Future´s End Part OneBy Michelle Erica Green
Posted at January 13, 2004 - 2:28 PM GMT
See Also: 'Future's End, Part One' Episode Guide
Voyager detects a temporal disturbance and is threatened by Captain Braxton, an officer from the 29th century who claims that the ship will be responsible for the destruction of Earth in his own era. Caught in his wake when his damaged timeship initiates travel through the space-time continuum, Voyager finds itself in the 20th century...in orbit around Earth.
Janeway, Chakotay, Tuvok, and Paris beam down in disguise to track Braxton and determine the extent of the damage to the timeline. While Tuvok and Paris hook up with Rain Robinson, an attractive astronomer whose computer they use to wipe out records of Voyager's presence, Janeway and Chakotay track down Braxton, now a homeless doomsayer, and learn from him that his timeship was taken by a computer mogul named Henry Starling, who will be responsible for Earth's destruction - and Voyager's - in the 29th century.
Tuvok and Paris are tracked down by Starling's men, for whom the astronomer works, and forced to flee in her van from the observatory after being shot at with a 29th century weapon. Meanwhile, Janeway and Chakotay break into Starling's office and discover the timeship. They also discover that the computer revolution of the late 20th century wasn't supposed to happen. Starling and his men burst in and reverse Janeway's efforts to upload the contents of his computer, thus downloading a substantial portion of Voyager's programming...including the holographic Doctor, who is horrified to find himself in Starling's control when Janeway and Chakotay beam back to Voyager.
I absolutely loved this episode. It was incredibly goofy - very Classic Trek-ish in that regard, with an intro where Starling, a long-haired hippie, witnesses the crash of the timeship on Earth and sets into motion the events which will permit Bill Gates to take over the world in our own century. At least now we have an explanation for why our future diverges from the one the original series laid out for us - so this is how we missed the Eugenics Wars and the launch of the Botany Bay! There were other inconsistencies with both Classic Trek and history and some hammering to make it all fit together. But did Janeway, Chakotay, Tuvok and Paris look hot in 20th century duds or what?
This was a great, great Janeway episode. She was smart, she was decisive, she realized this was an instance where she really should lead the away team herself - and she was funny, she was sexy, she never lost her cool. I loved watching her and Chakotay working together - shades of Kirk and Spock, except Spock never would have noted that Kirk's legs compared favorably with an attractive rollerblader's. The repartee between the two of them was lovely, and I liked the tidbits about their past, the similarities between them.
Paris was less impressive hitting on Rain, though I enjoyed finding out that he's an old movie buff - the posters in Rain's office, featuring the names of Trek production assistants, were pretty funny too. I cringed for Tuvok, though he did have one of the best moments in the episode, with Rain, when she demanded to know what that thing in his pants was (she meant his phaser, I think...)
Ed Begley's Starling very nearly stole the show, though - an attractive, imposing CEO who came across as affable and threatening at the same time. Being a fan of Paul Bartel movies, I enjoyed seeing him and Robert Beltran on the screen together. I also liked his conversations with Rain and the toys in his office.
Part Twos are almost never as interesting as Part Ones on Trek. I can't imagine how they can wrap this one up and still maintain this level of humor, but I sure hope it's possible.
Michelle Erica Green reviews 'Enterprise' episodes for the Trek Nation, for which she is also a news writer. An archive of her work can be found at The Little Review.