First 'Workforce I' Reviews - Good, But Not Great

By Amy
February 22, 2001 - 5:37 PM

  • The first reviews for yesterday’s Voyager episode, 'Workforce Part I' are out, and, unlike last week, opinion so far appears to be fairly even. Amazingly, for the second week in a row, O.Deus of TrekWeb found the episode to be more or less worthwhile, even if it did borrow from previous trek two-parter ‘The Killing Game’.

    But it's the human conventional touches rather than the SciFi stuff like the Minister's view of the whole thing as a means of obtaining skilled labor and inability to comprehend Chakotay's objections as anything except an attempt to obtain skilled labor for his own vessel that really makes this environment mirror the Borg circa TNG. But where the Borg concept put a lot of distance between us and them, Workforce hits disturbingly close to home. Where the Borg simply chose to represent the subservience of the individual to the group by completely erasing individuals and turning them into drones, the Workforce government instead chooses to sabotage the ships, pick up the refugees and brainwash them into believing they're happy workers. In a sense they, like the Borg, are using similar tactics for a similar goal but they have no greater goals or greater inhuman ruthlessness; just petty mortal goals and the refusal to acknowledge the rights or even needs of the individuals they destroy. Like the Borg they insist the people are happier this way, like the Borg they refuse to see the evil of their actions but unlike the Borg they lack the excuse of being a cybernetic collective, instead they're all too real and all too human and it's difficult to describe which seems more horrific.

    And so Part 2 will depend on keeping up this atmosphere, something fairly amateur director Roxann Dawson will hopefully manage to do, and keep the focus on the general system instead of mistakenly selecting individual villains to be lecturers as Critical Care did. The way Janeway's choice is handled will also be important as well as the way the transition of the crew back to their older memories occurs.

    To read the full review and find out what else O.Deus has to say on the episode, drop by TrekWeb.

  • Secondly, Bonnie Malmat, aka T’Bonz, has posted her review of the episode over at Section 31. Rating it 8/10 or a B, she calls it "somewhat run-of-the-mill (although still interesting)", adding that this, coupled with some large faults, keep it from being outstanding.

    THE REALLY GOOD: Janeway. She is very appealing in this episode.

    The story itself was interesting, there were many things to consider when trying to figure out how the story will be resolved in part II – Janeway’s man- is he good or a baddie? How will Chakotay escape? How will the crew get rescued (and how are they going to get them all, not just the five we’ve seen)?. Will the crew get away and do nothing to help other enslaved people on the planet, or will they start a rebellion? How will Kim and EMH/ECH resolve their differences, and will they contribute a huge part in the rescue? What effect does the mind meld have on Seven? So there is plenty to chew on until the conclusion.

    THE BAD: EMH’s attitude when Harry tries to take command. Sometimes his arrogance gets to be annoying. The EMH/Harry bickering detracts from the story.

    Paris-Torres. It didn’t fit that they would still be attracted to each other given the context of the story.

    Again, to read the full review, please follow this link to Section 31.

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Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.