long lost Earth probe, launched 300 years in the past, is traced
to a dead planet in the Delta Quadrant, its civilisation appears
to have been wiped out by a nuclear holocaust. But the planet
is not as dead as it seems and the few survivors hold Voyager
and its crew responsible for the destruction of their planet.
1 is another morality tale about technological responsibility.
And it sort of works. but as is all too often the problem
with Trek, the message sometimes swamps the plot. The
episode looks good and is well paced but the dying survivors
are bland, two-dimensional ciphers, such as the pregnant woman
who stands as a symbol of the rebirth of her civilisation
and a return to planet-wide fruitfulness. Yes, it really is
a reason that's not really explained a group of stone age
people are trapped inside a force field. And by chance Seven
and Chakotay get trapped inside, cut off from civilisation
and Voyager. But can they trust the primitives and how will
they contact their ship?...
Law has very little plot to speak of which makes for a
nice change in pace. And as a two-handed character piece -
which essentially it is - the episode works pretty well. The
mute 'savages' and their sign language are very plausible
and even Seven manages to show off another side of her normally
rather limited character. The subplot is an annoyance and
the final payoff just plain stupid - Voyager can't break through
the force field with all its firepower but Seven can with
little more than a flat battery and a hair dryer. But apart
from that Natural Law is really quite good.
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