The Great Star Trek Voyager Rewatch: Bride of Chaotica!

Whilst Harry and Tom are enjoying the latest episode of the Captain Proton holoprogram, Voyager gets stuck in a subspace anomaly. The anomaly links the holodeck to a dimension inhabited by photonic lifeforms, who mistake the world of Captain Proton for reality. And when Captain Proton’s nemesis, Dr Chaotica, starts a war against the photonic life forms, it’s up to the Voyager crew to step into the program and sort things out.

At about this time, DS9 was enjoying its own holodeck caper in the form of Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang. Voyager’s answer to the silly holodeck episode where everyone has to get involved is Bride of Chaotica, an instalment which sees Janeway join Paris in the Captain Proton program, in order to foil the evil Chaotica and save a race of innocent photonic life forms.

I have to admit, I was really dreading this episode – and when it began, my fears seemed confirmed. Oh look, here’s Constance Goodheart screaming whilst Harry and Tom play what Seven rightly calls an ‘infantile’ holoprogram. Oh no, there’s some flimsy excuse for other crewmembers to get involved. Will I even make it through the full episode?

In actual fact, whilst I’m not exactly won over by the episode, as it progressed, my feelings began to soften. Janeway does a fine turn as the spider queen Arachnia, whilst Tuvok and Seven remaining distinctly matter of fact and unimpressed helps to ground the episode. Even Tom admits that, after this, he’s willing to put Captain Proton to one side after this. Yes, it’s still a silly holodeck episode, but it’s actually reasonably entertaining. Even my erstwhile viewing companion, after commenting that the writers must have got bored with the show they were supposed to be writing, declared that the Captain Proton segments were actually quite “delightful”.

Points of Note

  • No one on Voyager seems particularly upset that their holodeck killed tens of photonic life forms. Oh well.
  • This may well be the first episode where the toilet facilities of a starship have even been mentioned.
  • When Harry and Tom joke about the set reuse on Captain Proton, it is of course a tongue-in-cheek reference to set reuse on Star Trek. As Tom says, “Sets weren’t cheap”.

Lost, crashed or destroyed shuttlecraft running total: 13

Possibly salvageable shuttlecraft running total: 9

Number of times the entire crew gets enslaved or kicked off the ship: 3

Number of times Voyager gets destroyed: 3

Summary – Bride of Chaotica!: Janeway as Arachnia is worth the watch.

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