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Friendship One

Cast and Crew

Directed by: Mike Vejar
Story By: Michael Taylor & Bryan Fuller
Teleplay By: Michael Taylor & Bryan Fuller

Starring:
Kate Mulgrew as Kathryn Janeway
Robert Beltran as Chakotay
Roxann Dawson as B’Elanna Torres
Robert Duncan McNeill as Tom Paris
Ethan Phillips as Neelix
Robert Picardo as The Doctor
Tim Russ as Tuvok
Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine
Garrett Wang as Harry Kim

Guest Cast:
Josh Clark as Lt. Joe Carey
John Prosky as Otrin
Peter Dennis as Admiral Hendricks
Bari Hochwald as Brin
Ashley Edner as Yun
Ken Land as Verin
John Rosenfeld as Technician #1
Wendy Speake as Technician #2
David Ghilardi as Alien Lieutenant

Original Airdate

April 25, 2001

What Happened

Now that communication has been established between Voyager and Starfleet, the top brass now has a little errand for Voyager. Four years after Zephram Cochrane’s historic test flight of the Phoenix, earth launches the ‘Friendship One,’ a warp probe designed to share mankind’s knowledge and to, well, spread friendship.

Jump forward to the present (at least Voyager’s present) and we find that the knowledge the probe brings can be like the bittersweet bite of the forbidden fruit. The technology has given one planet the ability to create anti-matter weapons and render its atmosphere toxic.

When Voyager arrives, they detect no lifesigns. Tom, Neelix, Chakotay, Harry, and Joe Carey (a recurring Macquis engineer) head down in the Delta flyer to retrieve the probe. They quickly discover that they are not alone. Tom, Neelix, and Carey are captured while Chakotay and Kim escape in the Flyer with an unconscious alien in the cargo hold.

The prisoners find out what happened to the probe and its effects on this planet. Needless to say the local population is well disposed to the crew after finding out they are from Earth. Tom attempts to befriend a pregnant woman, with mixed results (all her previous pregnancies were stillborn). Neelix, being the only prisoner not from Earth tries to reason with Verin, the alien’s leader, with about as much success as Tom. Janeway attempts to parlay with Verin, they strike a bargin, one of the prisoners for food and medical supplies. Carey is chosen to set up transport enhancers and signals up to Voyager that he’s ready for beam-out. Just before he gets out, Verin shoots him. The Doctor reports to Janeway that he’s dead.

Janeway and the Doctor have been working with the alien that broke into the Flyer. Otrin, a scientist, has been searching for ways to reduce or eliminate the hazardous radiation that is killing his people. After the Doctor reverses most of his radiation sickness, they manage to earn a little of his trust.

The pregnant woman, Brin, that Tom befriended, has now gone into labor. Tom manages to deliver the baby and restart his heart. Janeway authorizes a rescue mission. Tuvok is captured and brought to the main camp where Tom and Neelix are being held. It turns out to be a ruse, as the guard that took Tuvok is really the Doctor in disguise. Tom pleads with the mother to let him take her new son to Voyager for treatment, otherwise he will die. She reluctantly agrees and the away team beams back to Voyager.

Janeway, Seven, and Otrin have devised a plan to clear the radiation using low-altitude detonations of modified torpedoes. They send Verin and Brin’s baby back to the surface to warn their people to stay inside. Otrin panicks as detonations rock the planet surface, arming and raising a massive anti-matter weapon. He is quickly subdued by his people who are tired of merely surviving, they want to live a normal life.

The torpedo treatment is successful and Voyager leaves. The final scene shows a painful rememberance of Lt. Casey. He was building a model of Voyager in a bottle. He was only one nacelle away from being finished.

Review

I’m really trying to stay exciting for the final few episodes of Voyager, but it’s becoming hard to do. Last night’s Voyager was neither really good or really bad, just…there. We did get to see some good performances, particularly from Robert McNeill (Paris) and Ethan Phillips (Neelix). McNeill in particular is giving a lot of depth to character everyone’s brushed off as shallow. Fatherhood has really made him grow up.

The plot was a basic reiteration of StarFleet’s core belief in the Prime Directive. Oddly enough, it was never mentioned once in the episode! The Federation created General Order Number One after all sorts of problems in its infancy (just like this one). I just find it odd that no one mentioned it to show how humans have grown in last few hundred years.

While it was a bit of a technobabble ending, it did use a blend of local research and Federation technology. Working together in friendship…get it?

Some trivia bits: Ever notice that you never see more than three people in space suits at time? That’s because there are only those three from “Star Trek: First Contact.” Why hasn’t Harry been promoted? There can only be a certain percentage of command-level officers aboard a starship. Maybe Lt. Carey’s death opens the door for Starfleet’s oldest ensign!

High Point

Paris’ scenes with Brin, trying to win her over. Well-acted and moving.

Low Point

Exterior shots were just too dark and the helmets do not properly illuminate the actor’s faces. As a result, I got confused several times as to who was talking and who was in what group within the away team.

The Scores

Originality: Technology’s bad. It kills worlds. The twist, good old humanity is at fault. 3 out of 6

Effects: I’ve seen better animatronic infants on “ER.” We did get some nice beauty shots of the Flyer, however. 3 out of 6

Story: Just so-so. Nothing truly outstanding. 3 out 6

Acting: Fairly good performances all around. 5 out of 6

Emotional Response: Brin giving her baby up was a good scene. Also seeing Casey killed so callously (especially just after hearing about his wife and child) was harsh. 4 out of 6

Production: Never rises above the sum of its parts. 3 out of 6

Overall: It was a good episode, but just barely so. 4 out 6

Total: 25 out of 42

Stills

Brand new episode next week: “Natural Law” Only four more to go!