A Semi-Hater Revisits Voyager

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

  1. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I agree. All that incredibly convoluted set-up with the pirates, the computer core and whatnot was just an excuse for the gag with Janeway and Leonardo da Vinci flying off a cliff. Which wasn't much anyway. I don't mind "high concept", but you have to have something more to it.

    I've moaned before about Star Trek's proclivity to create sentient beings at the touch of a button, but this isn't the very worst offender.


    I dunno, seems like a bit of a nobhead, but I still would. ;)
     
  2. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Exactly.

    I'm totally there, too. It wouldn't have bothered me as much had they at least addressed this. I think part of what "Concerning Flight" was trying to do was to take this da Vinci that was Janeway's hero and give means to interact with him in the "real world" while sort of skirting the issue that this was a limited recreation of a person she idolized. I think not directly addressing this was a mistake.

    I think I'd have said that yes, this was almost certainly a flawed recreation of the real daVinci, and use that to examine the concept of hero worship through Janeway, and the fact that heroes are just human despite the mythos that surrounds them, perhaps relating in some ways to the pressure Janeway felt she had to live up to as Captain. Perhaps Janeway would have gained insight that she doesn't have to be perfect, that her flaws are part of what makes her, well, her. Perhaps a silly lesson for a middle-aged starship captain to be learning. Then again, maybe not. :p

    QFT. I totally agree. The holographic rights thing - well, we're not there yet. But sufficed to say, I don't like the way it was handled.

    You have effectively summed up my feelings regarding the mishandling of the whole issue. And we're not even there yet. :D

    Oh, so would I. The fact that I hate him helps his case for that, actually. ;)
     
  3. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    See, that's a good idea and if they had given things a little more thought that is what this episode could have been, but unfortunately they decided to do a "fun" adventure with da Vinci and you all know the end result.


    An episode where Neelix dies in the first five minutes? 5 stars!!

    An episode where Neelix dies in the first five minutes and comes back to life? No stars for you! :klingon:

    An episode where Neelix dies in the first five minutes and comes back to life in order to be emotionally tortured to the point of attempted suicide? 3 and a half.


    Mortal Coil (***½)

    Neelix can be intolerable in small doses, but give him an episode and he can usually pull it off, and this is another episode which follows that befuddling rule. It is an interesting idea for an episode and one which I'm surprised Trek had not already done at this point. It has a similar idea to that in season 1's Emanations, but they don't cheat the ending and the story is much, much better.

    The biggest problem I have with this episode is the retconning performed on Neelix's character because he never came across as "religious" before. I like the idea that his religion is what gave him the strength to get past the death of his family during the war, but this just seems to come from nowhere. I also like Neelix attempting to kill himself after losing his faith even if it is melodramatic, but it loses its power because we've known Neelix for 3 years and spirituality has never played even a minor role in his life up to this point.

    There was a shuttle in this episode. *grumble*
     
  4. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I really can't remember much about this one, but I have a vague recollection that it was quite sensitively done. "Jetrel" in the first season was excellent, and I thought they'd use it to really push on with the character, but that didn't happen. It's a shame, because you did get these glimpses that there was a lot more to the character, and a lot more Ethan Philips could give, than we saw for the most part.
     
  5. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I liked "Mortal Coil" for the most part, too. The retcon didn't bother me too much, since Neelix is really the only character this could have worked well with. The fact that mostly happy-go-lucky Neelix actually has a tortured soul and tries to off himself is part of the episode's punch.

    Accordingly, I also agree that Neelix wasn't handled as well as he could have been, and that Ethan Phillips had a lot more to offer than what he was generally allowed to.

    "Fuzzy comic relief" was just a bad idea.
     
  6. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Mortal Coil

    This episode is absolutely horrible. Neelix is close to death, brought back to life by Seven's god-like powers and then he is robbed of his beliefs about an afterlife. Cruel and unnecessary. Not to mention that Braga had to ram his atheistic beliefs down the throat of the viewers too.

    Crap! One of Voyager's worst episodes.

    I'll give it 0 point out of 5
     
  7. apenpaap

    apenpaap Commodore Commodore

    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Mortal Coil is awesome. There's a big problem with it though: Seven's never tries that reanimation trick of hers on any of the redshirts that die while she is on board. Does it only work with main characters?
     
  8. startrekwatcher

    startrekwatcher Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I never cared that much for Motral Coil 2.5 stars out of 4.

    The idea is decent but it was used on the wrong character. By this point, I had stopped caring about Neelix and so I could never really get emotionally invested in his plight.
     
  9. brcarthey

    brcarthey Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    yeah, i was wondering why seven didn't do this trick for lt. carey.

    much has been made that this was braga's attempt to pushing an "atheistic agenda" through neelix not going to an afterlife like he thought he would.

    i didn't care either way and just thought it was ethan phillips did a great job of showing the vulnerable side of neelix after constantly showing his "happy-go-lucky" attitude.
     
  10. Vykan12

    Vykan12 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I have a strange conflict with Mortal Coil. If Neelix is revived, then it's as though he was never really dead since death isn't a reversible process. From a theist's standpoint, Neelix wouldn't find the after-life until he were truly gone.

    What was Neelix expecting? "Welcome to your perception of heaven, except you've only entered some other form of unconsciousness and humans should really re-examine their definition of death. It is not your time, so cya later."

    I get that the show was trying to shake Neelix's faith, but there's many more ways they could've gone about it. Nano-probe reviving was also sloppily introduced since it wasn't used in any subsequent show, which adds yet another inconsistency to the show's checklist.
     
  11. M

    M Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Wow, how much opinions can differ! I love Mortal Coil! Granted, it's not without its flaws, but easily one of my favorite Voyager episodes. Not only because it tries to meditate on the idea of an afterlife (which is a rare case of the Voyager writers actually trying to tell us something), but also because of Ethan Phillip's superb acting. It has some great dialog and I thought the suicide scene (great and subtle acting by Robert Beltran there) and the moments with Neelix and Naomi were heartbreaking. It's another instance were I actually teared up a little during a Star Trek episode. :shifty:

    Yeah, but I think that's one of the points the episodes makes. You can only experience death if you stay dead. And it's actually one of the reasons why the episode doesn't "ram the writer's atheistic beliefs down the throat of the viewers", as Lynx suggests. It's left vague intentionally. The episode doesn't give answers; it just raises a few interesting questions. ;)
     
  12. Vykan12

    Vykan12 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    ^ The problem is Neelix is led to believe that based on his supposed death, and having seen nothing but darkness, his culture's perception of heaven doesn't exist. He wouldn't have that discomfort if he never considered himself dead in the first place, just heavily injured or whatever medical-babble can be used to explain it.
     
  13. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I agree. :techman:

    Just like real-life near-death experiences: sometimes people see "a light" and say that it's the afterlife, and sometimes people see nothing and say that there's nothing. In this case, Neelix was one of the latter.

    (And, personally, I'd argue, like Spock in TVH, that you have to be really dead to witness/discuss being dead. Of course, Spock is a whole other issue... ;))
     
  14. M

    M Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    But why is that a problem? Neelix' discomfort is what makes this episode good drama in the first place. Where would be the drama if they told Neelix all along that he wasn't really dead? And I also think that the end makes it clear that Neelix takes Chakotay's words to heart: Since Neelix wasn't really dead, the Talaxian idea of an afterlife is still possible. Because being dead means to stay dead.
     
  15. Vykan12

    Vykan12 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I just think they could've approached it differently. "I didn't have a near-death experience" doesn't strike me as a reason to completely lose all faith in one's religious beliefs. After all, faith is largely based on having convenient answers to difficult questions about the unknown, and so it can be adapted to explain just about anything, including lacklustre near-deth experiences.

    As someone mentioned before, Neelix's faith came out of the blue, so there definitely could've been more natural approaches to Neelix's sudden depressive episode. Now that I think about it, the Kes break-up would've made for an excellent trigger.
     
  16. DGCatAniSiri

    DGCatAniSiri Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Neelix's faith coming out of left field is pretty much par for the course. At least it did get touched upon slightly in a later episode, so points for minor consistency, I suppose.

    Anyway, I really liked this episode, even if there is a flaw in the logic of why Seven's Miraculous Nanoprobes (Patent Pending) work for Neelix but they never use them again on anyone. It makes an attempt at bridging the ideas of faith versus facts - can you hold on to your faith after it's been so seriously challenged. I think that they descended Neelix into madness a little too quickly with too much force so that you wonder why, exactly, being called to read a story to Naomi is enough to get him to back down, but overall, I think it's a good story.

    I am a little disappointed that they didn't have someone include a line about 'maybe you didn't see the afterlife because it wasn't your time yet.' I mean, Neelix may not have been in a place to listen to the words fully, and it might be he expected to see someone who would tell him this at the tree, but it wouldn't have hurt the story to include that bit.

    It's really disappointing that the memory of Neelix being a survivor from the war on Talax varies between writers. I think Jeri Taylor was the only one who kept that in her mind, and it shows - portraying Neelix as someone who covers his deep depression over those events with the cheery facade only seems to happen once in a blue moon, and everyone else just sees the facade. Shame they couldn't do an episode that really focused on his post-traumatic strees.
     
  17. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    ^Hear, hear. :)
     
  18. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I definitely agree with the inconsistency with Neelix. I read Taylor's "Pathways" book a few years ago, and Neelix's story was the most compelling by some way. She gives him a fascinating background, yet barely any of it emerged in the series. There were one or two episodes that delved into it, and the more reflective side of the character came out now and again, often with Seven I think.

    I can tell why Neelix is probably the least liked character, but it didn't have to be this way. I suppose you can compare him with Quark, a similar "comedic" character who developed a much deeper, introspective personality as the series went on. They needed to really give him a foil to play off - Kes disappeared quickly, and Neelix was usually shown to be overly-possessive, jealous and unlikeable with her anyway. Tuvok should have been that foil, and although there are lots of moments across the series, it's usually fairly one dimensional:

    NEELIX: Turn that frown upside down Mr Vulcan!
    TUVOK: :rolleyes:

    Rarely was there shown to be any deeper understanding and respect between the two of them, which there should have been after "Tuvix". There's a lovely farewell in "Homestead", when Tuvok tells him that he's the most resourceful man he's ever met, which was great to see.
     
  19. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I would consider dying and not going to an afterlife to be the ultimate reason to lose ones faith. I would suggest that one of the main factors in why people follow religions at all is because they fear oblivion and the concept of an afterlife is greatly appealing for many reasons, in Neelix's case it was because he wanted to believe he would be with his family again. When such a person is confronted with the apparent fact that there is no afterlife then they have no reason to continue in their faith, they have nothing more to gain from it.

    There is no better reason to lose one's faith than the one presented in this episode.

    I don't think this episode was sold as a "Neelix is depressed" episode in the story break, I would imagine that the idea of a character dying and subsequently losing their faith was the initial concept and Neelix was chosen because "enlightened" Federation types don't believe in any form of afterlife.
     
  20. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I half wonder if it was initially pitched as a Chakotay story, but was changed for fear of offending Native American beliefs. I've got nothing to back that up with, but it would explain why Neelix's faith seemed to come out of the blue swirly vortex.