Star Trek: Voyager took a memorable break from its run of serious fifth-season episodes with “Bride of Chaotica!” – which first aired 15 years ago today. In it, Voyager runs aground on a subspace sandbar just as an alien presence makes itself felt and right as Tom Paris and Harry Kim are indulging in Chapter 18 of Tom’s holodeck program, The Adventures of Captain Proton. Much to everyone’s surprise, the trans-dimensional aliens believe the Captain Proton universe to be the real thing, thus provoking a war. And so the Voyager crew – with Captain Janeway assuming the guise of Aranchnia, Queen of the Spider People – plays within the rules of the Captain Proton program in order to bring down Doctor Chaotica’s lightning shield and save the day.
The episode – the 106th of Voyager, directed by Allen Kroeker and penned by Bryan Fuller and Michael Taylor -- remains essential Star Trek viewing, arguably ranking as one of Voyager’s best and most-entertaining hours. There was just so much to love, from the black and white cinematography on Planet X, the shaky sets and the tips of the cap to Flash Gordon and other cliffhanging serials of the 1920s and 1930s, to the terrific retro dialogue, barrage of inside jokes, winsome performances and more. To celebrate the 15th anniversary, read below for some of the choice dialogue, best bits and a few factoids and updates.
“I am sure you two were very close, but she is a holodeck character.” – Tuvok to Paris upon finding Constance Goodheart, Paris’ secretary, dead.
“Let me get this straight: Trans-dimensional aliens have mistaken your Captain Proton simulation for reality?” – Janeway to Paris.
“The destucto beam on my rocket ship can disable the death ray, but only if someone gets inside the Fortress of Doom and can shut down the lightning shield.” – Paris to the incredulous Voyager crew.
“Now that we have your blessing.” – B’Elanna to Seven of Nine.
“Stop.” – Tuvok.
“Break a leg.” – B’Elanna to the Doctor as he prepares to play the President of Earth.
“This is how you’ve been spending your free time?” – Janeway to Paris.
“… You can always uncork the pheromones.” – Paris to Janeway.
“We have a saying on Arachnia. It’s lonely at the top.” – Queen Arachnia to Doctor Chaotica.
“Impetuous harlot!” – Chaotica to Queen Arachnia.
“Ha – you’re no match for Arachnia!” – Queen Arachnia.
“My performance was unimpeachable.” – The Doctor.
“He doesn’t give up, does he?” -- Janeway to Paris about Doctor Chaotica.
“They never do.” – Paris, replying to Janeway.
You’ve got to love it when Harry comments on how familiar the Planet X set seems to him. That, of course, is a reference to the franchise's many recycled locations and also the infamous Planet Hell stage at Paramount, which all the shows utilized to create their assorted alien worlds, often too obviously.
How amusing is it when Janeway practically threatens Neelix to fetch her coffee, and not just coffee, but coffee black? And, when she sips it, her reaction is priceless.
Or, how about when Neelix explains to Janeway that there are only four working lavatories on Voyager? That’s one for the fanboys and fangirls out there. And his veiled reference to Bolian hygiene is pretty funny, too.
The perfectly cheesy ending, with the big question mark on the monitor and the evil laughter.
Satan’s Robot was just awesome.
DID YOU KNOW THAT…
… The Satan’s Robot costume sold at auction in 2007. It beamed up $4,658.
… Nicholas Worth, who played Lonzak, Chaotica’s head of defense in “Bride of Chaotica!” and “Shattered,” also played the Lissepian Captain in the DS9 episode “Progress” and Sorm in the DS9 hour “A Simple Investigation.” Worth passed away in 2007 at the age of 69.
… “Bride of Chaotica” is, to date, the only acting credit listed on IMDB for Kirsten Turner, who played the lovely, ever-screaming Constance Goodheart.
… Chaotica’s throne was the alien throne in the film Coneheads.
… Martin Rayner, who portrayed Doctor Chaotica in “Night,” “Bride of Chaotica!” and “Shattered,” is a veteran film, TV and stage actor. On a Saturday evening in 2010, he collapsed on stage while playing a dying Sigmund Freud in the Off-Broadway production of Freud’s Last Session. It turned out that Rayner was being treated for prostate cancer at the time. He was hospitalized briefly and recovered quickly enough to return to the show for the matinee performance the next day. Rayner is still working and has completed an upcoming short film entitled Tribute.
… Kate Mulgrew’s stunning Arachnia costume sold for $4,560 at the Christie’s Star Trek auction in 2006. Christie’s had estimated that it would sell for between $600 and $800.
… The man inside Satan’s Robot was Tarik Ergin. A background actor for all seven seasons of Voyager, Ergin also did background work on Generations and was both a background performer and stand-in on Enterprise.
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