Star Trek: Voyager
- Franchise: Star Trek
- Directed By: Rick Berman, Michael Piller, Jeri Taylor
- Original Release Date: January 16, 1995
- Total Episodes: 172
Robert Duncan McNeill
Seven of Nine
As one ends, another begins, and so it goes with the Star Trek television franchise. Star Trek: The Next Generation had just wrapped its successful seven-year run and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was already into its third season when Paramount executives decided a new Star Trek series was necessary to help kickstart their brand-new network, UPN. So, they turned to the Star Trek brain trust of Rick Berman, Michael Piller, and Jeri Taylor to devise a new series – Star Trek: Voyager.
Star Trek: Voyager Ran For 172 Episodes Over Seven Seasons
Star Trek: Voyager ran for seven seasons (1995-2001), tying it for the longest run of Star Trek television series with Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Its 172 total episode count made it the third most of a Star Trek series. The series’ roots were built as the last season of The Next Generation and the second season of Deep Space Nine aired.
As was done with Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager was serialized. It followed the crew of the Voyager as they depart the Deep Space Nine space station to take on a mission into the Badlands. Their goal is to find a missing spaceship that is being piloted by a group of Maquis rebels. When Voyager finally reaches the Badlands, they run into trouble.
A powerful energy wave takes over the Voyager, killing several crew members and damaging the ship. This energy wave also strands Voyager in the Delta Quadrant of the Milky Way, an area that is over 70,000 light years away from Earth. What the crew then finds out is that the energy wave was not a random thing, but used by the Caretaker, an alien entity that wanted Voyager.
Once in the Delta Quadrant, the Voyager and its crew discover they are not alone. Caretaker has also brought over the Maquis spaceship. Now damaged, the Maquis must team up with the Voyager crew to figure out how to get back to where they both came from. And so the adventures of Star Trek: Voyager begin.
Kate Mulgrew Played Kathryn Janeway, The First Female Captain
Just like Star Trek: Deep Space Nine introduced a Star Trek franchise first with an African American Captain (Avery Brooks as Sisko), Star Trek: Voyager also introduced a first – Kate Mulgrew as Captain Kathryn Janeway, the first female Captain to helm a Starfleet ship.
Her first mission, to locate the missing Maquis ship, did not go as planned and her decision to destroy the Caretaker Array device, one that could have returned her ship to Federation space, now has her crew stranded 75 years from home.
Robert Beltran played Chakotay for the entire seven-season run. He was a former Starfleet officer who shunned his duties to join the Marquis. He was the character Janeway was going after when both ships got hit with the Caretaker energy wave.
Tim Ruse played Vulcan Starfleet officer, Tuvok. His initial assignment was to infiltrate the Maquis ship and ends up being one of the many pulled into the Delta Quadrant. When he returns to the Voyager, he becomes the second officer under Captain Janeway.
Other stars who made their impact on Star Trek: Voyager were Robert Picardo as The Doctor, Garrett Wang as Harry Kim, Robert Duncan McNeill as Tom Paris, Roxann Dawson as B’Elanna Torres, and Ethan Phillips as Neelix.
Jennifer Lien appeared as Kes in seasons 1-3, then returned as a recurring character in seasons 4 and 6. Jeri Ryan joined the cast as Seven of Nine in season 4 when it was determined that Kes was being dropped and producers felt there was a need for a character who could contrast Mulgrew’s Janeway.
Fun Fact: Kate Mulgrew was not the initial choice to play Captain Janeway. In fact, screen star Geneviève Bujold had already been hired to play Janeway and was already a day and a half into shooting the pilot, “Caretaker”, when she decided to step away from the part citing the hectic pace of the Voyager’s shooting schedule.
The Series Took Star Trek In A New Direction
Putting the Federation and the Maquis together on one ship, one that has the potential to take 75 years to get to the safety of Federation space, was a great move by Berman and company. This groundwork was laid early on in both The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine.
The fact that the Voyager was transported to the Delta Quadrant allowed writers to explore another part of the galaxy, thus being able to introduce new characters and alien species such as the Hirogen, Kazon, Vidiians, and Species 8472. They were also able to reintroduce to Star Trek fans the Borg.
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