The Great Star Trek Voyager Rewatch: Macrocosm

When Janeway and Neelix return from a diplomatic mission, they are disturbed to find Voyager silent and unresponsive. A mysterious life form has taken over the ship and subdued the crew, and now Janeway must not only determine what it is, but how to fight back.

Right from the start, it’s obvious what Macrocosm wants to be. It’s like an instruction manual for a horror story; they don’t show the monster for the first twenty minutes, Janeway strips down to a vest to single-handedly gun down the foe, and everything is resolved with a nice big explosion. On the one hand, it’s pure hokum, with a ridiculous CGI foe that the cast can’t quite interact with realistically. On the other, it’s surprisingly effective, perhaps because there’s just something so creepy about the macroviruses, their rapid growth, and buzzing sound – not to mention the way they emerge from B’Elanna’s neck. I should dismiss this episode as silly, but somehow I just have a fondness for it.

It’s just incompatible

We just have to accept that the holodeck power is incompatible with the rest of Voyager’s systems, even though it’s pretty silly. But that doesn’t mean we can’t examine the details from time to time. For example, replicated food and drink on the holodeck – does that count towards replicator rations, or is it a product of the incompatible holodeck power systems? If the latter, why not use all the holodeck power to replicate extra foodstuffs and useful things?

Other Points

  • The Tak Tak have the same weird vertical nose-to-chin protusion that bisects their mouth as Fallit Kot did in DS9.
  • Janeway complains that the Tak Tak are difficult to deal with, even though as a seasoned Starfleet officer she should be well able to cope with their customs. Anyway, after having been so offended by her in their first meeting, the Tak Tak don’t seem to mind about Janeway’s communications style once she’s back on Voyager. I guess she wasn’t putting her hands on her hips at that point.
  • Paris remarks that he didn’t think Klingons suffered from nausea, due to their redundant stomach. I’m not entirely sure a second stomach would actually help with this, but we do know from Star Trek: First Contact that zero-G training made Worf sick to his (apparently singular) stomach.

Lost shuttlecraft running total: 5

Possibly salvageable shuttlecraft running total: 4

Number of times Voyager gets destroyed: 1

Summary – Macrocosm: Classic horror tropes with silly giant viruses.

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