103 – Thirty Days

Grade: D

 Thirty Days
(1998) on IMDb


Lt Paris is reduced in rank to Ensign and sent to the brig for 30 days. While he is in the brig, he starts dictating a letter to his father to explain how he ended up there.

Apparently, it all started with a bit of foolishness on the Holodeck with Captain Proton. He’s there with Harry Kim and the Delaney twin sisters, who have been talked about for years. They are interrupted and Paris is called to the bridge since they have encountered a very strange all-water planet.


Well, there’s really no way to say this except that this one is just bad. It just flat out stinks. The only thing that keeps this from getting an F is that the acting is fairly decent. McNeill apparently wanted to bring Tom Paris’ issues back to the forefront – probably because he thought the character was getting a little boring. Who knows. All I know is that this episode is a total waste of time.

First of all, it starts out with Paris in the brig, and he narrates the rest of the story. Right there is the first problem because guess what? There’s no more suspense for the rest of the episode. We already know that no matter what happens, Paris will be alive and healthy enough to be in the brig. We have absolutely no idea what Paris could have done that was so bad that he had to be put into the brig, so that’s kinda interesting. But on the other hand, we know that no matter what, he won’t die or lose a limb or get taken over by a macro virus or be teleported away onto an alien ship or whatever.

Considering the fact that we have had crew members like Seven and Torres who have several times made Janeway angry enough that she almost sent them to the brig, we know that whatever Paris did, it had to have been more than just a bad attitude. We even saw Tuvok get away with disobeying a direct order from Janeway and taking some technology that could have sent Voyager back to the Alpha Quadrant faster. Yet Janeway only gave him the “I’m disappointed in you” speech – no brig and no demotion for Mr. Vulcan.

Then we watch the episode, expecting Paris to have done something really terrible, and yet all he does is try to help one of the aliens save his water planet from ultimate destruction. The alien even asks for his help, so it’s not like he’s going down to the planet to forcibly abduct a girlfriend, or rescue a crewmember who had violated a local law, or assassinate a crazy doctor, or trade Federation technology without Janeway’s approval, or etc.

So the first strike against this episode is that there’s no precedent for how Janeway treats Paris. She’s just a jerk. Janeway even tries to kill him by destroying the Delta Flyer. And when Kim reminds her “this is Tom we’re talking about”, she then says something like “he gave up any rights to protection when he took the shuttle.” Oh I see. So when someone crosses Janeway’s path, she will come at you with armed photons. Seems a little extreme. Maybe she’s acting under the influence of a hostile alien.

Then when Tom is in the brig, he is allowed only bland tasteless meals, only minimal and necessary conversations, and very few visitors. Even Doctor treats him rudely because Janeway ordered it. What a jerk she is. I couldn’t work for her either. It’s a miracle Tom didn’t just find a way to leave the ship or rile up the leftover Maquis to muntiny.

Well, aside from that, this is a very poorly-written episode. The script is juvenile and tedious. There’s nothing unpredictable about this episode – because we already know Tom survived the incident since we saw him in the brig at the beginning of this mess. We also know he’s going to do something to make Janeway really angry, so there’s absolutely nothing compelling about this episode at all. If it weren’t for McNeill’s acting, this episode would have been an absolute failure.

Of Note

This is the only time the famed Delaney twin sisters appeared on Voyager. Paris and Kim have referred to them a number of times, going all the way back to the first season of the series. Now we finally see them in person – I honestly wonder why we never see them again. Not only were they decent actresses, it was easy to see why Harry was all googly-eyed over them.

As soon as Paris is out of the brig, Torres invites him to dinner at “0700 hours.” Uh, that actually means 7:00 am. Well, I guess dinner is a good way to start your day.