Star Trek: Voyager - Cast Photo, Season 7

STAR TREK: VOYAGER

LaserDisc - Japanese Release
CIC Video continued the release formula started with The Next Generation and issued episodes of Voyager in ½ season box sets - containing either six or seven discs per box. The packaging style remained consistent throughout, a deluxe slip case with each disc in a custom printed sleeve. For this series, they did make an artwork change and each disc artwork is completely unique to the two episodes issued on that particular disc, with a common template on the back cover. Prices for each set were consistent with those from previous sets, between ¥38,000 and ¥60,000 per set. Paramount would take over for CIC at the termination of the CIC Video licensing agreement.

Due to the screwy production schedule between Voyager's first two years, the episode grouping is somewhat confused for this set. Paramount produced a total of twenty episodes for the first season of Voyager and only twenty-two for its second season. However, the last four episodes did not air during Season One, instead UPN lead off Season Two with the final four episodes from Season One. The LaserDisc releases of Voyager also fell victim to the decline of LaserDisc. While clearly popular, based on how quickly the sets sold out, Paramount and Pioneer stopped production of Voyager sets in July 2001. In that time however, Paramount was able to issue a full five seasons (ten box sets) of the series, up through episode 120 "Equinox".

Each episode is complete and unedited in this series, offering Bilingual languages - English Stereo on the Digital Audio tracks and dubbed Japanese Stereo on the Analog tracks. The episodes are also Closed Captioned and offer LaserDisc-Graphics encoding. There are no trailers or any other bonus features included on any discs.

DVD
In February 2004, Paramount began issuing Voyager on DVD. As was done with The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, each season is released in a box set, with 7 DVDs in each box. (Season 1 has only 5 DVDs.) The episodes are digitally remastered and include a new 5.1 channel audio soundtrack. There are supplemental features included on the last disc in each set, including documentaries and interviews. Paramount continued in the "broadcast order" for episode grouping.

The issue with episode groupings between seasons one and two is different than was done on LaserDisc in Japan. The Season One box set will include only 16 episodes, leaving the remaining 4 in Season 2 as was the broadcast sequence in the United States.

These same box set collections are being released in other markets as well, including Region 2 Europe (PAL) Region 2 Japan (NTSC). Packaging is relatively the same for these import sets, with some minor variations.

Season One
For an audience pining for Star Trek: The Next Generation and its weekly adventures in uncharted space, which wasn't always integral to the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine theme, Star Trek: Voyager was a welcome return to the unknown reaches of the galaxy. Star Trek's fourth venture into the final frontier made it out of spacedock intact and on time - despite an abrupt eleventh-hour departure of actor Geneviéve Bujold. Her exit threatened to delay the January 1995 debut and prompted the last-minute casting of Kate Mulgrew as Star Trek's first female lead in a series (Capt. Kathryn Janeway). Despite the stress of her late addition to the cast in the pivotal lead role, Mulgrew quickly and deftly settled into the captain's chair seemingly made for her. Indeed, the entire cast seemed to fit their characters perfectly, gelling faster than any Star Trek ensemble since the classic series. And while the show would make the most of the state-of-the-art USS Voyager, its premise would owe more to its roots: Stranded in the Delta Quadrant, with no choice but to seek out new worlds and new civilizations, Star Trek: Voyager would be off to one of the best first seasons since the original series.

As had been done with Deep Space Nine, Paramount offered Voyager as mid-season startup, producing twenty episodes for the first season. Paramount and UPN opted to air only the first sixteen episodes, ending the season with "Learning Curve". The balance of Season One episodes was to begin Season Two.

Season Two
USS Voyager would rarely enjoy peace with the Kazons, who continued their relentless quest to commandeer the ship for its technological secrets, testing the strength of Voyager's shields and the mettle of its crew as Star Trek: Voyager glided into its second season. The Vidiians, too, would attempt to clap the crew in a dark medical grip for the purposes of organ harvest, while some of Voyager's greatest dangers would erupt from within its own crew. Kes's burgeoning telekinetic ability would on one occasion escalate out of control (similar to the dark influence of Gary Mitchell when he acquired telekinetic power in the classic Star Trek episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before") and Tuvok would become a raging Vulcan - and a threat to the crew - through a dangerous mind-meld. Yet, despite all the space battles and inner strife, there would grow bonds of trust and friendship. Emotional ties would spring forth, strong and enduring, between Voyager's captain and crew.

The previous two Star Trek series each had shortened first or second seasons. The Next Generation had a shortened second season due to a writers strike, prompting the production of only twenty-two episodes that year. Deep Space Nine produced twenty episodes is first year and a full slate thereafter. Voyager produced only twenty-two episodes for Season Two, but filled out with the held-over four episodes from Season One. The result was fewer episodes produced over the full run of the series than any previous Star Trek offering since The Original Series. This also prompted the much discussed issues with Captain Janeway's hair style, which changed from season to season, seeming to change back and fourth through the first six episodes of the second year.

Season Three
Captain Janeway and crew dispatched the Kazons in the season opener, forcing this once worthy adversary into the annals of villains gone by. The focus of Star Trek: Voyager shifted away from armed conflicts with the inhabitants of the Delta Quadrant to stories of a more character driven nature. Time Travel popped up a number of times ("Futures End Part I & II", "Flashback", "Before and After") as did character altering issues for our holographic Doctor ("Futures End Part I & II", "The Darkling", "Real Life", "The Swarm"). We also witnessed the first encounter with the Borg ("Blood Fever", "Unity", "Scorpion") in this region of space, but on an entirely new level - one of co-existence. Personal character development was also seriously enhanced for all our major characters including Kes, Paris, Torres and Janeway. Actors turned Directors continued as four episodes were directed by members of the cast (2 by Robert Duncan McNeill) and Anson Williams ("Potsy" from Happy Days) is added to the distinguished list of Voyager directors.

Season Four
The fourth season of Voyager promised to be the most ambitious yet. Captain Janeway is faced with the unthinkable situation of joining an alliance with the Borg in order to escape destruction by Species 8472. And throughout the first few episodes of the season, the crew is struggling to recover Voyager from Jeri Ryan as '7 of 9'modifications added by the Borg alliance. Joining the crew is the Borg representative from this alliance, Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) who becomes severed from the collective. Kes (Jennifer Lein) has departed Voyager and begun life on a new plane of existence, and as a parting gift, transports Voyager 10,000 light years closer to home. Contact with the Alpha Quadrant has finally been made, but only for a brief period. Seven of Nine discovers a communications array which has allowed the Doctor (Robert Picardo) to be transported temporarily to another Starfleet vessel. This contact has provided great hope to the crew as they receive messages from home.

Character development continues as we find Torres (Roxanne Dawson) and Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill) exploring their personal relationship which began in the third season. The real life pregnancy of Ms. Dawson is not integrated into the storyline for Voyager and creative photography is effective in hiding the condition. It does play a role in one episode mid-season ("The Killing Game") in which the crew are forced to relive World War II on the holodeck under the control of a new race called the Hirogen. Much of the first half of the season is focused on our new Borg crew member and her struggle to accept the re-emergence of her human side, brought on by the removal from the Collective. Captain Janeway assumes the task of mentor for Seven, helping her to meld successfully with the crew. The relationship between Janeway and Chakotay (Robert Beltran) remains stagnant on a personal level while they continue to clash on a professional level.

Actors turned Directors continues as we see Tim Russ (Tuvok) direct as well as Deep Space Nine's Andrew J. Robinson (Garak). LeVar Burton (Geordi LaForge from ST: TNG) directed a single episode for Voyager and two for DS9. Anson Williams continues to stretch his Star Trek muscles with two Voyager episodes this season, and one from DS9. Departing the show at the end of the season is Jeri Taylor who is co-creator of the series and this year served as co-executive producer.

Season Five
As Voyager settled into "cruise" mode for its fifth year in the Delta Quadrant, focus for the series pushed on bringing our lost souls home a bit more quickly. There were early rumors that this might indeed be Voyager's final year on the air and Earth would be obtained. Matters were not helped by rumors that Kate Mulgrew wanted out of the show. Of course, both rumors died as most rumors do and life on Voyager continued.

In addition to the renewed drive to return our crew home, our characters received some significant growth. Torres (Roxanne Dawson) and Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill) continue their relationship. Harry Kim (Garrett Wang) grows up fast as he defies his Captain for the love of an alien. Paris is stripped of rank and busted to Ensign for willful insubordination. The Doctor (Robert Picardo) suffers somewhat of an identity crisis and - in a rather odd way - fathers a 29th-century Borg with Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan). Katherine Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) buried herself in guilt over her decision to destroy the Caretaker array four years earlier rather than use it to return home.

We meet a new alien species this year, which is no big event in Star Trek lore, except the Malon dump toxic waste products all over a vast area of the quadrant. Encounters with them are numerous this year and prompt the development of a new type of shuttle - the Delta Flyer.

It seems no season of Star Trek would be complete without delving into the paradox of time travel. This season would be no exception as we become re-acquainted with the 29th-century Captain Braxton, first seen in Future's End from the 3rd season - and this time played by Bruce McGill. Another paradox occurs early in the year for the series 100th episode, where Chakotay (Robert Beltran) and Kim, the only survivors from Voyager's crash on an icy planet, attempt to fiddle with the time line to prevent the disaster. Also ever present are the diversions provided by the Holodeck. This year, nearly everyone gets drawn into the adventures of "Captain Proton".

The season drew to a close with the discovery of another Starfleet vessel in the Delta Quadrant. The USS Equinox had also been brought to this side of the galaxy by the Caretaker, but it's journey back to the Alpha Quadrant has been much less positive.

Behind the scenes, for the first time in much of Star Trek's run, there is a sudden drop in the number of actors getting behind the camera. LeVar Burton (Geordi LaForge from ST: TNG) directed a single outing in Voyager, the much celebrated 100th, and a single episode for DS9. Robert Duncan McNeill (Paris) directed a single episode and Anson Williams continues to with his Star Trek duties helming one Voyager and one DS9 episode.

Season Six
For the crew of the USS Voyager, the beginning of their sixth year in the Delta Quadrant picked up right where the fifth year left off. The cliffhanger in May 1999 left us all wondering if Kate Mulgrew would make good on the rumor that she would depart Star Trek and have the crew return to Earth without her. She did return for season six and continued her quest to get the crew home. This also marks the first year that Voyager must carry the Star Trek torch alone, with Deep Space Nine ending its run at the end of the 1998-1999 season.

The troubles at UPN did nothing to ease concerns that Voyager might end up being the shortest run Star Trek series since the demise of The Original Series in 1969. (Actually, the shortest series was The Animated Series which ran from 1973-1974 at a whopping 22 episodes.) With the purchase of CBS by Viacom, their partial ownership of UPN raised speculation that the fledgling network would be gobbled up, and Voyager would go along with it. The fine folks at the FCC ruled however that since UPN is not a "full-fledged" network (UPN produces only 2 hours of primetime programming 5 nights a week), the FCC regulations barring one company from operating two or more networks did not apply.

Much of the sixth season dealt with personal development of several of the crew. Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) continued her growth and the ongoing quest to recover her lost humanity. We are witness to her complete mental breakdown as she overloads during the regeneration process. We also find out more of her past with the Borg including assignments within her original Unimatrix and a new interaction with rescued Borg children. The Doctor (Robert Picardo) has now grown way beyond the sum of his programming. He has now made his second trip to the Alpha Quadrant, captains Voyager, vaulted to "rock star" status with his singing ability and serves as Pastor to the folk of "Fair Haven".

Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill) struggles with several issues this year, but manages to keep out of too much trouble - enough so that he is restored to Lieutenant as the season ends. The relationship with Torres (Roxanne Dawson) continues, but really doesn't go anywhere this season.

Keeping in line with a promise made to Starfleet last season, Janeway managed to avoid any time travel issues this season, well almost. The return of Kes (Jennifer Lein) to Voyager was unsettling as we bounced back and forth over a 5 year time span. The years since her departure at the beginning of Season four have not been kind to Kes as she makes her way back to the Ocampan Homeworld.

Contact with Starfleet Command became more 'regular' this season. Lt. Barclay (Dwight Schultz), now assigned to a research station, enlists the help of Diana Troi (Marina Sirtis) to convince Starfleet that he has found a way to contact Voyager. Marina Sirtis is now the third cast member from The Next Generation to make an appearance on Star Trek: Voyager. His research has proved beneficial and contact between Voyager and Starfleet, while not as easy as opening a channel in subspace, is at least possible on a limited basis. This of course opens the door for an even speedier return home to the Alpha Quadrant.

As the season drew to a close, the Borg return. Seven convinces Janeway they must help the members of Unimatrix Zero that are being threatened the Borg Queen. Janeway agrees and with the destruction of The Delta Flyer, Torres, Tuvok (Tim Russ) and Janeway are captured and assimilated.

Behind the scenes a new actor-turned-director cuts their teeth on an episode of Star Trek. Roxanne Dawson (Torres) turns in a single episode as does Robert Picardo (The Doctor). LeVar Burton (Geordi LaForge from ST: TNG) directed a single outing this year as well.

Season Seven
By the time the season began, we were all too aware that the crew of USS Voyager would not boldly go where no Star Trek series has gone before - to an eighth season. Paramount and UPN announced that the seventh season of Voyager would indeed be the last. This brought about a real push to tie up dangling storylines and determine if our long lost ship and crew would finally return home. Voyager would continue to carry the "Star Trek" banner alone again this season as word spread about a new series - but one that wouldn't be ready until the Fall of 2001.

The season began with the resolution of cliffhanger involving Unimatrix Zero, dealing a severe blow to the Borg collective. Much of the seventh season dealt with personal development of several of the crew. Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) continued her growth, experiencing her deep emotional responses after Unimatrix Zero and the Borg children, and a growing romantic interest in a fellow shipmate. The Doctor (Robert Picardo) continues to exceed his bounds, winning rights as an author, joining a holographic revolt against Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and the Hirogen and suffering the defeat of losing the romantic affection from Seven of Nine to another. Harry Kim (Garret Wang) has grown restless as an Ensign - a rank he has held for seven years now and flexes his command muscles on a number of occasions. Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill) and B'Elanna Torres (Roxanne Dawson) marry and are expecting a child.

We see the return of Q (John deLancie) for his final outing in the series and the havoc that is his son - Q. Reg Barclay returns in one episode, plus the final episode. It would seem no season would be complete without some type of temporal storyline, and this year was no exception - but this time, the ship was fractured into 30 different temporal zones. We also run into the Klingon's who appear to have been wandering around in the Delta Quadrant for several generations.

Contact with Starfleet Command and the alpha quadrant has become more 'regular' this season. Calls to family and friends have become almost commonplace. Voyager was even sent off on a mission for Starfleet in search of long lost probe. As the season draws to a close, Neelix (Ethan Phillips) decides to leave Voyager when they encounter a colony of Talaxians.

As the season and series drew to a close, the Borg return. Alice Krige reprises her roll from Star Trek: First Contact as the Borg Queen and tries to keep Voyager from discovering a transwarp hub. Janeway from 30 years in the future appears through a time rift (she simply can't stop violating the temporal prime directive) and convinces Janeway from the present to use technology from the future to fight the Borg.

For our actor/director duties this year, we get a single episode each from Roxanne Dawson (Torres) and Robert Duncan McNeill (Tom Paris) while LeVar Burton (Geordi LaForge from ST: TNG) directs three outings this season.

Portions of Season One and Two summaries taken from Star Trek: Thirty Years - Special Collectors Edition ©1996 Paramount Pictures Corporation.

Updated: February 8, 2017
Send comments and mail to: Star Trek LD
©2003 Blam Entertainment Group