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Old February 5 2012, 10:54 PM   #1
BennyRussel
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Voyager First Time Watcher - Caretaker Question

I am new to Voyager and have a question about the end of Caretaker. This is not a trivial question as the actions of the Caretaker and the decision at the end of the episode are the only reason the show ever existed.

As Voyager fans know, Captain Janeway decided to destroy the array even after Mr. Tuvok told her he had learned of a way to use it to send Voyager and her crew home. Janeway decided to destroy the array rather than let it fall into the hands of enemies of the Ocampa. Thus ensuring that her ship and crew would be stuck in the Delta Quadrant for the foreseeable future.

I have compiled a short list of alternative actions she could have taken. I'm not a Starfleet Captian, but they all seem like viable alternatives to voluntarily stranding your ship and your crew 75 years away from home in an area of the galaxy where you have no idea what you are going to come up against.
  1. Get their Maquis shipmates to plant a timed bomb on the array. Set it to explode 20 minutes after Voyager is transported home.
  2. Rig the Array with a bomb and either volounteer to stay behind to detonate the array, ask for a volounteer or order someone to do it
  3. Rig the Array with a bomb and give Neelix and Kes the detonator. Ask them to blow it up after Voyager is sent back
  4. Rig the array with a bomb and give the detonator to the Ocampa. Explain the situation, high-tail it out of the Delta Quadrant and let them decide what to do
  5. Booby-trap or mine the array so that the Kazon would have a very hard time getting to it after Voyager left.

This is just a short list of alternative actions Captain Janeway could have taken.

It does not include the most obvious action which would be "Screw the Ocampa, we're draggin' our Federation asses back to the Alpha Quadrant."

I'm asking Voyager fans to help me understand why none of the above options were even discussed in the episode. Torres puts up a minor fight, but I know if I was part of the Maquis crew, I would have gone absolutely bat-dung crazy over a Starfleet Captain making that kind of decision for me. Even one of the Starfleet officers on the bridge should have at least asked the Captain to consider alternatives. They just stood at their stations like it was no big deal.

Doesn't it seem like a weak premise to base the entire series on?
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Old February 5 2012, 10:58 PM   #2
JB2005
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Re: Voyager First Time Watcher - Caretaker Question

Would have been easier if the Caretaker's Array had self-destructed...
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Old February 5 2012, 10:59 PM   #3
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Re: Voyager First Time Watcher - Caretaker Question

You do know that the whole premise of the series was having a ship stranded in the Delta Quadrant don't you?

This is ultimately why Voyager remained behind.

Nothing you can suggest or postulate would leave Voyager back in Federation space at the end of Caretaker since the whole point of the episode is to have Voyager alone on the other side of the galaxy.

I just can't see the point of threads like this to be honest.
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Old February 5 2012, 11:17 PM   #4
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Re: Voyager First Time Watcher - Caretaker Question

Sandoval wrote: View Post
You do know that the whole premise of the series was having a ship stranded in the Delta Quadrant don't you?

This is ultimately why Voyager remained behind.

Nothing you can suggest or postulate would leave Voyager back in Federation space at the end of Caretaker since the whole point of the episode is to have Voyager alone on the other side of the galaxy.

I just can't see the point of threads like this to be honest.
Sandoval There are many ways the ship could have been left stranded in the Delta Quadrant.

The producers of the show could have just as easily put Capt. Janeway in a position where she couldn't get her crew home at the end of the episode or have her at least try to get her crew home after Mr. Tuvok informed her that it was possible.

Instead Capt. Janeway chose to strand her ship and her crew when there were obvious viable alternatives left on the table.

That is the general point of "a thread like this."

Do you have an answer to my original question or do you simply want to challenge why it was asked in the first place.
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Old February 6 2012, 01:11 AM   #5
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Re: Voyager First Time Watcher - Caretaker Question

BennyRussel wrote: View Post
I'm asking Voyager fans to help me understand why none of the above options were even discussed in the episode. Torres puts up a minor fight, but I know if I was part of the Maquis crew, I would have gone absolutely bat-dung crazy over a Starfleet Captain making that kind of decision for me. Even one of the Starfleet officers on the bridge should have at least asked the Captain to consider alternatives. They just stood at their stations like it was no big deal.

Doesn't it seem like a weak premise to base the entire series on?
It would've taken hours to get the program to send them home up and running, and in all that time they'd be under continuing attack by the Kazon (who refused to negotiate). They'd have been destroyed/defeated before they got the program running, so they couldn't us a timed explosive either.

Going home was never an option, because they'd be outnumbered before the program had powered up.

It was a choice between "Stay, fight and probably lose so the Kazon get the Array and our ship" and "Blow it up now and run away", using the Array to return wasn't an option.
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Old February 6 2012, 03:31 AM   #6
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Re: Voyager First Time Watcher - Caretaker Question

It depends on how one defines "viable".

Most of the above suggestions require the array to be blown up after Voyager leaves.. putting the fate of the Ocampa into the hands of 1 or 2 other people. There would be no way for Janeway to be assured the deed would have been successfully done "that way". Even if Janeway herself were to be left behind, she could not guarantee success by herself. Tuvok told her he COULD figure out how to operate the array but it would take hours. The Kazon leader told her reinforcements were "on the way". She could not know that one person left behind to blow the array would be sufficient IF the reinforcments arrived early.

As for why it had to be Janeway's CHOICE, and not just something she was forced into... it comes down to more than just the needs of the story/launching a new series.

A ship forced to stay in the Delta quadrant by the actions of an outside force is one thing.

A Captain who looks upon the needs of the many and decides THEY should come first, thus CHOOSING to remain in the Delta Quadrant... that is something else.

Something we will see again in season 2 when she evacuates her crew and is ready to kill herself and destroy Voyager to save more millions.

Does it make you want to be on her ship and "suffer" the fate of her crew?

Maybe not.

Then again... does it make me want to watch and see what happens NEXT week?

Oh yeah!
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Old February 6 2012, 04:44 AM   #7
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Re: Voyager First Time Watcher - Caretaker Question

I think we're forgetting the crew of Voyager are military officers and are trained in combat and survival in between their regular classes at the academy. Capt. Sisko reminds Worf of this in DS9's "Rules of Engagement" when he tells him he was trained to protect the defenseless and the weak, even if it means at the cost of your own life. Janeway's actions in "Caretaker" is another example of the honor of duty before personal gain that everyone in the military is trained to have. Putting getting home over the safety of the Ocampa is a civilian mentality, not one of the military. If you understand that, then you'll understand that Janeway never had a choice.
Star Trek is not about the lives of civilians, these people are trained soldiers.
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Old February 6 2012, 08:31 AM   #8
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Re: Voyager First Time Watcher - Caretaker Question

The Romans coined a phrase that has been true for the last few thousand years for any free society: "Citizen Soldier"

The thought of a standing army was reprehensible, disgusting and dangerous, because they couldn't trust any official to use an army inside the bounds of the Tiber river without malice, or that that army wouldn't get drunk then loot and sack the shit out of whomsoever they were supposed to be protecting.

Starfleet can defend the hell out of their borders and probably launch a war of aggression if they can find the profit and moral justification to do so but i still don't see these people as "soldiers" even during wartime.

If Starfleet wanted "just soldiers" I'm sure they could stream line the Starfleet academy syllabus into 8 weeks of how to kill all the different sorts of aliens.

I'm not sure where I heard it, but I'm remembering that during Caretaker, that Voyager was operating at about 10 percent of it's full capacities after the to9psy turvy trip there to Caretakers foot, which is why, the fleet it was having so much trouble with was a single city ship and two, count'em two shuttles.

The Kazon were businessmen.

They were part of a community of macroeconomically connected planets.

Janeway was pushy.

If she just took a step back and left it for a month, the Kazon would have have started a business.

Masstransportation.

Kathy could have purchased transit home for a few tons of replicatated water, if they didn't blow themselves up trying to work out how that fucker worked. Although they would have gotten replicators off the array before they figured out how to use the pan galactic tractor beam, and if they had replicators, then they wouldn't want to steal the Ocampa's water.

Gods below, that's exactly what Janeway offered them berfore Jabin opened fire.
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Old February 6 2012, 10:05 PM   #9
BennyRussel
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Re: Voyager First Time Watcher - Caretaker Question

You all have some interesting points of view and thanks for the replies.

JanewayRulz! I'm not convinced Capt. Janeway made the wrong choice. I just believe she made a rash choice. The thing that didn't ring true to me was that alternatives were never really discussed on the bridge. She knew they had a chance to get home. Albeit a slim chance, given the factors you mention.

There was also a slimmer chance to protect the Ocampa and get home, but it never seemed to cross her mind to try anything else.

Sometimes in order to survive (or complete a mssion) Captains are faced with two alternatives: "bad" or "worse." I think she jumped to "worse" immediately.

Anwar I don't remember Capt. Janeway saying her decision was based upon an incoming Kazon threat to Voyager. She essentially said the Ocampa were at risk if the array stayed intact so Voyager had to destroy the array.

If she was worried about being overrun by Kazon ships, and that hastened her decision, it would have been a good idea to say so.
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Old February 6 2012, 10:52 PM   #10
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Re: Voyager First Time Watcher - Caretaker Question

First I'll start by saying VOY did have it's moments, but it also was rather lax with continutiy issues. A lot of which could have been avoided by either not having a line of dialouge or adding a line.

Some enjoy VOY for what it was, some felt it could have been more than what it was.

One critisim that comes up fairly often with VOY is Great premise, poor execution.

But you'll have to make your own judgement. Of course what many do when watching the show for the first time is to open up a first time watch thread to disucss each episode as you watch it.
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Old February 6 2012, 11:32 PM   #11
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Re: Voyager First Time Watcher - Caretaker Question

Once they had access to the Arrays capabilities, she should have been more worried about killing the Kazon accidentally rather than being under any sort of threat.

It may take hours to chart a course 70 thousand light years home.

But they could probably kick any Kazon vessels bothering them into the periphery without much effort.

Either caretaker was a pacifist or he was already so drenched in so much Kazon blood that he couldn't stomach murdering even a few thousand more, but that dickhead didn't have to wander far from his wheel house to render a final solution tot he Kazon question.
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Old February 6 2012, 11:59 PM   #12
Anwar
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Re: Voyager First Time Watcher - Caretaker Question

BennyRussel wrote: View Post

Anwar I don't remember Capt. Janeway saying her decision was based upon an incoming Kazon threat to Voyager. She essentially said the Ocampa were at risk if the array stayed intact so Voyager had to destroy the array.

If she was worried about being overrun by Kazon ships, and that hastened her decision, it would have been a good idea to say so.
It is strange, I admit, that she based her decision solely on protecting the Ocampa but the episode itself showed that the Array wasn't even an option in the first place. We knew reinforcements were soon on the way and that the Array would take hours to power up their return trip which meant they'd be under attack long before the Array was ready. And we know from later episodes that if there are enough Kazon they can do real damage, so if the reinforcements got there and VOY couldn't run they'd be defeated before the Array was ready for use.
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Old February 7 2012, 12:06 AM   #13
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Re: Voyager First Time Watcher - Caretaker Question

I'm sure Scotty would have gotten it powered up in a quarter of the time.
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Old February 7 2012, 12:20 AM   #14
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Re: Voyager First Time Watcher - Caretaker Question

If the array couldn't get them home, how do you explain lines like this?

JANEWAY: But I'm not sure I can. Four years ago I destroyed the Caretaker's array to protect the Ocampa. That act of compassion stranded this crew in the Delta quadrant. I'm not about to give that order again.
The array was usable.

If it wasn't then Janeway never made a heroic sacrifice to literally define her as a hero.
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Old February 7 2012, 12:23 AM   #15
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Re: Voyager First Time Watcher - Caretaker Question

^a continuity error?
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