58 – Blood Fever

Grade: B-

Blood Fever (1997) on IMDb


Voyager finds a planet that has large deposits of galacite, which is needed for the refit of the warp coils. Since it doesn’t appear to be inhabited, they decide to beam down to the planet and investigate. Meanwhile, Ensign Vorik, who is one of two Vulcans on board, asks B’Elanna Torres to be his wife. She says no, and this makes him angry. They have a fight and both of them are injured. Unfortunately for her, Vorik touched her face and now she’s going through pon farr.


I didn’t make very many notes when I watched this episode. I suppose that’s probably because I didn’t find too much wrong with this episode. Actually, I think it’s one of the better character-driven stories that this series has produced recently. Although the episodes dealing with pon farr are not my favorite, I did like where they took this episode. Specifically, I liked it that we’ve already met Vorik before and that we’ve already seen how he is attracted to Torres. We also know that Paris is attracted to her, thanks to a scene when they were on a shuttle together a few episodes ago.

With that as a foundation, it’s not terribly surprising that Vorik asks Torres to marry him. He even puts forth a few logical arguments about why she should consider it. It’s well thought-out and portrayed. Once they’re on the planet, and while under the influence of the pon farr (more on that in a moment), Torres asks Paris to mate with her, and he refuses on the grounds that she is not herself. He argues that she would never forgive him if he took advantage of her in her moment of obvious weakness. I really like what this says about his character.

When this episode finally ends, Paris and Torres have a very amusing and charming scene in the turbolift. I loved the way Torres let just the hint of a smile creep across her face once she was outside of the turbolift.

But the episode also has some issues. For one thing, the argument about how Torres contracts the pon farr is really weak. I’m not sure how a temporary Vulcan biological process could be contagious, but I guess they do explain that Vorik connected with her mind. Maybe that explains it, but it just seems like an excuse to get Torres involved in the story when there’s really no reason for that to happen.

One thing I really didn’t like at all was how Tuvok commanded Paris to “help” Torres get through this temporary condition – because if she doesn’t go through with it, she’ll die. Is this how Starfleet deals with the pon farr on a routine basis? Is there any reason why a Klingon-human hybrid would die from a biological condition from a completely different species? Anyway, I just didn’t think this was in character with Tuvok or Starfleet, nor do I think this would actually be fatal.

The ending fight scene is also pretty weak. I don’t know what I expected to see, which is a good thing, but I know that when I saw the fight, I was extremely underwhelmed. This also seemed very contrived, and I wish there had been a better way to end this episode.

In the end, it was a decent episode – fairly intelligent and well-directed. That’s not something I can say about too many Voyager episodes.

Of Note

This episode was directed by Andrew Robinson, who is the actor who plays Garak on Deep Space Nine.