Lately I have spent a lot of time watching old Voyager episodes online. I watched the show religiously when it first aired in the 90s, but that was more than 10 years ago and I was just a kid. Now I am watching it in a new light, more aware of its flaws than I was before. Voyager doesn't hold a candle to the best TV shows out there (shows like The Wire
or Breaking Bad
, which I am also watching a lot of), but for what it is--simple, harmless sci-fi fun--it's not bad. I feel like it could have been so much more, that, like other Trek
shows, the premise had great potential and the writers, producers, and actors lacked the talent to really follow through. But it's not bad.
One of my favorite characters on the show is Tuvok. Yes, he was underdeveloped and one-dimensional at times, and I have always been partial to Vulcans; whereas others consider them rigid and arrogant, I see them as equable and competent. But, aside from Janeway, Tuvok often seems to be the only adult on Voyager, one of the few members of the crew who is consistently acts in a mature and professional manner.
Consider the others: Kim is a child, Paris grows up somewhat after hooking up with Torres but is still pretty childish. The Doctor and Seven are professionally competent but socially immature; Torres also lacks maturity, although she, like Paris, grows up a bit as the show progresses. Chakotay is wise but lacks balls and is not someone I would look up to. Kes is a child, Neelix is an idiot.
That leaves Janeway and Tuvok. Say what you will about the Captain--she can be fickle, moody, irresponsible--but she's got guts and isn't afraid to take a risk. She gets the job done--she got Voyager home, didn't she? She is someone you can trust and take orders from, without question, just like Picard and Sisko. Chakotay, on the other hand, is not a take-charge kind of guy. He whines. He equivocates. He's risk-averse. Were he my first officer, I might be okay letting him command the ship while I was away, but I would feel a whole lot better if Tuvok was there beside him.
Yep, Tuvok is a grown-up. I would probably kill myself if I had to spend 7 years of my life stuck on the same ship as Kim or Paris. Tuvok, on the other hand--he's someone I could get along with.