Star Trek: Voyager

Season 1 Episode 15


Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM May 15, 1995 on UPN

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

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  • Neelix gets serious

    VOY presents a Hiroshima-like fallout story with Neelix having to confront a scientist whose weapon did his people great harm. It's a stroke of science fiction brilliance, which takes the abstract idea some of our great physicists have had to cope with and turns it into a personal story by forcing the WMD creator and one suffering the consequences to meet each other and come to terms with each other as people. It's the sort of thing Reader's Digest would cover if it happened in real life.

    Truth be told, while the weapon is obviously a stand in for the atomic bomb, the title character, Jetril is quite different than J. Robert Oppenheimer, the scientist who led the Manhattan Project. Oppenheimer, was never broadly criticized for his research and had no regrets about the . using his bomb on Hiroshima, though he thought the attack on Nagasaki was unnecessary. (It's Truman who has taken the brunt of the criticism for those decisions, with a good argument to be made that he didn't try hard enough to resolve the World War II diplomatically during the summer of 1945. It's possible Japan would have conditionally surrendered before the bombs were dropped had the nation been given the same assurances about the treatment of their Emperor that the . gave in to later on. Then again, most people recognize that Japan's fascist government was more concerned about its selfish agenda than its people and understand that it shares much of the blame for what happened as a result).

    Jetril, on the other hand, really owes much to Von Braun, the German scientist whose early rockets Hitler used to destroy much of England and whose later rockets the Americans used to win the Space Race. Von Braun used to say "I aim for the stars". Others would add, "Sometimes I hit

    Needing a mixture of guilt and pride for the part, VOY gives the role to James Sloyan. Having already proved he could handle such emotions as the titular character in TNG's "Defector" and the scientist who discovered Odo in DS9, he's the obvious choice. (You can argue that Star Trek is going to the well once too often and playing it too safe by casting the him once again, but why risk someone else striking out when you know Sloyan's going to hit a homerun?)

    The real star of the episode, however, is Ethan Phillips. With several long speeches intended to pull the heartstrings, the script asks a lot from him, and he delivers. VOY often uses Neelix for comedy more than drama, and it's easy to stereotype the character as Star Trek's version of Jar Jar Binks; but Phillips is capable of much more, and it's exciting to see what he does here with some serious material. Helping enhance Phillips's talents, Dennis McCarthy provides a more sensitive (and memorable) score than VOY is usually known for.

    Unfortunately, an episode that stands out as one of the finest of the series proved to be a ratings dud, garnering the worst numbers of the first season.

  • Weapons of Mass Destruction

    I wish actors had the power to spice up their roles, infused them with more idiosyncrasies. Here Dr. Jetrel is texbook as a Scientist who is guild ridden and thus seeking redemption after his invention makes it possible for weapons of mass destruction destroy the home of Neelix. His character is dull and predictable to someone like me who has devoured the entire Star Trek library, but the episode is redeemed new dimensions given to Neelixs' character and the revelations of his past.

    Still not an episode I'd care to watch again.
  • Jetrel


    Jetrel was a great episode of Star Trek Voyager and I really enjoyed watching this episode because it had a lot of character development for Neelix. When an enemy from the past contacts Voyager Neelix is forced to confront past demons and face the person he believed responsible for the deaths of many of his people including his family. It was nice to get more background on Neelix. The story line was a bit predictable but entertaining never the less. I look forward to watching the next episode of Star Trek Voyager!!!!!

  • Finally in episode 15 the Voyager is allowed to get a bit more serious, and we see some deeper character development as Neelix's back story is revealed.

    Ma'bor Jetrel, the man Neelix holds most directly responsible for destroying all life on his home moon Rinax, comes to Voyager with the news that Neelix might be terminally ill.

    Even though I dislike the actor James Sloyan in his re-occurring visits to Star Trek shows (you might remember him as Dr. Mora in DS9), I tried to let that not irritate me too much in this episode. Here in the role of Jetrel, that seems to be set on finding a cure for a disease that has plagued some of the rescue workers that came to Rinax, James manages to keep us on the toes. Should we trust him or not?

    We are taken through a roller coster ride as Neelix confronts his own demons, and Jetrel gets closer and closer to do what he actually intents.

    This episode takes on an old question; can we blame scientists for inventing horrible tools (Atom bomb for example), for the killing done by those tools. The best achievement for any such show as Star Trek is when it leaves us thinking about the message. Can scientists truly hide behind the fact that they were just following their nature, the holy grail of scientific discoveries, when their invention can be used to kill?

    The break down in this episode is the Captain! Kathryn is still not a strong enough character as it is written in the script. I feel the actress Kate Mulgrew is actually doing amazingly well, but she is made to switch between this all knowing captain to almost a simpleton! In this episode she is totally oblivious to what is going on and just follows her heart rather than her head. I like her better when she is in charge of a situation, and the storyline is not made so thin that the she has to be made a fool of.

    Neelix's troubles are also a bit jumbled up. He has a secret in his life, and ...[spoiler] if I am right, there is a contingency error. When Kes finds out about the horror of his home planet she asks him why he never told her, but when he changes his story later, he apologizes for lying to her for years? But well done episode, and I'm looking forward to checking out the season finale.
  • An inventor of the WMD who killed Neelix family comes onboard.

    A great edpsode, with great acting. Nice to see Neelix in a more serious role for a change, and not as a comical figure. Also, the subject of this episode, the use of WMD (weapons of mass destruction) are an really current topic. more so today than when this episode aired the first time. As a scholar in political science and peace and conflict studies i found it really intesting, and urge everyone to take in the pro and cons mentioned in the episode. We could easilly draw parallels between Jetrel and Albert Einstein who first maked the breakthrue with nucular research. Too bad the ending was quite bad. First, the mention about putting all the dead people back together (rediculus!) and the sudden finish.
  • Neelix becomes very uneasy when Ma’bor Jethrel contacts the “Voyager” and asks to meet with Neelix. Could it be Jethrel has total disregard for others life? Jethrel is responsible for the death of a talaxian moon called Rinax.

    Neelix becomes very uneasy when Ma’bor Jethrel contacts the “Voyager” and asks to meet with Neelix. Could it be Jethrel has total disregard for others life? Jethrel is responsible for the death of a talaxian moon called Rinax. He caused the deaths just by testing a weapon which works like the a-bomb. Now he is aboard the “Voyager” and wants to run tests on Neelix to see if he has Meteron disease. It turns out Neelix has the disease. Guess who else has it? Jethrel does. Jethrel is still interested in doing test, but these tests are different.
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