"Future's End" is a two-part episode from the third season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Voyager, the eighth and ninth of the season and the 50th and 51st overall. "Future's End" made its debut on American television in November 1996 on the UPN network.

"Future's End"
Star Trek: Voyager episode
Episode no.Season 3
Episode 8 & 9
Directed by
Written by
Featured musicJay Chattaway
Cinematography byMarvin V. Rush
Production code150 & 151
Original air date
  • November 6, 1996 (1996-11-06)
  • November 13, 1996 (1996-11-13)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Sacred Ground"
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"Warlord"
Star Trek: Voyager (season 3)
List of Star Trek: Voyager episodes

Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures of the Federation starship Voyager during its journey home to Earth, having been stranded tens of thousands of light-years away. In this episode, Voyager is thrown back to Earth in 1996 and must find a way back to the 24th century while making sure they don't cause a disaster in the 29th century in the process.

PlotEdit

Part IEdit

The crew is surprised by a small ship with a Federation signature that emerges from a temporal rift in front of the starship Voyager. Its pilot identifies himself as Captain Braxton (Allan Royal) from the 29th century aboard the Federation Timeship Aeon. He shocks the crew when he explains that he believes Voyager to be the cause of a temporal explosion that would wipe out most of the Earth's solar system in his time; therefore he must destroy it. As proof, Braxton briefly states that debris from Voyager's secondary hull will be found in the remains of the explosion. Voyager fights off Braxton's attack, resulting in the future captain being sent back through the rift to Earth in the year 1967. Voyager and its crew are also pulled into the rift and find themselves also at Earth but in 1996. The starship is categorized on Earth as a UFO and videotaped, placing the U.S. military on alert.

In 1967, a young hippie hiker, Henry Starling (Ed Begley, Jr.), finds the timeship Aeon and copies its technology, allowing him to create a company, Chronowerx Industries, and start the micro-computer revolution. In 1996, a young astronomer named Rain Robinson (Sarah Silverman) who works at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles discovers Voyager in high orbit through the ship's warp emissions and assumes it to be extraterrestrial life. Her work is funded by Starling but against his instructions, she attempts to contact Voyager by transmitting a greeting to it, which forces the crew to do some damage control.[1] The Voyager crew tracks her location to the Observatory and Captain Janeway, Commander Chakotay, Lt. Tuvok (Tim Russ), and Lt. Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill), decide to beam down to Los Angeles. Tuvok and Paris try to find Robinson, while Janeway and Chakotay attempt to investigate more on Henry Starling and his multimillion-dollar business. Tuvok and Paris remove Robinson from the observatory before she can be harmed after Starling, who fears that Robinson is a security risk, dispatches a hitman to kill her.[1]

In Los Angeles, Janeway and Chakotay identify a homeless man as Captain Braxton, who explains that he emerged from the time rift in 1967 and crash-landed in the desert, where a Henry Starling found the Aeon and used its technology to begin his high-tech empire.[1]

Ultimately, Janeway and Chakotay discover from Captain Braxton that Starling's planned attempt to travel into the 29th century using Braxton's timeship will be the true cause for the temporal explosion in the 29th century, because Starling lacks the knowledge needed to properly operate the timeship. If Starling makes his trip to the future, the improperly configured temporal matrix will cause a temporal explosion that will destroy Earth's entire solar system. Braxton thinks that Voyager's debris will be found in the remains of the explosion because of a failed attempt to stop Starling.

Janeway and Chakotay secretly enter Starling's Chronowerx office where they find the Aeon, just as Starling walks in on them. Starling ignores Janeway's warning not to use the timeship since its use will cause disaster and he tries to kill Janeway and Chakotay, however the two are beamed aboard Voyager.[1] When Voyager tries to beam up the timeship, Starling uses his own transporter beam to access Voyager's computer and study its systems before stealing the Doctor's program from Sickbay.[1] Worse still, Voyager's presence is detected and placed on the news media since the ship's crew had to dive the ship low into Earth's atmosphere to beam Janeway and Chakotay aboard.

Part IIEdit

Following Starling's computer attack, Voyager is badly damaged and is unable to enter the atmosphere for fear of encountering the military, leaving Paris and Tuvok alone on Earth with Robinson. Realising they will need her help, Paris plays to her speculation and tells her that he and Tuvok are government agents who are trying to recover highly advanced technology which was stolen by Starling, which they believe he will use to cause massive devastation. Though still shaky on the details, Robinson agrees to help after realising that her life is safer in their hands rather than Starling's. Starling tries to extract information out of the Doctor on Janeway by altering his program to torture him, exposing him to pain for the first time. He is stopped when Robinson, prompted by Paris and Tuvok, arranges to meet at a public park. To keep an eye on him, Starling equips the Doctor with a piece of 29th-Century technology, a "Mobile Holo-Emitter", which allows him to move around without having to rely on fixed emitters.

During the meeting, Chakotay and B'elanna take a shuttle into Earth's lower atmosphere to act as a relay to allow Janeway to abduct Starling and beam him aboard Voyager, the distraction allowing the Doctor to escape with Paris, Tuvok and Robinson. Unfortunately damage taken during the transport forces Chakotay and B'elanna to crash land in the Arizona desert where they are captured by isolationists. However Tuvok and the Doctor, splitting up from Paris and Robinson, are able to rescue them and begin repairs on the shuttle.

Held prisoner on Voyager, Starling admits to Janeway that he intends to travel into the future to steal more advanced technology because he has reached the limit of what he can create by studying the Aeon.[2] Janeway informs him of Captain Braxton's warning about the disaster he will cause, but Starling is too egotistic to believe he can make a mistake. While Janeway believes that she has ended Starling's plans, one of Starling's henchmen uses his scavenged 29th century technology to transport Starling back to his office. Paris and Robinson arrive there to discover a large truck, which they believe contains the timeship, leaving and pursue the vehicle out of the city and into a confrontation, only to be saved by the arrival of the repaired shuttle. Paris says goodbye to Robinson before rejoining the others. Unfortunately after scanning the trucks remains, they discover too late it was a decoy, and the Aeon is still at the Chronowerx Building as Starling launches the timeship to perform his time travel.[2]

After a failed attempt to convince Starling to stop his time travel before it's too late, Janeway manually fires a photon torpedo into the Aeon, destroying it just as it enters a temporal rift, saving the future. A few moments later, an alternative Captain Braxton arrives in another timeship Aeon, explaining that having detected the anomaly of their presence in the past, he has come to return them to their own time at the place they left it. Sadly, he is unwilling to bring them to their Earth as that would violate the Temporal Prime Directive, so Voyager returns to the exact moment they first encountered the Aeon, and the crew reflect on the results of their mission: The Doctor gains more freedom as he keeps the Mobile Holo-Emitter, and thanks to Robinson, Paris has more insight into just how weird Tuvok is to the untrained eye.

ReceptionEdit

A 1996, newspaper article noted "Future's End" as the best episode yet, noting that it had "much excitement and crackling dialogue."[3]

In 2011, Tor.com included this as one of six episodes of Star Trek: Voyager that are worth re-watching.[4] The Comic Book Resources site listed the futuristic but tiny Aeon, as one of the most powerful Star Trek ships.[5]

In 2015, a Star Trek: Voyager binge-watching guide by W.I.R.E.D. suggested this episode could not be skipped.[6]

In 2015, SyFy ranked the "Future's End" pair as one of the top ten episodes of Star Trek: Voyager.[7] Star Trek writer Byran Fuller later said Sarah Silverman was considered as a cast regular starting with Season 3 of Star Trek: Voyager.[8] The filming locations in southern California, USA have also been noted, including Santa Monica Pier, Griffith Observatory, downtown Los Angeles, and Palisades Cliffside Park, etc. .[9]

In 2016, "Future's End, Part I" & "Future's End, Part II" were ranked as the 60th greatest Star Trek episodes overall by The Hollywood Reporter.[10] They noted the episode(s) had "plenty of charm" and praised the comedy by the Paris and Tuvok characters.[10] In 2017, ScreenRant ranked "Future's End" as the 7th best time-travel themed episode of Star Trek overall, and praised the storyline and its consequences.[11]

In 2017, Fatherly ranked this episode as one of the top 10 episodes for kids to watch.[12]

Variety magazine noted this for guest starring comedian and actress Sarah Silverman.[13]

In 2017, Den of Geek said that actress-comedian Sarah Silverman was the tenth best guest star on Star Trek: Voyager, for her role of Rain Robinson, 20th century astronomer who encounters the crew of Voyager.[14] Film Daily ranked Sarah Silverman as one of the greatest Star Trek guest stars.[15]

In 2019, Higgy Pop noted this episode as one of the time travel stories of the Star Trek franchise.[16]

NotesEdit

  • Star Trek writer and producer Bryan Fuller, who began his career on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, has stated that Brannon Braga, Voyager's co-executive producer, considered making Sarah Silverman a member of the crew on the basis of her acting in this episode.[17] Braga “liked writing for Silverman and the freshness she brought to the Voyager” show plus the possibilities for a Tom Paris romance with her.[17] In the end, Braga abandoned the idea and instead chose Jeri Ryan to join the crew in season 4 of the show.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e "Future's End, Part I". Star Trek: Voyager. Season 3. Episode 8. Paramount Television. November 6, 1996. UPN. Retrieved February 16, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Future's End, Part II". Star Trek: Voyager. Season 3. Episode 9. Paramount Television. November 13, 1996. UPN. Retrieved February 16, 2013.
  3. ^ Anthony, Ted (November 9, 1996). The Dispatch "'Star Trek: Voyager' Hits its stride-finally. The Dispatch.
  4. ^ Britt, Ryan (July 14, 2011). "I Like My Coffee Black and My Crew Lost: Six Voyager Episodes Worth Re-Watching". Tor.com. Retrieved June 22, 2019.
  5. ^ "Star Trek: The 20 Most Powerful Ships In The Galaxy, Ranked". CBR. December 17, 2018. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
  6. ^ McMillan, Graeme (May 27, 2015). "WIRED Binge-Watching Guide: Star Trek: Voyager". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
  7. ^ Granshaw, Lisa (January 16, 2015). "20 years later: Our top 10 episodes of Star Trek: Voyager". SYFY WIRE. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  8. ^ Caron, Nathalie (December 14, 2012). "REVEALED: Sarah Silverman was almost a Star Trek: Voyager regular". SYFY WIRE.
  9. ^ "Star Trek Voyager - Filming Locations". www.seeing-stars.com.
  10. ^ a b ""Borderland"/"Cold Station 12"/"The Augments" - 'Star Trek': 100 Greatest Episodes". The Hollywood Reporter.
  11. ^ "Star Trek: 18 Best Time Travel Stories". ScreenRant. December 7, 2016.
  12. ^ "The 10 Best 'Star Trek' Episodes to Watch With Your Kids". Fatherly. October 31, 2017. Retrieved July 4, 2019.
  13. ^ Bryant, Jacob; Bryant, Jacob (September 2, 2016). "Stars You Didn't Know Were in 'Star Trek'". Variety. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  14. ^ "Star Trek Voyager: 10 Great Guest Performances". Den of Geek. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  15. ^ Roberts, Amy (June 12, 2019). "Tom Hardy in space: The greatest 'Star Trek' guest stars ever". Film Daily. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  16. ^ Higgypop. "Complete List Of Time Travel Storylines In Star Trek". Higgypop. Retrieved January 16, 2020.
  17. ^ a b Pascale, Anthony (April 26, 2011). "Star Trek Voyager Producers Considered Adding Sarah Silverman As Series Regular". TrekMovie.com. Retrieved February 17, 2013.

External linksEdit