Friday, January 9, 2015

Voyager Re-Watch: Time And Again

Time And Again
Season 1: Episode 3

Alright now, this episode. I don't know. For some reason, this one always sticks in my head. Maybe it's the outfits. Maybe it's the plot. Maybe it's Janeway's glorious half-up, half-down mane.
Actually it's surely her hair. Look at it! Magnificent.
Time and Again is interesting for a few reasons. Mainly, it's the first really stand-alone, episodic, no-strings-attached story. And that's pretty important. Basically it's this: Voyager comes upon a planet where the native peoples have blown themselves to bits in a huge nuclear explosion. They go down to investigate because why not and Janeway and Paris get thrown back in time to the day before the explosion. The bulk of the episode is spent with Janeway and Paris walking amongst these doomed fools, trying to figure out a way back to Voyager whilst the crew simultaneously try to collect them and Kes has lots of psychic trauma because of all of it. At the end, they prevent the explosion and everything goes back to normal for Voyager.

There's no Maquis/Starfleet conflict. There's no "OMG look how far away from home we still are!" business. There's no "OMG look how close we're all getting because we're a family!" conversation. It's just a regular, run of the mill Star Trek episode. The plot from this one could easily be lifted and dropped into TOS, TNG, DS9, or Enterprise.

But that's also what makes this one kind of special. Can Voyager, without the aid/interference of Starfleet, the known alien races, the known space etc, function like any of the other Treks? Yeah. Absolutely. But then again, maybe that's why this one always kind of stands out to me. It doesn't have all that much of what makes Voyager stand out among the rest of Trek.

Here's what it does have though:

1- The first mention of the infamous Delaney sisters. Apparently, they come as a matched pair.
2- Paris says he has "five girls back home." Could they be trying any harder to make him the Riker? Possibly.  
3- Neelix gives Kes a lecture about telepathy. I'm sorry Neelix, when did you become an expert in exobiological neuroscience as applied specifically to the Ocampa?
4-One of these doomed fools tells another of these doomed fools to "Have a confection bar and calm down," which always makes me laugh. Also it makes me want a confection bar.
5-Janeway just straight up breaks the Prime Directive right here in the 3rd Episode. She says she's not doing it and she's technically right, I guess. But this kind of, "Aw, Fuck It" attitude will eventually separate Janeway from the rest of her Starfleet captain comrades. She just lets down her hair and starts dropping heavy knowledge on these poor, unknowing people.
6- At the end everything resets except the doomed fools don't blow themselves up and they go back to living in a pre-warp society so it's like Janeway never even dropped any knowledge on them. Paris still has five girls back home though. According to him.

Tom "Five Girls Back Home" Paris


  1. This episode could have happened to Kirk's crew. There was something very antiseptic and cheesy for me, but I'd also be willing to bet that given the same script in season five (even season 3), Robert Duncan MacNeil would've given a more nuanced performance (ie: when he tells that young boy "I'm sorry", it was from an actor who didn't seem to understand the gravity of storytelling he was participating in). Tom Paris has never been a favourite character for me, though admittedly I loved Tom and B'Ellana (especially the episode when they were stranded in open space, and the race episode with the Delta Flyer). I look forward to seeing him become far less rigid. My standout moment in this one, was the Doctor's interaction with Kes in sickbay. It's true-to-character to see where he begins (with so little self-awareness) with the knowledge of what he becomes, and Robert Picardo plays him with a tentative, apologetic edginess that I love. Meaning, he doles out barbs, and then gets the benefit of information to make him regret being as brash as he is. Forgive me for a comment on every episode AshleyRose. I'm just taking advantage of a relevant outlet. : )

    1. Yes! I love the beginnings of The Doctor and Kes' relationship. It's such a sweet, believable friendship and Lien and Picardo have excellent chemistry. Agreed about Tom. I think once he gets into the relationship with B'Elanna he becomes a more interesting, more nuanced character. And don't worry about the comments at all, I love hearing from you! I'm so glad to have my readers back and now I'm actually doing something that people can follow along with (as opposed to 3 episodes per day which is ridiculous and no one should do it because that's a bunch of craziness!)


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