Star Trek 521: Rise

521. Rise

FORMULA: The Galileo Seven + Journey to Babel

WHY WE LIKE IT: Classic SF ideas.

WHY WE DON'T: The obvious thriller.

REVIEW: For once, Voyager (indeed, one might say Star Trek) uses some hard SF concepts to center an episode on. In fact, Rise very much reminded me of Larry Nivel novels, in particular Footfall, in which meteors are used to attack a planet, and The Barsoom Project, which features an orbital tether/elevator (though the idea is not unique or original to that novel). There's so much science fantasy in the series that it's very nice to see well thought-out concepts like this.

It's also an episode where Neelix proves himself to Tuvok, though I'm surprised he still must. I guess they DON'T remember being Tuvix. It's the classic rhetorical battle between logic and emotion, or instinct, one that harks back to the very beginning of Star Trek. Tuvok is more of a bully than usual, though his impatience with Neelix's emotionality is as usual. But Neelix does get a chance to shine, both using his particular gifts, but in learning a little something about Starfleet's work ethic as well. He only has one bad scene, in which his nervousness is overplayed (looks like he's on crank, really). The rest of the work is very effective.

The episode quickly (broadly?) builds a small cast to put in the mag-lev carriage, and where you have characters in an enclosed space, things beg to be turned into a thriller. That thriller element isn't much, and the traitor's identity is about as obvious as the way he must be dispatched at the end. Still, there's enough raw danger to keep a certain level of tension between the air running out and Tuvok practically taking a dive off the carriage. The use of computer effects shows in a Babylon 5 kind of way, but that's ok. A more important flaw is an omitted beam-out that is just confusing.

Note that while I applaud the framing context of the story, it does seem like a TNG sort of plot. It's all well and good for Voyager to play good Samaritan when it can, this really feels like they're breaking the Prime Directive, with the Nezu played as a UFP member.

LESSON: Feel free to steal from the best.

REWATCHABILITY - Medium: The concepts are interesting and noteworthy, as is the Neelix-Tuvok story, but the political thriller is strictly paint-by-number.

0 comments:

 

Blog Archive

Category

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 Orville 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 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