56 – Alter Ego

Grade: C+

Alter Ego (1997) on IMDb


Voyager approaches an inversion nebula, and Janeway wants to investigate. She asks Ensign Kim to check the sensors, but he’s obviously distracted. He later explains to Tuvok that he has fallen in love with a Holodeck character. Things really become strange when it turns out that she develops feelings for Tuvok.


OK, so good for Voyager for trying to do something a little different. For the first 25 minutes or so, this seems like it’s going to be just another random “Holodeck Gone Wrong” episode, with a bit of Harry Kim foolishness thrown in. It seems Kim is always the one to get abducted by aliens or to have some kind of embarrassing problem on this show – the writers don’t seem to know what to do with him. But I digress.

With about 15 minutes left, we finally start to realize this is more than just another Holodeck malfunction episode. But that’s an awfully long time to wait for something to happen. On this particular day, I was hoping to see something with a bit more plot than just watching Harry go through a pre-teen crush. I have to say, this episode feels like the longest 40-minute episode in the history of the franchise. The story is exceptionally slow, and it takes forever to get to the main point of the story.

But the last 10 minutes or so are actually fairly interesting. If you can make it that long, I’m sure you’ll be surprised by how it ends. I actually was surprised by it, and I thought I had seen everything Star Trek had to offer. In some ways, the ending made it seem like Voyager’s version of “All Our Yesterdays.” The only problem is that “Ater Ego” is extremely slow and boring.

I docked it a few points for having had such a hard time staying interested in the story. The acting is fine, and it has very good character development. The best time to watch this is when you’re in the mood for a character-driven story that doesn’t have that much to do.

Actually, I re-watched this episode recently – during the COVID-19 pandemic, actually. I have gained a greater appreciation for the character because of what we’ve all been going through since March 2019.

Of Note

When filming finished, the completed episode was about a minute short, so they filmed the scene when Tom and B’Elanna are on their way to the Holodeck for Neelix’s party.

By the way, what happened to the Nechrid Expanse? It was supposed to be thousands of LY across, which means it would take Voyager about a decade to cross. Or maybe that was just the length. Perhaps the width was a lot less. Oh well.