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Star Trek Voy - Season 7 - Episode 07

Star Trek Voy - 7x07 - Body and Soul

Originally Aired: 2000-11-15

Synopsis:
The Doctor experiences actual human senses. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 4.56

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Problems
None

Factoids
- According to Tuvok, the Vulcan libido increases with time.

Remarkable Scenes
- Seven's decidedly odd behavior once the Flyer was boarded.
- The doctor in total control of Seven's body.
- The doctor smelling Harry.
- The doctor enjoying eating.
- The cheesecake scene.
- The drunken Seven/doctor.
- The doctor as Seven: "It wasn't not my fault, Sevne's unique physiology is... unique. It doesn't react well to synthehol."
- Seven recovering her body, decidedly pissed at the doctor.
- Tom offering to make Tuvok a hologram of his wife.
- Tuvok's fun being disrupted by the battle.
- Janeway: "We're both reasonable people. I suggest a compromise. Your vessel will escort us through Lokirrim territory. That way you can keep an eye on us; make sure we don't reactivate our holodecks. The other alternative is we destroy your ship."
- Seven getting pissed at the doctor a second time.
- The waltz.
- Neelix' faux pas with Tuvok.
- Janeway sucker punching her escort and running.
- The doctor saving the life of his captors.
- Seven and the doctor making up at the end.

My Review
We have both an interesting plot concerning racism against holograms, as well as the body switching plot in the tradition of TOS: Turnabout Intruder, among others. It goes without saying that Jeri Ryan did an amazing job playing the doctor's character, and the writing for both characters was great. It was more than fitting that the doctor would immediately over indulge and Seven would object to any indulgences whatsoever. The aliens of the week weren't very interesting, but served as successful plot devices. My favorite scene with them was when Janeway arrogantly threatened to destroy her opponent's ship, then later surprise attacked them to make a clean getaway. Rarely have we seen Janeway act so maliciously. Tuvok's Pon Farr was a nice secondary plot. The writers knew this had to come some time, and having the doctor away so Paris had to treat him was very nice writing. All things considered, this is a very intelligently written episode that combines humor with danger and action very successfully. Most impressive.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Hatstacks on 2008-11-22 at 2:04am:
    Is it bad I liked the 7/Doc better than both 7 of 9 and the Doctor? Best show of the season, hands down.
  • From Hugo von Ahlenius on 2015-12-17 at 2:23am:
    Great to see the hard-headed aliens not being so hard-headed!
  • From parkbench on 2016-03-07 at 5:10am:
    oh, come on guys...really? this episode had some fun star trek moments, but it was one of the laziest i've seen in awhile.

    first of all, somehow a prisoner-captor dynamic becomes 'innocent flirting' that everyone, including other members of the alien ship casually shrug off, with no explanation. even if we assume they're sadistic and don't care about fraternising with those they kidnap, that's not how it's portrayed at all--we're just supposed to take it for granted that 'you get lonely on a ship'. riight.

    then, while it was a joy to see jeri ryan do something new--just like w/ reg in the last episode, and the doctor before that--as a plot it was also preposterous. we're to believe a jumble of photons that comes to sentience inherently has a gender identity and sexual expression? just b/c "he" is programmed to look a certain way, look how long it has taken for him to learn and naturally 'feel' other human traits as simple as sarcasm or singing. and somehow one of the most complex of those--sexual attraction and gender expression--which is by no means fixed, is just naturally read (unsurprisingly) as the doctor being a straight male...

    yes, we could retcon a decision somewhere along the way to artificially restrict his curiosity to what he perceives as the opposite sex and the 'correct' sexual attraction he feels for "his" gender, but the problem of believability is his disgust when renek or whoever tries to kiss him in 7's body. it just doesn't make sense. if anyone was to have an open-minded view of sexuality, it would be the doctor, who is curious about all human experience. i can't imagine he would have disgust for something which the show hasn't even hinted at allowing him to explore.

    and obviously, you can point to "relationships" he's had in the past, which i've had the same issues with--but episodes like this, just like his initial attraction to 7 herself, strain credulity. i'm going to go out on a limb and say that zimmerman didn't program EMH with a sexual drive per se--meaning it is, like many of us, a mix of inclinations and deliberate filtering. since this show would never explore such themes--why take them on? oh yes, it is a lazy, bottom-of-the-barrel technique to get a surefire filler/fan-cruft episode out of the way and keep moving.

    but none of that even matters since this weird melodrama is during their captivity! where is this episode going? the writers certainly don't know, other than a heaping mountain of excuses to get jeri ryan to prance around the screen in a skin-tight suit.

    so, in conclusion: the scenes jump back and forth and the pon farr plot is totally disconnected. lots of "telling" rather than "showing" moments (the doctor comparing himself and seven's respective traits in the jail cell). a weak sci-fi bro "wink-wink" premise that is barely fleshed out.

    yeah...this episode was purely fun for the technical enjoyment of actors doing new things, not for anything else.
  • From Dstyle on 2016-03-10 at 11:31am:
    Just wanted to comment to give parkbench a shout out: I'm loving all of your commentary!
  • From tigertooth on 2018-02-23 at 12:09am:
    Even though it goes without saying, the Seven-as-Doctor stuff was great. She didn't totally get the eyes right, but that might have been a restriction due to the prosthetics she had to wear. The vocal tics were fantastic, and the body language was great, too.

    I assumed the Doctor was heterosexual because Zimmerman, on whom he was based, was. Seems pretty simple to me.

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