*** (3 stars out of 5)
19 years ago, a solar flare caused glaciers, as they so often do. A world with 400,000 people was reduced to population: 5.
It takes only two SECONDS to scan the ENTIRE planet to a depth of two kilometres. With bioneural gel packs, you don't have to wait for buffering!
Viorsa, planner for the Kohl settlement, used an interconnected dream-state to hibernate through the disaster. (Perhaps if they'd had a better planner, they might have prepared more than 5 sleeping pods.)
Knowing that two people have died of fear, and the rest can't or won't come out, the Captain seals Torres and Kim inside the chambers to find out what's gone wrong. This seems like a good plan for solving the problem... of having too many people with yellow shoulder pads.
The clown torments Harry with age and infirmity, using memories against the sleepers. At age nine, Harry went with his parents on a humanitarian mission to a hospital during a radiation disaster. Somehow they used masks, chain restraints, and scalpels. Some colony! What humanitarian aid would have helped them recover from falling 400 years backward in medical technology? Harry's lucky he didn't see anything that reminded him of a SPINAL TAP!
The EMH enters the dream to save Harry and distract the Fear Clown while Torres shuts things down.
Can Janeway find a way to overcome Fear? Or will Harry have to learn to play the oboe without a head?
"The Thaw" relies almost entirely on Michael McKean as the Joker-esque manifestation of terror. Fortunately, he's great. Just don't let him run a Bed and Breakfast.