Voyager runs out of deuterium in open space. Janeway orders to shut down many of the ship's systems to save energy, but Seven insists on keeping the astrometric lab online. She finds a source of deuterium on a nearby planetoid. Although it is a Class-Y or "Demon-class" planetoid with a very hostile environment, she can convince the captain to alter course because it is the only chance of refueling the ship.
After an attempt to beam up deuterium has failed and the transporters are offline, Harry and Tom take a shuttle to the surface. Harry is dragged into a puddle of a silvery liquid he investigates, and the sealing of his spacesuit fails. Tom's spacesuit fails too, and the two are about to suffocate. Janeway decides to land the ship to rescue the two officers. Chakotay and Seven find Harry and Tom, who are alive and well - without their spacesuits! Aboard Voyager, the two are not able to breathe the normal air any longer. They have been "bioformed" to survive on the planet, which they feel connected to.
Some time later another Tom and Harry are found on the surface - unconscious and still in their spacesuits. The two other individuals are duplicates created by the biomimetic fluid, the "Silver Blood". The Silver Blood is a lifeform that experiences sentience for the first time after duplicating the two officers. Now the fluid begins to submerge Voyager in an attempt to keep the ship and thereby the company from leaving. Janeway arranges a deal that the Silver Blood releases the ship under the condition that the rest of the crew permits to be duplicated as well.
Errors and Explanations
- Chris on Sunday, November 15, 1998 - 10:48 am: Why can’t Voyager make deuterium? All it is is hydrogen with an extra neutron, even in the 20th century we can make it no problem! Where would they be expected to get the extra neutron from?
- Werner Weiss on Tuesday, December 15, 1998 - 3:57 am: Did Janeway made an agreement with that fluid lifeform, in which Voyager get some deuterium for letting it copy the whole crew? NSetzer on Tuesday, December 15, 1998 - 5:36 am: She wouldn't have gotten off the planet if she didn't.
- Hans Thielman on Tuesday, December 15, 1998 - 1:00 pm: How does Demon class correspond to letter class rating for planets? An M class planet, for example, has earthlike conditions. Johnny Veitch on Wednesday, December 16, 1998 - 12:58 pm: Demon-class is just colloquial, they're really Y-class.
- Chris Thomas on Sunday, June 13, 1999 - 8:33 am: Why is the EMH running in this episode if they're conserving energy? I know Chakotay threatens to turn him off but surely if things are that desperate, he should only - only - be used for a medical emergency. If everyone else is making sacrifices, shouldn't the Doctor be? Matthew Patterson (Mpatterson) on Sunday, June 13, 1999 - 11:36 am: Ah, but holodeck power is incompatible with anything else, so it really wouldn't make a difference…yeah, right. That has got to be the lamest excuse for having holodeck shows that I have ever seen. What they should do is have the Doctor on the mobile emitter full-time and activate a copy of him in Sickbay as backup or in emergencies. Chris Thomas on Monday, June 14, 1999 - 3:51 am: They actually say the holodeck is off limits in this episode to conserve power - you'd think the same would apply to the Doctor as well.
- Mark Swinton on Saturday, October 23, 1999 - 1:19 pm: I'm sorry to say there's a really big nit that proves that the creators forget themselves! Come with me to the scene in the Medlab where Janeway and B'Elanna analyse a sample of the "silver blood". B'Elanna picks up the petri dish with the sample on, whereupon the sample flows onto her thumb and she panics a bit. Janeway tells her to hold on, and sure enough the sample moves off again. It then mimics B'Elanna's thumb. I half-expected Janeway to say, "Ah, a coalescent being. Dr. Crusher of the Enterprise had a similar encounter about five years ago - it took the shape of an engineer's dog and nearly killed the chief engineer." Alas, this didn't happen. cableface on Saturday, October 23, 1999 - 3:17 pm: Well, that would be to assume that everyone in Starfleet knows every little thing about everyone else in Starfleet. Which would be a hell of an achievemant. Mark Swinton on Tuesday, October 26, 1999 - 10:19 am: To Mr. Cableface- true, though I really meant to point out that after the Enterprise "discovered" coalescent beings, Starfleet would surely have briefed all it's command officers about them (just as they briefed them about things like Q or the Omega Directive). cableface on Wednesday, October 27, 1999 - 2:07 pm:Well perhaps......but Q and the Omega directive were things which in all possibility a starship captain might face. On the other hand, maybe Starfleet figured there wasn't much chance of these beings being seen again, and thus there was not much point in having a full briefing.
Ex Astris Scientia
- Chakotay argues with Seven that conventional sensors must suffice to find a deuterium source. But only her improved astrometric sensors find the Class-Y planetoid. The conventional sensors that otherwise pinpoint specific lifesigns across a whole sector can't find a huge supply of deuterium in the immediate neighborhood? They may not be sensitive enough to detect it through localised interference.
- How could the real Paris and Kim survive so long in the poisonous atmosphere after their spacesuits were broken? Auto repair system?
- It should be "500 Kelvins", not "500 degrees Kelvin" as Tom says. People automatically use the word degrees when refering to temperature.
- Chris S If the ship just needs a cup of deuterium, why do they not have bottles of the stuff in reserve? Perhaps it needs specilised storage, such as the main deuterium tank.
- More to the point, how comes the Bussard scoops did not collect the stuff on Voyager's travels? There may not have been sufficent hydrogen to make this worth the effort.
- If this is not the case, what are the purpose of the scoops? They collect standard hydrogen, which is chemically different from deuterium.
- According to the startrek.com episode list, the provisional stardate for this episode is 51893.