Thursday, 10 October 2013

Review: Voyager 1.7: Eye of the Needle

File:Harry Kim Wormhole.jpg
Harry Kim's tiny hole.
Star Trek Voyager - Season One, Episode Seven - Eye of the Needle
Written 31/5/13

One of the number of standard Voyager plots is, "Will we get home this week?" to which the answer is always, and I mean always, no. The writing team were, as I've said before, playing it safe, and the interest instead comes from wondering if they can manage to tell us no again and again without it feeling contrived. That somewhat applies this week, which is the first of such stories, despite it being the first instance of such a plot.
     Harry Kim discovers a wormhole, which turns out to have the diameter of a school ruler. Avoiding jokes about Harry having the smallest hole on record, the gang uses a probe to relay a message through the gap.On the other side is their home, the Alpha Quadrant, and their transmission is picked up by a Romulan ship. (The Romulans are a common Trek species whose hat is usually "being shady bastards".) They plan to send across some messages home, but B'elanna gets excited when she thinks she can teleport things across the gap. It works, and they teleport the scientist across to test it. Unfortunately, the scientist is from 20 years in the past, and the entire crew of Voyager appearing twenty years prior would mess up the timeline, so they shrug and press the reset button.
      Just so we're not too depressed by the way that any and all hope is totally crushed in the space of five minutes, there's a nice little subplot adressing The Doctor's individuality and Kes' incredible memory and half-crush on him. Robert Picardo and Jennifer Lien have this wonderful chemistry and they're just so sweet on screen together that it made up for all of the false tension in the rest of the episode. I find it a little bit odd that Neelix never has a rant at The Doctor, seeing as she spends all her time with him and kissed him and is asking The Captain to do special things for him and stuff.
File:Telek R'Mor.jpg
The Romulan Captain.
     I don't think that the main plot of the episode was bad, I just think they took it too far. You play stuff for drama and tension, that's what television is, but it got to a point where the hopes were raised a little too high. Where everything had gone so right for so long that any complications that arose would feel like a cheap cop-out of the highest order, and the sudden if understandable fact that the Romulan Captain was now a Time-Traveller felt like exactly that. Such is the problem with this format at all - these scenarios where the ending is a cop-out? 90% of stories with this format are like this.
     Despite this fact, Eye of the Needle is by no means a bad episode, and the surge of hope running through it still shines out even with the overbearing fact that this shit ain't gonna work. It's still a valuable contribution to the series if only for the Doctor's storyline alone. Also, I don't remember Neelix being in this episode. Which immediately keeps it in my good books.

Thanks.

NEXT WEEK: I prefer the German title, which is, "The Eyes of the Dead", which just sounds frickin awesome, but we'll make do and mend as Tom Paris is sentenced to relive crimes he didn't commit in Ex Post Facto.

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