“Hunters” is the 83rd episode of the science fiction television series Star Trek: Voyager, the 15th episode of the fourth season, and the first episode of the Hirogen story arc.
While attempting to use an ancient relay network to retrieve messages from home, Voyager and crew must contend with the Hirogen who claim ownership of it.
Starfleet, having recently learned that Voyager is far away in the Delta Quadrant, begins sending messages to the crew. The data is being forwarded to the ship via powerful Hirogen transmission arrays, which are run on the energy of micro-singularities (miniature black holes). The crew is excited to receive letters from home, but frustrated when the Hirogen demand they stop using the communications array. Captain Janeway defies the Hirogen as many more letters from home are still in its database.
Letters continue to be downloaded, spreading good and bad news alike. Vulcan tactical officer Tuvok learns there is another addition to his family, while Janeway learns her fiance has married another woman, having given her up as dead for three years. First Officer Chakotay and Chief Engineer Torres learn that a large majority of their Maquis friends have been imprisoned or killed by the Cardassians and their new Dominion allies. Helmsman Tom Paris, facing the possibility of a difficult letter from home, realises his own problems pale in relation to Torres’ news. Tuvok and Seven of Nine go to the array in an attempt to retrieve more of the data, however, they are soon captured by the Hirogen.
Many of the “lower decks” crew are shown by name and face as “postmaster” Neelix delivers the letters around the ship, and Ensign Harry Kim spends much of the episode wondering if he will get a letter at all, due to data loss. Tuvok and Seven undergo questioning and torture by the Hirogen, and the Voyager crew attempt to devise a way to rescue their comrades.
By the end of the episode, Tuvok and Seven are rescued, but the ship’s link to home is destroyed.
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Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): David Livingston.
- Writer(s): Jeri Taylor.
- Release Date: 11 February 1998.
- Running Time: 45 minutes.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.