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Favorite Son (episode)

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"Favorite Son"
VOY, Episode 3x20
Production number: 162
First aired: 19 March 1997
61st of 168 produced in VOY
61st of 168 released in VOY
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 0 released in VOY Remastered  
459th of 728 released in all
Taymon Dead
Written By
Lisa Klink

Directed By
Marvin V. Rush
50732.4 (2373)
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Harry seemingly learns both that he is actually a member of a Delta Quadrant race and that "his" people want him never to leave his new home.


Commander Chakotay suggests using a trinary star system as a focal map point for this system. Ensign Harry Kim asks if USS Voyager had been to this system before, only to believe that he was experiencing déjà vu.

When Voyager encounters an alien ship they have never seen before (the Nasari ship Nerada), Kim instinctively fires without orders, claiming that a tetryon surge was a manner of charging weapons. Voyager takes heavy damage in defending itself from the Nasari vessel, forcing them to withdraw. Kim is relieved of duty, pending investigation of his overtly-hostile actions. Lieutenant jg B'Elanna Torres was severely injured during the attack and is brought to sickbay.

Kim then goes to sickbay on Captain Kathryn Janeway's orders to look at a cut on his forehead and to watch The Doctor and Kes treating B'Elanna's injuries. He feels extremely guilty over his actions and Kes comforts him, telling him that it was in the past and that he cannot change the past.

During the night, he has a strange dream and when he awakens, he has a rash on his head. The Doctor cannot find an initial cause.

Kim reports to the captain's ready room and admits fault about starting the last engagement. Janeway reveals that he was right about the Nasari ship charging weapons.

Tuvok alerts Janeway that there are three Nasari ships approaching them. Kim has a star chart pulled up on one of Voyager's computers and convinces Janeway to set a course to a nearby system. Upon arriving, Kim sees a planet and knows its name is Taresia. Prior to being attacked by the Nasari, Voyager is defended by an unknown ship which forces the Nasari vessels to retreat. Voyager answers a hail from the unknown ship which is from Taresia. The woman communicating with Voyager from the Taresian ship recognizes Harry as a Taresian and welcomes him home.

"Captain's log, stardate 50732.4. The Taresians have escorted us back to their home world so we can continue to investigate their claim that Ensign Kim is a member of their race."

The Taresians tell a shocking story of how Kim was implanted with their DNA at birth. Kim decides to stay with the Taresians to learn more about them and himself. Voyager leaves orbit to attempt negotations with the Nasari. They learn from the Nasari that the Taresian males who return to Taresia never leave. Voyager returns to Taresia where they find a protective grid encircling the planet which also blocks communications.

Kim participates in the joining ceremony of another male Taresian, Taymon. After the ceremony, he tries to contact Voyager but is unsuccessful.

The Doctor meets with Janeway and Chakotay to inform them that he discovered something about Kim's Taresian DNA: it was implanted, possibly by a virus. The Doctor reviewed the transporter biofilter logs and found that the alien DNA made its first appearance on stardate 50698. Chakotay remembers that was the date of the away mission on the planet where Vorillium was found. (VOY: "Darkling")

After spending the night on the planet and experiencing more strange dreams, doubt begins to creep up on Kim. Two very "interested" females try to reassure him but their attempts to do so make him outright suspicious. Kim ties one of the women up and knocks out the other so he can escape. Kim makes it to Taymon's quarters where he finds his corpse in bed. Taymon's wife enters the quarters and Kim overpowers her. He learns what The Doctor discovered and that the Taresian reproductive process is deadly to the male, meaning that more males have to be repeatedly harvested from space. Two more Taresian women enter Taymon's quarters. Kim throws Taymon's wife at them to continue his escape.

Voyager finally finds a way to get inside the grid and beams Kim up as he is surrounded by more Taresian women who try to forcibly have him joined. When Voyager leaves the system, a Taresian ship fires at Voyager when three Nasari ships appear and also fire at Voyager and the Taresian ship. The Nasari later concentrate their fire on the Taresian ship allowing Voyager to leave.

Kim meets with Neelix and Lt. jg Tom Paris at the mess hall where Neelix says he misses the spots Kim had. Kim tells Neelix about the myth of the sirens. Where the captain of ancient ships ordered the crew to block their ears in order not to be seduced by the singing of the sirens. The sirens would cause the ships to crash, marooning the crew. Kim tells Paris that he wished he was more like Paris with women. Paris states he has tried to be like Kim since he joined the crew of Voyager.

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Memorable Quotes

"Perhaps you are experiencing a paradoxical state-dependent associative phenomenon."
"Déjà vu."

- Tuvok and Captain Janeway

"What's your next trick, Harry? Pull a shuttlecraft out of a hat?"

- Chakotay

"Sometimes I wish I could be more bold, more confident with women, more like you."
"Like me? You might want to reconsider that, Harry. There may be prison time involved."

- Harry Kim and Tom Paris

Background Information

Story and Script

Cast and Characters

  • Garrett Wang described the earliest version of this episode's script as "excellent". In the early stages of the episode's development, he eagerly anticipated the chance to play Kim as an alien throughout the rest of the series. "It would have given me a chance to add a little more color to him," Wang related. "I was very excited about that, because I had always said that it was easier to write for the non-human characters on Voyager than the human characters." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #17)
  • Lisa Klink noted that, ultimately, the installment leads Harry Kim to revalue his lifestyle: "This is an episode that forces Kim to question his identity a little bit. He gets to take a walk on the wild side, and then of course discovers that he is who he thought he was all along. Maybe it's not so bad to be Harry Kim." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, No. 6/7, p. 108)
  • Ultimately, Garrett Wang still enjoyed performing Kim's central role of this installment and Marvin Rush was pleased with Wang's performance. Rush noted, "Garrett Wang had some fun doing it [....] Garrett played his part very well." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #15) Wang also regretted, however, that the episode turned out the way it did. "'Favorite Son' was, to me, something of a miss-hit," the actor related. "Intentions were good, but I don't think, personally, that it came out the way it should have." For this, Wang blamed the collaborative method in which the episode was written, believing that too many voices wanted to have a say in its development. "There were different opinions in how the episode was to go [....] You end up with a mediocre [episode], because no solid choice in one direction is chosen," Wang commented. "I think that's what happened with 'Favorite Son'. You have three or four different opinions of how this episode should be written, and all of a sudden you have no clear delineation of where this episode should go. It becomes gray. There are no colors in there. It kind of tired me out a little bit, especially after doing 'The Chute'." (Star Trek Monthly issue 33, p. 35) In essence, Wang thought this episode did not entirely achieve its potential. "It was an OK episode," he commented, "but it could have been so much more." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #17)
  • Marvin Rush also worked with the performers playing the Taresian females of this episode, although their characters presented Rush with a challenge. "I had to maintain a sense of tastefulness about it," Rush explained. "The best comparison to the society in 'Favorite Son' is the Geisha girls of Japanese culture. The Western mind thinks of Geishas as prostitutes. That's an element to being a Geisha, but they are far more than that. A Geisha is a woman whose whole purpose is to entertain men, in every possible way, intellectually and with great beauty. It's the entire package. A Geisha is not a dummy; she's a bright woman. But her role is to be completely captivating to men. That was the goal for the characters in 'Favorite Son': To be so totally devoted to the male that whatever he wants, he can have. These guest actors had to come in and play very non-'90s women. I had to do a little convincing, but we got there. It was a difficult show to do well." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #15)
  • Garrett Wang was ultimately dissatisfied with the design of the Taresian females. "They had these matronly women with no sex appeal instead of babes dressed like I Dream of Jeannie," Wang recalled. (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #17)
  • This episode includes two past DS9 performers; Deborah May (Lyris) previously played Haneek in "Sanctuary" and Christopher Carroll (Alben) appeared as Gul Benil in "Second Skin".


  • Marvin Rush noted that, during the production period, the cast and crew attempted to make this essentially "a male fantasy piece with a dark twist" and that they tried to give the episode more depth than was in the script. (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #15)
  • The costume worn by Garrett Wang as the Taresian Kim had a Deep Space Nine tag rather than a Voyager one. (citation needededit)
  • The Nasari starships were a reuse of a studio model originally used as a Romulan scout ship in TNG: "The Defector". The Taresian starship was an oft-reused studio model previously utilized to depict such ships as Baran's mercenary vessel in the TNG two-parter "Gambit, Part I" and "Gambit, Part II" as well as the Miradorn raider in DS9: "Vortex". (Delta Quadrant, p. 176)
  • This episode had a complicated shooting schedule, split in half by the Christmas holiday break. Marvin Rush commented, "It's hard to keep things focused when you have 15 or 16 days off between one part of the show and the next. It adds one more bit of complexity to the process. Sometimes there's no way around it." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #15)
  • One scene that Marvin Rush especially concentrated on was the one that incorporates an overhead shot of Kim, while the malevolent Taresian females are closing in on him and he looks up at the camera, moments before he is whisked away, in the nick of time, by Voyager's transporter. To capture this footage, Rush had the crew remove the ceiling from the set, then build a rig and mount the camera onto it. Rush later said of the shot, "I wanted to show him having no way out. Kim is about to get beaten up. I wanted to cut to an odd angle that we hadn't seen before. Rather than show it from ground level, I thought we should show him encircled and ultimately escaping at the last second. It just seemed right. Fortunately, my grips on the show had prepared the night before, so we didn't take any extra time. The shot went off without a hitch." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #15)
  • Garrett Wang participated in reshoots during the episode's production, for which he blamed the design of the Taresian females. "As a result, we had to do a lot of reshooting," he said. "The scene where we had the marriage was originally going to be shot differently. We had all these women and the lighting was different, but the producers didn't like it. We reshot it with darker lighting and no kissing–a very ceremonial, ritual wedding." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #17)


  • Executive producer Jeri Taylor cited this episode and the preceding one ("Rise") as being among the weaker offerings of Season 3, feeling that they were both let down by their execution. She specifically said of this installment, "'Favorite Son' was an interesting idea that in the making of it just came off as looking a little silly." (Star Trek Monthly issue 31, p. 12)
  • Marvin Rush thought the cast and crew were successful in making this episode "a male fantasy piece with a dark twist." He commented, "I believe that's what we achieved. I would have loved for a little more depth in the piece. We tried for it, but I'm not sure we got it. 'The Host' and 'The Thaw' [Rush's previous directorial outings] had more depth. This one was not as satisfying an experience as the previous two. It was not as cerebral." On the other hand, he added, "I thought it was entertaining and it moved along." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #15)
  • In lieu of any overarching theme or morals, Marvin Rush interpreted such a moral from a particular scene of the episode, in which Kim is tempted with drugs but doesn't take them and instead starts to realize that he is being drawn in by a corrupt culture. "That was a really important scene for me," the director remarked. "If there's a message to that show, that's the scene with the message." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #15)
  • This episode achieved a Nielsen rating of 4.4 million homes, and a 7% share. [3]
  • This installment is the last in what is known to some fans as the "trilogy of terror" – three consecutive episodes that are often considered to be remarkably bad (the other two episodes being "Darkling" and "Rise"). (Beyond the Final Frontier, p. 304)
  • Cinefantastique rated this episode 1 out of 4 stars. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, No. 6/7, p. 108)
  • Star Trek Monthly scored this episode 4 out of 5 stars, defined as "Trill-powered viewing". (Star Trek Monthly issue 30, p. 59)
  • The unauthorized reference book Delta Quadrant (p. 176) gives this installment a rating of 2 out of 10.

Video and DVD releases

The video sleeve gives this episode the title "Favourite Son", using the British English spelling.

Links and references

Guest stars


Uncredited co-stars


Alpha Quadrant; Ashmore; binary code; bioscan; Delta Quadrant; DNA; Federation; genetic engineering; genetic memory; hatana; Kim, John; Kim, Mary; Klingon; Mendakan pox; microcellular scan; Milky Way Galaxy; mood enhancer; Nasari; Nasari starship; Odysseus; paradoxical state-dependent associative phenomenon; plasma conduit; plasma injector; polaron grid; pulmonary regeneration; pulmozine; red alert; retrovirus; rikka flower; Sirens; tachyon; Taresia; Taresian; Taresian starship; Taresian system; targ; tetryon; transporter buffer; vorillium; warp field

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Star Trek: Voyager
Season 3
Next episode:
"Before and After"

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