Star Trek: Voyager

Season 2 Episode 3


Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Sep 11, 1995 on UPN

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

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out of 10
192 votes
  • Is the Doctor real?

    Brannon Braga and Jonathan Frakes team up for a mind-bending bottle show similar their TNG hit, "Frame of Mind" (and reminiscent of TOS's "The Mark of Gideon"), this time with Frakes in the director's chair and the Doctor put through the wringer. Like "The 37's", it's another holdover from the first season and proves that good things come to those who wait. Dwight Schultz reprises TNG's Lieutenant Barclay, a holographic character who serves as "Al" to the Doctor's "Sam", with the two revisiting the events of the pilot as Barclay tries to get the Doctor to "leap home" (in a manner of speaking). It's a high concept that simultaneously allows us to return to the show's roots while logically allowing the Doctor to go anywhere on the ship. Adding Dwight Schultz is the cherry on top, as he has mad chemistry with Robert Picardo. Both actors bring something quirky to their characters, and with Braga's writing, they make a great comedy duo.. (I particularly love the inside joke about the Caretaker, with Barclay tossing out a throwaway line that some call the character "Banjo-man", the Caretaker's name in the script).

    From the opening teaser, the episode is really a character-based mystery, with the Doctor trying to figure out what's real and the audience wondering where Braga is going with the whole thing. No viewer buys the premise, of course, but that doesn't really matter; the fun is in the journey. Like "Frame of Mind", the explanations in the end aren't as intriguing as the mystery in the beginning, but they do lay the groundwork for the real Jupiter Station, along with Dr. Zimmerman and Lieutenant Barclay, to appear in the future. Barclay, who is in more VOY episodes than TNG, returns in sixth season's "Pathfinder".

  • Great Episode

    Great for the Doctor. Projections was a good story line. Another one for Voyager.
  • Projections


    Projections was a superb episode of Star Trek: Voyager and I really enjoyed watching this episode which focused on the Doctor who was activated upon an empty Voyager, or so it seemed. The story was very interesting and this episode raised important questions about artificialintelligenceand how blurry the line of sentient life in organic or mechanical form can become. There were some great scenes and superb acting over all. I think it was nice for the Doctor to have a bit of character growth and development. I look forward to watching the next episode of Star Trek: Voyager!!!!!!!

  • Any episode centered around the Doctor is a good one! This one is no exception!

    This episode centers around the doctor as he is activated and realize that he is all alone on the ship. It is like his own personal nightmare as reality and holodeck novels seem to blend, leaving him questioning his own existence and identity. Usually when Star Trek pulls out one of these sort of episode, where the current normality is questioned and the main characters are lead to believe that they are someone else entirely, it is disastrous. You know what the outcome is going to be and you see through ways of proofing or disproving what is going on quickly, unable to understand why the main character is not there yet!

    In this episode it all plays out believably though, as the doctor is confused and bewildered in every possibly direction. And the audience is brought along for the right, to a point making you believe that possible the whole thing was just a Pamela Ewing Dallas-dream!

    The whole thing also helps you understand how the doctor is changing. That he is no longer 'just' a program made to heal you, but that out of all that programming a person is emerging. After this episode you will not think of the Doctor as anything else but a person.

    Enjoyable episode, and the first one in Voyager so far that made me want to skip writing this review and watch the next episode straight away. (I am not allowing myself to watch more than 1 episode at a time - making sure that after each I write a review before the next one).
  • Unique approach to the holo-malfunction.

    This is another episode (and there are many) with a main plot that revolves around the holodeck malfunction. Since this kind of story and plot device has been used so many times in the past, it automatically makes the viewer wary, but in this case that hesitation is undeserved. What prevents this episode from being thrown into the average category is that it approaches this common theme in a unique way; namely the issue of being trapped is presented to a holographic character and not a human one.

    We as the viewers of course have no doubt that the Doctor's service and remebrance of events on Voyager are infact reality and that the proposed theory of the Doctor being a real person stuck in a malfunctioning holo-simulation to be necessairly false; a whole season and the beginning of a new one dedicated to a malfunction based theme...extremely unlikely. It is interesting though when you take yourself outside of this knowledge and consider the situation of a self-aware AI doubting it's own programming and in essence doubting it's own state of existence. The issue of AI considering it's state of existence has been tackled before on the Star Trek shows (notable instance being the holo-AI in STTNG's "Elementary Dear Data") but in the past instances it has always been AI that was programmed to "think" it was real becoming aware of it's real non-existence; more consisely becoming aware that it's percieved reality was just that, false and that it's true essence is false existence or imaginary existence through virtual reality. With the Doctor in "Projections" we get an AI that is programmed to be self-aware of it's virtual existence through holo-technology, that through malfunction begins to ponder whether it's true existence is in fact existence through corporeal matter in the real physical universe. A truly unique approach to AI, holo-technology and the issue of malfunction. When you become aware of this new presentation to an AI issue staple, the entire episode takes on a more captivating air; the doubts and thought processes, and decisions the Doctor must make all become more engrossing and the viewer is legitamely left wondering how it will all resolve itself.

    Overall, another higlight of the young second season and one defintely worth watching. Picardo, who already has demonstrated himself as a strong actor in the series, gives a strong showing in the first real episode based around his character.
  • The doctor and Reg team up to make for one confusing episode, but also a revealing look into the pysche of a hologram...

    The doctor is activated to find out that the crew is all a holodeck simualation. He is in fact the only "real" person. Reg, and the computer, try to convince him that he is really Louis Zimmerman and that he on Jupiter Station. The episode is confusing, since for the most part, the holodeck is acting funky. People within the ship are connected to the "holographic" ships holographic systems, when in reality they would have been apart of the main holographic system. Therefore, the doc would not have been able to shut down the people, and leave the ship. Of course, it would have made it more difficult to identify the problem if he couldn't seperate the people from the ship.

    In the end, we find out that the whole thing is a delusion on the part of the doctor due to the radation affecting the computer systems. We get to see some of the pent up "emotions" and feelings that he has for Kes, as well as a look into his desire to be "a real boy". This was the first step into a continuous evolution of the doctors personality and the development of his humanity.
  • The Doctor is activated, but no one is on the “Voyager”. The Doctor is confused. It seems if “Voyager” has suffered a disaster. Torres makes it to sickbay. The Doctor uses a tricorder on Torres to see what is wrong with her.

    The Doctor is activated, but no one is on the “Voyager”. The Doctor is confused. It seems if “Voyager” has suffered a disaster. Torres makes it to sickbay. The Doctor uses a tricorder on Torres to see what is wrong with her. The tricorder must be malfunctioning, so The Doctor uses another tricorder. He finds out the same thing. Torres says The Doctor is needed on the bridge. How can he leave sickbay? Don’t worry Torres finds a way. Now The Doctor finds out he is bleeding. The Doctor is just a hologram. How can this be?
  • Is the Doctor really 'just a holographic program'?

    Unlike DS9, Voyager has to rely more on the strength of individual epiosdes rather than an overarching plotline to carry the show. This episode is a good example of the creative writing that helps carry the show. The Doctor finds himself in the middle of a mystery, suddenly, he has life signs, bleeds, feels pain... Is he really just a hologram, or is there more to what's going on than meets the eye? This episode helps develop the Doctor into more than just an emergency medical hologram and more into a real member of the crew, and is worth seeing for his further character development alone. At what point does a hologram programmed to mimick a sentient being actually become one?