A Semi-Hater Revisits Voyager

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

  1. neogothboy74

    neogothboy74 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2006
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Sorry. I was distracted remembering the hot lead werewolf guy that kept getting naked.

    At least he was more attractive that Chakotay's butt double in "Tattoo". :lol:

    And I'm not knocking Chakotay fans here; trust me. But that other guy was just YUMMY.
     
  2. teya

    teya Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2001
    Location:
    2 mi S of Capt Braxton's shopping cart
    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    This is, to me, the only time they got something about Chakotay's made-up Tribe Hollywood religion right. Nature-based mystics have places in nature where they are closer to god. For some it's water, for some it's the mountains. It seemed right somehow, that Chakotay would be drawn to space--since he was drawn to space when he chose to leave his homeworld in the first place.

    Just because he *could* do something in his quarters doesn't mean it's the best place to do it.
     
  3. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Understood. To me at least it seemed like a cop-out though that he took the shuttle for the purpose of doing this apparently important thing, only to do it in his quarters at the end. Maybe this was supposed to have some kind of emotional resonance and be symbolic. I don't know, it just didn't work that way for me.
     
  4. teya

    teya Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2001
    Location:
    2 mi S of Capt Braxton's shopping cart
    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I understand that, and I'm probably giving TPTB more credit than is due. It's just that I grasp at any little thing that looks even remotely authentic when it comes to Chakotay's background. ;)
     
  5. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Understandable. ;)
     
  6. brcarthey

    brcarthey Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    Location:
    Richmond, VA...for now
    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    hey teya, if we can get "tribe hollywood" recognized by the federal government as a legitimate native american tribe we could open up our own casino. then, we can bring back the star trek experience. :D
     
  7. Tachyon

    Tachyon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    Location:
    Finland
    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Your logic is flawless, teya. :cool:
     
  8. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    Ireland
    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Projections (****)

    This is a great episode which almost earned itself an extra half a star, but then they did the cliché of pretending The Doctor was out of the holodeck only for him to really still be inside it. Shock! A holodeck malfunction episode is a cliché enough as is, you don't need to add more on top of it.

    Other than that the only other complaints I have about this episode are minor such as Barclay's involvement with designing the EMH when he should have been onboard the E-D, or how Janeway said it would take her half an hour to make it from the bridge to the mess hall when it is only down one deck. It's a small ship Katheryn, it shouldn't take you half an hour to get anywhere from anywhere. However, these are minor and didn't really diminish the viewing experience.

    It would have been five stars with one minor change; I would have had The Doctor pull out a phaser and attempt to destroy the warp core right before they managed to get the program shut down. It would have shown that in his heart he wanted to be human and was willing to risk his existence for that opportunity. Having him "dying" on the floor seemed like a cop-out so he wouldn't have to make that choice.
     
  9. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2001
    Location:
    Lynx Empire
    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Me too. That might be a reason why I find parts of Chakotay's background story interesting, despite some horrible flaws.
     
  10. Tachyon

    Tachyon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    Location:
    Finland
    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I agree. Good episode, good writing. This did grew on me, though.
     
  11. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2001
    Location:
    Lynx Empire
    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    "Projections" is actually one of my top 10 favorite Voyager episodes.

    The whole episode is actually absurd in many ways but in a positive way, you know that there is some problem with The Doctor but you don't know what it is. I just love that little twist near the end when you think that the whole thing is over and then you realize that The Doctor is still caught up in whatever problem there is. In fact, when I watched the episode the first time, I wasn't sure that the episode was really over until the end credits started to roll.

    The whole episode is actually nothing more than a sort of nightmare The Doctor is having but it's made in an excellent way with some unexpected twists and turns and all the main characters got important roles in it. Excellent episode! :techman:

    I'll give it 5 points out of 5
     
  12. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Agreed, that one would have been a much better ending. Nitpicks aside, this was a pretty enjoyable episode for me. Predictable, but enjoyable. ;)
     
  13. Tachyon

    Tachyon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    Location:
    Finland
    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Naah. The ending was fine just the way it was.
     
  14. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    Ireland
    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I don't look at it like that, I think this is an excellent psychological analysis of the Doctor's character and something which reveals a lot about him. It is somewhat tragic because in some sub-conscious part of his programming he wants to be human even though he knows that he is really a hologram and will never be human. That is why I consider the ending where he is "dying" in engineering to be something of a cop-out because it prevents him from making the decision he has to make. The false ending really annoyed me because it wasn't character based, it was just added for shock value that the episode didn't need.

    I love this sort of episode because I can analyse it for about a week and see it in many different forms, and that is exactly what a character study should do. It reminds me a lot of TNG's Frame of Mind, also a Braga episode, where Riker is suffering a mental breakdown and trying to figure out just what reality is, only Projections is so much more because it is about the Doctor exploring his true nature and what he wants to be.

    That is why I want the Doctor to be forced to make a decision at the end rather than have it decided for him. This is a character episode and the ending should revolve around the character and that just didn't happen here. By having the Doctor make the choice that he wants to believe he is human they would have been adding a whole new level to his character and to this episode, but as it is the ending can be summed up by saying "and then they fixed it". That is not a good ending for a character episode.
     
  15. neogothboy74

    neogothboy74 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2006
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I really, really enjoyed "Projections" the first time I saw it. But this episode is an example of how I felt that later episodes of Voyager seemed to undermine even the better efforts. Because when Barclay does finally show up for real in the series, the Doctor has NO IDEA who he is. And that just told me that the writers don't care about continuity between episodes. Having a fairly good memory, continuity is important to my enjoyment of a series, and this lack of attention to character details really made it hard for me to enjoy Voyager. Because when I rewatch "Projections" my mind now sees this 'flaw', that wasn't there the first time around, because my brain just automatically connects these events to the later ones. It was what made a lot of DS9 a joy to watch; episodes of that series (often episodes that don't seem that important) build on each other until most of the series has a cohesion, which was very satisfying for those who stuck around for the entire journey. But I quickly learned that to enjoy Voyager I had to 'turn off' that part of my brain and watch each episode as if no other episodes existed, which felt insulting to me as fan and a viewer (that I should have stoop to such levels to enjoy the series), and unfortunate for the creators of the series (who could have achieved so much more). I have friends that are huge Voyager fans, and we'll talk about the show, and I'll rave about certain episodes - because Voyager does have some brilliant episodes that I love to watch over and over - and my friends will then point out that it sounds like I'm a Voyager fan. And I am. But I have to change the way I watch the show to enjoy it. And I don't often make such compromises in my entertainment choices, but because it's Star Trek...I allow for it.
     
  16. DGCatAniSiri

    DGCatAniSiri Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    That's my problem with Voyager as well - most of the time I don't feel like I'm watching an ongoing and evolving story. I WANT to see characters change and grow over the course of time, and it's a lot harder to see this with the Voyager characters, the Doctor and Seven aside.

    When I watch Voyager, I can look to the episodes and specifically say 'I liked that one, that one was okay, I hated that one, I appreciated the idea behind that one but would have done this instead...' It's all episodic, with a focus on what they did solely in the individual episodes, not as part of a grander series-wide tapestry, since very little affects a later story. But when I watch other shows, I find myself looking over the episodes at a later date and realizing 'oh, that's why they did this then! Now it makes sense.' That's hard on me, because I don't want safe television - I'm entertained by thinking, by seeing this or that challenge my presumptions and make me think about who I am, what I've done, what I want, why I do these things. Too often, it felt like Voyager took a safe road instead of challenging the audience to ask the questions their concepts could easily pose.
     
  17. kimc

    kimc Coffee Mod Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN USA
    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I guess I'm in the minority when I say "Projections" isn't one of my favorites. Not sure why - it just never grew on me.
     
  18. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    Ireland
    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    neogothboy74 and DGCatAniSiri, excellent posts. :techman:

    This is the crux of the issue for me. Entertainment is important from a TV show, but that should never be the entirety of what a TV show is. I want complex character relationships, I want stories which delve into controversial issues, I want ambiguity. I can enjoy Voyager for what it is, but I'm not going to encourage it to be average entertainment when it could be something truly memorable.
     
  19. brcarthey

    brcarthey Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    Location:
    Richmond, VA...for now
    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    so, could the doc's memory not have been corrupted when they were trying to save him? after all, he was seeing barclay while he was hallucinating. but, also considering that he had either had memory resets or modifications done in later episodes, isn't it conceivable that he didn't remember barclay b/c of the recoveries they had to do for him? however, maybe your taste is much more discriminating than mine.

    i realize being in a thread that is primarily for trek fans who have problems with voyager, and i'm not trying to be rude here, but were you watching the same show as me with the same open mind?? to me, this series had the much more evolution for most of its characters than any of the other trek series (DS9 was second thoug). even with its episodic nature there was a sense of continuity maintained. the difference b/t it and, say, DS9 is that there weren't periodic reminders being made by one of the characters. it just usually didn't happen again on voyager. the other thing i think is lost on many viewers is the unspoken metaphors and symbolism that voyager is rife with as compared to the other modern day treks. but, y'all mean to tell me that with TNG y'all looked over later episodes and then realized that's why did something in an earlier episode?

    as for DS9, that pretty much took as many safe paths as TNG and VOY. yes, b/c it was serial in nature you could take much longer to flesh out one story line, but once that story line was finished how often was it referred to in the first four seasons. it wasn't until the dominion war that you had to really pay attention to (within that series) to certain details and that was to due the very nature of it being centered around a wartime story line. as for continuity, i think you'll find just as many in TNG. DS9 was able to escape this for the most part, i feel, b/c of the setting of the showm but it still had plenty of its inconsistencies.

    voyager didn't cover controversial issues (that has to be a first) or have complex character relationships (as opposed to?).

    now, did voyager play it safer than it had to? i can't give you an entirely convincing argument that it didn't everytime. i think the trek producers really considered taking more chances, but UPN execs put the kibosh on them more than a few times.

    but, to compare it to DS9 is unfair. just as when TNG fans detracted from DS9 by comparing that which came before it. when DS9 came out i had to defend it to friends who were TNG fans b/c i knew that being on a space station as compared to a starship was different enough. but, to compare them was unfair and they deserved only to be compared to overall storytelling within each series itself. while TNG and VOY are most similar, even trying to compare them is also somewhat unfair. however, after all this is said i guess we all need a reference point. for niners, it's DS9 and everything else is seemingly inferior. likewise for fans of the other shows.

    if i'm coming at this debate wrong and you're just as critical of the other treks, then i apologize for the misunderstanding. i realize that if you're a fan of one of the other shows you're going to be more critical of the others and less critical of your favorite, maybe even making exceptions for it. i am probably just as guilty of this as well.
     
  20. DGCatAniSiri

    DGCatAniSiri Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    My problem with the character development in Voyager was that there were no arcs for the characters, other than the Doctor and Seven's development into more humanized characters. To me, this feels like it was done primarily out of how when the characters arrived, they were essentially blank slates and anything could be done with them, while the other characters had lives that existed before they arrived on Voyager. Beyond those two, the only really character arc and growth I saw was with Tom and B'Elanna, Tom going from the womanizing and somewhat jerky man to a loving and devoted, though somewhat smartass-y, husband, and B'Elanna becoming more comfortable in being both human and Klingon. These developments and growths are only visible from watching multiple seasons, though, rather than having seasonal character arcs, leading the character from one point to another in their lives.

    I never said that the other Trek serieses lacked the same problem (the words I used specifically were 'other shows,' but I wasn't thinking specifically of the other Treks), and I hold TNG up as an example of the same lack of defined character arcs and ball-drops with certain characters I see in Voyager, and even the Klingon arc for Worf seems mostly ignored outside of the focus episodes. I see Star Trek as having a lot of problems with defining what they're going to do with their characters. Really, the reason I let DS9 off the hook in this regard is that there were some gradual character arcs that were carried through over the seasons - O'Brien and Bashir's friendship grew over the space of a couple of seasons from O'Brien loathing him to them becoming Heterosexual Life Partners. Sisko went from a reluctant religious icon into a man with deep faith in the beings he once viewed soley as 'wormhole aliens.' Odo had two, looking for his people and then his relationship with Kira developing from friends to lovers.

    I did not see these long-term character arcs on Voyager. When I look at the Chakotay or Tuvok or (and especially) Harry Kim of Caretaker, I cannot see a difference in the version that appears in Endgame. However, I do see changes in the Ben Sisko, the Kira Nerys, the Odo, the Julian Bashir, even the Quark we see in Emissary and What You Leave Behind. Ezri, in the space of one year, became more confidant in who she was now, with the Dax symbiont, also clearly growing and changing over the course of the year. The characters were expected to grow and change and learn from their experiences, but I never quite felt the same with the characters on Voyager.

    That, to me, is my biggest problem with Voyager - when a character has an experience that would normally demand follow-up, it's usually left alone, not to mention how on occasion, the 'character crisis' of the week was completely out of the blue. The episode 'Extreme Risk,' for example had no build up and no follow up. We're told that B'Elanna has grown somewhat suicidal since learning of the Maquis being wiped out back in the Alpha Quadrant, but the first indication we get that something's wrong is seeing her in the holodeck, deactivating safety protocols in that episode. Likewise, given that suicidal depression is a real issue, they should have shown how she deals with this in later episodes - even Juggernaut, later in the season, could have been an opportunity to ask how she is dealing, but I don't recall even lip service being paid to the earlier episode.

    I can enjoy Voyager - when it's good, it's really good, and the ideas can get me thinking about my own life. But the reverse is true, that when it's bad it's really bad. And when I look back on Voyager as a whole, I see more missed opportunities with the stories it presented than any other, and most if not all of the episodes that reached that level I wanted, they were ones that focused on or at least heavily featured either Seven or the Doctor. However, with the really good episodes of DS9, there's a good sampling of most of the main cast. I want to watch not just an interesting Sci-Fi story, but something about ALL of the characters it claims in the ensemble.

    When I look at Voyager, the missed opportunities and ball drops feel very tangible, as opposed to the missed opportunities and ball drops on DS9, and even to an extent TNG - TNG's main mission statement was that they were continuing the exploration of the final frontier. Voyager was about two crews coming together to find a way home. TNG just promises that they'll continue to explore space and the human condition, but built into that premise is no hint that they'll be taking the characters places. Voyager's premise seems like it would lead to a lot of stories that are told solely on board the ship, exploring the aspects of two groups of people who may not really be all that compatible learning from one another and becoming something else, as they need to rely on one another to make the long trip back home. But I never get the feeling that Voyager is far from home - most episodes we see feel like the story could have just as easily taken place back in the Alpha Quadrant, because they'll often feature aliens of the week, instead of doing something with the characters in their situation of being far from home, probably never to see their families and loved ones again. I'm not saying I wanted Voyager to be a completely dark and depressing show, but I think that the episodes and the characters were TOO happy for people in their situation.

    The longer I go on, the more I start to feel I'm losing the point I started out with, so I'm going to stop my ranting here.