it remains icky to see her and Dukat together.
Here I am, entering the final stretch of episodes. I don't want it to end.
The ten hours starting here tell one continuous story to wrap up the show. It was a massive undertaking for Star Trek in a time when serialised television was still in the infant stages. The Sopranos had just begun by this point, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was entering its stride and The West Wing was around the corner - and of course, Babylon 5 had done its thing.
Star Trek was also a notoriously episodic franchise in world where episodic television was successful, and DS9 was daring to do something different, much as it had done all along. The six-episode experiment done at the start of season 6 had worked well so now we were ready for something much more ambitious.
'Penumbra' is a tentative start, very much focused on characters and setting up the direction for how things are going to end. All the events on the station are quite low key with the highlight being SIsko's general state of contentment. Wanting to move to Bajor and asking Kassidy to marry him feel like very natural steps for his journey by this point.
The real excitement comes from the fallout of the very complex relationship between Ezri and Worf as they are forced to spend time together and face their issues. Sparks fly in more ways than one and it's really enjoyable to see it all happen apart from the fact that Worf is being a big old jerk face. They are definitely not a good match in the way that Jadzia and Worf were, but it feels right that they finally sort this stuff out. I can see this focus on relationships being a turn off for the sci-fi fans who want to see wondrous technology, space battles and alien problems solved by human ingenuity, but the characters have always been the reason I watch anything.
Also, seeing Dukat as a Bajoran never fails to make me smile. A nice twist. However, I think the best part of the episode is Damar mocking Weyoun once he's left the room.
Much better. This manages to be weird and quirky without being silly, and successfully celebrates the best traditions of classic Star Trek. The episode scored a winner by getting Jason Alexander to play Kurros. He walks the line between friendly and extremely creepy and makes a very memorable villain who, in many ways, you want to like.
It's another strong episode for Seven, who still is getting a lot of episodes devoted to her (the producers clearly wanted to make her the face of the show, if not the entire franchise at this time). She finally feels like a natural part of the crew, willing to help them out and trust them. She's also able to say no when she feels like it, a luxury not afforded to the rest of the crew who have to follow the chain of command. In this case, it makes sense. I can imagine Harry or Chakotay would have willingly given themselves to the Think Tank when first asked if it meant saving Voyager given the sense of duty that's been hammered into them; Seven doesn't want to and has no qualms about saying it.
While I will say the episode was mostly predictable, with a "twist" you see coming fairly early on, it was a very fun watch made better by the performances and interesting character writing.
The Think Tank themselves are a villain finally worthy of the screen time, after an endless stream of meaningless aliens that I've mostly forgotten. We do unfortunately get another bland antagonist species here, too, with the Hazari. Ah well, at least they don't just look human like so many Delta Quadrant races.
Chakotay: I need to go on a vision quest.Me: -turns off episode-
I hate the way that whenever Voyager needs to show weird aliens trying to communicate, they just copy DS9's Prophet visions.It was nice that the actor playing Chakotay's grandfather was the same actor from the TNG episode 'Journey's End'.
"I've studied their log entries long enough to realise that as brilliant as the Hansens were, they made a fatal mistake," Chakotay said as Janeway headed towards the door. "They became overconfident.""We won't make the same mistake," Janeway said over-confidently.
"I've studied their log entries long enough to realise that as brilliant as the Hansens were, they made a fatal mistake," Chakotay said as Janeway headed towards the door. "They became overconfident.""We won't make the same mistake," Janeway said over-confidently.
This is a weird one, because it's epic scope and focus on the ever growing relationship between Seven and Janeway makes it quite an entertaining watch. It's also a terribly written piece of nonsense. Very little of it comes across as sensible and it's bewildering as you try to figure out exactly why things are happening.
First up, the return of the Borg Queen is a big draw, but there isn't a hint of explanation as to why or how she's there. As far as we know the Queen was killed a year earlier in Star Trek: First Contact, so... is this the same Queen or a different one? Did she just transmit and download her consciousness into a new body? Are there several Queens all working separately? We don't get any of those answers. It bugged me. It's also worth noting that the crew of Voyager have no idea that the Borg attacked Earth or that they are controlled by a Queen, so I was expecting a bit more of a reaction on their end.
The Borg themselves have become a very weak enemy by this point in the show. The rot began to set in with later TNG episodes, and between First Contact and their appearances in Voyager, they've really lost their edge. The crew are able to wander around on Borg ships with their weapons drawn and plant explosives all over the place, but apparently it's okay because the Borg don't see them as a threat and will ignore them (even AFTER they set off the explosives). As it turns out, the Borg don't seem to see them at all because if the crew dampen their life signs the Borg's eyes don't work anymore.
That aside, this is a good story for Seven. Jeri Ryan continues to be great in the role and while her mannerisms and performance hasn't altered drastically from when she first came aboard, her story certainly has. She states that she sees the Voyager crew as her family now and shows angry resentment to her parent's decisions that caused her life to go the way it did.
But, the whole situation with the Borg Queen trying to entice her back to the Collective is very odd. I'm not sure what the Queen was hoping to gain, and her methods of "seduction" certainly go nowhere. Her whole approach is along the lines of "come back to us Seven. It's horrible and you'll hate it, but you might as well". She continually praises and admires Seven's uniqueness, and then berates her for being individual. What was supposed to be happening here? Did the Queen genuinely expect Seven to side with her over Janeway? Then, just to add insult to injury, the Queen show's Seven her father turned into a drone. Yes, that will get her to change her mind. It's just another case of bad writing that the show is famous for, going for things that look cool over trying to tell coherent or sensible character stories.
The Queen says no Borg drone has regained its individuality before, so clearly the writer's had forgotten about Hugh, Locutus, all of Lore's Borg from 'Descent' and the previous Voyager episode 'Unity'. Janeway also makes a strange comment about preferring to suffocate rather than vaporise. Wouldn't her choice be much more drawn out and unpleasant? Vaporising is instant.
But, I had fun. The flashbacks to the Hansen's are quite good and I even got a season 1 TNG vibe from the visual side of it. Plus, there is a really intriguing suggestion that Seven was planted on Voyager purposely all along. I hope we get some follow up on that.
Me at the start of this episode:- What the hell, B'Elanna and Tom are getting married? When did this all happen?- Tom's a Lieutenant? He was demoted. How stupid are the writers on this show?- Voyager has a new warp core? Why is this the first we're hearing of it?! I hate this show.
And as it turns out it's all a deception, nicely done. I did not see it coming. That still doesn't change the fact that the episode is all just a bit shit, really. It's got to be one of the most depressing ones, too. The crew's generally subdued reactions to finding out they're not who they think they were, Tom being the one angry crew member and suddenly becoming an arsehole bad boy (like the series initially set him up to be, but forgot about), these things just don't ring true.
The makeup effects also look very silly, and I honestly couldn't stop laughing as the episode progressed. The performances didn't help either, with Janeway mostly coming across as sleepy, Neelix looking like a leprechaun and Harry looking like a frog.
On the positive side, I like that the episode picked up a storyline from a previous one and I was impressed that Jeri Ryan still looked gorgeous even with the "melting" makeup. The ending is really dark and final, something which I wasn't expecting.