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RELATIVITY



PLOT: Take a trip with me - say five years into the past and you will see Captain Janeway boarding Voyager for the first time at the Utopia Shipyards in orbit high above Mars. Janeway asks the Admiral who is giving her a tour of the ship if any message has been received from Tuvok? (NB. He is serving under Chakotay's command aboard the Maquis ship lost in the Badlands.) While talking to the Admiral, Janeway suggests a young renegade named Tom Paris (who is serving a sentence in a Federation prison) would be an ideal choice to pilot Voyager. (All of this sound familiar?)

Observing all of this interesting dialogue (yeah right) is a shapely young woman in the background and we the viewer are startled to see Seven interacting with Janeway and the Doctor before making her way to Engineering - which she enters via a Jeffries Tube. She tracks down a temporal weapon on deck four but Janeway notices odd readings on a computer screen and tracks Seven down. Seven is questioned but does not explain what she is doing and before she can be arrested she is transported to a twenty-ninth century time-ship but the radiation from the transport has a dire effect on our buxom blonde - she died.

The biggest surprise comes when we see Braxton (from the third season episode "Future's End") and his crew of the time ship USS Relativity scan Voyager again to locate Seven. (Is this making sense? Remember Janeway's line in Future's End about time travel giving her a headache? Well I can feel the mother of all migraines coming on!) They locate Seven - who is teamed with Paris in a game paired against Torres and Harry. Suddenly the ball stops in mid-flight and Seven makes a tricorder scan, which reveals temporal distortions on deck four.

Members of the crew experience symptoms of space sickness and the Doctor traces the cause as temporal distortions that are increasing in intensity. Time is actually flowing at different speeds on different parts of the ship and just as the stresses on the Hull become too great (resulting in Voyager being destroyed) Seven is beamed away at the last moment. Seven is informed by Braxton that they need her help (doesn't everyone?) in order to locate a temporal weapon that was placed aboard Voyager sometime in the past. Seven is told that they have attempted this many times already but Janeway has foiled the plan so she is ordered to do everything possible to avoid the meddling redhead.

Seven is transported back to the time when Voyager was constantly under attack by the Kazon but Seven finds no evidence that it was the nefarious (I just love Batman!) criminals who did the dirty deed. Meanwhile, Janeway has been informed of a temporal disturbance (caused by Seven) and is able to trap Seven using an emergency force field. Janeway recognises Seven from their encounter at Mars and with time running out Seven tells Janeway the truth -- that she would make a better Captain any day and that she is the real star of the show -- whoops couldn't resist -- that she is actually from the future and was sent to find and disarm a temporal bomb that was planted aboard Voyager.

Janeway is sceptical but releases Seven and they together, they pursue an intruder who just appeared on the ship. To their surprise they discover it is Braxton himself. (This Braxton was stranded on Earth by Janeway as a result of her meddling in 1996 and was treated for insanity by twenty-ninth century officials.) The reason he is here? To have his revenge against Janeway for all the damage she has caused him. Taking into account his confession, an officer aboard the USS Relativity arrests him for future crimes but the older Braxton who is aboard Voyager transports himself back into Voyager's past and appears on the ship while it is still at the Utopia shipyards.

Seven follows him and the events seen at the beginning of the episode again unfold once more - talk about déjà vu. However, Seven has been weakened by the temporal transports but instead of dying is able to follow Braxton as he transports back to Voyager's present. Both Seven's meet and attempt to stop Braxton but yet again he eludes them. With the temporal leaps taking their toll on Seven, Janeway takes up the chase and follows Braxton to the time of his original intrusion - Voyager Year II.

Janeway is able to track down Braxton and with help from the USS Relativity he is transported back to the twenty-ninth century and arrested. Before Janeway and Seven are sent back to their proper time, the first officer of the USS Relativity warns them that despite the time-line being restored, they will retain the memories of what has happened and must therefore be mindful not to cause any further distortions. Janeway is informed that Voyager has been involved in many temporal intrusions and that she should avoid any more time travel…



REVIEW: You know something? I am gradually coming to the conclusion that this series should be retitled "The Adventures of Seven and Co." as over half of this season (once again) has focused upon the development of Seven of Nine - often at the expense of developing back stories for the other characters. We seem to know Seven inside and out and yet what of the other crew? There is Janeway but she is rarely seen without Seven in tow nowadays. Anyway, back to this episode. What did I think? It was okay but as so often is the case with Voyager, it was convoluted in its direction and featured some weird premises. Just what is up with Seven getting poisoned from time travelling? It has been done many times before in Star Trek and we did not see any thing like this happen!

In some ways, this is a Seven of Nine fan's dream come true as we get several versions of our favourite Borg but I am really getting sick of seeing her. I have been a fan of Ryan ever since she stepped aboard back in "Scorpion II" but how many episodes do we need her as the sole focus. To date we have seen her chew, interact, date, change outfits, die, run around in ridiculously high heels (and that is something of an understatement), we have seen her assimilate, abandon ship, get caressed by the mother of all Borg's, track down her families logs and now we have her time-travelling! What is next?

It was kind of fun to see Braxton from Season III but a little too late if you ask me. If the writers want to push this series ahead, they need to look forward - not back! (Granted "Future's End" is one of the gems from that year but that is still no excuse!) Thrown into the mix we also had the joke-a-minute endings that Season Three was infamous for but I was not laughing. Cringing yes, laughing no.

Did I like anything about this episode? Yes! It was novel to see Voyager over the past few years and see how far this baby has come since its debut back in 1995. Seeing the crew get back into their old hairstyles and outfits is also a treat but wouldn't it have been nice if they could have got Jennifer Lien back for this episode? Any one remember Kes? In some ways, Seven is what Kes could have been if the writers were more creative.

Any way, I think that is enough ranting for one episode. I cannot promise that I will write lengthy synopses and reviews for all episodes - it is basically luck of the draw as time allows. Just because I write more on one episode, does not necessarily mean I enjoyed it more. This is one such documented case that highlights that viewpoint. 5/10