Follow TV Tropes


Recap / Star Trek: Voyager S5 E12: "Bride of Chaotica!"

Go To
Now here's a fun one.
"And're the Queen!"

Aliens from a photonic universe mistake The Adventures of Captain Proton for reality and go to war with Dr Chaotica. Captain Janeway must enter the holodeck program as the sultry Queen Arachnia to put a stop to things. Hilarity Ensues.

This episode has the following tropes:

  • AcCENT upon the Wrong SylLABle / Trrrilling Rrrs: Doctor Chaotica, because Evil Is Hammy.
    "I'm afrrraid your SEC-cretarrry has alrrready been prrromised to Queen ArrrrACK-nia as a SUPrrreeeeme sACKrrrrifice!"
  • All Planets Are Earth-Like: Proton opens the hatch on his rocketship (which has no airlock) without even checking the atmosphere. Maybe he was just playing the odds on Star Trek. Or maybe the ship doesn't need an airlock because Captain Proton Can Breathe In Space!, as seen in "Thirty Days".
  • America Takes Over the World & One World Order: The President of Earth.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: Chaotica is suspicious of Arachnia's intentions, so demands she marry him as absolute proof of her commitment. When the impetuous harlot proves herself in league with Proton...
    Chaotica: Don't worry my dear, I wouldn't kill my bride...till after my wedding night! (Evil Laugh)
  • And You Thought It Was Real: Because the aliens are photonic beings, they think the holodeck is real and the Voyager crew are hallucinations designed to trick them.
    • Conversely, though, from the aliens' point of view it actually is real, since Chaotica's holographic Death Ray is genuinely lethal to them. The fact that Chaotica and his minions are computer-generated simulations rather than actual photonic lifeforms doesn't make that any less true. It is also why The Doctor (under the guise of the "President of Earth") is the only one able to convince them to stand down and let "Captain Proton" defeat Chaotica: as a holographic lifeform, the photonic aliens would believe him to be as "real" as them.
  • Another Dimension: The "Fifth Dimension" (as Chaotica dubs it) is based on energy. As a result the aliens think the holoprogram is real, whereas Voyager and its crew don't show up on their sensors, making it impossible to convince the aliens to stop fighting.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Arachnia's vial of irresistible pheromones. Dr Chaotica's Lightning Shield.
  • Big Bad: Doctor Chaotica, Ruler of the Cosmos!
  • Black-and-White Morality:
    Paris: I've been studying how past generations viewed the future.
    Janeway: And?
    Paris: It didn't work out quite as black and white as they imagined.
  • Bumbling Sidekick/Professional Butt-Kisser: Chaotica's sycophantic henchman Lonzak.
  • Chained to a Rock: Constance Goodheart is tied to a pillar prior to her being presented to Queen Arachnia as a "supreme sacrifice". Later Arachnia ends up there too.
  • Cliffhanger Copout: Paris and Kim are watching a recap of last week's Proton episode, which shows their rocketship destroyed by Chaotica's fiendish Death Ray.
    Kim: We didn't burst into flame in the last chapter! Why are these recaps so inaccurate?
    Paris: Well they brought people back to the theaters.
    Kim: Cliffhangers!
    Paris: The lost art of hyperbole.
    • Though that's, bizarrely, actually the reverse of a Cliffhanger Copout, since normally apparent death in one episode would be downplayed in the next.
  • Comm Links: Lonzak has one on his wrist.
  • Continuity Nod: When Paris says that someone will have to play Arachnia in the holoprogram, the others in the room seem to assume that the role will fall to Seven. However, Paris knows that Seven's not right for the part. Sure, she's good-looking, but she won't properly embrace the role of Queen of the Spider-People. How does he know this? Because in "Night", he had talked a reluctant Seven into playing Constance Goodheart. But when she was accosted by Satan's Robot, instead of playing along as the Damsel in Distress, she coolly disabled it by opening an access panel and ripping out a wire.
  • Cool Chair: Janeway sits in Chaotica's throne. "Somehow I feel comfortable here."
  • Crashing Through the Harem: Lampshaded; it's part of the program to liberate Chaotica's slave girls during a Dungeon Bypass.
  • Damsel out of Distress:
    Paris: I was about to say "Captain Proton to the rescue!" but I see you have everything under control.
    Janeway: I'm the Queen, remember?
  • Deadpan Snarker: Tuvok constantly drops snide comments about Tom's holoprogram.
  • Death Ray: Which is called exactly that. Much cooler than Weapon of Mass Destruction, come to think of it.
  • Denser and Wackier: Unquestionably the silliest episode of Voyager. Well, except maybe for "Threshold". So unquestionably the most intentionally silly episode.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Buster and Proton are meant to infiltrate the Fortress of Doom via the "underground caverns".
  • Disintegrator Ray: Just to show the stakes, Lonzak executes one of the photonic aliens with his raygun.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Tom trying to explain his enthusiasm for his hobby to his bemused co-workers is familiar to geeks everywhere.
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: The Doctor is told to activate the Destructo beam. He reaches for a button and Satan's Robot blares a warning, causing Tom and Harry to shout in unison, "The other panel!" Presumably he was about to activate the Self-Destruct Mechanism mentioned in "Night".
  • Dope Slap: Paris gives this to Satan's Robot when it scares off the alien they're trying to make First Contact with. The Robot shambles off muttering sulkily about alien invaders.
  • Electronic Speech Impediment: Satan's Robot whenever it sustains damage.
  • Energy Beings: The aliens are from a photonic universe.
  • Evil Laugh: In one case done along with the Title Drop.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The episode concludes with Dr. Chaotica dying, whereupon music plays on an imagizer and the words THE END appear... followed by a question mark and Chaotica's Evil Laugh. Sure enough Chaotica returns to menace Janeway one more time in "Shattered".
  • Excited Show Title!/The X of Y: Bride of Chaotica!
  • Faceless Goons: Chaotica's "Army of Evil". Justified when Tom Paris mentions the Dressing as the Enemy trick in his original plan to enter the Fortress of Doom, so he'd make sure the guards had concealed faces when writing the holoprogram.
  • Facial Dialogue: Janeway does a lot of it in this episode:
    • You can see the calm wash over her when she drinks coffee.
    • She puts on an expression of mock seriousness while Tom is explaining the Captain Proton holo-program to her, while Chakotay and Seven exchange smirks in the background.
    • Her "wtf?" face as she goes over the specs for her Queen Arachnia costume is a wonder to behold.
  • Famed in Story: Chaotica is insulted that the photonic aliens don't recognize him on sight, though that could just be his cosmic ego.
  • Feet-First Introduction: The Doctor as The President of Earth.
  • Femme Fatale: Queen Arachnia, along with Dark Action Girl. Presumably she's a villain from a previous chapter who made a Heel–Face Turn after falling for Proton or having our heroes save her life.
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: Though it's more a sign of Seven's arrogance than an indicator that she's on the same page as her captain.
  • Genre Savvy: Tom Paris knows something's gone wrong on the holodeck because Constance Goodheart has been killed, and that never happens to the Good Guys. Likewise he tries to warn Captain Janeway of Chaotica's fondness for hidden traps, but she falls into one anyway.
  • Got Volunteered: Janeway gets roped into playing Arachnia by Tom Paris. Before that, everyone else (Janeway included) assumed it would be Seven.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Chaotica vs Arachnia or Lonzak.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Satan's Robot ends up 'helping' our heroes. Presumably this also happened with Queen Arachnia in previous chapters, which is why she's helping Proton now.
  • High Collar of Doom: Arachnia wears a pretty big one, in a spiderweb pattern.
  • Holodeck Malfunction: Different from the usual — the characters can move in and out of the program freely by using a site-to-site transport, and the safety protocols are working fine (note the scene where Janeway laughs off a raygun blast). They just can't turn the program off, and despite the safeties, the ray guns are lethal to a race of photonic aliens, which forces the crew to play along and defeat Chaotica before the aliens' counterattack destroys the Voyager and/or draws it deeper into subspace.
  • I Come in Peace:
    • On being confronted by Lonzak and his Faceless Goons, the aliens respond, "We mean you no harm." Lonzak's response is predictable.
    • Tom and Tuvok try to establish First Contact with a photonic alien and explain it's all a misunderstanding, but they don't show up on his Everything Sensor so he thinks it's a trick. The Killer Robot barging towards him doesn't help matters. Eventually the Doctor (who as a hologram is made of photonic energy) does the job successfully.
  • I Kiss Your Hand: Dr Chaotica does this to Queen Arachnia is his usual Large Ham manner after she strides majestically into his throne room. As Arachnia is being played by Captain Janeway, she's not impressed. When he tries it again later, she walks off just as he's bending down to kiss.
  • I Know Karate: Janeway karate-chops the mook manning the Death Ray.
  • I Resemble That Remark!: B'Elanna snarks that Doctor might enter the program as "Emperor of the Universe". Unconscious of any irony, the Doctor replies that he'll have to "scale back his role in the interests of credibility. I'll be the President of Earth."
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: As per the Republic Film serials.
  • Incoming!: Doc says this just before a Death Ray blast rocks the rocketship.
  • Incoming Ham:
  • Incredibly Lame Pun:
    • The Doctor's performance as the President was unimpeachable.
    • The Deliberately Monochrome world of Captain Proton presents a black and white view of the future.
    • When Arachnia spots her pheromones on a pedestal in Chaotica's lair, she quips, "I didn't realize you were the scent-imental type."
  • Innocent Aliens:
    Chaotica: You have invaded my planet. Why?
  • Insistent Terminology: Tom rigidly sticks to using all the Captain Proton descriptions for things, and coaches Janeway on the differences from their own lingo. He does this even when it is not necessary.
    Janeway: Let me get this straight. Transdimensional aliens have mistaken your Captain Proton simulation for reality.
    Paris: Yes, ma'am.
    Janeway: And now an armed conflict has broken out between these aliens and Chaotica's holographic army.
    Paris (deadpan): Yes, ma'am. His Army of Evil.
  • Kneel Before Zod: Lonzak demands the photonic aliens kneel before his majesty. They've no idea what he's talking about.
  • Large Ham: In classic Camp fashion, of course. The entire Captain Proton program is a World of Ham, and even Janeway gets into it, chewing some major scenery as Queen Arachnia.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: The Doctor concludes his praise of 'Captain Proton' by admitting that he's also a competent medic, "though don't tell him I said so."
  • Let Me Get This Straight...: Captain Janeway summing up the incredible situation they've gotten into.
  • Letting the Air out of the Band: When Harry discovers the aliens' portal on the holodeck, the melodramatic Captain Proton music fades out and and is replaced by regular-sounding Voyager background music.
  • Love Potion: While Tied To a Pillar Janeway uses Arachnia's vial of "irresistable pheromones" to make Dr Chaotica release her. Unfortunately Chaotica moves out of sniffing range, leaving her to get slobbered over by his ugly henchman Lonzak instead.
  • The Men in Black: The alien MIB version — two photonic aliens appear on the holodeck dressed as grey-suited men in fedoras. They speak in a stilted manner and though dressed like humans of the 1930's are unfamiliar with their society, mistaking the holodeck characters for Energy Beings like themselves and assuming the supervillains they encounter are a genuine threat.
  • Mini-Game: When you remember that Captain Proton is essentially a video game, repairing Satan's Robot is clearly one of these. Tuvok almost grudgingly compliments Paris on his knowledge of 20th century technology, but Tom's repairs of the robot's innards are probably as accurate as most other Hollywood Hacking, especially considering Captain Proton's source material.
  • More than Three Dimensions: No, there's five!
  • Must Have Caffeine:
    Captain Janeway: Coffee. Black.
    Neelix: I'm sorry, Captain, we lost two more replicators this morning—
    Janeway: Listen to me VERY carefully, because I'm only going to say this once: Coffee. Black.
    Neelix: Yes, ma'am.
    • Then, when Neelix tries to say something, Janeway says what every coffee drinker lives by: "Coffee first!" As Neelix waits patiently, you can almost see the caffeine flooding into Janeway's bloodstream.
    • And then, after Janeway returns to the bridge — leaving Neelix to deal with scheduling the crew's use of the remaining functioning toilets and sonic showers — he drains the rest of her cup. Evidently she's not the only one in need of caffeine right now.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning:
    Chaotica: Arachnia, death as you know it has no hold on me. My defeat is but a temporary setback. I shall return to seek my revenge.
    Janeway: He doesn't give up, does he?
    Paris: They never do.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: An In-Universe version (see Cliffhanger Copout).
  • Nobody Poops: Averted.
    Neelix: Replicators aren't the only systems of convenience offline. We've only got four functioning lavatories for a ship of a hundred and fifty people.
    Janeway: I see.
    Neelix: Needless to say, lines are beginning to form. If we don't get unstuck soon we may have a serious problem on our hands. Especially with the Bolians. All but three sonic showers are offline, too. In another couple of days...
    Janeway: I get the idea.
  • No-Sell: Because the holodeck safeties are still working, the weapons on the holodeck are useless against the crew, as seen when Janeway laughs off being shot with a ray gun. Paris warns, however, that forcefields and other, non-lethal restraints will work, which Chaotica uses to capture Janeway when shooting her fails.
  • Not So Above It All:
    • Janeway gives her famous Death Glare to Tom after she's roped into playing Arachnia, but finds herself quite getting into the role, enjoying the feeling of sitting on a throne and gleefully hamming it up. "HA! You're no match for Arachnia!"
    • Likewise the Doctor enjoys playing the President of Earth, despite dismissing the program as a 'frivolous fantasy' in "Night".
  • Numbered Homeworld/"X" Makes Anything Cool: Planet X.
  • Off the Rails:
    • Tom and Harry just shoot Lonzak in the middle of his speech since they don't have time to play along.
    • Proton is supposed to rescue Queen Arachnia at the climax of the chapter, but of course Janeway just rescues herself.
  • Other Stock Phrases:
    • Yet again Harry says, "You'll never get away with this!"
    • Although she doesn't deliver the line straight, Janeway notes that when you want something done right, you've got to do it yourself.
  • Parody Episode: An Affectionate Parody of the early sci-fi serials like Buck Rogers, Commando Cody and Flash Gordon.
  • Percussive Maintenance
    • When the controls fail and the rocketship starts to crash, Tom and Harry pound the console in a suitably dramatic manner.
    • Tom repairs Satan's Robot, but it takes a whack to get it fully operational.
  • Phallic Weapon: Arachnia strokes the barrel of the Death Ray in a sensual manner.
    Janeway: Oh, it looks like a... formidable weapon.
  • Plot Armor: When Tom finds Captain Proton's sidekick Constance Goodheart dead, he realizes the program has gone seriously Off the Rails since this trope is not in play anymore.
  • Previously on…: The episode starts with a cliffhanger recap of the Show Within a Show in the style of a 1930's Republic film serial. We then cut to Tom Paris and Harry Kim watching the recap on the imagizer, and complaining that the scene of their rocketship bursting into flame never actually happened.
  • Raygun Gothic: The holo-program has this style.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: Harry and Tom point their ray guns (with fingers inside the trigger guards) at each other while standing in the hatchway of Proton's rocketship. Possibly a Shout-Out to this trope in B Movies like Plan 9 from Outer Space.
  • Recycled Set: Lampshaded In-Universe when Harry Kim points out that "Planet X" looks identical to "The Mines of Mercury" that they visited in the last adventure. Tom replies that sets were expensive in the days when you couldn't just create them on the holodeck.
  • Red Shirt: The alien with a non-speaking part is the one that Lonzak chooses to execute.
  • Repeat After Me: Tom starts ranting how he's never going to play this holoprogram again. Satan's Robot repeats the end of every sentence, even when Tom says that the first thing he's going to do is delete the robot.
  • Retro Rocket: Doesn't get much more retro than this.
  • Reverse Polarity:
    Torres: Basically, we've run aground on a subspace sandbar. I've tried realigning the warp field, reversing hull polarity...
    Paris: Maybe we should just get out and push.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: The Doctor claims his performance in talking to the photonic aliens was "unimpeachable." That's probably the closest thing to a Clinton joke Star Trek ever had. This, of course, aired soon after Clinton was impeached.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The scene where Janeway, Seven of Nine and B'Elanna Torres brainstorm in Astrometrics, while holodeck hero Tom Paris makes sidekick-like quips from the sidelines. It's obvious which sex wears the pants in the 24th Century!
  • Science-Fiction Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Often invoked. As Tom points out, the 1930s vision of the future didn't really pan out like people back then envisioned; certainly not the way it did in the Trek Verse.
    • Captain Proton travels millions of miles to Planet X!
    • Chaotica identifies himself as "Ruler of the Cosmos" though that's clearly an ego thing.
  • Screaming Woman: Constance Goodheart continues her Running Gag, in deliberate contrast to the heroics allowed in a former villainness like Arachnia.
  • Screen Shake: Whenever Proton's rocketship is hit by the Death Ray.
  • Seize Them!:
    Alien explorer: We mean no harm.
    Lonzak: Seize them! (activates Super Wrist-Gadget) Lower the drawbridge. We are bringing prisoners.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: After being stunned by Captain Janeway, Chaotica hauls himself up using his Death Ray only to get zapped when Proton fires his Destructo Beam at it.
  • A Shared Suffering: Chaotica gets all teary-eyed over The Chains of Commanding when you're Surrounded by Idiots. Captain Janeway can empathize.
    Chaotica: Oh, Arachnia, my love, my life! How well you understand our plight. If it weren't beneath my dignity, I...I would weep. How I've longed for someone who would understand.
    Janeway: We have a saying on Arachnia. It's lonely at the top.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: The Doctor cuts a nice figure in his double-breasted suit while playing the "President of Earth."
  • Shot Mid-Sentence: Lonzak is raygunned by Proton and Buster as he's hamming his way through his Roaring Speech of Revenge. They were kinda busy with the invading holographic aliens.
    "Surprised? You thought I had perished in that den of crocodiles. I SURVIVED! CLINGING to the thought that I would ONE DAY—Arrrrgh!"
  • Shout-Out:
  • Smoking Barrel Blowout: Harry does this with his Ray Gun after the above-mentioned scene with Lonzak.
  • Some Kind Of Forcefield: When Arachnia reveals whose side she's really on, Lonzak traps her inside a forcefield. Cut to Arachnia chained to a pillar.
  • Space Is an Ocean: Probably the pinnacle of this trope in all of fiction, with Voyager "running aground" on a "subspace sandbar." Fortunately this is a silly episode anyway, so it can be overlooked.
  • Splash of Color: Tom and Harry realise there's something wrong with the program when they see an energy portal leaking color into their Deliberately Monochrome world.
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: Constance Goodheart in the Previously on… teaser. Chaotica shows it off proudly to his intended. "The Cradle of Persuasion. It's fully modified: brain probe, pain modulator."
  • Supervillain Lair: Doctor Chaotica's Fortress of Doom.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: The aliens think the holo-program is real, so it's easier to play along than try and convince them it's not.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Lonzak's bungling gives Chaotica a frequent opportunity to emote his famous "FOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLL!" line. Lampshaded when Janeway is trying to get Chaotica to lower his Lightning Shield so Captain Proton can attack.
    Chaotica: (suspicious) Why this preoccupation with the Shield?
    Janeway: Oh, forgive me. It's just that, as a fellow ruler of the cosmos, I often have to do things myself.
    Chaotica: Ah. Because of the incompetence of your inferiors, no doubt!
  • Swiss-Cheese Security: Tuvok notes dryly when a photonic alien strolls into Proton's rocketship, "I assume there's no lock on the hatch?" Tom replies that it was a simpler time. Well that would explain The Cold Equations anyway.
  • Techno Babble: Parodied. Tom delivers this line completely straight-faced.
    Tom: The Destructo-beam on my rocketship can disable the death ray, but only if someone gets inside the Fortress of Doom and can shut down the lightning shield.
  • Telegraph Gag STOP: A message arrives via the Subspace Ansible on Proton's rocket ship. It looks suspiciously like a teletype machine.
    Paris: It's a message to Captain Proton from the President of Earth. Intercepted communications between Doctor Chaotica and Arachnia STOP. Chaotica at war with aliens from Fifth Dimension STOP. Must strike now to disable Death Ray—
    Tuvok: Stop. Please summarize the message.
  • Title Drop: Chaotica says to Janeway in her Arachnia role, "And so, my dear, the day you have always dreamed of has arrived... the day you become Bride of Chaotica!"
  • Unholy Matrimony: Chaotica and Arachnia will rule together!
  • Video Phone: Imagizers, which use the same activation sound effect as in Flash Gordon.
  • Villainous Crush: Chaotica is obsessed with Arachnia, which is why Janeway has to play the character, as she's the only one who can convince him to drop the Lightning Shield so Proton can attack.
  • We Can Rule Together:
    Chaotica: Such passion, such strength. Together we could conquer the universe. End this madness, and you may yet live to be my Bride.
    Janeway: I don't know how to tell you this (shoots him) but the wedding's off.
  • We Will Meet Again: And they do, in "Shattered".
  • Welcome to Corneria: As with other holodeck programs we've seen on Voyager, new players entering the program are greeted by the same dialogue, in this case by Lonzak and his two minions. Players can either choose to be taken prisoner and brought directly to Chaotica, or fight Lonzak and then sneak into the Fortress of Doom via the Secret Underground Passage.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The war between Chaotica and the photonic aliens costs many of them their lives, as holodeck weapons are real to them. (At one point, their envoy gives the death toll as 53, and that's just halfway through the episode, so it presumably continues to climb.) However, the Voyager crew never seem remotely perturbed that dozens of sentient beings have died as a result of their actions; they're only ever concerned with their own inconvenience. Even the Doctor, who remarks that a universe populated entirely by photonic beings is "rather appealing", doesn't seem bothered by it.
  • Why Are You Looking at Me Like That?: Tom Paris explains that somebody has to go into the Captain Proton holoprogram and take on the role of seductive villainess Queen Arachnia. Everyone in the room looks at a nonplussed Seven of Nine... except Paris, who's looking straight at Janeway. Janeway's amusement with this idea fades immediately.
  • With This Ring: Janeway is presented with an Enormous Engagement be presented to his majesty Dr Chaotica.
  • World of Ham: With the exception of Tuvok, all the crewmembers who enter the program can't resist hamming it up splendidly.
  • You Fool!: "You FoooooOOOOOLLLLLLLLL!" Chaotica often admonishes his minions in this fashion.
  • You Have Failed Me: Chaotica isn't impressed when Lonzak returns without Proton, and sics his Killer Robot on him. Fortunately Lonzak placates his boss with his capture of the photonic aliens.
  • You Just Ruined the Shot: Aliens mistake the simulation for reality and go to war with Chaotica.


Video Example(s):


Please Summarize the Message

In "Bride of Chaotica!" from "Star Trek: Voyager," aliens from an alternate universe accidentally wander into Tom Paris's holodeck fantasy. Paris discovers a telegraph message explaining as much and reads it off in this style for Tuvok's benefit, until Tuvok cuts him off, asking him to just summarize the message.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / TelegraphGagStop

Media sources: