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Star Trek: Voyager

Season 4 Episode 20

Vis à Vis

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Apr 08, 1998 on UPN
out of 10
User Rating
158 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Stardate: 51762.4
An alien test pilot who has the capability of switching bodies manages to take Tom's place aboard Voyager in order to escape the law.

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  • Vis à Vis

    Vis à Vis was a great episode of Star Trek: Voyager and I really enjoyed watching this episode as Tom was having a cliche mid life crisis for no real apparent reason. I guess it would be old doing the same thing for 4 years or so. I liked the story of this episode and how it played out. There was character development, though minimal. The aliens in this episode were interesting. The space scenes were awesome with the alien ships. I look forward to watching the next episode of Star Trek: Voyager!!!!!

  • An alien capable of switching bodies get to Voyager. Don't loose your time unless you've got nothing else to do.

    Well, to start with, they find that fantastic coaxial warp drive tech that could save them years in their way back home and, after the episode, it is totally forgot even though they were in touch with the builders of the ship.

    Then there is that alien that switch bodies (we'll never know if it was he or she). The problem is that we don't know what was the shapeshifter purpose also.Apparently it's life consists just on that, jump from one body to the other without any goal. Well, at some point it seems it does it just for having fun living other species life but at that point, being in a fast ship able to travel from one point to the other of the galaxy without being recognized sounds more funny than engage in a dangerous trip trying to behave like Tom Paris and cheat people in Voyager.moreless
  • An actually surprisingly good episode with a familiar plot…

    An actually surprisingly good episode with a familiar plot…

    Okay, it's been done before. An alien switches bodies with someone and assumes their identity.

    In this case, it's an alien called Steth. But, don't get too hung up on the alien's name because he's done this before and maybe he's really a woman, or not. At any rate, Steth takes over Tom Paris' body and sends Tom off into his space in his "old" (meaning most recent) body. Steth naturally is no Tom and soon rouses everyone's suspicions. About the time the real Paris shows up in his "new" body, Steth has already stolen Janeway's body is trying to escape once again. It all kind of rolls out predictably but does so at a pace so that you can follow the sequence of events without getting too much of a headache trying to remember who is who. Dan Butler, who was on Frasier for many years, plays "Steth" and does a convincing job in a mostly dramatic role. Robert Duncan McNeill, who plays Tom Paris, gets a little fun playing the "bad boy" but since he kind of started the part that way in the beginning, it wasn't that big of a stretch. A simple episode you can enjoy that won't really annoy you that much.moreless
  • Tom Paris has a mid-life crisis...until an alien switches his body with him....and then he's all better?

    I found the character development premise of this episode interesting. Tom Paris has a mid-life crisis. He's discontented with the boring routine he's carved out on Voyager, and dreams of his exciting youth. That's a great idea. A ripe idea for an episode. Voyager and the future has always seemed somewhat boring and duty-oriented. I could see how an adventurous Tom Paris could get disenchanted. It's a feeling that most of us as we get older deal with in some way. But how they resolve that feeling seems somewhat unrelated. Tom meets a new alien. He switches bodies. Tom gets stranded. New alien acts weird on Voyager in Tom's body. Tom comes back and gets his body back, and then appreciates what he has on Voyager? That's it? That's what it takes to get out of his navel-gazing mid-life crisis moment?

    Doesn't make much sense. But I guess the action is cool. Oh and a coaxial drive is thrown in there to make it even cooler, with a faster way for Voyager to get home device, which is never mentioned or used again. Eh....I have to admit I liked the sci-fi body-switching and coaxial drive elements, so I can't really complain. But the way Tom Paris resolved his mid-life crisis is not satisfactory to me.moreless
  • Good concept, but very predictable and takes a while to get where it's going

    Vis-a-vis is another Voyager episode that aims high, but falls just a bit short of the mark. I like the idea of the identity-stealing alien, but felt like I was waiting at least a half hour before something really HAPPENED. Lots of build-up... probably too much. Predictable as well - I don't think there was much doubt that the fake Tom Paris would be ferretted out and exposed quickly. Some other races were also briefly introduced, but never explored. It'd be nice to have more recurring races in Voyager; I feel like there are so many that just exist for the duration of 1 episode.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 (5)

    • Nitpick: Steth (in Paris' body)orders alcoholic drinks from the replicator. But a Starfleet replicator would not give alcoholic drinks. It would give Syntheholic drinks.

    • Nitpick: When Paris reports to Command in his coverall, he still has engine grease smeared on his face. Unless Paris was so into making his experience "real" that he painted his face with actual grease, it should have left his face upon leaving the holodeck.

    • Nitpick: The Doctor appears in the holodeck by mean of the holoemitters. When he leaves, though, he uses the door (not seen, although the door opening sound is heard); it is not possible for him to leave the holodeck that way because he doesn't have the mobile emitter.

    • Nitpick: When The Doctor takes out his tricorder and scans the car that Tom is working on, he begins describing it as if it were real. However, The Doctor's tricorder should only be picking up photonic energy as the car, along with everything else in the holodeck (bar Tom Paris) is a holographic recreation.

    • Goof: Kim mentions a game against Ensign Kaplan, but she died in the season 3 episode "Unity".

  • QUOTES (2)

    • (Torres walks in on Tom putting in her quarters. He sighs as he missed the hole)
      Fake Paris: Oh, B'Elanna.
      B'Elanna: What do you think you're doing?
      Fake Paris: Putting.
      B'Elanna: In MY quarters?
      Fake Paris: I can't putt in your quarters?
      B'Elanna: No!
      Fake Paris: Since when?
      B'Elanna: (sighs and picks up golf club) Tom... what is this?
      Fake Paris: That is... a sand wedge. It's used for getting out of traps.
      B'Elanna: Why is it here?
      Paris: (Laughs) I replicated it for you. I thought we could play a little game of golf on the holodeck before dinner.
      B'Elanna: So this is your idea... (hands the club to Paris) ...of an adult conversation?!

    • (Tom is working on a car in the holodeck when The Doctor materializes, and beeps a car horn to get his attention)
      Paris: Ow! OW! What do you think you're doing, Doc?
      The Doctor: An impromptu auditory exam.
      Paris: Did I pass?
      The Doctor: With flying colors, which leads me to believe you did hear me when I requested you meet me this morning.
      Paris: You're right, I forgot.
      The Doctor: I see. I realize your sickbay training is entirely voluntary but you haven't spent any time there is several weeks, and when I try to find you you're always in the holodeck.
      Paris: Correct me if I'm wrong Doc, but we haven't been treating anything more serious than an ingrown toe nail.
      The Doctor: That's beside the point! If an emergency were to happen, you must be prepared. You're too far behind in your medical texts to be wasting your time in a holiday!
      Paris: If it's any consolation, I have spent most of the morning immersed in a complicated surgical procedure.
      The Doctor: Really?
      Paris: A c case of atrophied shocks. They needed to be extracted to prevent chrome abrasion. It was touch and go for a while but the prognosis is excellent.
      The Doctor: You'll be ready for neurosurgery in no time.
      Paris: (Points to car) Take a look at this Doc! This is a fully stock 1969 Chevy Camaro; one of the earliest muscle cars ever made. Imagine, Northern California, late twentieth century, you're cruising up Highway 1, the woofers are pounding, the wind is whipping through your hair-
      The Doctor: (The Doctor, being bald, looks at Paris and takes out his tricorder) Medieval safety constraints, internal combustion system producing lethal levels of carbon monoxide. Hmm... I stand corrected. This may be just what you need to get you back to Sickbay.
      Paris: I guess I should have known this wouldn't interest you; it's too much fun.
      The Doctor: This isn't about 'fun", Mr.Paris. Serving in Sickbay is a privilege - I'd expect you to realize that.
      Paris: Oh, I do. I'll be there...soon! (The Doctor is satisfied and leaves the holodeck)

  • NOTES (1)