Star Trek: Voyager

"Renaissance Man"

2.5 stars

Air date: 5/16/2001
Teleplay by Phyllis Strong & Mike Sussman
Story by Andrew Shepard Price & Mark Gaberman
Directed by Mike Vejar

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"Ensign, at your recital last month, I told Lt. Torres that your saxophone playing reminded me of a wounded targ. I should've put it more delicately! I'm sorry!" — Doctor deathbed confession

In brief: A reasonably entertaining romp, but it bears almost no scrutiny.

So, here we have Voyager's penultimate episode, and what is it? A routine kidnapping plot. Why this and why now?

On the other hand, why not this? Voyager has proven long before this week's "Renaissance Man" that the show is rarely about its characters or bigger picture but instead about its stories. And aside from last week's "Homestead" where we actually had some sort of closure for a character, the entire wrap-up for everyone and everything is going to apparently take place in the final two hours of the series.

On some level, sad as it is to say, this episode is a microcosm of much of Voyager's legacy to the Trek franchise: It's a reasonably entertaining action plot that has no lasting significance whatsoever. The Doctor is a great character who seemed to get the perfect final focus episode with "Author, Author," which followed his theme — that of wanting to be more than his programming — to a logical conclusion. But for the purposes of character theme, "Renaissance Man" is at best simply redundant, a routine action storyline that exploits his technical abilities and not so much his personality.

At one point, disguised as Torres, he runs sideways up a wall and flips right over Tuvok, grabbing the phaser out of his hand. I've never seen Doc pull a Matrix-like move like that before, but then why did I need to?

The framework for the story is a contrivance and a cliche: In the midst of an away mission, Janeway is held captive by two thieves from the "Hierarchy race" (see "Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy"), who say they will kill her if Doc doesn't return to Voyager and find a way to steal its warp core and bring it to them. Doc must then impersonate other members of the crew, starting with Janeway (adjusting his holographic appearance at will) and working on down from there.

It's probably a good thing this is the end of the series, because that's a pretty damned flimsy premise. It's the sort of thing that deserves to be banished to the land of sitcom fodder. Only a nitpicking jerk would bother to question whether the Hierarchy aliens should be here, at the very least 5,000 light-years away from where we last encountered them. Yadda, yadda, yadda; blah, blah, blah.

It's worth noting that even the goofiest and shallowest of premises can be made palatable with decent execution, and we get that here, which makes "Renaissance Man" a fairly enjoyable hour of silly plotted mayhem instead of brain-dead drudgery. Call it enjoyable, silly, brain-dead mayhem.

This is an episode sold on amusing little moments, not iron-clad logic or solid storytelling. For amusing moments we have ourselves a scene where "Janeway" is on the bridge and begins talking to invisible voices in her head, which prompts MST3Kings of, "Well, Janeway has finally completely lost it." There's something hilarious about it, while at the same time weird and offbeat because we don't initially know what's going on (the plot begins as a series of subtle mysteries that are gradually revealed to us).

The gimmick is that the Hierarchy guys are constantly monitoring Doc's actions, so he has to do the entire operation in secret, undermining his crew's own attempts to catch on to him. This must've been justified by all sorts of end-vs.-means discussions in story staff meetings, since the whole exercise is absurd and exists simply so that Doc can run around impersonating people.

Honestly, is this plot even worth discussing at any further length? I doubt it. There's nothing significant about it, no issues to ponder. It's a romp, plain and simple. On that level it can be fun, like when Tuvok finally catches on to Doc's game and tries to subdue him: There's a point where Tuvok chases Doc into the holodeck and finds a room filled with holographic Doc clones, which is an amusing visual that fits the action relatively well. Clever, and appropriately goofy.

I also liked the way the unconscious bodies started to stack up, making Doc's task harder. He has Chakotay and Harry stashed in the morgue while also running around impersonating Janeway and Torres. At one point he has to pretend to be Tom's wife, which is your Classic Awkward Situation™, although one wonders if all plot devices are recyclable; Doc earlier this year had to pretend to be Seven in "Body and Soul."

The two Hierarchy guys (Andy Milder and Wayne Thomas Yorke), one nice and one mean, are low-rent pseudo-villains that don't honestly seem capable of carrying out their threat of killing Janeway if Doc fails his mission. These guys are devices of the plot and nothing more, but then the whole episode is a massive plot device — including the use of the warp core as this week's McGuffin, which is hauled around from A to B in order to move the people from A to B. Meanwhile, Doc's abilities here open a can of worms that, fortunately, might not get very long to squirm seeing as the series is basically over. (In particular, I'd like to know how he is able to activate his emergency command subroutines and take control of the ship's command codes solely on his own volition, without any sort of authorized transfer from the captain or first officer. Perhaps because neither is present?)

My griping makes it sound like I didn't enjoy "Renaissance Man," which isn't entirely true. Like many Voyager outings, it proves that a fast-paced episode where the plot moves effortlessly along can hold interest when lesser execution might've led to an unpleasant slog. By the time the show got to Doc's deathbed confessional, I was chuckling too much to feel annoyed. Little of the plot is believable in retrospect, but it has the will to carry us along for the ride with some snappy dialog, a few technical twists that are mildly clever, and actors who are convincing in the middle of a world of absurdity.

Come to think of it, this episode may be even more of a microcosm of this series than I thought. Maybe it's appropriate as the penultimate outing of Voyager after all. But, then again, it must mean something when the most appropriate story for Voyager is one that doesn't begin to unlock the true potential at hand.

Next week: Time travel, Klingons, and Borg. It's all here for Voyager's series finale.

Previous episode: Homestead
Next episode: Endgame

◄ Season Index

57 comments on this review

Wed, Oct 3, 2007, 8:01pm (UTC -6)
I really like "Renaissance Man" and it easily gets a 3-star rating from me. The Hierarchy are an interesting species and I welcome their reappearance. Sure, we've seen plenty of kidnapping plots in the Star Trek franchise, but there's something refreshing about the execution here. The pacing is great, the visual effects are very cool and the ending is smile-inducing.


*I believe this is Vorik's only appearance in the seventh season.

*It seems Ayala has received a promotion; he's sporting a red uniform and is seen at the helm in this episode.
Mon, Oct 22, 2007, 4:10pm (UTC -6)
Not that I thought differently beforehand, but the fact that Voyager's penultimate episode is a standard, stand alone adventure, whereas both TNG's Preemptive Strike and DS9's Dogs of War were first-rate dramas with affecting ramifications.
Mon, Oct 22, 2007, 4:11pm (UTC -6)
Not that I thought differently beforehand, but the fact that Voyager's penultimate episode is a standard, stand alone adventure is par for the course for this show, whereas both TNG's Preemptive Strike and DS9's Dogs of War were first-rate dramas with affecting ramifications.
Wed, Jul 21, 2010, 2:02pm (UTC -6)
I LOVED this episode and it's probably my favorite. In fact, I decided to watch Voyager again just because I suddenly remembered this particular show.

It's interesting, intriguing, different, full of suspense. The use of technology is really clever. There are some funny sequences, such as Paris getting all lovey-dovey with "Torres" (The Doc). There's no "bonding" or personal drama, thank god. I wish all Voyager episodes were like this one.

I totally disagree with the low rating by Jammer. This show in my view deserves at least 3.5 stars though I'd go so far as to give it fully 4.
Mon, Apr 11, 2011, 2:22pm (UTC -6)
@ Gretchen

I'm sorry, lasting ramifications for whom exactly? The characters in the Trek Universe, who are fictional creations...Voyager was the only member of the franchise with a premise established in the Pilot which was resolved in the series finale. About the fifth season of TNG, one realises that there's no cap to it--there's no where for them to the writers just exhausted themselves until they began setting up the other two series, Voyager and DS9. Now DS9 created a destination for its series with the war but that wasn't until about season 5 either.

I'm not crazy about this episode, it's pretty mindless on its own, but there's no reason it "should" have been anything else given its placement in the series. As I've said before, I would have loved Voyager to be given long arcs and multi-parters like DS9 had, but it was not meant to be. At any rate, without that crutch of storytelling architecture, Voyager as a series makes a lot of sense and progresses continually towards a goal which was evident from the very first episode.
Mon, Apr 11, 2011, 3:34pm (UTC -6)
I'd have liked to have seen a more gradual end to Voyager myself, rather than having run-of-the-mill stuff right up to the penultimate episode.. but whatever. Indeed, it's befitting the series - it's not like there are a myriad of complex DS9-style ongoing stories to tie up :)

Still, I couldn't get into this episode at all. What are the Sontarans doing all the way out here? What is this all about? I guess no matter how suited it is to the series, I couldn't really get past the fact that this is the penultimate episode and they do something totally random. Then all of a sudden, next episode it's all over... no lead-up other than Neelix leaving.

At least the Doc got his feelings about Seven out in the open I guess.

Oh yeah, and nice to see that other Vulcan make an appearance again.

Still... can't really rate this ep much myself. 2 maybe. On to the finale!
Sun, Jul 10, 2011, 6:13pm (UTC -6)
Oh man did I laugh at the Doctor's Matrix wall climb when I saw that. It was ridiculous, and even funnier in slow motion. I suspected it might be mentioned in this review. It was just so weird.
Mon, Nov 14, 2011, 8:45am (UTC -6)
We did see the Hierarchy guys in that weird hole in space.
Captain Jim
Thu, Jun 14, 2012, 10:49pm (UTC -6)
Immanuel said,

"*I believe this is Vorik's only appearance in the seventh season.

*It seems Ayala has received a promotion; he's sporting a red uniform and is seen at the helm in this episode."

Yes, it was nice to see Vorik one last time, just as it was nice to see Naomi Wildman again last episode. His presence here really wasn't required, so it's kind of one last time in the limelight, I guess.

And as far as Ayala is concerned, oh my gosh, he actually spoke! If this wasn't the only time, it certainly was one of very few over the course of seven years. (One might almost think he was mute.)

As far as the story's concerned, eh, it held my interest but certainly wasn't notable. I think after this incident, Janeway should have removed the Doc's emergency command protocol. At the very least, he should have gotten more than his "hand slapped," so to speak.
Mon, Jan 14, 2013, 10:46am (UTC -6)
@ Captain Jim,

In "Basics", Ayala said "yeah" when asked if he could run good. I think that was the first and last time before now...
Tue, Feb 19, 2013, 12:32pm (UTC -6)
I fucking loved this episode. Granted, the bad guys kind of suck...but the whole Doctor impersonating everyone was pretty cool. The scene where Tuvok uses VulKarate to stop him is awesome, epic wall climb...awesome...Tom/Doctor kiss...awesome in a hilarious way.

One thing I would like to point out though...the Doctor seems superior to a regular crew in why not have a whole ship made up of Doctors?
Mon, May 20, 2013, 7:34pm (UTC -6)

"One thing I would like to point out though...the Doctor seems superior to a regular crew in why not have a whole ship made up of Doctors?"

I'm not sure if you're talking about a ship full of EMHs or a ship full of capable EMH-like holograms who serve nonmedical functions. In the latter case, the crew (of holograms) would never be able to leave the ship, except maybe in a shuttle; whether this limitation would be a significant impediment to a Starfleet ship's being actually useful, I can't say. In the former case, it might be useful to have a ship crewed entirely by Doctor holograms, functioning as a sort of roaming medical facility for the use of any ship that passes by and has the need.
Sun, Jul 14, 2013, 10:30pm (UTC -6)
I guess no one noticed the homage to "The Hitchikers Guide To The Galaxy?"
The line when the captain was told she would be put down on a planet whose inhabitants are "mostly harmless."
Mon, Jul 15, 2013, 11:52am (UTC -6)
OK, for a second there when the Dr. said he wanted to spend more time with the Captain I thought he was hitting on her! If it hadn't have been for his "death bed confession" of love for Seven, I would have wondered.

This is where I wish they would have expanded a bit on the Captain's weekly dinners. They showed her and Chakotay having candlelight dinners every so often in a cheap bid to keep the J/C fans happy. But I always thought that the Captain might have had weekly dinners with Tuvok as well since they were friends and she turned to him for counsel. Well, at least she said she did-- they didnt' exactly write it in all that often...
Tue, Jul 23, 2013, 12:00am (UTC -6)
Not bad, not great. *SIGH*
Tue, Sep 3, 2013, 12:39pm (UTC -6)
interesting that the 2nd to last episode was Michaels favorite. It is not an episode i remembered off the top of my head. but it was very enjoyable. these are the episodes that make me miss voyager. more action in Voyager than the other series i think.

very fun. last 2 scenes were great.

3 stars at least.
Wed, Oct 9, 2013, 4:42pm (UTC -6)
This is a fun comedy episode - romp is the right word - and I have no qualms with it being as the penultimate episode, especially given how well it compares with DS9's Extreme Measures, another attempt at "one last romp" that didn't come off anywhere near as well.
Jo Jo Meastro
Tue, Oct 22, 2013, 6:03am (UTC -6)
I really liked it.

Although I do question why they went to the trouble of bringing back them Hierarchy aliens instead of just using someone from this season who wasn't left too far behind. Even inventing a new race would probably have went down better. I guess the Hierachy guys are taken out whenever they need comedy villains for a harmless romp.

And while I don't mind the fact that this was a fun, standalone, penultimate adventure; I would have liked if they at least had one scene were the crew pondered Neelixes' absence from their lives or a last minute Star Fleet transmission to act as a lead-in for the finale.

Other than these complaints I generally enjoyed it very much.

I especially liked the skillfully played mystery, did anybody else noticed the subtle clue dropped by Janeway/Doctor when he said the made-up aliens had a hierarchy? Its a fun little detail. I loved the Doctors' crazy action scheme, it was cool as well as funny and inventive.

All in all, 3 stars which came very close to 3.5!
Fri, Nov 1, 2013, 3:06pm (UTC -6)
This is probably one of the most uninteresting episodes. The Dcotor is blatantly disregarding the captain's orders, for no reason other that to further the "plot".
Wed, Jan 22, 2014, 10:59pm (UTC -6)
This episode is so utterly stupid. One star. The bad guy's actions and motivations were meh, and it was difficult to watch their very stilted acting and writing. Granted, Picardo did a good acting job, and I liked the bit at the beginning where he mentioned he liked not being a human -- he's been a bit of a Data rip-off in the past, and it's nice to see him accept himself.

However, he just makes so many stupid choices. He has a line that goes something like (I don't remember the precise wording) "The ship can go on without a warp core, they can't go on without a captain". This is a very stupid reason to take a warp core to some generic baddies. Janeway herself would have sacrificed herself for the ship. Voyager is in a bad enough position as it is, and Doc's faulty reasoning ruins a lot of the fun of this episode.
Thu, Feb 6, 2014, 6:09pm (UTC -6)
This is another episode that clearly draws inspiration from the light classic star trek romps such as "Mudd's Women", wherein a rather comical and not overly dangerous villain is eventually outwitted. With all the danger and threats, no one even gets killed!

The 'insider' bonus bits for Voyager fans are touching. We get character snippets scattered throughout when the doc takes on different identities, we get insightful Janeway dialogue with the Doc (More socializing! Coffee in Brazil!), lastly we get the fantastic and hilarious non-deathbed confessions from the Doc. Yes, he does love Seven! ::sigh::: There is hope... ;)

As with many of the Seventh Season outings, this episode is tightly plotted, has a self-awareness about it, and doesn't quit until the credits roll. What more can a Voyager fan ask for? A more fitting (second) last episode couldn't be asked for.

a solid 4.5/5
Sat, Mar 8, 2014, 5:54pm (UTC -6)
I enjoy watching this episode. I didn't like its placement so close to the end, it was so anti climatic as Endgame was approaching. Since it's been 13 yrs since it first aired, I've started wondering what ifs

remembered how annoyed we were at the lack of consequence for Janeway when she made bad calls? It's human to make them but it's obnoxious when she is elevated to impeachable status every other cliff hanger. Anyway, I had a thought, would you all s*** your pants if we saw continuity from Janeway's "pretend" assimilation? I would have not seen it coming if the writers had Janeway or the doctor recall Janeway having Borg shielding intact from her unimatrix days. Have her walk through their shields like water and say those immortal words to those unsuspecting potato men. Now that is an ep :-)

Still bothers me seven and the queen were written to have 99% cybernetic bodies and Picardo, but most of all the command trio, do not. Had they not shown Seven to be metal with human flesh, I might have bought the senior officer restoration. I think Janeway should have walked through the alien shields :-)
Sat, Mar 8, 2014, 5:57pm (UTC -6)
*Picard. Not Picardo. I have Picardo in my auto correct. I better add Picard now :-)
Denes House
Fri, Mar 14, 2014, 6:36pm (UTC -6)
I found it funny that an episode that features the Potato People would also feature a dish of potato salad... with extra paprika!
Fri, Apr 4, 2014, 8:49pm (UTC -6)
I agree with the consensus, that this was a fun episode but oddly placed in the line-up (or countdown, rather).

However, one thing really tickled me that hasn't been mentioned—there were clues early on that it was the Doctor, before the "reveal". The first was that the Doctor (as Janeway) went after Chakotay with a *hypospray*...and the second was that he (as Janeway) hid Chakotay in the *morgue*. Both those details were unusual, and after realizing it was really the Doctor, I appreciated those details.
Thu, Apr 10, 2014, 4:03am (UTC -6)
Steinway> I didn't mention it but yes, I suspected it was the doc when Janeway started stammering on the bridge and using a hypospray on Chakotay. He was easy prey to such a tiny woman :-) I mean really? He couldn't shove her down? :-) If the doc had done a subtle seductive move to get him from behind, yes, but front attack, Chakotay looked very whimpy to me.

Tue, May 20, 2014, 6:33pm (UTC -6)
I think the only thing that really hurts this episode is that they stuck it between Homestead and the finale. Put it in the middle of the season and run and it would be easily 3 1/2 stars... not as good as tinker tenor but still great.
Sat, Oct 3, 2015, 3:45am (UTC -6)
Awful episode.
Tue, Nov 10, 2015, 10:11pm (UTC -6)
With apologies to Wayne Thomas Yorke, his character Zet reminded me of Rush Limbaugh in voice, aggression, and physical attributes. Although Zet is a bit more attractive. I actually like this episode even more after revisiting it over the years.
Wed, Jan 27, 2016, 8:16pm (UTC -6)
0 star atrocity. Almost as bad as threshold. What a complete garbage of an episode. Again, the treacherous doc goes all traitor while disobeying direct orders. Can they decompile it already?
Tue, Feb 9, 2016, 8:37pm (UTC -6)
It was funny. I would have liked to have seen what happened when Tom found out exactly who he kissed.
Fri, Mar 4, 2016, 1:04pm (UTC -6)
Maybe if I hadn't watched "Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy" I would've had more fun with this one. But I feel like episode is just a colossal step backward for the Doctor's characterization. The notion that the Doctor would incapacity the whole senior staff in order to pull off a sinister stunt that could seriously jeopardize the crew is completely out of sync with a character who has now actually commanded Voyager.

I didn't notice half the problems Jammer did such as the crazy amount of distance the Hierarchy should be from Voyager, but I can't deny those issues are there. What I think it really a big problem here is that the villains are so laughably incompetent, you have to wonder why the Doctor and Janeway couldn't have outsmarted them much earlier and without jeopardizing Voyager.

I did like the chase scene with Tuvok and the Doctor, and I like the idea that Voyager could pin that hologram down pretty well if they wanted to. It's too bad the Doctor was never in any big enough danger that you actually sympathized with him.

1.5 stars, better to skip this and let your headcannon go on without it.
Diamond Dave
Fri, Mar 25, 2016, 10:12am (UTC -6)
As others have noted, it is probably emblematic of the series as a whole that we get this utterly inconsequential episode as the last regular episode of the run. Yes, it does things well enough and some of the little details are quite nice, but when you build an episode around a line as ridiculous as "The ship can go on without a warp core, it can't go on without a captain" - ah, actually that's probably the other way around Doc - then you're asking for trouble.

I also can't help thinking that the uber-Doc busting out his Matrix moves and activating his own ECH routines does suggest that actually a ship full of Doctors might not be an idea for Starfleet. 2 stars.
Sun, Apr 17, 2016, 8:13pm (UTC -6)
Jammer asks: "I've never seen Doc pull a Matrix-like move like that before, but then why did I need to?"

Because it was AWESOME.

That is all.
Sat, May 14, 2016, 8:34pm (UTC -6)
Neelix leaving the ship was the best move he ever made. He did not have to endure this awful episode.
BTW, did anyone notice how un-interested and un-involved Mulgrew portrayal of Janeway these last few episodes? She really was looking forward to get out of ST VOY.
Wed, May 18, 2016, 9:05pm (UTC -6)
There can be some fun in seeing how a crewmember manages to outwit the rest of the crew. We saw Data successfully do it in Brothers, and Wesley fail in The Game. But you know what? Those were short sequences, not half the plot. And for good reason, because unless you do an exceptional job of plotting it, it can get boring and implausible real quick. Consider when "Chakotay" orders everyone out of engineering, then Torres learns the truth. So the EMH places her behind a forcefield. So she then... just watches. Didn't get on her communicator to ask anyone else from engineering to come back in? Didn't report in to Tuvok? Just sat there?

And how is the Doctor able to lock out everyone else's command codes all the time? For that matter, how does he do all these site-to-site transports? Wouldn't the transporter chief or whoever notice that they are just transporting a hologram? Isn't it rather convenient that no one else cared where Chakotay or Janeway was while they were both missing and he was trying to impersonate both of them? Obviously, that was the big hook of this episode; the EMH against the crew. But the longer it went on, the sillier it became. I just don't think they managed to sustain the concept as well as they had hoped to.

Meanwhile, with all due respect to the EMH, just what the heck was he thinking? "The ship can survive without a warp core; it can't survive without its captain." That may sound special in a touchy-feely sort of way, but it's actually the other way around. Without the warp core, you're dead in the water. No more voyaging for Voyager. No getting home, perhaps not even getting to a planet. Everyone slowly dying on the ship while they try to desperately inch towards the nearest star system. So not only did he ignore the Captain's orders, not only did he ignore the oldest rule in the book (don't negotiate with hostage takers), but he also ignored common sense. If we were supposed to sympathize with the EMH in this episode, they failed miserably. All those emergency command protocols he has and he failed to realize what he was doing was stupid?

It's not that I disliked the episode, but it wasn't really that good. I like the Hierarchy aliens, so it was fun to see them again. Some of the EMH's tricks worked well, such as the holodeck army. Likewise, Tuvok was fairly competent as well. But when the premise is bad, the EMH's decision making is questionable, and the pace somewhat slow, it kinda makes you wish for more from a penultimate episode.
John C. Worsley
Sat, Jun 25, 2016, 5:17pm (UTC -6)
Agree with the dissenters. Lousy episode; some entertaining elements in a vacuum but the core is infuriatingly stupid. They really couldn't come up with a good excuse for the action? A being this powerful and this easily manipulated should not have security clearance of any kind.
Thu, Jul 7, 2016, 12:08pm (UTC -6)
Well, this one probably should have been swapped with Homestead. But then we wouldn't have got one of the nicer moments with Seven talking to Neelix via subspace in astrometrics and her thanking him for the picnic suggestion.

I REALLY didn't want to see the cone-head/humpty-dumpty aliens again.... once was MORE than enough for these guys.

But I must say, it was pretty enjoyable to watch and Doc's confession at the end was LOL funny and .... not sure what the word is, can you bust a gut and feel sorry for the guy at the same time? :-) .... what would that be called? :-) I did here.

Another LOL moment? ....

"EMH-TORRES: Computer, access medical file Torres Three and update her holographic template.
(The baby bump appears.) "


All good fun. 2.5 stars from me.

Mon, Sep 26, 2016, 5:52am (UTC -6)
sigh (*)
Tue, Nov 22, 2016, 7:36am (UTC -6)
This is the penultimate episode?

2 stars. Very middle-of-the-road stuff.
Mon, Jan 9, 2017, 12:00pm (UTC -6)
Perfectly competent yet remarkably boring and workmanlike. As it's a direct follow-up to the excellent Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy, they should have kept the same tone and made it a comedy instead of an action/intrigue episode. Only the final scene is entertaining (if a little overdone), the rest is very routine. Roxann Dawson isn't a showy accent but I thought her performance in this was great - first when the Doctor is impersonating her, secondly her acerbic reaction at the end when fixing the Doctor's program.
Thu, Jan 19, 2017, 11:14pm (UTC -6)
A race that advanced on the edge of the Beta Quadrant (basically adjacent to the Klingon Empire) surely would have made themselves known by Picard's time to the Federation, or at least the afforementioned Klingon Empire.
Fri, Feb 24, 2017, 12:22pm (UTC -6)
This episode was lol fun at times, especially the Doctor's deathbed confession. Also, bodies piling up in the morgue was hilarious.

It's main weakness were those pathetic aliens. God I really hoped " The Void" would be the last time I'd see them. It's absolutely asinine that the Doctor defeated Tuvok so easily, but couldn't do exactly the same to those Hierarchy yahoos. As he showed with Chakotay, his strength is nothing more than the workings of his force-field. He can literally be as strong as he wants to be and easily overpowers Chakotay, yet somehow he's struggling to wrestle with the bootleg aliens of the season.

This would've been the perfect episode to bring back the Think Tank. They could've corrupted the Doctor's program and had him strand Voyager, instead of some lame ass hostage coercion. Jesus Christ on a crucifix. I'll always remember Voyager as the show of missed opportunities.

This episode shows how dangerous the Doctor can be given the right motivation. It's criminal someone in Starfleet didn't figure out how to replicate the mobile emitter so all EMH Mark 1s could be deployed in the Dominion War. The mobile holo-emitter came online in 1996, seaon 3 maybe. I believe the Dominion War culminates during Season 5 of Voyager. Holograms are the perfect foil to the Changelings' shape shifting abilities. There was no way in hell Starfleet wouldn't have deployed them in that situation, especially with Section 31 creeping around. Although they couldn't fool the Founders without the ability to commune, holograms could've infiltrated the Vorta, the Jem'Hadar, and Cardassians quite easily.
Sat, Aug 26, 2017, 1:53am (UTC -6)
The doc and Janeway are kidnapped by aliens and come back and say they have to hand over the warp core and abandon ship or else. And Janeway is acting all out of character, even talking to herself. Chakotay should have immediately assumed command of the ship and tried to lock her up, which is when they would have discovered she was actually the doc, and they would have went searching for the real Janeway and rescued her quite easily. End of what would be about a 10 minute episode.

Instead we get a convoluted steaming pile of nonsense.

And the potato people say near the end that they can use the doc to get information worth 100 warp cores by using him to infiltrate a surveillance complex, so why bother with this complicated and risky plan to steal voyager's single warp core? As soon as they had the doc, why not just leave? Or send him over to disable Voyager and come back, if they were worried about them following them?

I don't think the writer's on this show ever put more than the most minimal thought into what they were writing. 'Let's get the doc to impersonate the crew!' 'For what reason?' 'Who cares?!' 'But what if it doesn't make any sense?' 'Who cares?! He'll be impersonating the crew!' 'Genius!' 'And make him do some Matrix stuff too!' 'That would be awesome!'

1 star
Ben Sisko
Fri, Sep 22, 2017, 9:50am (UTC -6)
I disagree with Jammer's assessment of the series as a whole. I found many of Voyager's episodes to be moving and thought provoking. An excellent series overall and a wonderful addition to the Star Trek saga. I'm glad I passed my love of this show along to my children.
Fri, Sep 22, 2017, 10:02am (UTC -6)
@Ben Sisko

Jammer gives plenty of favorable reviews to Voyager, though. P.S., don't forget to pass on your jambalaya recipe too.
Ben Sisko
Sun, Sep 24, 2017, 1:14pm (UTC -6)
@Chrome, if you have read every review Jammer has done on this show then it's the mistakable conclusion that he is disappointed with this show as a whole. And I just want to voice my opinion that I disagree wth that general sentiment and am very fond of this show as a whole.
Mon, Sep 25, 2017, 3:37pm (UTC -6)
@Ben Sisko

I don't think Jammer liked Voyager as much as say, DS9 or even TNG, but I don't think he's the biggest Voyager critic of Voyager either. In fact, some of his favorable reviews of Voyager episodes gave me the courage to actually go back and rewatch some of these even though I myself am not much of a fan. Found that Voyagers has a few gems, too.
Ben Sisko
Fri, Sep 29, 2017, 12:28pm (UTC -6)
@Chrome, TNG and DS9 were amazing shows, some of the best TV of all time. So, to say Voyager was maybe not quite as good as those shows, still says a lot about how wonderful this show truly was. But, from reading Jammer's reviews as a whole, I never got the impression he appreciated what he was watching most of the time. Again, this really comes through in his last few reviews of the series, where his overall disappointment of the series becomes quite clear to me. I just finished rewatching the entire series again, and I have really come to appreciate how good this show was, and how it's possible we may never get a Star Trek show as good as this again. I definitely get that impression after watching the first couple of episodes of Discovery.
Peter G.
Fri, Sep 29, 2017, 12:31pm (UTC -6)
@ Ben Sisko,

You're entitled to your opinion but I think it's presumptuous to suggest that Jammer is 'wrong' in his assessment of Voyager. I was a huge Trek fan growing up, I was eating out of their hand, and I found it difficult to even watch Voyager week by week when it first aired. Sometimes I was so disappointed that I skipped watching it for a while, and would invariably be punished when I came back to try again. Some people act like being disappointed with a show means there's some kind of vendetta or they're 'out to bash' the show. Maybe they're just reacting to what they see? I had zero incentive to dislike Voyager when it first aired and it managed to piss my off anyhow.
Ben Sisko
Tue, Oct 3, 2017, 2:53pm (UTC -6)

Maybe you should re-watch the show again in its entirety before agreeing with Jammer now in 2017. I found a great appreciation for this show now in retrospect and maybe you will too.
Tue, Oct 3, 2017, 3:15pm (UTC -6)
@Ben Sisko - VOY is better when you don't rewatch the whole thing in short order. It has a lot of fantastic hours, but it doesn't hold up as a seven year long saga. That was it's biggest problem.
Peter G.
Tue, Oct 3, 2017, 4:01pm (UTC -6)
@ Ben Sisko,

I gave it a rewatch last year. Didn't change what I had taken away from it previously. I noted the stronger and weaker parts, and my current thoughts on it are based on very recent memory.
Tue, Oct 3, 2017, 5:54pm (UTC -6)
Yeah, I just pick and choose episodes when it comes to rewatching Voyager. A third of it (at most 40%) is solid, the rest is disposable. There are plenty of good standalone episodes in seasons 2-5 and season 7 that are worth returning to and that I enjoy. But I'd never watch it all the way through as a seven-year saga the way I would DS9.

Used to like this episode but it really just feels like an inferior version of Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy. Treads territory the show had already done more than enough before.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 4:01pm (UTC -6)
On-the-spot review by Jammer, again.

Lt. Ayala did say a sentence in an episode (can't remember which) the preceding year, as a security officer, "Stop where you are!", before getting zapped :)) He must have gotten promoted finally.

The bouncing-off-the-wall move by Torres-Doctor was badly synchronized as you can notice, if you look closely, Tuvok kneeling down and looking at the ceiling before Torres-Doctor actually passes above him.
Sat, Jan 13, 2018, 1:48pm (UTC -6)
@Ben Sisko,

I just got done watching all seasons of Voyager and it is easily the weakest of the shows with the exception of Enterprise. Character development was poor, most of the shows had no long-term impact on the story arc and the seasons felt less inspired as time went on. Even the chemistry on the set seemed to go backward by the end. And instead of building to some type of climax, we get a two-hour finale that appears to come out of nowhere.

Sorry, Ben, but I agree that Voyager was a disappointment.
The Dreamer
Sun, Jan 28, 2018, 10:42pm (UTC -6)
Interesting dialogue, like I stated in my comment on Homestead, Voyager was hamstrung by the studio. They green lit a show that *demanded* continuity and then insisted on a more or less stand alone format. Trek fatigue was in full effect as well and it showed. Perhaps the show would have been better if it was not designated the flagship show for a network not enjoying the freedom as first run syndication like TNG and ds9.

As it is almost every series I like has been screwed by the network so I enjoy what I see the best I can. (The Pretender, Firefly, Farscape, Dark Matter to name a few) And also no longer fall in love with a show.

It’s good to see the former cast mates enjoy their moments at the cons and convention. I respect what those artists have to go through but would not want that burden.

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