Friday, December 14, 2012

War Perpetual: “Space Seed” Is Rewritten For Star Trek: Voyager In “Dragon’s Teeth!”

The Good: Decent acting, Cool concept, Awesome special effects
The Bad: Minutae, Derivative nature
The Basics: When Voyager inadvertently brings a warlord out of stasis, they find themselves regrettable unleashing a Khan back into the Delta Quadrant.

As I watch Star Trek: Voyager for enjoyment and review, I am at the point where I have been finding episodes that I did not see in the first run. The whole time, I have been waiting to see an episode that I might call a “lost gem.” I finally found that with “Dragon’s Teeth.”

“Dragon’s Teeth” has only two fundamental problems. The first is its derivative nature. “Dragon’s Teeth” is the Star Trek: Voyager reworking of Star Trek’s “Space Seed” (reviewed here!). Like “Space Seed,” the Federation reawakens an army – starting with the leader – who attempt to take their ship to go and conquer the galaxy. The only other issue with “Dragon’s Teeth” is that it is not ambitious enough in its timeframe. When Neelix talks to Gedrin, he notes that in the “old tongue,” Vaadwaur means “foolish.” 982 years is a remarkably short period of time, especially when one is talking about the collapse of a society. Given the scope of the Vaadwaur’s former empire, it seems like the Talaxians would have had better records and more races in the Delta Quadrant should have heard of them. That Seven Of Nine and Neelix both come from races that apparently have terrible historical records for nine hundred years in the past is ridiculous, especially considering that the writers of this episode come from a race – far less technologically advanced – that has solid history for more than three thousand years.

After Voyager is pulled through a subspace corridor, it meets an alien who has the ability to help them out of “underspace.” After Voyager is returned to normal space, the aliens demand Voyager allow them to transport over to remove all records of their space from their computers. Refusing to comply, Voyager travels through a radiogenic field to a planet that was bombarded from orbit. Investigating a city that once housed millions, Janeway, Tuvok and Seven Of Nine find stasis chambers filled with people who tried to leave the war zone 892 years prior.

Soon, though, Gedrin, the leader of the alien Vaadwaur, is eager to get his entire battalion out of stasis and off the planet. With the engineer, Gaul, pushing for weapons from Voyager and Neelix slowly putting together that the Vaadwaur might be more aggressive than they initially let on, Janeway fears she is cornered between the Vaadwaur and the alien Turei, in orbit above waiting to destroy Voyager. Janeway anticipates an attack by the Vaadwaur and when she indicates to Gedrin that she does not trust him, Gaul and his forces move out.

I liked “Dragon’s Teeth.” Outside Janeway being surprisingly cool with Seven Of Nine reanimating the Vaadwaur and Seven Of Nine not instantly recognizing the Vaadwaur as Species Whatever Number They Are, when she has shown that ability at, literally, every other prior encounter, it is incredibly smart. Janeway anticipates the attack by the Vaadwaur and she essentially calls “bullshit” on the Turei when Voyager attempts to leave.

The Vaadwaur are a cool villain and Gaul makes for an interesting adversary. Just as Gedrin is a reasonable evolution of Khan who does not suffer from Khan’s fatal character flaw. The result is a solid action-adventure episode that has amazing special effects and a decent use of the Star Trek: Voyager ensemble cast.

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

For other works with Robert Knepper, check out my reviews of:
Heroes - Season Four
Prison Break - Season 1
“Haven” - Star Trek: The Next Generation


For other Star Trek episode and movie reviews, please visit my Star Trek Review Index Page!

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