Star Trek: Voyager

Season 5 Episode 11

Latent Image

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Jan 20, 1999 on UPN
out of 10
User Rating
168 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Stardate: Unknown
When The Doctor discovers that his short-term memory has been tampered with, he launches an investigation. However, when the culprit is caught, he is shocked to learn who is responsible, and why.

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  • The doctor uncovers a conspiracy to keep a part of the past hidden from the crews memory. However, after doing some digging, he discovers that he is in fact the only one missing memories, and that Captain Janeway herself is responsible.moreless

    Upon expanding his thoroughness concerning crew health, the doctor has taken it upon himself to begin taking holo-images of the entire population of Voyager. After scanning Ensign Kim he finds evidence of a surgical procedure of his own devising approximately eighteen months earlier only he has absolutely no knowledge of it occurring. He reports his findings to the Captain and asks Seven of Nine to help him run a diagnostic. Once she arrives to assist him, he once again has had a lapse in memory. Seven of Nine finds several memory files are missing from the doctors short-term buffer. From there they find several partial images from the Doctors camera indicating the presence of both a crew member the doctor has no knowledge of, and evidence of an alien attack.

    These new findings are presented to the Captain who calls for a search for a possible intruder tampering with the EMH's memory files. However the Doctor is not satisfied with the precautions taken and takes some of his own. He backs up his memory, and sets his camera to photograph whomever may enter to make changes to his programming. His ruse uncovers a most unlikely of culprits. Captain Kathryn Janeway.

    Shocked at this new discovery, the Doctor then proceeds to confront her in front of the bridge crew, including Seven of Nine. Janeway takes him aside and confesses that she was in fact responsible for his memory loss on both occasions. She doesn't try to explain herself, simply orders him to comply.

    Seven of Nine has a confrontation with Janeway. Kathryn explains that 18 months earlier, before Seven arrived on Voyager she was faced with a choice. After comparing the Doctor to a replicator, to be programmed, and dismissed as a utility she rationalizes her strange behavior by once again simply ordering it to be left alone. Seven of Nine wonders if the same comparison will be made about her during a time of need and storms off (in such a manner Seven of Nine would storm off).

    Realizing her (multiple) mistakes, Captain Janeway acquiesces to the Doctors demand to know what happened and why he should be denied his rights. She has Lt. Torres restore the Doctors memories of the happy, jubilant, Ensign Jetal, the alien attack, and how both she and Ensign Kim were faced with equal chances of dying at the same time and how the Doctor had to make the choice to save only one of them.

    After Jetal's death, he became unstable, irrational, demanding to know WHY he had killed her. Ethical subroutines conflicting with cognitive functions nearly destabilized his entire program. After realizing all the truths, it began again. He couldn't handle the fact that he'd allowed someone with the same chances of survival as another who did survive to die. He demanded to have that knowledge erased again. Only this time, Kathryn decided that wasn't the answer.

    And after a few weeks of wallowing-under observation-the doctor seems to have mourned his decision enough to be left alone.

    I'm going to be blunt. I hate episode. It insults my intelligence, and that of every loyal viewer. Everyone knows (and it is included in's Trivia of this episode) that Kes was still aboard and she could VERY easily have saved Ensign Jetal herself. This entire episode is a fallacy. The doctors moral dilemma, the shipwide conspiracy, none of it could have ever taken place because the circumstances claimed quite simply did not exist.moreless
  • The doctor discovers selected memories have been erased by Janeway. She explains he was unable to function when, faced with the choice of saving his friend or another, he saves Kim. He suffers profound depression and cannot work.moreless

    The doctor discoers his program has been altered to remove unpleasnt memories of choosing to save his friend, instead of an ensign with identical injuries. He only has time to save one. Racked with guilt, he decompensates and cannot function. Janeway, with the agreement of the senior officers removes the memories so he can functiom. Seven of Nine objects when she and the doctor learn by accident what happened. Janeway reconsiders her view of the doctor and allows him the time needed to work through his demons. His individuality is important and he is allowed to work on that which makes him unique. The biggest problem in this story is that the doctor has faced death many times in the past and it never bothered him that while treating one patient, another dod not survive. Doctors may feel sad when they lose a patient, but it does not plunge them into depression and self doubt. Triage is a big part of a doctor's duties and if he agonizes over who to treat first, he is not a good doctor, and quite likely, both patients will die.moreless
  • Latent Image

    Latent Image was a good episode of Star Trek: Voyager and I really enjoyed watching this episode as the Doctor discovered some one has tampered with his programming and have deleted part of his memories. It was an interesting story to find out who had done this and why. There was some character development for the Doctor. I look forward to watching the next episode of Star Trek: Voyager!!!!
  • The Doctor takes holo-images of the crew during their annual checkup. This helps The Doctor see if anything is wrong with each crew members. The Doctor is viewing the holo-image of Ensign Kim.moreless

    The Doctor takes holo-images of the crew during their annual checkup. This helps The Doctor see if anything is wrong with each crew members. The Doctor is viewing the holo-image of Ensign Kim. Kim has had surgery in the past 18 month on the back of his neck. The Doctor recognizes the technique, but does not remember doing the surgery. The Doctor believes he has suffered memory loss. He asks Seven to help him. Seven is able to recover The Doctor’s memories, but who deleted them. The Doctor uses his camera to find out. The results are revealing.moreless
  • The Doctor faces human-metaphysics in this excellent episode.

    After figuring out a more efficient way for a check-up the Doctor uses a photonic camera. But soon discovers surgery performed by himself on a patient, but neither doctor nor patient can remember. A small bit of detective work shows that Cpt. Janeway had tampered with his program. He is finally told of how he saved one patient by killing another patient. His program cannot handle the fact that he sacrificed a human. Truly one of the best episode, Doctor episode are very well done. The Doctor has to deal with having not been able to save tow patients. Robert Piccardo truly is a fine actor and this episode proves it. The lines and the outburst by Doctor in the eating quarters. fantastic!moreless
Robert Picardo

Robert Picardo

The Doctor

Kate Mulgrew

Kate Mulgrew

Captain Kathryn Janeway

Robert Beltran

Robert Beltran

Commander Chakotay

Roxann Dawson

Roxann Dawson

Lt. B'Elanna Torres

Ethan Phillips

Ethan Phillips


Tim Russ

Tim Russ

Lt. Commander Tuvok

Nancy Bell

Nancy Bell

Ensign Ahni Jetal

Guest Star

Scarlett Pomers

Scarlett Pomers

Naomi Wildman

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Trivia: Although Ensign Jetal is credited with only a last name and referred to only by last name throughout most of the episode, her first name is mentioned in the flashback in which her body is sent out into space: it's Ahni.

    • Goof: In the flashbacks, which supposedly occur before Seven of Nine arrived, Tuvok is wearing his Lieutenant Commander pips, even though he is not promoted until after Seven of Nine comes aboard.

    • Goof: In the holo-images Seven salvages, there are candles on Ensign Jetal's birthday cake. Later, when the Doctor's restored memories of the birthday party are seen, the candles are missing.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Janeway: We gave him a soul, B'Elanna... do we have the right to take it away now?

    • Seven: (to Janeway) It is unsettling. You say that I am a human being, and yet I am also Borg... part of me not unlike your replicator, not unlike the Doctor. Will you one day choose to abandon me as well? I have always looked to you as my example, my guide to humanity. Perhaps I've been mistaken. Good night.

    • Janeway: If this is another house call, it'll have to wait. As you can see, I've got a mutiny on my hands.
      The Doctor: A mutiny? I suppose that's better than a conspiracy.
      Seven: Doctor?
      The Doctor: Tell her, Captain. Describe how you tampered with my program. How it was you all along.
      Tuvok: Perhaps you should accompany me to Sick Bay, Doctor.
      The Doctor: Et tu, Tuvok? You're conspiring against me, all of you. Why?

    • Seven: A deletion in your short term memory buffer.
      The Doctor: Our chat in Astrometrics never got filed. That's why I can't remember it. Hmm. If I were given to paranoia, I'd say someone is trying to keep me from finding out what happened eighteen months ago.

  • NOTES (0)


    • La Vita Nuova:

      The book of poetry Captain Janeway leaves for The Doctor, La Vita Nuova, or The New Life, was written by Dante Alghieri in 1295. It tells the story of his lifelong love for Beatrice Portniari. Dante is better know nowadays for his Divine Comedy, particularly its first section The Inferno.

    • The Doctor: Et tu, Tuvok? You're conspiring against me, all of you. Why?

      Referencing William Shakespeare's Julius Cesar. In the play, Caesar is shocked after finding out he's been betrayed by his adoptive son, Brutus, and asks him "Et tu, Brute?".