More holodeck shenanigans when the people of Fair Haven begin to suspect that the crew of Voyager are more than they appear. Originally broadcast on February 16, 2000 this is Spirit Folk. 

The Episode:

Captain’s Log Stardate Undetermined:  Spirit Folk

The inhabitants of Fair Haven begin to suspect witchcraft when they start noticing that the Voyager crew can do some amazing things.

The Story:

With the Fair Haven program back online, Tom Paris drives a motor car through town only to crash.  After he fills the tire up using the holodeck program, the locals who witness this ‘magic’ begin to wonder about Paris himself.   Taking the news of this black magic to his friends, Seamus tells everyone that he thinks that Paris and his friends are very shifty.  Despite the skeptical response, Seamus reminds the crowd that the Spirit Folk are keen on taking advantage of people only to eventually take them all to the Other World.  Things get back to normal when Katie O’Clare (Janeway) arrives but Seamus is still determined to prove that Paris is a devil.

That evening, Tom Paris plays a prank on Harry Kim by turning his holographic date into a cow not realizing that Seamus and Milo have witnessed the event.  Shocked that Paris and Kim have turned Maggie O’Halloran into an animal only to leave at the call of a disembodied voice, the two take their findings to Father Mulligan (who happens to be The Doctor giving a sermon).  After the interruption, the Doctor restores Maggie making it seem as if she may have lost her way.  Soon rumors abound that even Father Mulligan is involved as he vanishes after his sermons sometimes. Sullivan tries to deflect and calm the crown indicating that there is nothing wrong with their strange friends and they should all calm down.  However, his suspicions rise when Katie O’Clare is unable to explain where she is actually from.  With no answers to the rather direct questions, Janeway shuts the program down.

In the lab, Janeway is concerned that Paris’ reconstruction of Fair Haven is not working right.  Calling up Sullivan, it is clear that he is aware of his surroundings.  Immediately he demands to know who they are and why he is there.  Attempting a restoration, he acts as if he has been fixed listening to their plans to ‘fix’ everyone via a control panel in the pub.  They send Sullivan back, unaware of his awareness and Sullivan tells Fitzgerald of what he saw.  They soon decide to stop Kim and Paris from ‘changing’ the town and ambush them in the pub inadvertently damaging the safety protocols in the process and preventing Tom and Harry’s escape.  Capturing the two ‘demons’ the townsfolk take them to the church.

Without a way to save Harry and Tom, Janeway sends The Doctor in to rescue them but he is also subdued with his Mobile emitter removed. The Doctor, under hypnosis admits everything to Seamus but it is all ignored as nonsense.  Sullivan takes the mobile emitter believing that it could connect him to Katie only to find himself beamed to the bridge.   

Janeway, shocked at his appearance, explains that they are essentially time travelers who like to visit Fair Haven.  Many of the crew love to visit the town but mean no poor intent.  Sullivan soon understands the situation and the two return to Fair Haven where the prevent Tom and Harry from being burned as witches.   They agree to no longer frighten the town folk of Fair Haven and promise to keep it intact.  Torres notes that they need to start limiting how long Holo-programs run as it seems letting them run indefinitely causes some significant issues. 

Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:

I really don’t care for this one. I’ll just cut to the chase, it’s a fun one but it’s rather dumb to be frank.  The reason I don’t like it is, like nearly other holographic adventure, gets close but ignores the underlying issues with holographic technology, the advent of sentiance.  With the Doctor having developed sentiance from running non-stop, it seems a logical assumption that an entire town running 24/7 would have similar issues.  So, knowing this, Janeway still allows the crew to run the Fair Haven program non-stop only to be shocked when things go amiss.  Seeing that this has become a known issue on, well, pretty much EVERY starship, you would think that someone would put in some kind of refresh protocol or some such but no, we just get yet another life threatening holodeck malfunction.   It’s become so common that it has become a cliché in and of itself and that makes these episodes pretty frustrating.  Also, why the hell are any of the holodeck functions located IN the program. That is like putting a computer’s bios settings in Microsoft word, yeah, not a smart thing to do.  

To be completely fair, the episode is indeed a fun one that provides a brief and not entirely unpleasant adventure for the crew but it just feels like a completely unnecessary one. Bottom line, this is a filler episode that really serves no purpose despite it’s light hearted nature. 

Gleanings and Cool Bits:

  • 0 photon torpedoes fired, -15 remaining.
  • 0 shuttlecraft lost or destroyed, -5 remaining
  • It looks like Harry has given up on dating people and is looking to holodeck love instead.
  • Harry mentioned that this is the ‘first time’ they have run a holodeck program non-stop…did they forget that The Doctor is a hologram?  
  • Seven makes a comment that the people of Fair Haven are ‘not people, they are holograms’ in front of The Doctor.  Yet he doesn’t respond…seems a miss.
  • This is the last we see of Sullivan and of Fair Haven.  I guess they got the message and just shut that shit down. 

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: Ashes to Ashes

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.

As always, please feel free to comment below and share your experiences with these episodes as well. If you just happened by, tell me what you think! Don’t Forget To Follow me if you like the blog!

Late To The Game 2/8/2021

I Was A Teenage Bovine next on VOYAGER UP ALL NIGHT!

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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