(written from a Production point of view)
|VOY, Episode 4x05|
Production number: 173
First aired: 1 October 1997
|←||72nd of 168 produced in VOY||→|
|←||72nd of 168 released in VOY||→|
|←||481st of 728 released in all||→|
| Written By|
The Doctor meets another sentient hologram, and tries to help the troubled program with his problems.
A man slumps to the floor, dead from a bloody wound to the back of the head. Another man drags the corpse away, then scrubs away the bloodstains. But as he scrubs, he begins to fade in and out, as if in a malfunctioning transporter. He immediately goes to a console and sends out a hail, identifying himself as an HD25 isomorphic projection, and calling for help.
Aboard the USS Voyager, Captain Kathryn Janeway, her senior staff and much of the crew are in the mess hall, holding a promotion ceremony for Lieutenant Tuvok. Lt. jg Tom Paris evokes laughter with accounts of his pranks on Tuvok. Janeway recounts how Tuvok corrected her in front of three admirals for failing to observe proper tactical procedures during her first command. Her ego was bruised, she recalls but, she adds, he was correct. She applauds him, stating that she has come to rely on his insightful and unfailingly logical advice. Citing his outstanding service as chief tactical officer and security chief, she pronounces him promoted to lieutenant commander and attaches a black pip to his collar, adding it to the two gold ones he has, indicating his new rank. With typical Vulcan stoicism, he thanks the captain and assures all present of his continued service to the best of his ability.
The formal part of the proceedings over, those present mingle as refreshments are served. B'Elanna Torres makes to leave, but Paris catches up with her in the corridor. He states that it is ridiculous that they have not spoken in three days, since Torres told him that she was in love with him, to which Torres agrees, acknowledging that they need to talk. Paris explains that he is is aware of the extreme conditions of their situation during the exchange, and says he understands that she probably didn't mean it. Looking extremely uncomfortable and vulnerable, she corrects him, stating that she did mean it, but she does not expect him to reciprocate. She begins to babble about "forgetting the whole thing" but is interrupted by Paris, who tells her to "shut up" and passionately kisses her. They are interrupted by The Doctor, and an embarrassed Torres takes her leave. The Doctor informs Paris that, due to Kes' departure, he has been granted permission by the captain to begin training a replacement, and Paris is "unfortunately" the most medically qualified person on board.
Meanwhile, in the mess hall, Captain Janeway and Neelix discuss Neelix's first official assignment as ambassador, and Commander Chakotay takes Ensign Harry Kim aside. He has an assignment for him: the design of a ship's astrometrics laboratory. It will be beyond state of the art, utilizing Borg as well as Starfleet technology. He will be working alongside Seven of Nine. Kim becomes quite nervous when told this, as his last collaboration with her proved quite physically painful but, not having a choice, he acknowledges the order.
The bridge calls Janeway and informs her of a distress call from a nearby ship. She goes to the bridge, taking with her The Doctor to provide possible medical insight into whatever crisis the distress call may be due to.
The Doctor is very excited to see that the hailer is a hologram like himself. He pleads with Janeway to allow him to go to the ship, citing that he is the obvious choice to render assistance to a hologram. Janeway is very reluctant. She tells him that he is their chief medical officer and if he were to be destroyed, it would be catastrophic for the crew. However, his eagerness wins her over, along with his suggestion that Lt. Torres accompany him to watch over him.
A very uneasy Kim enters a darkened Cargo Bay 2. Reluctantly, he calls to Seven of Nine. She responds as she descends a ladder and Kim becomes visibly nervous. They begin to discuss plans for the initial phase of the lab's design.
The Doctor and Torres head for the stricken ship using a shuttlecraft. They arrive and beam aboard. As they begin to look Torres, tricorder in hand, goes to a console and begins working at it. The isomorph appears behind them, in the shadows, stalking them. He picks up a hammer-like object and sneaks up towards them quietly. Oblivious to the danger, the two officers banter. The Doctor's holographic nature is mentioned.
Upon hearing this, the isomorph dematerializes, dropping the object, and re-materializes on the other side of the room, as if he had just come in. The noise of the object hitting the floor alerts the officers. The hologram apologizes for frightening them and steps forward and the officers introduce themselves.
The hologram's name is Dejaren and he is disappointed to learn that only The Doctor is a hologram. Torres scans him as he flickers and believes she can repair his holographic projectors. He shows her where they are and she begins repairing them.
The Doctor asks him what happened to the crew. Agitated, Dejaren responds that the ship had left their home planet Seros eight months prior. There had been six members of the crew, all flesh and blood. Two of the crew, it seemed, had become infected with a fatal virus which quickly spread to the others. Unlike The Doctor, Dejaren has no medical subroutines, thus there was nothing he could do except stand by and watch them all succumb to the illness. After they all died, the ship's neglected systems started to malfunction, including his holographic systems.
Torres returns and informs Dejaren that she has temporarily stabilized him but she needs to repair his primary holomatrix and asks him where it is. He informs her that it is down below, but warns her that that deck is flooded with radiation; she would be killed instantly. He points her to an alternate interface on the deck they are on and she goes to it.
Back on Voyager, Kim and Seven of Nine continue designing the astrometrics laboratory. Seven's nature as a former drone drives her to be as precise as possible but she makes a mistake, which Kim points out, somewhat to her distress. She also shows a flagrant disregard for procedures she finds inefficient or unnecessary. Seven, using her left hand which still has remnants of a Borg exoskeleton, reaches into a power coupling despite its extremely high energy level, which could cause severe injury or death. Kim sternly warns her not to do this again, whether the exoskeleton can handle it or not; safety protocols dictate that the power be shut off first. Nonchalantly, she acknowledges his warning.
On the derelict Serosian ship, Torres works on Dejaren's holomatrix while The Doctor is in another area, scanning. Dejaren is with him, admiring his mobile emitter, which allows The Doctor to go to areas without holographic projectors. Dejaren mourns his own inability to do so. The Doctor tells him about when he was first activated and how he had to deal with the initial discourtesy of being treated like a mere tool. (VOY: "Caretaker" et. al.) But, he adds, he has gradually gained the respect of the crew, who now view him as an equal. He has, he continues proudly, even developed hobbies: art, literature ,and music. He suggests that Dejaren could do the same.
Dejaren seems frightened by the suggestion but The Doctor assures him that the way he has handled this crisis will speak well in his favor. He finishes his work and puts away his scanner, not noticing the bloodstain it had been obscuring. Dejaren casually wipes it away with a rag before he can see it.
Torres continues working while Dejaren enters behind her, startling her. He goes up to her, passing close to a ripped-out power cable on the floor, still crackling with energy. Torres sternly warns him to be more careful, lest he destabilize his matrix completely, destroying himself. He offers her food, which she takes and nibbles. He looks at the open bulkhead with agitation. He bemoans the condition of the ship, saying that he feels like a part of it, as it sustains him. Torres sympathizes with him.
His reaction is completely unexpected. He disparages her, retorting that she is organic, existing apart from her ship, thus she could never understand. Raving manically, he mocks her and all other organic lifeforms, calling them repulsive. He exists, he sneers, as pure energy but she, like all organics, depends on food and water to survive, "grinding up plants and animals with teeth, swallowing it into a pit of digestive acids", shedding hair and skin, leaving her oily sweat on everything. She is, he yells, a "filthy animal" and he is ashamed to be made in the image of an organic. Completely shocked, Torres just stares at him. His raving ends and he apologizes. She quickly leaves but his look, as he watches her go, is very sinister.
Torres enters the area of the ship where The Doctor is working and informs him of Dejaren's behavior. She voices her opinion that he should be deactivated as his behavior denotes psychosis. Further, she had discovered that there was nothing wrong with the environment on the lower decks; Dejaren lied about them being irradiated. She suggests that he is hiding something down there.
These revelations disturb The Doctor. He suggests Dejaren's behavior may be the result of the traumatic ordeal he has endured. That may be, Torres agrees but she still intends to find out what is down below. She asks The Doctor to keep Dejaren occupied while she goes and checks on the lower desk. He agrees, just as Dejaren enters, holding a holographic fishbowl containing a holographic fish which he calls Spectrum. Torres casually leaves as The Doctor engages Dejaren in conversation about his "pet".
Back on Voyager, Kim and Seven continue their work on the astrometrics lab. They endeavor to remove a data node containing Borg navigational data in order to access it. When they pull it from its socket, Seven of Nine sustains a deep laceration on her hand. This distresses her greatly because, as a drone, she would have healed almost instantly from such an injury. Kim immediately takes her to sickbay.
In The Doctor's absence, Paris, a trained medic, oversees sickbay. He warns Seven to be more careful, as she no longer has her Borg healing factor and could have severed her carpal nerve, requiring major surgery. Shaken, she leaves.
Kim angrily rebukes Paris for his perceived insensitivity towards her, frightening her with his talk of severed nerves and major surgery. Paris, amused, correctly deduces Kim's infatuation with her, but seriously warns him not to pursue it. Kim leaves after weakly denying the accusation.
Back on the derelict vessel, The Doctor keeps Dejaren occupied as Torres searches the lower decks. She is looking, not only for anything out of the ordinary but also for Dejaren's main holomatrix controls, so that she can shut him off. Moving carefully along the darkened corridors, she comes to a chamber, opens it and enters. Lights automatically come on. Horrified, she sees the bloody remains of the dead Serosian crewmen strewn on the floor.
She now realizes the truth: there was no viral infection. Dejaren's manic anti-organic rant was far more ominous than she had realized. Having gone insane, he murdered the crew, loathing their organic nature, which means that her life is now in jeopardy. Hurriedly, she searches for his matrix controls and finds them.
Above, The Doctor listens to Dejaren as the latter tries to persuade him to leave Voyager and join him on his ship instead. Dejaren begins to argue his perspective to The Doctor: the organics treat holograms like mere tools, he insists. He has spent his entire existence cleaning up after them. He has learned now that this does not have to be the way of life and will not give control of the ship to any organic. The Doctor tries to reason with him, stressing that, as technological entities, they need maintenance that only organics can give. Dejaren rants that this is untrue: they do not need nourishment, nor do they suffer from disease, therefore they, not organics, are the higher form of life.
The moment Torres accesses his matrix, he becomes aware of it. Furious, he tells The Doctor his intentions towards her, then transfers himself to her location. Horrified, The Doctor rushes there on foot.
As Torres works on Dejaren's holomatrix controls, he materializes behind her. She swings a fist at him, but he becomes intangible, rendering the punch ineffective. He then makes his hand partially intangible and sticks it into her chest, squeezing her heart. She gasps in agony, but manages to touch a button on a control panel that shuts him off before blacking out. As he vanishes, he screams in rage and frustration. The Doctor enters, finds her lying unconscious, and tends to her.
Aboard Voyager, it is late at night. Kim is working on the astrometrics lab schematics alone in the empty mess hall. Seven enters in response to his summons. He informs her he had an inspiration concerning the lab's design. At her request, he hands her the PADDs on which he has outlined his idea. Refusing his offer to sit, she comments on the low lighting in the room, insufficient to see the PADD's displays properly.
Seven's response makes Kim extremely embarrassed. She notes aloud his attempts to engage her in idle conversation and his dilated pupils whenever he watches her body. She asks him point-blank if he is in love with her. Kim, not expecting such bluntness, blurts out that he is not. Her next question embarrasses him further: does he wish to copulate? He stammers that he does not, but she notes the elaborate ritual of seduction and how roundabout it is compared to the Borg method of simply assimilating a species they want. Nevertheless, she concludes, she is willing to "explore her Humanity". Advancing on him, she instructs him to remove his clothes. Kim stutters that he was only being friendly and suggests they end their work for now. Seven matter-of-factly agrees and returns to Cargo Bay 2, leaving Kim to slump back in his chair, looking badly shaken.
The Doctor revives Torres and informs her that he has found the bodies of all six murdered crewmen. He also informs her of the damage Dejaren did to her heart, which she confirms when pain stabs through her chest when she tries to rise. He has tried to transport them back to the shuttle, but some kind of interference is preventing it. She stumbles to a console to try to get through. She asks for her toolkit, which he goes to retrieve.
On the way, he sees Spectrum in his bowl on the floor, and realizes that Torres did not deactivate all the holographic projectors. He hurries back and finds Torres again lying unconscious on the floor, this time with a bloody head wound. Dejaren stands over her with the same hammer-like instrument he first tried to sneak up on them with. He wails in psychotic anguish at The Doctor's perceived betrayal of a fellow hologram. The Doctor tries futilely to reason with him.
They engage in taking physical blows at each other, a useless exercise, as each simply phases the others' blow through himself without harm. Then, however, Dejaren attacks The Doctor's mobile emitter, knocking it off-line and deactivating his program. Gleefully, he picks it up.
Torres comes to and struggles to stand up but fails. Dejaren advances on her, hammer in hand. Torres scrabbles away, through corridors, closing doors after her. Dejaren merely phases through them and continues pursuing her. Eventually, he chases her into the room where his psychotic state was first revealed to her. The broken power cable still lies on the floor. Dejaren enters; having lost his bludgeon, he reaches to strangle her with his bare hands.
Torres scrambles backward to the console near the cable and activates power to the cable, which begins to crackle with energy. She seizes it and plunges it into Dejaren's chest, completely destabilizing his matrix. A vacant look appears on his face as his program is destroyed, permanently. Torres takes the mobile emitter and re-activates The Doctor. She informs him of Dejaren's fate, and they leave to go to the shuttle.
At the start of the day, Kim enters Chakotay's office to report to him on the progress of the astrometrics lab. He reports that the schematics are complete. Chakotay commends him on their quick work and turns his attention to the construction phase. After what happened the night before, Kim very much prefers not to work with Seven in any way again. He nervously suggests that an engineering team would be better to handle the construction.
Chakotay appears confused, asking Kim if he does not want to supervise the construction after all the work he put into the design. Kim nervously declines. Chakotay gravely asks him if there is some sort of problem between him and Seven. He blurts out no, then almost trips over himself seeking dismissal to leave. Chakotay sternly orders him to state what is going on. Kim falteringly tells him of what happened the night before, making sure to be very vague on the details. He refers to the incident as merely basic "Borg-Human cultural differences." Chakotay matter-of-factly tells him that Seven said otherwise.
Kim looks as if he is about to retch. Stammering badly, he asks Chakotay if Seven spoke to him about what took place. Chakotay tells him that Seven said that her opinion is that they are making progress, but she is confused by what she called "our 'complex social interactions'." Kim weakly feigns confusion as to what she meant by that. Chakotay again complements him on his work, but makes it clear that he will stay on the project and work with her. Dismissed, Kim miserably leaves. Chakotay watches him go and when the door closes, he breaks into an amused smile and laughs.
Torres and The Doctor, having returned to Voyager, are in sickbay, where The Doctor works on her heart. Paris comes to see her, concerned. They suggestively make plans to "meet" later in her quarters, with The Doctor humorously commenting that he is detecting "increased hormone levels". Paris makes to leave, stating that he going to check on Kim, who is apparently "having a nervous breakdown". The Doctor, hearing this, begins to feign Dejaren's psychotic behavior, manically ordering Paris to remain and clean up the sickbay from his "oily residue on every hypospray" and "sloughed secretions on every console." But before the two officers get too alarmed, especially Torres, he smiles, revealing the jocular nature of his actions. He states that a little clutter never hurt anyone, and that he thinks the sickbay should have a "more organic" feel. Paris inquires to Torres as to the reason for The Doctor's odd behavior, to which she cryptically replies "it's a long story".
"Had I known this commendation entailed ritual humiliation, I might have declined."
- - Tuvok, on the Tuvok quotes the crew were swapping
"During my three years on Voyager, I have grown to respect a great many of you. Others [sideway glance to Paris and Kim] I have learned to tolerate."
- - Tuvok
"B'Elanna, this is ridiculous. It's been three days and we haven't said a word to each other."
"I know, we have to talk."
"About what you said. I mean, the part about being in love with me. I realize you were suffering from oxygen deprivation and we were literally seconds away from death, so I know you probably didn't mean it."
"Oh no, I meant it, but I don't expect you to reciprocate. Really, you can just pretend that I didn't say it. In fact let's just pretend that I didn't..."
"Shut up." [passionately kissing her]
- - Paris and Torres
"The captain had authorized me to recruit someone with advanced medical training to help out in sickbay. Unfortunately, the most qualified crewmember is you."
"You want me to be the new nurse?!"
"If that's the title you prefer. It...will only be temporary, three duty shifts a week. Report to sickbay at 0600 hours. Bring a tricorder, and a smile."
- - The Doctor and Tom Paris, talking shop after The Doctor broke in on Paris and Torres kissing
"I always wanted to learn Borg."
"That is difficult to believe."
"I was kidding. It was a joke."
- - Harry Kim makes an attempt at humor with Seven of Nine
"When I was first activated I was regarded as little more than a talking tricorder."
- - The Doctor
"This is going to get tedious."
- - The Doctor, fighting Dejaren
"I exist as pure energy, but you depend on food and water to survive. Frankly, I find it disgusting. Look at you. Look at you! Grinding up bits of plants and animals with your teeth. Secreting saliva to force it down your esophagus into a pit of digestive acids. You can't even stand to think about it yourself. What a repulsive creature you are, constantly shedding your skin and hair, leaving your oily sweat on everything you touch! You think that you are the height of intellect in the universe but you are no better than any filthy animal! And I am ashamed to be made in your image!"
- - Dejaren
"I beg your pardon?"
"That's how much power went into life support. 59.2 percent - just to keep them breathing, warm, comfortable"
"They do require quite a bit of maintenance, don't they?"
"I should know - I spent my entire existence cleaning up after them - when they were busy sleeping, or eating, or engaging in their slovenly carnal pleasures!"
- - The Doctor and Dejaren
"I just spent the last ten minutes hearing his views on biological life. Let's just say they're a bit unconventional. Did you realize that we organics are a bunch of inferior, disgusting animals?"
"Now that you mention it..."
- - B'Elanna Torres and The Doctor, on Dejaren
"I see the way your pupils dilate when you look at my body."
- - Seven of Nine, to Ensign Kim
"Oh, you're getting blood everywhere..."
- - Dejaren, to Torres
"Are you in love with me, ensign?"
"Then you wish to copulate?"
"No! I mean... I ... I don't know what I mean."
- - Seven of Nine and Ensign Kim
"We...we had a misunderstanding."
"Oh, it's nothing really important. Just your basic Borg-Human cultural differences."
"Really? That's not what she says."
(Fearful stuttering) "You... you... you... you spoke... you spoke to her?"
- - Ensign Kim and Chakotay
"All of these elaborate rituals of deception... I didn't realize becoming Human again would be such a challenge. Sexuality is particularly complex. As Borg, we had no need for seduction, no time for single-cell fertilization. We saw a species we wanted, and we assimilated it. Nevertheless, I am willing to explore my Humanity. Take off your clothes."
"Don't be alarmed. I won't hurt you."
- - Seven of Nine and Ensign Kim
"I'm sorry about the mess. I haven't had time to clean up. [bemused look from Torres] It was a hectic day! I treated two broken bones, an upset stomach and a lacerated hand."
[flirting] "Does this mean you're too tired to meet later in my quarters?"
"Are you sure your heart can take it?"
"I'm detecting elevated hormonal levels. If you two don't take it easy, I'll have to declare a medical emergency."
- - Paris and Torres, with The Doctor
"The last time we worked together I struck you at the back of your skull and attempted to contact the Collective."
"These things happen."
- - Seven of Nine and Ensign Kim
- This installment of Star Trek: Voyager was initially scheduled to be after the episode "The Raven". (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, No. 6/7, p. 113) Ultimately, however, this installment was both produced and aired immediately before that one.
Title and script
- This episode had the working title "Delirium". 
- The episode's final draft script was submitted on 7 July 1997. 
Cast and characters
- The scenes of this episode that involved Dejaren actor Leland Orser had to be filmed in a limited number of days, as Orser was very busy at the time. He later said of the Star Trek: Voyager staff, "They said they had this incredibly special guest star part on Voyager that I might be interested in. I was just about to go to London to shoot Saving Private Ryan. I had four days, and that was it. The Star Trek people said we could get it done in four days, so I said yes." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #16)
- Ultimately, Leland Orser was very pleased that he had accepted the role of Dejaren for this episode. "If you've seen the show," he commented, "you know it's one of those opportunities you can't miss as an actor. Dejaren was just this wild, out-there, emotional character." Orser went on to further describe Dejaren, likening him to a child or "a wild-child, a boy in a man's body" whose needs and emotions were very simple. In addition, Orser opined, "It was a great character." He also liked how the episode initially portrays his character as an apparently innocent hologram that The Doctor and B'Elanna will help, before it is revealed that Dejaren is actually a mass murderer who goes on to cause a great deal of trouble for his visitors from Voyager. (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #16)
- Leland Orser especially enjoyed the opportunity to work with Robert Picardo and Roxann Dawson. "They all told me how lucky they are, and they are lucky," the actor observed. "It's a very, very nice group of people. Everybody was extremely nice to me. Bob was great and so was Roxann." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #16)
- For his part, Robert Picardo was delighted to work with Leland Orser. "I thought Leland was extraordinary in that show," Picardo said of "Revulsion," while interviewed midway through the fourth season. He further said of Orser, "He's one of the finest guest actors we've ever had." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #18) Picardo also enthused, "Leland Orser was just splendid in that role, and a pleasure to work with [....] He was the heart of that show. When you have a great guest star like that, it loosens up everybody in the regular company. I thought he did a wonderful job." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 86)
- Director Kenneth Biller was impressed with not only Leland Orser but also the pair of regular cast members who acted alongside him. "I got a fantastic guest star, Leland Orser," remarked Biller. "I [also] had two really good actors from our cast to work with, Bob Picardo and Roxann Dawson." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 83) Additionally, Biller raved, "Our actors – Bob Picardo and Roxann – were great, and Orser was terrific. He's an extraordinary actor." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #18)
- Executive producer Jeri Taylor was also impressed by the performances in this installment, especially those of Robert Picardo and Leland Orser. Taylor remarked, "I thought it was [...] very nicely played. Whenever you get Bob Picardo with a good guest star, you get good things." (Star Trek Monthly issue 36, p. 13)
- Robert Picardo was a fan of this episode in general, noting, "I thought 'Revulsion' was excellent." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #18)
- Similarly, Kim actor Garrett Wang liked his own scenes of this episode. Midway through the fourth season, he said, "I've had some nice scenes providing some comedic elements, like those scenes with Jeri Ryan in 'Revulsion.'" (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #17) Wang did not, however, enjoy discovering that Kim wouldn't become romantically involved with Seven of Nine by the episode's conclusion. The actor related, "If you think about it, you're reading through the script and you're looking at it. It says, 'Kim invites Seven to the mess hall, under the guise of doing work. But, in reality, he's trying to put his moves on her.' And as an actor, I'm like, 'Hey! This is great! You know? And I'm having a scene with the babe of the show, you know? Okay.' And the immortal words come about: 'Seven of Nine says to Ensign Kim, "Do you wish to copulate?"' And at that point, I like... I'm flipping through. 'Does he-does he-does he change his mind?' No. 'It doesn't even happen?!'" Grinning broadly, Wang continued, "And I just threw the script on the wall! I'm like, 'This is ridiculous!' [....] So, that was a sad day." (Voyager Time Capsule: Harry Kim, VOY Season 4 DVD)
- Jeri Ryan believed that not only did it seem as though Seven of Nine is developing a sense of humor here but also that this development was premature for the character. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 83) Specifically, Ryan complained later in the fourth season, "Early on [...] we had an episode where I intentionally cracked a joke, and it was just too early for the character. I think the producers realized that too." (Star Trek Monthly issue 37, p. 15) This complaint was despite the fact that Ryan understood that Seven was ignorant about sexual interaction. (Voyager Time Capsule: Seven of Nine, VOY Season 4 DVD)
- Co-executive producer Brannon Braga liked the entanglement that Kim finds himself in with Seven of Nine. "I thought it was audacious, saucy and controversial," Braga remarked. "I loved the idea that Kim got in a little over his head. Picking up on women is bad enough for him, but [with] a Borg woman, he's way out of his league. I think it was true to Seven's character, because she saw right through his romantic manipulations, and asked him if he wished to copulate. That's what a Borg would say." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 83)
- Besides directing this episode, Ken Biller worked as a writer/producer on Star Trek: Voyager. He studied the craft of directing throughout the third season of the series, in preparation for this episode. "It was totally energizing. I'm the kind of guy who always wants a new challenge," Biller stated. "Once I got on the set it was great, in part because my background was in directing theater. The actors and I had always had good relationships. We would socialize and kick around, but to get out there and work with them was great. The crew was incredibly supportive. I was really pleased with it." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #18) Biller also said, "It was a fun show to direct. To me it was sort of like a little John Carpenter film. I tried to make it scary [....] It was a great experience. I'm fortunate in that I had my first TV directing experience with a friendly crew, a crew that likes me and wants to help me, and see me succeed." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 83)
- Leland Orser found that the episode's production period sped by. He later said, "I've been doing a lot of movies lately where we have all this time to shoot scenes. On Voyager, we were shooting scene after scene. It goes very quickly and you just have to be so much more on top of your character, on top of your lines." The actor also recalled, "We literally wrapped on Friday night and I was on a plane Saturday night." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #16)
- Despite being happy with the installment in general, Ken Biller was not entirely satisfied with the episode's final edit. "There are always a few things you look at and wish you could change," he commented. "There were a couple of suspense sequences that didn't pan out quite the way I wanted [....] It got cut down a bit in the editing." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #18)
Reception and aftermath
- This episode won the approval of Jeri Taylor, who commented that she "thought it was wonderfully written." (Star Trek Monthly issue 36, p. 13)
- This episode achieved a Nielsen rating of five million homes, and an 8% share. 
- Seven questioning Kim over whether he wished to copulate was the subject of some negative viewer response. Brannon Braga commented, "I know it rubbed a lot of people up the wrong way [....] If it caught some people off guard, that's exactly what we wanted to do." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 83)
- Likewise, Garrett Wang faced some public humiliation for the fact that Kim replies negatively to Seven's question. Wang commented, "I definitely was unable to 'live that down,' from the fans' standpoint [....] From that point forward, after the episode aired, fans everywhere were... you know, I'd be in Pittsburgh, I'd be in Germany, it didn't matter where I was – they'd come up and they'd go, 'Oh. Oh, you lost out!' You know? I mean, everyone's just like always shaking their head! They're like, 'I can't believe you...' As if I was the one that told the writers: 'Make sure that I don't copulate with Seven of Nine, please. You know, I should turn that down, as Kim. I'm very... I have high morals and I'm not going to get into there.'" (Voyager Time Capsule: Harry Kim, VOY Season 4 DVD)
- Cinefantastique rated this episode 3 out of 4 stars. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 81)
- Star Trek Monthly scored this episode 3 out of 5 stars. (Star Trek Monthly issue 38, p. 61)
- The unauthorized reference book Delta Quadrant (p. 203) gives this installment a rating of 5 out of 10.
- After working on this installment of Voyager, Leland Orser was witness to an unexplained, possibly coincidental occurrence. "I get on my plane, fly to London, check in to my hotel, order room service and turn on the TV," Orser remembered. "I look at the screen and what comes on, but Bob Picardo's face! I had just gotten into my room and Voyager was on. It was so strange, but I took it as a very, very good sign." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #16)
- The reason why Jeri Ryan believed that the producers shared her opinion that this episode includes premature humor from the character of Seven of Nine was "because we then backed off from doing that." Ryan, speaking midway through the fourth season, concluded, "[The incident] was swept under the carpet, and we haven't done any more humor – the character has gone back to being a little more stoic." (Star Trek Monthly issue 37, p. 15)
- In common with Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation, the artificial being in this episode has a gold complexion.
- Tuvok is promoted to the rank of lieutenant commander here. Throughout about half of Season 1, Tuvok wears Lt. Commander's insignia in an apparent costuming error (but is continually addressed as lieutenant).
- Paris states that the events of "Day of Honor" occurred three days earlier and "Scorpion, Part II" occurred a month earlier.
- Chakotay states, "We'd like to enhance the astrometrics lab. It hasn't been upgraded since Voyager left spacedock." However, in VOY: "Shattered", the Janeway from 2371 exclaims that Voyager doesn't have an astrometrics lab. Chakotay may have been exaggerating, in which case the astrometrics lab was constructed sometime after Voyager left spacedock, but not before the events of "Caretaker".
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 4.3, 6 April 1998
- As part of the VOY Season 4 DVD collection
Links and references
- Robert Beltran as Commander Chakotay
- Roxann Dawson as Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres
- Robert Duncan McNeill as Lieutenant Tom Paris
- Ethan Phillips as Neelix
- Robert Picardo as The Doctor
- Tim Russ as Lieutenant Commander Tuvok
- Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine
- Garrett Wang as Ensign Harry Kim
alphanumerics; antimatter radiation; antimatter waste; Arrithean; assimilation; astrometric projector; astrometrics; Billings, USS; Borg; Borg Collective; carpal nerve; class 2 shuttle; distress call; exoskeleton; fish; gigawatt; HD25 Isomorphic Projection; heart; holodeck; hologram; holomatrix; holographic technology; internal sensor; isomagnetic conduit; isomorph; Jefferies tube; Klingon; Ktarian moonrise simulation; "live long and prosper"; logic; Milky Way Galaxy; mobile emitter; optical assembly; pericardium; power cell; primary isomatrix; reactor core; Seros; Serosians; Serosian vessel; Spectrum; thoracic assembly; tricorder; ventricle; virus; Vulcan; Vulcan tea
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