"The Void" was the name given by the crew of USS Voyager to a vast region in the Delta Quadrant where no star systems existed within 2,500 light years, and where all light from beyond was occluded from sensors by heavy concentrations of theta radiation.
The Void was inhabited by at least one species, whose physiology had evolved to survive in complete darkness. In addition, a spatial vortex existed within the Void, which led to an area just outside the region.
When Voyager entered the Void in 2375, they found themselves faced with a daunting two-year journey to cross it, expecting to leave it in 2377. The oppressive nothingness had an adverse effect on the morale of the crew, including Captain Janeway, who secluded herself in her quarters, obsessing over her decision four years previously which stranded Voyager in the Delta Quadrant. The crew also found themselves with an abnormal amount of free time on their hands, leading to high demand for the holodecks, and inspired Ensign Kim to compose a concerto on his clarinet titled, "Echoes of the Void."
After two months, the crew discovered that the Malon were using the vortex to dispose of antimatter waste, poisoning the indigenous species with theta radiation. To protect the aliens from the Malon, Captain Janeway conceived of a plan whereby a spread of photon torpedoes would be used to destroy the vortex. However, since the vortex could only be collapsed at the end which existed in the Void, where its dimensional radius was weakest, doing so would preclude the possibility of using the vortex to travel to the other side. Consequently, the crew modified their plan, deploying the torpedoes immediately upon entering the vortex. Reinforcing their aft shields to withstand the shock wave, the crew was able to safely navigate their way through the vortex, exiting beyond the boundary of the Void. (VOY: "Night")
- The Void was a plot element that executive producer Brannon Braga considered to be risky. He remarked, "To kick off the season, why not have Voyager hit a region of space that is utterly devoid of anything? It's a dangerous way to start a story, of course." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 31, No. 11, p. 27) However, Braga also hoped that the region would add a particularly realistic element to the episode. "These are the realities of space travel," he said, "and I hope it adds something of reality to the show. A little more down and dirty, maybe." (Star Trek Monthly issue 44, p. 13)
- "Night" was originally to have included a perilous, unusual planet amid The Void. "With 'Night', we originally had this expanse [of empty space] and then somewhere in the middle of it we were going to find this planet which was essentially going to be the alien equivalent of King Tut's tomb," said co-writer Joe Menosky. "We had this huge, ancient temple and these creatures which are half-alive and half-dead and came flying out like locusts and attacked the ship. I wrote at least 10 pages of that stuff, and that's what everybody was expecting to see. The outline and the story had been done, and we just looked at it and thought, 'This isn't working,' and it was all thrown out [....] We gutted the script and turned it into something else." (Star Trek Monthly issue 46, p. 15)
- The scripted description of the Void was memorable for visual effects supervisor Mitch Suskin. "We got a script that said, Voyager is going through a place that has no stars, no planets, nothing,'" Suskin recalled. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 31, No. 11, p. 48)
In the String Theory trilogy, it is revealed that the Void was caused by Voyager helping to seal a rift in space that opened up to Exosia, the home dimension of the Nacene. As the rift was sealed, the space that it occupied in space/time changed to accommodate thousands of years of another history, and the absence of light is due to the photonic energy in that area having been drained into the rift and unable to regenerate at this time.