“Body and Soul” is the 153rd episode of Star Trek: Voyager, the seventh episode of the seventh season.
It is focused especially on two characters, Seven of Nine (a recovering cyborg) and the holographic medical programme called the Doctor (played by Jeri Ryan and Robert Picardo respectively).
The episode was noted for its humour and acting performances in reception.
The Delta Flyer, occupied by Seven of Nine, the Doctor, and Ensign Harry Kim, are intercepted by a ship from the Lokirrin species. The Lokirrin’s captain, Ranek, accuses the Doctor of being a “photonic insurgent” and threatens to decompile his programme. Ranek has his men board the Delta Flyer but they only find Seven and Kim; the two are captured and taken to the Lokirrim brig. There, Seven secretly reveals to Kim that she is really the Doctor, Seven having allowed him to download his program into her Borg implants. The Doctor, in control of Seven’s body, begins to experience human senses for the first time. Though not immediately taken by what he can smell, he is certainly delighted by what he can taste, quickly indulging in a healthy appetite.
Ranek brings Seven, still possessed by the Doctor, to the Delta Flyer for her to explain the purpose of the food replicator, fearing it can produce bioweapons. The Doctor, as Seven, uses the replicator to synthesise human delicacies which both he and Ranek greatly enjoy. Eventually, the Doctor is able to get Ranek drunk, allowing him to get the holo-emitter before he is returned to the brig. There, the Doctor transfers himself to the emitter, and Seven, now in possession of herself, bitterly complains to the Doctor about his misuse of her body, with copious amounts of cheesecake and numerous glasses of wine. The Doctor apologises when it becomes clear that they will need to continue to have the Doctor inhabit Seven’s body to engineer their escape.
Ranek begins to allow Seven more leeway on his ship, including helping in their medical bay. Ranek shows signs of affection for the personality Seven displays from the Doctor’s influence, including surprising him/her with a kiss, which sends the doc into a panic. A little later, while Seven is being massaged to work out a muscle spasm, the Doctor experience sexual arousal. When Seven is returned to the brig and the Doctor transferred to the mobile emitter, he and Seven get into an argument: Seven is infuriated about how the Doctor is using her body, while the Doctor complains that Seven does not let herself experience these sensations and emotions. Telling Seven these are what make life worth living. Kim calms them down, and Seven does reveal that while the Doctor was in control of her body, she still could evaluate the ship’s systems towards their escape.
Seven allows the Doctor to use her body again, this time to lure Ranek to the Delta Flyer for a distracting date. The Doctor is able to sedate Ranek while they are dancing a waltz, and uses the opportunity to contact Voyager. When Ranek wakes, he demands Seven be brought to him, but by then, Voyager has arrived and Captain Janeway demands the return of her crew. Ranek attempts to use shields to prevent Voyager from taking its crew back, but injures himself in the process.
The Doctor downloads himself back into his mobile emitter to stay behind to help treat Ranek, telling him it was he all along and that not all photonic beings are villainous. Ranek is visibly rattled when he discovers it was the male doctor he had kissed before. The Doctor is returned safely to Voyager, where later he and Seven enjoy a meal, which he enviously senses vicariously through Seven’s descriptions of it. Seven pours a glass of wine and toasts the Doc “to shared experiences”.
In a side plot, Tuvok secretly informs Tom Paris that he is suffering from pon farr. Paris suggests he can programme the holodeck to recreate Tuvok’s wife T’Pel, and though Tuvok is initially wary, agrees it is the best course of action. During this programme, the Lorikkin scans disrupt the holodeck, leaving Tuvok still suffering. He manages to regain his senses to help Voyager recover its missing crew, and later thanks Paris for his attempt to help.
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Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): Robert Duncan McNeill.
- Writer(s): Eric Morris, Phyllis Stron, Mike Sussman, Michael Taylor (story), and Michael Ferdie (concept).
- Release Date: 15 November 2000.
- Running Time: 45 minutes.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.