Top 10 Episodes: Star Trek: Voyager – Season 3
In Star Trek: Voyager‘s third season the characters started to gel a little more (with the exception of Kes) and become a better cohesive unit.
The Doctor got some much needed mobility (pun intended), and we got another tribute and connection to some Trek that had come before us. We get our first glimpse of a character in the final episode who would go on to eventually join the cast full time. She would inevitably bring some positive change to the show, most notably through excellent character development. But that’s for another season.
First, here are the Top Ten Episodes of Star Trek: Voyager – Season 3.
Voyager does it’s “Cause and Effect” impression from TNG, with a twist.
Setting aside how ridiculous it is to have Voyager’s top two officers in a shuttle on their own – Chakotay and Janeway repeat the same moments in time, with each occasion ending with the same event: Janeway’s death. The road to that eventuality was unique each time, but try as they might, Janeway would die. Turns out there may be something waiting for us as we draw near to possible death…
What sells this episode the most is the scenes with Janeway witnessing the crew deal with her loss. The memorial service in the mess hall is touching and heartfelt. Can you imagine watching your own funeral? Seeing people’s reactions? Bet you wouldn’t be able to keep it together, either.
The crew of Voyager is slowly being replaced by seemingly confused and innocent people, until the point where they have complete control of the ship leaving the crew stranded in a massive habitat ring.
An interesting story and one that could have been used on any Star Trek series, really. The Doctor has some great lines while on the sidelines of a dispute between Paris and B’Elanna, and Chakotay does some good work as the last man standing on Voyager before he’s whisked away.
8. Future’s End, Part II
Unfortunately Part II wasn’t as solid as Part I, but there was one major, important piece that was taken away from this episode: The Doctor’s mobile emitter.
A piece of 29th century technology given to The Doctor is the key to a whole new world for The Doc – literally. No longer is he confined to the four walls of sickbay; now he is out and about among everyone else, and right from the hop we can see this is going to be a lot of fun having him around more. Going from a positive regarding The Doctor to a negative however – how was he susceptible to Dunbar’s punches to the face in the limo, but then impervious to bullets later on from the radicals? There seems to be some inconsistency there.
How hard must it have been to accept that Braxton from the future can’t save Voyager approximately 68 more years of travel and just take them back to Earth. Or at least their own time? To look to the viewer and see Earth right in front of you…that’s a tough pill to swallow.
7. Future’s End, Part I
A ship from the 29th century appears in front of Voyager with intentions of destroying it. The timeship’s Captain claims that Voyager is the cause of a massive explosion that wipes out Earth’s solar system, so he’s been sent back in time to destroy Voyager. Naturally, Janeway & company resist, there’s a flash of light – and all of a sudden they are orbiting Earth. In 1996.
Full of 90’s fashion, technology, and Sarah Silverman, “Future’s End, Part I” is a fun episode. Getting Neelix and Kes hooked on soap operas is fantastic, and as spot-on as Paris’ knowledge of the late 20th Century is, he can also be slightly off as well. Ed Begley Jr. plays a perfect Henry Starling. Should be interesting to see how Voyager makes up for being spotted on amateur video and how they will recover The Doctor’s stolen program in Part II!
6. Worst Case Scenario
An old holonovel is discovered depicting Chakotay and the Maquis committing mutiny against Janeway – however it is incomplete, and the author is unknown.
A fun and interesting idea, with the user being given the chance to either join Chakotay or fight against him in the name of Janeway and Starfleet. Turns out Tuvok is the mystery author, with the program intended as a training exercise shortly after the crews merged. The real trouble begins though when he and Paris try to complete the scenario: turns out an old Voyager foe, Seska, has booby-trapped the program should it be altered putting the crew members in real danger.
An interesting long-game being played here by Seska, but it was a cool challenge for Janeway to try and think ahead. Odd continuity error: Paris says he’s on duty in LESS than an hour before he starts the program, but later notes it’s been over an hour before anything good has happened. Do we assume he was just late for his duty shift and we saw none of that, including the consequences that would come with?
5. The Q And The Grey
Q returns for a second time on Voyager, and this time he has his sights set on Captain Janeway…and having a child with her.
Full of some of Q’s best line since TNG’s “QLess”, the omnipotent being tries his best to woo the uninterested Janeway. Depicting the Continuum’s Civil War as the American Civil War was a nice touch, and definitely made sense as far as trying to adapt what was going on for our puny, human brains to comprehend. Also adding to the lore of Q is a female Q, apparently someone who’s been involved with our favorite antagonist for a very…very long time. Played perfectly by Suzie Plakson, she brings all that Q arrogance we know and love – and then some. There is a great line she has regarding Klingon females, which is a nice wink to one of Plakson’s earlier roles as K’Heylar, Worf’s significant other on TNG. (Plakson ALSO played Dr. Selar, the often referenced but only seen once Doctor.)
“The Q and the Grey” is a a fun episode, and stay tuned – Voyager will build on what happens here down the road in the series, with some equally entertaining results.
Voyager goes Commando…and Alien…and TNG’s “Genesis”. A hostile organism, (in this case a large version of a virus) infects the crew and cripples Voyager, leaving only Janeway, Neelix and The Doctor to save the day.
The show goes for a darker tone in this one, really adopting with the moster-of-the-week approach with the Macro-viruses. This would be one of the earlier forays into using complete CGI villains, setting the stage for Species 8472 down the road.
As Janeway and Neelix return to Voyager from a mission on a shuttlecraft (much like Picard and Data in Genesis) they notice right away something is wrong. The dark corridors, the lack of crew-members at their stations…a great atmosphere is created. The creepy buzzing in the background certainly adds to the feeling of anxiety. We see that these creatures can secrete some kind of substance which can eat through the deck-plates, borrowing that concept from Alien. And then later on, as Janeway suits up to defend her ship and crew, we get a mini-montage straight out of Commando (and countless other films) with the close-ups of gear and weapons being equipped.
Overall this is a good episode and a strong outing for Janeway. It’s a great mix of humor, action and horror, the latter being something Trek doesn’t do very often but often succeeds at.
3. Distant Origin
As part of a race of intelligent dinosaurs that packed up and left Earth millions of years ago, a scientist and his young assistant try to prove to their society that they are not indigenous of the Delta Quadrant, but did indeed originate from our little green and blue planet.
An underrated episode, which breaks the formula of most installments. We don’t see any our crew (or even Voyager itself) until about a third of the way in, and in the end our lead character doesn’t get what he wants. In fact is instructed to detract his claims publicly and accept defeat. This makes for a melancholy ending, but a touching one at the same time. Close-ups are in abundance in “Distant Origin”, and perhaps that was intended so as to show off the fantastic make-up work that was needed to create the “Voth”. A strong outing for Chakotay.
To honor and celebrate Star Trek’s (at the time) 30th Anniversary, Voyager did an episode which tied into the events taking place during Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and included some of The Original Series cast.
To suddenly have a flashback in your memory of letting go of a girl on the edge of a cliff and watching her fall to her death would be quite traumatic for anyone, let alone a Vulcan. It turns out the source of this memory takes Tuvok (and with the help of a mind meld, Janeway) back to Tuvok’s first tour of duty in Starfleet, which apparently took place on the U.S.S. Excelsior – under the command of Captain Sulu.
Tuvok looks pretty good in the movie burgundy’s. The return of not only Sulu, but Janice Rand and even a quick cameo from Kang was a great touch. (Kang would also be seen on Deep Space Nine.) One thing that can’t help but be noticed: the crew of the Excelsior are apparently so committed to duty that they SLEEP in their uniforms??
Also, one major misstep: Valtane dies at the end of the episode during a battle we’re led to believe took place BEFORE the Excelsior meets up with Kirk and the Enterprise in Star Trek VI. If we’re to believe that is the case and Tuvok wasn’t mistaken by his shipmates’ demise, then how do you explain that at the end of Undiscovered Country (when the dust has settled and Sulu is bidding the Enterprise and her crew farewell before they sail off into the sunset), in the wide shot of Sulu’s crew, there stands a healthy and very alive Dimitri Valtane??
1. Scorpion, Part I
It’s that time we all knew was coming, and possibly the shortest teaser in Star Trek history set the table for us: Borg space. But wait – Borg getting annihilated by an unknown force? This is interesting!
Some excellent visuals throughout the episode, and some really good tense moments throughout. Janeway’s briefing of her crew about her plan was well executed, with the staff all standing as opposed to sitting. It may be a minor thing, but the fact they are alert and at attention while discussing the scenario helps sell just how dangerous and important the upcoming decisions are.
Also utilized really well here was the relationship and dynamic between Janeway and Chakotay. Having them at odds on what to do was a great stage for these two characters to spar back and forth. Chakotay’s parable is an effective one.
A great way to end season three and set up season four.