Overview – Voyager gets pulled into the Void, a region of space where there are no stars, planets, or other special anomalies. Upon arrival they find themselves attacked by an alien ship and have much of their deuterium and food supplies. It soon becomes apparent that there are several ships in the Void, and in order to survive ships attack new comers for their supplies. Janeway seeks to establish an Alliance between different ships, seeking to work together to find a way out. Meanwhile, the Doctor befriends a member of a mysterious new species who learns to communicate through music.
|Voyager being pulled into the Void|
Score: 8/10 – I really enjoyed this episode. It is an interesting, if not ironic episode. The original premise of Voyager was the ship would find itself flung to a strange area of space and have to scavenge for supplies. Well, in the Void, they must do that to the extreme. I like how when the crew find themselves in this situation, they just roll up their sleeves and get to work without much angst or panic. I also liked how the values of the Federation win out in the end, and that cooperation between different species is what gets them through this trial. I also really liked the concept of Fantome and his species. While it is a little far-fetched, it is a creative deviation from the norm. Having the Doctor take him under his proverbial wing and discover that his species can communicate via musical notes is a nice change.
|Discussing among allies|
Relevance - 1 point. We see the Hierarchy again, using their espionage tools to help Voyager and their new alliance. Other than that, this episode could almost stand alone.
Continuity - 3 points. Character continuity was a bit hard for me on this. While I totally get Chakotay voicing a concern that trying to establish a version of the UFP in the Void was risky, Tuvok sharing those ideas surprised me at first. I would have expected him to fully support Janeway without question as Tuvok is a long-standing Starfleet officer. Reflecting further upon it, however, Tuvok does show a great deal of support once the Captain has made her mind up, so I can ultimately score the point here. Story continuity and universe continuity also are upheld here.
|Anari captain Valen|
Character Development – 2 points. Janeway shows that she will seek to uphold Federation values and standards wherever she finds herself. She faces some doubt and second guessing again, but this is one of Janeway’s most endearing qualities. She shows conviction, even when Chakotay and Tuvok are united in a suggestion that the Federation way of doing things may not be the best. Even when faced with a failure and setback, Janeway kept her faith in the values of the Federation. The Doctor also gets some good moments as the mentor of Fantome, helping him discover a love and use for music.
|The Doctor has learned to communicate with Phantome|
Social Commentary – 3 points. While the message is not very subtle, it is very important, especially today. The United Federation of Planets is based on the idea that different cultures can work together in spite of their differences. In today’s world we seem to need this message even more. We are becoming increasingly divided along national, ethnic, and political lines, and yet when we need to recognize that we are stronger when we come together in peaceful cooperation.
|Welcoming a new alliance member|
Cool Stuff – 1 point. Fantome gets a point. He is played by Johnathan Del Arco, who we previously saw as the Borg who found his identity, Hugh. His ability to quickly adapt musical notes and transform it into a language, which he then teaches to other members of his species, is quite impressive.
|The Allied fleet|
Rank – Captain (18 points). A strong episode for Voyager’s final season. After having seen on past occasions the attempts at alliances falter, it is refreshing to see it work. Definitely one to watch, although if you do miss it you don’t lose track of the overall story.