“Future’s End” is a two-part episode from the third season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Voyager, the eighth and ninth of the season and the 50th and 51st overall.
In this episode, Voyager is thrown back to Earth in 1996 and must find a way back to the 24th century while making sure they don’t cause a disaster in the 29th century in the process.
The crew is surprised by a small ship with a Federation signature that emerges from a temporal rift in front of the starship Voyager. Its pilot identifies himself as Captain Braxton (Allan Royal) from the 29th century aboard the Federation Timeship Aeon. He shocks the crew when he explains that he believes Voyager to be the cause of a temporal explosion that would wipe out most of the Earth’s solar system in his time; therefore he must destroy it. As proof, Braxton briefly states that debris from Voyager’s secondary hull will be found in the remains of the explosion. Voyager fights off Braxton’s attack, resulting in the future captain being sent back through the rift to Earth in the year 1967. Voyager and its crew are also pulled into the rift and find themselves also at Earth but in 1996. The starship is categorised on Earth as a UFO and videotaped, placing the US military on alert.
In 1967, a young hippie hiker, Henry Starling (Ed Begley, Jr.), finds the timeship Aeon and copies its technology, allowing him to create a company, Chronowerx Industries, and start the micro-computer revolution. In 1996, a young astronomer named Rain Robinson (Sarah Silverman) who works at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles discovers Voyager in high orbit through the ship’s warp emissions and assumes it to be extraterrestrial life. Her work is funded by Starling but against his instructions, she attempts to contact Voyager by transmitting a greeting to it, which forces the crew to do some damage control. The Voyager crew tracks her location to the Observatory and Captain Janeway, Commander Chakotay, Lt. Tuvok (Tim Russ), and Lt. Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill), decide to beam down to Los Angeles. Tuvok and Paris try to find Robinson, while Janeway and Chakotay attempt to investigate more on Henry Starling and his multi-million dollar business. Tuvok and Paris remove Robinson from the observatory before she can be harmed after Starling, who fears that Robinson is a security risk, dispatches a hitman to kill her.
In Los Angeles, Janeway and Chakotay identify a homeless man as Captain Braxton, who explains that he emerged from the time rift in 1967 and crash-landed in the desert, where a Henry Starling found the Aeon and used its technology to begin his high-tech empire.
Ultimately, Janeway and Chakotay discover from Captain Braxton that Starling’s planned attempt to travel into the 29th century using Braxton’s timeship will be the true cause for the temporal explosion in the 29th century, because Starling lacks the knowledge needed to properly operate the timeship. If Starling makes his trip to the future, the improperly configured temporal matrix will cause a temporal explosion that will destroy Earth’s entire solar system. Braxton thinks that Voyager’s debris will be found in the remains of the explosion because of a failed attempt to stop Starling.
Janeway and Chakotay secretly enter Starling’s Chronowerx office where they find the Aeon, just as Starling walks in on them. Starling ignores Janeway’s warning not to use the timeship since its use will cause disaster and he tries to kill Janeway and Chakotay, however the two are beamed aboard Voyager. When Voyager tries to beam up the timeship, Starling uses his own transporter beam to access Voyager’s computer and study its systems before stealing the Doctor’s program from Sickbay. Worse still, Voyager’s presence is detected and placed on the news media since the ship’s crew had to dive the ship low into Earth’s atmosphere to beam Janeway and Chakotay aboard.
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Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): David Livingston.
- Writer(s): Brannon Braga and Joe Menosky.
- Release Date: 06 November 1996.
- Running Time: 45 minutes.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.