The Great Star Trek Voyager Rewatch: Eye of the Needle

When Harry Kim finds a stable wormhole, the crew are excited at the possibility of using it to return to the Alpha Quadrant. But whilst the wormhole may well lead to the right place, it’s in an advanced state of collapse. Will a 30cm wide wormhole really be sufficient to provide a route home?

As I said way back when I reviewed TNG’s The Price, I have a soft spot for wormhole episodes, and so this was one of the few season one episodes I was actively looking forward to. Given that we all know that Voyager can’t possibly get home in this episode, we know that the crew will have their hopes horribly dashed, but even so, this is an enjoyable episode. In some ways, watching the crew’s hopes get dashed here is more fulfilling than it is frustrating.

Character notes

  • Harry Kim is predictably close to his family, whilst B’Elanna is estranged from hers. We learn that B’Elanna’s father left when she was a child, and that her mother is probably back on the Klingon homeworld. We later learn that B’Elanna thinks her father left because he couldn’t cope with living with two fiery Klingon women, and this has contributed towards her rejection of her Klingon heritage.
  • Kes encourages the crew to start treating the Doctor as a real person, whilst the Doctor decides he wants a name. Of course, he never actually settles on a name during the course of the series.
  • Kes is a quick study, which is probably unsurprising given the short lifespan and rapid maturation of the Ocampa.

Other points

  • I wonder if B’Elanna (and K’Ehleyr, for that matter) matured as quickly as Alexander did.
  • Stable wormholes have been established to be extremely rare, but here we find an apparently stable one mere weeks into Voyager’s journey.
  • Why is it a one in four chance that the wormhole leads to the Alpha Quadrant? This assumes that wormholes can only have endpoints in the same galaxy, which is surely not necessarily the case. Unless the Galactic Barrier prevents wormholes from getting out, somehow.
  • Telek R’Mor is from 2351, which, in TNG, was said to be during the time when the Federation did not have contact with the Romulans. I guess the Romulans could still have been wary of Starfleet spies.
  • Based on the first time that Voyager talks to Starfleet in a future season, the messages sent in this episode never reached their intended recipients.

Summary – Eye of the Needle: In which Voyager cannot possibly return home.

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