Ep 5: Phage
Guest Stars: Martha Hackett
(Seska), Cully Fredericksen (Alien #1),
Stephen Rappaport (Alien #2)
Written By: Timothy De Haas
Directed By: Winrich Kolbe
Teleplay By: Skye Dent and
Neelix faces certain death when
an alien race stricken by a devastating plague "harvests" his lungs.
During an Away Team survey of a planetoid
that seems to be rich in raw dilithium, Neelix is attacked and left for
dead. The other members of the team find him and beam him up to Sickbay,
where the Doctor reports that the Talaxian's lungs have been removed. With
no other alternatives, the Doctor fits Neelix with a set of holographic
lungs. They'll keep him alive, but require him to remain confined in an
isotropic restraint in Sickbay for the rest of his life.
Janeway leads an Away Team back to
the planetoid, where they discover a medical lab filled with harvested
organs. Unfortunately, Neelix's lungs are not among them. Minutes later,
an alien ship speeds away from the planet, with Voyager hot in pursuit.
In Sickbay, a despondent Neelix is
having difficulty adjusting to his situation, but he urges Kes to still
go on with her life regardless. Voyager's Emergency Medical Hologram, still
serving as the starship's only doctor, admits to Kes that he's having difficulty
adjusting to the demands of being a full-time physician. Kes' intelligent,
soothing advice makes the Doctor think that the Ocampan might make a good
When confronted, the aliens admit
that they stole Neelix's lungs, but defend their actions by recounting
the battle that their species — the Vidiians — have fought for years against
the "Phage," a gruesome disease that destroys their genetic codes and cellular
structure. Unable to defeat the Phage, they have learned to survive by
scavenging organs from healthier species to replace their own diseased
tissues. Unfortunately, Neelix's lungs have already been transplanted into
one of the Vidiian's bodies. Unwilling to sentence the Vidiian to death
to regain Neelix's chance for life, Janeway reluctantly releases the scavengers.
Grateful to the Captain for sparing
them, the Vidiians offer to help Neelix with their superior medical technology.
With their assistance, Kes is able to donate one of her lungs to Neelix,
allowing him to live a normal life. After the successful procedure, the
Doctor tells Kes that Janeway has granted permission for the Ocampan to
begin training as a medical assistant.