It’s worth noting that “Star Trek” was shifting over to CGI technology in the late 1990s, a dramatic change from the physical models the franchise typically employed throughout “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and most of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.” CGI looked different but allowed the writers to go a little wilder with their spaceship concepts. The exterior of the Dauntless was designed by longtime Trek designer Rick Sternbach, and it was rendered in 3-D by Adam “Mojo” Lebowitz. The same was done for the Voyager, as both ships would use the slipstream tech.
The CGI, however, presented new challenges. Special Effects supervisor Ron B. Moore (no relation to longtime “Star Trek” writer Ronald D. Moore) recalled the U-turn scene and wondered how a ship that was traveling at many thousands of times the speed of light could make a hasty about-face without looking silly. His first idea was sound. Moore said:
“It’s described that the Voyager would make a U-turn. I just couldn’t see that. We’re going a ludicrous speed. It would take a really wide turn at this speed to make a U-turn. I tried to tell them that we’ll cut to normal space, we’ll see the Voyager pop out, and then we’ll go back to the slipstream. And [then] see the Dauntless is still continuing, so we have a direct cut between what the two ships are doing.”
Cutting in and out of the slipstream “tunnel,” as it were. That makes sense. Spinning a ship around and going back to where it came from, however, would have messed with the planned geography of the scene. Also, Rick Berman, one of the show’s creators, objected to the “tunnel exit” effect, thinking all the action should take place inside the slipstream. Moore hated that.