Season 1

  Caretaker 

Stardate: 48315.6
In the 24th Century, a renegade band of freedom fighters known as the Maquis are operating outside Federation law. When one of its ships disappears in "The Badlands" with undercover Starfleet Security Officer Tuvok aboard, the Vulcan's new starship, the U.S.S. Voyager and his Captain, Kathryn Janeway, are dispatched to retrieve him. Captain Janeway recruits a Starfleet washout and Maquis prisoner, Tom Paris, to help on the mission.

Before Voyager departs Deep Space 9, Paris rescues a fresh Academy graduate, the starship's Ops Officer Harry Kim, from some of Quark's salesmanship. The two of them become friends, even with warnings to Kim that Paris caused the death of fellow crewmembers and then lied to cover it up. Shortly after Janeway leaves last-minute instructions about her pregnant dog with her fiancÚ Mark, her ship encounters a bizarre phenomenon in "The Badlands" that sweeps it some 70,000 light years away to the Delta Quadrant.

The catapult effect is costly: First Officer Cavit, Conn Officer Stadi and several others are killed, including the Chief Engineer and Chief Medical Officer. When the Chief Medical Officer dies an Emergency Medical Hologram Doctor materializes to care for the wounded. The Voyager's survivors then realize the Maquis ship is also there. The alien behind their appearance in the Delta Quadrant was know as "The Caretaker."

Stardate: 48315.6
The Caretaker has been providing for the native Ocampa people and their world since his race severely damaged their atmosphere in an accident. Knowing his own death nears, the aged alien is collecting people of different origins to test them for compatible DNA to provide a mate that will bear offspring to carry on his work. The Caretaker kidnaps both crews and examines them, but they are returned some three days later, except for Kim from Voyager and B'Elanna Torres, a half-Klingon, half-human Engineer from the Maquis vessel. Banding together to successfully rescue their missing mates, the two crews encounter Neelix, a Talaxian scavenger and jack-of-all-trades and his lover Kes, an Ocampan who strives for more than her people's sedate and dependent lifestyle underground.

The Ocampan planet also introduces the Federation crew to the Kazon, an alien race on this planet's surface who covets the power and resources -- especially water -- that the Caretaker bestows on the sealed-off Ocampa underground. To save the natives from the Kazon as the Caretaker's death nears, Janeway destroys the Caretaker's power Array -- and her own people's best and perhaps only way home. Deprived of their target, the enraged Kazon are beaten only by a kamikaze run on their mother ship by Maquis Captain Chakotay and his ship, after his crew are beamed aboard Voyager.

Chakotay takes up Janeway's offer to merge their crew under a Starfleet operation; he considers Paris a traitor for helping Starfleet, but he knows Tuvok's undercover work was just following orders. Neelix and Kes convince Janeway of their usefulness and are allowed to stay on board. Chakotay is assigned to be First Officer, and Tom Paris is reinstated to service as a Lieutenant and serves at the Conn. They must all work together to find the way back home.

Comments: This must be the best Star Trek pilot episode ever! Here it's action and excitement from the beginning to the end and the main characters are introduced one by one in a very good way. After seeing this episode, the writer of this review became a Voyager fan and just couldn't wait for the next episode.

Ratings: 5

Kesfactor 3

  Parallax

Stardate: 48339.7 (official Stardate 48439.7)
As the crew tries to adjust to the merging of Starfleet and Maquis personnel, the differences are apparent. One heated procedural discussion in Engineering ends with Lieutenant Carey in Sickbay with a broken nose thanks to B'Elanna, who later gets a little advice from Chakotay on getting along and controlling her temper.

While Janeway looks to fill the many still-vacant jobs on board, Neelix and Kes volunteer to serve -- he as a cook and guide, and she as a gardener of airponic vegetables to save replicator power. Voyager must make do with its Emergency Medical Hologram Doctor, with Tom Paris to assist him. Chakotay recommends B'Elanna as Chief Engineer and Janeway agrees to consider it.

Suddenly the ship is jolted. Voyager has come upon a quantum singularity -- a star that has collapsed in upon itself, creating a powerful surrounding energy field. The crew believes another ship to be in jeopardy and tries to save it from destruction, only to trap themselves in the singularity. Tension rises as symptoms of sickness appear aboard and the holographic Doctor begins shrinking.

After several attempts in vain, Janeway and B'Elanna discover that the other ship caught in the distortion is just a mirror image of Voyager. The rip in the singularity that they entered through must be found and exited before it collapses, forever trapping them. Using a dekyon beam fired from a shuttlecraft, the Captain and B'Elanna open up the rip wide enough for Voyager to get out. Because of her tempered initiative and unorthodox efforts in saving the ship, B'Elanna gets the Chief Engineer's post, and Carey is among the first to congratulate her.

Comments: The interaction between Janeway and Torres is the real intersting thing in this rather good episode. Most of all an episode which will take the story from the start in "Caretaker" and further in the future.

Note that the official Paramount Stardate for this episode can't be correct because it would mean that there would be almost one an a half month between the events in "Caretaker" and "Parallax" and I doubt that there would take that long before assigning a new Chief Engineer and sort out different things, such as repairs and crew duties. I've taken the liberty to change the startade to 48339.7 which would place the events in "Parallax" about a week after the events in "Caretaker".

Ratings: 3

Kesfactor: 2

Time and Again

Stardate: Unknown
During the night shift, as Paris tries to talk Kim into a double date with him and the Delaney sisters, Voyager encounters a huge shock wave in space that awakens Kes and leaves a terrible image in her mind's eye. Investigating, the crew stumbles upon a planet capable of supporting humanoid life yet mysteriously laid waste by an explosion that instantaneously wiped out all life there. After finding a timepiece in the debris that had stopped at the time of the explosion, Paris discovers a subspace fracture that allows a glimpse of life on the planet beforehand. Minutes later, both Janeway and Paris are caught in another, larger fracture that actually transports them back in time to the planet right before the explosion. Knowing they are trapped, Paris locates the timepiece he'd already found in its store display and realizes the cataclysmic disaster will fall a day later.

During the search for Janeway and Paris, Kes is able to sense the destruction and the trail of the missing officers. Neelix suggests that she see the Doctor, who is none too pleased that he wasn't even told about new arrivals aboard Voyager -- much less that Captain Janeway is missing.

Despite apparent violation of the Federation's Prime Directive, Janeway and Paris warn a group of polaric ion power protesters that their actions could be the trigger for the planet's death-knell. But the dissenters are determined to go on with a protest at the power station, and some decide to sabotage the facility as a stunt to show how dangerous the technology can be. Janeway tries to warn a guard at the station of what is about to happen, and Paris is shot and severely wounded during the ensuing scuffle. Eventually she realizes that their own rescuers' use of a polaric beam caused the catastrophe, and she convinces a protester to let her use her own phaser to fire back and blunt the impact of the beam breaking through the time distortion.

The plan works: the planet is spared annihilation, and Voyager's crew is returned aboard at the moment just before the shock wave is met: Paris and Kim hotly debating the Delaney sister's date. This time, Kes senses a serenity about the planet, which is bypassed as not advanced enough to warrant a contact visit.

Comments: This is a good one. I have always had problems with time jumping episodes and those alternate universes but this one is excellent. Some interesting twists and turns and a surprising end. Paris and The Doctor have some funny comments and the interaction between Paris and Janeway on the planet is good. A highly watchable episode.

Ratings: 5

Kesfactor: 4

 Phage

Stardate: 48532.4
Captain Janeway is surprised to find her private dining room, just off the crew's Mess Hall, has been converted into a kitchen by Neelix. A timely call regarding a new dilithium source distracts the Captain from her first impulse to get the unauthorized mess out.

Neelix directs the crew to a planet supposedly rich in dilithium, but during an away-team survey, he is attacked by a humanoid alien who surgically removes his lungs. Transported to Sickbay, Neelix's only hope is a pair of holographic lungs programmed by the Doctor. Even so, the lungs are temporary, at best: Neelix cannot move in the machine, which resembles an iron lung. Janeway, Kes and the others do the best they can for his spirits; Kes stays with him and decorates the ceiling so Neelix has something to look at.

In the meantime, Janeway heads a search for the aliens, the Vidiians, that leads to an asteroid that serves as a base. When confronted, the aliens admit to stealing Neelix's organs, but defend themselves by telling the story of the "phage," a bizarre disease that attacks their people, eating away at their bodies and organs until they are forced to scavenge others as substitutes. When prodded to return Neelix's lungs, they are told that they have already transformed them for their own use.

With no alternative, Janeway is forced to let them go. The aliens, taken by this gesture of good will, agree to help Neelix, and perform an emergency lung transplant with a willing donor, Kes. Because of Kes' interest in medicine, the Doctor asks Captain Janeway for permission to train her as a Medical Assistant.

Comments: The Vidiians shows up here for the first time and they are creepy! Strange that Janeway let them get away after steeling Neelix's lungs. One feels really sorry for poor Neelix but thanks to Kes and Vidiian techhnology, he will be OK again.

Ratings: 3

Kesfactor: 4

The Cloud

Stardate: 48546.2
On a morning walk around the ship, Janeway ponders loosening the traditional protocols of command amid Voyager's unique aloneness. Her visit to Engineering convinces B'Elanna her department is under inspection. When Janeway enters the Mess Hall, Kim and Paris debate the propriety of inviting their Commanding Officer to join them. On the Bridge she confides to Chakotay her yearn for a Counselor, believing the crew may be homesick, but he describes his people's use of an animal spirit guide and offers to help her discover her own guide.

Then sensors detect a nebula emitting a high level of useful omicron particles, and the Captain decides to collect some and do a bit of exploring. Back in the Mess Hall, Neelix can't believe Janeway entered the nebula, but Kes speaks up for the romance of exploration until they turn to see globules spattering and attaching themselves to the ship's hull. The globules lead Janeway to order the exit of the nebula, but that takes some doing.

Meanwhile, Paris awakens Kim to join him in a new homesick-fighting Holodeck program: a duplicate of a Parisian bar near where Paris took his Starfleet training. Inside we meet several people that Paris knew in his academy days -- a pool shark named Gaunt Gary, the Gigolo, and Sandrine, the bar owner -- along with a female named Ricky, a regular in all of Paris' holoprograms. Kim joins in a pool game with Paris, who confides in him that this is his idea of home.

After sampling the globules, B'Elanna and the Doctor both agree that Voyager is actually inside a life form that has been wounded by the crew's actions, and interrupt Janeway's exploration of her spirit guide, a lizard, to bring the news. After re-entering the living nebula, the Doctor's suggestion of a phaser suture is used to "sew up" the damaged area.

The crisis averted, Kim overrides Paris' morning advice and invites Janeway for a pool game in the newly opened Sandrine's. To everyone's surprise, she shoots a mean game of pool.

Comments: This episode is actually good, not so much for the unrealistic main plot but more for the glimpses of daily life on board Voyager that we see here: Sandrine's, Chakotay teaching Janeway how to find her spirit guide, Janeway's musing over how to run the ship and the crew. A nice and enjoyable episode.

Ratings: 3

Kesfactor: 2

Eye of the Needle

Stardate: 48579.4
Kim and his crewmates can hardly contain their initial excitement when he discovers a small wormhole, or tunnel, in space. But the hole is discovered to be too small to travel through, and then a probe sent in to discover its terminus shows it's old and about to collapse.

Kes, who has discovered a latent talent for medicine, is concerned about the crew's treatment of the Doctor and discusses it with the Captain. When Janeway asks him what she can do to help, he asks for the power to terminate his program since the crew can't remember to do so. She agrees to make it possible for him to deactivate himself.

The probe sent into the wormhole doesn't get through, but it's scanned by a vessel on the other side in the Alpha Quadrant. Even though the ship is Romulan, Captain Janeway convinces the skeptical captain, Telek, to test a jury-rigged transporter signal to Voyager. When it is realized that Telek came from 20 years in the past, he agrees to relay messages to the crew's loved ones at the appropriate time. Tuvok, after checking computer records, discovers that Telek died four years before he was to send the messages. The crew only hopes that the Romulan government forwarded the messages.

Comments: A good story which starts up as promising for the chances for the crew to go home. But as it is only season one, we all know that the twist in the tale will come and it comes in an unexpected way. Kes is great to watch in her concerns about The Doctor.

Ratings: 4

Kesfactor: 4

Ex Post Facto

Stardate: Unknown
Kim and Paris visit the homeworld of the Baneans, a people at war with the nearby Numiri. There they meet with the head of military science, Tolen Ren, to discuss potential scientific advances that may help Voyager find a faster way back to Federation space.

Ren invites Kim and Paris for dinner at his home, where Ren's dog continually barks at them: they are assured that he always barks at strangers. Ren's wife, a much younger woman named Lidell, seems bothered to prepare dinner and the two don't feel very welcome. But Paris is attracted to her and ultimately is blamed for her husband's brutal murder that night. His Banean sentence: to relive the violent moment of the crime from the victim's perspective for the rest of his life. The judgment is accomplished by a Doctor implanting memory engrams from the victim's mind into that of the criminal.

Because of the differences in humans and Baneans, Paris' brain can't accept the implanted engrams and will eventually be destroyed. Janeway and Tuvok return to the Banean homeworld to find a solution. Voyager is then attacked by the Numiri.

When Tuvok mind-melds with Paris, he discovers that Ren was murdered by a shorter man and symbols and numbers were also implanted in Paris' brain. Through a clever set-up the Numiri are twice shown to be after Paris. Tuvok deduces the numbers and symbols in Paris' brain are military information, which had been placed there by the traitorous Doctor when the punishment engrams were imbedded.

The Doctor who implanted the engrams is also Lidell's lover and the right height, denies knowing anything -- until Leeka the dog is brought in and doesn't bark, because it knows him.

Comments: An excellent detective story! Tuvok is brilliant as the investigator and Paris is great as the innocent victim for a sinister plot. The story is well-written and exciting.

Ratings: 5

Kesfactor: 2

 Emanations

Stardate: 48623.5
While exploring an uncharted asteroid, Chakotay, Kim and B'Elanna stumble upon the burial ground of the alien race Vhnori. After the Vhnori die, their bodies are deposited on the asteroid by subspace vacuoles. During the investigation, Kim is caught up in a vacuole and deposited on the Vhnori's homeworld, while the alien woman, Ptera, who was to be transported to the asteroid, is beamed aboard Voyager with Chakotay and B'Elanna. Thanks to modern medicine she is cured of her brain tumor, but is shocked to see herself among strangers, her beliefs seemingly proven wrong. Her burden is finally eased when she takes a chance and experiments with the transporter -- she rematerializes on the platform dead.

Meanwhile, Kim's presence among the Vhnori causes many to doubt their traditional beliefs. The experts on the planet decide to keep him for examination since he's the only person to ever return from the "afterlife." Kim soon realizes that the only way he can return home is the same way he came: through the Vhnori's death stations.

When Voyager moves in closer searching for Kim, vacuoles begin depositing corpses directly on the ship. After they can find no trace of him, they decide they have to leave to protect the warp core that's being affected by the vacuoles. At that moment, they discover a vacuole deposited a human on the asteroid: it's Kim. They quickly beam him aboard and revive him.

Captain Janeway offers the shaken Ensign a couple of days off to contemplate the experience he just had. The contrast between the Vhnori's devout beliefs and the witnessed reality bothers him, but Janeway notes that at death Ptera's body released a neural energy that became part of the ambient electromagnetic field surrounding the planet. Perhaps that, she adds, is what the Vhnori afterlife is all about.

Comments: No, this one doesn't work for me. Rather boring with  dubious atheist propaganda.

Ratings: 1

Kesfactor: 3

Prime Factors

Stardate: 48642.5
With no fanfare, the crew of Voyager is greeted by Gathhorel "Gath" Labin of Sikaris -- a world renowned for its natives' incredible hospitality. He beams aboard Voyager and invites the crew to his planet for R-and-R.

The Sikarians love to hear stories of other places and travels from visitors, and following Gath and Janeway's lead, the groups begin mixing. Kim is soon telling the Voyager story to a young woman named Eudana, who suggests they go somewhere else to be alone. Little does he realize she means a planet more than 40,000 light years away, thanks to the Sikarians' spatial trajector -- technology which can "fold" space to allow long-distance travel in an instant.

The Voyager crew are overjoyed, but then learn the Sikarians have their own prime directive which prevents them from sharing their technology with less advanced races. One Sikarian, Jaret Otel, offers Kim the technology in exchange for more Voyager "stories." But Janeway feels it's unethical to accept the technology from anyone other than Gath, the Sikarian leader. She decides to ask him to send Voyager as far as he can in exchange for the "stories." He refuses but invites Janeway and the crew to stay on his planet instead. The meeting ends on a sour note, and Janeway realizes they are no longer welcome.

After that, B'Elanna, Carey and Seska conspire to ignore Janeway's orders and take Jaret's offer -- and are shocked when Tuvok shows up to make the exchange and sacrifice his career if caught. The gamble is for naught when they find the trajector is incompatible with Federation technology. Janeway finds herself reprimanding not only her new hot-headed Engineer but her old and logical friend Tuvok. The Vulcan explains he sacrificed his own career so the crew could get home without Janeway compromising her ethics, but she rejects that "logic" and asks her confidant to never let her down again.

Comments: Are we following the Prime Directive or not? The main point in this story where the biggest surprise is Tuvok's actions. Good story and the Sikarians are actually fascinating when their egocentric nature is revealed.

Ratings: 3

Kesfactor: 1

State of Flux

Stardate: 48658.2
While routinely exploring a new planet for foodstuffs, a cloaked Kazon-Nistrim ship is detected in orbit. Therefore, the Away Team is recalled but Chakotay can't find Seska. He locates her in a nearby cave, hiding from two Kazon. She had been gathering mushrooms and wandered from the group. Chakotay is hurt in the exchange of fire but Seska gets them both beamed aboard safely.

Rejecting Neelix's choice of foods and recipes, Seska and some other Maquis later break into the food reserves and steal the mushrooms she found to make mushroom soup. She privately brings a pot to the recuperating Chakotay, but the romantic mood between the former Maquis lovers is broken when Neelix reports the break-in. Chakotay angrily reprimands everyone involved, including himself as an accessory. Seska is stunned at his reaction and leaves, teasing him that her eye is now on Kim.

Three days later, Voyager gets a distress call from a Kazon warship. It turns out to be the one they just encountered, but with only one survivor amid devastation that was caused by Federation technology. Someone on Voyager had to have given them the technology.

Against orders, Seska beams aboard the Kazon warship to retrieve the Federation equipment and is injured. In Sickbay, a routine blood test reveals racial factors of Cardassian origin, not Bajoran, but she explains a bone marrow transplant from a Cardassian woman caused the change during a childhood case of Orkett's Disease.

Another Kazon ship responds to the distress call, and Janeway allows visitors for the ailing Kazon. But the Maje and his aide kill him and an angry Janeway sends them back, ignoring their claims to the damaged ship so it can be checked further for clues. Seska and Carey are now suspects in the espionage because the technology was sent from an Engineering station they both had access to. B'Elanna retrieves the device from the wrecked vessel: a simple food replicator that rejected a Kazon interface with disastrous results.

Chakotay and Tuvok set a trap to find the guilty Engineer -finally revealed to be Seska. She is indeed a cosmetically altered Cardassian who had rejected Janeway's nobility and instead sought allies among the powerful Kazon with the gift of technology. Before she can be arrested, though, Seska beams herself aboard the departing Kazon ship.

Somewhat shaken by the turn of events, Chakotay ruefully wonders aloud about his old Maquis crew: if Tuvok spied for Starfleet and Seska was a Cardassian, was anybody aboard working for him?

Comments: A great story which will be the beginning of the Voyager vs Culluh and Seska arc. Seska is finally revealed as a spy and will become a great villain together with Culluh for seasons 1 and 2. The way Seska is revealed is exciting even if the questioning of Carey in Janeway's ready room is a bit rude.

Ratings: 4

Kesfactor: 2

 Heroes and Demons

Stardate: 48693.2
When Voyager comes across a protostar, Janeway has samples of its photonic energy beamed aboard for study and possible use in power converters. After a small glitch, B'Elanna corrects a breach in the transporter's containment field and safely finishes the samples' beam-in. But in calling Kim to assist her studies, she learns that ship sensors cannot detect him in the Holodeck or anywhere else aboard.

Tuvok and Chakotay enter the Holodeck to find no sign of Kim but discover his program still running: a version of the English epic poem Beowulf. Confronted by characters from Beowulf, they join in to fight the creature in the story and also disappear.

Rather than lose any more organic crewmembers, Janeway sends the holographic Doctor to unravel the mystery as his first away mission. Though he puts up a brave front, Kes gets him to admit he's unsure of himself and then offers encouragement, helping him select a name from an admired role model: Schweitzer. Once inside he begins to get the rhythm of the role but is uncomfortable with romantic advances from a female character, Freya, until she dies in his arms after taking a sword blow meant for him. Although both are holograms, he is clearly moved by her last word: his newly chosen name.

Inspired to try again, the Doctor realizes that an alien life form was snared in the energy samples taken earlier and, escaping through the field breach, retaliated by taking form in the Holodeck as the Beowulf monster and converting any Voyager crewmembers into energy. When the "sample" beings are returned to the alien, Kim, Tuvok and Chakotay all reappear -- leading to a commendation from Janeway for the Doctor. He decides not to take the Schweitzer name because Freya died saying it.

Comments: When I first saw this episode I found it utterly silly. But watching it a few times more have made it more acceptable. It's a good performance from The Doctor even if the story itself still feels a bit silly.

Ratings: 2

Kesfactor: 1

 Cathexis

Stardate: 48734.2
Captain Janeway is enjoying playing a governess to the two children of Lord Burleigh in an interactive Gothic holonovel when she's interrupted by Kim, who reports that a shuttle has returned badly damaged.

Of its passengers, Tuvok has minor injuries but Chakotay is diagnosed as brain dead. Logs show that during an encounter with a black nebula, all of Chakotay's neural energy was depleted and would cause his death if not replenished quickly. While Voyager returns to the nebula, B'Elanna places Chakotay's medicine wheel above him as he had requested.

Oddly, several inexplicable events begin unfolding: Paris locks helm control out and changes course twice, while B'Elanna shuts down the warp core. Kes announces she can sense an alien presence that may be possessing the officers, and is soon found unconscious with Tuvok in a turbolift. Because they deduce the alien can control different people at different times, Janeway transfers all command codes to the Doctor -- but even he is soon found deactivated.

As the ship returns to the nebula, Janeway discovers that the alien has taken over Tuvok, who takes command of the ship. Suddenly they realize another essence is at play: it's Chakotay, who had been trying to help all along. He signals the correct path out of the nebula with a pattern in the stones on his medicine wheel, and soon is revived while the alien in Tuvok is released.

Comments: Now this is a spooky and exciting story with some unexpected turns. Tuvok as possesed by an alien entity and Chakotay as a "good spirit" who finally saves the ship is actually a good episode which is really exciting most of the time.

Ratings: 4

Kesfactor: 3

 Faces

Stardate: 48784.2
Janeway grows concerned when B'Elanna, Paris, and Lieutenant Peter Durst fail to report in for beam-up after an away mission. In reality, the phage-plagued Vidiians are kidnapping visitors and masking the landscape to cover their operation on the planet. The scientist Sulan is in search of a cure for the deadly disease of his people. During an experiment, B'Elanna is literally split into two separate beings -- one fully Klingon, the other fully human -- by Sulan, who believes Klingons may be immune to the phage. Since the Vidiians are too weak to do their own labor, the unused hostages including Paris, Durst and another Talaxian are put to work digging tunnels.

Sulan is excited when the Klingon B'Elanna shows signs her body is fighting the disease. He wants to replicate her DNA and integrate it into that of Vidiians, telling her she will be considered a hero to his people. But the Klingon B'Elanna suspects that Sulan's interest in her has grown beyond scientific curiosity.

In the prisoner barracks, Paris is shocked when the all-human B'Elanna appears, explaining what has happened. She admits she should be happy at losing her despised Klingon heritage -- growing up on Kessik IV with her mother as the only Klingons, she decided her human father left them because she looked too alien -- but now she realizes the benefits of her Klingon blood.

Meanwhile, an away team led by Chakotay realizes this planet's caves show traces similar to the Vidiian caves previously encountered, and after trying to phaser through a suspected false wall they beam out quickly before two Vidiians who suddenly appear can subdue them.

The Klingon B'Elanna tries to tempt Sulan into freeing her to explore her sexual side, but despite herself she can't hide her revulsion at his patched-together form. He can't help but notice her reaction and promises her that one day his people will be beautiful again with her help. He has Durst killed so his face can be grafted over his own garish features. Instead of attraction, the sight so enrages the Klingon B'Elanna that she breaks away and grabs Sulan, almost snapping his neck. Only the sound of voices sends her from the room, and she eventually helps to plan an escape with her human half and Paris.

Along the way, the B'Elanna halves learn to appreciate each other and, thanks to help from the returned Chakotay in Vidiian disguise, they subdue Sulan and disable the caves' force field to beam out. But Sulan gets off one more shot, aiming for the human B'Elanna but killing his beloved Klingon when she steps in to take the hit. The Klingon part dies after beam-up, but the Doctor is able to return enough DNA to restore B'Elanna to her newly appreciated wholeness.

Comments: A great B'Elanna Torres episode. The scenes where we have two B'Elannas are exciting and a bit scary. The Vidiians are really scary in this episode too, especially the Chief surgeon Sulan.. The plot with the separated B'Elanna is a bit over the top though. If the Vidiians are that good at medicals science, why haven't they found a cure to the phage?

Ratings: 3

Kesfactor: 1

Jetrel

Stardate: 48840.5
Neelix is called away from a Paris-Tuvok pool match in Sandrine's holodeck bar, and is confronted on the Bridge by Dr. Ma'bor Jetrel, a Haakonian scientist. Jetrel was behind the Metreon Cascade super-weapon that annihilated Talax's moon Rinax during their recent war --killing Neelix's family -- and forced Talax's surrender.

Janeway understands Neelix's bitterness but allows Jetrel aboard when he explains he's searching for victims of metremia, a late-developing disease caused by exposure to metreon radiation. The Captain and then Kes finally convince Neelix to let himself be tested, but the incident only reopens old wounds for Neelix: he confesses to his mate that he wasn't on Talax at the time with their army as he'd claimed -- he was hiding because he was a coward. Kes helps him understand that he is really angry at himself and is blaming Jetrel, who meantime pronounces Neelix afflicted but explains that the ship's transporter may be used for a cure.

Jetrel draws suspicion when he first deactivates the Doctor and then knocks out Neelix. Finally Jetrel reveals that he may be able to regenerate the disassociated remains of Rinax's dead Talaxians, but when the plan fails he admits that he and not Neelix is dying of metremia. In fact, Jetrel draws his last breath after hearing Neelix finally voice his forgiveness.

Comments: One of the best episodes in season 1. Neelix's tragic background story is revealed here and he steps forward as a more fascinating character than he was in the beginning. The confrotation between Jetrel who was responsible for the terrible weapon which annihilated the people on Rinax and Neelix who lost his family because of that is brilliant and so is the inter-action between them

Ratings: 5

Kesfactor: 4

Learning Curve

Stardate: 48846.5
After atmospheric disturbances force the crew to land the Starship Voyager on a mysterious planet, Captain Janeway leads an away team in search of the source of the centuries-old distress signal detected by the ship's sensors. They discover the source of the SOS to be an old Earth aircraft. Upon further investigation, the team finds a massive chamber containing eight earthlings in cryogenic units, one of which is Amelia Earhart (Sharon Lawrence). After releasing them from suspended animation, the U.S.S. Voyager crew comes under attack when a group of the planet's inhabitants mistakes them for members of the Briori -- an alien race which abducted more than 300 people from Earth in 1937 and brought them this planet as slaves.

It's learned that over time, the slaves revolted and killed the aliens. The eight surviving "37's" became part of the planet's history and the cryogenic chamber was their shrine. Since then, the descendants of the original 300 cultivated the planet and created a home much like Earth. The crew of the U.S.S. Voyager is invited to stay, and Janeway must face her greatest challenge as she allows each crewmember the personal choice to stay behind and begin a life among these kindred Humans.

Captain Janeway is enjoying playing Lucie the governess in her Gothic holonovel's second chapter when the program quits running, interrupted by a disruption of power to the energy grid.

The problem is soon found to be in the ship's bio-neural gel pack circuitry. A Maquis Engineer, Dalby, made repairs without warning, an action which defied protocol. In Tuvok's report to Janeway and Chakotay later, they hit upon the idea of a Maquis "boot camp" to bring the new crewmembers up to the Starfleet standards expected of them -- with former Academy trainer Tuvok in charge.

The four recruits chosen balk at Tuvok's tough discipline until Chakotay himself smacks Dalby in the jaw -- a demonstration of the limits of "the Maquis way." Tuvok finds it so rough to train the Maquis, he even solicits Neelix for advice. He uses the example of a flower stem that breaks instead of bending, to show that Tuvok can be inflexible.

Meanwhile, more and more of the formerly dependable gel packs malfunction and threaten basic ship systems. B'Elanna and the Doctor find that the organic components of the packs are "infected" with a virus and search for a way to sterilize the infection without harming the rest of the ship and crew. The "cure" with heat is almost fatal to Tuvok's team when it is trapped in a cargo bay amid noxious fumes. The crisis is averted as Tuvok gains new respect when the Vulcan risks his life to rescue a Maquis team member. Tuvok decides he needs to bend the rules sometimes.

And the virus? To Neelix's horror, it's traced to a bacteria given off by an alien cheese fermenting in his kitchen and absorbed through the air ducts.

Comments: A good episode with a lot of good interaction between Tuvok and his "cadets" and some funny moments too. The subplot with the virus-infected cheese is also good and the whole episode is enjoyable.

Ratings: 3

Kesfactor: 3

 Projections

Stardate: 48892.1
The Doctor receives information that Voyager has suffered a massive Kazon attack and that most of the crew has abandoned ship, so he ventures from Sickbay, via remote holo-projection system, to aid those still on board.

Once he's on the ship's near-deserted Bridge, The Doctor must determine what is and what is not reality. Much to his confusion and counter to his program, The Doctor shows human life signs when, during a struggle with a Kazon warrior, he experiences injury and pain. He meets Lieutenant Barclay, learns of Dr. Lewis Zimmerman, the engineer who wrote his medical holographic program and amazingly, discovers that The Doctor has a wife -- Kes. He's in a state of disbelief when Barclay tells him he must completely destroy Voyager.

Comments: This one is really exciting with a lot of unexpected twists and turns. In fact, I wasn't sure that the episode was really over until the end credits started to roll. The Doctor is excellent and Our Favorite Ocampa plays an important an unexpected role here too. One of Voyager's best episodes!

Ratings: 5

Kesfactor: 3

 Elogium

Stardate: 48921.3
Aggressive space-dwelling lifeforms attach themselves to the Starship, creating an electrophoretic field. The occurrence increases Kes' metabolic activity and accelerates her reproductive process, causing her to prematurely enter the elogium -- the time of life when Ocampa bodies become fertile. However, the elogium occurs only once, so if Kes is ever going to have a child, it must be immediately.

Before making his decision whether or not he will father Kes' child, a bewildered Neelix seeks the advice of Tuvok. Meanwhile, while considering how long it may take to get the ship home, Janeway wonders if it may be necessary for the crew to start having children to provide the next generation of personnel.

Comments: This is one of the few episodes with Kes as one of the main characters which doesn't work for me. Kes is funny to watch when she eats beetles and freaks out but the story itself leads nowhere. There are also some total insane things in this story, such as: Ocampa can have only one child per lifetime, Ocampa females freak out and eat beetles, they got sticky fingers, have to have sex for a couple of days (or hours, or whatever it was) and before that one of the woman's parents must massage her feet until her tongue swells!

And they deliver their child from the back! 

Talk about ruining a species. Sometimes I wonder what the "writers" were on when they came up with that rubbish.

However, Jennifer Lien's acting is superb and saves the episode.

Ratings: 1

Kesfactor: 5

 Twisted

Stardate: Unknown
A spatial distortion phenomenon occurs not only in space but inside the ship as well, changing Voyager's structural layout and completely disabling it. As Voyager is compressed and twisted by this unknown anomaly, the crew must work frantically to stop it.

Captain Janeway is incapacitated when she comes in contact with the strange force and soon, Neelix winds up missing. Meanwhile, the rest of the crew is trapped in a maze on Deck Six and the Doctor is confined to Sandrine's Bar as the force pushes inward, closing on them.

Comments: Exciting most of the time and a bit scary when the ship is twisted and turned and we don't know what kind of force it is who is threatening the ship. Also an episode worth to remember because it starts with the birthday celebrations for Our Favorite Ocampa.

Ratings: 4

Kesfactor: 3

 

The 37's

Stardate: 48975.1
After atmospheric disturbances force the crew to land the Starship Voyager on a mysterious planet, Captain Janeway leads an away team in search of the source of the centuries-old distress signal detected by the ship's sensors. They discover the source of the SOS to be an old Earth aircraft. Upon further investigation, the team finds a massive chamber containing eight
earthlings in cryogenic units, one of which is Amelia Earhart (Sharon Lawrence). After releasing them from suspended animation, the U.S.S. Voyager crew comes under attack when a group of the planet's inhabitants mistakes them for members of the Briori -- an alien race which abducted more than 300 people from Earth in 1937 and brought them this planet as slaves.

It's learned that over time, the slaves revolted and killed the aliens. The eight surviving "37's" became part of the planet's history and the cryogenic chamber was their shrine. Since then, the descendants of the original 300 cultivated the planet and created a home much like Earth. The crew of the U.S.S. Voyager is invited to stay, and Janeway must face her greatest challenge as she allows each crewmember the personal choice to stay behind and begin a life among these kindred Humans.

Comments: An episode that have its good moments. The main plot where Voyager happens to run into descendants of humans who were abducted from Earth in the 20th century including Amelia Earhardt is actually too unrealistic. Still an interesting perspective with those humans in the Delta Quadrant. The scene when Janeway enters the Cargo Bay to say goodbye to those who have decided to remain on the planet and there's no one there who wants to leave is one of Voyager's finest moments.

Ratings: 3

Kesfactor: 3

 

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