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

    The Swarm (**)

    Finally! It has been a long time coming but at long last she comes around to my way of looking at things. But will it last? Every time from now on when Janeway falls back on pointless regulations I can point my finger at this episode as evidence of character regression.

    There's two stories in this episode and both get equal air-time, at least it seems that way. The story revolving around the swarm is fairly rubbish and I have numerous problems with it. My main problem is with how blatant this episode is about being an alien of the week story; going around the swarm's territory would take 15 months, but there is a nearby region where they can get through it in 4 days. How convenient. The solution of the week is technobabble, so that doesn't help.

    The story with Shmullus is better and it is nice to see two Picardos on screen, but the problem is very sudden and it doesn't get much of a chance to grow. I don't know much about 24th century holograms, but file degradation tends take a long time. There is a great parallel here to Alzheimer's disease and I would have loved to have seen this play out over multiple episodes, but here the solution is found by episode's end. The episode also ends on an ambiguous note by suggesting that Shmullus may have lost most of his memories, but I don't remember this being an issue in later episodes. This is a serious issue, if it is not addressed in the next few episodes then points will have to be deducted.

    If you want to have an ending like this then you must follow it up, if you want to do episodic television then you must never end an episode like this.

    1 star for the story about the swarm, 3 stars for the story about Shmullus, add them up and divide by 2.
     
  2. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    "The Swarm".

    Here we have the gemstone of season 3. An excellent episode. The way the crew handles the Swarm is exciting but the best part is the problems from which The Doctor is suffering. Good story with some good inter-action between the main characters. Finally Kes comes up with a brilliant solution how to save The Doctor.

    I have to agree with GodBen that there are some flaws in both stories but never mind, I just like this episode and give it 5 points out of 5.
     
  3. JustKate

    JustKate Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    That's a really good point. Saying "We wouldn't do it that way these days" isn't at all the same thing as saying "I disapprove." She might even be...slightly envious? Could be!
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2009
  4. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I think you've got it.

    I never particularly enjoyed the actual Swarm part of this plot. The Shmullus story, I liked, but not the Swarm part. It was boring, distracted, and confusing. It really needed focus, and could have been the 'we're not in Kansas anymore' episode of the series. But it wasn't. Your rating is quite fair.

    And, in regard to 'regression,' every time Kathy seems to say to hell with the regulations, you can point back to this episode as the starting point. ;)
     
  5. Praetorian

    Praetorian Captain Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I enjoyed that Doctor part of the Episode, it showcased how the Doctor had grown beyond its programming, becomming closer to being a real person but the ending fails because other than a throwaway line from Future's End it's as if it never happened.
    I agree with GodBen, why bother doing endings like this if you know, and Voy Writers knew, that you aren't going to follow up on them?
    The Alien part wasn't bad, including Janeway's decision to disregard Starfleet Rules... However later she will be very adamant about following the rules so what gives?

    However the worse of it is how the swarm problem is solved with treknobable!
    "Oh noes the swarm is comming!" "Don't worry, remodulate the shield frenquency and reverse the polarity of the deflector!"

    Hum..no...

    Still, the Doc side of the episode was quite interesting, and the Swarm seemed somewhat of a threat at first so it's a enjoyable episode!
     
  6. Dane_Whitman

    Dane_Whitman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    IIRC, the only 'follow-up' to the Doctor's temporary memory loss is a blink and you'll miss it reference in Future's End.

    The Swarm part of the episode is rubbish indeed, but it's fun rubbish. At least the aliens looked good. I believe this is the second episode to fully use CGI for the external shots.
     
  7. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I think the things that Janeway should have mentioned as she was being envious about really was that during the TOS era that hand Phasers were about 40 times more powerful. Tracy was disintegrating Indians by the thousand as he sweeped his phaser from left to right probably using moves learnt on the badmington court.
     
  8. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I suppose I could.... but nah. :p It's not in my style.

    Yeah, they looked cool enough, and the special effects in this season have been much better than season 2 due to the transition to CGI.

    I remember reading about the swarm in a magazine before I saw the episode and thought they looked like an interesting new villain, potentially on a level with the Borg. But after seeing the episode I'm glad they decided not to go down the route of having them as recurring villains, they really were just a one-trick pony. It still doesn't excuse how blatant this episode was in making them aliens of the week.
     
  9. neogothboy74

    neogothboy74 Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    These two points don't bother me for the same reason that they bother you, as Tuvok could have been there and not been seen if the episode made any sense...and the story of what Sulu was up to during the film with a cool cameo by Kang (killed shortly before this episode on DS9). However, the episode is terrible and so these points serve as wasted potential, like much of the series. But this is the episode I cite more often than not when people ask me why Voyager hurts my head.
    I'd also add another item, which is the main reason I can't stand this episode - the other annoyances are bad enough (and you didn't even name them all) but the deal breaker for me is this:

    10) The episode was written to be a cool tie-in to TUC but is centered on the death of a character (Valtain) WHO IS VERY MUCH ALIVE AT THE END OF THE MOVIE!!!! :scream::klingon::wtf::(

    How could they write this crap without watching the film? It's just hurts my head so bad! I could overlook the rest of the crappy issues with the episode but this one? It doesn't make any kind of sense.

    I think this episode is pretty good, yet I don't enjoy watching it. Probably for the same reasons you named. I don't love the majority of the prison movies I've seen, and so while this was pretty good - I just don't enjoy it.

    That's a good point too to a degree. I hadn't thought of that. I guess your point to me, is that it could have been better without the devices, but for me it didn't kill the episode. A lot of Star Trek seems to be afraid of taking such risks, which is too bad, but something I sort of accept on some level. Hmmmm...

    ^^ what you said. :)

    Again agreed. Not as excruciatingly bad as 'Flashback' but less than average - and a good example of continuity deprived Janeway behavior - a major sore spot for me.

    Exactly. Schizophrenic Janeway has arrived. So sad after being my favorite captain in Season 1.
     
  10. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I didn't notice that! Oh dear god, how stupid are the writers of this show?! :brickwall:

    Which brings us neatly to...


    False Profits (½)

    Ferengi episodes; you either love them or hate them. Or you think they are okay. Or you just like them. Or you just dislike them. Or you like some and dislike others. Excuse me for a second, I seem to have tangented off onto some form of sine wave. :vulcan:

    Anyway, I like some Ferengi episodes, I'm a particularly big fan of DS9's The Magnificent Ferengi. There are others that I hate, and this is one of those. The idea behind the episode is good, but when main characters start doing stupid things in order to service the plot then you know you have a problem, and the characters in this episode act so stupidly that I'm surprised they are able to do more than drool onto their shirts.

    Lets examine the scene where Janeway is talking to the Ferengi in the transporter room and the head Ferengi gives a big con of a speech about how they have to be sent back for the sake of the society on the planet. The correct response to that would be "Nice try. Mr Tuvok, take these men to the brig" but instead Janeway falls for their crap and beams them back to the planet. Just how stupid do you have to be to fall victim to the lies of a bunch of Ferengi?! :wtf:

    Then Janeway makes the decision to send someone down to the planet as a Ferengi in order to trick the Ferengi in leaving. Who should she send, the guy who has had prior experience of dealing with the Ferengi, or the guy who never even heard of them until 2 hours ago? The stupidity of sending Neelix down to the planet as a Ferengi is so outrageous that it makes my brain cry tears of blood.

    So they go through an elaborate hoax in order to get the Ferengi onto the ship, and what happens? The Ferengi beat up their security officer, steal a shuttle and manage to evade one of the most advanced Federation starships by the cunning use of technobabble. Just how stupid is this crew?!!! They should be forced to wear helmets at all times in case they randomly fall down!!

    To make matters worse this is one of those situations where Voyager has an opportunity to get home, yet there is no exploration of what this means for the crew at all. It is just there as a plot-point, there is no emotional resonance for this part of the story so the whole thing is a big waste.

    One more point, there is no follow-up on what happened to Shmullus at all, I don't even remember him appearing in the episode. I know this episode was a hold-back from season 2 as evidenced by Michael Piller being listed as an Executive Producer at the end, but this was absolutely the wrong place to put this episode.

    Other than Threshold, this is the worst episode of Voyager yet.
     
  11. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Neogothboy74 wrote:

    Now you are mentioning one of the main reasons why I was, and still are so annoyed with Berman, Braga and the so-called writers of Voyager:

    Why were they always so incredible sloppy when it came to such obvious details? :censored:

    There are simply too many such errors in Voyager and there are no excuses for them. It's downright sloppy and I'm sure that if they had been working on another movie or TV project where continuity is an important part of the show, they would have been fired on the spot. I mean, you don't see that many errors in other series.
     
  12. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    +1 on your assessment of The Swarm, GodBen. I can't stand blatant inconsistency, a travesty committed numerous times throughout the VOY series.

    False Profits was very amusing on the premise of tying in a loose end from TNG. I think a lot more could have been done with it. I'm not interested in the conflicting/impossible Ferengi from TNG... they fare much better in DS9. Quark is a great character, a believable Ferengi. These two clowns that maroon themselves in the Delta quadrant take a very petty pathway to survival... I'd have expected something a little more ingenious. Anyway, it was a cheap teaser to dangle the traveling wormhole 'quick solution' to Voyager's troubles in front of us then yank it away so easily. The whole story had far more potential that was sorely unrealized.
     
  13. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Well, first I must say that I actually like this episode.

    It's funny and actually entertaining, however with a bitter after-taste because of the end scenes when the attempt to go back to Federation space fails. (I must admit that, due to later events, I actually have wished many times that they should have been able to return to the Alpha Quadrant there and then.)

    Anyway, the episode has its bright spots and Neelix is actually great as a Ferengi. I also liked the fact that they did a follow-up to the TNG episode "The Price". I also wish that there would have been some follow-up on "Flase Profits" as well in some episode, movie or book. I just want to know what happened to our dear Ferengi.

    However, once again I must agree with GodBen in his criticizm. If I had been Janeway, the Ferengi had been thrown into the brig without hesitation. And yes, I would have sent Paris (and maybe Chakotay too) down to the planet to clear things up, not Neelix.

    And yes, the Ferengi gets away too easy at the end.

    However, despite certain flaws, I do find this episode enjoyable and gives it 3 points out of 5.

    As for the "Shmullus problem" mentioned, I must say that I find the US airing of the episodes a bit peculiar. In Europe, "False Profits" was aired after "Sacred Ground" and before "Flashback" which is also more appropriate to a Voyager timeline based on the Stardates. I watch the episode in Stardate order and in that case, the problems with "Shmullus" should have been followed up in "Furure's End". However, according to the Stardates, there are 22 days between the events in "The Swarm" and the events in "Future's End" which might have been enough time for Shmullus" to be restored to normal.

    http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Park/1964/timeline.html
     
  14. StarryEyed

    StarryEyed Commodore Commodore

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    What's with referring to the Doctor as "Shmullus" when the character himself obviously changed his mind about taking a name?
     
  15. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    You'll have to ask GodBen about that. I wrote "Shmullus" in my comment to his post becase he used the name "Shmullus".

    Personally I think that "Shmullus" is a good name for our favorite Doc but I prefer "Zimmerman" or simply "The Doctor".
     
  16. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    It's not obvious, it was never brought up again other than one scene in Resolutions. No explanation was given as to why he chose not to use the name, or even if he chose not to use the name. We can assume that he chose not to take the name, but all it would be is an assumption since there is no on-screen evidence to support it. Since I am only left to assume what happened, I choose to assume that Shmullus kept the name but never bothered to tell anybody else in the crew because it was so personal to him. To others he is just the Doctor, but inside he knows that his real name is Shmullus.

    Or it is a really poor recurring joke. It's one or the other but I can't remember which and I'm too stubborn to stop now. :p
     
  17. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I found 'False Profits' enjoyable, but it has TONS of plot holes, and, yeah, the crew didn't try nearly hard enough to get through that wormhole. I might give it a full star. :shifty:
     
  18. Dane_Whitman

    Dane_Whitman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Agreed, I find False Profits a terrible bore. The last thing VOY needed was a Ferengi episode, it wasn't funny and the crew was acting beyond stupid.
     
  19. PolloCaballo

    PolloCaballo Ensign Red Shirt

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager


    Hey Lynx, thanks for the link to the stardate timeline, I've been looking for something like that. Good work. Were you ever going to finish the other seasons? Or do you not want to because Kes is gone?
     
  20. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Good question. To be honest, I havent really decided what to do yet.

    When I did create that timeline, I decided to keep it into the parameters of the website which is the "Star Trek Voyager-The Kes Seasons". However, sometimes I've been thinking about expanding it to the other seasons as well.

    The problem is that I don't have any season 4-7 DVD:s and to be honest, I don't have any intention to watch those episodes again.And what's worse, I haven't read the season 4-7 books which is necessary in order to create a correct timeline. I must add that I have spent a lot of time editing the timeline, sorting out certain errors.

    Of course, I could simply use the old timeline created by Will Eckert and the timeline in "Voyager Of Imagination" and create one out of that. It's not impossible that I will do so in a not too deistant future. We'll see.