Sometimes, writers strike gold with a brilliant pitch that sets the stage for a vastly compelling and hopefully long-lasting series — it’s when figuring out the details that things get tricky. For “Star Trek: Voyager” co-creators Rick Berman, Michael Piller, and Jeri Taylor, they had the unenviable task of convincing Paramount Television President Kerry McCluggage that they weren’t completely bending the “Trek” ethos until it broke. Despite the apparent bleakness of having a crew cut off from everyone they know back home and flinging them into the cold, unknown depths of space with zero support system other than themselves, the “Trek” veterans knew that they could pull off another hopeful, idealistic series.
That required some brainstorming, however, as they attempted to balance the strength of their original pitch — arguably one of the most exciting starting points of any “Trek” show, in which a cosmic entity known as the Caretaker (taking the form of an elderly human, portrayed by Basil Langton) abducts the USS Voyager and transports them 70,000 light years away — with the need to adjust on the fly. Their solution was to reference a second ancient lifeform named Suspiria, in the form of a young girl (Lindsay Ridgeway), and use her as a potential backup plan to get the crew home again much quicker. In author Stephen Edward Poe’s 1998 novel “A Vision of the Future – Star Trek: Voyager,” Berman explained their reasoning:
“Frankly we made a concession to finally finish the sales job … the other entity that we met in the pilot. It’s out there somewhere. We will try to find that entity and contact that entity more than once during the next several years because we know that the entity has the ability to send us back home.”