92 – Demon

Grade: C

Demon (1998) on IMDb


Voyager is desperate for supplies. Harry Kim and Tom Paris take a shuttle down to a Class Y planet, otherwise known as a Demon planet because of its very harsh atmosphere and conditions. Tom and Harry are looking for the necessary raw materials when they enter a cave. Harry slips into a pit filled with a silver-colored goo, and after Tom helps pull him out, Harry’s environmental suit malfunctions. Tom tries to help him back to the shuttle, but then his suit also malfunctions. They pass out on the floor of the cave. Will Voyager arrive in time to help them?


This episode is actually rather unremarkable. I suppose the idea of a pit of non-sentient goo that makes itself into a duplicate of anything that it touches is sort of original. However, even in the really mediocre TNG episode Aquiel, we saw this idea already. We even have a scene that is very much like a scene in TNG when Dr. Crusher witnesses this goo touch her hand and turn into a copy of it. In Demon, it’s B’Elanna Torres who gets her finger copied.

The copied versions of Tom and Harry can’t survive in the oxygen atmosphere of the ship, and they can’t just keep them inside a Level 10 force field forever. Eventually they find out that these are not the real Tom and Harry, but duplicates. The story ends when Janeway decides to allow everyone on the ship to be duplicated and help this goo experience a sentient life.

To me, this is very strange. In Up the Long Ladder, the colony of human clones wanted to take DNA samples from everyone on the Enterprise. Nobody was willing to give up their DNA though. Here, it seems everyone is only too happy to let the silver goo copy them. I don’t think I would have wanted to be copied.

By the end, I’m thinking it could have been interesting, but it’s not exceptionally so. The story was a little boring here. Not much to talk about, really.

Of Note

It’s obvious that someone didn’t pay any attention in 10th grade biology class. Memories are not implanted onto DNA, so even if you could copy Kim’s DNA, the copied person would not have Kim’s memories. Probably wouldn’t even have his personality or his preferences. When they say a clone is an “exact copy”, they only mean the cells – not their upbringing or their memories.