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Old April 5 2013, 10:58 PM   #196
C.E. Evans
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Re: When did voyager go wrong?

Guy Gardener wrote: View Post
Foolish.

Berman needed two shows running so that they couldn't push him out.

He was so blind to his waning power that Rick assumed consolidating everything into Enterprise meant that he was sure to make a better show that would translate into Job security from bosses who wanted to destroy him... What consolidation really meant was that he almost had no shows on the air and that his superiors could soon fire him.

It's like when you're playing one of those old games where you don't respawn 50 thousand times, how it doesn't mean that you are necessarily going to play better just because you've wasted and shredded all your other lives. Nothing is going to change that you are an idiot who is going to hang himself in the same way who needs... Did Berman really think that Voyager was only less beloved than DS9 because DS9 was made by superior craftspeople, and that if Enterprise wasan only child it would suddenly be the only fish in a small pond? yes, I said it. Dude was jealous. DS9 numbers plus Voyager numbers = Enterprise Numbers. I mean what are the stupid DS9 people going to do? Wag off and watch Battlestar Galcitica?

If when Enterprise failed, there was already a second show still running in parallel beside Enterprise, it would have cushioned Berman and saved his job and they wouldn't have been able to stop Rick from starting to tool for a new series to replace Enterprise for sheer terror of how he might tank the 10s of millions of dollars of their money he was already juggling, if they piss him off while he's still in control of a Star Trek program and midwifing a second.

(I say this as if Berman had any power to make these choices when he was most probably only a fraction less fates bitch like everybodyelse.)
You could probably blame Berman for a lot of things, but the idea for a fourth and fifth Star Trek show wasn't his, but rather UPN's. If it wasn't for UPN, Trek would have continued in the syndication route and Series IV probably wouldn't have launched until either 1999 or 2000. Given what happened with Paramount in 2006, there may not even have been a Series V if it wasn't for UPN.
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Old April 7 2013, 02:51 PM   #197
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Re: When did voyager go wrong?

I've read most of this thread, and found some of the discussions quite interesting. I neither hate nor love Voyager unlike some, I think some people need to realise that there where a lot of things the producers were not allowed to do back then.

The thing is, VOY did have the best premise of the Trek shows, however in order to do it justice they would have needed to approach every aspect of the show very differently. They wanted 26 standalone stories per season, and that alone killed 90% of the potential, given this restriction they did a good job. For what it's worth here are my random thoughts;

*As external conflicts would have always been difficult to develop, internal drama should have been a priority. I personally would have had a massive amount of Voyager personnel killed in the pilot, meaning most of the qualified and elite crew are gone. I'd probably have done something like this for the crew;
- Janeway- 1st officer of Voyager, takes command after death of Captain. From a science background, not as much leadership experience as other Trek captains, takes failure really badly and doesn't have absolute confidence in herself, utterly determined.
- Maquis Captain- Grudgingly accepts 1st officer role despite having more experience than Janeway. Early in the show considers mutiny, possibly even attempts it, realises that he doesn't have the crew to staff Voyager and as such is forced to comply
- Cardassian Crewmember- A high ranking military officer captured by the Maquis and held aboard the Maquis ship. Beaten and interrogated on a daily basis for information prior to the Maquis being stranded in the DQ. Initially put in the brig aboard Voy for his own protection. Voyager's Ops Officer was killed in the pilot, Kim has been manning the post but doesn't have the experience to do it and the ship suffers as a result, in the absence of other qualified personnel Janeway allows the Cardassian to take the position, and tutor Kim, over the complete objection of all serving Maquis. Having spent years coordinating Cardassian personnel he does an outstanding job but is a source of conflict.
-EMH- Similar but make his desire for equality a bit more subtle and no mobile emitter. If the crew consider abandoning ship it means abandoning the Dr.
- Kes- Stick with the concept and don't get rid of her! Have her very immature early on, show her desire for a normal life through the early seasons with Voyager crew disturbed a 3 year old is hitting on them etc. Have the show finish with her as an old woman, having lived her entire life parallel to this journey.
- No Neelix, or at least a massively different Neelix.
-As for other characters, either make them more interesting or change them.
It goes without saying the Maquis would have no desire to put on Starfleet uniforms. If that moment comes I'd expect something special to lead up to it

*As for damage/support/repairs etc- Obviously neither proposed extreme is ideal. What they had was ridiculous, the ship may have well been in the AQ. Having no repairs would mean the ship wouldn't be able to survive anything or go anywhere. I think if the hull is badly breached and there is visible damage, they need some kind of explanation for it's repair (use of a friendly alien shipyard for example). It would be great too if there could be some sign this had happened, different coloured panels on some sections for example. Internally, if the bridge is trashed in an episode, it would be better to have it be trashed in the next episode, looking slightly better each week as the debris is cleared and the walls are repainted etc. Even if this all happens in the background in 1 episode, it is better than magically regenerating. Have certain corridors be wrecked and fire damaged for an episode or 2 after big battle, the crew doesn't need to discuss it, just be a nice visual for when they are walking through discussing something else.

*Rationing and low resources should have led to some interesting moral debates. The possibilities here are endless.

*Holodeck shouldn't have been used at all

*Given that Voyager was alone and without the backing of the Federation, their treatment from hostiles should have been far more brutal. Even if an enemy has an advantage over Picard's Enterprise, they don't beam aboard and start executing his crew because they don't want to be at war with the Federation. There were opportunities for some intense scenes. I also hated the way Voyager/Janeway had to "win" at the end of each episode, it comes across like kids TV sometimes. Have Voyager threatened, attacked and narrowly escape with their tail between their legs, watching these proud strong characters have to deal with that is far more interesting to me than Janeway "taking out the garbage"

*On a related note, no Janeway/Borg Queen conflict. It literally became a Saturday morning cartoon. Surviving the journey, and trying to keep some cohesion within such a diverse crew would be far more compelling. Since external threats could never be that well developed (given that Voyager doesn't stop), then the antagonists should be looked at like The Walking Dead's zombies, they cause the problems that create the drama but are never going to be developed.

*Given the show was set to run 7 seasons, a change of pace from time to time might be good. For example if Voyager suffers massive engine damage, have them land on a planet for repairs, but due to the amount of damage that story could run 4 or 5 episodes, just think it through in advance and make the planet a particularly fascinating one and the story that's told there be something that really holds the audience interest.
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Old April 7 2013, 04:02 PM   #198
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Re: When did voyager go wrong?

i don't think voyager ever 'went wrong'. with the exception of the odd brilliant episode, it maintained the same level of mediocrity throughout its run.
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Old April 7 2013, 04:34 PM   #199
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Re: When did voyager go wrong?

SonOfMogh wrote: View Post
- Janeway- 1st officer of Voyager, takes command after death of Captain. From a science background, not as much leadership experience as other Trek captains, takes failure really badly and doesn't have absolute confidence in herself, utterly determined.
- Maquis Captain- Grudgingly accepts 1st officer role despite having more experience than Janeway. Early in the show considers mutiny, possibly even attempts it, realises that he doesn't have the crew to staff Voyager and as such is forced to comply
I don't buy this, why make Janeway lesser than what she was. You really have to be carful here. Females can captain starships and we are shown over a period of years that female captains are the norm. I personally prefer the experienced female captain. I also prefer a Chakotay that is smart enough to know that he is dependent on Janeway and her crew as much as she is dependent on him and his crew.


SonOfMogh wrote: View Post
- Cardassian Crewmember- A high ranking military officer captured by the Maquis and held aboard the Maquis ship. Beaten and interrogated on a daily basis for information prior to the Maquis being stranded in the DQ. Initially put in the brig aboard Voy for his own protection. Voyager's Ops Officer was killed in the pilot, Kim has been manning the post but doesn't have the experience to do it and the ship suffers as a result, in the absence of other qualified personnel Janeway allows the Cardassian to take the position, and tutor Kim, over the complete objection of all serving Maquis. Having spent years coordinating Cardassian personnel he does an outstanding job but is a source of conflict.
This is where you lose it for me, you disregard the core idea of all of Star Trek. That mankind is changing for the better and that in the future we are going to be considerably better species than we are now.

But aside from that, "Voyager's" reoccurring cast has to be likeable people to the widest majority of the audience as possible. That is why we saw Chakotay, sacrificing his ship to save Voyager, that is why we saw Tom Paris go back to rescue Chakotay. Those first impressions are important to set the direction of those characters, to tell the audience that these are trustworthy characters. The Trek producers went to a great deal of trouble to set up the Maquis as freedom fighters, not terrorists.

And finally Holodecks are a fact of life on starships, that was set in Next Generation. You might not care for Holodeck stories, but like it or not holodecks are the norm for starships. In other words it would have looked funny if they didn't have one, and the producers went out of their way to explain that power used on holodecks was not compatible with the rest of the power on the ship.
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Old April 7 2013, 09:07 PM   #200
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Re: When did voyager go wrong?

Brit wrote: View Post
SonOfMogh wrote: View Post
- Janeway- 1st officer of Voyager, takes command after death of Captain. From a science background, not as much leadership experience as other Trek captains, takes failure really badly and doesn't have absolute confidence in herself, utterly determined.
- Maquis Captain- Grudgingly accepts 1st officer role despite having more experience than Janeway. Early in the show considers mutiny, possibly even attempts it, realises that he doesn't have the crew to staff Voyager and as such is forced to comply
I don't buy this, why make Janeway lesser than what she was. You really have to be carful here. Females can captain starships and we are shown over a period of years that female captains are the norm. I personally prefer the experienced female captain. I also prefer a Chakotay that is smart enough to know that he is dependent on Janeway and her crew as much as she is dependent on him and his crew.


SonOfMogh wrote: View Post
- Cardassian Crewmember- A high ranking military officer captured by the Maquis and held aboard the Maquis ship. Beaten and interrogated on a daily basis for information prior to the Maquis being stranded in the DQ. Initially put in the brig aboard Voy for his own protection. Voyager's Ops Officer was killed in the pilot, Kim has been manning the post but doesn't have the experience to do it and the ship suffers as a result, in the absence of other qualified personnel Janeway allows the Cardassian to take the position, and tutor Kim, over the complete objection of all serving Maquis. Having spent years coordinating Cardassian personnel he does an outstanding job but is a source of conflict.
This is where you lose it for me, you disregard the core idea of all of Star Trek. That mankind is changing for the better and that in the future we are going to be considerably better species than we are now.

But aside from that, "Voyager's" reoccurring cast has to be likeable people to the widest majority of the audience as possible. That is why we saw Chakotay, sacrificing his ship to save Voyager, that is why we saw Tom Paris go back to rescue Chakotay. Those first impressions are important to set the direction of those characters, to tell the audience that these are trustworthy characters. The Trek producers went to a great deal of trouble to set up the Maquis as freedom fighters, not terrorists.

And finally Holodecks are a fact of life on starships, that was set in Next Generation. You might not care for Holodeck stories, but like it or not holodecks are the norm for starships. In other words it would have looked funny if they didn't have one, and the producers went out of their way to explain that power used on holodecks was not compatible with the rest of the power on the ship.
Hey thanks for reading my essay!

It's all personal preference at the end of the day, but to address/ clarify your concerns;

1/ Janeway being weaker and less experienced wouldn't have anything to do with her being a woman, I'd be happy if DS9 had a badass female captain and Voyager had a weaker male captain. I just personally think it would be interesting drama, the Starfleet crew outnumbers the Maquis crew so significantly that they cannot run the ship at all without them, yet they feel they should be in charge. I personally think that's fresher than Chakotay deciding in episode 1 that Janeway is awesome and that his entire crew should become Starfleet officers. Would be so much more effective if that respect and loyalty was EARNED, and the more obstacles in Janeway's path to earning that respect the more rewarding for the viewer.

2/ The Maquis is a terrorist organisation. The entire point of terror is to try to incite change because your enemy fear the consequences of defying you so much. They blow up military targets and kill Cardassians. They would certainly interrogate a Cardassian officer for information. Janeway's crew would be more like the TNG Starfleet officers we know, and would be HORRIFIED by this, and sickened to have to work with these people, making the entire scenario far more interesting to watch.

3/ Yeah, holodecks were used frequently on TNG, a show where every few episodes the ship was headed to Starbase XXX for repairs/refuelling/upgrades whatever. The best thing about the Voyager premise is that they would be stripped of luxuries, having the holodeck working, when replicators are rationed and they have to grow and cook food is ridiculous. I know the explanation in series, but still they were ordering drinks et in bars on the holodeck, if that aspect of the system is being powered separately to the replicators why not just make the holodeck into a giant mess hall and stop rationing all together. Just a strange decision so they could do random one off stories that deviated from the crisis these people were in on a daily basis.

I respect all opinions, can't all be alike, just my thoughts
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Old April 7 2013, 09:26 PM   #201
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Re: When did voyager go wrong?

The holodeck concept still gives me problems since the TNG days when it comes to food and drink. Originally it was presented as everything being photons and force fields. Then there's mention of replicator technology also involved. I used to think everything in the environment was simulated, including edibles. But with replicator technology, it means there might be an entire banquet table laid out, though all you eat is an olive.
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Old April 7 2013, 09:38 PM   #202
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Re: When did voyager go wrong?

Melakon wrote: View Post
The holodeck concept still gives me problems since the TNG days when it comes to food and drink. Originally it was presented as everything being photons and force fields. Then there's mention of replicator technology also involved. I used to think everything in the environment was simulated, including edibles. But with replicator technology, it means there might be an entire banquet table laid out, though all you eat is an olive.
I think the way it works is that the computer is sensitive enough to anticipate what you are going to do and quick enough to adapt to what you're doing. For example if you see a banquet in front of you, it is nothing but a simulation, you reach for something and the projection hides the replication of the item you are going for, by the time your hand reaches it, you're grabbing a real replicated item. If you put it back down and walk away, the computer takes that energy back and it once again becomes nothing more than an image.

If really would have to work like that, for example you always hear the joke about the person who has to clean out the holodeck after the orgies etc, but the reality is if you swallow any bodily fluid of a holographic person, it can't be good for you if that suddenly disappears from your stomach when you leave. Instead it would be replicated, and anything you leave in the holographic person is going to be broken down in the same way you put used plates back in the replicator.

If this were the case a holographic person would be part replicated matter part projection in some cases.
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Old April 7 2013, 09:42 PM   #203
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Re: When did voyager go wrong?

Yeah, I gotta agree Janeway stepping up as the inexperienced first officer would've been way more dramatic. Really in my opinion they did her and the story a disservice by having her be... by her own words... "larger than life." They made her have to be so absolute in her authority, and make sure the audience knows it, that they had to manufacture dilemma's and have her "make the call" to resolve them time after time. As if making her decisive and authoritative would somehow compensate for her being female. Unfortunately all this really did was make her look silly at best and downright insane sometimes. She would've seemed far more human and sympathetic if she showed signs of weakness and doubt more often. Instead of just seemingly making the call without even thinking things over half the time.

I also definitely agree that the Maquis were an underused element. This was supposed to be part of the premise of the show, a divided crew having to work together despite it all to get home. Yet the number of episodes where the Maquis are a major factor is a single digit number. Heck a couple of them are holodeck/distorted reality episodes. Really by season 2 they were just all frankly assimilated into Starfleet. Personally if I was one of the Maquis, I'd be rather resentful that I was pretty much conscripted into a military I don't care for and my captain blatantly states on numerous occasions she's willing to sacrifice my life for values I don't believe in.

As for the Cardassian officer bit? Heck... all they'd have to do with that is not make Seska join the Kazon, but get found out anyways. That would've been way more interesting and dramatic than just having her become another generic bad guy(though I suppose the evil impregnating herself with Chakotay's kid was original... and bizarre). I think Star Trek's always been way too human(way too western) centralized. If there's supposed to be this big galaxy with the good guys being a multiraced Federation... why are 75% of everyone humans? Having Seska around as an experienced officer would be interesting. She'd bring another viewpoint to the table, and create tension and drama with both the Starfleet and Maquis people not trusting her.
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Old April 7 2013, 09:54 PM   #204
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Re: When did voyager go wrong?

R. Star wrote: View Post
Yeah, I gotta agree Janeway stepping up as the inexperienced first officer would've been way more dramatic. Really in my opinion they did her and the story a disservice by having her be... by her own words... "larger than life." They made her have to be so absolute in her authority, and make sure the audience knows it, that they had to manufacture dilemma's and have her "make the call" to resolve them time after time. As if making her decisive and authoritative would somehow compensate for her being female. Unfortunately all this really did was make her look silly at best and downright insane sometimes. She would've seemed far more human and sympathetic if she showed signs of weakness and doubt more often. Instead of just seemingly making the call without even thinking things over half the time.
It's a funny one, until the other poster responded to me it hadn't really dawned on me to even consider her gender, but thinking about it they were probably wary of having 3 strong male captains followed by 1 weak female one. It's unfortunate they'd not had a female lead before so this wasn't a concern, because it's the only show you could do it on. If the captain of an AQ vessel wasn't quite up to the task they'd simply be replaced. There were all sorts of opportunities to have flawed people making mistakes on this show.
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Old April 7 2013, 10:10 PM   #205
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Re: When did voyager go wrong?

The problem with the Maquis was that the source of their conflict, the DMZ, was now 75 years away. The Maquis were the enemies of Cardassia, not the Federation, and whatever negative feelings they had for the Feds wasn't going to blind them to the fact that these were the only familiar folks around for decades. It wouldn't have been productive for the two crews to be that combative to one another the whole way through.

And even if they were, the tensions would've died down after 1-2 years. If they kept it up after that, then they had to have serious mental issues and they'd likely never get home.

What the show needed was another plot to drive the stories beyond "Going home" which could never be accomplished because...the show would be over.

Voyager lacking an actual plot beyond "lost ship" is one of the core problems. And "Lost Ship" isn't a sustainable premise.
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Old April 7 2013, 10:21 PM   #206
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Re: When did voyager go wrong?

Anwar wrote: View Post
The problem with the Maquis was that the source of their conflict, the DMZ, was now 75 years away. The Maquis were the enemies of Cardassia, not the Federation, and whatever negative feelings they had for the Feds wasn't going to blind them to the fact that these were the only familiar folks around for decades. It wouldn't have been productive for the two crews to be that combative to one another the whole way through.

And even if they were, the tensions would've died down after 1-2 years. If they kept it up after that, then they had to have serious mental issues and they'd likely never get home.

What the show needed was another plot to drive the stories beyond "Going home" which could never be accomplished because...the show would be over.

Voyager lacking an actual plot beyond "lost ship" is one of the core problems. And "Lost Ship" isn't a sustainable premise.
I do agree that the tensions would die down after a couple of years, but imagine the stories you could get out of that 2 year period.

I'd say after things become more comfortable, it's the ideal time to pull a "Year Of Hell" scenario. Have a prolonged, shocking tragedy that Voyager barely survives. Have the ship be pushed to it's limits and many valuable crewmembers perish. The surviving crew would come out of this a solidified unit, regardless of where their original loyalties were.

Then you have fresh drama with Voyager needing to find assistance to get back on the road, possibly taking on exhiled alien outcasts to fill out the crew, which may lead to a clash of cultures etc. It is always going to be difficult to introduce new supporting players to Voyager, recurring enemies will never be given the time they need, so something like this might keep it fresh.
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Old April 7 2013, 10:29 PM   #207
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Re: When did voyager go wrong?

Kathryn was their executioner. Photon torpedoes were not enough. She had her ship especially armed with tricobolt torpedos because her target that week had to be completely removed form the board whether the Maquis were in chains in her brig or not.
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Old April 7 2013, 10:30 PM   #208
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Re: When did voyager go wrong?

That's what makes the "Lost Ship" thing unsustainable and uninteresting after a while. TOS was going to do the same "Lost Ship" thing until Roddenberry realized it wouldn't work.

What they should've done is make them truly lost to the point that they don't know how to get back to known Space, or have there be something keeping them from going home. That gives them reason to do genuine exploring and flesh out the area.

For example, by the time they can go home or at least begin to, the 8472 aliens have begun an invasion of our Universe and then they go through a time portal that shows them that in the future, if they don't do something NOW, the 8472 will overwhelm and destroy the Galaxy including the Federation. So they have to put off going home so to put together a Delta Federation to stop them first. That's the driving plot of the show.
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Old April 7 2013, 11:03 PM   #209
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Re: When did voyager go wrong?

Anwar wrote: View Post
That's what makes the "Lost Ship" thing unsustainable and uninteresting after a while. TOS was going to do the same "Lost Ship" thing until Roddenberry realized it wouldn't work.

What they should've done is make them truly lost to the point that they don't know how to get back to known Space, or have there be something keeping them from going home. That gives them reason to do genuine exploring and flesh out the area.

For example, by the time they can go home or at least begin to, the 8472 aliens have begun an invasion of our Universe and then they go through a time portal that shows them that in the future, if they don't do something NOW, the 8472 will overwhelm and destroy the Galaxy including the Federation. So they have to put off going home so to put together a Delta Federation to stop them first. That's the driving plot of the show.
Yeah I guess being truly lost would work, although all it would take is to acknowledge that Voyager cannot travel far without scouting for supplies etc and the show can retain it's original premise and still have a reason to explore and build relationships.

I'm not a big fan of driving plots like the one you mentioned. I personally think the best shows either don't have one, or the characterisatation, writing and acting is so good that the show outgrows it's plot to the point it actually becomes the least interesting element.
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Old April 7 2013, 11:28 PM   #210
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Re: When did voyager go wrong?

SonOfMogh wrote: View Post
If really would have to work like that, for example you always hear the joke about the person who has to clean out the holodeck after the orgies etc, but the reality is if you swallow any bodily fluid of a holographic person, it can't be good for you if that suddenly disappears from your stomach when you leave. Instead it would be replicated, and anything you leave in the holographic person is going to be broken down in the same way you put used plates back in the replicator.
Replicated spitswaps with a hologram is something I'd never considered. Then there's the issue of whether the glass and the drink it contains are real or simulated, same with food when you're carrying the plate.
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