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Star trek: Voyager 7.11a - Friendship One

Stardate 54775.4
Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Episode propaganda

Now that regular communication between the Alpha and Delta Quadrants is possible, Starfleet has a mission for the crew of the USS Voyager - locate and retrieve the old Earth probe Friendship One. Launched in the late 21st century, the probe's trajectory places it somewhere near Voyager's current position, but no one predicted what a Delta Quadrant civilisation would do with the probe when they found it...

Persons of interest

  • Kate Mulgrew .... Captain Kathryn Janeway
  • Robert Beltran .... Commander Chakotay
  • Roxann Dawson .... Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres
  • Jennifer Lien .... Kes
  • Robert Duncan McNeill .... Lieutenant Tom Paris
  • Robert Picardo .... the Emergency Medical Hologram
  • Ethan Phillips .... Neelix
  • Tim Russ .... Lieutenant Tuvok
  • Garrett Wang .... Ensign Harry Kim
  • Majel Barrett .... USS Voyager computer voice
  • Ken Land .... Verin
  • John Prosky .... Otrin
  • Bari Hochwald .... Brin
  • Peter Dennis .... Admiral Hendricks
  • Ashley Edner .... Yun
  • Josh Clark .... Lieutenant Carey
  • David Ghilardi .... the alien Lieutenant
  • John Rosenfeld .... technician
  • Wendy Speake .... technician
  • Michael Taylor .... Screenwriter
  • Bryan Fuller .... Screenwriter
  • Mike Vejar .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Intelligence report

"Oh my god! They killed Carey! The bastards!"

Joe Carey, who disappeared into Engineering's Beta shift, the black whole into which B'Elanna throws all her misfits, makes a welcome return to the screen for half the episode before being killed off like an original series redshirt. As his epitaph reads, "he was a minor character who went on an away mission: what else did he expect?" Still, it's heartily cruel to create a secondary character, use him consistently in the first season and then throw him away until the very end of the series. It's regularly occurring characters like Joe, Vorik, Jenny and Megan Delaney, Tabor and Chell who give the show a better sense of reality (150 people on the ship and the Chief Pilot is the only person who can be trained as a medic?). Joe could've been used in many episodes in the intervening years, it's a pity that he wasn't.

Meanwhile, the creative geniuses at Paramount are still recycling plots from the original series (The Changeling) and the movies (Star trek: The motion picture) and Voyager itself (Dreadnought) in which a space thingamajig from the past comes back to haunt the intrepid crew. No pun intended. The redeeming feature of Friendship One is that no amount of photon torpedoes or phasers will solve the problem as the probe itself has already been destroyed. The danger comes from memes, the ideas which the probe mercilessly broadcast to an unsuspecting galaxy. fortunately, in time those good ideas and intentions have caused a disaster (fortunately for anyone who wants to watch the episode, unfortunately for anyone in it).

With the good graces of their enlightened sensibilities the crew of USS Voyager help the poor aliens with their problem although there's scant regard for the victims' bitterness. It seems like white people in the future have a problem saying sorry, too. Take from Friendship One what you will, it's an entertaining enough episode even if not an extraordinary one.

Security censorship classification

PG (Low level violence)

Not for public release in Australia before date

VHS rental and retail: 8 February 2002

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