Spoiler Warning

In episode 6 of Voyager they found

a wormhole that they could transport them back to the Alpha quadrant - the catch is they would be 20 years in the past

Now Starfleet has very reliable stasis tech, so why didn't they go through and stay in stasis for 20 years? If I understand correctly Voyager would still be launched and all events in the Delta quadrant would still happen, so the Temporal Prime Directive would not be breached. The only difference being that the crew would simply be revived on the date the wormhole incident occurs and would be reunited with friends and family.

From a family member’s point of view Voyager would be lost for a few months then the crew would be reawakened they would be reunited.

Is there something I'm missing with how stasis pods work or the Temporal Prime Directive, or something else that would explain why this was never even considered? (Other than the obvious, that it would have been a very short show.)

  • 2
    Because time-travel is a no-no. They have rules against it.
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 1:03
  • 15
    Also, the other side of the wormhole was in Romulan controlled territory, twenty years ago. If they were captured and interrogated, they'd very likely give a decisive tactical advantage to the Romulans at a time when they were actively considering invading the Federation.
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 1:04
  • 4
    Risky. Besides the likelihood of ending up spending the rest of their lives in Romulan black sites being interrogated, suppose they beamed everyone across and self-destructed Voyager only to find they are in the "Mirror Mirror" universe? Or in one of the countless other variant parallel universes (TNG S7E11 "Parallels")? Ooops.
    – Kyle Jones
    Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 2:02
  • 5
    Even going into stasis for 20 years wouldn't be a perfectly safe solution, anyway. Someone might find them in stasis before they catch up to their original time frame. Then they're either woken up and need to deal with this problem, or worse, they aren't woken up and someone rifles through their tech. Granted their tech is only 20 years ahead of the current time, but if it's a problem without stasis, then it's a problem with stasis, too.
    – Steve-O
    Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 4:49
  • 6
    “Starfleet has very reliable stasis tech” — does it? When do we see it? Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 11:23

2 Answers 2


Several reasons:

  1. The wormhole led 20 years into the past.
  2. The crew would be under Romulan 'care' and even though R'Mor motives were compatible with that of Voyager's, the rest of the Romulan government might not think so and the military might have just come to the conclusion to take the Voyager crew, interrogate them, etc.
  3. It would mean leaving Voyager behind.
  4. Temporal prime directive (the Romulans would likely try taking advantage of more advanced technology and knowledge the crew has).
  5. The wormhole was close to destabilizing.
  • I strongly suspect they'd have self-destructed the Voyager.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 20:53
  • re: #2 Absolutely this - Protagonist Centered Morality aside the Tal Shiar of R'Mor's era would have to be monumentally stupid/incompetent not to interrogate the Voyager crew for every bit of information they could extract about the next two decades worth of technological and political developments. Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 12:19

Just finished re-watching this episode to confirm the facts. They didn't take the wormhole home for a few reasons.

  • The wormhole was too small for the ship to fit through and it's in Romulan territory


  • While large enough to communicate through (via a probe) the wormhole does indeed go into the past.


  • The Temporal Prime Directive kept them from beaming through the wormhole onto the Romulan scientist's ship on the premise that it would have affected SOMETHING and made significant changes to the past. Even at that they slightly break this Directive as well because they send messages back in time with the hopes that they could let their families know they were in the delta quadrant.

The Prime Directive is relatively/selectively ignored for the entirety of Voyager's voyage because they are so far from home they have no choice, however the Temporal Directive seems to hold a lot more sway.

  • On (C), wasn't there also a short part about what technology the probe could be made of?
    – Izkata
    Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 4:01
  • @Izkata Think you mean Janeway(?) explaining the container they're sending through. As a captain you didn't want anyone to beam stuff on your ship, even if it's clearly not a bomb.
    – Mario
    Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 8:32
  • @Mario I vaguely remember in one of the time travel episodes, B'Elanna mentioning that what they were going to send back as a test had already been declassified by that point in the past, so it was safe to send to the Romulans as a test - minimal, if any, effect on the timeline. I thought it was this episode.
    – Izkata
    Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 19:35
  • @Izkata yes, very likely it's been that. Simmering about a standardized bio containment unit or something like that.
    – Mario
    Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 22:52

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