The Voth were a saurian species, presumably having evolved from beings originally native to the planet Earth, but later coming to reside in the Delta Quadrant. A significantly advanced species, the Voth were cold-blooded creatures, had a superior sense of smell, and skin pigmentation which altered according to moods.
Adult Voth were slightly taller than adult Humans, had six-clawed manipulatory digits (three on each hand), and their eyes were protected by heavy bony brow ridges which had a central crest rising to a conical protrusion on the back of the skull. This extra area may account for the larger cranial capacity of the Voth compared to Humans. Human cranial capacity was 22% less than that of a typical Voth. Most importantly, they had 47 genetic markers that were identical to Humans and many Terran creatures throughout Earth's history.
They were capable of entering into hibernative states to protect themselves from harm. Furthermore, as already mentioned, they possessed a superior sense of smell which was achieved through the Dilitus lobe which allowed them to enjoy the sulfur pools of Hokath. The Voth were also able to fire spines from an area on the lower arm which had a paralytic effect.
Society and philosophy
The Voth were governed by a Ministry of Elders. At the heart of their society lay their Doctrine, their guiding principles, which specified that the Voth were the first lifeforms in the quadrant, and that they originated in that area of space. In addition, another clause declared that non-indigenous beings had no rights. Heresy against Doctrine was an arrestable and serious offense.
Interestingly, Doctrine also proclaimed breaking the transwarp threshold would be dangerous to the Voth and its society. The race was held back millenia as a consequence. However, someone took a chance, and managed to take the race into a new era.
Based on the remains of Voyager crewmember Hogan, Voth scientist Forra Gegen concluded his long worked-on Distant Origin Theory, stating that the Voth had evolved on Earth. This was later proven by Captain Kathryn Janeway and The Doctor, who traced both species' DNA back to a common ancestor that lived among the dinosaurs.
The Ministry of Elders arrested Gegan for heresy, accusing him of preaching against Doctrine. Despite Gegan's protests that he was merely conducting a scientific expedition, the Elders tried to accuse him of being reckless, that his "casual theorizing" was damaging the Doctrine, intentionally or otherwise. Scientists loyal to the Elders wanted to say that although the data were compelling, Gegan's interpretations weren't clear. The Elders were reluctant to punish Gegan as such, but were more concerned in getting him to retract his claims. Voth society was not willing to accept such a radical concept – even Gegan's daughter was skeptical of it.
One Voth Elder went as far as to declare that if she accepted this theory, she would be admitting her race fled in terror from Earth, scratching and clawing their way to the part of space where the city ship is now, that her race had no birthright, no legacy – the concept appalled and disgusted her. Commander Chakotay attempted to persuade her that surviving among some of the fiercest creatures in Earth's history, creating a culture, language and technology, leaving Earth when it faced peril and going into space, and journeying to the Delta Quadrant to start a new life was the definition of the Voth ancestors, the struggle that made the race what it was – its heritage.
It was not enough – the Ministry of Elders convicted Gegan of heresy, and threatened to imprison him and the crew of the Voyager on a prison colony. Gegan could not live with that on his conscience, and retracted his claims to save the crew. It is unknown if anyone else has since pursued the research into this theory. (VOY: "Distant Origin")
Technologically advanced, they possessed transwarp capabilities, as well as being able to scan from a distance of over ninety light years with significant accuracy, even down to the individual lifeform readings.
The Voth city ship was massive and extremely powerful in comparison with Starfleet vessels – the Voth were able to beam the USS Voyager into a chamber inside their vessel which could clearly house many more starships. This transport was accomplished despite Voyager's shields being raised. The Voth were also able to take command of the ship's computer, shut the majority of systems down, and take primary power offline. The dampening field used to create this effect managed to render tricorders, communicators, and phasers useless.
The Voth also had spatial displacement capabilities – using interphase as a form of cloaking technology that moved their starships or even individuals out of phase. Their personal spatial displacement system could be disrupted by altering a phaser to a dispersion frequency of approximately 1.85 GHz.
- The Voth resemble, both conceptually and visually, the Silurian race from Doctor Who, in which the Silurians, like the Voth, are an advanced reptile species who evolve on Earth before Humanity and subsequently disappear. In addition, both "Doctor Who and the Silurians" and "Distant Origin" use a small hand-held globe of prehistoric Earth as a plot point. There is also a strong physical resemblance between the costumes and make up used for the two alien races.
- The Voth made a brief appearance in the short story "Brief Candle" in the Distant Shores anthology as well as mentioned in the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds novels as a possible candidate to combat the Borg by the Q.
- A similar storyline was found in the First Frontier novel which has a race known as Clan Ru who are evolved from Troodons.