(written from a Production point of view)
|VOY, Episode 2x14|
Production number: 131
First aired: 22 January 1996
|←||30th of 168 produced in VOY||→|
|←||29th of 168 released in VOY||→|
|←||396th of 728 released in all||→|
| Written By|
|←||Arc: Seska (3 of 9)||→|
Janeway tries to form an alliance with the Kazon.
The USS Voyager is under attack by two Kazon raiders. Voyager is able to destroy one Kazon raider with its phasers, but the other keeps firing and even though the remaining Kazon vessel retreats, Voyager is left with some damage to its energy systems which causes the engines to go off-line. In engineering, Crewman Kurt Bendera is seriously injured in an explosion and Torres initiates an emergency transport to sickbay. However, all attempts to revive him fail and The Doctor declares Bendera dead. Torres, in shock, reveals that Bendera had saved her life once, near the Cardassian border.
In Janeway's ready room, Chakotay enters with the news about Bendera's death. Janeway expresses her sorrow and asks him to arrange a memorial service. Chakotay, somewhat hesitantly, begins a discussion about their situation, explaining to Janeway that the rules have now changed in the Delta Quadrant and that maybe Voyager's crew should start changing too. He understands that Janeway made it clear to the crew from the beginning that this would be a Starfleet ship with a Starfleet crew, following Starfleet rules. However, he argues that while Starfleet works well in the Alpha Quadrant, here in the Delta Quadrant, it is just a different game. He suggests they try to adopt some Maquis policies. Janeway is somewhat taken aback by this, arguing that they should not throw away their principles, simply because they are out of com range with Starfleet. Chakotay bluntly tells her that their approach needs to change because this attack was the fourth in two weeks, three crewmembers are dead and Voyager cannot afford to lose any more personnel or sustain any more damage.
In Voyager's mess hall, crewmembers are seated as Chakotay remembers Bendera. After the speech, the crewmembers gathered stand and the service concludes. As Janeway is about to leave the mess hall, a frustrated Crewman Hogan walks up to her and asks what she is planning to do about the Kazon, now that they have stepped up their attacks. He tells her that most people on the ship think they won't make it out of Kazon space alive. Hogan thinks she should hand over all of the technology that the Kazon want so that they can continue safely with their journey. Janeway reminds him that doing so would be a clear violation of the Prime Directive. Hogan snaps back that he knows all about the Prime Directive but that Starfleet is over 70,000 light years away from Voyager. Janeway, with a serious look on her face tells him that she'll destroy Voyager before she hands any part of it over to the Kazon.
Chakotay follows an upset Janeway down the corridor, telling her that the Maquis on the ship still believe that the Federation abandoned them years ago. He tells Janeway that she may be willing to die for Federation principles, but that they are not. Janeway realizes that there is more on Chakotay's mind and asks him about it. Chakotay finally comes around and tells her she should seek an alliance with a Kazon faction. Janeway is appalled by the very idea of getting into an alliance with the untrustworthy and violent Kazon she has met but Chakotay tells her that she may be blinded by Starfleet protocols but that she must make the best decisions for the crew, as she is the captain.
Later in Tuvok's quarters, Janeway tells him of Commander Chakotay's plan to seek an alliance with the Kazon. She tells Tuvok that it goes against everything she believes. The Vulcan tells her that although she is "quite right" in her opinion, Chakotay's suggestion has some merit. He recalls a time when a great visionary named Spock proposed an alliance between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire. Tuvok himself spoke out against such an alliance, as the Klingons were outlaws, employing violence and brutality. Despite his objections however, the alliance was forged and the Alpha Quadrant enjoyed a new stability between Klingons and Humans. Tuvok tells her that since Voyager is on its way home an alliance with the Kazon would only be temporary. Janeway reflects on this and calls the senior staff to the briefing room for a meeting.
Janeway tells them that after much thought, she has decided to seek an alliance with one of the Kazon factions and that her decision is not up for debate. Neelix informs her that a Kazon faction called the Kazon-Pommar has a settlement on a nearby planet called Sobras. Kim sarcastically says they should call up Seska and form an alliance with her. Torres thinks that this is actually a good idea, as she would jump at the chance to form an alliance with Voyager, since she has been trying to unite all Kazon factions. Janeway also believes this to be a good idea and decides to contact Seska herself, despite Chakotay's objections.
- "Captain's log, stardate 49337.4. After sending a subspace message to Seska and the Nistrim Maje Culluh, we have received a quick response."
In Voyager's briefing room, Janeway tells Culluh that she hopes the Nistrim will be an honorable ally and adhere to the conditions of the alliance. Janeway tells Culluh that Voyager will assist any Nistrim ship or colony that is in distress and will provide supplies but reassures him that they will not supply the Kazon with any of their technology or weapons. Culluh agrees and suggests another condition. He asks for an exchange of crewmembers. Janeway tells him that she would never agree to that. Seska, sitting in on the briefing, tries to tell Culluh that that proposal could wait until later but Culluh silences her and tells Janeway he will not have a woman run the negotiations. Janeway tells Culluh that she always thought that seeking an alliance with him was a distasteful idea but that she was willing to explore the possibility. She now realizes that her instincts were exactly correct. She declares the meeting over and Culluh is sent back to his ship. On Sobras, Neelix is held captive in a cavern where several people are being imprisoned, including young children.
Neelix introduces himself to a man named Mabus. He reveals the people imprisoned are Trabe, sworn enemies of the Kazon. Mabus tells Neelix he has been trapped in the cave for five days after he was attacked in space. Mabus tells Neelix that help is on the way and that the Trabe will eventually escape from their prison. Mabus asks Neelix if they can count on him during their escape.
- "Captain's log, supplemental. We're on our way to rendezvous with Mr. Neelix. I can only hope that he had more luck with the Kazon than we did."
Voyager arrives at the rendezvous coordinates. However, Neelix's shuttle is nowhere to be found. Janeway tells Paris to hold position and wait for Neelix for two hours. If he does not show up by then, Voyager will head to Sobras. In engineering, Crewman Hogan asks B'Elanna Torres about the possible alliance with the Kazon. He does not know what to make of the news as there are many rumours flying around the ship. Torres tells him that Seska's talk with Janeway fell apart quickly. Hogan is convinced that nothing will come of Janeway's negotiations with the Kazon. He tries to talk Torres into speaking to Seska and convince her to create an alliance. Torres tells him that isn't possible, since Seska didn't turn out to be what they thought she was and she doesn't trust her. After Torres walks away, Crewman Michael Jonas sits at his engineering console, thinking about what Torres and Hogan just said to each other.
On Sobras, Neelix, along with Mabus and the other Trabe, are preparing to escape when a sudden fire fight erupts outside the cave. Neelix takes as many Trabe children as he can with him and the Trabe escape. On Voyager, Neelix has still not returned, so Captain Janeway orders Paris to set a course for Sobras. She also orders Tuvok to power up weapons, in case Voyager runs into the Kazon again. At Harry Kim's operations console, he reads Kazon ships closing in on Voyager's position. An armada of Kazon raiders and their weapons are charged.
Janeway prepares to go into battle with the Kazon. She has Kim hail them, but Kim reveals that they are being hailed. On screen, it is revealed that Neelix and Mabus are on the lead ship. Chakotay asks what Neelix is doing on a Kazon vessel. Neelix reveals that it is actually a Trabe vessel. The Kazon stole all of the Trabe's technology, including their ships. Neelix tells Janeway that he will explain everything that has happened over dinner on Voyager. While eating, Mabus recalls the way the Kazon were treated by the Trabe when he was eight years old; how the Kazon were treated like animals by the Trabe. The Kazon then became extremely violent. When the Kazon finally realized that the Trabe were their true enemies, the Trabe didn't stand a chance against the Kazon. Mabus managed to escape from the Kazon by leaving on a ship. Janeway relates the story of the Trabe to Voyager and their struggle to find home. Mabus reveals to Janeway that the Kazon's desire for revenge on the Trabe is still as strong as it ever has been.
A Kazon man named Rettik talks to someone on Voyager through a desktop monitor. It is revealed to be Michael Jonas. Rettik is suspicious and wonders how Jonas can talk to him without ship's security finding out. Jonas tells him that he is very experienced in communications protocols. He asks to speak to Seska. He says that he and Seska knew each other for a long time. Rettik still doesn't know if Jonas can be trusted, but he agrees to relay his message to Seska. Rettik asks Jonas to contact him again the next day and he promises to let him know if Seska will want to talk to him.
In Janeway's ready room, Neelix explains that before the Kazon uprising, the Trabe had widely admired artists and scholars. They also had impressive technology. Neelix tells Janeway that no one really knew about how the Trabe were treating the Kazon. Janeway remarks that slavery is not the kind of thing that would go unnoticed. Neelix tells her that the Trabe were wealthy and manipulated information about the conditions of the Kazon. Chakotay believes that the Trabe have learned their lesson about the way they treated the Kazon. Tuvok states that it would not be wise to seek an alliance with the Kazon's blood enemies. Janeway believes that they have no friends among the Kazon and decides to seek an alliance with the Trabe.
At sickbay, The Doctor and Kes are treating the Trabe who were imprisoned. Most of them are suffering from malnutrition but it is easily remedied by bio-nutrients. Janeway asks Mabus to talk to her about a possible alliance together. Mabus has no objections to her idea but he also has another suggestion: bring all the Kazon factions together and convince them to peacefully co-exist. On Culluh's ship, Culluh receives news that Voyager and the Trabe have developed an alliance together. He wonders how this could have happened. Seska bitterly tells him that it happened because he let Voyager slip away because he wanted an exchange of crews. Seska reveals there is a way to turn the newfound peace between Voyager and the Trabe to their advantage. She tells Culluh that he will attend a conference of all first Majes. By going to the conference, he can assess the Trabe's weakness and eliminate them once and for all. Culluh is pleased with Seska's plan.
- "Captain's log, stardate 49342.5. Neelix has returned from Sobras where he learned a disturbing piece of information that may require us to rethink our plans."
Neelix reveals a Takrit was making a sketch of the conference site on Sobras. Neelix believes that the Kazon want to wipe out all of their enemies, since the conference presents a perfect opportunity to bring all of the rival factions together. Janeway refuses to cancel the conference but has Voyager put them on a constant transporter lock, so they can get beamed away at the first sign of trouble.
On Sobras, Neelix and Tersa inspect the conference site. Tersa tells Neelix he chose a triangle-shaped table for the Majes to sit at. Neelix asks Tersa if he has heard anything else about the matter they discussed. Tersa tells him to be quiet, since the piece of information Neelix asks for could mean his head. Tersa tries to change the subject to the triangle-shaped table again. Neelix tells Tersa that he has a powerful ship in orbit this time and he had better be telling the truth. Tersa assures Neelix that he is and that he is being paid handsomely for having the conference on Sobras. The Maje appreciates the prestige it affords him.
Janeway and Tuvok enter the conference room. Neelix tells them that Tersa has told him everything he knows. Soon after, the first Majes begin to enter. The first to enter is Minnis of the Kazon-Pommar, Surat of the Kazon-Mostral, Loran of the Kazon-Hobii, Valek of the Kazon-Oglamar and Culluh of the Kazon-Nistrim. Culluh talks to Janeway about how they seem destined to run into each other. She introduces Culluh to Mabus. Culluh remarks that he never thought he'd see the day when he would sit at a table with the Trabe. Mabus tells him that times change. The conference begins when all the Majes are seated at the table. Janeway tries to put all of the people at the table at peace. Culluh is very skeptical about the alliance. He gets up from his chair. Tuvok thinks Culluh is going to try to assassinate the group. However, Culluh is simply getting refreshment. Janeway affirms that all that Voyager and the Trabe want is peace.Suddenly, Mabus approaches Janeway and asks her to come with him. Janeway casts a suspicious look at Tuvok. Mabus insists they leave immediately. Janeway gets up to leave and the table starts to shake. Janeway, realizing this is an assassination attempt, warns all the Majes to get down on the floor. She taps her combadge and signals red alert to Voyager. Tuvok, Janeway and Mabus are beamed up to Voyager. Fire blasts from a Trabe vessel pound the conference room. Voyager fires photon torpedoes at the Trabe vessel, until it retreats. All the Kazon Majes leave in anger. Culluh has a smile on his face, realizing that Voyager is now hated by the Kazon.
In Voyager's transporter room, Mabus tells Janeway she has ruined what could have been the greatest step towards peace in decades. Neelix, disgusted by Mabus' actions, wonders how a massacre could be considered peace. Janeway is furious that Mabus used their goodwill to make sure he was successful in his plan to kill the First Majes. He calls Janeway a fool and asks her how Voyager is to survive alone in the Delta Quadrant. Janeway replies that she won't make deals with executioners. She orders the transporter chief to beam Mabus back to his ship. Janeway taps her combadge and tells Paris to lay a course away from Sobras before the Kazon attack again. In the briefing room, Janeway tells her senior staff that they are more vulnerable now than ever. Janeway wants to make sure the crew is prepared for any attack by the Kazon. Tuvok tells Janeway that he will schedule battle drills for all hands. Neelix reports that the food supply is in good shape so that they will not have to stop anywhere for several weeks. Torres tells Janeway that their antimatter is in reasonable supply and they will have maximum performance of warp and impulse engines.
Janeway tells her crew one more thing: most of the species the crew have encountered in the Delta Quadrant are peaceful, but some seem governed by their own self-interests. Janeway believes that, in a region where shifting allegiances are common, the crew needs something to lean and rely on, which are the principles and ideals of the Federation. As far as she's concerned, those are the best allies the crew could have.
- "Captain's log, stardate 49337.4. After sending a subspace message to Seska and the Nistrim Maje Culluh, we have received a quick response."
- "Captain's log, supplemental. We're on our way to rendezvous with Mr Neelix. I can only hope that he had more luck with the Kazon than we did."
- "Captain's log, stardate 49342.5. Neelix has returned from Sobras, where he learned a disturbing piece of information that may require us to rethink our plans."
"Make a deal. An alliance."
"With the Kazon?"
- - Chakotay and Kathryn Janeway
"Consequently, after much consideration, I've decided to seek an alliance with one of the Kazon factions."
"Captain, you can't be serious!"
- - Kathryn Janeway and Harry Kim
"Holding an entire culture in virtual slavery is not the kind of thing that would go unnoticed."
- - Janeway
"I won't have a woman dictate terms to me!"
"Culluh, I found the idea of an alliance with you distasteful. I was willing to explore the possibility, but now I see my instincts were dead-on."
- - Culluh and Kathryn Janeway
"I appreciate your concerns crewman, but let me make it absolutely clear; I'll destroy this ship before I turn any part of it over to the Kazon."
- - Kathryn Janeway, to Crewman Hogan
"This isn't a democracy, Chakotay. I can't run this ship by consensus."
- - Kathryn Janeway, to Chakotay regarding the crew's opinions on recent attacks
"Long range sensors indicate no sign of Mr. Neelix's shuttle within a radius of two light years."
"The Kazon have him."
- - Tuvok and Tom Paris
"Chief, beam our former guest back to his vessel!"
"Captain, don't do this. You're going to need us."
"I don't think so."
"The Kazon will be determined to seek revenge. How can this one ship hope to survive?"
"Not by making deals with executioners. Energize!"
- - Kathryn Janeway and Mabus
"In a part of space where there are few rules, it's more important than ever that we hold fast to our own. In a region where shifting allegiances are commonplace we have to have something stable to rely on. And we do. The principles and ideals of the Federation. As far as I'm concerned, those are the best allies we could have."
- - Kathryn Janeway
- A working title of this episode was "Untitled Kazon". 
- Originally, Culluh was to die in this episode. The performer of Culluh, Anthony De Longis, later recalled, "When I got to the end of the script, the last scene was like something out of The Godfather, Part III, where all the mobsters are in one room and the helicopter attacks, killing everyone. I went in to see Jeri Taylor the next day and begged her to let Culluh at least be seen twitching at the episode's end. She told me that the script had already been changed and said, 'We've decided not to kill you.' Whew!" (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #18)
- The creation of this episode made use of a paper – an elaborate, invented sociological backstory for the Kazon, explaining their history (including involvement with the Trabe) and their customs – that originally transpired from research that executive story editor Kenneth Biller did for the episode "Initiations", for which the document was also used. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages)
- Tuvok actor Tim Russ was challenged by his character's speech to Janeway regarding the orchid. He later said, "I don't remember the line. It was about a flower I had to describe. They wrote it one way, but the next day they changed it and it was twice as long and it was suddenly all this scientific description of a flower." (Starlog, issue #231, p. 51)
- The final script draft of this episode was submitted on 18 October 1995. 
- Regarding the politics of Chakotay's recommendation to form an alliance with the Kazon, Chakotay actor Robert Beltran mused, "It's no different than the United States giving nation status to China, when we know full well what goes on over there, or any other despotic government that we recognize for our own convenience." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 28, No. 4/5, p. 100)
- At one point of the episode's production, Anthony De Longis made a particular jestful comment to Janeway actress Kate Mulgrew. "I remember working late one night while filming 'Alliances,'" De Longis said. "While we were waiting around for them to set up the shot, I told her, 'I really liked the way you played that last scene. Boy, I thought outer space was cold,' more or less meaning that she could play cold and distant really well." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #18)
- It took seven hours for make-up artists and hairdressers to complete their work on Symba Smith (Sobras bar dancer). Days before the shoot, a cast was made of her head for her facial applications. Her scene was shot on 30 October 1995. Smith has revealed that "having a cast made of your head is NOT too much fun! But, I really enjoyed playing an alien – that WAS a lot of fun!" She added, "The sad thing is that I shot the show on October 30th... if I could have just shot it one day later... I would have had a really GREAT Halloween costume!" 
- This episode revisits Tuvok's interest in orchids, originally mentioned in "Tattoo".
- This episode features the second conference between the First Majes of the principal Kazon sects. They were last seen together plotting against Voyager in "Maneuvers" (sans the Kazon-Ogla), but this time they are joined by Janeway, Tuvok and Mabus.
- The Trabe were mentioned in two prior episodes (specifically, in "Initiations" and "Maneuvers") before appearing, finally, in this episode.
- This episode introduces the recurring characters of Michael Jonas and Hogan. When first conceived, however, Hogan was not planned to become a recurring character; actor Simon Billig's performance as Hogan here impressed Star Trek: Voyager's producers so much that they subsequently began to repeatedly reuse the character. (Star Trek Monthly issue 15)
- This episode introduces a story arc that culminates in VOY: "Investigations". The arc revolves around Michael Jonas and later Tom Paris.
- Tuvok mentions to Janeway in this episode the actions taken by Spock in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country to unite the Klingon Empire and the Federation as an allegory to the possibilty of an alliance with the Kazon. It would later be revealed that Tuvok served as an Ensign aboard the USS Excelsior under Captain Sulu during that time period.
Reception and Aftermath
- Jeri Taylor ultimately had mixed feelings about this episode. She commented, "I liked the dilemma that Janeway was put in; I thought that was interesting. I regret the final speech I put in her mouth, because it came across as exactly that, one of these preachy, Picard-like moments where she has to lecture people about the importance of something. It seemed like a good idea at the time." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages)
- This episode achieved a Nielsen rating of 5.4 million homes, and an 8% share. 
- Cinefantastique rated this episode 2 out of 4 stars. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 28, No. 4/5, p. 93)
- Star Trek Monthly scored this episode 2 out of 5 stars, defined as "Impulse Power only". (Star Trek Monthly issue 15, p. 60)
- The unauthorized reference book Delta Quadrant (p. 94) gives this installment a rating of 7.5 out of 10.
- A costume worn by a background Kazon actor in this episode was later re-used by Bob Rudd (as Brell) in the Season 7 episode "Nightingale" and by stuntman Eric Norris (as an unnamed Illyrian crew member) in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Damage". The same costume was subsequently sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay. 
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 2.5, 13 May 1996.
- As part of the VOY Season 2 DVD collection.
Links and references
- Kate Mulgrew as Captain Kathryn Janeway
- Robert Beltran as Commander Chakotay
- Roxann Biggs-Dawson as Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres
- Jennifer Lien as Kes
- Robert Duncan McNeill as Lieutenant Tom Paris
- Ethan Phillips as Neelix
- Robert Picardo as The Doctor
- Tim Russ as Lieutenant Tuvok
- Garrett Wang as Ensign Harry Kim
- Charles O. Lucia as Mabus
- Anthony De Longis as Culluh
- Martha Hackett as Seska
- Raphael Sbarge as Michael Jonas
- Larry Cedar as Tersa
- John Gegenhuber as Surat
- Simon Billig as Hogan
- Jeff Cadiente as Loran
- Tarik Ergin as Ayala
- Ken Gruz as Kurt Bendera
- Kerry Hoyt as Ensign Fitzpatrick
- Dennis Madalone as a Kazon guard
- Johnny Martin as Valek
- Tom Morga as Minnis
- Louis Ortiz as
- Symba Smith as a Sobras bar dancer
- Unknown performers as
Alpha Quadrant; battle drill; bio-nutrient supplement; Calogan dog; Cardassian border; cortical stimulator; Delta Quadrant; democracy; dilithium chamber; favinit plant; Federation; First Maje; governor; hull breach; hybrid; impedrezene; Kazon; Kazon carrier vessel; Kazon Order; Kazon raider; Kazon-Hobii; Klingons; Klingon Empire; odds; orchid; Kazon-Mostral; Kazon-Nistrim; Kazon-Ogla; Kazon-Oglamar; Kazon-Pommar; Kazon-Relora; malnutrition; Maquis; medical tricorder; memorial service; Milky Way Galaxy; miner; navigational deflector; photon torpedo; Prime Directive; red alert; replicator; slavery; Sobras; Spock; Takrit; Talaxian; Telfas Prime; Trabe; Trabe convoy; Trabe Governing Council; turbolift; Vulcan; Vulcan spice tea; yellow alert
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