(written from a Production point of view)
|Scorpion, Part II||4x01||169||51003.7||1997-09-03|
|Day of Honor||4x03||172||Unknown||1997-09-17|
|Year of Hell||4x08||176||51268.4||1997-11-05|
|Year of Hell, Part II||4x09||177||51425.4||1997-11-12|
|Message in a Bottle||4x14||181||51462||1998-01-21|
|The Killing Game||4x18||186||Unknown||1998-03-04|
|The Killing Game, Part II||4x19||187||51715.2||1998-03-04|
|Vis à Vis||4x20||188||51762.4||1998-04-08|
|The Omega Directive||4x21||189||51781.2||1998-04-15|
|Hope and Fear||4x26||194||51978.2||1998-05-20|
Season four furthered and even embellished upon the changes to the franchise already seen by the middle to end of season three.
"Scorpion, Part II" concluded the season three finale and—most crucially to the future of the series—introduced a new character, Seven of Nine. One episode later, Jennifer Lien left the cast and Kes departed Voyager, not to return until the season six episode "Fury".
Seven of Nine had plenty of character development on which to catch up when compared to the other principal actors. Season four could be described as the "Seven of Nine season", heavy with episodes centering solely on developing Jeri Ryan's new character. Relationships between Seven of Nine and all the other main characters needed to be quickly established, and so conflict between Seven and B'Elanna Torres was introduced in "Day of Honor", and Harry Kim's infatuation with Seven became a hallmark of the season in "Revulsion". The Doctor, for so long a student under Kes' tutelage, turned teacher to Seven in "Prey", kinship with Tuvok was explored in "Hunters" and, quintessential to the remainder of the series, Seven's relationship with Janeway took center-stage in "The Gift", "The Raven", "Retrospect", "The Omega Directive", and the season finale, "Hope and Fear". However, with audience figures ballooning, it appeared that the producers of Voyager had finally found a character that appealed to the crucial 16-24-year-old male demographic.
Prior to season four, story writers had given Voyager six thwarted opportunities to return to the Alpha Quadrant, aside from the series premiere "Caretaker". However, as the series continued to mature, episodes presenting the Voyager crew with the possibility of returning home were absent throughout season four, until the finale "Hope and Fear". Instead, making large jumps closer to Earth became a regular occurrence. Kes' "gift" at the start of the season provided Voyager with its first big jump, knocking 10,000 light years and 10 years off their journey, as well as placing them well outside Borg space. These "jumps" would continue throughout the remainder of the series, getting Voyager out of danger while simultaneously removing years from their journey. Consequently, fewer opportunities to return to Earth in one "giant leap" were presented for this and remaining seasons, with season five's "Timeless", season seven's "Inside Man" and the series finale "Endgame" being notable exceptions.
Alongside this change of pace, the concept of the crew as "family" and Voyager as "home" started in season three was continued in season four and script writers clearly made a conscious effort to include these references in their scripts. Examples of this can be found scattered throughout many season four episodes:
"So, how's the newest member of our family?"
- - Janeway, to The Doctor ("The Gift")
"This ship has become our home, it's part of our family."
- - Janeway, to Tuvok ("Year of Hell, Part II")
"We do not stand alone. We are in the arms of family."
- - Tuvok, to the Crew ("Mortal Coil")
"It's time to meet your new family."
- - Janeway, to Harry Kim ("Demon")
Other notable developments in season four included the cementing of Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres' relationship in "Day of Honor", the Krenim conflict (hinted at in season three's "Before and After") and the opening of Voyager's new astrometrics lab in "Year of Hell". Additionally, "Demon" introduced "grey mode" in which all non-essential ship functions are shut down to conserve power.
However, one of the biggest developments for the series arc as a whole occurred midway through the season in "Message in a Bottle" when The Doctor is transported back to the Alpha Quadrant using alien technology and makes Voyager's first contact with Starfleet since being stranded. Voyager's use of the alien technology has unforeseen consequences however, as the crew are introduced to the Hirogen, a hunting species who would re-assert themselves throughout the remainder of the season in "Hunters", "Prey", and "The Killing Game", and at least once in each subsequent season. By the end of the series, the Hirogen joined the Kazon, the Borg, and the Vidiians as one of the few species to interact regularly with Voyager and whose interactions often created or furthered a particular story arc involving that species.
It is fair to say that by mid-season four, the introduction of Seven of Nine, the departure of Kes, and the new "jump" method of moving Voyager closer to home meant the series had become quite different from the previous three seasons.
- This season was broadcast concurrent with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Season 6.
- Jeri Ryan joins the cast as Seven of Nine and Jennifer Lien, as Kes, leaves the cast.
- Shortly after the completion of production on this season, a wrap party was held on 13 March 1998. (Star Trek Monthly issue 40, p. 10)
- Roxann Dawson was pregnant during Season 4. B'Elanna Torres wears a lab coat to hide Dawson's pregnancy for most of the season.
- This is the only season of Voyager not to feature Earth.
- Also Starring
- Robert Beltran as Commander Chakotay
- Roxann Dawson as Lieutenant jg B'Elanna Torres
- Robert Duncan McNeill as Lieutenant jg Tom Paris
- Ethan Phillips as Neelix
- Robert Picardo as The Doctor
- Tim Russ as Lieutenant commander Tuvok
- Garrett Wang as Ensign Harry Kim
- Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine
- Executive Producers
Associate Producer: Dawn Velazquez
Executive Story Editor: Lisa Klink
Music by: Dennis McCarthy
Director of Photography: Marvin V. Rush, ASC
Production Designer: Richard D. James
Editor: Daryl Baskin
Unit Production Manager: Brad Yacobian
First Assistant Director: Adele Simmons
Second Assistant Director: Arlene Fukai
- Casting by
Original Casting by: Nan Dutton, CSA
Casting Executive: Helen Mossler, CSA
Costume Designer: Robert Blackman
Set Decorator: Jim Mees
Visual Effects Producer: Dan Curry
Visual Effects Supervisor: David Takemura
Scenic Art Supervisor/Technical Consultant: Michael Okuda
Senior Illustrator/Technical Consultant: Rick Sternbach
Make-Up Designer/Make-Up Supervisor: Michael Westmore
Art Director: Louise Dorton
Set Designer: Greg Hooper
Assistant Editor: Keith Dabney
Visual Effects Coordinator: A.Y. Dexter Delara
Visual Effects Assistant Editor: Elizabeth Castro
Visual Effects Associate: Chad Zimmerman
Script Supervisor: Cosmo Genovese
Special Effects: Dick Brownfield
Property Master: Alan Sims
Construction Coordinator: Al Smutko
Scenic Artist: Wendy Drapanas
Video Supervisor: Denise Okuda
Hair Designer: Josée Normand
- Make-Up Artists
- Hair Stylists
- Key Costumers
- Sound Editors
- Production Associates
Main Title Design by: Santa Barbara Studios
Post Production Sound: Modern Sound
Filmed with: Panavision cameras and lenses
Motion Control Photography: Image "G"
Digital Optical Effects: Digital Magic
Special Video Compositing: CIS Hollywood
Editing Facilities: Unitel Video
Computer Generated Effects: Foundation Imaging
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