With a beautifully laid out plot, "Needle" is a fascinating bottle show with a tease of home that has enough interesting story dynamics to overcome the "Gilligan's Island" foregone conclusion. In short, it plays with the show's "impossible dream" without exploiting it.
The A story begins with the simple discovery of a wormhole and lays out its cards one at a time, giving the viewer quite a journey as the acts progress. Teleplay writer Jeri Taylor doesn't rush a single step, letting each moment breathe and allowing the characters to interact to provide depth and build the anticipation.
There's also a B story with Kes serving as a counselor for the Doctor as well as his advocate. Lien and deserves some credit for helping develop the Doctor's character, using Kes to push Picardo into adding layers to the hologram, and the two clearly have some chemistry together when there's give and take. And what's great about this substory is how easily it folds into the A story towards the end. Just as Kes is helping the Doctor become a more respected being and a true member of the crew, he's faced with the possibility of having it all come to an end as the crew discovers a way they might use to get home.
It's a heck of an episode and all the better for being something only VOY could do, though DS9 does a variation of sorts in its sixth season episode, "The Sound of Her Voice". (VOY itself takes the idea and runs with it further in fourth season's "Message in a Bottle").
Eye of the Needle was a perfect episode of Star Trek Voyager and I really enjoyed watching this episode because there was a lot of character development, excitement, and more plot revolving around time. It was uplifting to see the crew get excited that they may have finally been able to go home or at least send a message to their loved ones, though it remains uncertain. Captain Janeway proves herself to be a great leader in this and each episode so far. This episode offers a shred of hope, but any fan of a great series knows that they characters have far more to do than get home right away. I look forward to more adventures and the next episode of Star Trek Voyager!!!!!!!!!
Voyager discovers a wormhole. It's too small to use but they send a probe into it. The probe gets stuck but someone on the other side can access it. After some refinements, the probe serves as a communication relay and the Voyager crew make contact with a Romulan scientist. At first he is suspicious that they are Federation/Starfleet spies but eventually accepts their story about being trapped in the Delta Quadrant.
They beam the Romulan to Voyager but soon discover he is actually from 20 years in their past. He still agrees to take their personal messages to loved ones back with him and then distribute them in his future, sometime after the date Voyager disappears. There's another hitch though. He seems to have died a few years before Voyager disappeared. There's a faint but diminished hope that the personal messages from Voyager will ever get through. This is a very fine, "can we get home" story. You know it's not going to happen and have the series end after only 6 episodes. Still you can't help but share their hope that all of this just might work.
This episode is one of my top favorite episodes in the first season. They find a worm hole and send a probe into it only to find that someone else is scanning it. After a while, they get contact through the probe! It's a Romulan from the Alpha Quadrant! This episode was exciting at times and a tear jerker at the end. From beginning to end, this was a great story and totally worth while watching many, many times! It actually gets better the more you watch it. You can appreciate it more. I give this a 10/10. This is an episode I highly recommend!
There is an enjoyment to this episode which gladly can be seen in several others throughout the series. It is this sense of family which is even stronger than Next Generation ever managed.
Here we get to see them finding their first possible wormhole that could lead them home. Imagine their disappointment when it is only few meters wide. But through a lot of techno-babble they manage not only to find a ship on the other side but soon are transporting objects over to it.
We see the doctor grow as well, and the moral question of this episode centers around him. At which point do we start to treat software humanely? This question is clearly something that the generation growing up now will have to face at some point. When do we consider robots or software intelligent enough to ask them how they feel about the way we treat them? Will it come with 'their' awareness, or might they have to fight for their rights like other minority groups in the past? But I digress... Kathryn is the clear victor from this episode, showing more feelings than most captains before her. She really cares for her crew and has no higher hope than to get them home. There was also much better camera work in these episode then in the previous ones. For the first time I felt like the Voyager filmcrew were starting to pick their own lens view, independent from previous Star Trek shows. It had something to do with in which way they shot Kathryn...
Voyager runs into a problem. It has a chance to send a message to the Alpha Quadrant via a wormhole. This is really interesting because the crew thinks it has finally made contact from the probe they sent through. A Romulan science class ship finds it and their captain is very suspicious. After they earn one another's trust, he transports to Voyager where it is found out that he is from a different time period. The crew gives him letters to send to their family, but the captain dies four years before. Overall, a touching episode and a rather entertaining one. Thank you.
Ensign Kim finds a wormhole in space. Could it lead to the Alpha Quadrant? The “Voyager” crew has high hopes it may be a shortcut home. Captain Janeway decides to send a probe through the wormhole. Much to Kim’s disappointment the probe gets hung up in a gravitational eddy before it reaches the other side. The “Voyager” crew still monitoring the probe notice the probe has been scanned, but by what? The crew gets the surprise of their life it is a romulan science vessel from the Alpha quadrant. Will the “Voyager” crew make it home.
Another interesting episode and for a change the Romulans are not portrayed as bad aliens like they have on Star Trek The Next Generation.
The crew discovers a small wormhole and get signal from a Romulan scientist conducting a secret study, At first like a Romulan he thinks Jenway as part of StarFleet is a spy but soon he learns their predictament.
Not much action here as there was no conflict but it did lead to character development. The Romulan was actually nice. The last scenes of the episode lead to a mutual understanding to ignore the events in the past and future (the Roluman is beamed twenty years into the future dashing Voyager's hopes).
We also see Kes and The Doctor again forming a closer relationship as she dislikes the disrespects the harsh treatment some members of the crew are treating him. Eventually Jenway would look into the matter and The Doctor
as we have sen from the pilot is a very important character
The crew may have found a way to get word to their loved ones. This episode is filled with hope only to be let down time and time again. I love it. First, we find a wormhole. Oh no, the wormhole is microscopic. We've got contact with the Alpha Quadrant! Oh no, it's with the Romulans. And finally, we can teleport through the wormhole. and the best disappointment of them all, there's a time shift. they can't go to the past. Oh well, at least he'll send their letters at the right time so that the timeline isn't messed up. Oh no, that's right...he dies before that can happen. Amazing.
Obviously, this is the kind of episode that you know pretty much how it's going to end right from the beginning. It's still worth watching though, because unlike the final scene of "Caretaker" you really feel the longing for home that the characters have been going through in this episode. The Doctor also gets a 15-minute spotlight, the first of many turning his program into a person. The ending is a bit far-fetched: first, the wormhole is too small so they can't travel trough it. Then they have to deal with a Romulan who doesn't trust them. But then, it turns out that not only he's from 2351, but that he's also already dead and therefore he cannot even send their messages! But I guess it was too early in the series to have Starfleet find out where Voyager is. Overall an interesting, if not spectacular, episode.
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