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Why didn't the time cops try to stop Janeway when she traveled back in time to rescue Voyager?

How come in Voyager there are many times when the ship and crew travel to a different time. Such as when they go back to LA with Captain Braxton. And when Seven is made to go back in time to stop an intruder from destroying voyager.

Captain Braxton comes back to bring Voyager to the 24th century again. He say's it's so the timeline isn't contaminated. And when Seven is sent to save voyager it is also to save the timeline.

However, when Admiral Janeway went back in time for the last episode of the series to bring Voyager home early, no one stopped her.

Why would the temporal prime directive try so hard to keep the timeline as is, but during the last episode, no one tried to enforce any temporal rules?

  • 8
    Note that the answer likely is "convenience of plot/happy ending for finale".
    – NominSim
    Commented Jun 21, 2012 at 18:52

2 Answers 2


This was addressed in the novel Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations: Watching the Clock. After having returned to the Alpha Quadrant some members of the Department of Temporal Investigations wanted to bring Captain Janeway up on charges for the amount of damage done to the timeline. However representatives from Temporal Departments from the future(including the one Braxton was a part of) convinced them otherwise as the actions of the Voyager crew were necessary to ensure the formation of their future timeline. The particular passage of the book can be found here on page 360.

  • Thanks! That's a great answer. I'm sure the original reason was for a happy ending though, but I figured someone must have justified it somewhere!
    – Sponge Bob
    Commented Jun 22, 2012 at 19:31
  • Interesting... so that novel basically confirms my theory ;)
    – Izkata
    Commented Jun 22, 2012 at 23:16

Since I'm like 99.9% sure this wasn't addressed in canon (and perhaps 95-98% sure it wasn't addressed in the non-canon novels), here's some theory:

When the future isn't a certainty, it's treated as a whole slew of possible futures, the likelihood of each fluctuating from moment to moment as people take action and make decisions. (ENT 3x23, Countdown, or 3x24, Zero Hour, when the Sphere Builders are examining the possible futures. I forget which one it's in.)

The Federation temporal agents from the future appear to only come from one possible future. It's hard to give an exact reference, since it's strongly implied throughout Enterprise that the temporal agents are working to keep history on-track for the Federation seen in TOS/TNG/DS9/VOY - because it's part of their history.

Therefore, within these fluctuating futures, the temporal prime directive had to have come into effect in at least one of them (since there are infinite possibilities). Since that future came into existence, they would have been working to keep history on-track so that they continue to exist.

Given the above, it would seem that if Voyager took those extra decades to get back to Earth, something would happen in the intervening centuries that prevented the Temporal Prime Directive from coming into effect*. So there's one possibility: There were no temporal agents in that timeline to keep her from going back, and in the prime timeline Admiral Janeway was part of their history.

*This goes beyond theory and into speculation: Think of how Admiral Janeway's plan affected the Borg. I suspect they mounted some sort of attack on the Federation in the Admiral's timeline after her time, but before the temporal agents came into existence. But in the prime timeline, Voyager was able to get Seven of Nine, the Doctor's mobile emitter, specs for the quantum slipstream drive, and whatever else they picked up, to the Federation decades earlier, likely causing a jump in their technology, and the Admiral caused tons of damage to the Collective. The attack, if it even happened, was likely thwarted.

  • +1 - An interesting answer to a difficult problem. Commented Jun 22, 2012 at 0:21

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