It’s Fairytale fever for Neelix and Naomi on the episode that originally aired on November 11, 1998. This is Once Upon A Time.
Captain’s Log Stardate undetermined
Neelix must comfort Naomi Wildman after her mother is seemingly lost in an accident aboard the Delta Flyer.
Let’s keep this one brief shall we?
Naomi Wildman plays in a holodeck simulation about the Adventures of Flotter which is basically Winnie the Poo for the future. With her mother, Samantha, on an away mission, it is up to Neelix to take care of the young girl. However, Samantha’s ship goes down with Paris and Tuvok aboard and it seems that they may be lost.
As the crew attempts to recover the Delta Flyer and it’s crew, Naomi begins to have fears of losing her mother which transfer into her own holodeck program forcing her and Neelix to face their greatest fears. Neelix and Naomi bond in their mutual tragedies despite the fact that Neelix finds it difficult to relive some of his worst memories.
Janeway and the crew devise a way to save the crew of the Delta Flyer while Neelix finds a way to comfort Naomi while also coming to terms with his own fears. In the end Naomi is reunited with her mother and everyone is happy.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Despite the brief recap of the episode, this is actually not a bad episode. While going into it I was a little hesitant, as I remembered more of the kids story than the actual plot. However, this is one of those rare stories that gives us more than just the adventure, it also shows us the familiar side of being on a Starfleet Vessel.
While we got a touch of this sort of thing on TNG and DS9, one aspect that was never really dealt with was the emotional aspect of having a family aboard a starship from the families point of view. Through Neelix and Naomi, we see the uncertainty and fear that goes along with family going on missions, especially on a ship like Voyager. While we have seen Naomi before, this is the first time we really get to know this relatively new character. Having been raised on a Star Ship since birth, she has a unique outlook and insight into the world that is Starfleet. In fact, there are moments where she shows that she is acutely aware of the goings-on around her. It is through this that she is able to handle the stress of possibly losing her only parent, Samantha Wildman. I love how the show handles her character and her unique situation, as well as her unlikely relationship with Neelix as her godfather. In fact, there is even a point where Samantha notes that Neelix would be Naomi’s caretaker should something befall the officer.
The real standout in this though, is Neelix. Through Naomi’s struggle with possibly losing her mother, we learn more about Neelix’s fears and sorrow from losing his own family. This very fear keeps him from telling Naomi the truth and nearly derails their relationship. If anything, Once Upon a Time gives the character of Neelix some much needed complexity and depth that was only hinted at in the past. As usual Ethan Philips does a tremendous job in the role.
Interestingly, we also get a really great personal moment from Tuvok as he discusses his separation from his family for the past four years. It seems that this Vulcan does indeed miss his family but is sure that they will be okay in his absence. \
Overall, I am glad I had a chance to revisit this one. It is far better than I remembered and, while the Flotter and Trevis portion is a little annoying, I have to say it is cool to see that there are kids programs in the holodeck library.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- 0 photon torpedoes fired, 0 remaining.
- 0 shuttlecraft lost or destroyed, -1 remaining
- We see the start of Naomi and Seven’s relationship in this episode with Naomi showing fear in being Assimilated.
- This is the last time we see Samantha Wildman in the series, even though she is still on the ship. This is not the last time we see Naomi though.
- We get a chance to see the Doctor helping in the education of Naomi Wildman, which he seems to quite enjoy. Tinker, Tenor…teacher?
- Don’t forget, despite the fact that she is
Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review, I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday! Next Review Season Five Premiere: Timeless
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Late To The Game 11/13/2020
Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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