Jammer's Review

Star Trek: Voyager

"Someone to Watch Over Me"


Air date: 4/28/1999
Teleplay by Michael Taylor
Story by Brannon Braga
Directed by Robert Duncan McNeill

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"How the hell do you know when we're having intimate relations?"
"There is no one on deck 9, section 12, that doesn't know when you're having intimate relations."

— B'Elanna and Seven

Nutshell: A delightfully pleasant, hilarious, and sincere hour.

Some of the best comedies are the ones that dare to be true to human nature rather than simply going for the isolated gag. Elaborate gags are fine, and comedy can certainly work when arranged through ridiculous, manufactured situations (just look at much of Seinfeld's run, for a good example), but there's something to be said for the simple comedy that runs with a basic situation and doesn't go for the contrived, overblown payoff.

"Someone to Watch Over Me" is a human comedy with a ring of truth. The concept behind the story is relatively simple: Seven of Nine takes dating lessons. The result is an hour that takes many of the expected comic paths in ways that are impressively sincere, and also finds a bittersweet undercurrent that leaves one charmed. It's a straightforward story well conceived by Brannon Braga and well told by Michael Taylor, in probably the latter's best work of the season.

There are probably about a million ways this story could've gone wrong and ended up looking just plain silly. Somehow, the story manages to steer clear of almost every trace of stupidity. Sure, sometimes the humor is obvious, but we sense that, given these characters' personas, it's precisely what would happen under the circumstances.

The one who gives Seven dating lessons is, of course, the Doctor. The funny thing about Doc is that he is in a situation similar to Seven's—somewhat outside the understanding of human existence. But the difference is that he has a certain perceptiveness of human behavior that Seven seems to lack (and he therefore considers himself something of an expert). He also has a desire to fit in as a human, whereas Seven seems somewhat more content being "unique."

So who else would be fit to give Seven lessons on dating, that strange human custom that Jerry Seinfeld likens to a job interview?

Seven will probably always be Seven, but she does try to be more human. (At the hour's beginning, she's watching Tom and B'Elanna eating dinner, and, much to B'Elanna's dismay, reveals that she has been observing and logging the couple's intimate activities for days.)

The Doctor's tutelage comes in the form of chapter-by-chapter lessons, with the chapters having titles like "Beguiling Banter," "Dress for Success," and "Shall We Dance?"

Watching Seven engage in dating behavior is hilarious, because the most important aspect of her social development—how to talk in human terms rather than Borg ones—is still somewhat lagging. Seven always speaks in terse, matter-of-fact phrases that often feature computer-like words like "terminated." She also has a tendency to make verbal mandates rather than requests. For her, verbal communication conveys fact, not emotion. She aims for efficiency, not courtesy. So when you plug that pattern of speech into a dating situation, you get almost instant comedy.

Doc's plan takes Seven through a series of social interaction exercises, including one particularly cute scene where Doc and Seven sing a duet of "You Are My Sunshine." (Here, having Jeri Ryan sing works as a legitimate aspect of the story, rather than seeming gratuitous the way it was in last season's "Killing Game.") Eventually, Seven is ready to make a selection for her first date, which she does by narrowing to two candidates a list of crew members based on compatible interests and duty efficiency. ("You are not one of the candidates, Ensign," she informs a hopeful Harry. Heh.)

For her first date, Seven recruits, er, requests the presence of one Lt. Chapman (Brian McNamara) for dinner in the holodeck, whom she asks out in a way that's as terse and matter-of-fact as one would probably expect a Borg might ask someone out.

The date itself is charmingly funny. One would expect it to be a disaster. It pretty much is. But what I like most about the date scene—and the episode in general—is the way the characters try so hard to make everything work. The scene could've played the wrong notes and embarrassed both characters beyond our ability to feel good about what unfolded, but it doesn't. Instead, both characters genuinely try to make the best of a very awkward set of situations. This scene deserves credit because it allows Chapman not only to be incredibly nervous, but also very understanding. Poor Seven just doesn't comprehend these human customs, but she tries the best she can to play along. And Chapman tries to salvage the evening several times by maintaining patience and composure, and suggesting that perhaps they try a different activity. When the lobster dinner falls through, he recommends dancing ... which lands him in sickbay with a torn ligament when Seven attempts a more complex dancing maneuver.

All of the mini-disasters and the awkwardness in the dialog prove very amusing, but the lighthearted sincerity of good-natured effort is what really makes the scene work. Even though the date, as expected, sinks about as fast as the Titanic, both characters somehow survive with their dignity intact. Doc's presence as the piano player/chaperone provides a nice touch for some subtle laughs on the side.

Robert Duncan McNeill, who directed, shows a skill for comic timing with a light touch. A lot of the humor in this episode could've suffered if it had been blunt and in-your-face in execution, but instead it's somewhat understated, which I think is a very wise choice. The episode seems more human and less manufactured as a result.

Also, it's nice to see Tom's Marseilles restaurant brought back from holodeck oblivion. I've always thought it had the most class of the Voyager holodeck hangouts, though I must share Tom's disappointment at the deletion of the pool table.

Performances are key to success in a story like this. McNamara is effective as the likable but ill-fated first-date victim. But, naturally, this is Jeri Ryan's vehicle to carry. I realized here more than ever before that Ryan gets great acting mileage out of her eyes. Because Seven is generally very subtle when it comes to emotion and facial expressions, it's eye language that most often shows how she's feeling, whether it's the terror of arriving at that first date or the bemused wonder of letting her hair down for the sake of appearance.

Of course, we can't forget about Robert Picardo, who brings the usual mix of sincerity, sensitivity, and manic over-eagerness to the character. Just as Seven is Seven, Doc is Doc: a well-intentioned guy who begins realize he's getting more than he bargained for in giving Seven these lessons on romance. He silently begins to fall for the pupil, which makes for the story's bittersweet coda, where Doc realizes that Seven probably doesn't share the feelings—but can't be sure because he can't muster the will to ask.

It's clear Seven and Doc share a respect and friendship that is unique, but the question, I think, is whether Seven has the capacity at this point to even feel something for Doc—or for anyone. Through all the dating practice and social lessons, does Seven see this as anything more than an elaborate human exercise? I'm guessing she doesn't really have the need or desire for romance, and it's apparent her ideal "compatible mate" does not exist, simply because the parameters she sets for compatibility are too narrow.

There's also a B-plot here that is good for some laughs, as Neelix finds himself in over his head in showing around an alien guest of honor, Tomin (Scott Thompson), who overindulges in spicy foods and synthehol, going against the traditions of his people. Neelix can't control Tomin's indulgences, and Tomin eventually gets so drunk he can't stand, leading Neelix to fear that his babysitting of the guest will end in an unpleasant embarrassment. (Neelix: "The captain will be back tomorrow. What do I do?!" Chakotay: "Pray.")

However, I really could've done without Tomin interrupting the hour's peace and good will with that obnoxiously drunken outburst. (The whole show benefits from being tranquil, so why ruin a good thing?) Most of the material is fine as lightweight subplots go, but I wish it had backed off at the end, because in an hour almost completely free of conventional cynicism, Tomin's angry drunkenness begins to show the hints of a mean spirit that should've been barred from the set.

Anyway, even Tomin's outburst can't bring down a scene where Seven accompanies Doc to a party, and where she makes a toast to "the things that make us unique." Seven can fit in when she tries, but it requires her to relax and feel comfortable, and it's interesting that Doc is one of the few people who can help her feel that way.

Doc and Seven's rapport is an interesting phenomenon. At one point Seven calls dating inefficient, saying the communication she shares with the Doctor is more useful, since they say what they mean. But that's sort of the point: Dating isn't supposed to exemplify efficiency; it's customary, ritual human behavior. For Seven to understand it would require her to better understand humanity. That's the quest. She has come quite a way since "The Gift," but there's still a long way to go. In the meantime, I suppose she can take satisfaction in being unique.

Next week: Y2K makes Voyager blow up. (Okay, maybe not.)

Previous episode: Juggernaut
Next episode: 11:59

Season Index

51 comments on this review

mlk - Sun, Jan 20, 2008 - 7:38pm (USA Central)
Seven had 30 giga quads of studies on intimate relationships...a lot of porno movies
David Forrest - Tue, Mar 11, 2008 - 2:33pm (USA Central)
This episode was hysterical...I was laughing outloud most of the episode, but it was truly funny because it is precisely how Seven would behave.
grumpy_otter - Wed, Jul 2, 2008 - 4:47pm (USA Central)
I'd like to emphasize the kudos that should go to Brian McNamara--he brilliantly portrays the hapless Chapman. Think of it--the entire heterosexual male crew of Voyager has been drooling to get with Seven, and he becomes the CHOSEN ONE. His portrayal of the drool/dismay that results when the actual date occurs is classic. Wish we could have seen him again....RESET!!!!

And once again, the perfection of a Doctor-Seven romance is so obvious here--I still can't figure out why the writers decided to make him "Joe."
impronen - Sat, Sep 13, 2008 - 3:28pm (USA Central)
Probably one of my favorite episodes ever. Subtle, insightful and fun. Also, a great song.
John Pate - Mon, Jan 19, 2009 - 4:18pm (USA Central)
Such a great episode, quintessentially "Voyager." If I didn't love Jeri Ryan before this episode I certainly did after. Watching it again in 2009 it's improved with age, if anything. Jeri's delivery of lines like: "Lesson Six, Beguiling Banter." Priceless.
EP - Tue, Mar 3, 2009 - 4:22pm (USA Central)
The episode is a load of fun, and yet, I can't get past the fact that the is-he-or-isn't-he-sentient holo-doctor is Seven's guide to humanity. He's got one hell of a program.

At least Data had Picard, and Spock had Kirk.
Joseph B - Thu, Mar 12, 2009 - 9:45am (USA Central)
The Seven/Doctor "You Are My Sunshine" duet was incredible!! I had to keep reminding myself that I was supposedly viewing a duet between a cybernetic being and a holographic projection! It's a credit to both actors that that scene worked so well. That the scene also worked within the framework of the series is a tribute to all the creative people that ever worked on "Voyager".
Sebastian - Mon, May 11, 2009 - 9:45pm (USA Central)
The Doc shuffles Chapman very quickly out of the holodeck.
That could have been a situation for Seven to react more naturally, bring her date to the sickbay or talk about how she and he felt about the evening.

Seven felt he was quickening the sequence, because he did not like it. It would have been a compliment for her, if Chapman resisted the Doc (just a bit) more. She wouldn't have felt it as a failed date.

Anyone agree?
Markus - Fri, Aug 14, 2009 - 12:22am (USA Central)
My god... The first time on Voyager I had tears in my eyes when the Doctor confessed his love to Seven on the Holodeck. One of the best shows on Star Trek as a whole and Voyager especially. Great!
Jack - Sat, Aug 22, 2009 - 5:42am (USA Central)
I can only agree with what people said about this episode. I haven't seen this show for years and having whatched it again recently, I know why Voyager has always been my favorite show.

Joe Blow - Fri, Nov 20, 2009 - 7:56am (USA Central)
To call this episode hilarious is overstating things, just a tad. Sure Jeri Ryan is good, so is Robert Picardo, but the humor in the episode is obvious, and at times, forced. Jeri Ryan sure has a nice figure though!
O'Brien-Wan Kenobi - Fri, Nov 27, 2009 - 10:09am (USA Central)

Seven and the Doctor are the Voyager characters I found most engaging and this episode shows them off terrifically.

For me Voyager sorely lacks the interpersonal chemistries of which DS9 has several (eg Sisko and Jake, O'Brien and Bashir, O'Brien and Bashir and Worf, everyone and Worf, Weyoun and Damarr, also the delightfully cartoonlike baddies Ducat and Kai Wynn etc etc).
Paul - Thu, Mar 18, 2010 - 5:40pm (USA Central)
Wow, Seven 'adapted' to high heels very quickly.
Jason - Thu, Mar 25, 2010 - 5:38am (USA Central)
A classic episode. The Doctor once again shines!

His rather animated interpretation of the process of ‘egg fertilisation’ is exceptionally funny.

And the end is so very poignant as Dr. Feel-Good is such a likable character (in a irascible way).
Shamik - Fri, Jun 4, 2010 - 3:38pm (USA Central)

Voyager's biggest character-related disappointment, was not following through with this episode and pairing up the Doctor and Seven. The whole Chakotay/Seven thing at the end never made any sense at all!
Michael - Sun, Jul 4, 2010 - 6:37pm (USA Central)
Oh my freaking god, if Paris makes another reference to a 20th-century automobile, I'll personally track him down and run him over with one!!!

I don't understand what's so good about this episode. Yes, it's reall funny at times; yes, we get a lot of shots of Seven and her, um, talents... But, HELLO!, is this Star Trek or Friends?!?

I want to see laser battles, spatial phenomena, the workings of advanced sci-fi technology, exploration, and interaction with new and vastly different species. I am decidedly NOT interested in people's FEELINGS, their troubled childhood relationships, their meditations, cogitations and ruminations, their introspective explorations, their personalities and characters, OR in scenes of 20th-century-Earth bars, autos and wars... Perhaps my own expectations are the problem here.

2 stars, and that only because of the humor. This show had no sense or purpose.
Cloudane - Fri, Dec 24, 2010 - 1:13pm (USA Central)
Oh I vastly prefer the DS9 type stuff analysing characters and cultures or going into multi layered drama instead of just battles and technobabble particles.

But I've never had much of a fondness for love stories (especially Trek ones, although this is one of the better ones) or "cringe based" comedy so it didn't do much for me really.

I loved the "how do you bend a hologram's ear" joke though :)
Tokeiihto - Mon, Feb 7, 2011 - 2:23pm (USA Central)

Oh please. By now I've read at least half a dozen comments in which you endlessy complain whenever Voyager episodes turned attentionen to moral subtext, insightful characterisation and/or introspective relationship aspects - which unfortunately wasn't that often anyway, at least not in a sophisticated, engaging and therefore successful manner.

It may come as a surprise to you but Star Trek at its heart has always been about character interactions, about human (even with sometimes not so human beings) drama and ethical issues set against a sci-fi backdrop. How boring and shallow a show/franchise it were if devoid of such themes? Themes we actually can relate to? If it wouldn't tackle topics we as indivuduals or as a whole society have to face constantly (or from time to time at any rate)? That, on some level, actually matter?

Oh, and dealing with such things has nothing to do with going all 'Friends' (or 'Oprah' as you put it in another comment). I mean, how old are you? Space battles and explosions, unintelligible techno-babble. Gosh ...

On a second thought let me ask you one question. What would "interaction with vastly different species" be about? How to increase the Warp drive efficiency? How to better compensate fluctuation in the shield emitter. Which race forms a temporarily allience with whom to battle which opposing alien force?

I wouldn't have minded if you stated your opinion once or twice but since nearly every commentary of yours expressed that sentiment I quite strongly felt compelled to speak my mind.
Michael - Tue, Feb 8, 2011 - 2:30am (USA Central)

Why, thank you for expressing your opinion. I have been doing likewise, and there is nothing wrong with that. I find it impossible to understand those who want a 24th-century sci-fi show to focus on the characters, yea, protagonists. The science fiction genre is distinctly different from the human drama genre, and the difference is not JUST that the former is usually set in the future.

Ethical dilemmas I do not mind one bit; as a lawyer (since you ask: 30 years old), I find them engaging and thought-provoking. The characters, however, I view as tools used to depict life in the 24th century. Or put it this way:

How to deal with a hologram in terms of equality and civil liberties/human rights: GOOD.
One's fraught relationship with one's father: BAD.

Agree or disagree with it.
Cloudane - Tue, Feb 8, 2011 - 3:59am (USA Central)
As always, balance is the key.

It shouldn't _just_ be soulless sci-fi and space battles as then there's nothing to relate to and the characters are... well, "just tools". I prefer them to have personality and meaning to put the exploration side into context. As a random example take Chakotay (I know the character / spirituality doesn't appeal to everyone but take it in the context of quality, not personal taste).
Differently cultured character providing a spiritual perspective to the worlds, cultures and events they come across: GOOD.
Stock First Officer With Novelty Tattoo: BAD. (or at least, dull).
He's been both, and unfortunately mostly the latter from ~S4.

At the other end of the scale it shouldn't be a soap opera either. Goodness knows it had its moments when Neelix and Kes were together. I don't really want or need to know who's sleeping with who unless it's relevant to long term development, nor do I enjoy viewing jealous characters. Plus, whilst it doesn't HAVE to be a subject exclusive to the 24th century (some of Trek's best episodes could've worked in any setting) it does help to remember that setting now and again :)

Where was this episode.. not too bad I thought, as it showed a very 24th-century character (Borg) and her perspective on all the silly human rituals that we have to go through when selecting a mate etc. I find that perfectly relevant and a fine combination of future setting and characterisation. It just seemed a bit silly. Star Trek Humour (TM) has never appealed to me that much - YMMV.
Tokeiihto - Tue, Feb 8, 2011 - 11:55am (USA Central)
I agree totally that balancing the different elements is probably the most important thing when creating an interesting, riveting series. I don't like to watch a soap opera in space either.
But then the success has always lain in the qualitative depiction of human drama. If you think about it, even the most famous, celebrated works in our culture (take Sakespeare's oeuvre for instance) can be reduced to that basics if it weren't for the sophisticated manner in which it's presented. In the end it's not so much about the topic - there are actually only a couple of different themes (love, hate, friendship, trust among them) that get varied over and over again, put in the different context etc. - but the execution. And the setting doesn't should limit what themes and issues can be tackled by the authors.

That said I agree that a series (or film) set in the future should address specific (theoretical) problems of that time - but in a way I, as the viewer, can relate to. Interstellar combat, exploration of the unknown (of the final frontier, har har.) is fine by me, as long the characters, the stories are engaging. After all not the space battles and enduring hostilities between the different races made DS9 (and perhaps to a lesser degree TNG) so great but the interactions of the characters (and of course the intelligent subtext often present in many episodes).

Regarding your question, Micheal, I utterly agree with the first sentences. I don't agree with the second, at leat when such a relationship is handle subtle and has real significance (which, alas, in Voyager it hadn't).

I'd like to add that I hope I haven't insulted you with my last post. After rereading it today it seems more aggressiv than I originally intended it to be. As I said, it wasn't your opinion but the over and over repeated sentiment that prompted me to write a reply. But then I probably shouldn't have read so many reviews in such s short period if time I guess. *g*

BTW: For English is not my native tongue, could someone please explain the use of [TM] (Trademark?)in the text/comments to me. I have a rough idea what it could mean but I'm not completely sure.
Cloudane - Tue, Feb 8, 2011 - 2:37pm (USA Central)
The (TM) is to joke that it's so identifiable with Star Trek (the style of humour in this case) that it could be considered a trademark. Voyager's biggest trademark would probably be either Hard Headed Alien Of The Week (TM) or Borg Episode (TM)
Tokeiihto - Tue, Feb 8, 2011 - 3:56pm (USA Central)
Ah, okay. Thanks for the clarification.

I guess Push the Reset Button [TM] is another of these Voyager typical trademarks.
Cloudane - Tue, Feb 8, 2011 - 4:08pm (USA Central)
Yup, spot on, you've got the hang of it ;)
Kieran - Fri, Feb 18, 2011 - 3:48am (USA Central)
Here's a question: why is Lt. Chapman never at any tactical meetings yet Ensigns Kim and Paris are, as are non-ranking characters like Seven, Neelix and Kes?
Jay - Mon, Mar 7, 2011 - 12:30pm (USA Central)
Chapman outranks Kim but isn't a bridge officer. There are 13 department heads on Voyager (according to dialogue in "Scientific Method") that report to Tuvok. He likely works in one of those 13 departmetns...perhaps he is even one of the 13 that reports to Tuvok.
Kieran - Tue, Mar 8, 2011 - 2:30am (USA Central)
^ True, but then Torres, The Doctor, Seven of Nine, Neelix and Kes aren't bridge officers and they're always at tactical meetings.
Tokeiihto - Tue, Mar 8, 2011 - 5:56pm (USA Central)
Yeah, but neither has he the enticing body of Torres and Seven of Nine or the cuteness of Kes, nor the wit of the Doctor or the exotic looks and annoying habits of Neelix. He is, or better was, just to bland to take part at the tactical meetings (but enough to be killed off unceremoniously).

Janeway and Chakotay certainly discussed his case at their habitual dinners in the captain's quarter:

C: By the way Kathryn, shouldn't we assign more demanding chores to Chapman? Transfer him to the bridge or perhaps the engine room. He's a Lt. after all and his file is flawless.

J: I know. I know. He is damn fine Star Fleet officer. He's just so ... so boring. Even Tuvok seems social and fun when compared to him. Honestly I rather fight the the Borg in a shuttle without shields and a broken warp drive than sharing the room with Mr. ... Mr. ...

C: Chapman.

J: ... than with Mr. Chapman longer than two minutes if you understand what I mean. I don't know, Chakotay. Best we keep things as they are right now. We can discuss this in a year again. What do you think?

C: It's your decision. You're the captain.
Iceblink - Mon, Aug 15, 2011 - 8:50am (USA Central)
Utterly charming episode and so refreshing to see Voyager break the formula - no aggressive bumpy-headed aliens of the week, no exploding consoles and overblown dramatics, just a thoroughly entertaining light-hearted piece of whimsy, done very well. Was there ever any follow-up to the Doc's feelings for Seven? It was touchingly handled by Picardo.
V - Thu, Feb 2, 2012 - 12:30am (USA Central)
"You are My Sunshine" had never been so bittersweet and engaging to me before. Very well acted by both Doc and 7 with their subtle expressions, a simple look of longing here, a terrified set of eyes look there, Chapman was awesome too in his "enviable" position. Very well done McNeil. Should be 4 stars!
Eric - Sun, Feb 19, 2012 - 5:20pm (USA Central)
Seriously not one of my favourites. Drones have a talent for singing, because they need to be able to do signal processing? Then she sings you are my sunshine to the doctor. Cheesy! This just goes to show that I can't use your star-rating as a guide for choosing which episodes to watch. You give 1.5-2 stars to good, entertaining episodes, like Enterprise's: "Hatchery", or "Carpenter Street" - not the best episodes ever, but certainly better than this!

Destructor - Mon, Feb 27, 2012 - 6:50pm (USA Central)
I loved this episode when I saw it on first broadcast, but watching it again with my wife last night we were in absolute stitches, pretty much the whole way through. It's definitely been a highlight of the season.
Captain Jim - Wed, Mar 28, 2012 - 8:59pm (USA Central)
Paul said, "Wow, Seven 'adapted' to high heels very quickly."

Are you kidding? Her Borg outfit has heels too. :D

Great episode; probably the best (or at least one of the 2 or 3 best) this season.
Justin - Fri, May 11, 2012 - 1:25am (USA Central)
For some reason I can't listen to Brian Wilson's SMiLE album without thinking of this episode. He does a variation of "You Are My Sunshine."
Chip - Tue, Jul 10, 2012 - 10:15pm (USA Central)
Light, fun episode. The duet of the Doctor and Seven was worth the price of admission.

The best episodes are the ones about people and character. The actors, and the director, handled this with just the right touches.

Definitely one of the best Voyager episodes of any season.
Bri pikachu - Mon, Jan 14, 2013 - 4:05pm (USA Central)
Thanks for the insite :)
I love how this episode took my heart and made it into mush. (poor Doctor) and I agree with Jamahl, that lots of episodes dealing with romance of anykind seem to put too much gags, and make the meaning of love seem cheesey. But this one to me was sincere and hard felt. Well done to everyone who made this episode, and thank you Jamahl for this awesome reveiw. My favorite Voyager episode other then "Remember".
Nic - Thu, Apr 4, 2013 - 8:51pm (USA Central)
One wonders why they ordered lobster in the first place. Maybe if they'd settled for shrimp they would still be a couple.

Other than that, great episode! The closing scene is one of the most touching in the entire series.
Jonathan Baron - Thu, Jun 13, 2013 - 1:25pm (USA Central)
Disarming, funny, and touching in unexpected ways. The mixture of Doc's earnest pedestrian self-help book style instruction and Seven's essential autism creates a moving interplay of two flawed, wounded people. What makes it work is that only one of them is truly aware of this. Comic pathos in one of too many Star Trek spin-offs? Surprised the heck out of me. More Preston Sturges than it was syndicated television science fiction.
Jo Jo Meastro - Thu, Jun 20, 2013 - 1:34pm (USA Central)
Wow, not only a highlight for Voyager but a serious contender amongst the very best of Star Trek.

The review and the comments cover everything so I'll just briefly summarise it as: beautiful, charming, hilarious,outstanding, moving and remarkably well done by everyone involved. That song "Someone To Watch Over Me" is one of my favourites.

I'm so glad DS9 and Voyager moved away from classical music a little and embraced what I dub as the brilliant Oldies music such as in this episode.

You can't beat the Oldies and you certainly can't beat this charming heartfelt eposide! 4 out of 4 easily.
Ms AMK - Fri, Jun 21, 2013 - 4:05am (USA Central)
I'm surprised no one here picked up on the fact that they drew this episode from the play 'Pygmalion/My Fair Lady' by George Bernard Shaw.

It's a great episode. Sevens lines are fantastic.
Doctor: "We'll start with hobbies. What do you do with your spare time?"
Seven: "Regenerate"
azcats - Wed, Aug 7, 2013 - 4:09pm (USA Central)
did the alien who got drunk remind you of the 3 aliens in TNG who wanted to experience lust, gluttony and one other thing? just curious.

I know Jeri Ryan was added for her looks, but dang i love her expressions she makes. just those subtle eye movements. she plays the part so well.

I like the mysteries and dont enjoy the character shows as much. however, what makes this work is it involves two characters we KNOW! none of this alien of the week romance. we all have personal bonds with these characters and we care about them. that is what makes the last 2 scenes so well done.

I love the look that Picardo makes as he pauses during "sunshine." i think it is before he REALIZES his feelings, but it does give you the sense of his enjoyment of the moment and of Seven.

i wonder why they never explored this more...
Nancy - Sat, Aug 10, 2013 - 2:48pm (USA Central)
Let me add my voice to those who love this episode. It's both hilarious and affectingly poignant. As I've said before, I adore the Doctor, and while I had my doubts at first about Jeri Ryan, I have come to appreciate her portrayal of Seven a great deal.

Truth be told, I get nervous when Star Trek does love stories, but this episode of Voyager excelled at it. I see from the comments this relationship is not pursued. A pity - although I can see why falling in love with a hologram would be problematic.

What a wonderful episode!

@MsAMK - I noticed the similarity to Pygmalion, but I think it resembles more the original Pygmalion myth found in Ovid's Metamorphoses than the George Bernard Shaw play.
Yanks - Fri, Aug 16, 2013 - 12:54pm (USA Central)
Pure gold in the Star Trek universe!

Easy 4 stars.

Seven and The Doctor are perfect here.

A little dismayed at how Seven flew off the handle when she found out about the bet. One would think she might have listend to The Doctor explain it.

But that's minimal stuff.

Seven's date is hilarious!

When the Doctor and Seven sing I teared up. Jeri and Robert are both talented singers.

These two play off each other perfectly!

And Seven's unintential crushing blow at the end was so.... Seven.

Wonderful episode.

Maxwell Anderson - Wed, Jan 15, 2014 - 12:57pm (USA Central)
Best episode of the series. Everything works beautifully.
Corey - Wed, Feb 19, 2014 - 6:25pm (USA Central)
Jammer and the comments say it all: a fun, charming, cute episode.

What's surprising is how well DS9 and Voyager do romance, and how inept TNG was at that sorta stuff. TOS, meanwhile, was all casual sex!

I think most would agree that the Doctor's puppy love was handled poorly in subsequent seasons. Memory Alpha says the writers didn't want to commit, perhaps fearing similarities to Oda/Kira.
Ric - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 - 1:16am (USA Central)
Superb episode, pure gold. Easily one of the best of Voyager until this point, and not impossibly seats among the very best of all Star Trek's finest.

Fun, funny, touching, poignant. Fantastic dialogues, smart without forcing, acute and accurate. Jammer is right and the B plot was distracting and unnecessary, but overall it was pure magic how this episode guards, behind the fun and entertainment, a very deep exposure of the complexities and perils of being a (or in this case trying to become a full) human being. Both for the Doc and for Seven.

If this one does not deserve 4 stars, a full 10 out of 10, I do not know which one does.
colincostello - Sun, Jun 1, 2014 - 4:19pm (USA Central)
An excellent episode. The scenes between Ryan and Picardo are wonderful. Ryan's flat and toneless delivery of her lines is very funny as are the doctor's pained responses. And the way she uses her eyes is a model example of how to use the body to act.
The gradual humanisation of Ryan should provide many more amusing moments.
JT - Wed, Jun 25, 2014 - 1:28pm (USA Central)
I been rewatching Voyager for the first time since I saw it originally and what struck me throughout the series this time was that I couldn't remember much of the shows at all. It was literally like I was watching it for the first time again and I been wondering how it could be that nothing at all stuck in my memory, was it really that uninteresting throughout? That aside, this episode was the first one that I did remember seeing and it's still good.
HolographicAndrew - Mon, Nov 24, 2014 - 8:39pm (USA Central)
Alright episode, especially the Doctor's part of it. In fact, that was the only good part of it. He's awesome.

But I have to say the Seven aspect of it kind of annoys me. She's not only added purely for her looks, but now we have to have entire storyline where she learns how to date. It was way better when they did it with Data in "In Theory" where it wasn't as creepy as everyone on the ship wanting to bang a socially challenged super model.
grumpy_otter - Sat, Jan 17, 2015 - 6:35pm (USA Central)
Just watched this again. Still love it.

"Those doors are so LOUD."
sticky steve - Sun, Mar 15, 2015 - 9:42am (USA Central)
episodes like this evidence the fact of voyager being the best star trek iteration ever, with enterprise not far behind. The other three series are exercises in mediocrity.

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