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Star Trek Voy - Season 1 - Episode 12

Star Trek Voy - 1x12 - Heroes and Demons

Originally Aired: 1995-4-24

Synopsis:
The Doctor goes on a holodeck away mission. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 4.68

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 16 17 2 5 5 11 10 19 11 7 5

Problems
None

Factoids
- The Doctor chose a name in this episode, Schweitzer. This may be a reference to Albert Schweitzer. But he decided at the very end not to go through with this name because it would be too painful.

Remarkable Scenes
- Chakotay: "Every culture has its demons. They embody the darkest emotions of its people. Giving them physical form in heroic literature is a way of exploring those feelings."
- Tuvok: "There are no demons in Vulcan literature." Chakotay: "That might account for its popularity."
- The Doctor meeting with Freya.
- The Doctor declaring his name "Schweitzer".
- Freya: "All hail Schweitzer!"
- Doctor Diplomat in the end, returning Chakotay, Tuvok, and Kim to us.

My Review
Another episode where Voyager accidentally harms a sentient life form, another energy life form of the week. Cliches notwithstanding, this is an entertaining episode. The Doctor is finally given a chance to shine beyond his medical duties. It now seems very clear that he is in fact more than just a hologram. Dr. Louis Zimmerman is to holo programming as Dr. Soong was to android construction. The Doctor is the Data of Voyager. I would have loved to have been Garrett Wang in the production of this episode. The episode was more or less all about him and he had a grand total of one scene and one line! Talk about easy money! The ending of this episode is kind of sad, the Doctor gives up the name he chose, (Albert?) Schweitzer, because he lost a holographic loved one. Maybe a little trite, but I found it rather convincing. Poor doctor!

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From JRPoole on 2009-01-16 at 2:16am:
    This episode is a confluence of a lot of Trek cliches. The review above points out several: energy life form of the week, the ship accidentally harms a sentient form and ends up communicating with it/healing it, etc.

    It was also bound to happen that Voyager pulled out that most charming of TNG cliches, the holodeck malfunctions and someone gets trapped or hurt plot.

    That said, this one is fun just for the Beowulf stuff and the Doctor, who's quickly become my favorite character on Voyager.
  • From Docfan on 2011-08-15 at 4:05am:
    It's interesting how polarizing this episode is: seven reviewers pegged it at 7, and six people gave it a 1. It's a bit of a love it or hate it kind of thing I suppose, and I suspect the determining factor is "the Doctor" - specifically whether or not you are interested in the Doctor's character.

    Personally, I thought it was a great episode. I would give it an 8 or 9 even. I thought just about everything was well done, and it was great seeing the Doctor's evolving response to the responsibility of his first mission.

    Small things were great too - the Doctor gets to see the outside world for the first time, experience sensations, emotions, and even relationships that would've been impossible given both the technical constraints of his usual sickbay routine, and the social context in which it all operates. Within the holo-novel, no one knows that he is an emergency medical program, and no one treats him as such.

    What's more, it's almost as if he treats *himself* differently. In the novelty of it all, in a circumstance well outside the preparations and expectations of his programming, the Doctor explores what he's made of (code, energy, but also emotions, affections, desires, successes, etc...)

    The episode is also quite an epic development in terms of social status. This is the same character whose appearance (and for some reason voice?) shrank tenfold (episode 3), because there are more important things on Voyager than a glitch in the Doctor's imaging processor. "Eye of the Needle" (episode 7) sets up the transformation, and this once clinches it, as we see the captain awarding the Doctor her personal and official commendations at the end.

    In short, it's really quite a touching, fascinating, and humorous character exploration.
    And a great episode, so long as you like the character in question.
  • From Harrison on 2013-02-15 at 6:03am:
    This entertaining episode has some compelling performances, but the science is simply appalling. Suspension of disbelief is one thing, but one can at least expect a basic consistency in the laws of physics prevailing in the ST universe, and a little sophistication in interpreting them. Will any ST viewer be shocked, like Janeway was, to discover "photonic energy" on the holodeck?
  • From rpeh on 2015-01-20 at 2:30pm:
    Holodeck episodes almost always annoy me. It's a cop out. We have a sci-fi series but want to do a film-noir episode? Holodeck. We want a swords and sorcery story? Holodeck. And here... we want to do an olde English classic? Holodeck. I disagree with this. If you're doing a sci-fi series you do sci-fi. By all means add in romance and usual human tension (see Battlestar) but don't pretend to be something you're not.

    Having said that.

    This episode just about works. The doctor is one of the best characters in Voyager so an episode in which he plays a major role is always going to be a winner. But the acting by the residents of the mead hall is awful, and the non-explanation given about the communication with the entity/entities is too much of a hand-wave.

    I'll give this a 7 but only because most of the rest of Voyager is so bad.

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