Like Star Trek iterations before it, Voyager got off to a slow start, but soon found its feet once both the writers and actors became more familiar with the characters they were bringing to life. As such, Voyager had its share of bad episodes in the first season and beyond. However, it also provided viewers with some of the best tension and characters in Star Trek.
Stranding the crew in the Delta Quadrant provided ample opportunity to explore new and different storylines and give the characters more depth, which the writers did many times. Each season gave viewers episodes filled with humour, heartbreak and lots of tension, creating the integral connection between them and the characters they were watching.
This connection was continuously expanded for some characters more than others, with later seasons relegating Chakotay and Harry Kim to background players, and Seven-of-Nine and the Doctor gaining increasingly more storylines. Having the largest main cast in Star Trek was clearly a hindrance to the writers, and it's unfortunate that characters had to suffer.
Despite this, Voyager was able to provide storylines that engaged viewers and every season has their own collection of them. However, they were not all created equal, and so some are better than others.
But which season was the best? It's time to find out...
7. Season 1
Voyager's first season was consistent with some good episodes, but no real stand outs. It does however have a brilliant story arc running throughout focusing on the tension between the Marquis and Starfleet crews. Portraying the difficulties both crews face when they are thrown together and forced to work together provides for excellent character development, and the episodes Learning Curve and State of Flux are excellent examples of that.
Highlighting the differences between the mentalities of the two crews in Learning Curve and providing a clear progression in how those views change throughout the episode allow viewers to identify where the changes have come from and why. A sudden change in the Marquis crew's beliefs about Starfleet and Voyager's crew would have been confusing to viewers, but this episode prevents that with an engaging storyline and solid writing.
State of Flux provides tension and a brilliant reveal about Seska and shows what happens when a Marquis crew member cannot put aside their beliefs about Starfleet. Seska's story is more complex than that, however the main storyline in this episode is her betrayal of the Voyager crew. It is well written and provides some great twists that gave audiences a glimpse into how good the writing on this show can be.
This season provides tolerable episodes, but no episodes that wow the audience like other entries in this list. There are no episodes that ratchet up tension or make the viewer fear for the life of a crewmember, despite The Phage trying to with Neelix. The writers and cast were still clearly trying to create and understand these characters throughout this season, which could explain the mediocrity of the first 15 episodes.
It was a solid start for the series, but it is the worst season of the show.