Captain’s log: stardate 48734.2
Brannon Braga comes up with the teleplay for this story by Braga and Joe Menosky. It first aired on 1 May, 1995.
A strange nebula renders Chakotay (Robert Beltran) brain-dead, and also lets something else take over the minds of the crew. And no matter how many times the ship tries to leave the area, something turns the Voyager around and brings it back to where someone (thing?) wants it.
Friends, including Torres (Roxann Dawson), work with Chakotay’s medicine wheel to help guide the first officer home. The Doctor (Robert Picardo) makes some fun revelations about it, while trying to keep the man alive. That includes him taking command, after a fashion of the ship when it is learned that he is the only one that cannot be affected by the neural energy that seems to be taking over crew members.
Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) begins to put things together as the intelligence seems to constantly go after Tuvok (Tim Russ) as if there is something wrong with him.
The story becomes fairly basic after that but it’s the character beats that make this one enjoyable. One has to remember that we’re still in the first season, so characters are still growing and developing, and while the story may not be the strongest it does allow for growth.
There’s a fun introduction at the beginning of the episode that includes Carolyn Seymour as Janeway takes part in a holonovel that which has overtones of The Innocents to it.
Captain’s log: stardate 48784.2
The Vidiians are back in this episode that was written by Kenneth Biller from a story by Johnathan Glassner and Biller. It first debuted on 8 May, 1995.
This Torres story has a bit of the old twin syndrome going for it that was seen in The Original Series with The Enemy Within and anytime Lore showed up in The Next Generation.
In an effort to conquer or at least stave off the phage that is sweeping their people, the Vidiians have captured Torres and split her into two – her Klingon and her Human form.
Meanwhile Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill) and the short-lived Durst (Brian Markinson) are incorporated into the Vidiian slave labor force. The crew of Voyager do their best to rescue their missing members, but how will they be able to reintegrate Torres into one being again?
Dawson was overdue for an episode, and this one expounds on her character nicely. She’s always been one of my favorite characters in this series, and it’s nice to see her take center stage.
Next week, we come to the conclusion of season one of Star Trek: Voyager and prepare for season two as I continue to explore The Complete Series on DVD available now from Paramount Pictures.