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

    Yes, I agree with that. In fact, it was done on TNG, in the far more effective and creepy Schisms. I always loved that episode, the way the clues are gradually revealed, the gruesome experiments, Riker's arm cut off and reattached, and the scene on the holodeck.

    Voyager's attempt just fell a bit flat in the second half, which is a shame.
     
  2. Jaespol

    Jaespol Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Nightmare On Elm Street in space, its one of my favorite Voyager episodes purely just because its a LOT of fun.
     
  3. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Message in a Bottle (****)

    I know that many people think that Voyager getting in contact with Earth was a mistake, and I agree that it was in the later seasons when they were in constant contact with Starfleet, but I'm not going to fault this episode because I know this is only going to be a temporary affair. It is nice that there is finally an episode where Voyager gets a chance to contact Earth which does not end in a disappointing failure. I may be cruel, but I still want this crew to succeed sometimes.

    This episode is fun, Shmully's interactions with Mark II makes for some good comedy, and the eventual battle with the Romulans is pretty cool. It isn't groundbreaking drama by any means but there is a charm to this episode I find impossible to deny and I must admit it is one of the few Voyager episodes I have rewatched over the years.
     
  4. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Message In A Bottle

    Well, here we have the episode which finally killed the premise for the show.

    Voyager was supposed to be about a ship lost in the Delta Quadrant, as far away from the Federation as possible and all of a sudden they run into a species which can make them communicate with Earth ( about 70 000 lightyears away) as easy as a telephone call from one part of LA to another.

    All excitement about the ship being lost, all excitement about how the loved ones back home handled the situation and all excitement about what would happen in a possible homecoming went out of the window there and then. Not to mention later on when TNG holograms did start jumping on and off the ship at random.

    They could as well have brought them back to the Alpha Quadrant as well and the rest of the show could have been about Seven vs The Borg in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants.

    I'll give it 1 point out of 5.
     
  5. Jaespol

    Jaespol Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    This was a huge dent in Voyager's whole premise (not that it was even really standing by this point anymore). They may not have been in constant contact anymore but the fact is they Voyager crew didn't have to worry about people at home thinking they were dead or anything and it gave them hope Starfleet could find a way home.
    This is defeating a large part of the purpose of the show- surely dealing with the idea you are COMPLETELY alone and that no one knows where you went and no one knows where to look for you. Now suddenly Starfleet know the exactly co-ordinates of Voyager and eventually get letters from home? Give me a break!!
    It might have been better if the Doctor had got pulled back to the Delta Quadrant before meeting with anyone in the AQ and all they had to rely on was the word of the other EMH, that would at least have left it a bit ambiguous...as it was, it was just horrible.
    I also hate how they were never shown to be one bit disturbed by the millions of people dying in the Dominion War.
     
  6. startrekwatcher

    startrekwatcher Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Message in a Bottle is one of my favorite season four episodes. It is a good solid, not great, episode so I would award it 3 stars out of 4.

    It has a lot of different aspects to it that I enjoyed. It is also one of the only episodes by Lisa Klink that I actually like.

    Where to start:

    I liked how this episode was the beginning of the Hirogen arc. I like how each subsequent episode gave us a little bit more about them. Here it was just a nice adequate tease. I thought they were one of the better designed races of VOY with those really cool outfits and helmets.

    I also thought this was the perfect spot in the series to finally re-establish contact with the Alpha Quadrant. If it had occurred in the first season it would have been too soon. Now enough time had passed for their loved ones to move on and for Starfleet to assume the ship was lost with all hands. And I wasn't even sure up until the last moment whether the Doctor would be successful in making contact. I just had a bad feeling something would prevent it but I was proven wrong. It provided one of the most heartwarming stand-up and cheer moments of the show. It was nice to see the crew getting a victory. Janeway's final remark was perfect!

    I also liked the way the Doctor got to the Alpha Quadrant. It was nice to see the crew being able to utilize alien technology to achieve their goal.

    Loved the Prometheus design. Liked the idea of a new EMH model. Andy Dick was most certainly an interesting choice to play the part. Some of the humor worked, some didn't. Liked seeing the Romulans. Liked the mention of the Dominion War. Liked seeing the battle with the Defiant class ships and the Prometheus in its vector attack mode.

    The one weakness I found was the whole Kim/Paris silly subplot. It didn't do that much for me.
     
  7. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    This is my take on it too, we've gone we've almost reached the half-way point of the show so there has already been plenty of episodes about the original premise. I have no problem with them managing to get a message back to Earth but that's partly because I know they are going to screw it up in the next episode. I think it was a bad idea to have them start regular communications with Starfleet on a weekly basis later in the show, but a once-off opportunity to communicate with home doesn't bother me.

    I had the same feeling when it first aired, I was so used to everything going back to normal at the end of each episode that it was pleasant to have an episode which ended with things being shaken up a little bit. Besides, you can only have the crew screw up opportunities to get home so many times before they come across as incompetent... and that quota was reached in False Profits. ;)
     
  8. startrekwatcher

    startrekwatcher Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I actually liked the idea of Barclay and the Pathfinder Project. Too bad it never really tied into the crew's efforts to get home like it seemed it might originally.
     
  9. Jaespol

    Jaespol Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I thought it was an insult to the Voyager crew.
     
  10. brcarthey

    brcarthey Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    ^ditto!
     
  11. DGCatAniSiri

    DGCatAniSiri Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I'm with GodBen, the halfway point is a good point to at least shake things up with the contact with home. People back home have had time to mourn and move on with their lives, so it can be a case of now their return might actually be seen less of a miracle and almost to inconvinence - your wife/husband/fiance, whatever has gone and remarried and is raising a family with them, your kids are growing up without a parent... these are some very real matters for people who are lost. I'll get into it more with the next episode, but right now is a good point for this to happen. The series is halfway through, so they've built up their lives on the ship, but now they consider the lives they've left behind.

    The later constant communication, especially real time interactive communication, is gutting the core premise of one ship, all alone, but at this point, the limited chance at communications back home is a good decision.
     
  12. The Grim Ghost

    The Grim Ghost Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Message in a Bottle was one of the best episodes of Voyager.

    I usually can't stand Andy Dick, but he was great in this.

    A fun episode. The Barclay episode follow ups were also some of the best in the series.
     
  13. Tachyon

    Tachyon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    We are in agreement, GodBen! Can you imagine that? :eek:

    ;)

    I have to say, however, that I didn't find contact with AQ in this episode as a mistake. I think it contributed a lot in a positive way.

    But I agree what was done in season 7 - too much contact with AQ was a little bit too much for your Tachyon. Though I like Pathfinder. But both "Inside Man" and "Renaissance Man" were just meh (like the second half of season 7 in general).
     
  14. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    So that explains why it's so cold down here, and there I was thinking it was because Satan forgot to pay the heating bill. ;)

    I remember liking Pathfinder because it did something different by not showing the real crew until the end of the episode, and that was something original. However, in later episodes I think Reg showed up far too much, and the lengths they went to in order to include Troi bordered on the ridiculous.
     
  15. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Hunters (***½)

    For the most part I really enjoyed this episode but it started to lose me towards the end. The story taking place on Voyager as they receive letters from home is very good and nearly all these scenes worked for me, from Janeway's dear John, to Tuvok learning he is a grandfather, to Chakotay and B'Elanna learning about what happened to the Maquis. Even Harry gets some stuff to do. This is a true ensemble episode and all the characters were utilised as people rather than officers.

    The problems begin when the Hirogen show up. I don't dislike the Hirogen as an idea, but in this episode they didn't come across as all that threatening, the way they walked and the way they talked made them seem goofy. I had a hard time taking them seriously as a threat. The second problem is the final confrontation involving the Hirogen ships because it descends into a technobabble nightmare. Destroying the relay station in order to create a black hole to destroy the attacking ships is a cool concept, but having the characters shouting "Reroute all secondary power to the tractor emitters" or "Open the anti-matter injectors to one hundred twenty percent" is not exciting.

    If they had worked a little more on the ending then this could have a a four and a half star episode, it's a pity that's not the case.

    There was a shuttle. *bites lower lip*
     
  16. startrekwatcher

    startrekwatcher Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Hunters gets three stars out of 4 from me.

    Message in a Bottle was one of the only episodes written by Klink that I truly enjoyed and in the same vein, Hunters is one of the few Taylor episodes I actually enjoyed.

    I thought the episode got off on the right note with the striking opening of the transmission from Starfleet against the beautiful spatial backdrop tracking outward from space to the bridge of Voyager. I really thought this mini-arc the show did was quite good.

    The Tuvok/Seven subplot centering on them being captured by the Hirogen wasn't groundbreaking but it held my attention well enough and I've always enjoyed when Seven's abrasive attitude clashes with assholes like the hunters. I also enjoyed seeing she and Tuvok "bond".

    It was also interesting seeing more of the Hirogen vessel and their hunting equipment. I also liked the idea of a hunting society that views other sentient beings as prey.

    The other plot onboard the ship with the crew receiving letters from home was was just as interesting. Neelix was the perfect postman as it were given that he wasn't going to receive a letter. The reactions from those that received a letter were touching at times and appropriate. It made sense Mark would have moved on and for Janeway it was bittersweet.

    I also appreciated the fact that the writers remembered the Maquis and I liked how they engaged once again in some cross-series continuity by mentioning if not explicitly(although VOY would have been aware of the Dominion before they got lost in season three of DS9) the fact that Cardassia had joined the Dominion and the Dominion destroyed the Maquis(referring to DS9's "Blaze of Glory").

    It also introduces an ongoing mystery element that will be mentioned a few more times--the coded message from Starfleet. Granted it ended up going nowhere and paying off in the most uninteresting way in "Hope and Fear" but at the time it was an intriguing hook.
     
  17. Alex1939

    Alex1939 Captain Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    It's sad that this deserves praise.

    Yet sadly it does, because the show never focused on the separation of crews enough. It worked and was done well in this episode, imo.
     
  18. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Wasn't this the episode where B'Elanna's suicidal depression started? I'll have to keep an eye for for that and see if it really was as random as it seemed at the time.
     
  19. Tachyon

    Tachyon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager


    Yes.
     
  20. DGCatAniSiri

    DGCatAniSiri Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    SUPPOSEDLY. Granted, some of it might have fallen by the wayside due to Roxann Dawson's pregnancy, but I didn't see any sign of it through the rest of the season.

    I think the episode would have worked out well enough without the hunters at all - have something on the station malfunction and unleash the black hole power source (or whatever it was) all on its own, and that destroys the station. That way, the focus could be entirely on the crew and their reactions to learning what those they care about have done with their lives, and, ultimately, the only thing lost is a gratuitous space battle scene. We don't really get any idea of the Hirogen as a species in this episode - we don't really even learn anything about them next week, so their appearance here could have been completely removed without losing a thing of value.

    I'm really disappointed that we only see the reactions of Chakotay and B'Elanna to the Maquis slaughter - B'Elanna's reaction is entirely predictable (though not a bad thing in her case), but Chakotay gets NOTHING to do in reaction. The fact that they lost close friends, that the cause they were fighting for is gone, that in fact, in the ultimate scheme of things, the Maquis were killed and slaughtered so casually, almost as an afterthought... This should get them both angry. What point was there, ultimately - yes, the Maquis were proven right about how you can't trust the Cardassians, but they were just slaughtered, wiped out, not for being a threat but because the Dominion wanted to get rid of this minor irritant before moving on to the bigger fish - the Dominion probably used little more than a small fleet to wipe out the people and bases of the Maquis, and did so in so short a time - Dukat promised to have the Maquis eliminated five days after taking power, and he pretty much did, basically limiting the Maquis to a handful, if that tiny pockets with no resources. This should have been a mjaor event for these characters, both of them, not just B'Elanna, but neither event saw use beyond here and 'Extreme Risk.'

    And the fact that we only see things from the perspective of the senior staff is really troublesome for me - I've stated my displeasure at the emphasis of this series often enough that I'm sure you guys are getting tired of it, but... On multiple occasions we are told that this is a crew that has become a family because of the years they've spent together. Despite that, there is no word about the lives of any character who appears in the opening credits - just that a handful are recieving letters from home. What about people whose friends and family are off dying in the Dominion War? 'No, can't have that - people who watch Voyager don't watch DS9, they won't know what we'd be talking about.' Well, what about the people whose families have moved on? 'Janeway's fiance got married, that's what matters, since we don't know the other people on the ship.' Couldn't we have AT LEAST have seen a little bit with Ensign Wildman and Naomi, involving a letter from Naomi's father? Just a little moment, to indicate that maybe someone on Voyager may not look forward to returning home? 'Viewers tuning in this week wouldn't know who these two are! Best not to worry about it.'

    Wow, I think I managed to severely depress myself thinking about the attitudes driving the show...