Voyager finds a connection to Earth’s ancient past in an episode that celebrates the manned Mars missions that have yet to happen. Originally broadcast on November 17, 1999 this is One Small Step.
Captain’s Log Stardate 53292.7 One Small Step
Voyager finds the remains of the Ares IV and it’s Captain after encountering a strange stellar phenomenon.
In 2032 we witness Lieutenant John Kelly being swept away by a strange solar ellipse. In the future, Voyager encounters the same ellipse and, after having some difficulties with their system, they discover that a spacecraft from ancient Earth is inside.
Knowing that this historically significant ship is inside of this anomaly, Janeway authorizes Paris, Seven and Chakotay to take the Delta flyer in to retrieve the Ares IV. As they are doings so, we are given flashbacks of the Astronaut and his journey while the team do all they can to survive inside the ellipse ultimately using parts of the Ares IV to save themselves and the data collected by Lt Kelly.
In the end, after accidentally activating Lt Kelly’s logs, the team decides to rescue his body and, after rescuing the Delta Flyer, Voyager gives the fallen explorer a proper funeral.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
While my recap of the episode is really short, this episode is actually really solid. Directed by Robert Picardo, this is one of those rare Voyager episodes that, while it doesn’t really do anything to further the overarching story of Voyager itself, it does a marvelous job building some great character beats tying the crew to a moment in Earth’s past.
In it, we get a chance to really see how the space program in Earth’s past affected members of the crew, especially that of Chakotay and Paris. We discover that both of them are not only Mars Buffs but find a hero in Lt Kelly so finding his ship and body is a significant event for them. If anything, this gives these two very different people a chance to bond in a way neither of them knew was possible. Additionally, this episode give Seven a great chance to observe human nature allowing her a chance to appreciate her crew members a little more for it, or even despite it.
Overall, this is a great stand alone episode that works on every level. Star Trek is about humanity’s attempt to better themselves through exploration and understanding, this is an episode that reminds us that sometimes it’s okay to just enjoy a moment in time and not worry about the bigger picture. While it doesn’t push the larger narrative forward, it does push some personal narratives into some fun unexplored territories.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- 0 photon torpedoes fired, -15 remaining.
- 0 shuttlecraft lost or destroyed, -4 remaining
- Reference to Buck Bokai beating Joe DiMaggio’s record.
- Seven begins attempting to update some of Voyagers systems causing a few issues…
- Seven also attempts humor…it doesn’t go over well.
- You might recognize Lt Kelly as actor Phil Morris who has been in a ton of film and television including Star Trek the Original series, Deep Space Nine and even Star Trek III the Search for Spock. More recently he appeared in Doom Patrol as Dr Silas Stone.
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: The Voyager Conspiracy
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Late To The Game 1/18/2021
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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