The Overlord wrote:
Why were the Maquis even on Voyager? Any sort of conflict between Maquis and the Star Fleet officers seemed to be muzzled right from the start, when the Maquis didn't seem to have a problem with Voyager remaining a Star Fleet vessel and were willing to wear Star Fleet uniforms and follow Star Fleet regulations.
Well, the Maquis were created for Voyager
, and seeded in TNG and DS9 specifically to set up the spinoff. It was the creators' intent that they would be a source of ongoing conflict and tension.
However, those creators were used to the autonomy they had in syndication. Since VGR was the flagship show of the newborn UPN network, it came under much closer scrutiny from the network executives, who wanted it to be nice and crowd-pleasing and accessible to casual viewers and not take a lot of risks with its storytelling. So the network pushed for a more TNG-like show without a lot of ongoing story arcs or internal conflicts, and so a lot of what the show's developers initially intended got suppressed or abandoned in practice. So, ironically, the concept created for VGR ended up being developed more fully on DS9.
Even aside from that, though, I've often felt it was an odd choice to create this whole backstory about the Maquis and the demilitarized zone specifically for a show that would send its characters far, far away from that DMZ, rendering their conflicts pretty much moot. I think it would've been a stronger show if Janeway had sought out other Caretaker abductees and assembled a refugee caravan of sorts (in fact, I think it's unconscionable that she made no such effort), and it would've made for some very interesting Maquis-based storylines if there'd been a Cardassian ship or two in the mix on a regular basis.