Time and Again

Voyager: Season 1, Episode 3
Stardate Unknown (2371)

Episode Guide/Review by Charlynn Schmiedt


Episode 3 of 168 Released in Star Trek: Voyager
Episode 3 of 168 Produced in Star Trek: Voyager
Production Number: 104
Original airdate: January 30, 1995

Directed by Les Landau
Story by David Kemper

Teleplay by David Kemper and Michael Piller


Synopsis

While investigating a disaster that killed all inhabitants of a planet, Janeway and Paris are transported back in time—approximately one day before the explosion—and must find a way to prevent the disaster’s occurrence.

Social Commentary

This episode does not take a stance for or against the topic, but the story does reflect attitudes toward nuclear energy. Since day one, use of nuclear power has been filled with controversy. It generates enough power to meet the needs of the world’s largest cities at low cost. However, concerns about toxic waste disposal and potential for disaster have painted nuclear energy as a more dangerous option than fossil fuels. The disaster at Chernobyl in 1986 demonstrated what happens when things go wrong at a nuclear power plant, and this event heightened fears of using nuclear energy. More recently, Japan suffered a nuclear crisis in 2011 when reactors at Fukushima experienced meltdown after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the nation’s Pacific coastline and a  tsunami hit in quick succession. This has brought the use of nuclear energy back into the consciousness of the public, and the debate for or against it wages on.

Strengths

It’s nice that the writers didn’t forget about Tom and Harry’s friendship. We’ll see it continue throughout the series.

The Doctor doesn’t have a pivotal role in this episode, but he steals the show with the delivery of lines such as “Seems as though I’ve found myself on the voyage of the damned,” “Your brain is… not on file,” and “She’s the healthiest member of her species I’ve ever seen. The only member of her species I have ever seen.”

Adding telepathy to Kes’ character could have been a recipe for Deanna-Troi Syndrome, but even in this episode Kes works her abilities far better than “I sense so-and-so is angry.” Thank goodness.

Flaws

Neelix-haters certainly have cause for their dislike of the Talaxian in this episode. He’s useless as Voyager’s guide since he has no knowledge of the planet. He’s even more useless to Kes when she tells him of seeing the destruction of the planet; instead of listening and comforting her, he tells her that none of it—or her emerging telepathic abilities—is real. Way to empathize!

The B story of coming up with a solution to retrieve Janeway and Paris is a technobabbly yawner. It isn’t interesting. Period.

Additional Thoughts

What were the costume designers smoking when they came up with these weird corset shirts?

The timepieces are beyond bulky. Who would carry such a cumbersome object with them?

Memorable Quotes

“It seems I’ve found myself on a voyage of the damned.” 
—The Doctor

“Your brain is…not on file.” 
–The Doctor, to Kes, as he’s scanning her.

“She’s the healthiest member of her species I’ve ever seen. The only member of her species I have ever seen.” 
—The Doctor

“I’ve got a girl back home.”
“So what? I got five.”
—Kim and Paris

Remember

Kes’s telepathic abilities. They are just beginning to emerge and she will develop them as the series continues.

Final Word

This is the kind of weak outing that’s typical of a new Trek series as it tries to find its stride. It’s a below-average, forgettable episode.

RATING

rating-4.png



(4 out of 10)

Guest Stars

Nicolas Surovy as Pe’Nar Makull
Joel Polis as Ny Terla
Brady Bluhm as Latika