Star Trek 493: Dreadnought

493. Dreadnought

FORMULA: Final Mission + The Ultimate Computer

WHY WE LIKE IT: A taut thriller.

WHY WE DON'T: I'd slap Jonas. He's got that kind of a face.

REVIEW: I've missed Cardassian sets, you know that? The Dreadnought missile in this episode is a thing of beauty after a couple dozen gray steel shows. Seems like B'Elanna once hijacked it, changed its programming, essentially building a "better" weapon able to outthink any enemy, and now she has to take it down. But she made it too well.

What follows is a tight suspenseful techno-thriller that ups the stakes every commercial break. A chess game between B'Elanna and what is basically HAL 2000 with her voice. Every move has a countermove until the very end, and Dreadnought matches B'Elanna's determination even after it gets a split personality in a Cardassian back-up file. It's great fun to see B'Elanna try to use logic to outplay the computer, which gets even harder when it starts talking about the "Delta Quadrant deception" everyone seems to be participating in. An AI really could justify anything this way.

If the episode has a weakness, it's that B'Elanna and her missile are almost too good (why didn't the Cardassians win the war by hitting Earth with this?). But suspension of disbelief is kept for the duration by keeping things interesting, I think.

Meanwhile, we're kept up to date on ongoing story arcs, like Wildman's pregnancy, Paris' misbehavior and Jonas' feeding information to the Kazon (without much effect, I must say). Not as intrusive as in Meld, these help create the sense that the ship is a place, like Deep Space 9, with its own little stories. The cumulative effect of the series is that there isn't enough of this. But around this time, it's not so badly handled. Torpedo count: 43.

LESSON: Give a missile programming, and it can destroy a Maquis moon. Teach a missile how to program itself, and it can destroy... YOU!

REWATCHABILITY - High: While not an episode that delves into human nature or anything like that, Dreadnought remains one of the most thrilling episodes of Voyager. Completely rewatchable.



Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Orville The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zero Hour Strikes Zine