Life Line

Star Trek: VoyagerStardate not given: Using a fortuitous stellar alignment, Starfleet is able to contact Voyager, sending a large packet of information to Janeway and the crew. The Doctor receives a message from Lt. Barclay, informing him that Dr. Lewis Zimmerman, the creator of the EMH, is dying from a degenerative illness. The Doctor immediately brainstorms possible treatments, drawing parallels between Zimmerman’s condition and the Vidiian phage, and devises a radical therapy involving Borg nanoprobes. But the Doctor is not merely content to make a prescription. He pleads with Captain Janeway to send his program to Jupiter Station in Earth’s solar system via the same data stream Starfleet used to contact Voyager. When he arrives, however, the Doctor is hardly welcomed as a medical mastermind. Despite his vast experience, he is regarded as an obsolete relic by his creator. Barclay pleads with Zimmerman to undergo the treatment, and even begs Counselor Troi to leave the Enterprise long enough to counsel the curmudgeonly genius. But Zimmerman would rather die than be treated by an “antique.”

Order the DVDsteleplay by Robert Doherty & Raf Green and Brannon Braga
story by John Bruno & Robert Picardo
directed by Terry Windell
music by Dennis McCarthy

Guest Cast: Dwight Schultz (Barclay), Tamara Craig Thomas (Haley), Jack Shearer (Admiral Hayes), Marina Sirtis (Counselor Deanna Troi)

Original title: I, Zimmerman

Note: Shatner and Nimoy’s contributions to classic-era movies aside, this episode marked the first time a member of a Star Trek TV series’ regular cast contributed a storyline.

LogBook entry by Earl Green