Saturday, June 7, 2008

Star Trek: Voyager: "Alliances" and "Threshold"

Star Trek: Voyager
(TV Series), Season 2, Episode #30
First aired: 1/22/1996; 1 hour
Directed by Les Landau; Written by Jeri Taylor

In order to stop attacks from the Kazon, Captain Janeway finds herself being forced to make an alliance with the more powerful Kazon sects. When negotiations fail, their only chance is to ally themselves with the Trabe, a race that used the Kazons as slaves in the past.

Not one of the most exciting episodes, but still enjoyable. And it had a nice scene between Janeway and Tuvok, with Tuvok dishing out some good old Vulcan advice about whether or not to go ahead with the proposed alliance:

"When I was a young man, a great visionary named Spock recommended an alliance between the Federation and the Klingon empire. This produced a major dispute. The Klingons, after all, were outlaws, employing violence and brutality in order to build their empire. I myself spoke out against such a coalition. But the alliance was forged and it brought a stability to the quadrant that had not been there for two hundred years. Spock's suggestion, so controversial at first, proved to be the cornerstone of peace."

Ah, that Spock. Don't you wish there really were Vulcans hanging around the planet?

Star Trek: Voyager (TV Series), Season 2, Episode #31
First aired: 1/29/1996; 1 hour
Written by: Brannon Braga, Michael De Luca; Directed by: Alexander Singer

Tom Paris begins evolving into a seemingly more advanced organism after achieving warp 10 in an experimental shuttle. During treatment to return him back to normal, he escapes, kidnaps Captain Janeway, steals a shuttle craft, and vanishes back into the "Transwarp." Eventually, the shuttle is located on a swampy planet and a number of reptile-like beings are found – two adults and three offspring. After a DNA test, the adult beings are discovered to be Paris and Janeway! Chakotay makes the decision to leave the three younger reptiles on the planet, and Tom and the Captain are returned to Voyager. Fortunately, they've retained enough of their original DNA to be restored to human form.

Apparently this show is famous (or infamous) as the worst ever Star Trek episode, and though I haven't seen every episode of every Star Trek series, I wouldn't argue with that assessment. However, even though many Trekkies choose to ignore this particular show completely and pretend it never existed, I'm told that the mutated Tom Paris was actually made into an action figure, with his three offspring as accessories. (I'm not making this up.)

But "Threshold" is sort of dear to me for a few of the most unforgettable Star Trek lines. Early in the show, when the experiment seems to be failing and the tension is getting thick, Tom yells, "My vector's drifting!" Now that's right up there with Kirk's "How long till the sun blows up?" Then later on, after Paris and Janeway are being treated following their walk on the lizard side, the Hologram Doctor says, "I've eradicated all traces of the mutant DNA from your system and restored your original genome. Congratulations. You're human again." Well, all right!

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