(written from a Production point of view)
The Doctor must become a master of disguise to save Captain Janeway. (Series penultimate)
The Doctor sings "Questa o quella" very loudly with the full orchestral music accompaniment playing as he steers the Delta Flyer II. This is much to the disgruntlement of Captain Janeway, who was trying to sleep in the aft compartment, though she conveniently shrugs it off with a replicator giving her a cup of black coffee when she emerges.
They discuss The Doctor's many abilities and how he is capable of much more than a common Human because he is a hologram, and so is not bound to many of the physical restrictions an organic form is subject to. They also briefly converse that he and the captain rarely spend any time together, but when he states that they should do so more often sometime in the future, he doesn't notice Janeway's sudden look of dismay. As the Delta Flyer passes by a Mutara-class nebula, they encounter a subspace eddy. The turbulence created by the eddy prompts Janeway to suggest that she take the helm, but The Doctor assures her that control of the situation is well within his holographic capabilities.
A transmission from the Delta Flyer is received by Voyager via a pulse directed at its transceiver array. Ensign Harry Kim attempts to hail the Flyer without success, but after some modifications, establishes contact with the vessel. Janeway describes an attack by aliens that damaged the Flyer's communications system, and states that she and The Doctor are fine. She asks Kim to notify Chakotay to meet with her once she has docked.
In her ready room, Janeway tells Chakotay about the attack, stating that a technologically superior race, the R'Kaal, were the cause of the damage to the Flyer, and that they almost didn't make it back. Apparently, Voyager had unwittingly been traveling through their space for three weeks, in violation of their laws. She described how the R'Kaal were ecological extremists, believing that traditional warp drive damages the fabric of space. They wanted to destroy Voyager with their cloaked fleet, but Janeway convinced them to allow them to settle on an M-class planet in exchange for surrendering their warp core. Chakotay attempts to protest, but Janeway says that she is tired of their long journey and its perils. She also tells Chakotay to not discuss it with anyone. She orders him to set course for the nearest planet and dismisses him before he can protest further.
On the bridge, Chakotay asks Janeway about the modifications and wonders why she told Torres about their situation. After seeming to talk to herself, she states that she doesn't feel well and leaves for her quarters.
Chakotay then goes to sickbay and asks The Doctor if anything was wrong with Janeway's health, but The Doctor says there was not. Chakotay does get him to agree to examine Janeway in her quarters, and then departs for astrometrics.
In astrometrics, Chakotay asks Seven of Nine to attempt to detect any cloaked ships in the area. While there, Kim calls for him and says a transmission is coming through. Once on the screen, a Supreme Archon Loth demands to know when Voyager will surrender its warp core. Chakotay stalls by saying they can't do it until they have reached the planet they are heading for. Loth gives a deadline of ten hours before the ship will be destroyed.
After The Doctor tells Chakotay that Janeway is in perfect health, he goes to her quarters to see her, but she is not there. He calls for her on his combadge, but just then she comes around the corridor. In her quarters, they debate the necessity of their current circumstances, and Chakotay mentions a mission at Lessek Prime where Janeway saved an away team by disobeying her captain's orders. After Janeway says that the situations are totally different, Chakotay reveals that he made the whole thing up and attempts to call Tuvok, since Janeway is apparently an impostor. "Janeway", however, placed a dampening field around the room to block his call. Apologizing, she retrieves a hypospray from under the desk and approaches Chakotay, who catches her wrist with both hands. He struggles to hold back the hypo from his neck, but "Janeway" isn't even straining, proof that she isn't Human. The hypo relentlessly reaches its target, rendering him unconscious.
"Janeway" then transports Chakotay to the morgue where she hides him. She then goes to sickbay and puts a foot up on the office desk where the mobile emitter can be seen on her ankle. She is actually The Doctor.
It is revealed that Janeway was taken hostage by Hierarchy renegades before they managed to return to USS Voyager and are demanding the warp core in exchange for her release. They are monitoring his perceptual subroutines and thus can see and hear everything from his point of view; he can't talk or write a warning to the crew without them knowing. In an attempt to free the captain, The Doctor has assumed the identity of various members of the Voyager crew. The Doctor contacts the Hierarchy captain, Zet demanding to speak to Captain Janeway. When he does, she orders him not to eject the warp core and to tell Tuvok what's happening. Zet reminds the Doctor that Janeway's life is at stake, and increases his demands to include some of Voyager's bio-neural gel packs. Desperate to save Janeway, the Doctor agrees.
While in the form of Torres in order to obtain some gel packs, The Doctor is surprised by Paris, obviously not knowing of their earlier encounter. After Paris leaves, Kim calls Chakotay to astrometrics. Kim tells The Doctor (as "Chakotay") that the message from Loth came from within the ship, holodeck two to be more precise. Kim then goes to holodeck with "Chakotay" in tow. There Kim finds the holodeck logs have been deleted. Just as he finds out The Doctor is responsible, he is incapacitated and moved to the morgue.
When The Doctor tries to unwind with The Blue Danube in the background while sitting at his desk with his kit with the three comm badges he acquired, Tuvok enters to confront him with a discrepancy in the message sent through the deflector dish exposing The Doctor's involvement. The Doctor, however, fails to incapacitate Tuvok and barely escapes with the mobile emitter.
Tuvok follows him into the holodeck where The Doctor made multiple copies of himself. Tuvok asks Torres to cut power to the holodeck as he is threatening The Doctor at the same time. The Doctor already made his escape and uses a Jefferies tube to get to engineering. Tuvok orders a shutdown of all turbolifts and transporters, while The Doctor convinces the real Torres there is an imminent warp core breach in progress. He activates his Emergency Command Hologram subroutines and ejects the warp core. Then he shuts down the internal sensors and steals the Delta Flyer to tractor the ejected warp core to the Hierarchy ship.
When he arrives at the kidnappers' ship, they change plans and take him hostage, too, intending that he infiltrate a Hierarchy base to steal data.
- "Chief Tactical Officer's log, stardate 54890.7. With internal sensors offline I have had to order a section by section search for our missing crew members. Until main power is restored Voyager remains immobilized and defenseless."
Paris finds Chakotay and Kim at the morgue. When they restart the impulse drive they hear an altered version of The Blue Danube on every com channel of the ship. At first they think the recording is flawed and several of the notes are played off key. The crew realizes that The Doctor had played the piece flawlessly a month earlier during a recital and that the alterations must be deliberate on his part. They analyze the music and discover that the off-key notes are actually a warp signature embedded within the music, which allows them to track the aliens. Chakotay sends Tuvok and Paris after the warp signature in another shuttle.
As Tuvok and Paris get to the alien ship, the two aliens attempt to prepare The Doctor for his assignment by adding a few holotemplates to his matrix. In doing so they destabilize his main program.
Meanwhile Paris is beamed over to the Delta Flyer and a fight occurs. With help of one of the aliens, Janeway and The Doctor are able to regain the warp core and escape.
However, The Doctor's program begins to destabilize as the result of a large amount of data which the two aliens added as part of their plan to have him steal data from a Hierarchy base. Torres quickly gets to work on his program. Believing he will not survive, he makes a bit of a deathbed confession, including, among other things, that he told Neelix about a time when Tuvok had a particularly bad rash (breaching doctor-patient confidentiality), and with her standing there, that he is in love with Seven of Nine. He does survive, however, when Torres manages to delete all the added subroutines in time.
- "Captain's log, stardate 54912.4. Lieutenant Torres has restored our warp drive in less than a week. The Doctor's dignity, however, might take a little longer. He hasn't left sickbay once since he returned to the ship."
Janeway visits The Doctor in his office in sickbay, telling him that his friends miss him. The Doctor felt unsure if he had any friends left after his "deathbed confession". She does remind him that he would be punished by not being allowed to leave sickbay for six days, but considering that he stayed in sickbay that entire week, she considers it as time served. She then invites The Doctor to join her in the holodeck for coffee at an outdoor cafe in Buenos Aires, taking him up on his offer to socialize with him a bit more, but only on the grounds that he would leave his rank at the door, and that there would be no opera. He accepts.
"I'll be there... sweetheart."
"'Sweetheart'? Well, aren't you getting affectionate in your third trimester."
- - The Doctor, disguised as B'Elanna Torres, and Tom Paris
"Sit down and relax, captain. You have a hologram at the helm."
- - The Doctor
"You know, this might be our last chance to be alone... for the next eighteen years."
- - Tom Paris, trying to get Torres to go with him on a romantic getaway before their daughter is born
"Voyager can survive without its warp core... but not without its captain."
"Now, it doesn't have either!"
- - The Doctor and Kathryn Janeway
"You wouldn't shoot a pregnant woman, would you?"
- - The Doctor, disguised as B'Elanna Torres, to Tuvok
"Ensign, at your recital last month, I told Lieutenant Torres that your saxophone playing reminded me of a wounded targ. I should have put it more delicately. I'm sorry!"
- - The Doctor, to Harry Kim
"A pregnant woman should not be eating this! Do you want to give me an arterial occlusion?
"Oh, one drumstick is not gonna kill you!"
- - The Doctor, disguised as B'Elanna Torres, commenting on a plate of fried chicken presented to him by Tom Paris
"I love you, Seven!"
- - The Doctor, to Seven of Nine, as he believes he is going to decompile
"Doc... got anything else you'd like to confess?"
- - Tom Paris, after The Doctor is successfully recovered
"Goodbye my friends! Speak well of me."
(The Doctor vanishes.)
"No, I got him."
(Torres reactivates him; he's cringing in anticipation of destruction then opens his eyes.)
"I deleted the extraneous subroutines."
"So, I'm not going to decompile?"
"You'll probably outlive us all."
- - The Doctor, Kathryn Janeway, and B'Elanna Torres
- Ethan Phillips (Neelix) does not appear in this episode. He left Voyager in "Homestead", the previous episode. However, he is mentioned in dialogue by The Doctor and remains in the opening credits.
- This is the last episode of the series to be directed by Mike Vejar.
- This episode is similar to episodes VOY: "The Raven", and TNG: "Brothers", in that it features one of the regular characters apparently turning on the others and running rampant on a quest whose purpose only becomes understandable in the end.
- Mention of the Beta Quadrant in this episode has led some fans to speculate that Voyager was approaching the edge of the Delta Quadrant by this stage in its journey. Voyager had traveled over 40,000 light years from its starting position (the edge of the Delta Quadrant and the known galaxy) in seven years. It is possible Voyager was nearing the center of the galaxy (where all four quadrants converge).
- Andy Milder (Nar) previously played the Bolian Boq'ta in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Empok Nor".
- This episode marks the last appearance of Alexander Enberg as Vorik on the show.
- The Delta Flyer II and the class 2 shuttle are also seen for the last time in this episode. It is also the only time on the series that the Delta Flyer II and a class 2 shuttle are seen on screen at the same time. The interior set of the class 2 shuttle was modified and used for SC-4 in VOY: "Endgame".
- Although crewman Ayala has been seen in nearly every episode during Voyager's seven seasons, he was rarely ever given dialogue. During the entire run of the series Tarik Ergin only ever had a few lines of dialogue, this episode features him speaking while stationed at the helm.
- The piece The Doctor is singing at the beginning of the episode is "Questa o quella" and the piece of piano music he later encodes was The Blue Danube.
- Shortly after they had completed writing this episode, Mike Sussman and Phyllis Strong were called into Brannon Braga's office and were invited to join the writing staff of the forthcoming series Enterprise. They were also given the top-secret script for the series premiere, "Broken Bow" and were told to go on vacation and return with story ideas for the series. (ENT Season 4 Blu-ray "In Conversation - Writing Star Trek: Enterprise" special feature)
Video and DVD releasesEdit
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, Paramount Home Entertainment): Volume 7.12, 14 January 2002
- As part of the VOY Season 7 DVD collection
Links and references Edit
Also starring Edit
- Robert Beltran as Chakotay
- Roxann Dawson as B'Elanna Torres
- Robert Duncan McNeill as Tom Paris
- Robert Picardo as The Doctor
- Tim Russ as Tuvok
- Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine
- Garrett Wang as Harry Kim
Guest star Edit
- Andy Milder as Nar
- Wayne Thomas Yorke as Zet
- David Sparrow as Alien/Doctor
- Tarik Ergin as Tactical N.D.
- J.R. Quinonez as Overlooker/Doctor
- Majel Barrett as Computer Voice
Uncredited co-stars Edit
- Julie David as a command division officer
- Richard Bishop as operations division officer
- Linnea Soohoo as a science division officer
- Louis Ortiz as Ensign Culhane
Stunt doubles Edit
- Ron Althoff as stunt double for David Sparrow
- Tony Caesar as stunt double for Wayne Thomas Yorke
- John Nowak as stunt double for Robert Picardo
- Lynn Salvatori as stunt double for Kate Mulgrew
analgesic; Ayala; arterial occlusion; auto-regenerative shielding; Beta Quadrant; bio-neural gel pack; The Blue Danube; Buenos Aires; café; carrier wave; class 1 overseer; class 2 shuttle; class M; coffee; Daystrom Institute; deflector pulse; Delta Flyer; Delta Quadrant; deuterium; Earth; Eblar Prime; Emergency Command Hologram; Fourier analysis; fried chicken; gesture; G-type star; Hierarchy; Jefferies tube; Lessek Prime; logic; mobile emitter; mud bath; Mutara class; opera; paprika; polaron; polydeutonic alloy; potato salad; R'Kaal; red alert; red giant; resonance pulse; scratchy throat; sickbay; sidewalk; Supreme Archon; targ; teraquad; tractor beam; tractor emitter; transceiver array; transphasic warp drive; trimester; velocity; Vinri system; warp core; warp core ejection system; warp signature
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