(written from a Production point of view)
|VOY, Episode 2x25|
Production number: 141
First aired: 13 May 1996
|←||40th of 168 produced in VOY||→|
|←||40th of 168 released in VOY||→|
|←||417th of 728 released in all||→|
| Written By|
Voyager is forced to abandon Captain Janeway and Chakotay when they are infected with a terminal illness. Tuvok leads Voyager on a mission to find a cure.
On a beautiful planet in the Delta Quadrant, Commander Chakotay, and Captain Kathryn Janeway are awakened from their stasis units by The Doctor, who reports that they have been in stasis for seventeen days. He regrets to inform them that, despite all his and Kes' efforts, he has not discovered a cure for the disease the officers have been infected with. He says that the only thing he can think of is contacting the medically advanced Vidiians. Janeway terminates the com link to discuss the situation with Chakotay, and both agree that the Vidiians would most likely attack the crew for body parts rather than offer aid. Chakotay asks if they could live with themselves after sending the USS Voyager into that kind of danger. Janeway's implied answer is no. (Possible edit: A key element missing from the teaser synopsis is the modification of the terminal illness diagnosis by the understanding Janeway and Chakotay will not get ill if they remain on the planet.)
Janeway hails Lieutenant Tuvok and asks him if he had heard The Doctor's report. When Tuvok replies that he has, Janeway informs him that she is turning over command of Voyager to him on a permanent basis. She orders him to set a course for the Alpha Quadrant, and, despite what The Doctor says, not to contact the Vidiians. Tuvok acknowledges that he understood Janeway's orders. Janeway informs Tuvok that she will prepare a message for the crew.
Tuvok, Lt. jg B'Elanna Torres, Lt. jg Tom Paris, Kes, Neelix, and Ensign Harry Kim discuss the captain's final order to leave them behind. Torres and Paris are understandably and vocally distraught at the prospect, while Kes informs everyone that The Doctor has not deactivated himself for a month trying all possibilities for a cure. Neelix states that crew morale will suffer "if we leave them behind." Tuvok asserts that it is not a matter of if, but of when they leave the captain and Chakotay behind, as the decision has already been made. Tuvok assures the crew that they will have all the technological comforts they will need, and that the captain, "an able scientist," will continue to work on a cure for their virus. Should she succeed, they have a type 9 shuttle at their disposal. Paris scoffs that at a top speed of warp 4, it will take them 700 years to get home. Throughout the entire exchange, Kim is silent and dejected, and remains in his seat after Tuvok dismisses the staff.
Janeway and Chakotay begin to pick around at their things transported to them. She lists of a dizzying array of research equipment with determined optimism, assuring Chakotay that she is confident of finding a cure. Chakotay begins carrying their makeshift shelter over, and asks her which way she wanted it. She says to put the gray on the outside and the beige on the inside, because she has always looked better in beige. Janeway states that it might be fun to rough it for a while. Chakotay remarks that with shelter, furniture, tricorders, and a replicator, it was too rough for him. Janeway replies that they do not, however, have a bathtub, and when Chakotay inquires as to what she means, she says that a bath is her favorite way of relaxing. She also tells him that, since they aren't in a command structure anymore, that he should call her Kathryn. A little unnerved, he tells her that she should give him a few days on that.
Back on Voyager in engineering, Torres is harshly critiquing Ensign Swinn on a report. The ensign tries to defend herself by saying she has been a little distracted. Kim approaches and defends the ensign, saying that everyone has been a little distracted. Torres replies that as their situation cannot be changed, the best thing to do is to "take a deep breath and move on."
Chakotay is secretly building something in the woods, which arouses Janeway's curiosity. Just then, Tuvok contacts them to say they are about to go out of communications range. Janeway gives a brief farewell to the crew.
Day 24 on the planet, Janeway is taking a bath in the tub that Chakotay built in the woods and her voice informs us that she and Chakotay have dubbed the planet as New Earth. Meanwhile, a rustling around their modular shelter startle her. She calls for Chakotay who rushes outside, and they discover a primate.
Six weeks after leaving Janeway and Chakotay behind (according to Tuvok's log), Voyager picks up a Vidiian convoy on long-range scans. The crew discuss whether or not to hail them. Kim begins to argue about whether or not they should be leaving the two on the planet. Tuvok relieves him of duty and threatens to throw him in the brig if he does not leave the bridge. At Paris's urging, Kim leaves.
Kim, Hogan, Swinn, Torres, and Neelix discuss what happened in the mess hall and realize the majority of the crew disagree with Tuvok's orders. Kim then goes to Tuvok's quarters to discuss what happened earlier with Tuvok, and recommends future actions with the Vidiians. However, Tuvok is adamant with his decisions. He tells Kim that "The safety of this crew is paramount, and I must do whatever I can to ensure that safety." He tells Kim that if he ever questions his orders again, he will be relieved of duty permanently.
Showing Janeway and Chakotay on the planet, Janeway expresses her concern with Chakotay's increasing closeness and feels as though he has given up. That it seems as though he is more focused on making a home than on finding a cure. He responds "I cannot sacrifice the present for a future that may never happen." Janeway says someday she may have to accept that there is no cure, but not today.
As Janeway heads into the forest to check her traps, she sees the same primate while collecting insect samples. As the primate begins shrieking a warning, the weather changes violently with dark clouds and a plasma storm, causing Janeway to fall several times as she makes her way back to the shelter.
Back on the ship, Kes meets privately with Tuvok to try explain the feelings of the crew. She tells him more about her father, and says that he is the reason she left her city and eventually came to Voyager. Tuvok says that then they owe him a debt, as he could not imagine this journey without Kes. Kes goes on to say that her father died when she was one, and she missed him terribly, but knowing Tuvok helped reduce the pain of that loss. He says he is honored by the comparison. Kes reminds him that as Captain, he is responsible for the emotional as well as the physical wellbeing of his crew. Tuvok says he cannot be held hostage to the crew's feelings.
He tells Kes she is wrong if she thinks he doesn't realise their loss. "I have lost a valued friend, and I am not immune to the effects of that loss." Kes asks him to imagine the effect of that loss "on those of us who feel things deeply." She tells him much of the crew is waiting on the bridge for him to explain further.
Tuvok and Kes go to the bridge where about a dozen crew members are assembled, including Kim, Paris, Torres, and Neelix. Tuvok says that no one can appreciate the burdens of command until it falls on them. "I believe that in general it demonstrates faulty leadership to be guided by the emotions of a distraught crew. However, as Captain, I must not ignore the sensibilities of those I command." He tells them he has decided to set a course for the Vidian convoy. He takes full responsibility for the decision and absolves the crew from any consequences for failing to obey Janeway's orders.
The plasma storm on New Earth has damaged much of the structure they live in. Chakotay holds Janeway as debris falls around them. When the storm clears, Janeway and Chakotay head outside and find extensive damage. Janeway's research has been destroyed and she says she will not be able to continue it. Chakotay says he's sorry. Janeway sighs, and tells him, "Well, that's one way of letting go."
On Voyager, Tuvok's log gives the date being 49694.2 and reports that the convoy has agreed to contact Dr. Pel to see if she can help them.
Doctor Denara Pel, who was previously rescued by Voyager and treated by The Doctor (VOY: "Lifesigns"), communicates with them. She is familiar with the planet and the disease and agrees to provide an antiviral serum developed by the Vidiians. The Vidiian ship she's aboard will rendezvous with Voyager in about twenty hours. As a precaution, Tuvok plans for the crew to undergo battle drills prior to their contact.
As Janeway and Chakotay are clearing the branches, Chaoktay discusses building additional rooms out of lumber. He says he built a few log cabins as a boy. His father felt it was important. Janeway says her family used to go camping. "No bed, no replicator....no bathtub. I hated it. I guess I was always a child of the 24th century." Chakotay suggests the camping trips helped prepare her for life here. She says this place is much better than the camping trips and he smiles and says that's the first time she's said anything positive about New Earth.
They see the primate again and Janeway says she senses intelligence in him and believes he tried to warn her about the plasma storm. Chakotay says he doubts the primate can be domesticated. Janeway says they have the rest of their lives to try.
Inside, Chakotay massages Janeway because of her sore neck. He says he's had a lot of practice because his mother used to get a sore neck and he was the only one she trusted not to make it worse. After a minute or two, Janeway steps back and formally says good night.
When Voyager meets the Vidiian ship at the set location, the crew finds out that 3 Vidiian ships have prepared an ambush.
The next morning on New Earth, Janeway expresses her concern by suggesting they define parameters between the two. Chakotay tells a story about a male warrior who is asked by a female warrior to join her tribe, and how he learns to put her needs first. She asks him if the story is really "an ancient legend." He admits it isn't, but introducing it that way "just made it easier to say." They both smile and touch hands across the table.
As the Vidiians attack Voyager, Tuvok gives the command to fire back using photon torpedoes. Battle continues, and injured crew are being brought to Sick Bay. The Doctor receives an odd message on the monitor, then realizes it isn't coming from inside Voyager. It is Denara Pel. She calls him Shmullus and says she was unaware of the planned attack. The Doctor asks if she is safe, and she says yes, the Vidiian crew are too busy with the battle to realize she is contacting him in this fashion. She has the antiviral serum, but Voyager will have to lower shields to receive it.
The Doctor calls Tuvok on the bridge to discuss the serum. Tuvok gives precise orders for the next steps. Voyager will drop shields long enough for The Doctor to beam the medicine aboard, and at the same moment Torres will eject an antimatter container. As soon as the antimatter container is clear and the serum is received, the shields will be raised again and Kim will fire a torpedo to detonate the antimatter, while Paris simultaneously moves the ship at full impulse to avoid the explosion. Timing will be critical.
Everyone performs their tasks. As Voyager moves away, the explosion disables the Vidiian ships. At warp 6, Voyager heads back to New Earth.
On New Earth, Janeway is planting tomatoes when Chakotay comes out to ask her for an opinion on a boat he plans on building. She shows him the tomato plants. Chakotay asks her if she hated gardening as well as camping when she was a child. She says yes, "Who wanted to be mucking about in the dirt when we could be studying quantum mechanics? But I find it very satisfying now..." They go inside to look at the plans for the boat, and hear a com signal from Voyager. Tuvok, through the com link, states that they have the medicine needed to treat their condition on board and will arrive in thirty hours.
They pack everything up. The primate appears, and Janeway says goodbye.
On board the Voyager, Tuvok explains what happened and apologizes for disobeying her orders. Janeway smiles and says, "If I didn't know you better, I'd say your decision was almost...emotional." She thanks the crew and then she and Chakotay discuss ship's status, back in their formal roles as Captain and First Officer. Janeway orders Paris to leave at warp 8.
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"I've always looked better in beige."
- - Kathryn Janeway
"Captain, I'm sure you can learn to love the sonic shower."
- - Chakotay
"This report looks like it was written by a first-year Academy cadet. There are mistakes... it's incomplete."
- - B'Elanna Torres, to Ensign Swinn
"I would like to add, it has been an honor serving with you. Live long and prosper."
- - Tuvok, as Voyager leaves Chakotay and Janeway behind on "New Earth"
"I'm not sure I can 'define parameters'. But I can tell you a story, an ancient legend among my people. It's about an angry warrior who lived his life in conflict with the rest of his tribe. A man who couldn't find peace, even with the help of his spirit guide. For years he struggled with his discontent. The only satisfaction he ever got came when he was in battle. This made him a hero among his tribe, but the warrior still longed for peace within himself. One day, he and his war party were captured by a neighboring tribe led by a woman warrior. She called on him to join her because her tribe was too small and weak to defend itself from all its enemies. The woman warrior was brave, and beautiful. And very wise. The angry warrior swore to himself that he would stay by her side, doing whatever he could to make her burden lighter. From that point on, her needs would come first. And in that way, the warrior began to know the true meaning of peace. "
"Is that really an ancient legend?"
"No... but that made it easier to say."
- - Chakotay and Janeway
"Now the next words I expect to hear from you are "yes sir.""
- - Tuvok and Harry Kim
Story and script
- This is the last of six episodes of Star Trek: Voyager's second season that executive producer Jeri Taylor was involved in writing. Of the six stories, she enjoyed working on this episode most. "'Resolutions' is the episode I had the most fun with all year," she noted. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages)
- Kenneth Biller had some involvement in this episode's plot, although he wanted the installment to have more of a high-concept science fiction story than it ultimately did. "I had a hand in 'Resolutions' in the sense that I wanted to do a story about Janeway and Chakotay stranded on a planet," he explained, "but I wanted to do a more sci-fi twist on it where they get stranded and Voyager literally left through a time eddy to get home. When they come back Chakotay and Janeway have aged 40 years and have a whole family. Jeri [Taylor] felt it was too reminiscent of [Star Trek: The Next Generation episode] 'Inner Light'. That was kind of the twist I wanted to do on it." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 28, No. 4/5, p. 106)
- Jeri Taylor was typically conscious of balancing the depth of emotion exhibited by the character of Janeway, maintaining her authority even in a potentially romantic situation. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages) One early script draft featured more romance between Janeway and Chakotay than in the episode's final version. "There was an earlier version of the script in which it went a little further," Ken Biller revealed. Ultimately, however, the writers intentionally left ambiguous the extent of romance between Janeway and Chakotay. "The audience can answer that for themselves," Biller remarked. "If they want to believe that more went on then they can believe it, and if they would rather not believe it then they need not believe it." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 28, No. 4/5, pp. 106 & 107)
- The episode's final script draft was submitted on 7 February 1996. 
Cast and characters
- Chakotay actor Robert Beltran felt that his character's relationship with Janeway, on the planet, was not deep enough. "It's Star Trek romance," Beltran commented, "which means we touch hands and it's supposed to be thrilling." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages) However, Beltran later spoke proudly of the episode, remarking that it "pushed the emotional limits of the character [of Chakotay]." (Star Trek Magazine issue 81, p. 20) He also said of the episode, "Very interesting script that was, I thought [....] I think that it turned out to be a very good story. I think that it cements our relationship, not necessarily in a romantic way, but certainly a very strong friendship is cemented there, and solidified. I think again some more layers of Chakotay's inner self are stripped bare, and he's very, very vulnerable in this episode." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 28, No. 4/5, p. 100) When Beltran was asked about whether he felt Chakotay's duration on the planet in this installment was an appropriate time for the character to express his "true feelings" for Janeway, the actor replied, "Chakotay is definitely not like that. That's just too obvious. He's not the macho go-out-and-get-it type when stuck in a situation like that. If he was, he would have just made a move on her. But that's not Chakotay." (Star Trek Monthly issue 38, p. 20)
- This episode was among Neelix actor Ethan Phillips' favorites (in common with "Heroes and Demons" and "Meld") from Star Trek: Voyager's first two seasons, to watch. (Star Trek Monthly issue 21) Phillips especially liked the episode's use of the Vidiians. "They worked great in 'Resolutions'," he remarked, adding, "We had a lot of action in that show." (Starlog, issue #231, p. 49)
- During the making of this episode, Robert Picardo, the performer of The Doctor, flubbed his dialogue to a remarkable degree; both Ethan Phillips and Janeway actress Kate Mulgrew found this memorable and teased Picardo about the experience afterwards. (Starlog, issue #231, p. 49)
- The period in which this episode was in production included 21 February 1996. (Star Trek 30 Years, p. 43)
- Property master Alan Sims was responsible for casting the monkey that appears in this installment. When the script called for an alien primate, Sims found a spider monkey which, on command, could walk on its hind legs with its tail erect. "At first Rick Berman just laughed. He couldn't believe that a spider monkey – which you could find in any zoo – would look convincingly alien," recalled Sims. "But when I showed him photographs of what the monkey could do, he said, 'That looks alien enough to me. Book him!'" (Star Trek 30 Years, p. 46)
- Some scenes of this episode were filmed on location in the Angeles National Forest in the San Gabriel Mountains, not far from Los Angeles. This location shooting included some nighttime filming which, at least at the time, was far more expensive than normal location filming. (Delta Quadrant, p. 121)
- The duration of the events in this episode transpire over a period of approximately three months, making it one of the longest times the viewers spend with the characters in a single episode of Star Trek that does not involve flashbacks, time travel or resetting the timeline. Nevertheless, Ken Biller ultimately thought this episode insufficiently indicates the passage of time herein. "I was disappointed, because I felt it was repetitive," he commented. "That is another problem with the style of our show – I don't fault Jeri for that at all – which is how to convey the passage of time. If you go back and listen to the ship's logs, the idea was they were months stuck on that planet and I don't think it felt like that when you watched it. Maybe we should have done more to show the passage of time. That was a show that needed a montage sequence or Chakotay to grow a beard or something." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 28, No. 4/5, pp. 106-107) The duration of this episode's events are:
- The first four weeks spent in orbit of "New Earth" searching for a cure.
- The next six weeks with Voyager resuming its journey home.
- The final six weeks involving Voyager's return to "New Earth," after obtaining a cure.
- Even though he is placed in command of Voyager after Janeway relinquishes command, Tuvok still wears his standard gold uniform, instead of donning command red. Despite being referred to by members of the crew as "Captain Tuvok," he records one of his logs as "acting captain" and still wears lieutenant rank insignia. He is also greeted by Denara Pel as "lieutenant" when making contact with the Vidiian convoy.
- This is the final episode in which Voyager encounters the Vidiians. However, they later appear as illusions in "Coda", as one of many species assimilated by the Borg in "Infinite Regress" and finally in "Fury", which is based primarily in 2371, more than a year before the events of this episode. It is later revealed in "Think Tank" that the Phage was cured by the Think Tank in 2375.
- This episode is one of the few instances where The Doctor is given a name. In this instance, Denara Pel refers to him as "Shmullus", the name she gives him in the earlier second season installment "Lifesigns".
Reception and aftermath
- Jeri Taylor was happy with both the A- and B-stories of this episode. She remarked, "We have Janeway and Chakotay with their story, but the other side of it is interesting, too, because it's dealing with the crew's loss of their leaders and the various ways in which they handle that and ultimately what they decide to do with it [....] Here was an instance where I felt the ship side of it was working as well as what was going on on the planet, which was itself extremely interesting." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages)
- Before this episode first aired, Jeri Taylor expected that its hints of romance between Janeway and Chakotay would please many viewers. "This is the show that is going to make a lot of people happy," she remarked, "at least according to the mail that I get, because it basically traps Commander Chakotay and Captain Janeway alone together on a 'desert island' planet." (Star Trek Monthly issue 16)
- This episode achieved a Nielsen rating of 4.5 million homes, and a 7% share. It was the least watched episode of Voyager's second season (on first airing). 
- Nevertheless, Jeri Taylor's expectations turned out to be well placed. Following the episode's initial broadcast, she commented, "'Resolutions' allowed us to get underneath Janeway and Chakotay in a way that has apparently been very satisfying to a big segment of fans. We got a lot of very positive mail about that show." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #10) Likewise, Robert Beltran referred to this installment as "a bone that was thrown to the many fans that were crying out for a Janeway and Chakotay relationship." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 28, No. 4/5, p. 100)
- Jeri Taylor cited this episode as one of the best from Voyager's first two seasons. (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #10)
- Cinefantastique rated this episode 2 and a half out of 4 stars. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 28, No. 4/5, p. 106)
- Star Trek Monthly scored this episode 3 out of 5 stars, defined as "Warp Speed". (Star Trek Monthly issue 21, p. 57)
- The unauthorized reference book Delta Quadrant (p. 123) gives this installment a rating of 1 out of 10.
- Kate Mulgrew liked this episode but was disappointed that the romantic side of her character's relationship with Chakotay did not progress after it, also believing the audience of Star Trek: Voyager felt similarly. "The audience is very faithful to these ideas and these concepts," Mulgrew observed. "If they see a match taking place or evolving, and then they see it actually enhanced via a wonderful episode like 'Resolutions' then I think they're quite disconcerted when it's just left. And I am equally so." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, No. 6/7, p. 99)
- The civilian clothing that Janeway wears while on New Earth was later reused in an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise. (citation needed • edit)
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 2.11, 4 November 1996
- As part of the VOY Season 2 DVD collection
Links and references
- Robert Beltran as Commander Chakotay
- Roxann 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
Alpha Quadrant; antimatter container; antiviral serum; backpacking; bathtub; bed; Benaren; boat; brig; camping; cadet; cooking; counteragent; DNA; DNA sequencer; eagle; ecosystem; glucose; headboard; holodeck; insect trap; Janeway (Male Admiral); Kolopak; Maquis; milling; modular shelter; "New Earth"; osteogenic stimulator; pathogen; petri dish; Phage; photon torpedo; physiology; plasma storm; polka dot; pre-fire chamber; primate; protein analyzer; protein cofactor; quantum mechanics; red alert; replicator; river; seed; Shmullus; sophism; sonic shower; spirit guide; Starfleet Academy; Talaxian tomato; tomato bug; towel; tricorder; type 9 shuttlecraft; Vidiian; Vidiian warship; yellow dwarf
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"Basics, Part I"