A Semi-Hater Revisits Voyager

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

  1. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    This won't surprise you, but I like your ideas and wish to subscribe to your newsletter. ;)

    That is a freaking brilliant arc right there, my man. You have taken a series of otherwise tangientally related events and spun straw into gold!

    'But Ben,' says Jeri Taylor, 'the people don't want arcs. They don't work.'

    *sigh*:brickwall:
     
  2. Tachyon

    Tachyon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Perhaps they took their experiences from DS9 and thought it woudln't be the way to go in Star Trek.

    I think arcs can go two ways - they either work or they don't. If an arc is a snoozefest, like some arcs in DS9 were in the context of Star Trek was, then no thanks. But if an arc made some good sense in the context of Star Trek, why not?

    Well, it didn't happen on Voyager as it took place on DS9 for instance, so we can't ever really know if it would have worked or not. A lot depends on the arc itself, the storyline that is being told.
     
  3. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Just to sum it up, here are my ratings of the episodes in seasons 1 and 2. I've used the following system to rank the episodes:

    5 Excellent
    4 Very good
    3 Good
    2 Average
    1 Bad
    0 Lousy (should have been thrown in a trashcan)

    So here we go:

    Caretaker: 5
    Parallax: 3
    Time And Again: 5
    Phage: 3
    The Cloud: 3
    Eye Of The Needle: 4
    Ex Post Facto: 5
    Emanations: 1
    Prime Factors: 3
    State Of Flux: 4
    Heroes And Demons: 2
    Cathexis: 4
    Faces: 3
    Jetrel: 5
    Learning Curve: 3
    Projections: 5
    Elogium: 1
    Twisted: 4
    The 37's: 3

    Note: I have listed "Projections", "Elogium", "Twisted" and "The 37's" as season 1 episodes since they were filmed and produced as season 1 episodes, the stardates are season 1 episodes and since they were showed as season 1 episodes im most countries outside the US.

    What we get totally are 5 episodes which I rank as excellent, 4 episodes as very good, 7 episodes as good, 1 episode as average and 2 ranked as bad.

    Then we'll take a look at season 2:

    Initiations: 3
    Non Sequitur: 3
    Parturition: 4
    Persistence Of Vision: 5
    Tattoo: 3
    Cold Fire: 5
    Maneuvers: 3
    Resistance: 4
    Prototype: 3
    Death Wish: 3
    Alliances: 5
    Threshold: 1
    Meld: 5
    Dreadnought: 2
    Lifesigns: 3
    Investigations: 4
    Deadlock: 3
    Innocence: 4
    The Thaw: 4
    Tuvix: 5
    Resolutions: 3
    Basics #1: 5

    So here we have 6 episodes which I rank as excellent, 5 episodes which are very good, 9 episodes as good, 1 episode as average and 1 episode as bad.

    To sum it up, season 1 is great but season 2 is excellent. I just love that one, my favorite season of all Star Trek! :techman:
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  4. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    In my previous post I forgot to mention that I give "Cats In The Cradle" a rating of 6 which means more than excellent. That extra point is for almost fooling me with this one. :techman: :guffaw:
     
  5. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    In the flesh was all I needed, the only clue I needed to write thousands of pages of fanfiction all about how boothby is the secret overmaster of the federation and select chairperson of Section 31. The episode was shit, but I love what it did for my writing.

    :)

    Besides Ellen Tigh as the great great grand Daughter of Jonathan Archer?

    How's that for continuity whoring?
     
  6. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Living Witness was fairly entertaining, in that it is the closest we got to the Mirror universe in Voyager, but I never felt it was anything like a cast-iron classic. Bizarrely, I actually quite like Profit and Lace. It's very stupid, but it appeals to my infantile sense of humour. Besides, anything with Brunt and Zek can't be all bad. I stand by the point that over the course of the season, the writing in DS9 was much better than in Voyager.

    I think she got her fingers burnt with that botched Tom Paris arc in season two - all that stuff with Neelix was supposed to lead up to him leaving the ship in Investigations, but it just didn't work, and made Paris look like a jerk. When he finally did leave the ship, it came out of the blue and made absolutely no sense.

    There was the Seska/Nistrum arc as well, but that wasn't very interesting simply because the Kazon were crap villains, and Culluh was an idiot. Seska was a great villain, but just wasn't used well enough. Her main desire was to get home as fast as possible, so why would she shack up with a load of technologically primitive imbeciles? I always thought there was a missed opportunity there. Make her a main cast member from the beginning (instead of a non-entity like Harry Kim or Kes), and the revelation that she's a Cardassian spy becomes much bigger and more unexpected. Leave her on the ship as well - the Maquis hate her for obvious reasons, and Starfleet don't trust her, so you've got a potentially very interesting, ambiguous character in their midst.
     
  7. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Sure, it costs $5.99 a month and it includes all the stuff you can read in this thread for free! :D

    How could I have forgotten to include that in my season recap?! :alienblush: Ah well, it's too late now, I'll just have to pretend it never happened.

    I completely agree and would go even further to say that the writing on DS9 was always superior to the writing on Voyager. This is subjective of course, but I found that each year DS9 outdid Voyager on nearly every level.

    I've always thought it would be good if a Trek series had a main character turn into a villain. It is one of the good things about the final season of Enterprise, they seemed to be setting Reed up to join Section 31. I would have continued watching Enterprise for that reason alone.


    Anyway, I have season 3 with me at the moment so hopefully I should watch Basics Part 2 this evening. But since it is Good Friday I am going to take a little pilgrimage and see if I can find Father Ted's house in the deep dark wilderness of the Burren. If you don't hear from me again it is because I got lost and was unable to re-find civilisation. Toodles. :cool:
     
  8. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I totally agree on that front.


    Make sure you kick Bishop Brennan up the arse!
     
  9. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Oh, I totally agree with the spirit of what you're saying here. I think generally it may have been felt that a chunk of the fandom was reacting to DS9 badly at first because it was too different, including the idea of doing arcs, and thus we ended up with VGR coming off as TNG Part II sometimes, and this is part of why VGR's writing suffered.

    Yeah, that wouldn't surprise me. Either that, or that was her way of self-sabotaging 'proving' that they don't work.

    I like this. Without having to overwrite one of the main cast, they did need a science officer (well, the station was there and seemed as important as B'Elanna's, anyway) and then Seska could be on the bridge the whole time and say things every now and then and winking at Chakotay and they could basically use her to help build up the Chakotay angle and have more of a Maquis presence and possible dissention on the bridge - until suddenly, holy crap she's a full-blown traitor!

    Crap. Maybe a free subscription instead of a second keyring? ;)

    I think generally it was the approach that led to better writing - they were first and foremost concerned with honoring the characters and telling a good story. All VGR really needed to fix was adopting this approach and it would have probably taken care of most of VGR's story problems.

    Ditto that.

    Way to leave us hanging, pal. ;)
     
  10. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    That should be translated into "I, Jeri Taylor don't want arcs because I don't like them".

    The sad thing is that if there were a Star Trek series where arcs would have worked perfectly, then it was Voyager because of the premise of the series, a ship lost in the Delta Quadrant, trying to get home.

    The few arcs there were, like the Kazon arc worked perfectly.
     
  11. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I didn't see Bishop Brennan, but I think I saw Mrs Doyle cleaning the front door. I can't be sure though, she was a fair bit away.

    I'm unemployed, I need to get money from somewhere. :(


    Basics, Part 2 (**½)

    My main problem with the first part of Basics is that it didn't feel epic enough considering the events taking place. The second part is the exact opposite, it feels epic but it the actions taking place completely undo everything that the first part laid out.

    The first uh-oh moment came when Shmullus informs Seska that the baby isn't Chakotay's, it is apparently Cullah's even though he doesn't look Kazon at all. This is the first sign that this episode has a huge reset-button at the end. Why not let the baby be Chakotay's and force him to raise it? Because that would involve character development, I suppose.

    The story on the planet loses all meaning when you know that the crew are going to be back on Voyager by the end of the episode. Everything they do in order to survive, and everything they do to win over the natives, means nothing because none of it makes a damn bit of difference. If this had been a three episode arc and this story had been allowed to develop properly then it would have been great, but since that doesn't happen it loses all meaning.

    What works in this episode is the story on Voyager as Shmullus and Suder sabotage the ship. This is a fantastically engaging element of the story, and Suder's breakdown after he is forced to kill a Kazon is well handled and emotionally touching. I think that Suder is one of the greatest characters on Voyager and his arc is perhaps the greatest character arc on the show. Unfortunately, he dies. It would have been so much better had he survived and be forced to live with his actions in this episode, but I guess a heroic death is something I will just have to settle for.

    The episode is well paced, it kept me engaged and it felt like it played out on a bigger scale than the first part, helped a lot by an unusually noticeable score. It was good, and the Suder parts were excellent, but it ends with a big reset button and it really could have been so much more.


    Right, I'm off to watch Red Dwarf!
     
  12. Brit

    Brit Captain Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I did much the same thing with "Basics" and the catalyst was when my daughter (biology major) said to me, "I don't think you would get a baby using Seska's method. I think you would get a clone."

    Man I was off and running.

    Brit
     
  13. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Did you feel then that Braga had snuck into your house and dumped all your fanfiction into a zipdrive, after you'd observed Trip and T'Pol had had their own little clone baby in that tiny blip mini series about Star trek kind-of after Voyager?

    I can always tell when Braga's behind a home invasion within my lap of squalor.

    There's footprints in the butter.
     
  14. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    While I'd dispute that the few arcs that VGR did were, perfect, I totally agree with the rest of your comments, Lynx. From what I understand, it was all a matter of Jeri Taylor preferring to not do them, and justifying it however she could.

    You forget who you're talking to? :(

    Agreed. This sums up my feelings. Like you said, it sort of seemed to accept that it was going to have a 'happy ending' somewhere around the middle, and therefore became less compelling than it could have been. But at least it wasn't a victim of second-part letdown syndrome...
     
  15. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager


    What does "in the context of Star Trek" actually mean? In fact all of DS9's arcs take place "in the context of Star Trek" so what exactly are you saying?
     
  16. startrekwatcher

    startrekwatcher Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I have never really understood critics pointing to a lack of arcs on Voyager as being what was wrong with the show.

    TNG did nothing but episodic stories and they had a great run. The difference between it and VOY was the writing. Had the episodes have been as interesting and entertaining as "Q Who", "The Measure of a Man", "Disaster", "Remember Me", "The Survivors", "The Bonding", "Cause and Effect", "Parallels", "Ethics", "First Contact", "Clues", "Night Terrors", "Future Imperfect", "Yesterday's Enterprise", "A Matter of Honor", "The Chase", "Relics" etc no one would have been harping about shuttle counts, crew death counts etc and had the characters been as interesting as the TNG cast there would be no complaints about arcs.

    And for all the praise heaped on DS9 about arcs that show wasn't that heavily serialized. It was very episodic. It was far from a truly serialized drama the way Hill Street Blues, St. Elsewhere, Babylon 5, Lost, Heroes were/are.
     
  17. Dane_Whitman

    Dane_Whitman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Back when I saw Basics I was blown away by the dragon/dinosaur monster. TOS had its share of monsters but this was like nothing we'd ever seen. I appreciate the effort.
     
  18. startrekwatcher

    startrekwatcher Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    This was disappointing as well for me. Only did I later read in a Q&A with Michael Piller that he originally was going to let it be Chakotay's baby but he was leaving to focus on his UPN series Legend at the time and Jeri Taylor felt that a large part of why season two wasn't successful were the Kazon, Seska, the mini-arc so she wanted to leave all of it behind so she re-wrote that it wasn't Chakotay's. It is also why she killed off Seska, Suder and said that the crew were now leaving behind Kazon and Vidiian territory. She wanted to only do fun episodic adventure stories.

    I like Jeri Taylor as a person but I wasn't all that impressed by her writing or the two times that she oversaw a season(TNG-7 and VOY-3). I wasn't overly crazy about season two and I think Michael Piller overly praised it but season three was an awful year for VOY in my opinion. It was campy, silly. There was a stretch of really poor outings--Coda, Rise, Favorite Son, Darkling, Sacred Ground, The Q and the Grey, Blood Fever etc.

    I could definitely understand why they felt they had to do something to save the show hence the late decision to scrap the original season finale and do a big BOrg cliffhanger, write out Kes and bring on a Borg character. It didn't transform the series as much as I would have liked but it certainly helped right some of the wrongs.
     
  19. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I laughed my ass off when Tuvok said the bow and arrow were for him. But really, Chakotay's tribe didn't use the bow and arrow hundreds and hundreds of years ago so he never took Tuvoks class at the academy? If his tribe had used the bow and arrow hundreds and hundreds of years ago, then would he already have been predisposed to use the bow and arrow because of some genetic memory predisposition or would his pappy have forced the skills on him from a young age he had meant?

    TPTB might have been trying to break cliches, and define Chuckles imaginary tribe, but methinks they were trying to hard.

    Remember that time on Batman in the 60s whe Alfred the Butler and the Art carney had an archery contest? After they both hit the bullseye and spilit each other shaft right down the middle, Alfred says to the Archer: "First one not to split the shaft loses."

    Tuvok vs Chakotay at Archery on the holodeck would have been fun.

    Then Kim vs Neelix at lawn Darts woud have been another sort of thrill.

    Velocity and Kalto were tedious spectator sports.
     
  20. Praetorian

    Praetorian Captain Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Another difference is that the Enterprise-D was simply strolling around the Federation and its borders..
    Voyager on the other hand was alone in the Delta Quadrant, with no access to Starfleet, surrounded by enemies...and with antagonistic crewmembers...

    Even if Voyager had no arcs, this issues should have been seriously adressed...

    I actually think that on a episode basis Voyager and Tng have more or less the same quality but:

    1-Tng came first.
    2-Tng fulfilled it's premise and promise.

    So Tng comes ahead simply because of that...