8 WTF Moments In Star Trek: Voyager That Keep Me Up At Night

Star Trek: Voyager contains some of the absolute best episodes in the Star Trek franchise, and, unfortunately, some of the worst as well. What's even more interesting, however, is that there are plenty of episodes with "wtf" premises, but none of those are entirely bad or good. When comparing it to similar features we've done on shows like The Next Generation, that's not common. 

Things can get a bit freaky in the Delta Quadrant. This list will prove that in spades as we recap some of the wilder moments from Star Trek: Voyager that have me staring at the ceiling on late nights and just wondering, why? Check out the list, and then binge these episodes with a Paramount+ subscription for a terrible night's sleep. 

Salamanders in Star Trek: Voyager

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When Tom And Janeway Turned Into Salamanders And Mated ("Threshold" Season 2 Episode 15)

It's hilarious that a Star Trek episode that won an Emmy is considered one of the worst of all time. Granted, that Emmy was for Outstanding Makeup, and there's no denying the makeup is incredible, even if the episode is awful and upsetting. In a quest to achieve Warp 10, the adventure somehow devolves into Janeway and Tom Paris turning into salamanders. 

Not only do Tom and Captain Janeway become salamanders, but also mate and have three children together. If that wasn't bizarre enough, Voyager decides to abandon those children upon rescuing Tom and Janeway, possibly so no one has to acknowledge it ever happened again. So many bizarre decisions were made for this episode that I can't help but lie awake and wonder how it ever got made. 

The Clown in Star Trek: Voyager on Paramount+

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When An AI Clown Turned A Utopia Into A Neverending Nightmare (“The Thaw” Season 2, Episode 23)

"The Thaw" is a famous episode of Star Trek: Voyager thanks in no small part to a phenomenal performance by Better Call Saul actor Michael McKean. It's also known for its creepy premise, in which the Voyager crew finds a group of aliens trapped inside of a virtual reality simulation. B'Elanna and Harry go in to investigate, only to find the aliens hostage to an AI clown who has constructed an evil circus and is feeding on their fear. 

There's so much to really send a chill down your spine in this episode. The idea that an artificial intelligence could fuel itself on fear and physically impact the actual humanoids within it. There's also the wild reality that had Voyager not interfered, these lifeforms would've been trapped inside of a virtual hellscape until they finally gave up and died. In an age where we're giving more and more power to AI, the clown deserves his slot on Voyager's greatest villains

Hirogen in Star Trek: Voyager

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How The Hirogen Gravitated Toward Nazism (“The Killing Game” Season 4 Episodes 18 and 19)

"The Killing Game" is a two-part adventure for Star Trek: Voyager in which the Hirogen captured the crew and kept them brainwashed inside a holodeck scenario in order to train and hunt them for sport. Out of the vast library of content available for training simulations, the Hirogen decided to be Nazis and have the Voyager crew work as French spies in the resistance. 

There's a part of me that acknowledges Star Trek: Voyager used that parallel intentionally, but thinking in-universe, it's scary to see the Hirogen adapt and relate to Nazi ideals so readily. One scary reality about the idea of extraterrestrials is them having a feeling of superiority and the advanced tech to do some real damage to those they believe are lesser than them. This one always makes me wary of potential first contact and the first species humanity could come across in real life should that day ever come. 

Janeway's ghost father Star Trek: Voyager

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Janeway Temporarily Dies And Almost Has Her Spirit Taken By An Alien Ghost (“Coda” Season 3 Episode 15)

Captain Janeway wrestles with death in "Coda," though she's not immediately aware she's fighting for her life. What started as a time loop scenario devolved into an out-of-body ghost story in which Janeway is confronted by what she believed to be the spirit of her father. Janeway ultimately learns it's an alien hoping to seize her spirit to nourish itself, but fortunately, she makes it back to the land of the living. 

It's weird enough there's a corporeal alien spirit attempting to grab Janeway's soul. This being took things to the next level, however, by emulating her father! I know she made it out of the whole ordeal alright, but it's moments like these I'm amazed the Voyager crew isn't just wrecked with trauma from all they endured during this journey. Something like that would keep me up for weeks, and certainly not capable of resuming my duties as captain.  

Kes and evil Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager

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The Doctor Changes His Programming And Starts Trying To Murder And Torture People (“Darkling” Season 3 Episode 18)

Self-improvement is a natural part of life, and when you're an EMH, it's pretty easy to accomplish. Unfortunately, The Doctor's attempt to better himself by taking on the personalities of past figures he admired resulted in crafting a dark persona that did some truly terrible things. This included trying to murder someone by pushing them off a cliff and paralyzing B'Elanna with a toxin when she tried to stop him. 

The most upsetting part of this was that The Doctor thought he was doing something for the betterment of everyone, and it had devastating consequences. Apparently the problem-solving of artificial beings isn't perfect even in the distant future either. It's all the more reason to make me just a bit leerier of the speaker assistant next to my bed. 

Kes and Tom in Star Trek: Voyager

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Kes Being Thrown Between Through Times In Various Points In Her Life (“Before And After” Season 3 Episode 21)

Kes is hurdled through time randomly in "Before And After" and is confused as she attempts to navigate chunks of her life she has lived and other moments she never experienced. It's all due to "chroniton particles" in her body, which nearly wiped her out of existence. Fortunately, The Doctor was able to purge Kes of the last of the chroniton particles as she became a single egg, which transported her back to the present timeline. 

"Before And After" really messed with me when I first watched it because I had no idea how I'd be able to navigate the whiplash of whipping between different times and ages. Just the thought of it makes me feel like I'm losing my mind, so all the credit in the world to Kes for keeping her wits about her and making it through the ordeal. 

Icheb's father in Star Trek: Voyager on Paramount+

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Icheb Realizing His Parents Intentionally Gave Him Up To Attack The Borg (“Child’s Play” Season 6 Episode 19)

Star Trek: Voyager introduced Icheb as part of a mostly dead Borg colony, and it was believed he was stolen from his parents and assimilated. In "Child's Play," we learned that the actual reality was far darker. Icheb hailed from the Brunali people, who had managed to survive the Borg attacks on their planet for years thanks to their advanced understanding of genetics. Icheb eventually learned that he wasn't assimilated, but rather deliberately meant to be captured by the Borg because his DNA contained a virus that was fatal to adult Borg.

It's a terrible revelation and one that Icheb would've never known had the Voyager crew not pressed him to meet his parents. I feel like if I was one of those people that pushed, I would have trouble sleeping that night after finding out the type of people his parents truly are. 

Annorax on Star Trek: Voyager on Paramount+

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The Traumatic Year Of Hell (“Year Of Hell” Season 4, Episodes 8 and 9)

Remember when Star Trek: Voyager crossed paths with a Krenim Captain hellbent on using his dangerous command of time to restore his species to its former glory and save his wife? Who would've thought one man's quest would send Voyager on a long battle that resulted in Tuvok losing his sight, the death of many crew members and a near end of this journey home?

"Year Of Hell" is in contention for one of the best Star Trek stories of all time, and possibly could have even worked as a standalone Voyager film. The amount of hardship, tragedy and pain that Captain Janeway and the crew endured would've broken any lesser individual. Janeway, of course, isn't just any individual, which may be why people want to see Kate Mulgrew's character back in live-action so badly. 

Star Trek: Voyager is available to stream right now on Paramount+. Be sure to hold onto that subscription for all the upcoming Star Trek shows around the corner and for access to other great sci-fi as well.  

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.