Captain’s log: stardate 51386.4
Joe Menosky pens this episode from a story by Jimmy Diggs and Menosky. It first aired on 26 November, 1997.
Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) gets to take the stage, joined by the ship’s holographic version of da Vince (John Rhys-Davies) when a group of pirates steal the Voyager’s computer core, and a number of other essential, and non-essential items from the ship.
It’s all conducted by transporter, and Janway and the Master Inventor (wearing the Doctor’s (Robert Picardo) holographic mobile emitter) are going to try to resolve the theft. They are joined by Tuvok (Tim Russ).
da Vinci sees things within the constructs of his programming, and believes he is in America, he’s delighted to see Janeway, and tells of his work with the ‘Prince’ of the city they are in.
This Prince is no doubt the person behind the thefts…
The b-story follows Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) still trying to adapt to interacting socially with the crew, and the Doctor missing social interactions because he cannot move around the ship without his emitter.
This one is a fun story, as it is always great when da Vinci makes an appearance, and how else will we ever see the Maestro on an away mission than in Star Trek?
Captain’s log: stardate 51449.2
Bryan Fuller pens this Neelix (Ethan Phillips) episode that first debuted on 17 December, 1997. The story, which apparently underwent a number of rewrites, changing the focus of the story, still resonates, and examines beliefs, and thoughts about death and the afterlife.
When Neelix is killed on an away mission, Seven apparently has a Borg way to bring him back, despite being deceased for over eighteen hours. Upon his return to the realm of the living, Neellix is eager to get back on with living, but is deeply troubled at the same time.
It seems he didn’t see anything, didn’t experience anything after death. There was no Great Forest that is his people’s version of heaven. There was nothing. And this sends him into crisis.
Consulting with Chakotay (Robert Beltran) he begins some self-examination, and begins to wonder about his place in the universe, and on the Voyager, leading to the potential for a troubling decision.
It’s handled well, while still conveying the Trek message of hope, even if we don’t know what happens when we leave this mortal coil. It’s also nice to see Phillips get to do a little more with his character, and explore things that we have pondered since time immemoriam.
The episode also gives us our first real interaction with young Naomi Wildman (Brooke Stephens) the only child on the Voyager, and her friendship with Neelix, which is essential in helping him refocus.
Next week, the Human Adventure continues as I explore Star Trek: Voyager – The Complete Series on DVD from Paramount Pictures.