Star Trek: Voyager (Voyager) is a science fiction television series in the Star Trek universe. The show was created by Rick Berman, Michael Piller, and Jeri Taylor and is the fifth incarnation of Star Trek, which began with the 1960s series Star Trek, created by Gene Roddenberry. It was produced for seven seasons, from 1995 to 2001, and is the only Star Trek series with a female captain, Kathryn Janeway, as a lead character. It ran on UPN, making it the first Star Trek series to air on a major network since the original series which aired on NBC. It was the only TV show on UPN to have seven seasons, making it the network's longest running show.
Set in the 24th century from the year 2371 through 2378, the series follows the adventures of the Starfleet vessel USS Voyager, which becomes stranded in the Delta Quadrant 70,000 light-years from Earth while pursuing a renegade Maquis ship. Both ships' crews merge aboard Voyager to make the estimated 75-year journey home.
Voyager was produced to launch UPN, a television network planned by Paramount. (Paramount originally considered launching a network on its own in 1977, which would have been anchored by the TV series Star Trek: Phase II.) Planning started in 1993, and seeds for the show's backstory, including the development of the Maquis, were placed in several Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes. Voyager was shot on the stages The Next Generation had used. The pilot, "Caretaker", was shot in October 1994. Around that time, Paramount was sold to Viacom—Voyager was the first Star Trek TV series to premiere after the sale concluded.
Voyager was also first Star Trek TV show to use Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) and eliminate the use of models for exterior space shots. Other television shows such as seaQuest and Babylon 5 had exclusively used CGI to avoid the huge expense of models, but the Star Trek television department continued using models, because they felt models provided better realism. Amblin Imaging won an Emmy for the opening title visuals, but the weekly episode exteriors were captured using hand-built miniatures of the Voyager, shuttlecraft, and other ships.
That changed when Star Trek: Voyager became Paramount's first television property to go fully CGI for certain types of shots in mid-season 3 (late 1996). Paramount obtained an exclusive contract with Foundation Imaging which had done the effects for Babylon 5's first three seasons. Season 3's "The Swarm" was the first episode to use Foundation's effects exclusively. Deep Space Nine started using Foundation Imaging in conjunction with Digital Muse one year later (season 6), after Voyager had proven that CGI could look as realistic as models. In its later seasons, Voyager featured visual effects from Foundation and Digital Muse.
In the pilot episode, "Caretaker", Voyager is on a mission to locate a missing ship piloted by Maquis fighters. Her Tactical officer, Tuvok, is undercover on that ship posing as one of the Maquis. Janeway brings Tom Paris, a former Starfleet officer-turned-Maquis, out of prison to help find the ship. Voyager enters the dangerous Badlands and finds the Maquis ship, but an ancient alien known as the Caretaker transports both ships to the Delta Quadrant, 70,000 light years on the other side of the galaxy. In the process, several members of Voyager's crew are killed, including the first officer, helmsman, chief engineer, and chief medical officer along with all the medical personnel.
Voyager and the Maquis ship are attacked by Kazon raiders intent on capturing the Caretaker's Array, which was used to transport the ships. The Maquis ship collides with a Kazon ship, destroying both, after the Maquis crew transports to Voyager. Believing the Kazon will use the Array to harm the Ocampa, Janeway decides to destroy it rather than use it to return home.
The Starfleet and Maquis crews integrate and work together as they begin the 70,000-light-year journey home, predicted to take 75 years. Chakotay, leader of the Maquis group, becomes first officer. B'Elanna Torres, a half-human/half-Klingon Maquis, becomes chief engineer. Tuvok is revealed to be a Starfleet spy on the Maquis ship and resumes his duties as chief security officer. The ship's operations officer is Harry Kim. Paris becomes the helmsman, and the Emergency Medical Hologram, designed for only short-term use, becomes the chief medical officer. At first the EMH is confined to sickbay and holodecks, but during the course of the series gains his freedom by way of a mobile holo-emitter, as well as expanding his program and personality on his own initiative. While in the Delta Quadrant, the crew gains the Talaxian Neelix as a local guide and chef, along with his Ocampan girlfriend, Kes. Both Paris and Kes become qualified assistants to the Doctor, expanding the ship's medical capability. In the show's fourth season, Kes leaves the series, while the crew grows to include Seven of Nine, a Borg drone liberated from the collective who, like the Doctor, expands (or rather, regains) her humanity throughout the series.
The Delta Quadrant is unexplored by the Federation. On the way home, the crew contends with hostile forces that include organ-harvesting Vidiians, belligerent Kazon, nomadic Hirogen hunters, Species 8472 from fluidic space and most notably the Borg in the later seasons when Voyager has to move through large areas of Borg space. They also encounter hazardous natural phenomena such as a Nebulous area called the Nekkrit Expanse, a large area of empty space called the Void, wormholes and other anomalies. Voyager is the third Star Trek series to feature Q. Meanwhile, Starfleet Command learns of VoyagerTemplate:'s survival and situation and eventually develops a means to establish regular audiovisual and data contact with the ship thanks to the efforts of Reginald Barclay who was featured more prominently on The Next Generation.
|Actor||Character||Main position||Affiliation||Appearances||Character's species||Rank|
|Kate Mulgrew||Kathryn Janeway||Commanding Officer||Starfleet||Seasons 1–7||Human||Captain|
|Robert Beltran||Chakotay||First Officer||Maquis/Starfleet||Seasons 1–7||Human||Commander (Provisional)|
|Tim Russ||Tuvok||Security/Tactical Officer||Starfleet||Seasons 1–7||Vulcan||Lieutenant|
|Robert Duncan McNeill||Tom Paris||Helmsman/Medic||Starfleet||Seasons 1–7||Human||Lieutenant |
Lieutenant junior grade
|Roxann Dawson||B'Elanna Torres||Chief Engineer||Maquis/Starfleet||Seasons 1–7||Human/Klingon Hybrid||Lieutenant junior grade (provisional)|
|Garrett Wang||Harry Kim||Operations Manager||Starfleet||Seasons 1–7||Human||Ensign|
|Robert Picardo||The Doctor||Chief Medical Officer||Starfleet||Seasons 1–7||Holographic/Photonic
Human Male in appearance
Captain (Emergency Command Protocol)
|None||Seasons 1–7||Talaxian||None |
|Jeri Ryan||Seven of Nine
|Astrometrics||Borg (formerly)||Seasons 4–7||Human (assimilated by the Borg, then de-assimilated)||None|
|Secondary Cast (Recurring)|
|Josh Clark||Joe Carey||Asst. Chief Engineer||Starfleet||Seasons 1–7||Human||Lieutenant|
|Nancy Hower||Samantha Wildman||Xenobiologist||Starfleet||Seasons 1–7||Human||Ensign|
|Alexander Enberg||Vorik||Engineering||Starfleet||Seasons 1–7||Vulcan||Ensign|
|Manu Intiraymi||Icheb||Astrometrics||Borg (formerly)
|Seasons 6–7||Brunali (assimilated by the Borg, then de-assimilated)||Cadet|
|Naomi Wildman||None||None||Seasons 2–7||Human/Ktarian hybrid||Civilian|
|Jad Madger||Tabor||Engineering||Maquis||Seasons 5–7||Bajoran||Ensign (Provisional)|
|Martha Hackett||Seska||Science Officer
Cardassian Central Command
|Seasons 1–3||Bajoran (disguise)
|Brad Dourif||Lon Suder||Engineering||Maquis||Seasons 2–3||Betazoid||Ensign (Provisional)|
|Raphael Sbarge||Michael Jonas||Engineering||Maquis||Seasons 1–3||Human||Ensign (Provisional)|
Notable guest appearances
|Dwight Schultz||Lt. Reginald Barclay, USS Enterprise/Starfleet Command||"Projections" (as a hologram)
|Star Trek: TNG as Reginald Barclay |
The A-Team as Captain H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock
|John de Lancie||Q||"Death Wish"
"The Q and the Grey"
|Star Trek: TNG and DS9 as Q|
|Marina Sirtis||Counselor Deanna Troi||"Pathfinder"
|Star Trek: TNG as Counselor Deanna Troi|
|John Rhys-Davies||Leonardo da Vinci||"Concerning Flight"
"Scorpion: Part I"
|Raiders of the Lost Ark as Sallah|
Sliders as Professor Maximillian Arturo
Lord of the Rings Trilogy as Gimli and the voice of Treebeard
The Living Daylights as General Pushkin
|Jonathan Frakes||Commander William Riker||"Death Wish"||Star Trek: TNG as William Riker, and Director|
|LeVar Burton||Captain Geordi La Forge, USS Challenger||"Timeless"||Star Trek: TNG as Geordi La Forge|
Roots as Kunta Kinte
Burton is also host of Reading Rainbow
|George Takei||Captain Hikaru Sulu, USS Excelsior||"Flashback"||Star Trek: The Original Series|
|King Abdullah II of Jordan||Unnamed ensign (science officer)||"Investigations"||King of Jordan (prince at the time)|
|Andy Dick ||Emergency Medical Hologram Mark 2, USS Prometheus||"Message in a Bottle"||Comedian|
|Ed Begley, Jr.||Henry Starling||"Future's End"||St. Elsewhere as Dr. Ehrlich|
|Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson||Pendari Champion||"Tsunkatse"||Johnson is former professional wrestler with WWE|
|Jason Alexander||Kurros||"Think Tank"||Seinfeld as George Costanza|
|Kurtwood Smith||Annorax||"Year of Hell"||That '70s Show as Red Forman, RoboCop as Clarence Boddicker, 24 as Senator Blaine Mayer, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country as the Federation President|
|John Savage||Captain Rudy Ransom, USS Equinox||"Equinox: Part 1 and 2"||Hair as Claude Bukowski, The Deer Hunter as Steven Pushkov, Dark Angel as Colonel Lydecker|
|Sarah Silverman||Rain Robinson||"Future's End"||Silverman was a Saturday Night Live cast member and star of The Sarah Silverman Program|
|Tom Morello||Crewman Mitchell||"Good Shepherd"||Morello is Lead Guitarist for Rage Against the Machine/Audioslave singer and guitarist for the Nightwatchman|
|David Graf||Fred Noonan||"The 37’s"||Police Academy as Lt. Eugene Tackleberry|
|Sharon Lawrence||Amelia Earhart||"The 37’s"||NYPD Blue as Sylvia Costas-Sipowicz|
|Henry Darrow||Chakotay's father||"Tattoo" and "Basics: Part 1"||The High Chaparral as Manolito|
|Michael Ansara||Kang||"Flashback"||Star Trek: The Original Series as Kang, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century as Killer Kane, former husband of Barbara Eden (I Dream of Jeannie)|
|Scott Thompson||Tomin, the Kadi ambassador||"Someone to Watch Over Me"||Member of the comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall|
|Michael McKean||The Clown||"The Thaw"||McKean was a Saturday Night Live cast member and on Laverne & Shirley as Lenny Kosnowski|
|Don Most||Kadan||"Workforce, Parts 1 & 2"||Happy Days as Ralph Malph|
|Joseph Campanella||Federation Arbitrator||"Author, Author"||Mannix as Lew Wickersham;|
|Virginia Madsen||Kellin||"Unforgettable"||Madsen starred in The Haunting in Connecticut and Sideways|
Connections with other Star Trek incarnations
Characters and races
Voyager saw appearances by several characters and races who initially appear in The Next Generation: Q, William Riker, Geordi La Forge, Deanna Troi, and Reginald Barclay. The Borg, Cardassians, Bajorans, Romulans, Betazoids, Vulcans, Klingons, Ferengi, and a Jem'Hadar hologram also make appearances, as does the Maquis terrorist group.
The Borg Queen, the antagonist from Star Trek: First Contact, makes several appearances in Voyager. Susanna Thompson usually played the role in the series; Alice Krige, who played the character before Thompson in First Contact, reprised the role for the series finale.
Quark from Deep Space Nine appears in Voyager's pilot episode.
George Takei also makes an appearance as Captain Sulu, when Tuvok has a flashback about his first time serving on a Federation starship, from events that happened in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Grace Lee Whitney also appears as Cmdr. Janice Rand, and Michael Ansara as Klingon Captain Kang.
Jonathan Frakes came on for a cameo in the episode "Death Wish", reprising his role as Commander Riker.
Kate Mulgrew appears as Kathryn Janeway, promoted to vice admiral, in Star Trek Nemesis.
The following Voyager main cast members have appeared in other Star Trek productions.
- Robert Duncan McNeill (Paris) in Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The First Duty" as Starfleet cadet Nicolas Locarno. (The character of Tom Paris was based on Locarno, but he was felt to be 'beyond redemption' for his actions during "The First Duty"; Paramount would also have been obligated by contract to pay royalties to the author of "The First Duty" for the use of the name "Nick Locarno" in every episode).Template:Citation needed
- Tim Russ (Tuvok) appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Starship Mine", two Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes and the film Star Trek: Generations, as various characters.
- Robert Picardo (the Doctor) in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Doctor Bashir, I Presume" as Dr. Lewis Zimmerman and an EMH Mark I, and Star Trek: First Contact as the Enterprise-E's EMH.
- Ethan Phillips (Neelix) in Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Ménage à Troi" as the Ferengi Farek, Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Acquisition" as the Ferengi pirate Ulis, and in Star Trek: First Contact as an unnamed Maitre d' on the holodeck.
- Robert Duncan McNeill and Roxann Dawson (Paris & Torres) have also directed episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise.
The following actors from other Star Trek productions have made guest appearances in various Voyager episodes, often as different characters.
- Jonathan Frakes (William Riker of The Next Generation) appears as Riker in the episode "Death Wish".
- Aron Eisenberg (Nog of Deep Space Nine) appeared in "Initiations" as a Kazon adolescent named Kar.
- Gwynyth Walsh (B'Etor of The Next Generation and Generations) appeared in "Random Thoughts" as Chief Examiner Nimira.
- Jeffrey Combs (Weyoun and Brunt of Deep Space Nine and Shran of Enterprise) appeared in "Tsunkatse" as Norcadian Penk.
- J.G. Hertzler (Martok of Deep Space Nine) appeared in "Tsunkatse" as an unnamed Hirogen.
- LeVar Burton (Geordi LaForge of The Next Generation) appears as Captain Geordi LaForge in "Timeless".
- Dwight Schultz (Reginald Barclay of The Next Generation) appears in "Pathfinder", "Inside Man", "Life Line", "Author Author, "Endgame" and "Projections".
- Armin Shimerman (Quark of Deep Space Nine) appears in "Caretaker".
- Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi of The Next Generation) appears in "Pathfinder", "Life Line", and "Inside Man".
- Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton (Riker & LaForge of The Next Generation), and Andrew Robinson (Garak of Deep Space Nine) have also directed episodes of Star Trek: Voyager.
- Suzie Plakson, who portrayed Dr. Selar in the TNG episode The Schizoid Man as well as K'Ehleyr, Worf's mate in The Emissary and Reunion, appeared as the female Q in the episode The Q and the Grey. Plakson also later appeared in the Enterprise episode Cease Fire as Tarah.
- Although not an actual actor, the sets used for USS Voyager were re-used for the Deep Space Nine episode "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges" for its sister ship USS Bellerophon (NCC-74705) which is also an Intrepid-class starship.
In the wake of Pocket Books's successful Deep Space Nine relaunch novel series, which features stories placed after the end of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, a similar relaunch was planned for Voyager. The novels take place after the series' conclusion. In the relaunch, several characters are reassigned while others are promoted but stay aboard Voyager; these changes include Janeway's promotion to admiral, Chakotay becoming captain of Voyager, Tuvok leaving the ship to serve under William Riker, and Tom Paris' promotion to First Officer. The series also introduces several new characters.
The series began with Homecoming and The Farther Shore in 2003, a direct sequel to the show's final, "Endgame". These were followed in 2004 by Spirit Walk: Old Wounds and Spirit Walk: Enemy of My Enemy. Under the direction of a new author, 2009 brought forth two more additions to the series: Full Circle and Unworthy . Other novels – some set during the relaunch period, others during the show's TV run—have been published.