Star Trek: Voyager


1.5 stars.

Air date: 12/11/1996
Written by Brannon Braga
Directed by Alexander Singer

"I thought Klingons didn't get nauseated. You have a redundant stomach." — Paris to Torres

Review Text

Nutshell: Technobabble terror colliding with more action clichés than I can count. Ugh.

I don't like the trend I've been seeing in Voyager the past few weeks. It's starting to show evidence of "season two syndrome." Silly plots and brainless action are taking precedence over real drama and intelligent storytelling. "The Q and the Grey" may have been a misguided clash of ideas, but at least it had ideas. "Macrocosm" is about as brain-dead as Trek can get (or so I hope). Not good, people.

"Macrocosm" (yet another installment pointlessly advertised as "special") is a downright silly episode; yet another mishmash of parts that has no idea what it wants to do aside from supplying a host of action clichés and mundane plot advances.

Returning from a diplomatic mission in a shuttlecraft, Janeway and Neelix rendezvous with a darkened, empty Voyager. Communication with the ship is impossible, because there are no signs of the crew at all. The first half of the episode revolves around Janeway and Neelix's attempts to track down the crew, and they eventually realize there are about 30 human life signs on the upper decks. Crawling through the Jeffries tubes on the powerless ship, Neelix is attacked by an unknown lifeform and apparently hauled away. Janeway now finds herself the sole crew member to save the ship from an apparent alien takeover. The second half of the show explains what's going on, as the Doctor (one of few functional members of the crew) explains to Janeway what has transpired—that of a "macrovirus" that grows until it exists on the visible scale rather than the microscopic scale.

These macroviruses were inadvertently beamed onto the ship and began multiplying "at an exponential rate." After infecting the crew and making everybody extremely ill, they then grow to be huge, until they're big enough to attack you like the aliens in, well, Alien. Basically, this plot boils down to a rip-off of Alien meets Outbreak. Hence Janeway's attitude change to Sigourney Weaver mode (always carrying a big gun and appearing to be in pain) and Doc's line, "Oh no, the macrovirus is airborne!" There's very little in terms of intelligent writing here—it's just a clothesline to hang some lackluster stunts and standard action scenes on.

Watching the first two acts got very old very fast. I got tired of watching Janeway tentatively pointing her phaser around the corner after about the tenth of fifty times. And the presentation of about a million "action" clichés is weak—so poorly disguised that it's very hard to feel anything but cynical from the start. The scene in engineering where Janeway takes off her jacket and takes up arms is, for lack of a better word, poor. It's so false, so pretentious, so much wanting to hammer home the idea, "Look, Janeway can be a badass!" that it falls flat on its face. I like Captain Janeway (sometimes I feel like I'm the sole Janeway fan in a group of unreceptive Voyager viewers), but I don't watch Janeway for potboiler cheesiness like this. I watch Janeway for her dialog, practical leadership and intelligence.

Mulgrew is a good sport through this mess, but she's trapped in a thankless position—if you think about this show for a more than five seconds, it's just a cheap rip-off of clichés. It's really tough to do Alien on the budget of an episode of Voyager.

Then again, Alexander Singer is no Ridley Scott, either. A lot of the shots are frankly dull, and there's just not much atmosphere in the Voyager corridors that lends it to Alien milieu. That's not to say that Singer's direction is completely without merit; I thought some of the macrovirus' point-of-view shots were effective, and Dennis McCarthy's somewhat eerie score was quite good at times, as were some of the CGI macrovirus effects. But those scenes were countered by other thrill-less endeavors like the stale ending where Janeway blows up all the aliens in the holodeck with a laughable "movie bomb," that is, a bomb with a red digital readout that counts down while beeping. And the explosion was terribly unconvincing—in fact, it looked like the fireball from "Basics, Part I" retouched to look green.

The episode is also painfully uneven and filled with tons of—you guessed it—forgettable technobabble. The number one rule in creating suspense, broken here big time, is that you don't interrupt the tension. The whole middle of the episode where Doc explains how the macrovirus got aboard the ship, told using a badly placed flashback device, only further sabotages any hopes for this show to be exciting. For that matter, what in the world was the point of the bizarre alien ship whose captain wanted to exterminate the virus by incinerating Voyager? And what was up with that crazy, quirky captain? He's probably the strangest thing I've seen on this show in quite some time, but I unfortunately mean strange only in the most laughable of senses. The writing itself here seems to be beaming in from the Delta Quadrant.

This story is interested only in cheap thrills, and the thrills are just that—cheap. No logic, no thought, no planning, no brain. Perhaps that would explain why it is Neelix vanishes without a trace but is never found or seen again in the episode. Where did he go? Did a macrovirus carry him off to Never Never Land? Was he ever found again? (I might take comfort in this if he weren't seen in the next new episode, but I know that's just my optimism speaking.) And just where exactly was the rest of the crew if there were only 30 or so people in the mess hall? Where were the other 100 crew members? The episode doesn't care.

"Macrocosm" was written by who I am, as of today, indulging to label the notoriously two-faced Brannon Braga. Here is a writer who has worked on absolutely stellar character-driven stories like Star Trek: First Contact as well as amusing, witty dialog shows like last season's "Projections." Yet he'll also bring us abysmal technobabble terror like "Cathexis" and "Threshold." "Macrocosm" seems to have come from the latter Braga.

Previous episode: The Q and the Grey
Next episode: Fair Trade

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115 comments on this post

    I rarely disagree with a review you post, but I do regarding this one. Even though it is absolutely true that the episode is Voyager's try on the "Alien/Outbreak" theme, and thus of course chliched, it manages to succeed in this venture quite well.
    The dark atmosphere on the deserted Voyager, for example, reminded me quite a bit of "Resident Evil 2" (the game, not the movie). Mulgrew was up to the challenge of having to be the *sole* actor on screen for a good part of the story. It was also wise to not include a B-story in this episode, which would have subtracted from the tension. Yes, it's true that the level of tension was a bit reduced during the part where Doc explains how the situation came about (it just was a bit too lengthy), but otherwise I was constantly on the edge of my seat until the resolution.
    This may not have been a very brainy episode, but it was different from the standard fare and I thoroughly enjoyed it for what it was.

    I agree with Dirk.

    If you rate this episode as a typical Star Trek episode it may be horrible. But if you see this as a venture into another genre, while staying true to the Star Trek universe/formula it does quite a good job.

    Its not brilliant (as dirk mentioned, there are some lengths, etc), but not as bad as you claim.

    THIS WAS AWESOME! Janeway going all Sigourney Weaver / Linda Hamilton...was just amazing! This actually showed as the season premiere in the UK...what a way to start. I think I fell totally in love with Voyager after this one.

    I ADORE Janeway. :)

    I rather enjoyed the episode as well, and took little exception to what jammer did. My beef is at the end, when Chakotay mentions several of the crew skiing in the holodeck. Voyager made a mockery of the spatial constraints of the holodeck. When a group of people use it, the action in the holodeck is where the group of people are, and more distant objects are sensorily expressed by the walls, but people can't be there. Voyager regularly portrayed the holodeck as someplace where crewmen could be much farther away from each other than the spatial dimensions of a holodeck could ever allow...I could never get past the ridiculousness of it.

    This was an awesome episode. My 1 little nit pick, a technical oversight which seems to happen at least once per episode on this show.

    When Janeway needs to get all the way down to engineering from deck 2, they spend 15 minutes of the episode on this. Why Janeway didn't think to just go to the shuttle bay, and use the transporters on one of the shuttles to beam to engineering..... *shrugs*

    Just watched it. Quite entertaining. Reference was made to the macroviruses collecting the crew members in the Mess Hall and Cargo Bays (presumably it saved on extras, not having to have the entire Voyager crew in one scene). It's safe to assume Neelix was carried off to be parked in a cargo bay.

    I can see I'm in the minority, but I think 1 1/2 stars is generous for this episode. Almost everything is off - the characterizations, the acting, and that out-of-place flashback half way into the episode. You can hear the boredom in the actor's voices as they drone on about arbitrary technobable. Random action scenes that seem to have no point don't help either. The way the script was I don't think a better execution could have saved this one even if the actors had sounded sincere and if they used all the CG tricks the budget would allow. To me, not one of Voyager's better shows.

    @ Jake: They struck me as autistic for some reason. That in itself isn't annoying but I couldn't help seeing similarities. As for why... Probably because this wasn't a very good episode. :P

    This episode seems more like a zero star one, it's so incredibly intensely stupid.

    I'd like to say something to defend this episode, and I really did enjoy it on the first viewing, but I can't think of anything.

    I couldn't help but be entertained by this episode. That said, from the standpoint of character interaction and plot development it accomplished practically nothing. It was cheap thrills all the way, and I don't blame Jammer for slamming it with this review. I did expect a low rating. You can get away with this kind of show every now and then, but I do expect more from Star Trek typically. It reminded me quite a bit of TNG's Genesis, also fun in a guilty way.

    Star Trek is all about a wide variety of genres. You've got your cerebral episodes, and you've got your action episodes. This is clearly one of the latter, and as an actin episode, it works. You might not like the genre they're trying to explore, but you can't deny that it's a good example of it.

    The action and Janeway badass-ness, etc is fun throughout most of the episode--it's just absolutely brainless. I enjoyed some of the jokes and goofiness more than, apparently, you did. My biggest issue (other than the gaping plot-holes [which really matter in an episode which is all about stealth and manœuvering]: good, she stabbed the virus...) is with the Tic tacs--not their stupid form of communication, but that they literally massacred the other aliens with the infection and nothing is made of it. Wow. About spot on. I think 1 star is enough for this jolly little mess.

    Aside from one Macrovirus bomb not being thorough enough, a good episode. It's nice to see an enemy that isn't just another humanoid.

    I really hope that the bomb in the end destroyed that stupid Neelix holoprogram once and for all.

    This is going to be a bit off topic, but I'm starting to see a bit of Enterprise in Voyager (given that I saw the more recent show first). In this episode, the score is reminiscent of Enterpise, especially the horns. In Future's End we had precursor to the Temporal Cold War, and in Fair Trade we have some kind of an "expanse".

    Of course, this is to be expected, given the chronological proximity of the two shows and similarity in setting.

    More or less mindless fun. It's not an episode I seek out, but I'm never compelled to turn it off either.

    One nagging question. Once Doc made it to the shuttlebay and managed to hide inside a shuttle, why didn't he just use the shuttle's transporter to get to Engineering? Oh, right. Captain Ripley - I mean Janeway - wasn't done being a badass yet...

    Look, I don't mind technobabble if the babble is at least somewhat intelligible. Virus + Human Growth Hormone =/= Giant flying tentacle monsters. That's asinine. If this show had a science adviser, they should be ashamed of themselves.

    Sometimes sci-fi is just fun, and this episode was. Taking off her jacket may have recalled Ripley, but it was also a rational act, given the temperature. I've always wondered why characters don't shed those things faster. She didn't strip down to her undies, thank God. The insect nature of the villains made sense in a year when Independence Day was the summer movie. And the large versions of the virus were actually interesting interpretations of what we usually see as two-dimensional. I appreciated the lighting and camera angles; the editing could have been crisper. Finally, I'm tired of Neelix bashing, just as I was with Quark-bashing. These characters are written to remind us to stop taking everything on the series so seriously. It ain't Shakespeare, much as Patrick Stewart would have liked.

    "It ain't Shakespeare"

    Which is another way of saying it's supposed to suck?


    "Why are the Tic Tak so annoying?"

    Because they don't toe the line.

    I for one enjoyed the tak tak...

    And I think this was a bit silly, but fun too...

    Oh come on, this was silly but entertaining. And I really liked the TakTak. Finally a culture that isn't EXACTLY LIKE HUMANS and where there are cultural issues.

    I didn't mind the premise, and I thought Janeway made a pretty good badass. There were a few incongruities that bothered me though. First, why don't their transporter buffers automatically purge themselves when a virus is detected? Isn't that the point of the buffer? Second - why do the virus's only try to impale the Captain and the Doctor? If anyone else had been impaled there would be blood everywhere, and people in the mess hall would have severe injuries. Third - why aren't there any patients in sickbay? I know deck 2 was quarantined, but why wouldn't anyone else go there? The doctor didn't have one single patient, not even Kes.

    I actually liked the flashback scenes, it was more interesting than just having the doctor describe what happened. And it was good to see the doctor expanding his horizons.

    I've got to chime in with the supporters on this one. I liked that the TakTak were so weird and, well, alien. That was refreshing, although I'm glad we didn't have to endure a whole episode of that. It reminded me of Darmok a bit, but I don't think Voyager could pull that off.

    As far as the main plot, again, I liked that the alien was so unusual. Yes, it was an implausible explanation, but there is a good likelihood that such things may exist (there are giant single celled organisms right here on Earth, after all) and it was an interesting idea. The story was very "Alien"-esque, but it mostly worked.

    I thought that the flashback was too long and involved. It could have been tightened up by focusing only on what the Doctor actually witnessed, dropping the pointless banter and such. The ending felt rushed, again probably because of the flashback eating so much time. But for my vote, I'd say this was a solid 2.5 out of 4 - a little better than average with a few standout moments and some nice ideas.

    I think this was at least a 3 star effort. The Tak Tak (or whatever) were a change from the standard humanoid of the week aliens. The macro viruses were truly originally and weird without being so implausible as to be laughable. The scenes were appropriately suspenseful for me.

    One faulty criticism of Voyager is that we know the ship won't get home/be destroyed/whatever during each episode. That's true of any weekly show. That was true of Galactica during each Cylon attack on BSG. It's a limitation of the format.

    It is scientifically impossible for something that small to grow that big that soon. And without any real nourishment.

    I remember liking this the first time now, wth was I thinking? Probably what any 14 year old girl thought: girl Capt kicking ass for a change.

    I could have lived without the close up of Chakotay's infected colony ridden neck. *shudders*

    DLPB - which is why this is Science Fiction.......

    The clue is in the name mate!

    No, it means it isn't a serious and well written show. If it is set in our universe, it has limits on what it can get away with. The clue is in good writing.

    This episode is what I call "CritterTrek" and as an outing in this genre, I'd rate it as OK, say 2.5 stars. I liked Janeway channeling her inner Sigourney Weaver / Linda Hamilton. I liked the macrovirus concept.

    I did choke on some of it. How big the macrovirus got inside the force field with nothing to eat except air. Overly lengthy explanation by the Doctor of how they got into such a fine mess. Etc.

    re: the Tic Tak: I'm with those who find them annoying. And I felt that the casual way they wipe out the miners, and are on to Voyager next, doesn't speak well of them (at least after the crisis has passed they apologize). But I also felt it was nice to see aliens that were different from the regular humanoid. It must be a really hard job for writers to come up with interesting aliens, not to mention stories, week after week. But I suppose that's their cross to bear.

    Wow, I haven't seen this one in quite awhile, but I don't remember hating like some here do.

    I thought it was a fun romp with Janeway getting to play the badass for a change.

    I didn't read too much into it.

    Loved Kates remarks on this one. "This is my muscles episode" (or something to that effect.)

    I'll give it 3 stars because it was fun and I really don't want to think too much about it :-)

    A few isolated interesting moments within a mundane chore of an episode with nothing new, nothing relevant, nothing smart, and nothing fun. The best part of the episode was actually the Doctor's rundown of events halfway through. Every single aspect of this showing has been done to much better effect in ST. The idea of a macro-virus and how it operates is the only thing here that was truly intriguing and, even then, was brought to life by cringe-worthy CGI that was horrible even by 1996 standards.

    The pacing was a mess and the direction laughable in most scenes. I've had a greater sense of tension watching my cat sleep. Taking everything into account including the obligatory plot-holes (Where the hell is Neelix? Is he okay? Where is the rest of the crew? Why not at least attempt using transporters? Every single macro-virus large and small went into the holodeck from other areas of the ship? Like, through doors and bulkheads and such?) there really is almost nothing good about this episode.

    Not the worst Voyager or ST has done, but it is pretty god-awful. As I've said, the idea of how the virus exists and evolves is interesting and the flashback with the Doctor was a breath of fresh air.

    1 star.

    Neelix probably could've mitigated much of the effect of the slimesquirt if he'd taken off his jacket and shirt. Sure no one wants to see that, but if its life and death...

    So the stuff dissolves the transporter pad and doesn't make a welcome hole in Neelix's chest?? Dire, dire episode.

    This episode was intended to showcase the new phaser rifles. Up until this point, they were the ones we've seen on TOS.
    They were debuted here and then later seen in the First Contact movie.

    Interesting observation, aemom, except the chronology is off. First Contact was released a few weeks before this episode aired. Still, you might be right about this episode's inspiration, such as it is. Like, "We have a buncha leftover props. Let's write a show around them."

    Why is it, in the midst of this preposterous idea of giant viruses flying around Voyager and melting transporters and stabbing people in order and carrying them off to their hive and all that other scientific silliness... why is it that my suspension of disbelief fails when Paris starts waving around a 12 kg chunk of meat like it was nothing? Sigh... seriously writers, some words have real meaning and can't just be used like technobabble.

    As for the episode itself, it's dumb fun. Not sure much else needs to be said about it.

    It is interesting also when the "little" things in an episode catch your attention.

    Example: Janeway has Doc use the shuttle's sensors and com systems.

    How many times have a ship's systems including the transporters been offline and we the viewer says, what about the shuttles? At least in TNG "Power Play" they acknowledged this.

    Even in Nemesis when "transporters were down"

    I will stop there . . . . . :-)

    Why is everybody here so uptight? Is TV, is Star Trek, just the premise of a ship lost in a far, far away part of our galaxy is by itself at least right now simply science fiction done for our entertainment. I watch Star Trek to be entertain for an hour and get my mind away from work or the daily routine. If you watch Star Trek and at the end of the show you feel that you lost an hour of your time or you feel upset because of inaccurate techno lingo or poor acting, etc.. etc.. then I recommend you watch something else. I love Star Trek and I have watch every movie and every single version of Star Trek TV show and at the end of show I don’t feel upset because of bad acting, technical accuracy or an incoherent plot, I simply feel entertain because I keep in mind that is simply A TV SHOW BASE ON SCIENCE FICTION, nothing else, nothing more.

    funny watching this on netflix the stardate is 12345.6. wonder how that happened

    I actually liked this episode, and appreciate Brannon Braga's attempt to do something rather unique. It was suspenseful, but at times dragged on just a bit. I thought Mulgrew was terrific, and the action appropriate. I'd give it 3 stars... And Jammer, lighten up just a bit. Star Trek doesn't always have to be so cerebral.

    @ Aemom Not really. The TOS phaser rifle only ever appeared in "Where No Man Has Gone Before". TNG had the Type-III that was also used a lot on DS9. Voyager had its own compression phaser rifle right from "Caretaker" but after First Contact came out, both DS9 and Voyager started using using the new models seem in that film (plus DS9 starting using the grey uniforms as well). Strange that Voyager didn't switch to the new uniforms after contact was made with Starfleet, yet they did, somehow, manage to get the updated phaser, tricorder and now phaser rifle models before they'd made contact!

    Well, that's not something you see every day. Probably just as well though.

    We move from an Alien knock-off to an Aliens knock-off that at least gives Janeway the chance to get into a sweaty vest and tote a big gun a la Ripley. This isn't actually so bad. But it's the movement into the big exposition flashback section that both slows things and breaks the mood, and as soon as we get into knife fights with poorly CGI's viruses it's all downhill to the end.

    The vogueing Tak Tak are really a sight to see though. 1.5 stars.

    I can't believe I also forgot to mention the scene when they let the viruses loose on the holodeck beach party. That pegged the WTF meter well into the red...

    Another great episode of Voyager. Most of them are. It was a fun and enjoyable series! Do not listen to much to Jammer's reviews. He has no real interest in Star Trek. His reviews are not fair and balanced whatsoever. Reviewing sci-fi televsion series gives him some sort of fulfillment in life.

    @Roberto Fontanez
    I agree completely with what you said. And i like to add that an episode of this type would be more preferable as an animated episode of ST where action is more condusive. For those who say that it's a copycat of Alien, I would like to remind you that the Alien storyline is very similar to "It! The Terror From Beyond Space" a film which was made in 1958.

    This episode isn't bad at all! The rip-off stuff is obvious enough to be funny and therefore enjoyable — Janeway crawling into the Jeffrey's Tube from Sickbay with the EMH and holding a phaser rifle is a grace note to STFC which came out the same year. I laughed out loud when the cheery Talaxian pleasure center characters (still including the female championship volleyball team Harry added from episodes earlier — awesome continuity!) were terrorized by the macroviruses! Perfectly hilarious. And the tie-in with the Tac Tak guys was a nice touch.

    The best part about VOY since "Future's End" has been the portrayal of how well this crew works together: they community effectively over the intercom; they solve problems; they work together seemlessly towards their goals. That's good Star Trek! It feels like the crew has come into its own.

    And by the way, I noticed how he tricorders became "modernized" suddenly to the DS9 standard back in season 2. I guess they had upgraded units in storage? Doubly the phaser rifles; in one of the previous episodes ("Warlord") Tom has the old style phaser rifle. The new style was introduced this year in STFC. Ah well, I guess they were in storage also...

    Given that kind of studio nonsense, I'm frankly surprised the VOY crew didn't update their uniforms with the STFC/DS9 standard this year (1996). Thank goodness! I can imagine a studio exec saying, "These Voyager you guys ain't got the new uniforms. Hey, somebody get these guys the new uniforms, right away!" And then a meek little writer comes up to him and says, "Sir, we can't do that; the Voyager crew is 70,000 light years away from Star Fleet and has not been in contact for almost three years. They wouldn't even know about th change." The neanderthal-like exec would furrow his heavy brow and scratch his tiny head trying to ponder the internal logic of a show he never even watches. He protests, "But the average viewer don't care nothin' about that! We have two different Star Treks with different uniforms. It's confusin'!" After winning the obvious uniforms battle, the meek writer compromises on the tricorders and the phaser rifles.

    One other note: at the end of the episode Janeway is painting! She never did any painting before "Sacred Ground," and now she's painting in the Ready Room!? That's an incredibly nice touch of continuity, like Picard's piccolo from "The Inner Light."

    Oh, and the final mano a mano with the macrovirus is also laugh out loud funny. Plus the digital liquid crystal display?! Sheesh. That's like someone today sticking a pocket watch onto a sophisticated bomb.

    This was the only episode in Trek history where, after I finished watching it, I felt compelled to take pen and paper and watch it again immediately after in order to write down all the logical errors it made and things that made no sense - either in terms of real world logic, or even within the episode's own premise. It seemed to be a surreal departure from even basic common sense, kind of like a cartoon, which is why the poster above who said this would have worked better in an animated show may be on to something. Although Threshhold has always had a special place in my heart as being thoroughly insane, this episode has always been the one that was thoroughly stupid. I also agree with some others that the action was boring.

    PS - IIRC the logic gaps/errors amounted to something like a hundred; in other words, more than one per minute. I found that kind of impressive.

    Normally, the technobabble on Star Trek doesn't annoy me, but whoever was the science consultant in this episode needs locking up (in that hideous day-glo club Tropicana holoprogramme Neelix seems to like so much). If you want to destroy a virus, you use an antiviral. Not an antigen - that's only any use if there's an immune system around to detect it. It's pretty obvious really - "anti" "viral" - clue's in the name. And what the actual flip was the life cycle of those things? Virus infects host, host spawns little flies, flies grow into massive CGI things, CGI things infect more hosts... where did the original virus come from? The normal virus, not the massive ones - I think those miners would have noticed if they'd been attacked by massive flying things like pyramid teabags with tentacles.

    And let's not even get into the whole issue of conservation of mass, or the ridiculous idea of a virus absorbing a hormone. Or how rubbish Voyager's quarantine protocols are - they can detect alien viruses during transport buy they don't automatically kill them?! Or how a virus moves from the transporter buffer to A TOTALLY DIFFERENT PART OF THE SHIP (I thought stuff in the buffer was dematerialised, but apparently not). Or how, apparently, a bio-containment field doesn't actually, you know, contain biological organisms.

    So, yeah - very silly episode. Captain Janeway is not Ellen Ripley. An "antigen" does not create a massive green fireball. A phaser rifle has no recoil, so doesn't need bracing against the shoulder. And none of those things would matter if the script kept up the tension, but it doesn't, so you end up noticing all the stupid little things that are wrong. And that's where this episode fails.

    I'm with James, 1.5 stars was generous for an episode where nothing worked and everything was completely out of place and over the top ridiculous. Even the camera work suffered this episode, absolutely everything was wrong.

    Near the beginning after Neelix was sprayed with mucus, Janeway notes that he has fluid in his lungs, and Neelix corrects her with "lung." A small bit of quality continuity there.

    Otherwise, yeah, a silly rehash of Genesis, which was a pretty bad TNG episode too. Lots of dark corridors though.

    I don't know... I think if I got fluid from an alien virus on my coat, I would take it off.... as opposed to keeping it on and inhaling the fumes and getting sick.....

    Kate Mulgrew takes her shirt off, giant viruses and empty hallways. This was fun.

    Jammer needs to lighten up or get psychiatric assistance.

    Chiming in with the rest of the supporters of this episode - I really enjoyed it, especially after the abysmal previous episode. Those giant virus-bugs were nightmare fuel stuff!

    This episode is definitely a chip off of the Alien movie and the sequels...You know Janeway turns into Ripley..Slime snot all over the place on the looking alien creatures but good episode...

    What gets me is that, there is really no need for the ridiculous "Macrovirus" idea. Just call it a parasite.

    Yeah, Jammer is way too harsh on this one. Sometimes it's fun just to have an action-focused romp and see Janeway play Rambo - 3 stars

    I enjoyed this episode - yes there are rip offs of "Alien" etc. but the idea of the macrovirus is clever. I didn't find the Doctor's technobabble incomprehensible either. I thought it was well done with how the flashback tells how the ship got infected.
    Maybe a bit too much time spent early on with Janeway/Neelix searching through the ship and I don't know why Janeway has to get the massive gun when a phaser set on kill mode should do the trick. I also didn't get why she turned into GI Janeway - she could have kept her uniform - for that the show deserves criticism.
    I think Jammer is far too cynical here - this is suspenseful action - the writing isn't the issue (it is what it needs to be).
    The other alien who Neelix/Janeway just met and then who comes and fires on Voyageur is a needless silliness (with his stupid mannerisms).
    The other thing I liked is how Janeway displays thorough knowledge of the ship, its systems, thinks on her feet (get all the viruses to the holodeck after her ship is attacked). It also gave the Doctor some good scenes and we see a bit more of his personality.
    I have no qualms giving this 3 stars out of 4 - a better episode than I was expecting after the 1st 15-20 mins.

    The episode's set-up is kind of similar to Genesis, which isn't a good sign, but I'm going to go on a limb and say that Genesis is actually more entertaining. Braga should just stay away from biology entirely, I guess, though the most obvious problem with the "macrovirus" is of course basic physics -- of how exactly a virus can grow linearly in length in time without any food, as happens behind the force field in sickbay. But okay, fine, I guess changelings seem somehow to change mass on DS9. I guess the broader point is that this is all dumb, but also to no purpose. The early scenes were maybe mildly creepy, but went on forever before anything happened, then we have that horribly out-of-place flashback which killed the episode's marginal momentum, and then we have that ending, the only pro of which is that we get to see the annoying holo-characters in that resort program get killed. And the Tak-Tak just blow everyone up because of the virus, huh? Anyway, whatever, moving on. 1 star.

    Why were all the systems down on the ship in the first place?

    The transporter biofilter detected and contained the virus, but doesn't the biofilter just stop the transport of something abnormal? It doesn't still transport it and then mysteriously contain it in some way that could later mysteriously be purged. That would sort of defeat the purpose of a biofilter I would think. If it was actually transported and materialized in some sort of physical place, then how did it migrate into the transporter buffer? And if it was still just computer code of some kind, then how did it migrate from there to a gel pack in the mess hall and physicaly infect it? It all makes no sense.

    That pot roast thing bothered me too. It was 12 kg. That's over 26 lbs of pot roast. That's one giant pot roast. Yet Paris was just waving it around on a fork.

    1 1/2 stars

    One of the things that really drove me nuts about this episode is that Janeway didn't seek the doctor out until halfway through. Not only is he the only crewman immune to the disease but he as a doctor is guaranteed to be a good source of information. I think Janeway would have gone to sick bay as her first stop.

    Am I the only one who spent the entire episode wondering how a Tic Tak was supposed to eat with that flap of flesh attached between their chin and their nose?

    You know . . I'm a little over halfway thru a rewatch ( The Doctor's back in sickbay after returning from the miners ) and it's a great episode.

    I believe Jammer, like most critics & reviewers, has altered his perceptions unavoidably.
    Meaning: when you watch 100s and 100s of episodes and films, thinking "what can I say about this on a scene by scene critical overview level ?", it's gonna' change your focus just a wee bit and give you a case of criticitis !

    You're beyond "taking it in" and now you're making notes.

    And ? . . in the case of the old school published reviewers, they ended -up striving for a pithy blurb that might make the ads.

    Whether it's finding the faults or proclaiming the glories, it's a different brain in use . . and with 4 billion sites with comment sections these days ? . . we're ALL digital critics !!

    How did the virus that Kes was looking at under the microscope grow so large (or at all) before their eyes? It wasn't feasting on anyone's growth hormone. And where did all the added matter come from?

    I REALLY liked this one! I have always been a fan of the scary episodes (this one, and the TNG episode where Data dreams are two that come to mind) I remember when that TNG ep came out. A friend and I watched it at 11pm or so, and it scared us so much! (In a good way. I still hear a German voice saying "Kill 'zem" as the most scary thing!

    Ok, but with this episode-the CGI was great (for the time) and the sound of flies was chilling (and I actually like insects).

    My nitpicks are that there should be some kind of encasement for the Doctor's portable holoemitter so it can't be easily hit. This would make him FAR less susceptible to such attacks.

    Also, the anti-virus bomb seemed stupid to me. They should have found a way to flush it to the vents or to lure them all somewhere (like the holodeck) That's what Luke Skywalker and Mara did in the book (now "Legends", but I think the old book continuity is FAR better then the new Disney movies any day, but that's another story) Survivor's Quest. It's a bit obscure, but suffice it to say that the baddie organisms were lured to their doom by bait. As apparently the humaniods once bitten weren't a lure for the viruses (the Doctor once said that he and Janeway were the only infra-red organisms the viruses are after on the ship), they could have met in the holodeck, turned on the other programs (which they did) and had ALL the viruses attack there and have the anti-virus mist turned on.

    Either way, a great episode!

    I found this webpage because I just watched this episode and then googled "is macrocosm the worst episode of star trek ever". Somehow I didn't think to google this after I watched "Threshold", but I do agree that 1.5 stars is generous for "Macrocosm".

    I've been a Trekkie since watching TNG when it aired, and now going back to watch VOY, since I really didn't enjoy it at the time it aired. This time around, there are enough episodes that I love and appreciate, especially episodes that focus on the Dr., Kes, Chakotay, and the Qs.

    Anyway, this episode is terribly stupid, both the story and the production. I was bored five minutes after the credits, and it never reeled me back in. Several times I thought to just skip it, but I wanted it to get better, and I didn't want an unwatched episode in my queue. Tbh, watching baby Paris-Janeway salamanders was better than this.

    @Silenus: Right on!

    My thoughts:

    I'm a huge fan of 90's b-action movies, especially if it takes place in a sci-fi setting. Some of them I actually consider to be personal film favorites of all time (Project Shadowchaser, Trancers, Dark Side of the Moon to name a couple).

    Naturally, there also exist a bunch of them which quite frankly stink, and when I watch "Macrocosm" I see the exact same elements which cause those movies to suck: repetitive environments, boring enemies, lame action scenes ... all this in a cliché deluxe package, including techno-babble and Neelix.

    I'm tempted to bust out the zero, but alas, how could I give anything, which features Janeway in a tank top blasting alien scum, anything less than 1 star?

    One of the worst Voyegr episodes just for the bad science. "Macrovirus" it's a complete fallacious term. Virus are by it's definition microscopic. It's like saying "unicelluar human". Of course it doesn't make sense, so as "macrovirus". Also the show treats virus as if they are organisms when most of the scientists agree that virus aren't even considered living. They are basically proteins and genetic material and are only able to replicate inside living cells. If that's a "macrovirus" then this is one of a hell of protein and genetic material, bigger then every genetic material on your body.

    0 stars


    It is very difficult to suspend my belief when the characters starts saying unintelligible technobabble and completely wrong terms, especially because this is suppose to be science-fiction.

    I understand using this device to solve some type of problem on the plot (although it was becomig a crutch for the writers at this point), but on this episode the whole premise is based on erroneous science.

    Gotta agree with Yusef on this one. It's one thing to suspend disbelief about the Heisenberg compensators and all that. But I can't accept it when total nonsense gets inserted where the script says < TECH >. I doubt anyone would be defending a show that said something like "gravitation, you know, that force where magnets stick to each other." Macrocosm doesn't *quite* get that bad, but it's still pretty bad. No one should have to hand-waive away rubbish that I could have fixed in the script if given an hour.

    I do hold "science fiction" to a certain standard. Otherwise it's space opera or Buck Rogers or something.

    I guess it's all relative.

    It really didn't bother me because I didn't know all that stuff Yusef was speaking about.

    With all the trek-no-magic we accept, I don't think this is all that bad or that big a deal.

    Janeway mentioned 'section 31' when she and The Doctor were trying to get to environmental controls. Wonder if that was deliberate- had they appeared in DS9 by this point?

    I'm tempted to rewatch this in light of the coronavirus thing. Anyone else feel that way?

    I thought the premise of this episode was creative...but the first few acts were awful and were bogged as the captain went into "GI Jane" mode. Janeway walking down a hallway with a grim expression and pointing her phaser ahead got old really fast. This needed more story and less "commando" scenes. Maybe the macro virus had an interesting backstory with the aliens with the circular noses...anything would have been more interesting than the formulaic suspense we had to suffer though.

    Generally, I'm about the "brainy" and "talky" Treks over the action Treks. That said, I'm fine with some action "Trek" sometimes.

    This is mid-level action "Trek." A more interesting hour of diversion in the era of coronavirus.

    Skywalker (in 2016) points out that Janeway is painting at the end of the episode, and this harks back to "Sacred Ground". She has adapted this into her personality. Perhaps the thing she felt the loss of at the end of that episode is resurfacing. She is changing from the little girl who loved mathematics and never enjoyed life's nebulous answers. It's continuous but subtle.

    But while the end of the episode recalls the past, the beginning of the episode foreshadows the future. It is the first time that Janeway suggests Neelix as ambassador. This, like his security practice mentioned in "Warlord" and the breakup with Kes there that deprives him of his emotional grounding, contributes to his arc heading into "Fair Trade". He really has nothing. They are at the end of his usefulness. He is hoping to extend it in some way. Security? Diplomacy? What is he? Who is Neelix to others? And does he know it and can he accept it?

    I'm beginning to wonder if season 3 was actually rather subtle on character development and some of us missed it at the time. I seem to have missed some of the interesting cues.

    "I'm beginning to wonder if season 3 was actually rather subtle on character development and some of us missed it at the time. I seem to have missed some of the interesting cues."

    Given what we learned from that Ronald Moore interview concerning the state of Voyager's writing department and showrunners at this time, I would say anything is possible but I really really doubt it. It is safe to say that Voyager's writers were as lost and adrift as surely as the good ship herself.

    @Jason R.

    Ron Moore joined very briefly in Season 6. Not only is this three years later, but a completely different showrunner was in charge in Season 3 (Jeri Taylor, not Brannon Braga). It's quite possible for both to be true.

    @bencanuck ok fair enough I guess I didn't pay attention to the time period.

    That said it is hard to imagine how Moore's critique was less valid in season 3 versus 6. All the things he attributed to a misguided and slapdash approach to writing (the story's lack of consistency, poor continuity, total squandering and rejection of its central premise, disrespect for its characters, etc...) were true in Season 3 as surely as Season 6. If the back office wasn't in disarray in earlier seasons it sure didn't impact the quality appreciably.

    I will concede, mind you, that I am not as familiar with Voyager as I am with TNG or DS9 although I have watched every episode of the series at one time or another, either at the time of original airing or in syndication.

    @Jason R.: "poor continuity"

    I used to think this too (and it may indeed be true of later seasons which I haven't re-watched recently!), but the specific examples that I pointed out in early S3 are actually running threads of continuity. My whole point is that I'm surprised at what was actually there and what I missed.

    Teaser : ***, 5%

    Neelix and an alien are performing the world's worst pantomime of Dragonball Z known to man while Captain Janeway watches with a mixture of bemusement, horror, gratitude and disdain. Our heroes discuss whatever it is we just saw (which I should add was brief enough to be fairly amusing) on their shuttle ride back to the Voyager. The alien was from a race called the TikTok. Ah that explains why they're so annoying; they're a specious made entirely of Teen Influencers. Janeway thanks Neelix for his apparent instinct in mimicking the absurd gestures that accompany the TikToks' language. Well, it took five years, but we finally found a species more irritating than the Waadi from “Move Along Home.”

    JANEWAY: It's a good thing you were there, Mister Neelix. I might have been shot at dawn.

    Twice in as many weeks. For his ability to discern superstitious dance moves, Janeway “officially” promotes Neelix to the post of Ambassador. Considering the Voyager isn't likely to circle back to chat with most of the species it happens across, this is less insane than it sounds.

    Anyway, just like in “Timescape,” the shuttle arrives at rendezvous coordinates only to find that the mother ship is adrift a lightyear away. They're unable to make contact with her, the escape pods are in place and, just like in “Genesis,” there's a bioelectric field in place blocking their scans. So Janeway tells Neelix to arm himself as they prepare dock. This teaser relies almost entirely on the ease of the dialogue and rapport of the characters which, considering one of them is Neelix, works quite well.

    Act 1 : *.5, 17%

    A quick review of ship's systems reveals some main programmes offline and a ruptured gel pack in the Mess Hall. Remember the gel packs? That computer circuitry that can catch a cold? The pair continue to wander about the ship in search of clues and crews. They stop by Sam and Naomi Wildman's quarters to see that Neelix' YouTube cooking variety show from “Investigations” is running on the monitor. They piece together that the mysterious catastrophe happened about eleven hours prior and then are distracted by what sounds like a giant wasp buzzing through the corridor. They follow this to the transporter room and find a hole with green goop dripping from the edges. Alien snot...

    You know, I'm finding that I don't have anything to add to the observations about all the clichéd plot elements. I saw “Alien” once as a kid and don't really remember it. While I find the production, acting and music adequate for this milieu, mindless action of any sort does very little for me. I'm going to streamline a little to avoid the tedium.

    While Neelix prattles on about his summers on Rinax, Janeway stares at her tricorder for absolutely no reason and barely tries to make conversation. I found that hilarious.
    Neelix reminds Janeway that he only has one Ocampan lung. It's like continuity happy theatre day.

    Act 2 : *.5, 17%

    The crew keep a supply of big guns and bombs in a locker next the warp core. What could go wrong?

    I actually think Mulgrew's choices in the action scenes are smart for the character. Janeway is being a badass because she has to, but she looks extremely awkward in the effort. She's a scientist first and her constant, by-the-books procedural pointing of her big ass gun showcase a real discomfort that help give a little insight into Janeway's frame of mind. Like Picard dealing with brats in “Disaster” or Sisko learning to perform Bajoran weddings, here we see the lead clumsily adopting new skills to cope with their circumstances.

    Why to the macroviruses (er, spoiler I guess) buzz like insects? Do they have wings?
    The mosquito-sized viruses emerging from the wound on Chakotay's neck was effectively disgusting.
    The CGI for the beachball sized viruses in embarrassingly bad.

    Act 3 : *.5, 17%

    The Doctor's narrated flashback includes establishing shots of the Voyager over the alien planet. Amazing.
    Robert Picardo manages to make the Magic Schoolbus Science seem almost plausible with his excited, childlike performance.

    CHAKOTAY: Compassion is nothing to be sorry about, Doctor. It won't be the last time you're faced with a moral dilemma in the field.

    File that one away.

    The Doctor's flashback includes a flirtatious squabble between Torres and Paris. I'm calling it a draw because Beltran and Dawson have good chemistry.
    Why exactly is Tom the backup cafeteria chef, anyway?

    Act 4 : .5 stars, 17%

    The macroviruses are driven by instinct. Of course they are.
    I wonder if any of the Maquis crewmembers would be “I'm not wearing a mask, you pussy liberal cucks!” types. I can see that Bajoran kid from “Learning Curve” fitting the bill.

    Act 5 : .5 stars, 17%

    EMH: ...then I crawl through access port nine, go past three airlocks and then two decks down. Environmental Control's at the end of the hall. Now I remember. Who designed this ship anyway?
    JANEWAY: Good luck.

    If there had been any dramatic tension to speak of during this action climax, the arrival of the TikTok captain with his jazz hands completely vaporised it.
    In this instalment of continuity happy theatre day, we are reminded that the holodecks have an independent power source from the rest of the ship.
    An antigen bomb. I can't say more than that.
    It wasn't earned, but I kind of liked the light jazz outro while Janeway did some painting. This is a little callback to “Sacred Ground,” where she lamented that it was her sister who was the artist in the family. In the wake of her little workout, she's taken up the hobby.

    Episode as Functionary : *, 10%

    The only parts of this episode that work are the inoffensive interstitial bits which could have (and should have) gone into any other episode. The production design elements fluctuated between adequate and laughably silly. The laborious action plot is poorly thought-out and pointless. I'm giving a single star instead of .5 (reserved for episodes that are so bad they're good; this one's too boring to qualify) or zero stars (reserved for episodes like “Tattoo” and “Let He Who is Without Sin” which actively damage the series or its characters). This one took itself a little more seriously than “Genesis,” which is to its detriment as there is something redeeming in the kitschiness of Deanna the Frog and all of that. Definitely skip “Macrocosm.”

    Final Score : *

    Damn, that is a positively flattering review. A whole star? This one went down in the record books for me as so dumb it sucks the brains out of surrounding episodes like a vacuum. I know you're comparing this to other episodes that assassinate characters, but this one assassinates the entire series. Unlike Profit and Lace, which is despicable and yet was *trying* to do something progressive, this one had no such noble motives. The fact that P&L could make it into production must have involved a series of misunderstandings about how the 'feminist' message would read after editing was done; that is, if you actually watch the episode in sequence. Also, the director (Siddig, I believe) should have known better. But in this one there is literally no step in the process where I can understand how the script got to the next stage, not in the elevator pitch, not in the outline, the first draft, certainly not when it got to the director. If anything the director here is least to blame - what could he do at that point?

    Along with Profit and Lace, and all of ST: Discovery, this is the worst episode in all of Trek for me.

    Elliott I have been reading your reviews for 5 years and I still don't understand your scoring system. I also still don't what "functionary" means in this context.

    But I would have given an extra half star. I kind of like the macroscopic virus concept.

    @Peter G

    I'm certainly not going to defend this episode, but it's pretty harmless, regardless of intent. That's why it gets the score it gets from me. It's brainless, pointless, boring fluff.

    @Jason R

    The Episode as Functionary is--forgive me--the macroscopic view. If I make a blanket judgement of the whole episode in terms of what I gather the intended *function* to be (a farce, a serious commentary, a world-building story, a character piece, etc) and how well it succeeded at this aim. The act by act scores assess my enjoyment of the episode as it's happening. Sometimes I enjoy an episode far more or less than it "deserves" based on its overall success and that can affect the final score. There might be a great scene somewhere or a memorable performance that helps a bad episode or a pitiful production or cringey scene or bad characterisation that hurts a good episode. I hope that helps.

    @Elliott thanks that makes sense. By the way I do enjoy your reviews and your tireless defence of Voyager (and corresponding antipathy toward DS9) even though I disagree 100%.

    The whole thing about Voyager's lesbian appeal (or was it just gay generally?) took me completely by surprise but is very cool anyway. It never occurred to me that there were subcultures out there seeing things in that show completely invisible to me. Voyager of all shows was the last thing I would have expected to have any kind of subtext. I always presumed that what we saw with that show was (depressingly) it. But I will have to keep your comments in mind the next time I watch it. Maybe it,'s even time for a complete rewatch rather than my usual cherry picking of 3-4 favourite episodes.

    @Jason R

    I was curious about what the patterns were regarding EAF scores and final grades. So far, the vast majority of the reviews I've done (4 1/3 seasons of DS9, 2 1/3 seasons of Voyager and 2 films) would have seen *lower* grades if not for the act-by-act execution. The exceptions to that rule (where the execution actually hurt the final score of an episode) are

    DS9 1: "Emissary," "The Nagus," & "The Forsaken"
    DS9 2: "The Homecoming," "The Siege," "The Alternate," "The Wire," & "Crossover"
    DS9 3: "The Die is Cast," "Family Business," & "The Adversary"
    DS9 4: "Indiscretion," "Bar Association," "Hard Time," & "The Muse"
    DS9 5 (so far): "Trials and Tribble-ations," & "The Ascent"
    VOY 1: "Caretaker," "Prime Factors," "Jetrel," & "Projections"
    VOY 2: "Initiations," "Cold Fire," "Alliances," "Lifesigns," & "Tuvix"
    VOY 3 (so far): "Remember," "Sacred Ground," & "Future's End II"

    ST FC is also in this category.

    So, out of 160 episodes and films, only 30 episodes were hurt in the act-by-act, whereas 61 of those would have received lower scores without the play-by-play.

    Alright, I had better stop procrastinating on "Rapture" and rip off that bandaid already.

    @Elliott so what you are saying is that for some reason your EAF scores, what I will call the "meta" score, is actually dragging down your ratings. So I'll bite - any insight into why?

    Now I can't wait to find out about the EAF for EAF (Encounter at Farpoint).

    @Jason R

    I took a look at the average differences by season between the scores and the EAFs:

    DS9 1: +.145
    DS9 2: +.154
    DS9 3: +.270
    DS9 4: +.170
    VOY 1: +.053
    VOY 2: +0

    As you can see, DS9 benefits a bit more from the disparity. This is probably because I'm more likely to disagree with a direction or premise on DS9 than I am on Voyager.

    @ William B

    EAF^2!! Coming to you in the Fall of 2025

    The Tak Tak were magnificent.

    Yes, they are completely absurd, but by the sheer amount of alien cultures a Federation starship gets to see on a regular basis, absurd encounters like this should have been far far more commonplace. And it's a refreshing change from yet another achingly boring human-like race for the hundredth time.

    They were a nice touch. The writers could have easily stretched the concept over an entire episode, Darmok style, and thankfully they didn't (though I admit I would have loved seeing Tuvok in a Tak Tak court defending some wrongfully accused crew members while trying to master these peacock gestures).

    i actually liked this ep. Way more than the last one with Q. Good direction and new camera angles on the same old sets. Kate Mulgew did a great Sigourney Weaver impression. Writers are much better in this genre lane than they are tackling hard science fiction. I wish the show stayed more often in this adventure fantasy lane to be honest, it plays to their strengths more.


    1) The FX are (understandably) dated. I wish they had found a way to do practical effects effectively when Janeway and the Doc physically interacted with the bugs. It probably would have been impossible to blend the two styles back then though. Oh, well.

    2) The episodes climax could have been filmed better. I like the way it was written, but it was just missing some "oomph" in the way it was filmed.

    3) They should have ditched the jazz/watercolors/tea epilog. You've done an ok job at turning Janeway into a Ripley clone for 42 minutes, so why ruin it now? We've got seven seasons worth of episodes to see Janeway in "normal" mode.


    1) It's a fun action show! Nothing wrong with that. If Picard gets to do Die Hard (Starship Mine) why can't Janeway do an Aliens homage?

    2) The Doc gets off the ship

    3) I thought the scene with the Tak Tak at the beginning was nice. I kind of wish they had used the miner's species as the antagonist at the end of the episode instead of bringing back the Tak Tak though.

    4) Ethan Phillips has a knack for comedy. I liked what he did in the opening scene and I also liked Neelix correcting Janeway on the number of lungs he has. Small moments, but I enjoyed them.

    Random thought: Neelix looks terrifying when his face is lit from below like in the scene where they first return to Voyager.

    A bad rip-off of TNG's "Genesis", with some Johnny Bravo aliens thrown in for comic relief.

    as far as what in the world was the point of the bizarre alien ship whose captain wanted to exterminate the virus by incinerating Voyager? ... i don't think they were allowed to do more than two consecutive Voyager episodes without having some one-off aliens firing on Voyager with very little reason.

    With "Macrocosm", Brannon Braga seems to have chickened out of his own premise.

    This episode works wonderfully as a near silent action movie. Janeway's alone on a ship filled with what are essentially evil monsters. She has nobody to talk to, rely on, and sets about quietly kicking ass by herself. Very "Die Hard". Very "First Blood". Very "Aliens".

    But Brannon Braga seems unable to sustain such a story. What should be a wordless 40 minutes as we watch Janeway scamper about, turns into a long flashback sequence, the introduction of more characters, and then endless technobabble.

    All this episode needed was Janeway in a tank-top silently scurrying about for 40 minutes. Braga should have committed to his original idea.

    "I watch Star Trek to be entertain for an hour and get my mind away from work or the daily routine."

    It's the same with many of the shows I've enjoyed on DVD (Emergency!, The Streets of San Francisco, Have Gun Will Travel, et al.)-- the premises and events may not have matched up exactly to life in any of them point by point, but that's no big thing, so long as I am entertained for a time and can get my mind off my troubles (whether for an hour or a half-hour).

    Whenever I see someone comment on this episode I get excited and grab the popcorn. I think Macrocosm is so insane that it should elicit irrational reviews on principle. @ Ben Masters, why be so reasonable?

    There are times that the development of the appearance of "alien races" just goes off the rails. I suppose this was Michael Westmore, who did some great work but to develop an "alien" with a bridge of flesh across the mouth (which was done several times) makes absolutely no sense.

    But then too much of Trek, and Voyager in particular, is totally unpalatable nonsense that simply insults the intelligence of the audience. Voyager had some decent moments, but it tends to drown in its own self-absorbed indulgences.

    I’m surprised this received such a poor review. Granted this episode doesn’t produce the usual level of intellectual engagement that Star Trek can be relied on to provide, but still it’s a fun little episode. Random observations:
    -I agree with above commenters that the flashback portion was a mistake, it just disrupted the tension of the episode. Also, the doc would have been my first thought in this situation, surprised it took Janeway so long to contact him.
    -speaking of the doc, can’t he make himself pure light at will? I mean, those gun nuts in that time travel episode shot right through him. So can’t he just stroll right through all these virus monsters? I guess the writers needed him to be vulnerable for the sake of the story.
    -referring to these things as viruses was also a mistake. I get what they were going for, but the macro versions of these things seemed way too dexterous to be single cell organisms blown up to massive size. Parasites would have been fine.
    -nice to see creatures from the delta quadrant being alien, both the monsters and the communication mechanics of the tak taks or whatever.
    -pretty clearly derivative of ‘aliens’, right down to janeway’s outfit. I kept half expecting her to start phasering doorways before entering a room. I’ll give voyager a break and call it an hommage.

    i was surprised to see jammer rated this episode so low—i quite enjoyed it, both because of the eerie-ish atmosphere that deviates from usual trek and the presence of janeway in a tanktop. since i know negative nothing about bio, i was more intrigued than anything by the concept of a virus that can feed of growth hormones and expand. it reminded me of that one TNG episode

    I remember this one well. I LOVE the scary episodes like this. I also really liked the weird alien from the beginning. The odd gestures were hilarious! The episode itself was pretty serious with the shadows at first and CGI creatures. Positively spooky!

    I read some of the earlier comments. It seems this episode is ripping off something else. I don't watch rated R movies, or anything gory, immoral or heavy with vulgar language, so I guess I can see this with fresh eyes since I don't know the references some of you made

    Just one more thing: I had to look up Azalea Davila who was one of the holodeck girls in the resort. Is it just me, or did anyone else think she was Roxann Dawson out of Klingon makeup making a cameo? I was sure that's who it was (which would have been a pretty cool behind-the-scenes treat for the viewers to catch)

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