In the season 5 episode "Timeless" of Star Trek Voyager, Harry Kim and Tom Paris concluded that a phase variance would cause a collapse of the Quantum Slipstream drive and thus cause fatal turbulence to star ship Voyager.

To remedy this problem, they decide the best course of action is to ride the Quantum slipstream ahead of Voyager in the Delta Flyer and send the calculated phase variance back to Voyager to make the journey safe. But what they didn't explain is how the Delta Flyer was able to ride the slipstream without problems itself.

Is there an explanation of why the Delta Flyer could calculate the phase variance first that star ship Voyager could not?

  • Kim dies all the time and Tom has contractual immunity that will ensure he's never actually hurt. They were canaries in the coal mine.
    – Jeff
    Feb 28, 2017 at 22:11
  • 1
    My recollection is that it was the size of Voyager that was a problem. The Flyer could safely take point because it was so much smaller. Mar 1, 2017 at 2:41

1 Answer 1


I can not remember the exact quotes but IIRC the flyer could stay in the stream with a higher variance in the field without being pushed out (possibly due to volume or mass being lower not sure if that was explained) in the episode the flyer did have problems in the stream its just that they were able to correct them before they caused the field to collapse

IIRC in the episode they explain it with a nautical metaphor something like sending a small boat that wont sink in the water as much to map out the reefs so the larger boat wont run aground when it tries to cross the reefs

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