The Great Star Trek Voyager Rewatch: Lifesigns

When Voyager rescues a dying Vidiian woman, the Doctor is able to save her life by transferring her consciousness into a holographic body. His new patient, Dr Danara Pel, is delighted to be in a phage-free body for the first time in years, and as she works together with him to save her original body, an affection develops between them.

This episode is notable on two fronts. First off, it’s the Doctor’s first proper romance with another sentient being (we’ll discount his holodeck fling with Freya), and in that sense, it’s a rather sweet love story. The Doctor is of course a little hopeless in expressing his feelings, but in a likeable way, rather than the creepy stalkerish fashion exhibited by the likes of Geordi LaForge. Secondly, it’s the first episode in which the Vidiians come across as sympathetic, rather than as gruesome organ hunters whose idea of romance is to graft the face of a Voyager creman onto themselves. Of course, it’s a little reminiscent of the “women are caring and nurturing” trope that the one decent Vidiian we meet is female, but Danara is a decent character in her own right.

Points of Note

  • Paris’s laziness and insubordination continues here, ready to come to a head in the next episode.
  • Could the transporter have been used to rematerialise Danara into a phage-free body? Presumably we must assume this cannot be done, as otherwise Starfleet would be using it all the time. I guess the holographic body only needed to be accurate enough to simulate life; it didn’t need a fully functioning digestive system, for example.
  • B’Elanna might have been okay with it in the end, but I’m still a bit concerned about the effects of her brain surgery. I guess 24th century brain surgery is a lot more sophisticated than ours, and that there was no risk of turning B’Elanna into a vegetable.
  • If Danara wanted to see Voyager so much, why didn’t the Doctor just take her on a holographic tour of the ship? To be honest, I would find that more interesting than Chez Sandrine.
  • The Doctor mentions that one of the procedures he performs was originally done by none other than Dr Leonard McCoy. Bones lives on!
  • The Doctor gets another name in this episode – Shmullus – which only Danara ever uses. I find it a little creepy that she named the man she loves after her uncle. Coincidentally, my partner has the same name as my uncle, but it’s not like I chose it for him.
  • The Doctor already seems to have forgotten Freya, but I guess we’ll forgive him as she wasn’t sentient.

Lost shuttlecraft running total: 4

Possibly salvageable shuttlecraft running total: 3

Summary – Lifesigns: In which The Doctor finds lurve.

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