The Star Trek franchise contains vast amounts of lore. With over 50 years of television shows, movies, books, comics, video games and more, there is a lot for writers to draw from. Screen versions of Star Trek tend to maintain a level of consistency, for the most part. Sometimes a writer misses an important detail in a previous episode or the special effects department doesn’t research a fact from the script or technical manuals. Even in post-production, it’s possible that a mistake is caught, but it’s too late to fix it. It’s left in, and eagle-eye viewers find the error.
Some mistakes get “fansplained,” which means there’s an explanation on why the issue isn’t really an issue. Those types of errors typically revolve around people or single-episode plots. The best mistakes are usually the ones that neglect facts established in previous episodes or other series or movies. Voyager has included all types of mistakes. That doesn't mean the show is disregarding other Star Trek canon, it’s likely because writers or showrunners or producers simply forgot until after an episode aired.
This list focuses on production errors that either were limited to a single episode or disregarded canon’s previous storylines, dialog, or scenes. There are also entries that tackle obvious problems with how writers saw the Voyager universe. It easy to imagine the Star Trek writers’ room as a constant flow of ideas. After seven seasons, it's only natural that a few mistakes slipped through the cracks.
Here are 20 Mistakes Fans Completely Missed In Star Trek: Voyager.
20 Voyager Versus Kazon Ships
The Voyager is a fast ship. In a couple of episodes, it’s been suggested the ship can push its speed to warp 9.775, but in most of the series, Voyager tops out at warp 9.5, as was established in early episodes. When Janeway and her crew meet the Kazon, she learns they are war-like scavengers full of deception and indifference towards other species. The Kazon immediately become a thorn in Janeway’s side, constantly attacking her for the ship’s technology.
Kazon ships have a maximum speed of warp 2, which means, at any point, the Voyager could simply outrun and escape the Kazon. This mistake made those episodes with battles between Voyager and the Kazon silly and unnecessary. Watch the episode “Basics” for an example.
19 Paris and Tuvok's Ranks
In the first season, Tuvok and Tom Paris had inconsistent ranks. The clear mistake is in the pips on the collars. The credits list the Vulcan as “Lieutenant Tuvok.” However, Tuvok begins the show with one black and two gold pips, which signifies him as a Lieutenant Commander. In some episodes, Tuvok’s collar only has two gold pips, which means he’s a Senior Grade Lieutenant. After the inaugural season, Tuvok is a permanent Lieutenant Commander, and no explanation is given for the inconsistency.
Paris is a Senior Grade Lieutenant - two gold pips - but often is seen with one gold and one black pip, which puts him as a Junior Grade Lieutenant. Beyond season one, Paris is a Junior Grad-- minus the time he was demoted to an Ensign.
18 The Doctor's Mobile Emitter
As a hologram, The Doctor was confined to Sick Bay or the Holodeck since those were the only two places holo-emitters existed on the ship. That is, until a mobile emitter was developed to allow The Doctor to roam free. There is one major error that involves the transporter when it comes to the mobile emitter, however.
There are several times The Doctor is transported to other locations via Voyager’s transporter room. As with humans, who are considered solid matter to the transporter, The Doctor fades away. That shouldn’t be the case; only the emitter would disappear in that manner. The Doctor would just instantly vanish, as he has done many times when the emitter is removed and he isn’t near other emitters.
17 SENIOR OFFICER HARRY KIM
Harry Kim appeared in all seasons of Voyager. He’s an Operations Officer with the title of Ensign. Also, on a number of occasions, Kim is named as a Senior Officer. There are many more Lieutenants on board that should have that designation before an Ensign. Harry is right out of Starfleet and has been given the Officer role, but remains at the lowest commissioned rank.
When given the duty of bridge command at night, he was still an Ensign. The writers must have forgotten the Voyager had dozens of high-ranking crew members (even one level up) that probably should have been given the same chance that Harry Kim got. This happened on multiple occasions.
16 Crew Complement Numbers
The number of crewmen on the Voyager changes dramatically, going anywhere from 125 people to 160. The ship starts out with 141 in “Caretaker”. This is confirmed by Lieutenant Stadi. Some pass away when the ship is pushed to the Delta Quadrant, and the Maquis join Voyager, but the actual number is unknown.
In later seasons, actual crew complement numbers are given, but it doesn’t come close to matching the correct population of the ship due to those who are deceased. In one or two cases, the number goes up when the number of deaths seen or mentioned should have forced it down. On the low end, about 30 people have passed away, but in poring over lists and visible losses, the number could be as high as 40 or more.
15 NUMBER OF TRANSPORTER ROOMS
Throughout the years, technical manuals were written to keep writers informed of the layout of Star Trek starships. Knowing the layout of decks is important, and fans of any series will be sure to mention it if there’s been a mistake.
One question that remains vague is the number of transporter rooms on the Voyager. It’s stated many times in the series that the ship has three transporter rooms. In “Phage”, for example, Tuvok needs a security team in transporter room three. They are located on Deck 4 of the ship. In “Worse Case Scenario”, Voyager is shown as having only two. Also, in Intrepid-class deck listings, Transporter Rooms 1 and 2 are the only ones listed.
14 Existence of Astrometrics Lab
The Astrometrics lab aboard Voyager helped solve many problems for the crew and overcome Delta Quadrant obstacles. In “Revulsion”, Chakotay asks Harry Kim and Seven of Nine to update the Astrometrics lab; it hadn’t been done since the ship left the spacedocks.
In later episodes, it’s said that Voyager didn’t have an Astrometrics lab when it was built, which goes against what Chakotay said. Chakotay finds out in “Shattered” he may have been completely wrong. Of course, this inconsistency is never mentioned. He time-travels back to the same day the ship departs for the first mission. Chakotay tells Captain Janeway they are going to Astrometrics. Confused, Janeway responds, “Voyager doesn’t have an Astrometrics.”
13 Voyager Deck Listing
Intrepid-class Starfleet ships have 15 decks. They are all numbered; no letters are used. Even major sections and minor rooms are numbered in some way. For example, Holodeck 2 is in section 9 on Deck 6. The crew members on Voyager apparently don’t know the ship’s layout. Shouldn’t they know the basic deck listings?
In the episode “Live Fast and Proper”, Captain Janeway listens to her crew spout out the various problems on the ship. One says there’s an issue on Deck C and another crew member states there’s a problem on Deck 22. Both are completely off the mark. Either they were ad-libbing, or the writers didn’t have a side-view cutout map of the Voyager.
12 Radar Issues
From the original Enterprise to the new Discovery and middling ships across the galaxy, the ship’s radar is an extremely important piece of equipment. It stands to reason that an accurate radar could save or cause the demise of a ship. The episode “Dreadnought” concerns a Cardassian missile barreling through Delta Quadrant space. It launched and disappeared.
Inconsistency almost destroyed everyone. The Dreadnought stated that 15 priority targets were approaching. However, on the actual radar, only 16 Rakosan ships are shown. Right before the Dreadnought attacks, 19 Rakosan ships are displayed on the radar. In a space battle, one ship - perceived or not - could make the difference.
11 Owen Paris Rank
There is another continuity mistake concerning rank. Owen Paris is a senior Starfleet office and Tom Paris’s father. He had a prominent role beginning in “Pathfinder” in season six. He was in the episode “Persistence of Vision”, but only as an illusion. In that episode, he was a 3-star Vice Admiral.
In “Pathfinder,” Owen was a 4-star Admiral. That only means he started as a Vice Admiral before Voyager left on its mission and was clearly promoted after Voyager vanished into the Delta Quadrant. Then, in “Inside Man”, Owen Paris returned to Vice Admiral status. This was most likely a costume error: Owen was an Admiral again for the episodes “Author, Author” and “Endgame”.
10 Spelling Problems
Some mistakes are so subtle, only the most discerning eye can pick them out. Hardcore Star Trek fans often locate and inform others about the mistakes, not out of a Look-What-I-Found sour attitude, but to help keep the show consistent. In “Future’s End”, a misspelling finds its way into the show. It’s very easy to miss, so it must have taken a fan multiple viewings to catch it.
When Starling is ready to launch his timeship from the bay located behind the office, the exterior ship is seen. To the right is a white wall with the company name on it: “Chronowerks”. However, this is a different spelling than “Chronowerx”, which was on the building and behind Starling when inside the office.
9 The Doctor's Status
The Doctor quickly became one of the most beloved characters on Voyager. The cantankerous, often-annoyed Emergency Medical Hologram loved to explore his humanity and push the limits of what it meant to be an artificial intelligent hologram. As a hologram - and it’s been debated on several episodes - he had restricted rights. But on Janeway’s Voyager he was afforded all the luxuries and independence as if he were flesh and blood. Captain Janeway even declared him to be a part of the crew in an official capacity.
But The Doctor never had any sort of rank. While a real Chief Medical Officer has a rank and status aboard a starship, The Doctor didn’t. Janeway should have given him an official ranking, but that didn’t stop him from doing what he needed to do as if he had a rank.
8 STARDATES ARE HARD
Stardates are a complex system of time. In The Original Series, no logical method of timekeeping was used. Basically, they made up the dates. So as long as subsequent dates were after a previous one, all was good. In later Star Trek series, writers took the usage of stardates more seriously. Using a base date, you can calculate any stardate by figuring 1 year is equal to 1000 star units.
The problem with stardates is not being off by a few numbers, but mixing up two important numbers. In “The Omega Directive”, Seven of Nine dates her log entry as 15781.2 when the actual stardate should have been 51781.2. That a huge difference!
7 Shuttle Designation
If you’re going to mess up shuttle registry designations, at least try not to make it obvious. Film crews and set designers have done a good job at least of making sure the designations on the main ships like Enterprise or Discovery remain the same. There have been some minor mistakes for smaller crafts, however.
For Voyager, in the very first episode “Caretaker”, there was a mistake on the shuttle that brought Tom Paris to Voyager. The registry on the shuttle switches back and forth from “NCC 71226” to “NCC 1701-D”. The latter is, of course, the famous registry number of the Enterprise from The Next Generation, with Jean-Luc Picard as the Captain.
6 Unlimited Supplies
Being the only Federation ship in the Delta Quadrant, many limitations were immediately encountered. The main consequence of getting stranded with hostile races, aliens unwilling to assists with trade, or basic energy requirements (machine and human), was supplies.
Voyager had a seemingly unlimited number of shuttles. The ship, according to the official writer’s guide, Star Trek Voyager Technical Guide V1.0, carries two standard shuttlecrafts. Over the seven years Voyager was on the air, they lost about 17. Some parts would be easy to replicate if unrepairable, but there were at least three different types of shuttles used in the show (Type 6, Type 8, and Type 9). Besides shuttles, even the torpedoes were replenished at an almost impossible rate. Initially, they started out with 38 torpedoes (minus 2 used to destroy Caretaker) but happened to fire 93 of them.
5 THE RIKER'S BEARD EFFECT
William Riker’s beard is so ingrained in pop culture, it actually has an Urban Dictionary entry. “Riker’s Beard” is a “euphemism for a moment in time where something or someone that was lackluster suddenly…became much better and exciting.” Of course, it comes from The Next Generation. For the first season, that series was just okay. Then at the beginning of the second season, Riker grew a beard and the show was solid for the rest of the seasons.
Sometimes a change of facial hair in a short amount of time means something went wrong. In “Alice”, Tom has a 3-day beard when he tells Alice why he can’t leave Voyager. Later, during the neurological interface scene. Tom is clean-shaven, but in the scene right after, the beard is back.
4 The Beta Quadrant
It’s probably a simple matter of convenience the writers forgot about the Beta Quadrant. The flight path of the Voyager clearly has it going through the Beta Quadrant, which is right next to the Alpha Quadrant, the goal of the ship. If the plan had been to enter the Alpha Quadrant solely, Voyager’s path would be directly into the corner of the Delta area. By the sixth season, with all the extra jumps and traveling assistance, Voyager should have hit the Beta Quadrant.
The Beta Quadrant was barely mentioned in Voyager. Although the quadrant is home to the Klingons and Romulans, it would have been better for Janeway and her crew to encounter them for a bigger chance at reaching home without help from the Borg Transwarp conduit.
3 Dr. Chaotica's Fortress
The Adventures of Captain Proton moments in Star Trek: Voyager are fun episodes. Tom Paris plays the hero, Harry Kim the sidekick, and Janeway is the woman sought after by the villain, Dr. Chaotica. It’s a pulp holo-novel that eventually finds itself outside the realm of fantasy and into the real world of the ship.
In the episode “Bride of Chaotica” - which has Janeway playing Queen Arachnia - there is a scene mistake that’s confusing, but sort of fits into the silly pulp story. When Paris and Tuvok check out the holodeck at one point, Dr. Chaotica’s fortress is greatly damaged. Later, when Seven of Nine and Harry Kim view it from the Astrometrics lab, the structure is completely intact and undamaged.
2 Size of the Delta Flyer
Did you know there’s basically a ship within a ship on the Voyager? The Delta Flyer was a ship built by the crew of the Voyager to handle areas and environments a regular shuttlecraft couldn’t. The Flyer combined Starfleet and Borg equipment and technology.
However, it’s not exactly clear how the Delta Flyer fits through the bay doors, then is able to maneuver for storage. There seems to be no consistent official specs on the ship; many speculate the size is between 15 to 20 meters long. Many of the screenshots show different sizes and storage space, so it’s difficult to nail down specific dimensions. Plus, the Flyer looks much bigger from the inside. There are escape pods listed as connected but locating is not easy from the outside.
1 Bat'leth Changes
“Workforce” was a unique episode of a pseudo-dystopian society that “recruits” people from other races to work in factories. Some of the main crew members of Voyager find themselves part of this labor force, but memories of their real lives have been wiped. They think their life as it is now was the one they always had. B’Elanna Torres is the first Voyager crew member rescued. When she’s brought back to the ship, she’s confused. Neelix attempts to help her remember her correct life.
When Neelix takes Torres to her quarters for the first time, her bat’leth is seen on the wall in the background. It’s a basic bat’leth, completely different than the one she hung up in the episode “Prophecy”. That one was gunmetal and contained a menacing spike in the middle.
What mistakes did you miss in Star Trek: Voyager? Let us know in the comments!