The Great Star Trek Voyager Rewatch: Child’s Play

Under Seven of Nine’s tutelage, the Borg children are doing well – but it cannot last. Voyager has found Icheb’s parents, and they are keen to have their son back. But is Icheb ready to leave Voyager – and is Seven of Nine ready to let him go?

If you’re not interested in the Borg children, or want a break from Seven of Nine, then Child’s Play is not the episode for you. Whilst it isn’t an out and out terrible episode, it hardly stands out either. The first two-thirds of the episode build up the saccharine to intolerable levels, building up to the point where Icheb decides that, actually, he’d rather stay with his family after all. Of course, at that point it’s almost a relief when they inevitably turn out to be evil, even though it takes away any of the difficult choices Icheb and Seven had to make.

Seven of Nine, meanwhile, spends most of the episode being blunt, brusque and moody. There are points to explore about her anger with her own parents for letting her be assimilated, and how this makes her protective of her charges, but it’s difficult to really delve into them. Besides, we know Seven will have gotten over all these issues by next week.

Points of Note

  • Note how territorial Janeway becomes whenever there’s any chance of Seven of Nine leaving Voyager, but how little she gives a fuck as to whether the Borg children stay.
  • At the beginning of season four, The Doctor said that, as Seven started eating normal food, she would no longer need to regenerate. And yet here we are in late season six, and she’s still regenerating. Maybe it’s a comfort thing.
  • Janeway urges Seven to use her ‘maternal instincts’, as if this is some magical thing that all women have.
  • How did the crew already know that Icheb was Brunali when they met him, when it feels as if this is the first time Voyager ever meets the Brunali? It doesn’t look like the Brunali are active members of the galactic community.
  • Why couldn’t the Brunali design a retrovirus to infect some of their older citizens with the anti-Borg pathogen? That way, at least people could volunteer to sacrifice themselves.
  • Assuming the above couldn’t be done, and genetic alterations can only be performed on fertilised eggs or developing embryos, why rely solely on Icheb? Make a whole load of Borg-destroying children!
  • What’s to say that the Borg won’t easily adapt to Icheb’s pathogen anyway, making him of limited use?
  • Seven claims she hasn’t seen her parents since they were assimilated, even though she saw her drone father in Dark Frontier. Of course, the Borg Queen might have been lying, and that might not have actually been Magnus Hanssen.
  • This episode marks Voyager’s first ever science fair. As we know, there were science fairs and similar events aboard the Enterprise-D.
  • Once again, the Borg fall for the “photon torpedo taken inside the ship” ruse.
  • Due to the time he spent in the maturation chamber, it’s unclear how old Icheb actually is.
  • In this episode, Mezoti hopes that her family will never be found and she won’t have to leave Voyager. In fact, she is content to leave with Azan and Rebi later in the series.
  • Mezoti refers to the Brunali by their species name rather than their Borg designation – she also referred to herself as Norcadian in the previous episode. Presumably Seven has been insisting that the children do not use Borg species designations.

Lost, crashed or destroyed shuttlecraft running total: 17

Possibly salvageable shuttlecraft running total: 10

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

Number of times a version of Voyager gets destroyed: 5

Summary – Child’s Play: In which Icheb’s loving parents turn out to be evil after all.

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