The Great Star Trek Voyager Rewatch: Drive

Whilst taking the new Delta Flyer out for a test flight, Tom and Harry are invited to enter it into a race against other ships. Tom is delighted to take up this opportunity, even though it means cancelling a romantic weekend with B’Elanna. Could this be the last straw for their relationship?

I have to admit I have a soft spot for space racing in sci-fi, and so even though Drive’s race is fairly pedestrian, its mere existence puts the episode in my good graces. Of course, the other big thing this episode brings us is some development in Tom and B’Elanna’s relationship – back in the day, it was supposed to be this massive twist where you thought they were going to break up, and instead they get married.

I was never a fan of Dax and Worf’s relationship in DS9, but I have to admit to feeling a rose-tinted nostalgia for it compared to Tom and B’Elanna. Voyager has so little in the way of character development for either of them that it’s hard to see what they get out of being together. For the most part, Tom continues to prioritise his hobbies over everything else, whilst B’Elanna usually only gets into the spotlight when she’s angry about something. And when the focus is on their relationship, it’s usually because they’re arguing with each other. Still, this is the last season, so when else are they going to get married and have a kid?

Points of Note

  • I’m glad that Seven and B’Elanna no longer seem to be at loggerheads this season, but we never saw the point where their relationship evolved from hating each other to getting on reasonably well.
  • Since Drive was made before Imperfection, it features the test flight of the new Delta Flyer, even though we’ve already seen it in action.
  • Remember when Voyager’s photon torpedoes were a rare and precious resource? Here one is casually fired to signal the start of the race. I guess it could have been some sort of flare rather than a fully functioning torpedo, or maybe the Antarian ambassador supplied the materials to make it.
  • For that matter, where does Voyager find the materials to make all these Delta Flyer warp cores?
  • This episode features a Class-J nebula, as previously seen in The Haunting of Deck Twelve.
  • The Doctor has now added golf to his hobbies.

Lost, crashed or destroyed shuttlecraft running total: 17

Destroyed Delta Flyer running total: 1

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 – Drive: Space racing!

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