Scientific Method (Star Trek: Voyager)

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"Scientific Method"
Star Trek: Voyager episode
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 7
Directed by David Livingston
Teleplay by Lisa Klink
Story by Sherry Klein
Harry 'Doc' Kloor
Featured music Jay Chattaway
Production code 175
Original air date October 29, 1997 (1997-10-29)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"The Raven"
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"Year of Hell"
List of Star Trek: Voyager episodes

"Scientific Method" is the 75th episode of Star Trek: Voyager, the seventh episode of the fourth season.

The premise of the episode is that of a group of cloaked aliens performing scientific experiments on the Voyager crew, and the effect the experiments have on the various crew members. The episode explores this from a third party perspective, and views the events in a manner similar to the medical experiments humans perform on lab rats or other animals.


The crew of Voyager note that Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres have become intimately involved, while other crew report of small maladies to the Doctor, such as Captain Janeway, who has been suffering excruciating headaches. The crew initially attribute these problems to effects of a nearby stellar phenomenon, and continue on as they appear benign.

Over a matter of hours, Chakotay is aged several decades, losing his hair and going blind. Neelix suffers spots over his body and emits a strange odor. The Doctor and Torres finds that both have had their DNA stimulated by an external force, and discovers alien writing imprinted on their nucleotides like a barcode. However, before they can run further tests, Torres is overtaken by a seizure and goes into respiratory arrest, and the Doctor's program is shut down.

Seven of Nine receives a coded transmission from the Doctor, and she meets him in a holodeck. The Doctor explains that some entity is tagging the crew's DNA to force these mutations, and that the entity has the ability to silence those that come close to the truth. He adjusts Seven's optical scanners to detect outside the normal visual range. Seven starts going about her normal routines and sees a number of aliens, previously unseen, observing many of the crew which are outfitted with strange devices. Seven acts as normal despite these aliens, and goes to report to Janeway, where a female alien is observing her responses to needles being stuck in her skull. She tries to gain Janeway's approval to deliver a shock to the ship to disable the DNA imprints under guise of helping to protect the crew, but the aliens realize they have been discovered and try to capture Seven. Seven fires a modified phaser at the female alien, making her visible, whereupon security quickly capture her.

Janeway accosts the alien about what they have been doing. She responds that they mean no harm and that by temporarily imprinting the Voyager crew's DNA, they are discovering ways to cure diseases. Janeway initially accepts this, but shortly thereafter, a helmsman that was part of their experiments is killed. Janeway orders Voyager towards a binary star system at full speed. Two previously unseen ships appear on the ship's hull, and soon detact when it is clear Janeway has no intention of turning away; Seven reports that the aliens have evacuated Voyager. One of the ships is destroyed by the energy of the stars, while the other escapes. Voyager contiues through the binary star, safely making its way onto the other side of the system. The Doctor is restored and he helps to remove the various devices and DNA imprints, returning the affected crew to normal. However, Paris and Torres, who's hormones been affected by the aliens' test to drive them to see each other, continue to become close friends after the affair.

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