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Star trek: Voyager 7.07b - Prophesy

Stardate around 54518.2
Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Episode propaganda

Generations ago, a Klingon warship left familiar territory and headed off into unknown space. When the descendants of that original crew run into the USS Voyager in the Delta Quadrant, Captain Janeway's (Kate Mulgrew) first concern is convincing the Klingons that the hostilities between the Federation and the Klingon Empire are long over. After that, a more intractable problem arises after the Klingon vessel is destroyed and its crew of over 200 find themselves aboard Voyager and perhaps living out the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy.

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
  • Sherman Howard .... T'greth
  • Paul Eckstein .... Morak
  • Wren T Brown .... Captain Kohlar
  • Peggy Jo Jacobs .... Ch'Rega
  • Larry Nemecek .... Storywriter
  • J Kelley Burke .... Storywriter
  • Raf Green .... Storywriter
  • Kenneth Biller .... Storywriter
  • Mike Sussman .... Screenwriter
  • Phyllis Strong .... Screenwriter
  • Terry Windell .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Intelligence report

Well, here's an interesting development. After K'Ehleyr took the Enterprise-D to meet the T'ong in The Emissary, you'd be forgiven for thinking that there might be a few more Empire ships off in the Beta and Delta Quadrants for the Federation to encounter. After all, the Klingon Empire is stuck out at the end of a galactic limb with comparatively few resources: they have to explore or be swallowed by their larger neighbours (the Federation, Romulan Star Empire and whatever is out there in the heart of the Beta Quadrant).

It's also good to see the Klingons because it makes you realise that despite being 30,000 light years from "home" (is that the nearest Federation border or Earth?), Voyager is 35,000 light years closer than when they started their epic journey 6½ years ago. Success is less a dream and more of a reality.

As to the story itself, you have to remember that the Klingons have a mightily devout culture, especially for a species that killed their gods for being too weak. (Talk about a Frankenstein complex.) Their religious beliefs don't stop at the warrior code but include a priesthood (without any deities to pray to) and a superstitious fear that would beggar belief if it didn't happen to be exactly what Human warrior cultures were (are) like. (You only have to put a man in a trench and tell him that the enemy is going to kill him for that man to find some sort of belief.) The prophecies surrounding Miss Turtlehead Junior are typically religious - mysterious powers, mysterious knowledge, etc. - but it is the pragmatism of Captain Kohlar that is the interesting bit. He is trying to get his crew home in a single ship in a hostile quadrant. Sound familiar?

It's no surprise that Captain Janeway feels some empathy for the Klingon commander.

And I must've taken too much medication because this review is all over the ecliptic. At the nitty gritty level, there is too much information for a single, 44-minute episode. Prophesy should've been a double episode so that it wouldn't be so choppy: things are said much more than they are shown, that's a big no-no in the book of filmmaking, and scenes bounce about like a Bridge Officer without a seat beLieutenant More time would also allow more of the religious aspect to be brought forward; religions are few and far between among the highly educated citizens of a warp civilisation. For all their broadmindedness, there's also a patronising undertone from the Federations toward the Klingons that could've been utilised much more in creating conflict.

As for insights into the Klingon culture, you just get a few new historical events that just happen to fit the circumstances occurring on Voyager. The best part is the sex triangle between Harry, Neelix and the lusty Ch'Rega (Klingon females are renowned throughout the quadrant for their voracious sexual appetites): it's funny, it's entirely in keeping with the characters' characters and it makes Neelix seem like a worthwhile Talaxian instead of just a weird alien.

Security censorship classification

MA 15+ (Medium level violence, adult themes)

Not for public release in Australia before date

VHS rental and retail: 5 October 2001

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