A Semi-Hater Revisits Voyager

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Voyager' started by TheGodBen, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. Alex1939

    Alex1939 Captain Captain

    Dec 11, 2008
    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I've lurked and enjoyed the thread as well, very entertaining.

    I did find this portion particularly uninspired though. I think it would've been easy to create a more interesting season 7. If Voyager returned home midway through the season, it would've added a lot of story potential. Beyond the idea of what their lives would've been like after returning to the alpha quad, there could've been a threat that followed them from the DQ. Or whatever.
  2. Pegaritaville

    Pegaritaville Vice Admiral Premium Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    On the 'Croix
    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Even though I only posted once before, (something like 2000+ posts ago), I read every post. Thanks to TheGodBen (and others) for an entertaining thread!
  3. Mareika

    Mareika Captain Captain

    Jul 7, 2006
    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Reading this thread was an interesting experience for me and I've enjoyed it very much, even though I disagree with many of the reviews.
    I very like TNG, but Voyager is the only Star Trek series I`m really a great fan of.

    TheGodBen thank you for many entertaining hours and I hope that there is a little love in yout heart for the wonderful Voyagercrew and -cast.
  4. Pemmer Harge

    Pemmer Harge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 19, 2009
    Between the candle and the star
    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Ah, but it's normal for Borg to die! We've seen Borg drones die in their thousands, I would prefer to see Seven live as an individual! She's come a long way in a short period, I don't like the idea of that all coming to an end so that some less interesting characters who've had the chance to live much more of a life than she has can survive.
  5. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    May 1, 2001
    Seven of Five
    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    TheGodBen, this thread has been awesome, even if I have been too busy to keep up with your review of season seven. I seem to remember thinking when I used to review VOY eps that the season wasn't as bad as some poeple insisted. More of the same really. :D

    It's been brilliant reading along and I'll be there for the ENT thread. I only saw season one before giving up on the show, until DVDs let me burst through the show. Seasons 3 and 4 (more 3 in my eyes) are quite good really, and probably better than a lot of what VOY offered in its later years.

    I have to say though that the ENT characters don't touch the VOY ones in my opinion, which is something I wouldn't have thought possible! For all of VOY's weaknesses, the crew felt like more of a family.
  6. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Nov 30, 2008
    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Star Trek Voyager Review

    On February 8th 2009, history was made; it was my 8400th day of living. There's no significance to that number, I just believe that every day of my existence is historic. :D It was also the day when I watched Caretaker and started my rewatch of Voyager, almost seven months ago, and I never would have guessed back then that the whole thing would have proved so popular. So, did the rewatch give me a more favourable opinion of Voyager, or did I see even more flaws this time around?

    Here's the graph for the ratings I gave to each episode of the show:


    Out of 168 episodes, the average score I gave Voyager was 4.875, just a little bit below average. What does that mean? It means that the things I don't like about Voyager slightly outweigh the things that I did like, but not by much. Personally, I found a lot to like about Voyager and I can certainly understand why some people love it, but as an annoyingly picky person I found a lot of things to dislike too. What I find most interesting about the graph is the red trendline which suggests that I found the show to be very consistent in quality over the seven years, the only two exceptions are seasons 1 and 3 which I rated above and below average.

    (Also an interesting thing to note; other than the beginning of season 2, every other season premier saw a drop in score on the previous season finale.)

    How close did Voyager come to breaking even? Very. 168 episodes rated out of 10 means that there was a potential 1680 points of which I gave Voyager 819, just 21 short of 50%. However, I deducted 1 point from episodes I felt were TNG clones, and I certainly did that to more than 3 episodes per season, so if you gave those points back to the show it would push it over 840 points. So for those of you who wanted me to score the show below average, I have, and for those of you who wanted me to score it above average, that's how you can spin it. ;)


    Regular readers should know how this graph works, and you can see that the scores form a bell-curve around 5, as you'd expect. The most popular score I awarded was 5 to a total of 28 episodes.
    I rated 77 episodes below average, 28 were average, and 63 were above average.

    Top and Bottom 10 Episodes

    168. Spirit Folk
    167. Fair Haven
    166. Threshold
    165. The Fight
    164. Coda
    163. In the Flesh
    162. Favourite Son
    161. False Profits
    160. Elogium
    159. The Darkling
    10. Message in a Bottle
    9. Distant Origin
    8. Eye of the Needle
    7. Prey
    6. Meld
    5. Timeless
    4. Author, Author
    3. Prime Factors
    2. Scorpion
    1. Living Witness

    The Writers

    What started out as an attempt to rate Brannon Braga's role on the show ended up as a race to find my all-time favourite writer on Voyager. So who won?


    Michael Piller managed to hold one just one more season in order to retain the top spot. Out of only 9 episodes he scored 5.667. Joe Menosky and Brannon Braga made a valiant attempt to catch him but they never quite managed it, both scoring 5.529 and 5.417 respectively. Raf Green came in for the last two seasons and only wrote 6 episodes to earn a score of 5.5. Biller slightly underperformed at 4.926, while Michael Taylor and Bryan Fuller fall further back at 4.823 and 4.8 respectively. Jeri Taylor remains at 4.786, Sussman ended up at 4.667, and Klink stayed at 4.308. But Robert Doherty managed to recover his score just enough to bring him to 3.454 meaning that Nick Sagan has returned to bottom place at 3.2.

    So, in my opinion, Brannon Braga was a positive force on the show as a writer and I look forward to analysing his impact upon Enterprise. But Michael Piller is the real winner here, and I would have given him an award were it not for the fact that he's dead. :( I would give the award to the runner up, but I don't want to reward somebody who has the bizarre personality which I've randomly attributed to Joe Menosky. :p

    The Characters

    I thought I'd give my final impressions on each of the main characters.

    Janeway: I have found that Janeway includes some of the best and worst characteristics of a captain. She's a good character to watch and she is a strong leader, but she is wildly inconsistent and there were times when her authority should have been challenged but it wasn't. I thought that in the later seasons I was seeing too much Kate Mulgrew on screen rather than Katheryn Janeway, and I feel that in the final episode the Admiral Janeway character committed a heinous crime. She is strong and entertaining, but sometimes she suffered from shoddy writing.

    Chakotay: I've said it before and I'll say it again now, the Chakotay character lost his purpose on the show after Seska died. He still had some good episodes such as Unity and Nemesis, but those episodes could easily have been based on Harry or Tom and it wouldn't have made much difference. He was a poorly developed character that only showed a backbone during the times that Janeway wasn't in charge. A disappointing character.

    Tuvok: An underused gem. Tim Russ played a Vulcan very well and is second only to Leonard Nimoy. I wish they hadn't paired him up with Neelix so often because that pairing damaged both characters in my eyes, but he had some great episodes on his own. He lacked direction and his relationship with Janeway deserved more screentime.

    Paris: He had an annoying habit in the early days of saying sarcastic things on the bridge, but he proved himself to be a respectable character during the Kazon arc. His redemption was well-handled, but his relationship with B'Elanna was poorly developed for several years and led to a few episodes where he did nothing but annoy me. After he got married in season 7 I found his character to be much more enjoyable and I liked where his character ended up. He lacked direction for a lot of the series but he certainly underwent some positive character development.

    B'Elanna: She started out on the show very well with episodes like Prime Factors and Faces, but around season 2 she started to become the standard engineer character whose episodes revolved around fixing things. She rebounded very strongly towards the end with some fantastic scenes in Lineage and Author, Author, another case of a character experiencing some positive development.

    Harry: Poor, dumb Harry. :( The perpetual ensign who was always reset back to Caretaker Harry at the beginning of each episode. He died, he got thrown into a parallel dimension, he mutated into an alien, he was eaten alive, he got an STD... but he always remained poor, dumb Harry. :( I like Harry in a way, but he's a very badly developed character.

    Dr Kenneth H. Shmully, M.D.: Not only Voyager's best character, Shmully is responsible for some of the best episodes the franchise has to offer. He transformed from someone who treated himself as a piece of technology into a social revolutionary with strongly-held beliefs about equality. There were times when his more annoying traits got the better of him and dragged some scenes down, but the character proved himself to be great in serious and comedic roles.

    Seven: Seven is okay. She added some much-needed conflict with Janeway in season 4 and really shook-up the show, but eventually she settled down and these positive aspects faded away. She developed well as a character who was trying to reclaim her humanity, but I began to get annoyed by the way she spoke. "Resistance" this, "comply" that, "collective" this, "adapt" that... it got old some time in season 5 but it didn't go away.

    Kes: Kes certainly had a lot of potential, but I'm not sure if the writers knew what to do with her. She was a pleasant character and it would have been far better to keep her around rather than poor, dumb Harry (:(), but what was she hoping to accomplish on Voyager? Her true potential as a character was never unlocked and I'm not sure that it would have been if she had stuck around all 7 years.

    Neelix: I started my rewatch by loathing Neelix, but I've come to respect him far more now. When episodes focused on Neelix they were usually quite strong, but as a background character he was very poorly used and far too often annoying. He was a successful character and a complete failure at the same time.


    Shuttles Lost: 16
    Torpedoes: 96/38
    Harry Deaths: 3

    Season 1 Average: 5.867
    Season 2 Average: 4.692
    Season 3 Average: 4.269
    Season 4 Average: 5.231
    Season 5 Average: 4.92
    Season 6 Average: 4.769
    Season 7 Average: 4.792
    Overall Average: 4.875

    Final Judgement

    So, has my impression of Voyager improved over the course of this rewatch? Yes. There are still continuity problems and too many aggressive and intransigent alien species, but I managed to connect with several of the characters this time around that I didn't care for before. And while the show didn't have any big story arcs it did have some smaller character arcs which were just as interesting.

    The things I dislike about the show are still there and they still outnumber the things I like, but I did find more things to appreciate about the show, so it was a more balanced contest. I'm certainly less inclined to bash Voyager now, it is not nearly as bad a show as many people make it out to be.

    The End.
  7. The Grim Ghost

    The Grim Ghost Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    May 29, 2007
    Thee Olde Spook Shack
    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    ^ The End.......


    /evil Chaotica laugher/
  8. Akiraprise

    Akiraprise Vice Admiral Moderator

    Mar 4, 2004
    Thanks for a pretty cool thread TheGodBen. It's been a good read.
  9. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

    Mar 2, 2003
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
    Haha, changing the thread title at the end. I find that funny. :lol:
  10. Cyrus

    Cyrus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I am too lazy to do the calculations myself, but I wonder how much these numbers change if you rate these seasons by the production season of episodes instead of when they aired.

    The following episodes were produced during first season but were held back by the network to air during the second season (The decision caught the producers by surprise, The 37's was the planned season finale for the first season):
    The 37's

    The following episodes were produced during the second season but aired in the third season (this time the producers got some advance warning from the network):
    Basics,Part II
    Sacred Ground
    False Profits
  11. Pemmer Harge

    Pemmer Harge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 19, 2009
    Between the candle and the star
    Re the characters: I like several of these characters, especially the Doctor, B'Elanna and Seven of Nine and I think they are part of why I like this show more than Enterprise. Seven and the EMH were always worth watching (the only characters I can say this about) and they brought unique perspectives and humour to the ensemble. B'Elanna with her identity issues and all interested me a lot. She didn't quite fulfill her potential, but I enjoyed watching her. Personally I find Janeway frustrating. I agree that she's a strong leader and when she's in leader mode I enjoy watching her a lot. However, in more casual situations she's very hit and miss; sometimes she's good, but often I find her extremely annoying. I think Kate Mulgrew did a good job, but the material she had to work with wasn't always the best. Watching Voyager recently, the character who surprised me was Paris. When I first watched the show years ago I found him irritating, but this time I warmed to him a lot more and I think the relationship with B'Elanna enhanced his character considerably. As for the others, Tuvok was well played but didn't get much interesting character development, Chakotay was OK but didn't make much impact, Neelix was often annoying, but not as bad as all that and played by a decent actor, and Harry, well I found his blandness annoying and is it just me or were the writers starting to take the piss out of him by the final season? Kes? It's been ages since I saw those seasons.
  12. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Nov 30, 2008
    Oh no, I've been violated! :lol:

    I did these calculations some time during season 3 at the request of Praetorian:

    Season 1 Average: 5.474
    Season 2 Average: 4.5
    Season 3 Average: 4.545

    It doesn't shake things up too much, but I found production season 3 better than production season 2.
  13. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Nov 30, 2008
  14. CubColtPacer

    CubColtPacer Ensign Red Shirt

    Apr 2, 2006
    As far as Endgame goes, wouldn't it have made more sense for Janeway to sacrifice herself than Seven? I know Janeway is the cliche answer, but it really pulls a lot of the series together if she dies in the finale. The largest theme of the series was that Janeway continued to strand her crew time after time with her Starfleet principles.

    For example: She did it in Caretaker to save the Ocampa. again in Prime Factors (even though it was later proven to not work with the systems of Voyager, Janeway didn't know that)
    In Death Wish, Janeway had the chance to trade for the Q going home but didn't.
    In False Profits, Janeway had plenty of chances to go through the wormhole.
    The Q and The Gray she had another chance to get her crew home. I'm sure there's probably more in the last 4 seasons, but those are probably enough examples.

    There is also evidence that Janeway feels guilty about these decisions as she watches her crew day after day. This is of course featured in Night but is also implied in several other episodes and that struggle in her mind between two very conflicting positions can also explain some of her inconsistency in how she captains over the years.
    In some ways, the writers were trying to go for that in Endgame. Admiral Janeway had the guilt and she was supposed to sacrifice herself. However, this didn't work for a couple of reasons.

    1) The time travel brings up way too many ethical questions and plot holes. Why at that time and not earlier? What are they going to do with the future technology now that they have it? Why does Janeway get to change the timeline because she feels like it? The time travel part of the episode destroys the credibility of the character of Janeway.
    2) There's no risk. The crew destroys the hub and gets home and the only casualty is Admiral Janeway, who was going to cease to exist when they got home anyway! That leaves the viewers with no emotional payoff. And then when the only homecoming scenes are the ones in the existence that isn't real anymore, it doesn't feel right.

    They could keep the Borg storyline in some way. The actual storyline probably strains credulity for current Voyager to be able to take on, even with how the show weakened the Borg. But maybe you could get some assistance from either the Unamatrix Zero resistance or Kes...both people who would possibly help and add a lot of continuity for the finale. They help even the odds, but in the end Captain Janeway has to distract the Queen in some way (similar to what Admiral Janeway ended up doing) and ends up dying so the crew can get home.

    It satisfies the Starfleet principles the show was based on. It helps serve a major defeat to the Borg. It adds continuity to the show. It has an emotional payoff with Janeway dying (and with the time travel cut out, there's still time left for some homecomings). Best of all, it ties back into the crux of the series. Caretaker was never about him or the Ocampa. It was about Janeway's decision, and how that decision affected the rest of the crew and the series. For her to make the same decision in the last episode but this time getting the crew home at the expense of her own life, it makes her guilt and principles all worth it. It validates her character in so many ways. I understand why they wouldn't want to do it since Sisko also died in the finale (sort of) but I think it would have still worked well enough that people wouldn't have cared.
  15. Akiraprise

    Akiraprise Vice Admiral Moderator

    Mar 4, 2004
    Sorry, resistance was futile. ;)
    I had a feeling you'd come around to tolerating VOY at least. The show is not as bad as some make it out to be. I thought you were pretty fair in your reviews. I agree that the Fair Haven episodes were pretty shit, for instance.
  16. Tachyon

    Tachyon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Feb 5, 2009
    LOL @ change in thread title. Tee hee. We got you The GodBen! Ha! :lol:

    Thanks for the entertaining thread. I agreed with some of your reviews, and disagreed with others, but you always argued and explained your point of view, which is something I have to respect. Perhaps I will lurk your ENT review thread, though I have only seen a handful of ENT episodes.
  17. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Nov 30, 2008
    Fair might not be the right word. Consistent is probably more accurate. :shifty:

    Thanks for joining in. :) We may not have agreed too much but you were always friendly and provided me with an good challenge. ;)
  18. Captain_Amasov

    Captain_Amasov Captain Captain

    Feb 6, 2008
    Voyager should have ended with the female Nacene entity; Suspiria, being involved in the plot. TNG started and ended with Q and DS9 started and ended with a plot involving the wormhole aliens, it would've seemed fitting somehow.
  19. kimc

    kimc Coffee Mod Admiral

    Jan 2, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN USA
    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I think I found a new sig! ;)

    Seriously, while I thought many of your ratings were on the low side (ie I didn't agree with the TNG penalty) it was obvious you were putting a lot of thought into your reviews which is always appreciated. :)
  20. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Nov 30, 2008
    A good idea, and while you're updating your sig you can update my name. ;) You know, to help avoid the confusion some people seem to have about the The.