Barclay’s Obsession

Story: Pathfinder
Written By: David Zabel and Kenneth Biller
Series: Star Trek: Voyager
Year: 1999

I love Barclay. I really do. He was such a great addition to TNG, a recurring character who didn’t always live up to the Utopian standards Roddenberry created. He brought levity to the Enterprise, and showed that despite all the progress man had made...they were still only human. His neurosis, phobias, and holo-addiction made him this flawed but endearing character that I hoped for, and when he came through for the Enterprise I cheered all the more. This episode brings back Reg with a vengeance, as he has left the Enterprise-E and settled on Earth, working on the “Pathfinder Project”, a endeavor to communicate with Voyager.
Barclay has become obsessed with the crew of Voyager, creating holo-recreations of them and making them like a surrogate family to fill the void the Enterprise crew once filled. He sees that lone crew out there as something as lonely as he is.

Dwight Schultz is a tremendous actor, and any appearance as Barclay is welcome, especially if he is going to take over an episode of Voyager and put the main cast into the background. He is such a good actor that I actually almost teared up a little when he showcased his loneliness...and surprisingly when he gave hope to the Voyager crew that they may have a better chance of reaching and communicating with home. I don’t even like most of the Voyager crew! That didn’t stop me from wanting to cheer Reg on for succeeding.

Great episode, especially for fans of TNG (and who would like Voyager and not TNG?) You not only get Barclay but Troi as well (Barclay even made her useful on TNG and here!)...and several references to other Enterprise crew members and past episodes of TNG. Great episode, I was definitely happy to get a big break from the Voyager crew and revisit an old friend.

Sidenote: Of the few scenes to take place on Voyager, we did get Seven taking a shit on Neelix about his singing. Good character berates bad character? This episode has got everything.

NEXT TIME: Janeway Falls for a Hologram