Doctor’s Holonovel

Story: Author, Author
Written By: Phyllis Strong and Mike Sussman
Series: Star Trek: Voyager
Year: 2001

The Doctor has written a holonovel, and uses his phone call to the Alpha Quadrant (just go with it) to talk to a publisher. But he is provoked by Tom Paris into letting him see the holonovel. Paris is a little weirded out by the novel, and the crew each take turns playing the game and finding it to be a little uncomfortable...and then Janeway tries it out and calls the Doctor out on portraying the Voyager crew in such a terrible light, even if he changed the names. Janeway also acts completely surprised that the Doctor seems to feel oppressed as a hologram...really? He acts like he is oppressed all the time.
Anyhow when Tom tampers with the program a little to showcase the Doctor in just as bad a light, he can see that maybe he has hurt his friend’s feelings, and tries to rework it in a way that may be a little less offensive. But the story is published despite the Doctor asking for time to make revisions...and his rights as a hologram have come into question...according to Federation law Holograms have no rights.

The other story includes a new open comm link with the alpha quadrant, and people are able to finally have their first conversations with their friends and families back home. This allows for there to be calls with people like the publisher, and to have a sort of courtroom drama over the phone with the Alpha Quadrant.

The story does its best with the material. The holonovel is funny, then the courtroom drama aspect is just as effective as “The Measure of a Man” was for proving Data is a real person and therefore should benefit from equal rights. It was nice to finally get closure once and for all on the Doctor’s rights as a person (and I liked that it felt not forced since they didn’t declare all holograms people just yet), especially because his character has been the strongest the series has had to offer since Day One. Clearly he has made a major impact on holographic rights for the was sort of like this is that first stepping stone.

Nicely done.

NEXT TIME: A Mission from Starfleet