Star Trek: Voyager: Season 5, Episode 8

Nothing Human (2 Dec. 1998)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
7.0
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An injured cytoplasmic life-form attaches itself to Torres, tapping into her body like a parasite. Unsure of how to save his patient, The Doctor creates a holographic recreation of a ... See full summary »

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Title: Nothing Human (02 Dec 1998)

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An injured cytoplasmic life-form attaches itself to Torres, tapping into her body like a parasite. Unsure of how to save his patient, The Doctor creates a holographic recreation of a non-humanoid exobiology specialist to consult the case. The consult is going well until Torres refuses treatment when it is made known that the Cardassian specialist was responsible for tortuous experiments resulting in the deaths of thousands of Bajorans. Written by Meribor

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24th century


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2 December 1998 (USA)  »

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Quotes

[at the end of the Doctor's slide show, his audience appear rather miffed]
B'Elanna Torres: What happened to going to yellow alert after half an hour?
Tuvok: Commander Chakotay appears to have disobeyed a direct order.
Captain Kathryn Janeway: Definitely grounds for court martial!
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Star Trek: Voyager - Main Title
Written by Jerry Goldsmith
Performed by Jay Chattaway
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Good Star Trek concept, poor implementation
30 March 2007 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

The basic premise of this episode is simple: is it moral to treat an individual for a disease when the cure was acquired through immoral means? From Nazi experimentation on the Jews to modern day embryotic stem cell research, this is an important real-world topic and is perfect territory for Star Trek to explore. Unfortunately, the Star Trek nerd in me hates this episode as a Voyager episode but thinks it would have worked great on Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (DS9).

In a nutshell, the crew encounters an injured member of insect-like alien race that attaches itself to Torres to sustain its life. The doctor (an Emergency Holographic Doctor: EMH) cannot figure out how to safely remove the organism so he creates a new holographic doctor from a portion of the ship's medical database that's not part of his own to assist. Unfortunately this doctor was based off a real Cardassian doctor that used cruel methods to acquire his research. Torres says she'd rather die than be assisted by this man and the audience is then treated to the controversy surrounding all sides of this situation.

First; the (sometimes nerdy) reasons why I think this was a bad Voyager episode: 1) The doctor is software. He shouldn't need to create another doctor to analyze this data. He should be able to read it in the same way Microsoft Word can read any word document I give it.

2) A few episodes ago the doctor was sent away so Paris and Kim attempt to create a backup doctor. This proves impossible. Then in this episode the Doctor and Kim quickly create a brand new EMH. And it was just a bit too easy to create this doctor and his personality.

3) We see Bajorian crew members (a race serious oppressed by the Cardassians) but I don't remember seeing any Bajorians on the ship before or after this episode. How convenient! 4) Torres would rather die than be treated by this Cardassian recreation or his research. While I don't doubt her convictions, this position would sound more plausible coming from an actual Bajorian than a Human-Klingon hybrid.

Second: Why I believe this would have made a better episode for DS9: 1) The DS9 doctor is human. Genetically enhanced, but human nonetheless. Therefore it would be believable for him to not know or not be able to assimilate Cardassian research. Being close to Cardassian space he could easily get the Cardassian in question or a protégé.

2) DS9 had an actual Bajorian (Kira) in its main cast. It would have seemed more natural for this Bajorian individual to be adamant against using this Cardassian research than Voyager's Torres. Bajorans popped up on that show all the time so their opinions would have seemed natural and not a convenient plot device.

3) I was nerdy enough to check the dates and this show was dated about a year after DS9's Kira gave birth to a human couple's child. If the concept of this show existed at that time, a DS9 version could have exploited that for further drama. With Kira being pregnant you immediately add more sides to the story. With the child not being hers you have a situation where the actual parents can cause additional friction. Oh well.

So I disliked how it was shoehorned into Voyager and cannot watch this episode without thinking it belonged on DS9.


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