12 – Heroes and Demons

Grade: D

 Heroes And Demons
(1995) on IMDb


Harry Kim has disappeared from the Holodeck, after starting an adventure there set in the Old English story of Beowulf. Tuvok and Chakotay go there to investigate, and they end up missing as well. Finally, Tom Paris suggests sending the Doctor into the Holodeck with a tricorder to find out what happened.


OK, I’ll be totally honest here. I really despise the Holodeck episodes, for the most part. Oh, there are a few of them that are OK every now and then, but I see them as a crutch. Whenever the writers seem to be at a loss for a good story, they rely on the Holodeck to artificially create some drama. These Holodeck episodes have a standardized approach. The only thing the writers have to do is simply fill in the blanks, so to speak.

What troubles me specifically about this particular episode is how early in the series this takes place. We just had a great one in which a crewmember is accused (and later admitted guilt) of treason against the ship and the Captain. We have only had two Kazon episodes, and at the end of each of them, there are hints that they’ll be back, but we haven’t seen anything of them yet. Why do we need to waste time with this Holodeck junk?

Besides, we’re in the Delta Quadrant, which no Star Trek fan has ever seen before – there are literally thousands of interesting stories that could have been written about his part of the galaxy that would be specific to this area. But instead we get a re-hash of the “misunderstood alien” storyline that Captain Kirk and friends already did to death in the 1960s. The only difference is that this time it’s combined with the tedium of a Holodeck episode.

I rated this episode so low mostly because it seemed old and tired itself. But there are some good points to it. At least the Doctor gets to develop his character a bit more.

Of Note

There is one thing that took place in this episode that really became a cliché over the length of this series. Torres is trying to use the transporter to beam over some energy onto the ship. Her first attempt fails, but somehow Janeway knows exactly what needs to be done in order to fix it. She makes a 2 second change and then it suddenly works. Why is it that Janeway always knows how to fix every single thing on the ship?

I have two Holodeck nit-picks. First, they specifically tell the Doctor that he’ll have to be solid in order to take the “talisman” into the Holodeck. In other words, a hologram can’t carry a solid object. And yet when the Doctor loses the fight and Freya gets stabbed, another holodeck character runs off with the talisman. How could that happen?

The second one is after the Doctor goes into the palace, one character accuses him of killing Freya. Yet the Doctor stays silent on that. Why didn’t he say, “no, YOU killed her”?