Star Trek: Voyager (1995–2001)
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Prime Factors 

The crew encounters a hedonistic alien race with the ability to travel through the galaxy at will -- an ability that may be the key to Voyager's returning home.


Les Landau


Gene Roddenberry (based upon "Star Trek" created by), Rick Berman (created by) | 7 more credits »




Episode complete credited cast:
Kate Mulgrew ... Capt. Kathryn Janeway
Robert Beltran ... Cmdr. Chakotay
Roxann Dawson ... Lt. B'Elanna Torres (as Roxann Biggs-Dawson)
Jennifer Lien ... Kes
Robert Duncan McNeill ... Lt. Tom Paris
Ethan Phillips ... Neelix
Robert Picardo ... The Doctor (credit only)
Tim Russ ... Lt. Tuvok
Garrett Wang ... Ensign Harry Kim
Ronald Guttman ... Gathorel Labin
Yvonne Suhor ... Eudana
Andrew Hill Newman ... Jaret Otel
Martha Hackett ... Seska
Josh Clark ... Lt. Joe Carey


Voyager makes friends with the Sikaris, a hospitable race who values stories and literature from other races. When Janeway realizes the Sikaris have the ability to 'fold' space, instantly transporting people 40,000 light years, she is desperate for the technology, but the Sikaris law forbids it. Several Maquis on Voyager refuse to give up on this chance to get over halfway home and try to make a covert trade. Written by Meribor

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

24th century | See All (1) »


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The events of this episode represent the second time (aside from the series premiere) that Voyager's crew encounters the genuine possibility of returning home. See more »


SPOILER: When Tuvok asks B'Elanna and Seska to hold off on activating the space folding device until he has revealed to Janeway that he illicitly obtained it, what Tuvok means is that Janeway will make the decision as to whether they go ahead with it. Therefore, when Janeway prepares to leave the planet right as B'Elanna and Seska realize they can only activate the device near the planet, it is false for them to think they must do it right away without telling anyone before forever losing the chance.

Once Tuvok tells Janeway about the device, she might decide to return to the planet to use it, and it won't matter that in the meantime they've left orbit. In fact, the engineering department would probably need to spend a good deal of time studying the device while away from the planet, so as not to rouse suspicions of Gath who asked them to leave. But if B'Elanna really wanted to stall for time, she could just tell Janeway that Tuvok was on his way to the bridge with important information and ask to hold off on firing the engines. See more »


Captain Kathryn Janeway: I've seen how quickly you get tired of your pleasures. All that interests you is what's new and unexplored. After a day or two, it becomes commonplace.
Gath: Yes?
Captain Kathryn Janeway: We prefer permanence - the reward of relationships that endure, and grow deeper with the passing of time.
Gath: You would lose those notions if you stayed with us.
Captain Kathryn Janeway: You may be right. And that's why we have to leave.
See more »


Referenced in Star Trek: Picard: The Impossible Box (2020) See more »


Star Trek: Voyager - Main Title
Written by Jerry Goldsmith
Performed by Jay Chattaway
See more »

User Reviews

Wow...the crew is actually rather morally corrupt...
4 February 2015 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"Prime Factors" is the second episode in a row where the Prime Directive actually seems to mean very little to some of the crew of the Voyager. This is pretty odd--especially considering what sticklers they usually are in other episodes.

The show begins with the Sikarians inviting the crew to their planet so that they can spoil them and heap lots of hospitality upon them. So far so good. However, Ensign Kim learns that these people also have the ability to fold space--enabling them to go light-years all at once. Naturally the Voyager crew is thrilled about getting their hands on this technology. But the Sikarian host isn't about to give them anything--and his motives for being so friendly suddenly bother the Captain and she insists on leaving the planet. But with a rival Sikarian who IS willing to make the trade, the Prime Directive is about to be tested--and some of the crew (with a couple surprises) seem more than willing to compromise their deepest held beliefs.

As I said, the show is inconsistent--especially as normally Janeway and the rest are amazingly touchy-feely and abide to the Prime Directive so strongly. So, it isn't that their violating it bothers me, it's the selectiveness of this and that shows indifferent writing for the show. Worth seeing but it really makes little sense when seen in light of the overall show style and structure.

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English | Greek

Release Date:

20 March 1995 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby | Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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