60 – Darkling

Grade: D+

Darkling (1997) on IMDb


Voyager lands on a planet to meet some aliens who know about traveling in the area. Janeway is listening to someone tell some tall tales, and Kes has made a new boyfriend (seems a little sudden, no?) Meanwhile, Neelix is back on the Holodeck, hanging out with simulations of famous people. It’s not a very compelling start.


This is one bizarre episode. It seems to be a conglomerate of various ideas which never completely jelled into a cohesive show. After having seen it, I honestly wish they had left this entire episode on the cutting room floor. It’s not the worst episode I’ve ever seen, but it’s just weird.

The episode drags along following the Kes plotline for a while, then it suddenly turns weird. A hooded guy attacks Kes’ new boyfriend and he falls off a cliff in slow motion. By the way, I hate effects like that, because I don’t like being manipulated. Slow motion action scenes are very unauthentic.

We find out the Creepy Hooded Guy is actually the Doctor. He has incorporated some of the character traits of these historical figures into his “personality sub-routines”, and now it turns out this is a Jekyl and Hyde episode. The horror of it all is that nobody wants to just shut down the Doctor and re-boot the EMH, because he would have lost too many memories. I don’t know, but I really don’t think that’s a huge problem. Honestly, I don’t care if the Doctor is erased – he’s just a computer program, after all.

Speaking of which, why would a computer program be jealous of an actual person? Eh, I guess it’s because it’s in the script. Skip this one.

Of Note

Apparently, Michael Piller had to put a stop to the “perverse” Doctor character development. He said if they went with that angle, he’d remove his name from the series. I’m glad someone over there had some sense.