The Cynics Corner

Star Trek: Voyager

"Extreme Risk"

by David E. Sluss

29 October 1998

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: Standard fare. It's nice to see some issues, like the bottomless shuttle pool and the presence of Maquis crew members on Voyager, finally being addressed, but it's a case, I'm afraid, of "too little, too late."


ASTUTE OBSERVATION OF THE WEEK: Paris: "Type 2 shuttles just don't cut it in the Delta Quadrant." And it only took a dozen or so shuttle losses to figure it out! Next we'll work on getting you an opposable thumb.

WELFARE RECIPIENT OF THE WEEK: Alex Enberg "earned" another payment from Star Trek's Welfare Program this week, his character's appearance serving no purpose whatsoever. Hey, Brannon, you're in charge now, God help us all; there's no need to keep hiring Jeri Taylor's nephew, son, or whatever the hell he is.

MYSTERY OF THE WEEK: What was so dad-blasted important about that probe, anyway? If it's that vital to keep its "multispatial" technology away from the Mylar, why not just blow up the damn thing? Even assuming that it couldn't be ordered to self-destruct, it should be possible for Voyager to shoot it down. It's been possible since the days of the original Star Trek to target a very specific point on a planet's surface and blast it with phasers. Voyager had the probe's location pinpointed, and it was "only" 10,000 down. There's no good reason they couldn't have hit it (except for the "tech du jour," I suppose, i.e. "the plasmati-ionicoid interference will turn our phaser beam into a string of Christmas lights, Cap'n"), and there can't have been any irreplaceable data in the probe. It doesn't make sense.

MYSTERY OF THE WEEK RUNNERUP: In fairness, this problem is not unique to this episode, nor to the Voyager series, but this show begs once again the question: Why should it even be possible to turn off the holodeck safeties? Considering that: 1) For the most part, it serves no one except sociopaths like Worf, suicidal depressives like Torres, and maniacal villains like Professor Moriarty, and 2) It's the first thing that's screwed up anytime someone looks at the holodeck control panel funny, it doesn't make sense for the option to make the holodeck unsafe to be available.

BELATED CONTINUITY OF THE WEEK: Well, this is our annual "Remind everyone that there's former Maquis terrorists in the crew" episode, apparently, and is a follow-up of sorts to last year's "Hunters," in which the Voyager crew learned the fate of the Maquis. The truth is, this is standard Star Trek "retro-characterization" at its "best." In this case we're expected to believe that for the last eight months and fifteen episodes or so Torres has been literally torturing herself in the holodeck without even a hint until now. And we're supposed to believe that Paris is so out of it that he never noticed... oh, wait, I do believe that.... In any case, the characterization of Torres in this episode is so out of the blue that it never really had any impact. I mean even the "Paris is turning into a screw-up" "arc" from the second season is better than this. And of course, now that Torres proved herself by building a makeshift forcefield, she's Just Fine again.

CHEESY FX OF THE WEEK: The warping of the little panel on the Delta Flyer. Why just that one little 1' by 1' panel, and why would it wiggle both in and out due to atmospheric pressure from the outside? They seem to have decided on latex as the hull material; I have to issue a condomnation of that kind of engineering...

Previous: "Drone"
Next: "In the Flesh"
NEXT WEEK: Species 8472 and a false homecoming scenario? Must be Sweeps Month...



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