Star Trek: Voyager was the fourth Star Trek series and the third to take place in the Star Trek: The Next Generation-anchored 24th century.
There were several aspects of the series that made it incredibly compelling and positioned it to go down in history as one of the franchise's best. Kate Mulgrew had been cast as the first female captain and the ship itself was to be blasted far away from Federation space allowing for the first truly final frontier to be explored since The Original Series. Also, Voyager was set to be crewed by both Maquis and Starfleet officers, making opportunities for intra-crew conflict plentiful -- a welcome change from the relatively peaceful relationships that populated previous series.
Unfortunately, when it came down to execution, Voyager delivered in a way that most would call divisive. It abandoned much of the darkness inherent in its original premise in favor of heavy conflict with the Borg and a pristine feel to the ship when it wasn't a sweeps month or season finale.
That said, once expectations are managed, it's still a very good show and has a ton to offer from wonderful performances to trenchant philosophical debate to so, so much Borg.
But it's also fun to point out some of the more eyebrow-raising moments we got during the show's seven year run (and what Star Trek series doesn't have a few of those?).
Here are 25 Things Wrong With Voyager Fans Choose To Ignore.
25 VOYAGER’S PRISTINE CONDITION
Star Trek: Voyager didn’t follow through on the part of its premise that involved a Starfleet ship stranded 75,000 lightyears away from any military, technical, or mechanical support. That’s most evident in the ship’s consistently perfect condition throughout the run of the series.
The ship went through some major, major conflicts with nemeses like the Borg, Species 8472, the Kazon, the Hirogen – the list goes on. But apparently the repair crew (and the industrial replicators needed to produce the necessary materials) were really, really good at their jobs, because Voyager should’ve been a scrap heap.
24 SEVEN OF NINE’S PERSONALITY
Given what we know the Borg, individual personalities are completely consumed by the collective identity. Whoever you were before gets erased and you contribute your distinctiveness to their own. It’s why the Borg were such a terrifying enemy when they were first introduced.
Presumably if you spent a ton of time as a Borg drone, your original personality would’ve been lost, or at least underdeveloped.
Seven was assimilated as a small child, but arrived on Voyager as someone who just didn’t have very good social skills. It’s hard to speculate how someone in her condition would’ve actually behaved, but she likely should’ve been more dysfunctional that the Seven we got on the show.
23 WARP 10 CONTRADICTS SO MUCH CANON
During the mostly reviled second season episode “Threshold”, Tom Paris breaks the warp threshold and gets to warp 10.
The issue at hand is what warp 10 was – a velocity at which humans would occupy every point in space simultaneously. It’s a cool concept, but it flew in the face of several different mentions of higher warp speeds on TOS and TNG.
“Threshold” attempted to explain the disparity by saying in the 24th century warp 10 had been redesignated, so all the mentions of ships going warp 11 or 14 were still canon. Technically it works, but it’s definitely a messy bit of Star Trek science.
22 B’ELANNA’S PROMOTION
B’Elanna Torres was a dynamic, well-drawn, feminist and wonderfully played by Roxanne Biggs-Dawson. But we do have a small problem with how she got her position as Chief Engineer.
Torres suffered from serious anger control issues, but she was very, very smart and the best engineer on the ship by far.
During a confrontation with Joe Carey, the chief at the time, she punched him in the face when he wouldn’t listen to one of her suggestions, so Janeway promotes her.
While we loved that episode and adored Janeway and B’Elanna’s burgeoning relationship, Joe Carey kinda got the shaft.
21 YEAR OF HELL WAS KIND OF A WASTE OF TIME
During “Year of Hell”, the crew battled with the time-manipulating Krenim. Dogged by Annorax, a rogue Krenim commander who kept trying to change time in order to bring back his deceased wife, the ship and her crew were put through the ringer.
Voyager basically falls apart, a bunch of people lose their lives, and Janeway nearly loses her mind. It’s wonderful. Unfortunately, the episode has to end and then it might as well have never happened.
In the most frustrating use of the infamous Trek reset button to date, Janeway crashes Voyager into Annorax’s ship and undoes all of his time manipulations.
20 DISAPPEARING KAZON AND VIDIIANS
Voyager was a show about a ship traveling through space, so it did make sense that they would cease to encounter certain alien races as the show progressed and the ship moved on. However, the timing doesn’t really make sense.
Voyager tangled with the Kazon and the Vidiians for most of seasons 1 and 2, but then “moved beyond their space” once the narrative demanded it.
That would mean both races had territories spread out over 1000 light years (1/8th of the older and more technologically advanced Federation) given it took Voyager a year to move beyond them. We don’t buy it.
19 THE MAQUIS AND STARFLEET CREWS MERGED TOO EASILY
While Voyager remains one of the more maligned Star Trek series, its premise is very, very compelling. Built off of the Federation/Maquis/Cardassian storyline that had been gloriously filled out on TNG and DS9, it followed the forced unification of a Maquis and Starfleet crew 75,000 lightyears from home.
The narrative possibilities were endless, considering both groups had valid reasons for hating each other, but they weren’t explored much beyond the first season. There was a little friction between crew members featured in a few episodes, but intra-crew conflict of that sort virtually vanished after the season 2.
18 RANDOM CREW HOBBIES
Despite the fact that Voyager actually spent a lot of time making sure we knew that Harry played the clarinet, that Janeway had a dog, that Chakotay used psychotropic devices to commune with his ancestors, there were a few big personality traits that didn’t manifest until latter seasons.
Chakotay’s love of boxing that appeared for one episode then never again, Janeway’s secret fascination with all things Irish, and even Tom Paris’ grating obsession with 20th century technology all felt like retcons.
Sure, it’s possible those things just wouldn’t have come up, but it’s more likely the writers needed a way to implement certain storylines. Regardless, they all felt clunky.
17 SESKA’S PREGNANCY
Seska was one of Voyager's and, frankly, Star Trek's best villains. She’s a horrific person, but it’s hard to argue with the position she was put in. A Cardassian posing as a Bajoran Maquis crewman stuck on a Federation ship 75 years from home is an unenviable position to be in.
Her defection to the Kazon made Voyager's second season one of its best.
One sticking point we have is her extracting Chakotay’s DNA and impregnating herself with it.
Even if that were possible in the 24th century, the Kazon probably wouldn’t have had the tech necessary to make it work.
16 KES’ REVENGE
When Jennifer Lien left Voyager in season 4, Kes was written off by having her character’s telepathic skills evolve so much that she achieved a different plane of existence. Seasons later Kes returned traumatized and blamed Voyager for abandoning her because in her old age she didn’t remember she chose to leave the ship.
Seeing Kes return was great, but this was a ham-fisted way of undermining her entire journey after leaving Voyager.
She exited in a hopeful way, and “Fury” made it seem like her subsequent existence had been horrible just so the writers could capitalize on a demonized Kes. The character deserved better.
15 THE DOCTOR’S MOBILE EMITTER
“Future’s End” began with Captain Braxton crash landing onto 20th century Earth, having traveled back in time from the 29th.
Local hippie Henry Starling stripped the ship of its tech and became a Steve Jobs-type character supposedly responsible for computer age of the latter 20th century. When Voyager travels back in time and discovers this, Starling takes the Doctor hostage with the use of a mobile hologram emitter from Braxton’s ship.
All of that is fine, but asking us to believe that it would’ve taken five centuries for someone to come up with a way for holograms to become portable is pretty ludicrous.
14 NOT ONE SINGLE MUTINY?
Janeway made a serious executive decision when she destroyed the Array to stop the Kazon from gaining control of it. The fact that she unilaterally made a decision based on principle that seriously messed with the lives of many probably should’ve upset more people.
The crews melded with relative ease and, aside from a few defectors, everyone seemed chill with their new destinies.
Maybe a little too chill – it's pretty weird that not one single group of discontented people didn’t try to retake the ship and find a faster way home – especially when Janeway kept avoiding them in episodes like “Prime Factors”.
13 FEMALE OFFICERS IN HEELS
Throughout Star Trek: Voyager's run there were multiple shots of female crew members that showed them wearing heeled boots, and of course Seven of Nine’s catsuit came complete with a pair of nice stems.
By and large, the feminism on Voyager wasn’t that problematic, but having women run around in heels when nearly all of them were active duty military remains really, really dumb.
In what universe would it be practical to crawl around Jeffries Tubes, go on away mission, or stand at a tactical station wearing heels?
Come on, guys. Soldiers wear flats. At least Janeway wore pants, right?
12 SEVEN’S GUILT AND THE CREW’S MISTRUST
When Seven of Nine joined the crew after they “rescued” her from the Borg, she spent a good deal of time coming to terms with the crimes she committed as a Borg drone. She also received pushback from certain members of the crew who weren’t exactly happy to work alongside a representative of their mortal enemies. But none of that makes sense.
While Seven was a member of the Collective, she wasn’t in control of her actions.
That’s the whole point of the Borg Collective. She’s not responsible for what they did, though we can understand her lingering loyalty to the Borg would’ve rubbed the crew the wrong way.
11 HARRY KIM REMAINS AN ENSIGN
Tuvok got promoted on Voyager. B’Elanna got promoted on Voyager. Tom Paris got demoted and promoted on Voyager. But the hardest working ensign on the ship remained an ensign for seven years.
It made absolutely no sense and really hampered Harry’s arc -- he remained really green and naïve under those conditions.
No one has ever adequately explained why Harry remained so low on the totem pole after performing as well as he did. Granted, in the military promotions are given out only if there’s a corresponding position available, but Voyager broke those rules time and time again.
10 JANEWAY’S ONE PERIOD OF DEPRESSION
“Night” was Voyager's 5th season premiere and it featured the ship entering a void; a huge area of starless, seemingly unoccupied space. Janeway responded to this lack of stimulation by sinking into a depression, presumably because even with friends and holodecks, she needed crises to escape her own thoughts. That’s fair, honestly – what doesn’t make sense is the fact that she only got that discouraged once.
She was an amazing captain in her ability to avoid self-indulgence, but to a point she almost seemed robotic.
That critique can be levied at the entire show – Voyager always felt like it should’ve been darker.
9 "ENDGAME’S" TEMPORAL DIRECTIVE VIOLATION
Janeway’s favorite thing was adhering to the Prime Directive. She liked that more than she liked coffee. So it was very, very interesting that during “Endgame” both her younger and older selves shamelessly change the timeline to save Seven, Tuvok, and 22 other members of the crew who perish on the much longer way home the ship took in the original timeline.
Granted, we wouldn’t have wanted Tuvok to go crazy and Seven didn’t deserve to perish despite how ridiculous her relationship with Chakotay was, but this was a blatant abandonment of one of Janeway’s major principles.
8 HENRY STARLING COULDN’T HAVE UNDERSTOOD BRAXTON’S TECH
The premise of “Future’s End” sees hippie Henry Starling discover a 29th century timeship and strip it for its technology to make all the cash. The episode does make a point of calling out that he didn’t have a great understanding of the tech, but he still understood it enough that he was able to become a tech mogul.
It's very, very hard to believe that he would’ve been able to understand anything on the ship or that there wouldn’t be fail safes in place to prevent this very obvious problem from cropping up.
7 THE CREW’S EATING HABITS
The entire Star Trek franchise is well-known for its optimistic vision of an outer space filled with planets full of edible food and humanoid societies. Voyager was no different.
Neelix serving as cheff brought this fallacy even more to the fore as he cooked local delicacies from the Delta Quadrant that the crew would be even less likely to be able to digest than they would Romulan ale or Bajoran hasparat in the Alpha Quadrant.
Also, how did Neelix have the time to cook for the entire crew, be morale officer and host a morning show?
6 WHO IS CHAKOTAY, REALLY?
Chakotay’s character was frustratingly inconsistent at times. He began the show as a Maquis commando with anger issues that mirrored B’Elanna, but he was also at times very spiritual and zen, seeming to eschew petty conflict.
Then there’s the boxing thing again – supposedly it was a lifelong hobby, but that seemed unlikely given his upbringing and we literally never heard about it before Season 6 or after “The Fight.”
That could be part of the reason Robert Beltran was so frustrated during his time on the show.
Let’s not even get into his totally out-of-the-blue relationship with Seven of Nine.
His character never really settled on one way to be.
5 Q’S INTEREST IN JANEWAY
Q’s omnipotence made the entire story arc of him trying to romance Janeway in the process kind of tough to swallow, despite how fun “The Q and the Grey” was.
If Q is as all-powerful as he’s supposed to be, it doesn’t make sense that he’d be so preoccupied with a human woman.
Not that we don’t love Janeway, but it was always a little odd and kind of skeevy that Q showed that kind of interest in her. It’d be like a human propositioning a very houseplant – different playing fields don’t make for solid relationships.
4 ENDLESS SHUTTLECRAFTS
Even though Voyager only would’ve had room for two to four shuttlecrafts and presumably lacked the resources to build new ones, they sure seemed to lose a lot.
The exact number’s hard to come by what with time resets in episodes like “Year of Hell” and “Timeless,” but it’s between 10 and 17.
Voyager’s endless amount of shuttles and resources became a running joke among the fandom because it spoke to the general implausibility of Voyager’s seemingly endless resources.
3 REPLICATOR RATIONING DISAPPEARING
During the first two seasons of Voyager the show dealt with the ship’s distance from the Federation head on. One of the ways that distance manifested practically was the idea that the ship’s energy needed to be conserved because dilithium gas stations weren’t as prevalent in the backwater that was the Delta Quadrant.
The crew had to ration their replicator use, which meant we got more scenes in the mess hall and had to deal with Neelix’s “cooking.”
As the show progressed, dealing with the practicalities of Voyager being away from Starfleet and their advanced technology basically faded away.
2 VIDIIANS' SOFTER SIDES
The Vidiians were one of Voyager's primary antagonists early on and they were pretty intimidating. Because their people suffered from the debilitating Phage, they were so desperate they harvested organs from anyone who crossed their path.
They also were given a sympathetic take in episodes like “Lifesigns”, which featured Danara Pel and the Doctor’s first romance.
To be honest, the way they operate makes them as villainous if not moreso than the Cardassians and the Romulans. The show was just a tiny bit too easy on these human mechanics.
1 THE BORG QUEEN
In the context of a hive mind like the Borg, having a queen makes no sense. A person with any sort of agency betrays the entire premise of the Borg, so the existence of a queen in the first place is problematic. But the queen on Voyager was hyper emotional and very possessive of Seven of Nine.
The Borg turned into just another Star Trek nemesis with an axe to grind during their time on Voyager.
That took away from the trenchant storytelling surrounding Seven’s readjustment to human society and her relationship with Janeway.
Did we miss any other commonly overlooked problems with Star Trek: Voyager? Let us know in the comments!