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For the DS9 episode with a similar title, please see "Shattered Mirror".

The macroviruses, Dr. Chaotica, and Seska hinder Chakotay and Janeway's attempt to restore Voyager to its normal state after a temporal distortion shifts sections of the ship into different timeframes.



Chakotay enters the cargo bay where he finds Naomi Wildman and Icheb working on an educational jigsaw puzzle. Chakotay is in a bit of a hurry, looking for his stash of Antarian cider. He wants to bring a bottle to his weekly dinner with Captain Janeway. He is in a good mood and quite amused with Icheb's frustration with Naomi's playful attitude while she is supposed to be studying. He tells Icheb not to tell Neelix of his hiding place, as he only has a couple of bottles left. Icheb suggests to hide the cider among Borg spare parts, where Neelix is sure not to snoop.

While Chakotay and Captain Janeway enjoy a quiet dinner in the captain's quarters – or rather attempt to, since her replicator decides to burn her pot roastVoyager encounters a temporal anomaly. Chakotay quickly runs down to engineering while the captain gets to the bridge.

In engineering, Chakotay tries to prevent a warp core breach, but a surge of temporal energy travels through the core, and hits him. He is quickly transported to sickbay showing signs of progeria on his face and in various organs of his body.

Act One[]

The Doctor treats Chakotay, telling him that his body parts were out of temporal sync with each other; some organs were as if they belonged to a child while others were as if Chakotay were an old man. However, using a chroniton-based serum the Doctor has succeeded in bringing Chakotay's body back into alignment. Chakotay decides to head straight to the bridge, and tells the Doctor to come with him in case any other crew are injured. The Doctor 'reminds' Chakotay that he's unable to leave sickbay. Chakotay, confused, asks what happened to the mobile emitter, but the Doctor has no idea what that is. Chakotay, in a hurry, leaves alone.

Once in the turbolift, a strange wave of light sweeps from above as the lift rises to the bridge, and the medkit that he was carrying vanishes. When Chakotay arrives on the bridge, he causes a stir and Janeway acts as if she doesn't know him. The captain's long hair is tied up in bun, much like when Voyager arrived in the Delta Quadrant. Janeway informs him that Voyager is pursuing the Maquis ship in the Badlands, and that Chakotay is her primary target. She orders him taken to the brig, but the officers with him vanish as they go down in the turbolift, and he arrives in engineering 5 years ago during the Kazon takeover of Voyager by Seska. Chakotay manages to escape through another distortion. Seska asks the rest of the Kazon in Engineering to scan for anomalies.

Act Two[]

Chakotay manages to get back to sickbay, where he realizes that The Doctor's treatment allows him to pass through the temporal barriers. He asks the Doctor what stardate it is; the Doctor says it is stardate 49624. The Doctor won't get his mobile emitter for another year.

With this in mind, Chakotay takes a hypospray with the serum in it and heads back to the bridge, where he confronts the past Janeway once more. Chakotay tells her that an anomaly has hit the ship in the future causing him to shift into the past. Janeway tells him that her helmsman (Lieutenant Stadi at the time) walked out of her ready room into the corridor and disappeared. However, the occurrence doesn't sway Janeway into believing Chakotay, so he claims the hypospray holds poison and presses it against Janeway's neck, threatening to kill her. Chakotay, still holding the captain, heads off in the direction that the crew member had gone before they disappeared. The two shift into another timeline, Chakotay having injected Janeway with the hypospray seconds earlier.

Chakotay explains to Janeway that it is all true and that they are good friends in the future. Still skeptical, Janeway offers her help in formulating a plan, but they must get to sickbay. On the way to sickbay, they pass into another timeframe, one where two wounded crew members are laying on the ground unconscious. Chakotay theorizes that it may be either when the crew was under the influence of the Dream Aliens, or when the crew encountered the telepathic pitcher plant. He assures Janeway that the crew will be fine.

Naomi Wildman, 2394

A future Naomi Wildman

Chakotay suggests they go to astrometrics to scan the ship for temporal fractures, surprising Janeway who doesn't think Voyager has such a lab. They enter astrometrics to find Icheb and Naomi Wildman as adult Starfleet crewmembers, surprised to see them since, in their timeline, the captain and her first officer had died seventeen years earlier.

Act Three[]

Icheb and Naomi reveal that the ship has been fractured into thirty-seven different timeframes. The focal point of the surge appears to have been obliterated. Naomi wishes that Seven of Nine was there to help them but tells Chakotay and Janeway that they don't know when or where she is. Before Chakotay leaves, Icheb tells him that he never told Neelix where Chakotay hid his bottles.

They find her in Cargo Bay 2, still a pure Borg drone, with the other Borg drones that beamed aboard during their alliance. She informs them that the Borg vessels experience chronological stress when they travel through their tunnels, and that they keep the Borg vessels in temporal sync by projecting a chroniton field and suggests that if they modify the bio-neural gel packs that run Voyager's systems, it will return Voyager to Chakotay's timeframe.

The Doctor modifies a pair of bandoleers to resist the temporal barriers to hold the hyposprays. The Doctor starts talking about the Delta Quadrant, but Chakotay cuts him off, not wishing to violate the Temporal Prime Directive any more than Chakotay already had. Chakotay and Janeway head off to inject the necessary packs, first passing through time into past events, although Chakotay does not realize this at first. They inject the gel pack, and narrowly escape when a macrovirus from that timeframe's infestation turns up. It chases them through a time barrier and disappears.

They find themselves having enter the holodeck into Tom Paris' favorite holoprogram, Captain Proton, where they are met by the various cheesy characters that they must get past to inject the gelpack in holodeck number two, mainly achieved by Janeway's reluctant impersonation of Queen Arachnia.

Act Four[]

Janeway is strapped to a table while Chaotica is preparing to torture her. Then Janeway and Chakotay tell Chaotica that there is a danger from the 8th dimension. Chaotica is then manipulated into exposing and injecting the gelpack and they manage to convince him to release them to rid the rest of Chaotica's realm of those gelpacks.

In the transporter room, they encounter several members of the Maquis, including B'Elanna Torres and Ayala. They are hostile to Janeway and Chakotay, but allow them to inject the gelpack and leave. Janeway questions Torres' comments about stranding them in the Delta Quadrant and Chakotay assures her that she did it for a good reason.

When they enter the mess hall, they find it being used as a sickbay and injured crewmen litter the floor, being treated by Tom Paris for radiation poisoning due to the temporal anomaly in Chakotay's timeline. Neelix gives Janeway some coffee and assures her that he has faith that they will come through this crisis like they have all others – surprising Janeway as she has obviously never met Neelix before – while Chakotay injects the gelpack. Janeway then finds a badly-injured Tuvok, who greets her before dying. In a turbolift Janeway hatches an alternative plan: to bring the entire Voyager into her timeframe. She intends to prevent Voyager from being stranded in the Delta Quadrant in the first place; having heard about encounters with the Borg, dreaming aliens, macroviruses, telepathic pitcher plants and the like, she believes that they'll hit one disaster after another and she's better off ignoring the Temporal Prime Directive if it means avoiding these. Chakotay tells her that she's only seen the bad side of their journey, and there's plenty of good things ahead as well; she'll help out many species, allow Seven of Nine to regain her Humanity, reform Tom Paris into an outstanding officer and husband to Torres, provide a home for Naomi and Icheb, and combine a group of Starfleet officers and Maquis rebels into a crew who will make just as much of an impact on the Delta Quadrant as it does on them, led by a captain who doesn't doubt for one minute they'll make it home. Janeway, swayed by his argument, agrees to help return Voyager to Chakotay's timestream.

Later, Chakotay fills Janeway in on Seska and the two agree that she and the Kazon won't cooperate. Janeway however has a backup plan.

Chakotay goes to engineering and explains everything to Seska, who agrees with his solution… at least, part of it. She realizes that if Chakotay is there from the future, and his timeline's version of Voyager is free, then they must have re-taken the ship from the Kazon and makes an attempt to bring the ship into sync with her timeframe instead so she can stop this.

Act Five[]

USS Voyager's lightning rod in use

Voyager's deflector acts as a "lightning rod"

Meanwhile, Janeway, Paris, and Kim watch from the higher section of engineering. Paris and Harry Kim leap onto two of the Kazon, while Naomi and Icheb correct the modification that Seska had already made. Ayala and B'Elanna Torres disarm another Kazon guard, but Seska holds Janeway hostage. She disarms Janeway and holds a weapon to her head, forcing all of them to drop their weapons. Seska is about to kill Janeway when Seven of Nine enters engineering, repelling Seska's shots with a Borg force field. She slaps Seska and chokes her, forcing her to release Janeway. This means that Chakotay can initiate the pulse, thus erasing the memories of the other participants while Chakotay has Torres help her avert the events that caused the anomaly by diverting all of Voyager's power to its deflector system and setting it to a specific frequency, thus using the deflector array as a lightning rod for the energy surge, burning it out, but no other damages occur.

USS Voyager with navigational deflector offline

Voyager flies away

Back in the present, Chakotay reminds Janeway that they have not finished their dinner. Janeway is surprised but follows Chakotay off the bridge. Back in her quarters, Janeway asks Chakotay about the experience. He declines to answer, gently reminding her of the Temporal Prime Directive. When they run out of cider, Janeway surprises Chakotay by suggesting he should go to the cargo bay to get another bottle. When Chakotay asks her how she found about it, Janeway also declines to answer, reminding him of the Temporal Prime Directive.

Memorable quotes[]

"Excellent. You recognized the complementary base pair."
"Actually, I just found two pieces that fit together."
"You're missing the point."
"I thought the point was to finish the puzzle."
"And to learn something about genetics."
"If you really want to help, find me a green piece that looks like Tuvok's ear."

- Naomi Wildman and Icheb working on a genetics puzzle

"Once, a long time ago, I called this replicator a glorified toaster. It never forgave me."

- Janeway, after burning yet another pot roast

"It's a fascinating story, but as the Ferengi say, a good lie is easier to believe than the truth."

- Janeway

"The Captain and I haven't risen from the grave."

- Chakotay

"Commander, in case you were wondering… I never told Neelix where you hid that cider."

- Adult Icheb, in an alternate future (2394)

"Your plan is inefficient."
"There are only two of you. If I were to assimilate you into a small Borg collective, you could then assimilate others. The work would proceed more quickly."
"Sorry, but I like my plan better. We'll be back."

- Seven of Nine and Janeway

"Doesn't sound like Mr. Paris' tastes are very sophisticated."
"That's why we love having him around."

- Janeway (from 2371) and Chakotay after entering the Captain Proton holodeck simulation

"You're going to have the opportunity to study things no Human has ever seen before."
"Including some very large germs."

- Chakotay and Janeway (from 2371), after they narrowly escape a macrovirus

"If we restore the timeline, remind me to cancel Mr. Paris' holodeck privileges."

- Janeway (from 2371), after experiencing the Captain Proton holodeck program

"What's going on, and what the hell are you doing in that uniform?"

- Torres (from 2371), when Chakotay enters the transporter room with Janeway

"If Seven's idea works, Tuvok and those other crewmen will be fine."
"They'll still be stuck in the Delta Quadrant. If the temporal anomaly doesn't kill them something else will – the Borg, telepathic pitcher plants, macroviruses – the Delta Quadrant is a death trap!"
"What about the Temporal Prime Directive?"
"To hell with it!"

- Janeway (from 2371) and Chakotay, as the captain suggests realigning the ship with her timeframe to prevent Voyager from getting stuck in the Delta Quadrant

"That is not the future I have in mind."
"In that case… goodbye Chakotay."

- Chakotay and Seska

"I'd like to thank you now, for putting your doubts aside and helping me to put mine aside as well. Good luck to each of you."

- Janeway (from 2371), just before the timeline is restored

"For two people who started off as enemies, it seems to get to know each other pretty well, so I've been wondering… just how close do we get?"
"Let's just say there are some barriers we never cross."
"See you in the future."

- Janeway (from 2371) and Chakotay, as the captain wonders about the close friendship that she and Chakotay share

"Have you ever heard of a lightning rod? In about three seconds we're going to need one."

- Chakotay, to Torres after the timeline has been restored

Background information[]


  • The story for this episode was pitched to Executive Producer Kenneth Biller by freelance writer and former Voyager writing intern Mike Sussman during the show's sixth season. Biller bought the pitch, although the episode wasn't made until the following season. Sussman, who by this point had sold at least five stories and written two teleplays for the series, was hired as a Story Editor for that final season. [1]
  • Sussman’s original pitch was titled “Shatterday,” an homage to the premiere episode of the 1980’s reboot of The Twilight Zone. The story for that Twilight Zone installment was based on a short story[2] of the same name by Original Series writer Harlan Ellison. [3]
  • This episode resulted in legal action against Paramount after a writing team, who claimed to have pitched a similar idea to a member of the Voyager writing staff, threatened to sue for the alleged theft of their idea. As was customary, Paramount settled the lawsuit with the writing team for an undisclosed sum. [4]



  • In this episode, different parts of the ship feature different time periods, many of which are depicted in previous episodes:
    • In sickbay, The Doctor identifies the stardate as 49624, which falls between the events of "Innocence" and "Tuvix". He later states, erroneously, that he has been continually running for "almost three years".
    • On entering the bridge, Chakotay visits a time after Voyager has departed for the Badlands but before it has been displaced by the Caretaker's array. Scenes depicting this narrow time frame are featured in "Caretaker".
    • On entering engineering, Chakotay revisits the events of "Basics, Part II", finding Seska and the Kazon in control of the ship. He incorrectly identifies this as being "five years ago"; it was actually four years previously.
    • Chakotay and Janeway enter a corridor during the events of "Bliss", which Chakotay refers to when saying "this could be the day the telepathic pitcher plant put us all into comas." He also suggests it "might be the time aliens invaded our dreams," in a reference to the events of "Waking Moments", but the dimmed lights suggest otherwise.
    • In Cargo Bay 2, Chakotay tells Janeway "this looks like the time you forged a temporary alliance with the Borg," referencing the events of "Scorpion, Part II".
    • In another corridor, they encounter a macrovirus; Chakotay explains to Janeway that "they infected the ship a few years ago," referring to the events of "Macrocosm".
    • In the Holodeck, they find Paris' Captain Proton holoprogram running. It's not clear what time period they've found the holodeck to be in, but it could be shortly after the events of "Bride of Chaotica!", as Chaotica tells Janeway, who is playing as Arachnia, "you beguiled me once with your foul potions," referring to the events of that episode.
    • In the transporter room, Chakotay finds B'Elanna Torres and others in their Maquis uniforms, indicating that he is revisiting the events of "Caretaker", specifically, the moment after Torres is beamed off the Maquis ship.
  • Although not depicted, the events of several other episodes are also referenced in dialog:
    • Meeting the future Naomi and Icheb, Chakotay tells Janeway that "Naomi was the first child born on Voyager," referring to the events of "Deadlock", and that they "rescued Icheb from the Borg," referring to the events of "Collective".
    • Chakotay mentions Janeway's regret about never learning to play an instrument, which she told him in "Remember".
    • The future Naomi says "When I was little, there was nothing I wanted more than to be the assistant captain," a desire she first expresses in "Once Upon a Time".
    • Explaining who Seska was, Chakotay tells Janeway "she was a member of my crew, who turned out to be a Cardassian spy," referencing the events of "State of Flux".
    • Of the Borg, Chakotay warns Janeway "we'll run into them on a few occasions," in a reference to "Dark Frontier", "Collective", and "Unimatrix Zero".
    • Chakotay explains the origin of the astrometrics lab to Janeway, telling her that "Harry designed it, or will design it," in a reference to the events of "Year of Hell" where the lab first debuted.
    • Chakotay guesses that Janeway "burned the roast again." She had previously burned a replicated pot roast in "Ashes to Ashes".
  • Janeway claims that she "started out with a crew of a hundred and fifty three". However, when Stadi introduces Voyager to Paris in "Caretaker", she says the ship has a "crew complement of one hundred and forty one".
  • This episode is the last appearance of Doctor Chaotica (Martin Rayner) on the series. Robert Duncan McNeill was disappointed that he only appeared three times. "Personally, I would have liked to have done a lot more of Captain Proton," he admitted. "I think the studio and the producers felt like we had done it. We had reached such a pinnacle with it that to go back would be kind of doing it a disservice and undermining the specialness of the 'Bride of Chaotica!' episode in particular. They were hesitant to go back for fear of ruining everyone's memories of it, but I would've loved it." (Star Trek: Voyager Companion, p. 437) This episode is also the last appearance of Seska (played by Martha Hackett) and the Kazon.
  • Tuvok's death is depicted in this episode. It is the only time in the series his death is depicted.
  • Tuvok's last words, to Janeway ("I want you to know it has been an honor to serve with you, and to be your friend. Live long and prosper.") are a variation on Spock's last words to Kirk in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan ("I have been... and always shall be... your friend. Live long... and prosper."). Alexander Courage's theme from Star Trek can be heard in the background.
  • Although Seven of Nine's voice was evidently multi-tracked for this installment, the audio effect is missing from her early appearances at the beginning of season four.
  • Janeway intended to serve a pot roast during her dinner with Chakotay, despite the fact that Chakotay had been previously been a vegetarian in VOY: "Unity" and would later be referenced as such by Neelix in VOY: "Workforce". However, as it's a replicated meal, rather than an animal that was killed for food, Chakotay might not have reason to object to eating it.
  • Chakotay makes mention of "the Ocampans". In other episodes beginning with "Caretaker", whenever referring to the plural of this race, they are always called "the Ocampa", never "Ocampans." Janeway and Harry Kim also refer to Kes as an "Ocampan" in VOY: "The Gift" and "Fury".
  • The past version of Janeway discusses changing the future with Chakotay, expressing a desire to avoid being stranded in the Delta Quadrant, but ultimately concedes to Chakotay's point that the crew of Voyager have developed as a family as a result of their predicament. Despite this, in "Endgame", Admiral Janeway returns from the future to save Voyager from a future she cannot bear.
  • In the Astrometrics lab, the adult Icheb is a captain, indicating Chakotay’s earlier prediction that Icheb would one day “be running the ship” came true.


  • In the novel A Pocket Full of Lies, Chakotay learns that the temporal anomaly that caused this crisis was actually the result of a chroniton torpedo fired at Voyager by the Krenim in an attempt to understand the events of the Year of Hell and prevent it from disrupting the new Krenim Imperium; while their plan to regress Voyager back to a point before their involvement in the conflict failed, they were able to take the past Janeway prisoner, resulting in her becoming a leader in a protracted conflict on a disputed planet between the Rilnar and the Zahl with the goal of keeping her occupied. The novel also reveals that Chakotay completed a classified report on these events for the benefit of the Department of Temporal Investigations, attending a classified briefing about it once the ship returned to Earth.


  • This was the first original Star Trek episode to air in the 21st century (January 17, 2001).
  • U.S. Democratic Party leader and Georgia governor candidate Stacey Abrams,[5] who has spoken at length about how the philosophy of Star Trek has shaped her personal and political beliefs, is a fan of episodes about “space-time anomalies,” and this installment in particular. In 2019, a New York Times interview with Abrams about her love of Star Trek stated, “One of her favorite things is ‘Shattered,' the 157th episode of Voyager, in which the ship goes through a temporal rift that tantalizingly splits it into different timelines.” The article adds, “[Abrams] admires Captain Picard but reveres Admiral Janeway.” [6]
  • This episode was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Costumes For A Series.

Video and DVD releases[]

Links and references[]


Also starring[]

Guest Stars[]


Uncredited Co-Stars[]

Stunt Doubles[]



access port; Al-Batani, USS; Alpha Quadrant; analeptic; anetrizine; Antarian cider; assassination; assimilation; base pair; astrometrics; Ayala; backup plan; Badlands; bio-neural gel pack; black and white; Captain Proton; chroniton; chroniton-infused serum; chronokinetic surge; Dante's Inferno; Delta Quadrant; dozen; double helix; Earth; engagement gift; firstborn; gift; hypospray; inertial damper; intelligence file; Johnson, Mark; Jefferies tube; Kazon; Kazon-Nistrim; kidney; lie; liege; lightning; lightning rod; lines; litter; liver; macrovirus; Maquis; Milky Way Galaxy; Mollie; neurogenic field; neutrino; oak; paper; plot; poison; polarity; positronic relay; pot roast; pound; Queen Arachnia; Queen of the Spider People; reading list; replicator; rob; rulebook; runt; sabotage; Satan's Robot; senility; serial; spatial rift; Stadi; Taris Seti IV; telepathic pitcher plant; temporal barrier; temporal flux; Temporal Prime Directive; temporal sensor; thermal regulator; thunderstorm; toaster; transwarp conduit; tutor; Val Jean; Wildman, Samantha;

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