Star Trek: Voyager encountered many villainous obstacles on its long journey back to Earth, but which among these would fans consider the best? Better yet, where do they rank compared to each other?
I’ve been binging Star Trek: Voyager with my Paramount+ subscription, and feel like I have a solid lock on some of the show's best villains fans might remember. Ranked from great to greatest, here is a rundown of the worst Captain Janeway and her crew faced as they made their way through the Delta Quadrant. Given all the chatter as of late about Kate Mulgrew potentially reprising her role in live-action, it feels like as good of a time as any to remember why so many folks are still clammoring for new Voyager projects these days.
10. Angry Tuvok
Star Trek fans received a taste of an unhinged Tuvok in Season 2's “Meld,” where the crew worked to solve the mystery of a murder on the Voyager. The Vulcan, disturbed by the fact the Betazoid responsible for the crime didn’t have a motive, attempted a mind meld in order to try and understand what occurred. As a result ,he found himself with a murderous rage, and it took a good deal to get him back to his normal self.
Angry Tuvok is toward the bottom of the list because, let’s be honest, he’s not actually a villain. With that said, seeing him unhinged and out of control of his emotions shows just how dangerous Vulcans were before they committed to logic and suppressing feelings. He could easily bring Voyager down if he wanted to, so I have to commend his restraint in not doing that, or strangling Neelix to death.
9. The Nazi Hirogen
The Hirogen species had a few encounters with Voyager during the show’s run, but one particular misdeed of theirs really sticks out. The Season 4 two-parter “The Killing Game” sent the crew back to Nazi-occupied France as Janeway and the crew attempted to combat the soldiers. In reality, the Hirogen had captured them, and forced them into a holosimulation without their knowledge in an effort to enjoy the thrill of ongoing hunts.
The Nazi Hirogen, while not truly Nazis outside of the simulation, were still pretty dastardly. They used technology to brainwash the crew, and disabled safety protocols on injuries, which required the Doctor to perform operations on the crew to keep them alive between hunts. Thankfully, Harry Kim was able to free the crew by working with the Doctor, which was one of the few times Voyager made him look competent and capable.
Devore inspector Kashyk from Season 5's "Counterpoint" was about as charming as he was conniving, and Janeway and crew were forced to deceive him to protect its telepathic passengers. While their initial efforts were effective, Kashyk duped Janeway by claiming he'd defected from his species, only to expose the whereabouts of the telepathic crew and capture them.
Kashyk wasn’t the worst of the worst of Star Trek: Voyager, but he was quite a snake. He also toyed with the heart of our beloved captain at a vulnerable time in her life. Luckily, she was a bit more clever, and managed to turn the tables on him yet again. Still, the guy was just a rat bastard, and I’m glad we didn’t see him again for the rest of the series.
Some might say Seska is the primary villain tied to the Kazon, but even she suffered at the hands of Culluh. The Kazon gave the crew hell during Seasons 1 through 3, and honestly, nearly ended this mission well before it really made any progress.
What makes Culluh especially evil, however, is using Seska and his own child in a ploy to stop Voyager, under the guise that the child was Chakotay’s. Culluh’s actions ultimately resulted in Seska’s death, which was the only thing that really led Culluh to leave Voyager be.
6. The Clown
Some folks will argue Season 2's “The Thaw” is one of Star Trek: Voyager’s most frightening episodes. I wouldn’t go that far, but I will agree that one of the show’s worst villains appeared in the episode, and I’d certainly hate to come across The Clown after what he put his captives through here.
The Clown was merely a manifestation created inside of a neural network but was able to hold a group of individuals hostage in stasis for fifteen years before Voyager came along. The psychological torture is just unfathomable, and while he ultimately was defeated, there’s no doubt that the impact of his influence was felt by those affected for years to come.
5. Icheb’s Parents
Star Trek: Voyager introduced the young refugee Borg Icheb’s parents in Season 6's “Child’s Play,” and in hindsight, we should’ve guessed they weren’t great people. After the Voyager crew convinced Icheb to reconnect with his family, it seemed like we were headed toward a happy ending. Unfortunately, we later learned that he was intentionally assimilated by the Borg, as his Brunali parents infected him with a pathogen that damaged the Borg cube and protected their people from attack.
Icheb’s parents are here on the list because they never intended to make a meaningful reconnection with their son, but rather wanted to send him out again in an effort to infect more Borg with their virus. Pretty heartless, and upsetting for viewers.
4. Old Kes
Kes was always a complicated character for Star Trek: Voyager to tackle, and it seemed the series never knew what to do with her before writing her out of the main cast. Though Lien left the series as a main cast member, she did get a return episode in Season 6's “Fury” in which Kes went on a misguided quest for revenge against Voyager.
Kes was much older due to her species’ shortened lifespan, but her psychic abilities made her effectively unstoppable. She would've succeeded, but her past self managed to talk some sense into her.
3. The Wormhole Creature
Season 5's “Bliss” offers the crew hope when they seemingly find a wormhole that will transport them instantly back to Earth. Understandably so, the entire crew was thrilled and eager to go to any lengths to make it happen, but Seven of Nine had her doubts. It soon became a battle between Seven and the rest of the crew, as she attempted to save her friends from themselves.
The wormhole creature from “Bliss” might be a wildcard choice for Star Trek: Voyager villains, but I can’t think of a more perfect creature for this list. If it wasn’t for a last-minute push from the EMH Doctor and Seven, the Voyager crew would’ve perished under the illusion they were on a fast track back to Earth. On one hand, it’s probably not the worst fate they could’ve succumbed to, but man, what a cruel fate considering all they’d been through to that point.
The Star Trek: Voyager crew was brought to its knees during Season 4's “Year Of Hell,” after encountering a temporal scientist named Annorax hellbent on restoring the status of his homeworld. Janeway and the crew tried to fight back, but his weapon systems were engaged with a device capable of wiping an entire species from existence. This led the crew to be cautious, and engage in a long conflict that nearly wiped them out entirely.
The “Year Of Hell” arc is an all-time great Star Trek storyline, and part of that is due to Kurtwood Smith’s incredible performance as Annorax. One man’s quest to restore his planet’s status and bring back his wife becomes obsessive and results in the deaths of countless individuals. Thankfully, the time element managed to reset things to normal, though his impact on the crew makes him an easy choice for one of the greatest enemies Voyager ever faced.
1. Borg Queen
As if there were any choice for number one, the Borg Queen stands as the definitive villain for Star Trek: Voyager. Hell, the Borg Queen is an all-time villain for the Trek franchise. There’s definitely something special about Voyager’s connection to the Borg, and that’s largely because of the queen's encounters with Jeri Ryan’s Seven of Nine in Seasons 5 through 7.
The Borg Queen is a master manipulator and always seemed capable of pulling just about anyone into her grasp if given the opportunity. This dynamic was so strong that it became a major part of the latest season of Star Trek: Picard, so it’s no surprise the Borg Queen reigns supreme in terms of the series' greatest villains.
Stream Star Trek: Voyager right now on Paramount+ (opens in new tab). After that, be sure to check out Kate Mulgrew’s Janeway on Prodigy, and keep that subscription for the number of other upcoming Trek shows slated for the coming months.
Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.