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Old November 15 2013, 04:47 AM   #1
dub
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Voyager: Final Thoughts

I've finally finished making my way through the series for a complete viewing. I enjoyed the finale, but I would put the DS9 and TNG television finales ahead of this one. Because those 2 just seemed to have a larger, more complete feel to them. It certainly beats TATV by a million light years though. Although apparently if Brannon Braga had his way, it would have been right down there with TATV:

Brannon Braga (from Memory Alpha) wrote:
"I think Seven of Nine should have bit the dust. I think there had to be a real sacrifice for this crew getting home; a real blood sacrifice [....] She dies getting her family home. I think, then, you have a finale."


Anyway...The 7/Chakotay relationship seemed like an afterthought. They did have some chemistry together, but it's just a shame the writers didn't start something much earlier. The finale would have had more of an impact.

The Paris/Torres relationship was probably the best developed relationship on the show, although I found Torres to be quite boring after she got together with Tom. The baby is born on the finale, and that's great...although, Admiral Paris was right there, so why didn't they say, "Admiral, you're a grandfather," or at least have Tom say something to his father. That was disappointing.

Well, really the lack of any real resolution scenes in the finale was disappointing. The closest thing we got was the speech Harry Kim gave. Of all of the people in the cast, they chose him to give that speech?

I didn't like the way Neelix just sort of popped up and popped out in the finale. His real goodbye was in Homestead, and that actually felt like a nice end scene. Those are the sort of scenes I was expecting to see more of in Endgame. I only wish Neelix gave Tuvok a big bear hug before he left, to reference his first scene with Tuvok on Voyager.

As for the characters themselves:

Tom Paris: hands-down, he was my favorite character on the show. Perfectly cast. He was a lot of fun, had a great personality, and for the most part didn't take things too personally. And he loved being out there in the Delta Quadrant. He had fun. He was having too much fun to really want to go home. But he helped the crew get home because he was loyal. And he wanted to make his father proud. He created the Captain Proton holodeck series! He loved television. Old 3D movies. Working on cars. He built the Delta Flyer and gave it personality with old school buttons and switches. He loved women. He mated with Janeway. He was great when he was a ladies man. And then he was equally great when he settled down. Very loyal and protective over his wife and daughter. He befriended Harry when he saw that he really needed a friend. He put up with Neelix when he had jealousy issues. He was demoted and promoted again. Nobody is cooler than Tom. He's one of my favorite characters in Trek.

The Doctor: I think this goes without saying, but he was also a fantastic character and perfectly cast. A lot of fun. He provided much-needed comedy and passion to the series when other characters lacked it. His character was believable from the very beginning. I loved his sarcasm, his ego, his vulnerability. It was wonderful to watch him fall in love, and sad when it never worked out for him. I really wanted him and Seven together, honestly. I know that's not a popular view.

Seven: Oh, how I loved her. I wasn't expecting that. I was expecting her to be a bad actress in a sexy outfit. Boy was I wrong. She brought so much emotion to that character without ever shedding a tear. And how I longed to see her cry. I loved it when the Doctor took over her body. Jeri Ryan did a great job in that episode! She has a lovely voice (I loved her duet with the Doctor). I loved her growth as a character. And I'm certainly glad Braga didn't kill her off!

Janeway: She was a believable Captain. Strong. Dedicated. Mostly predictable. I thought she did a fine job with her crew. I can't say I'm in love with this character, but I do like her. I wanted her and Chakotay together. Boo.

Chakotay: His character had real potential. But the episodes that focused on him were just boring to me. And it's a shame, because I really did like him as an actor. But the character really fell through the cracks somewhere halfway through the series. He was just there to disagree with the captain when the script required him to, and with the exception of one or two occasions he was never really forceful or passionate in his disagreements. So he was mostly a "yes" man. If the writers had him falling in love with Seven from the beginning, then that would have given me a reason to care about his character perhaps. I liked him, he was just...there.

Harry: I didn't like him. I didn't care about him. I didn't think Wang's acting was particularly stellar for one thing. The only redeeming thing about his character was his friendship with Tom. Otherwise, he was just a whiny little ensign who had way too many lines considering his character was painfully dull.

Torres: She was okay. I didn't think the writers were very consistent with her character. First she had crazy anger issues. Then she calmed down. Then, years later, out of nowhere she needed Vulcan meditations to calm her down. Then she married Tom and became just as boring as Harry.

Tuvok: He was good. Believable. Not overused, which is a good thing. His respect, dedication and admiration for Janeway was palpable. And vice versa.

Neelix: The JarJar of Trek. Now I just couldn't figure him out. He was a wacky nomadic scavenger who had a jovial personality, and apparently could cook. But I guess somehow he was smarter than he led on, because he sure did learn a lot about the ship in a hurry (but then, everything seemed to happen in a hurry on this show). He also went from a guy who couldn't really put a sentence together without sounding like a cartoon, to somebody who talked like every other human on the ship...one of "the boys" basically. One minute he's saying "What exactly...what exactly does all of this...all of this do?" ...to suddenly being on the bridge sitting next to the Captain during just about every important mission. He went from this insanely jealous dude, to the most stable guy on the ship, and the guy who was counseling everyone else. I guess some people would say that's growth, or that's his character arc. But I just didn't find it believable at all. And it didn't really suit him. He was more believable as an annoying little rat than a competent ambassador/stable counselor. They should have just kept him in the kitchen.

Kes: I didn't think she was a particularly strong character, but I would have killed off Harry before getting rid of Kes. I think her character was poorly planned. They should have had a 7 year plan as far as the development of her aging. They obviously didn't when she didn't really age at all over the 3 or 4 years she was on the show (until we see her in Fury). I think instead of bringing her back in Fury, they should have somehow had her involved with bringing the crew home in the finale.

Overall, to me the best episodes were when Seven first joined the cast. Somewhere in there, I felt like Voyager had a series of mostly strong episodes.

For me, Voyager was mostly okay with some great episodes in there. Certainly better than I remembered. And definitely with more arcs than I remembered. My rank of the television series (not including the films) is now as follows:

1. DS9
2. TNG
3. ENT (hard to fairly rank this series with the rest, but to me season 3 is some of the best Trek ever)
4. VOY
5. TOS

Cheers, Voyager peeps! Thanks for putting up with me!
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Old November 15 2013, 05:19 AM   #2
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Re: Voyager: Final Thoughts

I disagree with your assessments on several fronts, but you're entitled to your own opinions.

For me, Voyager is second only to DS9 because of its characters and premise and because of the lessons it learned from DS9 and Serialized Procedural shows like Homicide: Life on the Street and The X-Files in terms of how to, by and large, successfully merge the Episodic and the Serialized.

The show might not have ended up as it was intended to, but the ways in which it fulfilled its basic premise were still satisfying and engaging, and it gave us both my second-favorite Star Trek pilot - Caretaker - and my second-favorite Star Trek series finale - Endgame.
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Old November 15 2013, 04:17 PM   #3
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Re: Voyager: Final Thoughts

dub wrote: View Post
I've finally finished making my way through the series for a complete viewing. I enjoyed the finale, but I would put the DS9 and TNG television finales ahead of this one. Because those 2 just seemed to have a larger, more complete feel to them. It certainly beats TATV by a million light years though. Although apparently if Brannon Braga had his way, it would have been right down there with TATV:

Brannon Braga (from Memory Alpha) wrote:
"I think Seven of Nine should have bit the dust. I think there had to be a real sacrifice for this crew getting home; a real blood sacrifice [....] She dies getting her family home. I think, then, you have a finale."
So NOW I know why TATV was made the way it was. He just had to have his needless death. Ok.
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Old November 15 2013, 04:23 PM   #4
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Re: Voyager: Final Thoughts

A death scene can be great if done properly. But Star Trek really hasn't been good at that at all.

Spock's Death.... was great. Though was really undermined by the whole Vulcan mysticism thing. I think it really would've been more meaningful long run if they didn't retcon it.

Tasha's death... well even the show called it meaningless. The only thing I can think of is... you should've brought a redshirt down with you.

Jadzia's death.... probably the best of the Trek main character killings. Say what you want about the demon Dukat, but Worf's howl of anguish still gets to me every time.

Data... the climax of a crappy plot is him kamikazeing himself? His sacrifice would've been more meaningful if it wasn't to stop Doctor Evil's crazy plot that's only dangerous because the good guys completely ignored all common sense.

Trip... yeah, let's one down ourselves after Data's death! Have him pointlessly blow himself up, while a guest star steals the finale spotlight all while calling it a valentine!

So just as well they didn't kill Seven... they'd probably have her beam over and blow up a Borg Cube after they ran out of super torpedoes or something.
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Old November 15 2013, 04:34 PM   #5
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Re: Voyager: Final Thoughts

Neelix: The JarJar of Trek
I disagree with this. Neelix was very, very annoying, but they did a good job of establishing that it's all false cheer stemming from deep insecurity and PTSD. Neelix had depth, Jar Jar had none.


As for Tom Paris, I wish they'd kept his rebellious streak from the first season, and not had it turn out to be part of an overly-elaborate plot to ferret out Voyager's mole.
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Old November 15 2013, 04:43 PM   #6
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Re: Voyager: Final Thoughts

Well I'm sure JarJar would have "depth" too if Lucas didn't get the memo from the fans and rammed him down our throats in the next two movies. Just because there are a few "reasons" being Neelix being a self-entitled jerk who has to force himself into every situation, doesn't change the fact he's a self-entitled jerk who has to force himself into every situation.
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Old November 15 2013, 04:58 PM   #7
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Re: Voyager: Final Thoughts

dub wrote:
Final Thoughts
That sounds so definite. Hopefully, you'll live several dozen more years long enough to continue to find new things in the show.
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Old November 15 2013, 05:39 PM   #8
dub
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Re: Voyager: Final Thoughts

R. Star wrote: View Post
A death scene can be great if done properly. But Star Trek really hasn't been good at that at all.
I agree with all of your comments about the death scenes...except Spock's. I thought that Vulcan mysticism worked.

But you left out the deaths in nuTrek. It's okay. I won't go there.

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
Neelix was very, very annoying, but they did a good job of establishing that it's all false cheer stemming from deep insecurity and PTSD. Neelix had depth, Jar Jar had none.
I agree on all of that except for the "they did a good job" part.

Melakon wrote: View Post
dub wrote:
Final Thoughts
That sounds so definite. Hopefully, you'll live several dozen more years long enough to continue to find new things in the show.
Well, I suppose I should have said "Voyager: Thoughts after I finally finished watching the whole shebang," but I thought that might have been too long. I tend to use too many words. So I shortened it to a lie. Ah well. I feel like I've accomplished something by finally getting through all of the Trek series (except for TAS). Somebody should throw me a party or give me a ribbon.
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Old November 15 2013, 05:59 PM   #9
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Re: Voyager: Final Thoughts

dub wrote: View Post
Somebody should throw me a party or give me a ribbon.
Here's your serving of Neelix's famous homemade brew.
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Last edited by Ho Ho Homeier; November 15 2013 at 07:18 PM. Reason: somehow misspelled famous
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Old November 15 2013, 06:06 PM   #10
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Re: Voyager: Final Thoughts

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Old November 15 2013, 11:33 PM   #11
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Re: Voyager: Final Thoughts

dub wrote: View Post
R. Star wrote: View Post
A death scene can be great if done properly. But Star Trek really hasn't been good at that at all.
I agree with all of your comments about the death scenes...except Spock's. I thought that Vulcan mysticism worked.

But you left out the deaths in nuTrek. It's okay. I won't go there.
I thought NuPike's death scene was the most realistic death scene I've ever seen.
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Old November 15 2013, 11:35 PM   #12
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Re: Voyager: Final Thoughts

^
Too bad he didn't get any magic blood. What happens when you're effectively a guest star.
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Old November 15 2013, 11:42 PM   #13
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Re: Voyager: Final Thoughts

teacake wrote: View Post
I thought NuPike's death scene was the most realistic death scene I've ever seen.
Yes, yes. That particular scene did move me. Unlike some of the other characters, I had an emotional attachment to his character and I can't put my finger on exactly why. I was sad when he died.
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Old November 16 2013, 09:17 AM   #14
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Re: Voyager: Final Thoughts

Acting was excellent. I felt like he really did die.
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Old November 16 2013, 02:21 PM   #15
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Re: Voyager: Final Thoughts

dub wrote: View Post
Torres: She was okay. I didn't think the writers were very consistent with her character. First she had crazy anger issues. Then she calmed down. Then, years later, out of nowhere she needed Vulcan meditations to calm her down. Then she married Tom and became just as boring as Harry.
What killed Torres for me is I never seen her angry beyond that of an Emo Teen going through the "I'm SO angry motions!" but never Klingon level anger. Where's a scene where is punches through a hard-to-replace console and breaks it? Where's a scene where she domestic abuses Tom and makes half his face black and blue? Or challenges the captain and goes through with it like on a Klingon ship?

Oh sure, I was told she punched a guy, and we saw the mild aftermath of him in the sickbay already healed. But that's telling, not showing. All of her anger episodes are the type where she tenses up for 5 seconds and then weeps "Oh sorry I got angry!" All emo anger without a klingon bite. Well that and her woe-is-me-and-my-unwanted-klingon-heritage spiel afterwards.

When you compare her to the utter awesomness that was the cynical half-Klingon K'Ehleyr on TNG, there is no comparison. Either the writing sucked for Torres, or the actress. Given that TNG writing often sucked as well, and that Susan Plakson managed to pull of 4 Star Trek roles in 3 different Trek series, I'm going to say the difference was an unsuitable actress.

She would have been perfect:
http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Suzie_Plakson

Torres is the 2nd most ultimately unrealized character in Voyager behind Chakotay and the Maquis in general. If they put a wet paper bag like Sonya Gomez in Engineering, it could have managed with a bit more slapstick entertainment and she could have married Tom as well without much difference. And all we'd be out of is some morose self pity.

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