“Prime Factors” is the 10th episode of Star Trek: Voyager.
Voyager picks up a distress call and makes contact with a new world and its inhabitants.
In addition to major scenes with cast regulars such as Captain Janeway and Ensign Harry Kim, the crew encounters a variety of aliens with Ronald Guttman as Gath, Yvonne Suhor as Eudana, and Andrew Hill Newman as Jaret. Voyager’s crew including Martha Hackett as Seska and Josh Clark as Lieutenant Joe Carey also have some screentime.
Voyager encounters a very hospitable race known as the Sikarians and is invited to visit their homeworld, Sikaris. Shore leave is organised, and during the visit, Ensign Kim and a Sikarian transport themselves to another planet, Alastria. Kim notices that the planet has two stars and must belong to another star system. The Sikarian describes the location of the planet, and Kim deduces that the teleporter device – the trajector – has transported them 40,000 light-years across the Delta Quadrant.
Captain Kathryn Janeway is informed, and asks Gath, the leader of the Sikarians, if the technology could be used to transport Voyager further towards the Alpha Quadrant. Gath states that they are forbidden from sharing technology, by their own version of the Prime Directive. Janeway reflects on how many times the Prime Directive has prevented Starfleet from interfering with more primitive cultures, and how they, Starfleet, are now in the reverse situation.
The crew consider how they can bargain for technology, and Kim remembers that stories are valued by the Sikarians. Janeway takes this into account and makes an offer, asking Gath if the Sikarians will transport Voyager in exchange for its entire library of literature. Gath appears to find the offer tempting and promises to discuss it with the other Sikarian leaders.
In engineering, Seska is seen in a daze thinking of her brother’s birthday in a few days. Chief Engineer Torres, Seska and Lt. Carey then examine the spatial rift caused by the trajector to figure out how it works. A while later, Kim is approached by a civilian who offers to bypass the law and hand over the technology in exchange for the literature. Janeway is unable to authorise an illicit trade, so she heads down to pressure Gath once again. Janeway discovers that he is only interested in his own pleasure and never intended to accept her offer. Gath orders Voyager to leave, so Janeway returns to the ship and orders the recall of all personnel.
Torres, Carey, and Seska have downloaded the library and, after debate, head to the transporter room. When trying to access the transporter, they are unable to and Security Chief Tuvok walks in on them. Instead of condemning the engineering team’s actions in undermining Janeway’s authority, Tuvok goes to the surface and makes the exchange without her knowledge or permission. He returns to Voyager with the trajector, but instructs the engineering team not to attempt to use the device until he has spoken with Janeway.
Seska connects the trajector to a console port in engineering so that they can examine it. They discover that the technology relies on the massive crystalline mantle of the planet as an amplifier, and once they depart, the trajector will be useless.
As Voyager is about to depart, Torres and Seska activate the trajector. The trajector field forming around the ship produces anti-neutrinos, and the warp core begins building to a breach, because anti-neutrinos are incompatible with Federation technology. Unable to disengage the trajector from the console, Torres destroys it with a phaser. Janeway is shocked to discover Tuvok, her friend and counsel, was the senior officer involved in the conspiracy.
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Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): Les Landau.
- Writer(s): David R. George III and Eric A. Stillwell.
- Release Date: 20 March 1995.
- Running Time: 45 minutes.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.