This Doctor episode sees VOY's holographic Emergency Medical Holographic physician begin dating. Credited to Biller but polished by Piller and Taylor, the script allows Robert Picardo to get out of the sickbay set and explore some teenage angst in the Doctor's own way.
Guest star Susan Diol plays Danara, giving her character both an inner strength and a vulnerability for Picardo to play off of. The sci fi idea of transferring her consciousness temporarily from her diseased body to a temporary holographic healthy body opens up a lot of new story ideas. There's a bizarre situation where she (in her new body) works with the Doctor on herself (her old body). Then there's her concern about what the Doctor will think of her diseased self and her reluctance to return to her old body even if it means a shorter life as a beautiful hologram. It also sets up a unique situation where the Doctor is dealing with a hologram who happens to be real, which makes the romance all the more interesting.
While Picardo and Diol carry the episode, Robert Duncan McNeil also gets quite a few things to do, with Paris and Kes helping out the lovebirds and Paris and Chakotay having a falling out. The latter is a B story that threads its way through a few episodes, making you wonder where it's all going (which isn't revealed yet). Meanwhile, Crewman Jonas, while not recording with his brothers, continues his own plot line with the Kazon. It's all setup for the next episode, "Investigations".
Almost a cost saving bottle show, "Lifesigns" does include some nice location shooting on Mars for a holographic date. VOY does more great Doctor shows in later seasons, but this one remains a standout for the character and one of Star Trek's more successful romantic episodes.
Danara returns later in the season in "Resolutions".
Lifesigns was a great episode of Star Trek: Voyager and I really enjoyed watching this episode as The Doctor received a Vidiian patient suffering from the phage. The Doctor made an ingenious decision to put her conscience into a holographic interpretation of the patients DNA and he subsequently falls in love with her. This was a fun side track from the main story lines and allows a little more character growth for the doctor. The ending scene of the episode is a bit creepy. I look forward to watching the next episode of Star Trek: Voyager!!!!!
Another "The Doctor has feelings!" episode that makes for an average filler episode. The secondary storyline, although painfully predictable, is actually better and advances the overall story arc. The Vidian chick is pretty hot (you won't hear that often). Don't know why this one's rated an 8+ - it's pretty dull.
I don't know if Robert Picardo has something in his contract where he gets to be the star of X # of episodes per season, but there do seem to be an awful lot which focus VERY heavily on the doctor. Most of the other characters make brief appearances only.
To this point, I think the holographic doctor has gotten more action than most of the crew.
A severely ill Vidiian female is beam to sickbay. She is suffering from the phage. She is barely alive. In attempt to save her The Doctor uses the holographic projector to construct a holograph body for her. The Doctor is successful.
A severely ill Vidiian female is beam to sickbay. She is suffering from the phage. She is barely alive. In attempt to save her The Doctor uses the holographic projector to construct a holograph body for her. The Doctor is successful. The Vidiian female introduces herself as Dr. Danara Pel, a hematologist. Dr. Pel is happy with The Doctor in restoring her to normal. The Doctor warns her, this is only temporary. Her synaptic pattern will fail and she will die. Torres is the only one who can help this woman. If only Torres will loan her DNA.
As Kenneth Biller said, "it could have been a very memorable episode, but because of those scenes [involving the Michael Jonas story arc], it wasn't". Sadly, a truly terrific storyline involving the Doctor and one of the series' best villains had to be spattered with the Kazon spy story which would come to a conclusion in the following episode. Fortunately, the task fell upon our good friend Kenneth Biller, who used humour to lighten the mood and to tell us that "this story wasn't my idea!" And I have to agree with him. If you disregard the secondary storyline, it is a truly terrific episode. Once again, Star Trek is at its best by taking a horribly ugly and merciless alien race and showing us their inner beauty, while providing us with the Doctor's first real love story. Danara Pel would return again in "resolutions", though unfortunately there was no follow-up on her romantic relationship with our favourite EMH.
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