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- The very premise of the series, established in the first episode: What was supposed to be a routine police operation ends up taking the Voyager over 70,000 light years away from home, a distance that would take Voyager over 70 years to cross, and that's assuming it constantly goes at maximum speed (mind you, that max speed is a cutting-edge Warp 9.975) and doesn't have to stop for repairs or refueling. The prospect of trying to get in contact with your loved ones — your kids, your friends, your spouses — to let them know you're alive and well, when even subspace communication can't go fast enough to relay it in a reasonable period of time, is brought up at least once throughout the series.
- It doesn't get worse than the Vidiians. Afflicted with a disease that wastes their bodies to the point where most of them make your average zombie look like a GQ model by comparison, they attack ships to harvest crews' organs. Instead of the usual ray guns, their weapons teleport organs right out of victims' bodies. Skin is in demand as well, and many a Redshirt has been taken away only for a Vidiian to return still looking pretty rotted... except for the face, which now has human skin that doesn't fit very well. And only the face, not the rest of the head, furthering the glued-on-skin look. It doesn't help that the Vidiian "phage" has been inspired by a real disease, commonly known as flesh-eating disease.
- Adding to the unsettling of the example (the current page image) is that, out of universe, they doubled up the role - the same actor is playing the unfortunate redshirt and the Vidiian. Oh, and said redshirt had appeared in a prior episode, so seeming like he was being set up as recurring. It wasn't just a random character, it was someone that the audience had seen before.
- Whatever the Caretaker is doing with the Maquis and Starfleet crew. They're all suspended in the air, and a needle is shoved into their chests. Bad enough, but then Harry wakes up in the middle and screams as the needle goes into him.
- Implied with Kes in the pilot. The Kazon are unintelligent, violent space pirates...who had a pretty young woman as their prisoner for an unknown length of time. Kes is probably extremely lucky that she doesn't have a conventional humanoid reproductive system.
- In the episode "State of Flux", we see the inside of a horrifically damaged Kazon vessel. They had been trying to reverse engineer Federation technology. It backfired and all but one of the Kazon have been seemingly fused with solid matter.
- Kes's burned face in Neelix's dream in "Jetrel", as well as the vivid descriptions of the metreon cascade on Rinax. The weapon and its effects were written to resemble the atom bombs, to chilling effect.
- "Emanations" presents a bit of psychological horror: Without any way to determine where Kim went or if he survived, Janeway prepares to leave the system. Now imagine Kim's position: being 70 years across the galaxy from everything and everyone you've ever known, and your only way home is about to leave at warp speed. No wonder Kim is willing to literally kill himself to avoid that fate.
- By the way, "literally" is being used quite correctly; that's his actual plan. Kim commits suicide, on-screen, in the vague hope that Voyager will find and revive him before he's totally brain dead. It Makes Sense in Context, but jeez.
- "Meld" is downright chilling, where a Mind Meld with someone imprisoned for murder leaves Tuvok a psychotic mess. Up to and including the scene where he actually strangles Neelix to death. Of course, it's a Holodeck version of Neelix, but it's really disconcerting to watch the normally collected Tuvok go off the deep end like this.
- "The Thaw" in which members of the crew are trapped in a dream-like computer program where they are held captive by, ridiculed and almost killed by, not a Monster Clown but a whole bloody monster circus. The clown was the ringleader (played by Micheal McKean as a Large Ham - and why wouldn't he be, he's the embodiment of fear). The part that I remember the most is when the whole circus sings out "A VI-RUS! A VI-RUS! HE THINKS WE ARE A VI-RUS!" in a chillingly demented way.
- "Persistence of Vision" gets special points for some of the hallucinations - the Body Horror ones were awful, but perhaps even more so were the more Lotus-Eater Machine ones. Just think... a loved one appears to you and if you listen to and engage the figment at all, even to tell them you know they aren't real, you wind up trapped, staring into space with God-only-knows what going on inside your head (the episode had some Nothing Is Scarier going; we don't know what happens to you when you succumb and become basically catatonic and that made it worse somehow.) And then the way it ended...
- "Cold Fire" also deserves a special mention for that nice scene in which Kes inadvertently causes Tuvok's blood to boil in a nice display of her ever-growing psychic powers.
- In "Deadlock", a rift creates a second Voyager and the two ships try their best to work out a solution, which already seems to involve one of them not making it. Then the ever-stalkerish Vidiians show up, and invade one of the ships. This one's Janeway sends Harry Kim along with baby Naomi Wildman to escape to the other Voyager, since their counterparts have died and the ship has no hope of escape, only to aid its counterpart in doing so. The Vidiians almost stroll through, killing and harvesting the crew at will, until they come to the Sickbay and find Samantha Wildman — who they discover has recently given birth. There is a chilling excitement in their voices at this discovery, and from a coldly scientific standpoint, a newborn's cells and organs would be valuable to them. But their near-glee and sudden pressing desire to find the child just finalizes this creepiest-ever species' turn into totally unsympathetic villains.
- Earlier in the same episode, there's the sudden Jump Scare of the hull breach on the damaged duplicate of Voyager that opens up in a Jefferies Tube below B'Elanna and sucks out the counterpart Harry Kim to his doom, as well as the implication that either (A) his corpse is still doing some Dramatic Space Drifting out there somewhere, or (B) it got recovered by the surviving Voyager after the events of the episode and given a burial presumably in front of his still-alive duplicate.
- One duplicate of Voyager receiving one hull breach and system failure after another by means of proton bursts, and until they establish communication with the other Voyager, they have no idea what's causing it.
- One of the baby Naomis dying in the arms of her mother Samantha, after the damage to their copy of Voyager led to complications and the Doctor not being able to respond to the problem effectively.
- Henry Starling from "Future's End" shows what happens when a 20th-century sociopath gets his hands on 29th-century technology. From altering the Doctor's program so he can be tortured with actual pain to being responsible for a disaster that will destroy the Sol System simply because he wants to boost his own prestige and bank account...let's just say he deserved the photon torpedo that explosively stopped his plans.
- "Macrocosm": What about the macroviruses? Giant germs that popped out of victims' necks, buzzed around like insects, and eventually grew from bug size to bird size to monstrous. Now imagine how much worse it must have been for Naomi Wildman. Bugs as big as her, and Mommy is sick.
- "Coda". Oh GOD, "Coda". Imagine experiencing several versions of your own death, then having an out-of-body experience watching your own death, eventually your funeral. And then realizing it's a hallucination, and you're face to face with a creature trying to harvest your soul.
- It gets better, the creature shows up looking like a family member and has intimate knowledge of your life. How many religions describe "crossing over" this way? Janeway even notes at the end that this creature may not be exclusive to the Delta quadrant.
Janeway's "father": You're in a dangerous profession, Captain. You face death everyday. There will be another time, and I'll be waiting. Eventually, you will come into my matrix... and you will nourish me for a long, long time.
- "Darkling": When the EMH has its ethics removed, Robert Picardo shows just how scary the Doc can be.
- This will happen again in the episode "Equinox," implying that a few lines of code are the only thing standing between the Doctor's normal, genial personality, and that of a sadistic sociopath.
- "Unity": A Borg ship is unsettling normally. A Borg ship that's been damaged and all systems offline, rendering it adrift and a ghost ship is even more.
- Then the Doctor, during an autopsy, accidentally reactivates a Borg drone, causing a Jump Scare as the drone suddenly bolts upright on the biobed.
- Definetely an Oh, Crap! moment, considering that a Borg's usual response to being awakened in a strange environment is to immediately contact the Collective.
- As well intended as the Cooperative make all of their goals and intentions sound, they still impose their will on Chakotay in order to achieve their goals. While Riley speaks of the Cooperative as a place where there is harmony and unity, it's all too easy to see that power be turned to imposing those ideals. It's not just possible that we witnessed the birth of a new Borg Collective, it's just as possible we even have witnessed how the Borg began themselves.
- Species 8472 scare the Borg as much as Locutus and the Borg Queen scared some of us. They can not just defeat the Borg but do it easily. To put this into perspective, whenever a Borg cube appears in Federation space there's usually a dozen or more ships mobilized to fight it and even then there's heavy casualties. At one point an 8472 ship was drifting, unharmed, among a bunch of Borg cubes, lazily taking pot shots at them and blowing each one away with one or two hits.
- The Body Horror they can inflict simply by touching you. All they need is a scratch, and the handful of cells that scrape off will proceed to merrily grow in the nutrient-rich environment that is your body, like a parasite that is at the same time a chaotic cancerous growth. And it progresses fast enough to kill in hours.
- Species 8472 were introduced in an episode featuring a small mountain of mutilated Borg corpses. Gah.
- Later on, they blow up a Borg planet. If the Alderaan scene is scary, imagine this being done by a couple of Voyager-sized ships, with the beams first converging on a central one before hitting a planet - and instead of clear "Hit and Boom" one sees as the planet disintegrates piece by piece!
- Even worse: You can see bright, jagged lines spreading across the planet's surface like a spider web just before it blows. Evidently, Species 8472 bioship weapons can fracture tectonic plates!
- Janeway's nanite weapons are based on stuff that melted the 8472 cells infecting Harry. Imagine being one of the 8472 soldiers who responds to Voyager's invasion of their space...and is literally melted away, their protective bioship losing its cohesion and exposing the 8472 soldier's dissolving body to the nanites and whatever fluidic space is made of? That's an agonizing way to die.
- The introduction of Species 8472 proper. Someone more powerful than the Borg. Lets put this in context. Voyager enters the heart of Borg territory, and quickly encounter an armada of fifteen Borg cubes. Just one of these behemoths wiped out nearly forty Starfleet vessels at Wolf 359. And aside from a brief scan, the Borg pay them no mind. Despite Janeway saying she chose to view it as a good omen, the Borgs complete dismissal of a Starfleet ship in their territory is at best concerning. And then, a short while later, Voyager finds the entire armada blown to pieces. And while being aboard a Borg ship is never a pleasant experience, the away teams visit, seeing malfunctioning and dead drones still in their alcoves and the absolute failure of the Borg to assimilate 8472 technology... All of it hammers home how utterly outclassed Voyager is to this threat.
- "Revulsion": Dejaren is basically Norman Bates as a hologram with a pronounced case of Fantastic Racism for organic lifeforms.
- "Scientific Method" in which the crew are being experimented upon by invisible (phased) aliens. When Seven of Nine alters her optical whatevers, we see the crew walking around with 'things' sticking out of them while being followed by alien scientists like labrats. And for extra pants-soiling fun, the scene where one of the aliens walks up to Seven and starts adjusting one of the unholy devices attached to her face. And we never get to see what it looks like. And Seven absolutely cannot react to whatever horrors she sees or else she would give the game away to the aliens and they would exterminate Voyager's crew as "failed test subjects".
- To cap it off, when finally confronted, the leader of these invisible aliens has the nerve to defend their work, without a shred of sympathy for a single member of the ship's crew. Janeway gets her revenge by invoking some Nightmare Fuel of her own - she flies the ship through a binary cluster that nearly fries the whole thing to a crisp, causing the invaders to decide that maybe they'd better hit the road. Keep in mind that this is The Captain of the ship, nearly destroying it, out of a fit of anger. Do not piss Kathryn Janeway off.
- "One": Those hallucinations and creepy whispers, and the pure terror in Seven's voice when the Doctor goes permanently offline. Really, the episode gets really unsettling - it's just Seven and the Doctor alone as Voyager passes through a nebula that's lethal to most forms of life and too large for them to just go around unless they want to add a year to their trip. The Doctor's a hologram and Seven's implants protect her, so they run the ship for a month while the crew is in stasis. As time goes on, they begin to bicker, having been cooped up with only each other for company for too long. Then the ship starts malfunctioning, due to the techno-organic nature of the bio-neural gel packs. These malfunctions eventually affect the Doctor's mobile emitter, confining him to Sickbay, leaving Seven alone to maintain the ship and crew. The rest of the episode is a Mind Screw of hallucinations. Watching Seven of Nine, one of the most stoic people to ever stoic, so visibly terrified, breaking down in fear as she struggles to maintain her grip on reality is chilling. And it gets worse if you get cabin fever real easily.
- "Year of Hell": Annorax is basically what happens when you give a man everything he's always wanted...for the price of everything he loves.
- Annorax and his crew are some of the worst criminals in Star Trek history, if you think about it. They spent over 200 years isolated from normal spacetime, using their giant temporal weapon ship to wipe out countless spacefaring species over and over again. Who knows how many billions, perhaps trillions of innocent beings were erased from existence during that time, perhaps even restored only to be wiped out all over again by the next temporal incursion. Even his own species, the Krenim Imperium, was altered over and over again because of Annorax's obsessive quest to restore his home colony and wife to their pre-incursion state. And without temporal shielding technology, no one else in the Delta Quadrant had any idea that any of this was going on as their entire reality was reshaped over and over again.
- And Annorax's punishment for such an unprecedented genocide? Because of Voyager's actions, he ends up living in a timeline with his wife and home completely restored, with no memory of the last 200 years. (To be fair, all of his crimes were also undone.)
- Janeway becoming more-and-more unhinged throughout the episode. Say what you will about Janeway, but being under pressure is usually when she's at her best. "Year of Hell" (deliberately) shows what she becomes when she's pushed past her limit, and the result is more than a little unsettling.
- "Waking Moments": We see the dreams of several members of the crew, which are fairly tame, apart from Janeway's dream about finding her crew dead because she didn't get them home in time. But then, it kicks into overdrive when one of these appears right out of nowhere and just... stares at them.
- "The Raven": Seven is tormented of flashbacks of herself as a six-year old child running in terror from the pursuing Borg, who have already assimilated her parents and are coming for her.
- "Random Thoughts" explores the dark side of telepathy, involving people who get off on the most violent thoughts possible. This culminates in a Mind Meld in which Tuvok assaults one of the locals involved in a telepathic Black Market — and causes actual physical pain in said local.
- Tuvok's final assault bears further mention, because it reminds us that Vulcans suppressing their emotions is an extremely good thing. The ringleader of the Black Market has made it his business to obtain and distribute the most violent, sadistic thoughts he can find— and what he sees when Tuvok lets down his mental training and exposes him to raw, unfiltered Vulcan emotions leaves him whimpering, trembling, and begging for the experience to end.
- "Bliss": A wormhole back to Earth turns out to actually be a gigantic and highly intelligent monster, a 'telepathic pitcher plant' which deceives its prey with hallucinations so it can digest them. The crew are teased with "messages" from Earth that play to their personal desires (Janeway finds her former boyfriend is available again as the Maquis are offered full pardons and new jobs) and only Seven of Nine is unaffected (as she's not as eager to get back to Earth) so the alien tricks the crew into putting her and the Doctor (also unaffected as he's a hologram) off-line.
- Seven meets with Qatai, a grizzled man who's been hunting the alien for 40 years, ever since it ate up the ship carrying his family and 3000 others. He notes that "it's the silence I hate. The way he takes you without a fight."
- In the TNG episode "Where Silence Has Lease", Worf mentioned Klingon legends of a creature that devours entire starships whole. It turns out there was more than a little truth to those legends after all. What's more, this particular creature is over 200,000 years old. How many ships and people had it devoured in its lifetime, and how many others of its species are out roaming around the galaxy, luring in unsuspecting travelers as prey?
- Watching the Doctor go round and round in "Latent Image", his mind tearing itself apart with guilt over choosing to save Harry over Jetal, is scary as it is heartbreaking. The first iteration is particularly creepy, with him starting off weirdly cheerful before devolving into a ranting, furious breakdown in front of the entire mess hall.
- "Timeless" was full of these moments, such as seeing a Voyager full of dead and frozen people, and the lovely scenes of the Doctor holding half of Seven's skull and poking around in it. Sure, Reset Button, but ew. Harry also mentions off-handedly early in the episode that the bottom five decks of the ship were all "compacted" during the crash, meaning that those crewmembers who didn't have every bone in their body shattered into a million pieces on impact instead got to be crushed to a bloody pulp.
- "Infinite Regress": Seven of Nine is tormented by a malfunctioning Borg "Vinculum" that causes her to develop multiple personality disorder. Personalities of beings assimilated by the Borg. One is a woman taken at Wolf 359, and another is a six year old child. When Tuvok tries to mind meld with Seven to save her, a Vulcan personality actually warns Tuvok away, and the aforementioned child is found in the crowd screaming in terror and begging for her mother to save her.
- When Seven starts to hear the voices of the Collective in her head, we get several rapid fire shots of screaming people trapped in Borg regeneration chambers. Human, Bolian, Klingon, Romulan, Cardassian; all shrieking in pain and terror.
- The scenes of Tuvok fighting his way through the shouting and terrified crowd in Seven's mind during the meld are very unsettling for those who get claustrophobic or anxious in crowds.
- "Dark Frontier" has plenty of Borg-based scariness, including the Borg Queen tapping into Seven while she's regenerating like a cybernetic Freddy Krueger. The members of Species 10026 trapped on the Borg ship, waiting in line for their assimilation—including one who gets Borgified right before Seven, terror showing in his eyes. And the icing on the terror cake: Seven coming face-to-face with her Borgified dad.
- Seven potentially being confronted with Loss of Identity—it is possible to interpret some of Jeri Ryan's lines and deliveries as Seven being unsure whether she is an individual or part of the Borg.
- At one point in the episode, a man awaiting assimilation tries to make a break for it right past Seven. Acting on pure reflex, Seven restrains the man, allowing a nearby drone to inject him with nanoprobes. Imagine consigning an innocent man to assimilation because you couldn't stop yourself from acting on a split-second instinctual impulse. What's worse is that this instinct was probably programmed into her by the Borg—right along with the enhanced speed and strength that allowed Seven to effortlessly stop the man in his tracks.
- "Course: Oblivion" features a duplicate Voyager ship, along with the full crew, disintegrating and losing all record of their existence. What really drives the point home is the fact the real Voyager crew answers the distress call and cannot identify what little debris is left floating in space. Alt-Harry Kim and his heroic efforts to save his friends are nothing more than a passing note in Janeway's log.
- "Night", for the Nothing Is Scarier aspect - for two years, Voyager will be traveling through an area of space where no light reaches. It's just Voyager alone, traveling through the literal black. The stars would at least provide a comfort, for navigation's sake if nothing else. But looking out the window, knowing there should be stars but seeing NOTHING... It really emphasizes the idea that they're all alone out there. And then the power goes out...
- Chakotay's opponent in "The Fight" has no face, only a starfield.
- From that same episode, hearing him yelling nonsense and trying to fight.
- Show Within a Show version in "Once Upon a Time": There's a sequence in a child's holodeck program in which a massive fire monster hops out of nowhere and burns the main character to what looks like death if the kid's not bright enough to figure out how to help him. Worse happens in some children's stories, but the Holodeck is virtual reality — 3D, immersive, in your face, and by the 24th century, as realistic-looking as reality. The idea of any programmer making such entertainment for a child seriously stretches Willing Suspension of Disbelief.
- In the same episode, it must have been scary for little Naomi Wildman. Her mother is not contacting her, even though she knows that she's supposed to per away team regulations. When she asks Neelix questions regarding her mother, his answers are ambiguous or irrelevant, when she sneaks out onto the bridge to look for Neelix, she hears B'Elanna using words like "crash" and "survivors", and on top of that, her favourite holonovel is in a chapter where the forest is burned down and the main character is vaporised and Neelix won't let her go back onto the holodeck.
- The Malon "waste export business" is usually just kind of gross, but in "Juggernaut" we get to see a lovely first-hand view of what a career of dumping insanely radioactive toxic waste can do to you.
- As if "Meld" didn't show enough of Tuvok losing control of himself, "Repression" has him Mind Raping the former Maquis without remembering, while being unconsciously controlled by a subconscious brainwashing program that's just been triggered by a crazy Bajoran Vedek back in the Alpha Quadrant.
- Despite the episode being Played for Laughs, consider "Body and Soul" from Sevens perspective, how she loses the autonomy that the Borg denied her, that she had spent three years reclaiming. Sure, it was her idea and the only way to save the Doctor from hologram-hating aliens, but still, for Seven, this has to be a nightmare, once again having her individually subsumed by another consciousness and will.
- You'd be dead anyway so it's not like you'd notice, but members of the crew who died prior to Admiral Janeway showing up via Time Travel to boost Voyager back home with future technology in "Endgame" would be well within their rights to be aggrieved their Captain abandoned them from potential rescue just to ensure Seven Of Nine didn't die, rather than say, going back to before Voyager or the Maquis were taken by the Caretaker Array. You would be doubly pissed off if you happened to have died after Seven showed up but before Admiral Janeway went back in time since Janeway could have saved you as well but didn't, for no apparent reason. Half the crew, including multiple senior staff members died but as a collective they meant less to Admiral Janeway than a single ex-Borg drone did.
- After enough "special moments" like this, the network all but started advertising it as a horror show. "Such-and-such happens on The Sentinel, and then Star Trek: Voyager unleashes another hour of terror." They're right!