If you don't like Star Trek, or if you do and you haven't watched all of the TNG and Voyager episodes, don't click the cut. If you like it and haven't watched the episodes, the cut discussion concerns season 3, episode 8 of TNG and season 3, episode 5 of Voyager.
I watched TNG as a teenager, but my first real thoughtful exposure to Star Trek was via Voyager. If you clicked the cut and are unfamiliar with the two series, the first thing you need to know is that in the series space is divided into four quadrants: Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Gamma. The premise of Voyager is that the ship and crew become lost in the Delta Quadrant, 70,000 light-years from home, after being swept off course by an unknown force. In episode 03-05, "False Prophets," the crew discover that two Ferengi are in the Delta Quadrant and are taking advantage of a primitive culture for their own gain. Getting them back depends on dealing with a decaying wormhole which appears at unstable intervals. The Voyager crew also hope to use the wormhole to return home.
I always thought that this was a nifty story made up for the sake of keeping on track with the ongoing goal of getting Voyager home. I didn't realize that there was a connection to any previous Star Trek series.
In episode 3-8 of TNG, the Enterprise crew is among a group of negotiators for the rights to what is believed to be a stable wormhole leading to the Gamma Quadrant. La Forge and Data take a shuttle to explore the wormhole in order to confirm the information. The Ferengi, not wishing to be outdone or deceived, send two of their own men in a shuttle into the wormhole.
Eventually, La Forge and Data make it back--though not without facing some danger--and report that the wormhole is not stable and does not always lead to the Gamma Quadrant. The Ferengi have not returned home with them. They are trapped--in the Delta Quadrant.
I have to wonder if this was the original inspiration for the entire Voyager series!