the story: The Doctor is forced to work against the crew.
what it's all about: At its heart, "Renaissance Man" is a throwaway screwball adventure, playing fast and loose with Voyager conventions. And it's not really meant to be anything else, just a fun way to experience the penultimate, final regular episode of the series. Briefly, you get a sense that it's also intended to take the Doctor down a peg, in a lighthearted manner, one last chance to see him stick his foot in his mouth, as he does when he makes a grand confession in front of the crew when he thinks his program will be lost forever...
Of course that doesn't happen! But it's also a kind of cheap way to say goodbye to arguably Voyager's best character, in total humiliation. I realize the series gave him plenty of opportunities to grow, and they were among the best episodes the show ever produced, and you don't need to take this particular one seriously, that it's designed not to be, but...
Anyway, the episode also features the "Potatoheads," as some fans affectionately named them, aliens otherwise known as the Hierarchy, of all the memorable species to appear in Voyager perhaps the ones only the true fans are going to appreciate. So it's also fitting that they enjoy a final spotlight here.
franchise- This is the kind of episode that won't necessarily convert someone into a fan of Voyager. series- Although it might almost be considered a classic romp. Or pure nonsense.
- character - The most definitive thing that can be said about it is that it's a Doctor spotlight, and it doesn't, like all his episodes, make light of the opportunity.
essential- Although it doesn't necessarily take him seriously, either. Which again, is something that's open to interpretation.
Alexander Enberg (Vorik)