content by

Keith R.A. DeCandido

Fiction and Excerpts [4]

Fiction and Excerpts [4]

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Human Error”

“Human Error”
Written by André Bormanis & Kenneth Biller & Brannon Braga
Directed by Allan Kroeker
Season 7, Episode 18
Production episode 264
Original air date: March 7, 2001
Stardate: unknown

Captain’s log. We open with Seven playing the piano. Her hair is down, and her Borg implants are gone. She then goes to a baby shower for Torres, makes a toast and also has a conversation with Janeway about her future. She wants to be issued a uniform and also quarters since she no longer needs to regenerate.

[You’re beautiful when you’re chopping.]

Series: Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Workforce, Part II”

“Workforce, Part II”
Written by Kenneth Biller & Bryan Fuller & Michael Taylor
Directed by Roxann Dawson
Season 7, Episode 17
Production episode 263
Original air date: February 28, 2001
Stardate: 54622.4

Captain’s log. After a summary of Part I, we see Chakotay using his mad Maquis skillz to trick the cops into thinking he’s jumped over a fence and then taking them out, though he’s wounded in the process.

[I was a victim of mind control!]

Series: Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch

Huzzah! — Star Trek: Lower Decks: “Where Pleasant Fountains Lie”

In 1986, Jeffrey Combs auditioned for the role of First Officer William T. Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation, a role that instead went to a man half a foot taller than him, Jonathan Frakes. Combs would finally appear on Trek in the third-season Deep Space Nine episode “Meridian” in 1994, an episode directed by Frakes, ironically.

That opened the floodgates. Combs would return later that season as the Ferengi Brunt in “Family Business,” then as the Vorta Weyoun in “To the Death” in season four, both roles that would recur all the way to the end of the series. (He even appeared as both in the penultimate DS9 episode, “The Dogs of War.”) He then appeared on Voyager as a fight promoter in “Tsunkatse,” on Enterprise in another recurring role, that of the Andorian Shran, throughout all four of that show’s seasons, and also played another Ferengi in “Acquisition.”

And now he’s added Lower Decks to his resumé.


Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Workforce, Part I”

“Workforce” (Part 1)
Written by Kenneth Biller & Bryan Fuller
Directed by Allan Kroeker
Season 7, Episode 16
Production episode 262
Original air date: February 21, 2001
Stardate: 54584.3

Captain’s log. We open on Quarra in a large industrial complex, where we see Janeway reporting for her first day at a new job, monitoring the primary reactor coils. She was also late, as she boarded the wrong transport. Her new supervisor is understanding—it’s easy for newcomers to get lost—and sets her up at her work station.

[This isn’t right! We don’t belong here!]

Series: Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “The Void”

“The Void”
Written by Raf Green & Kenneth Biller & James Kahn
Directed by Mike Vejar
Season 7, Episode 15
Production episode 261
Original air date: February 14, 2001
Stardate: 54553.4

Captain’s log. Seven is cooking a meal for Janeway, Chakotay, Paris, and Torres, but it’s interrupted by Voyager being sucked into an anomaly. Unable to break out of it, Voyager finds itself in a starless void—and is immediately fired on by a ship of unfamiliar design, albeit with Vaadwaur weapons.

[Preparing meals myself is the best way to ensure quality.]

Series: Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch

Red Shirts and Big Helmets — Star Trek: Lower Decks: “The Spy Humongous”

One of the more amusing changes that Star Trek: The Next Generation made to the Trek mythos was to mess with the color scheme. In the original series, command wore gold, operations wore red, and science wore blue. Among other things, this meant that security guards wore red, and their constantly dying on landing parties led to “redshirt” coming to be synonymous with “dead meat.”

So TNG switched it up so that the people in red were now in command, which did precisely nothing to slow down the redshirt meme.

This week on Lower Decks, they make a pretty funny joke out of it.


Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Prophecy”

Written by Larry Nemecek & J. Kelley Burke and Raf Green & Kenneth Biller and Michael Sussman & Phyllis Strong
Directed by Terry Windell
Season 7, Episode 14
Production episode 260
Original air date: February 7, 2001
Stardate: 54518.2

Captain’s log. Voyager is being fired upon by a cloaked ship. They get enough sensor readings when it briefly decloaks to fire to determine that it’s a Klingon ship, and one that’s almost a century out of date. Once they realize that, they’re able to penetrate the cloak and fire.

His ship now badly damaged, Captain Kohlar is willing to talk, if for no other reason than to give his crew time to fix the ship. He doesn’t believe Janeway’s assertion that the Klingon Empire and the Federation have been allies for eight decades, seeing only the ship of the empire’s enemy. Janeway insists that she has a Klingon in her crew, and a skeptical Kohlar agrees to beam over and meet her.

[“You’re going to get yourself killed.” “What makes you so sure I’d lose?” “Oh, please…”]

Series: Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Repentance”

Written by Michael Sussman and Robert Doherty
Directed by Mike Vejar
Season 7, Episode 13
Production episode 259
Original air date: January 31, 2001
Stardate: 54474.6

Captain’s log. Voyager comes to the aid of a ship in distress, beaming the personnel aboard just before the ship goes boom. Unfortunately, it’s a prison ship, and the two injured people they beamed directly to sickbay are two of the prisoners, one of whom, Iko, grabs Seven and puts a knife to her throat.

Seven is able to free herself, but then Iko grabs the EMH. This proves less than efficacious, as Tuvok can now shoot him through the hologram.

[“Dinner will be ready in fifteen minutes.” “You said that fifteen minutes ago.”]

Series: Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch

“Was I too much trouble?” — Star Trek: Lower Decks: “An Embarrassment of Dooplers”

Hands down, this is my favorite episode of Lower Decks so far. There are several reasons for this, but I have to admit that one of the biggest is the guest casting. We’re introduced to a species known as Dooplers. In times of stress, Dooplers will, well, duplicate themselves. And when the Doopler on board the Cerritos starts to feel any kind of stress, he duplicates. A lot.

And he is voiced to whiny perfection by Richard Kind. Which just makes it all work. And it’s one of many reasons why this episode is so much fun.


Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Lineage”

Written by James Kahn
Directed by Peter Lauritson
Season 7, Episode 12
Production episode 258
Original air date: January 24, 2001
Stardate: 54452.6

Captain’s log. Torres is in an uncharacteristically good mood as she reports for duty in engineering, actually being nice to her staff and all chirpy and stuff—until she finds Icheb there, working with Seven. She gets extremely upset about that, and then collapses. Icheb examines her to discover that she’s pregnant.

[Offspring can be disturbingly illogical, yet profoundly fulfilling. You should anticipate paradox.]

Series: Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch

“A lot’s changed since slightly earlier today” — Star Trek: Lower Decks: “Mugato, Gumato”

One of the great Star Trek trivia questions is to ask what, according to the closing credits of the episode, was the name of the creature Janos Prohaska played in the original series episode “A Private Little War.” While the white-furred, horned alien beast was referred to as the mugato in the episode, the closing credits list him as “the gumato.”

This was because DeForest Kelley had a hell of a time pronouncing “gumato,” and so they changed it to give in to his metathesis. However, that was not the only issue folks had pronouncing that animal’s name, which led to an entire episode of Lower Decks based partly on that.


Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Shattered”

Written by Michael Sussman & Michael Taylor
Directed by Terry Windell
Season 7, Episodes 11
Production episode 257
Original air date: January 17, 2001
Stardate: unknown

Captain’s log. Chakotay interrupts Icheb and Naomi putting a jigsaw puzzle together to fetch some Antarian cider he’s hidden in one of the containers. He brings it to Janeway’s quarters for dinner, where the captain has screwed up the pot roast.

[If you really want to help, find me a green piece that looks like Tuvok’s ear.]

Series: Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Flesh and Blood”

“Flesh and Blood”
Written by Jack Monaco and Bryan Fuller & Raf Green and Kenneth Biller
Directed by Mike Vejar and David Livingston
Season 7, Episodes 9 & 10
Production episode 253
Original air date: November 29, 2000
Stardate: 54315.3

Captain’s log. A couple of Hirogen are hunting prey—but their prey ambushes and kills them. Said prey are a collection of Alpha Quadrant species, including Starfleet officers, Romulan soldiers, etc. The entire ship is a holodeck, and the prey are holograms who have killed most of the Hirogen on board.

[You tortured me to gain my sympathy?]

Series: Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch

Behold the Mistress of the Winter Constellations! — Star Trek: Lower Decks: “We’ll Always Have Tom Paris”

It’s all status-quo-restoration all the time! I had been afraid that the second season would twist itself into a pretzel to restore the status quo, and while they did to an extent, they did at least some of it in a way that is hilarious and perfect for Lower Decks. Unfortunately, there are other elements of the story that make for a good sitcom plot, but don’t actually work in any kind of Star Trek context.

So about like usual for LD, truly…


Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Nightingale”

Written by Robert Ledreman & Dave Long and André Bormanis
Directed by LeVar Burton
Season 7, Episode 8
Production episode 256
Original air date: November 22, 2000
Stardate: 54274.7

Captain’s log. Voyager is doing a long-overdue maintenance overhaul, having landed on a planet so Torres can fix, basically, everything. When Icheb tracks down a malfunction in half a second while delivering a padd from Tuvok, Janeway assigns Icheb to help Torres in the hopes that everything will get done quicker.

[The Borg value efficiency, not redundancy…]

Series: Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch

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