Star Trek: Voyager

Season 1 Episode 10

Prime Factors

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Mar 20, 1995 on UPN
out of 10
User Rating
198 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Stardate: 48642.5
When Voyager is offered shore leave by the Sikarans, Harry Kim discovers advanced technology that would send Voyager 40,000 light years closer to home. However, the Sikaran's "Canon of Laws" forbids them from sharing their technology with anyone.

Watch Full Episode

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Janeway discovers Fantasy Island

    Voyager suffers from the flip side of the prime directive when an alien species refuses to use their technology to help the crew get home, opening up several possibilities for the episode to explore. Does the crew try to barter? Do they try to study the technology? Do they try to steal it? All of the above, of course, which gives just about everyone something to do, save for the Doctor, Kes, and Chakotay. The latter is rather conspicuous by his absence, with Janeway struggling with her conflicting emotions and the Maquis running amok. (Maybe he's off with his spirit animal).

    Unfortunately, the aliens, with a leader that comes off as a poor man's Mr. Roark, are a swing and a miss. The Sikarians, possessing a technology that allows them to appear almost anywhere in the quadrant, were conceived as one of the show's recurring species; but their poor performance (thanks mostly to Ricardo Montalban-wanna-be Ronald Guttman) sinks their ship, forcing them to join the Talosians, the 1985 Bears and Vanilla Ice in the one and done club.

    The true focal point of the episode, however, is Tuvok, By using him as Janeway's "moral compass", the writers skillfully set up a twist ending that is surprising but logical, giving them a way to pay the whole premise off without resorting to a Gilligan's Island gimmick.

    It's all a fine example of a show early in the go developing its characters and finding its way. VOY would go on to tell better stories, but for a first season offering, "Prime Factors" isn't a bad little episode.

  • A fall for the high and mighty

    Spoiler: Consider Yourself Warned

    eeww, how about that slimy alien host trying to seduce Captain Janeway, and her letting herself! Totally out of character, but I'm going to blame this one on bad casting or directing, I don't know who to blame for letting this actor play slimy smarmy (the producers?)

    I hate it when Star Trek gets so lazy that they don't bother making aliens look like aliens and have them look exactly like humans... that's never going to be the case if there are real aliens out there. Here on Earth we vary from race to race and within races. C'mon, if it's a matter of budget, give them antennas made from craft wire, give them orange or rainbow eye colored contact lenses, grab some cheap green face paint, whatever, just give me something! How awful to be an actor playing an alien from the Delta Quadrant and you look like any old human on earth, it's as boring as it is improbable.

    Speaking of boring, Tuvok is one of the most boring aliens ever, he doesn't seem to bring anything new to the table, but I was taken aback by his actions in this episode... I like it when his character surprises me and I'm caught off guard

    So many times, you know that Tuvok is going to do "the right thing" by human standards, but here, he gets a wild hairmoreless
  • Prime Factors

    Prime Factors was a superb episode of Star Trek Voyager and I really enjoyed watching this episode because it raised a good question for the Captain and crew to consider. They have their own Prime Directive and in this episode a world of hedonistic aliens with advanced transportation technology have similar rules about sharing technology. It was fun to watch this all play out and how some characters from both sides were willing to operate in back door dealings to get what they wanted. I really admired Captain Janeways decision in this episode. Both Tuvok and Torres were given a stern talking to and I think this whole thing brings the crew closer together as they learn to really understand each other. I look forward to watching the next episode of Star Trek Voyager!!!!!!!moreless
  • After couple of lame episodes we get pulled back in by a bit better offering of story telling, with some good dilemma thrown in for good measures.

    The crew of Voyager is offered to come for a shore leave at the planet of a pleasure seeking race, by the invitation of disgustingly smooth host. Shortly after they discover a device that could get them half way home or even further, but not unlike Starfleet this race has rules about sharing technology with less developed races.

    Enjoyable episode in the sense that we see different side to many of the crew members. Kathryn is somewhat charmed by the host (which doesn't say much about her taste in men), Kim almost forgets he has a girlfriend waiting for him at home, and some members of the crew rebel against the almighty principles of Starfleet Captains.

    And maybe this is where Star Trek is at it best. When the people in Starfleet are faced with impossible choices and they don't just simply take the "right" choice, but falter and disappoint. At those times I'm the biggest fan of what might be some of the Star Trek visions, of fair world and good people, because only when they struggle with their choices can I believe them ending up making the right one.

    I found myself excited about this episode, and unlike for most, didn't have the ending all figured out after the first 10minutes. Though I still say that Voyager needs to move towards continuing storytelling episodes rather than these individual short stories, this episode was fine as such.moreless
  • The Voyager crew meets a group of people who live on a planet, not unlike Risa, who may have the key to getting home

    I'm surprised this episode got the high rating it did. It's not a bad episode, but the story is kind of lame since we know that they won't get home or it would be the end of the series. The biggest thing that I didn't like was that they were trading technology for stories?! What kind of people have huge laws against giving technology away but some would trade it for a good story? Kind of lame if you ask me. Some parts were interesting, such as the device itself that could transport people to different planets. It is an overall ok episode that has a story that just isn't believable.moreless
Ronald Guttman

Ronald Guttman


Guest Star

Yvonne Suhor

Yvonne Suhor


Guest Star

Andrew Hill Newman

Andrew Hill Newman

Jaret Otel

Guest Star

Martha Hackett

Martha Hackett


Recurring Role

Josh Clark

Josh Clark

Lt. Carey

Recurring Role

Tarik Ergin

Tarik Ergin

Lt. Ayala

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Janeway: I don't even know where to start. I want you to explain how you, of all people, could be involved in this.
      Tuvok: It's quite simple, captain. You have made it quite clear, on many occasions, that your highest goal is to get the crew home. But in this instance, your standards would not allow you to violate Sikarian law. Someone had to spare you the ethical dilemma. I was the logical choice. And so I chose to act.

    • Janeway: (to Torres) I don't have the luxury of throwing you in the brig for the rest of this voyage. I need you. I need every person on this ship. But I want to you to know how very deeply you have disappointed me.

    • Gath: We have offered you nothing but hospitality. Is this how you repay us? With an attack on our beliefs?
      Janeway: I'm sorry. I was just trying to illustrate the differences between us.
      Gath: I don't enjoy being judged like this. It's very upsetting. Not at all pleasurable.
      Janeway: That's all you really care about, isn't it? Your pleasure. All your hospitality, your graciousness, it was never about giving us pleasure, it's all been to gratify yourselves. We're nothing more than the latest novelty.

    • Tuvok: At least if you deal with Jaret, it is his law that is being compromised, not ours.
      Janeway: But does that matter? I told the crew when we started this journey that it would be a Starfleet crew. Behaving as Starfleet would expect us to. That means there's a certain standard I have to uphold. Principles, principles! That's what it comes down to. Do I compromise my almighty principles? But how do I not compromise them if it involves a chance to get the crew more than halfway home? How do I tell them my principles are so important, that I would deny them that opportunity?

    • Janeway: It's the first time we've been on the other side of the fence.
      Paris: What fence?
      Janeway: The one that's made of binding principles. We have our own set of rules, which includes the Prime Directive. How many times have we been in the position of refusing to interfere when some kind of disaster threatened an alien culture? It's all very well to say we do it on the basis of an enlightened principle, but how does that feel to the aliens? I'm sure many of them think the Prime Directive is a lousy idea.

    • Janeway: This is Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Federation Starship Voyager. What is the nature of your emergency?
      Gath: We have no emergency.
      Janeway: But you're sending out a distress call.
      Gath: Yes, we are.
      Janeway: Why?
      Gath: Because you are in distress.

    • Paris: Yeah, you know, I've been meaning to ask you. What happened when you and Jenny Delaney disappeared in that gondola?
      Kim: Nothing.
      B'Elanna: Harry, we're your friends. You can tell us.
      Kim: Nothing. We talked... and then I fell over the side.

    • Janeway: You can use logic to justify almost anything. That's its power... and its flaw. From now on, bring your logic to me. Don't act on it behind my back.
      Tuvok: You have my word. My logic was not in error. But I was.

  • NOTES (3)