Jammer's Review

Star Trek: Voyager

"Blink of an Eye"

***

Air date: 1/19/2000
Teleplay by Joe Menosky
Story by Michael Taylor
Directed by Gabrielle Beaumont

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"If there's an intelligent species down there, we'll be able to track their development, not just for days or weeks, but for centuries."
"And watch them discover new and better ways of beating each other over the head."
"They won't necessarily follow the Klingon model."
"As opposed to the human model?"

— Chakotay and Torres

Nutshell: A good reapplication of a good premise that was misapplied in its original use.

"Blink of an Eye" is a compelling hour of Voyager, and it might've seemed like a truly original sci-fi concept if it weren't for the fact the basic premise was made into an episode of original Trek more than 31 years ago. Is this new episode an homage, an updated retelling, or a blatant plundering of already-used ideas?

I'm inclined to use the phrase "updated retelling." One gets the sense that this story might've been intended to seem fresh to new-Trek fans who were not familiar with the original premise; at the same time, the fact that the title has barely been changed (the TOS episode was called "Wink of an Eye") is a hint that maybe the writers were consciously, if quietly, acknowledging their source material.

Still, with a premise built on such an interesting hook, it almost seems like the original script's writers, Arthur Heinemann and Gene Coon, deserved to be inserted into this week's credits.

"Blink of an Eye" is not a rehash, mind you. "Blink" is, in fact, miles ahead of "Wink," which had that great starting premise but didn't do much with it, and required viewers to overlook crucial flaws in logic in order for the story to work.

"Blink" takes the idea of time differential to a much more interesting level by inserting Voyager into the very mythos of the strange new world in question. This is easily the best, most ambitious sci-fi premise seen on Voyager this season.

We've got a planet that exists in accelerated time, where nearly an entire day goes by in the time the Voyager crew experiences one second. Voyager gets stuck in orbit in some sort of technobabble eddy, and while they're stuck they observe the society below developing from primitive to industrial to digital. And what's perhaps most interesting about this idea is that the planet's inhabitants all the while are observing Voyager, which looks like the brightest, biggest star in the sky. It's a wondrous new take on a concept that was nowhere within the thought range of the original "Wink." Anyone who is calling "Blink" simply a rehash is missing the point.

The most interesting aspect of "Blink" is what grows from the implications of everyone gazing into the sky, seeing Voyager, and wondering what that super-bright star in the sky means. The story supplies us several time periods on the planet where a dialog opens between two people looking at the sky. They wonder what it is, who put it there, and why it causes frequent earthquakes. As the time periods change, the nature of the belief regarding this mysterious "star" changes. At first it's worshiped and feared; later those values of worship are challenged and primitive contact is attempted (by sealed letter and hot-air balloon, no less); and still later we have astronomers staring at it through telescopes, sending it radio signals, and wondering who put the "Sky Ship" in orbit and why it's not going anywhere.

Strangely, I don't have a whole lot to say about some of the societal perspectives, because the most interesting ideas to ponder are implicit. In fact, if there's a drawback to "Blink of an Eye," it's that some of the execution can't really live up to the potential of the concept. For such an interest-piquing idea, there are numerous scenes that, in and by themselves, strike me as oddly lackluster. As a whole, probably each scene is necessary to establish the unfolding canvas of centuries of time, but as individual drama scenes they don't really stand out to say something powerful.

Part of that, I think, lies on the guest cast, which isn't uniformly solid. Each time frame we see features two actors engaging in a dialog about the Sky Ship, and in each case one actor seems significantly weaker than the other. Also, the early scenes can't break free and become completely engrossing because the dialog comes across as a bit stilted. Particularly in the first two ancient time periods, the people talk with a wooden properness that strikes me as over-scripted and artificial.

Back aboard Voyager, we have some neat ideas, like the idea of beaming Doc down to the planet to investigate a way of escaping orbit, and the idea that when he is unretrievable for several minutes because of a technical problem, he comes back to Voyager having been on the planet three years, where he had basically become a citizen.

And in the most immediate example of observing progress that's unfolding before one's eyes, Seven witnesses on the viewscreen in a few moments the testing of antimatter bombs over what is really a few months' time—and then realizes the devices have been promptly aimed at Voyager.

The best moments come in the latter stages of the show after two astronauts make the historic first attempt to reach the Sky Ship. Seeing through their eyes, we're able to experience the anticipation as they approach Voyager—a weird, alien, impossibly frozen object that has been a mystery for centuries. They board Voyager, which of course gives us the creepy visuals of two explorers walking through the decks of a ship full of frozen people. (Are the physics of such a situation plausible? Wouldn't people running around the ship at such high speeds cause some sort of increased friction or heat? What if one of these astronauts punched somebody? Would their hand go right through a Voyager crew member and break them in half? Is there some sort of law of conservation of energy or something to account for this? Okay, I'm being flippant; I honestly don't know or care. There's a reason I got a degree in English and not physics.)

Suddenly, the astronauts are pulled into Voyager's rate of time. One of the astronauts dies from trauma, but the other, a man named Gotana-Retz (Daniel Dae Kim), survives, and becomes the emotional anchor for the story's closing stages. Gotana-Retz is represented by the better actor of the two astronaut characters, fortunately, and I liked that the story revealed the way Voyager impacted him as an individual who had always sought answers to the Sky Ship mystery—from childhood.

The show's most interesting explicitly discussed idea is that the mystery of the Sky Ship had prompted a societal acceleration of technology (sort of a "space race" like the race to the Moon). The idea that a people sought development to answer questions with such huge significance is a notion that tunes into our own wonders. There's also some musing over what might happen to society if the Sky Ship were to leave. Interesting, how the universal are-we-alone-in-the-universe question is filtered through this particular Voyager plot.

Of course, it's also an honest and telling point that, as Doc reveals, if some members of government had their way, newly discovered weapons would be quickly pointed and fired at the Sky Ship.

The ending works pretty well, though there seems to be a tad bit of chaos. It's nice that Voyager's escape from the planet's grasp isn't arbitrarily handled with tech but instead by the decision to have Gotana-Retz return to the planet and tell his people what he has seen.

Despite the smart script, "Blink" doesn't really land in the realm of Trekkian masterpieces. Some of the more potent moments in the drama feel a bit underplayed (and Paul Baillargeon still refuses to score moments of action with any sort of energy). Where this episode reveals its cracks is in the ebb and flow of the plot along the way. There are distracting moments that don't quite seem to fit, like the walk-on of Naomi Wildman and especially Doc's brief mention of his "son" from when he was on the planet—which is downright confusing as presented, and seems tacked on since it makes one wonder where all the emotional attachment vanished to the instant he beamed back aboard Voyager.

But regardless, this episode is a winner. It has genuine sci-fi imagination of the type that sci-fi deserves. I've observed that there are two general types of sci-fi that Hollywood uses to establish their stories: the kind that tell human dramas about the nature of possibilities and imagination, and the type that exploit spaceships and fantasy technology merely for explosions and cheap thrills. "Blink of an Eye" represents the former.

Trailer commentary: It kills me the way all those extra stock-footage shots of explosions and people getting knocked off their feet were added to the promo for "Blink of an Eye," little of which happened in this episode. This preview, like many Voyager previews, obviously emanated straight from the People-Will-Watch-If-They-Think-Stuff-Will-Get-Blown-Up Dept.

Next week: According to the trailer, who knows? But somewhere in the next few weeks we'll get plenty of Borg, action, and Seven of Nine arena fighting. Yes, everyone, it's "Star Trek: LCD"!

Previous episode: Fair Haven
Next episode: Virtuoso

Season Index

39 comments on this review

Immanuel - Sat, Sep 15, 2007 - 2:20pm (USA Central)
This is one of my all-time favorite Voyager episodes. It gets a near-perfect 3.5 star rating in my book. I find it to be a very affecting episode and it's been known to bring tears to my eyes.

You know, I think there was enough material here for a two-part episode...albeit, a pretty quiet and unconventional one. I would've loved to have seen some of the Doctor's life in this alien culture. Although, they may not have had a big enough budget to pull this off...so our imaginations do just fine.

Plausibility quibble: Early in the episode, as one of the aliens is witting a letter to the Sky Ship, we have a good enough view of the letter to see that he's clearly writing it in English. Whatever. Who is in charge of these things?
Daniel - Thu, Dec 20, 2007 - 2:36am (USA Central)
I agree...this is a very-well done episode of Voyager. The way they pull the two sets of time frames together is practically seamless. I liked the writing, the backstory they invented, most of the acting, and the doctor's "kid", which is made cooler by the fact they don't explain it at all. Probably an adoption or something.

I also tend to like "pointless" moments such as the Naomi walk-on, as long as they're kept short. Too often the entire episode focuses solely on the plot, and it's nice to get a short acknowledgement that there are other things going on with other characters.

To me this episode is on par with "Living Witness", and maybe better.
Jammer - Thu, Dec 20, 2007 - 8:39am (USA Central)
The star rating at the top of this episode somehow got changed to 2.5, probably during the redesign. It's supposed to be 3 stars. I will fix this.
Andrew Nimmo - Thu, Jan 3, 2008 - 9:35am (USA Central)
I basically agree with the views above. There's just one thing I have always wondered: given the accelerated rate of time and progress on the planet, why would they not be the most technologically advanced race in the galaxy within a short time after this episode occurred? - more advanced than the Borg, equal in fact to the Q Continuum, given the rate of their evolution? They appear to have overcome the time differential problems and are able to free Voyager, when its crew can't achieve it. Would have loved to have seen a few minutes of the Doctor interacting on his away mission.
Jakob M. Mokoru - Sun, Feb 3, 2008 - 5:10am (USA Central)
I agree, wonderful episode!
TH - Fri, Apr 18, 2008 - 3:52pm (USA Central)
I have to concur with he above; It's convenient that this civilization's development basically begins just about the time Voyager gets stuck. One week (or maybe even a day) later and the culture would probably have been a warp-ready civilization.

Frankly, at the rate of time passage that the Doctor experiences, the missiles being fired at Voyager seemed very spread out (what's that, a few months or years between missiles?

I think the loopholes in the technical plot prevent the episode from being 4 star, but it really is a great one. Daniel Dae Kim is a great actor (well known now for Lost, but relatively unknown at the time), and he turns in a great performance. I like the scene of him and Janeway in her ready room.

As to your physics question, I recall an episode of the X-Files in which a bad guy of the week had the ability to run super fast. Mulder and Scully end up finding melted rubber (the soles of his shoes) on the floor somewhere where he had been.
Bob2 - Fri, Jan 9, 2009 - 4:02am (USA Central)
Andrew, who knows, perhaps this race is the future Q. Once they become all-powerful they can exist at any point of time. Perhaps that's why they seem to take such an interest in the Federation and humans
Markus - Thu, Aug 20, 2009 - 2:34pm (USA Central)
Great episode, but logical holes all over it: the one is the english language on this midage-scene, the other is: why does the doctor need to be accelerated when beaming down and why is everything slow for the "aliens", when they enter voyager. time is the independent variable, not the dependent.
Ken Egervari - Wed, Dec 9, 2009 - 8:23pm (USA Central)
Great episode. There were a few holes in it... namely why the male astronaut didn't age after several minutes after the anti-matter charges stopped.

That one is not the worst though. The most troubling aspect is that they develop transporter technology and ships and warp drive and tractor beams.... but we see no actual flights and ships in orbit every few seconds. Are we really to believe they develop all of this tech on the surface... and after hundreds of years... finally decide to use it all?

That's just me complaining. I really loved the episode as a whole.
Derek - Thu, Apr 1, 2010 - 12:50am (USA Central)
Things like Chakotay's enthusiasm at making a major anthropological discovery (although I seem to have forgotten the last time he was so into the subject...) and D.D. Kim's wonder at realizing his childhood dream are what sci-fi is all about. While I grant that the acting sucked in most of the "primitive" planet scenes, the ideas behind what was going on were pretty much brilliant.

Basically, other than some of the acting and a few credibility issues (LOL physics) aside, I can't help but think of this ep as a 4-star winner. Stories like this are why I love sci-fi, and why I still re-watch my favorite Voyager episodes, a show which I think as a whole never came close to living up to its massive potential. When these writers found a good sci-fi premise, they proved they knew what they were doing, even if only for an hour.
navamske - Tue, Jul 6, 2010 - 7:00pm (USA Central)
Three things bugged me about this episode. The first was, as a couple of other people have noted, the fact that the old guy was writing in English. I can accept that everyone on Star Trek speaks English, even without universal translators, because their doing so is a necessary dramatic device. But they should have shown the old guy writing in something unrecognizable, or just not shown anything at all. The second was after the crew listens to the radio transmission; Paris says they have to respond to that man, and Torres says, "Don't forget the time differential -- that man has been dead for a long time." What's her basis for saying this? At this point in the story the Voyager crew doesn't know what the planet's inhabitants look like, whether they're even humanoid, certainly not what their lifespans are. And third, it's stated early on that a second on Voyager equals a day in Weird Planet time. Later, however, Seven notes an atomic explosion on the surface, then, barely two seconds later, says, "A second one, six weeks later." It seems to me that about 42 seconds would have to pass on Voyager in order for 42 days to pass on the planet.

Nonetheless, I found this episode entertaining, and in the final analysis, that's all that counts.
Michael - Sat, Jul 10, 2010 - 8:53pm (USA Central)
A great episode; a really intriguing premise. I subscribe to what others have said about the holes but also add that they don't detract from the enjoyability of the show.

A few things. Firstly, The Doc returning and hugging Janeway, and then effusing about his..."roomate," who gave him companionship he was craving. Hellooooo, he's a H-O-L-O-G-R-A-M!!!

Then there is Paris's charging-like-a-bull insistence they had to make contact with the natives, despite excellent retorts from pretty much everyone else and despite the impracticability (time differential-wise) of doing so.

Next, they start firing blahblahblah torpedoes at Voayer at three-second intervals, reducing the shields by two thirds within a few seconds. Then there's a discussion - OMG whaddowedo - DDK decides to go back, he's walked to his ship, The Doc starts waxing about his son (WTF?!?), etc. Anyway, several minutes at least pass by till he gets back to the surface. So, they decided to take a break of what, a century?, between the moment of nearly destroying Voyager and firing the next torpedo!?!

Lastly, I find it implausible that a race would spend most of its waking moments preoccupied with Voyager and earthquakes. Japan has been living with tremors for much less time and its people hardly give it a second thought. As a race, there are many questions we don't know the answers to but we don't obsess about them.

But anyway, an awesome episode!
Dan - Sun, Nov 7, 2010 - 12:52am (USA Central)
This has always been one of my favourite Voyager episodes and I'd rate it as a 3.5 or 4 (at least in comparison to other Voyager epsiodes).

I found it more interesting to watch than many of the other episodes rated with 4-starts (eg, I found Barge of the Dead almost unwatchable, and Living Witness, while good as an allegory, wasn't anywhere near as interesting on a science fiction level).


I also notice that one of the problems people have with this episode is that it seems convenient Voyager arrived as a civilisation was beginning to develop. I don't think this is a problem as there may have been countless civilisations before this one. It's even noted in dialogue at the start of the episode:

Chakotay: "We might just miss the rise and fall of a civilization".
Torres: "So, we'll watch the next one".
Jay - Fri, Jan 28, 2011 - 12:04pm (USA Central)
@ Dan,

But the end of this episode found this civilization creating technology to escape the time barrier.

Then again, it was in order to rescue Voyager, so I suppose it was Voyager's presence that made this civilization finally the one that was able to escape the planet's restraints.

Consequentially though, this rapidly accelarating civilization could now make its presence felt in the greater universe. So presumably, the rapid time would continue on the homeworld, and then ships could carry this technology through the barrier. Depending on the nature of the species, they could make a perfect universe or conquer it, either choice in short order.
Cloudane - Tue, Mar 22, 2011 - 7:34pm (USA Central)
Funny that I should come across this episode just after the unfortunate events in Japan. Makes you wonder how good Weird Planet's tsunami defenses must have been as well as the strong buildings..

Anyway, great episode. It does something new (okay it's based roughly off a TOS premise. Whatever. It'd hardly call it similar) and hits exactly what Trek is all about for me - not just the exploration of strange (Weird) new worlds but when things don't quite go to plan, also the impact on their civilisations. Imagine being responsible for an entire planet's beliefs and culture. It takes "The Picard" to a whole new level and is just as fascinating.

Yes it has its glaring holes. Indeed one can assume that perhaps they are early Q as one possible workaround for some of those holes.

Then again, perhaps Q represents the future of all cultures - if "working around" time and space like that is ultimately possible in the Trek universe as 'proven' by this episode then everyone is going to be doing it eventually and I suppose in the long run they'd basically become Q.

My brain is melting. Don't try to understand time.

Anyway, I have to say, it's almost as if this episode took what is often Voyager's weakness (just bumbling around messing with things then moving on) and turned it into a strength. This time, instead of going out of their way to write a story that can't work with Voyager's "stumble across something, interact, move on" style and ultimately end up frustrating, we have a story that says "here's what might happen when Voyager is doing that". It's hard to explain, but I like it.
Iceblink - Fri, Aug 26, 2011 - 3:57pm (USA Central)
Loved this ep. For some reason it reminds me of my favourite Futurama episode, "Godfellas", when Bender is floating through space and witnessing the rise and fall of miniature civilisations upon his body. Also quite similar to Farscape's "The Locket".

I thought the premise was beautifully realised, and enjoyed seeing the way this civilisation progresses over the centuries while it's more or less business as usual aboard Voyager. It was handled really well, although the isolated (and quite lengthy) scenes on the planet featuring throwaway characters fell very flat for me...it's hard to invest in random characters that have no purpose in the story other than to depict the way a culture is developing. I also find that the Voyager writers are generally not good at creating compelling, three-dimensional guest characters and that trend continues here. But the alien-POV does work much better when Jin from Lost (always great to see a Lost actor) comes aboard Voyager. Nothing groundbreaking here, but it's effective.

While there's not a great deal of emotional resonance to the episode, I still found it interesting, engaging and compelling. For all that it riffs on TOS's "Wink of an eye", it still manages to feel quite fresh and also manages to capture that quintessential Star Trek spirit.
Derek - Sun, Sep 25, 2011 - 2:13am (USA Central)
The premise is very similar to a book by Robert Forward, entitled "Dragon's Egg." In this book, a lifeform has evolved on the surface of a NEUTRON STAR, and relativity causes them to experience time much as the inhabitants of this planet. They too see a spacecraft in the sky of Terran origin and start to worship it. Their entire society rises through all the same elements shown in this episode, culminating in a visit from the creatures to the earth ship.

This episode is very clearly based heavily on that source material, or inspired by it.

I did enjoy the episode a great deal, and think it's one of the best in the Voyager series.

As for the book "Dragon's Egg," the Cheela characters were more interestingly written than the humans. The book was also very heavy sci-fi, and not very well known. Anyone reading Jammer's reviews would probably enjoy it, though.
Kristen - Thu, Sep 29, 2011 - 2:10pm (USA Central)
I'm so glad someone else was thrown out of their disbelief-suspension when the medieval-type guy was writing in English. And with crappy handwriting, too!

I found the guest star acting a little wooden, too. It was almost like they were purposely going for 1950s/60s sci-fi acting. Think Twilight Zone or Forbidden Planet. Lots of too-much-dialogue and too-simple-mindedness.

I also got frustrated in the two-astronomers-and-an-earthquake scene. Why would they develop architecture so similar to humans if they developed over hundreds of years on a planet with radically more geologic instability? Wouldn't they have figured out all the best ways to avoid shaken building syndrome?!

Overall, even with those niggling issues, I liked the idea of this episode very much. I do wish it'd had just a bit more emotion, though. The Doctor effected his return to the ship with almost no regret. (Yeah, yeah, he's a hologram. But if he was really that emotionless he wouldn't have bothered with whatever insane steps he must have taken to allow a hologram to have a son.) The astronaut got over his "everyone I've ever known is dead" before he'd even finished saying the sentence. Even Voyager's crew was more like "oh rats, we might be stuck" rather than "HOLY SCHNIKES WE GOTTA GET OUTTA HERE BEFORE WE BECOME AS GODS TO THESE PEOPLE AND THEN GET SUCKED INTO THEIR TIMELINE!"

Just a little tweaking and polishing could have made this very interesting episode of sci-fi into an emotional whale of a sci-fi tale.
Nathan - Fri, Nov 11, 2011 - 4:53pm (USA Central)
That "system of roads" is Southern California :)
Nathan - Fri, Nov 11, 2011 - 5:22pm (USA Central)
"You know, I think there was enough material here for a two-part episode...albeit, a pretty quiet and unconventional one."
I was thinking the same thing. Doc's visit to the planet could have been an "Inner Light" ripoff.
tobe - Fri, Jan 20, 2012 - 4:27pm (USA Central)
I really like this episode, it's based on a great premise.

An interesting comparison is the novel "Spin" by Robert Charles Wilson, based on a similar idea. I highly recommend it.

Polt - Fri, Feb 17, 2012 - 8:50am (USA Central)
Just two things, which maybe were answered in the show, maybe not.

I thought the speeded up development of the civilization was caused by Voyager getting stuck there, and once they left, so would the speeded up part would have stopped as well. But again, like I said, that may be contradicted by something in the show.

And I got the feeling The Doctor's son was like a step-son: Perhaps his roommate was pregnant when she moved in with him and after birth, helped raise him. If someone hasn't written a book on Doc's three years there, they should! I'd buy it in a heartbeat! :)

jim - Mon, Apr 16, 2012 - 4:35pm (USA Central)
Funny after all this time we comment on this episode. I too loved it - did a lot of mental calculations on time lapse per second to see if it made sense. It could have been a two parter. I actually like the previous comment that voyager sped up the evolution rate. Brings closure to the question of even more advancements than voyager itself in a short period of time. One of the best time episodes.
Justin - Tue, Jun 5, 2012 - 12:26am (USA Central)
I absolutely adore this episode. From the opening shot of the Weird Planet spinning weirdly like a top, to the classic closing shot of the sci-fi cityscape that could easily have been the cover of an issue of an Incredible Tales-type 1950s magazine, it's a gripping hour of television. Yes, the early planet scenes could have been better, but it doesn't much matter. I give it a high 3.5 rating.

My only quibble is with the Doc and Gotana-Retz. Both endured emotional traumas. Gotana had essentially lost everyone he's ever known. I know there's not much the writers could do with limited time, but it seems to me the gravitas of that realization could have been written better. The same goes with Doc and his son. As soon as his bear hug with the Captain was done don't you think he'd start feeling quite guilty for pretty much abandoning his family? I'm a father, and I know I would.

But, like I said they're quibbles. The episode as a whole is too good for them to detract from it.
Destructor - Mon, Jun 25, 2012 - 12:37am (USA Central)
One of the best Voyager episodes overall and easily a season highlight- four stars, definitely. It's just such an interesting premise, executed well, with many sweet and intelligent moments. Loved it even more the second time around.
Cail Corishev - Fri, Sep 28, 2012 - 8:05pm (USA Central)
Great episode, despite the plot holes. Seems I'm not the only one who thought it had the feel of a 1950s sci-fi magazine story.

The writers wanted Paris to be a devil's advocate, but he was right. The Prime Directive was beside the point; there was no longer any hope of not affecting the planet. They were literally shaking it, and the natives were contacting *them*. It's way too late to avoid contact at that point; the only question is what kind of contact you'll have.

And as it turned out, refusing to reply pushed the natives into a space-race to get there and find out what the sky-ship was, and ultimately to attack it. Had they simply sent a message back saying, "Hi, nice to meet you. Yes, we are from another planet, and we're sorry about the earthquakes. We're trying to leave, can you help?" none of that would have happened. How much of the natives' and the planet's resources went into the space-race and weapons development, that could have been better used if Voyager hadn't been looming there as a silent threat? So much for non-interference.
Billy - Sat, Dec 29, 2012 - 2:12pm (USA Central)
Another episode I loved.

The final scene, with Gotana-Retz looking skyward as the Sky Ship vanishes forever brought a lump to my throat.
Paolo - Fri, Apr 12, 2013 - 6:21am (USA Central)
I really enjoyed this episode, but like a lot of Voyager episodes it left me with the feeling that it could have been a lot more. The aliens were just too human to be believable. Not just in their appearance – the facial make-up was truly pathetic, even for Voyager – but the old man writing in English, and wearing what looked exactly like the outfit of a monk, was crazy. Why would a race thousands of light years away have exactly the same clothes we have on Earth? Then we have Voyager crew members making wild assumptions based entirely on human traits – ‘that man will be dead by now’. They have a Vulcan crewmate, so they know alien races age at different rates. How would they have any idea how long the aliens would live for? I loved the premise of the episode, but it’s this disappointing lack of imagination that held Voyager back so many times.
Tom - Sun, May 5, 2013 - 8:51pm (USA Central)
Despite it being 2013 now, I remembered watching something almost a decade ago and was drawn back to seeing this episode again just yesterday.

I agree with the 'errors' people have pointed out in the comments, of course, but they all seem minor to me. There is only so much a producer can do appeal to as many people as possible. Like the fact that the old man wrote the note in English is obviously wrong, but it's something that did not punch me in the face as plot-breaking. I bet you could, and I know that people like you have, find such mistakes in just about every episode of every series and likely all of sci-fi in general. That's what you're good at. I do it too.

But what makes this episode memorable is the concept. I was inspired by this episode, despite all the little things that were wrong, half of which I picked up on my own but did not care about. It filled me with such wonder that you could observe a civilization develop before your eyes, and still does.

This is probably my favorite VOY episode. I can recall a scarce few episodes from any series that are nearly as interesting as this one.

I itch to suggest alternatives that could have made it better...

... perhaps if the way Voyager escapes in the end is simply through the tech of people on the planet. They have stayed so long that their tech has surpassed Voyager's.

Needless to say I think that this episode could have been developed into a 2-part, or even a whole movie. I love it to bits, because, I suppose, I love both history and progress and science. This episode merges them.

... it almost makes me sad that since Star Trek is dead, we'll likely never see anything as good as this again. The plot holes in the new Kirk-Offshot-Timeline-shoot-em-up-lens-flare-overdose-movie are glaring, obvious and make it suck.
Peremensoe - Sat, May 11, 2013 - 9:31pm (USA Central)
It *is* the people of Weird Planet Displaced in Time who free Voyager in the end. They *have* built ships that can climb out of that orbital position, and with Voyager in tow.

All I can figure is, the Displaced people must die if they go too far or stay out too long. Otherwise they would surely run the galaxy by season's end.
Jo Jo Meastro - Fri, Aug 2, 2013 - 8:50am (USA Central)
Pure old school science fiction, full of colourful imagination and an infectious sense of wonder, is what first drew me to Star Trek many years ago and its why I'll always have a soft spot for episodes like this.

If something makes you think, feel and be a part of the wonderful drama then IMO it doesn't matter about a few small technical plot hiccups along the way in this fictional tale. Another thing I love about this episode is its mythological feel, I love all kinds of mythology and ancient history that crackles with almost a magical irresistible charm.

If anything I just wish this was a 2 parter. I also think it would have been very powerful and profound to have ended with Voyager witnessing the final chapter of the planet, something beautifully bittersweet and moving. But I guess that might have been too much and not to mention the budget that would have needed.

I wont complain though, because I really liked what we got. 3 and a half for sure, pushing close to a 4.
azcats - Wed, Aug 14, 2013 - 10:55am (USA Central)
so...i have been re-watching voyager from season 1. and i have been waiting for this episode!! it seems i am in agreement with most people. i was hoping everyone liked this episode as much as i did. It had such an intriguing concept.

clearly there are holes that are going to happen. either some would be impossible to explain, or it would take multiple hours to explain to the audience.

however, i must agree, i think it would have been fun to see the Doc's 3 years. it would ahve made a great "inner light" episode. I LOVED how he hugged Janeway when he came back. but i also liked how he figured something went wrong and he had to create a life for himself. I kept hoping DDK would tell Janeway something about the doc's lineage.

the idea of the "baby Qs" reminds me of Groundhog day when Bill Murray supposes that God is not all knowing and powerful, but that he just has been around long enough to know everything. it would be like if this civilization continued forward and became Q.

great episode. 4 stars!
Nic - Mon, Nov 25, 2013 - 1:36pm (USA Central)
If we're going to mention all previous iterations of this concept, I might as well bring up the most obvious one, which is the previous season's "Gravity". The main difference between the two is that in "Gravity" the concept was used to serve the story and characters at hand, whereas here it takes the center stage and the characters are not as important. Surprisingly, though, I think this episode is superior, if only slightly.
Latex Zebra - Sun, Jan 5, 2014 - 5:06pm (USA Central)
Don't ask too many questions and this is a great episode.

3.5 for me.
Cappella - Tue, Feb 4, 2014 - 7:09pm (USA Central)
I just watched Blink of an eye again. I remember this episode well and it is one of my favorites. However I may have come across an enormous plothole and I chose to ignore it while I was watching the episode.
It was stated Voyager was caught in a geosynchronous orbit around the planet. That means it stays over one place all the time. And yes, we see Voyager as a star fixed in the same place in the heavens seen from the planet. However if Voyager was locked in this orbit, then it would have to be spinning as fast as the planet itself. Obviously it didn't, so Voyager must have moved in the heavens. And that begs the question if one second in space is a day on the planet, how fast would the stars be spinning in the heavens of the planet. I wish I almost hadn't noticed this, because the magic of the episode has lessened somewhat. If I am wrong I hope someone can correct me :-)
Chris P - Thu, Feb 6, 2014 - 12:12pm (USA Central)
There was easily 2-4 episodes worth of content to be explored while in orbit of this planet. In a way our experience as viewers correlated to a theme of the episode: time flies. I certainly had a sort of rushed sense as I watched and in its own way the episode had appeal on this meta level.

Loved Jammer's question about phsyics. I imagine that Voyager and crew would have been pretty torn apart by two beings traveling through their corridors at 5,020,928,571,002,819 times the speed of sound. This could have been a hilarious series finale as the air starts on fire and the crew are torn apart by massive shockwaves. Cut to Starfleet Command's attempts to contact Voyager over a period of 30 years and eventually giving up for a second time. Roll credits.
Amanda - Thu, Mar 6, 2014 - 9:20pm (USA Central)
Physics aside, English writing aliens, and wooden acting, I really enjoyed the idea and the music score. I even shed a tear for DDK's character as he sat to watch Voyager depart. How one ignorant choice by the curious crew inspired civilizations. I say ignorant because I am no scientist but when they read off the planet specs, I suspected it would have a ridiculous gravitational pull, yet our science officers did not...... I saw them getting stuck, why they didn't hazard that a possibility is Voyager.

The alien was way too cavalier about her death. Writers making the doc more human than our Captain . Little things distract a bit.

Last nit pick, we have so many resets the cast acting is becoming the audience and are way too nonchalant about their predicaments when stuck (The void). I get panicking doesn't help but they seem confident they'll be free in 42 mins. zzzzz...




Still, one of my faves I watch many times. :-)
Crowesq - Mon, Mar 10, 2014 - 4:43pm (USA Central)
Agree wholeheartedly with the writer above that cited Robert L. Forward's "Dragon's Egg". It is a magnificent book. I've not reviewed the Voyager credits, but Forward really should have gotten some credit.

The ending is a bit different than Dragon's Egg, necessarily. If they had retained it, the ep would have made for a superb Trekkian ending, and might have elevated this into 4 star status.

I'd like to thank Jammer for this repository. After doing the full run of DS9 on Netflix, I started up Voyager to fill in some gaps in my viewing. But after a few episodes that were true dogs, I'm very happy this site was able to guide me around the lesser episodes.
Trekker - Wed, Apr 2, 2014 - 9:33pm (USA Central)
Good episode, has flaws, but I can look beyond them for the sheer wonder this inspires.

This is what Sci-Fi should do, inspire you to reach for the stars despite the limitation or challenges that hold you to the ground.

As a nod and gesture of good will to classic Science fiction, I think Voyager made all the right choices here.

8.5/10

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