Conspiracy theories abound on Voyager when Seven assimilates a little too much data. Originally broadcast on November 24, 1999 this is The Voyager Conspiracy.
Captain’s Log Stardate undetermined. The Voyager Conspiracy.
After meeting with a mysterious man who claims to have created a ‘Space Catapult’, Seven of Nine begins to believe that Voyager may have been sent to the Delta Quadrant on purpose.
After modifying her regeneration alcove, Seven begins to receive detailed information about the goings on aboard Voyager as she sleeps. Initially this makes her much more efficient by identifying potential issues such as Photonic Fleas that have taken up residence in one of the replicators. However, not long after the crew meet with an alien named Tash who claims to have constructed an interstellar catapult, this information becomes a problem.
Initially Seven begins making connections that make sense, that the catapult is constructed of the same tech used by The Caretaker giving them caution as to the true nature of this new alien. Before long Seven begins pulling more and more data eventually coming to the conclusion that Voyager was sent to the Delta Quadrant on purpose and that Tash is there to send them back home in order to complete their mission. Concerned, Seven reports this to Chakotay, urging him to delay use of this catapult as she believes that the Maquis Crewmembers may be in danger upon their return to the Alpha Quadrant.
Seven becomes more and more suspicious of everyone when Janeway and Chakotay, who had begun suspecting one another based on Seven’s conspiracies, compare notes and realize that Seven is acting insane. The Doctor soon finds that Seven has been trying to digest more data than she can handle and this is creating issues with her mind. In a mad rush to escape as she now believes that she is going to be given to Starfleet to be studied upon their return, Seven steals the Delta flyer. Janeway gets aboard and talks her Borg Crewman down getting Seven to agree to return to the ship for treatment before any further damage is done.
After using the catapult and shaving nearly three years from their trip, Seven is back to normal and suggests to Naomi that she might want to take her time learning new things as too much information is sometimes as bad as none.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
When this episode came out I could not believe anyone could ever fall for such rampant and ridiculous conspiracies. I mean, most people, I suspected, would prescribe to an old axiom known as Occom’s Razor. Occom’s Razor states that presented with a problem or conundrum, the simplest solution is usually the correct one. It’s something I was raised believing and has since become the standard in my rationalization of any problem I face. However, it seems that I was greatly mistaken in my assessment.
Somehow, someway, and somewhere along the way, a great number of people in our world have been pulled into numerous conspiracy theories that are no longer only limited to crackpots and extremists. In fact, many of these conspiracy theories have permeated the highest ranks of the government stemming from numerous fringe groups across the web. Frighteningly, more and more people are sharing these conspiracies making more and more people believe them as it is easy to believe small digestible pieces of information over time via things like memes and short videos making loose connections while implying larger issues are at hand. They say if you tell a lie with a nugget of truth, it is easier for people to accept those lies as fact and this is been proven time and again. I guess a spoon full of sugar does help the medicine go down. Now I won’t go into details as to the validity of these conspiracies and rumors, or even go into detail on specific one’s, but my point is that this episode could serve as a warning as to the dangers of fragmented data or using only the parts of facts that a person likes or agrees with them.
The one thing I really do not like about this episode is that Chakotay believes the conspiracies that Seven claims without confronting Janeway initially. With everything he has been through it is disappointing that the Commander hasn’t learned to trust Janeway yet, even though they have saved each others lives time and again. The reverse is true as well although it is not as shocking that Janeway would believe Chakotay would try to take over as he has been rather insubordinate in the past. That being said, if the two Commanders of Voyager harbor this much distrust it is a miracle that they have made it this far.
While the episode itself is very much a rather by the numbers Seven of Nine episode, it is a very solid story about how the truth can be manipulated. Science Fiction is at it’s best when it has a deeper meaning and The Voyager Conspiracy is one that serves as a warning of the danger of misinformation. We never see nor hear from Tash again, but Voyager does manage to get a nice boost moving them three years closer to home.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- 0 photon torpedoes fired, -15 remaining.
- 0 shuttlecraft lost or destroyed, -4 remaining
- Seven finds evidence of a tractor beam in the destruction of the Caretaker array, it is never explained.
- It seems the Caretaker took a Cardassian ship at one point even returning it afterwards. This is also never fully explained…or maybe they were simply destroyed?
- We get more of Seven and Naomi’s relationship growing as Naomi sees Seven as a mentor.
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: Pathfinder
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Late To The Game 1/20/2021
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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