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Relativity (episode)

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"Relativity"
VOY, Episode 5x24
Production number: 218
First aired: 12 May 1999
116th of 168 produced in VOY
116th of 168 released in VOY
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 168 released in VOY Remastered  
572nd of 728 released in all
USS Relativity
Teleplay By
Bryan Fuller & Nick Sagan & Michael Taylor

Story By
Nick Sagan

Directed By
Allan Eastman
52861.274 (2375/2371/2372/2800s (29th century)
Arc: Future's End (3 of 3)  
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Seven of Nine is recruited by a starship from the 29th century to save Voyager from being destroyed in the past.

Summary Edit

Teaser Edit

USS Voyager in drydock

Voyager in drydock

In 2371, Captain Janeway beams aboard the starship USS Voyager during the final phases of the USS Voyager's construction at Utopia Planitia. Admiral Patterson, who had been her calculus instructor at Starfleet Academy, is there to greet her with a pop quiz. After Janeway answers all of his questions correctly, Patterson shows her around her new ship. When they reach the bridge, Janeway starts to comment on how it is bigger than she expected. When she begins proposing changes to Voyager already, she and the admiral start to get into a conversation, while an ensign walks away from the helm. The ensign is Seven of Nine.

Act One Edit

Seven of Nine scans the bridge and the observation lounge with a small, sleek tricorder. She hides the tricorder when Janeway and Patterson come in the observation lounge. When they leave, she continues scanning, then leaves for engineering. There, she encounters Lieutenant Joseph Carey, who questions her but is satisfied with her answers. She then enters a Jefferies tube and locks it. She starts scanning again. She contacts someone, telling them that she localized the weapon's source. Opening a hatch inside the tube, she sees a strange device inside it. The people she is in contact with tell her to begin a procedure. She attempts to remove it, but cannot because the device is out of phase.

Seven of Nine Relativity

Seven of Nine on Voyager's bridge

Meanwhile, Janeway and Patterson find a malfunction in an EPS relay. When Janeway cannot just fix it remotely, she goes to the Jefferies tube, which she finds is locked from the inside. Patterson and Janeway go to another deck to access the tube. Seven of Nine detects them and discontinues her procedure. Aboard another, apparently very advanced starship, the Captain says to pull her out, even when they have trouble locking on to her, saying that if Janeway and Patterson find her, then it will contaminate the timeline. They beam her through time onto their ship; she falls unconscious. One of the officers goes to check on her, but she is dead.

When Janeway and Patterson reach the tube, Janeway only finds a strange chroniton flux of .003.

Act Two Edit

Since Seven is dead, the Captain orders to recruit her again. The XO, Lieutenant Ducane, orders a new time index in the Delta Quadrant, target: USS Voyager.

In 2375, The Doctor is examining Seven of Nine for symptoms of blurry vision and dizziness, which she believes are symptoms of Albright-Salzman syndrome. The Doctor concludes that she in fact has a mild case of sensory aphasia, which he clears up. The Doctor then returns to sickbay.

Tom Paris is walking through the corridors doing a ping-pong exercise. He invites Seven to be on his team for a ping-pong tournament because his other team member had come down with space sickness. She accepts and Paris continues his exercises.

The tournament takes place in the mess hall against Harry Kim and B'Elanna Torres, with Neelix keeping score. Just as Paris spikes the ping-pong ball, it stops in the middle of the table in mid-air. Seven scans the table and detects a temporal anomaly. Seconds later, the ball shoots back towards Kim and Torres. Neelix jokingly still records it as a point.

Voyager 3D overview

Tuvok, the captain and B'Elanna Torres observing the temporal anomalies on the ship

Tuvok, Janeway, and Seven then find that temporal anomalies are occurring all over the ship and will soon tear the ship apart. Seven and Torres start looking for the source of the anomalies, while the Captain tells The Doctor about them, and that they are causing a large number of cases of space sickness. Neelix then calls The Doctor to the mess hall because Ensign Mannus is violently ill. Once there, Neelix greets him as if nothing was wrong. He asks Neelix where the medical emergency is. Neelix says that everything was fine there. At that moment, Mannus falls unconscious. The Doctor diagnoses him with space sickness then revives him. He then starts to put it all together. He checks the time in the mess hall and in sickbay. Sickbay is several minutes ahead of the mess hall. Neelix had not made his call to sickbay yet.

Chakotay reports to Janeway, who just had three day old replicated coffee. As it is apparent, the distortions are interfering with food replicators. Janeway then decides to input security measures. As Chakotay explains that turbolifts are malfunctioning and everyone is forced to use the Jefferies tubes, the distortions accelerates his conversation by a few seconds.

Meanwhile, Torres and Seven found the source of the anomalies. It was coming from a device in the Jefferies tube that only Seven can see with her ocular implant. They tell the Captain, who is ready to initialize a set of force fields to counteract the anomalies. The plan fails and the hull starts to breach. Just then, two men from the unknown ship beam in, giving off a similar chroniton flux from five years ago, spacedock. The captain orders all hands to abandon ship. As Seven moves to an escape pod, she sees the two men. She tells them to identify themselves. They ignore her and place a device on her which beams the three of them away. Seconds later, Voyager is split apart and explodes with almost everyone on it.

Act Three Edit

Braxton2

Captain Braxton telling Seven to avoid Kathryn Janeway

Braxton welcomes Seven to the Federation timeship Relativity. They explain to Seven that Voyager has just exploded due to a saboteur putting a temporal disruptor on the ship. They suggest to Seven that the saboteur transported onto Voyager while Voyager's shields were down in an attack by the Kazon. Seven agrees to help them prevent Voyager's destruction. Ducane tests her on all things about time, such as the Pogo paradox, when the Borg tried to prevent the Federation from ever existing, incidentally creating it. Braxton orders her to avoid contact with Janeway if at all possible, for she has made more temporal violations than anyone in history and sticks her nose where it doesn't belong: hence he calls it the Janeway Factor, due to which he had to fix up three major temporal incursions. He also mentions the timeframe he was stuck in for thirty years. Ducane then uses a technology to hide her Borg implants.

In 2372, Voyager is under attack by the Kazon. In a corridor, Seven of Nine beams aboard Voyager. She starts scanning for the weapon immediately.

Act Four Edit

Harry Kim, however, detects her transport as a 0.003 chroniton flux and places a force field around the area. Like her three years later counterpart, Janeway and Tuvok both go to where she is trapped. On the timeship, Ducane tries to pull her out, but the force field is interfering with the transport and communications. Janeway and Tuvok find her and she is forced to explain who she is. Braxton starts to get angry, insisting that Ducane beam her out, but they still cannot. Seven tries to avoid telling Janeway the truth, due to the Temporal Prime Directive. Janeway doesn't care and demands answers. Tuvok detects Seven's hidden Borg implants so Janeway orders a search for any nearby vessels. Seven insists there are none, and disregarding the Temporal Prime Directive, she tells Janeway the truth. Seven convinces Janeway to free her to help prevent the destruction of Voyager in the future. In the 29th century aboard the Relativity, a crew member utters the Latin phrase tempus fugit, which literally translates as time flees. Aboard Voyager, Seven and Janeway quickly go to the Jefferies tube where the weapon should be. Janeway, Tuvok, and Seven enter and find a man trying to place the disruptor in the tube. It turns out to be an older Captain Braxton.

Act Five Edit

On Relativity, Braxton is extremely surprised. The saboteur Braxton explains that this will complete their mission. He had undergone a temporal psychosis, having lost his rank which he blames on Voyager. The current Braxton tells his "younger" self that once Voyager is obliterated, he will heal. The Braxton on the Relativity tells Ducane to beam Braxton's future self aboard, but the older Braxton had activated a dispersal node to avoid beaming. Ducane accuses the captain of sabotaging Voyager, and places him under arrest for crimes he is going to commit.

Just as Seven of Nine is about to capture the older Braxton, he beams off Voyager. Seven then transports to where Braxton beamed to: back to 2371.

As Janeway and Patterson walk down a corridor, Seven and Braxton come running through. Seven shoots Braxton, but misses. Seven starts to suffer from temporal psychosis and starts to drift out of consciousness. But she beams herself to where Braxton now is: 2375.

Seven of Nine meets Anna Jameson

Seven of Nine encounters her temporal counterpart

In the mess hall, the ping-pong tournament is occurring. Braxton suddenly runs through and Seven, almost unconscious, walks in and disables Braxton's tricorder, trapping him in 2375. She then falls to the ground. The Seven of Nine in this timeline walks up to her counterpart, asking her to explain herself. Seven's counterpart tells the other Seven to stop Braxton because their future depends on it. After Relativity beams the incapacitated Seven away, the other Seven captures Braxton. When Janeway arrives, she comments that she remembers Braxton from 2372. Relativity beams Braxton away. They then beam Janeway to their ship.

Ducane starts to explain to Janeway all that had happened. He explained that there is a Braxton in their brig and a Braxton on their bridge. They ask Janeway to go back to 2372 to completely fix the timeline. Seven's attempts to remove the device have introduced several noticeable temporal incursions. She instigated a phaser fight at Utopia Planitia , interacted with Janeway's three years younger self and spoke to her younger self during a ping-pong tournament in front of 15 crew members. By capturing Braxton before the device is planted these changes will be removed. Seven cannot do it because she might damage herself. Janeway is confused, especially with the second Seven. Ducane assures her that by the end of the day, there will be only one Seven. The Braxtons will soon be reintegrated in time for the trial. The Braxton on the bridge tells Janeway where he will be in that timeline and Janeway is transported to 2372.

Janeway is beamed aboard during the Kazon attack on Voyager. She encountered Torres en route, telling her to do what she think is right in Engineering. When she nears the corridor where Braxton will beam in, she hides from her three years younger self. Almost immediately, she finds Braxton beaming aboard. He stumbles over a wounded crewman. At that moment, Janeway walks over to him and captures him.

Back on Relativity, Ducane commends Janeway for capturing the last Braxton and making a small incursion of 0.0036. He then is ready to send Seven of Nine and Janeway back to 2375's Voyager, reintegrated with their past selves. He strictly reminds them to remember the Temporal Prime Directive: discuss your experiences with no one. Yet he tells her one thing: Braxton was right that Voyager appears on the Relativity's sensors too often and they should avoid time travel. They then beam back to the 2375 Voyager.

Memorable Quotes Edit

"Tempus fugit."

- Ducane, to Braxton


"Long time no see."

- Braxton, to Ducane when Braxton was beamed back to the Relativity after being apprehended by Seven of Nine in 2375


"So, in a way the Federation owes its existence to the Borg."
"You're welcome."

- Ducane and Seven of Nine


"What is the threshold of the H2 molecule?"
"14.7 electron volts"
"Third brightest star in Orion?"
"Viewed from where?"
"Earth."
"Gamma Orionis or Bellatrix if you prefer the original Arabic name."
"Not bad. Now give me a hug Katie, that's an order."

- Admiral Patterson quizzing Captain Janeway


"See you in the 24th century."
"I look forward to it. Or should I say backward?"
"Don't get started!"

- Captain Janeway and Seven of Nine, about returning to Voyager from the 29th century


"Thanks to you, we've learned that the temporal disruptor was, and will be concealed here... I gave up trying to keep my tenses straight years ago."

- Captain Braxton, to Seven of Nine


"... and I ended up stranded in the late 20th century. Have you ever been to that time frame?"
"No."
"Well, I don't recommend it. After three decades with those post-industrial barbarians, I had to go through extensive rehabilitation before I could return to duty. Avoid contact with Janeway. That's an order."

- Captain Braxton talking to Seven of Nine


"We have a saying in our line of work: There's no time like the past."

- Captain Braxton, to Seven of Nine


"Janeway!"
"Have we met?"
"Too many times! But you wouldn't remember, they haven't occurred yet."

- Braxton and Captain Janeway (2372)


"Seven of Nine to Seven of Nine, what's your status?"

- Seven of Nine


"Wait a minute let me get this straight, I'm going to go back in time to stop Braxton, but you already have him?"
"And there's a third one in our brig; I arrested him earlier today. But don't worry, they'll all be reintegrated in time for the trial."
"And Seven?"
"Oh I assure you when this is over there will be only one Seven of Nine"
"Alright, let's just get started before my headache gets any worse."

- Captain Janeway, and Ducane, regarding the confusing nature of her time travel mission.


"Needless to say we need to clean up the timeline. Someone must go back to the beginning and prevent the chain of events from ever occurring in the first place."
"I can't make another jump without damaging myself."
"... I get the feeling I'm about to be drafted."

- Ducane, Seven of Nine, and Janeway, aboard the timeship Relativity after capturing Captain Braxton


"Is this a part of the tour?"

- Captain Janeway, during the tour of USS Voyager back in time while Seven of Nine chases Captain Braxton.


"Oh captain, Braxton was right about one thing: Voyager shows up on our sensors far too often. Try to avoid time travel."

- Ducane


" I'm detecting bio-mechanical implants. They have a Borg signature."
" Janeway to the bridge, scan the vicinity for Borg ships"
" Did you say Borg?"
" Do it!"

- Tuvok, Janeway, and Chakotay, after finding Seven of Nine's Borg implants


"Next time your human physiology fails you, don't consult the database; just call me."
"You are the database-"
"-with two legs and a splendid bedside manner."

- The Doctor and Seven of Nine


"I'm sorry, sir. I'm taking command of this vessel, and I'm relieving you of duty for crimes you're going to commit."

- Ducane, to Braxton

Background Information Edit

Story and Script Edit

  • This was the last of five Star Trek: Voyager episodes that Nick Sagan, story editor for the series' fifth season, was involved in writing. He previously worked on "In the Flesh", "Gravity", "Course: Oblivion" and "Juggernaut". In his capacity as story writer and teleplay co-writer here, Nick Sagan found this to be an enjoyable episode to write. He later reminisced, "I think that might have been the easiest one I worked on, because the goal is simply to have fun. With the others I felt a lot of different loyalties to character this, character that. For some reason that one came together very quickly, and it was such a joy to write because we were just trying to please ourselves." [1]
  • Executive Producer Brannon Braga did a lot of uncredited rewriting on the episode. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 31, No. 11, p. 55)
  • One aspect of this installment that was changed was its depiction of the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards; the episode's script originally called for only a simple shot of a lone Voyager in drydock at Utopia Planitia. Adam "Mojo" Lebowitz noted, "One ship, one drydock, and that was it." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 9, p. 102)

Cast and Characters Edit

  • Not having been a science fiction fan prior to her work on Star Trek: Voyager, Seven of Nine actress Jeri Ryan found this time travel episode's script difficult to follow. "It was a challenge just keeping the time frames straight," she admitted. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 31, No. 11, p. 28)
  • Jeri Ryan also found it humorously coincidental that, in this outing, her character wears the disguise of a Starfleet uniform, a fact the actress described as "actually very funny." She continued, "I had just done an online chat three or four days before this script came up. As they always do, one of the fans had asked me when we were going to see Seven in a Starfleet uniform, and I said, 'Well, never, because she's not Starfleet, of course.' Then bam, I get a call from wardrobe two days later saying, 'We need you to come in for a fitting because you are in a Starfleet uniform for the next episode.'" (Cinefantastique, Vol. 31, No. 11, pp. 28-29)
  • Although Captain Braxton appeared in Star Trek: Voyager twice before, he is played by a different actor in this episode, with Bruce McGill replacing Allan G. Royal.

Production Edit

Visual Effects Edit

  • The reasoning why the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards was depicted as more extensive than the script suggested was that the visual effects artists from Foundation Imaging were extremely excited about visualizing the elaborate shots that open this episode. "As fans who were working on the show, we couldn't bear to be this close to seeing the shipyards and not go all the way," reflected Adam Lebowitz. "So, in our own time, we created the entire shipyard and took rough drafts of the shots we had in mind to VFX supervisor Ron Moore and producer Peter Lauritson. Luckily, they were very receptive. It may have only amounted to two shots in the final episode, but they were an absolute labor of love for all of us. The half-constructed ships looked great (thanks to the hard work of Koji Kuramura), and the image of Mars you see in the final sequence is made from a satellite photo of the real Utopia Planitia, courtesy of the folks at NASA. In fact, the whole time we were working on the episode, we thought it was a shame that the people at home would only see this stuff on blurry TV screens, and not in the high-resolution glory we had created them in." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 9, p. 102) Robert Bonchune and Lee Stringer were others at Foundation Imaging who donated personal time to realize the sequence. (citation needededit)
  • The battle scenes between Voyager and the Kazon were stock footage of combat from earlier episodes, namely the second season outings "Alliances" and "Basics, Part I".

Continuity Edit

  • In a continuity error, Admiral Patterson and Captain Janeway activate the EMH program. However, in "Projections", The Doctor claims he was first activated during the medical crisis in "Caretaker".
  • This episode features the return of not only Captain Braxton, whose previous appearances were in the two-parter "Future's End" and "Future's End, Part II", but also Lieutenant Joe Carey, who was last seen in Season 1's "State of Flux". However, Carey's scenes here take place before Voyager is lost in the Delta Quadrant. He returns in VOY: "Fury", but his scenes in that episode also take place in the past. He is not seen again in the present (namely, 2378) until VOY: "Friendship One", in which he is killed.
  • Braxton mentions that Janeway and Voyager are involved in three major temporal events. The first is clearly a reference to "Future's End" while the second is a more subtle reference to "Timeless". The third is never clearly explained but one can speculate that it refers to the events of either "Endgame", "Time and Again", the two-parter "Year of Hell" and "Year of Hell, Part II", or this episode itself.
  • Braxton claims to remember being stranded in the 20th century in this episode, despite having claimed to Janeway at the conclusion of "Future's End" that he "never experienced that timeline."
  • In "Caretaker", Janeway says she needs Tom Paris to help locate Maquis bases. However, in this episode, she says she wants him because of his piloting skills, even though he never flew the ship once in the Badlands. However, it's possible she intended to put him at the helm later in the mission.
  • This episode features the fifth time Voyager is completely destroyed. "Relativity" also includes the eighth of many times Janeway "dies" in the series – on this occasion, when Braxton succeeds in destroying Voyager in 2375.
  • According to the stardates, the 2375 portions of this episode take place at about the same time as DS9: "The Dogs of War", which was originally broadcast two weeks later.
  • This is the first and only episode to feature the actual Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards. The fleet yards were seen previously in a picture in TNG: "Parallels" and as a holographic simulation in TNG: "Booby Trap".
  • The events of Star Trek: First Contact are used as an example for the Pogo paradox.

Reception and Aftermath Edit

  • Ultimately, Brannon Braga was extremely pleased with this installment. "'Relativity' is a time travel romp," he declared. "It's an incredibly fast-paced, mind-bending, fun, time travel story. [The identity of the bomber] will be a real shocker." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 31, No. 11, p. 55)
  • Nick Sagan was also satisfied with this outing, likewise finding it to be fun. He stated, "I don't think it's an episode that needs to be studied, per se, or ruminated upon, you just go with it like a rollercoaster ride." [2]
  • The book Star Trek 101, by Terry J. Erdmann and Paula M. Block, lists this episode as one of the "Ten Essential Episodes" from Star Trek: Voyager.
  • Among the costumes and props seen in this episode which were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay was Jay Karnes' uniform. [3]

Video and DVD releases Edit

This is the final Voyager volume released by CIC Video. Paramount Home Entertainment would release the remainder of the series, following CIC's dissolution.

Links and referencesEdit

Starring Edit

Also starring Edit

Guest stars Edit

Co-star Edit

Uncredited co-stars Edit

References Edit

Akira-class; Albright-Salzman syndrome; barbarian; Bellatrix; Borg; brig; Cargo management unit; cerebral cortex; Chapman, William; chroniton; class 9 warp drive; Cochrane, Zefram; coffee; containment generator; Dali Paradox; dispersal node; dizziness; Delta Quadrant; drydock; Earth; electronvolt; Enterprise, USS (NCC-1701-E); EPS manifold; EPS relay; Excelsior-class; Federation; fractal calculus; Fredrickson, USS; Galaxy-class; hand-eye coordination; headache; holomatrix; hydrogen; inaprovaline; inertial damper; internal chronometer; Intrepid-class; intruder alert; Jameson, Anna; Janeway Factor; Jefferies tube; Kazon; Kazon carrier vessel; Kazon raider; logic; memory engram; meter; metric ton; Milky Way Galaxy; navigational sensor; ocular implant; Orion (constellation); Paris, Owen; ping-pong; Pogo paradox; Relativity, USS; Saber-class; sensory aphasia; small talk; space sickness; space-time fracture; spatial charge; Starfleet Medical Database; Steamrunner-class; Takara sector; TCARS; temporal disruptor; temporal distortion; temporal incursion; temporal inversion; temporal paradox; Temporal Prime Directive; temporal psychosis; temporal transporter; temporal threshold; tempus fugit; time travel; timeship; tricorder; tricyclic input manifold; torpedo; Utopia Planitia; Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards; Val Jean; visual acuity index; Wells-class

See also Edit


Previous episode:
"11:59"
Star Trek: Voyager
Season 5
Next episode:
"Warhead"

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