Two New Voyager ReviewsBy Amy
November 19, 2000 - 2:31 PM
- First off today we have David E. Sluss's review of last week's Voyager episode, 'Body and Soul' over at the Cynic's Corner. Unlike a number of other reviews, the Cynic's dominating comment was "bleah". Be warned – his review contains somewhat coarser language than usual.
BODILY FUNCTIONS OF THE WEEK: For a Franchise that in three decades has never shown a restroom, this episode was right on the cutting edge, with hard-hitting depictions of Larry's body odor, homoeroticism, and Tuvok's thwarted attempts at masturbation. I'll give a lot of credit to the writers for finally addressing Tuvok's Pon Farr, and for dealing with it in a fairly logical and even tasteful fashion, with Curly being supportive and helpful rather than lecherous. One problem I have with the portrayal of Pon Farr here is that it is "too easy." By coincidence, this week I just happened to catch the Sci-Fi Channel's rerun of "Amok Time," the Original Star Trek episode that introduced the phenomenon, and in it, Spock would have died within a week had something not been done. In this episode, Tuvok had the shakes and was embarrassed by the situation, but I never got the sense that Tuvok's life was at risk. But the biggest problem I have is that since Pon Farr is as much psychological as sexual, apparently requiring a mind-meld between partners, how could the "mental masturbation" of the holodeck provide Tuvok relief? We see Tuvok begin the process of joining minds with the re-creation of his wife, but of course no actual joining is possible with the T'Pel hologram. Are we to believe that Pon Farr, a madness that drove Spock to kill his Captain, can be faked out by an elaborate jerk-off? And for you continuity buffs, I seem to recall that in the third season episode "Blood Fever," the holodeck solution was attempted during Vorrick's Pon Farr and failed miserably, as it frankly should.To read the Cynic's full review, where he rates the episode, please click here.
OVERACTING OF THE WEEK: Since masturbation was a theme this week, I imagine a lot of folks will be coming all over themselves in praise of Ryan's performance this week, but I can't say I was impressed. Her imitation of Picardo became quite irritating after a while. Part of the problem is that if you watch Picardo's performance in the teaser, as the Doctor speechifies about the creation of life, it's clear he is overacting, apparently in preparation for Ryan's overacting in imitation of him. In short, Ryan and Picardo really aren't all that good this week, which is unusual, and this week's schtick was tiresome.
Secondly, our own Ed Hines has posted his take on 'Inside Man'. He found that the episode had a number of plot problems, revolving primarily around the Ferengi.
Most of the trouble with "Inside Man" has to do with the Ferengi's elaborate, convoluted plan to obtain Seven's nanoprobes. Obviously, they did tamper with the MIDAS Array, causing its signal transceiver to either hold all incoming messages or redirect them to the Ferengi ship. If the former, then why wouldn't Starfleet have detected the Ferengi downloading the array's contents? If the latter, then why wouldn't Barclay have detected the signal being rerouted?You can find out just what else Ed thought by reading the full review.
Also, how did the Ferengi manage to smuggle the Barclay hologram to Voyager without Starfleet noticing that they were using the MIDAS Array? When Barclay determines that two-months-worth of Starfleet signals stopped in the same sector of space, his readout does not show that the second signal eventually did move on to Voyager — sent by the Ferengi. Ostensibly, they must have used the array to accomplish this, but Barclay is curiously unable to detect this activity.
How about the geodesic fold? Surely the Ferengi did not conjure this idea on their own since, in the entire history of contemporary Star Trek, we have met only one Ferengi scientist (Doctor Reyga from TNG's "Suspicions"). They must have purchased the scientific data elsewhere. This portion is plausible enough.