Janet's Star Trek Voyager Site

BEHIND-THE-SCENES:
REAL SCIENCE
WITH ANDRE BORMANIS

[Voyager]'s science consultant,
story writer, teleplay writer

random picture of André Bormanis every page load



PSIONIC FIELD IN [#24 PERSISTENCE OF VISION]


Tuvok hallucinates that he is on his homeworld Vulcan, [#24 Persistence Of Vision]
In 2372, in [#24 Persistence Of Vision], while travelling through a sector controlled by a race known as the Bothans, Voyager crewmembers begin to experience strange and disturbing hallucinations. They eventually discover the source of the hallucinations to be a sinister one - a gratuitous Bothan psionic attack on Voyager. With the help of Kes' mental powers, the Doctor and Torres are able to neutralise the Bothan psionic field./td>


Tuvok, hallucinating
[#24 Persistence Of Vision]

Janeway hallucinates that her fiancé Mark is with her
[#24 Persistence Of Vision]

Mental telepathy has been a Star Trek staple since the debut of [TOS], and indeed, it has been a staple of science fiction from the genre's earliest days. In [Voyager], of the main characters, Kes (an Ocampan) and Tuvok (a Vulcan) possess telepathic abilities to different degrees, and there are other crewmembers with certain telepathic powers - Lon Suder and Jurot, two Betazoids (see below regarding Deanna Troi) who work(ed) in Voyager's engineering and science sections respectively, and Vorik (another Vulcan) (there would seem to be another Vulcan on board besides Tuvok and Vorik; that is discussed in PERSONAL LOG: [Caretaker]: Continuity/Possible Bloopers). There is, however, no scientific evidence for the existence of telepathic abilities in people or animals. The word telepathy is typically used to describe the ability to read other people's thoughts, but the term actually means "to feel at a distance"; this is closer to how one might describe Counsellor Troi's empathic capacity.

In order to suggest a rational, scientific basis for telepathy, Star Trek has coined the phrase "psionic" field. A psionic field is presumably the "medium" through which unspoken thoughts and feelings are communicated through space. Some humanoids can tap into this field through a kind of sense organ located in the brain (in the case of the Betazoid race, of which Counsellor Deanna Troi is a member, I invented the term paracortex for this region of the brain; Troi is seen in [#130 Pathfinder], [#144 Life Line] and [#152 Inside Man]). In the same manner that human eyes can sense portions of the electromagnetic field, telepaths can presumably sense portions of the psionic field. This strikes me as a somewhat dubious proposition.