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The scientist who developed a weapon that killed three hundred thousand of Neelix's people in a war fifteen years ago boards Voyager, claiming that Neelix is terminally ill.


Neelix plays pool with Tuvok

Neelix and Tuvok play pool


Neelix and Tuvok are playing pool in the holodeck environment of Chez Sandríne. Tuvok leaves Neelix without a single clear shot. The pool shark and Paris explain to Neelix that he can use a "safety," by hitting the cue ball where Tuvok can't make a shot. Neelix thinks it is cowardly but opts to take their advice. He leaves the cue ball behind two solids then mocks Tuvok to call his shot, saying it is impossible. Tuvok tells him, "The shot may be difficult, but to say it's impossible is an exaggeration." Tuvok calls his shot, then scratches – blaming the ship's stabilizers. The Hustler says, "Tom Terrific should have told you the table rolls a little to the east." Neelix tells Tuvok that he should have called a safety.

Janeway calls Neelix to the bridge. The USS Voyager has received a subspace message from an approaching ship. The vessel's occupant is requesting to speak to Neelix, who identifies the ship as an Haakonian shuttle. The Haakonians were at war with Talaxians for the better part of a decade, and conquered Neelix's homeworld more than fifteen years ago. He has no idea what they would want with him now. Janeway introduces herself and the man asks to speak with Neelix, who then approaches the viewscreen. The man says it is urgent but prefers to speak with him privately. Neelix's life may depend on it. Neelix then demands to know his name. The man apologizes and introduces himself as Dr. Ma'Bor Jetrel. Neelix, showing obvious distress, storms off the bridge into the turbolift.

Act One[]

Janeway catches up to Neelix in his quarters. He angrily tells her that Jetrel is a mass murderer and explains that, when he himself was young, he lived on a beautiful moon called Rinax with his family until the metreon cascade, a weapon of mass destruction devised by Dr. Jetrel. After the attack, Rinax was enveloped by a deadly cloud, and Neelix explains that the lovely days were then turned into one endless frigid night. More than 300,000 were killed, instantly. Neelix was on Talax at the time, with defense forces, preparing for an invasion of the planet that never came. When the cascade was unleashed, Talax unconditionally surrendered to the Haakonian Order. When Janeway asks of his family, Neelix breaks down in tears.

Dr. Jetrel is beamed aboard, astonished by the transporter. Janeway tells Jetrel that Neelix has declined to speak with him and will speak as his representative. Jetrel is unsurprised at this as he is not very popular among Talaxians. Janeway reminds Jetrel that he said Neelix's life was in danger. He tells her that Neelix must undergo a medical scan, as he returned to Rinax after the cascade to rescue survivors. He may have contracted a fatal blood disease called metremia – causing the body's atomic structure to undergo fission, and the cells to then disintegrate. Jetrel has specially designed equipment that can detect the disorder – he has examined as many of the rescue team members as possible, in hopes of finding a cure. He pleads to Janeway for her to convince Neelix to see him.

Outnumbered and Outflanked

Neelix is convinced to take the test

Neelix, visibly upset, prepares dinner in the mess hall. Kes asks him about the war. He tells her it is one experience that can't be shared, that it is too difficult to describe his feelings to someone who didn't see what he saw. Janeway enters and Neelix tries to make light of the situation. She tells him of the disorder and informs him Jetrel is here to screen him for the disease. He tells Janeway to tell him he's touched, but he would rather be immersed in a pit of Krallinian eels than be examined by him. Kes objects, saying that if there's something wrong, they should find out. In a fit of rage, Neelix makes it clear he doesn't want Jetrel within ten parsecs of him. Janeway tries to convince him to change his mind. Neelix finds it strange that a man who made it his life's work to develop a weapon that destroyed so many Talaxians should suddenly be concerned for this Talaxian's health. Janeway thinks he might be trying to undo some of the damage he caused – to her Jetrel seems quite sincere. Neelix asks, if the disease is fatal, what's the point of knowing? Kes tells him Voyager's Doctor might be able to help find a cure, and she and Janeway encourage Neelix to talk to him. No one will force him to undergo any procedure. Outnumbered and outflanked, Neelix surrenders.

In Voyager's briefing room, while Jetrel is telling Neelix about the properties of the isotopes, Neelix asks him, "Why are you doing this?" trying to determine his motivations. Jetrel says he did what had to be done. "It was necessary to kill thousands of people and leave the rest to die of Metreon poisoning?" Neelix skeptically asks. Jetrel didn't think there would be any radiation poisoning. Unfortunately, he was wrong. He developed the weapon but it was the Haakonian government and military leaders who decided to use it, not him. "I would rather die than help you with your experiments," Neelix maintains. "Find yourself another laboratory rodent." Jetrel knows that he cannot alleviate Neelix's pain but he can help him and other members of his race.

In sickbay, Jetrel prepares his equipment to scan Neelix. Neelix asks The Doctor, "Isn't there any way you could do this?" The Doctor replies, "Your newfound confidence in me is flattering but Dr. Jetrel has specialized training to deal with Talaxian physiology." While Jetrel is scanning him, Neelix tells Kes a story about a nasty vermin found on Rinax. When he was a boy, he created a foolproof Talchok trap. He set it in the garden and, the next day, he found one of the beasts, pinned at the neck, screaming in agony. Suddenly, it didn't look like a beast, anymore; it looked like a poor innocent animal. He became so fascinated with his trap that he didn't think of how that poor creature would suffer. Jetrel says, "Are you finished?" and Neelix replies, "For now." Jetrel completes his scans and regretfully informs Neelix that he does indeed have incipient metremia.

Act Two[]

As Neelix lies in his quarters, Kes comes to visit. He tells her this is not the first time he has faced death. He tells her another story about facing down an entire battery of Haakonian artillery. Kes cuts him off, stating, "You're protecting me, again." She understands why he doesn't want to talk about Rinax, but she's there with him now. She wants to face it with him. When he first met Kes, he didn't know that she would only live for nine years. He didn't know how he would live without her. Now that he's going to die first, he doesn't have to worry about it. Before she met him, she had no idea that anyone could live over nine years and that lifespan seemed like an eternity. Now, it doesn't seem like enough. The important thing to them both is to cherish the time they have together, whether it be a day or a decade.

Kathryn Janeway excited

Janeway gets excited over a possible cure

Janeway stands in her ready room looking out the room's viewports when Jetrel enters. She asks him to sit down. He raves that her ship is simply astounding. He has been studying the transporter system. She thinks he would be more concerned with Mr. Neelix. That is actually the reason for his visit. He believes that, with some minor modifications to the transporter, he could retrieve a sample of the metreon cloud surrounding Rinax. If he can isolate the isotope that causes metremia, it could be used to synthesize an antibody. Now excited, she joins in, stating that the victim's own immune system could destroy the disease. The transporter makes it all possible. Containment fields would have to be erected and The Doctor could assist in making the antibody. Janeway calls the bridge, orders Jetrel's shuttlecraft tractored into the shuttlebay, and sets a course for the Talaxian system. Chakotay objects, stating that it is a significant detour. Janeway argues that it may mean saving Neelix's life. Janeway will send a request to transport materials from the cloud. Torres can help with the transporter modifications. Jetrel thanks Janeway. When walking to exit, Jetrel stumbles in pain. He claims he is merely overexcited about the prospects of finding a cure. "All that sparring with Mr. Neelix does take its toll," he says. Janeway suggests a trip to sickbay. However, he declines her suggestion, eager to get started on the transporter modifications right away.

In sickbay, The Doctor asks Jetrel if he will require his assistance. Jetrel states that he will not need help, until they have the isotope. He then asks Neelix if there's anything he can do for him. With having nothing to do, The Doctor takes advantage of his new ability to end his own program. Jetrel thinks that a hologram which can terminate itself is fascinating. Neelix asks him if there's anything besides science that makes his heart beat faster. "Not anymore," he says, before asking Neelix to take a seat. Neelix tells Jetrel that, if he were in charge of the Cascade, he would have chosen a military target or deployed it on an uninhabited planet – not target innocent civilians. Jetrel alleges that the military strategists didn't believe that a demonstration would work. They wanted to show the power of the cascade in all its horror. In anger, Neelix tells him that he should have tried to stop them. Jetrel argues that, if he hadn't discovered the cascade, someone else would have and the outcome would still be the same. He did it for his planet and for science. One must be willing to test the reaches of science and then be willing to live with the consequences. When Jetrel arrived home after the Cascade, his wife refused to be with him. In her eyes, he had become a monster. Shortly thereafter, she took his three children and left him, never to be seen again. Neelix then tells his own story.


Kes as Palaxia

"After the cascade, a man returns to what used to be his home to look for survivors. The impact of the blast had set off hundreds of fires. There's just smoldering ruins and the stench of seared flesh. In the distance, in the middle of the emptiness, from a cloud of dust, he can see bodies moving, whimpering, coming toward him. They're monsters, their flesh horribly charred. One comes toward him, mangled arms outstretched. He turns away, frightened. Then the thing speaks. He knows, by the sound of her voice, that she's not a monster but a child; a little girl. Her name was Palaxia. He brought her back to Talax with the other survivors. For the next few weeks, I stayed at her bedside and watched her wither away. Those are consequences, Dr. Jetrel."

"There is no way I could ever apologize to you, Mr. Neelix. That's why I have not tried." Neelix asks him if he has ever thought his wife was right, that he has become a monster. "Yes," Jetrel tearfully admits. The day he tested the Cascade and saw that blinding light, he knew he had become a monster. Neelix wishes that Jetrel will have to live with that for a very long time. Tragically, Neelix will not get his wish; Jetrel has advanced metremia and will be dead in only a matter of days.

Act Three[]

In a nightmare, Neelix is playing pool with Jetrel. There's no open shot. Jetrel suggests he use a safety, like always. As Jetrel rounds the table, knocking in all the balls, he refers to Neelix as a coward. Janeway appears, asking, "Why did you leave us?" Neelix remembers, "I did what I thought was right." Paris appears, commenting, "You were afraid." Palaxia enters. "Why weren't you here to help us?" she wonders. Neelix approaches Jetrel, pinning him on the pool table and calling him a butcher. He rolls him over to see himself. He awakens when Janeway calls him on the comm. She tells him they are approaching Rinax.



Neelix enters the bridge to see the charred remains of his home, still hiding under the metreon cloud. He tells the bridge crew of a bright flash cutting across the sky – people threw themselves to the ground. Everything stopped. They looked up to see the sky oddly empty, realizing that Rinax was gone. Neelix asks to be excused. Torres calls Janeway from engineering to tell her they are ready to start the transporter. Janeway appears sad as Neelix walks off the bridge.

In engineering, Jetrel prepares to gather the sample from the metreon cloud surrounding Rinax. He asks for a larger sample container. Torres tells him that the one they already have is big enough but he thinks otherwise. The isotope accounts for only a minuscule amount of the cloud. She advises him to relax and assures him that she will obtain the sample. Torres begins the transport. She gets the sample aboard, then wishes Jetrel good luck.

Kes enters a dark mess hall, looking for Neelix. She finds him sitting on the floor in the kitchen, having removed his combadge; he wanted to be alone. He tells her she doesn't know everything – she believes that he was on Talax, fighting with the defense forces, the night Rinax was destroyed. He was on Talax, but not with the defense forces. Instead, he was hiding from them. He wasn't a hero, he claims, since he never reported for duty. He thought the war was unjust, but he didn't report, because he was a coward. Punishment for refusing military service, during wartime, was death. Kes says he put his life on the line for something he believed in, replying that he is not a coward. Neelix states that instead that makes him a liar. All these years, he's lied about it to everyone, not because he's dishonest, but because he's ashamed. That is why he feels so angry toward Jetrel, not only because he killed his family, but because Neelix did nothing to stop him.

Act Four[]

Jetrel is in sickbay. The Doctor is ready to assist but Jetrel, having remembered the override command The Doctor used earlier, deactivates his program. Jetrel begins running a test – the test cylinder of dust turns into an organic form. At the same time, Neelix nervously walks through a corridor and enters sickbay, startling Jetrel. He tries to rush Neelix out of sickbay but Neelix sees the experiment and begins to question it. He says that he is going to the captain, so Jetrel sedates him with a hypospray.

Janeway calls sickbay but gets no response. She reactivates the EMH. The Doctor tells Janeway that Jetrel deactivated him. Tuvok locates Jetrel in Transporter Room 1. He then tells her that Neelix is unconscious. Janeway orders security to Transporter Room 1, and takes Tuvok along. They enter the transporter room and ask Jetrel to step aside. He asks to be allowed to continue, as lives depend on it. She's heard it before. "Let me bring them back," he pleads. Neelix asks, "Bring who back?" Jetrel answers, "The victims of Rinax."

Act Five[]

Talaxian victim

A cascade victim

Jetrel tells Janeway that he has a way to isolate the individual isotope patterns in the metreon cloud, to bring back his victims. Neelix objects but Janeway silences him. Jetrel claims that the disassembled bio-matter has been kept intact, in suspended animation. He has discovered that reintegration is possible. He can use medical records to isolate a victim's genetic code and use the transporter to reassemble the fragmented bio-matter. Tuvok objects, stating that it is too implausible. Janeway agrees. Jetrel pleads with her. He wants to demonstrate to everyone that he's not a monster. Janeway ponders if Neelix really has metremia, or if it was just a pretext to get Voyager to Rinax. Jetrel explains that Neelix does not have the condition but that he himself does, and only has hours left to live. This is his only chance to try to bring back the victims of the Cascade and prove that he's not a monster. Neelix tells Janeway that, if there's any possibility of his plan working, she must let him try. She objects, claiming that there are too many variables. "Please," urges Neelix. Janeway instructs Tuvok to activate the emergency containment field. They re-target scanners and energize. Slowly, a humanoid form begins to reassemble out of the chaos. The figure soon begins to lose cohesion, however. They try to compensate, but are unable to complete the transport. Janeway orders the pad be shut down. Jetrel then collapses.

Neelix later enters sickbay, where Jetrel, near death, is lying on a biobed. Neelix approaches him. Jetrel says that he thinks death is a fitting punishment. Neelix suspects the Cascade was punishment for all of them – for their hatred and their brutality. Neelix tells Jetrel that he forgives him. Jetrel closes his eyes. Neelix exits sickbay, pausing to see Jetrel, one last time.

Log entries[]

  • "Captain's log, stardate 48832.1. Kes has prevailed upon Neelix to allow Dr. Jetrel to continue metabolic scans in the hope that it will facilitate treatment once the antibody has been synthesized."
  • "Captain's log, stardate 48840.5. Dr. Jetrel's metremia is now in its final stage. He's spending his remaining hours in sickbay."

Memorable quotes[]

"Did you ever think, that maybe your wife was right? That you had become a monster?"
"Yes. The day we tested the cascade. When I saw that blinding light, brighter than a thousand suns, I knew at that moment exactly what I had become."

- Neelix and Jetrel

"There is no way I could ever apologize to you, Mr. Neelix. That's why I have not tried."

- Jetrel

"He's a mass murderer!"

- Neelix, enraged after the Haakonian reveals his identity

"I'm simply a scientist. Yes, I developed the weapon. But it was the government, and the military leaders, who decided to use it, not I."
"That must be a very convenient distinction for you. Does it help you sleep at night?"

- Jetrel and Neelix

"It's good to know how the world works. It is not possible to be a scientist unless you believe that all the knowledge of the universe and all the power it bestows is of intrinsic value to everyone, and one must share that knowledge and allow it to be applied, and then be willing to live with the consequences."

- Jetrel

"Outnumbered and outflanked."

- Neelix

"Captain, please tell Dr. Jetrel that I am touched by his tender concern for my state of health, but that I'd rather be immersed in a pit of Krallinian eels than be examined by him."

- Neelix

"Don't either of you find it the slightest bit strange that a man who has made it his life's work to develop a weapon to destroy as many Talaxians as possible should suddenly be concerned with this Talaxian's health?"

- Neelix

Background information[]

Story and script[]

  • Concerning this episode, Executive Producer Jeri Taylor remarked, "It's pretty clear that it was a Hiroshima metaphor." However, Executive Producer Michael Piller rejected the idea that the cascade bomb was a metaphor for the atomic bomb and stated, "You can't say that every show is making a comment. It's not." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, pp. 146 & 147)
  • After freelance writing duo Jack and Karen Klein wrote a script for this episode, Executive Story Editor Kenneth Biller did a page-one rewrite of the script. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, p. 63) The work that Ken Biller put into developing the episode involved re-tailoring dialogue in the completed script. (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine issue 3, p. 50) Biller also made the disastrous detonation of the metreon cascade on Rinax more personally related to Neelix. "In the freelancer's version, Neelix had never been back to the planet," Biller noted, "but it's more horrific if Neelix had seen the results of this." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, p. 78)
  • For the script, Ken Biller did a considerable amount of research on Hiroshima but found that doing the research was a depressing experience for him. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages; Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, p. 78) He recalled, "I did research and saw footage of people with radiation poisoning […] I was depressed for weeks while writing it." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, p. 78) However, he also stated, "It was great to sink my teeth into something serious." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 146)
  • Making the episode sufficiently interesting proved to be a difficult task. Michael Piller remembered, "It was a very complex show to make work, and we had a lot of trouble making the story interesting enough." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 147)
  • Ken Biller found that the key to the episode was accentuating the difference of opinions between Neelix and Jetrel, while also trying to make Jetrel's argument understandable. "It's a polemic argument," Biller noted. "The trick was to give Neelix an opportunity to nail this guy for what he had done, and to have the Jetrel character use all of his moralizing and rationalizing to explain what he did." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, p. 63)
  • The scene in which a dreaming Neelix sees Kes as a burn victim of the cascade bomb was devised while Ken Biller was breaking the story (i.e., finding the turning points in the story by defining the structure of the plot's final form). Biller noted, "The dream sequence in 'Jetrel' came out in the break." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, p. 78)
  • Much discussion revolved around this episode's conclusion, involving Neelix's forgiveness of Jetrel. Ken Biller explained, "We went back and forth on that a lot […] The way I tried to get there was in the fifth act – in the longest scene ever written in a transporter room […] My notion was that the forgiveness was a gift Neelix was giving him. Even if it wasn't entirely true, he was giving this man that one second of peace before he died." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, p. 63)
  • The episode was a conscious attempt to recreate the chemistry and powerful dramatic effect of DS9: "Duet". (Both episodes were the penultimate in the first season of their respective shows.) Whereas "Duet" was an allegory for the Nazi German treatment of several communities, this episode was a metaphor for the aftermath of the United States' nuclear bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima during World War II.
  • Ken Biller based several lines of dialogue on quotes by real-life theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, who was instrumental in the development of the atomic bomb. Biller recalled, "I did a lot of research about Oppenheimer and became fascinated by what I learned. There were some lines Jetrel said that were actual things Oppenheimer said. For instance, Oppenheimer was once asked if he felt guilty about Hiroshima and he said, 'Yes I feel guilty, but I don't regret it.'" (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, p. 63) Another example is Jetrel's use of the words "brighter than a thousand suns" to describe the intensity of the cascade's explosion. Oppenheimer once famously quoted the Hindu scripture Bhagvad Gita, "If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One… I am become Death, the Shatterer of Worlds." In another scene, Jetrel also refers to his "country" and "the world" in ways more in keeping with 20th century Earth than with interstellar politics of the 24th century. This reinforces the story's link to the nuclear bomb.
  • Writing partners Ron Wilkerson and Jean Louise Matthias had a script in the running for Neelix but it was put aside so that this episode could be done instead. One of the reasons that this episode was favored was that it was written as a bottle show and was consequently less expensive than the story idea that Wilkerson and Matthias were developing. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 147)
  • The final draft of this episode's script was submitted on 8 March 1995. [1]

Cast and characters[]

Shooting Jetrel

Actors James Sloyan and Jennifer Lien receive direction from Kim Friedman

  • The writers of this episode focused it around a character, Jetrel, whom they based on J. Robert Oppenheimer, using him as a basis to shed light on the persona of Neelix. In fact, Ken Biller once described the installment as "Neelix meets Robert Oppenheimer." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine issue 3, p. 50) Of the episode's conception, Biller recalled, "It was a fascinating idea to say, 'What if Oppenheimer was confronted by a survivor?' and then make that person see how he would respond." Michael Piller commented, "Basically, we're using the Oppenheimer character as an inspiration to tell something about one of our guys." Jeri Taylor agreed that the story "gave us the opportunity to show a completely other side of Neelix." Brannon Braga concurred, "It removed Neelix from being just comic relief, which I think is important. You don't want him to become the joke of the ship." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, pp. 146 & 147)
Ethan Phillips and Paul Benson

Ethan Phillips and his photo double Paul Benson

  • The series' writing team were pleased with Ethan Phillips' portrayal of Neelix in this episode. Jeri Taylor commented, "I thought that Ethan Phillips was masterful in the way he plays something heavy and serious as well as he plays some of the lighter stuff." Ken Biller held the episode's performances of both Phillips and James Sloyan in high regard. Biller remarked, "I thought Ethan was great and James Sloyan did a great job. They were wonderful together." Despite having found difficulty in making the script interesting enough, Michael Piller later implied that he needn't have worried. "Fortunately, the two actors [Phillips and Sloyan] working together," Piller stated, "was just terrific. And I found it extremely moving." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, pp. 146 & 147)
  • Ethan Phillips himself cited this among five "Best of Neelix" installments, declaring about "Jetrel", "That's certainly one of the best Neelix episodes." (Star Trek Magazine issue 179, p. 77) Phillips not only extremely liked this outing but also thought it was great for his character. Regarding the final scene of the episode, Phillips mused, "It was wonderful because there's a moment where I come in at the very end, and I come in to explain to him something. I don't come to forgive him; I come to tell him something. I come to tell him, 'You know, I was a coward at one point in my life.' I come in to share my own shame with him, but not to forgive him. I don't think I was. And yet, while there, my heart leaps. He's lying in bed, and he's dying of the same disease that destroyed my family. And my heart leaps and I forgive him, in a moment of immediate spiritual generosity. It knocked me out, when the writing was quite lovely." ("Voyager Time Capsule: Neelix", VOY Season 3 DVD special features)
  • The nickname "Tom Terrfic" comes from a classic 1960's black and white cartoon series of a boy and his dog who have adventures outsmarting his evil archenemy.


  • This episode achieved a Nielsen rating of 5.8 million homes, and a 10% share. It was the least watched episode of Voyager's first season (on first airing). [2](X)
  • Ken Biller was ultimately very proud of this episode in general. He enthused, "That episode was what television should be: you write something, put everything you can into it, then a bunch of good actors and a director take it and make it better than you could imagine." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, p. 63)
  • Jeri Taylor also had a positive opinion of this installment. "A thought-provoking episode, it had substance, was really about something," she opined, "and those are the things that I think work very well for Star Trek." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 146)
  • One aspect that did not, perhaps, come up to Ken Biller's standards was the installment's conclusion. "I think if there is a flaw in the episode," he observed, "it's that we made it too neat: 'I'm not really mad at Jetrel, I'm mad at myself, therefore I can forgive him.' It's more complex than that." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, p. 63)
  • In the special edition magazine Star Trek 30 Years, this episode is highlighted as being one of the magazine makers' five favorite episodes of Star Trek: Voyager's first two seasons.
  • Cinefantastique gave this installment 2 and a half out of 4 stars. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, p. 63)
  • In their unofficial reference book Trek Navigator: The Ultimate Guide to the Entire Trek Saga (p. 122), co-writer Mark A. Altman rates this episode 3 out of 4 stars (defined as "good") while fellow co-writer Edward Gross scores the installment 2 and a half out of 4 stars (defined as "average").
  • The unauthorized reference book Delta Quadrant (p. 50) gives the episode a rating of 9.5 out of 10.
  • In the lead-up to the episode's VHS release, Star Trek Magazine reviewer Stuart Clark wrote a mixed assessment of this installment, commenting, "Although a rather obvious (and far too over-simplified) analogy to Robert Oppenheimer's involvement in the development of the atomic bomb, this episode is excellent because of the interplay between Ethan Philips's Neelix and James Sloyan's Jetrel [….] This episode also adds depth to the character of Neelix and one hopes we will see the character become as passionate again in future episodes." (Star Trek Monthly issue 9, p. 62) In Star Trek Magazine's retrospective "Ultimate Guide", the magazine gave this episode 4 out of 5 Starfleet-style arrowhead insignia, also naming it the "5th" best episode of Voyager's first season. (Star Trek Magazine issue 164, p. 30)

Sets and props[]

Neelix's wall decoration

The re-used wall decoration


  • Voyager visits the Talaxian system in this episode, many months after leaving the Ocampan homeworld for the Alpha Quadrant in "Caretaker". Although this visit is described by Chakotay as a "significant" detour, this likely places Talaxia near Voyager's flightpath home and at a considerable distance from where Neelix was first encountered, suggesting that Talaxians may be widely dispersed in this region of space.
  • This episode features the first time that The Doctor can be seen using the ability to deactivate his own program. The command for doing this is, "Computer, override command 1-EMH-Alpha and end program," but it changes throughout the seven-year run into the shorter "Computer, deactivate EMH program" or "Computer, deactivate EMH."
  • Actor James Sloyan says the same phrase “What I did had to be done” as both Jetrel in this episode and as Admiral Alidar Jarok in TNG: "The Defector".

Video and DVD releases[]

Links and references[]


Also starring[]

Guest stars[]


Uncredited co-stars[]

Photo doubles[]



2356; animated suspension; artillery; atomic cohesion; battery; Battle of the Pyrithian Gorge; biogenic field; bio-molecular disintegration; blood; bond cohesion; cell; civilian; climate; color; combadge; confinement beam; cue ball; death penalty; degenerative; DNA; DNA sequence; east; electrostatic properties; emergency containment field; exile; Federation; fission; flattery; garden; genetic coding; Haakonian; Haakonian homeworld; Haakonian Order; Haakonian shuttle; heart; immune system; invasion; isotope; Jetrel's children; Ka'Ree; Krallinian eel; laboratory rodent; leader; logic; mass destruction; mass murderer; medical record; medical scan; metreon; metreon cascade; metreon cloud; metreon isotope; metremia; military leader; military service; "Mister Vulcan"; Neelix's father; Neelix's mother; Neelix's little brothers; Ocampa; Palaxia; parsec; pattern buffers; phase transition coil; pool; Pyrithian Gorge; radiation poisoning; rate of decay; reanimation; regenerative fusion; rescuer; Rinax; rodent; safety; Sandrine's; science; scientist; shale; stabilizer; stench; strategist; subatomic particles; summer; sympathizer; synchronous orbit; Talax; Talaxian; Talaxian Defense Forces; Talaxian-Haakonian War; Talaxian system; talchok; targeting scanner; tractor beam; transporter; transporter pad; transporter pre-sequencing; Transporter Room 1; transporter system; transporter technology; war record; weapon of mass destruction; Vulcan; "Vulcan Slim"

External links[]

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