*** (3 stars out of 5)
Neelix is so nervous about training with Tuvok on an away team he can barely work his knapsack. They are collaborating with exogeologist Sklar when their shuttle crashes, right on schedule. If a Voyager shuttle is crashing, it must be Thursday.
A 300 kilometer high orbital tether with a magnetic leverage carriage is their way back into comm range. Neelix worked on carriages like this on Rinax (only they were 1/10 scale models from Galoob). Tuvok, Neelix and their motley handful of local ne'er-do-wells ride the skyhook into the very sky itself!
What will kill them first? Twitchy Geologist? Cagey astrophysicist? Feral metallurgist? The burly guy with no stated degree or field of study?
The asteroids have guidance systems in their crunchy centres: that's because The Etanian Order is dropping the rocks on the Nezu people to claim their territory. (Ha, ha! Hilarious. NEEZOO. What a funny word. Say it with me. NEEZOO.)
Neelix names the mag-lev carriage for his adventurous sister Alixia, dead lo, these many years. Vatm launches ahead of schedule, with automatic systems unfinished, not enough air, and also badly leaking. When Vatm is poisoned, it's a locked room murder mystery on a 47 kph death trap. Call it the Vertically Oriented Express.
Actually, the plot is based on the sixties movie Flight of the Phoenix, but there already was a Phoenix back in First Contact, so this one is just Flight of the Neelix.
"Rise" is no Galileo Seven, but it's trying. Neelix voices his long-simmering feeling that Tuvok is prejudiced against him, and you know what? That stinking ebullient hedgehog man might have a point there. The effects guys did a great job on the space elevator. But that's it, really. Very run of the mill.