Star Trek: Voyager

Season 3 Episode 2


Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Sep 11, 1996 on UPN
out of 10
User Rating
191 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Stardate: 50126.4
After falling ill to what appears to be a repressed memory Tuvok must perform a mind-meld with Captain Janeway in order to survive. The meld takes them back to when Tuvok was a junior science officer aboard the USS Excelsior under the command of Captain Hikaru Sulu.


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  • Okay nostalgic episode

    Whereas DS9's "Trials and Tribulations" celebrates Star Trek's 30th birthday by revisiting The Original Series, this episode of VOY awkwardly honors the milestone by revisiting the twenty-fifth anniversary.

    In truth, much of the story itself predates the idea of doing something special for the date; one way or another we were going to get an episode where a repressed memory causes Tuvok to step into his past and relive events. With Tim Russ having been on the Excelsior bridge for Star Trek VI and the adventures of Excelsior in the film largely occurring offscreen, the producers of VOY figured it was better to tap into Star Trek's own history rather than create a backstory of their own. The result is rich nostalgia placed upon a framework of a mediocre premise, the latter causing the story to fall short of fan's expectations but the former making it better than it would have been otherwise. Unfortunately, the episode's most interesting bits only tie into the overall story superfluously.

    A better idea would be to celebrate the larger scope of Star Trek by doing the "All Good Things" thing with some plot device causing Janeway to skip around in time, bouncing from Voyager to Excelsior to TOS's Enterprise. Through original scenes and Forrest Gump style insertions, she could thread her way through the time periods Quantum Leap style, using information from all three to solve some sort of puzzle and save the day. Such an episode would, of course, be absurdly expensive and might encroach on DS9's "Trials and Tribulations" gimmick, but a story itself, it would rock.

    As is, "Flashback" honors TOS by filling in gaps left by its superior DS9 counterpart, revisiting the movies instead of the TV show and using Sulu, the only TOS star who doesn't appear in "The Trouble with Tribbles" and "Trials and Tribulations". Bringing back the whole Excelsior bridge crew is a coup, with the crew reenacting scenes (and even camera angles) from five years before... which must have been surreal for the actors. And Nicholas Meyer and Brannon Braga form a sort of Yin/Yang relationship, with writer/director Meyer enjoying throwing odd details into his films, like Sulu's broken cup, and Braga enjoying developing such things into integral story moments. Yet the episode's strongest suit is its development of Tuvok, exploring his backstory in a such a way that he's able to simultaneously act out bits of his past while breaking the fourth wall to explain his actions and choices. (It's sort of like a reality show with cutaway interviews, but less intrusive).

    None of this can fix the issue of the dishwater bland premise, and the ending is more of a shrug than anything else; but it is fun to see Sulu and his crew in action, and it's great to see Sulu and Rand, who share a scene together in "The Man Trap", Star Trek's first episode, in their final appearances.

  • Some old ST characters

    I suppose that overall I would have given this one maybe a 7.5 but with Sulu, Rand, and Kang showing up I got hit with a nostalgia moment and rated it a 9 instead. That is the only reason as usually I am not a big fan of dream episodes but the story line was pretty good and they managed to fit the old characters in reasonably well as the episode obviously was written for this purpose. It also was interesting concerning Tuvok's past, his early Federation career and how it was cut short, and his experience with the Pon Far. So when throwing all those things in it gets a 9 from me.moreless
  • Flashback

    Flashback was a great episode of Star Trek: Voyager and I really enjoyed watching this episode because there was a good story with flashbacks of Tuvok when he was under the command of Captain Sulu. There was action, intrigue and some mystery which was fun. Something went wrong with the mind meld between Tuvok and Captain Janeway and it was up to the Doctor and Kes to find a solution to the problem. I liked how the episode ended. I look forward to watching the next episode of Star Trek: Voyager!!!!!moreless
  • Voyager approaches a nebula rich in sirillium. Tuvok begins to experience problems. He does not feel well. He asks if he can go to sickbay. On his way to sickbay he starts experiencing a memory of when he was a child.moreless

    Voyager approaches a nebula rich in sirillium. Tuvok begins to experience problems. He does not feel well. He asks if he can go to sickbay. On his way to sickbay he starts experiencing a memory of when he was a child. In this memory he pictures a girl falling of a cliff and she is saying "Save me Tuvok". He makes it to sickbay The Doctor says he is suffering from repressed memories. In a Vulcan repressed memories resurfacing to the mind's conscious state can cause brain damage. Tuvok mind melds with Janeway. She begins to experience Tuvok's past memories. I rate this episode a 9.8moreless
  • A little on the gimmicky side.

    While not a bad episode, this is the second time I could feel the ratings pressure affecting the show's writing. The second season premiere, "The 37s", felt the same way. George Takei has a prominent role, and according to the episode notes, Nichelle Nichols was intended to be involved as well. It's fine, and the episode was fairly decent, it's just early to be caving to network pressure. The idea of a virus that disguises itself as a memory is unique, although I'm not sure how it was transferred (Visually?). Tim Russ stood out in this episode, as well.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Neelix: Enthraxic citrus peel, orange juice with just a hint of papalla seed extract. An experimental blend.
      Tuvok: The success rate of your culinary experiments has not been high.
      Neelix: Ensign Golwat tried some yesterday, and she thought it was delicious. In fact, she had a second glass, and she never has seconds.
      Tuvok: Ensign Golwat is Bolian. Her tongue has a cartilaginous lining. It would protect her against even the most corrosive acid.

    • Kim: No replicators, no holodecks, you know, ever since I first took Starfleet history at the academy, I always wondered what it woud be like to live in those days.
      Janeway: Space must have seemed a whole lot bigger back then.

    • Chakotay: I found that when you don't think about a problem, sometimes the solution comes to you.
      Tuvok: It is difficult to forget when you're wearing a neural cortical monitor on your parietal bone.
      Chakotay: Good point.

    • Sulu: Let the regulations be damned!

    • Ensign Rand: (staring at Janeway) Who are you? (Tuvok nerve-pinches her so that Janeway may take her uniform.)
      Janeway: We could have just asked her.
      Tuvok: Asking female officers for their clothing could lead to misunderstanding.

    • Tuvok: Human fascination with 'fun' has lead to many tragedies in your short but violent history. It is a wonder your civilisation has survived having so much 'fun'.

    • Tuvok: Sir, that is a most illogical line of reasoning.
      Sulu: You'd better believe it.

    • Janeway: You never brought me tea.

    • The Doctor: It was definitely a traumatic episode. Your heart-rate accelerated to 300 beats per minute, your adrenaline levels rose by 113% and your neuro-electrical readings nearly jumped off the scale. If you were human, I'd say you had a severe panic attack.
      Tuvok: I am not human.
      The Doctor: No kidding. I don't know what happened to you, but there can be any number of explanations: hallucinations, telepathic communication from another race, repressed memory, momentary contact with a parallel reality... take your pick. The universe is a strange place.

    • Tuvok: Mr. Neelix, I would prefer not to hear the life history of my breakfast.

  • NOTES (7)

    • In syndication, two scenes in the first act of the episode are cut. The first is during the opening conversation between Neelix and Tuvok. After Tuvok's statement that he does not wish to hear the life history of his breakfast, the Captain's Log entry follows, cutting out Neelix's explanation of Talaxian tradition, the decimation of Tuvok's breakfast and Janeway's summoning both Tuvok and Neelix to the bridge.

      In the next scene, on the bridge, a very brief portion is cut in which Chakotay comments that "the vultures are circling" in reference to ideas for sirillium usage and Janeway orders him to have all department heads submit proposals.

    • This episode, along with the Deep Space Nine episode, "Trials and Tribblations" were produced in honor of the 30th anniversary of Star Trek.

    • George Takei (Captain Sulu) was told that he was slated to guest star in this episode by a fan who had read about it on the internet, before either Takei or his agent had even been contacted by the producers.

    • "Flashback" is available as a Star Trek: Voyager novelization by the same name, written by Diane Carey, based on the teleplay by Brannon Braga. The novel includes additional material not included in the televised version, including scenes with Uhura that did not make it into the televised version.

    • There was originally going to be an appearance by Nichelle Nichols as Uhura. Nichols, however, declined the offer.

    • As of this episode, Michael Ansara (Kang) has played the same character on three different Star Trek series. The only other actors to do so are Armin Shimerman (Quark), John de Lancie (Q), Richard Poe (Gul Evek), Jonathan Frakes (Commander William T. Riker) and Marina Sirtis (Counselor Deanna Troi).

    • The flashbacks to the USS Excelsior take place during Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.