Star Trek: Voyager (1999): S05E14 – Bliss


Introduction

“Bliss” is the 108th episode of the science fiction television series Star Trek: Voyager, the 14th episode of the fifth season.

In this science fiction story set in the 24th century on lost spaceship, the character Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) returns to the Starfleet starship USS Voyager to discovery they have found a possible way home, a wormhole back to Earth.

The spacecraft has become stranded on the other side of the Galaxy as Earth, an ongoing plot device in the series.

The story came from a dream (allegedly) experienced by Bill Prady who at the time worked on the situation comedy series Dharma & Greg. The Federation starship USS Voyager becomes trapped in an enormous space dwelling “pitcher plant”.

Outline

Crewmember Seven of Nine and Ensign Tom Paris return to Voyager from an away mission with young Naomi Wildman. They soon learn that the crew believes they have found a wormhole leading directly back to Earth. Seven is immediately suspicious, and secretly reviews Captain Kathryn Janeway’s logs. Janeway’s earlier logs indicate finding a wormhole that was giving off deceptive readings; the later logs appear to dismiss those concerns, with Janeway directing the ship towards it without concern, believing to have obtained communications from Starfleet directing them through it.

Seven continues investigating the wormhole, but finds the crew blocking her efforts: the astrometrics lab is taken offline, supposedly to conserve power, and her communications with an alien named Qatai, warning them away from the anomaly is cut short. Seven realises she and Naomi are the only ones unenthusiastic about returning to Earth–Seven has no memory of Earth and Naomi has never seen it. The crew report continually receiving unbelievably upbeat and happy messages from Earth; Janeway’s former fiancée has ended his engagement to another woman; Neelix is being made an ambassador, and Paris is offered a dream job. Doctor agrees with Seven’s assessment that the crew is being manipulated. The crew take the Doctor offline and attempt to place Seven into stasis, telling her it will prevent attracting the Borg with their passage. Seven evades them and erects a force field in engineering while attempting to halt the ship, but the crew knock Seven out.

Seven wakes to find that Voyager has entered the anomaly that appears to be a massive bio-organism digesting the ship’s hull. The remaining crew have been knocked unconscious. Seven makes contact with Qatai, whose ship is also trapped inside the anomaly. Qatai reveals that they are inside a creature that telepathically tricks crews to enter it in order to consume their starships. He has been trying to destroy the creature for years after it had killed his wife and family. After reactivating the Doctor, he, Seven, and Qatai are able to force the creature to eject both ships by igniting some of Voyager’s antimatter with Qatai’s weapons. The plan appears to be effective, both ships free of the creature, but Qatai asserts they are still inside the creature, and that their escape is what Seven desired and the creature is influencing her mind. They repeat the procedure, and are successfully ejected.

As Voyager returns to consciousness and sets course to the Alpha Quadrant, Qatai is seen sighing and returning to the creature, presumably having chosen to return to a life of delusional captivity or to continue fighting it.

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Cliff Bole.
  • Writer(s): Bill Prady.
  • Release Date: 10 February 1999.
  • Running Time: 45 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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