Whilst investigating a Nechani shrine, Kes is rendered comatose by an energy field protecting the inner sanctum. Determined to gather more information about this phenomenon, Janeway resolves to undergo the same ritual that the Nechani monks do in order to be able to pass through the field unharmed.
Although DS9 usually corners the market on spiritual episodes thanks to the Bajorans, Voyager decides to take a turn in this episode. I’m left feeling ambivalent about the experience – on the one hand, it’s good to see Janeway thrust out of her comfort zone and into what is new ground for her, but on the other, I’m not really a fan of the “science isn’t everything, you have to believe” message. Wasn’t the whole point of Star Trek to portray a world where science – or at least technobabble – did explain all the weird and wonderful phenomena the various crews encountered? Gods were frequently unmasked as advanced computers, conmen and the like, and faith was debunked rather than embraced. To be fair, the Doctor has a perfectly cromulent in-universe scientific explanation for the effects of the energy field, but Janeway seems to want to hold onto a more faith-based explanation, and that makes me uncomfortable.
Points of Note
- If the biogenic field around the sacred area is so dangerous, why are there no “Keep out” signs to warn away visitors and tourists? Surely not everyone on the planet can be aware of the danger – there’s always one idiot who doesn’t know about these things.
Lost shuttlecraft running total: 4
Possibly salvageable shuttlecraft running total: 3
Number of times Voyager gets destroyed: 1
Summary – Sacred Ground: In which Janeway learns to trust in the heart of the cards.