(written from a Production point of view)
|"Day of Honor"|
|VOY, Episode 4x03|
Production number: 172
First aired: 17 September 1997
|←||71st of 168 produced in VOY||→|
|←||70th of 168 released in VOY||→|
|←||478th of 728 released in all||→|
| Written By|
Jesús Salvador Treviño
Lieutenants B'Elanna Torres and Tom Paris admit feelings for each other while close to death; a race of homeless aliens ask for Voyager's help but are not quite satisfied with what they receive.
Act One Edit
The newest crewman on USS Voyager, Seven of Nine, steps out of her alcove in the darkened cargo bay 2, which has effectively become her quarters. Commander Chakotay enters in response to a request from her to see him. She requests a duty assignment. Captain Kathryn Janeway has confined her to the bay until convinced she is no longer a threat to Voyager or its crew. As a recently-liberated Borg drone, she finds the constant solitude and inactivity very difficult and wants something to do. Chakotay asks her if she has anything particular in mind.
Chief Engineer Lieutenant jg B'Elanna Torres is not having a good day. First she overslept, then her sonic shower malfunctioned and sudden plasma coolant leaks in engineering are occurring. She talks about it with Lt. jg Tom Paris about her day. Paris is there to remind her about their dinner date but her mood has been spoiled by her bad day. She cancels the date and appears to be in a very testy mood.
Paris asks her about the Klingon ritual she had been considering taking part in, marking the Day of Honor, an important Klingon observance. The bad day she is having has made her abandon the idea outright as ancient Klingon traditions are the last thing on her mind. Paris sees that it is not worth continuing with the subject further. He leaves with a gentle urging to reconsider their dinner date, as Chakotay enters.
Chakotay informs her that Seven of Nine will be coming to work with her in engineering to attempt to modify the warp engines to use transwarp technology, a much faster faster-than-light technology that the Borg employ. Torres sees this as yet another blow. She strongly dislikes Seven, finding her arrogant and rude. She makes her opinion known to Chakotay, that she does not want her in engineering. But she quickly finds out that she has no choice as Chakotay tells her that the bottom line is that he is giving her an order and she will obey. She acknowledges the order but is visibly downtrodden as he leaves.
Act Two Edit
Janeway speaks to Seven of Nine in her ready room about her assignment in engineering. After Seven again assures her that she will not again try to contact the Borg, Janeway reveals that she has decided to trust her by not having security in engineering while she is there. But, she instructs, she is to follow all orders given to her by Torres. Seven of Nine acknowledges.
Janeway then turns her attention to her Borg designation, "Seven of Nine". It is, she tells her, rather cumbersome. Janeway asks if she would not prefer to go by her Human name, "Annika." Seven does not like Janeway's idea and tells her that she has been "Seven of Nine" for as long as she can remember. Janeway considers this, then finally suggests truncating it to "Seven". Seven finds this acceptable. Then Lieutenant Tuvok calls Janeway to the bridge. She goes, Seven following her. On the bridge, Tuvok informs her that a very beat-up, barely-functional ship is approaching; as he finishes his report, the ship hails Voyager. Janeway orders an on-screen reply to the hail.
An image of a decrepit-looking alien appears on the viewscreen. He introduces himself as Rahmin of the Caatati. He explains the horrific reason for his condition and that of his ship: most of his people were assimilated by the Borg over a year prior. His entire civilization, millions of people, once proud and accomplished, was completely destroyed. He and a few thousand managed to escape on thirty or so ships. Their planet was assimilated and they were forced to flee with nothing. Now they roam the quadrant, the last of their species, destitute and starving, their ships always low on power.
Janeway and the bridge officers are greatly moved by the horror he has just described. She offers him any help that she and her crew can give. He thanks her and makes a specific request for thorium isotopes, which their technology depends on for power. Janeway promises to see what they can do.
Torres' bad day continues. Seeing Seven working at a console, she cannot help but to ask her: now that she is de-assimilated, if she feel any sense of guilt or remorse over what she and the Collective have done to civilizations such as the Caatati? She is upset when Seven matter-of-factly answers, "No." She presses the issue but Seven calmly responds that guilt is irrelevant. She then notes that the navigational deflector modifications for the transwarp technology will be ready in a few hours and states she should wait in her alcove until then. Torres, barely containing her disgust, is only too happy to dismiss her.
Torres sits in the mess hall, picking sullenly at her food. Neelix approaches her quietly, looking to cheer her up. He produces a freshly-prepared rokeg blood pie for her observance of the Day of Honor. He tells her that he makes it a point to know about the race-specific traditions of the crew members. Torres however, is even less inclined now to perform the ritual than before. Neelix tells her at least she can then use him to give voice to her anger as she obviously needs it. "When you're angry, come see me," he offers. "Call me names. Insult me. Question my parentage. I won't take it personally. And you won't need to keep things bottled up inside anymore." She is genuinely touched, but cannot do that to him. His offer does have an unexpected effect because she decides to go through with the ritual. He is pleased.
The ritual takes place in a holographic simulation which she and Paris had created. Torres enters the simulation, going into a holographic Klingon cave, where she is accosted by a Klingon warrior. On his demand, she tells him her purpose: to have her honor challenged. But her voice is shaky and uncertain, nothing like a hardened Klingon warrior. The holographic Klingon gruffly lets her know the procedure: first she must eat of the heart of a sacred targ and then drink mot'loch from the Grail of Kahless. Then she must endure the ordeal of being struck by twenty painstiks and finally, she must defeat a master of the bat'leth.
Torres manages to make it through the first two ordeals but the trouble comes when other Klingon warriors appear and begin the painstik segment. After the first two or three strikes, her already very low resolve to go through with it evaporates; she fights them off and flees the simulation, forgetting to end the program.
Paris goes to see her in her quarters and finds her even more depressed and angry than before. He asks her how it went but she becomes very defensive, snapping at him that the whole thing was ridiculous and meaningless. He insists that it is part of who she is. He tells her that she has been running away from her Klingon side her entire life. Torres angrily demands that he leave her alone. Paris replies that if she keeps pushing away those who care about her, she will indeed be alone... all her life.
Act Three Edit
Voyager is now being accompanied by three Caatati vessels as they continue their travel. In the briefing room, a Caatati representative named Lumas addresses a gathering of a number of the senior staff which includes Janeway, Tuvok, Chakotay, and Neelix. He again speaks of the direness of his people's situation. They have over two hundred on those three ships alone and all of them are malnourished. Apparently, he is dissatisfied with what Janeway has granted him and is making a case for more. Chakotay responds that they do not have more to give and certainly not in the amounts that they are asking for.
His response moves them from being sympathetic to being insulted. Lumas blatantly attempts to make them feel guilty for their refusal to help his people. He tells them that they, well-fed, seem to be more concerned with keeping their bellies full than helping the less fortunate. Neelix, in particular, is highly offended. He heatedly responds that this characterization is unfair as the Voyager crew are the most generous of people. But they, like the Caatati, though not as desperately, do not have much. He continues that if they gave what they had away to everyone who asked, they would have nothing left. Janeway, seeing that if she is not careful she will never get rid of the Caatati, asks Neelix how much food he thinks can be spared. Neelix responds a few hundred kilograms per Caatati ship. She orders him to get it to them, along with any medicines The Doctor can spare. Lumas, still unsatisfied thanks them unenthusiastically and Tuvok accompanies him back to the transporter room.
Paris and Seven walk a corridor on the way to engineering but on the way, they pass Tuvok and Lumas. The moment Lumas sees Seven, he agitatedly asks Tuvok what species she is because there is something about her that is nastily familiar. Tuvok tells him she is a Human who was formerly a Borg drone. Lumas becomes extremely angry. "BORG!" he screams and charges at her. Tuvok restrains him and Paris puts himself in front of Seven, while Lumas peppers her with questions about what was done to his family, his wife and his children. Seven watches him impassively. Tuvok orders Paris to proceed to their destination and drags the Caatati representative away. As they resume, Paris apologizes but Seven is unaffected by what happened, dispassionately noting that she evokes this reaction from several members of the crew, such as Torres. Paris, perhaps seeing in her the outcast he used to be, offers her his assistance if she should need anything. She thoughtfully responds that she will remember that and they continue on.
In engineering, with Paris observing, Torres and Seven are ready to test the transwarp modifications. On the bridge, Janeway facilitates by having the ship jump to warp speed. Torres and Seven initiate the test, they have modified the deflector's tachyon matrix. This modification, if utilized at warp, should open a transwarp corridor. In this corridor, the ship will achieve speeds far faster than what standard warp drive is capable of.
They activate the modifications. Ensign Vorik assists them. He reports that the requisite subspace field is beginning to form, which would open the corridor. But then it goes wrong as the warp core begins to flood with tachyons. Attempts to stop the flooding fail and if it continues, a catastrophic core breach could occur. They try to shut down the core but fail. On the bridge, Janeway orders engineering evacuated. Vorik fails to stop the tachyon leak, so Torres orders everyone out. Seven tries to stay, offering her help to try to avert the disaster but Torres angrily orders her to leave, which she does immediately. Torres makes one more attempt to shut down the core, to no avail. As time becomes critical, Paris drags her out and she orders the computer to prepare to eject the core. Once in the corridor Torres authorizes the core ejection, causing Voyager to fall out of warp immediately upon which the ship quickly moves to a safe distance. Out in the corridor just outside engineering, Torres reports the ejection of the core to the bridge. Her face has a very pained look. This is the worst moment of her bad day yet.
Act Four Edit
Janeway is in engineering receiving a situation report from Torres. Torres tells her the tachyon flood also damaged the impulse engines and they cut out soon after they got a safe distance from the ejected warp core. Sensors however, show that the core did not breach. However, without impulse they cannot return to retrieve it in any reasonable time and they need to, lest something happen to it and they do not get it back. This leaves one course of action open to them. They need to use a shuttle to retrieve the ejected core. Janeway orders Paris to proceed with the operation. Torres informs her that the core, although not breached, is still damaged and it needs to be repaired before being reinstalled. Janeway orders her to go with Paris to effect the necessary repairs.
Torres and Paris leave on a shuttle, heading for the warp core at full impulse. Torres bitterly complains about the continuing trouble she has had this day and she plans to go to bed once the core is reinstalled and not come out until the next day.
They arrive at the core's coordinates but they find the Caatati there as well. The aliens are in the middle of stealing it, using their own tractor beam to tow it away. When they are contacted by Paris and Torres they claim salvage rights as their defense. The shuttle fires at the tractor beam generator to disable it but the Caatati retaliate by hitting the shuttle with antimatter feedback. This completely destabilizes the shuttle's warp core and all attempts to fix it fail. The computer alerts them that the craft will explode in 2.5 minutes. As the Caatati flee with the warp core, Paris and Torres have just enough time to put on their EV suits and prepare to beam off the crippled shuttle. They attempt to send a distress signal to Voyager before leaving but fail. They beam into space a safe distance away from their shuttle and watch as the craft explodes, leaving them stranded and floating through space.
Act Five Edit
Floating in space, Paris attempts to contact Voyager using his suit's communicator, but Torres tells him the signal would never cross the distance needed. Paris theorizes that once Voyager's impulse engines are back on-line, they will come and pick them up. Paris suggests linking their communicators to form a phased carrier wave that might be strong enough to reach Voyager and Torres agrees with his plan. They pull themselves into each other's arms and Torres begins accessing Paris' communicator circuitry. Paris, to lighten the mood, initiates gentle banter with her about having to get beamed into space to "initiate first contact" with her. She lightheartedly responds. The link is made and the signal is sent, a high, piercing squeal. They hope it works because their oxygen supplies will not last forever. They wait... still in each other's arms.
On Voyager, Janeway calls Seven into her ready room to ask her what happened with the test. She informs Seven it is procedure for there to be an investigation after any accident. She asks Seven several questions about the accident and Seven responds concisely to each one. But when Janeway asks her if she at any time accessed the deflector, it dawns on Seven that there is a hidden motive to Janeway's questions: suspicion of her as having caused the accident.
She informs Janeway of her suspicions, remarking that she is like the others, she sees her as a threat. Her words are calmly stated but she is disappointed. Janeway admits that she is indeed suspicious of Seven because they have dealt with tachyons before and have never had anything like this happen. Seven assures her that she had nothing to do with it and she is not deceiving Janeway. Seven tells her that deception is a thing that is impossible within the Borg Collective, thus she is completely unaccustomed to it. Janeway decides to give her the benefit of the doubt, as Seven comments that she is finding it difficult to integrate into the unfamiliar and complex social structures among the crew. Compared to the Borg, the crew is inefficient and contentious but it is still capable of "surprising acts of compassion." This seems to be a source of great wonder for her. Janeway is pleased about Seven's observations and responds that unexpected acts of kindness are common for them, and are a defining characteristic of Humanity. Seven contemplates this. Janeway then reminds her they still need to find out exactly what caused the tachyon leak, and the two get to work.
Paris and Torres float in space, no longer in each other's embrace, but still close. They talk about the experience and how it compares to Academy training. This leads Torres to talk a little about why she dropped out. Paris gently responds that he wished he had known her while he was there.
They look at each other. The attraction between them is obvious, even through the EV suits. Then they are jolted by an ion storm that suddenly hits them. Without the protection of deflector shields, the storm takes a serious toll. Paris' oxygen supply is damaged and he begins losing air. Torres connects her air supply to his so that they can share, but discovers that her own supply was damaged as well. They now have only half-an-hour of air left.
Act Six Edit
Janeway and Seven research data from the accident in Janeway's ready room. Vorik hails and informs Janeway that the impulse engines should be back up and running within the hour. Seven then finds evidence that shows that the accident was indeed just that: an accident. Janeway is relieved over her discovery. Chakotay enters from the bridge and informs her of a phased carrier wave signal received from Torres and Paris. The fact that they sent the signal at all tells that they are in trouble. Janeway orders him to prepare to go to them once impulse is back on-line.
However Tuvok soon calls her to the bridge. The Caatati, he tells her, have returned. This time, there are many more than the original three ships.
Janeway is on the bridge as one of the Caatati ships hails them. Seven is on the bridge as well. Janeway orders an on-screen answer. Lumas appears. All sympathy that was engendered for them vanishes as he informs her that they have Voyager's warp core. Their ships outnumber Voyager greatly and can inflict significant damage. They want everything that they have: all their food, supplies, weapons and their entire supply of thorium. They also want Seven as there are many Caatati who would relish the chance to make sport of her for what the Borg did to their people.
Meanwhile, Paris and Torres share their almost depleted oxygen. Torres comments about feeling groggy and Paris tells her it is due to oxygen deprivation. She bitterly laughs and comments on the irony that this, the Day of Honor, will be the day of her death. They start confessing about their feelings towards each other. Torres recalls considering him an "arrogant, self-absorbed pig" when she first met him. He asks her if she thinks he has changed. She responds her first instincts were correct and now she considers him a "stubborn, domineering pig". But then she apologizes and admits that he is right: she does indeed push people away, out of fear of getting hurt. Paris responds that he can understand that. She sadly calls herself a coward for doing so. They fall silent, again in each other's arms.
Voyager is still surrounded by Caatati ships. Chakotay has no problem recommending that Janeway fight whether they are outnumbered or not, Voyager's weapons are still a lot more powerful. Also Voyager, unlike the Caatati ships, is not in decrepit condition. Ensign Harry Kim suggests that perhaps if they give them some of their supplies, they could talk them into to returning their warp core and letting them leave. Janeway responds that nothing they give them will satisfy them now, short of everything.
Seven offers to go. If they have her to act out their fantasized revenge against the Borg, then perhaps they will be sated. Janeway rejects this offer. Seven, confused, insists that she is only offering to do what is best for the ship and crew. But Janeway tells her that she is one of them now and they will protect her. Her patience worn out, she orders all hands to prepare for battle. The bridge crew readies and she and Chakotay move to their command chairs. Tuvok reports that shield strength is extremely low and Janeway orders rerouting of power to compensate.
Seven informs Janeway she has an alternative: Caatati technology is based on thorium; if they have enough, they could be self-sufficient. Kim reminds her that they do not have enough for all of them and it has been established that nothing less would satisfy them. Seven responds that she, as a former drone, has the Caatati's assimilated knowledge on replicating thorium isotopes. The survivors of the assimilation do not have that knowledge but she could give it to them. Chakotay looks at her dumbfounded and asks why she did not say so in the first place. She admits that the thought simply had not occurred to her as the Borg do not consider giving technology away, only assimilating it. Janeway looks her in the eyes and asks her why she thinks the idea came to her now. Seven looks at her uncertainly and hesitantly responds that she is unsure why. Janeway smiles. "Maybe," she suggests, "it was just an unexpected act of kindness." She orders Seven to work with Vorik to build the replicator, while she makes the offer to the Caatati.
Seven and Janeway show the completed replicator to Lumas in one of Voyager's labs. He is so accustomed to begging that he is slow to see the significance, responding that only one of these devices will not meet the needs of all their ships. Seven explains that by using the first as a template, they can build as many as they want. They will be supplied with the necessary components and specifications. He finally understands what he is being offered. He takes up the device and looks at it, then at Seven and Janeway. "You're free to go," he says finally and leaves, thanking them. "You're welcome," Seven suddenly responds, just before he exits. Seven leaves and Janeway remains, looking extremely pleased.
Paris and Torres float, still in each other's arms, close to unconsciousness. Their oxygen is just about depleted. Torres has one more confession to make. She begins by telling him she has been a coward about everything. He interrupts, responding that she is being too hard on herself but she insists it is true. She is going to die, she tells him, without a shred of honor, so she wants him to know this before she goes:
She loves him.
Paris is jolted fully awake, despite his severe oxygen deprivation. All he can manage for a reply is that she picked a great time to tell him. They fall silent again. Both are too weak to say anything more. They touch each other's faceplates and embrace tighter.
As Torres begins to lose all consciousness, Voyager closes in, reflected in her faceplate.
"Voyager to Tom Paris," comes Janeway's voice through his communicator. "Tom, do you read me? Respond."
He weakly acknowledges.
A smile emerges on her face as the transporter beam takes them.
Memorable quotes Edit
"Welcome to the worst day of my life."
- - Torres
"Bottom line is, I don't want her working in engineering."
"The bottom line is I'm giving you an order and you're going to follow it, lieutenant."
"Whatever you say, sir." (exaggerated sigh)
- - Torres and Chakotay
"Guilt is irrelevant."
- - Seven of Nine and Torres
"Having to dump the warp core has to be the low point of any day."
- - Tom Paris
"Thanks so much. Its been lovely!"
- - B'Elanna Torres, after fighting three holographic Klingons in the Day of Honor holosimulation
"Let me access your controls."
"I thought you'd never ask."
- - Torres and Paris
"Can this day get any worse?"
- - B'Elanna Torres, after ejecting Voyager's warp core
Background information Edit
Introductory information Edit
- This episode was initially scheduled to be the fourth installment of Star Trek: Voyager's fourth season. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, No. 6/7, p. 113) Although it was produced as such, it ultimately switched places with "Nemesis" (in airing order), becoming the third episode of the season.
Story development Edit
- Executive producer Jeri Taylor was conscious of developing the relationship between Paris and Torres in this episode. She remembered how she decided to progress their bond in a romantic direction: "Tom and B'Elanna seemed to have an adversarial-almost relationship. You know, they didn't bump each other the right way, which was fine, but I started thinking that, often, that kind of conflict is because it's covering inner feelings that are not acknowledged by either participant. They may be feeling something else, don't want to face that, and so it comes out in conflict. So, it seemed like that was, for me, a natural outgrowth for what had gone on with them before. So it was in 'Day in Honor'.... Once again, there they are – stuck, stranded. Put two people on a desert island and things will happen! So, they're hanging out in space and the admission is finally made." (Braving the Unknown: Season 4, VOY Season 4 DVD) At the time, Taylor said of the installment, "That will kick them into yet another level. They have spent the last season dancing around each other, and keeping each other at arms length, and we're going to have them take a major step forward." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, No. 6/7, p. 113)
- Co-executive producer Brannon Braga was somewhat anxious about the blossoming of romance between Paris and Torres. "I had mixed feelings about the romance angle," he admitted. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 80)
- This episode was the first to tie directly into a concept first pioneered by the novels – in this case, the Day of Honor, of which John Ordover noted, "The fun thing about that [...] is that it actually led to a Voyager episode." When Ordover was developing the Star Trek: Day of Honor miniseries (in his capacity as editor, at that time), he contacted Jeri Taylor and told her about the miniseries, saying, "'There's this Klingon holiday... which is kind of like the Jewish Yom Kippur, where you take the measure of your honor for the past year. It seemed like a perfect storyline for B'Elanna so I just called you up to say this is what we're doing.'" (Voyages of Imagination, p. 422) Michael Jan Friedman – a noted Star Trek author who provided substantial contributions to the Star Trek: Day of Honor miniseries – recalled, "Jeri Taylor [...] actually took the concept and ran with it and it became a bigger event, both for TV and for the books." (Voyages of Imagination, p. 423)
- This episode's final script draft was submitted on 25 June 1997. 
Cast and characters Edit
- Both director Jesús Salvador Treviño and B'Elanna Torres actress Roxann Dawson found this episode to be important. Treviño asserted, "It was a great episode for the character [of Torres], because she comes to real important truths. It was also an important show in the series [due to the declaration of love between Torres and Paris]." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #15) Dawson agreed, "I think [it] was a very pivotal episode for our relationship, and it was important that it come out well." (Braving the Unknown: Season 4, VOY Season 4 DVD)
- Jesús Salvador Treviño liked working with the actors of both Paris and Torres, but felt that the episode was harder on them than it was on himself. "Working with Robbie McNeill and Roxann Dawson was a pleasure," he remarked. "It was a very arduous episode to shoot for both of them, physically and emotionally." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #15) Dawson felt that the difficulties of production, including some elaborate effects shooting, somewhat hampered her performance here. Dawson complained, "It's tough enough doing emotionally revealing scenes, but to have the elements so working against you, I definitely felt that it was flawed [...] I wasn't completely satisfied with 'Day of Honor'." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 92) On the other hand, Dawson was of the opinion that the episode turned out well. "I think it did," she stated. (Braving the Unknown: Season 4, VOY Season 4 DVD) Dawson also noted, "I liked it a lot." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 92)
- One of the reasons why performing in the episode was tough for Roxann Dawson was that she was pregnant at the time. As a result, Jeri Taylor once described this episode as the one "where we had a pregnant Roxann in [...] [the space]suit." (Star Trek Monthly issue 36, p. 13) Dawson herself explained, "I was very early on in my real pregnancy, at that point, and very few people knew about it [....] I was between three and four months, at that time." (Braving the Unknown: Season 4, VOY Season 4 DVD)
- During the making of this installment, Roxann Dawson was aided by her fellow regular cast member, Robert Duncan McNeill, one of the only individuals who was aware (at the time) that Dawson was pregnant. "Robbie knew and he took very good care of me," Dawson gratefully recalled. "He made sure that, every fifteen minutes, we got breaks. Nobody knew why he was being so insistent about this, but he really did take good care of me and I got through that episode." (Braving the Unknown: Season 4, VOY Season 4 DVD)
- The installment, involving Seven of Nine working in engineering, was filmed shortly after Seven actress Jeri Ryan – a newcomer to the series, anxious about the amount of technical dialogue she would be required to memorize – was advised by Kim actor Garrett Wang to be thankful that her character was not an engineer, due to the amount of technobabble it would give her. "He said, 'Just be glad you're not an engineer, because the engineering people get all the technobabble. That's the really bad job!'" Ryan recounted. "Sure enough, [in 'Day of Honor'], I'm doing a scene with Chakotay and I'm requesting a duty assignment, and he says, 'Oh, do you have anything special in mind?' and I say, 'Oh yes, I want to be in engineering.'" (Star Trek Monthly issue 37, pp. 19-20)
- Just after she finished working on this episode, Janeway actress Kate Mulgrew hinted to Star Trek Monthly about the development between Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres, and revealed that the episode had an ending that she believed was tantalizing. (Star Trek Monthly issue 32, p. 9)
- Robert Picardo (The Doctor) does not appear in this episode, although his character is mentioned in dialogue.
Production and effects Edit
- For the scene in which Neelix and Torres have a discussion in the mess hall, a "wild" (meaning removable) wall of the mess hall set was removed. Chief lighting technician Bill Peets subsequently checked the light levels on a stand-in for Roxann Dawson, before the actors took their places. The scene was then rehearsed, with Dawson and Neelix actor Ethan Phillips in makeup but Phillips not yet in full costume, while Jesús Salvador Treviño stood nearby and watched the actors. (A Vision of the Future - Star Trek: Voyager)
- Between breaks during the filming of the scene wherein the Voyager crew attempt to open a transwarp conduit, Robert Duncan McNeill and Jeri Ryan had a discussion with each other in the engineering set, leaning on the railing surrounding the warp core. (Star Trek Monthly issue 37, p. 43)
- Of all of the episode's scenes, those that proved most challenging for the production team were of Paris and B'Elanna's space walk. Jesús Salvador Treviño admitted, "The big challenge was the floating in space sequence." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 119, p. 66) These scenes required Treviño and Star Trek: Voyager's effects artists to present a believable representation of outer space. "Our audience is very sophisticated, and the FX have to be done well," Treviño said. "In some cases, like the space walk in 'Day of Honor,' we've seen the real thing [....] So, the scenes with Tom Paris and B'Elanna had to look real." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #15) Indeed, recent Hubble footage influenced the production team such that – instead of taking the ordinary step of filming the "space" footage against the black, sequined curtain that commonly served as starry backgrounds – the decision was made to substitute the outer space setting with CGI. (Star Trek Monthly issue 35, p. 12)
- Much resources, including finances, went into depicting the space setting. Roxann Dawson noted, "It's very expensive to do so many scenes in front of a bluescreen." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 92) Jesús Salvador Treviño explained, "Jeri Taylor let us spend the time and money to get it right." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #15) Taylor herself commented, "It was a big risk in terms of production, because that's a lot of optical work, a lot of blue screen." (Star Trek Monthly issue 36, p. 13)
- One consideration was how to depict the weightlessness of outer space. Visual effects producer Dan Curry commented, "The critical thing about shooting something like that – especially for television, where our time and budget is so limited – [is] to create the illusion that they are drifting and not just posing." (Red Alert: Amazing Visual Effects, VOY Season 4 DVD) Jesús Salvador Treviño recollected, "I spent a lot of time with the FX people developing ways we could simulate free-fall, floating in space without relying strictly on CGI, which would look phoney-baloney. We came up with a very involved, innovative way to do it, and it was done within budget and within the seven days we have to shoot an episode." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #15) The solution referred to by Treviño was a variety of rigs that would physically support the actors while making them bob up and down, helping to give the impression that they were freely floating in space. (Star Trek Monthly issue 35, p. 12) Dan Curry referred to these rigs as a variety of "teeter-totter see-saws and turntables, depending on what action had to be depicted." (Red Alert: Amazing Visual Effects, VOY Season 4 DVD) It was special effects department head Dick Brownfield who suggested this method. Treviño remembered, "He came up with the teeter-totter idea, and then he and I worked together to embellish it." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 119, p. 66)
- To define exactly what rigs would be used for the space sequence, the sequence was heavily storyboarded. "In a case like that," Dan Curry remarked, "very critical was coming up with storyboards that would convey the series of images we needed to tell that part of the story, and then we knew what rigs we'd have to create to make those images successful." Influenced by the storyboards, the rigs were then built. "Working with the special effects department," Curry explained, "we put the actors on [them]." (Red Alert: Amazing Visual Effects, VOY Season 4 DVD)
- After the decision was made to utilize teeter-totter rigs, Director of Photography Marvin V. Rush determined that the performers should be able to be seen from upside down. "So we needed a camera mount that was going to be able to do 360 degrees," Jesús Salvador Treviño offered. "I came up with the idea of a 'Lazy Susan' and Dick Brownfield built me one that worked perfectly." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 119, p. 66)
- The particular EV suits worn by Paris and Torres here were previously used in the film Star Trek: First Contact. (Delta Quadrant, p. 197)
- The shooting of this episode was under way when, at lunchtime on Tuesday 8 July 1997, reporter Lou Anders met up with Dan Curry while Curry was watching filming for the episode on Paramount Stage 8. (Star Trek Monthly issue 35, p. 25) Anders noticed some of the rigs in use and later described the ones he saw as akin to "blue-painted pogo sticks attached at the ends of long blue see-saws." (Star Trek Monthly issue 35, p. 12)
- Although the elaborate rigs helped maintain the illusion of free-fall, they were uncomfortable for the pregnant Roxann Dawson, who also had difficulties with the EV suits worn by Torres and Paris. She later remembered, "To be three months pregnant – as most women know... what that feels like – and then to be strung up in a harness and kind of suspended in space in spacesuits and helmets that had very little air and would have fans that, you know, go on and off to enable you to breath properly, it was very [uncomfortable]. It would have been uncomfortable for somebody who wasn't pregnant, let alone [someone who actually was] [...] It was tortuous doing it, I have to say." (Braving the Unknown: Season 4, VOY Season 4 DVD) Dawson also stated, "We were up, strapped onto sort of a teeter-totter, on a tiny little bicycle seat with everything dangling. We were concerned about those suits, which raise your body temperature, and make you very claustrophobic. The only [...] way you can hear to the outside world is through microphones. You've got a lot of things to overcome just to get to what you are actually trying to say in the scene. It was a tough couple of days' shooting, and I of course just had my own concerns because of the pregnancy." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 80) Jeri Taylor once recalled that having the pregnant Roxann Dawson confined to one of the EV suits, which Taylor acknowledged were "horrible to work in," added to the uncertainties of production. "We were not at all sure how that one was going to turn out," Taylor said of the episode. (Star Trek Monthly issue 36, p. 13)
- Despite the fact that the outer space sequence was planned with storyboards, the visual effects team ultimately had even more work than they had originally expected, when it came time to insert the space backgrounds in post-production. Visual effects supervisor Ronald B. Moore recalled, "We ended up having three times as many visual effects shots as we had intended. Most of our time was bluescreen hanging in space. We had to get through the stuff fast." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 80)
- As a result of the rush to finalize the visual effects shots, Ron Moore was not completely satisfied with some of the shots. "Things that I might have done with a lot of time would have been little reflections in the faces," Moore explained. "They had clear plastic face masks on, and it would have been nice to put in reflections. The only time we did that was at the end of the sequence when you saw the Voyager coming for them." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 80)
- The sequence involving the ejection of Voyager's warp core was done by the visual effects company Foundation Imaging, including the warp core hatch through which the core is ejected. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 80; Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 16, p. 73)
- Every line of dialogue from the space scenes had to be rerecorded in post-production. "We [...] had to go in later on and loop every single line of that," remembered Roxann Dawson. "Plus they needed to edit [the dialogue] quite a bit because of the budget [...] I felt that it lost its bite because of these things [....] There was more dialogue [originally]. When I went in to loop it I had to rethink the way I was going to say things." Dawson found that her performances during the looping sessions were of lesser quality to how she had delivered the lines during production, a mismatch that she felt was typical. "Perhaps for people who didn't know what was missing, it wasn't a big deal," she reckoned. "But I sense it, and I know where I felt the beats should have been." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 92)
- This episode's depiction of a warp core being ejected from a Federation starship was the first time that such an event was shown up close. This may have influenced Star Trek: Insurrection, although that Star Trek film doesn't quite show the Enterprise-E ejecting its core.
- At some point between the first season installment "Cathexis" and this episode, B'Elanna Torres is granted authorization to eject the warp core.
- This episode is the first appearance on Voyager of Starfleet EV suits. In addition to the fact that the particular suits worn here were reuses from Star Trek: First Contact, Tom Paris actually mentions the term "first contact" during the EV sequence.
- According to this episode's storyline, Paris and Torres perform quite a feat by taking less than two minutes to put on their EV suits.
- B'Elanna Torres states that zero-g environments make her "sick to [her] stomach", just as Worf says of himself in Star Trek: First Contact.
- In the Season 2 episode "Investigations", Neelix reads from the communications logs and finds one titled "Voyager to Caatati". Given that the events of Season 2 take place at least 10,000 light years away from where Voyager encounters the Caatati in this episode, it is safe to assume that the writers simply recycled the name for use here.
- Ultimately, both Brannon Braga and Michael Jan Friedman were pleased with Jeri Taylor's work on this episode. Braga was particularly pleased with how Taylor dealt with the episode's romantic angle. "Jeri Taylor pulled it off well," Braga commented. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 80) Friedman noted, "I think Jeri Taylor, who wrote the episode, did a nice job." (Voyages of Imagination, p. 326)
- Jeri Taylor herself liked this episode, despite having been concerned during the installment's production period. She said of the episode, "That was a lot of fun [....] I think it turned out wonderfully." (Star Trek Monthly issue 36, p. 13)
- This episode achieved a Nielsen rating of 4.5 million homes, and a 7% share. 
- Cinefantastique rated this episode 3 out of 4 stars. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 78)
- Star Trek Monthly scored this episode 4 out of 5 stars. (Star Trek Monthly issue 37, p. 61)
- The unauthorized reference book Delta Quadrant (p. 199) gives this installment a rating of 3 out of 10.
- This episode was not only inspired by the Star Trek: Day of Honor miniseries but was also novelized itself (by Michael Jan Friedman). The episode's novelization gives the names of the two Caatati who deal with Voyager as Agron Lumas and Temmis Rahmin.
Video and DVD releases Edit
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 4.2, 2 March 1998
- As part of the VOY Season 4 DVD collection
Links and referencesEdit
- Robert Beltran as Commander Chakotay
- Roxann Dawson as Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres
- Robert Duncan McNeill as Lieutenant Tom Paris
- Ethan Phillips as Neelix
- Robert Picardo as The Doctor
- Tim Russ as Lieutenant Tuvok
- Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine
- Garrett Wang as Ensign Harry Kim
Guest stars Edit
- Alexander Enberg as Vorik
- Alan Altshuld as Lumas
- Michael A. Krawic as Rahmin
- Kevin P. Stillwell as Moklor
Uncredited co-stars Edit
- Christine Delgado as Susan Nicoletti
- Andrew English as a security officer
- Tom Morga as a Klingon warrior
- Audra Whaley as an operations division officer
- Unknown actor as Voyager engineer
acoustic inverter; antimatter; armada; bat'leth; blood pie; Borg Collective; breakfast; Caatati vessels; carrier wave; class 2 shuttle; Cochrane; coolant assembly; coolant injector; Day of Honor; dilithium matrix; energy matrix; Federation; fuel cell; gesture; Gorath; Grail of Kahless; holodeck; hyperspanner; impulse engine; Intrepid-class; ion turbulence; isotope; kilogram; kilometer; main deflector; millibar; Miral; mot'loch; neutron; painstik; particle beam; phased carrier wave; pig; plasma coolant; refugee; sonic shower; spitting cobra; Starfleet Academy; subspace field; sulfur; tachyon; targ; thorium; tractor beam; transwarp conduit; warp core; warp core ejection system; womb
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