Star trek: Voyager 6.10b - Good shepherd
Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities
Seven of Nine's (Jeri Ryan) ship-wide efficiency appraisal highlights three crew members Mortimer Harren (Jay Underwood), Billy Telfer (Michael Reisz) and Tal Celes (Zoe McLellan) who fall below Voyager's Starfleet standards. Taking the three under her wing, Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) briefs them to accompany her on a routine away mission. However, when events take an unexpected turn for the worse, the survival of all four lies in the hands of the misfits.
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
- Jay Underwood .... Mortimer Harren
- Michael Reisz .... Billy Telfer
- Zoe McLellan .... Tal Celes
- Kimble Jemison .... an engineer
- Tom Morello .... Crewman Mitchell
- Dianna Gitto .... Storywriter, Screenwriter
- Joe Menosky .... Screenwriter
- Winrich Kolbe .... Director
Cinematic intelligence sources
- FYI: The title refers to a parable from the Christian Bible in which a Samaritan looks after a guy who got mugged, even to the point of paying for his medical insurance
- Studios and distributors:
Special Agent Matti
Even though Good shepherd isn't hugely original, fortunately it does feature a few more Federation misfits - not the Captain Garth lunatic of Whom gods destroy but the normal, everyday, Homer Simpsons of Starfleet. Mortimer's a brain trapped in a body, Billy's a Barclay trapped with a medical tricorder and Tal is... well... she tries hard. The thing is that even though they're not haute cuisine they are Federation/Starfleet graduates and can still see a set-up when it bashes them over the head. Mortimer dissects Janeway's motives with the precision of an Emergency Medical Hologram but that doesn't stop it from being effective given the circumstances (major catastrophe causes immense plot complication). That's the beauty of the pressure cooker: it doesn't matter what you put in there, it's gonna come out cooked.
I take a moment to ponder these culinary metaphors that are inserting themselves into his review. It can't be hunger because I'm eating a big bowl of porridge with sultanas, cinnamon, ginger and honey as I write. Oh well, there's a few more words to impress the Editor.
[As if - Director of intelligence.]
Jay plays the arrogant egghead in search of an ivory tower to perfection. He's brilliant, he's arrogant, he's obnoxious, he has no social skills and he rationalises his emotions like a Vulcan master. Despite being such a prick he became one of my favourite Trek characters, not the least for working in the bilge of the good ship Voyager. Michael displays his virtuosity only in the final scenes when you realise how well he was performing Billy's hypochondria, once he stops. In a matter of moments he grows up by about three hundred years. It's cool. Zoe's struggling Bajoran is the binary opposite of Jay's Human. She's emotional, communicative, friendly and helpful. Putting them all in the same enclosed space is a master stroke of drama: they can't help but cause sparks.
Kate lets Katherine relax away from the burden of 150 lives. On this away mission she's in charge of just four (including herself) and those four are all within earshot of each other. It's intimacy where Captaincy requires formality and distance; it's a chance to play mama Kate with three lil chilluns all at once. Katherine's as hard as nails but there's good, red blood in those veins. She also gets to play scientist right at the coal face, something she loves but barely has time to do.
Having watched more than 30 years of Trek you know that as soon as someone says landing party (or away mission) then something is going to go wrong, but Good shepherd sets Janeway's maternal nature in stone and puts some special guest crew in just the position they don't want to be. It's not a great episode but it is fun to watch.
Security censorship classification
PG (Adult themes, supernatural theme)
Not for public release in Australia before date
VHS rental and retail: 10 November 2000