Star Trek: Voyager is the third and last 'next generation' Star Trek series, running for seven seasons from January 1995 through May 2001.The double-length pilot episode saw the USS Voyager, under the command of Captain Kathryn Janeway, sent into action by Starfleet to track down and arrest the crew of the Maquis raider Val Jean, led by renegade Starfleet officer Chakotay. In the midst of trying to locate the Valjean, Voyager was yanked across the galaxy by an alien device, called the Caretaker, which had also was responsible for the disappearance of Chakotay's ship. During a battle with the Kazon, the local space-faring thugs, Janeway destroyed the device that had abducted them rather than let it be misused. This had the effect of now stranding both crews in the Delta Quadrant, on the other side of the galaxy, seventy-five years' travel time from home.For the next seven seasons, Voyager looked for a shortcut back to Earth while dodging or defeating the assortment of Aliens and Monsters. For the sake of familiarity, they also crossed paths with a pair of Ferengi that had been zapped to the Delta Quadrant back in Next Generation, the Q Continuum, assorted Romulans and Cardassians, a diaspora of Klingons on a pilgrimage of sorts, and even a rogue Starfleet vessel which was also kidnapped by the Caretaker. To make matters worse, the Delta Quadrant happens to be the home of the Borg Collective.VOY probably ranks as one of the more divisiveTrek series, with fan debate and controversy continuing to this day; usually directed at Captain Janeway, who is considered the most morally ambiguous of the five captains. Season One offered up a promising mish-mash of crewman with sketchier backgrounds than those of TOS or TNG (with pasts as rebels, convicts, con men, or Borg drones). By Season Two, both the crew and their rogues gallery were retooled into something more palatable for family-time viewing, and the producers had found a winning formula (in keeping with the late-90s fantasy TV boom) in embracing the sillier aspects of Starfleet life. The show had a rather high turnaround of both writers and actors, and tragically—and predictably, in hindsight—fell victim to The Firefly Effect in its season year. At the time, Paramount wanted the show to be the flagship series of its own new broadcast channel, UPN; hence, Executive Meddling occurred almost continually.To an even greater extent than Deep Space Nine, Voyager very much represented an Adrenaline Makeover for the Trek franchise, with a bigger emphasis on action. This was aided in large part by the Delta Quadrant being seemingly the most savage of the four Quadrants — nearly every race the Voyager Crew meet is as xenophobic as they are powerful. The series also toyed with improved CGI effects and a couple of two-part telemovies featuring the Borg, some of which were rather epic.See also the Star Trek: Voyager Relaunch for the show's continuation in novel form.The first Star Trek: Elite Force video game takes place in this show, and the actors from the show provide their voices for their counterparts (except Jeri Ryan as Seven-Of-Nine, until an expansion pack including her was released). Elite Force is usually considered to be one of the best Trek computer games ever released, and the level of consistency between the show and the game's content is probably one of the main reasons why. In the game, you're issued bulky phaser rifles, beam over to Borg cubes, and kick ass, not unlike in those VOY episodes where the show was firing on all cylinders.Now has its own recap page.
This show provides examples of the following tropes:
God Guise: "False Profits", "Muse" (subverted in that the crew inspire a play as opposed to a religion).
Grand Finale: "Endgame". Doubly so, as it marks the last episode of the TNG era of Star Trek, and chronologically the last episode of the series to take place. Anything in the future beyond that was in the movies, and other episodes of Star Trek were in the form of Star Trek: Enterprise, a prequel series.
Her Code Name Was Mary Sue: The Doctor wrote some horrifically painful holonovels where he saves the day over and over again. And lets not forget what happens when he tries to cultivate his own ability to daydream!
Like Tom observes, Holo-Seska isn't one to let a little thing like death get in the way of revenge — or her One True Pairing. She actually programs Holo-Chakotay to coo, "You're an incredible woman, Seska" before dipping her into a Wedding Photo kiss! ("Worst Case Scenario")
Human Popsicle: "The 37s", about a number of people from 1930s Earth who were abducted by aliens and taken to the other side of the galaxy. One of them was Amelia Earhart. There were also a pair of constants troubling those XXV century guys of Voyager, like a earth vehicle propelled by refined oil (a car... floating in the space!), a 1930s airplane, and an automated S.O.S. signal.
Identical Granddaughter: "11:59", or identical great-great-great... well, you get the idea. The ancestral love interest bears a strong resemblance to Janeway's former love, as well.
Interspecies Romance: Apart from scenes involving the Official Couple there's "Elogium" (where a Space Whale tries to hump the ship!), "Favourite Son", "Blood Fever", "The Q and the Grey" ("With a Q, foreplay can last for decades!"), "Unforgettable", "In The Flesh", "Counterpoint", "Gravity", and "The Disease" (it's not what you think).
Interstellar Weapon: Both "Dreadnought" and "Warhead" revolved around trying to keep interstellar missiles from blowing up innocent people.
Made-for-TV Movie: "Dark Frontier" was written and aired as a TV movie, though it was filmed as a normal two-part episode. "Flesh and Blood" was also aired as a TV movie, though it was neither written nor filmed as such.
Post Mortem Comeback: In "Worst Case Scenario" (S3 E25), a highly adaptive hologram of Seska enters the program and manipulates it to her own ends.
The Plague: "Macrocosm". Plus any episode involving Vidiians. The Vidiian Phage is later stated to have been cured off-screen in a future episode.
Pygmalion Plot: "Someone To Watch Over Me": The Doctor and Tom Paris make a bet on whether or not The Doctor can get Seven a date for a diplomatic function. It plays out almost exactly like past Pygmalion Plot films, especially She's All That as Seven becomes scornful of the Doctor once the bet is revealed to her and leads her to believe their past interactions were faked.
Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Voyager crashing into a planet just a stone's throw from home, courtesy of a dodgy prototype engine. ("Timeless") 15 years later, Chakotay, Kim, and the Doctor work to alert their past selves. Voyager buried in a frozen lake as the show's leitmotif plays is one of the more famous money shots.
Spiritual Sequel: "Unimatrix Zero" is this to "The Best of Both Worlds". "Future's End" is a nice updating of the plot from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, with the crew visiting the present day while dressed in civvies. Instead of Chekov being mistaken for a commie, Tom makes reference to the then-defunct Soviet Union and claims to be a secret agent, getting him laughed out of Rain's panel van. Opposite Tom, half the crew are rounded up by paranoid militiamen who believe they're CIA spooks or some-such.
Subspace Ansible: Seeing as Voyager is a lot further out than other Federation vessels, and has been presumed destroyed, even getting a message home is important to the crew. "Eye of the Needle", "Message in A Bottle", "Hunters", "Pathfinder".
Twice Told Tale: "Flashback" provides one for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Unfortunately, there are some obvious continuity errors between the episode and the movie. Most notably, the episode features the death of a background crew member who appears alive in "later" scenes of the movie.
"The Omega Directive" deals with an energy molecule that destroys no less than a 3 light year radius of subspace when it destabilizes, making warp travel PERMANENTLY impossible. The episode focuses on a large enough amount that more than half the entire Delta Quadrant would have been affected.
"Well Done, Son" Guy: This is basically the entire plot of the episode "Life Line". The Doctor, an artificially intelligent hologram, learns that his creator (and the man whose image he's based on), holographic genius Dr Lewis Zimmerman, is dying. The Doctor pleads with Captain Janeway to be transmitted back to the Alpha Quadrant, assuming Zimmerman will be proud of how he's exceeded his programming... only to find his creator is a cantankerous jerk who believes he's an obsolete model better suited to scrubbing plasma conduits on waste transfer barges. Needless to say, much angst and hilarity ensue before the two are reconciled.
Absolute Xenophobe: The Starfish Aliens Species 8472 are initially portrayed as the most genocidal species that Star Fleet has ever encountered. After the hostile Borg invade their home dimension, the genetically superior aliens embark on a crusade across the Milky Way to annihilate all other lifeforms, not just Borg, because they believe that their mere existence might be a threat to their purity. They mercilessly destroy billions of Borg before their invasion is halted by a temporary Borg-Voyager alliance. Several seasons later this is subverted when they are retconned into having only acted out of self-defense, and they're actually open to diplomacy.
Agent Scully: Played with in "Blink of an Eye", with two scientists trying to discover if there's anyone on board Voyager, which has been in their sky for their civilisation's entire history due to Year Inside, Hour Outside. The Scully doubts there's anyone on board, but when the Mulder asks why he's on the mission in the first place, he adds that he doubts everything - including his own doubts.
All Just a Dream: In "Nemesis", Chakotay was being brainwashed to hate the Kadrin through a simulation that depicted them as monsters. Everything that happened from his viewpoint, until Tuvok found him, never did.
Alternate Universe: The ship frequently crossed dimensions or timelines, resulting in meetings with their other selves. Usually they weren't that different, except in cases with a Bad Future.
Subverted with Species 8472. They're introduced as a monolithic, xenophobic, omnicidal race of telepathic aliens, but later revealed to just be acting in self-defense.
In the episode "Nemesis", the Kradin are a monstrous race who look like and are referred to as merciless beasts, have threatening voices, and are engaging in a genocidal war against the human Vori and desecrating their graves. Chakotay crash lands on the planet, and after witnessing all their atrocities, joins the Vori Defenders' cause. Subverted, since he had actually been captured and brainwashed by the Vori so they could recruit him as a soldier. The Kradin are in fact the good guys, and helped the Voyager crew to rescue him from the warzone. When Chakotay meets with the friendly Kradin ambassador, he can't shake the hatred that he developed for them.
And I Must Scream: In the early episodes, the Doctor couldn't shut off his own program. This annoyed him when people would just leave the room without deactivating him. In one instance, he specifically requests that, should the crew choose to abandon the ship for any reason, they take the time to shut him off before they leave. If they didn't, he'd be stuck in Sickbay until power failed, completely alone.
Another Man's Terror: Paris has this forced upon him in "Ex Post Facto", where he is forced to relieve the final moments of a man he was convicted of murdering.
"Warlord": Kes's mind is taken over by the warlord in question.
"Nemesis": Chakotay crash lands on an alien planet, where he meets the human-looking Vori. They are attacked and massacred by a monstrous-looking and brutal race known as the Kradin. After seeing the Vori suffer, Chakotay develops an intense hatred for the Kradin. Subverted, as it turns out that it was all part of a brainwashing program by the Vori to train him as a foot soldier. The Kradin are nowhere near evil, and even helped rescue Chakotay from the Vori. The "nemesis" is in fact the Vori.
Arc Welding: "Death Wish" reveals that Q's defiance of the Continuum and subsequent exile during the early years of TNG was what inspired the renegade Quinn's attempts to commit suicide prior to Voyager discovering him.
Armor-Piercing Question: Unlike most examples it's not world shaking but does make someone realize something. In an episode where the crew is unwillingly and unknowingly experimented on by a alien species, Janeway's aggression and irrationality is increased significantly. At one point she tells Tuvok to harshly punish several crew members for very minor things. Tuvok asks "Should I have them flogged as well?". That's when Janeway realizes that something is very wrong with her. Note Tuvok knew that would snap her back to reality.
Artistic License - Biology: In the second episode, Kes asked for soil samples to help her in setting up a hydroponics bay. Hydroponics is the means of growing plants without soil.
In the episode "Macrocosm" we have viruses(!) which can grow in size - up to a meter, fly, and hover in the air. It turns out that they somehow could do it by taking an alien growth hormone.
The Ocampans (Kes' race) In Voyager, can only reproduce once, and have one child. What kind of species would evolve such a trait and thrive? You'd need EVERY member of your race to reproduce to have 0 population growth. If any member of the race dies, then the race as a whole has taken a blow it cannot recover from! How did the Occampan race come about? Since they can have only one child, and thus cannot grow in numbers, how are there so many of them? It was actually explained in a novella that twin and triplet births were extremely common among Ocampans, so it depends how you look at it. It still doesn't excuse the fact that they can only give birth while standing up, increasing the chance somebody is going to drop the baby upon delivery.
There is at least some evidence that the Ocampans were once more than they are now. Their psychic powers and lifespans have been shown to be able to go beyond what they believed to be possible.
Artistic License - History: The writers decided to go the Magical Native American route with Chakotay and deliberately left his heritage as "unspecified, related to a Central American nation" due to the complex politics surrounding Native portrayals. Apparently, picking one nation and consulting its members on what a respectful and accurate portrayal of their culture would look like would have been too hard.
Slightly averted in one episode. Tuvok fashions a bow and arrows from the primitive supplies they have and Chakotay tells him sorry, his tribe never used them. He is then informed Tuvok was an archery champion at the Academy.
Artistic License - Physics: Neelix suggests for their honeymoon, Tom and B'Elanna take a cruise on a sea of liquid argon. Argon is only a liquid between -189 and -185 degrees Celsius! Granted, this takes place on the holodeck, but given how often the safety protocols decide to break...
In one episode, Janeway proposes punching through the event horizon of the anomaly they're trapped in. In case you didn't know, an event horizon is a mathematical boundary rather than an actual physical barrier you could break through. While this may differ with Quantum Singularities, of punching through may have involved bending subspace in a way that would change the mathematical properties of the barrier, but neither scenerio was established.
Artistic License - Traditional Christianity: In "Fair Haven," one of the villagers tells the Doctor (who's playing a priest) that he's "broken the Fifth Commandment again." The Doctor brushes him off, telling him to "just recite ten Our Father's and you'll be fine." "Our Father" is a Catholic prayer, the Doctor's costume is that of a Catholic priest, the setting is Ireland (which is predominately Catholic), and right after, the villager does the Catholic Sign of the Cross. However, the Fifth Commandment in the Catholic Church is "Thou Shalt Not Kill."
Well, those are the exact words, but the Fifth Commandment generally extends to pretty much any act that involves harming someone unnecessarily. He may well have just punched a guy out of anger.
Ass in Ambassador: It wouldn't be Star Trek without the Enterprise (or its equivalent) playing host to a gaggle of self-entitled dignitaries. ("Virtuoso", "Someone to Watch Over Me", etc) In the latter episode, the guest of honor gets blissed out on synthehol (apparently, his species lacks the enzymes that break down booze) and turns into a Tex Avery wolf when Seven walks in. "Seven of Mine!" he slurs. "Assimilate me!"
Attack Pattern Alpha: Played with by the Doctor in "Message in a Bottle", when he needs to tell the computer to execute an attack and 'Attack Pattern Alpha' is the only attack pattern he can think of (luckily for him, it does turn out to be a real attack pattern.)
Author Appeal: Jeri Taylor loves her some costume dramas, if you hadn't figured it out from Janeway's Victorian/Celtic holoprograms, or Q's reenactment of North and South with himself as a swashbuckling Union man in blue (despite him leading the equivalent of the Q Confederacy!). Rick Berman is also a self-admitted time travel addict, which explains the cornucopia of such episodes on this show and ENT.
Author Tract: An In-Universe application of this trope occurs in the episode "Author, Author", in which the Doctor writes a holo-novel which is essentially a screed against the oppression of intelligent holograms, with thinly-disguised versions of the crew as the villains. However, the end of the episode implies that maybe the novel is in fact necessary, and that holographic rights is the next step in Federation civil law.
"Emanation" is a timely message about the pitfalls of euthanasia — in admittedly broad stokes. The planet in question in honeycombed with "hundreds" of assisted suicide centers, to the degree that it is literally their one defining characteristic. This leaves Ensign Kim (our audience participation character) little to do but get detained and funneled into the mortuary where he awaits certain death(!).
Back for the Dead: Poor Joe Carey in the final season. He reappears after a long absence only to be the last crew member killed before Voyager makes it home a few episodes later. Take That, Audience!!
The only reason the poor guy disappeared in the first place is that the writers were under the impression they'd already killed him. When they discovered they hadn't...
Background Halo: In the episode "The Chute", there's a close-up shot of one of the prisoners who's figured out the secret of the aggression implants where the force field ring surrounding the bottom end of the chute frames the top of his head, appearing as a halo.
Batman Gambit: The best example is in "Counterpoint". Voyager is transporting telepaths through Devore space, where telepaths are automatically arrested, along with those helping them. Kashyk arrives and informs the crew that he knows what they're doing and how they plan to escape. He also says he's defecting and wants to help them avoid a Devore planned for them. If the crew believes him, then he betray them at a crucial moment. If they turn him away, he turns them in. If they do something to him, his superiors will wonder what happened and come looking for him. He'd win no matter what they did. Except he was Out-Gambitted by Janeway, who was prepared for his deception. If he was telling the truth, great, she'd be happy to have him onboard. If he wasn't, she was ready.
Also seen in "Think Tank", where Janeway thinks that the Hazari are covering every escape route and the ones that don't appear covered are traps, screwing the ship no matter which path they choose. Then its inverted on the Hazari's employers, who are screwed no matter what they do.
"Dark Frontier", the Borg wanted Seven of Nine to be severed earlier to develop a human perspective. If the federation hadn't taken the bait, they lose nothing. In the episode itself, the Borg Queen's plan. If Seven returns them, they leave Voyager alone. If not, they assimilate Voyager during the mission. If Seven warns Voyager, than the borg recover the transwarp coil that Voyager planned on stealing.
Beard of Evil: In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Author, Author", the Doctor wrote a holonovel with barely-disguised copies of his fellow crew members as the villains of the story. As a homage to the Mirror Universe, Tuvok's actor Tim Russ grew out a goatee for the occasion.
Belligerent Sexual Tension: The romance between Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres is every inch this trope. Lampshaded in "Distant Origin," in which two aliens observe the two talking.
"Note how the female through the feigned antagonism encourages the male in his attempt to mate."
Neelix in some episodes, particularly "Repentance". He may seem like your average annoying or fun-loving Cloudcuckoolander, but do not mistake him for an idiot.
Consider for a moment that whenever something goes horribly wrong and Tuvok is no longer capable of acting as security chief, it's always Neelix who is promoted to the position. That should tell you something about him.
It's not entirely illogical either. Before Voyager picked him up, Neelix was on his own, collecting scrap for a living in the depths of Kazon space and was, once we met him, in the middle of planning a daring rescue of Kes on his own.
Kes is a very nice, polite young woman. She's also an immensely powerful psychic that can boil your blood by accident, and when someone takes over her body, she messes with him for several minutes of perceived time, only for him to wake up and realize that maybe a second passed.
"Fury" takes this to its extreme limit, where a vengeful older-Kes powerwalks down a corridor that explodes from her mere presence.
Big Bad: Maje Culluh & Seska for the first two seasons, the Borg Queen for the last few.
The Big Race: In one episode, Tom and B'Elanna participate in a race with the Delta Flyer.
Bizarre Alien Biology: Kes (nine year lifespan, telepathy, gives birth from a sac on her back, and when she reaches sexual maturity you rub her feet until her tongue swells up), Species 8472 (tripedal, five sexes, densely-coded DNA, emits a biogenic field that blocks scanning, and has an immune system that can stop Borg nanoprobes). But nothing tops the cytoplasmic lifeform in "Nothing Human". The Universal Translator can't understand its language, the tricorder can't comprehend its biology, it controls a spaceship via biochemical secretions, can leap through a forcefield in a single bound, and uses B'Elanna Torres as an emergency life-support system.
The Blank: In "The Fight", Chakotay fights a being from a region of chaotic space; the being is wearing a boxing hoodie that hides his face, when the alien is finally revealed, he has no face, only a starfield.
Blasting It out of Their Hands: In the episode "Relativity", When Seven of Nine is chasing a saboteur who teleports by activating his tricorder, she manages a shot that flips it out of his hand and away, forcing him to run instead of teleport.
Blue and Orange Morality: The Caretaker, and to a lesser extent his mate Suspiria. While he feels a sense of duty to care for the Ocampa after his species' intergalactic exploration devastated their homeworld, he does so by turning them into a docile childlike people utterly dependent on him. When he begins to die, he proceeds to abduct, rape and ultimately kill sentient beings from elsewhere in the galaxy in his desperate attempt to produce an offspring to continue his duties, as Suspiria has long since left him. Suspiria took a group of Ocampa with her when she departed, and instead trained them to develop their great psychic potential. This made her Ocampa into racial supremacists, although she may not have seen this as a problem since her long-term goal was to enable them to join her in the subspace domain she called "Exosia" rather than interact with other species in the galaxy or return to their homeworld. Both of them had very alien moral systems by Federation standards.
Body Horror: The phage and Paris's transformation in Threshold.
Book Ends: Several. For the series as the whole; the first and last episodes both end with "Set a course, for home." Season 5's "Drone" is also framed with Seven looking into a mirror.
Brick Joke: Chakotay's bottle of cider in "Shattered."
The holographic Doctor's final name Joe in Admiral Janeway's perceived Bad Future in "End Game". Averted when Elderly Janeway posthumously made for a Good Future... maybe.
When we find out Lieutenant Barclay from Next Generation was responsible for the EMH program's interpersonal skills.
Broken Aesop: The episode "Tattoo" has this. The episode is supposed to be about how wonderful Native American culture is only to reveal that the Native Americans owe everything they are to alien intervention.
Also "Remember" and "Memorial." It is important to learn about the tragedies of the past so that they never happen again...and the best way to do this is to forcibly implant memories of those tragedies into unknowing people who won't even stick around to make a difference.
In "Nothing Human," B'Elanna displays racial prejudice against a holographic Cardassian physician. The Doctor objects to this racism, and the episode seems to be building toward an Aesop opposing bigotry ... until it is revealed that the Cardassian doctor, Crell Moset, is actually a war criminal. The episode then turns into a debate on medical ethics, and the racism issue is all but forgotten. The Star Trek franchise is normally very firm in its opposition to bigotry, but this episode actually seemed to imply that the prejudiced characters were right.
B'Elanna even acts like the discovery of Moset's war crimes vindicates her earlier hostility toward him. When she says that she had "a bad feeling" about the Cardassian as soon as she saw him, nobody calls her out on the fact that her "bad feeling" was the product of nothing more than her own racial prejudice.
Broken Pedestal: A variation occurs with Doctor Zimmerman in "Life-Line". The Federation eventually came to regard the EMH program as a joke due to their poor bedside manner, writing them off in the end and repurposing the entire line into miners (the fact this makes them a slave-race is ignored), leaving Zimmerman bitter and disillusioned that his greatest creation is now serving as manual labour, all sharing his face. Naturally he's not too happy when The Doctor shows up to attempt to treat him.
Janeway: Coffee: the finest organic suspension ever devised. It's got me through the worst of the last three years. I beat the Borg with it.
In an oddly out-of-character moment, Janeway actually declines more coffee with a trope-averting comment.
Janeway: No thanks, I've had enough. One more cup, and I'll jump to warp.
Call Back: In "Year of Hell", a time distortion passes over the bridge; when it clears, Janeway is still standing in center frame, except the ship is now on high alert. This shot is taken directly from TNG's "Yesterday's Enterprise."
The adolescent Q immediately dons a miniature Captain's uniform, gets into arguments with the bartender, and hurls Borg cubes at Voyager. Like father, like son!
Calling the Old Man Out: The Doctor does this in "Life-Line" to his creator. Doctor Zimmerman constantly belittles him and dismisses his program as a failed experiment, eventually getting furious and demanding to know why the Doctor is trying to treat his terminal illness. The Doctor furiously counters back that he designed him that way and whether he likes it or not, he is a Doctor and he will treat him.
The Cast Showoff: Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine) sang on the show a couple of times. One episode even featured a duel with the Doctor and Seven singing a duet, in harmony.
Discontinuity Nod: ...and later on Paris notes that he's never traveled in transwarp. To explicitly say in the show that it isn't considered canon.
"Deuterium? You can get that anywhere!" is mentioned in one episode, seasons after the "running out of deuterium" stuff.
Chatokay's on and off vegetarianism - it actually came and went in two consecutive episodes...he's tucking into Seven's beduvian quail in one episode, and can't drink the meat nectar in the next episode that makes Harry Kim sick.
The entire plotlines introduced in the episodes "Death Wish" and "The Q and the Grey" directly contradict the TNG episode "True Q". The Continuum had already been established as being willing to execute members who did not want to live within their rules. It was also demonstrated in that same episode that the Q could procreate and produce Q offspring. Thus the whole questions of inescapable immortality and what to do if Q start dying had in fact been answered in the earlier series. Both mortality and the production of new generations of Q were already shown to be possible. Further reinforced in the last season of Voyager when the Continuum demonstrates again that they can make Q Junior human (or an amoeba) if they see fit.
Captain Ersatz: Originally the writers wanted to include the guest character of "Cadet Nicholas Locarno" from the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The First Duty" as a regular. To avoid paying royalties to the writers of that episode — and because Locarno was seen as fundamentally unredeemable — a Captain Ersatz in the person of Tom Paris was created. Not only do both characters have a very similar backstory and personality, both are played by Robert Duncan McNeill as well.
Character Development: A major focus of the show. Most of the major characters' personalities change significantly over the seven year run, with the possible exception of Chakotay and Tuvok. Even the last two get development in the sense that all of the major characters' relationships with each other change over time (rivalries turn into friendships, and sometimes romances).
Seven and the Doctor got the most, with their quest for humanity.
B'Elanna Torres, Tom Paris, and Harry Kim noticeably "grow up" over the years. In the first season, Tom is cynical, immature, and won't follow the rules; Harry is naive and lets Tom "lead;" and B'Elanna has major anger issues. Over time, Tom gains better morals and learns to fit in, reworking his talent for irony into a sense of humor to lighten the mood for everyone; Harry becomes more confident, and even earns the responsibility of commanding night shifts; and Torres gains better control of her emotions, and even starts to open up to her Klingon heritage.
Janeway started out being very pro-Prime Directive, even in their situation. As time went on, she became more of a rebel and was more concerned with bringing her crew home.
The neural transceiver in "Scorpion". The Borg attempt to use them on Janeway and Tuvok in order to link their thoughts to the hive mind; Chakotay later uses one to link his thoughts with Seven of Nine to distract her.
In "Revulsion," on a Serosian starship, the hologram Dejaren is serving Torres a tray of food when he nearly steps on a considerable power cord exposed at one end. Torres had to warn him to "Watch out!" Later, when the hologram turned homicidal and corners Torres, she uses said power cord to destroy him.
Averted in "Before & After" (with Kes) and "Shattered" (with Chakotay and a first season Janeway) — the protagonist visits various time periods during Voyager's journey without any actual footage from the episodes in question.
The episode "The Fight" may not be a true clip show, but it at least deserves an honorable mention. The ship is stuck in "chaotic space," the aliens which inhabit it communicate to Chakotay in his mind by splicing together words taken from other crew members from earlier in the episode.
Cloning Body Parts: Via replicators. In "Emanations" the Doctor resurrects an alien brain cancer victim by removing the tumor from her brain stem, replicating and implanting replacement tissue, and zapping her with the On-Button Hypospray.
Come with Me If You Want to Live: In "Faces", Klingon B'Elanna plays this one (in silence) to human B'Elanna. Neither of them was aware of the other's existence, and human B'Elanna is certainly terrified of her savior (even when it was basically a portion of herself).
Comic Book Adaptation: Malibu Comics initially won the rights to Voyager as a companion to its DS9 title, but only got so far as to publish some preview art in a few industry periodicals before Paramount withdrew the rights to Star Trek from both Malibu and DC Comics due to it launching a new Paramount Comics imprint with Marvel Comics, which subsequently published a Voyager comic book. Later, DC obtained the licence for its Wildstorm imprint. IDW Comics currently holds the licence but as of 2014 has yet to publish a Voyager comic, though Seven of Nine is a main character in IDW's Next Generation miniseries Hive.
Communications Officer: Harry Kim got a battlefield promotion to chief communications officer, despite only being (perpetually) an ensign.
Conspiracy Theorist: Deconstructed by Seven of Nine in "The Voyager Conspiracy". Without the calming influence of the Collective, her brain struggles to find order in random events, leading her to leap to wild conclusions each time she looks at the ship's data. This quickly balloons into a theory that the Federation orchestrated her assimilation as a stepping stone to invading the Delta Quadrant, leading Seven to try and destroy the ship and herself. Unfortunately this type of social commentary is just as relevant as it was in the nineties. (Her paranoid rants are so persuasive that she almost convinces Chakotay for a second!)
The series opens with Chakotay and his Maquis cell being pursued by Gul Evek. Evek had been established on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as the Cardassian liaison to the Demilitarized Zone — which means he is logically one of the ships in range to go after Chakotay.
In "State of Flux" when evidence suggests Seska is a surgically alterred Cardassian spy, Tuvok notes that Starfleet Secuirty has documented incidents of Cardassian cosmetic alteration for espionage. Two such incidents had occurred the previous year over on DS9's "Tribunal" and "Second Skin".
"False Profits" features the return of the Barzan Wormhole and the two stranded Ferengi scientists from the third season of TNG.
Continuity Overlap: VOY ran concurrently with Seasons 3-7 of DS9 and the first three TNG films. Despite being stranded in the Delta Quadrant, the show was nonetheless affected by developments back home:
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The introduction of the Maquis (and the Badlands) on DS9 was done specifically to set up VOY. The crew also wear the jumpsuit uniforms created for DS9. And once they re-establish contact with Starfleet in Season 4, the crew finds out the hard way that not only is the Federation embroiled in a bloody war with the Dominion, but the Maquis have also been wiped out. Finally, Defiant-class ships appear in Seasons 4 and 7.
Star Trek: Generations: A semi-subversion. While "Caretaker"" premiered three months after the film was released, the Starfleet crew is nonetheless using the redesigned combadges introduced in Generations.
Star Trek: First Contact: Once VOY re-establishes contact with Starfleet in Season 4, any scenes or communications with the Alpha Quadrant have Starfleet personnel wearing the film's new black and gray uniforms. Starfleet ships introduced in First Contact also appear in Seasons 4 and 7. The introduction of the Borg Queen will also cause headaches for Janeway and company during Seasons 5-7.
Star Trek: Insurrection: The Doctor disguises himself as a female Tarlac (a species introduced in the film) while attempting to treat his creator Lewis Zimmerman back the Alpha Quadrant in Season 6's "Life Line".
Converging Stream Weapon: Species 8472 has a weapon consisting of several ships that fire simultaneously to create one of these.
The Voyager; a ship roughly half the size of a Galaxy-class starship all alone in the meanest, most inhospitable corner of the galaxy. She's also the fastest starship in the fleet at the time, with a maximum speed of warp 9.975.
Special mention also goes to the USS Prometheus; a ship designed during the Dominion War back in the Alpha Quadrant that can split into three separate ships to engage the enemy from multiple directions.
Crapsack World: The Delta Quadrant. The Voyager crew meets a total of two named races (The Ocampa and Talaxians) that aren't at best underhanded and untrustworthy, at worst xenophobic and hostile (And even the Ocampa and Talaxians have a couple of duplicitous factions each). This was even Lampshaded by Chakotay in the Season 6 episode "Survival Instinct". Even without the Borg, the Delta Quadrant wouldn't be somewhere you'd want to be stranded, with most planets and sectors being complete death traps.
Say what you will about The Dominion, the Gamma Quadrant looks positively hospitable in comparison...
Creepy Child: Suspiria in "Cold Fire", the Borg children on their first appearance, Naomi Wildman in a nightmare sequence in "Dark Frontier" and, it was hinted on a couple of occasions, Kes ("Cold Fire", "Warlord" and "Fury").
The series begins with both the Voyager and the Maquis ship sustaining heavy casualties while far away from Federation space. The only way Voyager can be operated is by merging the two crews and having skilled Maquis take over key positions on the ship. Notably, neither crew has a doctor or even a medic left alive so the Emergency Medical Hologram has to be used all the time which it was not really designed for. Over the course of the series the EMH develops a distinct personality and starts fighting for his rights as a person.
Occurs in an episode where crewman keep disappearing while aliens appear in their place. Before too much longer they're down to a skeleton crew and then it turns out it's a ploy to take over the ship, beaming crew members off one at a time and replacing them with their own people.
A Day in the Limelight: As with most shows, all the regular characters have a few episodes revolving around themselves each season, and most recurring characters have at least one in the series. Worth noting, however, is that "Voyager" also made effort to show the lower-decks crewman once in a while. "Learning Curve" focused on Maquis crewmen adjusting to Starfleet regulations; several seasons later, "Good Shepherd" stared three from Janeway's original Starfleet crew who weren't adjusting well to life in the Delta Quadrant; and "Ashes to Ashes," which was essentially about a dead Red Shirt trying to return to Voyager, also counts.
Darker and Edgier: While all Trek shows loved to juggle sweeping drama and sci-fi horror with frothy comedy, the pendulum swung to even farther extremes in this case. Janeway was shown on multiple occasions to be willing to contradict her principles, form dubious alliances, and trade dangerous technology to shorten Voyager's trip. There are also numerous episodes where the crew gets messily killed, usually involving time travel, holograms or cloning.
Denser and Wackier: The show had its share of corkers, too — not just the magnum opus "Threshold", but also "The 37s" (a floating Ford pickup in space), "Concerning Flight" (Leonardo Da Vinci escapes the holodeck and runs amok), "The Q and the Grey" (and really, any Q episode besides "Death Wish" counts as this), "Body and Soul" (the Doctor jumps into Seven's body and proceeds to molest it in hysterical ways), and the grandaddy of them all "Bride of Chaotica". Quoth Michal Piller:
"What I think everybody felt about Voyager was that it needed to be a ship show, it needed to be a lighter show, because people felt that Deep Space Nine’s downfall was that it was a little bit too dark. And I’m not sure I agree with that, but I’m quoting, basically, my memory of the creative pressures at the time."
Dead Fic: In-universe example with "Insurrection Alpha". Justified, as Tuvok no longer saw any point in completing an insurrection training exercise scenario when there was no longer any realistic threat of an onboard mutiny.
Deadly Euphemism: In "Nemesis", the Defenders and the Kradin refer to the killing of an enemy as "nullifying" them.
Death Is Cheap: The entire crew was offed twice. Every major character died at least once when an anomaly of the week duplicated the ship. The crew never figured out which of the twin Voyagers was the original ship (if either one was). Harry and Naomi were the only two from the "other" ship who survived, while Seven joined the crew long after this incident, so either the Harry Kim that made it home isn't the real one, or he, Naomi, and Seven are the only originals to make it home!
This is frequently contrasted with how Sisko was treated in Deep Space Nine. He wasn't "the black Captain" the way Janeway was "the female Captain", he was just The Captain.
Some early interviews and show-related material indicate that the Janeway character was intensely examined, specifically to prevent Janeway from becoming nothing more than an ultra-feminist caricature; at the same time, a balance had to be found so that Janeway could maintain her femininity while in command. Hence, Janeway prefers being addressed as 'Captain' over 'sir' or 'ma'am' (which acknowledges that she is in command, but avoids gender politics entirely).
This trope became the show's biggest problem. The combined writers were either lazy, incompetent or confused, and although Executive Meddling compounded the issue and made their job more difficult, it is their sub-par work that nearly derailed the first two to three years of the show and still provided plot and characterization problems in the last four (upon examination of show transcripts the quality of their writing is indisputable). This was all that the production crew and cast had to work with, and although some people rose above the writing, some did not. Notable cast members who made a huge effort and managed to improve show quality and their characters In Spite Of The Writers were Katherine Mulgrewnote without Mulgrew's talent and perseverance Captain Janeway would have been a lot worse , Tim Russ, Robert Picardo, Jeri Ryan, Roxann Dawson and Robert Duncan McNeil. Honourable mention to Garrett Wang who had to contest with mediocre direction as well and was reduced to only really being able to act in his Limelight episodes.note Long-term audience will note that it was these actors who were focused on most as the show went on.
Deprogramming: A very literal case when Seven of Nine is disconnected from the Borg.
Determinator: Played with throughout the series, not in terms of an individual continuing despite horrific injuries, but with Janeway's let's-get-home-at-all-costs philosophy, which is switched on and off depending on whether it was raining the day the writers started on each script. See "Year of Hell" comparing the first timeline change, and consider how they could have ended up in that situation, to the last scene and the "Thanks, we'll go around" attitude.
Also bear in mind this must be a regular bridge conversation. "How long until we get home?" "At current speeds 70 years." "Excellent we'll contin... Oh Shiny" Having just spotted a random celestial phenomena out the window.
The writers tried to explain this by saying that Janeway was trained and did most of her rank climbing in Star Fleet's science division (which has a proud history of bunny-earing people) before being shuffled sideways into the command division. So the entire series is one long fight between Kathryn Janeway, Commander versus Kathryn Janeway, Ph. D. The commander half of her psyche tends to lose.
Early on it was established that the purpose for keeping up the exploration deal was to find alternative power sources, short cuts home, and friendly species to trade with. Eventually (and unfortunately) this was forgotten, the logic would've been useful every time Seven and Janeway got into an argument about Voyager's methods.
Disproportionate Retribution: An episode had B'Elanna on trial with a potential Fate Worse than Death. Her crime? Being annoyed when someone bumped into her. This society is a race of telepaths who have eliminated violent thoughts, and so she was inadvertantly spreading violent thoughts to innocent people, who are overwhelmed by them since they rarely have these thoughts. But it turns out that there is a black market for violent thoughts on the planet, and the incident with B'Elanna was planned.
Do Androids Dream?: Quite a few (brilliantly done) episodes revolving around the holographic Doctor, including an episode where the Doctor simultaneously ponders this trope while doing it literally.
Downer Ending: In "Course: Oblivion", the crew appears to start dying mysteriously one by one. It's quickly determined the "crew" is actually the copies from the episode "Demon". When they realize what they are, they make a beeline back to the Demon Planet. They didn't make it. To add insult to injury, the real Voyager passes through their vaporized remains without a clue.
Dream Sue: In the episode "Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy", the Doctor installs a daydreaming subroutine where he imagines himself constantly having to assume command of Voyager as the Emergency Command Hologram, who gets the crew out of situations even more single-handedly and hammily than most real Star Trek captains. It turns out an alien race monitors these daydreams and thinks they're reality, eventually causing the crew to find out, much to his embarrassment.
Dream Within a Dream: Or, more exactly, holographic simulations within holographic simulations. "Projections" is particularly full of them. Finally, the crew manages to get the Doctor out of the simulation... or is the simulation still running?Kes begins to cry that their marriage should not end, Barclay appears again to tell him to blow the warp core, a Kazon appears in the door, Paris takes him to attend a patient who is himself... no, the malfunctioning simulation is not over yet.
Dull Surprise: Garrett Wang claims that the cast was constantly being given direction to tone down their performances, with Rick Berman telling him it was because it made the aliens seem more human.
Only their imminent death through oxygen deprivation gives B'Elanna Torres the courage to tell Tom Paris she loves him (next moment they're beamed to safety).
EMH blurts out his feelings for Seven of Nine in front of half the senior officers when he thinks his program is going to shut down forever, along with several other embarrassing confessions. He's repaired moments later.
When the 37s are discovered, Fred Noonan (Amelia Earhart's navigator) gets shot in the chest and taken to sickbay. Thinking he will die, he confesses his love to Earhart. However, he is then healed by the Doctor and embarrassed, tries to take back his confession.
Early Installment Weirdness: VOY has a famously rocky start, and a number of plot points from "Caretaker" did not survive into the series proper. The first half of "Caretaker" (co-written by Michael Piller, who also wrote DS9's pilot) suggests a darker show than what actually made it to air:
Neelix is established as a Con Man (in the vein of Quark) who deceives Voyager to save Kes and then screws over the local Kazon tribe on the deal they made. Afterwards, Neelix is never portrayed as anything other than a harmless goofball.
Tom Paris is treated like a pariah by the crew of Voyager and even among the Maquis, with only Harry Kim to call a friend. This was quickly papered over by the second episode, "Time and Again."
B'Elanna was a hair's breadth away from killing Janeway after the Captain gave the order to destroy the Array. Immediately after, she became Janeway´s staunchest advocate and is ready to pummel anyone who questions her leadership.
Emotional Maturity Is Physical Maturity: The Doctor, and the Ocampa. Seven and Icheb also count, as both were artificially aged physically and mentally from early childhood in Borg maturation chambers. Icheb in particular should actually be a young boy, but generally behaves like the fairly mature young adult he appears as. Q Junior plays with this trope. Although he is an omnipotent being from a higher plane of existence capable of assuming any shape he likes, he appears in the form of a human boy in his late-teens, and acts exactly the way a teenage human boy would, if given unlimited control of space, matter and time. Then again, his father appears as a middle-aged man but usually acts like a teenager too, so it is clearly a case of parental issues.
Annorax in the "Year of Hell" two-parter. Somewhat of an inversion, as Annorax is not interested in conquest but merely re-writing reality to bring back his dead civilization (and wife). His myopic vision blinds him to the consequences of his action, causing a downward spiral where he's nuking entire planets left and right. He also commands his own nomadic battle cruiser and has a fanatical crew, similar to Nero from the Trek reboot movie.
The trope is Played for Laughs with Dr Chaotica in the Captain Proton holodeck program.
Enemy Mine: Voyager teams up with the Kazon Nistrum sect, the Borg Collective, the Hirogen and several other Villains of the Week, not always successfully. Was supposed to be the original concept of the series, but the Starfleet/Maquis conflict was watered down so much that later episodes based on this schism appear ridiculous.
Enemy Within: In one episode the Doctor tries to expand his program by incorporating personality aspects of various historical figures who possessed great minds. He failed to realize that he would also incorporate the darker sides of their psyches, and develops an evil Split Personality who takes Kes hostage.
Epic Fail: Sort of. While playing billiards, Neelix left an impossible shot for Mr. Vulcan. Tuvok made his usual Vulcan speech remarking that the shot is difficult but not impossible, and with a good calculation of the angles... he sent the white ball to the pocket.
Evil vs. Evil: The war between Species 8472 and the Borg. The Borg seek to assimilate all life in the galaxy into their collective. Species 8472 seeks to exterminate the impure, meaning every species except for them. Subverted when Species 8472 only seeks to commit genocide because they believe that every alien species is as hostile as the Borg. Once Chakotay convinces them otherwise, they agree to leave our galaxy alone.
Evil Sounds Deep: The Kadrin in "Nemesis". Subverted. It's revealed that they're actually the good guys. In reality they don't even sound like that.
Evolutionary Levels: The justification for Tom's physical changes in "Threshold." Apparently hitting Warp 10 bumps him up to a "more advanced" evolutionary state which just so happens to result in weird-salamander people.
Exactly What It Says on the Tin: A lot of episode titles. Some people point this out as a peculiarity of Voyager, but a cursory look at TNG's titles will show that it's pretty common for the modern Trek shows.
Failsafe Failure: On more than one occasion, "emergency failsafes" proved to be good mainly at the "emergency" and "fail" parts.
Failure Is the Only Option: There were several times the crew could have gotten back to the Alpha Quadrant but didn't, "False Profits" probably being the most egregious. The pilot is not actually a case of this, given that they would have needed several hours to bring the Array back online, which, given that they were under attack by Scary Dogmatic Aliens with a damaged ship and a sizable reduction in crew, probably made using the Array less than tenable (note what Tuvok says here: around 9:21). However, given the way a lot of characters acted in later episodes, either she didn't divulge this bit of information or the crew got disillusioned and rejected that excuse.
Averted in later seasons; while Voyager never gets back to Earth ( until the Grand Finale), it does get progressively closer to the alpha quadrant, with most of the crew's attempts to cut a few years off of the journey succeeding.
Fantastic Measurement System: The series was fond of using the unit "isoton" for mass and explosive yield, where "iso-" was supposed to be an SI (metric) prefix meaning 10^<insert very large number>.
'Iso-' isn't an SI prefix, but if it were, it'd carry the same meaning it does in chemistry and physics: 'equal' or 'same'. "25 isotons", then, would be just a more complicated way of saying "25 tons", rather than the "25-times-ten-to-the-lots tons" it's tossed around to signify on Voyager. (On the other hand, it's not as though Critical Research Failure on the part of Star Trek writers should come as a surprise to anyone.)
In "Dragon's Teeth" one clue that the Vaadwaur aliens they've woken from stasis are villains is that Naomi Wildman overhears the Vaadwaur children making derogatory comments about Neelix. Good thing she never logged onto a fan forum.
In the episode "Repentance", Voyager helps a damaged Nygean prison transport. Neelix finds out one race, the Benkaran, make up a tiny proportion of the population in Nygean space, but are over-represented in the judicial system. But a Bekaran prisoner, Joleg, proves by his actions during an attempted breakout that he seems to deserve his sentence.
"Fantastic Voyage" Plot: In the episode "The Cloud" Voyager got inside a Nebula, which happened to be an alive creature of cosmic dimensions. When they realized it, they returned inside it, to heal the wound caused by their entry. Yes, the USS Voyager making a "Fantastic Voyage" Plot.
The Farmer and the Viper: In the two-part episode "Scorpion", Captain Janeway plans a temporary alliance with the Borg in order to combat Species 8472. When she asks for Chakotay's personal opinion, he relates the parable of "The Scorpion and The Frog" mentioned in the trope page quotes, though with a fox in place of the frog. Oddly, the story as told is more tragic than the normal telling, with the scorpion apologizing for being unable to help its nature, when the Borg would have no such compunctions.
Faster-Than-Light Travel: Voyager sought various means of getting home faster besides its already top-of-the-line warp drive, including transwarp, quantum slipstream technology, subspace corridors, and a graviton catapult which can catapult a vessel across space in the time it takes to say "catapult a vessel across space."
The Borg and "Species 8472" are trying to do this to each other. It's a war, but their goal is to exterminate each other's populations rather than achieving some kind of victory where the enemy's people still exists. The whole thing started with The Borg trying to assimilate 8472, but it had already moved far past that point when Voyager showed up.
A very Anvilicious one in "Remember." While transporting members of a telepathic race, B'Elanna begins experiencing memories of the race's treatment of a sub-group who rejected technology, which eventually culminated in the sub-group supposedly being relocated but instead exterminated.
First Episode Spoiler: Hard to explain the show without saying that the ship gets stranded in the Delta Quadrant, 70 years from home.
In response to two different elements of the Star Trek: Voyager finale, fans created two very popular Fix Fics: Voyager Season 7.5 and Voyager Virtual Seasons 8 and 9. The former started from before the hated Chakotay/Seven Canon Ship got started, rewriting the last half of the season, allowing them to completely avoid the finale. The latter kept everything including the final scene, but then used a Diabolus ex Machina to subvert the Happy Ending (itself a Deus ex Machina) for a couple more seasons.
Currently these guys are working on rewriting the whole show.
The modern novel continuity from the Star Trek Expanded Universe gives us the String Theory trilogy. Why is Janeway so out of character at the beginning of Season Five, and other points later on? Why did the Nacene Caretaker species not show up after season two? Why is Voyager in top condition as of the later seasons despite dwindling supplies? Why did Kes suddenly turn bitter and evil in "Fury"? This trilogy fills in all the gaps, and helps make Voyager's continuity a lot easier to swallow. However, some readers have suggested that the answers given here are weirder than the possibleplot holesthey try to plug, others that the things being fixed weren’t too much of a distraction anyway.
Fleeting Demographic Rule: The Borg threat tended to flirt with reenactments of Picard and Data's corruption in First Contact, with the Borg Queen making similar proposals to Janeway/Seven. "Unimatrix Zero" goes balls-out and does a retread of "The Best of Both Worlds", with the the entire crew getting assimilated along with the Captain.
The list of borrowed TNG scripts is nearly endless. However, "Infinite Regress", in which Seven is tormented by the psychic ghosts of people she's assimilated, manages to improve on a Data-centric TNG episode ("Masks") which, in its original form, was considered camp at best.
The Seventh and final season saw the well of TNG stories running dry. A few from DS9 began to crop up as well: Klingons attempt to board Voyager in a sequence reminiscent of "The Way of the Warrior". Also, the series actually wrapped with a toast between the crew in some sort of future bar. "What You Leave Behind" famously wrapped with Sisko giving a toast to his crew in holographic Vegas lounge.
The Fog of Ages: According to Seven of Nine, the Borg suffer from this, as their memory from over 700 years ago is beginning to fragment.
Foreshadowing: Many of the events depicted in "Year of Hell" are foreshadowed in "Before & After". This despite the fact that the character used to foreshadow the events (Kes) isn't there when they eventually happen.
Forgotten Phlebotinum: Voyager's official policy was "if it doesn't work immediately and perfectly, shelve the entire idea and never mention it again". Most gratuitous was the transwarp drive in "Threshold", which worked fine apart from the surprisingly easy to treat "becoming a giant space salamander" side-effect, but which was never used even after they found a cure for the salamander thing.
For Happiness: As the self-appointed "Morale Officer", the character Neelix is constantly trying to live up to this trope.
The "Year of Hell" two-parter involves a Krenim timeship making subtle and not-so-subtle changes to the timeline hoping to create a perfect timeline where their empire is once again powerful and all their loved ones are alive. One part featured Chakotay offering to erase an insignificant-looking comet from history, thus preventing the Voyager's interference in Krenim affairs. The Krenim captain explains that Chakotay would be wiping out half the species in the sector due to this comet being involved in seeding most of the inhabited planets in the sector billions of years ago. The captain might seem like a bit of a hypocrite for pointing out Chakotay's mistake, but the whole thing is about him trying to fix the mistake he made in the first place. As the timeship itself exists out of time, destroying it at any point causes it to never have been built, and leading to a more or less happy ending for everyone involved.
The Voyager novel Echoes occurs when a planet activates a revolutionary new transport system that happens to shift the residents over one universe. When the Voyager is inadvertently summoned by the energy pulse, it is immune to the shifts. Residents report small changes in the world around them as they're moved. This wouldn't be such a problem, except somewhere down the line, the planet was hit by a meteor. That universe's Voyager was tasked with trying to save a few billion people. And a few hours after that, a few billion more. And a few hours after that...
The episode "Non Sequitur" shows what would have happened if Harry Kim was not chosen to be among those who would be in Voyager's crew, with the results also affecting the life of Tom Paris. Of course, the catch is that this is an alternate reality in which Harry Kim still remembers being a crew member of Voyager and has somehow wound up in this reality.
Fresh Clue: In "Phage", when the team is tracking the Vidiians that stole Neelix's lungs, Janeway's tricorder detects a heat signature indicating that a humanoid life form was in the room within the last few minutes
Seven towards Naomi Wildman. Even funnier when Seven addresses her as "Naomi Wildman, subunit of Ensign Samantha Wildman."
Seven often introduces herself, especially early-on, by her full Borg designation: "Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix 01".
Funny Background Event: In the early episode "The Cloud", The Doctor is on a viewscreen in the background giving information about a nebula, and then starts ranting about how the ship's presence is affecting it. Janeway "mutes" the viewscreen, then she and the other officers continue discussing about the nebula. At first, The Doctor continues ranting about the nebula, until he realizes he's on "mute". He gets annoyed and starts pacing around his office for a good minute and a half◊ before Tom Paris informs Janeway that The Doctor is still on viewscreen. Janeway finally "un-mutes" him. In the same episode, Janeway hunts in the background for coffee while other main characters give exposition.
Future Imperfect: Lampshaded. Despite Paris being the most knowledgeable crew member of North America's 20th century history, when Voyager is sent back in time to Earth circa 1996, even he gets a few cultural references, phrases, and mannerisms wrong.
Rayne:You keep calling yourselves "secret agents", but nobody says "secret agents" anymore. You're always not quite getting things just quite right. It's as if you don't belong to this time period.
Also, a bit of Continuity Snarl in that episode, as Earth was supposed to be locked in the Eugenics Wars at that time. In fact, during Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, they openly state that their ship, the Botany Bay, was launched in 1996!
Gender Is No Object: Starfleet is supposed to be purely integrated with gender no hindrance to attaining any position. The other series didn't quite meet this lofty principle. Female captains popped up in minor, one-shot roles after TOS, and there was Obstructive Bureaucrat Admiral Nechayev, but after DS9 gave its female characters more strength and screentime, Voyager added to this by having a woman captain as a main character and increasing the gender ratio.
Genocide Backfire: "Jetrel", about a scientist that developed the Metreonic Cascade, a mass-destruction weapon that decimated a Talaxian world and burnt it to the ground, left countless victims poisoned with metreonic isotopes, and forced Talax to surrender to the Haakonians (any similarity to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki... is subtle). Jetrel, treated as a monster by Neelix, now roams the galaxy trying to find a cure for the metreonic poison... or so he claimed. His real redemption plot was much more ambitious: he tried to use the teleportation technology of Voyager to atomically recreate at least one of the victims of his weapon. He failed, but Neelix finally forgave him.
Get Out: "Dismissed. That's a Starfleet expression for 'get out'."
Gladiator Games: In "Tsunkatse" the crew are on leave enjoying watching aliens fight it out (apparently unaware that there are sometimes death matches?), until they see Seven of Nine unexpectedly enter the ring.
A God Am I: Invoked by a group of Ferengi, previously seen in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, who ended up getting stuck in the Delta Quadrant after getting sucked in through a wormhole. They spent no time tricking and manipulating a planet's native race to start following the Rules of Acquisition and making them believe that the Ferengi were fabled gods of local legend.
Good Versus Good: In the episode "Timeless", Harry Kim is trying to alter the timeline to make sure Voyager wouldn't crash, while Captain LaForge is trying to stop him — partly to protect his own crew, partly because Chakotay is considered Public Enemy No. 1 in the Alpha Quadrant. But mostly because messing with Time Travel tends not to end well in the Star Trek Universe.
Good-Looking Privates: In "Nemesis", a girl from the village says that the Defenders, which Chakotay has joined, "glimpse great" in their jungle combat gear. They're actually the villains of the story.
The Golden Rule: Used by Captain Janeway in the pilot episode. Two starship crews need to cooperate, and when the leader if the other crew insults one of her men she says: "That man is a member of my crew. Treat him with the same respect as you would have me treat one of yours."
Janeway: Coffee. Black." Neelix: I'm sorry, Captain, we lost two more replicators this morning- Janeway:Listen to me VERY carefully, because I'm only going to say this once: Coffee. Black. Neelix: Yes, ma'am. (serves coffee) "While, I've got your attention... Janeway: Coffee first. (Gigantic Gulp) "Now what's the problem?
Admiral Janeway questions why she ever gave it up in the final episode.
Chakotay says his people used to contact the spirit realm using psychoactive herbs, but considering it wouldn't be a Family Friendly Aesop to have crewmembers getting stoned whenever they go on a Vision Quest, an Applied Phlebotinum called an akoonah is used instead.
With the exception of Tuvok, the only function of Voyager's security personnel is to stand in the formal 'at ease' position, waiting for the person they're guarding to stun them senseless.
And Tuvok has his off days as well, thanks to Swiss Cheese Security whenever the plot requires it. After Chakotay takes off in a stolen shuttle in "Maneuvers", Tuvok promises the Captain it won't happen again. Several episodes later in "Threshold" Tom Paris not only steals a shuttle, he abducts Captain Janeway too!
Starfleet also has problems with doors. They still use a forcefield on the Brig, despite the many times we see it fail if the ship is under attack. This also doesn't excuse the fact that the one door they do have, the entrance, doesn't even lock.
Half-Human Hybrid: B'Elanna Torres, Naomi Wildman. Neelix is also 1/8th Mylean, but this only crops up in one episode.
An argument could also be made for Seven, as she retains Borg implants even after being reclaimed from the collective.
History Marches On: Used in-universe in "Living Witness". A society has ended up with an incredibly biased account of history when Voyager traversed their system hundreds of years before, depicting the crew as a gang of sadistic thugs and genocidal monsters. When a copy of the Doctor is encountered among some of the artifacts, he eventually manages to set the record straight, and influence the planet's two respective cultures to live in harmony.
Seven of Nine started out as human, became a Borg as a kid, and was forcibly brought back down to human (more or less) by the crew of Voyager. While initially not happy about it (to say the least), Captain Janeway guided her through the process of rediscovering her humanity through time, patience, and care.
This side of her character development shows more and more across the series. At the start, Seven talks in a very punctual manner, foregoing emotion or expression. By the final season, Seven commonly engages in idle conversation with a more optimistic and emotionally interested inflection in her voice.
Also, it was impossible to communicate with Species 8472 before they started taking on human form, and afterwards we never saw them in their tripedal, purple-skinned, cross-pupilled Eyes of Gold form again.
Humans Are Morons: The episode "Virtuoso" introduced us to the Qomar, a Rubber Forehead Alien species highly dedicated to mathematics and sciences and far more advanced than the Federation, which the Qomar looks down upon in contempt. When the Doctor provides medical treatment for one of them, the Qomarian sarcastically asks if the process involves bloodletting. Even in an idealized future where humanity has overcome a good number of its flaws to become one of the most dominant space-faring races, we're still finding aliens who think we're dumb and primitive.
Although the ability to use a starship is only one measure of intelligence. For your consideration: the Pakleds (Space Morons) and the Klingons (Warp-Age Vikings who disdain scientific research). And we do see at other points Starfleet looking down on more primitive ships or civilizations...
Humans Are White: Averted; though there are no black humans among the main characters, there is a Native American human (played by a Latino actor who claims mestizo — part NA — ancestry), a human of Asian origins (actor Asian-American), B'Elanna's actress is Hispanic (and the character canonically has a Hispanic dad, and her mother is a Klingon), and Tuvok is a black Vulcan.
Tuvok also marks the beginning of a wider aversion to this trope when it comes to Vulcans; apparently the writers realized that a sunny, arid planet would favor people with a lot of melanin (Well, melanin with some forehead wrinkles). After Tuvok's debut, every Vulcan depicted on screen was at least "bronzed" in appearance. Well, except for Spock and other Vulcans created before that, but they were Grandfathered in.
SF Debris makes the case that Tom Paris easily is the most over-qualified man in the history of the Federation. Ace pilot, field medic, ship designer, commando... the list is endless!
"And this is the guy that Starfleet doesn't want?!"
Also a case with perpetual Ensign Harry Kim, who counts as a sidekick by virtue of his low rank, despite sometimes being put in charge of the bridge when Janeway, Chakotay, Tuvok and Paris are not around!
Seven-of-Nine becomes this, as she is not really a uniformed crewmember, but her incredible scientific knowledge left over from her time in the Borg Collective often provides the Applied Phlebotinum in a given episode.
Icheb later takes this role as well, being a Teen Genius due his time in the Borg making him nearly as smart and capable as Seven.
Hypocrite: Chakotay on occasion (such as "Initiations") will claim that his people taught him that a man does not own land or a belief in always finding a peaceful and non-violent solution to things... seemingly having forgotten that he was the leader of a guerrila army dedicated to protecting their land and often showed no mercy to the Cardassians.
I Choose to Stay: In "The 37" Voyager found a colony of abducted humans, who made their own city at that planet. What now? Continue the journey to Earth, or stay behind at this new planet? All the crew was allowed to decide individually. No one abandoned the ship.
Janeway: (to console) C'mon, shut off that damn alarm and I promise I'll never violate you again. Jaffen:*gingerly presses button, shutting off the alarm* You almost started a core overload. Janeway: I would have corrected it. Jaffen: Well, I'm sorry for interrupting then.
I Surrender, Suckers: Prottip: The next time you draw in some escape pods from Voyager, make sure there aren't any torpedoes in them...
Infant Immortality: Only in parallel-yet-simultaneous realities. Voyager is copied due to some strange phenomenon; newly-born Naomi Wildman dies and is replaced by the surviving copy from the doomed version of the ship.
Infinite Supplies: Sometimes played infamously straight, sometimes completely ignored... Sometimes one in one episode and the other in another. Voyager is one of the worst offenders for this trope. Admittedly, the crew could have probably manufactured their own shuttles/torpedoes or bartered for some substitutes, as indeed they did with the Borg, but this was rarely if ever touched upon. Parodied in this montage.
It was done with shuttles more times than one could count, but perhaps most infamously, when the Delta Flyer was blown to smithereens in one episode, and was back in service in the very next episode. It was accompanied by a very casually delivered line about the last time someone took the Delta Flyer out for a spin and then forgotten.
There's also the infinite Johnny Nobody crewmembers? The original crew complement was 141 at the beginning of "Caretaker". "The 37's" gives the combined Maquis/Starfleet crew count as 152. And yet we see so many different background filling extras (in the canteen ALONE, besides anywhere else) that one has to wonder whether it was deliberate... In fact, when this forum post breaks down the deaths of all the crew members portrayed onscreen, it turns out that Voyager comes home with more people than she left with (largely due to the Maquis crew), and the crew count appears to be consistently maintained throughout the series.
Neelix conning the crew into thinking he's an expert in something, which often gets people killed. (See "Basics") This is eventually lampshaded by Neelix where he confides that he's just a cook — who sometimes likes to pretend he's a diplomat. Mainly he's there to keep morale up.
Pretty much anything involving Neelix fits. He claims to be a survival expert, but he does things that anyone with survival skills would never do (which resulted in at least two redshirts getting killed on his watch and a hostage situation with primitive natives, all in a single episode). He claims to be a rock climbing expert, but he nearly killed Torres by grabbing ahold of her hips to save himself after he slipped. He claims to be a great chef, but not only did he caused a shipwide system failure with a lump of cheese, but his cooking is almost universally reviled.
On that subject, it's a mystery why Starfleet felt the need to thread bio-neural circuitry throughout Voyager. To date the gel packs in the bulkheads have done nothing useful and, being organic components, have actually made Voyagermore vulnerable to outside threats (i.e. being infected by Neelix’s aged cheese). It's even mentioned that the bio-neural gel packs cannot be replicated, making them harder to replace. This fascination with "gel packs" is very indicative of the nineties, when companies began attaching silicone gel to everything from basketball shoes to toothbrushes.
B'Elanna is a scientific genius, despite not knowing knowing Space has 3 dimensions and literally cannot identify crap even with a tricorder (literally- as in, in the episode "The 37's", there is a situation where she literally cannot identify the substance she is scanning as manure). Perhaps not coincidentally, her duties in Engineering were gradually usurped by the much more capable Seven of Nine.
Informed Wrongness: In-Universe, in "Friendship One," an away mission is being organized to a highly radioactive planet and Torres (who is at this point heavily pregnant) wants to go along, while Tom refuses because "she's too delicate." The planet's radiation is then established at 6000 isorems, which is way more than enough for a miscarriage or birth defects (helping push Torres into Too Dumb to Live). In the end, we do see a pregnant woman on the planet who had two miscarriages, a stillborn, and nearly loses her fourth child.
At the beginning of the episode "Coda", Janeway and Neelix are speaking in ambiguous terms about some sort of group event Neelix organized the previous night. With lines like "You were really good last night" and "It's been a long time for me" going back and forth between them, it seems like they're talking about an orgy. It's not until the next scene that it's revealed they were talking about a talent show.
Neelix gets another one when Seven of Nine decides to move into her own quarters in a holodeck simulation. He's very insistent that the carpet must match the curtains.
Insane Troll Logic: The sad case of an elderly Tuvok in "Endgame", thanks to his medical condition. He insists to Janeway that because she's visiting on the wrong day of the week, she logically couldn't be Janeway.
EMH: Judging by these bio-scans the organism's been devouring life forms for a bit longer than thirty-nine years. I'd estimate it's at least 200,000 years old.
QATAI: The intelligent always survive.
EMH: I wouldn't go that far. It appears to operate on highly-evolved instinct. I haven't detected any signs of sentience.
QATAI: Oh, he's intelligent, all right. Smart enough to fool your crew into taking you offline.
Inscrutable Aliens: One episode had them rescue an alien that was so bizarre they had to start from scratch on trying to understand it. Its biology was such that the medical computers, including the Doctor, couldn't make sense of it, and its language was beyond the universal translators capacity to decode. In another, they played this role to a species living on a planet with a Year Inside, Hour Outside effect. From their point of view, Voyager had been in their sky for centuries, and was a complete mystery to them.
It's All My Fault: Chakotay started blaming himself after he learned that his former lover Seska had betrayed the titular ship to an enemy species; she turned out to be a Cardassian spy dolled up to be a Bajoran to infiltrate the Maquis, and Chakotay felt responsible for not catching on to her as the leader of the cell she infiltrated, especially after he learned later that he had missed several other spies among his ranks (including science officer Tuvok). It was only when Tuvok admitted that Seska had deceived him while they were in the cell, as well, that Chakotay got over it.
Its Pronounced Tro Pay: A humorous example: Neelix searched through the replicator's database and tried to remake a type of chili, which resulted in a few crewmen getting indigestion, which Tom had to cure. Neelix comments that next time he'll cut back on the "Ja-lopenos."
An episode questioned the rights of the ship's holographic Doctor. His status was a background theme that ran throughout the series. This being Voyager, the writing was not particularly consistent: Sometimes the crew would treat the Doctor like a person, and sometimes he was just a device that could be shut off whenever it got too annoying. One glimpse of the future suggested holographic AIs would eventually get equal rights.
It's eventually revealed that all the other Mark I EMH's (except the Doctor) were removed because of their terrible bedside manner and repurposed into mining asteroids. See "What the Hell, Hero?" for more details.
Knight, Knave and Squire: This type of relationship is present between Janeway, Paris and Kim with Squire Kim as the wet-behind-the-ears Ensign Newbie, Knave Paris as the pragmatist who's trying to influence Kim and Knight Janeway as the moral beacon for Kim and the rest of the crew.
Laser-Guided Amnesia: "Unforgettable". The humanoid Ramura race give off a pheromone that has an odd effect on other beings. A few hours after the Ramura leaves their presence, the other being completely forgets ever having met them.
Last Minute Hookup: Seven and Chakotay. Regarded as a Crack Pairing by some fans as there had been no previous UST between the two (except in a holodeck fantasy); in fact the producers had even rejected the suggestion that this happen when Seven and Chakotay were stranded on a planet together only a couple of episodes before they hooked up in "Endgame".
Letting Her Hair Down: Janeway, Kes, and Seven do this a few times. With Janeway and Kes, it's usually in the form of costumed Holodeck programs.
Limited Advancement Opportunities: Perennial Ensign Harry Kim was a victim of this, even though Janeway did promote Tuvok from Lieutenant to Lieutenant-Commander in season four. This carried some implications of favoritism, as Tuvok was a long-time personal friend of Janeway's. He also had to deal with former Maquis members like B'Elanna Torres leapfrogging over him in rank.
Living Ship: Voyager has Neural Gel Packs, which were probably intended to act like organic brains or at least small computers. Supposedly they were cutting-edge tech, as Voyager was an advanced ship when it was completed.
Of course, they were used several times as a plot complication generator by having them "get an infection." Janeway eventually ordered Torres to replace them with conventional circuits, but the ship never seemed to be any less cutting-edge afterward.
Species 8472 were introduced in Voyager, and they had completely organic living ships. Not even the Borg could stand up against one of those babies.
The Doctor comments on this in the episode "Fury", mentioning that members of Ensign Wildman's husband's species have a gestation that is twice as long as that of a human.
And even more ironic, considering that Naomi had a 15 month gestation, then seemed to age 3-4 years between series 4 and 5.
When Naomi's born, The Doctor mentions that her teeth will begin appearing within a month. Given this relatively accelerated growth rate, it is not unreasonable to assume that she may age at a naturally slightly accelerated rate.
Averted in the episode "Drone", a 29th-century Borg drone goes from tissue sample to fetus to full-grown adult in a day.
Long Title: In-universe, Naomi's essay about "The weird planet where time moved very fast and so did the people who lived there". Seven helps her condense it.
Lost Technology: In both "Message In A Bottle" and "Hunters," Voyager comes across a vast abandoned network of ancient relay stations (each powered by its own black hole!), enabling them to make contact with Starfleet on the other side of the galaxy. One little mistake and the entire network shut down.
In "Bliss", a Negative Space Wedgie in the form of a gigantic psychic creature (referred to as a "telepathic pitcher plant")note Naomi Wildman names it such. A pitcher plant mimics insect pheromones to make other insects fly into its mouth. The local expert on it agrees its a fitting comparison. tricks the entire crew into believing that it is a wormhole that leads to Earth, that the Doctor and Seven of Nine (who are both immune) have to be deactivated, then making them pass out and experience a supremely pleasant false reality in order to feast on them. Double Subverted for the characters Seven of Nine and Naomi Wildman, who are able to resist its effects because they have no particular desire to go to Earth. When they tried to escape, the creature was able to then exploit that desire and make then think they succeeded when they were still inside its stomach.
In "Waking Moments", telepathic aliens who exist primarily in a dreaming state invade the crew's dreams, forcing them to all join into a single group dream that seems totally real in order to attack them. Only Chakotay, the Magical Native American, knows it is a dream at first, and uses his lucid dreaming / vision quest Applied Phlebotinum machine to control the dream world. Eventually, the whole crew learns this skill to turn the tables on their captors and exit the dream state.
In "The Thaw", several aliens in suspended animation wait out a planetary disaster using such a system. Unfortunately their combined anxieties created a Monster Clown character who was the personification of Fear, tormenting them for its amusement.
The Main Characters Do Everything: A Star Trek staple, really, but Voyager really takes it to the next level. Don't be surprised if Janeway decides to fly off the ship with her first officer on routine patrol duty, leaving the impulsive and unreliable Half-Klingon rebel in command.
Married In The Future: One episode had Kes witness a future where she and Tom Paris were married and had children following "The Year of Hell" but ultimately it didn't happen this way partly because Kes retained her knowledge of the future and was able to warn the crew. By the time the "Year of Hell" actually happened Kes had left the ship and Tom later ended up marring B'lanna who had been killed in the original timeline.
In a later episode, Tuvok also has to deal with his pon farr (it being almost seven years into the trip by this time) With a little help from the holodeck, courtesy of Tom Paris (who makes the case that technically if the hologram is of your wife, it's not cheating), he eventually manages to work through it. This is somewhat played for laughs, as the holodeck gets cut off right in the middle of the program the first time; in a later conversation after he gets the program back online for some uninterrupted quality time, he also complains that the simulated wife's ears were a bit longer than his actual wife's, to which Tom Paris responds with an appeal to artistic license.
Mauve Shirt: VOY attempted this in the early seasons, giving crewmen who were slated to be killed off a few episodes of screentime.
Ensign Samantha Wildman, Naomi's mother and a member of the science department.
Lieutenant Joseph Carey, the Number Two engineer to B'Elanna Torres, until he got killed off near the end of the series.
Lieutenant/Ensign Ayala, a background character who appeared in more episodes than many of the main cast. He was largely a background Easter Egg, and had by the middle of season 1 become an actual bridge officer, a status he retained through the end of the series. His name was rarely mentioned, and in a couple of cases, it was made deliberately unclear as to specifically who was being addressed. He did speak, albiet rarely, but in one case, this was over the comm, further obsuring his identity. We can surmise that this guy sure was the most important crew member who we never got to know.
Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: features prominently in a great many episodes, but especially in "Coda" in which Janeway has one of those near-death experiences known to some of us. Is Captain Janeway's experience really just another first contact with a strange alien species (which was detectable on a medical tricorder scan of her cortex), or (far from the first) contact with someone from the afterlife? The story reports, you decide.
Just to make things more interesting, one of those unstable time loops we've seen in other Star Trek series' episodes is also suggested early on, and if the "magic" explanation is true, "Admiral Janeway" would actually be a demon come to drag Captain Janeway to Hell. The flames seen coming from what he calls his matrix would certainly support this, and Janeway herself tells him "Go back to Hell, coward!"
Janeway is revealed to have done this to the Doctor in "Latent Image" after he suffered a breakdown. Janeway even justifies her actions because technically the Doctor isn't human, so she was just fixing him. It takes What the Hell, Hero? speeches before she sees why the Doctor is so horrified by her actions.
"Memorial" where an alien device Mind Rapes crew members into experiencing a massacre (in actual fact, a more effective war memorial). At the end of the episode Janeway orders the device refuelled so it can go on to Mind Rape many more people for at least 300 years. She does however also leave a beacon some distance away to warn people about what is about to happen to them.
The episode "Remember" also did this. While transporting a group of friendly telepaths, Torres begins experiencing vivid dreams about them. Eventually, she realizes they are actually memories from one of the visiting aliens, memories of a Holocaust against a group which rejected technology.
Misapplied Phlebotinum: The Vidiians, whose incredible medical technology (complete with transporter-based cloning in the Tom Riker model) is mainly used to murder people and steal their organs. Taking organs from nonsapient animals? Nonsense! Organ-harvest cloning? The stuff of dreams! No, murdering people and stealing their organs is the way of the future! There's also one society that uses brain-straining long-distance transporter technology to take romantic walks on planets thousands of light years away (though that may only fall under Mundane Utility).
Mistaken for Racist: The crew is stranded on a primitive planet without their technology, and Tuvok, the Vulcan tactical officer, fashions several crude weapons including a bow and arrow (which is obviously a stereotype of Native Americans). First Officer Chakotay, who is of indigenous South American or Meso-American descent, politely thanks Tuvok but says "This is thoughtful of you Tuvok, but my tribe never used bows and arrows, and I've never even shot one," figuring Tuvok had maybe watched one too many westerns and had the wrong idea about Native Americans. Tuvok gives Chakotay a different weapon and says, "This is mine. I taught archery science for several years at the Vulcan Institute of Defensive Arts. "
Invoked in "Timeless" — Harry Kim tries to make sense of how the future version of himself could have sent the present-day Seven of Nine instructions on how to save the ship, since the future Harry's timeline was erased and he will not exist to send the instructions, resulting in an apparent Grandfather Paradox. Janeway just tells him not to bother trying to work it out, since he'll likely only succeed in giving himself a headache.
Also used in "Deadlock", where Voyager gets split into two different versions, and the "original" version of Harry Kim is killed by a hull breach early in the story. At the story's climax the other Voyager is destroyed, but that ship's version of Harry (and Naomi Wildman, who ended up being stillborn on the other copy due to the accident happening during her birth) is sent over just before its destruction. This leads Harry to suffer an existential crisis about whether he's really Harry Kim or just a copy of him, leading Janeway to tell him that he's real enough, and add the following zinger:
In "Author, Author", the EMH makes a holonovel about a fictional ship stranded in the Delta Quadrant. It is best described as extreme Muse Abuse of Voyager's crew, so much so that the EMH has to rework the novel. The episode's main conflict is that the publisher won't allow the EMH to revise it, because holograms don't have rights. (The Federation decides that while he can't be classified as a person, he can be classified as an artist.)
Notably averted in an earlier episode. While searching through the holodeck's database, Paris finds what appears to be a holonovel casting the Maquis members of the crew as mutineers. Despite this portrayal, even the "villains" happily play along. Ultimately, it's revealed it wasn't even meant to be art, but a training simulation for security members when mutiny was considered a real danger. Then it turns out that one of their old enemies had rigged it to turn into a Death Trap for whoever used it.
In the opening of "Year of Hell Part 1", the Doctor is moved to a speech that delivers one of these from out of nowhere.
"Who would have thought this group of voyagers could actually become a family: Starfleet, Maquis, Klingon, Tallaxian, Hologram, Borg, even Mr. Paris."note Being a dishonorably discharged convict at the beginning of the series, it's true that Tom Paris technically isn't with Starfleet...but that's sure not what the Doctor's delivery is implying.
In another early episode, the Doctor was discussing with Kes his problems: he was built as an emergency software for special cases and now has to be available 24 hours a day, everyone treats him as he did not even exist, nobody tells him what's going on, nobody remembers to shut hm when leaving, he has nobody to assist him... Kes pointed that Paris was assigned to be his nurse. "Like I said, nobody to assist me".
In "Living Witness", the Doctor wakes up in the future to find that the historians of that era have painted a rather unflattering picture of their ancestors' run-in with the Voyager crew, and depicted them all like evil, violent lunatics. When he protests this, he follows it up by singling out Paris as not having been that different in real life from the way he's portrayed in the recreation (which is more cocky than evil).
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: One of their worst offenses (if not the first) was inadvertently destroying the relay station that put them back in communication with the Alpha Quadrant while trying to fight off some Hirogen. The relay network spanned over the great majority of the Delta and Beta Quadrants, and had been fully operational for over 100,000 years, and they knocked out the whole network. Fortunately, they found others that didn't get destroyed as they continued their journey.
Nicknaming the Enemy: One of the primary themes in the episode "Nemesis". Chakotay crash lands on an alien planet and finds himself among a group of desperate people fighting a jungle guerilla war against an inhuman, genocidal adversary they refer to as "beasts", but primarily "the nemesis". Chakotay is so distraught at the extent of the enemy's evil that he joins the cause. It turns out that they brainwashed Chakotay, and their nicknaming was just one of the many ways they used to dehumanize their enemy, who are actually a well-meaning people who helped rescue Chakotay from his captors. However, they refer to the jungle warriors as their "nemesis" as well, suggesting they also villify their enemy.
No Endor Holocaust: In "Faces" the Vidiians splitd B'Elanna into two halves, one fully human and one fully Klingon. Vidiians suspected, and with good reason, that Klingons (pure Klingons, that is) may be able to resist the Phage that ravages them. And in fact, she does. Both B'Elannas and the others are rescued, the Klingon one killed in the process, and the doctor took DNA from her body to restore B'Elanna to her usual self. But if you stop to think it for a moment... from the Viidian perspective, it was a Hope Spot for their race, their chance to survive, and they lost it. But the Klingon is dead, the doctor has used the DNA to fix B'Elanna, what about giving the dead body back to the Vidiians, so that they could also study its DNA and get their cure? That would even give them a much needed ally.
No, Mister Bond, I Expect You To Dine: Annorax invites Chakotay and Paris over to his ship for a meal. He waits until they're eating to reveal that the food was collected from civilizations wiped from history by Annorax's weapon.
"Mister Paris, you're devouring the last remnants of the Alseran Empire." (Paris glances at his fork, loses appetite)
Not Rare Over There: Early in the series, they're in an area of space where water is the go-to commodity. Our heroes can make all they want (within reason) and find themselves a common target because of it.
Which is somewhat confusing for several reasons. First and foremost being is that water is absurdly easy to make, and the base elements are extremely common- hydrogen (the most abundant of all elements) and oxygen, which can easily be found on many of the M-Class planets that the series frequents. Second, water is also extremely common. Although this is somewhat justified in that the Kazon are such failures that even the Borg don't want to assimilate them.
Not So Different: After meeting Doc Zimmerman, Troi says she can see where the Doctor got his ego from.
Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Reginald Barclay on Earth found a way to establish regular contact with Voyager in the final seasons, thus allowing the ship to have tactical and emotional support from home that was not possible before.
Novelization: The first and last episodes of the series, and a handful of key storylines in-between, were adapted.
Odd Friendship: Seven and Naomi...Seven and the Doctor...Seven and anyone...
Subverted with Neelix and Tuvok. Neelix tries so, so, so hard to be "Mr. Vulcan's" friend, but Tuvok's response is barely concealed contempt and sarcasm. And honestly, this is Neelix we're talking about here, can you blame him?
When Tuvok is afraid he's lost his self-control after mind-melding with a Serial Killer, and is testing his restraint in the holodeck, guess which crewmember he simulates on the grounds that he's most likely to push him to breaking point! To make matters worse, he did not have to program the holographic version of Neelix to be any different than normal. Although, in fairness Neelix, more so than any of the human crew, seems obsessed with getting an emotional response out of Tuvok and simply cannot accept his Vulcan emotional suppression. Thus Tuvok naturally sees him as the biggest regular strain on his temper.
In "Muse", a playwright on a pre-industrial world discovers B'Elanna Torres in her crashed shuttle and starts writing a play based on her logs. His muse is not amused by the blatant Shipping he writes into the crew relationships.
This was the general concensus about the Doctor's attempt at writing a holonovel with thinly-veiled expies of the crew as characters.
Ominous Message from the Future: In the episode "Future's End", Captain Braxton of the time ship Aeon comes back from the 29th century with information that the entire solar system has been destroyed in a cataclysmic explosion and that Voyager was somehow involved. Now he's here to destroy them before that can happen. They manage to fight him off and both ships get stuck in the late 20th century. Braxton, who arrived 30 years earlier and has been living as a homeless bum all that time, continues to try warn people of the coming disaster, but due to his position in society, and the fact that he's talking about something that won't happen for centuries, people dismiss him as just another crazy bum.
Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Former Borg drones may become this due to knowledge retained from their time in the Collective, although canon is sometimes inconsistent on the matter. Seven and Icheb are both examples of this trope being played straight, as they either already know or quickly learn virtually any scientific skill required by the plot.
Omniglot: "Hopes and Fears" introduces Voyager to Arturis, an alien whose species is capable of mastering any language (written, spoken, and computational) after only hearing or seeing a couple words.
A race of aliens found in the Void learns how to communicate using a series of tones generated via PAD Ds that are provided by the Doctor.
One Steve Limit: Averted by the actors. Three of the six male regulars are named Robert, though each fortunately has a different nickname to mitigate confusion: Robert Beltran is "Robert", Robert Picardo is "Bob", and Robert Duncan McNeill is "Robbie".
Only Sane Man: Often this is either Tom Paris, or the Doctor. Arguably Chakotay as well, with his being the constant voice of reason.
In the latter's case, when as the Emergency Command Hologram in the episode "Workforce", the Doctor's first response to being told that Voyager will be boarded and forcibly seized, is to immediatelyopen fire and cripple the enemy ship. In comparison, Janeway and Chakotay usually only return fire when the shields are down to 24% and several consoles have exploded.
The Doctor's reaction in "Time and Again" when he realises no-one informed him that Voyager was now carrying two alien passengers, Neelix and Kes. Oh and 80 Maquis now serve as part of the new crew. And he can't contact Captain Janeway because she's down on the planet below. Oh... and she is currently missing.
Doctor: It seems I've found myself on the voyage of the damned.
Organ Theft: Neelix has his lungs stolen via teleporters, forcing the Doctor to create temporary Hard Light substitutes. The Vidiians actively engaged in this as it was the only way for them to survive the Phage that afflicted their entire race... That is until a Think Tank later gave them a permanent cure for the right price.
Orwellian Editor: Janeway in "Latent Image" repeatedly attempts to delete the Doctor's memories and even ordered all evidence of Ensign Jetal to be erased from existence.
SF Debris: Whenever we get two Janeways in the same room, they will always argue with one another.
Out-Gambitted: Kashyk in "Counterpoint". He thinks he's tricked Janeway into revealing the refugees she was hiding, but she sent them somewhere else.
Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: Often averted with Chakotay's Native American spirituality and some explorations of other odd species' religions. The episode "False Profits" parodied this trope to Hell and back, however, with a Bronze Age civilization venerating two Ferengi refugees as their sages (sort of ersatz deities) because their crash-landing's appearance was a lot like something prophesied in one of their sacred poems. All efforts to remove the Ferengi failed until the Voyager's crew realized the same poem ended with the appearance of certain easily-arranged celestial signs and the ascension of the sages back into the heavens, all of which could be arranged using some futuristic flares and transporter technology. Since technically this means every one of the prophecies came true, there was arguably nothing to outgrow about these people's "silly superstitions" at all!
To add to the humor, this also parodied Burn the Witch! as the joyous townspeople, spurred by the mention of their sages being taken up on "wings of flame" in the prophecy, enthusiastically rush to honor their sages by bundling them all together with some firewood and lighting the fire. Since they're beamed out before they can be burned, they truly do ascend into the heavens.
It's implied that while many do still believe in mythology, it may not be the truth, as seen in the episode 'Mortal Coil' where Neelix dies (he gets better) and is upset he didn't experience an afterlife.
Played straight in "Blink of an Eye" where Voyager is trapped in orbit over a planet where time moves rapidly, becoming worshiped as a deity by the inhabitants called "the Groundshaker" after their attempt to leave causes violent earthquakes. As we see time on the planet progress, the people invent telescopes and come to dub Voyager as "The Skyship", which by the time they've entered the Space Age, is no longer believed to be the home of their Gods, but merely an advanced spacecraft that houses alien beings.
Overranked Soldier: Inverted. Ensign Harry Kim should've gotten an automatic promotion to Lieutenant Junior Grade at the eighteen month mark at the latest.
Little Naomi Wildman's father is 70,000 light years away when she is born, so several of the male crewmembers try to fill a paternal role in her life, usually her godfather Neelix.
You could also argue that Captain Janeway serves as a positive parent to young Kes, rehumaned Seven of Nine, B'Elanna Torres (whose father abandoned her), Tom Paris (ditto, just not physically), and Harry Kim (made even more pronounced in "Endgame").
Lampshaded in "Barge of the Dead" (where B'Elanna's mother appears in a vision wearing a Starfleet captain's uniform) and "Dark Frontier" where Janeway 'tucks Seven into bed' (plugs her into her Borg alcove) after she wins the custody battle rescues Seven from the Borg Queen.
She wasn't terrible either. Their interaction was as much about Seven's continued Character Development as the kids', if not more.
Passed Over Promotion: Harry Kim remains an ensign all seven seasons in spite of being a diligent talented officer who matures considerably. The Maquis members of the bridge crew (and ex-con Tom Paris) do get field commissions, most notable being B'Elanna who is made a Lieutenant Junior-Grade and Chakotay, who is made Commander as Janeway's Number One. Tuvok also receives a field promotion from Lieutenant to Lieutenant-Commander in season four.
It probably doesn't help that the Eugenics Wars were supposedly occurring at the same time the series aired in real life.
Official Trek lore states that the Eugenics Wars occurred between 1993 and 1996. It is also known that while a good portion of North America was involved and affected (specifically, the eastern coasts,) "Future's End" served to establish that Los Angeles and the west coast in general was still one such area where life continued on as normal. This is a bit of a Hand Wave though, as the west coast is still a part of the same country as the east coast. Plus, a great deal of the west coast's economy is based on trade with Asia, which was being ravaged by war at the time.
Plot Armor: Standard issue for the main characters, per usual on Trek, but VOY often takes it to absurd levels. Several times, characters are shot point-blank center-of-mass (which has been established to be fatal, even on the stun setting), and yet they're fine. In "Year of Hell," Tuvok is only a few feet away from an exploding torpedo, and while he's permanently injured, his infirmity is blindness.
SF Debris: Imagine if the torpedo had actually collided with him! It just might have killed him!
Precrime Arrest: The episode "Relativity", where the 29th century timeship Relativity is attempting to stop a time-paradox sabotage attempt on the 24th century spaceship Voyager. After the culprit responsible for the mess is found, two earlier versions of the culprit are arrested. The Captain assures Captain Janeway that the three would be "integrated" into one person before his trial.
Premature Eulogy: One glaring example is in the episode Coda where Janeway receives four whole minutes of this while floating between life and death, watching it play out. It's to be expected in a show where people die and come back to life every week.
Pretty in Mink: In the bar in the episode "The Killing Game", some of the ladies are wearing fur wraps.
Promotion Not Punishment: Admiral Kathryn Janeway violates nearly 154 rules by traveling back in time and swindling the Klingons. The fact that her actions get Voyager home nearly 15 years early and with added technology as a bonus results in her past self getting a promotion... to Admiral.
The same is implied to happen with Barclay in Pathfinder
Prophetic Name: The Intrepid-class USS Voyager herself. Because the Cowardly-class USS Stayathome just wouldn't have had the same ring to it.
In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the Voyager sets were reused in the episode "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges" when Bashir is taken to Romulus on an Intrepid-class ship, the same class of ship as USS Voyager.
Most of the VOY sets are actually converted TNG sets that survived the filming of Star Trek: Generations (ex. the corridors, Main Engineering, Sickbay, etc.). This was done a cost-saving measure.
Similarly, Voyager sets would later be used in Star Trek: First Contact for the Enterprise-E's hallways. The bridge of the Equinox was also used a few times in different settings, including the bridge of the Prometheus.
Redemption Equals Death: Ensign Lon Suder (Brad Dourif) murders a coworker, and is locked in his quarters ("Meld"). Thanks to Tuvok's guidance, he had calmed himself considerably. During a siege of the ship ("Basics, Part 1 and 2"), he deeply regretted that he would have to use his murder skills again to fight off the invaders, before finishing with a Heroic Sacrifice.
Red Shirt: Averted in the early seasons by giving some screen time to crewmembers who were slated for death in later episodes (i.e. Hogan, Jonas, Carey). But eventually they reverted to bumping off anonymous ensigns by the shuttleload. A notable subversion however occurs in "Latent Image" where the Doctor is guilt-ridden over his choice to save Harry Kim as opposed to the expendable crewmember.
Joe Carey might be considered a subversion as well. Despite disappearing for years at a time except for flashbacks, the character makes it all the way to the final season before he's killed on an away mission. He is in fact the last casualty before Voyager makes it back home. Most redshirts don't last for the entirety of a series run.
This forum post has two people go to the trouble of listing all the crew that are seen, have died, or are even mentioned by name. Sure, Voyager may have lost over a dozen shuttlecraft, but as far as people go, it was pretty damned consistent.
"Basics" has a classic redshirt incident: Neelix and Ensign Hogan discover a pile of humanoid bones in front of a dark cave mouth. Neelix, who notes they're like a Keep Out sign, orders Hogan to gather them all up, then gets called away by someone else. Genre Savvy Hogan gets an Oh, Crap look, and sure enough is killed seconds later by a giant lizard charging out of the cave.
Religious Robot: "Flesh and Blood" is about sentient holograms (also known as photonic lifeforms) rising up against their creators. Their leader believes in the Bajoran faith and spends his free time praying to the prophets.
Remember the New Guy: The show had an episode where Ahni Jetal, a crewmen who had been lost to the Hirogen some seasons ago, appears in flashbacks. Said episode was actually her first appearance. Later, Lyndsay Ballard, a crew member who had died and been resurrected by aliens, returns but no longer fits in; she, too, had never been seen or mentioned before. This despite it being a Star Trek series, the Trope Namer and Trope Maker of the disposable one-shot crew member phenomenon. It's not like there's any lack of established dead or missing crew members to bring back. (In fact, Jetal bears enough similarity to Ballard that it's likely that they couldn't get Jetal's actress back or something. Shoulda made 'em the same character anyway; if there can be threeTora Ziyals and nobody cares...).
Averted with Seska, who was written into earlier episodes so the one featuring her would have more impact.
Reset Button: Many, many times. In fact, in some circles, the ship and show were known as "USS Reset Button."
The reset featured in "Year of Hell" is one of the few fans of the show won't groan at, simply because it was too damn awesome.
Ret Gone: In the two-parter "Year of Hell", the episode's villain, Annorax, has a weapon ship that can erase entire civilizations from history. When he originally fired the weapon at his people's greatest enemy, it restored the Krenim Empire, only to collapse due to an unforeseen plague (which also killed his wife) that only occurred because the enemy race had never introduced a vital immunity genome to the Krenim. In desperation, he fired it again to try and fix his mistake, managing to restore everyone, except for the colony in which his wife lived! This has lead to his 200-year-long crusade to resurrect her that has failed every single time, causing him to become obsessed to the point where he's conducting a one man war against time itself! The plot is resolved when Janeway's kamikaze attack on the weapon ship, causes the weapon ship itself to be erased from history, resetting time and reuniting Annorax with his wife.
Retro Upgrade: The ship's engine and hull get improved using technology based on a carburetor and the hull of the Titanic, respectively.
Ripple Effect Indicator: Annorax's battle cruiser in "Year of Hell." It grows more menacing with changes to the timeline; the weasley subcommander who cringed in the presence of VOY becomes very smug indeed when his guns outmatch theirs.
Seen It All: By the third season, the appearance of being caught in a temporal loop just prompts Janeway to scan for the appropriate particles. In TNG, figuring out there even is a loop is a significant part of the episode.note Presumably, Picard's report on the incident prompted such procedures. Summed up when she says in one episode "We're Starfleet officers. Weird is part of the job."
Serkis Folk: Species 8472, and the aliens in "Equinox".
Sealed Evil in a Can: This was supposedly the plot behind the episode "Dragon's Teeth", when Seven of Nine releases an alien race from a 900-year stasis... only for them to turn out to be your bog-standard Villains of the Week piloting obsolete spaceships. Disappointing.
Sexy Discretion Shot: An episode involving one of the Doctor's romances had one that was so discreet that even Robert Picardo didn't know about it until a much later episode referenced his having had sex and he asked the writers about it.
Shout-Out: The opening to the pilot "Caretaker" bears more than a passing resemblance to the opening of A New Hope: an Opening Scroll giving a bit of backstory, followed by a pan to a running lightfight between a small rebel ship (Chakotay's Val Jean) and a large enemy ship (a Cardassian Galor-class destroyer). Only difference is, the rebel ship escapes, by pulling a Try And Follow into the Badlands' plasma storms.
The end of "Deadlock" has a subtle one to Star Trek III: The Search for Spock: a Vidiian boarding party reaches the duplicate Voyager's bridge only to be greeted by the last seconds of a self-destruct countdown.
Shown Their Work: In "Meld," the death of Ensign Darwin is proven as a murder using real forensic science rather than made-up technobabble, which is frankly a rarity on the later Star Trek shows. Granted, saying "the DNA doesn't lie" doesn't stop defense attorneys in our time, but their forensics technology is much better than what's available in Real Life.
Show Within a Show: In several episodes Janeway enters a holodeck program that was apparently going to turn out to be a ghost story, but this got dropped (it didn't help that it was being told slowly over the teasers for several episodes, and had nothing to do with the episode itself). A more successful example was The Adventures of Captain Proton!, a homage to 1930s sci-fi adventures like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers.
An alien version of this occurs, showing an evil version of the Voyager crew as propaganda between two races of aliens, until a copy of The Doctor sets the record straight... and then the entire show-within-a-show is shown to, itself be a show within a show within a show.
Silver Fox: Discussed in the episode "Shattered" by the recurring villain Seska, who has a Villainous Crush on Commander Chakotay.
Seska: Men just get more distinguished as they get older. A few lines here, a little grey there, it adds character. Too bad their minds start to go.
The Smurfette Principle: Further improved in comparison to previousseries, with Captain Janeway (who later became admiral), Main Engineer Twofer Token Minority Torres (who was Klingon, female and half Hispanic), and little girl-who-evolves-into-god Kes, who was later replaced by science "Überbabe" Seven of Nine. The main villain for the first two series turned out to be Seska, a manipulative Cardassian spy, and the surprisingly non-annoying child character was Naomi (her mom, originally a Recurring Character before falling Out of Focus despite her daughter remaining prominent, was a scientist).
Space Clouds: In "Year of Hell", a crippled Voyager hides inside a nebula so dense that it produces a visible fog inside the ship's corridors. Captain Janeway even orders the hull breaches sealed to avoid having an "indoor nebula."
Space Is an Ocean: In the episode "Day of Honor," Paris and Torres put on spacesuits and abandon their doomed shuttlecraft. As they drift in space awaiting rescue, they bob up and down as if floating in an ocean.
Space Is Noisy: As usual with Trek, phasers, warp, and other disturbances in space are clearly heard.
Spinoff Sendoff: The pilot, "Caretaker", starts with Voyager docked at Deep Space Nine, with Quark trying to con Harry Kim.
Status Quo Is God: Happened on occasion, though nowhere near as often as is sometimes believed. It didn't help that such continuity was often covered with throughaway lines or minor plot elements (some of which occured in the later seasons). There were also several instances where it tried to break out and it had an overarching plot (the journey home), but UPN execs wanted the show to emulate the format of Star Trek: The Next Generation, which itself didn't have many story archs.
This is especially evident in the episode numbering scheme- originally, the show didn't start at 101, as a show should normally start at, but at 801... as in "We're trying to be the eighth season of TNG."
Sugar Bowl: The Doctor's "family" in "Real Life" is so sweet and perfect that B'Elanna can't get through dinner without freezing the program and snapping "I'm stopping this before my blood-sugar levels overload."
Surprise Party: One of these is held for Kes's second birthday in the opening of "Twisted," though she's mostly just confused by it at first because the surprise party isn't a tradition in her culture.
Sadly for Harry Kim, he shares Geordi's poor luck with women in addition to his personality. Tom is an attempted "back to basics" throwback to the He-Man heroes of previous outings, i.e. Kirk/Riker (though McNeil is a down-to-earth family man in real life, and his character gradually changed to reflect that). Chakotay kind of resembles Troi if you squint (with a seat adjacent to the Captain and a propensity to embark on Vision Quests).
This is surely what everybody thought at the beginning of "Death Wish", when the unknown Gerrit Graham said "Hello. My name is Q". John de Lancie, "the" Q, the one that has been annoying Jean Luc Picard, appeared later. As for the name, it seems that all Qs are simply named "Q", but this was established back in the TNG episode "Deja Q".
Swiss Cheese Security: Voyager seemed to have been assigned the worst security detail in the history of Starfleet. Enemies were able to, on a fairly regular basis, steal one of their shuttles or hack into their computer using codes which the crew knew would be compromised. The episode "False Profits" ended with two unarmed Ferengi overpowering their guards, getting to the shuttlebay, taking back their ship, and escaping through a wormhole.
Taking the Bullet: (or the phaser shot, or similar attack; there are almost no guns in Voyager.)
Freya, a holodeck character of Beowulf, took one (or more exactly, a knife attack) to save the Doctor. She died with the name "Schweitzer" on her lips. The doctor, who had chosen that name, declined to use it afterwards, to avoid being reminded of Freya's fate.
Split in two halves, Klingon B'Elanna took the shot directed to the human B'Elanna. She died in the hands of her human self, telling that her human courage made her own death an honourable one.
Techno Babble: Probably the worst offender of all Star Trek series. There's a scene where the Universal Translator is having difficulty with an alien language, so Janeway tells Harry to 'remodulate the translator'. As SF Debris points out, this means about the same thing as hitting it. He also noted (in his review of the infamously bad episode "Threshold") that one device they claim to use is "Multi-spectral warp field generator," which he says is basically a ship powered by rainbows. He also wondered if Technobabble was the result of Starfleet having aphasia.
Temporarily A Villain: The EMH was reprogrammed to perform unethical-at-best medicine by the Equinox crew.
Terminally Dependent Society: The Ocampan dependence on the Caretaker array. How dependent? We later learn that an Ocampan can only ever have a single child. Assuming that this is one child per Ocampa, male or female, every early death or miscarriage permanently reduces the Ocampan population.
The Caretaker gave them 5 years worth of power for the city before his death. Given how dependent on him the Ocampans were, it's doubtful they could figure out for themselves a different power-source. The forcefield protecting them from outsiders will most likely fail as the power dwindles and they'll eventually have to leave for the surface... where the Kazon are. This is probably why Kes is so pissed off in "Fury".
Or it's possibly even worse. We know that the Borg have knowledge of the Kazon, but found them so pathetic that they didn't want to assimilate them. Now, the Ocampa on the other hand have the potential to become incredibly powerful and the Borg likely became aware of them during the alliance with Voyager against Species 8472. Connect the dots.
That Reminds Me of a Song: Every attempt possible was made to give Jeri Ryan a chance to sing in various episodes. Even going so far as to give her the personality of a caberet singer in World War II during a battle with aliens on the holodeck, just so she could impress Alien Nazis.
Thoughtcrime: There was an episode where they came across a people who were extremely telepathic, so sensitive that any extreme emotions would incite them to act out on those feelings; having violent thoughts was a crime in and of itself. Torres was put under trial for having a brief violent thought when someone bumped into her, and Tuvok's investigation into the planet's culture found a sort of "violent thoughts" Black Market. Of course it examined the nature that when something was so taboo it meant their own people were unable to handle it when confronted with the situation.
Seven of Nine's parents. A pair of scientists who plan to study the Borg by sneaking onto Borg Cubes. This could be considered TDTL all on its own, but they also bring their young daughter along with them on their expedition. The Doctor actually gives this a Lampshade Hanging by expressing his disgust over their blatant disregard for their daughter's well being by bringing her along on such a dangerously idiotic quest.
Also, the Borg themselves could arguably be considered Too Dumb to Live. Namely because of their tendency to ignore intruders on their star ships until the intruders go out of their way to present an obvious threat (such as by shooting a drone). Of course, this makes it absurdly easy for Star Fleet officers to do stuff like wander right into the very heart of Borg ships, plant a bunch of high explosives, steal valuable Borg technology, and beam safely out.
The Kazon were so rock-stupid the Borg refused to assimilate them. Given that they once managed to take heavy casualties installing a single Federation replicator, it's hard to see this as unjustified.
The Srivani. They want to see what happens when they alter a human's brain chemistry to make them totally irrational. Which human do they pick? Captain Janeway. When the head Srivani tries to talk her out of personally piloting the ship between two pulsars—with 1:20 odds of success—Janeway rightly points out that the Srivani are directly responsible for her present insanity. Voyager survives, but one of the Srivani ships is destroyed before it can get away.
Touché: In "Counterpoint", Kashyk admits this when he sees he's been tricked.
Toxic Phlebotinum: In "Course: Oblivion", warp drive radiation itself is dangerous to living beings and substances made of "silver blood", causing them to demolecularize.
Transformation Sequence: Overlaps with Mundane Made Awesome in "Tinker, Tailor, Doctor, Spy". The Doctor's transformation into the ECH is accompanied by a dramatic zoom on the Doctor's lapel as the pips appear one by one.
In "Critical Care," the holographic Doctor gets stolen and sold to an alien hospital, where patients are assessed not according to urgency, but according to how "valuable" their skills are to society. As a result, the working classes suffer in crowded, undersupplied halls while the rich recover in luxury. In the Doctor's efforts to help, both the Prime Directive and the Hippocratic Oath get severely bent.
In "Latent Image," The Doctor is faced with two patients (Harry Kim and a Red Shirt) who have an exactly equal chance of survival. He can only treat one of them in time, and the other will die. Because his program cannot find a logical way to decide, he chooses to save Harry because he's a friend. This causes a severe malfunction in his program that forces the crew to erase his memory of the event or risk losing their only medical officer.
In the two-part episode "The Killing Game," the ship is taken over by Hirogen who place the crew into brutal holographic simulations and force the doctor to treat them. When a crewmember with life-threatening injuries and a Hirogen with minor burns are both brought in, the Hirogen medical officer orders the doctor to treat the Hirogen patient first. He protests that this goes against the rules of triage is that critical injuries take priority. The Hirogen replies "your rules, not mine" and deactivates him when he refuses to comply.
A Variation occurs in "Author, Author"—The Doctor has written a holo-novel in which the user plays the part of an EMH in a triage situation. A bridge officer is brought in with a minor concussion, but there is already a patient dying from a ruptured aorta. Captain Jenkins (Captain Janeway's Evil Counterpart) ends the debate by shooting the poor Red Shirt.
2-D Space: Like all Star Trek, though the large holographic Astrometrics display did avert this somewhat, showing that the route that would be best to take involves movement not only left and right, but up and down in three dimensional space. Mostly averted when multiple ships are on the same screen.
Two Roads Before You: In several episodes, Janeway is presented with the choice to do something unethical and get the crew home immediately, or take the righteous path and continue looking for other ways to shorten the journey. She invariably chooses the latter. In the end, her future self decides that seven years would have been the best cutoff point and changes the timeline to do that instead.
Understatement: Played with In "Scientific Method," Janeway decides to fly Voyager between two stars, hoping to destroy the ships of some aliens who have been experimenting on the crew in the process. On the one hand, they had low odds of survival, and Tuvok even tells her that it's a far more reckless course of action than he's come to expect from her, and later calls it an understatement. On the other, not only were said aliens effecting her judgement by messing around with her brain chemicals, but they had just executed a crew member for her attempts to break everyone free from their experiments, and they had previously made clear they would kill the entire crew if they kept it up. So the "1 in 20, at best" odds of survival may not have looked so bad, especially in light of the opportunity to at least take the aliens with them.
Uneven Hybrid: Tom and B'Elanna's 1/4 Klingon daughter Miral, born in the series finale.
Unit Confusion: Isotons. Iso-anything, actually. The prefix "iso" means equal or homogenous and has nothing to do with numerical units.
Universal Universe Time: Every species in the Delta Quadrant knows the exact specifications of the Earth minute, hour, day, week, month, and year. Nobody seems to have their own local measurement standards of time.
Though this could be the universal translator compensating for the audience's convenience.
Un Paused: The Doctor, when Seven switches him off in the middle of a sentence. Tuvok does this to a holographic Da Vinci in "Concerning Flight" too.
Unrealistic Black Hole: Justified (intentionally or otherwise) in "Parallax", where they encounter a "Quantum Singularity". As this would obviously be a black hole that functions differently from conventional ones, it makes sense that it does not behave like a normal black hole.
UST: Plenty of this between Janeway and Chakotay, but more so in early seasons.
Mostly due to the influence of Jeri Taylor, who wrote the majority of the episodes where this is prevalent. After she took a backseat as a writer, this promptly vanished.
Vengeful Vending Machine: There's an episode where Janeway orders coffee from the replicator, only it only replicates the cup after replicating the coffee.
And then there's the time Q's kid gets his hands on the replicator.
Janeway: Coffee. Black. Computer: Make it yourself!
The Borg once destroyed a fleet of thirty-nine ships, but in this series, one lone starship kept escaping their grasp. Obviously, if the Collective assimilated Voyager, there wouldn't be a series. They had to keep losing, but they were also serious ratings grabbers following the strong box-office of Star Trek: First Contact. So they showed up a lot... and promptly lost a lot. This is Hand Waved in that Voyager is stated to be too insignificant for the Borg to assimilate or go after in full force.
Species 8472. Introduced in "Scorpion," they were Scary Dogmatic Aliens from another galaxy with the technology to take on the Borg Collective and win. Turns out the Borg picked that fight, but there was serious concern that Species 8472 would take the fight to the rest of the galaxy after finishing them off. Decay came in their final appearance: "In the Flesh," where they were more humanized and appeared to make peace with humanity.
Q turned from a frivolous yet dangerous omniscient being who nevertheless delivered some important lessons to Captain Picard, to a lovesick puppy who goes to Captain Janeway for advice on parental relationships and conflict resolution in the Q Continuum. Zigzagged, since Q's portrayal was almost always Depending on the Writer - varying from villain to jokester and anything in-between.
Visionary Villain: Karr, the Alpha Hirogen who takes control of Voyager in "The Killing Game Parts 1 & 2," realizes that his species' obsession with the hunt has caused their civilization and culture to stagnate. He hopes that holodeck technology will allow the Hirogen to rebuild their society while continuing the hunt. This... sorta works, until they decide to turn it up to "Hard" mode and turn off the safeties, because "It wasn't real enough." This lead to the entire thing turning into a slaughter.
Voodoo Shark: In "Parallax" and "The Cloud," it is revealed that Voyager cannot use the holographic generators because "they are incompatible with the rest of the ship." Voyager is able to, later on, install technology from the Borg, Hirogen, and dozens of other species, but who designs a ship that has one part which is completely incompatible with the rest of the ship?
War Memorial: The aptly titled episode "Memorial" shows an interesting twist. The memorial is programmed to Mind Rape anyone who passed within a certain distance of the planet that it was located on. Passersby would relive the events of the war. Once the crew figured out what was going on, Janeway set up beacons in the surrounding area to alert others to stay away, lest they succumb to the same torment they and many others before them went through.
Watch the Paint Job: In the first half of the "Future's End" two-parter, Tom and Tuvok need some transportation and so take a truck out on a test-drive, leading to Tuvok arguing about the ethics of hanging onto the truck for longer than they told the dealer they would. The discussion ends up being rendered somewhat irrelevant when one of the bad guy's mooks shows up and vaporizes the truck with a 29th century disruptor.
We Are as Mayflies: Kes and the other Ocampa have an average lifespan of less than a decade in length.
We Have Reserves: In "Unimatrix Zero," the Borg Queen takes this to comical levels. Her solution to dealing with two or three freed drones on cubes with tens of thousands of drones still linked to the hive mind? Blow up the entire ship. This was also the case in "Collective". When nearly all the drones on an entire cube succumb to an unknown pathogen, the Collective simply severs its connection and does not even bother to dispatch a vessel to investigate (as Starfleet invariably would).
"Well Done, Son" Guy: Tom Paris' father Owen Paris was a Starfleet admiral and Tom never felt that he could live up to his reputation. Things were strained between them and only became worse once Tom had joined the Maquis and then ended up in a Federation penal colony. It was only after the Voyager got lost in the Delta Quadrant and later established communications to Earth that the two re-connected, especially once Tom and B'Elanna became a couple and had a child. In the novels, things became strained between them again due to circumstances in part beyond Tom's control and Owen died in a Borg attack.
Wham Shot: In the "Unimatrix Zero One" two-part episode, several Borg Drones have created a mental world where they can live as individuals free from the Collective's control. At one point one of the children is playing in the woods with his friend, and he crawls through some bushes... until he looks up and sees the Borg Queen standing in front of him.
A Borg baby is brought on board along with several Borg children. Icheb stays while the other children are returned to their parents in a later episode, but there's never any mention of what happened to the baby.
Whatever happened to Suspiria, the Female Caretaker? She never reappeared in the series following her second season episode, but the Star Trek: String Theory novel trilogy provides (non-canon) answers.
What Measure Is A Nonhuman: With a holographic Doctor, they question of whether a projection of Hard Light and a "soul" of algorithms arises a few times. This includes encountering a race of photonic creatures in a different plane, and another which considers holographic programs to be insurgents. Even what rights the Doctor has on the ship has been explored, with him even trying to resign in one episode.
Seven calls Janeway on this when she and the crew intend to delete memories causing the Doctor to almost literally BSOD instead of trying to work through his problems psychologically. She wasn't around to object the first time they did it.
Also in "Hope and Fear" with the alien blaming Janeway's decision to back the Borg against Species 8472. As the latter were forced to retreat, the Borg were able to go on and assimilate his world.
Remember back in the TNG episode "A Measure of a Man" where Picard chewed out Starfleet who were planning to disassemble Data so they could build Androids to serve on Federation vessels, arguing that it was tantamount to them actively perpetuating a Slave-Race? Well apparently Starfleet doesn't, as its revealed in "Lifeline" that they reprogrammed every single EMH Mk I in the Alpha Quadrant to mine Dilithium asteroids. The Doctor is not amused by this revelation.
"Alice" (involving Tom Paris becoming obsessed with a sentient shuttle) is this to Christine, complete with the episode being named after the malevolent vehicle and said vehicle attempting to kill her owner's girlfriend.
"Year of Hell," at least the portion set aboard the Krenim temporal weapon ship, is this to Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, with the villain Annorax being an obvious reference to the narrator of the book.
Why Are You Looking at Me Like That?: Double example in "Bride of Chaotica!" Tom Paris explains that, due to the latest round of holodeck issues, somebody has to go into the Flash Gordon-esque Captain Proton holoprogram and take on the role of seductive villainess Queen Arachnia. Everyone in the room looks at a nonplussed Seven of Nine... except Paris, who's looking straight at Janeway. Janeway's amusement with this idea fades immediately.
William Telling: In "Coda", Janeway suggests to Chakotay that he could play William Tell and blast an apple off of her head with a phaser for Neelix's Talent Night.
The Worf Effect: Ironically, the Borg are on the receiving end of this in "Scorpion" when Species 8472 are introduced. Contributed to the Villain Decay of the Borg, but this trope was for once done right with the opening to this two-parter - seeing the show open with two cubes being instantly blown away, then going straight to the intro with no shot of what did this, let the viewer know that this really was a very powerful and dangerous enemy.
In one episode, Janeway orders Tom to retreat half a lightyear's distance, which the ship does in a matter of seconds. If they're 75,000 lightyears from earth, 75,000 x 3 seconds /60/60/24= 2 and a half DAYS, not 75 years.
Writer on Board: "Muse" is basically a plea for understanding from the writers of this oft-criticized series, showing how they're pulled between the desire to create meaningful works of art, the need to satisfy those paying their wages, and the demands of the audience for action and romance - told via a poet on a primitive warlike world who's trying to write a play based on Voyager's logs.
Wrote the Book: In the finale, a future Starfleet instructor introduces Admiral Janeway as "the person who, literally, wrote the book on the Borg." This makes Janeway sigh and ponder whether or not the instructor - Reg Barclay- actually knows what the word "literally" means.
You Can't Go Home Again: This is especially true for Neelix, whose homeworld was destroyed, and Icheb, whose parents want only to use him as a weapon.
You Keep Using That Word: Various crewmembers describe things from the 19th and 20th century as being "Ancient", which comes off to many as saying that Roman Chariots and Nuclear Weapons are relatively close historically. Although it should be noted, first, that the definition of "ancient" is vague, and many people today refer to things 400 years past as ancient. It's also worth noting that this isn't the first Star Trek series to do this, as it started as far back as TNG.
You Never Did That for Me: Janeway, upon learning that her best friend Tuvok used to make tea for then-Captain Sulu, complains in a mock-annoyed fashion that he never made her tea! In the novelization of that episode, he notes, quite reasonably, that she prefers coffee.
Zeerust: During the years the series ran the internet was really taking off, and personal computers and cellular phones were beginning to encroach on the science-fiction technology of the show.
The use of PADD's (tablet computers) stands out even more in the post-2010 era. In the episode "Hunters", Neelix distributes the first (text only) letters from home personally to each recipient among the crew individually on a PADD, since apparently email has become a lost technology. It is also not unusual to see people using multiple PADD's to multitask, as each can seemingly only run one application at a time. In "Imperfection", Icheb brings three PADD's to the Doctor to show off his original bioscans (which the Doctor should have had on file in Sickbay anyway), his projections regarding the chances of success for a cybernetic surgical procedure and finally one that contains information on DNA resequencing he has designed. To a modern real-world tablet computer user it looks faintly comical.
The Adventures of Captain Proton
Captain Proton ("Spaceman First Class, Protector of Earth, Scourge of Intergalactc Evil!") is an Affectionate Parody of 1930's Republic Film Serials heroes Flash Gordon and Commando Cody. The holodeck program was created by Tom Paris (who always plays the hero, Captain Proton) ostensibly for the purposes of historical study, but more likely so he and Harry can have a fun time battling hammy villains and rescuing gorgeous space babes. This Show Within a Show appears in Night, Thirty Days, Bride of Chaotica!, and Shattered.
Femme Fatale: Queen Arachnia. Plus the Twin Mistresses of Evil, Demonica and Malicia.
Genre Savvy: Tom Paris knows something's gone wrong in "Bride of Chaotica!" because Constance Goodheart has been killed, and that never happens to the Good Guys. Likewise he tries to warn Captain Janeway of Chaotica's fondness for hidden traps, but she falls into one anyway.
Love Is in the Air: While Tied To a Pillar Janeway uses Arachnia's vial of "irresistable pheromones" to make Dr Chaotica release her. Unfortunately Chaotica moves out of sniffing range, leaving her to get slobbered over by his ugly henchman Lonzak instead.
The Men in Black: The alien MIB version turns up in "Bride of Chaotica!" when two photonic aliens appear on the holodeck dressed as grey-suited men in fedoras. They speak in a stilted manner and though dressed like humans of the 1930's are unfamiliar with their society, mistaking the holodeck characters for Energy Beings like themselves and assuming the supervillains they encounter are a genuine threat.
Seven: I am Borg. (yanks out robot's wiring, disabling it) The robot has been neutralized. May I leave now?
"Bride of Chaotica" went off the rails on multiple levels. Holographic aliens, believing the simulation to be reality, ended up waging war with Chaotica after he murdered one of their own. Within that, Tom and Harry just shoot Lonzak in the middle of his speech since they don't have time to play along.
Recycled Set: Harry Kim points out that "Planet X" looks identical to "The Mines of Mercury" that they visited in the last adventure. Tom points out that sets were expensive in the days when you couldn't just create them on the holodeck.