Star Trek: Voyager hits home with its episode “Lifesigns”

The Star Trek: Voyager podcast, The Delta Flyers, brought up a unique story bit from the episode “Lifesigns” that applies so much to modern-day.

On a recent edition of the Delta Flyer’s podcast, hosted by Garrett Wong (Harry Kim) and Robert Duncan McNeill (Tom Paris), the former Star Trek: Voyager stars talked about the classic episode called “Lifesigns”. In that episode, the starship Voyager comes back into contact with the Vidiians, an alien race afflicted by a flesh-eating virus called the Phage.

Having already dealt with them previously, the crew were a bit hesitant to help the young Vidiian woman, Danara Pel. Pel, like the rest of her race, is slowly dying from the affliction. She’s able to convince The Doctor to help her try and find a cure for the alignment. Eventually, the two bond, and through their romantic undertones, Danara reveals that there isn’t much dancing or partying where she’s from. Since the Phage is so contagious, the inhabitants of their homeworld had taken to shunning the sick, hoping to avoid getting sick.

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Danara even goes on to say that congregating in a large area is forbidden, as it’s a public health crisis. Sound familiar?

It really hit home that a piece of science fiction media has seemingly captured the essence of the modern, COVID-world. It’s especially impressive considering this was 25 years ago that this episode first came out. The irony of the episode matching today’s modern landscape didn’t go unnoticed by McNeill and Wong, who were both taken back by the similarities of the situations.

Just goes to show you that sometimes art does imitate life. The story of the Vidiians also serves as one of Voyager’s best new aliens as well. A truly welcomed addition to the Star Trek catalog of aliens and a race that really hammered home the idea that Voyager is more horror-filled than other Trek series.