10 Must-Watch Episodes of "Star Trek: Voyager"

The theme of exploration continued in Star Trek with a new Federation starship, the ​USS Voyager, being transported to the previously unexplored Delta Quadrant. The show featured the first female captain heading a series, Kate Mulgrew as Kathryn Janeway. The characters struggled with dwindling supplies and unfamiliar territory as they tried to make their way home. For seven seasons, ​​​​Star Trek: Voyager brought us a new crew, a new ship, and a journey through space never seen before. These are the ten best episodes.

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"Deadlock" - Season 2, Episode 21

Janeway meets Janeway (Kate Mulgrew)
Janeway meets Janeway (Kate Mulgrew). Paramount/CBS

While trying to avoid enemy territory, Voyager encounters a space-time rift that creates a duplicate Voyager. The two ships can't both exist and are causing failures that threaten both. The moment when the two Janeways meet and consider their options is one of the best in Voyager, and the episode is another morally challenging one.

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"Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy" - Season 2, Episode 21

The Doctor (Robert Picardo) examines Janeway
The Doctor (Robert Picardo) "examines" Janeway. Paramount/CBS

When the holographic Doctor alters his programming to allow him to daydream, he begins having fantasies of becoming the Emergency Commander of the ship. But when the daydreams get out of control, he's unaware that an alien race is tapping into his memory and thinks his imagination is reality. This episode is a favorite among fans for its humor and exploration of the Doctor's hopes and dreams.

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"Someone to Watch Over Me" - Season 5, Episode 22

Seven and the Doctor Dance
Seven and the Doctor Dance. Paramount/CBS

In this episode, Seven and the Doctor try to explore romantic feelings. The Doctor offers to help Seven learn about dating and romance, but begins to develop feelings for her himself. This episode is often cited for its emotional and subtle context. The themes of two nonhuman characters struggling to find love are one of Voyager's sweetest moments.​

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"Message in a Bottle" - Season 4, Episode 14

EMH (Robert Picardo) and EMH-2 (Andy Dick)
EMH (Robert Picardo) and EMH-2 (Andy Dick). Paramount/CBS

When the crew of Voyager finds an alien communications network, they use it to transmit the holographic Doctor to a Federation starship in the Alpha Quadrant, the Prometheus. But when he gets there, the Doctor discovers it's been taken over by Romulans. He teams up with the ship's Emergency Medical Hologram to take back the ship, and send a message to Starfleet to rescue Voyager. It's an exciting episode that allows the Doctor to be a hero for once.

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"Timeless" - Season 5, Episode 6

Voyager and Delta Flyer travel through slipstream
Voyager and Delta Flyer travel through slipstream. Paramount/CBS

When Voyager attempts to return to Federation space with an experimental drive, it goes wrong. The ship crashes, killing all aboard and leaving the ship frozen on an icy world. But Chakotay and Kim escape and find the ship fifteen years later. They send a message back in time with Seven's implant and the Doctor's help to save the ship. I'm a sucker for a great time travel episode, and there's a lot of drama in the guilt Kim feels for his role in the destruction of Voyager. The return of Geordi LaForge (now a captain) is a wonderful bonus.

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"Blink of an Eye" - Season 6, Episode 12

Voyager approaching tachyon planet
Voyager approaching tachyon planet. Paramount/CBS

Voyager finds a planet with a time dilation effect, causing years to pass on the planet's surface while mere seconds pass for the crew. Trapped in the planet's orbit, Voyager's crew struggles to escape while influencing the religion and science of an entire civilization growing beneath them. The story has commentary on the nature of religion and science and is a prime example of science fiction at its best.

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"Tuvix" - Season 2, Episode 24

Tuvix argues his right to exist
Tuvix argues his right to exist. Paramount/CBS

It all seems routine when security chief Tuvok and head chef Neelix are transported from an alien planet with some plant samples. However, the plant causes the transporter to fuse Tuvok and Neelix into a single being. The new lifeform, called Tuvix, is accepted by the crew and doesn't seem like a bad deal at all. That is until a process is discovered to separate Tuvok and Neelix, essentially destroying Tuvix. The episode grapples with deep questions about identity and morality in a way that still polarizes viewers today.

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"Equinox" - Season 5, Episode 25; Season 6. Episode 1

Captain Janeway and Captain Ransom
Captain Janeway and Captain Ransom. Paramount/CBS

Voyager discovers another Starfleet ship lost in the Delta Quadrant, the USS Equinox. In many ways, this is sort of an "evil clone" episode, where the Equinox is the evil version of Voyager. Whereas Voyager has striven to maintain the high ideals of Starfleet, the Equinox has descended to brutality in their attempts to return home. They even have an Emergency Medical Hologram, which has its ethical protocols disabled to murder lifeforms to extract energy. The episode highlights how seemingly good people can descend to evil out of desperation, which resonates today.

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"Hope and Fear" - Season 4, Episode 26

Seven of Nine and Captain Janeway
Seven of Nine and Captain Janeway. Parmount/CBS

In this episode, the Voyager crew get a message from Starfleet but struggle to decipher it. They get help from an alien who guides them to a ship allegedly sent from Starfleet that could take them back to the Alpha Quadrant. But the ship will require abandoning Voyager, and Seven of Nine is suspicious of their benefactor. Their decision leads them to a disturbing discovery and forces them to question the results of their actions in the Delta Quadrant. It's a powerful story with questions about how Voyager is struggling to balance against the Prime Directive and their desire to return home.

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"Year of Hell" - Season 4, Episodes 8, 9

Janeway addresses officers on wrecked bridge
Janeway addresses officers on wrecked bridge. Paramount/CBS

In this two-part episode, an alien commander tries to use a time-based weapon to change history to his liking. He makes his own species more powerful while making its enemies weaker. Voyager gets caught in constantly changing timelines, where their situation gets worse and worse as their enemy grows more and more powerful. This episode shows Voyager at its darkest hour with depleting resources, a crumbling ship, and dwindling options. In many ways, it's the episode that fulfilled the show's initial promise of a Federation starship lost and adrift.

Final Thoughts

"Star Trek: Voyager" was a show that brought a spirit of exploration and the unknown back to the franchise. Enjoy these episodes for the first time or once again.