119 – Warhead

Grade: D+

Warhead (1999) on IMDb


Harry Kim is in charge of the night shift again. Voyager receives a distress call from someone on a planet which is significantly off their course. However, he decides to take the ship to this planet to offer help. He also wakes up Chakotay, who assigns Kim to lead the away team.

After they beam down to the planet, the Away Team realizes the message is coming from a machine that may be sentient. They decide to beam it aboard the ship so they can repair it.


Eh. I didn’t think this episode was all that great. I’m actually not even sure this story really had much potential. This is a remake of The Changeling which was the Original Series episode when Nomad threatens the Enterprise. Captain Kirk talks Nomad into destroying itself at the end of the episode.

In Warhead, it’s Ensign Kim who talks the smart bomb to death. Doctor plays the role of Spock, interpreting the smart bomb’s beeps and chirps. Eventually, the smart bomb’s sentience takes over the Doctor so he can wander around in Sickbay and create problems.

During one part of this episode I wrote the following in my notes: “Out-smart the smart bomb. Out-think the Think Tank. Out-write a fortune cookie.” The writing in this series is sometimes really bad. This is one example of it.

Actually, this entire episode is a study in stupidity. They never should have put Harry in charge of the night shift. He’s clearly not up to the task if he makes such stupid decisions like he has here. Speaking of which, I can understand why there is a night shift on a starship – after all, the people working on the ship would need to be used to a regular routine on the ship. But what I don’t understand is why the night shift is completely made up of inexperienced officers. After all, if they encounter any other ships or aliens, it wouldn’t necessarily be ‘night’ for them. So that’s why we get crazy decisions made like the ones that were made here.

What’s really stupid, though, is that after Janeway finds out that this is a weapon of mass destruction, she decides to keep the thing on board, separate the artificial intelligence from the actual warhead, then send the warhead back to the planet and keep the intelligence stored on the holodeck. What?! Seriously? How stupid is this Captain? Can you imagine anyone else making that decision?

Seriously, it would be like the people of Troy bringing in the Trojan Horse, finding out that there were hundreds of Greek soldiers inside, and deciding they should wheel in the horse to a “safe” part of the city where they could let out all the soldiers safely, capture them, and then send them back outside the city. Kim was stupid for beaming up a device when they didn’t know what it was, but Janeway is an idiot for not immediately beaming it back where it was.

Not surprisingly, the artificial intelligence transfers itself into the holographic Doctor and takes the ship hostage. Gee, who couldn’t have seen that happen?

Janeway tries to reason with the intelligence by saying they have a non-interference law. Yeah, that will help. That’s why we beamed a machine onto our ship before we knew what it was. It’s like eating a plant you know nothing about and then finding out it’s poisonous.

Look, Captain Kirk had Nomad on the Enterprise, but he didn’t know it was a WMD until after it was on board. That right there should have caused a change in Starfleet policy to prevent that sort of thing from ever happening again.

Seven appears to be the only level-headed character on this entire show. If they had done what she said in the first place, none of this would have happened. Well, whatever.

Of Note

Neelix at the beginning of this episode says “fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Interesting. Janeway seems to be fooled every week. How many times have they brought something on board they knew nothing about and suddenly they’re almost killed?