Season Four, Episode 5
Written by Lisa Klink
Directed by Kenneth Biller
Main Cast:
Kate Mulgrew as Captain Kathryn Janeway
Robert Beltran as Chakotay
Roxann Dawson as B'Elanna Torres
Robert Duncan McNeill as Tom Paris
Ethan Phillips as Neelix
Robert Picardo as The Doctor
Tim Russ as Tuvok
Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine
Garrett Wang as Harry Kim

Guest Cast:
Leland Orser as Dejaran


Voyager gets a distress signal from the holographic "isomorph" Dejaran, the only survivor aboard a ship whose entire crew has been killed in an accident. The Doctor, eager to meet a fellow hologram, accompanies B'Elanna to investigate the ship. However, Dejaran proves to be one chip short of a circuit board and has an intense hatred of organic life-forms, having actually killed the ship's crew himself. He starts stalking and eventually attacks B'Elanna, leaving the Doctor to rescue her by disabling his fellow hologram. Meanwhile, Harry is assigned to work with Seven, but finds himself nursing something of a crush on the alluring Borg. She eventually confronts him with this, but is so disarmingly direct that the callow young ensign jumps a mile.

Revulsion is a strange episode; it's entertaining, engaging and amiable, yet at the same time almost completely superficial. The main plot involves Torres and the Doc trapped on a deserted ship with a nutty hologram (why am I reminded of Red Dwarf?! ;-)) who's got  a hatred of "organics" and it's interesting enough, at times it's well-utilised -- quite unlike the dreadful Rise last season. Oh boy, Revulsion may not be a great episode, but compared to Rise it's a Shakespearean masterpiece!

The performances are all strong, with the ever-reliable Robert Picardo and Roxann Dawson giving their usual splendid work and guest star Leland Orser gives an especially effective performance as Dejaran, the homicidal hologram. There are some nice touches that help build up the story, such as Dejaran's backstory and his describing the isolation and alienation he experienced (an effective touch was the pet fish he wasn't allowed to keep). The Doctor feels an immediate affinity for him and can understand his feelings of being treated as an inferior by the "organics". He recalls that when he was first activated he felt pretty much the same way, as if he were nothing more than a talking tricorder. It's interesting to note how much more comfortable the Doc is with the crew now as he's adjusted and integrated himself. It's always nice to see such character growth. I had hoped we'd at least get a mention of Kes and perhaps some evidence that the Doc misses his closest friend. Ah well, it never pays to have expectations with Voyager. I've long since given up expecting anything, I just take what comes.

The main problem that besets the episode is that there's virtually no pay-off to any of it. Events unfold very predictably with Dejaran getting increasingly loopier until he eventually attacks B'Elanna. Subsequent scenes were obvious and well-telegraphed in advance and whilst the directing was reasonable and the music effective, the constant chase-around-the-room escapades started to get pretty tiresome. Nope, the conclusion isn't nearly exciting or clever enough to justify the build-up and you can't help but be rather unsatisfyied at the anti-climax.  Lisa Klink's script features some snappy dialogue but there's not nearly enough depth or purpose behind the premise to justify the build-up. The Doc gets some good lines, but a little more focus on  his relationship with his holographic "brother" might have given the story a bit more resonance, particularly given his "demise". And that ship definitely reminded me of Red Dwarf...

The sub-plot is perhaps rather stretched, but results in a hilarious scene where Harry tries to chat up Seven of Nine who cuts straight to the chase and asks if he desires copulation ("right, take off your clothes," she orders in all seriousness). Seeing Harry's flustered response was a delight and this scene alone (and his embarassed explanation to Chakotay) made the whole show worth it.

Rating: 6

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