Star Trek: Voyager

Season 4 Episode 14

Message In A Bottle

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Jan 21, 1998 on UPN

Episode Fan Reviews (7)

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  • 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.