A Semi-Hater Revisits Voyager

Discussion in 'Voyager' started by TheGodBen, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. TedShatner10

    TedShatner10 Commodore Commodore

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Rubbish, Voyager was creatively hamstrung right from the start by a creatively overstretched Braga, Taylor, Piller, and Berman, with meddling from Paramount/UPN wanting to have another TNG clone.

    I thought Season Two and Three, despite individually strong episodes such as "The Thaw", "Distant Origin", "Projections", and "The Chute", were overall weaker than even Season Five, let alone Season Four. Season One and Six were perhaps comparable in quality, while Season Seven was more down to Season Two and Three's level, but that was because Kenneth Biller took over the show.

    I find Voyager an entertaining show overall, but still a disappointment.
     
  2. Tachyon

    Tachyon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Rubbish, Voyager was great. Seasons 1,2 and 5 are the best, 4, 3 and 6 following. Season 7 was "weakish". :)
     
  3. startrekwatcher

    startrekwatcher Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I warned you of this several posts ago, didn't I? And Fuller's efforts as far as I am concerned don't get better unfortunately for the remainder of his tenure.
    He doesn't get better with episodes like Endgame, Virtuoso etc.
    "In the Flesh" wasn't that bad. Lisa is still one of if not the worst writer. She had more writing credits and the majority were weak to awful. Nick was just a decidedly average writer--Gravity, Course:Oblivion, Juggernaut, In the Flesh.
    See I tried telling you this. Maybe you'll start listening to me. Season five for the most part committed the greatest sin a tv show can--it was simply not entertaining.
    Season six is very uneven. There is a period in the middle to latter part of the season where you enter a pattern of getting a good solid episode then a weak one-- One Small Step good, Conspiracy weak, Pathfinder good, Fair Haven weak, Blink of an Eye good, Virtuouso meh, Memorial good etc. Despite this I found season six to be more entertaining overall with a far better output of enjoyable episodes than season five. It wisely focused almost exclusively on Janeway/Seven/the Doctor and reduced the Borg angle/presence to a great degree.
     
  4. neogothboy74

    neogothboy74 Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Your season averages are really reflecting how I feel about the show! At least so far. Season 1 is my favorite. Season 4 is a close 2nd. Seasons 2-3 are mostly annoying bits I had to wade through (with moments of brilliance). And seasons 5-7 (as I remember them) are better than 2-3, but never quite as good as 1 or 4. It will be interesting to see if your averages continue to reflect my experiences.

    I know I haven't been posting as much lately, but I have been visiting this thread when I have the time. I think the reason I don't comment as much is simply that I don't have as much to say about the later episodes of the series. I just think that by this point in the series, my sense of betrayal had settled in and I wasn't as shocked when the show completely ignored itself; I was expecting less and less and so my feelings about the series are muted by Season 5. By this time I knew that pretty much any great episode would have to stand on it's own to be enjoyed (with no attention paid to previous or following episodes)...which is far less satisfying as a Trek fan, but the only way I was able to enjoy watching Voyager.

    And I did enjoy Voyager at times. I did. It just irked me that I had to compromise my standards to do so, when I didn't have to do that for the other Treks. I don't grade DS9 on a curve. I don't say this episode of Deep Space Nine is fantastic...for an episode of DS9. I don't cut DS9 breaks for writing a great episode, if that great story ignores all the Trek that came before it. I rate all the other shows against Trek in general, and other programs as well. But with Voyager I only eventually graded it against other episodes of Voyager, because comparing them to anything else seemed unfair and downright depressing after awhile.

    But even with my diminished commentary, I'm grateful for this thread. It's been healing to hear others express their feelings about the series without it degrading into the usual "Voyager Sucks" / "Voyager Rocks" mud slinging. Because Voyager is more complex than that, as are it's fans. Voyager had serious problems. I didn't watch just 1 episode and then declare it to be crap. I watched the entire series, and declared it a mixed bag. I was happy when it did well, and hurt when it did not. It's failings seemed to suggest that I was no longer the target audience of Trek; that the writers had no interest in staying true to the sprawling Trek lore that I'd invested years of my life into exploring. It wasn't so much that I hated Voyager, but that the writers of Voyager seemed to not care. The production team came out golden. The actors did a mostly perfect job. But if it's not on the page, it's not on the stage, and sadly this cast and crew were beholden to subpar Trek writing that will always be a disappointment for me. I used to have a lot more anger for the series. But this thread has helped a lot. So thanks. All of you.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2009
  5. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Indeed you did, and it seemed odd at the time because it was going against what everyone else was saying, but you were right. And you were right about Fuller and Braga and... well, most of the writers so far. I'm still going to hold off on a final judgement for Fuller and Michael Taylor but I wouldn't be surprised if both of them drop below 5.

    Good, I was hoping for that, Voyager seems to work best when it is uneven in quality rather than just average episodes one after the next. In season four they seemed to take more risks which didn't always work but it also led some some great episodes. Season five seemed to play things a little too "safe" for my tastes and that led to a situation where the over-saturation of averageness caused me to lose interest. I'll welcome the return of the unevenness if it holds my interest like most of season 4 did.

    Don't worry, I'll fiddle with the numbers a little and keep the final two seasons below 5.1. It's not like anybody bothers to check my calculations anyway. ;)

    I'm the Voyager hater version of Dr Phil. :D

    And how did that episode make you feel?
     
  6. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I also really liked "Equinox, Part I" but I really feel that le parte deux fails to deliver on its potential. But, we're not there yet. :p

    I like GodBen's suggestion that Ransom's ship have been the bigger ship. Not only did the Equinox look (to me at least) like it had the proportions of the bigger ship, but it would have made Janeway's survival abilities all the more impressive by comparison if she had less to work with yet still did better. Overall, a win-win. :techman:

    I also agree that season five would have worked nicely as a more structured buildup to Equinox.
     
  7. Tachyon

    Tachyon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I don't see how that would have added to the episodes on this season, really; what would have been the additional value of doing such a thing.

    Season 5 had many great episodes and finally with Equinox it was "boom! There are others too!" I liked that sudden element of surprise.
     
  8. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Two reasons; 1) the introduction of the Dominion was made more interesting because of how it was foreshadowed in several episodes and 2) it would have made the DQ feel more alive. I found the big bad Delta Quadrant rather dull in season 5. :(


    Equinox, Part 2 (***½)

    There is a famous scene in this episode where Janeway almost kills a guy in her search for vengeance, and I've seen that used many times as an attack on the show. Some don't think that Janeway's actions are justifiable, and some don't think Janeway would ever go so far to the dark side. Personally, I've never viewed her as a particularly stable person and it's not much of a stretch of my imagination to see her doing what she does here. As to whether it is justified, of course not, that's the point.

    In contrast, I also enjoyed Ransom's return to the light side, some of the imagery involved was interesting. However, I'm a bit of a Ron Moore fan (more on that with the next episode) and I have to agree with him when he says that this episode fails to come together as a whole. The concept of Janeway turning bad while Ransom turns good is great, but it never goes anywhere at the end. It provided many great scenes but it doesn't seem to add up to much.

    This exchange is galling:
    :wtf:

    Firstly, no it would not. Janeway was the one crossing the line, not you, you would have been the one trying to pull her back over the line. Secondly, CHAKOTAY RESIGNED HIS COMMISSION TO JOIN A TERRORIST ORGANISATION!!! :brickwall: This is a man who should have no problem challenging Janeway's authority when she does something wrong. What the hell happened to the Chakotay who defied Janeway's orders and stole a shuttle in order to deal with Seska back in season 2? Seriously, the guy serves no purpose on this show anymore other than being humiliated, just kill him off or something.

    Part of me is upset that the Equinox was destroyed even though that obviously had to happen because this is Voyager, but the Nova class is a cool design and I would have loved to see more of it. But at least we get five new crew members on Voyager, we should get a few good stories from that, right? :)

    Yeah, I have to deduct a point for that. :(

    Torpedoes: 60/38
     
  9. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Commodore Commodore

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    'Equinox' overall was a mixed bag. The buildup in part one was much more effective than the payoff in part two, which always seems to be the case in the majority of two-parters in all of Star Trek.

    Janeway going off the rails isn't that hard to believe, and her vendetta against the Equinox crew is compelling. I agree that a lack of balls from a certain first officer didn't help things - Chakotay and Janeway were at loggerheads in 'Scorpion' and it was brilliant, yet here he is white noise.

    The epilogue at the end was a nice touch -the Equinox crew joining Samantha Wildman, Ensign Vorik, and Lt. Carey's Torpedo and Shuttle Replenishment Team. :D

    I give part one 4/5, and part two 3/5.
     
  10. apenpaap

    apenpaap Commodore Commodore

    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Equinox was a very good episode. I was very disappointed that we never heard anything from those five new crewmembers, though. I know Voyeger generally is pretty bad with continuity and stuff, but I really expected it.
     
  11. teya

    teya Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Chakotay's balls are now in a lockbox in Janeway's ready room. :devil:

    Seriously, Chakotay really looks passive in the later seasons. It's as though he just gave up after "Scorpion." Since Janeway pays no attention to anything he says, he doesn't bother to say anything.
     
  12. startrekwatcher

    startrekwatcher Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Equinox II is alright but it really isn't that involving. First off I simply don't buy Janeway's actions in this episode. Compare this to Archer's in "Anomaly" where he airlocks an alien. In that instance, you believe what is happening. It feels honest and realistic--not some sort of contrived dramatic scene like Janeway's felt.

    Afterall Archer had the weight of an entire civilization on his shoulders, he doesn't know where the weapon is or when it might be deployed. He truly was facing a ticking clock that drove his shocking behaviors.

    Part II did sport some nice, not great, action sequences between the two Starfleet vessels. There were also a few nice isolated character moments. And I like the idea, not necessarily, the execution of these two captains experiencing mirror parallels in their behaviors as the show proceeds.

    I'd give it 3 stars out of four stars.
     
  13. Praetorian

    Praetorian Captain Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager


    Foreshadowing the Equinox would have been nice however what I would have really liked was for the Equinox to be a recurrent big bad in Season 6, with the story only finishing in the season finale...

    At the end of Equinox, Ransom and the Equinox would have escaped and Janeway would vow to hunt him down. We would get some episodes about Voyager finding leads, perhaps even getting blamed for things the Equinox would be doing and then a big showdown...

    Like Seska I would say...
     
  14. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Hi, I'm the hater never known as Steve, and I'm a Moore-aholic. :(

    It started at a young age, I got caught up with the wrong crowd and I'd watch The Next Generation whenever I saw it on TV. My parents were a little worried, they feared I might become a nerd, but I was 3 and they trusted that I was old enough to know what TV shows were right for me. I don't blame them for what happened, I blame Michael Piller. One day Michael came to my house while my parents were away and said "Aw man, you gotta try this shit, it'll blow your mind. It's called Ron Moore". I should have known better, my life could have turned out so differently had I just said "no", but I trusted him so I watched The Bonding. It made me feel ill. [​IMG] That kid was annoying and there was a magic space alien and Picard made a speech... it wasn't anything like Michael promised me.

    But a few weeks later he came around again with more Moore and he promised me that it gets better after the first time. I was wary, but I didn't want to be a pussy so I gave into peer pressure and watched The Defector. It was like flying! "One world's butcher..." "...dance on the edge of the Neutral Zone!" "Shall we die together?" It was incredible, and I needed more! :D Yesterday's Enterprise, Tapestry, The Pegasus... Every once in a while you'd get a bad hit, but normally it was quality stuff. On special occasions I would mix a little Moore with some Braga, now that would create some memorable evenings!

    I knew it was wrong, but lots of people were doing it, and I thought I had a good handle on things. I mean, it wasn't anything serious. It was still mostly episodic stuff, the conflict generally remained external sources, and the character flaws were minor if they even existed at all. And a lot of it was just some fun involving Klingons. It wasn't a problem, I was in full control.

    But then I moved to DS9, and that's when things started getting heavy. I started mixing Behr and Wolfe regularly and after that regular old Moore just wasn't enough, I needed stronger doses of Moore. And Moore provided. Increased serialisation, more internal conflict, greater character flaws... lesbianism too! Plain old Braga just didn't cut it anymore, I needed Moore. I didn't realise it at the time, but I was losing control of myself. I was losing myself to Moore.

    Then I hit some really rough times. DS9 ended, and my supply to most of the hardcore Trek writers was lost. I began to suffer from withdrawal symptoms from the mix of Behr, Beimler, Weedle, Thompson and Echevarria that I had been surviving off of. I needed my Moore then more than ever and I thought I had found a new dealer in Voyager. Sadly it was only a temporary affair and soon I was on my own, Mooreless. Nobody would deal the hard stuff to me any more and I was forced to fall back on legal stuff like Braga and Biller. The worst part was that I actually convinced myself that I liked Braga and thought that Enterprise was a reasonable substitute for Moore's work. It was embarrassing. :scream:

    Luckily that horrible portion of my life came to an end thanks to an intervention held by Les Moonves. He hated seeing me wasting my life on Enterprise, so he sent me to rehab and forced me to get past my Trek-writer dependences. Once I was clean I started doing the hard work involved in getting my life on track. I fell in love with a wonderful woman, I got a job and I even managed to complete my university degree. I once tried some Battlestar Galactica to see what it was like, but my life had moved on and that sort of thing just didn't interest me anymore. Life was good. :hugegrin:

    But like a a thousand other tragic heroes I lost the love of my life and I let it ruin me. I didn't have any Trek writers readily available so I tried a little Babylon 5 only to find that it didn't agree with me, and then I started taking Firefly. It was good but there wasn't enough to sustain me. That's when a friend suggested I try out some Battlestar Galactica again, so in my darkest hour I gave it a shot. It was Moore nirvana. Heavily serialised, main characters getting into physical fights, tremendously flawed human beings... it was potent stuff and I loved it.

    But this is not a relapse, I'm in complete control this time, I promise. :shifty: I felt it was only fair that I lay this all out in the interest of full disclosure before I post my review of Moore's only Voyager script. I can enjoy Moore sensibly. It's just a little fun involving genocide, where's the harm in that? Because I can handle it. I can handle it.


    Survival Instinct (******)

    This episode earned every one of those six stars, it is beyond perfect, it is uber-perfect. It had Seven, some Borg, a strange tennis racket... there was a story in there somewhere. Did I mention the Borg? And there was a great moment towards the beginning of the episode, about a minute after the opening credits a caption appeared on screen saying "Written by Ronald D. Moore". Oh boy, I came. :adore:


    Okay, lets get to the real review, shall we?


    Survival Instinct (***½)

    It is nice to have an episode like this where there is no easy technobabble way out, Seven has to choose between two equally bad choices because she messed up several years before. The first half of the episode is a little dull, and sometimes when the three Borg started talking in unison is was cheesy, but the second half of the episode was of a very high standard.

    I also loved the setting of this episode, Voyager is docked at a friendly space station and they decide to allow aliens onboard and mix in with the Voyager crew. It makes for a refreshing change of pace from all the hostile aliens Voyager has encountered over the past few years, it is settings like this that help make the Delta Quadrant feel alive.


    So lets review Ron Moore's impact upon Voyager.

    Torpedoes: 0/-22
    Shuttles Lost: 0
    Harry Deaths: 0
    Hostile aliens encountered: 0
    Times Voyager placed in peril: 0
    Times main character placed in peril: 0
    Technobabble as plot resolution: 0


    And how are the Voyager writers faring in comparison?

    [​IMG]

    Well there you have it everybody, as of right now Ron Moore is Voyager's best writer. Take a bow, Ron! :techman:
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2009
  15. apenpaap

    apenpaap Commodore Commodore

    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I didn't like Survival Instinct, it was boring. Also, shame on you for praising Leslie Moonves.
     
  16. startrekwatcher

    startrekwatcher Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I love "The Bonding". It is overflowing with a plethora of wonderful individual scenes that pair varying characters in interesting dynamics whether the Data/Riker scene in Ten Forward, the poignant Beverly/Wes scene in her office, the Riker/Worf scene in Riker's quarters etc. It had a wonderfully moving speech on death by Picard. Troi was put to good use. Everyone had something to do. The mystery on the planet was intriguing.
    Enterprise wasn't that bad. Its Xindi arc was on par with the only two serialized arcs DS9 attempted and season four was pretty entertaining if not deep.
    I know many love Moore but I tend to think he is overrated and a bit full of himself.

    I watched BSG but I've seen serialization done much much better. For all the talk of it being arc-based there sure was a lot of filler in seasons 2, 3 and 4. Standalones aren't a bad thing despite the bad reputation they get from internet fans but the thing is if you do a standalone it had better be an interesting episode or it will be seen as filler because it pulls the viewers away from the more interesting threads of arc-storytelling.

    BSG had too many weak standalones that didn't feel like they were worth pulling focus from the mythology. That said, arc-based stories don't necessarily guarantee the audience will be entertained unless they are well-written.

    Really, no surprise, that the show was at its best in its first season and a half where it really was tightly serialized. In fact most of the last three seasons was less a story arc than a series of isolated character scenes stitched together.

    I also found it to be pretty badly-plotted. I don't mind if the writers don't have everything planned out but the show had a bad habit of introducing an interesting thread or planted a seed and it never went anywhere.

    The show also had a bad habit of not effectively balancing character and plot the way some serialized dramas like Heroes did in season one or Lost.

    Also BSG wasn't very well paced. A show like Lost makes the most of every single one of its episodes by either peeling away layers, providing interesting revelations, introducing new mysteries, providing answers, testing new interesting character pairings/dynamics, advancing the plot. Those episodes were packed to the point of almost overflowing and the writers did a little bit of everything. Not a single minute was wasted because they understood they had too much to get done.

    A lot of BSG episodes had a bad habit of having poor editing where the writers couldn't be efficient in their storytelling leading to critical scenes or even entire subplots to be left on the cutting room floor or worse yet never revisited because they changed their minds.

    There is an effective way to do a slow burn building up to a big moment and BSG is an example of not how to do it. The better dramas have a lot of smaller INTERESTING stuff happening on the way to the BIG MOMENT.

    I also found that the show tried to be a bit too artsy and instead of having a natural feel it felt forced. And this sort of thing filtered into the dramatic scenes throughout the series where instead of letting the scene stand on its own the directors/writers had it flashing in annoying neon lights that the following scene is dramatic with a capital D. It als felt at times that Moore would do something shocking just for the sake of the spectacle to the point where as the series continued it lost its effective and became a cliche. And the series had a bad habit of veering into far too much angst and melodrama.

    I also found the Cylons wanting as an adversary. Compare them to the Founders or the Borg.
     
  17. Tachyon

    Tachyon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager


    Naah. I disagree. Season 5 was brilliant just the way it was. :)

    And you are thinking about in the terms of DS9, I see. ;)


    I like Survival Instinct a lot. It is a good and solid story with an interesting concept. I give it ****½. :)
     
  18. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Personally speaking, my only problem with BSG's style of serialisation was how it failed to build up to a crescendo at the season finales. For example, season 1 doesn't go anywhere in particular and then they randomly find Kobol in the finale. Season 2 had a great seven episode arc dealing with the consequences of the season 1 finale, but there was no build-up to the finale itself. The same can be said for the Pegasus just randomly showing up during season 2's mid season finale, or finding a habitable planet in the season 2.5 finale... Other than season 4 the show failed to build up to its finales, but it was very good at dealing with the consequences from those finales in the subsequent episodes.

    I think that Lost is the other side of the coin; they are experts at building up momentum going into the finales but they drop the ball in the follow-up. For example, season 1 ended with a fantastic series of episodes starting with Boone's death and building up to the opening of the hatch door, but the season 2 opener was suddenly devoid of momentum, it wasn't until episode 3 that the momentum was (temporarily) restored. I think the same can be said of the opening to seasons 3, 4 & 5, although they are improving.

    Overall I prefer BSG because it remained a character-centric show to the end while Lost's focus on the characters has dwindled away in favour of plot. An example from the recent seasons of both shows.

    My favourite character on Lost has always been Locke and he died this year, yet I felt no emotion watching his death because the nature of the plot made it seem meaningless. It is only in the season finale that you realise that Locke really is dead and at that point it doesn't seem to matter any more. I love Lost, so it is horrible for me to realise that they killed off my favourite character from the show and I didn't feel anything because it was all a part of the plot.

    Meanwhile, Gaeta's execution after the mutiny was emotionally powerful even though Gaeta was never one of the best characters on the show. BSG made me care about the death of a man who wasn't that important by treating his death with the same respect they would give a major character, while Lost treated the death of a major character as a plot-point.

    BSG is by no means perfect, and Ron Moore is certainly not the second coming of Jebus, but I like his style as a writer and the things he tends to focus on are the things which interest me most.
     
  19. startrekwatcher

    startrekwatcher Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    re:build-up and fallout

    I think it is pretty much par for the course for tv shows that follow the season long arc approach to have a slow period of readjustment after returning from the summer hiatus. You really can't expect it to outdo the spring period where the arc enters its exciting climatic stretch of payoff. I expect things to be a little slower and a little less exciting at the start of a new season as the writers have to start getting into place the new roster of guest players and new story thread and the related necessary set-up. Then as the season develops and the direction the arc is heading is revealed then of course we get the exciting resolution phase. So that really didn't bother me with Lost or BSG since that has been pretty much the format for every show I've ever watched.

    I mean season 4.0 wasn't exactly riveting coming off of the spectacularly exciting "Crossroads". Same for Lost in seasons 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 opening first few episodes.

    Regarding the issue you have with what happens to your favorite character well let's wait to pass judgment on that. Afterall it looks to me that the Lost writers have it in their heads that season five and season six will be treated less like self-contained volumes like season four or three were and more like halves of a large season so I tended to treat the ending stretch of season five as a mid season event than a genuine finale so it is yet to be seen the aftermath of the death. But yes I do agree that a lot of shows these days have the unfortunate habit of treating character deaths as plot points.
     
  20. neogothboy74

    neogothboy74 Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Let's see. I remember thinking Janeway was insane (again) in 'Equinox', but as we'd been there before this didn't surprise me. I wasn't as involved in that storyline though...I did enjoy it more the 2nd time around, on DVD. But as this was Voyager, I didn't expect the newbies to ever be seen again, which is sad. I would have loved to have been surprised.

    I've always liked "Survival Instinct". I like that the solution to the problem doesn't seem to pull any punches. It would have been nice to see Marika's stay on Voyager and experience her death, but this being Voyager, I didn't expect this by this point, and just enjoyed the episode on it's own.

    Also. LOVE BSG. Looking forward to the 3 extended cuts on the dvds. Annoyed the recent webisodes aren't included. Really looking forward to "The Plan". Really looking forward to Caprica.

    And for any Whoniverse peeps, do what you can to check out Torchwood's latest ("Children of Earth"); I thought it was spectacular. Not perfect, but much of it better than anything they've done before (both Torchwood and Who). The final installments had me in tears. I think BSG fans would dig it. :techman: