20 Things You Might Not Know About STAR TREK: VOYAGER - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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20 Things You Might Not Know About STAR TREK: VOYAGER

Geek Dave explores the Delta Quadrant to bring you 20 things you might not know about Star Trek: Voyager.

1. The idea for a new Star Trek TV show came about in a similar way to that of Star Trek: Phase II, that is to say both shows were intended to be the flagship series on proposed new Paramount television channels. Paramount Television Services never came to fruition in the 1970s and Phase II never happened, but on January 16th 1995 UPN began broadcasting for the first time - its first ever show being the two-hour pilot episode of Star Trek: Voyager. A record breaking 21.3 million viewers tuned in.

2. Paramount were always keen to recycle (having previously used the floor of the Original Series transporter chamber as the ceiling in the Next Generation one), so crew quarters, transporter rooms, and portions of the Engineering set produced for Star Trek: Generations, all became part of the U.S.S. Voyager, and the ship's warp core prop is the exact same one that was used in the original refitted USS Enterprise for the first three motion pictures.

3. During casting many well known actresses were auditioned for what was to become Star Trek's first female Captain, including some who'd starred in other very high profile 'geek' shows. Amongst them were Nicola Bryant (Peri in Doctor Who), Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman), Erin Gray (Col Wilma Deering in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century), Lindsay Wagner (The Bionic Woman), Kate Jackson (Sabrina Duncan in Charlie's Angels) and Linda Hamilton (Sarah Conner in The Terminator).

4. Eventually the producers narrowed the field down to just two actors, and it may surprise you to know that one of them was not female. As much as Paramount were keen for diversity, they still wanted to hedge their bets, so both male and female actors were auditioned and one of each stood out. Surprisingly it was British actor Nigel Havers that narrowly missed out on the role of Voyager's Captain. What a very different show that would've been if he was cast!

5. So Kate Mulgrew was the other one right? Wrong! Originally a different actress was hired to play Voyager's Captain. Veteran French-Canadian actress Geneviève Bujold was picked by casting director Nan Dutton to play Captain Nicole Janeway (although in original planning the character went by the name Elizabeth), even getting as far as filming her first scenes...

...however she quit the production after just two days. Voyager Creator and Executive Producer Rick Berman later explained;
"It was immediately obvious it was not a good fit. This was a woman who, in no way, was going to be able to deal with the rigors of episodic television." 
I suspect that if she hadn't survived that long and just turned the role down initially then Nigel Havers would've got the call. However it was Kate Mulgrew who the producers sought out, and on her suggestion the characters first name was changed to Kathryn.

6. Originally it was hoped that Michael Dorn's character of Lieutenant Worf from Star Trek: The Next Generation would become part of the Voyager crew. Dorn himself chose not to take the offer, but eventually agreed to join Star Trek: Deep Space Nine instead.

7. Tim Russ was originally considered for the part of Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

8. In the original series bible Tom Paris was recently dismissed from Starfleet Academy. During a wargame, he had accidentally killed another officer, lied about it and blamed the dead man. When investigators uncovered his lie, Starfleet dismissed him from the service. This story is very similar to the Next Generation episode The First Duty, in which a young Starfleet cadet named Nicholas Locarno accidentally kills another pilot during training, then lies about it. And some of you may well know that both Nicholas Locarno and Tom Paris were played by the same actor - Robert Duncan McNeill.

9. Tom Paris’s middle name is Eugene in honor of Gene Roddenberry.

10. During the audition for the part of Voyager's holographic doctor, Robert Picardo was asked to say the line "Somebody forgot to turn off my program". He did so, then ad-libbed "I'm a doctor, not a light bulb!". He got the part.

11. Originally the character was known as Doctor Zimmerman, and so in the scripts when the holographic Doctor was to appear the stage directions would say that he "Zimmers in", after deactivating he would "Zimmer out."

12. Originally the writers planned that Chakotay would have a wolf as a "spirit guide" and it would be seen frequently during the series. This 'fact' even made it into pre-publicity for the show. However someone clearly realised it wasn't going to work and so the wolf never appeared.

13. Whilst guest starring as Lakanta on the Star Trek: Next Generation episode Journey's End, Canadian actor Tom Jackson was offered the role of Chakotay, but he turned it down.

14. Although it's often thought that Seven of Nine was introduced just for the sex appeal, that really wasn't the primary concern for the producers, as Brannon Braga explained:
"Voyager was missing it’s 'Spock'. It had the Doctor but Janeway didn’t have a foil and that’s what Seven of Nine gave us. Aside from the fact that she’s sexy, she was a classic Star Trek character and we needed that."
15. Seven of Nine is sometimes credited with saving the series from possible cancellation after its first few seasons, as the sexy character sparked a revival of publicity in the show. In reality however, her arrival did little to increase ratings aside from the first few episodes in which she appeared, afterwards the show's ratings continued to drop below the levels of the previous season.

16. Despite the close relationship between Captain Janeway and Seven of Nine it has been revealed by several members of the cast that Kate Mulgrew had an antagonistic relationship towards Jeri Ryan and the introduction of the character Seven.

17. In one of his first 'acting' roles outside of the then WWF, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson appeared in the episode Tsunkatse as a bloodthirsty gladiator who battled Seven of Nine.

18. Star Trek: Voyager became the first Star Trek TV show to eliminate the use of models for exterior space shots and exclusively use computer-generated imagery (CGI) instead. The title sequence was completely CGI from the go, but a mix of models and CGI was used in the earlier seasons. Midway through Season 3 (late 1996) the full switchover took place.

19. Tim Russ, Kate Mulgrew, Robert Picardo and Ethan Phillips are the only four Voyager cast members to appear in any of the Star Trek movies. Mulgrew had a cameo as the newly-promoted Admiral Janeway in Star Trek: Nemesis. Picardo and Philips both had cameo appearances in Star Trek: First Contact with Picardo reprising his role as The Doctor, and Philips playing a Maitre d' in a holodeck program. Tim Russ appeared in Star Trek: Generations as one of the officers on the bridge of the Enterprise-B.

20. Although they began over 70,000 light years from Earth, cut off from the Federation, the Voyager writers cleverly managed to find ways to incorporate many previous Star Trek characters, including; Reginald Barclay, Deanna Troi, Will Riker and Geordi LaForge (an alternate timeline Captain LaForge of the USS Challenger) from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Quark from Deep Space Nine appeared in the pilot episode, and Original Series cast member George Takei reprised his role as Captain Hikaru Sulu of the USS Excelsior (first seen in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country). He appeared in the second episode of Season 3, Flashback, broadcast September 11th 1996 to coincide with Star Trek's 30th anniversary

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