Less than one year following the concluding season of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" in 1994, executive producer/writer Rick Berman, along with Michael Piller and Jeri Taylor, created a fourth television series based upon the "Star Trek" universe originally created by Gene Roddenberry (1921-1991) in the 1960's. This fourth television series, entitled "Voyager" (which is the name of the Federation of Planets starship used in the series), first aired in January 1995, and ran for seven seasons until it concluded in May 2001. Because "Voyager" aired initially in the month of January (instead of the traditional September), only 16 episodes were filmed for the first season. The succeeding six other seasons had 26 episodes each, for a grand total of 172 episodes for the entire series.
Unlike the previous three "Star Trek" television series, which (for the most part) took place within the bounds of the Federation of Planets (or in nearby sovereign areas of space, such as the Klingon Empire or the Romulan Empire) in the Alpha Quadrant, the starship Voyager is hurled tens of thousands of light-years from home into the previously unknown and unexplored Delta Quadrant, which is located at the far side of the Milky Way Galaxy. Even while traveling at warp 8 (the fastest safe speed that a typical starship can travel), it would take Voyager several decades to return to Earth. Hence, the series focuses on the survival of Voyager's Starfleet crew, who are completely isolated and unable to even maintain normal communications with Earth, as well as the crew's ultimate desire to find a way home faster than their ship is capable of doing. Also, along the way, Voyager adopts a few Delta Quadrant natives.
The primary cast members of the fourth season of "Voyager" include Captain Catherine Janeway (Kate Mulgrew), Commander Chakotay (Robert Beltran), the half-Klingon Lt. B'Elanna Torres (Roxann Dawson), Lt. Thomas Eugene Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill), Delta Quadrant native (Talaxian) Neelix (Ethan Phillips), the holographic Emergency Medical Holographic Program (a.k.a., "The Doctor", played by Robert Picardo), the Vulcan Lt. Cmdr. Tuvok (Tim Russ), Ensign Harry Kim (Garrett Wang) and the former Borg drone Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan). Voyager's fifth season begins with the episode "Night", in which Voyager has been traveling through a void that may take them 2 years to traverse and the crew is slowly going crazy. The ship is attacked by three alien ships built by natives of the seeming void; but when Voyager is assisted by another alien ship that is dumping deadly radioactive waste into the void, Voyager's crew realizes what is happening to the void's natives.
During the fifth season of "Voyager", Seven of Nine becomes an accidental mother to an advanced drone named One (J. Paul Boehmer) in episode "Drone", B'Elanna continues her ongoing struggles with her Klingon half, Kim from the future attempts to save Voyager from total destruction in episode "Timeless", Paris is punished for trying to save a watery world in episode "Thirty Days", the holographic doctor is plagued by a difficult decision in episode "Latent Image" and Capt. Janeway battles the Borg Queen (Susanna Thompson) in the two-part episode "Dark Frontier". The best fifth-season episodes, in order of airdate, include "Night", "Drone" (one of the best "Voyager" episodes ever), "Extreme Risk", "In the Flesh" (the return of species 8472), "Timeless", "Thirty Days", "Counterpoint", "Latent Image", "Bride of Chaotica!" (aliens visit Paris' holodeck program), "Gravity", "Bliss", "Dark Frontier (Parts 1 and 2)", "Juggernaut", "11:59", "Relativity", "Warhead" and the season finale "Equinox, Part 1". The least memorable fifth-season episodes include "Once Upon a Time", "The Disease" and "The Fight".
Overall, I rate the fifth season of "Voyager" with 4 out of 5 stars since it was a slightly weaker season than its predecessors, but did have some very good episodes.