Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Voyager, Season 7: Shattered

http://www.treknobabble.net/p/rating-system.htmlVoyager, Season 7
Airdate: 17 January 2001
154 of 168 produced
154 of 168 aired

Introduction

When Voyager runs afoul of an Anomaly Of The Week, it is split between different time periods along its trek home to the alpha quadrant.


"You built me a bath tub, you say? Put 'er there, Platonic Life Partner."



Writing

Kevin: This is definitely a fun episode. The set up is necessarily pretty thin, but like other lighthearted romps, it's in service of getting to the fun part of the story. In the plus column, the episode by and large nails the various tones of the different eras. It's not all special effects and obvious markers, the story (and the acting) really help sell everything. I think the episode also does a good job of balancing fan service without going too far. I was the least intrigued by seeing Seven back in Borg drag, since we go to that well so often, but I am never going to say no to seeing Seska.

Matthew: I was particularly impressed by the way Seska and the other time period-specific characters reacted to the situation.  When Seska figured that she would lose control of the ship and worked to avoid that fate, I started to get really interested. I kind of wish the whole plot had turned on that, in fact. But I liked the flashbacks to earlier periods. The attitudes and proliferation of Starfleet extras in the pre-Delta quadrant scenes were great. And any time they mention the "telepathic pitcher plant" and the macrovirus, that's pretty hilarious. Do I wish we had seen Suder, or Kes? Sure. Should Seska and still-Borg Seven of Nine teamed up to take over the ship? Maybe. But what we got was good. If you'll never say no to more Seska, I will never say no to more Captain Proton.

Kevin: What holds this episode back for me is that it lacks a little ambition. Even something like Rascals, a silly episode if ever there was one, managed to use the forum to do some A-class character work. I think my problem is that we don't learn anything about the status quo and nothing really "happens" beyond a fairly rote recapitulation that the journey has been worth it. Even the choice of Chakotay feels fairly arbitrary. Literally any character could have switched places and almost no changes would need to be made to the script. Also, between episodes like Relativity and Deadlock, I feel like we've gotten a lot these elements before, and with not enough here to justify revisiting them. I want to make clear, this is still a fun episode, but it lacks the depth to become something more than that.

Matthew: I would have liked a bit more on the mechanics of the thing. How can the ship be "split" between times that are drastically separated spatially? Some aspects of the plot were very convenient, also. Does this inoculation work instantly? Could you really "infuse a hypospray" with it? I also think, ambition-wise, it might have been a good play to have Janeway try to prevent the ship from being stranded. I know that this would use an idea that will be done in "Endgame," and it would undercut the emotional message of this episode, but I think it would make a lot of sense for her character.

Acting

Kevin: Whatever my complaints about the story, the acting is spot on, and it's great in its detail. Dawson and Picardo are particular standouts for effortlessly evoking early version of their characters. They really helped anchor the sense of when the show was. Beyond that, Beltran didn't reinvent the wheel, but I think he definitely managed a good rapport with the displaced Janeway and their scenes worked well.

Matthew: Standouts for me were Picardo and Mulgrew. I think they both pitched themselves in line with their early counterparts. We also got to see Mulgrew's eye-rolling "Arachnia." And they got Chaotica! Lonzak! Satan's Robot! I thought the child actors did a great job yet again, while their adult counterparts were just sort of OK.

Production Values

Kevin: The small touches all sing, particularly in the costume department. They have never quite replicated the season one Janeway Bun, but this is definitely the closest. The transition effects weren't revolutionary, but the cuts worked well, and at worst, weren't distracting.

Matthew: Having just rewatched the Voyager pilot with the kids, I can say that it's probably a good thing the Season One Bun wasn't perfectly replicated. I think it was a piece, and it looks way better here.
Conclusion

Kevin: My review makes me sound more tepid on this episode than I felt. This is an enjoyable episode and the idea got a nice workout, and a fun time was had by all. I do wish the episode had tried to find some new avenue of story or character work to make this episode a little...more...but as it stands, this is a solid 3.

Matthew: I'm at a 4. More ambition would have bumped this up even further, but I think the fun quotient here is so high that it warrants it. That makes for a total of 7.

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