Star Trek: Voyager

Season 2 Episode 26

Basics (1)

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM May 20, 1996 on UPN
out of 10
User Rating
169 votes

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Episode Summary


Stardate: 49700.0
Seska lures Chakotay and Voyager to her, claiming that Maj Culluh is going to kill the baby she created using Chakotay's DNA, once he learns that it isn't his. Chakotay feels compelled to rescue his child, in spite of fearing it could be a trap.

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  • Back to basics

    You don't need to be Admiral Ackbar to know where this one is going. With Seska's baby serving as the MacGuffin, Voyager goes on a chase that even the crew knows is probably not a good idea. (Writer Michael Piller, knowing Chakotay and the crew need extra motivation to take the bait, invokes a spiritual vision reminiscent of "Tattoo").

    Like the Harry Potter books, the real interest here isn't in whether evil will strike or not but in the detective story leading up to it. Piller drops clues throughout the episode, such as damage to the deflector dish and anomalous blood readings, and Voyager prepares some surprises of its own. They're all efforts by Piller to create anticipation for a secret climax which we know is coming in some shape or form, but which remains a mystery until it unfolds.

    It all leads to a dramatic finish that would be a killer cliffhanger for any Star Trek series but works best for VOY, with no Federation help available.

    As an episode itself, "Basics" works well, with Ensign Suder brought back for a small sequel to "Meld" and everyone giving fine performances. Unfortunately, some of the recurring guest stars are beginning to undermine the premise of the series. The whole point of VOY is supposed to be that the ship has to work its way back home while discovering new frontiers and new civilizations. When the crew keeps running into the same aliens over and over, it makes it seem as if the ship is going nowhere. (Fortunately, the issue is addressed in the third season).

    All the same, "Basics" serves its purpose as a thrilling season finale that leaves viewers to ponder "how they'll get out of this one". And it even proves that in space, they can hear you scream!

  • Maybe, in my opinion, the best epsisode yet

    My wife and I are going through the entire series on DVD and from what I recall so far I would probably call this my favorite episode yet. Now saying that I do realize that sometimes these people on this ship put themselves in some fairly ridiculous positions. They will attack huge ships, they will believe insipid distress calls, they will just do some really stupid things as they did in this episode. And often the technology just happens so they as a plot line disregarding whether it might even be feasible or not. Finally, many of the alien races are just plain stupid and act more like cavemen than intelligent beings who have spaceflight capability. But what I did like was the way the story did go and where they ended the season. It does lead nicely into season 3 and ended up rather like some old movies I watched when growing up in the '60s with dinosaurs and cavemen. That probably isn't enough to completely rescue it but it will make it interesting. So tomorrow night on to season 3.moreless
  • I am watching this show from the beginning for the first time. And this episode is so far the worst of all season 1&2. It is completely illogical, annoying and doesn't give any sense. Main characters seem really stupid in this one, too.moreless

    This may sound overly harsh, but sadly - it's the truth. We start of with Saska's message that her child is in danger. Now, Chakotay has his doubts, but his father asures him in a vision that the child is his and he has to help him. This is simply stupid - Saska is a traitor and at the moment, the worst enemy. Yet noone really seem to care. Some doubts are shown, but nothing too serious. What if the kazon prepared 10 motherships that will ambush them? Bah, if we die saving a child of the enemy, not even knowing for sure that Chakotay is the father, it was a good death! Stupid...

    And it goes on. We have this kazon who informs them about a safe passage. Yay, he seems allright, lets do whatever he says and put him into his quarters without anyone to watch over him so he can selfdestruct, if he felt like that. By the way, noone ever noticed he has an explosive in his nail, even though he went trough a serioes of complete medical scans.

    Then the kazon fleet came, half of which get scared off by Voyager's decoy ships - by the way, why would the other half stay? And why wouldn't they return when the decoys are seen trough? And, my final thought, where the heck do kazon get these HUGE - Voyager seems like a shuttle compared to them - motherships? They are a stupid, brutal race, they don't have any way to create water, yet they manage to maintain these ships.

    No no no, this episode is a complete miss. Doesn't give any sense at all. Risking the whole crew for a member of it seems fair, but willingly risking everyone's life and handing federation tech to kazon just for a baby who MIGHT have been created from a stolen DNA sample... that is ridiculous.

    One last thing - why do they always wait with the warp drive? Isn't it obvious they won't defeat even two such ships? Yet they stay and fight to death, then the captain asks for warp just after loosing it. Oh my.moreless
  • Basics (1)

    Basics (1) was a good episode and ok season two finale of Star Trek: Voyager. I enjoyed watching this episode but felt that certain things didn't make sense. I wonder how only a few Kazon ships could so easily over take Voyager, which leads to how could it really be that valuable if that is all it takes to conquer Voyager and the Crew? I was entertained by the episode but I wish it would have been a little better and realistic. Voyager should have a certain advantage over other ships or not, and it should be more clear. The Maj and Seska were pretty cruel, especially once the fate of the crew was revealed. The last episode was Janeway and Chakotay, now it is the entire crew, save Lt. Paris. I look forward to watching the next season of Star Trek: Voyager!!!

  • Season ending cliff-hanger

    I have to admit to a couple of things:

    First, I was a very early "Star Trek" fan. I watched the first network episode in 1966. And, I was hooked. I watched the series for three years and continued to watch when it went into syndication. I loved the movies and was also a devoted "SNG" fan. As "Voyager's" second season was ending, I was disappointed. The stories were uninteresting and I found myself no longer carrying for the characters.

    My second admission is that when I first saw the ending of this "cliff-hanger," I wanted to see the Voyager crew stay marooned and not come back. I thought that following Seska and her Kazon friends going forward might be more interesting than what we've been seeing from our Voyager group.

    In retrospect, "Voyager" did improve in its third and subsequent seasons. As a result, when I watch this episode, I can feel the intensity of their plight. I find myself wanting to see them succeed. I want those future seasons to happen.moreless
Brad Dourif

Brad Dourif


Guest Star

Henry Darrow

Henry Darrow


Guest Star

John Gegenhuber

John Gegenhuber


Guest Star

Martha Hackett

Martha Hackett


Recurring Role

Tarik Ergin

Tarik Ergin

Lt. Ayala

Recurring Role

Anthony De Longis

Anthony De Longis

First Maje Culluh

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Nitpick: Captain Janeway tells the crew that the planet upon which they'd been abandoned seemed to be in a Pliocene stage of development. This an extremely sweeping statement about the ecosystems of a planet where she'd just arrived minutes before, and had absolutely no opportunity of analyzing prior to their arrival. But given the apparent climate of the location where they were left (desert, with only scrub vegetation in sight), it seems even more unlikely that she was right. The Pliocene epoch was a time of global cooling and advancing glaciers, with grasslands being the characteristic vegetation, and large herds of grazing animals living off of it. However, there are no animals in sight of the crew, much less herd animals reaching from horizon to horizon as scientists believe was the norm for that period.

    • Goof: During many of the fight scenes between the smaller Kazon ships and Voyager, the star field seems to indicate that the ships are at warp. However, Voyager's nacelles are not in their angled, warp position. Furthermore, later, Janeway says to accelerate to 1/2 impulse. If they were at warp, that would be slowing down.

    • Nitpick: When The Doctor is projected into space, he is able to yell. However, in the vacuum of space, his voice shouldn't make any sound.

    • Goof: Kate Mulgrew messes up a line slightly. After the Doctor submits his idea to project holographic ships into space, Janeway says to Torres, "Work on the Doctor with it, B'Elanna" instead of "Work with the Doctor on it."

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Janeway: (as their abandoned on a desert planet by the Kazon) Make it clear to all of your people we expect to be rescued, and our job is to survive until help arrives.
      Neelix: Do you really think it's likely that someone will find us, Captain?
      Janeway: You're the morale officer, Neelix. You give me an answer.
      Neelix: (shouting to the crew following behind them) Help is on the way!

    • Culluh: (as he leaves Voyager's crew on a barren planet) A fitting end to a people who would not share their technology. Let's see if you manage to survive without it.

    • Culluh: You'll be given no more respect than any Kazon woman now that your ship and technology are mine. I will tell you when you may speak.
      Janeway: Allow my crew to live, they were following my orders.
      Culluh: You're even worse than she is. (Points to Seska) What is it about women in your quadrant? You know she contradicts me in front of the senior escara? My own woman, disputing her Maj in front of others. This is your fault, you've let your women get out of control.

    • The Doctor: Captain, I hesitate to offer suggestions in a field of endeavour that is not within my usual area of expertise.
      Janeway: Please Doctor, your suggestions on any subject are always welcome.
      The Doctor: Really? In that case you may expect several more, on a variety of matters in the near future.

  • NOTES (0)