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Neelix tries to take care of young Naomi Wildman whose mother was aboard the Delta Flyer when it crashed into a planet during an ion storm.




Naomi Wildman in the Forest of Forever

Aboard the USS Voyager, in the beautiful holographic Forest of Forever, Naomi Wildman, young daughter of Ensign Sam Wildman, walks happily, enjoying the scenery. She is running one of a series of children's holoprograms called The Adventures of Flotter. This one is entitled "Flotter and the Tree Monster".

She stops, smiles and approaches a pond. She picks up a rock and throws it in, promptly drawing a protest from he who dwells within it: Flotter, the titular character of series. He appears and the two make plans to capture the tree monster that prowls the forest.

Flotter, Naomi, and Trevis

Naomi, Flotter, and Trevis

But, on meeting him, they find that he is merely a misunderstood forest denizen named Trevis. He and Flotter get into an argument about him supposedly stealing Flotter's water, until Naomi ends it by showing them that they need each other: Flotter helps Trevis' trees grow and these trees' limbs shade his pond; the sun evaporates water. This is the purpose of these stories: to teach young children like Naomi basic science and deductive reasoning skills.

However, Naomi is then hailed by Neelix, ship's chef and Naomi's doting godfather: someone wants to say goodnight to her. This excites her greatly; she does not need to be told that it is her mother, who is on an away mission. She ends the simulation and rushes to their quarters.

Her mother is indeed on the desktop monitor screen. Naomi tells her about her holo-adventure, but is disappointed when Wildman informs her that she will not be back the next day as planned. But she keeps her chin up, says goodnight to her and Neelix, and heads into her bedroom.

After she has gone, Wildman informs Neelix of the reason for the delay in her return: the Delta Flyer, the shuttle the away team is using, sustained damage in an ion storm. Repairs are being made, but another storm is approaching; they cannot risk returning until it passes. Then static kills the com signal. Wildman asks Neelix to say goodnight to Naomi again for her, before the signal dies. Neelix watches the blank screen, frowning.

The ion storm rapidly approaches the Delta Flyer. On it are the three members of the away team: Wildman, Lieutenant Commander Tuvok, and Lieutenant junior grade Tom Paris, piloting the vessel. Paris orders Wildman to route more power to the thrusters. She does, but it is not enough. The storm hits them at 33,000 kph. They brace for impact, and shut their eyes in a blinding whiteout.

Act One[]

The senior staff is gathered somberly in the briefing room listening to a static-marred mayday from Tuvok on the Flyer. Ensign Harry Kim, operations officer, reports that the shuttle has been tracked to a planetary system 0.6 light years distant. But there is a yet third ion storm approaching. However Captain Kathryn Janeway dismisses this as irrelevant; they will go through the heart of it if necessary to rescue the away team. She dismisses the meeting.

But as the officers move to leave, Neelix stops them with a question: What about Naomi? First Officer Commander Chakotay states what they all think is the obvious: she must be told. But Neelix nervously rejects this as a bad idea. Janeway finds this incomprehensible and asks why not. Neelix explains nervously that she is "sensitive"; he does not want to "alarm her unnecessarily." With any luck, he tells her, Ensign Wildman will be back before she starts to worry. Janeway has great reservations about this, but leaves it in his hands, as he is her godfather. Neelix watches them leave, with a very worried look.

Neelix and Naomi walk to a table in the mess hall with drinks for themselves. As they do so, Naomi elucidates on a childhood fantasy plan she has to get Captain Janeway to make her the "Captain's assistant". They sit and continue talking. Then Naomi's eyes go wide as Seven of Nine enters, instructing two crewmen, presumably sensor analysts assisting her, regarding some data on the three PADDs they carry.

Naomi becomes fearful, telling Neelix not to move or turn around, lest the "Borg lady" see and assimilate him. Neelix reassures her that Seven is a valued crewmember and "a very nice person"; she need not fear her. Then Ensign Kim enters and calls him away to update him on the search for the Flyer. Seven goes to the empty seat and aloofly asks Naomi if it is vacant. Naomi struggles to keep calm and fearfully blurts out no. Seven acknowledges and moves on. Naomi continues gaping at her as Neelix returns to take her to her scheduled botany lesson with The Doctor.

Delta Flyer fleeing ion storm

The Delta Flyer in the ion storm

The Flyer is battered by the ion storm. But it keeps going, struggling to stay ahead of the worst of it. Paris, aware that they will not be able to outrun it, orders Wildman to scan for a place to land to escape. She does and finds a planet close by: class M with a bemonite mantle and several active volcanoes. This is not by any means a preferred option, but they have no choice.

Paris takes the shuttle toward it. But the roughest part of the storm hits them before they can reach it. The starboard thrusters fail; they are thus unable to control their speed, and come in too fast. As they crash, they are enshrouded in darkness and know no more.

Delta Flyer crashes on an class-M planet (Once upon a time)

The Delta Flyer crashes

Paris regains consciousness. The cabin is lit by dim emergency lighting. He looks out the forward windows; the craft is entombed in solid rock; their trajectory has taken them deep underground, burying them. He looks at the others; Tuvok is conscious and relatively uninjured, but Wildman is otherwise. Tuvok examines her and tells him she needs immediate medical assistance.

Act Two[]

Delta Flyer buried

The Delta Flyer is buried, along with the away team

Ensign Wildman comes to, wincing with pain. Paris, a trained medic, scans her with a medical tricorder. He updates her on the situation: they are about three kilometers below the surface. She has suffered a punctured kidney and internal bleeding; she needs surgery urgently.

Her first concern, however, is for her daughter; she tells him she needs to talk to her and let her know she is alive. Tuvok orders her to conserve her strength. Paris asks him about the possibility of leaving the shuttle and proceeding on foot. But this is impossible; they are buried far too deeply and the cavern the shuttle has made is flooded with poisonous fluorine gas. Their only chance is to hope that Voyager finds them, before their life support gives out.

On Voyager's bridge, Janeway, in her captain's seat, monitors the search efforts. Chakotay is in the first officer's seat next to hers. Neelix is present, seated off to the side of her. Janeway asks him how Naomi is doing. He responds that he is keeping her occupied using the holodeck. Ensign Kim, at his operations station, finds the Flyer's crash site. He puts it on the viewscreen: a large crater containing debris.

Delta Flyer crater

The Flyer's crash site

It is a very discouraging sight: it is obvious that the shuttle was either destroyed or buried under the surface. Janeway stares at the image and sets her jaw, resolutely reminding all of them of the toughness of the Flyer. She orders Chakotay to assemble an away team to go down and excavate. Chakotay leaves, taking Kim with him. Neelix stares at the image, his face full of worry.

The Doctor is teaching Naomi her botany lesson, centering it on plant cells and their energy production mechanism. Naomi is a bright child and quickly absorbs the information. But then she recalls that her mother is supposed to call her this day but has not as yet. The Doctor suggests that Ensign Wildman is simply "a bit busy" and tries to get Naomi's attention elsewhere but she clings to the thought, asking him if they can call her.

Fortunately for him, Neelix enters; school is over and it is time for another adventure with Flotter on the holodeck. This succeeds in drawing her attention away from her mother's overdue return; she thanks The Doctor and rushes out of sickbay. Neelix and The Doctor share a concerned look, and Neelix leaves to follow her.

Neelix and Naomi walk along a corridor, on their way to the holodeck. She jocularly tells him about her previous adventure with Flotter and Trevis. But when she asks him about his own family, he becomes uncomfortable; they along with the rest of the Talaxian colony on Rinax, one of Talax' moons, had been massacred by the Haakonians. The Haakonian Order had brought its boot on the neck of the Talaxians after a ten-year long war of conquest against them by using a most horrific weapon called the metreon cascade.

Neelix, however, does not speak of this to the child and succeeds more or less in maintaining his cheery demeanor front for her. At the holodeck doors, Naomi selects another Flotter holoprogram, this one entitled "Flotter, Trevis, and the Ogre of Fire". Neelix is not sure about this one, concerned that she would find it frightening from its title. But she responds that she will not fear if he is with her. He accepts this and they enter.

Trevis and Flotter

Trevis is on fire!

They find Trevis moaning and wailing, a flame on his finger. A few low-hanging branches on a nearby tree also burn. Flotter watches Trevis, chiding him for touching the "strange thing"; neither of them has ever seen fire before. Horrified, Naomi yells at Flotter to help him, but he has no idea how. She informs him that water puts out fire. Bemused, he pinches the flame on Trevis' finger. It goes out with a puff of steam. Trevis is overjoyed. Acting very empowered, Flotter goes to the tree and sprays the flaming limbs, which go out. He looks most pleased.

But then Naomi asks them what caused the fire. They do not know; only knowing that it came from skyward. Following the storyline, she identifies the culprit: the Ogre of Fire. Upon her mention of his name, a fearsome, sun-like flaming entity appears. In a deep, booming voice, he confirms Naomi's ID of him and makes known his intention to raze the forest. He becomes a huge blast of fire that flares out and consumes everything it touches (except Neelix and Naomi, of course; the holodeck safety protocols are very active in this children's story). Trevis escapes, but Flotter is caught and instantly vaporized. Naomi shouts his name in horror as she sees this happen.

Forest of Forever torched

The Forest is destroyed

The fire disappears, leaving a smoky, charred waste of the once beautiful forest. Neelix helps Naomi look for Flotter for a bit, but he is thoroughly flustered; this is far too close a reminder of what happened on Rinax. They find Trevis, sad that his trees are no more. Neelix takes Naomi's hand to leave. She wants to stay and continue the search, but he has none of it. They leave.

Flotter doll

Naomi's Flotter doll

Once she is in bed, Neelix decides to try to cheer her up by having Ensign Kim make a Flotter doll for her. With this in hand, he returns to her quarters, but finds her up and in front the desktop monitor. She is investigating an idea: water evaporates when heated; thus, if they can cool the remains of the forest down, Flotter may condense and be able to reform himself. This, as was said, is exactly the purpose of these holoprograms: to teach basic science and foster deductive reasoning skills.

Harry Kim and Flotter doll

"You know, I forgot how ugly this guy was."

Then Naomi begins to again ask about her mother. It is becoming harder and harder for him to come up with excuses to explain her delay in returning, and has not called in. This is especially so as the child is fully aware of the Starfleet protocol regarding away teams reporting in: they must do it every 24 hours. Neelix settles for assuring her that everything is fine, puts her to bed, promising to alert her at the instant her mother calls in, even if that time is 0200 hours. Once she is bedded down, he goes into the small living room and sadly calls up an image of his late sister, Alixia, seeking guidance on what to do.

Act Three[]

He falls asleep and has a terrifying nightmare about the night the Haakonian Order unleashed the metreon cascade on Rinax. He relives the horror of watching his family and fellow Talaxians incinerated by the metreon cascade, along with everything else. He wakes up, sweating and breathing hard. He checks on Naomi and leaves.

After checking how Seven of Nine is progressing in using the astrometrics sensors to aid the search for the away team, Neelix goes to the bridge to check how things are going there. There is still no good news.

Captain Janeway then revisits her earlier decision to have Naomi remain in the dark about what is happening, if Neelix sees it fit to be so. It has been five days; logically, they must consider the possibility that the team is lost. Thus, Naomi should be told. She is definitely aware that something is wrong; it is not right to keep lying to her, pretending that everything is alright.

Neelix, flustered, adamantly refuses: he is her godfather, he bristles; he knows what is best for her. He says it loud enough for the bridge crew to hear, prompting Janeway to order him to follow her into her ready room with a hard gaze. Once in, however, she shows no anger over his insubordinate act, instead gently, though firmly, insisting that she has to be told. This flusters Neelix even more; what shall he say to her: that her mother is buried under thirty kilotons of rock? He insists that he will tell her when they know something solid about her fate.

Janeway, still gently but now with an edge to her tone, informs him that if he cannot bring himself to tell Naomi, that she was resolved to do so herself. At this he explodes with frightened anger, insisting that she has no right to do so. She has, he asserts, no understanding of what is at stake, having always had parents to care for her as a child, never having to worry about being alone. This shows Janeway the real reason why he is so reluctant to tell her; he identifies with Naomi's situation.

He admits this, shakily saying that he does not want her to go through what he did: the emotional trauma and nightmares he had endured every day since losing his family. Janeway understands this. But, she insists, it would be cruel to try to keep her thinking everything is fine, only to be confronted with the worst possible news, instead of letting her know what is happening, so that she can be prepared in case the worst becomes reality. And, she adds, Naomi has one advantage that he did not have; someone to help her through it, namely him. This calms him; he can see the wisdom in what she is saying. He agrees to tell her in the morning.

Tuvok counsels Wildman

Tuvok counsels Ensign Wildman

On the Flyer, Paris and Tuvok have tried and failed to get the life support system to return to full functionality. Their air is running out. Ensign Wildman despairs of rescue, but Tuvok tells her not to lose hope; statistically, there is still a chance of rescue. Wildman worries about what will happen to Naomi without her, but Tuvok, a father of four, calms her fears with a logical, yet highly comforting assurance that she will survive and prosper regardless of what happens to her. She thanks him sincerely.

Naomi wakes up suddenly, calling reflexively for her absent mother. She collects her wits, and calls for Neelix, who is also not there. She asks the computer for his location and gets it: on the bridge.

She gets dressed and heads for the nearest turbolift to go there. On the way, she sees signs of something very amiss: Chief Engineer Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres walking briskly with a team of crewmembers, speaking to them in urgent tones and ordering a beaming down to somewhere. She manages to keep hidden, and continues to the turbolift when they are out of sight. She reaches it, boards and orders to be taken to the bridge. On arrival, she walks out, the viewscreen directly in front of her.

Naomi astonished

Naomi learns the truth about her mother's delay in returning

She immediately understands what is happening. She sees the tense activity of Captain Janeway and the duty officers, hears them speak of the away team with alarming words such as "crash", and "survivors", and sees, on the viewscreen, the crash site: the huge crater, containing debris.

Neelix turns and is horrified to see her. He calls her desperately as she turns and dashes back into the turbolift, her face filled with shock and fear. The doors close before he can reach her. The captain watches worriedly.

Act Four[]

Neelix rushes to her quarters, frantically asking the computer for confirmation that she is there. It indeed confirms this. He enters, but does not find her; instead he finds her combadge, which she has put onto the Flotter doll. Since the computer locates personnel aboard the ship by the location of their combadges, fooling it is easy; through his worry he notes with pride her knowledge of this fact. He thinks about where she could be and comes up with it: the holodeck. He rushes there, as Naomi activates "Flotter, Trevis, and the Ogre of Fire" and enters the holodeck.

A search team has beamed down, led by Chakotay, equipped with phaser drills and scanning equipment. Seven of Nine is also on the team. Their efforts to locate the Flyer finally succeed; the craft is found to be eighty meters away; but now the problem is getting to it through the huge amount of rock entombing it. They inform Captain Janeway and request more manpower and drills, which Janeway grants immediately.

Wildman's goodbye to Naomi

Ensign Wildman records a goodbye message to Naomi

Inside the shuttle, as the computer alerts them that life support is almost gone, Tuvok, Paris, and Wildman record their final goodbyes to loved ones. Tuvok writes his on a PADD, but Paris and Wildman record theirs verbally using the computer. Wildman's is particularly touching.

Neelix walks through the torched Forest of Forever, calling to Naomi. Trevis and Flotter accost him, angrily telling him she does not want to speak to him, since he lied to her. He tries to have the computer delete them but, in another testament to the child's intelligence, the computer responds that it cannot; she has encrypted the controls. He sees the top of her head above a rock, facing away from him and begs her to let him talk to her. She quietly tells Trevis and Flotter to let him through. They do, warning him "Be nice; no more lying."

He sits next to her and tries as best as he can to answer her questions, explaining about the ion storm that forced them to crash-land on the planet; they do not know if the team survived. He then apologetically explains why he lied to her that everything was fine by telling her about what happened on Rinax. He wanted to keep her from feeling the agonizing emotional pain he endured, wondering if her mother might have somehow survived, or if she was worried about her, just as he had done with his parents. She accepts this and forgives him.

Then Janeway issues an order for all hands to report to their emergency stations; the ion storm that was approaching is almost upon them. It is extremely severe; they need to be gone before it arrives or face very severe damage. Janeway hails Chakotay and informs him. Chakotay and Seven supervise concerted efforts to excavate through the rock entombing the Flyer with phaser drills. He estimates they will be through in six minutes. Janeway tells him that is all the time they have; the storm will collapse the cavern.

Act Five[]

USS Voyager in an ion storm

The ion storm reaches Voyager

USS Voyager going to warp speed

…and Voyager escapes it

Janeway orders a course laid in and the ship set to immediately leave at warp 2 the moment the away team and rescue team are aboard. The outer bands of the storm begin to lash them, causing their deflector shield strength to begin to drop.

Inside the Flyer, the computer warns that two minutes worth of oxygen are left. Paris, Tuvok and Wildman sit quietly, waiting for death. Paris remarks to Tuvok that he never thought his life would end in this manner; buried alive "on some nameless planetoid". Tuvok counsels him that one finds peace in acceptance of the inevitable.

And then, after hope against hope, they hear the phaser drills hitting the rock around them.

Chakotay informs Janeway that they have gotten close enough for a transporter beam to lock onto the shuttle and beam it out through the rock. The team quickly installs pattern enhancers to assist the process. On the bridge, Ensign Kim reports a full lock on the Flyer and the rescue team and beams them all to the shuttle bay. As per Janeway's order, the officer at helm control immediately engages warp 2. Voyager races away, faster than light, avoiding the storm with seconds to spare.

Naomi and Samantha Wildman

Naomi and her mother are reunited

Naomi is brought to the sickbay, where a pleased Doctor has healed Ensign Wildman's injuries. As soon as Naomi sees her, she rushes into her open arms. The Doctor and Neelix look on happily.

Naomi, Neelix and Ensign Wildman walk through the fully restored Forest of Forever, in another Flotter holoprogram. They meet Flotter and Trevis. Flotter is thrilled when he sees Ensign Wildman. She herself used to use this series of Flotter holoprograms as a child, and her interactions with the character were stored, so that he would "remember" her and she and Naomi could truly participate as a family.

Neelix and Janeway visit Forever Forest

Janeway reminisces about her own Flotter adventures

Flotter is thrilled to see her all grown up. He tells her much how he missed her, to which she responds, "Likewise." He then tells her and Naomi about a castle with a giant beetle and suggests the three of them go explore it. Wildman agrees with a smile and they go off together, Naomi very excited.

Neelix watches them go with a satisfied smile. He is then pleasantly surprised when Captain Janeway enters. Neelix tells her what Naomi and her mother are doing. She looks around nostalgically, remembering her own enjoyable childhood experiences in the Forest, particularly one in which she and Flotter diverted the river to counteract a dry spell Flotter said was imminent. They ended up flooding the entire Forest, giving rise to Stinger, the biggest mosquito you'd ever seen. She and Neelix walk off together as she tells him about it, her arm round his shoulder.

Log Entries[]

Memorable quotes[]

"The mitochondria. The warp core of the cell."

- Naomi Wildman

(Worriedly) "Who's going to look after Naomi?"
"You should not concern yourself with that now."
(Aggrievedly) "How can you say that?"
"My youngest child has been without a father for four years… yet I am certain of her well-being; that I conveyed my values to her before leaving, and I have confidence in the integrity of those around her. You have been an exemplary mother to Naomi and she is in the hands of people you trust. She will survive, and prosper no matter what becomes of us."
(Gratefully) "Thanks, Tuvok."

- Ensign Wildman and Tuvok

"Who's the furball?"

- Flotter asks Naomi about Neelix

"I've forgotten how ugly this guy was."

- Harry Kim, about the children's holo-character "Flotter"

"Naomi! Look who I found in the replicator!"
"Thanks… but that's not really Flotter."
"Well… Flotter's not really Flotter."

- Neelix trying to give Naomi a Flotter plushie.

"Coffee, anyone? Captain?"
"No thanks. I've had enough. One more cup and I'll jump to warp!"

- Neelix and Janeway

"I realize you care about Naomi, and you are only trying to protect her. But you've got to tell her the truth."
(Flustered) "'Good morning, Naomi. Would you like some papalla juice with your cereal? And, oh, by the way, your mother is buried under thirty kilotons of rock!'
"When we know something for sure; when we find her mother, alive… or dead… I'll–I'll tell her then. Not before."
"If you can't do it, I will."
"You don't have the right! You don't understand what's at stake here! When you were her age you were safe and sound on Earth with two healthy parents to take care of you. You never had to worry about the possibility of being alone! You take it from me; you wouldn't have liked it!"

- Janeway and Neelix

(Sadly and gently) "Hi, honey. I know you're feeling sad right now, but I want you to listen to me very carefully, okay? First of all… I love you. Second, I want you to know that I'm proud of you. How smart you are, how funny, how kind you are to other people. And I know that you are going to grow up to do extraordinary things. Last… and I know this is a hard one… try not to be scared. Listen to Neelix. He'll be taking care of you now. Bye, honey."

- Ensign Wildman, recording a farewell to her daughter, Naomi Wildman

"I never thought it would come down to this – suffocating beneath kilotons of rock on some nameless planetoid…"
"Did you envision a more heroic death?"
"I didn't envision dying at all!"
"In… accepting the inevitable, one finds peace."
"If that's another Vulcan saying, Tuvok, I'l stick with 'Live Long and Prosper'."

- Tom Paris and Tuvok, resigned to their fate, just before being interrupted by the sound of phaser drills

Background information[]

  • In common with the second season Star Trek: Voyager episode "Investigations", the narrative of this installment was originally to have been from a limited viewpoint prior to an expansion of the episode's perspective. Scripter Michael Taylor explained, "The notion initially was much bolder. It was going to be real 'Alice in Wonderland', with Neelix and Naomi in this make-believe world for almost the entire show." Supervising Producer Joe Menosky offered, "[Executive producer] Brannon [Braga] wanted to do the entire thing in a holodeck fantasy. Voyager was going through a war outside that we only caught glimpses of." Michael Taylor wrote a first draft script from this confined vantage point. As Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was meanwhile focusing intensively on the Dominion War, however, Executive Producer Rick Berman opted not to feature the proposed engagement here. "Rick Berman just didn't want to see 'wars' on both Star Trek series," Menosky recalled. "He rejected that idea." Thus, Voyager's writing staff decided to replace the plot thread about the conflict with the idea of a shuttle crash, essentially enlarging the episode's point of view. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 31, No. 11, p. 35)
  • As Michael Taylor was left with the task of working the shuttle crash into the script and time was running out, the teleplay was revised by committee. Remembered Joe Menosky, "We had very little time to do a second draft. Basically everybody jumped in with Mike. As a result of this gang writing fashion, Taylor's original vision and execution of the fairy tale in itself was lost." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 31, No. 11, p. 35)
  • A specific scene that was developed by more than a single person was the one wherein Naomi Wildman encounters Seven of Nine. "Brannon came up with that idea for a scene," said Joe Menosky, "and then I wrote it." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 31, No. 11, p. 35)
  • The unauthorized reference book Delta Quadrant (p. 262) suggests that the production staffers were hoping, by including a Flotter doll in this episode, that fans would ask for them to be made commercially available as merchandise.
  • This episode marks the debut of Scarlett Pomers in the role of the young Naomi Wildman, who had previously been played by Brooke Stephens in VOY: "Mortal Coil". When Pomers appeared in this outing, she was under the impression it would be her only Voyager appearance. (Star Trek Magazine issue 179, p. 63) However, she continued in the role through the rest of the series.
  • Scarlett Pomers was very impressed with the sets used in this installment, including the regular standing sets and the Forest of Forever. "When I first got there [the Paramount lot] to do the wardrobe fitting, we walked around and looked at all the permanent sets. It was pretty rad. I was in awe of it," Pomers reminisced. "The sets were sitting there and they looked exactly like they did when I watched the episodes. Then, when I walked into the makeup room, there was Neelix's headpiece sitting there, and it had the Mohawk and the spots, and all that, and there were Klingons getting made up, and other people getting made up for the next scene. So it was really amazing to me. It was a pretty surreal experience." (Star Trek Magazine issue 179, p. 64)
  • Prior to this episode's broadcast but after its production, Brannon Braga predicted that the installment would do "something interesting" with exploring what "a children's book in the future" might be like. (Star Trek Monthly issue 44, p. 13)
  • Joe Menosky was mostly disappointed with how this episode wound up, characterizing the shuttle crash as a "half-baked" idea. He went on to say, "What [Michael] Taylor was stuck with was not as good as it would have been if somehow we had done Brannon [Braga]'s original inspiration [...] I think the episode suffered as a result [of losing Taylor's initial vision and execution of the fairy tale]. I think what's finally on the screen is not nearly as interesting as Mike's first draft." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 31, No. 11, p. 35) Both Menosky and Braga did like, however, the scene between Naomi Wildman and Seven of Nine, with Braga considering it to be extremely "charming." Menosky opined, "The Naomi-Seven scene was a real delight [....] It's one of the nicest scenes I've ever written." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 31, No. 11, p. 35)
  • Brannon Braga recognized that among this episode's fans were people who were closely associated with children: "We got great feedback from parents and teachers, who said they very much enjoyed the way children's stories were represented as learning experiences." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 31, No. 11, p. 35)
  • The scene in which Naomi Wildman and Seven of Nine meet in the mess hall was regarded as so successful that it ended up influencing subsequent episodes. Brannon Braga commented, "[It] was so charming that we would end up exploring that relationship for episodes to come." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 31, No. 11, p. 35)


  • Chronologically, this is the last appearance of Sam Wildman on the series. Nancy Hower would subsequently make one more appearance on the series in "Fury", though this was in scenes that took place in 2371.
  • Neelix mentions in this episode that his family were lost in a war. This is in reference to the attack on Rinax, as revealed in "Jetrel".
  • Harry Kim, Sam Wildman, and Captain Janeway mention that they thoroughly enjoyed the Flotter "holostories" when they were children, with Janeway claiming to have flooded the entire Forest of Forever when she was six. This suggests that some form of holographic technology was in use as a recreational device for children long before holodecks were in use on starships, or at least that the Forest of Forever existed in some form of interactive entertainment.
  • Flotter recognises Sam Wildman from when she was a child. This would suggest that the program as it exists aboard Voyager is in some manner a continuation of the program from elsewhere in the Federation.

Video and DVD releases[]

Links and references[]


Also starring[]

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Special guest star[]


Uncredited co-stars[]



2356; 2371; acceleration; Adventures of Flotter, The; airponics bay; Alixia; alloy; Alpha Quadrant; anxiety; artistic license; Asil; assimilation; astrometrics; away team; bark (botany); bark (sound); bearing; bedside manner; beetle; bemonite; blockhead; cereal; class M; coffee; concussion; cup; Delta Flyer; dry spell; duranium; Earth; Flotter; fluorine; Forest of Forever; goddaughter; Hansen, Erin; Hansen, Magnus; hemisphere; holodeck; holodeck character; impulse signature; impulse wake; internal bleeding; Intrepid class decks; ion storm; iron; kidney; kilometer; kiloton; kph; magnetic relay; mantle; medkit; meter; metreon cascade; mitochondria; mosquito; Naomi anxiety scale; Neelix' sisters; nickel; Ogre of Fire; Once upon a time; organelle; oxygen; pain medication; panic attack; papalla juice; pattern enhancer; phase transition; phaser drill; planetoid; polarized hull plating; pond; puncture; rescue team; Rinax; rubber tree; selenite; space battle; Starfleet Regulations; Stinger; Strickler; suffocation; supernovae; surgery; swamp; symbiosis; Talaxian-Haakonian War; Trevis; tricorder; Vulcan; warp core

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