Star Trek: Voyager

Season 2 Episode 23

The Thaw

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Apr 29, 1996 on UPN
out of 10
User Rating
196 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Stardate: 49610.3
The crew of Voyager encounters a planet that has recently entered an ice age. They discover a series of stasis chambers where a small group of people are mentally connected to an artificial environment that turned horribly wrong.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Star Trek meets Cirque du Soleil

    Star Trek does its version of the old "evil clown" horror story in this malfunctioning holodeck episode (minus the holodeck) with a story that slyly avoids having to leave Voyager, save for one alternate stage set.

    After beaming up the hardware for a virtual reality world gone awry (sort of a demented Cirque du Soleil), Janeway finds herself in a battle of wits and wills with a clown that has the ability to kill anyone who has wandered into his world (which, unfortunately for her, includes Ensign Kim). It's really a "how do we save the hostages without killing them" dilemma in (literally) different clothes, crossed with an exploration of the nature of fear.

    Robert Picardo's old buddy Michael McKean dominates the episode as the nameless antagonist, with his character interacting with various Voyager crewmembers and even getting in the final word. His clown is basically the same idea as Q, a character with complete control over his universe (in this case, one room) and exercising a whimsical and dangerous sense of humor.

    Director of Photography Marvin Rush, stepping into the director's role, gives the episode an experimental theatre feel, taking the focus off the limited set and placing it on the exotic characters that inhabit it. The result is a spirit unlike anything Trek has ever done, save maybe for TNG's "Cost of Living".

    The very definition of a one and done, "The Thaw" is nonetheless one of Voyager's most memorable episodes.

  • Like a bad Acid trip and I loved it!

    Yes, this episode is creepy, scary, nightmare inducing and that's why it is so great!

    It is not grotesque, there are no guns or bloody corpses. The victims here die of massive heart failure, nothing else. This episode if about the manifestation and power of our fears.

    This episode was so effective in creating a frightening subconscious world without resorting to demons, flames, or what we perceive to be a hell like environment. The demon here is futuristic clown and his band of freaks in a very colorful environment that on its own isn't creepy at all, in fact it looks a lot a child's nursery or classroom painted in bright, fun colors but it is what we project on it that makes it so creepy. The actor playing the villain is so much fun, so funny, and he holds nothing back with his fearless performance, and that kind of freedom and power and potential for evil is frightening... in the best way!

    I loved that this episode reminded me of a stage play, one that was clever and spoke about the human condition and held up a mirror. One that spoke about how we can be our own worst enemies, and how our own fears hold us hostage. It was deep people.

    I loved the Captain in this episode, she gave one of my favorite performances of the series and the ending was thrilling, so satisfying.moreless
  • A rather pathetic episode

    My wife and I have been watching Voyager on DVD as I have always been a ST fan, particularly the original when it was on it's initial run, but because of life didn't get to catch the later series. Overall we have enjoyed Voyager so far, not as much as TNG or DS9, and most episodes are pretty good. However this episode might vie in my book for one of the worse in the entire ST universe. I knew right off when they went into the brain support system and I saw all the clowns/mimes etc. that this episode was going to be bad. I am almost always turned off by these surrealistic episodes and this was one of the worse. The antics of the clown in the system were pathetic and his childish attitude and the way he carried on were particularly bad. As a previous post noted, who bought this script and allowed it to be turned into a complete episode?moreless
  • Nightmare & Vomit Inducing


    Seriously I get the whole craziness thing but there's a way to do fear-inducing-madness without it being so creepy that you want to forget this episode even exists and HOPE TO GOD you don't have nightmares about it.

    I got through about 15 to 20 mins before I turned it off. NEVER EVER EVER AGAIN.moreless
  • The Thaw

    The Thaw was a fair episode of Star Trek: Voyager and it was ok to watch, but it is by no means necessary for the over all plot or character story lines. The story was an interesting concept and it was kinda of an interesting world that the crew members visited, yet it was still a little out there. It seems the writers were trying to have fun, but it just didn't work out. I liked how the story played out and how every thing ended. Another side adventure on Voyager. I look forward to watching the next episode of Star Trek: Voyager!!moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Janeway: Doctor, if we do simply disconnect the hostages...
      The Doctor: There would certainly be brain damage.
      Janeway: How much damage? Could you possibly repair it?
      The Doctor: Possibly, yes. Would Mr. Kim still be able to hold his clarinet when I was done.... possibly.

    • (talking to Fear)
      Janeway: I've known fear. It's a very healthy thing most of the time. You warn us of danger, remind us of our limits, protect us from carelessness. I've learned to trust fear. You know as well as I do that fear only exists for one purpose - to be conquered.

    • B'Elanna: It just wouldn't be the same. Artificial intelligence can never replace real brain functions.
      The Doctor: I'll choose not to take that personally...

    • Janeway: Isn't there more to fear than a simple demand to exist? Why do people enjoy dangerous sports or holodeck adventures with the safety off? Why, after all these centuries, do children still ride on roller coasters?
      The Doctor: Fear can provide pleasure. To seek fear is to seek the boundaries of one's sensory experience.
      Janeway: But what does fear seek... at the end of the ride?

    • Fear: You're different. I don't know anything about you. You're not on the system.
      The Doctor: I would be pleased to tell you all about myself at a more appropriate time. For now, suffice it to say that I am here by a miracle of technology.

    • Kim: Are you a lifeform? Or some kind of computer virus that penetrated this system?
      Fear: (laughs) A virus, a virus, he thinks I am a virus! He thinks I am a virus! Well, perhaps I'll be a virus today. (sneezes)

    • Kim: Susan Nicolletti and I have been working on a new orchestral program for the holodeck.
      Paris: Lieutenant Nicolletti? The one I've been chasing for six months? Cold hands, cold heart?
      Kim: Not when she plays the oboe.

    • Kim: Where am I supposed to practice?
      Paris: How about cargo bay?
      Kim: Bad acoustics.
      Paris: We could get Baytar transferred to the night shift.
      Kim: We couldn't do that. (laughs) Could we?

    • Fear: How am I supposed to negotiate if I don't know what you're thinking?!
      The Doctor: I have a very trustworthy face.

    • Fear: I'm afraid.
      Janeway: I know.
      Fear: Drat.

    • Fear: Well, you certainly know how to bring a party to a halt.
      Doctor: I don't get out very much.
      Fear: I bet.

  • NOTES (1)


    • The Wizard Of Oz:

      The Clown's reciting of "there's no place like home" and "clicking heels together three times" are references to The Wizard Of Oz by L. Frank Baum. In the story and movie, the main character of Dorothy (who is lost and far from home) must perform those things before she could return to her home in Kansas.