Tom Paris creates a home away from home for the crew of Voyager but some of the holographic denizens of this program feel a little…real. Originally broadcast on January 12, 2000 this is Fair Haven.
Captain’s Log Stardate undetermined. Fair Haven
Everyone takes shore leave in the holographic Irish town of Fair Haven and Janeway falls in love.
That synopsis up there, yeah that is essentially the gist of this entire episode. Seriously, this is really not one to write home about so I will give you the story in the simplest way possible, Bullet Points!
- Tom Paris creates a new holodeck diversion but this time an entire town instead of just a bar.
- Voyager approaches a dangerous neutronic wave front that will force the ship to drop out of warp and essentially surf the wave but the crew will need inoculations for the radiation.
- Janeway, looking for a moral boost, learns of Parises program from Neelix and decides to leave it running so everyone will have something to do.
- The crew begin visiting Fair Haven and Janeway begins to take a liking to a Mr Sullivan who runs the local bar. Somewhat smitten with him, she rewrites his program to be more to her liking. Including deleting his wife…
- Soon Mr Sullivan begins to fall for Katie O’Claire (Janeway) and the two begin a romance since she really doesn’t have many options in the Delta Quadrant.
- The ship hits a bad spot of the wave and they are forced to redirect all power to the deflector shields even though it means they might lose Fair Haven.
- Fair Haven is salvageable but only 10% of it could be fully saved. Janeway activates the Mr Sullivan character and tells him that she has to leave Fair Haven but may return some day. They kiss and she saves the program locking her out of the characters subroutines so she can no longer make alterations.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
It’s a ‘fun’ episode but there are some issues that have to be addressed. I mean, I understand the need for some levity in any series but I have some issues with the flagrant use of the holodeck in this series. My problem, power consumption. Voyager has been plagued with constant power consumption issues which has resulted in everything from replicator rationing to scheduled holodeck time but for some reason this is all tossed out of the airlock in this episode. Apparently running a holodeck program 24/7 and even expanding the program into a second holodeck is not a major concern with power consumption even though it has been established that the holodecks are a derivative of replicator tech. So, either Voyager managed to get some power reserves we didn’t know about and they aren’t concerned about saving anything, or they have been lulled into a false sense of security after being contacted by Starfleet in the previous episode, but neither are established and frankly I just find it an annoying lack of continuity.
Okay, now that that is out of the way I have to say this episode is actually very likable story that, although it doesn’t really make sense in the overall narrative of Voyager, it does give us some down time in between the intense stories we have faced so far. This episode allows us to see the crew take some down time which is nice, especially for Janeway who never seems to get a chance to relax and certainly never gets a chance for romance seeing that she is the highest ranking member of the ship.
One thing I have to wonder though is, why is there not a protocol for holo-programs to prevent these easily preventable situations? It seems that, in every series so far, if there is a holodeck on board someone makes alterations to a character that somehow makes them more human than they expected. This usually occurs when the user requests that the character ‘is inquisitive’ or something similar, allowing the program to realize that they are more than they seem. At this point, with the advent of Moriarty from Data’s Sherlock program or even the creation of Vic Fontaine, heck, even The Doctor himself, you would think Star Fleet would implement a safety protocol that prevents the accidental creation of sentient life. Or, in true Federation fashion, they would recognize that holographic beings have rights too but we saw how that worked out for androids…
Overall, this is a moderately enjoyable ‘slice of life’ episode that, although it serves no real purpose in driving the narrative of the show forward, it gives the crew a chance to let loose and even gives Janeway a chance to explore her relationship woes.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- 0 photon torpedoes fired, -15 remaining.
- 0 shuttlecraft lost or destroyed, -4 remaining
- Chakotay mentions that he never lets photons and force fields get in his way when it comes to romance…you know what he uses his holodeck time for…
- The Doctor get’s his Preacher on wearing the habit and making a habit out of being preachy. It’s pretty great.
- This is not the last we see of Fair Haven or Mr. Sullivan.
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: Blink of an Eye
For more reviews: check out the weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and for more retro TV goodness check out the rest of the Retro TV Reviews here.
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Late To The Game 1/25/2021
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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