Boldly Going: “Timeless”

Voyager  was the third Star Trek show in a row to reach 100 episodes. The cast and production crew had a party behind the scenes, with a big cake, as well as a celebration scene in “Timeless.”  The Voyager crew are celebrating the installation of their Quantum Slipstream drive. B’Elanna even toasts the new warp drive  with a bottle of champagne. Janeway raises a glass and says this is their ticket out of the Delta Quadrant after nearly five years of an arduous journey.

But not all are enjoying the celebration. Paris is already obsessing about the new engine. He’s worried the drive is defective. Harry Kim takes him to the holodeck where they run simulations. Twenty runs and twenty catastrophes later, the two bring their concerns to the Captain. Rather than scrap the project entirely, Harry proposes to take the Delta Flyer into the Slipstream ahead of Voyager and send course corrections to compensate for turbulence.

The show’s 100th episode cake

Fifteen years later, Harry is still weighed down by the guilt of his actions. He and Chakotay are the only survivors while everyone else on Voyager perished as the ship crashed on a frozen tundra. Now Harry is anxious to correct his mistake, even if it means erasing the last 15 years of history. The pair, aided by Chakotay’s girlfriend, find Voyager buried beneath sheets of ice on a planet just outside the Alpha Quadrant. They activate the Doctor and exhume Seven of Nine’s body. The plan is to use her Borg technology to send a message through time, and get Voyager home safely.

Harry Kim activates the EMH in a frozen Sickbay.

Unfortunately the powers that be aren’t happy with Chakotay’s and Harry’s plan. The pair are wanted men, charged with treason and conspiracy to violate the temporal prime directive. They resigned from Starfleet once locating Voyager was deemed a failure and stole the Delta Flyer to continue looking on their own. Captain Geordi LaForge, of the USS Challenger, is tasked with their pursuit and capture. He orders Chakotay to stand down and surrender. Meanwhile Harry and the Doctor are frantically trying to send the correction before they run out of time.

Back in the present, Voyager is ready for her maiden Slipstream journey. Chakotay and Ensign Kim are in the Delta Flyer ahead of the ship. They encounter turbulence just as the simulations predicted. The ensign sends his corrections to compensate, but they don’t work. The Slipstream collapses around Voyager and the ship careens into the icy planet at high impulse in an impressive display of special effects.

Voyager’s crash landing

In the future, Harry is puzzled why his new corrections didn’t work. If they were successful, they wouldn’t be trying to save Voyager. In a last ditch effort, as the seconds are counting down before a warp core breach, Harry sends a set of corrections that disperses the Slipstream safely. Voyager is unfortunately still in the Delta Quadrant, but at least all 150 souls on board are safe. Future Harry even manages to send present Harry a message warning him of his potential mistake and guilt.

This episode works on all cylinders. Harry Kim doesn’t get a chance to shine that often and Garrett Wang steps up to the plate. He sells his haunted Harry very well. The direction, by LeVar Burton, is definitely worth noticing. And the editing works really well as both timelines are tightly interwoven. For a 100th episode, “Timeless” does not disappoint. Overall it’s a very good Voyager story.

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