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Star trek: Voyager 6.02b - Tinker, tenor, doctor, spy

Stardate around 53120
Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Episode propaganda

Planning a deadly assault on the starship Voyager, an aggressive alien race builds its attack plans by tapping into Voyager's computer. Discovering that the ship is virtually run by a dashing, charismatic and super-intelligent holographic officer, the aggressors rail to realise that they have accessed the Doctor's (Robert Picardo) most intimate fantasies!

Persons of interest

  • Kate Mulgrew .... Captain Kathryn Janeway
  • Robert Beltran .... Commander Chakotay
  • Roxann Dawson .... Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres
  • Robert Duncan McNeill .... Lieutenant Tom Paris
  • Robert Picardo .... the Emergency Medical Hologram
  • Ethan Phillips .... Neelix
  • Tim Russ .... Lieutenant Tuvok
  • Jeri Ryan .... Seven of nine, tertiary adjunct to Unimatrix 01
  • Garrett Wang .... Ensign Harry Kim
  • Majel Barrett .... USS Voyager computer voice
  • Jay Legget .... Phlox
  • Googy Gress .... the Overlooker
  • Robert Greenberg .... Devro
  • Bill Vallely .... Storywriter
  • Joe Menosky .... Screenwriter
  • John Bruno .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Intelligence report

Hmmm... how many times can a program go nuts?

In The swarm the EMH got Alzheimers. In Darkling he gave himself multiple personalities. In Latent image he discovered a repressed memory and in Darkling he became amoral. Now he's adding algorithms to his program (again and against the Captain's orders) just for the hell of it. Humph!

What's more, the Emergency Command Hologram was invented at Star traks. I claim credit for the Emergency Holographic Hairdresser which Janeway always uses after a battle, off camera.

Now, how many times can a program go nuts? If this were any other ship, he'd would be packed off to Tantalus before you can say Q'apla! But since Voyager belongs to those bleeding heart Federations, this piece of photons and force fields gets to live and grow. How very enlightened of them. Didn't they learn anything from Moriarty?

Oops. After that Klingon episode, I am feeling a tad aggressive.

Back to the plan. Sure, it's necessary to give each character an episode every season in which to star, but how long can they keep milking this program glitch thing? I would have thought that with the mobile emitter the EMH can get himself into the same sorts of problems that other crew members can and then he could deal with those issues from his unique perspective. Even though the EMH is technobabble incarnate that is no excuse for restricting his life to that sort of story. He is in love with Seven, he wants to grow, he believes himself better than the average humanoid, he is... er... fully functional... Can't the writers find something in that lot to play with?

Oh well, back to the review. The special guest aliens of the week had an interesting social structure but bore an unfortunate resemblance to Mister Potato Head. That's gotta set anyone back to start with. And since when did speaking characters get away with not being named for an entire episode, or even given a title? This is TV, not Art. There are certain rules which must be adhered to or you will end up creating a program that's superior to those around it. Hang on, what am I saying?! Ignore that bit, my medication may be playing up (I'm on a new type today). Trekkies like to talk about things and that's easier to do when you have a label to pin on them. Names are good labels for characters. You have been warned.

That said, it was fun to see what the EMH's daydream algorithms produced: women fighting over him, mighty enemies brought to their knees, inferior species shown up for what they are (Tuvok undergoing pon farr in the opening opera scene was hilarious). It did show up the good Doctor's hopes and flaws in a strong way and it resulted in more room for growth. (Remember how bad he was at command when trapped on the Prometheus while it was under Romulan control?) It will be interesting to see how that space is filled. Robert Picardo is a great actor who can nail anything they give him to the floor. Maybe they can push his abilities even further with this plot device.

Anything else to say? Hmmm... it was good to see the regular actors getting to perform their characters outside the normal range. The cattiness from the three women and the helplessness of Robert Duncan McNeil's Paris were hilarious. It's been a while since Voyager had any humour in it and it's good to see it making a return. All in all, a fun if underpowered episode.

FYI: The title is after the famous spy novel called Tinker, tailor, soldier, spy which was also made into a mini-series.

Security censorship classification

PG (Medium level violence)

Not for public release in Australia before date

VHS rental and retail: 9 March 2000

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