The Great Star Trek Voyager Rewatch: Virtuoso

When Voyager assists a damaged Qomar ship, the crew find they have to endure the Qomar’s innate sense of superiority. But one thing does impress the aliens – The Doctor’s singing. In short order, Voyager gets an invite to the Qomar homeworld, so that The Doctor can put on concerts to his adoring fans.

Since Star Trek does endeavour to cover all issues, I suppose it should come as no surprise that there would eventually be an episode about the fleeting nature of fame. But whilst Virtuoso works better in practice than it does on paper, it’s still a very by the book story. How many times have we seen a fictional character go through this exact same journey? Feeling unappreciated by their nearest and dearest, they latch onto the adulation of a new audience, only to find that pride comes before a fall when they stop being flavour of the week. By the end, they realise that their original friends were the ones who truly cared about them, and the status quo is nicely restored in time for next week.

Of course, in Star Trek’s case, it could only be The Doctor who could carry this story – no one else has quite such an enormous ego. And since episodes featuring The Doctor or Seven of Nine are what latter day Voyager is all about, this fits right in.

Points of Note

  • When Janeway tells The Doctor “You’re not Harry Kim”, The Doctor takes it as an insult that he’s not considered the equal of a human crewmember. But he should take it as a compliment – Janeway may well mean, “you’re not a replaceable drone like Harry Kim”.
  • The Doctor’s feelings for Tincoo are clearly just because he’s on the rebound after living with Mareeza in the previous episode.
  • One of The Doctor’s fans asks for his favourite quadratic equation. Since all quadratic equations are of the form ax2+bx+c=0, presumably they are interested in whether he has preferred coefficients a,b and c.
  • If the Qomar are primarily drawn to the mathematical qualities of music, it seems strange that they don’t care for instrumental works.

Other story ideas that never made it to air

An alien race becomes obsessed with:

  • Picard’s Ressikan flute playing
  • Sisko’s cooking
  • Data’s painting

Lost, crashed or destroyed shuttlecraft running total: 16

Possibly salvageable shuttlecraft running total: 10

Number of times the entire crew gets enslaved or kicked off the ship: 3

Number of times a version of Voyager gets destroyed: 5

Summary – Virtuoso: In which The Doctor becomes a celebrity to a society of maths geeks.

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