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Star Trek: Voyager – Macrocosm (Review)

If Star Trek: Voyager is going to commit itself to emulating Star Trek: The Next Generation, there are probably worse ways to do it.

Macrocosm is not a bad riff on Genesis, another sci-fi monster story from Brannon Braga. Braga has an interest in the overlap between horror and retro science-fiction, as demonstrated by scripts from Schisms to Sub Rosa to Threshold. While none of these episodes count among Braga’s best work, and many are considered among his worst, they very clearly represent a subject of interest to him. Given the third season misfires with Warlord and The Q and the Grey, a light run-around action story is not the worst episode that Voyager could produce at this point.

Going viral.

Going viral.

Macrocosm has more than its fair share of problems. It is structured oddly, it is laboured with exposition, it is not technically as tight as it needs to be. However, there is a lot to be said for an episode that casts Kathryn Janeway as John Rambo, stalking killer monsters through the dimly-lit corridors of her own starship. It is at the very least a refreshing change of pace. Besides, if Jean-Luc Picard gets to be an action hero in scripts like Starship Mine or Star Trek: First Contact, it seems only fair that Janeway should get her chance.

The biggest problem with Macrocosm is the episode that it might have been. The original pitch for the episode was much more ambitious than the version that made it to screen. Unfortunately, this is very much the narrative of the third season of Voyager, and perhaps the show as a whole. Macrocosm was a bold idea that was gradually watered down to form a passable imitation of The Next Generation.

"It's going to get very First Contact in here, very quickly."

“It’s going to get very First Contact in here, very quickly.”

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