The Great Star Trek Voyager Rewatch: Night

For the last three months, Voyager has been travelling through an area of space devoid of stars or interesting phenomena – with two more years of the same ahead. The crew is already feeling the strain of having nothing to do, especially since Janeway has locked herself in her quarters and refuses to interact with the crew.

Many of these blogs have been about how an episode I enjoyed in the past hasn’t stood the test of time. Night is a rare reversal, an episode I didn’t get on with back in the day which has redeemed itself on rewatch.

When I first watched this episode, I felt that Janeway’s isolation came out of nowhere, that she’d been fine for four years and was suddenly miserable for the sake of a plot twist. This time around, though, I get it. Things have been non-stop for Voyager since they made it to the Delta Quadrant; it’s only now that Janeway has time to stop and think, and she doesn’t like where it takes her. She feels responsible for her decision to destroy the Caretaker’s Array, for doing what was morally the right thing and stranding 150 people in the Delta Quadrant. In that time, Voyager has come under attack, and people have died – and that communication from Starfleet in the latter half of last season has only served to reminder Janeway of just how far away from home they all are.

Alongside the emotional storyline, there’s also a Star Trek morality play here, as the crew has to deal with an alien freighter illegally dumping deadly radioactive waste into the so-called “Void”. As it turns out, this empty region of space is actually home to an alien race who is being slowly poisoned by said radiation. Once again, Janeway has to struggle with doing the right thing versus getting home that bit faster, though ultimately she does manage to get the best of both worlds – ensuring that the next two seasons of the show aren’t just about traversing the Void.

Points of Note

  • How were the aliens living in the Void when there’s nothing there? Where were they getting food and resources from?
  • This episode introduces the Captain Proton holoprogram, a tribute to 1950s sci-fi. I’m not a fan.
  • I can understand how holograms could be projected in monochrome instead of full colour, but how does the computer make the human participants of the program appear in black and white? I guess there could be some special lighting in the holodeck that doesn’t trigger cones in the eyes, although then The Doctor would appear monochrome as soon as he entered the room.
  • On a similar note, why do Paris and Seven appear in black and white even after the holodeck power goes out?

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 – Night: In which Voyager narrowly escapes two seasons of nothing happening. Or possibly a time skip to two years hence, in which all the crew would have gone mad.

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