Star Trek: Voyager: Day of Honor   Rewatch 
September 4, 2017 7:27 AM - Season 4, Episode 3 - Subscribe

First, you must eat from the heart of a sanctified targ. Next, you will drink mot'loch from the Grail of Kahless. Then, we wlll sing of your glory earned during the annual cookie sale--oh, crap [drops index cards, grabs phone] Honey? It's me, are you with the Girl Scout troop? Hey, I think we got our index cards mixed up--honey, what's that noise? Are they--oh, no. Honey? Hello? Hello?

Mmm, blood pie, just like Memory Alpha's mother used to make:

- Executive Producer Jeri Taylor was conscious of developing the relationship between Paris and Torres in this episode. She remembered how she decided to progress their bond in a romantic direction: "Tom and B'Elanna seemed to have an adversarial-almost relationship. You know, they didn't bump each other the right way, which was fine, but I started thinking that, often, that kind of conflict is because it's covering inner feelings that are not acknowledged by either participant. They may be feeling something else, don't want to face that, and so it comes out in conflict. So, it seemed like that was, for me, a natural outgrowth for what had gone on with them before. So it was in 'Day of Honor'.... Once again, there they are – stuck, stranded. Put two people on a desert island and things will happen! So, they're hanging out in space and the admission is finally made." At the time, Taylor said of the installment, "That will kick them into yet another level. They have spent the last season dancing around each other, and keeping each other at arms length, and we're going to have them take a major step forward.

- This episode was the first to tie directly into a concept first pioneered by the novels – in this case, the Day of Honor, of which John Ordover noted, "The fun thing about that [...] is that it actually led to a Voyager episode." When Ordover was developing the Star Trek: Day of Honor miniseries (in his capacity as editor, at that time), he contacted Jeri Taylor and told her about the miniseries, saying, "'There's this Klingon holiday... which is kind of like the Jewish Yom Kippur, where you take the measure of your honor for the past year. It seemed like a perfect storyline for B'Elanna so I just called you up to say this is what we're doing.'" Michael Jan Friedman – a noted Star Trek author who provided substantial contributions to the Star Trek: Day of Honor miniseries – recalled, "Jeri Taylor [...] actually took the concept and ran with it and it became a bigger event, both for TV and for the books."

- Although the elaborate rigs helped maintain the illusion of free-fall, they were uncomfortable for the pregnant Roxann Dawson, who also had difficulties with the EV suits worn by Torres and Paris. She later remembered, "To be three months pregnant – as most women know... what that feels like – and then to be strung up in a harness and kind of suspended in space in spacesuits and helmets that had very little air and would have fans that, you know, go on and off to enable you to breath properly, it was very [uncomfortable]. It would have been uncomfortable for somebody who wasn't pregnant, let alone [someone who actually was] [...] It was tortuous doing it, I have to say." Dawson also stated, "We were up, strapped onto sort of a teeter-totter, on a tiny little bicycle seat with everything dangling. We were concerned about those suits, which raise your body temperature, and make you very claustrophobic. The only [...] way you can hear to the outside world is through microphones. You've got a lot of things to overcome just to get to what you are actually trying to say in the scene. It was a tough couple of days' shooting, and I of course just had my own concerns because of the pregnancy." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 80) Jeri Taylor once recalled that having the pregnant Roxann Dawson confined to one of the EV suits, which Taylor acknowledged were "horrible to work in," added to the uncertainties of production. "We were not at all sure how that one was going to turn out," Taylor said of the episode.

"Bottom line is, I don't want her working in engineering."
"The bottom line is I'm giving you an order and you're going to follow it, lieutenant."
"Whatever you say, sir." (exaggerated sigh)

- Torres and Chakotay

"Guilt is irrelevant."
"Heartwarming."

- Seven of Nine and Torres

"Let me access your controls."
"I thought you'd never ask."

- Torres and Paris

Poster's Log:

Let's get this out of the way: the weakest aspect of "Day of Honor" is, well, the whole Day of Honor thing. I mean, it's not a bad concept in the abstract; it is, really, just the sort of thing that you'd expect Klingons to do, even down to the slightly ridiculous ritual details and the involvement of painstiks and whatnot. (Remember what a Klingon "bachelor party" is like.) It's that it seems pretty awkwardly shoehorned into what is already a pretty full plot, between B'Elanna's worst day ever turning even worse, complete with getting stuck in the literal middle of nowhere with the guy who she's trying to sort out her feelings for, and that in turn leading into Seven being confronted with Borg victims and trying to learn to work with people whom she's not assimilated with. They sort of try to tie it in with B'Elanna saying something about how she's a coward because she hadn't yet told Paris how she feels about him, but that's kind of a stretch; someone like Worf might take that tack, but Worf is always about being the Klingoniest Klingon who ever Klingoned, and it's often backfired on him. It's as if Jeri Taylor was like, "OK, we've got a B'Elanna episode, and her big thing is her struggling with her Klingon heritage, so we'll paste in this thing from the novels, and... ✓."

That having been said, it's still a pretty solid episode with the two main points above playing off each other well. B'Elanna does get some decent character development as someone who used to be notorious for her poor people skills, coping both with her developing relationship with Tom and with someone who has even worse people skills than she ever had. Paris, likewise, is still hovering between reaching out to her and falling back on his "what, me care about someone else?" old persona. I think that the show could have spent another episode or two establishing that Seven wasn't going to try to contact the Collective again, but at least they acknowledge that that trust is a little slow in coming, with Janeway pointedly remarking that she was pulling the 24/7 security detail off of Seven. I thought that B'Elanna's asking Seven if she felt guilty about the Collective's actions was pretty tactless, but that was coming from someone who broke a dude's arm when she first came on board. (It's too bad that Seven has no sense of humor yet; I imagined her replying, "Well, I was against assimilating other cultures, but I was always outvoted 12 trillion to one.") It's also pretty trivial against the confrontations with the Caatati, who were both desperate and threatening, especially when they demanded that the crew turn over Seven so that some of their people could personally enact revenge on her; the nature of said revenge was left unspecified, which just made it worse. Seven's responses--especially the bit about how it simply didn't occur to her to give the thorium tech to the Caatati--are a good marker of how far she has to go to break out of that cult/wolfpack mindset. (It's not even that it's always a bad thing--she's ready to go matter-of-factly sacrifice herself for the ship--but it seems like she personally retained a heck of a lot more technical knowledge than any understanding of how the different species, especially her own, feel and act.)

There's one more thing that I'd like to mention, because it's an interesting point in terms of what counts as canon: the loss of the warp core shouldn't have been that big of a deal, because Voyager has a spare. You can actually see both of them in the ship's master systems display, the two thin vertical things in the lower part (what would be the "engineering hull" in the Enterprise). It's one of those things that the show just kind of ignored, and it would have been pretty easy to come up with some reason why the spare core couldn't have been used (such as their having had to cannibalize the antimatter injectors at some point), but it still bugs me, the way that their never having used the Aeroshuttle does. On the plus side, the bit where you can see the approaching Voyager in the reflection of their helmets was really nice.

Poster's Log, supplemental: There's something about the idea of Girl Scouts with bat'leths; maybe it's the similarity between the merit badge sash and the Klingon baldric.
posted by Halloween Jack (22 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
the loss of the warp core shouldn't have been that big of a deal, because Voyager has a spare

I'd hate to have to drop down to my only other warp core so "early" in my long journey too if I were them. There's no replacing a Starfleet warp core out in the Delta Quadrant, so I would want to hang on to my spare parts and keep them spare for as long as possible. On the other hand, nobody on Voyager ever remembers they have a second core. Maybe they don't know? Like, has anyone ever looked in that auxiliary closet? I know the door sign says "Harry Kim's spare clarinet reeds" but there's more than just that inside.
posted by Servo5678 at 8:29 AM on September 4 [1 favorite]


It makes sense that they'd want to hang on to the spare core; I've thought that it would have been cool if they'd eventually managed to rewire the ship to the point that they had two cores online at the same time and used one of them to power transwarp conduits or the quantum slipstream drive or something. I also like the idea of Harry Kim's spare clarinet reeds closet being the place where they put all the things that they seem to have forgotten about, such as the Maquis' old uniforms, or Suspiria, or the keys to the Aeroshuttle.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:40 AM on September 4 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I honestly wonder if the episode might have been better off omitting the entire Day of Honor hook (though I didn't know it came from novels, which is pretty neat). There would have been plenty of content just between the Caatati and B'Eltomma, and room for both to breathe (heh!) a little.

Nevertheless, I did like the Frank Poole sequence. The fact that they're in the Delta Quadrant adds a bit of helpful extra tension.

Wow, the ship feels small when you look at its MSD.

it seems like she personally retained a heck of a lot more technical knowledge than any understanding of how the different species, especially her own, feel and act.

If all Borg drones have basically the same skill set—which the franchise implies, but doesn't directly state IIRC—then the only explanation for that must be that the average drone devotes the overwhelming majority of its memory to technical stuff (which makes sense, given the size and obvious complexity of Borg ships). If that's so, then we can explain Seven's imbalanced tech/cultural skills as a matter of luck. This also conveniently allows us to dismiss moments (such as a scene in the upcoming episode "Waking Moments" where Seven employs deception in a fashion that seems kind of sophisticated for a recent-ex-Borg) where she seems to possess a fragment of cultural/social competence.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 9:53 AM on September 4 [2 favorites]


The Borg one mind thing is interesting in its vagueness. On the one hand they imply its a linking of minds into a single shared state, where all the past histories of everyone linked are shared. Decision making then seems rather more complex than less, where all the different personas and histories would have to somehow gel into making individual decisions, despite their involvement in the group mind being involuntary and opposed to Borg ideals at initiation.

The process then can't really be all the individual minds contributing all their thoughts equally, who knows how they figure emotions) there must be some core mind that absorbs the relevant information and parcels it all out to the hive withholding the unneeded or potentially damaging thoughts. Those, it seems somehow remain in the individual's own minds as "theirs", but greatly dampened, and aren't shared in the same manner as others.

It seems more like a hypno-parasitical relationship than a hive one in that sense, where there is one controlling mind or identity enforcing the shape of the feeder minds against their will. But that isn't quite clear and goes a bit against other claims made. I'm not sure they did figure it out precisely, or if they did I haven't heard it communicated well.
posted by gusottertrout at 11:00 AM on September 4 [2 favorites]


Particle of the Week: Chronitons. Leaky chronitons, which are probably the worst kind if we have to rank them ordinally.
Pointless STO Comparison of the Week: Shuttles in Star Trek Online are indeed pretty outclassed by even the weakest of opponents: they start at about half the hull and shield rating of a full vessel, and can only slot a very limited range of abilities. It's normal for one to blow up when a full sized but technologically inferior ship sneezes in their general direction, as happens here.

Ongoing Counts:
* Maximum Possible Photon Torpedoes: 17.
* Shuttles: Down 6, as we lose another one. I'm not sure how many an Intrepid class ship carries, but it feels like we've at least hit the limit here.
* Crew: 142.
* Other: 46 bio-neural gelpacks remaining, maybe 25-50% of the escape pods should be gone at this point.
* Credulity Straining Alpha Quadrant Contacts: 8.
* Janeway's Big Red Button: 2 aborted self-destructs, 1 successful.

Notes:
* Ugh, the Day of Honor.

It's as if Jeri Taylor was like, "OK, we've got a B'Elanna episode, and her big thing is her struggling with her Klingon heritage, so we'll paste in this thing from the novels, and... ✓."

Yeah. A lot of stuff has happened for me during this rewatch of Voyager, and one of those things is that I'm paying a lot more attention for racism related notions. The Day of Honor thing is disconcerting to me as a multiracial person, because it's another example of Trek race essentialism: 'you are part Klingon, so honor must matter to you on some level.' That really isn't how it works with all people, because it isn't how it works for me. I don't have a rat's ass to spare over my heritage, and neither would B'Ellana. Her reasons for dropping it resonate with me, and so none of that rang true in the least.

Her making an elaborate holoprogram about it also resulted in a plot hole: she's the coauthor, but she didn't even know what physical locations were coded into the scenario? Weak, Voyager.

It is, indeed, a Worf plotline shoehorned into an otherwise pretty well put together story, as Jack suggested.

* Sci Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale.

Warning, TVTropes link. This is another nitpick that I've been paying attention to upon rewatch, because it makes me laugh when it pops up. In this episode, the Caatati were once from a planet of millions.

When a Trek author can't fathom the amount of space covered by a light-year, I laugh because 'why are you writing science fiction if you don't know the 101 stuff?' but I also get it: distances in space are difficult for a human brain to grok.

When a Trek author posits that a technologically sophisticated race only had millions on their homeworld, I wonder if they went to grade school, wherein we learned how many people are on Earth. This is a small point, but these things really stick out at me.

* Tom using sci fi slang for dating stuff is always hilarious.

This is the dude who talked about 'coming at a woman at warp speed.' Here, he talks about 'docking procedures.' It's... I hope that was supposed to be funny, because I guffawed. I don't recall anybody else in the franchise being so attached to that sort of slang, though I'm open to corrections.

* B'Ellana and Chakotay also made me laugh.
CHAKOTAY: She's having a tough time making the transition from the Collective. She wants something to do.
TORRES: I never thought of you as naive, Chakotay. The bottom line is, I don't want her working in Engineering.
It was super kind of her to say that, but this is Chakotay: his last command had Tuvok and Seska both spying on him for different foreign governments at the same time, so it was really sweet of her to let him off the hook that easily.

People should be scared of Seven right now. She doesn't have the ability to assimilate anyone, but she's pretty fresh out of a hive mind bent on the enslavement and destruction of the entire Federation. B'Ellana's reaction to this is normal and understandable, and Chakotay leaning on 'this is an order' versus 'this is why we trust her' hearkens back to the Chakotay who punched a Maquis for disrespect. It's believable, it's defensible in a military chain of command, but it's also unpleasant and speak to why Chakotay - as depicted - would be a poor leader of the entire group.

* B'Ellana is pretty great here.

Apart from the horrid Day of Honor bullshit, B'Ellana is pretty good here. Her relationship with Tom is reasonably well handled, one of the better long term romances in Trek, I think. It's good they took their time to establish this, and the characters really do seem to share a lot of mutual affection pared with poor people skills. Her interplay with Seven is also pretty good. She's come a long way since beating people up on the job.

* I'm confused by Seven's sincere cooperation, but she's a good element here beyond that.

I like most of Seven's stuff here. Her offering transwarp technology right out of the gate is a smart choice, as is having it fail catastrophically on the first attempt. That's a smart plotline, even though the spare warp core is a huge plot hole.

Her offering herself for the crew was also a super Borg mindset that made sense, as was her eventual offer of the thorium generators.

Also, it's hard to tell whether she actually doesn't know why people would hate the Borg, or if she's simply unable to accept it because she's such a believer in Borg supremacy, but it doesn't matter - either way, her initial refusal to admit the Caatati might have a point was well taken. I also liked her hating to be alone, and wanting productive work among others as a means of adjustment.

So this felt a little fast, but apart from that, it all worked for me.

* The Caatati work for me.

The basic arguments here: 'we need help!' 'We want to punish the ex-Borg drone!' That all also rang true to me. This reaching a peaceful resolution was appropriately Star Trek for me, and the fact the show tries for this kind of resolution is part of why I consider Voyager on the 'real Trek' side of the franchise even when it drops the ball in specific instances. That was a good ending, with Voyager letting them off the hook, and them accepting what Voyager really could offer.

So basically... good story overall, featuring performances that I largely enjoyed, with some problematic details and an unnecessary novel tie-in.
posted by mordax at 11:02 AM on September 4 [4 favorites]


This is the dude who talked about 'coming at a woman at warp speed.' Here, he talks about 'docking procedures.' It's... I hope that was supposed to be funny, because I guffawed. I don't recall anybody else in the franchise being so attached to that sort of slang, though I'm open to corrections.

Pretty sure "coming at women at warp speed" was said OF Tom, by the late Stadi. And I have a dim memory that the Original Series (possibly just a few first-season episodes) included some corny Space-Jokes about Space-Romance. But your point stands because Tom IS corny! As evidence, I submit his weirdly encyclopedic knowledge of early 20th century automobiles, his admirable memory for sci-fi B-movies, his willingness to actually spend leisure time IN one (the Captain Proton program), and his haircut.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 12:33 PM on September 4 [1 favorite]


Mm. You're right about that. But yeah, he always talks about stuff that way, and it's hilarious, because he's billed as the Ace Pilot figure, but he's actually pretty dorky.

All of this is fine, of course: I actually like that Paris is like that, because Starfleet was built for people like him, and he's actually a pretty decent person beneath the damaged exterior, (something that's on display here, IMO).

But still: I laughed at docking procedures.
posted by mordax at 12:48 PM on September 4


It seems more like a hypno-parasitical relationship than a hive one in that sense, where there is one controlling mind or identity enforcing the shape of the feeder minds against their will. But that isn't quite clear and goes a bit against other claims made. I'm not sure they did figure it out precisely, or if they did I haven't heard it communicated well.

I've often wondered about the Borg paradigm/algorithm that tends to dismiss a bunch of things as "irrelevant" (per Locutus and Seven). There seem to be a number of blind spots that result, as witness the quick hacking of the Borg cube by Data (with Picard's help) in TBoBW and the Doctor accomplishing what the great-great-grandaddy of all organic Beowulf clusters couldn't do with their own nanoprobes vs. Species 8472.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:48 PM on September 4 [1 favorite]


That's... huh. Actually a really neat idea.

*writes that one down*
posted by mordax at 7:55 PM on September 4




Very tangentially related to the show, from the Department of Space Travel in Real Life: one of the most striking parts of the Voyager intro is the part where the camera pans from below the rings of a planet to above them, with the rings momentarily resolving into individual rocks; the Cassini spacecraft, days away from its imminent self-destruction in Saturn's atmosphere, made a similar pass across the plane of the rings--but from the inside, between the rings and Saturn itself.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:13 PM on September 5 [1 favorite]


Well, one thing is clear, Jeri Taylor's tired of being hit up by panhandlers on her daily commute.

After the Turtle Wax: Parting Gift episode it was touching to see how the crew spent time in reflection on Kes' absence and her time with them. It's that kind of continuity that really pulls the show together.

B'Elanna, boss from Hell, or just a normal Klingon in charge? How exactly does Starfleet deal with that whole "my culture allows me to be an asshole" thing anyway? Since race seems to determine attitude and action in Trek, workers rights must not be a high priority worry. Then again, Vorik doesn't do that emotions thing, so yelling at him is pretty much a freebie. Not a bad deal when you think about it. Assign all the Vulcans to the Klingons and let 'em be as nasty as they want. It's a win-win outcome.

Janeway's oh so subtle "Seven of Nine is too cumbersome let's call you Annika 'cause that's your real name and you're a victim" bit isn't my favorite routine either. Tie that to the usual B'Elanna's a Klingon and must do Klingon things because that's her real identity whether she likes it or not is troublesome to say the least. This isn't the first time it's come up for B'Elanna and it won't be the last for her or Seven as the crew will continue to try to make them into who they want them to be, oh, I mean really are, out of deep care and all.

At least they're trying to tone down Neelix and make him a bit more aware and diplomatic in his approach. They've got a ways to go still, but it's movement in the right direction for him.

The Tom and B'Elanna stuff is still heavily trope laden, with Taylor's attitude towards relationships seemingly driven more by media than how people actually relate. I mean, yeah, there's the whole hate fucking thing that can happen sometimes, and people do build relationships off some mutual teasing or minor reoccurring conflict on occasions, but the idea that active antagonism is actually a secret sign of attraction is not all that appealing or really based in how healthy relationships tend to normally develop, at least once you move past grade school. Dawson and McNeill do about as well with it as they could, with the ending being fairly touching, even in its excesses, so I'll chalk it up to mediocre writing.

As a whole, the episode plays okay, Seven is given some room to grow and Ryan does fine with her and Trevino directs the episode with reasonable respect around her character, so she comes off well. Mulgrew isn't given much to work with in all the hubbub, but finds some moderate value in what she gets. The Caatati are tedious, but aren't a major focus, so easy enough to forget, as is the Day of Honor related subtheme other than it setting up B'Elanna's relationship with Paris, which along with Seven's integration into the crew, are the main points of interest. Those two main elements work well enough to prevent active dislike of the episode as a whole, but a lot of the side issues do annoy. Not one I'll look back on.
posted by gusottertrout at 1:31 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]


Janeway's oh so subtle "Seven of Nine is too cumbersome let's call you Annika 'cause that's your real name and you're a victim" bit isn't my favorite routine either.

It's a nice contrast to Janeway's farewell to Kes in the previous episode. If Kes and Seven are Janeway's de facto adopted kids, Kes is kind of the ideal foster daughter and Seven is way more of the problem child, kind of sullen at her best (at least for now) and downright dangerous at her worst.
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:56 AM on September 6


Their, whether the crew or the shows, view of Seven is kinda interesting in how it switches around. I mean the choice of emblemizing her as a "Prussian", which is just short a couple decades from Nazi, and sticking her in an alcove like a vampire needing a coffin filled with soil from the homeland is suggestive, as is thinking of her as a freed cult member, but the alternative of wanting her to return to childhood as if most of her life didn't happen while also taking some pains to remind her of being a Borg and thus a victimizer are some weird mixed messages the show is putting out.

Incidentally, the idea of a Borg willingly confronting death is also interesting if one accepts the sometimes bandied notion that all their thoughts are shared. At that point, death may not be even a thing as your entire consciousness is networked, in a sense, and will remain even after an individual body dies.
posted by gusottertrout at 5:15 AM on September 6 [3 favorites]


and sticking her in an alcove like a vampire needing a coffin filled with soil from the homeland

What a great parallel; that's totally right. And it's amusing insofar as the Borg were originally conceived as another type of stock undead monster: zombies.

Incidentally, the idea of a Borg willingly confronting death is also interesting if one accepts the sometimes bandied notion that all their thoughts are shared. At that point, death may not be even a thing as your entire consciousness is networked, in a sense, and will remain even after an individual body dies.

The Borg in TNG did say: "Death is irrelevant."
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 9:19 AM on September 6 [2 favorites]


That they didn't really explore the mind of the Borg more in depth, other than as opposition to the "obvious" superiority of individualism, is rather disappointing. I mean if the Borg are of one mind, totally linked at all times, then their experience in the moment would stretch the whole of the Delta Quadrant and beyond. Where any one Borg is all would be in their connected state, which would be an experience akin to omniscience. Their memories would potentially become inseparable, no Borg would be able to discern their past experiences as individuals from any other, making all experiences the history of the whole as self. A single networked mind could act as instant democracy in some sense, where the totality of the individual thoughts and reactions work in concert in decision making, where the greater will acts and the lesser reflects on the actions in a manner similar to an individual but on a vast "crowd sourced" scale.

The show has it as they act as zombies, and somehow retain some innate sense of self while not really partaking fully of all the network of minds, shunning most thing as irrelevant if not connected directly to technology and conquest. This suggests the linkage isn't total or is controlled, which is a different thing that remains underexamined other than in hints perhaps about the Borg queen or some such. Even so, they really underplay the differences between a networked mind and individual one in ways that make it feel more a concept for rebutting than one being explored more thoughtfully.
posted by gusottertrout at 10:35 AM on September 6 [2 favorites]


This suggests the linkage isn't total or is controlled

This show will play around with these ideas in future episodes. If the Borg did have one colossal gestalt mind, then nothing of the former individual experiences could possibly survive assimilation; it would overwhelm and basically overwrite the memory capacity of any individual drone. We know that that's not the case already, since Chakotay was able to retrieve a pre-assimilation memory and Seven's pre-assimilation name in the few seconds that he was linked to her.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:13 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


Neat discussion. :)

Janeway's oh so subtle "Seven of Nine is too cumbersome let's call you Annika 'cause that's your real name and you're a victim" bit isn't my favorite routine either. Tie that to the usual B'Elanna's a Klingon and must do Klingon things because that's her real identity whether she likes it or not is troublesome to say the least. This isn't the first time it's come up for B'Elanna and it won't be the last for her or Seven as the crew will continue to try to make them into who they want them to be, oh, I mean really are, out of deep care and all.

This is why I love Seven's line about Janeway being manipulative and hypocritical in The Gift: she's not wrong. Everyone on Voyager is forced to conform to her wishes: the Maquis can't operate like civilian contractors, they have to be *Starfleet*. Janeway doesn't want Seven to figure out who she is on her own, she's 'supposed' to be Annika, etc.

and sticking her in an alcove like a vampire needing a coffin filled with soil from the homeland

Just also wanted to point out that this is a great observation!

I mean if the Borg are of one mind, totally linked at all times, then their experience in the moment would stretch the whole of the Delta Quadrant and beyond

I assume this is not the case just due to the limits of a drone's biological brain tissue: a human brain can literally only store so much, so their experience would have to be tamped down considerably from the nigh-omniscience of the Collective. I figure this portion of being a drone is more like being connected to a full-sensory search engine all the time, able to look up whatever you need to know and then understand the topic as well as an expert at any given moment. (It actually makes me wonder if the decision making processes in the Collective are ultimately biological at all - were I writing them, I'd probably put them under the control of an AI unfettered by that sort of limitation.)

If the Borg did have one colossal gestalt mind, then nothing of the former individual experiences could possibly survive assimilation

This is also a good point, and possibly why the Borg wouldn't want to do this even if they could - the whole justification for Borg assimilation is to obtain the knowledge of the host. Instantly overwriting a given drone's prior experience would presumably ruin the entire reason to want drones.
posted by mordax at 12:29 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


I've never really thought of the Borg drones as being a crucial portion of the Collective's mind. Drones are for performing functions that suit a humanoid. What any individual drone provides to the collective network is on the order of what a neuron contributes to a brain.

Frankly to me it's curious we never see anyone "borg" that isn't a sentient humanoid with cybernetic attachments. If you're gonna cut off forearms and attach special tools why not go whole hog and wildly reshape your drones? Why not assimilate some sentient insect race and use them as your base design instead? Why not just plug disembodied brains into the collective and use entirely robotic drones? There's obvious story and production reasons why the Borg look and act the way they do, but as a cybernetic mega-organism they don't behave very believably, and I think they mostly suffer from insufficiently creative writers.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:44 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


While they leave the details more than a little vague and contradictory at times, I think the concept kinda works like the neuron to the human mind model except where each neuron/drone is able to be "activated" and take on a more aware role in the collective when needed. The rest of the drones are connected to the collective mind at all times but are effectively tuned out as the focus is elsewhere, so they "hear" only an ocean of noise from all the other activity in the collective other than specific tasks directed towards them.

In a way, it might be like living in a constant state of ecstasy, flooded by awareness from billions of linked minds all over the galaxy too great to sort into detail, but so intense in its density that individual thought becomes impossible. The comparison to it being like a drug wouldn't be far off in that way, where the outward signs of lack of awareness and singleness action belie the inward feeling of unfocused awe at the totality of the collective experience.

How the collective manages to function and make decisions via the queen or who or what ever is difficult to say other than they must act as a control system for all the impulses, sorting the necessary information into actions whether as one or as part of a hierarchical systemic function.

The humanoid Borg thing is a bit weak. If they're assimilating all these different species/races then there should be a lot more Borgs that look nothing like humans than there seem to be and there likely would be many where their machined nature would take them further for the bipedal humanoid look. But, budget I'm sure determines more than desire for what we end up with, so I won't criticize them too much for what they went with as it's suggestive enough of the rest.
posted by gusottertrout at 11:06 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


By the way, this sort of discussion is one thing I think Trek has too often failed to consider interesting enough to deal with themselves more in the shows. The lack of trust in the audience's ability to enjoy conceptual science fiction, where the description and speculation of alien intelligences and situation is disappointing, especially when many of the episodes most loved by fans do indeed at least touch on discussion of those aspects. The Darmok episode being just one notable example. It's something they really could do more with, and make even better by moving more away from the human-emotion centered favoring they do.
posted by gusottertrout at 11:15 PM on September 6 [2 favorites]


Regarding the shuttles....

Depending on which source one relies on, the Intrepid class initially had the following auxiliary craft aboard:
2 work pods (never seen on ST:Voyager)
36 escape pods
3 or 4 Federation shuttlecraft (of types 6, 8 and 9)
1 aeroshuttle. This is in the same position as the Captain's Yacht on the Galaxy Class ships -- a part of the bottom of the saucer section. It is based on a runabout design, is independently warp-capable and faster than a standard runabout. The aeroshuttle was never shown on screen, which is a bit inexplicable, since it would have been faster and tougher than the other standard shuttles the ship brought with it to the DQ.

There are two shuttlebays.

The first is on deck 10, in the aft dorsal portion of the secondary hull. This is shuttlebay that we see on screen.

Behind Shuttlebay 1 is another: Shuttlebay 2, devoted to repair and maintenance. On Voyager, it was called the "Maintenance Bay." Shuttles were launched from Bay 2 in several episodes.

At 6 shuttles down, we are already beyond an Intrepid Class' full complement.

Worth noting that ex-astris-scientia (that link contains spoilers for future episodes) kept track of the number of shuttles damaged, lost or presumed lost on Voyager throughout its run. By this episode, they noted 5 lost, not 6. They were more generous in assuming that a damaged shuttle was recovered.

There's a wonderful inconsistency that's mentioned on that page which I'm going to have a field day analyzing when the episode in question comes around. For now, I'll refrain from launching into a rant that would include spoilers. :D
posted by zarq at 1:12 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]


« Older Movie: The Handmaid's Tale...   |  Podcast: My Brother, My Brothe... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments