Star Trek 541: Waking Moments

541. Waking Moments

FORMULA: Ship in a Bottle + Phantasms + Persistence of Vision

WHY WE LIKE IT: Good role for Chakotay.

WHY WE DON'T: Boring dreams.

REVIEW: Voyager does Nightmare on Elm Street. Aliens start visiting the Voyager crew's dreams, but you'd think they'd be a little more surreal. Sadly, they're little more than horror shows or wish fulfillment, or in the case of Tuvok, the classic naked dream that's only used for friendly ribbing and not as any kind of psychological revelation. It's all very ordinary stuff. Too bad, because there was a real opportunity for characterization here.

Not that there isn't any. We have the crew teasing Tuvok about Vulcan nightmares being filled with laughter. We have Tom and B'Elanna suffering through opposite shifts (note her new uniform designed to hide Dawson's pregnancy - can't say I care much for the pocket protector). And we have Chakotay using his experience with vision quests and lucid dreaming to get the crew out of this dilemma. There's actually hope Chakotay will get stuff to do this season!

He's perhaps uniquely suited to outwit aliens that live in what Australia's natives called the Dreamtime. An interesting notion and not at all improbable for a telepathic race (perhaps telepathic only during REM sleep). I do think their sleeping arrangements are on the rough side, with no indication of how they feed themselves, etc. Striking image though.

As the crew fall under the aliens' spell, they are plunged into a shared dream that acts as the alternate reality of the week. What's real? What isn't? A well-played fake-out at the episode's mid-point is followed by the usual Voyager runaround. It couldn't be THAT easy, after all. Chakotay falling in and out of REM sleep is generally well done, but Janeway proving she's in a dream is a problematic scene. I just can't account for Tuvok's outrage that she would take the brunt of warp core breach just to be sure instead of taking refuge in the corridor outside engineering. My question: Since when does a warp core breach not destroy the entire ship? Thoroughly illogical, Tuvok. And get dressed please.

LESSON: Pinching may not be enough.

REWATCHABILITY - Medium: This kind of Dickian reality questioning has been done a lot in Trek, but these aliens do have an interesting shtick, and Chakotay gets a good role. Sadly, the dreams come off as missed opportunities (I mean, Tom dreams he's piloting a shuttle?!).

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

An episode that changed my life...

Siskoid said...

I know you're studying lucid dreaming, but was this episode REALLY the basis for that interest? (I thought it was Waking Life.)

 

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