47 – False Profits

Grade: D

 False Profits
(1996) on IMDb


While on their way to investigate a wormhole nearby, Voyager’s crew discover that one of the planets closest to the wormhole may have had contact with the Alpha Quadrant – there has been a replicator in use on the planet not long ago. Naturally, everyone is very interested to see if the wormhole leads back to the Alpha Quadrant.


OK so it turns out that this is a Ferengi episode. Honestly, I didn’t think we’d run into them here in Voyager, but I guess it sort of makes sense.

The Ferengi episodes are rarely among my favorites, but this one is actually one of the worst Star Trek episodes ever made. As of the time of this writing, I’ve ranked it #395 out of 429 total episodes reviewed so far. We’ll see where it ultimately ends up when I have finished reviewing all 700+ Star Trek episodes, but I’ve rated it D, so there’s not much hope for it.

Actually, I thought it was a little amusing at times, and for the first 20 minutes or so, it wasn’t that bad. But once Neelix shows up looking like a Ferengi (probably thanks to the Doctor’s skill as a plastic surgeon, though this is never mentioned), the whole thing really starts going downhill fast.

Chakotay alternates between not having a tattoo while on the planet and suddenly having it back when he’s on the ship. There’s never any explanation for this, so I guess we’re supposed to assume that either the Doctor has removed it and put it back on (twice), or perhaps he gave Chakotay some sort of cosmetic to cover it up. It’s not a big deal, obviously, but it’s annoying that they don’t mention stuff like this.

But back to the episode. Janeway makes some really crazy decisions here. I wonder how long she would have lasted as a Captain if her adventures had taken place in the middle of Federation space. In this episode, she wastes 3 photon torpedoes just to help fulfill a prophecy so the planet’s natives wouldn’t be disturbed about the Ferengi. She arrests two Ferengi and assigns them one security guard. She tells the Ferengi that she has tractored their ship and stored it in the cargo bay. She doesn’t even put any kind of restraints on the Ferengi to prevent them from attempting an escape. Not surprisingly, they overpower the security guard, make their way to the cargo bay and get back on their ship. The Ferengi fly through the cargo bay doors to escape. I can’t believe any of the other Star Trek captains would have ever lost two Ferengi prisoners.

But what’s worse, instead of just flying into the wormhole, she focuses on stopping the Ferengi and wouldn’t you know it, the wormhole becomes unstable and they can’t make their way back home. Good grief. This ending is just plain bad. This is now the 7th time they had a chance to get home, but they won’t make it. This show is becoming Gilligan’s Island in Space.

The only thing about this episode that is even remotely clever is the title. The episode itself stinks.

Of Note

Janeway uses up 3 photon torpedoes so they can fulfill some ridiculous prophecy and not cause too much disruption with a bronze age society. Speaking of which, this culture seems to be pretty advanced for a supposedly bronze age society. In Europe, the Bronze Age was between 3200 and 600 BC. The people on this planet seem to be comparable to a much later time period, but maybe that’s just what it looks like to me.