In "Unimatrix Zero" (Season 6, Episode 26 and Season 7, Episode 27 of Star Trek: Voyager), one of Voyager's shuttles, the Delta Flyer, gets shot to pieces. But by the next episode (s7 ep2, "Imperfection"), they're using the Delta Flyer again. It's not like it was just an inconsistency that the writers were hoping that the audience would ignore - Tom Paris makes explicit reference to this at one point when he tells Captain Janeway that the last time she "went after the Borg" in that shuttlecraft, "it ended up in thousands of tiny pieces." So does anybody know how they have the Delta Flyer back/repaired at all, much less that quickly? It doesn't seem like it would have been able to recover at all from being as thoroughly destroyed as it was.
According to Wiki, Unimatrix Zero Part 2(S7,EP1) plays around Stardate 54014.4. The following EP2 plays around Stardate 54058.6 which is more than 2 weeks later. Initially, they designed and build the Delta Flyer from scratch in approximately less than a week under the pressure of the Malon also building a shuttle to steal Voyagers probe. While they don’t have the same pressure to get the Flyer back as fast as possible, I would still consider it being a very high priority. Hence, repair or rebuilding the flyer in about 2 weeks seems realistic and achievable.
So does anybody know how they have the Delta Flyer back/repaired at all, much less that quickly?
It didn't, its an airing error. With regards to production, codes and dates show that Imperfection was shot before Drive, but Drive was supposed to air before Imperfection, but never did and the order was retained on home media and in streaming services.
However, in-universe star dates, along with continuity errors produced by the flipped airing, show the true order that they should have been aired in.
Media thereafter probably gets set based on production codes rather than checking continuity of the stories contained within each episode.
"imperfection" was originally to air after "Drive," and a few errors exist due to the switch. First of all, the new Delta Flyer II is present, whereas it was properly introduced in "Drive," but most importantly, during the operation on Seven of Nine, Tom Paris is clearly seen wearing a wedding ring. Also, the stardates indicate that this episode takes place after "Repression" as well.
In-universe date 54058.6
Continuity & trivia
The new Delta Flyer is introduced in this episode, having been built to replace the Delta Flyer lost in "Unimatrix Zero". The new Delta Flyer, however, did appear in the previous episode "Imperfection" which aired beforehand but is set after this one.
This episode was originally supposed to air before "Imperfection," and a few errors exist due to the switch. First, the new Delta Flyer II is introduced, where as it was already seen in "Imperfection" as if it had existed for a while. Most importantly, Paris and Torres marry in this episode, but in "Imperfection," during the operation on Seven of Nine, Tom Paris is clearly seen wearing a wedding ring. Also, the stardates indicate that this episode takes place before "Imperfection" as well.
In-universe date 54129.4
Continuity and trivia
The events of this episode happen after those of "Drive" and "Repression" (the next two episodes in the season) as confirmed by the stardate given in the teaser, and by two apparent continuity errors:
- No reference is made to the new Delta Flyer having been built to replace the old one, destroyed in "Unimatrix Zero". It was properly introduced in "Drive".
- During the operation on Seven of Nine, Tom Paris is clearly seen wearing a wedding ring. Paris and Torres were married in "Drive".
Of course, Imperfection isn’t really the start of the seventh season. It was the fourth episode of the seventh season to be produced, following Drive and Repression. It was just awkwardly bumped up the broadcast order, resulting a variety of glaringly obvious continuity issues that the production team never even bother to acknowledge.
However, the most obvious continuity issue generated by bringing Imperfection forward in the season involves the action sequence with the Delta Flyer. The Delta Flyer last appeared at the climax of Unimatrix Zero, Part I, when Janeway used it as part of her daring ploy to sneak on board a Borg Cube and get assimilated. However, the Delta Flyer was destroyed in the effort. So the obvious question arises; how exactly could Janeway take a destroyed shuttle on a daring raid? The obvious answer is that the Delta Flyer was rebuilt in Drive, the episode directly following this one.
Imperfection even draws attention to the issue, rather than trying to hide it. “With all due respect, the last time you took the Delta Flyer to confront the Borg, it ended up in a couple of thousand pieces,” Paris advises Janeway after she comes up with a plan to raid a Borg debris field. Janeway responds, “I intend to bring it back in one piece this time.” Even inattentive viewers would notice that exchange. Even without knowing that Drive was produced earlier in the season, audience members might wonder how Paris found the time to rebuild it from “a couple of thousand pieces.”