Star Trek: Voyager: Season 3, Episode 23

Distant Origin (30 Apr. 1997)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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A Voth scientist finds the remains of a Voyager crewman who died on the planet where the crew was exiled by the Kazon during the two-part episode "Basics". An analysis of the remains' DNA ... See full summary »



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Title: Distant Origin (30 Apr 1997)

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Episode cast overview:
Henry Woronicz ...
Forra Gegen
Tova Veer
Nina Minton ...
Frola Gegen


A Voth scientist finds the remains of a Voyager crewman who died on the planet where the crew was exiled by the Kazon during the two-part episode "Basics". An analysis of the remains' DNA shows links to his own DNA. While tracking and studying the Voyager crew, the scientist and his aide are discovered; they eventually pool their knowledge and conclude that the saurian is an evolved dinosaur from a species that left Earth more than 65 million years earlier. The scientist is thrilled to be able to prove his Distant Origin theory (that his Voth race originated elsewhere in the galaxy), but the rulers of his society place him on trial for heresy against the doctrinal teachings of their heritage, the central tenet being that they originated in the Delta Quadrant. The outcome of that trial threatens the Voyager crew as well. Written by Jeff L.

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24th century | See All (1) »





Release Date:

30 April 1997 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode is unusual in that it is told from the viewpoint of a guest character, rather than one of the Voyager crew, who don't even appear until well into the second act. See more »


The Saurians have a canister of warp plasma that Neelix uses to set the trap for the bad guys on the space station, and use it to track Voyager's warp signature. However, he didn't use Voyager's warp plasma, but that of the space station. See more »


Commander Chakotay: You accuse Gegen of having his objectivity clouded by wishful thinking. But aren't you guilty of the same charge?
Minister Odala: I am not on trial here.
Commander Chakotay: I understand. But in a way your beliefs are. How you think about yourselves, your place in the universe. That *is* on trial.
See more »


Star Trek: Voyager - Main Title
Written by Jerry Goldsmith
Performed by Jay Chattaway
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User Reviews

Chakotay as Scopes' Monkey!
4 September 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In one of the more clever and intriguing episodes of Voyager, "Distant Origin" pits a pure scientist against institutionally-enforced ignorance in a way that one can't help but compare to the present-day battle between evolutionists and creationists.

As the episode begins, we are introduced to an alien paleontologist who discovers the skeletal remains and tattered uniform of the recently dead Ensign Hogan on the planet upon which the Kazon deserted the crew of Voyager in "Basics" at the end of Season two. Based on his analysis, the alien scientist determines that humans and his species -- that resembles highly evolved dinosaurs -- share some 47 common genetic base pairs in their DNA -- evidence that supports his theory that his species did not originate in the Delta Quadrant; but, instead, find their ancestral origins on Earth in the Alpha Quadrant.

Unfortunately for our alien protagonist, his theory of evolution, if you will, stands in direct contravention to the prevailing "doctrine" of his people, who hold as sacred truth that their ancestors originated in the Delta Quadrant. As a result, he is charged with "heresy against doctrine", and threatened by the authorities of his people if he doesn't promptly recant his heretical assertions.

Unlike today's religious right that consider Darwin's theory of natural selection heretical and lobby to have creationism taught in our schools as scientific fact under the absurd, fabricated "science" of "intelligent design", the closed-minded aliens of "Distant Origin" are the ones currently in power, and demonstrate a blithe willingness to extort silence from those who dare to suggest any contrary scientific theory, regardless of the strength of the evidence in support thereof. Ultimately, after a Delta Quadrant equivalent of the "Scopes' Monkey trial", the alien paleontologist of "Distant Origin" is forced to withdraw his theory, lest he end up exiled to a penal colony. To make matters worse, the authorities also threaten to exile the entire Voyager crew, as well, in a clear attempt to "get rid of the evidence" of this radical theory that would throw thousands of years of institutionalized ignorance into chaos, and loosen the authoritarian governing body's hold on the unsuspecting populace.

If only the Clarence Darrow of the Delta Quadrant had shown up, things might have ended a little less bleak for our unfortunate hero!

4 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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