Star Trek: Voyager (2000) – The Haunting of Deck Twelve, and Unimatrix Zero

Captain’s log: stardate unknown

Airing on 17 May, 2000 the penultimate episode of the sixth season was written by Mike Sussman, Kenneth Biller and Bryan Fuller, from a story by Sussman.

When the Voyager undergoes a ship-wide shutdown in power, Neelix (Ethan Phillips) does his best to keep the Borg drone children safe, and occupied until the power is restored. Sounds like the perfect moment for a campfire ghost story. Neelix tells a tale of the lead up to the power outage, and perhaps it’s more than a story?

Maybe something more is going on here? How much is Neelix’s story, and how much of it actually happened aboard ship? The fear of the unknown has always been there in Trek stories, kept at bay by the sense of wonder that comes with exploration, but this time, couching it in a children’s story goes to show you how important the series is for showing us that we don’t have to fear the unknown, we simply have to work to understand it when we discover it.

This one is literally a campfire ghost story set in the trappings of a Star Trek story, and it works. The series shows that it can do all manner of genres in its storytelling, and make them fun. It’s also a nice way to close out the season before giving us the season finale which, will no doubt, give me a cliffhanger that I’m thankful I don’t have to wait months to have resolved.

Neelix_tells_a_ghost_story

Captain’s log: stardate unknown

Brannon Braga and Joe Menosky pen the season finale from a story by Mike Sussmanm it aired on 24 May, 2000 and brought the Borg back in a big way, something established in the opening shots when you see all of the Borg ships and stations.

Aboard the Voyager, Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) finds herself drawn into a virtual reality that has been created by the Borg, something that has been created during their regeneration cycles. It allows them to exist without their Borg implants, recalling their previous existence, and their individuality.

Learning of this reality, unimatrix zero, Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) believes this is something they can exploit, while the Borg Queen (Susanna Thompson) wants it stopped. It could even lead to a civil war within the Collective.

There is some nice continuity at work as Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill) is promoted back to lieutenant, and Harry (Garrett Wang) makes the pointed remark that he didn’t get lieutenant pips.

As a clash with the Borg becomes inevitable, and Janeway develops a plan, the Voyager lose the Delta Flyer, and possibly even more when the cliffhanger comes along. The episode’s ending sees Janeway, Torres (Roxann Dawson) and Tuvok (Tim Russ) who were aboard the destroyed Flyer, are captured and assimilated (was that their big plan?), leaving us with a To Be Continued… and the long wait between seasons (thank goodness it’s less than a week for me).

Next week, the Human Adventure continues as I begin the seventh and final season of Star Trek: Voyager as I explore The Complete Series on DVD from Paramount Canada.

Boldly go…

assimilation

 

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