Star Trek: Voyager: Season 5, Episode 4

In the Flesh (4 Nov. 1998)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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The crew of Voyager discover a simulation of Starfleet Headquarters being run by Species 8472, the enemy they helped the Borg defeat in the two-part episode "Scorpion". It is being used to ... See full summary »



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Title: In the Flesh (04 Nov 1998)

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Episode credited cast:
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ens. David Gentry
Adm. Bullock
Cmdr. Valerie Archer


The crew of Voyager discover a simulation of Starfleet Headquarters being run by Species 8472, the enemy they helped the Borg defeat in the two-part episode "Scorpion". It is being used to practice infiltrating the Federation. With the aid of regular doses of drugs, Species 8472 are able to shape-shift into human form. It is up to Janeway to try to convince the aliens that Starfleet is not a threat to them. Written by Anonymous

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Plot Keywords:

24th century | day for night | See All (2) »




Release Date:

4 November 1998 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Seven of Nine has a new, blue outfit to replace the brown one she wore for almost the entire fourth season. See more »


When the admiral is welcoming Tuvok and Neelix to Terrasphere 8, we hear him say 'starfleet', but his lips don't say the word 'star' before 'fleet'. It looks like he says 'earth fleet'. See more »


[first lines]
Admiral Bullock: Welcome to Earth. I'm Admiral Bullock, and I'll be your commanding officer for the next six months. Questions, comments - bring them to me. Problems - talk to Lieutenant Kinis.
See more »


Star Trek: Voyager - Main Title
Written by Jerry Goldsmith
Performed by Jay Chattaway
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User Reviews

The episode where species 8472 are humanised and tamed
1 March 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This episode serves one purpose. It's clear that by the introduction of Species 8472 an enemy worse than the Borg was introduced. I can understand this may have been seen as a mistake, but this episode so blatantly tries (and succeeds) to reverse their threat and utterly tame Species 8472, turning them from the villain that could defeat the bad Borg into potential best friends with the Federation, and humanising them in the process through their shape shifting abilities. By making them look and act human, they become less threatening after all.

It is like (and I suspect probably was the case), someone said "we can't have an enemy who can defeat the Borg. Write an episode that makes them harmless and we can be rid of them".

It's a shame as the episode is not half bad. It starts off well with the mystery of an alien species recreating Earth with the potential for an invasion (though like so much of Voyager, a rehash of earlier Trek, especially Deep Space Nine's Dominion shape shifting infiltration of Earth).

It disappoints though with no real action, a diplomatic discussion that's all rather too easy and ends with them all effectively shaking hands and that's the end of the threat. The Borg are thus returned to number one evil status. It does the job intended but has spoilt a potentially good truly alien species. Non humanoid species in Star Trek are a rarity (and perhaps a little against the rules), but it's a breath of fresh air to see them, and one that truly could be evil. Perhaps it could have been taken further to develop them as a race to trust with caution and have a kind of Cold War scenario. Although the Klingons before them served that purpose and even the Romulans.

Certainly not a terrible episode, but one that frustrates me for what it achieves rather than the content.

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