BRIDE OF CHAOTICA!




Part 1: The Summary

Itís the final chapter in the current Captain Proton series, and the Captain (Tom Paris) and his Nameless Sidekick (Harry Kim) are attempting to destroy the evil Dr. Chaotica and his Death Ray, while saving the lovely screaming Constance Goodheart. Suddenly, their black and white world is invaded by psychedelic colored disks, which not only throw the holodeck into technicolor spasms, but also stall out all energy forces on the good ship Voyager. Tom to the rescue, in getting himself and Harry out of the holodeck, but he canít seem to get Voyager out of the Bermuda Triangle. Systems are going off right and left, as well as short fused tempers. But Capt. Proton... er Tom... whips into action once more, and recruits Janeway and the Doc into playing pivotal roles in bringing the downfall of the evil Chaotica and tossing the Fifth Dimension back into its own space. As a double agent ally of Proton, Janeway becomes the menacing Queen Arachnia, beloved of Chaotica and savior of the universe, and the EMH dons a hat and glasses and goes political. The usual happy ending arrives... or does it?


Part 2: The Review

Finally... one of the most burning questions in 33 years of Trekkdom is answered: Are all inhabitants in the 24th century universe devoid of functioning excretory systems? The answer is --- NO! And we find this out from none other than the busiest of busybodies, the whiskered one himself, Neelix. Well. Thank goodness! Now we can delve into some scatological humor at long last. And right away, he launches into the personal habits of those bumptious comedians in the UFP, the Bolians. Theyíre a regular barrel full of belly laughs, those jolly blue tellytubbies of the galaxy!

There *were* plenty of laughs in this episode. Doc and Tuvok got the best scripted lines, Docís very timely "My performance was unimpeachable", along with Tuvokís take on Tomís reaction at finding a very dead holographic Constance Goodheart, "Iím sure you were very close", were primo examples of the tongue-in-cheek script.

Overacting was the word of the day, and everyone seems to have followed direction perfectly on this instruction. Groans came as fast as laughs for the histrionics of Janeway, Chaotica and Constance Goodheart. But the top acting award has got to go to the uncredited Robot of Satan, who surely was ad-libbing many of his lines and actions. His hands were in more places than Tom Parisí have ever been... and just like Tomís, found in places both wanted and unwanted. When Tom found the broken resistor in the poor injured metal heap, he should have stripped the Eveready batteries, too. This guy just kept going and going and going....

Music was another uncredited major player in this episode, from the direct rip-off strains from "Flash Gordon" that permeated the background to the unsolicited mind music Cilla couldnít lose every time someone mentioned "The Fifth Dimension" ---- "This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius, age of Aquarius.... segueing right into "Good morning, starshine... you welcome the day!" (Hey --- I thought that NBC had "The 60s" week coming up; guess this is the UPN low-budget version...) Anyway, the name sort of spoiled the sci-fi basis for the photonic folks. The sixties theme continued, with the obvious allusion to Janewayís drug addiction --- the poor woman needs to go to Betty Ford to be cleansed from all that caffeine. And now, it looks as if sheís leading another crewperson down the road to Hell... Neelix took his first sip of the Devilís Brew! Another nod to this decade is seen with the "confinement rings" that Chaotica uses on his beloved --- straight steal from the "Cone of Silence" on "Get Smart".

Ah, yes --- then we get into Kafka: what is real and what isnít. Voyager canít get rid of the 5D leeches because they arenít "real", and the visitors claim that carbon based life forms canít exist. Whatís a writer gonna do? Phasers arenít phasers; theyíre ray guns. Photon torpedoes are death rays; force fields are lightning shields. Janeway has delusions of grandeur, as she hurls "I am the queen!" to Chaotica; sneers "Itís lonely at the top", and presumptuously slinks onto his throne, "Somehow I feel comfortable here."

Mr. Stoneface, the lapdog, doesnít get much screen time this week. Maybe itís because the script needed people at whom the audience could look and laugh, noting well the obvious contrast of good and bad acting. (Oops! Did I really say that?) Well, all right. Letís put him in a scene with Barbie Boobs, *real* up close to her, like heís coming at her from behind. That should put a little life into the story! Well, wrong again. Tomís persuading the Captain to play the Queen Bitch...er... Queen of the Spiders nullifies all the Chakmanís moves. (Is it me, or does the chemistry seem to be heating up more and more between Tom and KJ? Itís this older woman / younger man thing that it seems to be popping up on all the TV shows as of late.)

And it does appear that we will be subjected... er...um... treated to future Dr. Chaotica and Capt. Proton episodes, no matter *how* adamantly Tom said he was going to be about erasing the program, when the final scene shows us on Chaoticaís viewscreen a "The End" which fades into a "?", punctuated with his maniacal laughter. Oh, joy!


Part 3: Comments, Catcalls and Snits

1. Hey --- did you catch the size of those lobes on the Doc? As the President of Earth, he the bowler derby he wore was balanced on his ears rather than his head. Maybe the Doc is part (shudder!) Ferengi! Then again, maybe heís letting Seven be a model for *him*.

2. Last week, KM should have fired her make-up artist; this week, she should have given the costumer the sack. Okay, so she proudly tells Tom sheís a size four. In most places you are, sweetheart; but it ainít in the middle. Take it from One Who Knows... either you wear a body suit under the slinky stuff, or you go for the flowing robes! The whole effect kinda nullifies all those released pheromones. (Although Good Ole Boy Lonzac looked horny enough for anything...)

3. The Lookin Good award this week goes to Harry in those Ď30s olive drabs and boots. Not a bad view, especially from the rear. Mucho macho man! Letís see some more of this. And poor RDM has lost almost too much weight; a couple of times, his ĎFleet uniform looked like it was just hanging on his bones. Hey, Neelix --- fix the boy some pizza, double cheese and pepperoni.

4. Interesting All Things Trek things: had to laugh at Tomís comment about "Sets were expensive." Like... thatís why we have all those bridge scenes, right? And Tom again, commenting on the demise of Miss Goodheart: " Sheís not supposed to die --- sheís one of the good guys!"

5. Star Trek firsts: The revelation that there *are* "lavatories" aboard starships; a captain is called an "impetuous harlot"; better acting comes from a tinman than a leading man; and they admit that they reuse sets.


Part 4: The Rating

First, the good: TPTB had fun sticking to themselves and their actors in this one; the Doc, Tuvok and the Robot gleefully gave great lines; and barely a nod to our Borg babe -- even in "her" scenes, she was royally insulted (which went right over her bleached implanted head). The bad: the chemistry with J/C *is* gone. KJ is being allowed to get power hungry, and her new lap dog seems to be a boy toy. Rating: It was moderately fun, with little of You-Know-Who, so letís give this one a five of nine.

Next week: Will Janeway break a fingernail? Will she eat her husband after their wedding night? Will the robot follow Tom to his cabin? Find out all these answers next week as we.... Oh. Sorry. I got carried away. No, next week could be very interesting ---

Tuvok gets the ABOTW!

Letís see if he fares any better than the Chakman.