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Star Trek Voy - Season 3 - Episode 16

Star Trek Voy - 3x16 - Blood Fever

Originally Aired: 1997-2-5

Torres gets involved in a Vulcan mating ritual. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 4.62

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 19 19 5 3 6 6 8 24 15 8 4

- You'd figure that in the 200 years the Federation has existed, there'd be more medical information about the Pon Farr by now. The original Enterprise's incident with Spock in TOS: Amok Time couldn't have been the only such Pon Farr incident between then and now.

- There are 73 male crewmembers aboard Voyager according to Vorik.
- Tuvok was once injured in a combat simulation. He was artificially implanted with a new elbow joint.

Remarkable Scenes
- Torres' very polite reaction to Vorik's proposal of marriage.
- The doctor: "For such an intellectually enlightened race, Vulcans have a remarkably Victorian attitude about sex." Tuvok: "That is a very human judgment, doctor." The doctor: "Then here's a Vulcan one. I fail to see the logic in perpetuating ignorance about a basic biological function." Tuvok: "There is nothing logical about the Pon Farr."
- Torres' mood swings.
- Tuvok confronting Vorik.
- The doctor suggesting that Vorik take out his... desires... on a holographic Vulcan female.
- Torres finding Tom irresistible.
- Vorik challenging Tom.
- Vorik fighting Torres.
- Tom and Torres discussing what happened in the turbolift at the end.
- The Borg corpse...

My Review
Vorik undergoes the Pon Farr, showing us once again how ridiculous Vulcan mating rituals are. I couldn't agree more with the doctor's complaints. The episode does make for some interesting entertainment though. Vorik pursues Torres, Torres pursues Tom. Tuvok tries to stay neutral but can't, and the doctor complains the whole way. Besides the emotional characters and the fighting, I was quite impressed with Chakotay's and Tuvok's handling of the xenophobic aliens in this episode. Someone invaded their world, so they dug deep underground and camouflaged their colony. At the very end of the episode, we find out who it was that invaded their world. The Borg... a very interesting cliffhanger.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Inga on 2013-09-15 at 6:31am:
    I like how B'Elana was fighting for her own 'hand', instead of having been a hopeless observer of two men fighting over her. That's one of my most hated stereotypes in TV shows/movies, so I find Voyager's take on it very refreshing.
  • From L on 2013-12-20 at 10:14pm:
    Totally ridiculous that they would allow anyone to be a crew-member when they are guaranteed at some point to become a severe and dangerous liability and may compromise the ship's survival.
    Why are Vulcan's allowed to serve and still keep this condition a cultural secret so it can't be planned for or mitigated medically?
    If they want to serve then they should have to be candid about this condition.

    Exactly what is the status of holograms as sex-relief devices? It seems that is an accepted and known use, so it's a bit strange that the Doctor's brain-wave is any kind of breakthrough solution - it should have been the obvious one.

    This episode made me dis-like Torres more.

    And was that Gul-Dukat in the caves?

  • From thaibites on 2014-03-30 at 4:38am:
    I agree with L's comments. Torres is normally an extremely unlikable person, but in this episode she's completely out of control.
    I'm sick of her ranting and raving. I'm sick of the actress hopping around like a bunny rabbit every time she's supposed to show that the character is upset. And, I'm sick of the crew always ENABLING (remember that politically correct word?) her to act like an emotionally out of control lunatic whenever the poor, spoiled child gets frustrated.
    Please kill Torres. Please.
  • From Dstyle on 2015-05-01 at 10:23am:
    Oh my goodness, this is some sci-fi writer's greatest sexual fantasy come to life! This girl I'm hot for is literally throwing herself at me, but I'm going to be a perfect gentleman and insist that she keep her lady parts under wraps. Whoa, she threw herself at me again? No, you're not in your right mind right now! Oh, wait, if we don't get naked and squishy she's going to die? Oooh-kaaaay, I GUESS I'll do it, but only because it's the only right thing to do!

    I bet I would've loved this episode when I was 13.
  • From Jadzia Guinan Smith on 2015-06-01 at 8:15pm:
    @Dstyle --LOL. You're so right. This is SOOO a piece of fan service for 13-year-old boys. I think sometimes "romance" and sex are also thrown in as a misguided attempt to lure female viewers. Just as they want to hook the teenage boy viewership with gratuitous sex, they want to hook women with the underlying "romance" (e.g., Tom being turned on, but still refusing to take advantage of his love object). But I can tell you, as a woman, it's exactly this kind of overemphasis on relationships and degenerating into a soap opera in space that made me like Voyager (as a series) a LOT less than I would have, otherwise. I have to say, though, given the contrived script, the actors did a phenomenal job of keeping the urgency of the scenes quite natural. Paris and Torres have incredible on-screen chemistry and they managed to give a mature performance out of a silly, fans-ervice type script.
  • From peterwolf on 2015-07-07 at 5:19pm:
    A rather silly episode, which could have been much better. The fight between Torre and the Vulcan is ridiculous. I simply cannot believe that this tender woman/klingon could knock out a Vulcan. The whole Vulcan/Klingon/human strenth issue is rubbish. The well trained James Kirk was equal to the "super-human" Spock (of course only half Vulcan!) in hand to hand combat. So I think the whole issue is not well integrate d in Star Trek and badly executed.
  • From Mike on 2017-05-27 at 6:58pm:
    Disagree that this is some kind of sci-fi sex fantasy for 13-year-old boys. First of all, I refer you to Counselor Troi's wardrobe in ST:TNG. There is no more flagrant example of selling sex to the young male fan base in the entire franchise and one scene where Paris and Torres get a little steamy isn't even close to that. Also, other episodes in other ST series have dealt with these kind of issues (interspecies mating and sex themes) before. Admittedly this one is a bit more focused on the primal urges and a couple lines are rather cheesy, but I don't think they got as carried away with it as the above reviews claim. I laughed at Janeway's reaction to the Doctor's thoughts on Torres' prescription.

    Also, it's true that Vulcan mating rituals are odd but I thought of it more as a culture which has embraced logic and dispassion struggling to deal with a remnant of its more extreme evolutionary past. What's more, I don't see Pon Farr as conflicting with male Vulcan service aboard starships any more than the unique challenges other species face. You have races that embrace ritual suicide, races that require special breathing apparatus, and races that have special sensitivities to heat and cold, all of which are potentially more problematic than having to mate every seven years.

    All that being said about the overreaction to the mating aspect of this episode, I also enjoyed the subplot involving the Sakari. Another ominous reference to a species that was nearly wiped out by the Borg, all the more imminent of a threat given that this is the Delta Quadrant. We pretty much knew Voyager would encounter them eventually, it was just a matter of when.
  • From Dstyle on 2017-10-02 at 2:30pm:
    Mike: just because Troi's plunging neckline exists doesn't make this any less of a 13-year old geek fanboy fantasy. Just because it happened before doesn't mean it can't happen again: it's not a zero-sum game here. Speaking as someone who was once a shy, nerdy 13-year old sci-fi fanboy, I can assure you that this ABSOLUTELY meets that criteria.
  • From Axel on 2018-06-11 at 7:50pm:
    Yeah Star Trek went off the rails a little bit with pon farr. I have a hard time believing that a benevolent philosophy based on logic could stick in a society where half the population goes through this every seven years. They should've had pon farr be an Orion thing, not Vulcan. Or, hell, make it a Klingon mating ritual....although pon farr may already be mild flirting by Klingon standards.

    The absurdity of all of this, combined with the Doctor's legitimate and unrefuted criticisms of pon farr, almost makes this episode a Star Trek self-parody, but I doubt that was the intent. And while I agree this doesn't exactly help Torres character development, I doubt it was the writers who wanted this to look like a masturbatory fantasy; historically with Star Trek, sex appeal has been the network or producers. Remember, this is the show that kept Garrett Wang purely because he made a list of TV's sexiest people, and is also the show that put Jeri Ryan in a tight "skin-regenerating" suit. Granted, keeping Wang and hiring Ryan both worked out, I feel, for story purposes, but both actions were taken for the sake of the show's sex appeal.

    Anyway, trivia time: Alexander Enberg, who played Vorik in this episode, also played a Vulcan named Taurik on TNG: Lower Decks. Thankfully, Taurik did not go through pon farr in that episode, but the fact that the same actor played both characters has led some to speculate that, within the Star Trek universe, the two were twin bros :)

    And yes, the Sakari subplot was a chilling reminder and preview of the crew's coming encounter with the Borg!

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