Star Trek: Voyager

Season 2 Episode 26

Basics (1)

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM May 20, 1996 on UPN

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

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out of 10
173 votes
  • 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.
  • 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.

    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.
  • 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.
  • Tuvok works to rehabilitate Ensign Suder, which is confined to his quarters. Chakotay receives a subspace message from Seska. She has given birth to Chakotay's son. Seska stole DNA from Chakotay to conceive the child.

    Tuvok works to rehabilitate Ensign Suder, which is confined to his quarters. Chakotay receives a subspace message from Seska. She has given birth to Chakotay's son. Seska stole DNA from Chakotay to conceive the child. Seska claims that Maje Cullah is trying to take her son away. Maje Cullah is Seska's Kazon lover. Voyager later answers a distress call from a Kazon shuttle manned by Tierna. Tierna is one of Seska's aides. Tierna has been injured, but it seems just to be a ploy to hide something else. He gives Chakotay Seska's whereabouts. It's a trap. The ship is attacked. I rate this episode a 9.5
  • Basics is an exciting episode. If you can look past the gapping plot holes that plaque many of the episodes in the series, you will find a worthwhile cliffhanger that unfortunately doesn’t deliver on the backend.

    Another strong beginning to a two-part episode that doesn’t finish as well as it began.

    The Basics episodes is the final time in the series we really see Chakotay character in any depth on the rest of series. Once Seska is killed off, he fails to register any sort of individuality or makes any sort of interesting character developments. Instead, he sits in his first officer’s chair of the rest of the trip home saying “Yes, captain.”

    Once again the Kazon, helped by Seska, trick the crew of Voyager into walking right into the middle of a trap. Lured by the “plight” of Seska and Chakotay’s baby, Janeway and company bolding travel six days across space to attempt to rescue a child that Chakotay doesn’t know is his in the first place and did not willingly conceive. And yet no one on the crew raises any sort of series objection.

    But StarFleet were not the only ones to make critical tactical errors in this episode. Why the Kazon allowed the crew to live is beyond me. It seems very out of place that they would leave them deserted on a planet rather than kill them. Everything we have been taught about the Kazon in the first two seasons of the show is that they are ruthless and brutal. Notwithstanding, their lack of respect for women, I would expect Maje Cullah would have jumped at the opportunity to show his supremacy to his crew and other Kazon majes by killing the female commander of the starship that had served as his foil for nearly two years.

    I did like how Suter was used in this episode. His character was one of the only lifelike Maquis characters on the whole series. It would make total sense that the band of rebels would have sociopaths among them who would not be able to conform to the life of a StarFleet crew member. I am glad the writers did not just leave him in his quarter for the remainder of the trip and he was utilized well in this episode.

    Overall, Basics is an exciting episode. If you can look past the gapping plot holes that plaque many of the episodes in the series, you will find a worthwhile cliffhanger that unfortunately doesn’t deliver on the backend.
  • Seska sends a message to Chakotay, claiming that their child is in danger, prompting him to take the crew into Nistrim space to rescue him.

    Michael Piller has written some great scripts during his time on Star Trek. His last contribution to the franchise, at least television-wise, is less than stellar. It starts by giving us an update on Suder\'s rehabilitation process, a storyline that is carried through the episode but really seems only to be there as a filler and to say \"remember this guy, it\'ll be important later\". Then we cut to Chakotay and find out that he will be the main character in the story. \"Do you think it\'s a trap?\" he asks Janeway. Even as a 10-year-old child, my answer was \"Of course, you idiot!\". Nevertheless, it takes the whole episode for the crew to figure out that this is all a trap and (big surprise!) and they must engage four really big Kazon ships, accidentally projecting the Doctor into space (if you're wondering whether this is really a live action show, and the answer is yes). So the Kazon finally manage to take the ship with the help of a sucicide bomber they managed to get aboard by preying on the crew\'s compassion (another storyline that was just there to reach that oh-so-difficult fourty-three minutes and twenty seconds), and Seska seems to have used her influence to convince the Kazon to leave the crew on a primitive planet. As the ship lifts off, you see that Suder and the Doctor are still on board, and that the crew will have to deal with a giant snake and a primitive humanoid race in part II. Whatever guesses you made about what will happen next, you're probably right.
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