The Old Mixer wrote:
And when TPTB came up with a series premise that involved a ship that's entire voyage was through uncharted space, it wound up playing like TNG lite anyway.
Which wasn't the fault of the format. It was because Voyager
was on a network rather than syndicated -- indeed, it was the flagship show of the new UPN network -- and the network execs imposed a lot of limits on both it and Enterprise
. The creators of both shows wanted them to be different, to take full advantage of the potential of their settings, but UPN wanted another TNG, so they forced both shows to be in that vein. If VGR and ENT had been syndicated like TNG and DS9 were, they probably would've both been much more interesting.
I have heard this as well, however I have to wonder, once it became apparent that the network restrictions made Voyager's premise unworkable in any meaningful sense, why not retool it into something more like TNG. At the end of Season 1, they could have found a stable wormhole / transwarp drive / pick your own plot device, which brings them home. Season 2 they are sent back out by Starfleet via the same means to conduct further exploration. Same show and all you lose are the marooned far from home and limited resource elements that were frequently glossed over in the show anyway.
The one downside I could see is that this altered premise would allow writers to incorporate more elements and state of affairs of the rest of the Federation, which may have constrained the writers of DS9. DS9 among other things, had the advantage of pretty much having the entire sandbox to themselves once TNG went of the air. Since Voyager was away in the Delta Quadrant and (for a good while) out of contact, nothing the writers did on that show would really impact DS9.