2 characters can truly be pointed to as being 'peak' Star Trek: Voyager writing

When we talk about the best character development on Star Trek: Voyager, it doesn't get much better than these two.
Publicity Stills Of Star Trek: Voyager
Publicity Stills Of Star Trek: Voyager / Getty Images/GettyImages

I adore Star Trek: Voyager. Couldn't you tell? The cast, the crew, the storylines, the ambiance. it's just fantastic. Despite my undying love for the series, I admit that it has its strengths and weaknesses. Some episodes are duds, some are among the best in franchise history. It's no different than any other Star Trek series.

One of the biggest criticisms is the lack of focus and growth of some of the cast members. Henry Kim in particular. The man remains an ensign for seven years. Most people in the US Navy hold that rank for just two years, before being promoted to lieutenant junior grade. So it's fair to say that Kim had the ball dropped on his progression.

Yet, two of the characters who were well written had great progression and gave fans endless stories to tell were The Doctor and Seven of Nine. When you look at the best writing, at least with regard to character development, you couldn't get any better.

Yes, Kathryn Janeway and Chakotay had their fair share of moments, but neither had to grow. They were both seen as leaders, who were well into their own by the time the show began. At a certain point, who you are is who you are. Yet, neither the Doctor nor Seven of Nine were seen as being "done" growing as characters.

While Janeway and Chakotay were galvanized through their lived experiences, both Seven and The Doctor were seen as, for lack of a better term, children. Both came onto the ship with no knowledge of what is to live and grow. One was a holographic computer, the other a Borg drone her entire existence.

To say that neither knew about emotions, let alone how to understand and experience them in a healthy manner, would be an understatement. The growth both characters showed as people resonated with fans in a way that it's hard to understand. For some reason, fans love characters who struggle with the complex emotions of humanity.

If you look at the core shows, the "Spock" character seems to be the favorite. The Original Series had Spock, the Next Generation had Data, Deep Space Nine had Odo, while Voyager had Seven of Nine and The Doctor. It bucks the trend with Enterprise, though not by much. T'Pol was beloved, but Charles "Trip" Tucker and Jonathan Archer are often cited as the most popular, with T'Pol right behind them.

Fans love watching characters grow from a caricature, into a person. It's why The Doctor and Seven of Nine were so widely embraced. They brought nuance and depth to storylines that would otherwise not be there had the characters involved been more fleshed out and established already. So for that reason, we completely why Voyager leaned so heavily into them during the final four seasons or so.