Star Trek: Voyager

Season 4 Episode 21

The Omega Directive

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Apr 15, 1998 on UPN
out of 10
User Rating
180 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Stardate: 51781.2
is forced out of warp by the detection of a dangerous and powerful particle, called "Omega", that has the power to join subspace. Janeway must enlist the help of the senior staff to carry out a secret standing order from Starfleet - destroy Omega by any means necessary.


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  • The Omega Directive

    The Omega Directive was a perfect episode of Star Trek: Voyager and I really enjoyed watching this episode because there was a lot of action, intrigue, and character development. The scene where Harry was fed up with Seven of Nine's authority was great and I find it interesting how much the Captain is willing to tolerate. The story was awesome and I liked the secrecy surrounding it. Seven came close to one of the Borg's ultimate aspirations and beheld something perfect. I was very entertained and certainly look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!

  • An ok episode, but not the shocking revelation for which the writers may have been aiming.

    I bet this idea sounded a lot better in the script than it actually turned out. The idea that there's this insane galactic threat that's only known to a few top-ranking starfleet officers is cool... but when that threat turns out to be a molecule, it somehow loses the charm. The molecule can't really fight back. It's not like the Borg, or Species 8472, where the evil has a face. It's just a scientific phenomenon that's only dangerous when you mess with it.

    Interesting idea, average implementation. The spiritual experience thing with seven of nine felt a bit silly to me.moreless
  • A suspenseful story that includes a rather peculiar theme…

    A suspenseful story that includes a rather peculiar theme…

    The stakes here couldn't possibly be higher. The entire quadrant could be shut down from warp travel depending on what Janeway does or doesn't do. Make no mistake, the setup promises and delivers a very exciting story.

    Apparently there is some kind of primordial molecule that is so powerful and unstable that trying to create and contain it can lead to massive explosions. A side effect of such explosions is to render it impossible to form a warp field and so space travel with warp engines is impossible. The more molecules involved, the large the explosion. The larger the explosion, the larger area of space that could be effected.

    Add to this a "secret" Starfleet directive, heavily embedded in each ship's database, that if the molecule is ever detected, the starship captains are to work to ensure the molecule is destroyed. Due to the sensitive nature of the Omega molecule and directive, only starship captains (such as Janeway) are ever briefed on it.

    Voyager detects the molecule and goes into "directive" mode. So does Janeway. Initially, she includes only Seven in her plans to destroy the molecule(s) but later extends that to her senior staff. She'll also go ahead and risk the entire ship and crew while still keeping the ultimate danger and potential risk a secret from them. (Okay, for purposes of making a good story, we'll kind of accept that she would do this). However, a second story and source of suspense/conflict comes from Seven's feelings about this molecule. She doesn't want it destroyed but she goes along with Janeway while continuing to argue that it should be preserved. To Seven, it's a source of inspiration because it is "perfect." Eventually, she gets to "see" the molecule and equates this to a spiritual experience. Naturally, Janeway has it blasted to bits anyway.

    I don't really get why Seven considers the molecule to be the sole level of perfection. (In fact, something that can't hold itself together hardly seems perfect). Certainly the Borg covet the molecule which makes sense as a power source or a weapon. But, that hardly raises it to the status of a deity to them. It makes that part of the story seem like a contrived conflict to introduce some character conflict into already suspenseful situation. Plus, they get some character conflict from the aliens which could have been developed some more if they really felt they needed it. Frankly, it wasn't necessary and detracts from otherwise powerful story.moreless
  • An OMEGA DIRECTIVE by Starfleet that supersedes all other cool is that?

    A fantastic premise for this episode. It makes sense that Starfleet would have this sort of directive considering the many possible dangers out in space and this OMEGA molecule sounds like a doozy.

    But there's the SOUNDS like a doozy. The biggest problem with this episode is that we don't get a clear sense beyond exposition of how great is this threat that it would give rise to this Omega directive. To be fair, they use an example of the experiment gone wrong and miles of space in which warp drive can't function, and they certainly treat the concept as gravely as possible, but then they beam that sucker on board (really?) and then eject it out of the cargo bay to be exploded with a graviton missle. Really?

    The beginning of the episode was awesome enough with captain pulling rank, and keeping Starfleet clearance secrets, and Seven showing off her efficient morning routine. But I think the idea of Seven having her religious experience with this Omega molecule felt sort of tacked on. The premise is great by itself, why not really flesh it out and run with it, instead of introducing a B story about Seven's desire to see "perfection" for 3.2 seconds. Maybe could have dealt with the idea of Omega acting as sort of a nuclear weapon concept, as a deterrent weapon among species. Great line about how there are some frontiers best left unexplored, but seems out of character with Janeway would have liked to have explored that more. Maybe she or Seven could have seen the destructiveness of Omega first hand and been witness to its power. The Omega molecule seemed pretty docile and malleable when it got transported to the ship, and encased in the harmonic chamber safely. Didn't seem that there was anything inherently unstable about it that it would necessitate not exploring what it could do. But the action is packed in there in a tight episode where a lot happens. The two stories are resolved adequately - I think the writer's became more enamored of Seven's religious moment in the end and favored it, rather than making a compelling resolution of the Omega idea (really decompress the cargo bay and shoot it with a missle? Imagine if we treated all nuclear weapons like that?). 10.moreless
  • A strange symbol appears on Voyager’s computer screens. Chakotay tries to see what it means. The computer informs him that he does not have sufficient security clearance. He contacts Janeway she informs him to patch it through to her ready room.moreless

    A strange symbol appears on Voyager’s computer screens. Chakotay tries to see what it means. The computer informs him that he does not have sufficient security clearance. He contacts Janeway she informs him to patch it through to her ready room. Janeway knows what it means. It is the omega directive. The symbol means that an omega molecule has been detected by the computer. If this molecule goes active it can wipe out a whole quadrant of the galaxy. Only the rank of Captain or higher knows what the Omega directive is. Seven knows what it means, but how?moreless
Robert Picardo

Robert Picardo

The Doctor

Kate Mulgrew

Kate Mulgrew

Captain Kathryn Janeway

Robert Beltran

Robert Beltran

Commander Chakotay

Roxann Dawson

Roxann Dawson

Lt. B'Elanna Torres

Ethan Phillips

Ethan Phillips


Tim Russ

Tim Russ

Lt. Commander Tuvok

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Nitpick: Before Janeway beams down as part of the rescue party, she tells Chakotay that she'll maintain an open com link with the ship. Yet on the surface, she engages her com badge to open a link to order the transport of two survivors to sickbay.

    • Trivia: Janeway mentions Marcus, who developed the Genesis Device. This directly references Dr. Carol Marcus and the events of Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan.

    • Trivia: Omega is Greek for "the end", a fitting name for a particle possessing such destructive potential. As well, omega particles are prominently studied in particle and quantum physics.

    • Goof: Seven of Nine gives the wrong stardate in her log entry - she states that it is stardate 15781.2.

    • Nitpick: Janeway states that Starfleet scientists believed that the Omega molecule existed during the Big Bang. During the Big Bang temperatures were so high that atoms could not form, let alone molecules. It took thousands of years for subatomic particles to finally coalesce.

    • Nitpick: Chakotay tells Paris that they will need maximum warp as soon as the Omega Molecules are destroyed in space. However, after engaging the engines, Paris announces that they are travelling at warp one.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Chakotay: I need maximum warp within ten seconds or we're stuck at ground zero.
      Paris: Yes, sir.
      Tuvok: Decompression is complete. The harmonic chamber has been jettisoned.
      Chakotay: Fire!
      Paris: We made it. We're at warp 1.

    • Tuvok: Captain, I'd be negligent if I didn't point out that we're about to violate the Prime Directive.
      Janeway: For the duration of this mission, the Prime Directive is rescinded. Let's get this over with.

    • Seven: Today Ensign Kim and I will conduct a comprehensive diagnostic of the aft sensor array. I have allocated three hours, twenty minutes for the task and an additional seventeen minutes for Ensign Kim's usual conversational digressions.

    • Janeway: Omega's too dangerous. I won't risk half the quadrant to satisfy our curiosity. It's arrogant and it's irresponsible. The final frontier has some boundaries that shouldn't be crossed and we're looking at one.

    • Seven: Six of Ten, this is not your assignment.
      Kim: Please, stop calling me that.
      Seven: You're compromising our productivity. I am reassigning you to chamber maintenance. Your new designation is Two of Ten.
      Kim: (giggles) Wait a minute, you're demoting me? Since when did the Borg pull rank?
      Seven: A Starfleet protocol I adapted. I find it most useful.
      Kim: I'm glad you're not the Captain.

    • Janeway: I wondered who was running my program. Master Da Vinci doesn't like visitors after midnight.
      Seven: He protested. I deactivated him.

    • Chakotay: When in the collective Harry, adapt.

  • NOTES (2)

    • In syndication, two scenes are cut from this episode, both involving Harry Kim. In the first, Harry Kim speculates to Tuvok as to what the reason for the assignments they've been given could be and Tuvok expresses disinterest. In the second, Kim complains to Chakotay when Seven of Nine reassigns him to chamber maintenance as Two of Ten, and Chakotay responds, "When in the collective, Harry, adapt."

    • Roxann Dawson (Lt. B'Elanna Torres) went into labor during the filming of this episode.


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