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Additional

Episode Guest Reviews

Reviewer : =NoPoet=
Ave Rating : 3.4385 for 130 reviews
Title : The Forge Rating : 4
Writers : Garfield Reeves-Stevens, Judith Reeves-Stevens Year : 2154
Review : A truly enjoyable episode which bridges the gap between ENT and TOS, as so many of Manny Coto's episodes do. There are galactic politics (which served DS9 so well), we are starting to see some explanation for the deplorable and unlikeable ENT-era Vulcans and of course we actually get to see the planet Vulcan from the ground. I find it remarkable that we almost never see the major worlds of the Federation or its enemies/allies - what's wrong with featuring "known" worlds instead of endless, generic worlds-of-the-weeks? Excellent writing, excellent acting, so many features that Star Trek fans have been crying out for.
Title : Borderland Rating : 4
Writers : Ken LaZebnik Year : 2154
Review : I feel compelled to start adding my own reviews on DITL as I think some episodes of Enterprise are being under-valued. Borderland is a hugely entertaining episode of Trek crammed with in-universe references and the continuity I feel Star Trek generally lacks. The depth of continuity is good, rewarding long-term fans, but it feels so effortless I cannot understand at all why Bermaga seem to constantly chuck continuity out of the window. Brent Spiner is amazing and the episode finishes on a high. We finally get to meet male Orions and we see some of the galactic politics that only really came alive in DS9. Long live Manny Coto - if ENT had carried on for the full seven seasons, I think it would have got better and better.
Title : Cold Station 12 Rating : 4
Writers : Michael Bryant Year : 2154
Review : This is one of the best episodes of Enterprise and one of my favourite Trek episodes overall. I'd say this stands up well against DS9's darker episodes. The only thing preventing it from getting 5 stars was Malik's somewhat annoying nature. I know he is meant to be young and immature, as all the Augments seem to be, but he is leading them straight down the U-bend. It would also have been nice to see the Klingon High Command threatening Earth and maybe a joint human-Klingon mission. Once again Brent Spiner is superb and Bakula's portrayal of Archer, which improved from the beginning of season 3, is light-years ahead of the strange, stiff, overly formal way he "acted" in the first two seasons. I still wonder where the rest of Starfleet is - surely, given the NX-01's impressive record, the Alpha Quadrant would be swarming with NX class ships by now.
Title : Awakening Rating : 4
Writers : Andre Bormanis Year : 2154
Review : What can I say? This is an extremely solid episode with in-universe references, Archer being put through the mill, plus the strange mystical, almost ethnic feeling that usually works so well in Star Trek. The trilogy style works very well for Enterprise. It allows the series to develop characters (unusual for starship-based Trek but crucial to the appeal of DS9), we see factions rise and fall, we get to spend quality time learning new things and revisiting familiar ideas from Trek's distant past.
Title : Daedalus Rating : 1
Writers : Ken LaZebnik, Michael Bryant Year : 2154
Review : I'm giving this one star as it is one of the only Enterprise episodes from season 4 that I have deliberately never watched again (the other being "Bound"). Hopelessly predictable, also establishing Voyager-era transporter range (nice to know the range won't improve in the next 200 years). I might be wrong about that but it's the impression I came away with. I do find it insulting that an episode entitled Daedalus has nothing to do with the Deadalus class - it's time we saw more of Starfleet, and imagine the wealth of storytelling opportunity if a new class of starship appeared that outperformed the NX class and resembled something from the TOS era.
Title : Observer Effect Rating : 4
Writers : Garfield Reeves-Stevens, Judith Reeves-Stevens Year : 2154
Review : Extremely well-acted all round and feels like something out of either TOS or TNG, although in neither of those series would the main characters actually die, however temporarily. I like the idea that some of the aliens observe dispassionately (following the prime directive more stringently than Starfleet usually does) while at least one of them feels that it is wrong to simply watch people die without trying to help. This, at its core, is what Star Trek is about.
Title : The Siege of AR-558 Rating : 5
Writers : Hans Beimler, Ira Steven Behr Year : 2375
Review : This is flat-out my favourite episode of any Star Trek, beating VOY's "Scorpion", "Equinox", "The Chute" and "Year of Hell" and some of ENT's 3rd-4th season episodes. Vic Fontaine's impossible-to-obtain version of I'll Be Seeing You is haunting and beautiful. Almost everything about this episode is perfectly judged and perfectly executed, with the tension ramping up significantly, culminating in a truly memorable battle preceded by exploding mines and distant war cries. There are a number of problems with the way this battle is fought - no vehicles, no flyers, the Jem Hadar using mines that only blow up occasionally instead of obliterating everyone - but you've got to bear in mind this is a television show produced on a budget that was stretched to hell and back. There are so many terrific moments, lots of superbly-written character moments with acting that borders on sublime. This cemented DS9's legend in my mind and made me realise that Star Trek, if done right, is competitive against anything else on TV.
Title : Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges Rating : 4
Writers : Ronald D. Moore Year : 2375
Review : An Intrepid class starship on DS9!! When we first saw the Bellerophon I completely forgot I was watching DS9 for a moment and was confused - I still laugh about this silly moment. It was very nice to see a DS9 crewman on the Voyager set and it reinforced my opinion that the Intrepid class, despite its apparent awkward profile, manages to be one of the most beautiful and modern-looking Trek ships. I have to say Graham's official review for this episode is a joke and the YATI is worthless - who said the holograms here are still images? Section 31 brings a much-needed touch of reality to the Federation. I sincerely believe that if there weren't hidden people conducting desperate, Delta Green-style operations, the Federation's naive and open attitude would see the entire Federation collapse under the weight of spies, espionage and alien aggression. Somehow, this point is never taken seriously in DS9, leaving S31 to be demonised. People say that Gene Roddenberry would never sanction this stuff, but let's face it, which gets better reviews, TOS or DS9?
Title : Rocks and Shoals Rating : 5
Writers : Ronald D. Moore Year : 2374
Review : After the Siege of AR-558, I think this is the episode that stands out in my mind as an overwhelmingly brilliant episode of DS9. The situation is grim, the enemy prepared to do whatever it takes and there's no rescue coming. The prisoner exchange scene as they walk across the strip of land across the water has become the iconic image of DS9 for me and Garak's banter makes me laugh. The music for the episode is light-years away from the senseless noise we usually hear on Trek (the music for DS9's and Voyager's later seasons was a huge improvement from TNG's). We've got terrific writing ("They've never seen the insides of a Vorta before" is superb characterisation of the Jem'Hadar). This Dominion War arc defined DS9 for me and confirmed that the criticism for DS9 not being yet another TOS clone was foolish and unfounded.
Title : The Search, Part 1 Rating : 5
Writers : Ira Steven Behr, Robert Hewitt Wolfe Year : 2371
Review : This is one of the easiest 5-star reviews I've ever given. I found this to be tense and exhilerating with a terrific, desperate battle against the Jem'Hadar. The fact that the Starship Defiant is heavily defeated was a shock, perhaps not the best way to introduce a new Borg-fighting warship, but in fairness one ship cannot take on the entire Dominion, especially near their leaders' home planet (even though Voyager can take on the Borg Collective). I just loved the combination of character development, space battles, tense submarine-style cloaking sequences, and the Defiant quite simply kicks arse in one-on-one action sequences despite its lack of plot-related invulnerability (sometimes). Nice to finally see a ship that isn't just an Enterprise clone; the Defiant offers Trek something very different and sums up DS9's aggressive, sometimes militaristic attitude, plus of course the cloaking device brings some intrigue and brings new possibilities. While the Defiant seems way too small to fight the Borg, it's still one of my favourite Trek vessels and it cannot be called boring!
Title : By Inferno's Light Rating : 5
Writers : Ira Steven Behr, Robert Hewitt Wolfe Year : 2373
Review : When it gets things right, DS9 is a formidable piece of television, still a match for the best of anything I've ever seen. This episode nails it; it is quite simply superb, relying on characterisation to provide drama while teaching us a bit more about the various alpha and gamma quadrant species. This episode has the best title of any episode from any series I've ever watched. It conjures a mythical, Biblical, hellish atmosphere whicb represents what Garak and the others have to go through. Everyone is pushed to their limit in a different way. Boldly going nowhere? What a joke; Deep Space Nine goes a lot further than the other Treks.
Title : In Purgatory's Shadow Rating : 4
Writers : Ira Steven Behr, Robert Hewitt Wolfe Year : 2373
Review : The reveal with Bashir in the old-style uniform caught me completely unawares. While this doesn't exactly help the continuity of previous episodes (how can you not know your best friend who you live and work with every day is actually another person?), it introduces an unexpected line of drama and shows how good the Founders really are - let's face it, they've been top dog for as long as 40K's Imperium, they have got to be at least a little bit l33t. I love this episode and the one which follows and the episodes FEEL important.
Title : Doctor Bashir, I Presume? Rating : 3
Writers : Jimmy Diggs Year : 2373
Review : I agree with the above review, including being a Voyager fan - I used to watch TNG now and then but Voyager grabbed me with both hands and made me a regular watcher - but over time I have come to think of DS9 as the best of Trek. This episode is one of the few times DS9 refers to anything about Voyager and it's always welcome to see the Doctor and his creator. There are a few good laughs here, my favourite being O'Brien chuckling as he makes the Bashir hologram walk into the wall, but I feel this episode is being used to "reset" Bashir's character and make him appeal more to the fans by giving him a super-brain. This episode pales next to the Dominion War arc but I suppose the American audience needed some light relief from all the drama. Originally, Bashir's dad's Cockney accent made me grimace but now I realise it is one of the only times you'll hear a genuinely decent attempt at an English accent on American TV. They normally get it horribly, horribly wrong.
Title : A Simple Investigation Rating : 1
Writers : Rene Echevarria Year : 2373
Review : Without meaning to be sexist, this is the kind of episode that is normally written by a woman! There are a few episodes of Merlin which also feature doomed romances, again all by female writers, none of them interesting or dramatic. This doesn't imply criticism of female writers, simply that some genres don't combine very well. You don't get people submitting spy dramas to Take A Break magazine, after all! DS9 is not a particularly romantic show, no Trek is, so I don't see why people need to keep rolling out the cliched romance plot lines and call it science fiction.
Title : Wrongs Darker than Death or Night Rating : 4
Writers : Hans Beimler, Ira Steven Behr Year : 2374
Review : Another apparently under-rated episode of Trek. While it might be a bit late in the show's run to still be having flashbacks to the Occupation (similar to Voyager still having a Maquis episode in season 7), Occupation episodes always seem to be done well, getting across the dark, inescapable fear of the Cardassians and their unthinking brutality. One aspect of DS9 that's always been played well is the Cardassians' disdain for the Bajorans. This has always been consistent and always leads to new drama; they just don't think they did anything wrong by conquering Bajor and don't know why the Federation (and more importantly, the Bajorans) don't see it this way. This episode explores the concept of comfort women and provides some evidence that Dukat actually DID care for the Bajorans - albeit in a twisted, disgusting way that eventually turned into consuming hatred.
Title : Things Past Rating : 5
Writers : Michael Taylor Year : 2373
Review : One star? Are you joking? This has always been one of my favourite episodes. While admittedly the plot is a bit contrived, this is one of the few times we actually see the station during the Occupation, and what a difference there is. I like virtually every aspect of the story and the final reveal [SPOILER] with Odo looking at himself was well done, explaining quite a bit. I thought there was the usual excellent standard of acting and, as usual for DS9, the atmosphere was spot on.
Title : The Ascent Rating : 5
Writers : Ira Steven Behr, Robert Hewitt Wolfe Year : 2373
Review : It's got to be another 5 stars. This is one of the first DS9 episodes I remember watching and I felt the interplay between Quark and Odo was brilliant. The world they become stranded on is one of the few memorable ones from Trek history and although it looks like a perfect winter's day, the actors do make it look relentlessly cold. There should have been some indications of ice if it's that bad. The writers even manage to get a plot twist into a fairly straightforward episode and Quark comes out of it looking less of a criminal and more of someone who is starting to grow as a character. Shame they never really followed up on the development of Quark and Odo's complicated relationship.
Title : Rapture Rating : 1
Writers : L. J. Strom Year : 2373
Review : I felt this episode was boring with nothing of redeeming value. This is where the crew uniform changes to the First Contact style, but strangely, nobody seems to mention the change of uniform, not even Garak, nor is the uniform gradually phased in like when the deep space uniform is changing to the DS9/Voyager style jumpsuit on Generations. I know I seem more caught up in the change of uniform than the actual story, but it seems like a major thing to overlook given that it's the only time in any of the Treks that a uniform changes significantly.
Title : For the Uniform Rating : 5
Writers : Peter Allan Fields Year : 2373
Review : Now this is one of those "official" reviews I can agree with. I love this episode, it gets a lot of things right and *feels* important, like something major is drawing to a close. It's a sad shame to end the Eddington storyline but I suppose it had to end sooner or later. I agree that the Maquis is treated way too seriously, it's like having parents that punish their own children relentlessly for fighting back against cruel bullies. Star Trek always takes the view that the Maquis are wrong - murderers, vigilantes taking the law into their own hands - and apart from Ensign Ro, nobody ever really tries to empathise. I wonder what anyone would do if hostile, oppressive aliens forced you out of your home and the authorities suppsed to protect you let them do it? Let's face it, the Cardassians put up a generally poor performance in combat and only seem to have 2-3 ship classes that are defeated easily.
Title : Soldiers of the Empire Rating : 5
Writers : Ronald D. Moore Year : 2373
Review : Seen it loads of times, love it still. It's nice to see characters who have forceful personalities; the "toning down" of humans in Star Trek is a bit bland. In my opinion, a show in which the aliens are deliberately shown to have more colourful personalities than the humans is doing something wrong. But this is DS9 where the storylines, character development and sense of importance elevate most of the episodes above obscurity. Worf's plan to restore Martok's confidence is bold and dangerous but typically Klingon, and the writer clearly knows his stuff.
Title : Empok Nor Rating : 4
Writers : Bryan Fuller Year : 2373
Review : This is the kind of episode I like when it's done right; here, it's definitely done right. A DS9 salvage team travels to an abandoned sister station for spare parts, but the station is booby trapped and guarded by Cardassian super-soldiers. Every member of the salvage team gets their time in the spotlight, which is very rare for Star Trek. The atmosphere of a dark and deserted station is eerie and the acting was good throughout. I have always found the idea of O'Brien being some kind of bad-arse soldier to be quite laughable, but they get some mileage out of it here. The fact that he uses brains rather than brawn is in-character. Usually, younger characters can be annoying, but yet again the young man playing Nog demonstrates that he is one of the better Trek actors and probably one of the more under-rated cast members.
Title : Emissary Rating : 2
Writers : Michael Piller, Rick Berman Year : 2369
Review : Sorry, but I am one of those apparently rare people who thought the opening episode to DS9 was over-long, cheesey and boring. There were very good moments, including the scenes aboard the Enterprise and the crew trying to restore DS9 to some kind of working order, and I very much liked the fact that most of DS9's current residents (and many of the Starfleet crew) hate it there. Seeing Sisko and Dax's different viewpoints was cleverly done and I am sure I remember it being on the news in the UK. However I found the scenes between Sisko and the Prophets to be embarrassing. Why do aliens, worshipped as gods for centuries or millennia, always choose humans (usually ones who aren't interested) as their emissaries? Imagine if the Biblical God sent a fleet of strange aliens to earth as his ambassadors. I felt Voyager and Enterprise got off to much stronger starts with attention-grabbing and exciting storylines.
Title : Encounter at Farpoint Rating : 0
Writers : D.C. Fontana, Gene Roddenberry Year : 2364
Review : I can't stand this cheesey nonsense. As in, I literally cannot watch it all the way through in case my family come in and see it. I'd rather get caught watching p0rn. TNG got off to a particularly poor start and this episode is virtually execrable (or whatever the word is). The dialogue is appalling and is delivered with all the convincing passion of a pantomime character delivering a farewell speech. Q looks ridiculous and the reveal of the stations being giant space jellyfish didn't evoke a sense of awe, it created profound embarrassment. I'm not sure why women were still dressing like dollybirds and while I'm not complaining about seeing some leg, I thought Star Trek was about equal opportunities. Roddenberry, God rest him, created something amazing in Star Trek but his level of sexism borders on monstrous - and this was carried on throughout Trek, with virtually every female character who's supposed to wear the blue uniform swanning around in big dresses or catsuits. It is very, very hard to see how such an amazing series could grow from this stunted start, but I am glad it did!
Title : The Naked Now Rating : 1
Writers : J. Michael Bingham, John D. F. Black Year : 2364
Review : I have always wondered why the Trek spin-offs seem so divorced from TOS (and relatively staid by comparison) in attitude, plot, characterisation and acting style. This episode shows me why. This kind of episode sucked back then, it sucked even worse in 1988 and it is downright risible now.
Title : Angel One Rating : 1
Writers : Patrick Barrey Year : 2364
Review : "I know! Let's do a story about a world dominated by women. Nobody's ever done that a hundred times before!" "Well, the rest of season one is basically crap, so what the hell. What do we call the planet? Narendra? Incaladine? Proteus Ultima?" "No, no, no, it's run by women you nerd. Let's call it Angel One!"
Title : The Outrageous Okona Rating : 0
Writers : David Landersberg, Lance Dickson, Les Menchen Year : 2365
Review : The only thing outrageous about this episode is how bad it is. It's so unfunny it actually becomes a kind of anti-comedy. The only thing worse would be if Data did a nudge-nudge wink-wink at the camera, with his face totally devoid of emotion (what a nightmarish image that evokes!). I hesitate to say it's so bad it made me poo my pants, but I'd recommend investing in a cork and some sealant before watching this episode. The bad thing is my family also saw this episode and they pooed their pants too, creating a sense of blame that has haunted me for twenty years. Thanks a lot, David Landersberg, Lance Dickson and Les Menchen.
Title : Extinction Rating : 1
Writers : Andre Bormanis Year : 2153
Review : You've got to ask yourself what's going on when you tune into a sci-fi show in the 21st century and see the cast making prats of themselves by running around dressed like monkeys while another cast member tries to communicate with them. That said, there are plenty of genuinely good ideas in the episode. A shame that the plot takes such a daft turn. This is definitely not the episode where you say to your girlfriend, "Darling, I am secretly a Trekkie and this is why."
Title : The Shipment Rating : 3
Writers : Chris Black Year : 2153
Review : It's a bit boring in places but it characterises the Xindi Arboreals (not that this will make much difference to the season) and follows the Trek ideals that not everyone in the galaxy is a megalomaniac or a willing murderer (someone should have told the writers of Voyager). By this point I was still reeling at the exciting new direction Enterprise had taken, so I was prepared to forgive something a bit boring, especially as we learn something about the Xindi Death Star and the actions of the Arboreal scientist in this episode might well have saved earth.
Title : The Xindi Rating : 4
Writers : Brannon Braga, Rick Berman Year : 2153
Review : A very good start to the new season, showcasing Enterprise's aggressive new attitude. The mining planet was extremely atmospheric and I regret not seeing the overseer - an interesting and fairly unique character played by a very good actor - in any further episodes, always a problem of starship-based Trek series. Scott Bakula suddenly remembers how to act and Connor Trineer as Trip Tucker is fantastic. The Xindi prisoner they find and try to rescue was superbly acted for a guest role, just like the mining facility overseer. We also see the Macos making up for all the crap and incompetent corridor gun battles we see in Trek (although these will return later this season, unfortunately). I hated the jaunty new theme - a big mistake for a season as dark as this one - but Enterprise stepped up to the plate from this season on.
Title : Caretaker Rating : 5
Writers : Jeri Taylor, Michael Piller, Rick Berman Year : 2371
Review : IMO this is the best opener in Trek history. We've got a beautiful new ship, a crew made up of interesting characters - for example, this is one of the few times we see Chakotay being a badass, and Tom Paris is in prison when the episode begins! We also get a brief crossover with DS9, continuting the trend with one series "handing over" to another. While there are numerous flaws in the plot, which seems to be a habit for some of the bigger Voyager episodes, at least it doesn't involve time travel or having to explain human values to "superior" beings. The action sequences are very well handled and while climbing a ladder to the surface seems low-key, it pushes the characters hard and puts Paris under Chakotay's protection. The space battle with Chakotay yelling "NOW!" and getting beamed out even as his ship rams the Kazon battleship is excellent. Every member of the main cast gets something to do and we learn a lot about them. Despite its plot faults, I think of this as one of the best-executed episodes.
Title : The 37's Rating : 1
Writers : Brannon Braga, Jeri Taylor Year : 2371
Review : This is a ridiculous episode designed purely for an American audience. I'm not sure who came up with this or who thought it would be a good idea for a sci-fi show at the far side of the galaxy in 2370. I suppose most shows have a silly episode now and then (for example, The X-Files used to have Mulder and Scully acting stupid and out of character at least once per season).
Title : Non Sequitur Rating : 1
Writers : Brannon Braga Year : 2372
Review : Boring and essentially pointless, since we know Harry will be proved right at some point. Seems strange to have a show set on Earth this early in Voyager's run, but at least we do get to see Earth (extremely rare in Trek) When this was first shown I was watching it in the living room almost falling asleep. My sister watched it for a few minutes and said "What's this crap?"
Title : Parturition Rating : 3
Writers : Tom Szollosi Year : 2372
Review : Worth it to see crew members acting like idiots but the scenario actually being believable and funny - unlike that 3rd season episode of Enterprise. Neelix really has it in for Paris, actually chucking Paris' dinner in his face in the mess hall right before the pair are summoned to see the Captain (and turn up covered in food). While the episode's mian storyline is not particularly interesting, albeit more convincing than ENT's "Hatchery", I found myself laughing out loud a few times.
Title : Meld Rating : 5
Writers : Michael Sussman Year : 2372
Review : "Lower the force field." One of the best Voyager episodes and light-years ahead of most of the episodes so far. Tuvok's performance is excellent and it made me realise that his acting has always been top-notch; it must be hard to play an apparently passionless character and still make them interesting. I love the scene where he strangles Neelix - it was a touch of genius. Brad Dourf plays the same character he always plays on film and tv but as usual he is excellent and Tim Russ does extremely well during their scenes together. This is one of the only episodes in Trek that shows what happens when a Vulcan loses control.
Title : Deadlock Rating : 2
Writers : Brannon Braga Year : 2372
Review : I didn't like this episode, mainly for the fact that one whole Voyager crew had to die, but also because "our" Harry Kim is no longer ours, he's an identical double from another reality. I've always ignored this plot point.
Title : The Thaw Rating : 4
Writers : Richard Gadas Year : 2372
Review : While it's easy to dismiss this episode as silly, what with people dressed like clowns and acting like prats, this is actually a dark and intense episode with a villain who is as close to evil as anyone in Trek history. The performances of the increasingly fearful prisoners are good and Janeway and the Doctor both get excellent scenes with the enemy. The concept for this episode is disturbing and it is executed (pardon the pun) well.
Title : Flashback Rating : 4
Writers : Brannon Braga Year : 2373
Review : With DS9 getting Trials and Tribble-ations, Voyager got Flashback. While Flashback doesn't have the same impact as the DS9 episode, it's extremely well-handled and full of nostalgic touches including Captain Sulu and Janice Rand, but it also demonstrates the divide between classic Trek characters and their modern counterparts; Starfleet has become far too grand, pompous and serious. It is quite telling that Janeway says the TOS crew would have been kicked out of Starfleet if they existed in the TNG-DS9-VOY era and this seems like a rejection of everything Trek originally stood for. That aside, this is a convincing tale which will surely please fans of movie-era Trek.
Title : The Chute Rating : 5
Writers : Clayvon C. Harris Year : 2373
Review : When I first saw this episode I had the same kind of feeling when I first watched Battle Royale: "I can't believe what I'm seeing!" This episode plunges two characters into a very dangerous situation and continually ramps up the tension with brain implants and Paris gravely injured. This leaves the young and naive Kim to protect them both, not a situation you'd want to be in, and in fact the episode starts with Kim getting the crap kicked out of him. There's a Stargate SG-1 episode similar to this but The Chute is actually better. The episode keeps getting better and better, particularly the big reveal when Kim finally manages to get out of the Chute. I loved the fact that an increasingly agitated and aggressive Kim is trying to convince a horde of convicts that they can get out of the Chute "if we work together" (the most-uttered words on Trek?) and they're jeering and chucking stuff at him. Also, the quiet yet maniacal intensity of the one fellow prisoner who offers to help them reveals a lot about this hellish prison system. Excellent all round and well worth watching; it out-DS9s DS9.
Title : The Swarm Rating : 2
Writers : Michael Sussman Year : 2373
Review : This gets two stars for the Doctor's sub-plot. The plot involving the Swarm is totally disconnected from this and it feels like we're watching two different episodes. While the Doctor is a vital member of the crew, it seems weird to be spending so much time on him when the ship could be overrun and destroyed at any moment.
Title : Macrocosm Rating : 3
Writers : Brannon Braga Year : 2373
Review : With her crew incapacitated by giant flying viruses, Janeway turns into Ripley and sets out to personally kick alien arse. This is an entertaining episode which aims more for the fun factor than any kind of realism - I shouldn't really have to point this out about an episode featuring "giant flying viruses". It won't go down in Trek lore but I enjoyed it.
Title : Coda Rating : 3
Writers : Jeri Taylor Year : 2373
Review : The ending of this episode, when the true nature of the "matrix" is revealed, deserves five stars. When you actually think about it this is a disturbing story featuring an alien that definitely doesn't seem like your average species-of-the-week.
Title : Blood Fever Rating : 1
Writers : Lisa Klink Year : 2373
Review : A male character needs to have sex to live. This is a big problem. The solution? Pass it on to a woman so SHE needs to have sex to live. Then just get her a man - problem solved. Sexist and silly, why are we having the Pon Farr as a plot point?
Title : Worst Case Scenario Rating : 4
Writers : Kenneth Biller Year : 2373
Review : One of the best holodeck stories - it would have to be, since holodeck stories are usually stupid (if holodecks are that dangerous and unreliable, I'll stick with my XBox thanks!). Seska is a good villain and there are some clever moments as the Voyager crew and Seska's program battle for the fate of Paris and Tuvok. Virtually everything about this episode is excellent and the only thing it lacks is a strong script, but this is par for the course in Trek; Trek dialogue lags way behind the Stargates for punch and realism, for example. Not only do I love this episode but we all know what's coming next: Scorpion, the best two-parter in Voyager's seven season run.
Title : Scorpion, Part 1 Rating : 5
Writers : Brannon Braga, Joe Menosky Year : 2373
Review : The Borg. A terrifying and utterly alien new race who pwn the Borg and are so badass they never needed a name. A tip of the hat to The Next Generation. A corridor of space which at first glance is free of Borg activity, but as Voyager draws near, turns out to have actually been abandoned by the Borg due to the number of 8472 ships in the area. While I agree totally with Chakotay, that helping the Borg will effectively be participating in murder (or assimilation), nobody makes the point that 8472 are so powerful that the Borg would become unstoppable after assimilating them. Janeway's driven and determined personality is at least consistent, even though I do not agree with her. Couldn't they have just run Voyager on minimum power and sneaked through Borg space, or would the Borg even notice one Intrepid class cruiser when there are dozens of planet-killing 8472 ships running loose? Still, nearly every scene is excellent, full of metaphor, full of tension, with a difficult decision that Janeway was always going to have to make at some point. The best scenes are exploring the wrecked Borg cube and also Kes's contacts with 8472. And poor Kim!
Title : The Raven Rating : 4
Writers : Bryan Fuller, Harry Doc. Kloor Year : 2374
Review : Like Scorpion part 1, this makes effective use of metaphor. It's a quiet and slightly dark episode which contrasts with the chaos that's happening in the alpha quadrant, which kind of seems to be a theme this series. Seven of Nine episodes are very character-driven and regardless of what you think of her catsuit and ridiculous ballon-bosom (or the fact that she was apparently Brannon Braga's girlfriend), she was one of the best things to happen to Voyager and one of the only Trek characters who ever grew as a person. IIRC, Dark Frontier slightly contradicts some of this episode, or maybe it's just the actors who played Seven's family that were different.
Title : Message in a Bottle Rating : 5
Writers : Rick Williams Year : 2374
Review : An all-round excellent episode, but it seems weird the Romulans have nicked the Prometheus. This should have been tied into what was really happening at this point by having the Cardassians or Jem'Hadar aboard - I bet that would have sent Trek fans mad with excitement. Also, we could have done with seeing the Voyager crew learning about the Dominion War. I'll never understand why some spinoff shows (particularly the Treks) are so reluctant to cross over, where other shows (primarily the Stargates) do it regularly. I know Voyager is disconnected from the alpha quadrant by distance, but this was the show's big chance to introduce a new element.
Title : Prey Rating : 4
Writers : Brannon Braga Year : 2374
Review : Voyager's crew have the chance to build some kind of relationship with the dreaded 8472, but Seven believes that carrying an 8472 marks Voyager for death one way or another and takes matters into her own hands. While it's arguable she did save the ship, she went against what Starfleet represents, so you can see both sides of the argument (for once). This episode is eerie and exciting in equal measure and it is one of the very few episodes that makes the titular starship seem like a frightening, dangerous place. There are many excellent moments, mainly Seven, spooked by a floating padd, shoots at it - instead of Tuvok rebuking her for this outburst of emotion, he simply says, "You missed."
Title : The Omega Directive Rating : 4
Writers : Jimmy Diggs, Steven J. Kay Year : 2374
Review : It's not arrogant of Starfleet to demonise a particle that, if mis-handled, could render warp drive useless. It would scare the hell out of them. Starfleet isn't like the US Military, they wouldn't want to unlock Omega's secrets at any cost, they are sensible enough to realise that if an organisation with the Federation's technology level can't handle it, who else will? An empire-building or destructive race, like the Romulans or the Borg? Even if they don't blow the universe up, it might give them an advantage that nobody would ever be able to match. On the other hand it does seem foolish that Omega is for the Captain's eyes only, though presumably if Janeway was dead, the computer would know who was next in line. All this speculation aside, this is a solid episode and worth watching.
Title : The Cage Rating : 5
Writers : Gene Roddenberry Year : 2259
Review : This is easily my favourite episode of TOS and I feel it stands against The Forbidden Planet as an example of classic sci-fi done well. The story is good and even tragic. The episode is much more forward-thinking than the rest of TOS with a female second in command (we wouldn't see this in a main Trek cast until DS9 thirty years later!) and while some of the women are treated as dolly-birds, it's not as bad as what will come after. I've often seen this episode being under-rated, and to turn it into what is basically a clip show to fill a two-part episode later in the series is a downright insult. Fair play to the new generation of Trek films remembering Captain Pike commanded the Enterprise before Kirk.
Title : Author, Author Rating : 5
Writers : Brannon Braga Year : 2377
Review : This is one of my favourite episodes of Trek. The holodeck "battle of the authors" is hilarious as Paris re-writes the Doctor's story, which is easily one of the best sequences in Trek, then suddenly we get some pathos and importance as Voyager holds council with Earth (a touch which I genuinely loved) to prove the Doctor should have the same rights as any life-form. This turns a comedy episode into a TNG-style classic. It jars a bit after the laughs of the first half but as usual it is well-played and I enjoyed every minute. Also, this is one of the only times we get to see a "mirror universe" version of Voyager, albeit as a holodeck story. "Remember, it's the Doctor's world, you're just living in it."
Title : Star Trek Rating : 5
Writers : Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci Year : 2258
Review : Easiest five stars ever? This is quite simply a sensational reboot of a franchise that was being run into the ground by a lack of vision, repetitive storylines and a massive dose of time travel. While this film does jettison or destroy some continuity, are people seriously complaining about this given that Enterprise already re-wrote long-established history? I don't see how people think Trek has always been so consistent or cherished by the writers, because it clearly hasn't, not all the time. The special effects are stunning even on the small screen, I don't like the re-designed warp nacelles but other than that the ship has been considerably upgraded so that Starfleet ships no longer seem puny compared to the ships of other franchises, the re-designed warp speed effect looks amazing and creates a sense of ridiculous speed, plus the acting was fantastic throughout. The actors channel the originals but lend a new strength, passion and direction which I don't feel human Trek characters have had since TOS. The musical score is fantastic (another first for a Trek film). I don't know anyone who disliked this film, even my sister who hates Trek enjoyed it when her friend made her watch it at the cinema. When I go online I'm always seeing people bash the film, but when we left the cinema everyone was talking about how good it was.
Title : Trials and Tribble-ations Rating : 5
Writers : Hans Beimler, Ira Steven Behr, Robert Hewitt Wolfe Year : 2373
Review : This was yet another DS9 episode that made prime-time news in the UK. Previously, DS9's huge per-episode budget had been mentioned. The level of technical brilliance in this episode is amazing, with TOS and DS9 characters actually speaking and interacting with one another. There are a number of scenes jostling for number one spot but the bar fight probably did it for me. Odo ribbing Worf and the "Those are Klingons?", which would later lead to one of Enterprise's better storylines, is hilarious. You have to overlook the fact that the Starship Defiant somehow ends up light years away from its starting point, but this is more than compensated for by lots of warmth, humour and genuine, affectionate respect for the fans as well as for the original series. It would have been nice to see the Defiant and Enterprise on screen together but obviously this couldn't happen. The "He put a bomb in a tribble?", along with the resultant detonation in space, were genuine laugh out loud moments. Who knew DS9 could do humour this well? God only knows what kind of appalling crap Bermaga would have made of this episode.
Title : Covenant Rating : 5
Writers : Rene Echevarria Year : 2375
Review : Another episode I watched in horror, not able to believe how far they've pushed a spinoff to the gentle TNG. This is one of the darkest episodes - in light levels as well as content - and Dukat, if he wasn't already, has become irredeemably evil by this point, with no chance that the writers can "wimp out" and make him sympathetic again. As events unfold, through the birth and to the story's somehow inevitable conclusion, I felt a growing disgust at Dukat's actions and applaud the writers for this. As usual, Kira provides the perfect counterpoint to Dukat; I've always thought many elements of DS9's mythos came down to Dukat versus Kira, regardless that Sisko is the nominal hero of the series. It's a strong role for a woman to play in Trek, even today. While I will always love TNG for its comfort and ease of viewing, there are hardly any episodes of TNG that match DS9 at its best.
Title : Fair Haven Rating : 1
Writers : Robin Burger Year : 2376
Review : This is one of those episodes that never needed to exist. I'm not sure why a crew comprising different species with access to fabulous technology would want to recreate a cheesy Irish village, but I suppose this is just linking to TOS's obsession with ancient Greece; the writers know far more about our past than our future so they cop out and set it in Ireland. Maybe nobody on the crew wanted to visit their homeworlds or home towns in their contemporary time period. Why do so many Trek episodes revolve around faulty holodecks? It's just such a ridiculous way to create adventure in a galaxy of possibilities. I'll stick with my XBox 360; hell, I'd rather have a PS3.
Title : Tsunkatse Rating : 2
Writers : Gannon Kenney Year : 2376
Review : Nobody's mentioned that this episode features Seven of Nine fighting The Rock, which is worth the price of admission. Funny how it takes one of their own people getting involved for Voyager's crew to suddenly dislike space-boxing. I agree that boxing can be considered barbaric, unless the idea of two men in shorts punching each other in the face has suddenly become a measure of civilisation.
Title : Spirit Folk Rating : 1
Writers : Bryan Fuller Year : 2376
Review : This episode reminds me of the time I was playing Minecraft with my mate, when we fell into a chasm and broke our legs after the XBox's safety protocols went offline. The Xbox became sentient and started firing electricity which made us flash blue and white (showing glimpses of our skeletons) and crap our pants. Meanwhile, the Creepers also became self-aware and felt we were intruding on their diamond mines. There was no hope of negotiation - "Please, we were only exploring and we're injured" - "These are OUR diamond mines! Prepare to die!" Three hundred years later, Voyager fought the Spirit Folk.
Title : Child's Play Rating : 2
Writers : Paul Brown Year : 2376
Review : Hooray, an episode for Eecheb, surely the most interesting and drama-creating character since Wesley Crusher. Oh wait, people practically loved to hate Wesley, Eecheb just makes people fall asleep. Even his name's boring!
Title : Life Line Rating : 5
Writers : John Bruno, Robert Picardo Year : 2376
Review : Voyager crew in the Alpha Quadrant! TNG/VOY crossover! (In fact you could argue it's a TNG/DS9/VOY crossover! That would make this possibly the only episode to cross over three different Trek series!) That's already the basis for a compelling episode and I love that the writers are actually incorporating elements of Starfleet, Earth and the Alpha Quadrant into Voyager - and doing it well. I love all these crossover episodes. Anything featuring the Doctor can be assured of a high acting standard. He seems to have more humanity and is therefore more sympathetic than the actual human crew! 5 stars because I enjoyed this episode from start to finish and can watch it again and again.
Title : The Haunting of Deck Twelve Rating : 4
Writers : Bryan Fuller, Michael Sussman Year : 2376
Review : We're offered something different from the norm here with the ship itself presented as menacing and haunted, something I think only TNG's "Night Terrors" and ENT's "Oasis" have done. While I didn't find this as scary as Night Terrors, it buries Oasis. I liked the performances and enjoyed the tone, and the panic attack sequence is like something that would be happening to these people in real life if they had to deal with this kind of stuff with no way out other than through. I remember quite a fuss being made of this episode before its UK premiere and I feel it's another under-rated episode.
Title : Night Terrors Rating : 5
Writers : Sheri Goodhartz Year : 2367
Review : This is one of my all-time favourite episodes of Trek. It's a lot more frightening than VOY's "Haunting of Deck Twelve" (itself a terrific episode IMO). The sequence with the bodies sitting up in sickbay has remained with me for twenty years. Nothing felt overdone, it was extremely subtle and with no disrespect to American viewers, the USA doesn't know what subtle is - they seem to need monsters flying out at the camera, raging gun battles and explosions. Look at all their ghost, UFO and Bigfoot documentaries, universally featuring flash cutting between scenes, super-closeups, background noises and loud music with drum beats. Then look at Night Terrors, which is how Britain tells ghost stories: a creeping dread, building tension, with inexplicable events that have an emotional impact on the people involved, quiet music, disturbing scenarios... "I could go on forever, baby!" The "eyes in the dark" sequences might seem cheesy to people but I found them frightening and bewildering, their weird, incomprehensible nature only making them more disturbing. Pity it had to cost the lives of an entire Starfleet crew to save some unknown aliens who bugger off immediately.
Title : Disaster Rating : 4
Writers : Philip A. Scorza, Ron Jarvis Year : 2368
Review : Scenes from this episode stayed with me since I first saw it in the 1990s before I was a Star Trek fan. There's something about having the status quo turned on its head and the crew having to survive on their own initiative as the ship we're so familiar with, their home, in unable to support them and may turn into their tomb. Yes, having a pregnant woman suddenly give birth is a cliche (reminds me of John Shepherd's funny "And then WHAM!" quote in Stargate Atlantis) but it's well-handled here. Poor old Troi only inherits command when the E-D is doomed, you can't blame a counsellor for not donning a cape and flying round the outside of the ship magically repairing everything.
Title : Masks Rating : 5
Writers : Joe Menosky Year : 2370
Review : Sorry everyone, this is a guilty pleasure which may be my favourite episode of TNG. Granted, the ridiculous premise channels the worst and most embarrassing elements of 1960s naffness courtesy of TOS, and Brent Spiner's nasal voice for Masaka (Moussaka?) is a joke. Hard to believe Spiner would one day be ENT's all-time best guest actor, light years away from some of his character work here. The episode is literally so embarrassing that I would be mortified if my family saw me watching it. That said, Spiner does play some of the characters well, particularly the old man and the somewhat annoying "main" bloke, the pseudo-trickster, who provides most of the useful information (again, in a silly nasal voice for some reason). The music and atmosphere for the episode elevate this beyond its silly premise. "Ethnic" Trek seems to just "work". The peril facing the ship is very real and Masaka, despite her name (which vies with Annorax for Trek's worst ever) is made to sound terrifying, being built up even more effectively than the villain in Skyfall, although Masaka is a lot more formidable than that disappointing weirdo. We also get some fantastic lines about not letting the E-D turn into an alien city and the "Do you understand pain" speech. In many ways, the buildup as Masaka's story is slowly revealed might be the best introduction to a villain in Trek. A guilty pleasure, but something I can watch time and again to relax and have fun.
Title : Genesis Rating : 5
Writers : Brannon Braga Year : 2370
Review : The greatest scenes have already been written about, so I just wanted to add that I find this episode thoroughly entertaining and am prepared to overlook the truly bad science (let's face it, when everyone keeps going on about how "consistent" and "well-researched" Trek is, it is full of daft ideas that bear no relation to reality in order to have more dramatic impact) in order to feel the fear as monsters and spider-men attack our beloved characters. I always like the episodes where characters return to their ships to find disaster has happened. Giving 5 stars for all the times I've watched this episode and enjoyed it thoroughly.
Title : Preemptive Strike Rating : 4
Writers : Naren Shankar Year : 2370
Review : This may be the only episode which shows us the plight of the Maquis, or soon-to-be Maquis, in a sympathetic light. In DS9, the Maquis seem to be written off by the Federation as terrorists who must be captured or stopped. There is only a bit of lip-service paid to their situation and why they're doing what they're doing. This episode shows you the situation from the colonists' perspective (which we can all imagine anyway regardless of being force-fed Starfleet's opinion) and it's well, well worth watching, with this being just about the only time I remember seeing a Starfleet officer go rogue.
Title : Broken Bow Rating : 4
Writers : Brannon Braga, Rick Berman Year : 2151
Review : I'm going to be slightly generous and give 4 stars. I enjoyed most of this episode and appreciated the relatively poor tech level of the Enterprise, as well as the fact that Enterprise tends to lose battles during the early episodes until some technobabble comes along. I felt that there were a number of very good scenes, counterbalanced by the horrendous abuse done to the Vulcans and the theme of time travel (seriously Bermaga, this again, in the first episode?). As we now know, the Temporal Cold War made about as much sense and was as well thought through as the Lost mythos which provokes speculation but was ultimately meaningless. I was shocked at how poor Scott Bakula's stilted, uncomfortable delivery of dialogue was throughout the first two seasons - something people don't remark on for some reason - and I was also praying this series would have the passion, drama, excitement and flair of TOS without the cheese. Instead ENT could be as staid as the other spin-offs until things drastically improved in seasons 3-4. With all this in mind, ENT introduces its characters effectively and at this point Reed, Mayweather and Hoshi still have relevance to the plot. The action sequences are well handled. They should have introduced more familiar species instead of emphasising several new ones that we'll never see outside of ENT, and ENT was in many ways the worst prequel ever until season 4 rolled around, but as an opening episode without any forewarning of Bermaga's incompetence, Broken Bow was far less cheesy than DS9 and TNG's pilots and second only to Voyager for action, excitement and interest.
Title : Strange New World Rating : 4
Writers : Brannon Braga, Rick Berman Year : 2151
Review : While it is definitely wrong to have characters acting out of character this early in a show's run, this has some of the best acting and certainly some of the most intense scenes of ENT. We get to see Starfleet's first away mission, which is less professional and more entertaining than the ones in later Trek, we get a ghost story and a funny scene where the camping trip is caught in a storm and Trip finds himself sharing his sleeping bag with "an alien scorpion-thing", causing chaos which is being observed by T'Pol. The transporter accident reminds us this is not the safe and comfortable Trek we know and there is a refreshing lack of technobabble - the transporters just can't resolve the form of one man in a hurricane. Excellent episode, thoroughly enjoyed it.
Title : Fight or Flight Rating : 4
Writers : Brannon Braga, Rick Berman Year : 2151
Review : ENT makes first contact with aliens seem menacing and dangerous. Alien ships are potentially hostile environments which disorient and unnerve the crew. The scene of all those hanging bodies with Hoshi's scream of horror was excellent - the ENT crew are more like real people than the polished professionals of later generations. The fact that the enemy remains unseen and nameless is very different from the norm. It is hard to imagine Earth's most capable starship, which went into Klingon space, is armed only with high explosive torpedoes with a faulty guidance system (the plasma cannon used in the first episode is never seen or referred to again) but it does tie in with humans being explorers. It is interesting to see a Starfleet ship so outmatched in technology. It's also difficult to accept that the alien rescuers at the end would believe Enterprise was responsible for killing their comrades when there's a giant death-machine already ripping into Enterprise. However the performances, the improved special effects and some good sets make this a good early episode which seems under-appreciated. Note the ending music is slightly different in this epiosde to the rest of the series,
Title : Terra Nova Rating : 1
Writers : Brannon Braga, Rick Berman Year : 2151
Review : After some genuinely good episodes (excluding Unexpected), this one has plot holes big enough to fly the NX-01 through. Still, its heart is in the right place and it does feel like Trek despite the difference between ENT and all the other series. The only other crime this episode commits is being boring. I didn't really like or care about the people in the caves although I did appreciate the fact they didn't torture Reed when he was their prisoner. Who'd have thought we'd have an episode of Trek whre humans would be the aliens of the week?
Title : Fortunate Son Rating : 4
Writers : James Duff Year : 2151
Review : Oh come on, this episode has flaws - Mayweather's poor acting (and people wonder why he got relegated to background character?), the annoying persistence of Archer chasing the boomers asking them to let him help them, plus once again Starfleet's moral high ground about its boomers fighting back against oppression (anyone remember the Cardassian/Maquis situation?). But overall I like the fact that we are actually, finally doing something different, following a crew who are not flying a Starfleet cruiser and have access to none of the resources, support or advances technology Archer et al do. I really like this episode and feel it's yet another under-rated episode of ENT.
Title : Sleeping Dogs Rating : 2
Writers : Fred Dekker Year : 2151
Review : This could have sparked tensions between Quonos and Earth, but ended up as a low-key bottle show with no impact on the series and nothing learned about the Klingons of this era (except we do see a Targ, which was a nice touch, even if the effects weren't convincing). Just another episode that dangles hope we'll see prequel elements without delivering. It was cool to see the new generation in their new uniforms against the familiar backdrop of a Klingon ship, though.
Title : First Contact Rating : 5
Writers : Brannon Braga, Rick Berman, Ronald D. Moore Year : 2373
Review : If you were sitting in the cinema in 1996 with your heart hammering, your palms sweaty, in total awe and adoration of the drama unfolding onscreen, you were probably watching Star Trek: First Contact, one of the greatest sci-fi films ever. Years later when I realised Jonathan Frakes directed it, I noticed that every Frakes-directed episode of trek I can think of stands out as exciting, sharp, enjoyable and all-round excellent, so I am pleased to see his big-screen effort turned out to be a masterpiece. Even the TVTimes magazine described this as "sensationally good of its kind" with a 5-star rating, good advertising given the magazine's high circulation of the time (when Sky TV was a luxury many people didn't have or know about). While I was confused about the new Enterprise and uniforms having not seen Generations, and felt the new ship could have done with an introduction, the pacing of this film is superbly judged and a launch of the E-E would simply have slowed it down. We get two wonderful plots, one a desperate battle to save the Enterprise, the other a race against time to launch the first ever warp vessel. It's almost like two films in one, each compelling and entertaining in its own way, with the humour of events on Earth contrasting against the disaster in orbit. This is certainly the grittiest instalment of TNG with an emotionally damaged Picard prepared to sacrifice everyone except his ship to defeat the Borg, leading to a number of terrific scenes and confirming that Trek does need an element of conflict between its cast. Virtually everything about the episode is spot-on and Cochrane was funny and likeable, albeit hard to accept as a visionary genius. Alice Krige is superb as the Borg Queen, allowing me to ignore the contradictory, unexplained nature of such a being. This easily matches "The Undiscovered Country" (my favourite TOS-era film) and stands up alongside the Trek reboots.
Title : Star Trek Into Darkness Rating : 5
Writers : Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof, Roberto Orci Year : 2259
Review : The moans... the moans! Star Trek Into Darkness is a hugely enjoyable action film with some of the best special effects to date and the most imaginative sequences in all of Star Trek. This is not the staid, bombastic, laid-back Trek from days of yore, this is aggressive, exciting, in-your-face, giving Trek a modernisation that has been needed for a long time. People who complain about how different this feels to classic Trek probably also complain about Voyager and Enterprise for totally opposite reasons; Star Trek can't win these people, and I'm glad JJ Abrams took Trek in his own direction. You've got to bear in mind the number of touches which integrate this into Trek continuity, there's even a glimpse of the NX-01 as a model on someone's desk. The dialogue is superior to much of Trek, the characters are convincing, superbly well-acted, they come across as genuinely being explorers with noble intentions (compared to Voyager, which was essentially Janeway's battering ram to get home due to relentless encounters with hostile species who all had it in for the Voyager crew for unexplained reasons). I felt this was respectful to Trek fans while still introducing something new. The vision, the action sequences, are way beyond anything we've seen before. There is a humanity, a sense of love and respect, that pervades this film. I understand people didn't want a remake of WOK, particularly when they took the apparently racist option of casting a white man as the villain when the original was of colour, but honestly, he played the villain so magnificently that it's made me recommend the film to epople who don't care for Trek or sci-fi. How many other Trek films can you say that about? Complain about STID all you want, I feel this film delivers what Trek fans have been clamouring for.
Title : Nemesis Rating : 4
Writers : John Logan Year : 2379
Review : I can't give this film 5 stars, in spite of its cameo from Janeway (now an Admiral), or the superb special effects. Something about the film felt too pompous, and the Enterprise is suddenly the same size as re-deisgned Warbirds (which seem remarkably fragile and under-gunned), but it was very nice to see the Romulans form up in front of the E-E, Riker's like "Just when it couldn't get any worse" and the Romulan commander basically says "No, we're here to help!". The Romulans allowing a human and his Reman followers into power is a bit like Britain or America letting Gorbachev's lieutenant become prime minister or president. There'd be the mother of all civil wars (in fairness, the scenes previously mentioned do deal with this). Why are the Romulans apparently plotting against Earth after they won the Dominion War together? Did they find out or something? (How much better a plot would that have made?) Federation-Romulan relations are like a yoyo. Onto the good stuff. The E-E got into one of the most vicious single battles ever, rivalled perhaps by Enterprise in Azati Prime, but the E-E gives a far better account of itself against the Reman uber-ship - despite barely making a dent until Picard actually rams the Scimitar with the Enterprise. Bravo! I didn't see that coming. The wedding sequence with Data singing was excellent (he starts off bad and suddenly gets very good) and we finally see Riker and Troi get married! Most of the scenes were of an excellent standard and we get Trek's first (only?) car chase. Loved it, didn't think it was as good as First Contact but yeah, it's an easy 4 stars.
Title : The Voyage Home Rating : 4
Writers : Harve Bennet, Leonard Nimoy Year : 2285
Review : While it's basically a load of old tosh, this has always been one of the notable Trek films, albeit noticeable for being "the funny one about whales". There are lots of funny scenes in this film and as with much of Trek, its heart is in the right place. We see the twenty-third century crew looking totally out of place in the 20th century with inevitably laugh-out-loud results, particularly for Scotty, who cannot quite comprehend how primitve the technology is. Highlights: Scotty trying to talk to a computer, Spock swimming with a whale during a tour, the initial attack on Starfleet, the scenes on the bus and most of the dialogue. It doesn't exactly feel like Star Trek, but its legend as one of the most popular TOS-era films was cemented decades ago.
Title : The Pegasus Rating : 4
Writers : Ronald D. Moore Year : 2370
Review : It was very, very hard for me to accept Picard surrendering the cloaking technology to the Romulans, but really, he took the Starfleet action. Starfleet is often derided as a military organisation, but when they are getting attacked all the time with little provocation by everyone they come across, I'm not surprised Starfleet vessels can kick serious arse. In this case, Picard honoured the agreement that the Federation will not use or develop cloaking devices. It must have been a shock to the Romulans that this one was so advanced. A good episode all round, unfairly maligned for its association with its spiritual sequel, ENT's "These Are the Voyages". I for one do not see why this was a bad episode to choose for TATV; the only other one that suggests itself might be Best of Both Worlds, but with Riker in charge and a first officer who wants to kick him off the Enterprise, he could hardly have spend all day in the Holodeck chopping carrots.
Title : These Are The Voyages... Rating : 3
Writers : Brannon Braga, Rick Berman Year : 2370
Review : One one side, the roar of the crowd; on the other, the voice of your conscience. I can definitely see why people view this episode as abysmal: it's an utter betrayal of Enterprise and its status as a prequel. Manny Coto must have cried himself to sleep over it, and the cast certainly weren't shy at voicing their opinions, making me wonder what actually goes on in episode planning meetings and why Bermaga never seem to notice how much they piss their cast off when episodes are being filmed. Once again we have a kind of time travel, jumping ahead in time to see... everyone in exactly the same place as before, just with very slightly better uniforms that they should have been wearing since Broken Bow. There's been literally no character development on the NX-01, even Trip and T'Pol's relationship has been held in stasis for years. What exactly have we missed over the ten years that supposedly elapsed? The greatest insults are clearly getting Trip killed in such a stupid way (with no funeral) and cutting the ending speech off with "computer, end program", apparently pandering to rumours ENT was just some holodeck program! Unbelievable! This is how the end decades of Trek? So why three stars? Imagine this as a regular episode, minus Trip's death, and it is actually a rather good instalment. The scenes with Riker and Troi exploring the NX-01 are wonderful and it's good to see them on the E-D: who gives a flying damn if the doors are orange instead of reddish-orange, or the actors are older looking? It's the Enterprise D in ENT! A galaxy class ship remade in the year 2005! And why are people suddenly lambasting "Pegasus" across the internet, which was a solid episode? They managed to tell a bit more of its story here! If they'd featured the ending speech, or that had happened in a later episode, the "end program" would be a notorious teaser, not a statement by Bermaga that said "You know what? We just don't care what the fans want!"
Title : Rajiin Rating : 2
Writers : Brent V. Friedman, Paul Brown Year : 2153
Review : The degradation of T'Pol's character begins. this is notable for being the first confrontation between the NX-01 and the Xindi, a battle the Enterprise crew heavily lose and sets the Xindi up as formidable adversaries with stronger military technology.
Title : Extreme Measures Rating : 4
Writers : Bradley Thompson, David Weddle Year : 2375
Review : And so a major element of the DS9 mythos winds down. Section 31 is defeated, only appearing again in Enterprise and mentioned briefly in Star Trek Into Darkness. I've got to say I loved the idea of S31 and am glad they waited so late to eliminate it. Bashir and O'Brien are excellent together, especially when Bashir is trying to get O'Brien to admit he likes him. There's a playful innocence to this scene which indicates a true, comfortable bond between friends and this kind of scene could only be written for male characters. This episode reminds me very much of Voyager's "Worst Case Scenario". My only criticism would be that S31's imaginary headquarters look like the interior of the Defiant. Seeing Sloan's character the way he perceives himself was interesting. Really like this episode, there's a sense that things are coming to an end, appropriate for an episode this deep into DS9's final season and not leaving any loose ends (unlike Lost's useless finale).
Title : Strange Bedfellows Rating : 4
Writers : Ronald D. Moore Year : 2375
Review : Nearly every episode in the later seasons of DS9 felt heavy, awesome, important, like I was watching something that mattered. This is one of the major reasons DS9 has taken on a shadowy, almost legendary status in my mind. Who'd have thought it, after season 1 bored me so badly I gave up watching it for years, and only ended up giving it another try after Voyager lured me back to Trek? Anyway, while I'm not sold on this being one of DS9's finest efforts, it is well executed. Trek, in particular DS9, never seems to fail when we get two characters stuck in a room: we've had Sisko and Dukat, Quark and Odo, By Inferno's Light and probably many others.
Title : Time and Again Rating : 3
Writers : David Kemper Year : 2371
Review : This was the first episode of Voyager I watched and I was so caught up in the idea of a new crew in a beautiful, super-advanced new ship, being cut off from home and everything we know about Trek. I don't think this is a particularly brilliant ep, it made me feel like it was set in 1980s America which is a bit weird for a show in the Delta Quadrant; it seems like the people behind Voyager couldn't quite accept there would be no alpha quadrant, at least not for years to come. Still, as the episode that reintroduced me to Star Trek, I cannot fault this.
Title : Hope and Fear Rating : 5
Writers : Jeri Taylor Year : 2374
Review : So here it is, Hope and Fear, one of the most evocative episode titles for one of the best episodes in the series. I've got to wonder about the wisdom of allowing the Borg to assimilate such technology as the Dauntless, although I suppose they already have their own transwarp technology. While you could argue that Voyager's crew should trust absolutely no-one from the Delta Quadrant (only Kes, Neelix and Seven seem to be safe to have on board!), the poor "alien of the week" actually has a brilliant motive, he doesn't just shoot at Voyager because they're there. This is one of the only times we see repercussions of previous actions in Voyager. Finally, as for the endless online discussions about the registry of the Dauntless, it seems far too much is being made of a non-issue; it is never stated on screen why starships have the registry numbers they do, so complaining about something that may have been explained in some interview somewhere at some point in the distant past has got absolutely nothing to do with this episode. It would be supremely nitpicky to re-dub this with "Hey! That sounds like the registry to the Enterprise!" or some such meaningless trivia.
Title : The Fight Rating : 1
Writers : Michael Taylor Year : 2375
Review : As I mention in my review of VOY: Tsunkatse, the idea of boxing has always seemed extremely barbaric to me. Too often in Trek we see the writers shoving their favourite sports in our faces - DS9 did this a lot with baseball, which I am not convinced exists outside of the USA (the only country to have a "world series" that doesn't involve other countries). Here we have boxing, which has precisely bugger all to do with space, starships or trying to get home. I maintain that Chakotay started out strongly at the beginning of season 1, why did they let his character slide? I suppose it's better than giving him another "Native American" episode - if he has that background, this should come across somehow in every episode as it's a part of him, it doesn't just lie fallow and suddenly take over for an episode.
Title : Fury Rating : 4
Writers : Brannon Braga, Bryan Fuller, Rick Berman Year : 2376
Review : This episode gets 2 stars for its accurate (as far as possible given the actors are older) recreation of season 1, plus another 2 stars for the acting. I have seen this a couple of times and while this is a real mutilation of Kes's character, the effects for the havoc wreaked inside Voyager are excellent and I generally find this to be one of the better efforts in the show's run. A single star is extremely harsh and I'm not sure how this episode deserves such a poor score.
Title : Q2 Rating : 4
Writers : Kenneth Biller Year : 2377
Review : This is an excellent episode IMHO, full of humour, a break from the relentless barrage of Delta Quadrant species trying to destroy Voyager for no real reason. I believe it's also Q's last appearance on Star Trek, bringing John De Lancie's involvement with the franchise to a (presumably) permanent end. While I tend to prefer exciting and dramatic episodes and do not usually like episodes of "down time" with the crew's personal lives taking precedence, I've always had a soft spot for Q2.
Title : Marauders Rating : 1
Writers : Brannon Braga, David Wilcox, Rick Berman Year : 2152
Review : I think this episode might be the one where I realised Enterprise had failed. As a prequel, the characters, events and technology of ENT are not so much a blast from the past as a blast from Rick Berman's ass. This is a completely routine and highly monotonous example of a TV show going through the motions. Its earnest intent is to teach us that bullies are bad and should be stood up to. Fair enough, if you stood up to a Klingon he would either roar with laughter and embrace you, or kill you where you stand, but this is a Bermaga episode and they "own" Star Trek so they don't need to give a flying toss about continuity. Here, the Klingons retreat with their bottoms thoroughly smacked, with no intention of "nuking the entire site from orbit". You wimpy ponces DARE to stand up to the Klingon Empire? Stand up to THIS, pataks! ENT season 2 is typified by this episode: bland, inoffensive, boring, telling simplistic stories that might be appropriate for children's cartoons from the 40s, but have little place in the aggressive, dynamic world of modern telly.
Title : Precious Cargo Rating : 1
Writers : Brannon Braga, David A. Goodman, Rick Berman Year : 2152
Review : While watching this episode, I couldn't believe the crock of shash that was happening on screen. The plot is one tremendous cliche from start to finish. I remember thinking, "There's a brand new Star Trek prequel series carrying the franchise alone, and I have had to wait a week for an episode like THIS?" The alien Selma Kayek was lovely to look at and Trip is as funny as ever, but come on. Who exactly do episodes like this appeal to? Why is this ancient, cliched stuff still even being considered, let alone written, filmed and presented to a modern audience? I remember reading about how meticulously planned episodes of Trek were: they had to fit continuity, they had to make sense, etc etc. What happened to THAT?
Title : Regeneration Rating : 4
Writers : Michael Sussman, Phyllis Strong Year : 2153
Review : One of the most-maligned episodes of Trek, with the usual inconsistent Enterprise-bashing, where nobody pays any regard to the existing confusion and contradiction about the Borg. So nobody in Starfleet assigns a major priority to defending against a species who won't find out about earth for another 200 years? A species whose future incarnation is dealt with swiftly and efficiently using 22nd century technology? Whose nanoprobes are overcome by radiation? It's hardly surprising that Starfleet doesn't seem to care about the Borg coming back. Granted, I just listed all of this episode's flaws, but by this point we all know that Star Trek in any incarnation apart from DS9 isn't really competitive against much of modern television. It lacks the sex appeal or chemistry of Supernatural, the gritty characters of Galactica, it pulls in a fraction of the audience of NCIS, it hasn't got the "cool factor" of Lost and the acting in Trek is always so understated that it saps possible drama. None of this is the episode's fault. Regeneration is exciting, with an excellent musical score, a dramatic story which gives the nod to TNG and may even explain why the Hansens seem to know about the Borg before they appear in TNG. One of my favourites and one of the only good S2 episodes, annoyingly maligned for the sake of bashing Trek.
Title : Impulse Rating : 5
Writers : Jonathan Fernandez, Terry Matalas Year : 2153
Review : This is far better than almost any zombie film I've ever seen. It's extremely tense, the sets are claustrophobic, the Vulcans are creepy and intimidating and the Enterprise crew trapped on board are put through the wringer. This is more "physical" than most Trek episodes, more aggressive, yet still Archer et al try to communicate with the Vulcans until realising they are beyond reason. We actually get conflict as the MACO sets his rifle to kill, to be immediately pulled up by T'Pol who isn't just trying to protect other Vulcans, she's remaining true to principles the Federation will later hold dear. It's a brilliantly directed episode, the action is staged well, plus there is a very distant shot of the Enterprise being dwarfed by the asteroid field which reminded me of a computer game (in a good way). I love this whole episode, I love it how T'Pol gradually begins to descend into violent paranoia... as a one-off action episode, this buries similar episodes such as the one with Janeway running around in a vest, and even one of my personal favourites, the one where the E-D crew turn into monsters.
Title : Damage Rating : 5
Writers : Phyllis Strong Year : 2154
Review : This is without a doubt my favourite Enterprise episode, comparing easily with DS9's darker efforts and Voyager's "Year of Hell". The trashed, dying Enterprise struggles on as the Xindi rather conveniently (and unbelievably) let it go. The crew are battered, their morale is on the floor, yet they won't give up: they're going to patch the Enterprise together with spit and glue if necessary. Most of this episode is one excellent scene following another. It shows the consequences of Enterprise's defeat on not only the ship, but the crew as well, with so many excellent characetr moments. Even the comm system sounds fried (I always felt the intra-ship communication should sound more like modern radio, not as sharp or clear as on TNG etc). Archer looks like he's been through hell - everyone does - and this theme will be continued throughout this season and early season 4. I didn't like the visual damage to the ship's exterior, it looks really fake, but I was able to smugly smile when my brother sarcastically said "Don't worry, it'll suddenly be back to normal next episode" as it remains in this state for quite a while. I also didn't like the T'Pol as drug addict plot thread, it seemed unnecessary to pad an episode like this and the whole emotion/addiction thing could have been much better handled. As for the closing battle, this is one of the few meaningful confrontations in latter-day Trek where whoever wins, everyone still loses, which is what fighting usually means: defeat no matter what.
Title : Azati Prime Rating : 5
Writers : Brannon Braga, Manny Coto, Rick Berman Year : 2154
Review : I'm going to give this a 5-star along with its sequel, "Damage", for so many reasons. They further the overall story arc; they finally get the NX-01 crew near the doomsday weapon; the episode feels important, like the details matter. Bottle shows were never my favourite, I prefer something to engage my brain and tell me a long story with character development and events that shake things up. I feel we get a lot of that from here on in. Season 2 was the nadir of Enterprise; from Azati Prime on, I feel Enterprise just kept climbing, becoming a better show, building towards an exciting season finale and a brilliant fourth season which, to me, showed that Star Trek was NOT suffering from franchise burnout, rather the creative team who originally worked on ENT had nothing left to offer. This is where ENT earns its right to stand beside the other Trek series. This is where it gets hard to believe that season 2 and, to a lesser extent, season 1 were so insipid. I note the name "Manny Coto" in the writing credits... surely this is no coincidence. The battle at the end of this episode is terrific, I've lost count of how many times I've watched it on Youtube, and Archer is brilliant during his interrogation scene. Let me count the ways this episode earns its five-combadge award.
Title : Proving Ground Rating : 4
Writers : Chris Black Year : 2153
Review : While the episode quality can be up and down this season, this is one of my favourite episodes of ENT. Shran, as usual, is brilliant, and he and Archer have always possessed strong chemistry that is not really common in Trek. We actually get some hint that ENT might one day turn into a prequel series. There are some important questions raised: why didn't the Vulcans help Earth at all? It seems plausible that Shran would want to help Archer by this point but of course, this being Trek - a show about peaceful exploration and making new friends - the Andorians are up to something shady. Unusually, we see Shran having a crisis over having to betray Archer, knowing that his actions may well doom Earth but bound by loyalty to the Imperial Guard to screw Archer over. At the end we see a true Trek moment as Shran finds a way to help Archer while also remaining true to his orders, ending the episode on a note of hope not just for Earth, but for the vision of Trek.
Title : Exile Rating : 3
Writers : Phyllis Strong Year : 2153
Review : I'm not sure how to feel about this episode as I am not sure what it's trying to say. It is intensely atmospheric - brooding, lonely, almost melancholy. I think Tarquin is supposed to be a genuinely good man driven to acts of "abduction" out of desperation and he lives up to his promise to help the Enterprise, but he comes off as creepy, almost perverted, definitely not the kind of bloke you leave your comms officer with. He should have presented a compelling reason for Hoshi to stay, something personal to himself, some fascinating aspect of his character or any type of chemistry with Hoshi. While we get to see Hoshi Sato in a short dress, would she really wear this when living alone with a male alien who seems to be obsessed with her? We don't see many episodes set mainly on a planet. I like how Tarquin appears to Hoshi as a man, but when she actually meets him he is strange and alien - a bit like internet dating.
Title : The Catwalk Rating : 2
Writers : Michael Sussman, Phyllis Strong Year : 2152
Review : I've heard it said that this is one of the better examples of ENT season 2, but I see it as a missed opportunity. The NX-01 takes on alien passengers who will be more than passing visitors, and what happens? They hide behind a sheet, avoiding all interaction with the Enterprise crew. What's the point of that? What are we learning here? We're just waiting for them to turn out to be dodgy, as alien visitors/guests ALWAYS ARE. Bear in mind the NX-01 doesn't actually have many aliens on board for the show's duration. There ARE a few good scenes in the episode with the Devore Imperium (or whoever) boarding the NX-01 and the Enterprise crew only being able to spend a limited time in their suits trying to stop them, but I'd have written the episode differently to show Enterprise actually making first contact and learning something about a new species, and dropped the "Sorry mate, this is our ship now" plotline.
Title : Judgment Rating : 4
Writers : David L Goodman, Taylor Elmore Year : 2152
Review : Evokes nostalgia for one of the best films, The Undiscovered Country, while clearly lacking the film's budget. Nevertheless this is a character story which sheds light on an unexplored aspect of Klingon civilisation, showing how unappreciated the role of lawyer is yet also setting out the character's basic desire to see justice done, a desire Archer's plight reawakens. There are a number of weak episodes in ENT's first two seasons. This makes up for some of them.
Title : Breaking the Ice Rating : 4
Writers : Andre Jacquemetton, Maria Jacquemetton Year : 2151
Review : When I first saw this, I thought it was boring, basically worthy of a single star. The second time I watched it (reluctantly), I found myself starting to enjoy it. There are a few really good scenes, with the snowman antics and the excruciating dinner scene being laugh-out-loud funny. Trek doesn't do humour very often - surprising, considering the off-screen chaos the cast caused - and I feel it works well here. It would help if the Vulcans learned how to be polite. Surely it's only logical to show respect and courtesy, especially to your allies, in order to avoid offending everyone and looking like a prick, but Breaking the Ice actually uses this to its advantage and puts the Vulcan captain squarely in the wrong. Oh, and if the Vulcans are always following Enterprise, we should have seen this in several episodes as a running theme (which would have added tension, cohesion and drama).
Title : Desert Crossing Rating : 3
Writers : Andre Bormanis, Brannon Braga, Rick Berman Year : 2152
Review : I remember despising this episode on first viewing, finding it pointless and boring and having my confidence in ENT shaken. However when I did watch it again on DVD, I surprised myself by enjoying it a great deal. Not a classic episode, but a decent character piece.
Title : Silent Enemy Rating : 4
Writers : Andre Bormanis Year : 2151
Review : Whoop-de-doo, another episode of Enterprise that is maligned by the internet in general! Yet again, this is an episode I enjoyed tremendously. If they'd dropped the stupid pineapple sub-plot - yes, you read that correctly - and concentrated on the drama of encountering a frighteningly alien species - we'd have had a proper winner here. ENT doesn't really need any excuses such as weak, unconnected B-plots to set off the complaints. Come to think of it, why do nearly all episodes need a dramatic A-story to be accompanied by a puny B-story? Anyway, Archer realises here that the NX-01 is under-equipped to face a hostile galaxy and decides to head back to Earth, but Trip and Reed convince him the Enterprise can convince itself (using weapons from the future, apparently). The aliens are formidable, infiltrating Enterprise, conducting strange experiments on the crew, then leaving a message for Archer made up of snatches of Archer's own dialogue. The aliens seem immune to phase pistol fire, and it takes Enterprise wiring its new guns directly into the ship's main power (risking an explosion) to see off their ship. The geek in me loves seeing new technology, we never see a main Trek ship being upgraded, so I felt this episode served a number of new things and it remains something I can watch again and again. Aliens never really felt "new" on ENT after this.
Title : Pathfinder Rating : 5
Writers : David Zabel Year : 2376
Review : I'm glad no-one is whining about the inclusion of much-loved TNG characters in Voyager, as they did in Enterprise. Troi and Barclay are wonderful together and they are a very, very welcome addition to Voyager, finally tying this series into the wider Trek universe. Their performances are excellent, it's good to see what is happening in the Alpha Quadrant after the Dominion War and I don't think anyone would complain about Voyager being in regular contact with Starfleet this late into VOY's run. I love the atmosphere, visual effects and music of the later DS9/VOY seasons and I also like to see episodes set on Earth, given that Trek tends to avoid the Federation's capital worlds like the plague. With this episode, the "mythos" of Voyager (such as it is) finally expands and connects into something bigger.
Title : Scorpion, Part 2 Rating : 5
Writers : Brannon Braga, Joe Menosky Year : 2374
Review : While I prefer the mystery, threat and sense of strangeness of part 1, it cannot be denied that Scorpion is not only the best of Voyager, it easily competes for the all-time best Trek episode. It's common for people to bash Voyager online but almost no-one is fool enough to bash this. I never saw "The Best of Both Worlds" the first time it was shown, I watched it on DVD quite recently after hearing all the hype, and while TBOBW is surely a classic, I found various silly dialogue moments and the sluggish action sequences made me wince. By contrast, Scorpion is chock full of standout sequences and unusually good dialogue for Trek, with only the "You're not just my Captain, you're my friend" bringing a cringe. This episode gives most of the cast something to do and allows Chakotay a shot at command during one of Voyager's worst crises; I must say I agreed with his viewpoint throughout both episodes and feel that Janeway was leading her crew to hell. Voyager leaves the material universe and barely manages to survive long enough to come back; the war between 8472 and the Borg is a grudge match which shakes the entire quadrant, and the mutual hatred is keenly felt by both sides, including the normally dispassionate Borg (who are clearly afraid of the species they have roused to war). Voyager at its finest, showing that the writers and actors, when given the chance to play havoc, have got what it takes.
Title : The Best of Both Worlds, Part 1 Rating : 5
Writers : Michael Piller Year : 2366
Review : Despite some silly dialogue from Locutus and stilted acting during the physical action sequences, I cannot give this less than five stars. Similar to Voyager's "Scorpion", The Best of Both Worlds is a two-part Borg epic which pushes the characters to their limits and gives most of the cast something interesting to do. TNG's slower pace allows more thought and introspection, and at this point we are still learning about the Borg. Personally, I believe confronting the Borg would require the kind of urgency and instant decisions Janeway and Chakotay make in Voyager, due to the Borg's ability to adapt and the sheer physical power of their cubes. TBOBW introduces the brilliant Commander Shelby who should have become a recurring guest. She actively challenges Riker, bringing a rare conflict which allows for character development and a better, livelier Riker. It's always good to see TNG characters exploring and investigating a Borg cube. To me, the legendary cliffhanger seems a bit moot, you know something is going to go wrong with Riker's weapon. I prefer the visceral impact of ENT's "Azati Prime" (despite also knowing the NX-01 would survive) for an episode cliffhanger and the sight of the massive Starfleet armada as a DS9 season finale was more shocking. That said, TBOBW remains a hugely impressive episode and is rightly regarded as TNG's finest hour. (And a half.)
Title : The Best of Both Worlds, Part 2 Rating : 5
Writers : Michael Piller Year : 2367
Review : With the Federation fleet destroyed at Wolf 359 (laying the groundwork for DS9), Earth's only defence is a squadron of three phallus-shaped and extremely puny fighters that fly directly towards the Borg without shooting at them. Due to Earth's importance and with the Xindi attack in mind, the Sol system does not have any other ships or defensive weapon platforms, so it's up to the E-D to catch the Borg cube (which is faster than a Galaxy class ship) and save Earth. Fortunately, the E-D crew manage to pinch Locutus and use him to access the Borg Collective and they catch up to the Borg when they drop out of warp in Earth orbit. Despite my obvious criticisms, this is another superb effort from the TNG team and I do take into account that they had limited time and a limited budget, I just wish TNG and ENT would bear in mind that Starfleet must be huge and its worlds would be heavily protected in a galaxy of Klingons, Romulans etc.
Title : Violations Rating : 2
Writers : Pamela Gray, Shari Goodhartz, T. Michael Year : 2368
Review : This is one of those episodes that's going through the motions. The Enterprise takes on some alien passengers, ooh, I wonder if they're going to be up to no good? It seems that Star Trek repeatedly presents the galaxy as full of hostile and unpleasant characters. It's a wonder Starfleet bothers to explore or attempt contact with other species at all, much less bring aliens aboard its starships where they can attempt to take control or get at the crew. This episode also suffers from being boring.
Title : Cause and Effect Rating : 4
Writers : Brannon Braga Year : 2368
Review : The best opening in any Star Trek? A pity we have to watch this remarkable scene again and again which robs it of its impact. Also, it would have been very nice to see a follow-up dealing with the crew from Starfleet's past. It's weird how the fans and occasionally the show have this reverence for the TOS era, yet the TNG-onwards characters seemingly can't wait to put it all behind them. Nevertheless, a good, entertaining episode with an interesting and typically TNG solution, definitely one of the more memorable episodes.
Title : Bliss Rating : 4
Writers : Bill Prady Year : 2375
Review : Easily one of the more memorable Voyager episodes with a terrific sense of atmosphere and a guest alien-of-the-week who comes aboard Voyager WITHOUT the intention of taking over the ship or killing the crew! How often do we see this? Almost never. The cloud alien has always seemed nightmarish to me and, when done right, the "handful of crew members save the ship" can make for good character drama, especially by making Voyager seem large, empty and therefore creepy. I loved the idea of the "Captain Ahab" hunter whose existence is bound to the larger entity (surprised nobody seems to have made the Moby Dick connection). I'm not sure what episode the other reviewers were watching as I cannot understand why this would warrant any less than four stars.
Title : Threshold Rating : 3
Writers : Michael De Luca Year : 2372
Review : The science behind this episode definitely warrants zero stars - I'm no scientist, but even I crapped out a kidney at the idea of humans evolving into giant space newts - and I am not sold that starships can travel at warp 9.975 which is, what, 4000 times the speed of light, but warp 10 is suddenly "infinite speed" (it's quite a leap from 4000x to infinity!). Since Voyager has always had more than its share of bashers, often who criticise it for needlessly stupid things, I am not going to focus on the faults of this episode, even though its plot seems to be a deliberate fan-baiting, flame-war-causing insult. Instead I am rating this for the surprisingly powerful human drama of Paris' degeneration and death, which took me completely by surprise. In television, characters who die often spontaneously start breathing on their own - not sure if this happens in real life, unless you happen to be John Barrowman - but this is a well-acted episode and it at least tried to do something different, even if it should never, NEVER have passed the planning stage. So much for those intensive brainstorming and critique sessions they had on DS9...
Title : Lifesigns Rating : 2
Writers : Kenneth Biller Year : 2372
Review : Main character finds love, main character loses the person he loves. Are they still re-hashing this storyline?
Title : Innocence Rating : 2
Writers : Anthony Williams Year : 2372
Review : I don't watch sci-fi to see episodes about planets full of children, yet eventually, my favourite shows will get around to it. At least Stargate Atlantis managed to get humour out of it. "Innocence" isn't a bad episode, I just wonder what it's got to do with Voyager getting home.
Title : Resolutions Rating : 3
Writers : Jeri Taylor Year : 2372
Review : Janeway's voice drove me mad the first time I saw this episode. Her friendship with the little monkey was one of those sci-fi cliches, what with the monkey returning her kindness by warning her about the storm. The episode is actually not that bad and it's one of the only episodes to show a "what if" scenario about crew members choosing or being forced to abandon Voyager and make a life in the Delta Quadrant.
Title : The Q and the Grey Rating : 3
Writers : Shawn Piller Year : 2373
Review : I agree that Q definitely comes across better in Voyager. He's lost his darker edge and become more humorous, more likeable. While he's definitely annoying, this is actually a good thing - the chaos he causes tends to be funny and based on his affection for Janeway, rather than the embarrassing singing and dancing of TNG. It seems strange that Q was considered an ultimate threat in many TNG episodes but his contempt for humanity and his apparent desire to do harm seems to have mellowed by the time he starts bugging Janeway. "The Q and the Grey" is heavily Americanised and won't be relevant at all to those living outside the USA (in the same way several baseball-related DS9 episodes will mystify and bore the international audience), but when all is said and done I enjoyed the episode as a diversion from the serious stuff.
Title : The Gift Rating : 3
Writers : Joe Menosky Year : 2374
Review : I think the above reviewers have perfectly stated everything that needs to be said about the actual episode. It's a shame to see Kes go, I only recently learned that it was going to be Harry Kim who'd be sent on his way by the producers and they seem to have picked on Kes instead due to Garrett Wang being more popular (you could say his Wang was strong). The official reason was that Kes's character had nowhere to go. While I can actually understand this - her character becoming a geriatric by season 6 was going to be unworkable, so ultimately her Ocampan nature had painted the character into a corner - I feel there are a ton of things they could have done with Kes. Pity Trek is hard-line against its characters having exceptional mental powers. I've often thought Roddenberry's rulebook for Trek should have been chucked out by the end of TNG's run. DS9 did it and it was one of the greatest sci-fi series ever. They seemed to bring the rulebook back for Voyager to the show's detriment. Trek needs more female leads, it's nowhere near progressive enough to live up to its own mission statement, they should have cut the number of episodes per season and used the money saved to retain Kes and tell more focused stories.
Title : Revulsion Rating : 4
Writers : Lisa Klink Year : 2374
Review : I just watched this episode. The guest actor gives one of the finest performances in Trek, he is an extremely memorable character driven to desperation by his neuroses. Complicating these problems are his resentment issues and what amounts to trauma over his treatment by organics. The pressure seems to rise and rise within him, only for it to relent slightly as his rational side steps forward. We can see this happening throughout the episode. I agree that making it unclear that he'd killed his own crew would have been better - there were several opportunities to wrong-foot the viewer here, keeping them off-balance and uncertain, which would have created more drama. That said, I really like this episode. When I first saw it, I'd been watching DS9 which was well into the Dominion War, and for some reason I liked the contrast between epic, sweeping episodes in the alpha quadrant and quietly intense, low-key character drama in the delta. Highly underrated episode.
Title : Scientific Method Rating : 4
Writers : Harry Doc. Kloor, Sherry Klein Year : 2374
Review : Another excellent episode with fine performances from everyone. The reveal about the crew wearing alien medical equipment was horrifying, I used to suffer badly from health anxiety in those days and shuddered at the sight. Mulgrew and Tuvok get an excellent scene together - "Shall I flog them as well?" - with Tuvok remaining true to Vulcan logic while making a point about Janeway's emotional attitude. It's very interesting to think that aliens might be using out-of-phase technology which we cannot see, feel or detect, but still suffer detrimental effects from. Think about it, do human scientists care about the feelings of animals they tag or conduct tests on? A very good concept for an episode, very well executed, with Janeway's usual recklessness dialled as far as it can go by what she's been through, leading to a dramatic solution to the problem.
Title : Year of Hell, Part 1 Rating : 5
Writers : Brannon Braga, Joe Menosky Year : 2374
Review : Like Scorpion, Year of Hell turns Voyager into the show most people wanted to see. YOH also has the distinction of taking the tone one of Voyager's creative team wanted Voyager to have from the outset - and demonstrates beyond all doubt that the cast and crew of VOY would have been up to the challenge. They should certainly have gone down this route in the early episodes and had Voyager slowly recover by using alien technology and actually encountering friendly species, perhaps forcing Voyager to trade Federation technology in order to pay for the repairs and ensure the crew's survival in the desperate early days. (If you're going to break Starfleet's rules, you might as well do it properly!) The show could have lightened in tone and become more adventure-style as the crew adapted to life in the delta quadrant and Voyager was restored to something approaching normality. Anyway, YOH punishes the ship and its crew severely. Every scene is worth watching. The Krenim's hopeless task adds gravity although I wonder why Anorak's crew (yes I do know that isn't his name) don't rebel about their own families constantly being altered or deleted by the timeline changes. Having two of Voyager's battered crew eventually being captured but treated well makes a refreshing change. I often seem to compare Trek to other shows. This is like Angel Season 4, where everyone is desperate, bruised, surrounded and outnumbered by something they can't fight.
Title : Year of Hell, Part 2 Rating : 5
Writers : Brannon Braga, Joe Menosky Year : 2374
Review : Not as good as the first half, mainly due to Voyager building an alliance with unknown species off-camera which feels like a total cop-out (and their brand new ships don't last as long as the wrecked, ruined Voyager in a fight). The pace slows down, but this is a theme established by TNG, with the second half of a two-parter exploring the story and moving towards a resolution. The cliffhanger to part 1 was excellent and even made my mum say "Ooh", just in case anyone wanted to know that, and this episode shows the senior staff trying to repair Voyager on their own with many, many good moments, including Janeway's obsessive determination which sees her in conflict with the doctor after sustaining nasty injuries. It's a bit naff to have Anorak altering the whole quadrant just to bring his wife back - this is a theme that's been done to death in science fiction - I mean I can understand if his entire family had been wiped out, but he's doing all this for his bird and nobody stops to say "You know what, screw you for erasing everyone I love to bring one person back." Chakotay and Paris are in conflict for the first time in years and both have believable motivations. It's funny to see Chakotay be the one to actually believe he can help Anorak where Paris has caught the bus to real street and can't believe what Chakotay's doing.
Title : Random Thoughts Rating : 4
Writers : Kenneth Biller Year : 2374
Review : As Indefatigable states, following Year of Hell is extremely tough so we must see this episode in light of reality. It's a good standalone episode where the crew encounter a friendly species for once, but things go pear-shaped when Torres spreads violent throughts through no fault of her own. It's an interesting exploration of Torres' character, but this becomes primarily a Tuvok episode in which the darkness and violence inherent to every Vulcan is explored. We sometimes hear about how Vulcans need to suppress their own nature and this clearly states why. (Several ENT episodes including Impulse and the Vulcan three-parter will also delve into this.) I'm giving this 4 stars for the investigations and the scenes with Tuvok.
Title : The Killing Game, Part 1 Rating : 3
Writers : Brannon Braga, Joe Menosky Year : 2374
Review : This is not the finest Voyager two-parter due to its silly premise (I kept thinking of Allo Allo), but I have got to admit that the story was handled well. It's hard to justify why sci-fi characters are acting in a World War 2 drama and I can only say Brannon Braga's involvement meant that some kind of time travel and some kind of ridiculous high concept idea had to be involved; he can't seem to write anything without one or both of these elements involved.
Title : Night Rating : 3
Writers : Brannon Braga, Joe Menosky Year : 2375
Review : The first half of the episode is very effective. It's like living in England during the winter, where people get "cabin fever" from having to stay in due to relentless bad weather and sunlight seems like a rare and precious commodity. I also thought the introduction of the aliens was well handled. As for the Malon, I don't see any reason why a civilisation cannot create such toxic pollution and their society is very far from the utopian ideals we see on Trek.
Title : In the Flesh Rating : 4
Writers : Nick Sagan Year : 2375
Review : Me likey. I think this marks the last appearance of 8472 in Voyager (I'm not viewing these in order) which is a shame as they were the most formidable species ever. It's a shame the writers ruined them the same way they ruined the Borg - by humanising them. Why can't aliens just be alien and unknowable, like they occasionally were in ENT? Nevertheless, while I definitely wouldn't have included an episode like this, it is well-played, gives Voyager fans a chance to see Starfleet Headquarters (and Earth) and wraps up the 8472 by allowing them to realise the galaxy is not full of hostile, conquering enemies. Actually, it is, so it's lucky they took the Federation as an example and didn't recreate Romulus or Kronos or Cardassia Prime etc. Why does everyone see the Federation as such as threat? All the Feds have to say is "Actually, YOU'RE the hostile, mistrustful, militaristic, shoot first ask questions later types, not us."
Title : Once Upon a Time Rating : 2
Writers : Michael Taylor Year : 2375
Review : A star deducted for the unbearably awful, cringe-inducing opening, which my family literally laughed at while I was watching this episode in the living-room. Not sure who took the decision to open an adult science fiction drama with a children's play; I thought the idea of a teaser was to psyche us up for the episode (think of the destruction of the Enterprise-D in that episode with the Bozeman, then look at this). I also notice that there is yet another shuttle crash involved. Don't these people need a pilot's licence or something? How can Federation flyers be so utterly crap at everything? Why does anyone still use them for anything? Surely transporter ranges have improved from the days of Enterprise?
Title : Timeless Rating : 5
Writers : Brannon Braga, Joe Menosky, Rick Berman Year : 2375
Review : One of the most spectacular sequences ever as Voyager crash-lands on a planet. The image of Voyager beneath a frozen ocean. Geordi La Forge as the captain of a Galaxy class starship. Kim's survivor guilt at being responsible for the death of his entire crew. Chakotay's marriage which will be sacrificed if they succeed in changing history. The Doctor, utterly horrified by what's happened. And finally, Brannon Braga as a writer, so of course this is about time travel. (He's like Chesney Hawks - he only has the one song!) However, so masterful is this episode that the time travel seems like a natural, crucial part of a story that could not be told without it. Starfleet isn't going to sanction a change to its timeline and brings a TNG hero out to stop the surviving Voyager crew. I cannot overstate how much I love this episode and rank it as surely one of Star Trek's finest hours.
Title : Infinite Regress Rating : 3
Writers : Jimmy Diggs, Robert Doherty Year : 2375
Review : Proving yet again that Jeri Ryan was a worthy addition to the cast of Voyager, capable of more than sticking her jugs out in front of her. I was initially resistant to the idea of her being cast as it was a blatant ploy, but right from the off she brought something new, something interesting to the series and ranks among my favourite characters, even if she could have lightened up a bit as time went by. I thought from her first appearance that she could act and never understand people who didn't. There's a little bit of alpha quadrant stuff in here as well with a Ferengi and Starfleet officers assimilated at Wolf 359; always love a bit of continuity (Bermaga aren't credited for this episode which probably explains why we're seeing it). Good episode, well-played.
Title : First Flight Rating : 2
Writers : Chris Black, John Shiban Year : 2153
Review : I often see this episode praised and it seems to be on a lot of top 10 Enterprise episode lists but I found it boring with little chemistry between the characters. We already know Archer is captain of the NX-01, we know humanity is not far off warp 5, so there isn't a lot of drama here. Very little about the characters has changed between the events of this flashback episode and Broken Bow. As an aside, why did it take Earth so long to reach warp 2, then suddenly it's at warp 5, then by TATV starships are supposed to be doing around warp 7?
Title : Timescape Rating : 4
Writers : Brannon Braga Year : 2369
Review : An episode involving time... why am I not surprised to see Brannon Braga credited as writer? Honestly, can he write about anything else? I can't believe he started this obsession with TNG and carried it through Voyager AND Enterprise as well! IMO it was Brannon Braga's involvement that began the decline of Trek with repetitive storylines, although bad science from Berman didn't help. Back to this episode. This is the kind of episode I like, a small number of crew saving the ship from an unusual situation. I liked the fact they can only spend a certain amount of time aboard the Enterprise and have to use the Runabout as a base of operations. It's also interesting to explore the frozen Enterprise and try to work out what was going on. Again, the atmosphere of the episode is well-crafted and it's always good to spend a quality episode with our friends from the E-D.
Title : Civil Defense Rating : 4
Writers : Mike Krohn Year : 2371
Review : A seemingly innocuous investigation of DS9's ore processing facility triggers a latent Cardassian defence program which locks down the entire station and actives an automatic defence program. Gul Dukat's recordings are bombastic and annoying - very appropriately so - and change from his initial show of sympathy and compassion, with an apparently genuine attempt to offer parley to the "rebel Bajorans", to increasingly dire threats. The situation escalates wonderfully, resulting in Dukat himself arriving at the station to lord it over the DS9 crew as they cower from the station's defence system - only for Dukat's humour to vanish when the defence program reacts to his presence by revoking his authority to switch it off! This is an excellent reveal where Dukat's own defence program was sabotaged by a superior who never trusted him. I admit I laughed out loud at this part. Dukat is the greatest villian Trek ever had (I never cared for the original Khan and thought him to be over-rated) but it's excellent to see his crappy reputation catching up with him. Jake Sisko brings more humour and gets something important to do. I like his character, he's nothing like Wesley Crusher and his dialogue isn't the stale, dry 24th-century norm.
Title : The Die is Cast Rating : 5
Writers : Ronald D. Moore Year : 2371
Review : This is easily, easily one of the best Trek episodes ever and competitive against any sci-fi or drama I've seen. The Romulan and Cardassian fleet heads for the Founder's home world in the Omarian Nebula (nice continuity, and the kind of galactic politics DS9 does so magnificently). They don't want to negotiate, they're heading out there to destroy the Founders and defeat the Dominion before war can be declared. Meanwhile, Garak is forced to torture and interrogate Odo. The interplay between these two characters is world-class, leading to an epic scene where Odo is dying in agony but refuses to break -- so Garak is the one who breaks, pleading with Odo to say anything, even if it's a lie, so he can end the interrogation and save Odo's life. Everything that happens is in-character, showing us how far Garak in particular has come: we learn that he used to enjoy interrogating and breaking people, but he certainly doesn't like it any more, and he has started to regard the people of DS9 as his friends. Odo is made of tremendously stern stuff. The main storyline is resolved in a drastic way and there is a good scene at the end where the camera focuses on Garak's face and we only see Odo through a mirror. Wonderful, stupendously good episode, one I remembered for the last 10 years.
Title : The Storyteller Rating : 0
Writers : Kurt Michael Bensmiller Year : 2369
Review : One of the first DS9 episodes I saw, which helped me to form an extremely negative opinion about the show. I was unfortunate enough to keep catching it on Sky as well and realised during my second viewing that this episode is total shite.
Title : Meridian Rating : 1
Writers : Evan Carlos Somers, Hilary J. Bader Year : 2371
Review : What is the need for "random love interest of the week" stories in modern fiction? Does anybody really think Terry Farrell is going to quit her lucrative job working on DS9? (She apparently does later, but we'll overlook that!) So if Dax isn't going to stay behind and it's a safe bet her love interest won't suddenly become a recurring regular in the show, everything that happens in this episode is basically moot. And it took two people to write it. Shame, as everything Frakes touches usually turns to gold.
Title : Distant Voices Rating : 0
Writers : Joe Menosky Year : 2371
Review : Agreed. What could have been interesting - Quark and his associate trying to obtain a banned substance for nefarious purposes, with Bashir trying to stop them - turns into total bobbah straight away. Bashir is worrying about turning 30 when he's brain-zapped by an alien. When Bashir wakes up, the station is all but deserted and suddenly Bashir is aging rapidly. The DS9 crew, when he finds them, are all acting totally out of character. It's obvious straight away that Bashir is having some kind of nightmare but he isn't smart enough to realise it (so much for the mega-IQ he'll later have). The acting as the crew infight is extremely hammy, perhaps an attempt to justify why humans don't argue with each other in the 24th century. I switched this episode off halfway through when things failed to improve. TL;DR - you'd rather eat your underpants after a night of curry-farts than sit through this.
Title : Through the Looking Glass Rating : 1
Writers : Ira Steven Behr, Robert Hewitt Wolfe Year : 2371
Review : I'm sure someone, I think Jammer on his review site, called Tuvok's appearance in this episode "gratuitious". By this I assume he meant a pointless exercise in having a Voyager crossover, since Tuvok contributes nothing at all to this episode, he just stands there looking over people's shoulders while they all argue. Surely if you're having a crossover, you'd give the character some vital role to play. He's also no different from the Tuvok of Voyager - it seems that Vulcans are the same in any universe (we see this in ENT, TOS and now DS9; shame they didn't make the mirror Vulcans interesting, perhaps by showing them as slaves to their violent impulses). The actress playing Jennifer Sisko puts in a dreadful, passionless performance, but nearly everyone else is very good (if visibly over-acting on occasion). Mirror Kira and Mirror garak are basically this episode's saving grace, but you definitely aren't getting the best of DS9 in this episode. I mean, look at the humans in TOS and ENT mirror episodes, then imagine them being portrayed as victims fighting a heroic war against persecution. I'd say the mirror humans are bad enough in TOS and ENT to deserve everything they get in DS9.
Title : Improbable Cause Rating : 4
Writers : David R. Long, Robert Lederman Year : 2371
Review : The image of Odo in a cave, speaking to a shadowy Cardassian who we only see in silhouette or a creepy shot of his eyes, has stuck with me for eighteen years. Eighteen years? Has it really been so long? That image came to define DS9 to me: mysterious people slinking about in the shadows, orchestrating galactic events while up-front, compassionate people like Odo strive to bring evildoers to justice. As Odo and Garak constantly argue (or spar) throughout this episode, I realised how much better DS9 is than the other Treks. If the human characters had been allowed this freedom of emotion, Trek would be sensational - it would be really, really difficult to knock it. Come on, even Rick Berman was burned out writing neutral 24th century dialogue. Who ever gets burned out writing dialogue? That's ridiculous. Anyway, the episode is packed with imagery and excellent dialogue, so it's a winner from me.

Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 14,468 Last updated : 1 Jan 1970