Opinions Divided on 'Author Author'By Amy
April 20, 2001 - 7:56 AM
The first reviews of Wednesdays night's Voyager episode, 'Author Author' are out, and opinion is divided - on some points at least.
O.Deus of TrekWeb was one of the more positive of the five reviewers to date. Likening it to recent Voyager episode, 'The Void', he comments that "'Author Author' is at times clever, imaginative, and finally, addresses the substantive issues but it is overstuffed with material that far outstrips the forty minutes available to deal with it." He felt in particular that the holonovel scenes were unnecessary and that they would have been more effective had the Voyager crew been portrayed closer to life.
To read more of O.Deus' thoughts on the episode, click here to visit TrekWeb.
Jason Bates of IGN SciFi also appeared somewhat uncharacteristically happy with the episode in his review - though he admits that this may be getting more lenient with his ratings now that the series is rapidly approaching its end. Rating it a four out of five, he thought the shpow ended well, but the most philosophically interesting part of the show was "unfortunately [...] shoehorned it into the last ten minutes of the episode and turned it into a set piece court battle conducted over the static-charged atmosphere of the FTL commlink. That would be like fighting a court case over the Internet on a webcam! Anyway, the court battle didn't settle much, and Tuvok mouthing a few aphorisms is no John Grisham-Tom Cruise style courtroom drama."
Somewhat less taken with 'Author Author' was Michelle Erica Green. She found it "hard to get away from the initial comic dismissal of the Doctor's concerns" and was disappointed that "what should be a huge moment for the crew -- live contact with people in the Alpha Quadrant -- plays second fiddle to a plot that starts as a rehash of "Worst Case Scenario" and ends as a trashing of The Next Generation's "Measure of a Man." She also finds the reactions of the Voyager crew to the Doctor's novel to be somewhat pathetic. "I realize these people have no senses of humor," she comments, "but if they simply demanded that the Doctor stop using their names and faces rather than attacking his sense of self, they'd make a much stronger case. Janeway insists that the Doctor has no right to portray his mobile emitter a burden since it liberates him from Sickbay; she scoffs at the notion that he might think of himself as oppressed to be dependent on 29th century technology for his freedom. This is the same captain who admitted in "Virtuoso" that she doesn't believe the EMH has the same rights as other crewmembers." She did, however, find aspects of the episode amusing, particularly Tom Paris's tweaked version of the program.
Her review of the episode, plus past episode and book reviews, may be found at her personal site, or by following this link.
The Trekker Newsletter's Jacqueline Bundy is perhaps the least satisfied reviewer. Rating the episode only a three out of ten in her review, she was "dismayed to see the Doctor being portrayed as a ego maniac, intent on making a point at the expense of the very shipmates who had helped him become the person he had grown to be." She, too, compared the episode unfavourably to 'Measure of a Man', calling it alternately a "badly done copy" and "poor imitation" of the Next Generation episode.
Last, but not least, the irrepressible Cynic (aka David E. Sluss) has posted his review of 'Author Author' over at the Cynic's Corner. Rating it a round seven, his thoughts can probably be best summed up with his opening statement: "Maybe there should be an episode addressing the Doctor's rights as a hologram. And maybe there should be an episode featuring the crew's interaction with their families. And maybe there should be another holographic farce episode. I'm just not sure they should all be the same episode." He was annoyed by the lack of reference within the story to the ruling on Data's rights in 'Measure of a Man', amused by the interactions between Harry and his mother and puzzled by the Doctor's publisher's ability to recall all copies of his holonovel. He also wondered "why would Starfleet go to the trouble of tunneling out a mine, filling it up with holo-emitters, and downloading dozens of EMH programs only to equip them with picks and shovels so they can dig up dilithium by hand?"
The Cynic's review can be found by following this link.