131 – Fair Haven

Grade: D+

Fair Haven (2000) on IMDb


Tom Paris has created a Holodeck fantasy called Fair Haven in order for the Voyager crew to have some time off. It’s based on an Irish town from sometime in the early 1900s. Apparently everyone needs a diversion.

Suddenly, Voyager comes upon a class 9 nucleogenic wave (yeah, I don’t know what that means either), and they’ll have to wait out the storm. While they sit around and wait, Janeway meets a bartender who catches her eye. She then wants to waste all her time in Fair Haven getting to know this simulation of a real person.


Imagine it’s January 12, 2000. You’re a big fan of Star Trek, and you have never missed a single episode of TNG, DS9 or Voyager. There hasn’t been a new episode of Voyager since December 1, 1999, so you’re really looking forward to seeing what happens after they made contact with Earth in the Pathfinder episode. You excitedly turn on the TV at 7:00pm, and eagerly await the unfolding of the next step in their return to Earth. However, instead of seeing anything remotely resembling science fiction, you’re seeing some kind of 19th Century period drama in a small Irish town.

Is this the right channel? The right day? Is this a bad dream? Suddenly you realize this is yet another Holodeck episode. “Enough with the Holodeck episodes already!” you yell out to nobody in particular. You realize that none of the people responsible for creating this foolishness will ever hear you, but somehow it makes you feel better that you’ve said it. You watch this thing until the end, hoping that it will somehow become interesting, but just like almost every other Holodeck episode in the history of Star Trek, it turns out to be a giant waste of time. You wish you could go back in time, schedule something else to do and forget to set your VCR.

Such were my feelings way back then, when I first saw this episode. I don’t know, maybe you’ll like this, but I sure didn’t. But let’s give you some details.

Starting out in a small town that looks just like the French city in the season 4 episode of the Killing Game, this episode begins slowly and without any action. Right off the bat, I could tell this would not appeal to everyone. In fact, I personally was not at all interested in this episode at first. I’m not sure when it became interesting, actually. I really wanted this episode to be about something, but it seemed to take forever to get there.

When it finally ended, I realized what the writer was trying to accomplish here. We get to see Janeway go through a character-defining episode like she hasn’t had in a long time. But it literally takes 3/4 of the show to arrive at this point. I think only the most dedicated Star Trek fan is going to make it that far to get to see those changes in Janeway.

Some people say this is one episode you can watch with your girlfriend/wife and that she will actually enjoy it. That perhaps may be true, and in fact, anyone interested in watching a romance unfold would probably enjoy it as well. Fair Haven really has almost no connection to the series or science fiction in general. In other words, the reason you can watch this with someone who doesn’t like Star Trek is because this episode isn’t anything at all like Star Trek.

However, this IS Star Trek, not the Hallmark Movie of the Week. It’s also Season 6, so it’s way too late to be trying to extend your audience to add viewers who wouldn’t normally tune into this show. Voyager isn’t likely to add more female viewers simply because they showed that Janeway also has feelings.

Though I do like to see stories with good characters, I don’t particularly like this episode. I think it’s actually rather boring. If you like watching a character fall in love with someone she can’t actually be in love with, then this episode is right up your alley. If you want to see sci-fi, don’t waste your time here.

Of Note

This is usually mentioned as one of the worst Voyager episodes ever made. I have to agree. It is just so hard for me to watch this thing.

By the way, the trailer for this episode has nothing to do with what actually happened in it.