Star Trek: Voyager (2001) – Friendship One, and Natural Law

Captain’s log: stardate  54775.4

Micheal Taylor and Bryan Fuller pen this episode that debuted on 25 April, 2001. An episode that is view of the series finish line, and sees the crew of the Voyager getting their first mission from Starfleet since their original orders at the beginning of the series.

It seems an probe from Earth, launched in the 21st century can finally be recovered, three centuries later, as it has reached the Delta Quadrant and is close to the Voyager’s current position.

Most of the cast get things to do in this episode, except for Torres (Roxann Dawson), whose pregnancy takes her off the mission. But Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill) get the lion’s share.

We see a reason for the Prime Directive, when a probe that Earth sent out before Starfleet was even formed, wreaked havoc with a planet, it’s gifts of technology causing mass destruction.

But the spirit of the probe, that of friendship still lives on, as the crew try to find a way to help the planet’s inhabitants, and perhaps correct some of the wrongs caused by the probe’s arrival.

I liked this one, I loved seeing most of the cast being given something to do, making it more of an ensemble piece. I loved the fact that it showed that we, as a species, don’t get every thing right, but we need to take responsibility for all of our actions, good and bad, and work to make ourselves, and those around us better.

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Captain’s log: stardate 54827.7

James Kahn pens this episode from a story he created alongside Kenneth Biller. It first aired on 2 May, 2001.

Chakotay (Robert Beltran) and Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) are on their way to a science conference when an encounter with a strange force field causes them to crash land and encounter a primitive society.

Meanwhile, Paris earns himself a speeding ticket, and is assigned a three day safety course. That’s the b-story, seriously.

The Chakotay/Seven story is quite solid though, as it seems the force field was erected to keep the society safe from the rest of the planet around it, which, if they get access to it, would do away with the society’s culture in an attempt to educate and train them to be more ‘suitable’ for the modern world, and of course, the planet would exploit whatever resources the society had as well.

It shows the double edged sword that science and anthropology can wield, and how it should be used, versus how it is often used.

It’s actually a very smart episode, which pleasantly surprised me, and the little fun asides with Paris made for a couple of lighter moments.

The Human Adventure continues Thursday with the penultimate instalment of Star Trek: Voyager as I come close to the end of The Complete Series on DVD from Paramount Canada.

Boldly go.

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