Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Voyager Re-Watch: Drone

You already know what I'm going to say, right? I love Seven. I love The Doctor. I love Janeway. We've pretty much entered the Golden Age of Voyager now so anytime these three are the main players (which is practically every other episode) I'm 9000% in. Yeah, that's the case here too.

Some of our folks (including Seven and The Doctor) come back from an away mission via transporter (because their shuttles suck and Chakotay keeps crashing them and they need a Delta flyer) and some subspace crazyness causes The Doctor's holoemmitter to go bonkers and when it's paired with Borg tech and some human DNA (sampled from Ensign Mulcahey--I actually considered doing a Generic Ensign post for this one but decided not to) we get a BRAND SPANKIN' NEW LIFEFORM. What a great Trek premise! This one is reminiscent of The Offspring except that the Drone (self-designated, "One) is part of a super scary killing machine race and, also, instead of being the product of hard work and planning he's an accident. Hey, been there, buddy.

I love The Offspring and I think it's a pretty much perfect TNG episode but I definitely identify with One (played with sweet sensitivity by J. Paul Boehmer) more than Lal. I always knew I was an accident. I don't think I ever even had to ask. I always just sort of knew. And, I might not have had a scary robot race coming to claim me but my existence did feel sort of dangerous. I knew my parents' lives veered off course the second they decided to go ahead and have me. Like One I watched from the center of the hurricane of my family's life and often wondered what might've happened if I'd never existed. And, like One, I loved them even though, most of the time, they weren't really sure what to do with this hot mess of a human they'd inadvertently created.

Aside from my personal issues with Drone, it's a well-written episode. Both Seven and The Doctor are the perfect reluctant parents and there are several bittersweet moments throughout. From the crew's initial reaction to One to Neelix's good-natured coaching and the explanation of emotion/anxiety/fear/family from Seven in regard to The Borg. And, of course, the last exchange between Seven and One--a line repeated from his initial awakening--is particularly resonant as One makes the choice to leave Voyager and sacrifice himself for the well-being of the ship.

"You are hurting me."
"You will adapt."


  1. I'm super excited that we're in the same place again- in fact, I fell asleep during Drone last night, so I'm going to have to rewatch it tonight. I'm right with you on these awesome Seven/Doctor/Janeway episodes. They're three of my all-time top five trek characters, and they really start to shine here. Looking forward to so many great episodes to come!

  2. I really enjoyed seeing this again and I couldn't believe how fast it moved, but other than the emotional resonance of seeing Seven play mama duck to a fresh hatchling and then (so beautifully understated) suffer his loss, "Drone" had me thinking a lot about the special effects. I've read that during DS9 and Voyager's era, they didn't always know what would ultimately be seen on-screen between scripting, acting, rendering and editing, and for as slick and engaging as Voyager's effects became by the fifth season, I can't help but watch this one and notice somewhat glaringly that they're a little clumsy. ie: One disables the Borg sphere's tractor beam, to which Tom exclaims "We've broken free", and Janeway strides across the bridge asking One if he can enhance the phasers, and demanding the targeting of the Borg propulsion and preparation to go to warp. I'm not sure why I have such a problem with this (and it's minute and petty to be sure) but I can't help but think that things were a little out of sequence, and sometimes they just had to do the best they could with the general idea of what graphics they'd be getting. Albeit a very Janeway thing to do to kick their ass before high-tailing it... it would have been MORE Janeway-ish to have been all over that plan while they were in the grip of the tractor. Not dawdling about discussing things, hovering beneath a still-very-functional Borg vessel. So maybe my beef was with the editing. lol ...but what's my point? I yearn for Enterprise-calibre effects for all of the Trek series, and will never likely see such a thing. I'll keep high hopes for Series 6 (or is it 7 with the animated series) - anyhoo please no one mistake my observations for bitching. : )


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