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AdmiralScreed December 4 2011 03:25 AM

Does It Get Better???
Hi folks.

I just recently began watching Voyager on Netflix. So far I am 13 episodes into the show (14 if you count Caretaker as 2 episodes), and while I am enjoying the show and I like the cast, there hasn't been a single episode that has really, really stood out from the rest. Episodes have ranged from below average (Emanations, Cathexis), to average (Caretaker, Heroes and Demons), to slightly above average (Parallax, Prime Factors, State of Flux). The best episode so far has been Eye of the Needle with the Romulan scientist. While it was a very good episode, it's still nowhere near as good as some of the first season episodes from TNG (Datalore, The Neutral Zone) and DS9 (Duet, In the Hands of the Prophets). So, without spoiling anything, can you folks tell me if Voyager is going to significantly improve? Don't get me wrong, I am enjoying this show quite a bit, but I just don't feel like the writers have taken too many risks. There haven't been any standout episodes so far, and that makes me a little worried. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me, and remember: NO SPOILERS!

Gep Malakai December 4 2011 04:18 AM

Re: Does It Get Better???
It has its moments later on, but significantly? No. The show changes, but does so mostly by dropping almost all of the season 1 Delta Quadrent issues (things like the replicator rations, the Maquis integration, the political state of the Delta Quadrent in regards to the Kazon, and so forth.) It also eventually ends up focusing most heavily on the Doctor and a character who shows up in season four – think how the TNG films became the Picard and Data Show, for example, to the exclusion of developing any other characters. Similar situation. Voyager has been described as "TNG Lite," and that's pretty accurate. It's fun for what it is, but it never becomes groundbreaking TV.

If you want to keep watching, you should be warned that season 2 and I think 3 are widely regarded as weaker than season 1. Take that as you will.

You_Will_Fail December 4 2011 04:19 AM

Re: Does It Get Better???
You aren't going to see THAT many risks taken in Voyager overall although there are a few episodes that are quite different for Trek here and there.
I think Voyager's first season is actually fairly solid and better than their second season. "Prime Factors", "Phage", "Faces" and "Jetrel" were all very strong episodes IMO. What makes those episodes inferior in your opinion compared with DS9 and TNG's first season? (which I felt was poorer than VOY's although I do like DS9 and TNG more overall).

Voyager's quite distinctively split between "early" and "late" Voyager for me. It gets kind of revamped in season 4 and most people prefer season 4 + Voyager to the first 3 seasons. You may lose a little bit of patience in season 2 and 3 but starting with Season 3 Episode 21, the show goes on a very long quality streak into a rather excellent season 4 buoyed by a new character who became my favorite evar Trek character.

Overall, I would say lower your expectations from DS9 and don't expect it to be as involved or complex or take as many risks. I watched Voyager after DS9 and became quite annoyed with all the missed opportunities and continuity errors. But once I was able to just accept the fact the show didn't live up to its full potential, I realized how much I actually enjoyed the show. Despite it being less cohesive overall than DS9 (my favorite Trek show) it actually has one more episode in my favorite 20 episodes.

billcosby December 4 2011 04:22 AM

Re: Does It Get Better???
I'm sure I'm in the minority on this forum, but it doesn't really start to shine until season 3... and minus TOS, is something that could be said of all the Trek series.

I was able to enjoy Voy by starting at S3 then watching S1 and S2 after S7.

Lynx December 4 2011 08:29 AM

Re: Does It Get Better???
Season 2 is brilliant and Season 3 is good too, after that it starts to go down. As for Season 1, I find it good.

Guy Gardener December 4 2011 08:47 AM

Re: Does It Get Better???
After season 3, it's not the same show. Which is completely different to say that it is more awful than what had come before.

Mage December 4 2011 10:01 AM

Re: Does It Get Better???
Seasons 4 and 5 also had some very good episodes, where the acting and writing were good. Unfortunatly, the show never came to a level as good as TNG and DS9 were. My girlfriend, who is a big Niner, could watch 3 or 4 episodes of Ds9 after each other, while watching two Voyager episodes after each other is a rarity.

We've discussed this together a lot, and for us (like most fans) the biggest issue is character-credibelity and plot-lines. As she says: Alien of the week gets boring.

The second season had us revisitin the Kazon situation regularly, and gave us a bit of an arc. Things like this were lost after season 3, when Voyager became a true episode by episode series.

AdmiralScreed December 4 2011 02:08 PM

Re: Does It Get Better???
Thanks for everyone's input. It sounds like most people are saying that the show does improve as it goes along, but that it never really reaches the heights of TNG or DS9. That's a little disappointing to hear. Nevertheless, I am enjoying the show right now, so if it's only going to get better than that's fine by me. I've heard that the Borg appear later in the show, so I've got something to look forward to.

tafkats December 4 2011 02:15 PM

Re: Does It Get Better???
I don't know if I'd say it improves. It has its moments throughout, but around Season 5, it really starts to seem like the writers were on autopilot. I started to feel like the only real reason to keep watching was to see which Captain Janeway would be appearing in this episode, because she was written so erratically and inconsistently that she started to seem like two or three different characters.

The Dominion December 4 2011 02:48 PM

Re: Does It Get Better???
Season 3 was atrocious, skip it outside of Future's End.

TheGodBen December 4 2011 04:37 PM

Re: Does It Get Better???
In my non-humble opinion, season 1 was the best and season 3 was the worst. I also agree with tafkats that from season 5 on it felt like the show was on autopilot, which doesn't mean that it was bad, just that the show wasn't taking many risks anymore, which is particularly upsetting if you compare the show to DS9. There are plenty of good and great episodes in the show, so it's worthwhile to watch, but it doesn't undergo the same radical improvement that TNG and DS9 made from their first seasons.

The Dominion December 4 2011 05:42 PM

Re: Does It Get Better???
I agree with TheGodBen. In retrospect I like the first two seasons the best because the Kazon arc keeps things going for me. Absolutely nothing was going on in the series in season 3 after that arc ended. And then in the later seasons they added the Borg and Species 8472, but neither crystallized into an actual arc, just a bunch of episodes.

You_Will_Fail December 4 2011 06:16 PM

Re: Does It Get Better???

The Dominion wrote: (Post 5383584)
Season 3 was atrocious, skip it outside of Future's End.

Season 3 wasn't good but I'd hardly say that "Future's End" was the only episode worth seeing. In fact, I thought "Future's End" was a pretty poor two parter and I've never even rewatched it.
Season 3 had "Remember", "Unity", "Before and After", "Real Life", "Distant Origin" and "Scorpion" which were all of a high quality imo. Its just unfortunate that the rest of the episodes aren't all just mediocre or OK but a good chunk are just plain bad.

Interesting Godben thinks that season 1 is the best. I certainly feel that season 1 is strong for Voyager. There's a sense of freshness about the show and the characters are written consistently well with "Prime Factors" a highlight. Everyone gets a chance to shine and I always found the Vidiians an appealing villain.

King Daniel Beyond December 4 2011 06:23 PM

Re: Does It Get Better???
Yes, it gets better.

The Dominion December 5 2011 12:29 AM

Re: Does It Get Better???

You_Will_Fail wrote: (Post 5383851)
Season 3 had "Remember", "Unity", "Before and After", "Real Life", "Distant Origin" and "Scorpion" which were all of a high quality imo. Its just unfortunate that the rest of the episodes aren't all just mediocre or OK but a good chunk are just plain bad.

Oh yeah, Unity was one of my favorites. The later episodes of season 3 did get a little better, especially the ones where they started to introduce the Borg.

Future's End wasn't as great of an episode as it was a fun episode. Why I recommend it is because it's one of the most important episodes to Voyager's continuity, because it brings in the portable holo-emitter.

Really when you think of it, only three things of consequence happened in Voyager before the end:

1. The Kazon arc (which ended somewhat anticlimactically)
2. Getting the portable emitter and introducing time travel shenanigans.
3. Trading Kes for Seven.

Nothing else was really relevant to how the story ended or began, it was just filler.

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