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Star trek: Voyager 6.11a - Live fast and prosper

Stardate 53849.2
Threat advisory: Guarded - General risk of entertaining activities

Episode propaganda

Accused of a series of frauds spanning several planets, Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and her crew discover that a team of con artists have been using Voyager's good name to steal from the local traders. To escape punishment, trap the fraudsters and restore her reputation, Janeway must resort to a little trickery of her own.

Persons of interest

  • Kate Mulgrew .... Captain Kathryn Janeway
  • Robert Beltran .... Commander Chakotay
  • Roxann Dawson .... Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres
  • Robert Duncan McNeill .... Lieutenant Tom Paris
  • Robert Picardo .... the Emergency Medical Hologram
  • Ethan Phillips .... Neelix
  • Tim Russ .... Lieutenant Tuvok
  • Jeri Ryan .... Seven of nine, tertiary adjunct to Unimatrix 01
  • Garrett Wang .... Ensign Harry Kim
  • Majel Barrett .... USS Voyager computer voice
  • Kaitlin Hopkins .... Dala
  • Greg Daniel .... Mobar
  • Francis Guinan .... Zar
  • Ted Rooney .... Varn
  • Dennis Cockrum .... Orek
  • Scott Lincoln .... miner
  • Timothy McNeil .... miner
  • Robin Burger .... Screenwriter
  • LeVar Burton .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Intelligence report

The trenches. Not the Maginot Line type trench where men die for god, King and country (in that order) but the trenches as opposed to the peaks. That's right, little Trekkies, Voyager has hit the bottom of the season in preparation for climbing up toward the season finale (Unimatrix 0 I).

Con artists first made their appearance among the stars in The original series' third episode, Mudd's women, in which an annoying "character" created havoc with his conniving ways. Harry Mudd reappeared in I, Mudd, which was a little more intellectual, but that's not saying much given the first episode. In The next generation, The outrageous Okona and Devil's due brought more silliness to the small screen with "criminal with a heart of gold" and "city slicker scams red necks" while Captain's holiday introduced Vash, archaeologist to the highest bidder. She reappeared in Deep space nine's Q-less, bringing Quark up to speed as a generally nefarious being while Rivals took the same theme even further. (The Ferengi became Capitalists Extraordinaires of the Alpha Quadrant, much to the detriment of their character but a good pointing of the finger at the Humans who are ruining the Earth.)

For a culture with a more evolved sensibility they sure know how to pull the wool over each others' eyes.

Back to 6.11a. The title is a play on the Vulcan salutation "Live long and prosper", showing that there's more than one way to skin a Targ. Life in the fast lane is something that the 23rd century doesn't offer to its citizens in quantity: food, accommodation, medicine, education, information and entertainment are all provided by the state so there's nothing forcing anyone to be more than they have to. It makes for a fair bit of navel gazing unless you happen to be good enough to join Starfleet which is where all the fun happens, if you have your name before the credits. That leaves a lot of people with a lot of time on their hands and no really productive way of spending it. Despite advanced medical techniques being able to cure almost any form of insanity, the desire to go one up on your fellow beings seems to slip past the testing fairly easily. That's where Live fast and prosper comes in.

Way back in the first two seasons all anyone wanted was USS Voyager's advanced technology: transporters, replicators and holodecks. Mmm... holodecks... (They started running into people at the same or better levels of technological development after crossing the Necrid expanse.) By hook or by crook the Delta Quadrant denizens were after a garage sale but Janeway's bun of steel kept them at bay. Her willingness to charge phasers gave the ship an undeserved reputation as an aggressor all across the sector. That same kind of interstellar grapevine led to an après-Borg reputation of trustworthiness and general do-goodiness. That reputation is what's being used against them in this episode.

I am rambling.

Live fast and prosper tries hard but at heart it's just not up to the task of entertaining, informing or questioning: there's just not enough sting in its tail. Pun intended. It's funny to see Kaitlin doing a Janeway impression (I wonder what a certain Ensign in Stellar Cartography made of the whole thing) but there's not enough to make this episode worth writing home about.

Whatever.

Security censorship classification

G

Not for public release in Australia before date

VHS rental and retail: 8 December 2000

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