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Star Trek Voy - Season 6 - Episode 18

Star Trek Voy - 6x18 - Ashes to Ashes

Originally Aired: 2000-3-1

A crewman returns to Voyager. [DVD]

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 4.28

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# Votes: 13 7 7 7 9 12 14 8 7 3 2

- Why have we never, ever seen Ballard before?
- How could Ballard have ever possibly caught up with Voyager?
- If Ballard died 3 years ago, how could she have been killed by a Hirogen? For that matter, don't the Hirogen claim their trophies?
- Why hasn't Mezoti been returned to Norcadia? They rescued her from the Borg one episode after Voyager made first contact with her home planet!

- Borg Species Designation: 689, Norcadian.

Remarkable Scenes
- The opening scene. I liked Ballard switching from Kobali to English.
- Seven of Nine: "Fun will now commence."
- Seven of Nine's less than perfect parenting skills.
- Tom: "For those of us keeping score, Harry Kim has fallen for a hologram, a Borg, the wrong twin, and now the dearly departed!"
- The doctor: "Hair is one of my specialties, despite evidence to the contrary."

My Review
Good concept, nice premise, a well flowing story, and a great guest starring actress playing Ballard, but the flaws in this one spoil the ride. With more careful writing the episode could have been a lot better. It's hard to watch an episode like this because the execution of the premise was nicely done. If continuity did not exist, there wouldn't be a problem with this episode at all. But there are things in this episode that are hard to justify which wreck a lot of the fun. For details, see the problems section. Otherwise, this episode would have scored well above a 5.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Robert on 2006-12-29 at 4:06pm:
    I always thought they really missed an opportunity here. If they had to bring back a dead crewman for the story, why not bring back Harry? Remember, the 'real' Harry was killed in "Deadlock" and was replaced with the 2nd Voyager's. Wouldn't it have been a kick if it was his body that had been recovered by the Koboli?
  • From Pete Miller on 2007-01-16 at 5:15pm:
    First of all, this episode is an example of how VOY is suffering from "Badda Bing" syndrome, as you might put it. It's well into season 6 and we're getting a bunch of random crap like this rather than major advancements in the storyline. This episode might have been appropriate had the dead ensign been someone we knew. (In fact this would have been a good way for them to bring back Yar in TNG rather than make her some kind of Romulan hybrid.)

    Secondly, this episode is a perfect example of a problem I have trouble reconciling, that Star Trek is rife with: The universal translator. When Ballard starts speaking Kobali, how can Torres tell the difference? The translator should be giving it to her in english or Klingon, or whatever she speaks. Example: When Ballard's "father" comes on board, he is almost definitely speaking Kobali, and everyone can understand him just fine.

    This problem is all over the place in star trek. When Worf or Martok or whoever says something in Klingon, how can people tell the difference? Furthermore, isn't martok *always* speaking Klingon?

    I realize that the UT is a necessary plot device, but I wish they either mentioned this magic ability it has to determine when you want to speak unintelligibly to the rest of the crew, or just stop putting these problems in.
  • From Rob on 2008-04-26 at 8:37pm:
    I completely agree with the other Robert... in fact, when I first saw this episode I immediately thought "This could have been a great Harry episode if the 'original' was now the Koboli" and I also thought they could have easily used Ahni Jetal from "Latent Image" and given the Doctor and Harry both an emotionally powerful scene.

    Again: Voyager = Wasted Opportunities
  • From f. ive on 2010-01-29 at 5:37pm:
    ah, Lyndsay Ballard. To me, the cutest and most sweetest female character of all the Star Trek series. Why couldn't she just stay and be happy?
  • From Anonymous on 2013-01-13 at 2:56am:
    To both Rogers, that Voyager was blown up, there would have been no recoverable body.
  • From Al on 2015-10-02 at 11:34pm:
    Anon that 2 Robs.

    Yes but from the more damaged Voyager copy, Harry dies when he is lost/thrown(?) into outer space. A twist to the ultra fab "Dreadlock" is breached by the Vidians is the less damaged Voyager, leading for that Janeway to order Harry takes the Wildman's baby (like Harry, died in the other ships reality) with him to the other ship as the successful Vidian boarding the "healthier" Voyager now means that 'J' will stop the the invasion by self destructing, destroy in the Vidians threat + setting the other Voyager free to escape the "lock" of phenomena that divided the ship, now given the reversal of fortune the clear best chance of survival (of the two ships) with the Vidians breaching the other ship
  • From Vmail on 2015-12-15 at 11:09am:
    I agree that bringing back Ahni Jetal would have made the most sense... they could even have used a different actor without much of a problem
  • From parkbench on 2016-03-01 at 2:01am:

    thanks peter miller for noting the translator problem. as a bilingual person who has enjoyed fleetingly studying languages over the years and who works occasionally as a translator, it frustrates me to no end that the universal translator principle is always assumed even to the point of not making sense. i'm a few episodes past this now ("muse") and just trying to understand how communication is happening at all, unless you assume that the matrix locks into your freaking lobes without you even realising it--this somehow on a crashed and non-functioning away mission ship...

    also, i wish that ballard had stayed on as a "teaser" permanent character. they could have milked this story arc for a few episodes, made her a kind of 'background' main-character for 3 or 4 episodes with hints of her feelings changing as a back story, and then her actual loss at the end, actually messing w viewers' expectations of a new permanent character. she certainly looked creatively done as an alien; i wish seven's difference w rest of the crew was that pronounced (supermodel w/ 3 pieces of visible robotics is kind of too obviously eye candy/fetish...).

    so yeah, cute episode, but lost opportunities, the name of the voyager game.
  • From McCoy on 2017-10-22 at 11:30am:
    In short - it was awful.
    I agree with all noted continuity/logical problems, but it's the morality of this episode which bothers me most.
    But first - why Kobali are altering alien DNA? They've lost their reproduction ability? Or maybe they've never existed as a species and this "pathogen" is some kind of virus, somehow altering humanoids into "kobali form"?
    I find their behavior disgusting and amoral. You can't explain it by "different culture". Stealing a body, altering and reanimating it is very similar to what Borg are doing.
    And my final question - why Janeway allowed Ballard to go back to Kobali? Because she really wanted it? Well, it's bull... Seven didn't want to be disconnected from the collective and it doesn't mean she should stay with Borg.
    Now I want to forget that episode and never see the Kobali again.
  • From Amelia Obumhardt on 2022-03-04 at 3:44pm:
    Agreed with pretty much everyone here, they should have brought back someone we knew, I was thinking Suter, the killer that Tuvok helped mentally.

    Instead they wasted most of the episode on exposition for a character nobody cares about. Terrible.
  • From maggie on 2022-07-06 at 12:55pm:
    Ugh, the Kobali seem to be a rip off of the Oankali in Octavia Butler’s Xenogenisis series. The Kobali use the dead instead of live species with the Oankali. And of course their looks differ too. Otherwise, both mix their DNA with the alien species to reproduce. Both use stasis chambers and place their alien “mates” with families. Both offspring struggle with identity. Don’t forget the similar sounding names…

    I don’t see Octavia Butler credited anywhere. For two species to have so many similarities and not be acknowledged feels icky. At min, it’s inspired by, at most it’s a copy with minor modifications.

    I’m sure it’s tough being a writer for a revered show. But they can’t be so out of ideas that they are snatching storylines from an award winning sci-fi author, right?

    Should have just expanded on the Seven of Nine/mom/teacher/etc episode. Glad for the continuity there.

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