I figured it out!

Something weird came over me last night–don’t know if it was the phase of the moon, or Mad Cow disease, or what–and I watched an episode of “Star Trek: Voyager” on TV. Normally, I’d sooner stick pins in my eyes; I have no idea what possessed me.

I’m no big fan of Star Trek, but Voyager in particular has always especially annoyed me, and I’ve never been quite able to figure it out.

Until now. Watching Voyager last night, it suddenly hit me: I’ve seen all this before! So here it is, boys and girls, the Big Secret. But shh! You have to promise not to tell.

Star Trek: Voyager is nothing but a techie remake of Gilligan’s Island.

No, really. Think about it. Did you ever see that one episode–you know, the one where they almost figured out a way to make it home, but in the end, they didn’t?

And it’s not just the plot. the characters are the same, too.

Captain Janeway: The Skipper. The cool, in-charge character who’s never really in charge at all. Well, I mean, she is, but only in a democratic sort of way, and only when it’s important to this week’s plot, you know?

Neelix: Gilligan. The mostly harmless, goofy sidekick who once in a while interjects a Pithy Thought to make that episode’s Big Point.

Tuvok: The Professor. With ears.

7of 9: Ginger. A tech-head reinterpretation of the Glamorous, Unavailable Woman; techies don’t go for movie stars, they go for techie chicks with big—um, spare parts.

Chakotay: Thurston Howell.Stay with me here, this isn’t a stretch. He started out independent and powerful (remember, he was a captain of his own vessel), and now he’s slumming with the other castaways.

Torres: Mrs. Howell. Opinionated, stubborn, and Chakotay’s bitch.

Kes: Maryann. Obvious, really.

And now you know the truth.