Voyager comes into contact with a species of aliens with technology that enables them to put others to sleep, locking them in a dreamlike state.
This episode provides examples of:
- Absolute Xenophobe: After centuries of being attacked while they were asleep and vulnerable, the aliens regard all 'waking species' as enemies.
- A Real Man Is a Killer: Averted; Chakotay's dream involved him hunting deer with his father, which he tells Janeway he always refused to do.
- Asleep for Days: Everyone on Voyager, sans Chakotay and the Doctor.
- Attack Pattern Alpha: Janeway orders "Defence Procedure Omega", but the aliens tell her not to bother as they've already taken the ship.
- Badass BoastDREAM ALIEN: As long as you're asleep, you're no threat to us.
CHAKOTAY: I can wake myself anytime I want. And if I do, I'm going to start looking for you in the waking world. Find where you're sleeping. You wouldn't want that.
- Badass Pacifist: Chakotay finds a cavern full of sleeping aliens, and the neurogenic field transmitter they're using to keep Voyager's crew asleep. Chakotay orders the Doctor to destroy the cavern with a photon torpedo if he doesn't call back in five minutes. He then tries to wake up an alien who can switch off the transmitter but passes out, waking up in the group dream on Voyager, where he informs the head alien what's going to happen if he doesn't wake up.
- Book-Ends: The episode starts and ends in the messhall.
- Butt-Monkey: Harry Kim. In his dreams he's the subject of Seven's aggressive sexual desire, only to have her turn into an ugly alien. In real life she beats him up just to provide a distraction.
- Call-Back: Fantasy!Seven cites Tom and B'Elanna's example when choosing a Jeffries tube to make out with Harry.
- Captain Crash: Tom's dream involves a shuttle accident.
- Catapult Nightmare: Played Straight with Tom, Tuvok, and Janeway, but not Harry.
- Change the Uncomfortable Subject: Janeway grills Tuvok on what the alien did in his dream.TUVOK: He watched me.
JANEWAY: Doing what?
TUVOK: Getting dressed.
JANEWAY: (Double Take) Getting dressed?
JANEWAY: I don't suppose I should ask why you were undressed?
TUVOK: I would prefer that you didn't.(Janeway smirks)
- Harry also does this when the Doctor asks him about his dream while Seven is in Sickbay; he wriggles out of it by saying that he needs to get something to eat. And then again when B'Elanna asks him about his dream; he quickly shifts the topic of conversation to Tuvok's dream.
- Close Up On Head: Tuvok walking to the bridge, before the Reveal Shot that he's naked.
- Continuity Nod: B'Elanna argues with Tom over their holodeck holiday; Tom wants to go skiing, B'Elanna wants to go to Tahiti. This fits with her hating the cold in "Displaced".
- Counting to Three: Chakotay tells an alien to shut off the neurogenic field transmitter or he'll shoot him. He starts to count down from five and falls asleep on two.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: The aliens easily take Voyager. Justified as it's All Just a Dream.
- Cut the Juice: The Doctor suggests Chakotay destroy the neurogenic field transmitter, but he says it's protected by Some Kind Of Forcefield.
- Death Is Cheap: Janeway walks into a warp core explosion, then walks out unharmed. She realizes from that incident that she's still in a dream.
- Didn't Think This Through: If the sleepy aliens really knew as much about Voyager as they seemed to, they should've realized that harassing the ship with the crazy caffeinated captain and her angry Maquis warrior XO was a really stupid idea.
- Also, since they literally can't kill the Voyager crew in their sleep, they had to rely on threats and fooling the crew into thinking they could. As they had likely been doing this sort of thing for some time, one would think it'd occur to them that of any people they put to sleep find this out, they'd have a stalemate at best.
- "Die Hard" on Voyager: Subverted; it looks like the episode is heading this way, but the crew is dreaming everything. The attack by hostile aliens reflects the mental attack they're currently undergoing.
- Dream Emergency Exit: Chakotay can wake himself from a lucid dream by tapping the back of his hand three times.
- Dream Episode: A race of sleeping aliens put the crew to sleep and lock them in the same dream.
- Dream Intro: Four at the same time, with more happening offscreen.
- Dreamweaver: Chakotay tries lucid dreaming to affect the dreams the aliens put them into, so he can communicate with them.
- Dream Within a Dream: Chakotay wakes up from a lucid dream that he has, having established First Contact with the aliens responsible for locking Ensign Harry Kim in a unwakeable sleeping state, then finds out that he's still in a dream when he sees the moon's reflection off a control panel. He wakes himself and finds the Doctor is the only one active, the rest of the crew having fallen asleep as well.
- Emerging from the Shadows: In Janeway's nightmare, Neelix turns on the messhall lights to reveal her crew as corpses, covered in Cobwebs of Disuse.
- Erotic Dream: Harry Kim gets one when he dreams of being kissed by Seven of Nine, which then turns scary when Seven is then replaced with a mysterious alien. After waking up in Sickbay the Doctor asks him what his dream was, just as Seven enters and asks Harry's help repairing something in a Jeffries tube (as per the dream). Harry quickly excuses himself.
- Eureka Moment: Janeway realizes they're still dreaming when B'Elanna is unable to eject the warp core when it starts going critical. She opts to stay behind for the explosion to see if her hunch is right.
- Gag Penis: Actor Tim Russ made one up for his "Not Wearing Pants" Dream scene, as a joke on his fellow actors. Their reaction became a Throw It In! moment.
- A Glitch in the Matrix: Chakotay realizes that he's still in a dream when he sees the moon reflecting off computer panels.
- Go-to-Sleep Ending: Inverted; at the end of the episode no-one can get to sleep.
- Improperly Paranoid: Believing that all "waking species" are Always Chaotic Evil, the sleepy aliens decide to use their powers against Voyager, despite our heroes not even knowing about their existence. Even after Chakotay promises that his crew will leave them alone, they continue their telepathic assault, prompting Chakotay and the Doctor to track them down to their homeworld and threaten to torpedo them into oblivion unless they stop their attack. They almost brought about their own extinction!
- Insomnia Episode: What it turns into at the end of the episode.
- It's the Only Way: Janeway tests whether she's dreaming by walking into a warp core breach. Tuvok reprimands her for this afterwards though Rule of Drama applies as B'Elanna says the explosion should have destroyed the ship anyway.
- Lunacy: Neelix blames the nightmares on some moons they passed recently. Chakotay uses Earth's moon as an alert signal that he's dreaming.
- Magical Native American: Why Chakotay is able to wake himself when nobody else can.
- Must Have Caffeine:
- Neutral Female: B'Elanna just stares as Chakotay struggles with the aliens who are trying to restrain him from tapping his wrist. This is a case of Real Life Writes the Plot as Roxann Dawson was pregnant and thus not able to fight with stuntmen.
- Nightmare Sequence: During The Teaser
- No-Sell: A good way to view the Doctor's immunity to the telepathic assault; as he doesn't sleep in the first place, he's completely unaffected by it.
- "Not Wearing Pants" Dream: Lt. Tuvok in his dream is called to the bridge and realizes when he gets there that he forgot to put on his uniform, causing the bridge crew to giggle.
- Office Romance: B'Elanna is working night shift while Tom is working day shift, making dates a problem.
- Pinch Me: Chakotay has a subconscious trigger for his lucid dream. When he sees the Moon, he knows he's dreaming and wakes himself up by tapping the back of his hand three times.
- Recycled Premise: This episode shares many elements to TNG's fourth season episode "Night Terrors."
- Resistance Is Futile: And if you're being snogged by the Ms. Fanservice of the Delta Quadrant, why would you want to?
- Series Continuity Error: Chakotay visualizes the moon in its pre-colonized state. In the previously-released movie Star Trek: First Contact, Commander Riker states that the moon appears quite different in the 24th century than in the 21st century.
- Schrödinger's Butterfly: Chakotay is put to sleep in a lucid dream so as to make First Contact with the aliens, who warn Voyager out of their space. Chakotay wakes up and informs Captain Janeway, who warps Voyager out of there. It turns out to be a trap and the ship is taken over by the aliens, but Chakotay sees the moon in a comm panel and realises this is also a dream. He wakes himself up and finds the crew asleep except for the Doctor. Janeway and the others realise from Chakotay's disappearance that they're sharing a group dream. At one point they team up with Chakotay, only for him to wake up when the Doctor jabs a hypospray of stimulant in his neck; he'd fallen asleep again and is still the only person awake on Voyager.
- Shameless Fanservice Guy: Tim Russ thought this would apply to Vulcans, so he played Tuvok's embarrassment in the "Not Wearing Pants" Dream as due to his breaching protocol by appearing naked on duty.
- Shared Dream: Aliens trap the crew in a "collective unconscious" where they dream that their ship has been taken over.
- Shoulders-Up Nudity: The male Waist Up Nudity version is used during Tuvok's "Not Wearing Pants" Dream.
- Some Kind of Force Field: Said word-for-word by Chakotay after his phaser fails to knock out the aliens' transmitter.
- Stewed Alive: Apparently Lethal Chef Neelix got some Laser-Guided Karma in his dream.
- Super Identikit: The crew reconstruct a picture of the alien from their dreams.
- Talking in Your Dreams: After the crew are taken prisoner, they realise they're sharing the same group dream.
- That's an Order!: Chakotay snaps "I'm giving you an order!" when the Doctor balks at destroying his position.
- Tsundere - Type B: B'Elanna shows her deredere side when she calmly accepts Tom missing a breakfast date because he slept in, instead of getting angry.
- Uncomfortable Elevator Moment: The scene where Janeway is pressing Tuvok for details on his dream takes place in the turbolift.
- Understatement: When Harry wakes up in Sickbay and asks what he's doing there, the Doctor tells him, "You were napping."
- Vision Quest: Chakotay's lucid dream uses the same technique.
- We Need a Distraction: To cover the others breaking out of the cargo bay where the aliens have them imprisoned, Seven starts a fight with Harry Kim (without bothering to discuss it with Harry first).
- Your Mind Makes It Real: Downplayed, there's no indication the aliens could actually harm the crew, but once they realize they're in a dream, we get stuff like Janeway no selling phaser fire and antimatter explosions.
- Your Worst Nightmare: Implied in The Teaser nightmares. Captain Janeway dreams of her crew dead because she didn't get them home. Ace Pilot Tom Paris dreams of a piloting accident, like the one that destroyed his career. The Stoic Tuvok dreams of public humiliation (considering Tuvok, the part he fears may be less of embarrassment and more of the potential reprimand for not following protocol). And Harry Kim dreams of being ravished by Seven of Nine—which isn't actually too bad for him until the ugly alien appears.