149 – Drive

Grade: C+

Drive (2000) on IMDb


While taking the new Delta Flyer for a test flight, Tom and Harry meet a new friend who challenges them to a race. Tom and Harry take up the challenge and win the race. Then she suggests that they enter the Delta Flyer into the first ever multi-alien space race taking place very soon. Janeway actually agrees and offers to use Voyager to help host the activities.


Every now and then, we have some sort of fluff episode, and that’s just what this is. Don’t expect it to be Shakespeare. I think it was totally within character for Tom and Harry to want to participate in this race. I also thought it was within character for Tom to have forgotten his weekend vacation with B’Elanna, and for her to forgive him even though she didn’t really want to. I thought it was very predictable for her to show up in the race as Tom’s co-pilot, and I did like the reversal when Tom decides to give up the race in order to work on his relationship with B’Elanna. That was nice to see.

However, it’s not a great episode by any means. It’s very predictable, and by this point, much of what it tries to accomplish has become a cliché. We’ve seen Tom and B’Elanna deal with their relationship a hundred times before. We’ve also seen a million times before that a seemingly friendly alien turns out to have nefarious plans.

About the only thing that happens in this episode that we didn’t expect is that Tom and B’Elanna finally get married. I’ll rephrase – ever since Course: Oblivion (37 episodes ago) we expected them to get married, but we just didn’t know it would be here.

One last item – this episode appears to have aired out of order. In Unimatrix Zero, the Delta Flyer is destroyed. In the very next episode (Imperfection), Janeway uses the Delta Flyer to go find a new cortical node for Seven. Drive airs right after that, and suddenly they have a new Delta Flyer again. So Janeway uses the flyer before it’s built. Hmm. Just out of curiosity, was this episode included in Janeway’s list of temporal prime directive violations?

In total, this episode doesn’t do much for me. It ends up at slightly better than average.

Of Note

You might recognize the main guest actress in this episode. A few years after this, she played an Orion slave girl in an Enterprise episode. Of course, in that episode she had dark hair and was covered in green makeup, but it’s the same actress.

The ambassador who talks to Janeway about the race details and who is in charge of the activities looks like Jay Leno.

At the end of the episode, Tom and B’Elanna finally get married, but we don’t see the actual ceremony. I guess the producers figured that we already saw it in Course: Oblivion so we don’t need to see it again. It’s probably the right choice.