Star Trek: Voyager - A Marathon Re-visit.

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

  1. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

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    UNITY - 3x17 - 4/5

    After the juicy little teaser at the end of Blood Fever, we finally get to sink our teeth into the Borg. I love this episode - it's the shot in the arm Voyager needed and the Borg are the villain I've always felt Voyager needed. The Kazon NEVER worked as a believable threat and the only time they really end up succeeding is because a single Cardassian who is smarter than all of them combined, helps them out.

    I also like what this episode adds to the Borg, an exploration of what happens to drones who are able to escape from the Collective. The episode illustrates how they are mostly reformed, but the temptation of power and control that comes with Borg technology and interconnectivity is too great to ignore and these individuals will happily to resort to these methods to get what they want.

    There's also a great atmosphere established in the space scenes where Voyager encounters the derelict Borg cube and there's just the massive feeling of "OH HOLY SHIT". This is personally one of my favourite little scenes in Voyager of all time because it really reinforces just how much of a threat the Borg still were at this point in the franchise.

    This episode also reinforces just how much better a diplomat Chakotay is compared to Janeway.
     
  2. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

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    DARKLING - 3x18 - 3/5

    This episode could've been a doozy but seeing Picardo ham it up is a real joy and made this episode passable. It's also nice to see Kes evolving as a character as well as a lifeform, although it's a shame it's all going to be cut short soon enough. :(

    This episode just edges over to be 3 instead of a 2. Picardo's acting, the furthering of the development of his character and the relationship between him and Kes really elevate this episode above being unremarkable.
     
  3. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

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    RISE - 3x19 - 3/5

    I don't have too much to say about this episode, but it's enjoyable enough mostly thanks to the tension and drama being maintained at a consistently high level. This is probably mostly in thanks to the the maglev lift being a cool plot device, taking the elevator mystery to literally greater heights.

    The interaction between Tuvok and Neelix is excellent and whilst I think Neelix is annoying as hell most of the time, I can't help but feel for the guy in this episode as he's REALLY trying hard to prove himself useful beyond just a chef as he comes to realise that Voyager needs as many good people as it can get in order to survive in the Delta Quadrant. It also illustrates how he is not a perfect Mary Sue character like most of the other crew who are all just darn-tootin' amazing at anything they do.
     
  4. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

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    FAVORITE SON - 3x20 - 1/5

    The only thing that we learn in this episode is that Harry Kim has mother issues with Janeway, which would be interesting if it didn't feel like an accidental character trait through sloppy writing. Instead, it is just hilarious.

    This episode also attempts to make Harry Kim more interesting by making him an alien from the Delta Quadrant. But wait no, of course it's a ruse! That would involve an interesting change to his character so instead he remains the plain, boring, white bread Harry Kim.

    Also once everything is revealed at the 30 minute mark the rest is just pointless filler I don't care about. This episode's science is also remarkably stupid. So a species has evolved where only 10% of the population is male....and these males are then KILLED at marital age? What the hell.

    Boring, dumb and crappy but we do get HARRY HORROR #8, where he is captured by many attractive women for the express purpose of harvesting his genetic material. This kid is a veritable psychological playground for a therapist.
     
  5. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

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    BEFORE AND AFTER - 3x21 - 3/5

    Whilst I have said before that I am big Kes/Jennifer Lien fan, this episode doesn't really elevate above 'slightly over average' for me. It's fun time travel fluff, which is pretty much Trek's bread and butter and also serves as a harbinger of terrible things to come, but is just a bit weak in general.

    It's interesting see Janeway's contrasting attitude towards time travel compared to other Trek captains as he seems to say "to hell with timeline contamination, TELL ME THE FUTURE!" I guess I would do the same if I were stranded in the middle of nowhere, 70 years away from home, so I certainly wouldn't hold that against her.

    Some of the dialogue in this episode isn't great though, especially Kes' AWFUL closing line to the episode "if there's one thing this experience has taught me is that there's no time like the present". I would've thought having a lifespan of only nine years would condition you to feel "there's no time like the present", especially given that every other race around seems to live about 10 times longer than you?!

    Overall, it's pretty shallow but enjoyable enough.
     
  6. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

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    REAL LIFE - 3x22 - 5/5

    Finally, I was beginning to worry I wouldn't be awarding any 5 star episodes this season, but here we have 'Real Life' which I find one of the most emotional episodes Trek has ever produced.

    Picardo is just great throughout this episode as he experiences the variety that family life has to offer. His perfect family is just sickeningly hilarious by the way - I was literally laughing out loud at them and B'Elanna's reaction is just great. There's also some great touches when the family life becomes more serious, like the fact that Jeffrey is attracted to other cultures and thinking it's cool, like so many teenagers who are seeking to rebel in order to establish their own identity.

    Now, whilst I have stated before that holodeck dramas don't really work for me, this is VERY different. The Doc's family may be un-real to us, but to him, they are VERY real and the emotional connection he feels is real and that's where the emotional core of this episode comes from and is why this is such an excellent episode. The Doctor learns through a horrific personal tragedy what life can be like for the rest of us and the ending to this is absolutely heartbreaking. I have no qualms in admitting this reduced me to tears. :(

    The episode may have it's flaws and the external anomaly episode doesn't really connect with the Doctor's story at all, but I don't care. There's also some smaller stuff going on like the furthering of Paris and B'Elanna's storyline which is all well and good. Plus whilst I have found the CGI in this season has been a bit hit and miss, the special effects sequences in this episode are absolutely stunning.

    At the end of the day though, the Doctor's storyline is the core of this episode and is so strong that it stands on it's own well enough and in conclusion, if this episode doesn't resonate with you on an emotional level you aren't human.
     
  7. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

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    DISTANT ORIGIN - 3x23 - 5/5

    Maybe it's because I am a child of the late 80's/early 90's but dinosaurs are THE BEST THING EVER. All this episode would have to do is MENTION the word dinosaurs and I would give it five stars. Fortunately, this actually is a really great episode I am happy to objectively award 5 stars, as it is an interesting, well acted and engaging piece of science fiction.

    The initial perspective is interesting and a great deal of episode time passes before we even see Voyager's crew (14 mins). It also illustrates a somewhat unusual perspective on the other side of the sci-fi fence - seeing how the alien of the week's perceives our weekly heroes.

    Now you would think an episode written by Brannon Braga about sentient, evolved dinosaurs and the lost city of Atlantis would fall flat, but I suspect the teleplay's cohesion is in thanks to Joe Menosky's involvement (after all, he helped bring us the excellent season 2 episode, "The Thaw") and the episode stays relevant to the issue throughout. The episode plays out very well and the science involved is reasonably well grounded with almost no perceivable techno or medico babble I could find. The guest actors are very good and the final scene between Minister Odala and Gegen is excellent as she tries and succeeds in breaking his will.

    The episode is not just an interesting scientific concept, but develops into an excellent sociological issue which gives Chakotay something to sink his teeth into for once. This is not just one of Voyager's best, but one of Trek's best episodes and goes down as one of the most memorable of all time for me.
     
  8. froot

    froot Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^ Distant Origin is a pretty popular episode, it seems, and I think it definitely deserves its accolades for all the reasons you mentioned.

    Can I just second that OMG DINOSAURS ARE EFFING THE BEST. EVER. The makeup in this episode: love! I used to have all sorts of dinosaur toys when I was a tot, too. Actually, I still love reptiles!

    I think the love of dinosaurs may be a timeless thing.
     
  9. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

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    I thought it was universal, but I have noticed that it's just another interest with kids today. When I was like, aged 5-10, dinosaurs were just the 'in' thing. If you liked dinosaurs, you were the coolest. Also I think that there were some major paleontological discoveries in the 1990's that boosted general public interest and also sparked the creation of one of the most awesome movies ever, Jurassic Park.
     
  10. froot

    froot Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Ah, you might be right. My nephew just got this huge pile of plastic dinosaur toys for Christmas and he liked it but it wasn't a big to-do.

    Jurassic Park is fantastic. *high five* The couple times I've been to Islands of Adventure, we HAD to visit the Jurassic Park area. :lol:
     
  11. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

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    DISPLACED - 3x24 - 1/5

    So the crew are being replaced by aliens who don't like the cold and then Janeway threatens to beam them all into a cold climate. Voyager wins.

    Moving on...
     
  12. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

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    WORST CASE SCENARIO - 3x25 - 2/5

    Hooray, yet more holodeck faux-drama nonsense I'm supposed to care about. Heaven forbid we actually have some real conflict between Starfleet and the Maquis.

    Anyway, I may have actually liked this had this episode just solely been a harmless exploration of the crew having fun with the holonovel. Instead we get a bizarre Seska gambit. As a result, I had a hard time caring about the second-half of this episode. Yawn.
     
  13. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

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    SCORPION, PART I - 3x26 - 5/5

    First of all, can I just say thank GOD for Scorpion. I don't think I could handle yet another bad-to-mediocre entry from season 3. Not only is this terrible season of Trek over, but it is redeemed (almost) by ending in a really exciting and interesting way.

    The episode opens with the Borg being fucked over by...something. What better way to open an episode; I am instantly hooked.

    Janeway having an interest in Leonardo Da Vinci is much more sensical and appropriate for her than the victorian period drama shit which was boring and entirely out of place. As a woman of science, I can totally get with this association (even if it is a little corny).

    There's something about this episode which feels, solid and confident. Like Voyager is finally coming into its own and figuring out what it wants to be about. The use of an existing Trek race but in an exciting and different way is a welcome direction for the series. As for the new species, the concept of Species 8472 is excellent and they are compelling and visually impressive as a villain with the CGI holding up pretty well over the last decade. The main cast themselves all seem to be finally settling on who they are and what they are about. Janeway's stubborn desire to get home at any cost, Chakotay's cautious and non-confrontational nature and Harry's ability to get shit dumped on him at every turn. Even Kes, an oft-forgotten character gets an important (if a little Deanna Troi-ish) role in this episode.

    I feel Janeway's reasoning for risking the ship and establishing an alliance with the Borg is a bit shaky, but do agree with her position that it's a worthwhile opportunity. I also agree with Chakotay's idea of playing it safe, but unfortunately he gets lumbered with another boring animal fable so it makes his perspective appear weak comparison. However I am always a fan of pitting Janeway and Chakotay against each other, so yay for that.

    In addition to the action and drama, there are many great special effects sequences - Voyager being tossed about by the wave of Borg ships is awesome.

    HARRY HORROR #9: Is attacked and being consumed by Species 8472. As the Doc puts it he's being "eaten alive".
     
  14. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

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    So here we close Star Trek: Voyager, season 3. This has been Voyager's weakest season to date with my score average being 2.73 out of 5. There were only three real gems of the season (Real Life, Distant Origin and Scorpion, Part I) and whilst there were no Thresholds, there were plenty of 1/5 episode scores to bring it down.

    So here we are, about to embark on Voyager, Season 4 where Seven of Nine is introduced (tentative 'yay') and Kes is written out of the show (BOOO!). If I recall, I think this is my favourite season of Voyager, so let's see how things go. God knows I need something to lift my spirits after Season 3.

    Comparing Voyager to other ST series at this point, whilst Next Gen and Enterprise came into their own during their third seasons, I have always felt DS9's season 3 was a big stumbling point for the series. Whilst DS9's producers seemed to re-tool the show, the storytelling didn't really change much from the first two seasons and I felt season 3 seemed to stagnate the series. They introduced the Defiant, promoted Sisko and introduced the Dominion - but the show seemed to stall on this last point. I didn't feel DS9 came into it's own until Season 4 and since I happen to rate DS9 as Trek's best series, I will give Voyager the benefit of the doubt.

    Voyager, you've got this season to prove to me you're a worthwhile series, so let's get cracking!
     
  15. froot

    froot Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Amen.

    Good luck with 4. I feel most or all of 4 is a tad darker in tone than 1-3.
     
  16. JanewayRulz!

    JanewayRulz! Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think it was Kate who suggested Davinci, since Janeway is supposed to be a scientist first, and a Captain second.

    I did love the "wet look" after the two had been dumped in the river.
     
  17. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

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    SCORPION, PART II - 4x01 - 4/5

    Part II doesn't maintain the same high levels of action and suspense compared to Part I, but is still a satisying resolution and a great season opener.

    I remember being irritated by the introduction of Seven of Nine as I saw her as just adding boobs to a show with flagging ratings, but with the benefit of hindsight, I welcome her addition as she became one of the show's best characters.

    The conflict between Chakotay and Janeway is great and adds a bit of substance to an episode that could've almost been a bit on the shallow side. An enjoyable resolution to one of Voyager's strongest and most exciting episodes yet.
     
  18. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

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    THE GIFT - 4x02 - 4/5

    I am so pissed about Kes being written out of this show, even after almost 15 years. But fortunately, in a rare moment for Trek, Kes gets written out appropriately and satisfyingly in a pretty decent episode.

    There's a lot of nice juxtaposition between Seven's fledgling days on Voyager and Kes' final days with the crew. Both characters are treated well in this episode. Kes' ascension to a higher plane of existence is in keeping with her development so far. Probably the only niggle is that it feels like it's come too early.

    The conflict between Janeway and Seven is excellent and whilst I am unable to ascertain whether we're SUPPOSED to take a particular side during their arguments, I've always found myself siding with Seven of Nine.

    One thing I would've preferred is if Seven's appearance became re-humanised over the course of the season, rather than by the end of this episode. Although I suspect TPTB were to blame for this decision.
     
  19. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

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    DAY OF HONOR - 4x03 - 2/5

    This episode could've been a dramatic highlight of the season but unfortunately, it comes off a bit dry and boring.

    The best parts are Seven's interaction with other members of the crew, although her 'lesson' at the end of the episode was pretty hackneyed.

    I suppose Tom and B'Elanna's storyline is welcome development for their characters. but the spacesuit scene is just a bit too cornball.
     
  20. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

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    NEMESIS - 4x04 - 2/5

    I can see what they were going for in this episode, but since an off-topic episode for Voyager needs to be pretty special, this comes off as a reasonable episode, but largely forgettable and irrelevant. Not to mention the moral lesson was a bit ham-fisted.

    Chakotay being a soldier was cool I suppose and it gave Beltran some acting time at the very least.