DISTANT ORIGIN - 3x23 - 5/5
Maybe it's because I am a child of the late 80's/early 90's but dinosaurs are THE BEST THING EVER. All this episode would have to do is MENTION the word dinosaurs and I would give it five stars. Fortunately, this actually is a really great episode I am happy to objectively award 5 stars, as it is an interesting, well acted and engaging piece of science fiction.
The initial perspective is interesting and a great deal of episode time passes before we even see Voyager's crew (14 mins). It also illustrates a somewhat unusual perspective on the other side of the sci-fi fence - seeing how the alien of the week's perceives our weekly heroes.
Now you would think an episode written by Brannon Braga about sentient, evolved dinosaurs and the lost city of Atlantis would fall flat, but I suspect the teleplay's cohesion is in thanks to Joe Menosky's involvement (after all, he helped bring us the excellent season 2 episode, "The Thaw") and the episode stays relevant to the issue throughout. The episode plays out very well and the science involved is reasonably well grounded with almost no perceivable techno or medico babble I could find. The guest actors are very good and the final scene between Minister Odala and Gegen is excellent as she tries and succeeds in breaking his will.
The episode is not just an interesting scientific concept, but develops into an excellent sociological issue which gives Chakotay something to sink his teeth into for once. This is not just one of Voyager's best, but one of Trek's best episodes and goes down as one of the most memorable of all time for me.