Star Trek 498: Innocence

498. Innocence

FORMULA: Disaster + Rascals + The Counter-Clock Incident

WHY WE LIKE IT: Tuvok on family.

WHY WE DON'T: Another stupid "magical" premise.

REVIEW: If there's a reason to watch this one, it's to learn more about Tuvok's relationship with his children, and by extension, Vulcan family life in general. There are some touching bits, mostly in how emotionless Vulcans justify their family bonds, and Tuvok gets to sing a lullaby. There's a fairly creepy moment when Tuvok finds the children's empty clothes in the cave. But everything else tends to be extremely frustrating.

The episode begs for us to go awwwwww at Tuvok's adventures in babysitting, but your mileage may vary. I'm barely getting out of the driveway, myself. Maybe it's Tuvok giving a child a phaser that doesn't sit right. However endearing you might think the kids are, it doesn't nullify the fact that they're not kids at all. The premise of Innocence is that these people age backwards, from old age to childhood when they go back to some kind of transcendental over-soul. Ladies and gentlemen, we've just crossed over to fantasy land for reals. Completely ludicrous. I tried to see it as some kind of allegory about abandoning senile elders in homes to wait for death or something, but if that's the case, what's it trying to say about that? No, it's just dumb.

Back on the ship, things aren't any better. The Drayans explicitly say they don't care about the material world and technology, so Janeway brings them to sickbay where she's positively showing off more tech ("would you be surprised to know this isn't a real man?"). No wonder they leave in a hurry. Then it's all about breaking the Prime Directive and provoking them into an aggressive stance when clearly, Voyager is in the wrong. Tuvok's adamant protection of the children isn't any better. If Janeway wasn't such a stickler for the PD (it's what got them stranded many times over, after all), it wouldn't stick out so much. It's just bad writing. And who's idea was it for Chakotay to admit to taking remedial classes on first contact. The one thing he had going for him was his anthropological and diplomatic skill, but he's sidelined for the entire episode.

LESSON: Vulcans have beat ADD through meditation (better than pills!).

REWATCHABILITY - Low: A good enough performance by Tim Russ can't save this episode from its silly premise or mischaracterization of the main characters.


snell said...

You know, the first Next Generation mini-series for DC, written by Mike Carlin, was possibly the worst thing ever done to Star Trek, in any medium. And perhaps the worst story out of all six issues was the planet where people aged backwards. I'd always insisted to my friends that it couldn't get any worse than that.

And then Voyager had to go and do the damned premise. Not a good sign.

Stephen said...

this is the first low i remebr witnessing. wow!!!

Siskoid said...

You mean that you remember watching and thinking it was a Low?


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