As the relationship between Tom Paris and B’Elanna Torres continues to develop, knowing that in at least one possible future there may be something between the two (see Before and After), here’s a fun adventure that has a somewhat hasty conclusion but that’s entertaining for its 45 minutes of length. The episode is called Displaced.
One by one, the crew members of the USS Voyager are replaced by the Nyrians who seem to be as oblivious to what’s happening as our Starfleet heroes. Janeway, however, is not foolish and senses that something is wrong: in any case, in 18 hours the entire crew will be replaced by these aliens!
Unfortunately, a solution is not found (despite Chakotay doing his best) and in the end all 148 crew members find themselves in what’s clearly a holographic projection in an Earth-like environment. A Nyrian leader named Taleen (Nancy Youngblut) tells everyone that this is a prison and that her people have developed this non-violent method of taking over colonies, space stations and starships.
In the second part of the episode, we therefore witness the escape and return to Voyager thanks to the combined action of Paris and Torres on one side, and Janeway and Tuvok on the other (Chakotay is nowhere to be seen). Obvious? Yes. Entertaining? Quite. Does the episode leave a mark? I’d say yes, it does. Once again, we find a race capable of putting Janeway and colleagues in check (as it happened recently in Distant Origin, even if in that case it was for manifest technological superiority), and once again Voyager is lost to some enemies (as in Basics). This kind of unusual situations for a Starfleet crew makes the episode memorable. However, the credibility of the final resolution of the episode lies in our accepting that Tuvok learns how to use an alien technology in a few minutes and is able to use it successfully against those who created it. And you also have to put up with a bit of acting not quite up to par in an environment that is theoretically at a polar temperature but clearly is not (it’s difficult to believe the actor’s without any visible breath or any skin reaction to cold temperatures).
But in the end, time passes quickly while watching Displaced and it adds something to the relationship between Tom and B’Elanna, let’s see if the writers manage to write a decent love story in Star Trek this time! Ciao!
PS: It seems that the writers have listened to me, I had invoked choral stories when writing about Real Life and here’s one with Displaced!
PPS: The Delta Flyers podcast shout out: it’s refreshing to hear both Garrett Wang and Robert Duncan McNeill complain about the quality of the scenes taking place in supposedly very cold or very hot areas because even in their eyes they are not credible (and no acting school prepares actors for such scenes, apparently).
Previous episode: Distant Origin
Next episode: Worst Case Scenario