About Star Trek Voyager
Star Trek Voyager is an American science fiction television series created by Rick Berman, Michael Piller, and Jeri Taylor. It originally aired from January 16, 1995, to May 23, 2001, on UPN, lasting for 172 episodes over seven seasons. It is the fifth series in the Star Trek franchise. Set in the 24th century, when Earth is part of a United Federation of Planets, it follows the adventures of the Starfleet vessel USS Voyager as it attempts to return home to the Alpha Quadrant after being stranded in the Delta Quadrant on the far side of the Milky Way galaxy.
Paramount Pictures commissioned the series following the termination of Star Trek: The Next Generation to accompany the ongoing Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. They wanted it to help launch UPN, their newly established network. Berman, Piller, and Taylor devised the series to chronologically overlap with Deep Space Nine and to maintain thematic continuity with elements that had been introduced in The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. The complex relationship between Starfleet and ex-Federation colonists known as the Maquis was one such element and a persistent central theme. Voyager was the first Star Trek series to feature a female commanding officer, Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew), as the lead character. Berman served as head executive producer in charge of the overall production, assisted by a series of executive producers: Piller, Taylor, Brannon Braga, and Kenneth Biller.
Set in a different part of the galaxy from preceding Star Trek shows, Voyager gave the series' writers space to introduce new alien species as recurring characters, namely the Kazon, Vidiians, Hirogen, and Species 8472. During the later seasons, the Borg—a species created for The Next Generation—were introduced as the main antagonists. During Voyager's run, various episode novelizations and tie-in video games were produced; after it ended, various novels continued the series' narrative.
As Star Trek: The Next Generation ended, Paramount Pictures wanted to continue to have a second Star Trek TV series to accompany Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The studio also planned to start a new television network, and wanted the new series to help it succeed. This was reminiscent of Paramount's earlier plans to launch its own network by showcasing Star Trek: Phase II in 1977.
Initial work on Star Trek: Voyager began in 1993, when the seventh and final season of Star Trek: The Next Generation and the second season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine were in production. Seeds for Voyager's backstory, including the development of the Maquis, were placed in several The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine episodes. Voyager was shot on the stages The Next Generation had used, and where the Voyager pilot "Caretaker" was shot in September 1994. Costume designer Robert Blackman decided that the uniforms of Voyager's crew would be the same as those on Deep Space Nine.
Star Trek Voyager was the first Star Trek series to use computer-generated imagery, rather than models, for exterior space shots. Babylon 5 and seaQuest DSV had previously used CGI to avoid the expense of models, but the Star Trek television department continued using models because they felt they were more realistic. Amblin Imaging won an Emmy for Voyager's opening CGI title visuals, but the weekly episode exteriors were captured with hand-built miniatures of Voyager, its shuttlecraft, and other ships.
This changed when Voyager went fully CGI for certain types of shots midway through season three late 1996 Foundation Imaging was the studio responsible for special effects during Babylon 5's first three seasons. Season three's "The Swarm" was the first episode to use Foundation's effects exclusively. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine began using Foundation Imaging in conjunction with Digital Muse in season six. In its later seasons, Voyager featured visual effects from Foundation Imaging and Digital Muse. The digital effects were produced at standard television resolution and some have speculated that it cannot be re-released in HD format without re-creating the special effects. However, Enterprise has been released in HD, but the special effects were rendered in 480p and upscaled.