Saturday 3 December 2022
So, that's it. No more Carruthers Ten Years On posts and probably no more Carruthers posts at all. Looking back at the Carruthers blog with the distance that a decade can provide has brought a lot of things back. The frustration that we didn't manage to do more. The pride in some of the things that we did achieve. I'm enormously grateful to Andy Cartwright and Mike Everhard for all their hard work on scripts, sketches, songs etc. We had fun, but I think we should have had a lot more.
Monday 14 November 2022
About this time in 2019, I pitched an article about how the futuristic sounding year of 2020 had been depicted in science fiction:
predicts the New Year
(Originally written for Hero Collector, published 30 December 2019
Science fiction is full of predictions about the future and with 2020 stretching ahead of us now seems like a good time to take a look at what to expect from the year ahead. David Black plays Nostradamus.
People of Cwmtaff, Wales, don’t walk on the grass! The ground will begin swallowing people up after a large drilling installation bores down to over 21km beneath the Earth’s surface. As Doctor Who proved in The Hungry Earth and Cold Blood that the Eleventh Doctor, Amy Pond and Rory Williams will discover a subterranean Silurian city. Humanity and Homo Reptilia will clash and in an effort to prevent an all-out war the Silurian elder will order his people back into suspended animation for a millennium. As a result of the conflict, Rory will be killed for the first time and then wiped from history altogether by a crack in time. Back on the surface, the drilling operation will be destroyed in the explosion. The Doctor will give humanity an ultimatum to be ready to share the planet by the time the Silurians reawaken.
It’s usually good advice to be yourself, but the Dollhouse finale, Epitaph Two – Return, informs us that by 2020, it’ll be much more of a challenge. Half the world’s population will have had their identities wiped by technology that originally came from the Dollhouse in Los Angeles a decade earlier. These blank canvasses are known as ‘Dumbshows’ and they wander the world ready for an imprint of a different personality. They are often hunted by ‘Butchers’, individuals imprinted with violent tendencies. Only a handful of ‘Actuals’, people with their own personality inside their own head, remain. A small group including ‘Dolls’ and staff from the LA Dollhouse will risk life and limb to use a pulse-bomb device designed to wipe the remaining population to return everyone’s personalities to their original owners instead.
Book your holiday early this year as intricate time-travel thriller Dark has shown us that the apocalypse will begin in the German town of Winden on June 27. The day before the local nuclear power plant is due to be decommissioned, a police investigation will unearth a repository of toxic waste in an old mothballed reactor. A ‘God particle’ will form and will be influenced by similar particles in 1921 and 2053. The particle expands exponentially destroying the power station and its surroundings. Only a handful of people will survive in underground locations and alternate realities.
the weather will be decidedly inclement. The construction of NASA’s Mars base will be completed this year. The base will then be promptly destroyed by an army of androids from the planet Guk. The androids, led by an individual named Zelda, will set up a base of their own on Mars as a bridgehead to an invasion of Earth as seen in Terrahawks.sources, this is the year that dormant Daleks from a spacecraft crashed in the mercury swamps on the planet Vulcan (not that one) will be reactivated by a scientist from the nearby human colony. Doctor Who’s The Power of the Daleks shows us that the metal mutants will initially act as servants to the colonists until they are able to reproduce themselves and then they will attempt to take over a human colony. Only the efforts of the newly regenerated Second Doctor will prevent them from being successful.
A virus will wipe out most of humanity with only a handful of survivors. Believing himself to be The Last Man on Earth, Phil Miller moves into an opulent, gated community and when not hoarding priceless artworks and pornography, he proudly uses a swimming pool as a toilet.
2020 is the year in which you will almost certainly die whether under an oppressive regime, a virus or quantum physics gone rogue. If you manage to survive then existence will be tough and the best places to wait for civilisation to get back to normal are either outer space or at the bottom of the ocean. Steer clear of dragons and Daleks and stay close to some decent sanitation.
Happy New Year!
- - -
The obvious elephant in the room is that a fatal virus did hit humanity in 2019, but after I submitted this. I got very ill at the end of 2019, months before Covid officially reached the UK and long before the vaccine and testing, so I'll never know if I had it then. Covid didn't wipe out the human race in 2020, but it has killed 6.61 million people at the time of posting.
Trump did not win a second term, he was beaten by Biden. France did accept the result of the election, but enough Republicans pretended not to have lost that Trump was able to promote a conspiracy theory that the election was stolen from him, despite a conclusive absence of proof. He monetised this lie and raised $250 million which he then did not use as promised. Trump supporters seeking to overturn democracy were responsible for an armed insurrection on the 6th of January 2021. Faith in democracy is at a depressing low.
Monday 31 October 2022
I wrote this for Hero Collector in 2019, unsurprisingly for Halloween:
When Buffy, Star Trek and more do Halloween
(Originally written for Hero Collector, published 31 October 2019
Tonight’s the night that ghosts and ghouls come out to play, and TV shows embrace the occasion. David Black shines a light on things that go bump in the night and the world of genre.
The Grave (1961)
Originally filmed as
part of the second season of Rod Serling’s anthology series, The
Grave was deemed a better fit for the Halloween period and was held
over until the third. It’s a tale of regret and retribution. Hired
gunman, Conny Miller rides into town to learn that his quarry, the
outlaw Pinto Sykes, has been killed and buried in the spectacularly
creepy cemetery nearby. Miller is disappointed and had hoped to kill
The talk in the town’s saloon is that Sykes said if Miller “ever come anyways close to his grave, he'll reach up and grab you”, and this quickly turns into a wager. Miller must visit Sykes’ grave and stab it with a bowie knife borrowed from the barman as proof. Miller stabs the grave and promptly falls out of shot. Was he dragged under? Did he flee? We’ll never know. Serling himself says “You take this with a grain of salt or a shovelful of earth, as shadow or as substance. We leave it up to you. And, for any further research, check under ‘g’ for ‘ghosts’, in The Twilight Zone.”
The crew of the USS
Enterprise discover fog, a haunted castle with dungeons, a trio of
witches and a black cat all on a planet where they have no business
being. The crew encounter a pair of aliens from another galaxy with
seemingly limitless power to control matter and manipulate
They attempted to tap into the crew’s conscious mind to learn more about them, but they missed and drew their imagery form the subconscious instead. They weren’t trying to frighten the Kirk and his crew, they genuinely believed that ghosts and witches were the norm in their civilisation.
This episode was the first filmed for Star Trek’s second season, but it was delayed so that it could be broadcast at Halloween. Kirk even says, “If we weren't missing two officers and a third one dead, I'd say someone was playing an elaborate trick or treat on us”, as a nod to the audience at home. Spock is unfamiliar with the concept of trick or treat, causing the captain to add “You'd be a natural.”
The Boogieman (1990)
Sam Beckett leaps into
the body of writer, Joshua Rey, on October 31, 1964. As he, his
fiancée and a young Stephen King organise a ‘Spook House’ to
celebrate Halloween. In quick succession three people die, Al is of
no help to Sam and a goat that only Sam can see keeps appearing and
disappearing. It’s revealed that Al is not himself and Dean
Stockwell’s performance is truly terrifying.
Quantum Leap fans are a superstitious lot. Many of them believe this episode is cursed. There were many reports of VCRs failing to record this episode and signal failures at local TV stations and cable companies during broadcast. They claim it has caused power failures, car breakdowns and job losses. It appears to be Quantum Leap’s Macbeth. It’s not uncommon to see this episode referred to as 'The Halloween Episode', 'Episode 3.5' or 'The Boogiem*n', rather than by its proper title. Sometimes there are so many asterisks in 'The B**giem*n' that it’s almost unintelligible. You have been warned.
The banter of the first few minutes gives way to a much darker story. On the face of it this is the story of a family living with a ghost that they’ve nicknamed Pipes. There’s a possibility that one of the daughters is faking it all, but the sheer wealth of evidence makes that obvious possibility seems less likely than the supernatural alternative. Along the way we learn of a baby farm, cats eating the body of a suicide victim and a playpark strewn with canine foetuses.
Nothing is ever definitive in Ghostwatch. You are never certain whether you’ve actually seen Pipes on screen. So much is achieved with so little actually happening on screen. It’s a triumph of the power of suggestion. The four celebrity presenters playing themselves really sell the reality of the film. Michael Parkinson says at one point, “we don’t want to give anyone sleepless nights”, but that’s exactly what did happen as swathes of the United Kingdom were convinced that Ghostwatch was the genuine article. Children, who probably should have been in bed, were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, people called the number on screen in their droves and the BBC complaints department were kept very busy.
Ghostwatch is nothing short of a masterpiece.
Ghost In The Machine (1993)
It’s strange that for
all the supernatural-themed episodes that The X-Files gave us, the
only one that takes place at Halloween is the techno-thriller Ghost
In The Machine and as such the ghost in question is technological
rather than paranormal. The end results, however are much the
While the offices of the FBI are brimming with Halloween candy, a computer that regulates systems within a corporate building achieves sentiency and turns to murder. The artificial intelligence kills two people and makes attempts on the lives of Mulder and Scully. Ultimately, a computer virus programmed by the machine’s creator proves to be its undoing.
Knights Of Shadows (1993)
The deep submergence
vehicle discovers the sunken wreck of the R.M.S. King George on the
sea floor. The ship has been missing for 105 years, yet the lights
are still on and there are improbably huge air pockets. Braving
nitrogen narcosis, the seaQuest crew board the ship. They encounter
bleeding doors with flaming handles, more skeletons than the ship’s
manifest can account for and one of the crew becomes possessed.
The supernatural elements are not nearly as interesting as the more mundane ones. One of the 21st-century sailors takes comfort in naval superstitions. As soon as the ghost ship is sighted, he is spitting on the deck for good luck and pouring salt on the threshold to ward off evil spirits. All in all Knights of Shadows seems like quite a daft ghost story, but the question it poses is: is any of it real, or is it all some sort of bends-related shared hallucination?
Contrary to what you
might expect, Halloween is apparently the one night of the year that
vampires avoid. The Scooby Gang make plans to enjoy themselves on
what Buffy defines as “come as you aren’t night.” However, this
being Sunnydale the streets still aren’t safe. A costumier
moonlighting as a warlock casts a spell that makes everyone become
whatever it is that they are dressed up as. He calls it “the very
embodiment of be careful what you wish for.”
The spell turns Buffy, Xander and Willow into a helpless fainting 18th-century lady, a marine and an insubstantial ghost respectively. They are out trick or treating with a group of children, some of whom change into little monsters. Willow is the only one who retains her memory and she spends the night trying to keep her friends both together and alive.
Defying convention, Big Bad Spike is stalking the streets looking for a neutered Buffy and an easy kill. Just as he is about to end her, Giles breaks the spell and everyone reverts to normal, including the slayer who kicks Spike’s arse.
The Curse of Frank Black (1997)
Frank Black tries to enjoy
Halloween. He goes trick or treating door to door with his daughter
but tastefully shot black-and-white flashbacks to his past keep
interrupting him. The first flashback sees a trick or treating Black
as a child confidently informing a World War II veteran named Crocell
that ghosts don’t exist. Another flashback, from a few years later
has Crocell committing suicide and Black’s gift for seeing things
from the killer’s perspective is born.
He is subconsciously and repeatedly led to the Bible verse: “why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead?” He encounters the ghost of Crocell, presumably shaking his youthful assertions on the subject, who attempts to persuade Black to give up on the Millennium Group.
Broadcast on Halloween night itself, the episode features many of the more benign features of Halloween, but all are twisted into something more sinister. It begins with the most graphic pumpkin carving ever filmed. When Black discovers teenagers telling ghost stories about him in the basement of his old house, he sneaks up on them in the dark and his sudden appearance scares the bejeesus out of them. He then throws eggs at his own home in a move that makes him seem unhinged. The episode takes a minimalist approach to its scares. There is barely any music and far less dialogue than usual. Lance Henriksen’s performance is much scarier than any of the ghosts or demons on offer here. Halloween is sometimes scarier for those that aren’t observing it.
Fear Itself (1999)
“Creatures of the
night shy away from Halloween, they find it all much too crass” says
Giles and he’s wrong again. Take one mystical symbol and add a few
drops of werewolf blood and suddenly a college frat party has
accidentally summoned a fear demon.
Buffy and her friends attend the party in costume. Buffy as Little Red Riding Hood, Xander as James Bond and Willow as Joan of Arc, but the real contenders for the best costume prizes go to Oz for his God namebadge sticker, Anya for her bunny outfit and Giles in a massive sombrero.
This time, however, everything but the costumes change. The plastic skeletons, rubber bats and the peeled grapes posing as eyeballs are all replaced by the genuine article. The partygoer’s fears themselves become real: Buffy ends up alone with only monsters for company, as a result of feeling ignored Xander’s friends are unable to see or hear him, Willow worries that her spells will be too much for her to handle and Oz fears losing control of the werewolf within and hurting his girlfriend.
Ultimately, the demon is despatched very easily and this causes the immediate effects to subside. What’s really scary about 'Fear Itself' is that while the episode seems fairly trivial, the fears displayed by the characters here will have ramifications for them for the rest of the series.
The Honking (2000)
The Planet Express Crew
attend the funeral of Bender’s uncle and the reading of his will.
They are forced to spend a night in the family’s castle. This being
Futurama there are robot ghosts that try to lure Bender to his death.
They fail, but Bender is run over by a were-car and becomes a
were-car when a virus was transferred through its “demonic
headlights”. Bender is doomed to transform into a murderous
automobile at midnight and will reportedly eventually kill his best
friend. Fry is offended when Bender attempts to run Leela over
instead and then flattered when he finds himself sat inside Bender
being choked by the seatbelt.
The only way to free him is to kill the original were-car, which will “beam out the virus's uninstall program, thus ridding you of the curse.” The crew discover that the original were-car is an evil car named Project Satan, built from components of cars owned by Adolf Hitler, Charles Manson, Ed Begley Jr and Michael Knight. Project Satan is accidentally destroyed and so Bender returns to normal, whilst Fry was in the passenger seat. Somehow, he is unharmed.
As is becoming commonplace on this list, The Honking was produced for Futurama’s second season, but instead opened season three during Halloween week. The concept is obviously bonkers and each development in the plot sees it get stranger and stranger, but the oddest thing about it is that within the context of the episode and the world that Futurama presents us with, all of the events contained here seem fairly plausible.
All The Way (2001)
This year the Scooby
Gang takes Halloween far less seriously. This time only Xander, Giles
and Anya dress up (as a pirate, a wizard and one of Charlie’s
Angels respectively). Willow goes on a big rant about wiccan
stereotypes, until a tiny child dressed as a witch asks for something
and she immediately about faces to “let's go fill your tummy up
with sugary nibblets.” Halloween is really only presented as
commercial opportunity and Giles’ Magic Shop is heaving with
shoppers keen to prove it.
All The Way sets up an obvious candidate for a villain in Mr Kaltenrach, the weird toy designer with a fondness for big sharp knives, before wrongfooting us and making him the victim. This is a coming-of-age story for Buffy’s sister Dawn. She kisses her first boy and she slays her first vampire on the same night. Unluckily for her they are both one and the same person. Buffy can’t decide whether she’s more disappointed that Dawn was kissing a vampire or that was kissing someone she’s just met.
“Ghosts. You may know them as ghouls or demons or spirits or spirims or spictrims.”
So begins Look Around You’s module on Ghosts broadcast on October 31, 2002. It’s a relief to see the scientific establishment finally taking ghosts seriously. Where else would we see an experiment conducted under strict laboratory conditions that would conclusively prove that a summoned ghost could drink a glass of orange squash? Elsewhere in the module we learn that ghosts can’t whistle and that ectoplasm takes like pig’s milk. We also visit the Haunted Laboratory and learn that ghosts make terrible lab assistants. All in less than ten minutes.
And remember “in the end you too will
die and become a ghost. It may be in 50 years, it may be tomorrow. It
may even be today.” Write that down.
Life of the Party (2003)
continues its biannual Halloween tradition. Angel Investigations has
taken over the running of evil extra-dimensional law firm Wolfram &
Hart. Morale among the evil employees is at a very low ebb. To combat
this, Lorne throws a Halloween party.
In order to be more efficient at work Lorne has his sleep removed, without it his empathic powers start influencing the behaviour of others. He tells Angel and Eve to get a room and they have sex repeatedly. When Lorne tells Fred and Wesley they should be drunker, suddenly they are without having imbibed any more alcohol. After he tells Spike to be more upbeat, he is. He tells Gunn to stake out his territory and he finds himself peeing on everything in the office.
It also manifests itself as a massive lumbering monstrous parody of Lorne which kills a number of partygoers and goes after Angel. Fred returns Lorne’s sleep to him and the monster dissipates just as it is about to kill Angel.
This time the only costume is a demon called Devlin dressing as a “human bean” with an argyle sweater and a mask made of human skin stretched over his own face. Halloween is a different experience for adults.
Halloween Special (2010)
“The problem with Halloween these days is that
people treat it like Christmas,” Nurse Kenchington complains as she
pushes drawing pins into muffins ready for any unsuspecting trick or
treaters that might visit. Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith
constructed Psychoville’s ‘Halloween’ like a portmanteau film.
It’s made up of several vignettes inked by a framing story
concerning a TV researcher exploring Ravenhill Hospital as a possible
location for Dale Winton's Overnight Ghost Hunt. His guide is a young
man still traumatised by his own childhood memories of the
The two swap scary tales featuring familiar characters from Psychoville’s first season: the haunting of Mr Jelly by a pair of trick or treaters, a practice which he does not condone: “all this trick or treat, penny for the guy, Cancer Research. I don’t do any of it. Go and beg somewhere else.” In another, Joy Aston struggles to clean up after her Halloween decoration and the cracks in her marriage are revealed by her inability to comprehend her husband’s elaborate recycling regime. The third sees the blind Mr Lomax get a new pair of eyes, but he sees their former owner’s murder and finds himself involved in a web of intrigue. In the final story, two people who know too much about serial killers than is probably healthy find themselves in a car with a monster who acts like one.
These sequences are told with a hefty dose of unreliable narration, this permits the stories to be turned up-to-eleven. They can flagrantly ignore established continuity and be equally disregarded by subsequent episodes. It also means they can prove fatal for the series’ protagonists. The core of Psychoville’s Halloween is that it is a night with no consequences.
Dead Line (2018)
Sticking with Pemberton and Shearsmith, Inside No 9 gives us a live Halloween special, but “by the way, it can’t actually be on Halloween night!” It’s a tale of a found mobile phone and a mystery that begins to unfold, but before long ghosts play havoc with the filming and broadcast of the episode. Sound issues and transmission breakdown cause the intended story to be abandoned and the behind-the-scenes drama begins to unfold.
The ghosts take charge and fill the screen with CCTV,
elements filmed by the cast and found footage apparently chosen by
the ghosts themselves. They reveal that Granada studios is built on a
mass grave and that they want to be left alone. To that end they
torched the studio in 1984, attempted to kill Bobby Davro in 1992 and
successfully murder the cast of Inside No 9, not even the continuity
announcer escapes unscathed, with the assisted suicide of Stephanie
Cole being particularly shocking.
“Let us be.”
- - -
A confession: when I first watched the Inside No 9 Halloween special, Dead Line, on its initial broadcast and the live episode reached the transmission breakdown I was completely fooled and changed channel. I realised my mistake later while the programme was still being broadcast, but having missed a huge chunk of it, I had to catch up later on the iPlayer, cursing my attention span and feeling as though I had missed out on a real televisual event.
Monday 24 October 2022
I had planned to write extensively about the released and writing of Outside In Walks With Fire, ATB Publishing's tribute to Twin Peaks, which I have an article in. I failed to mark the book's release, so I'm posting about it now.
Monday 17 October 2022
With the demise of Eaglemoss and the subsequent disappearance of its website, I'm going to start posting my articles for them here. As many of the articles were written to coincide with the dates of particular anniversaries, I'll try to keep to those dates, but the evergreen ones I'll try to post on here regularly.
Here's the first:
STAR TREK: THE MANY
DEATHS OF JANEWAY
How many times has Janeway 'died'?
(Originally written for Hero Collector, published 18 April 2019
David Black adds up the many times the Voyager captain has met – and survived – her end.
Captain Kathryn Janeway of the USS Voyager is a woman of great achievements. She has travelled across the Delta Quadrant, made first contact with dozens of new species and hyper-evolved into a salamander. One of the most amazing things about her time aboard Voyager is how often she died and how little it affected her career. Let us count the ways...
Cause of Death: Polaric explosion.
While investigating a planet that is the site of a polaric explosion, Janeway and Paris are drawn back in time to the day before the explosion. During a search for evidence of Janeway, Kes, using her newly discovered telepathic abilities, says “She was here. This is where she died.”
Janeway realises the attempts by the Voyager crew to rescue them from the future are the cause of the explosion and prevents her own rescue, which prevents the explosion and therefore she never visits the planet and this renders that timeline redundant.
Cause of Death: Explosion when Voyager self-destructs.
As a result of a journey through a plasma drift to avoid a Vidiian ship, all the matter on Voyager is duplicated, including its captain and crew. However, the antimatter remains unaffected and with two ships drawing on it, supplies quickly run low. One duplicate Voyager is badly damaged and suffers losses, the other seems largely unaffected. The undamaged Voyager is boarded by the Vidiians and its Janeway sets her ship to self-destruct and is killed in the resulting explosion and freeing the other to continue the journey home.
Cause of Death: Strangulation
Janeway and Chakotay are on a mission in a shuttle when electrical interference forces them to crash on a planet. The captain sustains critical injuries in a shuttle crash, but Chakotay revives her with CPR. They are captured by the Vidiians and Janeway is strangled by a Vidiian in a cave.
Cause of Death: Shuttle explosion
Janeway and Chakotay find themselves back aboard the shuttlecraft in space and suspect a time loop, when they are again attacked by the Vidiians. They are both killed when the Vidiians destroy their shuttle.
Again, the captain and her first officer are in the shuttle en route to their mission. When the Vidiians show up again, they return to Voyager. Janeway has contracted the Vidiian phage and unable to find a cure, the Doctor uncharacteristically euthanises her with a neural toxin.
Once more, Janeway finds herself on board the shuttle, but only briefly. She has an out-of-body experience as she watches Chakotay perform CPR on her prone form. He is unsuccessful. Janeway wanders Voyager’s corridors like a ghost, while her crew search for her and eventually give up looking. She attends her own memorial. An alien, masquerading as her father’s ghost, is inhabiting her cerebral cortex, attempting to convince her to relinquish her life willingly, but she fights back, denies him sustenance and awakes on the planet.
An elderly Kes in a state of temporal flux finds herself jumping back in time to earlier points in her life. At one point, she jumps back to the beginning of the “Year of Hell” (see below) and witnesses a Chroniton torpedo hit that causes a bridge console to explode killing both Janeway and Torres. However, what we see here is merely one possible future.
A holographic tactical-training program concerning a potential Maquis mutiny takes on a life of its own. Tuvok’s program was rewritten by Seska before she left the ship, including a malfunctioning phaser rifle that kills the hologram of Captain Janeway.
After 257 days of Hell, that have left Voyager beyond repair and the crew forced to abandon ship. Janeway singlehandedly pilots what is left of Voyager during a battle with the Krenim Time Ship. With the weapons unavailable, she rams the other vessel, and the resulting explosion completely destroys it. The captain goes down with the ship. A shockwave erases the Krenim ship and the timeline it created from history.
Cause of Death: Unknown
Some seven centuries after his time aboard Voyager, the Doctor’s back-up module has been discovered by archaeologists. He is reactivated in the Museum of Kyrian Heritage. Accused of war crimes and the Doctor is forced to defend his crew’s reputation for their role in the conflict between the Kyrians and the Vaskans. Either way, after seven hundred years Janeway is presumably pushing up daisies. As the Doctor himself puts it “Somewhere, halfway across the galaxy, I hope, Captain Janeway is spinning in her grave!”
Cause of Death: injuries sustained in a crash landing
In an effort to get home quicker, Paris and Kim create a quantum slipstream drive. On its maiden flight, the Delta Flyer piloted Chakotay and Kim makes it all the way home, but Voyager is pushed out of the slipstream and crash lands on a frozen planet killing everyone aboard.
Fifteen years later, Chakotay and Kim return to the crash site to discover their dead crew mates, including the captain, frozen solid. With the help of the Doctor and Seven of Nine’s corpse they manage to send a different course correction back in time which collapses the slipstream and saves Voyager.
Radiation from an enhanced warp drive employed by a bio-mimetic duplicate of Voyager causes a loss of cohesion. Captain Janeway’s duplicate dies on the bridge and her ship and crew are not far behind her. The real Kathryn Janeway is completely unaware of their sacrifice.
The USS Voyager is destroyed by a temporal disruptor while Janeway is on the bridge, however Seven of Nine and Janeway are recruited by a Starfleet ship from five hundred years in their future to prevent the device being planted in the first place. They successfully apprehend the saboteur and the events of this alternate timeline never come to pass.
The entire senior staff are massacred by a couple of Klingon warriors. Captain Janeway is cruelly, and dishonourably, cut down from behind whilst making a speech paying tribute to the achievements of the Klingon Empire. It’s all in B'Elanna's dream and so Janeway lives to fight another day.
Cause of Death: console explosion
In the very next episode, another crewmember fantasises about Janeway’s death. It would be hard not to take that personally. The Doctor daydreams that he takes over control of the ship and to do that requires the captain to be out of the way. During one of his flights of fancy the Borg attack and one of the bridge consoles explodes killing Janeway, but once again it’s only a dream.
When a spatial rift causes time aboard to become fractured, Janeway and Chakotay meet by a Naomi Wildman and Icheb from an alternative future. They are told that they died seventeen years earlier, but they are given no details about how they met their demises. Janeway, Chakotay and their crew are reunited from across various time periods and successfully bring the ship back into sync. This renders the alternative timeline potentially null and void.
Cause of Death: neurolytic pathogen
Captain Janeway encounters an Admiral Janeway from 26 years into her personal future. The captain injects her future self with a neurolytic pathogen, with her permission, and the admiral allows herself to be assimilated by the Borg Queen. The pathogen infects the wider Borg Collective and they fail to prevent Voyager arriving home via a Borg transwarp hub out of the ashes of a Borg shipwreck. Captain Janeway gets her crew home early and that changes the timeline, so the future that Admiral Janeway came from may not come to pass.
There you have it, Janeway has cheated death on no less then 17 occasions. If you hope to learn from her example and you find yourself in a potentially fatal situation, ideally make sure it is an alternate future you that dies instead, or it’s a dream, or maybe reveal you were a hologram all along, then you’ll be fine.
- - -
I knew that Eaglemoss were releasing a bust of Captain Janeway, so I pitched this in the hope that they wanted an article to tie into it.
Originally entitled The Many Deaths of Kathryn Janeway, my pitch read: Captain Janeway holds the record for being the character most often killed in all of Star Trek, no less than seventeen times. This article details each and every time she kicks the bucket and how she manages to carry on regardless.
At the time, I had completely forgotten that Harry Mudd had killed the crew of the USS Discovery in Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad no less than 56 times, and when I remembered, after this article was commissioned, I neglected to point it out to the editor.
This was the second article that I wrote for Hero Collector, but it was published third, possibly due to the release date of the bust. Oddly, this meant it appeared on the website just before Easter, which could have seemed a little controversial.