144 – Life Line

Grade: B+

Life Line (2000) on IMDb


Voyager receives some news from Starfleet Command. They also pick up some letters. There’s even one from Reginald Barclay addressed to the Doctor. It appears that the Doctor’s original creator is very sick and will probably die soon. Of course the Doctor wants to go back to the Alpha Quadrant again, but this time he thinks he can cure him.


When I found out that the Doctor would be beaming himself all the way across the galaxy back to Jupiter Station so he could cure his creator, I didn’t expect much out of this show. However, I found it to be one of the most thought-provoking and character-building episodes that Voyager produced in a very long time. It’s actually ironic, in a way, that some of Voyager’s very best episodes deal with non-regular characters. It’s almost as if Paramount realized that they had painted most of their characters into a corner and they needed to branch out to guest stars and characters in order to make things interesting again.

One thing I couldn’t understand is how the Doctor’s program could be degrading. In the episode, they say it’s because he’s originating from 30k LY away. That just seems stupid to me. Wouldn’t that mean that his program is actually running on Voyager? I thought they sent the entire Doctor program over there. Once he arrived, I would think it wouldn’t matter how long he had traveled.

I thought it was interesting that Dr. Zimmerman named each of his EMH programs by their version number. The fact that he was so against the earlier software reminded me of some developers I’ve known over the years – most of them hate older code, and don’t find any reason to want to use it. Kinda funny in a way.

Well, all things considered, this was a pretty good episode. I prefer it when Voyager tries to make stories about characters rather than about explosions and insane angry aliens.

Of Note

The trailer for this episode bears only a slight resemblance to the actual episode. UPN seems to have been really grasping at straws to get people to watch this show. Which is really stupid, actually, because the show that aired was really good – perhaps the best episode they made in a while. They should have made the trailer more like the actual episode so that people would know that it was pretty good.

It was nice to see Deanna Troi again. She looks very good here – actually better than she looked in Star Trek: Nemesis.