Star Trek: Voyager was a spin-off of Star Trek: The Next Generation, a series which rejuvenated the Star Trek franchise with new adventures and a new crew aboard the Enterprise-D. Voyager was highly anticipated but failed on certain levels because of the nature of its plot. Star Trek has always been episodic, with each episode having a clear beginning, middle, and end, but this was difficult for Voyager to maintain with the overarching conundrum that Captain Janeway and her crew were stuck in the Delta Quadrant on a journey home that would take seventy-five years.
With limited resources, limited allies, and a multitude of other challenges along the way, the crew found itself often a part of plots that simply ran out of steam and couldn't be given a conclusion. With endless possibilities in the Delta Quadrant, episodes nevertheless seemed to focus on the same problems. Concepts would be introduced only to be abandoned for more of the same, resulting in these 10 Voyager storylines that were never resolved.
In “Dragon’s Teeth”, the crew of the Voyager awaken the last remnants of the Vaadwaur race, a hostile people that seemed as though they would follow Voyager’s crew and become just another vagrant in the Delta Quadrant themselves. Even though they were now no longer entombed, the episode raised questions about how the Vaadwaur would get along in a new time and place.
How would this normally expansionist race survive after they were rendered nomads, with a small population not nearly large enough to accomplish significant building, and outdated technology? They encountered species like the Voyager crew, Klingons, and the Turei, but we never learned of their fate.
The series finale to Voyager creates the sort of conundrums and quagmires that only a program that makes temporal anomalies the norm can create. In the year 2404, Janeway, now an Admiral, uses a Chrono Deflector from a Klingon to travel back in time to the Delta Quadrant and tell her younger self to retread the starship’s steps and locate a previously seen Borg enclave.
The two Janeways develop a plan to both destroy the transwarp hub of the Borg and get Voyager home by riding the shockwave from a torpedo. Part of the plan was for Admiral Janeway to inject herself with a pathogen that would be released when she was assimilated. How did that pertain to the ship outrunning the explosion from the transwarp hub?
After the events of the Voyager episode “Unimatrix Zero” in which the Borg Resistance came into being, they separated from the hive of the Collective and took control of several Borg vessels to spread out into the galaxy. The Borg Resistance was comprised of a large variety of species that the Borg had assimilated, therefore constituting a singular political entity.
What happened to them? They were not Borg, and yet were a collection of all sorts of races that normally might be hostile with one another. Did they form their own factions, or remain one “Collective” themselves? Though the episode implied they desired to free more drones from the Collective, what happened when they encountered members of their former species, such as the Romulans and Kazon?
Doctor Beverly Crusher of the Enterprise-D once speculated that the Borg originated in the Delta Quadrant, where Captain Janeway made many encounters with them along with the crew of Voyager. They not only come in contact with many Borg drones and vessels but also their Borg Queen, who favors their crew member, a former drone named Seven of Nine.
Mystery has always surrounded the Borg, and even after several episodes involving them on Star Trek: Voyager, we still know no more about them. The Borg Queen once said that the Borg began with no synthetic parts, implying they were once some sort of being, not wholly mechanical. Perhaps not knowing their origins to this day makes them more terrifying.
When Kes left Voyager in “The Gift”, she ascended to a higher plane of being of her own accord, all the while providing Voyager with the “gift” of getting closer to the Alpha Quadrant and the end of their seventy-five-year journey home. She’s a luminous being made to look very angelic and almost saintly.
When she returns several years later to the ship in “Fury”, she’s alone on a spacecraft, haggard, and visibly aged. She begins destroying the ship almost immediately, without really answering the question of why she’s returned in the first place. It seems to solely hinge on the fact that she’s upset that the crew let her leave to explore her newfound powers…
Kes and Neelix were couple goals on Voyager, being the sort of insufferably happy couple that nothing bad ever seems to happen to. In fact, the only reason they “break up” is because Kes has a metamorphosis into a higher plane of existence, unlocking wondrous powers that Neelix supports her in exploring.
When she returns to Voyager a few years later, infuriated at the crew for allowing her to leave, this is never touched upon. Even when she is trying to wipe out the ship, Neelix doesn’t make any emotional pleas to reach the part of Kes that might still have feelings for him. It’s simply never touched on again.
Like many weary captains in Starfleet, Janeway has had her run-ins with the immortal trickster, Q. When they first encounter him, it’s odd that no member of the crew requests that he send them back to the Alpha Quadrant with a snap of his fingers. He has the ability of course, but no one asks him to do this, presumably because they don’t trust him.
In Season 2, he seeks asylum and again no one suggests the trade-off of him sending them back to the Alpha Quadrant. While it’s also true that no one Q is like another, and what one can do, another can undo, the only time he ever helped was to give them some technology that would shave a few years off their trip and that he shouldn’t have to “do all the work for them.”
In “Eye of the Needle”, Harry Kim discovers a wormhole, the other side of which seems to be sending hailing frequencies. Captain Janeway sets a course to it, hoping to find a way to reach home and the Alpha Quadrant. On the other side of the wormhole is a Romulan ship that actually exists 20 years in the past. The Romulan vessel offers to send messages to their loved ones in twenty years.
The crew could have technically teleported to the Romulan ship, despite the timeline perils, and knowing that he has sworn not to alter history, but they don’t. And as for the messages they told him to send, even when they eventually contact Starfleet, they never ask if he delivered them.
In one of the strangest episodes of Voyager, Tom Paris performs experiments in transwarp technology and after successfully completing one mission utilizing it, returns to the ship infested with some sort of virus. Using transwarp tech means simultaneously being everywhere at every place in time, which causes a DNA mutation.
Tom essentially turns into a salamander, but before that happens, he kidnaps Janeway who, after being exposed to transwarp tech, assumes the same identity. The episode is resolved with them returned to their former selves, but later when they encounter Borg tech of the same type, they aren’t altered at all. Why not? What’s different about the Borg tech? Why does no one mention this?
It stands to reason that there are only so many positions on a starship, especially one lost in the Delta Quadrant. Apart from someone dying, there’s no way to assume a new rank because no one can transfer to another ship. Yet somehow, Tom Paris could get promoted and demoted, yet Harry Kim remained an Ensign (the same technical rank as Wesley “Shut Up” Crusher) for seven whole years.
Promotions came with more responsibilities, and Harry Kim performed his duty exceptionally well, saved the day several times, and was even killed and resurrected. Yet he got no promotion, not even honorarily. He was doomed to be an Ensign forever, but a Lieutenant in our hearts.