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Recap / Star Trek: Voyager S6E12 "Blink of an Eye"

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What a funny looking planet.
The crew comes in contact with a planet rotating 58 times a minute, in which they act as a third pole. Any attempts to leave cause massive quakes below, and the inhabitants think they are a deity causing it.
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As time goes on, the inhabits advance to the point they can travel at sublight speed to Voyager, where the two astronauts both try adjust to the new time frame, only one survives. He finds out that time moves much more slowly on the ship, and when the ship comes under attack by the suddenly-more-advanced civilization, he acts as an ambassador until he is returned to the civilization, albeit 50 or more of his years have passed.


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This episode provides examples of

  • Agent Scully: Played with, with two scientists trying to discover if there's anyone on board Voyager, which has been in their sky for their civilisation's entire history due to Year Inside, Hour Outside. The Scully doubts there's anyone on board, but when the Mulder asks why he's on the mission in the first place, he adds that he doubts everything - including his own doubts.
  • Call-Back: In "Message in a Bottle", the Doc brags to the new EMH that he added an additional subroutine to his program, allowing him to have sex. Guess it wasn't a brag at all given this episode's events.
  • Cross-Referenced Titles: "Blink of an Eye" was originally titled "Wink of an Eye", until someone realized there'd been an unrelated (but unfortunately not dissimilar) TOS episode with that title.
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  • Distant Finale: The last scene is an elderly Gotana-Retz sitting on a hilltop, gazing at a night sky without Voyager in it... but it is only distant from his perspective.
  • Foreshadowing: During a staff meeting, Janeway and the Doctor talk about how shifting from one time rate to another could prove fatal. The alien astronauts learn that the hard way. They also discuss the prospect of being attacked once the planet advances sufficiently, which is eventually what happens.
  • Going Native: The Doctor expresses patriotic outrage that a neighbouring country attacked his own. He later reveals he has a son down on the planet and talks sports with Gotana-Retz.
  • Humanity Is Advanced: At first...
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Though a tongue-in-cheek one. When they realize they'll get to watch the complete history of civilizations, B'Elanna quips that they'll watch them come up with new ways to bash each other over the head. Chakotay says that she shouldn't expect them to conduct their affairs like Klingons, and gets the response "as opposed to humans?"
  • I Am X, Son of Y: In a letter written to the "Ground Shaker":
    "I, Kelemane, son of Kelemane..."
  • Inscrutable Aliens: In this episode, they played this role to a species living on a planet with a Year Inside, Hour Outside effect. From their point of view, Voyager had been in their sky for centuries, and was a complete mystery to them.
  • Noodle Incident: The Doctor had a son down on the planet, but we're not told how this came about.
  • Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: Played straight where Voyager is trapped in orbit over a planet where time moves rapidly, becoming worshiped as a deity by the inhabitants called "the Groundshaker" after their attempt to leave causes violent earthquakes. As we see time on the planet progress, the people invent telescopes and come to dub Voyager as "The Skyship", which by the time they've entered the Space Age, is no longer believed to be the home of their Gods, but merely an advanced spacecraft that houses alien beings
  • Save Your Deity: Eventually the inhabitants use their technology (now more advanced than Voyager's) to help them escape.
  • Shout-Out: This episode shares a basic premise with the TOS episode "Wink of an Eye".
  • Time Stands Still: Because of the time differential between Voyager and the planet's residents, the two astronauts who visit the ship see everyone on Voyager moving so slow that they are virtually standing still. That is, until the astronauts suddenly find themselves moving at the same speed of time as the ship.
  • Title Drop: By Janeway.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The race from this episode is never mentioned again, even though you'd expect them to be a Higher-Tech Species within a day given their situation.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: the planet they are orbiting follows at an approximate rate of a day inside to a second outside.
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