Star Trek: Voyager


0.5 stars

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

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

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

— Harry and Tom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Some members start laughing. The mood lightens.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jammer: What? You bought into this?

Gary: Sure, why not?

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

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

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

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

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

Amanda: Yeah, what WAS that all about?

[Murmurs from all around the room begin again.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gary: Oh well, better luck next time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amanda: You're so harsh!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob: Just shut UP, already!

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

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

Jammer [reveling inside]: And Janeway KILLED Tuvix!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

President: Please leave now, Jammer.

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

President: What?

Jammer: The Trek novels AREN'T CANON!

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

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

Previous episode: Living Witness
Next episode: One

Like this site? Support it by buying Jammer a coffee.

◄ Season Index

105 comments on this post

Sat, Sep 8, 2007, 9:26pm (UTC -6)
I'm glad you're allowing comments now because I've always wanted to say that this review is one of the funniest reviews you've ever done. I'm not that harsh on this episode, but still a very entertaining read.
Tue, Dec 25, 2007, 9:26pm (UTC -6)
I always wondered if this was based on a real event.
Bill T
Tue, Jan 15, 2008, 8:12pm (UTC -6)
... You can have opinions about episodes, but if you have such a negative view of the show overall, don't you think that will color your reviews?
Sun, Apr 13, 2008, 11:10pm (UTC -6)
This episode was bad. The internal logic makes absolutely no sense. They explain the planet is inhospitable so she risks the safety of the entire crew for a fuel supply? To top it off, Janeway has her entire crews identity copied, how can she trust these aliens so readily? It's just all around bad.
Sat, May 3, 2008, 10:16am (UTC -6)
Awesome review. Much as I enjoy the regular format, these occasional alternate script forms are hilarious.
Mon, May 26, 2008, 11:11am (UTC -6)
Actually, I'd give this one 2 stars for the scenes on the alien planet alone, which imo were quite fascinating. As for the rest, well, not so good.
Thu, Jun 26, 2008, 10:21pm (UTC -6)
During Voyager's first four seasons, that was before I was ever hooked up to the Internet. I didn't realize how much Voyager was disliked by most people. I thought it was the cat's pajamas. That being said, even a loyal mindless Voyager fan like me thought this episode was DUMB the first time I saw it. The dialog actually made me groan. Ugh, how I disliked this episode.
Tue, Aug 19, 2008, 3:34am (UTC -6)
You just made my day. That was hilarious! God...people actually liked that episode? I love how you made all the valid points and they just got angry.
Tue, Feb 24, 2009, 12:47am (UTC -6)
I'd like to know who wrote the Doctor's "petulant child" subroutines. The scene where he's making life miserable for Neelix in the sick bay is cute and written for cheap laughs but is absolutely illogical.
On the plus side, VOY gets plenty of use out of those EV suits from STVIII.
Thu, Jul 9, 2009, 3:25pm (UTC -6)
The fact that I went to the University of Illinois makes this review that much more hilarious.
Thu, Jul 23, 2009, 7:27am (UTC -6)
As a matter of fact, I'm shocked about the bad comments about this one. In my opinion this is one of the most intersting shows of Voyager's 4th season. Flawed, illogical... okay. But I couldn't stop laughing about the Doctor's scene and this DNA stuff... well... it worked for me. I think this one was definitely one of the better ones. "Unforgettable" or many others were disasters compared to this one.
Tue, Oct 27, 2009, 9:33am (UTC -6)
Yet another attempt to give Harry Kim some character development. Shame they made it so bleeding obvious. "Hey guys, I've become more independant!" that's probably not what he said, but it was something along those lines. Yes, he did actually say that.
Tue, Oct 27, 2009, 9:47am (UTC -6)
Hahahahahhahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!! PLEASE DO MORE REVIEWS LIKE THIS!!!!!!!! Hell, rewrite all your old reviews and do them like this. Haha!
John Pate
Fri, Feb 12, 2010, 4:13am (UTC -6)
I liked it.

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

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

But then, I'm also a big fan of "Course Oblivion."
Wed, Mar 31, 2010, 12:05pm (UTC -6)
Can anyone believe that the one who contributed the story for this episode is an ASTROPHYSICIST?

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

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

2) Kim DOES get some character development. Yes, it hadn't been mentioned before, but I can find plenty of examples in TNG and DS9 where the same thing happened. That's a staple of pretty much all episodic television.
Wed, Sep 22, 2010, 2:42pm (UTC -6)
Where is the review?
Thu, Nov 18, 2010, 4:33pm (UTC -6)
I love how this review is about 10x more entertaining than the episode itself. Bravo!

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

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

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

deuterium is the least of its troubles...
Sat, Apr 23, 2011, 2:33pm (UTC -6)
Just for the record, 500 K is not THAT hot. That's about twice the boiling point of water. There are plenty of hotter places here on EARTH (like volcanos, for example).

For a "Demon" class planet, this was practically frigid. Venus is much, much hotter on the surface.
Thu, May 12, 2011, 10:50pm (UTC -6)
SO MANY plot holes. The planet was pretty cool looking, but that's about all this episode has going for it.

That was hilarious by the way. If they ever make another series, you should go back for a GOOD episode involving something deep and awesome. It would have been funny to see what they thought of "Frame of Mind", or "Projections".
Fri, Jun 24, 2011, 12:29pm (UTC -6)
Whenever I need a little pick-me-up, I read this review. Funny, funny stuff. But I've never seen the episode.
Sun, Sep 25, 2011, 7:58pm (UTC -6)
I like this episode. Strange new world and strange new life form, there's something very 'classic Trek' about it.
Sat, Oct 8, 2011, 5:18pm (UTC -6)
This was the best Harry Kim episode of the season.

Fri, Jan 27, 2012, 4:38pm (UTC -6)
I'm an asian lady. It always bothers me how hollywood depicts asians. Not all bad but primarily stupid. It's like the writers of smallville not knowing how to develop a black actor. I just wish writers learn to treat asian characters without any difference to the white ones. In the end, they should ACT and feel like people. In this series the actor could've done a better job but the writers just plain suck when they are writing for a native american or asian. It's like they suddenly don't know what to do when a person is not white!
Wed, Oct 3, 2012, 4:54pm (UTC -6)
Doctor Who did this in the two-parter The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People. Needless to say it was so much better.
Sat, Nov 10, 2012, 5:38pm (UTC -6)
Jammer, Initially I thought you were just kidding. But if those comments are serious, sorry I couldn't agree. Who said they suddenly discovered they ran out of energy? And what is the problem Harry suddenly realized his potential and changed (it happens in real life).

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

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

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

Very lame review, unless you were just kidding. I have been reading your reviews recently and started to like a bit. This one spoiled.
Mon, Sep 16, 2013, 10:28am (UTC -6)
Come on, it at least deserves some credit for being something not done before...

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

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

At least it tried to be Sci Fi rather than a sterilized, invisible war in space with so-called political intrigue which actually went little above soap opera standards a la DS9, which is frankly military porn for people who know nothing about war, and religious porn for people who know nothing about religion.
Mon, Sep 16, 2013, 10:42am (UTC -6)
And apologies for the tone of my comment, but after the tone of that review, I feel it's not out of place, especially since it didn't address the episode, and ignored it's merits totally.
Tue, Nov 12, 2013, 3:10am (UTC -6)
This episode deserves more than 1/2 *, I'd go so far as to give it 2.5*. This episode was in the grand tradition of a classic TOS adventure, in which the seemingly malicious alien clones the humans, gains awareness, then fights for the right to existence. Imagine if Kirk, Spock, and Mccoy had been on that Demon planet, substitute the CGI for plaster of paris set pieces and lots of smoke...add in classic witty dialogue, and bam, classic TOS episode.

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

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

Oh well, I for one thought the spacesuits were cool.
Sun, Dec 8, 2013, 2:33pm (UTC -6)
Call me crazy, I really enjoyed this episode. I liked the idea of a sentient fluid. Although I must say I am now officially sick of Paris. Cracking a joke everytime he's dying, ugh. Drama please!
Sat, Dec 14, 2013, 11:31pm (UTC -6)
Janeway at the end of the episode, when talking to the crew: "Hey everybody, time to give a DNA sample so you can be copied and left on a barren planet!"

Me: No thanks!

This episode was very poor but that ending was downright disturbing. They might as well have had a shot at the end with the real Voyager crew waving out the windows as the ship alighted, smiling and saying "Bye clones! Have fun down there with the creepy goo we know almost nothing about!"
Chris P
Sat, Feb 1, 2014, 9:56am (UTC -6)
It's always interesting seeing what kinds of storytelling shortcomings intelligent people can and cannot tolerate. One of my favorite things about your reviews is that, while I tend to agree to within 1/2* on 90% of them, once in a while I get to an episode where I disagree by 2*. This offers an interesting catalyst for extro and introspection.

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

Maybe I'm just tolerant of the episode's flaws because I'm grateful that the story wasn't about time travel or about bipeds with funny forheads being assholes to Voyager. As amazing as it is to see a 45th instance of BwFF shooting their beams at Voyager or imprisoning their crew, I always seem to enjoy the episodes that aren't about that the most.
Mon, Apr 7, 2014, 11:00pm (UTC -6)
Could someone explain wtf neelix couldn't have a pillow?! How is that energy robbing? (sarcasm aside) I don't get it.
Thu, Apr 17, 2014, 1:15am (UTC -6)
That review was by far one of the best I've read on any Trek so far. Other sites included. Very very funny.

This episode's lack of logic was ofensive. The sudden lack of fuel/energy just to bring a pseudo-continuity for a lazy plot excuse was even more. The half stars is more than enough. I would give this same half star, but only for the fact that the writers decided to show officers beaming down to non-M class planet, i.e. even using astrounaut clothss. It always bothered me how rare this is.
Sun, Jun 22, 2014, 2:10pm (UTC -6)
Its a great episode,in its basic plot, TOS like.
The alien fluid was very interesting.
I liked the non benevolent nature of the alien, its realistic behaviour inside the plot-defined parameters.

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

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

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

Mon, Jul 21, 2014, 9:55pm (UTC -6)
This episode is profoundly stupid. I found myself constantly shaking my head every time a character said something or some element of the plot was revealed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This episode is definitely a 1-star or less for me. Not so bad it's good, just so bad as to be maddening.
Fri, Aug 22, 2014, 6:50pm (UTC -6)
I don't think I'd ever actually seen this episode when I first read this review. In some ways, it's not quite as bad as the rating implies, but it's certainly not good either. The Demon planet sets are a nice embellishment on the usual "planet hell", but they still show the limits of a TV budget from 1998. The character motivations really don't make a lot of sense, and some of the "comedic" scenes with Neelix and Tuvok or the Doctor feel very arbitrary and contrived. Allowing for the sudden deuterium "crisis", there's very little here that feels well motivated.

And it is slowly paced. The plot is all over the place and seems to struggle to create any rising action or conflict. I understand some of the comments above about a "TOS-style" story or "exploration", but there's nothing really that groundbreaking or different here. If I wanted Trek-style exploration plots done with a bit of freshness and humour, I'd watch Stargate: SG1. Voyager offers mainly technobabble and random jeopardy premises, and it's striking that this show can go from "Living Witness" to this in only a week.

About the only thing this episode has going for it is its sheer bizarreness - a bunch of random concepts stitched together that don't really amount to anything. The idea of the "silver blood" experiencing sentience is interesting, but it feels very underdeveloped.
Thu, Sep 4, 2014, 3:14pm (UTC -6)
This episode is nowhere near as bad as Jammer says. Granted, it's not good, and no one can fault Jammer for disliking it. It's just that there's worse episodes, and this one actually tried. I like the idea of the metallic copying being, and I think that the planet looked pretty cool. It wasn't just some generic place that was obviously a grassy hillside in California.

The concept was great, but it was the execution that failed. One thing that's plagued Voyager is that many of its actors aren't good. The characters spend more time talking about their character traits than actually displaying them. Still, they tried with this episode, and it's really more of a run-of-the-mill Voyager episode than a really bad one.

Unless Jammer is just so sick of the routine he has to express it.
Thu, Sep 4, 2014, 3:35pm (UTC -6)
@Nonya - I actually think "The characters spend more time talking about their character traits than actually displaying them" is a writing problem, not an acting one.

All but the crappiest actors can at least mostly play themselves. Sure, that still causes problems when they have to convey really deep emotions, but in general if the writers blend the character with the actor you'll usually get something that's serviceable until people start debating the finer points of acting methodology (stuff which I don't care about in the slightest). If I get attached to a character I don't care that their portrayer isn't god's gift to acting, I want to see more things happen to that character.

As a good example... the fact that Wang is not as good an actor as Picardo never really bothered me. When Wang had really meaty material, say in Timeless, he was able to carry it well enough that it really went to show you how big of a shame it is that he went so underutilized.

Lines like "I was young, inexperienced, and I acted like it. Nervous about giving my opinion, hesitant to make suggestions, so I usually just kept my mouth shut. And I behaved that way for so long it became a habit. But, in the last four years, a lot has happened. I fought the Borg, been transformed into an alien, helped defeat the Hirogen. Hell, I've even come back from the dead!" are violating the "show, don't tell" rule, and that is NOT the actors fault.

And even worse, they kept his characterization as green for the rest of the 7 years. Also not the actor's fault. They could have let him evolve... they didn't.
Wed, Sep 17, 2014, 7:08pm (UTC -6)
The silver blood thing seems like something out of a Doctor Who episode. Except that even the worst Doctor Who episodes are made almost watchable by the antics of whoever happens to be playing the Doctor in that particular episode. This episode, on the other hand, had boring, flat characters this time around in addition to a boring, flat plot. I think I fell asleep before the very end and never bothered to actually watch the ending.

Also, Jammer, this is one of the funniest reviews you've ever done. (My vote for funniest Jammer review still goes to the ENT "Precious Cargo" review.) I guess it can be fun to creatively trash a really bad episode - I think you covered all the major plot holes although I won't be going back to the ep to make sure.
Sun, Oct 12, 2014, 4:18pm (UTC -6)
Definitely not the best episode but far from Voyager's worst at this point in the series imo. I liked it a bit more than Jammer. I think it deserves some credit for not just making the doubles completely evil at the end.

I kind of wish more of the episode was about the crew members deciding whether or not they wanted to be cloned and left there or not, the whole episode could have been dealing with those implications.
Mon, Mar 16, 2015, 5:18pm (UTC -6)
Bad writing, sub-par characterizations, and lapses in logic can really bring down any episode despite being seemingly unique. Intent does not equal quality. There's plenty of Voyager episodes that try something different and still succeed in the quality department. This is not one of them, though it does lead to the slightly better (which doesn't say much) "Course: Oblivion".

Half star.
Thu, Apr 9, 2015, 11:55pm (UTC -6)
I was genuinely entertained throughout the review but did not actually burst out laughing until, "-and Janeway killed Tuvix!!!"


and I cannot explain to my confused girlfriend next me that I was laughing at a Star Trek Voyager review because of the deep and inherit shame of it all
Wed, Aug 5, 2015, 5:07am (UTC -6)
I watch this episode for Vorik's scenes. I also like seeing Harry sass Tuvok!
Sun, Aug 23, 2015, 5:26am (UTC -6)
It's just lazy writing.

Tuvoc is being an ass, but he's also being inefficient. Wasting time. And what if Neelix actually does ask the Doctor for those medications (he would)? Even if the doctor doesn't have to replicate them, it's deminishing their stock.

This is another potentially interesting concept bogged down by Voyager's ho-hum writers.
Tue, Nov 24, 2015, 2:26pm (UTC -6)
This got rated lower than False Prophets? Natural Law? The Chute? Non-Sequitur?? I must have been the only one who enjoyed this ep. Certainly more than the aforementioned eps. Its follow-up Course: Oblivion was downright ghastly. Why would we need to see something like that?

Anyways Demon class planets don't really sound out of the ordinary. If anything I'd think there would be more of them out there. We can't even settle in any of the other planets in our galaxy so technically wouldn't they fall under Demon class too? Guess I can google it sometime.

Why so harsh on Tuvok? Geez...Janeway didn't catch this much flak when killing Tuvix. And let's face it, she did. Anyways Tuvok wasn't doing anything more than what his job entailed.

The doctor did seem to be a bit testy with the whole staying in sick bay thing. But I'd be lying if I said I would have changed the scene. I still enjoyed it. Still get a good laugh after all these years at the part when Neelix is just about to go into (off-key) chorus and the Doc suddenly gives in. Followed up by a doc and a gleeful "computer lights, maximum illumination". Classic.

I can't keep track of the number of times I've had to suspend disbelief when watching any of the series. I didn't find this any more farfetched than anything else they've shown in the ST mythos. (Ok, Threshold was one glaring exception.)

I would have given it 2-2.5 stars since I had never even heard the designation Demon-class before. If this is the first time they've mentioned it then I give the writers credit for trying to be original. Means their thinking caps are on and they're not just rehashing some concept that was already done millions of times and better.
Tue, Nov 24, 2015, 7:13pm (UTC -6)
JC: "Demon class planets don't really sound out of the ordinary. If anything I'd think there would be more of them out there. ...I give the writers credit for trying to be original. Means their thinking caps are on..."

I agree with your first point, which is why I disagree with your second. The writers deserve no credit for originality when they congratulate themselves for something they should've been doing all along.
Thu, Dec 17, 2015, 1:05am (UTC -6)
Kim: I'm running out of oxygen.

Paris: We gotta get you back to the shuttle.

John: The shuttle doesn't have oxygen anymore. You left the door completely open, dumbass! It's now the same atmosphere in the shuttle as here. Plus, it's 500 degrees Kelvin in there now too.


Seven: It appears he adapted.

John: Adapted? To 500 degrees Kelvin? Have the Borg ever assimilated the Pakleds? They are a species of retards in the alpha quadrant who "look for things to make them go,"

Seven: The Pakleds: Species 4189. Their biological and technological distinctiveness was added to our own. They greatly hindered our own perfection.

John: No shit! Not to mention your commonsense! In 500 degree Kelvin weather, no amount of adaptation would "make him go."
Sat, Jan 2, 2016, 4:29pm (UTC -6)
Sometimes I feel like Voyager is like an NBA player trying to play basketball in big floppy clown shoes. Sure, it can be pretty bad at times, but it feels like there's a pretty obvious solution here. And it makes you wonder why they can't fix the simple things. Let's look at some of the complaints, shall we?

1) Deuterium is the second most common isotope of the most common element in the universe; how could they run low? This is such an easy fix if they had anything approaching a science advisor on the show. Heck, just change it to dilithium crystals; we already know it's some magic tech that's rare, we already know it's vital to warp drive, why not? Five second fix, requiring no real change to the episode.

2) Voyager's plight came out of nowhere in this episode. While I prefer Voyager's standalone, episodic format, this would be easy to set up, much like Firefly's "Out of Gas" was set up in previous episodes. Let's look at the preceding shows: 1) Living Witness had Voyager trying to trade with one of the species; just rewrite that slightly so that it is the deuterium (or dilithium crystals or whatever better option) that they are trying to obtain, with the implicit assumption that the trade fell through due to the unpleasant hostilities; 2) Unforgettable could have opened with a captain's log or comment about searching for deuterium due to not having restocked in a while as a way of getting the establishing shot on the bridge before the guest star appears; 3) during Seven's pleading with Janeway to keep the Omega particles in Omega Directive, she could have mentioned them as an alternate source of energy from deuterium. Voila, the concern over deuterium depletion is already set up and won't feel like it's out of left field in this episode... all while not harming the other three episodes in the slightest. Still can have episodic structure, but can still set up an upcoming episode like this.

(As an aside, remember in Season 3 where Neelix was worried because they were exiting known space and entering into a dangerous unknown expanse? It seemed like yet another case of the reset button until a few episodes later they ran into the Borg. Suddenly, the fact that there was a big unknown makes sense! These little connections don't have to be explicit, and don't have to jump out at you, but can help tie the whole experience together when looking back at it.)

3) The idea of Voyager only starting to conserve energy at the last minute is stupid, and probably only existed as an attempt at a cool opening hook. But why show stuff shutting down? Showing darkened, empty corridors, the warp core shut down, and a grim, dark bridge (coupled with appropriate mood music) could also be an effective, opening hook and imply that things have been shut down for days. Sure, it requires some minor changes, but it wouldn't make Janeway look like a buffoon.

4) Some of the statements around the "Demon" class planet were downright ridiculous, such as even orbiting the planet being a massive hazard and it being the most inhospitable planet ever yet still capable of supporting those space suits, etc. Here's a hint: if the planet seems actually more hospitable than the closest neighbor to Earth, maybe it's not something special. That said, I applaud the effort to create a planet that isn't either a luscious meadow or rolling fog and rocky cliffs with vague lightning in the background that everyone has to shout over. Again, this is a very easy fix. Still say it's extremely inhospitable, say Starfleet does NOT recommend away missions on Class Y planets due to the hazards, but tone down the "worst planet ever!" stuff. The rest of the story could proceed as normal.

5) Of course, if we changed #3, we couldn't have the "subplot" of Neelix trying to adapt, or at least not the stupid scene where Tuvok yells at him. Oh well, cut it out completely. It wasn't funny and it wasn't interesting. Besides, this episode really needed more time for something else, namely...

6) Harry Kim's out of nowhere character development. Actually, I thought it was fine. Harry may be a pointless character, but I haven't noticed much of his naive, wet-behind-the-ears characterization in this season. Instead, he sasses back to the Hirogen and hatches a plan to save the crew, and he works with Seven to vastly improve astrometrics. Other than his inability to work a transporter, he's been pulling his weight, and yet people still talk down to him. Thus, his sudden backbone isn't about him suddenly becoming mature and experienced, but rather him getting sick of not getting the recognition that he is mature and experienced. And that seemed to be where the episode was going, at least based on his chat with Paris in the elevator. The problem, though, is that if this was going to be a Kim episode, why does he get knocked unconscious 1/3rd of the way through the episode and never come to again? There needs to be some sort of resolution to this plot. Which means the end of the episode has to be rewritten to some extent. Somehow, you need to get Kim back into it.

7) The ending revelation that this is a newly evolving life form had serious potential, but was given a very short stick. This part absolutely needed to be expanded upon. If TNG had had this plot, they would have done something with it, since it was such a big part of TNG's ethos. And since Voyager was explicitly created to carry on TNG's legacy, why not do something with it? Again, this would require an extensive rewrite, but given the weakness of the rest of the episode, isn't it worth it? Because the last image is pretty impressive (even if Jammer dismisses it), and fake Kim slowly coming to the realization of what he is was a decent piece of sci-fi.

I think I liked this episode more than most because of its potential, but it did need a rewrite. However, except for the last two points, its a simple rewrite. So it could have went from being laughable to forgettable pretty easily, and I think could then have transitioned from forgettable to a solid episode with a bit more care as well. It just requires that the care be there.

Oh, and one more: 8) It's 500 Kelvin, not 500 degrees Kelvin. If you're going to use these fancy science-y temperature units instead of boring old Celsius, at least get it right. Yay for being pedantic!
Sat, Jan 30, 2016, 3:10pm (UTC -6)
I thought the episode wasn't terrible, I liked some of the beginning (good ideas to show Voyager low on energy and Kim growing even if those came pretty suddenly) even though the Doctor/Neelix conflict was pretty annoying ... but it did become really bad thanks to Wang's acting as the Kim duplicate once he's barely coherent in the end.
Diamond Dave
Wed, Feb 17, 2016, 1:27pm (UTC -6)
This one definitely has a hint of TOS or early TNG about it (kind of a like 'Skin of Evil' with dumber intelligent liquids and better FX). And it suffers from some wild mood swings from the scenes on the planet to the Neelix in the sickbay shtick - indeed tonally it's all over the place. Plotting wise it's also a weird one - elements like Harry's assertiveness and B'Elanna's desire to search for Tom pop up and then disappear, seemingly without reason. There's not a whole lot to like here. 1.5 stars.
Fri, May 20, 2016, 12:16pm (UTC -6)
LOL!! Nice review Jammer! I could see this style STiD review in your future. :-)

I think you are a little too hard on the "science". There are plenty of common-place stuff in trek that is pipe dream "science" as well.

Plot holes galore.... you bet.

The best part about this episode is the next time they visit these folks.

Oh, I'll go 1.5 stars... because at least they were trying to be creative and original. We ding them all the time for not doing that.
Voyager Fan
Mon, Aug 15, 2016, 9:06pm (UTC -6)
I personally liked this episode and I think it is a lot better than other episodes on here which got a higher rating. I thought the story was interesting and the interaction between the various crew members was good. I also really liked the later sequel "Course: Oblivion".
Tue, Aug 30, 2016, 12:34am (UTC -6)
I had this on as background noise then Harry and Paris died so mi skipped to the end where I knew they'd be alive again, only to hear idiot Janeway tell her crew to line up for replication by a silver liquid... you know what; I don't want to know. Next
Thu, Oct 6, 2016, 3:15pm (UTC -6)
"Solaris" is all over this episode. Andre Bormanis don't shy to plagiarize. Well at least watchable copycat here. Not bad episode but obviously not great either.
Tue, Nov 8, 2016, 6:12am (UTC -6)
I'm in the minority that liked this episode. I think the idea was really interesting and I was entertained for the whole show.

To give this 1/2 stars and yet rate The killing game at 2 and 2.5 (2 parter) just makes no sense to me. I found the killing game almost unwatchable. Different strokes I guess.

2.5 stars
Fri, Nov 18, 2016, 1:18am (UTC -6)
Terrible episode, review is on point... Also somehow they did not refuel Voyager and they were able to take off and head on there way? What?

It would have been more interesting if the liquid could make a copy of Voyager and then they traded their ship away for the fascimile that was fully fueled.

The WHOLE point of the episode was to refuel....and it looks like they lost most of their power landing and then leaving the ship running while on the planet!
Tue, Dec 6, 2016, 4:04pm (UTC -6)
I really liked it. It was sorta sad, and a little bizarre, and definitely had a bit of a Solaris feel to it (as someone mentioned in a previous comment). How would you feel if you knew that a duplicate of you was living out another life somewhere else? That the decision was pretty much made for you (as far as we know in the episode)? Torn? Betrayed? Violated? Maybe it's because I don't mind a little mystery and when things don't totally make sense. There's poetry in chaos, too. Things don't always need to be tidily resolved or understood (and honestly the validity of the science in the episode is irrelevant to me, the entire premise was bizarre so I just didn't care.) I liked Course: Oblivion, too. I didn't need or want there to be a "point". I guess there's a reason humans have been writing tragedies for ages...Maybe it's a little gratuitous but to me it's just another element of life to explore.
Sun, Feb 5, 2017, 11:42am (UTC -6)
Again I find myself agreeing with Skeptical. I enjoyed this episode, but it really did need a rewrite.

A rewrite would've solved most of the complaints with this episode. For instance, Environmental conditions like Venus' surface temperature of 735 K (462 °C; 863 °F) or worse would've made more sense. Also, it has been stated during "The Year of Hell" that replicated items can be recycled for resources. This should've been the reason for the scene with the Tuvok and Neelix. It is at least implied that the alien kept them alive somehow, as we actually see the alien breaching Tom's suit. This shouldv'e been made clear by a scene with the doctor. Instead no explanation is given. Just a few examples here.

However, this episode is nowhere near as bad as the review indicates. It had many good elements. The execution is simply off like the vast majority of Voyager episodes. Meanwhile, reviewers and commentators indite this episode for the same logical inconsistencies they ignore in other episodes. Jammer gives "Random Thoughts" a 3 star review, despite the fact of its plot holes: Tuvok conducting an "investigation" without backup, conducting a sting operation despite having two available means of telepathically interrogating the prime suspect (mind meld and Mari telepathic scanner), the old woman that killed Neelix's love interest being interrogated with the telepathic scanner and yet no information on the "black market" she bought Belanna's thoughts from being revealed (WTF?!? How useless is this technology?!?) Janeway allowing Belanna to be taken into custody and nearly lobotomized despite not being informed of the planets laws. (Wonder how many stars Jammer would've given "The Measure of a Man" if Picard had let Data be immediately transported to the scientist's lab and partially disassembled before proving his autonomy court?) There are countless more examples that Jammer himself mentioned besides these, yet he manages to not go "WTF?!?" at the entire episode. Remarkable.

If you don't see where I'm going with this, my point is simply this. Many episodes are riddled with plot holes. However, people seem to judge or ignore those plot holes based upon whether they like or agree with other aspects of the story. For instance, I loved the notion of Voyager needing the resource (should've been dilithium crystals like Skeptical said) from the aliens and the aliens needing the resource of sapience from Voyager's crew. This story had a enough elements that I enjoy that allow me to suspend disbelief. Others not so much.

Another thing, Trekkian science is dirt. It has always been dirt throughout all of its incarnations. People claiming this episode had more scientific inaccuracy than any other Trek episode are off their rocker.

2.5 stars.
Thu, Mar 2, 2017, 11:14am (UTC -6)
The idea of a planet so hostile that just orbiting it is dangerous, but on which you can safely send guys in slightly modified spacesuits is too much for me to suspend disbelief over right out the gate.
English Jack
Mon, Mar 13, 2017, 1:24pm (UTC -6)
Bad writing and logical fallacies often plagued Voyager throughout its seven seasons. I enjoy this Trek series as escapist entertainment and try not to feel too insulted when the scripts depart from common sense or resort to convenient conversations between characters to explain points which should have emerged seamlessly within the story itself.

As others have previously noted, the notion that the crew would only begin economising energy expenditure when the ship was almost 'dead in the water' was childishly ill-considered. Tuvok's logical mind was also in shutdown mode as we saw him denying a book, blankets and pillow to Neelix as part of the above exercise. Was it supposed to be a funny moment?

I will not harp on about the rest of the 'negatives' already ably noted by prior posters. Suffice it to say, I blame the writers and the producers who did not insist on some pretty simple rewrites which might have turned this turkey into something more high-flying.
Wed, Mar 29, 2017, 8:40am (UTC -6)
Not a great episode, but I too think it's worth more than half a star. I like how the events of this episode are continued in "Course: Oblivion", which I recall being quite dark when I saw it on TV maybe a decade ago. I'm looking forward to watching that again when I get up to it and seeing if it's as good as I remember.
Reuben K
Tue, Jun 13, 2017, 4:08pm (UTC -6)
Janeway: How about launching a probe?
Tuvok: It would be incinerated in seconds.
Harry: I know, let's launch a shuttle instead...with people inside.
[Tuvok n' Janeway glare at him.]
Harry: ...or how about we just launch the entire ship at it...and land it...on the surface?
Mon, Jul 17, 2017, 11:19pm (UTC -6)
Many thoughts. If a sample of DNA was all that was necessary to totally replicate a person, personality, and memories, they should have dropped a bit of Seska or Vidiian DNA on them. Hehe. If the replicants are just like Voyager but need the other atmosphere to breathe, how did the Course Oblivion copies meet with other species or conduct away missions well enough to not notice they were copies? Questions for that episode I guess. Love that the next episode they can just replicate coffins... Er stasis units for the whole damn crew? It would have been awesome if, on the last episode, they had starfleet tour the ship and decks 9 to like 14 were empty caverns because all the metal and computer panels and carpet had been used to make shuttle craft that were then stupidly lost. Like in this episode.
William B
Fri, Nov 3, 2017, 11:13am (UTC -6)
I will forever be grateful to this episode for giving us this review of Jammer's. I'm tempted to say that that alone means it had a more positive contribution to the world than Unforgettable did.

But still, yeah, this episode is terrible and weirdly pointless. I guess if I put my desperate-analysis hat on, I guess I'd say that if we take this as a Kim episode, then Harry's initial desire to be a CONFIDENT PERSON and his newfound desire to hold onto his newfound confidence is mirrored in the way Metal-Goo-Kim is desperate to hold onto his newfound sentience; both Harry and Metal-Goo-Copy-Harry have suddenly gotten a taste of being "awake" after a long "slumber" (of being meek, or of being non-sentient) and are energized with an almost dangerous zeal to hold onto it. That's about as far as I can go, and even here I'll note that while, yes, Harry is still annoyingly presented as Green Ensign, I don't really see his act of...speaking up at a staff meeting as some sort of turning-over-a-new-leaf act, given that he seems to be willing to speak up every other week. When it comes to technical matters and when the show isn't deliberately portraying him as an eternal ensign chump, Harry is basically able to run the whole ship by himself (as in The Killing Game, where he takes point in a two-person resistance). And you know, Harry was speaking up about possible strategies from season one (see, e.g., Eye of the Needle, Prime Factors). His green-ness is more in terms of romance, command stuff rather than having good technical suggestions.

Anyway yeah. Deuterium is a rare substance that can only be found on weird, inhospitable planets? The idea that the ship only starts shutting down nonessential systems when it's basically hours away from total destruction? The 500K surviving skin? That whole Doc/Neelix subplot? The blatant Prime Directive violation at the episode's end, where an entire race of clones of the crew were left behind? Etc. It's all bad and weird and dumb and, most of all, boring. The only real points in the episode's favour are some mildly interesting atmosphere and the hilarity of that form-fitting space suit of Seven's. 0.5 stars seems reasonable enough.
William B
Fri, Nov 3, 2017, 11:17am (UTC -6)
And yes, of course, the DNA magic is really extreme here, with the memories and apparently uniforms and communicators being replicated. As with the deuterium shortage, where it would have been better to say that it's some fake substance like dilithium that they needed to mine, couldn't they have dropped the pretense that this is about a substance with well-known properties and said instead that it's some sort of weird pool of shapeshifting goo that is able to completely reproduce a person, like the changelings, and the process allows them to also replicate memories? And yes it's a planet that's too hostile to orbit but they can land safely, etc. It's all madness and it's hard to even understand the point to it.
William B
Fri, Nov 3, 2017, 11:29am (UTC -6)
I'll add...if the episode had suggested some reason why the ship only shut down key systems when things got so dire, that major problem with the episode's set-up wouldn't be there. Skeptical for instance lists a few ways the deuterium shortage could have been set up in previous episodes, and mentions Firefly's Out of Gas as a model. I'll add that part of what made Out of Gas work is that it was a part breaking down, rather than literally suddenly being out of gas; Mal was warned by Kaylee about the part being in danger of breaking in previous episodes, and that certainly helped things out, but even if that hadn't been done, it would still be plausible that rickety ship could suddenly have a part which normally functions breaks down and for the time this happens to be basically unpredictable. If there were some indication that some recent battle led to the deuterium storage tanks (or whatever) were unexpectedly depleted (or something similar -- we could also compare the loss of water in BSG's Water), then again it would explain why the crew could only start to deal with the problem once it was nearly too late. I guess we can still read between the lines and assume that because the crew aren't totally incompetent, there was something unexpected about the deuterium depletion, but I feel like there has to be some sort of indication of how they got into this particular mess; it seems as if they are purely playing it as "well, Voyager is lost in the DQ; what do you expect?" when of course if they were in these dire straits the other episodes before this one would have been different.
Sat, Nov 18, 2017, 2:51pm (UTC -6)
I don't understand the hate for this one. Easily a 3 star episode for me. If you can accept the ridiculous magical Bajoran orbs doing magic things, you should be able to accept an alien lifeform with biomimetic capabilities. If you can accept evil ghost aliens arbitrarily taking control of people's bodies, then the fact that they create perfect copies of lifeforms should not bother. Not to mention transporters. Besides all that we get some great character moments, a landing sequence and finally a convincing use of the ever popular "cave set".
John Harmon
Sat, Dec 16, 2017, 11:07am (UTC -6)
Just as the Mr Plinkett reviews are more entertaining than the Star Wars prequels, so is this review from Jammer a thousand times better than this episode. Bravo.
Sat, Dec 16, 2017, 5:35pm (UTC -6)
Why did they shut down the holodecks? They are on an entirely different system from the rest of the ship, and their power system is incompatible with the rest of the ship.

JANEWAY: Harry, you and I will give them a hand in geophysics. See if we can't synthesize a substitute fuel.

Really? Synthesize a substitute fuel? Wut? And this is the first time they've tried that? Wut?

Boy that Neelix/Tuvok scene was annoying. You can't use your own blanket, you have to use a starfleet blanket. Why? Oh, I see, it's humorous. Oh, wait, no it isn't.

When they tried to beam up some of the deuterium, why did the transporter explode? No reason whatsoever, other than they wanted them offline for later in the episode. And they say they will be down for days. Yet they are back online and working a few hours later.

500K is only about 440F or 227C. That's hot, but not that hot. My oven gets hotter than that. It's certainly not enough to damage Voyager in any way, or incinerate a probe, unless they are both made of plastic and paper mache. And the shuttle makes it down just fine. Stupid. And they leave the shuttle door open. lol.

Quick! Stop cooking that potroast in the mess hall Neelix! You'll destroy the ship!

The Neelix/Doc stuff was just terrible.

They try scanning for infrared signatures of Harry and Tom, on the 500K planet. Right. At least they had it not work, but still, how stupid is Janeway really?

The backup systems in the suits kept them alive. How? Their suits had holes in them. And why wouldn't the system have kicked in immediately before they passed out? If the suit could keep them alive after that, it should have kept them from passing out. None of that makes any sense.

The whole silver blood thing is preposterous in nearly every way. It's some barely alive goop sitting on an unihabited otherwise lifeless planet. What does it eat I wonder? And why would it have the ability to copy organic matter, or any matter, or thoughts and memories? If it can do that, why is it just pools of silver goo? If it somehow gained sentience when it copied Tom and Harry, why not use them to talk to someone, instead of trying to kill everyone, especially if they have all of Tom and Harry's memories? How would it know how to do anything, having been sentient for only a few hours? Yet it has feelings and desires, and the will to live etc. It whines and says that Janeway is trying to kill them, as it is in the midst of killing the entire crew. Stupid. All so stupid.

And the ending. OMG the ending. Good idea Janeway. Let the unknown aliens clone your whole crew, with all their memories and feelings, and strand them on some planet with no food or water or equipment or anything. Remember, the clones think they are the real people, just as Harry and Tom did. So all these clones are now standing there, wondering why their ship is leaving them behind to die. Janeway is the worst captain ever.

Why does the goo need more bodies anyway? Can't they just clone more Tom and Harry's? They have their DNA already. I don't get it.

This episode is a giant mess. zero stars.
I Hate Janeway
Sat, Dec 30, 2017, 12:50pm (UTC -6)
This was a decent episode. No worse than the typical Voyager episode, maybe even above average. It doesn't deserve the bad rating.

Of course the "science" and logic parts of any Voyager episode never make any sense, and if that was the basis for a review, every episode would get zero stars. Like why can't Voyager just use the replicators to make more Deuterium?

This episode is in the spirit of TOS, learning about strange new life and dealing with it diplomatically rather than just killing it because we don't understand it.

Better than episode after episode of Hirogen/Kazon/Vidians taking over the ship because of stupid Janeway decisions.
Wed, Feb 21, 2018, 12:46am (UTC -6)
Hello Everyone!

Well, it wasn't quite as bad I remembered, but it still wasn't good. And Neelix ended up in Sickbay, on a spacious bio-bed. His book and blankie would have been just fine. I wonder where Tuvok threw his stuff?

I did like this exchange though:
CHAKOTAY: Looks like they went this way.
SEVEN: My tricorder isn't picking up any lifesigns. How did you reach that conclusion?
CHAKOTAY: Footprints. I guess you never assimilated any Indian scouts.

That did make me smile.

Enjoy the day Everyone... RT
Sat, Mar 3, 2018, 7:56am (UTC -6)
LOL. I loved the photon torpedo "The Trek novels AREN'T CANON!".
awful reviewer
Thu, Jul 12, 2018, 5:39pm (UTC -6)
This review is as awful as the episode it tries to review. I never been dissapointed by a review more than an episode. congratz
Sun, Sep 9, 2018, 11:55am (UTC -6)
[[Yeah, Neelix may have been a whining chump this week]]

"This week"?
Thu, Sep 27, 2018, 9:57pm (UTC -6)
A decent episode. I liked the planet, and the idea of the organism sort of . . . falling madly, desperately in love with sentience.

I wonder how many members of the crew agreed to be replicated. It is a weird thing to think about. Would I do it? I . . . I don't think I would.

Our ship needs fuel, our old boys need oxygen, our Neelix needs his blankie, our Doctor needs his privacy, our newly formed boys need to keep their sentience and want more and more of it. A lot of talk about competing needs, what we need to keep going, what is important to us, how we need each other but also get in each other's way.

Kept my interest. Onward.
Sean Hagins
Wed, Nov 21, 2018, 9:28am (UTC -6)
My real gripe with this episode (and I realise it is hard to keep 5 series and a dozen movies straight) is technological continuity. If Spock had rocket books in the 23rd century, then 24th century spacesuits should have them!
Fri, Dec 7, 2018, 11:27pm (UTC -6)
Not sure where to begin on this one... There are so many stupid things about it, stuff that makes no sense, stuff that comes out of left field. It dragged for periods, went for comedy in the B-plot that came off slightly worse than usual. It gets to be a real head-scratcher upon further scrutiny -- but make no mistake, it's one of VOY's weakest hours.

The first couple of acts weren't that bad -- yes, it is odd that the ship all of a sudden is in dire straits for deuterium - some poor planning here. But I found it interesting that the show would actually look at a demon (Class Y) planet as a solution. Problem is they are very sloppy about it. I don't see how envirosuits should be able to protect humans at 500 Kelvin (like 440F) -- or has science already come this far? And yes, Tom and Harry leave the shuttle door open...

Interesting episode for Harry in that he gets some confidence all of a sudden -- and in the end he negotiates with Janeway on behalf of the silver fluid. It's a poor way to throw the neglected character a bone -- let him act some really stupid lines...

Where the episode goes south is the silver blood gaining sentience by duplicating Tom and Harry perfectly. This is too much suspension of disbelief even for VOY. Cloning seems more "reasonable" but this type of DNA re-write is pushing it. Of course Janeway won't hurt a sentient life (even if it wasn't sentient before duplicating Tom and Harry) -- but leaving a duplicate crew stranded on a planet? Talk about another controversial decision... But since the duplicates like that environment ... but then what about their memories for family etc.?? We haven't heard the last of this decision...

The padding with Neelix and Doc was lighthearted and fairly typical for these 2 -- it certainly wasn't awful but VOY has done much better humor. The 2 just tried to push each other's buttons. Just a fairly easy situation for humor with the crew quarters being reduced (low-hanging fruit).

Barely 1 star for "Demon" -- terrible episode but not as bad as "Threshold" or "Favorite Son" for me -- those episodes were worse in terms of outright stupidity. Just overall poor planning, a general sloppiness, and way too much suspension of disbelief required.
Mon, Jan 21, 2019, 12:53pm (UTC -6)
This is truly horrible. Absolutely unwatchable. Especially after the superb “Living Witness”, this is just an insult to the genre. Worst Voyager episode ever in my opinion.
Tim C
Sun, Jun 2, 2019, 7:22am (UTC -6)
Every couple of years I like to check back in and read this one again. Never fails to make me smile!
Tue, Aug 13, 2019, 4:36pm (UTC -6)
Is Amanda Jammer's wife?
Fri, Sep 13, 2019, 3:16pm (UTC -6)
I'm still watching but I had to write this down as to not to forget it. Is that correct English. Whatever. Tom Paris just said: "You know what they say about your life passing before your eyes. Well, its true. I was finally getting past puberty." W T F

At this point I stopped to make Jim Beam Bourbon mini rips.

I definitely should have gone to a bar. What did I just see. In a bar somebody could have told me why refugees are the downfall of us all and it would have made more sense than this. I was sitting, ok lying here(I have a recamiere) with my mouth open. I did not understand anything. That's my review.

Ok I'm drunk but this was weird. This made no sense?!! What ??! Have I gone mad while watching this. Demons, blue alerts, liquid Harry. What???

I guess this is the episode where the writers finally snapped.

Let's see what Jammer has say
(The smoke from the rips just triggered my fire alarm. Or was it the episode??? Just imagine me standing on a fragile chair, drunk, trying to silence a fire alarm thingy)

Oh so Jammer snapped several times during Voyager. But he is right. Tuvok you asshole let Netflix have his blanket or his book. WHY CAN'T HE HAVE HIS BOOK??!

Yeah why did Netflix go to sickbay??! Sorry I know. LAME but am I the only one who always thinks Netflix when you hear the name Neelix???

ah shit. I burned my index finger (is that the pointy finger???) while rescuing the burned rips. They are really mini...

So yeah Jammers review. *chuckles* What can I add to that... only one thing maybe. We should spend all our money for modern medicine and plastic surgery to look like our goodess Jery Ryan. All Hail Jery. I mean it!
Fri, Dec 6, 2019, 12:26pm (UTC -6)
We have literally another series about a threatening species of changelings that can mimic human beings and it's considered a total threat and they WILLINGLY let themselves be cloned by a liquid species they know nothing about? Call me whatever, but VOY is lame and should be embarrassed of itself.
Thu, Mar 19, 2020, 10:20pm (UTC -6)
I didn’t think it was so bad. Definitely not great, but more in the 2 or 2.5 star range than 0.5.
Thu, Apr 30, 2020, 10:40pm (UTC -6)
I just want to add that if these new clone lifeforms have, as their native habitat, a Y Class planet environment. And they are, essentially, being with the thoughts and memories of the crew (as well as awareness that they are something also other,) then wouldn't that convergence of facts then make this, officially, the very first planetary and species member of the Federation in the Delta Quadrant? And wouldn't that also be something of profound significance to the community of civilizations withing the Federation overall—a member group that can, live one, thrive on, and therefore colonize and develop further Y Class planets throughout the Galaxy? Think of the technology that such lifeforms would be able to create based on such a different environment—and how that knowledge would increase the Federations overall capacity! There could be Federation colonies set of on every Y Class planet, focused on deuterium mining, even!

Meanwhile, the "silver blood" basically *assimilates* the DNA of organic lifeforms. That could make for some interesting conjecture and subsequent encounters with The Borg. Would the human-clones choose to direct the "silver blood" to avoid copying Borg DNA? Or, if it encountered then copied it, would it be just the DNA of the species of assimilated former-individual? Maybe it could be weaponized against the Borg, assimilating Borg cubes by copying them, but in a state that could withstand such extreme temperatures as to make it superior to Borg-original ships and tech because of that quality?

Then, too, if those clones left on the planet have the same memories as the originals, perhaps they would want to also be close to Earth! They could have copied Voyager (but comprised of their 500K-native substance) and joined the original Voyager on the "return home," then made nearby Venus with its ultra-hot temps their new home.

So may things they could have done to make this premise more complex and further reaching in impact... *sigh.*
Sun, Jun 28, 2020, 4:10pm (UTC -6)
Chuck "We still not hear from Tom n Kim OH NO. I take shuttle find them."
Janeway "Nooo I not risk you. We land whole ship on planet instead yayyy."
Chuck "Otay! It will take rest of energy and ship not go no more. We look for things on deadly planet."
Janeway "Yes, we look for things! Things to make us go."
Everyone "HURRRRRR."
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 10:45pm (UTC -6)
"Demon” is one of Voyager’s rare attempts at hard science fiction.

The episode draws from one of the great classics of the genre, the short story “Desertion" by Clifford D. Simak, which was published back in 1944 in Astounding Science Fiction magazine.

You can read the entire short story here:

From the first moment Paris says,

PARIS: I'm telling you, Chakotay. It was an amazing experience. It, it's like when you're a kid who's afraid of the water and you suddenly realise that you can swim. Go ahead, take your helmets off. Try it.

I hoped that was where the story was going.

And then much later in the episode when Harry tells Seven and Chakotay,

SEVEN: I see monochromatic geological formations, dust, haze.
CHAKOTAY: What do you see, Harry?
KIM: To me, those geological formations are a dozen shades of red and gold. That dust, it's glowing. And the haze, it seems to intensify the colours. I'm sorry. I know it's weird, but I feel connected to this place.

It immediately brought to mind the crescendo of the old 1944 story by Simak.

In “Desertion" by Clifford D. Simak, human researchers are part of a project (like the movie Avatar) where they are transformed into forms that are suited to Jupiter, so they can explore the gas giant the way a native might.

One by one the researchers transform and set out into Jupiter to go exploring. And none ever come back. Finally the head of the program decides he has no choice but to go after his team, and he transforms himself. And that is when we learn how incredible it is to be on Jupiter if you are in a form that is suited to Jupiter.

You can listen to a reading of the critical part of Clifford D. Simak's story where the head researcher describes what Jupiter looks like to him now that he has gone native:

I first read “Desertion" 25 years ago as a boy, and have never forgotten it.

It is a story about what you feel when you go to an alien place - a foreign country - and finally give up your old ways, and, as they used to say “go native.” The resulting beauty and awe can be overwhelming.

Sadly, Voyager’s mediocre writing team was never able to tap into that rich vein, and “Demon” ends up being a complete disaster of an episode.

Half a star for trying something great but failing completely.
Sat, Sep 26, 2020, 1:25pm (UTC -6)
They more or less got the surface of Venus right.
Mon, Oct 26, 2020, 7:11pm (UTC -6)
I don't understand how this demon planet was so dangerous. 500 Kelvin would burn paper but certainly not any kind of metal used to construct a starship. Even an aluminum can would hold against it.
Sat, Feb 6, 2021, 10:50am (UTC -6)
It was a goofy episode but I think half a star is kind of harsh, it wasn't that bad. Still, why did they wait until they were almost completely out of power before they went looking for some. Janeway must be like Kramer in The Dealership, driving the ship around until the needle is below E to see how far it can go. More DNA magic too, maybe this fluid can duplicate DNA but what about their clothes, and later on the ship itself? Speaking of later, watching this episode makes me sad now knowing what is going to happen to the duplicates.
Tue, Mar 30, 2021, 10:24pm (UTC -6)
This review is 10x better than the episode.
Wed, Aug 25, 2021, 11:42pm (UTC -6)
With Jammer's half-star rating and words like "unwatchable" and "disaster" in the earlier comments as a guide, I approached "Demon" with incredibly low expectations.

I was pleasantly surprised to find it visually interesting with great planet scenes and quite a few interesting exchanges between the characters. B'Elanna recommending Seven of Nine to Chakotay was a nice switch; Paris' comment about getting to puberty as his life passed before him was funny. The reddish hues of the planetary environment provided an excellent contrastive backdrop to the spacesuits with their blinking lights. I managed to tolerate and even enjoy the implausible and over-the-top bits to get the payoff.

"Demon" was really a tale of 'first contact' with Janeway basically learning to understand the 'silver blood' as a demiurge and feeding it the dna it needed to create a new society. The final scene as Voyager departs reminded me somewhat of Noah's Ark on Ararat, having just deposited the paired creatures of the Earth rescued from the waters of the flood. Actually, as done, it was a pretty memorable image.

As a bonus, I really marvelled at the number of people who jumped to Neelix's defense in the bedding confiscation incident with Tuvok.

Take this gem of an opinion from Random Thoughts (Feb 21, 2018):

"His book and blankie would have been just fine. I wonder where Tuvok threw his stuff?"

LOL ... Although I will admit that given the overall appearance of Neelix's linens, Tuvok likely took the rumpled mass to the laundromat on deck 8 to put it through at least two cycles on hot.
Wed, Jan 5, 2022, 7:13pm (UTC -6)
@Jammer's review

"Kim and Paris beam down to a hellish, barren planet to search for deuterium."

No, they don’t.
Wed, Jan 5, 2022, 7:23pm (UTC -6)
From Memory Alpha:

"Chakotay falls after a cliff gives way and is barely able to keep from going completely over. Seven grabs him but is unable to pull him up."

I thought she had super-strength or something. She was able to beat up Tuvok in "Raven."
Tue, Mar 22, 2022, 11:35pm (UTC -6)
@Mal. Thanks for sharing that story! I'd never heard of it. BUT would tou agree that Demon by dedicating form that premise is actually More ORIGINAL and IMAGINATIVE than Desertion or at least as much? And deserves maybe a higher rating despite some flaws since it tried to be original and different? I think it succeeded.
Wed, Apr 20, 2022, 1:26pm (UTC -6)

)) John: The shuttle doesn't have oxygen anymore. You left the door completely open, dumbass! It's now the same atmosphere in the shuttle as here. Plus, it's 500 degrees Kelvin in there now too. ((

The shuttle is too small to have a separate airlock - so before exiting it when stepping foot out onto a Demon-class planet, the shuttle pumps all of its internal atmosphere back into its storage tanks (which have days' worth of air anyway). Then the hatch opens and the occupants step out. Yes, it probably would be a good idea to then close the hatch and pump out the Demon-class atmosphere from inside the shuttle again. But later, when they want to re-enter the shuttle, they're going to have to repeat the procedure anyway.

In any event, when Paris says they have to get Kim back to the shuttle, it's because they have several days' worth of air in the shuttle's tanks.

Wed, Apr 20, 2022, 1:29pm (UTC -6)

)) I thought she had super-strength or something. ((

Seven's Borg implants were temporarily offline or operating only at reduced levels - they were performing some sort of periodic self-maintenance or such.

An individual does not always perform at top level. He is sometimes ill, tired, wounded, etc.

Wed, Apr 20, 2022, 1:35pm (UTC -6)

)) They try scanning for infrared signatures of Harry and Tom, on the 500K planet. Right. At least they had it not work, but still, how stupid is Janeway really? ((

Assuming that their space suits had FAILED, the sensors would be looking for COLD bodies (at least until their dead bodies had reached temp. equilibrium with their surroundings).

Or, assuming that their space suits are still FUNCTIONING, the sensors would be looking for the excess heat of their life support systems (like air conditioners blowing cold air INTO a building and hotter air BACK OUT into the surroundings).

Fri, May 6, 2022, 11:04pm (UTC -6)
Sometimes I think people are a bit too harsh about the science not always adding up in these shows. They are for entertainment and not written by PHD's, of course there are going to be some holes and contrivances.

That being said, in regards to this episode, Jammers review is completely just. This episode doesn't just have a couple of holes, it literally doesn't care about the science at all. The whole thing makes no sense, deserving of the 0.5 star rating it received.
Sun, Jul 10, 2022, 4:30pm (UTC -6)
There's a funny Janeway line near the end when she decided they must immediately lift off: "We'll worry about Harry, or whoever he his, once we're up."

Here's one that can't be blamed on this episode alone, and that is that they will have no oxygen to breathe an hour or so after shutting off life support. It's just unusual in that Tuvok specifically said "oxygen".

Well, unless they are using the oxygen for something else, there's plenty of oxygen in the vast interior of that ship to last days to weeks.

Trek really needs to improve its "life support failure" issues if it wants to use that as a trope. Life support isn't that difficult considering we've done it since the 60s and the biggest risk is venting, which almost never happens in Trek. They could at least use carbon dioxide poisoning which would happen far sooner than oxygen deprivation.
Michael Miller
Sat, Mar 11, 2023, 10:41am (UTC -6)
I agree that this and course Oblivion are 2 of the stupidest voyager episodes, but, I maintain that the Galileo 7 is the stupidest star trek episode across ALL series. Where Spock claims that the shuttlecrafts engines can't lift off because the big apes "seem to be holding us down preventing us from moving".
Sat, Mar 11, 2023, 2:10pm (UTC -6)
@Michael Miller
>I agree that this and course Oblivion are 2 of the stupidest voyager episodes

Did you skip Threshold and Twisted?
Chris L.
Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 11:20pm (UTC -6)
I didn’t read this whole thread, so it might have been mentioned, but I guess I just wanted to add that I found it inconceivable at the outset that they could suddenly (or slowly) run out of deuterium. It’s a stable isotope of hydrogen, which is literally the most abundant thing in the universe. But here they are plum out of it all of a sudden. It occurs at a rate of about 0.02% of all hydrogen. We can isolate it from ordinary water using technology today. No reason to think they can only onboard high purity deposits or some such.

Literally any planet they visited along the way that has oceans could supply them with virtually unlimited deuterium. Just isolate the heavy water and electrolyze into deuterium gas.
Fri, Aug 25, 2023, 2:56pm (UTC -6)
I actually quite like this episode but the eBay thing about it was that it gave us the sequel - Course Oblivion. I absolutely love that one. It's very tragic.

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