Voyager "Year of Hell part 2":

TUVOK [OC]: Captain, we won't be protected.

JANEWAY: Exactly. If that ship is destroyed all of history might be restored. And this is one year I'd like to forget. Time's up.

(Voyager ploughs into its mortal enemy with a big KaBOOM!)

Why did the timeline revert back to when Voyager first entered the episode? Why were all the changes the ship made undone? Wouldn't things have just remained how they were at that moment?

  • 3
    I have no source, so I'll only comment - I think they just got lucky. The core and the time weapon basicly misfired. It erased itself from existance. Luckily sparing Voyager. So they got double lucky. IMHO Voyager is the series where the heroes get lucky the most.
    – Petersaber
    Jun 22, 2015 at 6:59
  • 2
    The real reason is that the writers feared change. They noticed that Year of Hell was by far the best (two-part) episode and ran the risk of making Voyager a good show, rather than an average show with occasional interest. So they had to back-pedal fast :D
    – Wolfie Inu
    Nov 10, 2015 at 4:52
  • Hi. I note you haven't accepted any answers for this question yet. If my answer addresses the question, would you please consider answering it for future viewers? If not, please let me know where I can improve it! Nov 12, 2015 at 5:38

1 Answer 1


The Memory Alpha page on the 'Year of Hell' timelines explains this as a result of the temporal core suffering damage thereby causing a temporal incursion:

The impact, and the resultant destabilization of the temporal core, caused a temporal incursion within the weapon ship, erasing all of its previous changes. As a result, Voyager was warned away from Krenim space on Day 1 by the same ship they originally encountered (with much less belligerency), and were able to plot a course around the Imperium

This is also supported by the description of events described in the specific wiki page for that episode.

Now, what is a temporal incursion I hear you ask? Well, Memory Alpha explains it as basically being an act designed to alter a timeline. The basic answer to your question is then that by destroying the temporal core, it didn't just have an effect immediately, but had an effect throughout time. Therefore, it basically wiped its own existence from the timeline, meaning none of the changes from the Krenim ship occurred, restoring the timeline to what it was originally. The timeline, from the viewer's perspective, was restored to Day 1 of the year of hell, but really it just was the corrected timeline prior to the Krenim ship's activities. That is, the timeline was reverted back to before the Krenim temporal core was created, not to day 1 of the 'year of hell'; we just saw the timeline from that point on and proceeded as though the Krenim ship hadn't made any changes.

  • +1 - it created (or restored) a timeline where the Krenim were no longer a large, aggressive empire.
    – Omegacron
    Jun 22, 2015 at 19:17
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    @JMFB you need to think fourth-dimmensionally! If I destroy a temporal core, not only does it impact us now, but it impacts the past as well - essentially it means it never existed, so the timeline is put back to the way it was originally i.e. from our perspective these events never occurred, but the timeline is what it would have been without the Krenim ship - doe that help? Jun 24, 2015 at 6:43
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    @JMFB anyway, the idea that is presented in the show is that because you destroy the temporal core, it erases all the modifications that have been done to the timeline by that temporal core, as though nothing had ever changed. That's why they return to that particular time - because the timeline was restored. The timeline could have returned to any point, and it does in a way return to all points in history from that point of deviance where the core was first created. The out of universe reason is that they probably just wanted to show that the year of hell hadn't happened to our heroes Jun 24, 2015 at 6:59
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    @N_Soong: "They" don't "return" anywhere; we just see the restored timeline, starting from Voyager's first contact with the Krenim, as that happens to be the earliest moment in the restored timeline relevant for Voyager. Jun 24, 2015 at 10:00
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    @O.R.Mapper Apologies - slip of the tongue (so to speak)! Jun 24, 2015 at 10:11

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