The question came up in the comments of this question: Does Voyager ever answer a distress call from anyone good?

The mentioned question was about the fact, that very often when Voyager responds to a distress call, the people who issued the distress call were either already dead when Voyager arrived or turned out to be evil / antagonistic towards Voyager.

According to the current answers there are about five episodes were Voyager actually encounters good people when responding to a distress call.

So the question came up, how often did Voyager respond to a distress call and the person / people who set the distress call turned out to be malicious?

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    Don't forget editorial bias. You only see Voyager on interesting days. You wouldn't want to watch the show about the uneventful day spent warping through space where nothing happened. Likewise, you wouldn't watch the episode where Voyager pulls over to the side of hyperspace to help [local starship #591] fix a flat.
    – zzzzBov
    Nov 5, 2018 at 14:49
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    @zzzzBov - Agreed. There are multiple references to races that the crew encountered that we don't see on screen, presumably because the interaction wasn't especially interesting.
    – Valorum
    Nov 5, 2018 at 17:32
  • @zzzzBov Consider that Voyager was in the Delta quadrant for about 7 years. That's around 2500 days. There were 172 episodes, many of which I surmise last multiple days. Let's assume each episode takes on average 2 days. Let's assuming they help someone every 2 days (a ridiculously high frequency); that means there are about 550 encounters. If the show actually shows 100 "evil" distress calls, that would mean their maximum percentage of good distress calls would be something like 81%, which is pretty low.
    – jpmc26
    Nov 5, 2018 at 18:18
  • @zzzzBov If we instead make some more reasonable assumptions like they had 200 distress calls over the course of their entire trip (which is still stupidly high for a ship that should be constantly just trying to get their own supplies together to survive), we're talking more like half of them are evil with 100 encounters. So the number of shown evil distress calls can still tell us a lot about how ridiculous or reasonable the numbers are, just because the show has 172 episodes and they're limited to 2500 days.
    – jpmc26
    Nov 5, 2018 at 18:20
  • @jpmc26 - Except that there's an extreme case of observer bias. Most benign rescues are probably boring. Most malign rescues are probably exciting
    – Valorum
    Nov 5, 2018 at 18:24

1 Answer 1



In VOY: Unity the crew answer a distress call from a group of ex-Borg. Although they claim to need assistance in freeing themselves from Borg influence, it turns out that they're being deceptive.

In VOY: Nightingale Voyager responds to a distress call from a ship that claims to be transporting medical supplies. In reality it's transporting experimental technology.


In VOY: Revulsion the crew render assistance to a holographic person in distress. He turns out to be psychotically anti-organic and tries to murder Torres.

In VOY: Fury the crew responds to an Ocampan distress call from Kes. Unbeknownst to them, she's gone completely doolally tap and wants to kill them all.

In VOY: Equinox the Voyager answers a Federation distress call from the USS Equinox. Although initially appearing benign, the whole crew turn out to have a very slim grasp on morality, with deception, torture and mass-murder among their various transgressions.


In VOY: Warhead The ship renders assistance to an artificial intelligence housed in a warhead. It commandeers the ship and resists attempts to prevent it from carrying out its mission to destroy an enemy installation. Although it's neither deceptive, nor antagonistic toward the crew (beyond commandeering their vessel for a short time) its actions aren't what you'd describe as friendly.

In VOY: State of Flux the crew of the Voyager go to the aid of a Kazon-Nistrim vessel experimenting (unsuccessfully) with alien tech stolen from Voyager. The sole survivor dies before we can learn anything about him but in general the Nistrim are not a friendly people.

Given that Voyager responded to an additional seven distress calls/beacons that were broadly benign, the stats would suggest that approximately one third (to one half) of requesters were either deceptive or openly antagonistic.

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    The Equinox did nothing wrong! Nov 5, 2018 at 14:37
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    @zabeus - That's certainly an interesting position to take.
    – Valorum
    Nov 5, 2018 at 14:39
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    @Benubird - I really struggled with VOY: Warhead but ultimately discarded it. The device isn't antagonistic, it's merely monomaniacal. It bears the Voyager no ill will and is simply following its programming and its orders. In the end it proves itself to be noble and worthy.
    – Valorum
    Nov 5, 2018 at 16:40
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    @Valorum But if it is not the antagonist of the episode, then who is? By targeting innocents it was opposing voyager (morally, if not physically, although I'd call taking them hostage pretty antagonistic!), and the fact that it was ultimately defeated by persuasive speech rather than superior firepower merely makes voyagers victory all the more impressive, to my mind.
    – Benubird
    Nov 5, 2018 at 16:46
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    @jpmc26 - I would expect people to spot my name and assume it's exhaustive ;-)
    – Valorum
    Nov 5, 2018 at 18:58

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