In the series finale "Endgame", a future Admiral Janeway travels 26 years into her past to take the ship and crew through a Borg transwarp hub to the Alpha quadrant.

However, in "Relativity", Captain Braxton and his timeship tried to prevent and correct any timeline interferences (so-called "temporal disruptions").

Why didn't they travel back in time to fix the paradoxes that Janeway created?

  • 11
    Plot convenience.
    – Jeff
    Aug 1, 2011 at 14:21
  • 3
    He felt bad for the Voyager crew. Oct 13, 2014 at 13:41
  • The Time Cops never existed - they were just an element of the holodeck game that the finale revealed all of Enterprise to be
    – Gaius
    Jul 22, 2018 at 17:26

5 Answers 5


Chances are they could see what changes would come about from Janeway altering the timeline, just as whatever his name was from the Year of Hell episodes could. The Time Cops then probably weighed the good of the many (mainly the Federation) versus the good of the few (the Delta quadrant) and felt that everyone was better off with Voyager back in the Alpha quadrant 60 years early.

  • 7
    There are many other examples throughout the various Star Trek series where the various crews traveled through time without interference from those enforcing the temporal prime directive. It probably does come down to more a judgement on how much those actions interfered with the timeline. For instance, their first encounter with Capt. Braxton, the Voyager crew was thought to be responsible for the the destruction of the Earth solar system in the 29th century, so he tried to destroy them. Other events had little or no impact, so they were allowed.
    – BBlake
    Aug 1, 2011 at 13:02
  • 5
    After all, the act of going back and fixing a paradox is itself an interference and could have negative affects.
    – geoffc
    Aug 1, 2011 at 14:02
  • 9
    They may also have seen that, if this happened, it would prevent numerous 'later' temporal disruptions by Voyager (which Braxton referenced in his appearance), possibly even saving Braxton's sanity, preventing his earlier temporal disruption. Don't think about it too much, Voyager's plots will make you go cross-eyed.
    – Jeff
    Aug 1, 2011 at 14:21
  • 10
    Isn't it possible that Janeway's travel back through time wasn't an interference with the timeline at all, rather her travel itself is a part of the timeline that led to the future where the "time cop" himself came from. Interfering with Janeway traveling back would itself be a violation of the temporal prime directive because stopping her would change the timeline, perhaps?
    – erdiede
    Sep 6, 2011 at 18:12
  • 8
    Does the series indicate that the time cops are able to detect/stop every single time incursion that affects their timeline? Or is it like real-life law enforcement--not all crimes are solved because law enforcement agencies have to prioritize their work, or the crime slips under the radar, or just because law enforcement can't catch a break on the case. Dec 6, 2011 at 3:08

I would imagine that, in order for a temporal governing body to effectively function, a baseline timeline or epoch date would have to be established. Timeline manipulation originating prior to the advent of the Temporal Integrity Commission would have to be considered part of the timeline, and therefore not subject to their laws.

Think of it as temporal ex post facto: timeline manipulation laws cannot be applied to violations that occurred (or originated) prior to the advent of such laws.

For example, according to Memory Alpha, timeship Relativity was from the 29th century. Any timeline manipulation that occurred prior to the 29th century would have to be considered historical, and therefore not subject to Relativity's timeline enforcement.

Since Janeway's actions took place during the 24th century, where time travel was not so common a thing that enforcement of laws was necessary, no actions were taken to stop her.

  • Or, it is possible that the timeline changes which ensued as a result of Admiral Janeways interference were supposed to have happened. Also, timeline changes in 24th century can be stopped by time cops if the changes were created by someone else from the future who actively tried disrupting the timeline. Plus, in Relativity, Braxton had to 'clean up' three temporal violations which were technically caused (or involved) Voyager... so I would imagine that any changes which radically affect the future from the set timeline need to be changed to put back on track.
    – Deks
    Nov 6, 2019 at 0:50

One of the trek books (DTI: Watching the Clock) answered this question. It was a series about the timecops. They said the galaxy with Janeway's time travel was the only one in which the Borg didn't take control of the whole galaxy.


I always had it in my head that Relativity only fixed timeline changes if the time traveller was from their time anyway, otherwise they can't detect it as it had already happened before the ship and temporal shields and whatnot were built.

  • Except the temporal shields would protect the ships from changes in the timeline and they have the ability to scan through multiple timelines. But you are correct that any temporal changes which occurred prior to Relativity's existence would likely not count as those would be technically considered as predestination events which resulted in the future timeline we saw. But then again, Braxton apparently had to fix Voyager's three temporal violations. The one in the Takara sector refers to 'Timeless' episode which was caused by Harry Kim (technically) and only 15 years in the future.
    – Deks
    Nov 6, 2019 at 0:56

Before they went back in time, there was probably an investigation, similar to what occurred in the frame story in Trials and Tribble-ations. At that time, it could have been decided that corrective action was unwarranted.

  • 1
    It's been a while since I've seen the episode, but I recall Admiral Janeway was doing it rogue even to the point of Captain Kim threatening to arrest her. It was a plan cooked up by Janeway and her old crew, similar to how Kirk and his buddies stole the Enterprise in Star Trek III. Or are you saying Temporal Investigations reviewed the action independently and after-the-fact (kinda loses its meaning with time travel) and decided to let it slide?
    – Schwern
    Mar 30, 2015 at 17:36
  • The future temporal committee would have likely determined that Admiral Janeway's changes in Endgame were something that had to have happened. As for Temporal Investigations in the 24th century... what are they going to do? Arrest Captain Janeway? Sure, she was complicit by changing the timeline with her counterpart, but we don't know if she may have been let off the hook due to extenuating circumstances and what she came to learn about the future. Plus, from SF's point of view, she destroyed the Borg TW hub and set them back by a long time.
    – Deks
    Nov 6, 2019 at 1:01

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