It is the penultimate episode of Star Trek Voyager and this could only mean that it will be the most daring episode yet….or not. Originally broadcast on May 16, 2001 this is Renaissance Man.
Captain’s Log stardate 54890.7: Renaissance Man
The Doctor is forced to rescue Janeway alone as she has been captured and the enemy wants Voyager’s warp core in exchange for her life.
The Doctor and Janeway are on a mission and are attacked. Making it back to Voyager, Janeway informs the crew about a dangerous raced known as the R’Kaal who have agreed to let Voyager settle on a nearby planet in exchange for their warp drive. As the R’Kaal is technologically superior they have no chance. Chakotay is not happy with the situation but Janeway insists that this is the only way. After making some rather suspicious demands, it becomes apparent that Janeway is not actually Janeway but has been taken hostage by the Overlookers who demand the ships Warp Core in exchange for the Captain’s safety. They can see everything the Doctor sees forcing him to comply or Janeway will die. Soon the Doctor has to pretend to be other crew members in order to trick the crew into working with him. One thing leads to another and they end up saving Janeway but at the cost of the Doctor who’s program has been damaged. Believing he is dying, the Doctor confesses his deepest thoughts including his love for Seven. In the end, they save him, he is embarrassed and Voyager heads on into the season finale.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
This is not a bad one, just not one I would have chosen for the second to last episode of the series. Honestly, the previous Neelix episode would have made a better Penultimate episode as it really sets the tone for a proper finale. The thing the makes this episode weaker than it should be is that knowing that there was still an episode left in the series, it really had no teeth. When this aired, it was pretty clear that there was no chance that Janeway or the crew would be in any real danger with only a single episode left, especially when they are facing an enemy like the Overlookers. These guys are essentially the Delta Quadrant’s version of the Ferengi and, despite their attempted siege of Voyager, they are really not all that dangerous.
That being said, the idea that the Doctor has to take on the personalities of several crew members is a fun one and getting to see these actors act like the Doctor acting like their characters is pretty fun. It also gives the Doctor a movement in the end to spill everything he had been feeling toward the crew creating a rather, uncomfortable situation for everyone. Unfortunately, nothing ever comes of that as there is only one episode remaining.
Overall, this is an enjoyable if not forgettable entry that really should have been placed earlier in the season for maximum effectiveness. It’s not the worst episode of the series, but it is also not the most memorable.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- 0 photon torpedoes fired, -33 remaining.
- 0 shuttlecraft lost or destroyed, -6 remaining
- We learn that the crew have all of their physical parameters loaded into the holodeck memory. For what reason…it is not entirely clear.
- This is the last we ever see of the Overlookers.
Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review, I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday! Next Review: Series Finale Endgame
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Late To The Game 4/21/2021
Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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