Time for another Chakotay Chronicles, folks!
The requisite description:
Continuing the tradition from several weeks ago, whereSean floated the idea of the Chakotay Chronicles, I’m putting to digital paper the scarce appearances of Chakotay in the later episodes of Star Trek: Voyager.
Tonight’s episode was Season 6, Episode 25: The Haunting of Deck 12.
While the USS Voyager is without power for several hours, Neelix tells the children a ghost story of the events that lead up to it… or is it more than just a story? (spoiler alert: who cares?).
Quick Thoughts (No Time for Love, Dr. Jones)
This one’s a Neelix episode, “The Haunting of Deck 12.” I’d talk about how retarded Neelix episodes generally are, but we’re two minutes into the show and Chakotay has his first appearance! Whut!?
Minute 2: Not sure if you’d call it an appearance. I don’t normally do screencaps, but this is too precious not to capture.
No, my camera isn’t low-res and blurry – his appearance in this scene is almost entirely as a blurry background image.
No, he doesn’t get a speaking role.
Total Time on Screen (not including pause time): ~6 seconds.
Now, as I was saying, the thing with Neelix episodes …
…Whoops, had the show on fast forward during a Neelix monologue (Meesa Scared!) and a bridge scene came up. I’d screen cap it again to prove that Chakotay’s in it, but he’s just another blur. He was on screen for a grand total of … holy crap! Did he get a speaking role in the first half hour?
Yep. It’s minute 11:“We’ve got 80% of the Duterium we wanted,” he said, looking mighty furrowed in the brow. “Maybe we shouldn’t push our luck.”
Janeway agrees. Suddenly there’s a commotion.
“A discharge penetrated the hull! Power outages on three decks!” he said, sounding only slightly less concerned than before when they were pushing their luck. “No injuries reported!”
Total Time on Screen: ~15 seconds
Minute 16. We’ve got another speaking role. He comes in hot through the door to Janeway’s ready room, mumbling something about repair teams, rattling a list of things that are busted all over the ship. He then stands around for a minute pushing buttons on a PADD.
Janeway and Chakotay have a jovial conversation about talking to inanimate objects, and realize that the irrepressible Tom Paris has been driving the ship in circles.
The computer starts reading off all the names on the duty roster, and Janeway tells him to get his ass in gear and figure it out – he leaves the bridge, but inexplicably, the camera follows him, for a good three minutes in a row before switching briefly back to Neelix for a minute.
Total Time on Screen: a solid 3 minutes.
Minute 20: “If I didn’t know any better, I’d say this ship is trying to kill me!” he exclaims, exposing his paranoia to engineering. Before he can start talking about the evil space illuminati and the order of federation freemasons, it switches to 7 of 9 berating an ensign.
Total on screen time, 20 seconds.
Alright. Neelix keeps getting distracted telling his story, so this is probably a good time to start explaining why it is that I generally don’t like Neelix episodes, or the Neelix character in general.
Whenever I’m watching a Neelix episode, I’m always struck…
… oh holy hell, it’s another Chakotay scene. This is seriously getting annoying.
Minute 28. It’s a POV shot of B’Elanna and Chakotay rushing to help a downed 7 of 9.
“Computer! Cut power to the force fields!” In a dramatic swing on his heels, after the computer fails to comply, he looks at B’Elanna and says something about doing it manually, which doesn’t carry any of the double entendre you’d expect that phrase to have.
Then he fires his phasar at the computer. Again, no double entendre.
Total on screen time: ~30 seconds.
Minute 30: Camera pans past Chakotay. Total on screen time: ~1 second (literally the same amount of time as four other extras).
Minute 31: I think I just spotted a continuity error here (damnit Chakotay, why are you making me pay this much attention to a show!), where the camera flips back and forth as Tom Paris comes in to the sickbay. In one shot, Chakotay isn’t there, and the next, he’s magically materialized. Musta been a site to site transport from eight feet away.
He’s got a speaking part here, but I can’t hear exactly what he’s saying over Tom’s yelling like a little girl in the medbay next to him. Something about venting gas and intelligence at work. Total on screen time: ~30 seconds.
I’m noticing that Chakotay’s not on this episode much more than other episodes measured by time. He’s got a half a dozen appearances so far, but most of them, save for the 3 minute stretch, are less than a few seconds.
So, as I was saying, the thing about Neelix …
… sorry, false alarm there. It seems every time I type that phrase, Chakotay pops up on the screen. Looks like his run of luck has ended, and it’s pretty much Neelix and
Spock Tuvok for the rest of this thing.
Crap, Neelix must be the safe word…
The last two seconds of his on-screen time, he’s not even looking at anyone else in the scene, just looking down, shaking his head back and forth, and you just know he’s thinking "what the hell am I doing with my life." The camera pans over to some action, and he doesn’t even bother to try to get into the background.
About two minutes later the camera pans back, and you can almost see him behind a beam.
In fact, the camera has panned past him about five times now, and he said inquisitively at one point “Captain?” … but it’s a total on screen time of maybe 10 seconds.
Minute 45: “It could be a trap, Captain.” Doesn’t suggest bringing an axe. Total time on screen: 3 seconds.
Minute 46: Neelix is having a dream with all his friends there, but Chakotay’s not even in it. Total on screen time: 0.
OK. I’ve seen this episode before, and I’m pretty sure that’s all she wrote for Chakotay this episode, at least until the end of the episode, so I’ll try to tell you my hangups with Neelix epsiodes.
The problem with these episodes is that I’m always struck by the mental image of a Wookie and a Gungan (i.e. Jar-Jar) mating (mostly because that’s the only plausible explanation as to how such an annoying, scaly, hairy beast like Neelix must have come to exist.
Now that I’ve finally typed it out completely, it sounds pretty disgusting, and a little anti-climactic. Like I probably shouldn’t have typed that out where other people could read it.
Minute 56: Chakotay would almost have a good eight seconds of on-screen time here, if the hall light would stop strobing, so I’m cutting this one in half. He announces that the entire crew has evacuated save him and the captain. Janeway tells him to take a hike. He does, without any argument, which I’m pretty sure breaks a dozen regulations a First Mate is supposed to adhere to. Total on screen time: 4 seconds.
Minute 59: Chakotay asks how the children are. They’re ok. End of the episode. Total time on screen: about 2 seconds.
See you next time, folks!
Total Time on Screen: 5:15
That’s by far a record of all the Chakotay Chronicles thus far. Can he beat it next episode? Not bloodly likely. Tune to find out, just in case.