(written from a Production point of view)
Seven of Nine experiences hallucinations, and believes that she is being called back to the Borg Collective.
On Voyager's holodeck, Captain Janeway is trying to teach Seven of Nine about the benefits of relaxation and having a hobby. She is doing so using her Leonardo da Vinci simulation, showing her how to sculpt with clay.
Seven finds the whole idea of relaxation inefficient; as a drone, she was assigned a task; when she was done, she was given another; that was efficient. But Janeway tries to get her to see that relaxation is important to life as a Human, which, like it or not, she is now returning to. In the process, she talks about da Vinci's prolific career as a scientist, and shows her one of his prototype gliders, hanging from the ceiling.
The sight of it causes Seven to suddenly stand stock still, as if she were a statue herself. She has a vision of herself, running in terror aboard her parent's vessel. Drones relentlessly stride after her in pursuit, as the cold voice of the Borg Collective informs her of her fate: assimilation.
She also sees a large, black, screeching bird flying through the corridors. And she hears a high-pitched voice, desperately calling her by her Human name: Annika.
She snaps back to reality after being shaken by a very concerned Janeway, who asks her what is wrong. She does not know, she responds, voice tremulous.
The Doctor examines Seven in the sickbay. Janeway is present. Seven describes her hallucinations. They have now occurred three times. Each time is the same: a terrifying pursuit by the Borg. But this confuses her: why would she fear the Borg? Janeway and The Doctor suggest that she is reliving the trauma of her assimilation. But she rejects this; they did not traumatize her, she insists; they raised her. Having only been recently freed from them, after being one of them from since childhood, she has not yet realized just what they took from her and still sees them as her "people".
Janeway and The Doctor do not press the issue. Instead, The Doctor turns his attention to another part of her returning Humanity: her need to eat. Seven, as expected, finds "oral consumption" inefficient. But, like it or not, she has to do it; her digestive system has recovered enough to make it necessary. He gives her a PADD containing recommended nutrition for her, and instructs her to take it to Neelix in the mess hall, for her first meal since being de-assimilated.
Commander Chakotay calls Janeway from the bridge; USS Voyager is approaching a region of space that is controlled by a species known as the B'omar. Janeway wants Voyager to be allowed to cross it; going around would take far too long. But they need the B'omars' permission, and the B'omar are being difficult, to say the least. After assuring Seven that they will get her through whatever is happening to her, Janeway heads for the bridge.
In the briefing room, Janeway, Chakotay, and Tom Paris meet with two members of the B'omar government, called the B'omar Sovereignty. The two representatives, Councilor Dumah and Gaumen, insist with an air of arrogant superiority on a very long, round-about path that Voyager will have to follow, which avoids any "populated areas, industrial centers and military complexes". The path appears even longer than the detour.
Further, they insist that "While in our space, your vessel will not exceed warp three, and your weapons systems will remain off-line. You will avoid unnecessary scans and you will not conduct surveys of any kind. You will make no attempt to explore our space and you will avoid all communications with nonmilitary craft." Janeway will also have to submit Voyager to seventeen inspection points along the way. The captain puts her most diplomatic face on to cover her stunned feelings, and asks politely if they will consider a more direct route. Their response is merely a look of palpable disdain.
In the mess hall, Neelix greets Seven happily and takes the PADD from her. He reads The Doctor's recommendations. But it is merely a list of nutrients in the prescribed amounts; hardly appetizing, he opines. He figures a meal of chadre'kab would meet the requirements and taste good too, but Seven could not care less. Nor does she care about how he prepares it; when he asks her, she responds that preparation is "irrelevant". So he makes the decision, deciding that steamed would be easiest for her still-fragile digestive system to handle.
He prepares the meal in his kitchen. During this, Seven recognizes Neelix' species; Talaxian, or species 218 to the Borg. She notes that a freighter with a crew of 39 Talaxians was assimilated in the Dalmine sector – their dense musculature made them excellent Borg drones. Neelix, unnerved by this but hiding it with humor, guides Seven to a table. This is another act she is uncomfortable with but has to get accustomed to; Borg do not sit. Ever. He places the plate before her, then trains her in the act of eating: dip spoon in, lift to mouth, put food in mouth, close mouth, chew and swallow. It seems amusing, but it is necessary; she has no idea whatsoever how to do it.
But as she takes a second mouthful, she encounters she stops. Seven experiences a vision of a Borg drone screaming. The sound is identical to the black bird from her earlier visions. She stares, seemingly to Neelix at nothing. Then, as he watches in shock, a star-shaped Borg implant emerges from the skin on her right hand and spreads out on it. She drops the fork and groans in pain but as she stares at her new implant, she says "You will be assimilated,".
She looks up at Neelix. Her manner becomes cold, drone-like. "Resistance is futile," she intones, then rises and shoves Neelix backward so hard he lands on the floor, dazed. She exits the room, striding in the implacable, relentless manner of a drone with a task to perform, as shocked crewmembers rush to the Talaxian's aid.
Janeway, and Chakotay try their best to negotiate a shorter route with the B'omar. Lieutenant Paris has joined the meeting since his responsibilities as flight controller make his input valuable. But the B'omar do not budge, arrogantly rejecting every suggestion they make. Then Lieutenant Commander Tuvok calls from the bridge and informs them that Seven has gone on a rampage and has attacked three crewmen after leaving the mess hall. Janeway tries to call her, but gets no answer. Chakotay orders Tuvok to get a security team to her location to stop her.
Seven strides through the corridors, heading toward the armory. Security officers attempt to stop her with phaser stun blasts. But they fail utterly; her Borg shielding is again online. Since she is fully aware of the phasers' power and frequencies, the officers do not get the usual delay before the adaptive shielding nullifies their weapons.
On the bridge, the B'omar are shocked and angry, confronting Janeway: "You have Borg on your ship?!" Janeway assures them that Seven is not Borg anymore, but is at a loss to explain why, then, she has Borg shielding. Meanwhile, Seven gets a phaser rifle from the armory and continues on, this time heading for the shuttle bay. She boards a turbolift.
When she exits the lift, a team led by Tuvok greets her. Tuvok warns her to stand down, but she ignores him. They fire, but, as with with the security officers before, they hit nothing but shield. She fires back, downing Ayala and another security officer. Tuvok reports the failure to Janeway, as Seven heads for the door to the bay. At Janeway's order, Ensign Kim puts up a force field to prevent her from getting to the door. But she uses a computer wall console to initiate a site-to-site transport through the force field, beaming aboard a shuttlecraft. Janeway orders the bay's outer door sealed. But this does not stop her; she actually crashes the shuttle through the doors, using its shields, which she has enhanced, to prevent damage to it. She flies off.
In the captain's ready room, Janeway asks the B'omar for permission to pursue her into their space, but they sneeringly refuse, questioning her competence. Janeway keeps her cool, requesting that they work together. The B'omar make it clear: there will be no cooperation. Voyager will remain at least 5 light years from B'omar space. The B'omar will track Seven's shuttle and destroy it and her on catching it. Janeway coldly orders Chakotay to take them to the transporter room.
Later, Janeway is in Cargo Bay 2, essentially Seven's quarters, supervising crewmembers as they check Seven's regeneration alcove and all other Borg equipment there for any clue as to the cause of her behavior. Chief engineer B'Elanna Torres has discovered a Borg data link in an alcove, containing log entries written in Borg alphanumeric code. Kim plans to translate it as he has become adept in Borg language. Chakotay arrives and informs her that the B'omar have doubled their border patrol and increased the sensitivity of their border's perimeter security grid.
He then muses that perhaps attempts to rehabilitate Seven into Humanity were doomed to failure; even if she wanted to stay on Voyager, it may be that her Borg nature simply won out. But Janeway stoutly refuses to accept this. "She was responding to us; interacting with people outside of the Collective for the first time. She was adapting to this environment and to this crew," she insists.
But the bigger question now is: where is she going? It cannot be Borg space; that is ten thousand light years away; it would take thousands of temporal years in a shuttle. Long range scans show no Borg vessels anywhere.
Janeway and Chakotay then go to the Sickbay. The Doctor has something to show them. He has looked at the matter conversion data from Seven's site-to-site transport. The data shows that previously dormant nanoprobes in her cells have become active; they have, as is usual with nanoprobes assimilating tissue, taken over blood cell production and are creating new implants, including the ones that he took out when he de-assimilated her.
Though he cannot guess as to why the nanoprobes activated, he does have a way to stop them. He shows them a hypospray whose contents he has designed to shut them down again. But someone, then, will have to get close enough to use it. This will not be easy, not to mention dangerous. Janeway takes the hypospray to the bridge, where Tuvok and Paris are working on a plan to get into B'omar space and retrieve Seven.
The plan involves using a shuttle whose shields have been suitably modified to mask the craft from the B'omar security grid. But it will not be able to communicate with Voyager once inside. Janeway approves and gives Tuvok the hypospray.
She also orders Tuvok to use "any force necessary" to stop Seven, should the hypo's contents not work. No matter what, the Borg are not getting her back.
In B'omar space, Seven's shuttle heads toward an unrevealed destination. Seven suffers another vision, this time cowering under a desk as she sees two drones reach for her. Then the sound of an alarm on the shuttle's control console snaps her out of it. B'omar patrol ships surround her.
The B'omar warn her to proceed no further. Her face merely registers cold contempt as she effortlessly uses her phasers to disarm and incapacitate every one of the patrol ships. That done, she continues on.
Tuvok and Paris, pursuing her in a class 2 shuttle, detect the battle and the results: no B'omar casualties, but their ships are no longer capable of doing a thing. Paris locates the shuttle and Tuvok orders an intercept.
They catch up to it, but Seven's re-emerged Borg implants prevent her from being beamed off. Tuvok decides that he will beam to her and administer the hypo's contents. Paris reminds him of how dangerous that is: strong as Tuvok is, Vulcan strength is not a match for Borg strength. Tuvok responds that this is the only chance they have; he will try to use the element of surprise on her. Paris beams him to the back of Seven's shuttle.
She is waiting for him. She engages him as soon as he fully materializes. Tuvok goes for a Vulcan nerve pinch. She deflects and, to Tuvok's great surprise, succeeds in applying the very same move on him, knocking him out.
On waking, he finds that Seven, at the pilot's controls, has put up a level-5 force field between him and her. He asks her why she left Voyager. "I am Borg," she replies. No, Tuvok insists. She was Borg, but is now Human again, and is part of Voyager's crew. Seven insists not, with sadness in her voice: she will always be Borg.
Tuvok asks her what prompted her to realize this. She responds that she is following a Borg resonance frequency from a Borg ship that is waiting for her. Then, before she can stop herself, she rises, advances on him and coldly states the Borg species designation for Vulcans and the abilities of the species that make Vulcans "worthy" of assimilation. But before she can do what a drone faced with such a target would do, she catches hold of herself and returns to her seat. She tells Tuvok to return to Voyager and thank Janeway for the kindness she has shown her.
Tuvok notes her demonstrated affection and sentiment. This proves, he presses, that she is not Borg. He then asks her if hallucinations are normal for a drone responding to a Borg resonance signal. Her answer: no. But, she continues, frightened, she can hear them. Tuvok, in a calm, reassuring tone, suggest that she drop the force field; they can return to Voyager together and find out what is happening to her.
For a moment, she is on the verge of agreeing. But then she hears the Collective again and bluntly insists that she must rejoin it, and returns to piloting.
Aboard Voyager, Janeway and Kim are reviewing Seven's personal log entries. But they show no clue as to the cause of what has happened to her. It seems like another dead end.
That is, until they come to the parts where she describes her hallucinations. Janeway reads one of the entries. In it Seven speaks of a large, black bird. In her precise, Borg-like manner, she describes its features: black feathers, wingspan approximately one and a half meters, yellow eyes, powerful beak. She then describes her feelings of fear on seeing it as it watches her.
Janeway, a scientist herself by training, recalls that the ornithological description matches that of a crow or a raven.
Epiphany hits her. She now knows exactly where Seven is going and what has triggered her behavior. She and Kim rush to the bridge, where she orders scans for Starfleet vessels other than the two shuttlecraft, and then has the officer at the helm set a course for B'omar space.
Seven's shuttle approaches a small B'omar moon. She informs Tuvok that the signal is coming from the surface; the Borg await her there. But her fear of meeting them troubles her, as it did before. Tuvok offers to go with her. This puzzles and concerns her; he would be assimilated. But Tuvok does not think so; the situation is not what it seems. Seven considers, agrees, drops the force field, and he joins her.
Meanwhile, Voyager contacts Paris' shuttle. He informs Janeway of the situation: he lost contact with Tuvok when he beamed over to Seven's shuttle, but he tracked her shuttle to the moon it was seen going to. He has also detected the Borg signal, but, of course, cannot identify it. Janeway orders him to try to locate Seven and Tuvok on the moon. But he must act quickly; B'omar ships are closing in on him.
The moon's terrain is rugged, full of mountain ranges and deep canyons. Seven and Tuvok beam down and follow the signal.
They round a corner and find, perched precariously on the edge of a cliff, the long-abandoned remains of a vessel. Tuvok scans it; it is of the Federation, partially assimilated by the Borg. No life signs. Tritanium decay places it as being there for almost the last 20 years.
They enter through an opening in the hull and make their way carefully to the bridge, where Seven finds a device emitting a pulsing green light. This is the source of the Borg resonance frequency. She turns it off.
Then she experiences a hallucination more terrifying than any of the previous ones. She is a child. She sees a man and a woman, her parents, being dragged away by Borg drones. They scream at her to run and hide. She tries to do so, hiding behind a console. But she is found. She cringes and cries out in terror as two drones reach for her.
A look of terror suffuses Seven's face. She quickly hides under a console, cowering and crying. Tuvok goes to her, reassures her and brings her back out.
She looks around. And in the manner of a child, she tells Tuvok about that day 18 years ago when she and her parents were assimilated. For the first time, she is beginning to see just what the Borg did to her and her life. Tuvok surmises that the signal must have been active all that time, and Voyager passed within range of it, causing her behavior.
Then the ship shakes violently. The B'omar have found them. They make their way quickly to the opening through which they entered.
Voyager arrives at the moon. Three B'omar vessels are seen firing at the surface. On the bridge, Kim informs Janeway that their hails are being ignored. Janeway orders Chakotay to target their weapons. She orders a status report from Paris; he informs her that he has found Seven and Tuvok, but interference is making beaming them out difficult.
Seven and Tuvok find the opening they entered through is now blocked. They begin clearing it.
Chakotay reports to Janeway that two of the B'omar ships are disabled. The third one hails. It is Gaumen. He angrily warns Janeway that she is committing an act of war. Reinforcements are coming. Janeway responds that he left her no choice, and has Kim cut the communication.
Seven and Tuvok manage to get out of the remains of the Raven. They get far enough in time to turn and watch as the remains shear away and crash into the gorge below. Then Paris' transporter beam takes them.
Paris informs Janeway that he has them. Kim informs her a fleet of 68 B'omar ships is approaching. Janeway orders the officer at the helm to remove Voyager from B'omar space at warp eight as soon as the shuttle is aboard.
Later, Janeway finds Seven on the holodeck, running the Da Vinci simulation. She informs her that The Doctor has found a way to adjust her implants so that she no longer receives any Borg homing signals.
Seven thanks her, then goes quiet. She then recalls to Janeway that Janeway had told her that this was a place to encourage imagination. She wonders aloud that she now find herself imagining what her life would had been like had she and her parents never been assimilated. They, not the Borg, would have influenced what she would have become.
Janeway suggests that, if she would like to know more about her parents, she can read about them in the ship's database. Although they were unconventional, "they were fairly well known... for some unique scientific theories." Seven thanks her, bids her goodnight, and leaves.
"You are... Talaxian."
"Guilty as charged."
"Species Two One Eight."
"I suppose so."
"Your biological and technological distinctiveness was added to our own."
"I hadn't realized that."
"A small freighter... containing a crew of thirty-nine. Taken in the Dalmine Sector. They were easily assimilated. Their dense musculature made them excellent Drones."
"Lucky for you, I guess. Your nutrients."
- - Seven of Nine and Neelix, in the mess hall, preparing Seven's first meal on Voyager
"It happened here. This is where it began. This is where I was assimilated. This was our ship. We lived here. We lived here for a long time. My father did experiments. They were very important and we had to travel a long way. I had my birthday here. My cake had six candles on it and... and one more to grow on. And then the men came. Papa tried to fight them, but they were too strong. I tried to hide. Maybe they wouldn't find me because I was little. But they did. And then Papa said we were going to crash and the big man picked me up and then suddenly, we weren't on this ship anymore. We were somewhere else. And then I became Borg."
- - Seven of Nine
"The first rule is: don't be afraid of the clay."
"I fear nothing."
"I mean you can't concern yourself with making a mistake."
- - Kathryn Janeway and Seven of Nine practicing sculpting
"You'll get used to it. Have some more."
- - Seven of Nine and Neelix as Seven learns to eat
- This episode was initially scheduled to be the fifth installment of Star Trek: Voyager's fourth season. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, No. 6/7, p. 113) However, it was both produced and aired as the sixth episode of the season.
Title, story, and scriptEdit
- The working title of this episode was "Resurrection". Staff writer Bryan Fuller recollected, "The first draft [from Harry Doc Kloor's pitch] was called 'Resurrection,' and it was all about Seven of Nine being resurrected as a Borg. The aliens du jour abduct her and tweak her, and essentially she goes on this mad killing spree. The first draft had all these huge chase sequences of the crew trying to get her before she got to Engineering to blow up the warp core, until this last final moment where she's crawling towards the core–Torres has essentially blown her legs off–and Janeway is saying, 'Stop this' while Seven pleads, 'Please kill me.'" (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #19) Fuller also recalled of the episode, "It started out as a story about Seven of Nine being reactivated as a drone – all the nanoprobes in her system reassimilate her and she goes on an assimilating spree. I actually wrote a full draft for that story." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 2, p. 67) Co-executive producer Brannon Braga remembered about the installment, "That story started out as a much more shallow, action-oriented story. In fact, Bryan Fuller [who was a freelance writer at the time] wrote a draft in which [Seven] was captured by aliens, and they exploited her abilities, and turned her into unstoppable, drone, Terminator-woman." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 85)
- The producers of Star Trek: Voyager did not like the first draft. Brannon Braga explained, "When we got the draft in, it was evident that it was a soulless, empty kind of show, and that it had to be about something." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 85) Bryan Fuller was also disappointed with the draft. He recalled, "We looked at it and we thought, 'Well, this is fine, but there's no character here. It's just this person going crazy and assimilating people and us trying to stop her.' It didn't have any heart." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 2, p. 67) Fuller also remarked, "It was just too big of a step, it was too comic bookish. But they liked the writing enough that they were going to give me the rewrite." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #19)
- Brannon Braga had a flash of inspiration to use a specific movie as an influence on the episode. "I was struck by the Citizen Kane image of 'Rosebud,'" Braga related. "At the end of this strange journey of rebellion she makes a shocking discovery and faces her past in a Citizen Kane-type way. The raven image actually turns out to be the name of the ship when she rubs off the dust." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 85) It was with this development, in the evolution of the narrative, that Seven of Nine's backstory became more central to the episode's plot. Executive producer Jeri Taylor offered, "The story of Seven of Nine's assimilation [...] was what paid off the mystery." (Star Trek Monthly issue 36, p. 13)
- The script was thereafter given a rushed rewrite over six days by Bryan Fuller. The second draft was the version that made the transition to screen. (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #19) This final draft was submitted on 16 July 1997.  Fuller noted, "It very rapidly became the episode that aired." Generally, he enjoyed the process of writing the installment, which he described as "a really cool story to do." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 2, p. 67) In a 2013 interview, Fuller stated, "It's so surreal to look back at it. As a staff writer, there are chunks of me in there [as well as contributions from many other people who participated in the writing of the episode] [....] Looking back, it was an amazing lesson in imagination, funneled through the rigors of television production. What was originally going to be this big, broad episode became smaller and more intimate. It was such a dramatic evolution [....] To look at that episode and see how it started, where it was going and ended up, is to see three different journeys." (Star Trek Magazine issue 171, p. 51) Even though he had pitched two successful story ideas to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and had been momentarily assigned to rewrite the script for VOY: "The Gift", this episode constituted Bryan Fuller's first work for Voyager that made it to screen. It was shortly thereafter that he was employed as a full-time writer on the series. (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #19)
Cast and charactersEdit
- One of the first things that Tuvok actor Tim Russ learned about this episode was that it would feature his character as well as Seven of Nine actress Jeri Ryan. At about the start of the fourth season, he remarked, "I think we have a show coming up fairly soon together, myself and Seven of Nine, but I don't know exactly what that entails [....] It's hard because we only know what's happening three or four shows ahead and we don't even have any details on those shows." (Star Trek Monthly issue 33, p. 30) Once Russ did learn the details of this installment, he formed the opinion that the plot involves Seven actualizing a concern of Tuvok's. "He is always on the lookout for her to mess up, and in 'The Raven' she did," observed Russ, following the episode's production. He also believed that, at the same point in time when Tuvok learns about and understands what happened to Seven, those two characters "form a bond." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 101)
- Jeri Ryan enjoyed this episode. She was especially thankful for it providing insight into her character's past and giving her an opportunity to work with Neelix actor Ethan Phillips. (TV Zone, Special #29, p. 18)
- The filming of the mess hall scene in this episode – which includes the first direct interaction between Seven of Nine and Neelix in the series – was an hilarious experience for Jeri Ryan, due to Ethan Phillips. Prior to the scene being shot, Ryan had heard about how funny Phillips was, but had only briefly met him. "So, during our first episode together, I thought I was going to die; I didn't think we would ever get through the scene," Ryan remembered. "I could not look him in the eye and keep a straight face, so I had to do half the scene looking over his head or looking past him, because I had tears rolling down my face just trying to get through one take." (Star Trek Monthly issue 37, p. 19)
- Visual effects producer Dan Curry served as second unit director on this episode. He was pleased with the bird used for the raven in Seven of Nine's flashbacks. "We had the most well-behaved bird for second unit," Curry reminisced. "That crow flew perfectly." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 85)
- Dan Curry also directed Seven and Tuvok's escape from the Raven, including shots that are inside the ship. Curry recalled, "I had the opportunity to direct an escape sequence [....] We had a really great set, and the actors pulled all the stuff apart as they were looking for a way out.'" (Red Alert: Amazing Visual Effects, VOY Season 4 DVD)
- Additionally, Dan Curry shot blue-screen footage of Jeri Ryan and Tim Russ, to film the scenes of Seven and Tuvok on the moon where they discover the dilapidated Raven. The production of one of the exterior shots, involving the pair of characters in the foreground as they look out across a ravine to the Raven, did not incorporate blue-screen, however. Dan Curry explained, "If you see the original plate, the original production photography, you're actually seeing them on the set, you see the grips and the camera crew and everybody else just hanging out." (Red Alert: Amazing Visual Effects, VOY Season 4 DVD) Filming Ryan and Russ performing the scene where their characters jump out of the Raven, moments before it crumbles down a cliff, was filmed on a primarily blue set but also included one of the few set pieces utilized during the shooting of the blue-screen footage. (Red Alert: Amazing Visual Effects, VOY Season 4 DVD; Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 125) Dan Curry remembered, "The only set piece was the rock surface they landed on." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 125)
- According to the unauthorized reference book Delta Quadrant (p. 203), the Borg sets in the flashback sequences of this episode were reused sets from "Scorpion" (and, presumably, "Scorpion, Part II").
- Collaborating on the making of this episode with Director LeVar Burton was enjoyable for Jeri Ryan, who later commented, "It was a pleasure to be directed by LeVar Burton." (TV Zone, Special #29, p. 18)
- A reversed stock shot of a Voyager shuttlecraft (with the registry numbers 74656 noticeably in mirror-image reverse order, to read 65647) was reused here for the shuttlecraft that Seven of Nine commandeers, the same footage having previously been included in the second season installment "Maneuvers". (Delta Quadrant, pp. 203 & 86)
- The surface of the moon where Tuvok and Seven of Nine find the Raven was visually created via the use of matte paintings done by Dan Curry, later digitally inserting the blue-screen footage of Jeri Ryan and Tim Russ into these exterior shots. (Red Alert: Amazing Visual Effects, VOY Season 4 DVD; Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, pp. 74 & 125) Curry recounted, "All the exteriors were layers of paintings I did in Photoshop." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 125) He also explained, "[I] was able to do a lot of cool things with the rock textures that I, years earlier, had photographed at Lone Pine, in the Alabama Hills." (Red Alert: Amazing Visual Effects, VOY Season 4 DVD) This same location was used for exteriors in the earlier two-parter "Basics, Part I" and "Basics, Part II". (Red Alert: Amazing Visual Effects, VOY Season 3 DVD) The wreckage of the Raven was designed by senior illustrator Rick Sternbach, although the craft's shape was not thought out to any extreme degree. "It didn't have to be for the first episode because it was crashed [and severely damaged]," Sternbach noted. "The sketch was sent to Foundation Imaging." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 1, p. 59) That visual effects company then visualized the craft with CGI. (Red Alert: Amazing Visual Effects, VOY Season 4 DVD; Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 125)
- The shot of Tuvok and Seven looking out at the Raven from across a ravine was one of the shots that were completed digitally. Referring to a rock that the characters stand by in this shot, Dan Curry explained, "We traced or rotoscoped the edge of the rock, and then replaced it with a matte painting." The CG model of the Raven was then placed into the shot. (Red Alert: Amazing Visual Effects, VOY Season 4 DVD)
- Regarding the shot of the Raven crumbling apart and falling down the cliff, Dan Curry explained, "That's CG, but it's a three-dimensional CG model in a two-dimensional matte painting." (Red Alert: Amazing Visual Effects, VOY Season 4 DVD) CGI Effects Director Ron Thornton said of the same shot, "That was something you could easily do with a miniature, but we [meaning Foundation Imaging] ended up working it out. John Teska did an incredible animation of the ship falling apart. It's one of those things you can go back and tweak – if you blew up a model ship and it wasn't what you wanted, you would have to build it again and start from scratch." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #16)
- Compositing the CG Raven together with the live-action footage of Jeri Ryan and Tim Russ, for the shot in which Seven and Tuvok make their escape from the wreckage, was somewhat challenging. Dan Curry related, "We had to be very careful about making sure the geometry and the camera angles were matched, so that – when everything was finally put together – you would believe that they were in that environment." (Red Alert: Amazing Visual Effects, VOY Season 4 DVD)
Reception and aftermathEdit
- Jeri Taylor was delighted that, for this episode, the choice was made to explore Seven of Nine's backstory, believing such an exploration was a good pay-off to the episode's mystery. "I thought that worked wonderfully," she enthused. (Star Trek Monthly issue 36, p. 13)
- Dan Curry enjoyed working on this installment. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 74) He opined, "'The Raven' was a great episode." (Red Alert: Amazing Visual Effects, VOY Season 4 DVD)
- This installment achieved a Nielsen rating of 4.8 million homes, and an 8% share. 
- Many viewers believed that Seven's self-examination in this episode and her facing of her inherently Human nature was too soon in the character's evolution. Bryan Fuller agreed, "I think that episode took her a bit too far, and we pulled her back immediately after that. She became so vulnerable so quickly. We thought, 'Oh my God, we're blowing it. We have to mine this a little more.'" (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #18)
- Cinefantastique rated this episode 3 out of 4 stars. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 83)
- Star Trek Monthly scored this episode 4 out of 5 stars. (Star Trek Monthly issue 38, p. 61)
- The unauthorized reference book Delta Quadrant (p. 204) gives this installment a rating of 6 out of 10.
- Writer James Swallow once referred to this episode as "excellent." (Star Trek Monthly issue 42, p. 18)
- This episode marks the second of four appearances of Annika Hansen's parents, they having been briefly shown in the fourth season premiere "Scorpion, Part II". Although they are not named in this episode, they are later named as Magnus and Erin Hansen in the fifth season's "Dark Frontier" and Season 6's "The Voyager Conspiracy". Similarly, the young Annika Hansen – in addition to her appearance here – is shown in both "Scorpion, Part II" and "Dark Frontier", the latter of which also features this episode's namesake, the USS Raven.
- Seven of Nine's silver bodysuit is replaced, in this episode, by a more understated brown one. Besides the color change, this bodysuit is also different from the previous one in that its neckline is much lower. In addition, the brown suit was less constrictive for Jeri Ryan than her previous silver costume. (Star Trek: Voyager Companion) The lower neckline is by far the most common style over the course of the series for her bodysuits.
- This episode shares some commonalities with TNG: "Brothers", wherein Commander Data – as the result of being summoned by his creator, Dr. Noonian Soong – takes over the USS Enterprise-D.
- Neelix's cooking skills in this episode are somewhat questionable. He asks Seven how she would like her chadre'kab – including the option of stir-frying – but then decides that steamed would be easiest on her stomach. He then immediately proceeds to stir-fry it.
- A couple of external flybys of Seven's shuttlecraft switch between the type 6 and type 8.
- No explanation is offered as to how the Hansens, who were from Earth, were able to reach the Delta Quadrant in just a few years.
Video and DVD releasesEdit
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 4.3, 6 April 1998
- 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
- David Anthony Marshall as Father
- Nikki Tyler as Mother
- Erica Lynne Bryan as Little Girl
- Majel Barrett as Computer voice
Agrat-mot Nebula; airplane; assimilation; beak; B'omar; B'omar patrol ship; B'omar Sovereignty; Borg; Borg Collective; clay; chadre'kab; class 2 shuttle; class M; Corvidae; crow; cuisine; Dalmine sector; diet; feather; Federation; glycogen; glycoprotein; hippocampus; holodeck; hypnagogic regression; imagination; kilometer; Leonardo da Vinci; Maestro; meter; Nassordin; neocortex; oral; organelle; perimeter grid; phaser rifle; polypeptide; post-traumatic stress disorder; raven; Raven-type; Raven, USS; recipe; scout; sculpting; stir frying; Talaxian; Talaxian freighter; tritanium; turbolift; type 6 shuttlecraft; type 8 shuttlecraft; Vulcan; Vulcan nerve pinch; wing; wingspan; yellow dwarf
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