A Semi-Hater Revisits Voyager

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

  1. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    As for "Innocence", I like the inter-action between Tuvok and the kids and the unexpected twist in the tale.

    However, the thought of those people as full-grown old people and having a reversed aging is a bit over the top. If they could have explained it with some circular aging, that they are born as kids, grow old and then reverse back to kids again, then it wiuld have been more realistic and understandable. As it was, it was only weird.

    But besides from that, the episode is highly watchable so I'll give it 4 points out of 5.
     
  2. Robotech Master

    Robotech Master Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager


    It would have made the series more interesting. The lack of continuity on Voyager is one of the reasons I gave up on watching the show.

    In the pilot episode, we were given the notion that this show would be about a divided crew living on the edge of wild space and toughing it out over the years with limited help and resources.

    For the most part, this did not happen. Personally, I would have invested more time in the show if there were some actual developments to follow along with. What if the events in one episode actually affected the plot of the next episode?

    Eventually, I figured out that there would never be any lasting damage or consequences on the journey. If the ship could be blown half to hell in 'Deadlock' or 'The Killing Game' and then be spotless in the following episodes what is the point of watching the show on a weekly basis?

    I know that no matter what happens in a particular episode, everything will be perfectly fine in the next one.

    There is nothing wrong with episodic storytelling. TOS did it (at that time there was really no such thing as a serialized TV show) and TNG did it, to some extent. But I was expecting something more from Voyager. We already had 79 episodes of episodic Trekking with Kirk, and 178 more episodes of episodic Trekking with Picard.

    I would have liked something more interesting from Voyager. But maybe I was not that target audience for Voyager. Maybe they just wanted to bring back that sort of storytelling for a new audience. At the time, most other science fiction/fantasy shows were starting to embrace story arcs that required the viewer to tune in week after week to keep up... B5, DS9, X-Files, Hercules, Xena, E:FC, Buffy...

    Maybe the producers of Voyager just wanted to make a show that you could tune into at any time and enjoy an hour of light television. So what if you missed the last two weeks? You can still hop on board and follow along this week. You didn't miss anything. And if you miss next week too, that's okay, because the next time you watch, you'll still get what is going on.

    I saw enough of that on TNG. And I didn't see Voyager doing it any better, so I eventually just got bored and stopped caring.

    But some continuity can make a string of episodes feel like a cohesive body of work. Take the DS9 episode, 'In The Cards.' It was light fluff. It was simply about Jake trying to cheer up his father and the rest of the command crew.

    Utterly disposable? Maybe, but it also perfectly set up the mood for the season finale, 'A Call To Arms'. This was a light-hearted comedy but it also helped set up the desperate mood on the station. In the background, we got a glimpse of how badly the Federation-Dominion relationship was deteriorating. We got a glimpse of how anxious the Cardassians were getting to begin the offensive, and we got a glimpse of the concern on Bajor, that they would be at the center of an intergalactic conflict. All that in an episode about a baseball card.

    That sort of attention to continuity can make lesser episodes worthwhile and it might have worked for Innocence. It could have been about more than just showing us how good a parent Tuvok was. It could have involved more of the characters, it could have set up threads relevant to future episodes.

    As mentioned before, 'Alliances' did not need to be a single episode. They could have made that a whole arc of the show if they really wanted to explore the relationship between the Kazon tribes, the Trabe, and how Voyager was caught in the middle.

    In 'Unimatrix Zero' we were left with the notion that the Voyager crew had instigated something like a Borg civil war. By this point, the Borg were definitely overused but they could still have developed this story further. But there was no mention of this at all in 'Endgame'. There was no mention of Seven's Borg lover or his efforts to destroy the Collective. Why? The season premier could have been directly related to the season finale and provided a real solution for the crew to get home, rather than the cheat of having a future Janeway show them how to do it.
     
  3. teya

    teya Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Actually, the studio preferred episodic--because it increases potential revenue in syndication. Arc-driven series of any genre don't do as well in syndication after the first run.
     
  4. Robotech Master

    Robotech Master Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Oh, GodBen, you forgot to mention that there was another crashed shuttle in 'Innocence'.

    And there was also Tuvok's dead crewmate on the shuttle who everybody forgot about. Why didn't Janeway go back in time and save him?? ;)

    Speaking of that, did they ever state what the crew complement was?

    It might have been cool to keep track of how many crewmembers Voyager was left with by the end of the show. It could have been like Galactica, where they kept a running total of the population of the human race.

    In the sixth season of DS9, after the Occupation Arc, we still saw that the war was going on. We saw Sisko brooding over the various casualty reports from the frontlines.

    It made sense that it would upset him because he technically began the war and it also helped make 'In The Pale Moonlight' stronger because we saw how he came to the point where he couldn't stand around and watch it happen anymore.

    Those sorts of things really add to the show. How poignant would it have been if Janeway had something like the dry erase board on Colonial One, where she kept track of each death? It would have made some of her hardness in later seasons more understandable. Maybe it could have shown that Janeway actually cared about some of those other people who died on the mission.
     
  5. DGCatAniSiri

    DGCatAniSiri Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    The crew compliment of Voyager fluctuated. It averages to about 150 crewmen, but there were times when the number fluctuated UP. One episode it'd be given as 146, the next it'd be given as 152. ANOTHER strike against the inner-episode continuity.

    It's even worse when you realize that unless they're abducting people from their homes, it's IMPOSSIBLE for them to gain new crewmen. That's always been one of my frustrations - DS9 had a dozen recurring characters who we grew to love, despite how they could rotate off anyone they don't want on the show. Voyager has characters who are lucky to appear twice and they have a finite number of crew, each one irreplaceable.

    I would have loved an episode where they begin to pick up on the idea that if they lose more crew, they run the risk of not being able to run the ship.

    And really, the show made such a show of how they were a family? That never came across to me - the SENIOR STAFF was a family, yes. But the crew? Nope - Remember what it was that got Janeway to go along with Admiral Janeway's plan? Not that twenty-six more people would die. That SEVEN OF NINE would die. So Janeway values that one live over twenty-six of her officers? Gee, sign me up to be under her command.
     
  6. Robotech Master

    Robotech Master Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Some have suggested that Janeway had a romatic attachment to Seven.

    That might have been interesting to see.

    Those two had more chemistry than Seven and Chakotay anyway.

    They sort of played around with a similar idea on Xena.
     
  7. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Regarding this inter-episode continuity thing... I don't think there was a lot I can add to the sentiments put forth by GodBen and everyone else, but I'll state my case briefly.

    It bothered me. A lot. It wasn't a deal-breaker for me, and in some cases it didn't prevent me from enjoying the episode, but it was one of the things that felt like a let-down and a waste of potential. Here we have a show where part of the premise is being isolated from Starfleet and having to deal with things themselves. This part of the premise practically generates stories, yet the writers didn't seem to want to take advantage of it. This week we're running out of antimatter, next week we've taken damage to the warp drive and need to figure out a way to fix it; yet the writers did not seem to realize this (and apparently were pressured to ignore it.) Yes, it could have been done to death or overemphasized. An ideal balance could have been created between the 'adventure of the week', the character drama, and the mission drama.

    Without going on a tangent, I'd also like to reaffirm GodBen's assertion that the ship is a character and should be treated as such - with according respect and consistency. For me, it is a character. It should be a character. It's something that TOS set the pattern for, and it's something that later Trek shows and movies seemed to de-emphasize. The attachment to the ship on TOS was largely established by Kirk's fixation on the ship (and Scotty to a lesser degree) and we by extension became attached to her. We felt she was something heroes, and that our heroes were something special. Consider how much time in TMP was devoted to showing us the refit Enterprise. Consider then fan reaction when the ship was destroyed in TSFS. I cried the first time I saw it, I won't lie. I still get misty to this day. "My God, Bones... what have I done?" That's powerful. (I won't talk about the instant replacement in the next movie... :scream:)

    I'll add that just because something could be resolved between episodes without affecting 'next week' does not mean it should have been, especially when something like running out of fuel or damage to the ship is critical to the premise of the show and goal of the crew - getting home. It's lazy and it's disappointing that they chose to go this route eight or nine times out of ten. :(
     
  8. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    A lot of good points raised, I agree with most of what has been said above. One more thing about the ship being a character; TOS definitely managed it with the original E, and I feel that DS9 managed it somewhat with the Defiant. It is one of the reasons why I love The Changing Face of Evil, the destruction of the Defiant felt like the loss of a major character, you could feel for Sisko as he stood there looking at his bridge one last time. :(


    The Thaw (***½)

    I remembered this as the stupid episode with the clown. I was half right. It is actually a pretty good episode, it basically comes down to people attempting to overcome the personification of fear, and this is a pretty good concept for an episode (even if the evil clown thing has been done a million times already). What makes it really work for me is some unusual directing (for Trek, at least), a moody score and a very unsettling performance by fear.

    There is also some really funny moments, such as Neelix suggesting that they try to make fear go away by telling him a joke and everybody staring him into silence, to some nice moments of Shmullus interacting with fear. And Janeway acts like a heartless bitch at the end, great stuff. :techman:

    It is my understanding that this episode divides viewers between those who love it and those who hate it. I used to hate it, and while I don't quite love it I do like it a lot.

    However, this could also have been a TNG episode, and you all know my policy about that.
     
  9. Robotech Master

    Robotech Master Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I actually did enjoy this episode because it was so off-the-wall.

    It was different from the usual Voyager episode.

    It made you think about the nature of that virtual world, it was entertaining and it had a good guest character (Michael McKean).

    It also made good use of many of the cast members and also showed them working as a team. Harry Kim actually did something.

    I give this a thumbs up! This could have been a TNG episode, I agree, but I don't recall this specific idea being a scene for scene recycling of some previous episode, so I'll give this one a pass.
     
  10. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Well, I can agree on the comment about Seven and Chakotay. :lol:

    But Janeway having a romantic attachment to Seven? No!

    The chemistry there were was actually between Janeway and Chakotay.

    As for Xena, most of it was actually in the imagination of some fans. Xena an Gabrielle did seem to have a lot of male lovers coming and going. Didn't Xena have a daughter with Ares? And Gabby was married to some guy who was killed by that not-so-nice Callisto.

    As for "The Thaw", many fans are critical to that episode but I really like it. The episode is creepy in a way and The Clown is both funny and scaring in a sinister way. The whole thing with that computer-generated "world" is actually believable compared to some other over-the-top scenarios whe have had in other episodes.

    Good and entertaining episode. I'll give it 4 points out of 5.
     
  11. teya

    teya Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I see far more chemistry between Janeway & Seven than I do between Janeway & Chakotay.
     
  12. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I remember watching that episode on a Saturday evening - I think DS9 came on at 6:00 at the time and I would always record them on VHS so my dad and I could watch them later - and running into the room where my dad was, shouting 'They blew it UP!!' :scream: And he was like... 'What?'

    I didn't realize this episode was so divisive. It's always been one of my VGR favorites because I hate clowns, and seeing one as the personification of fear was awesome. I agree with your TNG deduction protocol, so I think you've given it a fair rating.

    Perhaps it wouldn't have felt so TNGish if the crew had initially been toying with the idea of using a sleeper system to make their journey back to the Alpha Quadrant feel shorter? It might have required some extensive rework to make that work, but frankly I've always wondered why no one ever even suggested it - especially since we've seen that they can do it in 'One.' I know they need a certain number of crew to operate the ship, maybe they could have operated in 'shifts' or something, or maybe they need every person they can get since it's such a small ship? I don't know. It just annoys me that it wasn't even brought up ever. I digress.
     
  13. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    This episode was hard to decide if it should have that mark taken from it because I liked it and I hadn't seen an episode like it on TNG before. But my criteria for marking an episode down has always been if the episode could have been done on TNG with minor changes and this episode fit that criteria, unfortunately. It didn't make use of Voyager's premise and the character moments weren't specific enough to the characters that they couldn't have applied to the TNG cast (Kim could have been Wesley, Shmullus could have been Data...).

    If the rule is going to apply then it has to apply to all episodes, I can't just ignore it because I happen to like an episode.

    I agree, I always got a strong lesbian vibe from those two. Maybe it was just my adolescent male mind though.

    Well I remember not liking it when I saw it before because it seemed so over the top, but I've seen comments on this site and others where some people call this the worst episode of the series. Having rewatched it with a fresh pair of eyes I can finally appreciate this episode and it is definitely one of the best episodes this season.
     
  14. neogothboy74

    neogothboy74 Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I agree on this one. I didn't hate it the first time around, but I didn't much pay attention to it. When I went back to watch it a few months later, on my VHS copy I loved it.


    I would disagree. I think the chemistry between Janeway & Chakotay is more overt, but I don't think that means that Janeway couldn't have chemistry with anyone else, and I thought she did with Seven - before they gave Janeway the whole Mommy complex, and wrote her as kind of insane.

    Actually, it was mostly in the minds of the fans until the latter half of Season 1 when the writers heard about the fan theories and started writing the subtext or metatext or whatever into the show - from that point on it was intended by the writers to be interpreted that way; they were aware of it. The amount of male lovers doesn't matter. It's a non-point. Xena had a son with Borias & a daughter with Callisto (there was no father) - and it was highly suggested that Aries was Xena's father. Gabby was indeed married once. And we know from other episodes that post-series Gabby will have other children (she had a demon child in Season 3, named Hope). None of this impacts the love story between Xena & Gabriel - if anything, it strengthens it. Xena and Gabriel are soul mates; they reference this in the show several times. I own the whole series on dvd.
     
  15. kimc

    kimc Coffee Mod Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    The Janeway/Seven relationship seemed more like mother/daughter or mentor/student to me than romantic. Seven didn't have the emotional maturity for a relationship with anyone. That's not to say that wouldn't come with time but she still had a lot to learn. To me it made more sense for her to be dating various people at first.

    Anyway, I liked "Innocence". Putting aside the logistics of people aging backwards (just as we put aside the logistics of ships making noise in space) it was an intriguing idea and I loved watching Tuvok dealing with the "kids" and learning some about his own family.

    As for "The Thaw" - some of the clown's antics wore a little thin but the last scene remains quite watchable.
     
  16. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I agree the Seven/Janeway relationship is closer to a mother/daughter or a teacher/student one.

    And The Flaw has a major in the set up, there's really no good to interfer with the sleeping aliens, but after that it was an OK ep. and Michael McKean did a great job as the clown.
     
  17. StarryEyed

    StarryEyed Commodore Commodore

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I don't know why, but I found "The Thaw" very disturbing. It's one of the episodes I always skip when rewatch Voyager.
     
  18. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    VOY is my least favorite Trek series but as of now I'm so Trek-deprived that if it came back it would probably be in my top ten. :rommie: GAWD! Why is TV such crap?!?
     
  19. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    It's always been crap. You just got smarter.
     
  20. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Crap, but often enjoyable crap. :)