Friday, 23 May 2014

Review: Voyager 2.22: Innocence

http://images.wikia.com/memoryalpha/en/images/3/39/DrayanKids.jpg
Kids and Senior Citizens rolled into one! From Wikia
Voyager - Season Two, Episode Twenty-Two - Innocence
Written 18/10/13

Voyager manupulates sci-fi ideas into many shapes and forms, sometimes for the sake of character development as here, sometimes because that's the only way it worked, and sometimes because well, why the fuck not? Here, to showcase what a cuddly pumpkin Tuvok is capable of being, he gets stranded with three kiddy-winks on a jungle planet which happens to render all of the show's magic tech useless. We gain a small insight into what Tuvok would be like as a parent back on Vulcan, and are also led by a childlike mystery which anticlimaxes in a way which is both brilliant and slightly confusing, like a banana-skin tea cosy.
     The episode's rather standard plotline follows Tuvok being forced to help three children who claim to have crashed Lord-of-the-Flies style and who are petrified of going to sleep for fear that a giant monster will take them, as it already has done to members of their group. Tuvok can't sense anything, and as he bonds with these children he tries to teach them to be little logical machines like him. Soon the two boring kids get taken, leaving Tuvok and the one interesting kid left behind. Meanwhile, Voyager are talking with the kids' people, the Drayvans, who are a religious and sacred and proper sorta people. They're pissed when they find out where Tuvok's landed for unspecified reasons, until it's revealed that their species is one of Benjamin Buttons and all the kids who are sent there are in fact that species' elderly who go there to die. So it's fine.
     The episode's main focus is on Tuvok's parenting skills, which are mainly played for some very light humour as the kids misbehave and Tuvok remains the eternal straight-man to the Universe that he is. It's all very uninspiring stuff, especially as the writers try with difficulty to walk around the difficult line that Star Trek has set itself up with as to whether Vulcans actually feel things or not. And whether Tuvok actually feels things or not. That's your problem, really, when one of the most consistant and interesting characters on your show is one who supposedly can't express any emotion beyond smug superiority.
http://images.wikia.com/memoryalpha/en/images/5/55/Alcia.jpg
Our species is lazily designed so we'll wear this veil
to look cool. From Wikia
     Yeah, so... not one that knocked me out of the park. I've probably been away from this show for far too long, but Innocence gave me nothing that I haven't seen elsewhere, and there was nothing to draw me in. No captivating drama, an idea whose execution is deliberately half-baked, a guest cast consisting mostly of child actors. It's not the best shopping list of ingredients that I could have come up with, to be honest. Of course, that could just be my present mood, which at the time of this article actually being published will no doubt feel strange and alien to me. So, to the future me and to you, the reader of this blog in the World of Tomorrow, I wish you a happy day and that this season gets interesting before I pack it in and move to Wales for a life of quiet contemplation as a mad hermit in the mountains of Snowdon.

Thanks.

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