Star Trek: Voyager: Waking Moments   Rewatch 
October 9, 2017 6:58 AM - Season 4, Episode 13 - Subscribe

In dreams, I walk with you/In dreams, I talk to you--wait, have we met before?

Memory Alpha still has that dream where you remember that there's this class that you signed up for but just sort of forgot about and the final is today:

- The episode's writer, André Bormanis, usually worked as science consultant on Star Trek: Voyager and Deep Space Nine. This installment was the second of seven Voyager episodes that bear a writing credit for Bormanis, although this is the only one for which he alone is credited as having written both the story and script. He later said of the episode, "I used to have lucid dreams…I have not had them for a number of years now. I was thinking about a possible story for Chakotay. Given that he has a Native American heritage I thought this would be a good area for him. I pitched it to [executive producer] Jeri Taylor and then I sat down in the writers' room and we broke the story. [Producer] Ken Biller helped a lot on the script."

- According to the unofficial reference book Delta Quadrant (p. 218), Tim Russ (for the filming of the scene wherein Tuvok seemingly finds himself naked on the bridge) had the makeup department mold a ridiculously large physical appendage that the actor wore on to the set, where – upon Russ removing his dressing gown to reveal that he was wearing the molded attribute instead of underwear – the entirety of the cast and crew broke out laughing.

- The over-jacket that B'Elanna Torres wears in this installment made numerous other episodic appearances in Star Trek: Voyager, continuing to help hide Roxann Dawson's pregnancy. In fact, although this episode was the first time the over-jacket was shown "on air," "Message in a Bottle" also features the item of clothing and was produced before this episode. Brannon Braga said of the over-jacket, "[Roxann Dawson] had on some bad costumes to hide the pregnancy. We went through the same thing with Gates McFadden."

"It appears, that in my haste to report to the bridge, I neglected to put on my uniform."

- Tuvok, after reporting to the bridge naked during a dream.

"Resistance is futile."

- Seven of Nine, seconds before kissing Harry Kim rather forcibly in his dream

"And the next thing I knew I was being boiled alive in a pot of my own leola root stew."
"Talk about a nightmare!"
"Well, it was perfectly seasoned."

- Neelix and B'Elanna Torres

TVTropes page [the usual warnings about TVTropes as a chronovore apply]

Poster's Log:

Another meh-to-nah episode, with the recurring tropes of Dream Within a Dream ("Projections") and how-do-these-aliens-even-work-in-the-long-run (the Vidiians and lots others). There's some fun with the assortment of dreams that people have, between nightmares, erotic dreams, and realizing that you've walked into the junior high cafeteriaonto the bridge naked, but otherwise it's a sequence of what's happening, someone is doing a thing, how are they doing the thing, let's stop them from doing the thing. The dream bandit aliens are apparently gambling that they'll never encounter a species with any significant AI technology or even some decent ability at lucid dreaming; good luck with that, my dudes. This probably could have been another acceptable use of the old a-koo-chee-moya, if they'd had a more interesting peg to hang the story on besides being lured into a trap. Maybe one of those Trek dystopias where the aliens have all their bodily needs met and live in a Lotus Eater Machine and need the crew to rescue them? Wait, they've done that too. I dunno.

Poster's Log, supplemental: Lucid dreaming is of course a thing, and even has its own prog metal anthem.
posted by Halloween Jack (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
My knee-jerk reaction on rewatch this time was that this episode felt so pointless that I considered the possibility that its original raison d'etre was to give UPN a shot of Seven kissing Harry for the promo.

I then thought, no, I'm being too harsh.

Then just now, I found this.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 10:09 AM on October 9 [2 favorites]


Particle of the Week: The dream field machine.
Pointless STO Comparison of the Week: Not much in the way of dream episodes in Star Trek Online. I've already talked about the main on, (Mindscape), repeatedly.

Ongoing Counts: Rolled forward again, as this was filler.
* Maximum Possible Photon Torpedoes: 17.
* Shuttles: Down 8.
* Crew: 141.
* Other: 46 bio-neural gelpacks remaining, maybe 25-50% of the escape pods should be gone at this point.
* Credulity Straining Alpha Quadrant Contacts: 9.
* Janeway's Big Red Button: 2 aborted self-destructs, 1 successful, 1 game of chicken, 1 ramming speed.

Notes:
* The nightmares were really the only interesting thing here.

I'll admit that the thing with Tuvok cracked me up, even moreso hearing about the behind the scenes stuff. I also loved the exchange about 'perfectly seasoned Leola root stew.' I feel like those were all on point except for Harry's.

Unfortunately, that was really it, and the only redeeming feature to the Seven/Harry stuff was her picking him to slug when she wanted to create a distraction.

* Conceptually, this is another would-be horror episode.

The dream stuff could have been interesting. I basically came here to say this:

This probably could have been another acceptable use of the old a-koo-chee-moya, if they'd had a more interesting peg to hang the story on besides being lured into a trap.

Like, if Chakotay had been able to really control the dream, we could've gotten some Matrix/Dark City stuff going on, which might have been cool. Unfortunately, using it for just another 'hardheaded aliens round the crew up and put them in a cargo bay' thing is just... meh. No thanks.

I'd basically forgotten this episode even existed, and expect to do so again in a week.
posted by mordax at 12:52 PM on October 9 [2 favorites]


It's always jarring to see something like a deer in Start Trek. The sets are so functional and sometimes sterile. A living, messy, wild animal seems so out of place. Off the top of my head the only other live animal I've seen on Trek was Spot the cat. Oh and Archer's dog, Porthos(?)
I'd never seen this episode before so I was fooled by the alien's ruse to get Voyager to their lair(?) And I uh...Actually haven't finished the episode yet. :D
posted by hot_monster at 4:07 PM on October 9 [2 favorites]


Oh dear (or should I say deer?), this is not a good episode. It could have been fun, an attack by sleeping aliens isn't an inherently bad idea, but I'm afraid Andre wasn't quite up to writing that episode. And once again the writing/producing team shows they aren't that adept at slotting the episodes within the season. A dream episode right after Neelix's visionquest/dream thing? That's just dumb like putting those two Seven tries to take over the ship episodes so close together at the start of the season. They've struggled with this since the beginning, no doubt because they don't really plan ahead very far other than for their big event episodes.

Anyway, the character writing here is flat, not so much off target as not very interesting. If you're going to do this you need the dreams to be more revealing of hidden fears or hopes, not stuff we already take for granted and having them a little more bizarre would be fun too. What we ended up with was pretty run of the mill. The fake out wake ups are a cliche, and misused here in showing the crew carrying on together aware of their previous dreams and acting as they normally would in an attempt to fool the viewer. That's fine, annoying, stupid and ultimately unrewarding, but fine. The part that rankles is in them not believing Chakotay did in fact wake up and the rest of them are now asleep sharing a dream and believing they control the dream rules. It's all so mundane, which is something dream shows shouldn't be.

Chakotay carrying the spear in his dream was a throwback to their earlier idiocy with his character, but without even Beltran being able to do anything positive to redeem it.

Collective unconsciousness opposed to collective consciousness is silly, but at least they do follow through with that later in Seven's dream world story line, not that really improves the idea as those episodes aren't so hot either if memory serves, but, hey, consistency is something anyway.

Poor Robert Beltran seems to get screwed by the Chakotay focused episodes way too often. They never really figure out what to do with his character. Such a waste. Oh well, this one went quickly anyway. Oddly, I remembered it pretty well from the first go around while forgetting some other, better, episodes more completely. I don't think I'll chalk that up as a bonus though.
posted by gusottertrout at 7:55 AM on October 11 [3 favorites]


If you're going to do this you need the dreams to be more revealing of hidden fears or hopes, not stuff we already take for granted and having them a little more bizarre would be fun too.

Really excellent point. They could have had
- Tuvok inexplicably behave really illogically, like misusing words and getting defensive when called out on it;
- Harry on the bridge, but like, it's NOT the bridge? (and simple enough to pull off in camera: switch the actors' insignia to the opposite sides of their uniforms, then mirror the shot);
- Tom leading a mutiny, because you know he kind of wants to;
and/or
- somebody famous in-universe making a totally random appearance just hanging out in the mess hall, like Einstein or Gowron or maybe Paul McCartney, who is now canonical-by-implication.

We need to be writers for a show like this. Actually, we need to write The Orville, really.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 10:21 AM on October 11 [2 favorites]


They've struggled with this since the beginning, no doubt because they don't really plan ahead very far other than for their big event episodes.

Yeah, this is another good point - it emphasizes how redundant/unoriginal the plot is.

Poor Robert Beltran seems to get screwed by the Chakotay focused episodes way too often. They never really figure out what to do with his character. Such a waste.

Yeah, it really was, and you're right that it's frustrating to watch the racist roots of the character here too.

Further thoughts:
* I feel dumber for having observed these aliens.

So, we know they can't sleep all the time because they had a device in the physical world to generate the field, and it was high tech: at some point in their existence, they had to design electronics, power sources and whatnot, but there's no sign of infrastructure here. We also know they probably don't sleep for super lengthy periods of time because they aren't on life support of any kind, so they must need to eat/excrete/whatever in a waking state... but they're atrophied like they sleep all the time.

At the same time, they had no concessions to the waking world: past not having defenses, the poor schlubs never even invented beds.

Upon preview:
We need to be writers for a show like this. Actually, we need to write The Orville, really.

Stuff like this actually is what inspired me to start writing, yeah. 'Why can't the stories I'm seeing care more about [x]?'
posted by mordax at 10:36 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


You know what would have been great for Tom's dream? Some sort of Grease/Rock and Roll High School/West Side Story mash-up, where he's the brooding rebel and B'Elanna's the good-girl-gone-bad and the senior officers are teachers who decided to give up trying to maintain discipline and rock out with the kids in the final musical number. Tim Russ is a musician, he could have come up with the song. One of the things that I've gotten from Tumblr Trekkies is the idea of the AU, where you transfer the characters into another genre or setting entirely (i.e. Deep Dish Nine, a pizza parlor) and play with that.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:47 PM on October 11 [2 favorites]


Heh. The thought about the bizarre occurred to me when Janeway gave the order to fire photon torpedoes early in the episode. I kept hoping they'd fire, but the torpedoes would beach balls or pumpkins or something else instead. That would have been a fun way to go into the break..
posted by gusottertrout at 10:16 PM on October 11 [1 favorite]


I kept hoping they'd fire, but the torpedoes would beach balls or pumpkins or something else instead.

Or a bunch of little mini-Janeways, each wailing "Rrrrrrreeeeeeeeaaaauuuuggghhh"
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 6:03 AM on October 12 [2 favorites]


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