Flesh and Blood (Star Trek: Voyager)

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"Flesh and Blood"
Star Trek: Voyager episode
Episode no. Season 7
Episode 9 & 10
Directed by Mike Vejar (part I)
David Livingston (part II)
Story by Jack Monaco (part I)
Bryan Fuller (parts I & II)
Raf Green (parts I & II)
Teleplay by Brian Fuller (part I)
Raf Green (part II)
Kenneth Biller (part II)
Featured music David Bell
Production code 253 & 254
Original air date November 29, 2000 (2000-11-29)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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List of Star Trek: Voyager episodes

"Flesh and Blood" is a two-part episode from the seventh season of the science fiction television series Star Trek: Voyager.


Part I[edit]

The U.S.S. Voyager responds to a Hirogen distress call. They discover a Hirogen ship that has been turned into a large holodeck using modified Starfleet technology Voyager had supplied the race earlier. All but one of the crew are dead; the survivor, an engineer named Donik, reveals they used the holograms as training programs, but the holograms had found a way to disable security controls and kill the crew before escaping in a holo-emitter-equipped vessel. Donik offers to help track down the ship. Voyager is soon met by another Hirogen ship also responding to the distress call. Donik helps convincing the Alpha Hirogen to work with Voyager to find the holo-ship.

The two ships are led into a trap set by the holograms, causing severe damage and casualties to the Hirogen ship including the Alpha, and leaving Voyager helpless to stop the holograms from abducting Voyager's holographic Doctor before escaping. Voyager rescues the surviving Hirogen, and the Beta, now in command, agrees to still help Voyager, though secretly orders his crew to attempt to break into Voyager's systems and send a message to their homeworld for help. To avoid falling into a similar trap, Lt. Torres and Donik modify the deflector dish to emit an anti-photon pulse that will destabilize the holograms.

Aboard the holo-ship, the Doctor finds the holograms to be those of other Alpha Quadrant races. Their leader, the Bajoran Iden, asks the Doctor to help tend to their wounded, which surprises the Doctor as holograms cannot be harmed. He finds that the Hirogen modifications causes the holograms to experience pain and death many times over as to make their training more realistic; Iden led the revolt and has similarly rescued holograms from other Hirogen training vessels. The Doctor works with the Cardassian engineer Kejal to adjust the ship's holo-emitters and repair the damage done to the holograms, but still remains doubtful to Iden's goals. Iden implants memories of the pain and suffering of a hologram into the Doctor's programming to coerce him to help more, offering that their goal is to find a planet harmful to biological life but where they enable a large-scale holo-emitter where they could live out their photonic lives. The Doctor agrees to help, but offers that Torres would be crucial to assure that the emitter is properly engaged. Iden remains distrustful of organics, but agrees to rendezvous with Voyager peacefully.

When they meet, the Doctor explains Iden's case to Captain Janeway, who is wary of providing any more holographic technology given the present situation. The two get into a heated debate over holographic rights just as the Hirogen make contact with their homeworld and engage in combat with the security teams in the Mess Hall. Iden detects two Hirogen vessels approaching and believing to have been double-crossed, fires on Voyager. Janeway orders the anti-photon pulse to be used while sending the Doctor to help the wounded to the Mess Hall. The Doctor leaves, but instead goes to Sick Bay to warn Iden about the pulse. Iden creates a feedback system that damages the emitter when the pulse is sent, and during the distraction, Iden abducts Torres onto his ship before they take off into warp.

Part II[edit]

Voyager works to repair the ship as the crew discover the Doctor's abduction of Torres. The ship is met by the two Hirogen vessels. The Hirogen survivors aboard Voyager are beamed to these ships, except Donik; the Hirogen warn Voyager to not follow them as they continue to hunt the holograms, or they will become the hunted. Once repairs are completed, Janeway orders the ship to follow the Hirogen, using a trick for staying in the Hirogen's blind spot of their warp trail as suggested by Donik.

On the holo-ship, Torres is initially outraged and believe the Doctor's programming has been modified, but the Doctor explains that the holograms' plight is similar to that of the Maquis of which she had been a part of, and offers that her technical assistance will help resolve the conflict peacefully. Iden identifies a nearby Y-class planet that he names "Ha'Dara", Bajorian for "Home of Light", where they will set up their photonic society. The Doctor agrees, offering that Voyager can supply them with cultural works to enlighten them, but Iden refuses to have any association with organics.

In route to the planet, they come upon a Nuu'bari mining vessel that uses photonic beings for manual labor. Iden orders the Nuu'bari to turn over the holograms, but the crew refuses; Iden takes the photonic beings by force and destroys the ship. However, they find that these holograms lack any personality, individuality or even normal intelligence. The Doctor accuses Iden of destroying innocent lives, but Iden insists his actions were just. The Doctor and Torres find other holograms to have become wary of Iden's intentions, even as they arrive at Ha'Dara and deploy the holo-emitter.

The Hirogen detect the Nuu'bari ship destruction and use that to track the holo-ship to Ha'Dara. Voyager arrives shortly after and fires weapons to disable their weapon systems, and prepares to fire on the holo-ship. Iden, in revenge, transports several of the Hirogen from their ships to the surface where they are hunted by the holograms. The Doctor tries to stop Iden, but Iden shuts down his program and takes the personal holo-emitter before transporting down to the planet to engage in the hunt.

Torres tries to convince Kejal to rebel, saying that Iden is not the leader of peace time; she reminds her that it's the engineers like herself and Kejal that actually build societies.

However, Iden comes in, and then the Nuu'Bari holograms are activated, but no matter what he says, they simply do not understand. Iden wonders if they are malfunctioning, but Torres explains that they are programmed to support only about 40 basic subroutines. Kejal confirms this and Iden calls this yet another form of oppression. Demanding they be enhanced, Torres explains that their programs are not complex enough to allow it. Iden simply brushes it off, claiming that he will deliver them to freedom. The bridge informs Iden they are now in orbit of the planet. Iden has Torres restrained; The Doctor demands Iden let Torres go, but he refuses because he now sees through her prejudices towards holograms.

Kejal retrieves all the holograms sent to the surface, though Iden remains there since he is using the mobile emitter. Torres restores the Doctor's program and has him sent to surface via the large emitter. The Doctor finds Iden before he can execute the Hirogen leader and tries to convince him to stop. Iden refuses to listen and as he proceeds to land a lethal blow, the Doctor fires his weapon, fully disrupting Iden's program.

The surviving Hirogen are treated and returned to their ships. Their leaders demand they claim the hologram ship and its databanks, but Janeway and Neelix suggest it is better to state the ship was destroyed as to be able to report a more successful hunt. The Hirogen agree and depart. Torres, Donik, and Kejal find they cannot recover Iden's program, but believe this is for the best. Kejal and Donik decide to stay with the hologram ship, working to reprogram some of the other holograms as to undo the damage they caused. On Voyager, the Doctor accepts his responsibility for disobeying orders and working with the holograms, offering to forego his mobile emitter to give up his freedom, but Janeway feels that is far too much punishment for doing what someone of flesh and blood would likely do in the same situation.


Jamahl Epsicokhan in Jammer's Reviews assigns this episode 3.5 out of 4 stars and calls Flesh and Blood:

'a well-crafted Voyager outing. As an "epic two-hour telefilm!" it's by far the best of the series' three (excluding the pilot), the other two being the dumb and bloated "The Killing Game" and the entertaining but relatively thin "Dark Frontier."'[1]


  1. ^ "Flesh and Blood". JammersReviews.com. Retrieved 2011-01-01. 

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