‘Star Trek: Voyager’ Documentary Gives Production Update; Releases Sneak Peek Video

The Star Trek: Voyager documentary To the Journey was featured on a panel at this month’s 55-Year Mission Las Vegas Star Trek convention that included details on where they are in production and what they have planned. They also showed  a sneak peek, which is now available online.

To the Journey production continues

After wrapping up a record-breaking $1.2 million crowd-funding campaign earlier this year, the documentary team set up a new studio to shoot more interviews in June. At the Las Vegas panel, producer/director Dave Zappone said the team was still “deep in production,” but had already completed a number of interviews. He mentioned a couple of standouts, including one with Star Trek: Voyager co-creator Jeri Taylor (who was a surprise guest on the panel), thanking her and saying “She had us up to her home in northern California and our crew took over her house. It was a wonderful interview and you could not have been more gracious.” He also mentioned Robert Beltran’s interview, saying he sat down for them for two and half hours and it “really blew me away,” adding the actor “was just so open, he is just a wonderful, wonderful guy.”

A number of interviews with members of the cast were done in 2020 during a Voyager reunion on Star Trek: The Cruise. This summer they have been bringing in more people who worked on the show, including guest stars and behind-the-scenes creatives. In Vegas, the team played the following video to the crowd that showcased some of the people who had dropped by the studio over the summer.

Behind the scenes, bloopers, HD, and more

Zappone assured the audience that the doc will not just be talking heads, mentioning that they are working their way through archives to find more footage shot contemporaneously with Star Trek: Voyager in the ’90s. There is some particular material he was interested in, saying, “I am looking for the infamous blooper reel. We are looking everywhere for that.”

Voyager actor Garrett Wang has also been helping out with the doc and was part of the panel as well. He talked about how he and others are contributing their own footage:

I do have some footage from my own camera… So that’s the plan. It’s not just myself. There are other people that have documented their time on Voyager. That can definitely supplement this documentary.

The team is also planning on shooting footage on the Paramount lot with Garrett Wang giving a tour of where Voyager was shot and what it was like during that time. And with the team headed to the Destination Star Trek Germany convention to shoot more footage, including a Voyager reunion panel, Zappone revealed they are also going to take some time out to accept an invitation from the European Space Agency to visit their facilities and put Wang through some astronaut training.

One of the stretch goals for the crowd-funding was to help the team convert original Voyager footage into high-definition, and Zappone talked about how this was still a goal of the doc. “We are planning to upres—hopefully—the original 35 millimeter [film] like we did with What We Left Behind.

Garrett Wang, Jeri Taylor, Lolita Fatjo, and David Zappone at 55-Year Mission convention, Las Vegas, August 2021 (Photo: TrekMovie.com)

Why Voyager?

To the Journey is the latest of a series of Star Trek documentaries produced by Zappone and his production company. He talked about how he has been surprised by the fan reaction so far:

Having done what we did with What We Left Behind and partnering with Ira [Steven Behr] who was an amazing collaborator, I knew the love for Deep Space Nine. I guess I didn’t realize it was just as great for Voyager. The fans are just as rabid, just as passionate. That is my pleasant surprise.

In 2020, right before the pandemic hit, the team was able to shoot footage of a Voyager cast reunion on Star Trek: The Cruise, which Zappone said was crucial to the doc, adding, “If we didn’t have that, I honestly don’t think we would have a film.” He also talked about how they got a lot of great footage from fans on the cruise and promised that they will use as much as they can, saying, “the emotional reactions and the impact Voyager had [on the fans], it just blew me away.”

From To the Journey footage filmed on the 2020 Star Trek: The Cruise

When a fan asked what made Voyager different, the answers revealed some variety in what the team was looking at in terms of some of the themes of the doc. Co-producers Lilita Fatjo (who also worked on Voyager) offered her personal take:

As the only female on stage, I honestly have to say it was because there was a female captain. I had the privilege of working with Michael [Piller], Jeri [Taylor], and Rick [Berman] for years. And being part of two shows that were created–Deep Space Nine and Voyager–and just watching them create these shows and characters was amazing, but I would have to say it was because of Captain Janeway.

Zappone added on to that:

It’s not just Captain Janeway, it’s the strong women in general. Roxann Dawson and of course Jeri Ryan, and Jennifer Lien was also strong. So not just the captain.

Garrett Wang said he felt the show stood out for having “amazing chemistry” amount the cast from the start, but he also talked about the diversity of the show being a key differentiator. He he took some pride in his own contribution, pointing out how after George Takei, there were no Asian-Americans on TNG or DS9 in the main cast:

One out of every five people in this world is Chinese—not Asian, Chinese—that’s a lot. There should be an Asian in every Star Trek. Voyager [had a] Native American first officer, Asian-American ops officer, African-American Vulcan.

Zappone noted something that came up in Garrett’s documentary interview which was how at the time of the show in the 1990s, he was the only Asian-American series regular on television. Wang also told a story of later meeting Lost star Daniel Dae Kim who thanked him, saying he’d “paved the way.”

Kate Mulgrew from To the Journey

Hoping for a theatrical event and streaming

It’s too early to talk about how the doc will be released, but Zappone did say that in addition to being distributed on Blu-ray he was hoping to follow the same route as What We Left Behind and do a short theatrical release with Fathom Events, which he noted had sold out 1,000 theaters. After that, he said he expected the doc to become available for streaming, but wasn’t sure which service might pick it up.

To keep updated on the project, visit voyagerdocumentary.com.

More from Vegas

We still have some more from the con, so stay tuned to TrekMovie for updates. And don’t forget to check out the coverage we’ve already posted.


Find more news on Star Trek documentaries.

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That trailer was edited horribly. Why is it that these fan efforts always have such clunky production values?

I thought it was fine. It certainly wasn’t horrible.

It was definitely an awful trailer. Just a bunch of people sitting down.

Nothing about it made me want to watch the final doc. Where are the clips of the cast speaking? Where are the behind-the-scenes clips from the 90s they talk about? Where is the moment where someone teases something slightly intriguing, or dare I say– provocative? A funny moment from an interview, a dramatic moment where someone reveals tension on the set, an uplifting or emotionally inspirational moment; something, anything, to fascinate me and make me wonder what cool new things i’ll learn about the making of the show.

The trailer to “What We Left Behind” was way more intriguing, including ALL of the things I just mentioned; I suspect that’s because Ira Behr was involved. Go watch it. Teri Farrell is moved to tears, Marc Alaimo gets angry, Alex Siddig is inspirational, Avery Brooks speaks of what the role meant to him; Rene Auberjonois and Colm Meaney describe how hard they worked, DeBoer notes her awe at joining the show, and Michael Dorn mysteriously notes that “only those involved know the facts.” A bit melodramatic? Sure. But that’s what makes you want to see it. Great trailer to a great documentary.

After this trailer, I suspect the Voyager documentary will be a lot like the show: a watered down version of better docs that came before.

I don’t get the sense this was intended as an official trailer, just a casual sneak peek. Hence the title of the video.

Well then this is the worst sneak peek i’ve ever seen! Should at least had some cast members actually saying something– ANYTHING. This makes me LESS interested, not more.

Yeah, it was pretty bad.

Yaaay!

So excited for this doc! I was literally watching an episode of VOY when I saw this article. I’m really really hoping it gets a theatrical release like ‘WWLB’ did. And I really love the fact they brought in so many other actors from the other shows. WWLB was strictly a DS9 affair, which was understandable, but it is cool to hear from other Trek stars on their thoughts on the show.

This is probably the most attention VOY has had since it went off the air, especially with all the characters appearing (or starring) in the multiple new shows and now this doc. It’s great to see for both old and new fans of the show! And imagine how many plates they can sell when it arrives! ;)

But no Kes 🥺

There’s a non-zero chance she’s in a mental institution or under conservatorship.

Well, WWLB did not have Avery Brooks participating on camera, and they made do with archival footage and anecdotes from other people. It worked, though in there case he was offering notes behind the scenes.

I hope Lien is getting the help she needs, I’m sure the doc will be an honest and respectful take on her time with the show.

There’s plenty of archival footage of Lien if they can clear it – Studio/Network EPK material from her time on the series, Entertainment Tonight, There was an E! BTS special early in the shows run, might be some convention footage out there – so there’s material available – they sure have enough of a budget to get SOMETHING.

Given the state of her health, why is that a surprise? Other cast members wishing her well is more then sufficient participation for her in this endeavor.

They should produce a plate of Boimler holding the Tom Paris plate to mark the occasion!

LOL! What’s funny is I could see someone at least considering it.

Anyone think Chakotay would sign my bowl?

I only recognized 3 of the people in that video…I guess most were behind the scenes or buried in makeup/prosthetics on-screen? They could have flashed their names at least. I love voyager and am looking forward to the doc, but this wasn’t very inspiring.

I totally agree … to assume that after all these years, and with many wearing prosthetics that totally changed their ‘real’ identities was silly. Their character image and/or name would have been very helpful. I only recognized the main characters and not the rest. Too bad, they deserved to be called out – maybe the final cut will do that.

This is a “sneak peak,” and I’m hoping that means that even the part we saw isn’t finished yet. Putting the names and functions of the people on the bottom of the screen (e.g. “Jeri Taylor, Executive Producer, 1995 – 1998”) would help a lot.

It’s very clearly not finished. But as a marketing person myself, if you have nothing intriguing to show, don’t show anything. Clearly some of these interviews have happened already, so they couldn’t find one or two good lines from them to get people interested? Awful job here.

Umm…where are the VOY cast??

When all the DS9 people turned up, I starting hoping Marc Alaimo would randomly appear for no reason.

I loved Armin Shimmerman’s reaction. “Why am I here?”

I suspect a lot of the audience will be asking the same thing as they watch the documentary!

He probably said the same thing on Insurrection.

It’s not just Captain Janeway, it’s the strong women in general. Roxanne Dawson and of course Jeri Ryan, and Jennifer Lein was also strong. So not just the captain.

Mulgrew and Ryan were strong. Dawson was average. Lien was weak, as was Wang. (Plus: an “African-American Vulcan”? Really? The actor, sure. The *character* had no human ancestry.)

It’s this kind of commentary that makes me think less of VOY; I’m glad we had a female captain, but cast diversity is not enough to compensate for poor characterization and writing. It certainly doesn’t compensate for the “Hollywood Indian” trope.

I believe that you are being unnecessarily harsh and hyper critical. Sounds like you didn’t watch the series but are here to comment for no apparent reason at all. Its confusing, did you watch the series or not? Sounds like you couldn’t stand it, yet you are here.

It’s called “literary criticism” for a reason. Criticism is the point.

I loved Dawson and thought she was very strong. But yeah I loved them all. ;)

I loved her too. Very under rated as an actress. Her character kinda disappeared into the background when Jeri Ryan came on the scene – that happened to most of the cast though – not her fault at all, that was the writers.

Maybe I’m just biased but I always loved Dawson and how she portrayed B’Elanna. Even though Worf was the most popular Klingon character, I liked B’Elanna because she was anti-Work or even Anti-Spock and really tried to be closer to her human side even though her Klingon side was always just underneath the surface. She played between the line very well. But I always love when her temper comes out lol.

But it’s all just opinions. People will like or hate different characters so completely understandable not every character or actors on these shows are loved by everyone.

Yep, Dawson nailed it as B’Elanna. She almost gets zero credit. She is the forgotten Voyager character.

TNG had already featured a Black Romulan.

The lack of diversity we sometimes see in alien races in science fiction is the problem. If the human race is anything to go by, and since the humanoids in Star Trek are supposed to be all related (again going back to TNG) then we should see more variations of skin color, not fewer.

Sigh. I guess I didn’t make my point clearly enough. I don’t have a problem with darker-skinned Vulcans; it’s just that they’re not “African-American Vulcans.” Africa and the Americas are continents on *Earth*.

What did you expect? It was a TV series produced in Hollywood. More chances than not the Black actor cast was going to be African-American. You know, that Hollywood that is located in America on Earth.

Oh, I see what you mean now. You wanted at least one cast member to be non-American. Well, we almost had that with the original actor cast as Janeway (her name escapes me at the moment), so you can’t fault them for at least keeping that in mind. But Tim Russ had already been cast at that point, so why single him out?

I don’t think it makes much sense to think “less of VOY” because the cast, crew, and fans of the show highlight it’s diversity as a positive, memorable, defining element of the show. And no one is saying that it compensates for failures in other areas of the production. The question wasn’t, “what element of Voyager balances out all the other mistakes of the show?”

As for the “Hollywood Indian” trope, I don’t think that you can lay all the blame on the Voyager staff (maybe 10-25%). The did hire a “respected Native American consultant” for the show – it just happened that that consultant was a fake and was conning Hollywood at large.

The “respected consultant” may have contributed to the problem, but he didn’t create the character, and he didn’t cast a non-Native actor in the role.

So sorry you were triggered by the mention of diversity and that someone different then yourself enjoyed seeing themselves reflected on the screen. Find something from the 1950’s on youtube that only features straight white men and take long, deep breaths.

In point of fact, I support diversity on Star Trek. I submit to you that VOY was the *least* diverse cast, and that the focus on the captain (and her ethnically ambiguous first officer, portrayed in blackface by a non-Native actor) were a way to deflect attention from this shortcoming.

Every other iteration of Star Trek has had at least one non-American human character in the main cast:

TOS: Chekhov (Russia), Scott (UK), Sulu (Japanese/Filipino, until TVH unfortunately retconned his ancestry a bit).
TNG/PIC: Picard (France), LaForge (likely West Africa, possibly Caribbean); Worf’s roots on Earth were in Belarus; Yar (Ukraine/Lithuania). It was also lightly implied that Troi’s human ancestry was Greek; Rios (Chile).
DS9: Bashir (Sudan), Miles O’Brien (Ireland) and Keiko O’Brien (Japan) (both also on TNG), Worf
ENT: Sato (Japanese, possibly Brazilian-Japanese), Reed (UK)
DIS: Owosekun (Nigeria), Detmer (Germany), Georgiou (Malaysia), Landry (likely India), Rhys (likely Hong Kong, but who knows?), probably others that I’ve missed, since the line between lead and supporting characters has grown blurred.

VOY had…*maybe* Annika Hansen from one of the Scandinavian countries. And that’s it. (And even she didn’t come until the fourth season.)

Chakotay, who was so “diverse” that they couldn’t name his tribal affiliation, doesn’t count; he was a Hollywood composite from nowhere (and alternatively implied he was born in Central America and Arizona, so who knows). The “diverse” captain was from…Indiana. “Farm country,” as she told us. Right next door to Kirk’s old stomping grounds, and not that different from wine country; only agrarian types make good captains, I guess. B’Elanna Torres was implied to be Mexican-American, not Mexican. Kim, whose actor now lectures us “every Star Trek series must have a Chinese character,” was clearly Korean-American, not Korean.

(Oh: and why? In Wang’s book, it’s OK not to have had a single Turkish, Indonesian, Argentine, or Congolese character in all of Star Trek, but we *must* have a Chinese main character in *every* series? By his standards, even Georgiou doesn’t qualify; she’s Straits Chinese. This is selective outrage at its finest.)

Then there were the little details. I can’t think of any VOY recurring or minor human characters who were non-American. In the other series, we had Khan Singh; engineer Singh (both in TOS and TNG); Xu (implied to be Chinese); Anaya (implied to be Bolivian); Admiral Komack (implied Iranian); Admiral Nechayeva (possibly Serbian or Croat); Fleet Admiral Shanti (West Africa); Rostov (Russian); Benayoun (possibly French, possibly Israeli).

I’ll also note that in-universe, VOY didn’t feature a single crew member from an unfamiliar Federation species. TOS gave us Vulcans, TNG Klingons and Bajorans (Ro was the first), DS9 Trill, ENT Denobulans and Andorians. VOY served slopppy seconds, warmed-over Klingons and Vulcans we’d seen before: an utterly disappointing lack of vision and creativity. The buffoonish Neelix (“Jetrel” excepted) and bland Kes (the implications of her short lifespan never examined) hardly counteracted this.

In short, VOY was easily the least multinational crew, and cast, in the history of Star Trek. (And VOY and ENT were filmed at the apex of post-Cold War globalization in the real world; TOS might have had an excuse for this, but VOY has none.) Say what you will about Gene Roddenberry, but he had a global perspective, no doubt from his military and Pan Am days, that Jeri Taylor absolutely did not. The VOY writers’ room hastily cobbled together a milquetoast set of characters (there was too much Trek on at once, and the lack of focus showed) and delivered lackluster storytelling for its first three seasons. To this day, its writers hide behind the one solid casting choice, Mulgrew, to deflect attention away from this weakness.

*I’m* the one triggered by diversity because I’m not a VOY fan? I must have the name of your occulist.

Oh, and all the above is before we get to the fact there wasn’t a single gay character on VOY. On a series that wrapped in 2001, not in the 1960s.

I read all of that above and as a Turkish person I agree with you about the need of Star Trek to have a Turkish crew member. If my memory doesn’t play tricks on me I think there was at least one Starfleet starship named after a Turkish historical figure but I’ll have to check Memory Alpha for that.

The obvious choice would be Sabiha Gokcen.

(Dollars to donuts Mr. “1950s on Youtube” above has zero clue who she is, at least not without consulting the Google.)

Ignoring the bit about Wang, but in terms of playing women with fortitude and strength, all four actresses did that. Torres and Kes may have gotten shortchanged at times, but the characters were strong women, haphazardly written.

I thought Roxann was wonderful in the series and as a director too. She went on to direct ten episodes of Enterprise. She broke ground for female directors of Star Trek. There aren’t a whole lot of them. They should be celebrated.

Whatever the merits of her acting on VOY, I’ve enjoyed her directorial work on THE AMERICANS, and she’s clearly vastly expanded herself in her post-Star Trek director career.

I don’t understand why the new Trek shows aren’t using her as a director. She always does very solid work with her directing, elevating the written material visually.

I find that weird as well. Maybe she is too busy directing other shows? No idea. But I’d like to see her name appear again on a new Star Trek episode(s)

Are you both ignoring the red elephant in the room?

Which is???

That the Discovery Team fired a black writer who used the N-word only as a quote in a story. If they are so sensitive about such things, why should they hire an AllLivesMatter hashtagger?

And if Dawson thinks it is decent to twitter anti-BLM, she would think Discovery is a show to her taste?

Come on have we really come to that time where what people post on twitter became more important than their talents and skills? This is probably a rhetorical question as everyone probably knows the answer. You know Odradek, you may have a point, I feel like this over-sensitivity was why Nick Meyer refused or didn’t work in Discovery after the 1st season.

A discovery actor? a couple of Ds9 actors? TOS? in a voyager Doc I would rather hear from the crew and cast of voyager rather than listening to people who was not involved talk about what voyager meant to them.

George Takei actually had a Captain Sulu episode so it is germane to the topic.

Yeah Voyager was the last tine Takei officially played Sulu as well. Hard to believe that was nearly 25 years ago now.

Andrew Robinson actually directed two episodes on VOY, which I only found out after I asked myself what he was doing there, so at least he has a connection to the show.

My personal guess is they included him (I don´t know how many other directors will be in the documentary) because Garak is so well known an loved as a character.

I would Like to buy the ds9 doc in europe…. Gut where

Same here, buddy…

I thought we weren’t supposed to share the trailers as it was backers only? I don’t get how this is exclisive content when it is distributed a week later to everyone.

What’s the point in a trailer that’s for backers only? The backers are already probably planning to watch the thing. They need to build up hype for general audiences.

I like the fact that they’re not putting the main cast up front. They usually tend to tell their small stories in such interviews, but its the backstage people who can talk about the meat and bones of the show. Color me interested.

Obviously it’s not that way but watching this made me feel like “those DS9 actors are always up for an interview huh, no matter how small the link might be”

Hopefully this is better than the ds9 documentary, where 1. Way too much Behr, he is annoying especially his cheesy sunglasses, and facial hair 2. It was odd to see them criticizing certain aspects of the show, for instance one case was in the use of gay characters. When they say that I think should remember the context that there were only three or four gay characters on TV when ds9 started and about 6 or 7 when ds9 ended.

Context like that needs to be remembered when they make comments about things.

But for a series that is part of a forward-thinking franchise that celebrates diversity, it was a black mark. I’m glad they did Rejoined, and little things like the rest of the crew not batting an eye over the idea of two women dating was appreciated, but this has always been an area where the franchise actually fell behind the curve.

There’s also a moment a lot of people overlook, in the episode “Rules of Acquisition”: before anyone knows that Pel is actually a woman– when everyone believes Pel to be a man– Dax says “it’s obvious hw you feel about [Quark]” meaning Pel’s romantic interest. This says that Dax found nothing odd about a Ferengi man’s attraction to another Ferengi man.

It’s a nice moment BECAUSE it doesn’t get highlighted, if you ask me.

Now it’s possible Dax saw it as no big deal because she is, essentially, a transgender species that does not prescribe to strictly heteronormative relationships, but I choose to believe that outside of Ferenginar– within the Federation– LGBTQ people are not seen as abnormal (and are perhaps even the norm, considering how many different alien races are members) in the 24th century.

There was a scene in Captain’s Holiday that seemed to me more progressiv, when I first saw it, than it really was. I saw it in dubbed version. When the Risean woman hits on Picard, Picard says his Horg’ahn for is his friend Riker. Now the woman assumes that Picard and Riker were lovers and because of the way Picard addressed Riker ln my language she would indicate that Riker is a man and she had to assume they were both gay. I expected the typical nervous ” no, no not that king of friend…” routine from Picard and was pleasently surprised when he was all non chalant about it. I thought :” How cool in the future no one cares about it orfeels the need to set the record straight if you are gay or not. I was a little disappointed after I saw the original version with no indication she thought Picard was gay.

I think you might be mistaken, because Picard very much does respond with the nervous “no, not that kind of friend” an even if you read it otherwise, the intent of the scene is clearly to make the audience laugh at a gay panic joke.

Actually, the woman says, “someone you love”, and Picard says, “I wouldn’t go that far”.

…which to be fair, was the point of “Rules of Acquisition” but the reaction of Dax was not meant to be a joke.

Star Trek should always be ahead of the curve when it comes to diversity. It is a shame that in this instance they were not.

To be honest, I found his self-criticism quite impressive. Believe me, Behr knew the context.

And why does it matter HOW MANY gay characters there were on TV in 1993 or 1998? The fact is, there were openly gay characters on mainstream TV as early as the 60s and 70s, in shows that discussed the issues facing LGBTQ people in a frank and serious way. Why Trek felt– even well into the 1990s– that they couldn’t include an open character, or make an existing character (like Garak) gay, is to me, an embarrassment to the franchise. Clearly Behr agreed, and I think that’s a GOOD thing.

I also felt that not using the Trill as a trans allegory, despite the VERY obvious parallels, to be a huge oversight (and one they finally followed through on in DSC).

By the way, I find it rather odd that in the same paragraph as you hit back against the criticism of not representing LGBTQ characters, you mock the “annoying” sunglasses and facial hair of Behr; you seem to have some kind of inherent bias against people who are different.

I plan to get this on dvd just like I did the DS9 documentary and I sure hope they will do one for Enterprise