We're moving Forums to the Community pages. Click here for more information and updates.

Star Trek: Voyager

Season 4 Episode 14

Message In A Bottle

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Jan 21, 1998 on UPN
out of 10
User Rating
215 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


Stardate: Unknown
When Voyager discovers an ancient communications relay that extends to the Alpha Quadrant, they are able to send The Doctor to an experimental Federation ship, the Prometheus. However, unbeknownst to the Voyager crew, the Prometheus has been commandeered by Romulans.

Watch Full Episode

Your Autoplay Preference: On | Off

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Message In A Bottle

    Message In A Bottle was a perfect episode of Star Trek: Voyager and I really enjoyed watching this episode because it had a lot of action, suspense, and intrigue. I thought the story was awesome and the Doctor really did an awesome job! The other EMH program from the Prometheus was funny and annoying. It was cool to see Romulans. What the Doctor accomplished almost brought the Captain to tears. This was a nice refreshing episode for viewers and the crew members of Voyager. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!

  • One of (if not THE) best Voyager episodes.

    Personally, I think this had to be one of the better Voyager episodes. A worthwhile storyline, plenty of Humour, and enough action to satisfy.

    In addition to the above, it was nice to see an episode that wasn't directly based on Voyager too. Unlike your typical Voyager episode, in Message in a Bottle, we got to see a little bit of 'home' and what was going on back in the Alpha Quadrant.

    The episode focused around a new ship, and your typical Romulan plot. In addition, we also got to see other Federation starships (which was rare in Voyager). From a Nebula, to an Akira, to (two) Defiant's, along with some Romulan Warbirds.

    All round, this was a great episode, and will remain one of my favourites for years to come.moreless
  • Really good episode! A must see inmho.

    General: After so many time lost in the Delta Quadrant, there is a possibility to send a message home and tell them we are alive. (Forget that Romulan Captain on First Season, he didn't make it, apparently)

    I really love the episodes based on the Doctor character. Well, now on 7of9 too, sorry ;-)But this one is the best. The episode is well plotted and with a great dosis of humour, mainly concerning the duet between the two holographic doctors aboard of the Prometheus. It also introduce us to a new nasty species that will have the Voyager's crew hands very busy in the future. Watch it and you won't regret.moreless
  • One of the best Voyager episodes....

    Since being lost in space nearly four years ago, the USS Voyager is always looking for a way home and sending out an SOS. One day, Seven Of Nine discovers a code that is coming from a Federation ship called the Prometheus to the Alpha Quadrant (home). When they cannot send a transmission, the Voyager crew finds out that they are able to send the Doctor's program over to the ship to send the message to Starfleet that Voyager is OK but lost. However, when the Doctor shows up on the Prometheus he finds it crawling with Romulans and it is up to him to save the day - him and the EMH Doctor of the Prometheus that is.

    The Doctor, played by Robert Picardo, is my favorite character from Star Trek: Voyager and that may have something to do with the fact that I consider "Message In A Bottle" to be one of the best episodes of Star Trek: Voyager. Picardo is great in the episode but it also simply has a great story - the good visuals help out too. Andy Dick guest stars as the Prometheus' EMH Doctor - but do not let that scare you away. Yes, Andy Dick is annoying (although good in many NewsRadio episodes) but he is not too bad here. "Message In A Bottle" is exciting, well written, and has great acting from Picardo but it also features an important hope-giving milestone for the Voyager crew.moreless
  • Turns out to be a pivotal episode…

    Turns out to be a pivotal episode…

    Voyager discovers an ancient relay network which allows communication to the Alpha Quadrant. Using this network, they spot a Federation starship and attempt to communicate with it. However, the communication fails although they figure they could send the Doctor's program through to the ship.

    When the Doctor gets there, he finds that the Starfleet crew is dead and the Romulans are in control of the ship. However, still functioning on the ship is a more advance Starfleet medical hologram (EMH-2) played by Andy Dick. Andy Dick is a great comedian and the interplay between him and the Doctor to regain control of the starship, defeat the Romulans, and complete the Doctor's mission is priceless. It's well done and not over the top at all. Humor also isn't lacking back in the Delta Quadrant. The network may be ancient but it is now claimed by the Hirogens (who will shortly figure in several future episodes). They cut Voyager's link to the network. Janeway tries diplomacy but it doesn't work so Seven sends a stun-signal through the network knocking out an interfering Hirogen. It's a very funny scene.

    Also, Tom Paris is quickly bored tending to sickbay while the Doctor is away. He asks Harry to write a new hologram program for him. Harry tries but the hologram can only start reciting Grey's Anatomy. This is only marginally funny. Needless to say, the Doctor completes his mission and returns to Voyager to give them the good news. They are no longer alone in their attempts to get home. It's a turning point in the series.

    I only have two problem of a technical/logistical nature with this episode, each of which I try and repress and don't consider fatal. One is the ongoing concept that the Doctor can only exist in one computer system at time. He's a program. He could exist on both the Prometheus and Voyager at the same time in the same way any software can run in more than one place. There may be a sync problem between the two programs at some point but I'm sure that's something that would be manageable. Secondly, Janeway describes the Prometheus as being in Deep Space, yet they are within minutes of the Romulan border. Overall, this is an episode you will enjoy watching more than once.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

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Goof: When The Doctor is uploaded into the alien communications-grid, he dematerializes with his mobile emitter. But, since the mobile emitter itself is not holographic, it should remain and fall down. But after disappearing when The Doctor did, it did not reappear on the Prometheus, either.

    • Trivia: This episode has Voyager's first and only mention of the Dominion War, although the Dominion would be referenced in the next episode.

    • Goof: In the Prometheus' sickbay, The Doctor reveals that the ship is travelling at Warp 9.9. However, when he goes to the bridge to access environmental controls, the viewscreen shows a stationary starfield, which indicates that the ship isn't moving.

    • Trivia: Two unnamed Defiant-class ships are seen in this episode, adding to the known roster.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • The Doctor: You hit the wrong ship!
      EMH-2: It wasn't my fault.
      The Doctor: Then whose fault was it, the torpedoes? You're supposed to tell him what to do!

    • The Doctor: I'm as close to sentient being could hope to be. I socialize with the crew, fraternize with aliens, I've even had sexual relations.
      EMH-2: Sex!? How's that possible? We're not equipped to...
      The Doctor: Lets just say I made an addition to my programming.
      EMH-2: Perhaps before you leave you could download those subroutines into my database.
      The Doctor: We'll see.

    • Janeway: Good luck, Doctor
      The Doctor: There's that word again.

    • EMH-2: What are you doing here?
      The Doctor: If you disengage your vocal subroutines for one second, I'll explain.

    • The Doctor: You know, you really should keep a personal log. Why bore others needlessly?

    • EMH-2: My brilliant existence cut short. No time to explore the universe. No time to smell the roses. No time for...sex.

    • The Doctor: I was saving Voyager from annihilation when you were only a gleam in your programmer's eye.

    • Prometheus Computer: Specify attack formation.
      The Doctor: Attack Pattern... alpha?
      Prometheus Computer: Specify target.
      (The Doctor & EMH-2 look at each other)
      The Doctor & EMH-2: The Romulans!

    • EMH-2: What are they doing?
      The Doctor: Firing on us!
      EMH-2: They must think Romulans are on board.
      The Doctor: They're right!

    • The Doctor: Stop breathing down my neck!
      EMH-2: My breathing is merely a simulation.
      The Doctor: So is my neck! Stop it anyway!

  • NOTES (0)