“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.
Following Starling’s computer attack, Voyager is badly damaged and is unable to enter the atmosphere for fear of encountering the military, leaving Paris and Tuvok alone on Earth with Robinson. Realising they will need her help, Paris plays to her speculation and tells her that he and Tuvok are government agents who are trying to recover highly advanced technology which was stolen by Starling, which they believe he will use to cause massive devastation. Though still shaky on the details, Robinson agrees to help after realising that her life is safer in their hands rather than Starling’s. Starling tries to extract information out of the Doctor on Janeway by altering his program to torture him, exposing him to pain for the first time. He is stopped when Robinson, prompted by Paris and Tuvok, arranges to meet at a public park. To keep an eye on him, Starling equips the Doctor with a piece of 29th-Century technology, a “Mobile Holo-Emitter”, which allows him to move around without having to rely on fixed emitters.
During the meeting, Chakotay and B’elanna take a shuttle into Earth’s lower atmosphere to act as a relay to allow Janeway to abduct Starling and beam him aboard Voyager, the distraction allowing the Doctor to escape with Paris, Tuvok and Robinson. Unfortunately damage taken during the transport forces Chakotay and B’elanna to crash land in the Arizona desert where they are captured by isolationists. However Tuvok and the Doctor, splitting up from Paris and Robinson, are able to rescue them and begin repairs on the shuttle.
Held prisoner on Voyager, Starling admits to Janeway that he intends to travel into the future to steal more advanced technology because he has reached the limit of what he can create by studying the Aeon. Janeway informs him of Captain Braxton’s warning about the disaster he will cause, but Starling is too egotistic to believe he can make a mistake. While Janeway believes that she has ended Starling’s plans, one of Starling’s henchmen uses his scavenged 29th century technology to transport Starling back to his office. Paris and Robinson arrive there to discover a large truck, which they believe contains the timeship, leaving and pursue the vehicle out of the city and into a confrontation, only to be saved by the arrival of the repaired shuttle. Paris says goodbye to Robinson before rejoining the others. Unfortunately after scanning the trucks remains, they discover too late it was a decoy, and the Aeon is still at the Chronowerx Building as Starling launches the timeship to perform his time travel.
After a failed attempt to convince Starling to stop his time travel before it’s too late, Janeway manually fires a photon torpedo into the Aeon, destroying it just as it enters a temporal rift, saving the future. A few moments later, an alternative Captain Braxton arrives in another timeship Aeon, explaining that having detected the anomaly of their presence in the past, he has come to return them to their own time at the place they left it. Sadly, he is unwilling to bring them to their Earth as that would violate the Temporal Prime Directive, so Voyager returns to the exact moment they first encountered the Aeon, and the crew reflect on the results of their mission: The Doctor gains more freedom as he keeps the Mobile Holo-Emitter, and thanks to Robinson, Paris has more insight into just how weird Tuvok is to the untrained eye.
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Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): Cliff Bole.
- Writer(s): Brannon Braga and Joe Menosky.
- Release Date: 13 November 1996.
- Running Time: 45 minutes.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.