19 – Projections

Grade: B-

Projections (1995) on IMDb


The EMH program has been launched, but nobody is around who initiated it. The Doctor finds out that nobody is on board Voyager. The Warp core is off line, and all escape pods have been ejected. The Doctor starts to leave a log, but he is interrupted when suddenly Lt Torres shows up in Sickbay. The Doctor knows things are really going nuts when he finds out that none of the “real” people on the ship show any life signs at all, and yet he does.


Other fans of Star Trek talk about this episode as Voyager’s version of “Ship in a Bottle”, which was the Next Generation episode when the Holodeck created Dr. Moriarty and made him capable of defeating Data in a battle of wits. But in reality, this episode has a lot more to do with Frame of Mind, in which Commander Riker spends a couple of days inside a mental institution on a planet. Everything that Riker experienced was an illusion – it was a situation in which he didn’t know what to believe. In both episodes, the main character questions his own sanity and doesn’t know if he can believe his friends he has known for longer than the “expert”.

Because I knew Frame of Mind already, I knew where Projections was going as soon as Barclay showed up. Though this episode was much different than what we’ve seen from Voyager up to this point, I wouldn’t call it an original story by any means. Brannon Braga also wrote Frame of Mind, so I’m not surprised that the stories are basically the same thing. It was a good story the first time around, but the second time? Not so much.

Actually, the story starts out well enough, in that we don’t have any idea what’s going on or what will happen next. The Doctor finds out that there is nobody on board, and that someone forgot to let him know what was happening. At this point, we wonder what’s going on as well and how the Doctor is going to get everyone back. Actually, this would have been a great place to end the season. There would have been a whole lot of questions and talk about a major cliffhanger! We don’t even know where everyone went.

Well, as soon as Barclay shows up, I thought immediately about Frame of Mind. So I knew pretty much what was happening and it was just a matter of watching what the Doctor would do. That’s when I really stopped being interested in the story. But I rated it fairly high because if you haven’t seen Frame of Mind, you’ll probably really like Projections.

Of Note

The first four episodes of this season were actually supposed to be part of the 1st season, but for some inexplicable reason, Paramount held these back to help launch the 2nd season instead. You can tell this is a 1st season episode because all first season episodes have a stardate beginning with the number 48.

On IMDB, someone wrote that this episode has a lot in common with the James Garner movie called 36 Hours, but I certainly don’t see too many similarities. I think it’s much more like Frame of Mind.