Can anyone remember what episode of Star Trek it was that an alien species entered the body upon death and drew on the person of the deceased, on their memories, their personality, until it gradually took over? I remember furrowed brow, gray complexion, and that the starship doctor gave the woman an injection that returned her to normal, or so it seemed

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    Which series was that? TOS, TNG? Jun 18, 2017 at 15:40
  • Conspiracy, perhaps? The Lights of Zetar?
    – Mithical
    Jun 18, 2017 at 15:51
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer? The parasite inhabits a human corpse, inherits its memories, gives it a paler complexion and sometimes furrows the brow … —Okay okay, I'm kidding. Jun 19, 2017 at 3:15

3 Answers 3


You're thinking of Lindsay Ballard in Voyager's "Ashes to Ashes".

A long-presumed-dead crewmate returns to Voyager, pursued by the aliens who revived her

The aliens are the Kobali:

Their method of reproduction was unique and their most distinguishing characteristic: they added to their population by reanimating the deceased corpses of other species, altering their DNA to transform them into fellow Kobali.

And their appearance matches your memory:

enter image description here

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    Minor comment, but this conflicts with the OP's comment that "an alien species entered the body upon death", as the Kobali just reanimated corpses, ie they didn't enter the body which hints towards something parasitic in nature.
    – Hans Olo
    Jun 18, 2017 at 18:15
  • Was there supposed to be some kind of message in this episode?
    – HSchmale
    Jun 18, 2017 at 22:46
  • @Loki, it's not minor. I believe OP simply misremembered a detail. And entering could be interpreted different ways. This is one of the more figurative ones. Jun 19, 2017 at 5:06

I'm going to guess you're misremembering an Andromeda episode as Star Trek.

Episode 2x15, Dance of the Mayflies, involves an infectious parasite that first kills, then reanimates corpses. The parasites are sentient, and partway through the episode they communicate through Trance's body after infecting her. She's a pale purple for most of the season - the far left in this image of the crew from that season (maybe you'll recognize the rest of them?):

Andromeda crew, Season 2

By the time this episode comes around, she's exchanged places with her adult self, pale with a golden sheen:

Adult Trance

Eventually they figure out a strong electric shock will destroy the parasites, and start using their main handheld weapon, Force Lances, at full power on the corpses but can only fire 3 shots on each before it runs out of power. However, in order to kill the parasites in anyone still living, they inject nanobots modified to deliver the shocks directly to the parasites without harming the host.

Andromeda doesn't have a ships doctor, but Trance often acted as one. From what I remember and a small part of the linked summary, Trance was freed by the parasites by the lethal shock, but didn't die. She was the one that then modified the nanobots.

(Aside: Trance's body did not react the same as anyone else's when she came into contact with the parasites. She didn't die, they took over her completely when she was first infected; that's how she was able to be rescued despite the parasites having control over her body, when they needed to kill everyone else to get control. This was one of the major clues that there's something seriously different about her species, before we started getting answers.)

  • thanks, everyone! I am amazed to get your answers. It was definitely Star Trek, though -- I remember that quite clearly. I'm going to look into that Kobali episode -- it could well be it, thank you!
    – A. Scrima
    Jun 19, 2017 at 16:18
  • The key thing I remember is that the starship doctor gave her shots to suppress her external alien characteristics -- that there was hope for some time that she'd remain human. I don't think it worked out, though.
    – A. Scrima
    Jun 19, 2017 at 16:28
  • OK, guys, this is definitely it: memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Jhet%27leya
    – A. Scrima
    Jun 19, 2017 at 16:34

The episode is called "Coda" (1997) from Star Trek: Voyager.

From IMDb:

Chakotay and Janeway crash on a planet and are stuck in a time loop where Janeway dies.

I found the exact episode because I was searching for the same one. The idea that an alien parasitic race recycles souls by pretending to be the newly deceased relatives who lure them into the light where they will be eaten is frightening, because what if it's true?

  • the episode you seek is called "coda" from the star trek voyager series
    – Javier
    May 8, 2019 at 19:46
  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. You should edit your answer to put the details from your comment into the answer; please read How to Answer for more information on writing a good answer.
    – DavidW
    May 8, 2019 at 19:55

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