When the entire senior crew has nightmares involving the same unfamiliar alien, it’s far from coincidence. And, after some crewmembers fail to wake up from those nightmares, it falls to Chakotay to use his lucid dreaming techniques to enter an unconscious state and track down the aliens.
I feel a soft spot for Waking Moments which is entirely disproportionate to how good the episode actually is. After all, when you think about it, this is, at best, an average instalment. Characters being unable to wake up from a dream state has been done before – just see Frame of Mind or even The Thaw. This episode treads the same ground, but this time it brings Chakotay in to do the one thing that Chakotay does -namely pull out his mystical Native American powers any time the plot requires it.
But, more than that, what is the point of anything that happens in this episode? Another alien of the week is hostile towards Voyager, but why? If they’re merely trying to protect their dream state, then why not just lie low until Voyager has gone on its merry way? If they want to take over Voyager, what for? They can’t use the real ship in the dream world, and they don’t seem to care for the real world. It might make sense if they needed Voyager’s resources to keep their bodies alive, but that would surely require some of them to wake up, collect and process said resources? For that matter, given that they’re all just unconscious on the floor of some cavern, who is keeping the aliens alive? Someone should be administering nourishment to their bodies and cleaning up waste, otherwise they would all be dead by now.
And yet, for all that it doesn’t make sense, there are some good points to this episode. First up is the simple fact that I actually like Chakotay for being an all-round decent bloke. And secondly, who is ever going to forget Captain Janeway surviving an apparent warp core explosion?
- B’Elanna Torres starts wearing an engineering jacket over her normal uniform in this episode – this, coupled with careful camera angles, was to hide Roxann Dawson’s pregnancy. You might recall that Gates McFadden similarly wore a labcoat during season four of TNG to hide her pregnancy.
- Chakotay’s lucid dream includes an image of the Moon to let him know when he is still dreaming. The Moon he imagines is the unspoilt one we know today – in Star Trek First Contact, Riker said that the Moon looks very different in the 24th century. “There are 50 million people living on the moon in my time. You can see Tycho City, New Berlin… even Lake Armstrong on a day like this.”
- It somehow feels wrong to have seen Tuvok’s bare chest – we must never look at the naked body of a Vulcan.
- Once again, Voyager would have been lost if not for the presence of The Doctor.
Lost, crashed or destroyed shuttlecraft running total: 11
Possibly salvageable shuttlecraft running total: 7
Number of times the entire crew gets kicked off the ship: 2
Number of times Voyager gets destroyed: 2
Summary – Waking Moments: In which Harry has a sex dream about Seven, and Chakotay wakes everyone up.