Jammer's Review

Star Trek: Voyager

"Demon"

1/2

Air date: 5/6/1998
Teleplay by Kenneth Biller
Story by Andre Bormanis
Directed by Anson Williams

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"When I first came on board Voyager, I was pretty green, right?"
"A deep, almost-fluorescent green, if I remember correctly"

— Harry and Tom

Nutshell: Bizarre—in a weird, meaningless, and completely ineffective sort of way.

Jammer walks into the room on the third floor of the Illini Union. It is the first time he has decided to go to a meeting held by the campus' Star Trek: Voyager fan club. He has heard that these people usually have nothing but witless praise for the show, and that they do not like people who criticize it. Being that this is the last meeting before summer adjournment, Jammer decides that he wants to have some fun by sitting in and making some comments about the most recent Voyager episode, "Demon." He takes a seat at the back of the room.

Club president [banging a gavel]: All members, the meeting is now in session. We'll begin with the usual weekly commentary about this past Wednesday's episode, starting with our lead speaker and reviewer, Gary. Are you ready, Gary?

Gary [standing up]: Naturally. As you all know, I wouldn't miss an episode. It's my favorite TV show. The Bulls are in the playoffs, and I had to miss the end of the game, but one must have priorities, you know. [Some club members laugh.]

Jammer [from the back of the room, trying to incite trouble]: Are you kidding? Voyager is LAME. DS9 is a lot better.

[Gasps come from everywhere in the room. Murmurs from all the members blend together, filling the room with an air of appalled surprise.]

Bob [a member from the front of the room]: Oh, it's Jammer. We know all about you and your reviews. You really think you're the man, don't you?

[The room grows quiet, as members begin to realize a debate is about to begin.]

Jammer: No, I just write them. You don't have to agree with them.

Bob: Well, whatever. I've heard DS9 is just a rip-off of Babylon 5. I don't watch it much ... all that Prophets stuff gets on my nerves and is boring. Voyager is better because it takes place on a ship, the way a Trek series should. Plus, it has that Borg Babe.

[Some members start laughing. The mood lightens.]

Amanda [from the center of the room]: Bob, you're such a moron. Get over her. She deserves more credit than being reduced to a sex object. [The room grows quiet again.]

Bob: I'm not even going to start, Amanda. We had this discussion two weeks ago. Quit being so politically correct.

Gary: I'll admit, she's nice to look at, but I think we have more important discussion at hand.

Jammer: Yes, we do. What did you think of "Demon"?

Gary: Well, it was one demon of a planet. The place was really harsh. Five hundred degrees Kelvin!

Bob: Yep. Don't forget the poisonous gases.

Gary: The episode was really good. This is Voyager doing interesting exploration and also remembering that the ship is stranded. The deuterium supply was low, so the ship was running out of fuel. I was glad they brought that up, because we haven't seen anything like that since the second season when the crew would look for food.

Jammer: What? You bought into this?

Gary: Sure, why not?

Jammer: So you're saying that if you had a car and were running out of gas, you'd drive out to the middle of the Mojave Desert and not look for a gas station until AFTER the needle was dropping below "E"?

Gary: Well, I don't think that analogy...

Jammer: I suppose you'd leave the air conditioning running full blast, too. That was B.S. All this time in the Delta Quadrant, and all of a sudden Voyager is running low on fuel and conveniently couldn't find any deuterium? I just loved the way they didn't turn off the lights and the holodecks until the same day they ran out of energy. I mean, this came out of nowhere, for crying out loud! The crew must be a bunch of IDIOTS! The whole episode was based on a completely absurd, far-fetched, and unbelievable idea. And very, very artificially manufactured. Pulled out of the creators' rear, if I may say so.

Gary: Well, maybe a little, but...

Jammer: And what was up with Tuvok not letting Neelix keep his book and his blankets? Yeah, Neelix may have been a whining chump this week, but how does one book take up THAT much space?

Amanda: Yeah, what WAS that all about?

[Murmurs from all around the room begin again.]

Gary: Well maybe Tuvok wanted to be fair. After all, the entire crew couldn't bring their books and blankets if they were being put into general population. Tuvok probably didn't want to have to worry about books getting lost or stolen and stuff. [Laughs.] Who cares? It was all done for comedy.

Amanda: Yeah, but it was still trite, you have to admit.

Jammer: They sure padded this episode with a lot of stupid scenes. It was supposed to be funny, but it didn't work. All it did was break up the momentum. Wait—I take that back. There wasn't any momentum to break up.

Gary: Well, what about the subplot where Neelix decides to go to sickbay as his temporary "quarters," and then Neelix and the Holodoc get into a fight over it?

Jammer: That was the worst of it all. Absolutely horrendous. Did you actually think it was funny? It had to be one of the biggest wastes of screen time this entire season. Pointless scenes of Doc trying to annoy Neelix and vice versa. What was this supposed to be?

Gary: I'll admit that it was kinda goofy. But the whole thing of Doc not being able to stay up late so that Neelix could sleep reminded me of the roommate problems I had my freshman year.

Jammer: Did you act the way either Doc or Neelix was acting here? If so, I can see WHY you had roommate problems. This was just dumb; it had both of them acting like junior high kids. I thought even this show was way beyond this trivial crap.

[Murmurs fill the room again. Many people are obviously angry with Jammer.]

Bob: Why should we listen to you? You actually liked "Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night"!

[Shouts of agreement fill the room, as it becomes obvious the meeting is turning into Jammer versus everyone else.]

Jammer [trying to avoid losing the floor to dissension]: Hey, but did you notice: B'Elanna's back, and she's not pregnant anymore.

Bob: Yeah, that's right. She's still wearing that engineering coat, though. That's okay; everyone knows Seven of Nine is the real engineer. They should get rid of B'Elanna and make Seven the chief. She has all that Borg knowledge and could run that department, and threaten to assimilate anyone who doesn't obey her orders. [Laughs.]

Amanda [with disdain]: The Seven worshiper speaks again.

Gary: Hey, did anyone try to win 100 bucks through the TV station with that Trek promo they have this month?

Unnamed member #1 [who is sitting near Jammer]: I actually got through, but I was the fourth caller.

Unnamed member #2 [from the front]: I tried the last few days, but I never get through. I've given up and don't bother anymore.

Jammer: Yeah, when the message came on the screen I tried to get through, but it was busy every time I dialed. Being the tenth caller is impossible. I usually tend to ignore it, but since the show was so boring and tedious, I just went ahead and tried to make some money off it.

Gary: Oh well, better luck next time.

Jammer: Anyway, I thought they were going to crash that shuttle at the beginning, but fortunately they didn't.

Gary: There! You see, they ARE managing to avoid using the standard cliches.

Jammer: Maybe, but considering the whole premise was based on a DNA-mimicking metallic fluid, I didn't feel too great about it. I also don't recall them taking the shuttle back to the ship, but that's not exactly a surprise; they never show that. It's not something worth complaining too much about.

Bob: I think you complain enough, anyway. You're just a nitpicker who hates the show. Anyway, you're missing the point. This was about Tom and Harry and how they got absorbed by that liquid metal stuff.

Jammer: Well, it was about them getting absorbed, but it certainly wasn't about Tom or Harry. Anyone could've been absorbed, including you or me. This whole show could've been done with a bunch of guest characters for all the good it did for the characters who were actually in the show!

Amanda: Well, I like Harry's character, and I thought the theme at the beginning was interesting—you know, where he decides to be more assertive—even though the DNA mumbo-jumbo was uninteresting.

Jammer: Harry's issue came completely out of the blue—just like the whole "out of fuel" thing. There's never any gradual drama on this series. Everything is conjured out of nowhere, and Harry's personality this week was a perfect example of this.

Amanda: Well, they had some references to other shows; that made for some good continuity.

Jammer: Too bad so many of the references were to BAD shows. The fact Harry attributes his most "worthwhile" experience to bizarre events, like turning into an alien in "Favorite Son" or coming back from the dead doesn't say much about his character. Hell, I was surprised he didn't mention his twin getting sucked out into space in "Deadlock." Now THERE'S something to put on your resume.

Gary: What about the way the plot explained the real reason for everything? It was reasonable science fiction, wasn't it? I liked the idea that it was a liquid lifeform that copies people's DNA.

Jammer: DNA, DNA, DNA. I'm not even going to start in. Voyager plays that DNA card way too much. I especially loved the way the copied DNA allowed the liquid lifeform to make replicated people, complete with uniforms and total memories of the past. [Shakes his head.] God-awful science. But what's the point in being critical of bad science anymore? Really—this episode was like a classic Seinfeld episode: a show about nothing. At least, for most of the way, it was. When it finally decided it was making a point, it pulled plot conveniences out of thin air.

Amanda: You're so harsh!

Jammer: Well, to be fair, it wasn't quite as bad as "Threshold." But it was incredibly slow and pointless, and had a plot that jumped around aimlessly. Easily the worst of the year.

Bob: Whadayamean? This story had the ship land! Blue alert! We haven't seen that since the second season. And then the liquid metal stuff started to go under the ship and make it sink. That was cool. I liked the way Janeway played the badass and shot the liquid stuff with the phasers until they agreed to let go of the ship.

Jammer: I thought that was a questionable moment, especially seeing how sincere the fake Harry was asking Janeway for help, but I guess you've got to protect your own first.

Gary: But you have to admit the way the story handled the fake Harry and fake Tom was done well. I didn't suspect a thing for the longest time.

Jammer: Yeah, except for that the plot cheats and is completely deceptive in order to do this. Just how is it the mimicking metal stuff remembered that Tom and Harry ran out of oxygen and passed out—which happened AFTER it had copied them? And we never even found out why they had leaks in their suits, or how they managed to survive for an hour with "no oxygen." And when it was all over with, what was the POINT? To fake out the audience? I was literally amazed at how little sense this made, and how many cheats they used to do it.

Bob [angrily]: Who even asked you, Jammer? You could at least give the show credit for being bizarre and different. It's a lot more interesting than a bunch of bratty kids piloting a Valiant-class starship, which isn't believable, either.

Jammer: Oh, come ON! Believable? You want to talk about BELIEVABLE? Okay, let's go. First, doesn't it seem silly that Tom and Harry would leave their shuttle door OPEN in 500-Kelvin weather? Seems like it'd be bad for the equipment, or at least the upholstery. Then again, they'd have to leave the environmental controls on full blast in order to keep the shuttle cool, anyway. Man, and I thought cooling my car down on a summer day was bad. And, by the way, the Valiant is a Defiant-class ship.

Bob: I'm warning you, Jammer, don't make me mad...

Jammer [testing the limits of Bob]: And didn't you think it was strange that later, after they found them with no enviro-suits, no one noticed that Harry and Tom were okay in that heat? Sure, they noticed that the two of them could breath the poisonous gasses, but no one seemed to notice that they hadn't become a nice, crispy, charred barbecue.

Bob: Just shut UP, already!

Jammer [having even more fun provoking Bob]: Oh yeah—tell me how much energy it would take to keep the starship Voyager habitable while it's sitting on the surface of a planet that's 500 Kelvin. Or how long it would take the ship to reach the planet from .4 light-years away at ONE-QUARTER IMPULSE POWER.

Bob: THAT'S IT! [He begins walking toward Jammer, looking particularly violent.]

Jammer [reveling inside]: And Janeway KILLED Tuvix!

[The room explodes into a fury of shouting and arguing. Bob becomes lost in the pack. One member even picks up a chair, as if he might throw it into the crowd. Jammer considers calling the police, but then realizes that the outbreak is his own fault.]

President [furiously banging his gavel]: Order! ORDER!

[The crowd slowly calms down, and back to normal. Everyone is uncomfortable. Bob is still fuming.]

President: Jammer, you may make your closing remarks, but then you have to leave. We cannot tolerate this sort of dissension.

Gary: I just want to say that this episode was different, which is worth respect.

Jammer: Well, I don't know what you saw in this. I'll grant you that it was bizarre and different, and wasn't bad in any typical way. Rather, it was bad in a way all of its OWN. They really tried pushing the envelope at the end, but it was a big flop that was merely mind-numbingly bland. None of what happened made any sense, and none of the characters seemed to care what was happening around them. Especially the ending, where the fake Harry started to suddenly realize the nature of his existence, was hopelessly contrived.

Gary: What about the final scene with the replicated crew standing around outside the ship? That was sort of poignant.

Jammer: It looked neat, but it was totally thoughtless and without regard to any consequences. Did you even think about the implications of Janeway allowing the entire crew to be replicated, with copied memories of everyone? Now THERE'S a cloning issue for you. What about security? Don't get me wrong; I'm glad this didn't turn out to be a simple example of killing the "bad alien lifeform," but it was almost as bad the way it unfolded. Very poorly thought out.

Bob [calmer]: You think about this show way too much. It's supposed to be entertainment. I watch it for the special effects, the exploration, and, of course, the Borg Babe.

Jammer: Maybe that's why you don't watch DS9—you watch TV you don't have to think about. I can understand that, I guess. I don't always want to think when I'm looking for entertainment. But at the same time, that certainly doesn't mean Voyager has to be completely without a brain. "Living Witness" last week was a great story—didn't you think so?

Gary [receiving agreement from others]: Yeah, it was. And I guess I didn't mind thinking about it after it was over.

Jammer: Well, there you go—living proof that this series won't alienate viewers simply by thinking every so often. I've said my piece. Thanks for letting me sit in on your meeting.

Bob [aside]: Don't you mean destroy it?

President: Please leave now, Jammer.

Jammer: No problem. Just one more thing...

President: What?

Jammer: The Trek novels AREN'T CANON!

Jammer bolts out of the room as it explodes again. He walks down the hall, listening as the shouting and arguing echoes throughout the floor. As he exists the Union, he laughs to himself as he wonders how so many intelligent, college-educated people could enjoy such a lobotomized television episode. But, then again, everyone has their own opinions. Fearing for his life, Jammer takes the bus home, as he wouldn't want to be assaulted by a gang of Voyager viewers during a short but decidedly dangerous walk down Green Street.


Next week: Frozen crew. Guess that's better than a non-barbecued-at-500-Kelvin crew.

Previous episode: Living Witness
Next episode: One

Season Index

37 comments on this review

Greg - Sat, Sep 8, 2007 - 9:26pm (USA Central)
I'm glad you're allowing comments now because I've always wanted to say that this review is one of the funniest reviews you've ever done. I'm not that harsh on this episode, but still a very entertaining read.
mlk - Tue, Dec 25, 2007 - 9:26pm (USA Central)
I always wondered if this was based on a real event.
Bill T - Tue, Jan 15, 2008 - 8:12pm (USA Central)
... You can have opinions about episodes, but if you have such a negative view of the show overall, don't you think that will color your reviews?
Luka - Sun, Apr 13, 2008 - 11:10pm (USA Central)
This episode was bad. The internal logic makes absolutely no sense. They explain the planet is inhospitable so she risks the safety of the entire crew for a fuel supply? To top it off, Janeway has her entire crews identity copied, how can she trust these aliens so readily? It's just all around bad.
Raskolnikov - Sat, May 3, 2008 - 10:16am (USA Central)
Awesome review. Much as I enjoy the regular format, these occasional alternate script forms are hilarious.
indijo - Mon, May 26, 2008 - 11:11am (USA Central)
Actually, I'd give this one 2 stars for the scenes on the alien planet alone, which imo were quite fascinating. As for the rest, well, not so good.
Tim - Thu, Jun 26, 2008 - 10:21pm (USA Central)
During Voyager's first four seasons, that was before I was ever hooked up to the Internet. I didn't realize how much Voyager was disliked by most people. I thought it was the cat's pajamas. That being said, even a loyal mindless Voyager fan like me thought this episode was DUMB the first time I saw it. The dialog actually made me groan. Ugh, how I disliked this episode.
Kat - Tue, Aug 19, 2008 - 3:34am (USA Central)
You just made my day. That was hilarious! God...people actually liked that episode? I love how you made all the valid points and they just got angry.
EP - Tue, Feb 24, 2009 - 12:47am (USA Central)
I'd like to know who wrote the Doctor's "petulant child" subroutines. The scene where he's making life miserable for Neelix in the sick bay is cute and written for cheap laughs but is absolutely illogical.
On the plus side, VOY gets plenty of use out of those EV suits from STVIII.
Rachael - Thu, Jul 9, 2009 - 3:25pm (USA Central)
The fact that I went to the University of Illinois makes this review that much more hilarious.
Markus - Thu, Jul 23, 2009 - 7:27am (USA Central)
As a matter of fact, I'm shocked about the bad comments about this one. In my opinion this is one of the most intersting shows of Voyager's 4th season. Flawed, illogical... okay. But I couldn't stop laughing about the Doctor's scene and this DNA stuff... well... it worked for me. I think this one was definitely one of the better ones. "Unforgettable" or many others were disasters compared to this one.
Will - Tue, Oct 27, 2009 - 9:33am (USA Central)
Yet another attempt to give Harry Kim some character development. Shame they made it so bleeding obvious. "Hey guys, I've become more independant!" that's probably not what he said, but it was something along those lines. Yes, he did actually say that.
Will - Tue, Oct 27, 2009 - 9:47am (USA Central)
Hahahahahhahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!! PLEASE DO MORE REVIEWS LIKE THIS!!!!!!!! Hell, rewrite all your old reviews and do them like this. Haha!
John Pate - Fri, Feb 12, 2010 - 4:13am (USA Central)
I liked it.

I can't imagine how condemning it because the Treknobabble has no relationship to real science can make any sense! Now that is crazy. Within the logic of the plot it all made sense, that's the point.

There were some nice character interactions. I especially liked B'ellana saying Seven should go because she's a cold-hearted bitch, then Seven was very jumpy and distracted when she actually got on the surface, showing how little B'ellana actually knows Seven. There was the typical Tom-Harry banter (between the "real" Tom and Harry), Dr vs Neelix, Chakotay dressing down B'ellana...

But then, I'm also a big fan of "Course Oblivion."
Nic - Wed, Mar 31, 2010 - 12:05pm (USA Central)
Can anyone believe that the one who contributed the story for this episode is an ASTROPHYSICIST?

All the negative things about the episode have been said, so here's a few points in its defense:

1) I think it makes sense that the EV suits would have an "emergency" life support system in case the first one failed, and that was what kept them alive. Of course, they could have mentioend it.

2) Kim DOES get some character development. Yes, it hadn't been mentioned before, but I can find plenty of examples in TNG and DS9 where the same thing happened. That's a staple of pretty much all episodic television.
Huh? - Wed, Sep 22, 2010 - 2:42pm (USA Central)
Where is the review?
Cloudane - Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 4:33pm (USA Central)
I love how this review is about 10x more entertaining than the episode itself. Bravo!

When Tim Lynch quitted reviewing Voyager (end of season 2) I thought it was a massive dramatic overreaction. If you think Jammer is critical, he's an extremely tolerant pussycat compared to Mr Lynch who whined at even vast amounts of DS9 (then did season roundups and marked everything further down for good measure). But during season 4 I'm surprised Jammer didn't quit too. I would have.

I still have the rest of Voyager and season 7 of DS9 to go, but so far my impression of season 4 is that aside from the good points of Seven's introduction (all 2 of them, hurr hurr... No, she is a genuinely interesting introduction) it's the most shallow, inconsequential cliche-filled half arsed season in the entire Trek run. Absolute dross. This episode is just the nail in season 4's coffin.

I actually loved season 3... why they gave up any pretense of ongoing storylines and good drama with 4 is beyond me. Well, 2 more to go....
Jay - Sun, Mar 6, 2011 - 11:58am (USA Central)
Violations of the Prime Directive don't get much bigger than this...
enniofan - Wed, Mar 30, 2011 - 8:47am (USA Central)
people can bitch about the science all they like....you're talking about a show with warp drive and transporters in the first place.

deuterium is the least of its troubles...
sumedh - Sat, Apr 23, 2011 - 2:33pm (USA Central)
Just for the record, 500 K is not THAT hot. That's about twice the boiling point of water. There are plenty of hotter places here on EARTH (like volcanos, for example).

For a "Demon" class planet, this was practically frigid. Venus is much, much hotter on the surface.
julian9297 - Thu, May 12, 2011 - 10:50pm (USA Central)
SO MANY plot holes. The planet was pretty cool looking, but that's about all this episode has going for it.

That was hilarious by the way. If they ever make another series, you should go back for a GOOD episode involving something deep and awesome. It would have been funny to see what they thought of "Frame of Mind", or "Projections".
Dirge - Fri, Jun 24, 2011 - 12:29pm (USA Central)
Whenever I need a little pick-me-up, I read this review. Funny, funny stuff. But I've never seen the episode.
Destructor - Sun, Sep 25, 2011 - 7:58pm (USA Central)
I like this episode. Strange new world and strange new life form, there's something very 'classic Trek' about it.
Nic - Sat, Oct 8, 2011 - 5:18pm (USA Central)
This was the best Harry Kim episode of the season.

Zing!
V - Fri, Jan 27, 2012 - 4:38pm (USA Central)
I'm an asian lady. It always bothers me how hollywood depicts asians. Not all bad but primarily stupid. It's like the writers of smallville not knowing how to develop a black actor. I just wish writers learn to treat asian characters without any difference to the white ones. In the end, they should ACT and feel like people. In this series the actor could've done a better job but the writers just plain suck when they are writing for a native american or asian. It's like they suddenly don't know what to do when a person is not white!
Elphaba - Wed, Oct 3, 2012 - 4:54pm (USA Central)
Doctor Who did this in the two-parter The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People. Needless to say it was so much better.
takeiteasy - Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - 5:38pm (USA Central)
Jammer, Initially I thought you were just kidding. But if those comments are serious, sorry I couldn't agree. Who said they suddenly discovered they ran out of energy? And what is the problem Harry suddenly realized his potential and changed (it happens in real life).

Regarding energy spent in keeping temperature of the space station (and shuttle), you know that in space they are already doing that when the outside temperature is 2.7K compared to a comfortable 293K for people? And energy required to in full impulse or warp will be way way way too much. They might also have extremely tight temperature control (really required for space travel).

"I also don't recall them taking the shuttle back to the ship, but that's not exactly a surprise; they never show that."

They didn't show Tuvoc eating in this episode. Not everything needs to be shown.

Very lame review, unless you were just kidding. I have been reading your reviews recently and started to like a bit. This one spoiled.
T'Paul - Mon, Sep 16, 2013 - 10:28am (USA Central)
Come on, it at least deserves some credit for being something not done before...

People seem to be demanding literary and scientific orthodoxy from what is a TV show inspired by another TV show that was quite frankly utterly bizarre (TOS).

Someone came up with an original idea in the constraints that the show imposes, and I think in that respect it did fine.

At least it tried to be Sci Fi rather than a sterilized, invisible war in space with so-called political intrigue which actually went little above soap opera standards a la DS9, which is frankly military porn for people who know nothing about war, and religious porn for people who know nothing about religion.
T'Paul - Mon, Sep 16, 2013 - 10:42am (USA Central)
And apologies for the tone of my comment, but after the tone of that review, I feel it's not out of place, especially since it didn't address the episode, and ignored it's merits totally.
Nick - Tue, Nov 12, 2013 - 3:10am (USA Central)
This episode deserves more than 1/2 *, I'd go so far as to give it 2.5*. This episode was in the grand tradition of a classic TOS adventure, in which the seemingly malicious alien clones the humans, gains awareness, then fights for the right to existence. Imagine if Kirk, Spock, and Mccoy had been on that Demon planet, substitute the CGI for plaster of paris set pieces and lots of smoke...add in classic witty dialogue, and bam, classic TOS episode.

What we have here is no classic, it would have benefited from an extra minute or two of exposition at the end for reflection and explanation. What exactly are all those clones supposed to do on the demon planet with no technology? Talk about a loose end. Of course, we the audience are not expected to ask such questions, merely enjoy the 45 minutes of uh...demon planet exploring interlaced with Neelix whining.

Neelix even managed to make the Doctor feel guilty, which makes no sense at all considering he's just a hologram.

Oh well, I for one thought the spacesuits were cool.
Looper - Sun, Dec 8, 2013 - 2:33pm (USA Central)
Call me crazy, I really enjoyed this episode. I liked the idea of a sentient fluid. Although I must say I am now officially sick of Paris. Cracking a joke everytime he's dying, ugh. Drama please!
Steinway - Sat, Dec 14, 2013 - 11:31pm (USA Central)
Janeway at the end of the episode, when talking to the crew: "Hey everybody, time to give a DNA sample so you can be copied and left on a barren planet!"

Me: No thanks!

This episode was very poor but that ending was downright disturbing. They might as well have had a shot at the end with the real Voyager crew waving out the windows as the ship alighted, smiling and saying "Bye clones! Have fun down there with the creepy goo we know almost nothing about!"
Chris P - Sat, Feb 1, 2014 - 9:56am (USA Central)
It's always interesting seeing what kinds of storytelling shortcomings intelligent people can and cannot tolerate. One of my favorite things about your reviews is that, while I tend to agree to within 1/2* on 90% of them, once in a while I get to an episode where I disagree by 2*. This offers an interesting catalyst for extro and introspection.

I found this episode to be a well paced 45 minutes in a unique setting in unique circumstances. For that alone I was apt to enjoy whatever story they told and, frankly, I enjoyed the birthing of sentience of a totally alien organism. This might have been a case where a two parter would have benefitted the premise because a.) more resourced committed would force the crew to commit more logic to the storyline (Tom and Harry should have been rescued quickly. They died for lack of oxygen...except for the fact that the writers said they didn't) and b.) the species' dawning self awareness could have been explored more. I would have enjoyed seeing its initial exuberance turn into fear of isolation then turn into desperation. Instead it was pretty much just desperation-->resolution via phasers.

Maybe I'm just tolerant of the episode's flaws because I'm grateful that the story wasn't about time travel or about bipeds with funny forheads being assholes to Voyager. As amazing as it is to see a 45th instance of BwFF shooting their beams at Voyager or imprisoning their crew, I always seem to enjoy the episodes that aren't about that the most.
Amanda - Mon, Apr 7, 2014 - 11:00pm (USA Central)
Could someone explain wtf neelix couldn't have a pillow?! How is that energy robbing? (sarcasm aside) I don't get it.
Ric - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 - 1:15am (USA Central)
That review was by far one of the best I've read on any Trek so far. Other sites included. Very very funny.

This episode's lack of logic was ofensive. The sudden lack of fuel/energy just to bring a pseudo-continuity for a lazy plot excuse was even more. The half stars is more than enough. I would give this same half star, but only for the fact that the writers decided to show officers beaming down to non-M class planet, i.e. even using astrounaut clothss. It always bothered me how rare this is.
kapages - Sun, Jun 22, 2014 - 2:10pm (USA Central)
Its a great episode,in its basic plot, TOS like.
The alien fluid was very interesting.
I liked the non benevolent nature of the alien, its realistic behaviour inside the plot-defined parameters.

Compared to the fluid that killed Yar in TNG-Skin of Evil, way way better.
Oh, remember Skin of Evil, how may stars took from Jammer? 1,5.

Due to some logical flaws/inconsistencies, 2,5 stars from me.

And no, I'm not talking about running out of energy.
everybody keeps complaining, that in the beggining Voyager would stop and explore every tiny anomaly without reason.
here we have a reason, seek for deuterium, but its not good enough. They should have searched for deuterium a long time ago.
And what tells u they didnt?
Continuity is one thing, arc plots is one thing, but u cant expect the episodes to unfold like a soap opera.
This is a independent episode show, with gradual developmets. deal with it, or stop watching.

Jeez...
Shane - Mon, Jul 21, 2014 - 9:55pm (USA Central)
This episode is profoundly stupid. I found myself constantly shaking my head every time a character said something or some element of the plot was revealed.

Here we have a crew too stupid to conserve energy until the tank is on empty. Just a few weeks earlier we had Tom Paris playing with his Camaro on the holodeck. The crew should've been aware of their dwindling power supply at that time.

Since they found themselves out of gas in the middle of nowhere they move all the crew to one area to conserve energy. That's a good idea, but Tuvok won't let Neelix bring a blanket and small book for comfort? That was irritating. The book and blanket take up no more room than Neelix himself really, and they will serve to improve his morale slightly. Screw you Tuvok.

Janeway intends to crawl along at 1/4 impulse power. Do the writers have any clue how large space is? Speaking in interstellar terms they won't get anywhere at impulse speed in the week before their fuel runs out. (Not that they need the engines running constantly in the first place, but Trek always screws up the physics of space travel).

Why doesn't Starfleet have any robotic probes that can be used to "mine" deuterium? If a shuttle and environmental suits can survive the environment (even briefly) then Starfleet must have robotic probes that are more capable. The Soviets landed probes on Venus in the 70s and were able to acquire photographs and scientific data. Venus is incredibly hostile, surely humanity in the 24th century would be much more advanced. (Another thing that bothered me able Trek in general -- where are the robots?)

Tom and Harry land the shuttle a good distance away from the deuterium. Why would they wander so far from the shuttle in such a hostile place? And why only a crew of two? Why do they leave the shuttle door open? Wouldn't the "hostile" environment damage the interior of the shuttle? I'd hate to see what exposure to Venus' would do to the interior of my car!

Janeway again opts to land Voyager in a dangerous situation that really doesn't warrant it. She has a penchant for doing that.

And finally, looks like the whole crew opted to be duplicated. I wouldn't go through with that. I doubt most of the crew would either.

What did I like? Harry's little bit at the beginning of taking the initiative and voicing his opinion. He really has gained a lot of experience and did deserve promotion. Too bad the writers and producers were assholes and liked to punk Harry on every possible occasion.

This episode is definitely a 1-star or less for me. Not so bad it's good, just so bad as to be maddening.

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