Robots make a Star Trek comeback in this throwback episode that's sort a sophisticated combination of TOS's "I, Mudd" and "The Doomsday Machine" that features B'Elanna Torres.
Beginning unusually from the "alien" point of view (including a cool, first person transporter effect), director Frakes gives the episode a feature film quality before settling into more standard television shots as the episode develops it's plot.
Corea's script (polished by Ken Biller) includes a few Data references and establishes enough dots for the episode to connect as it moves along, though the story and backstory it develops lack the complexity needed to really stand out. (I'm not in the business of spoilers, but I could probably tell you all you need to know about the episode in a few sentences).
Despite its simplicity, however, the episode entertains because it's an interesting premise for the franchise and everyone works hard to make it work. Rick Worthy, in particular, deserves credit for his work as the main guest star.
Curiously, the premise of this episode, with more complexity, would appear again just a few episodes later in "Dreadnought".
Us humans are always playing God, we want to create beings, Robots in this case, that are sentient and want to live and procreate like us. We can't fully relate to android type Robots and so we imagine giving them life and then we imagine the worst that could happen: killing the hand that feeds you, which in this case is the Robots killing their humanoid makers. Okay. How do we feel about that?
That's the moral of the story. I'm never bored with B'Elanna but these Robots as exciting as sheet metal.
Prototype was a great episode of Star Trek: Voyager and I really enjoyed this episode which focused around Torres as she discovered and reactivated an automated life form of artificial intelligence. This story had many implications and fun things to think about related to The Prime Directive as well as questions we must ask ourselves. There was a lot of character growth and development for Torres and it was great to see her take action. I like episodes like these that make the characters become who they are. I look forward to watching the next episode of Star Trek: Voyager!!!!!
Don't get involved. That's what the prime directive boils down to, isn't it ? This episode serves as a convenient reminder of just why that rule exists. It's pretty interesting as far as the federation morality eps go, especially given the revelation that the people who created the robots were exterminated by them long ago. They do kind of look like they're made out of cheap plastic, though...
Bottom line - another slightly above average, semi-filler episode which doesn't really progress Voyager's mission. It gets a bit annoying having characters and races introduced, then never to hear of them again (unless they're Kazon...).
I agreed with Johnathan Frakes that the 'robots' look corny but the episode was a good incite into B’Elanna's character. The episode conveyed B'Elanna's passion for engineering really well because up to this point she never displayed the same sort of 'engineering geekiness' we've come to expect from a StarFleet chief engineer aka Geordi & Scotty. She had some touching moments with the Captain - which Janeway responded with her usual simulated comparison.
The story was actually intriguing. I would've liked to have heard more about the war that annilated the two warring parties... but I suppose it's better to be left to your imagination.
Torres beams aboard a robot which is losing power. Where did it come from? How will Torres find a way to recharge the robot? Torres finds a way to recharge the robot. The robot comes online and introduces itself as Automated Personnel Unit 3947.
Torres beams aboard a robot which is losing power. Where did it come from? How will Torres find a way to recharge the robot? Torres finds a way to recharge the robot. The robot comes online and introduces itself as Automated Personnel Unit 3947. 3947 asks Torres to create more robots. Torres can’t do that due to the prime directive. 3947 then beams itself and Torres aboard the Automated Personnel ship. Janeway gets angry and tries to penetrate Automated Personnel ship shields to beam Torres out. This attempt causes the “Voyager” to be fired upon. Will Torres be saved?
A damaged robot found adrift in space is beamed aboard Voyager and repaired. It is then learned that the robots are failing because they are unable to reproduce thier own power source. The robot believes that B'Elanna can reproduce the power module, and she is taken hostage in order to give the robots the ability to 'reproduce'. This was a visualy interesting and well done episode. Apparently the episode was not well liked, and although one complaint is the look of the robots, I thought that the sort of retro 1950s scifi movie look worked well. In contrast to Data, the artificial member of the Enterprise crew, the metalic immobile features, stiff movements, and robotic voices really gave the robots a feel of lifeless programmed artificial robots. The simplistic metal look of the robots worked well in this episode, and although the plot was somewhat predictable, this is one of the better episodes in the second season to this point.
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