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10 best Star Trek: Voyager episodes ever

Voyager gets a rough time among fans… Admittedly, it was not as inspired as The original series or Next Gen, lacked the pathos of DS9, and never has approached the fan devotion that any of its sister series’ enjoyed. Sure, it may have been filled with stunt casting, cheese, and the occasional pandering to the baser urges of it’s base demographic (My wife delights in pointing out that there’s no logical reason 7 of 9′s outfit has to be that tight, or have heels) But Voyager does have its merits, and in many ways is my favorite show of the franchise. While I know that there are those around the Furious Fanboys water cooler that will vehemently disagree with anything I say here, I offer the following ten episodes as reasons that Voyager is worth another look… in no particular order (spoilers ahead):

Caretaker

The first episode of Voyager introduced us to a premise with a lot of promise. A crew far from home, forced to work with their former enemy to survive. It also introduced concepts such as variable pitch warp nacelles, holographic doctors, and bio-neural circuitry to the technobabble of the Star Trek universe. The episode is a great Star Trek story on it’s own, with a nearly omnipotent alien capturing alien crews for a mysterious purpose, and Janeway having to make the tough decision to sacrifice their only chance of getting home to save others.

Live fast and prosper

This inventive episode, when a pair of con men impersonate Janeway and Tuvok to scam others in the delta quadrant, typifies the great sense of humor that the show had about itself.  You can’t help but smile at the fanboy reverence that the impostor has for the real Tuvok, or when the impostor Janeway tells the real thing “I thought you’d be taller”. The b-story about Paris and Neelix feeling like they’ve lost their Mojo brings a lot of laughs too.

Blink of an eye

In this one, Voyager comes across a planet whose relationship with space-time makes time on the surface pass faster than the rest of the universe. While days pass on voyager, centuries pass on the planet. Voyager becomes trapped in orbit, which causes geological problems on the surface. My favorite part of this episode is how the due to the constant presence of Voyager in the sky, it takes a place in the alien society similar to that of the moon in ours… inspiring operas and a space race as they become more advanced.

Timeless

This episode starts with Chakotay and Harry Kim finding the frozen remains of Voyager and her crew on an ice planet ten years after their less than triumphant return to the alpha quadrant. This one is awesome because it forces such speculation from the viewer as to how the disaster occurred,  and you just can’t beat a cameo by LeVar Burton as Captain Geordi LaForge of the Starship Challenger.

Hope and Fear

When Paris and Neelix return from an away mission with the mysterious Arturis, who helps them decipher a coded message from Starfleet that seemingly offers the crew a way home via an experimental ship called the Dauntless. It turns out to be a trap, as Arturis blames Jameway for not allowing species 8472 to stop the Borg before they could assimilate his world. It’s one of the few where Janeway is forced to confront that her actions can have a down side for those in the Delta quadrant, and one where Seven of Nine admits that she may not want to continue her quest for individuality. A lot of focus is placed on the Seven/Janeway relationship.

The Omega directive

When Voyager discovers traces of the mysterious Omega particle, which is so dangerous that starfleet captains are under general orders to destroy it at all costs, including disregarding the prime directive. The reason I like this episode so much is because it shows how much it sucks not to have starfleet backup when you really need it.

Message in a bottle

The Doctor’s program gets transmitted to a Starfleet vessel in the alpha quadrant via an ancient communications network, promising actual contact with Starfleet for the first time in years. The only problem is that the ship has been hijacked by Romulans, and the Doc’s only help is Andy Dick. (Yes, THAT Andy Dick… as the EMH mark II) A great episode because of the humor, and the fact that the Doctor must come to terms with the fact that he’s now considered obsolete.

Year of hell part 1&2

Voyager encounters a race with a weapon that allows them to erase anyone or anything from history, altering the timeline in their favor. Voyager promptly gets beat to hell by the alien race and over a year, Janeway builds alliances to stop them and restore the timeline to normal. A great episode for those that enjoy bits about how time travel and changing time lines work in the Star Trek universe.

Equinox part 1&2

Ever since Voyager Premiered, much of the Fanfic had revolved around the concept of Janeway encountering another Starfleet vessel in the Delta Quadrant. At the end of season five, fans got their wish when the Voyager received a hail from the Starship Equinox. The captain of the Equinox has made much darker decisions than Janeway had to to keep his crew alive, and is determined to get them back home at all costs. When Janeway discovers how far he’s strayed from federation ideals, she vows to bring him to justice.

False Profits

I admit to having a weakness for Ferengi episodes. I’m one of those guys that even enjoyed the controversial Enterprise Ferengi episode.  The reason for it is that they’re pure comedy gold. The episode actually draws it’s premise from a Next Gen episode where two Ferengi get stranded across the galaxy due to an unstable wormhole. By the time Voyager encounters them, they’ve used their ship’s replicator to take over an entire planet, and set themselves up as gods. Beyond the great comedy elements of this episode, (such as Neelix posing as the representative of the grand Nagus and making up rules of acquisition as he goes along), it also has the classic Voyager plot device of a promising way home that gets spoiled for the crew again.

One wonders if there’s an ensign somewhere in the bowels of Voyager named Gilligan.

19 Comments
  • Ana Cristina Merino
    November 20, 2010
    Reply


    #1

    I enjoy(ed) all the Star Trek series. And, Neelix was my favorite character from Star Trek Voyager.

  • xforce11
    November 21, 2010
    Reply


    #2

    I enjoyed the series when I could get the time to watch it. I try to catch eps when I can.

  • Bambleweeny57
    November 21, 2010
    Reply


    #3

    Whaaaaa?
    No Tuvix?
    By far the best Voyager episode.
    What are you guys thinking!!

  • Joe G
    November 21, 2010
    Reply


    #4

    The key difference between Voyager and TNG/DS9 is that TNG/DS9 had a lot of a great episodes a few crappy ones where as Voyager had a lot of crap episodes and a few good ones.

  • Mark
    November 21, 2010
    Reply


    #5

    Voyager gets a bad rep, but the last 4 seasons were increasingly great, once it found a direction and fantastic character (with a stupid outfit) in 7of9. Her & Janeway’s relationship was reminiscent of Kirk & Spock. Missing from this list is the Raven about seven’s family Borg assimilation, and the amazing no holds barred series finale- wow, what a great epic ending.

  • Michael
    November 21, 2010
    Reply


    #6

    Like you; I really feel like Voyager got a bad rap. No, it’s not the greatest Star Trek series ever, but it certainly has its merits and overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it. A few additional episodes that I consider favs include:
    1. The Thaw- The interaction between the clown and the Doc was pure gold. And a lot of the episode had a genuinely creepy vibe to it. I like this episode a lot.
    2. Tuvix- Interesting premise, combine two beings, and create a brand new one. does he have the right to exist at the cost of the lives of two others? It becomes an extremely difficult question to answer when the character of Tuvix is actually likeable. Janeway having to make a tough moral dicision made for some great drama.
    3. Dreadnought- A lot of Trek fans rip on this one. And when they rip on it, it’s usually the plot holes they’re ripping. If an episode of any TV show is enjoyable at the end, I can overlook plot holes. Even some of the best Next Gen and DS9 epz had their plot holes, but I overlooked them because the episode was so enjoyable. The story in this Voyager episode draws its inspiration from the classic story of man against machine. In this case, it’s B’Elanna Torres versus a Kardashian computer which she herself re-programmed. The computer sits aboard an Armageddon missile headed towards an innocent, inhabited planet. Watching this episode was almost like watching a thrilling tennis match.
    4. Remember- Another B’Elanna Torres centric episode. Roxann Dawson, who plays Torres, just flat out puts forth an amazing performance in this episode. Torres is forced to relive the memories of an elderly, alien woman. The woman’s memories are sent to Torres telepathically. The memories reveal a terrible injustice that her own people commited when she was young. I can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed Roxann Dawson’s performance in this episode, outstanding.
    5. Real Life- In this episode, the Doctor creates a holographic family in an effort to learn about and experience an aspect of humanity that intrigues him, that is, experiencing what it is like to have a family with wife and kids. The episode has its humorous moments but the drama of his daughter suffering from a serious injury is what makes this episode stand out. All the performances here are top notch.

    There are numerous other episodes where I can provide examples of why Voyager was such a great series to watch. It was fun, entertaining, and I liked the characters and stories. If you haven’t watched Voyager or allowed other people’s opinions to sway you from watching it, I say, give it another shot. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

  • SammyPS
    November 21, 2010
    Reply


    #7

    “One wonders if there’s an ensign somewhere in the bowels of Voyager named Gilligan.”

    Hahahahaha! Nice one. Now I want to go back and watch old GI episodes and see if I can connect the plot devices to ST:V episodes….

  • Logical
    November 21, 2010
    Reply


    #8

    We all know the prime directive.
    One of the lesser directives is “It’s means It is (or it has)”

    So this passage violates the directive
    “…the occasional pandering to the baser urges of it’s base demographic…”
    so does this…
    “The episode is a great Star Trek story on it’s own, with a nearly omnipotent alien…”

    • Kahunah
      November 23, 2010
      Reply


      #9

      I stand chastised. I did not proof this as thoroughly as i should have, as I’ve been concentrating on NaNoWriMo. I will report to the nearest federation penal colony as soon as possible.

  • Voyager Appreciation
    November 21, 2010
    Reply


    #10

    Here’s the deal: looking back, I never recognized how good we had it. Coming off the mass-culture prowess of TNG, and the darker, more political-allegory style of DS9, Voyager always seeemed like an inferior step child. HOWEVER, when viewed in absolute terms, and from a current perspective (i.e., one where there are NO Star Trek television shows any longer), Voyager was a very good series. It wasn’t its fault that it debuted when the standards for Trek were so high, and the market was so saturated (multiple series, ongoing movies).

    In short, I wish we could have a ‘Voyager’ series now. It was set in a fertile period of the Trek Universe (late-24th century), had an interesting crew, a great ‘starship as character’ in Voyager, and a real respect for the mythos, lore, and ideals of Trek. Like I said, we never knew how good we had it …

  • Gadget
    November 22, 2010
    Reply


    #11

    I loved Voyager, still do, however, the hate it gets, I can totally understand why.

    There was a post on some other website about Voyager and reading the comments, the main gripe was the fact that each episode was so largely self-contained it seemed to lack some acceptable form of continuity. This I fully accept and agree with. The show would have ben much richer and much more loved if it referenced past episodes. An episode like Tuvix should have had greater and continuing ramifications through a season rather than just occuring once, and then never being mentioned again.

    In saying all that, I’ll gladly watch a Voyager re-run. It was a fun show, but alas it also put that final nails into the Borg’s coffin

  • gene hudgens
    November 23, 2010
    Reply


    #12

    Scott, Thanks for the wake-up call. In the past I was not interested in Star Trek, but for some reason I might be now. Gene Hudgens

  • TheRealDeal
    December 1, 2010
    Reply


    #13

    2 episodes that need to be on here:

    Latent Image
    Scientific Method

  • JDintheOC
    December 4, 2010
    Reply


    #14

    I thought the whole premise of Voyager was just stupid. A supreme being from a galaxy far far away suddenly can’t even muster up enough power to send the Voyager back to where they came from. “Hey! How about sending us as far back as possible”. But no can do…..puleeeze, are you buying this? And I thought Kate Mulgrew was the worst choice for a Captain. But I liked everyone else on board except her. Even the stories seemed contrived at most . I don’t miss it one bit.

  • TIM
    January 12, 2011
    Reply


    #15

    I’ve watched every Star Trek episode except for the Enterprise Series, and Tuvix is the best episode of them all. Very few times did I rewatch an episode right after the initial viewing, but with Tuvix I watched it three times. Surely leaving the Tuvix episode out must have been an oversight, there is no other way to explain it. Other than your obvious oversight, nice little read. Thanks for posting.

  • Brandon
    March 13, 2011
    Reply


    #16

    Latent Image and Pathfinder are the two best and stand up against any Star Trek episodes. It’s no DD9, but still a good series overall.

  • CFO
    March 15, 2011
    Reply


    #17

    Loved voyager and still rewatch it. My personal favorite episode is “bride of chaotica.” Playing Captain Proton is so exactly what my cousins would do if they had a holodeck. And Kate Mulgrew is priceless

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