I would rather the "forehead aliens" just look completely human. If they're not going to make them look totally different from us, it just seems like a waste. The half-assed alien makeup ends up being distracting.
Pretty much this. Frankly, I feel that VOY could have done with fewer aliens of the week anyway
. But failing that, the "bumpy forehead variant #347" just did not work.
And hell, there are other ways to distinguish an alien that can't be much more expensive than bumpy forehead make-up. What about stripes or spots, or other markings? What about skin colors that humans can't have? Crazy hair? Scales or fins or gills? Horns?
See, I just came up with that little list in like two minutes. This is why I do think it's fair to attribute it to lazy writing/planning, at least in part. They overlooked some really obvious alternatives and just kept sticking almost the same lumps on the foreheads of the actors to represent all these supposedly different species.
I agree that they should have made the 'forehead alien of the week' just look human. Wasn't it established in some episode of Trek (I forget which one or even which series, but TNG seems to be ringing a bell) that there was a basic bodyshape/lifeform type that reoccured throughout the galaxy? If so then it would make sense for lots of aliens to just look human.
Yep. It was TNG, and the ep name was "The Chase." So yeah, there's no reason that different aliens HAD to look radically non-human.
I don't think this was a problem confined to Voyager though. Better (or less) alien design should probably have been established in an earlier series, like TOS, or at the very least TNG.
TOS had to scrape to get enough money to do anything interesting, so I think it can get a pass to some degree. As for TNG, no, the problem isn't confined
to Voyager, as TNG could have done a better job as well. But the problem seemed worse with Voyager, because the series WAS newer and effects technology had improved (and did it have a bigger budget than TNG?). I think TNG handles alien cultures better than VOY on the whole, as well. Plus, DS9 relied on this FAR less than either of them, so to go from TNG, to DS9, to VOY, kinda makes it seem that much worse for the latter. Come to think of it, I wonder which show simply has a higher number of humanoid species encountered, bumpy forehead or no, between TNG and VOY...