Captain’s log: stardate 48532.4
Brannon Braga and Skye Dent penned the teleplay for this episode from a story by Timothy DeHaas. It first debuted on 6 February, 1995, and introduced the Voyager crew and the audience to the rather troubling Viidans.
This is a species that are suffering from a deadly phage so that their bodies are decaying, causing them to maraud and harvest organs, and even skin to stay alive. Neelix (Ethan Phillips) is the first victim, when they harvest his lungs, the EMH (Robert Picardo) fights to keep him alive (with some holographic lungs), but obviously he needs his own organs back.
Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) investigates the Viidans, while Kes (Jennifer Lien) watches over Neelix. Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill) as the ship’s new medic works with the EMH to see over Neelix, and console Kes.
The Viidans are an interesting species, both sympathetic and terrifying in the same breath. The virus has adapted and stayed ahead of any advances they have made, driving them to more desperate measures. They aren’t without a form of compassion, and to contemplate the horrors they live through on a daily basis just to survive makes them an interesting creation.
Janeway is determined not to let anymore of their crew fall victim to the Viidans again. and warns them not to interfere with her or her ship every again (but I’m sure they’ll be back).
The episode introduces the concept of Neelix being ship’s cook, taking over the captain’s private dining room. And the moving of Kes into the sickbay as a replacement medic for Paris.
Captain’s log: stardate 48546.2
Micheal Piller and Tom Szollosi pen the script from this episode from a story by Braga. It first aired on 13 February, 1995.
Voyager is already starting to run on diminished power, but a nearby nebula hints at possible energy reserves. They enter it to investigate, only to learn not everything is as they believe it to be.
The thought of replenishing their energy reserves is important to everyone, and Janeway (as we learn) wants her coffee!!
We get a look at the growing relationship of the command crew, especially Janeway and Chakotay (Robert Beltran) as they talk about animal guides, and Janeway expresses an interest in learning what hers is.
There are a lot of fun character moments in this episode, though the story itself is rather familiar. Including the introduction of the French bistro/pool hall hologram programme that becomes a hangout for the crew (although, if they are attempting to conserve energy, shouldn’t they be reducing unnecessary energy use, like the holodeck?). And this is the episode in which Neelix adds to his Starfleet c.v. by not only being ship’s cook, but the ship’s self-appointed Morale Officer.
Just as aside though, I love Janeway’s ready room.
The Human Adventure continues Thursday when I travel to the remote station of Deep Space Nine, and next week I continue my travels home with Voyager as I explore The Complete Series on DVD from Paramount Pictures.