Blink of an Eye (Star Trek: Voyager)

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"Blink of an Eye"
Star Trek: Voyager episode
Episode no.Season 6
Episode 130
Directed byGabrielle Beaumont
Story byMichael Taylor
Teleplay byScott Miller
Joe Menosky
Featured musicPaul Baillargeon
Production code233
Original air dateJanuary 19, 2000 (2000-01-19)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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Star Trek: Voyager (season 6)
List of Star Trek: Voyager episodes

"Blink of an Eye" is the twelfth episode from the sixth season of the science fiction television series Star Trek: Voyager, 130th episode overall.

It follows the crew's interaction with a world where time passes rapidly, allowing them to witness most of its inhabitants' history. For the inhabitants, Voyager is fixed in the night sky inspiring them as the eons pass. The science driven aspect of this concept is time dilation which is a real world physical effect that must even be accounted for the time of communications signals from satellites in Earth orbit.

This television episode debuted on United Paramount Network (UPN) on January 20, 2000.[1]

Plot[edit]

The starship Voyager approaches an alien world which is enveloped in a tachyon field, giving it an odd temporal nature. In an effort to learn more about the planet, Captain Kathryn Janeway orders the ship to move closer, but Voyager becomes trapped in orbit by the planet's magnetic field. While the crew concocts an escape plan, Seven of Nine surveys the planet and discovers that Voyager's presence is causing occasional quakes. Further scans reveal that time passes at a much more rapid rate on the planet, and it is inhabited by a primitive humanoid race.

As hours on Voyager pass, centuries pass on the planet below and its humanoid inhabitants reach a level of technology similar to the 20th century. As the crew discusses the unusually rapid technological progress of the species, a radio message is broadcast at Voyager. Tom Paris wants to reply, but Tuvok points out that the species has not developed warp technology and a reply would be a violation of the Prime Directive. Janeway suggests a covert one-man mission to the planet. As he would not be affected by the change in the passage of time because he is a hologram, the Doctor volunteers - which, due to the time differential, lasts three years from the Doctor's perspective, even though he is only gone from the ship for minutes. Upon returning he reports that Voyager, simply by its presence, has encouraged the culture to advance as the humanoids attempt to contact the "sky-ship." While some strive to establish peaceful contact others are developing increasingly powerful weaponry in an attempt to shoot down Voyager.

Meanwhile, the species below develops technology sophisticated enough to send astronauts on a manned mission to make contact with the sky-ship. A capsule is launched and succeeds in docking with Voyager. Its two astronauts, a male and female, begin to explore the ship, which appears frozen in time, but fall unconscious from the stress of adjusting to the different space-time. The bodies are found on the bridge and are taken to sickbay. The female dies from the shock of adjustment, but the male, Gotana-Retz, is successfully treated whilst Voyager is hit by a bombardment of antimatter artillery.

Janeway urges Gotana-Retz to return to the planet and convince them to cease the attack. Gotana-Retz does so just after Voyager's shields collapse. Suddenly, two starships appear alongside Voyager and, using tractor beams, tow the vessel out of the planet's field. A visibly older Gotana-Retz briefly transports to Voyager to explain what has happened, and Janeway thanks him and his people.

On the surface, an elderly Gotana-Retz, long returned from his experience in space, gazes wistfully into the sky as his people's Sky Ship vanishes from the heavens.

Reception[edit]

In 2016, Blink of an Eye was ranked 5th out of 15 of the top episodes of Voyager by The Hollywood Reporter.[2] Den of Geek ranked "Blink of an Eye" among the top 50 Star Trek episodes.[3] The episode was also ranked as one of the top 10 episodes of Star Trek: Voyager in 2018 by ThoughtCo.[4] Gizmodo ranked "Blink of an Eye" as the 46th out of 100 of the best of all Star Trek television episodes as of 2014.[5] SyFy ranked "Blink of an Eye" among the top ten Star Trek: Voyager episodes.[6] In 2017, it was ranked by Medium, as the 11th best time travel plot in Star Trek.[7]

The episode was noted among 5 Star Trek episodes that did not have villain in the traditional sense, rather it explored the impact of technological influence between two cultures.[8]

This episode is believed to have been inspired by the 1980 novel Dragon's Egg.[9]

This episode is also noted for the performance of Daniel Dae Kim, who later had a role in the hit early 2000s TV show Lost.[2]

In 2011, Tor.com included this as one of six episodes of Star Trek: Voyager that are worth re-watching.[10]

In 2013, The Guardian recommended this episode as one of six Star Trek episodes, out of all episodes of the franchise up to that time.[11]

In 2015, Den of Geek suggested "Blink of an Eye" for a binge-watching guide that focused on Star Trek: Voyager episodes featuring time travel.[12]

In 2016, Vox rated this one of the top 25 essential episodes of all Star Trek.[13]

In 2018, CBR ranked this one of the top-twenty time travel themed episodes of all Star Trek series.[14]

Expanded universe[edit]

The 2005 Star Trek novel Star Trek: Voyager: Distant Shores Anthology includes a short story 'Eighteen Minutes' that is set during Blink of an Eye.[15] Star Trek novels are based on Star Trek universe canon but are themselves not considered a part of canon.[16]

See also[edit]

  • Interstellar (film) (2014 Christopher Nolan film that also explores time dilation and space travel)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Star Trek: Voyager - Season 6, Episode 12" – via www.rottentomatoes.com.
  2. ^ a b ""Blink of an Eye" - 'Star Trek: Voyager' — The 15 Greatest Episodes". The Hollywood Reporter.
  3. ^ "Star Trek: 50 Best Episodes". Den of Geek.
  4. ^ fiction, Nigel Mitchell Nigel Mitchell has written about science; Books, Comic; critic, fantasy films for over 10 years He's a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved. "Must-Watch Episodes of "Star Trek: Voyager"". ThoughtCo.
  5. ^ Anders, Charlie Jane. "The Top 100 Star Trek Episodes Of All Time!". io9.
  6. ^ Granshaw, Lisa (2015-01-16). "20 years later: Our top 10 episodes of Star Trek: Voyager". SYFY WIRE. Retrieved 2019-02-23.
  7. ^ Chew, Jonathan (8 June 2017). "Top 12 Star Trek Time Travel Episodes".
  8. ^ Cipriani, Casey (2016-07-27). "What 'Star Trek 4' Could Learn From These 'Star Trek' Episodes". Bustle. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  9. ^ "Blink of an Eye". SFDebris.com.
  10. ^ Britt, Ryan (2011-07-14). "I Like My Coffee Black and My Crew Lost: Six Voyager Episodes Worth Re-Watching". Tor.com. Retrieved 2019-06-22.
  11. ^ O'Neill, Phelim (2013-05-09). "Six to watch: Star Trek episodes". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-07-23.
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ Siede, Caroline (2016-09-06). "Star Trek, explained for non-Trekkies". Vox. Retrieved 2019-08-01.
  14. ^ "Star Trek: Ranking the 20 Best Time-Travel Episodes". CBR. 2018-11-30. Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  15. ^ Palmieri, Marco (1 November 2005). "Star Trek: Voyager: Distant Shores Anthology". Simon and Schuster – via Google Books.
  16. ^ Trendacosta, Katharine. "Someone Figured Out How Every Single Star Trek Novel Fits Together". io9.

External links[edit]