Did Voyager get better or worse when Kes was replaced with 7 of 9?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Voyager' started by The Overlord, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Location:
    inside teacake
    Do you mean what if she was tempted to do stuff that would leave her tainted by bloodshed?
     
  2. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2000
    Location:
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    Even when Kes was going Dark Phoenix, she wasn't going Dark Phoenix.

    There was 10 minutes in Coldfire when Tannis taught Kes that she could get high from combusting matter... Which I tend to believe is what happened to thier planet and Why Caretaker chose to retard their natural abilities, if it wasn't some Nacene Eugenics program which overclocked the Ocampa, otherwise what was their terrible debt that can never be repaid?
     
  3. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2001
    Location:
    Lynx Empire
    Good video. I've seen it before.

    On the 14th August I actually added a link to that video at another location on the Kes Internet Support Society's forum (unfortunately that link is broken now). It's a good description of the character and some really good points in it when it comes to what the character was and what she could have been. I don't share all opinions in the video but I find a lot which I can agree with.

    As I see it, they should have omitted or got rid of the silly short lifespan and instead focus on her personality which was the most interesting with the character. She could have had some limited powers, just like these she showed in "Persistence Of Vision" and at the end of "Cold Fire".

    According to the video, dumping Kes was a loss for the writers as well. It's possible. The actions of the writers when it comes to Kes is confusing, to say the least. They could come up with decent kes stories up to the last minute of her time on the show, then all of a sudden they lost those abilities. That's one of the reasons I don't believe their statements of "having difficulties to write for the character". It's more like they've been ordered to come up with such a statement.

    OK, Kes could have been written better. But she's not the only character suffering from erratic writing, in fact all of them did.

    For different reasons, I was about to totally lose interest in Voyager and everything considering it some months ago and therefore I've spent some time going through all episodes of TNG (I'm into season 4 now). When I compare TNG and Voyager and the writing for both shows, I see inspiration and a direction for all characters and the whole show for TNG while I see some desperate twists and turns from a tired staff of writers in Voyager. The characters of Voyager had better premises than TNG's, still the writers couldn't really handle them or the show itself. It was "let's try this, we haven't had that before" and when it didn't work, it was "ah, forget it and drop it, the viewers won't notice". In the end, they all seem to give up, sitting out the event and waiting for it to end while planning for their new pet project "Enterprise" and showing the finger to the Voyager fans on two occasions ("Fury" and "Endgame").

    So Kes wasn't the only character suffering from erratic writing. The whole show did. Still, the show has a certain charm and I do find the characters great.

    When it comes to Chakotay and Kim, Chakotay had great potential but it was never used. he could have been a new Riker but they never used that opportunity. As for Kim, he's better in the books where he actually does something, like coming up with ideas and solutions and are involved in some interesting adventures too. (Unfortunately, he ends up badly injured in many of them but that's another story.)

    As for the video, it pleases me that the creator of the video dismissed "Fury" totally. As I see it, that parody of an episode isn't even worth to discuss or analyze in a serious attempt to analyze the show. :techman:
     
  4. exodus

    exodus Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    Location:
    The Digital Garden
    Agreed.
    She was as underdeveloped and pushed into the background just as much as Chakotay, Kim, Neelix & Tuvok.

    This is all easy to say and accuse in retrospect.
    When you're writing a series as it's in production things are different. It's proven fact people don't see mistakes or missteps until after they're done. Things that sound good on paper can can be a train wreck upon execution.
    I think anybody that watched X-Files, HEROES & LOST knows this to be true.
    Besides, if they were going to lie about it the majority of people don't lie by putting the blame back on themselves.
    They showed they had trouble writing for Chakotay, Kim, Neelix add a few others but fact they couldn't write better for Kes is suspicious?
    What made her so special that hey suddenly could shake off writers block just for her and not anybody else?

    I also don't agree about getting rid of her life span because even without powers, it's what made her alien. By focusing on her life span it would have enhanced her personality because it would continue to bring up the issue of mortality. What would you do or how would you live your life if you knew you only had 9 years? Would you still spend you time with the EMH, who's has less life experience than you or would you spend more time around Tuvok and Janeway who have seen and done more than you could imagine? Having never even seen the sun until recently, wouldn't star charting hold more appeal than being a nurse? Couldn't she have been a nurse on Ocampa?

    So yes, I do believe they didn't know how to write for Kes because they began to limit her desire. Kes that dared to questioned her peoples perception of God(the Caretaker) didn't exist anymore. The girl that took charge of her life in "Caretaker" was crying "I don't know what to do, I'm so confused" by "Tuvix." She left her own people/family and home behind without question but in by the end of "Darkling" she decides leaving those she loves isn't the best course of action. WTF!?!

    I fully agree with this.
    In "Caretaker" she was all "We used to have great mental powers" & "How great it would be if we had them back again, the Ocampa could be independent"

    Then by "Coldfire" is was all "I'm so scared that I have mental powers, so I'll never use them again". WTF!?!

    In less than 2 years, the girl that was bold enough to leave her world and explore her potential was gone. No personality and no powers IMO made Kes a dull girl.

    I think much of Chakotay's potential was at it's best when Seska was around. She was a great antagonist for him. After they killed her off, so did much of the better part of him.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  5. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    The writers seemed to think the only two choices were 'Use powers to do evil' or 'Do not use powers at all'.

    The third, more interesting choice is similar to the True Q route. She tries to resist using her abilities. She comes across a village dying of famine and uses her telekinesis to spur growth because she can't bear to see them starve. But then she sees somebody attacking a defenseless person in an alley, about to kill him. She reacts, uses her telekinesis to stop the attack, and in doing so accidentally kills the attacker.

    Incidents like this tempt her with the feeling of superiority Tannis had, competing against her fear and desire to stay connected to people. Her powers start to take her full blown 'Gandalf if he had the ring'.

    Maybe too dark for the Voyager writers but would have been more interesting.

    I don't think Endgame was a bad episode. It was, at the very least, the logical conclusion of established precedents.
     
  6. exodus

    exodus Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    Location:
    The Digital Garden
    Great idea but I think the writers would then have to face: "Can this idea be drawn out for seven years?" or "Is there more to Kes than just her powers?"

    The audience will also ask, if Kes is so powerful then is there anything she can't do? Why can't she just fix everything for them? Why can't she just send them home? She then becomes get out of jail free gimmick like Seven's nano's which some complain made her to much of a Mary Sue.
    How do you limit a character that has powers close to that of Q?
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  7. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2001
    Location:
    Lynx Empire
     
  8. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Location:
    inside teacake
    Because we all want to talk to 3 year old Counselors who have lived all their life underground or on a tin can in space.

    That would have been AWFUL. Worse than Troi.

    LOL I would rather be counseled by 7 of 9.. "your crap is irrelevant" and "you will adapt" are pretty useful approaches to life.
     
  9. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Location:
    Shangri-La
    ^

    Kes seemed to have a general understanding how people ticked even if she didn't have much life experience. I'm not saying she'd be a good counselor, but she'd be better than Troi who didn't have anything to go with beyond her empathic abilities.
     
  10. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Location:
    inside teacake
    She seemed to have an understanding but I wouldn't trust her to advise someone out of a box.
     
  11. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Location:
    Shangri-La
    Which is more than Troi had going for her. Without her empathy she had nothing. Witness every time she tried counseling Data, it pretty much backfired. Not to mention Kes could read an encyclopedia in a day and retain that information since she became a medical expert in the space of a year easy enough.
     
  12. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2001
    Location:
    Lynx Empire
    I disagree.

    First of all, we are looking too much at numbers here. Kes was equivalent to a 25-30 year old human. And as Star Grinch stated: "Kes seemed to have a general understanding how people ticked even if she didn't have much life experience."

    Nothing wrong with Troi but I think that Kes would have been a better counselor.
     
  13. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Location:
    inside teacake
    It's difficult to compare because all counseling shown by Trek is magic pablum that instantly improves the patient's perspective on their life. Certainly all you need is to read a few encyclopedias and be a quick study to dispense the magic pablum well. Or to engage in a few minutes of vapid reflecting back of the patient's feelings.

    The only person shown with serious ongoing problems was Barclay.
     
  14. exodus

    exodus Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    Location:
    The Digital Garden
    I think it's hard to say how old Kes was compared to a human. In "Caretaker" she acts about 20 in our years but in "Twisted" she's acting more like she's 12. If she were 25-30 in human years, wouldn't she be more mentality prepared for the Elogium than she was?

    You didn't have to, watching the show made this obvious.

    I don't disagree with them nor do I find it suspicious. I don't think they knew what direction to take the character in after a while. I believe the same is true of Harry Kim.

    If they knew what they were doing with her, they wouldn't have made her a nurse, which now took her out of senior crew meetings. It limits the actresses screen time and much of the interaction with other cast members.
    They limited her again by giving the Doc his mobile emitter. If he can now go ANYWHERE, then he doesn't need her assistance as much. Regardless of them writing her job would increase, it actually didn't. What it did was allow Robert Picardo to have a bigger part which in turn stole more time away from Lien.
    They wouldn't have had her adapt the speak when spoken to mentality as she was getting older which would decrease the amount of dialog written for her and they wouldn't have made her adopt the "I'm now afraid of my powers" attitude.
    If she isn't going to use her abilities, then they just cut out another aspect that would have created more stories for the character. All these things limited the potential and most of the unique aspects of the character. If you put all of that into perspective, they were systematically cutting Kes out.

    It's science fiction and she's an alien.
    We've seen plenty of examples in Trek were the law some science and evolution don't apply to alien species.
    Besides, their evolution would still be in synch with their genetic make up. By your logic, Vulcan's and Klingon's would have reacted the next stage of evolution long ago.

    She would leave for the same reasons she left Ocampa with strangers, to see what she couldn't on Voyager from a different perspective.
    I never assumed Earth was going to be her final destination seeing that twice in the past she was eager to leave Voyager to and take her exploration of herself and space in a new direction.
    Everybody has family but most as they grow up, move out and away from their family to explore and start a life on their own. If Kes could say good-bye to her family/people and life on Ocampa without batting an eye, you think she wouldn't do the same to a ship full of people she wasn't related too? Again, she already tried twice. If she's that eager to leave, then eventually Janeway's "Please, stay" speech wasn't going to work.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  15. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2000
    Location:
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    Emotional puberty and physical puberty are different.

    And fertility doesn't seem to be about puberty anyway.

    It's more like a midlife crisis.

    60,000 years ago 13 years was half way to the grave.
     
  16. exodus

    exodus Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    Location:
    The Digital Garden
    ....and wasn't her conclusion in the end that she wasn't either yet?
     
  17. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2000
    Location:
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    That was her first orgasm.

    I know.

    I found it unrecognisable too.
     
  18. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    I don't think it's fair to say that a species that only lives 9 years can't evolve past primates. They would just need to develop social structures that are good at transferring knowledge. We can't assume that just because humans can't absorb a lot of knowledge in nine years that it's impossible with a specialized brain. We don't know under what conditions other species evolve.

    Humans' fluid intelligence peaks at 13 yet we consider our prime to be the 20s. Why can't Ocampa fluid intelligence peak at 2? They wouldn't have the crystallized intelligence, but again, maybe their social structures compensated for that, and maybe they had shepherd races like the Caretaker to protect them.
     
  19. exodus

    exodus Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    Location:
    The Digital Garden
    Exactly. :techman:
    Their structure of mating, glue on their hands, carrying their unborn on their backs and life span would make their genetics more similar to an insect such as a Mayfly.
     
  20. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2001
    Location:
    Lynx Empire
    They simply won't have the time to create anything. Not to mention that the Ocampa didn't show any signs of fast creating or building. They did seem rather placid.

    The Caretaker didn't seem to involve himself in too much of their lives either. He just let them live their underground life. He didn't even wipe out the Kazon from the surface, despite knowing that they were a threat to the Ocampa.

    exodus wrote:
    She left Ocampa because she found the whole society boring and backwards. She stayed on Voyager because she liked it there. She had friends and could travel, explore and learn which was what she wanted. Such things happen in life.

    As for the writers and their "problems " with writing for characters like Kim, Chakotay etc. They didn't kick out those characters like they did with Kes, that's the difference. If the solution was to kick out the characters they suddenly became incapable to write for, why didn't they dump everyone except Seven? Or why didn't they kick out themselves since they were incapable to do a good job? That would have been the best solution.