The Great Star Trek Voyager Rewatch: Inside Man

Voyager is delighted when their latest monthly message from Starfleet is a hologram of Lieutenant Barclay, complete with an ingenious plan to get them home. Whilst Voyager excitedly makes preparations to return to the Alpha Quadrant, back at Starfleet Headquarters, the real Lieutenant Barclay wonders why his hologram failed to send. But if Barclay is correct, just who or what is on Voyager?

After the reasonably decent Critical Care, Voyager season seven slides back into mediocrity with this episode. I don’t think anyone was missing the silly Ferengi episodes from DS9, but for some reason the writers thought we were. Hence we get this episode, in which the Ferengi tamper with the Barclay hologram in the hopes of getting their hands on Seven of Nine’s nanoprobes. Some might say there are easier ways to make a profit than to kill the entire crew of a starship and incite the wrath of the Federation, but none of the people who would say that were working on this show. Instead, we have to put up with this vapid and implausible episode, which is more tiresome than it is entertaining.

The value of nanoprobes

Given how amazing Seven’s Borg nanoprobes are, will the Federation use them to accelerate its technological development? Certainly flooding the market with them and making them freely available would stop them from being the kind of valuable commodity that the Ferengi would kill for.

After considering this, I got to thinking, and I stumbled upon a theory that explains so much of Voyager’s encounters with the Borg. Think back to when the Borg Queen said she had a virus that could slowly assimilate the inhabitants of Earth. I think her true plan is along those lines, but a little different:

  1. The Borg Queen lets Seven of Nine be severed from the Collective, with the intention that she remain on Voyager and eventually be taken back to Earth.
  2. Because of her long-term plan, the Borg Queen cannot let Voyager be destroyed, and so holds back in their various encounters. To make sure they don’t get too suspicious, she doesn’t make things easy for them.
  3. When Seven returns to Earth, the Federation will eagerly replicate her nanoprobes and use them for all sorts of applications.
  4. Now that the nanoprobes are everywhere, the Borg Queen sends an activation code that causes them to assimilate Earth and other prominent Federation worlds.

Other points

  • I wonder if Torres has reverse engineered the mobile emitter sufficiently to be able to create a duplicate. Clearly she hadn’t by Concerning Flight, but she might have had the chance to do so by now.
  • Once again, why doesn’t Starfleet ever encrypt anything? Don’t they have TLS in the 24th century?
  • Paris and Torres tease Harry by talking about the Iconians and their gateways, as seen in TNG and DS9.
  • How does the geodesic fold know which red giant stars to connect? Or does it connect them all?
  • Also, what the hell is geodesic radiation? The radiation that occurs along the shortest distance between two points? I’ve put up with lots of types of bullshit radiation on Star Trek, but this is one of the worst.
  • Does Barclay not know better than to give away classified information? If he’s vulnerable to the classic honey trap, his Pathfinder clearance should be taken away at once.

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 – Inside Man: A silly Ferengi plot pops up long after DS9 finished.

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