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Captain Kathryn Janeway:

     Just Eat Janeway! 
  • In Voyager, why did the crew not just toss Captain Janeway out an airlock? She kept preventing them from getting home with her stupid, mindless adherence to the letter of every rule. In fact, her mindless adherence to the rules was what got them all stranded in the first place. So why did the crew never mutiny? I can practically guarantee that they'd have all been home by next week if they had. And don't you dare say that it was because failure is the only option. I don't buy it.
    • When it comes to getting stranded in the Delta Quadrant, keep in mind that even though Tuvok was fairly certain that he could program the array to send Voyager back home, that it would take several hours to do so. Only with Voyager already fighting the Kazon spacecraft for control of the Array, with more Kazon on the way, they didn't have a few hours to spare. It was either destroy the Array as the Caretaker wanted, or abandon it to the Kazon. There was no third option.
    • Every rule she followed, she followed for a reason. Every instance I can remember where her adherence to the rules prevented them from getting home - including the scenario that got them stranded in the first place, as the series goes out of its way to remind us on more than one occasion - was to prevent a greater disaster from befalling somebody else. You could argue that they would realistically get tired of this and leave the next poor alien-race-of-the-week to whatever their problem was in favor of finally returning to Earth, but I guess they don't operate that way.
      • Oh really? Well, as I recall, The entire reason the ship got stuck out there in the first place was because Janeway violated the Prime Directive. What's worse, her violation didn't actually accomplish anything. They should have tossed her out midway through the first episode.
      • By destroying a powerful device, which its original owner was planning to do anyway, in order to keep it out of the hands of a belligerent, warp-capable species? That doesn't sound like a pointless violation of the Prime Directive to me.
      • A race that uses a LINE ON THE GROUND as a prison are more a threat to themselves than anyone else. They're constantly shown as utterly incompetent and the only time they ever posed any threat was when Seska - a Cardassian - was calling the shots.
      • It's easy to condemn someone for taking an incompetent race seriously now that we know they're incompetent. Janeway had no way of knowing at the time. For all she knew, the Kazon she met on the planet were just the Kazon short bus and the rest of them(or at least some of them) were genuinely intelligent.
      • Apparently she'd never heard of a time bomb. Besides she adhered to the rules when it was narratively convenient. Other times she'd say fuck the rules if it meant drama.
      • Check 9:25. A time bomb would not have worked.
      • And what about the SELF-DESTRUCT system the Caretaker says that he's activated and that will destroy the array in minutes?
      • The Self-Destruct Mechanism had been damaged. He said so himself.
      • One has to question the idiotic writing of Caretaker - it puts the Captain in a situation where staying in the Delta quadrant is not only stranding her crew (and people who AREN'T her crew), but going against the fundamental rule of the Federation and common sense. She willingly violates the Prime Directive here because the plot demands it, but then repeatedly will not be swayed from Starfleet ethics... even if last week she was. Voyager may have been fantastic if after a few weeks of this flip-flopping someone just pointed out that Janeway was insane and had stranded two crews in the Delta quadrant because she was just nuts.
      • To be fair, Janeway did not break the Prime Directive in "Caretaker." The Prime Directive prevents Starfleet personnel from interfering with the internal affairs of another species and the natural development of pre-warp civilizations. Because of the fact that the Caretaker brought a Federation vessel from the Alpha Quadrant to the Delta Quadrant, the affairs of the Caretaker and the Ocampa are no longer an internal matter. Thus, the Prime Directive no longer applies.
      • Also remember that the Prime Directive's intent is to prevent less advanced races from being taken advantage of. Even if a case could be made for her breaking the letter of the Prime Directive, she's upholding the spirit of it in this case.
      • I think that if "the plot demands it" by placing you in a dire situation where common sense can be reasonably argued as on your side, that's a reasonable time to succumb to the plot's demands.
    • On more than one occasion they did rebel in some way, such as early in the first season when Seska was still believed to be a Bajoran instead of a Filthy Dirty Cardie and they violated the Prime Directive to get an upgraded warp drive. I think most of the reason that the Federation crew didn't rebel is because this is what they signed on for: the Federation are supposed to be morally superior to the people of today, and the Maquis are mostly idealists who signed on to overthrow what they perceived to be an injustice that threatened the very fabric of the Federation itself. Besides which, Chakotay was a hippie, Tuvok was completely bad *** , and Torres was always looking to sock someone anyway; when the senior staff is fully willing to throw you out the airlock for talking mutiny, you don't talk mutiny.
      • The problem with most of these instances of people questioning the almighty Janeway is that the story almost INEVITABLY contrives to show them as either stupid or morally inferior (generally both) for DARING to question her. Chakotay is a real whipping boy for that, he regularly questions her and is nine times out of ten shown to be wrong, wrong, wrong.
      • They WERE wrong. Encouraging a sense of dissention that could lead to mutiny is the worst possible thing you can do on a starship that's decades away from new crewmen and supplies. That's part of why Chakotay became so completely on her side, he knew that to allow his crew to let their anger over being stranded would ultimately destroy them all. Tuvok realized this as well, which is why he deleted that training program about a Maquis mutiny once he saw thecrews getting along. Unless Janeway started making utterly irrational detrimental decisions, which she really only stooped to in Equinox when Chakotay and Tuvok DID call her out on her behaviour, the best thing to do is support her. Each time she passes up an opportunity to get home there's always a decent reason and her way led to several significant jumps tha ultimately got them home decades faster than they'd expected, and that was even before Admiral Janeway went back and changed history.
    • It doesn't explain, however, why she didn't ask the Q who wanted to die to send them home before he went human on them.
      • And don't forget that for a captain so eager to break the rules - she also passes up on Q's offer to send them home if they find in his favour because apparently, she's enjoying the ride.
      • Q said he could send Voyager home if Janeway would give him a kid...why the hell didn't she just say yes and ask for an anti-Borg gun as well if he wanted twins? Or perhaps more in character, volunteer Harry to act as mommy and say Q could have triplets in compensation for it being Harry.
      • Ummm... because bringing a child into the world for no better reason than as a bargaining chip is morally repugnant? Hell, if Chuck is taking Janeway's side on this, you may want to rethink supporting this option.
      • Speaking as a fan of the show, that was so out-of-left-field that it sounds like a poorly-handwaved concession to the status quo. Note that in Q's final appearance, Janeway suggests that as long as he's there, he might as well send them home, only for Q to have (somewhat more plausibly) changed his mind.
      • Consiering all she'd heard and see herself about Q trusting him isn't really a risk she was willing to take at that point. It wasn't until Q proved himself harmless, if fairly irritating to her, that she started considering his offers.
    • It's also worth remembering that even the majority of the Maquis were former Starfleet officers. You or I might well mutiny and decide that getting home is worth inconveniencing some aliens we're never going to see again. But there people are a different breed of man. Anyone who wasn't predisposed toward that sort of self-sacrifice would have washed out of the academy.
      • Where did you get this idea from? Aside from Chakotay and B'Elanna, I can't recall a single indication that any other member of the Voyager Maquis were ex-Starfleet. True, some of the other Maquis we know are (Eddington, Ro, Cal Hudson), but that is because they have personal relationships with series regulars, who are Starfleet. The bulk of the Maquis are colonists from the DMZ.
    • Bad writing.
    • That actually is an interesting question which gave me rise of a possible point for the presumed mutiny: why Janeway couldn't just set the array to self-destruct the very nanosecond after she used it to get everyone home? I mean, it doesn't look like transporting them to the Delta Quadrant took enough time for anyone to stop the process, so the Kazon would probably only have enough time to step on the array's bridge before kaboom.
      • When the Kazon ship crashed into the array, it disabled the self destruct (and who knows how many other systems). Tuvok said that even IF the system to send them home wasn't damaged and IF he could figure out how to use it, it would probably take him at least several hours to do so. Voyager was not able to fend off the Kazon fleet for that long. So their choices were 1) be destroyed in a futile attempt to get home, 2) leave, and leave the array (damaged though it was) in the Kazon's hands, or 3) blow it up. The array was in all likelihood far too damaged to send them home anyway at that point.
      • IIRC, they weren't able to self-destruct it: they had to prepare a special explosive and launch it at the array. That still seems like something they could have done from, say, an expendable shuttle, though.
      • They couldn't have just stuck a time bomb on a jug of antimatter and beamed it onto the array's bridge?
      • The Caretaker had already activated the self-destruct system - the array would have blown up in a few minutes anyway.
      • They had no idea how to work the array and a Kazon attack force on the way. They were risking destruction and the chance the array would fall into the Kazon hands, which would doom the Ocampa. Janeway decided to err on the side of caution and not risk the Ocampan people simply for the chance to maybe get home, an act which was supported by the Caretaker who asked her to protect the Ocampa before he died.
    • Considering that the trip to the Delta quadrant using the array KILLED OVER HALF of both ships' crews, my problem was always that they were willing to take a return trip at all. Even if they did want to do something so stupid after the Caretaker died, maybe the tech was beyond them anyway.
    • The Caretaker Array was seriously damaged and would take several hours to repair and reinitialize. Considering they were under attack with a seriously depleted crew, their replacement crew were not up to speed on this particular ship, they took heavy damage from the initial trip, there were enemy reinforcements on the way, and a negotiated settlement looking less an option, I don't think a time bomb would have worked unless it somehow allowed them to time travel.
      • Nonsense, from the dialogue it's clear Janeway has two options - blow up the array or go home.
      • Check 9:25. It will take several hours for them to work it without the Caretaker's help. And he died less than a minute later.
      • From my memory, Janeway specifically asks Tuvok if the array can be repaired before the Kazon arrive, he tells her no, meaning the choice wasnt "use it to go home or blow it up", the choice was, "do we leave it for the Kazon to commandeer or blow it up, before we run away?"
      • The annoying thing is that the later dialogue references this moment like they actually could have chosen to go home, even though the kazon, at that point an unknown race, were swarming their already heavily damaged ship, while the caretaker array would have taken hours to restart, would have killed the remainder of the crew AND would have been commandeered by the Kazon after they destroyed voyager. This was written in the episode itself, but apparently, the writers forgot about it in favor of making Janeway having had to make a dramatic choice.
      • Actually, it's probably not so much that in at least a few cases, notably "Night", in which Janeway is pointed out to have a tendency to blame herself for things that logically are out of her control. It's fairly plausible that she has genuinely convinced herself that they could have used the Array to get home and it's her fault they're stranded, even if the actual circumstances at the time made it impossible. Similarly, most of the other people who mention the Array as a viable method of getting home are disgruntled crew members blaming Janeway, or otherwise not knowing the whole story.
      • Why not let the Kazon have it? They're so incompetent they'd probably blow it up. And even if they managed to get to the Alpha Quadrant, they're not exactly a huge threat. Voyager is a science vessel - not particularly well armed. And IIRC, they nearly managed to take Voyager out by outnumbering it quite a bit... and she was still trouncing them while heavily damaged.
      • They weren't spacefaring to begin with, but they've managed well enough with their stolen starships. It's doubtful the Array would be too difficult for them to eventually master, at least in a basic sense. The issue wasn't that they'd invade the Alpha Quadrant, but that they would use it to conquer their region of space, harming countless people.
      • They'd do that with the array that's due to self-destruct? That would be a neat trick.
      • It wasn't going to self-destruct after that Kazon cruiser smashed into it.
      • They were probably more worried that some other belligerent spacefaring race would come along and take it from them.
      • It's lightly touched on above but it seems to need being repeated Janeway couldn't set the self destruct because the self destruct system had been destroyed it's stated right there in dialogue. As to why they didn't plant a bomb, did it occur to anyone else that they simply didn't think of it? remember, it's all well and good sitting in an armchair saying what they should and shouldn't have done, but remember that not only had the Ocampans tried to help Kim and Torres without asking anything in return, not only did they have a homeless Ocampan girl aboard who had given them vital information to help rescue Kim and Torres BUT they were also standing on board a heavily damaged ship that was under attack, filled to the rafters with terrorists and had just lost a good dozen men and women. Not only did they not think of it, but to suggest they should have just forgot about the Ocampa and just saved themselves is callous at best and sadistic at worst.
      • They did think of it. It would have taken several hours to boot up the Array, several hours they didn't have given they were under attack with enemy reinforcements on the way, and probably needed more after the Kazon ship crashed into it, damaging it worse.
      • What they should have done was have a scene where Janeway (or better, someone else, like Chakotay), hit up the idea that they could try negotiating with the Kazon (their positions as complete morons hadn't yet been established). When negotiations inevitably go to hell, Janeway decides to blow up the Array to keep it out of the Kazon's hands, but in hindsight realizes that she could have held the Array hostage as a bargaining chip (whether or not this was realistic as the Kazon wanted Voyager too makes this position nebulous). Boom, we've no longer got any questions on whether or not Janeway could have used a time bomb, and she's got at least partial responsibility for stranding her crew in the Delta Quadrant (even better if she was the newly promoted first officer, as she believed the captain whose job she inherited could have handled the negotiations).

     Tuvix (Is Janeway a Murderer?) 
  • It's somewhat surprising, given what a controversial episode it was at the time, that "Tuvix" has no place here yet. Of course it's aimed at creating moral debate, but one of the reasons it doesn't work is that it fails to work in a time element. At the end, Janeway is so completely full of moral conviction that she insists on separating/executing Tuvix, essentially at gun point. For the record, I am of the "Janeway is a murderer" school but I can understand other perspectives. But what I can't for the life of me figure out is: why does this need to be done immediately? The procedure can wait; Tuvix's claims could indeed be heard and given proper process. Janeway acts more like a fascist than ever, insisting on enact her brand of justice immediately seemingly just so can forestall debate. It sure would have been fun to see her court martial when they got back to Earth.
    • Janeway had to do it immediately because it had already been too long (by her standards). The longer she waits, the longer Tuvix has to turn the rest of the crew against her. Janeway wasn't willing to lose her friend to the new guy.
      • As was said, circumventing due process and prohibiting debate. Janeway the fascist dictator.
      • I'm sorry but I'm completely against the whole Janeway is a murderer argument. I notice that no one ever brings up what Neelix and Tuvok would want - and at the end of the day aren't they the most important people in this situation considering it is their lives at stake? (and no being trapped inside someone else's body isn't life.) By allowing Tuvix to live you are essentially condemning them to death; figuratively if not literally. And that is the reason why no one ever argues it from their point of view; because to do so basically means you condone sacrificing two lives in the effort to save one. I would be very interested to see someone morally justify a 2 for 1 situation without sounding like a Nazi.
      • I can see this from Neelix' and Tuvoc's perspective, and I don't know if I could live with the knowledge that I am only alive because someone else was murdered (that is, killed against his will, and in cold blood) just to save me.
      • I would be interested in hearing how how anyone would deny that Tuvix (a living being, which at that point Neelix and Tuvok are not) deserves due process.
      • Once again the question is ignored - what about what Tuvok and Neelix think? Tuvix has life because he, figuratively or literally, stole it from them. Oh and that comment about her being a fascist dictator; her job as a Starfleet Captain is first and foremost to protect the lives of her crew from any and all threats - and that means Neelix and Tuvok not the accidental mutant they created. Her actions clearly have the full backing of the Federation Council (she's a very high ranking Admiral in Nemesis) and I can guarantee that if you put Kirk in this situation he would chose the lives of his crew without hesitation every single time - hell Archer faced a similar situation in Simlitude and he chose Trip over the life of his sapient clone. The only Captain that might hold some kind of due process is Picard and that would fully depend on whether you're dealing the with TV series or movie version. To argue that Janeway is a fascist to kill Tuvix is to argue against not only the entire Federation but also against the other main Captains of the franchise.
      • Another point that I have yet to see anyone consider: Tuvok and Neelix's family and friends. Tuvok had a wife and children; Neelix had Kes(at the time), and a number of friends in the Delta Quadrant. I'm sure Tuvix advocates wouldn't care about how Janeway would eventually have had to face Tuvok's family and tell them, "Yeah, I could've saved your husband's/father's life easily. No, I didn't; I liked the new guy better."
      • This is by no means ignored; in fact, Kes's considerations are a major factor in Janeway's unilateral decision. But at risk of sounding cold, I don't see why this should, from a legal perspective, make a particle of difference. Convicted murderers often have family and friends; I mean, who doesn't? That doesn't carry weight in sentencing. And while technically not existing, neither Tuvok nor Neelix should have any rights.
      • You keep talking about legal standpoints in your arguments. Clearly (as I previously pointed out Janeway gets promoted with Starfleet having full access to her logs) she followed Federation procedure in dealing with this situation. If she didn't it would have been pointed out at some point. Despite what either of us may think about the rights and wrongs of this discussion and despite what either of us may see as an injustice in their legal system; under Federation Law it is absolutely clear that the rights of whoever came before takes precedent - I see no other way to interpret this situation. As much as you don't like it; under the Federation system Neelix and Tuvok have rights. Changing the subject slightly this legal standpoint is probably why Riker and Pulaski were allowed to kill their own clones despite thousands of fans claiming they should have faced a murder charge.
      • If Federation law were as clear as you seem to think, then the episode would have said as much. But it doesn't. It chooses to depict Janeway as reckless cowboy (because, to paraphrase The Simpsons, "That's the kind of Captain I am this week!" — Janeway being the poster child for Depending on the Writer). Why would she needed to have grabbed a phaser if it was simply a matter of citing a lawbook?
      • Why would she need to grab a phaser? Why do guards on Death Row carry weapons despite acting within the law? to make sure these desperate men don't try and escape and/or injure those around them. My theory on on Federation Law is just that: a theory. But please explain to me how and why Janeway gets away with this murder when they return to the Alpha Quadrant if it wasn't completely legal?
      • Janeway needed a phaser because none of her own people were willing to follow her dubious orders (to extent your metaphor, prison guards carry guns, not the warden, much less the judge who passes the sentence). And I'm afraid pulling "Janeway was eventually promoted! That must mean everything should does is automatically okay!" as a get out of jail card to forgive her many, many lousy command decisions does nothing for me. It's a post hoc argument, for one thing, and we're not party to the circumstances of her promotion. I mean, we're used to Star Trek captains getting a way with an unrealistic violations (Sisko in "For the Uniform," Kirk in Star Trek III, Picard in Insurrection just to name a few)... but even so, Janeway transgressed that line a lot. Voyager's return to the Alpha Quadrant must have involved some sort of general amnesty.
      • Tuvix is an accidental creation, but no less than Tom Riker, who presumably has the same rights as anyone else — shouldn't Tuvix too? Like Tom Riker, nobody seems to even deny that Tuvix is a Starfleet officer. His rights should include the right not to be summarily executed because an authority figure things it's the right thing to do (and that's irrespective of whether or not it is, in fact, the right thing to do). "What would other captains do" is a nonstarter it would all depend on circumstances — at least in Similitude everyone acknowledges that what they are doing is of dubious morality but they do it anyway because of the crisis situation that faces them. "What Tuvok and Neelix would think" is also a nonstarter, because that's impossible to know (literally, because the show never gets around to even showing the two of them reflecting — in typical Voyager fashion, it's all papered over and never mentioned again); I seriously doubt either of them would be without sympathy for Tuvix and his sad plight. One can certainly endorse Janeway advocating that Tuvix should be separated. That's a valid position to take. But in an enlightened civilization this would need to be done of Tuvix's volition. Putting it into affect at gunpoint is simply overstepping her authority, and it all feels so needless. Again, the lack of a time element, the lack of a crisis, the lack of the sense of urgency and desperation (something that Similitude does well) is Tuvix's greatest shortcoming.
      • The difference is this: "Tom Riker" is William Thomas Riker - the exact same Riker. Neither of them is "the duplicate" and both are "the original". No version of William Riker is killed or suppressed or merged or altered so that "Tom" Riker can exist.
      • That is a difference, yes — not sure how it translates to "Tuvix should have no rights by virtue of that difference." Another point is that since it's known that transporters can create life unexpectedly, so Starfleet should have protocols on such situation (as it seems to have protocols on everything except for personal relationships).
      • I would add that this episode illustrates starkly a sad difference between the captains. Whenever Picard makes a difficult moral decision, one gets the impression of a deep thinker who weighs all options carefully and defends his position with such an eloquence and care that even his opponents must appreciate. Janeway, on the other hand, comes off as petulant.
      • I've no argument there - its what makes him my personal favourite. However I still believe that if Kirk was in this situation he would not only behave the same way as Janeway but would probably have punched Tuvix in the face when he refused.
      • Or deliver a Kirk speech that convinced Tuvix to separate on the spot. But then, a TOS Tuvix would probably have been as sympathetic as the anti-matter universe Lazarus or the evil Kirk from "The Enemy Within," so, kind of apples and oranges.
      • I think that what most people are forgetting was that Tuvix was an accident. It was nobody's fault that he was creatednote . Not Janeway, not Tuvok, not Neelix, not the transporter operator, and certainly not Tuvix himself. Tuvix is an innocent being who did nothing to ensure his own creation. However, splitting Tuvix back into Tuvok and Neelix is a deliberate act. I can't see anyone on the crew condoning the destruction of an innocent person against his will to save the life of two othersnote . Imagine if a baby is born where the mother dies in childbirth. Is the baby morally responsible for that? Of course not. But what if (hypothetically, now) we discovered some way to bring the mother back by killing the baby? Would that be an ethical choice to make? I hardly think so. I think the writers painted themselves into a corner since both Tuvok and Neelix had Contractual Immortality and Tuvix didn't.
      • Another implication that hasn't been mentioned so far is that of unit cohesion & good order and discipline. Voyager is for all intents and purposes a military vessel, it has a clear line of command and yes Janeway as the commanding officer is a facist dictator, it's a part of her job description and they bring it up on multiple occasions throughout the show. It's not so much that she has to act quickly or risk Tuvix turning the crew against her. She has to act quickly because if she doesn't there's potentially catastrophic implications for crew morale and the and the fabric of good order and discipline. If the crew knew that there is a cure and she's choosing not to use it(for whatever reason) she's essentially sacrificing members of the crew regardless of the moral implications of destroying Tuvix. This could very likely lead to a catastrophic eroding of crew morale and would be prejudicial to good order and discipline. Because if you leave people behind or sacrifice people on pointless missions the crew will loose trust for each others and for their commanders and very soon Voyager will cease to be and instead we would get the Federation Starship USS Big Brother where everyone fends for themselves and trusts noone, where alliances shifts faster than people can say treachery. The moral implications is a relatively small price to pay to keep the ship from tearing itself apart.
      • This sounds to me like asserting something that simply isn't in evidence. Is there any point in this episode, or any episode, that implies that Janeway fears Voyager disintegrating into anarchy and her losing her authority as Captain and makes decisions accordingly (indeed, she seems to be going against the will of many of her crew, most especially including the Doctor, which is a strange thing to do if "crew morale" is your major consideration)? Not to say that doesn't sound like it would have made a much more interesting series...
      • There's evidence in the early seasons that suggest that, yes, this was a real fear for both Janeway and Tuvok. If the show was more faithful to its premise, this fear would have been justified by a significant fraction of the crew being Maquis. In Prime Factors, the crew—including Tuvok, Janeway's most trusted friend—disobeyed her direct orders to pursue an alternate means of getting home. In Worst Case Scenario, it's revealed that Tuvok had created an anti-insurgency holodeck program to train his security staff against a potential crew-wide mutiny. In The Voyager Conspiracy, Janeway finds Seven's elaborate conspiracy theories just plausible enough to start carrying a phaser. In The 37's, Janeway is clearly worried that the bulk of the crew is going to leave Voyager to make a home for themselves on the planet of the week. This doesn't really mean that Janeway thinks that the crew would go all Fletcher Christian at the drop of a hat, but idea does seem to swim around in the back of her mind.
      • I'll grant those specific incidents (with the possible exception of "The 37s," since in that case Janeway is freely allowing these people to leave if they want to), but I see little to demonstrate that this paranoia is a significant part of Janeway's overall characterization (which veers closer to smug complacency, if anything), and I see little internal basis for claiming that it has any explanatory power when it comes to the decision she makes in "Tuvix."
      • Nor do I, really. I just mention it because that fear does seem to be present. I wish that it had been explored more, because it could have been a great way to give Janeway a little more depth—it could have evened helped to explain some of her stranger decisions. I like the idea that there's a nagging little voice in the back of her mind that keeps telling her You're just a science officer who got in way over her head, and the second the crew figures that out, they're going to shove you out the airlock. Most of the time, she can ignore the voice. Sometimes, though, when she's under enough stress, the voice gets to her and she does something crazy. That's why she starts packing heat in "The Voyager Conspiracy," oblivious to how the crew might react when they notice that their captain is inexplicably carrying a sidearm with her everywhere she goes.
    • Didn't Janeway specifically say something like "Both Tuvok and Neelix would sacrifice themselves for another, so why won't you?" But isn't that what is essentially happening? Tuvok and Neelix are sacrificing themselves to save Tuvix's life.
    • Ironically, Tuvix is one of my favorite Voyager episodes. Hell, it's one of my favorite Trek episodes period. In other Voyager episodes where Janeway makes a morally dubious decision you can tell the writers really want you to side with her. But Tuvix seems to have Janeway making the morally wrong decision and doesn't even try to justify it. At no point is Tuvix shown to be dangerous, a burden to the crew, or a bad person. At no point does the episode present an argument in favor of obliterating Tuvix, other than the extremely flimsy justification that "Neelix and Tuvok would gladly sacrifice themselves to save others; why won't you do the same for them?" Even the characters who want to see Tuvix separated the most (Kes and Janeway) are obviously deeply ashamed of how they feel. Kes is driven to weeping hysterics by her willingness to let Tuvix be killed in order to get Neelix back, and Janeway is clearly crippled with guilt after she performs the split. And when you stop to think about it, that's a shockingly rare thing in Star Trek. Obviously it's not unheard of for a Trek Captain faced with a Moral Dilemma to make a controversial decision that flies in the face of common sense, but 99% of the time the episode still tries to argue that the Captain's choice was totally justified (such as in Hide and Q where Picard stubbornly refuses to let Riker use his Q powers even to save an innocent child) or at least morally grey (i.e. Sisko's actions in In the Pale Moonlight). But Tuvix seems to be unique among all Trek episodes in that it shows the Captain making a morally repugnant decision, and openly acknowledges it.
      • I can see all this and yet "Tuvix" still kind of feels like weak tea to me, in part because it affects nothing. Janeway's obviously unpopular decision does not change her relationship to her crew, nor does this experience change Tuvok and Neelix' relationship to each other. There aren't consequences, or even potential consequences, and that's not good writing.
      • True, but that was a recurring problem across the entire series and not unique to this episode. The writers of Voyager were clearly terrified of continuity and change.
      • Side note: The writers weren't afraid ... Rick Berman was. According to all behind-the-scenes-info I could find, the writers tried at numerous times to have continuity and change (as they did with Seska, or by having the Kazon stop appearing after two seasons, or having the Vidians stop appearing after Voyager left their area of space); but Rick Berman apparently really disliked that since he was used to the (mostly) interpersonal-conflict-free, episodic status-quo-format of TNG. Brannon Braga apparently originally proposed Year of Hell as a season arc and tried pushing for it for a few years until he was "forced" into making it into a two-parter with reset button. The only change Berman ever allowed was getting rid of Kes - and then only because he vetoed letting go of Harry Kim (which the writers really didn't know what to do with) because Garret Wang had been on Peoples sexiest-list or something like that. Despite the fact that Kes, y'know, was a character with a bunch of stroy-potential regarding her psychic powers and her mortality, seeing how it was from the beginning rather unlikely she'd ever survive until Voyager got home ...
  • What really bothers me in all of the above debate is this casual assumption that Tuvix's being separated back into Tuvok and Neelix actually was a killing. If anything, the problem with Tuvix wasn't that Tuvok and Neelix had died bringing him into existence, but that they were still alive! Might I present, as evidence, the fact that Tuvix possessed both Tuvok's bond to his wife and Neelix's love for Kes, that he knew and remembered everything they knew and remembered, and above all the mere fact of separation back into Tuvok and Neelix even being possible? Tuvok and Neelix were both still distinct entities, though stuck together in one body and capable of drawing on each others' mental resources at the time. For that matter, am I really to believe that Tuvok and Neelix have no memory of their time together? (Tuvok and Neelix did seem to get along with each other a bit better after that.) Tuvix isn't dead at all! He just went back to being two people again.
    • That's how this troper saw it: as if Tuvok and Neelix were caught in an anomaly of the week which merged their personalities. Tuvix wasn't really a new person any more than Kes was when an alien personality was controlling her; he was a merging of two distinct people. Janeway rescued them from the anomaly. (I was impressed that the writers resolved it that controversially, since I was completely expecting her to give a speech and Tuvix to sacrifice "himself.")
    • Such discussions inevitably tread onto metaphysical grounds, but try this out: the very fact that Tuvix demonstrates a self-preservation instinct as Tuvix proves that he is not just Tuvok and Neelix. He is a gestalt being, composed of Tuvok and Neelix but not simply reducible to them. The fact that he has attitudes and ideas and actions and personality traits not demonstrated by either of them prove that he is a being distinct from them. He regards them as his parents: no one is simply reducible to their parents, since their genes have combined in unexpected and unique ways. The same thing has happened with Tuvix, just in a very unorthodox and unexpected fashion. Now, whether or not this is a justification for his continued existence is a matter of moral judgment, but whether or not he exists in his own right should not be in question.
    • On the question of whether or not Tuvok and Neelix have memories of their time as Tuvix... that's another case of "impossible to know, because we're not told." Episodes like "Rise" and "Riddles," in which the two characters interact extensively, fairly demand that they should talk about Tuvix, either way, but they do not.
  • I wonder why they couldn't have made use of the alien symbiosis plant within Tuvix. Make the plant be slowly poisoning Tuvix. Eventually Tuvix will die either way. Furthermore, as the poison progresses it will be harder to successfully separate him and restore Tuvok and Neelix. Smaller moral dilemma, right?
    • You know what really could have worked? The plant might poison Tuvix... the Doctor might potentially in time figure out a way to cure it but would have to pump a lot of work into the investigation, or they could separate him and eliminate the danger altogether. Thus Janeway's dilemma has a dimension of how to best allocate the ship's (supposedly) limited resources.
  • I have a question about this situation that no one above seems to have thought about: It is made a big deal in the episode that Tuvix is such a valuable person, one who could replace both Tuvok and Neelix. Now imagine that Tuvix had been a wholly different person than in the actual episode and had inherited only the worst from Tuvok and Neelix. It was an accident after all. Such a Tuvix could have been mentally unstable or seriously handicapped. Or he could have been a complete asshole, and not at all the charming person that everyone likes. Would Voyager's crew care as much for such an alternate Tuvix, or wouldn't they rather want Tuvok and Neelix back? Would fans still accuse Janeway of murder, had she killed such an unfavourable Tuvix?
    • That would have been a great episode. They could really have explored the implications of the Death Penalty, are we prepared to accept killing people because we dislike them or do we have to accept the sanctity of life even if the person in question is despicable. Do we feel worse about killing people we like and better about killing assholes. Voyager dropped the ball again.
    • I really hope the person who wrote this was Bernd Schneider of ''Ex Astris Scientia'', because otherwise they decided to just do some copy and pasting without crediting the source or using quotation marks (those things that you use to indicate that the words you are providing are not your own). In any event, I'm not sure I follow the point: the argument is that Tuvix is a living being with the intrinsic right to continue living; if he's a great, useful guy, all the better. Maybe the episode sort of stack the deck, but I presume that's so that the "we need both Neelix and Tuvok for ship operations" argument is nullified before anyone can voice it (as if Neelix was ever 'necessary').
    • The point is that if Tuvix was insane - as in fully fledged Kahn Noonien Singh level psychopath - then he would have been nothing more than the villain of the week and absolutely everyone on board ship would have eagerly tried to separate Tuvok and Neelix and then cheered his demise. He would have had just as many defenders amongst the fandom arguing about his right to live as there are for Evil Kirk i.e. None.
      • No, that's not true. The original post does not mention hypothetical-other-presentation-of-Tuvix as being a villain at all. That is a different question, because the moral issues around what you can do to people who are evil villains are different than people who are simply benign or even useful. Frankly, if Tuvix were a villain, then the entire point of the episode (presenting this high concept moral quandary) vanishes in a flash, since the debate would not apply. And if all anyone has to say is, "If the episode were different, then it would have been different!", you'll have to forgive me if I file that under "who gives a crap?"
      • I'll agree to disagree with you because we will only go around in circles otherwise. However I just wanted to point out that whilst Tuvix may not be considered the villain by the script; any man who is perfectly willing to let two innocent sapient beings die (and is actually willing to say that to the faces of Neelix's and Tuvoks best friends) just because he doesn't feel like doing the right thing is nothing more than a selfish asshole. And no, just because they are technically inside him somewhere doesn't make them alive any more than Jadzia being inside Ezri makes her alive. I believe the term that applies here is Karma.
      • Apparently it's okay to execute assholes without trial now. Glad you don't run the world. Again, it's reasonable to take the position that Tuvix is essentially a criminal holding two of Janeway's crew hostage. But there's a solution: put him on trial. Further, I'm intrigued by the mindset that would denounce someone as a "selfish asshole" because they're basically not willing to commit suicide on request. That is setting the bar too high for anyone.
    • While we're hurling around outlandish "what ifs" (and this is merely to demonstrate how feeble this is as a type of argumentation), why not propose the opposite: what if Tuvix were a genius who was able to accomplish things that neither Tuvok nor Neelix could and was well on the road to, say, curing a disease, or developing a surefire method of getting Voyager home? Would there then be some moral obligation to separate him this instant!
      • Both are indeed valid arguments; and prove exactly why this is a controversial topic that goes a million miles above the simplistic Janeway is a murderer/Janeway was absolutely right statements that we so often see. In regards to the comment about why he is a selfish for not committing suicide on request is because it proves that he is less of a man than the men whose lives he stole. I can guarantee to you that if the situation was reversed and that Tuvix was the real person as opposed to the mutant; both Tuvok and Neelix would have happily given their lives to set the situation right. By not even considering it, and showing absolutely zero hesitation over his decision, he was proving that he was a selfish coward who is willing to put his life over his comrades. Come off it; would you seriously trust such a man to watch your back on an Away team as opposed to Tuvok? because I sure as hell wouldn't and I imagine most of the crew would feel the same.
      • Do we kill people for corwardice? Do we kill people for selfishness? Can we not confound the issue here?
      • Do we kill people for it? No. Does that invalidate the point? No. Like it or not, when you are in a situation like this, the good of the many outweighs the needs of the few; and in this case, sacrificing someone who is selfish and/or cowardly for two men who are not, IS the right thing to do when you only have 150 people to choose from within seventy THOUSAND light years. Janeway knows that.
      • The problem is, you're rewriting the episode and supplying motivations not supported by the script itself. At no point do any of Janeway's crew, Kes aside (for very different reasons), express misgivings about serving with Tuvix (in the end, Janeway acts alone). It's a weird piece of writing because it wants to stack the deck on Tuvix's side for the most part, but then makes Janeway act autocratically against him — that's where the "murder" part comes in. It's not so much that she acts in a difficult situation, it's that she seems to do so hotheadedly and dictatorially. It's most puzzling that, in a franchise as keen on the process of law as Trek generally is, it completely misses the opportunity to stage what could have been a very interesting a courtroom drama. But then, having an interesting premise and fumbling it is sort of Voyager's thing.
  • What bothers me is no thought is given to figuring out a way to separate Nelix and Tuvok without killing Tuvix. Which would hardly be the most incredible thing that happened in Star Trek. And which would have been a great idea whether you made Tuvix a security officer or a cook. Cause then you'd actually have two people doing a two person job (tactical officer and chief of security) or someone who can actually cook cooking.
    • Second Chances from TNG's sixth season suggests that this was probably an option that could have been explored (essentially, a transporter operator inadvertently splits Riker into two complete individuals, neither of whom had better claim on being the 'real' William T. Riker). Going that route would have raised a plethora of further ethical dilemmas. Several interesting story lines could have come form this, though Voyager probably wasn't the right place for them. That's not meant as a slight against the series, the show just wasn't interested in serialization.
  • Is Janeway a murderer? No, she's technically a mass-murderer. Just as an aside, considering that Insane Admiral is pretty much the first paragraph in the job description as listed in the Starfleet Command HR manual, Janeway's promotion was merely a case of putting yet another inmate in charge of the asylum as per standard policy. Now, back to the original question. This is actually no different than any time anyone has ever separated a drone from the Borg Collective! They are also conjoined life forms, albeit not physically. Each drone is part of the overall Collective, and conversely the Collective provides knowledge (if not the freedom to use it) to the drones. Whenever a drone is forcibly severed from the Collective it is treated as a triumph of "individuality". That Tuvix was basically just a Collective with two minds in it does not change the parallel. As with most Borg drones, Tuvok and Neelix did not set out to become part of this Collective, and neither would have really wanted to remain a part of it. Pulling them apart by force was not any different than separating Seven-of-Nine from the Collective (something she objected to at the time as well).
    • The nature of the dilemma is incompatibly different here. The Borg, as you say, erase individuality. Tuvix has individuality; it is build on the eradication of two other individuals, sure, but he did not actually solicit that either. He refers to himself as "I" and has opinions and prerogatives and makes decisions that neither Neelix nor Tuvok would have done. Don't frame him like he's the Borg Collective; that's just plain old sophistry. He is more like an assimilated Borg drone insofar as he is a tragic victim of circumstance.
    • I honestly saw Janeway's decision to be a Sadistic Choice either way - no matter which decision she made, there would be the end of either Tuvok and Neelix or Tuvix. She had no good choice to make here, either one was condemning someone to death, and she ultimately chose the decision that saved two lives instead of one, and, based on the last ten seconds of the episode, of Janeway walking away from Sickbay, even she has her doubts that it was the right choice. It seems that she's primarily motivated by emotion - Tuvok and Neelix are her friends, while Tuvix is still a relative stranger, even if he carries Tuvok's memories inside him. If anything, the moment that she decides what to do seems spurred by him pushing Kes to intervene on his behalf and Kes admitting to Janeway that she can't. Kes's pain is the pain of the person who is left behind, who is directly affected by this decision. T'Pel and Tuvok's children and Neelix's friends off Voyager might not be there, but Kes is, and Kes is directly being hurt by Tuvix's refusal to undergo the process. That hammers it home for Janeway, and she makes a decision more based in emotion.
    • Arguably, Tuvok and Neelix are preferable over Tuvix in that Tuvix, at best, can perform one half the workload of the pair. Neelix can cook while Tuvok's defending the ship, but Tuvix can only perform one or the other. He can't be in two places at once. A ship's crew complement isn't an arbitrary number, the ship requires a certain number of people to perform a certain number of tasks to keep functioning. While it's likely the ship has some overhead worked in for comfort of the crew along with non-essential personnel, the more trained personnel aboard, the better. For the good of the ship, Tuvix needed to be split so as to increase the utility of the crew.
      • That's not in fact an argument that the episode voices, however (and in fact it would work better if we ever got the sense that Voyager was undermanned, except in explicitly anomalous cases like The Year of Hell). Rather Janeway's decision is framed as explicitly sentimental, based on her loyalty to Tuvok and Neelix and their families.

     Janeway and Chakotay 
  • Also, why did the Voyager writers not go with the obvious couple of Janeway & Chakotay (which they were clearly considering) and instead throw Chakotay and Seven together at the last minute? I know there's the whole fraternisation protocol, but that applied just as much, if not more so, between Seven and Chakotay - and at least Mulgrew and Beltran had some freakin' chemistry!
    • I'm more bothered by the Doctor and Seven's relationship getting derailed than by Janeway and Chakotay, but I see what you mean. I read somewhere—maybe here—that Seven was kind of a consolation prize to Chakotay, since the actor was complaining that they were underusing his character. And anyone who would complain about making out with Jeri Ryan is either a moron or a terrorist.
      • Or, you know, gay, married to someone really jealous, asexual...
      • Err, I can think of more romantic environments than in front of a filming team and a director who keeps complaining about your performance and repeating the scene, additionally possibly under the eyes of her reallife boyfriend who makes sure you dont do anything thats not absolutely necessary.
      • Also, what exactly is the point of insulting people who do not lust after the same women that you lust after ? Whats to gain from that ?
      • Perhaps, but no matter what they looked like, Doctor and Seven would certainly have been far more interesting than Janeway and Chakotay. Also, it would have evolved naturally, as opposed to being force fed every six months or so when Jeri Taylor wrote an episode herself.
      • I got the sense Seven saw the Doctor as more of a father figure, even if the reverse wasn't true.
    • Chakotay was a terrorist! The guy should have tried to be more "Method".
    • Rumor has it that Beltran complained about not getting any character development, and to shut his mouth they put Ms. Fanservice in it.
      • Except that Beltran and Ryan hated each other. It was more of a punishment for him having to spend more time with her.
      • Which in itself doesn't really make any sense as it was such a thrown-in-at-the-last-minute occurrence, the guy should have been looking for his next job.
    • What was so obvious about Janeway and Chakotay as a natural pairing? It would be against protocol, and that's a protocol that's there for a good reason. Look at how badly Picard was rattled in "Lessons," and reimagine that but without the option of Chakotay transferring to another command like Picard's girlfriend did. And there really wasn't any chemistry between them, except for a handful of Jeri Taylor episodes where she forced it on them out of nowhere.
      • It's been stated repeatedly that Starfleet has no fraternization protocol. Janeway has a personal belief that she probably shouldn;t date members of ther crew, but there's no directive against it.
      • Starfleet Regulation 1138-Theta: a commanding officer shall have no romantic relationship with anyone in their command.
      • As near as I can tell, this literally comes from a piece of fan fiction. Sure isn't from an episode.
      • All right, so Janeway is personally committed to the idea that captains should not fraternize with their subordinates. Sounds like we've figured out why the writers didn't give her a love interest in the crew. . . .
      • Um, what? The writers also gave Janeway her beliefs, what with her being fictional, so we're still right back at why (not)?
    • It is now well established that Kate Mulgrew nixed an ongoing Janeway-Chakotay relationship. But there really should have been an episode where the characters would talk this over and make a decision along those lines. That could be interesting drama and also would have played fair with the "shippers" in the audience, telling them, "You won't be getting what you want, but there are specific reasons why not." Otherwise, an episode like "Resolutions" plays like a tease.
      • My bigger question was always about "Shattered". Past!Janeway actually has to ask Chakotay if they ever got together. Maybe she's just considering the possibility that her opinions changed over the years, but it also raises the possibility that she wasn't always so committed to that idea.

     Why is Janeway an idiot for blowing up the Array? 
  • Why are so many fans and even the characters themselves always whining about how Janeway could have used the Caretaker's Array to get Voyager home? Usually what I hear is "put a bomb with a timer on the Array so it blows up after you leave!" or some other similar plan like that. However, Janeway was never in a position to get Voyager home that way at all, bomb or not.
    • There is an easily-missed line where Tuvok says it would take hours for them to activate the Array and that's before a Kazon ship crashed into it and took out the self-destruct and probably numerous other systems. However, Voyager's writers are terrible with continuity, to the point where I'm pretty sure they forgot it was never an option in the first place, so viewers picked up on that. It doesn't help that Tuvok's line seems kind of out of place with the rest of the episode, almost to the point where I'm convinced they only realized the "Time Bomb" issue later, and shot Tuvok's line and haphazardly inserted it after the fact, and never bothered including it in the series bible.
      • Exactly. In many subsequent episodes Janeway clearly portrays her decision to destroy the Array rather than use it as an actual decision, rather than being forced into a bad position and having no real choice, and over time she becomes more and more crippled with guilt because she starts to wonder if she made the wrong choice. You can hardly blame the viewers for thinking Janeway made a bad decision when Janeway herself starts to doubt her original decision.
      • Not just "many subsequent episodes". She portrays it that way as she's doing it. The whole point of the scene is to demonstrate that Janeway would willingly destroy her own chance of getting home to protect an alien race. Arguing that she had no choice changes which parts of the episode don't make sense, but either way her actions are completely inexplicable.
      • The problem with that is that in a number of episodes, "Night", for example, also point out that Janeway has a tendency to blame herself for things that she has no control over. I don't remember specific examples, but I do know that more than once, characters have stated that there was no way to use the Array to get Voyager home under the circumstances.
    • Additionally, in the episode Janeway herself presents her decision as a way to protect the Ocampa, which a lot of viewers don't find terribly compelling. The Ocampa are an evolutionary dead end who will die off completely in a very short time without the Caretaker around to support them. Letting the Ocampa hang on for a few more decades doesn't seem like a big enough payoff for stranding her entire crew in the Delta Quadrant.
    • The odd thing here is that, at least as it seems to me, it plays better if Janeway made a decision to stand the crew in the Delta Quadrant. Characters making difficult calls and facing consequences is better drama than them simply being swept up in unavoidable situations. Perhaps the writers realized that "Caretaker" was mis-structured that way and so they just went with the "Janeway made a decision!" line later on, despite it barely being a decision at all.
    • You can add in that Voyager was heavily damaged and a number of crewmen killed when the Caretaker pulled them into the Delta Quadrant in the first place. There is no good reason to think they could operate it better. They probably would have done even greater damage to the ship and killed at least half the crew.
      • In fairness, Janeway does make a decision which technically does strand the crew in the Delta Quadrant. It's just not as simple as Destroy the Array/Use the Array. They couldn't use the array YET and they couldn't have held onto the array. Their choices were either to destroy it or let it fall into enemy hands. If they'd chosen the latter they still had a chance of taking it back later and using it to get home. Of course, there's also the chance they couldn't take it back and not only would they be stranded but something this powerful would be in Kazon hands (and bad news for the Ocampa). So it was a choice, but certainly not as easy as "destroy it or get home".
      • Agreed with this. Using the Array was a long shot, but it was still a theoretical possibility, and at that point it was probably their best hope. By blowing it up, she destroyed any chance they had of being able to use it. Furthermore, I feel like the more things dragged out in the Delta Quadrant, the more people suffered, it would be easy to forget the statistics/how remote the possibility really was and just lock in mentally on "I destroyed the thing that could have gotten us home and prevented all this".

     Janeway's right to not want to be called "sir". 
  • This also Just Bugs Me about In Death. Apparently, the idea of calling all officers "sir" is to promote gender equality. In truth, however, it falls flat. By calling both men and women "sir", you're making the statement that the "ma'am" (ie, female) honorific is inherently inferior and to be avoided. Essentially, women in command become "honorary men". Data and the Doctor would get the "sir" honorific. since they are patterned after and identify as male. Genderless and multigendered beings would need a protocol too, I guess.
    • This was shamefully everywhere back in the nineties including rubbish like renaming Policeman or Chairman into Policeperson or Chairperson instead of the far more obvious and respectful -woman. The reasoning behind it is confusing but Honorary Men does seem fairly accurate in my opinion. I guess you could probably class it as Values Dissonance and it was an innocent if misguided step toward today's gender equality so I can't look too harshly toward it.
    • It would be interesting to know how Starfleet—and society in general—handles species in which neither gender roll is applicable. DS9 had a Running Gag involving an unseen Lt. Vilix'pran, who was explicitly referred to as a male, but reproduced by budding—which is, at least on Earth, a form of asexual reproduction. There was never any mention of him having a mate or partner, despite having three...uh, "litters," I'm guessing?...of offspring.
    • It's quite clear how it's handled in the first episode. Janeway tells Harry her preferred form of respectful address to a senior officer. He agrees, even though he flubs it. It really is just that simple, and no one had to involve feminism at all!
      • Like the person above points out, feminism and calling women sir have a clear link in '90s culture. Otherwise the conversation would have started at Mr Kim, don't call me ma'am and ended at Captain.
    • The idea isn't to make female commanders "honorary men" by calling them "sir". The idea is that having different forms of address for men and women is stupid, and by using the word "sir" to refer to both male and female commanders, you are degendering the word so that it no longer connotes masculinity. Like how, nowadays, if someone becomes a private investigator, they'll just be called an investigator, whether they're a man or a woman; the word "investigator" is seen as gender neutral. This moves us away from the old fashioned linguistics where a man who did investigating was an investigator, but a woman who did the same work was an "investigatrix".
    • If having two forms of address is stupid, then why is sir and not ma'am the universal word of choice? Why not just do away with both words and create an entirely new one for this brave new age of non-gendered words? To me, it seems as if they were trying to be progressive whilst simultaneously saying that it is OK for women to act like men but not OK for men to act like women. And on a related note, I've always taken great issue with the idea that the Federation is this great enlightened liberal utopia when there is still an obvious stigma against men wearing make-up and dresses. Doesn't seem that much different than the 21st century to me with the exception of money (and even that seems to be a matter of strong debate given how there is clear evidence that it does exist in some form).
      • Stigma? Men wore miniskirts in the first two seasons of TNG. It was shown to be a completely accepted variation of the Starfleet uniform for both males and females. The first incarnation of the TNG-era dress uniform was essentially a dress with leggings. Lwaxana Troi even complimented the shapeliness of Captain Picard's legs while he was wearing one in an early episode.
      • In current linguistics, the male version of a word is often used as the default version in cases where the gender of the people being referred to is varied or unknown. This is less common in English than in languages more closely modeled after Latin (such as Spanish or French) but it does still exist. For instance, the Screen Actors Guild represents both men and women who act on screen, even though the traditional word for a woman who acts is "actress". Thus the simplest way to remove unnecessary gendering from language is to just stop using the feminine variants of words, as the masculine variants are far more widely used. And once you do that, the masculine variants will stop being masculine, and become gender neutral.
    • Are those dress uniforms and skants actually skirts, or are they the social equivalent of kilts? And be honest, you can count every man seen in their off hours wearing a skirt or dress on exactly zero fingers. I'm sure the argument is well, perhaps none of them want to. What, even on Risa, no man wants a breezy, free-flowing item of clothing to sit in?
      • The fact that that men in dresslike apparel goes unrepresented (in itself a worthwhile observation) is not quite the same thing as it being stigmatized, which would require it be depicted in a negative light. For what its worth, on two separate occasions (in "Angel One" and "Liaisons") Riker outright defends men wearing vaguely feminine apparel.
    • This would seem a settled issue - male forms of address have been formalized as far back as The Wrath of Khan with Kirstie Allie playing "Mister Saavik" - which may have been a chase of simply not updating the script from a male character, as of that point all male Vulcan names started with S (Spock, Stonn, Sarek) and all female Vulcan names started with T' (T'Pring, T'Pau). Likely Starfleet has to deal with species with either a different number of genders or just different genders and likely codified a single uniform style of address to expedite matters - don't have to worry about insulting your superior officer, just acknowledge the order and get to work.

     Could Janeway have at least tried being less pedantic and preachy? 
  • Especially in the beginning, when the burning issue was trading technology to the Kazon, Janeway would get up on her Prime Directive moral high horse, willfully neglecting that many of those listening were Maquis who had seceded from the Federation! How about something more along the lines of:
    We can't trust these Kazon. It's obvious they stole their ships, since they don't seem to really understand the technology. The more we give them, the more they'll want, and since they won't understand how to build, install and maintain it themselves, it's only a matter of time before they try to turn us into slave engineers. They're like Pakleds, only more violent and unpredictable.
    • Janeway is the captain of the vessel. Since Voyager is stranded in the Delta quadrant, she is also the de facto leader of the Federation presence in the area. Just like the real world officials are expected to uphold certain protocols in their speech, Janeway could certain think Kazon in this way, but she would still have to stick with the official one.
      • Except that many new members of her crew explicitly rejected Federation policies. They were Maquis! So sticking to the party line, when a quarter of your crew are not members of the party, can lead to tensions. Also, this would later prove to be hypocrisy on Janeway's part, as she would commit outright treason in allying with the Borg! In later seasons it would also turn out that she would relax her own prohibitions, and was openly stated as having traded things like replicator technology in exchange for needed supplies.
    • Blame the writers. They were more concerned with making her Superwoman rather than writing a good story. Kate Mulgrew demanded (and eventually got, though it took time) more input over the things her character does, this is why Janeway got significantly more reasonable toward the end of the series. All the actors did the best they could with what they were given. Voyager just had a *terrible* writing staff.
    • As for the 'quarter were Maquis and therefore not subjects to Federation policies' - the point is that USS Voyager is still a Federation vessel commanded by a Federation-commissioned Captain and so they became part of a crew of a Federation ship, therefore operating under Federation rules.
      • It was established in earlier series that individuals from planets/civilizations which are not part of the Federation can indeed serve in the Starfleet (Tasha Yar, Ro Laren, Nog), but are presumably subjected to the same rules as other crewmembers and probably have no say in creating Federation policies nor choosing which of them they would obey.
      • In-universe this came up as early as in Caretaker Part II, when Janeway decided to destroy the array - when Torres asked 'Who's she to be making these decisions for all of us?', Chakotay answered 'She's the captain'. (This was even before the scene where Janeway informs Paris about her decision to induct Maquis into the Voyager's crew.)
      • There was supposed to be some tension coming from the differences and integrating former Maquis into the Starfleet, but even this was relatively quickly forgotten by the writers, with the exception of Seska's arc and occasional one-per-episode mention.
      • It's somewhat exacerbated by the fact that Seska is a Cardassian and a scheming, moustache-twirling villain, rather than someone simply operating from a different set of motivations. Michael Jonas, on the other hand, is simply hazily motivated.

     Did Janeway violate the Prime Directive by destroying the Array? 
  • Some people like to say that destroying the Array is against the Prime Directive, on the biases that it interfered with a developing race. On the contrary It could be said that the Array was an out-of-place artifact, and that leaving it alone would be interfering with the development of a race.
    • The Prime Directive has never been a very clear thing, but considering they had a drawn out firefight with the Kazon already, any Prime Directive concerns were out the window at that point.
    • Actually, having thought about it, destroying the array is 100% not a Prime Directive violation. The Caretaker had involved the ship in his affairs, which is one of the ways it's permissible to establish first contact (if the species does something like sending a subspace signal, meets you out in space, etc.). The Ocampa and Kazon are incidental because the real interaction is going on with the Caretaker. The Caretaker wants the Array destroyed, Janeway acquiesces with his wishes. Any considerations of what the Ocampa or Kazon might do are immaterial to determining whether it was a Prime Directive violation, because the only thing that's going on is the Caretaker deciding what he wants done with his own things, and the Caretaker isn't beholden to the Prime Directive.
    • The Prime Directive prohibits interfering with the "natural development" of other cultures, especially pre-warp ones. With regard to the Ocampa, the Caretaker had already screwed things up for them, so the Prime Directive carries a lot less weight in that situation.
  • Let's not forget that the episode raises this matter directly: TUVOK: Captain, any action we take to protect the Ocampa would affect the balance of power in this system. The Prime Directive would seem to apply. JANEWAY: Would it? We never asked to be involved, Tuvok, but we are. We are.
    • I would tend to read Janeway's reply along the lines of "Basically yes but the damage is already done so now we have to follow a moral compass instead of a legalistic one."

     No Wonder O'Brien Hates Temporal Mechanics 
One episode begins with Chakotay hiding some cider and telling Icheb and Naomi to keep it secret. Later, Voyager gets split into different time zones and one of them is in an alternate future where Icheb and Naomi have grown up and Icheb-from-the-future tells Chakotay and Janeway-from-the-past that he never told anyone about the cider. At the end of the episode, Janeway somehow knows about the cider and claims that she can't reveal how she knows because of the temporal Prime Directive, yet she clearly doesn't remember all the Time Travel shenanigans because she was asking Chakotay why he ordered B'Elanna to explode a piece of technology. So how does she know about the cider, and why did she say it was because of the temporal Prime Directive?
  • The same way she knows about Engineering's still, even if no one actually told her: she found out about it an entirely mundane way and then kept it to herself.
  • Yeah, I always assumed that was a joke. Chakotay had been saying "Temporal Prime Directive" all evening as a reason he couldn't tell her things, so she turned it back on him. (Also, in the conversation, Future Icheb never actually mentioned the cargo bay, so the idea she got it from there doesn't really make sense even apart from the temporal thing.)

Commander Chakotay:

     Why Did Chakotay and Torres Join the Maquis? 
Do we ever actually get any reason why Chakotay and Torres joined the Maquis in the first place? Ro for example grew up during the Bajoran Occupation and saw the old man she befriended murdered by Cardassians. Cal Hudson lived with the people of the Demilitarized Zone and came to appreciate their struggle. Eddington wanted glory. Even on Voyager we have men such as Lon Suder who was a psychopath and just wanted an excuse to kill or Kenneth Dalby from Learning Curve who watched four Cardassians rape and assault an innocent woman. But Chakotay and Torres? I suppose Torres might have done it because she was cast out of Starfleet but Chakotay finished the Academy and even once claimed A man does not own land to a Kazon boy. In fact whilst we're on the subject what about the mild mannered Chell also from Learning Curve? all he seems to be is a man who wants an easy life considering his report to Tuvok is as an unreliable chatterbox.
  • Torres had anger issues and was bounced out of Starfleet. It would be trivially easy for her to take sides in that conflict, provided the opportunity. Chakotay seems like a textbook example of a sympathizer (remember, there were American Indian societies on those planets). As educated and close to his roots as he is, he is the type of guy who would not stand idly by while such injustice was committed. To the "a man does not own land," bit, Starfleet and the Cardassians are essentially saying, "we own your land, GTFO." Seems to me like that'd be a sore point with him. Many others were probably former colonists.
    • It's clearly stated in the episode "One" that B'Elanna joined the Maquis through Chakotay, after he saved her life. Later, in "Flesh and Blood," the Doctor comments that B'Elanna joined the Maquis because she sympathized with them, and she didn't deny this. As for Chakotay, this troper thought it was just a given that his tribe had lived in the territory that the Cardassians wanted. (The writers have said that they deliberately set up for Chakotay's back-story with the "Next Generation" episode "Journey's End," by showing Native Americans colonizing planets near the Cardassian boarder).
      • You know what's extra weird about that? In "Tattoo," Chakotay states that his tribe moved to their colony "a few hundred years ago." In "Journey's End," however, while the colonists left Earth hundreds of years ago, they had only been on Dorvan V for a few decades. So it can't be Chakotay's home. In other words, there are two Native American colonies along the Federation-Cardassian border. Stranger things have happened, I suppose.
    • In the TNG episode "Preemptive Strike," Ro says: "One of my instructors at Tactical Training, a lieutenant commander in Starfleet, a man I both admired and respected, he was sympathetic to [the Maquis]. He resigned and left to join them." This was apparently designed as a veiled reference to Chakotay. Whether or not this fits neatly with continuity, it gives us a sense of the original construction of the character.
    • Chakotay explained in one episode that his family had been living on one of the planets ceded to the Cardassians in the treaty, and were later killed by Cardassians, which prompted him to join the Maquis. Torres, as was stated above: she is extremely emotional and has shown her willingness to think with her heart and her fists more often than with her brain. She hears about a group being oppressed, and she's in. As for Chell, well, he has a fighting spirit (as demonstrated on the holodeck and in his defiance of Tuvok) and an upbeat personality (as demonstrated by his chatterbox nature), so he probably joined up for the 'worthy cause' and was fine operating in the loose hierarchy of the Maquis where all he had to do was his own job. Once he was drafted into following the much stricter Starfleet rules, he chafed under the restrictions.

     A man cannot own land (Do as I say, not as I do) 

  • Chakotay also talks about the standard Native American "A man does not own land." This is despite him becoming a terrorist to defend his land.
    • To defend land that somebody else decided they owned, people already living there be damned.
      • You can believe a place is where you rightfully belong, even if you don't believe it belongs to you.
      • Even though not all groups of First Nation tribes and empires had that philosophy about land and the Federation offered everyone on those planets a new home.
    • That's still forced relocation.
    • It wouldn't be the first time. In the TNG episode "The Ensigns of Command" the plot of the week is that there is an undiscovered human colony on a planet that the Federation had ceded to the Sheliak more than a century earlier. Data had to be somewhat aggressive in illustrating why the colonists needed to leave (because the Sheliak were going to kill them). It was openly-stated that neither the Federation nor the Cardassians were happy about the exact planets they had to exchange to avert further war. This parallels many cases in Earth history outside of North America (most especially in Europe) where war-ending treaties left dissatisfied people in the uncomfortable situation of having to relocate or else find themselves under the sovereignty of a different government.
    • Look at the context. Chakotay gives the above statement in "Initiations", in response to Kar saying he has to fight to defend Kazon-Ogla's territory. In "Tattoo" we discover that Chakotay rebelled against his father's idea of a spiritual connection to the land, choosing to join Starfleet instead. Then Starfleet gives up the border colonies, and his father is killed fighting the Cardassians attempt to force them off their land. So the whole statement was Chakotay expressing his feelings of anger and guilt.
      • Or he's saying that a man doesn't own land, but a people can.

     Lieutenant Commander Chakotay? 
Throughout all seven years of the show, Chakotay wore the insignia of a Lieutenant Commander, yet is always referred to as "Commander". True, "Commander" is an acceptable shortening for Lieutenant Commander, but it's odd that he would never once be referred to by full rank (as Tuvok was a number of times).
  • You have to consider the mess that was made of the main cast's rank insignia early on. Tuvok was meant to be a Lt, but wore Lt. Cmdr., Paris was meant to Lt JG, but wore full Lt, and even Torres, after her promotion to Chief Engineer, had a similar issue to Chakotay, in thatshe wore Lt JG, but was always referred to as Lt. Given that Tuvok and Paris's ranks were corrected as the series progressed, it's likely that Chakotay and Torres' were missed, as their field commission insignia was never seen before and probably didn't have has firmly established design as the Starfleet pip (even though they did seem to follow the same basic format). Also, Robert Beltran's title card in the credits always read "as Commander Chakotay", yet he replaced Cavit as First Officer, a Lt Cmdr. The way I see it there are several possibilities:
    • 1) Chakotay assumes the rank of the person he replaced (which means Torres would likely be Lt Cmdr). I don't know if that's a thing in real militaries though.
    • 2) Janeway was only allowed a First Officer of equal rank to one she was given for some reason. Again, I don't know if that's a thing in real militaries.
    • 3) Ro's mention of a Lt Cmdr joining the Maquis was indeed a reference to Chakotay therefore his former rank was restored, and he was always referred to as just "Commander" in respect of his command of a Maquis vessel and the commander of the Maquis crew.
    • 4) The rank insignia is wrong and he's a Commander.
      • Also interesting to note is that in Kes's future in "Before and After" after Janeway is killed and Chakotay becomes Captain, he wears the standard Starfleet four captain pips, rather than the four slash field commission pin (which likely didn't exist as a prop). I don't know what's more likely, that Chakotay would pull the pips off dead Janeway's uniform as they closed her torpedo coffin or he went and sat all the Captain exams to make himself a proper Starfleet captain...
      • They just replicated some captain's pips for him. What's the big deal?
      • I think the point raised here is that he's wearing the regular pips, not the Maquis ones.

Lt. Commander Tuvok:

     Is Tuvok a wimp? 
In "The Savage Curtain," as Spock and Kirk listen in on Surak's cries as he's being tortured to death, Spock says "A Vulcan would not cry out so," demonstrating that Surak is not who he appears to be. But in "Resistance," Torres hears Tuvok scream while being tortured. As a way of explanation, he states that "Vulcans are capable of suppressing certain levels of physical pain. Beyond that we must simply endure the experience." Or... is Tuvok just a wimp?
  • Spock may have an inflated opinion of the legendary Surak. And without knowing the exact means by which either was tortured, it's unfair to compare the pain thresholds of the two.
    • Ah, but Spock doesn't say "Surak would not cry out so "... he says "A Vulcan." And he doesn't say "... from that kind of torture," either. From any other character one can accept imprecision, but not from Spock.
  • Its a Retcon. This episode also features a flat-headed Kahless despite the fact we know canonically from TNG onward he had ridges and is a good thousand years too old for the Augment virus. T'Pol has screamed from pain at least once and Soval looked damn near cracking during his torture in Awakening. I also feel like its worth pointing out that we are debating facts from possibly one of the worst episodes of the franchise ever made and as such anything that is presented as fact in an episode with a ventriloquist Kahless and a space breathing Lincoln should be second-guessed.
    • Remember, that's not the real Kahless. It's an alien creation meant to look at act like Kahless, taken from the mind of Kirk. So if Kirk thought that Kahless was ridgeless and could imitate voices, that's all the aliens knew of him.
    • I don't think that anything that is simply inconsistent deserves to be called a retcon, and like it or not, we cannot choose only the best bits as canon; if it's in an episode, it's all canon (and the presentation of Surak is one of the few things that basically works about "The Savage Curtain").
      • I have to agree with you there as I have often made the same argument and as such it would make me a hypocrite. Getting back to the original point about whether Spock was right that Surak shouldn't have screamed it still remains a fact that we have seen T'Pol act just as emotional if not more so and she is a full blooded Vulcan so most of the excuses we may use for Spock being emotional simply don't apply to her. The only way I can think to justify this in-universe (in other words not that it is inconsistent or that Enterprise had continuity issues) is that female Vulcans are just more emotional than male Vulcans. The only other females that have had any significant screen-time is Saavik and Valeris and both were, in my opinion, far less restrained and Spock and Tuvok ever were.
      • But also T’Pol is very young (for Vulcan standards) almost the equivalent of a person in the late teens, so maybe that’s why she is more emotional (again, for Vulcan standards)
    • Remember that, in many ways, Spock is like Worf. He is a child of two worlds (Earth/Vulcan for Spock, Qo'nos/Earth for Worf), and chose to embrace one to the exclusion of the other. Thus, he has an exaggerated view of what it means to be a Vulcan. In his mind, a true Vulcan would not cry out in pain. Thus, since Surak is the ultimate Vulcan, he most definitely would not cry out in pain, or even acknowledge that he was in pain to begin with. As for Saavik and Valeris, remember also that they had special circumstances: Saavik was half-Romulan and was essentially a feral child until Spock took her in, and Valeris was in the midst of commiting high treason, which would put anyone on edge a little.
      • Not to play canonicity cop, but Saavik's status a half-Romulan was never established in canon. The script said as much and it informed some of Kristie Allie's acting choices, but the idea seems to have been dropped altogether by the next film (as we can see in Robin Curtis's performance).
      • As for Valeris, she was not crying out from physical pain. With the strength/depth of Spock's mind meld, this is essentially a powerful Mind Rape.
      • Depends on your definition of "Canon". The scenes were filmed, but then cut due to time constraints. There are claims that ABC has aired a version of the movie with the scenes in it, but I've never seen it. However, the novelization of the movie also makes the reference. Is that canon?
      • No, it is not. Novelizations are not canon. Cut scenes are not canon. Both could hypothetically gain quasi-canonical status retroactively if they are supported by something else on the show, but in this case that did not happen. Nothing except the show itself is canon. The term "canon" is only useful if we agree that we're playing by the same rules that the creators are.
      • While I agree with your comments about canonicity, let's not forget that Star Trek itself plays moderately loose with canon (Gene Roddenberry said that parts of The Final Frontier weren't canon, and elements of episodes, entire episodes, or even entire series have been ruled non-canon). It is unlikely that consensus concerning canonicity can be reached with anything short of a summit meeting of all the actors, writers, producers, and fans to debate the matter (at which nothing will get settled because too many people will restart the fight over the combination to Kirk's safe).
      • All true, but of the very few statements that can be made definitively on the slippery subject of canonicity, chief among them is that "fans do not get to decide what's canon" — at least, not on their own.
      • Agreed, but when the people making the shows/movies/books can't agree on what is canon and what isn't, then it gets harder for the fandom to determine what is and isn't until finally everyone says "screw it" and goes with whatever they want. Come to think of it, this would make a great sociology/anthropology study into things like group-think, concensus, and acceptance/rejection of folklore.
      • Fans are the only people who get to decide on canonicity; this is the one matter the authors get no say on. In every work, in every medium. Canon is not fixed from reader/viewer to reader/viewer. I am not compelled to accept things that spoil my enjoyment of a work. Ever. Violates the entire point of its existence.
      • Sure, you personally can pick whatever you want as your own personal canon or non-canon. But if one doesn't stick to the accepted official canon, there is absolutely no point in discussing anything in the Headscratchers sections. We might as well as all just post on every answer that all the contradictions are solved by de-canonizing the episodes, scenes, or lines of dialogue that cause the contradiction.
      • This is a good illustration, I believe, of how this terminology is being redefined into meaninglessness. Canon means officialdom. It means those things legitimized by the Word of God, and this is slightly more than a pure metaphor, since the very term references matters of the sacred. The Catholic Church claims among its powers the ability to degree which books of the Bible are canon, are of divine origins and which are not (Apocrypha, Deutercanon, Pseudepigrapha, etc.). Now obviously every other denomination claims these powers too and sometimes have slightly different versions of the Bible, and any individual reader of the Bible has the ability to declare "I think this part is real and this part isn't"... but in so doing, they are hypothetically going against canon. A book like "Bel and the Dragon" obviously does exist — you can go and read it. The question isn't whether or not it exists, but whether or not it contains that mysterious touch of God that gives it the status of canon. The parts where Star Trek canon is nebulous or unclear are roughly equivalent to those moments when the Bible contradicts itself; points for discussion and debate, certainly, but even engaging in this debate theoretically accepts that there is such a thing as canon and that it's worth talking about. Just as the Catholic Church claims for itself the powers to say "this is real and this is not," the people running Star Trek (or whatever) do the same. We do not have to accept their authority, but as soon as we reject it, we're not talking about canon any more. Fans have a place in this canonization process (I gather that a fan poll helped (re-) canonize TAS), but it's not an all-determining one. Saying "I don't like this" is not the same thing as saying "this is not canonical"; saying "I don't want to think about this" is not the same thing as saying "this is not canonical." To declare I am not compelled to accept things that spoil my enjoyment of a work is fine (though it sort of reminds me of Grandpa Simpson with his 49 star American flag, because he refuses to recognize Missouri), but is a separate conversation to what is and is not canon.
  • Actually, when Spock says 'A Vulcan would not cry out so', instead of meaning 'A Vulcan would never cry out in pain', I took him to mean 'A Vulcan would never, whilst being tortured, allow his pain to overwhelm him so that it caused him to irrationally cry out to his friend for help, putting him in danger'. If you take the episode independently, and pretended you'd never seen another episode of Star Trek, 'Surak's crying out for help was still OOC because he'd been portrayed as a cold calculating character who, as Spock said, knew the risks before walking into the enemy base. I, as a viewer, immediately could tell it was not Surak yelling or even being forced to yell because of how OOC was it.
So basically, Spock wasn't saying he was surprised Surak was screaming in pain, but because he was begging for help whilst doing so.
  • That's a good point - cold hard logic could definitely lead someone to reason along the lines of "If I scream for help, it may prompt 2 people to come rescue me and potentially die trying to save my 1 life" (followed by an estimation of the odds of the rescue working and the odds of the rescuers dying).
  • Sounds like a "No true Vulcan" kind of situation. There's a running joke in fan circles that it's not that they're always right, it's that they always sound right (i.e. citing logic, speaking with certainty, dismissing counterarguments).

Lieutenant Tom Paris:

     Proper Jobs 
  • Tom Paris, the pilot, does all the important engineering work, like building the delta flyer. B'Elanna Torres, the engineer, does all the scientific analysis, like analyzing the treknobabble radiation of the week. Seven of nine, the science officer, does all the navigation, even having her own station dedicated to stellar charts. Harry, the ops officer, spends most of his time doing menial engineering jobs. Chakotay, the first officer, acts like the ship's spiritual therapist. Neelix, the morale officer, spends most of his time advising the captain, cooking or doing diplomacy. Tuvok, the security chief, flies shuttles and handles weapons. Are Janeway and the Doctor the only ones who actually do their job?
    • The Star Trek franchise as a whole has a pretty bad case of The Main Characters Do Everything, and Voyager isn't even close to the worst offender. Even if it were, the large portion of the professional Starfleet crew killed in Caretaker, and replaced by a boatload of Maquis terrorists makes it far more justified in this series. One of SF Debris' favorite observations about B'Elanna Torres is that she once failed to identify shit with a tricorder (literally, she was scanning manure). Imagine how much the senior staff has to work around all of the Maquis crew members who are even less qualified than her.
    • Voyager had, what, 1/3rd or so of the crew killed in the first episode, so it makes sense that there's some multi-tasking going on. And Tuvok being internal security being familiar with the tactical systems isn't much of a stretch— even in TNG, Worf took on both those roles after Tasha Yar died and that was a fully-manned ship. And there are worse examples in sci-fi, like the remade BSG where fighter pilots serve as lawyers, or snipers, or whatever the plot that week demands.
      • Based on what we see throughout Star Trek when people get killed, relieved, or otherwise removed from duty, someone just strides over and replaces them without a hitch. Considering the fact that most every Starfleet officer seems capable of doing every possible job the ship requires, seems to me like just about all Starfleet officers receive general training in all areas of ship operations most likely for the purposes of redundancy while ones like the senior officers are merely those who have more specialized training in some areas.
      • Referenced in an episode of Deep Space Nine. Julian mentions to Miles that he took the engineering extension courses at Starfleet Academy. Tom Paris took biology courses, which seem like a direct prerequisite to medical training, at least by Janeway's choice of him for field medic training. They likely have categories for all branches and bridge crew are likely to have special training on purpose because they are most of the senior staff.
      • Some of the tasks mentioned above are *part* of the characters' assigned jobs. As first officer, Chakotay is supposed to look out for crewmember's emotional wellbeings; Tuvok, as security cheif, *should* be in charge of weapon-related jobs; B'Elanna's engineering job no doubt involves quite a bit of technobabble (since that is the magic power on which everything runs in the world of "Trek"), and Harry, well, a communication's officer is probably comparable to a cashier; when there are no customers, you have to keep yourself busy with mundane work to keep your job.
      • Harry wasn't the Communications Officer, he's the Operations Officer. Same job as Data, and like Data he was expected to handle a lot of different jobs, science, engineering, and yes communications. People often mention Tom's many qualifications, but downplay Harry's. Harry was one of the designer's of the Delta Flyer, he does a lot of the scientific analysis, designed the astometrics lab with Seven, and basically turned the ship into one big holodeck. There's a reason it was Harry that was asked to try and make a new EMH during Ship in a Bottle.
    • The bigger issue with Tom is that he is so insanely multi-talented that he could be used in virtually any post on the ship, including his wife's! However, that raises the question of: is he too valuable to lose? Not that he is alone in this case. Despite being unable to copy the Doctor's program (even though he was designed to be copied and distributed to every ship in Starfleet!), they still risked leaving themselves with no CMO in "Message In A Bottle"! Tom likewise often performs things like dangerous away missions and zooming around in the Delta Flyer, despite the fact that it is unclear as to whether or not the ship could continue to function without him! Only the Doctor actually possesses a skill set that they literally cannot live without that Tom cannot fully duplicate. Acquiring Seven was a stroke of good luck, but noticeably they kept her locked safely in Astrometrics just so that B'Elanna's Klingon instincts would not cause her to go berserk and defend her territory in Engineering. About the only time she was really okay with Seven being in there was when she thought she was going to die soon anyway. Tom was sensible enough to position his engineering advice in such a way as to allow B'Elanna to pretend it was her idea 90% of the time. But really, Tom is one of the few members of the crew that is invaluable. Of special note was "Shattered", where in the alternate future Icheb was a lieutenant-commander, and Janeway and Chakotay had apparently been dead for a very long time. It was never specified who took their places, but I would wager Tuvok became Captain and Tom became First Officer. The ship seemed to be doing fine, thus proving that even Janeway was not indispensable!
    • Yes, the EMH was designed to be copied. Tom needs Harry's help because he is basically trying to redesign the EMH from scratch. Given that Harry mentions it took top grade holoengineers and doctors to design it in the first place, it's somewhat ridiculous to insult Tom for not being able to do it himself.
      • This issue extends beyond Tom. When they decided to send the Doctor to the Prometheus, why didn't they just copy his program and transmit the copy? In the episode "Life Line", in order to compress the Doctor's program enough to send it through their more limited connection with Starfleet, Seven actually extracts and saves portions of the Doctor's program to get his overall file size down! She actually did this by selectively removing specific skills (and his genitalia apparently).
      • They all but explicitly addressed the issues with sending the Doctor in the episode; they had very little time before the Prometheus would move out of transmission range of the satellite network they'd discovered, no way of knowing if or when another ship would be in that area, and if they had no time to write a suitably complex original program for that transmission they almost certainly had no time to copy an existing one either.
    • As for why he's constantly sent on away missions - it's clearly established that he is the best pilot on the ship. For things like turbulent atmospheres and unknown conditions, it's what you want. Add in that he is the field medic for emergency situations.
    • Yet they sent both Paris AND the Doctor, their only medical people, plus Tuvok on some random shuttle mission in "Gravity", allowing them to be almost lost in the pocket dimension. Voyager would have lost it's entire medical staff in one go!

    Paris as the Doctor's Assistant 
  • Along the lines of the previous issue, choosing Paris as the main doctor's assistant has always seemed like an odd decision. His relevant training is two semesters of biochemistry; was there seriously no one on the ship (including all the various science officers) who'd had a semester or two of biochemistry too? I could understand wanting him to brush up his skills in case of emergency, but now you're asking someone who already has a critical, full-time position to pick up another one? Not only is that asking a lot of one man, but it's also not an efficient use of resources to have him split his time like that — it means less time with the chief pilot at the conn, and less time with additional hands in sickbay, than if you had separate people assigned to those roles. It would seem a much better idea to find someone who could give all their time and effort on duty to medical work, and let Tom focus on piloting.
    • Indeed, one would think that Ensign Wildman, whose focus as a science officer is on xenobiology, would have a better foundation for a nurse than Tom's year of biochemistry. Obviously, not a replacement for learning and focusing on medical skill and technique, but also at least seeming to have a little more overlap with her standard set of duties than the ship's pilot.

Chief Engineer B'Elanna Torres:

  • If Torres feels so bad for her “half” Klingon appearance, as mentioned several times like when she says that as a child she use to hide her forehead or how she feels for the fact that her daughter might have the same ridges, why didn’t she use plastic surgery? Probably is like going to the dentist for the people in the 24th century as we actually see many times how characters like Troi, Kira and in the same series Seska, can have MASSIVE changes on their anatomies to look like an entire alien species. If Seska could be changed from a Cardassian to a Bajoran, Torres could take away the ridges at any moment of her life.
    • As anyone who follows SF Debris knows, the Federation's claims to be this grand liberal utopia are shaky at best. Almost all culture in the Federation seems to be based off white America, homosexuality seems to have vanished etc. And one of the more disturbing recurring themes seems to be that you should be happy as you are. As you say, we've seen that plastic surgery in the 24th century takes an hour, and we know from Profit and Lace that sex-changes are easily available and easily reversible, so why aren't people changing their bodies all over the place? Surely there must be loads of humans and aliens who feel that they would be happier living as another species (or just feel like experimenting a bit) and yet it never comes up (despite the fact, from a real world point of view, there are hundreds of conceivable stories that could be told from such a sub-culture of people). And whilst we can muse forever on why the script writers never implemented any of these things, the implications are very disturbing from an in-universe perspective.
      • Maybe people do have plastic surgery all the time. How many faces on Voyager did we see more than once or twice? I think someone did a count once, and the number of seen faces and/or mentioned names surpassed the 150 limit by the 5th season! Maybe that was one of the Doctor's least mentioned hobbies. Apparently he started out by experimenting with Janeway's hairstyles...

Ensign Harry Kim:

     Harry Kim 
  • Why is it that Ensign Harry Kim is a member of the senior staff when there are lieutenants running around all over the place? It's possible that he's just the highest ranking science officer/operations officer available, but it never occurred to any of the lieutenants to take a Bridge Officer's Test and show that little shit what's what?
    • Each Federation ship has a generally similar senior staff: commanding officer (Janeway), executive officer (Chakotay), chief engineer (Torres), security/tactical (Tuvok), chief medical officer (EMH), science officer (Voyager had none), and operations officer (Kim). In addition, the CO is allowed to add any to her senior staff as she wants. Janeway added Tom (conn officer), Seven of Nine (astrometrics and Borg knowledge), and Neelix (morale officer and Delta Quadrant knowledge).
    • Janeway personally asked for Harry when picking her crew to be a bridge officer. He was on the fast track to a stunning career and she wanted the best for her bridge. It was stated in the show that he would have been a Lt. Commander by the end of the series if they hadn't been stranded. (He would have taken Geordi La Forges's career path in other words.)
    • Probably those other officers run the Bridge during the night shift. Not as glamorous or fast-track as being a part of Janeway's senior staff, but there's prestige in occupying the captain's chair when she's off-duty or sleeping, too.
      • It's specifically stated a few times that Harry himself takes the night shift as a way of getting command experience. This however brings up another It Just Bugs Me...
    • It is possible that Harry had special training in his position. In the TNG episode Lower Decks, a character notes that the ops position is very challenging, and Riker personally evaluates the performance of candidates for the position. If Janeway goes out of her way to recruit him, someone must have realized that he was very skilled at the position. For a freshly-minted ensign on his first assignment, that person almost certainly must have been his instructor. Someone as green as Harry might not have had enough time in service to be made a lieutenant when he joined the crew of Voyager.
      • It's also established in TNG episodes "Disaster" and "Thine Own Self" that all bridge officers must pass a special exam designed to test their command abilities.
      • And once again the Starfleet command exam is proven to be one of the easiest tests in human history. Kim was as green as the Hulk's butt in season 1 and yet he was considered someone who was considered worthy enough to be one of the most powerful men on the ship? It's not quite as bad as the ship's therapist being promoted over the super-intelligent android who has saved the ship ten times but it's close.
      • Actually, wasn't that exam only for those wishing to be promoted to Commander, not for all bridge officers. As for Kim being green yet still getting the Ops position/being a member of the senior staff, maybe it's a combination of circumstance and (as posited above) skill; maybe he wasn't on the senior staff prior to Voyager being taken to the Delta Quadrent and was just hand picked to be a crewmember in the Operations department because of his grades (ie he was experienced academically but not practically). Remember both the original first officer and the entirety of the medical staff were killed when Voyager was taken to the Delta Quadrent by the Caretaker, so it's feasible that everyone else in the Operations department with more experience (barring NCOs and other enlisted crewmen) were also killed; considering how small the crew was, there were probably only a handful to begin with. With Voyager in a crisis situation, he ended up with the job because he was the best left alive - if Voyager had still been in the Alpha Quadrent, they'd have headed back to DS9/the nearest starbase/shipyard for repairs and a more experienced officer would have been reassigned to Voyager to fill the position.
      • Consider the initial parameters of the mission too. When Janeway picked Harry, it was for a quick, three-week retrieval mission, so letting him have a command position might have seemed like a good way to let him gain experience. If she'd known it was a seven-year mission, she might have picked someone with a little more experience. But once she had him there, it would be a major insult to take him out of that role with no real reason, so that's where he stayed.

     Harry Kim pt. 2 
  • Why in the cosmos didn't poor Harry get a promotion at some point? Tuvok got promoted, so why not Harry? With all the random lieutenants running around the ship, it really makes no sense that he wouldn't have been promoted at least to lieutenant J.G. in seven years.
    • I've heard it suggested that because the ship was self-contained there was no room for advancement. With the rest of the fleet you could transfer people to higher-ranking openings on other ships or starbases or at HQ, like when O'Brien went from transporter operator of the Enterprise to chief of operations on Deep Space Nine, or when Dr Crusher went to Starfleet Medical (only to return after the writer who sexually harassed left the show). You'd also have people retiring and jobs opening up that way. On Voyager, everyone has to stay onboard the same ship, so there just aren't any new openings. So promotions can't happen, or very rarely, because no one's going anywhere, and they keep doing the jobs they've always done.
    • The problem is, that's bullshit. There was attrition through the many characters who died; most of them were at the bottom of the rank structure, but a fair number of lieutenants bought it, like Carey. When Tom got demoted they could have said "There's room for another lieutenant, let's give it to Harry," though that would have added some tension to their relationship. They could have given him the lieutenant's spot opened up when Tuvok got promoted—and when they promoted Tuvok, they didn't fret over "What will this do to our ratios, or whatever?" They just did it because he deserved it.
      • Star Trek V is another strike against the ratio idea. Enterprise by that time had no less than three crew members who held the rank of captain: Kirk, Spock, and Scotty. Every other main character had made commander.
      • And having three captains and a bunch of commanders on a ship that size didn't strike you as ridiculous?
      • Ridiculous? Not really. It appears to be narratively justified by the Enterprise's unique status; it's probably not regular. What makes it subject to ridicule?
      • Well, it would make an assignment to Enterprise a dead end for the career of anyone who wasn't lucky enough to be a member of the crew during the Original Series—i.e., there's no room for advancement because the core senior staff refuses to move on to other assignments. It also creates the appearance of nepotism: Consider that the three times prominent bridge posts went to an outsider in the movie era, they went to Ilia, a former girlfriend of Captain Decker (only one of several extremely questionable staffing changes in TMP, by the way), and then to Saavik and Valeris, both personal protégées of Captain Spock. Imagine being the next most senior member of Enterprise's navigation department, waiting to finally be promoted to department head, knowing that Starfleet is supposed to be a meritocracy, then finding out you were passed over because it's apparently 'Bring Spock's Most Recent Surrogate Daughter to Work Day'...again!note  Finally—and this is a factor that has cost actual lives aboard Enterprise in the movie era—when you have a command structure so ridiculously top-heavy, you're encouraging a situation where it becomes very easy for the command staff to disregard critical input from anyone that they haven't served with for literally three decades. In TMP, Kirk probably wouldn't have had nearly as much of a counterproductive and borderline-dysfunctional relationship with his XO if it had been anyone but Decker; Khan wouldn't have had such an easy time ambushing Enterprise if Kirk hadn't disregarded Saavik's advice in Wrath of Khan; and Spock might have caught wind of the conspiracy much sooner if he'd listened more attentively to Valeris in The Undiscovered Country.
      • Starfleet itself may be a meritocracy but that doesn't mean that there aren't other forces at play within the hierarchy of single storied ship. Perhaps the Enterprise would be a plum credential by its very nature (rather as in "The Icarus Factor" Picard and Riker discuss how you can construe first officer of the flagship as a better post than some captaincies), but for an up-and-comer, career momentum would take you off of it soon enough. But to get back to the "multiple captains" issue, if you're second in command in engineering, does it change your situation at all if Scotty is ranked a captain vs. a commander?
      • About Saavik and Valeris, recall that "Where No Man Has Gone Before" implies that Kirk was a lieutenant while still at the Academy. So apparently this was a thing in the 23rd century? I wonder if it has something to do with some kind of additional training that takes longer but allows you to skip the ensign rank, sort like the "Advanced Tactical Training" Ro later does?
    • And even if there is some magical ratio they need to keep, how does it not include "The Operations officer needs to be a senior officer"? Harry's doing the same job Data did on TNG, and Data was a Lieutenant Commander. Maybe since Voyager is a smaller ship they'd want to make that a lieutenant's job, but no lower.
    • The producers had a theory that "someone has to be the Ensign."
      • Probably also had something to do with the producers having a hate-on for Garrett Wang after he badmouthed the show.
      • This may well be true, but if so it shows what kind of lunatic logic prevailed on the production staff. Making sure that Harry Kim is as pathetic as possible in order to get back at the actor who plays him is a bit like cutting off your nose to spite your face.
    • Starfleet has a history of screwing people over for promotions or promoting people who don't deserve it. Look at Hoshi; she was an Ensign for ten years despite being on Earth's most important and most revolutionary starship, was personal friends with the captain and XO, was instrumental in defeating the final Xindi weapon and helped design the basics of the Universal Translator. Her accomplishments, frankly, tower over Kim's. SF Debris has a theory that Janeway just flat out disliked him to the the point she intentionally made him her Butt-Monkey - which as mentioned above the writers also had the same feelings. Its well documented that they were going to have him die as opposed to Kes until they changed their minds.
      • The Expanded Universe at least tries to do something about this; junior Voyager crewmembers who stayed with Starfleet were jumped two grades immediately.
      • It'd be nice to think that would happen for Harry. From a Doylesian perspective the producers may just not have let him, but from the Watsonian perspective it makes it seem like Janeway had it in for Harry particularly. Tom was demoted due to disciplinary action to the same rank as Harry in season five and then got promoted again at the start of season seven. So seven years of good behaviour and doing duties well above what was normally expected of an Ensign for Harry earned him less than one year of good behaviour for Tom (as mentioned previously Harry's the operations officer which was Data's job on TNG, whereas Tom was doing a job that on TNG was often done by Ensigns including Wesley Crusher). Generously, maybe we could argue that Janeway had more of a motherly view towards Harry which is why she always wanted to think of him as the young Ensign.
      • Canonically, Geordi La Forge and Will Riker graduated from Starfleet Academy at the same time, but you notice in the first season of TNG Riker was three grades ahead of La Forge. But Geordi got promoted fairly quickly, twice in two years. It's thought that whatever reason he wasn't promoted until then, it was kind of saved up for later. I expect the same logic applies to Harry and everyone else who had their careers interrupted by being in the Delta Quadrant.

    Harry's poor command of the classics 
  • At the end of "Fortunate Son," Harry relates the story of the Sirens from "The Odyssey." He describes Odysseus telling his sailors to "cover their ears so they couldn't hear the sirens' song," in contrast with the text, where Odysseus has them fill their ears with wax to the same end. So: how exactly does Harry think it's possible to hold your hands over your ears and row a ship at the same time?
    • Poor, dumb Harry. Although given that on Voyager "Ancient Earth" seems to cover everything from the Trojan War to the 1990s, he might have imagined they were on a battleship.
    • Streamlined language, most likely - 'covered their ears' versus 'stuffed their ears with wax.' The point wasn't in the specifics, just the metaphor.
      • "Blocked their ears" or "filled their ears" would be streamlined language. This is saying something different.
      • Either way, most people in the 21st century couldn't quote "The Odyssey" off the top of their heads. Even if they had heard the story of the sirens in enough detail to describe it, and hadn't just heard it on Star Trek, they could easily get a detail wrong due to only remembering the broadstroaks of the story and not really think about the fact that it didn't make sense (which is likely what the writers of the episode actually did). It's an example of in-universe fridge logic. Obviously if he thought about it later he would have said "Hey, wait a minute, how were they rowing?" but unless he was scrutinising his memory of the story it wouldn't occur to him to do so.

The Doctor (Emergency Medical Hologram, Mk. I)

     Mark I EMH a Failure? 
  • The whole "The Doctor's line of EMHs was a failure" subplot. The reason The Doctor's line is considered a failure by Starfleet? Their bedside manner was lousy. Ummm... doesn't EMH stand for the Emergency Medical Hologram? Only meant to be used at all in the worst situations, where people really should be more concerned with staying alive than hurt feelings or bruised egos? Sure it would be something to improve on, but declaring the whole line useless just for that makes Starfleet look like a bunch of whimpering babies. It's especially bad when you consider that The Doctor's bedside manner is no worse than a lot of the human doctors we've seen, and the so-called "improvement", the Mark II, is even more obnoxious than The Doctor ever was.
    • I thought there was more to it than that. Given how many problems the Voyager EMH ended up having, they probably realized the model was flawed. In DS9 Zimmerman was working on a Long-Term Medical Holographic Program suggesting this is something they've already discovered a need for, even before they knew Voyager was in the Delta Quadrant.
      • The problems that The Doctor was plagued with in the series seemed to stem more than anything from the fact that he was running near constantly over a long of period of time, despite not being at all designed for such use, and those issues seemed to be resolved with fairly little difficulty as well. A more long-term medical program would definitely have a use, and would be a logical step from the EMH, but remember, the issue here is that the Mark I was considered an abysmal failure as an EMH, despite us seeing no inherent problems in the Mark I that we're familiar with that don't involve his personality, which again, would be a terrible reason, and besides, The Doctor is still a damn sight better than, say, Pulaski.
      • It wasn't just the bedside manner, the personality couldn't have been the end-all and be-all of the program, though it was probably a factor. In an early episode (Parallax?), Carey has a broken nose from a run-in with Torres, the scene comically has the exasperated EMH trying to treat him, Carey sitting up to complain to Chakotay, and the Doctor forcibly pushing Carey back onto the bed, exacerbating the broken nose, all this occurring at least 3 times. Granted, the EMH is meant for battlefield triage and emergencies, meant to be effective rather than personable, but there are limits. Dr. Zimmerman makes reference to the EMH mk I referred to as "Extremely Marginal Housecalls" - that sounds like a performance critique, not a personality one. Perhaps Voyager's bio-neural circuitry played a factor, giving the Doctor a computational edge over more traditional computer circuits - wasn't that mentioned at one point as being a factor as to how the Doctor evolved? Or, perhaps something simpler - the EMH mk I worked fine as a battlefield triage unit but was being used more and more often as a medical short cut for small ships and starbases, where (unlike Voyager) people could complain about its performance issues more readily.
      • Regarding the Carey example, the Doctor didn't seem to be pushing him down in a way that affected his nose much, and besides, Carey was acting like a petulant infant at the time anyway; the Doc could be excused for being a little exasperated, I think. The computation issue, however, does make a lot of sense, and does go some way to explain why the Doc can always come up with solutions for such out-there, unprecedented problems as he's presented with on such a constant basis.
    • The EMH is a software. This "obsolete" thing means... what? That, after a very brief time, a perfectly fine and working software was treated as "obsolete" by the executives who published it, and replaced by a "new" software with only cosmetic or pointless changes? That just means that software industry simply kept its dirty habits. Who didn't fall for the hype of the new cell phone, the new word processor, the new CPU... and, in the long run, payed a lot of money for something so very similar to the old product?
      • You need to actually read the entry, not just its label. The issue here isn't that the doctor is considered obsolete - of course that'll happen - it's that the Mark I EMH was apparently considered a horrible failure in-universe, despite us seeing nothing that can really be complained about in the Doctor's performance that doesn't come across as absurdly petty.
    • Odds are that the EMH wasn't so much obsolete as it was simply reaching the end of its useful life. Remember, the EMH was only designed for 150 hours of use. Since ships in the Alpha Quadrant weren't using them as their CM Os, the programs probably lasted longr (and had a lot less character development). Thus, when the programs reached the end of their user lives, it was decided to make an update which would be usable now that the old programs had begun to expire and would also incorporate changes that were being called for by users (better bedside manner, for example). The old models likely had their medical programming deleted and were rewritten for dilithiuim mining (which begs the question as to how they set up enough emitters to handle all those workers...).
      • Okay, I went ahead and changed the title of this headscratcher, because it's really coming off as though people are reading that, nothing else, and then posting an answer that has nothing to do with the actual question. The issue here isn't that the doctor is obsolete (my own fault to a degree, that could've been worded better), it's that even when the Mark I's first came out, they were considered a failure. Yes, poor bedside manner is something that should be fixed, and even phasing them out once a new program was designed would make a lot of sense. The problem is that the Mark I's were considered utterly useless as their intended job as emergency medics, even though such a verdict stemming from nothing but poor bedside manner is ridiculously petty, especially since there are most certainly examples of Dr. Jerk in the Star Trek verse, and the Mark II, who has supposedly overcome the flaws of the Mark I, is even more obnoxious than the Doctor ever was.
      • In calling the Mark 1 a failure, there were likely several factors that went into it. One was, undoubtedly, the lack of bedside manner and Jerkass tendancies that it showed. Even in an emergency situation, no one wants an asshole around, especially if they're the one offering to take a laser scalpel to your injuries. Also consider that Zimmerman was rather much an asshole, and his personality rubbed off on the Mark 1, which likely pushed many away from using his new, never been attempted before system. Consider also that Crusher swore she would never use the one on the Enterprise-E (although that can be explained by the crew having so many issues with the holodeck, she was likely scared of the damn thing becoming sentient and taking over the ship). New technology, especially one that has the potential (or at least the implication) of putting people out of their jobs, is often frowned upon by people in that line of work (compare TOS having dedicated transporter chiefs to Voyager assigning anyone who wasn't busy to man the transporter). Starfleet doctors and nurses likely reacted to the Mark 1 in roughly the same way that Kirk did to the M-5: with disdain and apprehension. There's no way they would use a system designed to replace them, even temporarily, for fears that they would get removed from starship duty or, even worse, kicked out of Starfleet for being redundant (go ask Hoshi Sato how much promotion potential she had after the Universal Translator made a ship's linguist redundant). The Mark 2, however, was made younger and less abrasive, coupled with the fact that it did hammer out some of the Mark 1's flaws: it was able to turn itself off (compare how often the Doctor would harass Janeway and crew about his program being left on), it seemed slightly less independant, so that it was less lifelike and more obviously a computer construction (it's mannerisms and speech patterns recalled Data moreso than the realistic Doctor ever did), and was made to seem fairly more subservient (had rather less initiative i.e. turned itself off in a crisis rather than attempting to interfere/distract the crew). Then again, calling the Mark 1 a failure could just be hyperbole, the way that people look back on things like the Sega Dreamcast and call it a failure for reasons that have little to do with it's performance abilities.
    • As I recall, when the EMH was first activated in the pilot it was informed that the medical staff was all dead, then proceeded to behave as if a trained nurse were on hand to assist it, then proceeded to complain when told there wasn't one. That seems like a pretty major flaw in an emergency medical program. On top of that, if an EMH were generally needed to fulfill the requirement of an extra set of hands when things are busy, its ego at fulfilling the tasks it would likely be called upon for would be a real issue. When you need an emergency appendectomy in the middle of a disaster, you don't want your doctor bitching about the fact that a glorified stomach ache is beneath its dignity as a surgeon.
    • I think the better question might be "why does Starfleet have such a ridiculously high turnover rate on the EMHs in just seven years?" The initial problem is the Mark 1's personality? Okay, so it was rotated out and replaced by the Mark II after four years. TWO years later, they're apparently on the EMH Mark IV. Even if we assume the Mark III or Mark IV was an active prototype of Zimmerman's Long-term Medical Hologram from DS9, we have Starfleet going through EMH models at a rate of two different models every three years. Why does the whole program need to be replaced if the problem is the personality?
      • The closer you are to the start of new technology the faster it updates.
      • Here's the way I see it. The Mark 1 was state of the art yet in relative terms very unperfected; with the abrasive personality, limited memory capacity and run time (The Swarm), and that bug we see in Latent Image that made him dangerously unstable. The Mark 2 corrected these and other flaws that came up, as well as making him the intermediate stage between EMH and LMH with the ability to go where he likes on board ship. Note that we don't actually learn anything at all about the Mark 3 and 4 besides the fact that they exist; for all we know, one or both saw a very limited distribution. In that case, I propose that the Mark 3 was the Julian Bashir LMH prototype (it does share the same matrix with the Mark 1 and all Zimmerman needed to do was to replace Bashir with someone else once he was deemed to be unsuitable) and the Mark 4 is the more perfected, mass-produced version of the LMH. The second possibility for the Mark 4 line as I see it (especially if it is a derivative of the LMH that is designed to be you friend) would be the ability to change his personality and appearance on command. For example, would the all-Vulcan ships be happy with an EMH that acts like a human, or would a woman be happy with a gynecological exam from a male hologram etc.

     The Doctor's Mental Breakdown 
  • I realize that this was supposed to be a plot point, and it had some interesting potential, but the execution was abysmal. There was an episode in Voyager where the Doctor had to make a choice on which person he had to save, and chose his friend over the random blue shirt despite the fact they had an absolutely equal chance. The Doctor has a nervous breakdown as a result as his programming could not resolve the issue after the fact (saving his friend over random crewmember). Fair enough, it helps to establish some of the underlying aspects of the Doctor as a program. However, what happens is that they under go a massive cover-up, excising the blue shirt from all records and modifying the doctor's memories. In addition to how cold this was, I can't help but think it would have been easier to just rewrite a few memories that her body had a bad reaction to the attack (or Harry was somehow less effected, even slightly) or that she banged her head as she collapsed, giving Harry a microscopically better chance at survival (which his programming would have been able to accept).
    • I'd guess that it was because they could only delete the Doctor's memories, not insert false ones. The EMH was likely designed so that you could delete its memories (after all, we saw in "The Swarm" that it's possible to overload an EMH's memory), but not so that you could implant fake memories, because why would you need to give one fake memories? They aren't supposed to be sentient, after all; the Doc becoming so was an accident.
    • I haven't seen that episode, but it sounds to me like an enormous flaw in the EMH Program. The entire point of an Emergency Medical Hologram is to provide support to overwhelmed medical staff in an emergency. That necessarily includes life and death situations where every second counts and you can't save everybody. An EMH would have to have a Triage Protocol where he can make those decisions instantly without hesitation or remorse. The Doctor should have said, "My program dictates that I save X" and that would be it, unless he received a contrary order from the Captain.
      • No that part was addressed. The two characters in the situation had the exact same chance of dying (don't ask me how, given potential differences in biochemistry from person to person). Normally, he'd just pick the one his program decided had the better chance, even if the differences between the two were minute and not be bothered to the extent that he was. For example, based off what he said, let's say we two fatally injured crewman, crewmen A and B and only enough time to potentially save one of them, if crewman A had a 31.334% chance of survival, and crewman B had a 31.335% chance of survival, the Doctor would pick crewman B with no problem (beyond that normally associated with doctors being unable to save patients they can't save). However, if crewman A and crewman B were to each have 33.333% chance of survival, and picks crewman A because he's friends with A but not B, he later cannot justify to himself saving A over B since B had just as much chance of survival.
      • That's precisely the flaw: The EMH has only one criterion to determine who to help. None of the programmers foresaw the possibility that they would encounter this situation? What if the two patients were the Captain and the janitor? Obviously the Captain should have first priority, right?
      • True... but the choice here was between random ensign, and main character ensign. Not exactly a major difference in rank.
      • The problem wasn't precisely that they had the same chance of survival. Presumably, if Blue Shirt A and Blue Shirt B were both on his table, both with the same chance of survival, and he didn't really know either of them, he'd just pick one. Maybe the first one who came in, maybe the one who was closest, whatever. The problem was that he picked Harry Kim not because he had a superior rank (which, being a member of the senior staff, he did) or because he was closer or whatever. He picked Harry because he was the EMH's friend. One assumes that the reason the programmers didn't think of this is because they didn't foresee an EMH becoming friends with anyone.
      • They explained it all in the episode that it wasn't just a matter of a Logic Bomb or other computer failure but the fact that his program "evolved" to include a real personality and not just be an emergency doctor. The Doctor had added to his program many other things he did not originally have, including ethics not connected to the Hypocratic Oath. As the original EMH, the doctor would have performed without any problem but as the "Evolved" form, he went into an ethic loop.
      • Presumably, if this could happen to a 'regular' EMH, the engineer would just reset it to zero. Nobody foresaw that the EMH would evole into sentience or that the crew would get attached.
      • Which was the problem, as Janeway described it: the Doctor's emerging personality had chosen Harry, and both his programming and his own sense of guilt were railing against that choice. Had he been a standard EMH, a random number generator would've probably kicked in to break the tie. The Doctor's dilemma was that he logically knew it was supposed to be a random decision, and it wasn't.
      • Interesting bit of trivia supporting that: apparently in the original version of the script, Ensign Jetal had a bit of the thing for the Doc. He didn't return her feelings and, having never been on the receiving end of an unrequited crush before (and it being only a little while after the trauma of Real Life) had difficulty dealing with it. His guilt came because he was influenced not just by his preference for Harry, but by his desire to find a way out of the uncomfortable situation with Ahni.
      • I guess all the stasis chambers must have been out of order that day. After all just put one into stasis, complete the procedure on one, than remove the other from stasis and do the procedure again. (It would make logical sense o have at least one stasis chamber ready in case of medical emergencies i.e only having 1 Doctor)
    • Another case of discontinuity in the show, in another episode, B'Elanna and Tom were stranded in environmental suits in space, Tom give B'Elanna a not so serious order, and she says he can't give her orders, because they're the same rank. He responds by saying that since he is a bridge officer, he in fact DOES out rank her. There's no way of telling if he was just saying that as a joke, or if it was actually Fed protocol, but if it was, dilemma solved. Harry was a bridge officer, and therefore outranked the woman.
      • That should have been part of the decision in this situation, actually. It sounds cold—and really, it is—but Harry, Voyager's operations manager, is a mission-critical crew-member. The other ensign, frankly, has been dead for months and nobody's really noticed. They are very far from home, and any program that makes this sort of decision without factoring in the individual's value to the mission (in this case getting the crew home safely) is very flawed.
      • The problem, though, is not about whether it was the right or wrong choice, it's about how he came to the decision. Absolutely a logical analysis could have led him to the same conclusion, but that wasn't the process he used. What he can't deal with is the idea that he made a decision emotionally and not logically, even if the ultimate outcome (choosing to save Harry) might have been the same. I suspect part of it might also be that he's afraid that if emotion starts creeping into his decision process, it could interfere with his ability to make logical decisions in the future, and potentially cause him to make the irrational choice.
    • What bugs me is that we're dealing with a hologram here. A hologram which could probably be (at least temporarily) duplicated. Now they can save both patients at once! And they can keep the spares around to ensure that the sickbay finally has enough staff to run properly!
      • The Doctor's hologram is ridiculously advanced. It would probably be too much of a drain on the Sick Bay computers to have two of him running around. Remember, not all holographic programs are the same: in one episode, he had to shave off some of his less-important programs to be able to be sent to Earth without any other messages, while in another he sent an entire holonovel to a publisher. It's probably possible that they could have rerouted power to the Sick Bay computers, but they didn't have the time right then, and doing so all the time would, once again, be a drain on ship's systems when there's already at least one doctor available at virtually all times.
      • It wouldn't be a drain on ship's resources if one used the mobile emitter. But they established firmly that the Doctor's program can only be stored in one place at any given time, a Voodoo Shark against a thornier issue: self-identity when the self is copied.
      • Except that one time
    • There was also that episode where the Doctor was off the ship and Paris and Kim spent most of it trying to duplicate him in case something dire happened and he didn't return. It was established that they couldn't even produce a simple, basic EMH, the program was simply too complex, even at its simpliest level.
      • The EMH is supposed to have an applied encyclopedic knowledge of every form of medicine known to Federation science. He's supposed to be better than Phlox, McCoy and Crusher put together because he basically is all of them put together and then some. He's an aggregate of every great medical mind in recorded history and he can learn and improvise. Think of it this way, in DS9's "Our Man Bashir" we learn that the station's computer can hold the neural patterns of 5 people at the expense of erasing pretty much every other program. The EMH likely runs off a dedicated computer in sickbay that adds up to at least one whole person's neural pattern—and that's before the Doctor became sentient. There likely just isn't enough room for the Doctor to be in 2 places at once while using the main computer. As for why not have 2 Doctors running at the same time (like they did in Equinox) it could be that they have a backup copy of the Doctor in the sickbay computer so they don't lose him forever if the mobile emitter is destroyed. Whenever he transfers back to sickbay he overwrites the backup copy, so the backup would only be as up to date as the last time he was active without the mobile emitter. Given how much he enjoys his freedom that could easily be a few days or a week. And we have no idea how long it would take to do a system restore of the Doctor (since they probably don't just copy/paste him to and from the mobile emitter), it could take a few minutes to bring him back online. In the episode in question, "Latent Image," the Doctor has only minutes to save them and he can't talk Paris through it. Restoring the backup Doctor (essentially having an Emergency Medical Hologram for the Emergency Medical Hologram) might have taken too long for it to be useful.
      • The real question, in the end, is why they didn't seek out a method by which they could essentially duplicate the Doctor's body, with the one Doctor in control of both bodies. Such a modification should have only required minor modification to a few of his movement and observation subroutines to enable him to split his attention between two bodies, and then some time for the Doctor to adapt to the new subroutines (but only when necessary). Obviously, as this would only have been thought of after such a need arose, it wouldn't have helped the Blue Shirt, or prevented the Doctor's meltdown at the time, but it would provide a helpful way to handle multiple problems simultaneously in the future (and one body would only be needed for most of the time).
      • Given that Doc could essentially write upgrades for himself, he really should have put some work into developing Kage bunshin Doctor.
      • Wait, the Doctor writes upgrades for himself, which according to some writers [means...
      • "Message In a Bottle" shows how behind the times Voyager got. The Prometheus's computers was fully capable of supporting both EMH programs and remote controlling its Me's a Crowd form. Voyager can't. They basically left spacedock cutting edge and are now behind the curve.
      • In this case, why couldn't the Doctor just abandon the idea of a body and simply use the holographic projectors to create just hands, and save both at the same time. Abandoning a body would free up a lot of processing power, so it would be much more efficient in something like a battle or ... in a case where there are two different patients.
      • A) Because the Doctor has a sense of self so developed that he gave himself a penis just be more like a real man. He doesn't want to look like anyone or anything else and lets be honest, would you want to be just a pair of hands? B) Holograms in Trek appear to be based on Agent rules from The Matrix in that reality can be bent rather than broken. All evidence points towards him needing eyes and gravity. No Trek hologram has ever been shown to float.

     The Doctor's Family 
  • The random character generator for the holodeck contains teenagers who want to brutally attack a random stranger and little girls who die by playing a violent game. Why would anyone include these parameters in the standard list? They apparently have a pretty decent chance of appearing too, as no one was shocked by the doctors situation. (and yes, they were stated to come from the standard list of attributes)
    • These events didn't occur until B'Elanna added "randomized behavioural algorithms" to the scenario; they're not at all part of the standard character sets, they're randomly generated events that could realistically happen within this scenario. Parisses' Squares (the game the little girl plays) is known to be a sport with a high risk of accidents; this doesn't mean that she shouldn't play it. The accident could've happened to anyone.
    • Why do they bother to include homicidal mania in their list of possible behaviours.
      • Because it's a Klingon ritual, consistent with his son's Klingon friends.
  • Having the doctor see Klingons as bad high school friends and Vulcans as good high school friends. I can't imagine why anyone would program the doctor with such a racist attitude
    • Well, it seems the person who programmed the Klingons to be bad influences was the only person with Klingon ancestry on the ship!
      • Who held a rather intense dislike towards said ancestry, demonstrated on several occasions.
    • It seems like his issue was specifically that he felt the Klingon kids were a bad influence. He might have suggested Vulcans just because it's the farthest thing from Klingons he could think of.
    • If anything, the Doc's programmer doesn't like Vulcans - I think "pointy-eared blowhards" was the phrased used.
      • The Doctor's programming is modeled primarily after Dr. Zimmerman but has parts of hundreds of other medical professionals' profiles in his makeup, as well. In "Darkling" we're shown that adding personality traits from historical figures can create unanticipated behavioral changes. Maybe including the medical officer logs of one Leonard McCoy, no doubt sprinkled with his colorful opinions on Vulcans and Klingons, left the Doctor with some peculiar baggage. And besides, it's not their species that the Doctor has a problem with it's their culture, one that's largely antithetical to the core essence of his being. He is programmed to follow the Hippocratic Oath and is going to try to pass that value on to his kids, and here are these Klingons who are all about doing harm. Vulcan culture is based on logic tempered with ethics and is more in line with what a medical program would consider "correct."
    • I might be giving the writers too much credit but I thought the episode carried the implication that B'Elanna's own prejudice that happy family life is a lie was heavily influencing her programming.
      • This troper saw it that way too. She seemed to take offense at the Doctor's fantasy of an idyllic family life. Never mind that most people use the holodeck to create equally unrealistic scenarios. Early on Janeway seemed favor Jane Austen style historical romances. Later she would insert herself into Leonardo Da Vinci's workshop (something he would have never allowed in real life). Then there was the entire Fairhaven MMORPG that everybody was getting in on. Janeway rewrote that one to make the barkeep a more appealing romantic interest (and delete the wife that his v1.0 iteration had). B'Elanna's reaction to the Doctor's wholesome 1950's family fantasy was pretty obviously that of someone from a broken home.
      • It wasn't that he was engaging in an unrealistic fantasy. As mentioned above, everyone on the crew did that for recreation. The issue is the context. The Doctor wanted to experience a "real" family life, but he was only engaging in an idyllic, unrealistic fantasy. In real life, family members make decisions others don't agree with, or they engage in sports and get injured, or they bicker, or any of a number of things that are far, far from "idyllic". If the Doctor was simply seeking recreation, she would have shrugged it off if she even had much of an opinion on it to begin with. However, as the issue was that he wanted to experience a "real family" as a way to understand the crew and such, it being unrealistic was a problem. She offered to make the scenario more realistic, he agreed because that's what he wanted too.

     The Doctor's emotional programming 
  • So... there was a huge deal throughout all of TNG about Data having no emotions whatsoever and his quest for them. The emotion chip built by Dr. Soong, Lore's obviously flawed emotional programming... and yet these medical hologram programs developed by Starfleet can experience real emotions from day one? HUH? For a program intended for emergency use that likely only needed medical knowledge along with maybe a basic ability to fake emotional responses for "bedside manner", The Doctor has no problems whatsoever displaying and even feeling actual emotions from the first episode.
    • Why is Data's quest for emotions such a long process when Starfleet seems to understand how to give a computer emotions already?
      • I'm not sure if this is the case or not, but wasn't the EMH developed sometime after Data got the emotion chip? If so, maybe Zimmerman reverse engineered the chip to create the EMH's programming.
      • The difference is that the EMH Mark I was based off of Louis Zimmerman's personality, whereas Data was a blank slate and not modeled after anyone. Note that Juliana Tainer/Soong in "Inheritance" experiences emotion. It seems Noonian Soong was capable of creating a stable AI with emotion, but only if it were programmed with an existing personality.
      • Data's "quest for emotions" never made much sense anyway, since as adaptable as Data's programming is he should have been more than capable of at least creating some rudimentary emotion programs.
      • I think Data's problem is that he wanted to experience emotions, whereas Data's programming could at best mimic them. It's like the difference between reading about a Poker game, and actually playing one.
      • Data's emotions are either removed or controlled as an addition to the main design; this is the main difference between him and Lore. The evidence suggests that having emotions is the default state of an AI unless designed otherwise. Even then, Data still obviously exhibits "intellectual" emotions, he just refuses to call them that.
      • The Doctor was designed to run on a massively powerful Master Computer, whereas Data was designed to be a piece of portable hardware simulating a human brain. Considering how unimpressive PAD Ds and other small computing devices are on Trek, Data's positronic brain was quite an accomplishment. But in designing it, Dr. Soong had to find ways to cram a lot of complex thought and behavioral patterns in there. That Soong himself was not exactly the picture of a well-adjusted person, it should not be a big surprise that his emotional programming might have been a little buggy, hence the problems with Lore, whom he readily admitted was almost identical to Data except for his programming. Since the Doctor had fewer hardware constraints, and was also designed to be switched on and off regularly, there was more leeway in developing his emotional subroutines. Also, all evidence suggests that Soong was not receptive to collaboration in his work, even acknowledging that his wife would have left him had she survived.
      • One of the big differences is that the Doctor was not designed to be sentient. He wasn't designed to be that much more sophisticated than a character in a holo-novel, just with greater medical knowledge. He evolved sentience at some point as an emerging characteristic but he wasn't programmed to have self-doubt or to feel sad/to get angry, these are characteristics he grew. He could modify himself and be modified because he still had, as his core, that basic programming. However he'd still grown beyond it. Data was different. Data was deliberately engineered with sentience from the beginning. Data had no "non-sentient" programming to modify. Modifying Data was more like changing the human brain.

     Medical Staff 
  • In the episode 'Virtuoso,' the Doctor attempts to leave the ship in a fit of ego because he's 'appreciated' by the alien race and actually attempts to resign his commission. Fine, I'll grant him that one because he'd become far more than just a piece of technology, so he can be said to have a commission rather than just being a piece of technology created by Voyager, but he is THE ONLY DAMN MEDICAL OFFICER ON THE ENTIRE SHIP. And NO ONE brings this up. Not once.
    • Probably because it would have cheapened the issue if they just said "you leave and we have no doctor". Still stupid, but understandable from a writing standpoint.
    • How could the Doctor resign his commission? He doesn't have one — or at least he wears no rank pip.
      • Also somewhat cheapens the issue if you point out "lol you can't resign we own you you're software and don't have a rank".
  • And, while I'm on the subject, WHY, exactly, is the ship's primary pilot considered the only suitable medical assistant for the Doctor both prior to Kes taking the position and after she leaves? The Hand Wave given is that he took two semesters of biochemistry at Starfleet Academy, but in a situation where the Doctor would need his medical assistant, the ship's best pilot is likely going to be needed at the helm. What's he supposed to do say 'Sorry, need to pilot the ship through a debris field to dodge the Borg cube, your gaping wound is going to have to wait' or 'Yes, I know there's a fleet of Viidian ships hunting for our organs, but Ensign Andrews has a compound fracture that needs mending'? Hell, this could even have been a story for the Doctor in the first couple of seasons, about teaching a group of Voyager crewman medical technique and working to be taken seriously by them!
    • Remember, Voyager being stranded a long distance from anything else Starfleet is an anomaly, something that very few other Starfleet ships have ever been faced with. Presumably, the standing plan for an event that involves mass amounts of sick and wounded would be to head over to the nearest Federation Planet/Base and have the extra doctors and medical staff there sort things out; Thus, the lack of medical staff is only a problem for Voyager because they unexpectedly found themselves in a situation where that's not an option. As for why Paris is stuck with the Field Medic position instead of training up some new people, well, this is Star Trek; Voyager is most certainly not the only series in the franchise to adhere to the The Main Characters Do Everything mantra.
    • It is likely that every officer (or nearly every officer or at least every bridge officer) has had basic piloting training, since they would all likely have to pilot shuttlecraft or the main craft. It seems that Tom is one of the very few who has undergone any sort of medical training, so while others could pilot (but not as well as he), he is the only one who could be trained quickly to be a field medic.
      • Presumably Icheb would have eventually been given some of this sort of duty had they not gotten back to Earth so soon after he demonstrated his impressive understanding of biology, cybernetics and genetics in "Imperfection". Heck, in "Lineage" Tom, who otherwise often seems to rival Spock and Data when it comes to being a know-it-all, goes to Icheb to ask him about some confusing DNA resequencing models that the Doctor (actually B'Elanna) designed for their unborn daughter!
    • It's shown several times that Chakotay is a good pilot, probably second to Paris, so he fills in when Paris is busy in sickbay or somewhere else.
  • And why didn't Chakotay's ship have a medic on it? I'd take even a line of dialogue saying 'he/she/it was killed as well,' but give me SOMETHING! A ship of 150 should not have to depend on a two-person medical staff.
    • Who says it didn't? Both his crew and Voyager suffered heavy casualties in "Caretaker." Voyager's medical staff was wiped out, hence the EMH. It's likely a Maquis ship would be even less staffed.
    • The Enterprise D had a crew numbering over 1000 and a medical staff barely in the dozen. The first likewise had a single doctor and maybe three or four nurses. Starfleet obviously feels they don't need a high ratio of medical personnel to patients. As for Chakotay not having a doc on board, he isn't exactly in a position to be picky about his crew. He's a revolutionary, he takes what he can get.
      • the original Enterprise had two doctors. M'Benga was a recurring character.
    • Even revolutionaries need someone whose job is to patch the wounded. If he had a crew large enough to account for all the Maquis crew we see over the course of the show, he had to have had someone who served as a medic. Even if they're not a real doctor, they could at least have been assigned to Sickbay.
      • Again, they aren't exactly a standard crew. You can't just automatically have the people you need. Add in that even though they were a raiding crew and likely to be damaged, there is a good chance the doctors were sent to help the civilian Maquis populace.
    • Further, wouldn't they place a priority on training up more medical personnel?
      • Becoming a doctor or nurse takes years of medical training. This would be on top of their increased normal duties, sleeping, eating, and recreation time. Perhaps there was simply no time to do so.
      • Don't forget about Tom Paris: The most over-qualified crewmember in all of Starfleet.
      • The estimated time to get back to the Federation was at least 70 years. Even with some of the shortcuts they took, they were still on-track for decades of travel until Admiral Janeway decided to say "Screw the Temporal Prime Directive!". Time was one thing they had plenty of!
  • Why would Janeway compel her red shirts to spend precious hours studying different skills when instead they could set every holodeck on Voyager to run the "Fairhaven" simulation all the time and pretend they're living in early 20th Century Ireland? Her management style is as bipolar as she is! Need certain key skills cultivated amongst her crew? Nonsense! We've got decades to go until we reach home, why should we waste any of that on continuing education? Then there might be even more embittered, over-skilled ensigns like Harry! Ironically, the only ones seemingly pursuing education on the ship were Icheb (who was basically Wesley, only without the barely-concealed superiority complex) and Naomi (who as a child is expected to do something vaguely resembling school work).
    • Yes, again, the hate against Janeway, this time for not forcing some crewmembers to became doctors by studying medicine in their (very little) spare time. There’s a factor you’re forgetting, you need vocation to become a doctor; is a very long, exhausting career that only people who really, really love, can endure, and the rest of the crew was interested in other careers (otherwise they’ll be medical personal from the beginning), and also the set of skills and even the IQ to be a medic is something that not everyone has. This is like if the opposite scenario happened and most of the survivors were medics and they lack engineers and then someone ask “Why didn’t they put the nurses and doctors to study engineering?”
      • Well why wouldn't they? I realize that according to Star Trek our current era is backwater and savage but I do feel it's worth pointing out that today's militaries frequently place similar demands on servicemen and women. For example, someone whose official job is driving would still be tasked with learning how to work a radio and perform rudimentary repairs both on the radio and on their vehicle. And if they're going into a combat zone someone in their group will recieve first aid training. These are considered reasonable demands today. I don't understand why in a super advanced space faring society it's too much to ask an electrician study nursing or emergency triage procedures. Or why it'd be too much to ask a nurse learn how to fix a switch. They're a near century from home, they will (or would have had the series been a more consistent hands) run into situations where a single doctor, even one who doesn't need rest or sleep, would be overwhelmed.
      • Plus, in TNG: "Disaster", we learn that Lt. Worf, a Security officer, had at least undergone simulated training in delivering babies (he complains that reality is less orderly than the simulation). So obviously at least some Starfleet senior officers consider functional cross-training to be important, if only for emergencies. Since Voyager cannot just whistle up crew replacements from Starfleet as-needed, and since many of their problems stemmed from their disastrous passage to the Delta Quadrant killing the only crew members with certain skills, you would think it common sense to make diversification of skills obligatory, and not just a matter of personal interest.
  • I always wondered about those blueshirts we see in medical situations sometimes. For example in "Unimatrix Zero", when Janeway, Tuvok and Torres are beamed back to Voyager, there is a gang of blueshirts waiting in the transporter room for them. Who are these people? Are they science officers with nothing else to do but play porter? It's made seem as those these people are part of the medical staff in some way (otherwise these people could have been in red or gold just as well). Why aren't they assisting the Doctor at other times? And wouldn't it b easier to train some of them to be nurses given their apparent scientific background (we know they'd have the intellect for it at least), which seems a lot easier that training an Ocampa with no prior knowledge of anything, and will be dead within 9 years anyway, or the pilot, who isn't that interested and has a ton of things he can do much better and are more worthy of his time.
    • Yes, they were in fact science officers with nothing else to do but play porter. Voyager isn't a dedicated science ship but all Starfleet ships carry some science crew, and the science crew would be the ones with the least to do on the ship in general.

     How does the doctor see, hear, and feel? 
  • I mean, he's a projection, light on a force-field; how does he see, hear, and feel, when he doesn't actually have eyes, ears, and skin?
    • In the old days the Doctor was fully integrated into the ship's systems which probably meant that he could see and hear using the internal sensors. I don't actually recall the Doctor having a sense of touch as such, he might just be programmed with the appropriate responses to things. Metal - cold, water - wet, sand - rough etc. Remember that pain took him completely by surprise in 'Future's End.'' Things get very murky when the mobile emitter is introduced (the writers probably didn't think of this themselves) but there could be a very advanced 29th century sensor contained within that does the same thing, which would be a good explanation as to why the crew couldn't reproduce it using 24th century technology.
      • Given the existence of holographic cameras in the Star Trek universe (which can create a hologram from a single snapshot) the technology also apparently exists to take a "picture" of the front of something and to get a record of how it looks from all angles. Presumably the same functionality exists in holo-emitters which explains why the Doctor can "see" even if his eyes are looking on what would logically be a different angle to where his mobile emitter or the other holo-emitters would be positioned. Hearing of course is simple as long as the systems have a microphone in-built. As to the Doctor feeling a sense of touch, I suppose it's reasonable to suggest a tricorder could detect an object's temperature and so could whatever sensors the Doctor is hooked up to. Things like wet and dry are based on moisture levels which could also be detected. Rough and smooth could theoretically be detected by analysis a surface and finding consistency all of which would theoretically be part of the internal sensors. More generally to a sense of touch, given the Doctor is made of force-fields, presumably if a force-field is contacted by another object the energy requirements on that section of force-field might need to increase to keep it solid and that could be how he detects something touching him generally.
     The Doctor and morality 
  • In the Equinox episodes we saw the Doctor refuse to cut up Seven of Nine, only to change his mind when his morality and ethics subroutines were deleted. But is that really the only thing holding the Doctor back? What about "No, you guys are jerks so I'm not helping you." or "My primary goal is to help people and not get back to the Alpha Quadrant; cutting someone up seems to run contrary to that."?
    • And that is the biggest reason why I do not consider him to be truly sapient because someone with true free will would be able to do exactly that. Look at Data when Lore did the exact same thing in "Descent": yeah, he became "evil" for a bit, but he was clearly fighting back at every turn and eventually managed to overcome it through his strength of will alone.
    • It all reminds me of The Simpsons: "Somebody set this thing to evil"
    • Honestly, the bigger question for me is why deleting Voyager's Doctor's ethical subroutines even worked as it did - by deleting them, instead of being an obedient tool who will perform outright torture on a patient, shouldn't the Doctor have been ready to kill to protect someone he cared for - such as Seven of Nine - and just slice Ransom's head off with a laser scalpel or something? Because deleting his ethical programming shouldn't have deleted his memories, or his affection for his crewmates. Why did he just accept Ransom's orders at that point?
    • Also, why ARE the ethical subroutines for the EMH something that can be deleted with a single command from one officer? Is this like how some holo-engineer thought "something might go wrong if the holodeck CAN'T go nuts and kill everyone, the safety protocols can be optional"?

     The Doctor's Mental Breakdown, Part II 
  • The Doctor's Heroic BSoD after choosing to save his friend over someone he barely knew could have been resolved in a much simpler manner: by assigning a higher priority to a member of the ship's senior staff than to a below-decks nobody.
    • Which would doom Kes, Seven and Neelix to lowest priority as they're not actually members of Starfleet, same would go for most of the former Maquis crew.
      • Not necessarily. Kes is one of the very few people on Voyager with significant medical training, and Seven is the head of a department that's responsible for charting the fastest possible route home. That makes both of them essential personnel.
    • A bigger question is why an emergency hologram wouldn't be equipped to handle this sort of decision. An emergency hologram that can't perform triage? What good is that?
    • This was addressed in the episode: the problem wasn't that he couldn't make the choice logically (by choosing the Bridge officer over the below-decks nobody). It was that he instead allowed his personal bias to make the choice for him, and he saved Harry because Harry was his friend. He went into a feedback loop over the situation because he acted emotionally instead of logically, and his system wasn't able to process the guilt that he felt from it.
    • If the doctor is in fact a program being run by the ships computer and his physical form is merely a construct of the holo-emitters in the sick-bay, why can't the emitters in the sickbay project multiple doctor-forms that are able to perform tasks on multiple persons at once? Or better yet just use the holo-emitters to directly manipulate physical objects in the room as necesssary and when possible simulate equipment that need to be duplicated, (I never understood why Kes needed to be around to hand objects to the doctor; a hologram manipulating physical objects in a room is just another way of saying the computer is performing telekinesis). Presumably the computer processing power required to run the Doctor isn't so great that it would destroy the ship to temporarily shunt some extra processing power to the sickbay to run procedures at once during an emergency?
    • The reason is stated that the Doctor's program is a highly complex system and rather power intensive. Trying to run more than one of him would be difficult given the constraints of the sickbay, since he was originally only meant to be a temporary measure at most. This was addressed in the episode with the Cardassian consultant program, where with only a fraction of the complexity of the Doctor's program, it still repeatedly suffered from glitches and system crashes. In short, the Doctor is simply too complex to duplicate and generating more of him is feasible, but really difficult and you'd more than likely end up having his dopplegangers vanishing in the middle of performing delicate surgery.
      • On the other hand, you have to often consider that Trek's writers are VERY computer illiterate and don't even understand concepts such as copying files. This could be justifiable in early TNG when computers still weren't all around us but even back then people knew how to make a copy of a file. Trek's writers seem to work under the assumption that files can be moved but not copied, which is why damn near every instance of someone hacking into a Starfleet computer and "downloading" files results in the files vanishing, or why Worf cries about Jadzia borrowing his Klingon operas instead of making her copies of the files and keeping his on hand. Logically it makes zero sense for the Doctor to have to send his program to the Alpha Quadrant in two episodes and leave the crew without a doctor in the process when it should be simple to send a copy of himself. That is, if Trek's computers worked the way real ones do.... I suspect things like "internet piracy" were never a big deal in their timeline, though how Starfleet manages to copy its database to every ship seems confusing when files are moved but not copied most of the time in this franchise.
      • But then "real computers" measure capacity in bits, not "quads". If one posits that by the 24th Century quantum computers are a thing then processing and storage would not necessarily operate the way Turing-equivalent machines of the early 21st did; and may rely on quantum entanglement effects to correlate qubits (a word that postdates TNG) and computations in a manner that isn't translatable into boolean operations on boolean values. (Roughly speaking, a quantum state cannot be precisely duplicated without disrupting the original; maybe this is why transporters generally aren't used as copiers, Tom Riker notwithstanding.) Losing the ability to copy an album is bizarre, because digital computation can be performed on top of quantum computation, so for little things like that.... But the EMH is a long way beyond being a jumped-up MP3.

     The Doctor's Rank 
As I understand it, military doctors receive a rank so as to give them authority to order folks around during relevant events so they can perform their jobs. Why, then, does the Doctor have no (apparent) rank? He wears no rank insignia, suggesting Starfleet's lowest rank of "crewman", and as such would have minimal authority. Wouldn't it be more appropriate to give him at least Warrant Officer rank - denoting a field specialist in medicine granting him authority without being in the chain of command? At the very least, it could help distinguish him as a hologram than another Starfleet Officer rather than having to rely on "Oh, he looks like Lewis Zimmerman" as identification. This isn't as much about "The EMH isn't a person" as it is "How can the EMH perform its duties within Starfleet regulations?"
  • Part of the design for the Doctor, for the EMH as a fleet wide program, is that he is a supplementary medical program - there's supposed to be a flesh and blood doctor and medical staff, and he's there as an extra pair of hands in the event of an emergency. In those situations, the actual Chief Medical Officer dictates what every available hand does and who listens to what - in a medical crisis, what the head doctor says goes above all else, and if you're not going to listen to the person they've put in charge of your care because they don't have a proper pip on their collar, I hope you like breathing with a crushed rib cage. Obviously, not the case on Voyager, but that's the state of affairs in a lot of matters.

Seven of Nine:

     The Hansens as Parents 
  • In Dark Frontier what were the Hansen's thinking bringing their daughter with them? They knew that the Borg were dangerous and aggressive enough to turn at least one civilization into a population of refugees and they still chose to go looking for them with her on board? It gets even more ridiculous when we find out that to follow the Borg they crossed into the Romulan Neutral Zone meaning that they put their daughter in danger of being killed/assimilated by at least two different species. Even if we ignore the serious danger they were putting her in without hesitation what did they think spending years on a ship with only her parents for company would do her social skills?
    • Pretty irresponsible, though perhaps only marginally more so than the Enterprise gallivanting into danger with a full company of schoolchildren. But yeah, it would have been nice, just once, to see somebody call out the Hansens for being cavalier, reckless scientists who got what was coming to them.
      • If not to their faces, the Hansens were called terrible parents several times, the Doctor and Seven herself among those doing so.
      • The Hansens had distanced themselves from Starfleet, because Starfleet had problems with their "unorthodox methods." No doubt, dragging their child along for the ride was one such "unorthodox" action that Starfleet had a problem with. Basically, the Hansens WERE awful parents, and the show DOES acknowledge it.
      • Maybe that's why Seven didn't try to free her father from the collective in "Dark Frontier".
      • They remind me of Newt's parents from "Aliens" extended director's cut.
      • That's not entirely fair Newt's parents had no reason to expect anything dangerous to be there. LV-426 was supposed to be uninhabited, hence the terraforming operation. The discovery of anything alien would have seemed exciting, especially in a more hard sci-fi setting where alien life is not to be found on virtually every planet. Plus Weyland-Yutani was concealing the truth about the wreck, risking the colony by deliberately keeping them in the dark about the possible danger. In contrast, the more the Hansens learned about the Borg the more determined they became to study them no matter what the risks. They were also doing it entirely for their own gratification, as they showed no evidence of planning to return to Federation space or handing off their research to Starfleet or anyone else.

    Seven of Nine's Outfit 
  • Let me just begin by saying I am fully aware of the real world reason behind the catsuit and as much as I don't like it, her massive fame even among non Trek fans as well as the producers attempting the exact same thing with T'Pol is unavoidable evidence that it worked. But I am more interested in what the in-universe explanation is; what makes Seven want to wear this tight and constricting costume each and every day? Fair enough you could make the argument that for at least seasons 4 through 5 she is most likely unburdened by the embarrassment of having your assets constantly on show would bring (embarrassment is irrelevant would probably be the reply) but as we see from her Holo program in Human Error by season 7 Seven is perfectly happy to wear normal clothes she just doesn't want to for some unexplained reason. I have heard the idea that she isn't Starfleet and as such she hasn't earned the right to wear the uniform but that is in no way a stated rule as back in the Original series we see Kahn wearing an unmarked red shirt so there is a confirmed precedent for giving civilians Starfleet uniforms in certain situations.
    • The whole problem of Seven of Nine was to be able again to think of herself as an individual, and not as a drone of a collective hive mind. A personalized wardrove, rather than an uniform similar to all the others in the ship, certainly helps and has no disadvantages.
    • IIRC, the Doctor handwaves her initial catsuit (the shiny one) as being helpful to her healing from the deassimilation via technobabble. After that, however, she maintained the catsuit look, but in more subdued coloring. Most likely, she wanted to still be part of a group ("Voyager is my Collective") but since she wasn't a member of Starfleet either her or Janeway didn't think it appropriate to wear the uniform. Therefore, she chose a style of clothing that would emulate the Starfleet uniform (spandexy, clingy, and 1-2 pieces) while selecting varying colors at the insistence of Janeway and the Doctor in order to showcase her individuality.
    • SF Debris actually proposed an interesting Hand Wave in The Unity Saga that I rather like. Seven spent most of her life with Borg equipment and body armor grafted to her, and now she feels a bit uncomfortable and awkward without it. She finds the skin-tight catsuit comforting because it mimics the feeling of all of that missing Borg stuff. Now why she couldn't get the same feeling from some sports compression clothing under something more dignified is harder to explain.
    • Perhaps she wished to test the "I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!" Theorem.
      • Or at least see if resistence really was futile...

    Seven's Incredibly Selective Memory 
  • Does anyone else find it strange that sometimes Seven is regarded as possessing the accumulated knowledge of the Borg, yet for whatever reason Janeway's got her working in Astrometrics, instead of designing a functional transwarp drive for Voyager? It seems as if she possesses the knowledge to resolve almost any problem they run into, except for getting them back to the Alpha Quadrant. Or repairing her own cybernetics, since she apparently did not know how to construct a Borg cortical node, even though it is seemingly one of their most crucial implants and therefore something you would expect every drone, being tasked with assimilating other beings after all, would know how to fabricate. Indeed, at one point she suggests Borg regeneration as an alternative to Vulcan meditation to Tuvok, stating that all that would be required would be a "simple" cortical implant!
    • Even if Seven has the knowledge on how to create a transwarp coil or replacement Borg implants, it doesn't mean that Voyager has the capacity to create them.
  • It's stated in The Omega Directive that drones don't have the sum of the collective knowledge, only that which is needed for that particular unit to function. You could argue that Seven has more knowledge than most other drones, as she was selected to be a representative for the Borg during the truce, but it would be physically impossible for her to know everything the Borg do. This is shown when she attempts to adsorb all of Voyager's data and goes crazy from information overload.
    • True. But the knowledge that she did retain seemed to lean heavily towards spacial and temporal mechanics. How to access Fluidic Space, how to build temporal shielding to protect against Krenim temporal weaponry, the layout of the transwarp drive on a Borg cube, etc... She even retained very obscure information, like everything the Borg knew about the Omega Molecule, including Starfleet's Omega Directive as gleaned from the minds of assimilated starship captains.
      • She knows everything about Omega because every Borg knows everything about Omega. They considered it their top priority. Seven even says they were to assimilate it at all costs.
      • Also of note is that in "Endgame", Seven had apparently told Janeway at one point that there were only 5 Borg transwarp hubs in the entire galaxy. However, she still seemed as surprised as everyone else when they found one of the very few hubs in that nebula. Therefore I'd assume that she knows a lot of general info on the Borg and their operations, but not the specifics in a lot of cases. Unless the transwarp hubs themselves are mobile so Seven's knowledge on their locations would be 4 years out of date by that point.
  • Year of Hell has a callback to Star Trek: First Contact, where Seven answers a trivia question about Earth's first warp flight that Torres couldn't. Torres and Kim are briefly confused that Seven knows anything about the flight at all, until she explains that the Borg were there when it happened note . Wait, Seven's been on board for months at this point, and this is the first time that First Contact has come up? I can understand Seven being reluctant to volunteer that information on her own, but have Janeway and Tuvok seriously not debriefed her yet?! If they have, did they just forget to ask if the Collective has had any recent encounters with the Federation that they don't know about? Has none of the crew even asked her if she had any news of the Alpha Quadrant since they left?
    • Just because Janeway and Tuvok would have debriefed her doesn't mean that the rest of the crew would know what info she's divulged; unless it pertained to their sphere of expertise/their department there's not really any reason for the info to be revealed to anyone but the Captain, the First Officer and the Head of Security. Also, maybe they (the other crew members) did ask casually, but Seven didn't go into detail (maybe she just said something like "The Collective sent a cube to attack Earth but that cube was destroyed by a fleet of Starfleet starships lead by the Enterprise."). Also, remember Seven is fairly anti-social and the crew generally don't try engaging her in chit chat so maybe they just haven't asked her before.

    Seven, Ranks and Uniforms 
  • Once Seven is incorporated into the crew, why isn't she treated like the Maquis and given a rank and a uniform? Especially considering that she is a department head with underlings — doesn't that seem to fairly well necessitate making her a formal officer (Neelix and Kes may participate in crew activities, but lack a formal place in the chain of command; they are more analogous to Guinan). We see on DS9 with Kira that a Starfleet commission can be given to an experienced officer from another service (Garak alludes to the same in "In Purgatory's Shadow"), and Seven sort of qualifies, having something like "experience" and certainly a set of skills from her time with the Collective. Might it be — gasp! — because they didn't want her in a regular uniform?
    • Possibly justified by the fact that the vast majority of the Maquis were ex-Starfleet or ex-Federation citizens, meaning they would already be well versed in standard protocol, whereas Seven is a complete foreigner with no experience to draw on. It's probably the same reason Neelix and Kes were never given ranks or uniforms.
      • There is a persistent misconception that many of the Maquis were ex-Starfleet. Unless I've really missed something, nobody but Chakotay and Torres were.
      • No one else on Voyager's crew was directly stated to be, but it was early on said that the Maquis ranks were made up of a mix of Federation colonists defending their homes AND a number of Starfleet personnel who resigned in protest. It was left intentionally vague on the show which of the two (if not other) backgrounds any given Maquis crewman had come from.
      • If there was even a small contingent of the Maquis with Starfleet backgrounds, is it really logical to think that this would go unmentioned? Especially early on, in episodes like "Parallax" when Janeway and Chakotay are discussing crew appointments? Consider this exchange:
      • JANEWAY: The Starfleet officers on this ship have worked all their lives to earn their commissions. How am I supposed to ask them to accept a Maquis as their superior officer just because circumstances have forced us together?
      • CHAKOTAY: You're asking them to accept me.
      • JANEWAY: You're qualified. You're a graduate of the Academy, and you have Starfleet command experience.
      • The same conversation mentions Torres's stint at the Academy. Would not have Chakotay have interjected that certain other Maquis have Starfleet backgrounds if that were the case?
    • On the uniform matter, it always seemed to me that the reason the Maquis crew adopted the Starfleet uniforms was as a show of solidarity - "we are going to be one crew, a Starfleet crew." While there would be some discontent in practice, on paper, it's a way of reminding these people that, whether they like it or not, they are stuck together and must rely on one another, rather than be bogged down in the Starfleet/Maquis distinction. Neelix and Kes offered to join Voyager's crew, Neelix explicitly as a civilian guide, Kes because she went where Neelix did at that point. So when Seven joined the crew, she didn't need the same symbolic gesture that the Maquis did, so no one gave her a uniform.
      • Does not that very same logic apply to Seven, though? That she needs to be symbolically, visibly integrated into the crew, both her sake and for the sake of the people she's working with who might be antsy at working with a Borg?
    • Maybe Janeway wanted her to focus on defining herself as an individual rather than just shifting where she fit into a collective identity. Thus allowing her to wear civilian attire to stress to her that she was not just another drone in the Voyager-Starfleet collective.


  • Why did Voyager keep Neelix on their ship? It wasn't necessary to have a chef, and he would boost morale far more if he left. They could have killed him off in "Mortal Coil" when he became a Nietzsche Wannabe. Doing so would basically mean telling the audience that life is pointless, but it's worth getting rid of the Creator's Pet.
    • Neelix was always a depressive type, or rather that was his original characterization in episodes where he was the main character. Jetrel was the first such episode, and it was carried on with Fair Trade and so on. His apparently sunny disposition is a facade. Remember that he also used to be a small-time criminal. This aspect of his character was dropped as the series changed to being centred around Seven of Nine and the EMH. As to why they keep him around? Who knows. It seems that they've taken him far from home and it didn't seem fair to just drop him off in some far-flung part of the galaxy with Borg space between there and his homeland.
    • It's simple: as a native to the Delta Quadrant, he knew most of the area (at least in the first few seasons) and the species that resided there well enough to act as both a guide for Voyager and a diplomat; there are several times where the crew comments him on the possibility of becoming the Federation's official ambassador to the Delta Quadrant, because of his skills in trade negotiation. (They actually do it near the end of the series, after they've visited a colony of his species.)
      • And when the time came that he would lose his usefulness as a guide, it became clear that he would go back to being a roving merchant if he was allowed to leave. (He was willing to leave, especially after that drug fiasco.) Once he joined Starfleet, Janeway and co. got the right to interfere with him—he was their responsibility; and, as Starfleet officers, they just couldn't leave a member of their crew to the invisible hand.
    • He was the most ineffective guiding guide in the history of guiding! Remember when he lead them to that planet he said was full of dilithium? You know, the one with no dilithium and full of Vidiins? No? How about all those times Janeway asked him about a local people/planet/anything and his answer was a round about way of saying "I don't know?" Or how about in basics, when his survival skills got two people killed?
      • And don't forget the time he nearly destroyed Voyager with CHEESE! What with his awful guiding skills ("Phage"), terrible diplomacy and survival skills ("Basics"), attitude towards Kes, crap cooking, god awful clothes and his just general irritating personality, Neelix was more of a danger to the Voyager crew than an entire galaxy of Vidiians, Hirogen, and Borg!
      • I'm sorry but the fault in Voyager nearly being destroyed by cheese was not with Neelix but with whatever jackass designed a biological computer that was capable of being infected by bacteria from the friggin' air vents.
      • Neelix was at least a little to blame. He was culturing a pathogen in a closed environment; he really should have talked to the Doctor first. Granted, making the ship sick isn't really something that he could have anticipated, but he could have easily given a member of the crew a dangerous infection.
      • To be fair to Neelix (and this troper despised Neelix, so it's a bit tough) a guide who knows the geography of a region, but is less than familiar with the inhabitants of that region, is more useful than no guide at all.
    • He was kept around as Emergency Rations, in case the replicators failed. Notice how despite nominally being "morale officer" he was stationed in the KITCHEN? Pretty convenient, hmmmm?
    • Jim Wright over at Delta Blues presents a valid argument. Neelix represents the Delta Quadrant mindset. Remember, he's lived most of his life working hard, never knowing where his next meal will come from. He was scavenging in a junkyard when we find him. People in the Delta Quadrant do not live a life of luxury. They still worry about where their next meal is coming from. Peaceful exploration is unheard of. We need Neelix around to show the kind of person our crew will encounter on their journey. And as Neelix learns the Federation gospel, it gives the rest of us hope.
      • That might be a valid argument if the Delta quadrant was a single homogeneous monoculture and that he'd been all over the Delta quadrant. As it happens, it's full of different races, different cultures and Neelix's experience is limited. Janeway had to explain the transporter to him during their first encounter. Yet we would later see that numerous Delta quadrant species use the technology, thus illustrating how "local" his knowledge was to the area in which they first encountered him.
      • Around Kazon space, life is nasty, brutish and short. Ditto anyone in the Borg's crosshairs. The Malon live it up but pay a nasty price for it. But the Krenim, Voth, Devore, and Hierarchy seem to enjoy decently high living standards without having to make any really unpalatable tradeoffs.
      • The Krenim were waging a genocidal war. The Hierarchy are essentially space pirates. The Voth and Devore were both highly xenophobic species with dictatorial governments (as was the Hierarchy government). Those all seem like unpalatable tradeoffs to me.
      • To be fair, Neelix had only ever seen Kazon space, the four races you mention were BEYOND the Nekrit Expanse in which Neelix had never been. The problem is that Neelix was under-utilized; the idea (in my opinion) was to create a humorous survivalist who was also a rogue - kind of like a cross breed between Han Solo and Quark. This was why our introduction to the man was him conning the Voyager crew whilst systematically being a hero by saving a girl's life. Unfortunately, through bad writing they ending up creating a character whose survival skills were a joke, his personality needy and jealous and his role on Voyager superfluous. Of course the last time they tried to make a Han Solo like character we got the Outrageous Okona so maybe Neelix was indeed a positive outcome...
    • It's a tribute to the idiocy and ineptitude of Voyager that someone whose FIRST encounter with the Voyager crew results in him conning them out of water (he's unaware it's something they can make out of thin air) so he can get his girlfriend back and put the crew into a fire fight. Yeah, that SCREAMS "trust me!"
      • Not to mention the idiocy of even without replicators, Neelix and the Kazon both have starships, yet neither ever thinks to, I dunno, fly to another planet and pick up some water? That's as dumb as Voyager desperately searching for deuterium they can dig up on planets when deuterium is made from water... oh wait...
      • Neelix was kept around because the characters saw him as a highly-skilled survival expert that knew the region intimately. The writers kinda forgot he had to be shown to be this to be treated like this though, but that goes for every character in the series.
    • In-story, the crew seemed to like him (or at least like him enough not to kick him out) and someone to handle the mess hall (remembering they don't replicate as often as other shows and also run on regular food supplies) is a good idea and something he can do to contribute.
  • In Bliss, why was Neelix affected by the Telepathic Pitcher Plant that made Voyager think they were heading home? Seven of Nine wasn't affected because is a former Borg Drone and hasn't seen Earth in a long time. Naomi Wildman wasn't affected because she was born on Voyager. But why not Neelix? He is a native of the Delta Quadrant. He knows nothing about Earth either, so why was HE affected?
    • The idea isn't that Seven and Naomi weren't born on Earth, the idea is that they don't WANT to go to Earth. Seven thinks/knows that she will face a lot of prejudice on Earth for being a former drone, which if you remember Sisko's reaction to Picard in Emissary, that is not an unfounded belief. Naomi doesn't want to go to Earth because Voyager is the only home she has ever known. To her, the Earth means no more than any other planet. Note how Seven DOES fall under the influence of the pitcher plant when it manages to convince her that Voyager has already left. Neelix, who was nothing more than a homeless scavenger when he first met Voyager, was very much taken with the idea of becoming an official Federation ambassador as opposed to the honorary title Janeway gave him.

    Kes and Neelix 

  • What in every timeline did Kes see in Neelix. He is practically the most appallingly annoying character ever. Were I Kes I would have left him when he attacks your friends because he thinks your having an affair with no logical reasoning. The only two reasons I can think she stayed with him are A.) He is EXTREMELY good in bed B.) He is abusive off-screen.
    • I really don't get the Neelix hate. I quite like the character and his actor is one of the only decent ones on voyager. He has a couple of episodes where he was annoying, but in just as many he was quite amusing.
      • He in general was The Load and had a grating annoying personality. He was also a Creator's Pet because the writers clearly loved him even when it was absolutely obvious the fans wanted him to at least be toned down. TO sum it up every time hes on screen its like you entered a Ferengi episode.
      • The man (thing...) is void of any endearing quality. He's The Load. He joins the crew under false pretenses after conning them. Gets people killed thanks to his insistence that he's a survival expert and never gets called on it. Shows a willingness to betray or lie to the crew at the drop of a hat. He's a danger to everyone around him (almost killed the ship with CHEESE). Is violently jealous to the point he will pick up fights over perceived advances on his girlfriend that have never occurred. He's a coward. Will annoy or butt in into other people's business uninvited, even giving himself a made up rank to justify his doing so. AND he's disrespectful of other people's cultures to their face.
      • I think one apt description of the Ferengi, as some involved with Deep Space Nine put it, is "cartoon characters". Neelix was based off of both Timon and Pumbaa, it is said in some places. So they have a similar annoyance factor, I guess. Now, I don't mind them as much as a lot of the haters do... but I can also sit through whole hours of kids' shows without flinching on some days. Maybe it's a matter of tolerance or target audience—are people who post about Star Trek on the Internet more interested in space exploration and kicking ass, or about some bumbling sidekick's tomfoolery? Now compare this to what the pursestring-pullers wanted (however misguided or on target): a prime-time show with big ratings; this has to pull something in from the mass market, and they probably thought (at least at the time) that what Neelix ended up being would have some draw.
      • I'm sure Neelix was intended to be some sort of breakthrough character, but that did not fly. The writers obviously had few ideas of what to do with him: in the later seasons, it seems like Icheb is getting more screen time than Neelix!
    • He did have his redeeming moments, though, like the one when Naomi's mum was lost and he looked after her(Naomi), while being well aware that she could be dead.
      • Check the WMG for a more sinister interpretation of that.
      • So what? If you start with the premise that someone's evil, you can apply Alternate Character Interpretation to every single thing they do to back it up. That doesn't take anything away from the episode.
    • I never got what either of them saw in the other. When we met Kes she was a late adolescent, and Neelix met her earlier still. True, she wasn't quite young enough to qualify for pedophilia—But who does he think he is, Mark Sanchez? And what appeal could someone who grew up in the super-duper-sheltered Ocampa reservation have to anyone who's remotely worldly? She got her ass enslaved by the goddamn Kazon—People whose idea of a jail cell is drawing a line in the dirt and telling the prisoner he'd better not cross it!!
    • Neelix likely found her optimism and naivite refreshing. Everything was new to her, the universe was a beautiful and wonderful thing to her and he got to show her each new thing himself. Plus, with her naivety he became her protector, which made him feel needed. As we see later on Neelix has a desperate need to feel needed and accepted. For Kes's part we aren't ever shown any down side to her relationship with Neeix, who introduced her to the wider universe and rescued her from he Kazon, who were using more than a line in the sand to keep her in line, more like beatings, until they got aboard Voyager and Neelix got jelous of Tom a few weeks in. Remember, Kes is a telepath she can tell Neelix's true feelings and motivations, she knew he was jelous she just never really understood jelousy. Ultimately they had little in common and that's likely why they broke up, though they always remained good friends.
    • Remember the Ocampa as a species lived a very sheltered existence. When Nelix came along he Representative adventure, I don't know why she stayed with him but it makes sense she hooked up with him in the first place.
    • Think about it though: If an alien with an FTL capable spaceship landed in your backyard and promised to take you with him wouldn't YOU jump at the chance? the problem with the whole arrangement only comes when you A) Realize that he is nothing more than a Scavenger who deals in junk B) That his Spaceship is actually pretty crappy compared to everyone else's and C) He is pretty needy and gets jealous at the slightest provocation. Once Kes had access to a Federation Starship and (more importantly) access to other men who aren't sheltered Ocampa, violent Kazon or an untrustworthy Talaxian it's little wonder she started to look elsewhere.
      • That might be a bit unfair to Neelix, though. His spaceship really isn't any worse than most anything else in that region of space; his profession and technology level seem on par with what we see from most space ports in the first two seasons, so it's more like he and Kes are just living in a bad neighborhood. And while he doesn't handle his jealousy well at all, he's mostly jealous of Tom, and Tom is both attracted to Kes and has almost no respect for Neelix. It took a long while for Tom to have his "I respect Neelix too much to make a move on Kes" epiphany, and in the meantime he was flirting like crazy (and Kes, being so naive and attracted to Tom too, wasn't really doing anything to discourage him). Still, they had little in common apart from perhaps an optimistic veneer (that, for Neelix, can evaporate pretty quickly under pressure), so it's not a surprise that they drifted apart. I just wish the writers had handled it more gracefully than having Kes seemingly break up with him while possessed. It looked at the time like Tieran was just trying to shake Neelix before he realized something's wrong with Kes, but then the series proceeded as if the split was her idea after all.
      • As for what they saw in each other, though, there's the wonder factor of Neelix simply being a guy with a spaceship for a sheltered girl, as said, and I like the idea that, as someone else said, she can emphatically, intuitively tell that he really is a good person (in a part of the galaxy where good people seem to be a rare commodity). So long as it was Kes and Neelix against the world, his jealousy and insecurity weren't really issues, and he does have a few other things going for him. He did rescue her from slavery, which is a big thing in itself, and he knows how to cheer her up and make her laugh, which also goes a long way. Also, perhaps most importantly, he needs her. Kes is a nurturer, Neelix is deeply broken beneath the surface, and so they clicked naturally into a powerful, if kinda dysfunctional, relationship that more or less amounts to "I need her" and "he needs me" as their reasons for being together. Once Kes started realizing that she has needs too, and Neelix learned to stand on his own without relying on Kes as a crutch, the basis for their relationship started to fade away. Kes perhaps realized it first, but Neelix did too after awhile, which is why they remained friends.
    • You have to remember that Neelix was not intended to be Godawful annoying. We were supposed to find him charming and funny, it's just the writers utterly failed in every possible way. Obviously Kes and Neelix's romance was written based on the intent of his character, not the annoying reality he turned out to be.
    • There was at least that one episode where Neelix finally snaps and tells off Tuvok for all the times Tuvok has all but verbally abused Neelix for simply being nearby. Neelix was supposed to be a wide-eyed optimist type character, but he also had a haunted past due to the entire destruction of his home planet and the death of his family. There was also the episode where he briefly died and began to question life and the afterlife. He was essentially an abused, troubled character who was trying his best to not collapse under all the stress.
      • After rewatching Parturition recently, I've honestly started to wonder if the writers were subtly laying groundwork for a "Neelix is diagnosed with a mental illness" episode that was never made. In the early seasons he often showed signs of a really odd self-image, and his relationship with Kes was always portrayed as a little unhealthy. In Parturition, however, he seems to have a legitimate psychotic break. That's not hyperbole: after acting paranoid for several episodes, he finally loses touch with reality, makes several blatantly irrational accusations (he believes Tom and Kes taunting him by openly flirting in the mess hall, even though they're sitting at different tables with their backs to each other), and attacks Tom Paris; nothing more is made of this incident, even though it happened in a room full of their shipmates. His behavior is consistent enough that it seems like intentional characterization, and as noted above, Neelix does have some trauma in his backstory, but it never really seems to pay off in any significant way.

     Mortal Coil 
  • In the episode "Mortal Coil", when trying to calm Neelix down as he freaked out over apparently not experiencing the Talaxian after life after spending a brief amount of time dead, Tuvok was apparently open-minded enough to at least suggest that he wasn't dead long enough rather (an idea Neelix quickly shoots down by saying it should have been instantaneous). Now, all things considering that openmindedness, you'd think the writers might have considered the explanation that an experience by a hypothetically temporarily disembodied soul might very well not have been recorded on his physical brain, thus he wouldn't have had any memory of his experience there (hypothetically, of course).
    • An even simpler answer is that whatever supernatural creature or force is in charge of escorting souls to the next world knows whether you're really dead for good or about to be revived, so it knew it wasn't Neelix's time yet.
    • I believe I read somewhere that the episode was an Author Tract by a writer who had recently gone Hollywood Atheist.

     Neelix the Domestic Abuser or Bad Writing? 
  • In Warlord, an alien who had stolen Kes's body breaks up with Neelix... and Kes is perfectly happy with this arrangement after she gets her body back. OK, why? Because in my opinion there are only two answers: Neelix had been manipulating her to such a level that she felt as if she couldn't break up with him (which in my opinion would be perfectly consistent with his character but i'm sure the writers were not aiming for that); or Kes had been unhappy with their relationship for months and was waiting for someone else to do the dirty work for her. The problem with this theory however is that the previous episode was Futures End, where they were lovingly watching Earth TV together, and before that was Sacred Ground, where Neelix was lovingly sitting at her bedside for the whole episode, and a few episodes before that was Basics, where they lovingly comforted each other on the alien planet they were marooned on. She was hiding her dissatisfaction with their relationship pretty damn well for someone who was waiting on tenterhooks for someone to come along and break them up.
    • I don't think that there was any point in the series that Kes and Neelix's relationship wasn't portrayed as a little unhealthy. Kes is a 4 year-old who became infatuated with the first person who came along who could give her a life outside of the cave that she was born in, and had Neelix not come along, would have died in without ever having seen the sun. Now that she's been on Voyager for a while and had a chance to grow a little on her own, she's had ample opportunity to see Neelix—and I want to stress that this has all been established canonically ("Caretaker," "Twisted," "Elogium," et al.)—as the clingy, jealous, often petty, occasionally violently jealous ("Parturition"), short order cook that he is. Living on Voyager just allowed her become independent enough that she now realizes that Neelix is a terrible match for her. I think the show had been setting up the breakup for a while, and that any inconsistency can just be chalked up to the writer's room problems that Star Trek: Voyager became sort of legendary for.
    • Also consider that Kes hadn't had a lot of experience with...well, much of anything, really. It's possible for her to genuinely care for Neelix and still start to fall out of love with him romantically, or to not be sure if she feels romantic love or just care for a friend, especially if she feels like she has no frame of reference. Not normally something she'd break up with him over, but when it was already done and she'd have to take the active step of getting back together, she might have decided she wanted to sort some things out first.

     If only they had taken his vocal chords, too 
  • "Phage": If Neelix has only one lung, how come he never shuts up for the rest of the series?
    • This is one of the more realistic things actually. People can easily live with one lung. I had a great uncle that was a chain smoker, and he lost a lung to cancer when he was about 40, and he lived another 10 years with one lung, while still being a chain smoker. It eventually killed him, but it isn't a stretch that a person in the 24th century that wasn't a druggie could live a full life with one lung.
      • Especially if the Vidiians who performed the transplant also boosted the lung's capacity so it could do the work of two. Given their extensive medical capabilities, it's entirely plausible.


     Lt. Hogan 
  • At the beginning of the episode Distant Origin the Voth scientists find the remains of Lt Hogan strewn on the ground along with his tattered uniform... What The Hell? the Voyager crew didn't try and retrieve his corpse or bury him or anything before they left at the end of Basics? you would think his friends on board ship would have had something to say about that. It also flies in the face of that supposed superior attitude the humans of the 24th century have over the 21st when you remember that in the episode Galileo Seven set in the 23rd, Bones and the other crew of that shuttle were nearly mutinous that Spock wouldn't endorse them burying their fallen friends despite the danger posed by the even deadlier creature than the one the Voyager crew faced. Are we seriously suggesting here that Voyager couldn't beam up his remains or that the crew couldn't return with phaser rifles? unlike the gaseous entity faced by the Galileo; it was nothing more than a very large animal. Even if they didn't want to kill it I think the combined stun blasts of half a dozen phasers would have made it think twice about attacking them.
    • They may have figured he was already eaten and didn't feel it was worth either gutting the creature to get his partially digested remains or didn't want to dig through excrement to pick out his combadge. Maybe Hogan's will specified something to the effect of "If I die in the field I don't want my friends risking their lives or resources to bring back my corpse."
    • Another thing is that it's been proven that anything thicker than a sheet of notebook paper is capable of blocking Starfleet scanners, so its likely that they simply couldn't find Hogan in the cave. If it was a particularly large cave, it could have a vast series of tunnels, each of which would have to be checked manually under threat of being eaten in order to recover a dead body. Odds are, with everything else that had happened, they either forgot or decided that it was too dangerous.
    • "Too dangerous"? As opposed to repeatedly risking the ship and its crew to rescue a single individual, or changing the entire timeline to save the lives of people Janeway personally cared about and were not just Red Shirts?
      • Save the lives. Not the corpses.

     The Borg Baby 
  • What the hell happened to the Borg Baby from Collective? it was the focal point of half the episode that gaining the trust of the Borg children was vital to saving the life of the baby; they beam it aboard and it's life is saved on-screen and we're pointedly told that it'll survive. By the very next episode not only has it completely vanished but completely forgotten about too; in fact Child's Play a mere two episodes later focused entirely on the Borg kids and still not a sight nor sound.
    • Says Braga, "The Borg baby was prepared in a delicious orange glaze sauce by Neelix"
    • Brannon Braga AKA the laziest writer alive. Not content with just not showing anything on screen he decides to joke that one of the lead heroes is a cannibal. Nice.
      • It's a JOKE.
      • Nobody's saying it's not. It's still an uncreative Shrug of God, and a fairly tasteless one at that. In fairness, it's pretty much the exact same answer William Campbell used to give at conventions when asked what Koloth did with the tribbles on his ship, but it's pretty clear that Klingons eating tribbles is actually funny.
    • For all the bad jokes, the real explanation is a bit more anti-climactic: as with footage of Kes and Neelix's actual breakup which would have explained a lot, the show did have some footage from the episode where the Borg children were returned to their homeworld in which the Borg baby was sent along with them. Unfortunately, as with so much else that would have been better to leave in, it got cut.

     Good Shepherd 
  • The SF Debris review of "Good Shepherd" brings up an excellent point. We've got a guy with multiple cosmology degrees doing monkey work in Engineering and an incompetent gal in Astrometrics. It does seem like trading their assignments would solve a lot of problems. It does bug me that Seven wouldn't have realized this.
    • Seven did bring up part of it and was told with absolute certainty that he was wasting his expertise because he wanted to be down there and refused to do the extra work when he was given it.
    • Mildly Military Starfleet strikes again! In the real world military, personnel do the jobs they are assigned and train in the areas they are told to train or else they are subject to disciplinary action. One cannot argue that Janeway is too warm and fuzzy for this kind of thing. After all, she once had Tom locked in solitary confinement for a month just for disobeying her orders! So this all seems like arbitrary leadership — again.
      • And what kind of punishment do you think would work here? You've got a man who hates his job, has no interest in keeping it (he only signed on in order to fulfill the prerequisite for the job he actually wanted), doesn't care about his service record and would likely welcome confinement as it would free him from his responsibilities and let him work on his theories. He was like the other two who were doing their best and simply failing to cope, he literally wants no part in being there.
      • I don't think you appreciate the god-like authority that a commanding officer in Janeway's position has over the members of her crew. Yes, he hates his job, but with very little effort on Janeway's part, he could be put in a position where he would hate his life. Janeway sentenced Tom Paris to 30 days of solitary confinement in the brig, a punishment that is actually considered torture in many places in the real world, for insubordination at a captain's mast—not a court martial, a captain's mast. Mortimer Harren may enjoy solitude, but he is a human being who absolutely requires occasional social interaction to remain healthy, and Janeway could deprive him of that for extended periods of time. If she doesn't think that's stern enough, it's absolutely within her power to restrict him to a diet of bread and water (or the futuristic equivalent). And that job he wanted? Janeway would only need to add a few lines to his service record to ensure that if they ever did get home, he would never even be considered for it, or any job like it. That's not even being particularly imaginative. If Janeway got creative, she could very easily do any number of things to make Harren's existence on Voyager exponentially more miserable than it already is.
      • Part of the point of the episode is that these crewmen have slipped through the cracks, managed to have their issues be missed. Six years on Voyager, all three of them had never been on an away mission, with the implication from dialogue that every other crewman on the ship had. Janeway didn't even know their names until Seven's efficiency report brought them to her attention. Because while we may not see it due to conservation of detail, there's probably a lot of paperwork that she just rubber-stamped without looking at it. This was bringing their issues directly to her attention, because to that point, they'd been viewed as either 'not a problem worth dealing with' or 'I don't have time to deal with this' by the people who were between them and Janeway in the chain. B'Elanna outright says that when she tried giving Harren more responsibility, he refused, and given her attitude, especially in the early seasons, it'd be easy for her to just view him as 'I really don't have time to kick his ass, I've got a million other issues to worry about to keep this ship running' until it became habit she didn't even think of. Telfer's a hypochondriac, and Voyager doesn't have a counselor to play the Troi to his Barclay. Even Seven had clearly been "putting up with" Celes, given that she was working in Astrometrics, directly underneath Seven for two years by that point. The point isn't that Janeway could make Harren's life a living hell. The point is that she didn't even have awareness of him or the problem he caused for six years.
  • So Janeway takes three underperforming Starfleet crewmen out on a mission. Funny how they were never mentioned when the Maquis were being put through training in Season 1, but whatever. Among them is a blueshirt called Telfer. Telfer is a hypochondriac and is constantly bugging the Doctor about him being ill. I understand being worrying about their health, but after all Voyager has been through in nearly 7 years in the Delta Quadrant is that really credible? Given that Telfer wasn't from the Equinox, he must have been on Voyager from the start, and so experienced everything we saw happen, including: being experimented on by the Caretaker ("Caretaker"), numerous encounters with organ-stealing Vidiians ("The Phage" etc), stranded on a barren world ("Basics"), being used as a host for a macrovirus ("Macrocosm"), being telepathically duped by a giant pitcher plant ("Bliss"), Neelix's cheese disease ("Learning Curve"), being forced to fight on the holodeck ("The Killing Game"), being used as hosts to a non-corporeal alien ("Cathexis"), being duplicated by the silver blood ("Demon"), his duplicate falling apart ("Course: Oblivion"), the Mutura nebula ("One"), numerous encounters with the Borg and Species 8472 ("Scorpion" etc), being attacked by life-sucking aliens ("Equinox"), let alone all the alien attacks and random aliens coming to ship and probably seeing or at least hearing about all the crewmen who have died on the journey. I'd have thought that after surviving all that, even the stuff that doesn't make you ill as such, Telfer would be feeling pretty damn invincible!
    • Alternatively, it's all the more reason to BE a hypochondriac - all of that's happened before, so it's just as easy that whatever odd feeling he's having isn't indigestion, it's the start of a new alien plague (or, worse, it IS indigestion, because Neelix's cheese is poisoning the ship AGAIN...).
  • Wouldn't it be ideal to retrain these crewmembers are medical orderlies or something? There's obviously a crew surplus in their respective departments if they can get away with underperforming.
    • So rather than Tal Celes stuffing up her algorithms, she gives Harry Kim the wrong injection and kills him. Again.
      • Note that I said "orderly" and not "nurse."

     Naomi Wildman 
  • Where was Naomi Wildman every time a shipwide chrisis occured? Okay, when the ship is under attack by aliens or a space anomaly, viewers can safely assume that Naomi is in her quarters with some adult guardians. But what about episodes like "The Killing Game," or "Workforce," where the entire crew is captured or brainwashed? Durring "The Killing Game," for instance, was Naomi a slave like Harry, being forced to serve the Hirogen lemonade between hunts? Or was she brainwashed in the WWII program, thinking she was a little Jewish girl hiding in an attick? How about "Memorial;" we saw Naomi's reaction to Neelix going bonkers, but did they mention later, when the alien memories attacked the entire crew, how Naomi herself was affected by those memories? (That must be traumatic for someone her age, of all people.) It seems that the writers had no problem bringing up Naomi when it meant showing her everyday life on Voyager, or showing her reaction to other characters' problems; but, when something occured that would have a huge impact on Naomi herself, the writers suddenly forgot she existed. Why?
    • Precisely because they would have been traumatic and not very fun to watch happen to a little girl.
      • Or it could have been a source of drama and tension, if handled properly. Even humour, hypothetically: they mine the fact she has been through it so many times, all of her life. She could be so unflappable that it affects her less than the crew.
      • The key words being "if handled properly." But, as we have so often seen, Voyager's writers very seldom handled anything properly. Such a delicate situation would require kid gloves, not their typical ham-fisted klutzery. So it's probably for the best that they didn't go there...
    • To answer your question about The Killing Game not all the crew were brainwashed. The Doctor said “half the crew was under lock and key” as Naomi likely wouldn’t be seen as worth hunting she would have been locked in her quarters or the brig.
    • With "Workforce", she might have been memory-altered to match her mother. Presumably it wouldn't be the first time they've taken workers from somewhere they lived with their children (not to mention truly voluntary workers with families), they must have had some procedure for it, and keeping them with their parents would require the least amount of memory alteration.

  • Why did Seska never revert back to a full Cardassian appearance? Even when we last saw her (not counting time travel, flashbacks and holo-recreations), she still had a Caucasian skin tone (as opposed to Cardassian grey) and only slightly pronounced Cardassian facial features. She looked more like the half-Bajoran Tora Ziyal than any other female Cardassian we saw in DS9. Does that mean that Seska is actually of mixed ancestry too, or does it simply take so long to fully reverse the effects of the treatment that turned her into a Bajoran?
    • Simple: She is using primitive Kazon techniques to reverse the condition; frankly she is lucky she didn't mutate into a Salamander Threshold-style given how Too Dumb to Live they have proven themselves to be several times. No doubt she would have asked the Doctor to use a bit of magic Federation medicine if she actually managed to keep Voyager.
    • The Kazon are so ignorant of basic science that they don't even know how to make water despite having starships! Odds are good that they barely knew how many of the systems in their ships work (they didn't design them after all). Especially things like the medical technology, which the Trabe who used to own the ships likely managed without Kazon slaves assisting them. Seska was probably modified by Cardassian professionals, and it was outside her own field of expertise. Given access to an alien sick bay by the Kazon, who couldn't explain much about it to her, she would have been limited to what she could puzzle out using her own scientific knowledge. Do-it-yourself DNA resequencing would have been out of the question.
    • And even if she did have access to a skilled surgeon, I'd imagine she'd have been reluctant to get plastic surgery from someone who's never actually seen a Cardassian. Way back in the TOS pilot episode, The Cage, we saw what happens when aliens operate on someone without an understanding of their patient's anatomy. Suffice to say, the result was something that would have made Quasimodo flinch.

  • I understand that the reason that the Maquis seemed to merge with the Starfleet officers almost immediately was because of executive mandate, but that leads into another question: Why include the Maquis at all? They could have just rewritten Chakotay and his men into crew of maverick Starfleet officers and the plot wouldn't have missed a beat. And it would have made more sense than a group of guerrilla terrorists willingly submitting to work under the Starfleet captain whose decisions got them stranded.
    • As I understand the it, they were stuck with them. Both TNG and DS9 were used to lay the groundwork for the Maquis on Voyager, and the staff on both series didn't always appreciate having to shoehorn Maquis story lines into their episodes. If Voyager had abandoned the concept entirely, I suspect the writers of those other series—probably lead by Ron Moore—would have tried to set Rick Berman and Michael Piller on fire.
    • I figure the Starfleet/Maquis mixed ship idea was something that sounded really good in theory but fell apart once they actually tried to put it into practice. Either one side is dominant enough to enforce themselves on the rest (as happened with the Starfleet side), the entire series focusses on the conflict and they have to minimize alien threats because the crew won't be able to pull itself together to deal with a prolonged threat, or things deteriorate far enough that they fight for dominance and the losing side is executed/imprisoned for the ready of the series. The show just wasn't willing to be dark enough to accommodate most of the possibilities so they went with the most watered down to at least milk a bit of conflict every now and then. Ultimately they probably would have been better off if they'd let the Maquis keep their ship and just decided to work together.
    • I don't understand why people have difficulties to accept that both crews started to work together so quickly. Why wouldn't they? What sense would it make to continue this fight and to risk their own survival in the process? In TNG Geordi and a Romulan worked together after a few hours to survive and get home, but suddenly it's so unbelievable that Maquis and Starfleet would be able to put their differences aside, the reasons of those differences being 75,000 light years away?
      • It's a writing concern. Why bother with two crews at all, if you're going to fold them into one in three seconds flat? Another idea might be — following your invocation of "The Enemy" — if you really want to deal with two rival crews working as one, to replace Maquis with Romulans or something. My mind almost instantly begins to fill with fascinating plotlines that might result from such an arrangement (a Starfleet crew with a solid contingent of Romulans aboard, including a Romulan second in command, working together only because their interests happen to align for the time being), whereas with the Maquis? Well, whatever potential there was went un(der)utilized, to say the least.
      • Another thing that might have helped is if the Maquis felt more necessary to the premise. The concept presumably is that the crew is decimated and the Maquis are necessary to bring them up to operable numbers, but there is little sense of how doing this changes the shape of shipboard life. Janeway adopting the Maquis feels sort of like an act of charity rather a decision made for mutual survive. It might be helpful if Chakotay himself brought something tangible to the table (survival skills, tactical prowess or something else), but he is mostly there to deliver the odd line and look bored.
      • Or perhaps even go beyond the "two crews" element - the Maquis WERE predominantly Federation citizens, so without the outside force to divide them, it does become easier for the difficulties to smooth out. So add that outside force and make it Cardassians also among the crew, that it's THREE crews blending. Now Maquis and Cardassian are ready to brawl in the corridors, Starfleet has to play mediator, and it's all too easy to see both sides thinking that the Starfleet officers are favoring the other side. Of course, this all still calls for a writing staff actually allowed to play with the difficulties and realities of mixed crews...

     Crewman Suder 
  • During the episode "Meld" Tuvok asks the Doctor if Suder is psychotic, and Kes just tells him that Suder doesn't have any genetic or medical indications of that, Suder just has violent impulses he can't control. Uh... in other words, he's not psychotic, but he's psychotic? It seems like a contradiction to me.
    • Psychotic means "out of touch with reality" as in having hallucinations or delusions. Suder would be more like psychopathic or sociopathic.
      • The Doctor refers to him as a sociopath in a later episode.
    • Kes is noting that there's nothing physically wrong with Suder's brain that's causing his behavior, it's purely a psychological issue. They can't fix him just by repairing some misfiring neurons.

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