135 – Tsunkatse

Grade: C

Tsunkatse (2000) on IMDb


Aliens are fighting in some kind of WWE-style cage fight arena. One of them is a Hirogen, and when he wins, we see that Chakotay and Torres are in the crowd, cheering them on. Meanwhile, Seven and Tuvok go on an away mission, intending to explore a nebula or something. They don’t get very far before they are overtaken by an alien who forces Seven to fight in the arena.


This episode seems to be little more than an excuse to capitalize on the popularity of the WWE. It even stars Duane Johnson, though he’s only in the ring for about 2 minutes. The story is flimsy and it seems rather out of character for Star Trek. All these officers are watching these fights and having a great time. Then later the story becomes a PSA against violence. Well, it’s Voyager.

The story becomes a bit predictable and it turns out to have no sense of dread whatsoever. Nobody really believes that Seven is going to die in the arena. And nobody believes she’s going to kill the Hirogen either. The episode is like a rehash of the far superior episode when Kim and Tom are on the prison ship and have to fight in order to stay alive. That one had a much stronger sense of dread and fear. This one is almost comical.

The only real conflict here is the people who are staging the fights to show them on TV. It’s not a terrible episode. But it’s not my favorite either. I wish they hadn’t stooped to making this one because it has very few redeeming qualities.

Of Note

At one point in the episode, one of the aliens says “we’ve lost half our audience.” I couldn’t help but think of Brannon Braga right at that moment. I’m sure Voyager lost at least half its audience over the 7 years it aired.

We’ve heard before that Vulcans have many times the strength of humans. This seems to have been the perfect episode to show off how much stronger Tuvok is than other aliens. But no, this was always meant as a show piece for Jeri Ryan. So instead she gets all the fight scenes.