From the start of the series there has been the question as to if others from the Alpha Quadrant had found themselves in the same situation as Voyager. While we did encounter a couple Ferengi, they had arrived in this sector due to a completely different set of circumstances. However, there must have been another ship from the Alpha Quadrant that had been swept away by the caretaker before Voyager got there….well…. of course there was. Originally broadcast on May 26, 1999. this is Equinox.
Captain’s Log Stardate undetermined: Equinox.
Voyager locates another Federation ship in the Delta Quadrant but it seems the Equinox crew have not had it as easy as Voyager has.
After viewing a catastrophic attack on a Federation ship via a distress call, Janeway begins preparing the crew for a rescue mission. The ship in danger is a Nova-Class starship called the Equinox Captained by Rudolph Ransom.
Arriving at the Equinox’s location, they can see the ship is under attack by an unknown source. Contacting the ship, Ransom asks that Voyager extend it’s shields around his ship and Janeway does so. With the ship apparently out of danger, Seven reports that there had been inter spatial fissures opening on the Equinox for some reason but they stopped upon Voyager protecting the Equinox.
Beaming aboard to render aid, they find that the Equinox is in terrible condition. Taking Ransom back to Voyager for medical assistance, Janeway learns that the Equinox arrived in the Delta Quadrant the same way as Voyager. Having lost many of his crew, Ransom is pleased to have the assistance of a Federation vessel and Janeway assigns Kim and Torres to begin repairing the ship while Tuvok and Seven will work on preventing further attacks.
Janeway and Ransom compare notes and she soon learns that, instead of exploring as Voyager has been doing, The Equinox has been surviving. After their discussion, which included an awkward conversation about the Prime Directive, Ransom makes it clear to his first officer, Burke, that Burke is to ensure the Voyager crew does not find his ships research lab because, ‘these people will never understand’.
After a second attack occurs on Voyager, Janeway informs Ransom that she intends for them to abandon the Equinox and join crews aboard Voyager. Ransom is reluctant but Janeway pulls regulations forcing his hand. Secretly, he begins plotting against Janeway, planning to abandon Voyager as soon as a defensive device is discovered that can stop these attacks. Janeway soon discovers a secret of her own when they find that the Equinox lab has been purposefully flooded with radiation. Despite Ransom’s protests, Janeway send in The Doctor who discovers that the Equinox crew has been murdering the alien attackers in order to use their bodies as an engine enhancement.
Janeway questions Ransom about this discovery and the Equinox Captain admits that they purposely captured these aliens to use as fuel and still need approx 63 more to make it home. They are not the defenders in this battle, but the aggressors. Janeway confines the crew of the Equinox and it’s Captain to their quarters and orders the Doctor to learn all he can about the aliens hoping to explain to the Aliens that she has ended this.
On the Equinox, the Doctor encounters the Equinox EMH and learns that it was he that designed the experiments that the aliens were subject to. The Equinox Doctor (E-Doc) attacks The Doctor and takes his mobile emitter. Returning to Voyager as The Doctor, The E-Doc pretends to be Voyager’s Doctor and manages to free Ransom and his crew. After a skirmish, Ransom makes it back to the Equinox with the device that Voyager was designing to hold off the aliens. As the aliens begin attacking Voyager, Ransom and the Equinox escapes taking Seven and the Doctor with them.
Voyager is besieged with spacial fissures and all seems lost…..
to be continued.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
For a season finale, you can’t get much better than this. Not only do we have another, different, Star Fleet vessel in the series, but we get a great idea of what Voyager has managed to avoid while travelling through the Delta Quadrant. From the perspective of Ransom and his crew, Voyager has really had a bout of good luck, whether this was due to the leadership of Janeway or the fact that the crew itself is top notch is neither here nor there but they have certainly made it through some tough scrapes.
One thing bothers me though….how is it that Ransom and his crew were willing to leave members of their crew with the Caretaker and never discover Neelix, the Ocampa, or even the Kazon. In fact, since none of them ever even mentioned that they had encountered a similar ship, it would seem that, while the Equinox set course for home they either hightailed it out of there or just ignored the problems around them. This in and of itself is really strange for a Federation starship but…I guess for the sake of the plot, we don’t know what they went through and how they survived. Honestly, this would have made for a great spin-off series exploring their experiences in the Delta Quadrant, but that is just not meant to be.
I am keeping this one rather brief as it is only the first half of a longer narrative and it has been a LONG time since I last watched both parts. So, I will wrap this review up next time when we discuss the season premiere of Season 6, Equinox Part 2.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- 0 photon torpedoes fired, -14 remaining.
- 0 shuttlecraft lost or destroyed, -4 remaining
- Could Captain Ransom be related to Commander Jack Ransom from Lower Decks?
- Janeway claims she has never ‘broken’ the prime directive which is an outright lie. Heck, even from the start she interfered with the Kazon who were the power in the quadrant. Not to mention sharing Federation tech with the Hirogen and allowed a pre-sentient lifeform to sample the blood of Voyager’s crew in Demon. I mean, this lady has done more the bend the Prime Directive. Just admit it Janeway.
- We learn that B’Elanna has a nickname BLT and a middle name even though it is not revealed. My bet is L’Naan which was the name of her grandmother. So theoretically her name is B’Elanna L’Naan Torres.
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 Six Premiere: Equinox Part 2
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Late To The Game 12/30/2020
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.
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