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Star trek: Voyager 6.10a - Child's play

Stardate around 53710
Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Episode propaganda

When Voyager locates the parents (Tracey Ellis as Yifay and Mark A Sheppard as Leucon) of one of the rescued Borg children, Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) fears that Icheb (Manu Intiraymi) will have to sacrifice his studies in astrophysics to return to his estranged parents and face a renewed threat of assimilation. As Seven's maternal instincts turn to aggressive suspicion she realises that the child's re-assimilation is inevitable.

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
  • Manu Intiraymi .... Icheb
  • Tracey Ellis .... Yifay
  • Mark A Sheppard .... Leucon
  • Scarlett Pomers .... Naomi
  • Kurt Wetherill .... Azan
  • Cody Wetherill .... Rebi
  • Marley S McClean .... Mezoti
  • Eric Ritter .... Yivel
  • Paul Brown .... Storywriter
  • Raf Green .... Screenwriter
  • Mike Vejar .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Intelligence report

The Borg babies are back, and this time they're angry!

Actually, they're pretty mellow, it's Seven who gets hot under the implant as she puts into practice a few of the Captain Janeway Rehabilitation School for Lost Causes™ "12 steps to recovery™". The bond she shares with the babies is unusual because it's the first time she has met someone like herself, a child assimilated because her parents didn't protect her. Seven has definite issues with that.

Meanwhile, the young 'uns are settling into life aboard Voyager: learning, playing, regenerating... Luckily for them there's an onboard Captain's Assistant who's in the same age group and can teach them the intricacies of Kadis-Kot. I am talking about Naomi Wildman, sub-unit of Ensign Wildman, of course. It's a great way to get her involved in doing things that don't involve being a child genius and saving the ship (Wesley Crusher sux). Having them all together is a great move because it creates a sub-collective within the homogeneity that is a Federation starship (now that the Maquis have been assimilated... er... integrated). That group within a group gives the writers room for objectivity, something that has been, by necessity, tacked onto the special guest aliens of the week. Outside criticism is fine but it's never as valued as words of wisdom from within.

I would also like to see Ensign Ayala playing with the babies as he suffers separation anxiety from his own children (who are, for all anyone knows, all dead after the Dominion decimated the Maquis in Blaze of glory). Surely there are other crewmembers who would like to be uncles and aunts as well.

Now, the story: it's a good one. Seven goes ape when someone tries to take away her babies. Unfortunately for her it's her own adopted mother who's doing it. Janeway has never been afraid of facing a hard decision and she gets plenty to glare at in this episode; more glaring = more interesting, so that's a good thing. The ethical implications of Icheb's life are huge in more ways than one. Being assimilated by the Borg is bad. Being returned to his parents is good. But he doesn't remember them so it's bad. But they do love him so it's good. But they lie to get him back so it's bad. But Seven knows the truth so it's good. But Janeway won't turn the ship around on someone else's maternal instincts so it's bad. But hard evidence begins to turn up so it's good. But Yifay and Leucon attack Icheb so it's bad. But Voyager turns up so it's good. But Icheb has already gone so it's bad. But Voyager finds him so it's good. But the Borg find him, too, so it's bad. But Voyager gets there first so it's good. But the Borg get there too, so it's bad. But Seven opens up a can of mad mummy whup ass, so it's good.

Sorry, the concept of comparative morality got lost in the excitement of the whole thing. Just take my word that there's lots of hard thinking to do, but there's a time for thinking and a time for doing and knowing which is which is a big call to make.

Manu is a great Brunali ex-Borg: he's something of a whizz when it comes to Astrometrics but he loves playing pala, he's adult enough to want to contribute to the greater good but child enough that affection can still sway a decision, he's child enough to assume responsibility for his (younger) fellow babies and adult enough to let them go. He's also picked up a fair helping of Borg attitude, too. Marley is Queen of attitude, though, she's a regular Seven of Nine (without the tits and the high heels). Kurt and Cody are a couple of snuggle bunnies who display their genius so casually it just makes you love them even more (big brains are sexy). Scarlett doesn't battle against the reduced attention, she revels in the synergy her fellow younglings create.

I thoroughly approve of this story arc. It's the best that Star trek: Voyager has had.

Security censorship classification

PG (Adult themes, supernatural theme)

Not for public release in Australia before date

VHS rental and retail: 10 November 2000

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