In the Voyager Episode "Deadlock", the vidiians can only see the "healthy" Voyager. The "unhealthy" Voyager that the Vidiians can't see survives their attack.

The "unhealthy" Voyager would be out of phase since it was undetected by the Vidiians. We know from the Kent State experiment that anti-matter is not duplicated. The anti-matter was in phase with the "healthy" ship that was destroyed, since it was the one capable of firing the bursts at the anti-matter.

Since the "unhealthy" Voyager is the only one that survived and is out of phase, the entire ship would have to be brought back into phase to access the anti-matter which is in phase. The "unhealthy" Voyager also wouldn't be able to interact with other species because they wouldn't be seen just like the Vidiians didn't see them.

How does the crew get the entire ship back into phase? Once they get back into phase, did the anti-matter just pop back into the right spot?

  • 1
    Good question. I look forward to seeing a canon answer.
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 6, 2015 at 12:29

2 Answers 2


It's a tricky answer to be sure, but the way the episode is shot and presented gives us more clues than anything. The episode opens on Ensign Wildman going into labor. She goes to sickbay, and Paris suggests heading through a plasma drift to avoid the Vidiians. At that point, Voyager is split in two, though we don't know this yet. What we see is that the baby is delivered, medical complications develop, the Doctor and Kes start intervening. At that point, the antimatter starts draining, the ship is hit with proton bursts, people start getting hurt, Kim dies, Kes disappears, and we don't know there's another Voyager until a good way through the episode.

At that point, we see the happy, "healthy" Voyager, but because it's so far into the episode, we've come to associate the "unhealthy" Voyager as the "real" one. Considering that it's the one that survives in the end, we can say that it is the "real" Voyager with reasonable certainty, or at least, that's what the creators of the show would like us to believe. It would make sense then, that the antimatter would naturally want to return to its place of origin, which is to say that it would go back to the "unhealthy" ship, which we've been following for the whole episode.

Given that this scenario has never happened on record before or after, coming up with an in-universe explanation is tricky at best. The best explanation I could come up with for this based on known information about antimatter and a thorough reading of the script is this:

The antimatter was attempting to balance itself between both ships. This caused the drain which affected both ships, causing both ships to attempt the proton burst procedure (though the duplicate pulled the trigger first). Once the duplicate stopped the proton burst, the antimatter started to balance, and upon destruction of the duplicate, the antimatter flowed to the first ship.

The "healthy" ship being the duplicate is substantiated further by the Memory Alpha entries (generally regarded as reliable sources for canon information) for Harry Kim and Naomi Wildman, who are both listed as dying in 2372 and being replaced by a "duplicate".

So in other words, the "unhealthy" Voyager was in phase all along, the antimatter was draining because of the actions of the "healthy" ship, and once that duplicate ship was taken out of the equation, yes, the antimatter did in fact "pop" back into the right spot (if you can call not moving "popping"). We know this primarily from the cinematography of the episode, and to a lesser extent, from the limited knowledge we have of antimatter and subspace scissions.

  • Although I don't disagree, can you offer anything specific (from the script, perhaps) to confirm this?
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 21:59
  • I forgot my citations, silly me. @Richard: I couldn't find anything specific. This episode seems to be focused primarily on the story, so very little information is given that isn't technobabble. I did my best based on existing knowledge of antimatter and the way the episode was presented. There's actually a trio of novels where Naomi Wildman and Harry Kim are the only two able to see through a Nacene deception due to their being out-of-phase with the rest of the galaxy. It's not canon, but at least they would seem to agree that the "unhealthy" ship is in fact the "real" one.
    – user44330
    Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 22:52
  • +1, though this same argument would give a spectacularly wrong explanation of the episode "Course: Oblivion".
    – ruakh
    Commented May 21, 2015 at 3:11
  • Maybe I'm missing something, but this seems to be ignoring the question's main point, which also bothered me at the time: the Vidiians could only see the ship that got destroyed.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 1:22

This was never explained on the show.

As you noted, the Vidiians could only see the ship that got destroyed.

We're left to assume that the Voyager crew somehow moved themselves back into phase between episodes, and it was just too boring to watch.

  • I think I remember thinking it was a side-effect of the anomaly itself, that they were still at least partway inside it, and that upon leaving, if both ships were intact, they'd both be in-phase and would see each other.
    – Izkata
    Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 1:50
  • @Izkata Since they didn't leave the anomaly within the span of the episode, I would consider that interpretation consistent with my answer. They weren't in phase, had to get back in phase somehow, successfully did so, and the show just never bothered explaining it.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 1:59

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