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Old May 7 2009, 03:37 PM   #1114
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Season 3 Review

You want graphs? I got em!

You know the deal by now, five star ratings translated into scores out of ten, and they are graphed by the blue line. The average score for the season is represented by the green line with a score of 4.269, a poor season saved a little by a strong finish. This is strongly shown by the red trend-line which very steeply inclines; a bad start to the season, a poor middle and a strong ending.

The score bar-graph shows a bell-curve centred near 4 even though only one episode received that score. 13 episodes (half the season) were below average, 5 episodes were average and 8 were above average. 2 episodes received zero scores, and one episode earned full marks.

Best episode: Scorpion
Worst episode: Coda

The Writers

As promised, I'm no longer focusing just on Brannon Braga but I'm looking at the writing team as a whole. How did they do this season?

The best writer this season was Kenneth Biller with a score of 5.6 from 5 episodes, but the real winner was Brannon Braga who recovered from a terrible second season score of 3.667 to get his first above average score of 5.286 from 7 episodes. It seems that teaming up with Joe Menosky really helped him out. Michael Piller wrote his final episode which was unfortunately average. Menosky was below average with a score of 4.429 from 7 episodes due to some bad episodes such as False Profits and Alter Ego, while Taylor wrote the awful Coda which causes her score to be 3.5 from 2 episodes. But the worst writer this season was Lisa Klink who scored 3.333 from 6 episodes, I guess you could call her the writing staff's weakest Klink.

I know, I know, I'm hilarious. I should write comedy professionally.

This is how the writers stand after three seasons. Michael Piller finished out his time on Star Trek as Voyager's best writer so far with a score of 5.667 from 9 episodes. (I've changed his colour to indicate that this is his final score, there is no more episodes from him.) Biller is slightly above average with a score of 5.154 from 13 episodes. Everyone else is below average, but the big news here is that Braga is no longer the worst writer on the show after overtaking Lisa Klink. Braga now has a score of 4.647 from 17 episodes while Klink has a score of 3.75 from 8.

What Would GodBen Do?

In an alternate universe; Michael Piller has just left the show and Jeri Taylor has eloped with Brannon Braga in the Philippines, so Rick Berman needs me to run the writing staff. What would season 3 have looked like? (For the purpose of this discussion we shall ignore the four season 2 episodes which were held back.)

Basics needed to be a longer arc, it was tied up way too quickly. I have already outlined my idea for this around the time of my season 2 review, but it would have been at least three episodes and it would have involved Tom amassing an alliance of DQ races to recapture Voyager. The whole thing about the baby not being Chakotay's was a huge cop-out, Chakotay should have had to raise the baby, this would have given his character an extra dimension and it would have given him something to do in the later seasons as opposed to turning into a prop rather than a person.

Seska would have survived and have been captured by the crew. They put her on trial and sentence her to life in her quarters. At some point she breaks out and causes mischief which leads Janeway to take the extreme position of stranding her on a planet with only essential supplies that she needs to survive. It would have allowed us to explore the justice system of this new society which Voyager should have become, and it would have led to a dramatic goodbye to Seska's character. Much better than the evil hologram of Worst Case Scenario.

I like the idea of doing a season without recurring adversaries, but this season was a bad way to do it. Rather than using this time without external conflict to explore the ship and crew, this year Voyager really did become TNG in the Delta Quadrant. Every week there was a new alien or a new problem that they solved and then flew off into the sunset. And it wasn't even good TNG, at times the quality was painfully bad. This should have been the year where they began to seriously explore this crew's identity and have them branch out from a standard Starfleet crew, but instead the season chose to focus on "fun" adventures and the quality speaks for itself.

And finally, even though I loved Scorpion and felt it was the strongest episode so far, I would have preferred not to play the Borg this early. The Borg were Voyager's trump card and they should have been saved for seasons 6 and 7. I know that the ratings were down and they had to do something to save the show, and so they had to play the Borg card early, but I'd like to think that if the show had been quality viewing then the ratings wouldn't have fallen to the point where the Borg had to be used.


Shuttles Lost: 4
Torpedoes: 21/38
Harry deaths: 2

Season 1 Average: 5.867
Season 2 Average: 4.692
Season 3 Average: 4.269 (Without Basics Part 2, Flashback, False Profits and Sacred Ground: 4.545)
Overall Average (67 episodes): 4.791

In Summation

As you can see above, Voyager's overall quality has been declining each season, and for the first time the overall quality of Voyager has fallen below the average score of 5. The more episodes there is on the pile the harder it is going to be for Voyager to climb back up to a reasonable score. This show has a serious problem, and there is only one thing that can fix it.

__________________ many different suns...

"No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away." - The immortal Terry Pratchett
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