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Entertainment Earth

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"The only Star Trek show named after a mini van."

- W.J. Flywheel, Webporium Curator

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STAR TREK - VOYAGER

Star Trek: Voyager is a science fiction television series set in the Star Trek universe. It was produced for seven seasons from 1995 to 2001 for 172 episodes, and is the only Star Trek series to have a female captain, Kathryn Janeway, as a lead character. The show is a spinoff of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and was created by Rick Berman, Michael Piller, and Jeri Taylor. The show was based on Star Trek, created by Gene Roddenberry.

The series follows the adventures of the USS Voyager and her crew who become stranded in the Delta Quadrant, seventy thousand light-years from Earth. At warp-speed, it will take Voyager seventy-five years to return to the Alpha Quadrant, and more specifically, Earth.

Voyager was probably more reminiscent of the original Star Trek series than Star Trek: TNG (although greatly technologically advanced, the size of the ship is almost identical to the original series' Constitution class Enterprise. Seven of Nine's post also grew similar to that of Science Officer, as held by Spock in the original series.) The show was often grittier than Star Trek: The Next Generation, with the members of the thrown-together crew often clashing in ways that would have been almost unthinkable on Picard's Enterprise.

Another of Voyager's distinguishing elements is the departure from the "best and the brightest" theme of Star Trek: The Next Generation in particular. Rather than a group of ace Starfleet Academy graduates, the characters in this series included an ex-convict, former freedom fighters, a notably unseasoned captain, and an unusually militant Vulcan. As a full-blooded Vulcan, Tuvok did not suffer from Spock's angst regarding his "half-breed" status and was consequently impatient with the emotions of those around him. Also, as head of security, he was more likely to suggest an aggressive course of action. Compared to the Next Generation characters, the Voyager crew on the whole had more personal issues, with Torres struggling with her Klingon/human heritage, Paris working to overcome his criminal past, Neelix haunted by memories of his race's near-extinction, and so on.

The most common plot theme is the implications of being stranded far from home. Voyager has only limited resources and no easy way to replenish them; its crew is cut off from the normal chain of command and institutions of its society. Janeway often expresses that though they are cut off from Starfleet, it is still their duty to live by Starfleet values and regulations, and this philosophy often brings her into conflict with Chakotay, Tuvok and other members of her crew who are more willing to make compromises in order to get home. Their situation frequently faces them with difficult choices of necessity versus idealism. Unlike the other Star Trek series, the crew of the Voyager cannot just stop at a starbase for repair or resupply. They often have to make trades with alien cultures or find completely new solutions to unforeseeable CAPTAIN PROTON NOVELproblems. They are also stuck with each other, which makes for new plot twists - for example, shipboard romances are not discouraged - but it also means that promotions are very rare, leading to some resentments. To overcome their claustrophobia the crew rely on the holodeck more than other Starfleet crews, with some of their holodeck adventures becoming ongoing plotlines, such as Tom Paris' Captain Proton serial, presented in a monochromatic (black and white) environment, or Janeway's recurring trips to the home of Leonardo da Vinci. Most of these recurring holodeck stories end up behaving in very unexpected (and sometimes dangerous) ways due to alien interference or holodeck malfunction.

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CAPTAIN NICOLE JANEWAYFrench-Canadian actress Geneviève Bujold (right) was the first choice of the producers of Star Trek: Voyager to play Captain Nicole Janeway. She quit after a few days of shooting, with the public reason being she was unaccustomed to the hectic pace of television filming. Other rumored reasons included dissatisfaction with her performance on the part of the producers and dissatisfaction with the character on the part of Bujold. As Rick Berman politely put it in the October 8-14, 1994 issue of TV Guide: "It was immediately obvious it was not a good fit." The producers subsequently hired TV veteran Kate Mulgrew (left), and changed the captain's first name from Nicole to Kathryn at Mulgrew's advice. Bujold would have been the second Montreal native to play a Star Trek captain, after William Shatner.

The Voyager Holographic Doctor utters several lines that recall Doctor McCoy's famous "I'm a Doctor, not a ..." quips. In "Phage", he says, "I'm a doctor, not a decorator." In "Gravity", he says, "I'm a doctor, not a battery," and in "Bliss", he says, "I'm a doctor, not a dragon slayer." Perhaps most famously, in Star Trek: First Contact, when asked to halt the approach of the Borg in sickbay, he says, "I'm a doctor, not a doorstop." This would possibly emanate from the Doctor's programming, which, as the doctor mentions several times, includes procedures and personality from Dr. Leonard McCoy, among others. By the same token, Tom Paris also follows this pattern with the line, "I'm a pilot, not a doctor."

Tim Russ played the character Devor in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Starship Mine", and also played Tuvok in a mirror universe on the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Through The Looking Glass". Also, he appeared as a human on the bridge of the Enterprise-B in the film Star Trek: Generations and as a Klingon named T'kar in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Invasive Procedures". This makes him the actor to have stood beside the most captains in Star Trek history. In addition, he auditioned for the role of Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation, but lost out to LeVar Burton. Russ is the first African American to play a Vulcan, and thus Tuvok is the first black Vulcan seen in the Star Trek universe.

Ethan Phillips appeared as a Ferengi in a Star Trek: Enterprise episode, as a different Ferengi in Ménage à Troi (TNG episode) and as a maitre d' in the film Star Trek: First Contact.

After Voyager ended in 2001, Seven of Nine, Jeri Ryan joined the cast of Boston Public. The show's producer, David E. Kelley, wrote the role specifically for her and she guest-starred on David E. Kelley's Boston Legal in 2006 with William Shatner (Captain Kirk). Boston Legal frequently used Star Trek references as inside jokes and Rene Auberjonois, Security Chief Odo in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, is also a regular on the show.

Robert Duncan McNeill appeared in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The First Duty" as Nick Locarno, a Starfleet cadet expelled for covering up a classmate's death in a banned aerobatic stunt. Locarno was originally planned to return as part of the Voyager cast, but a similar character was created instead - officially because Locarno was felt to be beyond redemption. Unofficially, McNeill was cast as Tom Paris rather than Locarno to avoid paying royalties to the writers of "The First Duty" every time Locarno was in an episode.

Roxann Dawson, Robert Duncan McNeill, Robert Picardo, Tim Russ, TNG stars LeVar Burton and Jonathan Frakes, and recurring DS9 player Andrew Robinson all have had a hand at directing episodes of the series. Dawson, McNeill, and Burton have also directed episodes of Enterprise. McNeill has since directed in several TV shows including Dawson's Creek, The O.C., Las Vegas, One Tree Hill, Dead Like Me, Summerland, Supernatural, and Desperate Housewives.

Several famous guest stars have included Sharon Lawrence, Saro Mardikian, Andy Dick, Jason Alexander, Michael McKean, Sarah Silverman, John Rhys-Davies, Virginia Madsen, The Rock, McKenzie Westmore of Passions, TNG stars Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, LeVar Burton, John de Lancie, and Dwight Schultz, DS9 star Armin Shimerman, and George Takei and Grace Lee Whitney from the original series of the late 1960s.

What year did the original Star Trek series hit the airwaves?

1964
1965
1966
1967

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Content intended for informational and educational purposes under the GNU Free Documentation Areement.
"Star Trek", the Star Trek logos and images copyright © CBS Studios Inc.

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