It’s time travel and all that fun stuff in the episode that originally aired on November 18,1998. This is Timeless.
Captain’s Log Stardate 52143.6 Timeless
Harry Kim must travel back in time to save his ship and crew from a terrible fate that took the lives of many of his friends. Only, to do so, will me altering the future that has been established.
Harry Kim and Chakotay beam down to Voyager which is locked in ice. Much of the remaining crew are still there, dead and frozen, both Harry and Chakotay are much older and both seem rather worn down. Recovering both the body of Seven and the EMH program, the two depart with the intentions to change history.
Fifteen years prior, the crew celebrate the instillation of the Slipstream Drive that they gained at the end of the last season. However the celebration is cut short when Paris discovers that a variance in the drive system will tear the ship apart should they encounter it. Determined to get home, Harry proposes that they use the Delta Flyer to navigate the ‘rapids’ in front of Voyager, lessening the risk on the ship. Knowing that this is their best chance home and despite Chakotay’s reluctance to take the risk, Janeway agrees to the mission and begins to prepare the crew.
Back in the future, the Doctor is informed of what has transpired. Voyager has been lost for nine years with only the members piloting the Delta Flyer surviving the journey. Since then Kim has felt responsible for the loss of the ship and has been determined to bring them back somehow. Finding the ship together, Chakotay and Kim plan to use components from Seven coupled with a stolen Borg temporal transmitter. Chakotay comes to terms with altering his present, even though he will never meet and fall in love with a woman named Tess Omond. Tess, present with them, is just as determined to help as she knows it is the only way for Chakotay to find peace.
Soon the USS Challenger, captained by Geordi La Forge arrives giving Chakotay and Kim an ultimatum. They can turn in the stolen tech and all charges will be dropped, or they will be destroyed. Chakotay tries to reason with the former Enterprise Engineer but, although Geordi understands, he must finish his mission. They soon begin trading fire as The Doctor and Kim finish the device needed to send a signal to Seven in the past.
In the past, Voyager is encountering problems with the slipstream drive as it is beginning to destabilize, suddenly Seven receives a signal with new phase corrections. Thinking that Harry managed to send them information even though the coms have gone down, she inputs the corrections. The ship is thrown out of warp and crashes on a nearby ice planet killing the crew as Harry and Chakotay are left unable to do anything about it.
In the future, Kim is shocked that nothing has changed, it seems the corrections he made did not work. Soon the Delta Flyer is caught in a tractor beam. Chakotay implements plans to escape knowing that it could destroy them. In the lab, Harry is beside himself, believing that he killed his own crew. Through the greif, he and the Doctor determine that he can send calculations to the past that will cause the slipstream to dissipate preventing Voyager from getting home but also saving the crew. Just before the Delta Flyer’s warp core breaches due to a dangerous maneuver from Chakotay, Kim sends the signal. Kim, Chakotay and Tess die in the explosion as La Forge looks on but…
…in the past Seven receives a signal with new phase corrections. Thinking that Harry managed to send them information even though the coms have gone down she inputs the corrections. Suddenly both ships are released from the slipstream with no damage to report. Contacting the Delta Flyer, Harry is confused when Janeway refers to the calculations he sent that tossed them out of the slipstream. Although it did not get them home, Janeway is pleased that this did shave ten years off of their journey.
Back on the ship, Harry is shocked to learn that a message has been retrieved from his future self indicating that he did in fact save the ship and crew. Janeway is proud of her Ensign and leaves him to watch the message from his older alternate self.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
I love a good time travel story and this one is particularly well done. Taking place well in the future we get a glimpse of things to come for both Voyager and one Geordi La Forge.
I remember when this one first aired and man it was exciting. The idea that the entire crew of Voyager, save two, were killed in their attempt to get home was shocking and intriguing for sure. Just the visuals of a frozen crew, specifically Janeway and Seven, covered in ice and preserved for nearly a decade was jarring in itself, but then to see both Chakotay and Harry aged and distraught over their loss was even more shocking.
Here was two survivors of a fateful journey determined to change things no matter what the cost and, despite the warnings in the past about the dangers of time travel, they do so anyhow. They were world weary and yet, even though they had found lives for themselves, they were still determined to find a way to get their friends home still. Not only is this totally in character for these two, it works beautifully within the established framework of the Star Trek Universe. Plus the fact that the Temporal Agents are no where to be seen, means they were meant to do this and that that particular future was never meant to exist in the first place.
Overall, while the events of this episode really do nothing for the overarching story of Voyager, with the exception of shaving ten years off their journey, it is a cool one off episode that gives us a glimpse into what is to come. Seeing Captain La Forge in command of the USS Challenger was a treat in and of itself, plus, this also marks the 100th episode of Voyager so it had to be something special. To add even another rad layer to it, this marks the Voyager Directorial debut of one LeVar Burton. So, yeah, pretty special episode.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- 0 photon torpedoes fired, 0 remaining.
- 0 shuttlecraft lost or destroyed, -1 remaining
- We see Seven get drunk off of Synthohol in a great moment with the Doctor. ‘we are one’ hehe.
- We learn about the Talaxian Fur Fly, which looks like a giant moth. So, Neelix has just been keeping this stuffed moth in his room for four years huh….okay. Sure.
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: Infinite Regress
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Late To The Game 11/16/2020
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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