|"Barge of the Dead"|
|Star Trek: Voyager episode|
|Episode no.||Season 6|
|Directed by||Mike Vejar|
|Story by|| Ronald D. Moore |
|Teleplay by||Bryan Fuller|
|Featured music||David Bell|
|Original air date||October 6, 1999|
"Barge of the Dead" is an episode of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Voyager . It is the third episode of the sixth season and was first broadcast by UPN on October 6, 1999. "Barge of the Dead" was developed from a story by Ronald D. Moore and Bryan Fuller, who wrote the teleplay, and was directed by Mike Vejar. Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures of the Starfleet and Maquis crew of the starship USS Voyager after they are stranded in the Delta Quadrant, far from the rest of the Federation.
Science fiction first appeared in television programming in the late 1930s, during what is called the Golden Age of Science Fiction. Special effects and other production techniques allow creators to present a living visual image of an imaginary world not limited by the constraints of reality.
Star Trek: Voyager is an American science fiction television series created by Rick Berman, Michael Piller, and Jeri Taylor. It originally aired between January 16, 1995 and May 23, 2001 on UPN, lasting for 172 episodes over seven seasons. The fifth series in the Star Trek franchise, it served as the fourth sequel to Star Trek: The Original Series. Set in the 24th century, when Earth is part of a United Federation of Planets, it follows the adventures of the Starfleet vessel USS Voyager, as it attempts to return home after being stranded in the Delta Quadrant on the far side of the Milky Way galaxy.
The United Paramount Network (UPN) was an American broadcast television network that launched on January 16, 1995. The network was originally owned by Chris-Craft Industries and United Television; Viacom turned the network into a joint venture in 1996 after acquiring a 50% stake in the network, and subsequently purchased Chris-Craft's remaining stake in 2000. In December 2005, UPN was spun off to CBS Corporation when Viacom split into two separate companies.
In this episode, the half-Klingon, half-human B'Elanna Torres (Roxann Dawson) has a near-death experience and is sent to the Klingon version of Hell known as Gre'thor. There she encounters her Klingon mother Miral (Karen Austin), who is damned because of Torres' refusal to fully accept her own identity as a Klingon. After being resuscitated by the Voyager crew, Torres becomes intent on revisiting Gre'thor to save her mother. The episode also guest stars Eric Pierpoint as Kortar, who ferries the souls of the dishonored on the Barge of the Dead, and Sherman Augustus as the dead Klingon Hij'Qa.
The Klingons are a fictional species in the science fiction franchise Star Trek.
B'Elanna Torres is a main character in Star Trek: Voyager played by Roxann Dawson. She is portrayed as a half-human half-Klingon born in 2346 on the Federation colony Kessik IV. She was admitted to Starfleet academy but dropped out before graduating. Torres joined the Maquis in 2370 and was serving on the Val Jean when taken to the Delta Quadrant by the Caretaker alien using his station. After being used for medical experiments she was left in an Ocampa colony maintained by the same alien that had abducted the Val Jean. That ship was destroyed in a space battle at the Array and she and what remained of that crew joined the USS Voyager. On the ship she was given field commissioned rank of Lieutenant, junior grade and posted in engineering. In 2371, she was promoted to Chief Engineer. In 2377, she married Tom Paris and gave birth to their daughter Miral at the beginning of the next year, while Voyager was returning to the Alpha Quadrant.
Roxann Dawson, also credited as Roxann Biggs and Roxann Biggs-Dawson, is an American actress, producer, director, and writer best known for playing B'Elanna Torres on the television series Star Trek: Voyager.
Moore originally developed the episode as part of a pitch for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Soldiers of the Empire". The idea was initially rejected, but was revisited for Star Trek: Voyager. Following the episode's completion, both Moore and Fuller left the series because of dissatisfaction with their lack of control over its direction, and the perceived absence of strong story arcs across multiple episodes. "Barge of the Dead" was one of several episodes that addressed Torres' strained relationship with her parents and her Klingon heritage. Scholars have offered a range of opinions on Gre'thor, with the setting and ideology compared to Norse mythology, Greek mythology, and Catholic theology. The episode received a Nielsen rating of 3.8/6 ratings share, meaning 3.8 percent of all households with a television viewed it and six percent of homes then viewing television were tuned to it. It was a drop from the episode broadcast the previous week. Critical response to the episode was mixed; some television critics commended the focus on Torres, and praised Dawson's performance, while others were critical of the representation of Klingon spirituality.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9) is an American science fiction television series created by Rick Berman and Michael Piller. It originally aired from January 3, 1993, to June 2, 1999, in syndication, spanning 176 episodes over seven seasons. The fourth series in the Star Trek franchise, it served as the sequel to Star Trek: The Next Generation. Set in the 24th century, when Earth is part of a United Federation of Planets, it is based on the eponymous space station Deep Space Nine, located adjacent to a wormhole connecting Federation territory to the Gamma Quadrant on the far side of the Milky Way galaxy.
"Soldiers of the Empire" is the 119th episode of the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the 21st episode of the fifth season. One reviewer called this TV episode ".. an exciting, well-paced underdog saga" Several guest stars take center stage including J. G. Hertzler as Martok, alongside cast regulars Jadzia Dax and Worf.
Norse mythology is the body of myths of the North Germanic peoples, stemming from Norse paganism and continuing after the Christianization of Scandinavia, and into the Scandinavian folklore of the modern period. The northernmost extension of Germanic mythology, Norse mythology consists of tales of various deities, beings, and heroes derived from numerous sources from both before and after the pagan period, including medieval manuscripts, archaeological representations, and folk tradition.
While returning from an away mission, B'Elanna Torres encounters interference from an ion storm which results in a concussion. Commander Chakotay finds a Klingon artifact lodged inside Torres' shuttlecraft, and Torres sees this emitting blood and hears voices speaking in the Klingon language. Since the USS Voyager is stranded in the Delta Quadrant, the ship is several thousand light-years away from Klingon-controlled space. Morale officer Neelix plans a celebration of the discovery of the object, believing it originates from the Alpha Quadrant and thus proves Voyager is getting closer to home; Torres resists the proposal for a party. She consults with Security Chief Tuvok, who believes her negative response to the object stems from her hatred of her Klingon heritage. Tuvok assaults Torres with a Klingon weapon called a bat'leth, saying she is not a true Klingon before dismissing her as dishonored. While attending the festivities in the mess hall, Torres notices the Doctor and Seven of Nine singing Klingon drinking songs and Tom Paris eating Klingon cuisine. After witnessing several Klingon warriors killing the crew, she falls and finds herself aboard a boat. Torres discovers she is being transported to Gre'thor on the Barge of the Dead, and that her mother Miral was placed aboard as a dishonored soul.
A geomagnetic storm is a temporary disturbance of the Earth's magnetosphere caused by a solar wind shock wave and/or cloud of magnetic field that interacts with the Earth's magnetic field.
Concussion, also known as mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), is typically defined as a head injury that temporarily affects brain functioning. Symptoms may include loss of consciousness (LOC); memory loss; headaches; difficulty with thinking, concentration or balance; nausea; blurred vision; sleep disturbances; and mood changes. Any of these symptoms may begin immediately, or appear days after the injury, and it is not unusual for symptoms to last four weeks. Fewer than 10% of sports-related concussions among children are associated with loss of consciousness.
Chakotay is a fictional character who appears in each of the seven seasons of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Voyager. Portrayed by Robert Beltran, he is First Officer aboard the Starfleet starship USS Voyager. The character was suggested at an early stage of the development of the series. He is the first Native American main character in the Star Trek franchise. This was a deliberate move by the producers of the series, who sought to provide an inspiration as with Uhura in Star Trek: The Original Series for African Americans. To develop the character, the producers sought the assistance of Jamake Highwater. Despite first being named as a Sioux, and later a Hopi, Chakotay was given no tribal affiliation at the start of the series, something that was later resolved in the episode "Tattoo".
Torres, who was in a coma the entire time, is resuscitated by Paris and the Doctor; she had almost died from the accident in the ion storm. Chakotay believes Torres' encounter with her mother was a hallucination prompted from her near-death experience, but she believes that it was real. Torres believes her mother is being punished because of her daughter's dishonor, saying that she must return to the Barge of the Dead to rescue her. Captain Kathryn Janeway permits Torres to put herself in an induced coma, with the Doctor monitoring the procedure. After being placed in a coma, Torres successfully returns to the barge. She reunites with her mother, but they argue about whether or not she has truly embraced Klingon spirituality. Miral responds by telling her she does not understand what it truly means to be a Klingon. After their conversation, Torres decides to take her mother's place on the barge; even though Miral resists the transference, she is allowed to move on Sto-vo-kor (a version of the afterlife similar to the Norse Valhalla) while Torres is escorted into Gre'thor. She discovers that Voyager is her version of Gre'thor, and is confronted by alternate versions of the crew. Miral returns to explain that she cannot fully be released into Sto-vo-kor until Torres completes her journey. Tuvok attacks Torres again with a bat'leth, but she surrenders rather than fighting back. Miral identifies this as the first step in her path. She informs Torres that they will reunite either in Sto-vo-kor or when Torres returns home. Torres is resuscitated and embraced by Janeway.
A coma is a deep state of prolonged unconsciousness in which a person cannot be awakened; fails to respond normally to painful stimuli, light, or sound; lacks a normal wake-sleep cycle; and does not initiate voluntary actions. Coma patients exhibit a complete absence of wakefulness and are unable to consciously feel, speak or move. Comas can be derived by natural causes, or can be medically induced.
A near-death experience (NDE) is a personal experience associated with death or impending death. When positive, such experiences may encompass a variety of sensations including detachment from the body, feelings of levitation, total serenity, security, warmth, the experience of absolute dissolution, and the presence of a light. When negative, such experiences may include sensations of anguish and distress. NDEs are a recognized part of some transcendental and religious beliefs in an afterlife.
Kathryn Janeway is a fictional character in the Star Trek franchise. As the captain of the Starfleet starship USS Voyager, she was the lead character on the television series Star Trek: Voyager, and later a Starfleet admiral, as seen in the 2002 feature film Star Trek: Nemesis. Although other female captains had appeared in previous Star Trek episodes and other media, she is the only one to serve as the central character of a Star Trek TV series. She has also appeared in other media including books, movies, and video games. In all of her screen appearances, she was played by actress Kate Mulgrew.
The 43-minute, 56-second episodewas developed from a story by Ronald D. Moore and Bryan Fuller, who wrote the teleplay, and was directed by Mike Vejar. David Bell edited the music, and Richard D. James was the production designer. The concept for the episode developed from Moore's failed pitch for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Soldiers of the Empire", which would have seen the Klingon starship Rotarran travel to Gre'thor. Moore's idea was rejected as "too philosophical for this late in the season". The barge would later appear in Star Trek Online , a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed by Cryptic Studios based on the Star Trek franchise.
Ronald Dowl Moore is an American screenwriter and television producer. He is best known for his work on Star Trek; on the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica television series, for which he won a Peabody Award; and on Outlander, based on the novels of Diana Gabaldon.
Bryan Fuller is an American television writer and producer who has created a number of television series, including Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies, Hannibal, and American Gods.
Michael "Mike" Laurence Vejar is an American television director, with directing credits on the four most recent Star Trek series, as well as directing other notable series, such as Zorro, Babylon 5, MacGyver, The Dead Zone, The X-Files and Jeremiah. He directed the episode "Ultra Woman" in Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.
Moore contributed to only two episodes in Star Trek: Voyager, the other being "Survival Instinct", the immediate predecessor to "Barge of the Dead". Discussing why he left the series, he said he wanted to further develop more of its story arcs and characters, particularly focusing on the "internal strife among people trapped aboard ship(s) without any reasonable hope of finding sanctuary anytime soon".
Fuller also left Star Trek: Voyager after the completion of the episode, citing disappointment in his lack of control over the show's direction.He said he "began to get itchy and wanting to tell stories with a little more emotional depth", and that he disliked how syndication discouraged longer story arcs spanning multiple episodes. Fuller's episodes frequently focused on "character development through adversity". ExtremeTech's Joel Hruska wrote that the show's later seasons would typically feature Seven of Nine, the Doctor, and Janeway to the detriment of the rest of the cast, while Fuller would draw more attention to the more underused characters. While discussing the episode, actress Roxann Dawson described the storyline as a "classic Star Trek story" due to its focus on family. The episode features Karen Austin as Torres' mother Miral, and also includes Eric Pierpoint as Kortar, who ferries the souls of the dishonored on the Barge of the Dead, and Sherman Augustus as the dead Klingon Hij'Qa.
TrekToday's Edward James Hines identified "Barge of the Dead" as the final part of a "probably unplanned 'Torres Trilogy'", which also included the episodes "Day of Honor" and "Extreme Risk". Each one was broadcast as the third episode of their respective seasons; Hines viewed each installment of the trilogy as being linked by Torres' fear of death. He wrote that the episode showed how Torres becomes "responsible to herself and to others—no matter the risk—while choosing to live".Writer Paul Ruditis viewed the emphasis on Torres' "duality of nature" as leading to the development of several episodes prominently showcasing her character, including "Barge of the Dead". Ruditis connected Torres' storyline to Seven of Nine's in "Survival Instinct", writing that they both "deal with issues of life and death, with dramatic results". He referred to "Barge of the Dead" and "Survival Instinct" as "equally dark episodes". "Barge of the Dead" was also one of three episodes featuring Torres' relationship with her parents, with the season seven episodes "Lineage" and "Author, Author" resolving her estrangement from her father.
"Barge of the Dead" was the first episode to provide a detailed account of Gre'thor, which was previously referenced only in Star Trek: The Next Generation. The title was developed from "the Klingon belief that the dead travel to Gre'thor on a barge steered by a ferryman". Religious studies scholars Ross Kraemer, William Cassidy, and Susan L Schwartz interpreted the representation of Gre'thor and Klingon spirituality as borrowing from Norse and Greek mythology, specifically the crossing of the rainbow bridge Bifröst or the river Styx.Exploring the influence of the Greek story of Odysseus (Latin: Ulysses) on Star Trek: Voyager, the Classical philologist Otta Wenskus points to Siren-like creatures who call out with the voices of those loved by those on the barge. Though the motif of a barge and ferryman is not present in Homer's portrayal of the underworld in the Odyssey , it was subsequently popularized by its use in Virgil's Aeneid and Dante's Inferno . The pediatrician Victor Grech, in a paper on Klingon culture, interpreted Torres' belief in the Klingon mythological figure Fek'lhr, who tortures the souls of the dishonored, as being in line with Catholic views of Satan.
Kraemer, Cassidy, and Schwartz argued that "Barge of the Dead" mirrored the Star Trek: The Next Generation season six episode "Rightful Heir" by not providing a clear answer whether Torres' experiences in the Klingon afterlife were real or part of a hallucination.The Native American studies scholar Sierra S. Adare was critical of the portrayal of Chakotay—a Native American character—as dismissive of Torres' sincere belief in her experiences, writing that "[n]o Native person would ever dismiss another's visions as hallucinations or tell them to ignore their religious beliefs". She cited it as one instance in which the series represented Chakotay as "the quintessential Tonto in outer space".
"Barge of the Dead" was first broadcast on October 6, 1999, on UPN at 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time in the United States. The episode received a Nielsen rating of 3.8/6 ratings share. This means 3.8 percent of all households with a television viewed the episode, while among those households watching TV during this time period six percent of them were actively watching the program. "Barge of the Dead" placed in 93rd place overall for the week. This marked a drop in viewership compared to the previous episode, "Survival Instinct", which had earned a 3.9 rating.
The episode was first released for home media use on VHS in the United Kingdom, as part of a two-episode collection with "Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy".It was released on DVD as part of the sixth season on December 7, 2004. It was the only Star Trek: Voyager episode included on the DVD compilation Star Trek Fan Collective – Klingon, which was released on August 1, 2006. The episode has also been made available on numerous streaming video on demand services, such as Amazon Video, iTunes, Hulu, and Netflix.
Television critics responded positively to Dawson's performance and the episode's focus on Torres. IGN 's Peter Schorn wrote that the episode was "[a]nchored by Dawson's panicked performance", and praised the focus on the character's internal conflict. While reviewing the episode as a part of the "Torres Trilogy", Edward James Hines praised it as "impressively manag[ing] to weave an evolving story of personal exploration"; he wrote that all of the episodes involved in the trilogy left a "legacy of imaginative, gut-wrenching storytelling".
The representation of Klingon mythology garnered negative reviews from critics. Despite her praise of Dawson, Tim Russ, and Kate Mulgrew, TrekToday's Michelle Erica Green felt the episode bore too many similarities to earlier Star Trek installments and the 1990 film Flatliners .Hines, writing for the same publication, disliked how Fek'lhr, introduced in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Devil's Due", was absent and felt he could have been represented with CGI animation. She criticized the parallels between Miral and Janeway, and wrote that certain scenes would have been effective without Janeway. Ranking it at number thirteen out of the twenty-two Star Trek episodes written by Fuller, Blastr's Dany Roth praised the writer's attempt to better address Torres as a character, but felt his approach to the afterlife and spirituality were too direct and literal. John Andrews of Den of Geek! enjoyed the episode's emphasis on Torres and Klingon mythology, but felt it was "still pretty hokey". In a 2017 The Daily Dot article, Gavia Baker-Whitelaw described "Barge of the Dead" as a "refreshing change from all those Worf episodes, because it's all about women". She included it in her list of Klingon-centric episodes people should watch in preparation of Star Trek: Discovery , which is the first Star Trek installment to feature an entire Klingon crew in the main cast.
Kes is a fictional character on the American science fiction television show Star Trek: Voyager portrayed by actress Jennifer Lien. Set in the 24th century, the series follows the Starfleet and Maquis crew of the starship USS Voyager who are stranded in the Delta Quadrant, far from the rest of the Federation. Kes is a member of the Ocampa, an alien species that are telepathic and have an average life expectancy of nine years. She joins Voyager's crew in the pilot episode alongside her Talaxian boyfriend Neelix. During the show, she works as the Doctor's medical assistant and develops her mental abilities with Tuvok's assistance.
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