Star Trek: Voyager (1998) – The Killing Game: Part II, and Vis a Vis

Captain’s log: stardate 51715.2

The conclusion to the thrilling two-parter The Killing Game is the first episode up this weekend. Penned by Brannon Braga and Joe Menosky, it debuted on 4 March, 1998.

Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) has regained her autonomy thanks to the Doctor (Robert Picardo) neutralizing her neural inhibitor, and she is now aware of the Hirogen having seized the Voyager, and converting more and more of it to a holodeck, revealed in the climax of last week’s episode when an explosion revealed the starship’s bulkheads (for several decks).

Not everyone has their memory back yet, and the American forces in the Hirogen’s World War II holo fantasy have arrived, led by Chakotay (Robert Beltran) and Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill). Now they have a bigger mission – retake the ship and get the Hirogen off of the Voyager.

It ends up being a big full adventure that allows for some great action beats, solid character moments – even though some of the characters aren’t even aware that they are not who they are (thanks to the inhibitor).

We’re also given a fairly happy Trek ending when despite the fact that the Hirogen were maiming and hurting the crew, when the ship is retaken Captain Janeway offers some of their holographic technology to the Hirogen so that they continue to hunt and use the holographic programs to do so.

This is a great two-parter and it’s fun to see the show going all out for an adventure story like this. It’s a different kind of holodeck story, and ends up being wonderfully enjoyable, even as the series gets to play with WWII movie tropes and characters.

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Captain’s log: stardate 51762.4

Robert J. Dougherty pens this episode that first aired on 8 April, 1998.

Tom Paris is feeling a little bored with his day to day life, and seems to be wasting time on the holodeck, but things are about to change…

Paris is a victim of a body swap when he meets with an alien, Steth (Dan Butler) who has a new propulsion system on offer. The pair form a friendship, but that’s only to lull Paris into an unsuspecting state and then his consciousness is transferred to the alien body, while the alien takes over his and takes over his position on the Voyager.

And surprise, surprise, personal and professional disasters occur everywhere that Tom Paris will have to try to sort out should he ever get back to the Voyager and get his body back.

It’s an interesting episode and a way stronger body swap story than say… Turnabout Intruder, it’s also fun seeing the actors get play variations of themselves as Steth becomes them.

This episode shows how much Tom has changed over the seasons and how he has actually settled in nicely with the crew. It’s a good episode, but coming on the heels of the Killing Game, it doesn’t feel as strong as it should.

The Human Adventure continues next week when I delve deeper into The Complete Series on DVD from Paramount Canada. Join me as we boldy go…

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