(written from a Production point of view)
Tuvok is trapped on a moon with a group of alien children who are disappearing, one by one.
Lieutenant Tuvok emerges from a crashed Type 6 shuttlecraft, unable to contact the USS Voyager, and attempts to tend to an injured crewman, Ensign Bennet. The shuttlecraft's medical supplies are insufficient to deal with Bennet's wounds, however, and Tuvok says that he must get back to Voyager to be treated. Bennet says that he always considered himself lucky because he had no family back home to miss, but now he feels sad that he has no one to leave behind. Tuvok comments that Ensign Macormak will miss him a great deal, but Bennet dies before he can reply. As Tuvok activates a stasis field over Bennet, he hears a rustling in the foliage behind him. Tuvok turns and draws his phaser, and a young girl named Tressa runs out from the bushes. Tuvok catches the girl as she tries to get by him, and holds her until she promises not to run. Tressa comments that Tuvok does not look like her, and tells Tuvok that she also came on a ship that crashed. She says that her parents were dead, and asks about the nearby dead body of Bennet as well. Tuvok asks Tressa if there is anyone else here with her, and two more children, Corin and Elani, emerge from the bushes. Tressa says that everyone else died in the crash. Tuvok tells the children that there is no need to be afraid and that he will take care of them, upon which all three children run to Tuvok and throw their arms around him.
- "Captain's log, supplemental: I've sent out scouting parties to analyze the mineral deposits in the moons around Drayan II. Meanwhile, I've arranged a meeting with the planet's leader."
Captain Kathryn Janeway and Commander Chakotay walk through the corridors, as Chakotay tells the captain that, according to Neelix, no one has had direct contact with the Drayans for decades. There have only been rumors, though fortunately none of the rumors describe them as hostile, just very private. As they board a turbolift for Deck 4, Chakotay and Janeway discuss first contact protocols and some of their experiences with such situations. Chakotay relates a story in which with a common (for Humans) gesture, he inadvertently "propositioned" the Tarkannan ambassador. They arrive at the transporter room, where they beam aboard First Prelate Alcia, who greets them with a traditional blessing. Chakotay responds with a greeting from his people's spirits. Alcia states that her people do not usually have contact with outsiders, but Voyager's story intrigued her. Janeway offers to tell her all about it as they tour the vessel.
They first stop at engineering and Alcia wonders if they chose to show her the warp core first because their civilization considers technology to be their greatest achievement. Janeway explains that the technology was not an end to itself but helped them explore the galaxy and gain knowledge about the universe. Alcia says that her ancestors had been obsessed with advancing technology and building ever-more efficient machines, until the technology became more important than the people. Alcia's great-grandfather had been one of the leaders of a reformation which did away with the emphasis on technology, and since that time the Drayans avoided contact with outsiders in order to keep from being led back down the same path. Chakotay tells her that some Human cultures have done the same.
Meanwhile, back on the moon, Tuvok has stowed Bennet's body in the shuttlecraft and comments on how fortunate the children were not to be hurt when their ship crashed. Tressa explains that the Attendants got them to the escape pods. Tuvok believes he can repair his shuttle but he will also have to find a way to get through the electrodynamic turbulence in the atmosphere. The children are impatient to leave but Tuvok states that their displeasure does not change the circumstances. His terse response upsets the children, but he states that Vulcan parents never shield their children from the truth. Tuvok estimates that there are only a few hours of daylight left, and the children become very upset, explaining that the Morrok, a monster which lives in a nearby cave, will come at night to kill them. As the children describe the Morrok, Tuvok starts to believe that they are describing an imaginary monster, or at least exaggerating the danger, but Corin says that the Morrok already took Jarren and Fayla, the other children from their ship, and Tressa believes that it will return tonight to take the rest of them.
Aboard Voyager, Alcia's tour continues with sickbay, where The Doctor explains the ship's medical capabilities. Janeway says she might also be interested to learn that The Doctor is a hologram, and Alcia says that her people believe that physical matter is only an illusion. Janeway likens these beliefs to the teachings of Plato, but their philosophical discussion is interrupted by an incoming transmission for the First Prelate. As Alcia goes into The Doctor's office to receive the transmission, Kes congratulates him on his diplomatic skills and Janeway contemplates the next step in their relations, opening negotiations for mining polyferranide deposits on Drayan's moons. However, Alcia has been called back to deal with an emergency. Janeway offers to help but Alcia says it would be better if Voyager continued on its way, as the Drayans had no interest in further contact. Alcia leaves sickbay, and a disappointed Janeway concludes that they will have to find their polyferranide somewhere else.
Back on the moon, Tuvok takes the children back to the place where they slept the night before in search of Jarren and Fayla, but the children are convinced that the Morrok took them, and are very afraid. Tuvok leads the children in a Vulcan exercise to control their fear by detaching themselves from their emotional responses, but the children find the concept difficult to grasp. As Tuvok resumes work on the shuttle, he grows increasingly exasperated with the children's inability to sit still and keep their hands off of things. Eventually he leads the children in another exercise to attain a meditative state, and explains more about Vulcan philosophy. Suddenly, they hear a ship overhead, and Tuvok uses the shuttle's sensors to determine that it was a Drayan craft, presumably searching for the children. Tuvok expects the children to be happy that their people have come looking for them, but is surprised when they become even more afraid, telling him that their people were the ones who sent them here to die.
Tuvok is confused but the children are adamant that they need to be hidden from the Drayan search party. Tuvok uses a tricorder to hide the children from the Drayans' scanners, and they all hide in the underbrush to wait for the search party to pass by. The children explain that the Drayans bring their children here to perform the final ritual, after which the Morrok takes them away, never to return. Tuvok finds this hard to believe, stating that it would be illogical for a society to kill its own children, but Tressa explains that the scrolls say they should be happy about dying because it releases the energy inside them. Corin asks if that's what really happens, and Tuvok tells them about the Vulcan belief in the katra, though in recent years he admits he has had doubts about some of the Vulcan teachings. However, Tuvok tells the children that there is nothing wrong with choosing to live, and based on the information he has, he believes that the best course of action would be to get the children to Voyager. The children again embrace Tuvok for offering to help them, much to his discomfort.
On the ship, Chakotay reports that one of the scout teams had returned, but there was still no word from Tuvok's shuttle. Due to solar flare activity, the shuttle was not showing up on the ship's sensors, and Voyager sets a course for the moon they were surveying in order to start a search. The Drayan starship is also orbiting the moon, and Alcia contacts Voyager to admonish Janeway for the desecration of the moon, their crysata, which is sacred ground to the Drayans. Alcia tells Janeway that her people had found the shuttle with Bennet's body inside, but no sign of Tuvok, and angrily orders Janeway to find her other crewman and leave. Due to atmospheric interference, Lt. jg B'Elanna Torres cannot get a transporter lock on anything on the surface and the crew is at a loss for how to retrieve Tuvok.
Night has fallen on the moon and while Tuvok continues to work on the shuttlecraft, the children are having difficulty sleeping. While Tuvok tucks the children into their blankets, he tells them that when his children had trouble sleeping, he would play music for them. His youngest son's favorite song was "Falor's Journey," a tale of enlightenment consisting of 348 verses. Tuvok sings one of the verses ( file info), finally lulling the children to sleep, and he then goes back to work on the shuttle. The next morning, when Tressa wakes up, she finds that the other two children are gone.
On Voyager, Torres has finally managed to find their shuttle and a Drayan shuttle on the sensors and Ensign Harry Kim is reading two life signs on the surface but it is still impossible to transport through the atmosphere. Janeway considers that they may have to take a shuttle down, despite Alcia's orders to the contrary, but instructs Torres and Kim to keep looking for other options.
Meanwhile, Tuvok uses the shuttle's sensors to search the area for Corin and Elani, but to no avail. Sensors recorded no other lifeforms or unusual energy readings in the area all night, and Tuvok reluctantly has to accept the possibility that the Morrok may have been responsible. He resolves to investigate the nearby cave, and gives Tressa a phaser to protect herself while she waits in the shuttle. Tuvok enters the cave and finds the discarded clothes of several children, lending credence to their story, and returns to give Tressa the bad news. Tressa is now certain that she will be next to go, but Tuvok promises to do everything in his power to get them off the surface before nightfall, with Tressa's help.
Back on Voyager, Lt. jg Tom Paris notes that the Drayans have sent yet another search party to the surface and Chakotay wonders how hard it could be to find two crash victims. Just then, a break in the turbulence allows Tuvok to get a comm signal through from the surface and he tells Janeway that he has been avoiding the Drayan search parties because he is concerned for the children. The comm signal starts to break up as Tuvok explains the situation, and Janeway contacts Alcia one last time to try and work things out. When Alcia still refuses to allow them to take a shuttle to the surface, Janeway tells her she believes it is necessary anyway. Janeway and Paris take a shuttle from Voyager and are quickly pursued by a Drayan shuttle.
Tuvok is finally ready to try to lift off in his shuttle but has trouble with the thrusters as the Drayan search parties close in on the surface and the Drayan shuttle continues to close in on Janeway and Paris. Tuvok finally gets the shuttle airborne, and offers Tressa asylum on Voyager, but he is contacted by Alcia and warned to return to the surface. When Tuvok refuses, Alcia opens fire, forcing him back to the surface. Janeway and Paris follow, and meet up with Tuvok and Tressa just as the Drayans catch up to them. Alcia tells Janeway to take Tuvok and leave, but he refuses to go without Tressa. Finally, Alcia explains that the Drayan aging process is reversed, that Tressa is in fact 96 years old, and the energy in her body will soon be released as part of their natural life cycle. Tressa and the other children were sent to the crysata in order to pass from this life to the next, but the children become easily confused and their memories are clouded at this late stage in their lives. The attendants were to help prepare them, but were killed when their shuttle crashed, leaving the children to face this time alone.
Tuvok suggests that Tressa is not ready, but Alcia says it is a natural biological process, not something that can be altered. Alcia explains that her race is compelled to return to this moon, where they believe life began, so that they can rejoin the infinite energy and continue the cycle. Tressa turns to Tuvok, who comforts her and promises to stay with her as she faces her final moments. He tells her that Vulcans consider death to be a completion of a journey and there is nothing to fear. Alcia says that accompanying a child at this time is an honorable role and Tuvok has fulfilled it well.
Janeway apologizes to Alcia for disturbing their traditions, and Alcia concludes that perhaps each of them had misjudged the other, leaving the door open for friendship between their two peoples. Janeway, Paris and the Drayans leave to allow Tressa and Tuvok to face her final moments in privacy. Tressa has accepted her fate and realizes it is her time, though she will regret leaving her family, and says that Tuvok reminds her of her grandson. Tuvok says that she will remain in her family's thoughts, and in his, and with that they walk together into the cave.
"We often fear what we do not understand. Our best defense is knowledge."
- - Tuvok
"My attachment to my children cannot be described as an emotion. They are a part of my identity, and I am… incomplete without them."
- - Tuvok
"Elani, I asked you not to play with that!"
- - Tuvok
"Don't Vulcans tell bedtime stories?"
- - Corin
"It is illogical for a society to kill its own children."
- - Tuvok
"Can we go now? I want to go!"
- - Corin
"My youngest son was particularly fond of it. He always used to ask me to play "Falor's Journey". It is a tale of enlightenment consisting of three hundred forty eight verses.
(children stare back/awkward silence)
…It may not be necessary to include the complete narrative."
- - Tuvok
""May this day find you at peace and leave you with hope", that is a blessing from our ancient scrolls."
- - First Prelate Alcia
"Close your eyes and imagine all the energy in your body is floating to the point where your fingertips meet. Nothing else you hear or feel is important. Let the outside-world fade away. You exist only inside your mind."
- - Tuvok, to Tressa
"My grandson, you remind me of him."
- - Tressa, to Tuvok
"'Peace in your heart, fortune in your steps', that is from the spirits of my people."
- - Chakotay
Story and script
- This is the second of two episodes whose stories were written by Anthony Williams, an assistant manager in advertising at Paramount Pictures. He previously wrote the story for "Cold Fire".
- This is also the third Star Trek: Voyager episode that staff writer Lisa Klink was involved in writing, having previously scripted the episodes "Resistance" and (in an uncredited capacity) "Dreadnought". (Star Trek Monthly issue 15)
- Working titles that this episode had are "Untitled Tuvok" and "Emotional Awakening". 
- Although the premise for this episode was pitched by Anthony Williams, it was slightly different from how the story turned out and Lisa Klink was not completely in favor of the initial idea. She recalled, "The freelancer Anthony Williams had pitched us an idea where these kids were in trouble and they were disappearing one by one into this cave […] I was not all that excited with the premise. It sounded like a sitcom episode. But what ultimately caught my attention was the idea of Tuvok as a father. What are Vulcan fathers like? Are their kids born logical? Probably not." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages) Lisa Klink also said, "The premise sounds hokey – Tuvok is trapped on a planet with a bunch of children – but it really isn't as hokey as it sounds. When they gave me that premise to work on, my reaction was, 'God this is going to be a sit-com.' It really did not turn out that way at all. I think it came together well, because Tuvok has children at home so it was a chance to explore him as a father. What are Vulcan fathers like? How do they raise their children? And there is also a little mystery on the planet: these children are disappearing one by one. So Tuvok has to determine what is going on." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 28, No. 4/5, p. 105)
- Lisa Klink struggled to come up with a science fiction twist to the story. "The rest of the staff came to my rescue there," Klink said, "because I had nothing to do with that concept […] We didn't end up going with [Anthony Williams'] sci-fi-premise, but the idea that something mysterious was happening to [the kids] kind of stayed with it, and it ended up being the reverse-aging thing." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages) In fact, this narrative theme dates back as far as the 1922 short story "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
- Lisa Klink found that adding the theme of death to the story was very helpful to the plot. She remarked, "Actually, once the whole death thing came up, it helped a lot, because it took the cutesy edge off it. It added a layer of darkness over the whole thing. We even started off the episode with a crewman dying." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages)
- Regarding Tuvok's singing in this episode, Klink recalled, "I knew that Tim [Russ] could sing, so I wanted to include a Vulcan lullaby. Tim heard about this and called me, concerned that it would be too cutesy. We agreed that a Vulcan lullaby would be practical and include a lesson. So I wrote it that way, and the Trek composer came up with a suitably somber melody. It turned out really well. As an unexpected bonus, I got into ASCAP, the composers and performers union, and they sent me miniscule royalties when the episode aired in repeats." 
- The episode's final script draft was submitted on 10 January 1996. 
Cast and characters
- Lisa Klink was extremely pleased with the casting of the children that Tuvok encounters. Klink noted, "We got great kids." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 28, No. 4/5, p. 105)
- Another facet of the episode that satisfied Lisa Klink was how Tuvok actor Tim Russ played his scenes. Klink enthused, "Tim Russ gave a wonderful performance." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 28, No. 4/5, p. 105)
- Klink also enjoyed Robert Picardo's performance. She recalled, "I loved the scene where they visit sickbay and The Doctor is clearly trying to be hospitable. He has a line: "We don't often get such distinguished visitors in sickbay. Unless there's been some sort of accident." And he smiles, proud of himself. Robert Picardo could make any line funny, and he delivered that one perfectly." 
- Executive producer Jeri Taylor thought this episode did wonders for the character of Tuvok. Taylor explained, "Our challenge with Tuvok is to put this character in situations which will press him and give him some kind of emotional arc, although he can't express those emotions. There aren't many situations that allow that kind of thing to happen, but 'Innocence' was one that I thought worked like gangbusters." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages) Taylor elaborated, "'Innocence' gave us a chance to help Tuvok explore himself. We purposefully looked for situations to make him a fish out of water. It's very hard to get past a full Vulcan." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 108, p. 18)
- In a scene midway through the episode, Tressa can be seen looking through a large glass lens. The same prop had previously appeared in TNG: "Evolution" and TNG: "The Most Toys".
- The jungle-like surface of Drayan II was an obvious use of a studio set. (Delta Quadrant, p. 113)
- In an outtake from this episode, as seen in the TV special Ultimate Trek: Star Trek's Greatest Moments, Tim Russ can be seen approaching the cave for the final time with Tressa, then turning around, saying "Man, I ain't going in there!" and bolting for the forest.
- Ensign Bennet's death in this episode brings the total number of confirmed crew deaths since the series premiere "Caretaker" to 7, the previous death having occurred in "Investigations". This leaves Voyager with a crew of 146, given Voyager's crew compliment of 152 established in "The 37's" (after the first of these deaths).
- As with the earlier second season installment "Tattoo", this episode has Voyager still seeking polyferranide deposits.
- The premise of aging backwards had previously appeared in the aptly named TAS: "The Counter-Clock Incident", in which this is a natural occurrence for the Arret natives.
- Executive producer Michael Piller contacted Lisa Klink to say that he thought this episode was eligible for a Humanitas Prize. Klink remembered, "Michael Piller was nice enough to call me and tell me I should submit it for a Humanitas Award." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages)
- Lisa Klink herself was thrilled with how this episode turned out. She raved, "I was really, really pleased with it […] and it was one of those episodes where everything clicked together nicely." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 28, No. 4/5, p. 105) In a 2011 interview, she nominated it as one of her favorite episodes out of the ones she had written. 
- Jeri Taylor appreciatively described this episode as "absolutely lovely" and "another high concept show". (Star Trek Monthly issue 15)
- This episode achieved a Nielsen rating of 5.1 million homes, and a 9% share.
- Cinefantastique rated this episode 2 and a half out of 4 stars. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 28, No. 4/5, p. 105)
- Star Trek Magazine scored this episode 2 out of 5 stars, defined as "Impulse Power only". Additionally, Nikki Harper, a reviewer for the magazine, noted about the episode, "This is a major show for Tim Russ and he acquits himself admirably." (Star Trek Monthly issue 19, pp. 93 & 94)
- The unauthorized reference book Delta Quadrant (p. 115) gives this installment a rating of 8.5 out of 10.
- Several props and costumes from this episode were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay, including the costumes of Patrick Barnitt (as a Drayan soldier)  and Gordon Simmons (as a Drayan aide). 
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 2.9, 9 September 1996
- As part of the VOY Season 2 DVD collection
Links and references
- 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
- Patrick Barnitt as a Drayan soldier
- Minh Collins as a Drayan soldier
- Tarik Ergin as Ayala
- Jody Gillen as a Drayan aide
- Kerry Hoyt as Fitzpatrick
- Louis Ortiz as Culhane
- Gordon Simmons as a Drayan aide
- Ian Spelling as a Drayan soldier
- Simon Stotler as an operations division ensign
- Scott Strozier as a Drayan soldier
2276; ability; Alicia's great-grandfather; Asil; asylum; attendant; base pair; biological lifeform; "black cloud"; cave; Chakotay's first assignment; Chakotay's first captain; Chakotay's tribe; cherel sauce; children; Class 2 shuttle (unnamed); class 9 warp drive; crysata; cycle; diatonic scale; dielectric field; dilithium; diplomatic team; DNA; Doctor's office, The; Drayan; Drayan II; Drayan II moons; Drayan scrolls; Drayan shuttle; Drayan starship; Drayan II sun; ear; electrodynamic turbulence; emotional response; escape pod; Falor; "Falor's Journey"; Fayla; Federation; final ritual; Fire-Beast of Sullus, The; Fire Plains; first contact; First Prelate; generation; gesture; heart; holographic projection; inertial damper; intention; Intrepid class decks; ionosphere; Jarren; katra; kilometer; Kir; leader; lightning; logic; Macormak; medical tricorder; meditation; Milky Way Galaxy; monks; morrok; path; peace; Plato; political asylum; polyferranide; Raal; ration; Reformation; rescue operation; remedial training; reaction chamber; scanning range; Sek; sensor range; shield harmonics; solar flare; space door; splinter; Starfleet Academy; stasis field; storm; T'Para; takka berry; tardeth; targeting scanner; Tarkannans; Tarkannan ambassador; theta-matrix compositor; thunder; Tressa's grandson; tricorder; truth; turbolift; Tuvok's sons; Type 6 shuttlecraft (unnamed); universe; vein; vertebra; vitamin; Voroth Sea; Vulcan; Vulcan (planet); Vulcan lute; warp coil; weapons range
- "Innocence" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Innocence" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Innocence" at Wikipedia
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