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Old February 26 2013, 05:12 PM   #1
NightJim
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Voyager again, for the first time

Last night I started watching Voyager again, for the first time.

When Voyager first aired I was a young whipper snapper, and lapped it up. However, living with my parents means that I probably didn't see every episode I could have. About four seasons in (I think, Seven had been introduced anyway) I went off to university. No Sky TV meant no new episodes, and I quickly forgot to pay attention when terrestrial TV caught up. So apart from the odd episode I've barely seen anything past the point when I left home.

With my inner Trekkie recently waking up again, having not seen Voyager or Enterprise properly has really started to annoy me, and I've got the stirrings of a Voyager based story in my head too, so I felt it was about time I addressed that.

I've decided to chart my feelings on the series here. Right now I'm going to say per episode. But if that's a bad idea (I realise someone is doing this already) and people shout at me, I can go set up a blog to make it easier. I also maybe shouldn't have started this just before I go on holiday for a week, but never mind.

So... Caretaker.

Loads of little problems with the story telling, mostly character beats that just don't sit well with me. I wonder how much was cut that addresses this stuff.

As it was when I first watched Voyager, I have quite a problem with the whole Marquis being brought on board being massively glossed over, but the whole issue of working with them is ignored too. Chakotay's a bit unhappy, and B'Elanna calls Harry 'Starfleet' for a bit. That's it. This was a place for serious contention and character development here, and I just feel it's dealt with too lightly. Especially Tuvok's reveal of being undercover with them for a few months. I know this gets addressed a little in episodes to come, but relations all went a little too smoothly for me.

Also, Neelix (who I remember being annoying) isn't too bad here. However, he does take them to see some nice tribal Kazon, then pulls a gun on their leader, destroys the water they're trading and straight away reveals that he did it all to save his beloved. Admittedly the beloved who holds the secrets to rescuing their friends, but he doesn't get screamed at, Janeway doesn't need to point out this isn't really the Starfleet way? And when he asks to join the crew later he gets welcomed with open arms. It just all felt a little too easy for him.

Finally, my big issue with the first episode. The whole reason Harry and Be'lanna were sent to the planet instead of being returned to their ships was that Caretaker rape had infected them with some horrible disease that couldn't be cured. We get a few shots showing just how much pain they're in too. They get back on board, get back into uniform, and return to their posts. All with no explanation what so ever. Maybe this gets addressed next episode, but I get the feeling this storyline is completely forgotten. An excuse to get the crew to the Ocampa homeworld. Whatever the excuse is, it'd be nice to at least offer one line of dialogue to resolve it.

However, I really enjoyed it. Caretaker does set the premise of the series up well, and I like how conflicted Janeway is about taking the way home or saving the Ocampa.

I also hadn't realised (or I'd forgotten) just how much bad boy Paris was used as the audience POV character. Also, it's great how everyone slowly finds their role, how the circumstances has people rising to the occasion, maybe this is more because Paris is the POV character, but it worked well.

75 Years to home.
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