The Great Star Trek Voyager Rewatch: Rise

Whilst rescuing the victims of an asteroid bombardment, Tuvok and Neelix are stranded on the surface of a planet. With their shuttlecraft out of action, Tuvok, Neelix and the survivors decide to repair an old orbital tether, in the hopes that its mag-lev carriage can take them high enough out of the atmosphere to get in touch with Voyager. Meanwhile, Voyager uncovers evidence that the bombardment may not be a natural phenomenon.

I remember getting really excited about this episode back in the day. As a science geek, the idea of an orbital tether – something which was theorised long before Voyager – sounded like just the kind of thing that should be in Star Trek, and I couldn’t wait to see it. Unfortunately, as I recalled, the finished episode wasn’t quite what I had built it up to be (I went through the same thing with the water world in Thirty Days). This time round, I went in determined to squeeze every ounce of enjoyment I could out of the episode, and really give it a chance.

Even with this positive attitude, however, like so much of season three, Rise is merely okay. It starts out in the vein of The Galileo Seven, with Tuvok in the Spock role and Neelix as a less irascible and more irritating McCoy. Then it turns into a conspiracy thriller, with hidden data on the roof, a secret traitor and even a murder, before concluding with CG so awful I could barely bring myself to look at it. It’s functional, even entertaining, but nowhere does it excel. And I’m already tired of the Tuvok/Neelix odd couple trope.

Points of Note

  • Even Tuvok, a Vulcan in control of his emotions, cannot control the annoyance in his voice when talking to Neelix. What hope do the rest of us have?
  • One of Neelix’s sisters was called Alixia. Ever since the death of his family, he has imagined their faces every night, whilst recalling an event of the day. Neelix would be a tragic character if it wasn’t impossible to take him seriously, or to feel any benign emotions towards him.

Lost, crashed or destroyed shuttlecraft running total: 7

Possibly salvageable shuttlecraft running total: 5

Number of times Voyager gets destroyed: 1

Summary – Rise: Going up.

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