(written from a Production point of view)
|VOY, Episode 3x10|
Production number: 152
First aired: 20 November 1996
|←||51st of 168 produced in VOY||→|
|←||51st of 168 released in VOY||→|
|←||440th of 728 released in all||→|
| Teleplay By|
Andrew Shepard Price & Mark Gaberman
- You may also be looking for the title of warlord.
Kes is taken over by the mind-force of an obsessive rebel.
On the holodeck, Neelix introduces Ensign Harry Kim and Lieutenant jg Tom Paris to his new, recreational holoprogram, closely modeled after a serene Talaxian vacation spot, Paxau Resort. He asks for their opinion of his programming job. They suggest a few modifications to make it more lively. Kim and Paris blend in some Earth-like components such as brighter, more casual clothing for resort employees, a Caribbean band and several holographic characters based on a title-winning women's volleyball team. Instead of being offended that their changes had fundamentally compromised the "realism" of his recreation, Neelix embraced the changes as fun additions. While Neelix dances to the Caribbean music, Paris and Kim are called away to the bridge.
Once there, Captain Kathryn Janeway asks them to maneuver USS Voyager in a delicate rescue operation. A nearby ship is nearing destruction but Kim and Paris manage to beam the injured passengers onboard Voyager. All three are transported directly to sickbay. As The Doctor and Kes treat the aliens, one of them dies. The two surviving aliens, named Adin and Nori, thank Janeway for saving their lives and for bringing them to their homeworld, which is two days away. During the trip, Kes spends a great deal of time with the two guests, causing her to be late for a lunch date with Neelix. Upon finally arriving, however, Kes decides to end their relationship due to his jealousy and overprotectiveness.
Upon Voyager's arrival at Ilari, an official representative of the Autarch agrees to come aboard to thank Janeway personally. Kes goes to the transporter room to see off her new Ilari friends – then promptly opens fire and kills Ensign Martin, who is manning the transporter, and the Ilari representative. Janeway tried to subdue Kes but was knocked out. Nori, Adin and Kes then beam a shuttle into space and escape in the blink of an eye.
On the way to their rendezvous point, they pick up an additional passenger, Resh, to give him orders on an imminent assault which Kes/Tieran claims they have been planning for years. When Resh questions her orders, she uses her mental abilities to demonstrate her power and ensure his loyalty.
Back on Voyager, Janeway meets with Demmas, a son of the current Autarch of Ilari. Demmas explains that the third patient they rescued, who died on the operating table, was probably Tieran, a former Autarch who was obsessed with his own mortality and seems to have discovered a way to transfer his own mind into another person's body. He claims that the process is irreversible, but Janeway refuses to use force until The Doctor finds a way to remove Tieran from Kes safely. Just then, Ensign Harry Kim informs them that they've detected the missing shuttle, and that its occupants have beamed into the Imperial Hall.
Once on the surface of Ilari, Kes/Tieran enters the ruling chamber and instantly kills the current Autarch and abducts Ameron, the Autarch's youngest son. She then sets herself up as the new regent and begins to make over the palace in her image.
Kes/Tieran destroys the decorations of the previous inhabitants, citing them as unnecessary. She pauses however, when she comes to an ornate vase filled with flowers. For a moment it seems as though Kes' strong attachment to botany might resurface. Instead, Kes/Tieran plucks one of the stems and rushes excitedly over to Nori and gives it to her. Nori worries that she may not still be Tieran's wife but Kes/Tieran assures her that she is. She leans in to kiss Nori but the lovers' reunion is interrupted by Resh, who is bringing her the Autarch's son, Ameron. Kes offers him the chance to join her, which would solidify her claim to the throne.
The Doctor creates a device that should remove Tieran's consciousness, however to be successful, it would have to come in direct contact with her skin. Lt. Tuvok volunteers to go down to the planet alone to use the device, claiming that Tieran will be less prepared for the infiltration of a single individual then he would be against a stronger contingent.
On Ilari however, Tieran senses Tuvok's arrival by utilizing Kes' powers and unmasks him before he can succeed.
Kes/Tieran questions Tuvok, who mind melds with her, temporarily bringing Kes' consciousness to the surface, but Tieran regains dominance and disables Tuvok.
Nevertheless, Tieran's dominance of Kes has been challenged. Kes has begun to fight back more vigorously. She and Tieran joust for mental dominance. In a dream, he attempts to seduce her into submission, trying to show her the benefits of the mental alliance. Though briefly tempted, Kes quickly becomes more resolute. She announces that she will never let him completely control her. Equally though, she is unsuccessful at driving him out of her mind.
Practically, this mental fight leaves Kes/Tieran in a diminished state. The conflict causes severe headaches to begin to manifest themselves. However, Tieran remains in control and orders Voyager to leave the planet's orbit or face his warships. He then announces his "marriage" to Ameron to strengthen a political alliance.
Voyager returns soon afterward with reinforcements from Demmas' army. Tieran refuses to go to his bunker and instead orders everyone in the throne room to continue celebrating.
An away team beams to the surface and attacks the palace. Most of the other Ilari guards and civilians are taken by surprise and soon Kes/Tieran is cornered. The device is placed on her cheek, and Kes regains control of her body. However, it is discovered that before the device was used, Tieran was able to transfer his consciousness to Ameron. Kes is able to sense his presence and uses the device to remove Tieran permanently. Demmas assumes his rightful place as Autarch.
Back on Voyager, Tuvok teaches meditation techniques to Kes. She claims, however, that they are not helping and that she will not be able to go one with her life as if nothing happened. Her relationships with her closest friends – Tuvok, The Doctor, and Neelix – will never again be as they were before.
- "Captains log, stardate 50348.1. We've entered orbit around Ilari and sent a message to the Autarch, inviting him to visit the ship. Instead, he'll be sending an official representative."
- "Captain's log, stardate 50351.4. We're holding a meeting with Demmas, the Autarch's eldest son and heir, in an effort to understand the recent hostile activity."
- "Captain's log, supplemental. Demmas has decided to remain on board Voyager for the time being, but continues to monitor the worsening situation on Ilari."
- "Captain's log, stardate 50361.7. Lieutenant Tuvok hasn't reported for our scheduled rendezvous and we've been unable to contact him. We're now considering other, more forceful options."
"Yes, but how close would you have to get to use this device?"
"To be fully effective, it would have to come in direct contact with her skin."
"If I could get anywhere near her, I'd use a thoron rifle to be absolutely sure."
- Demmas and The Doctor talk about freeing Kes from Tieran
"Bridge to Janeway."
"Emergency in transporter room... oh!"
- - Chakotay, contacting Janeway shortly before she is incapacitated
"If this was meant to be a trap, why tell us about it?"
"I'm really not a monster."
- Chakotay and Kes (dominated by Tieran)
"Good. I want my people to know I have their welfare at heart. Tomorrow we'll send out an edict. Every citizen must have a garden."
"I love plants, flowers, anything that grows. Some of the times I felt most content were those spent watching the seedlings grow in the airponics... "
- Kes (dominated by Tieran) and Nori
"I can't help wondering whether I could have fought harder."
"It was your absolute refusal to surrender which defeated him. You cannot ask more of yourself than that."
- Kes and Tuvok
"How can I go back to my normal life as if nothing ever happened?"
"You cannot. This experience will force you to adapt. You are no longer the same person and the course of your life will change as a result. Where that new course leads...is up to you."
- Kes and Tuvok
Story and Script
- This episode had the working title "The Art of War". 
- The initial idea for this episode, as suggested by writing partners Mark Gaberman and Andrew Shepard Price, involved Kes being unwillingly possessed by the spirit of an antagonist. "They pitched the concept of Kes being inhabited by this warrior spirit," reflected Lisa Klink, "and having to do battle with him in her own mind, which seemed like a great thing to do with Kes, who is the least warrior-like character you could think of." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, No. 6/7, p. 98)
- The episode's final script draft was submitted on 28 August 1996. 
Cast and Characters
- Executive producer Jeri Taylor once referred to Tieran as "a vicious Genghis Khan-like person". (Star Trek Monthly issue 23)
- Lisa Klink believed this episode was notable for concentrating on its villainous characters. "You spent the whole episode with the bad guys," she observed, "who were shooting each other and stabbing each other in the back." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, No. 6/7, p. 98)
- The role of the Tieran-possessed Kes in this episode took actress Jennifer Lien into unfamiliar territory. "I've never played any role quite like that before," she commented, "but I enjoyed being so strong and determined." Lien's unusual demeanor was the subject of some well-intentioned teasing, during this episode's production period. (Dreamwatch issue 35, p. 23)
- This episode features three past and future Star Trek: Deep Space Nine guest stars. Galyn Görg (Nori) previously played Korena in "The Visitor", Brad Greenquist (Demmas) later played Krit in "Who Mourns for Morn?" and Leigh J. McCloskey went on to portray an illusory Joran Dax in "Field of Fire".
- Likewise, this installment's guest cast includes two actors who later appeared on Star Trek: Enterprise. Brad Greenquist played two roles in that series, appearing as Khata'n Zshaar in "Dawn" and as one of a trio of unnamed Rigelian kidnappers in "Affliction", and Karl Wiedergott (Ameron) portrayed Larr in "Dear Doctor".
- The damaged Ilari ship was an oft-reused studio model, most recognizable for appearing as the craft that attempted to steal supplies from Surplus Depot Z15 at Qualor II in TNG: "Unification I".
- According to the unauthorized reference book Delta Quadrant (p. 153), rifles that the Ilari guards in the Imperial Hall are armed with were reuses of Jem'Hadar rifles from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Kes – while possessed by Tieran – carries a pistol prop from the weapons display in James T. Kirk's cabin in Star Trek Generations.
- Jennifer Lien found that the staging of the scene in which the possessed Kes tries to confront an imprisoned Tuvok "was a lot of fun and we all made suggestions about how to do it." (Dreamwatch issue 35, p. 23)
- The dungeon force field emitters were reused from the second season Voyager installment "Resistance".
- Lisa Klink thought very highly of director David Livingston's work on this installment. Klink remarked, "David Livingston did a terrific job. He kept it moving at a hundred miles an hour, and I think that's really what that episode needed." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, No. 6/7, p. 98)
- This episode's production period over-ran, affecting the production schedules of the next two episodes, "The Q and the Grey" and "Macrocosm". (Star Trek Monthly issue 29, p. 44)
- This episode introduces a holographic program of the Paxau Resort that continues to recur throughout the season, subsequently appearing in "The Q and the Grey", "Macrocosm", "Alter Ego", "Blood Fever", "Darkling" and "Before and After".
- While controlled by Tieran, Kes ends her relationship with Neelix. Even after Kes is restored, the couple's relationship would never recover and ultimately ends somewhere between the Season 3 episodes "Unity" and "Darkling", the latter of which involves Kes enjoying a brief relationship with Zahir. Neelix actor Ethan Phillips recalled, "In 'Warlord,' when Jennifer is taken over by that... other character and that character wants to do away with Neelix, it was our breaking up. And when she comes out of that place, she held onto that direction of not needing Neelix any more. The experience of being possessed broke us up. And we never really had a goodbye." (Voyager Time Capsule: Kes, VOY Season 3 DVD special features) Phillips also related, "The breakup itself, I thought, was muddy. Did they or did they not break up after 'Warlord'? We never got any closure on it. She was possessed by somebody and under a great deal of stress, and that's when her real feelings came out. That's OK, but there was no closure to let you know if she meant what she said when she was possessed." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #14, p. 43) Additionally, Phillips remarked, "When we broke up, there was not any kind of an acknowledgment by the writers of that. And I remember approaching them and saying I really think that they deserve their closure. And their feeling was, 'No, let's just drop it, let's move on.'" Although the break-up itself is never shown, a scene scripted for "Fair Trade" but later deleted was to have brought further closure to the relationship. (Star Trek: Voyager Companion)
Reception and Aftermath
- Lisa Klink enjoyed this episode. "'Warlord' was a lot of fun," she said, "because it was really daring." Klink went on to say that the reason she thought it was extremely ambitious was due to the episode's unusual degree of focus on its antagonists and their hostile behavior toward one another. She concluded, "It was something that we don't normally get to see." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, No. 6/7, p. 98)
- Jeri Taylor also found this episode to be an interesting one. Prior to the episode's first airing, she remarked, "'Warlord' is a really intriguing story." (Star Trek Monthly issue 23)
- This episode achieved a Nielsen rating of 4.7 million homes, and a 7% share. 
- Cinefantastique rated this installment 2 and a half out of 4 stars. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, No. 6/7, p. 97)
- Star Trek Monthly scored this episode 2 out of 5 stars, defined as "Impulse Power only". (Star Trek Monthly issue 26, p. 59)
- The unauthorized reference book Delta Quadrant (p. 155) gives this installment a rating of 8 out of 10.
- Several costumes and props from this episode were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay, including the costume worn by Chester E. Tripp III (as an unnamed Ilari guard). 
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 3.5, 7 April 1997.
- As part of the VOY Season 3 DVD collection.
Links and references
- Anthony Crivello as Adin
- Brad Greenquist as Demmas
- Galyn Görg as Nori
- Charles Emmett as Resh
- Karl Wiedergott as Ameron
- Leigh J. McCloskey as Tieran
- Erinn Allison as Talaxian Masseuse
- Tarik Ergin as Ayala
- Louis Ortiz as Ensign Culhane
- Chester E. Tripp III as an Ilari guard
- Unknown performers as
2216; airponics; aphrodisiac; Autarch; bioelectric microfiber; cardiac induction; Caribbean; cortical implant; Denar; dermal regenerator; detection grid; drive plasma; electromagnetic pulse; First Castellan; Gallia nectar; gamma radiation; gold medal; holodeck; Ilari; Ilari (planet); Imperial Hall; Kim Sports Program Theta-2; lectrazine; logic; Martin; nervous system; neural pattern; paraka wings; Paxau; Paxau Resort; plasma injector; reaction chamber; Rekarri starburst; synaptic stimulator; Talax; Talaxian; type 8 shuttlecraft; viceroy; volleyball; Vulcan mind meld; Vulcan; Vulcan nerve pinch; warp core breach; warp signature; Yaro Province
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