128 – One Small Step

Grade: C+

One Small Step (1999) on IMDb


On October 19, 2032, an astronaut from Earth flies into some kind of spatial anomaly and he’s never heard from again. Then, Voyager happens to come across the same anomaly (gee, that’s shocking), and the crew discovers the astronaut’s ship floating in the middle. Chakotay, Paris and Seven take the Delta Flyer into the anomaly to board the spacecraft and investigate. This then becomes a chance for Seven to become a bit more human (and slightly less robotic).


This episode didn’t do much for me. I liked the concept – at least in general, anyway. I liked seeing how the Mars space program got started, and I enjoyed seeing the change in Seven while she reviewed the astronaut’s logs. But that was about all that I liked.

One thing I’m really getting tired of is that stupid recurring discussion between Janeway and Seven. It seems every episode MUST have a conversation in which Janeway has to explain some minuscule aspect of humanity so that Seven can somehow learn to be more like her. Why can’t they just leave well enough alone? Why can’t they just let us SEE how Seven is becoming more and more human every episode instead of having a weekly Janeway Recap?

Honestly, I thought most of the episode was a rather heavy-handed, predictable, and cliché. At least in my book, Voyager has earned a reputation for doing things the easy way and of just going through the motions. There’s not a lot of attention to detail here. For example, the Aries IV module appears the same exact way two different times, despite the fact that the first view of it was before the Delta Flyer tried to tractor it out into open space. On the second view of the module, it would have been practically impossible to see it spin the exact same way and at the exact same speed and at exactly the same time in its spin as it was originally seen in 2032. I know that’s a nit-pick, but it’s important to my point. They didn’t think we would notice a detail like this.

This show has become lazy. By this time in the series, Voyager’s producers seemed to have given up on high quality entertainment because they’ve already reached as many viewers as they possibly could. Creating better stories and writing more carefully crafted scripts wasn’t going to win many new viewers since everyone pretty much knew what to expect by now. So they stopped trying. Well, that’s how it seems to me.

The storyline was actually kinda boring. I’m not supposed to say that about a show that largely depends on character development. But I also disagreed with the decision to shoot the astronaut’s body out into space instead of just finding someplace on the ship to keep him until they reached Earth. And I really didn’t think Seven should have left his photo on the module.

In all, it’s not a terrible episode, and part of me really wishes they had made more character-driven stories like this. But it just feels unauthentic and contrived. I felt a bit manipulated during this episode – like if I was supposed to be emotionally touched by the story. But what Voyager’s writers don’t understand is that the way people feel about shows like this is a completely organic process. People don’t want to be pushed into feeling a certain way. We want to get there on our own as a result of what’s being shown and implied. Subtlety always works best, in my opinion.

One last thing – I really wish Voyager stopped running into Alpha Quadrant connections. This is the 128th episode in the series, but it seems like every other episode has a connection to the AQ in some way. Honestly, it’s just annoying.

Of Note

This episode references the World Series of 2032 between the New York Yankees and London Knights. Weird that Game 5 of the Series has already been played by October 19. Also, Buck Bokai is mentioned here, as is his record-breaking consecutive game hitting streak.