Star Trek: Voyager

Season 3 Episode 23

Distant Origin

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Apr 30, 1997 on UPN
out of 10
User Rating
181 votes

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Episode Summary


Stardate: Unknown
An alien palaeontologist discovers a common ancestral link between his people and humans. He believes that this proves that his people, the Voth, evolved on Earth and migrated to the Delta Quadrant millions of years ago, but his government is not as willing to believe his interpretation of the evidence.


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  • A little hokie but still great

    I never got a chance to watch much Voyager when it was in prime time so my wife and I have been going through all the Trek series on DVD over the last couple of years. While Voyager is hardly our favorite series it is still good and at times, very good. This episode is likely my favorite so far. Saying that I would say the primary plot line is a bit hokey, dinosaurs from earth evolving millenia ago, developing space flight, and then leaving earth prior to the asteroid killing disaster. That is extremely far fetched. However the premise made for a very good episode and of course there was a huge, and very pertinent, moral story line here as well. Also, the Gegen dinosaur character reminded me of Jakar in Babylon 5, somewhat in physical appearance but primarily in the way he talked and some of his mannerisms.moreless
  • Distant Origin

    Distant Origin was a perfect and amazing episode of Star Trek: Voyager. I really enjoyed watching this episode because the story was sort of based of a cool idea that a certain group of Dinosaurs evolved and eventually they had to leave Earth due to disaster. What the Saurians have become though was really interesting. I loved how the episode started out from their point of view. This episode was well written, the actors were perfect, the action scenes were awesome, and the Saurian's spacecraft were really cool. It's a shame the way things worked out in the end. I would have loved more exploration of this. What if this is the true origins of the "reptilian" race believed to exist on Earth today by many conspiracy theorists and other individuals and cultures. I look forward to watching the next episode of Star Trek: Voyager!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • It seems the Dinosaurs didn't quite die as we thought. On the contrary, they have created a very powerful empire in the Delta quadrant. Star Trek at it's best!

    I simply loved this episode! A very interesting and advanced race believes to be the first race - but there are some who think otherwise. A scientist finds remains of a human from Voyager and compares his DNA to their own, finding out they have something in common. They evolved on the very same planet.

    We see the whole story from the other side, there is no "Captain's log..." in the beginning. Actually, we don't get to see our crew until the second half of the episde. That is very refreshing. The scientist, scared of the government, sets out to find these humans. After finding some clues, he finally docks at the space station Voyager visited. Their superior engines make it a short way to intercept Voyager and while phase-shifted, they board the ship and watch humans up close.

    Voyager's crew isn't so low-tech, though. After some time, the aliens are discovered and Chakotay ends up on the alien vessel. Which ends up as a good thing, because Voyager gets beamed whole into a huge saurian mothership. Voyager is completely disabled and there seems to be no way to escape. Chakotay and the saurian scientist become friends in the meantime and because he doesn't want to endanger Voyager, he agrees to fly home to face the trial - he is accused of heresy and asked to admit his research about human and saurian people to evolve on the same planet to be false.

    In the end, he is forced to do so in order to save Voyager. His paleontology research carrier ends and he is forced to move to some other field of research. Even though, he now knows the truth. And some day, every saurian will know it too.

    A perfect episode which could easilly make up for a movie! I cannot think of any flaws in this one. Really, one of the best episodes in all Star Trek!moreless
  • A classic example of what Star Trek was meant to be about. Taking several examples of historical events and converting it into an entertaining hour of television programming.

    You can say what you want to about Brannon Braga and what he did to Star Trek as a franchise. You can also say that a few of the episodes that he wrote for Voyager were pretty subpar. But there were instances where he was right on the mark, and Distant Origins was one of them.

    Star Trek, in its many spinoffs, has always had episodes that provide a strong social commentary and parallel to current or historical events. This episode is clearly an example of the latter. Every time there is a major discovery by a scientific mind, someone is always there to be skeptical of it, especially in this world's history.

    Like another reviewer said, Galileo and Darwin faced much opposition when they proposed their theories, especially when it went against the religious doctrine of the time. We don't necessarily see these occurences in today's world so much, but there really has yet to be a groundbreaking discovery that 'rocks the boat' in our modern history.

    The premise of this particular episode was very well thought out. One of the ultimate 'What if...' questions of science was explored and an attempt at an explanation was provided. While the science and current research wasn't completely accurate, the idea of an extremely intelligent species of dinosaurs had survived extinction and become technologically superior to humans is an incredible concept and one that will unlikely be witnessed.

    Three cheers to Braga and his team for this episode...too bad they all couldn't be this good!moreless
  • What ever happened to the Dinosaurs, Or more specifically - a Dinosaur?

    Voyager has some great ideas that aren't pulled off fantastically well. However this one is a good one, not great but good. I like the fact that it starts with not the crew of Voyager but an alien scientist who finds the bones of a long lost human crew member. We see the majority of the episode and the ethical debates through his eyes. Although it begins as two explorers wishing to learn about possible distant cousins to there own race, it slowly becomes a debate over creation versus evolution (which at first seems funny due to the fact that this race has evolved from a specific earth dinosaur). The head Minister is adamant that it is heresy to question what boils down to religious beliefs. This is where the episode takes flight and we get an interesting and thought provoking subject. Other than the dinosaur making spaceships thing that made me laugh the only other niggle I had was the cloaking technology. In Deep Space Nine the Jem Hadar, another reptilian alien have personal cloaks, is this a coincidence or do reptilian aliens just understand cloaking better.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Trivia: The remains that Gegan and Veer find in the cave, during the opening of the episode, are those of Crewman Hogan, who was killed in the season three premiere, "Basics (2)".

    • Goof: The Saurian scientists followed a trail based on the sample warp plasma found at the space station bordering the Nekrit Expanse. This alludes to a former episode, "Fair Trade", in which a group of Kolaati wanted a sample of Voyager's warp plasma. Instead, the station manager provided a lower quality sample. Therefore the Saurians would be pursuing the wrong ship.

    • Trivia: The alien species featured in this episode are said to be descended from a type of hadrosaur. However, although some palaeontologists believe that certain dinosaurs could have achieved higher intelligence had they continued to evolve, this theory is only regarding the troodon family, and not the hadrosaurs.

    • Nitpick: One of the Saurians asserts that the computer system aboard Voyager is binary in nature, though it has been previously established that this vessel no longer uses this particular method of numeric encoding.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Paris: I'll see you tonight. BYOB.
      B'Elanna: What?
      Paris: Bring your own bat'leth.

    • Gegen: (speaking to Hogan's skull) Did your eyes see the planet of our origin? The true home of our race? Was it beautiful? Was is covered by oceans, by sand? Were there nine moons above your head, were there none? (Gegen looks at his assistant self consciously, then sets the skull down) He appears to be at a loss for words.

    • Paris: This should do the trick.
      Tuvok: An apple?
      Paris: You said you wanted an organic test subject.

    • Chakotay: I know from the history of my own planet that change is difficult. New ideas are often met with scepticism, even fear. But sometimes those ideas are accepted, and when they are, progress is made. Eyes are opened.

  • NOTES (0)