Star Trek: Voyager

"Prophecy"

**

Air date: 2/7/2001
Teleplay by Mike Sussman & Phyllis Strong
Story by Larry Nemecek & J. Kelley Burke and Raf Green & Kenneth Biller
Directed by Terry Windell

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"I was hoping our daughter would be special, but I never dreamed she'd turn out to be the Klingon messiah." — Paris

In brief: A mostly aimless story with the usual Klingon mumbo-jumbo.

"Prophecy" has the names of six writers on it, which might explain why it seems to go off in six directions in the course of an hour. What the heck is this really about? This has to be the first Klingon show in which a bat'leth battle between two combatants ends when one of the warriors collapses to the ground due to illness. This facilitates the story wildly heading off in another direction, but at least now I can say I've seen a Klingon fall ill while swinging a sword.

The story is a hodgepodge stew characterized by a lot of portentous prophecy dialog. We've got (1) Klingons in the Delta Quadrant; (2) Torres' unborn baby elevated to the level of messiah; (3) ancient prophecies open to the widest of interpretations; (4) Neelix and Tuvok as roommates; (5) Harry being granted the interspecies sex-acts license he didn't get in "The Disease," except that he doesn't want it this time; (6) ideological friction; (7) a deadly genetic disease and the search for its cure; (8) a bat'leth battle (not) to the death; (9) the search for a new homeworld; (10) a Voyager takeover scenario; and last but not least, (11) Neelix getting some action. Yes, that kind of action.

This looks like it was once three (or nine) stories before being grafted together into one. Even Klingon cultural expert Ronald D. Moore probably wouldn't have been able to make heads or tails of the story drafts.

If I had to pick an episode this best resembles in its overall attempt (emphasis on "attempt"), it would be DS9's far-superior "Destiny" from 1995. Interestingly, the casting directors managed to hire for their main Klingon guest star here a guy who sometimes sounds a lot like Avery Brooks, but I digress; I've fulfilled my DS9 comparison quota for the day.

The episode pays homage to the most implausible yet reliable Voyager cliche, which is that anything or anyone from the Alpha Quadrant, if allowed to wander long enough in the Delta Quadrant, will inevitably run into Voyager in the infinite vastness of space. In this case, a Klingon vessel that has been on a holy mission for generations opens fire on Voyager (because the Federation is the Klingon Empire's sworn enemy according to the timeline this ship's crew is living by).

After the initial phaser-firing, Janeway invites the Klingon captain, Kohlar (Wren T. Brown, the guy with the Avery Brooks voice), aboard Voyager, where Kohlar sees a pregnant B'Elanna Torres. He is immediately convinced she is the Kuva'Mach, a prophesied savior of his people. Subsequently, Kohlar self-destructs his own ship on a leap of faith in order to force Janeway to beam his crew aboard Voyager so they can follow the Kuva'Mach. Quite a leap of faith, that.

Or maybe not. It turns out Kohlar has his own doubts, but he doesn't care; his intention is to end this drawn-out holy mission and find a new homeworld for his crew. He believes B'Elanna — whether her child is the Kuva'Mach or not — can be the symbol that will lead his people into a new era.

There are, of course, skeptics among the Klingons. One is T'Greth (Sherman Howard), who is dismayed to learn the alleged mother of the Kuva'Mach is only half Klingon, and the father not at all. You'd think people like T'Greth would've grilled Kohlar a little harder on the facts before helping him blow up their own ship, but never mind.

"Prophecy" is first and foremost a dialog episode, but it doesn't carry the weight it needs to be a good story. Most of the prophesying and Klingon mumbo-jumbo is overly generic. There's no sense in the language that there's much of an actual prophecy here we're supposed to be listening to or figuring out. Kohlar wants B'Elanna to help him avoid dissent by playing along and using wide latitude to interpret the prophecies so they fit her life. But really, this was more interesting when it involved Sisko and the Bajoran Prophets on DS9, where it felt like it mattered.

We also have our fulfilled dose of male posturing and testosterone. Eventually T'Greth challenges Paris to a battle to the death (what else?) to prove he could be the father of the Kuva'Mach. Paris glares back menacingly to prove he's a real man. Haven't we been here and done this enough times? Janeway forbids a death match, so instead it's agreed that it will be a non-lethal knock-down contest. (I guess that's slightly new for a Klingon story.)

About this "non-lethal" battle with "blunted" bat'leths — I'm with Doc: Sharpened or not, if you're swinging thin, heavy sheets of metal full-speed trying to hit another person, you'd better be prepared to lose part of your face.

Like I mentioned, though, the fight is interrupted when T'Greth collapses because of a disease known to these Klingons as the Nehret, which affects mainly the elderly. They all carry it, and it's transmittable only to other Klingons, meaning B'Elanna and her baby now carry it. My question is, how many problems does this story really need?

Before it can finally find an ending that hints at some sort of storytelling purpose, "Prophecy" first turns into a free-for-all that betrays all signs of a show desperately seeking to appeal to a general action audience. I was growing restless by the time T'Greth decided the Klingons must seize Voyager for themselves. I guess the writers just ran out of ideas.

The reason for the violence is that T'Greth's faction needs a ship to continue this holy mission. There's some fun with transporters when T'Greth's followers beam Voyager crew members down to a planet to get them out of the way. Janeway: "Cut power to the transporter." Paris: "Can't." I'm not sure whether it's refreshing or lame that the writers don't even bother anymore with a technobabble reason to explain why transporter power can't be cut. It just ... can't. We then have a phaser-fight on the bridge, which I suppose is mandatory for any Extreme February on UPN.

All problems are all solved when Doc realizes that antibodies from B'Elanna's part-Klingon baby can neutralize the Nehret, which in turn convinces T'Greth that the baby is indeed the Kuva'Mach. None of this is particularly riveting (and it does resolve everything pretty easily), but the story does at least demonstrate the point that a sign does not have to be magical to be meaningful.

Before arriving at this point, the overall problem with "Prophecy" is that the narrative is a mess. The plot careens off in too many different directions. Is this an action episode, a philosophy show, a Neelix sex comedy, or what? There are too many pointless elements and they all seem disruptive. The gold of this story (as well as its title) is obviously in the prophecy. But it's hard to take it seriously because the dialog is flat and disconnected and the Klingon stuff is too derivative. And the ship-takeover ploy is simply gratuitous.

For a story to work, it must convince us that it knows what its point is. "Prophecy" spreads things out and tries to do a little of everything. In the process it ends up doing surprisingly little.

Next week: The interstellar Roach Motel.

Previous episode: Repentance
Next episode: The Void

◄ Season Index

48 comments on this review

indijo
Tue, Jan 8, 2008, 8:57am (UTC -5)
The writers love putting Tuvok in situations that test his tolerance to the limits. If I was him, I'd simply warn Neelix to back off. There's a bozo that has no sense of another's individuality, unless it laughs at his corny comical attitude. I liked him better before he became the bozo-babysitter of the Voyager crew.
Ospero
Thu, Feb 7, 2008, 10:59pm (UTC -5)
Sheesh. As if we really needed ANOTHER "Voyager-stumbles-across-something-from-the-Alpha-Quadrant" episode. That was one of the main problems for this series. Especially when the "something" is as trite and overused as Klingons.

"Lineage" was fine as it stood, folks. Why bother with this?
Jakob M. Mokoru
Mon, Mar 31, 2008, 10:36am (UTC -5)
*chuckle* That Klingon's voice had indeed a large resemblance to Avery Brooks'.

Quite mediocre episode...Some bad ideas, some better ideas...

I liked the bridge-fight, though! I'm not the inferno-fan but this one was good choreographed! However - a bunch of 200 Klingons trying to conquer Voyager could have been much more interesting! As usual, we're shown only four or five!
AJ Koravkrian
Wed, May 7, 2008, 9:22pm (UTC -5)
Apart from what you and other people said about this episode, I have a tiny comment. When there was a question about where to keep the 200 klingons, and whether to assign security to keep an eye on them, Neelix (seriously, why is he there) says, "but there are women and children there." Children, fine, but I thought that by Star Trek timeline, it was already established that women were quite equal to men in every respect, especially klingon women, when it comes to physical strength etc.
Brian O'Connell
Fri, Nov 21, 2008, 10:30pm (UTC -5)
Hes nothing like Sisko. No hyper-ventilating to convey emotion. Not once.
stallion
Fri, Jan 8, 2010, 12:31am (UTC -5)
One thing I liked about this episode is that Torres seem to embrace her klingon side a little bit more in that quarter scene with Kohlar. That was the best part of the episode.
Nic
Thu, Apr 22, 2010, 2:17pm (UTC -5)
Two words: Gilligan's Island.
Michael
Tue, Jul 20, 2010, 9:12am (UTC -5)
Oh, what a sin... This episode had SO much potential, judging by its first several minutes. (Think: Japanese Imperial soldiers found fifty years after the end of WWII hiding in the jungles of the Pacific believing the war is still going on.) And then they show these Klingons behaving in a manner that would make cavemen look like Harvard intellectuals.

Generally, the Klingons of Star Trek purport to be so dumb, violent, impulsive and primitive that it's a miracle they can operate a wheelbarrow without kicking it in a fit of rage! And they are warp-capable!?!

And as if THAT wasn't bad enough, now apparently they have "scrolls" with religious baloney of the type that most civilized humans stopped believing several centuries ago. Oy vey! Countless scenes squandered on Klingon religious crap. I wonder what the reaction would be if half an episode showed crewmembers doing Bible study and holding Xian prayer meetings! It would never happen because human/earthly religions do not exist in the 24th century... - apart, of course, from the New Agey drivel, what with scented candles, spirits, meditation and all that crock.

Anyway... Neelix: Annoying as hell. If I/d have been in Tuvok's shoes, I'd have been wiping off my fingerprints and rehearsing my alibi for the "fateful night in question."

Everything else in this episode that doesn't make sense, is inconsisten and illogical or just plain fatuous, I won't bother with. Liked the action sequences, which are the only redeeming feature of this show. Also liked the Klingon nymph :D

One star, barely.
Jeff
Wed, Sep 29, 2010, 5:25pm (UTC -5)
Just a few opinions.

1) Yes, it's ludicrous to expect Voyager to encounter these Klingons, but at least the writers acknowledged this fact in the dialogue.

2) Once again, Tuvok proves he displays more emotion than he probably thinks he does. He was clearly annoyed having Neelix as a roommate and justifiably upset upon seeing the conditions of his quarters once Neelix and his Klingon one night stand were finished.

3) I find it impossible to accept any Klingon female would find Harry or Neelix as desirable mates. Was she really so eager for some non-Klingon affection?

4) In a rare instance of VOY continuity the EMH approves interspecies mating. Too bad the writers chose to express continuity with a bad episode like "The Disease."

5) I would have thought B'Elanna would have mentioned the events of "Barge of the Dead" to Kohlar, or make the remembrance prayer to her mother. Oh well. Consider it a continuity dropped call.

6) McNeill really dropped the ball in his performance this time, IMHO. He read the lines, but I didn't believe the anger he was supposed to be showing. There was no anger in Paris's voice. Granted, the episode is difficult to take seriously but it doesn't help when the actors voice it through their performances as well.

7) In a totally un PC comment, Harry Kim, man up!
Paul
Tue, Mar 1, 2011, 11:00am (UTC -5)
"5) I would have thought B'Elanna would have mentioned the events of "Barge of the Dead" to Kohlar, or make the remembrance prayer to her mother. Oh well. Consider it a continuity dropped call."

I thought that the events of Barge of the Dead ended up establishing that B'Elanna's mother wasn't ACTUALLY dead at all.
Cloudane
Sat, Apr 9, 2011, 7:09am (UTC -5)
Ew. Did we need the "Neelix gets some" story... I wonder if that planet will be hearing the pitter patter of tiny half-Talaxian half-Klingon feet - now that's going to be one ugly beast!

The episode is all over the place, certainly not quality stuff but has the odd interesting (or lame) thing worth commenting on.

"Can't" must be the most oft-used word on the starship Voyager. Can't get a lock, can't cut through the interference / radiation, can't cut power to whatever, can't go to warp, can't stop the shuttle bay doors opening, can't disable (blah) because I'm locked out, can't end the holodeck program...
Who created Voyager's systems?! They should be sacked and sent off to scrub plasma conduits. The ship is an absolute joke. Microsoft could've done a better job.

Harry gets the girl and... doesn't want her. Figures.

I could've sworn the Klingon captain was Avery Brooks. The likeness is uncanny.

Something that grated at one point was "there are women and children in there". The sexist view of women being weak and vulnerable is alive and well in the 24th century I guess, which is made all the more ironic by the fact that these are Klingon women. I'm sure they can take sitting in a cargo bay - I'd be more worried about the cargo. (Looking through the comments before submitting mine I see AJ Koravkrian made the same observation).

Paris with "stay out of it" - ah the old 'this is MY fight' macho stupidity. Puhleeze.

Tuvok looked positively angry at his trashed quarters. Obviously they're intending that one of these days he'll lose control of his emotions and snap.. this would be potentially damaging to his character so I hope when it's done, it's done well.

My comments are a mess, but then so is the episode. It's not terrible, it's kind of entertaining at times, but 2 stars seems about right.
Kieran
Tue, May 10, 2011, 7:28am (UTC -5)
"Tuvok looked positively angry at his trashed quarters. Obviously they're intending that one of these days he'll lose control of his emotions and snap.. this would be potentially damaging to his character so I hope when it's done, it's done well."

At this point, I'm hoping the final episode focuses on a buck-naked Tuvok chasing Neelix artound the lower decks with a chainsaw.

Back on topic, I liked this episode - I thought it was fun. But I think I'm possibly part of that demographic Jammer's always complaining that Voyager pandered to.

Cloudane
Tue, May 10, 2011, 5:45pm (UTC -5)
Ooh new anti-spam.. TNG was almost featuring Captain Jean-Luc 47 for a moment there.

There is a final Neelix+Tuvok scene. That's all I'm saying about it. :)
Kristen
Thu, Oct 20, 2011, 6:01pm (UTC -5)
I also noticed the Avery Brooks-alike voice. But then I recognized the actor for who he was: the shuttle pilot that announces he's "got a passenger, a V. I. P. passenger" to bring aboard the Enterprise, just before Lwaxanna Troi cuts him off to coo at Picard herself.

If he'd been a few episodes earlier, he could have met up with Simon Tarses. Really, at this point, I'm watching the episodes partly just to see who they recycle. Voyager casts are like a Trek reunion!
Captain Jim
Sun, Jun 3, 2012, 10:06pm (UTC -5)
Interesting, I thought he sounded like Brooks too.

Not the best Voyager episode, but not the worst either. It was nice to see Klingons again.
Rosario
Thu, Oct 11, 2012, 1:24pm (UTC -5)
Micheal: "Oh, what a sin... This episode had SO much potential, judging by its first several minutes. (Think: Japanese Imperial soldiers found fifty years after the end of WWII hiding in the jungles of the Pacific believing the war is still going on.)"

I'm not sure a bunch of 70 year old soldiers could put up much of a fight. Ironically, Japanese holdouts are a historical fact and as best we can tell, the last 2 were recovered from the Phillipines and Indonesia in 1974. Can't recall every detail but some official from Japan had to be flown out to their locations to convince them that the war was really over and to come on home.
Sintek
Sun, May 26, 2013, 2:07pm (UTC -5)
Certainly not the best episode, but it was nice to see a somewhat different breed of Klingons. Voyager was the master of femifying things (borg, Q, even species it introduced) but still refreshing to see the thoughtful and pragmatic Klingon who just wanted to end their pointless journey.
ProgHead777
Sun, Jun 30, 2013, 11:30pm (UTC -5)
It's funny that so many people find the "Neelix sex-comedy" sub-sub-plot to be ridiculous and off-putting. I'm not saying it's NOT those things but it's still the ONLY entertaining (meaning it made me chuckle... moderately) thing in this entire episode. It's a pretty bad episode when I cite Neelix as the best part. One and a half stars from me.
Leah
Sat, Jul 20, 2013, 7:35pm (UTC -5)
I didn't dislike this episode, though I didn't love it either. Still, kinda nice to see an Alpha-Quadrant species again. I've never had a problem with the Klingons or their way of life. Every species created for Star Trek had its own culture and belief-structure. The Klingons are one of the longest-standing of these, so of course there's going to be a feeling of old-hat to them after so many years. In the very least, they're mostly consistent. Take my opinion for what it's worth, but as someone who finds anthropology interesting, I enjoy the contrasts of all of the Trekian races.

As far as Neelix goes, he'd actually been toned down for quite a while and I found myself liking him for the most part. This return to obnoxious Neelix was not welcome at all. After all of the things he's been through with Tuvok, I was hoping to see a bit more mutual respect and understanding between them. Alas...I must keep reminding myself that this is Voyager and if the writers want to throw in some sophomoric humor, no pesky character development shall stand in the way.

This kind of thing really hurts the credibility of the rant I made in Lineage's comment section. All I can say to this is that my diatribe was intended to encompass all of Trek, not just Voyager. If I were to be honest, Voyager is the Trek show most aimed at those who enjoy action and contrivance over real substance, which explains why it is lamented as falling woefully short of what it could have been by long-standing Trek fans. Still, enough of the spirit of what Star Trek was meant to be is intermittently present in Voyager for my rant to remain applicable.

Last thought, I really liked Kohlar. He was less of a cartoon-version of a Klingon and more of what the Klingons are supposed to be: honorable, dedicated, traditional, cunning but fairly even-minded despite his warrior's spirit, and concerned with what's best for his people. Reminded me of what I loved about DS9's Martok.
Ash
Mon, Jul 22, 2013, 7:40am (UTC -5)
Why do they have to be bunkmates , if the can put an entire irish town on the holodeck, just holo some klingonhotel
ian
Thu, Aug 1, 2013, 3:04am (UTC -5)
Actually this was a very good episode, very similar to DS9 episode in many ways and the point is that ANY Klingon episode would be all crazy because Klingons ARE berzerkers, that is the whole point.
azcats
Tue, Aug 27, 2013, 2:17pm (UTC -5)
@Ash, great comment about the ridiculous space in a holodeck.

i too thought, man he sounds like avery brooks.

i did like his klingon character.

i dont know if you guys noticed, but neelix in the last couple seasons stopped being "comedy relief" and became more of a "wise counselor." this is what has made him more tolerable.

the paris vs klingon fight wasnt really believable. at least it mostly had paris avoiding contact.

not a boring episode, but not great.

1.5 to 2 stars.
SpiceRak2
Sun, Sep 15, 2013, 12:50am (UTC -5)
Whether you like Neelix or not, I think the "One-Night-Stand" development was weirdly out of character. Neelix has been more of the Disney character on Voyager for some time now and this shift to "Basic Instincts" was abrupt and not very believable. If he were not bunking with Tuvok and was still engaging the Klingon female, it would have been creepy. This sub-sub-plot (as aptly named in a previous comment) was intended to exploit the Neelix/Tuvok oil and water relationship with humor and this disturbing tale was the result. Yikes.

The same can be said about Harry Kim in his own awkward situation. Intended to be humor with strange results.

The only thing I was hoping would happen in this episode involved B'Elanna finally embracing her Klingon side. Instead, she was nearly disgusted by the whole affair. I wish she didn't have the forehead as much as she wishes it. Her character does nothing to advance our appreciation of Klingon culture in Trek. Why did they bother?
Jo Jo Meastro
Tue, Oct 15, 2013, 5:44pm (UTC -5)
I actually liked this one, it was enjoyably goofy and fun despite the lack of much plausibility. Seeing the Klingons again was almost novel after all this time.

What I enjoyed about this episode was it had a TOS feel to it with the way it was plotted and the old school charm of casually tossing in things like a fight to the death or a deadly virus almost at whim. All that was needed was some outrageous background music! There isn't any meaning behind this, but it is very entertaining and a pleasure to watch unfold with a big grin.

I found the Neelix comedy quite funny, even though I can't believe he'd go as far as trash Tuvoks' room in a night of passion (at least take it to the holodeck!) and going off Kes it's hard to imagine he'd be into fierce Klingon women. But there was good characterisations all round, I especially liked the added focus to Tom and Torress and I also liked seeing Janeway desperately trying to manage all this madness!

Yet another season 7 episode I'd rate at 3 or 3 and a half stars!
Nick
Tue, Feb 4, 2014, 8:29pm (UTC -5)
I found the Neelix sex interlude hilarious...but also in character! The guy is supposed to be a cultural attache right? Well, he's just doing his part! Besides, who could resist having a go with such a voracious Klingon?

As for the rest of it, the plot depended on a seemingly endless series of convenient occurrences, but who cares, we got to see a bunch of Klingons! Lets face it, you either like Klingons or you don't. Frankly, I'd rather re-watch this episode a dozen times than endure five minutes of 'Lineage'. Bleh.

3 out of 5
Steinway
Tue, Feb 18, 2014, 2:16pm (UTC -5)
I don't know why they had to make Paris into such a schmuck this episode. I know he is kind of schmucky with his one-liners, but I know Duncan-McNeill can act, and when he's getting more than one line, it usually turns out pretty well. Someone above thought it was his acting that was the problem is this ep, but the lines he was given were so trite that I don't know how he possibly could've acted them well.

I could have happily done with some machosim on Paris' part, shoving the Klingons a little bit when they were trying to get his goat instead of just standing there and saying some truly pathetic lines. The combat scene wasn't too bad, and I thought B'Elanna's line was cute: "Today would be a very BAD day to die."

At any rate, this wasn't my favorite episode, but I did enjoy it. I'm one of those who likes the Klingons, with their honor and tradition. Seems like we should get one episode with them in the Voyager series, no matter how convoluted it has to be for them to show up :-)
Ric
Thu, Jun 26, 2014, 2:26am (UTC -5)
This episode is the supremely clear face of lack of imagination. And also annoying as hell in showing yet-another-alpha-quadrant-buddy showing up at the delta quadrant by chance. Not to mention the vast lazy writing shown at Paris' decision to fight. Why in the universe would he make such stupid decision to put his life at risk, from nowhere, if not only to give trigger the silly combat?

Worst than that, here we have yet another example of moral misbehavior in Voyager. After all, now the crew and, of course, the always misguided captain, agree to "stretch the truth"! Meaning, of course, to lie. To deceive other bluntly. And not being enough, they even establish that it is a bit different from lying.

Amazing. Now Voyager is increasing the frequency and severity of the moral missteps made by the crew. Maybe the show could had even got an award at this point: the right to be labeled with the twisted DS9-style "shades-of-grey" stamp...


Anyway, a very meh episode. With another offensive and out-of-franchise (im)moral step by the captain. And this time, also the crew.

PS: talking about DS9, Jammer's acid definition "usual Klingon mumbo-jumbo" is very right on the spot - although sure I regret that he wasn't that sensitive to DS9's Bajoran mumbo-jumbo.

PS2: I am another one who, at first, also thought the guy was played by Brooks.

PS3: Neelix finds a new mate in the show before Harry. Now, that is wicked!
Yanks
Thu, Jun 26, 2014, 6:58am (UTC -5)
I haven't seen this episode in quite some time.

A skipper for me. I'm not interested in another Klingon mumbo-stupid episode.

1 star because Jammer's review made me remember too much about this one.
Corey
Tue, Sep 2, 2014, 4:01pm (UTC -5)
Wow, surprised no one likes this one; I thought it was excellent.
Fenne
Tue, Sep 30, 2014, 9:31am (UTC -5)
No particular comment other than the fact that I was reading these comments on my smartphone before the episode was even finished. I didn't have the stomac to go through another round of cliché Klingon philosophy.

Except maybe, one more comment: before I started reading the comments I was looking for the name of the actor who played the leader of the Special K's. What do I know him from? Which series did he play in for me to recognise his voice. I was suprised to find a completely unfamiliar name and no series or movie to link him to. And then came the answer in Jammer's review. Funny how many people thought the same thing.
Capitalist
Wed, Nov 12, 2014, 12:56pm (UTC -5)
Haha, I'm another one who wondered if that Klingon was Avery Brooks. But when he never got around to doing the bizarre Idi Amin overacting thing that Brooks always did, I realized it wasn't him.
Nicolas
Fri, Jan 16, 2015, 3:47pm (UTC -5)
One interesting (if unfortunate) thing I've noticed rewatching the last two seasons of Voyager is Robert Beltran's complete lack of interest in the show and the character. Just look at his face when he's not saying dialogue. He's just letting his mind wander or looking bored. Then suddenly he remembers that it's his turn and says his line and goes back to staring. And these are the takes they KEPT!
dlpb
Fri, Jan 16, 2015, 7:43pm (UTC -5)
There's a reason Beltran isn't bothered (and admits to it in an interview): The writing is crap. Really crap. There is no continuity, very little sense and internal logic, and very little character growth at all. Is it any wonder he is showing the show contempt?
Nic
Wed, Jan 21, 2015, 7:23am (UTC -5)
@dlpb: Regardless of his opinion on the show, I find it remarkably unprofessional on his part. If he was that dissatisfied he could have asked to leave the show. Instead he stuck around (probably for the paycheque) and slacked off.
dlpb
Wed, Jan 21, 2015, 7:18pm (UTC -5)
Blame the writers... Beltran made it clear that he had no time for their nonsense and admits that he expected to be fired. You can't blame him for staying on a show that doesn't even care enough. Not only did the writers write garbage (on the whole), but they were also too lazy to care what their actors were saying or doing.
Xylar
Sun, Jun 28, 2015, 8:02pm (UTC -5)
I find the fact that B'elanna and Tom's baby has two episodes devoted to her already (and she's not even born yet!) hilarious.

I don't really care about Klingon religions and all that, but I do have to admit that if they stuck to their guns and continued their mission faithfully for 4 generations, that that is some serious devotion to your faith. Especially considering the fact that it was not originally their idea to start the journey. The fact that even the great-grandchildren of the ones who originally began the mission are still devoted to it, is a testimony to the faith of the Klingons. Too bad they didn't adress that, at all.

The Neelix subplot was meh. Harry shoves a Klingon female once and suddenly he's got a 'fiery spirit that makes him a worthy mate'. Neelix shoves Harry one time and says one harsh thing and suddenly he's an even worthier mate. This particular Klingon sure is easily impressed...And yeah, more forced Tuvok/Neelix comedy routine, which never works, including this time.

Can we move on to something Delta Quadrant related now? Like the Borg or a native alien species or some unique space phenomenon or something?
Lister
Tue, Oct 6, 2015, 5:39pm (UTC -5)
Voyager appeared to turn into the "hurumph!" scene from Blazing Saddles when Paris accepted the fight.

And the usual utter incompetence from Janeway. "Phaser fire in transporter room one". Janeway stares into space for a bit, calls Chuckles (?), nods at Tuvock, then stares some more. How about, ooh I don't know, isolating the transporters?

I did laugh at the Nelix scene though, with his post coital flush.
TJ
Fri, Oct 23, 2015, 10:49am (UTC -5)
The writers seemed to just throw whatever out there and hope people would turn their brains off for 45 minutes in the hope they don't see the episode (and the whole season in general) for the hot mess it was. Not to mention the human arrogance they employ in the story. The alleged savior of the Klingon empire can only have human DNA in it, I suppose.

Meanwhile humanity can't even save itself. I know that this is set in a future fantasy and that humans were to have attained some kind of enlightenment from the society we currently find ourselves in. But it seems even in the future humans are far too prone to the same self serving, destructive behavior they exhibit now. It makes stories like these even more preposterous. I really detest the way the writers trivialize all the other races whilst painting the human race in the best light possible. Watching this and Enterpise all we've seen is the human race being the most immature, childlike (unlike the emotional balance of a Vulcan) and warmonger-like (Even more prone to violence to employ their will than the Klingons. At least Klingons value honor). And so far they've proven themselves far more dangerous than a Romulan. At times you would think they aspire to be the Borg. They certainly glamorized them enough in the series. They sure weren't the intimidating prescence they were in Next Gen.

Sometimes I wish Q would appear and put humanity on trial again. So many moments between Voyager and Enterprise that would have resulted in summary judgement against them. Enterprise was rudimentary in terms of deep space exploration but the enlightened values were supposed to already have been there. Watch the series and you may be hard pressed to find them.

The writers continue to show B'Elanna's contempt at her Klingon DNA. When in fact it's her human half clearly causing all this internal conflict. Think back to Season 1's "Faces" and you will see my point. The inconsistency in the writing alone is another testament to the indecisiveness humanity has. And yet she's supposed to love her human half more. It was her human parent that abandoned her. Her Klingon parent, however remained with her thru thick and thin. And yet she still feels the human half serves her better. How?


Worf was full Klingon and yet there were no inner conflicts with that. He knew who he was, made no apologies for it and still had an upstanding career in Starfleet. He became Chief of Security on the flagship after Tasha Yar's death. And his honor stayed intact. For both Starfleet and the Klingon Empire.

In any event this episode I would have docked a star on. It also gets old seeing Tim Russ being the foil of Neelix's obnoxious ways. Watch Meld or Repression to see what happens when they actually allow him some screen time.
Robert
Fri, Oct 23, 2015, 11:37am (UTC -5)
@TJ - I love Roxanne and Torres but you are so right about how she learns to make peace/deal with contempt for her Klingon half so often you wonder if the writers didn't watch past episodes. It was really cool in Faces. It made some amount of sense in Day of Honor. By S7 it was silly.
Scotch
Wed, Jan 13, 2016, 3:19am (UTC -5)
Absolutely brilliant and heartfelt episode. Drama, sorrow, humour, hope, reminiscing, honour and culture - the writers achieved the perfect balance. This episode is a great example of why voyager is by far the best Star Trek show. If you don't like this type of episode, this isn't the show for you. 5 out of 5
TRIP
Thu, Mar 17, 2016, 1:31pm (UTC -5)
@ Cloudane
"Microsoft could've done a better job." Now that's low lol.

If the Voyager series could only pick ONE species from the Alpha Quadrant to run into, I would hope it would be the Klingons. The Borg don't count as we knew they were based in the Delta Quadrant, and also knew their space was vast. However, the 2 episodes with the Ferengi, and the episodes with the Romulans, I could have lived without.

The Klingons are still to be feared, unlike the other species Star Trek has castrated. The Borg, the Ferengi, the Romulans, all were more threatening in the beginning of TNG. The Klingons are still agressive and threatening. They also haven't been corrupted by human values. Even in DS9, Martok was the only one who drank on the Battlefield of Victory on Cardassia. Captain Sisko and Admiral Ross refused to drink over the dead bodies and dumped their glasses.

Klingons are still Klingons. I don't want them, or their values to change.

I liked this episode - 3 stars.

A Telaxian/Klingon baby. An ugly s#!t with a bad temper. Wait a minute...
www.mwctoys.com/images/review_lostpred_1.jpg
Diamond Dave
Tue, Mar 22, 2016, 5:03pm (UTC -5)
Kinda like a Star Trek does Life of Brian episode. "She's not the Messiah..." etc. I thought this was a really interesting premise - if you can put aside the contrivance of it all of course - and I liked the idea of Klingons on a holy quest. But the episode itself ran itself down a number of fairly cliched rabbit holes - bat'leth duel? Check. Phaser fight. Check - even as it came up with some good ideas - such as the illness, which did represent an unexpected plot twist.

As to Neelix getting his oats? Good on him, I say. That 'phwoar' moment after he sees off Harry to claim his prize is about as close to Benny Hill as you're ever going to see in the Star Trek universe, and I commend it to you. 2.5 stars.
Bryan
Wed, Apr 13, 2016, 11:02pm (UTC -5)
...speaking of cutesy ideas that don't go anywhere...

Stray observations:

1) As Paris rightly asks, "What were the chances that they'd run into the one ship with a Klingon on board?"

2) Those must be some pretty gullible Klingons to blow up their own ship over a prophecy broad enough to include almost anyone.

3) It's now possible to beam over 200+ people in 10 seconds? Good thing the Klingons anticipated Voyager's highly advanced transporter technology or else most of them would have gone down with the ship. Apparently Voyager even had time to spare so they graciously beamed over all those bat-leths too!

4) "Have you ever made a plea for the dead?" Um... wasn't that the whole conceit behind Barge of the Dead? Whether it was 'real' or not, I'd like to think that had a pretty big impact on B'Elanna, enough for it to be worthy of mention.

5) "The Nehret always comes without warning..." Yeah, no kidding. Like during battle at a pivotal moment, or when you're about to cancel a an ill-advised self-destruct sequence... nobody expects the Nehret. It is most inconvenient, mhm, yess.

6) I hope Neelix's romp with that skanky disease-ridden Klingon was approved by Janeway and the Doctor, but considering his impulsive behavior this episode, I doubt it was.

7) Kohlar: "The Kuva'Mach has healed all of us. She truly is our savior."
T'Greth: "... She?!" *rages and rebels all over again*
Skeptical
Sun, May 1, 2016, 3:14pm (UTC -5)
Not my favorite, but not for the same reasons other people are complaining about. Basically, I really, really liked this idea, and just wish they did more with it. The very first Klingon episode of TNG (Heart of Glory) and the very last Klingon episode of DS9 (Tacking into the Wind I think?) dealt with the same theme, as did many of the episodes in between. That the Klingon Empire, with all its emphasis on honor and tradition, had lost its way and was a shell of what it used to be. There was constant tension between those trying to revive the empire (the dissidents in Heart of Glory, the monks in Rightful Heir, etc.), those trying to keep the status quo (K'Mpec, Gowron), and those willing to abuse the lack of honor for their own gains (Duras and company).

Even Undiscovered Country, although it didn't focus on the honor aspect, showed us dissent among the Klingons. It's not surprising that this concept keeps coming up; it's so rich with so many possibilities to mine for from all sorts of angles. We saw political intrigue, religious revivals, good people swallowed up by the infighting, everything you could think of. So another episode in this vain is not a bad idea, but I just wish they did it better. And spent less time focusing on the standard action (of course there will be a bat'leth fight, right?) and more of fleshing out these characters.

For starters, the main Klingon guy frustrated me. So, um, does he still believe in his mission or not? The fact that he flat out tells B'Elanna to lie and claims he only wants to settle down suggests strongly that he doesn't. And yet, he is genuinely shocked that B'Elanna doesn't practice any aspect of the Klingon religion, and then offers his own prayer. He also seems to genuinely want the daughter to be the messiah, even if he doesn't believe it. So which is it? People who have lost their faith often become 100% opposite and turn into militant atheists. They also occasionally slowly fall out of belief, in which they look at their belief with embarrassment but still feel uncomfortable with a complete split. He didn't act like either of these. Instead, he acted how Hollywood seems to think religious people are, that's it's akin to a fashion statement that people choose or not choose on a whim. That the truth doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if she's the messiah or not, just what we can get away with.

If you're going to have a show about religion, why is the main guest star so cavalier about it?

Instead, I think they could have worked it in that he was still a true believer. The bit about convincing B'Elanna to go along with it could still work. He could have talked to her that it doesn't matter what she believes, and tried to convince her to look at it that way. Remember how Kira basically explained the prophecy in scientific terms for the Starfleet crowd in Destiny? And the rest of the crew could have convinced B'Elanna to go along with it. I think it would have been stronger if he had been so desperate to have finally found the messiah that he wanted to believe anything, that he would go to any length to dispel any doubts he may have had. He would have been a more believable character and made his situation more tragic. Instead, he was just the designated hero for the episode with inconsistent writing. What a waste.

Meanwhile, the giant elephant in the room that NO ONE was mentioning was what was going to happen if the Klingons did accept her daughter as the Messiah? Wouldn't they then want to stick around and follow her? Wouldn't they demand B'Elanna stay with them? Surely the scrolls don't suggest the messiah's mom should find them a new home and then leave them, correct? This could have added more tension to the episode.

Speaking of which, the episode completely failed to really show how B'Elanna would feel about this. For one thing, her incredulousness about the whole deal was disappointing after Barge of the Dead. She was willing to risk her life based on her belief in the Klingon religion. Yes, it was ambiguous, and it was more about saving her mother than her own spiritual growth, but it means she's open to believing in such things. So why did she completely reject the possibility? As Tom said, it's an incredible coincidence that they ran into them, that B'Elanna was pregnant at the time, etc. No, she isn't going to suddenly become a true believer, but I could imagine she would be more conflicted. At least give a hint that this whole situation is troubling her beyond simply being annoying...

And again, why did she think the problem would simply go away at the end of the episode? The Bible states Mary would have great sorrow in her life, so being the mother of a messiah is not an easy task. And if you want a more pop-culture, secular example, look at Sarah Conner from Terminator. The knowledge that her son was the savior of the world turned her life completely upside down. John Connor did not have a normal childhood. Sarah was not a normal parent. If she was going to go along with saying her daughter was a messiah, wouldn't B'Elanna have to eventually tell her daughter? Isn't that a huge responsibility for her daughter? What if these Klingons somehow find a way to contact the rest of the Klingon empire? What if the entire Klingon race knows about her by the time they get back home? Unlikely, perhaps, but how would they know that? Again, the episode does not treat this idea with the weight it requires.

That's what's missing, the weight. The writers seemed to just have this episode for the fun of having Klingons around. We had bat'leth fights, Klingon romance, trying to take over the ship, boasting about battles, all the usual tropes. Yet the story of a crumbling empire, a decaying culture, and B'Elanna caught in the middle of a religious revival sounds really awesome to me. Too bad that was so downplayed.
dipads
Sun, May 15, 2016, 2:10pm (UTC -5)
I think it would be the right time to create a new Trek series and have competent writers write great stories to make right what Voyager made wrong.
BobT
Mon, Jul 11, 2016, 9:50am (UTC -5)
I liked it...there, I've said it. And I have to say that Jammer's clear-as-crystal anti-Voyager and pro-DS9 leanings are getting irritating! Everything always is "not nearly as well done as the XYZ episode of DS9", blah blah. And does every nitpicky observation have to have its own pretentious adjective? ("...the dialog was disconnected, the Klingon stuff was derivative, the ship takeover was gratuitous,,,")?? Voyager was light years better as a show than the boring, stay-in-one-place, Ferengi-ridden mess that was DS9.
Robert
Mon, Jul 11, 2016, 10:20am (UTC -5)
@BobT - Really? THIS is the episode you're going to thrown down as VOY is better than DS9?

This episode is better than the worst of DS9, I can give you that. LOL. I didn't want my hour back, but that's hardly an endorsement. It was an uninspired mess.
Nolan
Mon, Jul 11, 2016, 11:42am (UTC -5)
You know, for a show about staying in one place, DS9 sure went places no other Trek had, while VOY, in exploring an entirely new region of space, mostly retread much of the same ground covered by the Treks before it. Voyager is a show about playing it safe, sticking to the familiar tried and tested, but also mayhaps a little tired by now concepts of Trek. But there are those that prefer that kinda comfort zone TV, able to enjoy the stories couched in that familiar story-telling.

DS9 on the otherhand, is a show of risks, trying new things, focusing on different things more than other series, yet retaining the core of Trek.

Two vastly different ways of telling Trek, and providing fans with a diverse sent of storytelling. IDIC.

There really should be no proper Trek, but nuTrek for example exemplifies only the action, popcorn stuff, so hopefully we can start moving away from that now that we've had it.

That said, of the original Treks VOY is my least liked series, ranking last on my ratings. It was fun in Junior High when it was on after school in reruns when I hadn't seen it before, and it had the flash of special effects, but ultimatly I was personally left uninspired once it ended. There's maybe twenty episodes I would count as really good, but the rest were largely mediocre to me. I mean, Seinfeld, a sitcom had better continuity than Voyager at times. But again, it's familiar Trek going back to the well of what Trek had been. For some that's enough. And that's okay. For me and many others, it was not enough, and so VOY's flaws showed through just a bit more. Particularily in counter-point to DS9 which was newand shiny, but not what everyone wanted. Granted, some of DS9's flaws were apparent enough that they showed through despite the sense of wonder it gave it's fans . Different shows for different desires.

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