Story: The Swarm
Written By: Mike Sussman
Series: Star Trek: Voyager
“The Swarm” is a really good episode; in rare form for this series it happens to have a solid a-plot, as well as a successful b-plot. The A-plot is the malfunction of the Doctor. Ge was never designed to be on for so long, and his memory banks are filled beyond capacity, which is causing his memory and pattern to fall apart. We get two great performances out of Picardo, as both the EMH and the diagnostics program, both of which are based on their creator, Doctor Zimmerman (who made an appearance in a DS9 episode). I enjoyed Picardo’s two performances (neither of which are really like his usual Doctor, which is also pretty cool), and I think the plot line makes a lot of sense moves in a logical flow. Really anytime we get a focus on the Doctor its bound to be a pretty enjoyable episode, but one that both brings to point the longevity of a short term medical hologram and has some real stakes makes it an even better story.
The writer of this episode, Mike Sussman, should have been contributing more to the series. His first entry ever in Trek was “Meld”, one of the best episodes of Voyager. Then he makes his second outing in this well written episode. Is it possible that some of his work stinks later on? Yes. Do I think he is one of the stronger writers so far to come into Voyager (and start on Voyager)? Yes. Some of the folks from TNG were just rehashing old shit or pushing the limits in the wrong direction or throwing in rest after reset. I think Sussman has proved to be one of the few writers that really showcases the potential Voyager had from the get go. Shame most of the writers don’t showcase the same quality of work.
NEXT TIME: Ferengi in the Delta Quadrant