Bryan Fuller claims that the writing room for Star Trek: Voyager could be “snobby” at times during the latter part of its run.
When you write science fiction about the complexities of life, sometimes you attract the snobbish crowd, which was apparently the case for the writer’s room over at Star Trek: Voyager. At least, that’s how Discovery’s co-creator Bryan Fuller described the vibe at the time. Fuller, who worked on Deep Space Nine and Voyager, talked about what it was like working for both shows and how they were really rather different.
Speaking to Mick Garriss for the Post Mortem podcast, Fuller explained the differences saying;
"The difference was essentially that the Deep Space Nine people had no shame about their love for the genre, and there was a little bit of snobbery in the Voyager room. So, I was like, ‘please, please pick me, Deep Space Nine. Please, please. Then they went with other writers, and I got a job on Voyager which I was thrilled for, but I had to tamp down my enthusiasm because it was frowned upon in the writer’s room.They discouraged you from being the geek in the room, and so it was always like looking over the fence at the public school when you were in Catholic school and saying, ‘they look like they’re having more fun.’"
This isn’t too surprising to hear, because despite being both Star Trek shows, and both being created by famed Trek icons in Rick Berman and Michael Piller, they share one very different thing; Deep Space Nine was a syndicated show, while Voyager was a network show.
In the area of streaming, many younger fans may not get the difference. Essentially, Deep Space Nine had no set air date, time, or network. It would be sold to smaller regional networks that would put it on at a date or time they saw fit. It could air at 10 PM ET in Daytona Beach on a Monday while airing at 3 AM in Los Angeles that Thursday. It’s why so many syndicated shows never had continuing narratives. Trek fans though showed up for it, however.
For Voyager, they aired on UPN every season at the same time, on the same day. Because of that one difference, Voyager had network executives who were involved in the show, while Deep Space Nine did not. UPN and their executives were the ones who would pressure the executive producers to goose the numbers, leading to things like Jeri Ryan’s involvement, the use of the Borg, and other things that helped define the show.
So it’s not a surprise to hear that Fuller had different experiences in both situations because there were different expectations in both jobs.