The Cynics Corner

Star Trek: Voyager

"Workforce"

by David E. Sluss

24 February 2001

 
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THE BOTTOM LINE
: A decent, if unoriginal, change of pace, sure to be hosed in next week's conclusion.

CYNICS CORNER RATING: 7.0 (C-)

HEAVY LIFTING OF THE WEEK: Do you believe in coincidence? Synchronicity? Deja vu? Stuff like that? Then explain this little problem: Beneath the surface, it would seem that this episode appeared on Stargate SG-1 last fall...

STAR TREK CLICHE OF THE WEEK: It's interesting that when Really Bad Things happen to the ship, it always seems to be that there's a crew member or two on an away mission who can come back to save the day (see also "Basics," "Macrocosm," "Timeless," TNG's "The Next Phase" and "Genesis," etc.). In this case, I guess Voyager's people would be up Shit Crick if Moe, Larry, and Shemp hadn't been conveniently absent when the ship was irradiated.

MYSTERIES OF THE WEEK: Since Moe and Shemp don't appear to have gotten the amnesia whammy, it would seem that some of the Quarren workers are brainwashees and some are cheerful volunteers. If so, then why is it that everyone seems to get the "antiradiation" shots, which apparently are in fact boosters for the brainwashing? More significantly, why is it that a society facing a critical labor shortage and possessing a high level of technology (capable of building subspace mines and erasing memory selectively) can't automate the rather menial tasks (turning dials, monitoring readouts) that Janeway and the other workers seemed to be engaged in?

QUESTIONABLE ORDER OF THE WEEK: No wonder Moe doesn't get much to do. He doesn't exactly exude authority here, leaving desperate-for-promotion Larry and the egotistical Doctor behind with "orders" to "work out" their conflict.

QUESTIONABLE ORDER OF THE WEEK RUNNER-UP: While we only got the story of the mine collision and subsequent abandonment of Voyager from the Doctor, it does seem that Janeway's order to evacuate might have been a little premature. And, by the way, if the whole ship is so irradiated that it has to be vented, wouldn't the escape pods be irradiated too?

COMMAND DECISION OF THE WEEK: But we did get to see some command competence this week, from an unexpected source. Despite the alarming megalomania, the ECH was pretty damned effective, and, unlike Janeway, he doesn't appear to be programmed with the "Wait until shields fall to 50% before firing" subroutine.
   

Previous: "The Void"
Next: "Workforce, Part II"
NEXT WEEK: The gripping conclusion ... and Seven's in a boob dress the week after that!!! Gotta love UPN's promo department.

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This review is copyright 2001 David E. Sluss
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