Captain Janeway’s USS Voyager Just Returned To Star Trek, But They Changed It

See the USS Voyager up close, docked at Starfleet's Fleet Museum.

By Josh Tyler | Updated

Star Trek: Voyager ended its television run on May 23, 2001. The iconic ship the show was named after, hadn’t been seen since, until now. Star Trek: Picard just brought it back for an episode titled “The Bounty” in season 3. Here’s what she looked like, in her one close-up shot in the episode…

USS Voyager fleet museum
USS Voyager on Star Trek: Picard

In episode one of this Picard season, Star Trek gave us the Voyager-B, but that’s a totally new ship. This is the first time we’ve seen the original Voyager, the one that went to the Delta Quadrant, since Star Trek: Voyager went off the air in 2001.

And here is that original Voyager’s return being introduced on Star Trek: Picard season 3 episode 6, in a beautiful and touching scene from Commander Seven of Nine, who once called the USS Voyager home…

Because Star Trek: Voyager ended its run on television before the advent of HD, and because CBS has been too cheap to spend the money to upgrade the show to HD, we’ve never actually seen Voyager in anything other than grainy, low-def 90s television quality. This is the first time she’s ever been seen in HD.

To that end, it seems they made a few minor changes to the ship. Maybe they were made to better take advantage of HD, or maybe for other mysterious reasons.

Here’s the USS Voyager as she looked on Star Trek: Voyager more than twenty years ago, stacked on top of the new HD version for comparison purposes…

USS Voyager in 2001
USS Voyager in 2023

The biggest thing you’re likely to notice is the color, which has been changed to a darker shade of gray. Along with that, Voyager’s hull now has a more plated look than the old version.

Most of the other slight changes are on the bottom of the ship’s saucer section. The registry number, which is on the ship in the 2001 version, is missing in the 2023 version. That’s likely simply due to time constraints, they probably just ran out of time and didn’t do it.

The windows on the saucer are also different. The 2023 version has some kind of massive viewing window in front of the aero shuttle while the 2001 version has something a little more subdued and less grand in that spot. There are minor changes to some of the other windows too.

So there are changes, but they’re minor. Showrunner Terry Matalas and his team deserve a round of applause for their effort here. Despite those minor differences, this is an incredibly faithful re-creation of the starship Voyager. Fans are over the moon with excitement for the faithful way he’s used and referenced Star Trek canon in his storytelling.

Voyager wasn’t the only iconic Trek ship to make an appearance in this Star Trek: Picard episode. We have a full breakdown of every ship seen in the episode in orbit around the fleet museum on our dedicated Starship page.

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