Does It Get Better???

Discussion in 'Voyager' started by AdmiralScreed, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. AdmiralScreed

    AdmiralScreed Captain Captain

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    Hi folks.

    I just recently began watching Voyager on Netflix. So far I am 13 episodes into the show (14 if you count Caretaker as 2 episodes), and while I am enjoying the show and I like the cast, there hasn't been a single episode that has really, really stood out from the rest. Episodes have ranged from below average (Emanations, Cathexis), to average (Caretaker, Heroes and Demons), to slightly above average (Parallax, Prime Factors, State of Flux). The best episode so far has been Eye of the Needle with the Romulan scientist. While it was a very good episode, it's still nowhere near as good as some of the first season episodes from TNG (Datalore, The Neutral Zone) and DS9 (Duet, In the Hands of the Prophets). So, without spoiling anything, can you folks tell me if Voyager is going to significantly improve? Don't get me wrong, I am enjoying this show quite a bit, but I just don't feel like the writers have taken too many risks. There haven't been any standout episodes so far, and that makes me a little worried. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me, and remember: NO SPOILERS!
     
  2. Gep Malakai

    Gep Malakai Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It has its moments later on, but significantly? No. The show changes, but does so mostly by dropping almost all of the season 1 Delta Quadrent issues (things like the replicator rations, the Maquis integration, the political state of the Delta Quadrent in regards to the Kazon, and so forth.) It also eventually ends up focusing most heavily on the Doctor and a character who shows up in season four – think how the TNG films became the Picard and Data Show, for example, to the exclusion of developing any other characters. Similar situation. Voyager has been described as "TNG Lite," and that's pretty accurate. It's fun for what it is, but it never becomes groundbreaking TV.

    If you want to keep watching, you should be warned that season 2 and I think 3 are widely regarded as weaker than season 1. Take that as you will.
     
  3. You_Will_Fail

    You_Will_Fail Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You aren't going to see THAT many risks taken in Voyager overall although there are a few episodes that are quite different for Trek here and there.
    I think Voyager's first season is actually fairly solid and better than their second season. "Prime Factors", "Phage", "Faces" and "Jetrel" were all very strong episodes IMO. What makes those episodes inferior in your opinion compared with DS9 and TNG's first season? (which I felt was poorer than VOY's although I do like DS9 and TNG more overall).

    Voyager's quite distinctively split between "early" and "late" Voyager for me. It gets kind of revamped in season 4 and most people prefer season 4 + Voyager to the first 3 seasons. You may lose a little bit of patience in season 2 and 3 but starting with Season 3 Episode 21, the show goes on a very long quality streak into a rather excellent season 4 buoyed by a new character who became my favorite evar Trek character.

    Overall, I would say lower your expectations from DS9 and don't expect it to be as involved or complex or take as many risks. I watched Voyager after DS9 and became quite annoyed with all the missed opportunities and continuity errors. But once I was able to just accept the fact the show didn't live up to its full potential, I realized how much I actually enjoyed the show. Despite it being less cohesive overall than DS9 (my favorite Trek show) it actually has one more episode in my favorite 20 episodes.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2011
  4. billcosby

    billcosby Commodore Commodore

    I'm sure I'm in the minority on this forum, but it doesn't really start to shine until season 3... and minus TOS, is something that could be said of all the Trek series.

    I was able to enjoy Voy by starting at S3 then watching S1 and S2 after S7.
     
  5. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Season 2 is brilliant and Season 3 is good too, after that it starts to go down. As for Season 1, I find it good.
     
  6. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    After season 3, it's not the same show. Which is completely different to say that it is more awful than what had come before.
     
  7. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    Seasons 4 and 5 also had some very good episodes, where the acting and writing were good. Unfortunatly, the show never came to a level as good as TNG and DS9 were. My girlfriend, who is a big Niner, could watch 3 or 4 episodes of Ds9 after each other, while watching two Voyager episodes after each other is a rarity.

    We've discussed this together a lot, and for us (like most fans) the biggest issue is character-credibelity and plot-lines. As she says: Alien of the week gets boring.

    The second season had us revisitin the Kazon situation regularly, and gave us a bit of an arc. Things like this were lost after season 3, when Voyager became a true episode by episode series.
     
  8. AdmiralScreed

    AdmiralScreed Captain Captain

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    Thanks for everyone's input. It sounds like most people are saying that the show does improve as it goes along, but that it never really reaches the heights of TNG or DS9. That's a little disappointing to hear. Nevertheless, I am enjoying the show right now, so if it's only going to get better than that's fine by me. I've heard that the Borg appear later in the show, so I've got something to look forward to.
     
  9. tafkats

    tafkats Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't know if I'd say it improves. It has its moments throughout, but around Season 5, it really starts to seem like the writers were on autopilot. I started to feel like the only real reason to keep watching was to see which Captain Janeway would be appearing in this episode, because she was written so erratically and inconsistently that she started to seem like two or three different characters.
     
  10. The Dominion

    The Dominion Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Season 3 was atrocious, skip it outside of Future's End.
     
  11. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In my non-humble opinion, season 1 was the best and season 3 was the worst. I also agree with tafkats that from season 5 on it felt like the show was on autopilot, which doesn't mean that it was bad, just that the show wasn't taking many risks anymore, which is particularly upsetting if you compare the show to DS9. There are plenty of good and great episodes in the show, so it's worthwhile to watch, but it doesn't undergo the same radical improvement that TNG and DS9 made from their first seasons.
     
  12. The Dominion

    The Dominion Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I agree with TheGodBen. In retrospect I like the first two seasons the best because the Kazon arc keeps things going for me. Absolutely nothing was going on in the series in season 3 after that arc ended. And then in the later seasons they added the Borg and Species 8472, but neither crystallized into an actual arc, just a bunch of episodes.
     
  13. You_Will_Fail

    You_Will_Fail Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Season 3 wasn't good but I'd hardly say that "Future's End" was the only episode worth seeing. In fact, I thought "Future's End" was a pretty poor two parter and I've never even rewatched it.
    Season 3 had "Remember", "Unity", "Before and After", "Real Life", "Distant Origin" and "Scorpion" which were all of a high quality imo. Its just unfortunate that the rest of the episodes aren't all just mediocre or OK but a good chunk are just plain bad.

    Interesting Godben thinks that season 1 is the best. I certainly feel that season 1 is strong for Voyager. There's a sense of freshness about the show and the characters are written consistently well with "Prime Factors" a highlight. Everyone gets a chance to shine and I always found the Vidiians an appealing villain.
     
  14. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, it gets better.
     
  15. The Dominion

    The Dominion Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Oh yeah, Unity was one of my favorites. The later episodes of season 3 did get a little better, especially the ones where they started to introduce the Borg.

    Future's End wasn't as great of an episode as it was a fun episode. Why I recommend it is because it's one of the most important episodes to Voyager's continuity, because it brings in the portable holo-emitter.

    Really when you think of it, only three things of consequence happened in Voyager before the end:

    1. The Kazon arc (which ended somewhat anticlimactically)
    2. Getting the portable emitter and introducing time travel shenanigans.
    3. Trading Kes for Seven.

    Nothing else was really relevant to how the story ended or began, it was just filler.
     
  16. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Considering we're talking to someone who hasn't even seen all of S1 yet, I wonder whether folks should be avoiding spoilers?
     
  17. timelord1010

    timelord1010 Captain Captain

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    One thing I can say is avoid the episode Threshold at all costs. It will make your head explode. It started off ok and then went very, very wrong.

    Voyager's ratio of good to bad episodes is definitely below 50% but there are some good to great episodes scattered thruout it's run. Some of my Voyager favorites are Relativity, Distant Origin, Dreadnaught, Message in a Bottle, Drone, Timeless, Dragon's Teeth along with Year of Hell which should have been how the ship looked after a few years lost in space, kind of like starship Equinox from the Equinox episode.
     
  18. Gep Malakai

    Gep Malakai Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Hmm.

    We should be fine. :shifty:
     
  19. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Verily, tastes differ. Whatever standards it takes to regard Jetrel or Emanations as below average or average will not be satisfied by anything else in Voyager. As for risk taking, I'm not sure what SF shows everybody's been watching that do repeated episodes about death. Or about the role of art in human society. Since the OP thinks DS9 reached heights, plainly Voyager should be bumped from the queue.
     
  20. You_Will_Fail

    You_Will_Fail Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I did some rankings of the episodes by categorizing each episode either "Excellent", "Good", "Mediocre" or "Poor"

    These are my findings

    Seasons ranked by highest percentage of episodes classed as "good" or "excellent"

    Season 4 (75%)
    Season 1 (67%)
    Season 6 (65%)
    Season 5 (61%)
    Season 7 (59%)
    Season 2 (50%)
    Season 3 (37%)

    Proportion of Excellent/Good episodes to Poor/Mediocre episodes

    59% to 41%

    If we break that down
    Seasons 1- 3 proportion: 49/51
    Seasons 4-7 proportion: 64/36

    So if you share my tastes (although I would class "Emanations" as good and "Prime Factors" as excellent, so you may be a little harsher in your evaluations) then you're going to find it gets worse before its gets better in terms of the quality of individual episodes. But there is another factor, since the *feel* of seasons 1-3 and seasons 4-7 are different. Which atmosphere/feel you prefer can also influence you. I liked the atmosphere of seasons 1-3 a bit better than the later seasons, there was more warmth to them so I like season 2 and 3 a bit more than my list may suggest.