(written from a Production point of view)
The Doctor must become a master of disguise to save Captain Janeway.
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 capabilities.
On Voyager, Vorik and B'Elanna Torres are trying to track down some plasma surges when Tom Paris tries to lure her to lunch with potato salad under the glow of a red giant. However, sense of duty and a promise to the captain prevent Torres from going along.
Meanwhile, Ensign Harry Kim is in charge when Lieutenant Ayala detects an odd transmission from the Delta Flyer, via a pulse directed at its transceiver array. 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.
Janeway goes to engineering and asks Torres to make modifications to the Flyer's tractor beam so it can safely tow a warp core. After Janeway leaves, Torres pages Chakotay to tell him about it. He then goes to the bridge and asks Janeway about it, wondering why she told Torres about their situation. She doesn't seem to have a response and states that she doesn't feel well and leaves for her quarters, Oddly, she briefly seems to talk to herself quietly as she goes. Chakotay, confused, 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 to ask 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, places 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 two Overlookers 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 Overlooker captain, Zet, demanding to speak to Captain Janeway. When he does, she directly 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 disobeys her order and agrees.
Janeway is on the Overlookers' Hierarchy survey vessel. Once off the call, Janeway tries to sow doubts into the pair by stating The Doctor is fooling them, using holographic fake scenery. One of the Overlookers, Nar, wants to call off the plan, but Zet only briefly hesitates. It appears they are Hierarchy renegades and have planned this for months. They already have a buyer, and he is not backing off.
Meanwhile, The Doctor gets to work, impersonating Chakotay to talk to Tuvok about his scans of the Delta Flyer, then (with Janeway's voice) calls Torres to Janeway's quarters so he can get in engineering while impersonating Torres. He is able to get Vorik to tell him where spare gel packs are stored, however, while in the process, The Doctor is surprised by Paris, obviously not knowing of their earlier encounter. Postponing an impromptu meal to that evening, he gets Paris to leave, however, just as he completes retrieving the gel packs, Kim calls Chakotay to astrometrics. There, 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.
While 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 feigns ignorance but Tuvok is insistent, destroying one of the sickbay's holoemitters. The Doctor then jumps through the glass into his office and escapes with the mobile emitter.
Tuvok quickly calls for security backup and follows him into the holodeck. The Doctor has locked the doors and made multiple copies of himself inside, buying time. Tuvok asks Torres to cut power to the holodeck as he is threatening The Doctor at the same time. The Doctor, however, already made his escape and uses a Jefferies tube to get to engineering. Tuvok orders a shutdown of all turbolifts and transporters. The Doctor convinces the real Torres, as Chakotay, that there is an imminent warp core breach in progress, however, Paris calls Torres to say The Doctor is right near her. He confines her with force fields and activates his Emergency Command Hologram subroutines and successfully ejects the warp core. He tries to transport to the Delta Flyer but transporters are down. Quickly, he shuts down internal sensors and, as Torres, he goes through Jefferies tubes again to get to the shuttle bay. Tuvok reasons his plan and intercepts him, not fooled by seeing Torres. However, The Doctor makes a surprising leap off the wall and over Tuvok, grabbing his phaser and stunning him. He steals the Delta Flyer to tractor the ejected warp core to the Hierarchy ship.
Janeway, seeing Nar fixing obsolete engine parts, starts to strike up a conversation with him about it by giving him a tip in fixing it. Nar happily thanks her and shares his fondness for his hobby and his dream of starting an outpost for such an outlet. She proposes that Torres might be interested in acquiring everything when Zet interrupts them. Then, they detect the Delta Flyer.
When The Doctor arrives at the kidnappers' ship, however, they change plans and take him hostage, too, intending that he stay and work for them, with a few modifications to his program, of course.
- "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."
Eventually, Paris finds Chakotay and Kim at the morgue and, with relief, finds they are just unconscious. Soon, Torres is able to restart the impulse drive. Oddly, an altered version of The Blue Danube starts playing on every com channel of the ship. At first, they think the recording is flawed and several of the notes are played off key. Chakotay tries to pause the music, but the computer won't comply. This, along with the fact that The Doctor had played the piece flawlessly a month earlier during a recital, prompts Tuvok to suggest The Doctor altered it on purpose. Using a Fourier analysis, they crew discovers that the off-key notes are actually a warp signature embedded within the music, which allows them to track the aliens, 6.7 light-years away.
Meanwhile, on the Overlookers' ship, Janeway thinks about escape, trying to amplify The Doctor's matrix to disrupt the force field. During, The Doctor apologizes for his actions, but Janeway doesn't think this is the time. Nar comes to them to upload The Doctor's first assignment. He allows him to do so, and, quickly, objects. They want him to infiltrate a Hierarchy surveillance base to steal data. However, in doing so they begin to destabilize his main program.
Paris and Tuvok are tracking the Overlookers' ship in a shuttle. While Nar fumbles with The Doctor's program and warns Zet he will decompile soon, Tuvok fires on the ship and beams Paris over to the Delta Flyer. Zet orders Nar to fire on both vessels, which he does reluctantly while suggesting they give back the warp core so they'll leave. Zet complies, but also tries to arm a torpedo to destroy it, killing them while they escape and shocking Nar. Another blast damages the force field, releasing Janeway and The Doctor who subdue Zet and release the warp core. Zet continues to fight The Doctor, but, surprisingly, Nar decides to help them and knocks Zet out.
The crew quickly arrives back on Voyager directly to the holodeck, where Kim, Seven and Torres quickly get to work on his program. Believing he will not survive, he makes a bit of a deathbed confession to the whole group, including, among other things, that he recorded Janeway's "questionable" command decisions, told Neelix about a time when Tuvok had a particularly bad rash (breaching doctor-patient confidentiality), violating confidentiality, and told someone Kim's saxophone playing was bad. Finally, he turns to a confused Seven to admit that he is in love with her. He does survive, however, when Torres manages to delete all the added subroutines in time. He's immediately embarrassed.
- "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.
- 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; cutaneous eruption; Daystrom Institute; deflector pulse; Delta Flyer; Delta Quadrant; deuterium; Earth; Eblar Prime; Emergency Command Hologram; Fourier analysis; fried chicken; gesture; G-type star; Hierarchy; holographic template; Jefferies tube; Lessek Prime; logic; mobile emitter; mud bath; Mutara class; opera; paprika; personal database; polaron; polydeutonic alloy; potato salad; R'Kaal; red alert; red giant; resonance pulse; scratchy throat; sickbay; sidewalk; Supreme Archon; symposium; 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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