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(Note from Phil: Star Trek: Voyager is unique in the Trek universe in that it is supposed to be completely isolated from Starfleet and the Federation. On Classic Trek or NextGen or DS9 if a new crewmember appears or the phasers change, it's no big deal because a ship probably arrived when we weren't looking. Early on, however, nitpickers realized that Star Trek: Voyager would provide some interesting nitpicking possibilities. And, the creators realize that as well! Janet Nemecek, the assistant script coordinator for Voyager once told me that she's is counting named crewmembers and photon torpedoes used. I've heard from several nitpickers that they are doing the same. Some time ago, Rick Kuzma sent me his annotated list and I thought it was fun. Of course, I will double check all this information during the compilation of the Voyager Guide but for now I'll assume that it's correct until I hear different! ;-)

"...I'd hate to lose another shuttlecraft."

No kidding, Chakotay. Maybe you should stay out of them, then. How many shuttlecraft does an Intrepid-class ship have? Sorry, that's currently classified information. We can tell you though, that Voyager has lost seven of them. Though only about half the size of a Galaxy-class ship, the Intrepid-class ships are on the front line of Starfleet's exploration plans, so perhaps a large fleet of shuttles was part of the design parameters. After we itemize the shuttle losses, we'll take a look at the photon torpedo situation (it's not pretty).

Voyager made it through 2371 only getting the shuttles shot up a little. But a new year brought new possibilities. On stardate 49005 ("Initiations"), Chakotay was out in a shuttle to have some solitude while performing a ritual called the pakra to commemorate the anniversary of his father's death. He got on the bad side of the Kazon-Ogla and ended up having the shuttle shot out from under him. Not to nitpick or anything (Ha!) but as B'Elanna was analyzing some debris during the attempt to find Chakotay's shuttle, she detected a polyduranide alloy, which she said was not a Federation alloy. And here, all this time, after watching TNG's "Disaster", I thought it was! ( We are all Phil Farrand's offspring.)

A week later (by stardate in "Non Sequitur") Harry Kim proved he could be a big boy too. Joy-riding in the shuttle Drake, at 140,000 kph, Kim blew up the shuttle and blew himself all the way back to San Francisco - but that's another story. Now that's two shuttles gone.

If it's good enough for Kim, it's good enough for his best bud, Tom Paris. In "Parturition" Paris crashed one so hard on "Planet Hell" that it was unrecoverable. So, kiss number three goodbye.

"When you're a Maquis, you don't always have the luxury of following protocols." Apparently, B'Elanna, that includes piloting a shuttlecraft without the commanding officer's consent. In "Maneuvers", Chakotay, apparently withering under Seska's slurs and recriminations, decided to single-handedly take on a Predator-class Kazon ship. This is an iffy episode but it appears that the shuttle was not destroyed and was returned to Voyager along with Chakotay in exchange for a few Majes.

By then the Internet was screaming about Voyager's waste of resources so the production staff had Paris steal a Kazon shuttle in "Investigations" but really, would you want to be seen driving an ocarina with reactant injectors? In "Innocence", Tuvok manages to get his crashed shuttle into limp-home mode. In "Resolutions" (Is that a poorly-named episode, or what?), Captain Tuvok bestows a shuttlecraft on the planet-bound Janeway and Chakotay before grinning fiercely to himself and warping off into the sunset. But it's not to be as Danara Pel and Schmallus ruin his good time and everyone's reunited.

Finally season two closes with Paris proving he may not be able to dodge E.M. disturbances but phasers will never hurt him as he dodges around a Kazon armada and gets the heck out of Dodge, or the Hanon System, anyway.

In season three things are looking good for about eight months until Chakotay gets his license back from the Motor Vehicle Department and beats up the Sacajawea pretty badly in "Coda". (We kind of have to assume they retrieved it.) Then, as he pilots one in "Unity"-there goes number four. (We have been told that Chakotay spent considerable time on piloting skills at the Academy!!!) No more are lost, although Tuvok demonstrated his rather shaky piloting skills again in "Rise", in which three shuttles went down to inspect the planet and again, we have to assume they retrieved Tuvok's. So when season three closed, Voyager had lost four shuttles.

The year 2374 looks like it's going to be a bad one for shuttles. In "The Gift", Janeway gives one to Kes as a going-away present. In "Day Of Honor", the Caatati destroy the Cochrane (with Paris piloting). Chakotay loses number seven in "Nemesis" and in "The Raven" they leave one behind on a planet. Whew, by the first set of reruns Voyager is minus eight shuttlecraft!

"And no way to replace them after they're gone."

That was spoken by the captain of the USS Voyager in "The Cloud", lamenting the fact that they only had thirty-eight photon torpedoes on board. This is one of those instances where one line of dialogue slips through editing and comes back to haunt the production team again and again and again. The writing staff, bless them, muddied the waters a bit, so for awhile we had to say there were "no more than..." when it came to torpedoes. Let's see how many there were "no more than..."

They fired one torpedo in "The Cloud", leaving 37. They don't fire another one for almost a full year and then used three to drive off the Kazon in "Alliances"(34). Seven got used in "Dreadnought"(27), three in "Resolutions"(24) and then Michael Piller attempted to blunt our nitpicking good time in "Basics, Part I". Three torpedoes were fired at one Kazon ship and then "torpedoes" were fired in dispersal pattern Sierra at another ship. If you'll remember, we were taught at the Academy that the Sierra pattern requires five torpedoes but if you're going to sit in the big chair you learn to improvise. So season two ended with Voyager having no more than 19 torpedoes. Stay tuned because we will be vindicated in "Year Of Hell."

After all that bingeing, they got through most of 2373 on their negotiation and phaser skills until "Rise" when we saw one torpedo fired at a mechanical asteroid. The question arises as to whether a sustained barrage from a ship-mounted phaser (i.e. a substantial piece of hardware) wouldn't have vaporized it. Calmer heads apparently prevailed after that and at the end of season three there were n.m.t. 18 torpedoes left.

Speaking of the writing staff - season four started with Messrs. Braga and Menosky recalculating several numbers that are dear to nitpickers hearts, the number of torpedoes onboard being one of them. Nice try, guys! You can fool some of the people some of the time... Don't be deceived. Voyager did not have thirty-two torpedoes at the start of the fourth season. If a Borg scan of Voyager showed 32, then there are some large holes in Borg technology. There were still n.m.t. 18. Five were fired in "Scorpion, Part II", leaving n.m.t. 13.

Now, here comes the proof that persistence pays off. In "Year Of Hell", we were told that there were 11 torpedoes left. Taking into account dispersal pattern Sierra from "Basics, Part I" and other iffy situations, a difference of two is an acceptable variance. Now - if they really did have 32 in "Scorpion, Part II" and fired 5, that would leave 27. If there were 11 left in "Year Of Hell", how did they squander16 torpedoes? But I digress. They used 4 as mines in that episode, leaving exactly 7. So Braga and Menosky did a de facto admission that the nitpickers were right. Thanks, gents! :)

If you would like to submit some comments, drop me a note at Please put "Voyager Statistics" in the Subject line of your email and include your real name, city and state (or province and county as the case may be) in the body of the e-mail so I can give you credit if you are the first person to submit the comment. (Remember the legalese: Everything you submit becomes mine and you grant me the right to use your name in any future publication by me. I will do my best to give you credit if you are the first person to submit a particular nit but I make no guarantees. And finally, due to the volume of mail received at Nitpicker Central, your submission may or may not be acknowledged.)

Copyright 1997 by Phil Farrand. All Rights Reserved.