Star Trek: Voyager (1999) – Latent Image, and Bride of Chaotica!

Captain’s log: stardate unknown

Joe Menosky pens this episode from a story by Eileen Connors, Brannon Braga and himself. It first aired on 20 January, 1999.

The Doctor (Robert Picardo) is troubled to learn that someone or something has tampered with his short term memory. As he investigates, he finds a string of memories and recollections that lead him to realize that he believes he caused the death of a crew member that he now no longer remembers.

In fact, no one remembers her (or are they keeping a secret from him?). This one is a fun mystery, especially as the reasons why are revealed to the Doctor, and the audience.

Once everything is laid out, the story becomes even more impactful as there is discussion on whether or not the Doctor is more than a program and whether or not Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) has the right to overwrite his programming.

Janeway wrestles with the concept, and decides that she may stick to her decision to erase the Doctor’s memory files, but first she will share with the Doctor, what happened.

We learn he had to make a terrible choice about who to save, and it’s something his program can’t handle, or can it… Janeway proposes a unique resolution for a program, but a very real one for a human soul.

This ends up being a fantastic episode, and Picardo knocks it out of the park. There is so much going on in this episode and Picardo carries it all perfectly. This may be one of my favorite episodes of the season so far.

Powerful, well-written, and fantastically acted. Latent Image is a high point not only of the season, but the series.


Captain’s log: stardate unknown

Bryan Fuller and Micheal Taylor pen this episode that came from Fuller’s imagination. It debuted on 27 January, 1999.

Here’s a unique holodeck goes wrong story, when Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill) is enjoying one of his Captain Proton holonovels. When the program is left running when the Voyager encounters a subspace anomaly, photonic life forms whose mission is to explore discover the starship, and believe that the holodeck program running is reality.

We’re treated to a fun episode, in black and white, that sees the Voyager crew dealing with the possibility of intergalactic war with the photonic beings unless they can find a way to show the aliens that the holodeck and its activities aren’t real.

Tom has to enlist Janeway as Queen Arachnia and the Doctor as the President of Earth, and there is a lot of fun and humor in the episode because of it. The episode plays to the tropes of movie serials and consequently, it’s a delight. A fun romp!

The Human Adventure continues next week as I explore Star Trek: Voyager – The Complete Series on DVD, available now from Paramount Canada.

Boldly go…


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