The Cynics Corner

Star Trek: Voyager

"Scientific Method"

by David E. Sluss

31 October 1997

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Special Hallowe'en Edition of The Cynics Corner!

It was apparently Next Generation rip-- er -- homage week at Star Trek: Voyager. "Scientific Method," a laughable title, considering the appalling science showcased in this episode, featured a grotesque patchwork of body parts cobbled together from various Next Generation episodes. The resulting monstrosity shambled its way across my television screen terrorizing everyone in the room. Ironically, this week's Law & Order, which immediately follows Voyager Wednesday at 10:00, featured a physician accused of harvesting body parts from a woman who wasn't quite dead. Coincidence? You decide.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Alien experimentation leads to physical and behavioral problems amongst the crew, and boredom amongst the viewers.


"PHANTASMS" OF THE WEEK: The invisible devices present among many of the crew. I had the strangest feeling I'd seen something like this before...

"SCHISMS" OF THE WEEK: Janeway becomes increasingly cranky and isolated from the crew, not knowing that she is being experimented upon by beings from another plane of existence! Hmm, that has a familiar bearing....

"ALLEGIANCE" OF THE WEEK: Seven and Doc join forces to reveal the insidious aliens hiding amongst the crew, as the ship finds itself dangerously close to a pulsar. <shiver> Just got a funny deja vu feeling...

"CONUNDRUM" OF THE WEEK: The provocative mystery surrounding the question of Tom and B'Elanna's romance. Was it the result of alien manipulation, or are there genuine feelings? I'd swear I've seen a couple like that before...

"NIGHT TERRORS" OF THE WEEK: Janeway's hair is the first thing to go to pot under alien influence, as the lack of (REM) sleep takes an increasing toll on her psyche. I think I had a dream about that once...

"HOLLOW PURSUITS" OF THE WEEK: The attempt to find anything entertaining or intelligent in this episode proves futile.

[Okay, enough of that ... please feel free to append to the above list, however.]

PSYCHIC OF THE WEEK: B'Elanna has the Troi role this week as she apparently senses the presence of the invaders. And, like Troi, she finds herself unable to do a damn thing about it (and she's attracted to the biggest chump on the ship, to boot)

EUNUCH OF THE WEEK: The alien who ...ah... probed Seven of Nine. She didn't feel a thing; you'll have to do better than that.

ISSUE OF THE WEEK: Animal experimentation, obviously. Thankfully, they didn't use the hardsell. While there was an apparent attempt to create a moral dilemma with respect to the invaders' intentions, the deck was so stacked against the arrogant aliens that it was easy to view them as cardboard villains. Even the Vidiians and their actions provided more of a moral dilemma than these jokers.

DEATH OF THE WEEK: Is it the Ensign Expendible who bought it? Nah, that's standard operating procedure. It's the death of the Voyager Science Adviser's credibility ... What's that? It was already dead, you say? Well, this is Hallowe'en....

CHOKEHOLD OF THE WEEK: Is it Janeway's act of police brutality against the prisoner? No, it's me attacking the writers, who apparently think that we like to see these DNA manipulation stories, especially when coupled with crew-behaving-under-alien-influence stories. We got two Trek cliches for the price of one and still I feel cheated. Come on, you guys, there you were in a binary pulsar system with unusual gravitational forces, and you didn't think to include a spatial or temporal anomaly?? I WANT MY SPATIAL ANOMALY!

Previous Review: "Revulsion"
Next: "Year of Hell, Part I"
NEXT WEEK: "The Year of Hell." Just one year of hell? Seems more like three to me...



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This review is copyright 1997 David E. Sluss
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