|Holographic representation of a healthy Vidiian female (2372)|
The Vidiians were a species found in the Delta Quadrant. For two millennia the entire race suffered from a disease called the Phage that ate away at their DNA and organs. The Vidiian government is called the Vidiian Sodality.
Continuous organ transplantation led to the Phage-infected Vidiians having a wide variety of alien organs and skin on their body, resulting in a hideous appearance. When uninfected with the Phage, the Vidiians had a standard humanoid appearance. The Vidiians' facial appearance was similar to that of a Human with two eyes, a nose and a mouth, but they also possessed a swept back hairline and a slightly enlarged forehead with no eyebrows. There was also a slight ridge that ran from the hairline down the center of the forehead to the top of the nose.
The Vidiians were a civilized culture, renowned specifically for their artistry until the Phage attacked approximately 2,000 years ago. Their civilization was ravaged and they turned all their attention to treating the disease.
By the 24th century, they had been forced to use their technology to harvest other species' organs to replace their own as they failed. In their desire to defeat the Phage, the race lost all sense of moral perspective and began to remove organs from live subjects as necessary, although some exceptions objected to these practices and were prepared to help others. A profession called a Honatta had even developed that was dedicated to harvesting organs and biomatter from others, typically from corpses, for those suffering from the Phage. (VOY: "Phage")
The first Starfleet encounter with the Vidiians occurred in 2371 when the USS Voyager visited an asteroid used by the Vidiians as an organ storage facility. A Talaxian crewmember, Neelix, had his lungs removed and implanted into one of the two Vidiians on the asteroid. Consequently, Captain Janeway was faced with killing the Vidiian to recover the organs. Feeling that this would be morally wrong, she agreed to release them with a warning to their species not to interfere with Voyager again. The Vidiians agreed to use their advanced medical technology to transplant a lung from an Ocampan crewmember, Kes, into Neelix. (VOY: "Phage")
Later that year, B'Elanna Torres was captured by Sulan, the chief surgeon of the Vidiians, and separated into her Human and Klingon halves. The Klingon half proved resistant to the Phage but was killed as the other captive Starfleet personnel escaped from the Avery III mines. (VOY: "Faces")
Another encounter occurred due to a temporal incursion. In this encounter, a future version of Kes, driven mad by her enhanced powers, became convinced that Voyager had corrupted her with ideas of exploration, prompting her to develop her mental powers to such an extent that her people would be afraid of her, and became determined to change her history. Once in the past, she contacted a Vidiian ship, and agreed to give them Voyager if they would take her past self home. However, Janeway realized what was happening and confronted the future Kes, killing her as Voyager escaped the Vidiian ship. (VOY: "Fury")
The species was encountered three times during 2372. In the first instance, Voyager rescued Denara Pel, a dying Vidiian hematologist. Her condition was stabilized by The Doctor and she proved to be the first Vidiian who disapproved of the practice of organ harvesting, even assuring Torres that she didn't want her to go through an operation that would help Pel if she didn't want to. Pel and The Doctor developed a relationship (the first time The Doctor had ever developed romantic feelings), but she left Voyager to help her people, although they both treasured the time they spent together. (VOY: "Lifesigns")
The second encounter was less positive. After passing through a subspace anomaly, Voyager was mysteriously duplicated. One of the two duplicates was attacked by a Vidiian vessel and invaded by hundreds of Vidiians. With numerous crewmembers such as Tuvok now dead, the Captain Janeway of that ship destroyed Voyager rather than let it fall into enemy hands. As a result, almost the entire crew of that Voyager was killed, with the exception of Harry Kim and the newly-born Naomi Wildman, who were ordered to escape to the surviving duplicate Voyager (their counterparts having died due to a hull breach and birth complications, respectively). (VOY: "Deadlock")
Several months later, Captain Janeway and Chakotay were bitten by an insect while exploring a planet and were infected by a virus. The Doctor was unable to find a cure and only exposure to the planet's ecosystem held the symptoms at bay. With no other option, Voyager continued its journey, leaving the two officers behind.
Some weeks later Voyager encountered a Vidiian convoy. After initially avoiding contact, Tuvok decided to ask them about the virus. Shortly afterwards they were contacted by Denara Pel, who agreed to give them the anti-viral agent that the Vidiians had developed many years before.
Upon meeting the convoy, the Vidiians attacked, but Denara Pel, shocked at her own species' actions, offered to transport the anti-viral agent anyway, talking briefly with The Doctor one last time before they parted ways forever. Voyager then disabled the Vidiian ships and returned to pick up Janeway and Chakotay. (VOY: "Resolutions")
In 2375 the Think Tank stated they had cured the Phage. (VOY: "Think Tank") In doing so, the Think Tank also stated that "you wouldn't recognize them now," insinuating that they had returned to their pre-phage pursuits, ideals, and morals.
Vidiians had a very sophisticated device which was a combination weapon, medical scanner and surgical instrument. With this device, Vidiian organ harvesters would attack a victim who the device indicated had healthy and Vidiian-compatible organs or tissues, and transport such bio-material from the victim into the transporter device used. The organs were then transplanted into another Vidiian requiring organ transplants. They also had force field technologies, including the ability to cloak the force field as an object, like a rock face. They had an advanced medical technology, superior to even that of the Federation, but this was not enough to cure the Phage. Their anti-starship weaponry included hypothermic charges. (VOY: "Deadlock")
- The Vidiians were originally supposed to be called the Vaphorans, but their name was changed because the original was considered too difficult to pronounce. "Phage", the episode that introduced the species, was shot using the original name, and the new name was looped in post-production.
- According to the Star Trek: Star Charts, on page 78, the homeworld of the Vidiians was named Vidiia Prime. This was the main planet in the Vidiia system. Vidiia Prime was a Class M world. On page 83, it was said that first contact with the Vidiians occurred on stardate 48532.