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Lt. Tom Paris (Robert Duncan MacNeil) and Borg drone Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan)

Star Trek - Relativity - Ping Pong Scenes - wmv Video - (22 Mbytes, 3:01 Minutes)






Ensign Harry Kim (Garrett Wang) and Lt. B'Elanna Torres (Roxann Dawson)



7 of 9 plays in a doubles ping pong match.


The table tennis ball is caught in a  time warp.


The guy to the right of the table who is being fired on is the time-traveling Captain Braxton (Bruce McGill)


Review by: Voyager Fan

Not much to say here -- a delicious cream puff episode that didn't leave me with much to chew! Although I did try to diagram a timeline and make sense of the temporal jumps and anomalies and questions I had. But after about half a second I threw my disbelief (and the diagram) out of the window and decided to just enjoy the show. I loved this episode. From the opening scene with Captain Janeway beaming on to a Voyager still at dry dock, I was hooked.

There are many interesting mysteries folded into this fluff -- we the viewers want to know what Seven is doing on Voyager three years before she is removed from the collective, minus implants and wearing a Starfleet uniform. Then there is the mystery our crew faces within the episode of strange chronoton fluxes, ill crewmen, and hovering ping pong balls. And there is the mystery the Timeship Relativity is trying to solve of who destroyed Voyager in a temporal explosion?

And the episode has lots of good character moments. Mulgrew easily recaptured the early Janeway's easy grace and confidence, her regal bearing and good nature as she addressed the Admiral and answered his questions, and her unfettered happiness as she first strolled onto the bridge of Voyager and sat in the Captain's chair -- her chair. I liked her confrontation with Seven -- she was tough, but in a very wide-eyed way, without the almost jaded edge that the Janeway of Season Five has in similar encounters. I loved seeing and hearing her reactions to Tom Paris (give the boy a second chance, he's a great pilot) and the Doctor (his program needs some work in the personality department). The fact that these stories weren't 100% consistent with what we know from Caretaker or Mosaic just didn't bother me.

The banter between Seven and Tom was a lot of fun - they had the comfortable banter of real friends as Tom goaded Seven into participating in a ping-pong match (call me a luddite if you will - I love to see those non-holodeck recreational activities). Seven was great -- unflappable, taking time travel and temporal bombs in stride, fitting in better with the crew, respecting Janeway's talents.

I did think it was hysterical that someone would detest Janeway so much -- and this from someone who adores her! My husband laughed out loud when Braxton went into his Janeway tirade. Janeway is so strong and opinionated and confident and stubborn -- it is natural she'd pick up a few enemies.

As I said earlier, I just rolled with the episode's inconsistencies with previous episodes. But I did have a slight nit -- Janeway going back in time to stop Braxton really seemed like an add-on, to avoid yet another Seven saves the ship episode.

All in all, very watchable and enjoyable - it gets a 9 out of 10.

Jammer's Review

Star Trek: Voyager


Airdate: 5/12/1999
Teleplay by Bryan Fuller & Nick Sagan & Michael Taylor
Story by Nick Sagan
Directed by Allan Eastman

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"I don't care if history itself comes unraveled; I want to know why you're on my ship!" -- Janeway, putting Voyager first (as usual)

Nutshell: Weird, labyrinthine, goofy, bordering on nonsense ... and quite fun.

The plot of "Relativity" is like some sort of comic maze. By the end, the madness has grown so absurd that the characters can barely restrain their grins of bemusement. This is Star Trek sci-fi on crack.

I liked it. It's fun.

"Relativity" begins with some suspense and intrigue; then it proceeds into an explanatory plot-revealing mode with dialog-based story advancement and manageable action; and finally it just turns into sheer lunacy, as the timeline leaping exists for the sake of itself, having little rhyme or reason.

As time-travel shows go, the attitude in "Relativity" probably most resembles TNG's "Timescape." The movement through timelines isn't used to put characters at points in history where they must save the world, Federation, etc.; it's more like an elaborate means for jumping around on the stage known as the starship Voyager. The goal: prevent Voyager from being destroyed.

You see, a saboteur of unknown identity has planted a device on the ship. But it exists in a different temporal phase that only Seven of Nine, with her special Borg ocular capabilities, can see. This leads the crew of a 29th-century time ship to recruit Seven for the mission to find the device before it causes a "temporal explosion" that will destroy Voyager. (Why not just a regular explosion? I suppose because a temporal explosion sounds more complex and interesting.)

The 29th-century time ship, the Relativity, is captained by the same man who set the events of "Future's End" in motion--one Captain Braxton (now played by Bruce McGill), who had found himself trapped in the 20th century for 30 years because of his encounter with Voyager. Perhaps to say Braxton set those events in motion is not accurate. If I've learned anything from "Relativity," it's that one cannot utilize traditional logic when it comes to timeline manipulation. This episode deals a lot with that reliable sci-fi chestnut: the time paradox, which renders obsolete our sense of cause and effect.

Do I really need to explain all of this? In a nutshell, Seven jumps back to a point where Voyager was in dry-dock and looks for the hidden bomb. It's not there, so she is retrieved through time again and sent to a point later in Voyager's time frame. While on this mission through time, Seven also must contend with what Braxton calls "the Janeway factor," which is Janeway's tendency to interact with events that are taking place across the fourth dimension, and thus causing annoying "temporal incursions" that 29th-century time ship captains like Braxton must set right.

The story's central twist is that the saboteur turns out to be a future version of Captain Braxton himself. Apparently, he's gone quite mad in the future and has decided he must destroy Voyager--thereby stopping Janeway from ever again infecting the timeline. (The subtext within the idea of Voyager damaging the timeline so often strikes me as the writers taking a jab at themselves for using so many time-travel storylines.)

A story like this depends on execution more than anything else. "Relativity" executes well. It's nothing particularly brilliant, but it's a fun yarn to watch unfold. If you have a short attention span, "Relativity" will not try your patience. The story moves along swiftly and, dare I say, confidently. There's a cavalier attitude here concerning time travel, but the writers approach the material with a light tough that seems to keep the focus on fun rather than making the story a plodding mess. That's a good thing, since any attempt to use common sense in approaching the plot is virtually useless.

Honestly, by the end of the hour's mania, there's not really much motivation behind the timeline jumping. The writers resign the game to a fairly standard chase, where the playground is simply the various timelines utilizing the standing Voyager sets. Braxton goes back to Voyager of season two; Seven follows. Braxton jumps into Voyager of season five; Seven follows. And once Seven stops Braxton, the games still aren't over. Now the damage to the timeline must be repaired as best possible, which means the time ship crew must recruit Janeway (because Seven has already jumped through time too many times and her health may be threatened) to go back in time and stop Braxton from ever having done anything in Voyager's past in the first place. (First place, last place--do these terms mean anything?) Upon Janeway accomplishing this goal, this means Seven will never have a need for visiting Voyager several times in the past and altering the timeline. That means, I suppose, that the whole episode never really happened--or it sort of did, but not really, but ... does any of this make sense?

Aw, hell--Seven's next stop might as well have been November 12, 1955. I doubt it would/would've/will made/make much a difference to this craziness. (Of course, it might matter if that date is actually the key to the space-time continuum the way Emmett Brown theorized.)

I have a question, though. If the people of the 29th century have so much control over time, why does any of this plot even matter? Why couldn't Braxton be retrieved through time before he spent those 30 years in the 20th century? (For that matter, it was my understanding, based on the concluding scene of "Future's End, Part II," that Braxton's fate had somehow been reset such that he never really got trapped in the 20th century at all--of course, I didn't really understand it then, so I suppose I shouldn't try to make sense of it now.)

For that matter, what exactly is the motivation for Braxton blowing up Voyager? To see an end to Janeway's interference with the timeline? If that's the case, why doesn't he blow up Voyager in the past (from our perspective, that is), before Voyager corrupted the timeline in the first place--rather than waiting until the point we call "late season five"? That would presumably prevent him from ever having been trapped three decades in the 20th century. You know, I could go on, but your head would explode.

I think the point of all this madness, if there is one, is that the time paradox has no discernible cause or effect, and that trying to establish cause/effect is simply pointless. Rather, what characters must do in such situations is go with the flow and hope the game plays out the way it "should." I don't know who plays God in alleging to know what the "correct" timeline is, but I would hope those people are well trained and less prone to manic treachery than Braxton. Or, at the very least, I hope they're arrested in advance for crimes they're going to commit. (Heh.)

It's probably a good thing the characters can barely keep all the paradoxes straight, so that at least we as viewers are on the same level as some of the people in the story, like Janeway, who simply wants to be done with the ordeal before it all gives her a headache.

Beyond playing with paradoxes, "Relativity" is sold on its whimsical attitude. It knows better than to take itself seriously, and has some neat scenes involving "shattered" time. My favorite has to be the ping pong tournament, where Paris slams the ball and it freezes in midair for a few seconds before continuing on its way. What does Official Scorekeeper Neelix do after this bizarre event? Why, he scores the point, natch. Hee.

This episode also brings back that long-forgotten Lt. Joe Carey (Josh Clark), unseen for four years. Where has this guy been? It's interesting to note that he appears only in scenes involving Voyager's past, and not in the present. I, for one, would like to know where this guy has vanished to. Maybe the space-time continuum simply swallowed him up.

What the space-time continuum does not swallow up in "Relativity" is the enjoyment factor. This is an episode that's fairly loony, but it embraces its illogic and moves forward with no fear of the future--or the past, or the present.

By Michelle Erica Green
Posted at January 13, 2004 - 4:08 PM GMT

See Also: 'Relativity' Episode Guide


Voyager is in spacedock at the Utopia Planitia shipyards, where Janeway (wearing her hair up) boards and greets an admiral who gives her a final inspection tour. He tells her that Tuvok is apparently safe on Chakotay's ship, and she suggests that Tom Paris would make an excellent pilot for their first mission in the Badlands. On the bridge she passes Seven of Nine in a Starfleet science uniform without her cybernetic eyepiece. Seven ducks into the briefing room, reporting to an unknown party that there is no weapon on the bridge. When the captain and the admiral ask her opinion of the briefing room, she says that it appears to be efficient.

When she passes through engineering, Seven tells engineer Joe Carey that her name is Anna Jamison and she is on temporary assignment from Utopia Planitia. Then she enters a Jeffries Tube, where she finds a temporal distortion on Deck 4, Section 39. Removing a panel, she sees a temporal disruptor, but her work sets off an alarm in engineering and Janeway - who's itching to get her hands dirty - goes to see what the problem is. Seven tells her contact that she cannot deactivate the weapon as it is out of temporal phase with her own time, but they cannot beam her out because the temporal effects of the weapon are affecting their transporters. As Janeway closes in on her, reading a chronoton distortion, Captain Braxton of the Relativity orders her beamed out despite warnings from his second in command that her bionetic implants will be damaged. Seven disappears just as Janeway and the admiral access the Jeffries tube; her Borg implants fail, and she collapses and dies.

Braxton announces that they're going to have to recruit Seven again - now that they know where the weapon is, they need to figure out when it got there. He suggests taking her out just before an explosion so that no one notices she's gone. On Voyager, Seven is playing in a ping pong tournament, teamed with Paris against Torres and Kim. Several crewmembers, including the captain, have been in sickbay complaining of space sickness, but the Doctor assumes it has something to do with the inertial dampers until a ping pong ball stops in midair. Seven reads temporal distortions emanating from Deck 4, Section 39...distortions which Torres warns could destroy the ship.

As temporal problems plague the ship - Doc gets a message from Neelix before the Talaxian sent it, Chakotay appears to Janeway in slow-motion triplicate - Seven finds the disruptor with Torres, who cannot see the device because it is out of phase with this time period as well - only the cybernetic implants enable Seven to detect it. But she cannot beam it off the ship, and the hull goes out of phase just before a temporal explosion causes a hull breach. Kim detects a phase variance of .003 just as men from the Relativity beam aboard to retrieve Seven. Suddenly Janeway realizes that the flux is identical to the one she detected at the shipyards, and announces that it can't be a coincidence. But her discovery comes too late, and Voyager explodes after Seven is beamed away.

Braxton greets Seven aboard the Relativity and explains that she is on a 29th century ship. He tells her that someone his a temporal weapon on Voyager during a battle with the Kazon when the shields were down; they need Seven to find it, because her ocular implants and her knowledge of the vessel and its crew make her ideal for the job. He also explains that they have recruited her twice before, and a fourth trip will likely cause psychosis, so they need to succeed this time. During a quiz on temporal dilemmas (including the Dali Paradox or "Melting Clock" and the Pogo Paradox of causality encountered by the Enterprise in First Contact), Seven wonders how she herself will avoid impacting the timeline. She is warned by Braxton that Janeway has a habit of creating temporal problems which he has to fix, and advised to avoid the captain at all costs.

While Voyager is under attack by the Kazon, Seven sneaks around engineering to find the disruptor, but Kim gets a phase flux reading of .003 from the transporters. Janeway remembers seeing the same reading in spacedock and orders containment around Deck 4, Section 39. Meanwhile the Borg discovers that the weapon has not arrived yet, but she cannot contact the Relativity because of the forcefield. When Janeway arrives, she recognizes Seven as the ensign who called the breifing room efficient. Braxton listens to the conversation hoping that Seven will not corrupt the timeline by revealing her true identity, but when Tuvok recognizes her readings as Borg, she tells Janeway the entire story and begs the captain to trust her. The captain agrees, and the pair discover that an older Captain Braxton himself put the weapon on Voyager.

The senior Braxton agrees that he is suffering from temporal psychosis, but claims that it's Janeway's fault: all her incursions into the timeline made him end up in rehabilitation, destroying his career. Activating the disruptor, he announces that he needs to wipe Voyager out of the timeline, then beams away. Relativity tracks his readings to Utopia Planitia and Relativity sends Seven after him although both the second in command of Relativity and the ex-Borg herself know that she risks temporal psychosis by making another jump in time. This time Janeway and the admiral witness Seven chasing Braxton through the corridors of Voyager.

Cornered by Janeway's forcefields, Braxton transports to the present, where the ping pong game is in progress. Seven runs in after him, startling her own double. The time traveler collapses from the strain but asks her present-day duplicate to stop Braxton: "Your future depends on it." She is beamed back to Relativity, along with Janeway who is asked to clean up the temporal messes for which Braxton holds her responsible. The older Braxton tries to convince his younger self to join him in the destruction of Voyager, but Braxton's first officer takes command, sending Janeway to retrieve the crazy older man at the precise time he planted, or will plant, the weapon. "Let's get started before my headache gets worse," she groans.

Janeway successfully traps her nemesis in her own ship's past among the Kazon, then is beamed back to the Relativity where she learns that all the versions of Captain Braxton will be reintegrated to stand trial. The two Sevens will be reintegrated as well, but since all of Janeway's incursions were into the past, she will be allowed to remember them; she just can't ever discuss the experience with anyone. Janeway is all too happy to agree to forget about time paradoxes.


I enjoyed this story, just as I enjoyed it the first time I encountered it, in Vonda McIntyre's The Entropy Effect - the very first Star Trek novel from Pocket Books and one of the finest. In that book Spock chased a madman from the future whose double in the past had created a device similar to Captain Braxton's, causing similar chaos among past and present crews. Having read that novel, it was entirely too easy to predict all the twists and turns of this inferior copy, like Braxton himself becoming the psychotic saboteur. Still, it was fun to see Janeway wear the bun of steel again...and if it was less-than-fun to see Seven hailed again as the only person capable of setting the universe right, I guess that's the way it goes on this series.

Other than the blatant theft of a previously better-told story - hardly a new problem on Voyager, which gets most of its watchable episodes by recycling the previous Treks - my main criticisms of "Relativity" have to do with that pesky continuity issue. On the one hand, it was really nice to see Joe Carey for the first time in four years. On the other hand, the only thing we ever learned about Joe Carey (other than that Torres broke his nose in "Parallax") was that he had a wife and two sons he wanted to get home to, so badly that in "Prime Factors" he helped steal the Sikarian trajector to make an attempt. Here, he spends most of his screen time hitting on Seven of Nine. What's the point in resurrecting a character from the past if the writers are going to turn him into a different person?

One might ask the same about Captain Braxton, whose ship and uniform have changed so much that if his name wasn't hammered into our heads, I for one would never have guessed that he was the same guy from "Future's End." I liked the references to that episode and to First Contact, but if the writers think the temporal theme excuses the confusing plot circles, I'd have to disagree. My final complaint on this count is nitpicky but it's not minor. In "Caretaker" when Janeway requested that Paris accompany her on the mission to track down Chakotay and Tuvok, it was strictly as an observer: she made that point to him quite adamantly before reluctantly giving him the conn when Cavit and Stadi died. So why in heck does Janeway tell the admiral in "Relativity" that she must have Tom aboard as her pilot? It's just plain annoying that the writers couldn't read the script for "Caretaker" to remember the details I suppose we fans are meant to forget as well.

There were some nice humorous touches in here: Janeway's ongoing temporal headaches, the early, cranky Doc, Seven trying to win over her own trust. On the other hand, the speed with which Janeway trusted a Borg infiltrator on her ship before launch when she was about to head after Maquis saboteurs was almost comical itself. The pacing was good, but I'm not clear why present Captain Braxton could be arrested for crimes he hadn't yet committed - by that logic, Braxton was right to try to stop Janeway before she launched - and in general the amusing possibilities of time travel wiped out any scientific interest, since the timeline repair was turned into a joke.

I may as well admit that I had a few fantasies during this episode. Of course, one was that Seven would stay dead, but I'd be willing to concede her role on the ship if just once the writers would stop resorting to gimmicks using her Borg talents. Another was that we might actually see some second-season Janeway/Chakotay interaction during the scenes with the Kazon, but we barely saw Chakotay (other than that fun scene in triplicate) except to criticize the captain for chasing sensor ghosts which of course were no such thing. The final, specious fantasy was that we might see Kes. We COULD have seen Kes...just as we could have seen Suder, Jonas, Hogan, even Kulluh and Seska amidst the Kazon, like we saw Carey. But this was more of a throw-a-bone homage to earlier Voyagers than a genuine reunion like Deep Space Nine is in the midst of. I earnestly hope Voyager never gets back to the Alpha Quadrant to screw up all my good memories set there.

Find more episode info in the Episode Guide




Posted at December 25, 2004 - 2:40 PM GMT

See Also: 'Relativity' Episode Guide

Admiral Patterson: 'Sup, here's Voyager five years ago.
Janeway: What's the point of this setting?
Patterson: Ratings.
Janeway: Oh. Anyway, what's Seven doing here?
Seven: Quiet, you. You don't know me yet, remember?
Janeway: Right, right...different setting....

Janeway: So Seven -- err, I mean Ensign -- what do you think of the ship?
Seven: I saw better when I was Bor--err, I mean, it's nice...

Patterson: Here's the EMH.
Doc: Wasn't I first activated after we were in the Delta Quadrant?
Janeway: Quiet, you. This episode has about the same amount of continuity as a campaign promise.

Carey: Hi, I'm Carey. You're hot.
Seven: Who are you?
Carey: Oh, its okay, none of the crew's supposed to know you yet. I get the act.
Seven: No, I mean who the hell are you? I've never seen you before, and I've been a regular for two years!

Seven: Found the bomb. I'm gonna try to remove it and make sure the whole crew knows it too.

Janeway: What seems to be the problem, Generic Extra?
Carey: For God's sake, I'm Joe Carey! Don't you remember me? Anyway, according to the scans, some former Borg is messing with the systems.
Patterson: Should we go check it out?
Janeway: Ehh, might as well.

Seven: Gotta go, hurry up!
Ducane: (over the comm) Trying to, but...there's...too...much....technobabble....

Braxton: Make her come back.
Ducane: Can't. The technobabble is so thick she would suffocate.
Braxton: Meh.

Janeway: Too late...oh well. By the way, what causes a guakitron level of .003?
Patterson: I dunno, but I bet you'll conveniently remember it throughout the episode.

Ducane: Here she comes. Oops, she died. Told you, told you. Nyaa nyaa.
Braxton: Meh, we've got the biggest reset button in the history of time travel reset buttons.
Ducane: Yeah, that's true, but isn't the technobabble a problem?
Braxton: Who came up with this stupid rule? Oh well, just get her again.

Paris: Hey Seven, let's go play ping-pong.
Seven: No. On second thought, yes.
Paris: Wow, you're boring.

Doc: What's wrong?
Janeway: I dunno, but it's not space sickness.
Doc: Lemme's space sickness.
Janeway: But I don't get space sickness. Could it just be a coincidence?
Doc: This being a time travel episode...yeah, probably just a coincidence.

Neelix: Wow, ping-pong is exciting!
Paris: Has anyone told you you're annoying? Anyway, why'd the ball just stop in mid-air?
Seven: My bet is on time technobabble. Anyone else?

Neelix: Hey, Doc. Some generic extra's sick.
Doc: 'Kay, coming...where's Carey?
Neelix: Who? The generic extra is over there. Oh look, he's gagging.
Extra: Gag.
Doc: Uh oh, there's a time difference. It's not daylight savings time, is it?

Chakotay: We're screwed.
Janeway: Don't worry, I have a plan that won't work.

Seven: There's the problem. It's a temporal explosion thingy.
Torres: Captain, it's a time bomb!
Janeway: Okay, that was just stupid. Oh well, we're about to explode anyway...
Kim: I'm detecting a guakitron level of .003!
Janeway: That's funny, I conveniently remember that...

Voyager: BOOM!

Braxton: 'Sup, we need your help to make Voyager not go boom.
Seven: Just one question. Why do you look different?
Braxton: Continuity schmontinuity.

Ducane: For some reason, we can hide your implants with this.
Seven: My implants? But without my implants the fanboys...oh, you mean the Borg implants.

Kim: Reading a guakitron level of .003!
Janeway: Have you said anything else this episode? Oh well, let's check it out.
Chakotay: But aren't we in the middle of a battle?
Janeway: Meh.

Seven: 'Sup, you don't recognize me.
Janeway: Yes I do.
Seven: Crap! Oh well, I need your help.
Janeway: Okay.

Seven: Whoa! If you're planting the bomb in Season 2, how come it was already on the ship before it was launched?
Braxton: Dunno. We figured that if we screwed up continuity with other episodes, it was okay to screw it up within the episode too. Now I'm leaving!
Seven: Lemme follow him.
Ducane: 'Kay.

Braxton: How 'bout if you chase me around the Voyager from the earlier show?
Seven: 'Kay.

Seven: Why are we back at the ping-pong game? It was boring enough the first time! Oh well, I'll shoot you a couple times, nothing will happen, and you'll run away.
Braxton: 'Kay, I'm gone!
Seven: Hi, other Seven, gotta go! Do me a favor and chase him.
Seven: All right. This might be a little confusing, but the next scene's worse!

Seven: Seven to Seven, 'sup?
Seven: Got 'em.
Seven: That was easy...there he goes. Later!

Ducane: Finally, a non-Seven line! 'Sup Braxton, you suck, go to jail.
Braxton: Can I pass go and collect $200?
Ducane: No.

Ducane: 'Sup Janeway, we need your help to push this really big reset button...
Janeway: Why me?
Ducane: Don't ask me, I guess the writers thought it would be cool. Anyway, later!

Janeway: You're arrested.
Braxton: Crap, crap, crapcrapcrapcrap....

Ducane: Thanks, don't talk about this. Oh, and Braxton was right, you suck.
Janeway: 'Kay, later.
(Janeway and Seven beam back at Ludicrous Speed)



Summary for Star Trek: Voyager episode

Season 5, Episode 23
Stardate: 52861.274

Guest Stars:
Bruce McGill as "Captain Braxton"
Dakin Matthews as "Admiral Patterson"
Jay Karnes as "Lieutenant Ducane"

Co-star: Josh Clark as "Lieutenant Carey"

Story by: Nick Sagan

Teleplay by: Bryan Fuller, Nick Sagan and Michael Taylor

Written By: Nick Sagan

The show starts with an external view of a Federation starship construction yard, circling over Mars (this is the Utopia Planitia shipyards). There are several space docks, all busy constructing new ships. In the centre of the yard is the familiar mushroom shape of a starbase.

As the camera pans across we find ourselves looking at Voyager within a space dock. For those curious, the docks we see are of the kind we found being used in the first Star Trek movie, the hollow cubic space dock that encircled the Enterprise. These are not the spider-like, McKinley-style space docks seen in TNG's "Family".

In Voyager's transporter room Janeway beams aboard, greeted with a series of random questions by Admiral Patterson. The Admiral is simply testing Janeway, reminding her that he was one of her teachers. They greet each other with a hug and the Admiral takes her on a tour of the ship. It becomes quickly obvious this is occurring in the past, prior to "Caretaker" (the series premiere episode).

As they reach the Captain's ready room they discuss the upcoming mission (to rescue Tuvok from the Maquis commanded by Chakotay). Janeway also suggests they get Tom Paris to pilot the ship. Patterson considers this and tells her he'll look into it.

As they leave the ready room Janeway informs Patterson she has some modifications to make to he sensor array that will enhance the range. They approach the pilot's position, and a female blonde ensign moves out of the way, head down. As the ensign turns her face to the camera we can see it is Seven in Star Fleet uniform and without the Borg implants on her face.

The show cuts to opening credits and commercials.

When we return, Seven enters the conference room. She reports into a device that she's scanned the bridge and found no bomb. A male voice responds from the device, telling her to continue scanning the ship. She manages to get the device tucked away just in time for Patterson and Janeway to make a tour of the room. Janeway asks Seven for her opinion of the room, and Seven faces Janeway and tells her the room is "efficient". Janeway tells her to "carry on" and leaves the room.

The scene cuts to Sick Bay, where Patterson introduces Janeway to Doc. Doc informs them he was programmed to know 5 million medical procedures and the medical knowledge of 3 thousand cultures. When Doc asks if he was summoned for "chit-chat" and reporting this kind of interaction is not a part of his programming Patterson de-activates him while Janeway comments on the need to improve Doc's personality interface.

The scene cuts to Engineering, where Seven continues to scan for a bomb. Her work is interrupted by Lt. Carey (B'Elanna's competition in "Parallax" for the chief engineer position). He offers her assistance and tries to engage Seven in some small talk. Seven allays suspicion by claiming to work for the Utopia Planitia shipyard and isn't a member of the crew.

Being brushed off, Carey returns to his duties and Seven continues to scan the ship. Having cleared Engineering she enters a jeffries tube. Meanwhile, Janeway enters engineering as part of her tour.

In the tube, Seven discovers the bomb. She tries to deactivate it but reports she is out of phase with the device, that she was beamed into the wrong time period.

In Engineering, Carey notices that there is a malfunction (caused by Seven trying to dactivate the bomb). Janeway and Patterson proceed to investigate and find the jeffries tube locked from the inside. They notify Security.

Seven, realizing she's been detcted, notifies whomever is on the other end of her communications device. She's given instructions to help them extract her from her predicament. As Janeway and Patterson close in, we are shown the bridge of a time ship crewed by a mix of humans and aliens. The captain of this ship orders Seven extracted, and the crewman responsible informs the captain that this will cause damage to Seven's implants. More concerned about Janeway discovering Seven and contaminating the timeline, the captain orders the extraction anyway. They beam Seven out. Janeway and Patterson only find a few chroniton particles and are left with a mystery.

On board the time ship, Seven appears and immediately collapses. The crewman checks and reports Seven is dead.

The show cuts to commercials.

When we return, the captain is making adjustments to his console. The crewman reports they were unable to save Seven. The captain orders his ship to intercept Voyager and enlist Seven again, a microsecond before "the explosion". The crewman disagrees with this policy, pointing out this could harm Seven. The captain points out this is her only chance to save herself and her crew. The crewman sets the appropriate coordinates to follow the captain's order.

The scene cuts to Voyager, where Doc is examining Seven. She's done some checking on her own and figured out she has a very rare and deadly neurological disease (and if anyone else recalled Lt. Barclay from TNG you weren't the only one ;-). Doc tells her she suffers from sensory aphasia (blurred vision and dizziness). With a shot, Doc manages to clear it up.

Meeting up with Tom in the halls, Seven is invited to participate in a ping pong tournament in the Mess Hall. She agrees to play as Tom's partner.

Janeway reports to Sick Bay with a case of space sickness. Doc claims it is the third case he's had today.

Later in the day, during the tournament, Tom strikes the ball and it stops moving. It just hangs there. Seven, using a tricorder, detects temporal distortions. They all stare at the ball, and then it begins moving normally again.

In Astrometrics, B'Elanna and Tuvok tell Janeway that they've detected these distortions in various places around the ship. The source seems to be coming from the location where the earlier Seven had found the bomb (though no one on Voyager knows of that event). B'Elanna has erected forcefields around the distortions but they're not having much effect. Tuvok reports they have no more than two hours before the ship is destroyed. Janeway orders B'Elanna to investigate the source. Janeway and Tuvok try to improve the forcefields.

The scene cuts to Sick Bay. Doc is applying yet another shot to another crewman for space sickness. Janeway calls down to tell him of the temporal anomaly. She is quickly followed by Neelix who reports a crewman in the Mess Hall is "violently ill". When Doc arrives, Neelix is unaware of making any call. When Doc explains the nature of the call Neelix nods towards a crewman who seems to be well. But as we watch the crewman collapses and Doc treats him with a shot.

Trying to figure out the anomaly, Doc realizes the time distortions have created some interesting anomalies. Checking the clocks for Sick Bay and the Mess Hall he finds that Sick Bay is seven minutes ahead of the Mess Hall, thus Neelix doesn't recall the call he put in because he hasn't made it yet.

In Janeway's ready room Chakotay reports all kinds of time paradoxes on board. Janeway has worked out a forcefield enhancement and Chakotay says he'll get a crew working on implementation. He then begins a report about some of the ship's systems and as he walks towards Janeway he strolls through a fracture in time and his image and voice are repeated several times. Janeway detects a time distortion in the room and they leave quickly.

In the jeffries tube, B'Elanna and Seven have found the bomb. B'Elanna can't see it but Seven's Borg implants allow her to see the device.

Meanwhile, on the bridge, Harry reports the ship is falling apart.

A pair of crewmen from the time ship beam aboard, prepared to find Seven and "enlist" her assistance. Their energy signature is detected by Harry and when Janeway analyzes the data she recognizes this from her experience at the Utopia Planitia shipyard.

Chakotay and Tuvok report the imminent destruction of the ship. Janeway gives the order to abandon ship, but it's too late. The two crew members from the time ship encounter Seven heading to an escape pod. They place a device on her shoulder and the three of them beam out.

An external shot of Voyager shows it experiencing a time distortion, causing the ship to be in several places at once. This is shortly followed by an explosion that rips the ship apart. No escape pods are shown.

The show cuts to commercials.

When we return we see the time ship from an external view. On board, Seven is introduced to Captain Braxton of the Federation timeship "Relativity". We learn that the ship originates in the 29th century.

Braxton and his crewman tells Seven of the bomb, that they believe the bomb was planted two years before she arrived on Voyager, during a period of time when the Kazon were attacking Voyager and the ship's shields were down. They also explain that Seven has already been enlisted twice before, but was unsuccessful in disarming the device. They explain that because of her Borg technology she is able to see the device better than their own sensors.

They also tell her that if she fails they'll recruit her again, but that this will cause her some problems, such a sensory aphasia and temporal psychosis.

Seven accepts the mission.

While being briefed, Seven refers to the "First Contact" incident, claiming that when the Borg tried to stop Zeffram Cochrane from conducting the first warp flight they inadvertently led the Enterprise to that time period, causing the Enterprise to help Cochrane and thus leading to the first warp flight.

When being briefed by Braxton, she is told of Janeway's habit of involving herself in time paradoxes. He explains that he's had to clean up the timeline three times because of Janeway's interference. He tells Seven he was refused help by Janeway, and that as a result he was stranded in the 20th century for 30 years before he was rescued.

This is a very garbled version of events that occurred in the two-part "Future's End" episodes (from the middle of the third season). For more information on this I refer you to the "Relativity" Nits spoiler.

Braxton gives instructions to Seven to stop the saboteur, regardless of what force is needed.

He also orders Seven to avoid Janeway.

On the bridge of the timeship, they prepare to insert Seven back into the timeline. They use Stardate 49123.5621 (somewhere between "Parturition" and "Maneuvers") as their time destination.

The ship is under attack by a couple of Kazon ships. Inside, Chakotay is calling out a Red Alert and crew members are running to their battle stations. Seven is beamed in to a hallway which is momentarily deserted. She proceeds to her destination while crew members (including Tuvok) run past her.

The show cuts to commercials.

When we return Seven reaches the jeffries tube junction where the bomb is supposed to be, and learns she has arrived before the bomb was planted. She's unable to detect any saboteur and asks for instructions.

Meanwhile, Harry has detected her presence, and Janeway recognizes the energy signature from events that occurred while the ship was at Utopia Planitia. She seals off the deck with a level 10 forcefield and orders Tuvok and a security officer to accompany her.

Seven, discovering that she's been detected, is unable to receive a signal from the timeship, though she is able to send them signals.

Seven decides to leave the area, and as she tries to leave bumps into the forcefields. Janeway, Tuvok, and security arrive and Janeway recognizes her from their brief encounter in the Conference room when Voyager was in the Utopia Planitia shipyards.

Their dialogue continues, Janeway suspicious and Seven pleading. Seven tries hard to avoid telling Janeway anything, but gradually she is forced to tell a good deal about the sabotage plot and her need to stop it. She detects the saboteur on board and is able to convince Janeway to trust her. They re-enter the jeffries tube in time to find Captain Braxton installing the bomb.

The show cuts to commercials.

When we return we learn that the saboteur is an older Braxton, one who has suffered from temporal psychosis. He has activated the bomb, and threatens to detonate it unless Janeway and Seven lower their weapons. They do so. He claims his career is ruined because of Voyager. He believes only destroying Voyager will restore his career and sanity.

The younger Braxton orders his crew to remove the older Braxton, but the second officer (Ducane) decides to arrest the younger Braxton for crimes he has yet to commit. Ducane orders Seven to arrest the older Braxton. Tuvok finally appears through another entrance to this junction and the older Braxton flees through time.

Ducane reports the older Braxton returned to Voyager when it was in the Utopia Planitia shipyards. Seven demands to be sent there as well, but Ducane reminds her that this will be her fourth time trip and she may suffer temporal psychosis. Seven insists and Ducane obliges.

In a hallway, Seven appears but suffers a momentary dizziness. Recovering, she pursues the older Braxton. A little further down the hall Patterson is conducting Janeway on her tour. As they see Braxton running with a weapon they all duck, and as Seven rounds the corner and orders them down they all duck again. Seven fires but misses the older Braxton.

As the two run past Janeway and Patterson, Janeway orders a level ten forcefield at all access points for deck four section 12. She also orders Security into the area.

Braxton comes to a stop as he bounces off a force-field. Seven, still dizzy, watches as Braxton beams out again. Ducane informs her that he's beamed five years into the future. As Janeway approaches with weapon drawn Seven calls for Ducane to beam her to Braxton's coordinates. We find ourselves on Voyager, watching the ping pong game. Braxton runs into the Mess Hall, followed by a dizzy Seven. She manages to fire on him, but does little damage. He grabs his transporter controls and Seven shoots those out of his hands. Braxton leaves the Mess Hall and while some chase after him the original Seven (the one who played ping pong) demands an explanation from the time jumping Seven. The time-jumping Seven manages to explain that Braxton needs to be stopped and that their lives depend upon it, before Ducane brings her back to the time ship (the time-jumping Seven had reported she was incapacitated with sensory aphasia).

On board the Relativity, Seven reassures Ducane that her alter-ego will capture Braxton. On Voyager, Braxton discovers himself trapped between Seven, Security, and Janeway. He's relieved of his bomb and his phaser and Ducane beams the older Braxton to the Relativity.

Back on board Voyager, Seven and Janeway begin discussing events, when Janeway is beamed to the Relativity. Ducane explains that to re-sequence the timeline Janeway must stop Braxton when he initially arrives on Voyager. Braxton gives the details of where he'll show up and Janeway is "drafted" to capture him.

The capture itself is done with relative ease. Once accomplished, Janeway and Seven are returned to the 24th century with their memories intact. Ducane explains that Seven will be "re-integrated" with her original self.

End of episode.

Personal reflections:
What a mess.

The brightest point in the show was the return of Josh Clark as Lt. Carey. Nice to see him again, even if it was only for a short cameo appearance.

The rest of the show was, to say the least, confusing. It's a strange form of justice that will hold the younger Braxton responsible for crimes he's not yet committed. As Picard said in "A Matter of Time": "I don't care about your future because as far as I am concerned the future hasn't been written yet!"

There are also some serious conflicts with the two "Future's End" episodes (as detailed in the "Relativity" Nit spoiler).

It seems apparent to me that even the writer of this episode, Nick Sagan, could not keep the time line straight. First the bomb is planted at Utopia Planitia, and then it is supposed to be planted several years later in the Delta Quadrant. Using the excuse that 'time paradoxes are unexplainable' does not give this episode credence. If a writer cannot keep the chain of events and their consequences straight, and present those events in a manner that can be reasonably understood by the audience, then we are left with nothing more than a mass of confusion that fails to entertain the intended audience.

Being a part of that audience, I was not entertained by this episode.

Thank you for your attention.



Original air date: 04/21/99

Takes place at Utopia Planitia shipyards just before Voyager's mission. Capt. Janeway comes aboard Voyager and tours it with an Admiral as it is under going final preparations for its mission. While touring the ship she runs into an ensign who is 7 of 9 and she's in regular Starfleet uniform without her cybernetic implants.

Act 1: Seven upon seeing Janeway ducks into a the Briefing Room. She is in contact with Starfleet crew from the future (Lt. Ducane of the Relativity). They are in search of a temporal disruptor. She reports that so far she cannot find it. Soon Janeway and the Admiral enter into the briefing room and asks 7 what she thought of the Briefing room. 7, who is trying to avoid contact with Janeway, replies that it is an efficient design. Seven leaves as she tries to avoid any further contact with 7 of 9. Janeway and the Admiral continue the tour which includes visiting the Doctor in his pre-warm-type-of-guy days in the Delta quadrant. Meanwhile 7 is still trying to find the temporal disruptor runs into Lt. Carey. He basically tries to pick her up while she's working. He says that he would see her later and she responds "Unlikely." In this scene she gives her name as Anna Jameson. & moves off into a Jefferies tube where she locates a temporal signature on deck 4 section 39. She removes panel and with her Borg implants sees the temporal disruptor. She contacts Ducane and informs him that she's found it but she can't deactivate it as it is out of temporal phase. She's in the wrong timeframe. They know where the weapon is but not when it was placed there. Meanwhile Carey detects an offline EPS relay and Janeway and the Admiral goes to investigate. through the same Jefferies tube that 7 is in. The hatch is locked. Janeway and the Admiral realize that there must be an intruder when they detect a chronoton flux of .003 from inside the tube and they go on security alert. 7 realizes that they have detected her but Relativity can't beam her out as she's too close to the weapon. The Capt of the Relativity (Capt. Braxton, the same from "Future's End" then orders Ducane to beam her out despite his warning that her bionetic implants can be damaged and kill her. Her does it just as Janeway and the Admiral open the tube hatch from another location. 7 materializes on the Relativity but then collapses and dies because of the damage to her implants.

Act 2: Braxton decides to "recruit" 7 again from the time line. Ducane warns that this could harm her that she could suffer temporal psychosis or neural damage. Braxton replies that she and and all on Voyager will be destroyed if they don't. They decide to go back to the time just before Voyager is destroyed by the disruptor. The scene now switches to the present. Paris challenges 7 to a game of ping pong along with Kim and Torres. Meanwhile Janeway and a few members of the crew are coming down with a case of space sickness (maybe related to the temporal disruptor). Later during the ping pong game, the ball mysteriously freezes in mid-flight. there's a mystery to be investigates. This leads to the discovery that Voyager is fracturing in time and space because of temporal distortions. The cause is unknown but it is coming from deck 4 section 39 (the same location as in act 1). Janeway orders 7 and Torres to investigate while Tuvok tries to reinforce the force fields to keep Voyager together. Torres and 7 locates the disruptor but the crew can't beam it off the ship. Just then the hull starts to demolecularize and part of the ship "explodes" in a temporal explosion. Kim detects the chronoton flux of .003 just as Ducane and a couple of his men beam aboard Voyager to look for 7. Meanwhile 7 and Torres try to escape the time distortions that are engulfing the ship when Torres vanishes because of the temporal effects of the disruptor. Janeway then realizes that the chronoton flux is exactly the same that she detected at the shipyard 5 years ago and knows that it's not a coincidence. the effect becomes too much and Janeway orders abandon ship. The ship is destroyed just as Ducane and his men find 7 and transport her off Voyager.

Act 3: Braxton explains to 7 where she is (29th Century on board the Fed. time ship Relativity) and why he needs her (to use her implants to locate and destroy the device). He also reveals to her that she had been recruited twice before and that she had met with "accidents." They now know when the temporal disruptor was placed...during a battle with the Kazon. The saboteur infiltrated Voyager during the battle while the shields were down and the internal sensors were off line and placed the disruptor. Braxton then orders Ducane to prepare her for the mission and to educate her about different time paradoxes (including a Dali Paradox, the Pogo Paradox (7 talks about the example of this when the Enterprise goes back to stop the Borg from interfering with Zephram Cochran's flight in "First Contact.") After a final briefing, Braxton transports her in a Starfleet uniform and with her implants hidden to Voyager while the ship is under attack by the Kazon.

Act 4: Voyager is under attack by the Kazon and there is much confusion all around as 7 heads to engineering and to the location of the disruptor. Kim detects the chronoton flux of .003 as 7 is beamed aboard. Janeway remembers when she saw that reading last, two years ago in dry-dock. Meanwhile, 7 doesn't find the temporal disruptor nor the saboteur but she lays a trap in the location that it's supposed to be. Janeway orders a force field around the area that 7 is located. Seven knows she's been detected and she's been cut off from Ducane and the Relativity who can't get through to her. Janeway and security locate 7 and immediately recognizes her as the ensign who called the briefing room efficient. Janeway is very skeptical of 7's explanation. Ducane and Braxton are listening in on the conversation hoping that 7 would not reveal who and what she is. This would corrupt the time line. Tuvok realizes that she's Borg. Finally 7 tells the entire truth about how she got there. At the same time alarms go off on Relativity indicating that the time-line is corrupt because of what 7 had said. Also the trap that 7 had set is sprung. 7 and Janeway go to investigate and discover that it's and aged Capt. Braxton that has set the disruptor.

Act 5: Capt. Braxton is suffering from temporal psychosis and he blames Capt. Janeway for it. that is why he is sabotaging Voyager. 7 tries to stop him but Braxton activates the disruptor and disappears. Relativity tracks the older Braxton to Utopia Planitia and Relativity sends 7 after him despite the risk to her life of multiple time transports. 7 chases Braxton to Voyager at Utopia Planitia right past Janeway and the Admiral. All this while Relativity is tracking multiple time line corruptions as 7 is chasing the older Braxton. The older Braxton time jumps again to present day Voyager. The younger Braxton orders 7 to jump to that time despite that she's suffering from temporal narcosis. The younger Braxton is starting to get rattled by all the time jumps and the damage to the time line. 7 and the older Braxton run through the earlier ping-pong game getting everyone's attention including the present day 7. At this point time traveling 7 is dying because of the time shifting she going through. Time traveling 7 explains the situation to her present day counter part and dies. The younger Braxton decides that Relativity must intervene directly because of all the damage to the time line and to the objections of Ducane who is beginning to have deep misgivings about Capt. Braxton's mental state. Meanwhile Paris and Kim are chasing the older Braxton to the bridge. Janeway recognizes him. The older Braxton accuses Janeway of being a threat to the timeline as 7 enters the bridge with a 29th Century phaser. At this point Relativity appears from a temporal rift and Capt. Braxton hails Voyager. The older Braxton tries to convince his younger self to join him in destroying Voyager. Ducane then arrests the younger Braxton for crimes that he will commit. The conflict is resolved. Later Ducane reveals that he will take both Braxton's back to the 29th Century to face the problems he had created. Relativity leaves but not before Janeway asks if they would ever get back to Earth...he reveals nothing. The episode ends with Janeway and 7 trying to figure out a time paradox which drives them nuts.










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