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Old January 15 2008, 04:07 PM   #134
Fleet Admiral
Location: The Digital Garden
Re: What would have improved Voyager?

Brennyren said:
exodus said:
Brennyren said:

This is how I see it: you can justify the lack of conflict and the lack of any real desperation on Voyager any way you like, but at the end of the day, the question has to be: if there is no conflict amongst the crew, if there is no desperation in Voyager's situation, then what, exactly, is it that distinguishes VOY from every other Star Trek series? And the answer, I think, is "not much."


What made TNG different from TOS?
Political correctness, for one thing.

Seriously? Well, they operated much more in "settled" space and less on the frontier. They were more answerable to Starfleet. They were often described as the "flagship" of Starfleet, which meant that they were more often called on to act as diplomats. Come to think of it, they were somewhat more likely to use diplomacy as the solution to a problem. (Which is not for one minute to suggest that Kirk & Co. were incapable of diplomacy, of course, but that, if memory serves, they defaulted to more action-oriented solutions.)

What Made DS9 different for those two?
Given their location (on a station rather than on a ship), problems tended to come to them, rather than the reverse. Also because of the primary location, Sisko had less control over every element under his command than did ships' captains. Non-Federation aliens tended to play a bigger role, and to be more oppositional. Religion played a much larger role, and even received a certain degree of respect. People had relationships that lasted more than one episode. Oh, and there was a major ongoing WAR.

(Imagine what I could come up with if I were actually a Niner!)

What made ENT different from the others that came before it?
Not nearly enough, if you ask me. But then, I'm no ENT fan.

TOS had a Russian & a Japanese man as part of the bridge crew. Guess what, no conflict.
Why should there have been? Russia's war with Japan happened 400 years before TOS.

TNG has a Klingon as a crew member, no conflict.
Worf would hardly have been assigned to a Federation starship if he couldn't work with humans. But it's inaccurate to say that there was no conflict. More than once, Worf's preferences for warrior-style solutions put him at odds with his crewmates. More than once, Worf found his loyalty to the Federation conflicted with his loyalty to the race he was born to. And do you remember the episode where Worf refused to donate some genetic whatsis to save the life of a Romulan, simply because he was a Romulan and Worf was a Klingon? Worf might have been a Federation officer, but he was anything but a tame Klingon-in-forehead-only.

If you didn't get conflict from a Klingon,
As I believe I've demonstrated, you're arguing from a false premise here.

why would there be conflict from the Maquis, who were already Federation citizens?
They're all citizens? All of them? Every last one of them? In TNG's "Journey's End," the Federation citizens who wanted to stay in the DMZ had to renounce their citizenship, IIRC.

Well, let me see:

MAQUIS: Your people abandoned ours to the tender mercies of the Cardassians. FLEETERS: If you didn't like living in the DMZ, why did you go to war instead of just moving out?

FLEETERS: Our ship, our rules. MAQUIS: Partly our ship too, now. If we never took Fleet training or Fleet oaths or signed up to be part of Starfleet, howcum we have to do everything the same as you? Plus which, has it dawned on you that maybe we're better at surviving in hostile space than you?

FLEETERS: We're professional service people, and we think like them. MAQUIS: We're mostly civilians, and we think like civilians. We only ended up in our Fleet because we saw a pressing need.

FLEETERS: We like to explore. MAQUIS: We're not really into that. Can we take a straighter route home?

Even Sisko mentions in "The Maquis" how Federation citizens don't harm their own.
With all respect to Ben, I think that's more of an ideal than a fact. BTW, would this be the same Ben Sisko who poisoned the atmosphere of a planet against its own human inhabitants, simply to catch one guy he was really ticked off at?

The point was: To reintergrate people that felt abandon by the Federation due to a treaty. Too show that both sides do get along for a greater good.
Except that we never saw them being reintegrated. Except for the occasional "Maquis episode" and the occasional (usually Maquis) "bad apple," they were completely integrated into the crew by episode three. We should have seen how it happened, instead of being presented with it as an accomplished fact.

Why do you think they stated over & over again in every season about how Voyager was the most advanced starship in Starfleet to date?
Do you know, I watched every episode of VOY from "Caretaker" to "Endgame," and I don't particularly remember this. In fact, I remember some "improvements" like the gelpacks initially causing more trouble than they solved. And even state-of-the-art technology is going to run into some problems when it's seven years away from maintenance yards.

They told us all from the very beginning there wasn't going to be conflict or ongoing power supply issues.
They who, and when did they tell us this?

If no scarcity, then why replicator rations? Why did Neelix recommend a mess hall to cut down on replicator use? Why foraging expeditions in early episodes?

Star Trek isn't about a dystopian future, it's about one were hope prevails. Even during the entire Dominion war and dealings with the Bajorians delt with Sisko's trials of hope & faith.
Some of which he failed, IIRC.

And I'm not rooting for Trek to become dystopian. What I would have liked to see was a situation in which the Trekkish idealism was challenged and prevailed. The fact of the matter is, on VOY that idealism was never really tested. Voyager's crew were, for the most part, "saints in paradise" (to borrow another phrase from DS9), which as you may recall is an easy thing to be.

DS9's "the Maquis 1&2" explain how the Maquis are still comsidered Federation citizens. If yoi live in the US and move to France, your personality & values don't change. The Maquis still had Fedration values. Dukat even told them they weren't going to make any progress against the Cardassians until they abandon their Federation values and learn to fight dirty. Eddington changed that by attacking Starfleet ships & poisoning planets.

"Caretaker", "Innocence", "Parallax", "Timeless", "Relitivity", "Future's End" to name a few all explain either how, why or mention how Voyager is the most advanced ship in Starfleet to date. Saving on use of the replicator for food and clothes allow energy and material to be used in other areas they really needed it, like ship repair which they showed them doing in one ep. when the ship was landed on a planet surface. Food and some medical supplies don't stay fresh forever. Material has to be replentished, even replicators have to be restocked for time to time. That's part of the job Neelix had(they asked him about inventory twice during the series)

Picard granted Worf the right to say "no" when it came to donating to the Romulan. He didn't like it but it was Worf's right under the law. Just like Picard granted Worf the right under Klingon religion to commit suicide when he back was broken. Picard only asked that Worf not perform Klingon ceremonies while during duty shifts.

I guess B&B felt that after watching both TNG & DS9, that they didn't need to hold our hands and lead us thru detail after detail. They figured that since many Trek fans nitpick every damn thing, they'd understand how the replictors were used in ship repair or why there was no conflict between crews. Besides, if the Maquis weren't going to agree with Starfleet rules, where the hell were they going to go?
A Tiger doesn't loose sleep over the opinion of sheep.
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