The Cloud (Star Trek: Voyager)

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"The Cloud"
Star Trek: Voyager episode
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 6
Directed byDavid Livingston
Story byBrannon Braga
Teleplay byTom Szollosi
Michael Piller
Featured musicJay Chattaway
Production code106
Original air dateFebruary 13, 1995 (1995-02-13)
Guest appearances
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Phage"
Next →
"Eye of the Needle"
Star Trek: Voyager (season 1)
List of episodes

"The Cloud" is the sixth episode of the television series Star Trek: Voyager. It was first aired on February 13, 1995. The teleplay was written by Tom Szolosi and Michael Piller, based on a story by Brannon Braga, and directed by David Livingston.

USS Voyager spacecraft continues to search for supplies in the Delta Quadrant.[1]

This is the episode where Captain Janeway says the line "There is coffee in that nebula", which was re-popularized when real life astronaut Tweeted this line from the International Space Station in 2015.[2][3]

This episode aired on the United Paramount Network (UPN) on February 13, 1995.[4]

Plot[edit]

"There's coffee in that nebula. "

Captain Janeway[5]

Captain Janeway's log states that several weeks have passed and the crew have become more like an "extended family". Neelix has been serving his special recipes to the crew, to help save replicator power, but Janeway has been cut off from her regular coffee and Neelix's alternative is unpalatable. After encountering a strange nebula with signs of omicron particles, which could supplement their rapidly depleting energy reserves, Janeway orders the ship into the nebula. En route, Janeway and Chakotay discuss the lack of a ship's counselor and the effect it could have on morale. As the ship goes through the cloud, it comes across a natural energy barrier keeping them 7000 km from the particles they need. Ensign Kim engages thrusters to breach the barrier, which closes behind them.

As the ship enters further into the nebula, it encounters trouble: the shields begin to drop in power, reserves begin to fade, and the impulse drive triggers a dangerous reaction. Voyager leaves the nebula immediately, but now must use a photon torpedo to breach the barrier. The ship has sustained damage, and unidentified material from the nebula is attached to the hull. B'Elanna Torres and the Doctor investigate the material and discover that it is organic. They now realize that the nebula is in fact a living organism, and that by breaching the barrier they injured it.

The crew find a way to heal the nebula: the Doctor points out that it has a regenerative power, so they need only be a helping hand. Janeway takes Voyager back inside to repair the damage done in the first encounter. Torres attempts to modify the engines to produce a suitable beam of energy, though the ship is more depleted than before. As they enter, the natural defenses of the nebula attack the ship more intensely, lodging it deeper and further from the wound. Chakotay finds a flow of energy in the nebula and believes it is a circulatory system. The ship reaches the injury using the flow, initiates the repair, and leaves as it heals.

In side stories, Neelix appoints himself the ship's morale officer; Janeway receives help from Chakotay in finding her "animal guide" from Native American folklore; and Tom Paris takes Kim to "Chez Sandrine", a French bistro he frequented on Earth that he has recreated in the holodeck. After the mission, Janeway and other crew members relax at Chez Sandrine.

Reception[edit]

Reviewers Lance Parkin and Mark Jones thought the episode was "almost ridiculously straightforward and predictable".[6]

In 2017, ScreenRant ranked "The Cloud" as the 10th most hopeful episode of all Star Trek episodes up to that time.[5] They also note this as the origin of the famous Captain Janeway line, "There is coffee in that nebula".[5]

In 2020, Tor.com gave this episode 6/10 and noted comedic performances by Robert Picardo (the EMH) as well as the introduction of the holographic French bar, Sandrine's.[7]

Video releases[edit]

This episode was released on LaserDisc in Germany in 1996, paired with "Phage" for 49 DEM.[8] 1st Season vol.3 included "Phage" with the German language title Transplantationen and "The Cloud" as Der Mysteriöse Nebel on a single double sided 12" LaserDisc, with a German audio Dolby Surround soundtrack.[8]

Astronaut connection[edit]

In 2015, astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti tweeted the line from this episode about coffee from the International Space Station.[2][9] The station was getting a shipment of supplies which triggered a chance to say how coffee really was in the incoming spacecraft (a Dragon cargo spacecraft).[2] The spacecraft was carrying the ISSpresso machine which really would allow coffee beverages to be made aboard the real-life Space Station.[3] The popular tweet was accompanied by her wearing a Star Trek uniform also.[3]

Cristoforetti is an Italian astronaut, not only the first Italian woman in space but also broke records with nearly 200 days in space, and went on be awarded the Ordine al merito della Repubblica Italiana by Italy.[10][11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Juliette. "Star Trek Voyager: The Cloud".
  2. ^ a b c April 2015, Calla Cofield 21. "Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti Wears 'Star Trek' Uniform in Space (Photo)". Space.com. Retrieved 2021-02-16.
  3. ^ a b c "This Astronaut Brought a 'Star Trek' Uniform to the Final Frontier". Time. Retrieved 2021-02-16.
  4. ^ "Star Trek: Voyager". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 2021-02-25.
  5. ^ a b c "Star Trek: 15 Episodes That Will Give You Hope For The Future". ScreenRant. 2017-01-10. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  6. ^ Jones, Mark; Parkin, Lance (2003). Beyond the Final Frontier: An Unauthorised Review of the Trek Universe on Television and Film. London: Contender Books. p. 276. ISBN 978-1-84357-080-6.
  7. ^ DeCandido, Keith R. A. (2020-02-06). "Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: "The Cloud"". Tor.com. Retrieved 2021-04-24.
  8. ^ a b "LaserDisc Database – Star Trek Voyager: 1st Season vol.3 [PLTGB 35211]". www.lddb.com. Retrieved 2021-02-25.
  9. ^ "Is Samantha Cristoforetti the Most Awesome Astronaut Ever?". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2021-02-16.
  10. ^ "Samantha Cristoforetti becomes Cavaliere di Gran Croce". Italoamericano.org. Archived from the original on August 10, 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
  11. ^ O'Brien, Joe; Sherden, Amy (2015-07-08). "Record-breaking astronaut becomes internet sensation". ABC News. Retrieved 2019-12-07.

External links[edit]