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Kes is taken over by the mind-force of an obsessive rebel.



On the holodeck, Neelix introduces Ensign Harry Kim and Lieutenant Tom Paris to his new, recreational holoprogram, closely modeled after a serene Talaxian vacation spot, Paxau Resort. He asks for their opinion of his programming job. They suggest a few modifications to make it more lively. Kim and Paris blend in some Earth-like components such as brighter, more casual clothing for resort employees, a Caribbean band and several holographic characters based on a title-winning women's volleyball team. Instead of being offended that their changes had fundamentally compromised the "realism" of his recreation, Neelix embraced the changes as fun additions. While Neelix dances to the Caribbean music, Paris and Kim are called away to the bridge.

Act One

Once there, Captain Kathryn Janeway asks them to maneuver USS Voyager in a delicate rescue operation. A nearby ship is nearing destruction but Kim and Paris manage to beam the injured passengers onboard Voyager. All three are transported directly to sickbay. As The Doctor and Kes treat the aliens, one of them (Tieran) dies. The two surviving aliens, named Adin and Nori, thank Janeway for saving their lives and for bringing them to their homeworld, which is two days away. During the trip, Kes spends a great deal of time with the two guests, causing her to be late for a lunch date with Neelix. Upon finally arriving, however, Kes tells Neelix she wants to spend some time apart. She goes on to say that she has only ever been in a relationship with him, and so has no other relationship with which to compare it. Before leaving a saddened and confused Neelix, Kes says that her primary concern is that Neelix is too demanding of her time, not allowing her to develop her own friendships and social network.

Upon Voyager's arrival at Ilari, an official representative of the Autarch agrees to come aboard to thank Janeway personally. Kes goes to the transporter room to see off her new Ilari friends – then promptly opens fire and kills Ensign Martin, who is manning the transporter, and the Ilari representative. Janeway tries to subdue Kes but is knocked out. Nori, Adin and Kes then beam a shuttle into space and escape in the blink of an eye.

Act Two

On the way to their rendezvous point, they pick up an additional passenger, Resh, to give him orders on an imminent assault. Resh is shocked at Tieran's new appearance, and disagrees with advancing troops immediately, appealing to the others that they have been planning this for years. When Resh questions her orders, she uses her mental abilities to demonstrate her power and ensure his loyalty.

Chakotay tries to follow the shuttle, but the three were able to mask the warp signature. Janeway meets with Demmas, a son of the current Autarch of Ilari, to find out what's going on. Demmas explains that the third patient they rescued, who died on the operating table, was probably Tieran, a former Autarch who was obsessed with his own mortality and seems to have discovered a way to transfer his own mind into another person's body. He claims that the process is irreversible, but Janeway refuses to use force until The Doctor finds a way to remove Tieran from Kes safely. Just then, Ensign Harry Kim informs them that they've detected the missing shuttle, and that its occupants have beamed into the Imperial Hall.

Once on the surface of Ilari, Kes/Tieran enters the Imperial Hall, instantly kills the current Autarch, and abducts Ameron, the Autarch's younger son. She then sets herself up as the new regent, taking the talisman and putting it on. The others soon declare "loyalty and service."

Act Three

Kes/Tieran attempts to resume the relationship with Nori

Kes/Tieran begins to make over the palace as it was when he ruled, destroying the decorations of the previous inhabitants. She pauses however, when she comes to an ornate vase filled with flowers. For a moment it seems as though Kes' strong attachment to botany might resurface. Instead, Kes/Tieran plucks one of the stems and rushes excitedly over to Nori and gives it to her. Nori worries that she may not still be Tieran's wife but Kes/Tieran assures her that she is. She leans in to kiss Nori but the lovers' reunion is interrupted by Resh, who is bringing her the Autarch's son, Ameron. Tieran offers him the chance to join her, which would solidify her claim to the throne, appealing to his displeasure at not being the rightful heir simply because he was born later than Demmas.

On Voyager, Demmas monitors the situation, seeing that Tieran has had some success persuading his less reliable allies to join him. He also suspects Tieran has persuaded Ameron to join him. Demmas insists to strike early, but Janeway counters with a desire to remove Tieran from Kes. The Doctor has found the mechanism Tieran used to control Kes: an implant which enhanced his neural energy and sent it out through the nervous system to his hand, and then into Kes via bioelectric microfibers. He createed a synaptic stimulator that should remove Tieran's consciousness; however, to be successful, it would have to come in direct contact with her skin. Lt. Tuvok volunteers to go down to the planet alone to use the device, claiming that Tieran will be less prepared for the infiltration of a single individual then he would be against a stronger contingent.

In the Hall, Adin is installing the same implant Tieran had in his old host, though Adin warns the headaches will continue since Kes wasn't a willing host like his others. Tieran sort of enjoys the spirit Kes is demonstrating, and wants to keep her mental abilities. Adin presses the issue, and Tieran responds by reflecting on his earlier life in which he overcame many obstacles. He won't be defeated by this girl and demands Adin not mention it again.

Later, while the group is discussing their situation, Tieran senses Tuvok's arrival by utilizing Kes' powers and unmasks him before he can succeed. Nori states the punishment for his attack is death, but Tieran thinks he's more valuable alive.

Act Four

Tuvok tries to find Kes' latent consciousness via a mind meld

Kes/Tieran questions Tuvok about Voyager and Demmas, feeling his mental defenses. She also tries to seduce him, trying to draw on her memories. Tuvok takes the opportunity to mind meld with her, temporarily bringing Kes' consciousness to the surface. Kes temporarily is able to communicate with Tuvok as herself, and the Vulcan encourages her to continue fighting Tieran from within. However, Tieran soon regains control over Kes's body and disables Tuvok, throwing him to the wall.

Tieran orders Voyager to leave the planet's orbit or face his warships. He insists he has no ill will toward Janeway and her crew, and encourages them to take their losses and leave. A headache forces Tieran to end the communication, which Janeway notices. The crew prepares a more forceful plan, though Tieran told them he is aware of a certain weakness in the building's shielding.

Tieran tries to seduce Kes into relinquishing control

In the Imperial Hall, Tieran is trying to stay awake, where he's more able to control Kes. He also orders to let Voyager retreat. With Resh's objections and Adin's insistence that Tieran get some sleep, Tieran angrily demands everyone leave the room. Tieran inevitably falls asleep, where Kes begins to fight back more vigorously. She and Tieran joust for mental dominance. In a dream, he attempts to seduce her into submission, trying to show her the benefits of the mental alliance. Though briefly tempted, Kes quickly becomes more resolute. She announces that she will never let him completely control her. Equally though, she is unsuccessful at driving him out of her mind.

Tieran is woken up forcefully by Adin, and he retaliates, killing the man. Desperately, he yells out that he is "stronger than ever!" to an empty room.

Act Five

Practically, this mental fight leaves Kes/Tieran in a diminished state. The conflict causes severe headaches to begin to manifest themselves, but Tieran is determined to carry through his plan. In the Hall, Tieran holds a celebration where he announces his "marriage" to Ameron to strengthen a political alliance. Nori is displeased, but Tieran insists, forcefully, that it is not real, and he still loves her. Kes is still fighting, and makes Tieran visibly shout out nonsense. Then, Resh comes and and announces an opposition force of Demmas' army and Voyager is coming, outnumbering their forces. Tieran becomes clearly delusional, forcing everyone to continue the celebrations to not let them be disrupted. Kes starts to surface in more subtly, as Tieran starts to talk about requiring everyone to have a garden.

Paris rescues Tuvok while an away team attacks the palace. Most of the other Ilari guards and civilians are taken by surprise and soon Kes/Tieran is cornered. The device is placed on her cheek, and Kes regains control of her body. However, it is discovered that before the device was used, Tieran was able to transfer his consciousness to Ameron. Kes is able to sense his presence and uses the device to remove Tieran permanently. Demmas assumes his rightful place as Autarch.

Back on Voyager, Tuvok teaches meditation techniques to Kes. She claims, however, that they are not helping and that she will not be able to go along with her life as if nothing happened. Her relationships with her closest friends – Tuvok, The Doctor, and Neelix – will never again be as they were before.

Log entries

  • "Captains log, stardate 50348.1. We've entered orbit around Ilari and sent a message to the Autarch, inviting him to visit the ship. Instead, he'll be sending an official representative."
  • "Captain's log, stardate 50351.4. We're holding a meeting with Demmas, the Autarch's eldest son and heir, in an effort to understand the recent hostile activity."
  • "Captain's log, supplemental. Demmas has decided to remain on board Voyager for the time being, but continues to monitor the worsening situation on Ilari."
  • "Captain's log, stardate 50361.7. Lieutenant Tuvok hasn't reported for our scheduled rendezvous and we've been unable to contact him. We're now considering other, more forceful options."

Memorable quotes

"Yes, but how close would you have to get to use this device?"
"To be fully effective, it would have to come in direct contact with her skin."
"If I could get anywhere near her, I'd use a thoron rifle to be absolutely sure."

Demmas and The Doctor talk about freeing Kes from Tieran

"Bridge to Janeway."
"Emergency in transporter room... oh!"

- Chakotay, contacting Janeway shortly before she is incapacitated

"If this was meant to be a trap, why tell us about it?"
"I'm really not a monster."

Chakotay and Kes (dominated by Tieran)

"Good. I want my people to know I have their welfare at heart. Tomorrow we'll send out an edict. Every citizen must have a garden."
"A garden?"
"I love plants, flowers, anything that grows. Some of the times I felt most content were those spent watching the seedlings grow in the airponics... "

Kes (dominated by Tieran) and Nori

"I know all about your life. I know about your suffering. It doesn't justify what you've become. You're a monster, Tieran, and I have no compassion for you."

Kes, to Tieran in her mind

"You're already deteriorating and it's only going to get worse. I'll find every little crack in your defenses. You'll feel yourself crumbling from within, your sanity slipping away. I won't stop until you're broken and helpless. There's nowhere you can go to get away from me. I'll be relentless and merciless, just like you."

Kes, to Tieran in her mind

"I can't help wondering whether I could have fought harder."
"It was your absolute refusal to surrender which defeated him. You cannot ask more of yourself than that."

Kes and Tuvok

"How can I go back to my normal life as if nothing ever happened?"
"You cannot. This experience will force you to adapt. You are no longer the same person and the course of your life will change as a result. Where that new course leads... is up to you."

Kes and Tuvok

Background information

Production history

Story and script

  • This episode had the working title "The Art of War". [1]
  • The initial idea for this episode, as suggested by writing partners Mark Gaberman and Andrew Shepard Price, involved Kes being unwillingly possessed by the spirit of an antagonist. "They pitched the concept of Kes being inhabited by this warrior spirit," reflected Lisa Klink, "and having to do battle with him in her own mind, which seemed like a great thing to do with Kes, who is the least warrior-like character you could think of." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, No. 6/7, p. 98)
  • The episode's final script draft was submitted on 28 August 1996. [2]


Cast and characters

Props and costumes


  • For the first time in Star Trek, the transporter room is used to beam an entire shuttle from the shuttlebay into space. The reverse – transporting a shuttle from space directly into the shuttlebay – was later done in "Real Life".
  • The death of Ensign Martin in this episode brings the total number of confirmed crew deaths since the series premiere "Caretaker" to twelve, the previous death having occurred in "Basics, Part II". This leaves Voyager with a crew of 141, given Voyager's crew compliment of 152 established in "The 37's" (after the first of these deaths).
  • Neelix claims to have undergone "very basic" combat training on Talax. This is consistent with the events of the first season episode "Jetrel", in which Neelix states that he "had the good fortune to be on Talax at the time with our defense forces, preparing for an invasion that never came." Neelix also states that he's been involved in tactical exercises with the crew – suggesting that Janeway fulfilled her promise to him in the second season episode "Initiations" to ensure he was invited to holodeck defense simulations.
  • Kes' telepathic abilities, as well as Tuvok's tutorship of those abilities, are revisited for the first time since the second season episode "Cold Fire".
  • This episode introduces a holographic program of the Paxau Resort that continues to recur throughout the season, subsequently appearing in "The Q and the Grey", "Macrocosm", "Alter Ego", "Blood Fever", "Darkling", "Before and After" and "Displaced".
  • While controlled by Tieran, Kes ends her relationship with Neelix. Even after Kes is restored, the couple's relationship never recovered and ultimately ends somewhere between the Season 3 episodes "Unity" and "Darkling", the latter of which involves Kes enjoying a brief relationship with Zahir. Neelix actor Ethan Phillips recalled, "In 'Warlord,' when Jennifer is taken over by that… other character and that character wants to do away with Neelix, it was our breaking up. And when she comes out of that place, she held onto that direction of not needing Neelix any more. The experience of being possessed broke us up. And we never really had a goodbye." (Voyager Time Capsule: Kes, VOY Season 3 DVD special feature) Phillips also related, "The breakup itself, I thought, was muddy. Did they or did they not break up after 'Warlord'? We never got any closure on it. She was possessed by somebody and under a great deal of stress, and that's when her real feelings came out. That's OK, but there was no closure to let you know if she meant what she said when she was possessed." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine issue 14, p. 43) Additionally, Phillips remarked, "When we broke up, there was not any kind of an acknowledgment by the writers of that. And I remember approaching them and saying I really think that they deserve their closure. And their feeling was, 'No, let's just drop it, let's move on.'" Although the break-up itself is never shown, a scene scripted for "Fair Trade" but later deleted was to have brought further closure to the relationship. (Star Trek: Voyager Companion (p. 158)) Phillips once mistakenly supposed the deleted scene had been extracted from this installment. (Star Trek Magazine issue 179, p. 78)


  • Lisa Klink enjoyed this episode. "'Warlord' was a lot of fun," she said, "because it was really daring." Klink went on to say that the reason she thought it was extremely ambitious was due to the episode's unusual degree of focus on its antagonists and their hostile behavior toward one another. She concluded, "It was something that we don't normally get to see." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, No. 6/7, p. 98)
  • Jeri Taylor also found this episode to be an interesting one. Prior to the episode's first airing, she remarked, "'Warlord' is a really intriguing story." (Star Trek Monthly issue 23)
  • This episode achieved a Nielsen rating of 4.7 million homes, and a 7% share. [3](X)
  • Cinefantastique rated this installment 2 and a half out of 4 stars. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, No. 6/7, p. 97)
  • Star Trek Monthly issue 26, p. 59 scored this episode 2 out of 5 stars, defined as "Impulse Power only".
  • The unauthorized reference book Delta Quadrant (p. 155) gives this installment a rating of 8 out of 10.
  • Lisa Klink thought very highly of Director David Livingston's work on this installment. Klink remarked, "David Livingston did a terrific job. He kept it moving at a hundred miles an hour, and I think that's really what that episode needed." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, No. 6/7, p. 98)


Video and DVD releases

Links and references


Also Starring

Guest Stars



Uncredited Co-Stars

Stunt doubles



2173; 2216; airponics bay; anger; aphrodisiac; athlete; Autarch; bioelectric microfiber; blood; blossom; cardiac induction; Caribbean; citizen; cortical implant; dance; deep sleep; Denar; dermal regenerator; detection grid; drafting; drive plasma; edict; electromagnetic pulse; embarrassment; emotion; extremist; fear; feeling; First Castellan; Gallia nectar; gamma radiation; garden; gold medal; ground forces; headache; holodeck; Ilari; Ilari (planet); Ilari rebels; Ilari ship; Ilari warship; Imperial Hall; inheritance; insecurity; kilometer; Kim Sports Program Theta-2; lake; leader; leadership; lectrazine; library; logic; maintenance cycle; martyr; masseuse; matter-energy conversion; medical staff; meditation; mental ability; military leader; milligram; monster; mortality; nerve pathway; nervous system; neural pattern; palace; paraka wings; Paxau; Paxau Resort; peripheral nerve; plasma injector; political alliance; radiation burn; reaction chamber; Rekarri starburst; rescue mission; sector containing Ilari; seedling; senior officer; siege; sleep; "speciality of the house"; spicy; stimulant; subject; synaptic stimulator; tactical officer; Talax; Talaxian; talisman; thoron rifle; thought; Tieran's doctor; Tieran's parents; traitor; transporter pad; Transporter Room 1; Type 8 shuttlecraft (unnamed); tyrant; unnamed food; viceroy; Viceroy of Denar; volleyball; mind meld; Vulcan; Vulcan nerve pinch; war hero; warp core breach; warp signature; worry; Yaro Province; year

External links

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