10 Best ‘Star Trek: Voyager’ Episodes

I’ve been slowly working my way through all of the Star Trek series. With the announcement of the new series starting in 2017, I was inspired to pick up my pace and finish all existing shows before then. I finished Voyager not long ago and have a lot of thoughts on the series as whole.

I’ll boil it down to basics: I would not call Voyager the strongest of the Trek series, but I had a lot of fun with it. Some episodes are real duds, and some are great. Some of the main cast lack depth (looking at you, Chakotay and Harry), but some of the characters and their development are excellent. (Janeway, B’Elanna, The Doctor, Seven of Nine)

I could go into more depth, but thought instead I would list my top ten favorite episodes. These aren’t the ones that I thought were necessarily the best episodes, although some of the best are definitely on the list, but the ones that I enjoyed the most.

I’ll start with my honorable mentions list. These are episodes that I loved, but not all of them can be in the top ten. Two-parters are listed as single episodes for expediency’s sake.

Honorable Mentions, in no particular order: “Jetrel,” “Tuvix,” “Flashback,” “Latent Image,” “Blink of an Eye,” “Unimatrix Zero,” “Body and Soul.”

Here are my top 10 Voyager episodes, ranked in order from 10 to 1:

Top 10 STAR TREK VOYAGER EPISODES

Star Trek: Voyager "Bride of Chaotica"

10. Bride of Chaotica

This episode is so much fun. It’s wacky, zany and a bit crazy, but that’s why I love it. Captain Janeway as Arachnia is hilarious. I know the plot could be more solid, but I find myself not caring and just enjoying it.

Star Trek: Voyager "Lineage"

9. Lineage

This is the episode where B’Elanna discovers that she is pregnant and that her daughter will share many of her Klingon traits. We learn a lot about B’Elanna, her past, and her fears for the future. We’re shown a much softer, more intimate side of a character that is usually strong, independent and brusque. There are layers to her character, and I love how this episode shows them.

Star Trek: Voyager "11:59"

8. 11:59

Captain Janeway reminisces about one of her ancestors, Shannon O’Donnell, whose story inspired her to join Starfleet. She learns that her forebear was not necessarily as important or influential as she had thought. This is a good tale of how our perceptions of someone from the past can be warped by time, but that they can still be meaningful to us, even if they weren’t to society as a whole.

Star Trek: Voyager "Mortal Coil"

7. Mortal Coil

Neelix is dead for 18 hours and is then revived by Borg nanoprobes. When he wakes up he realizes that he didn’t go to the Great Forest, the Talaxian heaven/afterlife. He questions his own religious beliefs, mortality, and life after death. He becomes convinced that he was supposed to die and tries to beam himself into a nebula. It takes Samantha Wildman telling him that Naomi needs him to stop him. I love when Star Trek tackles the big issues, and this is one of the biggest. This particular episode leaves it fairly open-ended, too, letting the viewers draw their own conclusion.

Star Trek: Voyager "Endgame"

6. Endgame

What’s better than one Janeway? Two Janeways! I have to admit, I just love Kate Mulgrew playing two versions of Janeway and arguing with herself. That aside, we finally see our intrepid (ha, get it?) crew reach the Alpha Quadrant and home. The plot gets a little convoluted at times, and double-crossing abounds, but it’s all worth it for the look on their faces as they realize they’ve made it. I was shamelessly cheering at the end shot showing them approaching Earth. I would have liked to see them actually ON Earth, but it was still a good send-off.

Star Trek: Voyager "Caretaker"

5. Caretaker

“Caretaker” and “Endgame” are probably interchangeable in their ranks on this list. Voyager had a strong end and a strong beginning. “Caretaker” is my favorite Star Trek pilot. (I’ve actually watched “Broken Bow” at this point, too, so I can say that.) We get introduced to all of our main characters, our ship, and get whisked away on our mission. If the entire first couple seasons had stayed this strong Voyager would be my favorite series.

Star Trek: Voyager "Distant Origin"

4. Distant Origin

It may seem odd that this one is so close to the top. I was struggling to get through season 3, and this episode was a breath of fresh air. We get new aliens, alien politics, and an allusion to our own world. An alien scientist is trying to prove that his race came from a distant planet, which goes against his people’s beliefs. Sort of like Galileo trying to convince the scholars of his day that the earth is round. It’s more of Trek tackling big issues, and giving us fun new aliens along the way. (Do the Voth remind anyone else of the Silurians from Doctor Who?)

Star Trek: Voyager "Equinox"

3. Equinox

Voyager encounters another Starfleet vessel stranded in the Delta Quadrant, the Equinox. The Equinox and her crew have chosen to handle their situation far differently than Janeway does. Captain Ransom tries to get his crew home by any means necessary, no matter the moral implications. I like this episode because we see Janeway interact with a peer and how far apart their morals are. Captain Ransom will torture alien species to generate power, but Janeway’s line is nowhere near there. I do dislike how crazy-bananas Janeway goes to get Ransom, endangering her own ship in the process. Her temporary insanity is forgotten in the next episode, and apparently Chakotay has completely forgotten about it by then, too. It’s a tense two-parter that leaves you wondering what will happen.

Star Trek: Voyager "Living Witness"

2. Living Witness

My reasons for loving this episode so much are personal. I studied history and politics, and this episode looks very closely at both and how they can be related. The Doctor (actually a backup Doctor) finds himself in an alien museum. The people on this planet believe Voyager is responsible for war crimes and the tension between the two races that live there. We watch the curator come to conclusions based on the evidence he has that are completely logical to extrapolate. The Doctor, of course, knows that they are 100% wrong.

It’s an interesting look at how people can draw such drastically different conclusions from historical evidence. It shows how it’s impossible to know what truly happened so far in the past, and that the truth can be colored by personal views and experiences. We see in this episode, too, how history can be leveraged in the present to cause social strife and change.

Star Trek: Voyager "Year of Hell"

1. Year of Hell

This one almost doesn’t need an explanation. I think these are Voyager’s best episodes. We get to see alternate timelines, the ship falling apart, and our characters pushed past their limits. There are a lot of good moments between the different characters and we get to see them grow and take on more responsibility. (That does unfortunately mostly vanish at the end of the episode with their timelines.) Janeway sacrifices herself and Voyager to secure a present and future in which her crew is safe and they still have a chance to get home.

Those are what I consider the best and my favorite episodes of Voyager. I do have some lingering questions, such as: What happened to the Borg baby? What about Janeway’s and Paris’s lizard babies? How about the son The Doctor mentions in “Blink of an Eye?” I could go for more epilogue on some of those, but I’m not letting them ruin my enjoyment of the series.

So, what do you think? Did I miss any really good episodes? Are any of my favorites terrible? I trust you to tell me in the comments!

The entire Star Trek: Voyager series is available on DVD through Amazon and via streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Michelle Toven

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Michelle Toven lives in northern Minnesota, where she does normal things by day and nerdy things by weekend and night. Her interests range from Star Trek, to history, archaeology, languages, fantasy and sci-fi, politics, and cats. Find her on Twitter at @mtoven.

16 Comments Join the Conversation →


  • Usually I have no idea how people pick their favorite Voyager episodes, but I loved everyone one of these. Even though there was a lot of junk in Voyager, especially in the first few seasons, there are way more than 10 amazing episodes so I know it’s hard to make such a list. Thanks!

    • Ultra Tiny Frog

      I rate all episodes on a scale from 1 to 10. Then, the episodes I rated the highest make it to my list of favorites. For Voyager, my Top 10 is:

      Blink of an Eye (6×12)
      Voyager is trapped in orbit above a strange planet where time passes thousands of times faster than in the surrounding galaxy.

      Distant Origin (3×23)
      A Voth scientist finds the remains of a Voyager crewman who died on the planet where the crew was exiled by the Kazon during the two-part episode “Basics”.

      Scientific Method (4×07)
      A string of bizarre illnesses afflicts the Voyager crew. The Doctor and Seven of Nine uncover a team of alien researchers existing out of phase performing medical experiments on the ship’s crew.

      Virtuoso (6×13)
      The Doctor’s singing talent is so appreciated by one species that he is considering resigning his Starfleet commission and staying on with his millions of adoring fans.

      Author, Author (7×20)
      During their now regular communications with Earth and Starfleet the Doctor sends to Earth a holo-novel based too closely on his adventures on Voyager causing hurt feelings among his crew

      Counterpoint (5×10)
      Voyager passes through a sector of space controlled by race which is deeply suspicious of telepathic lifeforms. Tuvok and others force the Voyager crew to develop a novel approach in order to pass through safely.

      Scorpion, Part I (3×26)
      About to enter Borg space, Voyager finds a threat so devastating that even the Borg can not deal with it.

      Deadlock (2×21)
      A “spatial scission” causes Voyager to be duplicated. One of the Voyagers is under heavy attack from the Vidiians while the other remains impervious. Both Captain Janeways work together

      Once Upon a Time (5×05)
      The Delta Flyer crash lands after encountering an ion storm. Voyager desperately tries to contact and rescue Tuvok, Paris, and a badly injured Ensign Samantha Wildman. Meanwhile aboard ship, Neelix attempts to distract young Naomi Wildman, who is eager to hear from her mother.

      11:59 (5×23)
      The crew of Voyager swap stories of family histories. Janeway is most proud of her ancestor Shannon O’Donnell, who has been celebrated by the Janeway clan for generations as an astronaut…

      • Popop Popk

        I was a TNG snob. Never gave Voyager a chance. Thanks for the head start

  • Elfwitch

    Good list but one major quibble. It was Chakotay who stopped Nelix from committing suicide and got him receptive enough to realize Naomi Wildman needs him.

    I also think you are rather harsh on your judgement of Ransom. Yeah he did a bad thing but look at everything his crew had been through compared to Voyager and the fact that right before he found the aliens his crew had gone 16 days without food. It could be argued that Janeway making an alliance with the Borg who responsible for the genocide of hundreds of species was far worse.

  • Silverdoe25

    I have always love the two-parter, Future’s End, if for nothing else than Janeway’s verbal rant on time travel.

  • Darin Saretzky

    Why does no one remember “The Chute” where Paris and Kim are imprisoned in an alien prison and what they have to go thru to survive. Not just good Trek, but just good storytelling in general.
    Really thought “the Caretaker” was disappointing– far too many contrivances in order to launch the series. If the caretaker was looking for a replacement, it doesn’t make sense to have a system that kills half the crew to get them there. The Dr. and Nurse died because because they were looking to the same console when it exploded. Who designs a console to break up into pointed glass shards upon failure? Has no one heard of surge suppressors in the 24th century? Why did the piece of crap (and smaller) Maquis ship survive relatively unscathed and the more modern Voyager lose half its crew?

  • Byron Wilding

    Voyager is my least favourite Trek but I recall a couple of episodes (but not the names). First- the Doctor sings in front of aliens who then freak out cos they never heard music before. The Doc moves to the planet and becomes Kanye but is eventually superceded. Second- the Doc is transferred to another Star Fleet ship and becomes John McLane alongside that ships EMH. Oh…I also liked the episodes following the episode when Neelix left because neelix is Star Trek’s Jar Jar Binks (but with worse dress sense).

  • jackson roy kirk

    It was hard to get through most of the first couple of seasons. Surprised it lasted 7 seasons. I think Distant Origin is my Fav! Fantastic story!!

    • Trek has a history of bad first seasons. I love TNG, but it’s first season was incredibly bad (season 2 was bad too, but made improvements). Even DS9, which I love, had a weak first season. It takes awhile for the writers and producers to settle in on the characters and what they want to do

  • Krazy Joe

    “What’s better than one Janeway? Two Janeways! ”

    No, the correct answer is ‘No Janeways’

    • Murray Britton

      What do you have again Janeway? She was a fine captain.

  • Bob Andreas

    Pathfinder

  • Mat

    Forgot Scorpion…

  • Iain Marchant

    Just started watching them all again on Netflix after originally watching them when they were first aired. I’m not sure why the hate there was towards the first three seasons. I really enjoyed the Kazon/Seska story arc. Though Neelix should have been left on that planet during Basics parts one & two, He is the Jar Jar Binks of the Star Treak Universe as far as I’m concerned.

    • I always see hate for Neelix, but I liked him. And his role was small enough that he didn’t get on your nerves. Kes was probably my least favorite of the main Voyager characters.

      • DrRobY

        I hated Neelix when I watched the show 20 years ago, but revisiting the entire series on Netflix, I have come to appreciate his role on the show. Mortal Coil is awesome as is he part of Riddles.

        I always felt that Kes was the victim of bad writing. They had no idea what to do with her. She had so much potential. It made sense to keep her in sickbay to assist the Dr. (And why would you have your chief helmsman do double duty as backup for the Dr.?) I hated her return in Fury—one of the few episodes that I skip when I binge watch.