Star trek: Voyager 6.04b - One small step
Stardate 53292.7 and 19 October 2032
Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities
When USS Voyager witnesses a phenomenon previously recorded near Mars, an away team is dispatched to investigate. Inside the ellipse, Chakotay's (Robert Beltran) unorthodox behaviour places the team in mortal danger and leads Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) to discover the truth behind the disappearance of a 300-year-old Starfleet hero.
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
- Phil Morris .... Lieutenant John Kelly
- Mike Wollaeger .... Screenwriter
- Jessica Scott .... Screenwriter
- Robert Picardo .... Director
Cinematic intelligence sources
- cf. Mission to Mars, The red planet
- See also The Planetary Society, The Mars Society, NASA, The Mars Lander
- Studios and distributors:
Special Agent Matti
A big co-incidence in an even bigger galaxy.
Just to keep your mind on the Alpha Quadrant (and to inspire your support of your nearest space program) this episode is about ordinary Human astronauts running into spatial anomalies. Yes, that's right folks, while taking a wee trip to Mars, John Kelly ends up in the Delta Quadrant. Not very alive, but sometimes you can't have everything.
Phil's time is pretty much taken up with being a hero and a martyr. He does both very well, letting his character draw on some inner strength to carry the mission through. He's good to watch and to listen to, being just as effective in his real life scenes as he is in his recorded log scenes. There is a real sense of reality about everything he does.
At the other end of the timeline is Chakotay behaving totally out of character, wildly and impulsively endangering his crew by trying to take the NASA ship out of the anomaly. In any previous episode he would've put his people before anything else, but the writers decided to make him get all obsessive just to keep things moving along. While it was necessary for the story it is so unbelievable that you will shake your head and frown.
On the plus side it does give Seven a reason to get really angry about the way he treated her and Tom (the rest of the away team), putting an artefact before their lives. Tom is more forgiving, perhaps because of his own recent brush with technological obsession (see Alice), and that makes Seven's bitter anger all the more ironic. As a member of the collective she would give her life for anything the group consciousness deemed worthy; as an individual she finds nothing more valuable than herself (in this circumstance).
It's also good to see the Delta Flyer being taken out for a spin once more. I believe it should be their first choice for away missions, what with it's superior technobabble quotient and all, the standard shuttles being reserved for milk runs.
One more gripe I do have is that the producers won't even spring for an extra to say a couple of lines. It must be worth all of four or five hundred dollars out of the million-dollar budget but they don't do it, leaving permanent cast to fill in at odd places... in this episode it is B'Elanna taking the helm from a non-speaking extra who had been there since Tom left on the mission. It's bad economics, it's bad artistry and it sucks.
Robert's direction never flags, every scene blends smoothly into a homogenous whole. Apart from Chakotay's fit of weirdness everyone acts well. Good action, good emoting and good viewing. Enjoy.
Security censorship classification
PG (Low level violence)
Not for public release in Australia before date
VHS rental and retail: 5 May 2000