An Emotional Scene In Star Trek: Voyager Had Scarlett Pomers Fighting Back Tears

In the "Star Trek: Voyager" episode "Once Upon a Time" (November 11, 1998), the Delta Flyer — manned by Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill), Tuvok (Tim Russ), and Ensign Wildman (Nancy Hower) — crash lands on a remote, uninhabited planet and gets buried under three kilometers of rock. Wildman is grievously injured, and it's only a matter of time before she succumbs to her injuries, lest she return to sickbay back on board the Voyager. However, thanks to an ion storm, the Voyager cannot immediately locate the Flyer. The clock is ticking. 

On board the Voyager, no one seems equipped to tell Wildman's young daughter Naomi (Scarlett Pomers) about the danger her mother is in. Neelix (Ethan Phillips), the ship's ineffectual morale officer, decides that the best way to tell Naomi is to ... not tell her. Neelix takes Naomi to the ship's holodeck to enact a weird-ass children's book program called "The Adventures of Flotter," a fairy tale about Flotter the water being (Wallace Langham), Trevis the tree (Justin Louis), and the Ogre of Fire. It seems that the Flotter tales have been passed down through many generations and that Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) partook as a girl. 

Eventually, Naomi finds out about her mother, but not from Neelix. She begins spiraling into sadness. Neelix finally confesses that this may be a devastatingly sad moment for her and that it's okay for Naomi to be afraid. Neelix even shares a personal story about his own perished family. Needless to say, Naomi and Wildman are reunited by the end of the episode. In 2019, interviewed Pomers about playing Naomi, and she remembered "Once Upon a Time" most sharply. It seems that this was the most intense acting she had to do on the show. 

Crying with Neelix

When asked what scenes from "Voyager" stand out in her head the most, Pomers was quick to answer: 

"It's a scene from 'Once Upon a Time.' Naomi thinks her mom might be dead and she thinks her life is in danger after they've crashed their ship. [...] Naomi finds out that this has happened and she's mad at Neelix for not telling her this is going on. And there's a scene after that where I'm in the holodeck and Neelix comes to find me and talk to me, and in the scene, Neelix is talking about how he lost his family." 

This was a moment for Pomers, usually only asked to play a joyous, playful kid, to actually become emotional. It was a dark moment, and the character didn't seem to have many people willing to be a parent during it. Her actual mother was injured and absent. 

Pomers pointed out that she wasn't the only one who finally had a dramatic moment. Phillips, she recalled, finally got to be emotional as well. Neelix was more typically a comic relief character. Not here. Pomers said: 

"Ethan Phillips is one of the funniest dudes on the planet, but he's such a great actor, too, and he didn't get too many chances to show just how good a dramatic actor he was on that show because he was kind of the quirky, funny Neelix. But he was really, really good in that scene, and I remember that it was hard not to cry while we were doing that scene because he was so emotional and it was so real."

Pomers would appear in 15 additional "Voyager" episodes after "Once Upon," and her character continued to grow. In novels and expanded universe lore, Naomi would become a Starfleet officer. Pomers, meanwhile, retired from acting in 2007.