|Star Trek: Voyager episode|
|Episode no.||Season 3|
Episode 8 & 9
|Featured music||Jay Chattaway|
|Cinematography by||Marvin V. Rush|
|Production code||150 & 151|
|Original air date|
"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.
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.
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. 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 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. 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.
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 timeship and used its technology to begin his high-tech empire.
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 timeship, 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. 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. 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.
Janeway abducts Starling and beams him aboard Voyager where he admits that he intends to travel into the future to steal more advanced technology. 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 from where Starling launches the timeship to perform his time travel. After a failed attempt to convince Starling to stop his time travel before it's too late, Janeway destroys the timeship by manually firing a photon torpedo into it, destroying it just as it enters a temporal rift, saving the future. An alternative Captain Braxton arrives, having detected their presence in the past and returns them to their own time at the place they left it. He is unwilling to bring them to their Earth as that would violate the Temporal Prime Directive. The Doctor gains more freedom as he keeps a piece of 29th-Century technology, a "Mobile Holo-Emitter", which allows him to move around without having to rely on fixed emitters.
In 2015, SyFy ranked the "Future's End" pair as one of the top ten episodes of Star Trek: Voyager. The performance by Sarah Silverman is noted in this two-parter, and it was later noted by Star Trek writer Byran Fuller that it was considered by the show-makers to have her as a cast regular starting with Season 3 of Star Trek: Voyager. 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. .
In 2016, "Future's End, Part I" & "Future's End, Part II" were ranked as the 60th greatest Star Trek episodes overall by Hollywood Reporter. They noted the episode(s) had "plenty of charm" and praised the comedy by the Paris and Tuvok characters. 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.
- 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. Braga “liked writing for Silverman and the freshness she brought to the Voyager” show plus the possibilities for a Tom Paris romance with her. In the end, Braga abandoned the idea and instead chose Jeri Ryan to join the crew in season 4 of the show.
- "Relativity" – the fifth season episode where Voyager again encounters Captain Braxton (portrayed in that episode by Bruce McGill)
- List of the 50 television episodes, across Star Trek, with time travel
- "Future's End, Part I". Star Trek: Voyager. Season 3. Episode 8. Paramount Television. November 6, 1996. UPN. Retrieved February 16, 2013.
- "Future's End, Part II". Star Trek: Voyager. Season 3. Episode 9. Paramount Television. November 13, 1996. UPN. Retrieved February 16, 2013.
- Granshaw, Lisa (2015-01-16). "20 years later: Our top 10 episodes of Star Trek: Voyager". SYFY WIRE. Retrieved 2019-02-23.
- Pascale, Anthony (April 26, 2011). "Star Trek Voyager Producers Considered Adding Sarah Silverman As Series Regular". TrekMovie.com. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
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- "Future's End, Part I" on IMDb
- "Future's End, Part II" on IMDb
- "Future's End, Part I" at TV.com
- "Future's End, Part II" at TV.com
- "Future's End, Part I" at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)
- "Future's End, Part II" at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)
- "Future's End" at Memory Beta[permanent dead link] (a Star Trek wiki)
- "Future's End, Part I" at StarTrek.com
- "Future's End, Part II" at StarTrek.com