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Story & cast of almost all TV series & movies of Star Trek are based on the Enterprise(if the storyline is based on a Starship). The exception is Star Trek: Voyager (ST:DS9 was based on a Space Station so doesn't count as a starship storyline). Why did they drop the Enterprise and introduce Voyager in Star Trek: Voyager?

Please, don't tell: Its because series name was Star Trek: Voyager. My question: Why that series with story & cast around a starship other than Enterprise? The whole TV series could be launched around Enterprise again without any glitch in story..

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    Perhaps because Voyager was set at the same time as the TNG movies and the Enterprise was in use? Commented Apr 4, 2012 at 7:39
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    No. Why is that not valid? Are you looking for an in or out of universe explanation? Commented Apr 4, 2012 at 7:44
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    ST:DS9 is also an exception: all is not true here at all. 2 of 5 TV Series were not set aboard the Enterprise.
    – Richard
    Commented Apr 4, 2012 at 7:47
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    @Richard, +1, that said, if we're being exacting, only 2 of the 5 TV series (TOS and TNG) were set aboard the USS Enterprise as the OP states; the NX-01 was just plain "Enterprise", no "USS", "No bloody A, B, C, or D" ;=)
    – Rob
    Commented Apr 4, 2012 at 7:53
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    They could have used a ship named "Enterprise" in ST:VOY. They chose not to, for various reasons that have been discussed here. Commented Apr 4, 2012 at 19:49

2 Answers 2

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Short answer: The producers said that they needed a new concept

Background: When working out what the premise would be for a new series, the producers decided they did not want to duplicate what had been done. From both Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation there was a total of 10 years of stories about a starship on a "normal" mission where it went around and explored "strange new worlds" and dealt with the Klingons and Romulans. (And the Cardassians had been dealt with in both ST:TNG and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.)

One of the toughest things to do on a weekly TV series is to continually come up with new and fresh ideas for stories. This is the same in many fields. For example, I've had minsters tell me one of the toughest parts of their job is to come up with a new topic for a sermon every week. At first it sounds like there's a lot of freedom, but after a while, it's a challenge.

When starting a new series while ST:TNG was on, the producers went in another direction and set the series on a space station, which created not only a totally different setting, but also gave them many new story possibilities that they could not explore with a ship that was supposed to be exploring and patrolling and travelling around from place to place.

When it came time for a third new series (Star Trek: Voyager), they had the same problem: Set it back on the Enterprise, under normal circumstances, and it's going to be quite difficult to tell fresh stories for another seven years. Plus, there were the movies to contend with (which were now about the Enterprise-D). If they continued with the Enterprise, they'd either have to go back to the same crew (which would be, essentially, the same show as before), or provide a rationale for why a new Enterprise with a new crew was now being featured.

The producers needed a new direction to take a new show, so they decided they wanted a ship that was beyond the reach of the Federation. At that point, you have two possibilities: 1) A starship on an extended exploration mission, which is close to what's been done, or 2) A starship that is lost, without a crew or supplies or preparation for such a mission, trying to find the way back to the Federation.

This kind of setting provided them with possibilities for many new stories that could not be told in the setting of the Enterprise, as the flagship of the fleet, representing the best of the best and doing "routine" Starfleet things.

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    I've +1-ed for the "new direction" angle, but I do think Voyager could have featured an Enterprise that got lost. I think your argument there is simply that it wouldn't work because Enterprise is the flagship, but I'm not convinced. Commented Apr 4, 2012 at 9:09
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    Everyone knows that the Enterprise is actually a magnet for plotonium, which causes strange problems that resolve themselves with no lasting changes within ~48 hours (typically, though some especially strong plotonium can cause minor lasting changes or last longer than average).
    – Jeff
    Commented Apr 4, 2012 at 10:50
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    @Popeye: why not Enterprise-F? Perhaps because then the current crew would have to be retired. Commented Apr 4, 2012 at 11:52
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    @Popeye Nice point, but... they could always shift time! What if adventure of Enterprise-F would be started at 2390...
    – user931
    Commented Apr 4, 2012 at 13:37
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    It's established by comments (and my answer) that using a new Enterprise would have meant moving to another time period or dealing with a forced retirement of the ST:TNG crew. Can we drop that line of comments? It's resolved. As for discussions about plot, try this: write one haiku every day. Haikus are easy. After 2-3 months come back and tell me you never had trouble thinking of a new topic so you didn't repeat yourself. Coming up with new plot ideas every week that can be told in an engrossing and entertaining story is TOUGH. It's necessary to use a new setting to avoid that issue.
    – Tango
    Commented Apr 4, 2012 at 14:12
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Moved my comments on as answer as requested, but I believe that TangoOversway has a good answer. For an out of universe answer the only theory I have is that the writers were told to come up with something new. The Enterprise had been done 3 times (TOS, Animated, TNG) and went on to do a 4th Enterprise series. I would say they wanted a new crew, new ship, new stories. Also the Enterprise has always been the most powerful ship in the fleet, why send it all the way across the galaxy where it could kick everybodies ass. Was the story not better being a small ship, small crew struggling to get home?

@Wikis I would probably say it wasn't the Enterprise because before they did Star Trek Voyager all of the Starship Enterprises had been written about. I would say the only one they could really do it with was Enterprise-c which was actually lost but they covered that in an actually TNG episode way before voyager was even thought of.

@Wikis well if it was the Enterprise-F who knows when that would have been in the timeline. As when Voyager was lost Enterprise-D was still in operation and when Enterprise-E was in operation (Nemesis) voyager had already been home for over a year (Book version you find this out). Also Enterprise-E was refitted at the end of Nemesis and carried on for years before it was actually retired. So if they did Enterprise-F it would be completely of the timeline that it was done in.

@SachinShekhar From a technological point this was about the best time for it to happened. They were not to powerful but not to weak ever. If a starship from 2390 went missing in the delta quadrant the technology would be far to advanced for the delta quadrant as they would probably not have advanced much from where they were when voyager was there. This is only my theory as there is no specific details on why it was voyager and not an Enterprise.

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