Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Voyager - The 10 Worst Episodes, According To IMDb

There aren't that many television shows from the 1960s that are still generating movies, TV shows, video games, and a myriad of merchandise in the present day. Modern writers experimenting with concepts like alternative timelines, new technology, complex characters, and vintage lore that pre-dates even the original series. That does mean that there haven't been bumps along the way, however.

Star Trek isn't going anywhere anytime soon, despite some disastrous productions. The first movie is mostly forgotten, living in the shadow of its amazing sequel, but it won awards for bad films at the time. Does anyone remember The Next Generationmovies of the early 2000s? There are a few entries in that category that Paramount and Viacom wish audiences would forget. The Star Trek TV shows of the 1990s, now enjoying the vintage status and the nostalgia that it brings, faced similar scrutiny. Voyagertook a few interesting chances when it came to characters and storylines, and those experiments didn't always work out. In fact, it's amazing and even impressive how bad they could be. Watch them for the shocked laughs, the bad effects, or the drinking games.

10 Tattoo - 6.3

Could the character of Chakotay even have existed in today's socially progressive world? Every episode that explores his past or ethnicity is always filled with cringe-worthy stereotypes. Robert Beltran, the actor who played Chakotay, was actually Mexican-American but he portrayed a Native American character in Voyager. Either that or he was playing a character with an ethnicity similar to that of a Native American person, but was something entirely fictional. Whatever the case, it's awkward.

This episode about "spirit people" that communicate through a tattoo was poor at the time and has certainly not aged well.

9 Fair Haven - 6.3

Why exactly was the Holodeck even invented? No good ever seems to come of this thing, and critics and fans alike have a field day with this one. In this case, the town itself feels like satire because of the hilariously bad stereotypical characters and equally poor attempts at Irish accents.

Normally, Captain Janeway is pretty smart, but where did she do her research to come up with this? The frumpy clothing is also jarring. Not all 18th-century or Victorian-style clothes need to look like they were lifted from a Dickens novel. Finally, the storyline is boring and to put it delicately, stupid. Why do people keep falling in love with Holodeck characters, and how is that even possible?

8 Fury - 6.3

Kes episodes are usually popular since she is a fan favorite. Ironically, that's why this one is so poorly rated but there are mixed feelings about it. On a positive note, it ties up a hanging storyline that most fans were following. That's great, but it does it so badly, it's worse than nothing at all.

Not only does the gentle, compassionate Kess turn into an angry destructive monster, but she seems to turn on her former shipmates for no reason. It's a confusing, totally contradictory character arc that ticked off fans and critics alike.

7 Once Upon a Time - 6.3

Oh, what a shock to see another Holodeck episode with a bad rating. When are writers going to stop using this? Plus, the plot features a precocious child as the main lead. Of course, the problem child is Neelix, not Naomi. That's the problem with this episode. It's really about Neelix and his childhood trauma instead of Naomi's, and she's the character audience actually care about.

An upside to this episode is a few passing references to this particular Holodeck program. Janeway played with it as a child, meaning it has a history as an "edutainment" tool. It sounds like a child's room would be a better place for a Holodeck than on a starship.

6 Spirit Folk - 6.3

Audiences were treated to a double whammy with this awful episode. "Fair Haven" was bad enough, and now the show returns to the Holodeck again for some reason. This is time the storyline is even worse, with the holograms getting all Ghost In the Shelland questioning the nature of their existence. Again, how is this even possible? Also, if the holograms do become self-aware, can't someone just turn the thing off?

The Doctor was a recurring character with a history, which at least explained how he was able to change and learn, but even that went off the rails as the series came to a close.

5 Favorite Son - 6.1

Coming from a show that tried to claim the moral high ground when it came to equal representation, this episode is a shock. It's one of the most sexist Star Trek episodes that exists and surprisingly, Captain Kirk isn't anywhere near it.

The script plays like incel fan fiction, focusing on Ensign Kim's newfound memories of an alien homeworld and the old trope of a whole planet of hot, lonely women who desperately need a male mate. When Monty Python played on this during the Castle Anthrax sequence, they knew it was a joke. At least it was Kim and not Paris who was the episode's focus, so maybe there is justice in the universe.

4 Sacred Ground - 6.0

This is the tired old storyline of the scientifically-minded main character - usually a woman, for some reason - who has to let go of her "conscious" intelligence and logical reasoning so that she can trust in her spirit... or something. Dana Scully of X-Filesfame also went through this and that happened at about the same time as this particular clunker.

To be fair, Scully's experience was a lot more believable than Kes' but the underlying message is still trite. The lazy writing also plays on the audience's love for Kes, which is too manipulative to pique any genuine interest.

3 Elogium - 6.0

Any episode that maligns favorite characters is usually met with derision by fans, so it's no shock that another Kes episode made it this high up on the list. Critics hated this episode, partly for the cringeworthy reproductive connotations and also for the silly stereotypes attributed to Kes.

How many PMS jokes can writers cram into a Star Trek script? Not enough, as evidenced in this episode where Kes frets about having Neelix's child as the Voyager finds itself under attack. Was this a dare or a contest among the writers? Besides, this melodrama isn't why fans tune into Star Trek. Maybe the writer responsible for "Favorite Son"had something to do with it.

2 Threshold - 5.3

The only confusing thing at this point is how is "Threshold" not the worst Voyager episode? It ekes out by a fraction of a decimal point, but considering how famously bad it is throughout TV history, not just Star Trek, it was reasonable to expect less.

The script actually gets off to a sound start, with Paris piloting an experimental craft that can help speed up the journey home. It barely gets off the ground from there before it crashes and burns into some kind of drunken daydream that not only makes no logical sense in the StarTrek universe, but is weirdly sordid especially with its weird take on evolution. Careful with the drinking games for this one; this episode can cause alcohol poisoning!

1 The Fight - 5.2

Chakotay seems to have some bad luck with this sort of thing. In this case, a story about aliens adjusting the brain's normal pathways to open up old memories can have some very interesting possibilities. So what does Chakotay remember? Training for a boxing match, of course. This is like Janeway building an Irish village when she could have built a Mayan pyramid.

Audiences and critics alike wanted to learn more about this character, but episodes like this were always about things that were of no interest to Star Trek. Nobody wants to hear about a university boxing match or Chakotay's grandfather. Let's just get back to killing Cardassians.


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