Captain’s log: stardate 48975.1
Jerit Taylor and Brannon Braga pen the season opener for the second season of Voyager. The episode debuted on 28 August 1995, and took on a mystery that used to boggle many a mind.
Strangeness rears its head when the starship, still trying to find its way home, comes across a 1936 Ford truck floating in the Delta Quadrant. This in turn leads them to a planet where Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and the rest, discover several humans from Earth cryogenically frozen, including Amelia Earhart (Sharon Lawrence).
Who froze them? and why?
Earhart and Janeway are kindred spirits, and it’s nice to see that they have a few moments together throughout the story. The crew also has to wrestle with the decision of whether or not to stay on the planet once the 37s and the inhabitants of the planet are revealed.
The episode features the first depiction of a Federation starship landing on the surface of the planet. It was designed to be part of the first season, as indicated by the stardate, but production was evidently delayed, and it was repositioned as the season two opener.
And while there are similarities between this episode and the close of the second season of The Next Generation with The Neutral Zone, this one seems to work a bit better, and the thawed humans in this story are definitely more interesting.
Captain’s log: stardate 49005.3
Kenneth Biller wrote this episode that debuted on 4 September, 1995. The story lets Robert Beltran’s Chakotay take center stage when he is captured (eventually) by a young Kazon, Kar (Aron Eisenberg – on a break from playing Nog on Deep Space Nine) who is going through a coming of age ritual.
The pair are both caught up in rituals as the episode begins, one of remembrance, one coming of age, but both of a spiritual nature as defined by their cultures, and while the Kazon may be different, Chakotay, even as he is seized by the Kazon, realizes that the young Kazon is not so dissimilar.
The duo may never get to their respective homes, even as Voyager attempts to track down their lost first officer.
While the Kazon haven’t always been my favorite alien species seen in Trek, they are actually rounded out fairly nicely in this episode, and Kar serves as a nice counterpoint to Eisenberg’s Nog.
Next week the Human Adventure continues as I dive into season four of Deep Space Nine, and continue the journey home with Voyager season two with The Complete Series for both classic shows, now available on DVD from Paramount Pictures.