RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 140,804
Posts: 5,471,921
Members: 25,037
Currently online: 541
Newest member: Sabra

TrekToday headlines

Two Official Starships Collection Previews
By: T'Bonz on Nov 21

Saldana: Women Issues In Hollywood
By: T'Bonz on Nov 21

Shatner Book Kickstarter
By: T'Bonz on Nov 20

Trek Original Series Slippers
By: T'Bonz on Nov 19

Hemsworth Is Sexiest Man Alive
By: T'Bonz on Nov 19

Trek Business Card Cases
By: T'Bonz on Nov 17

February IDW Publishing Trek Comics
By: T'Bonz on Nov 17

Retro Review: The Siege of AR-558
By: Michelle on Nov 15

Trevco Full Bleed Uniform T-Shirts
By: T'Bonz on Nov 14

Wheaton Buys Wesley Crusher Hoodie
By: T'Bonz on Nov 14


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Voyager

Voyager There's coffee in this forum!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old March 4 2009, 10:36 PM   #1
BolianAuthor
Writer, Battlestar Urantia
 
Location: Torrance, California
Send a message via AIM to BolianAuthor Send a message via Windows Live Messenger to BolianAuthor
VOY: In Retrospect

Okay, this thread is inspired by GodBen's thread, about revisiting VOY, years later, after not having originally liked it much. I did not, however, wish to hijack his thread, so I decided to start my own. Basically, what I want to do, is outline why I felt VOY was weak, and where I felt it was strong, and see if anybody agrees with me.

First, let me say that I am first and foremost, a TNG fan, in all matters Trek. I grew up with TNG, and that show raised me. I very much enjoyed DS9 a great deal, but TNG was, is, and will always be my favorite.

I can still remember the day I heard that VOY was going to be produced. I was a 6th grader in middle school then. I was so excited... a new Federation ship, in the vast unknown of the Delta Quadrant... another potential TNG! I very much looked forward to the show. I was also very excited that VOY was going to have a female Captain. Not that in the 24th century it would matter any, but because I felt that a woman WOULD be just as capable a commanding officer as Picard.

Then I saw the design for Voyager. I loved it. The producers gave us a sleek new ship, that wasn't needlessly large. Everything looked great so far.

Then, finally, after much anticipation, the show began to air episodes. I also loved "Caretaker". It was a decent pilot. My favorite is still DS9's "Emissary", but this was pretty well done, for Trek.

I started out loving this show very much. But as we went into the second season, I found myself hating the idea of the Kazon.

The Kazon were a good idea... as annoyances, every now and then... NOT for the primary antagonists. If they had used the Kazon like TNG intended to use the Ferengi... as "pirates" or border-raiders, it would have made much more sense, and the Kazon would have been much more believable. As it was, it just did not work. Not at all. The Kazon were never a match for Voyager, nor could they hope to be. The ONLY way for them to do any damage to Voyager, was to enlist the help of Seska, which I REALLY hated, because it was a blatant repeat of how the Duras sisters used Geordi, to destroy the Enterprise-D. The writers KNEW they had a weak enemy with the Kazon, and they could not hide the fact.

Now... VOY's first season DID introduce us to the alien race that I felt SHOULD have been Voyager's public enemy number one... the Vidiians.

The Vidiians were an absolutely AWESOME possibility for a primary enemy race. They were real. Their motives were genuine. They were a race on the brink of death, and were so desperate for raw survival, that they would do ANYTHING, to ensure that they do not perish. That made them seem real, and more in-depth, in my eyes. The Vidiians were not cold and cruel because they were naturally cold and cruel. They simply did not have the luxury of being any other way. They were desperate, afraid, and in a hurry. The Vidiians should have followed Voyager well into the third season... ESPECIALLY after it became known that Klingon DNA could fight off the Phage. (this premise is in fact the basis for a speculative VOY script I once wrote, called "Twisted Fate".) That revelation should have given the Vidiians the motivation to follow and hunt Voyager for as long as they could, because it could mean an end to the Phage. Following up MUCH later, by merely mentioning that the Think Tank somehow cured the Phage was a cheap shot, and had no emotional power whatsoever.

Vulcans, and Vulcans.

Ugh... where do I begin here... VOY should have left the whole "exploration of Vulcan nature" thing alone. Period. It did not do it well at all. Tuvok was a great Vulcan... when he wasn't specifically trying to be Vulcan, lol. VOY changed too many things about Vulcan nature, that TNG and TOS had established before, and in doing so, VOY's treatment of Vulcan nature was laughable, and lost a lot of credibility, in my eyes. Ensign Vorek, on the other hand, was a GREAT Vulcan, and I just loved his character. Mostly because of the fact that they did very little, to explore his Vulcanism... he was just "there"... one of the many background Vulcans that we know are in Starfleet. THAT was how Tuvok should have been treated, regarding his Vulcan nature. It's nothing special. we know about it already. Vulcans have been in the fleet for over 100 years now. Let it go, lol.

The Borg.

Oh... my... God...

Here we go, lol. VOY should NEVER have shown us the Borg. Yes, we all knew it was bound to happen. But it never shoudl have. Not only did the VOY episodes with the Borg VERY frequently blatantly, and I do mean blatantly, contradict events we KNEW from TNG, but also felt the need to once again, explore a possible "breakaway sect" of Borg. Once that plot arc predictably failed, the writers had to introduce a species even MORE powerful than the Borg... Species 8472. Now that the VOY writing team was armed with two of the galaxy's most deadly foes, they once again, could not resist the urge to do what DS9 had done with the Jem'Hadar, and try to "humanize" a bunch of them.

Janeway argued with Chakotay, about the nature of the Borg, and obviously, Chakotay had enough sense to know that the Borg could not be dealt with. So, on to Species 8472... a race that had vowed to destroy Voyager, only to later on be "humanized", by having them take the time and energy to study how humans live and behave, on their simulation outposts.

If you have a deadly, worthwhile, enemy... KEEP it that way! Do NOT attempt to "humanize" the main threat race. It absolutely never ever works! The Borg Collective is the Borg Collective! The Jem'Hadar are the Jem'Hadar! Still not content with the dumbing-down of great threat races, VOY again did it, this time, with the Hirogen... another GREAT enemy species... for the time they were allowed to remain a great enemy species.

The Hirogen should have been VOY's main threat race, in the latter years of the show, once the Vidiians could no longer keep up. Here was a race of hunter-killers, like starfaring wolf packs. They were terrifying, and made proud displays of the bones of their kills, inside their ships. But, what did VOY do with this potentially awesome threat race? Not ONLY did VOY dumb them down, and "humanize" them, by having them grow weary of killing, but the writers had to go and full-on destroy ANY credibility, once and for all, and turn the Hirogen into... yep, here it comes...

...SPACE NAZI'S!!!

Ugh.

Okay... that wraps it, regarding aliens, and how VOY killed them all, lol.

The Maquis. The Maquis should have remained the Maquis a LOT further into the show... maybe until even the end of the second season. To wrap up the primary Maquis conflict in "Caretaker" was a very, very, bad writing choice. GodBen had a remarkably good idea, in his own thread post...

Here is an idea I've just had, Neelix shouldn't have been so incompetent and his anger at Janeway's decision making should have built as time went by and crew-members started to die. He senses disquiet among some of the crew and begins to lead a mutiny against Janeway's command. Many Maquis join this mutiny and Chakotay is forced to choose between his people and his captain. There could have been a good number of stories on this subject, but by the end of this episode Neelix tucks his tail between his legs (does he have a tail?) and bows down to the mighty Janeway.
- GodBen

I think that could have worked VERY well, if it had been done right.

Captain Proton. Okay... Captain Proton was fine... on the Holodeck. VOY crossed the line, when they allowed Tom Paris to slap all that Captain Proton CRAP onto the Delta Flyer. I cannot believe how incredibly stupid and retarded all that useless SHIT looked, inside the Delta Flyer. It seriously made me want to vomit.

Seven of Nine. Okay... I'm a red-blooded American male, so yeah... 7 of 9 is hawt, and has a helluva nice rack. Other than that, I absolutely hated the character... just hated it to no end. Number one, 7 of 9 was an idiot. Data was an android, and knew more about humanity than 7 of 9, who used to BE a human. I mean, the Doctor had to teach 7 of 9 what singing was, what laughing was, and what a date is. C'mon... nobody is that damned stupid. Even Data knew those things... he just didn't know the best ways to go about them. Number two... 7 of 9 had the MOST monotonous voice I have ever heard... how that beautiful an actress could pick THAT voice for her character, I will never know... I mean, Caprica Six on nuBSG is a hot, sexy, humanoid Cylon, but does she make Baltar suffer, with a droning, monotonous, voice? No... she uses a normal, alluring, female voice. I cringe, whenever I have to hear 7 of 9 speak. Finally, 7 of 9 was nothing more than fluff to save an already sinking show, plain and simple. VOY flotaed to safety on her boobs. It's the truth.

Now... VOY DID have a couple REALLY amazing bits of writing. My favorite VOY episode, is "Equinox". THAT is what VOY had the potential to do every week, but chose not to. I FELT for the characters in that episode. When Captain Ransom lectures to Janeway, how it's easy to cling to your principle, when your crew is not starving... that was powerful. I felt his emotions in that speech. When Captain Ransom is going down with his ship, and he tells Janeway that she has a fine crew, and to get them home... I actually cried during that ending... THAT was the level of writing VOY could have regularly put out, but never did.

Anyway, here are my reasons for eventually not liking VOY as much as TNG, DS9, or TOS. Regarding ENT... that is WAY worse than VOY ever was, so I'm not even gonna start on it. But I want to know if any of you agree, or if you don't, and why?

-BolianAdmiral
BolianAuthor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 6 2009, 01:52 AM   #2
Praetor
Vice Admiral
 
Praetor's Avatar
 
Location: The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
Re: VOY: In Retrospect

Wow, Bolian, you seem to be about the same age I am, and like a counterpart from the mirror universe, we seem to see things the same, but different!

BolianAdmiral wrote: View Post
Okay, this thread is inspired by GodBen's thread, about revisiting VOY, years later, after not having originally liked it much. I did not, however, wish to hijack his thread, so I decided to start my own. Basically, what I want to do, is outline why I felt VOY was weak, and where I felt it was strong, and see if anybody agrees with me.

First, let me say that I am first and foremost, a TNG fan, in all matters Trek. I grew up with TNG, and that show raised me. I very much enjoyed DS9 a great deal, but TNG was, is, and will always be my favorite.

I can still remember the day I heard that VOY was going to be produced. I was a 6th grader in middle school then. I was so excited... a new Federation ship, in the vast unknown of the Delta Quadrant... another potential TNG! I very much looked forward to the show. I was also very excited that VOY was going to have a female Captain. Not that in the 24th century it would matter any, but because I felt that a woman WOULD be just as capable a commanding officer as Picard.

Then I saw the design for Voyager. I loved it. The producers gave us a sleek new ship, that wasn't needlessly large. Everything looked great so far.

Then, finally, after much anticipation, the show began to air episodes. I also loved "Caretaker". It was a decent pilot. My favorite is still DS9's "Emissary", but this was pretty well done, for Trek.
This is true for me, too, almost verbatim.

I started out loving this show very much. But as we went into the second season, I found myself hating the idea of the Kazon.

The Kazon were a good idea... as annoyances, every now and then... NOT for the primary antagonists. If they had used the Kazon like TNG intended to use the Ferengi... as "pirates" or border-raiders, it would have made much more sense, and the Kazon would have been much more believable. As it was, it just did not work. Not at all. The Kazon were never a match for Voyager, nor could they hope to be. The ONLY way for them to do any damage to Voyager, was to enlist the help of Seska, which I REALLY hated, because it was a blatant repeat of how the Duras sisters used Geordi, to destroy the Enterprise-D. The writers KNEW they had a weak enemy with the Kazon, and they could not hide the fact.
Agreed again. The Kazon seemed to try too hard to be 'replacement Klingons' and I do emphasize the word 'replacement.' While the original premise of 'street thugs in space' didn't really hold much water, using them as Ferengi-level pirates would have worked well for me.

Now... VOY's first season DID introduce us to the alien race that I felt SHOULD have been Voyager's public enemy number one... the Vidiians.

The Vidiians were an absolutely AWESOME possibility for a primary enemy race. They were real. Their motives were genuine. They were a race on the brink of death, and were so desperate for raw survival, that they would do ANYTHING, to ensure that they do not perish. That made them seem real, and more in-depth, in my eyes. The Vidiians were not cold and cruel because they were naturally cold and cruel. They simply did not have the luxury of being any other way. They were desperate, afraid, and in a hurry. The Vidiians should have followed Voyager well into the third season... ESPECIALLY after it became known that Klingon DNA could fight off the Phage. (this premise is in fact the basis for a speculative VOY script I once wrote, called "Twisted Fate".) That revelation should have given the Vidiians the motivation to follow and hunt Voyager for as long as they could, because it could mean an end to the Phage. Following up MUCH later, by merely mentioning that the Think Tank somehow cured the Phage was a cheap shot, and had no emotional power whatsoever.
Also agreed. The Vidiians were also dramatically interesting because in some ways their desperation made for a nice parallel to that of the Voyager crew, yet they were incompatible. I also hated that their fate got a passing mention only. (I would be quite interested to read your spec script as well.)

Vulcans, and Vulcans.

Ugh... where do I begin here... VOY should have left the whole "exploration of Vulcan nature" thing alone. Period. It did not do it well at all. Tuvok was a great Vulcan... when he wasn't specifically trying to be Vulcan, lol. VOY changed too many things about Vulcan nature, that TNG and TOS had established before, and in doing so, VOY's treatment of Vulcan nature was laughable, and lost a lot of credibility, in my eyes. Ensign Vorik, on the other hand, was a GREAT Vulcan, and I just loved his character. Mostly because of the fact that they did very little, to explore his Vulcanism... he was just "there"... one of the many background Vulcans that we know are in Starfleet. THAT was how Tuvok should have been treated, regarding his Vulcan nature. It's nothing special. we know about it already. Vulcans have been in the fleet for over 100 years now. Let it go, lol.
Agreed as well. They didn't need to go indepth to explore Vulcans again, we've done that with Spock, and when done with Tuvok it ended up going badly. I'm talking pon farr holodeck sex jokes, here.

The Borg.

Oh... my... God...

Here we go, lol. VOY should NEVER have shown us the Borg. Yes, we all knew it was bound to happen. But it never shoudl have. Not only did the VOY episodes with the Borg VERY frequently blatantly, and I do mean blatantly, contradict events we KNEW from TNG, but also felt the need to once again, explore a possible "breakaway sect" of Borg. Once that plot arc predictably failed, the writers had to introduce a species even MORE powerful than the Borg... Species 8472. Now that the VOY writing team was armed with two of the galaxy's most deadly foes, they once again, could not resist the urge to do what DS9 had done with the Jem'Hadar, and try to "humanize" a bunch of them.

Janeway argued with Chakotay, about the nature of the Borg, and obviously, Chakotay had enough sense to know that the Borg could not be dealt with. So, on to Species 8472... a race that had vowed to destroy Voyager, only to later on be "humanized", by having them take the time and energy to study how humans live and behave, on their simulation outposts.

If you have a deadly, worthwhile, enemy... KEEP it that way! Do NOT attempt to "humanize" the main threat race. It absolutely never ever works! The Borg Collective is the Borg Collective! The Jem'Hadar are the Jem'Hadar!
Agreed in principle that the Borg were completely mishandled and mistreated, and by extension Species 8472, but I think that did not necessarily have to be the case. I believe that had they stayed truer to the Borg as a 'force of nature' as depicted on TNG, it could have been much more interesting. How do you fight a force of nature? How do you negotiate with it? It's been argued very well elsewhere that the Borg reflect a complete contradiction to the philosophy of Trek: here we have the one foe that cannot be placated by diplomacy, with which there is no hope of cooperation and understanding, where there is only erradication or survival. In many ways, the Borg are a literal incarnation of the concept of death, and therefore one of the few things that the residents of the Trekverse cannot conquer no matter how hard they try. It is in that metaphorical role in which they excel.

That said, I appreciate also what was done with 'Scorpion' in trying to take the Borg somewhere they haven't been before, but as you say in many ways it served to diminish them. The image of Janeway negotiating with the Collective was rather amusing. It's fortunate, however, that the Queen was not present in this episode, as I think that might have caused greater damage to the Borg. 'Dark Frontier' was acceptable as a Seven of Nine story but here and moreseo in 'Unimatrix Zero' was the Queen treated entirely too much like a crazed queen than the personificaition of the will of billions of drones. It might have been interesting had this been explored more instead.

Regarding Species 8472, the very conept of a race superior to the Borg is almost ridiculous unto itself unless the Borg are already 'diminished' from their status as a force of nature, as they were. I see 8472 as working as a concept (while admittedly being more of a plot device for forcing the Borg to cooperate with Voyager) by not being more powerful than the Borg, but rather a species whose biology was simply so unique that they had the ability to resist assimilation.

That said, their character depiction in 'Scorpion' as being more evil than the Borg and bent on destruction was somewhat odd, and another 'necessary' part of having Voyager cooperate with the Borg. The humanization later on did do much to reduce them as a threat, but I would argue brought them more in line with how they should have been depicted in the start. I would argue that Chakotay's argument that Voyager was cooperating with the greater evil just to get what they wanted was in fact the correct one, and only the depiction of 8472 as xenophobic and rather genocidal seemed to render this untrue.

Still not content with the dumbing-down of great threat races, VOY again did it, this time, with the Hirogen... another GREAT enemy species... for the time they were allowed to remain a great enemy species.

The Hirogen should have been VOY's main threat race, in the latter years of the show, once the Vidiians could no longer keep up. Here was a race of hunter-killers, like starfaring wolf packs. They were terrifying, and made proud displays of the bones of their kills, inside their ships. But, what did VOY do with this potentially awesome threat race? Not ONLY did VOY dumb them down, and "humanize" them, by having them grow weary of killing, but the writers had to go and full-on destroy ANY credibility, once and for all, and turn the Hirogen into... yep, here it comes...

...SPACE NAZI'S!!!

Ugh.
Also agreed for the most part. Here we had a race that does not value life in any way - they only value the hunt.

That said, I did enjoy 'The Killing Game' but it did do much to reduce the original potential of the race.

The Maquis. The Maquis should have remained the Maquis a LOT further into the show... maybe until even the end of the second season. To wrap up the primary Maquis conflict in "Caretaker" was a very, very, bad writing choice. GodBen had a remarkably good idea, in his own thread post...

Here is an idea I've just had, Neelix shouldn't have been so incompetent and his anger at Janeway's decision making should have built as time went by and crew-members started to die. He senses disquiet among some of the crew and begins to lead a mutiny against Janeway's command. Many Maquis join this mutiny and Chakotay is forced to choose between his people and his captain. There could have been a good number of stories on this subject, but by the end of this episode Neelix tucks his tail between his legs (does he have a tail?) and bows down to the mighty Janeway.
- GodBen

I think that could have worked VERY well, if it had been done right.
Agreed. (And a hidden instance of GodBen and I agreeing, no less.)

Captain Proton. Okay... Captain Proton was fine... on the Holodeck. VOY crossed the line, when they allowed Tom Paris to slap all that Captain Proton CRAP onto the Delta Flyer. I cannot believe how incredibly stupid and retarded all that useless SHIT looked, inside the Delta Flyer. It seriously made me want to vomit.
A minor thing, but yes, I agree that was annoying.

Seven of Nine. Okay... I'm a red-blooded American male, so yeah... 7 of 9 is hawt, and has a helluva nice rack. Other than that, I absolutely hated the character... just hated it to no end. Number one, 7 of 9 was an idiot. Data was an android, and knew more about humanity than 7 of 9, who used to BE a human. I mean, the Doctor had to teach 7 of 9 what singing was, what laughing was, and what a date is. C'mon... nobody is that damned stupid. Even Data knew those things... he just didn't know the best ways to go about them. Number two... 7 of 9 had the MOST monotonous voice I have ever heard... how that beautiful an actress could pick THAT voice for her character, I will never know... I mean, Caprica Six on nuBSG is a hot, sexy, humanoid Cylon, but does she make Baltar suffer, with a droning, monotonous, voice? No... she uses a normal, alluring, female voice. I cringe, whenever I have to hear 7 of 9 speak. Finally, 7 of 9 was nothing more than fluff to save an already sinking show, plain and simple. VOY flotaed to safety on her boobs. It's the truth.
While I agree that the addition of Seven was to boost ratings (and quite possible save the show) I think that they did actually have an interesting character. She was the classic 'outsider' (Pinocchio, if you will) character, in the mold of Spock. Here's how I see their breakdown: Data had enough experience to know about humanity, but lacked the ability to actually 'understand' and therefore emulate humanity. Seven, by contrast, possessed the ability but not the experience to understand. The process of the series was essentially her gaining the experience to understand what being a human is and embrace her 'true' nature. It wasn't so much that she had to be taught what things were, as she had to be taught how they worked. In some instances, this did make her seem like an idiot, but being 'raised' by the Borg and missing most of her childhood by being aged in a maturation chamber she likely did not receive any such 'irrelevant' information. ('Unimatrix Zero' kind of destroyed that though.) I do think a greater effort could have been made to plot Seven's development, and also to change her voice and appearance as she grew to embrace her humanity.

Now... VOY DID have a couple REALLY amazing bits of writing. My favorite VOY episode, is "Equinox". THAT is what VOY had the potential to do every week, but chose not to. I FELT for the characters in that episode. When Captain Ransom lectures to Janeway, how it's easy to cling to your principle, when your crew is not starving... that was powerful. I felt his emotions in that speech. When Captain Ransom is going down with his ship, and he tells Janeway that she has a fine crew, and to get them home... I actually cried during that ending... THAT was the level of writing VOY could have regularly put out, but never did.
I would amend 'never' to 'rarely' but generally agreed. A classic example for underutilizing the premise of 'Voyager' as an examination of what becomes of people (even 24th century evolved ones) when they're put through hell.

Very good observations overall, even if we differ in a few places.
__________________
"If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross; but it's not for the timid." - Q
Praetor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 6 2009, 11:40 PM   #3
BolianAuthor
Writer, Battlestar Urantia
 
Location: Torrance, California
Send a message via AIM to BolianAuthor Send a message via Windows Live Messenger to BolianAuthor
Re: VOY: In Retrospect

WOW... thank you, for that detailed reply, Praetor!

I'm glad you found my insights, well... insightful, lol, and did not see them as merely bashing.

Like I said, I went into VOY with all the best intentions, and all my support, only to see it slowly slip away.
BolianAuthor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 6 2009, 11:56 PM   #4
Praetor
Vice Admiral
 
Praetor's Avatar
 
Location: The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
Re: VOY: In Retrospect

BolianAdmiral wrote: View Post
Like I said, I went into VOY with all the best intentions, and all my support, only to see it slowly slip away.
Yeah, I know what you mean.
__________________
"If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross; but it's not for the timid." - Q
Praetor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 7 2009, 01:54 AM   #5
TheGodBen
Rear Admiral
 
TheGodBen's Avatar
 
Location: Ireland
Re: VOY: In Retrospect

BolianAdmiral wrote: View Post
I can still remember the day I heard that VOY was going to be produced. I was a 6th grader in middle school then. I was so excited... a new Federation ship, in the vast unknown of the Delta Quadrant... another potential TNG!
Voyager launched when I was 8 and I first heard about it from my brother and sister. They attended a Star Trek fan club where they imported episodes of the latest Star Trek from the US on VHS tapes and watched them about 6 months in advance of the TV stations. I remember them telling me all this cool stuff about the ship and the characters and I was really excited to see it because it sounded fantastic.

I grew up on TNG and at that time I didn't like DS9 at all. When I was 9 I went to the club with them for the first time and saw my first Voyager episode; Heroes and Demons. The thing is that they also showed new episodes of DS9, and those caught my interest far more than Voyager. It became apparent to me that Voyager didn't seem to be going anywhere while DS9 was doing big epic episodes like Way of the Warrior. DS9 quickly became my favourite and Voyager became an also-ran.

My brother and sister fell out of Trekdom when they began watching Babylon 5, and since I was too young to go to the club on my own I stopped going near the end of DS9 season 5/Voyager season 3. It was then that I started watching both shows on TV, and the only time Voyager ever seemed to be going anywhere was the Scorpion 2-parter. I kept watching because my friends watched it and I wanted to be popular , but compared to DS9 I felt let down by it all.

I found myself hating the idea of the Kazon.
The first time I saw a Kazon was in Projections, and I knew the whole thing had to be a holodeck malfunction because the alien looked so ridiculous. When they showed up again later on I was shocked it wasn't a big joke.

The Kazon were a good idea... as annoyances, every now and then... NOT for the primary antagonists. If they had used the Kazon like TNG intended to use the Ferengi... as "pirates" or border-raiders, it would have made much more sense, and the Kazon would have been much more believable.
Agreed. I haven't seen the show since I was a kid so I can't remember them much, but I like the idea of the DQ being the lawless side of the galaxy where piracy is rampant. Enterprise's third season managed to capture that sense much better.

Now... VOY's first season DID introduce us to the alien race that I felt SHOULD have been Voyager's public enemy number one... the Vidiians.
Agreed again, the Vidiians were an great concept that really needed to be explored more. Probably the best alien race created in Voyager and they could easily have added to that sense of lawless piracy I mentioned above.

VOY should NEVER have shown us the Borg.
I disagree here. While I do feel that Voyager did ruin the Borg, it wasn't an inevitability that they would, if they had been utilised properly they would have been very welcome on the show. The Borg shouldn't have shown up until season six at the earliest, and the final years of Voyager's journey should have been absolute hell because of them.

So, on to Species 8472... a race that had vowed to destroy Voyager, only to later on be "humanized", by having them take the time and energy to study how humans live and behave, on their simulation outposts.
Agreed, I hated that episode. 8472 were terrifying because they could beat the Borg, and the Borg used to be terrifying. By humanising them they ruined the entire concept of both the Borg and 8472.

The Hirogen should have been VOY's main threat race, in the latter years of the show, once the Vidiians could no longer keep up. Here was a race of hunter-killers, like starfaring wolf packs.
I was never all that into the Hirogen even though my friends were. They were okay for a couple of episodes, but then the whole thing about needing to capture their prey got old.

I believe Voyager's villains should have gone like this.
Seasons 1&2: Kazon and Vidiians.
Season 3: Vidiians and Hirogen.
Season 4: Krenim Year of Hell.
Season 5: Peaceful respite.
Seasons 6&7: The Borg.

...SPACE NAZI'S!!!
Space Nazis on Voyager were fun, but completely and utterly stupid in every possible way. It is like getting really hammered then videoing yourself dancing to the TMP/TNG theme and uploading it to YouTube; fun at the time but you really wish it hadn't happened the next day.

Here is an idea I've just had, Neelix shouldn't have been so incompetent and his anger at Janeway's decision making should have built as time went by and crew-members started to die. He senses disquiet among some of the crew and begins to lead a mutiny against Janeway's command. Many Maquis join this mutiny and Chakotay is forced to choose between his people and his captain. There could have been a good number of stories on this subject, but by the end of this episode Neelix tucks his tail between his legs (does he have a tail?) and bows down to the mighty Janeway.
That is an excellent idea, whoever came up with that deserve a medal.

I think that could have worked VERY well, if it had been done right.
I came up with the idea because the big BSG mutiny episodes were after airing and I thought they were awesome. I'm not sure if it would have worked out well on Voyager, but I wish they would have taken more risks even if they didn't end up working out. If you don't take risks you end up on a Voyager discussion forum at 0:40 on a Friday night.



Captain Proton. Okay... Captain Proton was fine... on the Holodeck. VOY crossed the line, when they allowed Tom Paris to slap all that Captain Proton CRAP onto the Delta Flyer.
I didn't like Captain Proton at all, in the holodeck or on the Delta Flyer. I can see how having levers and wheels is preferable to a spaceship pilot than a LCARS panel because it would give you a "feel" for the ship, but it still looked moronic.

Seven of Nine. Okay... I'm a red-blooded American male, so yeah... 7 of 9 is hawt, and has a helluva nice rack.
As a member of target audience which Seven was aimed at, I have to agree.

Other than that, I absolutely hated the character... just hated it to no end.
I never paid attention to the character when I watched it because I couldn't take her seriously. I felt insulted that the producers thought that a woman in a cat-suit is my fantasy (cleavage and some leg is much better) and that this was all they needed to do in order to get me to watch the show. So I never paid attention to the character because clearly she was not there to be interesting.

7 of 9 had the MOST monotonous voice I have ever heard...
Dirty talk sounds best when it sounds like it comes from a computer.

I mean, Caprica Six on nuBSG is a hot, sexy, humanoid Cylon...
Seven's biggest crime is that she put me off watching BSG for 4 years because I thought that Six was going to be some stupid ratings ploy like Seven was. It is now my favourite show and I'm angry that I only started watching it last year.

Last edited by TheGodBen; March 7 2009 at 02:00 AM. Reason: fixing a quote box
TheGodBen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 7 2009, 02:20 AM   #6
BolianAuthor
Writer, Battlestar Urantia
 
Location: Torrance, California
Send a message via AIM to BolianAuthor Send a message via Windows Live Messenger to BolianAuthor
Re: VOY: In Retrospect

GodBen, thanks for your reply!!!

I feel the same way that you do, in that ENT finally killed Trek for me, and I found my fix for quality sci-fi with nuBSG. After seeing the pure awesomeness and perfection of that show, it took me a LONG, LONG, time, to get back into Trek. I am also a HUGE Babylon-5 fan, so i can totallty see how you found refuge with that series.

I guess our only major point of disagreement, is with the Hirogen.

I loved the Hirogen. I think their obsession wityh VOY felt real. Voyager was totally unique, in the Delta Quadrant, and as such, was prized prey... it was like one of our hunters bagging the Loch Ness Monster, or Bigfoot... it was a one-of-a-kind prize for them. Plus, their massive uber-rifles were cool!

The Krenim arc was good, but because I felt for Annorax. I can't see the Krenim as having had a future as a sustained threat race.

And yes, you deserve a medal for the Neelix/Maquis idea.


Praetor, here is my breakdown for that VOY story I once wrote, "Twisted Fate".

http://www.joseralat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1199

And just in case anybody is in any way interested, here is a sequel I wrote to "Endgame", called "Waking Nightmares", set 25 years after the end of VOY.

http://www.joseralat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=952

-BolianAdmiral
BolianAuthor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 7 2009, 05:22 AM   #7
Praetor
Vice Admiral
 
Praetor's Avatar
 
Location: The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
Re: VOY: In Retrospect

Those are both really cool, Bolian. I'll probably need a little time to digest 'Waking Nightmares' but I like it, and I think with a few tweaks 'Twisted Fate' could have worked perfectly.
__________________
"If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross; but it's not for the timid." - Q
Praetor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 7 2009, 06:18 AM   #8
BolianAuthor
Writer, Battlestar Urantia
 
Location: Torrance, California
Send a message via AIM to BolianAuthor Send a message via Windows Live Messenger to BolianAuthor
Re: VOY: In Retrospect

^

Thank you. I appreciate the kind words.
BolianAuthor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 7 2009, 07:02 AM   #9
Gary7
Rear Admiral
 
Gary7's Avatar
 
Location: Near Manhattan ··· in an alternate reality
Re: VOY: In Retrospect

I also enjoyed reading "Twisted Fate." What a great teaser, getting Voyager back to the Alpha quadrant, only to have it thrown back into the Delta quadrant yet again.

One thing that might have been interesting would be to have the Klingon ship in close proximity to Voyager... that they'd have "traveling companions" for the rest of the way back home. Or at least until some catastrophe would split them apart or result in destruction of the Klingon vessel.
Gary7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 7 2009, 05:47 PM   #10
BolianAuthor
Writer, Battlestar Urantia
 
Location: Torrance, California
Send a message via AIM to BolianAuthor Send a message via Windows Live Messenger to BolianAuthor
Re: VOY: In Retrospect

^

Thank you, Gary7, for your kind feedback!

With the Klingons... LOL... I did that on purpose. I wanted the Klingons in Kazon space, just because I hated the Kazon, and knew the Klingons would never take any guff from them, and would put them in their place, lol.
BolianAuthor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 8 2009, 08:28 PM   #11
Lynx
Rear Admiral
 
Lynx's Avatar
 
Location: Lynx Empire
Re: VOY: In Retrospect

I would like to come up with some comments to BolianAdmiral's well-written and constructive post.

As I see it, Voyager was the show with the never-used potential. Voyager had the best characters and the best premise for any Trek show. Voyager wasn't a bad show. But even when I watch my favorite seasons (seasons 1-3) I have this feeling that it could have been much better.

The sad thing is that the writers of Voyager, thanks to the characters and premise of the show did have an excellent opportunity to come up with excellent episodes. But they couldn't rise to the challenge, instead they reverted to old tricks which had been used before and many times "played safe" instead of coming up with new ideas and scenarios.

I've started my own "Voyager Relaunch", inspired to do so by GodBen's thread, this thread and the fact that I was going to check if I still could find some enthusiasm for the show after the latest "Janeway commotion. (I discovered that I actually could) so I'm in the middle of season 1 now.

I did discover that the characters did seem to have more "edge" in those first episodes than later on when they became more average. It's hard to explain but Chakotay, for example was more independent in his acting against Janeway and the others, Paris did still had a bit of a cocky attitude, Kim was more constructive and so on compared to the later seasons when their behavior became more.......average, so to say. There were opportunities which could have been used better here, like the Neelix-Kes-Tom scenario, Harry's computer skills and some development to the character, some episodes with an important role for Chakotay, Kes's mental abilities and he skill to achieve what she wanted without arguing, Tom's habit of ending up in trouble and so on.

As for the Kazon and the Vidiians, I thought both were great villains and i wouldn't want to change anything there. What do strike me as a bit odd was that it took almost two years before Voyager got out of the reach of those species and if you look at a map over the area Voyager did travel through, it looks like they are flying in a corridor between the Kazon and the Vidiian empires, a corridor where some small independent systems are located, like the Sikarians, the Mokra, the 37's planet, Talax and some other systems as well. That strikes me as somewhat unrealistic.

What they should have done if they wanted to keep the Kazon and the Vidiians in the story for two seasons was to have Voyager stranded at some place, maybe the 37's planet for a season or so in which they could have had all those adventures we did see in seasons 1 and 2. From there on, it would have been new encounters with new species every week.

As for the situation with the Maquis, I'm not so sure that a prolonged tension between Starfleet and the Maquis would have been that good. The Maquis were only 30-50 people, to few to become a real threat and most of them, most notably Chakotay, did realize that the only thing to do was to cooperate with the Starfleet people in order to get home. We did also have our fair share of Maquis discomfort with Jonas and Suder, maybe also people like Hogan and Dalby (Seska was a Cardassian spy so I don't count her in here). The only thing that could have been changed was Janeway's decision th make it "a Starfleet crew". OK, the ship could have been run by Starfleet regualtions but not as rigid as a regular Starfleet ship.

What I did miss was some Starfleet crew member who did flip out. I mean, they were stranded 70 000 lightyears from home and even the most disciplined Starfleet crewmember could have start feeling homesick and depressed. I've alwasy wondered why Starfleet people have to be so perfect in all Trek series.

As for this scenario, one of the Voyager books, "Cybersong" had an ensign Daphne Mandel who was a bit "out of it" and there should have been some of that in the TV episodes as well. Vorik was promising in that aspect but it ended up in nothing.

As for the Borg, I agree with BolianAdmiral's comments. If you have a great villain, don't humanize them because they will lose everything which made them scary and interesting in the first place. I also have my doubts about creating very powerful and invincible villains because it always takes some very unrealistic and silly method to defeat them and when that is done, there is no way back. In that case, I prefer the Kazon to the Borg. The Kazon were bullies but not invincible and that made them more interesting than the Borg.

My opinion about the Borg is that they should never have been brought into the series at all, the whole thing should have been written so that Voyager never encountered Borg space. The Borg was finished already in TNG with characters like Hugh and the Borg Queen and what happened in Voyager did only make things worse when it came to that once so interesting species.

As for "Space Nazis", I always find it silly when the 1930's-1940's Earth Nazis show up in some way in a SF-show about the future. I can buy that writers borrow ideas from certain evil empires on Earth and use them in their stories (I've done that myself in my own fan-fiction) but spare us from swastikas and German uniforms and spare us from flashbacks to WWII. OK, the Nazis may have been spectacular and maybe the worst but they aren't alone when it comes to genocide and opression. Once again, it would be better if the writers came up with original concepts instead.

As for Seven Of Nine, it's not my intention to trash the character. She was interesting in a way, with a good background story which could have been great for an own series and Jeri Ryan did a good job in portraying her but I still have my doubts about bringing her in to the series. I mean, was it necessary? Voyager did have some of Trek's best characters. Why not use them instead? What they did was actually to tell the whole world that "this series is such a failure so we have to bring in a sexy babe and make her the main character to get the ratings we want". Without being rude, I must state that I did find the catsuit and the marketing of the character as "the sexy Borg" somewhat cheap. It would have been more convincing if they had put her in ordinary clothes from the start and not made her the main character.

As I see it, Voyager's biggest problem was that the writers became lazy and tried to bring in viewers by using old tricks, thinking that "let's give the viewers what we think that they want. Like "let's bring in the Borg, the viewers loved the Borg in TNG" or "let's bring in a sexy babe, the viewers love sexy babes" or "let's bring in more TNG characters, the viewers love TNG" or "let us make the show a copy of TNG for the same reason". From season 6 and onwards when they were already planning ahead for "Enterprise", they did seem to think "let's get out of here as soon as possible".

The sad thing is that they actually insulted and annoyed some fans with bad decisions as well, such as the unnecessary destruction of Kes and the C/7 thing in the last episode.

"Endgame" was a total failure and in a way typical for the demise of the show. They didn't even bother to come up with a good end episode.

I'm also surprised that there were so few arcs in the series. A series which premise is about a ship constantly on the move back to home territory should have had lots of arcs. Instead they were very few, like the Michael Jonas arc which was very good. Some of the events, like the Kes-Neelix break-up and Tuvok's education of the former Maquis members Dalby, Chell, Henley and Gerron could have taken place during 4-5 episodes. As for Dalby, Chell, Henley and Gerron, I would have liked to see more of them. They were good characters.

But despite the flaws, the missed opportunities, some very stupid decisions from the writers and the erratic writing, Voyager was never really bad. I've compared my favorite seasons of Voyager (seasons 1-3) with my favorite seasons of TNG (seasons 3-6) and there are more weak episodes in the TNG seasons than in the Voyager seasons. Although I love TNG, I must admit that even at its peak it could produce some really dull episodes. As soon as Lwxana Troi (sorry Majel!) and Worf's son did show up, I knew that "oh, it's gonna be one of those episodes today", not to mention some of Troi's temporary love affairs, like that one in the episode with the wormhole and the Ferengis.
I must also state that Voyager must have been something special because many of those (including me) who were very dissapointed with certain aspects of the show still love the show and the characters.

Not to mention that the writers actually did create a show which still can create good debates and discussions many years after the last episode was aired!
__________________
Who'd let that cat in here?

Welcome to visit the Kes Website at:http://www.lynx677.tk/

Last edited by Lynx; March 9 2009 at 05:08 PM. Reason: Words "in the episode" was missing in one sentence
Lynx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 9 2009, 02:35 AM   #12
BolianAuthor
Writer, Battlestar Urantia
 
Location: Torrance, California
Send a message via AIM to BolianAuthor Send a message via Windows Live Messenger to BolianAuthor
Re: VOY: In Retrospect

^

Wow... again, thank you for the well-thought-out post!!!

You are pretty much right-on... VOY had SO MUCH potential, that was just never used. I mean, I keep thinking to Q's remark to Picard, in TNG... that that part of space held wonders beyond imagination, and also terrors that would chill the soul, or something to that effect. But instead, almost every world VOY came across, was poor and destitute. And the few worlds that DID have really advanced technology, and a clean, ultramodern, peace-loving society, were all anal isolationists, that chased Voyager away from their space.

The whole series was nothing but wasted potential, save for a few select episodes, "Equinox" being among the best examples of them.

Good post.
BolianAuthor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 9 2009, 11:57 AM   #13
Tachyon
Fleet Captain
 
Tachyon's Avatar
 
Location: Finland
Re: VOY: In Retrospect

A little site note here first - Geez you are young!



However, some good points there I agree with, some not so much.

I had never any problems with Voyager getting The Borg in the picture. However, they did become over-used and a lot of the mystery around them was ruined. I absolutely HATE Dark Frontier and Unimatrix Zero for this reason, and I am a die-hard Voyager fan.

I never had any problems with Kazon either. They were bullies, true, but at least they were not over-used and once it was time to move along, it was fine with me. Some Kazon episodes are great, though.

Chakotay's character development was a disappoint for me. I like him more on earlier seasons for obvious reasons. I like Seven as well, but she did take too much away from both Chakotay and Tuvok. And of course, from B'Elanna, too.

Naturally there are some stinker episodes, like in all Trek, and there were places of improvement, like in all Trek. Afterwards it is so easy to say that "they should have done it like this and they should have done it like that." But overall Voyager was a good show and for me the cast was most interesting one in all Trek series so far.
Tachyon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 9 2009, 08:51 PM   #14
Gary7
Rear Admiral
 
Gary7's Avatar
 
Location: Near Manhattan ··· in an alternate reality
Re: VOY: In Retrospect

Excellent dissertation, Lynx. I agree with much of what you said. A couple of comments:

I think that VOY writers didn't quite understand their audience. I believe they tried to take chances in the beginning, but then pulled back and leaned more conservative onward. There was indeed an "edge" to the characters early on that was later lost... maybe as the actors become more comfortable in their roles and episodes started becoming more routine. There was SO much potential with the series premise, much more so than with TNG. But the show became kind of an extension of TNG, using the same kind of episode formulas. I wonder if they did that because of the overlap with DS9? Or recoiling from a slip in ratings, even after Seven became a natural fixture? Grasping at straws, like introducing the Borg children, diminished the value IMHO...

Seven of Nine was a good character to introduce. Certainly we saw the possibility for "conversion" from being a Borg in prior Star Trek episodes, so the idea was plausible. And here you have Voyager trapped in a quadrant far away from Star Fleet, having to make do without any support. Adopting Seven meant adding to the crew. And certainly, Seven "saved the day" on many occasions. She also served as an interesting contrast to Tuvok--both beings focused on suppressing emotion, in different ways. Despite all this, she was curiously underutilized. With all the knowledge she had from being part of the Borg, she could have done a lot more to upgrade the ship capabilities in ways that made sense (without compromising the fact that Voyager had to remain stuck in the Delta quadrant for the show to continue). And her new outfit in human form was an obviously ploy on "sexual enticement", which I thought was really unnecessarily. Sure, Jeri Ryan looks great in a unitard with her fabulous body, but c'mon--the outfit was far from practical and there was no reason to explain it. Certainly she could have fit into a Star Fleet uniform!

However, the way that Seven got introduced to the crew did not make a lot of sense to me. I also agree that the Borg became "humanized"... a "comfortable enemy", because of the way they were handled. I'm sorry, but the threat of deleting the knowledge for the modified nanoprobes was a lame tactic that the Borg could have easily subverted. They have the technology to beam away ANYTHING in the blink of an eye. Certainly they could have beamed away the computer core containing the nanoprobe information.

The only saving grace wasn't really explored enough, and that being that the Borg assimilate and do NOT have the imagination to create. I don't think this was emphasized enough. If the data for the nanoprobes was segmented enough into different systems that only the Doctor could access, the Borg wouldn't know where to look and what to piece together. But would they be "humble" enough to admit that they need this information? What if it was a bluff? The Borg we saw in TNG did not stop and reason--they were ruthless conquerors that assimilate everything in their path. "Discussion is irrelevant." What changed? I think it might have helped to "hear" the Borg internal reasoning on their situation much more than we got to see.

One other thing... Species 8472 was a threat to humanity as well as the Borg. The ploy to threaten deletion of a solution would be such an overt bluff, very difficult to take seriously. Anyway, the "Borg syndrome" was an issue all across the board. Look at ENT! I couldn't believe the writers introduced them there, violating the whole Star Trek universe integrity.

Getting back to Voyager, I have to say that there were really some phenomenally creative episodes produced. They had a nice long run of 7 seasons, so that means a lot of writing... not every episode could be a great one. But there could have bee more of them, no doubt. Anyway, I'm grateful for the "good stuff" that was created.

Last edited by Gary Sever; March 9 2009 at 09:08 PM.
Gary7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 14 2009, 05:26 PM   #15
neogothboy74
Commander
 
neogothboy74's Avatar
 
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
Send a message via AIM to neogothboy74 Send a message via Yahoo to neogothboy74
Re: VOY: In Retrospect

I agree with so much in this thread that I can't quote it all. Suffice it to say that when Voyager began, I felt it had the best premise and the best characters...and then the writers seemed to do almost nothing with the gold they'd been given. I used to tell people that I hated Voyager, but I don't. I'm just so disappointed by so many of the choices that were made that it hurts me to watch a lot of it.
neogothboy74 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 09:54 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.