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Star trek: Voyager 5.09b - Course: Oblivion

Stardate 52586.3 and 52597.4
Threat advisory: Severe - Severe risk of entertaining activities

Episode propaganda

When a mysterious phenomenon cuts short the holographic honeymoon of Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill) and B'Elanna Torres (Roxann Dawson), the result is a gradual disintegration not only of Voyager's infrastructure; but also of every crewmember. Scarcely believing the cause of the sickness, Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) orders a panic dash for survival...

Persons of interest

  • Kate Mulgrew .... Captain Kathryn Janeway
  • Robert Beltran .... Commander Chakotay
  • Roxann Dawson .... Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres
  • Robert Duncan McNeill .... Lieutenant Tom Paris
  • Robert Picardo .... the Emergency Medical Hologram
  • Ethan Phillips .... Neelix
  • Tim Russ .... Lieutenant Tuvok
  • Jeri Ryan .... Seven of nine, tertiary adjunct to Unimatrix 01
  • Garrett Wang .... Ensign Harry Kim
  • Majel Barrett .... USS Voyager computer voice
  • Bryan Fuller .... Storywriter, Screenwriter
  • Nick Sagan .... Screenwriter
  • Anson Williams .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Intelligence report

Perfection.

It is not often that I award 666 out of 666. In fact, checking my logs, Deep Space Nine's Call to arms is the only other episode to receive this coveted accolade. Course: Oblivion now makes two.

And why is it such a good episode? you ask. Well sit back and I will tell you.

  1. It is written so well that you experience everything the way the characters do. You believe that they are who they think they are right up to the point where they discover that they're not.
  2. It brings the past into the present. On its own, Demon was an interesting story about the creation of a new life form: nothing at all unusual for Star trek. Course: Oblivion picks up the ball and runs full tilt towards the future. A previous case of Star trek revisiting a one-off story from the distant past is beyond my recollection.
  3. It brings out the best and worst of the characters you have come to know and love, then provides real life extrapolations of those traits. Janeway's determination becomes blinkered pig-headedness. Paris' individualistic nature becomes out and out rebellion; his love for Torres becomes his undoing. Kim's Starfleet nature makes him captain of the ship...
  4. Everyone dies. No reset button. No temporal anomalies. No alien influence. Real life: everyone dies.
  5. Tragedy. A brand new species, so recently come to sentience, is eradicated through no fault of anyone. The cosmic dice were thrown and their number came up. And no-one will ever know.
  6. Double tragedy. After all their suffering their salvation arrives too late.
  7. Triple tragedy. Not only does everyone die, but everyone loses. All their history is lost. All their experience. All their knowledge. And no-one will ever be able to recover it.
  8. How easily this could have been the real Voyager? They are always experimenting with new technology, upholding Starfleet's finest traditions, putting the sovereignty of others before their own self interest. What they could achieved with enhanced warp drive...
  9. There is a problem with no easy solution. Technobabble can't solve it. Fire all weapons! can't solve it. They have only two possibilities, both guesses, both only remotely achievable. They don't achieve either. Failure is not something which Star trek is wont to show.
  10. How does this heroic crew die? Not with a bang... but a whimper.
Watch this episode, then, dear reader. I have already nominated it for the best Star trek episode in history.

Security censorship classification

PG (Adult themes)

Not for public release in Australia before date

VHS rental and retail: 7 September 1999

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