Star Trek: Voyager (1999): S05E12 – Bride of Chaotica!


Introduction

“Bride of Chaotica!” is the 106th episode of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Voyager airing on the UPN network, the 12th episode of the fifth season.

The episode largely takes place on the holodeck, which is running a holo-programme in black and white instead of the usual colour. This was because of a small fire to the Bridge set that had occurred while the episode was in production; as a result the Bridge scenes were shot weeks later after the set was repaired and scenes that were originally set for the Bridge were either entirely rewritten or set on a different part of the ship.

The episode contains many elements of the classic 1936 film serial Flash Gordon.

In this episode, Voyager becomes stuck in a inter-dimensional rift as photonic beings from another dimension attempt first contact in the holodeck, meeting the photonic villains of Ens. Paris’ “Captain Proton” programme, who promptly attack them.

Outline

During an episode of The Adventures of Captain Proton on the holodeck (a recurring Voyager hologram programme in the style of vintage movie serials such as Flash Gordon), Ensigns Tom Paris and Harry Kim are forced to leave the programme running when spatial distortions trap the ship and disrupt their control over the computer. While the command staff of Voyager seek to discover a way to free the ship from the spatial distortions, extra-dimensional aliens who exist in a photonic state cross over from their own dimension through a distortion located in the holodeck. There, they are detected and attacked by Dr. Chaotica (who bears a striking resemblance to Flash Gordon’s primary villain Ming the Merciless), who believes them to be from the fifth dimension, and whose holographic (photonic) weaponry – though harmless to humans – is deadly to the aliens.

Eventually, the crew discover the war being waged between Chaotica and the fifth dimension and must defeat him by playing out their roles as the fictional Captain Proton (Tom Paris), his sidekick Buster Kincaid (Harry Kim) the President of Earth (the Doctor, who is himself a photonic being), and Arachnia, Queen of the Spider People – a campy space queen who is destined to be Chaotica’s bride. Paris asks Captain Janeway to take on the role of femme fatale Queen Arachnia. Mortified, she refuses such an indignity, but reluctantly agrees in order to help Voyager out of its predicament.

Inside the program and now in full costume, Janeway/Queen Arachnia uses her charms to try to manipulate Chaotica into lowering the “lightning shield” protecting his fortress under the pretence that her loyal subjects in their “spider ships” can attend their wedding. Chaotica becomes suspicious of Arachnia so she attempts to deactivate the shield herself but Chaotica traps her in his “confinement rings” force field for double crossing him, telling her he will kill her after their wedding night. Using a vial of her “spider pheromones” to hypnotise Chaotica’s guard, Arachnia manipulates him into freeing her. She then deactivates the lightning shield enabling Captain Proton to fire his “destructo beam” at Chaotica and defeat him, thereby freeing Voyager and allowing ship and crew to continue on their journey home.

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Allan Kroker.
  • Writer(s): Bryan Fuller.
  • Release Date: 27 January 1999.
  • Running Time: 45 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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