E R I E S P R
E M I S E
Star Trek Voyager
came to life when Paramount feared they were putting their biggest
cash cow at risk.
Star Trek: The Next Generation
had just gone off air and Deep Space Nine, the only remaining Trek
series offering new episodes, had failed to capture a large enough audience.
Paramount knew the answer lay in
returning to the roots of GeneRoddenberry's creation and extending
them in new directions.
Roddenberry had originally meant
for Star Trek to be some kind of Western in space. The allegory
being that like in Western people went 'west' to find more farmland, in
Star Trek Kirk and
his crew went out to 'boldly go
where no one has gone before' and find strange new worlds. A 'trek' to
space, so to speak.
In Voyager, they once again used
that premise whereas DS9 lacked it.
To bring new excitement into the
series, they stranded Voyager in the Delta Quadrant. The producers felt
that the Alpha Quadrant aliens weren't new enough to the fandom anymore,
that their story telling material had already been covered in the previous
series. The Delta Quadrant would bring new stories, new aliens, new worlds
and most importantly, new adventures.
Now TPTB (The Powers That
Be, the producers and writers) needed a way to actually get Voyager to
BE in the Delta Quadrant.
They used an issue first tackled
in the TNG episode "The Journey" and more prominently in later episodes
of TNG and DS9. The Maquis, terrorists and freedom fighters at odds
with the Federation Cardassion peace treaty, would be stranded in the Delta
Quadrant along with Voyager and become part of the crew. Great potential
for dramatic conflict.