Robert Beltran felt Germans were unfairly represented in “The Killing Game”
Star Trek: Voyager was a great show, but not every episode is going to be beloved by every person. Enter Robert Beltran, the man who brought Chakotay to life on the series. He’s often outspoken, especially about the issues he had with the series that made him a household name. One of his big criticisms came in the form of the season four episode, “The Killing Game”.
In the episode, a race of hunters known as the Hirogen, occupy the ship and force the members of Voyager to “play” hunting games with them. Ultimately they discover a program that depicts the events of a small village battle during Nazi-occupied France. The Hirogen are the Nazi’s the crew are the French resistance.
It was a rather simple plot, and Beltran felt that not only was the story bad but depicting every German as a Nazi was offensive to the German people, telling TrekMovie.com;
"If I were German, I would never watch Star Trek again. It was such a kick in the face to the German fans, some of the most loyal fans. They are great fans, wonderful people. To bring this up, I just felt they were not a well-written couple of episodes. It was very shallow and not very dramatic and more of a concept so you get people dressed in World War II outfits and have a French chanteuse played by Seven of Nine. There were elements that some writers find interesting, but have precious little drama."
Robert Beltran may have a point.
The episode was rather shallow and did portray all German’s as awful, which isn’t true. There were many outspoken critics of the Nazi regime in Germany, just not enough. The episode steered into really easy waters with their use of the Nazis. Not only was it a flat idea, but it also didn’t make any sense.
The Hirogen weren’t evil, they were predators. They were basically Star Trek’s version of The Predator. They wanted hunts, not massacres. The notion that they would be drawn to such a program is laughable.
There were plenty of different ways to do a World War II-themed episode, and plenty of other ideas to bring in the Hirogen to the ship. Heck, maybe do their own version of First Contact where the Hirogen strip Voyager of its internal sensors, having the aliens hunt the crew members throughout the two-part episode.
It would’ve been better than what we got.