"Star Trek: Voyager" Year of Hell: Part II (TV Episode 1997) Poster

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Voyager at its gritty, beautiful best
drwordsmith4 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Star Trek Voyager series 4 would be blessed with many great episodes such as 'Scorpion part 2', fan favourite 'Message in a bottle', and 'The Gift'. By far the best episodes of the series were, however, 'Year of Hell' parts 1 & 2. It showed a nasty, dark side to star trek that had rarely been seen before, and was beautifully acted by nearly everyone. The premise is simple: A temporal ship tries to erase everything to rectify a mistake made in the past. Enter the 'Krenim', a wonderful new species full of temporal programmers, under the rule of a distraught captain trying to restore the glory of his species and bring back his lost wife. In entering Krenim space, Voyager will become critically damaged, eventually being evacuated apart from senior officers. This leads to a beautiful scene on the Bridge where Janeway evacuates everyone, with protest from Tuvok, and finally drives Voyager to its death into the Krenim ship. Obviously, Voyager cannot finish at this point, and the only thing letting down the episode is that fact that the ending comes far to quickly and easily, and is a let-down compared to the rest of the episode. However, the way this episode is shot, the sense of fear and terror that runs through it is magnificent and not something you would expect from Star Trek. A stand-out episode in a stand-out series.
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Fixing time
Tweekums22 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
The first part of this story was fairly dark but surprisingly this second part is even darker. After the evacuation of Voyager only the senior staff remain on board, although from the viewers point of view that just means there are no nameless background characters wandering around the corridors. Heavily damaged Janeway has taken Voyager into a nebula so they can make repairs and make a plan for confronting the Krenim's temporal weapon. Meanwhile aboard the weapon Chakotay and Paris have different ideas about how they can help Voyager; Chakotay thinks that by using the weapon they can make it so that Voyager never approaches Krenim space whereas Tom thinks any adjustment of time is wrong and they should try to ferment mutiny amongst the crew. We also learn Annorax's real motive for constantly changing time; he just wants to correct a mistake which lead to the loss of his wife. Obviously the crew of the Voyager find a way to repair time but I won't spoil how they do it.

This was another exciting episode where the crew actually get hurt, including the captain who is badly scarred in a fire. It was just a shame the story couldn't have been stretched a bit longer as it was good to see the usually pristine Voyager battle-scared.
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This is not "Voyager"
Andariel Halo25 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This review applies to both episodes of this 2-parter Who wrote this two-part episode and why? A gritty and compelling story with a slight minimum of technobabble, a genuine sense of loss in that it's not just nameless goldshirts who can die or be seriously wounded, and an antagonist who is not a typical "bad guy" but actually a well-rounded, fully fleshed out person whose motives are driven solely by a desire to bring back his family, friends, and his people from mishaps he was responsible for, while being flawed enough to sacrifice entire races in order to do so? This is not typical "Voyager", but no worries; the show soon returns to the formula of mediocrity and stupidity it's so well known for. But for two weeks, we get a story that lives up to its title as it flashes forward from "Day 1" to "Day 4", "Day 39", "Day 70", "Day 180", etcetera in chronicling a *SHOCK!* REALISTIC depiction of a spaceship pursuing another through space and waging a bloody guerrilla-style war that sees Voyager slowly come apart, characters die or be maimed, and personalities clash.

There's still moments of stupidity, such as Tuvok claiming that there is an accepted addage amongst the Federation that "The Captain is always right", but for the most part, everything comes across wholly real, and very much as though Voyager were a small town under siege by an enemy, with the once pristine hallways and decks becoming smoldering shades of dark gray and blue as power fluctuates, decks are destroyed piecemeal, and places like the mess hall become medical facilities, and a big-ass piece of debris is stuck through the bridge.

The antagonist, meanwhile, is of the Krenim race. Spoilers abounding.

It starts with the Krenim attacking and threatening Voyager for intruding into their space, while Annorax (Kurtwood Smith) commands a gigantic ship with the ability to use time travel technobabble to alter aspects of things from molecules to planets in terms of time. So he uses this to eliminate an entire species on a planet, then observes how the timeline is affected, while he and his ship is protected from these changes.

Turns out, the Krenim were involved in a hideously violent war against a superior species that it was losing. Annorax then invented this time ship and used it to wipe out this species. The timeline then sets itself so that the Krenim are suddenly a superpower... and people begin dying by the millions from a disease that this other species had cured for the Krenim generations earlier.

So he attempts more and more time incursions to mess with the timeline, and as a result, accidentally wipes out the vast majority of the Krenim nation, as well as his own wife and children. He spends 200 years constantly attempting to change time enough to set things back the way they were, or possibly better.

They take aboard Chakotay and Tom Paris, and begin working together to try to undo the damage, and set Voyager fine as it was in before the Krenim met them.

Of course, the "Magic Reset Button" must come into effect for a show like "Voyager", and everything ends up reset the way it was at "Day 1", but the difference becoming that the Krenim do not attack Voyager outright, but acknowledge them, and politely tell them to avoid their space.

The only problem I saw is that Annorax was apparently still alive, at his home, working on the time ship. But in the prior episode, it was said he had spent 200 years messing with the timeline. So was this a flashback or a continuity error? Either way, an odd change of pace from typical Voyager stupidity, and even though the Magic Reset Button came into effect, it wasn't done as stupidly as it could have been.
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Excellent but with one small weakness....
MartinHafer21 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This is the second part of an unusually violent two-parter. In the Trek shows, two-part episodes usually are more violent and exciting than normal, but this one is even more so.

When the last episode ended, Paris and Chakotay were taken prisoner by a temporal ship run by a Captain Ahab-like guy, Annorax. Annorax is trying to change time in order to undo horrible things his ship did hundreds of years ago. Since one of the ship's first acts accidentally resulted in erasing all memory of Annorax's family, he's been making changes in time again and again and again--all in an attempt to undo his earlier change. But each change ends up causing more havoc and erasing various species. Clearly Annorax and his crew are playing god!

In the meantime, Voyager is a mess with a skeleton crew of only about a half dozen. Given its condition, there seems to be no way they'll ever make it back to the Delta Quadrant--let alone survive more than a few months at best.

Can all this somehow be undone? Well of course--because this went on for seven seasons! Because of this, the viewer KNOWS all this will somehow get undone--a weakness in this show. But given the action and the complexity of Annorax as a villain, it's very much worth seeing and a nice change from the usually too nice episodes of the series.
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