Voyager’s Captain Janeway So Often Clashed With The Franchise’s Ideals

This was illustrated in the episode “Year of Hell, Part II” (November 12, 1997). When the Voyager was in extremely dire straits — thanks to some temporal rigmarole, the ship was damaged nearly beyond repair and many died — Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) questions Janeway’s decision to attack the time-traveling antagonist. Janeway overrules her objections, and the crew is ordered to fulfil her mission. 

Seven of Nine, once a Borg drone with no individuality, was pleased that she had the agency to stand up for herself. With Janeway, that agency was taken away again. Seven, bafflingly, seems to accept it. “As a Borg,” she said “I submitted to a single authority, the Collective. Over the past several months, I’ve been encouraged to think and act as an individual. It is difficult to know when to restrain myself.” Tuvok advises, illogically, that the captain is always right. “Even when you know her logic is flawed?” Seven asks. “Perhaps,” Tuvok says. 

It doesn’t matter if she’s making illogical decisions, the captain is in charge. Even the crew thinks so. 

There is, however, a logical reason for Janeway’s authoritarian command style, and it has nothing to do with her taste for power. 

Because the Voyager will never receive any kind of Starfleet aid, there will necessarily be no comforting status quo. The structured rigors of Starfleet are absent, and endless improv remains. The ship will be in “crunch time” for the foreseeable future, and Janeway will require consistency. This is not a time to allow officers to grow and develop their own voice among the crew, as that will create an imbalance of command. 

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