Star Trek: Voyager (1996) – The Chute, and The Swarm

Captain’s log: stardate 50156.2

Kennth Biller pens the teleplay for this episode from a story by Clayton C. Harris. Debuting on 18 September, 1996, this is very much a Harry Kim (Garrett Wang) and Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill) story that sees their friendship continuing to grow.

In this episode the pair find themselves wrongly convicted of a terrorist bombing and find themselves imprisoned. They struggle to survive together even as Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) attempts to uncover the true criminals.

But how long have the pair of Starfleet officers got? It seems each prisoner has a neural implant that slowly drives the wearer insane.

As the pair fight to survive, the Voyager does all it can to try to get to the truth. but things get drastically more troublesome when Tom is injured in an fight.

I will say I love the reveal when Harry short circuits the food delivery chute and discovers where their prison actually is. It’s a nice moment, and makes you wonder how long it will take the Voyager to find them and rescue them.

It is not the strongest episode, especially coming off the season opener and Flashback, but it ends up being a fairly solid episode nonetheless and it’s nice to see Harry take center stage for a change. He’s never been my favorite character but at least this episode gives him a fair shake.

And Neelix (Ethan Phillips) gets a heroic moment at the end of the episode alongside Janeway and Tuvok (Tim Russ). It’s a nice moment.


Captain;s log; stardate 50252.3

Micheal Sussman pens this episode that first aired on 25 September, 1996.

The Voyager is attacked by a swarm of ships that attach themselves to the hull, and the Doctor (Robert Picardo) begins to suffer malfunctions. The swarm itself is pretty cool, and the Voyager seems unprepared to deal with such an assault.

The Doctor seems to be having memory problems, and Torres (Roxann Dawson) activates the Jupiter Station diagnostic program to help suss out the problem, and the program is overseen by a familiar face in the form of Dr. Zimmerman.

Despite the introduction of the Swarm, the story is more focused on the Doctor, making this one a bottle show, and it’s too bad because I quite like the idea of the Swarm, still the stuff with the Doctor is top-notch, and you get a look at the problem that is caused by the fact that the Emergency Medical Hologram (EMH) has been running for almost two years.

As the Doctor’s plight becomes better understood, there are parallels between the Doctor’s situation and Alzheimers, and the story deals with it incredibly well.

This is the first hint of a relationship developing between Tom and Torres.

The Human Adventure continues next week as the journey home with Star Trek: Voyager The Complete Series on DVD, from Paramount Pictures, continues.

Boldly go…



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