Star Trek has been warping into living rooms and onto big screens since 1966. Hundreds of characters from numerous races found our hearts, our anger, and our love for humanity. Ships and technology and the imagination in creation of civilizations and worlds have impressed fans for decades.
For Star Trek, creator Gene Roddenberry had a passion for the good in people, human and alien. It is the people that really have made Star Trek as popular as it has. Sure, everything else is fun, but like most shows, reality and scripted, you watch for the drama, love, character interactions, and how a character reacts in positive or negative situations.
Friendships and command hierarchies and economic or religious statuses: if you didn’t like the people, then the main story or plot idea meant nothing. Of course, it was inevitable that writers would find a way to create romantic interests.
Because of Star Trek: Voyager’s special circumstance - being flung far into the Delta quadrant - the crew found ways to entertain themselves with loving relationships-- sometimes with aliens they’ve met. Other times, one person in the couple had a stronger attraction or crush than the other.
This list examines couples that got together and had a relationship over seasons as well as those who had a romantic involvement over an episode or two. You won’t find couples you wished had gotten together-- although one couple had a strong relationship based on tension and a convenient plot of loneliness.
So here’s 10 Couples That Hurt Star Trek: Voyager (And 10 That Saved It).
20 Saved: Tom Paris & B'Elanna Torres
If there was one couple on Voyager that was a fan favorite, it was Tom Paris and B’Elanna Torres.
A rocky courtship and realistic marriage portrayed made them the most genuine couple to come out of the show.
Tom and B’Elanna’s personalities were vastly different. She was the hard-working engineer constantly concerned with the ship’s operation, and he was the carefree pilot who enjoyed creating and starring in his own holo-novels. But the couple worked.
Over time, B’Elanna came to enjoy Tom’s doting and loyalty to the point were she became irritated when she had to be pulled away from a romantic evening or moment. Tom grew up for B’Elanna, taking things more seriously, especially when they found out they were going to have a baby.
19 Hurt: Chakotay & Seven of Nine
Chakotay wasn’t a fan of Seven of Nine when she first came aboard Voyager, but he trusted Captain Janeway, who implicitly trusted the rehabilitated Borg. However, in a later season, Seven of Nine started a romantic relationship with the Commander in a holodeck.
She created a simulation to “practice” a romantic relationship with Chakotay. The Doctor found out about the simulation, which caused Seven to emit extreme emotion. The Doctor removed the implants that were designed to shut down when high levels of emotion occurred, and she and Chakotay started dating.
Putting the couple together seemed rushed and forced.
Jeri Ryan even found the relationship awkward, saying it “came out of the blue.” There was no attraction and then “suddenly, they’re in love.”
18 Saved: Tuvok and T'Pel
It’s common knowledge that Vulcans characteristically don’t show emotions. They’ve learned to suppress it in favor of living life through logic. Tuvok is no different, but there is one emotion that manages to push through: love.
Tuvok is married to T’Pel. The relationship isn’t featured, but does have its moments throughout the series. His wife and kids are very important to him, so it’s his family that gets him to exhibit emotion. You can tell when he’s talking about T’Pel, that his words have powerful feeling behind them.
In “Caretaker”, Tuvok even admitted he missed her!
Their marriage had immense mutual respect and loyalty. Not only could you see it, but you could feel it. In these instances, Tuvok showed more emotion than you’d expect from a Vulcan. And he embraced it.
17 Hurt: Janeway & Chakotay
For over 20 years, fans have been debating if Janeway and Chakotay ever were in a romantic relationship. Some say no, but many others confidently say yes.
It’s easy to see the tension between Chakotay and Janeway: a flirtatious statement, a light touch. Was Janeway just the caring “mother” of her crew? Or was Chakotay trying for something more than platonic?
In the episode “Resolutions”m when Chakotay and Janeway are stranded together on a planet due to a virus, each take on different roles. Janeway wants to find a cure, and Chakotay keeps house. He even builds a bathtub so Janeway can relax in her favorite way.
Most of the romantic tension emanates from Chakotay, but in the end, Janeway’s fight for a cure is too strong. Besides, both have such professionalism that it would never work between them.
16 Saved: Neelix & Ch'Rega
Although Neelix and Ch’rega’s relationship was confined to the episode “Prophecy”, it showed that Neelix wasn’t afraid to try relationships out of his comfort zone. As the ship’s ambassador, he learned of Klingon mating rituals and became curious.
Ch’rega was part of a Klingon crew searching for the savior of the Klingon race, thinking they had found it in B’Elanna’s unborn daughter. Ch’rega developed a fondness for Harry Kim, who did not return the sentiment, so Neelix saved Harry from potential “danger.”
After breaking up with Kes, Neelix’s character grew.
He took on more roles and became involved in more missions. His torrid moment with Ch’rega was just one example that demonstrated a positive change to his character.
15 Hurt: Harry Kim & Linnis
Harry Kim had a tendency to fall in love too quickly with women. He could even become infatuated with someone within moments of meeting them. In some ways, Harry had a fear of being alone, and being so far away from Earth didn’t help.
In an alternate timeline, Tom Paris and Kes got together and had a daughter named Linnis. The half-Ocampan side of her aged her faster than other humans. It was also in this timeline that she married Harry Kim and they had a son named Andrew.
It was a weird relationship because Harry married his best friend’s daughter. Yes, Ocampans have accelerated aging, which eventually made the age difference a small point in the relationship. She was still his best friend’s daughter.
14 Saved: Seven of Nine & Axum
Axum, a Borg drone also known as Five of Twelve, was part of the Borg group that found himself in Unimatrix Zero. This dream-like experience allowed drones to remember their previous lives.
While in Unimatrix Zero, Axum had romantic involvement with Seven of Nine for almost 6 years.
Seven of Nine had always had a small part of her humanity hidden within her even after she joined Voyager and fought against it. When Axum reached out to Seven for help in saving Unimatrix Zero, the relationship rekindled.
Although Seven was willing to help, even getting the crew of Voyager to devise a different plan for the individualistic drones, it became obvious that Seven’s (or Annika Hansen’s) first sweet, but heartbreaking love endeared her past as a drone to fans and viewers.
13 Hurt: Harry Kim & Maggie O'Halloran
In the episode “Fair Haven”, Tom Paris creates a holoprogram of a 19th century Irish village where Voyager’s crew can relax. One character in particular became important to Harry Kim.
Maggie O’Halloran ran a vegetable stand. She was engaged, but after an incident involving a minor malfunction to the holodeck, the engagement ended. On a visit, Harry Kim became enamored with Maggie and courted her. Tom even played a trick on Harry by programming Maggie to turn into a cow when she and Harry almost kissed.
This episode enforced Harry’s need to be in a relationship. He always seemed to have such a desire to find a companion that even wooing a holodeck woman wasn’t off-limits.
12 Saved: Janeway & Jaffen
In the two-part episode “Workforce”, some of the crew were abducted, brainwashed, and employed at a factory on a dystopian-like world.
Janeway was excited to start her new job at the factory. Soon, another worker, Jaffen, started flirting with her and they begin a romantic relationship. It culminated into multiple dinners and an overnight stay. Jaffen eventually asked her to move in with him; she accepted.
Janeway - despite having no memory of her past - was extremely happy in all aspects of her life. Work, friendships, love: she seemed to have it all and had no issues with the world she lived in. With Jaffen being an attentive and loving boyfriend, there’s no doubt Janeway would have been happy in a marriage too.
11 Hurt: The Doctor & Seven of Nine
The Doctor and Seven of Nine had a unique and often-times complicated relationship throughout the Voyager series.
At his best, The Doctor was a great mentor to Seven of Nine in reclaiming her humanity. He encouraged her to learn about romantic relationships, taught her various types of behavior and social situations, and was basically a great friend. They talked quite often, many times learning from each other.
At his worst, The Doctor was too infatuated with Seven of Nine.
He misinterpreted her feelings and found ways to increase the romantic tension between them. Forget that The Doctor was a hologramL his feelings for her were misguided and awkward, creating odd scenes that would have been better off left out or changed to remove his romantic emotions.
10 Saved: Neelix & Dexa
Neelix was a changed man by the time he met Dexa. Dexa and hundreds of other Talaxians found refuge on an asteroid. They made it their home and were willing to leave and not fight a greedy mining company who want the asteroid.
At first, Neelix was homesick for his people when he met the group, but Dexa had an immediate effect on Neelix. He also took a liking to her son and was willing to risk his life to help his fellow Talaxians defend the asteroid.
Neelix fell in love with Dexa - and she him - and he found he wanted to be with her so much that he decided to stay behind to live on the asteroid with her, her son, and the other Talaxians.
9 Hurt: Chakotay & Seska
While in charge of a group of Maquis, Chakotay had a subordinate named Seska. She was a good operative, but when the captured Maquis were integrated into the Voyager crew, Seska couldn’t live by Starfleet mandates, so she left the ship to join the Kazon.
In “State of Flux”, we learn Seska and Chakotay were romantically together at some point, but they both decided to break it off. Seska was disappointed that Chakotay would join Starfleet as an officer like he did. She doubted her past feelings of love for him, but still remained obsessed with him.
Seska used her relationship with him to lure him into a trap: she had a child she claimed was his.
As a good man, Chakotay wanted to help her. Luckily, he realized the deception before it was too late.
8 Saved: Tom Paris & Kes
Both of Tom Paris’s romantic relationships were good for the show, even though the one with Kes was more from his side. He became attracted to her as she had more a presence and more responsibilities on Voyager.
In a move that was out of character for Tom, because he was probably falling in love, he gave up 2 weeks of rations to gift her a locket as a present.
Kes wanted to learn piloting, so he became her instructor. The deepened his feelings for her, despite trying to stave them off. Neelix became jealous of Tom because Kes was spending quite a bit of time with him.
Because it changed Tom for the better, it was a good setup relationship to guide him into being a better and more responsible man for B’Elanna.
7 Hurt: Janeway & Q
There’s no denying that Q is a fan-favorite character. Which is why he’s been around for three different Star Trek series. However, Q’s barging into the Voyager series had different intentions than he had with Picard or Sisko.
Q first ambushes Janeway by appearing in her bed in her quarters. He wants Janeway to become the mother of his child. Arrogantly Q stated he could have chosen any woman in the galaxy.
Janeway is right to refuse his gifts and flattery.
Not that fans expected anything to transpire - that would have really ruined Janeway as a character. Janeway knew how to deal with Q’s nonsense to keep her integrity intact.
6 Saved: Janeway & Kashyk
Kashyk was a deceptive jerk in the episode “Counterpoint”. He was part of a race that believed telepaths were dangerous to the Devore Imperium and conducted regular searches of ships entering their space.
Voyager had a group of empaths they rescued and managed to hide from Devore. Kashyk sought asylum on Voyager, saying he didn’t believe in his race’s beliefs. He attempted to gain Janeway’s trust by pretending to fall in love with her and be her friend.
The show portrays Janeway never believing Kashyk-- she outsmarts him, which only charms him more. Yes, his only plan was to trick her into exposing the telepaths, but sometimes, fake love is based on real emotions.
5 Hurt: Harry Kim & Seven of Nine
Soon after Seven of Nine joined the Voyager as a crew member, Harry Kim set his romantic sights on her. His actions were innocent enough, but Kim didn’t realize he was trying to win the affection of someone who probably lost that part of her humanity.
The heartache would pass, but knowing Harry, it would also be unbearable.
Yet, he continued. At first, Seven of Nine missed the hints, but she eventually understood Harry’s purpose. She directly asked him if he wished to copulate. This embarrassed Harry. Later, she tried again by informing Harry she was willing to explore that side of the relationship and instructed Harry to take off his clothes.
It never had gone right for Harry with women, and his early interaction with Seven of Nine was equally as awkward.
4 Saved: Janeway & Mark Johnson
Mark Johnson was Janeway’s fiancé before she left on her mission. As an engagement gift, he gave her the book Dante’s Inferno. When Voyager was considered lost, he did hold on for as long as he could for Janeway’s return.
With no information for a long time, Mark continued his life with new friends and slowly forgetting about Janeway and his life with her. That seems harsh, but what else was he supposed to do? Six months after Starfleet officially deemed Voyager lost, Mark married another woman.
Janeway was devastated when she learned years later about Mark and his new life, but she was smart enough to know that it was a natural progression for him, especially with the information he had been given.
3 Hurt: Neelix & Kes
The award for Worst Chemistry on a Star Trek: Voyager couple probably goes to Neelix and Kes. Never mind that Kes had a limited life span, this was a relationship that didn’t make sense.
Initially, like most romantic relationships, it was nice and love-filled, but it became quickly clear Neelix and Kes never belonged together-- mostly because of Neelix.
He had a jealousy that reared its ugly hint at anyone showing the slightest hint of interest in Kes.
What's worse is that we don’t get to see their break-up. It just happens. We’re told she wanted to develop a relationship with someone else, so she broke up with Neelix. If she had never been with Neelix, it’s quite possible Kes could have been an amazing character.
2 Saved: Chakotay & Tessa
It was in an alternate timeline (2390), but Chakotay and Tessa Omond had a deep romantic relationship that lasted years.
Interested in Voyager’s history, she joined Chakotay and Harry Kim (who had not disappeared in the Delta quadrant) in finding the ship after vanishing during a quantum slipstream test. They worked hard to figure out why the slipstream didn’t work. Tessa developed a plan to use Borg technology to send a message back to 2375 to stop the disaster of Voyager.
Starfleet refused to let the plan go ahead. Tessa and Chakotay attempt the plan anyway and are intercepted by Starfleet. Chakotay was willing to sacrifice himself for Tessa on the Delta Flyer, but she wanted to stay with him as long as possible. However, she perished when the Flyer exploded.
1 Hurt: Janeway & Michael Sullivan
Another romantic relationship that came from the episode “Fair Haven” was Janeway and Michael Sullivan. He owned a pub and was married. When Janeway went to the pub, she became attracted to him, but didn’t know about the wife until she appeared at the pub.
This caused Janeway to reprogram Sullivan. She made him single and smarter to match her intelligence with what she wanted to talk about. The continued to see each other and had a romantic relationship.
Janeway changing Sullivan wasn’t something you’d expect her to do.
She was happy with him, but it was just a holodeck program. The Captain eventually realized what she had done, but not before Sullivan and other townspeople figured out what they were. She had to return to Captain mode to quell the situation.
Which couples saved or hurt Star Trek: Voyager for you? Let us know in the comments!