The reason the Doctor is so anti-social in early seasons is because his personality was based on his creator, Lewis Zimmerman, who is misanthropic at the best of times. Having Reg Barclay, a Starfleet officer with low self-confidence issues, be the Beta-Tester for his personality probably didn't help.
Also remember that aside from Kes the entire crew treats the Doctor as a tool for the first couple seasons, no more worth consideration than a tricorder, as Kes puts it "they treat him like he's not there". It's a perfect reason to be anti-social when nobody gives a damn about you. While this attitude lets up somewhat as the episodes go by, it isn't until the Doctor gets his mobile emitter and fully starts functioning as a full member of the crew, going on away missions, forming friendships and so forth that everybody starts treating him as a real person and thus the Doctor's anti-social behavior stops.
At the end of "Body and Soul" the EMH tells Captain Ranek (who was previously unaware that Seven of Nine was under The Doctor's control) that there are plenty of women out there who'd be attracted to him (looking over at Ranek's attractive female colleague Jaryn as he does to drop a hint), but "I'm just not one of them." Later, when Jaryn points out that she's going to have to rescind that offer she made to him (in Seven of Nine's body) to introduce him to her brother, as he's not exactly her brother's type, The Doctor then wisecracks: "...because I'm a... hologram?" These lines are every bit as humorous as they're meant to be, but seeing how successfully The Doctor managed to counterfeit other members of Voyager's crew, both male and female, in "Renaissance Man" a few episodes later reminds us that he isn't entirely joking. In fact, if he had any ordinary heterosexual guy as a Love Interest, The Doctor could easily change himself into a woman to accommodate the man's romantic desires; he just doesn't want to do that because his mind (based on his creator Lewis Zimmerman) is a wholly heterosexual human male's and he's not into gender-bending.
He's not into gender-bending yet, anyway; since he's well-nigh immortal and likely to outlive a lot of lovers, though, there's no telling what kinds of romantic interests he might develop several millennia in the future or how many various species and sexes he might try emulating in pursuit of these interests.
We know from "Profit and Lace" that you can have a sex-change in a matter of days, and ever since the original series their plastic surgery technology has been advanced enough to allow you to look like any humanoid race in the galaxy with trivial ease. The fact that no one does would seem to imply that such things are taboo.
Or people do get said surgeries, it's just that no one discusses it because it's considered a mundane personal choice.
After nearly 200 years of the Enterprise being "the only ship in range" to defend Earth against a multitude of threats, Starfleet suddenly has 27 ships in range to throw at the Borg transwarp aperture which Voyager opens up in the finale. It's highly likely that the Dominion War is responsible for this.
There are shipyards at Earth and Mars. After Borg attacks and the war with the Dominion, Starfleet probably had them working at full-capacity to build new ships. At least one Prometheus class ship was among the fleet that was there when Voyager arrived. Since that was a brand new class, it definitely reinforces the implication that some of those ships were fresh from the shipyards, either new construction or having been refitted.
Near the middle of the third season Voyager encounters the Nekrit Expanse, a vast nebular region where ships vanish without a trace and nobody dares explore, a sort of "here be dragons" part of the Delta Quadrant map that Neelix and the local species know nothing about. The episode ends with the crew bravely continuing through it, without ever overtly explaining why it's so bad. But what does Voyager run into just a few episodes later? The Borg. The Nekrit Expanse marks the edge of Borg space.
And there's likely an excellent reason why it's the edge, as the only Borg ship Voyager encounters within the Expanse itself has been disabled by the local space weather. The Nekrit Expanse is essentially a natural barrier the Borg can't cross, or at least is too much trouble for them to bother trying. The people on the far side don't know it, but they have good reason to be grateful for the Expanse's existence — it's literally the only thing standing between them and assimilation (or, in the case of the Kazon, extermination).
Seven's attraction to Chakotay actually makes sense, given that she became interested in him in season Seven, the season where she was generally interested in becoming more human. Chakotay, with his nature-loving and emotional personality, is possibly the most un-Borg person on Voyager.
Chakotay was also the first to connect to her human side, being the one who linked to her mind in Scorpion Part 2 and severed her from the Collective. Does that make this a delayed Rescue Romance?
Her interest in him also only arises after the males she'd be most compatible with are officially off the table. Tom is Happily Married to Torres and Tuvok has a loving wife of his own eagerly awaiting his return, Harry and the Doctor have been rejected despite expressed interest and her one attempt with someone she didn't know well ended very badly. Chakotay was really her only option left at the time.
Chakotay's later-season distrust for Seven of Nine, and dangerous stations in general, could have been caused by Seska's betrayal in earlier seasons.
Why was Voyager designed with manual door releases that can go offline, a holodeck that has a different incompatible power source and gel-packs that easily can get infections and are impossible to replicate? This is indirectly the fault of Geordi LaForge. Why? Because he was mentioned in TNG as having a competition over better warp core efficiency with chief engineer Kaplan of the Intrepid, the prototype of the same class as Voyager. Because Geordi kept trying to beat him in their warp-core output, Kaplan likely got so obsessed with building the Warp 9.975 core to beat Enterprise's Warp 9.8 core, that he either didn't pay proper attention to the other systems or intentionally padded his results. This definitely would explain why Voyager seems to be so slap-dash and haphazardly built.
Caveat— It might not be the same class ship. After all, Starfleet is notorious for reusing perfectly good ship-names as class-names, and also for having multiple ships of the same name. For example: The Consititution-class USS "Defiant" (NCC-1764) in ENT's "In a Mirror, Darkly" (Season 4 Episode 19). And later the "Defiant-class" USS "Defiant" (NX-74205), and Defiant-class USS Defiant (formerly the USS Sao-Paulo) (NCC-75633). And let's not even get into how many ships of the name "Enterprise" or "Endeavour" there are.. However, the timing lines up. The competition was mentioned in the seventh season of TNG, and Voyager's mission began less than a year later.
Alternately, Voyager was a prototype designed to test out a bunch of new technical marvels simultaneously. After all, the ship's mission was to hunt down Maquis in the Bad Lands, and return to DS9, not extended space exploration. Further, a great deal of the behavior and "expertise" of engineers and programmers in previous trek series gives a great deal of grief to real life IT experts, unless one stops to consider that the reason for such behavior, like "moving" files instead of "copying" is that while the software continues to become more intricate, complex, detailed, and large, the hardware has hit a hard-limit at some time in the past, hence the use of bio-gel packs as opposed to whatever storage medium was used before. A prime piece of evidence confirming this is the time The Doctor's software started to break down. Kes had to use an interactive diagnostic program, also a holographic AI to attempt to diagnose and repair him, when that didn't work, her only option was to effectively fuse the two programs together as a "graft" and the process is officially mentioned as irreversible because the system simply did not have sufficient capacity to make a backup of either program.
No, it wasn't a prototype. The USS Intrepid was the prototype. When a prototype is successful, then they make more and it becomes a class, named after the lead ship.
In Real Life there are a lot of weapon systems, aircraft and ships are are designed by a committee to be a Jack-of-All-Stats but end up a Master of None. Starfleet didn't know what do to - Borg, Romulans, Cardassians and other threats loomed on the horizon. Negative Space Wedgies and worse were out there. With Sisko running DS9 and Picard and co. still on the Enterprise, the boffins at Utopia Planitia worked hard and put all their good ideas in the Intrepid-class. And they tired to incorporate lessons learned from the USS Intrepid. But they were too clever by half - manual overrides that go off line, bio-gel packs that can get infected etc. When Starfleet cooks, they can cook (see the flying brass knuckle that is the USS Defiant), but when they screw up, they screw up big (the Defiant nearly shook itself apart being overpowered).
Concerning the episode "Good Shepherd:" It seems odd at first, that these three crewmen have gone five years without their performance problems being noticed. But, all three of these crewmen were from Janeway's original Starfleet crew. Over the first two years in the Delta Quadrant, Voyager has been dealing with violent and insubordinate Maquis crewman, and just when that problem began to calm down, Voyager gains Seven of Nine. It takes a while for her to adjust to humanity, and then the mess with the Equinox happens, leaving Janeway with five new crewmembers who have to be retrained in human ethics. No wonder Celes, Billy, and Mortimer's performances weren't noticed for so long; they may have had trouble with their work, but they didn't have the outrageous attitude problems that so many of their shipmates did!
Given how Mortimer Harren has a job that he does by himself, deep in the bowels of the ship, far away from the rest of the crew, of course he'd never have any big problem with any of his colleagues. He never sees them!
Seven of Nine's voice. Generally people lacking emotion or speaking dispassionately can still inflect normally. Data and Spock did. But it's not the actress doing a bad Spock impersonation, it's the character, in her attempt to deny her emotions.
This troper has wondered to himself why Seven of Nine is so damn hot. Then it hit him, Seven has had her biological functions (particularly hormonal responses) manipulated and largely suppressed so as to avoid cybernetic rejection (a common problem with real life implants). Most likely The Doctor pumped her full of drugs to reactivate her hormonal development in some way, likely including estrogen and goodness knows what else, of course her body went sex-pot.
Actually, if you want an explanation for Seven's... "physical perfection", it does make a lot of sense. When she was assimilated by the Borg, she was 6 years old. Then she spent 5 years in a maturation chamber where she was aged artificially. Any physical imperfections or structural asymmetry would have been restructured and enhanced with Borg cybernetics. The Borg are obsessed with perfection. It makes sense that when they mature their drones, they would enhance all physical attributes to maximize physiological potential. In other words every time the Borg mature a drone from childhood, behind their cybernetics, they are all altered to exhibit the most perfected aspects of their genetic phenotypes (species inclusive).
That's a very 20th-century male gaze-y idea of "perfection". And since when have the Borg cared about symmetry - or sexual appeal?
Considering that this is a 20th-century show written mostly by men, that doesn't actually invalidate what he said. See, what you have to remember is that every race in Star Trek (even the most exotic and seemingly unlike us) are just 20th- and early-21st-century humans wearing different-colored hats. And it is quite clear from their interactions, clothing styles, and make-up that their idea of physical perfection is still identical to what most people would consider it to be today. The point about symmetry is a good one however.
That's just what young Annika Hansen would have grown up into anyway (the catsuit enhances Jeri Ryan's figure, but she's pretty much built that way in real life anyway, so it's not like it's beyond human norms for her to be so curvaceous). The Borg obviously didn't care enough to er, lop off unnecessary biological components, so Seven retains most of her human biology.
Seven's catsuit and heels were likely chosen by Seven herself. The catsuit is "efficient" for mobility, and devoid of what Seven would no doubt deem "irrelevant decorative elements." As for the heels, she probably picked them so she wouldn't feel short and inferior to anyone else board.
The Doctor actually designed her "dermaplastic garment"; he says so in "Scorpion". Seven just didn't bother to get a different outfit because fashion is irrelevant.
Seven's suit actually changes a few times, before she mostly settles on the blue-and-grey one. Perhaps she was experimenting with expressing her individuality through her clothing? Besides, she's not entitled to wear a Starfleet uniform any more than Neelix is; despite all her knowledge, she has not been Starfleet trained.
In "Parallax", Seska tells Chakotay, "We heard a rumor" that the Maquis crew-members would be confined to quarters, after Torres struck Carey. We never learn where this absurd rumor came from, but it's plausible that Seska herself started it, as a way to manipulate the Maquis into taking the ship.
At the end of the "Year of Hell" two-parter, Janeway smashes Voyager into the Krenim time ship and presses the reset button. Voyager is fine and go on their merry way, nobody remembers anything from the past two episodes. And the villain is seen spending time with his wife, whose loss had been his motivation. But if everything had been reset and nobody remembers anything, how is it that the events didn't just repeat themselves? Because everybody remembers unconsciously and their behavior is altered somewhat to prevent the events from occurring. If not everyone, at least the Krenim who built and flew the ship. Otherwise, with their Empire fully restored, there is no reason why they wouldn't build their timeship again.
In a very circular way there is a reason why: it's already happened. Due to the nature of time travel, when Voyager presses the re-set button it's after the Krenim built their timeship. And hence it is always after the timeship is built that Voyager destroys it.
His primary motivation to build the timeship was to restore the Krenim empire, in so doing he caused his wife to be erased. He and his crew were at it for two hundred years; that was why he could never simultaneously restore both the Imperium and his wife. The reason events can't just repeat themselves is because the Timeship was erased from history. It was never built because he spent time with his wife rather than finish the research. In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it scene, the blueprints of the time-ship are on a console he was working on, when his wife called him away. So in the new timeline, the Krenim were clearly still interested, but purely as a scientific and academic curiosity, not as an active agent of war.
It may seem odd that the Krenim captain is suddenly that much more courteous in the final timeline of "Year of Hell", but think about what is different from any of the previous present-day timelines we saw: there are a lot more spacefaring civilizations around in the area. Somewhere along the way, the Krenim must have mellowed out and gotten better at diplomacy to be in the relatively decent shape despite the ongoing conflict the state of the Krenim captain's ship suggests (and there'd also be more opportunities for diplomacy), and that spread through their culture, including their fleet.
A subtle piece of Dramatic Irony is made in the early part of "Year of Hell". Between Janeway's first and second log entries there is some sort of thingy that none of the characters notice - but the second log entry is timestamped as earlier than the first.
That's probably because they reached Krenim space sooner given that they were obviously more successful conquerors in the new timeline.
In "The Cloud", Janeway and Chakotay are discussing animal guides and Janeway seems enthusiastic about the idea, going so far as to go through the whole ritual to contact her animal guide, despite being a firm believer in science and the scientific method. But this is still relatively soon after they were pulled into the Delta Quadrant. The Starfleet and Maquis crew are still adjusting to working together. This is Janeway's way of bonding with Chakotay, by being personally invested in his spiritual beliefs.
"Coda" certainly demonstrated that she hadn't just forsaken all rationality, but "Sacred Ground" also demonstrated that Janeway's logic could be flexible enough to leave some room for supernatural and other trans-rational interventions even as she usually continued to pursue rational and scientific explanations for the majority of anomalies she and her crew experienced.
The end of "Course: Oblivion" frustrates some fans, who wish that the duplicate Kim had been able to tell their story to Voyager before dying. But Voyager, the Enterprise (both of them), and the Defiant run across destroyed ships all the time, dead crews who'd been together for years, who never got to share their stories. Now we know how those crews feel.
Another "Course: Oblivion" one — the radiation that made everyone turn back into goo was from the warp drive (but it isn't harmful to humanoids so the real crew are safe). The first three characters to develop symptoms were all engineers, and the first one to "die" was B'Elanna, the chief engineer. That makes sense because they're closer to the warp drive.
"Pathfinder." So, Voyager has had several adventures in which they went through hell and back again, trying to get home or at least make contact with Starfleet, only to fail. Then, one day, when absolutely nothing is happening, they suddenly get a message from Starfleet, out of the blue. That irony is nothing short of brilliant.
The episode "The Fight" explains a hell of a lot about Chakotay's personality. He's able to stay calm and professional despite his strange shipmates and the bizarre situations they get into, because he's punching out all of his adrenaline on the holodeck. (presumably, he got his adrenaline out in battles when in the Maquis.) He's also been playing the Only Sane Man since childhood, when he was expected to watch over his mentally ill grandfather. Up until this episode, Chakotay never much flinched during a battle or in a life-threatening situation, but became quite jumpy when something began to mess with his mind (as seen with his fear of assimilation in "Unity"; his reaction to not knowing if he's asleep or awake in "Waking Moments"; and his reaction to the Borg in general). This is because Chakotay's not afraid of physical injuries... only mental ones. In "Memorial", he is far more controlled when his mind is being tampered with, taking the lead when Harry, Tom, and Neelix lose it; this is about a year after Chakotay overcame his fears in "The Fight," and he's had a year to meditate on it. He is still angered when he learns that someone deliberately built a mind-altering device, and wants to have it destroyed.
And speaking of not being afraid of physical injuries, this explains why when the Kazon captured him in "Maneuvers", he was able to snark at them while they were beating him — he's used to being punched in the face.
The line in "The Fight" about how Harry Kim looks up to Chakotay almost doesn't make sense given that their interactions have gotten little to no focus on the show, but the one thing that differs between the interaction between Chakotay and Harry and the rest of the main characters and Harry is that Chakotay rarely underestimates, patronizes, or condescends to Harry. Janeway is clearly protective of her ensign, even when several years into the journey he's clearly not some green Academy cadet. Tom took it upon himself to "guide" Harry after Harry chose not to look down on him for Tom's past, and even though they are friends, Tom is more than a little dismissive of Harry's opinion most times. B'Elanna clearly has a sibling-type relationship with Harry. Tuvok and the Doctor are vocally critical of his flaws when they aren't so hard on the rest of the crew. Harry's the butt of every joke when Seven treats him badly and even Neelix gets in on treating him like the kid. But later seasons Chakotay, both in and out of the bridge, treats him fairly if he has a good argument, isn't dismissive of his insecurities, and clearly sees him as an equal outside of the bridge. Aside from being a loyal man with a stable moral compass and a realist who is open and friendly to others, no wonder Harry would appreciate him especially out of his closest friends on Voyager, and look up to him.
This can be seen as far back as "Emanations" in season 1. Chakotay says how he wants to proceed with a mission, Harry respectfully gives a counter-opinion, Janeway decides to go with Chakotay's decision, and Harry then thanks Chakotay for letting him speak his mind, with Chakotay acknowledging Harry's point of view. The mutual respect between them is thereby established.
The reason Seven starts acting the way she does in "The Voyager Conspiracy"? She just artificially induced schizophrenia in herself. One of the theories about schizophrenia is that a person's brain starts seeking and making patterns that don't exist. By dumping too much more information into her brain than it could handle in such a time, she induced it to start making connections that didn't exist.
There is also another aspect that validates this theory. One particular facet of schizophrenia is paranoia and deriving connections and patterns from external sensory information that has been interpreted and extrapolated in an irrational manner based on subconscious fears. She has now been given a new load of external data and starts interpreting that data (data which is so densely integrated that meaningless connections exist anyway) based on a paranoid elaboration of her fears. And what does she fear most?
The fact the first event she pieced together from this information upload turned out to be true (the photonic flea infestation) most likely personally validated any further conclusions she drew from this random information.
Paris using the holodeck to make a working movie theatre. Torres points out the apparent ridiculousness of this, seeing as how you can just have the computer make the imagery three dimensional. However, if you are watching a movie, more than half of the scene is off camera; if you made the movie three dimensional, you would have to recreate those parts of the scene or it'll look terrible. The story would either have to be adapted to your physical presence or else treat you as an intangible and invisible observer to ensure you couldn't derail it. You could design the other half of the scene yourself, but that would take a lot of work and probably wouldn't look right unless you are a veritable genius at adaptation and interior decoration. After all, a lot of movies are shot on sets and these sets are usually only half of a room. Ironically, making the scene more life-like and three dimensional would tend to destroy your Willing Suspension of Disbelief and prevent you from immersing yourself in the story.
Actually, what B'Elanna considered ridiculous was making a 3d movie theater to play 2d movies that ineffectually simulate 3D. Tom replicated a theater's worth of red/blue 3D glasses for gods sake.
It's because they fundamentally view the experience differently. For Tom, it's not about the movie itself so much as it is about the experience of visiting an authentic movie theater. He's willing to put up with the low-tech 3d glasses because it's authentic. B'Elanna on the other hand, is an engineer, and like a lot of people who are in tech, she's a little bit of an audio-visual nerd. To her, using the red-blue 3d glasses to emulate 3d seems ridiculous, when the holodeck should be easily able to create a 3d projection based on the movie (yes, they would have a limited viewpoint, but it should be easy enough for the computer to project a 3d movie in 3d - it would be like watching the events on a stage).
Species 8472 are almost built on Fridge Brilliance. In the episode "In The Flesh", Janeway and the Voyager crew are able to negotiate peace with species 8472. And this has been regarded skeptically by fans considering that species 8472 were always Scary Dogmatic Aliens who want to purge the entire galaxy. Voyager and the audience have always been shown that these aliens were a greater threat than the Borg because of their desire to purge all other forms of life and their advanced technology to do so. They even made telepathic contact with Kes informing her as much. However, when you think about it, the fact that Janeway and her crew were able to make peace makes a lot of sense. Species 8472 lived in fluidic space completely alone, with no other life forms and nothing to threaten or harm them. Then suddenly their universe is invaded by a ship from another universe with other life forms aboard. And not only new life forms but the Borg! If that was your first contact with a form of life that you'd never even conceived of before, you'd probably react similarly. They are absolutely terrified by the Borg and they have no idea that any other forms of life exist in this new universe. So when they drive the Borg out of their universe, they are panicked by this new and frightening discovery, and they decide that the Borg are far too dangerous to just drive into retreat - what if they came with a new invasion force or a weapon of mass destruction? - so they go out into the Borg's universe to destroy them (and any other forms of what they presume are violent life) i.e. they want to "purge" this universe, and are pretty determined to do so. With all this fear driving them they present a menacing telepathic presence as well, like they did with Kes in "Scorpion", trying to drive away these new frightening life forms by making themselves as scary as possible. (Considering that they are the only forms of life in fluidic space they have never come across microorganisms either, so when they come into our universe and find bacterial, viral and parasitic diseases everywhere, they probably thought a bacterial disease was another form of invasion as well, or at least an insidious biological threat - this explains why they associate humans with disease, considering humans are completely riddled with micro-organisms). After a violent and bloody war they finally do find out that other life forms exist (and maybe they find out that they aren't all violent), but are worried about humans helping the Borg. They research about the Federation, but all they've seen of humans is humans helping the destructive life forms trying to invade their universe. So finally when Janeway sits down with them and talks it out, they start to understand what is happening and lower their guard, finding out that their fears are unnecessary.
It's stated the 8472 exterminated all other life in fluidic space, so it seems like they'd just be Scary Dogmatic Aliens. . . but the very fact they are willing to try and negotiate with Janeway casts this into doubt. It may be telepathic mistranslation, or maybe whatever existed in fluidic space before had it coming.
In the finale, "Endgame", Admiral Janeway is able to contaminate the Borg Queen with a pathogen that kills her, and disrupts the entire Collective. This piece of Applied Phlebotinum seems to come out of nowhere, more so because she actually gets it from her younger self, Captain Janeway. Why has Captain Janeway never used this super-weapon before if she had it? But then one realizes that the younger Janeway has had the pathogen since "Collective". It is the Brunali pathogen that Icheb was genetically-engineered to produce. The pathogen was of limited use against the Borg for the Brunali because the cube Icheb was assimilated by never came into contract with any other Borg before succumbing to the pathogen, and the collective wrote it off rather than salvage it and the surviving child drones. Likewise, Janeway always knew that she would only have a limited chance to use the pathogen since if she somehow spread it too widely in the Collective eventually they would adapt and become immune. But the older Admiral Janeway's possession of a vehicle that could get close to the Borg Queen at the Primary Unicomplex led to the pathogen infecting the one piece of the Collective that truly connected to everything else, the Queen herself. Especially since the Queen just had to go ahead and assimilate Admiral Janeway personally.
If you pay close attention to the wedding scene in the prologue of "Course: Oblivion", Paris was still referred to as a lieutenant. This is the first subtle Foreshadowing that something isn't right, since he was demoted to Ensign earlier on in the season, and will not be reinstated until two seasons later.
Kes' photographic memory makes sense when you consider that she's a member of a species that only typically lives about nine years. It's possible that an eidetic memory is an adaptation that the species evolved to get the most out of the few years available, and they would have much less useless junk in their heads than a human would as a result of their shorter lifespans as well. It would be a good explanation as to why Kes is only two years old yet somehow manages to not be the same way we are at the same age.
The anniversary trilogy String Theory expanded on this to reveal that some Ocampa actually inherit the memories of their ancestors to increase the amount of knowledge they can pass on.
When Q and Q have a baby, they say that it's the first time Qs have biologically reproduced. Which seems like a plothole when taken with The Next Generation episode "True Q"... except not, because Amanda's parents had a child by the human method (9 months and all, not a little finger zap), and then the Continuum killed them for it. This is still the first time the Q have reproduced as Q, and without retribution.
Except Amanda's parents weren't killed for having a baby the human way. While the Continuum did find said method rather vulgar (as Q states), that was hardly a punishable offense. Her parents were actually killed because they broke their promise to not use their Q powers after assuming human form.
Chakotay's fluctuating tribal heritage. His decorations and traditions seem like a strange combination of North American Plains Indians and Central American Natives. This is probably due to the problems with the show's writing, but isn't altogether unbelievable. In real life, many Native American's have multiple tribes in their heritage, just as most White Americans have different European countries in their family trees. Perhaps instead of questioning Chakotay's heritage, what fans *should* be asking is why Janeway only ever mentions Irish-American heritage in her family (particularly strange, since of course Star Trek is set centuries in the future, and Janeway's family was in the U.S. from the 20th century to her own birth, so that would be a long time for an Irish-American family to go without ever intermarrying.)
More Fridge Brilliance: Most humans in the 24th Century are probably mixed. Chakotay embraces all of his heritage since he's an anthropologist who loves all cultures. Janeway on the other hand obsesses over her Irish heritage because she has a fetish for it. (Need more evidence? How about the holo-boyfriend she created for herself in "Fair Haven.") Just another peculiarity of Janeway's that can be added to the list, for those who question her sanity. In any case, she would be far from the first Irish American to obsess over her Irish ancestry.
Another bit of Fridge Brilliance regarding Janeway's Irishness. Janeway uses the Irish "soft 'T'" when speaking. Judging by several interviews, this is not simply Kate Mulgrew's natural way of speaking... Nice touch!
Chakotay also had no interest in his heritage for most of his life, brushing off his father's attempts to teach him. It's likely that once he finally got into it, he started studying multiple Native American tribes and partaking in their various traditions and rituals mixing them together as a result in an attempt to connect with a heritage he in reality about which he doesn't have much first-hand (lived) knowledgea.
Also considering how much cultural genocide is going on now after a world war and a few oppressive regimes there might not be much direct cultural information left, Chakotay may be trying to piece it back together from scattered scraps.
Of course Seven of Nine and Naomi Wildman would find common ground to make their Odd Friendship - both of them know no other family or home beyond Voyager. Naomi was born there, and in a way, Seven could be said to have been reborn on Voyager, after spending the better part of the last twenty years of her life among the Borg. For them both, Voyager is more than a ship and her crew, it's the place where they both are learning to be themselves.
For Naomi's part, her fascination with Seven makes sense once you realize both her parents are Starfleet officers, and she's been raised on a Starfleet vessel. Seven is the most unique person on board, and with no anti-Borg prejudice, Naomi would understandably be curious about her. For Seven's part, everyone else aboard is an adult with an agenda, Naomi is a guileless child, who's learning her place in the universe herself. Interacting with Naomi gives Seven the chance to "assimilate" humanity at her own pace, rather than have people try and teach it to her.
For "Equinox," it initially seems strange that Ransom's crew were all humans, and apparently had not picked up any Delta Quadrant natives or other unusual characters as Voyager had on its journey. The Fridge Brilliance comes in when one realizes that the lack of diversity on Ransom's ship is an indicator of his fatal captaining style. The reason Janeway's ship has had a Talaxian, an Ocampan, ex-Borg drones, former Maqius, and an EMH who was allowed to expand his programing, all of whom offered unique skills that saved the ship on countless occasions, is because Janeway put compassion for strangers in need before her desire to get home. Ransom's method of getting home as fast as possible by any means, to the point of murdering alien civilians and deleting his EMH's ethical subroutines for the sake of convenience, were eventually his downfall.
Star Trek has fairly been described as Horatio HornblowerRecycled IN SPACE!, what with Roddenberry taking direct inspiration from it and Patrick Stewart being handed a Hornblower book to prepare for the role of Picard. Voyager takes a new theme from those books: the isolation of ships and captains on detached service. Picard and even Kirk were usually within easy communication distance of the admiralty, but Janeway's situation hearkened back to the days when ships were left entirely on their own for extended periods of time and captains had to rely solely on their own analysis and that of their officers. If dilemmas arose, they had to make do with the resources to hand and decide the solution on their own rather than call their superiors and say "what now?" The continual need for resupply from possibly hostile locations (substituting energy for things like water and food) also touches on the problems of Wooden Ships and Iron Men, although that angle explored as deeply as it might have been.
In the episode "Message in a Bottle" we see that the Federation developed an experimental ship with holo-emitters on every deck and even the Jeffries tubes. Why? Because if the need arises all anyone needs to do is say "computer, create a hologram of X" and they've got a weapon in their hands.
Alternatively, they recognized the limitations of having a doctor (even a backup) who couldn't leave Sickbay. After all, we see the other doctors frequently going to the injured rather than the other way around; someone probably realized the EMH really ought to be able to do the same.
It could also be seen as foreshadowing the various emergency holograms on La Sirena.
Also, a holographic crew member can go places where flesh-and-blood crew members can't go. Need to defuse a bomb that is radiating deadly energy? Need a decoy to draw off some alien intruders? Etc etc. There are literally hundreds of reasons why having the ability to create holographic crew members would be useful.
It seems curious that the prophecies regarding the kuvah'magh pointed that she would be found "after two warring houses make peace" - and was found on Voyager, a ship consisting mainly of two factions that were at war and put their differences aside and became one crew.
It also can reference Tom and B'Elanna themselves. The pair disliked each other at the beginning of the trip home, yet managed to become friends, lovers, and spouses.
Why is it that Nice Guy and hopeless optimist Harry Kim's first and most enduring friendships are with Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres, a pair of cynical former Maquis? Because he's a Nice Guy and hopeless optimist who is willing to see the good in them, which is the kind of validation that Tom and B'Elanna have been denied since childhood.
The one thing that can be interesting about Tieran from "Warlord" is that after he takes over Kes he adapts extraordinarily well for a previously heavily-built masculine man finding himself in the body of a short petite woman. Within a couple of hours he is flirting with men, he kisses Tuvok full on the lips, and really does seem as if he would have gone way further with Tuvok if he thought it would have helped his cause. At first it seems that this was just The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body or even the Third Law of Gender-Bending, however it also seems very likely on reflection that this isn't actually the first female host that he has taken, and may even have attained a certain level of gender fluidity from his previous experiences. Remember that Tieran had been in hiding for decades; scheming and plotting for the moment that he could regain his crown. It may have been very hard to believe for the people that lived underneath his tyrannical rule that the proud, masculine, physically imposing Tieran would ever voluntarily choose to swap with a small woman, particularly as there is a definite patriarchal vibe from this society from what little we see. What better cover could there be? (It could also be that he's bisexual)
In "Parallax", Tom Paris says that if Voyager breaks down completely, they'd have to "go out and push". It makes perfect sense that Tom Paris would be the one to say that because he's very interested in twentieth and twenty-first century vehicles.
What's one of the biggest criticisms of Admiral Janeway? The question of why she went back to the point in time she did rather than go all the way back to the beginning and get Voyager home via the Array. But the show had already explored that question half a season earlier, in "Shattered". Chakotay's speech in that episode was the explanation for Janeway's decision in the finale.
Even way back in "Eye of the Needle", only the show's seventh episode, Janeway remarks that they have had too much of an influence in the Delta Quadrant to risk violating the timeline or the Temporal Prime Directive by changing the past.
"Scorpion" contains some brilliant foreshadowing. When Janeway asks the Collective to choose a representative, she says, "You've done it before, when you transformed Jean-Luc Picard into Locutus." And what exactly happened to Locutus? He was severed from the Collective; with the Enterprise crew's help, regained his humanity; suffered a massive guilt complex from the experience, but went on to kick Borg ass and become a Federation hero.
Two common complaints are that Neelix isn't good at anything he claims to do (guide, ambassador, chef, morale officer), and the show's frequent use of the Reset Button. If you think about it, these two complaints explain each other away. While Neelix's screw ups frequently set up the episode's conflict, his off-screen competence is ever-present. Voyager has the resources to repair any amount of damage in a week, and replace shuttlecrafts and photon torpedoes. For a lone refugee ship, its crew seems very well fed. And despite the fact that they are facing the rest of their lives on a near-impossible mission that most of them probably won't live to see end, even if it does succeed, no one seems to have had a psychological breakdown. In other words, whoever is responsible for procuring supplies, feeding the crew, and keeping up morale is doing an amazing job!
The three main protagonists not seen to participate in the "Fair Haven" holo-novel are B'Elanna Torres, Tuvok, and Seven of Nine. This makes sense because none of them would find it interesting:
B'Elanna generally likes more action-packed things, such as rock climbing and martial arts. She'd probably find a holo-novel about a generic town to be quite boring.
Tuvok is Vulcan, so he has less of a desire for entertainment in general. He also sometimes deliberately avoids doing things just because they're popular, as seen in the luau episode.
Seven of Nine also has less of a desire for entertainment due to being Borg for most of her life. She also isn't as interested in Earth history as the other humans. It's set in the past, too, so she'd probably find the primitive (compared to the stuff aboard Voyager) technology inefficient.
Why does Tom Paris become a Fish out of Temporal Water in "Future's End" despite him being a history aficionado? Because Tom's looking at it from the 2300s, almost 400 years later. From that point of view, especially for a hobbyist rather than a professional historian, a decade more or less just wouldn't be all that significant. It would be like someone in the 1990s researching the late 1500s; they'd probably mix up a few phrases too. (And really, despite Tuvok's suggestion to the contrary, the mistakes aren't all that drastic.)
In the episode "Meld", Tuvok goes to the holodeck to find out if mind-melding with Lon Suder has compromised his emotional control. More exactly, he simulates a situation with Neelix. As Charles Sonnenburg pointed out in his review of the episode, it's kind of hilarious that this exact situation is what Tuvok goes for. But it may actually be kind of brilliant. Other situations that may come to mind - his wife being violated, his children being tortured, Vulcan being destroyed etc. - are really extreme situations that are unlikely, one-of-a-kind events. Events that would absolutely affect a Vulcan, since their emotions are actually amplified compared to humans, hence the need to keep them under control. Neelix on the other hand is an almost daily annoyance Tuvok has to put up with, and with his increased strength as well as training as a security officer, Tuvok knows that if he ever lost his cool, he could kill Neelix with ease. So he simulates one of these situations, dialed up to 11 for good measure, to see if he can handle it.
At the same time, Tuvok goes into this knowing that it's a simulation. Knowing that it's not real would make it easier to endure on the one hand, but on the other, he also knows that he can kill hologram Neelix without any consequences.
"Demon," Season 4: "Tom" tells Chakotay and Seven about how his life was flashing before his eyes, before he woke up suddenly able to breathe the Demon planet's air. Tom, and the audience, think this was a near-death experience. But it was actually the Tom duplicate's false "memories" being *formed* for the very first time, all at once!
In "Someone to Watch Over Me", Seven of Nine says that everyone can hear when B'Elanna and Tom are having "intimate relations". This becomes Fridge Brilliant if you realize that Klingon women court by roaring.
Harry Kim's relationships. Namely, his girlfriend Libby back home. In Season 2, Harry states that he still misses her so much that he calls her name at night, and is pained over being separated from her...despite having wasted no time trying to get on with other women almost immediately after Voyager got lost; and, apparently, also harboring a strong crush for Lyndsay Ballard that whole time! These have long been regarded as continuity errors by viewers, since Harry is a Nice Guy who surely isn't supposed to be cheating on the girlfriend he misses so much. But as times change, and polyamory has become more accepted, modern audiences might just assume that Harry and Libby had an open relationship, and think nothing of it.
Regardless of what the later shows may-or-may-not have retconned in, Star Trek in this era was incredibly black-and-white when it came to sexuality and gender, so much so that it was a meme for a long time that it was only acceptable to be gay in the Mirror universe. So whilst we may be able to convince ourselves that Kim and Libby are in this incredibly cutting-edge relationship by the standards of the 1990s, that was by no means intended. Personally, I think that the Fridge Brilliance here is that Harry Kim kept on going after unobtainable women because he was feeling guilty about betraying Libby. Think about who his targets were throughout this franchise: A hologram, early Seven of Nine, the wrong Delaney twin, his female best friend, a woman on a generational ship who was leaving a few days later, his female co-pilot during a space race who was also leaving a few days later. There is even an Alternate Character Interpretation that he fancied Tom, meaning that we can add heterosexual man to this list. Kim is a man of sexual needs that need to be met but because he is a Nice Guy at no point is he proud of them and so is actively sabotaging himself.
Another possibility that people fail to take into account is that Harry may have a good reason to go after other women while he has a girl back home. Though everyone on board Voyager is hopeful to get home within their lifetime, there is a good chance that they may not. Think about it: they deal with external threats on a regular basis. The crew compliment of Voyager started with 153 (and that's when she launched from DS 9, before she was pulled to the other side of the galaxy). There were a lot of situations where a lot of lives were lost due to one situation or another, and the likelihood that each day could literally be your last. And even on good days, the thought of never getting home would constantly be on your mind. Harry may have been in love with Libby, but the fact is that he more than likely knew that there was a chance he wasn't ever going to make it back home alive. And then we have the opposite side of the story, those who are back home. Voyager was reported as lost with all hands aboard. People who were in relationships may have grieved and then moved on. A great example of this was Janeway's boyfriend, Mark Johnson. Originally, he held out hope that Janeway was still alive for a while before he finally came to accept she was dead and moved on, starting another relationship with a woman he knew (Janeway herself stated it was the logical thing because of the fact that even though now the Federation knows they're alive, there's a good chance that they'd still be killed or die of old age long before even reaching the Alpha Quadrant). What are the chances that Libby would be holding out in the same regard and waiting for Harry? Harry himself may have had in his mind that she probably thought he was dead and may have moved on even before they finally got in contact with the Federation (and even after that, there was still no guarantee they'd make it back alive). Basically, the entire crew aren't just trying to get home, but they're trying to enjoy what life they have left while being in the Delta Quadrant.
In "The Thaw", when the Doctor says that he and the others want to give an ultimatum to the Monster Clown, the clown finds the idea ridiculous as he believes he and his minions have won. He says, "Did Napoleon give an ultimatum after Waterloo?", which at first seems odd since he was thought up by a bunch of aliens, but then one realizes that he could read Harry and B'Elanna's thoughts when they entered the simulation. He likely learnt about Napoleon and Waterloo from them.
"Retrospect" actually has a clue that the obnoxious scientist guy didn't really "violate" Seven of Nine— she doesn't start feeling angry until the Doctor sort of coaxes her into it. He thinks it's because she was suppressing her emotions, but this is unlikely— at this point, Seven is rather new to emotions and similar sensations, so she would likely report to sickbay or the captain in fear of the strange new feeling if she actually did feel angry before he suggested it.
In "Author, Author", there are no analogues to Neelix, Naomi, or Icheb in the Photons be Free holonovel. Perhaps this is because he feels like they'd be unfit for such a dark story, since Neelix is so cheerful (true, he could just rewrite Neelix's personality but then he'd have to essentially make him a personality from whole cloth) and Naomi and Icheb are minors.
Voyager records the crew's brain waves all the time.
Fridge Brilliance (again): It's probably the transporter that does this, and considering all the times that a transporter record has saved the day, it's not inconceivable that the records would be stored for a while.
While it's Played for Laughs for us, the war between Dr. Chaotica and the photonic beings in "Bride of Chaotica!" was surely no laughing matter to them: that's a real and fully sentient person the fictional Chaotica casually murdered with his ray gun in one scene! Considering that the victim certainly had good friends and may well have had a family who'd be bitterly grieved and angry to hear about his death, the violent response of these aliens to Chaotica's cruelty is thoroughly justified. Captain Janeway should be grateful the photonic beings never really did figure out what was actually happening, as this first contact would have been a complete diplomatic fiasco for the Voyager and the Federation if they had.
According to Neelix, his great-grandfather was Myleean, a species with a fused spinal column that prevents them from humanoid locomotion. While they were happily married according to him, the fact we are also told that the Talaxians were once warlike implies that they may have conquered this world, where the peoplecan barely walk!
Considering how "Non Sequitur" shows that even talking to a former Maquis can get a person strapped with a tracking bracelet by Starfleet, do you really think that they are going to exonerate a former group of terrorists?
EU and official material after suggests that this did happen — the final episode more or less says this was the case given that Tom, B'Elanna and others had Starfleet careers after their initial return. Considering how popular Voyager was after it was discovered they were still alive, and the fact Starleet even forwarded on messages to the Maquis, it may have been a bad PR move to jail any of them even with their earlier return. Plus the fact they dealt a very crippling blow to the Borg upon their return, AND the fact this was after the Dominion War — no doubt there was a lot of "hindsight is 20-20" regarding the Maquis after that. Especially since some of those EU sources say that the surviving Maquis in the Alpha Quadrant joined the war against the Dominion in exchange for a full pardon, and when Voyager returned home, that same pardon was extended to Chakotay and the other Maquis aboard.
The episode "Before and After" is LOADED with Fridge Horror.
Kes and Tom's daughter Linnis, and Linnis and Harry's son Andrew, were defined individuals with personalities and histories... and once we got to know them, they were erased from the timeline. On the other hand, if that timeline hadn't been erased, Miral Paris would never have been born, Seven of Nine would never have been freed from the Collective, Janeway would be dead, and everything B'Elanna had been through from Season 3 onward wouldn't have happened to her. The really creepy part? All of these things are true because of one stupid mistake the Doctor made, when he designed the Stasis Chamber to extend Kes' lifespan. His one mistake changed who got to continue living, and who got to be born.
Another for "Before and After:" Linnis Paris fought against the Doctor's attempts to extend Kes' life. Linnis thought she was only fighting for her mother's well-being. She had no clue that she was really fighting—and losing—the battle for her own existence, and that of her son Andrew. On the flip side, her losing that fight was the tiny thing that saved B'Elanna Torres, Miral Pairs, Kathryn Janeway, Seven of Nine, the four Borg children, and the millions whom Voyager saved in "Endgame" after crippling the Collective.
On a final note, in "Real Life," the episode directly after "Before and After," Kes has dinner with the Doctor's holo-family while sitting next to B'Elanna. That must've been all kinds of awkward for Kes (and maybe B'Elanna, depending on how much Kes told her shipmates about the possible future she saw).
On another final note, what if "The Omega Directive" had happened in this timeline? Chakotay clearly hadn't been told about Omega prior to that episode, so with Janeway dead and Seven never having joined Voyager, the only two people with that knowledge wouldn't have been available to deal with the situation. Might Chakotay and Harry still have been trying to unlock the computers when Armageddon came?
In "Fury", we never know exactly what happened to make Kes so pissed off during her time away from Voyager. While she claims that the Ocampa rejected her when she returned, it's possible that she was lying. Since this is five years later, this is exactly the same time that the Ocampa would have run out of the power given to them by the Caretaker, meaning it's entirely possible that the Kazon managed to breach the forcefield and enslave them. Or even worse, when the Borg allied with Voyager during "Scorpion", they somehow learned of the Ocampa and their potential for very powerful psychic abilities.
Actually that's a misquote, she said they might reject her. No doubt meaning she'd been too afraid even to approach them.
It was also Canon Discontinuity because she had supposedly become an Energy Being and Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence. She was also powerful enough to hurl Voyager thousands of light years closer to the Alpha Quadrant. Then she comes back as a God in Human Form, with great, but greatly reduced, powers. She is a physical being again, has aged, and is using a ship to travel through space. No explanation for why she reverted to mortal form was given. Even stranger, if she really stopped to think about it, her people would be in desperate need of her powers and protection, since the energy the Caretaker left them would have been pretty much gone. So her evolved state, whatever it was, would have been a blessing, not a problem.
The novel trilogy String Theory established that the Kes depicted in "Fury" was basically the manifestation of Kes's dark side that was exorcised from her while she was assisting in the birth of an Ocampan/Nacene hybrid, while the real Kes returned to Ocampa and was eventually reunited with her splintered self.
Season 1 Episode 3 "Time and Again", the crew find out that because of their interference, they caused the sabotage to happen a week earlier. When they stop the interference everything resets and the whole thing didn't happen (Except to Kes) but it still stands to reason that whatever the saboteurs were going to do wasn't good. It seems probable that they simply delayed the world-ending explosion until they had zoomed off into the distance.
While the sabotage had the potential for trouble, what actually triggered the world-ending explosion was the Voyager crew's attempt to rescue Janeway and Tom from the past. When Janeway realizes this and stops them, that's what sets off the Reset Button. Something bad may happen in the future, but without the (rather paradoxical) interference of the Voyager crew, that exact disaster will be averted.
Janeway herself speculated in the ep that the planned delay to mount the attack the following week could have led to various changes, including the activists being arrested or some of the group having a change of heart.
Ascended: In Season 4's "Demon", the crew finds puddles of goo that become sentient and copy the entire crew, complete with memories and the desire to go home. It wasn't until Season 5 ("Course: Oblivion") that the terrible implications of this were addressed.
It remains unclear how DNA samples of the crew passed on their memories and personalities.
"Equinox" ends with Janeway accepting the surviving Equinox crew-members onto her ship, but punishing them, by reducing them all to the rank of crewmen. Crewmen. CREWMEN. On a "STAR TREK" ship. And after this episode, we never saw any of them again. Janeway's been the star of a "Trek" series for five years at this point; she knows perfectly well what the rank of "crewmen" does to a person's odds of survival on a "Star Trek" series. It was a stealthy, unofficial form of execution.
It would only be an intentional execution if Janeway was genre savvy about the Redshirt trope. She's no doubt aware of justified versions of this trope. I.e. The military doctrine about putting high-ranking officers in danger, but not about the magic deflector shields high rank (and more importantly being a main cast member) grants you against disease, exploding consoles, EPS ruptures, and phaser fire. If she, and Star Fleet in general, were genre savvy of this portion of the trope, they'd just promote everyone to Lieutenant and the Jem'hadar would suddenly gain Stormtrooper accuracy unless they aimed at tragic irony, or heroic sacrifice target.
This could still be a snarky jab from the writers about their ultimate fate however.
They could also simply be working on the lower decks. There was an episode which introduced us to a character who had spent the whole journey working on the lowest deck the ship had doing the intellectual equivalent to shovelling coal into the boiler, it's very likely that they ended up in a similar role.
Seska stealing Chakotay's "DNA" while he was unconscious. It's obvious that by "DNA" she means "sperm." Exactly how she got his sperm into her body... there are a few possible ways, each more disturbing than the last.
She used a collection device similar to how cows are milked.
She jerked him off.
She stabbed him in the nut with a syringe needle.
She straight-up raped him. And then Seska had the gall to tell the Kazon that Chakotay had raped her.
Alternatively, she LIED and never did this at all. She lied to Chakotay to make him think the baby was his. But when it was born, the baby was half Cardassian, half Kazon. Meaning she never had Chakotay's DNA at all. It was a lie.
The fact that Seska was genuinely surprised to learn the baby wasn't Chakotay's doesn't disprove this theory, since she's not exactly the most mentally stable person.
And for Chakotay's side of this, there's also the fact that the events of "Basics" (deaths and all) occurred because he talked the crew into going on a rescue mission for a child who wasn't even his. Feeling guilty, Tattoo Boy?
She may have also actually meant DNA, but just didn't know squat about biology.
The fates of most of the senior officers, had Voyager not gotten lost in the Delta Quadrant...
Chakotay, B'Elanna, Chell, Ayala, and the other Maquis would likely be killed by the Dominion or imprisoned by Starfleet-assuming they didn't get killed in the Badlands.
Seven, Icheb, Mezoti, and the twins would still be Borg drones, or Seven would be a Borg drone, and the rest would have died, trapped on a derelict Borg cube, cut off from the collective, alone, and abandoned, hopelessly sending out distress signals for help that will never come...
Tom and B'Elanna would never have met, and their daughter would never have been born.
The Doctor would still be a mindless appliance (or at least treated like one), slaving in the mines with the other EMH-Mark 1s.
And to keep it going beyond the named cast members, the whole galaxy would end up being overrun by Species 8472.
The characters have brushes with death on a regular basis. But even so, just a few get honorary mention, for Fridge Horror...
In "Caretaker," if Janeway had allowed Tom Paris to be the pilot from the start, rather than an observer, he would have been at the helm instead of Stadi, when Voyager was pulled into the Delta Quadrant. Meaning Tom would have died instantly, as Stadi did.
"Scorpion:" If Seven of Nine hadn't been at the right place at the right time, where she could grab onto something and hold on long enough, without getting sucked into space with the other drones...
How about the fates of many (if not most) of the minor characters?
Let's start with Voyager personal who may have ended up off-screen casualties. Of the four Maquis Tuvok trained and bonded with in "Learning Curve," only Chel was seen and mentioned afterwards. We didn't see or hear about any of the crewman from "Good Shepherd" again except Tal Celes, twice, in "The Haunting of Deck Twelve" (although technically that episode was meant to have happened at some point before Collective), and "Workforce". What about Chapman (Seven's date in "Someone to Watch Over Me"), or the Equinox five, or the Borg baby? Crewman Jarot was a Betazoid in Season 5's "Counterpoint," but come Season 6's "Dragon's Teeth" Janeway laments not having a Betazoid to help her out. Any or all of these crew members could have been among the countless casualties Voyager suffered along the way.
Word of God has it that the Borg baby was returned to its people.
Unimatrix Zero was never mentioned again after the episode. Hopefully they're either just lying low for a while, or are a thorn in the Borg's side off-screen. But it's equally likely that the Borg managed to crush the rest of the resistance.
This one's a little Fridge Brilliance too. Without the Unimatrix Zero program, the former drones have no way to communicate with each other. The Voyager crew is as much in the dark about the outcome of that as the audience.
The alien in "Bliss" who continued to fight the "pitcher plant" alien at the end. Who won that fight?
Fan-fiction has kept most of these individuals alive and well, thankfully; but taken at face value, the show can look pretty grim.
Mentioned above, under the "Before and After" section. If the Doc hadn't made one tiny mistake, Kes's future would have remained. Which might be lovely for Kes, but certainly not for B'Elanna, Janeway, Miral, Seven of Nine, Icheb, the Borg kids, and arguably Chakotay (who'd have lost his best friend), and Tom (who'd have lost B'Elanna).
To expand on the above, given how often Seven would go onto save the ship, they'd all be dead if she had gotten spaced in "Scorpion". Even if they'd managed to solve the various crises themselves and even managed to build the Quantum Slipstream drive without her assistance, without Seven's cranial implants to send a message back through time in "Timeless", the entire crew save Harry and Chakotay would likely have been consigned to spend eternity trapped inside an icy glacier.
Expanding further, in "One" where she's the last woman standing to get them through the nebula. There's no guarantee that the crew would have realized that the Doctor would have gone offline during the trip, leaving them stranded if not for Seven.
Fridge Squick, really, but. Among the "artifacts" Annorax collects from civilizations on his Ret-Gone schedule are examples of their cuisine... which he then feeds to Chakotay and Tom. Meaning that the last remaining traces of these murdered peoples is now going to end up in a toilet.
Any time Voyager is in mortal danger, and Janeway mentions wanting to protect "this ship" or "this crew," the tension skyrockets when the audience remembers that "this crew" includes a child and her mother, and later in the series, more children and a pregnant woman.
It seems highly likely that the woman who fell in love with Harry Kim in "Prime Factors" was using him. The hat of this particular species is that they crave new experiences due to the fact that they get bored extremely easily. That's why they wanted Voyager to stay and why one of them was willing to commit treason for Voyager's library. To her, Harry is just another in a line of brand new experiences - an exotic alien from a faraway planet with many fascinating stories to tell. Easily the best evidence for this being true is that they met in the morning as absolute strangers, and by evening she was so in love that she was trying to passionately make out with him (and it's strongly implied that it would have gone further with her comment that they have hours to spare on the pleasure planet they transported to.) If Voyager had stayed, Harry would have had a broken heart by the end of the month.
The trauma poor Naomi Wildman must have endured growing up on Voyager is evident in "Mortal Coil." Her fear of "monsters in the replicator" might seem like nothing more than a typical child's imagination... until you remember the scene in "Macrocosm," one season earlier, when Janeway and Neelix explored the Wildman quarters. In that episode, it turned out that fast-growing giant "germs" had attacked and rendered the crew unconscious. Since the Macrocosm began as small as a flea before growing to terrifying sizes, it's perfectly possible that one or more flew out of the Wildman replicator, before growing and attacking Naomi and her mother. In other words, the "monster" Naomi imagines in her replicator is probably big, purple, and has three tentacles. Poor kid.
Speaking of Naomi, where was she during "Workforce" when the whole crew was mind raped into becoming slave workers? Because there are really only three options, and bearing in mind that she is a very young child, all of which are horrific. She was either imprisoned (and these are horrible people so it wouldn't be the equivalent of some quaint little day care center), mind-controlled into forgetting her mother and put with new parents, or put into forced labor in some kind of sweat shop. It is annoying, but not surprising, that she is never mentioned.
Or option four, kept with her mother and had her memories altered to match her mother's altered memories. Still horrific, because it still constitutes mind rape to alter anyone's memories, but less horrific than those three options.
And just to add to her traumatic little life, when the crew relived the memories of a "My Lai"-esque incident in "Memorial," how must that have gone for her? Especially since the only children at the scene were all victims, meaning she experienced her own death.
Not likely; Naomi is seen and mentioned in "Memorial," and is fine. She's just worried about Neelix. Only half of the crew was affected, and the implication is that Naomi was spared. The Memorial was probably programmed to target only adults.
Another Naomi one: Imagine "Once Upon a Time" from her point of view. You're a little girl, your single mother is away on a business trip, and you're being left with a babysitter while your mother video chats with you every day. But then, one day she doesn't video chat. At first it's no big deal, you assume she's busy, and you and your babysitter go play the virtual reality game you enjoy. Only, it's an Unexpectedly Dark Episode that ends on a cliffhanger with one of your favorite characters being evaporated, and you can't keep playing because it's your bedtime and to make matters worse, your babysitter is acting oddly skittish for reasons you don't know. Your mother again doesn't video chat, and you start to worry, knowing that her job is dangerous and has a rule that says parents must contact their kids every day, so you ask your babysitter why your mother might not be calling and he says all's well, but still seems skittish. You go to sleep, then you have a nightmare, wake up, and call for your babysitter but he isn't there. You find out that he's at work, so you go to his workplace nearby (where your mother also usually works) and find their coworker talking urgently to some other coworkers about going somewhere. Then, you go to where the babysitter is and find a screen showing that your mother was in a crash, and the only hope is that your mother's boss said something about "survivors", implying not everyone died. That's pretty much what Naomi went through.
Early "Course Oblivion," the duplicate Janeway mentions "Ensign Harper's new baby." Let that sink in. For context, it turns out that wasn't the real Ensign Harper, but a copy of her, who only thought she had a baby, and then everyone, including the baby, melts into nothing.
Regarding the Vidiians and their Phage. What are the chances of a well-off society just randomly coming down with a disease that resists absolutely every effort to get rid of it for two thousand years straight? Perhaps someone deliberately engineered the Phage and unleashed it on them out of spite.
And when the Phage gets cured (off-screen), the Vidiians are still gonna be up shit-creek, what with all those species out there they robbed and attacked or cut up in their creepy labs for their precious organs wanting revenge. (One novel provides a glimpse of this—Denara Pel, the Doctor's friend, has been enslaved by one of the Vidiians' enemies.)
On the surface, Neelix is a cheerful individual. Deep down, he's a traumatized individual even before he joined the crew - he skipped out on military service leaving him with guilt over it, and the only reason he's alive is because of that, leaving him with massive survivor's guilt when his homeworld was destroyed, including his own family. Oh and he was part of a team that examined the aftermath, meaning he saw the horrors of what the deceased went through. He barely scraped by as a merchant dealing with hostile aliens, fell in love with a woman who, if they somehow had a long relationship, would die in only a few years. He does his best to assist the crew in their situation, considering their old ways won't work, especially in helping to FEED them, and gets a lot of shit in return for it (it's suggested he's not a great cook, but he's working with foreign recipes from a planet far away as well as foods the Voyager crew are unfamiliar with - and Janeway is known to burn food out of a replicatornote Though it's implied to be because the replicator is glitchy, so they crew could do worse). Then he has a lung stolen by an alien race and barely survives the encounter, is merged with Tuvok into one being, later believes he may be useless to the crew when they venture beyond the region he knows, and there was the time he died - they resurrected him with Borg technology, leaving him wondering if either the afterlife he'd believed in actually existed (he had no memory of it) or if the real Neelix was dead and he was merely a reanimated corpse. It's a miracle that Neelix hadn't committed suicide long ago from all of this, and his cheerful façade may be his only way of coping.
Speaking of the afterlife, "Coda" offers up not only some Nightmare Fuel, but the dreadful and (we know from seeing certain other Star Trek series' episodes about the afterlife) entirely credible possibility that Hell and its demons are real and on the prowl for prey in the Star Trek universe. We're not just talking about Sufficiently Advanced Aliens like the Q Continuum and possibly the Prophets and their Pah-Wraith counterparts in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, but spiritual predators in an actual afterlife. This is actually acknowledged somewhat near the end of the episode when Janeway tells Chakotay she sure hopes the imposter posing as her deceased father was just another local alien from the Delta Quadrant, but she can't really be sure in view of the near death experiences some have reported back home in the Alpha Quadrant.
In "Bride of Chaotica!", Chaotica could be defeated because it was a simple win-the-battle scenario. What if Paris and Kim had been LARPing New Jedi Order or something similar?
It only really happened in the first place because Chaotica and his minions were the only holo-characters. A more complex scenario would have had a cast of friendly NPCs to vouch for the heroes.
Watch Season 4's "Revulsion" again as an adult. The hologram was raped. (Revealed in one of his rants, where he mentions them "taking advantage of me" with a horrified and disgusted face, and following that organics are disgusting.)
Actually, by "taking advantage of", he means being treated like a slave (not that kind of slave) and by "disgusting", he means human bodily fluids and skin.
In "Endgame," some fans found it odd that Miral Paris was willing to help Admiral Janeway change the timeline from the year Miral was born, altering Miral's entire life. Then again, maybe it's not so far-fetched; given how badly things turned out for Tuvok, Chakotay and Seven, is it a stretch that Miral—for some reason or another—didn't have a great life either? What the hell happened to poor Miral in that timeline that she was felt she had nothing to lose by letting the Admiral change it all?
In "Once Upon a Time", Harry wistfully admits he would have loved to have grown up on Voyager like Naomi is currently doing. The episode afterwards is Timeless, in which Harry's mistakes ended up killing the entire crew, including Naomi and her mother. Talk about Irony.
Also in "Endgame", when Janeway is leaving the Bad Future to rendezvous with the past Voyager in the Delta Quadrant, Captain Harry Kim has his crew and his ship, the Rhode Island, to Hold the Line against two Klingon Negh'Var-class warships to allow Janeway to escape to the past in her shuttle. But then, as the past Voyager encounters future-Janeway's shuttle, she orders her past self to seal the temporal rift, which one of the Klingon vessels is visibly passing through. Did Harry and his crew suffer a Total Party Kill on the other side, or get wiped from existence due to the changes in the timeline? And if the Klingon ship had emerged on the other side, would it have immediately laid a Curb-Stomp Battle on the 26-years-less-advanced USS Voyager?
In "Fair Haven", the crew institutes an open-door policy for Paris' latest holodeck program, the eponymous Fair Haven. In the episode, Janeway is implied to have slept with one of the holograms whom she had reprogrammed to be more attractive to her. However, the scene before shows that other people were in the holodeck at the time due to the aforementioned open door. Does that mean that if the power failed suddenly (as it often does), they would all be standing around Janeway naked with her feet in the air?
The lizard creatures that Janeway and Paris give birth to at the end of Threshold were rather heartlessly abandoned on an alien world they were not adapted to survive on. And if they did somehow survive, who knows what effect they will have on this completely foreign ecosystem?
Body swapping stories very rarely focus on the sheer trauma that having your body stolen would entail, but by the way the original Steth spoke to Paris whilst trapped inside Daelan's body during the episode Vis a Vis, he must have suffered a continuous hell for a whole year. What we have here is a situation where the unnamed creature not only robbed him of his physical sex (effectively inflicting gender dysphoria upon him) but also his very species which in Star Trek can have a huge impact upon your life. Being a side-character touched on for all of ten minutes means we don't actually know the specifics of this alien race, but could you imagine for example suddenly having to deal with something similar to the Pon Farr? In other words, for a whole year he had to come to terms with the biological and cultural changes of being a woman, the biological and cultural changes of being an alien, the trauma of seeing someone else stare back at him in the mirror every morning, and the stress and danger of his hunt for his original body across the stars. In real life, he would be a candidate for some serious PTSD once the cameras stopped rolling.
So, in a society that determines your worth and value by what you offer, you are the leader of a sect that managed to capture the greatest technological marvel in the quadrant... and then lose it. Worse, lose it to a bunch of Talaxian MERCHANTS. You and your people barely escape with your lives, with all your resources greatly diminished and now carrying the stigma of that loss. What are the odds that Cullah and his son - a "mongrel," a half-breed, tainted with the genetic connection to Seska, an alien (and an alien woman in a violently patriarchal and sexist society) - survived long after the events of "Basics"? Because I'm thinking not very long. (Horror for the fact that this was the way that the production staff decided they wanted to deal with an infant they didn't want to bring onto the ship - leaving them in a violent society that would just as likely kill them for the ease of resources as anything else. But, y'know, so long as the kid doesn't die on screen..)
In "Caretaker", the throwaway gag about "they warned us about the Ferengi at Starfleet Academy"? Imagine being Cadet Nog and hearing that bigoted shit about your people from one of your teachers. And knowing that most Ferengi do live up to that rep (think Liquidator Brunt) and he's the Token Heroic Orc (why he left his people to join Starfleet in the first place).
In "Virtuoso", Neelix apparently turns into a hypochondriac once every "flu season" (however that would work on Voyager) and Doc gives him a placebo every time... but what if he once actually got the flu, then when he asks Doc why it doesn't work, Doc will have to admit it was a placebo and Neelix wouldn't trust him anymore.
All Maquis either die or get imprisoned. This means that Ro Laren is either dead or imprisoned.
In an early episode, Tom calls Neelix the baby alien's "godmother", implying he thinks men can't be affectionate to kids. Later, he becomes a dad... Also, considering what B'Elanna did in "Real Life", what if their daughter turns out to be polite and intellectual?
In the episode "The Omega Directive," Seven states that the Borg have standing orders to assimilate any species or resources with any reference to the Omega molecule. Later, in the episode Unimatrix Zero, Janeway, Torres, and Tuvok are assimilated by the Borg. True, they have taken precautions to prevent full assimilation, but Tuvok's start to fail. Did the Borg access his memories, and therefore the location of the star system that holds the resources to synthesize the molecule, and therefore, has the Federations directive condemned an innocent species to assimilation?
Since it's unlikely the species stopped experimenting with the omega molecule once Voyager left they were bound to attract the Collective's attention sooner or later anyway. They were pretty much doomed no matter what they did.
The episode Body and Soul really hasn't aged well as the Forceful Kiss that the Doctor receives is played for laughs rather than the sexual assault that it actually was. But then there is an in-universe reason for this: the Doctor isn't used to being a leggy blonde woman with big boobs, he's used to looking like a balding, middle-aged man and thus see's the world through that lens. And this marks his introduction into the darker side of the world that women like Seven have to deal with on a daily basis. The Doctor basically had a Me Too moment and he didn't even realise it.
Its hard to see the Doctor's back-up copy from Living Witness having anything other than a hellish future. The episode takes place around the 3100s if the figures in the episode are to be believed and ends with the him setting course for home after having a peaceful and celebrated life among his newfound friends. Unfortunately for him, this is right around the time of Star Trek Discovery season 3 and thus all that he is going to find is a Federation and an Alpha Quadrant in pieces. His dream of following the path of the Voyager crew is not going to have a happy ending. Of course, this assumes that he was lucky enough to scrounge up enough dilithium to make the trip in a reasonable time frame. If he didn't, and given how time is no object to the Doctor, then he is going to arrive about a hundred thousand years after these events - which in itself is Fridge Horror as by that time the words USS Voyager would probably be lost to time and he would lose any hope of finding out what happened to them. The best we can hope for is that he cuts his losses and turns right back around again.