Star Trek: Voyager had too many missed opportunities to count.
Fans who haven’t seen Star Trek: Voyager in a while, or maybe just saw a few episodes, may have thought that a show about a Starfleet vessel stuck in the Delta Quadrant wouldn’t really allow for too many encounters with other Federation vessels. Admittedly, the show didn’t explore its ties to the Federation until later in the show’s run, when they opened up a communications array with Starfleet, but their conversations with Reginald Barclay were far from the first time they ran into Starfleet personnel during the series run.
Enter the U.S.S. Equinox.
During a two-parter to close out season five and start season six, the Voyager ran into another stranded Federation vessel called the Equinox. The ship was pulled in by the same alien, the Caretaker, that Voyager was pulled in by to start the show. Unlike Voyager, who upheld Starfleet’s codes and conducts the best they could, the Equinox forgot everything and did whatever they could to survive.
Their captain, Rudolph Ransom, gave the order for the ship and its crew to capture and kill innocent alien lifeforms to help power their ship. This act caused the two ships to confront one another, resulting in Ransom being killed and his crew being absorbed by Voyager.
That shouldn’t have been the last time we saw the survivors, however.
The surviving Equinox crew joined up with Voyager after the episodes
The U.S.S. Voyager was small compared to ships like the Enterprise. The Enterprise-D was known to be able to hold anywhere from 1,000 to 6,000 people on the ship. The Voyager, on the other hand, held just 200. Yet, even then the Voyager was huge compared to the Equinox, which could hold just 78 crew members.
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By the time the two ships met, 17 of the remaining 23 crew members were still alive, counting their emergency medical hologram. It was revealed that of the 78 crew members on board, half of them died very early on. Down to 39 crew members, the ship trudged along losing more and more. Until the two Federation ships found each other.
Ransom died on the Equinix when it exploded, and most of the crew died before him, leaving five crew members who survived. Ensign Marla Gilmore who was the acting chief engineer, Crewman Noah Lessing, Crewman James Morrow, Crewman Brian Sofin, and Crewman Angelo Tassoni. It was Noah Lessing and Marla Gilmore who had the biggest roles of the surviving five, however, and with whom a follow-up storyline should have involved.
They joined Voyager’s crew and were all busted down for their role in the Equinox incident, but despite there being a wealth of potential storylines there, the five were never seen again. For some reason, the writers didn’t see anything worth exploring with the Equinox survivors, despite it being an opportunity to do the Maquis storyline over again, this time doing it right.
No real reason exists for why they didn’t get any more screen time, but considering how often we saw Naomi Wildman, it’s not like we couldn’t find an episode or three for them to pop up to revisit them. Fans could’ve found out how the survivors were holding up, how they were integrating in the crew, and maybe even if there was any resentment between the two paraties.