Captain’s log: stardate 50614.2
Robert Duncan McNeill directs this episode that was written by Kenneth Biller and first aired on 12 February, 1997. It follows up on the revelation that the Voyager is closing in on Borg space with the discovery of the dead Borg at the end of last week’s episode (but don’t they always take their dead with them?).
Chakotay (Robert Beltran) lands on a remote planet, after receiving a distress call that identifies the shuttlecraft as a Federation vehicle (something they shouldn’t know in the Delta Quadrant), and upon landing discovers unassimilated Borg drones from all over the galaxy.
Chakotay is stunned at the revelation, especially after forming a friendship with one of them, Riley (Lori Hallier). He has found much to like about her, but when he learns what and who they are, he is shaken. Some of them are survivors of Wolf 359.
Janeway (Kate Mulgrew), Torres (Roxann Dawson) and Tuvok (Tim Russ), meanwhile, are exploring a deserted Borg cube they have discovered, and are looking for keys and clues to protecting themselves from the relentless forces of the Borg, if they are encountered, and perhaps useful technology.
The episode does infuse the Borg with new life, changing them just enough from the concept of drones, into something more, giving these villains a little more depth, and making us realize that when they are separated as this colony has been, they are not so very different from us, but they share a unity.
It’s a solid episode and i sets up the trouble that is on its way…
Captain’s log: stardate 50693.2
Joe Menosky pens this episode from a story he came up with alongside Brannon Braga, it’s a Kes (Jennifer Lien) and Doctor (robert Picardo) story that first aired on 19 February, 1997.
Kes has been more and more infrequently used, definitely meaning that the showrunners were now no longer sure what to do with her. So the wheels are beginning to turn for her departure. But not quite yet.
In this story, Kes toys with leaving the Voyager when she falls in love while she is on an away mission. The Doctor meanwhile.has toyed with expanding his program and wants to include personalities of a number of historical personages.
Despite a warning from Torres that there may be problems considering the complexity of his systems, the Doctor implements the changes, and it immediately creates an alter-ego intent on killing Kes’ new lover, Zahir (David Lee Smith).
The Jekyll and Hyde aspect of the story is familiar to sci-fi fans, but Picardo brings a vicious edge to it, and he is a little scary as such, and chews scenery delightfully, if monstrously.
They find a way to resolve everything of course, and the Doctor is restored to his usual self, and Kes hasn’t decided to leave quite yet…
The Human Adventure continues next week as I continue my journey homeward as I explore The Complete Series on DVD!