Stranded in the Delta Quadrant, Voyager often turned to help from unlikely sources, including the Romulans in the first season episode “Eye of the Needle.” Finding a wormhole capable of relaying messages back to the Alpha Quadrant, Voyager is surprised when the first presence they make contact with is Romulan Captain Telek R’Mor (Vaughn Armstrong). Janeway strikes a rapport with Telek, and the two captains overcome their mutual distrust for one another in a gesture of cooperation and good faith.
At this point in “Star Trek” history, the Romulans hadn’t enjoyed the evolution into allies of the Federation that the Klingons had, and Telek brings a heightened level of tension and paranoia to the proceedings. However, this gives way to a touching chemistry between Telek and Janeway, a rare foil for the seasoned, no-nonsense Starfleet officer that makes Telek stand far above most guest stars on the show. As with most things “Voyager,” this budding dynamic would take a bittersweet turn, but Telek is one of the more memorable one-off characters in the series early years that would help set the overarching tone.