Thursday, 17 April 2014

Review: Voyager 2.17: Dreadnought
Dreadnought... is da bomb. (My worst pun yet.)
From OV Guide
Star Trek Voyager - Season Two, Story Seventeen - Dreadnought
Written 10/8/13

Apparently the writers decided in Season Two that B'elanna really was so fucked up that her closest relationships were with robots. I mean, Prototype was only a few episodes ago and now we get this much more thorough and personal thing where it's a mix of mentor/student and parent/child feels running around the place with a sentient missile system in the place of the inferior. Not so creepily toned this time, though, and the way that the episode had us preparing for absolute Armageddon in a convincing way had me smiling through the panic. I always love it when episodes do that, always.
       A Cardassian missile is on its way to destroy a random planet, having been sucked up by The Caretaker a while ago and sent to the Delta Quadrant. The missile is one B'elanna and Chakotay recognise - it is Dreadnought, a missile whose systems B'elanna programmed herself and gave her voice to in order to work for the Maquis and attack a Cardassian stronghold. Now that it's fucked up, she believes she can stop it before it carries on its way, but the missile is so well designed that it instead suspects her of being coerced into lying to it. She is forced to fight with and dismantle the ship's systems as it plummets towards the defenceless planet, managing to detonate above the planet's surface with only seconds to spare. Elsewhere, asshole turncoat Jonas talks summore to the Kazon, and for some reason Paris is being irritable and slapdash in a way which makes B'elanna concerned.
     Praise to Roxann Dawson again, who always puts so much effort into her character episodes - this time playing both a guilt-wracked B'elanna as well as the confused missile that's causing her all of the trouble. For me it had a bit of an Alzheimer's vibe - the frustration in her voice as she tried to convince the missile that she wasn't lying, the way she looked shocked and angry when it had appeared to have betrayed her, only acting in what it believed to be her interest. It was a fascinating relationship - better than in Prototype because this was a lot more focused on B'elanna's own designs and about her looking back on all of the mistakes that she's made since she sent the missile off on its merry way two years prior.
B'elanna gets touched up behind the scenes.
From Wikia
      Character-wise, we also had a wonderful moment near the start of the episode with Paris' unexplained attitude coming to the fore and the subsequent conversation between he and B'elanna, which sows the seeds of what is Voyager's most enduring relationship. Over the next season, the two would slowly grow closer and they've married and had a daughter before the show's end. It's a really minor thing in the episode itself, but the fact that it exists shows how early ahead the writers were planning this, and if my unrealistic aim of reviewing all of Voyager gets going, then this will appear again and again. Just letting the shippers know that I ship it. :)
      Okay, so maybe Dreadnought didn't do much for me to talk about. But it did improve a theme that Prototype tried a few weeks ago and sorta failed at, giving the idea its credence. It also developed B'elanna's character forward in a much more human and believable way, taking account of her past and present regrets and relationships in order to construct a personality that was distinctly more three dimensional. Which is kinda the aim in these things, yes? It hit that aim, and that's the only praise it needs.


NEXT WEEK: We find out all about the omnipotent being who has a particularly potent Death Wish. Also, Voyager reviews move to Fridays. :D

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