Trek: Voyager is a science fiction television series set in the Star
Trek universe. It was produced for seven seasons from 1995 to 2001
for 172 episodes, and is the only Star Trek series to have a female
captain, Kathryn Janeway, as a lead character. The show is a spinoff
of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and was created by Rick Berman,
Michael Piller, and Jeri Taylor. The show was based on Star Trek,
created by Gene Roddenberry.
series follows the adventures of the USS Voyager and her crew who
become stranded in the Delta Quadrant, seventy thousand light-years
from Earth. At warp-speed, it will take Voyager seventy-five years to
return to the Alpha Quadrant, and more specifically, Earth.
was probably more reminiscent of the original Star Trek series than
Star Trek: TNG (although greatly technologically advanced, the size
of the ship is almost identical to the original series' Constitution
class Enterprise. Seven of Nine's post also grew similar to that of
Science Officer, as held by Spock in the original series.) The show
was often grittier than Star Trek: The Next Generation, with the
members of the thrown-together crew often clashing in ways that would
have been almost unthinkable on Picard's Enterprise.
of Voyager's distinguishing elements is the departure from the
"best and the brightest" theme of Star Trek: The Next
Generation in particular. Rather than a group of ace Starfleet
Academy graduates, the characters in this series included an ex-convict,
former freedom fighters, a notably unseasoned captain, and an
unusually militant Vulcan. As a full-blooded Vulcan, Tuvok did not
suffer from Spock's angst regarding his "half-breed" status
and was consequently impatient with the emotions of those around him.
Also, as head of security, he was more likely to suggest an
aggressive course of action. Compared to the Next Generation
characters, the Voyager crew on the whole had more personal issues,
with Torres struggling with her Klingon/human heritage, Paris working
to overcome his criminal past, Neelix haunted by memories of his
race's near-extinction, and so on.
most 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. Janeway often expresses that though they
are cut off from Starfleet, it is still their duty to live by
Starfleet values and regulations, and this philosophy often brings
her into conflict with Chakotay, Tuvok and other members of her crew
who are more willing to make compromises in order to get home. Their
situation frequently faces them with difficult choices of necessity
versus idealism. Unlike the other Star Trek series, the crew of the
Voyager cannot just stop at a starbase for repair or resupply. They
often have to make trades with alien cultures or find completely new
solutions to unforeseeable problems.
They are also stuck with each other, which makes for new plot twists
- for example, shipboard romances are not discouraged - but it also
means that promotions are very rare, leading to some resentments. To
overcome their claustrophobia the crew rely on the holodeck more than
other Starfleet crews, with some of their holodeck adventures
becoming ongoing plotlines, such as Tom Paris' Captain Proton serial,
presented in a monochromatic (black and white) environment, or
Janeway's recurring trips to the home of Leonardo da Vinci. Most of
these recurring holodeck stories end up behaving in very unexpected
(and sometimes dangerous) ways due to alien interference or holodeck malfunction.
actress Geneviève Bujold (right) was the first choice of the
producers of Star Trek: Voyager to play Captain Nicole Janeway. She
quit after a few days of shooting, with the public reason being she
was unaccustomed to the hectic pace of television filming. Other
rumored reasons included dissatisfaction with her performance on the
part of the producers and dissatisfaction with the character on the
part of Bujold. As Rick Berman politely put it in the October 8-14,
1994 issue of TV Guide: "It was immediately obvious it was not a
good fit." The producers subsequently hired TV veteran Kate
Mulgrew (left), and changed the captain's first name from Nicole to
Kathryn at Mulgrew's advice. Bujold would have been the second
Montreal native to play a Star Trek captain, after William Shatner.
Voyager Holographic Doctor utters several lines that recall Doctor
McCoy's famous "I'm a Doctor, not a ..." quips. In
"Phage", he says, "I'm a doctor, not a decorator."
In "Gravity", he says, "I'm a doctor, not a
battery," and in "Bliss", he says, "I'm a doctor,
not a dragon slayer." Perhaps most famously, in Star Trek: First
Contact, when asked to halt the approach of the Borg in sickbay, he
says, "I'm a doctor, not a doorstop." This would possibly
emanate from the Doctor's programming, which, as the doctor mentions
several times, includes procedures and personality from Dr. Leonard
McCoy, among others. By the same token, Tom Paris also follows this
pattern with the line, "I'm a pilot, not a doctor."
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". Also, he appeared as a human on the bridge of
the Enterprise-B in the film Star Trek: Generations and as a Klingon
named T'kar in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Invasive
Procedures". This makes him the actor to have stood beside the
most captains in Star Trek history. In addition, he auditioned for
the role of Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation, but
lost out to LeVar Burton. Russ is the first African American to play
a Vulcan, and thus Tuvok is the first black Vulcan seen in the Star
Phillips appeared as a Ferengi in a Star Trek: Enterprise episode,
as a different Ferengi in Ménage à Troi (TNG episode)
and as a maitre d' in the film Star Trek: First Contact.
Voyager ended in 2001, Seven of Nine, Jeri Ryan joined the cast of
Boston Public. The show's producer, David E. Kelley, wrote the role
specifically for her and she guest-starred on David E. Kelley's
Boston Legal in 2006 with William Shatner (Captain Kirk). Boston
Legal frequently used Star Trek references as inside jokes and Rene
Auberjonois, Security Chief Odo in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, is
also a regular on the show.
Duncan McNeill appeared in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode
"The First Duty" as Nick Locarno, a Starfleet cadet
expelled for covering up a classmate's death in a banned aerobatic
stunt. Locarno was originally planned to return as part of the
Voyager cast, but a similar character was created instead -
officially because Locarno was felt to be beyond redemption.
Unofficially, McNeill was cast as Tom Paris rather than Locarno to
avoid paying royalties to the writers of "The First Duty"
every time Locarno was in an episode.
Dawson, Robert Duncan McNeill, Robert Picardo, Tim Russ, TNG stars
LeVar Burton and Jonathan Frakes, and recurring DS9 player Andrew
Robinson all have had a hand at directing episodes of the series.
Dawson, McNeill, and Burton have also directed episodes of
Enterprise. McNeill has since directed in several TV shows including
Dawson's Creek, The O.C., Las Vegas, One Tree Hill, Dead Like Me,
Summerland, Supernatural, and Desperate Housewives.
famous guest stars have included Sharon Lawrence, Saro Mardikian,
Andy Dick, Jason Alexander, Michael McKean, Sarah Silverman, John
Rhys-Davies, Virginia Madsen, The Rock, McKenzie Westmore of
Passions, TNG stars Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, LeVar Burton,
John de Lancie, and Dwight Schultz, DS9 star Armin Shimerman, and
George Takei and Grace Lee Whitney from the original series of the