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Star trek: Voyager 6.12b - Life line

Stardate around 53940
Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Episode propaganda

When Earth's "Pathfinder Project" transmits its first block of data to Voyager, the Doctor (Robert Picardo) receives disturbing news - Lewis Zimmerman (Robert Picardo), the creator of modern holography and the Doctor's program, is dying. Hoping to save this "father" he never met, whose likeness he shares, the Doctor's program is transmitted back to the Alpha Quadrant.

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, Lewis Zimmerman, Storywriter
  • 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
  • Dwight Schultz .... Reg Barclay
  • Marina Sirtis .... Deanna Troi
  • Tamara Craig Thomas .... Haley
  • Jack Shearer .... Admiral Hayes
  • John Bruno .... Storywriter
  • Robert Doherty .... Screenwriter
  • Raf Green .... Screenwriter
  • Brannon Braga .... Screenwriter
  • Terry Windell .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Intelligence report

Pathfinder 2.

In the first one, Reg managed to make contact with Voyager after getting some help from the esteemed Counsellor Troi. In this second story of the Pathfinder arc (for want of a better name) Reg makes contact with Voyager only to need help from the esteemed Counsellor Troi. The change is that this time Reg isn't the one who needs counselling, and there's a first!

Robert and John have gotten together and created a story that digs deep into the roots of the EMH program (in both meanings of the word). In the first few episodes after Caretaker the Doctor was an irritable, arrogant, obnoxious bastard. As time went by he became somewhat more "Human" (not to be species-centric but the English language doesn't have another word for it), eventually he became sentient and developed algorithms for emotions, love, sex and compassion.

At the same time you were treated to several views of Lewis Zimmerman, very clearly the template for his creation. The Doctor was an irritable, arrogant, obnoxious bastard. In The swarm, Kes and B'Elanna met his Jupiter Station recreation, an irritable, arrogant, obnoxious bastard if ever there was one. In Deep Space Nine's Dr Bashir, I presume he appeared in the actual irritable, arrogant, obnoxious flesh. Now, here he is again even more irritable, arrogant and obnoxious than ever, thanks to your everyday Star trek incurable disease that gets cured by the end of the episode. And being Star trek it also brings everyone closer together in that caring and sharing way.

I am feeling a tad cynical at the moment, possibly due to the imminent requirement to lodge a Business Activity Statement with the Australian Tax Office. Oh, for the day when money isn't worth the plastic it's printed on.

Anyhow, the whole point of this ramble is to say that Life line sets up two Zimmermans who each took paths less travelled. One, the road of growth and personal achievement, the other, the road of failure and despair. Life line puts them together so they can each learn from the other (and from Deanna, of course). It's a good, long run of disagreements and arguments that is unusual for Star trek, but it does have a happy ending, inasmuch as no-one dies.

Good meaty stuff to prepare you for the pen-ultimate (The haunting of Deck 12) and ultimate (Unimatrix 0 I) episodes, coming up next month.

Security censorship classification

PG (Low level violence)

Not for public release in Australia before date

VHS rental and retail: 5 January 2001

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