A Semi-Hater Revisits Voyager

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

  1. Tachyon

    Tachyon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager


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  2. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    :( You can prepare for this moment for weeks but it still hurts when it happens. ;)

    Let me explain my point about Voyager not being a part of Starfleet anymore since it has become a point of some contention.

    If Picard break some Starfleet regulation such as the prime directive then he has to justify that with Starfleet Command, and they have to decide whether he can keep his command. If Janeway breaks the same regulation then she has to justify it with her crew and they decide if she gets to keep her command. Picard can't make the decision to land the Enterprise on a planet and settle there because the ship and crew are a part of Starfleet and they will send other ships after him if he tried. Janeway, with the support of her crew, could make that decision if she wished.

    Being part of Starfleet means that authority comes from outside the ship, but on Voyager authority comes from inside the ship.

    They made a decision at the beginning of the series to follow Starfleet rules and regulations, but that doesn't make them a part of Starfleet. When the Kazon took control of Voyager they could have put on some uniforms and decided to act like a Starfleet crew following Starfleet regulations, but that would not make them a part of Starfleet. The very fact that Janeway had the decision as to whether they should be a Starfleet crew shows that they no longer were one.

    Janeway can forgive terrorists and make them officers. She can make a cook serve as an ambassador. She can make alliances with alien races. She can get rid of the uniforms. She can start a cock-fighting tournament on deck ten. She can execute someone for looking at her funny. All she needs is for the crew to agree with her and she can do what she wants with the ship. Starfleet crews can't do these things because Starfleet has a system in place to maintain rules and regulations. Voyager has self-appointed rules which just happen to be the same ones that Starfleet has.

    I'll let the immortal Apollo finish for me. Take it away, Lee...

     
  3. JustKate

    JustKate Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I agree that they could have looked at their situation that way, GodBen, but they didn't have to. Your scenario (of deciding to consider themselves a civilian ship) is a perfectly valid one, but I think what the Voyager officers and crew actually did is valid as well. They decided to remain a Starfleet crew, not because if they broke the code, Starfleet Command was gonna get 'em, but because they wanted to - at least the majority did. They looked at their options, and this is the one they chose.

    They were...Starfleet by choice. They were on the honor system.

    It's not unprecedented, even out here in Reality World. When people were transported from Britain to Australia as punishment, they could have done pretty much anything they wanted - they were cut off from England by distances that at the time were almost as though they were on another planet - I think it was something like a 3- or 4-month voyage (a very expensive 3- or 4-month voyage) over a big ol' dangerous ocean. But they didn't. The society they ended up creating was a lot closer to that of distant England than it was to anything happening in the hemispere in which they found themselves. They even built English-style houses and English-style gardens. They to a certain extent tried to recreat England in the Southern Hemispere, or so I've read, and they kept this up for quite a while. I understand that for a very long time, it was common for Australians who had never even seen England to still refer to it as "home." Over the decades and centuries, it's changed a lot, of course, and I would be astonished if modern Australians (even those of English ancestry) think of England as home - but it took decades and centuries for that change to occur.

    This is true for the U.S. and Canada as well - we've had more time to evolve, plus there was that whole war for independence thing to spur the U.S.'s development on, but still, our two societies are a lot closer to Britain's than they are to, say, the Eastern tribes of North America or the Plains Indians.

    Voyager didn't have to maintain its experimental isolation nearly as long as Australia, the U.S. and Canada. Is it really so unlikely that they would have decided to stick with what they know can work rather than try some experiment? If the journey had really taken decades, or a lot of the leadership had died or some other major shifts in power and personnel had occurred, maybe that attitude would have changed more quickly. I do think that would have been a valid scenario for the writers to take. (Though I'm not sure it would have been very recognizable as Trek.) But I think the one they chose is valid, too. Maybe that's where we disagree.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2009
  4. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    :scream::scream::scream:

    Excellent follow up post, by the way. ;)

    I don't want to commandeer your thread or anything but since we are getting your revisitor's perspective it seems worthwhile to get this out of the way. :)

    So, if I'm understanding you correctly, you're not saying that they should have just said 'we're not Starfleet, to hell with the uniforms' and so on, but rather than by virtue of their situation to maintain a functional structure as they did, they are basically 'by the people, for the people' and on their own from Starfleet authority? So the decisions Janeway makes, while coming from a Starfleet perspective must intrinsicly be decisions that also reflect the will of the crew, and in that sense, making their own decisions, they are technically just a bunch of civilians on a Starfleet ship, not answering to Starfleet but to themselves, with Starfleet trappings?

    You're speaking more of the absolute truth of their situation rather than the way they choose to behave (i.e., as a Starfleet crew)?

    If that's the case, then I can grok that perspective.

    But I agree with JustKate that they were essentially on the 'honor system.' You have to remember that (with the exception of some of the Maquis, who seemed to lack some of the more evolved Federation sensibility) these people are still super-developed 24th century people who 'work to better themselves and the rest of humanity,' and therefore even with the Starfleet rulebook thrown out the airlock, the moral decisions they make are likely still not far off from what the rulebook would have them do. I think, though, that after seven years in the Delta Quadrant, had they endured real hardship, it might have been interesting to see just how long their evolved sensibilities would have held up.

    It would have, however, been interesting had they actually explored this more on the show itself. (That should really be the 'Voyager' motto.) :D

    It will be perhaps worthwhile to track this as we follow your reviews of the series. I have a sneaking suspicion (from my cursory memory of the series) that the only person who may appear to 'waver' from time to time will be one Kathryn Janeway. :)
     
  5. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    "Get the cheese to sickbay!"

    That quote alone should warrant two starts.
     
  6. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I like to add some comments about "Learning Curve" as well. I find it a good episode. I'll give it 3 points out of 5.

    I liked Dalby, Chell, Henley and Gerron. They were good characters and I would have liked to see more of them in coming episodes.

    It would have been interesting if their "education" had been followed up in some way. Could Dalby change from being simply a rebel against everything to a responsible crewman? Did he get along better with Tuvok in the future? What about Gerron? Did his personality develope as well and what about Henley and Chell?

    Fortunately those characters show up in the books "The Final Fury" and "Marooned" where they got a lot of action.

    As for their training, I do agree with those who state that Voyager was a Starfleet ship. It was a deal which Janeway made with Chakotay when the Maquis joined the crew. However, I do think that some of the Starfleet rigamarole could have been dropped and as a matter of fact, it loked like it wasn't as strict all the time on Voyager.

    I remember when I watched the episode the first time. I was really p***ed off with Tuvok then. I thought he acted like a bully. I hope that this military bullying is gone and forgotten in the 24th century. It was ridiculous to force Chell to demagnitize the transporter room (or what he was doing there) with that tiny instrument, it didn't serve any purpose. Neither did the complaints about Gerron's earring (Ro Laren was allowed to wear her earring on the Enterprise), Henley's scarf (which was only decorative) and Chell's amulet (which couldn't be seen at all).

    However, Neelix did advice good old Tuvie not to be so rigid and it looked like he took that advice.

    As for the subplot about the cheese, that was actually fun, although a bit exaggerated and gave us the wonderful phrase "Get the cheese to sickbay!" :lol:

    As for "Jetrel", that episode is definitely one of my favorites, mostly because of Neelix's background story. Suddenly the rather clownish Neelix is revealed as a character with a very tragic background. The confrontation with the man who invented the weapon which killed his family is a great idea from the writers which brings us a very interesting scenario. The whole interaction between Neelix and Jetrel is brilliant from beginning to end. I must also state that I find Jetrel and intersting and tragic character as well. I couldn't help feeling sorry for him too even if I really understood why Neelix hated him. As a matter of fact, deep down inside Jetrel really regretted what he had done.

    To this day, I really wonder if Neelix really forgave him or if he just said it so that Jetrel could die in peace.

    There were some criticizm in previous posts to the Kes-Neelix relationship. I must state that "Jetrel" is one of the episodes where the relationship really works. I like that scene when Neelix reveals that he wasn't fighting with the army, instead he deserted from the army because he didn't want to fight in a war found unjustified. Neelix blames himself and calls himself a coward. The Kes ask him what the penalty was for deserting. Neelix's reply is "death". Kes then asks him if it was cowardice to risk his life for something he believed in. A great scene.

    As for the dream Neelix had, it was a good nightmare. I have had similar nightmares as well (but not about that particular situation). ;)

    I'll give "Jetrel" 5 points out of 5.
     
  7. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Oh, I'm not disputing that, if I had been Janeway or Chakotay or just some random guy on the ship then I would have decided to go the Starfleet route as well.

    But think about that for a second; they made a conscious choice to be a Starfleet crew and the follow Starfleet rules and not be a Maquis crew or a civilian crew. Picard never made that choice, the Enterprise was a Starfleet ship and he couldn't choose otherwise. The very fact that Voyager chose to be a Starfleet ship shows that they weren't in Starfleet anymore, they were on the outside wanting to be in.

    They have the luxury of relaxing the rules a little. I'm not saying that they should be allowing people to paint "FRAK EARTH" on the walls, but they don't need to force Gerron to take off his earring. The only rule they would be breaking is a uniform code which doesn't really apply in the DQ. Voyager is more than just their workplace, it is their home now.
     
  8. JustKate

    JustKate Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    ^ I agree about the earring. That was just silly. If Picard could let Ro wear her earring, it seems to me a little leniency would have been nice on Voyager, too. I think the writers foolishly thought that nobody would notice this inconsistency. What a bunch of maroons! ;)
     
  9. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Ah, it seems we still are on the same page then. :)

    Indeed, the earring incident is very illustrative of what you're talking about. In the military (the modern military at least) such conformity is designed to 'humble' trainees and inspire camaraderie among colleagues and loyalty to superior officers. Their situation, having to not take orders from Starfleet to go on a mission every week, makes that very blind loyalty rather unnecessary.

    Voyager: A Starfleet ship by the crew, for the crew. ;)
     
  10. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Order is restored to the universe! :hugegrin:
     
  11. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Has Harry Kim suffered yet today? ;)
     
  12. kimc

    kimc Coffee Mod Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    That's a great quote from an awesome show. However, I still don't believe it applies in Voyager's case. Those on Galactica were pretty mucy the remnants of the human race. Their civilization was for all intents and purposes wiped out. They have a slim hope of establishing themselves somewhere else and MAYBE preventing what's left of their race from dying out.

    Voyager on the other hand while a long way from home still had a home and a civilization to go back to. The belief was that someday they would get back to that civilization and would be answerable to those laws. Galactica never had such a hope.
     
  13. Dane_Whitman

    Dane_Whitman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Indeed! I think this was also a factor in their decision to uphold much of Starfleet's regulations and procedure. Isn't it Alliances where Janeway asks Chakotay something along the line of "Do you propose we abandon our principals just because we're out of hailing range?"

    Now, I'm kinda with GodBen and a lot of the others who call for a more loose interpretation of Starfleet rules and procedure. I would have loved it if the Voyager crew had become something of their own culture, differing from 'normal' Starfleet crews but still Starfleet. However, I would have liked to see that develop in the later seasons rather than around the time of Learning Curve, when the ship was lost for only what, seven months? I bet there are Starfleet ships on expeditions that are out of there more or less on their own for a lot longer than seven months. So Learning Curve would have been way too early for them to change radically.

    As for Tuvok and the Bajoran earring, I always figured the guy was allowed to wear the thing after they'd made it through Tuvok's cadet training. He was just really hard on them to ensure a tight discipline.
     
  14. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    This thread has made me want to watch some of these first season episodes again and last night I watched Ex Post Facto and Learning Curve. EPF was a great premise but just boring execution (And a dog), and I liked Learning Curve. It's not the best Tuvok episode, but there were some great moments.
     
  15. J47

    J47 Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I quite enjoy "Learning Curve." The cheese subplot was ridiculous, but I like the "Lower Decks"-ish stuff with the Maquis in this episode.
     
  16. Tachyon

    Tachyon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager


    I found the cheese subplot funny as hell. :lol:
     
  17. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Season One Review

    I wasn't kidding about the graphs. ;)

    [​IMG]
    I knocked this up in excel so that microsoft could tell me how I really felt about this season. 15 episodes (Caretaker is listed as one episode for the sake of this graph) and the 5 star ratings were multiplied by two in order to provide a score out of ten. I thought that seven episodes were above average (5 being the average), six episodes were below average and two episodes just sit there in the middle refusing to move.

    The green line is the average score for the season which is 5.867; slightly above average. That's not bad for the first season of a show, particularly one that only has 15 episodes. When I did this for DS9's first season some years back it only managed 5.6, and TNG had a woefully bad 3.8.

    However, the red line is a trend line the computer calculated for me and it suggests that my review scores were getting lower as the season went on. I never made a trend line for TNG or DS9, but I imagine they would have gone up due to episodes like Conspiracy or Duet. We'll see how it progresses in season two.

    [​IMG]
    This is, of course, a bar chart which shows how many episode managed each score. The most popular score is clearly 8/10 (4 stars) which I gave to four episodes followed by 4/10 (2 stars) which I gave to three episodes. What I find interesting is that there seems to be a bell-curve around 4 with 8 being an obvious spike outside it.


    The Braga Factor

    I have been paying particular attention to Brannon Braga during my rewatching due to the controversy surrounding him. I like a lot of the stuff he did on TNG; Cause and Effect, Frame of Mind and Parallels are classics in my mind. I also like Generations and First Contact and some of the stuff he did on Enterprise, so my intention here is not to bash him but to try and determine his impact on Voyager. I am only going to pay attention to episodes where he was involved with the teleplay, story credits wont be counted as I believe a well-written script can overcome a bad story, and vice versa.

    Parallax: 5/10
    Phage: 8/10
    Emanations: 3/10
    Cathexis: 4/10

    Average: 5/10

    So the guy was average this season, but a little behind the season average. That actually fits in with what I was thinking before I did the math.


    What would I have done differently?

    Theoretically I am the show runner with the same premise and the same cast. How would the first season have gone? More Kazon and less aliens of the week. I said in my State of Flux review that I would have preferred it had there been some Kazon activity between Caretaker and that episode in order to justify Seska's defection. I also would have put State of Flux at the end of the season in order to end on a semi-cliffhanger to open up the possibilities of the second season.

    There was a throwaway line in... I think it was Parallax, I could be mistaken, but the idea was that they were shutting down life support on certain decks in order to save energy. That would have been cool to see, but we never did. Holodecks are out, and so are replicators. They should have set up the pool table in the mess-hall and make it more like a game room rather than a dinner hall. We should have seen the hydroponics bay where Kes is apparently growing food, all it would take is some minor changes to sets and we could get a real sense of them being lost and in danger.

    And it goes without saying that I would have more serialisation and I wouldn't have ended the Maquis integration problems by season's end. I also wouldn't have had the Maquis wearing uniforms so that casual viewers would be able to see that there is something different about them, like they could with Kira and Odo on DS9. Sometimes it feels like even the writers forgot about the character's backgrounds.


    In Summation

    A strong start, especially compared to DS9 and TNG, but not quite what I was hoping for. I'm willing to continue with the saga, but I'm not exactly enthralled by it.
    [​IMG]
     
  18. Dane_Whitman

    Dane_Whitman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Great read, GodBen. I generally agree with you, but I wanted to point out that I found the first season visually a bit stale. The SFX, the cinematography, the direction... very minimalistic. I'm glad VOY got a bit more dynamic and willing to experiment along the way.
     
  19. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Wonderful summation, GodBen, and thanks for the graphs. :)

    I must say I'm a bit surprised that the ratings came out as well as they did, because for the most part Season One always felt like TNG Season 8 to me, in a bad way.

    I think when you said 'more Kazons' you meant 'Vidiians.' :p

    I do understand why though, and feel both should have been used more. Generally though, I agree and had to quote and reemphasize these statements.

    Yay! If you quit, I wouldn't get to be scared by how much we agree anymore. Plus, you're saving me from doing all this, even though I guess I don't qualify as a hater.
     
  20. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Oh yes, definitely more Vidiians too! :techman: I forgot about those guys when writing the recap. They were probably the most promising aliens Voyager met on the journey, I would have liked to see more of them. But I would also have liked to see more Kazon, only make them less Klingon and less stupid. (Oxymoron?)

    [​IMG]
    According to that other thread I don't qualify either. I'm really upset about the whole thing, my whole thread has been a lie. :(
     

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