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Old February 5 2012, 11:02 PM   #1
Cartoonist
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Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Voyager in your comics pages today

If your paper carries my strip "Candorville" (or if you read it online), you may find yourself in today's edition. I know I'm giving away the punchline simply by posting it here, but there's no avoiding that:



Like a lot of Trek fans my age, I loathed Voyager with a passion when it first ran. I nitpicked it to death every week on this very forum. I hated the reset button, the magically-clean ship, the miraculous shuttle bays, Neelix, the Kazon, the shift from an ensemble feeling to "The Doctor and Seven of Nine Show." And compared to DS9, I thought it was utterly unrealistic and two dimensional.

Then almost a decade went by. I watched DS9 all the way through three times on DVD. When I signed up for Netflix, I watched B5, then TOS, TNG, and DS9 (again). Then Doctor Who, Torchwood, Farscape... anything and everything to keep from watching Voyager. Finally I ran out of stuff to Netflix. So just to remind myself how awful it was, I began watching Voyager. Pretty soon, I started to wonder what this show was and what had it done with the Voyager I remembered? It was actually... good (with the exception of Threshold (which was even worse than I'd remembered).

I don't know... maybe it's age. Maybe VOY is more suited for people in their thirties, people who've been through hell already and held on to who they were. Because in my twenties, I thought the Equinox crew was far more realistic. But now, VOY sticking to its Starfleet principles, and putting effort into keeping the ship and their uniforms spotless seems a lot more understandable to me. I don't find it quite so hard to believe anymore that these people could spend time playing around on the holodeck, or that they could build replacement shuttles so quickly, considering they have to have something to do to take their minds off the fact they're marooned on the other side of the galaxy. In the last ten years, I've found that I can get almost a superhuman amount of work done in no time when I'm distracting myself from the everyday horrors of growing older (aging parents, dying grandparents, possibly-receding hairlines).

Even Endgame, which previously made me want to shoot my TV and set it on fire, was exciting this time around. So damn exciting.

Maybe it's not age, maybe it's simply that Trek's been off the air for a while now, and so this time around, it felt a lot fresher. Or maybe it's because this time around, I watched it without also reading (and crafting my own) negative, nitpicky essays about every little thing that could've been done better or differently.

Whatever the reason, I'm glad I gave it another chance. Maybe once ten years go by, I'll try watching "Nemesis" again. ...or maybe that's going too far.
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