“Hope and Fear” is the 26th and final episode of the fourth season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Voyager.
“Hope and Fear” was the final episode of the Star Trek franchise to be worked on by executive producer Jeri Taylor.
In this episode, the Voyager crew discover a ship sent from Starfleet that could take them back to the Alpha Quadrant in just 3 months, but it will mean abandoning their vessel. However, it is all revealed to be an elaborate trap as the alien Arturis (Ray Wise) attempts to gain his revenge on the crew for preventing the destruction of the Borg.
A variety of ideas were proposed for the season finale, with focus given to those plots relating to “slipstream” technology. The alien, named Arturis, was referred to as Yoda prior to being properly named. The sets for the fake Starfleet vessel, the USS Dauntless, were created by production designer Richard James. He sought to enable a quick change from the Starfleet appearance into something more alien. Rick Sternbach created the exterior of the vessel. Wise was cast as Arturis without auditioning, and the character’s makeup was re-purposed by Michael Westmore from a design created for another television series.
The episode was shot between 28 February and 11 March. The final cut of “Hope and Fear” with special effects was delivered by 30 April, with the score by Dennis McCarthy recorded on 05 May.
The episode received Nielsen ratings of 4.1/7 percent. One critic complained of continuance of the status quo in the series. However, it was warmly received by others and has been featured in best of lists, both of the season and of the series.
Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) continues to struggle in deciphering an encrypted Starfleet message that they previously obtained through the Hirogen relay system (“Hunters” – S04E15). Neelix (Ethan Phillips) returns to Voyager with a guest, Arturis (Ray Wise), who helped him obtain supplies. Arturis learns of the encoded message and offers to help decrypt it. He is successful, and finds that the message is from Starfleet Command, with a nearby set of coordinates where their means of getting back home can be found. Though the rest of the crew is elated at this news, Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) remains cautious, given that the Borg have never been able to assimilate Arturis’ species. Voyager arrives at the provided coordinates to find an unmanned Starfleet vessel, the Dauntless, of unknown design. Aboard, they find the ship uses quantum slipstream technology, which will allow them to arrive back in the Alpha Quadrant within a few months.
Janeway begins to share Seven’s suspicions and warns the crew to stay alert, but remains optimistic. The new engine system is compatible with Voyager, but the ship would not be able to stand the stresses of the slipstream for long. The crew would have to abandon the ship to use the Dauntless to travel home. Seven states to Janeway that she would opt to stay behind, feeling that she would not be able to integrate back on Earth. Janeway reviews the message decoded by Arturis, and discovers the message to be fake. She transports to the Dauntless to confront Arturis. He tries to pin the blame on Seven, but Janeway rejects his claims. Arturis activates a panel on the ship, igniting the engines. All but Janeway and Seven are able to be transported out before the ship enters the slipstream.
Commander Chakotay (Robert Beltran) orders Voyager to follow the Dauntless into the slipstream, aware that the system has not been fully tested yet. The Dauntless is revealed to be Arturis’ own ship, masked as a Starfleet vessel. He explains that his homeworld had been recently assimilated by the Borg, an event that might not have happened if the Borg were still at war with Species 8472. He directly blames Janeway and her crew for interfering in that war and vows to bring as many of Voyager’s crew as possible to the Borg for assimilation; Arturis sets the navigation for his homeworld, now a point deep in Borg space, and then destroys the controls. Suddenly Voyager appears and targets the shields on Arturis’ ship, allowing them to transport Janeway and Seven off the ship. Voyager breaks off pursuit and alters slipstream trajectory away from Borg space, while Arturis finds himself deep among an array of Borg cubes approaching his position and quietly accepts his fate. Though the slipstream technology is deemed unusable for the immediate future, Voyager’s brief use of it has shaved 300 light years off their journey home.
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Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): Winrich Kolbe.
- Writer(s): Rick Berman, Brannon Braga, and Joe Menosky.
- Release Date: 20 May 1998.
- Running Time: 45 minutes.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.