Star Trek: Voyager
Air date: 4/25/2001
Written by Michael Taylor & Bryan Fuller
Directed by Mike Vejar
Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan
"They're not so bad once you get to know them. When I first met them I thought they were arrogant, self-righteous." — Neelix on humans
In brief: A most middling affair.
There are good things about "Friendship One," which is very insistent on its desire to say something and mean something and exhibit a lot of classic Trekkian thought. But the net result isn't much to speak of, its central hostage plot is on autopilot, and there are some deeply flawed arguments roaming around in the story. I didn't dislike this episode, but I didn't much like it either; it's one of those shows that's sometimes respectful but largely unmoving.
And poor Lt. Joe "Red Shirt" Carey (Josh Clark). He's shot dead before it's all over here. There were so many years where this guy was relegated to the off-screen sidelines that many viewers assumed he'd simply died (most common was to erroneously recall him as being eaten in "Basics, Part II" — but, no, that was Ensign Hogan). Now Carey gets his true farewell appearance less than a month from the end of the series. I guess his number had to be up one of these days, turning out to be later rather than sooner.
The premise for "Friendship One" might've been more interesting had it been more in the vein of TNG's "First Contact" (the fifth-season episode, not the movie), which was about how humans make contact with an alien civilization. But since that episode has already been done, we instead have first contact as a warning of the dangers of misused technology.
Friendship 1 was a human probe sent in the late 21st century, shortly after warp travel became a reality and humans realized they were not alone in the universe. It was intended to share knowledge with any other-worldly society that might comprehend its message. Starfleet, now having regular contact with Voyager, sends Janeway and her crew on an assignment to try to retrieve the probe, which had last been tracked over a century ago to somewhere in the Delta Quadrant ... not far, coincidentally (yeah, yeah), from Voyager's current position. Retrieving it would be a great historical find.
Voyager tracks the probe to a devastated world polluted with toxic antimatter radiation. A Delta Flyer away team (including Joe "Dead Meat" Carey) finds the probe's remnants, but is surprised by the descendants of those who survived the antimatter catastrophe that left the planet poisoned a century and a half earlier. In short, Friendship 1 had indeed accomplished its goal of contacting alien life, but the aliens virtually destroyed themselves when they tried using the new information available to them.
Plot Machinations 101 decrees that these aliens must instantly take the away team hostage, which they do. Their leader is Verin (Ken Land), who intends to hold the away team responsible for the sins of the generations-ago humans who sent this probe in the first place. I don't agree with his argument, which is that it's humanity's fault for unleashing dangerous technology upon a less advanced society. (It wasn't even war that destroyed this society; it was more of a Chernobyl-like accident, the blame of which, I submit, should be placed more on the people experimenting with the dangerous technology than the people who gave them access to it, undoubtedly with big WARNING signs attached.) Even more dubious is the notion that these people think it was planned this way as an invasion tactic, which makes even less sense to me than it does to Janeway. But the episode, strangely, often seems to hitch its wagon to Verin's cause.
I agree even less with Verin's need to extract penance from the Voyager crew. They didn't have anything to do with what happened, and any reasonable person would see that. Verin isn't a reasonable person so much as a tortured soul scarred by his harsh surroundings. This reduces him to the status of your standard villain-like aggressor, and unfortunately makes much of the episode a routine standoff where Verin makes demands and threatens the hostages (Paris, Neelix, and Joe "Worm Food" Carey), while Janeway communicates from orbit her good intentions and desire to arrive at a peaceful resolution.
Tempering the material are some nice scenes. I liked that Neelix tried to appeal to Verin's better nature by talking about his own losses at the hands of destructive technology (the episode invokes continuity by remembering Neelix's world was destroyed by a massive weapon). And there's also value to be found in the scenes where Paris talks with a pregnant woman who has tragically given birth to three stillborn children because of radiation poisoning, and hopes this won't be the fourth.
But Verin's adamant distrust is a little hard to understand and thus seems forced, particularly in the latter passages after his own people have seen Janeway act on her promises of good will. One of these persons is reasonable scientist Otrin (John Prosky), who is cured of the radiation sickness and helps the Voyager crew devise a method to cleanse the planet. Another is the pregnant woman, whose baby is saved and returned to her, just as Paris promises. All this, despite the fact Verin kills Joe "Target Painted On My Chest" Carey in a particularly pointless act of violence.
In the end, "Friendship One" is a reasonable example of the classic Trekkian formula in which the intrepid starship glides in, helps an alien society solve their problems, and then glides out. And like most episodes helmed by director Mike Vejar, it's well paced and skillfully implemented. But along the way are arguments that I don't buy. Janeway's final line is delivered with a quiet, earnest seriousness that screams "Think about me!" But as I thought about it, it only rang false. On exploring, she says, "It can't justify the loss of lives, whether it's millions — or just one." Excuse me?
Once upon a time, Captain James Kirk gave a famous and rousing (if hammy and portentous) speech where he exclaimed, "Risk is our business." Now we have Janeway saying that the cost of sharing the grand ideas of space exploration isn't worth lives, even if it's just one life like Lt. Carey. I find that argument depressing. Exploration takes courageous people and conviction. Of course there will be lives lost along the way. Does that mean we throw in the towel because it's too dangerous? I'm sorry — that last line must've been written by the same sort of people who outlaw games of "tag" on grade-school playgrounds.
Next week: Return of the Shuttle Crash. Guess we won't make it through the season without one of those after all...
Pointless Jammer trailer commentary: The trailer for next week's episode has got to be one of the most useless ever. We know the show isn't about what it says it's about (losing two crew members in a crash), so what is it actually about?
Previous episode: Author, Author
Next episode: Natural Law
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93 comments on this post
Wed, Jan 9, 2008, 3:22pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Jan 11, 2008, 5:21pm (UTC -5)
The manufactured danger at the end (risking the ship to enter the atmosphere and fire magic photon torpedoes) was too tired and trite to have any interest.
Actually, I liked the initial exploration of the planet, before the crew was captured - it was moody and mysterious. But I thought it strange that the crew were so workmanlike and didn't seem to share my curiosity about what happened.
I totally agree about Janeway's end line being absurd.
Wed, Jul 2, 2008, 9:29pm (UTC -5)
I reckon if you survive your first away mission as an "unknown ensign", you should be promoted to captain.
Sun, Oct 5, 2008, 5:29pm (UTC -5)
Ok, so they suffered a great tragedy by misusing the technology from the probe but hey guys and gals, take responsibility for your own actions.
Friendship One could just as easily have contained a recipe for apple pie and if they happened to have an apple allergy, would that be our fault too?
Using their twisted logic, if I buy a gas oven and stick my head inside the thing and gas myself to death, my relatives would be quite justified in taking the manufacturers children hostage because their parents gave me the technology to kill myself!
As for the alien leader, well, he appears to have got away with cold blooded murder. At the very least I’d have expected him to be thrown in the brig for the duration of the journey home.
Initially this episode looked to have an intriguing story line, but unfortunately the attitude of the aliens left me with very little sympathy for them or their situation.
Sat, Feb 14, 2009, 3:08am (UTC -5)
Tue, Mar 10, 2009, 9:55pm (UTC -5)
Compared to the way redshirts got killed off in TOS, at least Carey got some nice scenes over the years, plus speaking parts (and his own card in STCCG!).
I don't have a problem with the villain, either. Hate rarely requires a reasonable motive. By that reasoning, Khan is *less interesting* because he doesn't have a legitimate beef with Kirk. To me, Verrin's vengeance is as plausible as any other vengeance written in the history of literature. It's just that the execution is a bit off (there's only 45 minutes in an episode, after all, and most necessarily needs to be devoted to the VOY viewpoint).
Thu, Apr 2, 2009, 9:55am (UTC -5)
At the end, It's like the writers suddenly remembered that someone had died, and decided to play lip service to the event, only to deliver the silly Janeway line that others have already commented on.
Mon, Apr 6, 2009, 10:44pm (UTC -5)
"It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires, both subtle and gross. But it's not for the timid."
Sun, Oct 18, 2009, 6:35pm (UTC -5)
That something is an example of what Jammer and others have accurately described as the fatal twin flaws of Star Trek: total lack of continuity in storytelling, and its (related) cousin of total disregard for character consistency (or for character generally). Regarding flaw #1, how many times has Janeway learned (or more accurately, have the writers preached) the virtues of space exploration even if it means putting lives in danger? I'm reminded of the episode "Random Thoughts." Seven tells Janeway in that episode (the one where the crew explores a planet where violent thought is punished by engrammatic memory purge) that if Janeway's goal is to get home, she is pursuing it in a most efficient manner. Says Seven, "You constantly impose your own obstacles toward achieving that goal by this process of exploration, borne of a desire, you say, to learn more about aliens and increase your knowledge base. Well, if you're going to be inefficient and make a detour to every planet you visit for the sake of learning more about people, maybe you should at least try learning about what their laws are in advance (i.e. because of your failure to learn these laws, B'Elanna's life is now at stake.) Janeway, knowing that her exploring this planet may cost B'Elanna's single life, intones, "We don't explore space because we have to - we do it because we WANT to." An unabashed, ignorant, and evasive declaration extolling the virtues of space exploration. Such delcarations (and attendant acts) were made throughout the show, ad nauseum, in the seven years leading up to this episode and in the few thereafter. Again, the lessons of those episodes - "space exploration is good" (see, e.g., "One Little Ship" are thrown out the window, good one day only, no one learns anything from them, because, why, in the next self-contained episode, with a similar premise, the writers decide, just for the sake of it, to have a character arbitrarily draw a contradictory conclusion. Total inattentiveness to storytelling consistency. Which, of course, automatically results in (yes, flaw #2, 12:00 high, coming fast) characters behaving internally inconsistently. How can we even say, in a sense, that Janeway's comment is stupid, when the writers haven't even made any attempt to make her a smart individual in the first place by having her act consistently in response to similar situations (or by having her act inconsistently, but explaining the reasons for her doing so) in the first place? To paraphrase Lewis Carroll, if someone has tried to make you believe six implausible things before breakfast, does that person really sound any more ridiculous when, right after breakfast, he or she spouts another implausibility? The "implausibilties" here are having the "characters" say whatever the plot requires of them one day to achieve a desired jerry-rigged effect. The next day, the same character will say the exact opposite if it suits the contrived situation's storytelling purposes.
If there's one line that shows how self-contained episodic storytelling is 1) both properly given a dirty name when the writers don't care about the characters or situations, as well as 2) a device which frees the writers from ever HAVING to care about the characters or situations, Janeway's closing line is it.
By the way, though, maybe it's just me, but this episode's teaser was one of the most awesome two minutes in Star Trek history. We see the Friendship One probe, accompanied by the strains (and, as ominous Trek-composed music appears, straining),of Vivaldi's "Spring," and within the span of barely over a minute and a half, the tone goes from mysterious to sonorously optimistic, to uncertain, to ominous, all at once, with action, music, and dialogue all working in harmony to convey the changes in tone. Awesome.
Sun, May 9, 2010, 7:20pm (UTC -5)
When she said it doesn't justify the death of millions, or even just one, she was saying: "Yes, our ancestors were wrong to send that probe, but that doesn't justify him murdering Carrey."
Not: "its unacceptable that anyone die during exploration".
Thu, May 13, 2010, 8:49pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Apr 10, 2011, 6:29pm (UTC -5)
An interesting idea and story, but as mentioned not brilliantly executed. I didn't think it was BAD, but of course it had its fair share of flaws.
I didn't have a lot of sympathy for the lead ghoul (to borrow a term from Fallout) - part of me half hoped Janeway would go into proper badass mode and just say "right let's rescue those hostages by whatever means necessary and get the hell out of here, eff them." But I guess that would've been somewhat unfair on the rest of the ghouls, especially the mother and baby.
The "redshirt", although he was a vaguely known character, was possibly the most blatant use of one I've seen since the series that coined the term (TOS). He might as well have had a neon sign over his head saying "I'm going to die". Ugh - best think of it as a nod to the fans.
I didn't have any major issues about them finding the probe in the first place - at least they had to look for it, based on predicted flight path, instead of just stumbling across it. The fact it survived in the first place is a bit of a stretch, but I'll allow it that.
Good enough - 2.5 is agreeable
Wed, May 4, 2011, 1:41pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Dec 31, 2011, 7:45pm (UTC -5)
It went downhill from there.
So, let me just get this straight:
To give these folks technology they weren't ready for 50 years ago was bad. But to give them Borg nanotechnology now is good?
Or did I miss the part where they extract the nanoprobes and explain why to the guy?
Also, anyone else see a problem with this exchange:
Injured Alien Guy: "Nanoprobes, cybernetic
implants. Are others on your crew like you?"
Seven of Nine: "No. I'm unique."
Or did I miss the part where Icheb doesn't have nanoprobes and cybernetic implants?
And how about this one:
Friendship 1 was launched in 2067, says Janeway. Just 4 years after Zephram Cochrane made his warp flight, says Paris. Before Starfleet even existed, says Tuvok. So, um, why does it have the Starfleet insignia and the United Federation of Planets logo on it?
Or did I miss the part where the Federation and Starfleet made logos for themselves 100 years before they existed?
Seven gives her nanoprobes to cure the alien guy's advanced radiation exposure. Which is ok by me, since in "Mortal Coil" Neelix was dead for a full 18 hours and was brought back to life with Seven's nanoprobes. Lieutenant Carey has been dead for ten seconds, of an apparent gunshot wound, and there's nothing at all we can do for him?
Or did I miss the part where Seven was all out of nanoprobes after giving a few to the alien who we shouldn't be sharing technology with?
Crap like this just pisses me off. It's one thing to hit the reset button at the end of an episode. But to be inconsistent within the same episode is the worst kind of laziness. And I take it as an insult to the fans. As if we won't notice. We're STAR TREK FANS FOR GOODNESS SAKE! If anyone is gonna notice, it's us.
Tue, Feb 14, 2012, 11:12pm (UTC -5)
1. pushed aside for a chief of engineering
2. thought to be the spy who was colluding with the Kazon
3. Superceded by Lt. Hogan (he used to be B'Elana's right hand)
4. In oblivion for a few years
and now he died a meaningless death and can't be saved by nanoprobes like Neelix was... Damn poor unlucky guy!
Stupidest moment in ST history. I liked him as a character and they could've built him up with lots of angst or built him as a saint. But of course that's too complicated for writers to grasp character arcs.
Tue, Apr 17, 2012, 12:05pm (UTC -5)
re: Carey dying of a simple gunshot...from what we've seen of the transporter, they should have just been ab;e to restore him (and anyone similarly injured) merely by putting them in the transporter and reconstituting them from a previous pattern just before the injury.
Seven wouldn't even be needed.
Wed, Dec 12, 2012, 12:13pm (UTC -5)
Sat, May 18, 2013, 2:07pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Jul 4, 2013, 6:57pm (UTC -5)
The producers could have done without killing these guys. Carey's death left a bitter taste in me and in the future I will simply skip this episode.
The alien who cold heart shot Carey was a jerk!
Sun, Jul 21, 2013, 11:05pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Jul 26, 2013, 4:07am (UTC -5)
Yes you read that right!
First, "Think Tank," totally rips off Space 1999 "The Taybor," and now this Friendship One rips off "Voyagers Return," (ironic nameing there...)
Fri, Aug 30, 2013, 11:19am (UTC -5)
i do wish they used wildman and carey and equinox more often than they did.
i thought killing of Carey wasnt particularly creative.
not one of the strong episodes
Sat, Oct 19, 2013, 11:03am (UTC -5)
Part of what makes it stand out a little more is the fact that Voyager has been given its first real mission from Star Fleet Headquarters since the pilot. You can feel the uplifting buzz it gives the crew and you can't help but feel it too. It is also what makes the death of Lt. Carey weigh higher and ends the successful Voyager milestone mission on a more sobering, bittersweet note.
I only wish Lt Carey hadn't been hidden away for so long. It made his death have a lot less impact, as well as making it too obvious.
I loved the terrific look and atmosphere of the planet, the rubber puppet baby excluded! As I mentioned before it is a fairly simple tale, often enjoyably so, however it did weaken any moral questions they were trying to make. On the upside, the guest acting was of better quality than in most standard outings; even the villain was decently performed.
I'll go for the slightly lower end of 3 stars!
Thu, Nov 7, 2013, 12:31am (UTC -5)
This kind of performance should've merited an instant promotion to Lieutenant for Harry Kim on its own, let alone other things he's done to deserve it like his part in the rescue of the entire Voyager crew in Workforce.
Sun, Dec 22, 2013, 12:23pm (UTC -5)
But I agree the execution kinda sucked and there were too many improbabilities.
Thu, Dec 26, 2013, 7:13pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Feb 6, 2014, 9:37am (UTC -5)
I was OK with killing off a secondary character, though his death proved unnecessary...but then again, most unfortunate deaths are.
I would hope Voyager left a supply of nano-probes and a 'civilization starter-kit' to help those poor people get back on their feet to retake the planet. Perhaps the Federation has a division that will arrive a decade later to assist in the rebuilding. With industrial replicators, it would only take a matter of months to rebuild entire cities.
Fri, Feb 14, 2014, 3:26pm (UTC -5)
"I would hope Voyager left a supply of nano-probes and a 'civilization starter-kit' to help those poor people get back on their feet to retake the planet."
The idiots would just find a way to turn themselves into Borg.
This episode had a meta aspect to it that struck me as interesting:
1. The natives had a premise they believed but needed to build a story to fill in the plot. They decided that humans were evil and had intent to invade and so they formulated a story around that premise to make it work, even though it makes absolutely no sense.
2. The writers has a premise they'd decided on but needed to built a story to fill in the plot. They decided that Voyager arrives at a planet, its crew gets taken hostage by a Hard Headed Alien, and eventually they help resolve the planet's crisis. Once they laid that framework they seem to have sprinkled in the death of Carey, mutated baby, the usual "we rescued one of the aliens and brought him around to our way of thinking" trope, "our sensors don't work because of the tehnobabble" trope, "our transporters don't work because of the technobabble" trope, "shields down to 18% we won't survive another hit" trope, etc.
The reason these two things are interesting is that they both show a cynical story teller. I wonder if the reason the writers of Voyager were so comfortable with telling these kinds of lazy, cynical stories was because they themselves were usually lazy and cynical (or perhaps were dealing with producers who forced them to play that role). We write what we know.
This episode had one interesting idea and 40 minutes of filler. As usual. 1.5/4 stars.
Sun, Feb 23, 2014, 5:02pm (UTC -5)
What a waste of Carey. I get speaking characters are more expensive which is why we never see them again, but then don't write any in with interesting personality we want to explore. Like that poor bastard in Basics part II
Thu, Feb 27, 2014, 7:23pm (UTC -5)
Seven is forgetting the existence of Icheb.
That bothered me the most ... it's just such a stupid mistake, how can this survive the writing, filming and cutting process ???
Killing Carey was a good idea .... don't get me wrong - the way they did it was stupid as hell - but losing someone of the crew with a bit of character ... not a a complete nobody is good for the story!
I have to say I am a Joss Whedon fan! ;-)
They did that pretty well with Natasha Yar on TNG!
Of course here, it was made way to obvious!!
After a few seconds you know ... Carey is getting way to much of attention ... he is not coming back!
And than stupidity comes along .... and ruins it completely!
He gets a shot in the heart - nobody needs that anymore, ask Picard - is beamed directly to the Doc and the only thing he can do is holding his tricorder above him and call the captain FIVE SECONDS later to pronounce him dead ???
It would have been so easy to fix this .... shot in the head - brain is gone - nothing you can do!
But maybe this would have been to graphic or hard to display correctly - so they went once more the lacy way!
OK, we had this before ... Nelix once liked a girl from an telepathic planet and she was stabbed by a grandma one time with a knife ... a few seconds later she was dead - no way to bring her back.
I guess you need to have the private health insurance of the main cast!
If you have that you can die several times, be brain-dead, mutate into Sea-Monkeys, have your DNA changed or be combined with another crew-member - the Doc will bring you back like nothing had ever happened!
OK, if you are an alien you only get a holo-lung and have to wait for other aliens to heal you or a Borg to bring you back after the Doc has already put you in a body-bag.
Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 3:34pm (UTC -5)
I liked this for a lot of reasons others mentioned (it was one of the few episodes I missed when they first aired), primarily the nice setup. I didn't find the plot too bland. But the one thing that REALLY bothered me was Lt. Carey's death. Poor guy! Of course, I knew from the moment I saw him at the beginning that he was going to die. But the way the aftermath of his death was handled was distasteful. The next scene after Carey was shot, Neelix and Paris are just sitting around like nothing happened. They should have been shaken up or...something! I recognize that there's a certain military "the show must go on, keep your cool" attitude, but this was just silly. I would have thought that at least one of them would have been visibly shaken and upset, even if it was only amongst themselves that this was explored.
And then you have the later scene on Voyager where Paris and Neelix are urging Janeway to help the cave guys! It seemed way out of character for both—there should have been some reference to the emotional impact of Carey being killed. It was totally disjointed and served only to nudge the plot along.
And then the last scene with Janeway ruminating over Carey's death with Chakotay...it was as though the writers said, "well, we've got two and a half minutes left, just enough time for someone to finally acknowledge that Carey died." It was just bizarre.
Sat, Dec 20, 2014, 4:03am (UTC -5)
Tue, Jan 6, 2015, 11:34pm (UTC -5)
First third - Voyager goes to the planet and finds the probe, similar to the episode. NO ALIEN appears, instead they make their way back to the ship. Harry Kim goes to Janeway and asks her not to leave the planet just yet. Astonished she asks why and he replies that he wants to investigate what happened on the planet. When she disagrees, Seven points out that the probe could have had an impact on the planet.
Middle third - They return to the planet (more cool nuclear winter scenes) and split up. They each find various records shown in flashbacks. One person finds a little girl's video diary, another a father watching his children die with the planet, and finally a third finds official records about the science experiments that went wrong.
Final third - They return to Voyager, realizing that Earth caused this entire planet to die. The final third focuses on a debate - should they tell Starfleet the truth or actually lie and cover it up? Tom Paris argues to lie, as he was deeply inspired by Friendship One (he built a model afterall) and feels that Earth will be afraid to explore if they learn the truth. Tuvok argues that lying to Starfleet would be inexcusable, and covering up a tragedy would not be the right thing to do. Janeway hears both sides, and decides to tell the truth, but adds that exploration has consequences and this must be realized. She says that humanity will continue to explore, despite better knowing the risks.
Note that in my version, NO ALIENS appear. In the episode, what happens instead is:
1. aliens on a "dead" planet appear.
2. the scanners must have malfunctioned
3. aliens kidnap the crew
4. Voyager captures an alien
5. The captured alien is shown kindness and healed, turned to their side
6. One of the hostages helps the aliens, saves a baby, further showing how Voyager are the good guys.
7. The Hard Headed alien accuses Voyager of being evil purely by association
8. The aliens kill a hostage in cold blood, showing how evil they are
Tue, Jan 6, 2015, 11:34pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Jan 6, 2015, 11:35pm (UTC -5)
9. Voyager saves the day by clearing up the weather by shooting *photon torpedos*. First this is technobabble that makes no sense, second it looks like an attack giving the aliens a chance to react, and third, it just so happens to risk the ship to add Danger (TM)
10. Despite the entire episode showing the too black/white world of humans good, aliens bad, Janeway comes to the opposite conclusion that humans are bad for daring to explore
11. This exploration, remote spacecraft exploration, is somehow evil compared to Voyagers exploration, MANNED expeditions to "seek out new life and boldly go where no man has gone before."
12. The producers make it clear that Janeway is not experiencing a character flaw (what is a character flaw in Voyager?), but by various characters throughout the episode, that the message of the week is Exploration is Evil. Now keep in mind they aren't just saying it's dangerous, they flat out claim that exploration is evil through statements such as "the early humans didn't know what they were doing, they were less civilized back then and didn't have the prime directive" and "what if they had found the Borg? The human race would have been assimilated"
The biggest difference between what happened and what should have happened is the theme. The theme it had is that humans are good, but that through the evils of exploration they are evil...somehow. Instead the episode should have subtly shown that humans can accidentally do great evil but that we must explore despite the risks.
Wed, Jan 7, 2015, 6:31am (UTC -5)
I don't find this arc to be satisfying for a character that I had been seriously enjoying at the beginning of the series, but I have come to accept that this is her arc.
Thu, Jan 8, 2015, 5:02am (UTC -5)
Mon, Mar 9, 2015, 11:19pm (UTC -5)
also how did the probe get all the way there, i guess by then they are 40 years away from home however was the probe really at warp 3 (assuming that is 1/3rd the speed of voyagers speed) from 200 years ago when they sent out the probe,only explanation i can think of is it went through a wormhole to reach that planet.
also i don't buy how the probe contained technology for the habitants to abuse, it's mentioned at 17:38 but its very poor and needs a lot of reworking.
as i hear it, Basically the probe contained instructions on using antimatter technology to build things?,there was 'a containment failure in their power grid' which caused their whole planet became hugely radiated.
Its 'okay' I guess, but it needs reworking and explained better, as it stands it's not very believable.
Tue, Mar 31, 2015, 12:32pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Sep 22, 2015, 9:17pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Sep 22, 2015, 10:59pm (UTC -5)
Presumably the same one that sent Voyager 6 from the edge of the Solar system to the planet of living machines. And possibly the NASA shuttle Charybdis to Theta VIII. Maybe even the "graviton ellipse" that sent Ares IV from Mars to the Delta Quadrant. The more examples there are, the more plausible it seems. Not coincidental at all, no sir.
Fri, Nov 27, 2015, 6:42pm (UTC -5)
"Riiiiiiiisk is our business!"
Tue, Feb 9, 2016, 9:11pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Mar 18, 2016, 3:45pm (UTC -5)
A more impacting death would have been Icheb. Icheb could have been sent to the planet as part of a rescue mission, as he was immune to the radiation like Seven, but he gets caught/captured. The leader would have said to Seven - "I thought you said no one else had cybernetic implants, that you were unique - another lie." Turns and fires at Icheb. Plus, we wouldn't have seen it coming.
Fri, Mar 25, 2016, 4:59am (UTC -5)
Sat, Apr 16, 2016, 1:41pm (UTC -5)
It was such a pleasant surprise to see Carey again after all these years, but then the episode took a very suspenseful turn for me when they had him going on an away-mission given that an extra's chances for surviving away missions are about 30%... "oh, no.. please say it ain't so!" There was a brief surge of hope where it looked like Carey would be saved right before he is suddenly executed for no good reason... leading me to suspect that the writers must be masochists. The Doc doesn't even lift a finger to try to save him. The second he's beamed aboard, he's immediately pronounced dead even though he was alive the second before that...and the Doc just goes back to whatever it was he's doing.
Like Jammer, I didn't buy the aliens whining about the humans giving them technology that allowed them to develop their own tech in turn, which later malfunctioned so therefore "wahh wahh, poor us, this is all your fault.. we kill you now!"
"The urge to explore can't justify the loss of life..." Excuse me? So we have a take-home message of "curiosity killed the cat" in a Star Trek episode??
I was amazed that Paris activated that object that looked suspiciously like a thermal detonator, which luckily happened to be a toy, without any forethought. I'm not surprised that the aliens freaked out when Paris gave it to a child (even though they'd be more likely to recognize it for what it was).
And here, we finally learn the truth behind the mysterious disappearance of the Borg baby -- reincarnation.
Sun, May 15, 2016, 9:11am (UTC -5)
Tue, May 17, 2016, 9:14pm (UTC -5)
The last scene, with Janeway's strange comment, was also annoying, but also didn't bug me all that much. It's obvious that Janeway was feeling rather depressed at that stage, and may very well have said something she didn't really mean. Because otherwise, what kind of craziness is she talking about? Robert's right that Janeway's character arc is not necessarily a positive one, moving from the ideological perfect Starfleet officer and putting Starfleet principles above her own people to doing whatever it takes to get home. Whether that included depression or not, I don't know, but this line seems to suggest that she took Carey's death pretty harshly.
As for the rest of the episode, well, it had some good ideas but didn't fully execute. I like that this was a Prime Directive episode without the traditional storyline. When the Prime Directive comes up, it's always about staying away from warp-capable species. It's not about what to do when coming across a species you can help but doesn't want your help. Technically speaking, don't these aliens have the right to self-governance? Even if Janeway feels somewhat guilty about what happened to them in the past and would want to make amends, what if they don't want to?
Oh, of course Janeway should fix the atmosphere using that scientist's research. It's only the humane thing to do, right? Why should the rest of these people be doomed to an eternity of suffering just because their leader is an idiot? Isn't this a situation where the humanitarian aspects outweigh the political? Most of the other people wanted to try Janeway's plan, isn't that good enough?
Except why does no one try to save the North Koreans from themselves?
Except what right do we have to save the North Koreans from themselves?
OK, well, that's an internal matter, correct? Wouldn't this scenario be more akin to responding to a natural disaster? We know that the PD allows Starfleet to respond to disasters and aid other cultures when requested, so isn't that fair enough? Picard's done it before, surely Janeway can help matters here. And there are parallels in our current time. The US military often responds to natural disasters around the globe, whether it be earthquakes in Haiti or tsunamis in the Philippines, the US Navy and Marines can be some of the most important disaster relief organizations around the globe.
But what if a disaster strikes in North Korea or Iran? Should the US military try to help? Should the US military demand to help even if those nations refuse? How would you feel to be a sailor on an aircraft carrier, floating 100 miles offshore from where people are dying, knowing that you are trained to help them but knowing you can't because the government there is too xenophobic?
What if the US military offered to help, but there were conditions? What if these aliens might have been convinced, but were still too untrustworthy?
If aliens suddenly appeared in the sky above us and gave us all a mysterious liquid and said that if we drink it, we would be forever cured of cancer, but we have to drink it quickly because they have important things to do and have to be on their way, would you drink it? How do we know that it wasn't a trick?
What reason do these people, who have suffered a massive disaster and spent who knows how long blaming it on humans, have for trusting the Voyager crew? We saw it took time for the scientist and the pregnant lady to start trusting the Voyager crew, could crazy leader start to trust them?
What if it took time to convince him? Would Janeway be willing to spend days or weeks there to try to help? What if even Janeway wasn't sure that it could be done safely, and it would take days or weeks to figure out? Does she have the moral responsibility to stay there that long when she has places to go?
I don't know the answers to any of that. But this episode set things up nicely that they could explore some of those concepts, and didn't. They barely explored any concepts at all. I guess I should be used to that by now.
Thu, Jun 9, 2016, 3:24pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Jul 6, 2016, 9:38pm (UTC -5)
This has some parts that are enjoyable. Paris and the kid etc...
But for the most part, I'm not a fan. These folks really would fire off missiles after what happened to the planet?
Janeway's rant at the end pissed me off. What about Kelley (One Small Step)? This one is as bad as her "Cowboy diplomacy" rant in .... can't remember the episode :-)
To blame humanities quest to explore here is ludicrous.
She did the right thing here helping them out, but for all the wrong reasons.
2 stars from me.
Sun, Jul 10, 2016, 1:03am (UTC -5)
I actually had to re watch the first few episodes to see that Carey's the guy who should have been head engineer but then Janeway decided to give his rightful position to Torres. poor Sod stuck on that ship for 7 nightmarish years fighting Klingon knock off's,Organ harvesters,Borg ,Extra dimensional being's,countless random aliens,all to be shot on some worthless ball of radiated dirt a few months from getting home.
This guy could have been a recurring character and it would have been great. a devoted star fleet officer and father stranded 70,000 light years from home by his psychotic captain who desperately wants to see his family again. Wow he only appears in like 3 or 4 episodes in season 1 plus this one and he;s already more interesting than chakotay or harry.
2.5 stars Janeways stupid speech that risking the life of even one person isn't worth the cost of exploring our universe hurts this episode in my opinion.
Mon, Sep 5, 2016, 12:35am (UTC -5)
I really hate this episode after watching One Small Step, then this episode you can see how hamfisted Voyager's writing became at the end. Janeway's little speech was just bad: anti-Trek, anti-space exploration, and anti-human sentiment despite mourning a dead crew member.
We also learn nothing about these aliens, surely they were around the same tech level as 20th Century Earth. They had radar and ICBMs, our theoretical physicist had already been dreaming up potential for anti-matter back then, aka where Gene Roddenberry got his idea for TOS in 1960's.
It shows a sad element in Star Trek, the tech level and physics capability of species don't match up, its a plot contrivance at its worst.
Mon, Sep 12, 2016, 4:41pm (UTC -5)
Ok, the storyline with the probe actually being found and what they did with the information it stored and what happened weren't such a terrible concept. How it was handled afterwards, however...meh.
And as usual per most of this season your atypical phoned-in performances. So painfully obvious after just watching a S2 ep.
1 to a weak 1.5 star.
Fri, Sep 16, 2016, 11:43pm (UTC -5)
The scene with the baby being born I thought was well done. Disturbing to see the poor, limp, little baby, and great to have Tom save the mother from another heartbreak, as he's thinking about his own child being born. That was good writing. Genuine mixed bag.
Sun, Sep 25, 2016, 6:32pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Feb 3, 2017, 12:36am (UTC -5)
Tue, Feb 28, 2017, 3:29pm (UTC -5)
The opening sequence and Carey's death were beautifully executed (musical score when Carey got shot was a perfect match), but they felt disconnected from the rest of the episode, which was pretty crappy.
The episode was anticlimactic. Disappointing that Verin just got away with murder.
Tue, Feb 28, 2017, 3:31pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Mar 27, 2017, 3:06pm (UTC -5)
Also, Janeway's line at the end: I guess it's time for her to retire captaining and go back to being a repressed governess, Leonardo's apprentice, or whatever the heck her fantasy life is.
Sat, May 13, 2017, 3:28am (UTC -5)
Fri, Jun 16, 2017, 6:37pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Jul 5, 2017, 3:55pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Sep 5, 2017, 11:32am (UTC -5)
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 3:47pm (UTC -5)
Otherwise, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this episode. The visuals were great, the plight of the aliens was engaging and really generated some sympathy, and I appreciated the Trek philosophy here of trying to help instead of taking revenge, even after Carey's death. I took Janeway's comments at the end as something spoken in a moment of grief over the loss of a crew member rather than her basic philosophy, though there has to be an element of guilt still. Every dead crew member died because Janeway stranded them across the galaxy, and she hasn't forgotten.
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 11:33pm (UTC -5)
The only answer I can think of is that the Vulcans advised against but were not listened to, and would not stand in their way. But it feels a little like "Where were their parents?" I'm hung up on this, wondering if there is precedence (in any other series, especially Enterprise) which shows Vulcans not standing in the way of such a bad idea from Earthlings in these early years.
I, too, was bothered by Janeway's ending comment, but I like the above readings that see her in a moment of depression (considering both the less than heroic fate of the historic probe and the loss of Carey). Her statement obviously makes no sense, so we have to go with character's emotional state.
Sun, Dec 10, 2017, 5:19pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Dec 20, 2017, 6:43pm (UTC -5)
It was frustrating to see Verin's stubbornness -- yes he's bitter for what has happened, but isn't he partially to blame? And how exactly did the natives unleash the antimatter radiation? It's hard to imagine a friendly probe sent by Earth could be manipulated to basically destroy a planet.
So we lose Carey -- not just a nameless redshirt, but one that hits hard the Voyager crew and Janeway. I think this was an attempt to reinforce the difficulty of the hostage situation -- but that was the wrong thing to emphasize in this episode. It was hard to believe that Verin just kills him as he's transporting up -- that just seemed to come out of nowhere -- not the best writing for me.
There were the idealistic attempts to show Voyager's good faith (Neelix's explanation about what happened to his world and Paris delivering the baby) -- that's standard Trek. And then ultimately Voyager quickly comes up with magic photon torpedoes and adjusts its shields for the shockwaves, while Verin nearly fires on them with their missiles. The natives, led by the scientist dude who got treated on Voyager, stage something like a mutiny. All this stuff is well-trodden territory.
A low 2.5 stars for "Friendship One" -- bit of a ball dropped here due to how one-dimensionally the Verin character was written for the episode. Janeway's line at the end was bizarre -- something about the costs of exploring being too high if it costs 1 life. Star Fleet officers (presumably) understand the risks involved. Had enough of the hostage episodes for Trek.
Mon, Apr 16, 2018, 12:47am (UTC -5)
A few random points:
- I like how Seven basically foments a coup d'etat in telling the scientist he should be the leader because he is more amenable to doing what Voyager wants.
- Why do Tom et al ask to give the child that Vivaldi music sphere? Obviously the bad guys will just think it is a weapon and maybe shoot in a panic when it starts playing.
- Carey's death is so gratuitous, both within the episode -- what exactly was the guy tying to accomplish by killing him when beaming him up? -- and in general because he has been dropped as a character for years. It just seems mean-spirited.
- Why couldn't they beam up the mother with her baby rather than making her painfully separate?
- Neelix reviewing his tragic history and also stating that he thinks humans take themselves too seriously has no real plot impact here, but does help bring some of his character stuff back into play for Homestead, so is I guess worthwhile.
Anyway yeah that last line is bizarre. I get the point Elliott raises about Endgame but it seems totally bizarre here even so, for Janeway to be not just downbeat but *certain* that exploration can't justify the loss of life, and for Chakotay to go along with it. I can see Janeway saying "sometimes, Chakotay, I wonder if we've caused too much damage..." or whatever, but she sounds sure about her anti-Starfleet speech as she says it.
Sun, Aug 12, 2018, 5:43am (UTC -5)
Sun, Aug 19, 2018, 6:21am (UTC -5)
But then, when he gets singled out by the guy who reminded me of Christopher Lloyd with cereal stuck to his face this obvious “somebody’s gonna die now” music kicks in quite a time before it’s blatantly obvious from the visuals and dialogue that he is about to be murdered. Somebody above me actually praised it! Personally I think signposting a spoiler of what is supposed to be one of the emotional cruxes of your own show with the score is pretty bone-headed.
Fri, Oct 26, 2018, 9:00pm (UTC -5)
1. I guess there's room now for a promotion to lieutenant... Ensign Kim, step right up!
2. I was surprised how much Carey's death bothered me - and still does. Thinking of the context... the Voyager crew have just gained the ability to talk back and forth with their loved ones back on Earth. Carey is one of very few crewmembers that is a parent - he has a wife and kids, who have finally spoken with him (assuming he was early enough in the lottery) after years apart. 7 years! And now killed stupidly, uselessly (and as others have pointed out, implausibly considering he was essentially shot in sickbay).
Rather than Janeway's last line, what I would have liked (and been wrecked by): Janeway in Astrometrics, as the connection is made and Carey's family looks expectantly from the screen... just the look of recognition on the wife's face, it could have killed.
Wed, Nov 14, 2018, 10:24pm (UTC -5)
Someone remembered Lt Carey wasn't actually dead and remedied the situation.
A sad moment, and a shocking one - the surprise of Carey's killing was well done.
A decent ep, with a good effort by McNeill. Not particularly memorable, though.
Lots of talk of leadership and relationships, but I'm too tired to try to really sort out the theme.
Mon, Dec 10, 2018, 4:01pm (UTC -5)
I think Janeway means ‘not worth one life OTHER than those of the explorers themselves’ (since they volunteered to accept the risks).
So the Space Shuttle Columbia breaking up and killing all 7 crew members is not a reason to stop human spaceflight.
But the Space Shuttle Columbia breaking up and killing all 7 crew members PLUS an innocent member of the public (imagine a large piece of wreckage fell on someone) would be a reason to stop.
Not that I agree with the premise myself. People die in accidents every day around the world.
Mon, Feb 4, 2019, 7:16pm (UTC -5)
Voyager had a number of episodes that ended with characters practically speaking in whispers to each other in darkly-lit rooms ("Prototype" is another that comes to mind). You know you're in for some bad writing when these scenes start to play
Mon, Feb 4, 2019, 9:00pm (UTC -5)
I would like to understand your reasoning, as you've reached a conclusion about what Janeway meant, that is different than the one Jammer and I seem to have reached.
She is holding the nacelle of the model ship Lt. Carey had almost completed when she says "or just one." In that context it seems clear to me she is referring to Carey - and not some hypothetical member of the public who inadvertently gets in harm's way inadvertently dies as a result. The entire dialog exchange between Janeway and Chakotay was about Carey. It seems to me that she is saying exploration is not worth it, if that exploration kills millions, or only kills Carey (just one).
Who would the other "just one" be? I don't believe any innocent civilians were killed in this episode. Alien lives had been lost due to the presumed mishandling or misreading of the probe's schematics, but that was long before Voyager visited the planet. Those aliens arguably were "innocent civilians," but the final scene did not seem to characterize what their ancestors did as "space exploration." (In any event, more than one alien died in the accident).
Sat, Feb 9, 2019, 9:06pm (UTC -5)
I'm not saying that that's the way it's portrayed or delivered on-screen, but I'm very accustomed to hearing clearly mis-delivered lines in DS9 and Voyager (I wish examples came to mind, but they do not at the moment) and as a result I'm constantly evaluating the intention of an exchange more than the execution.
Sat, Feb 23, 2019, 12:05am (UTC -5)
“You with the red shirt, come over here.”
Sun, Jan 5, 2020, 5:17pm (UTC -5)
A couple episodes ago they really messed with our beloved Seven....now this hard to accept death of a very likable Carey!.... and what a needless, pointless death it was! If I was Janeway I'd be really pissed off a lot more than she showed!
This was an episode that was hard to accept. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
Hopefully, the final few episodes will get back to the Voyager it should be.
Sun, Mar 8, 2020, 5:24am (UTC -5)
Thu, May 14, 2020, 3:33pm (UTC -5)
Thu, May 14, 2020, 3:44pm (UTC -5)
I reckon if you survive your first away mission as an "unknown ensign", you should be promoted to captain.
Lol. “You have survived an away mission. This pin in your collar now signifies you will be at least a semi regular reoccurring cast member. Congratulations ensign”
Wed, May 27, 2020, 7:26pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Jul 18, 2020, 8:10pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Dec 29, 2020, 8:59pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Feb 18, 2022, 11:35am (UTC -5)
Watching the series back to back it's hard not to see her as a futuristic Caligula, a dictator who rules on an ever changing whim.
Through that lens, Voyager is a glorious psychodrama punctuated by shuttle crashes and Torres' whining.
Tue, May 24, 2022, 5:41pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Sep 16, 2022, 3:51am (UTC -5)
Fri, May 12, 2023, 4:53pm (UTC -5)
I found it very difficult to empathize with the people on this planet. Blaming humanity for sharing information that led to their destruction is, well, stupid. Especially when a ship of people arrive that can help you and is demonstrating their willingness to do so. If it had been implied that Verin was insane, maybe it would’ve worked, but this whole society had bought into the idea that nothing was their fault, and worse it seemed like the voyager crew was willing to accept that narrative as well. The lack of pushback to the idea that sharing knowledge demands moral culpability left a weird feeling to this story, which was compounded by janeway’s bizarre end line.
The look of the planet and the overall idea of the episode were good tho. As was the tacit excuse for finding alpha quadrant junk in the DQ as opposed to it being some crazy coincidence.
Sat, May 13, 2023, 8:19am (UTC -5)
TNG's "Homeward" with the similarly named Vorin guilting Picard for green-lighting a less-than-perfect rescue from the doomed planet Boraal.
Sun, May 21, 2023, 6:50pm (UTC -5)
Sure it's one of those "stick the characters in a classic Trek plot" episodes, but I thought it was thunderously good at putting Janeway, the show, and Trek values under a magnifying glass
Sun, May 21, 2023, 6:51pm (UTC -5)
Sun, May 21, 2023, 9:00pm (UTC -5)
>I even wish they killed Harry...
They should have killed him off all the way back in series 2 and replaced him with Quinn from "Deathwish", would have made for a much more interesting character.
Mon, May 22, 2023, 7:53am (UTC -5)
An ex Q as a regular cast member. Now that I would have enjoyed watching.
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