VOY’s Timeless was going to use Whoopi Goldberg

“Timeless” brought back a loved TNG character

The 100th episode of Star Trek: Voyager, “Timeless,” was one of the best-received episodes of the series. It took the crew fifteen years into the future, but only Chakotay and Harry Kim remain as the crew as Voyager was buried beneath layers of ice. (The Doctor turns up later once Chakotay and Kim locate the ship. As Chakotay, Kim, and the Doctor work to reset the events of the past, a ship commanded by Captain Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton) pursues them in an attempt to stop them as their efforts would be a violation of the Temporal Prime Directive.

The series brought in the much-loved Star Trek: The Next Generation character as a guest star when, originally, a different part was being planned for Whoopi Goldberg. LeVar Burton was already directing the episode and said, in Star Trek: All Good Things, A Next Generation Companion, that he had his hands full directing it so he wasn’t sure about being in the episode.

LeVar Burton’s part in “Timeless” was created on short notice

Burton said that “Originally, we planned to use Whoopi in the episode, but they couldn’t get it to work. Then, just as we were about to start filming, Brannon [Braga] called me at home on a Sunday and asked me how I would feel about being in the episode.”

Though Burton’s part in “Timeless” was small, it upped the ante on Kim and Chakotay’s plans, adding a bit more drama and sense of urgency. It’s doubtful Goldberg would have been there as a commanding officer of a ship that was trying to protect the Temporal Prime Directive, and while she could have certainly served as a guide and conscience to the two officers, she wouldn’t have been able to change their minds or make them see the dangers of their actions, which is usually what she was best at doing aboard the Enterprise.

And seeing Geordi La Forge as a captain of the U.S.S. Challenger was a bonus for The Next Generation fans, and though the timeline changed, most likely, Geordi’s future didn’t. After all, it makes perfect sense that he would end up commanding his own starship. Now, if we could only get a Star Trek: La Forge series!