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Old March 25 2009, 01:18 AM   #361
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Maneuvers (***½)

I enjoyed this episode even though it does have some problems. It starts with a pretty neat battle which ends with a Kazon shuttle ramming into Voyager and sending a boarding party through the breach. That's pretty cool, I don't remember seeing anything like that in Trek before. That's some pretty severe damage right there, I doubt Voyager will be able to fix that by next week.

Oh wait, it is fixed ten minutes into the episode. Minus half a star.

Janeway decides that she absolutely must retrieve the transporter module that the Kazon stole, which is a decision which I'm not too sure about. I can understand not wanting to upset the balance of power but it's not like as if it is an important component and sometimes you just need to cut your losses rather than run into an obvious trap. What I do like though is that Chakotay makes a unilateral decision to go after Seska for personal reasons. I like this, Chakotay is showing some real balls here (which is something he would have shown in Tattoo if the camera had been placed at a different angle).

Here is my next problem; Chakotay destroys the transporter module while delivering a shuttle with transporter technology aboard it (as evidenced by Chakotay himself using it). He explains this away by saying that he deleted the shuttle's memory before he transported, so clearly the transporter on the shuttle still worked after what he did and deleting software wouldn't affect the transporter hardware which is what the Kazon wanted. He should have set the thing to auto-destruct after he beamed out, but then the shuttle destruction counter would have gone up even more.

There is a good interrogation scene where Chakotay gets the crap beat out of him and he just laughs. I enjoyed that, it helps make the Kazon look like the vicious enemy they are supposed to be and I felt Beltran played it quite well. Then the end does botch a few things by having them transporting with the shields up and they forgot to demand Seska be handed over to Voyager's custody when they have the Kazon leaders captured. Well they probably wont meet her again, so I bet they don't live to regret that desicion.

This is a pretty good episode despite its logical flaws in the execution. If they had spent a little more time figuring out the script this could have been a 5 star episode.
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Old March 25 2009, 02:07 AM   #362
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

GodBen wrote: View Post
Cold Fire (*½)

Talk about a waste of potential. The female Caretaker was set-up in the pilot episode and I just assumed that they intended to do something better with her. On the one hand you have a perfectly passable story about Kes and her new abilities brought about by meeting some powerful Ocampas. This is interesting enough to have an episode on this subject alone.

But the story about the female Caretaker is a complete waste of what should have been an important facet of the series, and if my memory serves correctly this is the last time we will ever see her. She should have been saved until the finale in order to bring the show full circle, at the very least she should have had a story arc built around her. She should not have been used like this.

She wants to destroy Voyager for killing the original Caretaker? Really? She comes aboard the ship in the form of a little girl with a big evil voice? Really?! Urgh. Bad bad bad!
QFT. What. A. Waste. Some nice character moments for Kes throughout but overall, blech. Complete disappointment, and even more disappointing since there was no follow-up later on.

Lynx wrote: View Post
Ta-ta-ta-ta (trumpet fanfare)! Here we have it, the best episode of Voyager: "Cold Fire"!

Anyway, "Cold Fire" is my favorite. I'll give it 5 points out of 5!
At least someone enjoyed it.

GodBen wrote: View Post
Maneuvers (***½)
This is a pretty good episode despite its logical flaws in the execution. If they had spent a little more time figuring out the script this could have been a 5 star episode.
I think that sums it up for me. I can't think of anything to add other than your other remarks regarding the poor plot-motivated character decisions here and there that serve to distract from the otherwise interesting plot.
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Old March 25 2009, 01:16 PM   #363
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

DGCatAniSiri wrote: View Post
Good wrote: View Post
Every time they had the opportunity to write something challenging and interesting, they wimped out and wrote something easy or ratings-inducing, whether it was scarce supplies (they weren't), a contentious Maquis crew (they were almost never shown) or a Doctor who isn't really alive (oh wait, he magically is!).
That's been my problem with Voyager as well. Judging the episodes alone, they're for the most part entertaining with the same occasional clunkers every show winds up with. However, when taken as a whole, it loses something.

Moreover, when things in an episode demand follow-up, they're usually ignored, not to mention the lack of build-up to these events - B'Elanna's suicidal depression in 'Extreme Risk,' I believe it was, for example, should have been built up and it should have been followed up - Star Trek has yet to have an episode that deals with the long term effects of depression, and the episode itself basically says that suicidal depression is something with a quick fix and you're all better. The only characters I can look at each year and say 'yes, they have been affected by the things they've been through this year' are the Doctor and Seven.

As a would-be-writer myself, I was particularly disappointed by the statements from Voyager's writers that they didn't do things with some characters because they weren't interested in them - Seven and the Doctor, as the ones developing their humanity are easy to write for. Someone like Harry, or Chakotay, or Neelix, or Tuvok, or Kes aren't as easy, they're people with pasts that predate the show that can have an effect on them. The Doctor had no individual traits until they activated him in 'Caretaker.' Seven spent most of her life among the Borg Collective, having been assimilated at a young age, so she had no real personality that reassurted itself after she was disconnected from the Collective. Those two are blank slates and can be and do what the writers want without them having to make it a part of their character - they're experimenting with this or that, and if the writers don't like it, they can say that the 'experiment concluded, and I have no further use for that activity.'

Voyager had the potential for a number of stories, experimenting with what happens to people pushed to the edge, and the psychological effects (I got into some of the things I would have liked to have seen on the show in the 'what would you have done different' thread). But they decided to keep things lighter and 'easily accessible,' so they didn't include the arcs, both character and plot driven, that I prefer in shows. It's not a bad decision - just not a decision that I agree with.

I disagree with your last statement. It was a bad decision. Voyager only stayed on the air for seven years because it was the flagship show of UPN. Voyager didn't stay on the air because of incredible writing or good ratings from tons of non-Trekkies that watched because they didn't get confused by plotlines. The lack of ongoing stories was, in my opinion, apathy and laziness.

Look at Tuvix. The CONCEPT of that episode is so incredible. The execution, no pun intended, was horrible. Not that it was a bad episode, it was good, but it so obviously could have been so great that the goodness of the episode is simply tarnished by it's pale reflection on how that scenario would have REALLY played out on Voyager.
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Old March 25 2009, 01:24 PM   #364
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Pushing people on the edge and describing psychological effects of them in detail are something that hasn't been very "Trek" in any series. At least so far. So it is hardly surprising that they were not included to Voyager either.

Personally I didn't miss more story arcs. Why? Because what if some story arc in particular was boring? Like the internal political things on Bajor in DS9, for instance. What a borefest!

Many things could have been done differently with Voyager, but with flaws and all, it is still the best Trek series there was. Plain and simple.

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Old March 25 2009, 03:33 PM   #365
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Tachyon wrote: View Post
Personally I didn't miss more story arcs. Why? Because what if the some story arc in particular was boring? Like the internal political things on Bajor in DS9, for instance. What a borefest!
I quite enjoyed the Bajoran political episodes on DS9. I can understand why some find it boring, but as somebody who finds politics fascinating I found the exploration of power-struggles on an alien world to be quite entertaining.
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Old March 25 2009, 04:05 PM   #366
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

I find politics fascinating as well. But when I am watching Star Trek, I want Star Trek, not "Trek To The Depths of Bajoran Political System" three episodes in a row.
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Old March 25 2009, 04:33 PM   #367
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Tachyon wrote: View Post
I find politics fascinating as well. But when I am watching Star Trek, I want Star Trek, not "Trek To The Depths of Bajoran Political System" three episodes in a row.
But at least it was fulfilling the promise of DS9. Sisko was to help bring Bajor into the Federation and so there would need to be political episodes to explain how that could happen. Bajor at the beginning is fractured and broken, and so there needed to be episodes about that.
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Old March 25 2009, 05:42 PM   #368
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Tachyon wrote: View Post
I find politics fascinating as well. But when I am watching Star Trek, I want Star Trek, not "Trek To The Depths of Bajoran Political System" three episodes in a row.
The Circle Trilogy at the beginning of season 2? Loved it! I wish we had seen more of those kinds of stories in season 1.

DS9 needed to tell those stories because that is what the show was about; being on a space station on the frontier in a politically unstable region of space. For DS9 to ignore those issues would have been a major failure. Voyager was not about politics, it was about a ship stranded far from home, so I would agree with you that Voyager didn't need story arcs focusing on the politics of the worlds they meet on the trip home. What Voyager needed was story arcs about the dynamic of a mixed crew on a dangerous journey. Not all arcs need to be about politics.

And just because an arc can be bad doesn't mean that you shouldn't at least try. For example, Threshold was a really bad stand-alone episode but that didn't stop the writers from doing more stand-alone episodes in the future.


Resistance (****)

This episode just works. The character story about Caylem and how we slowly learn about how he feels responsible for the death of his wife and daughter is tragic and it works quite well. The villain of the piece is also interesting, he doesn't act like a straight-up Trekian evil villain, you can see that he has a sense of humour and you can almost believe he would be a good man if his life had been different. The aftermath of Tuvok being tortured makes for a very nice scene with a great bit of insight into the limits of Vulcan self-control.

Some minor problems; Voyager is apparently in the middle of an energy crisis. When did this happen exactly? Were they running low on energy last week when they decided to go up against the Kazon for moral reasons? I also didn't like the scene where Caylem distracts the guards by acting like a clown, you would think that trained security personnel wouldn't be so stupid.

One thing which I find interesting about this episode is to parallel it with the first season's Prime Factors. In that episode Janeway refused to trade technology without consent from the legitimate government, but in this episode this moral issue is never even raised despite the fact that they are illegally purchasing fuel from a resistance movement. However, this episode isn't about moral issues like this, it is a character episode with some great scenes and I quite enjoyed it on those terms.
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Old March 25 2009, 06:19 PM   #369
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

I hate Resistance.


GodBen wrote: View Post
Tachyon wrote: View Post
I find politics fascinating as well. But when I am watching Star Trek, I want Star Trek, not "Trek To The Depths of Bajoran Political System" three episodes in a row.
The Circle Trilogy at the beginning of season 2? Loved it! I wish we had seen more of those kinds of stories in season 1.

DS9 needed to tell those stories because that is what the show was about; being on a space station on the frontier in a politically unstable region of space. For DS9 to ignore those issues would have been a major failure. Voyager was not about politics, it was about a ship stranded far from home, so I would agree with you that Voyager didn't need story arcs focusing on the politics of the worlds they meet on the trip home. What Voyager needed was story arcs about the dynamic of a mixed crew on a dangerous journey. Not all arcs need to be about politics.
We are in agreemen GodBen.

Nevertheless, I feel that sometime people put too much emphasis to story arcs. Story arcs are good, when they work, but there is also room for episodes where the relationships is not the main thing.

And there were actually story arcs about the crew dynamics as well. They were there. So I think it is another matter entirely if those story arcs were satisfactory, or if there was enough of them. That is a matter of opinion and I think there may be as many opinions out there as there are those who have followed Voyager closely.

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Old March 25 2009, 07:47 PM   #370
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

I find "Maneuvers" a good and exciting episode. great to see Chakotay as the main character in a good episode. Not to mention that any episode with Seska and Culluh are always watchable and enjoyable.

I'll give it 3 points out of 5.

As for politics, as a person with great interest in history and world events, I actually appreciate such storylines. Despite not having the opportunity to watch that much of DS9, I did like the Cardassian-Bajoran political intrigue. We did see some of it in TNG as well.
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Old March 25 2009, 07:51 PM   #371
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

"Resistance" is brilliant. One of the better Voyager episodes. Very thoughtful and well-written story. I really felt sorry for Caylem. His death was one of the few occasuin when it was close to tears in the old Lynx's eyes.

I'll give it 4 points out of 5
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Old March 25 2009, 09:14 PM   #372
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Prototype (*½)

"Unfortunately extinction is often the natural end of evolution." - Captain Kathryn Janeway

Firstly, I don't know if this is true. It shouldn't be because evolution via natural selection logically causes a species to adapt away from extinction and extinction is caused by a change in the environment rather than internal evolution. However, I am not an evolutionary biologist and I don't know everything about the subject so I'm not going to make the claim that evolution does not lead to extinction in some rare cases.

But does it matter? Just because death or sterilisation can occur to a species doesn't mean that you shouldn't try to stop it, we pay people to try and stop natural processes every day, they are called doctors. To rule out saving a species as Janeway does is the exact reason why so many people dislike her. It isn't her fault, the writer of this episode is to blame, but she comes across as overly moralistic with little regard for the individuals suffering.

Anyway, the episode has the whole Robots Kill Their Maker™ story and a lot of technobabble scenes which stretched my patience. There is some interesting scenes for Torres but nothing to write home about and they don't exactly feel character specific, so I am afraid that I'm going to have to deduct half a star for being a TNG-style episode. But there is also a reference to flux capacitors, so that earns the episode its half star back.
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Old March 25 2009, 11:28 PM   #373
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Praetor wrote: View Post
The one thing I think you may have left out was the almost constant early mentioning of power rationing causing holodeck and replicator systems to also be rationed, yet later in the show they seemed to have no problem running the holodecks almost 24/7 and replicating loads of torpedoes and shuttles. Yet another cop-out.
I'm in full agreement. There always needs to be a certain level of consistency on the overall "framework" of technology unveiled in the Star Trek universe. This "energy crisis" was peculiar, unlike anything we'd seen before, and then it conveniently never reared its ugly head ever again. Where did Voyager get more "tellerium" down the road if they ran out of it in season 2 and made it all the way to season 7 without procuring more? And of course, we never heard about tellerium in any other Star Trek series.
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Old March 25 2009, 11:40 PM   #374
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Still in agreement so far GodBen - 'Resistance' was brilliant and so was Joel Grey, 'Prototype' was the bad execution of a cliche. Cylons much? I remember being bored by it even as a kid, even though those robots' mannequin-like faces freaked me out.

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Praetor wrote: View Post
The one thing I think you may have left out was the almost constant early mentioning of power rationing causing holodeck and replicator systems to also be rationed, yet later in the show they seemed to have no problem running the holodecks almost 24/7 and replicating loads of torpedoes and shuttles. Yet another cop-out.
I'm in full agreement. There always needs to be a certain level of consistency on the overall "framework" of technology unveiled in the Star Trek universe. This "energy crisis" was peculiar, unlike anything we'd seen before, and then it conveniently never reared its ugly head ever again. Where did Voyager get more "tellerium" down the road if they ran out of it in season 2 and made it all the way to season 7 without procuring more? And of course, we never heard about tellerium in any other Star Trek series.
Exactly. They seemed to get lazy and selectively forget this kind of thing a bit down the line.
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Old March 25 2009, 11:51 PM   #375
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

GodBen wrote: View Post
Prototype (*½)

"Unfortunately extinction is often the natural end of evolution." - Captain Kathryn Janeway

Firstly, I don't know if this is true. It shouldn't be because evolution via natural selection logically causes a species to adapt away from extinction and extinction is caused by a change in the environment rather than internal evolution.
It is true. Evolution doesn't cause a species to adapt away from extinction, it is a random process in which the surviving adaptations better fit the individual to survive in a particular environment, thus preserving the genes in question.

Also, you're not considering the effects of competition on extinction. Or what happens if natural selection doesn't naturally select fast enough. And it's possible that species can become extinct due to internal evolution: for example, a virus that mutates in a way that kills off the host before the virus can be spread to another carrier.
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