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Spirit Folk
Star Trek: Raumschiff Voyager Spirit Folk (1995–2001)
TV Episode
  • Director:
    David Livingston
  • Category:
  • Writer:
    Gene Roddenberry,Rick Berman
  • Cast:
    Kate Mulgrew,Robert Beltran,Roxann Dawson
  • Time:
  • Year:
A revisit to the holographic town of Fair Haven proves dangerous for Paris and Kim as members of the program begin to see Voyager crew members change elements of the program before their eyes. The members of the program fear the voyager crew and think of them as bad spirits set to kill the town of Fair Haven.
Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Kate Mulgrew Kate Mulgrew - Captain Kathryn Janeway
Robert Beltran Robert Beltran - Chakotay
Roxann Dawson Roxann Dawson - B'Elanna Torres
Robert Duncan McNeill Robert Duncan McNeill - Tom Paris
Ethan Phillips Ethan Phillips - Neelix
Robert Picardo Robert Picardo - The Doctor
Tim Russ Tim Russ - Tuvok
Jeri Ryan Jeri Ryan - Seven of Nine
Garrett Wang Garrett Wang - Harry Kim
Richard Riehle Richard Riehle - Seamus Driscol
Ian Abercrombie Ian Abercrombie - Milo
Ian Patrick Williams Ian Patrick Williams - Doc Fitzgerald
Henriette Ivanans Henriette Ivanans - Maggie O'Halloran
Duffie McIntire Duffie McIntire - Grace
Fintan McKeown Fintan McKeown - Michael Sullivan

Star Trek: Raumschiff Voyager Spirit Folk (1995–2001)

Bairbre Dowling (Edith) was the ex-wife of Star Trek: Uus põlvkond (1987) and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993) star Colm Meaney.

This episode was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore) (Jay Chattaway).

Books that characters reference include Mark Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" and H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine." The "Connecticut Yankee" was also mentioned in a similar context in an earlier Star Trek production, Star Trek: Uus põlvkond: Time's Arrow: Part II (1992).

Richard Riehl, who plays the hologram character Seamus, appeared as Batai in ST:TNG season 5 episode 25 ("The Inner Light").

Janeway comments that a holodeck character is a "300-deciwatt holodeck program." A deciwatt is one tenth of a watt, so 300 dW would be 30 watts, or about the same as a refrigerator light bulb.

Michael Sullivan giving Kathryn Janeway a copy of The Faerie Queene, insinuating that the townfolk believe her to be the pixie queen, is actually accurate in a sense: Kate Mulgrew voiced Lady Titania on the television cartoon series Gargoyles.

In the final dialogue of the episode, Sullivan tells Janeway that knowing a spirit's true name renders one impervious to their charms, but Janeway insists that she doesn't believe a word of it. In "Fair Haven", she restricts herself access to his matrix, so he is, in effect, impervious to her charms.

While Seamus is telling the townspeople about what he has just seen, the car wheel magically reattaching itself, Milo says that "Tom Paris [drives] through town like he built the place". In fact Tom Paris did build the place - the Fair Haven program was designed by Tom.

This takes place in 2376.

47-reference: According to a Fair Haven legend, spirit folk arrived in Kilmanin in 1846. During the winter of 1847, the people and its inhabitants disappeared.

Second and final appearance of the "Fair Haven" Holodeck program.

Since I wasn't too keen on the episode "Fair Haven" earlier in the series I wasn't surprised when I found this episode equally disappointing. Having apparently repaired the Fair Haven holodeck program the crew start to visit the Oirish town once more. The locals are starting to get suspicious of the actions of Voyager's crew and when they witness Tom turning Harry's holographic date into a cow they are sure that evil supernatural forces are at work. When trying to fix the program Harry and Tom are captured by the townsfolk and the program's safety protocols are deactivated. To save them a decision must be made; tell the truth to people about what they are and what Voyager is or delete the program and all its characters.

I was never a fan of holodeck malfunction episodes and found the two set in Fair Haven to be particularly weak compared to most episodes of a series I generally enjoy. The characters, apart from Michael Sullivan, seemed like comedy stereotypes of an Ireland that I'm sure never existed.
I know some folks think everything Trek is always good. I've seen a few reviewers that simply give 9s or 10s to every episode. Well, I've got shocking news--some show DID occasionally suck! This is especially true on "Star Trek: Voyager". All too many episodes simply should have been ditched. In fact, instead of seven seasons of shows that varied tremendously in quality, I would have preferred five really good seasons. Had they ditched all the Fair Haven show, it would have been a great start!

A few episodes back, Mr. Paris made the Irish town of Fair Haven on the holodeck. Within the program everyone is happy and everything is perfect. There is no IRA, there is no British occupation, there is no potato famine and there is no division between Catholics and Protestants. Here everyone gets along wonderfully and welcomes strangers. In other words, it's nothing like the Ireland circa 1910 like it's supposed to be!

Here in the second Fair Haven another cliché appears--that these are all simple, foolish and highly superstitious folk. When one of them sees Mr. Paris doing things like talking to the computer or fixing a flat tire instantly or turning a lady into a cow for a joke, he realizes there's something amiss. Soon the others also catch on and the entire village is ready to weigh the strangers to see if they weigh as much as a duck!

The bottom line is that this has as much to do with sci-fi as a lump of butter. The plot is ridiculous, clichéd and embarrassing. Another episode that never would have been made had the writers not been drinking a few too many pints of Guinness!

Also, for laughs, try watching this with a few Irish friends. They'll probably appreciate it far less than an average American. I could be wrong, but seriously doubt it.
And once again, Voyager is about Voyager, not "The Irish", "The British" or even "The Americans".

We've already seen that Tom Paris made this Holo-Town, which is a fictional town, so it does not have to look exactly like Ireland, it has to look like what Tom made it to look like. Which unfortunately is the "European" Backlot of Paramount. It's a given that Tom got details wrong, remember Janeway shows Tom that he got the HARP backward on Sullivan's Pub Sign? Never in either of these Fairhaven Episodes does it state that Fairhaven is an exact dupe of any town in Ireland. Besides, it was made for Voyager crew, not you.

And did Those Feet in Ancient Times, walk upon England's Mountain's Green? Nope. Besides, William Blake was referring to The Industrial Revolution aka "Urban Creep" which he hated. Nevertheless, Calvinists everywhere sing that song as a Hymn.

So this Holo has been running for weeks now, remember- it almost got demolished by the Ion Storm and 70% of it had to be rebuilt. But there are still Ghosts in The Machine.

Tom is driving around in his horseless carriage. The Town panhandler "Seamus" (Richard Riehle) causes him to crash it, and Seamus sees Tom "repair" his wheel. Then Tom changes Maggie O'Halleran (Henriette Ivanans) into a COW, and someone sees The Doctor change her back.

Fairhaven like any town will be subject to Rumour, which will eventually "Walk the Ground with Head Hidden in the Clouds" (Virgil's The Aeneid).

But the 'Deck is malfunctioning, the Holograms are reacting to things they ought not react to. When Tom and Harry try to fix Michael Sullivan (Fintan McKeown), Sullivan plays along with them and pretends to be fixed.

They are becoming Sentient, and acting more or less like people in a small town in Ireland.

So they Kidnap Tom and Harry as they try to fix the program from Sullivan's, tie them up and Seamus tries chanting Faery Spells on them. When the Doctor interrupts, they tie him up too and steal his Emitter.

That's when the fun begins, Sullivan gets beamed to The Bridge and now Janeway has a Headache. Basically this is "First Contact" with a new Life Form, and now the crew has to earn Fairhaven's Trust, now that they know what they are.

When I first saw these episodes I was hoping they would have more of them, but like Janeway's Davinci Program, they were a One-Season Deal. We did not see Da Vinci much after Seasons 4 and 5. Most of the Detractors of Fairhaven forget that this was not for our benefit, it was for Voyager's. If you take that into account, then the interactions that occur in these episodes can be enjoyed a lot more, including The Doctor's Pompous Sermons. Even Starships beset on all sides by Borg and Devore have to have a little diversion and so do we, otherwise a show is monotonous, and I don't mean Monotanium.

Look for Ian Abercrombie as "Milo", who was The Abbot in "Someone to Watch Over Me".
(SPOILER) Even before I had seen "Voyager", I read about fans describing the shows episodes as "hit and miss"...this installment is certainly a textbook example of that, an astonishingly dull & pointless follow-up to the equally dull & pointless "Fairhaven".

Perhaps part of the reason is that both episodes seem to focus on the "feelings" of holedeck characters- and the Voyager crews' sensitivity to this- which makes about as much sense as being concerned about the self-esteem of Mario, Luigi, or Donkey Kong.

The best episodes in Star Trek..in all the series incarnations...contribute a little something to the franchise as a whole, whether through character development, introduction of a new idea, fact, species or technology, etc. "Spirit Folk" does none of this and, interestingly enough, the Voyager regulars play second fiddle here to the "zany" antics of the holedeck characters. This wouldn't necessarily be a problem if the holedeck characters were interesting or had anything interesting to do, but they aren't and they don't- not exactly a good recipe for exciting or meaningful sci-fi television.

On the plus side, fans of the talented Robert Picardo will enjoy some very funny scenes with the Doctor playing an overly dramatic village priest. And the Voyager cast seems to be having a sincerely good time romping around in this colorful period piece (which features on location shooting at Universal Studio's European Village Backlot set, which the cast undoubtedly enjoyed). Unfortunately, the cast are the ONLY ones having fun, and the audience is left to suffer through it.

The largest plot hole, in my opinion, is the fact that the Voyager crew spends an incredible amount of time, energy, and attention worrying about, and fussing with, this pointless holedeck program and its characters. Surely the crew can find better & more meaningful things to occupy their time and the ship's resources (like exploring the UNIVERSE, maybe?) than fiddling with a 3D video game. I know that if I was in a starship in the Delta Quadrant, I wouldn't be sitting sitting in my quarters the whole time focused on my XBox360.

It's just a holedeck program. When all is said and done, who cares? In the end, certainly not the audience.
To sum up: a hologram program gets out of control with the result that Harry and Tom are taken hostage and may get burned at the stake or some such. A ready solution is available by shutting power off to the holodeck as B'Elanna suggests. Janeway and Neelix warn that the town of Fairhaven and all it's characters will be destroyed. B'elanna points out that they can be reprogrammed but if they kill Tom and Harry then no such luck.

Janeway says they should try to rescue them and they will try it that way first! If there was ANY chance of the rescue going badly then it should not be done...delete the program is the only solution! Not that I wouldn't mind seeing Harry go away but...

One reviewer points out that these episodes are nice for the crew who need their own diversions even if it is not that interesting to us. Seriously??????

Arguably the silliest episode yet.
Another dreadful episode set in Fair Haven.

Once again, the clichés come thick and fast...

Once again, the crew seem as thick as two short planks...

Once again, the stereotypes are an insult to the Irish...

This kind of fantasy is absolutely incomprehensible to anyone who doesn't share (1) a typical Americans' ignorance about the realities of life in Ireland, and (2) Americans' apparent need to consider themselves part-Irish (however much other parts may predominate - does one ever hear of 'English-Americans'?)

As with many other episodes, there is a good deal of laziness on the part of the writers (at least we don't have transporters going offline or unable to get a lock, only to function perfectly at the crucial moment). Why do none of the characters ever suggest that it might be a good idea to have a few more safeguards built into the holodeck?
This is a silly story. We return to Fair Haven (hopefully for the last time0. Tom gets careless and this leads to the Irish Rebellion (sort of). There are way too many hologram shows and this one is so far fetched. These people were created for a purpose and their programming should have prevented anything from happening. It's cute but not Star Trek Voyager. As a matter of fact, the Sixth Season has been generally a disappointment.