Star Trek: Voyager was one of the first Star Trek spin-offs to try things a little differently than other series in the franchise. Standing on the shoulders of Star Trek: The Next Generation and using it to buoy its success, it departed from the typical exploration-centric episodes in that it had a reoccurring plot twist; the starship Voyager was knocked into the Delta Quadrant, and it would take the crew 75 years to get home.
With limited resources, a crew combined of Starfleet officers and space pirates, and potential alien threats around every corner, the adventures involving Voyager were anything but routine. Events and situations seemed to occur in Voyager that didn't pop up in other Star Trek series, mostly because it made up its own rules as it went along, and wasn't connected to the other series. Here are 10 logic memes that will make sense if you're a true fan of the show.
10 THEY MAY BE TRYING TO COMMUNICATE
Of all the captains in the Star Trek television series, Captain Janeway was the most science-oriented, often giving leeway to alien lifeforms because she was scientifically curious about them, and not necessarily because she valued their way of life. In this way, some people viewed her as colder than the diplomat Jean-Luc Picard or the space cowboy James T. Kirk.
Often times when an alien lifeform grew hostile and took to attacking the crew, Janeway's curiosity would get the better of her. She would determine that there must be a perfectly logical reason for why they were behaving the way they were, and often this deliberation period caused the crew (and the ship) a lot of damage.
9 ALWAYS AN ENSIGN, NEVER A LIEUTENANT
Poor Harry Kim. An exemplary Starfleet officer for the entire duration of Voyager's time in the Delta Quadrant, with an impeccable record of service, he was never promoted beyond the rank of Ensign. Wesley Crusher on Next Generation was promoted faster than him.
It was somewhat difficult to be promoted on Voyager, with only so many positions available, but the crew was lost all the time. Tom Paris was even demoted, and promoted again, while Harry remained with but a single pip. Harry Kim did more for the crew than anyone and yet couldn't even be made an "Acting Lieutenant" at Captain Janeway's discretion.
8 LIKE GIVING CANDY TO A BABY
Captain Janeway has often been criticized for her arbitrary adherence to the Prime Directive, in which Starfleet vessels and crew do not interfere with the technological development of other civilizations, especially pre-warp cultures. Many times throughout Voyager Captain Janeway defies the Prime Directive which, were she in the Alpha Quadrant, would get her in serious trouble from Starfleet brass.
In the two-part episode "Scorpion", when Janeway first comes in contact with a Borg liaison Seven of Nine, she agrees to help the Borg construct weapons of mass destruction (a series of torpedoes armed with Borg nanites) to destroy Species 8472, an aggressive alien life form the Borg tried to assimilate but could not control.
7 WORKING HARDER, NOT SMARTER
The Emergency Medical Hologram (EMH) aboard Voyager is an impressive piece of technology, a hologram able to provide as much service and assistance to patients in sickbay as a real Starfleet medical doctor. He requires no food, no rest, and can work as often as needed to make sure the crew stay healthy and safe.
Yet, for all his amazing qualities, the EMH still does things that seem illogical given his construction. Like the android Data on Star Trek: Next Generation, he has the ability to simply download information into his matrix, yet he insists on reading data pads. It's been said this is a habit to make him appear more human, since his design is based on real Starfleet medical personnel.
6 GALACTIC REDUNDANCY
A lot of Trekkies had issues with the final season of Voyager, when it seemed that the writers were rushing to get the crew home without properly wrapping up their story arcs. In the series finale, "Endgame," it appeared the crew was finally going to make it home to the Alpha Quadrant after only seven, and not the estimated 75, years away.
Unfortunately, because the Voyager crew can't have nice things, an older "Admiral" Janeway has to engage in some timey-wimey shenanigans involving a time traveler, the Borg Queen, and the need to go back in time to assist her younger self and the crew get back home even faster than before.
5 FEELING CUTE, MIGHT VIOLATE THE PRIME DIRECTIVE
Captain Janeway tries to establish that the 75-year journey home to the Alpha Quadrant doesn't have to be one long onerous voyage early on in the series. Letting the crew know they might stop off at any number of points in the Delta Quadrant, a previously unexplored area of space, is her little way of making them feel like they're part of something new and innovative, rather than condemned to a death sentence.
However, it becomes pretty apparent to the crew as well that whenever the possibility arises that they could shave time off their trip (say, with the help of the cosmic being Q), she elects to have them go explore the Delta Quadrant further, and violating Starfleet command via the Prime Directive because hey, what they don't know can't hurt 'em.
4 A LITTLE THING CALLED A SPORE DRIVE
Star Trek: Discovery has introduced concepts into the Star Trek canon that have proved divisive among Star Trek fans. The most curious one has been the displacement-activated spore hub drive, or "spore drive" for short, created by Paul Stamets and Straal. The tech uses mycelium spores to "jump" across the mycelial network of space, placing ships in the myceliel plane.
It's been postulated that the evidence of such a drive throws a monkey wrench in Voyager's 75 year journey, as Trekkies ponder if Starfleet had access to a spore drive, why didn't they simply send a ship with one to fetch the crew of Voyager? No doubt something will happen to make it obsolete by the time of Voyager's timeline.
3 THERE'S THE RIGHT WAY, AND THEN THERE'S THE JANEWAY
There have been many a roundtable discussion in Captain Janeway's ready room concerning the topic of how to shorten Voyager's 75-year journey after having been knocked into the Delta Quadrant by the Caretaker. Some options have worked to take a few years off their journey involving new technology, alliances with new species, or finding wormholes, but most don't pan out because of one prerogative...the Janeway.
As far as the success of Voyager's mission to reach the Alpha Quadrant is concerned, it's all up to Captain Janeway's final say-so. There's the right way, the wrong way, and then the Janeway, which appears to involve going on dangerous side-quests because Janeway's scientifically curious mind will not be satisfied.
2 GEOCENTRISM GONE WILD
This is a little less about baffling Voyager logic and more about Kate Mulgrew, the actress that played Captain Janeway, but it still baffles the minds of Trekkies everywhere. She portrayed the most scientifically focused captain in all the Star Trek TV shows and yet participated in a documentary about geocentrism.
It involves the belief that the Sun goes around the Earth, not the other way around. All modern science has pointed to this being a fraudulent concept, yet Kate Mulgrew provided a voice-over for the film. She maintains she was tricked into doing it, but surely she received a copy of the script and could have backed out if she was concerned?
1 INTERGALACTIC DRAG RACING
In some ways, we can't really blame Harry Kim and Tom Paris for wanting to cruise around in the Delta Flyer II, the updated version of Tom's beloved space hot rod. What else have they got to do? Other than continuously try to develop technology to shorten their 75 year journey, of course.
In the episode "Drive", they get a chance to enter the Flyer in an intergalactic space race with doLucillezens of other alien species, the guest of a flashy and beautiful Terrellian pilot named Irina. While it might do some good for Harry's chance with the ladies, it puts a monkey wrench into Tom's relationship with B'Elanna Torres.