Star Trek: Voyager producer wanted to change the look of the ship during the seasons

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Star Trek: Voyager changed the face of Star Trek when it debuted in 1995. Not only was a woman in command of the ship, the Enterprise wasn't that ship. Voyager was an Intrepid-class starship with a smaller crew of only 153 members. And the series took place entirely in the Delta Quadrant with Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and her crew having no contact with Starfleet or the Federation until later on in the series. They were on their own.

Brannon Braga, who eventually became the executive producer of the series from 1998-2000 wanted to really show that the crew had nowhere to turn. There was no starbase nearby where they could obtain supplies or get the ship fixed when it broke down or when it was attacked. According to a quote from Bryan Fuller, a writer on the series, in The Ffity-Year Mission The Next 25 Years From The Next Generation to J.J. Abrams by Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross, Braga wanted to change the look of the ship as needed to show that the crew was having to use the technology and parts they could find where they were.

"One of the things that Brannon really wanted to do is to say we don't have a Federation starbase nearby that we're going to get backup supplies from, so he wanted to start cobbling together an aesthetic for this ship that was a mixture of new technologies that we found in the Delta Quadrant. It was that desire to really change the aesthetic of the show and do something different with Star Trek."

Bryan Fuller

Braga's idea was shot down as he was told that the Voyager had to look like a starship. It certainly does make a lot of sense, though, that Braga wanted to make Voyager look like it had spent years out of touch with the Federation, with the crew unable to fix the ship with conventional means. Over the seasons, Voyager was in a lot of battles and took many hits, but somehow, it managed to arrive back on Earth in relatively the same shape it left in.

It would have been more authentic to have the ship arrive back home looking more battle-worn, pieced together by whatever parts that were available and compatible in the Delta Quadrant. But sometimes, things don't always make sense in the fictional world.

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