(written from a Production point of view)
Voyager rescues a critically injured Hirogen hunter who wishes to finish his hunt against a "resilient species" – a recent enemy of the Voyager crew – as Captain Janeway gives Seven of Nine a lesson in compassion.
- 1 Summary
- 2 Log entries
- 3 Memorable quotes
- 4 Background information
- 5 Links and references
A bio-ship piloted by a sole member of Species 8472 is fleeing from a Hirogen warship. The younger of the two Hirogen wants to intercept the bio-ship and make the kill but the Alpha tells him to maintain their distance. He instructs the younger Hirogen that his prey is injured and its behavior will be the "key to its destruction." The bio-ship fires at the warship but the shot is too weak to cause any real damage. The bio-ship heads for an asteroid belt where the Alpha believes it will make a final stand. Species 8472 leaves its ship adrift amongst the asteroids and goes onto a nearby asteroid. The hunters prepare themselves with their colored hunting paint, equip their weapons, put on their masks and go after the creature on the asteroid. Once there, they realize they cannot detect it as their scanners are being deflected. Moving silently across the asteroid the Alpha hears movement behind him and swivels around, coming face-to-face with his prey. Unfortunately for the Species 8472 the Alpha opens fire, causing the creature to withdraw as the Beta arrives firing his weapon. Several dozen shots later and their prey is presumed dead. The Alpha tells the Beta that it was a flawless kill.
Seven of Nine is in sickbay, reciting a list of "bedside manner talk." She finds the exercise pointless but The Doctor disagrees. He created the exercise to familiarize himself with the social graces of the crew. They move on to "Exercise Two" – the workplace encounter. Seven takes on the role of a doctor, while The Doctor becomes the nurse. It all seems normal until Seven reads the phrase, "Did I mention you look lovely today?" Ending her lesson, she begins to leave. The Doctor tells her that although it's awkward at first, the rewards can be well worth the effort. The Doctor compares Seven to the time he was first activated, offering that he can help her. Agreeing to his offer, she takes the PADD and as she is leaving, she turns and says, "Have a pleasant day." The Doctor smiles and gets back to work.
The USS Voyager has detected an alien vessel moving towards them and they confirm that it has a Hirogen signature. Captain Kathryn Janeway decides that they need to settle their differences for good and Commander Chakotay, her first officer, orders a red alert. They attempt to hail the Hirogen but there is no response. As the vessel closes in, Lieutenant Commander Tuvok detects that they haven't charged weapons and there is only one life sign aboard. The vessel stops just in front of them as its engines fail. Chakotay thinks it is a trap but a long-range scan reveals that there are no other Hirogen ships in the area. Janeway tells Lt. jg Tom Paris to move within transporter range, intending to beam over. Seven informs Janeway that she sees the Hirogen ship as a potential threat and recommends that they destroy it. Janeway tells her that she wants to show some compassion, even though Seven responds that the Hirogen haven't reciprocated any compassion before.
Chakotay takes Paris and Tuvok with him on the away team, finding the Hirogen vessel severely damaged. They spread out, looking for the life sign they detected. Chakotay finds a lot of bones and a skull hanging in netting from the ceiling before finding a large tank with more remains in it. Paris finds a helmet, but immediately drops it in fright and horror when he discovers it still has a severed (Hirogen) head in it. Chakotay locates the life sign they detected and finds the Alpha gasping for air, clutching his weapon in fear.
In the briefing room, Tuvok and Chakotay show Janeway the navigational logs recovered from the Hirogen ship. The logs state the ship has been traveling for at least five years, and in the last year it has visited over ninety star systems. Chakotay reports on the alien remains found on the ship, suggesting that they could be trophies from previous hunts. He also surmises that their culture is based upon the hunt. Tuvok says that there is no evidence of a home planet and that Hirogen ships usually travel in small groups, sometimes joining together for a multi-pronged attack, like a wolf pack.
The Alpha is in sickbay, unconscious and behind a force field. Janeway tells Seven that while she was correct about the Hirogen being a threat, the risk of sending an away team has paid off and now they know a lot more about them. Seven simply states that Janeway was correct and it was worth the risk… this time. Janeway then asks the question on everyone's minds: who's hunting the hunters?
Outside, unbeknownst to the Voyager crew, an injured member of Species 8472 is limping up the ship's hull.
Janeway is in sickbay to check in on the Hirogen Alpha. The Doctor explains to her that while attempting to remove the Alpha's body armor, he regained consciousness. He can't be sedated as his immune system is rejecting everything The Doctor has tried giving him and he could be dead in the time it takes to synthesize something potent enough. Janeway explains to the Alpha that his crewmate is dead and his ship beyond repair. Attempting to ascertain what happened, Janeway asks a few questions but gets no response from the hunter at first. The Alpha tells Janeway of the formidable alien they captured two days previously. Unfortunately, their prey broke its restraints and attacked the crew. The Alpha asks to be released so he can continue his hunt. Janeway refuses, saying that he'll die without treatment, so the Alpha grudgingly agrees to stay in sickbay.
Chakotay reports that six Hirogen vessels are converging on Voyager's position from all directions, so Janeway asks Paris to evade them for as long as possible. Chakotay informs Janeway that they are half a light year away, and so Voyager has only four hours until the Hirogen surround them. Janeway wants to give The Doctor enough time to treat the Alpha so that he can call off the rest of the Hirogen. She hopes that diplomacy will work but Chakotay doubts it, saying that to the Hirogen, Humans and other species are merely game to be hunted. Their conversation is interrupted as the ship shakes. A hull rupture is detected on Deck 11, where a plasma conduit has overloaded. Then there is another jolt as a bulkhead collapses. Janeway sends Tuvok and Ensign Harry Kim to Deck 11 to find out the cause of the collapse. They open one of the hatches to find themselves staring into space. Someone, or something, has ripped through the bulkhead from the outside. They see some blood of some kind on the floor and as Tuvok contacts the bridge, he gives his analysis of the blood sample to Janeway: it is consistent with Species 8472. Janeway orders an intruder alert and seals off Decks 10 to 12. They can't detect the creature, so Janeway says they'll have to track it visually. She grabs a phaser and heads to Deck 11.
In engineering, Seven reports that she has erected a level 10 force field around engineering. Lt. jg B'Elanna Torres asks her to set up force fields around every hatch, Jefferies tube and conduit leading there. She attempts to lockdown the warp core, then hears an unfamiliar hissing sound. She looks up… and the wounded alien jumps from the warp core onto her.
Janeway enters engineering to see a few crewmembers lying on the floor, wounded. She orders her security team to take the wounded to sickbay, as Seven reports on what has happened. They tried stunning the creature with their phasers but they were ineffective, it then left engineering through a Jefferies tube. Janeway tells them to secure the warp core and leaves with Seven. She asks if the Borg engaged in physical combat with Species 8472 and what tactics they used. The aliens' destination was always the central power matrix, which was subsequently disabled. However, this particular creature didn't touch any of the power systems.
They head to sickbay, where The Doctor is treating Torres and the other wounded crewmen. Janeway asks the Alpha if the alien is alone. Chakotay recounts previous events and Janeway believes that this sighting could indicate a new invasion. (VOY: "Scorpion") The Alpha has only seen one ship and he has been tracking it over fifty light years. When they thought they had killed the creature, it turned out they hadn't.
He again asks Janeway if he can finish the hunt. Seven steps in and tells him he will fail, as the only weapon that can stop Species 8472 are Borg nanoprobes. The Alpha doesn't know what they are, so Chakotay explains. Seven tells Janeway that she will modify the phaser rifles to fire nanoprobe discharges but Janeway tells her that she only wants to incapacitate the creature. Seven calls the alien a threat and the Alpha agrees with her assessment. Over her forceful objections, Seven is ordered to make the necessary modifications. Janeway tells the Alpha to let the approaching ships know that his life was saved by the Voyager and that the ship does not want any hostilities to occur between the two species. The Alpha says he will comply with the request, if he is allowed to continue the hunt. He informs Janeway that he has studied the creature's behavior for six months and knows how to track it.
There is another shake as the creature accesses environmental controls. Tuvok reports to Janeway that Deck 11 is losing life support and artificial gravity is also compromised, leaving him floating in the corridor. Janeway tells him to evacuate the deck, as the Alpha tells Janeway that the creature is trying to barricade itself. Janeway lets him to continue his hunt but under Chakotay's supervision. If he steps out of line, Janeway orders Chakotay to shoot him. Stepping out from confinement the Alpha asks for his weapon.
Paris and Chakotay change into EV suits so they can search for Species 8472 on Deck 11. After learning that the Alpha's body armor is sufficient, Chakotay contacts Tuvok and Seven, who are already in EV suits. They make their way to Deck 11, which is now in near total darkness. The Alpha knows that the creature is near but Chakotay orders him to stay in his position. Tuvok and Seven continue moving through the deck on their own. Passing a corridor, Seven suddenly stops and shoots, seeing something. Tuvok backtracks and finds out that Seven had only seen a PADD floating in the room. He notices Seven's increased agitation but she tells him that her fear is justified as Species 8472 were the only species to offer true resistance to the Borg. Chakotay, Paris and the Alpha find blood floating in the corridor and realize that it is from the creature, who is now trapped near deflector control. The Alpha knows the creature is not planning to run but is waiting for an opportune moment to slip around them and attack them from behind. They contact Tuvok and Seven and ask them to join their sqaud. They soon find the creature floating in the corridor, looking lifeless. The Alpha wants to kill him but Chakotay tells him that they need the alien incapacitated. The Alpha attacks Chakotay, fires at Paris and then opens fire on the creature. He doesn't get far however, as Tuvok stuns him from behind.
Tuvok enters the mess hall and asks Neelix to leave his cooking and join the security team. He is asked to report to Deck 10 and send tactical updates every twenty minutes. Tuvok stops giving orders however, as the alien communicates telepathically with him.
The Alpha is back behind a force field in sickbay and a security perimeter has been set up around Species 8472. Janeway wants Torres to keep a transporter lock on the creature, in case they have to beam it off the ship. She asks The Doctor for an injury report but he can't scan the creature with his tricorder, he can only make a visual diagnosis. He theorizes that the creature has been hunted for months but he can't say for certain the extent of its internal damage. Paris and Seven tell Janeway that the creature attempted to open a singularity but failed. Janeway believes it was trying to get home.
Janeway finds Tuvok, who is in constant telepathic contact with the creature. He tells the captain that during the conflict with the Borg its vessel was damaged. It was unable to return to fluidic space when Species 8472 retreated. Now, it doesn't want to keep fighting, it simply wants to return home because it is dying. Janeway verbally tells the creature that they will attempt to get it back to its own space. During the conversation, the alien loses consciousness and the telepathic link with Tuvok is lost.
Janeway goes to sickbay, where the Alpha demands to be taken to his prey. Janeway informs him that they will be returning the creature to fluidic space. She also tells him that the hunt is over. The Alpha again demands that the creature should be returned to him or the crew of Voyager will take its place.
Janeway asks Tuvok to send Seven of Nine to her ready room, as she is most likely the only one who can recreate the singularity. Tuvok has his concerns as Seven may not want to co-operate.
Janeway informs Seven of her decision but Seven thinks it would not be a prudent course of action. Janeway tells her that part of becoming Human is showing compassion, even to those people who are considered bitter enemies. She recounts a story from when she was a Lieutenant. She was part of an away team defending a Federation outpost and they had been exchanging phaser fire for three days with a group of Cardassians. One night, there was a break in fighting and they could hear a low moan coming from just outside their camp. As all of their people were accounted for, it had to be a Cardassian. Her commanding officer decided that they couldn't let the man suffer, so they went out and brought him back to camp. Three days later, they won the fight and all of them were decorated by Starfleet Command. However, Janeway was most proud of the fact that they had saved the Cardassian's life. Seven tells Janeway that she is still confused about her analogy and Janeway tells her that "a single act of compassion can put you in touch with your own Humanity." She wants Seven to see this as a chance to grow but Seven refuses, saying that Janeway's decision is "tactically unsound." She still doesn't understand and she and Janeway begin to argue. Janeway eventually orders her to create the singularity but she refuses. Seven is then ordered to remain in the cargo bay until the situation with the creature is over.
Voyager is under attack by three Hirogen vessels. Another three approach, cutting off Voyager's escape routes. Their weapons are having no effect against the Hirogen ships.
In sickbay, the two guards are standing alert with their phaser rifles pointed directly at the Alpha, who is still behind the force field.
The Hirogen hail Voyager and demand the return of both hunter and prey. Janeway says that if the Hirogen stop their attack, they will return the Alpha but the creature is under their protection now. The Hirogen finds this unacceptable and ends the transmission.
The creature is regenerating on Deck 11, where The Doctor thinks it is becoming more agitated. The Doctor can sedate it but Seven would need to give them another supply of nanoprobes. They also need at least another hour or two to duplicate the deflector protocols to generate a singularity. Main power goes offline as the next shot from the Hirogen ships hit Voyager and all force fields are disabled. Quickly bringing auxiliary power online, The Doctor reports that the creature is still contained. Unfortunately, the Alpha has broken out. Taking one of the guard's phaser rifles, he sets off on his hunt.
Seven arrives at The Doctor's location and moments later so does the Alpha, who quickly incapacitates the security guards. In a tense stand-off, the Alpha doesn't believe that Seven will kill him but as another shot hits the ship the force field goes down and the creature runs at the Alpha. Unable to raise his weapon in time, the Alpha and the creature become tangled on the floor. Seven uses the distraction to access the transporter system and she beams the Alpha and the creature on to one of the Hirogen vessels.
Voyager is unable to pursue the departing Hirogen ships as warp drive is still off-line, so Janeway orders Paris to resume their previous course at impulse. Janeway inquires into the reason for the Hirogen breaking off their attack and Chakotay tells her – Seven of Nine. "Seven of Nine", Janeway angrily replies, knowing that her actions have surely resulted in the creature being killed by the Hirogen.
Janeway goes to Cargo Bay 2 where Seven is regenerating. She prematurely ends Seven's regeneration cycle and tells her that she disobeyed a direct order which resulted in the death of a sentient being. Seven argues that her actions prevented the destruction of Voyager by the Hirogen, but Janeway tells her that they have no way of knowing and either way she hasn't come to debate that but to inform Seven of the consequences. She tells Seven she is no longer willing to accommodate her brazen and occasionally insubordinate behavior and as of now Seven will no longer have access to any primary systems on the ship without Janeway's direct authorization, warning her that she'll be thrown in the brig if she tries anything. She can still work in astrometrics if she so desires, as it's either that or remain in the cargo bay. Seven is puzzled. She tells Janeway that after being liberated from the Collective, Janeway encouraged her to cultivate her independence. But now, when she tries to assert it, she is punished. Janeway replies that there are limits, especially on a ship with a command structure. Seven believes she is being punished because she is not thinking the way the rest of them do. She also claims that perhaps Janeway is frightened by Seven's individuality.
"As you were," Janeway replies, leaving the cargo bay.
- "Captain's log, stardate 51652.3. It's been twelve hours and our sensors show no sign of any Hirogen vessels, but their people are scattered throughout this region and something tells me that the hunt for Voyager is far from over."
"The way a creature behaves when it is wounded is the key to its destruction."
- - Alpha Hirogen
"I'm reading bones, muscle tissue from at least nine different species. It's all being broken down by some sort of enzyme."
"Perhaps this is their method of denaturating their prey."
"Either that or it's dinner."
- - Chakotay and Tuvok
"You should know I'm a hologram and can't be bent, spindled, or mutilated, so don't bother trying."
- - The Doctor
"Is your body armor designed to handle rapid pressure fluctuations?"
"It can defeat most hostile environments. I once tracked a silicon-based lifeform through the neutronium mantle of a collapsed star."
"I once tracked a mouse through Jefferies tube thirty two."
- - Chakotay, Alpha Hirogen and Tom Paris
"Mr. Neelix, I must ask you to exchange your spatula for a phaser rifle."
- - Tuvok
"This isn't a hunt. It's a slaughter. And I'm calling it off right now."
- - Janeway
"Part of becoming Human is learning to have compassion for those who are suffering, even when they're your bitter enemies."
- - Janeway
"I know you don't want to do it, Seven. But I'm telling you as your Captain and as your friend, you won't regret it."
"No. Your decision is tactically unsound."
- - Janeway pleads to Seven of Nine for help in returning a member of Species 8472 back to its space
"I'm giving you an order. Report to deflector control and begin working on creating a singularity."
"I will not comply. I've agreed to remain on Voyager. I've agreed to function as a member of your crew; but I will not be a willing participant in my own destruction or the destruction of this ship."
"Objection noted, we'll do this without you."
"You will fail."
"And you have just crossed the line."
- - Janeway and Seven of Nine
"It is puzzling."
"You made me into an individual. You encouraged me to stop thinking like a member of the collective… to cultivate my independence… my Humanity. But when I try to assert that independence, I am punished."
"Individuality has its limits. Especially on a starship, where there's a command structure."
"I believe that you are punishing me because I don't think the way that you do… because I'm not becoming more like you. You claim to respect my individuality… but in fact, you are frightened by it."
"As you were."
- - Seven of Nine and Janeway
- - Tuvok, to Seven of Nine after she shoots at a floating padd
Script, cast, and characters
- This episode's final draft script was submitted on 27 October 1997. 
- Episode writer Brannon Braga believed that the teleplay he wrote for this episode was "a very difficult script" for a typical director to execute. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 99)
- Brannon Braga was proud, however, of the turbulent way in which this episode develops the relationship between Seven of Nine and Janeway. "It was the best Janeway-Seven arc since her introduction," Braga declared. "It was great having them go head to head like that. With any luck, we left people wondering about their relationship at the end. The parent [is] raising the child, and the child is not turning out like the parent. Does that make the parent wrong? The child wrong, because they're being unreasonable? I hope it taps into some deeper issues about the parent-child relationship." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 99)
- Brannon Braga was also pleased with the performances here. He enthused, "The acting was superb." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 99)
- Tony Todd (Alpha Hirogen) is better known for his recurring role of Kurn in Star Trek: The Next Generation. He not only appeared as that recurring character in the episode "Sons of Mogh" but also portrayed an alternate timeline adult Jake Sisko in DS9: "The Visitor".
- The task of portraying the Alpha Hirogen in this episode was fun for Tony Todd. "It was a great experience for me," he happily remembered. "I liked the character and I felt the script gave me something to do." (Star Trek Magazine issue 157, p. 41)
- Even so, Tony Todd did not enjoy wearing his Hirogen costume. "That turned out to be the most uncomfortable thing I ever did," he explained. "I had to wear this full bodied suit and the big decision for me on that show was [–] a half hour before they put me in the suit [–] if I had to go to the bathroom or whether I could hold it in until my scenes were done." (Star Trek Magazine issue 157, p. 41) His Hirogen makeup also tested Todd's endurance. The actor recalled, "Of all of the prosthetic work I've done, it was the most uncomfortable stint, playing that character. Not only was it a four-hour makeup process for the face, it was an hour-and-a-half costume application as well. I don't know if you've ever been in a situation where someone has to tell you to give them notice 20 minutes before you had to pee. It's hard to pee on demand. But I knew the makeup and costume looked effective. And I just wanted that triptych, to be able to be in all three of the shows." 
- Seven of Nine actress Jeri Ryan cited this episode as one of her favorite episodes from the fourth season of Star Trek: Voyager, along with "The Gift", "The Killing Game" two-parter and "Hope and Fear". (Star Trek Monthly issue 40, p. 35)
Production and effects
- This was the first-aired Star Trek production that Allan Eastman directed. His work on this episode satisfied Brannon Braga, who said, "The director, Allan Eastman, took [the] script and made it look like a movie." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 99)
- The EV suits worn by Paris, Chakotay, Tuvok, and Seven are the ones used in Star Trek: First Contact. Only three EV suits are visible simultaneously, the same number as in the film.
- Having worked on the episode that introduced Species 8472 – specifically, the third season finale "Scorpion" – Ronald B. Moore and Foundation Imaging were given the chance to revisit the alien species for this episode. Visual effects producer Dan Curry noted, "Ron Moore supervised that episode." (The Birth of Species 8472, VOY Season 4 DVD) Moore himself said, "Once again, we went to Foundation." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 90)
- The telepathic visions that Tuvok experiences here mostly involved reused shots from the two-parter "Scorpion" and "Scorpion, Part II", in which Kes sees some of the same images; the recycled footage includes close-up views of a member of Species 8472 that both she and Tuvok individually envisage. Another reused shot is of the battle between a Borg cube and a Species 8472 ship, during which – in the far distance behind the cube – the starship Voyager can also be seen. In fact, only one of the shots that, supposedly, Tuvok sees telepathically was created especially for this episode; it shows a Species 8472 vessel being pursued by a Hirogen warship. Ron Moore commented, "Once again, we […] got stuff, with only one exception from previous episodes. There was one ship shot that [Tuvok] visualizes, and that's something we did for 'Prey'. Other than that, it was something we had already done, which made sense, because he had been so close to Kes." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 90)
- As they had done for the "Scorpion" two-parter, Foundation Imaging once again handled the CGI involved in visualizing Species 8472. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 90) John Teska – who had been instrumental in designing the alien species, originally – was one of the Foundation staffers who had some input into the aliens' appearance here. Teska was glad upon first learning that the aliens were to return to Star Trek: Voyager. "Certainly, I was excited to see that they were gonna keep reusing this character and keep bringing him back, because I was having a great deal of fun, having build him and then getting to animate him," Teska reminisced. "But, you move on to spaceships and you think, 'Well, maybe he won't come back.' But when I read the script for 'Prey', I was really excited because there were scenes of him [such as] having hand-to-hand combat with this Hirogen warrior." (The Birth of Species 8472, VOY Season 4 DVD)
- John Teska appreciated the unusualness of the shot that shows a member of Species 8472 exploring the exterior of Voyager. He remarked, "That was a fun shot […] You know, there are certain shots that, for an animator, you just really look forward to. And that was one, because it's so rare to see this creature in a full screen shot, and then the whole idea that it's, you know, walking around the outside of the hull. It was also interesting because the camera does like a kind of weird bank into that shot, just kind of orienting itself to the creature on the side of the hull. So, you know, on several fronts, it was kind of a unique shot to get to do." (The Birth of Species 8472, VOY Season 4 DVD)
- The fight scene between the Alpha Hirogen and the member of Species 8472 that is cornered aboard Voyager provided a challenge for the visual effects team. In fact, Dan Curry went so far as to state that this episode was "the trickiest" of the numerous episodes in which Species 8472 appears, precisely because this was "an episode where it actually fought with somebody." Curry elaborated, "Having to have a CG creature fight with a live actor was very, very difficult. Ron Moore […] did a great job, working with the director, and the stunt guy, and the actors, to make sure we were able to put a really terrific scene together at the end." Speaking from his perspective as a member of Foundation Imaging, John Teska noted, "We had to work very closely with the supervisors on that show and make sure that, when they would shoot it, that there'd be anticipation, I guess, of where the character would be [and] how the actors should react." (The Birth of Species 8472, VOY Season 4 DVD)
- To complete the scenes that include Species 8472, the color and contrast of the computer-generated aliens were adjusted by Ron Moore in the edit bay. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 90)
- Brannon Braga liked the effects in this episode, describing them as "great effects." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 99)
- The first act of this episode begins with some introductory musical notes that resemble the main theme tune from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. (Delta Quadrant, p. 224)
- Brannon Braga was happy with the episode's soundtrack, noting about the installment, "It had good music." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 99)
- Species 8472 previously appeared in the duology in which it was first introduced, in "Scorpion" and "Scorpion, Part II".
- Chakotay says in this episode "Six months ago, [Species 8472] invaded our galaxy", establishing that it has been six months since the events of "Scorpion".
- Voyager' encounter with another member of Species 8472 is somewhat unexplained, given that Voyager was thrown 9,500 light years closer to Earth in the episode "The Gift", shortly after last encountering the species. It's unclear how the Species 8472 ship - which was left behind from the rest of its fleet when they retreated back into fluidic space - was able to travel this distance so quickly.
- When speaking to the Hirogen, Janeway says that the "first time I met your species it wasn't on the best of terms", referring to the events of "Message in a Bottle" in which Voyager uses the Hirogen communication network without their approval, leading to a confrontation.
- The intruder alert siren has a rare appearance here, when Tuvok detects the member of Species 8472.
- Although Janeway lectures Seven of Nine here that "it is wrong to sacrifice another being to save our own lives," this is apparently a change of heart from the events of Season 2's "Tuvix", wherein Janeway forces Tuvix to sacrifice his life to restore those of Tuvok and Neelix. It is possible that the events of that episode led Janeway to reconsider her views on this point.
- In the scene where the Alpha Hirogen escapes from sickbay and confronts Seven of Nine in the corridor, he is clearly seen carrying a Federation phaser rifle (taken from one of the guards in sickbay). In the sequence where Species 8472 and the Alpha Hirogen struggle, however, he is suddenly holding his own Hirogen weapon.
- The sixth-season episode "Ashes to Ashes" establishes that a death (that of Ensign Lyndsay Ballard) has occurred off-screen between the previous episode "Hunters" and this one. This death brings the total number of confirmed crew deaths since the series premiere "Caretaker" to 15, the previous one having occurred in "Scientific Method". This would put the crew complement as of the end of this episode at 146, given the crew complement of 148 that was most recently established in "Distant Origin" and "Displaced", and the deaths that have occurred since.
- Brannon Braga's general opinion of this episode was very high. On two separate occasions, he raved, "'Prey' turned out great." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 99; Star Trek Monthly issue 44, p. 12) On one of those times, he added, "Everything came together." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 99) Braga also counted this episode as a highlight of the fourth season (along with the two-parters "Year of Hell" and "Year of Hell, Part II", as well as "The Killing Game" and "The Killing Game, Part II"). (Star Trek Monthly issue 44, p. 12)
- Executive producer Jeri Taylor once described this installment as a "full-out action adventure romp" that was "full of lots of aliens." (Star Trek Monthly issue 36, p. 13)
- This installment was one of Dan Curry's favorites from Star Trek: Voyager's fourth season. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 74)
- This episode achieved a Nielsen rating of 3.8 million homes, and a 6% share.
- Cinefantastique rated this episode 4 out of 4 stars. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 99)
- Star Trek Magazine scored this episode 4 out of 5 stars. (Star Trek Monthly issue 42, p. 60)
- The unauthorized reference book Delta Quadrant (p. 225) gives the installment a rating of 7 out of 10.
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 4.8, catalog number VHR 4629, 10 August 1998
- As part of the VOY Season 4 DVD collection
Links and references
- Robert Beltran as Chakotay
- Roxann Dawson as B'Elanna Torres
- Robert Duncan McNeill as Tom Paris
- Ethan Phillips as Neelix
- Robert Picardo as The Doctor
- Tim Russ as Tuvok
- Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine
- Garrett Wang as Harry Kim
Special guest star
- David Keith Anderson as Ashmore
- John Austin as operations division officer
- Richard Bishop as operations division officer
- Steve Carnahan as operations division officer
- Damaris Cordelia as Foster
- Tarik Ergin as Ayala
- Brendan Fleming as operations division officer
- Roger Garcia as operations division officer
- Tom Gianelli as operations division ensign
- Caroline Gibson as operations division officer
- Joyce Lasley as Lydia Anderson
- Rad Milo as operations division officer
- Arthur Murray as command division officer
- Guy Richardson as operations division officer
- Shepard Ross as Murphy
- Joey Spagnola as operations division officer
- CGI – Species 8472 prey
- John Austin – stand-in for Clint Carmichael
- Sue Henley – stand-in for Kate Mulgrew
- Gregory Hinton – stand-in for Tony Todd and Scott L. Schwartz
- 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 Robert Beltran
- Keith Rayve – stand-in for Robert Duncan McNeill and Robert Beltran
- Robert – stand-in for Ethan Phillips
- John Tampoya – stand-in for Garrett Wang
ability; afternoon; alien; animal; antimatter injector port; approach pattern; art; artificial gravity; asteroid; asteroid belt; Astrometrics lab; atmospheric recycler; authorization command code; auxiliary power; away team; aye; banter; barricade; biobed; bioelectric field; bio scan analysis; blanket; blood; body armor; bone; Borg; Borg alcove; Borg Collective; Borg cube; Borg drone; Borg encryption code; Borg nanoprobe; Borg vessel; bowl; bridge; Bridge Banter for Beginners; briefing room; brig; Buck-toothed alien; bulkhead; burn; camp; captain; captain's log; Cardassian; Cardassian border conflict; Cardassian border conflict combatants; cargo bay; cave; cellular level; central power matrix; chair; chief medical officer's office; command division; commander; commanding officer; command structure; com link; communicator; compound; computer; conduit; console; corridor; course; creature; crewmate; culture; damage; database; day; death; decapitation; deck; decoration; Deflector Control; deflector dish; deflector protocol; Delta Quadrant; denaturation; desire; desk; desktop monitor; dialogue; dicyclic; dilithium matrix; dinner; diplomacy; distance; distress call; DNA; doctor; door; dozen; duty; EMH; engine; engineering; ensign; environmental control; environmental suit; enzyme; epidermis; EPS manifold; escape trajectory; evasive maneuvers; examination; exobiologist; eye; female; Federation outpost; flashlight; flight path; fluidic space; food; force field; freedom; galaxy; hail; hatch; helmet; high warp; Hirogen; Hirogen ship; Hirogen warship; hologram; home planet; hour; hull armor; hull plating; hull rupture; Human; hunt; hunter; hunting party; hypospray; immune system; impulse; injury; intercept course; internal bleeding; internal sensor; Intrepid-class; Intrepid-class decks; intruder alert; invasion; Jefferies tube; Kes; kilometer; level 5 force field; level 10 force field; lieutenant; lieutenant commander; lieutenant junior grade; lifesigns; lifestyle; light year; log; long range scan; ma'am; magnetic boot; magnetism; main power; male; mantle; map; meat; medical bay; mentor; mess hall; meter; microscopic; minute; mister; molecular structure; monotanium; month; mouse; muscle tissue; mutilate; nacelle; navigational record; NCC; net; Neutronium; night; nomad; nurse; operations division; operations station; pack; PADD; patient; percent; phaser; phaser bank; phaser rifle; physiognomy; physiological maintenance; physiology; pilot; planet; plasma conduit; plasma network; polyfluidic compound; port; power; power surge; power system; prey; primary system; puncture; pupil; quantum singularity; race; ready room; red alert; regeneration; religion; remains; replicator; report; restraints; ritual; scan; scanner; sciences division; secondary force field; security detail; security officer; security perimeter; security station; sedative; sensor; sentient being; sentiment; shields; sickbay; silicon-based lifeform; SIMs beacon; sir; skeletal system; skull; slaughter; sociology; spatula; species; Species 8472; Species 8472 bio-ship; star; starboard; stardate; Starfleet border conflict away team; Starfleet Command; Starfleet tricorder; star system; strategy; structural integrity field; stun; supervision; systems analysis; systems operations; table; tactical course projection; tactical station; tank; tattoo; teeth; telepathy; temperature gradient; thing; thoracic crest; time; transmission protocol; transporter; transporter lock; transporter range; transporter system; trap; tricorder; trophy; turbolift; unnamed asteroid belt; unnamed asteroid; unnamed Borg cube; unnamed non-humanoid; vector; vernacular; viewscreen; visual range; vocabulary; Voyager, USS; Vulcan; warp core; warp power; warp signature; weapon; wisdom; wolf; Workplace Encounter, The; year
- "Prey" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Prey" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Prey" at Wikipedia
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