I will assume we’re all familiar with one of the popular gripes/issues with Voyager and no, for once - it’s not a Tuvix thread.

Today we’re defending the torpedo/shuttle count.

In many of the discussions on this topic (especially regarding the torpedoes) key context is often ignored or otherwise not mentioned.

So let’s start with said Torpedoes.

The line about Voyager not being able to replace their 38 (of a total 123 fired over the series) torpedoes once they’re gone was in ‘The Cloud’, the fifth episode of the series.

At this point in the series Janeway was (as established in the conversation about Torres’ Starfleet procedure breaching dilithium refinery in the previous episode) reluctant to step outside of Starfleet procedures. Especially I would imagine for the purposes of replicating antimatter based weaponry for obvious explosion related reasons.

Voyager was also hesitant to trade technology at this stage, a policy that clearly was relaxed as the truly dire reality of their situation was realised - evidenced by them giving holo technology to the Hirogen amongst various other trades (successful, or attempted as was the case with the Malon).

From Voyager’s perspective at this stage also the major races they had encountered in the Delta Quadrant were either primative, or wanted to steal organs. Neither making for great allies. Janeway was likely also conscious that they could stumble into borg space at any moment and so would want to conserve their munitions as much as possible.

We see a number of ‘Voyager trades with people’ episodes as the show goes on and the most relevant one here is the (otherwise shameful) episode Retrospect where Voyager is seen actively trading and shopping for weapons.

With this context, it’s easy to see how the torpedoes ended up being replenished despite the line in episode 5. They traded for the raw materials or components and built them.

As for shuttles, they literally built the Delta Flyer - a highly experimental Tom Paris napkin scribble of a design within a week. Then blew it up and built it again with even more experimental technology.

They clearly had a lot of practice (re) building shuttles by season 5 to pull that off!

  • lemillionsocks@beehaw.org
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    1 year ago

    Yeah it’s reasonable to assume that as the series went on the situation with energy and resources just became less dire as voyager found their footing in the delta quadrant as you’ve eloquently put. At the end of the day they have one of the most advanced federation science vessels in the fleet, replicators, and a crack team of engineers with nothing but time. The earlier caution was Janeway rightfully being overly conservative with her resources given the uncertainty of where they were traveling and the hostility of the space they landed in.

    • catshit_dogfart
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      1 year ago

      Aside from that, it just makes for a better story. They wouldn’t want to hamstring their ability to write action scenes because of some line from the first season.

    • OpticalDataOPM
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      1 year ago

      Another potential angle is that you probably don’t want to advertise on the bridge, in the middle of a battle, when your ship is half renegade Maquis that the Federation can build torpedoes from scratch on any new starship.

      If they’d made it back home as quickly as they hoped, every Intrepid class would become a massive target.

  • blevok
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    1 year ago

    This is unfortunately a loosing battle. I’ve been explaining how it makes perfect sense for years, but as soon as another person starts their voyager rewatch, another thread pops up about how they said they can’t replace torpedos, and others jump on board to call it a plot hole.

    It is indeed all about trade, but it’s really about one specific thing: antimatter. Three things are required to keep the ship running almost indefinitely: antimatter, dilithium, and deuterium. With those things they can manufacture all the parts they need and keep the ship, shuttles, and torpedos flying. Dilithium can be mined and processed using the refinery that b’elanna built from the secondary impulse reactor. Deuterium can be collected in space or extracted from sea water. But antimatter takes massive infrastructure and energy to produce.

    In the beginning, they weren’t sure if there would be any opportunities to acquire more antimatter, and without it they’re boned, in both torpedo/shuttle production and ship propulsion. But they soon found out that the delta quadrant was just a big flea market filled with warp capable races. And yes, there may have been a moral/procedural issue in theory, but i’m pretty sure Janeway would have traded with the bad guys if it came down to the ship not being able to fly anymore.

    So after they realized they can get more antimatter just about anywhere, there were no more issues at all. They just had to plan things out to make sure they wouldn’t run out in the middle of a void or something. It would have been nice for someone to mention it directly on-screen, but they didn’t and here we are, so we just have to keep fighting the good fight for the benefit of all.

  • Value SubtractedMA
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    1 year ago

    Yeah, showing that Janeway was willing to trade with arms dealers was the best thing to come out of “Retrospect,” which is the faintest of faint praise.

    I do wish there was more clarity on exactly what can and cannot be replicated, and how much it “costs” to do so, but that’s a franchise-wide issue.

  • MentallyExhausted@reddthat.com
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    1 year ago

    Chakotay also says in “Alice” that they have a full complement of shuttles, so they definitely had sustainable manufacturing capabilities eventually.

    Would have been nice to have gotten at least a vague reference to it over seven seasons, though…

    • OpticalDataOPM
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      1 year ago

      I mean, I think the entire episode which revolves around how quick they can build the Delta Flyer is that reference…

      • halcyoncmdr@lemmy.world
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        1 year ago

        100% that is a reference to being able to build new shuttles. The only plot hole is in some people’s heads not being able to apply context and requiring things to be explicitly said to counter a different explicit statement, which is ridiculous.

        The Delta Flyer was clearly more capable than a standard shuttle, that was why it was necessary. If they can build that in a week then clearly a standard shuttle isn’t an issue with the raw materials. At episode 5, access to those materials is questionable, throughout the show we clearly see they can do things they would never have been able to do at the beginning. No idea why people get so stuck on the shuttles and torpedoes while the ship itself looks like it just came out of drydock 99% of the time.