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

    I have to throw in a "flashback" here since I did foget to mention it in a previous post.

    Have anyone noticed that the Stardates for "Lifesigns" and "Investigations" are totally wrong. According to the Stardates, "Lifesigns" takes place after "Investigations". :lol:
     
  2. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I am hoping to revisit Enterprise once I am finished with Voyager, I only saw that show when it was first-run and haven't seen t since, so I might do a thread on that. I don't think Enterprise was a great show, but Voyager left me unfulfilled so I didn't have high-hopes for Enterprise, and so it was nice when Enterprise managed to meet my expectations. ;) I also fear that it might not hold up to much scrutiny if I rewatch it considering all the great shows I watched since it ended.


    As for Janeway's actions in Tuvix, she may well have been right to kill him in order to save two other lives, but the episode didn't give enough exploration of the issue in order to justify her actions. In the Pale Moonlight is my favourite Trek episode, and Sisko did a far worse thing in that episode than Janeway in Tuvix, but ITPM focused the whole episode on Sisko and his battle to justify his actions, and when he says he can live with it at the end I don't quite believe him. The only reason we were given for Janeway's actions was Kes' crying fit and that was purely based on emotion rather than rational thought.

    Evil actions, but I understand his motivation.


    Here is a thought experiment I read once which fits into this discussion about Tuvix. You are at the switch controlling the fork for some railroad tracks. The train is on course to run over and kill five people, but you have the choice of throwing the switch and having the train only kill one person. Do you do it? Most people answer yes.

    Now imagine there is five people desperately in need of new organs or they will die within a few hours. Would you order the death of one healthy person in order to harvest the organs you need? Most people answer no.

    They are very similar situations, but the way the question is posed changes how people answer it.
     
  3. Count Zero

    Count Zero Says who? Moderator

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    The two scenarios are quite different from each other, in my opinion. In the first one, the disaster has already been set in motion. You can't stop the train from killing someone, you can only decide how many people it will kill. The rational choice is to save as many people as you can, I guess.

    In the second scenario you would have to murder one person at your own initiative, which is a totally different situation. I'm glad most people answered that question with a no.
     
  4. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    But both scenarios have already been set in motion and in both scenarios five people are destined to die unless you take action which will result in their salvation at the cost of one other life.

    I said yes to the train one and no to the organ one, and I tried to rationalise it to myself by talking about free will and how nobody has the right to kill another. But the more I thought about it I found myself coming to the conclusion that it is because I am a fit and healthy person and I don't want to be killed even if it saves five others. I have never found myself tied to a railway track and it isn't something which is likely to happen to me, so in that scenario it is easy for me to distance myself and say that one must die in order to save five.

    I was going to call it selfishness, but I think that is too unfair a term, it is merely self-preservation.
     
  5. Count Zero

    Count Zero Says who? Moderator

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I think it's more because there's violent death in the first scenario but sickness is implied in the second. A natural death is a part of life, hence people are more ready to accept it and not try to stop it by killing someone else.
    Though the undelying mechanism is the same, the two situations appear quite different to me.

    I'm not quite sure how that relates to Janeway's decision in Tuvix, though. ;)
     
  6. Frazzled

    Frazzled Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I
    And to make the train one a parallel to the Tuvix situation you'd have to say 'a train is going to run over one of your oldest and most trusted friends plus another guy you like, or you can pull a lever so it just runs over one person who you also like but have only known for a short while'.

    Actually as I was typing that I realised it's more 'a train has already run over one of your oldest and most trusted friends plus another guy you like, but you can make time go backwards by pulling the lever and killing another guy instead....' which just makes my head hurt :confused:
     
  7. DGCatAniSiri

    DGCatAniSiri Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    It's funny, I was discussing the fact that guns make killing impersonal and easier with someone earlier and they brought up the same basic idea of those scenarios - when someone has the distance between them, not being the one pulling the trigger or something, they could do these things, but make them face their victim and they couldn't.

    Anyway, I can't really comment on Tuvix - I don't think I've seen it since it first aired or a repeat not long after, because my memories of it are pretty hazy.
     
  8. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Resolutions (**½)

    Before we start let me just say that I'm not a J/C shipper. I was an Odo/Kira shipper, a Josh/Donna shipper and a very big Daphne/Niles shipper, but I was never a J/C shipper. This episode is not my holy grail.

    The episode moves too fast. There is at least a month's worth of time that goes by in this episode, and that is something which should have been able to fill a whole arc. Why not do a few episodes with Janeway and Chakotay on the planet while Tuvok is in command? As it is the story feels far too rushed and the narrative gaps are too big.

    The whole plot is contrived, the idea that they can survive on the planet without any symptoms but not on the ship doesn't make much sense. I'm sure they could replicate the environmental conditions of the planet on the ship somehow; in the last episode they managed to make two people from one, so don't tell me their technology isn't advanced enough. You just have to accept this plot contrivance and move on.

    The plot on Voyager should have been so much better. When I realised the set-up I figured this would be an excellent opportunity to show some dissent amongst the crew now that the two main leaders are gone, but instead we just got a standard "Vulcan as captain being too logical for emotional crew" storyline. The Galileo Seven, The Gamesters of Triskelion, That Which Survives... TOS covered this concept 30 years ago. TNG even did a few of these episodes with Data, nothing new or interesting was brought to the table. I liked the fact that Kim finally got to do something, but that wasn't enough to save this story. And Tuvok changed his mind far too easily after Kes talked to him.

    What works in this episode is the J/C stuff on the planet. Both of their characters come to life in new and interesting ways once the pressures of command are taken off their shoulders, and I really liked Chakotay in this episode. What I didn't like was the monkey, it was a metaphor for something but I'm damned if I know what and it just came across as silly.

    What bothers me is the ambiguity of the ending. Some might say that it was supposed to be that way so that we could use our imagination to fill in the missing scene, but I think it was a cowardly attempt to shy away from any consequences. They could have kissed, they could have cuddled, they could have had the most passionate night the Delta Quadrant has ever seen! Or they could have made some soup in the bathtub to eat over the next few weeks. We'll never know.

    This reminds me an awful lot of the BSG episode Unfinished Business, that episode showed Roslin and Adama getting high on New Caprica and snuggling up out in the wilderness, but we are never told if they did anything more. (Unless that was on the extended cut which they didn't put on the R2 DVDs. :mad:) The difference is that that scene is where Roslin first starts talking about building a cabin, and this has an emotional resonance throughout the rest of the series, ending with an absolutely beautiful shot in the finale. I don't remember Resolutions having much weight later in the series.

    The scenes on the planet are good, the scenes on Voyager are not, they copped out in the ending and the whole thing was a little rushed.
     
  9. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    What a surprise. I agree with GodBen again. (How's that ego going, champ?) ;)

    Most members of the VGR forum know that while I can definitely appreciate the chemistry between the two, I'm not a J/C shipper for the practicality argument - I think Janeway and Chakotay should have acted like grownups on the ship and having a relationship would be a violation of the chain of command and the best interests of the crew. To me, it's best played with tension, not consummation, because it kind of steals a sense of authority/credibility from their characters. I've gone into it before in the J/C thread and don't want to do it again here.

    However...

    For 'Resolutions,' I would have been fine with seeing that Janeway and Chakotay had given up on ever getting home and decided to act on those feelings here, and then had to deal with what they had done for the rest of the show. I don't really feel like we ever saw any indication of them dealing with anything, so that, combined with the purposeful ambiguity of the episode, seems to indicate to me at least that whatever happened, it wasn't so major as for them to not get over it. Still, it's rather enjoyable. Overall, I think VGR was often guilty of implying things happened and not actually dealing with the consequences of what was implied to have happened.

    And I agree that the B-plot was rather boring and predictable and that the plot device used to get Janeway and Chakotay on the planet was pretty forced and technobabbly, especially after, as GB points out, we saw two people combined into one and then separate again last episode.

    In essence:
    Overall, an enjoyable outing riddled with missed opportunities and occasional missteps.
     
  10. Mareika

    Mareika Captain Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    GodBen, every day I read your reviews and I like them.
    Although I`m a great Voyagerfan I have to admit, that you are right with many of your statements. And I think I still will be a great Voyagerfan after reading all of your reviews, because I like the crew.
    I have to admit that I was a little nervous when I saw that you now have written a review to Resolutions because I VERY like this episode (except of the ending) and it`s one of my alltime fav episodes.
    I can say you are right with that episode once more. I have to agree.
    I`m very glad you liked the scenes on the planet and you liked Chakotay on the planet. So do I.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2009
  11. StarryEyed

    StarryEyed Commodore Commodore

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I'm not a shipper at all; I would be reading Harlequin romance novels if I was into that stuff. I agree with GodBen though that they missed a golden opportunity here. Janeway and Chuckles should have done the nasty in this episode. It would have really complicated the Captain/First Officer professional relationship and generated interesting story possibilities.

    The way the crew reacted to Tuvok was essentially mutinous. Tuvok was lawfully in command and was acting in accordance with Captain Janeway's wishes. This should have been majorly followed up on.
     
  12. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Pretty good, my ego has now reached level 4 godhood. With another few days of you agreeing with me I should reach level 5. ;)

    I really liked those scenes, it showed a completely different side of Chakotay but it still felt like him. I think they pulled that off quite well.

    I wish it was more mutinous. :( At first the episode reminded me of the mutiny arc in the final season of BSG, especially when Kim started gathering support amongst the crew. I'm not saying that he should have mounted a proper mutiny and seized control of the ship, but a bit more than what we saw would have been nice.


    By the way, three torpedoes were fired in this episode (one off-screen) and I forgot to update the counter.

    Torpedoes: 14/38
     
  13. kimc

    kimc Coffee Mod Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    For what it's worth the original script floating around the net has a kiss in that scene.

    Yeah, well Roslin and Adama were allowed to be grownups. This brings me to one of my beefs with Trek in general is that whatever sex there is is dumbed down sex - titillation instead of passion, fetishism instead of realistic relationships. Paris/B'Elanna is one of the rare exceptions to this imo.

    As for the reviews I like them fine but I'm not too crazy about the rating system. I think your ratings are often lower than the review warrants. I know you've been taking off for episodes that could have been done on TNG but that argument reminds me of my visit to a modern art museum in Paris. I was standing there looking at a canvas that was completely white except for one stripe down the side. When I said something like "Why the heck is this considered art - I could have done that!" the response was "But you didn't do that."

    Sure some episodes could have been done on TNG but the fact is they weren't - the TNG writers didn't think of them but the Voyager writers did. They should be judged on their own merits, imo.
     
  14. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I think you made some good points about Trek's treatment of relationships, kimc, but I still think GodBen's rating system is fair. The creators of VGR went out of their way to create a scenario where they would be able to escape the 'traps' of the TNG format, and not living up to that potential is, IMO, worthy of a half-star deduction at the least.
     
  15. kimc

    kimc Coffee Mod Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    ^ I'm off to paint stripes on blank canvases. :D
     
  16. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Um...in terms of relationships for adults...I think that Kira and Bariel, Kira/Odo, Miles/Keiko, Sisko/Kassidy were all handled well with everyone acting like reasonable adults.
     
  17. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager


    I think that GodBen's ratings system is perfectly fair. I think that some people have a hardtime with the fact that its fairness simply exposes the major weaknesses of Voyager's execution.
     
  18. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I agree, I wish that relationships and sex in Trek was dealt with more realistically and with more maturity, but I guess people just see it as a family show now and it has trouble if it tries to escape from that box it found itself in. I know that when I was a kid I used to hate all the romance episodes on the principle that romance is boring and it wasn't until later that I began to appreciate those shows. I guess Star Trek just doesn't want to lose the young audience.

    I watch each episode fully aware that I'm going to be commenting about it in this thread, and usually I get a feeling as to what score an episode will have while watching it. I consider this my emotional response to the episode. After that I spend some time thinking about the episode trying to determine my intellectual response and sometimes that changes the score either up or down. While my reviews are usually short, sometimes it can take 20 to 30 minutes for me to write them because of this.

    For example, Resolutions was scored at around 3.5 for most of the episode, but then I didn't like the ending and it dropped to 3. As I thought about it afterwards I really began to feel that it was a cop-out ending and that the story would have worked better over multiple episodes, so I felt I could only give it 2.5.

    When I watched Prime Factors back in season 1 I was scoring it at 3.5 for most of the episode, but the final 15 minutes pushed it up to 4.5. When I thought about it afterwards I realised that the episode was exploring the exact issues I wanted to be explored and it did so very well, so I gave it 5.

    I remember when I went to the Louvre in Paris, one of the first things I on the route was the Mona Lisa. There was a huge crowd surrounding it and taking photos and in order to see it I would have had to shove my way through the crowd as though I were in some form of rugby scrum. I decided to stand up on a bench instead and saw it over everyone's heads, but nobody could see it properly anyway because it was stored behind bulletproof glass.

    I turned around to get off the bench and there was this magnificent painting in front of me. It was two stories high and took up almost the entire wall. It was of a battle scene, and in the sky had storm-clouds and angels, it was epic and it was ambitious and... only two other people were looking at it because everyone was huddled over the Mona Lisa.

    That's the day when my faith in humanity began to fall, when I realised that people weren't interested in the ambitious yet flawed work of art, they were only there to see the famous painting and to snap a picture of it.

    That story has no relevance to the conversation other than to explain why I'm so grumpy. :shifty:

    I do judge the episode by its merits, and then I take half a star off if it is in the style of TNG. While I am reviewing the show one episode at a time I am not trying to perform a review of each episode, I am trying to review the series as a whole. In the first few episodes this show told me it was going to be different than TNG and it was going to explore new issues which TNG couldn't. When an episode fails to live up to the promise of the early episodes then it is letting the team down.

    And it is only going to get even fairer in the future. I have decided that once Voyager uses up 38 torpedoes I am going to deduct half a star from any episodes where we see more being used without an explanation as to where they came from. I have also decided that after Voyager loses five shuttles I will deduct half a star for any future shuttles we see because I have a hard time believing Voyager had more than five to begin with. So if an episode contains an unexplained shuttle, unexplained torpedoes and it could have been done on TNG, the episode will lose 1 and a half stars.

    I thought about this for some time and I can understand why some people might think I am being incredibly unfair about this, and maybe I am. But these were things pointed out as being finite in earlier episodes of the series and all it takes is a throwaway line to the shuttle and torpedo building team led by Lt Carey for this situation to be resolved.

    Like I said, I'm grumpy.
     
  19. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Grumpy, but fair. :)

    (I'd be curious to see you do this for DS9, btw.)
     
  20. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I could do it for DS9, but I have to do Voyager and Enterprise first so it would be around a year before I got started.

    I'll never get around to watching The Wire at this rate. :lol: