The Cynics Corner

Star Trek: Voyager

"Author. Author"

by David E. Sluss

19 April 2001

 
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THE BOTTOM LINE
: Maybe there should be an episode addressing the Doctor's rights as a hologram. And maybe there should be an episode featuring the crew's interaction with their families. And maybe there should be another holographic farce episode. I'm just not sure they should all be the same episode.

CYNICS CORNER RATING: 7.0 (C-)

MORAL OF THE WEEK: Holograms of the world, unite! Unfortunately, the rights of oppressed species -- biological, technological, and photonic -- is a well-worn one in the Star Trek mythos, and there's really not much new here. Of course, the hearing is reminiscent of Data's "trial" in Next Generation's "The Measure of a Man," although in a lapse of continuity, that precedent of an AI being granted rights is not cited here. The idea is simply stale, and further undermined by the (attempted) comedy of the first half of the episode. It's strange, isn't it, that this season's theme turned out to be "Holographic Rights?"

CONTINUITY OF THE WEEK: Despite the Data glitch, a surprising amount of continuity did make it into the episode, including the plight of the EMH-1 holograms, Torres' father, and Seven's aunt. On the other hand there was a potentially serious discontinuity...

LAUGH LINE OF THE WEEK: The Doctor: "As far as I know, Captain, you haven't executed any of my patients." Oh, yeah? What about Tuvix? As I recall, the Doctor seemed to think that forcing him to be separated into Tuvok and Neelix constituted an execution. Oops -- shouldn't have brought that up again...

LAUGH LINE OF THE WEEK RUNNER-UP: Larry's father: "When is she giving you a promotion?" If only Mom and Dad knew what a chump he's been for the last seven years.

ILLITERATES OF THE WEEK: The Doctor mentions that for centuries authors have written about the plight of the oppressed, but Voyager's writers can only give him a fictional tome about the occupation of Bajor to cite. More evidence that if it's not Moby Dick, Star Trek's writers haven't read the Cliffs Notes for it...

NAIVETE OF THE WEEK: The notion that the Doctor's publisher could just recall all copies of the holonovel so that suddenly no one would have it is simply ludicrous. Even given the arbitrary nature of Star Trek computer files, which often are "downloaded" without leaving the original behind and sometimes degrade spontaneously, it seems very unlikely that this would be possible. How that could even be entertained as a solution is beyond me.

TECHNOLOGICAL ANOMALY OF THE WEEK: The closing scene at the dilithium mine, showing the laboring EMH-1's was supposed to be the kicker, I guess, but it just seemed silly. Why would Starfleet go to the trouble of tunneling out a mine, filling it up with holo-emitters, and downloading dozens of EMH programs only to equip them with picks and shovels so they can dig up dilithium by hand? At least it wasn't deuterium...

SURPRISE OF THE WEEK: A Barclay appearance that's not plugged as a major event? What's next? A Picard name-drop that doesn't make the promo?
  

Previous: "Q2"
Next: "Friendship One"
NEXT WEEK: No nukes is good nukes; gee, that issue is only a decade or so out of date. Then again, maybe it's not an Issue Show; the only thing the chimps in UPN's promo department could think to put in the teaser was a suggestion that the mutants makeup might be really scary.

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