Does It Get Better???

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

  1. Misco

    Misco Commander Red Shirt

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    Really? Wow. Well, I've never really known what 'public opinion' was of the episode because it's not often mentioned on here. Is it regarded well generally then? I'll admit I've seen it exactly once and I hated it so much I swore I'd never watch it again, however, I've just begun season 4 on my rewatch so I will be watching it again after all, very soon. For what it's worth I hope to have my opinion changed!

    I used to think this episode was not too bad in the past, just another of those boring non-descript Kim episodes, but my recent rewatch has lowered it to the lowest ranking of the low. 1/5 all day, every day. Urgh. The concept is just horrible, I'm sure there's something misogynistic about the whole thing and to top it all it makes the crew look really stupid.

    Before and After, I enjoy, but it doesn't make any top ten lists for me; the whole Tom/Kes and Harry/Linnis thing is a bit too weird and incestuous for my liking. However, I do like the time travel elements and getting to see Kes as an older version of herself.

    I do like TWOK but my favourite TOS film is The Search for Spock... always an unpopular choice!!! ;)
     
  2. exodus

    exodus Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You use the words dull and boring allot.
    What do you look for in a story for it to be exciting in your POV?
     
  3. AdmiralScreed

    AdmiralScreed Captain Captain

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    To answer your question, Exodus, a lot of things. The atmosphere is important; this can include the lighting, music, sets, props, etc. The acting is even more important because it's hard to be engaged in the story when the characters aren't interesting and don't act like real people. The story is just as important as the characters. When it comes to Trek (and most film and television), stories that make good use of the characters and develop them are generally my favorite. Finally, and less importantly, is the script. The reason this is less important to me is because a great actor can salvage even the worst script, which is what happens all the time on Voyager.

    So, about Before And After, what was it missing in my eyes? Well, for starters I'm just not a big Kes fan. I don't dislike her, but at the same time I don't think she's one of the most interesting characters on the show (although I must say I like her longer hair :)). With that said, her actor gives a fine performance, so it would be unfair for me to hold that against the episode.
    I have mixed feelings about the story. On one hand I loved the bits about The Year of Hell; seeing Janeway and B'Ellana killed shocked me and really threw me for a loop. Seeing Voyager torn apart and the crew barely holding together was definitely moving.
    One thing that bothered me from the very beginning was that I knew none of this was actually happening. When Chakotay entered the scene and was addressed as "Captain" I instantly knew that this was just "another one of those episodes where something strange has happened to the timeline and it'll all get fixed and be back to normal by the end. Snooze."

    I hope my score makes a little more sense to you now.

    Note that my score is now 5/10.
     
  4. AdmiralScreed

    AdmiralScreed Captain Captain

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    Moving on, unless you'd like to discuss Before And After some more, I've got a couple more episode reviews.

    Real Life: I liked the small scenes between Tom and B'Ellana, as well as the Doctor's development, but the story involving him and his family was full of stupid and cringe worthy family movie cliches. I couldn't stand his son who wanted to be a Klingon; I would have slapped the :censored: out of him if I were the Doctor.
    3/10

    Next up we have the worst Voyager episode of all time, Distant Origins (at least until a worse one comes along). Words can't begin to describe just how bad this one was..................
    0/10

































    In case you couldn't tell, I was kidding about Distant Origins. Just pulling your legs. :)

    I thought it was a great episode with a very relevant message about science vs. religion. Kudos to the writer(s) of this one! I wasn't expecting such a good episode after the last few duds. I really felt for the scientist Gegan. The ending was sad, but also very optimistic.
    8/10
     
  5. exodus

    exodus Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, It does and no it doesn't.
    If acting ranks higher for you than script, then shouldn't it rank higher due to Lien performance? IMO she was better in this than "Warlord' or "Coldfire".
    It also makes me wonder if Voyager is the right show for you.(regardless if it's Trek or not) in regards to "Does it Get Better"
     
  6. Misco

    Misco Commander Red Shirt

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    Well, Admiral Screed I'm afraid I couldn't disagree with you more over these two episodes!

    Real Life isn't perfect and yes, sometimes it is a bit movie-of-the-weekish, but overall I find it to be an excellent episode. I like how it almost seems like another one of those 'the Doctor tinkers with ways to expand his program only to discover oops he's made a mess of things' and then suddenly it becomes a really moving story about loss and family, something the Doctor has never really dealt with before. Making it, imo, one of the most important episodes in the Doctor's long-running quest to become more than the sum of his parts.

    Distant Origin must rank for me as one of the worst episodes in Trek history. I honestly don't even know what it was trying to say. The moment when Janeway and Tuvok go into the holodeck and look at the simulation of the 'dinosaur man' may possibly be Voyager's lowest point. Shameful, just shameful.
     
  7. AdmiralScreed

    AdmiralScreed Captain Captain

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    Better than her performance in Warlord? I have to disagree with you on that. I thought she went above and beyond in Warlord; she was nasty, cruel, and extremely seductive. Playing the villain gave her the chance to show audiences what she was fully capable of.
    As for Cold Fire, I don't think her performance was any stronger in that episode than in Before And After, but I did feel that that episode had a stronger story (or at the very least a story I had more personal interest in). I thought it was really neat how Cold Fire explored her telekinetic powers (is that the right "tele" word?) and also how it connected back to the show's pilot episode by introducing us to a relative of the Caretaker and showing us the Ocampans again. It also saw good development for Kes.
     
  8. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    Real Life was bad. Real bad. It's another one of those "Doctor" episodes, which really really really start to grind my gears in the later seasons. It's still better than some other episodes, but the family is so unrealistic as to take me out of the episode. I know that was their intention, but why can't we have a NORMAL family?

    Distant Origin was a fun episode, but its also one of those that makes me yell at the screen. I know its allegorical, but I just hate the type of stories where one of the characters is 100% closed minded. So, I liked the idea, but at the same time it grinded my gears as well.
     
  9. Misco

    Misco Commander Red Shirt

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    I too think Warlord was Jennifer Lien's best performance. She's usually good in episodes that revolve around Kes but I've always felt her range was never showcased better than when she was playing Tieran. This episode more than any other makes me regret the loss of Kes/Lien to VOY.
     
  10. AdmiralScreed

    AdmiralScreed Captain Captain

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    It was an episode about progress, and how unfortunately in many cultures progress is halted by ignorant people who fear change. Often the people who fear change the most are those who stand something to lose from it. Connecting this back to Distant Origin, I'm not entirely sure what the Minisitry of Elders stood to lose from this scientific revelation, unless they are religious figures? Can anyone clarify this?

    And what was so shameful about the dinosaur scene on the holodeck?
     
  11. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    The episode reminds me of the TNG episode First Contact, when they just absolutely refused to believe that there was life out there other than their own.
     
  12. AdmiralScreed

    AdmiralScreed Captain Captain

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    Probably not a surprise, but I think First Contact is a terrific TNG episode, and for many of the same reasons that I like Distant Origin so much.
     
  13. Misco

    Misco Commander Red Shirt

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    I admit I was being a tad facetious in my 'not knowing what it was about' comment. ;) However, I suppose I could give the writers credit for attempting to deal with an important issue.... no.. sorry... when it comes to Distant Origin my mind is, ironically, firmly closed.

    Power, perhaps? If the power the Elders hold is based on a lie then if the people they lead/rule find out the very foundation of all they've been told to believe is true, is in actuality false, then they've got the possibility of riots/coups/the fragmentation of society as they know it. Also the encouraged hatred/fear of mammalian lifeforms plays into the Elders' hands; if the masses suddenly realise thay are not the enemy but merely similar to a long lost genetic cousin that could cause problems too.

    The overall concept for the episode, at least how it was framed, that dinosaurs evolved into a spacefaring creature and left Earth before mammals evolved into intelligent lifeforms, without leaving any trace, I might add, of their civilisation... blows my mind with the utter ridiculousness of the idea. For me, watching the moment when Janeway stands on the holodeck and says something to this effect (something about the dinosaur evolving into a more humanoid lifeform) is like watching a car round a corner too fast and knowing it's going to crash into a wall, but not being able to do anything about it except look on in horror.
     
  14. AdmiralScreed

    AdmiralScreed Captain Captain

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    I thought the whole bit about dinosaurs evolving into space faring beings was kind of interesting. The only thing that bothered me was that there were no traces of this for when the humans came along. Wouldn't a species with space faring abilities leave some kind of trace behind? That's the part of this episode that I find so implausible. But in the scheme of things it wasn't that important because it didn't make me enjoy this episode any less.
     
  15. You_Will_Fail

    You_Will_Fail Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well its normally the case in TNG and VOY that the problems are solved by the end of the episode though, that's how episodic TV works. And its not like everything was totally back to normal at the end of the episode - Kes remembered those glimpses of the future - she saw Janeway die, how she fell in love with Tom and had his kids, and she saw the "Year of Hell" and informed the captain about the Krenim. The episode was really setting up a lot of potential threads and a possible love triangle between Kes/Tom and B'Ellana. So I think the episode achieved a lot in terms of the journey but also left us with an intriguing conclusion that had us looking towards future seasons to see what would happen. Whether that *potential* was fulfilled is probably a discussion best left for sometime in season 4.

    RE: Real Life: I'm not a huge fan of this episode, it has some good elements and some really bad ones. On the one hand the concept for the episode is very solid and I actually enjoyed a lot of the interaction between the Doctor and his family, and the scenes before they were reprogrammed were especially enjoyable and amusing. The downside comes with the awful awful technobabble B-plot (with some shoehorned in Tom Paris character development best left for another episodes) and the emotionally manipulative ending which has his daughter implausibly die from a head injury (???) after only 2 days of being reprogrammed.
    Overall though I still consider it a solid episode.

    RE: Distant Origin: My heart jumped when I thought you were giving this a zero and was thinking "wow, admiralscreed really HAS gone off the rails!" but thank goodness you were just joking.
    The outlandish concept and "small universe syndrome" in this episode kind of annoyed me on my first watch and I agree with misco on that holodeck scene, it was eye-wateringly silly and really reaching "computer show me a dinosaur, now show me what he'd look like after 65 million years of evolution"...*rolls eyes*.
    But on a rewatch, I realized that the power of the allegory along with the excellent production values, lighting, direction and acting really make this a standout for me too. Voyager's third "excellent" episode for me after Unity and Before and After

    Not to get his hopes up (and it shouldn't since we definitely have some very divergent opinions) but I feel admiralscreed's hit probably Voyager's longest stretch of solid episodes starting with Before and After and ending with Random Thoughts - 16 episodes, none of which I would classify as poor.
    Oh and I think its starting around this time that the look of Voyager begins to change as well as the quality. The lighting is better (a little darker and less clinical imo) and the production values improve.
     
  16. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That had more to do with xenophobia, being afraid of anything new, rather than denial.

    But I also LOVED that episode, one of TNG's best IMO.
     
  17. AdmiralScreed

    AdmiralScreed Captain Captain

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    Haha, glad I was able to fool someone with that. :guffaw:

    I figured after my outlandish Before And After score that I'd be able to fool you guys easily. I guess it worked. :)
     
  18. AdmiralScreed

    AdmiralScreed Captain Captain

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    It's not a perfect match for me like TNG was, or for that matter DS9, but I am still enjoying it. Actually, a better thing to say would be that it's not of the same caliber as TNG or DS9. All of these shows have great casts, but unfortunately Voyager's writing pales in comparison to TNG's and DS9's. I keep seeing the name Jeri Taylor at the end of a lot of episodes. I'm guessing that she has something to do with Voyager's shortcomings.
    With all that said, I'll gladly watch Voyager over a lot of the crap that we get on TV nowadays. :techman:
     
  19. Misco

    Misco Commander Red Shirt

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    The sad thing is I do think that Distant Origin had the potential to be a really good episode; the Voth scientists are well acted and their story is quite moving... it's just I can't ignore all the crap that surrounds it. I'm glad that you can though, it's nice to know that every episode, even the ones I personally can't stand, are liked by somebody! :techman:

    I'm not sure I'd lay the blame for Voyager's problems at Jeri Taylor's door myself. Then again it seems everyone has a certain writer they like to bitch about and mine is Braga, despite the fact he gave Voyager some really good episodes.

    That's the thing about the crappy parts of Voyager, and even bad Star Trek in general; sometimes an episode is really awful but it's still Trek after all and I'd sooner be watching that than many other things. :)
     
  20. You_Will_Fail

    You_Will_Fail Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    LOL, you're right. Voyager suffered from poor showrunning.
    Michael Piller was showrunner in the first two seasons and he wanted the show to have more story arcs (like the Kazon) and the ship to be in a more realistic situation re: no holodecks etc. Unfortunately Jeri Taylor pushed for Voyager to basically be like the Enterprise is another part of space.
    Piller left/was ousted at the end of season 2 bringing an end to the Kazon arc he loved so much and we got Jeri Taylor for season 3 and they promised the show would be more "fun" but all we got was a pile of crappy filler episodes. She remained showrunner again for season 4 which improved thanks to the introduction of some new writers and Seven of Nine. Brannon Braga was showrunner in season 5 and 6 and according to Ronald D. Moore apparently lost all the will he had to make the show into what he originally wanted (apparently something much more realistic and with more epic storylines) and just settled into continuing the show as it had been and making it totally episodic while and enjoying swimming in his piles of cash and banging Jeri Ryan.

    Ronald D Moore says in his infamous interview where he basically let loose with his opinions on Voyager/working on Voyager that the atmosphere was somewhat toxic and not a collabartive and free environment like the DS9 writing room. Apparently Braga and Menosky were dicks to the other writers which I can believe.
     

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