Star Trek: Voyager (1995) -Eye of the Needle, and Ex Post Facto

Captain’s log: stardate 48579.4

Hilary J. Bader came up with the story that Jeri Taylor and Bill Dial turned into a teleplay for one of my fave episodes from the first season. First airing on 20 February, 1995, Voyager detects a wormhole which allows them to make contact with a Romulan ship in the Alpha Quadrant. Could it be their way home?

Unfortunately, the wormhole is practically microscopic, so they won’t be able to travel through it, but they may be able to send a signal, and trade messages with the Federation.

Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and the rest investigate, and though the captain cautions about getting their hopes up, the crew can’t help it. And when Torres (Roxann Dawson) comes up with a plan that could allow the transporter to transmit through the wormhole, hopes soar.

They’ll be in for a heartbreaking surprise before the end of the episode.

There is also a b-story centring around the Doctor (Robert Picardo) and the way he is treated by the crew and Kes (Jennifer Lien) takes an exception to this and presents it to Janeway, who along with the crew begins to realise that the Emergency Medical Hologram is as much a part of the crew as they are. It also starts the quest for a name for the Doctor.

I love how the reveals play out, how the crew deals with it, and how they go on after it. (Of course there is no way they could have gotten home this early in the series – but the episode is truly bittersweet – so good).

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Captain’s log: stardate unknown

LeVar Burton directs this episode from a script by Evan Carlos Somers and Micheal Piller. It first aired on 27 February, 1995.

Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill) is convicted of murder when Voyager stops at a planet on their way home. The memories of the aliens involved are submitted in his trial, and the evidence does point to Tom, but Paris couldn’t have done it, could he?

The sentence is that every fourteen hours, he is to relive the last moments of his victim’s life. A rather horrific concept, especially for an innocent man.

Will Janeway and the crew be able to prove his innocence and bring the true murderer to justice? And is there a bigger issue at work? It’s a fairly basic story, and a recognisable one at that, it doesn’t do much for furthering the characters but to remind us that Tuvok (Tim Russ) is married, and misses his family and introduces the Vulcan mind meld into this series.

The b-story is Doctor-centric as he continues to educate Kes in medical procedures and ruminates on a name.

The Human Adventure continues Thursday with more DS9 and next week as I continue the voyage home with Voyager: The Complete Series, available now on DVD from Paramount Pictures.

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