Star Trek: Voyager (1999) – Barge of the Dead, and Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy

Captain’s log: stardate unknown

Bryan Fuller pens the teleplay for this Torres (Roxann Dawson) episode from a story by Fuller and Ronald D. Moore. It first debuted on 6 October, 1999.

After a shuttle accident, Torres finds herself deceased, and on her way to Gre’thor, the afterlife for dishonored Klingons, and we examine her past to find out why. When she awakens back on the Voyager, she struggles to make sense of her life, and works to restore the perceived fault in her honor, which all hinges on her relationship with her mother, Miral (Karen Austin).

The episode is a crisis of faith story for the Voyager’s chief engineer, but it is not necessarily the best Torres story that has been offered up by the series.

It’s interesting to see the rest of the Voyager crew perform with an edge of Klingon behavior, which only grows stronger as the episode progresses, and Torres figures out what is going on, and how to deal with her issues.

Torres has always been a favorite character of mine, and I love when she gets the time to take the spotlight, but it’s not the strongest story. Still, it’s fun to see this incarnation of the Klingon beliefs brought to the screen.

I think, however, that is also the problem with the episode. Eschewing science, and exploration and embracing the metaphysical kind of makes this a less than Trek episode. There needs to be a balance between the two to say the least, but this one doesn’t really have that. Sure, the crew are watching over her, and trying to revive her, but that’s a side bit, it’s all about the journey through hell, real or imagined.

bargeofthedead

Captain’s log: stardate unknown

Joe Menosky pens this episode from a story by Bill Vallely that features the Doctor (Robert Picardo). It debuted on 13 October, 1999.

The Doctor has recently added a day dream program to his subroutines in his continuing attempt to understand the crew and expand his programming. Things get interesting, however when aliens (an interesting species) are able to tap into his program, and believe his day dreams to be the day to day reality of the starship.

The episode is filled with joyous moments, especially the opening teaser which establishes the kind of fun that the story is going to embrace. In fact his day dreams are a lot of fun, and balances nicely with his arc as he files a complaint with Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) that he needs more. He wants to expand into command ability, as well as get more respect and understanding from the crew, who he feels still treat him like a program.

It’s a great episode for Picardo, and so much fun to see the crew in a different way.

The journey homeward continues as I explore Star Trek: Voyager – The Complete Series on DVD available now from Paramount Canada. Boldly go…

ttds_001

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