The starship Voyager
(NCC-74656), an Intrepid
Star Trek: Voyager (also known as ST:VOY or STVOY or VGR or VOY) is a science fiction television series set in the Star Trek universe. It was produced for seven seasons from 1995 to 2001, and is the only Star Trek series to have had a female captain as a lead character. The show was a spinoff of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and was created by Rick Berman and Michael Piller and Jeri Taylor. The show was based on Star Trek, created by Gene Roddenberry.
The series follows the adventures of the USS Voyager and her crew who have become stranded in the Delta Quadrant, seventy-five thousand light-years from Earth. Unless they can find some kind of shortcut, it will take them seventy-five years to return to known space.
In the pilot episode, Voyager is sent on a mission to locate a ship piloted by a cell of the Maquis, a terrorist organization. Tom Paris (a former member of the Maquis) is brought out of prison to help find the ship. During a chase through the dangerous Badlands, both ships are transported to the other side of the galaxy by an ancient alien device known as the Caretaker Array. They are attacked by Kazon raiders intent on capturing the device. Rather than using the Caretaker Array to return home, Captain Janeway decides to destroy it to avoid its being misused.
The raiders destroy the Maquis ship, but not before about half its crew were able to safely transport to Voyager. The Starfleet and Maquis crews are forced to integrate and work together as they begin the long journey home. Along the way they must contend with organ-snatching Vidiians, the determined Borg, and the extradimensional Species 8472.
The conflict between the fiercely independent Maquis revolutionaries and the by-the-book Starfleet crew is a central theme of the first season but, by the second season, it is largely forgotten and there is scarcely any conflict among the crew. Only Janeway remains wrought for the entire run of the series over the consequences of her decision to destroy their way home.
Voyager continues the themes presented in the original Star Trek series and Star Trek: The Next Generation, such as explorations of space and of the human condition. It also demonstrates democratic principles (peace, openness, freedom, cooperation, and sharing) and philosophical issues such as the sense of self and what it means to be human. In Star Trek series, the examination of humanity is typically explored by contrasting non-human characters with human ones (for instance, the Earth-born Kirk and McCoy against the Vulcan Spock). On Voyager, these explicit aliens are The Emergency Medical Hologram (or simply The Doctor) and the former Borg drone Seven of Nine. It should be noted that Seven is a bona-fide Homo sapiens; but having been a Borg drone for most of her life, she has not developed normal human behavior patterns when she becomes part of Voyager's crew.
Another common plot theme is the implications of being stranded far from home. Voyager has only limited resources and no easy way to replenish them; its crew is cut off from the normal chain of command and institutions of its society. Their situation frequently faces them with difficult choices of necessity versus idealism.
Star Trek: Voyager possesses humor in higher quantity than any of its sibling series. The sarcasm of Robert Picardo's Emergency Medical Hologram is reprised in Star Trek: First Contact as well as Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Voyager is likely also the only of the series where you may hear an irritated half-Klingon (Chief Engineer B'Elanna Torres) crack to a de-assimilated Borg (Seven of Nine): "The Borg wouldn't know fun if they assimilated an amusement park."
Like Star Trek: Deep Space Nine before it, Voyager did not attract the same ratings at Star Trek: The Next Generation. There was concerns right from the start that Voyager and Deep Space Nine would be competing for ratings with Trek fans.
The reception from fans has been mixed. Some feel Voyager was overall a good show with some flaws, while other feel that Voyager was the weakest of all the Star Trek spin-offs.
- Captain Kathryn Janeway, commanding officer (Kate Mulgrew)
- Commander Chakotay, Native American, executive (first) officer (Robert Beltran)
- Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres, half-Klingon, chief engineer (Roxann Dawson)
- Lieutenant Tom Paris, navigator (Robert Duncan McNeill)
- Lieutenant Commander Tuvok, Vulcan, chief of security (Tim Russ)
- Ensign Harry Kim, operations officer (Garrett Wang)
- The Doctor, the ship's Emergency Medical Hologram (Robert Picardo)
- Neelix, Talaxian, chef (Ethan Phillips)
- Kes, Ocampan (season 1 through the second episode of season 4) (Jennifer Lien)
- Seven of Nine, former Borg drone born Annika Hansen (seasons 4-7) (Jeri Ryan)
One-time, cameos or infrequent spots
Robert Duncan McNeill played Starfleet cadet Nick Locarno in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The First Duty", in which Locarno got into trouble for violating orders. Locarno was originally planned to return as part of the Voyager cast, but McNeill was not available, so a new character was created: Tom Paris, who had also got into trouble for violating orders. However, McNeill became available after all, and was cast as Tom Paris.
Ethan Phillips appeared as a Ferengi in a Star Trek: Enterprise episode and as a maitre d' in the film Star Trek: First Contact.
Tim Russ played the character Devor in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Starship Mine," and also played Tuvok in a mirror universe on the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Through The Looking Glass". He also appeared as a human on the bridge of the Enterprise-B in the film Star Trek: Generations.
King Abdullah II of Jordan, a well-known Star Trek fan, appeared as an extra in the episode "Investigation."
In the wake of a successful series of original novels collectively known as the Deep Space Nine relaunch, featuring stories placed after the end of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, a similar relaunch was planned with regards to Voyager, with novels based upon events occurring following the end of the series. So far only a few "Voyager Relaunch" novels have been published, beginning with Homecoming in 2003. More novels are planned, but at the moment the Voyager Relaunch appears unlikely to reach the same depth and scope as the DS9 version in the near future.
Relaunch continues with: Spirit Walk #1: Old Wounds (Mass-Market Paperback / November, 2004) Spirit Walk #2: Enemy of my Enemy (Mass-Market Paperback / December, 2004)