When Voyager unexpectedly encounters a Klingon warship 30,000 light years from home, it is less than straightforward to explain that the Federation and the Klingon Empire are now at peace. But matters take an unexpected turn when the leader of the Klingons decides that B’Elanna’s unborn child is the prophesied saviour of his people.
Back when the internet was fresh and exciting to me, I used to hang out on the Star Trek websites, forums and chatrooms of the day. I remember coming up with a canon reason why Klingons would be in the Delta Quadrant (not that I can remember that reason now), and duly sent off a query about it for a web Q&A with the Voyager writers. Of course, nothing came of it, but when this episode showed up a few years later, I felt that somehow they had stolen my idea. Even though, as I appreciate now, it was an idea that anyone could have quite easily and naturally come up with.
Anyway, what of the episode itself? Like Barge of the Dead, Prophecy feels like it exists because Voyager is the only place to have Klingon episodes now that DS9 is over. In part, I enjoy it as I’m meant to – a regular dose of Klingon culture to keep me happy and remind me of the halcyon TNG and DS9 days. Other than that, though, I’m not wildly enthralled by this episode. Every development in the plot feels flimsy and lazy, from the Klingons blowing up their own ship for no good reason, to B’Elanna’s baby magically having the cure for the disease they were all suffering from. The same disease which conveniently manifested in time to prevent Tom Paris from being bludgeoned to death.
Points of Note
- Kohlar’s grandfather’s bat’leth has the same design as the Sword of Kahless.
- B’Elanna is now 14-15 week pregnant, which means around 7-8 weeks have elapsed since Lineage.
- Unlike The Disease, this time around Harry does get authorisation to mate with an alien species – although he does not avail himself of the opportunity. Of course, no one other than Harry has ever been asked to fill one of these out.
- Why are we still saying ‘women and children’ in the 24th century? I’d prefer a more gender neutral term such as “civilians and families”, especially given that some of those women are Klingon warriors.
- Didn’t we already do the “Neelix moves in with someone and causes much annoyance” way back in Demon, when he camped out in sickbay after having to evacuate his quarters?
- Why give the Klingons the ability to use vital ship systems such as the transporter? At least Janeway limited their physical access to sensitive areas of the ship, but it still seemed remarkably easy for them to beam most of the crew off Voyager.
- If the pattern buffer can, at a pinch, hold over two hundred Klingons, why did it take the entirety of DS9’s computer to store the senior crew in Our Man Bashir? Why was the Enterprise always beaming people up a few at a time, even during emergencies?
- What do all the extra security officers assigned to protect B’Elanna and watch the Klingons do on a normal day? We’re supposed to believe that Voyager needed all hands on deck just to run the ship right from the start, so I hope they pull double duty. They could be backup medics in sickbay, growing food in the airponics bay, or even building replacement shuttles and photon torpedoes.
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: 3.5
Number of times a version of Voyager gets destroyed: 5
Summary – Prophecy: In which B’Elanna’s baby becomes a saviour, and Neelix gets it on with a hot Klingon woman.