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Old March 6 2009, 07:10 PM   #157
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Location: Ireland
Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Season One Review

I wasn't kidding about the graphs.

I knocked this up in excel so that microsoft could tell me how I really felt about this season. 15 episodes (Caretaker is listed as one episode for the sake of this graph) and the 5 star ratings were multiplied by two in order to provide a score out of ten. I thought that seven episodes were above average (5 being the average), six episodes were below average and two episodes just sit there in the middle refusing to move.

The green line is the average score for the season which is 5.867; slightly above average. That's not bad for the first season of a show, particularly one that only has 15 episodes. When I did this for DS9's first season some years back it only managed 5.6, and TNG had a woefully bad 3.8.

However, the red line is a trend line the computer calculated for me and it suggests that my review scores were getting lower as the season went on. I never made a trend line for TNG or DS9, but I imagine they would have gone up due to episodes like Conspiracy or Duet. We'll see how it progresses in season two.

This is, of course, a bar chart which shows how many episode managed each score. The most popular score is clearly 8/10 (4 stars) which I gave to four episodes followed by 4/10 (2 stars) which I gave to three episodes. What I find interesting is that there seems to be a bell-curve around 4 with 8 being an obvious spike outside it.

The Braga Factor

I have been paying particular attention to Brannon Braga during my rewatching due to the controversy surrounding him. I like a lot of the stuff he did on TNG; Cause and Effect, Frame of Mind and Parallels are classics in my mind. I also like Generations and First Contact and some of the stuff he did on Enterprise, so my intention here is not to bash him but to try and determine his impact on Voyager. I am only going to pay attention to episodes where he was involved with the teleplay, story credits wont be counted as I believe a well-written script can overcome a bad story, and vice versa.

Parallax: 5/10
Phage: 8/10
Emanations: 3/10
Cathexis: 4/10

Average: 5/10

So the guy was average this season, but a little behind the season average. That actually fits in with what I was thinking before I did the math.

What would I have done differently?

Theoretically I am the show runner with the same premise and the same cast. How would the first season have gone? More Kazon and less aliens of the week. I said in my State of Flux review that I would have preferred it had there been some Kazon activity between Caretaker and that episode in order to justify Seska's defection. I also would have put State of Flux at the end of the season in order to end on a semi-cliffhanger to open up the possibilities of the second season.

There was a throwaway line in... I think it was Parallax, I could be mistaken, but the idea was that they were shutting down life support on certain decks in order to save energy. That would have been cool to see, but we never did. Holodecks are out, and so are replicators. They should have set up the pool table in the mess-hall and make it more like a game room rather than a dinner hall. We should have seen the hydroponics bay where Kes is apparently growing food, all it would take is some minor changes to sets and we could get a real sense of them being lost and in danger.

And it goes without saying that I would have more serialisation and I wouldn't have ended the Maquis integration problems by season's end. I also wouldn't have had the Maquis wearing uniforms so that casual viewers would be able to see that there is something different about them, like they could with Kira and Odo on DS9. Sometimes it feels like even the writers forgot about the character's backgrounds.

In Summation

A strong start, especially compared to DS9 and TNG, but not quite what I was hoping for. I'm willing to continue with the saga, but I'm not exactly enthralled by it.
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