Season Three, Episode 24
Written by Lisa Klink
Directed by Allan Kroeker
Main Cast:
Kate Mulgrew as Captain Kathryn Janeway
Robert Beltran as Chakotay
Roxann Dawson as B'Elanna Torres
Jennifer Lien as Kes
Robert Duncan McNeill as Tom Paris
Ethan Phillips as Neelix
Robert Picardo as The Doctor
Tim Russ as Tuvok
Garrett Wang as Harry Kim

Guest Cast:
Deborah Levin as Lang
Mark L. Taylor as Jarlath
James Noah as Rislan
Kenneth Tigar as Dammar
Nancy Youngblut as Taleen 


One by one, Janeway's crew suddenly and mysteriously disappear, to be replaced by mysterious aliens from Nyria Three. As Janeway quickly becomes surrounded by these seemingly perplexed strangers who react strongly to the ship's temperature and lights, she must scramble to keep control of her ship. Meanwhile her confused crew is transplanted to an idyllic yet artificial world. 


Displaced starts off reasonably well, maybe a little lacklustre, but at least it genuinely holds one's interest during the first half. But when we finally get to the alien ship which is where things should get all the more interesting, surprisingly the episode goes pretty much downhill. It's not a bad episode by any means, but it is extremely dull and mundane.

The concept is quite intriguing, but isn't executed with nearly enough flair or panache to capitlaise on this. There are a number of pretty major plot holes and the directing is pretty poor (a common complaint this season for some reason) and Allan Kroeker manages to botch a number of the action scenes. As I said above, the premise is an interesting one, but it comes with one major problem; wouldn't it be much, much easier if the Nyrians simply killed the crews of the ships they target? Why bother with replacing them and re-homing them in suitable environments. Isn't this an awful lot of unnecessary hassle when you can simply kill them? I just don't buy their "we're not a savage people" explanation.

There are more problems. The Nyrians, yet another interminably dull Voyager alien-of-the-week, are poorly characterised. Until that neighbouring captive (the Neelix-wannabe) I'd assumed that the make-up guys, having finally run out ideas for their uninspired forehead/ear/nose jobs, had gone on strike. It fell into the court of the costume guys, who did an equally pathetic job, fitting the Nearians into silly hats in a bid to differentiate them from "us". I really think that the make-up and costume departments need some fresh blood - or at least some fresh ideas. And that goes doubly for the writing staff. Fire the lot of them! (I'm only joking, folks! I think...). Another thing, I didn't like the fact that the Nyrians were defeated by their own stupidity. Why don't they guard their ship better, and Paris and Torres "tricking" them into that ice planet atmosphere was woefully unsatisfying.

The whole "Voyager crew escape and stop aliens" aspect of it was badly handled and full of plot improbabilities. The shoddy directing didn't help matters, either (Allan Kroeker has done much better). But having seen the depths of direness that Voyager is capable of reaching (see the terrible trilogy: The Darkling/Rise/Favorite Son), I will reiterate that Displaced ain't bad. It's watchable and there are some interesting concepts (a bit reminiscent of TOS's All Our Yesterdays). But it's capped with an unsatisfying second half and is very dull. Very dull.

Rating: 5

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