74 – The Raven

Grade: C+

The Raven (1997) on IMDb


Now that Seven is a full-fledged member of this crew, Captain Janeway wants to help her develop her human skills. She starts by introducing her to art and literature, but Seven doesn’t really understand the need for it. However, she is highly affected by the shadow of a raven on the wall of Leonardo DaVinci’s house.


I’m not sure this episode turned out to be all that great. We do find out about Seven of Nine and how she became assimilated into the Borg. Her parents apparently were a little unorthodox. They took their ship into previously unexplored space and ended up meeting the Borg several years before Q introduced them to Captain Picard.

At the end of this episode, Janeway suggests to Seven that she can check the Starfleet database for information on her human parents. I think this sort of lack of attention to detail is what really ruins this series for me. First of all, how could Voyager actually have any connection whatsoever to the Starfleet database? They’re at least 50,000 LY away from Federation space. And don’t try to convince me that the ship actually had this information before leaving the Alpha Quadrant. Given Voyager’s original orders, there was no reason at all to have this in the database.

Second – and this is perhaps even more troubling – until this episode, it was believed that Captain Picard was the first person to meet the Borg. If Starfleet had information about the Hansens, then they would have known Picard wasn’t the first one to know about them. Which means they knew Picard wasn’t the first one to find out about the Borg. So there’s some lazy research there.

In this episode, Janeway talks with the Bomar, a race of xenophobic aliens who will only allow Voyager to travel through their space no faster than warp 3, and only in a very circuitous route so they don’t come too close to any populated areas. Earlier, Janeway had asked if they could fly through their space so that they would save 3 months on their trip home. Well, given the route they are allowed to take and their speed limit, it actually would be faster to just go around at warp 9. Trust me on this – I found a website that will do the math. At warp 9, they would travel 180 LY in 90 days. At warp 3, it would only be about 7 LY.

Other than that, this is a decent episode. I’m not a huge fan of it, but it was probably needed. They’ve introduced this new character, and if they really want us to believe that she’s more than just a walking TV rating, they desperately needed to give her some backstory. From what I remember, however, from this point forward the entire series shifts over to her relationship with Janeway. We have several wasted characters once Jeri Ryan shows up.

Of Note

Apparently the original story for this episode was that some unnamed aliens abducted Seven of Nine and brainwashed her to become an assassin or something. Brannon Braga said the following: “when we got the draft in, it was evident that it was a soulless, empty kind of show, and that it had to be about something.” Hmm.