The Cynics Corner

Star Trek: Voyager

"Night"

by David E. Sluss

15 October 1998

 
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THE BOTTOM LINE
: Inoffensive, but largely unaffecting. One of the few Trek season premieres of recent years that isn't an Event Show, and maybe that's a good thing. We got some half-decent character work, and everyone got to play a role for a change, as contrasted with the Seven and Kathryn show that we so often got last year.

CYNICS CORNER RATING: 7.0 (C-)

RECYCLING OF THE WEEK: In an eco-friendly episode, I guess it shouldn't be surprising that some recycling takes place, although in this case the source material, namely the B-story of Next Generation's "Final Mission," is improved upon somewhat. But it's hardly compelling or hard-hitting material. Leave it to Voyager to tackle the tough issues ("Pollution is bad") and champion the controversial viewpoints ("Polluters are assholes"). There's not a shade of gray to be found anywhere in the characterizations of the aliens, the odious and despicable Emck, and the sappy and naive Void Creature.

DEJA VU OF THE WEEK: So we're storing "deuterium" in those energy cells, eh? While I applaud the unusual foresight the Voyager crew showed in stockpiling an energy reserve, the reference to the appalling science of last year's "Demon" is unsettling to say the least. Sometimes continuity is not the best thing.

DEJA VU OF THE WEEK RUNNERUP: The word "threshold" should be banned from any Voyager, script. Is it sadism on Braga's part that resulted in Paris' line, "We're crossing the threshold?" You decide.

NOSTALGIA TRIP OF THE WEEK: So Janeway's pining for the good old days when Voyager was under constant attack. Ah ... the Kazon ... Those were the daaaaaaays! And speaking of the Kazon...

TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER OF THE WEEK: Well, it didn't actually happen, but Janeway didn't want the Kazon to get even a replicator, and now she's willing to give this scrubber tech to the Malon, who by all appearances don't seem much more advanced than the Kazon? Emck himself said that this tech would change his civilization, suggesting a possible Prime Directive problem. It doesn't seem quite right. Of course this whole "contaminated antimatter" business is a big load to begin with, so nothing seems right about it.

SHOW-OFF OF THE WEEK: Kim, blowing his own horn and then jumping over a railing unnecessarily, when there's stairs within a step or two of where he jumped.

PLOT CONTRIVANCE OF THE WEEK: The whole holodeck situation on Voyager has never made a damn bit of sense, with it being a separate system whose energy is incompatible with the rest of the ship for some reason, but if the holodeck is working, why are the lights on the "rocketship," a part of the program, affected by the power outage when the rest of the program isn't? On the other hand, a holoprogram that actually works properly and doesn't try to kill the crew and/or take over the ship is a Star trek rarity and should be applauded. I mean even the safety switch worked! Who'd'a thunk?

BRAGA FETISH OF THE WEEK: Think Brannon's got a thing for women with BFG's (Big F---ing Guns)? Both Janeway and Seven got to use one this week. I may have to maintain a count of this.

AUDIENCE-PLEASER LINE OF THE WEEK: No, not Janeway's admission that she blew the call on the Array thing, though I'm sure that pleased a lot of people, but rather another of Braga's Ahnold-style lines "Time to take out the garbage." Great dialogue, BB. [Cynic lifts middle finger: "Assimilate this!"]

RESET BUTTON OF THE WEEK: Both engines offline? Bad enough that it won't be addressed next week, something that we're all used to by now, but it isn't even addressed this week. Janeway orders "Maintain course" like nothing happened.
  

Next: "Drone" NEXT WEEK: Borg Bodgers in the 29th and a Half Century!

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This review is copyright 1998 David E. Sluss
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