When Voyager is drawn into a desolate area of space whose inhabitants raid and attack each other to survive, Janeway refuses to give up her Starfleet principles. Instead, she decides to form an alliance with as many other ships as possible, in the hopes that together, they can find a way out.
Since it’s not that long since I saw Night, I wasn’t sure I really needed another episode about Voyager being stuck in a desolate region of space – complete with hostile ships and indigenous humanoids. That being said, The Void is sufficiently different to stand on its own, as it focuses more on Janeway’s attempts to forge her own little Federation.
In fact, that idea is one that deserves more than a single episode. There could well have been a mini-series exploring a stranded ship forming its own Federation. One might argue that Andromeda tried to do just that, but let’s face it, nothing about Andromeda was particularly good. On a series more daring and less episodic than Voyager, The Void would surely have been a mini-arc, spanning anything from three to ten episodes. What we get instead is perfectly reasonable and acceptable, but it’s a mere microcosm of what could have been a much deeper and more fascinating story.
Points of Note
- In this episode, we see Janeway desperately looking through the Starfleet rulebook in the hopes of finding an excuse to attack other ships and generally act like the average member of the Void. I know morality isn’t always black and white, but given that, in this very episode, Janeway is determined to stick to the high ground at all costs, it seems a bit hypocritical that she would throw away her vaunted principles if she could find the slightest loophole. On the other hand, we’ve seen other occasions when she’s said “we’re pretty far from Starfleet” or similar and set about doing her own thing, without reference to any rulebooks or loopholes.
- I wonder how Fantome’s people usually communicate, when they aren’t using the musical language. If, as The Doctor surmises, they are natural telepaths, why would they prefer the less efficient musical language? Maybe they were taken by the novelty of it, and the fact that it allowed them to communicate with other races.
- The Vaadwaur are mentioned for the first time since Dragon’s Teeth, but play no real role in this episode. Remember when we all thought they were going to be a big recurring enemy?
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 – The Void: In which Janeway makes her own Federation.