(written from a Production point of view)
Voyager finds an ancient spacecraft – the derelict of one of Humanity's first manned missions to Mars.
October 19, 2032, the Sol system. One of Humanity's early missions to Mars is in progress. The command module, designated Ares IV, controlled by one Lieutenant John Kelly, orbits Mars while two astronauts, Rose Kumagawa and Andrei Novakovich, explore the surface. They discuss the mission with Kelly as well as banter with him about baseball, specifically the World Series.
Suddenly the Ares IV is buffeted. It appears to be turbulence, though 21st century science says turbulence in space is not possible. Kelly checks his LIDAR and sees that something very large, seemingly having appeared from nowhere, is coming towards the Ares IV. Kumagawa suggests that it may be a solar flare.
One look out the forward window, however, freezes Kelly's face in complete shock. It is orange, enormous, football-shaped and blazes brilliantly. It is no solar flare.
The doorbell chimes. He bids the visitor enter. Instead, the bell chimes again. He again invites the visitor to enter. A third chime. Annoyed, he shouts the invitation. Finally, he gets up and checks the corridor. Empty. The bell chimes again, indicating a malfunction. He re-enters his quarters and hails the bridge through his combadge, but instead gets the transporter room. He tries again and gets the mess hall. Then more and more voices get on the line, until it is an incomprehensible cacophony.
He decides to go to engineering and check what is going on. But the door begins to open and close repeatedly. He has to carefully time it and jump through to get outside. Very annoyed, he heads for engineering. Arriving, he finds Seven of Nine working at a console. He knows instantly that she is responsible for the malfunctions, and demands to know what she is doing. As per her usual manner, she is making modifications to the computer core that she believes will increase its efficiency, without first obtaining clearance from chief engineer Torres.
As Chakotay again remonstrates with her about following protocol, the ship is shaken. Ensign Harry Kim calls all senior staff to the bridge. He and Seven go immediately. Their arrival is preceded by that of a very annoyed Captain Kathryn Janeway, who warns Kim that at 0200 hours, this had better be important. What Kim shows her qualifies instantly: level-nine gravimetric distortions closing on Voyager, emanating from subspace. At Janeway's order, he puts it on the viewscreen. It is an enormous, orange, football-shaped object, very much like the one John Kelly encountered in 2032.
Janeway orders deflector shields raised. At the helm, Ensign Tom Paris reports that whatever it is is heading right for them. At Janeway's order, he tries to dodge. However, the thing actually follows them. He cannot shake it at impulse, and the subspace disturbance it is creating makes warp impossible.
Seven, watching the phenomenon, remembers it from her days as a Borg drone as Spatial Anomaly 521. To ditch it, she advises, they have to cut power and reverse shield polarity. Janeway orders it done; it works – the thing flies over them and moves away, much to their relief.
Janeway then recognizes it as well. Federation science calls it a graviton ellipse, known for suddenly appearing out of subspace, enveloping whatever is in the vicinity or whatever attracts it, then going back into subspace. Chakotay stands up from his chair and recalls the Ares IV and its loss to such a phenomenon. This is why it appeared to Kelly to have come from nowhere; it came from subspace, which was still unknown to the science of Kelly's day. Chakotay suggests studying it, and Janeway agrees.
A probe is sent out to penetrate it. Seven and Lieutenant Commander Tuvok study the data the probe is transmitting back the astrometrics lab. Seven suggests a strategy that the Borg had come up with to destroy it, using shielding that would protect Voyager while the ship went inside it to do so. Tuvok, however, responds that destroying it would be short-sighted. This surprises Seven as she did not think that he, a Vulcan, living by logic, shared the crew's penchant for exploration. He responds that exploration is part of the charter of Starfleet, and he is a Starfleet officer. Seven insists that exploration in this case is too dangerous. Tuvok patiently responds that they cannot know for certain what they will find. They must make allowance for the unexpected discovery.
The computer signals that its analysis of telemetry from the probe is complete. Seven and Tuvok examine the results. They are astounding: over 2.8 billion compounds are inside it. However, their next discovery is downright unbelievable: compounds that clearly come from the region of space designated by the Federation as Sector 001: Earth. The type and amount are consistent with early 21st century Earth spacecraft.
Though the odds are astronomical, they have come across the very same graviton ellipse that swallowed the Ares IV.
The senior staff meets in the briefing room to discuss the findings. Except for Seven, the decision is unanimously taken to use the Borg shield enhancements Seven told Tuvok about to equip the Delta Flyer to enter the ellipse and try to find any remains of the Ares IV. However this must be done quickly; the ellipse will go back into subspace in the next sixteen hours. It is decided that Chakotay and Ensign Paris will constitute the away team. The meeting is dismissed, and officers file out.
Seven, however, remains behind and voices her objections to Captain Janeway, in effect telling her that Humans too often boldly go where more sensible species know better. Searching for the Ares IV seems more sentimental than scientific, not worth the great risk, she opines. Janeway responds that this is not merely about science, but history; a very important piece of Human spacefaring history. Further, she responds, due to her lifelong existence as a Borg drone, Seven never got the opportunity to learn to appreciate Human history, and this is is essential to her development as a Human. She "encourages" Seven to join the away team. Seven recognizes that the "encouragement" is a diplomatically stated order, much to her dismay.
In the astrometrics lab, Chakotay and Paris review the NASA historical record of the Ares IV mission and discuss how easy space exploration has become with the advances that were developed since then, such as warp drive, deflector shields and transporters. They listen to Lt. Kelly's last transmission before he and the module were swallowed by the ellipse, admiring his calm and dedication as he took readings even as he knew his life was about to end. Seven joins them and reluctantly informs them that she will be going with them. She has done the necessary shield modifications to the Delta Flyer. The two officers welcome her to the team, albeit noting her lack of enthusiasm.
After a visit to the sickbay for a physical before the mission, Seven joins Chakotay and Paris aboard the Flyer and they depart. To her consternation, even The Doctor, a hologram, is enthusiastic about the mission, recalling his first away mission on Arakis Prime. The Doctor gives her his holo-imager to take pictures for him. The Flyer approaches the ellipse. Voyager follows, approaching to within 2,000 kilometers, monitoring the ellipse and the Flyer as the smaller vessel enters and makes its way to the core.
On reaching the core, Chakotay describes the environment to Captain Janeway and the bridge officers, who hang on his every word. It is as the eye of a hurricane: very calm, with none of the gravimetric distortions that exist around it. EM activity creates a natural luminescence, which Ensign Paris refers to as "mood lighting." There are asteroid fragments and vessel debris from every quadrant in the galaxy. There is even matter that appears to be extra-dimensional. Even Seven admits that she is intrigued.
The ellipse changes direction by 0.006 degrees, causing a gravimetric surge that hits Voyager, making her shudder. Reminded that they have limited time to find what they seek, Janeway instructs the team to get to it. Paris programs the sensors for a detailed search, but informs Chakotay that it will take a few hours to fully execute. He and Chakotay, to Seven's annoyance, decide to pass the time by collecting and analyzing some of the debris they have found. Seven, despite her earlier intrigue, wants only to carry out the mission and leave.
Time passes. Paris monitors the search while Chakotay examines the debris in the cargo bay. Seven, despite her disapproval, resigns herself to the fact that she has no choice but to go along, and assists Chakotay. Then Paris calls them to the cockpit; the Ares IV has been located. To the amazement of all, including Seven, its hull is almost intact. However this raises the problem what to do with it, as it is certainly far too large be stored in the cargo bay. Chakotay decides that they will use a tractor beam to tow it.
The ellipse changes direction again by 0.003 degrees. On Voyager's bridge, Ensign Kim reports the change. Captain Janeway wonders if something unseen is causing these changes. Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres suggests that it it being attracted to dark matter, which sensors do not normally detect. Janeway orders the sensors re-adjusted to look.
Torres is proven correct; a dark matter asteroid is detected 3 million kilometers away. But, she reports with alarm, it is is on a direct collision course with the ellipse. The two will collide in the next four minutes, and that would likely be extremely rough for anything inside the ellipse. Janeway immediately hails the Flyer, informs them and orders them to leave at once.
Chakotay however insists that his team continue with retrieving the Ares IV. After the com ends, he orders Paris to deploy the tractor beam anyway. Paris is thunderstruck and Seven is furious. Chakotay sternly repeats the order. Paris, with great trepidation, obeys. The Flyer, with the Ares IV in tow, begins a slow crawl up to the surface. The ellipse and the asteroid begin to accelerate toward each other. Janeway informs them that they have less than one minute. Seven harshly informs Chakotay that, at their rate of speed, they will exit in forty seconds. The time runs down: thirty seconds… twenty seconds. They near the surface.
They do not make it. The collision occurs, sending violent shock waves throughout the ellipse. Because of its location just under the surface, the Flyer gets hit squarely. The tractor beam breaks and both the Flyer and the Ares IV go tumbling back to the core. Contact with Voyager is lost. A plasma discharge hits Chakotay's console, entering his body through contact with his hands. His body glows electric blue before convulsing out of his chair. He lands on the floor, unconscious. Paris gets him onto a bed in the aft section. His face is badly burned. Seven enters and asks about his condition, with a very baleful look at him. Paris informs her: severe concussion and internal injuries. He needs to be returned to Voyager immediately.
Seven's response makes it clear that that will not be happening. Not only are the engines non-functional, but the ellipse has begun to show signs of soon returning to subspace. They have less than two hours.
Chakotay awakens as Paris and Seven work on repairs. "It feels like I just went ten rounds with an Andorian…", Chakotay says. He tries to sit up but his injuries make the effort agonizing. Paris, as Voyager's official medical assistant as well as her flight control officer, is effectively the team's medical officer, and uses this authority to order Chakotay to lie down and stay still. Concerned about the Ares IV, Chakotay asks about it. Paris informs him that it is close by. But any notion of salvage is out of the question, as they have no working engines or deflector shields, let alone tractor beam capability, and hull integrity is close to being compromised. Chakotay, uncomfortable with lying invalid and unable to help, insists on trying to rise. Paris has none of it, again orders him to lie still, and leaves to go and reinforce hull integrity.
Alone with Chakotay, Seven continues to work, not looking at him. Her body language shows that she is outraged at his actions. Chakotay gingerly offers suggestions as to what to do to fix what, but her sharp-toned responses rebuff him. This annoys him greatly; justifiably angry or not, she is still under his command. He orders her to give him a situation report. She whirls on him and provides one, with a raised voice and a furious glare: the captain ordered them to leave the ellipse, but he chose to disobey. His obsession with the Ares IV now has them trapped along with it. Chakotay cuts her off, quietly but sternly, and admits his error in judgment. A hail then comes through from Voyager, static-marred but audible. Chakotay informs Janeway of their situation.
An emergency meeting takes place in Voyager's briefing room to devise a plan to rescue the away team, with the team itself joining the meeting over the com. Ideas are proposed and rejected. Modify a shuttle and go in and get them? The ellipse will go into subspace long before the modifications are finished. Tractor beam? It cannot penetrate to the core.
Lieutenant Torres considers. The chief engineer has much experience in handling engineering problems with outside-the-box solutions, a skill which has has served Voyager well on more than one occasion. This time is no exception. The problem with the Flyer that prevents it from moving on its own power is that the conduits of its plasma manifold are fused. This is beyond repair, and creation of a new one, which could easily be done on Voyager, is beyond the power of the ship's replicator. But what about the Ares IV's engines? They used a similar system, the main difference being that, since it is from a time before Human discovery of warp drive, the manifold was made to channel a different energy source from warp plasma, namely ions. It is called an ion distributor. Could it not be modified to channel warp plasma?
Seven rejects the idea, stating that even if it were possible, the manifold would have to be obtained first. But the other team members and the senior staff heartily agree that it is worth a try. Paris volunteers to go to the Ares IV and retrieve it, but Janeway orders him to stay on the Flyer, lest another gravimetric surge hits, in which case his piloting skills will be needed at the helm. Instead, Janeway once again "encourages" Seven to "volunteer". Seven again recognizes the diplomatically-stated order, and cooperates with the Captain.
Using the still-operational thrusters, Paris gets the Flyer close enough to the Ares IV so that the latter is within transporter range. Seven dons an environmental suit in preparation to beam over. From the bed, Chakotay voices his envy, telling her she is going to do what he has always dreamed of: touch history. Seven could not care less and scoffs that history is irrelevant, to Chakotay's horrified amazement. But instead of arguing, he earnestly asks her to download whatever she can from the Ares IV's database. Seven promises to try, despite her continued lack of enthusiasm.
She beams over. The wreck's interior is dark and cold. Advised to do so by Chakotay and Paris over the com, she heads for the cockpit. Shining a light around, she is unnerved to find the desiccated remains of Lt. John Kelly, still in the pilot's seat. She finds the computer core and attaches a portable power pack, bringing it online.
Upon doing this, she, Chakotay and Paris are amazed to hear Kelly's voice begin to speak. Seven has inadvertently accessed his log entries, preserved after all these centuries. Seven watches him speaking on a monitor. The log clearly was made after the ellipse swallowed the Ares IV. He had not been killed on impact as history states, Chakotay notes with amazement. The three listen to him voicing his determined decision to try to escape.
Kelly goes about his duties, weightless in the trapped Ares IV. With a headset microphone on, he records his log. He can see no stars, he notes. EM interference is disrupting communications and LIDAR. He wonders as to his current location, noting that if the anomaly is moving as fast as it was when it took him, he could be very far from Mars. He has had the imager working constantly, cataloging the matter he has discovered is trapped with the Ares IV. But, of course, as much of it is extraterrestrial in origin, it defies 21st century science analysis. Then he hears a scraping noise against the hull. He goes to a window, and is thunderstruck to see what are clearly the remains of an alien vessel.
Seven works at extracting the ion distributor while she listens as Kelly's image speaks from the monitor. He has prepared the ion drive and channeled all fuel reserves for an attempt to escape, an attempt he will only be able to make once. His courage and determination are evident. He looks at a photograph of himself and his wife Jeannie for a long moment, puts it back in its place, and makes the attempt. It fails.
Seven finds the picture, looks at it, then casts a long look at Kelly's remains… and reverently puts the photo back.
Paris hails, and Seven pauses the playback to speak to him. The manifold, she tells him, is fused to the hull. Paris warns her to hurry; the ellipse will go into subspace in the next 15 minutes. She acknowledges and returns to work.
But not before resuming playback.
Kelly sits in his seat, fully aware he is going to die. Oxygen is running low. He is weak and groggy. The cockpit is dark as power is almost exhausted. But he makes his final log entry, voicing absolutely no regret about what has happened. On the contrary, his words are just the opposite.
Seven, Chakotay and Paris listen to this last entry. Tears are in Chakotay's eyes. Paris swallows a lump in his throat. Kelly states with conviction that what he has seen proves that space exploration is not a waste, that Humanity was right to try to explore space. He now knows that Humanity is not alone in the universe. His one regret, he finishes, is that he never found out who won the World Series. Seven's opinion has completely changed. She has been utterly moved, moved by Kelly's courage and determination, and his unflinching dedication, even as he waited for certain death. She listens as he logs his last act: taking the dwindling life support offline so that power can be routed to the imagers for as long as possible, to record whatever the Ares IV encounters after he dies. He makes a final request, to whoever finds the logs: that they be put to good use.
Listening with visible emotion, Seven completes the extraction, then pulls out a tricorder and rapidly enters commands to download the logs and database into it. While she waits, she gazes at the remains, no longer disturbed, but awed by them. The download completes. She removes her combadge and attaches it to the remains, contacts the Flyer and tells Paris to lock on to both her bio-signs and her combadge. Paris does so and beams both her and the remains back to the Flyer.
Once aboard, Seven rushes with the manifold to the cockpit, where Paris hurriedly installs it. They get it to work, albeit with fluctuating power. Paris takes the helm and lays in a course out of the ellipse. On Voyager, Captain Janeway and the bridge officers watch the viewscreen tensely as the ellipse seems to start to melt, the sign that it is beginning its return to subspace. The officer at operations reports the Flyer's location: 2,000 meters under the surface and rapidly closing the distance. Janeway orders Lt. Torres at the helm to bring Voyager as close as they can to the ellipse, to try for a tractor beam lock. Voyager goes dangerously close. Tuvok succeeds in getting a tractor beam locked onto the Flyer, which has by now made it just beneath the ellipse's surface. Janeway immediately orders full reverse. Voyager struggles against the pull of the ellipse, then she pulls away from it, the Flyer in tow, as the ellipse vanishes back into subspace.
On the Flyer, Seven shares a look of palpable relief with Paris, before gazing down at her tricorder, holding it like a priceless treasure.
Once they have safely returned, the crew engages in a solemn ceremony. In full dress uniform, the senior staff gathers round Kelly's remains, which have been put into a photon torpedo casing draped in a Starfleet Command flag. In sickbay, both The Doctor and Chakotay listen attentively, The Doctor standing at attention. Janeway speaks of space, of how it connects all worlds, of Humanity's first steps into it with astronauts like Lt. John Kelly, and how those initial steps finally led to Humanity becoming a full-fledged spacefaring people. She formally commends Kelly's spirit and bravery.
But before she gives the final order to commend his remains to the space he helped his people reach, Seven interrupts, requesting to speak. Janeway grants the request. Gazing down at the casing, Seven reverently thanks Kelly for his contribution to Humanity's future, and, in some ways, her own. Then she leans in close and, voice breaking, symbolically responds to his dying regret by whispering the result of the 2032 World Series: the Yankees, in six games. She had looked it up just for that purpose. Paris is the only one to hear, and smiles.
Janeway nods to Tuvok, at whose order they snap to attention. An honor guard takes the casing to be loaded into a torpedo tube as a crewmember blows a boatswain's whistle. The casing is ceremoniously launched into space.
- (extract from a log entry made by Lieutenant John Mark Kelly of the Earth spaceship Ares IV in 2032)
- "I've lost contact with the team on the surface, and I can't get a fix on my position. But I'm alive and the CM seems to be intact. I'm inside this whatever it is…what I've gotten myself into. It's very calm, like in the eye of a hurricane. It's a little spooky but, the way I figure it, if there's a way in, there's gotta be a way out. I'm gonna fire up the transpectral imager before I initiate another engine burn, collect as much data as I can. Jeannie, I may not be bringing you back the Mars rock, but I promise you, I'm gonna do everything I can to get home."
- (log entry made by Lieutenant John Kelly of the Earth spaceship Ares IV in 2032)
- "Ares IV, mission record, October 23rd. I'm starting to feel like Jonah. How long was he in the belly of that whale? Three days? I got him beat by a day or two already. The EM interference is disrupting communications and LIDAR, and I can't see the stars. There's no way I can get a fix on my position. If this thing's moving as fast as it was when it pulled me in, I could be a long way from Mars by now. The imager's been working overtime cataloging all the matter in here. But a lot of it defies analysis. I think we're going to need to make room on the periodic table. Where the hell am I? Power levels have dropped another 15% since my last systems check. (rumbling) I think I just saw another spacecraft. Either that, or all this dehydrated food has gone to my head. I got it. The hull's made of some kind of alloy. I can't make heads or tails of it. I shouldn't have been so dismissive. I remember giving Kumagawa a hard time when she claimed she saw a UFO over the Gulf. I told her it was a meteor or another piece of Mir. I guess I owe you an apology, Rose."
- (log entry made by Lieutenant John Kelly of the Earth spaceship Ares IV in 2032)
- "Ares IV, mission record, October 25th. This has been a nice place to visit, but I'm ready to come home. I prepped the ion drive, channeled all the power from the thruster reserves into the main tank. I have enough fuel for one last engine burn. Wish me luck. Ignition sequence. Five, four, three, two… I'm losing pitch control! Gyros aren't responding. Power failure. I've gotta abort. I'm not gonna to make it. All systems go. Watch me, Dad. I'm flying. Poooooogh! Bad landing. Call a MedEvac team. John Kelly's first flight, not exactly A-OK. Remember that, Dad? Jumped off the roof with a parachute made out of blankets. I guess I didn't calculate the aerodynamics. Of course, I was only six. I guess this is John Kelly's last flight. This time, I can't blame it on pilot error. This time, no regrets. What I've seen proves we were right to come out here. We're not alone, I know that now. The module's losing power. I'm taking life support off-line. Re-routing whatever's left to the imager. Keep it running as long as possible. Mission Control… Dad… Whoever finds this… Do me a favor. Take all the data I've collected. Put it to good use. I hope you don't look at this as a failure. I don't. Actually, I do have one regret. I never found out who won the World Series. I'm tired. And I can't…"
- "Captain's log, stardate 53301.2. The away team collected over sixty teraquads of data on the anomaly. Before we begin to analyze them, we've decided to pay our respects to an old colleague."
"When the risks outweigh the potential gain, exploration is illogical."
"We can't predict what we might find here, Seven. One must allow for the unexpected discovery."
- - Seven of Nine and Tuvok, debating the merits of studying the spatial anomaly
"History is irrelevant."
- - Seven of Nine
"One small step for a hologram, one giant leap for mankind."
"To coin a phrase."
- - The Doctor and Seven of Nine
"Clearly, Voyager is not yet ready for assimilation."
- - Seven of Nine
"That's all she wrote…"
- - Tom Paris, on John Kelly's last transmission
- - Chakotay
"I thought I was the Mars buff!"
- - Tom Paris, to Chakotay
"We're not leaving without that module!"
- - Chakotay
"Feels like I just went ten rounds with an Andorian…"
- - Chakotay, recovering after being injured
"Ironic. You're doing what I've always dreamt of."
- - An injured Chakotay tells Seven of Nine before she beams over to the Ares IV
"Space, literally it means "nothing," a vacuum between stars and planets, but by the same token it means "everything." It's what connects all our worlds, Vulcan, Qo'noS, Talax, Earth. Centuries ago mankind sent its first wave of explorers into that void, astronauts like Mr. Kelly. They paved the way for the first colonies, the first starships for those of us who've made space our home. We commend the spirit and the bravery of Lieutenant John Mark Kelly as we commit his body to space. He will not be forgotten."
- - Captain Janeway, giving John Kelly's funeral eulogy
"I did not know this individual. Had I encountered him while I was a Borg I would have found his technology unworthy of assimilation, but we are more alike than one might think. In a sense, his desire to explore was not unlike a quest for perfection. His contribution helped secure Humanity's future and in some ways my own."
- - Seven of Nine
"Do you remember what you wanted to be before you were assimilated?"
"I was assimilated when I was a child."
"I knew I wanted to be a paleontologist when I was six."
"(Embarrassed) …A ballerina."
"Maybe it's not too late."
"It was a juvenile fantasy."
"Those are the ones that stick with you."
- - Chakotay and Seven of Nine, examining artifacts from inside the ellipse
"The Yankees. In six games."
- - Seven of Nine, on the results of the 2032 World Series
- Although this is the second Star Trek: Voyager episode that Robert Picardo directed (having helmed the third season installment "Alter Ego"), he originally hoped that his second turn as director of the series would be towards the end of the fifth season. (Star Trek Monthly issue 45, p. 15)
- Phil Morris has literally grown up with Star Trek, and has played several supporting roles throughout his life, including one of the children in TOS: "Miri", a Starfleet cadet in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, a Klingon bodyguard in DS9: "Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places", and a Jem'Hadar soldier in DS9: "Rocks and Shoals".
- In one of Robert Beltran's renowned criticisms of the direction the series was taking, he stated in an interview on his website that he was looking forward to filming this episode, as it provided a rare development of Chakotay's character (largely missing in the latter seasons). His excitement turned to frustration however when the majority of the episode was given over to Seven of Nine's character development, leaving Chakotay's as largely secondary. 
Continuity and Trivia
- In the chronology of Star Trek, World War III (stated to have begun sometime around 2026 in other episodes) would have been going on at the same time (2032) as the Mars mission depicted in this episode. However, as indicated in Star Trek: First Contact, the "worst" of the war may not have yet happened, explaining why there were still manned missions to other planets occurring during this time frame. This is plausible from a historical viewpoint, since Cold War tensions fueled the space programs of the mid-twentieth century, and the Gemini and Apollo programs ran simultaneous to the Vietnam War.
- This is the fourth time the crew of Voyager discover a direct connection to Earth in the Delta Quadrant, having previously encountered descendants of humans abducted from Earth ("The 37's"), descendants of aliens who have visited Earth ("Tattoo"), and descendants of Earth's dinosaurs ("Distant Origin"). In this episode, they encounter a long-lost Earth spaceship. This episode is also the eleventh time they have discovered a connection between the Alpha Quadrant and Delta Quadrant more generally, having previously discovered a wormhole connecting the two quadrants ("Eye of the Needle"), a Cardassian weapon ("Dreadnought"), Ferengi ("False Profits"), former Borg that were assimilated in the Alpha Quadrant ("Unity"), a communications network that extends to the Alpha Quadrant ("Message in a Bottle"), another Federation starship ("Equinox"), and another Borg that was assimilated in the Alpha Quadrant ("Survival Instinct").
- This episode marks the only time Andorians are referred to on Star Trek: Voyager.
- The Doctor references a planet called Arakis Prime. This is thought to be a tip of the hat to the 1965 novel Dune by Frank Herbert, which is set on the planet Arrakis (Star Trek Encyclopedia (4th ed., vol. 1, p. 37))
- Part of what looks like a Klingon Bird-of-Prey can be seen in the alien wreckage, particularly the disruptor cannon.
- When John Kelly's logs are played back and he is heard mentioning "pilot error", Tom Paris visibly flinches, perhaps because of his responsibility for the flight accident at Caldik Prime that killed three officers.
- Buck Bokai, a baseball player often mentioned in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (and "seen" in "If Wishes Were Horses") is mentioned. In this case, Lt. Kelly, a fan of the New York Yankees (who were playing Bokai's London Kings in the 2032 World Series), mentions that Bokai has broken famous New York Yankee Joe DiMaggio's consecutive games hit streak. However, this would not be possible as statistics like this do not include post-season games.
- The mission structure for the 2032 Mars mission mimics that of the real life Apollo moon missions, in that two astronauts land on the surface, while a third stays in an orbiting vehicle.
- The name of the Mars mission ship in this episode, Ares IV, was also the name for a proposed rocket rocket for the Constellation program, a new American initiative to explore the Moon and Mars. The program was cancelled in 2010.
- In the 2011 science fiction novel The Martian, written by Andy Weir and the 2015 film adaptation The Martian, directed by Ridley Scott, Ares III and Ares IV are manned missions to Mars.
- Ares is the Greek god of war. He is one of the Twelve Olympians and the son of Zeus and Hera. His equivalent in Roman mythology is the god Mars, the deity after whom the red planet is named.
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, Paramount Home Entertainment): Volume 6.4, 5 June 2000
- As part of the VOY Season 6 DVD collection
Links and references
- Robert Beltran as Commander Chakotay
- Roxann Dawson as Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres
- Robert Duncan McNeill as Ensign Tom Paris
- Ethan Phillips as Neelix
- Robert Picardo as The Doctor
- Tim Russ as Lieutenant Commander Tuvok
- Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine
- Garrett Wang as Ensign Harry Kim
Special guest star
- Andrew English as operations officer
- Tarik Ergin as Ayala
- Pablo Soriano as operations ensign
- Unknown performers as
acceleration; algorithm; alloy; analysis; Andorian; anomaly; Arakis Prime; Ares IV; Arkinson; Armstrong, Neil; assimilation; asteroid; azimuth; ballet; bearing; belly; bingo; biosignature; Bokai, Buck; Borg algorithm; Borg Collective; boxing; Class 2 shuttle; collision course; command sequencer; computer core; concussion; corrosion; dark matter asteroid; day; debris; Delta Flyer; DiMaggio, Joe; Earth; electromagnetic energy; electromagnetic radiation; EM interference; evasive maneuvers; extra-dimensional; Federation; Federation database; field generator; Glenn, John; gravimetric distortion; gravimetric disturbance; gravimetric force; gravimetric interference; gravimetric radiation; gravimetric shear; graviton ellipse; ground team; hero worship; Houston; honor guard; International Space Agency; ion distributor; ion drive; ion modulator; iron oxide; joke; Jonah; kilometer; "kitchen sink anomaly"; lava; level 9 gravimetric distortion; logic; London Kings; LIDAR; luminescence; magnesium; magnesite; Maquis; Mars; Mars program; metallic lifeform; meter; metric ton; microbe; Milky Way Galaxy; Mir; mission leader; mission record; mood lighting; multispectral analysis; NASA; neutrino cloud; New York Yankees; Nozawa; obelisk; October; "out of reach"; paleontology; percent; periodic table; phaser coupling; phenomenon; pilot error; pioneer; plasma manifold; polarity; polymer; power coupling; power level; pulsar; Qo'noS; replicator; rescue ship; Sector 001; senior officer; shield polarity; Shroud of Kahless; shuttlebay doors; "smell the roses"; solar flare; Spatial Anomaly 521; spatial disturbance; star;statistics; storm; subspace; subspace energy; swallow; Talax; terajoule; teraquad; titanium; tractor beam; trans-spectral imager; UFO; Vulcan (planet); warp field; whale; "where the hell"; Wildman, Naomi; World Series; yellow alert
ISA Member Nations
- "One Small Step" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "One Small Step" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "One Small Step" at Wikipedia
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"The Voyager Conspiracy"