Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Natural Law”

“Natural Law”Composed by Kenneth Biller & James KahnDirected by Terry WindellYear 7, Episode 22Generation episode

“Natural Law”
Composed by Kenneth Biller & James Kahn
Directed by Terry Windell
Year 7, Episode 22
Generation episode 268
Original air day: May perhaps 2, 2001
Stardate: 54827.7

Captain’s log. Voyager has arrived at Ledos, a environment principally occupied by a spacefaring men and women. Chakotay is using Seven to a four-day conference on warp concept by way of shuttlecraft, and he’s taking the scenic route, as Ledos has some wonderful countryside. Having said that, they collide with a force subject and crash.

Paris is stopped by Ledosian authorities when out with the Delta Flyer. It turns out he was piloting recklessly, and by Ledosian law, he ought to get piloting lessons. Paris attempts to get out of it, but Janeway won’t enable him.

Seven and Chakotay were ready to beam off the shuttle ahead of it crashed, but Chakotay has a hairline fracture and a big cut on his leg. They attempt to come across the debris from the shuttle so they can test to salvage it, and then occur across a bunch of hunter/gatherer-variety individuals who do not seem to have any technological know-how. Chakotay’s wound is having contaminated, so he hides while 7 seeks out shuttle particles. Sadly, the locals—who are referred to as the Ventu, and who are genetically very similar to the Ledosians, but not very the same—find him and deliver him to their camp. They smash his combadge when Seven attempts to make contact with him—but also gown his wound and utilize a salve to it.

7 tracks Chakotay down to the Ventu camp, and they decide to make the best of it, since they feel pleasant and deliver shelter in the caves. The Ventu show up to be mute, but converse by using a variety of signal language. 7 has uncovered the deflector and thinks she can use it to make a beacon that will penetrate the power discipline. She goes off to do that, leaving Chakotay in the Ventu’s palms. They provide him with a strolling stick and he proceeds to find out their language.

After remaining teased mercilessly by Torres, Kim, and Neelix, Paris satisfies Kleg, his piloting teacher. Kleg is a stickler, a hardass, and variety of a snot, and all Paris’ attempts to suck up and to deflect blame fail totally. In unique, Paris tries to blame his violation on bad style, not acknowledging that Kleg did his research and is aware that Paris himself built the Flyer. Oops.

Screenshot: CBS

7 does not do nicely in the great outdoors—she journeys and loses her tricorder down a gap. As night falls, a thunderstorm techniques, and she receives cold. Having said that, a Ventu baby followed her, and she makes a fireplace for 7.

Right after a superior night’s rest by the hearth, and a shared breakfast, the lady potential customers Seven to a waterfall, then they finally uncover the deflector. Chakotay, meanwhile, is anxious about contamination with technologies, as the Ventu have observed bits of the shuttlecraft that they’re making use of as jewellery.

Tuvok informs Janeway that Seven and Chakotay under no circumstances showed for the conference. An investigation reveals that the shuttle went down on a southern sub-continent. It was not portion of Chakotay’s flight strategy, so he wasn’t warned about the pressure field. According to the Ledosian ambassador, that pressure industry was set in spot by aliens who wished to shield the Ventu from the Ledosians hundreds of years in the past. The Ledosians were considerably fewer enlightened then, and all attempts to convey down the pressure discipline have failed.

On the other hand, the Ledosians are beautifully ok with Voyager taking a shot at it. Tuvok, Torres, and Kim get the job done on that even though on the area, Seven tries to modify the deflector in these a way that it will penetrate the drive subject. She is in a position to do it, but requires the deflector to be moved, which the Ventu assist with.

As soon as the deflector is activated, Voyager is capable to communicate with Seven. Nevertheless, the Ventu woman was hurt when she touched the deflector although it was activated, and 7 requests a hold off of her beam-out until eventually she can take care of the woman. Chakotay beams again and is dealt with by the EMH, who is amazed with the Ventu’s clinical tactics, as his leg is in decent condition, all issues deemed.

Star Trek: Voyager "Natrual Law"

Screenshot: CBS

The Ledosians immediately start off transporting into the Ventu territory, eagerly hunting ahead to exploiting it, and also helping out the Ventu. 7 and Chakotay are not thrilled about this, and Janeway decides that, after their shuttle debris is all recovered, they are going to restore the barrier. The ambassador isn’t delighted about this, and he sends a ship to hearth on Voyager, disabling their transporter.

Janeway has an ace up her sleeve, though: Paris is continue to out with the Delta Flyer being tested on his piloting competencies. He leaves the obstacle study course he’s on, beams the Ledosians out of the power field spot, and then destroys the very last piece of technological know-how left on the surface prior to the force subject closes. Kleg points out that he’ll never be ready to fly in Ledosian area once again, but Paris lets as how he’s all right with that.

Voyager goes on its merry way, getting pissed off the Ledosians a little something fierce, but also making it possible for the Ventu to proceed to are living in peace.

Can’t we just reverse the polarity? Plenty of technobabble flying rapidly and furious in this a person, as Seven does all types of things involving tetryons and phase shifting and other cool things, to start with to maintain them from dying in the shuttle crash, then to get them out of the drive subject.

There is coffee in that nebula! Janeway is naturally actually genuinely having fun with observing Paris squirm as he realizes that he has to get piloting classes.

Mr. Vulcan. Tuvok receives to have enjoyment with retuning weapons as they check out to split by means of the power subject.

Fifty percent and fifty percent. Torres is having terrific satisfaction out of teasing her husband relating to his possessing to get piloting classes. 

You should condition the character of the healthcare unexpected emergency. The EMH is suitably amazed with the Ventu’s potential to heal Chakotay’s leg.

Resistance is futile. 7 thinks incredibly minimal of the Ventu to start—when Chakotay displays her how they say goodbye, Seven has a traditional “why ought to I care about that?” expression on her face—but she will come to value them.

Do it.

“Inadequate method integration. Visibility impaired by lateral sensor array. Inadequate console accessibility.”

“Y’know, I could not concur much more. Individuals are some of the problems that led to my so-named ‘pilot error.’”

“Polarity thrusters? Oh, they’ve been known to bring about accidental acceleration.”

“Exactly my stage. Why really should I be held responsible for the ship’s design and style flaws?”

“According to the upkeep records, you were this vessel’s main designer. I make it a level of qualified satisfaction to research each and every scenario I’m assigned to. Are you common with that term, Lieutenant? Expert delight?”

–Kleg enumerating Paris’ inadequacies and Paris striving and failing to chat his way out of them.

Welcome aboard. Neil Vipond, final found as the cranky old Klingon Darok in DS9’s “Once Much more Unto the Breach,” plays the cranky aged Ledosian Kleg. The Ventu is performs by Paul Sandman, while Autumn Reeser plays the Ventu lady. Robert Curtis Brown plays the Ledosian ambassador, although Ivar Brogger plays the Ledosian anthropologist and Matt McKenzie performs the Ledosian cop who offers Paris a rushing ticket.

Trivial issues: The Ventu’s movements have been choreographed by Albie Selznick. Selznick beforehand appeared in “Macrocosm,” and made the actions of the Tak Tak in that episode.

The aliens who erected the force subject could conceivably be the Preservers, proven in the initial series’ “The Paradise Syndrome” as men and women who preserve “primitive” peoples from extinction.

This is the eleventh (and previous!) shuttlecraft that Voyager loses, and the 1st a single due to the fact “Dark Frontier” back again in the mid-fifth year. They’d been performing so properly, too…

Star Trek: Voyager "Natrual Law"

Screenshot: CBS

Set a study course for property. “So you can execute a transform at considerably less than 3 hundred KPH—well accomplished, Lieutenant.” It took the better section of forty many years, but Trek ultimately did a tale about Indigenous peoples that doesn’t make me cringe. The Ventu—who are amazingly apparent analogues for Indigenous folks below on Earth, whether or not Chakotay’s ancestors in the Americas or Aboriginals in Australia or the Inuit in the Arctic—are not treated like pathetic primitives, à la the unique series’ “The Paradise Syndrome,” nor as pure noble people of the Earth, à la “Tattoo.” The Ventu are basically portrayed as men and women. Seven is rapid to dismiss them as primitive, but she arrives all over in the finish. They are not idealized, but they’re not produced out to be fools or idiots, possibly.

What I particularly like about this episode is that it does not beat you about the head and shoulders. Chakotay doesn’t make a speech about how these people are just like his ancestors, as scripter James Kahn assumes at least a modicum of intelligence on the section of the audience.

The place it falls down is in the ending. There are significant Key Directive challenges below, and the episode half-asses it. The difficulty is that the violation has now took place: Chakotay and 7 have uncovered the Ventu to people today exterior the barrier that was placed close to their residence, and the Ledosians ultimately have access to that continent all over again. The closing solution is a single that includes Voyager earning a conclusion that is opposite to the conclusion that the Ledosians have built. And it’s an attempt to put toothpaste back in the tube, which is specifically as messy as that sounds.

Here’s the dilemma: nobody talks to the Ventu. Chakotay has now figured out enough of their language to at least have rudimentary conversations. The Ventu are the types who are intended to be safeguarded, but nobody essentially asks them what they want. Up till the stop, the script did a excellent task of displaying that the Ventu are self-sufficient and worthy of staying regarded a proper civilization, nevertheless when it counts, no one bothers to give them any company in a major conclusion about their future.

Still and all, this is a superior science fiction tale and a very good, if flawed, Trek story. I specifically like that the Ventu talk via a gestural alternatively than verbal language, as it is a wonderful touch. It feels like assumed went into this episode and in developing two unique alien cultures that also comment on our culture.

Furthermore it’s bought the most effective B-plot ever. Seriously, Paris receiving a speeding ticket and owning to get a refresher program in piloting is just comedy gold, with the added reward of Neil Vipond definitely nailing the snotty hardass piloting teacher. Paris is the usual privileged dudebro asshole who tries every trick in the book to get out of the implications of his actions (it is practically really hard to feel he’s the son of an admiral who has a background of currently being a chronic fuckup), and Kleg does not choose a one micrometer of his shit on the subject matter. It is a wonderful point, particularly the way his spouse, his most effective mate, and Neelix all tease him relentlessly on the subject.

Warp variable ranking: 6

Keith R.A. DeCandido will be a visitor at Indiana Comedian-Con this coming weekend at the Indiana Conference Centre in Indianapolis. He’ll be at the Bard’s Tower booth for the the vast majority of the weekend, along with fellow term-slingers Claudia Grey, Michael A. Stackpole, Megan Mackie, Caitlin Sangster, Brian Anderson, and Christopher Ruocchio. Keith may well also be undertaking some programming. Come by and say hello!