The Great Star Trek Voyager Rewatch: Demon

With Voyager critically low on power and desperate for fuel, the crew has no choice to head for a so-called “Demon” class planet. Tom and Harry are sent down to the planet’s inhospitable surface to mine deuterium, but things take a turn for the bizarre when they seemingly adapt to the inhospitable atmosphere.

Despite being a necessary precursor for the excellent Course Oblivion, Demon does feel a bit phoned in. It’s almost as if someone found a pile of old TOS story ideas and decided to throw them together into a single episode, giving us inhospitable “demon” planets and a silver liquid that can duplicate people. When you throw in Neelix being particularly annoying, and a general surfeit of crew banter, and this episode isn’t one you’ll want to watch too often.

Points of Note
• Given that it’s stressed over and over how deadly this planet is to humanoid life, how are Tom and Harry able to survive so long? I don’t buy the line about their backup power cells conveniently saving them, given that the implication was that the environmental suits themselves had been compromised. The toxic gases should have flooded into their suits and killed them long before they were rescued.
• When Voyager shuts down all nonessential systems in order to conserve power, this includes the holodeck. Yes, the holodeck with its incompatible power system which theoretically can never have its power diverted to key systems.
• Why does Voyager need to harvest deuterium? As long as they have a bit of power left, they can harvest any old material, and use the replicator to recycle it into deuterium. In fact, the same can be said about any material which can be replicated.
• B’Elanna is back, albeit still wearing the jacket and confined to a fairly minor role.
• I’m going to assume Tom and Harry’s original shuttlecraft was easily retrieved after Voyager was released from the silver blood.
• No one questions the moral implications of creating new sentient life forms with the memories of the crew. I think I would be at least a bit creeped out by doing that.

Lost, crashed or destroyed shuttlecraft running total: 11
Possibly salvageable shuttlecraft running total: 7
Number of times the entire crew gets enslaved or kicked off the ship: 3
Number of times Voyager gets destroyed: 2

Summary – Demon: An episode best watched sparingly.

One thought on “The Great Star Trek Voyager Rewatch: Demon

  1. I’ll admit, the science of this 2-episode storyarc can be questionable … it’s still more believable than a transporter that can split Kirk into 2 people, merge Neelix and Tuvok into 1 person, change the age, health, and hairstyle of almost 10 TNG characters, or store people in DS9’s James Bond program.

    My headcanon is that the Vaskan sector suffered some phenomenon that swept its space clean of sufficient stray deuterium; you have to go to a hard body such as a planet or asteroid. I’m also thinking there was some dialogue missing that the replicators are too busy making air or whatever to give fuel either to starships or people. Alternately, they are damaged/broken worn out.

    But Star Trek often wrestles with identity. Who am I? And what happens if you are copied so perfectly that you don’t realize you’re a copy? If you’re me, and I am you, who are we?

    This storyarc frequently came to mind these past few months. (See ) Despite its flaws I enjoyed it very much, even the sad ending.

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