The Malon and their radioactive stuff return in the episode originally broadcast on April 26, 1999. This is Juggernaut.
Captain’s Log Stardate undetermined. Juggernaut.
Voyager finds a Malon ship that needs help and helps them. However, there is a monster who doesn’t want them to help.
You remember the Malon, you know, those guys who were using a sector of space as a dumping ground? Okay, well Voyager comes in contact with another of their ships which is about to explode risking lethal levels of radiation contaminating the sector. So, they decide to help the surviving crew-members (Fesek and Pelk) save their ship and prevent a catastrophe. However it soon becomes apparent that there is something preventing the repairs from going as planned.
Before long a ‘creature’ believed to be the fabled Vihaar is seen on the ship and the team investigate as this creature attacks the crew. Pelk dies after encountering the creature and the creature turns out to be a crew-member named Dremk who was attempting to sabotage the ship in order to show how dangerous it is for the Malon to be transporting hazardous waste. Dremk has been horribly disfigured by the radiation due to his job as a core laborer and is desperate to expose this horrible practice. Janeway understands his situation as they have encountered something similar before with his people and he shows no intention to stop. They manage to escape as he and the damaged ship fly into the sun before it explodes.
In the end the Doctor is able to treat everyone’s radiation exposure except for Fesek who has taking too much radiation. He leaves promising that he will explain the truth about the Viharr and the dangers of the radiation to his people.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
This is sort of a continuation of the episode Night which, if you’ll remember, was kinda lackluster itself. This episode is slightly better, choosing to once again focus on the horror elements that Night failed on, but this episode also never quite hits its mark.
I do like the idea that an urban legend has sprouted from the horrible deaths of a specific job function. Although the Malon fear this being known as the Viharr, they use this myth as a way to ‘explain’ and cover up the atrocities that these core laborers face. While we do learn that the core laborers are paid extremely well for their risk, the fact that most do not survive to enjoy the fruits of their labor it pretty terrible in and of itself.
I also like that the Malon in this episode are MUCH more relatable than the one we encountered earlier in the series. It seems that they finally figured out something that makes this species interesting utilizing their radiation transport and cultural mythology in interesting ways. Unfortunately it just ins’t enough to make this species interesting enough to keep around as this is the last we see of the Malon and their love/hate relationship with Theta Radiation.
We also get some pretty decent character development for B’Elanna who tries contain her anger issues. While this makes for some pretty great moments, this anger issue seems to be a throwback to the earlier seasons as I though B’Elanna had started learning to control her frustrations. She is back to being the bitter and frustrated Torres that really doesn’t fit her current story line. In fact, this whole episode feels like it should have been in the first of second season, not this far into the series. That being said, this is not the last of the Torres anger issues we will see…
Overall, this is a rather disappointing sequel to a rather disappointing episode.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- 0 photon torpedoes fired, -14 remaining.
- 0 shuttlecraft lost or destroyed, -4 remaining
- Torres has to undergo anger management with Tuvok for destroying the Doctor’s camera.
- We learn that Neelix spent 6 years aboard a Talaxian garbage scow. So, he knows trash and radiation…and how to make nasty remedies.
- We see the sonic shower in action for the first time.
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: Someone To Watch Over Me
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Late To The Game 12/18/2020
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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