Monday, September 3, 2012

A Weak Invasion Episode “Displaced” Is Unremarkable Star Trek: Voyager

The Good: Interesting concept, Decent basic plot
The Bad: No superlative acting, Absolutely no real character development, Very weak alien concept
The Basics: When the crew of Voyager finds themselves being replaced, the result is more bland than extraordinary.

Star Trek: Voyager had a number of episodes that were good, a few that were great and some that were just plain awful. And while the original Star Trek certainly outnumbers the show for campy episodes and Star Trek: Enterprise veered toward the bad, Star Trek: Voyager had an unfortunate tendency toward creating episodes that were unmemorable. As one who is a big fan of the overall franchise, it’s tough to rewatch some of the episode of Star Trek: Voyager and get excited about them: “Displaced” is one of those episodes that is based on a very simple idea and is more unremarkable than it is actually bad.

“Displaced” is, to be fair, one of the more creative ways that the Voyager crew loses the ship. But, it is basically yet another alien-of-the-week episode that has remarkably few long-term consequences (none, actually) and is superlative in no ways.

With Tom Paris pushing B’Elanna toward embracing her Klingon side, following up on a bet from “Real Life” (reviewed here!), a mysterious man materializes in the corridor. The alien is a Nyrian and it does not take long before Janeway realizes that his appearance coincides exactly with the disappearance of Kes. Every nine minutes, twenty seconds, a Nyrian replaces another member of the Voyager crew and while Janeway works to contain the Nyrians, she loses more of her crew.

After Janeway is abducted, apparently as the result of an intermittent wormhole, Chakotay takes command of the ship and Torres begins working with a Nyrian scientist to determine what the cause of the swaps actually is. When the scientist turns on Torres, it becomes clear that the swaps are neither random nor a stellar phenomenon. With the Nyrians in control of Voyager, Chakotay resists as long as possible, though he soon finds himself and the Doctor abducted as well.

Outside filling the episode’s predilection toward filling the slower moments with Paris and Torres moments that continue to build on their relationship, “Displaced” is an exceptionally plot-heavy episode. The first half belabors the replacing of the crew until everyone is replaced and the second half is the inevitable escape attempt from the Nyrian prison colony. While the Paris and Torres scene makes a great deal of sense – they have been building that relationship for the better part of the season – the lone scene between Chakotay and Tuvok feels entirely like filler, as if the episode fell well under the necessary time and the scene was created to kill time.

Capture, jailbreak, it’s a pretty simple episode. The episode falls more into the unremarkable side when it utilizes substandard special effects. The computer generated effects are obvious for what they are and the make-up effects are pretty underwhelming as well. The Nyrians are one of the least interesting alien-of-the-week creatures both in terms of character design and their inherent weaknesses: they do not like the cold or bright light.

There are other details – why neither Torres nor Paris picks up a weapon late in the episode is utterly baffling – but mostly, this is a simple, unremarkable episode that is utterly forgettable.

[Knowing that VHS is essentially a dead medium, it's worth looking into Star Trek: Voyager - The Complete Third Season on DVD, which is also a better economical choice than buying the VHS. Read my review of the entire season here!


Check out how this episode stacks up against others by visiting my Star Trek Review Index Page!

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

| | |

No comments:

Post a Comment