The Great Star Trek Voyager Rewatch: Course: Oblivion

Voyager has much to celebrate. Tom and B’Elanna have just got married, whilst the ship’s new enhanced warp drive means that they are now a mere two years away from making it back to Earth. But when a mysterious condition starts affecting the structural integrity of the ship and the wellbeing of the crew, it seems that the future is not so rosy after all.

I love Course: Oblivion. From the end of the teaser, where the wedding rice creepily falls through to the deck below, to the heartbreaking ending in which the real Voyager discovers the remains of their duplicates but has no idea what happened, this episode really packs an emotional punch. Even when you know that these people aren’t technically the real Voyager crew, you still feel for them – I have to admit there was a lump in my throat when the silver blood Janeway dies in the captain’s chair. For all that Demon felt like a bit of a silly episode, it is redeemed somewhat by being the progenitor of this excellent instalment.

Points of Note

  • Given that the silver blood duplicates come up with an amazing enhanced warp drive, does this mean they are actually smarter than the real crew, who are still struggling along at regular warp?
  • My former viewing companion wishes me to discuss B’Elanna’s wedding vows. Essentially she seems to be saying that she is a terrible person, but that Tom is the right partner for her because he’s the only one who has ever put up with her without running away. I think B’Elanna needs to see a ship’s counsellor about these major self-esteem issues!
  • At the start of the wedding ceremony, Janeway says that B’Elanna has decided to forego Klingon painstiks in favour of something more traditional. Surely Klingon painstiks are the very height of tradition – stop being so Earth-centric, Janeway!
  • If the duplicate of Ensign Harper has just had a baby, that means that the silver blood humanoids are so accurate that they can even procreate (assuming a normal human nine month gestation, then the real Ensign Harper would not have been pregnant at the time of Demon, some ten months prior to this episode).
  • Also, back in Demon, the Harry and Tom duplicates could not survive in a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere. Here, the entire duplicate crew seems to have adapted to be able to breath both a Class-M and a Class-Y atmosphere.

Lost, crashed or destroyed shuttlecraft running total: 15

Possibly salvageable shuttlecraft running total: 9

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

Number of times a version of Voyager gets destroyed: 4

Summary – Course: Oblivion: This episode is so good I could watch it a second time today.

One thought on “The Great Star Trek Voyager Rewatch: Course: Oblivion

  1. I know I mentioned it in your review of “Demon” ( ), but this 2-episode story is haunting and beautiful and sad.

    I think the duplicates actually are smarter, albeit in a children’s way. It reminds me of Peter’s Top 100 Rules for Being an Evil Overlord ( ): Rule #12: One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old child. Any flaws in my plan that he is able to spot will be corrected before implementation. That is, they still ask themselves, but WHY is that not allowed? WHY can’t we do that? Kids are actually pretty perceptive and see through a lot of adult nonsense. They’re also not as rigid as Starfleet.

    BTW, regarding B’Elanna’s vows, did you notice that she never actually made any? She just promised to “look forward” to the future. Hedging her bets, even now. But I agree, “thank you for tolerating me” isn’t what a genuinely good man would want to hear — the kind of man who would want to hear it is not a good man.

    Losing the time capsule tend to exercise me in a way that the loss of everyone and everything else doesn’t. They could have literally thrown it out a literal open window and it would have survived. But once done, very sad.

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