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Old May 6 2009, 07:05 AM   #1096
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Worst Case Scenario is another case of 'two stories thrown into one episode.' The first half is incredibly enjoyable, since it actually uses Voyager as a community - they're developing their own separate world and life that's focused solely on their lives, not on the outside space, not on things from back home. It's focusing on the ship as a whole, an actual attempt to make the ship into having the feeling of a tight-knit community, something that I feel should have been a major part of the series. And there is touch on the old Maquis-Starfleet conflict that was supposed to be a part of the series. It would have been nice to see some old thoughts of 'the Maquis way might get us home quicker, since we wouldn't stop for every strange anomaly we pass' creep up, even just as conversation amongst the crew, not actual plans for a mutiny.

Then there's the second half, which is another 'Holodeck gone awry' story. I do like the uncommon usage of the Tom and Tuvok pairing, and I do like how everything gets stacked against them (Come on, holo-Doc... er, you know what I mean, actually throws them out of Sickbay. That's gotta be worth something.) And it's amusing how Janeway and B'Elanna get to play God with the program - it's almost tongue and cheek at the show's own tendency towards dues ex machina-style resolutions. But I do agree, holo-Seska seems unusually and uncharacteristically bloodthirsty and she gets reduced to cliched villainy (all she needed was a few well-timed mwa-ha-ha's). Still, I do think she gets a slightly better death than the sudden collapse-and-dies she had at the end of Basics, so I suppose that's something.
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Old May 6 2009, 07:43 AM   #1097
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Worst Case Scenario

When I re-watch Voyager on DVD, then I always end with this one. For me, it's the perfect closure. A good, exciting episode. The plot is actually good even if it is a holodeck episode and it's great to see Seska again, even if she's just a hologram this time. Really entertaining here and there and some good action as well.

I'll give it 3 points out of 5.

Robotech Master wrote:
I'd agree with whoever said the first three seasons were more enjoyable than the last three seasons.

At least back then I had some hope for the show. Dumping Jennifer Lien for those melons still brings out the cynic in me with respect to the motivations of the writing staff in the later seasons.

Were they really interested in the creative aspects of storytelling? Or were they just feeding the lowest common denominator? Sure, Seven got some interesting stories here and there and Jeri Ryan proved that she had more to offer than just the awesome boobage.

But I lost faith in the writing staff. At least in the first three seasons I still believeed that the show might get better and become worthy of its predecessors. And I liked Kes... they could have kept her and dumped Neelix, Kim, and Chakotay IMO.
I agree with what most of what you have written here. But I don't think that Nelix, Chakotay and Kim should have been dumped. All the main characters should have remained in the series when Seven was added.
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Old May 6 2009, 07:46 AM   #1098
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

startrekwatcher wrote: View Post
Personally, I have never cared for assigning scores and grades to episodes. It is so subjective and everyone has their own idea of what a certain grade means. Throw in the fact that internet fans have an absolutely awful habit of giving everything "A+++++" or "excellents". I find it for more illuminating to read the aspects in detail that one likes or dislikes.
Absolutely agreed. And I don't mean this to sound like I considered GodBen's grades nonsensical (they can give you a general idea of what one thinks about an episode), but generally I prefer elaborated thoughts in the form of sentences.

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Old May 6 2009, 08:07 AM   #1099
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

NCC-1701 wrote: View Post
... generally I prefer elaborated thoughts in the form of sentences.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Some of our brains can't handle that
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Old May 6 2009, 02:10 PM   #1100
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

GodBen wrote: View Post
Worst Case Scenario (**½)

I guess this is the mutiny episode we were never going to get. It's no The Oath.

The episode is pretty good for the first half as the crew plays around in the mutiny. It's not the greatest depiction of a mutiny I've ever seen, but its fun and we get a glimpse at a Voyager that never was. The scenes where the crew discusses the program were also good, it helps make the crew feel like a community.

But I've never been a fan of the second half of the show where Seska shows up and wreaks havoc. There's too many plot conveniences , such as Seska programming a holo-program that can counteract anything Janeway does to interfere, not to mention the fact that the episode falls back on the holodeck malfunction cliché.
I've always liked this one, because when I first saw it I had no idea what was coming up. Although you know at the back of your mind that it can't really be a mutiny, it's still great fun to go through the motions.

I also agree with you about the scenes with the crew just talking, drinking coffee, and enjoying each others' company - I always felt that during this 70 year trip, most of it should be really boring. Just the ship flying through empty space at Warp 8, with nothing much occurring. They can't be bumping into hostile aliens and weird wobbly colourful things all the time. It's also why I liked 'Night', because it was interesting to see them after a few months of literally nothing happening. Though admittedly, that doesn't make for great television.

It all falls apart a bit in the last segment with the usual "killer holodeck" stuff*, but it's cool to see Bajoran Seska again (even if it just serves to remind you what could have been). It also shows Tuvok in a good light, rather than the usual caricature of the anally retentive stick-in-the-mud. The Paris-Tuvok relationship is generally played for laughs, but it works well here. I love the cheeky "deux ex machina" ending as well - on this occassion, it is perfectly legitimate.




* It's also another example of Voyager's tendancy to create seemingly sentient beings at the touch of a button. Moriarty and Vic Fontaine were examples on the other shows, but once you had the EMH, that set a worrying precedent that they never really got to grips with.
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Old May 6 2009, 02:28 PM   #1101
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Jaespol wrote: View Post
GodBen's reviews are starting to annoy me again....
Haven't you realised by now that this whole thread is only here in order to annoy you?

This was a fun episode and another great episode in a string of great episodes at the end of season 3! It was FFFUUUUNNNNN!
The problem I have is that I don't derive any fun from predictable situations. Are Tuvok and Tom going to die at the hands of the evil Seska hologram? No. Making me care about a predetermined outcome requires exceptional writing, and Voyager rarely displayed that level of writing ability. The best episodes are ones which don't rely upon peril as a crutch, the best episodes try to tell a story where the viewer can't determine how it will end. That's why the first half of this episode is so good, I don't know where the story is going, and that's why the second half is so boring.


As for me assigning scores to each episode, I only do that because I have a very mathematically oriented mind and I love the act of deriving information from statistics. As with all reviews which have scores attached, it is only my opinion and I include them for my own purposes and because it indicates my general feelings toward an episode. I try to stay away from the extreme ends of the scale unless I feel that the episode really deserves it which is why only 5 episodes received half a star or zero, and only 3 episodes received four and a half or five. Ideally for an average season the results should form a bell-curve around two and a half.

If you want a scale which explains my opinions then here it is.

0: Not worthy of my ridicule
½: Awful
*: Bad
*½: Poor
**: Meh
**½: Average
***: Enjoyable
***½: Good
****: Very good
****½: Great
*****: Exceptional
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Old May 6 2009, 03:37 PM   #1102
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

What's the highest rated episode so far? Forgive my laziness.
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Old May 6 2009, 07:18 PM   #1103
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Prime Factors from season 1, followed by Meld then Eye of the Needle. I'm surprised because my favourite episode so far has been one I didn't even remember until two months ago.
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Old May 6 2009, 07:21 PM   #1104
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

What did they get on the scale by way of comparison? Presumably not the full five stars?
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Old May 6 2009, 07:32 PM   #1105
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Prime Factors got the full five stars because I loved the ending and I felt it was a great use of the show's premise. Meld and Eye of the Needle got four and a half each.
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Old May 6 2009, 07:44 PM   #1106
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Right, cheers. I haven't seen any of those episodes for years, so maybe time to have another look. I don't remember 'Meld' at all!
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Old May 6 2009, 10:45 PM   #1107
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Scorpion (*****)

It's by no means perfect, and the episode does have a number of problems, but it doesn't really matter because it was a great hour of entertainment. Voyager managed to pull off an episode where there was a race more powerful than the Borg, yet they kept the Borg terrifying at the same time. It's still exciting a decade later to watch 15 cubes overtake Voyager at high speed, and everything about 8472 is cool.

Before Scorpion aired 12 years ago I had lost a lot of interest in Voyager and only tuned in if I could be bothered to remember, but afterwards Voyager became must-see viewing because I had seen the show's potential and I didn't want to miss a single episode in case they reached this level again. That's how good this episode is, it kept me watching through Fair Haven.

It's probably the most ambitious episode yet and it didn't disappoint like earlier episodes on this level, such as Basics. It's even more impressive now that I've learned it was a last minute decision to do this episode as the finale.


Season 3 is over! Yay!
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Old May 6 2009, 10:53 PM   #1108
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

I consider this and Part II the best episodes of the series. They were certainly the only ones that really hit all the marks.

Brannon is bashed quite a bit by fans but this episode really captured him at his best and displayed those qualities I often enjoyed about his writing.

All the little details were there showing the writers were on the ball. The realistic preparations the crew were taking upon realizing they were entering Borg space were absolutely essential and thankfully Braga & Menosky addressed them.

Janeway reviewing the logs of those who encountered the Borg including Picard was a nice touch. The continuity flourishes of Wolf 359, Q, the Borg's "Resistance is Futile", Tuvok using the rotating frequencies idea developed on TNG--all expected and appropriate. The Doctor studying the Borg corpse from "Unity" in order to provide a medical defense against assimilation also showed some thinking because you have to prepare for the worst. I always found it interesting to consider that by handing over the Doctor's research on the modified nanoprobes and the alien cells that she was turning over not just a means to defeat 8472 but also preventing the opportunity for the Doctor to possibly modify 8472's immunity into a safe assimilation vaccine. It just added to the tough position she was in and made it that more compelling. Sending out a probe ahead of the ship was another smart move to scout for possible threats. I also liked it because it led to a great moment as B'elanna pulls up the last recorded images confirming Borg!

I also appreciated Janeway acknowledging the reality of the situation she found herself in whether in her conversations with Chakotay or the crew in the briefing room or with the Collective itself(thankfully there was no emotional Queen to interact with)--Borg space is vast, there will be trillions of Borg and a myriad of vessels and the choice was either to try to sneak through or turn back, she did have the Collective over the barrel and that defeating 8472 whose goal was to wipe out all life in our galaxy trumps defeating the Borg. At least with the Borg the Federation has demonstrated the ability to deal with the Borg in some limited manner. I also appreciated the fact that Neelix had very little to offer up, beyond his efforts to ration food supplies, given he had not engaged the Borg before and I liked how Kes and her Ocampan abilities were used and how they contributed and how they would eventually set up for her exit. It gave everyone a little something to do including Kim who it seemed the episode was priming for an exit in the fall. Too bad, of course they didn't go through with it because as the series ultimately demonstrated he was deadweight and it would have shown the writers were willing to up the stakes.

The urgency and the terrifying atmosphere were present and accounted for from the very first moment where, in the teaser, we see two Borg cubes meet resistance and are quickly dispatched before they could finish their assimilation sales pitch. The story wasn't a BoBW retread but was a brilliantly conceived tale that provided a clever, plausible and elegant excuse to how one lone ship could possibly survive in Borg space for any period of time--the Borg were busy with someone more powerful than they were. It also offered Janeway the leverage she needed--the Collective would not only not assimilate Voyager but would also protect Voyager from the aliens at all costs as they proceeded to move out of Borg space as they worked together on a weapon. I don't think you could have come up with any better idea. Also I figured the Borg were intrigued by a Federation ship all the way in the Delta Quadrant--the Borg must have wondered how they got to this region with the warp technology they possessed when last they met.

Along with the armada of 15 cubes speeding past Voyager this hour supplied us with several effective visually-based visceral moments including the one when the crew first encounters the Borg graveyard and the sight of the bioships forming a weapon to destroy a planet . Brannon has always been one of the best people when it comes to effective imagery. I also liked the idea of two powerful races--one based on technology and the other on biology.

The score was outstanding most notably when the away team is on the march away from the pursuing 8472.

The least interesting parts were the ones involving da Vinci because I was more interested in seeing this crew react to the knowledge that they were entering Borg space and that they were facing not one but two mortal threats . Thematically they were interesting in how they tied to the story but when compared to all the other interesting stuff unfolding around them they tended to get in the way and was one of the few weaknesses in the entire hour. Another minor issue was the fact that a bioship was able to destroy a powerful cube in seconds yet Voyager just spins out of control.

The one issue I did have was the way the writers played with the Borg's ability to study and adapt. On TNG, the Borg could study a ship's systems and counter the defenses by scanning them like in "Q Who?" or "The Best of Both Worlds" but here B'elanna suggests that unless they've assimilated
something they are clueless. I suppose it isn't too much of a stretch but it did rankle when I first heard it but over the years it hasn't bothered me as much. And I didn't find Mulgrew's Picard impression that great.

Overall, it was a fantastic hour made all the more impressive by the fact it was penned at the last minute. It finally gave me hope that maybe this would be the turning point for the series. In the end, it wasn't quite the transformative moment for a much improved series but it was a step in the right direction.

I'd give it four stars out of four stars. Excellent!
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Old May 7 2009, 05:06 AM   #1109
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Worst Case Scenario

Is it just me or at the beginning of the episode when holo-Chakotay runs up to B'Elanna in the corridor... did he pinch her butt? He seems to smile cheekily and his arm sort of lowers... but later he doesn't have the same expression when he walks up to Tom... Haha or maybe that's my imagination running away with me.

Scorpion

I really like this episode. The Borg are terrifying, probably the best 'villian' alien race in the entire Star Trek series. Also I like to see Chakotay acting-captain, he's more ruthless than Janeway is (except in Equinox...) and likes to yell "fire!" a lot.

Plus the end of season 3 marks the end of Janeway's horrible bun and the start of the ridiculously perfect bob.
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Old May 7 2009, 06:44 AM   #1110
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

I always liked Janeway's ponytail, personally. There were points in Season four where the shoulder-length was just really odd looking - I can give Year of Hell a pass on it, since she's probably doing 'do-it-yourself' haircuts, but there are occasions...

Anyway, on a less superficial note, Scorpion. Probably the best Voyager season-ender ever. All the other two parter finales always seem to place at least one character in mortal peril, but that just doesn't have the same punch it had when BoBW came out - cast members of a big show leaving is usually reported on, since I remember reading that a Voyager cast member was leaving at the end of Season 3 in the newspaper and TV Guide spoiled Jadzia's death the week before the episode aired. So if you don't hear about an actor leaving, the 'mortal peril' ending isn't that engaging.

In contrast, Scorpion doesn't take a 'characters in danger' tack - something worse that the Borg is terrifying in it's own right, especially the sequence with fifteen cubes flying past Voyager - before Scorpion, we only ever saw single cubes. One cube destroyed a fleet at Wolf 359. We know one cube can be a nearly unstoppable force. And to see fifteen reduced to a cloud of debris... DAMN. And then to see them destroy a planet, and Voyager's best chance is to make an alliance with the Borg... for a moment, Voyager looks to be actually looking to the idea of making some serious shake-ups to the status quo, because I don't think negotiations with the Borg are a usually accepted practice among Starfleet. The possibilities that are created by a Voyager desperate enough to go home that they'd make an alliance with not just their worst enemy, but the greatest threat to the Federation are pretty big.
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