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Recap / Star Trek Voyager S 5 E 1 Night

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Voyager travels through a region of starless space with nothing to do except keep their ship and their spirits going, until they come across a group of aliens that live in this region of space dealing with a Malon freighter dumping toxic waste materials.

This episode provides examples of:

  • Alien of the Aesop: Recycling good, toxic waste dumping bad. We no longer have the Black-and-White Morality of the Captain Proton days, no sir.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: Voyager's power can be knocked out by the Void aliens, and even an interstellar garbage truck has greater firepower.
  • Are These Wires Important?: How Seven disables the robot.
  • The Atoner: Deconstructed. Tuvok and Chakotay worry that Janeway's guilt, when coupled with her legendary determination, might be a Fatal Flaw.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: When Voyager suddenly goes dark.
    Harry: I was hoping for a change of pace, but a blackout wasn't what I had in mind.
  • Big Blackout: Things are boring till all the lights go out and the crew realise hostile aliens have sneaked on board.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Done for a Rule of Threes.
    • Done with appropriate heroic music as Captain Proton turns up to save Harry, Constance and planet Earth from the evil Dr Chaotica!
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    • Controller Emck's vessel turns up to save Voyager when it's surrounded by the Void alien vessels. He demands to be compensated for the ammunition used.
    • Those same aliens arrive guns blazing to divert Emck's attention when he tries blocking Voyager from entering the vortex.
  • Big "NO!": Harry tells Chaotica he's activated the Self-Destruct Mechanism on their rocket ship. "In three minutes, we'll all be dead." Chaotica responds with a lengthy "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" accompanied by Large Ham body language.
  • Big "SHUT UP!"
    • Chaotica interrupts Tom and Doc arguing over who should be using the holodeck. "ENOUGH! Robot, attack!"
    • Neelix to Tom and B'Elanna. "STOP! You are senior officers! You are supposed to be setting an example for the rest...the rest of the crew..."
  • Blatant Lies: Tom created the Captain Proton holodeck program to study the sociology of 20th Century Zeerust. Right...
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  • Boring Yet Practical: Controller Emck has a sure thing going with his current dumping ground so he refuses to consider Voyager's radiation recycling technology.
  • Call-Back: Janeway is faced with another decision that could condemn Voyager to taking the long way home, as when she destroyed the Caretaker Array.
  • Captain's Log: Averted — it's Chakotay who acts as The Narrator this time, as Janeway has cut herself off from her duties.
  • Captain Space, Defender of Earth!
    Chaotica: Captain Proton!
    Paris: Spaceman First Class, protector of Earth, scourge of intergalactic your service.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Few episodes show the negative effects this has on Janeway like this one.
  • Continuity Nod
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Literally, in the case of the Void aliens. The only reason they showed aggression at first is because they're paranoid about strangers intruding on their territory, and we learn quickly that they're Properly Paranoid.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The Doctor isn't happy when Harry adjusts his 'spectral frequency' to fit in with Captain Proton, which is entirely in black and white (including anyone who plays the program).
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: The episode opens with galactic supervillain Dr Chaotica threatening Planet Earth over his 1930's-era microphone.
    "Citizens of Earth! Your destiny is in my hands. Those of you who acquiesce to my demands will be treated fairly. Oppose me, and you face a dire fate indeed! As my slaves in the mines of Mercury! You hour."
  • Evil Is Hammy: Chaotica, oh so much.
  • Fictional Sport: Durotta.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • Harry winces in pain as Constance screams right next to his ear.
    • Before that (when "not" screaming) Constance's look of bemusement as the Doctor prattles on about his opera being interrupted.
  • Ham and Cheese: In-Universe—this is how Tom designed the Captain Proton holoprogram.
  • Heroic BSoD: Janeway shuts herself off in her cabin, suffering from chronic depression. Comes dangerously close to the Despair Event Horizon.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Janeway plans to be left behind in a shuttle to seal the vortex that gives a shortcut in and out of the Void so the Malon ships can't use it. The crew convince her to Take a Third Option. It's risky, but this is Voyager!
  • Holodeck Malfunction: A mild version — the Doctor and Tom fuse out the holodeck, which is Serious Business when everyone needs distraction. After it's repaired the Proton program locks up, but this enables Tom to use an electric torch and Seven to use a Ray Gun against an alien.
    • Despite Seven's handwave about sub-systems being unaffected, the holodeck program continues to play in the dark. This means that the projection system that makes everything appear monochromatic is part of the holodeck sub-system, but the actual lights within the simulation are physical lights in the holodeck, which directly conflicts with what we've seen of holodeck's before.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Proton is more or less helpless when Seven is playing Constance Goodheart. This is evident even before the holodeck gets invaded by legit aliens. Seven, who has spent all of ten minutes rolling her eyes at this daft program, immediately barks, 'Disengage safety protocols!" and roasts the intruder with the fallen Tom's ray gun.
  • I Don't Like You and You Don't Like Me: Downplayed. Chakotay has a talk with Tuvok about Janeway's behavior, and what it could lead to if it continues. He admits that he and Tuvok have "always kept each other at arm's length" due to the shaky circumstances of how their working relationship began, but Chakotay admits a respect for his judgement. Tuvok is as stoic and plainspoken as he always is, but he has an understanding in his tone of voice that makes it clear that he and Chakotay are on the same page.
  • Inadvertent Entrance Cue: "There is one force in this universe that even you cannot defeat!" Enter Tom's Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: the Doctor.
  • Informed Ability: Played for Laughs; the one force even Earth's greatest hero cannot defeat is a slow-moving and easily disabled Tin-Can Robot.
  • In the Doldrums: Subverted — they're moving as per normal, they just can't see it as the void is 2,500 light years across, and the stars are obscured by theta radiation.
    Chakotay: It's like being becalmed in the middle of the ocean. If it weren't for sensors we wouldn't even know we were at warp. We've only been crossing this expanse for two months and we're already feeling the strain. How do we last another two years?
  • Invincible Hero: Captain Proton, of course!
    Chaotica: But I saw you fall into the fiery mouth of that volcano!
    Proton: It takes more than a little lava to stop Captain Proton.
  • Landfill Beyond the Stars
  • Layman's Terms: The Doctor defines nihilophobia as "fear of nothingness. Or, in layman's terms, the fear of...nothingness."
  • The Load: When describing the Damsel in Distress role to Seven, Tom quickly brushes past the fact that her sole purpose is to "tag along on all the missions".
  • Mama Bear: Hostile aliens invading the ship and attacking her crew are enough to snap Janeway out of her Heroic BSoD solitude, and into the ship's halls with compression phaser rifle.
  • Mistaken for Profound: When the Doctor complains of Tom monopolizing the holodeck, he protests that Captain Proton is an important sociological work of the highest magnitude!
    Doctor: Perhaps you can teach a course at Starfleet Academy: Satan's Robot - an Historical Overview.
  • Ms. Fanservice: What blonde, busty, belly-bareing Constance Goodheart is, besides Damsel in Distress.
  • My Greatest Failure: Faced with nothing to do, Janeway can't help pondering how she brought this all about, calling back to the events of "Caretaker."
  • Nightmare Fuel: In-Universe—the Doctor's description of what it feels like to be deactivated doesn't help the nihilophobic Neelix feel better.
  • No Time to Explain: After a deft bit of flying by their helmsman evades a string of explosions, Seven quips, "Captain Proton to the rescue". When Janeway gives her a puzzled look, Tom Paris just laughs and says he'll explain to the captain later. Which he does, in "Bride of Chaotica!"
  • Not So Dire: Dr Chaotica threatens to unleash an invincible force upon our heroes. The hatch opens and Constance screams in terror at...the Doctor.
  • Obviously Evil: The Malon are covered in warty radiation burns, bitch about being compensated when they do something nice for Voyager, and fly giant barges leaking Sickly Green Glow radiation. Three guesses if they turn out to be Evil All Along, and the first two don't count...
  • Off the Rails: Tom Paris ropes in Seven to play the Damsel in Distress. Upon being menaced by the Killer Robot, Seven calmly responds:
    Seven: I am Borg. (yanks out robot's wiring, disabling it) The robot has been neutralized. May I leave now?
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Neelix when a second blackout looks imminent.
  • OOC Is Serious Business
    • Janeway drops the Team Mom act and shuts herself in her quarters.
    • Tom and B'Elanna are working themselves up to a domestic argument when Neelix gives a Big "SHUT UP!".
  • Other Stock Phrases: Harry tells Chaotica "You'll never get away with this!", as befits a World of Ham.
  • The Pollyanna: Harry Kim really earns his stripes with this trope. While Janeway's having a Heroic BSoD, Tom and B'Elanna are getting into shouting matches in the mess hall, Neelix is having anxiety attacks and Chakotay's just trying to hold it together... Harry calmly sits on the bridge composing clarinet pieces. Later he suggests it's just a matter of attitude.
    Kim: Let's think of this as a two year vacation!
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner
    Janeway: Time to take out the garbage.
  • Robo Speak: Satan's Robot; which becomes Electronic Speech Impediment when Seven yanks out the wires.
  • Running Gag: Neelix trying to get tactical training from Tuvok.
  • Scenery Porn: At the end of the episode, Voyager emerges from the Void into beautiful Space Clouds god, they're full of stars!
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: The Void is 2,500 light years across, yet the Malon are dumping enough radiation there to poison the inhabitants.
  • Screaming Woman: Spoofed with busty blonde Constance Goodheart, whose only line of dialogue is an ear-piercing scream.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: A guilty Janeway almost makes this, and the crew unite to shut her down.
  • Series Continuity Error: Seven grabs the raygun off Tom Paris' belt and orders the computer to shut off the holodeck safety protocols, zapping the alien as it charges her. In "Extreme Risk" the computer will always request confirmation before doing this.
  • Shaped Like Itself: The Doctor diagnoses Neelix's panic attacks as, "Nihiliphobia: the fear of nothingness. Or in Layman's Terms, the fear of...nothingness."
  • She's Back: In the middle of the black-out, Janeway suddenly appears kicking ass with a compression phaser rifle. However Chakotay knows he's not out of the Void yet, so has a quiet word with Tuvok about forestalling any suicidal heroics on her part. So the trope only comes into play when Voyager is trying to blast its way through the vortex.
  • Shout-Out: Dr Chaotica appears to be a Ming the Merciless expy. Satan's Robot is similar to the "Republic Robot", an overused prop in various Republic serials including ''Mysterious Doctor Satan''. Proton's leather jacket has Jet Pack controls which are the same as those used by Commando Cody (aka The Rocketman).
  • Show Within a Show: The first appearance of The Adventures of Captain Proton.
  • Sickly Green Glow: Theta radiation appears as a green gas spewed from the Malon vessel, just to emphasis that it is, in fact, poisonous.
  • Slow Electricity: While traveling through an area with no stars, the Voyager suddenly loses power. The lights start going out throughout the ship, with some areas and items going dark before others.
  • Something Completely Different: The first episode of the new season opens with an Affectionate Parody of 1930's sci-fi film serials.
  • Space Madness: Though Cabin Fever is a more accurate description of how everyone is feeling. The crew is too disciplined and experienced to crack up; they just get bored and testy without a crisis every week.
  • Species of Hats: Meet the Malon, toxic waste dumpers of the Delta Quadrant.
  • The Spock: Although he's never really gotten close to Tuvok (that whole Federation spy thing still rankles), Chakotay wants some Vulcan clarity on how to handle Janeway.
  • Stealth in Space: The Void aliens can hide themselves from Voyager's sensors. Their presence is only revealed when Tuvok modifies a photon torpedo into a space flare.
  • Stealth Pun: Tuvok says he's meditating in Astrometrics as the view from his cabin window is less than stellar. Later he uses a photon torpedo to shed some light on their situation.
  • Streaming Stars: The lack of them is disconcerting, as it's harder to tell if they're still at warp.
  • That's an Order!
    Chakotay: I want good news, and that's an order.
    Seven: Then I must disobey.
    • Played more seriously when the crew refuse to go along with Janeway's orders to strand her in the Void.
  • Tin-Can Robot: Satan's Robot from the Captain Proton program. As Jim "Reviewboy" Wright put it...
    "In comes a Price Club-sized tin can with Slinky arms and legs, looking like the grandfather of Pimpbot 5000, buzzing with a menace that suggests he flunked Asimov 101."
  • To Be Continued: The Doctor tries to invoke this with the Captain Proton program so he can get to his opera.
  • Variant Chess: B'Elanna and Tom play "derada".
  • Whip It Good: Chaotica cracks the extension cord of his microphone for dramatic emphasis.
  • Withholding the Cure: Controller Emck is shown Federation warp technology, which recycles its theta radiation. He rejects this as it would put him out of business. Chakotay points out that he's throwing away a great business opportunity, but Emck is already making lots of money thanks to his secret dumping ground, and would rather bet on what he has, than risk the financial chaos caused by the introduction of a world-changing technology.


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