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Top 30+ Episodes of Star Trek: Voyager Every Trekkie Must See!

by Sean S 2 years ago in review
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Cutting Down to a Top 30 for Canon; and Top 30 Personal Favorites!

A Favorite Screencap from 'Shattered' ; used on my YouTube way back when.

So the impetus for this list comes from my Star Trek History with My Wife. She absolutely loved The Next Generation & Deep Space Nine, yet just couldn't get into Voyager. She says something about the cinematography is just off and off-putting. Having to refurbish and reuse the TNG Sets probably is the culprit there, but I think most Voyager Lovers can admit to themselves in their heart of hearts that Voyager is the weakest of the Three 24th Century Shows. Having caught up with Enterprise as well in recent years I can even understand why some people would try to say Voyager is in 4th Place from those Consecutive Years of Star Trek. It's not, Voyager & Enterprise are tied for 3rd with Voyager taking it on Goal Difference...I mean Season Difference. The Football/Soccer Fan escaped there for a minute. Friendly reminder that Deep Space Nine references Football/Soccer Thrice!! Haha. Anyways the point is even if Voyager may be the "Weakest of its Trilogy" if you will; there's still very, very good must see episodes of Star Trek in here. I encourage all Trekkies to at the very least take on this Shallow Dive I've made for My Wife, and it's my sincere hope that y'all would feel compelled to explore the Series in Full at least once at some point after. If not you could always check out and cackle along with SF Debris's Evil Janeway in his Online Video Star Trek Reviews to at least find out the plot points.

Like my Taylor Swift Lists, we'll take this in chronological order rather than trying to come up with some master overall board of quality. Which in caveat exempts a handful of my personal Season 1 Favs from being counted against either 30 since My Wife already saw those episodes the 1st Time I tried to get her into Voyager after we finished Deep Space Nine. I'm also including some option-able Honorable Mentions I didn't pick, but that I just couldn't stop myself from writing about. Two-Parters are going to be considered as only One Episode, and Cliffhanger Two-Parters are going to be listed in the 1st Season/the Season they were hung from. I'm going to do my best to come up with some Spoiler Free Teaser Paragraphs or at least a Sentence or Two for each episode.

To be fair to the situation and My Wife and I's personal experience in it: trying to go from completing the 'Dominon War Arc' back to Maquis/Federation Squabbling is a bit of a tough ask, which is why it is best to embrace Star Trek in full chronological order. Which makes it easier having Voyager Season 1 overlap with Deep Space Nine Season 3. In my personal case I discovered the Series Backwards anyways as I came upon Voyager from Spike TV reruns in the late 2000s, and didn't embrace Deep Space Nine and completing it on Netflix/DVD until the 2010s. Which did make Voyager more palatable to me getting the Vegetable Series in Voyager 1st before the Dessert Series that is Deep Space Nine. Which sounds really weird to say considering:

Season 1 Exempt:

Caretaker; Parts 1 & 2: (Canon Required / List Exempt):

Caretaker is a hard pilot to rewatch. One of the only fascinating ways to do it is to immediately rewatch it after finishing the Series with Endgame.

That said on it's 1st viewing it does set up Voyager's Situation well. Armin Shimerman's Cameo as Quark is the best part of the episode, and shows that DS9 perhaps was underutilized a bit as Voyager's Launch Site. By comparison only having Sir Patrick Stewart guest star in DS9's Pilot, Emissary, makes sense. But a Captian's Table Conversation between Avery Brooks and Kate Mulgrew would've been absolutely fantastic. #MissedOpportunity, #StoryOfVoyagersLife. Not sure, but surely Avery must not have been available at that time for their filming. Still a Kira/Janeway or Dax/Janeway Scene would've fulfilled very much the same function. Especially in Dax's case with Janeway being a Science Raised Caption.

Now I need to check myself and get a bit more positive; this is an uplifting list after all. And in reality Caretaker is a great standalone episode, it's just that as the Pilot it doesn't hold up because the Creators of the Series didn't fully embrace or commit to their premise; they've admitted that themselves. So it's some of the shakier parts of what comes after and the unfulfillment of some of the early arcs letting it down. Voyager is just that Valedictorian you know that did alright for themselves, but you see the unused, untapped potential every so often and just want to scream your head off. If that makes any sense.

Parallax: (Honorable Mention):

Great 2nd Episode that sets up a lot of crew dynamics and has an interesting anomaly of the week plotline. Some of the better Starfleet/Maquis Tension as well: as the crews' meld and become a family quicker than good drama would've wanted.

Eye of the Needle: (Personal Favorite / List Exempt):

Some of these are just impossible to discuss without some sort of spoiler, so to summarize the teaser scene of the episode: essentially Ensign Kim finds a wormhole to the Alpha Quadrant and the ensuing adventure is one of my personal favorite Voyager Adventures.

Ex Post Facto: (Dishonorable Mention; Wife's 1st Nail in the Coffin if memory serves):

If you enjoy mystery genres the niche and cliché mystery plot with frustrate you to no end.

Heroes & Demons: (Personal Favorite / List Exempt):

Basically a Beowulf Themed Holodeck Program is one of the primary settings of this episode, and my wife has her issues with Beouwolf and it halted our progress the 1st time.

The List from Here Proper:

Season 1:

Faces: (Canon #1 & Personal Favorite #1):

What can I say about Faces that doesn't give away the whole plot? Well we open on a version of Lt. Torres that's Fully Klingon instead of her Half Human/Half Klingon Hybrid Natural State restrained on a medical table, and finding out why is a fascinating journey. To be fair to those that say Early Voyager's Acting isn't great, Dawson's Klingon Only Voice is a bit off-putting. But don't let that stop you,

"Did you know that Klingon females are renowned in the Alpha Quadrant not only for their physical prowess but also for their voracious sexual appetite as well? Why not let your creation out of her harness? Study her in action?" -- Klingon-Only Torres to her Alien Captor.

Is our Alien Captor gullible enough to do it and get his ass beat? Will Lt. Torres be horny enough to beat that ass in a less productive, more enjoyable way? Tune in on Monday, May 8th, 1995, to find out.

Learning Curve: (Honorable Mention):

Better Starfleet/Maquis Episode, some Maquis get singled out for not conforming as Starfleet-Enough for ship's operations and the ensuing bootcamp leads to lessens for all.

Season 2:

The 37s: (Personal Favorite #2):

The crew find a 1936 Ford Pickup truck, in space, in the Delta Quadrant that still turns over with some tlc from resident Cool Guy Historian, Lt. Tom Paris.

Non Sequitur: (Personal Favorite #3): Ensign Harry Kim wakes up after a Shuttle Accident back on Earth, in bed with his fiancée. So naturally he decides: let's go fix the timeline! Guy should've relaxed and enjoyed it a bit more, but it is still a very dear favorite of mine.

Prototype: (Personal Favorite #4):

The Teaser POV Scene of the Episode's Primary Robot is a fascinating experience.

... I'm a doctor, not..."

"...not an engineer."

- The Doctor and B'Elanna Torres

Threshold: (Dishonorable Mention):

#StarTrekSalamanderSex, #NoThanks.

Meld: (Honorable Mention):

As opposed to Ex Post Facto, Voyager makes up for it doing Cop Show Murder Mystery correctly here. And actually leads to some great setups for down the line.

Dreadnought: (Canon #2/Personal #5)

Might be a bit tough to go straight from one Lt. Torres nuts and bolts episodes to another, assuming you skip Threshold, Meld, and the others in-between. That said this one does tie into the Maquis & Dominion War Arcs of 24th Century Trek very well.

Death Wish: (Canon #3/Personal #6)

Pro: Possibly, the Best Q Episode in the Entire Franchise.

Con: The only Voyager Q Episode worthy of this list, and Voyager has an entire Q Arc.

Given what I said about Prototype and Dreadnought you might want to invert Dreadnought & Death Wish's Order in your viewing, but it's whatever. Of course if you include Meld, you get around that, but if you like the first Torres nuts and bolts episode you should like both. But I guess my point in Death Wish's Context is that I might just invert this order for my wife because I desperately want to see her reactions to this Episode. Like I said possibly the BEST Q Episode.

Deadlock: (Personal #7)

Deadlock actually has a fascinating concept in an anomaly of the week episode.

Tuvix: (Canon #4)

Can't save you from spoilers if you're well versed in your Star Trek Memes, but suffice it to say: it leads to a divisive moral dilemma around what would be a Series Altering Decision. For once it's Voyager's Own Canon in the spotlight as well.

Basics Parts 1 & 2: (Canon #5)

I've never been particularly fond of the Kazon Arc, but its conclusion does do everything in its power to wrap it up and it does it very, very well.

Season 3:

Flashback: (Canon #6)

Voyager's 25th Anniversary of Star Trek Episode and Sister Episode to DS9's Trials and Tribble-ations, which is where the flack comes from for the 'unforgable sin' of not being quite as good as DS9's Triumph. It connects with Tuvok having been on Sulu's Excelsior during the Events of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

False Prophets: (Canon #7/Personal #8)

Direct Sequel to TNG's The Price, and in fascinating symmetry from my DVD Days, both Episodes are on Disk 2 of their respective Season Threes. The Episode doesn't hide it for long, so I can safely say that our lost forgotten Ferengi from The Price and the unstable, other side of the Barzan Wormhole are revisited here. And watching The Price & False Prophets Back-To-Back is an amazing viewing experience, so it is a good excuse to revisit The Next Generation if you need a break from your Voyager Shallow Dive.

Remember: (Honorable Mention)

One of the very best 'very, special episodes'.

Future's End; Parts 1 & 2: (Canon #8/Personal #9)

Unless you just hate Sarah Silverman's work with the same irrational passion I HATE Carrie Underwood-Fischer's you should like at least a couple of elements in this 2 Parter, as Silverman's the primary guest star. Although Ed Begley Jr. steals the show as well!

Fair Trade: (Honorable Mention)

I am a bit biased against Neelix to be fair, and that is by no means any fault of Ethan Phillips who gives his all week-in-week-out all series long. The problem is just the ways the writers used that character.

Here we have a Neelix Episode that's actually worth everyone's time.

Blood Fever: (Canon #9)

Voyager's Pon farr Episode. So there's a small you've been advised warning there, but it is very well handled by 1990s Standards.

Unity: (Canon #10)

"There are dozens of different races on this planet, all of whom were brought here against their will. Many of them are suspicious of other species. It's not exactly a united federation around here, if you know what I mean." - Dr. Frazier

Voyager starts their Borg Arc on a High Note. I've got mixed feelings about their Borg Arc, which seasoned Voyager Fans will pick up on easily just based on which Episodes are here and which aren't.

Before & After: (Personal Favorite #10)

If you haven't noticed I'm a sucker for time-travel stories as well, and this one is your rare flash-forward episode.

Distant Origin: (Canon #11/Personal Favorite #11)

Wonderful episode!! Aliens find some human remains from Basics and start to wonder: are these mammals our distant relatives?? Great fun, poignant episode as well.

Scorpion Parts 1 & 2: (Canon #12)

At the Series's Emotional Mid-Point Crossroads the show successfully reinvents itself a bit. This is the 'Shit my pants, that's a LOT of Borg' Episode you've been waiting for.

"Didn't Kes say we were all going to die." - Harry Kim

Season 4:

The Gift: (Canon #13)

Could almost be called Scorpion Part 3 as it's really a coda of those events aside from some thematic changes.

Day of Honor: (umm...Honorable Mention)

Tragically the main reason it's good is because it's a recycled Worf Script Deep Space Nine turned down.

"Welcome to the worst day of my life." - B'Ellana Torres. And once you know her backstory you'll know that's no small statement.

The Raven: (Canon #14)

We get some important backstory in the Borg Arc.

Year of Hell; Parts 1 & 2: (Personal Favorite #12)

I've had mixed feelings on this episode over the years. Some wish it had been a multi-episode arc like originally planned instead of a 2 Parter. I'm not sure I would've of enjoyed that; especially given the episode's somewhat frustrating ending. That said, y'all better watch Kurtwood Smith strut his stuff as the main guest star!

Concerning Flight: (Personal Favorite #13)

Katarina, (Janeway), learns under Holographic Leonardo da Vinci.

Message In a Bottle: (Canon #15, Personal Favorite #14)

The Teaser ends with Voyager's 1st Confirmed Sighting of a Federation Ship back in the Alpha Quadrant in the Astrometrics Lab.

The Killing Game; Parts 1 & 2: (Personal Favorite #15)

Great twist on the 'Holodeck Gone Wrong' Episode.

The Omega Directive: (Canon #16)

"Captain's log, supplemental. Encrypt log entry. We're approaching the star system where we believe we'll find Omega. I have to admit, I have never been this apprehensive about a mission. I know how Einstein must have felt about the atom bomb or Marcus when she developed the Genesis Device. They watched helplessly as science took a destructive course, but I have the chance to prevent that from happening. I just hope it's not too late."

Living Witness: (Canon #17, Personal Favorite #16)

Technically set in the Further Future as a Backup File of The Doctor is found by Delta Quadrant Aliens. In fascinating fashion Voyager's Lasting Effects upon a culture in the Delta Quadrant are closely examined.

Hope And Fear: (Canon #18, Personal Favorite #17)

Rare Season Ending Non-Cliffhanger, and it's well done. Another low-key good Borg Arc Story, and low-key exanimating the long-term effects story.

Season 5:

Drone: (Canon #19, Personal Favorite #18)

Another great low-key chapter in the Borg Arc.

"The Borg: party-poopers of the galaxy." - The Doctor

"Good morning."

"That remains to be seen." - Seven of Nine to Chakotay

Extreme Risk: (Honorable Mention)

Great 'Very, Special Episode' about self-harm.

"We are not designing a 'hot rod,' Lieutenant." - Tuvok

In The Flesh: (Canon #20)

"Targ manure! 'United Federation of Planets'… 'tolerance for all species'… the 'Prime Directive'… targ manure, every word of it!"

"Humans! You've got a flair for the dramatic, I'll give you that. You want to keep talking? Fine by me. But no more beating around the bush! Now what do you want from us? The truth, captain!"

Timeless: (Canon #21, Personal #19)

USS Voyager NCC-74656, is found buried, frozen in ice!!

How many glasses of champagne did you consume?"

"One."

"Obviously the Borg can't hold their liquor."

- The Doctor and Seven

Nothing Human: (Honorable Mention)

Was very, very close to making the Canon list as B'Elanna's Life is in Danger, and The Doctor thinks the only hope...is...to consult with a Holographic Recreation of a Cardassian Doctor from the time of The Occupation of Bajor. Huge Canon Implications for the Entire 24th Century, and great moral dilemma.

Thirty Days: (Honorable Mention)

More of an opposite to the last as this was close on the Personal Level. Great 'Earth Day' Episode. And great spectacle as Voyager encounters a 100% Ocean World.

Bride of Choatica (Personal #20)

If you LOVE Scenery Chewing and Black & White Era Sci-Fi this is THE Episode for you!!

Coffee, black."

"Um, sorry captain. We lost two more replicators this morning..."

"Listen to me very carefully because I'm only going to say this once. Coffee, black."

"...Yes ma'am."

- Janeway and Neelix

The Disease: (Honorable Mention)

Voyager encounters another 'generational ship' attempting a major journey across the galaxy!!

"I'm violating about half a dozen regulations by just being in this room. And what we did earlier… (ironic chuckle) I don't know if Starfleet even has a regulation for that." - Harry Kim

Think Tank: (Canon #22)

Jason Alexander's brilliant guest-staring role,"There is nothing like a good problem to spark the synapses, is there?"

Should I have The Doctor prepare a hypospray?"

"Excuse me?"

"So you can absorb the caffeine more directly. Save time."

- Neelix and Janeway

11:59: (Honorable Mention)

"Zeus himself watched over travelers. We should follow his example."

Although to be fair Zeus probably had a lot of horny, ulterior motives given Greek Mythology, haha.

This Episode is mostly a flashback to events around the turn of the millennium in Star Trek History.

Relativity: (Honorable Mention)

Something of a Sequel to Future's End, which is a bit frustrating because continuity is apparently on vacation this episode once you take it appart and see the inconsistencies.

However it is a very, very fun outing. Therefore in my Personal Regards I largely forgive the massive continuity problems.

Equinox; Parts 1 & 2: (Canon #23, Personal #21)

We're introduced to another Federation Starship stranded in the Delta Quadrant in the Teaser that eventually gets a Distress Call out to Voyager.

"I thought we were the only Humans in the Delta Quadrant."

"That's what we used to think."

- Marla Gilmore and Chakotay

Season 6:

Barge of the Dead: (Canon #24, Personal #22)

Another leftover Worf Script for B'Elanna. That said it is a very well done and enjoyable episode.

"Remind me to plant a flag on behalf of the Empire." - B'Elanna Torres.

Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy: (Personal #23)

I could've probably found a way to justify shoehorning it into the Canon List as well, but nonetheless it is an extremely fun episode!! One of the most enjoyable episodes of Star Trek, period.

"They say a doctor who operates on himself has a petaQ for a patient." - B'Elanna Torres.

"What I wouldn't give for a whoopee cushion right about now."

"A what?"

"Ancient technology."

- Tom Paris and Harry Kim.

One Small Step: (Canon #25, Personal #24)

Voyager encounters the remains of a NASA Astronaut who encountered 'the anomaly of the week'.

"One small step for a hologram, one giant leap for mankind."

"To coin a phrase."

- The Doctor and Seven of Nine

[Those Damn] "The Yankees in 6 Games." - Seven of Nine. The Astronaut they found had been a baseball fan waiting for news on the 2032 World Series.

Pathfinder: (Canon #26, Personal #25)

Our teaser opens on Lieutenant Reginald Barclay's Apartment back on Earth.

Fair Haven: (Honorable Mention)

One of My Mom's Favorites centered around an Old Irish Holodeck Program.

Blink of an Eye: (Personal #26)

Daniel Dae Kim guest stars in this 'Plant Outside the Natural Flow of Time' Episode.

Virtuoso: (Not sure if you can quite call it an Honorable Mention, but...)

You don't want to miss Robert Picardo's Singing Chops which feature heavily.

Tsunkatse: (The Rock & Jeffery Combs Bonus)

Voyager encounters the Delta Quadrant's Fighting Sport.

Collective: (Canon #27, Personal #27)

"You will be assimilated."

"Not today and not by you."

- Borg Collective and Janeway

Spirt Folk: (Honorable Mention)

Sequel to Fair Haven.

Ashes To Ashes: (Honorable Mention)

Mostly here for Kim Rhodes's Guest Starring Appearance. Despite this one-off she actually reprises her character on the MMO: Star Trek: Online.

Child's Play: (Canon #28, Personal #28)

The Character Icheb, who has featured on Star Trek: Picard, has his backstory explored here.

Good Shepard: (Honorable Mention)

Emotional Sequel to Learning Curve as Captain Janeway takes three underutilized crew members on an Away Mission to try to get to know them and find a way to improve their careers.

Muse: (Personal #29)

After a Shuttle Crash, Lt. Torres finds an Ancient Greek Stand-In Culture.

Life Line: (Canon #29/Personal #30)

"I'm a doctor, not a zookeeper." - The Doctor.

"Computer, deactivate iguana." - The Doctor.

Cats out of the bag; I guess Season 7 is a Bonus Round. Then again if you've made it this far you should be hooked on finishing.

Unimatrix Zero; Parts 1 & 2: (Honorable Mention)

To tell the truth, usually a useful endeavor, I was going to leave Unimatrix Zero left out and unmentioned at all; however, while re-watching End Game to try to finish off this article End Game's Reference to Unimatrix Zero reminded me that I had to reinsert it here with its Honorable Mention. I guess I just wanted to protest every Season Finale of the Seven of Nine Era being Borg Arc Stories, which kind of works, yet kind of doesn't.

Unimatrix Zero does have a fascinating premise. Essentially some Drones have managed to create a Matrix-like Haven for their minds while they're regenerating. And it's causing the Queen and the Collective Fits!!

Season 7:

Imperfection: (Canon #30)

"It's not everyday we go looking for the Borg. What's up?" - Chakotay

"We difficult patients need to stick together." - B'Elanna Torres

Drive: (Personal Favorite)

Voyager joins and enters a team in a Shuttle Race. #OlympicVibs, #Tokyo202One, #Euro2020!

Body And Soul: (Honorable Mention)

If a 'Guy Traped In a Girl's Body' Episode would bother you, then skip this one. Otherwise it is a very fun and entertaining, lighthearted outing!

Nightingale: (For Harry Kim Fans)

Our poor Operations Ensign finally gets the chance for his first Command Mission.

Flesh & Blood; Parts 1 & 2: (Canon Recommendation)

Sequel to "The Killing Game'.

Shattered: (Canon Recommendation, Personal Favorite)

My Favorite Chakotay Episode, and the one from the Title Photo and My Old YouTube Video. Voyager is thrown into a temporal flux, different parts of the ship exist at different parts of the show's past, present, and future. Chakotay must sort this out.

Prophecy: (Canon Recommendation)

Voyager is attacked, by Klingons!!

Human Error: (Honorable Mention)

"I wish to ask you a personal question."

"Shoot."

"You have an appealing coiffure. What is your grooming regimen?"

"You're asking me what I do with my hair?"

"Yes."

"Erm, well, nothing too elaborate – sonic shower, a little engine grease. Thinking about a new look?"

"Perhaps. I'll keep you apprised if you'd like."

"Please do."

- Seven of Nine and B'Elanna Torres

"Are you trying to soothe the infant, or traumatize her?"

- Seven of Nine

Author, Author: (Canon Recommendation/Personal Favorite)

"Your program is about as subtle as a Ferengi mating dance!" - Tom Paris

Friendship One: (Canon Honorable Mention)

Somewhat a Sequel to 'One Small Step' , also Voyager's 1st 'Official' Assignment in 7 Years.

Homestead: (For Neelix Fans)

"Mr. Neelix. (Wiggles one foot) Live long and prosper." - Tuvok

Renaissance Man: (Honorable Mention)

Bit of an Emotional Sequel to Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy.

Endgame: (Canon Series Finale; Personal Honorable Mention)

Sorry Tay and Marvel, Star Trek's Endgame, umm...Ended its Game 1st.

Sadly Alice Krige wasn't always available for the Borg Queen Role on Voyager; Susanna Thompson was a successful and admirable backup and stand-in during other episodes of the Borg Arc. Krige makes a triumphant return for this Series Finale however!!

"Joe?"

"I decided I couldn't get married without a name."

"It took you thirty-three years to come up with Joe?!"

- Tom Paris & The Doctor.

Very good Series Finale at the Small Screen Level. Some of the creative choices gnaw at me though, and there is a certain unfulfillment that we never get to see the triumphant Voyager and her Crew strut their stuff in Alpha Quadrant Affairs. Many talk that they wish Deep Space Nine & Voyager had done a Combo Movie instead of Insurrection and/or Nemisis being green-lit as The Next Generation Films and those sentiments have a lot of valid points to them.

I guess if you ask me how it stacks up against The Next Generation's All Good Things and Deep Space Nine's What You Leave Behind: I'd say All Good Things & What You Leave Behind are 1a and 1b with Voyager's Endgame a close 2nd.

In overall closing thoughts, Voyager may have left a lot of untapped potential on the table and missed a lot of opportunities, but it's still a very, very special Series to me. So far Seven has returned on Star Trek: Picard; Janeway is supposed to be in the Pipeline for Star Trek: Prodigy. Suffice it to say Voyager is going to continue to have effects on Star Trek Productions for quite some time. Frankly I've got a concept for a TNG/DS9/VOY Massive Kelvin Timeline Adventure if I got to actually write a Star Trek Film myself someday. Our brave displaced crew of Voyager has a strong lasting legacy in Star Trek Lore, and it would be a shame to skip over their chapter in history within your personal experience with the Franchise.

Gratuitous Links:

My YouTube Video I'm Referencing at the beginning:

Song from said YouTube Video: Taylor Swift: Untouchable.

My Taylor Swift Top 26 TS1 - Folklore List: Part 2.

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About the author

Sean S

Please also check out Red River Rivalry THE Podcast!

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