The thing with Q is the success of the character on TNG was almost entirely thanks to the ability of John de Lancie to lift the often abysmal material into something memorable.
Look at Encounter at Farpoint - Q is the best thing in it, but the dialogue is abysmal. It's almost impossible to deliver, but JDL (as I shall henceforth call him!) puts in a virtuoso performance. A lesser actor could have killed off Star Trek's revivial before it had truly begun.
Fortunately in some of his later appearances, the writing improved. Then in Voyager, he became a one-note comic character, which is about as far from the original concept as you can get.
I hadn't thought about it this way before but you're right, Q was never just comic relief on TNG, he was always something more. It is almost like as if the Voyager writers didn't get the character.
I'm not sure how true this is, but sfdebris told a story in his review of Q Who
that there was a line in the script where Q would shout "Stop! Or you will surely die!" but instead JDL just sat in his chair and said "Oh, please." The guy seemed to have a good handle on his character.
AKA Genesis, Part 2
. AAKA Brannon Braga has Trouble Learning From His Mistakes
This is just Genesis
again, only this time the hokey evolutionary science is replaced by hokey viral science. And the technobabble, oh lord, the technobabble...
I know this is a bit anal, but how does the macro-virus fly? It makes a buzzing sound like a bee, but it doesn't have any wings, it is just a big floating blob of CGI. This is the sort of thing I found myself thinking while watching the episode, so clearly I was bored. Janeway is an action hero, fine, but seeing her run around the ship in a sweaty tank-top stabbing giant viruses with a convenient knife, and blowing them up in a green explosion using a bomb with a quaint LED timer... they must have realised at some point that they took the concept too far.
The first acts are okay. I knew what was going to happen so there was no sense of mystery, but I do like the idea of coming back to a seemingly empty and powerless ship, that's one of the reasons why I don't hate Genesis
. But when Shmullus spends 15 minutes of screen-time explaining everything the story gets lost and completely fails to make sense, there is no explanation as to where the crew is or why the ship is in such a bad state. And the final act is utterly ludicrous.
I'm feeling generous because my game of Empire Total War is going well, so I'll give the episode 2 stars and deduct half a star for Braga copying his own work.