Star Trek: Voyager - A Marathon Re-visit.

Discussion in 'Voyager' started by SRFX, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. Destructor

    Destructor Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2003
    Location:
    Melbourne, VIC
    I love BLT and I love this episode. However I always crack up when I think about it because I always think: "Belanna is beside herself... literally!"
     
  2. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    JETREL - 1x15 - 5/5

    There's not really any need to go on about the positives of this episode at length. Put simply, it is a stunning and timeless character drama that remains impressive over multiple viewings.

    "Jetrel" gives Neelix some much needed character development and back story. This episode finally made Neelix palatable and despite him continually being an annoying character for the rest of the series, I can at least fall back on his personal revelations of this episode and understand why he is the way he is.

    There are a couple of logic oversights in this episode, such as the great distance involved in returning to Rynax and Neelix not bothering to visit his homeworld and visit any remaining friends and family before heading back into oblivion with Voyager. But I am more than happy to handwave oversights like this if the story and characterisation is strong enough - and this is Voyager's best outing yet.

    One thing I would have liked is a possible discussion of Dr. Jetrel being tried for war crimes and Janeway realising she had no way of enforcing this. It doesn't really affect the episode, but I think a quick 30 second scene where this is discussed and dismissed could have added to the whole "we are starfleet but can't always be starfleet because we're not in Kansas anymore" theme of the series.
     
  3. JanewayRulz!

    JanewayRulz! Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    Location:
    North America
    KES: Neelix, you’re protecting me again. I can understand your not wanting to talk about Rinax. I wasn’t there, you’re right. But I’m here now with you. We have to face this together.

    NEELIX: Well, there’s one good thing that will come from all this. When I first met you I didn’t know that your species lived only eight or nine years. I fell in love with you without knowing how lonely it would be to live without you after you’re gone. Now that I’m going to die first I don’t have to worry about it.

    KES: Before I met you, eight or nine years seemed like an eternity. It never occurred to me that anyone could live longer. Now that we’re together no matter how many years we have left it doesn’t seem like enough. But the important thing is to cherish whatever time we have together, whether it’s a day or a decade.
     
  4. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    LEARNING CURVE - 1x16 - 1/5

    Well, I believe this episode has always polarised viewers and I suspect I'll probably get torn up by some Voyagerians over this, but here goes.

    This episode awful. It is easily the weakest of episode of the first season.

    Janeway's Victorian Holodrama up until this point has been a minor background element with little screentime. But in this episode, the scene seems to drag on longer than the previous ones. I really just don't get how this insight into Janeway's hobby/past-time is supposed to endear the audience to her, not to mention it making very little sense that a person like Janeway would enjoy this era of human history - an era wound up in pacifying social mores, gender inequality and classism! The dialogue is painful as well. She queries the children on their interests, making the assumption that the girl would only be interested in painting or needlework, rather than Latin or mathematics. And there's the fact that in this holofantasy, Janeway seems happy to play out a maternal role, acting as a de-facto mother for these kids and presumably an eventual love interest for Lord Doucheface or whatever his name. Now I would like to point out that I enjoy Janeway (so far) in her matriarchal role as Captain of the Starship Voyager. She is a strong woman, bigger than life and seeing her play out some mothering fantasy set an era of social oppression and inequality tries to put forth the stereotype that no matter the woman, all she really wants is a man to stand by and children to take care of. Now, I am not criticising women who CHOOSE to do this; to stay at home and raise their children. It is perfectly valid and commendable that a mother (or father!) would want to stay home and raise their children during their foundation years, rather than palming them off to grandparents or daycare. My criticism is that it seems out of character for Janeway to be in this role (even this early in the show she seems more of a mentor than a mother per-se), and they are attempting to apply this mothering stereotype to her character because well, she's a woman. :rolleyes:

    Feel free to contest or comment on my reading of this scene, but it leaves me quite unsettled and I expect better of Star Trek than this tripe!

    Anyway, that went for longer than I thought it would. Now on to the episode, which doesn't fare much better.

    Things kick off with some conflict between some particularly difficult Maquis crew-members, butting heads with other Starfleet officers and Chakotay. The scene where Chakotay decks Dalby asking him if he wants to keep doing things the Maquis way is probably the highlight of the episode. I also can't help but feel that this story should have taken place much earlier in the season. The conflict between the Maquis and Starfleet crews was a potentially interesting aspect of Voyager's first season but it was never used, and leaving this story so late feels quite tacked on. Of course, if this were a well written episode, this wouldn't be so much of a problem.

    There's a particularly dumb moment in this episode where Tuvok griefs these three Maquis officers by turning up the gravity on the deck, making their jog more difficult. However you can clearly see OTHER Voyager crew members walking around, so either:

    1. Tuvok is a massive dick and turned up the gravity with total disregard for he people were trying work on that deck.

    2. Production oversight.

    Another dumb moment is Dalby's performance captaining Voyager in the holosimulation. Seriously, if all Maquis ships were commanded by idiots like Dalby, no wonder they failed.

    And then we get the complication of this episode, which turns out to be CHEESE. For the purposes of this review, CHEESE will be spelled in all-caps to highlight just how fricking ridiculous this situation is. Not only that, but the solution is beyond belief. Sure, the Doctor tells them the bacteria can be cured by heating the gel-packs - makes perfect sense, but the way they go about this is moronic. Phasers have been shown time and again in Star Trek to be quite variable when it comes to their power output. They can be set to be as strong as a cannon, blasting holes through walls or so mild that they can heat some rocks for warmth. So it would make sense to me if they got everyone on the ship to grab their nearest phaser, set it to simply heat the gel-packs and wait until the infection is eradicated. But no, they don't do that. They set the damn plasma conduits to overheat, severely risking the safety of the ship and crew in the process. I mean, this is equivalent to taking someone who has the flu and dangling them over the edge of a volcano until they are healed.

    And then we finish off with a sickeningly pat ending which serves to destroy any possibility of future stories concerning Maquis/SF rivalry. Unless it's something completely contrived.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
  5. Destructor

    Destructor Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2003
    Location:
    Melbourne, VIC
    No no no no NO!

    Learning Curve is awesome! I love that episode!
     
  6. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    Expand on that.

    By the way, I've calculated the average score for Season 1 at 3.13, which is a pretty decent average! Then again, I've always liked season 1 of voyager so this is no real surprise.

    Looking forward to how the later seasons fare, which is about where I lost faith in the series all those years ago.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
  7. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    THE 37's - 2x01 - 2/5

    This is an episode I remember greatly and have seen quite a few times, and unfortunately, it's one that's gotten worse over time.

    The things that are still enjoyable for me:

    Janeway's Crisis: The difficulty of this situation is interesting for her character and with no right or wrong answer, Janeway leaves the decision up to the crew. Personally I think it's a little unrealistic that no crewmembers would want to stay, but I guess that would've lessened the emotional impact of opening the cargo bay door to find it empty.

    Earhart: Her character is interestingly portrayed and I enjoy her curiosity about the future and more importantly, about Voyager. I love when she asks Tom if she can take Voyager for a spin. :D

    The Bad Stuff.

    Landing the Ship: WHY. They come up with some technobabble reason for landing the ship, which is mostly hinged upon some ion storm or something that they can't beam through or risk a shuttlecraft. Okay sure, this is fine so far. Where this goes wrong is after landing, when they are seen walking around outside the ship, the sky blue and Janeway remarks: "Nice day!" IF IT WERE SUCH A NICE DAY WHY RISK LANDING THE SHIP? If the weather was on the verge of clearing, couldn't they have just waited a short amount of time before landing?

    Magnificent Cities: Where are they? Evansville talks about their wonderful cities, but all we see as an audience is this generic semi-arid landscape. I mean, I am not talking about seeing a full CG or physically modeled rendition of one of these bustling metropolises, but just a matte painting would have been nice. This might seem like a minor point, but the absence of a visual reference hurts this episode greatly, as it glosses over the achievements of these humans who have flourished over the last 400 years and doesn't sell the temptation of Voyager's crew to stay on this planet to the audience.

    Overall, a Wasted Opportunity: There was so much potential for this episode to be really good and I would have liked to have seen more/better conflict between The 37's, the other humans and Voyager's crew. I mean, one of them is a Japanese pilot from the imperial army. There should have been a scene showing the difficulties this guy might have with the transition. I am also not happy with Earhart's flight being classified by this episode as espionage. I feel this detracts from Earhart's achievements by theorising that her flight was just gimmick that could be exploited by the US government.

    Oh, and there's a particularly goofy moment at the start of the episode where upon bringing the Space Ford aboard, Tom Paris says: "I wonder if the battery is still charged." NO TOM. Car batteries definitely do not hold their charge for over 400 years. You're lucky if they last 12 months without being charged. I won't hold this against the episode, but I thought I would point it out as it amused me greatly.
     
  8. Destructor

    Destructor Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2003
    Location:
    Melbourne, VIC
    Five words:

    Get
    This
    Cheese
    To
    Sickbay
     
  9. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    I am all for shit like that, as long as the episode has other good stuff to back it up. Learning Curve fails to deliver in that regard.
     
  10. Destructor

    Destructor Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2003
    Location:
    Melbourne, VIC
    I thought it was a fun romp.
     
  11. You_Will_Fail

    You_Will_Fail Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Location:
    Trill, Federation World and Proud
    The 37s was pure trash of the highest order, nearly everything about it annoyed me, but I was particularly pissed off about them talking about how amazing the cities are and we get nothing.
    And the whole premise of finding the car from outerspace....actually the whole premise of the episode is just freaking awful.
     
  12. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    I thought the premise of the episode was fine, and if anything, was a good setup for a potentially great story. Unfortunately, they just didn't go anywhere with it.
     
  13. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    INITIATIONS - 2x02 - 4/5

    I really like this episode and it's a solid outing for Chakotay (something of a rarity which will only worsen). It's also nice to get some fleshing out of the Kazon, even if they are a fantastically stupid race of people.

    Voyager gets relegated to the role of following breadcrumbs the audience is already aware of, making every scene on the ship entirely pointless. However, I like the fact Voyager is brought into the action towards the latter half the episode.

    Even Neelix gets a great scene where he gets to be a bad-ass negotiator. This is the sort of stuff he should be getting to do more often, instead torturing the crew with horrendous food and an even worse sense of humour.

    It's a shame that Kar couldn't be brought onto the ship as a permanent character or even a semi-regular. Something I love about DS9 is it's vast ensemble cast who are called upon when the story requires it. Kar could've been someone who stayed on Voyager, but only popped up when the story necessitated but this seems to something Voyager almost entirely steers clear of through it's run.

    I will say, I find the ending a little annoying. Kar pulls some Deus Ex Culture and comes up with some arbitrary cultural precedent out to resolve what appears to be an impossible situation. It would have been good if there'd been SOME mention of this ritual before hand, but I guess Kenneth Biller wanted a surprise conclusion. But you just can't pull something out of nowhere and use it to resolve the situation. All this ending needed to prop it up would've been a line somewhere earlier that could possibly set a precedent for this act, but there wasn't.

    That aside, I really enjoyed this episode and Eisenberg's portrayal of Kar is so solid that I can almost forget it's Nog's voice yelling about honour and sacrifice.
     
  14. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    As is obvious, this isn't going at the speed I originally planned. At this stage, I'm looking at having Endgame reviewed by the end of this year.
     
  15. You_Will_Fail

    You_Will_Fail Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Location:
    Trill, Federation World and Proud
    URK! I hated Initiations and haven't yet rewatched it, perhaps I should. It was just so dull...
     
  16. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    I remember it being dull too, but this time when I watched it I quite enjoyed it.
     
  17. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    PROJECTIONS - 2x03 - 2/5

    The setup for this episode is nice. An abandoned ship, the doctor at the centre of a mystery. Unfortunately, once Barclay shows up (who by the way, whilst nice to have around, doesn't really add anything because after all, it isn't Barclay), things just sort of play out in a predictable and not to mention, dull fashion.

    Neelix does get an amusing moment where he's found in the mess hall, throwing food at a Kazon, thus proving that this species is so stupid that an armed soldier is held at bay
    by fruit and vegetables.

    I guess the problem with this episode is that once it's discovered this is a holo-drama situation, it loses all dramatic impact for me. I still can't get past seeing the holodecks as a big video game that you can physically interact with. Because of this any drama and tension feels contrived and generally falls flat.

    The age old "why don't they just turn it off?" always has some technobabble explanation, although most of those explanations boil down to "there is no OFF button", to which I respond with "why???".

    Picardo does a great job acting the hell out of this episode, but unfortunately, he's the only reason I got through this to the end. Even then, my attention wandered a lot and I was worried I wouldn't have much to write for this review, but here we are.
     
  18. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    ELOGIUM - 2x04 - 3/5

    This episode contains a lot of Neelix annoying the hell out of me in the beginning and then using him to explore the issues surrounding potential fatherhood, although, it's explored in a very superficial manner.

    There are two stories going on; Kes's drama with her potential pregnancy, and the external issue of the space worms attempting to mate with Voyager.

    I can't help but enjoy this episode. Kes' issue is tragic, and this point isn't glossed over like so many issues in Star Trek, but has some humourous moments here and there - such as her madly eating the flowers Neelix has brought for her.

    Then there's the problem with the space worms, which is pretty goofy, but again, at no point was I not enjoying what I was seeing.

    The episode also stops for a moment to consider the issues surrounding Voyager becoming a mobile community in space, and the benefits and dangers therein. It's also a nice touch at the end of the episode that Ensign Wildman informs Janeway of her conceiving a child, an event that results in a semi-permanent new cast member, something this show needed a lot more of.

    I have to say, the ridiculousness of Ocampan biology cannot be overstated and each time Kes adds some new bizarre aspect to their mating ritual, I couldn't help but feel this was some weird prank.

    However, the space worm problem and solution is a quintessentially Star Trek story and put a smile on my face, especially when Tuvok dryly announces: "It appears we have lost our sex appeal."
     
  19. You_Will_Fail

    You_Will_Fail Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Location:
    Trill, Federation World and Proud
    I hated the space worm sideplot, its the typical mumbo jumbo technobabble crap Jeri Taylor feels she has to latch onto the side of a character piece to fill up space.
    Another example would be "Real Life".
     
  20. JanewayRulz!

    JanewayRulz! Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    Location:
    North America
    Re: Projections... I love the fact that we get to see the evil side of Kes... at the end when she puts doubt into the Doc's head whether he's real or not. (And he goes to test it by putting his arm out the door.) ;)

    Re: Elogium....How can anyone not like an ep with this line? :drool:

    JANEWAY: Good work, Commander. In the future, if I have any questions about mating behaviour, I'll know where to go.
     

Share This Page