Star Trek: Voyager (1997) – Scientific Method, and Year of Hell

Captain’s log: stardate 51244.3

Lisa Klink pens the teleplay for this episode from a story by Harry Doc Kloor and Sherry Klein. It first aired on 29 October, 1997.

There are a number of strange illnesses and events occurring on the Voyager. The Doctor (Robert Picardo) and Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) are the only ones seemingly unaffected, and they discover that there is a group of alien scientists aboard that are slightly out of phase with the crew’s reality, rendering them invisible.

These scientists are conducting experiments on the crew, and the hologram and the Borg may be the key to stopping them.

The b-story is focused on Torres (Roxann Dawson) and Paris’ (Robert Duncan McNeill) continuing relationship, and the way it affects their work, and the crew’s reaction to it.

Still once Seven sees what is going on, it’s a rather unnerving revelation, and certainly fosters some paranoia. It’s quite a scary thought… people around you that you can’t see experimenting on you. Gah.

I think the downside to the episode is that we’re seven episodes into the fourth season, and over half of them have allowed Seven of Nine to play a major role. It’s not like she’s taking over the show, but she’s definitely front and center a lot!

On the upside, Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) who has been experimented on by the aliens for weeks, suffering horrible headaches, and stress, gets to stick it to the baddies, as she almost destroys the Voyager to be rid of the alien visitors.

voy-scientificmethod27a

Captain’s log: stardate 51268.4

Brannon Braga and Joe Menosky pen this episode that first aired on 5 November, 1997. It seems a Krenim scientist, Annorax (Kurtwood Smith), has created a timeship as he wants to restore the glory of the Krenim Imperium – and a restoration of a personal moment. The changes he is making are wiping out entire species, and is on the verge of destroying the Voyager.

They want to return to their glory days, when they ruled a region of space, and it seems Voyager is going to get caught up in the middle of it. With each manipulation of the timeline, the Krenim powers increase, returning them to the menacing rulers they were generations ago.

The visual effects for this episode are great, from the timeship to the landscapes it transforms, to the effect it has on the Voyager. This is a big one! The stress of the constant assault has an effect on the crew and the ship, as Voyager moves through the temporally reclaimed Krenim space.

In terms of production, we get a new set, a stellar cartography set that Harry (Garrett Wang) and Seven created – though I’m not sure if we’ll see it again – and Janeway has a new haircut.

The episode delivers a cliffhanger ending (and somehow I think there is going to be a reset so that everything horrible that happens to the crew will be changed back to the way it was) which sees Chakotay (Robert Beltran) and Paris left behind as Voyager flees before the crew abandon ship. We’ll have to see how it plays out next week, when the Human Adventure continues as I journey through The Complete Series on DVD, available from Paramount Pictures.

Boldly go…

yearofhell

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