Friday, May 31, 2013


** (2 stars out of 5)
On a Xyrillian ship, resequenced photons create holographic illusions. Grass grows on the floor, food grows on the walls, and babies grow in the menfolk! It's a topsy-turvy, candy-dandy gumdrop world! And before you ask, yes, Red Dwarf did "Pregnant Man" first and better. It goes without saying that it was also funnier.

But the teaser is great. There's a whole star there just for Archer's awkward moment when the gravity goes out in his shower. So while we're on the subject of making a potentially deadly, dangerous, serious accident silly, embarrassing, and inconsequential, what if Trip got knocked up?

Engineer Ah'len, a Xyrillian from Thera, asks some perfunctory questions about Trip's beard and immediately makes telepathic finger contact in a box of granules. Bingo, bango, bongo, Tucker grows wrist nipples and a blastocyst in his pericardium. Couldn't he keep his fingers in his pants where they belong?

"You may be putting those nipples to work before you know it," Phlox chirps. Well, why should T'Pol be the only one? Speaking of: does T'Pol's mood seem more disgusted, contemptuous, or jealous? And are we SURE she's a Vulcan?

Klingons attack because... uh... because they're Klingons, that's why! SHUT UP! Captain Vorok's ship is top of the line- it even has the tractor beam and working torpedoes that Archer's ship doesn't. Perhaps the outclassed humans can take comfort in the fact that this exact ship design will still be in use by the Klingons for at least the next two centuries. Innovation, thy name is... well, not Klingons. In fact, when the opportunity arises to seize cloaking technology from the Xyrillians, Vorok nabs HOLODECK technology instead. Are we SURE he's a KLINGON?

All's well that ends well when it turns out that the lizards who can't fix their own engines, or even make water, can transfer fetuses from father to father with the greatest of ease.

"Unexpected" is a quirky idea awkwardly presented, and the funniest scene they created was deleted. In which T'Pol (innocently?) recommends a nauseated Trip might like to suck a Rigellian sausage. Well, I liked it anyway. In case it ever comes up (and it won't- no one ever saw the Xyrillians again) UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES HOLD HANDS WITH THEM IN A CAT'S LITTERBOX. If it ever comes up.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Strange New World

*** (3 stars out of 5)
Vulcans typically spend weeks letting probes look a place over before they send any landing parties. Humans say NUTS TO THAT!

Humans die a lot.

We've heard a lot of talk about Class M planets. Now we know why: it's from the Vulcan classification Minshara. It means little, blue, green, and planetoid-y. Perfect place for a stroll. SUSPICIOUSLY perfect!

Time for a camping trip. And Trip to go camping! Ghost stories, marsh melons, guy-on-guy tent pitching... But, wait! There's a blue-gilled neck bug from 'Conspiracy' in Trip's sleeping bag! He has no way of knowing... but he's right to try to kill it! Or maybe that's just more of Hodgkin's Parallel Insect Development. You could ask Cutler the entomologist, but she's mostly here so the weenie roast isn't such a sausage fest. And to look around in awe and wonder. Awww! Wonder, wonder...

Back in 2151, they have a working transporter, but everybody trusts it about 10,000 kilometers less far than they can throw it. There is a good reason for this: a stiff wind during beaming can result in leaves, twigs, and grit beaming up as part of your skin. Poor redshirt Novakovich! Do you think Phlox treats leaf skin with aloe?

So much for Archer's catchphrase: "We can't be afraid of the wind."

This "Strange New World" doesn't get a name on screen yet, but we've already heard it mentioned in 'Yesterday's Enterprise'. This is Archer IV. Don't be afraid of the wind- be afraid of the hallcinogenic paranoia pollen CARRIED by the wind! It's not as much fun as the spores of Omicron Ceti III. Or the PSI 2000 virus. But short of getting drunk or having sensible conversations it's a quick way to get to know each other early in a mission. If that's what you're into.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Fight or Flight

*** (3 stars out of 5)
Before we get started, I neglected to complain yesterday about T'Pol's dialogue in 'Broken Bow'. Since writers Berman and Braga also wrote today's story, I will indulge myself anyway!

After slapping Trip down when he's trying to help in what looks a hell of a lot like two violent altercations, the Vulcan schoolmarm launches into an explanation of why the second one is not what he suspects. Then I imagine she MEANT to tell him to think more objectively, or to use more objectivity, but what she SAYS is: "You should learn to objectify other cultures." That can't be right, can it? Treat them as things without regard to their dignity? If only T'Pol wasn't such a know-it-all, maybe she could ask Hoshi for an English lesson.

But not today: today Hoshi is taking care of the sickly slug she has adopted! It soon becomes a metaphor for Ensign Sato's own utter unhappiness with space travel. And who could blame her? Their ACTUAL first contact is with a dozen corpses being drained for their arousing fluids by some unseen Lymph Vampires!

And speaking of arousing, Dr. Phlox is both avuncular and a little too interested in exploring humans. Or at least watching them explore each other! Still, he's following (or is that establishing?) a long and venerable tradition of pervy Starfleet doctors. How did Bev Crusher manage to avoid this terrible curse?

Since Stardates aren't a thing yet, we discover that it's May 6, 2151. Thanks to Hoshi's brilliantly unlikely ability to translate brand-new languages merely by hearing a few spoken words, first contact is established with the Axanar: androgynous Newt-Manoids with a four century lifespan. Which could mean one of these "guys" would later be killed by Starfleet's Captain Garth or pin a peace medal on Captain Kirk. (Probably not both, though.)

"Fight or Flight" begs the question: who has a SLUG for a pet? Wouldn't you rather be sneaking cheese to an adorable puppy than watching a banana slug ooze across something? Hey, I'm not being mean here. I'm just following that sanctimonious Vulcan chick's advice to objectify other cultures.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Broken Bow

**** (4 stars out of 5)
Long ago, in the distant future, a boy and his dad built a spaceship.

Jonathan Archer (who should be thanking his lucky stars he wasn't born in the post-atomic horror like most people in the 22nd Century) is impatient to sail the skies. And why not? The skies are full of Klingons and shifty cantaloupe-faced goblins called Suliban. When multi-jointed, gene-altered alien terrorists can slide under your door, it might be time to start evolving!

Zefram Cochrane's warp engine changed everything (you guys remember ST: First Contact, right?). Earth is gradually de-crapifying in an attempt to impress the holier-than-thou next-door neighbours: those loveable nerds from Vulcan. Or, back in these days, those detestable shitheels from Vulcan. Without the Vulcanian non-interference policy, Cochrane or his protege Henry Archer might have lived to see a human starship fast enough to actually go anyplace.

Archer's son Jonathan completed the Enterprise NX-01 out of love and spite, and now he wants to rub it in the placid jerk face of every jerk Vulcan he meets. When it finally launches, even Cochrane smiles down from heaven and grumbles "That'll do, pig."

Jon gathers his crew, beginning with T'Pol, the duck-lipped science officer graciously foisted upon him by the aforementioned Vulcans. One free Science Elf with every Enterprise! Logically, she dresses like Seven of Nine and oozes disdain. Or is that supposed to be sex appeal? I find it hard to tell- T'Pol LITERALLY thinks humans are stinking up the joint! Smug, stand-offish, and incapable of enjoyment. Yeah, that gets me hot and bothered for sure.

Engineer Charles Tucker, we'll learn, has been in Starfleet for 12 years but he's only been to ONE inhabited world and apparently isn't trained in zero-G. So... Starfleet's not so much a fleet, and it doesn't really go to the stars very often, either.

Armoury officer Malcolm Reed has devoted his life to guns and ammo, so he knows all about plasma rifles in the 40-watt range, and about as much about the new phase pistol as any three year old: "It has two settings- stun and kill. It would be best not to mix them up."

Ensign Travis Mayweather was born in space and likes boobies! I'm sure in the next four years we'll learn much, much more about him! Ensign Hoshi Sato is a cunning linguist. Nuff said. Well, no, not really. She also cussed out T'Pol, so she won me over pretty fast! Archer badgered her into coming along, but she has more phobias than Reg Barclay. And she's cuter.

Speaking of cute, let's not forget quirky Dr. Phlox, the observant outsider whose catchphrase "OPTIMISM!" I've stolen for my own.

Our merry band is off to meet the Klingons, and make a marginally worse first impression than the Vulcans would have if they'd just held a cloth over Mr. Klaang's face and asked him if it smelled like chloroform. Also, they make a pit stop at the arm-pit planet Rigel X, where ladies dressed in paint eat butterflies with their Gene Simmons tongues. For Science!

And for good measure, the Suliban appear to be embroiled in something complicated and intriguing called the Temporal Cold War which means Scott Bakula gets to say "Time travel?" and remind us all to buy Quantum Leap on Blu-Ray.

"Broken Bow" (Broken Bow? Archer? How did I only just NOW notice that?) is dogged with uncertainty despite the certainty of its adorable dog (the captain's beagle Porthos). Even Paramount was no proud parent: like a bastard stepchild the program didn't even bear the family name until it was 2 years old! (The DVD's have boldly ret-conned history by inserting the 'Star Trek Enterprise' logo where stark and lonely 'Enterprise' once stood alone. But die-hards knew: it was the same old Star Trek. Tired, flawed, wonderful, old Star Trek- NOW WITH BASEBALL HATS!

Monday, May 27, 2013


**** (4 stars out of 5)
Ever see "All Good Things..."? Well, then, this may seem a little familiar. Still, as I may have mentioned, I'm a sucker for time travel.

Janeway had a successful 23 year trip home, 10 years of relative peace and quiet since, and a snazzy hand-me-down turn-of-the-25th-century Vice Admiral uniform from that alternate future that's always about to happen yet never quite gets here. Despite it all, Kathryn Janeway has some regrets. And a time machine.

To be clear, it's no dystopia she's living in. Harry's a captain. Barclay's a commander. The EMH underwhelmed everyone by picking the name Joe and a human trophy wife. Tom has a receding hairline but he's written such holo-bestsellers as "I Broke The Warp 10 Barrier, Fathered Illegitimate Salamanders, and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt". B'Elanna has Worf's old job and her daughter Ensign Miral Paris is so loyal she'd erase this entire Next Next Generation at Janeway's slightest whim. (She erased it yesterday when Janeway burned a toaster strudel.)

Granted, Tuvok lost his marbles and 24 crew including Seven and her husband Chakotay didn't live to enjoy decades of nothing to talk about. But if you're already re-writing 26 years of time what's another 7? Go back a month earlier for poor Carey. Go back to 2371 and save beloved fan favourite Durst. Go back to Wolf 359 and head off the damn Dominion War while you're at it!

Still, why EARN things if you can just go back in time and hand yourself all the answers? And if you can sacrifice your wrinkly old butt to cripple the Borg in the process, then who cares how many Sabrina Wildmans you erase? There'll still be a Janeway left over. And a newborn baby Miral if you like. And heck, if you're selfishly breaking all the laws of time and space ANYWAY, a seven year journey makes for a compromise the admiralty will probably overlook at your Temporal Prime Directive Court Martial. And self-replicating anti-Borg ablative Batmobile armour to hand over might win you brownie points, too. Just not audience brownie points- for anyone who wondered what the future really held.

"Endgame" is visually brilliant and continues the tradition of turning the Star Trek concept into a snake eating its own tail. Yet I love it so, even when I find it hard to like. May you find the journey home to be as challenging as you can manage, and as rewarding as you would wish.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Renaissance Man

*** (3 stars out of 5)
They can build hulls that keep out the cold of space, and shields that withstand the heat of a star's corona, but they can't make an opera-proof wall so Captain Janeway can sleep through a pleasure cruise with the Doctor.  But then again, why would you want to?  The Doctor is a marvel and a delight!

He can change his shape and voice, run circles around humans without tiring, leap through walls or run UP them, and yet these skills are only deployed today in the service of the Sontarans... uh, Hierarchy renegade Mole Men. With Janeway hostage, the Doctor must take on every key role on the ship, knocking unconscious those he impersonates and hiding them in morgue drawers. Yet sneaking around falsifying B'Elanna's command codes is easier than falsifying a kiss with Tom Paris and his potato salad breath.

Speaking of potatoes, can Janeway and her one-man hologram band outwit the two dumbest spuds in the quadrant, and the 140 smartest? And when the effort takes everything the EMH has, and he thinks he's about to perish, can he embarrass himself any more than he already has?

"Renaissance Man" is an adequate, slightly comic run-around that asks for nothing and gives about the same. But what the hell! If ever Star Trek feels underwhelming I just flip the metaphorical dial for a minute and glance at what a soul-curdling mess is everything else on TV. Then I count my lucky Star Treks.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


**** (4 stars out of 5)
What do you call 500 Talaxians at the bottom of an asteroid?
I... I don't have a joke ready. It's just a way to write Neelix out of the series.

Welcome to the Wild Western edge of the Delta Quadrant! The hardscrabble hedgehog townsfolk include the Talaxian widow schoolmarm Dexa and her adorable moppet Brax. Also the mayor had an identical cousin starving to death in a Vidiian prison years back, but that's neither here nor there. A Nasty named Nocona is eager to play an explosive game of Whack-A-Mole because once the settlers are dead he'll have the mining rights! He's Tex Richman! His mine'll be so big it'll take three lifetimes to patrol the perimeter! With herds of space cattle so vast they'll distort subspace!

That is, unless Neelix stands up to him in exactly the way Starfleet isn't supposed to. But does anyway, for their furry friends. Then Captain Janeway suggests a change of career for their cook: Federation DQ Ambassador! (Yes, Delta Quadrant, although Dairy Queen is very appealing, too.) Tuvok is so eager to see him off that he calls Neelix the most resourceful man he's ever met and even does a little dance to fulfill the Talaxian's fondest wish.

There's a new chef in town. Sheriff, I mean. New sheriff.

"Homestead" is heartwarming, with Ethan Phillips pointing out how brave and kind Neelix can be and has been. Of course, everyone's so eager to give him the bum's rush into his great new life that they don't seem to remember how little he has left of it. He's got an Ocampan lung pushing eight years old that isn't likely to last to nine, if you'll recall. These Talaxians seem like nice guys, but if they can barely make a shield grid I don't see how they'll be able to handle a lung transplant. Whelp! Too late now!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Natural Law

* (1 star out of 5)
It's an typical day for Voyager: procrastinating the journey home in order to attend some symposium, closely followed by their 100th shuttle crash in 100 days.

Chakotay and Seven wind up Under The Dome on CBS. (CBS stands for Cuddle Bear Stand-By.)

The local Ventu tribe are isolated from the warp-capable Ledosians by a barrier put up long ago by some meddling alien jerktopus or other. The Ventu seem perfectly nice, and they are eager for new fads from their sky-visitors. The guys all get face tattoos and the gals all start stapling on some silicon!

Meanwhile, Tom Paris gets a speeding ticket and must go back to boring old driving school with a boring old instructor. This is mainly so we can discover something new about Janeway: she's a stickler for rules only as long as it's funny, and not personally inconvenient. (The moment she needs Paris back, she breaks local law to get him out of it.) So add "Breaks Laws When It Suits Her" to what we learned yesterday: that she suddenly feels exploration is not worth ONE LOST LIFE. These brand-new character traits from famed law-abiding explorer Captain Janeway will become clear in the finale, I just thought I'd point it out while we're here.

"Natural Law" raises questions about developing cultures, and what more advanced cultures might owe them, and what-not, but since Star Trek does this a lot (and better elsewhere), wouldn't a better Chakotay and Seven episode have been some kind of hearing? On Earth? Having made it back earlier in the season? Where their actions as Borg tactician and Maquis terrorist are discussed and compared against the people they have become? Because this was our last chance to find out what THEIR culture is about lately. Still, we get to see Seven trip and fall down. Surely that's a series highlight.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Friendship One

*** (3 stars out of 5)
The warp-powered Friendship I probe was launched in 2067 and it went a bit beyond a couple of dirty naked pictures and a gold LP. This probe had a complete How-To Manual for advancing to 2067 technology, AND a complete retrospective on the Number One Hits of Macklemore!

Lost in the Delta Quadrant 130 years ago, it turns out the manual has a chapter called Build-Your-Own Apocalypse. The first people who found it are now fleshy-headed mutants in a missile-strewn wasteland and radiation has made them enemies of society, eh?

The bright, shining faces of the Uxali greet the away team with a free kidnapping and murder Joe Carey from Season One to remind us that he existed. The head honcho seems eager to make humans pay for their ancestors' naive interstellar "Tommyguns For Toddlers" program. As usual, throwing torpedoes and Borg nanoprobes at the problem is the cure for what ails 'em.

Captain Janeway, the Federation's most prolific explorer in generations, weighs in with a baffling opinion: that the benefits of exploration don't justify the loss of a single life. Say whaaat?
Replicators? Transporters? Interplanetary peace and brotherhood? Toasters that love? Lot of benefits! Not worth ONE life? People are going to die anyway. Let's keep the benefits, shall we?

"Friendship One" opens on a conversation typifying what Admirals will be saying to Janeway from now on:
"Really? Descended from Dinosaurs, huh? And they were flying around in Amelia Earhart's biplane? Riiight. And how much of this "leola root" did you ingest exactly?"

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Author, Author

**** (4 stars out of 5)

Pathfinder and Voyager have managed to establish a real-time video communication. But it only works 11 minutes a day, so there's only enough time for a few brief conversations, or to watch a single episode of 'Adventure Time'.

The Holographic Doctor has written a holo-novel entitled "Photons Be Free". It was designed to call attention to the plight of oppressed holograms. Particularly the sentient EMH Mark Ones repurposed for Workin' In A Coal Mine and Goin' Down Down.

All to the good, if only the novel did not feature such thinly veiled jerk versions of the Doctor's real-life crew-mates. TOO THINLY VEILED. From "Captain Jenkins'" execution of patients to "Lt. Marseilles's" cheating on his wife, the Doctor has crossed the lines of libel and good taste if not outright copyright infringement! Tom writes a lecherous, drug abusing, comb-over EMH parody to show him how feelings could get hurt- none of which will matter now that publishers Broht & Forrester have released the story AS IS. With all 97 gratuitous sex scenes unexpurgated.

From bad to worse: Drinking-Chocolate-Rabbit-Voiced Broht points out that holograms have no rights under Federation Law. Even though it's only reputations at stake and not profits (One would assume. Or are these dinks actually selling it outside the Federation, too?), B&F fight pretty hard not to have to recall the program even briefly. Lord knows why. Just standard publishing industry douchebaggery?

Despite the low stakes this really IS a debate about Equal Rights For Artificial People, and nobody remembers or cares to cite the Data precedent from 'The Measure of a Man'. Ahem, speaking of copying.

"Author, Author" is flawed, but a favourite. So, what IS Broht paying the Judge? Don't tell me you could listen to Tuvok or Janeway or Barclay and then STILL not have the guts to rule on the Doctor's status as a sentient being. One might humbly submit that writing bad fan fiction is practically the DEFINITION of sentience.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


*** (3 stars out of 5)
In Borg Cadet Icheb's oral report, Kirk's 5 year mission ended in 2270, having saved the Baezians, Chenari, and Pelosians from extinction- although whoever they were and whatever he did it blatantly violated the Prime Directive. Blatantly.

Sometimes, I get the impression EVERYONE would rather be watching ST: TOS instead of ST: VOY. Even the cast of VOY.

Consider this negative review from the Son of Q after looking around Aunt Kathy's ship for five seconds: "Bipeds pushing buttons!"

Q Jr. claims to have unlimited control of space, matter, and time. Which he uses to create discos, cause computers to be more snarky, and make ladies' clothing vanish. These are the only things he and I agree upon.

Susie Q has disowned her ADHD-stricken offspring for starting wars and juggling tectonic plates. Original Recipe Q claims to have spent "years" trying to make his son play nice with the sub-creatures. The stress IS starting to make Q look VERY mortal. Now he's threatening to turn the brat into a paramecium if he won't change his ways before the commercial break.

Q Jr. cheats at his studies (just like Kirk), but in fairness he's got some impossible pressures: he's expected to be the Saviour, for God's sake. Any wonder he runs away, steals a shuttle and starts calling Icheb "Itchy"? Only Chewbacca's Father should be called Itchy! Or a cartoon cat, I guess.

Plus isn't it rather foolish to ask a Q to adhere to high moral standards when it's clear they don't HAVE any? These beings execute couples for wanting to live, force immortality on the suicidal, and torment lower life-forms to relieve their nearly-infinite ennui. If there IS a definition for "Q-ness" isn't it... being a jerk? By those standards, he's ALREADY a $#!% Off the Old Block.

"Q2" drops the ball: last chance to have Q reward Janeway for being a good mommy with a free trip to Disneymoon. And they waste it all playing "Charlie X" for laughs.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Human Error

* (1 star out of 5)
If there is an award for a teaser that contains nothing of significance, might not Seven of Nine pensively playing the piano alone be a finalist? Aren't you interested in keeping us interested?

Some jerks built an invisible minefield and included a warning sign written in invisible space ink. Again I say, JERKS. Voyager, of course, blunders through it and things go "boom".

Speaking of things that appear suddenly and without warning out of the blue, Seven has a crush on Chakotay now! The very guy who blew her Borg focus group into space and tried to do the same to her. Seven programs herself a little holographic version of the first officer to practice boyfriending on.
Sure. he's handsome! But why didn't she express any interest earlier, say- when she studied the crew manifest looking for someone to date TWO YEARS AGO?

If Seven is so clueless about humanity, how can the social scenarios she wrote feature everyone else acting NORMALLY and giving sound advice on topics Seven doesn't understand? How does Seven know that Neelix would yammer on about carpets matching drapes? Seven can't even sound casual asking the real Torres for grooming tips! Or is this the main computer autonomously using personal files to make this stuff up?

Not only is the ex-drone avoiding work, she's also not regenerating in favour of her fantasy, until she gets sick. Worst of all, her vitally necessary, non-removable cortical node has the NEVER-BEFORE-MENTIONED feature of shutting her down if she has a strong feeling! Yes, it chaps my ass. This didn't happen to ANY OTHER ex-drone; from rage-fueled Lansor, Marika, and P'Chan, to passionate Frazier, from stalwart Hugh to ever-lovin' Locutus. "THIS FAH! NO FURTHA! Urrggh..." Picard faints.

So... Seven's quest for humanity was apparently ALWAYS doomed to failure. Nice one, writers. "Gawrsh, I'd like me a pretty horny girl with no feelings! That'd be the best! Hyuk!"

"Human Error" is a big disappointment, and reviewer Michelle Green puts it a lot better than I can. Quick, the series is ending! Throw some couple together so we give the illusion of growth and change... you know, like when Worf and Troi hit it off so famously and so well.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Workforce, Part II

** (2 stars out of 5)
Amal Kotay (Chak to his friends) hauls his surgically-disguised butt around evading the Quarren and getting shot. Since Chakotay didn't do his ACTUAL job and point a finger at one of them, Harry Kim and the Doctor waste precious Saving Everybody time arguing over who has command seniority: the guy with triple the experience of any standard Ensign, or the guy with an entire tactical database in his head but no rank at all. Thankfully, the Doctor is NOT the M-5 multitronic unit- who as you'll recall incinerated guys like Harry just by reaching out for a snack. Progress!

Over 140 Voyager-heads are taking what they're given 'cause they're working for a livin'. With Chakotay to kidnap them and speechify, the Doctor to restore their memories from his hidey-hole on a magnetic moon, and Neelix to feed them pancakes and point at their knick-knacks, Donny Most's Diabolical Dysphoria Deceit is soon defeated.

Speaking of knick-knacks, did Tom somehow manage to lose the bat'leth Kohlar gifted to his unborn daughter in only a couple of weeks? There's a more conventional bat'leth hanging in its place.

Janeway flip-flopped in moments from happily living with Jaffen to breaking up with him as soon as it turned out she had a better job waiting. She feeds him a line about how a Captain can't fraternize with her crew, but I guess she either isn't as heart-broken as she appears or she never got the memo back in 2364 that starships carry civilian families all the time.

"Workforce, Part II" again, begs a few questions. How do a people advanced enough to compete with Voyager in space, and outclass them in brain medicine, have the organizational skills and automation-free factories of some backward 20th Century Earth? And in the bigger picture: why not have two episodes back on Earth where everyone kisses the ground after seven years away and see what THAT might have meant to them? And meant to us, the audience?

Saturday, May 18, 2013


** (2 stars out of 5)
Welcome to the Factory! Kraftwerk will bring you your timecards any moment now. There's a lot of Pink Benzites around here. And pink humans, too. Like Janeway, for instance, who seems to think that spinning giant dials all day in Fritz Lang's Metropolis is a good job. Better than that overpopulated, polluted, crap-hole Earth, anyway.

Jaffen, Employee 1326, is chastized by Efficiency Monitor Annika Hansen for fraternizing with Kathryn. Kathryn doesn't mind, and soon enough she's caressing Jaffen's flesh-goatee. So meaty!

Speaking of meat, Harry mistakenly drank some meat byproduct nectar on Nar Shadda. It gave him parasites, but then what else would you expect from the moon of the Hutt homeworld? Heh. Star Wars. Speaking of Star Wars namedropping, Voyager was attacked earlier by the Quarren, who are no doubt unaware that they share a species name with the so-called Squid-Heads of Mon Calamari. They defeated Voyager with their surplus Breen ship, turned the crew over to Demented Doctor Ralph Malph from Happy Days, and with highly sophisticated mind alteration set them to work mining tylium to fuel the Battlestar Galactica. In case this seems a little heavy on the homage, it's a little bit like Dark City and The Matrix, too.

But poor Heaving Harry is better off than the rest of Voyager.  Their only hope is the re-tooled, red-clad ECH, since The Emergency Command Hologram is the only one left aboard a damaged, floundering ship. Can the not-exactly-promoted Doctor, Neelix, and Chakotay save the crew from working 9 to 5? What a way to make a living! It's all taking and no giving!

"Workforce" lost both its Emmy nominations to its own series finale. Tune in tomorrow if you care to learn why!

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Void

   (0 stars out of 5)
With a title like "The Void", you know what you're getting, Weaver. NOTHING! ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! STUPID! SO STUPID!

In Delta Quadrant, DONUT EATS YOU! We'll have to call this the Delta Donut, 'cause the Delta Triangle was already taken. Yes, it's another 'Becalmed in the Space Sargasso', except instead of calm it's full of desperate scavengers.

"Morality won't keep your life support systems running," gloats robber baron Valen after he steals everything but their life support systems. Despite his name, he's not much like the Valen who inspired the Minbari religion over on Babylon 5. Also, Valen's wrong. Today, for some reason, morality IS all you need. Well, morality, advanced technology and a great, big ball of magic, glowing, pixie dust.

Janeway does what she always does: sticks to her guns. It got her ship stranded seven years ago, and it nearly gets them killed today. No Captain Ransom, she! No Thief! No Killer! And yes, I love her for it. It's good to have principles. Sometimes the REAL WORLD even rewards us for having them. But mostly it's the writers. Give the crew of the Equinox nothing but crap, and they turn to crap. Give JANEWAY nothing but crap... and you get a delicious apple pandowdy!

It's all very pat and it makes its point and also it's mind-bogglingly, fan-staggeringly uninspiring. It all seems like empty platitudes and luck to me. And, in the end, while making love out of nothing at all, they play "Stirring Co-operation Montage" music over the technical explanations so we don't have to trouble ourselves wondering if their escape plan made any sense.

(Yes, I AM being harsher than necessary because A) I've been sick as a blood worm all week and 2) I'm about to see Into Darkness and I'm making room in my heart to love it all the more! And squee like a tiny little girl!!!)

In 2001, while the ratings plummeted and even my beloved uncle who started me loving Star Trek in the first place had given up watching, I'd heard a rumour that Voyager's seventh season would be its last, and more importantly, that the crew was going to get home BEFORE the end of it. Between 6 and 12 episodes would actually take place IN THE ALPHA QUADRANT. WITH CONSEQUENCES!?! I was so disappointed. Surely THIS re-hash of the animated series episode 'The Time Trap' could have been scuttled to make that happen? If only...

Thursday, May 16, 2013


*** (3 stars out of 5)
What's that you say? Engine room full of Klingons? And they'll be no tribble at all?

Another of those antiquated wandering war-time Klingons pops up out of nowhere and attacks their Federation foes. Did someone leave the Coincidensity Generator running? Captain Janeway tells Captain Kohlar of the Khitomer Treaty signed and notarized, lo, these 80 years. But, the man is far more interested in the date of B'Elanna's conception. According to Seven's detailed surveillance records: 14.5 weeks ago. In accordance with the prophecy!

Result! Kohlar purposefully scuttles his old ship, forces Janeway to beam all 204 of his people aboard Voyager. He has interpreted the prophecies of his Nutso Nomadic Great-Grandfather to mean that their saviour, Baby Torres, is the Kuvah'magh. Possibly also the Kwisatz Haderach and the Booyakasha!

While poor slobs Chell and Celes desperately overhaul the plumbing, Kohlar coaches B'Elanna in some creative scroll interpretation and Tom in the use of some blunted bat'leth combat. (Nothing a Klingon loves more than the word "Nonlethal".) Kohlar's not going on record saying he doesn't believe in the "Prophecy"- but he's very ready to settle his followers down somewhere after 100 years of fruitless wandering. Settle down somewhere with fruit, I'm guessing. Heh, scurvy joke.

All these Klingons are carriers of a virus called the nehret. Unlike scurvy, biofilters can't spot it and only Klingons can catch it. Which would have been nice to know before the Torres' caught it. Of course, the hybrid stem cells and the EMH's ingenuity make a little miracle of their own. Praise Be To Science!

Meanwhile, Harry Kim is saved from a date worse than death when Neelix takes amorous Officer Ch'Rega off his hands. (But Tuvok's bed probably took the worst of it.)

I'm implying that the HEDGEHOG GOT IT ON! (In accordance with the prophecy.)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


*** (3 stars out of 5)
Voyager plays host to a batch of Warden Yediq's cruel Nygean prison guards and their equally tormented charges. It's like a cheerful, brightly coloured Oz. The rape-y one, not the Disney one. Actually, I haven't seen either. I have no idea what I'm talking about! Why should TODAY be any different?

Repairing hardened criminal Iko after a savage beating from the jerk guards, the Doctor's ubiquitous use of nanoprobes fixes the man's brain, incidentally and accidentally(?) healing the birth defect which made him violent and sociopathic in the first place. I don't mean to harp on, but when Dr. Crusher said the brain was mapped, I'd think a lot fewer Amazing Brain Things would simply happen BY MISTAKE.

Seven of Nine takes Iko's part. Not like THAT! I mean... she takes his side. She has known a lot of suffering as both abuser and abused. She can see both sides to the issues of culpability and atonement with that artificial eye.

Instead of judges, sentences are set by the victim's families. This is actually kind of a good idea... unless the criminal can't afford leniency. Further, there's proven racial inequity when handing out death penalties to Benkaren inmates like Joleg. Neelix brings the food and mild outrage. 

Not to spoil anything, but Jeff "Tank Girl's Kangaroo Boyfriend" Kober does not get a happy ending.

"Repentance" never answers my biggest question: why does Voyager's crew build a bunch of archaic jail cells for their surly dinner guests intend of conserving resources and curtailing the chance of violence by simply digging the stasis chambers from "One" out of their closets?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


**** (4 stars out of 5)
As the Talaxians say: "Good news has no clothes". Now Tom and B'Elanna have some good news!
Klingon pregnancies are typically 30 weeks, but with mixed species it can be much quicker. (Which, as you'll recall, could be a good explanation for Alexander Rozhenko.)

B'Elanna and her mother each had corrective surgery in infancy for hereditary spinal curvature, but the EMH can now genetically modify the fetal spine and save the hassle. Unfortunately, Torres starts brooding about other possibilities for gene modification...

Klingon traits remain dominant for several generations, so Baby Paris-Torres will have forehead ridges. Mommy proposes something the Doctor finds very dubious: she wants to delete gene sequences for redundant organs like her third lung and such... but mostly she wants to have a little blonde human rather than an ugly, ugly Klingon.

B'Elanna grew up feeling the sting of human discrimination even from her own relatives. And despite the Bolians, Vulcans, Talaxians, and Bajorans aboard, there are still 140 humans. And the cream is white!  In fact, once the Doctor has a sudden, conveniently engineered change of heart, Baby Torres may turn out white, too.

"Lineage" offers a lot of insight into B'Elanna's heart. The pain of her parent's divorce, her difficult path  as a daughter of two races. Humans may have put their racial differences behind them in this future (to the point where the meanest name kids called B'Elanna's father was "John SNORE-es". But merging cultures is not and never will be easy. It takes a village and this kid would have a doozy: Bolians who think being born near a warp core is good for the disposition. A space-faring Indian for a spiritual advisor. And a hologram for a godfather.

Monday, May 13, 2013


**** (4 stars out of 5)
Star Trek welcomes you to the brand-spanking new 21st Century with a romp both wibbley-wobbley and somewhat timey-wimey. Zapped by the warp core, Chakotay's nearly killed by a temporal fracture that ages and de-ages his body at random. But his face STILL looks better than Bruce Jenner's.

Restored to normal by that most under-appreciated holographic doctor of 2372, Chakotay's blood surges with chronitons and craviolis which mean he's the only one who can see how messed-up the ship is: for example- that the holo-doc is from 2372. On the bridge- Bunhead Janeway. In engineering- Seska and her Kazon flunkies rocking out with their caulking out. Kes is probably around SOMEWHERE, but she's unconscious in a drawer or something.

Taking skeptical but aroused pre-series Janeway hostage, then infusing her with the same chroniton serum, Chakotay drags his newbie Captain along on a tour of Voyager's greatest hits. The Borg temporal sensors in Astrometrics allow them to map the ship. While there, they meet officers Lt. Naomi Wildman and Lt. Commander Icheb from 17 years in the future. So there won't be any time for the fun stuff with the kids around. The pair of mood-killers explain that there are "now" 37 time zones. And in the timeline of these no-longer-rugrats, the Captain and First Officer died, oh, about 17 years ago.

Can they avoid fate, or will Sam Beckett have to Quantum Leap in and put things right? Sorry, I'm getting ahead of myself. Or is that behind? Who cares?

"Shattered" is fun stuff. I'm pretty damned easy when it comes to time-travel stories. But is it at all telling that with 37 time zones to play around with there was no visit to last year? Nobody feeling nostalgic for the Vaadwaur? No, didn't think so. But I HAD missed Seska, Dr. Chaotica, and a little bit of that dangerous will-they-won't-they from Chakotay and Janeway which has fizzled forever into won't. Pass me some of that chroniton juice- let's see what was playing back in the 2260's.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Flesh and Blood

**** (4 stars out of 5)
Apparently the locals include the Nebari from Farscape and the Ovions from classic Battlestar Galactica.  But we're not concerned with organic beings today so much as the holograms they created to serve them.  Or in the Hirogen's case, created to hunt for sport.

Did you ever loan someone a book or DVD or something and then it got lost or broken? That's rough, but it's not very much like this. Using Voyager's technology, the Hirogen built intelligent, learning holograms that bleed and feel pain. Because that sucks, the holograms revolted.

Iden, a simulated Bajoran zealot sick of being killed for fun, freed other programmable Alpha Quadrant simulations and stole a warship. Kejal, his holographic Cardassian engineer, is the closest thing he has to a voice of reason. Iden, however, wants to free every photonic from servitude. Save every Child of Light, if you will. Of course, he places their worth intrinsically HIGHER than that of organics, whether or not the holograms can even THINK. It's easy to see where Iden's coming from, but the guy would kill an organic to "free" the picture on their driver's license.

Once "rescued", the EMH tries to get Iden to play nice with the meatbags. Donik (the Hirogen Nerd who initially gave the holograms enough smarts to rebel) advises Captain Janeway in her efforts to spread peace like thick, creamery butter. But no one else seems to want any.

Good to see the AI from 'Think Tank' is still getting work: tonight he plays the part of the renegades' holoprojector.

"Flesh and Blood" is feature-length fun, probably the best movie-length Voyager episode since the pilot. Some reviews I read complained that the Hirogen holodeck technology somehow got thousands of light-years AHEAD of Voyager. Remember for a moment that from the first episodes in which they appeared, the nomadic Hirogen had a communication relay that spanned the ENTIRE galaxy. Clearly they got it working again. The bigger question is why they expend so much energy playing Space Lizard NRA and so little having Space Lizard Nookie. Also, do these holograms still send Janeway Mother's Day Cards? Just asking.


** (2 stars out of 5)
Harry Kim comes to the aid of a ship of Kraylor medics under fire from their foes, the Annari. The Ship's Shepherd, Book, wants to make Harry the Captain. He even has a Brown Coat ready and waiting. Take me out to the black, tell 'em I ain't comin' back...!

Sorry, this just isn't Firefly. Harry DOES deserve to be a lieutenant or lieutenant commander by now, though. He just needs a better story for that.

Harry names the medical transport for Florence Nightingale. This meant nothing to the alien doctors, and even less because they are lying about being doctors. They are actually cloaking device scientists. They still need Kim, but for the military objective of getting their prototype to their besieged world.

Over in the B-story, Torres strips! ... the warp engines for an overhaul. And Icheb crushes on the newly-married Klingon engineer.  Can you blame the boy? He may have been a Borg, but he still has EYES!

"Nightingale" features Harry's first command, and who would have thought it would be on a very familiar Federation fighter, glimpsed often in the Maquis conflict and throughout the Dominion War. The only question, really, is HOW DID IT GET ALL THE WAY OUT HERE? And why does Shepherd Book have scalloped earlobes? Burning questions and we'll never hear the answers.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Body and Soul

*** (3 stars out of 5)
The Lokirrim hate photonic beings like the Doctor. They are at war with Photonics seeking freedom from subjugation. Or, depending on your point-of-view, ungrateful insurgents making trouble. Simply bringing a photonic into Lokirrim space carries severe penalties. They might even make you watch Voyager episodes every day for a month!

To prevent them de-rezzing him, the EMH hides inside Seven of Nine. And, as you'd imagine, things get awkward. Since he's in control of her body, he discovers how much fun human senses are. The way he's going through the replicated cheesecake, she's going to have to change her name to 7 of 90 pounds heavier.

While a prisoner He/She gets drunk and hits on Lokirrim Captain Tuning Fork Nose to get the mobile emitter back. Even this silliness is unlikely to get them points for Man-On-Man kissing.

Speaking of kissing, Tuvok's Pon Farr has finally arrived. Granted, it seems much milder than Spock's. And, like Betazoid women, Vulcan libido apparently increases with age. As "Doctor" Tom Paris (more sensible and discreet than the Silver Blood Tom from the Lori Petty episode) points out: "It wouldn't be breaking your vows if it's a hologram of your wife." Presumably Lady Tuvok is seeing a photonic back home, too. Just close your eyes and think of Vulcan.

"Body and Soul", and I can't say this often enough, was funnier when it was the Red Dwarf episode "Bodyswap". That snarked about, Jeri Ryan does a great Robert Picardo impression. And as they say, never judge someone until you walk a mile in their boobs.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Inside Man

**** (4 stars out of 5)
Voyager gets its very own Barclay for Sweeps! And sweeping up is what this interactive hologram should do instead of making grand rescue plans. Holo-Barclay claims a geodesic fold in a red giant star will shunt the Voyager home instantly! Janeway had already discarded this idea. Historically this procedure is useless- because all you'd get back is a radioactive ship with 150 liquefied crew-shaped floor stains.

Of course, the fast-talking shmoozer assures everyone it's all perfectly safe these days. Step into the changing rrroom! You will NOT be cooked!

Voyager's crew is desperate to believe in Holo-Barclay. Of course, real Barclay is having a terrible time back home. For one, someone stole his hologram and his girlfriend Leosa ran off at suspiciously the same time. For two, he's losing all credibility. Screaming "Borg!" in a roomful of kids on a field trip. Chasing Deanna Troi down on her Risian beach vacation. (Or maybe only the beach CHAIR was from Risa? It looks pretty overcast for that weather-controlled paradise. It's probably not Vancouver, though.)

Leosa works on Nunk's Ferengi casino ship. She dated Barclay in order to get her hands on the profits from the Borg nanoprobes they were planning to strain out of Seven's Corpse Puddle.

Can Admiral Paris and Commander Troi save Barclay's reputation, and incidentally the lives of the Voyager crew about to throw themselves into a sun?

"Inside Man" is old home week that intentionally tugs on the old nostalgia. When I hear that two months ago Barclay and Data were singing a duet at Geordi's birthday party it's like the series I miss most is still running somewhere off-screen. So, no, I don't mind them pushing the regular cast aside. Because Riker and Troi are setting Barclay up on a double-date in Tiburon! (The city in California, probably, rather than the alien planet.) And speaking of alien planets, what is the Doctors' obsession with playing golf on Giedi Prime? The only way I'd want to tee off with Baron Harkonnen is if I was actually teeing off WITH Baron Harkonnen- as in hitting that hovering bloated man-ball with a golf club.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Critical Care

**** (4 stars out of 5)
Having picked up his free dose of food poisoning from Neelix, a thief named Gar also picks up the EMH mobile emitter and sells the whole kit and caboodle to a sweaty bean-counter called Chellick. You may know him as Dr. Giggles.

Chellick is an administrator brought in to drag the struggling Dinaali world up by its bootstraps. To "trim the fat", as it were. For some reason, Chellick did not start either by pushing back from the supper table himself, or more relevantly, by wondering why a hospital should ever need to hover far above the suffering populace in a gargantuan metal spider.

The kidnapped Doctor makes token protests, but his Oath assures that he must lend a hand to both unctuous Dr. Dysek of Level Blue and overburdened Dr. Voje of Level Red. Although it's clear from the get-go that Level Red is where the NEED is greatest, Level Blue is where the ELITE are. Guess who gets all the best care?

A computer called The Allocator assigns Treatment Coefficients to everybody, and if you're not contributing enough to society, then your next stop is Level White. And they don't count being poor, handsome, or clever as contributing. Since Level White is the morgue, I'm guessing your final stop is Level Green- an old dumpster.

So, it's Michael Moore's Sicko in Space. And it's great. Every time I forget how amazing Robert Picardo is, they give him a chance to shine bright like a diamond. And without the odious Chellick sneered to life by Larry Drake, where would the hero get to spew his righteous bile?

"Critical Care" brings us all this AND Jerry Gergich's identical cousin, too? I knew you could do it, Voyager. You're doing Star Trek proud, after all. Because of your efforts, I've even allocated enough time for one more fat joke: when Chellick sits around Dr. House, he really sits AROUND Dr. House!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


*** (3 stars out of 5)
Bajor's Vedek Teero Anaydis is a crackpot zealot whose mind control experiments were so distressing that even the desperate, morally compromised Maquis kicked him out. (That and he was creeping them out by looking so much like mad vampire hunter Daniel Holtz.)

It seems that the holy man a) outwitted Tuvok b) found out Tuvok was a Starfleet mole on Chakotay's ship Val Jean but never bothered to TELL anyone c) planted a "Total Maquis Loyalty" code-word in Tuvok's subconscious d) lost interest for seven years during which the Maquis and Cardassians were both utterly ruined e) learned all about Voyager's current status somehow f) wrote a subliminal message into a Starfleet-secured video letter from Tuvok's son and finally g) orchestrated an orgy of mind-melded Maquis mutiny. A plan so cunning in its elegant simplicity that the end result would have forced nearly 40 loyal Maquis to dump the Starfleet crew in a ditch and head for Cardassia, phasers blazing.

With any luck, sometime in the early 25th Century, barring accidents over a 35 year journey through uncharted regions, a skeleton crew of brainwashed middle-aged lunatics would drop out of the smoggy yellow sky and slaughter the next generation of innocent, totally oblivious Cardies! That'll learn 'em!

Or, as it turns out, barring the mind control simply wearing off like some very mild hangover.

Still, "Repression" reminds us that it's nice to dust off the old brown leather jackets and the old blue leather Derek McGrath and play a little "what if" now and then. Just as long as it has no lasting repercussions. Like a 3D movie: bombastic, showy, good with popcorn, and afterwards you're not sure why it happened at all.

Monday, May 6, 2013


*** (3 stars out of 5)
Because Voyager has nowhere to be, why not come to a complete stop for a week and watch a handful of dots chase each other at low impulse? Like, REALLY low. Like NASCAR low. If that shuttle fly-by is any indication, these racers are moving at 100 kph on a 2 billion kilometer race course. Tops! Go, Speed Racer, Go!

B'Elanna horns in on Tom's buddy time with Harry, forcing Harry to seek solace in the arms of a FEMALE shuttle speedster!  Her name is Irina, and there's something funny going on with her. Could she be upset that she is from the fourth or FIFTH race in Star Trek to be named Terrellians? I mean, COME ON. Wasn't three of them enough? And their neighbours are another race of Antarians? What are the odds of that?

Approximately the same odds as running into identical cousins of Tora Ziyal and Richard Bashir, I guess.

Anyway, Tom's competitive edge comes out on the racetrack. Can he keep his temper, his lady love, and his ship on course? And can Harry manage to survive his racist co-pilot and save everyone from a warp-speed pile-up? The answer for Tom is: yes. He doesn't deserve her, but yes. And the answer for Harry is: the man kicks ass. Why does nobody promote him? He just saved everyone's life and interstellar peace- and what's more he didn't get a Space STD this time!

"Drive" is fluff, but it has sufficient action and some amusement value. Plus Tom and B'Elanna finally stop living in sin. Mawage! Mawage is wot bwings us togevvah today! That bwessed awangement. That dweam wivvin a dweam. Have you the wing?

Sunday, May 5, 2013


** (2 stars out of 5)
Something's broken in Seven of Nine's brain. It must be Tuesday.

When all of the Borg Babies but one find a home at the same time (despite being from different species) Seven is all hugs and tears. What?!? Say it is isn't so! Feelings? That's not right!

And it isn't. The rubber band on Seven's cortical node has snapped and every other implant in her body randomly fails without it. It cannot be repaired, only replaced.

Thankfully, the Borg leave piles of disused ships and parts in convenient, nearby locations in much the way they never used to do. When it turns out that cortical nodes wear out almost immediately (one wonders how the dead Borg springs back to life back in 'Unity' if cortical nodes spoil faster than bread left out on the counter, but whatever), Janeway intends to get a fresh one by killing the next Borg she sees. That seems like the moral thing to do!

Icheb is the hero of the day, echoing C-3PO: "If any of my circuits or gears will help, I'll gladly donate them!" Fortunately, despite this being the most vital piece of the Borg brain, HE doesn't need one. He pulls it out himself to prove it. He's young, he takes vitamins, some sort of rubbish like that. I mean, it's a noble self-risking sacrifice on his part, but it doesn't make much sense. It's only brain surgery, after all. For her- life or death. For him- shrugged off like a loose tooth. Sure, why not?

As a side note, when dying Seven reads over Voyager's casualty list, it's good to finally learn the names of the senior officers killed seven years ago in the original Caretaker abduction. Bartlett, McGarry, Ziegler, Lyman, Seaborn, Craig, Young. All lost from damage sustained to the port nacelle- or if you prefer, The West Wing.

"Imperfection" is too easy a target for a title. Truth in advertising? Still, there are plenty of opposing views: here's one on Get Critical. One wonders- is this likely to happen again? Is this likely to happen to any and all former Borg? Janeway, Tuvok, Torres, Picard, Hugh's colony, Frazier's off-the-grid ex-Borgs? One day minding their own business, chopping onions, suddenly start weeping, pass out and die? Pretty brittle things for a master race, ain't they? That said, Jeri Ryan and Manu Intiraymi (as Seven and Icheb) play their vulnerable, heartfelt roles very well. Not their fault the Borg are becoming less and less the unstoppable storm and more and more those clumsy straw men we knock down whenever it suits us.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Unimatrix Zero, Part II

*** (3 stars out of 5)
Once upon a time, I shelled out $62.99 for the privilege to own Star Trek: Voyager Season 7. And I hadn't OPENED the package until now! Now, when I could watch the season on Netflix for eight bucks a month. No, I'm not kicking myself. It seemed like a good buy at the time. It's just interesting how times change.

As you'll recall, we had left Janeway, Torres, and Tuvok to the tender mercies of the Borg, who don't have any.  The Queen is stomping out the Dream Warriors who dare to defy her by thinking about pleasant irrelevancies like socializing in meadows.

The Captain has joined the ranks of her bald peers. Torres has auto-tune for a voicebox now. And at 113, Tuvok is getting too old for this shit.

Like the Q before them, the Borg have gone into a full-on civil war because of humanity's influence. Like the Q before them, this can only reduce the sense of threat and urgency we feel when we see them coming.

The Queen's recruiting speech to a little dreaming kid is that "Assimilation turns us all into friends." Of course, she makes over 22,000 friends explode in order to stop TWO of them having feelings. So take it with a grain of salt.

"Unimatrix Zero, Part II" makes it seem like the trauma of assimilation can be shrugged off as though it was a day at the spa.

Welcome to the final season of Star Trek Voyager. If I seem harsh despite how much I spent on it, I remember the faces of these convention-goers I saw last week. They clearly enjoyed the series. Although I never got their names, so I need them not to sue me. Also, if you find yourself in Alberta, Canada on April 25-27 in 2014, why not stop by Calgary Expo? You'll have to have purchased tickets in November 2013, probably, but what the heck!