Star Trek: Voyager: Basics, Part I   Rewatch 
May 25, 2017 5:18 AM - Season 2, Episode 26 - Subscribe

(Season Finale) Captain's log, stardate 49858.5—and I mean a literal log, I'm talking into a log right now. Stranded on a wilderness planet again *sigh*…second time this month. No sign of friendly monkeys, though. Well, at least my whole crew is with me this time. …Oh right, except for the doctor—and, um, one of his nurses. Hm. Well, maybe we won't end up needing any medical treatment. Wildman's baby looks pretty tough, what with the forehead spikes and all. Anyway, they're starting to stare at me, so I'd better wrap this up. Our first order of business: we're gonna need tubs. Lots of tubs.

To get marooned on strange, new worlds… To seek out water and shelter and primitive civilizations… To boldly go back to basics where no  man  one has gone back to basics before!

- With this episode, departing executive producer Michael Piller wanted to provide the series with a second season coda that would incite the excitement of his acclaimed TNG Season 3 cliffhanger "The Best of Both Worlds".

- In coming up with the story, there was some question as to who the alien enemy would be, but it was Michael Piller who promoted the idea of featuring the Kazon, influenced by their use in previous episodes in the season. "When we were going in," Piller recalled, "there was a real question of whether it was going to be a new alien group who steals the ship or the Kazon. I was the one who really drove the unit toward the Kazon, because I felt we had built up this arc with them and it was a natural conclusion. The issue of [Seska's] baby was still unresolved, and I just felt it was a natural way to go."

- According to Star Trek Monthly, the episode's title reflects the stranding of USS Voyager's crew on a primitive planet without their technology, forcing them to go "back to basics" in order to survive. According to Michael Piller, however, the title was also a message to the Star Trek franchise and to the writers who, unlike him, were remaining to work on the series. "The last thing I wrote for Voyager was 'Basics'," he recalled, "and it wasn't by chance that it was named, 'Basics'. And it wasn't by chance that it was about some fundamental issues confronting this Starfleet crew, because it was my message to the franchise to say... the key for success, the way to make this show work, the way to make this franchise fresh, is to stay with the basics that [Gene] Roddenberry set forth to us to begin with, to do the stories that have themes, to always ask, 'What is it about?' [....] That's what Roddenberry taught me and that was my last message to the staff of Voyager."

- Janeway actress Kate Mulgrew criticized this episode's story, feeling that – compared to how the episode turned out – it should have been more action-oriented and the Voyager crew should have been portrayed as more cautious. "'Basics, Part I' should have been bup-bup, bup-bup, bup-bup, bup-bup," Mulgrew said, imitating a fast heartbeat. "We should have known what was happening. We're Starfleet officers. There should have been more control on our part, especially from the captain's point of view." Tuvok actor Tim Russ added, "We had to do some changes on the set to make that work as well as it did."

- Filming the Kazon's takeover of Voyager's bridge turned out to be a humorous experience. Culluh actor Anthony De Longis later commented, "It's a confined space to begin with, but with 10 people huddled together in the middle plus all us Kazons you needed an Arthur Murray dance lesson to maneuver through the scene." A particular moment that some of the cast found funny was during filming of the scene wherein Culluh smacks Janeway. "I remember us standing on the set," De Longis recalled, "and [Kate Mulgrew] jokingly saying, 'I bet Anthony has been waiting months for this.'" De Longis had made a sarcastically criticizing comment to Mulgrew during production of "Alliances". "So we both got a good chuckle when she came out with the remark about me slapping her," De Longis concluded.

- Robert Picardo ultimately felt uncomfortable about his performance in the sequence wherein The Doctor momentarily appears in outer space, but his two young daughters were delighted to watch the footage. "They got a kick out of that," Picardo said. "They actually saw me shoot that in front of a blue screen. That I personally consider my most embarrassing moment, acting-wise, on the show thus far. I would say that's the most over-the-top I've been, so I learned a big lesson that day. If they put me up, hang me in a harness again, I'll ask to watch the playback."

- Tierna's removal of his own toenail was actually a slimy special effect. "For the Kazon suicide bomber," Dan Curry recalled, "the prop department made a prop toenail that he was able to remove with a little dab of the same Methocel on that I think fast food companies use to thicken milkshakes. So it had this disgusting slime when he pulled the toenail off."

- Although a Vulcan mind meld that he and Tuvok engage in during "Meld" is referred to only in the past tense here, actor Brad Dourif suspected that, in this episode, Suder is anxious of the meld's personality-changing effects wearing off. Dourif mused, "In 'Basics, Part I,' Suder's really beginning to develop a third personality, which is more tenuous, child-like, and it's probably harder for him to maintain. In that situation, I think he's also running on a lot of fear. He feels that the techniques of mind control and Vulcan meditation aren't going to work any longer because the mind-meld is wearing off. Suder has to learn to do this, to control his emotions, quickly, so that he can really be a different person. That's his dilemma, and we got more into it in 'Basics, Part II'."

- The episode failed to appear in a contemporaneous fan poll of the top five episodes of the second season, a poll that executive producer Jeri Taylor paid particular attention to.

- Following the episode's initial airing, however, Jeri Taylor cited this as being, in her opinion, one of the best episodes of Voyager's first two seasons. She further commented, "'Basics, Part I,' rivaled only the pilot in terms of being a crackling action-adventure show."

- Ken Biller thought this episode's plot bore too much of a resemblance to previous Kazon episodes, such as his earlier second season installment "Maneuvers". "I have to agree that it was another instance of us getting outsmarted by the Kazon. Here are these semi-primitive aliens who seem to be smarter than us at every turn. That was a discussion and a concern [....] I did the first one of those episodes, 'Maneuvers', and thought the first time was fun seeing Seska using our stuff against us and outsmart us. To have it happen again was a bit frustrating."


"Unable to initiate self-destruct sequence due to damage to secondary command processors."

- The computer, to Captain Janeway, who realizes in horror why the Kazon had been targeting Voyager's secondary command processors: to prevent her from destroying the ship before they could capture it


"Help! Man overboard!"

- The Doctor, after inadvertently being projected out into space


"A fitting end for a people who would not share their technology. Let's see if you manage to survive without it."

- Culluh


"Do you really think we're going to be rescued, Captain?"
"You're the morale officer, Neelix. You tell me."
"Help is on the way!"

- Neelix and Captain Janeway


Poster's Log:
Here's a rare case of an episode that I think I like more than some of the creators. The whole story—hit-and-run attacks wearing down a particular part of the ship, the boarding, the marooning—has a pleasantly swashbuckling quality. Like, on my first viewing, I actually really got into it, and had to go right to "Basics, Part II" as soon as it was over. And it moves fast enough that you basically (heh) don't mind that it's a Kazon episode. It feels slightly dopey throughout, to be sure—and more so on each rewatch—but I've long thought of VOY in the aggregate as "generally harmless, mild fun that you shouldn't think too much about," and by that personal measure, this is pretty much the typical VOY episode for me.

So now I'll think too much about it. If I were captain, and I brought a representative of a warlike and duplicitous alien race aboard my ship after discovering him under suspicious circumstances, I would just go ahead and keep him in the brig, which one would assume is somehow hardened to resist damage from within or without. Or I'd at least make sure he's watched 24/7, not turned loose in one of my V.I.P. quarters (and CERTAINly not the one next door to the ship's psychotic Betazoid). And then, once others of his species started repeatedly attacking the same spot on my ship's hull? That dude's off my ship. How come Starfleet captains never stick suspicious individuals into lifepods and tow them? Oh right, the show budget.

Those comments above by Mulgrew and Russ seem to concur with me, and with gus's contention in the last thread that the actors went above and beyond in terms of development and continuity—that they may be responsible for much of what made VOY work to the extent that it did.

Poster's Log, Supplemental:
Likewise, if I were captain, I would be more than a little nervous about Suder conducting genetic hybridization experiments on orchids, given the events of "Tuvix."

SUDER: Captain, wwwwith your permission, I'd… *swallow* like to fuse myself with Tuvok. Our name would be… "Sudok." Sounds very Vulcan, don't you think?
JANEWAY: I beg your pardon?!
SUDER: But Neelix got to!!
posted by CheesesOfBrazil (17 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Michael Piller wanted to provide the series with a second season coda that would incite the excitement of his acclaimed TNG Season 3 cliffhanger "The Best of Both Worlds".

Oh, dude. Dream big, sure, but... look, even TNG never really topped TBOBW as far as cliffhangers went.

Anyway, "Basics Part 1" was pretty good. I really like how the crew was suspicious of the whole set-up from the very beginning, and still got played. I don't think that "asymmetric warfare" was in the common parlance, even though it was over twenty years old by that point, but that's pretty much what the Kazon were doing, and I disagree with Ken Biller that it's somehow implausible that the "semi-primitive" aliens could have maintained a tactical advantage over Voyager; after all, America was at war with North Vietnam and the Viet Cong for over a decade, had vastly more resources than one lone ship, and still lost. (The Kazon not only had their hit-and-run attacks and suicide bomber, but the home-field advantage; they systematically denied the Federation ship support from the locals by spreading rumors about them. You'd think that a ship that originally set out to combat an insurgency--and ended up being partially staffed by the insurgents--might give some thought to counterinsurgency tactics.)

I will say that they could have made one small change that would make it more plausible that they'd keep Tierna in regular quarters, maybe even a particular set of quarters, rather than the brig or a towed pod or the proverbial cargo deck or whatever: he's got some unexplained medical condition, so they're keeping him in secure quarters, near(ish) the sick bay, which are set aside for quarantining patients who are either highly infectious (or potentially so) or potential security risks... you know, like Lon Suder. And Seska, whose knowledge of Voyager really is staggering--to the point where I was beginning to wonder if she ever suggested to Maje Culluh that they simply build their own Intrepid-class ship, in the manner of the Terran Resistance in the mirror universe building their own Defiant--would know that that's right next to a big honking EPS conduit or whatever. Also, I was bugged that they didn't have more robust plans in place for being boarded, especially with their near-miss with the Vidiians a few episodes back, until I thought of what happened last episode, where Acting Captain Tuvok came out of the ready room to see a group of discontented officers waiting to see how his conversation with Kes went, and thought, hmm, maybe there's a reason why the entire crew don't have very easy access to phasers. (We will, in the future, find out that Tuvok had prepared a training scenario for a Maquis mutiny, which would be taken advantage of by a certain recurring character.) Finally, I'm still not 100% convinced that the murderhoboes would have gone to the trouble of putting the crew down on an M-class (or close to it) planet; that's a basic staple of any given version of the Evil Overlord List. [TVTropes]

But, anyway. Good to see Suder again; it's always great to see how unsettling Brad Dourif can be just by looking at someone a certain way. And, of course, great gloating from Martha Hackett.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:27 AM on May 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Particle of the Week: Not applicable this time.
Pointless STO Comparison of the Week: Photonic Fleet is a staple of Science-class captains in Star Trek Online. It functions a lot like what occurs in this episode, except in the future MMO version, those ships can (somehow, inexplicably) also fire. Also, it always works and never sends an EMH overboard.

Ongoing Equipment Tally: This feels off to me, so I'll take corrections if there were any.
* Maximum Possible Photon Torpedoes: 24. I only counted 3 fired on screen.
* Shuttles: Down 3.
* Crew: 146. I didn't see anyone killed here yet.
* Bio-neural Gelpacks: 47
Credulity Straining Alpha Quadrant Contacts: Holding at 7.

Notes:
* The vision was skeevy.

So, first of all, there's the implication that Chakotay isn't going to make up his mind without magic visions. He's a grown man, and this entire fake spirit guide thing has always pissed me off, but this was the worst one to date. I'm trying to imagine how people would've talked if Chakotay had been female, and had a ghost parent tell them to keep a child resulting from rape.

*full body shudder*

That plotline needed to never, ever happen. Not to mention that it's an insanely dumb hook for this entire episode. Which brings me to:

* My problem with this episode is that it relies on everyone being stupid from start to finish.

Seska's crazy manipulative, with advanced tactical knowledge from at least three different organizations. She has demonstrated a knowledge of Voyager that would, as Jack mentions, almost support just building one of her own. (Indeed, I assume the only thing that's holding her back is a poor Kazon industrial base - wherever the murderhoboes get their ships, the facilities probably can't produce some of the widgets needed, and Seska probably doesn't know how to build the tools to build those parts.)

Listening to her is ridiculous, and yet Janeway insists that it 'has to be Chakotay's decision.' No, it doesn't. She's the Captain. It's her decision. Tuvok exercised more responsibility in Resolutions, when he pointedly accepted all responsibility for the consequences when the crew insisted on doing something stupid. I'm glad Mulgrew criticized the story, and sorry she was saddled with looking so ineffectual in it.

The rest of my notes are mostly plot points followed by 'what the hell, Voyager?'

- Letting the Kazon wander around.

He absolutely belonged in the brig, helping or not. They could've brought him something nice to eat or promised him his freedom, post-rescue. But he was still a potential enemy combatant, and, as mentioned above, didn't belong in VIP quarters with no guard.

he's got some unexplained medical condition, so they're keeping him in secure quarters, near(ish) the sick bay, which are set aside for quarantining patients who are either highly infectious (or potentially so) or potential security risks... you know, like Lon Suder.

That could've worked.

- Not checking where Seska was hitting.

We know the computer won't volunteer information. However, the ship can run complex Holodeck simulations of ship damage, including hypotheticals like 'what happens if we jump to Warp 10?' and nobody can take two seconds to just ask it 'what could Seska cripple by hitting us there?'

Nope. Not buying it. It's the first thing Janeway, Tuvok or B'Ellana would be thinking about.

- Letting Neelix be a team leader.

I understand Neelix has foraging experience that's valuable to the crew, but his whole fake bridge officer routine was particularly galling here. You'd think that would be super corrosive for morale - people took it hard enough when B'Ellana jumped the line for promotions, never mind some alien dude who'd never even heard of Starfleet, and generally can't follow the rules.

- On a lesser note, Sudor.

I don't really understand why Janeway didn't just let him help out. Seems to me like the work was helping with his therapy, not to mention the potential to help offset the cost of keeping him alive on the ship for potentially decades. Prior threads on the blue have talked about prisoners doing better with this kind of thing. The encounter kinda rubbed me the wrong way, past Dourif's uncanny ability to creep people out.

* The bit with the Doctor was funny.

That I personally consider my most embarrassing moment, acting-wise, on the show thus far. I would say that's the most over-the-top I've been, so I learned a big lesson that day. If they put me up, hang me in a harness again, I'll ask to watch the playback.

I'm glad Picardo's such a sport, that was the one bit I really laughed at. Especially him all trying to basically wriggle out of the way of a Kazon starship beam weapon.

* Other stuff:

(Season Finale) Captain's log, stardate 49858.5—and I mean a literal log, I'm talking into a log right now. Stranded on a wilderness planet again *sigh*…second time this month. No sign of friendly monkeys, though. Well, at least my whole crew is with me this time. …Oh right, except for the doctor—and, um, one of his nurses. Hm. Well, maybe we won't end up needing any medical treatment. Wildman's baby looks pretty tough, what with the forehead spikes and all. Anyway, they're starting to stare at me, so I'd better wrap this up. Our first order of business: we're gonna need tubs. Lots of tubs.

Hahahaha, thanks!

SUDER: Captain, wwwwith your permission, I'd… *swallow* like to fuse myself with Tuvok. Our name would be… "Sudok." Sounds very Vulcan, don't you think?

You very nearly killed me there. Fortunately, I read this thread without attempting to eat or drink.

Oh, dude. Dream big, sure, but... look, even TNG never really topped TBOBW as far as cliffhangers went.

No kidding. Especially using the Kazon. The Borg are inherently a creepy body horror space zombie premise. The Kazon are just warrior guys with bad hair - leaving aside that they were never really well-executed, the premise of being carjacked by murderhoboes just can't compete with 'infected and turned like your leader, oh and your civilization is about to end.'

It bothers me to think that Piller doesn't really understand why TBOBW was as successful as it was - looking at this, I get the impression he thought it was just about explosions or something.

Also, I was bugged that they didn't have more robust plans in place for being boarded, especially with their near-miss with the Vidiians a few episodes back, until I thought of what happened last episode, where Acting Captain Tuvok came out of the ready room to see a group of discontented officers waiting to see how his conversation with Kes went, and thought, hmm, maybe there's a reason why the entire crew don't have very easy access to phasers.

I feel like they could've armed everybody in prep for this and just disarmed them later. I mean, the Kazon have literally rammed ships into the side of Voyager before - boarding action should've been considered inevitable.

So yeah, I was mostly annoyed with this episode. If they'd put together a better hook than 'let's just walk into Seska's obvious trap without taking appropriate precautions,' I would've liked it more. This is a common Voyager failing that I've gone on about repeatedly: yet another case of them having some big idea they really want to put on the screen, but not really considering the setup even a little.
posted by mordax at 8:25 AM on May 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


I'd forgotten about the a-koo-chee-moya scene, which may have been my memory trying to be merciful with me. "One of our ancestors had a child from rape, sooooo..." is not a good argument.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:38 AM on May 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


The most irksome part of the obvious trap is that the whole set up was unnecessary other than to remind viewers of Seska's baby and her relationship with Chakotay. The plot, such as it was, could have been more sensibly handled by having Voyager simply entering an unavoidable region of space where the Kazon attacked them as shown without tipping their hand that Seska was involved at all until they finished setting their trap with the injured Kazon dude, who only then tells them of Seska's "death" and the fate of the boy, or just tells them Culluh had enough of her talk and locked her and the boy up, which might at least lead viewers to thinking she'd turn on the Kazon and help Voyager once they were about to be boarded, only appearing at the end with the boy showing she planned the whole thing or some such.

The Chakotay dad talk was risible. Maybe spirit dad needs to fine tune his vision thing to better inform his kid about the Kazon trap. Not much point in communing with the spirits if they can't give you any better advice then Neelix could have done. I'll even give them a narrow pass on the creepy rape baby stuff since the kid was already born and it could be as much a question of leaving a child to be raised by Culluh as an acceptance of the method of contraception. It doesn't seem too far fetched that's how Chakotay would see it anyway. But, without question, yes, that whole bit needed to be tossed out and rewritten to clear the stink of ugly analogy off of it.

Here's a belated tip for the Voyager production crew. Ship battles in Voyager are deadly dull. Avoid showing them as much as possible unless there is some important twist that needs to be shown. It'll save the show money that could be spend on designing planets that don't so frickin' tedious and scrubby earthlike. (Yes, I saw the cruddy volcano dealies, they aren't a big bonus.) Hearing Janeway and Paris announcing "Evasive pattern whothefuckcares" all the time is particularly dreary as those "evasive patterns are completely devoid of visual purpose, interest, and, one gathers, use. If you do really need to show a space battle, how about thinking it through and doing something more interesting, like using three dimensions and varying approaches and speeds instead of making them look like something a kid would dream up in his bath playing with toy boats. Action sequences kinda require good directors, and anyone watching Caretaker would have known Kolbe is really not the man for that job. This episode looks every bit as drab as that one did. Kolbe has no real sense of choreography, hell, movement, and his eye for location set ups is bland at best.

Piller was right about that at least, this episode was a return to basics as it repeats so many of the mistakes from Caretaker that they've had to spend two years trying to correct. It's annoying and more than a little offensive to think they based the murderhoboes on LA gangs and then refer to them as semi-primitive, but even were that not said, they've so thoroughly debased Culluh by this point that there is little tension developed by having him return since they've managed to do nothing interesting with him in all this time. The sexism bit may have seemed a villainous fit for Janeway, but all it really does is sap strength from Seska, unbalance the scales between Kazon and Voyager since Culluh is so obviously wrong and thus dumb about this, and just generally come across as a writers flourish rather than something of weight.

Good to see Suder back, and that at least promises something more interesting ahead as does the doctor avoiding detection, even though they should well know he exists and is a hologram so they might actually check on his program and all. I don't give a damn about Chakotay's baby woes, but Suder, the doctor and Seska are interesting enough to provide hope part II will be more exciting. Sadly though I also know we'll have to see the rest of the crew getting all gritty and back to "Basics" planetside too, which will be nothing but a let down from the more interesting seeming ship board action.

Piller did some good things with the series I'm sure, but the episodes he wrote are pretty weak and what he says about the show seems to suggest the show won't be worse off without his contributions. We'll see though, maybe his behind the scenes influence was stronger than one might guess.
posted by gusottertrout at 10:35 AM on May 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Piller's best work, from what's been mentioned, seemed to be in acting as a spur to the other writers better developing their stories, sometimes in important ways, so for that he deserves full credit and may indeed end up being missed.
posted by gusottertrout at 10:43 AM on May 25, 2017


The plot, such as it was, could have been more sensibly handled by having Voyager simply entering an unavoidable region of space where the Kazon attacked them as shown without tipping their hand that Seska was involved at all until they finished setting their trap with the injured Kazon dude

Right? They'll lean on the whole 'we can't go around' thing later, and it would've worked fine here too. There was absolutely no reason to go with Seska stealing Chakotay's precious bodily fluids versus 'we have simply hit the heart of Kazon space and it's too big to avoid.'

The sexism bit may have seemed a villainous fit for Janeway, but all it really does is sap strength from Seska, unbalance the scales between Kazon and Voyager since Culluh is so obviously wrong and thus dumb about this, and just generally come across as a writers flourish rather than something of weight.

This is another very good point: by making Culluh into such a pig, they're losing a spot where he's got a decent argument. I feel like he and Seska have a legitimate grievance about, 'why not share?' that deserves a more nuanced discussion and debate than just 'welp, they're horrible.' Starfleet offers humanitarian aid to post-warp civilizations all the time, and their examination of the Kazon as potential trading partners really has been pretty shallow. If Culluh were an Honorable Warrior Guy, the whole discussion could've been a lot more interesting.

(Of course, I think allying with the Kazon - if not Culluh's faction, just someone - would've been a fascinating route to go, so I think I'm not Voyager's target audience.)
posted by mordax at 11:36 AM on May 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Hell, they could have done any number of things with the idea of the Kazon as a postcolonial society and/or the responsibility of Voyager in terms of being ambassadors to the Delta Quadrant instead of just cutting through their turf on their way home. Certainly, the Federation is willing to deal with societies that have some fairly reprehensible laws and practices by their standards, such as the Klingons and the Cardassians, to the point of giving them tech (such as the industrial replicators in "For the Cause"). Going that way, instead of the Maquis crew being the ones willing to deal with the Kazon or whomever in order to get home, then their opposition might be based instead in their idealism, not wanting to give murderhoboes that sort of tech under any circumstances whatsoever. (Of course, that sort of realpolitik eventually gets offloaded onto Seska, for the most part, although Jonas is also down with it.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:32 PM on May 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Don't worry, folks. I have a feeling that Hogan will be instrumental in the plan to retake the ship.
posted by Servo5678 at 4:21 PM on May 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


I have a feeling that Hogan will be instrumental in the plan to retake the ship.

Hogan's gonna be fine. His shirt's not even red! (Yet!)

Going that way, instead of the Maquis crew being the ones willing to deal with the Kazon or whomever in order to get home, then their opposition might be based instead in their idealism, not wanting to give murderhoboes that sort of tech under any circumstances whatsoever.

That makes so much more sense than what happened, while still leaving room for Seska to betray them. Man. Voyager could've been so much more fun.
posted by mordax at 4:39 PM on May 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Or they could just share the tech with everyone, thus maintaining the same balance of power as no group would gain advantage by having replicators. These are post warp societies, so the strict non-interference policy doesn't apply, just like it didn't with the Klingons, Vulcans, Romulans and whoever else. Trade, in such circumstances, is not only allowed between groups, but actively encouraged and formed the basis of god only knows how many episodes. Just because this is the Delta quadrant doesn't mean Voyager can't engage the locals with warp drive as equals, as we actually see them do repeatedly other than when it comes to their precious replicator tech. There's really no reason they couldn't share more than they do save for it makes writing the conflicts easier, though with widely varying "rules" to add some tension.
posted by gusottertrout at 5:19 AM on May 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


And speaking of that, what's up with the Vidiians last episode turning down an opportunity for possible B'Elanna Phage resistance? And what's the deal with Voyager and B'Elanna not being more forthcoming with help there, until, of course, Janeway requires Vidiian aid. The Vidiians would hardly need B'Elanna herself as one single test subject isn't going to be nearly as valuable as the information and her DNA anyway.

And while we're at it, I get Janeway's good at teh scienz, but medicine and ship tech are hardly the same. Treating all branches of science as pretty much the same and able to be understood by all with relative ease is pretty lazy. But then again Paris broke warp ten without much difficulty, so I guess future science is easy.
posted by gusottertrout at 5:48 AM on May 26, 2017


what's up with the Vidiians last episode turning down an opportunity for possible B'Elanna Phage resistance? ... The Vidiians would hardly need B'Elanna herself as one single test subject isn't going to be nearly as valuable as the information and her DNA anyway.

I suspect that the Vidiians have been down that road before many, many times, and while they maybe could have cooked up a cure out of a DNA sample, they wouldn't pass up the chance to get all of her, with the rest of the crew as a bonus. Remember how quickly they overwhelmed Voyager in "Deadlock" with one ship, and this time they've got three.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:38 AM on May 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


I don't know, B'Elanna DNA in the hand is worth two whole B'Elanna's in the bush, especially when they'd be dealing with Crazy Janeway's crew of ship destroying misfits. I mean that is assuming Vidiian med tech, which is allegedly superior to Voyager's in some claims and ways, relies as heavily on computer simulation as opposed to whim and instinct, which I suppose may not be the case given what we saw when B'Elanna was previously captured, but that too is hard to figure.

Whatever the case, it does remind me that we need a "Janeway threatens to destroy Voyager" counter along with the photon torpedo and credulity straining encounter checks. Seska rightly had that aspect of Janeway's command figured, as it is pretty much her go to mode for most momentary difficulties.
posted by gusottertrout at 7:15 AM on May 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


Whatever the case, it does remind me that we need a "Janeway threatens to destroy Voyager" counter along with the photon torpedo and credulity straining encounter checks.

Agreed. I'll see about adding one.
posted by mordax at 7:23 AM on May 26, 2017


Rather than combing through these visually, I pulled up a transcript site that I use for fact-checking in my comments here. I ran a search for 'destruct ' since there's specific phrasing involved in activating it. Findings:

S1: No instances. This jibes with my recollection.

S2: This pattern begins at Dreadnought, actually occurs in Deadlock and is threatened ineffectually in the current episode. So while they held off on this plot device for a good long while, it has occurred in 3/10 episodes since its introduction, really creating the feel that one of the greatest threats to Voyager is Janeway's finger over the big red button.

I'll add this to my headers starting with the conclusion to Basics, wherein Hogan is just fine, and just moved to a different ship in another nebula with lots of cargo bay space to run in.
posted by mordax at 8:31 AM on May 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


I' was also thinking of the times she threatened to destroy the ship rather than X. It was a threat like that she used in our intro to the surely long lived Hogan back when he wanted to pass out replicator tech like candy to trick or treating Kazon and what I think she repeated to Culluh when pushed for those yummy repli-sweets in person during their, unlike Hogan, short lived alliance talks. I swear there was some other time they talked about doing something similar too, but offhand I'm drawing a blank. Perhaps something yet to come I'm misordering.
posted by gusottertrout at 9:54 AM on May 26, 2017


Hm. I can go have a peek for that later, see what I can turn up.

I consider those fuzzier instances, since it sort of depends on how imminent the threat is, but it's probably worth discussing this whole idea anyway, especially in comparison to TNG/DS9.
posted by mordax at 2:59 PM on May 26, 2017


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