Most TV series end up having a Halloween special and, to me, this is basically what this episode is even though it didn’t air in October. So, without Further adieu, originally broadcast on May 17, 2000, I present STAR TREK: THE JEFFERIES TUBE OF TERROR! errr I mean, The Haunting of Deck Twelve.
Captain’s Log Stardate undetermined: The Haunting of Deck Twelve
Neelix regales the children of Voyager with a ghost story as Voyager experiences a power outage. Soon it becomes apparent that his story might not be entirely untrue.
After the power is shut down to allow Voyager to travel unpowered through a Nebula, the children begin to believe that Deck 12 is haunted due to the recent secrecy about ‘section 42’. Pressing Neelix for information, Neelix takes it upon himself to tell them the ‘real’ story of what is happening to Deck Twelve (plus it will keep them out of the hair of the crew).
As Neelix begins his tale we see a strange lifeform attach itself to the ship as Voyager passes through a J-class nebula collecting samples. Soon the ship begins acting strange with the replicators malfunctioning, Gravity anomalies and even the ship jumping to warp on it’s own. After several subsequent attacks on the crew including Seven and Paris, it is determined that some kind of lifeform has infiltrated the ship and the crew begin tracking it down as the creature began taking decks one by one.
Realizing they have no other option, Janeway calls to have the ship abandoned and life support cut on all decks forcing the entity to settle in a single deck. With only minutes to spare Janeway finally gives the creature an ultimatum telling it that she would destroy it and her ship or take it to a new nebula to call him. Finally relenting, the creature agrees to the terms and, after the crew returned to the ship, Voyager headed back for the Nebula it all started in, which brought them to their current position. Finishing his story just as the power cuts back on, Neelix instructs the kids to ‘go to bed’ i.e. regeneration for the Borglings. Heading to the bridge, he watched as a small light heads into the Nebula and hips that it too lives happily ever after.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
There has always been the question on these ships with children on board of ‘what do the kids do in serious situations’? I mean, I’m not talking about a full on attack but a special operation or, in this case, a full system shutdown. Well, apparently the answer is simple…they have a babysitter and in this situation, who better than the ships Child Care Specialist Neelix.
Neelix has been a mixed bag of a character this series but, over time has really seemed to become a much better and more balanced character. While he has never quite found his place on the ship, outside of being the chef and filling in on random adventures here and there, one place he has really excelled at is that of child care. Since Ensign Wildman first had Naomi, Neelix has been the primary care giver to the child showing that he has both the kindness and the tenacity to handle even the most difficult of children. With that, it makes sense for the Talaxian Junk Dealer to be Seven’s first choice to watch over the Borglings. My one question though…where the heck is Naomi in all of this? Sure, she might be with her mom but when the ship is dealing with this kind of situation you would have thought that Naomi would have been with Neelix and the rest of the kids. Did she just sleep through this event or what? Seems kinda strange to me.
Outside of the mystery of the missing Naomi, this is not a bad episode. For the most part this is very much a filler episode just prior to the rather intense season finale. Episodes like this are great moments to breathe giving us a chance to take a moment before things get crazy. With that in mind, it is not a bad episode but one that has no real baring to the overarching story nor providing any real character development in a larger sense. That aside, this was a fun one and a good ship in a bottle adventure that, while skippable, is worth it for a nice change of pace.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- 0 photon torpedoes fired, -19 remaining.
- 0 shuttlecraft lost or destroyed, -5 remaining
- We never find out who or what the creature was…but once again it was all caused by Voyager going through a Nebula.
- We learn that Janeway talks to her ship…as did Chakotay.
- Harry gets a moment of command leadership, still no promotion.
- We also get to see Tal Celes again! Remember her?
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 Finale: Unimatrix One
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 2/26/2021
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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