When a Voyager crewmember is killed in a Kazon attack, and his colleagues are forced to sit through the most butt-clenchingly clichéd eulogy in television history, a few of them declare that it’s time to forge an alliance with the Kazon, which seems unwise. What seems even more unwise is Janeway’s decision to ignore everything that history has taught us about white people, as she forges an alliance with the Trabe, who talk nicely and know which knife and fork to use. It all turns out pretty much how you would expect.
Well, everyone hates Genesis obviously, but why? It’s silly, of course, it doesn’t attempt to get the science right, and everyone recovers beautifully during the last ad break. But that’s just Star Trek, isn’t it? Isn’t it?
In the Neutral Zone, the USS Protostar faces off against the USS Dauntless, unable to leave and unable to contact them to explain their friendly intentions. And so they stop for a moment and tell each other sad, funny and beautiful stories from their pasts. Meanwhile, on the Dauntless, we hear a different story, a story of war and revenge, and a plot whose aim is the destruction of the Federation itself.
This week, Enterprise Chief Engineer Charles Tucker III is pregnant, and Nathan and Joe expect to be embarrassed and offended by the result. Instead, they are delighted to find themselves merely bored. (In fact, Nathan thinks the first half of the episode is rather sweet and charming, but he’s an incurable romantic where lizard people are concerned.)
In one episode’s time, Star Trek: Picard will become, for the first time, a television event, but for now, we’ve got some plot to wrap up, some sad farewells to make and a new relationship to start. And a point, however muted, about living an extraordinary life.
First broadcast on Monday, 10 February 1997
and Monday, 17 February 1997
It’s a soap-opera extravaganza on Deep Space Nine this week, as Garak reconciles with his long-lost father, Dukat abandons his long-lost daughter, and Julian discovers a scheming lookalike that he never knew he had. Meanwhile, there is a shift in the balance of power in the Quadrant, as the show rewrites its own premise in the way that we have come to admire and enjoy.
This week, the Enterprise crew worry unnecessarily about upending the lives of people living under a weird-ass conservative regime, only to find that those people are desperate to get out and there is no good reason at all to prevent them. Also, Deanna has sex, with unfortunate results.
When simple, mild-mannered lackwit Montgomery Scott (James Doohan) stabs three women to death in the space of a couple of hours, the crew of the Enterprise become suspicious enough to start an investigation, which mostly consists of getting Majel Barrett to read them a bunch of Wikipedia articles. But just as we’re all about to nod off, someone claims responsibility for the murders — beloved childhood plaything Piglet (John Fielder), who immediately inputs himself into the ship’s computer and attempts to generate terror by making a series of increasingly unimaginative violent threats. Understandably, the crew respond to all this by taking a bunch of drugs and waiting for the closing credits to kick in. Which is how we recommend that you respond to this episode as well.
First broadcast on Wednesday, 21 May 1997
and Wednesday, 3 September 1997
As Voyager approaches the end of its third year, it’s time for its very own version of The Best of Both Worlds. And here it is, complete with a massive encounter with the Borg, clouds of débris, a terrifying new enemy, dissension among the commanding officers, and the unveiling of an entirely new kind of human—Borg hybrid. But because it’s Voyager, there’s also people doing things for no reason and a central conflict disposed of in an unsatisfying way. But (again) because it’s Voyager, there’s some great weird visuals, a cool new holodeck program, and yet another arresting performance from the Queen of Star Trek, Her Royal Highness, Captain Kathryn Janeway.
This week, Kira moves a few steps forward on her long and problematic journey from terrorist to bureaucrat as she struggles with a decision to evict Brian Keith from a hastily re-dressed Standard Cave Set 1. In the meantime, Jake and Nog do some adorable capitalism, foreshadowing just how much we’re going to grow to love them by the end of the show.