Captain’s log: stardate unknown
Joe Menosky pens this episode from a story by Richard Gadas. It first aired on 29 April, 1996.
The Voyager, still continuing its homeward journey comes across a planet that seems to have suffered some disaster, but there are still life signs, from a group in stasis. Unfortunately, when an away team beams down to investigate, they discover a computer program, appearing as a Clown (Micheal McKean) keeping the aliens trapped in a state of fear.
The away team, Janeway (Kate Mulgrew), Kes (Jennifer Lien), and Harry (Garrett Wang) discover the program, and have to decide whether to go in and get the people out of a stasis they should have come out of four years ago.
Harry and Torres (Roxann Dawson) go into the artificial environment the program has created so that they can seek out the aliens, and soon find themselves trapped as well.
As odd as the environment is, it is not as dreamlike or horrific as it could be, but McKean (an always awesome actor) helps to keep the threat alive, as the program is as homicidal as any villain they have encountered.
Of course, with some help from the Doctor (Robert Picardo) who goes into the program as well, the crew is eventually able to rescue a couple of the trapped aliens, losing one.
Captain’s log: stardate 49655.2
Another transporter accident! It’s a wonder Starfleet continues to allow them. Tuvix, written by Kenneth Biller from a story by Andrew Shepard Price and Mark Gaverman, first debuted on 6 May, 1996.
Neelix (Ethan Phillips) and Tuvok (Tim Russ) are on an away mission to investigate floral and plant life on a nearby planet. When the pair attempt to beam up, the plants seem to have an effect on the transporter beam, causing the two beings to meld into one. Tuvok and Neelix combine to form Tuvix (Tom Wright).
The being is unique, and Wright brings the combination of characters to life brilliantly, and the crew delights in the changes, and faults, in the new being. But of course, Tuvix can’t remain as such, there must be a way to restore the two beings that created him, even as the new officer proves his mettle, intelligence and his expertise over and over.
Of course, there is the problem with Kes, as she has a romantic relationship with Neelix, and a student-teacher relationship with Tuvok.
It also brings into question whether or not the two beings should be restore, Tuvix is a fully formed sentient being… doesn’t he deserve to live as well?
A very enjoyable episode.
The Human Adventure continues next week when the Voyager continues its journey home, and Deep Space Nine closes in on the ends of its fourth season. Both series continue to be explored as I work through The Complete Series on DVD for both, now available from Paramount Pictures.