(written from a Production point of view)
Finally decoding the message from Starfleet they received months earlier, Voyager is directed to a nearby sector where an unmanned Federation starship waits for them. However, everything is not what it seems when alien technology is found aboard the new ship. (Season finale)
During their off hours, Seven of Nine and Captain Janeway are on the holodeck, playing a game of Velocity. The captain wins six out of ten rounds, frustrating the former drone, who has far superior visual acuity and stamina. Seven believes that, due to her biological enhancements, she should have been able to win every round. Janeway tells her that there's more to winning the game than stamina, including intuition. Seven, however, considers intuition a "Human fallacy". She asks the captain for a rematch as Janeway walks towards the exit. When the captain replies negatively, Seven claims that Janeway is tired and concerned that she will be defeated. The captain replies that she is tired but not concerned. When Seven orders the computer to begin another round, Janeway tells it to ignore Seven's command. The captain tells her that the game's over and leaves.
- "Captain's log, stardate 51978.2. It's been five months since we received the encoded message from the Alpha Quadrant. We know that the transmission was from Starfleet Command, but we still can't decrypt it. B'Elanna thinks it's a lost cause, that too much of the data stream has been destroyed, but I haven't given up. I keep hoping inspiration will strike… somehow."
At 0500, Janeway sits in the mess hall, trying to decrypt the message they received from the Alpha Quadrant via the Hirogen communications network. Commander Chakotay enters and Janeway realizes she has been there all night. The commander reports that Lieutenant Tom Paris and Neelix contacted the USS Voyager a short time ago and are preparing to leave a trading colony. According to Paris, he and Neelix managed to obtain such a large quantity of supplies that their shuttle will not be able to travel faster than half-impulse. He also included news that one of the aliens they met, Arturis, was very helpful. Neelix wants to repay him by bringing him onboard Voyager and granting him passage to the next star system. Janeway gives him permission and continues to work on the decrypted message. Chakotay suggests that she enlist Seven's assistance and she agrees that Seven would probably have a few Borg algorithms that could help. However, since she and Seven have been butting heads more than usual recently, Janeway isn't sure it would do any good to ask. Chakotay comments that Seven has learned a lot from Captain Janeway since she was liberated from the Borg a year ago. He hypothesizes that Seven may simply feel that she has surpassed her mentor. Janeway seems uncertain whether that is the case and asks Chakotay to join her for a cup of coffee.
Paris and Neelix return to Voyager from the trading colony and land their shuttlecraft. While Paris directs several officers to unload the cargo, Chakotay, behind him, is puzzled by one of the items. Paris tells Chakotay that he does not know what it is and looks for Neelix.
In a corner, Neelix introduces Captain Janeway to their guest, Arturis. Neelix recalls that, while he was negotiating with a xenon-based lifeform, the universal translator went offline and Arturis saved him from embarrassment by translating the alien's words. Once Neelix leaves to help Paris, Janeway welcomes Arturis aboard, eager to find him some quarters. While leaving the cargo bay, Janeway confesses that she has never met anyone as adept at languages as Arturis, who reveals that he knows more than four thousand different languages. Janeway comments that she still struggles with basic Klingonese. Arturis remains modest and says that most species have natural abilities that others do not – some are born with superior strength. Others, like Janeway's crew, have great generosity of spirit. For another example, Arturis adds that where most people can only see chaos, his people see patterns. This gives Janeway an idea. She asks whether Arturis is equally adept at computational languages as he is at verbal communication. He replies that he finds neither harder than the other. Pleased by his response, Janeway asks Arturis if he would be willing to grant the Voyager crew another favor.
In astrometrics, Janeway, Seven and Arturis review the data stream from Starfleet. Arturis agrees with the captain's theory that the transmission has been badly damaged. As Seven prepares the message so that Arturis can view it again, he learns that she was Borg and comments that she is more attractive than the average drone. Seven explains that she is no longer connected to the Borg Collective. Arturis notices the problem with the message and attempts to reconstruct the data. When Janeway asks Seven if she is familiar with Arturis' people, she replies that the Borg, who know the race as Species 116, have not been able to assimilate them – yet. Arturis explains that his people don't feel anger towards the Borg Collective, they simply avoid it. Arturis notifies the captain that he has been able to restore most of the undamaged blocks of data. However, several degraded sections of the message are still unrecoverable. The transmission includes footage of Admiral Hayes and a spatial grid. Janeway discovers that the grid is a map of a nearby sector, less than ten light years away. Believing that Starfleet may be trying to direct Voyager to the area shown on the map, Janeway, Arturis and Seven exit astrometrics.
As Voyager continues at warp speed, the trio arrives on the bridge. At the helm, Paris reports that the starship is approaching the designated coordinates. Janeway instructs him to pilot the ship at a lower velocity and orders Lt. Cmdr. Tuvok to scan the area. When he detects a ship, Janeway orders him to show it on the main viewscreen. Although Tuvok states that he may be mistaken, he reports that the vessel has a Starfleet warp signature.
Tuvok attempts to hail the ship but there is no response. From her station, Seven informs Chakotay that her sensors have detected no organic matter aboard the ship. The vessel is undamaged and all primary systems, including life support, are online. Ensign Harry Kim seems puzzled by the fact that there are no crew onboard but Janeway has faith that an answer can be found in the transmission from Starfleet. When Arturis agrees to help her decode the rest of the message, Janeway orders Chakotay to lead an away team and secure the vessel. The commander asks Tuvok and Paris to join him. As they leave the bridge, Arturis reveals that he is surprised that Janeway doesn't seem more encouraged by the vessel's discovery. She explains that she has learned to be cautious as well as hopeful and adds that Voyager has previously been presented with other opportunities that didn't work out. However, this time, she is slightly more hopeful than cautious. Seven accompanies Janeway and Arturis as they leave the bridge.
Meanwhile, Chakotay, Paris and Tuvok transport aboard the other ship. Chakotay uses a tricorder, while the other two officers carry phasers. Tuvok and Paris agree that the vessel's bridge is impressive as the Vulcan examines a computer console. While Chakotay looks at a detailed schematic of the craft, he remarks that he has never seen another Starfleet ship designed similarly. From the console, Tuvok learns the ship's name is the USS Dauntless, registry NX-01A. He also discovers that it was launched on stardate 51472. Chakotay notes that the ship has traveled 60,000 light years in just three months. Meanwhile, Paris finds that the helm station was set for auto-navigation, leading to the conclusion that the ship probably never had a crew. When the ship experiences small vibrations, Paris reports that the warp core is fluctuating and adds that he is not familiar with the design of the engine. The ship shudders more violently as he and the other officers head to Engineering.
There, they find the Dauntless's warp core. Although Paris determines that the ship does not use antimatter, he cannot confirm what element it uses for propulsion. Reading from a console, he learns that the ship has a quantum slipstream drive. However, neither of the other officers has heard of that form of technology before. Just then, the ship suddenly powers up and its auto-pilot system comes online.
Aboard the Dauntless, Paris is unable to deactivate the slipstream drive. Chakotay instructs the ship's computer to disable the vessel's propulsion but the computer does not comply with his vocal commands. Working at a console, Paris advises Tuvok and Chakotay to brace themselves. Suddenly, the craft leaps into motion, creating a slipstream in space. On Voyager's bridge, Kim informs Janeway that the Dauntless has disappeared from sight.
Meanwhile, Paris discovers that energy from the propulsion drive is being routed through the main navigational deflector, creating the slipstream. Using the helm controls, he attempts to stop the flow of energy. His efforts are successful and the craft slows down to impulse. Tuvok determines that Voyager is out of scanning range and that the Dauntless has traveled over fifteen light years in just a few minutes.
- "Captain's log, supplemental. After two days at high warp, we've rendezvoused with the Dauntless. Arturis has helped us reconstruct most of the Starfleet message. The pieces of this puzzle are finally coming together."
Standing in the briefing room, the senior staff watch a visual recording of Admiral Hayes. The admiral explains that while slipstream technology is still experimental, he believes it is safe and encourages the crew to use the Dauntless to return home. After the message ends, Janeway asks The Doctor about any health risks. He replies that the away team suffered no ill effects, such as cell damage or physiological stress, and that long term effects are unlikely. Lieutenant Torres reports that although the ship's primary systems are similar to Voyager's, it has only one transporter and no replicators, holodecks or shuttlecraft. The crew seems ready and willing to use the vessel but Seven points out that returning to Earth aboard the Dauntless would mean abandoning Voyager. Chakotay asks Paris if the crew could incorporate the slipstream technology into Voyager. When Paris answers that the plan is theoretically plausible, the captain tells him to try making the necessary modifications, so that they can bring the ship with them if possible. She also orders Torres and Kim to accompany an engineering team aboard the Dauntless and learn how to shut down the vessel's propulsion in a moment's notice. The captain plans subsequent test flights and instructs the senior staff to make sure that all of Voyager's crew becomes accustomed to the Dauntless. She dismisses the officers but indicates to Tuvok that she wants him to stay. When she confides in him that the events of the past few days seem a little too convenient, Tuvok agrees. Janeway says she felt something was wrong since the moment Arturis came onboard but she couldn't put her finger on what exactly. The captain decides to proceed as planned but tells Tuvok to conduct surveillance on Arturis and research his past.
Janeway and Seven make their individual log entries, in which they express their hopes and fears about returning to Earth.
- "Captain's log, supplemental. So far, the crew hasn't found any evidence to support my doubts about Arturis. Nevertheless, I've told them to keep looking, and to keep their optimism in check. But that's one order I don't expect them to follow to the letter. Despite my apprehension, I can't help but wonder what I'll be doing in three months' time. Still guiding Voyager through the Delta Quadrant, searching for a way home, or looking up old friends in Indiana?"
- "Daily log, Seven of Nine, stardate 51981.6. I've analyzed the quantum slipstream technology of the Dauntless. It is similar to the transwarp drive used by the Borg. As a result, my expertise will be crucial to the mission's success. Voyager's crew is counting on that success. But I find myself ambivalent, so I'm carrying out my assignment, nothing more. If we do return to Sector 001, will I adapt to Human civilization? A single Borg among billions of individuals."
Seven, Kim and Torres work together in engineering aboard the Dauntless and are eventually successful in learning how to drop out of slipstream warp. Kim is excited that the discovery signifies the crew are almost home. Torres seems to share Kim's enthusiasm but Seven remains neutral.
Kim leaves to run a metallurgical analysis of a bulkhead, while Seven and Torres discuss the prospect of returning to the Alpha Quadrant. Seven is puzzled as to why Torres is eager to return home when, as a former Maquis, she is likely to face nothing but adversity. However, Torres tells the former drone that she would rather deal with the consequences of her past than spend the rest of her life in the Delta Quadrant. She then tells Seven that being an ex-Borg, she is likely to face even more adversity than Torres and jokes that they will be outcasts together. Seven is not amused and Torres tells her to work on her sense of humor, as it will help her to make friends on Earth.
Kim calls out to Seven from under the gantry where he is studying his tricorder. He tells Seven there is an anomalous surge of energy emanating from behind a panel but Seven replies that there are no power conduits running through that section. Kim tries to make conversation with Seven, assuring her that she will enjoy Earth, a biologically diverse planet. Seven still seems unimpressed, so he states that there are several other planets to choose from if she finds Earth unpleasant. When Seven notifies Kim that she is going to speak with the captain, Kim senses that she intends to leave the crew of Voyager. He tells her that the crew's return to the Alpha Quadrant won't be the same without her, which elicits a small smile. Kim's attention returns to his work and he opens the panel where the energy readings were coming from. Smoke rises from the technology beneath the panel as it suddenly flashes. Standing back, Kim becomes puzzled by his tricorder readings. Then the portion of the bulkhead he is studying shimmers and very briefly reveals alien technology. Confused by his experience, Kim contacts Tuvok and reports that he has found something unusual on the Dauntless. Aboard Voyager, Tuvok replies that he is on his way.
In astrometrics, Janeway observes a display of Earth, focusing primarily on the North American continent. Seven enters and finds the captain trying to reconstruct the last fragment of the data stream, which Arturis said was too badly damaged. Although Janeway feels that he gave up too easily, Seven dismisses the captain's belief as "intuition". Janeway tells Seven that she has designed a new encryption algorithm, which she begins to test on the message. While she works however, Seven tells the captain that she does not intend to return to the Alpha Quadrant with the Voyager crew. Janeway abruptly stops working on the message.
The captain turns to Seven and says she understands how the prospect of being among billions of Humans must be overwhelming for the former drone, but she is a member of the Human species, and Earth is her home. When Janeway reminds Seven of how much she has achieved in the last nine months and urges her to continue her development from Borg back to Human, Seven becomes defensive. Although Janeway attempted to influence Seven to become more like herself, the former drone claims that the captain has ultimately failed. Seven says that their frequent disagreements are an indication that she does not share Janeway's values. She believes that Janeway's drive to explore space is inefficient, that her need for family connections is a weakness and that her infatuation with Earth is irrational.
When Janeway tells Seven that the crew needs her expertise on their hazardous mission to the Alpha Quadrant, Seven replies that her participation is irrelevant to the crew's survival. The captain disagrees, believing that Seven owes a debt to the crew that should be repaid. However, Seven retorts that she has returned the crew's favor on many occasions and that for once, she refuses. When she tells Janeway that she doesn't know what she will do in the Delta Quadrant, the captain insists that the crew won't abandon her there. Then Janeway realizes Seven's real problem – her fear of returning to Earth.
The discussion is interrupted by an audio signal from a computer console. Janeway discovers that the new algorithm she developed has worked. Initially, the captain is confused when the image of Admiral Hayes appears since the crew had apparently decrypted that section of the message. Seven suggests it may be an addendum, but Janeway knows that she has recovered a completely different message. Clearing up distortion in the recording's audio, Janeway is able to hear as Hayes delivers a completely different message than before; he apologises stating that despite Starfleet's best attempts, they have been unable to find a way to bring Voyager back to the Alpha Quadrant. The rest of the data stream consists of all the information Starfleet could provide on the Delta Quadrant which Starfleet hopes the crew can use to possibly shave a few years off their journey, but other than that can provide nothing else.
As the captain hangs her head in disappointment, understanding that the Dauntless is not a Starfleet vessel, Seven comments that her intuition was correct. Anger quickly replaces Janeway's disillusionment when she realizes that Arturis has been lying to them since he came onboard. She hails Tuvok, who is on the Dauntless and notifies him that her suspicions concerning Arturis have been confirmed.
While she walks through a corridor with Seven, Janeway elaborates that Arturis tampered with the data stream and that the Dauntless is not a Starfleet ship. Tuvok concurs with the captain and informs her that he and Ensign Kim discovered concealed alien technology in main engineering aboard the Dauntless. When Tuvok tells Janeway that Arturis is working with Torres on the bridge, the captain orders him to go there and wait for a security team to arrive. Janeway and Seven continue to walk through the corridor and arm themselves with phasers.
Meanwhile, Arturis surveys the bridge of the Dauntless. As he walks over to the helm station, Torres notices and stops him from activating the slipstream drive. Arturis behaves as if he didn't mean to engage the drive and apologizes in Klingonese. When he notices that Torres is surprised, he explains that he didn't know the language until Janeway let him review Voyager's linguistic database. Tuvok enters the bridge and a few seconds later, Janeway, Seven and a security team beam aboard near his position, each carrying a phaser. Janeway orders Torres to evacuate the repair teams, then proceeds to accuse Arturis of fabricating the Starfleet message. Arturis denies the accusation and tries to blame Seven of tampering with the message. Janeway doesn't believe the alien and orders Tuvok to take him to Voyager's brig. A struggle ensues but Arturis manages to resist the security officers and pull a panel off the helm station. Although Janeway permits Tuvok to fire his phaser at the alien, the weapon seems to have little effect on him. Arturis flips a switch that replaces the image of Starfleet technology to its true alien form. He then erects a force field and tries to deflect Voyager's transporters.
On Voyager's bridge, Kim reports that he has managed to retrieve everyone but Janeway and Seven. When Paris calls out that the Dauntless is creating a slipstream, Chakotay orders Tom to pursue the ship. Meanwhile, Arturis is commanding the helm aboard the Dauntless. The ship is trembling and its engines rumble as Janeway watches the main viewscreen. The vessel glows and distorts shortly before it accelerates to slipstream, vanishing from view of Voyager.
Aboard Voyager, Chakotay tells Paris to bring the warp core modifications on-line in order to pursue the alien craft. Paris responds that the adaptations to the core have not been properly tested yet but Chakotay believes that the starship's pursuit of the Dauntless will be a suitable test.
The appearance of the alien ship has stabilized to its earlier form as it races through a slipstream. On board, Seven wonders where Arturis means to take the Dauntless. He answers simply, "home". Janeway asks whether the alien used holograms to create the image of a Starfleet bridge, but Arturis replies that he maintained the illusion with particle synthesis, a method beyond Starfleet's understanding. When the captain asks if the species that Arturis belongs to frequently preys on innocent ships, he answers that Janeway's use of the word "innocent" reflects her self-righteousness. Janeway tries a diplomatic approach to reasoning with Arturis, but the alien responds angrily and reveals that he blames Janeway for the assimilation of his species. He says that Janeway negotiated an agreement with the Borg: safe passage through their space in return for assistance for helping them defeat Species 8472.
Arturis continues to explain that his people had outwitted the Borg for centuries. But recently, the Borg started to adapt better to their defenses and were about to break through. The Borg's war with Species 8472 was their last hope of defeating the Collective. However, due to the brief alliance between Voyager and the Borg in 2374, the Collective defeated Species 8472. They subsequently deployed hundreds of Borg cubes that destroyed the sentry ships, outer colonies and eventually the homeworld of Arturis' people. One of the lucky few that managed to escape, Arturis left his homeworld alone on a vessel. He blames Janeway for his loss and believes that she, a stranger to the Delta Quadrant, had no right to decide whether the Borg or Species 8472 won their war.
Months after the annihilation of his species, Arturis found Voyager. He secretly observed the starship, waiting for a chance to avenge the loss of his people. When Starfleet transmitted a data stream to Voyager, Arturis knew that he could tamper with the message and lure the crew aboard the Dauntless. He planned to then activate the vessel's slipstream drive and pilot the craft into Borg space, where the crew would be assimilated. Although he had hoped to trap the entire crew aboard the vessel, he is willing to settle for just Seven and Janeway. He tells them that in a matter of hours, the Dauntless will return to his homeworld inside Borg space. He believes his own assimilation is irrelevant and thinks that Seven should be grateful that he is helping her achieve her objective of returning to the Borg.
In space, Voyager glows and distorts as it prepares to enter a slipstream. However, as the bridge of the starship trembles, Paris reports that the vessel is experiencing difficulty in achieving slipstream velocity. When the bridge shakes more frequently, Tuvok tells Chakotay that he is having trouble controlling the parameters of the quantum warp field and asks for more power to be routed to the deflector. Responding to the tactical officer's request, Chakotay contacts engineering.
There, Lieutenant Torres replies that she is already working on the problem and tells an engineering officer to supply Deflector Control with auxiliary power. The warp core pulses rapidly as B'Elanna orders another officer to make sure the quantum warp field is stable.
After the bridge shudders violently, Tuvok reports that the deflector is at maximum power and that he is focusing the quantum warp field. Ensign Kim adds that the hull temperature is at critical, shortly before the trembling ceases as Voyager enters a quantum slipstream. Harry informs Chakotay that structural integrity is weakened and that the hull will buckle in less than an hour. Paris aligns the ship's slipstream to directly behind the Dauntless and reports that Voyager is at maximum velocity.
In the brig of the alien ship, Janeway and Seven are unarmed and imprisoned behind a force field, and quickly concoct a plan of escape. They realize that a typical Borg drone can easily pass through force fields. Seven explains that specific Borg nanoprobes enact this ability by altering the drone's bioelectric field, but detailed modification of her cranial implant is required to re-enable this function (disabled after the events of "Scorpion"). The captain disassembles her combadge and removes a microfilament, the only device available accurate enough to tweak Seven's cranial implant. While Janeway makes the adjustments, she admits that she may be hard on Seven at times, but it was never out of anger or regret that she brought her aboard. Janeway says that as captain, she can't always be Seven's friend. Seven replies that she doesn't understand, but will understand perfectly when they are assimilated and their "thoughts become one", then quickly clarifies it as a joke. Seven confesses that she was indeed afraid of visiting Earth. She is no longer Borg but feels unsettled by the prospect of becoming Human. Seven is also unsure about remaining aboard Voyager and considers fending for herself in the Delta Quadrant, but Janeway assures her that she belongs there. With the modifications to her cranial implant complete, Seven escapes the cell and walks to a nearby wall panel to disable the force field.
On the bridge, Arturis discovers that Seven is attempting to shut down the force field, and attempts to counter using another console, but is unsuccessful. Seven facilitates Janeway's escape and both travel to the engine room, where the captain plans on shutting down the slipstream drive.
The Dauntless continues to fly through a quantum slipstream as Janeway and Seven arrive in engineering. When Seven tries to initiate the shutdown procedure, the captain realizes that Arturis is blocking their commands from the bridge. The room shakes as the vessel accelerates. Seven explains that the Dauntless has increased velocity and will reach Borg space in less than twelve minutes. Janeway tells her to send a power surge to the starboard thrusters and attempt to turn the ship in the wrong direction, as a distraction and to change course. Before she goes to the bridge to confront Arturis and as added motivation for survival, Janeway tells Seven that she has scheduled a game of Velocity with her the following day in Holodeck 1.
The Dauntless turns sharply, throwing Arturis to the floor. However, he manages to regain control of the ship and keep it from exiting the slipstream. When Captain Janeway arrives on the bridge, he tells her that she will become a drone in only four minutes. The ship rocks to the side again and Janeway explains that Seven has gained access to the Dauntless's navigational systems. The captain attempts to reason with Arturis, but the alien claims that the only thing he can understand or feel is revenge. Janeway insists that Arturis can carry on the legacy of his people, that their accomplishments, knowledge and dignity can survive in him. She urges him to end his pursuit of revenge. Arturis takes a moment to contemplate Janeway's words, then taps a control on the helm station.
In the engine room, Seven is working at a console when it suddenly crackles with energy. She recoils when the panel explodes in a shower of sparks, smoke pouring from the station.
On the bridge, Arturis informs the captain that he has destroyed the navigational controls so that no-one can stop the ship, not even he. Janeway becomes anxious and Arturis tells her that the Dauntless will arrive in Borg space in two minutes. Suddenly, however, Arturis and Janeway stumble as the vessel jolts.
Voyager has reached the Dauntless and is firing photon torpedoes, attacking the enemy ship. On the bridge of the Starfleet craft, Tuvok reports that the other vessel is defenseless, as its shields are down. Chakotay orders Kim to get a transporter lock on Janeway and Seven.
Meanwhile, the helm station aboard the Dauntless explodes. Arturis realizes that Voyager is in the vicinity. As her atoms begin to scatter, Janeway asks Arturis to join her. The alien refuses and fires a hand-weapon at the captain as she beams off the ship.
Aboard Voyager, Harry Kim notifies Chakotay that both Seven and Janeway are now in Transporter Room 2, returned safely to the Starfleet ship. The commander instructs Paris to change the starship's heading to travel in the direction they came. Tom complies and sets to work. In slipstream, Voyager branches off and moves away from the Dauntless, which eventually drops out of slipstream to impulse, surrounded by Borg cubes.
Arturis listens as the Collective welcomes him with a standard Borg greeting – "We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile." In his command chair on the bridge, Arturis braces himself for the inevitable.
- "Captain's log, supplemental. We remained in the quantum slipstream for an hour before it finally collapsed. Our diagnostics have concluded that we can't risk using this technology again, but we did manage to get three hundred light years closer to home."
In Holodeck 1, Janeway and Seven play Velocity, which the captain consistently wins. Seven wants to leave early to continue her work in astrometrics, but Janeway replies that she has ordered the crew to rest during the next few days. Seven reveals that she is attempting to design a new method of traveling at slipstream without damaging the ship. Janeway is surprised, since Seven has been so intent recently on staying in the Delta Quadrant. The former drone tells the captain that as they approached Borg space, she re-evaluated her future and found that becoming a drone again was unappealing. Janeway tells her it sounds like she's starting to embrace her Humanity. Seven denies this, but admits that nothing is impossible. The captain smiles and tells the computer, "One more game." She and Seven take their starting places and, as the velocity disc races through the air, Seven fires her phaser.
"Try to be a sport, Seven. Game's over."
- - Janeway, when Seven of Nine is angered after losing repeated games of Velocity to her
- - Paris and Tuvok, beaming aboard the Dauntless bridge
"Fascinating. Can you make it stop?"
- - Tuvok, to Paris after his explanation of the quantum slipstream drive
"Admiral Hayes! Good man, fine officer, bit of a windbag…"
- - Janeway
"We've given you a lot Seven, it's time you gave something in return."
"I have on many occasions. Now I refuse."
- - Janeway and Seven of Nine during a heated argument
"The algorithm's working. It's reconstructing the datablock. That's strange, I thought we already recovered this part of the message."
"Perhaps it is an addendum from the Admiral. You did designate him a windbag."
- - Janeway and Seven of Nine, as they recover the real message from Admiral Hayes
"You negotiated an agreement with the Borg Collective! Safe passage through their space. And in return, you helped them defeat one of their enemies."
"In your colorful language, yes. Species 8472. Did it ever occur to you that there were those of us in the Delta Quadrant who had a vested interest in that war? Victory would've meant the annihilation of the Borg, but you couldn't see beyond the bow of your own ship!"
"In my estimation, Species 8472 posed a greater threat than the Borg."
- - Arturis, Seven of Nine and Kathryn Janeway, referring to what happened during the events of "Scorpion" and "Scorpion, Part II"
"My people managed to elude the Borg for centuries! Outwitting them, always one step ahead! But in recent years, the Borg began to weaken our defenses. They were closing in, and Species 8472 was our last hope to defeat them. You took that away from us! The outer colonies were the first to fall; 23 in a matter of hours. Our sentry vessels tossed aside, no defense against the storm. And by the time they had surrounded our star system… hundreds of cubes… we had already surrendered to our own terror."
- - Arturis, recounting the assimilation of his species and homeworld by the Borg to Captain Janeway
"Well we'd better think of something. We come face to face with your former family in less than an hour and that's one reunion I'd like to miss."
- - Janeway and Seven of Nine, in Arturis' brig
"I'm your captain. That means I can't always be your friend. Understand?"
"No. However, if we are assimilated, then our thoughts will become one, and I'm sure I will understand perfectly."
- - Janeway and Seven of Nine
"Impossible is a word that Humans use far too often."
- - Seven of Nine
"You were correct, captain. My desire to remain in the Delta Quadrant was based on fear. I am no longer Borg… but the prospect of becoming Human is – unsettling. I don't know where I belong."
"You belong with us."
- - Janeway assuring Seven of Nine of her place among the crew of Voyager
- Production number: 011-40840-194
- Final draft script: 25 February 1998
- Day 1 – Friday 27 February 1998 – Cargo bay (Paramount Stage 9) and bridge (Paramount Stage 8)
- Day 2 – Monday 2 March 1998 – Captain's ready room and bridge (Paramount Stage 8), Astrometrics lab (Paramount Stage 16)
- Day 3 – Tuesday 3 March 1998 – Engineering (Paramount Stage 9), mess hall and briefing room (Paramount Stage 8)
- Day 4 – Wednesday 4 March 1998 – Int. Hologrid (Paramount Stage 9) and Dauntless brig (Paramount Stage 8)
- Day 5 – Thursday 5 March 1998 – Dauntless bridge (Paramount Stage 16), Int. corridor (Paramount Stage 9), Dauntless brig (Paramount Stage 8)
- Day 6 – Friday 6 March 1998 – Admiral's Office and Astrometrics lab (Paramount Stage 16)
- Day 7 – Monday 9 March 1998 – Dauntless engineering (Paramount Stage 9)
- Day 8 – Tuesday 10 March 1998 – Alien bridge (Paramount Stage 16) and Int. corridor (Paramount Stage 9)
- Day 9 – Thursday 12 March 1998 – Int. corridor and Dauntless engineering (Paramount Stage 9)
- 2nd Unit – Wednesday 11 March 1998 – Int. Dauntless bridge (Paramount Stage 16)
- Air date: 20 May 1998
- This episode – unlike most of Star Trek: Voyager's other season finales – is a standalone episode of regular duration. The only other outing of its kind, in fact, is the first season finale "Learning Curve".
- Much consideration went into deciding what the finale of Star Trek: Voyager's fourth season would be. Executive story editor Lisa Klink remembered that the series' writing staff "talked about the story a lot! We [went] […] through lots and lots of different ideas and different feelings about what kind of note we wanted to end the season on." One of the earliest ideas for the installment – as devised by co-executive producer Brannon Braga and producer Joe Menosky – involved biomimetic lifeforms (aliens ultimately established in Season 4's "Demon" and the fifth season outing "Course: Oblivion") being welcomed to the Alpha Quadrant in the guise of Voyager's crew. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 5)
- The ultimately-used storyline for this episode reuses the concept of ship-generated slipstreams, that idea having temporarily been considered for the third season finale "Scorpion". "I knew the slipstream idea would come in handy someday," Brannon Braga noted. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 42) Early in the story's development, Braga began to invent the USS Dauntless, conceiving of it as an unnamed, bullet-shaped and highly advanced craft. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 10) He also envisioned a clash between Captain Janeway and Seven of Nine. Joe Menosky recalled, "Brannon had an image of Seven at the helm of one ship, Janeway at the helm of the other, and them heading toward each other at breakneck speed, as if we were going to bring to a culmination the character arc that had been established between them […] – the struggle, and Seven finding her identity, but it being not at all the identity that Janeway would have preferred. This was supposed to be an exploration of that." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 96)
- Brannon Braga and Joe Menosky wrote some of their thoughts into a preliminary beat sheet that was deliberately open-ended, offering scene ideas for only the first two of the episode's five acts. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 6) It began with a teaser that was an extremely accurate description of the episode's eventual teaser, though the holographic game played by Janeway and Seven – establishing, in the episode, the conflict between them – was (in common with the installment itself) not yet named. The first two scenes in the first act were also similar to how they ended up, one of the differences being that Chakotay was absent from the second scene. As the character of Arturis had yet not been invented, the key for deciphering the transmission was a frustrated Janeway spilling, during the second scene of the first act, coffee on her desk. She hurried to astrometrics, rousing Torres, Kim, and Seven, to whom she then relayed her revelation: using a "fluid" decryption algorithm. The team excitedly got to work. As Seven was curious how spilled coffee had inspired her, Janeway gave Seven another quick lesson on intuition (much like the one in the teaser). (Star Trek: Action!, p. 8) Next, Starfleet's message finally played, notifying the crew about slipstreaming. Seven warned that all contact had been lost with every Borg cube that had ever tried to use it. Janeway nonetheless chose to risk using it, accentuating the tension between herself and Seven. The second act featured the crew modifying Voyager for the mode of travel and accessing the nearest slipstream, only to find it was "some kind of intergalactic highway" on which being on Voyager seemed so antiquated as to feel akin to "driving a horse and buggy." (Star Trek: Action!, p. 6)
- The beat sheet submitted two main possibilities for the rest of the story. In the first, Seven suffered a seizure and The Doctor realized she was unable to survive in the slipstream. Though Seven was willing to forfeit her own life to enable Voyager's crew to proceed, Janeway was insistent on saving her entire crew, a judgment that Seven disputed. The beat sheet criticized this possibility by saying it "feels a little like 'One'." In the other possibility, Voyager was attacked by an alien ship, indigenous to the slipstream and occupied by a crew that regarded the newcomers as trespassers. A brief battle ensued, at slipstream speeds (a similar sequence having temporarily been considered for "Scorpion"). Voyager captured the enemy craft, whose alien crew abandoned it. Since Voyager was unable to remain in the slipstream any longer, Seven suggested that the Starfleet crew proceed in the other ship. The conflict between her and Janeway was ignited, Seven herself eventually taking command of the alien vessel. The beat sheet proposed that something would go wrong in the final act, with the two women coming face-to-face in a risky situation but Janeway being proven right, beating Seven at their "game" once more. The beat sheet noted of the second option, "There's a lot to figure out here!" (Star Trek: Action!, p. 7)
- On 2 February 1998, a story break session regarding the season finale was held. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 4) Even by the time the meeting began (at 9:30 a.m.), the writing staff was still generally unsure about the season finale. "We didn't have any clear vision of what we wanted to do," reflected Jeri Taylor, whose office served as the meeting point. "It was a most unusual situation, something that had never really occurred before." (Star Trek: Action!, p. 5) Hence, the story break session began with discussion, for two hours and twenty minutes, about alternatives for the season finale, such as the never-developed plot involving biomimetic lifeforms. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 5) "We were feeling the time crunch," Jeri Taylor noted, "and we were madly scrambling to come up with something else." (Star Trek: Action!, p. 6)
- Following this, the group started to consider the beat sheet, with suggestions about the nature of Janeway and Seven's holographic game. The next subject was whether Seven would actually commandeer an alien ship, as proposed in the second offered continuation. Brannon Braga and producer Kenneth Biller agreed that Seven would, by this point in the series, consider herself to be a better captain than Janeway but Braga admitted that he didn't really like the thought of Seven departing alone, despite the fact he had been the one who had devised this possibility. Ken Biller wondered who might follow her, if she did take over the craft. The topic then changed to the identity of the alien menace, who was referred to as one male rather than the group that appeared in the beat sheet. After Biller started to contemplate what the alien's motive might be (suggesting he might want information on Voyager), Jeri Taylor suggested vengeance, much to the approval of everyone in the room. "Up to that point," Taylor remarked, "the ideas about this character's motivation were very intellectual. They were in the head, and to me, that's dull […] Revenge is a visceral, emotional, hot-blooded kind of motivation that makes drama pop. That's what made Brannon and everyone else respond. So we began looking around for 'What was the revenge for?'" Still searching for an answer to this question by 11:45 a.m., the staff departed for lunch. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 7)
- Around this point, Brannon Braga sought advice from executive producer Rick Berman, as the chemistry in Jeri Taylor's office hadn't seemed to be working. "There wasn't a real strong direction in that room. It was kind of all over the place," Braga related. "So I met with Rick and he really helped put things into perspective." (Star Trek: Action!, p. 8) Owing to Braga's absence, however, Taylor found him difficult to track down and the break session was not reconvened until after he returned. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 7)
- Once the break session resumed (at about 3:45 p.m.), Brannon Braga relayed Rick Berman's thoughts to the rest of the group. It was this advice that influenced the decoding of Starfleet's message to be later in the plot, done in a piecemeal fashion, than it was in the beat sheet. (Star Trek: Action!, pp. 7 & 8) Berman had also suggested that the alien be very old but extremely intelligent, and playing an as-yet undetermined form of ruse on the Voyager crew. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 9) The writing staff then noted the decisions they had already made, establishing that the teaser would be the same as the one in the beat sheet. The group next discussed the origins of the message and the aliens' ship, contemplating whether they were from Starfleet or were actually alien, the latter notion having been forwarded in the beat sheet. After Ken Biller made a highly agreeable suggestion of the installment featuring a shot of the ship racing past the camera, he asked how the alien could have built such an advanced craft. Before the group tried to tackle that issue, they explored the potential origins and motives of the alien himself. The writers mused that the alien might want revenge on Seven, contemplating that his race may have been battling the Borg. The group was somewhat at a loss, though, to explain why Seven would not be aware of this conflict. Joe Menosky submitted that the alien race could have been assimilated at a point early in Borg history, so Seven would be unable to remember the event, and that the alien race could have been the fourth species ever assimilated by the Borg. Braga judged the latter notion as "too early" in Borg history but retained the former suggestion, saying that the alien race could be Species Twenty-One. He also commented that the alien might be an El-Aurian, although this thought was refuted by Jeri Taylor, who felt they wanted the alien to have a more interesting background than that. At about this point, the group began to refer to the smart, old alien as "Yoda." Taylor called the day's session to a close at 6:00 p.m., by which time notes for eight possible first-act scenes had been written. They were as follows:
- In the mess hall, Janeway sits working on the coded message;
- In space, a shuttle brings Neelix back from a supply mission;
- In the cargo bay, Neelix reveals that he's brought a "guest" back with him;
- In a corridor, Neelix says "Yoda" could help decrypt the message;
- In astrophysics, Seven recognizes "Yoda" as Species Twenty-One;
- Janeway, Paris, and "Yoda" decrypt the message, see that it has technical data as well as a set of coordinates;
- Voyager races past the camera;
- Bridge: Everyone is there, including "Yoda." Huge exciting moment. They reach coordinates and see a "Silver Bullet" sitting in space. It's a Starfleet vessel! (Star Trek: Action!, pp. 9 & 10)
- On 3 February 1998, a smaller group returned to Jeri Taylor's office, with the omissions of Joe Menosky and Ken Biller (who were each working on "Living Witness" and "One", respectively). The conversation began with contemplation of the ship's origins, whether Starfleet or alien. However, this session was less productive than its progenitor and, although Brannon Braga started to think up notes for the second act, he also expressed concerns about the episode's degree of drama as well as the task of showing how the crew learned about the ship's workings. Taylor tried to reassure him that Seven and Janeway's conflict would keep the episode dramatically buoyant and suggested the idea that Paris, as a result of tinkering with the ship's controls, might accidentally "send it off." Moments later, a conversation began about Seven, with no decision having been made as to whether she would be part of the first away mission to the ship. It was also still undecided if the craft would be alien or Starfleet. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 9) Reconsidering one of her own earlier suggestions, Jeri Taylor conjectured that it could be Seven, instead of Paris, who set the vessel off. The team thereafter broke for lunch. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 10)
- After lunch, Ken Biller and Joe Menosky returned. They criticized some of the story points suggested so far, such as the alien's deception as well as the conflict between Seven and Janeway. Even though an agitated Brannon Braga at one point abruptly made the half-hearted suggestion that they discard all their work on the story, Jeri Taylor rhetorically reminded Braga that no alternative for the season finale had been chosen. The notes about the second act, at this stage of development, were as follows:
- Hail ship. Scan ship. Mystery;
- Space–Silver Bullet;
- Bullet bridge: Chakotay, Torres, Paris find it empty;
- Hear rumbling sounds in bullet corridor;
- Find engine room;
- Space, bullet emerges;
- Voyager sees bullet is gone;
- Bullet engine room trembling in some kind of slipstream;
- Bullet is ripping through space;
- C, T, P able to stop bullet engines, discover Voyager ten light-years away;
- In Voyager briefing room, Janeway understands. Starfleet sent experimental ship. Yoda agrees. They should abandon Voyager to get home. Gung-ho crew starts packing… (Star Trek: Action!, p. 11)
- Although the alien was still referred to as "Yoda" in the second-act notes, the character became much younger than first conceived, during the episode's development. "There was never a decision to make him younger; he simply evolved that way," clarified Jeri Taylor. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 23)
- Frustrated with the break sessions, Brannon Braga decided to take the notes on the episode back to his office and continue to craft the story there. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 11) He later commented, "It was really the first time we'd hit a wall all season. We had some difficult episodes this year, but it was the first time we just totally short-circuited. It was the end of the season; everyone was tired. But we knew we had to do something special […] And I realized that there were too many voices in the room. I just needed to sort through what I thought the end of the season should be about […] We had the first couple of acts down. But we couldn't figure out where to go from there. It was just figuring out how we would tell it." (Star Trek: Action!, p. 12)
- In the early hours of the morning on 4 February 1998, a solitary Brannon Braga was able to concentrate more on what he wanted the episode to involve. "I wanted it to be a bittersweet retrospective of Season Four," he said, "and yet a good action story." (Star Trek: Action!, p. 12) Braga additionally remembered, "We thought it would be nice to do a show that reflected on the year. We knew we had a strong year, and wanted to do an episode that had some repercussions from the previous year, [and] dealt with some of the themes that year had introduced." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 103)
- Another of Brannon Braga's aims was that the installment would show "consequences to Janeway's making a deal with the Borg, and to bringing in Seven of Nine." (Star Trek: Action!, p. 12) Thus, Braga introduced the concept that the alien's quest for justice was not against Seven, but was targeted at Janeway for having forged an alliance with the Borg at about the start of the season.
- Brannon Braga sensed a leap was made while working out the structure of the episode with Joe Menosky, over the telephone. "Our breakthrough was when we decided that Janeway and Seven shouldn't be on different ships fighting each other," Braga explained. "That's artificial. We were straining to do something that never would be believable. They should be working together." (Star Trek: Action!, p. 12) In this way, Menosky felt that Braga achieved another objective of his, making the episode less of an exploration of Janeway and Seven's discord. "It ended up being something that was more a recap of that, and a summing-up of the season in a strange sort of way," Menosky opined, "revisiting that dynamic between them but not forcing it so dramatically and obviously out into the open." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 96)
- Brannon Braga perceived that the development of co-operation between Janeway and Seven inspired some additional story material for the episode. "After that, we just came up with ideas left and right," he observed. One of the newly conceived concepts formed the basis of the scene that involves the pair of characters escaping imprisonment via Seven's Borg implants. "They would have to get close. Janeway would have to […] touch Seven. We liked that image," Braga offered. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 12)
- The writing staffers took the rare decision for the season-ending story to be in the form of a stand-alone episode. Jeri Taylor remarked that the story didn't "deserve" to be a two-parter or a cliff-hanger and went on to say, "We had something that probably could have been pushed, shoved, stretched, folded, mutilated and turned into a cliff-hanger, but that's just not the way we like to tell stories." (Star Trek Monthly issue 40, p. 15) Brannon Braga concurred, "We didn't have a show that demanded a cliffhanger." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 99) He stated further, "[Doing] a cliff-hanger […] felt obligatory […] Instead we had a stand alone story that kind of reflected on the year." (Star Trek Monthly issue 44, p. 13) Joe Menosky remembered that another reason why the episode was not forced into becoming a two-parter was that the writing staff tried to avoid doing too many of them in the course of the series. Similarly, Braga said that the decision was made "to mix things up a little bit" and expressed that there was a fear that the episode, if done as the first half of a duology, would not be able to outdo the year's previous two-parters. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, pp. 96, 99 & 103) The decision to have the season finale be a stand-alone episode was welcomed by Paramount Pictures. "The studio called and said, 'If you don't want to do a cliffhanger, we don't mind,'" recalled Menosky. "They weren't pushing for a big two-parter and a big cliffhanger." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 96)
- On 5 February 1998, a new beat sheet, consisting of nine pages, was delivered to Star Trek: Voyager's department heads. The document began with a header that attributed not only Brannon Braga and Joe Menosky with the story but also Rick Berman, a story credit that was ultimately duplicated in the episode itself. "I thought he deserved story credit for his contribution," Brannon Braga stated. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 12) The revised beat sheet had a total of fifty scenes, forming the required teaser and five acts. The first act had eight scenes and the second had ten. The newly added third, fourth and fifth acts were comprised of five, four and twenty-two scenes, respectively. The only act whose scenes were written very specifically was the final, fifth one. Describing the first act scene in which Voyager first comes across the advanced alien vessel, the revised beat sheet included the statement, "Thrilling moment as we reach coordinates… and discover a sleek, sparkling starship (which we'll call the 'silver bullet') floating in space. Scans reveal – it's a Starfleet vessel!" (Star Trek: Action!, p. 13)
- By 17 February 1998, a first draft of the episode's script had been compiled, in which the episode received its title of "Hope and Fear" and the slipstream-capable craft was finally named the Dauntless. On that date, copies of the first draft script, each containing 68 pages, were dispatched around the Paramount lot by a production office assistant on a bicycle. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 20) The final draft of the script was submitted on 25 February 1998. 
- The script describes the Velocity disk as "an aerodynamic, metallic object, eight inches across, glowing from within," and the colors of the disk are said to be "angry red" and "a cold blue color." The particular game of Velocity that Seven and Janeway play in the teaser is characterized as "furious" while the game itself is referred to as "a one-on-one competitive sport that's a cross between handball and a firing range […] It's fast-paced, physical, both players in constant motion, ducking, spinning." The script refers to the clothing that Janeway and Seven wear during their match as simply "workout clothes," with Janeway's outfit being called "a sleek, sleeveless, 'workout' uniform," and Seven specified as having "a few subtle Borg implants along her upper arm."
- The display of Janeway's desktop computer at the start of the first act is described as "a damaged data stream – a chaotic jumble of symbols and alphanumerics racing across the screen." For the scene in the cargo bay when Neelix introduces Janeway to Arturis, the script notes that "the Borg alcoves remain off-camera." The odd-looking item of cargo that appears in this scene is called "a bizarre-looking alien object – it's covered with gnarled tendrils and spiny projections." Arturis himself, upon being introduced in the script, is characterized as "an exotic-looking humanoid with an enlarged cranium. He's from a highly intelligent species, soft-spoken, charismatic." Subsequent descriptions of his various attitudes, prior to him divulging his ulterior motive, give no indications as to that motive. The description of the wall of information that is supposedly from Starfleet is as follows: "A multiscreen display, each section filled with different kinds of data – schematics, coordinates, and one section shows a Starfleet Admiral talking to a camera, another an image of Earth. All of it is heavily fritzed. Sound fills the room – beeps, clicks, the Admiral's distorted voice, etc." In the scripted version of the first act, elements of the revised beat sheet's description of the Dauntless's discovery by Voyager are not only present in lines of dialogue (such as Tuvok announcing that he is sensing the ship to be of Starfleet origin) but are also evident in a scene description specifying, "This is an exciting moment for everyone," as well as a reference to the mood on the bridge – immediately before the detection of the vessel – as "suspenseful." The Dauntless itself is at first characterized as "a starship, glowing with power, hanging in space." The initial description continues, "It's sleek, bullet-shaped, as though built for speed. And it's roughly half the size of Voyager. (We'll come to know this vessel as the Dauntless.)"
- When the Dauntless' bridge is first shown in the second act, it is described thus: "Gleaming, sexy, cutting-edge Starfleet technology. The room is deep, cylindrical, curvilinear." The script goes on to note that, despite an absence of crew members, "the room is pristine." The ship's engineering is said to be, "A dimly lit chamber, with an engine dome in the center of the floor. The dome is roughly four feet high, glowing with deep, shifting colors. A circular console surrounds it." The description of the vessel's engine core states, "A glowing mass of energy. Huge, exotic, powerful." Detailing the first time that the Dauntless enters slipstream, the scene description reads, "The nose of the Dauntless starts to glow and distort in a strange effect, and the entire ship vanishes from view!" The quantum slipstream itself is initially referred to as both "a torrent of energy whipping past us at blinding velocities!" and a "raging river of energy."
- Describing the effect of some alien technology momentarily being revealed (as viewed by Kim in the third act), the script comments, "The entire bulkhead shimmers in an alien holographic effect, revealing exotic alien technology beyond." The schematic of Earth that Janeway views is referred to as "the big blue marble against starry space […] technical data appears all around it." Even though the episode does not firmly establish whether this schematic is part of the data stream, the script confirms this probability, stating, "this is one of the images we saw from the Starfleet message in Act One."
- Arturis' Klingonese apology to Torres in the fourth act – "Ku cha mee-Roch" – is revealed as translating as "my mistake" in English. When Arturis first shows resistance against Voyager crew members, the script notes, "All hell breaks loose," and he is said to exhibit "a display of remarkable strength." The transformation of the Dauntless' bridge reads, "A console shimmers in an alien effect – and transforms into an alien console, surrounded by alien technology […] The entire room has transformed into an alien bridge. Consoles, lighting, bulkheads – they now have strange and unfamiliar configurations." When Arturis starts to reveal his backstory, it is said he has "been waiting a long time for this moment."
- Voyager's entry into a slipstream, as observed by Chakotay on the starship's bridge in the fifth act, is described thus: "The starfield explodes in a burst of light and color as we enter a quantum slipstream. Tunnels of energy roar past." The Dauntless' brig is referred to as a "small chamber," and the script also specifies, "There is no bench in this spare setting." Indirectly following the transformation of the Dauntless' bridge, the script notes of the ship's engineering, "This is the same set as before, no alien modifications." The Borg ships that enclose around the Dauntless are described as "five Borg cubes heading right toward us!"
- Furthermore, the script also consistently refers to the character of Admiral Hayes generically as a "Starfleet admiral," other than him being named in dialogue, and has a couple of remarks about two particular relationships developed in the fourth season. The script says about the connection between Harry Kim and Seven of Nine, "In their own offbeat way, they've bonded over the months." Of the relationship involving Seven and Janeway, the script states, "A lot has happened between these two characters in the past year… both of them [have] mixed feelings."
Cast and characters
- The fact that this episode required only one main guest star, to play the role of Arturis, was a budget-saving measure. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 10)
- Having been absent from the series during its first three seasons, Seven of Nine actress Jeri Ryan was (initially, at least) under the mistaken impression that this episode was the first Star Trek: Voyager season finale to not be a cliffhanger. (Star Trek Monthly issue 40, p. 35; Braving the Unknown: Season Four, VOY Season 4 DVD special features) Ryan liked the installment, partly owing to the fact this season finale is a stand-alone episode. "The season was wrapped up reasonably well at the end of the episode," Ryan stated. "It brought the relationship between Janeway and Seven full circle […] It was an interesting show because the crew's hopes were raised so high that they'd get home and then they were dashed again." (Star Trek Monthly issue 40, p. 35) Further praising the episode, she said, "It's just a big, good episode, with a lot of sort of storyline development and a lot of nice character development as well, which is interesting." (Braving the Unknown: Season Four, VOY Season 4 DVD special features)
- Jeri Ryan believed that Seven of Nine seems puerile in this installment. "This is Seven experiencing a lot of growing pains – 'cause emotionally, she's a child, still – and this is her sort of hitting her pre-teen years," the actress opined, with a laugh, "And not really knowing where she belongs." (Braving the Unknown: Season Four, VOY Season 4 DVD special features) Just before filming a scene of this episode, Ryan observed, "The relationship between Seven and Janeway has developed into the mother and the unruly teenager […] Now in the final episode [of the season] I think she's sort of the 13-year-old who doesn't really fit in anywhere, doesn't know where she belongs and is impudent, and acting out and lashing out at Mom." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 77)
- Janeway actress Kate Mulgrew likened the crew's gradual decryption of the Starfleet message to "a very complicated treasure hunt," (echoing Janeway and Chakotay referencing the transmission as "treasure") and felt that her character's suspicions regarding Arturis gave her a chance to show she was "not the captain for nothing." Summing up her opinion of the installment, Mulgrew stated, "I think it's a very good resolution to what's gone on, all season." (Braving the Unknown: Season Four, VOY Season 4 DVD special features)
- Exemplifying how she typically analyzed character actions and motivations, Kate Mulgrew talked, during production, about Janeway's appeal to Arturis in their final moments together; "The Voyager crew is under duress here. If the captain shows any kind of hesitation under those circumstances, she could lose her support. So there's an action – the action is to 'get out,' right? To save myself. There's an obstacle – the obstacle is 'the guy' – and he's giving me the reasons that he's going to kill me. There's an objective – the objective is to 'make him understand that I did the only thing I could do when I sided with the Borg.'" (Star Trek: Action!, p. 71)
- Visual effects supervisor Ronald B. Moore was impressed by the acting of Kate Mulgrew and Jeri Ryan in the episode's teaser. "Both Kate and Jeri were just marvelous," Moore enthused. "They did a perfect job with it […] I think this scene is some of the best interplay we have between Janeway and Seven. The look of Seven's face at the end of the teaser when she gets hit with this disk is priceless." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, pp. 96 & 97)
- Prior to appearing in this season finale, Torres actress Roxann Dawson had hoped – in November 1997 – that her pregnancy in the fourth season would not cause her to miss any of the season's final episodes. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, pp. 94 & 92) Dawson had also made an unused suggestion about the content of the data stream featured here. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, pp. 93-94)
- Since she had departed the series in the second episode of season four, this was the first season finale not to feature Jennifer Lien as Kes.
Props, costumes, and makeup
- Although the script has Arturis grabbing his hand-gun from "out of a station," it was ultimately decided, as Jeri Taylor notified director Winrich Kolbe, that the exact source of the weapon could be from virtually anywhere on the bridge, as Velcro was abundant there. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 27) Although the weapon was meant to be held with the two heads in line horizontally, Arturis actor Ray Wise decided to hold the gun on its side, with the two heads in line vertically, to give it a more "alien" feel. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 72) Additionally, the hand-gun bears a striking resemblance to the weapons used in the 1979 Disney movie The Black Hole. (Delta Quadrant, p. 248)
- Two copies of Arturis' shirt were created, as one had to look partly blackened with a phaser burn. This shirt was worn onto the set by Ray Wise, and key costumer Kimberley Shull then applied the fake scorch. "I used Streaks and Tips, a spray-on hair product," she revealed. "It will clean out somewhat." (Star Trek: Action!, p. 71)
- On one of the days when Arturis' makeup was applied to Ray Wise's face, the process began at 7:46 am and ended at 9:23 am. (Star Trek: Action!, pp. 66 & 67)
- On 9 February 1998 (the first day of preproduction on this episode), production designer Richard James identified the section of the revised beat sheet that concerned the Dauntless' introduction, from which he began to imagine what the vessel's interior might be like. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 13)
- Although the Dauntless' bridge and engineering room had to be newly constructed, the starship's brig was merely a redress of the Voyager brig set. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 15) According to the unauthorized reference book Delta Quadrant (pp. 248 & 51), the console outside the Dauntless' cell was taken from the set for The Doctor's office aboard Voyager and the ship's engine core was previously used in the third season installment "Rise".
- Both the bridge and engineering room of the Dauntless were initially, roughly sketched by Richard James. He based the curving walls of the bridge on the ship's description as a bullet-shaped craft and drew a first-pass sketch of the engineering room by modifying a sketch of the bridge, copying its curved architecture. The bridge and engineering then became the subject of blueprints illustrated by set designer Greg Berry and fellow set designer Greg Hooper, respectively. (Star Trek: Action!, pp. 14 & 48) To achieve the curvature of the bridge and save costs, the room's walls were designed, by James and Berry, as a series of curving steel grids, covered with muslin through which appropriate lighting could be shone. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 14) Ronald B. Moore remarked, "The Dauntless bridge was a really huge set. The idea of being able to go in and change this set over from Federation to alien, or the other way, was a big job." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 98) However, the transformation was made easier by the fact that the color of the walls could be changed simply by altering the color shone through the muslin. The color of orange, for the bridge's alien configuration, was chosen by Rick Kolbe. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 27) Using only orange light, however, proved highly overpowering, so some white light was added to disperse the orange. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 66)
- The special effects department crafted metalwork, including the bridge's steel grids, the metal steps, catwalk and railings in engineering as well as the fiberglass roof of the latter room. (Star Trek: Action!, pp. 16 & 51) The construction department dealt with woodwork, such as the bottom-level floor of engineering and the floor of the bridge as well as the brown-colored curved pillars of both rooms. (Star Trek: Action!, pp. 16, 20 & 51) The only difference between the pillars was that the ones in engineering were slightly taller than those of the bridge, in order to make room for the catwalk. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 52) However, in both cases, the pillars were the first part of the walls to be erected. (Star Trek: Action!, pp. 19 & 51) Once the steel grids were subsequently integrated into the bridge set, the muslin was attached to the grids by the grip department, stapling 800 square feet of the material onto the grids. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 16) Regarding the project's scale, construction coordinator Al Smutko commented, "This is the biggest show we've done for Voyager so far. And even on Star Trek: The Next Generation, except for the pilot, we never did anything this big." (Star Trek: Action!, p. 20)
- The Dauntless' bridge was constructed on Paramount Stage 16 and the ship's engineering room was assembled on Paramount Stage 9. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 20, et al.)
- On 16 February, construction of the bridge was in full swing whereas the engineering room was only starting to be built. (Star Trek: Action!, pp. 16 & 20) Construction of the bridge set was completed on 4 March. (Star Trek: Action!, pp. 43 & 44)
- Accommodating one design concept for the engineering room, whereby the characters would be above the engine core with the core directly beneath them, involved some consideration of dramatically increasing the episode's quantity of dramatic visual effects. "That idea got nixed very quickly," Rick Kolbe later laughed. (Star Trek: Action!, pp. 22 & 48)
- The production of this episode was preceded by a preproduction meeting on 19 February and, one week later, a production meeting on 25 February. (Star Trek: Action!, pp. 22 & 25) The fact that Rick Kolbe had never filmed on the Astrometrics set before caused some consternation at the preproduction meeting. Video supervisor Denise Okuda attempted to describe the set to Kolbe but, as he felt he needed more than a verbal description, a "walk-through" of the set was instead arranged for that afternoon. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 22)
- Ronald B. Moore and visual effects producer Dan Curry were present at the production meeting. The issue of visual effects was touched upon at that meeting but was not considered to be an immediate concern, so it was expected that a later meeting would be dedicated to that subject and would involve Moore and Curry. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 26) The two did have some input at this early stage, however, participating in the conception of Velocity, storyboards for which were created by both Curry as well as senior illustrator and technical consultant Rick Sternbach. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 96; Red Alert: Amazing Visual Effects, VOY Season 4 DVD) The workings of the game were also influenced by some input from Rick Kolbe. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 96)
- As they had arranged at the production meeting, Rick Kolbe and Richard James met up in the art department on the day after that meeting. This gave Kolbe an opportunity to examine a foam-core model of the Dauntless' bridge, utilizing the miniature to start planning camera and performer placement on the bridge set. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 27)
- The episode's production period officially began on 27 February 1998 and ended on 10 March of that year. (Star Trek: Action!, pp. 32 & 61; Star Trek Monthly issue 40, p. 10) The actual filming of the episode was on eight of those twelve days. Reasons why the episode was filmed over a period of eight rather than the more common seven days were that the episode was the last installment of the season and was a comparatively large production. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 61)
- On 27 February, the episode was initially scheduled to start filming at 3:30 pm but, due to both second-unit work on the episode "One" finishing late (at 4:30 pm) and the fact that the crew took a half-hour break to have an Italian delivery for dinner, this installment did not enter production until 6:30 pm. (Star Trek: Action!, pp. 28 & 32) The first scene of the episode to be filmed featured Jeri Ryan in the last shot of the montage that features overlapping log entries voiced by Janeway and Seven of Nine. The next sequence shot was the one showing the aftermath of Paris and Neelix's return to Voyager, including Neelix introducing Janeway to Arturis. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 30) Both of these sequences were on the cargo bay set on Paramount Stage 9. Afterwards, the filming equipment was moved to the Voyager bridge set on Stage 8. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 33)
- The first of the bridge scenes to be shot was the one in which Harry Kim, Tom Paris, and Chakotay attempt to beam Voyager personnel, including Janeway and Seven, back to their own ship from the Dauntless, just as the latter vessel engages its quantum slipstream drive. The shooting of the Voyager bridge scenes then progressed in the same order they are arranged in the final version of the episode. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 30)
- The scene in which Paris reports that Voyager is immediately behind the Dauntless took a few hours to shoot. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 33) Early in the preparation of the scene, Rick Kolbe quietly examined the bridge set with a viewfinder and decided that he wanted to use a camera dolly and track for the scene, a conclusion that was then acted upon by the grips, without Kolbe expressing the decision; Key Grip Randy Burgess had interpreted the wish by observing Kolbe's movements. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 33) The filming of the scene wasn't finished until around 12:42 am, in the early morning of 28 February. Although Chakotay actor Robert Beltran and Paris actor Robert Duncan McNeill flubbed their lines in the fifth take of the scene, the sixth take was considered as being perfect and the scene's filming was therefore regarded as being complete. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 32)
- The next scene to be filmed was the one wherein Tuvok registers a direct hit to the Dauntless and Chakotay instructs Kim to acquire a transporter lock on Janeway and Seven. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 30) After a first rehearsal of the scene, Rick Kolbe opted to show only Tuvok and Chakotay in the shot, implying the presence of Paris (who Chakotay would essentially maneuver around) and Kim. This technique eliminated the need for insert shots of Paris and Kim, saving time and budget. As Director of Photography Marvin V. Rush then checked the lighting of the bridge – directing a member of the electrical crew to add a bulb to the ceiling near Tuvok's station, so as to better backlight the character – several grips positioned the camera, still mounted on its dolly, on a sheet of plyboard that they laid on the floor, just inside of the helm station. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 35) With the lighting almost ready, First Assistant Director Adele Simmons vocally issued a five-minute warning. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 36) Robert Duncan McNeill and Robert Beltran were then consecutively gussied up by makeup artist Natalie Wood and hairstylist Charlotte Gravenor. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 34) An off-set conversation that was crescendoing to disruptive levels was subsequently quietened by the assistant directors and Unit Production Manager Brad Yacobian announced that Rick Kolbe, much to the director's own surprise, should be the only person talking. (Star Trek: Action!, pp. 36 & 37) The shooting company did a second rehearsal of the scene, to which there were no objections. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 37) Kolbe then came up with another idea, however: that Robert Beltran step into the shot from off-camera, just before delivering his line. At Kolbe's command, the filming of the scene began. In a period between 12:55 am and 12:59:30 am, five different takes of the scene were shot. In the first take, Beltran didn't look directly at Kim actor Garrett Wang. In the second, Tuvok actor Tim Russ was not keen on the way he pronounced his own line. The third, fourth, and fifth takes were improvements and Kolbe was especially happy with the fifth. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 38)
- At one point during the episode's production, Robert Beltran was interviewed by Cinefantastique while on the Voyager set. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 82) Garrett Wang was also interviewed by the magazine, amid the production period. ('Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, 95)
- The filming of the episode's teaser was a complicated ordeal. "Shooting that teaser was just a logistical nightmare," Jeri Ryan remarked. "We were supposed to shoot seven other pages that day and only did the teaser sequence." (Star Trek Monthly issue 40, p. 35) Ron Moore was involved in the filming of the rounds of Velocity. "I would go out with Rick Kolbe when they were shooting, and we'd have talked out exactly how the game worked, and what would happen in each cut," Moore reflected. Although the holodeck set contained an item on a stick that could be used to represent the Velocity disc's appearance, Moore was not keen on using it. "I didn't feel that we would be able to get it in the right place at the right time. We couldn't move it that fast. I explained to Jeri and Kate that this thing would cross the room in maybe a second and a half […] We could give them an idea of where it was [though]." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 96)
- By the time Rick Kolbe called "Cut!" on the last shot to be filmed for this installment, Jeri Ryan was physically exhausted, largely due to a virus she had contracted early in the season. (Star Trek Monthly issue 40, p. 35)
- Due to the largeness of the Dauntless bridge set, filming its transformation required considerable effort. Ron Moore recalled, "It would take a day to go in and redress everything, all the graphics had to change." The footage was limited, by budget, so that the whole bridge could not be shown undergoing the changeover. "We had to pick angles that would allow us to see it start to change in a close up, and then back up for a wide shot and see it finish," Ron Moore remembered. "We were able to pick a part of the bridge where we saw some of the background but not all of it […] It worked out pretty good, and we were able to just have to shoot one shot second-unit." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 98)
Music and sound
- On 7 April 1998, associate producer Dawn Velazquez, supervising sound editor Bill Wistrom and several members of Wistrom's department met to discuss the sounds effects of this episode, of which the noises to be heard aboard the Dauntless were regarded as being of the highest priority. "It's an alien ship with new alien technology," noted Velazquez, "so it needs a different ship rumble, different beeps, all different sounds." (Star Trek: Action!, p. 82)
- 9 April was the first of several days that featured "looping" sessions for the episode. As had been predicted during production, the dialogue in every scene set in the Dauntless' engineering room had to be replaced. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 83) This was due to the noises of the bubble machine that served as part of the engine core, as well as footsteps on the engineering set's metal catwalk. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 55) "The minute I heard my footsteps," Kate Mulgrew admitted, "I knew we were dead." (Star Trek: Action!, p. 57) Mulgrew also replaced much of her dialogue for the scene in which Janeway enters the ship's bridge while Arturis is at the helm and tries to persuade him to end his quest for vengeance, including the master shot of the actress making her way into the bridge set. "She was so far back in the master that it would not have been possible to record her and not see the microphone," explained Dawn Velazquez. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 83) The episode's audio rerecording additionally included Mulgrew exclaiming, "Uh!" upon the impact of Voyager's photon torpedoes rocking the Dauntless' bridge as the original version of that exclamation, recorded on the set, was inaudible. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 83)
- This episode contains 21 minutes and 20 seconds of music. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 84)
- Decisions about the musical cues of this episode's soundtrack (such as their length and placement) were made by composer Dennis McCarthy, music editor Gerry Sackman and Dawn Velazquez at a music spotting session in Velazquez's office on 21 April 1998. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 84) At that time, McCarthy stated that he would not start composing this episode's music for another week. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 84)
- Dennis McCarthy found the fact that he much preferred not to read a given episode's script before writing the music for that episode proved to be fortuitous on this occasion. "I didn't know there was a problem with the alien until the characters found out," McCarthy explained. "Now I'm surprised right along with the audience. Otherwise I might subconsciously have written to it." (Star Trek: Action!, pp. 83-84) He also said of the score, "I tried to keep the music for 'Hope and Fear' stately, almost 'churchy.'" (Star Trek: Action!, p. 83)
- Dennis McCarthy included, in the final moments of the episode's music, snippets from Star Trek: Voyager's theme tune. "I used Jerry Goldsmith's Voyager theme twice there," revealed McCarthy. "Obviously I used it full-bore when we cut to the ship in normal space at the very end. But I also used a few seconds of it earlier when we see Voyager firing on the Dauntless. That's in-your-face Voyager theme." (Star Trek: Action!, p. 93)
- Although the music spotting session deemed the episode's soundtrack would consist of 18 cues, Dawn Velazquez and Gerry Sackman agreed at the session that the episode's longest cue, a composition that covered the episode's final action scene and lasts 4 minutes and 26 seconds, was so long that its recording would be split into 2 parts. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 84) This change was made by the night of 4 May 1998, almost exactly 2 weeks after the music spotting session, at which point Dennis McCarthy wrote several pieces of the score. (Star Trek: Action!, pp. 89, 91 & 92) These portions of the score included the second part of the split cue, which starts in the scene where Janeway sarcastically apologizes to Arturis for the "bumpy ride" and ends in the scene where Voyager is once more shown in normal space. (Star Trek: Action!, pp. 91 & 92) Regarding this part of the soundtrack, McCarthy remembered, "I'd finished about thirty percent of it and just said, 'This ain't happenin'!' It went straight into the shredder and I started again." (Star Trek: Action!, pp. 92-93) As this musical sequence plays during Voyager's attack on the Dauntless and the retrieval of Janeway and Seven of Nine from the latter vessel, McCarthy named the sequence "The Rescue". He also entitled the first portion of the lengthy split cue, which can be heard as Seven attempts to sabotage the Dauntless' primary systems while Arturis destroys the controls, as "The War of the Buttons" and a cue that plays after "The Rescue" as "Ode to Summer". Explaining the title of the latter cue, McCarthy stated, "It's the last cue that will play on Voyager this season." (Star Trek: Action!, p. 91)
- On 5 May 1998, the scoring session for this episode was held at Scoring Stage "M" on the Paramount lot at 2:00 p.m., at which point the soundtrack was recorded by a 44-piece orchestra conducted by Dennis McCarthy. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 89) Although the scoring session was expected to last anywhere between four to six hours, it ultimately took four hours. (Star Trek: Action!, pp. 91 & 89) One hour and thirty-four minutes into the session, McCarthy chose to record "The Rescue", announcing, "Let's do the last action sequence. I'm in the mood." (Star Trek: Action!, p. 91) After two bars of the music were rehearsed twice, the piece was recorded for the first time. Even though everyone in the control booth was happy with this initial take, McCarthy felt that several bars at the start of the piece could have been fuller, so he gave appropriate directions to the orchestra members and the cue was recorded again, a take that was considered to be perfect. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 92)
- This episode required more visual effects shots than a typical episode of Star Trek: Voyager. Visual effects coordinator Elizabeth Castro noted, "The average Voyager show has about forty optical shots. And one show only had twelve. 'Hope and Fear' has seventy. And that's not counting the stock shots." (Star Trek: Action!, p. 88) However, time was available for the visual effects team to focus on the demands of this installment. "This being the last episode of the year," noted Ron Moore, "meant that we could concentrate a lot of our energy on that show." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 96)
- Eleven of the episode's seventy visual effects shots depict the slipstream. (Star Trek: Action!, pp. 26 & 88) CGI provider Foundation Imaging worked on visualizing the torrent of energy, a task in which CGI effects director Adam "Mojo" Lebowitz proved to be instrumental. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 77) The slipstream entrance/exit effect was done by animator John Teska. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 87) The Dauntless' exterior was designed by Rick Sternbach, digitally modeled by Lebowitz, and textured by Lebowitz and Teska. (Star Trek: Action!, pp. 43, 45 & 47; Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 97)
- Ron Moore was not only involved in the filming of the Velocity games but also worked on the imaging of the game's disc. "When I had a sequence I knew I could work with, I went over to Digital Magic, and with [Senior Visual Effects Compositor] Paul Hill, just made an oval and flew it around the room," Moore recalled. "It was no more than a colored ball, but we could change the color from red to blue, and we could show trajectory. There were a couple places that it didn't work very well, but we did the best we could. Then we set out to do the CGI with Foundation [Imaging]." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 96)
- For the scene in which Kim sees alien technology momentarily reassert itself in the Dauntless' engineering room, the producers didn't want to specially build a set, so Ron Moore visualized the shot instead. "I took some still photos of alien technology, I used some graphics, that sort of thing," he remembered, "and built a virtual set in the edit bay to match, just moving things around." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 98)
- The scene in which an engineering console blows up in front of Seven of Nine was embellished by visual effects. Explained Ron Moore, "We enhanced some energy discharges on Seven of Nine by digitally compositing squibs (stock footage of small explosions that Curry and Moore photographed years earlier) onto the practical sparks (the ones shot on the stage). There are two shots in the scene, so I used the squibs to bridge the cut. It ties the two together." (Star Trek: Action!, p. 88)
- The shots of Voyager attacking the Dauntless were delayed at least until 27 April 1998, as texturing the Dauntless took a considerable duration; Adam Lebowitz wasn't able to finish the shots by the 27 April, as he wasn't given a chance to see what color range the ship's exterior would be in until 24 April. The fact that all the visual effects sequences of the episode had to be completed by 30 April had an impact on the shot; although Greg Rainoff had the photon torpedo element ready by 27 April, the shot was still to be completed on that date. "We have to add the torpedoes before Paul Hill moves it on to our final composition," Ron Moore explained. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 88)
- Since Arturis' weapon is alien, the visual effects artists opted to differentiate the hand gun's fire from that of a Starfleet weapon. "We picked up the orange motif of the Dauntless," Ron Moore said. Greg Rainoff animated the weapon fire in one of Digital Magic's visual effects bays on 27 April. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 88)
- The most challenging of the slipstream shots to create was the one showing Voyager performing a U-turn inside it. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 26) That shot was frequently on Dan Curry's mind, between the production meeting on 25 February and 2 March. He discussed the shot with Moore and Brannon Braga during that interval. On 2 March, editor Daryl Baskin realized that the same shot could be "cost prohibitive" and discovered that Curry was already concerned about the shot. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 41) Curry's anxiety over the effect was related to the fact that the slipstream was still only at a conceptual stage. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 42) Ron Moore also had difficulty with the idea of Voyager's course change. "I just couldn't see that," he remembered. "We're going a ludicrous speed. It would take a really wide turn at this speed to make a U-turn." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 98) On 2 March, Moore referred to the option of showing Voyager making such a U-turn inside the slipstream as "the best approach" to the sequence but also said, "I believe that's a very difficult thing to do, and it's gonna take a lot of tries before we can please all of the people who have to approve it." (Star Trek: Action!, p. 42)
- One alternative suggestion was that the course change not be shown at all, with Voyager instead being suddenly back in normal space accompanying a captain's log entry starting with a statement that the ship turned around while in the slipstream. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 42) Ron Moore suggested to the producers another option – that Voyager instead exit the slipstream first before making its course change. "We all agreed on it," Moore stated, "because that's cheaper, because we're going to do that same effect a couple of other times in the show." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 98) This is the way that the sequence was scheduled on 18 March, with Voyager coming out of the slipstream before banking to starboard. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 76) "Then Rick Berman saw it," Moore commented, "and he felt differently." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 98) Berman consequently sent a note saying that he wanted Voyager's course change to be inside the slipstream. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 88) Even though Dan Curry and Moore again raised objections to the idea, fearing that the sequence would look "cheesy," there was no other option given to them but to depict Voyager turning inside the slipstream. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 98)
- Ron Moore made a coin-related breakthrough with the conception of the U-turn shot. "Finally, I figured out what the effect needed to look like," Moore remembered. "I explained to Foundation that I wanted them to essentially lay two dimes on top of each other and then move the top one to the right and see what happens." (Star Trek: Action!, p. 88) Making an indirect reference to himself and Dan Curry, Moore said, "We talked to Mojo, and I told him what I wanted to see happen. He ran a test, sent it to me, and it wasn't quite there, but immediately I saw this is going to work. So I talked to Mojo and […] to John Teska about how I could get what I wanted based on what they had already shown me." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 98) Ultimately, the shot was created by animator Koji Kuramura and was done, as Ron Moore explained, with "a double exposure of the slipstream." (Star Trek: Action!, pp. 86 & 88) Moore remarked, "John [Teska] gave us the shot, and it's really cool. It's another of those times where Rick [Berman] was right […] The show is better for it." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 98) On 27 April, while the shot was still being worked on, Moore commented, "We're almost finished with it, and it looks a heck lot better than if we'd followed our initial instinct." (Star Trek: Action!, p. 88)
- The shot depicting the Dauntless exiting the slipstream in Borg space features a nebula that was actually a modified, high-resolution image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. The shot involves three-dimensional modeling that was achieved by Emile Edwin Smith and Koji Kuramura. Ron Moore did not do much planning of this effect sequence. "The shot was not in the script or in my notes," recalled Moore. "When I got the first test of the shot from Foundation, they had just put it in, and it worked great." (Star Trek: Action!, p. 87) On 27 April, the visual effects team was still working on the Borg-related shot. At the time, Moore noted, "I've seen temps but we haven't done the final [version] yet." (Star Trek: Action!, p. 88)
Reception and aftermath
- In the lead-up to this episode's initial airing, the installment's teleplay was leaked on the Internet. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 98)
- The date was 13 May 1998 when this episode was transmitted by Paramount's operations department via communications satellite, thereby delivering the installment to its broadcasters. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 93)
- This episode achieved a Nielsen rating of 4.1 million homes, and a 6% share.
- Shortly after working on the episode, Joe Menosky was somewhat uncertain of the installment's success, though he believed the outing had the power to deceive its viewers. "This episode really does take some crazy turns," he opined. "If you didn't see the promo, and somebody hadn't leaked the script onto the Net, you'd probably be surprised by the twists and turns in it, because you think it's going one way, and then it's really going another way entirely. I'm not completely satisfied with it […] I'm not sure if the strange twists and turns make up a satisfying whole, but they might. I'm still a little too close to it to see it that way." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 98)
- On the other hand, Jeri Taylor, Rick Berman, and Brannon Braga were sure of their own evaluations of the outing, Taylor considering it to be "a wonderful episode." (Star Trek Monthly issue 40, p. 15) Joe Menosky reported, "Rick Berman likes it a lot, and thinks it works pretty well as a season-ender." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 98) "It was a good story in its own right," Braga enthused, "but it's a nice retrospective on where we stand as a series." Braga was also of the opinion that the episode has "classic Trek larger-than-life themes." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 97) He additionally remarked, "I thought it turned out quite nicely […] In some ways, it was a very intimate, reflective episode, which I liked. It played against expectations for the audience." (Star Trek Monthly issue 44, p. 13)
- Cinefantastique rated this episode 3 out of 4 stars. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 110)
- Star Trek Magazine scored the episode 4 out of 5 stars. (Star Trek Monthly issue 47, p. 62)
- The book Delta Quadrant (p. 249) gives the installment a rating of 7 out of 10.
- The spacecrafts of this episode proved to be highly influential when CG artist Mark Rademaker designed the non-canon starship USS Aventine (β), as two of the primary starting points for the look of that vessel were the starships Voyager and Dauntless. Regarding how the USS Voyager was especially inspirational, Rademaker stated, "Since it had already used the quantum slipstream drive in 'Hope and Fear', I figured Starfleet would use its data as the basis to optimize the shape of future starships." (Star Trek Magazine issue 156, p. 40)
- According to Janeway, the events of this episode take place nine months after the events of "Scorpion, Part II" and five months after those of "Hunters".
- The slipstream technology represents the tenth time besides the series premiere (after "Eye of the Needle", "Prime Factors", "The 37's", "Cold Fire", "Threshold", "Death Wish", "False Profits", "Future's End, Part II", and "The Q and the Grey") that the Voyager crew has a possibility of returning home (albeit not immediately).
- It takes 2 days for Voyager to travel, at "high warp", 15 light years to catch up with the Dauntless. This is equivalent to around 500 million miles per second. Voyager's speed capabilities have previously been mentioned in "The 37's" and "Maneuvers".
- Voyager uses four photon torpedo in this episode, having previously used four in "Scorpion, Part II". This bring the total number of torpedoes used to 27, of the irreplaceable complement of 38 established in "The Cloud".
- According to The Klingon Dictionary, a proper Klingonese rendering of Arturis' apology (with its translation into English being "my mistake") might be "jIQagh" or "jItlhIj".
- The Dauntless' registry is "NX-01A" (which is close to NX-01, the registry of the first warp five Earth starship, Enterprise).
- The Dauntless configuration was later seen at the Battle of Procyon V in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Azati Prime".
- Arturis' datastream includes repeating images of many star charts, planets, planetary surfaces, and a 3D view and master systems display of an Intrepid-class ship.
- The outfit that Seven of Nine wears while playing Velocity in this episode was her fourth different style of bodysuit. Besides having a new color (navy blue), it differs from previous versions by being sleeveless and having accent strips, which are light blue. It has a lower neckline compared with the silver version, and the shoes do not have high heels, unlike the rest of her bodysuit outfits. This last feature is likely present in order to make it easier for her to play the game.
- Brannon Braga listed the themes that he believed resonate both throughout the fourth season and in this particular installment: "Seven's arrival, Janeway's actions that brought her there, a character who's bent on revenge and the quest to get home." (Star Trek Monthly issue 44, p. 13)
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 4.13, catalog number VHR 4634, 28 December 1998
- As part of the VOY Season 4 DVD collection
Links and references
- Robert Beltran as Commander Chakotay
- Roxann Dawson as Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres
- Robert Duncan McNeill as Lieutenant Tom Paris
- Ethan Phillips as Neelix
- Robert Picardo as The Doctor
- Tim Russ as Lieutenant Commander Tuvok
- Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine
- Garrett Wang as Ensign Harry Kim
- Elle Alexander as security officer
- David Keith Anderson as Ashmore
- John Austin as operations officer
- Elizabeth Carlisle as command officer
- Christine Delgado as Susan Nicoletti
- Carrie Dolin as operations officer
- Tarik Ergin as Ayala
- Keith Estelle as operations officer
- Ransom Gates as O'Donnell
- Caroline Gibson as operations officer
- Jennifer Gundy as sciences ensign
- Brian Hall as operations officer
- Kerry Hoyt as Fitzpatrick
- Diane Lee as command officer
- Alicia Lewis as sciences officer
- Laura Millar as sciences officer
- Trina Mortley as sciences officer
- Joey Sakata as operations officer
- Simon Stotler as operations ensign
- Warren Tabata as operations officer
- Piper Taylor as operations officer
- Joan Valentine as operations officer
- Audra Whaley as operations officer
- Doug Wilson as command officer
- Unknown actor as the voice of the Borg
- Sue Henley – stand-in for Kate Mulgrew
- Susan Lewis – stand-in for Roxann Dawson
- Brita Nowak – stand-in for Jeri Ryan
- Lemuel Perry – stand-in for Tim Russ
- J.R. Quinonez – stand-in for Robert Picardo and Ray Wise
- Keith Rayve – stand-in for Robert Duncan McNeill
- Joey Sakata – stand-in for Ethan Phillips
- Richard Sarstedt – stand-in for Robert Beltran and Jack Shearer
- John Tampoya – stand-in for Garrett Wang
- Unknown performers –
- Photo double for Kate Mulgrew
- Photo double for Jeri Ryan
- Photo double for Ray Wise
accusation; addendum; algorithm; Alpha Quadrant; assimilation; Astrometrics; away team; bioelectric field; blue; Borg algorithm; Borg Collective; Borg cube; brig; cell damage; Chapman; chocolate; coffee; colony; computational language; confusion; control sequencer; cranial implant; crew; cup; damage; data stream; Dauntless, USS; Dauntless-class; day; decryption algorithm; déjà vu; Delta Quadrant; Earth; eternity; familial connection; framing; generosity; grammar; heart; high warp; holodeck; hull; hull temperature; humanoid species; iconometric element; instinct; joyride; kiloquad; Klingonese; life support; linguistic database; linguistically; main deflector; Maquis; marble; mentor; microfilament; natural ability; online; opinion poll; outer hull; paranoia; particle synthesis; photon torpedo; polarity; pound cake; primary system; pupil; quantum barrier; quantum field; quantum slipstream drive; quantum stress; R&R; recursion matrix; safe passage; species; Species 116; Species 116 homeworld; Species 116 sentry vessel; Species 8472; Starfleet; Starfleet Command; storm; stress; subspace message; subspace transmission; syntax; Talaxian language; temperature; threat; torsional stress; transporter; transporter lock; transwarp; triaxilation; trinary syntax; Type 6 shuttlecraft (unnamed); universal translator; Velocity; Vulcans; warp signature; windbag; xenon; xenon-based lifeform
- "Hope and Fear" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Hope and Fear" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Hope and Fear" at Wikipedia
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