(written from a Production point of view)
In an attempt to find new ways to satisfy their predatory instincts, the Hirogen alter the memories of the Voyager crew and force them into violent holodeck simulations, partially re-creating World War II.
Captain Kathryn Janeway, altered to look like a Klingon, battles several other Klingons. A Hirogen, also dressed in Klingon garb, interrupts the battle and stabs her. Using a Starfleet combadge, he calls sickbay to tell them that Janeway needs medical attention.
USS Voyager has been hijacked by the Hirogen and they are using the holodecks to hunt the crew in various simulations with the safety protocols deactivated. While half of the crew have been imprisoned, others have been fitted with a neural interface that makes them believe they actually are the characters in the holodeck program. The Hirogen hunt the Voyager crew over and over again in various simulations. The wounded are treated in sickbay and then sent back to the holodeck to be hunted again.
The Alpha Hirogen, Karr, oversees Janeway being treated by a medic from her injury in Holodeck 2. He is briefly concerned with the possibility that Janeway might be partly resisting the effects of the neural interface, but the medic insists he's been monitoring and nothing is wrong. Karr has found a new program to try, and has Janeway transferred to Holodeck 1 this time. After she is treated in sickbay, she is sent to a simulation of World War II.
There, Janeway, Seven of Nine, Neelix, Lieutenant Commander Tuvok and Lt. jg B'Elanna Torres are put in a simulation of the Nazi occupation of Sainte Claire, France. They are running a café, Le Coeur de Lion, but are secretly working for the French Resistance, while the Hirogen are working alongside the Nazis. Seven of Nine, or Mademoiselle de Neuf as she is called in the simulation, is a lounge singer, Janeway, or Katrine, is the café owner, and Tuvok is the bartender.
The first scene of the French simulation begins with Seven singing "It Can't Be Wrong". (file info) Karr and the Beta Hirogen, Turanj visit the café, both dressed in Nazi uniform. Karr's character is of a Nazi Standartenführer newly assigned to oversee the city's occupation. He had worked under Rommel in Africa and Schmidt in Poland. Turanj is immediately eager to hunt and destroy the Voyager crew as prey, but Karr tells him to "play the game" and to leave when he starts to harass Seven's character. Katrine comes to talk to Karr, exchanging introductions. Katrine asks that they "keep the war outside" like she tells all her guests. Karr plays the character well, and announces his intentions to intercept Resistance forces who are sure to arrive. Turanj comes back to announce a problem that the warp plasma network has become unstable. Katrine doesn't know what that means, but Karr dismisses it and leaves her with a toast, "to the hunt" (for the Resistance).
When the café is closed, it serves as a secret base for the Resistance. Janeway's character is the leader of the Resistance cell in Sainte Claire, with Tuvok's character as her right-hand man. Seven's character is a munitions expert and an able singer, needed by the Resistance. However, Seven is tired of playing along with the Nazis and wants to prepare to fight. In a striking parallel to their own selves, she and Janeway's character argue on the course of action until Janeway pulls rank and orders her to stop, instead going to buy components for a radio so they can gather more information for the Allied High Command. Tuvok joins her after Seven leaves, and, in further analogy to their real life, they contemplate her increasing disobedience. Janeway has Tuvok get someone to follow her, suspecting a possible defection. If they can't count on her, they'll have to kill her.
The next day, Neelix' character is happily riding a bicycle through town with food when he is stopped by Nazi forces led by Turanj. He tears up his bread and pours out his wine looking for possible smuggling activity, but finds none. He threatens Neelix, but says it isn't up to him and lets him go. Meanwhile, the Resistance, now with B'Elanna Torres, or Brigitte, present, is in the café going over their intelligence. Brigitte is decoding messages from the Allies. She is pregnant with the baby of a Nazi Kapitän, with whom she is involved in a romantic relationship in order to gather information for the Resistance. Neelix serves as a courier for the Resistance, and soon arrives with a message on the other side of the label of a wine bottle containing the key to deciphering the latest radio message. It tells them that the Allied forces will arrive within days and they must assist by disabling the Nazi's communications. Torres' character has a plan, and Katrine approves, ordering a positive response for the Allies.
Later, Brigitte feigns illness in front of the building where her lover works to get in. Inside, the Kapitän is talking with his superior, Karr, relishing in his ownership of a painting. Karr challenges the Kapitän's feeling of superiority with his beliefs that he doesn't deserve any spoils if he conquered a weakened prey and, furthermore, will fail if he underestimates his prey further. When Brigitte arrives, Karr leaves them alone.
On the ground, Turanj gets dissatisfied with "playing the game" and complains to a fellow Hirogen that he has learned enough about their prey. Upon sight of Neelix, he shoots him and Seven when she retaliates. They are taken to sickbay.
In sickbay, The Doctor is asked to attend to their injuries. He insists that they stop these brutalities because the bodies of the crew have not been designed for this kind of punishment. "For the past three weeks," says The Doctor, "they have been stabbed, shot, beaten, phasered and bat'lethed" after which he is forced to attend to them just so they can be sent back for more. The Hirogen however, refuse to listen, even when The Doctor asks that they at least activate the holodeck safety protocols. It is decided that Neelix is to be sent to the Klingon simulation, and Seven back to the World War II simulation after their wounds have been treated.
Back on the bridge, the Hirogen are forcing Ensign Harry Kim (one of the few remaining crew not to have been sent into the holodeck or locked away) to expand the holodeck grids so that they can expand the holo-projectors into all surrounding sections. Kim joins Ashmore in a corridor to work. Kim has Ashmore distract one of the Hirogen guards so that he can transfer The Doctor out of sickbay (with newly installed holoemitters in the corridor) and tell him about his plan to get the crew back. Before they can begin to recover the crew, they need to disable the neural interfaces. He has found a way to tap into the sickbay diagnostic console but somebody has got to be inside the holodeck to engage the bridge control relays. They decide to use Seven's help for this task.
In the ready room, Karr tells Turanj that he has been studying Voyager's database looking for their next simulation. He tells him that there are many to chose from because Humans have a violent history. When World War II is over, he plans to engage the Borg by recreating the Battle of Wolf 359. However, this will be one hunt Turanj will never see if he continues to disobey him. Karr tells him that his lust for the kill has blinded him, like it has blinded many young hunters. He tells Turanj that if the younger hunters took the time to study their prey, to understand its behavior, they might learn something because each prey exposes them to another way of life while at the same time making them re-evaluate their own. He wonders what will become of the Hirogen when they have hunted this territory to exhaustion: a way of life that hasn't changed in a thousand years. He complains that they have lost their identity, that they have allowed their predatory instincts to dominate them – turning them into a solitary race, isolated, no longer a culture. He insists that their people must come back together, combine forces and rebuild their civilization. Karr believes the hunt will always continue but in a new way, for he intends to transform this ship into a vast simulation, eventually replicating the technology which will allow them to hold on to their past while they face the future. Turanj is convinced that Karr is right, albeit very reluctantly, for he knows that others might not agree with Karr's assessment.
In sickbay, The Doctor manages to wake Seven, explaining to her that he has found a way to disable the interface by remodulating one of her Borg implants to emit a jamming signal to interfere with her neural interface implant. Once she is back on the holodeck, the jamming signal will activate within seconds at which moment she must find the control panel inside the holodeck and engage the bridge access relays so he and Kim can deactivate all the neural interfaces. Unfortunately, she doesn't know anything about World War II, so she'll have to figure it out as she goes along.
Back in the World War II simulation, Seven, as de Neuf, is singing "That Old Black Magic" on stage, when the jamming signal activates. At that moment she quickly excuses herself and gets off the stage. Janeway is pumping commandant Karr for information, and wants him to stay so she quickly goes to order de Neuf back on stage. Seven refuses, and, since her character has shown resistance to Janeway in the past, suspicions that she is a Nazi sympathizer are coming to a head with her new unwillingness to continue to sing.
Meanwhile, the Allied troops are preparing to arrive in Sainte Claire, with Chakotay as Captain Miller and Tom Paris as Lieutenant Bobby Davis. Davis has been to Sainte Claire before the war and was involved with Brigitte. Davis briefly relates his longing to see her again to Miller.
The French Resistance finalize their plan to infiltrate the Nazi headquarters to disable the Nazi's communications and Seven assists them. Tuvok will keep watch while Katrine and de Neuf plant the bomb. Brigitte will wait in the café and destroy evidence if necessary. However, Seven doesn't prepare the bombs properly and Katrine questions her. Seven promises she does not have second thoughts about the plan.
Kim, in the mess hall, brings The Doctor to him to coordinate their plan. They're interrupted by Turanj and another Hirogen, but Kim successfully convinces them he has to leave to go back to the bridge.
In Saint Claire, Seven and Katrine reach the Kapitän's office and subdue a telegraph operator. While Katrine looks at the most recent message from the radio transmitter, Seven ignores placing the bombs and finds a holodeck control panel. In the process, she trips an indicator that Kim notices on the bridge who, in turn, is able to give the Doctor, in sickbay, control over the neural interfaces. The Doctor successfully overrides the interface just as he is detained by the Hirogen medic. In the Nazi office, Katrine notices de Neuf has not yet planted the charges and sees her accessing the interface. She doesn't know what it is and assumes de Neuf is a traitor and has been sending messages to the Nazis. She points her pistol at Seven but when she is about to pull the trigger, Janeway's interface is disabled.
Karr, in the Klingon simulation with Neelix' character, is informed of the Doctor's actions and orders a team into the World War II simulation to remove Janeway while he confronts Kim on the bridge. Tuvok stays hidden outside and intercepts the Hirogen, not in Nazi uniforms but instead their Hirogen armor and weapons. Fortunately, the Americans arrive just in time. Miller's team helps Tuvok's character while Davis finds Brigitte at Resistance headquarters.
Soon, artillery barrages strike the Nazi headquarters and create a simulated explosion, blowing a hole in the holodeck wall. The Voyager characters do not know what to make of it because the program is still running. Miller believes it's a secret Nazi installation and orders all units to invade. Kim, on the bridge, says the controls don't work, and now Karr has a real war. Seven and Janeway escape through the hole and the troops begin charging into the "Nazi bunker", taking the war to the rest of the ship.
"When the Americans arrive and the fighting begins, I don't intend to be standing next to a piano singing "Moonlight Becomes You.""
- - Mademoiselle de Neuf (Seven of Nine) to Katrine (Captain Janeway)
"I must discontinue this activity. I am not well."
- - Seven of Nine, after The Doctor's tampering restores her memories and identity mid-song
"Straight from Allied High Command."
"It must be important."
"All messages regarding the war are important. It's only a matter of degree."
"I suppose you're right, but do you have to be so... logical about everything?"
"In any covert battle, logic is a potent weapon. You might try it sometime."
- - Tuvok and Neelix (in the French Resistance holodeck simulation)
"You've circumvented our control! How?"
"Go to hell!"
- - Karr and Harry Kim after The Doctor deactivates Kathryn Janeway's neural interface
"We've got to stop meeting like this."
- - The Doctor, when Ensign Kim activates him in the mess hall to discuss plans for retaking the ship
"You wanted a war? It looks like you've got one."
- - Harry Kim, to Karr when the World War II simulation spills out onto the decks of Voyager
Story and scriptEdit
- As evidenced by the final draft of this episode's script, this installment had the working title "Wargame".
- Writer/producer Joe Menosky had the original idea for this episode, having been affected by his experience of having repeatedly seen – while living and working in Europe – televised footage of the Second World War that was profuse there. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 87) The plot concept was one of the first ideas that Menosky revealed to his fellow writing staffers on Star Trek: Voyager, upon returning to work on Star Trek from abroad. (Star Trek Monthly issue 39, p. 12) He remembered, "When I got back from Europe, I wanted to do a World War II show [....] I thought it would be real cool to do a World War II episode with our characters, and have a little French town and tanks and our people in GI uniforms." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 87) Menosky proposed this idea in 1996. Neither he nor Voyager's other staff writers could find a way of making the plot concept work. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 87; Star Trek Monthly issue 39, p. 13) "We just never knew how to work it," Menosky admitted. "In the back of our minds, we figured it would be an arena-like story where a powerful alien race tosses us and somebody else down into a World War II scenario. We have to fight it out, like when a little kid throws red ants and black ants together and watches the results." This initial concept stayed on hold for a long time. (Star Trek Monthly issue 39, p. 13)
- The war-related idea was reconsidered after the Hirogen were conceived. Joe Menosky recollected, "Once we had the Hirogen, that seemed like a good time to resurrect this World War II thing." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 87) The story was then added to by co-executive producer Brannon Braga, when he conceived of an idea that he thought was "cool" – having aliens in Nazi German uniforms. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 87; Star Trek Monthly issue 39, p. 13) Subsequently, the Hirogen were used to fill this role. Menosky commented, "I think [Braga's input is] what led to the idea of using these Hunters in that regard." (Star Trek Monthly issue 39, p. 13)
- The specifics of how the characters would be transported into the World War II setting still had to be devised. "So, we were struggling with how this was going to happen," Joe Menosky related. "In my original story, I had the Hunters have a kind of hunting scenario planet. It was like a planetary Holodeck, and we found ourselves down in a simulation because they drove us there. But in working out the story, when we were all together as a staff team, Ken Biller came up with the idea that it was on our own Holodeck." (Star Trek Monthly issue 39, pp. 13-14) Menosky also stated, "Ken Biller had the good idea of putting it on a holodeck, and making this the big holodeck episode of the year. That was the last key to get things rolling in terms of actually starting to write an episode." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 87)
- Beginning to pen the script for this episode, the writer/producers decided to start the episode's storyline with the starship Voyager having already been invaded by the Hirogen. Joe Menosky remembered, "We cut right to the action, didn't deal with the takeover of our ship, and got right into this holodeck story." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 87)
- It was while scripting this episode that the writers began to create the character of the Alpha Hirogen known as Karr, whose motives were used as thematic material for the two-parter. "A lot of times, strangely enough (and this happened in The Year of Hell [two-parter], as well), you don't get the bigger theme until you've actually progressed with the plot, despite the fact that the theme might hold everything together," Joe Menosky observed. "And in this case, through not only working out the story, but even the script of part one, Brannon and I arrived at the notion that one member of these Hunter aliens was starting to question the way his society behaved in terms of hunting and killing the species around them and what that would lead to. [It was] a metaphor for exhausting your resources." (Star Trek Monthly issue 39, p. 14) The writers recognized that such a notion had far-reaching consequences, such as imbuing Karr with a more life-like personality. Menosky offered, "Once we came up with that character thread, that this guy was using the holodeck to explore ways in which he might change this destructive hunting dynamic of his people, then suddenly that gives a bad guy some depth." Brannon Braga concurred, "The Hirogen were not just the 'Hunter' villains. With any luck we managed to dimensionalize them a little bit more and say something about culture. It was more than just aliens in Nazi uniforms, I hope." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 87)
- The exploding building near the end of this episode was thought up by Brannon Braga. He noted, "I always wanted to explode a building on Star Trek, and [had] never quite figured out how to do it." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 87)
- In this episode's shooting script, Janeway's holographic persona goes by the name Genevieve. (Star Trek: Voyager Companion, p. 232) This is possibly an inside joke referring to Genevieve Bujold, the actress who was initially selected to portray the role of Voyager's captain. The name of Janeway's World War II character changed, thereafter, to Katrine.
- Brigitte's pregnancy was influenced by actress Roxann Dawson's real-life pregnancy. "They worked that into the script," Dawson noted, "so that the character I played – in the alternate universe, basically – was pregnant." (Braving the Unknown: Season Four, VOY Season 4 DVD)
- The fact that Brannon Braga and Joe Menosky were not, at this point in the series, particularly interested in the character of Harry Kim inspired their decision to make him the only main character who does not participate in the holographic wargames of this episode's two-parter, a role that had to be accentuated in order to fill up the story. "We stuck his ass on the bridge," said Menosky, blatantly, "and we just didn't care [....] We ended up being short in that episode. Because the World War II sets had been struck, and it was elaborate amounts of costume to do anything in the period anyway, we were stuck with a few minutes of scenes we had to write, and no one but Ensign Kim." Menosky also commented that "no other character could have been used" in the same way as the brutalized Kim is, here. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 31, No. 11, p. 41)
- Brannon Braga enjoyed trying to make the Nazis historically accurate. "We really tried," he said. "Joe Menosky was a big help with this, because he's really knowledgeable about historical things [....] It was fun to explore [although] it wasn't an episode about Nazism per se." (Star Trek Monthly issue 44, p. 12)
- The final draft of the episode's script was submitted on 18 November 1997. 
- In the episode it was stated that Karr's character had "served with Rommel in North Africa and Schmidt in Poland". The former was a bit incongruous however, as no SS unit had, historically at least, served under Rommel in Africa. Assuming that Rommel was the character's last assignment, then the St. Clair simulation can be placed in the 1943-1944 time period, as the Germans were defeated in North Africa in May 1943.
Cast and characters Edit
- Being much more used to performing in classical theater elsewhere in the United States of America, actor J. Paul Boehmer classed this episode as "my first job in LA" and "my first job on television." (Star Trek Monthly issue 46, pp. 70 & 71) Having been a keen viewer of Star Trek since his childhood, however, Boehmer was thrilled to be cast in the role of the unnamed Kapitän here. "I've followed it from the original series, so it was really cool to finally get to be on it," he admitted. "Getting the opportunity to work is always great, but getting the chance to work on a show that you've loved since you were five is a blast. I was walking on cloud nine for months." (Star Trek Monthly issue 46, p. 70)
- J. Paul Boehmer found that his past in classical theater helped him with his pronunciations of his character's technical dialogue here, which he nevertheless thought was "hard to say" and "hard to memorize." Furthermore, the actor brought an historical understanding to his role of the Nazi Kapitän, aware of the pressures that such a person would actually have been under. "The Kapitan is participating in what was a really powerful movement at the time," Boehmer mused. "At the time at which the program is set, the Nazis were losing, and the leadership was pushing even harder for them to win." Such retrospection was important to Boehmer, as he was presented with the challenge of trying to find a moral root in a character that may outwardly seem archetypally villainous. "It's interesting, because it starts out as a love story for these two. [B'Elanna's character] has plans because she's part of the resistance, but my take on it when I played the character was that he was truly in love with her. He doesn't know she is in the resistance, and he would do anything for her." (Star Trek Monthly issue 46, p. 71)
- Director David Livingston was pleased with this installment's selection of guest stars. He opined, "We had a wonderful guest cast." (Braving the Unknown: Season Four, VOY Season 4 DVD)
- Much to their surprise, Brannon Braga and Joe Menosky became delighted by this episode's depiction of Harry Kim, a development that Menosky referred to as "a really interesting thing." He went on to say, "Because [Kim] was messed up, because these [Hirogen] guys had been smacking him around, and he was rebellious but he still had to knuckle under, we saw this other side of Kim. It was a tough side of him that we had never seen before, and we really liked. That takes everybody by surprise, no one more so than us. You see him in dailies, and you see him in the episode, and you go, 'That's cool.'" (Cinefantastique, Vol. 31, No. 11, p. 41)
- Kim actor Garrett Wang was unhappy that he felt this was one of several important episodes that he seemed to miss out on, although Joe Menosky felt differently. "In some ways, Garrett was the perfect person for that episode," Menosky stated. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 31, No. 11, pp. 40-41)
- As Roxann Dawson's pregnancy had been written as a facet of the holodeck persona Brigitte, Dawson was relieved that she didn't have to hide her body while filming this arc. "I was able to let it all hang out there," the actress laughed. "We didn't have to hide it." (Braving the Unknown: Season Four, VOY Season 4 DVD) Dawson also remarked that not having to cover up her pregnancy, on screen, was "a lot of fun." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 94)
- For the scene of this episode in which Neelix thinks he is one of the Klingons (as well as for many scenes of the second half of the two-parter), Neelix actor Ethan Phillips had to endure not only his usual Talaxian prosthetics but also Klingon makeup over that. "That was... hell, because not only did I have to have the Talaxian makeup, then I've gotta have Klingon make-up on over it," Phillips recalled. "I mean, forget it! That's a lotta rubber. It's hot with that make-up on, but this was like I was in a sauna. I felt like I was [in] an oven." Other than this discomfort, Phillips enjoyed his turn as a Klingon. (VOY Season 4 DVD easter egg)
- By the time she came to appear in this episode, Seven of Nine actress Jeri Ryan had become extremely stressed and exhausted. "I was sick with something almost every day of my first season – colds, sinus infections, bronchitis – and getting only four hours of sleep a night because of the schedule, so by the time we got to this really grueling, complicated two-parter set in World War II, I was totally wiped," Ryan explained. (TV Week magazine (Canada) of May 8-14, 1999, pp. 6-7, 9 from "Super Moms", an interview by Michael Logan) The actress nevertheless enjoyed this episode's two-parter, citing it as one of her personal highlights from the entirety of Voyager's fourth season. "Of course, 'The Killing Game' was just a riot," she enthused. "I got to play Seven as a totally different person. I got to step out of the corset and the cat suit for a while." Ryan also liked the location work involved in the making of the two-parter. (Star Trek Monthly issue 40, p. 35) She did her own singing for this episode.
- David Livingston likened the identity that Janeway dons throughout much of the episode, Katrine, to Humphrey Bogart; specifically, Livingston described Katrine as "Janeway playing Humphrey Bogart, basically, with a white tuxedo." (Braving the Unknown: Season Four, VOY Season 4 DVD)
- Upon starting the filming of this episode, the production crew were tired out. "When Joe and I wrote the two-parter," Brannon Braga remembered, "the production team was exhausted. They'd just done 'Year of Hell' and 'Prey' and the other blockbusters. How in the world were we going to pull off this World War II epic?" (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 87) Elaborating on the confusion of how the group would manage to create this episode's two-parter, Braga reflected, "Nazis, aliens dressed as Nazis, Humans and Klingons – all together in a European, small French village. And it [...] just seemed impossible. How could we produce that, with machine guns and phasers?!" (Braving the Unknown: Season Four, VOY Season 4 DVD)
- Filming for the two-parter covered late November-early December 1997. The teaser sequence of this installment was shot on Paramount Stage 16 on 24 November 1997 and involved Director of Photography Marvin V. Rush using a tape measure, when preparing to film footage of the Klingon-looking Janeway, in order to keep a hand-held camera at the suitable focal length for the desired focus and frame. The Sainte Claire exteriors of the two-parter were filmed over three days, including 5 December 1997, at Universal Studios' "European Street" backlot. (Star Trek Magazine issue 143) The exteriors that were shot during this period of location filming included the outside of a building that served as Sainte Claire's Nazi headquarters, for which – on instruction from set decorator James Mees – Nazi swastika flags were especially created. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 88) The location shoot was generally enjoyable for the cast and crew. Roxann Dawson noted, "It was a great thing for us to be able to go out." (Braving the Unknown: Season Four, VOY Season 4 DVD) Jeri Ryan also regarded the opportunity to go on location as "great." (Star Trek Monthly issue 40, p. 35)
- During a break from filming some of the footage that features her as Mademoiselle de Neuf, Jeri Ryan stepped off the set, shod her spiked, high-heeled footwear and donned a robe before sitting down for an interview with Cinefantastique. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 76)
- The Hirogen-decorated version of the captain's ready room in this episode features numerous weapons. In fact, according to the unauthorized reference book Delta Quadrant (p. 228), this was "almost the whole stock of prop weapons."
- The shooting of this episode included some bluescreen filming of Janeway actress Kate Mulgrew and Seven actress Jeri Ryan, for the sequence depicting the destruction of the Nazi headquarters building. Ronald B. Moore, the visual effects supervisor on this episode, recalled, "We put up a big bluescreen, and they [ran], one on each side of the camera. They just [came] up to the camera and [dived]." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 88)
- J. Paul Boehmer enjoyed working with David Livingston on this episode, as well as with Victor Lobl on the two-parter's concluding half, and found both directors to be extremely helpful. The actor enthused, "The directors were very much aligned on what they wanted from the individual episodes. Both of them were very good at seeing where the thrust of the piece needed to go. I had a pretty clear vision of what it needed to be, too, so it was pretty easy to move that forward. They were terrific to work with, both of them. They were very supportive, very helpful." Boehmer concluded that he also found both directors to be "really great to [him]" about the fact that the two-parter was his first acting job in television work. (Star Trek Monthly issue 46, p. 71) A long-time Star Trek director, David Livingston himself was thrilled to direct this installment. "'The Killing Game' is my favorite Star Trek episode that I've been able to direct," he raved, "because it had everything in it." After explaining that he was referring to the episode's unusual setting and variation of characters, Livingston continued, "They threw everything into it. I had the best time doing that episode, because it just had so much stuff in it." (Braving the Unknown: Season Four, VOY Season 4 DVD)
- Ronald B. Moore described the destruction of Nazi headquarters in this episode as "probably one of the biggest [effects] that we've ever done on any [televised] Star Trek." To create this effect, Vision Crew Unlimited created a seven foot replica of the building. According to Ron Moore, Thane Morris – a pyro technician in the employ of Vision Crew – "helped get the design of the building right." The same people who created the swastika flags for the exterior of the full-scale building replicated them, again in accordance with instructions from James Mees, at one-fifth scale. Mees then provided Moore with the flags, before the building was set to destruct. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 88)
- To film the model exploding, a trio of high-speed cameras was utilized; two of these cameras ran at 360 frames per second, while a third ran at 120 frames per second. Additionally, the model and the full-size building were lit alike, for the sequence. Ron Moore remembered, "[Marvin V. Rush] was able to match the lighting on the model. I transferred it, and then cut things together." In Moore's estimation, the mixture of footage of both the miniature and the full-size building was highly effective. "You can't tell [the difference]," he reckoned. "The model is up there and most people see it and think it is the real building." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 88) Brannon Braga, for one, was thrilled with the explosion. "Of course, it was just a model," he remarked, "but it was great!" (Star Trek Monthly issue 44, p. 12)
- It was after the explosion was filmed and edited together that the bluescreen footage of Kate Mulgrew and Jeri Ryan, running and diving, was filmed. The final edit of the sequence involves a shot of Janeway and Seven exiting the building and running towards the camera, two quick shots of the miniature blowing up and a final shot showing the pair of women diving out of sight, backdropped by more footage of the exploding model. Initially, however, Ron Moore was somewhat worried about how the final edit would look. He took his concerns to executive producer Rick Berman. "[I] said, 'I really think the people are going to cover the explosion up a little bit,'" Moore recounted. "'You've got two quick cuts when they are not there, and then suddenly they pop on.' Berman said, 'I don't care if it covers up the explosion.'" In the end, Moore found that he indeed need not have worried. "I did a rough roto around [the two actresses], and put them over the explosion. I had to shift their sync a little bit, so they were together as they went. It worked beautifully. Berman was right." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 88)
- The breach in the holodeck, created by the explosion, was modeled entirely in CGI by Digital Muse. Mitch Suskin, who served as visual effects supervisor on the concluding half of the two-parter, commented, "Greg Rainoff (at Digital Muse) created the whole blend between the holodeck and the Voyager piece, with the flashing of the lights at the edge. It actually played a lot better once we had all the elements together." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 88)
Reception and aftermath Edit
- This episode aired back-to-back with "The Killing Game, Part II" on its first airing. Even though these two episodes were originally intended to initially air on two separate nights, the decision to first broadcast both parts on the same night as each other was made by UPN, surprising the producers. Brannon Braga commented, "It was actually their idea. We planned it as a two part episode, and it was their idea to air it on the same night as a Voyager movie of sorts." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 89) Indeed, it was also originally planned that the two parts would first air as a single, feature-length edition (and promotional trailers for the episodes advertised them as such). However, these plans did not materialize, and each episode aired as a separate entity. A feature-length version was broadcast by the BBC on its first airing on 5 September 1999, and formed part of the UK VHS release Star Trek: Voyager - Movies.
- The way in which the two-parter originally aired was a Star Trek first, because – although there had been feature-length episodes in the past (with Star Trek: Voyager's own pilot episode, "Caretaker", included among them) – this was the first time when both halves of a two-parter aired on a single night. Tuvok actor Tim Russ noted, "Again, here we go with defying convention, breaking the rules once in a while. That's what keeps people interested." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 100)
- Both Brannon Braga and Tim Russ were ultimately happy with the ratings of the "Killing Game" two-parter, as well as the fact that both segments of the two-parter were first aired on the same night as each other. Russ observed, "I think it was received quite well [....] To put on a two-hour show like that in one night was just great." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 100) Similarly, Braga said, "It really worked out well. The ratings were quite good." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 89) In fact, this episode achieved a Nielsen rating of 4.3 million homes, and a 7% share. (X) The two-parter also ranked number 89, well above numerous series on the television network ABC. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 89)
- This episode was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Hairstyling for a Series.
- Cinefantastique rated this episode 3 out of 4 stars. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 101)
- Star Trek Monthly scored this episode 5 out of 5 stars. (Star Trek Monthly issue 43, p. 57)
- The unauthorized reference book Delta Quadrant (p. 230) gives the installment a rating of 9 out of 10.
- The success of this two-parter's first airing influenced two-hour, feature-length episodes in subsequent seasons. (Beyond the Final Frontier, p. 316) The first of these was "Dark Frontier", of whose development Joe Menosky said, "Because of the success of airing 'The Killing Game' in a single night, the network and the studio were really interested in doing a Voyager movie, a two-part episode that was aired on a single evening." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 31, No. 11, p. 32)
- The success of how this installment depicts Harry Kim influenced the character to be featured in the anniversary episode "Timeless". "In a funny way, the future Kim in 'Timeless' was directly inspired by the belted-around Kim and edgy Kim from 'The Killing Game'," explained Joe Menosky. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 31, No. 11, p. 41)
Continuity and trivia Edit
- This is the fourth mention of Nazi Germany in Star Trek. The Nazis first appeared in TOS: "The City on the Edge of Forever" and "Patterns of Force". Also, Captain Kirk references "Earth, Hitler, 1938" in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, in reply to General Chang's comment of "We need breathing room."
- Both Captain Janeway and Neelix are seen wearing Klingon uniforms in this episode. Tom Paris later wears one in "Prophecy".
- This two-parter marks the only episodes where Roxann Dawson's pregnancy is intentionally shown on screen. Dawson herself noted, "'[The] Killing Game' is the only episode where my pregnancy was allowed to be seen." (Braving the Unknown: Season Four, VOY Season 4 DVD)
- The songs that Mademoiselle de Neuf sings in the course of this installment are "It Can't Be Wrong" and "That Old Black Magic".
- The text that appears on screen when The Doctor accesses Janeway's profile is a summary of the events in the Season 2 episode "Resolutions".
- In the German version of this episode, one of the two women in the street scene offends B'Elanna Torres (as Brigitte) by saying "Naziflittchen" ("Nazi slut"), whereas in the original version, the woman says "Collabo" ("Nazi collaborator") in French, before spitting in front of Torres.
- The car driving on the square of Sainte Claire is a Citroen 2CV Charleston built from 1983.
- The map used by Captain Janeway and Chakotay to devise the resistance plan is a map of the city of Toulouse, in the South West of France.
Video and DVD releasesEdit
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 4.9, catalog number VHR 4630, 7 September 1998
- In feature-length form, as part of the UK VHS collection Star Trek: Voyager - Movies: Volume 3 (with "Equinox"), 5 February 2001
- As part of the VOY Season 4 DVD collection
Links and referencesEdit
- 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
- Danny Goldring as Karr
- Mark Metcalf as a Hirogen medic
- Mark Deakins as Turanj
- J. Paul Boehmer as the Kapitan
- Paul Eckstein as a young Hirogen
- Peter Hendrixson as a Klingon
artillery; baguette; bat'leth; battalion; Battle of Wolf 359; British Intelligence; body odor; bridge control relay; bunker; centimeter; Coeur de Lion, Le; Concert, The; countryside; crater; Crusades; Delta Quadrant; dizziness; Dover; dynamite; Earth; Fifth Armored Infantry; France; French language; Gewehr 98/40; Goulot; Grande Odalisque; Hirogen; Hirogen philosophy; Hirogen's Klingon simulation; Hirogen warship; holodeck; holodeck safety protocol; hologram; hologrid; internal bleeding; jamming signal; kilometer; kiss; Klingon; laceration; Leda and the Swan; logic; lung; M1 Garand; master race; McNulty, Jazzy; memory center; meter; Nazi; oscillator; plasma network; postcard; Praxiteles; Rommel, Erwin; rot; Sainte Claire; radio transmitter; Smith, Reginald; snail; strategist; Tarpahk; triage; US Army; Second World War; Third Reich; Thompson submachine gun; US 29th Infantry Division; vertebra; weather report; Zündapp KS750
Other references Edit
- Crew Manifest 74656: Rick Berman; Ken Biller; Brannon Braga; Michael DeMeritt; Louise Dorton; Wendy Drapanas; Kristine Fernandez; Jerry Fleck; Arlene Fukai; Cosmo Genovese; Merri Howard; Richard James; Andrzesj Kozlowski; Peter Lauritson; Jessica Leong; David Livingston; James Mees; John Nesterowicz; Diane Overdiek; Michael Piller; Karen Ragan; David Rossi; Marvin Rush; Sandra Sena; Suzi Shimizu; Adele Simmons; Alan Sims; Alex Smutko; Jeri Taylor; Brad Yacobian;
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"The Killing Game, Part II"