A Semi-Hater Revisits Voyager

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

  1. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Maneuvers (***½)

    I enjoyed this episode even though it does have some problems. It starts with a pretty neat battle which ends with a Kazon shuttle ramming into Voyager and sending a boarding party through the breach. That's pretty cool, I don't remember seeing anything like that in Trek before. That's some pretty severe damage right there, I doubt Voyager will be able to fix that by next week.

    Oh wait, it is fixed ten minutes into the episode. :wtf: Minus half a star.

    Janeway decides that she absolutely must retrieve the transporter module that the Kazon stole, which is a decision which I'm not too sure about. I can understand not wanting to upset the balance of power but it's not like as if it is an important component and sometimes you just need to cut your losses rather than run into an obvious trap. What I do like though is that Chakotay makes a unilateral decision to go after Seska for personal reasons. I like this, Chakotay is showing some real balls here (which is something he would have shown in Tattoo if the camera had been placed at a different angle).

    Here is my next problem; Chakotay destroys the transporter module while delivering a shuttle with transporter technology aboard it (as evidenced by Chakotay himself using it). He explains this away by saying that he deleted the shuttle's memory before he transported, so clearly the transporter on the shuttle still worked after what he did and deleting software wouldn't affect the transporter hardware which is what the Kazon wanted. He should have set the thing to auto-destruct after he beamed out, but then the shuttle destruction counter would have gone up even more.

    There is a good interrogation scene where Chakotay gets the crap beat out of him and he just laughs. I enjoyed that, it helps make the Kazon look like the vicious enemy they are supposed to be and I felt Beltran played it quite well. Then the end does botch a few things by having them transporting with the shields up and they forgot to demand Seska be handed over to Voyager's custody when they have the Kazon leaders captured. Well they probably wont meet her again, so I bet they don't live to regret that desicion.

    This is a pretty good episode despite its logical flaws in the execution. If they had spent a little more time figuring out the script this could have been a 5 star episode.
     
  2. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    QFT. What. A. Waste. Some nice character moments for Kes throughout but overall, blech. Complete disappointment, and even more disappointing since there was no follow-up later on.

    At least someone enjoyed it. :)

    I think that sums it up for me. I can't think of anything to add other than your other remarks regarding the poor plot-motivated character decisions here and there that serve to distract from the otherwise interesting plot.
     
  3. USS Renegade

    USS Renegade Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager


    I disagree with your last statement. It was a bad decision. Voyager only stayed on the air for seven years because it was the flagship show of UPN. Voyager didn't stay on the air because of incredible writing or good ratings from tons of non-Trekkies that watched because they didn't get confused by plotlines. The lack of ongoing stories was, in my opinion, apathy and laziness.

    Look at Tuvix. The CONCEPT of that episode is so incredible. The execution, no pun intended, was horrible. Not that it was a bad episode, it was good, but it so obviously could have been so great that the goodness of the episode is simply tarnished by it's pale reflection on how that scenario would have REALLY played out on Voyager.
     
  4. Tachyon

    Tachyon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Pushing people on the edge and describing psychological effects of them in detail are something that hasn't been very "Trek" in any series. At least so far. So it is hardly surprising that they were not included to Voyager either.

    Personally I didn't miss more story arcs. Why? Because what if some story arc in particular was boring? Like the internal political things on Bajor in DS9, for instance. What a borefest!

    Many things could have been done differently with Voyager, but with flaws and all, it is still the best Trek series there was. Plain and simple.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2009
  5. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I quite enjoyed the Bajoran political episodes on DS9. :) I can understand why some find it boring, but as somebody who finds politics fascinating I found the exploration of power-struggles on an alien world to be quite entertaining.
     
  6. Tachyon

    Tachyon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I find politics fascinating as well. But when I am watching Star Trek, I want Star Trek, not "Trek To The Depths of Bajoran Political System" three episodes in a row.
     
  7. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    But at least it was fulfilling the promise of DS9. Sisko was to help bring Bajor into the Federation and so there would need to be political episodes to explain how that could happen. Bajor at the beginning is fractured and broken, and so there needed to be episodes about that.
     
  8. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    The Circle Trilogy at the beginning of season 2? Loved it! :D I wish we had seen more of those kinds of stories in season 1.

    DS9 needed to tell those stories because that is what the show was about; being on a space station on the frontier in a politically unstable region of space. For DS9 to ignore those issues would have been a major failure. Voyager was not about politics, it was about a ship stranded far from home, so I would agree with you that Voyager didn't need story arcs focusing on the politics of the worlds they meet on the trip home. What Voyager needed was story arcs about the dynamic of a mixed crew on a dangerous journey. Not all arcs need to be about politics.

    And just because an arc can be bad doesn't mean that you shouldn't at least try. For example, Threshold was a really bad stand-alone episode but that didn't stop the writers from doing more stand-alone episodes in the future.


    Resistance (****)

    This episode just works. The character story about Caylem and how we slowly learn about how he feels responsible for the death of his wife and daughter is tragic and it works quite well. The villain of the piece is also interesting, he doesn't act like a straight-up Trekian evil villain, you can see that he has a sense of humour and you can almost believe he would be a good man if his life had been different. The aftermath of Tuvok being tortured makes for a very nice scene with a great bit of insight into the limits of Vulcan self-control.

    Some minor problems; Voyager is apparently in the middle of an energy crisis. When did this happen exactly? Were they running low on energy last week when they decided to go up against the Kazon for moral reasons? I also didn't like the scene where Caylem distracts the guards by acting like a clown, you would think that trained security personnel wouldn't be so stupid.

    One thing which I find interesting about this episode is to parallel it with the first season's Prime Factors. In that episode Janeway refused to trade technology without consent from the legitimate government, but in this episode this moral issue is never even raised despite the fact that they are illegally purchasing fuel from a resistance movement. However, this episode isn't about moral issues like this, it is a character episode with some great scenes and I quite enjoyed it on those terms.
     
  9. Tachyon

    Tachyon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I hate Resistance. :lol:


    We are in agreemen GodBen.

    Nevertheless, I feel that sometime people put too much emphasis to story arcs. Story arcs are good, when they work, but there is also room for episodes where the relationships is not the main thing.

    And there were actually story arcs about the crew dynamics as well. They were there. So I think it is another matter entirely if those story arcs were satisfactory, or if there was enough of them. That is a matter of opinion and I think there may be as many opinions out there as there are those who have followed Voyager closely.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2009
  10. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I find "Maneuvers" a good and exciting episode. great to see Chakotay as the main character in a good episode. Not to mention that any episode with Seska and Culluh are always watchable and enjoyable.

    I'll give it 3 points out of 5.

    As for politics, as a person with great interest in history and world events, I actually appreciate such storylines. Despite not having the opportunity to watch that much of DS9, I did like the Cardassian-Bajoran political intrigue. We did see some of it in TNG as well.
     
  11. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    "Resistance" is brilliant. One of the better Voyager episodes. Very thoughtful and well-written story. I really felt sorry for Caylem. His death was one of the few occasuin when it was close to tears in the old Lynx's eyes.

    I'll give it 4 points out of 5
     
  12. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Prototype (*½)

    "Unfortunately extinction is often the natural end of evolution." - Captain Kathryn Janeway

    Firstly, I don't know if this is true. It shouldn't be because evolution via natural selection logically causes a species to adapt away from extinction and extinction is caused by a change in the environment rather than internal evolution. However, I am not an evolutionary biologist and I don't know everything about the subject so I'm not going to make the claim that evolution does not lead to extinction in some rare cases.

    But does it matter? Just because death or sterilisation can occur to a species doesn't mean that you shouldn't try to stop it, we pay people to try and stop natural processes every day, they are called doctors. To rule out saving a species as Janeway does is the exact reason why so many people dislike her. It isn't her fault, the writer of this episode is to blame, but she comes across as overly moralistic with little regard for the individuals suffering.

    Anyway, the episode has the whole Robots Kill Their Maker™ story and a lot of technobabble scenes which stretched my patience. There is some interesting scenes for Torres but nothing to write home about and they don't exactly feel character specific, so I am afraid that I'm going to have to deduct half a star for being a TNG-style episode. But there is also a reference to flux capacitors, so that earns the episode its half star back. ;)
     
  13. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I'm in full agreement. There always needs to be a certain level of consistency on the overall "framework" of technology unveiled in the Star Trek universe. This "energy crisis" was peculiar, unlike anything we'd seen before, and then it conveniently never reared its ugly head ever again. Where did Voyager get more "tellerium" down the road if they ran out of it in season 2 and made it all the way to season 7 without procuring more? And of course, we never heard about tellerium in any other Star Trek series.
     
  14. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Still in agreement so far GodBen - 'Resistance' was brilliant and so was Joel Grey, 'Prototype' was the bad execution of a cliche. Cylons much? I remember being bored by it even as a kid, even though those robots' mannequin-like faces freaked me out.

    Exactly. They seemed to get lazy and selectively forget this kind of thing a bit down the line.
     
  15. Octavia

    Octavia Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    It is true. Evolution doesn't cause a species to adapt away from extinction, it is a random process in which the surviving adaptations better fit the individual to survive in a particular environment, thus preserving the genes in question.

    Also, you're not considering the effects of competition on extinction. Or what happens if natural selection doesn't naturally select fast enough. And it's possible that species can become extinct due to internal evolution: for example, a virus that mutates in a way that kills off the host before the virus can be spread to another carrier.
     
  16. J47

    J47 Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Quite possibly my favourite episode of the series; certainly the best the show offered up in the first two seasons IMO. Like you said, it just works. All of the elements work together to create a great plot with one heck of an emotional kick.
     
  17. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    There is a similar goof in TNG's "Heart of Glory." After Konmel is killed during the escape, the actor's head very clearly moves when Yar arrives.
     
  18. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    But that's not the process of natural selection which is driving them towards extinction, that is variation of individuals within the population. The variation of individuals within the species can have negative aspects which lead to death, but the process of natural selection should "weed out" the negative variations so that the species as a whole moves into a state more fitting of its environment.

    Take the Irish Elk which evolved very large antlers. A current theory for their extinction is that their antlers required a lot of calcium and when the climate changed at the end of the most recent ice age their food supply didn't contain the calcium they needed to support their antlers and they died from nutrient stress. On the one hand evolution did cause them to grow the antlers which killed them, but they probably would have continued existing had the environment not changed.
     
  19. Octavia

    Octavia Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    But a species, through mutation, can evolve in any way: good, bad, or indifferent (no real change). Given that, the natural end point of many evolutionary paths is extinction, simply because if a species evolves in one way, it's not evolving in another.

    Your example of the Irish Elk is a case in point. According to the theory you describe, it went down an evolutionary path which needed high amounts of calcium to sustain. That means, as a species, it effectively evolved itself into extinction when that calcium wasn't available (although that is a big simplification). Had the Elk not evolved such big antlers, it might have survived the nutrient stress of the Ice Age (assuming, of course, that it had survived the state of not-having-big-antlers). :p

    After all, other species survived the Ice Age intact, so environmental change isn't the be all and end all of extinction. It's how the individual/species exploits that change that is key.

    Evolution is generally a trade-off. If a characteristic evolves there is usually a knock-on effect on some sort, or an opportunity cost. Yes, you can say Elks died out because the environment changed, but I think it's equally accurate to say that they couldn't survive that change because they'd hit an evolutionary dead end given the circumstances, and there wasn't sufficient time for random mutation and/or natural selection -> species evolution to remedy that.

    Natural selection is a mechanism of evolution, but they're not the same thing, I think. Natural selection weeds out the individuals that don't respond as successfully to the environment, but evolution is more than selection (e.g. genetic drift). Natural selection may help the pre-Ice Age Elk with the biggest horns reproduce the most successfully, but evolution means the Ice Age Elks, as a species, are not equipped to handle a low-calcium environment.

    Those individual Elks who could get along on a bit less calcium than the rest would have survived longer (natural selection). But had the species as a whole evolved to a point where no Elk could survive a low availability of calcium, then natural selection is a bust, because there isn't anything to select from.

    Edit: and this is a cool discussion! Thanks. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2009
  20. kimc

    kimc Coffee Mod Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    "Resistance" is one of my favorite episodes. :)