Tuesday, January 31, 2012

"BAND OF BROTHERS" (2001) - Episode Two "Day of Days" Commentary

"BAND OF BROTHERS" (2001) - Episode Two "Day of Days" Commentary

The last episode, "Currahee" ended with Easy Company leaving England by air on June 5, 1944 to participate in the Allies’ invasion of Normandy. This second episode, "Day of Days" re-counts Lieutenant Richard Winters and some members of Easy Company’s experiences during the drop into France on June 5 and during their assault of the German guns at Brécourt Manor on D-Day.

Although the episode occasionally shifted to different viewpoints, the episode mainly focused upon Bill Guarnere, Donald Malarkey and especially Richard Winters. Winters became Easy Company’s new commander following the death of Lieutenant Thomas Meehan during the flight to Northern France. Before learning of Meehan’s death, Winters had to contend with the chaos and confusion that followed the airborne units’ drop into nighttime Normandy. Winters also had to deal with a hostile Guarnere, who was still angry over his older brother’s death. As for Malarkey, his first 24 hours in France proved to be interesting. He met a German prisoner-of-war who was born and raised nearly a hundred miles from him in Oregon. And he may have witnessed (or heard) the massacre of German prisoners-of-war by one Lieutenant Ronald Spiers of Dog Company. Or not. The following morning on D-Day, Winters assumed command of Easy Company and led a famous assault (which included Guarnere, Malarkey and Spiers with a few members of Dog Company) on the German artillery battery at Brécourt Manor, which was delaying the Allies’ assault upon Utah Beach.

This was a pretty good episode that featured two exciting combat sequences. The longest, of course, featured the assault upon Brécourt Manor. And I must admit that I found it very exciting. The way director Richard Loncraine shot the sequence almost made it feel as if I had been watching it in real time with very little editing. Ironically, the one action sequence that really impressed me was Easy Company’s jump into France the previous night. The sequence, which started the episode, began with the viewpoints of various characters – even Easy Company’s doomed commander, Thomas Meehan. But when the sequence focused upon Winters’ time to jump, the camera followed him from his departure from the plane to his landing on French soil. The photography and special effects used for Winters’ jump was very effective. But I found myself really impressed by those opening moments featuring the German flak that the planes conveying Easy Company to their drop zones. It struck me as exciting and terrifying and it effectively conveyed the dangerous and claustrophobic situation that Easy Company and the planes’ pilots found themselves.

The acting in "Day of Days" proved to be solid. But I must admit that I cannot recall any exceptional performances. Damian Lewis continued his excellent performance as Easy Company’s premiere commander, Richard D. Winters. He handled both the dramatic and action sequences with ease. Frank John Hughes was just as effective handling William "Wild Bill" Guarnere’s emotional state during those first 24 hours of the D-Day Campaign, which varied from anger and aggression to grudging acceptance of Winters as a leader and a return to his sense of humor. And Scott Grimes was marvelous as Easy Company trooper, Donald Malarkey. Although I must admit that I found his determination to find a Luger for his younger brother a bit silly in one scene. Matthew Settle made his first appearance as Ronald Spiers, the junior officer from Dog Company, who will become Easy Company’s last commander by the end of the series. Although his appearance was minor, he gave a memorable performance as the young officer, whose aggressiveness will prove to be the talk of the 506th regiment. Actors such as Neal McDonough, Donnie Walhberg and Andrew Scott also gave solid support.

I have a few quibbles about "Day of Days". One, I thought the episode was a bit too short. I realize that the following episode, "Carentan", will also focus on the Normandy invasion. But I think that this episode could have stretched at least another 10 to 15 minutes by focusing a little more on Guarnere and Malarkey’s experiences before they and Carwood Lipton encountered Winters on the night after they dropped into France. And I must admit that I found some of the dialogue rather cheesy. I also feel that screenwriter Loncraine could have left out Winters’ narration in the episode’s last five minutes. I found it unnecessary and a little clichéd.

In conclusion, "Day of Days" turned out to be a pretty solid episode. I would never consider it as one of my favorite episodes of the miniseries. But it did feature two top-notch action sequences and good performances, especially by Damian Lewis.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

"KING SOLOMON'S MINES" (1950) Review

"KING SOLOMON’S MINES" (1950) Review

To my knowledge, there have been at least four film adaptations of H. Rider Haggard’s adventure novel, "King Solomon’s Mines". One film had been released in 1937, featuring Sir Cedric Hardwicke and Paul Robeson. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer released one in 1950, starring Deborah Kerr and Stewart Granger. Richard Chamberlain and Sharon Stone co-starred in one in 1985. And in 2004, Patrick Swayze and Alison Doody starred in a two-part miniseies, based on the novel. But the film I want to focus upon is the 1950 version. Quite frankly, it is my favorite one.

It took Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer nearly four years to get "KING SOLOMON’S MINES" into production. They had originally planned to have Errol Flynn star as the Victorian hunter and guide living in Africa, Allan Quartermain. But Flynn dreaded the idea of spending time away from any form of luxury, while on location in Africa. He ended up taking the leading role in MGM’s other adventure, "KIM", in which he spent his off-camera hours at a resort in India. British actor, Stewart Granger, took the role of Quartermain . . . and became a major Hollywood star. The other cast members included Deborah Kerr as Elizabeth Curtis, the woman who hires Quartermain to lead a safari in search of her missing husband; Richard Carlson as John Goode, Elizabeth’s likeable older brother; Siriaque as the mysterious Umbopa, who is revealed to be King of the Watusi; and Hugo Haas as Van Brun, a former hunter who is wanted by British authorities for murder. Directed by Compton Bennett and Andrew Marton, "KING SOLOMON’S MINES" was filmed on location in the Republic of Congo and Kenya, along with California.

Loosely based upon Haggard’s novel, "KING SOLOMON’S MINES" tells the story of Allan Quatermain (Stewart Granger), an experienced hunter and guide in 1897 Kenya, who is reluctantly talked into helping Elizabeth Curtis (Deborah Kerr) and her brother John Goode (Richard Carlson) search for her husband, who had disappeared in the unexplored interior of Africa on a quest to find the legendary mines. They have a copy of the map that Henry Curtis had used in his journey. A tall, mysterious native, Umbopa (Siriaque), eventually joins the safari. And during the grueling journey, Elizabeth and Quatermain begin falling in love.

As I had stated, this version of "KING SOLOMON’S MINES" is my favorite version. It is not a very close adaptation of the novel. For one, there was no literary version of the Elizabeth Curtis character. And her husband, Henry, was definitely one of the characters. It was he who hired Quartermain to lead a search party – for his missing brother. John Goode was a close friend, instead of a brother-in-law. The novel was basically set in Southern Africa, instead of Kenya and other parts of East Africa. I am quite certain there are other differences between Haggard’s novel and this movie adaptation. But if I must be frank, I really do not care. I love "KING SOLOMON’S MINES". Its screenplay written by Helen Deutsch, the movie possessed a heady combination of an adventure film, a travelogue and intelligent drama. Cinematographer Robert Surtees deservedly won an Academy Award for his color photography in the movie. East Africa never looked more beautiful and wild. Ralph E. Winters and Conrad A. Nervig won the Academy Award for Best Editing. Thanks to them, there were able to allow the audience to enjoy the African photography, while ensuring that it would not get in the way of the acting and the story.

Speaking of the movie’s acting, MGM was fortunate to get their hands on Stewart Granger in the role of Allan Quartermain. Granted, I am a major fan of Errol Flynn, but Granger was right for the role. He did an excellent job of projecting the heroic qualities of Quartermain, yet at the same time, delving into the character’s cynical, yet slightly melancholy personality. Deborah Kerr was a perfect match as the equally caustic Elizabeth Curtis, who sets the journey in motion to find her husband and alleviate her guilt for driving the latter from England. The on-screen match between Granger and Kerr was so strong that it was simply a joy to watch their verbal sparring and sexual chemistry. Richard Carlson as Elizabeth Curtis’ brother, John Goode, provided cool and intelligent stability amidst the sexual heat and hostility generated by Granger and Kerr. And the East African actor Siriaque’s (I have no idea from which country he came from) character added mystery as the native who joins the Curtis safari.

I am trying to think of something negative to say about "KING SOLOMON’S MINES". Okay, there were moments when it was in danger of becoming nothing more than a travelogue. And Deborah Kerr’s new hairdo after she had "cut" her hair, resembled a style that a mid 20th century woman would wear and not one in the late 19th century would. No wonder many moviegoers had laughed. Other than the those two quibbles, I have nothing to complain about the movie.

The movie has one more blessing . . . its human portrayal of the African characters allowed it to avoid the tackiness of the 1985 Chamberlain-Stone version or the silly tactic that Paul Robeson was forced to use in order to reveal his character’s true identity in the 1937 version. The movie also provided excellent acting by its cast, great cinematography, and excellent action sequences. Is it any wonder that it ended up receiving a Best Picture Academy Award nomination?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Below are images from the new Marvel Entertainment movie, "CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER". Directed by Joe Johnston, the movie stars Chris Evans as Steve Rogers aka Captain America:


Monday, January 23, 2012

Mary and Henry Crawford in "MANSFIELD PARK"


Every time I read an article or review about Jane Austen's 1814 novel, "MANSFIELD PARK", the authors of these articles always comment on the unpopularity of the novel's leading character, Fanny Price. I could say the same about most articles and reviews on the novel's television and movie adaptations. Time and again, both critics and others claim that most Austen fans have a low opinion of Fanny Price. At the same time, these same commentators like to point out the popularity of the novel's antagonists, Henry and Mary Crawford.

The first time I had come across such a statement about Fanny Price and the Crawfords, I decided to search for further articles that verified these claims. In all honesty, I have come across at least less than a half-a-dozen articles or blogs that either criticized Fanny or praised the Crawfords to the sky - especially Mary Crawford - or did both. But most of the articles and reviews I have discovered usually followed this structure:

1. Fanny Price is very unpopular with Austen fans.

2. The Crawfords - especially Mary - is very popular with Austen fans.

3. The authors claim that they harbor the same opinions, until recently.

4. The authors eventually state that they believe Fanny Price is a misunderstood character and praise her character to the sky as a paragon of virtue and courage.

5. Or the authors would point out Fanny's personality flaws and claim that Austen used as some kind of metaphor for eighteenth century morality play, or etc.

6. Bring up the Crawfords and reveal how degenerate they really were, despite any virtues they may possess. Both characters have been called the worse names in an effort to make Fanny look good.

I like to call the above structure or formula - "The Defense of Fanny Price Campaign". And most articles I have read about "MANSFIELD PARK" usually follow this formula. In fact, I have come across so many articles of this nature that I now have doubts that most Austen fans really dislike Fanny or even like the Crawfords.

I am well aware that Mary and Henry Crawford were flawed. And I believe that Austen did an excellent job of making their flaws rather obvious. On the other hand, I believe that she did a pretty good job in portraying their virtues, as well. Fanny Price was no different, in my opinion. Mind you, I found her rather dull at times. But I have never dismissed her on those grounds. Fanny did have her virtues. But I believe that she also possesed flaws. And like the Crawfords, she never overcame hers by the end of the novel. But whereas Austen literally ignored Fanny's flaws by the end of novel . . . and gave her a wide berth, she castigated the Crawfords for failing to overcome their flaws. Many critics and fans who have posted articles in the very fashion I brought up, also did the same. And so did the movie and television adaptations.

This is the main problem I have about "MANSFIELD PARK". If Austen had been willing to acknowledge Fanny's flaws (let alone those of her cousin, Edmund Bertram), I would have never found it difficult to enjoy the story. I suspect that "MANSFIELD PARK" could have easily been one of those novels that explored the complex nature of all of its major characters without labeling one or two of them as "villains". Or . . . if she really wanted to villify the Crawfords that badly, she would have been better off portraying them as superficial, one-note characters.

But what I find really frustrating is this so-called "Defense of Fanny Price" campaign that seemed to have swamped the Internet for the past four-to-five years. By utilizing the structure that I had earlier pointed out, these critics and fans seem willing to turn a blind eye to Fanny's flaws; at the same time, castigate Mary and Henry Crawfords as villains on the same level as George Wickham of "PRIDE AND PREJUDICE". Of all the articles I have come across about the characters featured in the 1814 novel, only one has seemed willing to view them all as morally complex and ambiguous. If there are other "MANSFIELD PARK" articles of similar nature, I can only hope that someone would inform me.

Friday, January 20, 2012

"The Helmsman's Log - 2371" [PG-13] - PART II

Here is the sequel to the personal logs of Tom Paris, set around Voyager's first year in the Delta Quadrant:


Part II

STARDATE 48671.28 - Just came back from a date with Megan
Delaney. Alone, this time. We had an intimate little dinner
at a romantic restaurant on Gerdi Prime, inside Holodeck Two.
After supper, we enjoyed a walk along the beach, followed by a
nightcap inside my quarters.

Ah, Megan! Such a nice, calm person, in compare to her sister,
Jenny. There were times when she almost reminds me of . . .
Shit! What the hell is wrong with me? I just enjoyed a
pleasant night with a beautiful and intelligent woman and all I
can think about is our cook's girlfriend. Kes. God, will I
ever stop thinking about her? Or better yet, will she ever
dump Neelix? End personal log.

STARDATE 48695.34 - I nearly lost Harry, today. While enjoying
his Beowulf holonovel, Harry was captured by a photonic being
that had been accidentally brought aboard the ship. Apparently,
while we were gathering energy from a photostar. The being took
refuge inside Harry's Beowulf program and later captured him.
It also captured Tuvok and Chakotay, after they had been sent to
investigate Harry's disappearance. In the end, the Captain
sent the Doctor to rescue our missing officers. Thankfully,
the Doc succeeded and received a special commendation for his
troubles. Now, if only the Captain could order Torres to do
something about his personality subroutines. End personal log.

STARDATE 48733.51 - Voyager had a strange encounter with
something out of one of those old "B" movies that I usually
enjoy. While investigating some dark nebula, Tuvok and
Chakotay's shuttle was attacked. Tuvok only sustained minor
injuries, while the good Commander ended up brain dead. His
bio-neural energy had been removed from him.

It turned out worse than we thought. Some trianic energy being
had possessed Tuvok, in an attempt to convince the Captain to
investigate this dark nebula matter. The being belonged to a
race called the Komar, who wanted the crew's bio-neural energy
as substance for his people. Meanwhile, another entity began
invading the minds of other crewmen - including mine - in an
attempt to prevent Voyager from entering that nebula. This
second entity turned out to be Chakotay's bio-neural energy,
displaced by the Komar's attack. Just great! My brain nearly
became food for a bunch of non-corporeal beings and was twice
possessed by the Great Spirit Chief, himself. Oh well, at
least we managed to escape the nebula and the Komar. End
personal log.

STARDATE 48736.53 - This afternoon, Neelix had decided to hold
a little celebration in honor of Chakotay's recovery and our
near escape from the Komar. Jesus, this guy would just about
hold a party for anything. Not that I mind. The more parties,
the better. I suspect that this was Neelix's way of
celebrating Kes's recovery from an attack by the
Komar-possessed Tuvok. Hmmm. Certainly not a bad reason to
celebrate, in my book.

Captain Janeway and the Maquis seemed to be the only ones
really celebrating. I guess they need something to celebrate
after Seska's humiliating revelation. Well, most of the Maquis
seemed happy. I noticed B'Elanna Torres, sitting by herself
and shooting jealous looks at the very chummy Captain Janeway
and Chakotay. My God! Is that little infatuation of hers,
still going on? Doesn't she realize that Chakotay is not her
type? Too bad Harry is still mooning over his lost love,
Libby. Quite frankly, he would make a better choice for
Torres. Of course, I don't exactly relish sharing Harry's time
with her. (Beep, beep) That must be Megan. I forgot that she
was coming by for drinks, tonight. End personal log.

STARDATE 48766.73 - Not much happened today. Voyager
investigated a Class J nebula - one of many we have encountered
since our arrival in the Delta Quadrant. The only interesting
thing that happened was a minor conversation with Kes in the
Mess Hall. We discussed some our favorite foods. One of hers
happens to be something called Lokar beans. I told her about
tomato soup (something those damn replicators still haven't got
right) and peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches. My ultimate
comfort food. By then, even Neelix got into the conversation.
I don't know if this was his way of keeping an eye on Kes and
me, or merely just genuine interest. At least we managed to
exchange a few words without any hostility or suspicion from
him. End personal log.

STARDATE 48777.42 - Another dull day in the Delta Quadrant. I
guess every day can't be an exciting encounter with a new
species. Voyager stumbled into the Avery system. It seemed to
consist of several Class M planets. The Captain, in one of her
bouts of "science exploration", decided she wanted an
investigation of magnacite formations on some of the planets.

I was assigned to explore the planet, Avery III with Pete Durst
and B'Elanna Torres. Voyager should rendezvous with us in two
days. I guess it won't be that bad. Pete's okay. He was one
of the few crewmen who had been friendly toward me from the
beginning. And as for Torres - well, we have managed to strike
up a cordial relationship in the last five or six weeks. Hell,
it's a lot better than spending two days with Chakotay or
Neelix. End personal log.

STARDATE 48790.33 - Oh God! I simply don't know where to begin!
I feel as if I had taken part in some bizarre horror vid from
the 20th century. Sigh! Might as well get it over with.

While investigating magnacite formations on Avery III with
Durst and Torres, we were captured by Vidiians. That's right.
The same species who had stolen Neelix's lungs, three months
ago. These Vidiians didn't simply steal our organs. They
forced Pete and myself to become part of their slave labor. I
had no idea what happened to B'Elanna. Until the following
day. It seemed some Vidiian doctor named Sulan had extracted
her Klingon DNA, leaving her completely Human. How gruesome!

I still remember the shock of seeing B'Elanna completely Human
for the first time. Oddly enough, I was too surprised by the
change to notice her looks. I must admit that she looked
beautiful. But then, I've always thought she made a beautiful
Klingon/Human hybrid. Not only had her looks changed, but her
personality, as well. Gone was the tough and temperamental
woman and in her place, an emotional and sad woman, driven by
fear. I guess the trauma of her situation drove her to be a
little more open about her past. She told me about her
childhood on Kessik IV and how she blamed her Klingon side for
driving her father away. She has not seen him in nearly twenty
years. If that's true, the man is an idiot. (Pauses) I think
I'm getting a little personal, here. Anyway, I tried to
comfort her with a little revelation of my own. I told her
about the haircuts Dad used to enforce upon me, at the
beginning of every summer. I don't think it worked. Then
again . . . she did smile a little.

Then everything went from bad to worse. The Vidiian guards
took Pete Durst away. That was the last time I saw him. I
tried to prevent the guards from taking him, but they didn't
want me. Can't blame them, I guess. Who would? I later
found out that they didn't want Pete to send a message to
Voyager. Instead, that monster, Dr. Sulan had Pete's face
grafted upon his. The guards came back for B'Elanna, leaving
me feel even more useless. God only know how long I would have
remained part of the slave labor force, if Chakotay hadn't
shown up, disguised as a Vidiian. Too bad we couldn't take
the Talaxian with us, but the guards were even reluctant to let
me go. We found two B'Elannas being confronted by Dr. Sulan,
with Pete's face plastered to his skin. I don't know what
shocked me more - seeing both a Klingon and a Human B'Elanna at
the same time, Dr. Sulan, or witnessing Klingon B'Elanna's
death after she saved her counterpart's life. Too bad she
died. I would have liked to have known her. End personal log.

STARDATE 48791.56 - I still can't help thinking about that Away
mission on Avery III. To me, it's a reminder of my failure as
a Starfleet officer. I can't help but wonder what I could have
done to avoid capture or save Pete. I had a dream about it,
several hours ago. At one point, Human B'Elanna's face
transformed into the dying Klingon B'Elanna's, and eventually
into Dr. Sulan, with Pete's face. I woke up in a sweat, after
that. Unable to sleep, I decided to head for Sick Bay to pay
B'Elanna a visit. She still looked Human. Unfortunately,
Chakotay was also there. And since they seemed to be sharing
a tender moment, I didn't want to interrupt. Oh well. Perhaps
I can read myself to sleep. End personal log.

STARDATE 48799.76 - I finally spoke with B'Elanna. She came to
my table, while I was eating a late dinner in the Mess Hall,
last night. We were the only ones there. She looked normal.
Her Klingon traits had returned, ridges and all. B'Elanna
told me what happened to her on Avery III. Apparently, Dr.
Sulan had used a genetron to remove her Klingon DNA, creating
two B'Elannas in the process - one Klingon and one Human. He
fell in love with the Klingon Human and used Pete's face to woo
her. He must have been a sick man. Sulan also needed a
full-blooded Klingon to test his theory that Klingon physiology
was resistant to their phage. As it turned out, he was right.

B'Elanna told me that after her Klingon couterpart's death, she
had assumed she would remain completely Human. I guess the Doc
ruined that dream when he informed her that he needed to
restore her original genetic structure, using Klingon
B'Elanna's DNA. She seemed disappointed that she would never
be completely Human. I'm not. Although I found both her Human
and Klingon selves to be beautiful, she seems more interesting
as a hybrid. I even told her so. My little remark managed to
produce a small smile, but I could tell that she didn't draw
much comfort from it. I hope that one day, she will learn to
appreciate her true self. She can really be fascinating. Now,
if only I can learn to do the same about myself. Hmmm, fat
chance of that ever happening.

Anyway, B'Elanna thanked me for supporting her during our
captivity. We also discussed Pete Durst, whose face is now
grafted upon that mad bastard's own face. When I asked if she
would like to accompany me to Sandrine's, she declined.
B'Elanna told me that she needed more rest. Oh well. At
least we've finally buried the hatchet between us and can
finally become good friends. I guess that's one thing I can be
grateful about Avery III. End personal log.

STARDATE 48804.91 - God, I'm exhausted! Not a surprise, since
I had my sleep interrupted by a call from the Bridge. Crewman
Henley failed to show up for Gamma shift. Again. This is the
third time in two months. I had to give her a personal
reprimand the last two times. Last night, I personally roused
Henley from bed and ordered her to report to the Bridge. Or
consider herself on report. After a fifteen minute debate,
which ended with me threatening her with the Brig, she
complied. I really don't know what to do with her. I can't
threaten her with the Brig, forever. I also realize that she
resents being stuck on a Starfleet vessel, thousands of light
years away from home. But one day, she will have to realize
that she has very little options. End personal log.

STARDATE 48837.63 - Voyager stopped at an M-class called
Napinne. Pleasant little place. And the inhabitants were also
pleasant. Harry, B'Elanna and myself visited the surface for a
few hours, while the Captain, Neelix and Chakotay set about
obtaining food supplies. With the fruits and vegetables now
growing in the Hydropondics Bay, hopefully Voyager won't be so
dependent upon food supplies from other planets, stations and
ships in the near future. End personal log.

STARDATE 48840.42 - Once more, Crewman Henley failed to appear
for her duty shift. This time, I put her on report. Not long
after I finished Alpha shift today, Chakotay requested my
presence in his office. To discuss Henley, unsurprisingly.
He wanted me to reconsider my decision to put Henley on report.
Give her a chance to fit in with the crew. Then he bored me
with some speech about Starfleet officers learning how to lead
subordinates. Something that already bored me to tears during
Command school. The big hypocrite! I can't believe this is the
same man who had gave me nothing but grief since we first laid eyes
upon each other. Hell, I've been giving Henley a chance for
six months! At least until now. Like it or not, both she and
Chakotay were going to have to live with that reprimand on her
record. Being an ex-Maquis, I doubt that Henley even cared.
End personal log.

STARDATE 48845.9 - After Tuvok's encounter with Ken Dalby, the
Captain has ordered Henley, Dalby and a few others to undergo
basic Starfleet training, under Tuvok. Poor bastards!
Meanwhile, various ship malfunctions have plagued the crew,
since leaving Napinne. Something to do with the bio-gel
packs. End personal log.

STARDATE 48854.3 - Life aboard Voyager has returned to normal,
thank goodness. No more malfunctions for the time being. The
Captain ordered the ship's systems to overheat, in order to
kill the virus that had infected the gel packs. My God, the
Bridge almost felt like a furnace! For a while, I wondered if
I would ever be able to breathe again. All thanks to that damn
cheese Neelix had purchased during our stay on Napinne.

Henley and the others are still undergoing their field
training. Must be working, since Henley has reported for duty
without any problems. She also requested additional training
in shuttle maneuvers in the holodeck. We'll probably never be
friends, but thank goodness I no longer have a troublemaker on
my hands. End personal log.

STARDATE 48892.4 - Harry told me an unusual tale. The Doctor's
programming and the holodeck systems had malfunctioned, thanks
to the kino-plastic radiation from a anomaly that Voyager came
across. While stuck in one of the holodecks for six hours, the
Doctor believed he was a real person named Lewis Zimmerman and
that Voyager and the crew were all a holographic simulation.
He even thought Kes was his wife. Sigh! I knew it. I've
always suspected that the Doc had eyes for our favorite
Ocampan. And this only proves it. Kes is quickly becoming
quite the little heartbreaker on this ship. She has already
captured mine. End personal log.

STARDATE 48921.4 - This has certainly been a day to
remember! I've just spent hours at the Helm, dodging a swarm
of . . . hell, I don't what they were! Some kind of life forms
that resembled a . . . Okay, they resembled human sperm.
There! I said it. I only hope that Starfleet Command never get
a hold of this log. Although the creatures resembled sperm, they
had mistaken Voyager as some kind of sexual mate. Even worse, they
began draining energy from the ship's systems, in their attempt
to procreate. More problems appeared when a large creature
appeared also began to regard Voyager as a mate. Jeez! I
didn't realize the ship looked that desirable! Both Torres and
Tuvok wanted to destroy the creature, but Chakoay suggested
that Voyager mimic the smaller ones, giving the impression to
the large creature that we have no interest in procreation with
space born creatures. Ha! Sex in the Delta Quadrant!

Speaking of sex, the Captain made a joke to the Commander about
referring to expertise whenever the subject of procreation
appears. It wasn't the joke that caught my attention, but the
way she said. I do believe our captain was flirting. The look
on B'Elanna's face was certainly memorable. She seemed
completely shocked. When I brought up the topic in the Mess
Hall, she gave me a death glare that rivaled the mighty Janeway
herself. I see that she still has that crush on Chakotay.
God, when will it ever end?

Then again, who am I to complain? I still have feelings for
Kes. In my case, I can say that it's more than a crush.
Before our encounter with the swarm, I helped her gather
Oblissian cabbages from the Hydropondics Bay. On our way to
the turbolift, we encountered Chakotay, along with Ensigns
Bennett and Gallagher. It seems the good Commander caught
them "fraternizing" in the turbolift. Hmm, perhaps the
Captain was right about him being the right man to solicit advice
about procreation. End personal log.

STARDATE 48925.38 - Plenty of surprises awaited me, when I
found Kes in the Hydropondics Bay, following my shift. First
surprise - Ensign Sam Wildman from the Science Division is
pregnant. It seems that Ensign Wildman, who happened to be a
very nice lady, had left behind a Ktarian husband on Deep Space
Nine. Considering how flat her stomach looked, my first guess
was that she sought solace in the arms of a crewman, here on
board Voyager. After all, Voyager has been in the Delta
Quadrant for over seven months, now. But according to Kes, the
embroyo is definitely half-Ktarian. Perhaps Ktarians have
a longer gestation period.

The other surprise? Kes informed me that the electrophoretic
activity from the swarm, yesterday, had sped up her elogium.
Namely, the sexual maturation for Ocampan females. They
usually go through this phase between the ages of four and
five. And since this elogium would have been Kes' only shot
at conception, she asked Neelix to mate with her.

Neelix and Kes as parents. Good grief! Now there's an image that
makes me shudder! At first, Neelix felt reluctant. Hell, if I
had known, I would have offered Kes my services. However,
Neelix eventually agreed to mate with her, but she changed her
mind, after realizing that she was not ready for parenthood.
Kes' elogium ended when Voyager left the swarm behind. I
thought she had lost her chance at motherhood and was prepared
to console her. But Kes assured me that her elogium was false
and the real phase will probably return after her fourth
birthday. I only hope that she and Neelix are no longer a twosome
by then. I realize it's a rotten thing to say, but I can't
help feeling they're wrong for each other. End personal log.

STARDATE 48946 - God, I must really be pathetic! While
playing pool with Harry and B'Elanna in Sandrine's, last night,
I spotted Kes and Neelix cuddling around a corner table, happy
as pie. Depressing sight. In typical Tom fashion, I decided
to hide my disappointment by flirting with nearly every female
in sight. Except with B'Elanna, of course. One doesn't
flirt with a close friend. I guess the old Paris charm must
have worked. Later that night, I ended up in bed with Yoshi
Kyoto. After I "subtly" sneaked out of bed this morning,
Yoshi caught me. She assured me that she wasn't looking for a
permanent relationship. I'm relieved . . . but now, I also
feel like a complete shit. End personal log.

STARDATE 48964.07 - Today was Kes' birthday. Sigh! Kes'
birthday. Huh. All I can say is that it certainly didn't turn
out the way I had expected. Not long after we surprised her
with a party inside Sandrine's, Voyager encountered a
distortion ring that transformed the ship into a labyrinth.
First, the Captain, Chakotay and I got lost, while searching
for the Bridge. We ended back inside Holodeck One. Later,
Torres and I used the turbolift to reach Engineering. To my
surprise, we were fortunate. Thanks to the distortion ship,
B'Elanna almost walked in on Crewman Nozawa inside his
quarters, dressed only in his skivvies. Let's just say it the
first time I ever saw a Klingon woman blush. A sight, I
suspect, I'll never see again.

The distortion ring proved to be the third or fourth
non-corporeal life form we've encountered since our arrival in
the Delta Quadrant. And all it wanted to do was greet us and
exchange information. Hell of a way to say hello. Both
B'Elanna and Chakotay nearly came to blows with Tuvok on how to
stop the distortion ring. In the end, Tuvok had the best
suggestion. Do nothing.

Kes' birthday party turned out to be a disappointment. I gave
her a gold filigree locket as a present. She seemed stunned by
it - much to my delight. That delight didn't last. After our
encounter with the distortion ring, the party eventually
resumed. Kes, who had been worried by Neelix's disappearance,
declared that she wanted a photo of him, inside her locket.
Great! Just great! A photo of Neelix's mug will be inside
the locket I gave her. Even worse, I had to stand there on the
Bridge and hold Kes' birthday cake, while she and Neelix locked

Sigh! I'm beginning to think that my feelings for Kes are just
as hopeless as B'Elanna's feelings toward Chakotay. But I
can't help it. All I can do is hope that she realizes one day
that Neelix is not the man for her. End personal log.

STARDATE 48972.4 - Voyager came across an old 1936 Chevy truck,
here in the Delta Quadrant! Being a connoisseur of anything
20th century Earth, my heart nearly leapt with excitement at
the sight of that old vehicle. I even got a chance to
demonstrate how the truck's engine worked, once Harry tractor
it to Voyager. I don't think he, the Captain and the others
appreciated the noise or the carbon monoxide.

The truck also emitted an old S-O-S signal that led us to an
L-Class planet not far away. The trinimbic interference in the
planet's upper atmosphere made the shuttles and the
transporters, ineffective. So, the Captain ordered me to land
Voyager on the planet's surface. All I can say that it was
one of the most thrilling moments in my life. And I did it
without a hitch.

The Captain, Harry and members of the Away team not only found
a Lockheed Electra aircraft (which I would have loved to get my
hands on), but several Humans in cryostasis. Kes and I later
joined the Captain and Harry for a closer inspection. Would
you believe it? Among the Humans were the legendary pilot,
Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan. It seemed she,
Noonan and the other Humans had been abducted from Earth by
aliens over 400 years ago, during the late 1930s. Voyager has
discovered the mystery of Earhart's disappearance. If only
the Alpha Quadrant knew. Noonan proved to be a paranoid who
managed to hold us hostage. The Captain eventually convinced
him and Miss Earhart that we meant them no harm. Also, a group
of aliens had fired upon Tuvok, Chakotay and another Away team.
Harry told me that after the Captain disarmed them, she
discovered that they were also Humans. Boy! Things really
seemed to be heating up! End personal log.

STARDATE 48974.55 - I did it. I decided to remain aboard
Voyager and continue the journey to the Alpha Quadrant. I'm
probably the only crewman, who has a good reason to remain on
New Earth. Well, it's not really called New Earth, but that's
what most of the crew has decided to name the planet.

It seemed the planet's original inhabitants, a race called the
Briori, were the ones responsible for abducting Amelia Earhart,
Noonan and 289 other Humans from Earth. They brought the
Humans to this planet to serve as slave labor. However, the
slaves revolted, killed the Briori and established a new
civilization. Hence, New Earth. I even managed to visit one
of the cities. It really surprised me on how it closely
resembled San Francisco. Maybe that was the reason I had decided
not to remain behind. It simply reminded me too much of Earth.
Too much of the bad times I had endured. But I must admit that
Kes' decision to remain aboard Voyager played a part in my
decision. Along with the feeling that I could not abandon the
Captain. Not after all she has done for me.

I also got a chance to show Miss Earhart, Voyager's helm. I
don't know about her, but I got a big thrill. Miss Earhart,
Mr. Noonan and the other "37s" (the original ones abducted),
decided to remain on New Earth. I wish them all the luck in
the world. Meanwhile, not one member of the crew decided to
remain behind. Hmmm. I thought at least the Maquis crewmen
would consider. I guess not. End personal log.

STARDATE 48999.17 - New Year's Eve. Huh. I can't remember the
last time I celebrated the New Year. Oh yeah, it happened two
years ago and I was at this casino on Perdon Gel. With that .
. . Gods, what was her name? Damn! I don't even remember.

Anyway, the Captain gave us permission to celebrate the arrival
of 2372 at Sandrine's. Neelix has even volunteered to create a
few delicacies to entertain the crew. In defense of our
stomachs, the Conn Division pooled their replicator rations to
provide refreshments not cooked by Neelix. I'm sure the crew
will thank us. Meanwhile, I have to shower and change for the
party. I'm suppose to take Marie Kaplan and I'm already
running late. If I don't return until tomorrow, Happy New
Year! End personal log.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"BAND OF BROTHERS" (2001) - Episode One "Currahee" Commentary


After spending the last six months or so watching and re-watching my taped copies of the recent HBO miniseries, "THE PACIFIC", my family and I decided to re-watch the first television collaboration between Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. Of course I am speaking of the 2001 Golden Globe and Emmy winning miniseries, "BAND OF BROTHERS".

Based upon Stephen Ambrose historical book , ”BAND OF BROTHERS” centered around the experiences of “Easy” Company, one company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, assigned to the 101st Airborne Division during World War II. The miniseries was divided into ten episodes and starred Damian Lewis and Ron Livingston. The first episode, titled ”Curahee”, told the story of Easy Company’s two years of training at Toccoa, Georgia; North Carolina; and later in England under the command of Herbert Sobel.

”Currahee” basically served as an introduction of the main characters featured throughout the miniseries. However, not all of the characters made an impact in this episode. Albert Blythe, David Webster and several others were occasionally seen, but not heard. But one did have characters like William “Wild Bill” Guarnere, Carwood Lipton, George Luz, John Martin, Joe Liebgott, and Harry Welsh certainly made their impacts. More importantly, the two lead characters were featured – namely Richard Winters and Lewis Nixon. But I might as well be frank. This episode truly belonged to the man who had served as Easy Company’s first commander, Herbert Sobel.

The acting in ”Currahee” struck me as pretty solid. At least 70% of the cast featured British or Irish actors portraying American servicemen. Some of the actors did pretty good jobs in maintaining an American accent – including Damian Lewis. However, there were times when it seemed that the basic American accents that most of the British cast seemed capable of using were either Southern, a flat trans-Atlantic accent or an accent from one of the five boroughs of New York City. I found it disconcerting to find some British actors using the latter, despite their characters coming from another part of the country. For example, actor Ross McCall did a great New York accent. Unfortunately, his character Joe Liebgott was born in Michigan, and moved to San Francisco sometime before the war. Even some of the American actors used the wrong accent for their characters. I enjoyed James Madio’s performance as Frank Perconte. However, Madio, who hailed from New York City (the Bronx), used his natural accent to portray Illinois native, Perconte.

I have to be honest. I never found the basic training sequences featured in some war movies to be interesting. In fact, the only war movies that featured interesting training sequences were about the Vietnam War - ”THE BOYS OF COMPANY ‘C’” (1978) and ”FULL METAL JACKET” (1987). As I had stated earlier, the episode ”Currahee” truly belonged to the Herbert Sobel character and David Schwimmer’s memorable and complex performance. Despite Ambrose’s portrayal of Sobel as a tyrannical company commander that was deeply disliked by his men, many veterans of Easy Company cannot deny that he made the company. His tough training methods helped the men endure the horrors of war that faced them in future battles. If it were not for his character and Schwimmer’s performance, I would barely consider ”Currahee” as an interesting episode.

Once Sobel was removed from the scene, the last 15 to 20 minutes of ”Currahee” featured Easy Company’s preparation for their jump into Normandy, France and their participation of the famous June 5-6 invasion. Those last minutes also set future storylines in the next episode and in future ones – including Easy Company’s experiences in France, Guarnere’s anger over his brother’s death, and Lynn “Buck” Compton’s relationship with the men in his platoon. It was not a bad episode. In fact, it was pretty interesting, thanks to David Schwimmer’s portrayal of Easy Company’s first commander, Herbert Sobel. But if it were not for the presence of Sobel’s character, I would almost find this episode rather dull.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

"EMMA" (1972) Photo Gallery

Below are images from "EMMA", the 1972 BBC adaptation of Jane Austen's 1815 novel. The six-part miniseries starred Doran Godwin and John Carson:

"EMMA" (1972) Photo Gallery

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

"THE DEBT" (2011) Review

"THE DEBT" (2011) Review

Four years ago, Assaf Bernstein directed a movie about three retired Mossad agents confronted by a challenge from their past in a movie called "THE DEBT". Just recently, John Madden directed a remake of this movie with the same title. Although originally intended for a December 2010 release date, the movie was finally released at the end of August.

This new version of "THE DEBT" The espionage thriller began in 1997, when two retired Mossad agents, Rachel as shocking news reaches retired Mossad secret agents Rachel Singer and Stefan Gold have received shocking news about their former colleague David Peretz. All three have been celebrated by Israel for thirty-one years for successfully tracking down a Nazi war criminal named Dieter Vogel back in 1965-55 in East Berlin. However, the reactions of both Rachel and Stefan and several flashbacks questioned whether or not if the team's mission was accomplished.

I have never seen the 2007 version. Which means there is no way I could compare this new version to the older one. But I could say this about "THE DEBT" . . . I thought it was one of the best movies I had seen this past summer. In fact, I thought it was one of the best movies I have seen this year. "THE DEBT" is a superb thriller about a dangerous mission to capture a Nazi war criminal - a mission that led to a labyrinth of lies, guilt, regrets and a desire to correct a mistake. The sequences set in Israel and Russia of the late 1990s and in flashback sequences, 1965-66 East Berlin. The three protagonists in the film proved to be a complicated trio, haunted by not only the Holocaust, but also their personal demons and desires.

The central figure in the story is Rachel Singer, a former Mossad agent who gave up her career when she became pregnant with her only child. Rachel spends the years 1965 to 1997 being caught between two men - the team's charismatic and womanizing leader, Stefan Gold; and the quiet and intense David Peretz. Both of them became attracted to her. But whereas Stefan viewed Rachel as a brief romance, David began falling in love with her. Rachel felt the same, but turned to Stefan for a one night stand - an act that ended up having major consequences in the relationship between the trio. In a very intense and well directed sequence, the agents finally managed to capture Vogel. But a bad encounter with East German guards at the Wollankstraße Station forced them to take Vogel back to their safe house and guard him, until they can find another way to get him to Israel. What followed was a deliciously acted cat-and-mouse game between manipulative Vogel and his three captors. The shocks and tensions continued, once the story shifted permanently to 1997. In that time frame, Rachel was forced to travel to Russia and clean up a mess caused by the major secret created by the three colleagues back in 1966. I wish I could give away the story, but to do so would give away the plot twists. All I can say is that one of the best aspects of this movie are the plot twists.

The acting was superb. Jesper Christensen, who had impressed me in the last two James Bond movies, was even more fascinating in his subtle performance as the ruthless, yet manipulative Dieter Vogel. Both Tom Wilkinson and Ciarán Hinds gave solid performances as the older Stefan and David. But the real star of the 1997 sequences was Helen Mirren, who was wonderful as an older Rachel, who believed that she had finally put the past behind her. She also proved that one could still be a first-rate female action star at the age of 65/66. If Helen Mirren was the star of the 1997 sequences, the real stars of the entire movie were Jessica Chastain, Sam Worthington and Marton Csokas. In my review of 2010's "MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS", I had not been kind to Chastain's performance in that movie. A lot of my criticism had to do with how her character was written. But I must admit that she was superb as the younger Rachel, who found herself caught up not only in a deadly mission with a dangerous adversary; but also in an emotionally confusing situation between two men. Cskokas gave an enlightening performance as the colorful and commanding Stefan, whose extroverted facade hid an ambitious drive that made him willing to do anything to maintain his career. It was good to see Sam Worthington in a first-rate role after nearly two years. His portrayal of David Peretz was probably the most intense in the entire episode. Worthington did a superb job of conveying not only David's quietly expressed desire for Rachel, but also his reluctance to get emotionally involved with others following the loss of his entire family during the Holocaust.

If "THE DEBT" had one flaw - at least for me, it was the ending. I have to be honest. I usually do not mind if a movie ends on an ambiguous or vague note . . . as long as it works. For me, such an ending worked for the 2010 movie, "INCEPTION". The vague note on which "THE DEBT" ended, failed to work for me. It simply did not feel right and I had the suspicion that either Madden or screenwriters Matthew Vaughn, Kris Thykier, Eduardo Rossoff were trying to be just a little too artistic. And "THE DEBT" struck me as the type of story that did not need an ambiguous ending of that kind.

Despite the movie's unnecessarily vague ending, I must admit that I truly enjoyed "THE DEBT". It had an exciting and fascinating story that was served well by the screenwriters, director John Madden and a superb cast led by Helen Mirren and Sam Worthington. As I had stated earlier, it became one of my favorite movies of both the summer and of this year so far.

Saturday, January 7, 2012



Are there any fans of The Flashman Papers, a series of novels about a 19th century British Army officer, written by the late George MacDonald Fraser?

The origins of Fraser’s fictional series began with another British author, namely the 19th century lawyer and author, Thomas Hughes. It was Hughes who first introduced the character of Flashman in his 1857 semi-autobiographical novel, "Tom Brown’s School Days". The novel told the story of Hughes’ years at the famous public school for boys, Rugby. Among the characters featured in the novel turned out to be an older student named "Flashman", who bullied both Tom Brown and another student named Harry “Scud” East. Flashman’s appearance in the novel ended when Headmaster Dr. Thomas Arnold kicked him for drunken behavior.

Over a century later, a Glasgow journalist named George MacDonald Fraser took the character of Flashman, gave him a full name – Harry Paget Flashman – and wrote a novel about his early years as a British Army office in Great Britain, India and Afghanistan, following his expulsion from Rugby. The novel also featured Flashman’s experiences during the First Afghan War. The results turned out to be "FLASHMAN", which was published in 1969. Fraser followed up "FLASHMAN" with three short stories published under the title, "FLASHMAN AND THE TIGER" and ten more novels. The last novel, "FLASHMAN ON THE MARCH" was published three years before Fraser’s death.

Fraser had written Flashman’s tales from the latter’s point-of-view. The interesting thing about the character was that despite being a war hero – he had been decorated for his actions in the First Afghan War, the Sepoy Rebellion (aka the Indian Mutiny) and the American Civil War, and possibly other military actions – his character had not changed much from his portrayal in Hughes’ novel. Flashman’s character could be described as cowardly, cynical, unfaithful (although his wife Elspeth was equally so), spiteful, greedy, racist, sexist, and lustful. In short, he was completely amoral. However, Fraser also portrayed Flashman as a hilarious and very witty man with a pragmatic view of the world and society in the nineteenth century.

For a series of novels that have been very popular for the past forty years, only one novel has been adapted for the screen. In 1975, Dennis O'Dell and David V. Picker produced and released an adaption of Fraser’s 1970 novel, "ROYAL FLASH". Based loosely upon Anthony Hope’s1894 novel, "THE PRISONER OF ZENDA", "ROYAL FLASH" told of Flashman’s experiences during the Revolutions of 1848 in Bavaria and the fictional Duchy of Strackenz, when he is coerced by German statesman Otto von Bismarck to impersonate a Danish prince set to marry a German princess. Bismarck fears that the marriage would tilt the balance on the Schleswig-Holstein Question and interfere with his plans for a united Germany. The producers hired Richard Lester ("A HARD DAY’S NIGHT", "THE THREE MUSKETEERS" and "THE FOUR MUSKETEERS") to direct the film. Fraser wrote the screenplay and Malcolm McDowell was cast as Harry Flashman. Being a talented actor, McDowell had Harry Flashman’s personality traits down pat. However, the actor looked nothing like the literary Flashman. McDowell possessed blond hair and stood under six feet tall. The literary Flashman stood at least six-feet-two and possessed dark hair and eyes. In fact, he was swarthy enough to pass for a native of the Indian sub-continent in at least two or three novels or a light-skinned African-American slave in "FLASH FOR FREEDOM!". Although the movie did receive some moderate acclaim from critics, the majority of Flashman fans hated it. In fact, they refuse to acknowledge or watch the film. In their eyes, not only did McDowell bore no physical resemblance to the literary Flashman, director Lester had chosen to infuse the film with bawdy buffoonery and slapstick (as he had done with the MUSKETEERS films) and ignore both the story’s historical context and the novels’ cynically irreverent tone.

When "ROYAL FLASH" failed to generate any real heat at the box office, the movie industries on both sides of the Atlantic ignored Fraser’s novels for several decades. Also, Fraser’s experience with the 1975 movie had made him reluctant to hand over control of any screenplay adaptation of his novels. The author also complained about a lack of a suitable British actor to portray Flashman – which seemed to come off as a backhanded slap at McDowell’s performance. Fraser has always favored the Australian-born Hollywood icon, Errol Flynn, to portray Flashman. The actor had not only possessed a similar physique with the literary Flashman (both stood at 6'2"), but he also – according to Fraser – had the looks, style and rakish personality for the role. Unfortunately, Flynn had died in 1959, ten years before Fraser’s "FLASHMAN" was published. The author also suggested that Academy Award winning Daniel Day-Lewis might be right for the role, claiming that "He's probably getting on a bit," he "might make a Flashman . . . He's big, he's got presence and he's got style." In 2007, Celtic Films indicated on their website that they had a series of FLASHMAN TV films in development. Picture Palace have announced they are developing "FLASHMAN AT THE CHARGE" for TV and that the script has been prepared by George Macdonald Fraser himself. Both companies took an extensive role in developing Bernard Cornwell's "SHARPE" (TV series). However, no further news has been forthcoming since this time and the project has been removed from both companies' websites.

Hmmm . . . Daniel Day-Lewis. Granted Day-Lewis might have the height and dark looks of the literary Flashy, and he has the talent to carry the role; he seems a bit too lean for me. And he lacks the cowardly protagonist’s wide shoulders that made the latter look so impressive in a cavalryman’s uniform. But aside from Day-Lewis, who among today’s actors would be great for the role? I had once considered Australian actor Hugh Jackman, nearly a decade ago, when he first became famous thanks to 2000's "X-MEN". He stands at 6’2” tall and possess Flashman’s dark looks. But Jackman is now 41 years old. Perhaps he could still portray Flashman between the ages of 30-50, but that would make him unavailable for movie adaptations of the FLASHMAN stories set in the 1840s – when Flashman was in his 20s. And if I must be frank, Jackman seem incapable of portraying rakes. He can portray violent/aggressive types like Wolverine. But a rake? I once saw him portray a well-born rake in a movie with Ewan McGregor called "DECEPTION". For some reason, he did not seem like the right man for the role . . . at least to me. If there is one Australian who could possibly portray Harry Flashman, I would say it was Julian McMahon. Mind you, McMahon never had the same success in the movies that he had on television. But . . . like Jackman, he stands at 6'2" and possesses similar dark good looks. More importantly, he has the style and air to successfully portray a well-born rake. Hell, he could do it, standing on one foot and singing at the top of his lungs. However, McMahon is also 41 and like Jackman, would be unable to portray Flashman in the adaptation of certain novels. His voice is a bit light and for some reason, I have great difficulty imagining him in a period piece.

Jonathan Rhys-Meyers might be a good choice. Granted, he does not have Day-Lewis, Jackman or McMahon’s height and build. But he has their dark looks. He is also talented and he has the style to portray a rake. More importantly, Rhys-Meyers is at the right age to star in the adaptations of nearly all of the novel, being 32 years old. Another good choice would be Henry Cavill, Rhys-Meyer’s co-star in "THE TUDORS". He has the dark looks and talent to portray the 19th century rogue. And he has the height – 6'1" tall. And at age 26, he could portray Flashy in his 20s and 30s, which would make him available in the adaptation of most of the novels.

But there have been no plays to adapt any of the FLASHMAN novels. Not since Celtic Films had indicated an interest in adapting "FLASHMAN AT THE CHARGE", two years ago. But if Hollywood or the British film industry ever decide to adapt another story about Harry Flashman, I hope they will do right by the novels’ fans and pick the right actor . . . and director for the films.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

"The Helmsman's Log - 2371" [PG-13] - PART I

Years ago, I had read J.A. Toner's marvelous
"Log Entries", a collection of B'Elanna Torres' personal logs
from Season 1 to mid-Season 5. For a while, I had hoped she
would write a similar story from Tom Paris' viewpoint, but, so
far, it has not happened. In the end, I decided to take on
that task myself. This story is a collection of Tom's logs
during Voyager's years in the Delta Quadrant.

Also, Season 2 episodes like "Projection", "Twisted", "Elogium"
and "The 37s" were originally supposed to air in Season 1,
after "Learning Curve". Therefore, the incidents featured in
those episodes will be covered in the 2371 logs.

SUMMARY: The first in a collection of Tom Paris' personal logs
during Voyager's seven years in the Delta Quadrant. Part 1
focuses upon the ship's first year, 2371.
FEEDBACK: I would appreciate constructive
feedback. Thank you.
DISCLAIMER: Tom Paris and all other characters related to Star
Trek Voyager belong to Paramount, Viacom, Rick Berman, the
Roddenberry family and other Trek producers.

PART I - 2371

STARDATE 48316.7 - I'm back on a Starfleet vessel. I can't
believe it! If only Dad could see me now. I can imagine how
he would feel. Then again . . . maybe not. I never understood Owen
Paris. Nor has he ever understood me. I have met the person
whom Dad could relate to. And probably did. Captain Kathryn
Janeway of the Federation starship, VOYAGER.

God, I'm regressing. I better start from the beginning. It
all began two days ago. I was serving my eighteen month
sentence at the Federation Penal Settlement in New Zealand -
otherwise known as Club Fed. While repairing a power generator, when a
throaty voice called out my name. I looked up and there stood
this red-haired goddess in a Starfleet uniform. Maybe goddess
isn't the right word. The good Captain is what one would
describe as diminutive in height. But despite that, she did
have presence.

To make a long story short, Captain Janeway asked me to help
search for a particular Maquis ship that had disappeared in the
Badlands. It seemed her security chief had joined the crew -
as a Starfleet spy. And guess who commanded this particular
crew? My old 'buddy', Chakotay. I can imagine that bastard's
reaction when learns that I helped Starfleet hunt down his
precious ship. Did I say when? That's right. Despite the
fact that helping Janeway locate her missing officer seemed
like a hopeless task, I decided to accept her offer. And why
not? I certainly have no loyalty toward Chakotay and his
bunch. Hell, they made my life miserable during my few weeks
in the Maquis. And Janeway has offered to add a word or two during
my next parole review. Who could resist that?

So, here I am, aboard VOYAGER. I must say that she seemed like
one hell of a ship. God, I would give my right leg to sit at
the helm. But it would never happen. Caldik Prime and my stint
in the Maquis made sure of that.

Speaking of Caldik Prime, it seems to have followed me here to
Voyager. The ship's doctor brought it up the moment I
introduced myself to him. He had been the chief medical
officer at the base on Caldik Prime, at the time. The First
Officer didn't say a word. At least not with Janeway looking
on. But that sneer on his face and his hesitation to shake my
hand said a thousand words.

If it weren't for Harry, this damn trip would have been a bust.
Ensign Harry Kim. They don't make Starfleet ensigns greener
than him. I had to save him from a Ferengi barkeep on Deep
Space Nine, bent on cheating him out of a few latinum. A few
years on a Starfleet vessel should rid him of that naivety.
And I'm sure that once Cavit or Dr. Fitzgerald tell him about
the real Tom Paris, he'll wise up to me. Damn! Harry is one
of the few people on this ship I really like. Just as well.
I won't be around very long. End personal log.

STARDATE 48324.61 - A lot has happened in the past few days.
Hell, I don't know where to begin. VOYAGER got flung 70,000
light years into the Delta Quadrant by some entity on an array
station. This little journey cost the ship several key
officers - including Cavit, Fitzgerald, the chief engineer and
the lovely Lieutenant Stadi. What a shame about Stadi. I
rather liked her.

The crew was beamed to the array, disguised as some Midwestern
farm. Some holographic beauty punched me. We also found the
Maquis crew in a state of unconsciousness. And we ended up in
the same position for three days, while the entity poked and
prodded us. Even worse, I had a 'pleasant' little reunion
with Chakotay on the Bridge. The poor bastard was surprised to
learn that his Vulcan weapons man turned out to be a Starfleet
spy. And embarrassed when Janeway prevented him from beating
the tar out of me. I would have enjoyed his embarrassment
even further, if it wasn't for Harry's disappearance.

It seems that the being on the array had failed to return a
Maquis engineer and poor Harry to their respective ships.
Which has made me worried. About Harry, I mean. He was the
first person I could truly call a friend. Even after Cavit and
Fitzgerald told him about the three people I killed at Caldik
Prime, and how I got cashiered, he still wanted to remain my
friend. What did he say? "I prefer to choose my own
What a friend! And now, he's missing. I only
hope that Captain Janeway can get him back before something
happens to him. End personal log.

STARDATE 48327.97 - It looks as if VOYAGER is stranded in the
Delta Quadrant for good. I don't mind. Ever since the ship
got lost, life has . . . well, it has turned out for the

I don't have to return to prison. We found Harry, along with
the Maquis engineer, on some planet a few light years away from
the array. I saved Chakotay's butt in the Ocampan tunnels and
earned myself a bodyguard. I'll need one now that the Maquis
has joined the crew, after Chakotay destroyed their ship during
a battle with a warlike race called the Kazon. The crew has
also acquired a couple of hitchhikers - a funny-looking joker
named Neelix. He's a Talaxian. Our other hitchhiker is an
Ocampan woman named Kes, whom we had saved from the Kazon.
She's very beautiful.

Best of all, Captain Janeway has given me a field commission,
the rank of lieutenant junior grade . . . along with the Conn Division.
Which means that I am now VOYAGER's chief pilot. Isn't life
grand? I only hope that I can make up to Janeway for all she
has done for me. End personal log.

STARDATE 48339.17 - Life aboard VOYAGER isn't bad. Well . . .
not that bad. I have to keep an eye out for the Maquis
crewmen. Just in case they decide to use me as a punching bag
for helping Janeway track them to the Badlands. I suspect that
a good number of the Starfleeters might want to do the same.

There is the Conn Division. On one hand, being head of the
division entitles me the position of chief pilot. So far, none
of them have been openly hostile - except for Henley, the lone
Maquis. And yet, they seemed reluctant to seriously pay
attention to the training I have devised for the division.
I'm trying to be thrilled about my new position as VOYAGER's
chief helmsman, but it's damn difficult to command a group of
people who consider me a criminal that deserves to spend the
next 70 years in the brig. How do you lead people like that?

It finally came to a head when I tried to give them a pep talk
about learning new piloting maneuvers. "We're Starfleet
pilots," Jon Hamilton had said. "Which means that we were
trained at the Academy, just like you. At least none of us had
killed anyone in a shuttle crash. And later lied about it.
For that remark, I assigned Hamilton to the Beta shift for the
next two weeks. Hey, I never claimed to be a saint. Vindictive,
yes, but not a saint. After my little disciplinary action
with Hamilton, the other pilots have ceased questioning my
piloting skills.

Chakotay certainly doesn't make life easy. Now that he is
VOYAGER's First Officer, he seems more interested in acting as
my tormentor, instead of bodyguard. If I'm two or three
minutes late on the Bridge, he doesn't hesitate to point it out
in front of everyone. Even worse, I've been summoned to his office on
several occasions regarding tardiness and Starfleet
procedures. Mind you, all of this is coming from a man who once
dropped out of Starfleet to join a terrorist group.

At least I have Harry's friendship. I just don't know how long that will last. Especially, since he has become friends with that
half-Klingon he was trapped on the Ocampan homeworld with. Her
name is B'Elanna Torres and she works in Engineering. I never
met her during my stint in the Maquis. I had only been with
Chakotay's cell for a few weeks before my capture, and she was
on a top-secret mission at the time. I must admit that I find
her very beautiful, although somewhat temperamental. She has
made it clear that like her fellow Maquis, she dislikes me.
Not that I care. I'm not exactly fond of her. I don't mind
her bad temper, but I find her self-righteousness a little hard
to take. A taint she had obviously picked up from Chakotay,
while they were both in the Maquis. I only hope that she
doesn't come between Harry and me. End personal log.

STARDATE 48443.01 - Nothing much happened recently. VOYAGER
got trapped into an event horizon. Which brought on the sticky
subject of temporal mechanics. God, I hate dealing with that!
It was one of my worst subjects in the Academy. One good
thing came out of it. The pilots under me wanted to know how I
flew VOYAGER out of that horizon. Even Hamilton. To be
honest, I did nothing spectacular. Especially since Janeway
ordered me to use the ship like a battering ram for our escape.

The event horizon brought about another change. Joe Carey is
no longer VOYAGER's Chief Engineer. B'Elanna Torres, Harry's
half-Klingon friend, has become the new chief. Despite
breaking Carey's nose in three different places. If that's how
one can become chief engineer, how does one become the first
officer? Or the captain? Chakotay must be thrilled that his
little protégée has joined the senior staff.

One last little tidbit that hasn't exactly made my day.
Because of a course in biochemistry I took at Starfeet, I am
now the new medical assistant and have to work with that
holographic egomaniac in Sick Bay. Sometimes I think the gods
must hate me. End personal log.

STARDATE 48533.7 - God, it's been one hell of a day! VOYAGER
came across a new race called the Vidiians, while searching for
a supply of dilithium.

These Vidiians are a race, who have been inflicted by some
deadly virus called the phage, for the past millinium or two.
To keep their race alive, the Vidiians have engaged in
stealing organs from other humanoids. Ugh! While on an Away
mission with Harry and Chakotay, Neelix had his lungs stolen by
two Vidiians.

If one ever thought that doctors made lousy patients, try
dealing with an annoying Talaxian. I would have removed those
holographic lungs the Doc had created for Neelix, just for a
little peace and quiet, if it weren't for Kes. She seemed very
concerned about Neelix and I had to assure her that he would
make it through this crisis. I just don't get it! What does
Kes see in a guy like Neelix, anyway? Gratitude for saving her
from the Kazon? Fortunately, VOYAGER managed to capture the
two Vidiians and one of them turned out to be a physician. He
found a way to alter a donated lung to match Neelix's
physiology. Guess who turned out to be the donator? That's
right, Kes. Sigh!

Speaking of doctors, our own chief medical officer is turning
out to be a real pain in the ass. I could understand the
little lecture about holographic matter and so forth. But did
the bastard have to slap my face to prove his point? If you
ask me, the man is a sadist. Maybe I can find a way to change
his personality subroutines. I've always been pretty good at
holoprogramming. There is one thing to be thankful. Kes has
just become the new medical assistant. Which means I won't
have to hang around Sickbay - unless necessary.

Oh, I forgot. Neelix has converted the Captain's private
dining room into the galley. And now, VOYAGER has a genuine
mess hall. Now that we have a cook, the crew can save
replicator energy. I don't know about the rest of them, but I
think I'll stick with replicated food. End personal log.

STARDATE 48549.92 - How can I put this in a nutshell? VOYAGER
explored a nebula, still searching for a supply of dilithium.
The nebula turned out to be a living organism that we damaged
during our little exploration trip. With a little fancy flying
from me, along with the Doctor and Torres' expertise, we
managed to repair the damage to the nebu . . . uh, the life
form. Of course, all of this resulted in VOYAGER being
drained another 20% of energy.

Anything else? Oh yes. Neelix decided to entertain the Bridge
crew with a few selections of Talaxian hors d'erves. Which I
declined - naturally. I also discovered that Harry remembers
being inside his mother's womb. What a shame there isn't a
ship's counselor on board. I think Harry could really use

I also introduced Harry to my new holoprogram - a recreation of
one of my favorite spots in the universe, Sandrine's. It's a
tavern I used to frequent, when I spent my second year in the
Academy at a Starfleet base in Marsailles, France. This
prompted Harry to remark that I miss Earth. Hell, if Earth
only consisted of Sandrine's, I would. By the way, I believe
that Sandrine, herself, has developed a little interest in my
good buddy.

After our encounter with the nebula/life form, the rest of the
crew decided to try out my program. Including the Captain, who
turned out to be quite the pool hustler. If only Starfleet
knew. The only person who seems to dislike Sandrine's was
Lieutenant Torres. One of my characters, Gaunt Gary, tried to
proposition her. She, in turn, called us both pigs. You know,
I'm beginning to suspect that Torres really lacks a sense of
humor. If the Captain could tolerate a few innuendos with good
grace, why couldn't she? End personal log.

STARDATE 48558.22 - Ran into Kes in the Mess Hall, this
evening. Since Neelix was busy preparing dinner for the crew,
I decided to offer her a little company. I learned a lot about
Kes. About her parents, her childhood on the Ocampan
homeworld, and her captivity by the Kazons. We spent so much
time talking about her that we barely touched on my background.
Which suited me just fine. Besides, with a certain Talaxian
cook giving us the evil eye every now and then, we decided to
end our little conversation. What the hell is wrong with
Neelix, anyway? Did he honestly think I would steal Kes from
him? Or ravage her? Hell, the worst anyone could accuse me of
is introducing Kes to my favorite drink - spinach juice, with a
touch of pear. End personal log.

STARDATE 48579.93 - We came so close to returning to the Alpha
Quadrant. Too close, if you ask me. Thank goodness for bad

Harry had discovered a wormhole that might lead back home.
Although I joked about the Federation (science institute)
naming the wormhole after him, inside I was filled with dread.
Home? Who wanted to go there? As far as I'm concerned,
VOYAGER is home. In the end, we discovered that the wormhole
was too small for the ship to travel through. The Captain
ordered Lieutenant Tuvok to launch a probe through the
wormhole, anyway. I suspect that she had hoped to make contact
with Starfleet. The probe got stuck in some eddy, thanks to
some phase variance. But we managed to eventually make
contact with a Romulan. Fortunately, this Romulan refused to
talk and cut off communication. But that didn't deter my good
buddy, Harry. While the rest of us slept, he decided to
continue attempts to re-establish contact with the Romulan.
Exactly what does he hope to accomplish? End personal log.

STARDATE 48582.31 - The wormhole turned out to be a bust and
boy, I am relieved! Hell, a return to the Alpha Quadrant would
mean only one thing for me - a reunion with my fellow convicts
at the Federation Penal Settlement in New Zealand. And that's
a fate I would like to avoid, thank you very much.

For a while, it seemed that the Alpha Quadrant awaited us. Not
only did Captain Janeway managed to re-establish contact with
the Romulan, Torres found a way to transport both objects and
people through the wormhole. Our Romulan contact, a scientist
on a top secret science vessel, became the first humanoid to be
transported through a wormhole, from one quadrant to another.

Then fortune finally stepped in when Tuvok discovered that the
phase variance caused us so much trouble, because the wormhole
not only lead to the Alpha Quadrant, but also twenty years in
the past. Also, our Romulan visitor will not live long enough
to send our messages to the Federation. I realize that the
others are upset, but as far as I'm concerned - all's well that
ends well. End personal log.

STARDATE 48588.21 - It's been difficult containing my glee over
our failed attempt with the wormhole. I must be the only
person aboard VOYAGER - aside from Neelix and Kes - who isn't
disappointed. Although I suspect that our Delta Quadrant
natives are disappointed on behalf of the crew..

Harry has been in a funk, over the past two days. I tried to
cheer him up with a trip to Sandrine's. Instead, he accused me
of being glad over the whole debacle. How could I deny the
truth? Right now, he's in Torres' quarters and both are
probably weeping together over lost opportunities. Do
Klingons weep? I have to look that up.

I can understand why Harry, the Captain and other 'Fleeters are
upset. But why are the Maquis? Don't they realize that a
return to the Alpha Quadrant meant a few years in prison for
them? They sure as hell can't return to fighting Cardassians.
After all, they're now officially Starfleet prisoners.

At the moment, Kes is the only person I can talk to. While
helping her in the Hydropondics Bay, I explained my feelings
about the wormhole to her. She seemed to understand. What a
relief to find someone I can be honest with.
End personal log.

STARDATE 48604.37 - How could I have been so stupid? What the
hell was I thinking?

Once again, I've gone ahead of myself. This is what happened.
VOYAGER encountered a race called the Baneans. They offered
to help repair VOYAGER's busted collimator. The Captain ordered Harry
to the Banean homeworld, to confer with their top scientist on
the repairs. And since they were at war with another race
called the Numeri, guess who had to fly Harry to Banea? That's
right! Me.

If only Captain Janeway had sent another pilot. If only
Doctor Ren had been married to an older and less attractive
woman. Hell! If only I had listened to Harry and Liddell, I
would not be in this mess! Liddell Ren. The moment I laid
eyes upon her, I fell in deep lust. Very beautiful and
obviously very bored with her marriage. And since I was bored
listening to Harry and the Doctor discuss engineering, I
decided to focus my attention on the gorgeous mistress of the

Poor Doctor Ren ended up murdered - stabbed in the heart. The
Baneans accused me of the deed, claiming that the good doctor's
memory engrams clearly showed that I was guilty. Only, I don't
remember stabbing the man. Nor do I remember kissing Liddell
in the Arterium. Unfortunately, the Baneans didn't believe
me, thanks to those memory engrams. And now, they have
convicted me of murder and punished me by grafting Doctor Ren's
engrams with my own. Every fourteen hours, I have to relive
the memory of the murder through his eyes. Something is not
right. The murder couldn't have happened like this!
Fortunately, the Captain and Tuvok arrived on Banea to
investigate and return me to VOYAGER. I only hope they can get
me out of this mess. End personal log.

STARDATE 48607.42 - Thank goodness for Tuvok! If it weren't
for him, I would have spent the rest of my life, reliving false
memories of Doctor Ren's murder, every 14 hours. Considering
how those engrams were frying my neural pathways, I would not
have lived very long.

Tuvok discovered that I was being used as a courier between the
Numeri, and a Banean doctor and Liddell, who were both traitors and
spies for the former. Great! Just what I always wanted to be.
As for Doctor Ren's memories - it turned out that other Banean
doctor planted altered memories onto my neural pathways.

Harry told me that he would never do what I did. Fool around
with the wrong woman. But he will. One day. And I told him
so. Okay, maybe Harry's comments did irk me a bit. But I was
serious when I told him that one day, he could meet the wrong
woman. It happens to a lot of guys. Including straight
arrows like Harry.

I found Lieutenant Tuvok in the Mess Hall and thanked him for
clearing me of murder. In his usual Vulcan fashion, he claimed
that he would have otherwise if I had been guilty. But I
thanked him, anyway. Perhaps for being himself, for once.
Others would have naturally assumed the worst and not bother to
investigate the matter. Tuvok had approached the case in his
usual objective manner, thank goodness. As for the rest of the
crew - well, they had all assumed I was guilty, until Tuvok
proved otherwise. With the exception of the Captain, Harry,
the Doctor and Kes. Thank goodness for friends. And the
Doctor. End personal log.

STARDATE 48635.01 - Will miracles cease to exist? I don't
think so. Especially after I was approached by one of the
Delaney sisters for a favor. It seems that Jenny has developed
an interest in a certain Operations chief and would like me to
arrange a date. Knowing Harry's devotion to a certain
fiancée, 70,000 light years away, I realize it would be
difficult to arrange this date. I've already tried it once and
it didn't work. Maybe I can try bribery. Or blackmail. Hmmm,
then again, Ensign Eager isn't the type to succumb to bribery.
And he hasn't done anything worth blackmailing over. Oh
well. Perhaps I’ll just pester him to death. End personal log.

STARDATE 48638.27 - What do you know? Pestering him to death,
actually worked! In the end, I finally got that double date I
had wanted. Harry, Jenny, Megan and I had the date in
Holodeck One, enjoying the charms of Venice. Well, Megan and I
were able to enjoy Venice. I can't say the same for Harry and
Jenny. They went for a ride in a gondola and in her enthusiasm
to seduce Harry, poor Jenny overexerted herself and both ended
up in the Grand Canal - heads first. If I didn't feel sorry
for Harry, I would have laughed. (Pauses) Okay, I did
laugh. But only after Megan laughed first. Her laughter can
be very contagious. So full of life. As for Harry and Jenny -
I have a feeling they won't be dating for quite a while. End
personal log.

STARDATE 48643.26 - The whole ship knows about the date with
Delaney sisters. Heck, even Torres and Seska were discussing
it, while the former oogled the ship's Marble Model. I'm
referring to, of course, Ensign Murphy. Actually, there are
two Ensign Murphys. The other Murphy serves under Tuvok in
Security, while the Marble Model is in the Science Division. I
wonder what Torres sees in a man who resembles a Starfleet
recruitment poster, anyway?

At least I'm no longer on the Maquis' shit list. Harry and I
actually managed to enjoy a conversation with Seska and Torres.
Our little camaraderie didn't last very long. Chakotay
summoned the Senior officers to the Bridge. It seemed Voyager
came across a ship emitting a distress signal. The ship is
from a nearby planet called Sikaris. And its inhabitants have
invited the crew to spend a few days there, and partake in its
pleasures. Sounds interesting. End personal log.

STARDATE 48643.38 - Ah, Sikaris! I must say it was a beautiful
planet with riches and food, galore for enjoyment. Many of the
women seemed very attractive. Unfortunately, my enjoyment of
the planet was nearly spoiled by my best friend.
After befriending a Sikarian woman named Endana, Harry
discovered that the Sikarians possessed some kind of trajector
that permitted folded-space transport. This trajector could
shorten Voyager's return to the Alpha Quadrant by 40,000 light

I could only imagine Janeway's reaction when she heard the
news. Excited. Relieved. To be honest, I didn't feel the
same. The further Voyager remained from Earth, the better for
me. Thanks to Harry's discovery of the trajector, the Alpha
Quadrant had loomed pretty close. Too close. Thankfully, the
Sikarians had a canon of laws similar to the Federation's Prime
Directive. Their laws prevented them from introducing their
technology to other cultures. You know, I usually have a dim
view of the Prime Directive. I mean, what is the point of
non-interference in an alien culture, when Starfleet is suppose
to be about exploration? You can't explore unknown worlds
without some kind of interference or influence - however
unintentional. The Captain plans to approach the Sikarian
government about making Voyager an exception to their rule. I
hate to say this, but I hope she fails. End personal log.

STARDATE 48648.68 - What a goddamn mess! Who would have
thought a visit to a pleasure-seeking planet would end with
Voyager nearly being destroyed by a warp core breach? And its
Security Chief and Chief Engineer ending in deep shit with the
Captain? Frankly, I'm just glad I'm not the one who messed

The Sikarian Council had rejected Janeway's request for Voyager
to use their trajector technology. Thank goodness! She had no
choice but to abide by their decision. But it didn't end
there. Harry's friend, Endana, introduced him to a Sikarian
man named Jaret Otel, who was willing to break his world's law
by trading the trajector technology for a library of Federation
literature. Harry, Seska, Torres and I discussed it. I more
or less told the others that they were wasting their time. The
Captain might consider Otel's offer, but in the end, she would
never go against Federation principles.

Of course, I was right. But Janeway's decision did not stop
Tuvok and Torres from making the exchange with Otel. And when
Voyager finally left orbit, the trajector proved to be
incompatible with Federation technology and nearly caused a
warp core breach. I learned from Harry that Seska and Joe
Carey were also involved in this scheme, but only Tuvok and
Torres got chewed out. If she had done worse, Voyager would
have ended up with Rollins or Pete Durst as Security Chief.
And Sue Nicoletti as Chief Engineer. I'm just glad that damn
trajector never worked. End personal log.

STARDATE 48662.6 - Will the Universe ever cease to amaze me?
It certainly didn't, today. Who would have thought? Seska, a
Cardassian! Not only was she a Cardassian, but an agent of the
Obsidian Order, assigned to infiltrate the Maquis! What can I
say? I'm shocked. (Pauses) Then again, knowing Seska's
character, perhaps not.

Thanks to encounter with a damaged Kazon-Nistrim ship, we
learned that someone aboard Voyager had been trading Federation
technology to the Kazon in exchange for their protection.
Suspects came down to two people - Seska and Joe Carey. Not
surprisingly, most of the 'Fleeters suspected Seska and the
Maquis, Carey. My choice was Seska. When I told Harry, both
Torres and Ayala overheard me. "Starfleet to the end, right
Paris?" Torres had said with her usual sneer.

I had told her that my Starfleet background had nothing to do
with my opinion. "I don't know Carey that well," I said, "but
I know Seska. I don't trust her within an inch of my life.
She has the brains and imagination to pull something like
this. And you all know how she feels about Federation
principles." To everyone's surprise, Ayala agreed. It seemed
he never really trusted Seska, either.

After Seska's escape to another Kazon ship, most of the Maquis
walked around, either in a daze or looking humiliated.
Especially Chakotay. He was, after all, Seska's loudest
defender and former lover. Poor Chakotay. He was always a
lousy judge of character. End personal log.