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Star trek: Voyager 6.09b - Ashes to ashes

Stardate 53679.4
Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Episode propaganda

As a tiny Delta Quadrant shuttle outruns a larger vessel, the shuttle's pilot (Kim Rhodes) tries to radio the USS Voyager. When she does contact Voyager, she claims she is Lindsay Ballard, a former shipmate who has been dead for three years. Nobody on Voyager believes her story because she no longer looks Human. She tells Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and the crew that a Delta Quadrant race known as the Kobali had found her body drifting in space and reanimated it. The Kobali procreate by altering the DNA of the dead they salvage from other races. Her former best friend Harry Kim (Garrett Wang) was with her when she died and believes her story based on the facts she gives about her death. The Doctor (Robert Picardo) finds traces of Human DNA in her, which convinces Janeway she is telling the truth.

Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) has been placed in charge of four Borg children (Marley McMlean as Mezoti, Manu Intiraymi as Icheb, Kurt Wetherill as Azan and Cody Wetherill as Rebi) that are onboard Voyager. She plans every hour of their day, including an hour for fun, and does not understand why the children are so rowdy. When the children do not play games according to the rules she makes them stand in a corner.

The Doctor creates a hypospray that can make Ballard look Human again. She does begin to look more Human, but the hypospray makes her feel sick. When she eats her former favourite meal, she claims that it tastes funny. As she returns to her post in engineering she begins to speak in Kobali.

Seven asks Chakotay (Robert Beltran) if she can be relieved of her duty as guardian of the Borg children. Chakotay tells her that she is treating the children like they are on a Borg Cube, while she should be treating each child as an individual. He denies her request.

The Kobali vessel that had been chasing Ballard makes contact with Voyager. The vessel's commander, Q'ret (Kevin Lowe), asks to speak with Ballard. Q'ret asks Ballard to return to their planet. He tries to confuse her emotions by accusing the Voyager crew of setting her adrift like trash and telling her that her Kobali sister misses her. She refuses to go back.

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
  • Kim Rhodes .... Lindsay Ballard
  • Kevin Lowe .... Q'ret
  • Marley McMlean .... Mezoti
  • Manu Intiraymi .... Icheb
  • Kurt Wetherill .... Azan
  • Cody Wetherill .... Rebi
  • Scarlett Pomers .... Naomi Wildman
  • Ronald Wilkerson .... Storywriter
  • Robert Doherty .... Screenwriter
  • Terry Windell .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Intelligence report

Latent image

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Dead crewwoman returns from the past to haunt main character. This time she's flesh and blood rather than binary, but the end result is the same: someone has to learn to live without her all over again.

Voyager has been prone to recycling stories from the second or third season: how many stories are there involving a big ship flying through space? It was natural that themes from The next generation would be touched on here and there - humanoids are humanoids no matter what quadrant they're in - but this incestuous feeding upon one's own ancestors has got to stop. (See Riddles and Alice.)

Meanwhile, Ashes to ashes is an interesting story about life after death and the position of carrion eaters in galactic society. As a rule, anyone with an intimate involvement in death (eg undertakers, gravediggers, embalmists) has been seen as a bit dirty, someone to be avoided. It's the irrational human prejudice against association: if you work with dead people then some of that must rub off, or, to use a phrase, lie down with dogs, get up with fleas. Even greater loathing is applied to those who feast upon the flesh of the dead without having killed it first. Vultures have become synonymous with the lazy and the greedy, allowing others to do the work, then moving in to pick up whatever scraps are left over. The Kobali are tarred with the same brush. They are bad guys because they are bad guys.

Meanwhile, Kim manages to be both sexy and perky in and out of makeup. I think that she's sexiest while in makeup but that's a personal preference. Garrett has a good run as the romantically challenged Ensign Harry Kim (it's his turn to do Storyline A) while Jeri makes a good go of it as the Story B lead. It's good to see that the Borg babies rescued in Collective have not been forgotten, as happened to their last rescuee (Survival instinct: is she alive, is she dead, did she jump ship and run off with a sexy Hirogen? Who knows?).

Ashes to ashes is a nice little tale to fill in the gap until the end of season wowies. it also has one of the funniest lines in a long time, uttered by that funster extraordinaire, Seven of Nine: "Fun will now commence."

FYI: "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust" is part of the Christian funeral rite, referring to the decomposition of the human body and its return to the earthern state from which Jahweh made Eve and Adam.

Security censorship classification

PG (Low level violence)

Not for public release in Australia before date

VHS rental and retail: 6 October 2000

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