It’s WAR! on the holodeck and only Captain Proton can save the day! Originally broadcast on January 27, 1999 this is Bride of Chaotica!
Captain’s Log Stardate undetermined: Bride of Chaotica!
After an alien race mistake Tom Paris’ holo-program for reality, the crew of Voyager must find a way to end a war that has erupted on their very own holodeck.
After a strange malfunction that forces Paris and Kim to beam out of the holodeck, the ship suddenly falls out of warp and is unable to move. As the crew begins to investigate the sudden loss of speed and the malfunction of many of the ships systems, two aliens arrive in the holodeck and find themselves under attack by the main villain, Doctor Chaotica.
Several days later the ship is still having issues and no one can figure out what is going on. After detecting weapons fire on the still running holo-program, Paris and and Tuvok discover that a war has broken out in the program and there are characters who should not be there. Soon they realize that there are Photonic beings who believe that the holodeck is in fact reality and have started a war with the antagonist of the story. Unable to convince the aliens that they are in a simulation, Paris and Tuvok inform the crew of what they have discovered.
They soon determine that the only way to stop the war is to finish the story of the program and destroy Chaotica’s Death Ray. Agreeing to take on this unlikely mission the crew begin filling in as various characters including The Doctor as the President of Earth and Captain Janeway taking on the role of Queen Arachnia who will need to distract Chaotica in order for the heroes to end his reign of terror.
The adventure goes as planned with a classic pulp scifi story unfolding and, after some hi-jinks involving the ship being pulled into subspace, the battle is won and they are able to defeat Chaotica freeing the aliens and the ship. Roll credits.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
This is a fun one and I can’t fault it for the silly/fun nature of an episode like this. Star Trek has a tendency to get a little too serious sometimes and when an episode embraces the fun, it is those episodes that really shine.
While I have really gotten over the whole ‘holodeck issue’ episode that literally every series since TNG have had, I have to say, this is one of the most original takes on the subject. Sure, we have had an alien invasion of the holodeck before, even on Voyager, but I believe this is the first time we have seen aliens confuse the holodeck for reality and actually declare war against the holodeck characters. It’s pretty fun and a nice callback to the classic serials of the 30’s and 40’s. Honestly, it would be a blast if they did a few animated episodes focused on the actual Captain Proton adventures as some point.
I remember when this episode came out there was a massive deal about Janeway taking on the role of Queen Arachnia. Never before had Janeway played along with her crew-members on the holodeck and so it was kind-of a big deal. Needless to say, it was a real blast seeing Kate Mulgrew decked up as Queen Arachnia fully embracing the classic scifi camp in full black and white.
Bottom line, this is just a fun and enjoyable episode that, while it really serves no purpose in the long term, it is well worth the watch showing us that Star Trek is allowed to have fun every once in a while.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- 0 photon torpedoes fired, -3 remaining.
- 0 shuttlecraft lost or destroyed, -3 remaining
- Constance Goodheart, the love interest in the Captain Proton story, dies in this episode.
- The Lavatories are mentioned in this episode by Neelix, marking one of the few times that bathrooms are actually referenced in a Star Trek series.
- We learn that Paris has a vast knowledge of 30’s Future-tech.
- We get more confirmation of Janeway’s addition to Coffee when she practically assaults Neelix for talking with her before getting her first cup.
- We never see the Subspace Aliens again… even though this does kinda confirm that The Doctor could be a living being if there is a photonic universe….
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: Gravity
As always, please feel free to comment below and share your experiences with these episodes as well. If you just happened by, tell me what you think! Don’t Forget To Follow me if you like the blog!
Late To The Game 11/30/2020
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.
“Star Trek and all related marks, logos and characters are solely owned by CBS Studios Inc. This fan production is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with CBS, Paramount Pictures, or any other Star Trek franchise, and is a non-commercial fan-made production intended for recreational use. No commercial exhibition or distribution is permitted. No alleged independent rights will be asserted against CBS or Paramount Pictures.”