The Cynics Corner

Star Trek: Voyager

"Renaissance Man"

by David E. Sluss

29 May 2001

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: I guess it's supposed to be a comedy, but it's not all that funny, nor is it original or free of the usual Voyager inanities.


RECYCLING OF THE WEEK: The Doctor is exploited by Surveillance Fatties. As a result, he reveals his true feelings to the crew and humiliates himself. I think I liked this plot better when it was "Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy."

GENERAL PURPOSE CLICHE OF THE WEEK: I guess Voyager's crew would be up the proverbial crick if one of the villains didn't happen to have a heart of gold...

STAR TREK CLICHE OF THE WEEK: You'd think Starfleet personnel would learn not to go to conferences, or even be banned from attending them. In the Star Trek universe, if you go to a conference, you either put yourself in danger of having a Shuttle Crash or some other mishap, or put your ship or base in danger of contamination, alien invasion, or anomaly attack.

PLOT TWIST OF THE WEEK: The holodeck is successfully powered down in a crisis. Ironically, it didn't do anyone any good...

NEW GEOGRAPHY OF THE WEEK: Like the Hirogen, the Malon and various others before them, the Surveillance Fatties' continued appearances this season defy common sense. Their first appearance in "Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy" last year took place more than six thousand light years back, thanks to over a year of normal travel and a Big Jump in "The Voyager Conspiracy." I could live with their appearance in "The Void" thanks to a throwaway line indicating that the vessel in that episode was an exploration vessel of some kind. But here the fact that they intended to use the Doctor to infiltrate the Hierarchy suggests that the Fatties' home base is near Voyager's present position, which seems inconsistent with "Tinker" unless you think these humps have transwarp drive. Whatever...

WELFARE RECIPIENT OF THE WEEK: Alexander Enberg as Vorrick, in a gratuitous cameo. He should have at least gotten the Carey Treatment...

TEMPORAL ANOMALY OF THE WEEK: The Doctor, impersonating Janeway, asks Torres to come to her quarters to fix her toaster or something. Torres complies. The Doctor leaves, so that he can impersonate Torres in engineering, so Janeway isn't in her quarters when Torres shows up. Now what should happen is: Torres asks the computer to locate Janeway, the computer replies, "Captain Janeway is in a little box on the Doctor's desk," and that's the end of the Doctor's deception. Instead, several more hours go by before the Doctor's impersonations are uncovered.

TECHNOLOGICAL ANOMALY OF THE WEEK: After the Doctor ejects the core and main power goes down, Tuvok is able to detect the Doctor in the Jeffries tubes, several decks away, using a tricorder. Later, we see crew members searching room by room for Chakotay and Kim. Why couldn't they be detected from the comfort of the bridge, or the john?

STARFLEET INSECURITY OF THE WEEK: The main reason the Doctor was as successful as he was is that Voyager's security continues to be appalling. Dampening fields and unauthorized transmissions from Voyager to the alien vessel go undetected. Chakotay and Kim seem pretty lifeless most of the time, but shouldn't the computer notice a couple of crew members disappearing, even if the comm badges have been kept out of stasis? The Doctor can just transfer command to himself without any authorization from Janeway or Chuckles?

Previous: "Homestead"
Next: "Endgame"
NEXT WEEK: Will Voyager go out with a bang or with a shrug?



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This review is copyright 2001 David E. Sluss
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