Star Trek: Voyager: Season 2, Episode 10

Cold Fire (13 Nov. 1995)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 358 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 3 critic

Ten months after The Caretaker stranded Voyager in the Delta Quadrant, the ship encounters the alien's mate and a station full of Ocampa with heightened psychic powers. Kes, swept up by the... See full summary »

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Title: Cold Fire (13 Nov 1995)

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Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres (as Roxann Biggs-Dawson)
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Kes
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Norman Large ...
Ocampa Man
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Suspiria / Announcer (voice)
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Ten months after The Caretaker stranded Voyager in the Delta Quadrant, the ship encounters the alien's mate and a station full of Ocampa with heightened psychic powers. Kes, swept up by the possibility of expanding her own abilities, learns just how turbulent and potent they can be. The female Caretaker seeks revenge on Voyager, blaming Janeway for the death of her mate. Written by Meribor

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13 November 1995 (USA)  »

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47-reference: after sending out a message to Suspiria, Tanis says that she should respond within the next 47 hours. See more »

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A fly can be seen buzzing around Janeway's hair while consulting in sickbay. A Starship environment would not permit flies. See more »

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Tanis: Suspiria is your future.
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Star Trek: Voyager - Main Title
Written by Jerry Goldsmith
Performed by Jay Chattaway
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User Reviews

Dear Mr. Fantasy...
2 February 2011 | by (New York, NY USA) – See all my reviews

There's a tremendous difference between sci-fi and fantasy, and the later Trek series began to blur the distinction in episodes just like this. What exactly IS the Caretaker that sent Voyager halfway across the galaxy? A robot? A God? A ghost? An alien? In the pilot episode the Caretaker is a plot device but a forgivable one: the writers needed a way to strand in the ship in the Delta quadrant, and this vague space-station/robot/spirit fit the bill quite nicely. But now we're midway through the second season, and the appearance of the Caretaker's companion raises too many questions without answers. What is this? And why?

Science-fiction uses technical and biological fact as a departure point, as a way to advance or re-invent the universe as a backdrop for a story. It provides genuine reactions to hypothetical situations, or vice versa. "Trek" has always been built around the inevitable progress of science: someday, the show postulates, we will be in space, seeking out life and exploring strange new worlds, and this is the way the way we hopefully will- or will not- react. Even the episodes with the most outlandish premises come complete with a fictional scientific explanation... sometimes you can feel the writers working overtime to rationalize a plot line, and that evidence of effort and extra exposition is not always a bad thing; it is in fact a hallmark of the genre.

In Fantasy, however, nothing has to make any sense. A frog becomes a prince with a magic kiss, a wizard disguises himself as a lion, and happily ever after can be achieved with nothing more than purity of heart. In summary: Star Trek = Sci-Fi, Star Wars = Fantasy

So it was strange- if not inevitable- that beginning with Sisko's mystical destiny on "Deep Space Nine" that "Star Trek" as a franchise became more and more willing to slip into the fantastic, to embrace a sense of magic and the menacing mystery of Evil. The Caretaker is the perfect example of Star Trek outgrowing its sci-fi roots... is this a villain that can be defeated by a creative technical stunt or by pulling the sword from the stone?

The characters- all scientists at heart- lose a significant amount of power when they're forced to fight a demon. And what's worse than that is this episode marks Kes' descent into futility. She's almost Neelix's wife, almost an alien, almost a sexpot, almost a nurse, but mostly she's a series of ideas that have thus far not coalesced into any solid character. Here, her telepathy- slyly set up in a previous episode- is brought to the forefront as her Ocampa kin encourage her to reach out with her feelings and face Vader alone.

Whoops! Voyager can't keep it straight so why should I? Kes embraces the Force and learns how to move a cup, heat her own tea, and- for your nightmarish Voyager moment of the week- boil Tuvok's blood, disfiguring his face and turning him temporarily into a feverish monster.

The Caretaker's mate Suspiria wants to destroy Voyager and assumes the form of a little girl for maximum shock value in order to taunt Janeway and horrify the audience. After Suspiria is defeated we return to normal- Kes even loses her telepathic abilities until such time that the script requires them again.

A decent episode, and hopefully the slide from sci-fi to fantasy will be corrected as the series continues. For whatever reason during the conference scene Neelix refers to Kes as "Tess." Trust me. I played it back three times.

GRADE: B


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