84 – Prey

Grade: C-

Prey (1998) on IMDb


Two Hirogen hunters are chasing an 8472 alien. The 8472 lands on an asteroid where he tries to fight off the Hirogen, but he ends up being killed instead.

After the commercial, Doctor is trying to teach Seven some small talk, in the hopes it will help her develop some social skills. After her pointless lesson, Voyager detects a Hirogen ship flying toward them. Tuvok realizes the ship hasn’t charged its weapons and that there is only one lifesign aboard. So naturally Janeway wants to go help them and Seven says they should destroy it. This would have been a short episode if Janeway had followed Seven’s advice.


In “Hunters,” we learn about the Hirogen who are some pretty fearsome villains. In “Prey,” we now find out that they are pretty stupid and rather shallow. They exist for only one reason – to kill other sentient beings. As Chakotay finds out, they have no home planet or any kind of government. So really, they’re like the combination of the Borg (who only want to conquer other races) and the Kazon (who have no place to live or from which to gain resources). How a species can survive without a home planet on which to construct space ships doesn’t seem to make much sense to me. But whatever. We’re not supposed to think about it.

So Janeway wants to show some compassion to the Hirogen alien, and of course he returns the favor by being hostile. Gee, what a surprise. Then they have an 8472 on board who really only wants to get back to his home in fluidic space (yeah, I don’t know what that means either). But then because of what Janeway decides to do, the entire ship is at risk. In some future timeline, Janeway actually becomes promoted to Admiral shortly after taking her ship on this wild goose chase in the Delta Quadrant and after having put her ship in Jeopardy a number of times, such as in episodes like this one.

Janeway really should have blown up the Hirogen ship when they had a chance and none of this would have happened. Or she should have let the 8472 go on its way to wherever it was going and just be done with it. I’m starting to think that Seven is the only character on this ship with any kind of reasonable intelligence. Nobody else on the ship dares to cross Janeway’s path, but Seven seems to make the reasonable decisions every time.

Aside from that, I thought the CGI in this episode was awful. The 8472 alien looks like a cartoon, and the weapon that the Hirogen alien uses could not look any more fake. This episode needed a bit more work. But if you like creepy episodes, you may like this one. It’s as creepy as anything I’ve ever seen in Star Trek.

Of Note

The spacesuits used in this episode are the same ones from Star Trek: First Contact. Only three characters at a time are using the spacesuits, since there were only three created for the movie.

Apparently Brannon Braga said the effects in this episode were great. Maybe they were at the time, but I was never impressed with them – even when I first saw this episode way back in 1998.