Live Fast & Proper?

By Fred Shedian
Posted at April 15, 2000 - 4:20 AM GMT

This past week, showing how much I have been paying attention during the recent rerun phase of Voyager, I was somewhat surprised to find "Equinox - Part II" on at 9:00pm (ET).

Looking at this episode, I must say I still found the adventure exciting. Everything I mentioned in the column titled "The Equinox Begins" was still true. This shows, more than anything, that the writing level for the episode was above the norm for Voyager. The ratings for this rerun have since proved to be somewhat exciting.

At the end of the adventure, I was very surprised to see a preview for a new episode. Although hearing mention of an adventure dealing with a group of people impersonating the crew in the name of profit, plunder and the millionaire way, I was shocked to find myself interested in watching next week after the promo.

Many people are at this point asking, "Why were you shocked?" I make this remark because instead of spoiling the episode (ie: explaining how they find out about the impersonation, results of it, how it ends), the promotion department of Paramount simply advertised. For those who recall, I have previously made remarks about my annoyance of the fact promos recently seem to give away the entire plot of episodes. With this recent promotion, I can only hope that the remaining episodes of Season 6 will be handled in an advertising way...not a spoiling one.

After looking at this twenty-two second clip, I must ask the question...who came up with this story idea? For change, we have a mission that I think is unique to the Star Trek Franchise. A brilliant plot idea has finally come that has all the makings of being a hysterical episode. What's more, it's never been done before.

Honestly looking at what this episode will probably be, I can't see how the writers could possibly screw it up? If somehow "Live Fast & Prosper" turns into a dud, Paramount should fire the entire Voyager writing staff. A dud will more than likely be created if we discover Jeri Ryan is in every scene, once again forced down our throats for the viewership of the hormone driven fan. If this happens, it means these writers cannot take one of the few unique/brilliant ideas this series has generated in six years and turn it into an enjoyable forty-two minutes.

However, if the episode is indeed as good as I believe it will be, does this mark a rebound in the writing quality of Season 6? Back in September, we had several appearances of quality writing. Since that time, most Voyager fans will agree that the quality of writing seems to be following the a downward trend.

Using the same analogy, is this unique episode idea the jump start writers need to bring Season 6 to a dignified conclusion? Looking ahead, I think so. In May we will see the return of Alpha Quadrant, with Bob Picardo pulling an episode similar to one Data conducted. We will also see the return of Kes, which if handled properly may be a shining moment for the series. All indications are that the remaining new missions are good ones, not recycled garbage from other episodes or politically correct advertisements

No one person can tell the future. However, I hope that while we all chuckle this upcoming week at "Live Fast & Prosper," we will be watching Voyager start to "Live Fast & Properly."

Please note that due to the upcoming religious significance of April 16th - April 23rd, there will be no uploads of the column during the next week. I do invite all to continue to send in their feedback in to In addition, if you have a topic you would like to see me write about, feel free to submit it.

Until next time...

Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.

Fred Shedian writes a weekly 'A Take On Trek' column for the Trek Nation.