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

    GodBen is reviewing these episodes critically as well as for entertainment. While enjoyability is often not contingent on quality, just because something is enjoyable does not automatically make it high quality. I like a lot of bad B movies, but I'd hardly argue that they were well-made.

    And I'd argue that inherently any story that is told, especially if it is a 'Star Trek' story, needs to have some point - even if that point is solely to entertain. By extension, I'd argue that if the goal of 'Displaced' was to entertain, it didn't do that good of a job. I respect the opinions of those that like it, but I personally don't find it that original or enjoyable.

    This is 'Star Trek' after all, and we should expect more than just 'filler.'
     
  2. Jaespol

    Jaespol Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    When the network wants 26 episodes a season, there's gonna be filler!
    Filler is the mainstay of American episodic television.
     
  3. Vykan12

    Vykan12 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    By that logic, DS9 has the most filler of all since it has the most episodes out of any Star Trek series :P
     
  4. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    ^ Actually, TNG has two episodes more than it. Three if you view the feature-length episodes as one episode, and I do. :p
     
  5. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    'Displaced' is one of those episodes that requires the crew to act like total morons for the first two acts, and those are always pretty desperate. To top it off, there's one of those improbable escapes at the end because Lisa Klink wrote herself into a corner.

    There have been worse episodes, but it's not got much rewatch value.
     
  6. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Well said, Tomalak.
     
  7. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Worst Case Scenario (**½)

    I guess this is the mutiny episode we were never going to get. It's no The Oath.

    The episode is pretty good for the first half as the crew plays around in the mutiny. It's not the greatest depiction of a mutiny I've ever seen, but its fun and we get a glimpse at a Voyager that never was. The scenes where the crew discusses the program were also good, it helps make the crew feel like a community.

    But I've never been a fan of the second half of the show where Seska shows up and wreaks havoc. There's too many plot conveniences , such as Seska programming a holo-program that can counteract anything Janeway does to interfere, not to mention the fact that the episode falls back on the holodeck malfunction cliché.

    It's annoying that this episode ignores its own advice. I never saw Seska as the murderous type, she just wanted control of Voyager. And she never showed any signs of wanting to kill Tuvok for being a Starfleet infiltrator before, she even had the chance to kill him in Basics and chose to maroon him on a planet instead. But this episode needs Seska to try to kill Tuvok, so she tries to kill Tuvok, going completely against her established traits. I guess Kenneth Biller follows the Tom Paris school of writing; just do "cool" stuff for no reason.

    It's a pity, if this episode had stuck to its original idea and explored how Voyager's community responds to the mutiny program then it could have been a really good episode, but they flushed it all for some fun on the holodeck. This episode epitomises the fundamental flaw of this show.
     
  8. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Agreed. Very enjoyable, until you think about it. Then it's not as enjoyable. :rommie:
     
  9. M

    M Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Once again, I very much agree with about everything you just said, Ben. I just rewatched this episode the other day and had the same issues with it as you.

    I think it's almost ironic that the writers used the whole Maquis/Starfleet issue as the basis for an enjoyable yet pointless holodeck episode. It's as if they freely admitted that they didn't even take the whole thing seriously themselves. They must have thought, well, in three years we haven't really done anything with the premise; maybe we should at least use it somehow. It must have been about that time when one of the writers threw the idea of a Holodeck Gone Awry™ episode in the room.

    Don't get me wrong, I can enjoy this episode for what it is: A fun romp in the holodeck with some nice What if ... scenarios added. Like Ben, I liked the idea of portraying the crew as a community. That's one thing in the episode that most certainly did work. Although I must say that in some scenes I found it ridiculous how lighthearted they all take this whole issue. That just goes to show that they never even tried to portray these people as realistic. If in the beginning they really had problems getting along with each other (and frankly, I think they should have had problems), they wouldn't find it so easy to enjoy a holo-simulation of that nature. I just don't believe it.

    Oh, and I didn't care for the Seska plot at all. It was just a cheap attempt at inserting action where the mere drama of finding such a program would have sufficed to make this a wonderful episode. But you know, you gotta insert people firing phasers somehow. :vulcan:

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  10. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    It was rather nice to see Seska again, though. And while the reprogramming seemed worthy of her, it was a tad too convenient.

    I'd have preferred a slight twist ending that revealed one of the N.D. Starfleet crew had actually reprogrammed it to make the Maquis look bad if that trick was to happen at all.
     
  11. Robotech Master

    Robotech Master Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I'd agree with whoever said the first three seasons were more enjoyable than the last three seasons.

    At least back then I had some hope for the show. Dumping Jennifer Lien for those melons still brings out the cynic in me with respect to the motivations of the writing staff in the later seasons.

    Were they really interested in the creative aspects of storytelling? Or were they just feeding the lowest common denominator? Sure, Seven got some interesting stories here and there and Jeri Ryan proved that she had more to offer than just the awesome boobage.

    But I lost faith in the writing staff. At least in the first three seasons I still believeed that the show might get better and become worthy of its predecessors. And I liked Kes... they could have kept her and dumped Neelix, Kim, and Chakotay IMO.
     
  12. startrekwatcher

    startrekwatcher Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    When I first watched "Worst Case Scenario", I was less interested in the episode itself and more excited about seeing the trailer at the end of the episode for "Scorpion". Afterall, I had known for several weeks of the Borg's big return with the final six episode trailer--"Come What May, Come This May". And you know what, it was more compelling with that haunting operatic score and all those wonderfully intriguing clips for the finale.

    After the credits rolled for the next week I couldn't be bothered to think about "Worst Case Scenario" I was too anxious for next Sunday to roll around. I wanted the Borg!

    "Worst Case Scenario" is enjoyable fluff but like TNG's "Transfigurations" this episode unfortunately happens to come right before an exciting Borg season finale to where it gets over looked.

    I'd give it about three stars out of four.
     
  13. Jaespol

    Jaespol Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Why rate things out of four startrekwatcher?

    GodBen's reviews are starting to annoy me again....this was a fun episode and another great episode in a string of great episodes at the end of season 3! It was FFFUUUUNNNNN!
     
  14. startrekwatcher

    startrekwatcher Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Personally, I have never cared for assigning scores and grades to episodes. It is so subjective and everyone has their own idea of what a certain grade means. Throw in the fact that internet fans have an absolutely awful habit of giving everything "A+++++" or "excellents". I find it for more illuminating to read the aspects in detail that one likes or dislikes.
    The last few episodes of the season were alright and certainly a step up from the majority of season three episodes but they weren't enough. Only "Before and After" and "Scorpion" were really great.
     
  15. Jaespol

    Jaespol Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I thought every single episode from "Before and After" on was very good :( ....except maybe "Real Life"
     
  16. DGCatAniSiri

    DGCatAniSiri Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Worst Case Scenario is another case of 'two stories thrown into one episode.' The first half is incredibly enjoyable, since it actually uses Voyager as a community - they're developing their own separate world and life that's focused solely on their lives, not on the outside space, not on things from back home. It's focusing on the ship as a whole, an actual attempt to make the ship into having the feeling of a tight-knit community, something that I feel should have been a major part of the series. And there is touch on the old Maquis-Starfleet conflict that was supposed to be a part of the series. It would have been nice to see some old thoughts of 'the Maquis way might get us home quicker, since we wouldn't stop for every strange anomaly we pass' creep up, even just as conversation amongst the crew, not actual plans for a mutiny.

    Then there's the second half, which is another 'Holodeck gone awry' story. I do like the uncommon usage of the Tom and Tuvok pairing, and I do like how everything gets stacked against them (Come on, holo-Doc... er, you know what I mean, actually throws them out of Sickbay. That's gotta be worth something.) And it's amusing how Janeway and B'Elanna get to play God with the program - it's almost tongue and cheek at the show's own tendency towards dues ex machina-style resolutions. But I do agree, holo-Seska seems unusually and uncharacteristically bloodthirsty and she gets reduced to cliched villainy (all she needed was a few well-timed mwa-ha-ha's). Still, I do think she gets a slightly better death than the sudden collapse-and-dies she had at the end of Basics, so I suppose that's something.
     
  17. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Worst Case Scenario

    When I re-watch Voyager on DVD, then I always end with this one. For me, it's the perfect closure. A good, exciting episode. The plot is actually good even if it is a holodeck episode and it's great to see Seska again, even if she's just a hologram this time. Really entertaining here and there and some good action as well.

    I'll give it 3 points out of 5.

    Robotech Master wrote:
    I agree with what most of what you have written here. But I don't think that Nelix, Chakotay and Kim should have been dumped. All the main characters should have remained in the series when Seven was added.
     
  18. M

    M Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Absolutely agreed. And I don't mean this to sound like I considered GodBen's grades nonsensical (they can give you a general idea of what one thinks about an episode), but generally I prefer elaborated thoughts in the form of sentences. :techman:

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  19. Jaespol

    Jaespol Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager


    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    Some of our brains can't handle that :(
     
  20. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I've always liked this one, because when I first saw it I had no idea what was coming up. Although you know at the back of your mind that it can't really be a mutiny, it's still great fun to go through the motions.

    I also agree with you about the scenes with the crew just talking, drinking coffee, and enjoying each others' company - I always felt that during this 70 year trip, most of it should be really boring. Just the ship flying through empty space at Warp 8, with nothing much occurring. They can't be bumping into hostile aliens and weird wobbly colourful things all the time. It's also why I liked 'Night', because it was interesting to see them after a few months of literally nothing happening. Though admittedly, that doesn't make for great television.

    It all falls apart a bit in the last segment with the usual "killer holodeck" stuff*, but it's cool to see Bajoran Seska again (even if it just serves to remind you what could have been). It also shows Tuvok in a good light, rather than the usual caricature of the anally retentive stick-in-the-mud. The Paris-Tuvok relationship is generally played for laughs, but it works well here. I love the cheeky "deux ex machina" ending as well - on this occassion, it is perfectly legitimate.




    * It's also another example of Voyager's tendancy to create seemingly sentient beings at the touch of a button. Moriarty and Vic Fontaine were examples on the other shows, but once you had the EMH, that set a worrying precedent that they never really got to grips with.