(written from a Production point of view)
The crew of Voyager discovers a planet that has the technology to send them more than halfway along their journey home. However, the planet's inhabitants are more than reluctant to share this technology with Voyager's crew, as doing so would violate one of the society's own prime directives.
During a meal in the mess hall on the USS Voyager, the two crews, former Maquis and Starfleet, are eating separately as usual. Among them, B'Elanna Torres and Seska are at one table, and Tom Paris and Harry Kim at another. Interestingly, the two sides are finally starting to talk socially. Seska notes Torres catching a glimpse of one passing Starfleet officer she might like, and she also teases Kim about going out with one of the Delaney sisters. She had been talking to Paris, who was spreading the rumor. Kim says nothing happened, and is forced to prove it by saying he actually fell out of a gondola in the holodeck while alone with her. Captain Janeway, observing from afar while she eats with Tuvok, is pleased to see them talk to each other like that. Tuvok notes efficiency is sure to be optimal.
The crew is called away to investigate a distress call, however, Voyager encounters a man who introduces himself as Gathorel Labin of the planet Sikaris. He explains through the viewscreen that he is not in distress at all, and that he had initiated the call because Voyager's crew was in distress.
After extending a welcome to the Sikarian sector, Gath comes aboard with samples of the local dishes and delicacies and explains that their people had heard of the plight of Voyager; he therefore invites the crew to shore leave on his planet. Neelix, who has heard of the planet, also proposes using this opportunity to gather seeds from the local flora to increase the selection of edible plants and vegetables growing on board. Captain Janeway graciously accepts the invitation and is excited about finally meeting a friendly species on their journey through the Delta Quadrant.
A few of the crew including Janeway, Paris, Tuvok and Kim beam down and accompany Gath to a marketplace. Kim meets a local named Eudana who is playing what seems to be a musical instrument, but is really a Sikarian atmospheric sensor. She shows him how to use it and he's quite amused. Gath, meanwhile, stays with Janeway and leads her to a fabric vendor. He's obviously taken an especially strong interest in Janeway and insists she accept a whole wardrobe made just for her. She politely declines the strong offer and simply considers a scarf. He continues making increasingly uncomfortable forward advances, but Janeway politely expresses a desire to organize other officers to take turns on the planet. He agrees but keeps his hands on her, not letting go until she agrees to attend festivities that evening.
- "Captain's log, stardate 48642.5. The crew is enjoying an evening on Sikaris. They are discovering, to their delight, that reports of this species' hospitality have not been exaggerated."
At the evening's festivities, Harry Kim shares a romantic moment with Eudana. He begins telling her about how Voyager became stranded in the Delta Quadrant when Eudana suggests they go some place with more privacy. She pulls Kim onto a platform and transports to a place called Alastria. It is a warm and tropical place with gentle trade winds blowing during a red sunset. Kim is feeling a slight elation when he notices that Sikaris does not have two suns. Eudana explains that they are in fact no longer on Sikaris but that they have actually been transported to another planet 40,000 light years from Sikaris. Realizing that this might mean the crew could make it more than halfway home, Kim wants to go back immediately. He informs Janeway of his instantaneous travel via a transporter that operates on the principle of folding space called a spatial trajector. Excited about real prospects of finally getting home, Janeway proposes to Gath that they allow them to modify the technology in order to transport Voyager closer to home. But Gath informs them that based on their Canon of Laws, sharing this technology would be out of the question as it may get out of control and fall into the wrong hands. Kim and Janeway are very disappointed.
During the staff meeting later on, the crew discuss the possibilities that the trajector presents them, including the chance that it could be used more than once allowing them to make it all the way to the Alpha Quadrant. Tuvok points out that Gath has already said no with nothing to indicate that he could change his mind, making the debate pointless. Janeway listens to the various comments and then points out that, as Starfleet, they have similar restrictions with regard to sharing technology. Janeway remarks with irony that it is the first time they are on the other side of the Prime Directive which prevents them from interfering with alien cultures no matter what kind of a disaster they were facing. Tuvok then says, on the other hand, their refusal might be the prelude to negotiation. Kim then offers the insight of how the Sikarian culture values stories as a measuring device of character and moral value, and proposes the idea of offering the entire ship's library as a bartering token. Janeway approves the idea and plans to run the idea by Gath. Excited, Torres says she'll scan the device in the meantime, but Janeway explicitly forbids this saying they won't violate their laws until she finds them negotiable. Torres is very let down.
Over a slice of pecan pie in her quarters, Janeway moves to negotiating the acquisition of the trajector. At first she promises Gath that they promise to destroy the trajector after they have reached their destination. However, as expected, Gath turns down her offer. Janeway then proposes that the Sikarians use the device to send Voyager itself, without giving up the technology, in return for a full library of the Federation's finest literature. Gath is immediately enticed and promises to discuss it with the other magistrates within the area, though Janeway tries to read him to see how serious he is.
In the meantime, Torres is going on with her engineering duties and inspects Voyager's shock attenuation cylinders. However, seeing Seska is not paying attention, they both get drawn into a theoretical discussion about how the trajector works, anxious about having finally found a real possibility to go home. Joe Carey, overhearing, joins in and they begin theorizing, noting that such spatial folding would leave subspace residue. Detecting a particular neutrino dispersion pattern, the three theorize that if the spatial trajector uses a neutrino bubble to transport objects, the main deflector could be modified to emit phased neutrinos to create a bubble around Voyager.
On the surface, Eudana leads Kim to a secret meeting with Jaret Otel, Gath's aide, who offers to unofficially give them the technology in exchange for the ship's collection of literature. Jaret explains that his people believe rules should be flexible enough to meet the needs of the moment and reveals that he wants to be the provider of the stories to the public in order to gain prestige. Jaret also tells Kim that Gath has no intention of handing over the technology himself.
Ensign Kim returns to the ship intending to report this immediately to Janeway. While he waits in the mess hall, he talks with Paris, Torres and Seska. Paris ultimately recommends letting the captain handle it, and the two leave once Kim is told Janeway can see him. When they go, Seska and Torres briefly discuss stealing the technology. Torres, surprised, asserts that being the higher ranking officer she has responsibilities, but Seska declares that if they were to gain access to the trajector matrix, the use of main engineering would be essential and that Torres had to be on their side. Seska appeals to Torres by mentioning the captain's seemingly being taken by Gath and unwilling to do what's needed. Seska leaves Torres conflicted.
Janeway and Tuvok hear what Kim has to say. Janeway can't help but feel that Jaret is correct when he says that Gath does not intend to help them. She thanks Kim for coming to her with the information before dismissing him, after which she continues discussing the situation with Tuvok. She notes that she's in a unappealing situation; she can either negotiate with a man whom she suspects has his own agenda, or deal with a man who is willing to break the law. Tuvok points out that if they get the technology through Jaret, then it's his laws that are being broken, and not theirs. Janeway would rather not do that, reminding Tuvok that when they started the trip home she told the crew that they would follow Starfleet principles, but, at the same time, she doesn't know if she can tell the crew that her principles are more important than getting the crew home. With that, the two agree that Janeway should deal with Gath for now and explore the chance that he may be willing to help them.
On the planet, Janeway presses the issue once again, asking Gath about the decision of the magistrates. But after Gath's repeated evasion of the subject and ridiculing their desire to go home, Janeway soon realizes Gath's true intentions, which were only to provide the populace with a novelty and avenue of entertainment, without ever having had any real intention of helping them out. Gath then promptly orders Janeway and her crew to leave the planet, accusing them of threatening to infect the 'joyousness of our lives'. Disheartened and insulted, the captain taps her combadge and returns to the ship.
Entering the bridge, Janeway tells Chakotay that shore leave is cancelled and to start beaming the crew back. She tells Tuvok that she knows that Gath never intended to help them, but is nonetheless unwilling to go against Sikaran law by getting the technology from Jaret Otel. Unfortunately, as the crew is scattered all over Sikaris, it's going to take some time to get everyone back onto the ship, so Janeway simply tells Chakotay to do it as quickly as possible before retiring to her ready room.
Back in the mess hall, Torres, Seska, and Carey discuss what's happened. Seska has downloaded the Federation library into isolinear chips, ready to be handed over to Jaret and she and Carey end up getting a reluctant Torres onto their side by discussing their families and the Maquis plight in the Demilitarized Zone. They head immediately to the transporter room, and prepare to beam to the surface only to be frozen out by security protocols. Tuvok suddenly enters, explaining that he changed the subroutines when he attempted to download the library only to find it had already been accessed. The others are confused until Tuvok reveals that he plans to make the exchange with Jaret Otel himself and beams down after telling the shocked officers to prepare the ship for the device.
The final crew members are being beamed up, and Janeway tells Torres to prepare the ship to leave within minutes. Seska is very worried, but then Tuvok returns with the device and hands it over in engineering and asks them not to use it until he has spoken to the captain. Seska begins tests immediately. While doing the tests, the three engineers suddenly discover that they would need an amplifier the size of a planet to make the system work. The Sikarians are able to use the technology because Sikaris itself has a crystalline mantle that focuses and amplifies the trajector field. But Voyager does not possess such an amplifier. Carey notes that if the planet is needed to use the trajector, once Voyager leaves orbit they will lose the ability to traject. They realize that they have to run the trajector right here and now, or else they will not be able to do so later. In order to distract everyone from their actions, Torres – keeping the thrusters offline – prevents the ship from leaving, citing a phase variance.
After they activate the matrix, a trajector field begins to form. Initiation of the process is successful, but the plasma manifold soon becomes unstable when a bombardment of antineutrinos (designed to act as a catalyst for the space-folding process) results in increasing plasma temperatures that threaten a warp core breach. Reluctant to abort the mission, Seska attempts to compensate for the antineutrinos but fails. Nothing can stop it so Torres is forced to destroy the trajector matrix with a phaser. She realizes with a heavy heart that the use of antineutrinos in the space-folding process would have made any compatibility with Federation technology impossible and that this technology would ultimately never have worked for Voyager. Seska immediately attempts to erase the sensor logs of their testing, but Torres steps in, rejecting a cover-up. She is ready to face the consequences and is actually glad that she has changed enough to want to be responsible. Standing before the captain, she tries to take the blame as the ranking officer, but Tuvok reveals that he was the one who made the exchange with Jaret.
After a serious dressing-down, Janeway lets Torres go, warning her that any further transgression – even a minor one – would lead to the discharge of her field commission. She is, however, shocked about Tuvok having had anything to do with this. He explains that he knew that the captain found herself in a moral dilemma and thus couldn't allow herself to make such a decision. So – fully prepared to accept the entirety of the consequences, alone – he decided for her; to lift the burden off her shoulders. Janeway, clearly touched, tearfully reminds him of their long standing relationship, citing him as her moral compass, trusted officer, and dear friend, upon whom she is dependent. She firmly states that, although deeply appreciative of his sacrifice, she would never have wanted or allowed him to make any such sacrifice for her, and tacitly demands that he never act on his logic behind her back again. Tuvok personally assures her that she can count on him from now on more so than ever, and that he will never disappoint her in that regard. After stating that the error was not in his logic, but in his decision, Tuvok leaves. Janeway's face falls into both of her hands, clearly distraught.
"It's the first time we've been on the other side of the fence. How many times have we been in the position of refusing to interfere when some kind of disaster threatened an alien culture? It's all very well to say we do it on the basis of an enlightened principle. But how does that feel to the aliens?"
- - Captain Janeway
"I don't enjoy being judged like this. It's most unsettling, not at all pleasurable."
- - Gath, to Captain Janeway
"You're hostile, and vicious… you would infect the joyousness of our lives!"
- - Gath, to Captain Janeway
"I will make the exchange with Jaret Otel."
- - Tuvok, deciding to ignore Janeway's orders on acquiring the spatial trajector
"I don't have the luxury of throwing you in the brig for the rest of this voyage. I need you. I need every person on this ship. But I want you to know how very deeply you have disappointed me. If there are any further transgressions – even a minor one – you will no longer be an officer on this crew."
- - Janeway, to B'Elanna Torres
"I don't even know where to start. I want you to explain how you, of all people, could be involved in this."
"It is quite simple, captain. You have made it quite clear, on many occasions, that your highest goal is to get the crew home. But in this instance, your standards would not allow you to violate Sikarian law. Someone had to spare you the ethical dilemma. I was the logical choice. And so I chose to act."
- - Janeway and Tuvok
"You are one of my most valued officers. And you are my friend. It is vital that you understand me here. I need you. But I also need to know that I can count on you. You are my counsel. The one I turn to when I need my moral compass checked. We have forged this relationship for years, and I depend on it."
- - Janeway, to Tuvok
"You can use logic to justify anything. That's its power, and its flaw."
- - Janeway, to Tuvok
"My logic was not in error… but I was."
- - Tuvok, to Captain Janeway
- The title, alluding to the crew's conflict with their own and another society's "prime" rules, is a mathematical term. An integer's prime factors are all the prime numbers by which it can be evenly divided. For example, 44 is 2 x 2 x 11, or 22 x 11. Each integer greater than 1 has a unique set of prime factors, a fact known as the "fundamental theorem of arithmetic." All of a number's nonprime factors are products of two or more of its prime factors.
Story and script
- David R. George III and Eric A. Stillwell's original story involved the crew of Voyager encountering the race that had dispatched Gary Seven in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Assignment: Earth". That race had boasted transporter technology that could transport individuals over thousands of light-years. According to Stillwell, "David and I speculated what might happen if the Voyager crew happened upon that civilization. What if they had the ability to transport our crew back to Earth, but because of some terrible failure caused by their intervention on another world in the past, they'd adopted their own kind of Prime Directive to avoid any such disasters in the future? This was the essence of our pitch."  George continued, "As we pitched the story to the producers, though, we realized that they did not want such a strong tie to the original series, and so we spontaneously dropped that aspect of the plot. Fortunately, the producers liked enough of the rest of the tale to send us off with a few notes and an invitation to pitch a second draft. Eric and I did so, and that version of the episode sold."  One production staffer who had not liked the TOS tie-in was Executive Producer Michael Piller. He nonetheless bought the pitch because he liked "the fool's gold nature of the story," which he compared to the film The Treasure of Sierre Madre.  George noted, "We did not receive an opportunity to pen the script." 
- The scripting of this episode was influenced by the fact that the Sikarians were originally intended to become one of three recurring, antagonistic alien races in Star Trek: Voyager's first season (the other two being the Kazon and Vidiians). (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 127)
- The second draft of this episode's script was submitted on 30 November 1994.
- The episode was still being written on 12 December 1994. ("A Day in the Life of Ethan Phillips", VOY Season 2 DVD special features)
- Michael Piller found that writing for the pleasure aliens was difficult. He stated, "I just felt nothing seemed to work with the aliens […] What was tricky about it was to flesh out those pleasure seekers so that they were something other than people walking around always talking about pleasure. I don't think people act like that, so I looked for other things, including the idea that stories were very important to them." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 142)
- While the episode was evolving, Star Trek: Voyager's writing staff found that Seska could serve as a valuably mutinous element. "We found her character to be very useful," Executive Producer Jeri Taylor commented, "because she could be the voice that wanted to take the technology and go home in 'Prime Factors.'" (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 143)
- In this episode's pre-production stage, Tuvok actor Tim Russ raised some reservations about his character's betrayal of Janeway in the episode, so the actor's input became influential to the script. He noted, "We changed about thirty percent of the script just from my input alone." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 142) Russ commented further, "I did get a lot of things changed in that script. Janeway's whole speech at the end was much different. It was much more reprimanding and much harsher and, based on their relationship, that would have not been appropriate." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, p. 48) Jeri Taylor concurred, "We made some minor modifications that made it possible for Tim to integrate that action into his conception of his character [i.e. Tuvok's betrayal of Janeway] and we shot the film." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 142)
- The episode's final draft script was submitted on 13 January 1995. 
Cast and characters
- Tim Russ regretted not having been able, due to time constraints, to clarify certain points in the episode. He noted, "I would have liked to have changed about another twenty-five percent [more than the thirty percent that was altered]." He also explained, "I think that the only thing we didn't have enough time for was to get more clarification on the reasons for his motivation. I think there was a basic difference between what I thought and the producers thought in terms of why he did what he did. We could have clarified those reasons more than we did, but there just wasn't enough time to go back and forth on it since we were shooting in a few days." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 142) Russ also remarked, "There were some points missing that we should have clarified in that story. The problem is that you're trying to clarify them two days before you shoot them." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, p. 48)
- According to Tim Russ, the main point that he wished to clarify was that, although the writers wanted Tuvok's motivation for betraying Janeway to be that it was the only logical thing left for him to do, logic – according to Russ' beliefs – is only a way to do things, not a reason for doing them. Instead, Russ wanted to make clear that the reason Tuvok chose to act against his captain (sacrificing his commission) was to essentially save her from a shipboard mutiny that seemed otherwise probable. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 142; Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, p. 48)
- According to comments from Jeri Taylor and Michael Piller, however, their opinions on this debate matched Russ' more than anyone apparently realized. Taylor recalled, "We saw [Tuvok's betrayal] as a noble, heroic act that he would do to spare his captain her personal ethical dilemma and that he would find the logical way to rationalize that." Michael Piller said, "Someone who thinks logic is the answer to all questions should think again. Logic can lead you the wrong way too." Furthermore, both Piller and Taylor were under the impression that Tim Russ was outrightly opposed to the idea that, as a Vulcan, Tuvok would ever betray his captain. According to Tim Russ' comments, however, he was either more (by a large extent) or only opposed to the details regarding the execution of this plot point, not its existence in the episode. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 142)
- At one point during the making of this episode, Jeri Taylor tried to give Tim Russ some advice. "I told Tim that if he is never going to have flaws or make a mistake or take a step that's beyond the Vulcan limit," she said, "what are we going to do with him? It's a death signature to a character that he cannot push the envelope and that his reach does not exceed his grasp at some time." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 142)
- Of Janeway's decision not to make the trade, Tim Russ observed, "I think that Janeway is walking a very fine line in making a decision based on her standards and principles […] It was a very technical reason why she did not want to do it." Michael Piller thought Janeway's dilemma had extreme resonance. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 142) For her part, Janeway actress Kate Mulgrew liked the mutinous elements of the episode's story. "I enjoyed that because it touched on so many levels," Mulgrew said. "Whenever you can reveal Janeway's humanity and the fact that she's a woman, that she's conflicted, that's an episode I enjoy." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine issue 5, pp. 23 & 24)
- Michael Piller ultimately regretted the casting of Ronald Guttman as Gathorel Labin here. "It was a mistake casting a French actor as an alien villain," Piller complained. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 127) Guttman, however, is actually Belgian.
- This is one installment which Kim actor Garrett Wang valued. "'Prime Factors' was interesting," he related, "because that's where I came very close to actually having a romance […] so that was kind of fun." Wang was also pleased that the episode allowed his character to be seen in less harsh light than was commonly used on the bridge set. "In 'Prime Factors,' I got that sunset-type lighting which looks great on anybody," he reckoned. "And I liked the scene where I'm being approached by one of the pleasure planet people about making a swap between our library and their technology." (Starlog #222)
- Robert Picardo (The Doctor) does not appear in this episode.
Production and effects
- While the episode was in production, the producers became slightly worried with the scenes set on Sikaris. Michael Piller recalled, "We got a little concerned with the dailies because the stuff that was happening on the planet, in spite of all our efforts, was tending to look a little too much like that hedonistic Roddenberry-esque society. I was worried that it was going to be sort of off-putting and that people would not get involved with what the real story was […] But when it was done, I thought it was marvelously produced and that part of the story you kind of moved through really quickly." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 142)
- The spatial trajector matrix prop was used previously on TNG: "The Dauphin" as Wesley Crusher's superconductor magnet, shown when Wesley encounters Salia for the first time.
- The writers were highly satisfied with this episode's teleplay once it was completed. Jeri Taylor remembered, "'Prime Factors' was a show we were very proud of." (Star Trek - Where No One Has Gone Before, p. 215) Michael Piller recalled, "We felt really good about the script when it was done. I think it was one that everybody thought was working." Piller believed the best parts of the episode were the tense scenes set aboard Voyager. He stated, "The real story […] had to do with our people and the moral dilemma that was happening around the ship […] When you got onto the ship with the dilemmas and decisions, that's when the story grabbed hold." Despite the difficulties involved in the making of this episode, both Jeri Taylor and Michael Piller remained pleased with the installment. "To my mind," Taylor remarked, "it's one of the best that we did first season." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 142) Likewise, Michael Piller casually admitted, "I liked the episode, by the way." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine issue 4, p. 9)
- Eric A. Stillwell and David R. George III were proud of how this episode ended up "I think the final version of the episode was true to our original vision," Stillwell observed. "And it was a defining moment in the relationship between Janeway and Tuvok in the early days of the series, so I was very pleased with it."  George said, "The finished product closely resembled the story we'd developed, a fact borne out by our receiving sole story credit on the episode. As far as the completed project, I was more or less pleased by it. I liked the basic idea of Starfleet officers having the Prime Directive turned around on them. I also thought it important to explore the idea of just what the captain and her crew would be willing to do in order to get home. And finally, I loved setting up the conflict between Captain Janeway and Lieutenant Commander Tuvok." 
- Despite liking the episode in general, Michael Piller ultimately thought it was unsuccessful at capturing the potential of the Sikarians. He explained, "I was very disappointed with how this alien race turned out […] I think the idea of an alien race seeking new pleasures wherever they go, and they can be extraordinarily dangerous in the pursuit of that pleasure, is a great idea. I just don't think we realized our goals." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 127) Piller also commented, "The pleasure planet people, the Sikarians, could have been very interesting, but they somehow just didn't turn out that way […] I didn't particularly care for how the aliens came out. The idea of a race and a species that's driven by pleasure as a motivating force is a fascinating thing to look at [though]." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine issue 4, p. 9)
- This episode achieved a Nielsen rating of 7.3 million homes, and an 11% share.
- This was the first Voyager episode that was viewed by British author David A. McIntee (who, years later, became an author of official Star Trek fiction). He saw the episode prior to Voyager's premiere in Britain. (Delta Quadrant, p. 34) In his unauthorized reference book Delta Quadrant (p. 35), McIntee scores the episode 5 out of 10.
- Cinefantastique gave the episode 3 out of 4 stars. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, p. 48)
- In their unofficial reference book Trek Navigator: The Ultimate Guide to the Entire Trek Saga (p. 181), co-writer Mark A. Altman rates this episode 3 out of 4 stars (defined as "good") while fellow co-writer Edward Gross gives the outing 2 and a half out of 4 stars (defined as "average").
- In Star Trek Magazine's retrospective "Ultimate Guide", the magazine gave this episode 3 out of 5 Starfleet-style arrowhead insignia. (Star Trek Magazine issue 164, p. 30)
- The writing of this installment was nominated for a Sci Fi Universe Award. 
- One aspect of viewer reaction to this episode that Tim Russ became aware of was the response to Tuvok's decision to betray Janeway. "People were very surprised that he made it," Russ stated. (Star Trek Monthly issue 33, p. 28)
- Years after having worked as science consultant on Star Trek: Voyager, André Bormanis cited this episode as one of his favorites from the series, noting, "I thought 'Prime Factors' was a terrific story." 
- Due to their disappointment with the Sikarians, Voyager's team of writer-producers ultimately discarded their initial plans to make those aliens recurring antagonists. Regarding the concept of the pleasure-seekers, Michael Piller noted, "It didn't come off interesting enough to bring them back." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine issue 4, p. 9)
- Tim Russ cited the character of Valeris as an example of a Vulcan who, like Tuvok in this episode, makes a choice to betray orders. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 142) However, Russ also characterized the decision that Tuvok makes as "entirely un-Vulcan." (Star Trek Monthly issue 33, p. 28)
- Tim Russ believed this episode was contradicted by two episodes that were produced later in Voyager's first season, "Learning Curve" and "Twisted" (the latter of which was held back for inclusion in the second season). Shortly after completing work on "Twisted", Russ explained, "Clearly, in 'Prime Factors' [Tuvok] directly violated protocols up and down the line. Then two episodes later [meaning in 'Learning Curve'] you have him talking about how stern he is about protocols? […] There's [also] a line in an episode we just finished, 'I've always respected the Captain's decisions.' And that line was difficult to say when, in fact, we know he again violated protocols by taking matters into his own hands." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, p. 61)
- Given that Tuvok's rank insignia changes from lieutenant commander to lieutenant after this episode, it is speculated that he was demoted for his actions here. However, it is likely that it was only a costuming mistake since he is referred to as simply "lieutenant" off and on during this and earlier episodes.
- The Sikarian spacial trajector represents the second time besides the series premiere (after "Eye of the Needle") that the Voyager crew is presented with the possibility of returning home much faster than by conventional warp travel. In this case, the technology offers a significant shortcut but is found to be unusable.
- According to the stardates, the events of the 24th century portion of Star Trek Generations take place shortly before this episode and conclude just before the next one.
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 1.5, catalog number VHR 4005, 11 September 1995
- As part of the VOY Season 1 DVD collection
Links and references
- Robert Beltran as Commander Chakotay
- Roxann Biggs-Dawson as Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres
- Jennifer Lien as Kes
- Robert Duncan McNeill as Lieutenant Tom Paris
- Ethan Phillips as Neelix
- Robert Picardo as The Doctor
- Tim Russ as Lieutenant Tuvok
- Garrett Wang as Ensign Harry Kim
- Ronald Guttman as Gathorel Labin
- Yvonne Suhor as Eudana
- Andrew Hill Newman as Jaret Otel
- Martha Hackett as Seska
- Josh Clark as Carey
- Derek Anthony as operations ensign
- Kimberly Auslander as command ensign
- K. Baily as Sikarian
- Michael Beebe as Murphy
- C. Bender as sciences crewman
- Jasmin Bischoff as operations officer
- J.T. Botka as Sikarian
- Allan Bragg as Sikarian
- M. Carter as Sikarian
- Shawn Cash as Sikarian
- R. Chacon as Sikarian
- Lauren Chang as Sikarian
- Elisha Choice as Sikarian
- Kenneth David Ebling as command officer
- Tarik Ergin as Ayala
- Pablo Espinosa as operations officer
- Norman Gibbs as operations officer
- Sue Henley as Brooks
- Kerry Hoyt as Fitzpatrick
- Stan Ivar as Mark Johnson (photo)
- J. Iroldi as Sikarian
- Jeff Jensen as Sikarian
- Julie Jiang as operations lieutenant junior grade
- Martee La Comette as Sikarian
- Nora Leonhardt as operations officer
- Dawn Lovett as Sikarian
- E. McKee as Sikarian
- Lynn Meneses as Sikarian
- B. Miller as Sikarian
- D. Mills as Sikarian
- Jordan Monheim as sciences officer
- Trina Mortley as sciences officer
- Louis Ortiz as Culhane
- Elizabeth Pengson as Sikarian
- Rob Plaza as operations officer
- Sye Pop as Sikarian
- Jerry Quinn as command officer
- Regina Richardson as operations officer
- S. Sanders as command officer
- Richard Sarstedt as William McKenzie
- Daunette Saunders as operations officer
- Geoffrey Smart as Sikarian
- Liz Smollins as Sikarian
- Jennifer Somers as sciences ensign
- Simon Stotler as operations ensign
- Warren Tabata as Sikarian
- John Tampoya as Kashimuro Nozawa
- Piper Taylor as operations officer
- S. Valentino as Sikarian
- Jeff Witzke as operations officer
- Jasmin Bischoff – stand-in for Martha Hackett
- Sue Henley – stand-in for Kate Mulgrew
- Cy Kennedy – stand-in for Robert Beltran
- Susan Lewis – stand-in for Roxann Biggs-Dawson
- Lorine Mendell – stand-in for Martha Hackett
- Lemuel Perry – stand-in for Tim Russ
- Jerry Quinn – stand-in for Robert Duncan McNeill
- Ron – stand-in for Josh Clark
- Richard Sarstedt – stand-in for Ronald Guttman
- Jennifer Somers – stand-in for Jennifer Lien and Yvonne Suhor
- Simon Stotler – stand-in for Ethan Phillips
- John Tampoya – stand-in for Garrett Wang
- Unknown actor – stand-in for Andrew Hill Newman
47; 2370; ability; Alastria; Alastria system; Alastrian twin suns; antineutrino; apron; atmospheric sensor; bearing; brig; Canon of Laws; Cardassian; Carey's sons; Carey's wife; court martial; culpability; dawn zephyr; Dedestris; Delaney sisters; Delaney, Jenny; Delta Quadrant; Demilitarized Zone; distress call; dozen; dress; erosene winds; ethical dilemma; ethical grounds; euphoria; Federation; Federation space; folded-space transporter; food service; gondola; hemisphere; holodeck; isolinear chip; Kelvin; kiss; kph; literature; logic; magistrate; mantle; microscope; Milky Way Galaxy; Mollie; neutrino; neutrino bubble; neutrino imaging scan; Nivoch; non-linear resonance; novelty; orbit; order of magnitude; painting; pecan pie; phase variance; phonograph; plasma conduit; plasma manifold; precept; Prime Directive; quantum analysis; quartz; scarf; sculpture; security subroutine; senior officer; sensor log; Seska's brother; shock attenuation cylinder; shore leave; Sikaris; Sikaris sun; Sikaris system; Sikarian; Sikarian vessel; spatial trajector; statue; subspace residue; temperature; theodolite; thruster; trajector matrix; transportation device; Venice; wardrobe; yellow alert
- "Prime Factors" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Prime Factors" at Wikipedia
- "Prime Factors" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Prime Factors" at MissionLogPodcast.com, a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
|Star Trek: Voyager
"State of Flux"