54 – Macrocosm

Grade: D+

Macrocosm (1996) on IMDb


Janeway and Neelix are returning to Voyager after having some trade talks with a very strange alien species. When they arrive at the pre-determined coordinates, they find that Voyager is adrift about one light year away from their rendezvous point. They come aboard the ship and find it apparently abandoned, except for some large creatures that fly around making a buzzing sound.


Technobabble combines with nonsensical science, awful CGI effects, tired action-movie clichés, and a mind-numbingly dull flashback scene to create a giant mess of an episode. You should skip this one.

Actually, this is one of my least favorite episodes in any series of all time. It starts out very strange, with one of the weirdest aliens ever encountered. These aliens seem to have nothing to do with this episode at all, until the very end when Janeway sends out a distress call. It gets better for about the next 10 minutes or so. The scenes are quite unsettling, even if they are full of clichés. I wasn’t sure if it’s mockery or homage when Janeway partially removes her uniform and picks up an enormous phaser rifle that we’ve never seen before nor ever will again.

But then there’s a really off-putting flashback scene when the Doctor starts explaining the situation to the Captain, which seems to drag on for hours. OK so I timed it and it was only 9 minutes, but still. I guess they felt this episode would be more impactful if it started in the middle of the story, but I really wish the flashback scene had been left on the cutting room floor.

What really makes this a terrible episode is the questionable science being depicted in it. The Doctor calls this a virus, but it’s certainly a lot more like a standard insect invasion instead. There’s very little (if any) connection between this invasion and an actual virus. I also hated it that they bring up the gel packs again and point out that they’ve become infected. Haven’t we already discussed this before? If these gel packs actually contain biological matter that can become infected, why didn’t Starfleet put them in sealed containers that prevent any microbes from attacking them? Or why didn’t they at least provide a way for them to be cured of illness?

At any rate, this episode really could have been a lot better.

Of Note

Janeway refers to Neelix’s lungs in this episode, and Neelix corrects her by saying “lung.” This is a nice nod to the episode in which the Vidiians attacked Voyager. It’s about time that some of these events from previous episodes brought some continuity to current ones.