Star Trek: Voyager (season 4)

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Star Trek: Voyager season four
Star Trek Voyager season 4 dvd.jpg
Region 1 DVD cover art
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 26
Broadcast
Original channel UPN
Original run September 3, 1997 (1997-09-03) – May 20, 1998 (1998-05-20)
Home video release
DVD release
Region 1 September 28, 2004 (2004-09-28)
Region 2 November 1, 2004 (2004-11-01)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 3
Next →
Season 5
List of Star Trek: Voyager episodes

The fourth season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Voyager commenced airing on UPN in the United States on September 3, 1997 and concluded on May 20, 1998 after airing 26 episodes. Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures of the Starfleet and Maquis crew of the starship USS Voyager after they were stranded in the Delta Quadrant far from the rest of the Federation. Series four featured the debut of new main cast member Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine, and the departure after two episodes of Jennifer Lien, who portrayed Kes during the first three seasons of the show.

Brannon Braga was brought onto the staff as co-executive producer as executive producer Jeri Taylor was intending to leave the show and wanted a hand-over period. When she left at the end of the season, he became executive producer. The season opened with a Nielsen rating of 8.8% for "Scorpion", which was higher than any episode since the pilot. The lowest rating received was "Unforgettable" with 3.4%. The addition of Ryan to the cast was initially seen negatively by the fan-base, with concerns raised over the sexuality of the character. Following the airing of the episodes, the character was received more positively. Box sets of the season have been released on DVD.

Production[edit]

Casting[edit]

Jeri Ryan joined the main cast as the new character, Seven of Nine.

Jeri Ryan was cast as the new main cast character, Seven of Nine.[1] She had previously appeared in the television series Dark Skies on NBC. She found the change of characters amusing, saying that "I was fighting the collective, the Hive on 'Dark Skies'. Now I'm part of the collective, the Borg. It's very funny."[2] An audition process was held, with Ryan coming in for readings for the network.[3] Ryan described Seven as "a dark character, stronger and more forceful than many female characters have been on Star Trek so far. I'm fortunate to have the opportunity to play someone so unprecedented in the Star Trek universe."[4]

The initial fan reaction was mixed with some accusing the show of adding her to attract more 18–35 male audience members, which was denied by Braga.[2] The initial costume, which took some two and a half hours to apply,[3] that she wore during the second part of "Scorpion" was so tight that the neck piece cut off her carotid artery, causing her to pass out.[5] This was because when she was originally measured for the outfit, the costume designers didn't take into account the full head prosthetic that she was required to wear until the end of the second episode of the season. After a nurse was called twice to supply oxygen, the costume was modified to stop it from happening again.[2]

Once the character had the majority of the Borg implants removed, a new costume was required. Ryan wore a silver jumpsuit for the first few episodes, which director Jesús Salvador Treviño said that during the filming of the episode "Day of Honor" caused problems as "almost any camera angle inevitably winds up emphasising her sexuality."[1] Ryan described the new costume as "a little snug", and wore a corset-like item which gave the appearance of mechanical ribs.[2] Treviño praised the subsequent changes to her costume in order to reduce its sexuality, saying that "it is much more sensible, because she's still an attractive person but then you get away from that titillation stuff which I think is so demeaning not only to the audience, but it's kinda of demeaning to what Star Trek is about."[1]

Season four also saw the departure of Jennifer Lien as Kes after her contract was not renewed.[6] Braga compared the character to Christine Chapel on Star Trek: The Original Series, and that it wasn't working and they needed to make room for Ryan in the cast.[2] She appeared in the first two episodes of the season before being written out.[7] She later returned in the episode "Fury".[6] Robert Picardo thought that it was because the original concept for the character only allowed for a short lifespan and the character would have soon been needed to appear older on screen.[8]

Writing[edit]

Brannon Braga joined Voyager as a co-executive producer for the fourth season.

Michael Piller left the staff of Voyager after the third season. He had previously been used as a consultant script editor for the series,[9] and went on to work with Rick Berman on the script of the film Star Trek: Insurrection (1998).[10] Jeri Taylor also sought to reduce her involvement on the show and Brannon Braga was brought in as a co-executive producer.[11] Braga originally joined the team on the franchise when he was an intern on Star Trek: The Next Generation and went on to write more than 40 episodes as well as Star Trek Generations (1994) and Star Trek: First Contact (1996).[12] After Taylor left the show at the end of the season, he became the executive producer.[13]

Due to the inclusion of Seven of Nine on the crew, the writers sought to incorporate the character's backstory into episodes. This resulted in the exploration of how the character arrived in the Delta quadrant in "The Raven". A variety of episodes also saw the character explore her humanity.[5] This external analysis has been previously used in Star Trek with Spock in Star Trek: The Original Series and Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation.[2] Braga felt that this element had been missing from the show.[14] The writers also felt that they needed to introduce more relationships between the characters, concentrating on Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres, Tuvok and Neelix, and Kathryn Janeway and Chakotay.[11] Tim Russ, who portrays Tuvok said that he felt that the majority of the episodes during the fourth season concentrated on the newly incorporated Seven of Nine, but felt that the departure of Kes was "very gracious, and exciting, and poignant".[15] Both Russ and Kate Mulgrew said that the writing improved on the show during the fourth season.[13][15]

Reception[edit]

Ratings[edit]

The season opened to a Nielsen rating of 8.8% according to Nielsen Media Research for the second part of "Scorpion" when it aired on September 3, 1997.[5][16] It was the highest rating the series had received since the pilot, "Caretaker".[5] The following episode, "The Gift", saw the ratings drop to 5.6%. However, only two other episodes during season four had ratings of 5% or higher, with "Revulsion" and the second part of "Year of Hell" gaining ratings of 5.0% and 5.2% respectively. The lowest rating of the season was received by "Unforgettable" with 3.4%. The season closed with "Hope and Fear" which received a Nielson rating of 4.1%.[17]

The series remained UPN's highest rated show.[18] In September 1997, with the incoming Chief of the network, Dean Valentine, promised to promote the show more.[19] In November 1997, Voyager swapped timeslots with The Sentinel, moving from a 9pm slot to 8pm.[20] This was because Voyager received the higher ratings and it was hoped that it would have a lead-in effect into The Sentinel.[21]

Reviews[edit]

The addition of Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine resulted in some of the online Star Trek community complaining about the addition prior to the season premiere. Ryan said she was amused by one nickname that the fans gave the show, "Melrose Space", and hoped that they would be won over during the course of the season.[4] Once the episodes started to air, the character increased in popularity amongst the fan base.[22][23] Ryan attended her first science fiction convention two months after the start of the season and said she was overwhelmed by the response.[24] Her addition to the show was credited by critics as improving the show, with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer saying that Voyager had "finally to have found its groove",[25] while WhatCulture! described Seven as the "defining character" of the series.[26]

Accolades[edit]

The series was nominated for two Emmy Awards following the fourth season. "The Killing Game" received a nomination for Outstanding Hairstyling for a Series, while "Year of Hell" was nominated for Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series.[27] Kate Mulgrew won the Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television for her performance as Captain Janeway,[28] while Jeri Ryan won the Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama at the 3rd Golden Satellite Awards.[29]

Cast[edit]

Main cast[edit]

Recurring cast[edit]

Episodes[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Stardate Directed by Written by Featured
character(s)
Original air date Production
code
U.S. Nielson ratings[17]
69 1 "Scorpion, Part II" 51003.7 Winrich Kolbe Brannon Braga, Joe Menosky Various September 3, 1997 (1997-09-03) 169 8.8[5]
Janeway and Tuvok work with the Borg and meet Seven of Nine as they work on developing a weapon against Species 8472 in exchange for safe passage through Borg space.
70 2 "The Gift" 51008 Anson Williams Joe Menosky Kes September 10, 1997 (1997-09-10) 170 5.6
Kes' mental abilities develop to a point where they endanger Voyager.
71 3 "Day of Honor" Unknown Jesús Salvador Treviño Jeri Taylor B'Elanna Torres September 17, 1997 (1997-09-17) 172 4.5
B'Elanna tries to observe the Klingon Day of Honor after the warp core is lost.
72 4 "Nemesis" 51082.4 Alexander Singer Kenneth Biller Chakotay September 24, 1997 (1997-09-24) 171 4.5
Chakotay helps fight in an alien war.
73 5 "Revulsion" 51186.2 Kenneth Biller Lisa Klink Doctor, Torres October 1, 1997 (1997-10-01) 173 5.0
A hologram contacts Voyager and the Doctor is excited to meet another hologram.
74 6 "The Raven" Unknown LeVar Burton Teleplay: Bryan Fuller, Harry 'Doc' Kloor
Story: Bryan Fuller
Seven of Nine October 8, 1997 (1997-10-08) 174 4.8
Seven of Nine experiences Borg flashbacks as she attempts to become more human.
75 7 "Scientific Method" 51244.3 David Livingston Teleplay: Lisa Klink
Story: Sherry Klein, Harry 'Doc' Kloor
Various October 29, 1997 (1997-10-29) 175 4.6
The crew have unexplained illnesses as they are closely observed by unseen intruders.
76 8 "Year of Hell" 51268.4 Allan Kroeker Brannon Braga, Joe Menosky Various November 5, 1997 (1997-11-05) 176 4.7
Voyager creates a new Astrometrics Lab, which maps a new course that brings them into contact with a Krenim temporal ship that can erase things from history.
77 9 "Year of Hell, Part II" 51425.4 Mike Vejar Brannon Braga, Joe Menosky Various November 12, 1997 (1997-11-12) 177 5.2
A badly damaged Voyager hides in a nebula as a skeleton crew attempts repairs; meanwhile the Krenim commander proposes a compromise to Chakotay and Paris.
78 10 "Random Thoughts" 51367.2 Alexander Singer Kenneth Biller B'Elanna Torres November 19, 1997 (1997-11-19) 178 4.4
Torres is arrested while visiting a world of telepaths where violent thoughts are a crime.
79 11 "Concerning Flight" 51386.4 Jesús Salvador Treviño Teleplay: Joe Menosky
Story: Jimmy Diggs, Joe Menosky
Various November 26, 1997 (1997-11-26) 179 4.1
Aliens steal several key components of Voyager, which are retrieved with assistance from a holographic Leonardo da Vinci.
80 12 "Mortal Coil" 51449.2 Allan Kroeker Bryan Fuller Neelix December 17, 1997 (1997-12-17) 180 3.9
Neelix dies in an attempt to sample proto-matter from a nebula. Seven of Nine believes she can revive him using Borg nanoprobes, but Neelix finds it hard to adjust, particularly given that he has no memory of an afterlife of any kind.
81 13 "Waking Moments" 51471.3 Alexander Singer André Bormanis Various January 14, 1998 (1998-01-14) 182 3.7
The crew of Voyager wakes up all having the same nightmare. Then the entire crew become trapped in sleep. Chakotay intends to save them.
82 14 "Message in a Bottle" 51462 Nancy Malone Teleplay: Lisa Klink
Story: Rick Williams
The Doctor January 21, 1998 (1998-01-21) 181 4.2
The Doctor's program is sent to an advanced Starfleet vessel via a vast ancient communications network, but he soon discovers that only he and the ship's own EMH remain to fight against Romulans who have taken over the ship and are attempting to return to Romulan space with it.
83 15 "Hunters" 51501.4 David Livingston Jeri Taylor Various February 11, 1998 (1998-02-11) 183 3.8
A transmission from Starfleet Command gets held at a Hirogen relay station and Janeway sets course to retrieve it.
84 16 "Prey" 51652.3 Allan Eastman Brannon Braga Various February 18, 1998 (1998-02-18) 184 3.8
Voyager rescues a Hirogen survivor who tells them a new kind of prey is on the loose.
85 17 "Retrospect" 51658.2 Jesús Salvador Treviño Teleplay: Bryan Fuller, Lisa Klink
Story: Andrew Shepard Price, Mark Gaberman
Seven of Nine February 25, 1998 (1998-02-25) 185 4.2
After experiencing unsettling hallucinations, Seven of Nine is hypnotized by the Doctor whose analysis reveals a trader may have extracted Borg technology from Seven without her consent.
86 18 "The Killing Game" Unknown David Livingston Brannon Braga, Joe Menosky Various March 4, 1998 (1998-03-04) 186 4.3
The Hirogen implant devices into the crew making them believe they are characters within the holodecks being used for hunts, all set in World War II Europe.
87 19 "The Killing Game, Part II" 51715.2 Victor Lobl Brannon Braga, Joe Menosky Various March 4, 1998 (1998-03-04) 187 4.3
The crew struggle to turn the tables on the Hirogen, whose transformation of Voyager into a gigantic WW II-scenario holodeck has ravaged the ship.
88 20 "Vis à Vis" 51762.4 Jesús Salvador Treviño Robert J. Doherty Tom Paris April 8, 1998 (1998-04-08) 188 3.1
An alien shuttle with a prototype propulsion system suddenly appears and requires assistance. Paris is restless and volunteers to help the pilot, Steth, repair the shuttle.
89 21 "The Omega Directive" 51781.2 Victor Lobl Teleplay: Lisa Klink
Story: Jimmy Diggs, Steve J. Kay
Various April 15, 1998 (1998-04-15) 189 3.7
Janeway undertakes the Omega Directive, an order to destroy Omega molecules, even if it means violating the Prime Directive.
90 22 "Unforgettable" 51813.4 Andrew Robinson Greg Elliot, Michael Perricone Chakotay April 22, 1998 (1998-04-22) 190 3.4
An alien female from a cloaked ship asks for Chakotay by name and requests asylum on Voyager from her people.
91 23 "Living Witness" Unknown Tim Russ Teleplay: Bryan Fuller, Brannon Braga, Joe Menosky
Story: Brannon Braga
The Doctor April 29, 1998 (1998-04-29) 191 3.9
A Kyrian museum curator 700 years in the future hopes a Voyager relic containing a copy of the Doctor can confirm their version of history.
92 24 "Demon" Unknown Anson Williams Teleplay: Kenneth Biller
Story: André Bormanis
Various May 6, 1998 (1998-05-06) 192 3.8
Tom Paris and Harry Kim take a shuttle down to an extremely inhospitable planet to obtain fuel.
93 25 "One" 51929.3 Kenneth Biller Jeri Taylor Seven of Nine May 13, 1998 (1998-05-13) 193 3.9
Seven of Nine is left alone on Voyager when a nebula's deadly radiation forces the rest of the crew to stay in stasis and the Doctor's hologram projectors are disrupted.
94 26 "Hope and Fear" 51978.2 Winrich Kolbe Teleplay: Brannon Braga, Joe Menosky
Story: Rick Berman, Brannon Braga, Joe Menosky
Various May 20, 1998 (1998-05-20) 194 4.1
Paris and Neelix return from a mission with a passenger named Arturis who knows more than 4,000 languages. He manages to decode a message from Starfleet that could lead to a way home.

Home media release[edit]

Star Trek: Voyager – Season 4
Set details Special features
  • 26 episodes
  • 7-disc set
  • 1.33:1 aspect ratio
  • Subtitles: Danish, German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, English for the hearing impaired
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround), German, Spanish, French and Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Braving the Unknown: Season Four
  • Time Capsule: Seven of Nine
  • Time Capsule: Harry Kim
  • The Birth of Species 8472
  • The Art of Alien Worlds
  • Photo gallery
  • Trekkies 2 preview[30]
Release dates
DVD
Region 1 Region 2
September 28, 2004 (2004-09-28)[31] November 1, 2004 (2004-11-01)[32]
September 24, 2007 (2007-09-24) (re-released)[33]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Simpson, Paul (December 1997). "Man of Honour". Dreamwatch (40): 22–23. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f O'Hare, Kate (August 31, 1997). "Star Trek: Voyager: This Borg is a Babe". The Buffalo News. Retrieved October 5, 2013.  (subscription required)
  3. ^ a b "Jeri Ryan Happily Assimilates Her Ex-Borg Role". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. September 16, 1997. Retrieved October 5, 2013.  (subscription required)
  4. ^ a b "New for 'Voyager': A Dark Character". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. September 16, 1997. Retrieved October 5, 2013.  (subscription required)
  5. ^ a b c d e "New season off with a bang". Dreamwatch (39): 4–5. November 1997. 
  6. ^ a b "Catching Up with Jennifer Lien". Star Trek.com. August 9, 2010. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  7. ^ Bonko, Larry (September 4, 1997). "Fresh Faces for Fall". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved October 5, 2013.  (subscription required)
  8. ^ Baillie, Iain (January 14, 2002). "An Evening with Robert Picardo". TrekNation. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  9. ^ Wood, Haley (November 1997). "Taylormade". Dreamwatch (39): 36–39. 
  10. ^ Nemecek (2003): p. 334
  11. ^ a b Wood, Haley (October 1997). "Brannon's Saga". Dreamwatch (38): 52–55. 
  12. ^ McCabe, Bruce (August 31, 1997). "Watch Long and Prosper". The Boston Globe. Retrieved October 5, 2013.  (subscription required)
  13. ^ a b Simpson, Paul (June 1998). "Captain Invincible". Dreamwatch (46): 38–41. 
  14. ^ "Brannon Braga: From TNG To Terra Nova, Part 1". Star Trek.com. September 20, 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b Simpson, Paul (April 1998). "Guiding Light". Dreamwatch (44): 42–47. 
  16. ^ Grahnke, Lon (August 25, 1997). "News & Reviews". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved October 5, 2013.  (subscription required)
  17. ^ a b "Season 4 ratings". TrekNation. Archived from the original on December 12, 2000. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  18. ^ Braxton, Greg (December 20, 1997). "UPN Denies Giving up on its Black Viewers". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved October 5, 2013.  (subscription required)
  19. ^ "New Chief to Recast UPN Image". Chicago Sun-Times. September 18, 1997. Retrieved October 5, 2013.  (subscription required)
  20. ^ Weiner, Jennifer (October 22, 1997). "ABC's Cokie Roberts says Gore should praise 'Angel,' not 'Ellen'". Knight-Ridder. Retrieved October 5, 2013.  (subscription required)
  21. ^ "Early Failure of Two Sitcoms Hasn't Changed NBC Strategy". Daily News. October 22, 1997. Retrieved October 5, 2013.  (subscription required)
  22. ^ "Lust in Space". Daily Record. November 19, 1997. Retrieved October 5, 2013.  (subscription required)
  23. ^ "Star Trek's Superstar". Newsweek. January 19, 1998. Retrieved October 5, 2013.  (subscription required)
  24. ^ "A Strange Trek". The Buffalo News. November 21, 1997. Retrieved October 5, 2013.  (subscription required)
  25. ^ "Actress's 3-Year-Old Teaches Seven About Humanity". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. November 27, 1997. Retrieved October 5, 2013.  (subscription required)
  26. ^ Shrader, J.D. (December 28, 2012). "Star Trek: 10 Reasons Voyager Was Actually Awesome: 2. Seven of Nine". WhatCulture!. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Primetime Emmy Award Database". Emmys.com. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Past Saturn Awards". The Academy of Science Fiction & Horror Films. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  29. ^ "1999 3rd Annual Satellite Awards". International Press Academy. Archived from the original on February 1, 2008. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  30. ^ Feng, Eddie (September 21, 2004). "Star Trek: Voyager: Season 4 – DVD Review". Movie Metropolis. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  31. ^ Salas, Randy A. (September 21, 2004). "More TV Shows on DVD". Star Tribune. Retrieved October 5, 2013.  (subscription required)
  32. ^ "Star Trek: Voyager – Season 4 [DVD] [1996]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Star Trek Voyager – Season 4 (Slimline Edition) [DVD]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 

References[edit]

  • Nemecek, Larry (2003). Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion (3rd ed.). Pocket Books. ISBN 0-7434-5798-6. 

External links[edit]