When it comes to the least popular Star Trek series ever made, Voyager and Enterprise are bottom of the barrel. But, Enterprise tends to receive more respect because it at least tried to do something different compared to previous iterations of sagas set in the Final Frontier. Voyager, meanwhile, was often criticized for retreading ideas from the other series and focusing too much attention on holograms.
There are elements of Voyager that are worthy of admiration, though. For a start, Captain Janeway brought some strong female representation to the boy’s club that had been previous Starfleet commanders. Kate Mulgrew’s portrayal of the character is also a highlight, even though she didn’t always have the best material to work with, which we’ll look at later on. For the most part, though, the show featured some likable characters and fun performances, and the only thing they lacked was depth to bring out the best in them. However, Voyager did produce some strong episodes and interesting storylines throughout its run as well. For example, “Year of Hell” is some of the finest television to ever emerge from the Star Trek franchise, and gems like this made the lesser ones worth slogging through. Overall, though, the show was a mixed bag and some storylines undoubtedly left the writers wishing that they could go back in time and do things differently if the opportunity to travel back ever arose. There's no doubt that some Trekkies wish they could erase them from their memories altogether. With this in mind, here are 20 Storylines Voyager Wants Us To Forget.
20 Hologram Rights
Do holograms deserve the same rights as people? Or are they tools whose only purpose is to carry out the tasks they were created for? Voyager posed such questions.
In the episode “Author, Author,” the Doctor creates a holonovel that portrays the crew of the Voyager in rather disturbing ways as they vilify the Emergency Medical Hologram. Afterwards, the holonovel is published without his permission, which brings up the issue of the Doctor's legal rights into question. While the idea was nice in theory, the execution felt forced and half-baked. Exploring social issues is part of Star Trek’s appeal, but this storyline was essentially a poor retread of the ideas explored in the TNG episode, The Measure of a Man.
19 How Kes Left
By the time Kes departed, the character had grown stale as there just wasn’t a strong enough arc for her. This can be blamed on a lack of imagination on the writer’s part, but by the end of her tenure, it felt like the right time for a change.
In “The Gift,” Kes said goodbye to the crew after she was deemed too dangerous. Unfortunately, it was quite anti-climactic due to the character’s irrelevance by that point and she did deserve better. Jennifer Lien was allegedly let go from the show due to budget constraints while accommodating Jeri Ryan. When Seven of Nine was written into the series, there was a sentiment among the studio execs that there were too many characters as it was.
18 The Love Triangle
Romances weren’t exactly Voyager’s strongest element, but the love triangle between Neelix, Kes, and Tom was a low point for sure. But, at least it gave Kes something else to do other than tend to a garden and assist the Doctor.
Of course, a love triangle could have been an interesting and dramatic storyline. In this case, though, the story was undeveloped and kinda boring, which is the opposite of what love triangles should bring to a show. The triangle reaches a climax in season two's “Parturition” episode, which saw Neelix and Tom crash-land on a planet and squabble over their mutual love interest, resulting in Neelix attacking his competition in a fit of jealous rage. Like the storyline itself, this was completely unnecessary.
17 Chakotay and Seven’s Romance
Chakotay and Seven of Nine didn’t hit it off when they first met. Mainly because he didn’t trust Borgs, which is understandable to a degree, given all the trouble they caused the crew. Later on, though, they became each other’s boo. This all started when Seven created a simulation that enabled her to come to terms with dating. This caused the Borg to showcase some intense emotion and, shortly after, she started dating the real thing.
This unlikely bedfellow arc had the potential to be awesome, but their coming together wasn’t given enough focus or time to develop organically. As a result, their relationship felt forced, rushed, and awkward. One minute there’s no chemistry, and the next they’re head over heels for each other.
16 The “Innocence” Children
In this episode, Tuvok crashes on a planet only to discover that it’s inhabited by children. Unfortunately for the kids, they keep disappearing and seem destined to pass at the hands of a mysterious creature. All in all, a promising concept.
Throughout the episode, Tuvok acts as their surrogate parent of sorts while trying to fix his ship, while also showcasing his fatherly abilities. It’s all fine and well until the storyline takes a nosedive off a cliff. We then find out that the kids are actually old people who become younger as they get older. Exactly, it doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it? Science fiction gets away with a lot of unexplained weirdness, but this was just silly.
15 The Unresolved Suspiria Storyline
In “Caretaker,” Captain Janeway was responsible for the destruction of the Caretaker's Array, a large space station in the Delta Quadrant. She had valid reasons for doing so, but that wasn’t the end of the drama.
Afterwards, in “Cold Fire,” we meet Suspiria, a Nacene entity who possesses the ability to send the crew home. Unfortunately for them, she blames Janeway and the crew for the demise of her mate, the Caretaker. Janeway later promises to find Suspiria and convince her to send the crew home, but the character never appeared in the show again. According to the creators, Suspiria was created in case the show ever had to switch up its central lost-in-space premise.
14 Kes and Neelix’s Break-up
There’s a case to be made that Kes and Neelix’s entire relationship was a bad storyline. They had no chemistry, Neelix was a jealous buffoon, and Kes barely developed as a character throughout her run.
However, the show still invested time in this relationship and then let it end without any thought or considerable effort. The break-up just sort of happens and that’s the end of it. Furthermore, it wasn’t even Kes who initiated the breakup as she just so happened to be possessed by an alien at the time, which wasn’t important in the grand scheme of things, though. After this, the show glossed over the possession aspect and that was the legacy of Kes and Neelix’s romantic time together.
13 Harry Kim and Linnis Romance
Do you have a child? If not, pretend for a second that you do. Now, imagine that your son or daughter married your best friend. That’s called doing the Harry Kim, as evidenced by his relationship with Linnis in Voyager.
In one episode, we visit an alternate timeline and discover that Tom Paris and Kes got together and had a daughter called Linnis. In this timeline, their daughter was married to Harry Kim and they had a son together. Of course, given that Tom and Kes were friends of Harry, they probably knew that he was a good dude. At the same time, it’s still weird that he crossed that boundary and got involved with their daughter.
12 Janeway and Chakotay’s Forgotten Romance
Given that Janeway was the Voyager’s captain and stuck on a ship with her crew for years, it’s understandable why she never got romantically involved with any of them. At the same time, she was still an organic being who craved love just like the rest of us. If she did get involved with one of her crewmates, it would have been understandable.
Throughout the series, there were inklings of a spark between the captain and Chakotay. However, just when we thought that maybe something would come of it, our hopes were dashed. In one episode, the pair were stuck on a planet together, they clearly had feelings for each other, but then they were rescued and the storyline was abandoned.
11 Seska’s Pregnancy
The relationship between Seska and Chakotay was never smooth sailing, but their problems intensified when she stole his DNA and impregnated herself. Essentially, she baby-trapped the poor guy.
Of course, this was an issue as she more or less violated him, and storylines like this are difficult to pull off with nuance. While the Star Trek franchise has never shied away from confronting serious issues, it didn’t quite land here. There’s an argument to be made that Seska was a compelling character and a great villain, but this storyline was mishandled as Chakotay's experience was downplayed afterwards for the most part. All in all, this was a missed opportunity to raise awareness about these kinds of situations.
10 “Fair Haven”
The biggest problem with this episode was the relationship between Janeway and a hologram called Michael Sullivan. He was a married man who owned a bar in the titular town, and Janeway’s affection for him was so strong that she altered the hologram program and became a homewrecker.
To suit her needs, she made the hologram single and changed his characteristics to match her own interests. They had a brief relationship afterwards, until Janeway saw the error of her ways and stopped the charade. Overall, the episode was a pointless vehicle to give Janeway an unnecessary love story that saw her act out of character. What could have been a thoughtful examination of her loneliness was ultimately nothing more than a dull filler.
9 Chakotay's Boxing
By the time “The Fight” episode aired, Voyager was experiencing a creative rut to say the least, and this stagnancy culminated in this one, which saw Chakotay intercept alien communication signals and hallucinate as a result.
Out of all the hallucinations he could have, though, they chose to make him a boxer. Because why not, right? Anyway, this is essentially the Voyager creators' way of showing that they’ve seen Rocky and Fight Club. On paper, this had all the makings of a fun and interesting homage to combat sports films. Throw in a Native U.S. vision question and what you have is a storyline that threw a couple of interesting ideas at the wall that failed to stick.
8 The Clown
In “The Thaw,” viewers were taken to a planet where all the inhabitants exist in a simulation in order to survive a natural disaster. However, when the crew discovers that the planet’s remaining survivors didn’t wake up as scheduled, Torres and Kim pay a visit to find out what the hold up is.
Upon arrival, they discover a spooky clown who is keeping the occupants hostage. The Clown, whose name is actually Fear, is a computer simulation that develops a desire to exist and mess with people, but what ensues is some cartoonish buffoonery that’s all quite silly. Despite the admirable attempt to create something surreal while adding a touch of coulrophobia, the Clown is still a poor imitation of Pennywise from IT.
7 The Finale
The Star Trek franchise in its various series incarnations is all about the journey and adventure as opposed to the final destination. That said, is this really the best they could do with the series finale, “Endgame,” after all those years spent navigating outer space?
The ship returns to Earth during the closing minutes of the episode, with no substantial focus on their reunion with their home planet. Of course, sometimes it’s nice to make up endings in our own imaginations, but in this case, some resolution would have been appreciated. At least ten minutes of reuniting with loved ones would have wrapped the show up pretty nicely. The main issue, though, is that the episode, which was two hours long, seemed rushed.
6 The Doctor and Seven of Nine’s Relationship
The episode “Someone to Watch Over Me” features the Doctor teaching Seven about the dating game and romantic relationships. However, he then finds himself developing romantic feelings of his own for the Borg, which wasn’t exactly flattering on him or the show itself.
Of course, the Doctor was a great mentor to Seven and ultimately helped her find some humanity of her own. He was also quite weird at times, sometimes trying to manipulate her into falling for him that way. Even though the Doctor was a hologram and his problematic qualities could have been down to his own absence of humanity, these aspects of his character were very awkward and made for some uncomfortable moments.
5 The Rushed Integration of the Maquis Crew
More than anything, the worst storylines in Voyager boiled down to two things: rushed storytelling and a disappointing lack of character development. This was especially true when the Maquis joined Starfleet.
This was another missed opportunity. Some resentment, bickering, and division between both parties before they eventually started trusting each other could have made for some captivating television. Instead, the Maquis had no issue with the Voyager remaining a Starfleet ship and they were more than happy to adhere to their regulations. Considering that Janeway destroyed the Array and effectively weakened the Maquis’s chances of going to fight the Cardassians, you’d think there’d be some conflicting interests at hand.
4 Janeway’s Brief Despair
In the episode “Night,” the crew itself stuck in a void of nothings: no stars or planets, only darkness. Naturally, they’d be grumpy and upset having encountered no signs of life in that amount of time.
In this episode, Janeway also experiences a bout of despair, which forces her to take time away from the crew to be with her thoughts, wallowing over her decision to destroy the Delta Quadrant and neglecting her duties as captain. It could have been an interesting storyline about atonement that brought more humanity to the character, but it wasn’t. Like other poor storylines in Voyager, nothing of value really came of this one. She was sad, then she wasn’t. The end.
3 Anything Involving the Kazon
The Kazon species was an interesting concept that was ultimately let down by poor execution and unimaginative storytelling. The original idea behind them was to have them symbolize inner city gangs in an attempt to address issues pertaining to social unrest. The idea's were good, but the execution was lackluster.
The Kazon’s background was given some exploration in season two, but the creators decided to make them obsolete in the ensuing series' after losing interest in them, which was also coupled with the lukewarm response from fans. All in all, the Kazon just weren’t all that exciting or imposing enough to serve as notable adversaries. It also didn’t help that their big hair looked quite stylish and unthreatening. But, at least they rocked those hairdos.
2 Harry Kim Remaining an Ensign
Even though he had some questionable taste when it came to his choice in partners, Harry Kim was one of the best members of the crew. He was reliable and a capable senior officer who was arguably the best at his job. Considering that Tuvok, a thief, was promoted again after being demoted following his insubordination, it’s unfair that Harry didn’t get a chance to ascend.
According to behind the scenes tales, Garrett Wang, the actor who played him, was difficult to work with during the early seasons. His character was almost written out of the show instead of Kes, but the powers that be changed their mind after he was voted one of the most beautiful men in the world.
1 The Salamander Babies
Well, here’s a storyline that most fans would like to erase from their memories. In “Threshold,” we learn that traveling faster than Warp 10 has side effects, and Paris and Janeway are turned into salamanders as a result. But, that’s the least of their problems as they also have salamander babies.
This is arguably the worst episode in the entire history of the franchise. Even Brannon Braga, the man who wrote it, is embarrassed. In an interview with the Star Trek website, he described “Threshold” as the one episode he’d rather “forget” about. That said, while it was far from the show’s highest point, there’s some entertainment value to be had here if you can appreciate a fascinating disaster. Most fans, however, do not share this sentiment.
What are some other storylines from Voyager that you would like to forget about? Let us know in the comments below!