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Star Trek Voy - Season 7 - Episode 20

Star Trek Voy - 7x20 - Author, Author

Originally Aired: 2001-4-18

The Doctor works on his new holo-novel. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 4.8

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# Votes: 48 5 2 2 15 6 8 13 15 15 23



Remarkable Scenes
- The intro to the doctor's holonovel is a nice bit of special effects.
- Tom playing in the doctor's inflammatory holonovel.
- Torres playing in the doctor's holonovel, complete with the mobile emitter backpack.
- Harry finding out his character is a hypochondriac.
- Janeway watching her character condemn the doctor.
- The doctor trying to justify his story to the crew.
- Harry explaining to his parents why promotions are in short supply when there is only one ship in the delta quadrant.
- The doctor experiencing Paris' sabotaged version of the doctor's holonovel.
- The doctor: "My publisher assures me he won't distribute the program until he receives the revised version." Torres: "That must be the one where we assimilate the Borg and take over the quadrant."
- Torres talking to her father.
- Broht legally stealing the rights to the doctor's holonovel, which satires the lack of holographic rights in the Federation, because the author (the doctor), as a hologram, has no legal rights in the Federation.
- The arbitrator contending that the doctor is not a real person.
- Annika meeting her aunt Irene Hansen.
- The doctor winning the case gaining the right to control his own work.
- The scene on the dilithium refinery.

My Review
Lots of mud gets thrown at this episode for being mindless entertainment and in some ways downright offensive. But I personally enjoyed the doctor's absurd recreation. I also think that it's important that the doctor learned not to use such a provocative tone in his writing so as not to offend his friends. The absurd recreation while a fine plot in and of itself is expanded into an episode with a much more serious tone though, which is why I ended up liking it so much. Voy: Author, Author becomes for holograms what TNG: The Measure of a Man was for androids. Granted this episode lacks the level of profoundness the TNG episode had, it retains quite a bit of it. The ending of the episode more than peaked my interest, and I thought it was handled well. What better irony is there than Broht stealing the doctor's work, which satires the lack of holographic rights in the Federation, because the author, the doctor is a hologram and has no legal rights in the Federation! The timing is perfect too. We've seen so many episodes already dealing with holographic persecution, such as Voy: Flesh and Blood, among others. I was waiting for an episode that would spearhead the issue, tackling it once and for all. I'm annoyed that the arbitrator would not declare the doctor a person, closing the issue once and for all, but then again for the sake of the plot I'm kind of glad he didn't. You don't want to do too much in a single episode, now do you? ;) Overall, I think this episode is quite underrated.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Corporal Crust on 2007-04-01 at 4:54am:
    I felt this episode was quite terrible. It tried to be too much, and in the process was ultimately nothing. Had the writers not banked so much in the knee-slapping hilarity of masterwork, "Photons be Free", we could have had a decent story. I guess we had to get to holo-rights soon or later. Since we're six episodes away from no more voyager, this would be far to much later. Better time would have been spent on the doctor logging time in the holodeck for his first sexual experience, or medical breakthough. Two hyposprays down....way down.
  • From Alec on 2010-01-16 at 3:28am:
    I think this episode portrays Tuvok's legal skills (and anyone else who assisted) very poorly if they could not even mention Data's case in TNG: The Measure of a Man. It seems as though referencing that case would be an extremely obvious and effective tactic.
  • From zook on 2011-08-21 at 10:14pm:
    No matter what you think of this episode, you have to love Tulok's evil Vulcan goatee. Nice nod to TOS.
  • From Rick on 2014-02-21 at 6:44pm:
    Same flaw as in Measure of a Man: even if the Doctor was ruled not to have rights, then Starfleet would own the rights because they own the Doctor. There is no way for the publisher to win.
  • From MrSoftware on 2023-01-09 at 3:17am:
    Very interesting watching this episode in January 2023, six+ months into the popular rise of AI generated art (Midjourney and Dall-E etc) and a few weeks/ months into the popularity of AI ChatGPT for writing. The issues feel more relevant now than perhaps possible to reviewers in the past - and it was impressive to me how well the episode navigated them and balanced with both humor and an array of turns that all felt true to the characters.

    Also found it funny that the “live view” of Earth was ultra famous 1970s photo The Blue Marble.

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