Star Trek: Voyager (1996) – Lifesigns, and Investigations

Captain’s log: stardate 49504.3

Kenneth Biller wrote this Doctor (Robert Picardo) story that first aired on 26 February, 1996.

The Voyager comes across a lone Vidiian, Danara Pel (Susan Diol). The Doctor and Kes (Jennifer Lien) work to save her life. The Emergency Medical Hologram creates a holographic version of her (the only time we get to see a Vidiian not suffering from the phage) to help keep her alive, and possibly aid them in working for a cure.

And as they work together, the Doctor begins to fall in love for the first time (though he did have feelings for another hologram as seen in Heroes and Demons).

It terms of continuity, Paris’ (Robert Duncan McNeill) disobedience continues and is coming to a head, Ensign Wildman’s (Nancy Hower) pregnancy gets a mention, and Jonas (Rapheal Sbarge) continues to funnel information to the Kazon and Seska (Martha Hackett).

Romance blooms for the Doctor, and things start to go very badly for Paris, as Chakotay (Robert Beltran) chastises him, and when the lieutenant loses his cool, and strikes out, Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) orders Tuvok (Tim Russ) to send him to the brig.

Of course, things can’t end smoothly for the Doctor and Danara, and it comes to a poignant ending, even as it continues to set up the Kazon/Paris arc that starts to pay off in the next episode.

Doctor episodes tend to be my favorite, the character is a delight, and Picardo brings him to life with such an earnest portrayal.

voy-lifesigns24

Captain’s log: stardate 49485.2

Jeri Taylor pens the teleplay for this episode from a story by Jeff Schnauler and Ed Bond. It first debuted on 13 March, 1996. This sees the Paris disobedience arc come to its culmination when Paris elects to leave the Voyager and Neelix (Ethan Phillips) seeks out the traitor aboard ship using his new program, A Briefing with Neelix.

It shouldn’t be a real surprise that everything we’ve seen from Tom Paris over the past handful of episodes has all been a ploy, one to ingratiate himself with the Voyager’s enemies, and help seek out the real problems on the starship, including rooting out Jonas and his connection to Seska.

Neelix does some nice work investigating as well, especially once Harry (Garrett Wang) points out that he needs to balance his show, and Neelix takes it seriously, and comes very close to discovering Jonas’ actions even as Paris is doing the same.

The Human Adventure continues next week as I journey homeward with Voyager, and get closer to a war with The Dominion on Deep Space Nine. The Complete Series for both Trek shows are available now from Paramount Pictures.

Boldly go.

Tom PAris on the Neelix Show

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