• Following Us

  • Categories

  • Check out the Archives

  • Awards & Nominations

Star Trek: Voyager – Drone (Review)

Drone is a solid episode, one elevated by two central performances.

In many respects, Drone is a standard Star Trek: Voyager episode. It is something of an archetypal Star Trek story, an exploration of the human condition in which the regular characters must bestow upon a naive and inexperienced alien what it means to be human. There are countless examples in the canon, from Picard’s relationship with Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation to more specific examples like the relationship between Data and Lal in The Offspring. However, Drone has a more direct antecedent, with One evoking Hugh from I, Borg.

The view is always greener on the other side…

Drone is also very heavily plot-driven, although it is decidedly cleaner and leaner in execution than many Voyager episodes. Compared to the other Star Trek series, Voyager can often feel like a list of plot developments arranged to pad out forty-five minutes of television. This approach to storytelling can often seem quite frantic, with episodes like Worst Case Scenario, Waking Moments, Demon or Night effectively switching plot in the middle of the episode to keep it going. Drone is a much more linear story, much tighter in its construction and its flow.

The result is an effective piece of television, one strongly anchored in the two central performances of J. Paul Boehmer and Jeri Ryan.

“Was he going on to you about the alcoves?”

The story for Drone began with Harry “Doc” Kloor. Kloor pitched several episodes for the middle seasons of Voyager, beginning with the story that would become Real Life. He earned a teleplay credit on The Raven and Scientific Method, two consecutive episodes of the fourth season. His original pitch for Drone was reportedly much different than the version that made it to screen:

According to Harry, it didn’t start that way. Kloor’s original pitch began with aliens pursuing Lt. Tom Paris’s Delta Flyer. Tom eludes the bad guys, but the navigator nevertheless crash lands on the surface of a unknown planet. After Tom struggles out of the ship, he realizes his arm is almost, completely ripped off. A friendly alien from the technologically advanced race inhabiting the world, re-attaches the limb using Borg ingenuity. The staff writer taking the pitch shuttered at the time, saying, “Oh no, we can’t do anything like that. The fans wouldn’t want to see all that blood and gore.”

In some ways, this pitch seems hard to reconcile with the episode presented. Most obviously, the Delta Flyer would not be introduced until Extreme Risk, the next episode. (Although, to be fair, it is somewhat seeded in Seven of Nine’s comments to Paris in the teaser to Drone.)

Not a lot of that original pitch remains.

Nevertheless, it is easy to see why Kloor thought this pitch would appeal to the writers on Voyager. More than the other Star Trek series, Voyager had a keen interest in the horror genre. A lot of this was down to Brannon Braga, whose work on earlier episodes like Imaginary Friend or Schisms or Frame of Mind or Genesis or Sub Rosa demonstrated an interest in playing with the horror genre within the conventions of a Star Trek series.

Voyager had produced a number of horror-themed episodes, from the psychological horror of Projections to the fifties paranoia of Cathexis, through to the body horror reflected in Borg assimilation or in episodes like Threshold or Macrocosm. With that in mind, the image of Tom Paris being literally taken apart and reassembled plays comfortably within the framework of Voyager. It is surprising that the production team thought that pitch was too graphic for fans.

“Pull yourself together, drone!”

Nevertheless, Kloor honed his pitch for the episode, focusing on the Borg technology aspect of the plot. As Kloor tells the story, he knew immediately that he was on to a winner:

“Writing is fun – it’s the pitching that’s hard,” said Harry Kloor. “To do it in a concise manner is the most important aspect [of the pitch]. You’ve got to grab the person’s attention, or it’s all over.” All stories evolve in the mind of a writer, and it took Doc Kloor several stabs at it until the day he came up with a cool, high-tech concept. “One day I went into Brannon’s office and said I’ve got a story you’re going to buy. Seven of Nine’s nanites infect the Doc’s holo-emitter and create a 29th century Borg.”

Kloor’s original pitch for The Raven had been built on a similar idea, the fear of Borg technology running wild.

Doesn’t scan.

The biggest issue with Drone is rooted in that original pitch. Drone spends far too much time setting up the introduction of the eponymous guest character, paying far too much attention to his development as a piece of technology and a fetus. One does not actually get to speak until eighteen minutes into the episode. This is almost the midpoint. It is approximately the same point at which Night decided to switch plot lines – when it transitioned from being an episode without a story to a very stock archetypal environmental allegory.

Drone focuses far too heavily on the mechanics of One’s conception and development. There is a lot of emphasis on the technology involved, the fusion of Seven of Nine’s nanoprobes with the EMH’s holographic emitter. The first couple of acts are spent treating this as a technological mystery, the audience watching as the device integrates with the ship while the crew remain oblivious. Drone opens as a weird horror movie, something very much at odds with the rest of the plot.

Branching out.

Indeed, this tension can be seen in the way that Drone approaches the guest character of Ensign Mulchaey. The character becomes conspicuous in the teaser, effectively a background extra who gets a lot of exposition with Chakotay and Torres. The camera pays a lot of attention to him. Any television savvy viewer understands that these things do not happen by accident in the world of Star Trek. It is very obvious that Drone is paying attention to Mulchaey for a reason. Once the tubules start sprouting from the holoemitter, it is very clear what that reason might be.

Mulchaey is very clearly set up as the twenty-fourth century equivalent of a “red shirt”, a disposable character. The script assigns lines to Mulchaey because Todd Babcock is going to be credited on the episode as a guest star rather than an extra, receiving greater credit and pay than Tarik Ergin or Terrell Clayton. As such, Drone might as well do something with him before his big moment. It is not particularly subtle or nuanced. In fact, it is much less effective characterisation than the various disposable characters who appeared in Empok Nor.

That healthy green glow.

However, what is most striking about the treatment of Ensign Mulchaey is the fact that he doesn’t die. The character is not brutally murdered or devoured or assimilated by the monster that is gestating in the science lab. For a moment, it looks like he will be, as he arrives early to the assimilated science lab and gets some tubules lodged in his neck for his troubles. Anybody who has seen Star Trek: First Contact knows that these encounters do not end well. Except that this one does. Mulchaey is found in the lab, and escorted to Sickbay. He is even mentioned in later episodes.

The decision to spare Mulchaey is a very transparent compromise between the two stories that Drone wants to be. On the one hand, the attack on Mulchaey in the lab is an acknowledgement of the sort of techno-horror that originated with Kloor’s pitch, and which is set up by the end of the teaser. On the other hand, killing or assimilating Mulchaey would overshadow the attempted “feel-good” factor of the rest of the episode. If One were simply an assimilated version of Mulchaey, Drone would become Tuvix, but with a random guest star and the Borg.


One of the more interesting aspects of these opening eighteen minutes is the weird abortion allegory that plays out when Janeway discovers that there is a Borg fetus in her science lab. Naturally, a moral debate ensues about the best course of action. The Star Trek franchise has generally (and perhaps understandably) been rather coy when engaging with the issue of abortion and reproductive rights. As with the franchise’s handling of LGBTQ issues, there is a sense that the production team wanted to avoid potential controversies.

The result was an interesting and contradictory mix of positions within the franchise. Occasionally, writers were able to slip references into scripts, relatively under the radar. This was particularly true on The Next Generation. Riker’s decision to terminate his own clones in Up the Long Ladder was clearly intended as a pro-choice message. However, there were also several points at which the Enterprise itself would bring new life to term, ignoring the risk to the crew; Galaxy’s Child and Emergence come to mind.

Moment of reflection.

In some cases, the conscious evasion of the debate amounted to a pro-life message. Given the science-fiction framework of the franchise, several episodes make a point to distort reproductive biology. In The Child, Deanna Troi finds herself subjected to an immaculate conception without her consent by an alien organism. In Unexpected, Trip Tucker is impregnated by an alien female. In neither episode do the characters give any serious thought to terminating the pregnancy, despite their lack of consent and the strange biological circumstances.

Drone seems to tackle the issue of abortion more directly than these other “unexpected pregnancy” episodes. The characters openly (and repeatedly) talk about the emerging Borg drone in a way that evokes abortion. “You intend to let it mature?” Tuvok asks at one point. Janeway responds, “The alternative is to pull the plug, and I’m not prepared to do that. Not unless I have to.” Seven later insists, “We can still terminate it, but we must act quickly.” Janeway refuses, “Hold on a minute, Seven. I want some answers first.”

The Borg baby.

When One gains self-awareness, he repeatedly refers to himself in a way that evokes unplanned pregnancies. “I was an accident,” he states to the EMH. The EMH counters, “Our primary mission is to explore new forms of life. You may have been unexpected but, given time, I am sure you’ll make a fine addition to the crew.” It is akin to telling a child that they were “unplanned.” In his final scene, One outlines, “I was an accident. A random convergence of technologies. I was never meant to be.”

Drone seems to suggest that Janeway was ultimate correct, that she was justified in her decision to care One to term in spite of all the risks. One enriched the lives of Seven of Nine and other characters. Although his presence endangered the ship, he also saved them. Janeway was correct in assuming that the crew could teach One to adopt their values, that even a Borg drone could be raised with a strong moral compass to the point that he would sacrifice himself to protect others.

Coming to terms with it.

If Drone is to be read as one of the franchise’s most overt pro-life allegories, this makes a certain amount of sense. For all that Star Trek is considered a liberal franchise, Voyager has a decidedly conservative world view. Most obviously, this is reflected in the racial politics of the Kazon in episodes like Initiations or Alliances, the attitude towards immigrants in Displaced, and the paranoia about refugees in Day of Honour. It is no surprise that Voyager should find itself falling on the pro-life side of the abortion debate.

Then again, it is entirely possible that this is reading too much into the episode. After all, there is no story if Janeway decides to terminate the Borg fetus. If Janeway decides to kill the Borg baby, then the plot changes dramatically, whether to a broader ethical debate about that decision or to a more action-orientated plot in which the crew try to implement the decision. Like the decision to spare Ensign Mulchaey, Janeway’s decision to spare the baby is ultimately in service of the larger episode.

Putting their neck on the line.

The decision to spend eighteen minutes with the Borg fetus means that One never really gets a chance to properly develop. It is worth nothing that other episodes focusing on these “wide-eyed innocent” guest characters make a point to introduce them earlier in the episode. Lal is introduced in the teaser to The Offspring, and has settled on her appearance by the end of the first act. Hugh has been found in the wreckage of the crashed ship by the close of the teaser to I, Borg. In contrast, One does not speak a line until half-way through Drone.

As a result, his character arc feels very compressed. Because there is so little time, there is no real opportunity to break out any unique strands in his development. For example, Drone seems to set up an interesting moral debate about how much to tell One about what he is and how he came to be. Should Janeway and Seven tell One about the Borg Collective, and trust him to make the right choice? Can they justify taking that sort of risk?

He’s a green recruit.

Drone broaches the topic, but never has a chance to explore it. “The lure of perfection is powerful, Captain,” Seven observes. Janeway responds, “Seven, he has the right to know. Sooner or later, we’ll have to answer his questions.” However, their hand is ultimately forced when the Borg Sphere shows up. There is a sense that One should be conflicted on discovering the Borg Collective, that he should feel some impulse to reconnect with them. There is an interesting tension to explore.

Again, Drone gestures towards that tension, but does not have the room to explore it. “I will need time to assimilate this information,” One advises Janeway, which is understandable. One has just discovered a huge part of who he is. It takes a little while to figure out what to do with that. It is a big decision, one that lends itself to atmospheric reflection. Given the stakes, it feels like it needs the solemn dignity of Picard’s tour of the Enterprise in The Best of Both Worlds, Part I, a sense that something momentous is being considered.

A charged debate.

Unfortunately, there is no time. The next plot beat hits. And then the next one. The Borg Sphere arrives. One decides to help Voyager. One beams to the Borg Sphere. One sabotages the Borg Sphere. One is critically wounded in doing so. It is all very meticulous and very structured, one beat after another. There is no time for reflection or contemplation. There is no moment where One is tempted by the Borg Collective, no split second in which he considers reuniting with them. Drone rushes along, with little space between each event.

To be fair, Drone does have a very clear structure. Drone might be a very straightforward example of the plot-driven nature of Voyager, but it is a very well-designed plot. Unlike Worst Case Scenario or Demon, the script for Drone moves in a very straight line. There is no sudden transition, no awkward logical leaps. Everything in Drone feels like a reasonable extrapolation from the previous plot points. It always plays fair with the audience, always knows what it is doing.

Tearing out his heart. And most of his face.

Indeed, the script is very clearly laid out. There is a lot of set-up and pay-off in the script. Janeway makes passing reference to One’s “internal transporter nodes” early in the episode, setting up his use of those nodes at the climax. Seven explains that the Borg will be interested in assimilating One, shortly before the Borg decide to assimilate One. Seven insists that she has deactivated One’s “proximity transceiver” to prevent him signalling the Collective, shortly before he “adapts” and creates a “secondary” transceiver.

Drone even sets up ideas that will pay off in later episodes. When Paris and Torres complain about the shuttle, Seven suggests, “Perhaps you should design a new shuttle. Larger, more efficient.” Torres agrees, “Not a bad idea.” Paris will design the Delta Flyer in Extreme Risk. The EMH acknowledges his interest in “holo-photography”, which will be referenced several times over the course of the season and becomes a major plot point in Latent Image. None of this is especially bold, but it does suggest a plot into which the production team have put a lot of thought.

A pilot scheme.

Of course, the problem is that Drone crams so much plot into its run-time that it feels almost lifeless. Everything flows smoothly enough, but there is so much happening and so much movement that there is never any room to let any of it breath. One has barely introduced himself before he is sacrificing himself to protect the ship. Seven doesn’t so much grow to care for One as she has a lightbulb moment during the short scene directly before it is revealed that the Borg are on their way.

Drone has two key strengths that somewhat compensate for this over-stuffed plot. It is an episode focusing on the performances of Jeri Ryan and J. Paul Boehmer. Boehmer had made quite the impression with his supporting role in The Killing Game, Part I and The Killing Game, Part II, particularly in his big speech directly before the climax of the second part. Boehmer would go on to have smaller roles in both Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Enterprise.

The loneliest number.

Boehmer brings out a tremendous innocence in the character One, a child-like quality in this hyper-advanced twenty-ninth-century drone. Boehmer acknowledges that Drone really tapped into what appealed to him about Star Trek:

“This particular character has never experienced life before, ever…suddenly he’s popped out, he desperately wants to know who he is, why he’s here, and he’s got this strong urge to be part of something that is so clearly bigger than he is,” observes Boehmer. “I thought it was a remarkable script, because it got to the core of what is for me great about Star Trek. It asks a lot of questions that we all ask. Why am I here? Why am I doing this? You can identify on a human level with it.”

“When I watch Star Trek, for me anyway because I’m really a big fan, it hits when it gets to those really human issues that made it great in the first place,” Boehmer continues. “And it hits often, but writing 26 episodes a year, they’re going to miss once in awhile. When it’s about human issues, what we all go through every day, I think it brings people back and keeps the interest alive. It makes the future seem a bit brighter.”

Although One simply does not get the same amount of character development as Lal or Hugh, he taps into the same basic issues. There is a warmth and humanism to the character that resonates through the make-up and the costume.

Janeway sees some potential.

There is something optimistic in Drone, something very idealistic about human (or Borg) nature. As the EMH points out, the discovery of the Borg fetus in the science lab taps into one of the core aspects of the Star Trek franchise. It is a new life form, a new opportunity for the crew to learn about the universe and to discover something fundamental about themselves. The discovery of the Borg fetus in Drone plays into the same anxieties about nature and nurture that informed the discovery of the Jem’Hadar baby in The Abandoned, even if the outcome is more upbeat.

As much as Drone is about One, it is also about the crew’s reaction to One. It is about their behaviour when confronted with an artificial life form that looks to them to define its perspective. The entire crew is a family, and they are raising a child. “We don’t know what this drone will turn into,” Torres protests. “It’s gone from infant to adult in one day.” She has a point. However, so does Neelix. “It will become what we help it to become.”

Reading too much into it?

In some ways, this aspect of Drone has aged particularly well. One of the big debates about the development of artificial intelligence is what that intelligence will learn from mankind, what it will inherit from its parents. The initial results are not positive. Artificial intelligences seem to be inheriting mankind’s worst impulses:

We are moving into an era when “smart” machines will have more and more influence on our lives. The moral economy of machines is not subject to oversight in the way that human bureaucracies are. Last year Microsoft created a chatbot, Tay, which could “learn” and develop as it engaged with users on social media. Within hours it had pledged allegiance to Hitler and started repeating “alt-right” slogans – which is what happens when you give Twitter a baby to raise. Less intentional but equally awkward instances of robotic intolerance keep cropping up, as when one Google image search using technology “trained” to recognise faces based on images of Caucasians included African-American people among its search results for gorillas.

Even something as seemingly innocuous as predictive text in a search engine can be shown to reflect the worst aspects of mankind back. Drone seems to offer a more optimistic interpretation of the phenomenon, arguing that an artificial life form surrounded by fundamentally decent people will grow up to be fundamentally decent itself.

Torres is seeing red.

Drone is also notable as a showcase for Jeri Ryan. Drone is in some ways an extension of Seven of Nine’s character arc from the previous season. Seven had spent most of her introductory year as a rebellious teenager chaffing against the limits imposed by Janeway upon her. This came up repeatedly over the course of the season, but was most overt in episodes like The Gift, Prey and Hope and Fear. There was an interesting mother-daughter dynamic at play.

Indeed, Drone even goes out of its way to remind viewers that Seven is emotionally a teenager at best. When the EMH walks in on her practicing her smile during the teaser, she is visibly frustrated. “In the future you will announce your presence before entering this room,” she warns him, a protest familiar to any parent who has ever raised a teenager. However, Drone then cleverly reverses this aspect of Seven’s character, twisting her from surrogate daughter to surrogate mother.

Tuvok welcomes the crew’s newest member.

In an interview with Cinefantastique, writer Joe Menosky confirmed that this was the most significant change to Kloor’s original pitch:

Said Menosky, “Harry Kloor pitched what we used to call ‘Terminator Drone.’ Seven’s nanoprobes infect the Doctor’s holoemitter and give rise to a 29th century drone. It was going to be an unstoppable, killer drone. We didn’t go that route. We decided to go softer, character-oriented. For once Seven gets to be in the role of mentor in the same way that Janeway has been her mentor, and gets to experience loss. I think the episode was very successful.”

In some ways, the production team changed Drone from Terminator to Terminator II: Judgment Day, another story in which a killing machine becomes part of the family.

Mother drone knows best.

Ryan had arrived on Voyager in its fourth season, and quickly made an impression as one of the most talented actors in the ensemble. There are maybe three actors in the cast capable of anchoring a story like this, and Ryan knocks it out of the park. Drone is a little too clean and a little too lean in terms of its plotting and character arcs, with Seven seemingly evolving into One’s mother figure over the course of a single scene in which he utters the words “thank you.” However, Ryan commits to that role and the result is astounding.

Indeed, Ryan and Boehmer even manage to sell the blatantly manipulative ending to Drone, in which One decides to sacrifice himself to protect Voyager from the Borg. It is an ending that is clearly designed to reset the status quo, to prevent the writers from adding One to the recurring cast. This is somewhat frustrating, given that Collective would eventually add a bunch of Borg kids to the crew. One is a much more compelling example of that concept. Then again, One is so absurdly over-powered that he seems capable of single-handedly dealing with any threat to the ship.

“You might need to see a dermatologist.”


According to Cinefantastique, Brannon Braga struggled to come up with a reasonable ending to the story until he hit upon the idea of killing off One:

Said Braga, “Drone is one of my favourites. I just didn’t know how to end that show for a long time. At the last minute, I realised that it had to end with this drone dying, and what a wonderful moment it would be. Executive producer Rick Berman had the idea that he would sacrifice himself to do it. Jeri Ryan was perfect. It was a classic, great Star Trek episode, because only Seven of Nine could bring that tear to your eye. Because she didn’t fully understand her own emotions, and was experiencing grief for the first time, you felt it as though for the first time.”

It is an extraordinarily cynical ending, but one that works in large part because of the hard work of the two actors involved.


Drone fits comfortably within the framework of Voyager following the arrival of Seven of Nine. The production team were clearly interested in focusing on the Borg as a culture and society, recognising that the drones had been the breakout new aliens of The Next Generation; they had featured in both the series’ most iconic cliffhanger, The Best of Both Worlds, Part I, and its most successful feature film, First Contact. For better or worse, the introduction of Seven of Nine to the cast allowed Voyager to focus on the Borg.

In fact, the introduction of Seven of Nine allowed the production team to tell stories that were about the Borg Collective without featuring the Borg Collective. This is an important distinction, given that the law of diminishing returns was in full effect; every time that Janeway outwitted the Borg, it reduced their effectiveness as an antagonistic force. Of course, the Borg detriorated across the run of Voyager, but that decay was at least slowed by the decision to tell stories that did not directly involve the Borg Collective.

They grow up so fast.

Many episodes focusing on Seven of Nine allow Voyager to have its cake and eat it. The production team can explore facets of the Borg in a way that minimises the inevitable villain decay. The Raven can touch upon the trauma inflicted on individuals who have been assimilated, while The Omega Directive suggests a Borg spirituality, and One touches upon the fear of isolation that a former Borg might feel while also tapping into anxieties about automation and mechanisation.

As an aside, Drone is notable for being the first episode to throw Janeway up against the Borg Collective since Scorpion, Part I and Scorpion, Part II. Earlier episodes had flirted with the possibility, but ultimately avoided it. The Gift found Voyager cruising through Borg space, but avoiding confrontation. Seven and Tuvok visited the remains of a crashed assimilated vessel in The Raven, but encountered no active drones. Chakotay managed to save Janeway and Seven from an awkward encounter with the Borg Collective in Hope and Fear.

“One, out.”

As such, the confrontation with the Borg Sphere in Drone represents the first time that Voyager has gone head-to-head with the Borg Collective in more than a season. In some respects, it feels like it should be a bigger deal. The Borg Collective are introduced rather late in the episode, in an almost off-hand fashion. Voyager is no match for the strength of the Borg Collective, but they just happen to have a hyper-advanced drone on board who can easily destroy the sphere.

It is a very strange approach to the Borg Collective. Drone that seems intended to bolster the threat presented by them, but which ultimately undercuts their credibility. The arrive of a Borg Sphere should be a much bigger deal, even if the vessel proved quite easy to destroy in First Contact. It should be the focus of an episode, rather than a cheap way to raise the tension. More than that, Drone never creates a sense of tension. There is never any real sense that Janeway might lose her confrontation with them, if only because the audience knows that she hold the trump card.

Collecting himself.

Drone also makes the Borg Collective appear weak and fickle. They detect the signal sent by One, and immediately change course in order to assimilate his advanced technology. This makes a great deal of sense, given the advantages that he might offer. “If the drone were to be assimilated the Collective would become far more powerful,” Seven explains at one point. At the climax, Janeway warns One, “With your advanced technology, the Collective would become even more destructive.” It makes perfect sense that the Borg would want to assimilate One.

However, the ending feels somewhat trite. One decides to sacrifice himself to protect Voyager. “They are aware of my existence,” One warns Seven. “They will pursue me.” He continues, “As long as I exist, you are in danger. All life on Voyager is in danger.” However, there are a lot of unanswered questions. Presumably, One’s decision to self-terminate cuts his signal to the Borg Collective, preventing them from tracking Voyager. However, even if they believe he is deactivated, Voyager still has data pertaining to One. The Borg should be fixated upon assimilating that data.

Borg to death.


There is also a sense that the casual use of the Borg Collective in Drone undercuts their use later in the season in Dark Frontier, Part I and Dark Frontier, Part II. That sweeps two-parter essentially finds the crew engineering a daring heist against the Borg, which is a great idea for an episode. It also reintroduces Seven of Nine’s crisis of identity, with the Borg almost calling her home. It is a big “event” story, and there is a sense that doing Drone so early in the season robes Dark Frontier, Part I and Dark Frontier, Part II of their impact.

After all, this the first time that Seven of Nine has come face-to-face with the Collective since Scorpion, Part II, but there is so much happening so quickly that there is no opportunity to react to it. “The Collective is calling to me,” One reflects. Seven concurs, “I hear it too.” The story is interested on One’s reaction, and only half invested in it. Seven has been portrayed as something akin to a recovering drug addict, so the climax of Drone should open all manner of storytelling possibilities. Instead, the script rushes past that character beat to the next plot point.

Mothernode knows best.

In many ways, Drone is a standard episode of Voyager. It is just elevated by two fantastic central performances.

6 Responses

  1. You mentioned J. Paul Boehmer having smaller roles on DS9 and Enterprise, and though I’d agree most were bit parts (either burying him under latex or casting him as a Nazi), I’d say had a fairly sizeable role in “Carbon Creek” as Mestral who was a very similar sort of “wide eyed” and curious character learning about humanity.

    If he’d been born a decade or so earlier, one wonders if he would’ve been considered for the role of Data.

  2. I find this episode so incredibly moving. He is both lovable and innocently heroic. A contradiction that shouldn’t be and is indeed it’s too perfect for this world
    Tears at your heartstrings.
    If only his character was given more screen time!

    • That’s fair. The episode takes a while to introduce him, and he’s barely introduced before he’s dead. Worth comparing that to, say, the way in which The Offspring allowed for the passage of time to create the impression that Lal really was a member of the crew.

      • Didn’t know about this. I look forward to seeing that when I’m done with Voyager. Before that, however, I’m likely to rewatch more episodes that left an impression.

  3. This was an enjoyable episode, despite the issues you rightly identify.

    Although, I would have appreciated a scene with Janeway grappling over the consequences of keeping 29th century tech around. She should have phasered the mobile emitter at the end of the episode, telling the doctor she’d made a grave error.

    Then it would have led to some interesting character points for the the doctor, like depression, anger, and demands for more emitters to be installed around the ship.

    Also, it makes no sense that the assimilation of a small holographic tool means the drone has access to a suite of 29th century tech. It’s like saying that if a 14th century blacksmith found a 90s Nokia phone, he could also build a Chevy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: