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Old July 9 2009, 02:49 PM   #2096
TheGodBen
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Season 5 Review



(Dark Frontier is counted as one episode.) This was an odd season and if I was to judge it by eye I'd say that the second half of the season looks weaker than the first half, but the trendline says otherwise. Apparently the season's quality increased very slightly in the second half but by very little, it's the most consistent season so far. Unfortunately it is also a very average season with most scores in the 4-6 region, but more on that in a minute. The average score for this season was 4.92.



I don't know how to read this one, but if I was forced to assign meaning to this mess of a graph I would say that there is two bell-curves here with one centred around 4-5 and another smaller one around 7-8. There's also two zero scores completely removed from the rest of the scores. I considered almost one third of the episodes this season to be "meh" and that is what held the season back for me.

12 episodes were below average, 5 were average and 8 were above average.
Best episode: Timeless
Worst episode: The Fight


The Writers

We have two new staff writers this season, Michael Taylor will be staying with the show until the end while Nick Sagan will only be around for season five but will be involved in writing or co-writing 5 episodes and that's just enough for me to include him in the graphs.



Braga lowers his output this season to just 5 episodes but they were mostly good ones and he earns a score of 6.4. His writing partner Joe Menosky also does well but The Fight lowers his score to 6 from 8 episodes. Micheal Taylor's debut season isn't spectacular but he holds his own with a score of 5.125 from 8 episodes. Biller recovers from being the worst writer last season to achieve an average score of 5 from 4 episodes. After Bryan Fuller's fantastic first season he came crashing down to Earth this year with a score of 4.286 from 7 episodes. Nick Sagan didn't make much of an impression beyond writing the awful In the Flesh, his score is 3.2 from 5 episodes. Jeri Taylor only wrote one episode, her final one, so her score is 3.



This is how the writers stand after four seasons. Menosky and Braga's partnership really seems to work for the show, their average scores are 5.56 and 5.5 respectively, if they keep this up next year there is a real chance they could overtake Piller as the shows best writers. Even though Fuller had a poor season he is still being held up by how fantastic he was in season 4, his average is now 5.545. Biller's score is still struggling at 4.9, he'll need to do better if he wants to get back above 5. Jeri Taylor's final episode drags her down a bit to finish her run on Voyager with a score of 4.786 out of 14 episodes. But Lisa Klink should be happy because Nick Sagan has replaced her as my least favourite writer on the show. Sorry Nick, I love your dad but you did force In the Flesh upon me.


What Would GodBen Do?

Jeri Taylor has just left the show and Rick Berman decides to hire me as head staff writer because he thinks Braga is a bit of a ponce. How would I have done things differently?

As I said after watching Night, I would have liked for that concept to have played out over several episodes; two episodes about the crew trying to deal with being in an endless empty void and a final episode dealing with the Malon and the wormhole. The concept of B'Elanna's story in Extreme Risk is good but mismanaged and could have played out in one of these Night episodes rather than being paired with the Malon/Delta Flyer story.

Speaking of the Delta Flyer, it is only natural that Voyager would want a large shuttle given their situation, but I wish they had used the concept of the Aero-shuttle that we discussed earlier in this thread. Not only would it have been cool to see the ship detach from the bottom of Voyager, I also think it was a better looking ship than the flyer which is a rather dull looking lump.

Anyway, the idea I had yesterday while watching Equinox was that the whole season should have been used to foreshadow the appearance of the Equinox in the finale, much like how the Dominion were foreshadowed before their appearance in the season 2 finale of DS9. After Timeless Voyager should have started to hear rumours of another ship claiming to be from the Federation and Voyager could have kept a look out for them on their journey. This could also have played into Course: Oblivion by having the real Voyager detect what seems to be another Federation starship and they assume it is the Equinox only to find clumps of biomemetic goo as in the original. I thought that Equinox itself felt somewhat rushed and could have used the feature-lenght treatment far better than Dark Frontier.

One of the things I enjoyed about nuBSG is that when they come across the Battlestar Pegasus the Pegasus is the bigger ship with the higher ranking officer aboard, it made Adama's decision to stand up to Cain more powerful. If Ransom had been the one in the more powerful ship and he ordered Janeway to enhance his warp drive in the same way as he did with the Equinox then it would have made Janeway's decision to stand against him stronger. It could have had the impact that Insurrection failed to have.


Statistics

Shuttles Lost: 14
Torpedoes: 53/38
Harry Deaths: 3

Season 1 Average: 5.867
Season 2 Average: 4.692
Season 3 Average: 4.269
Season 4 Average: 5.231
Season 5 Average: 4.92
Overall Average (118 episodes): 4.915


In Summation

For all the talk I heard about how great season 5 is, I really was not impressed. It felt like a throwback to seasons 2 and 3; a lot of average episodes with a small number of good and bad episodes. My favourite seasons of Voyager so far have been 1 and 4, and when you look at the graphs you can see that those were the two most uneven seasons, the majority of episodes were either good or bad with very few in the middle. I've read on this board that season 6 is also very uneven and if that is the case I might prefer that to season 5's string of average episodes.
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