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|Story by:||Scott Miller|
|Teleplay by:||Kenneth Biller|
|Directed by:||Winrich Kolbe|
Voyager finds a vast inhabited ocean floating in space, but it is in danger of destruction.
The episode begins with Tom Paris dictating a letter to his father explaining why he's been sent to the brig for thirty days. The story of his misadventure is interlaced with scenes over the course of his monthlong confinement.
As the story unfolds, we learn that Voyager has encountered a planet whose entire surface is covered in ocean and inhabited by a species called the Moneans. The crew make contact with two representatives of the planet, Burkus and Riga, who explain that their lifestyle is based on harvesting oxygen from the ocean and living in contained underwater cities. Unfortunately, they also learn that the force keeping the ocean in place is weakening and that it may soon lose containment. The ocean planet's residents do not have ships that can probe deep enough to determine the root of this containment problem. Fascinated with the planet due to his childhood fantasies to become a naval officer, Tom Paris decides to take the Delta Flyer down to the depths to explore a possible solution.
Deep underneath the ocean's surface, Tom and the away team discover a hundred-thousand-year-old reactor, responsible for generating the containment field, which is somehow malfunctioning. However, they are forced to surface before fully downloading the information from the reactor due to a hull breach caused by a sea-dwelling predator.
Back on Voyager, the crew delves deeper into the mystery of the reactor problems, and ultimately determines that they are in fact caused by the Moneans' oxygen mining operations. Tom suggests to Burkus that some of these operations are closed down to prevent containment loss that would result in evacuation, but he realizes that Burkus is a member of an inefficient bureacracy that is not likely to take action.
Frustrated by this, he and Riga decide to return to the ocean in the Delta Flyer and attempt to shut down some of the oxygen mines using missiles. Once Captain Janeway discovers that the shuttle is missing, she orders him to immediately return to Voyager and not meddle further in the affairs of this planet. Tom disobeys and fires the missiles anyway, but they are intercepted by torpedo fire from Voyager and the mission is a failure.
Tom returns to Voyager and is not received warmly by the captain. She orders him to be confined to the brig, and demotes him to the rank of ensign. At the conclusion of the episode, Tom is released, and makes sure to file the letter to his father away so that it can be delivered to him one day on Earth.
- After 5 years of references, the infamous Delaney sisters appear for the first time.
- Tom Paris is reduced in rank to ensign.
Links and References
- Willie Garson as Riga
- Benjamin Livingston as Deputy Consul Burkus
- Heidi Kramer as Megan Delaney and Demonica
- Alissa Kramer as Jenny Delaney and Malicia
- Garrett Wang as Buster Kincaid
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea; brig; Culhane; Jenny Delaney; Megan Delaney; Delta Flyer; Demonica; Federation Naval Patrol; Constance Goodheart; Harry Kim; Leola root; Malicia; Monean; Monean Maritime Sovereignty; Owen Paris; Tom Paris; Prime Directive; Captain Proton; The Twin Mistresses of Evil; Jules Verne
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