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Old June 9 2009, 12:20 AM   #1651
startrekwatcher
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

GodBen wrote: View Post
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I can't help but think the writers had no idea what they were going to do with the transmission when they had it happen, and only decided in this episode what it was going to be. It would be consistent.
I know a lot more about this episode than most because I was given the book Star Trek: Action! as a birthday present many years ago and it detailed how they broke the story for this episode. I can confirm that the transmission was something they pulled out of their ass for this episode. Surprised?
Writers pulling stuff out of their asses doesn't bother me. What it comes down to is whether the writers are good at coming up with stuff at the last minute or whether they suck at it. Piller did a good job with "The Best of Both Worlds II" and the DS9 writers came up with stuff off the cuff successfully many times. Brannon(whose work I usually like) and Menosky here sucked.
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Old June 9 2009, 12:30 AM   #1652
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

That's definitely true. With Braga and Menosky, it was almost a syndrome.
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Old June 9 2009, 01:15 AM   #1653
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

startrekwatcher wrote: View Post
Writers pulling stuff out of their asses doesn't bother me. What it comes down to is whether the writers are good at coming up with stuff at the last minute or whether they suck at it. Piller did a good job with "The Best of Both Worlds II" and the DS9 writers came up with stuff off the cuff successfully many times. Brannon(whose work I usually like) and Menosky here sucked.
You're right, it's unfair to judge the Voyager writers for that and if the episode is good then ultimately it doesn't matter whether the story was made up on the fly. After all, I love nuBSG and I don't judge that show too much for doing exactly the same thing. I still wish that the Starfleet message had contained more than what we got because what he got was pretty much nothing, but I guess I should just be thankful that the writers even remembered that plot point at all.

As for your explanation of Arturis's plan, it does seem to be the best explanation and it does make some sort of sense. In fact, it's probably the only explanation which actually works.
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Old June 9 2009, 07:55 AM   #1654
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Thank you starwatcher, the episode makes so much more sense now

Liked Hope and Fear as an ending that wasn't on a cliffhanger, but tied up character and plot storylines instead, while again opening up future avenues to pursue (whether they pursue them is another matter). Sort of reminded me of the Buffy season 4 finale 'Restless'.
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Old June 9 2009, 11:35 AM   #1655
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Praetor wrote: View Post

How about the Dauntless? Pretty little ship.

I must admit, when I first saw this episode I thought she might be legit and the crew might actually manage to get home (yeah, I know, I'm a sucker ) and was very sad and indeed angry at the prospect that the Voyager might be left behind to get the crew home after she had shepherded and protected them for all these years.
Oh yeah, I totally fell for it. Living in the UK and not really being on the internet much back then, I got most of my Trek news from the Star Trek Monthly magazine - it would be full of tantalising piccies with little in the way of explanation, and seeing the crew exploring the shiny new bridge had my mind buzzing. I think the episode I deduced from that scant information was much better though.

I think it's a pretty good episode , if somewhat low-key - presumably they'd blown the budget earlier on in the season with Year of Hell and The Killing Game, among others. Arturis is a bit of a weak villain, and I could never take him seriously because I was playing Red Alert 2 at the time, and Ray Wise was the President in the cut-scenes.
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Old June 9 2009, 02:58 PM   #1656
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Warning! The following post contains dangerous levels of nerdiness. Wear protective goggles when reading.


Season 4 Review



As you can see, this season does pretty well for the first two thirds but the quality takes a significant drop after The Killing Game with Living Witness and Hope and Fear being the only winners from that point on. The red trend line clearly shows the quality declined in the second half of the season. As a result of this poor second half the season average is surprisingly low with an average score of 5.231.



This is something we've not seen before! (Yes, I'm trying to make graphs exciting. ) Normally the scores form a bell curve around the season average with a random spike somewhere, but this almost looks like two bell-curves skewed to the right, one centred around 2 and the other around 7. The result is that while the other seasons have been mostly average with the odd good or bad episode, this season has mostly been good or bad with very few average episodes. I find this turn very interesting.

*cue yawning from everyone else*

11 episodes were below average, 13 were above average and 2 were average.
Best episode: Living Witness
Worst episode: Vis a Vis (For being so horribly placed.)


The Writers



Bryan Fuller makes a fantastic debut as a staff writer with an average score of 7.75 out of 4 episodes. I didn't know what to think of him several months ago when he said he was interested in creating a new Trek series in the JJverse, but if he manages to maintain his score at this level then he will have my full support (which I'm sure he will be very pleased to hear ). Braga has also had a very good season with a score of 6.75 out of 8 episodes, only The Killing Game two-parter held him back from being the best writer this season. Menosky scored 5.889 out of 9 episodes, not surprising considering most of his episodes were with Braga. Jeri Taylor finishes her reign as EP with a score of 5.333 out of 3 episodes, meanwhile Klink doesn't do too badly with a score of 5.2 out of 5 episodes, just slightly lower than the season average. This season's biggest loser is Biller who scored 3.667 out of 3 episodes, this is a long way away from last season when he was the best writer.



This is how the writers stand after four seasons. Fuller's great debut performance puts him ahead of the pack, but with only four episodes he is going to have to work hard over the next three seasons to maintain his lead. Braga and Menosky's good season brings both of them over 5, Braga in particular did a lot of good work this year and he earned this score. We'll see if he can maintain it. Jeri Taylor's score stays roughly the same, according to MA she only has one more episode so it's not likely that the score will change all that much. Biller's poor season dropped his score from second best to second worst. However, this was Lisa Klink's final season and despite her strong debut episode (season 2's Resistance) she finishes her run on the show with a below average score of 4.308 out of 13 episodes.


What Would GodBen Do?

You know the drill, I take over the show for this season and discuss how I would have done things differently.

Scorpion Part 2 was rushed, it should have been a two or three episode arc and we should have seen more of the war between the Borg and 8472. There was so much potential here and the final product suffered from being too rushed. Seven (once she gets past her annoying shouty stage) is a good character and a welcome addition to the show, she brings conflict to this show that it desperately needed. But she needs to get out of those catsuits and into something more flattering, right now she looks like a Barbie doll.

Kes should not have been the one to leave the show because she still had a lot of untapped potential. I would prefer to keep everyone but I realise that the realities of TV budgeting meant they had to cut somebody, but the best choices for the axe were Kim and Chakotay. Kim isn't going anywhere and all he did this season was have a crush on Seven, meanwhile Chakotay doesn't seem to have a character arc anymore, his arc ended with the death of Seska.

I'm not sure what I'd do about the Year of Hell story because I like the idea of a year-long arc but due to all the Borg and Seven stuff at the beginning of the season I might not have fit it in. If I couldn't go that route then this season itself wasn't too bad, and I really liked the Hirogen arc up until The Killing Game. Once you remove the disproportionate number of bad episodes this season it is very strong, all you need is to cut or improve crap like Demon.


Statistics

Shuttles Lost: 8
Torpedoes: 25/38 (Point of interest, all four photon torpedoes fired this season were in Hope and Fear.)
Harry deaths: 2

Season 1 Average: 5.867
Season 2 Average: 4.692
Season 3 Average: 4.269
Season 4 Average: 5.231
Overall Average (93 episodes): 4.914


In Summation

This was a much better season than season 3, but it wasn't as strong as I was expecting due to large number of bad episodes holding it back. I still consider season 1 to be the best season of the show so far, but maybe season 5 will finally manage to beat it. Voyager's overall average now stands at 4.914 which is still slightly below average, but another season like this should bring it above 5 again.
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Old June 9 2009, 04:10 PM   #1657
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

GodBen wrote: View Post
I find this turn very interesting.

*cue yawning from everyone else*
Don't worry, I found it interesting. I think you'll find more people don't comment on the graphs because you pretty thoroughly assess them. I still like seeing them!

GodBen wrote: View Post
What Would GodBen Do?

You know the drill, I take over the show for this season and discuss how I would have done things differently.

Scorpion Part 2 was rushed, it should have been a two or three episode arc and we should have seen more of the war between the Borg and 8472. There was so much potential here and the final product suffered from being too rushed. Seven (once she gets past her annoying shouty stage) is a good character and a welcome addition to the show, she brings conflict to this show that it desperately needed. But she needs to get out of those catsuits and into something more flattering, right now she looks like a Barbie doll.

Kes should not have been the one to leave the show because she still had a lot of untapped potential. I would prefer to keep everyone but I realise that the realities of TV budgeting meant they had to cut somebody, but the best choices for the axe were Kim and Chakotay. Kim isn't going anywhere and all he did this season was have a crush on Seven, meanwhile Chakotay doesn't seem to have a character arc anymore, his arc ended with the death of Seska.

I'm not sure what I'd do about the Year of Hell story because I like the idea of a year-long arc but due to all the Borg and Seven stuff at the beginning of the season I might not have fit it in. If I couldn't go that route then this season itself wasn't too bad, and I really liked the Hirogen arc up until The Killing Game. Once you remove the disproportionate number of bad episodes this season it is very strong, all you need is to cut or improve crap like Demon.
Of all of your season-fixing assessments, it seems like this one is the easiest to fix: kill Harry instead of deporting Kes, as originally planned, and let Chakotay keep/regrow his balls so he's useful; put Seven in a civvy version of the Starfleet jumpsuit, but not right away (let her stay more Borg-y for a while) and stop her from shouting; cut the crap episodes like Vis a Vis and Demon and expand the Borg/8472 arc, Hirogen arc, and the Year of Hell.

Also, it could still be the "Year of Hell" without just being the Krenim. The Krenim just could have been one of many reasons and the bookends for it; the other crappy stuff that happened could have rounded out the year of hell.

Silly producers. So self-deluded.
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Old June 9 2009, 06:03 PM   #1658
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

GodBen wrote: View Post
Bryan Fuller makes a fantastic debut as a staff writer with an average score of 7.75 out of 4 episodes. I didn't know what to think of him several months ago when he said he was interested in creating a new Trek series in the JJverse, but if he manages to maintain his score at this level then he will have my full support
I've always liked what Fuller says in various interviews. He says all the right things and seems to be keenly aware of what works and what doesn't but when it comes to implementing things he never seems to be able to come through. Looking at his writing record on Trek I have to say I'm not all that impressed with mediocre episodes like Fury, Spirit Folk, Empok Nor, Gravity, Course Oblivion, Juggernaut, Alice to name a few.

I didn't like Pushing Daisies. The only other work I've seen is on Heroes and that is sort of hard to judge because the writers have said because it was such a heavily serialized show that different writers worked on different storylines and then the staff sat down and assigned a script to each writer. He did receive credit for the show's best episode but he was suppose to rejuvenate the show in season three and I was far from impressed.
But she needs to get out of those catsuits and into something more flattering, right now she looks like a Barbie doll.
I didn't realize until I came to the internet how many people were really bothered by Seven in a catsuit. Never was something that was an issue for me.
Kes should not have been the one to leave the show because she still had a lot of untapped potential. I would prefer to keep everyone but I realise that the realities of TV budgeting meant they had to cut somebody, but the best choices for the axe were Kim and Chakotay.
I would have gotten rid of Kes and Kim. The cast was already too big and the writers were having a hard time writing for the cast as it was.

I think this is VOY best year. It wasn't the year the show blossomed and was consistent like I had hoped but it was certainly better than seasons 2/3.
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Old June 9 2009, 08:09 PM   #1659
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

startrekwatcher wrote: View Post
I would have gotten rid of Kes and Kim. The cast was already too big and the writers were having a hard time writing for the cast as it was.
DS9 had 10 main characters and the writers for that series had no problem coming up with stories for all of them.

They should have gotten rid of the Voyager writers instead.
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Old June 9 2009, 11:42 PM   #1660
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Yeah, the size of the cast wasn't the issue per se, but from the fourth season onwards, you get a very clear split between the Janeway/Seven/Doctor stories and those for everyone else. They were the three easiest characters to write for, and probably the three most popular, so it's not surprising that the writers chose to devote more time to them than try and make Chakotay, Kim or Neelix work. I think it's pretty damning that Reg Barclay became a more well-rounded character after a mere handful of episodes over fifteen years than Harry Kim was in seven years of Voyager.
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Old June 10 2009, 12:21 AM   #1661
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Praetor wrote: View Post
Of all of your season-fixing assessments, it seems like this one is the easiest to fix
Indeed it is, I think this season works quite well for the most part but there is too many bad episodes dragging it down and the good parts are a bit rough around the edges. They're on the right track but they're not there yet.

startrekwatcher wrote: View Post
Looking at his writing record on Trek I have to say I'm not all that impressed with mediocre episodes like Fury, Spirit Folk, Empok Nor, Gravity, Course Oblivion, Juggernaut, Alice to name a few.
That list doesn't inspire confidence, but he wrote 20 episodes of Voyager so he could still manage to balance things out. It depends on how the rest of his episodes go, he might still end up with a good score at the end.

But then again... Spirit Folk. It will be hard for me to forgive him for that.

Lynx wrote: View Post
They should have gotten rid of the Voyager writers instead.
I think this might be the smartest comment in this whole thread, it gets right at the crux of the matter.
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Old June 10 2009, 12:26 AM   #1662
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

GodBen wrote: View Post
startrekwatcher wrote: View Post
Looking at his writing record on Trek I have to say I'm not all that impressed with mediocre episodes like Fury, Spirit Folk, Empok Nor, Gravity, Course Oblivion, Juggernaut, Alice to name a few.
That list doesn't inspire confidence, but he wrote 20 episodes of Voyager so he could still manage to balance things out. It depends on how the rest of his episodes go, he might still end up with a good score at the end.

But then again... Spirit Folk. It will be hard for me to forgive him for that.
Gee, thanks. Now I have to purge the memories of that episode from my brain ONCE MORE...
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Old June 10 2009, 12:38 AM   #1663
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

[Obi-Wan] There is no "Spirit Folk." [/Obi-Wan]



Bryan Fuller also did "Dead Like Me."
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Old June 10 2009, 01:40 PM   #1664
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Spirit Folk was the first Star Trek episode I stopped watching before the end. Sadly, there were many more to come, and I stopped watching Enterprise half way through the first season.

It was something about an Oirish village and Janeway shagging a hologram. That's as far as I can get.
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Old June 10 2009, 02:10 PM   #1665
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

^ That's as far as anyone would want to get with that episode.

Probably the worst episode of Voyager ever. Though the boxing ep was pretty bad...
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