13. “Darkling” – Star Trek: Voyager
“Darkling” is far from Voyager’s best episode. It is, however, one of the best performances that Robert Picardo ever put in for the series. It’s a retelling of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and follows the same formula. Like with Jekyll who created a serum to improve himself, The Doctor (Picardo) attempted to add new subroutines to his programming to improve himself as well. Both attempts led to disastrous consequences. The Doctor succumbs to his new programming and attempts to kill anyone in Kes’ life. Including a well-meaning explorer who The Doctor throws off a cliff.
While not an exactly horrifying episode, and again a bit predictable, the performance of Picardo is one to not miss. Arguably one of the best actors in all of the franchise, the man who brought photons to life shines as a demented caretaker of his nurse Kes. The rage he highlights and captures while depicting his character’s alter-ego is among the best and most menacing performances in all of Star Trek lore.
If you enjoy well-acted, horrifying performances by great acting talents, you have to watch this episode of Voyager. It’ll give you a new appreciation for not only subtle horror performances but for the show as well.