Star Trek: Voyager is an American sci-fi series created by Rick Berman, Michael Piller and Jeri Taylor, and is based on the works of Gene Roddenberry. It is a continuation of the Star Trek franchise which started with Star Trek: The Original Series (which aired on NBC from September 8th 1966 to June 3rd 1969). Voyager originally aired from January 16th 1995 to May 23rd 2001 and has seven seasons, and 172 episodes. It features an ensemble cast which includes Kate Mulgrew as Kathryn Janeway, commanding officer of the USS Voyager and later a flag officer at Starfleet Command, Robert Beltran as Chakotay, Janeway’s first officer and former member of the Maquis, Roxann Dawson as B’Elanna Torres, chief engineer and former member of the Maquis, Robert Duncan McNeill as Tom Paris, conn officer, Jennifer Lien as Kes, nurse and medical apprentice until her departure from Voyager in 2374, Ethan Phillips as Neelix, chef, morale officer, and later Federation Ambassador to the Delta Quadrant, Robert Picardo as The Doctor, chief medical officer, Tim Russ as Tuvok, chief security/tactical officer, Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine, stellar cartography and former Borg drone liberated from the Collective and Garrett Wang as Harry Kim, operational officer.
1. Worst Case Scenario
This what-if episode really earns the top spot, it focuses on a holographic program created by Tuvok and was a surprisingly engaging and exciting narrative for a Vulcan about a possible mutiny on Voyager between the Starfleet crew and the Maquis crew. He intended it to be a training exercise, but until it went wrong it was set to become a hot new piece of entertainment for the Voyager crew.
A not so popular episode that I really loved, it had some strong moments overall but even though it could be perceived as boring It was in my opinion, engaging and had some real big moments between Tuvok and Neelix.
In typical Star Trek fashion we have a transporter accident (like the time Kirk was split into good and evil versions) but unlike with Kirk instead of one man becoming two, this has two men become one, or two men and a flower. Tuvok and Neelix merged into one unique being, it’s a powerful episode regarding identity, the ethics of taking a life even when that life shouldn’t exist in the first place and also is another strong episode for both Tuvok and Neelix.
This episode focuses on one of my favourite characters, Neelix as he starts a daily broadcast. It starts off slowly enough, but soon Neelix starts investigating mysterious transmissions and also announces Tom Paris (another personal favourite character) is leaving the ship. Cool little fact, the King of Jordan, King Abdullah II had a non-speaking role in this episode.
5. Distant Origin
I keep forgetting about this episode for some reason and then come across it like a little surprise. It’s all about a species of humanoid dinosaurs, one of whom posits that they and humans share a common ancestry on earth. This however challenges the prevailing theory or doctrine of their race, the Voth and for heresy against that doctrine Professor Gegen, one of the Voth scientists and Chakotay are to be put to death unless they recount their claims. It’s such an interesting episode, my personal favourite part other than the notion of dinosaurs in space was seeing Voyagers travels through the Delta Quadrant backtracked by the Voth.
6. Blink of an Eye
Such an interesting and emotional episode, that sees Voyager become an integral part of a planet’s culture after becoming locked in their atmosphere as the planet, out of sync with the rest of the universe, races through its history. The end with the old Gotana-Retz watching as Voyager aka The Sky Ship leaves always gets me.
Has Tom Paris get obsessed with a new space shuttle and it get obsessed with him. It’s a strong episode for Tom Paris fans and also shows a realistic portrayal of someone who wants to do his best, be reliable but is struggling to overcome a lifetime of bad habits. I had this on video and probably watched it and Riddles about 20 times, both great episodes with Alice racing ahead to this position on the list.
8. The Chute
Is a strong bonding episode for Tom Paris and Harry Kim, as well as a real good opportunity for both actors to really swing for the fences with their performances. Speaking of which the episode has Tom and Harry taken prisoner and placed in an alien Jail, where they are being attacked and provoked as they try to keep a grip on their human/starfleet morality.
There are so many episodes which focus on The Doctor (aka the E.M.H) and some of them may technically be better but this one earned its slot for not only being a strong Doctor episode that advances his character development but also has an engaging story on top of that. Kes wants to leave the ship and the Doctor who has been messing with his programming has started malfunctioning attempts to stop her.
10. Fair Haven
Kind of a filler episode if I’m being honest but it’s fun, sweet and well worth a watch. It has Tom Paris make a small Irish town set in the early 20th century on the holodeck as a relaxation spot for the Voyager crew. This episode focuses on Captain Janeway, and her romantic engagements with the bar owner Michael Sullivan. It’s a nice little episode that could easily be overlooked but in my opinion is easily worthwhile.
Honourable mentions go to Message in a Bottle, Living Witness, Faces, Real Life and Riddles which I also really enjoyed but didn’t quite make the top 10 list.
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