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Old August 4 2009, 01:00 AM   #2296
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Life Line is a decent show but was a little underwhelming for me since it reminds me so much more of TNG's "Brothers" and as a result "Life Line" is a less poignant and acting tour de force as TNG's "Brothers" was.

I did appreciate though that the episode actually started setting up things for what at the time seemed like for the homecoming and the aftermath of the crew's return. Unfortunately none of this materializes--not the Maquis element, not Pathfinder's role in bringing the crew home, not Admiral Paris getting some resolution and one on one with his son, not seeing Zimmerman again.

I did enjoy seeing Marina return too.

I give it three stars.
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Old August 4 2009, 06:33 AM   #2297
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

I've updated the first post with a table of contents up to Season 4.
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Old August 4 2009, 02:24 PM   #2298
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Cheers. Here's season 5, I'll collate season 6 once I'm done watching it.


Season 5

Night (***)
Drone (**) (That one sure did cause a kerfuffle that lasted for a few pages.)
Extreme Risk (**)
In the Flesh (0) (Post 1701! And then I left.)
Once Upon a Time (***½) (Not really.)
Timeless (****½) (In no way do I endorse the use of rohypnol as a date-rape drug. Just to be clear.)
Infinite Regress (**½)
Nothing Human (*½)
Thirty Days (***½) (And the show jumped the shark!)
Counterpoint (**½)
Latant Image (****)
Bride of Chaotica! (**½)
Gravity (**)
Bliss (*½)
Dark Frontier (**½)
The Disease (**)
Course: Oblivion (**)
The Fight (0)
Think Tank (**)
Juggernaut (**)
Someone to Watch Over Me (***½)
11:59 (****)
Relativity (**)
Warhead (**½)
Equinox (****)

Season 5 Review
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Old August 5 2009, 12:32 AM   #2299
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

The Haunting of Deck Twelve (**½)

What a scary tale, I had to change my underpants after watching this one.

Or not. This is a very generic Star Trek episode about a strange alien and computer malfunctions, but they try to gussy it up by placing the action within a ghost story. That helps in a way because it makes a very ordinary episode feel slightly unique, but it is also a hindrance because none of what happens is scary. I can do a better ghost story than that:

Once there was a man that liked to call himself GodBen, and... he reproduced!

Scary, no?

For a scary story about being trapped in a dark ship there is far too many lights operating. Power goes across the ship, but somehow the red alert lights keep flashing? Neelix also mentions that he had to crawl through pitch-black Jefferies tubes, but when we seem him do it the lights are on. I'm sure there was probably some production reason why they had to have the lights on, but it really takes away from the effect that the episode was going for. But it is nice that the writers remembered Neelix's fear of the dark.
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Old August 5 2009, 01:52 AM   #2300
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

The best line of the episode? "Snacks are irrelevant. Continue the story!" It was all in the delivery. I loved Mezoti.

ETA -- I also liked how they brought the computer into it. "I won't be your prisoner, you're going to have to kill me!" "Acknowledged."

And Tuvok was pretty funny when Kim and Paris asked him what he saw (meaning, in the image they were comparing to a vampire bat) and he said "Two Starfleet officers with juvenile imaginations."
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Old August 5 2009, 01:54 AM   #2301
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Yeah that was a funny line. I even made an avatar of it:
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Old August 5 2009, 04:21 PM   #2302
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

GodBen wrote: View Post

I had to change my underpants after watching this one.
Finally! We've been meaning to talk to you about that...
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Old August 5 2009, 07:36 PM   #2303
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Well I've been unemployed for a year now, I can't afford to wash them on a monthly basis like I used to.
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Old August 6 2009, 12:35 AM   #2304
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Unimatrix Zero (**)

It might not the best way to destroy the mythology of the Borg, but having a bunch of them sneaking out at night and meeting up in a forest where they talk about their feelings and fall in love... it's one way to do it. And where did Unimatrix Zero come from? Nobody knows for sure, it's apparently some mutation that happened and affects drones at random. Ask any software developer and they'll tell you that complicated virtual reality simulations are constantly appearing at random with no known source, many of them believe that a wizard may be involved.

But I digress. Unimatrix Zero exists, it's a boring place filled with boring people who do boring things, so naturally it is worth fighting for. It doesn't matter that it will involve taking on the most powerful force in the galaxy, they'll be no match for Voyager's Clever Plan™. That plan will involve three Voyager crewmembers being completely transformed into Borg, which should be good as character development because the psychological scars from that should give us at least one episode of follow-up.

The episode dreams big, which is nice, but some of the concepts behind it all are either badly developed or terrible to begin with. I don't care about the fate of Unimatrix Zero, it's a dull place. The idea of a Borg civil war might be interesting were it not for the fact that the freed drones will be outnumbered 1,000,000 to 1. As for the Borg queen, I don't see what she brings to this episode. But the worst thing of all is that the Borg are unscary again, I felt they had recovered in Collective, but now they seem less dangerous than they were in Dark Frontier.

Torpedoes: 74/38
Shuttles Lost: 15

Yes, I'm counting the Flyer.


Right, you know the drill by now, I'll probably post a season review tomorrow afternoon and then its on to the final season.
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Old August 6 2009, 01:05 AM   #2305
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

I really enjoyed Unimatrix Zero. I give it three stars out of four.

It certainly is in no danger of displacing Scorpion, Q Who , I Borg or The Best of Both Worlds from the upper tier of Borg event episodes but it is still a well crafted and potentially intriguing storyline that is set up here in the first half.

Descent on TNG attempted to move towards the idea of a Borg civil war but I thought it was much more clumsily handled in its execution than what Brannon and Menosky devised here. I like this concept much more.

At first when I heard about a vacation spot for certain Borg in publicity releases I wasn't sure if that really would fit well in the Borg mythology but after seeing how it was implemented here I think it works. There were a few issues with some leaps in logic designed solely to allow the story to take place that rankled such as how the Queen ever learned of its existence since drones have no memory of it when not regenerating and how Axum was able to draw Seven back to them from within this dream realm--but these were instances where I liked the idea so much I let these issues slide.

I also thought Brannon did the right thing by having not just the captain assimilated but Tuvok and Torres as well. He wisely realized that the cliffhanger would draw immediate comparisons to Picard's assimilation so he altered by having three main cast members assimilated and the other twist being their assimilation was part of a bigger plan.

I know some had a problem with Janeway et al undertaking voluntary assimilation but I bought it. Afterall Janeway is a little nutty plus the inclusion of seeing yet another destroyed colony earlier in the episode was just another reminder of the Borg's destructive path through the DElta Quadrant. No doubt her deal back in Scorpion to help the BOrg, while the right decision, still probably weighed heavily on her and here was an opportunity to destroy the Borg--not through destroying the collective by killing innocent victims turned Borg like was proposed in I BOrg or what Icheb's people had come up with--but through actually liberating those victims.

Also I'm sure B'elanna felt a certain connection with the UZ drones seeing them much like the Maquis and the Collective like the Cardassians/Jem'Hadar. Whereas she was helpless to do anything to help the Maquis here she could be pivotal in helping not only modify the nanovirus but deliver it and prevent another slaughter of rebels fighting for liberation against a heavily powered force. Tuvok also made sense given the fact he is not only Janeway's best friend but as head of security responsiblefor her safety. Plus as the Vulcan axiom goes "the needs of the many...". If successful his temporary assimilation compared to the salvation of trillions of lifeforms would be worth it.

I did wonder if it was necessary for Janeway to saythat Starfleet would have a problem with her starting a civil war. Yes if we were talking of Klingons but we know from Descent that Nechayev told Picard to do whatever it takes to bring the Collective down so I would suspect like the Omega Directive, the Prime Directive would be suspended when it came to stopping the Borg.

Susana Thompson did a good job as the Queen. By this point in the series I had just given myself over to the idea of the Queen as a leader and the drones as her henchmen.

The final act was quite exciting from start to finish--the preparations before disembarking where Janeway et al get a final moment to say their good-bye before heading off on their mission and Seven gives last minute instructions to the rebels, the battle sequence, the action on the tactical cube with the trio being overrun and injected with nanoprobes to the parting shot of the trio as drones.

I also liked this story because a Borg civil war could be a nice final season arc with an epic scope. VOY really lacked an epic feel and any arcs to drive its ending and having just come off a year earlier with DS9's Final Chapter I really wanted something similiar for VOY and I thought this could definitely provide that. Unfortunately it really never fulfilled its potential and that was definitely disappointing.
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Old August 6 2009, 01:22 AM   #2306
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Unimatrix Zero was a piece of shit. It ruined the Borg, and the only good thing in it was the apparance of the Tactical Cube. Janeway, Tuvok and Torres being fakeassimilated was insanely stupid, especially considering they'll be back to normal at the end of the episode, even though the Borg cut out large pieces of their flesh (Probably without sedation) and replaced them with machines.
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Old August 6 2009, 06:28 AM   #2307
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

startrekwatcher wrote: View Post
Also I'm sure B'elanna felt a certain connection with the UZ drones seeing them much like the Maquis and the Collective like the Cardassians/Jem'Hadar. Whereas she was helpless to do anything to help the Maquis here she could be pivotal in helping not only modify the nanovirus but deliver it and prevent another slaughter of rebels fighting for liberation against a heavily powered force.
That's a great thought. It would have been great for a character moment. I would have loved to have had a scene where B'Elanna and Chakotay get to talk about the similarities between this fight and the Maquis'. But, since it didn't happen, now the episode is tarnished further for me, because I'll always remember what a great scene they didn't include.

My main problem with Unimatrix Zero, besides the unexplained appearance of the place (a place that a certain set of Borg ALL visit during their regeneration cycle? Yeah, maybe that'd fly if they were all telepaths or something - this is a psuedo-explanation meant to give us an answer and quickly moving on before anyone can say anything about it), or the idea of willingingly being assimilated with the hope that they'll retain their individuality, stems out of the conclusion, so I'll save most of the rantings for this episode for there. Still, it seems to be shamelessly attempting to draw on BoBW's cliffhanger, hoping to match it. It doesn't.
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Old August 6 2009, 03:42 PM   #2308
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Season 6 Review



That's a very spiky graph in the middle, there's a string of 10 alternations where the score goes up and down, up and down... The average score for the season was 4.769, but that's a largely because of how much I hated the Irish holodeck episodes, if you remove those from the calculation the score is 5.167. Unfortunately those episodes do exist and I have to include the scores for them, but they do skew the results down.



Just like season 4, the most popular score this season was 7, although there was more average episodes than in season 4. If we ignore the two Fair Haven episodes then all the scores fit within the 2-8 range, I considered none of the episodes to be all-time greats, but the only all-time worst were the Irish crap that I'm unusually sensitive to.

11 episodes were below average, 5 were average and 10 were above average.
Best episode: Memorial
Worst episode: Spirit Folk


The Writers

As with season 5, We have two new staff writers this season; Robert Doherty previouly wrote two episodes before joining the staff this year, and Raf Green joined up too. Both of them will stick around through seasons 6 and 7. Mike Sussman also co-wrote one episode but he will be back for season 7, and all of Enterprise, so I'm including him. (He also wrote The Swarm in season 3 which was never included in the writer graph, but now it will be.)



Braga and Menosky both scored 5.75, but Menosky wrote twice as many episodes as Braga so Menosky wins this season. Biller and Raf Green both score 5.333 out of 3 episodes, so they're tied for third place. Sussman's one episode was average. Michael Taylor had a relatively poor season to score 4.6 out of 5 episodes, while Doherty's debut season was worse with a score of 3.5 out of four. But the golden boy of season 4, Bryan Fuller, is the real loser here with an awful score of 3.167 out of 6 episodes. How the mighty have fallen.



This is how the writers stand after six seasons. Menosky and Braga are still falling short of overtaking Michael Piller with scores of 5.606 and 5.529 respectively, since Braga has only two more episodes left and Menosky only the one it seems very unlikely that they will manage to beat Piller. However, Raf Green has a real chance of overtaking all three of them if he has a good final season. Biller is averaging 4.957, so he has a shot of bringing his score above 5 in the final year, so too does Michael Taylor whose score was dragged down to 4.923 this season. Fuller went from being in the top tier writers to his current score of 4.706, hopefully he can salvage that next year. Including The Swarm from season 3 brings Sussman's score down to 4. However, Doherty's debut season on the writing staff combined with his scores for Vis a Vis and Bliss have made him my new least favourite writer on the show with a score of 3 from 6 episodes.


What Would GodBen Do?

Brannon Braga somehow got lost in Thailand and can't find his way out, Ron Moore still quit Voyager in a huff and Rick Berman just plain doesn't like Joe Menosky, so I've been hired as the new head writer for the sixth season. How would I have done things differently?

My plan to improve season 3? Turn Basics Part 2 into a three episode arc. My plan to improve season 4? Turn Scorpion Part 2 into a three episode arc. My plan to improve season 5? Turn Night into a three episode arc. My plan to improve season 6? Leave Equinox Part 2 as one episode. I don't see the point in dragging out that episode to be anything more than a two-parter, having Voyager take more than one episode to find and capture Equinox would have made them seem incompetent. I certainly want more follow-up to Equinox though! They should have had an episode or two about integrating the remaining Equinox crew into Voyager, and Ransom or Burke should have survived in order to stand trial for what happened. They already dropped the ball on this by killing Seska at the beginning of season 3 without giving us a trial, they made the same mistake here.

Why not keep the Equinox around for the season? Equinox survives and is salvageable, so they use Voyager's magic healing abilities on the Equinox to bring it back to a workable condition. Chakotay is given command of the ship and he starts acting a little more independently from Janeway, perhaps even breaking her orders and using the Equinox to go on some mission he feels is morally justified (á la Tom in Thirty Days). I've said for the last three seasons that Chakotay's character has been useless since Seksa died, this would give him some much-needed direction and it could also do the same for Harry by making him the first officer. In Unimatrix Zero Part 2 Chakotay is forced to sacrifice the Equinox in order to rescue Janeway and co. Yes, I'm am stealing the Pegasus plot from BSG, so sue me.

Actually, I'm not such a fan of Unimatrix Zero and feel the episode needed some alterations. The idea of assisting in creating a Borg civil war is interesting but I don't like the concept of Unimatrix Zero itself and wish there had been another way. It could have tied in with Child's Play, they find a way of altering the pathogen in Icheb so that it affects certain races within the Borg and helps them transform back into individuals. It would affect 1 in 4 Borg, not 1 in 1,000,000, that way the rebel Borg have a chance to inflict serious damage upon the collective rather than being a petty nuisance that wont go anywhere. Janeway and the others are modified to carry the pathogen and they allow themselves to be assimilated in order to infect the collective.


Statistics

Shuttles Lost: 15
Torpedoes: 74/38
Harry Deaths: 3

Season 1 Average: 5.867
Season 2 Average: 4.692
Season 3 Average: 4.269
Season 4 Average: 5.231
Season 5 Average: 4.92
Season 6 Average: 4.769
Overall Average (144 episodes): 4.889


In Summation

This season reminded me of a weaker version of season 4; instability in the quality, several good episodes, fewer "meh" episodes and a drop of quality in the final third of the season. It was less of a slog to get through than season 5 and its long string of average episodes, although Fair Haven has caused the score to be lower than season 5. As we head into the final season the score stands 0.111 away from breaking even with an score of 5.0, in order to achieve that season 7 will have to achieve an average score of 5.667, putting it up there with the likes of season 1. Whether I remain a Voyager "hater" now rests upon the shoulder's of the new head writer, Kenneth Biller. Take it away, Ken...
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Old August 6 2009, 04:21 PM   #2309
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

GodBen wrote: View Post
Mike Sussman also co-wrote one episode
Well he really didn't co-write UZ. Plus if you read the article he posted a few weeks back you can see how his input was very minor. UZ is really a Braga and Menosky story.
while Doherty's debut season was worse with a score of 3.5 out of four.
I'm pretty sure Doherty also wrote season four's "Vis a Vis".
But the golden boy of season 4, Bryan Fuller, is the real loser here with an awful score of 3.167 out of 6 episodes. How the mighty have fallen.
I told you Fuller's work isn't that impressive.
I certainly want more follow-up to Equinox though! They should have had an episode or two about integrating the remaining Equinox crew into Voyager, and Ransom or Burke should have survived in order to stand trial for what happened.
I'm not too crazy about trials. I know Moore had mentioned wanting to do a trial story but if it would be something akin to Baltar's trial on nBSG I'm glad they didn't. Except one or two isolated moments I found that rather underwhelming.
It could have tied in with Child's Play, they find a way of altering the pathogen in Icheb so that it affects certain races within the Borg and helps them transform back into individuals.
Who really cares about this? The nanovirus that was released that restored individuality to the drones did the same thing as the virus MacGuffin you suggest. I really don't see the difference. Both would be a means to restore their selves so they could fight back.
It would affect 1 in 4 Borg, not 1 in 1,000,000, that way the rebel Borg have a chance to inflict serious damage upon the collective
The UZ drones could still inflict damage on the Collective. The plan appeared based on Part II was for the liberated drones to proceed to each ship's vinculum(Infinte Regress) and disable it like Kirok did freeing the remaining non-UZ drones and seizing control of the ship. All it would take is one UZ drone on each ship to liberate the whole thing. There might only initially be 1 to 1000000 but soon enough those numbers would change drastically hence the Queen snuffing out ships with drones she could no longer hear.
Janeway and the others are modified to carry the pathogen and they allow themselves to be assimilated in order to infect the collective.
Which is what happened. The only difference is you would have had them carrying Icheb's pathogen which apparently much like Hugh's invasive program would have only affected the drones on the ship JTT were on and halting the story whereas the writers wisely had a technovirus that having been developed from a Borg technovirus could be uploaded into the central plexus without being flagged as a foreign threat being introduced because it would be recognized as Borg.
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Old August 6 2009, 04:28 PM   #2310
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

apenpaap wrote: View Post
Unimatrix Zero was a piece of shit. It ruined the Borg, and the only good thing in it was the apparance of the Tactical Cube. Janeway, Tuvok and Torres being fakeassimilated was insanely stupid, especially considering they'll be back to normal at the end of the episode, even though the Borg cut out large pieces of their flesh (Probably without sedation) and replaced them with machines.
Part of the problem was having Chakotay ruin the surprise at the end of part 1, and not even allowing the viewers a little suspense over whether the fakeassimilaion was part of the plan or not.

I think UZ was an interesting concept, in having a zone that the Collective couldn't control. But it was poorly executed.
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