Friday, November 11, 2011

The Voth

The Voth are the product of Joe Menosky (and Brannon Braga), from an episode of the 3rd season of Star Trek's semi-tragic Voyager series, entitled "Distant Origin".  The concept behind the Voth is rather basic, but I still get a kick out of it.

The episode itself is pretty good, I mean if you're into this kind of thing. It's especially enjoyable that the first 13 minutes of the episode are spent entirely immersed in Voth culture, exploring their philosophical struggle, before Voyager or it's (living) crew even appears on-screen. But overall the concept itself is still a bit stronger than the execution. From

Professor Gegen and his assistant Veer find the remains of a Starfleet officer in a cave on an alien world. Gegen feels the evidence holds the key to the real origins of his race, the Voth, a saurian species that he suspects got its start in a distant part of the galaxy. The "Distant Origin" theory contradicts the doctrine of Chief Minister Odala and the powerful Voth elders, who believe the Voth were the first intelligent beings to evolve in the quadrant. The elders are unreceptive to his claims, but Gegen finds a clue on the deceased's uniform: the name of a ship called "Voyager."
I enjoyed the idea that the Voth do not know from where they've originated and that there is clearly a prevalent and arrogant dogma present in their culture which insists that they were the 'first intelligent beings to evolve in the quadrant'. In fact the Voth scientists have a hell of a time trying to convince the elders that they share a common ancestor with the humans.

Here is a scene in which the Captain asks the computer to perform a "genome projection algorithm" on a "Hadrosaur", you know,  in order to extrapolate what a Hadrosaur would look like if it had "continued to evolve". Man, would I love to get my hands on that flippin' genome projection algorithm-maker.

So, apparently the Voth are descendants of a Hadrosaur, one which to me looks very much like a Parasaurolophus. This is a rare example of the non-maniraptoran dinosauroid. Their dinosaur-ness is all very out-dated, which is unfortunate and disappointing. The Voth are also cold-blooded, which is interesting. (In fact, one of the members of the 'Council of Elders' appears quite disgusted when it is proposed that they are related to 'endotherms'). But overall I was entertained by this episode, and glad that it did not attempt to solve all of the mystery. Somehow the Hadrosaurs escaped earth and the K-T event, but how exactly is left to our imaginations.

Here is the entire episode online. Keep an eye out for this gem of a line,

"Male and female interacting....let's observe."

No comments:

Post a Comment