The U.S.S. Voyager and her crew faced some pretty tough times during season five of Star Trek: Voyager, and so fans were caught by surprise -- and thoroughly entertained -- when suddenly “Bride of Chaotica!” beamed on to their screens. The date was January 27, 1999, or 20 years ago today. In the memorable hour, 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 shock, the trans-dimensional aliens believe the Captain Proton universe to be the real thing, thus provoking a war. As a result, the Voyager crew – with Captain Janeway assuming the guise of Arachnia, 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.
Come on, you cracked up 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.
Inside joke lovers surely smiled when Harry commented on how familiar the Planet X set seemed to him. That, of course, was 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.
Satan’s Robot is simply awesome.
How about Neelix's veiled reference to Bolian hygiene? Or when our favorite Talaxian explains to Janeway that there are only four working lavatories on Voyager? That’s one for the fanboys and fangirls out there.
That insanely cheesy ending, with the big question mark on the monitor and the evil laughter.
Did you know...
- To date, "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.
- $4,658. That's how much the Satan’s Robot costume fetched at auction in 2007.
- If Nicholas Worth, who played Lonzak, Chaotica’s head of defense in “Bride of Chaotica!” and “Shattered,” looks familiar, that's because he also portrayed the Lissepian Captain in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Progress” and Sorm in the DS9 hour “A Simple Investigation.” Worth passed away in 2007 at the age of 69.
- The episode's Doctor Chaotica, Martin Rayner, also played the role in “Night” and “Shattered.” A veteran film, TV and stage actor, Rayner collapsed on stage while performing as a dying Sigmund Freud in a 2010 production of the Off-Broadway show, 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 actually starred in a Los Angeles staging of Freud's Last Session last year, which gave StarTrek.com the perfect excuse to interview him. Recalling the fact that "Bride of Chaotica" was shot in color but aired in glorious black and white, he said, "They were shot in color so they could be made into sepia. I have a color photograph of me on the throne in my full outfit. It's really beautiful. But it looks fantastic in the sepia effect. The makeup, I didn't even know what that was going to be until I sat in the chair and they took, I guess, a couple of hours to do it. What I liked was that it was still nicely me. I wasn’t completely covered over by makeup. So, that was my ego that I felt, but I thought, 'People still know it's me.'”
- Tarik Ergin was the man inside the Satan's Robot costume. 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.
- 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.